Monday, August 4, 2008

Is Fox News, as they like to say, Fair and Balanced?

"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain."
-George Orwell, 1984

Fox News, is it Fair and Balanced, or a lie?
New Hounds says we watch Fox News so you don't have too. Fox is blatantly right of Attila the Hun, the fair and balanced is a fairy tale. News Hounds is a joy, they tell it like it is and show the hypocrisy and blatant lies of the make believe FOX News service.

FOX NEWS continues it's dishonest and disingenuous representation of Obama as a Muslim. This is a disgusting ploy to racist fears against Muslims.
"Even though guest Stephen Mansfield, author of the book The Faith of Barack Obama, specifically told the Hannity & Colmes audience Tuesday night (8/5/08) that Barack Obama is “a serious Christian” who will govern out of his religious base, FOX News producers ran a series of banners on the lower third of the screen suggesting that Obama is a Muslim and a less than complete Christian. With video."
-Ellen, News Hounds

Human Events, the conservative tome that the Wall Street Journal calls a “Bible of the Right” and Ronald Reagan termed “essential reading,” is celebrating “Rush Week,” — that is, 20 years of Rush Limbaugh on the air — in a big way. Fox News' Sean Hannity kicked the week off with a tribute to Limbaugh, describing him as the “Babe Ruth of Broadcasting.” What an honor, for a guy whose home runs are often little more than racist and misogynistic rantings.

Here are just a few of Limbaugh's more famous out-of-the-ballpark musings over the year
-- To a black caller to his show: “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.” (Source: Notable Quotable,

-- On women: "I think this reason why girls don't do well on multiple choice tests goes all the way back to the Bible, all the way back to Genesis, Adam and Eve. God said, 'All right, Eve, multiple choice or multiple orgasms, what's it going to be?' We all know what was chosen." (TV, Feb. 23, 1994).

-- On feminists: "Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society."(Media Matters)

-- On drugs, before he was busted for Oxycontin: "We have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. And the laws are good because we know what happens to people in societies and neighborhoods which become consumed by them. And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up."(MSNBC)

-- On Native Americans: "I don't give a hoot that [Columbus] gave some Indians a disease that they didn't have immunity against" (Ought to Be, p. 45).

-- Earlier this year, when a caller asked whether he thought John McCain would pick Sen. Lindsey Graham as his running mate: "I may be wrong ... Lindsey Graham is certainly close enough to [McCain] to die of anal poisoning." (New York Daily News)

-- On Mexicans: "If we are going to start rewarding no skills and stupid people -- I'm serious, let the unskilled jobs that take absolutely no knowledge whatsoever to do -- let the stupid and unskilled Mexicans do that work." (Fairness and Accuracy in the Media)

-- On sexual harassment: "Sexual harassment at this work station will not be reported. However ... it will be graded!!!" (David Brock, Blinded by the Right )

Human Events may be celebrating its “Man of the Year” this week, but for many of the rest of us, CBS News Washington producer Ward Sloane put it well when he wrote about the state of conservative commentary on Feb. 27, after the death of another famous conservative commentator, William F. Buckley:
"In a way, it’s sad that people like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage are today’s mouthpieces for conservatism. What a far leap they are from the quick witted and smart [William F.] Buckley. ... Buckley was not a hate monger; he was a serious-minded person who made reasoned and rational arguments for his cause. No apologies to Limbaugh, Savage or their listeners and adherents — they are no substitute for Buckley’s class and intellectualism.
-Cara DeGette, The Colorado Independent

The best Republicans money can buy.
The Republicans have been bought and paid for by the oil and coal industry. The senate failed to pass the alternate energy tax rebate bill. Hundred of millions of dollars will be lost along with thousands of jobs. These Republicans in the senate have to be the most self serving, disingenuous, evil, lying s.o.b's we have had in a long time. These oil companies are making massive windfall profits and there is no way they want to see alternate tax credits that might impact on these profits. The bill failed 52-44 8 short of the 60 needed.
"The bill would extend some $18 billion worth of renewable energy tax credits, helping out investors in wind and solar power, clean coal, plug-in electric vehicles and a variety of others. Last month more than 300 high-tech and manufacturing companies warned Congress that failure to act quickly "will bring investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects to a standstill."Greg Wetstone of the American Wind Energy Association said Tuesday that his industry risks losing $11 billion in investment and 75,000 jobs if the tax credit expires next year." Bush's' lie, weaning us off our dependency on foreign foreign oil and helping to clean up the environment. -Cara Degette

Republican Senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens Indicted
"Ted Stevens (R-AK) has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 7 counts relating to failure to disclose financial information that allegedly shows that he had received gifts in excess of $250,000 and has submitted fraudulent documents in an effort to cover up the gifts from theoil lobby and friends at major oil companies." So what else is new, Republicans and oil and the big lie. This is the tip of the iceberg, I would suspect that a number of Republican elected members of the senate are squirming right now. The seven-count indictment charges Stevens with making false statements by failing to disclose "things of value" he received from Veco Corp., an Alaska-based oil services company, and from its chairman, Bill Allen, over an eight-year period.
The indictment charges that those included substantial improvements to Stevens' home inGirdwood; automobile exchanges in which he received new vehicles worth far more than the old ones; and household goods. -Politico


In an age when the Republican rights spokesmen are Sean Hannity and RushLimbaugh who speak for a party whose issues have been god, guns and gays, a party bereft of any intellectuals that can articulate a position without moronic simplification David Brooks is a breath of fresh air. I suggest that he is not a Neocon Republican but a conservative voice in the cast the late of William F. Buckley who so articulately represented the conservative opinion to another generation. "The Coming Activist Age We’re entering an era of epic legislation. There are at least five large problems that will compel the federal government to act in gigantic ways over the next few years. First, there is the erosion of the social contract. Private sector firms are less likely to provide health benefits, producing a desperate need for health care reform. Second, there is the energy shortage. Rising Asian demand strains worldwide supply, threatening industry and consumers, and producing calls for a bold energy initiative. Third, there is the stagnation in human capital. During the 20th century, Americans were better educated than the citizens of any other power. Since 1970, that lead has been forfeited, producing inequality and wage stagnation. To compete, the U.S. will require a series of human capital initiatives."
By DAVID BROOKS, New York Times Published: July 18, 2008

Obama Eloquence Fatigue
George Will has been a star of the Conservative movement in American politics and eschews the simplicity of the Hannety and Limbaugh. He address the political issues of the day as a conservative with intellectual insight lacking in the TV right wing pundits.
"As the presidential candidates enter the three-month sprint to November, Barack Obama must be wondering: If that did not do it, what will? The antecedent of the pronoun "that" is his Berlin speech. The antecedent of the pronoun "it" is assuage anxieties about his understanding of the need to supplement soft power (diplomacy) with hard power (military force).

He spoke in Berlin at the bullet-scarred base — it was in the crossfire 63 years ago as Russian troops neared Hitler's bunker about a mile away — of an 1873 monument to German militarism. To be precise, the monument celebrates the Franco-Prussian War and lesser triumphs of the militarism that was to help ruin the next century.

Anyway, at that monument Obama exhorted Germans — does the candidate of "change" appreciate how much beneficent change made this exhortation necessary? — to be more willing to wage war, in Afghanistan. He was right to do so."
-More: George Will, Jewish World Review


Pottsville Iowa, ain't goober town no more, it's "The Jungle"
It's the American dream for some and hatred of anyone not from here for others. "Hundreds, religious leaders and immigrant rights advocates descended on the small city of Postville, Iowa on Sunday and spent the day rallying for immigration reform. Organizers from four states, including Minnesota, called the gathering a symbol of solidarity with workers arrested in a raid there earlier this year. But many residents say the raid and the massive attention may have transformed the town's cozy atmosphere for good." "Halfway through the march, the crowd stood on a dirt road outside the gates of the AgriProcessor's plant. Rabbi Harold Kravitz of Minnetonka spoke to protesters as workers watched from behind the gates.

"The raids that took place here were an outrageous criminalizing of people who came to this community just to make a living," he said. "The treatment of those workers and those who have been deported is unconscionable."
The rally also drew about 100 counter-protesters, who had a very different message to send. They gathered along the city's main road, chanting "Go home now" and "No more illegals."" The crime here is wanting a better life for your family and being last in line for the American Dream. What these poor saps don't know is that the welcome mat has been pulled up and the No More room at The Inn sign has been put up. Most of these workers don't speak English, have been exploited by their employers and now are treated like criminals without the rights due an axe murderer while their employers walk away without any penalty whatsoever.


The Chinese regime remains one of the most oppressive in the world
It is doubtful that this blog can be seen in China. This blog has criticized the Chinese government for it's oppression of Tibet and it's arrest of Chinese journalists and bloggers. While the world watches the forth coming Olympics no one is fooled into thinking that China is a free country that will allow dissent. The Chinese government promised the respect to press and allow open access. The Chinese regime remains one of the most oppressive in the world and continues to restrict freedom of the press and limit human rights. Chinese athletes deserve the respect of their nation and recognition of all the hardships they must overcome to achieve their dreams. But the fact remains that the Chinese government will exploit the successes of it's athletes for it's own political agenda.

China Revokes Joey Cheek’s Visa August 5, 2008 New York Times reports: BEIJING — The Chinese embassy revoked the visa of Joey Cheek, a former Olympic speedskater and the founder of the group Team Darfur, a day before he was scheduled to fly to Beijing, Cheek said Tuesday.

Cheek had planned to fly to Beijing on Wednesday, but said he received a call from the Chinese embassy in Washington on Tuesday saying that his visa had been revoked. He said he was not given a reason for the change.
Team Darfur is a group of athletes, including 72 current Olympians, who have tried to call attention to China’s link to the conflict in the Darfur region of western Sudan. “I have always been an absolute believer in the Olympics and what the Olympics can do,” said Cheek, who won a gold medal in Turin in 2006. “I never asked for a boycott.” A spokesman for the Beijing organizing committee could not be reached for comment -KATIE THOMAS


Sexual assault in military 'jaw-dropping,' lawmaker says
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A congresswoman said Thursday that her "jaw dropped" when military doctors told her that four in 10 women at a veterans hospital reported being sexually assaulted while in the military.
Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach said she was raped by a fellow Marine. A Marine has been charged in her death. A government report indicates that the numbers could be even higher.
Rep. Jane Harman, D-California, spoke before a House panel investigating the way the military handles reports of sexual assault.
She said she recently visited a Veterans Affairs hospital in the Los Angeles area, where women told her horror stories of being raped in the military. "My jaw dropped when the doctors told me that 41 percent of the female veterans seen there say they were victims of sexual assault while serving in the military," said Harman, who has long sought better protection of women in the military.
"Twenty-nine percent say they were raped during their military service. They spoke of their continued terror, feelings of helplessness and downward spirals many of their lives have taken since. "We have an epidemic here," she said. "Women serving in the U.S. military today are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq."

This is a symptom of a bigger problem. With an all volunteer army and a country at war standards of who is accepted in the military have been lowered thereby allowing sexual predators into the military. In addition there needs to be accountability within the senior ranks and swift and sure justice for crimes of such a heinous nature.

(Lest we forget) Justice delayed is justice denied
A congregational investigation is called for in light of the failure of the army to properly investigate a death of one of its soldiers under suspicious circumstances. The question of the death of soldier Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Iraq remains and haunts her family. “Three years ago, on July 19, 2005, Army Private First Class LaVena Johnson was found dead in Balad, Iraq. Her body was found in a tent belonging to the private military contractor KBR. She had abrasions all over her body, a broken nose, a black eye, burned hands, loose teeth, acid burns on her genitals, and a bullet hole in her head.The Army labeled Johnson’s death a suicide.
BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!

A new book by the author Ron Suskind claims that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein.
Suskind writes in “The Way of the World,” to be published Tuesday, that the alleged forgery – adamantly denied by the White House – was designed to portray a false link between Hussein’s regime and al Qaeda as a justification for the Iraq war.
The author also claims that the Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official “that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.”
The letter’s existence has been reported before, and it had been written about as if it were genuine. It was passed in Baghdad to a reporter for The (London) Sunday Telegraph who wrote about it on the front page of Dec. 14, 2003, under the headline, “Terrorist behind September 11 strike ‘was trained by Saddam.’”-MIKE ALLEN, Politico

Recommended Book:

The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. In this troubling portrait of the war on terror, America's intelligence agencies confront not just al-Qaeda but the Bush administration's politicized incompetence. Journalist Suskind (The Price of Loyalty) follows the triumphs and failures of the "invisibles"—the counterterrorism experts at the NSA, the FBI and especially the CIA—as they painstakingly track terrorists' communications and financial transactions, interrogate prisoners and cultivate elusive al-Qaeda informants. Unfortunately, he contends, their meticulous intelligence-sifting went unappreciated by administration policymakers, especially Dick Cheney, who formulated an overriding "one percent" doctrine: threats with even a 1% likelihood must be treated as certainties. The result was "the severing of fact-based analysis from forceful response," most glaringly in the trumped-up alarm over Iraqi WMDs. In dramatizing the tensions between CIA professionals and White House ideologues, Suskind makes his sympathies clear: CIA chief George Tenet, pressured to align intelligence with administration policy, emerges as a tragic fall guy, while President Bush comes off as a dunce and a bully, likened by some observers to a ventriloquist's dummy on Cheney's knee. Suskind's novelistic scene-setting—"Condi looked up, impatiently"—sometimes meanders. But he assembles perhaps the most detailed, revealing account yet of American counterterrorism efforts and a hard-hitting critique of their direction. (June 20) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Humanity At crossroads: Attitudes And Climate Change
The recent report by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has mentioned that the rate of climate warming over northern Alaska, Canada and Russia could more than triple during the periods of rapid sea ice loss. This has raised concerns about the thawing of permafrost resulting in potential consequences for sensitive ecosystems, human infrastructure and additional release of greenhouse gases. According to IPCC Chairman, Mr. Rajendra Pachauri, "If there is no action before 2012, that's too late. What we do in the next two or three years will determine our future."
-Abdul Basit
-30 July, 2008

Can this Planet be saved?

"A McCain campaign ad says that gas prices are high right now because “some in Washington are still saying no to drilling in America.” That’s just plain dishonest: the U.S. government’s own Energy Information Administration says that removing restrictions on offshore drilling wouldn’t lead to any additional domestic oil production until 2017, and that even at its peak the extra production would have an “insignificant” impact on oil prices. What’s even more important than Mr. McCain’s bad economics, however, is what his reversal on this issue — he was against offshore drilling before he was for it — says about his priorities.
Martin Weitzman, a Harvard economist who has been driving much of the recent high-level debate, offers some sobering numbers. Surveying a wide range of climate models, he argues that, over all, they suggest about a 5 percent chance that world temperatures will eventually rise by more than 10 degrees Celsius (that is, world temperatures will rise by 18 degrees Fahrenheit). As Mr. Weitzman points out, that’s enough to “effectively destroy planet Earth as we know it.” It’s sheer irresponsibility not to do whatever we can to eliminate that threat.
Now for the bad news: sheer irresponsibility may be a winning political strategy.Mr. McCain’s claim that opponents of offshore drilling are responsible for high gas prices is ridiculous — and to their credit, major news organizations have pointed this out. Yet Mr. McCain’s gambit seems nonetheless to be working: public support for ending restrictions on drilling has risen sharply, with roughly half of voters saying that increased offshore drilling would reduce gas prices within a year. "
-Paul Krugman NY Times Oped



Amy Sgt. James A. McHale Died: July 30, 2008 31, of Fairfield, Mont.; assigned to the 40th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Baumholder, Germany; died July 30 at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., from wounds sustained July 22 in Taji, Iraq, when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device.

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