Saturday, March 24, 2012

Not this shit again

In the middle of an article about the exaggerations of Rick Santorum, Politico brings back an old myth. (Emphasis mine.)
Every senator — and every politician — who runs for president is prone to a bit of résumé-padding.

Newt Gingrich has drawn mockery for taking partial responsibility for ending the Cold War, while Mitt Romney has struggled to justify claiming credit for the creation of over 100,000 jobs. Finding the line between touting one’s accomplishments and blowing them out of proportion is not a 2012-only problem: recall Al Gore’s infamous claim about the creation of the Internet.
For the millionth goddamn time, Al Gore made no claim about the Internet that should be considered in any way "infamous." Here's what he actually said:
During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.
So he never said, as Snopes points out, that he "invented the Internet." And here's what Vint Cerf, the actual inventor of the Internet said:
Al Gore had seen what happened with the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956, which his father introduced as a military bill. It was very powerful. Housing went up, suburban boom happened, everybody became mobile. Al was attuned to the power of networking much more than any of his elective colleagues. His initiatives led directly to the commercialization of the Internet. So he really does deserve credit.
So, in other words, in the middle of an article about Republican falsehoods, Alexander Burns and Emily Schultheis decided to demonstrate "balance" with, yep, a common Republican falsehood. Good one, Politico.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Santorum hates the West

I posted something a few years back showing that the further right some commentators got, the more they started to see terrorists' points and agree with their critiques of the "decadent West." Little did I realize we'd ever have a Republican frontrunner who made the same illogical leap, yet, when Ed Kilgore posted a story today about a 2008 discussion in which Rick Santorum decided liberals can't be Christians, I had to read the whole discussion he had with The Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life. There's a typical Santorum sermon speech, but, boy howdy, the Q&A is a doozy.

Not only does Santorum argue Iraq was part of a "holy war" and that childless people are, ipso facto, also faithless people, he also makes a claim that should probably disqualify anyone from the presidency. Remember when Bush said terrorists "hate our freedoms"? Well, Rick disagrees with Bush, arguing that, while the terrorists use Western freedom as a recruiting tool, it's moderate Muslims who are turned off the most by us decadent people exercising our freedom. And he thinks they're right to do so. (Emphasis mine)
I think it’s going to be very hard to get Islam to embrace modernity for many reasons. But one, and I think as big as any, are the issues we’ve just talked about. I think a lot of Muslims legitimately look at Christendom and say, “They are hedonistic and secular. This tolerance has resulted in an abandonment of faith.”
Add this to Santorum's hatred of the "idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do" and you come to the conclusion that, while Bush's simplistic vision of what motivates terrorists is still wrong, Rick Santorum really does hate America for its freedoms.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Bachmann suddenly hates using kids as political props

Michele Bachmann says, "I just think it’s reprehensible when someone uses a little child to advance a political agenda."


I guess she means a liberal political agenda. Or maybe she didn't notice all those children waving signs they most likely didn't understand at Tea Parties.

It would also be a little bit easier to take her complaint (with which I actually agree) a bit more seriously if it weren't for the fact she brings up her 5 kids and 23 foster kids every five minutes.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Romney thinks Americans are lazy

This video clearly meets the "Romney Standard."

More here.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Obama owes Barnum an apology

If you were having a discussion with someone and mentioned that you hated racists, only to have a person respond incongruously and vehemently that you shouldn't have called him a racist, wouldn't you suspect that person protests too much? That he actually does have racist views and realizes it? By that same logic, I think Michelle Bachmann realizes she's a clown.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Pontius Perry

Go read Tom Junod.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Media bias: the proof

Remember when Terry Moran was "admitting" that "anti-military bias" was a problem in the media?
There is, Hugh, I agree with you, a deep anti-military bias in the media. One that begins from the premise that the military must be lying, and that American projection of power around the world must be wrong.
Well, it seems now there's some proof of bias in military coverage, but it works the other way. Matthew Schofield was a Kansas City Star reporter in Iraq in 2006 and covered a possible war crime in Iraq in which it was alleged that "US forces had handcuffed and then "executed" 10 people in the home of Faiz Harrat Al-Majma'ee" then "called in an airstrike that destroyed the house" to cover up evidence. The release of a formerly secret document by Wikileaks suggests that the UN investigator believed these charges which the Pentagon dismissed. Schofield spoke to Salon's Justin Elliott about his coverage of the event and it is, to my mind, shocking to see how much bias colored his views
What did we learn from the cable just released by WikiLeaks?

One, it shows different sources of information than what I was dealing with. It shows that officialdom was concerned about this. They were not admitting they were concerned when we were on the story back then. They gave much more credence to the story than they had suggested to the press at the time. Behind the scenes, there was a great deal of concern over what exactly had happened there.

The cable outlines pretty much exactly what the worst-case scenario was when we were reporting on it. I didn't really pursue the worst-case scenario because I didn't believe it was possible. We looked into it and we reported on the allegations at the time, but we were always looking for other explanations, for other ways this could have happened. This cable seems focused on that worst-case scenario, which I found fascinating.
So, get this:
  • Ten people--including "five children under the age of five, the youngest being five months old"--were killed.
  • Schofield's stringer on the ground told him he was being given wrong information by the DoD, to which military spokespeople eventually admitted.
  • The American-trained Iraqi police who investigated the incident said the killings were "execution-style killings."
  • US military investigators who dismissed the charges spent less than an hour on the ground.
Despite all that, Schofield admits he "didn't really pursue the worst-case scenario because I didn't believe it was possible."

Tell me again the one about the biased reporter...