Monday, February 28, 2011

Catholic Radio International's Jeff Gardner Slanders Midnight Review, Author

It has come to my attention that conservative Catholic Radio International personality Jeff Gardner attacked both this website and myself on his most recent program discussing the images depicting anti-abortion activist Lila Rose in compromising positions.

Gardner climbed up on his high-horse claiming I was a "JC college drop out" and that I lacked journalistic experience to comment on the facts of the matter - his facts.  In an interview with Veracity Stew managing editor Steve Moore, Gardner decided to attack my character and protect little Lila at all costs, ignoring facts like proof that Lila Rose was caught red-handed deceptively editing the audio of her video projects to alter the context of the meeting between her actors and the Planned Parenthood clinic workers - in regards to Rose selectively editing the videos, Gardner insisted that "we ave no proof of that," when in fact we do.

I had contacted Gardner to demand an apology and a retraction for slandering my name, and Gardner responded saying he had linked to a retraction on his website.

"I have posted an audio correction on the show page that addresses your concerns," wrote Gardner in an email to myself. "Thanks for listening and best of luck on getting back to school soon."

Gardner's correction was anything but - he still called me a "drop out" and then complained that I "squealed" over 5-seconds of audio when I wrote 500 words about his precious Lila.  For someone who values journalism and sources, Gardner decided his assumptions were good enough.

We can understand why Gardner would rather place his trust in Lila Rose - during his interview with Moore he couldn't help but wonder why someone who would allegedly doctor an image of Rose make the effort to censor her breasts.  Gardner had even urged for his listeners to visit the offending website, but not with children in the room, so they can see these pictures for themselves.

For someone repulsed by images of his darling Lila in compromising positions, he sure has no qualms spreading them across the internet.

To cap off his apology, Gardner decided to call me a "knucklehead."

In the comment portion of a Veracity Stew article reviewing the interview between Gardner and Moore, Gardner actually responded to the piece by trying to sway a reader of Veracity Stew to become pro-life, claiming the real issue was not a couple pictures of a high-as-a-kite scantily-clad Lila Rose, but rather a "matter of life and death."  Gardner then babbled about how secular Live Action is and when a life begins.

I left a response to Gardner, but I don't expect him to respond.
An absence of theological rhetoric or imagery on Live Action’s website does not mean a thing. You could proselytize all you want but that doesn’t change the fact that Lila Rose uses highly deceptive methods to obtain results.

You have not given us a reason why we should trust Lila Rose.

Let us consider something about Rose’s videos – she claims they depict Planned Parenthood “aiding and abetting” pimps and prostitutes operate an underage sex ring.

If that is the case, why did Lila Rose sit on her footage for over three weeks before she contacted the authorities with her damning proof?

Could it be because of her vanity?

She wanted the scoop on Fox News and Andrew Breitbart’s websites so she ignored the possibility of any wrongdoing until it was beneficial for her.

What’s another rape victim when you can get $50,000 more in grants?
Basically, Gardner and Rose are frauds.  They are Catholics of convenience - con today, confession tomorrow.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Are Scott Walker, Jeff Plale Conspiring To Sell State Power Plants To Koch Brothers?

I hear the Kochs hog all the sheets...

With the release of the audio recording of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker eagerly accepting a call from who he thought was one of the billionaire Koch brothers, a possible connection has been made between the governor and the billionaire industrialists that goes far beyond the contributions the Koch brothers made to the Walker campaign last year - in a move to privatize the energy sector, Walker and his administration prevented Democratic-proposed amendments to legislation that would allow the governor to sell state-owned power plants without bids, Walker and his administration open up the possibilities that Koch Industries.

Ron Seely and Dee J. Hall wrote the following for The Wisconsin State Journal:
Assembly Democrats tried but failed Wednesday to prevent Gov. Scott Walker from selling state-owned power plants without bids amid growing concerns by Democrats that the owners of a multi-billion dollar oil-and-gas company are driving the governor's legislative agenda.

That suspicion grew Wednesday after Walker was secretly recorded revealing his strategy for pushing through his anti-union budget repair bill during a 20-minute phone conversation with a blogger who purported to be David Koch, executive vice president of the Wichita, Kan.-based Koch Industries.

The defeated amendment, which would have required that the sale be approved by the Public Service Commission, is among dozens likely to be shot down by the Assembly's Republican majority.

The $43 billion Koch Industries, which Koch owns with his brother, Charles, includes numerous energy-related enterprises, including a natural gas pipeline, refineries and a company that supplies coal to Wisconsin power plants.

At a news conference Wednesday, Walker denied any connection between the sale of the state's 32 power plants and the Kochs' support.
Walker isn't the only one denying such connections - Jeff Plale, director of the state Division of State Facilities, also played ignorant to any possible connections.

"I don't know those guys at all," said Plale. "I wouldn't know them if they walked into my office. I don't know anything about the relationship between the governor and them."

This is interesting because Plale, a Democrat who supported Walker and is believed to have received his recent position as a political favor for opposing union contract legislation last year and supporting privatization of Wisconsin's energy sector, received money from a Koch lobbyist last year, and if you weren't aware, the Koch's recently opened a lobbying office in downtown Madison.

The Kochs have insisted that they have no interest in the power plants for sale and that the actions of Walker's administration are of no concern to them, but why would they open a lobbying office in the capitol and why are they linked to funding the campaigns of both Governor Walker and Jeff Plale?

This definitely raises questions...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fox Tries To Shoot The Messenger

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker got into some trouble by falling victim to a prank call (more on that in a later post), in which he divulged deceptive strategies and a willingness to take bribes from billionaires, but it is the media's response to this prank call that I found interesting, more so the subsequent responses from Fox News.

In a Thursday article on Fox Nation, there is reference made to a Daily Caller article by Matthew Boyle, attacking the prankster, editor for online newspaper The Beast, Ian Murphy, calling the newspaper editor a blogger (that only seems to be an insult when you oppose a conservative view point) and referencing past articles with such inflamatory titles as "Fuck The Troops" in an attempt to discredit the contents of the call.

Boyle wrote the following:
The Buffalo Beast blogger who prank-called Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker, falsely posing as billionaire David Koch, has written some edgy — some may say offensive — articles in the past. For the publication he edits, Ian Murphy has written such pieces as “Fuck The Troops,” a dissertation explaining why he thinks, “the nearly two-thirds of us who know this war is bullshit need to stop sucking off the troops,” and “Let There Be Retards,” an exclusive look inside a Kentucky creationism museum – while Murphy was falsely pretending to have Asperger’s Syndrome.

The Walker storyline has blown up on the left-wing blogosphere, and several mainstream publications like the Washington Post, NPR and USA Today have run with stories on the prank call as well. Most mainstream publications that have published articles about the prank call have left out mention of Murphy’s journalistic past.
It is interesting that Boyle would call into question Murphy's "journalistic past" when people like Boyle have come to the defense of pretend journalists like Lila Rose and James O'Keefe - in a February 22nd article by Kristan Hawkins on the Daily Caller, which by the way is also an online publication, Hawkins called for the defunding of Planned Parenthood because of the revelations from Rose's highly edited smear videos.
While it would be illegal for Planned Parenthood to pay for abortions with federal taxpayer money, believe me — our money is still propping up this abortion giant. It’s an interesting bookkeeping game, as our taxpayer money pays for Planned Parenthood’s staff, facilities, and equipment — just not the actual abortion procedures.

In the past decade, Students for Life and other activists like Lila Rose, President of Live Action and a former SFLA intern, have worked to prove to Americans that Planned Parenthood should not receive our money to kill and wound over 300,000 preborn children and women each year.
While Murphy's past is called into question by those on the right, the pasts of conservative activists are not.

Websites like The Daily Caller have an agenda, and they don't try to hide it. 

"Defunding Planned Parenthood is at the top of our list as pro-lifers," wrote Hawkins.  "For if we can defeat this organization, we will be able to bring down the largest abortion provider in America, stop Planned Parenthood’s preying on young women, and save hundreds of thousands of preborn lives."

What makes this worse is Fox, which claims to be fair and balanced, cites these highly biased sources as a way of presenting fair "news," while at the same time attacking the "mainstream media" for not reporting on the same, unprofessional, unethical, opinionated stories.  By the way - those stories also attack the mainstream media.  Just look at Boyle's comments about "mainstream publications" ignoring Ian Murphy's other works.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rick Scott Tries to Avoid Wisconsin-Style Drama In Florida

Peter Shorsch reported for the Saint Petersblog website that Florida Governor Rick Scott is not opposed to collective bargaining, much like conservative governors in other states, like Wisconsin.
Gov. Rick Scott said during a radio interview Tuesday that Florida shouldn’t move to take away public employees’ collective bargaining rights as the Republican governor of Wisconsin has proposed, reports the News Service of Florida. The capital of Wisconsin, Madison, has been beset by protests over the proposal there, with teachers walking off the job because of the threat to end their ability to collectively bargain over salary and benefits. While Scott has sought to require public employees to contribute to their pensions, he said Tuesday has no plans to mirror Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining proposal. “My belief is as long as people know what they’re doing, collective bargaining is fine,” Scott said in an interview with WFLA Radio in Tallahassee. Scott said what he means is that as long as the discussion is honest about what benefits employees are getting, he has no objection to public employees being members of unions.
There is probably one main reason why Rick Scott has come out opposing such actions - Republicans maintain comfortable margins in both the Florida House and Senate.

In the Florida House of Representatives, Republicans control 81 out of 120 seats (67.5 percent) while in the Senate, the number is higher, with Republicans controlling 28 out of 39 of the seats (71.8 percent).  Floridian Republicans don't need to worry about quorom to pass their agenda, but they do need to worry about bad publicity.

Scott has already garnered bad press by restricting media access and proposing a budget that aims to slash funds for every governmental department but his own.  Soctt has also pledged to turn down federal money that would have filled the remaining budget gap involving a new high-speed rail line.  The last thing Scott would need is for public protests to explode in the state, and Florida Republicans have already shown a willingness to break with the tea party-backed governor.  Bipartisan support sought to go around the conservative governor to make the rail line a reality.
In Tallahassee, a veto-proof majority of the Florida Senate rebuked Scott in a letter that urged the federal government to give the state the money Scott has refused.

“Politics should have no place in the future of Florida’s transportation, as evidenced by this letter of bipartisan support,” said the letter, signed by 26 members of the Republican-controlled Florida Senate.

“This project would create real jobs, cleaner and smarter transportation and true economic development for Floridians,” said the letter written to LaHood.

The letter was authored in part by one of Scott’s first Senate backers, Republican Paula Dockery of Lakeland, who argued that the newly created Florida Rail Enterprise could act independently of Scott because the state’s share of the rail money — $300 million — was already approved last year by a previous governor, Charlie Crist.
While Scott claimed he was only doing so to avoid cost overruns and subsidies due to low ridership, private companies have already stated they would have paid for additional construction costs and operating losses, but that made no difference to the tea party and their governor - they view the rail line as federal waste and want the governor to deny the funds based on principle, even if a majority of the state's elected officials support the high-speed rail.

This is common for the tea party - they want to ignore the minority.  In Florida, Democrats may be in the minority, but that does not mean you ignore them because a Republican won office.  This is why former governor Charlie Crist was popular - he supported both Democratic and Republican issues.

State legislators know that if they stand behind the governor all the way, they will suffer at the polls in 2012, and maybe Rick Scott knows this too, which is why he is trying to avoid any negative publicity regarding this issue.

Democrats should still be wary of the governor's words - he has already shown himself to be a friend to corporations and an enemy of the people...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wisconsin Governor Ignores Democratic Legislators, Illustrates Flawed Republican Thinking

Amanda Terkel wrote the following for The Huffington Post:
It's day four of exile for Wisconsin's Democratic state senators, who crossed state lines in order to stall the expedited passage of Gov. Scott Walker's (R) budget proposal. Although many of the governor's supporters have called on them to come back to Madison, Democrats are ready to stick it out in Rockford, Ill. until Walker agrees to negotiate.

"We'll be here until Gov. Walker decides that he wants to talk," said state Sen. Tim Carpenter (D) in an interview with The Huffington Post on Saturday. He added that so far, the governor refuses to meet with them or even return the phone calls from members of the Democratic caucus.

"He's just hard-lined -- will not talk, will not communicate, will not return phone calls," said Carpenter. "In a democracy, I thought we were supposed to talk. But the thing is, he's been a dictator, and just basically said this is the only thing. No amendments, and it's going to be that way."

"Clearly, we offered a viable compromise at the end of last week," said state Sen. Robet Wirch (D), who is in northern Illinois, but not in Rockford with other members. "We wanted the clergy to come in and mediate this thing. But the governor just has his feet in cement."

Walker's office did not respond to The Huffington Post's request for comment.
Remember during the health care debate, when every conservative claimed Democrats were ramming the legislation down the throats of Americans?

While Democrats watered down their bill in an attempt to get a couple conservative votes, things are a bit different in Wisconsin, and now that conservatives are in charge it seems they don't care what the minority party thinks - they just want there way.

I believe the situation in Wisconsin is indicative of what America is seeing all across the nation, whether it is Republican congressmen working to redefine rape, or the Florida governor turning down funds that would cover the costs of a high-speed rail line, the fact of the matter is that Republicans are making some of the same mistakes Democrats made after their victories in 2008.

David Brady, Morris P. Fiorina, and Douglas Rivers had written an excellent article for conservative publication Policy Review regarding on the state of affairs, discussing how exactly Democrats lost in the 2010 midterm elections (also not delving into the contributing factors, such as conservative media misinformation, for such swings in public opinion), coming to the conclusion that voters did not vote for Republicans in 2010 - they simply did not vote for Democrats.
What does the Republican “shellacking” of Democrats in 2010 portend for 2012? If history is any guide, the answer is not good news for Republicans, at least for the post-World War II period. In 1946, the Republicans gained 55 seats in the house and 12 in the Senate to take control of Congress for the first time in 16 years. Democratic prospects for 1948 looked so poor that Senator Fulbright, a Democrat, proposed that President Truman appoint a Republican secretary of state (next in line for the presidency after Truman’s elevation), resign, and cede the presidency to the Republicans. Contrary to expectations, Truman campaigned against the “do-nothing” Republican Congress and won reelection. A generation later, after the 1994 elections gave Republicans control of Congress for the first time in 40 years, some in the media wondered whether a weakened President Clinton was still relevant. But after two government shutdowns Clinton was reelected overwhelmingly in 1996. The key to understanding how these two new Republican Congresses managed to reelect sitting Democratic presidents lies in the policy choices they made. In the flush of a big victory they overreached.

In the 112th Congress, a key issue will be government spending. The one common principle across all the Tea Party movements in states and localities was that the country cannot afford our current deficits, let alone those looming in the not too distant future. Addressing the deficit problem involves raising taxes, cutting spending, or some combination of the two. Thus far, Republicans have been insistent on cutting spending while keeping the Bush tax cuts in place and enacting no new taxes. In principle, very strong economic growth could increase incomes sufficiently to increase revenue without increasing the tax rate; however, few expect the economy to do this in the near future. Given that the next election will occur before economic growth can solve the problem, the key issue for Republicans is reducing government spending.

While the electorate in 2010 yelled a loud “no” to the policies of the president and Democratic Congress, the negative verdict was by no means carte blanche for Republicans to carry out their own wish list. Given the centrality of spending issues, we conducted a YouGov/Polimetrix poll on sixteen federal programs, asking whether spending on each should be increased, decreased, or kept the same. Table 3 presents the results of this poll.

In fifteen out of sixteen programs, a majority of the public would like spending to be increased or kept the same. The only program that a majority of Americans would cut is foreign aid. Most importantly, in the large entitlement programs, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, only small minorities favor the cuts that must come if the budget deficit is to be brought under control. Defense enjoys a similarly privileged status, with 70 percent favoring either current spending or an increase. Even in agriculture and housing, over 60 percent of Americans favor keeping expenditures where they are or increasing them.

Data like these should inform the agenda of the new Republican House majority. In 2010 the country voted no on Democrats, not yes on Republicans, and certainly not yes to across-the-board spending cuts. The new majority faces the hard reality that, in general, voters want spending reduced, but when it comes to specific programs, there are none that stand out, save foreign aid, which, if eliminated entirely, would not dent the deficit of the United States.
Basically, conservative politicians like Scott Walker or Rick Scott want to avoid the Democratic process and ram their policies through.  Luckily Wisconsin Democrats decided to stand up to Republicans.  The events in Wisconsin reminded me of a similar incident - in 2003, Texan Democrats fled to Oklahoma to prevent Republicans from reaching quorum.  Republicans even sent our state troopers and the Texas Rangers.  I recall in 2003 that I was a bit more critical of the Democrats' actions, thinking they were denying their constituents representation, but now I understand a little bit more, and see that these legislators are providing a voice for their constituents by not showing up, otherwise they would be forced to deal with legislation that their voters do not want.

I believe the compromises Democrats offered Walker were decent, but Walker has no interest in listening to all Wisconsinites - he only wants to listen to his voting base.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pick Of The Week

Today's installment of Pick Of The Week will feature articles from the past two weeks!

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Lila Rose's Illegal Drug Use

New blog Lila Rose Is A Hypocrite! released what appears to either be heavily doctored photographs of Lila Rose with a bong and looking high or just another instance of a right-wing activist turned moral crusader hypocrite, but the blog doesn't seem to care what people think about the photographs, just as long as people look into the life of Lila Rose.

That argument sound familiar?

It should because the blog uses the same argument Lila Rose uses to attack Planned Parenthood.  The blog insists Rose is hiding something and that she should be greatly scrutinized, after all, why should we take her word that Planned Parenthood is evil when Rose was the one who sat on supposed evidence of illegal sex trafficking - Planned Parenthood actually contacted the authorities first but Rose doesn't want you to know that, or believe that means anything, because she wanted to get a scoop on Fox News and Andrew Breitbart's propaganda websites.

Lila Rose Claims Planned Parenthood's Letter To The Attorney General Another Part Of Their Cover-up

In order to stay in control of her smear campaign, Lila Rose had been hard at work trying to make believe Planned Parenthood did something wrong.  While her initial videos are supposed to prove Planned Parenthood aided pimps and prostitutes, Rose later came out claiming that when Planned Parenthood contacted the authorities, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, it was all part of a bigger cover-up.

Rose is either so stupid that she believes the FBI will use all their resources investigating her and her fraudulent film crew that they will drop everything else on their plates, or she thinks America is stupid enough to believe that when an organization calls law enforcement, it is only to hide something illegal.  Fortunately, Planned Parenthood contacted the media to let them know of Rose's stings before she could make her official release, and that is probably the real reason she is upping her smear campaign.

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

GOP Congressman Resigns Over Photographs Sent To Woman Not His Wife

Married Republican Rep. Chris Lee joins the ranks of the sexually promiscuous Republicans who don't practice what they preach.  The GOP is supposed to be the party of family values but that doesn't seem to mean anything anymore - you just have to talk about Christianity and the Constitution in the same sentence to get anywhere in the conservative political world.

Lee supported religious agenda items, like opposing repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell or cosponsoring a resolution reaffirming "In God We Trust" as the official motto of the United States.  Maybe he should have spent his time working on his marriage and staying away from Craigslist...

Friday, Feburary 11th, 2011

Sarah Palin's Show Possibly Subsidized By Government

If anyone was filled with more hypocrisy then Sarah Palin, I would be surprised. Everytime you think Palin topped herself, she does it again, and you'll see later in the Pick Of The Week what I mean.

This time, it was revealed that Sarah Palin's TLC program, Sarah Palin's Alaska, may have received government subsidies to film in Alaska.  This is surprising considering Palin constantly attacking government spending and meddling in the free market, but to her defense, it was state spending, not federal spending, but should that make a difference?  Free markets don't change based on location or convenience, unless you are conservative, of course.

Sunday, Feburary 13th, 2011

Lila Rose Caught "Aiding and Abetting" Child Prostitution Rings

This post was to point out something - Lila Rose claims Planned Parenthood is involved in some cover-up, involving systemic "aiding and abetting" child prostitution rings, and she believes her videos are proof of such wrongdoing, but there are a couple things wrong with her theory - Planned Parenthood contacted authorities nearly a month before Lila Rose did and state officials, such as Kenneth Cuccinelli of Virginia, stated no evidence of wrongdoing was in the videos, although Cuccinelli, who is a conservative, believes there is proof of a willingness to do wrong, but if there was no actual wrongdoing, then who is wrong here?

Tuesday, Feburary 15th, 2011

Big Journalism's "Black Garbage Pail Kid" Problem

Big Journalism's Dana Loesch seemed to take offense to racially charged post on AlterNet, in which Loesch claimed the author, who goes by the pseudonym Chauncy DeVega, called black conservative Herman Cain a "black garbage pail kid," but Loesch seems to fail to understand grammar.

DeVega originally wrote "black garbage pail kid," but then scratched out the "garbage pail kid" part and substituted the word "conservative," so it seems DeVega was really using the phrase to define conservatives.

Loesch also was upset that Chauncy DeVega posts anonymously, but she seems to ignore the fact that many of the Big authors go by pseudonyms (Mr. Wolf, Retracto, Von Losch, Jake Boot, Dutton Peabody, Ace of Spades, Mr. Wrestling IV, Rusty Shackleford, El Cid, Big X).

Sarah Palin Doesn't Understand A Joke, Calls For Retraction From Time!

Much like Dana Loesch, Palin has a problem comprehending the English language - a Time blog apparently referenced a satirical piece making fun of Sarah Palin, but Palin and company seemed to think the blog's joke was serious, and Palin responded by demanding a retraction.

Also, Palin made yet another fool of herself when she made a tweet asking if the Obama administration was going to pressure Iran to change, just as they did with Egypt - all this following over a week of criticizing the administration for not acting strong enough in regards to the Egyptian protests, but since Mubarak had stepped down, Palin seemed to forget her criticisms and move onto the next criticism, and that being America not doing enough to pressure Iran...

Wednesday, Feburary 16th, 2011

Wisconsin Governor Plans On Using More Expensive National Guard To Replace Union Workers

In yet another instance of right-wing teabaggery-gone-wild, conservative Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and his Republican henchmen attempted to ram legislation through the state's chamber, but it wouldn't be in true tea party fashion if there wasn't a twist of crazy - Walker has proposed replacing public workers, like prison guards, with the much more costlier National Guard.

Who is fiscally responsible now?

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Republican Hypocrisy Over Wisconsin Protests

Remember when the tea party protested non-stop for two years against anything proposed by the administration and Republicans urged law makers to heed their calls because it was the voice of the people?

Now that Republicans are in power, that does not seem to be the case - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker now apparently believes protesting citizens are just a bunch of bully activists who should be ignored.  Walker has also used the protests to rally state Republicans.


Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Sarah Palin's Breastfeeding Hypocrisy

Not to outdo herself, Sarah Palin said something even more stupid then before. In an attempt to maintain he conservative street credentials, Palin jumped on Michelle Obama's recent anti-obesity and child nutrition comments supporting breast feeding, attacking the First Lady and making jokes at her expense, while touting how many children she shot out of her loins, but it turns out that just a couple years ago, when Palin was a nobody outside of her sparsely populated state, Palin made similar proclamations.

Conservatives Allege "Fake" Doctors Notes, Ignore Doctor-Patient Confidentiality

In the hurry to take sides in the Wisconsin protests, conservative propaganda website Big Government has obviously come out on the anti-labor side, but now they are swinging at anyone who seems to support the unions and workers - a recent article attacked doctors for handing out sick notes to public employees, encouraging readers to contact the state medical board to turn in doctors.
In this video from Josiah Cantrell, a licensed physician explains that his medical note is all the individual will need when he reports back to work. He also says that, if the person’s employer asks what specifically was wrong with him, it is “none of their freakin business.” We have to believe the state medical board is going to be interested in the doctors freely handing out fake ’sick’ excuse forms.
The story stems from a report by the MacIver News Service, a free-market, individual freedom, personal responsibility and limited government leaning news source,so objectivity is out of the question.

Also, this story has already made its rounds in the conservative media - Fox News released a story full of allegations, suggesting the doctors were not really doctors and that the notes were "fake.".
As thousands of protesters on both sides of an epic budget standoff in Wisconsin faced off Saturday at the Capitol, alleged doctors were handing out 'fake' sick notes to protesters -- allowing them to call in sick while the budget impasse continues.

Protesters told Fox News they obtained the notes from alleged doctors standing on street corners handing them out to whomever asked. The protesters said doctors did not examine or inquire about their current health condition before passing the notes out.

One note obtained by Fox News asked for the recipient's full name, birth date and estimated dates that they would be missing work. A request for identification to receive the document appeared only optional.
Why didn't Fox News do some investigations into these doctors to find out more information?  Why is a "news" organization alleging instead of investigating?

I immediately noticed one hypocrisy - conservatives are calling for people to report these doctors, or really any doctor issuing a note to a potential protester, to be reported to the state medical board.  What is funny is that doctors are licensed by the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing.

Understand the hypocrisy?

They are complaining about labor protests over legislation against public workers' benefits, and one of their solutions is to try and have other public workers crack down on supposed violators.

What is even more troubling is that these "news" sources seem to forget an important part of these notes and doctors consultations - doctor-patient privacy.

From an Associated Press article on The Huffington Post:
Doctors from numerous hospitals set up a station near the Capitol to provide notes to explain public employees' absences from work. Family physician Lou Sanner, 59, of Madison, said he had given out hundreds of notes. Many of the people he spoke with seemed to be suffering from stress, he said.

"What employers have a right to know is if the patient was assessed by a duly licensed physician about time off of work," Sanner said. "Employers don't have a right to know the nature of that conversation or the nature of that illness. So it's as valid as every other work note that I've written for the last 30 years."
There is even a constitutional basis for such confidentiality:
The fundamental right to privacy, guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U. S. Constitution, protects against unwarranted invasions of privacy by federal or state entities, or arms thereof. As early as in Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113 (1973), the U. S. Supreme Court acknowledged that the doctor-patient relationship is one which evokes constitutional rights of privacy. But even that right is not absolute and must be weighed against the state or federal interest at stake.
Also, consider the hypocrisy of those on the right - Rush Limbaugh has obviously come out against the Wisconsin protesters, calling them "parasites," but remember when Limbaugh got into a little hot water for feeding his drug addiction and buying pills from his housekeeper?  Forgetting the hypocrisy of Limbaugh's drug use and constant on-air attacks against illegal substances, when the state of Florida wanted to investigate as to whether or not Limbaugh was doctor shopping, Limbaugh's lawyers claimed doctor-patient confidentiality.  As a side note, that was another story the National Enquirer broke that turned out to be true.

Are these notes fake?  I would consider them to be legitimate - those participating in the protests may be stressed by the right wing proposals which will greatly impact their employment and economic situations.  Critics of the protesters and the doctors handing out notes are just upset that there are more pro-labor protesters then tea partiers so they are trying everything in their playbook to come ahead.

If the right really want their claims to carry more weight, they should do more then take a couple snapshots and videos of people handing out doctors notes and they should do the jouranlistic legwork, including but not limited to interviewing everyone, including the doctors handing out the notes, but if they did that, some other "news" agency may come in and scoop their story, so instead of ensuring quality, they rush it to the internet so their readers can be the judge, and sadly, as we have seen with ACORN and Planned Parenthood, the readers make poor judges - which makes me worry about national jury pools (especially in red states)...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Andrew Breitbart's Journalism Hypocrisy

Andrew Breitbart took to his website on Wednesday to attack New York Daily News reporter Aliyah Shahid for writing an article about the cartoon published on Big Government, in which she contacted Breitbart but he declined to comment  and referred her to Big Government Editor Michael Flynn.

"Whether or not one finds the cartoon funny is certainly subject to debate," Flynn wrote in an email.  "But I can't really see how this is controversial to any but those with the frailest disposition."

Breitbart saw the article and had a fit.  He questions what Shahid learned in "Columbia J School" about contacting people before and after work hours - he was called at 6:56 in the morning - and then he goes off about how she mischaracterized him in her article. 

Here is what Breitbart had to say:
Yes, I told you I was sick and tired from East to West Coast travel. Meaning: I wanted to continue to rehabilitate and to sleep some more. (By this time it’s still before 7am and I am half-asleep. You know that.)

This is how you mischaracterized the call to make it appear I was being evasive:
Breitbart told the Daily News that he “can’t speak to anything that’s going on right now” because he’s been traveling and has been ill. He referred all questions to Big Government Editor Michael Flynn.
In fact I told you I had not seen the “offending” piece, therefore I could not comment on it. You create the false appearance of evasiveness.

Now that I have seen the alleged offensive piece, I wonder if you will be able to live longer in a free country where all sorts of things can happen to offend one’s sensibilities. What a tragedy to not live on an über-PC campus anymore. Perhaps there’s another degree you can get to buy another two years of coddling.

As to James Hudnall and Batton Lash’s cartoon: Their cartoon editorializes the First Family’s hypocritical moral lecturing on food intake and the increasing nanny state. Their explanation is succinct:
“We find the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ approach of the Obamas hypocritical and ripe for ridicule. The First Lady seeks to enforce healthy eating on the nation, while indulging on snacks in public appearances,” said Lash, pointing to the recent White House Superbowl menu, which included deep-dish pizza and buffalo wings.
The headline of your piece editorializes that the First Lady appears “fat” and you project that opinion on to me – as the publisher. “Andrew Breitbart website posts cartoon of fat First Lady mocking her anti-obesity campaign,” is a shining example of what is desperately wrong with education and the mainstream media. You simply have to invent offenses. And instead of blaming the cartoonist and author, or the editor who okay-ed the running of the innocuous piece, you do the bidding of your ideological cohorts and blame the publisher who has not even seen it.

Now that I have, my God sister, you are a familiar pathetic archetype of the modern American newsroom and post-graduate degreed head-case.

I hope you find a sanctuary for the pathologically thin-skinned somewhere. Life does indeed get tougher.
I find Breitbart's response to be interesting because he is upset that he appears "evasive" because he would not comment on the piece and claimed to be tired and ill, and later he wants blame to be pointed elsewhere, either the cartoonist and author, or the editor, whom Breitbart directed Shahid to in her phone call.

It is funny that Breitbart attacks her journalist credentials, complaining about being contacted before work hours, but that didn't stop Breitbart from publishing stories on his website before that featured unconventional methods, such as his heavily edited ACORN videos by James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles or the video mischaracterizing statements made by Shirley Sherrod, and in the latter instance, Breitbart was the one who posted those videos and when people criticized him for purposefully lying, Breitbart shifted the blame to someone else - just like he is doing now with the cartoon and the cartoonist, author, and editor.

I also found it funny that Breitbart calls Shahid a "head-case" in his response, but reading her article and his response, it would appear Breitbart is the one who is a "head-case."

I wonder how anybody can take him seriously anymore, or anyone who appears on his website...

Sarah Palin's Breastfeeding Hypocrisy

Sarah Palin continues to outdo herself - in an attempt to find something wrong with somebody she doesn't like, Palin contradicted herself yet again.  In regards to comments made by First Lady Michelle Obama's support of women who breastfeed, Palin thought it was important for her to oppose the Obama's position, but there was one big problem with that - Palin herself had made similar comments in the past about breastfeeding.

Media Matters for America blog County Fair pointed out Palin's latest hypocrisy:
The perceived dig is quite a turnaround from the position Palin had as governor of Alaska, when she declared October 2007 "Breastfeeding Awareness Month" and issued a proclamation that said, "government and community organizations have a vested interest in protecting and promoting breastfeeding as a means of preventing infant malnutrition, morbidity, and mortality."

From a 2007 news release (via nexis):
Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, has issued the following proclamation:

WHEREAS, breastfeeding is recognized as an unequalled means of providing food for infants.

WHEREAS, throughout their lives, breastfeeding can offer children protection against serious health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Breastfeeding also saves lives by reducing the incidence of life-threatening cancers in women and preventing premature death in infants.

WHEREAS, breastfeeding forms the most basic bond between mother and baby and is a foundation for lifelong health and wellness.

WHEREAS, government and community organizations have a vested interest in protecting and promoting breastfeeding as a means of preventing infant malnutrition, morbidity, and mortality.

WHEREAS, during October, organizations throughout our state will promote the importance of breastfeeding. This year, in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week - October 1 through October 7 - the State of Alaska will support networks that encourage and promote breastfeeding in all communities.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the State of Alaska, do hereby proclaim October 2007 as:

Breastfeeding Awareness Month

in Alaska, and encourage all residents to recognize and support the important contributions breastfeeding makes in improving the quality of life for all Alaskans.
That sounds very similar to statements made by Michelle Obama.  Sarah Palin wasn't the only person to criticize the Frist Lady - tea party favorite Michele Bachmann saw the comments as proof Democrats want to set up a "nanny state" and stated that "the issue is not breast feeding, but is rather Washington's use of the tax code to tell people how to run their lives."

Bachmann's response doesn't make much sense - she does not want Washington to tell people how to run their lives yet she authored a constitutional amendment that would define marriage, and she voted in favor of promoting free trade with Peru, which would use taxation as a means to encourage companies and individuals to do business with the South American country.

It feels like these individuals only come out against something only because the president or someone in the administration makes favorable comments for that thing.  If I was the Democrats, I would research publicly popular positions and then go on a media blitz promoting related legislation.  Would the Republicans step up to the plate then? 

The Blaze's Misleading Abortion Headline

In a speech on the House floor, California congresswoman Jackie Speier made it public that she had experienced an abortion procedure, and she urged people to stop politicizing women's health.

“Last night, I spoke on the House floor about a painful time in my life when the pregnancy that my husband and I prayed for was unsuccessful,” Speier said in a statement Friday evening. “I had what’s called dilation and evacuation or d & e. The fetus slipped from my uterus into my vagina and could not survive. Today some news reports are implying that I wanted my pregnancy to end, but that is simply not true. I lost my baby.”

Some of those who tried to capitalize on Speier's comments and spin them to make her appear like she had done something wrong was Glenn Beck's website The Blaze - the following headline appeared on his website:

The language used int eh headline is ridiculous.  Why is it shocking and the use of the word "admit," as if she was being accused of doing something wrong? 

Speier had a complication with her pregnancy that required an abortion, but if conservatives get their way, even medical necessary procedures such as the one Speier received would become extremely costly for the individual, inaccesible, or if Republicans get their way, illegal.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Republican Hypocrisy Over Wisconsin Protests

Remember when the tea party protested non-stop for two years against anything proposed by the administration and Republicans urged law makers to heed their calls because it was the voice of the people?

Now that Republicans are in power, that does not seem to be the case - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker now apparently believes protesting citizens are just a bunch of bully activists who should be ignored.  Walker has also used the protests to rally state Republicans.

"If anything, I think it's made the Republicans in the Assembly and the Senate stronger," Scott said. "They're not going to be bullied. They're not going to be intimidated."

Republicans also saught to silence their opposition - Republicans turned off microphones during a speech being delivered by Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, in which Barca vowed to fight to the "bitter end," declaring the Republican's actions "desperately wrong."

Democratic legislators, attempting to aid workers, fled the state in an attempt to block the legislation - the bill cannot pass if there is not a single Democrat in the chamber.  

Previously, Walker had proposed replacing union workers with the National Guard, and in a surprising move, at the behest of the Senate Majority Leader, Scott Fitzgerald, the governor dispatched state troopers to hunt down Democratic lawmakers to send a message.

In an attempt to change the narrative, Republicans are now focusing the blame on Democrats, calling the situation a "powder keg," claiming Senate Democratic Minority Leader Mark Miller "shut down democracy."

"We left the state so we were out of the reach of the Wisconsin state patrol, which has the authority to round us up and bring us back to the legislature," state Sen. Mark Miller told ABC's Good Morning America from an undisclosed location Friday. 

"Shut down democracy?"

It sounds more like the Republicans are attempting to shut down democracy by ignoring the voice of the people.  It also sounds as if they are ushering in a police state...

Glenn Beck's Antichrist Hypocrisy

Recently, on Glenn Beck's Fox News program, he had made comments claiming some Muslims are trying to conjure the Antichrist by reaking havoc on the world.  For example, since Beck believes the Muslim Brotherhood were behind the mass protests in Egypt, he believes their supposed actions were intended to fulfill biblical prophecy.

Jack Mirkinson wrote the following for The Huffington Post:
Glenn Beck theorized that some Muslims are trying to bring about the equivalent of the Antichrist on his Thursday show.

Beck claimed that he was bringing the issue up because Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt both believe in the Twelfth Imam--a figure in Shia Islam who Beck and his guest, author Joel Richardson, said bore a disturbing resemblance to the Biblical Antichrist.

Beck and Richardson (who has written a book called "The Islamic Antichrist" that "makes the case that the biblical Antichrist is one and the same as the Quran's Muslim Mahdi"), cast the Twelfth Imam as a messiah (or Mahdi) who would bring about Judgment Day--but not before years of bloodshed and chaos which Beck told his audience people like the Iranian regime and the Muslim Brotherhood were trying to hasten.

"Do you know any Christian sects who believe they can hasten the return of Jesus by creating chaos?" Beck asked Richardson.

"No, they can pray," Richardson said.

Beck then wrote a side-by-side comparison of the Twelfth Imam and the Antichrist on his chalkboard.
I thought the questions between Beck and Richardson to be interesting because they illustrate a huge hypocrisy - if they believe there is nothing to do to hasten the return of Jesus, except prayer, what makes them believe there is anything apart from prayer that can postpone the return of Jesus?

That sort of logical thinking doesn't work if you are Glenn Beck, because the reasoning behind most of his theories stem from long-forgotten pseudo-Christian conspiracies and partisan politics...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wisconsin Governor Plans On Using More Expensive National Guard To Replace Union Workers

Amanda Terkel wrote the following for The Huffington Post:
State workers in Wisconsin are protesting a statement by Republican Governor Scott Walker that, union reps say, amounts to a threat to use the National Guard to help break the public union.

Citing a $137 million budget deficit, Walker announced a plan last week which would essentially take away the public union's collective bargaining rights and slash benefits for state employees. Meanwhile, the share of corporate tax revenue funding the state government has fallen by half since 1981 and, according to Wisconsin Department of Revenue, two-thirds of corporations pay no taxes.

In the case of a walkout, Walker has put the National Guard on alert. Last week, he told reporters that the guard is "prepared" for "whatever the governor, their commander-in-chief, might call for," such as staffing prisons if guards go on strike.
Terkel indicates in her article that Walker's plans are not financially necessary and may be politically motivated.
But some questioned whether his proposal is really financially necessary. The governor himself claims that Wisconsin can save $165 million by the end of next June simply by restructuring existing debt. Additionally, the share of corporate tax revenue funding the state government has fallen by half since 1981 and, according to Wisconsin Department of Revenue, two-thirds of corporations pay no taxes.
Another aspect of Walker's plans to attack the public sector is worker pay.

The average salary of a correctional officer in Wisconsin can range anywhere from $30,000 to $48,000 per year.   In comparison, the average active duty pay for the National Guard can range from $20,000 to $86,000, and that number does not include officers.  In addition to pay, National Guard soldiers receive various other benefits, housing allowances, money towards education, and not to mention only their base pay is taxed - not their bonuses or pay upgrades.

Consider the fact that there are 175,000 public sector employees in Wisconsin with union representation, and of those workers, 39,000 are state employees and 106,000 are teachers, imagine the costs of placing the National Guard on active duty for more then just substituting prison guards.

Do you think Walker's plan is a politically motivated attack against public workers and collective bargaining, or just a fiscally responsible thing to do for a state that needs to fill a budget gap?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sarah Palin Doesn't Understand A Joke, Calls For Retraction From Time!

Warner Todd Huston got all upset recently when Time referenced a satirical work about Sarah Palin on their Celebrity Newsfeed - author of the Huston-hated article, Nick Carbone, later clarified that his sentence was a "tongue-in-cheek link to an article that was intended as a joke."

"And you thought Sarah Palin went overboard by commenting that she wanted to deport the singer?" wrote Carbone.

Despite Huston's inability to read a joke, I thought there was something very funny about Huston's stupid tit-for-tat post - Huston goes on to defend Palin against other supposed media injustices, by linking to an article he wrote claiming Rachel Maddow cited a satirical website, but again, Huston's whole argument is based on his failure to grasp the English language.

In the cited article from Christwire, Stephenson Billings wrote the following:
Governor Palin needs to speak out publicly and forcibly for an American-led invasion to protect our interests in North Africa. As the largest recipient of foreign aid next to Israel, the United States has a tremendous investment in keeping Egypt stable and relatively terrorist-free. There are many sympathizers on the ground who have not been able to express their allegiance to democracy and freedom for fear of repression by the rioters. The Governor could become the center of their rallying cries. Upon her direction, other Western nations are sure to join us. This is the pressure Obama needs to act. With the recent ascent of the Tea Party in the House and Senate, this decision would certainly gain Congressional support. Do we truly need another 84 million enemies of Christianity? Sarah Palin can head off this possibility in Egypt if she moves swiftly.
"Early in February, Maddow breathlessly reported that Palin wanted to send the U.S. military to strike Egypt at its time of turmoil," wrote Huston.

Here is a video clip of the comments made by Rachel Maddow:

Rachel Maddow even states that "to be clear this is what these folks are asking Sarah Palin to do and is not Ms. Palin's own idea."

Ignoring the satirical value of the Christwire article, there was some rather alarming accuracy considering it was written a week before Palin made comments suggesting America intervene in Egypt to prevent radical Muslims from gaining control of the government.  In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Palin criticized the Obama administration's handling of the events that had transpired in Egypt, and stated there were certain situations America should not allow to happen in a newly reformed Egypt.

"Is it going to be the Muslim Brotherhood," Palin asked. "We should not stand for that, or with that, or by that. Any radical Islamists. No, that is not who we should be supporting and standing by ... we need to find out who was behind all of the turmoil and the revolt and the protests so that good decisions can be made in terms of who we will stand by and support."

What does Palin mean when she said that America "should not stand for that?"  Would she support military intervention in preventing a supposed radical Islamic group from participating in a soverieng nation's elections?  Did Sarah Palin envision a future where Egypt, and its 84 million citizens become "enemies of Christianity" should the Muslim Botherhood, or any other Islamic group prevail in an election?

Sarah Palin also didn't get Carbone's joke, sending a poorly written note to Time Magazine, asking for a retraction for their lies:
Subject: Great job, MSM!
Jay - pls tell your bosses there at Time Magazine thank you for the invitations to attend the upcoming functions. I'll sure put a lot of thought into those invitations.

Then, have your editors retract Time's most recent ridiculous lies about me supposedly giving Sean Hannity a radio interview wherein I supposedly talked about Christina Aguilera (that I slammed her for her Nat'l Anthem mistake, and called for her deportation, etc). You guys were fooled into running a fake story that even US Weekly pulled and apologized for their blunder. Total lies - and you guys (once again) even put quotation marks around things I have never uttered. Then, Time needs to run an apology to Christina along with the retraction. (Add Hannity in your apology, too...those good folks don't deserve to be in a caustic, untrue story about me.) Thanks much - keep up the great work, Time Magazine.
I think Huston and Palin make a good couple - they both are illiterate hate-mongers who try to make everything into a war against themselves and the "mainstream media."

As a side note, I noticed Palin made a tweet on February 11th asking if the media would question whether or not the Obama administration would exert the similar "constructive" pressures for Iran to reform their government.

This is interesting when Palin made numerous prior comments claiming the administration did not do enough in the Egypt situation and that the administration was handling the protests poorly.  Now that Mubarak is out of office and the Egyptian military is reforming the government, per the protestors' demands, has Palin decided to change her story?

Big Journalism's "Black Garbage Pail Kid" Problem

I loaded up Big Journalism today and saw a big headline from Dana Loesch claiming AlterNet called Herman Cain, the black conservative who recently announced he had formed an exploratory committee for a potential run as the Republican nomination for the presidency, a "black garbage pail kid" and a "monkey." 

Being that the claims came from Big Journalism, I decided to explore such accusations and place them into context.  To sum things up quickly, the author of the AlterNet piece, Chauncy DeVega, was making a point - Republicans have presented the world with Herman Cain as a gimmick.
Instead, Herman Cain’s shtick is a version of race minstrelsy where he performs “authentic negritude” as wish fulfillment for White Conservative fantasies. Like the fountain at Lourdes, Cain in his designated role as black Conservative mascot, absolves the White racial reactionaries at CPAC of their sins. This is a refined performance that Black Conservatives have perfected over many decades and centuries of practice.

Let’s consider the routine. First, Cain enters the stage to Motown music. Then Cain feigns swimming after rolling up his sleeves to show them his black skin and how he is a hardworking negro (not like those other ones). Cain bellows in a preacher affected voice and channels the folksy negro down home accent of his late grandpappy. In the money shot, Cain gives the obligatory “black folks who are not Republicans are on the plantation” speech to the joyous applause of his White benefactors. And he doubles down by legitimating any opposition to President Barack Obama as virtuous and patriotic regardless of the bigoted well-springs from which it may flow.

In total, CPAC is a carnival and a roadshow for reactionary Conservatives. It is only fitting that in the great tradition of the freak show, the human zoo, the boardwalk, and the great midway world’s fairs of the 19th and 20th centuries, that there is a Borneo man, a Venus Hottentot or a tribe of cannibals from deepest darkest Africa or Papua New Guinea on display. For CPAC and the White Conservative imagination, Herman Cain and his black and brown kin are that featured attraction.
DeVega's argument is one similar to the election of Michael Steele as chairman of the Republican National Committee back in January of 2009 - Steele was akin to using race to point out that not all black people were Democrats.

Loesch makes the following point:
Because progressives don’t believe that black conservatives possess the ability to make such rational arguments, they, the progressives, must “save” them. And again, progressives insult black conservatives by insisting that they are victims of stupidity.
How is DeVega's comments any different from when Michael Steele said he would woo black voters to the Republican party with "fried chicken and potato salad?"

Using Loesch's logic, Steele was saying black people need to be lured into the Republican party because they are not capable of making smart, rational arguments to decide on the benefits of conservatism.

What about an interview between Loesch and Andrew Breitbart, where they claimed Shirley Sherrod was caught on video being racist at a NAACP event (they both agreed it was "evidence").  That video turned out to be heavily edited, but that didn't stop Breitbart and Loesch from using it to defend against accusations directed towards the tea party. 

I want to point out another Loesch article written in October of 2010.  In it Loesch makes the following statement against the NAACP: "The NAACP is back again with yet another attempt to defame and smear the multicultural tea party movement."

I thought this quote was interesting because another black conservative, Allen West from Florida, praised diversity yet attacked multiculturalism in his CPAC speech, stating we should "never allow multiculturalism to grow on steroids and define itself as making American culture subservient."  Breitbart's other website, Big Government, had also written numerous articles against the concept of multiculturalism.  Andrew Mellon wrote wrote a piece for the propaganda site equating multiculturalism with "moral relativism," and then stated that it was a tool used by "Liberals, progressives, socialists, statists, communists," as well as all other "enemies of civilization."

Is Loesch for multiculturalism or against it?

Loesch mischaracterized DeVega's piece by claiming he called Cain a "black garbage pail kid" or a "monkey" - in reality DeVega used the term "garbage pail kids" as a substitute for "conservatives."

She even took a whole bunch of quotes from his article (out of order) to try and prove her point - kind of like Lila Rose chopping up the audio of her videos to make it seem the videos proved something.

She also taunts the author for using a pseudonym - a practice prevalent on the Big sites (Mr. Wolf, Retracto, Von Losch, Jake Boot, Dutton Peabody, Ace of Spades, Mr. Wrestling IV, Rusty Shackleford, El Cid, Big X).  Many of these anonymous bloggers post on numerous Big sites.

So, wy exacly is Loesch mad?  Is she overcompensating for something?  

Monday, February 14, 2011

Republicans Reject President's Budget Proposal, Ignore The Facts

Michael A. Memoli wrote the following for The Los Angeles Times:
The old Washington axiom — the president proposes and Congress disposes — is never truer than on budget day, and in keeping with tradition, Republican lawmakers are quickly dismissing the Obama White House's first fiscal blueprint.

"It would be better if we did nothing than actually pass this budget," said Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, saying the proposal was "debt on arrival," pun intended.

"It runs the risk of a cataclysmic event," was the response of Jeff Sessions of Alabama, ranking Republican of the Senate Budget Committee.

"It will fuel more economic uncertainty and make it harder to create new jobs," offered House Speaker John Boehner in a statement.

Even Democrats struggled to enthusiastically endorse the $3.73-trillion spending plan. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and a member of the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reforms, said, "We need a much more robust package of deficit and debt reduction over the medium and long term."

The substance of the critiques focus on the long-term debt outlook, which Republicans say remains perilous even as the White House touts the fact that yearly deficits will be more than halved under the proposals. Speaking with reporters Monday, one senior House Republican budget aide said the United States would be rejected for membership in the European Union because of its staggering debt in relation to gross domestic product.

But the White House sees its budget proposal as simply the starting point in lengthy negotiations with the GOP.

"It's a comprehensive budget, which puts all areas of the budget on the table," Jack Lew, Obama's budget director, told reporters. "It accomplishes the goal of stabilizing our deficit. We now look forward to working with the Congress on all the areas that it covered."

Rep. Ryan said Republicans will not make a counter offer for at least another two months. First, the administration plan must be evaluated by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, and then Republicans must work within their caucus to reach consensus on their response.
Elise Foley pointed out for The Huffington Post that Sen. Jeff Sessions told reporters on Capitol Hill that the bill would reduce the deficit by only a "negligible" $300 billion - in comparison House Republicans are currently trying to cut around $60 billion from spending.

First, I think it is interesting that Republicans stated they would not have a counter offer for at least another two months, despite them claiming for close to a year that if and when they gained control of the House they would focus on the budget - since being sworn in, Republicans have focused their energy on symbolic legislation and divisive partisan issues to satisfy their base.

Secondly, Ryan had indicated that the Republicans will wait for the administration's plan to be evaluated by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) before the GOPreach a concsensus on their response, but Ryan has a history of ignoring CBO projections when things don't go his way - for instance, Ryan complained about the CBO's estimates regarding the health care reform bill and their estimates dealing with a possible repeal.

Ezra Klein does an excellent job pointing out the numerous misconceptions and lies about the CBO estimates.

Basically, Republicans are upset with the budget proposals, which cut into programs widely considered by conservatives to be Democratic expenditures, because Democrats are the ones who came up with them.  Even if you were to put in cuts to Title X programs, like funding for organizations like Planned Parenthood, Republicans would still be opposed because they did not originate the proposal.

I'm not stating that I support or oppose the president's proposal - I think it is extremely bipartisan for the president to propose cuts to social programs - but I definitely believe Republicans to be hypocrites about the entire thing.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lila Rose Caught "Aiding and Abetting" Child Prostitution Rings

Updated February 14th, 2011.

I just wanted to point out a couple things about the whole Live Action anti-Planned Parenthood video stings:

Lila Rose's organization Live Action released a second Planned Parenthood video on February 3rd, featuring a "pimp" in a Virginia Planned Parenthood clinic.  The video is dated January 12th, 2011 - last month.

“Planned Parenthood’s problems go far beyond New Jersey. Our new video shows their Richmond clinic willing to aid and abet the sexual exploitation of minors and coaching a pimp about how girls as young as 14 – 15 could circumvent parental consent laws for secret abortions,”  said Rose.

“We are sharing the full Richmond footage and transcripts with Virginia law enforcement officials and we are formally asking Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to conduct a statewide investigation of these heinous practices, just as the New Jersey Attorney General is opening her own investigation into Planned Parenthood’s compliance with the law in her state. Planned Parenthood needs to be held accountable,” Rose continued.

Lila Rose contacted the Virginia attorney general's office on February 3rd - more then three weeks from when she allegedly learned Planned Parenthood was "systemically" helping traffick underage girls.  Here are the contents of the letter:
Dear Attorney General Cuccinelli:

This morning, Live Action released undercover video footage that we believe is evidence that Planned Parenthood in Virginia aids and abets the sexual abuse and prostitution of minors. Based on previous investigative journalism findings that multiple Planned Parenthood locations were willing to cover up sexual abuse and this new evidence that other Planned Parenthood locations facilitate human sex trafficking, it appears that blatant violations of Virginia law may well be occurring at Planned Parenthood facilities and affiliates in the state.

So long as Planned Parenthood operates in such a reckless manner, young women and girls in Virginia are at risk of forced abortion and sexual exploitation. On Tuesday, Live Action released a similar undercover video in New Jersey. New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow has begun an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s compliance with the law in her state, and we are asking you to do the same in Virginia.

We are including the raw video footage of the investigation that we released to media today. Please advise if we can support your own investigation in any way.


Lila Rose
President, Live Action
Virginia Attorney General later appeared on Fox News and responded with the following:

“Well certainly we take an interest any time you see an expression like you do in these tapes of a willingness to support sex trafficking of minors. What you don’t have is an actual case of it on film but what you do have is clearly an open willingness of several organizations meaning subsidiaries of Planned Parenthood nationally in the same category, sex trafficking of minors, and an open willingness to participate in this.

And, this is at a time that we are trying to deal with human trafficking. For a few years we have been trying to figure how to get at it. And, when you see something like this you can see how it can flourish. There are institutions already in place in Virginia and across America, Planned Parenthood in this case, who are happily willing to aid and abet that sort of effort.”
Now Rose insists that her investigations prove "blatant violations of Virginia law may well be occurring at Planned Parenthood facilities and affiliates in the state," but Cuccinelli clearly states no wrongdoing ever took place on video, yet because nothing illegal was captured on tape, he is lead to believe that there is a "willingness" from organizations like Planned Parenthood to break the law, so if both Rose and Cuccinelli believe their lack of evidence is proof something bad is going down, why did it take Rose more then three weeks to contact state authorities with her findings?  While it is clear there was no human trafficking, Rose's inaction is disgusting - she withheld serious information (in her eyes) from the law just so she can get the credit for the scoop and appear on Fox News.

Lila Rose was willing to let an organization aid and abet child prostitution rings just so she can get credit for blowing the whistle.

I wonder if Rose will confess to that, among other things, next time she goes to church, because after all, Rose claims to be a good little Catholic girl (and we know that stereotype).

Update - I thought this was interesting - Rep. Cliff Stearns wrote an article titled "Defund Planneed Parenthood" for Big Government on February 12th, in which he discusses why he believes funding for Planned Parenthood should be cut.
Taxpayers deserve accountability, and recent undercover videos taken at Planned Parenthood centers demonstrate the egregious abuse of taxpayer funds. These videos show that Planned Parenthood is willing to use public funds to commit a federal crime.

Thanks to Live Action, a group of young people dedicated to strengthening the culture of life, we learn from undercover videos that Planned Parenthood is all too willing to ignore the law in promoting its services, among them abortion.

Working with Live Action, a man and woman posed as sex traffickers at a Planned Parenthood center and asked about abortions and other services for their child sex workers. Instead being reported for what appeared to be a horrendous sexual exploitation of children, the pair received information on how to arrange abortions for their child sex workers.

This just adds to Planned Parenthood’s record of violating state sexual assault and child abuse reporting laws, and of encouraging young girls to lie about their ages to circumvent state reporting laws.
I thought Rep. Stearns comments derserve attention because earlier in this article, I had referenced comments made by Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli on Fox News, which was subsequently quoted on Big Government, in which Cuccinelli stated that there was no case to be made from Live Action's videos.

Maybe Stearns is taking the same position as Cuccinelli, claiming nothing illegal happened in the videos but Planned Parenthood is somehow involved in illegal activities not caught on film and he somehow knows something is going on, but this is highly unlikely being Stearns takes Lila Rose's doctored videos as fact.  If Stearns does know of illegal activities going on at Planned Parenthood, the same question regarding Rose's inaction applies to Stearns - why had he not approached authorities with his damning information...