I’ve put off writing this post for days, and I still don’t have the words to express my disgust about the “rape analogy heard ’round the Twitterverse.” In case you’re not up to speed, long story short, I had a Twitter discussion with Marcy Wheeler about the NDAA; a Greenwald supporter quipped that if I saw Obama raping a nun on live TV, I would defend him for it; another supporter quipped that I would fantasize about playing the role of the raped nun; and Greenwald piled on. When asked to account for the clumsy rape metaphor, Greenwald doubled down, claiming that it wasn’t a metaphor, and that he actually believed that I and other Obama supporters would defend Obama if we were to see him raping a nun. Continue reading
Charlie Savage’s front page story in the December 30, 2011 New York Times asks the Republican presidential candidates about their views on executive power in what is essentially a sequel to his own interview with candidate Obama in 2007 when Savage worked for the Boston Globe. As soon as the Obama administration began to provide air support to the Libyan rebels seeking to overthrow the Libyan dicatator and terrorist Gadaffy, Savage began to misrepresent his 2007 interview with then Senator Obama as some kind of Pulitzer-worthy “gotcha” moment.
While the December 30 article purports to be about the Republican candidates’ views on executive power, its primary focus is to reaffirm Savage’s broader narrative of President Obama: that he is just like Bush when it comes to civil liberties in the era of global terrorism. What this October 30th article helps reveal, however, is the theory of executive power that Savage is holding Obama up against is a discredited libertarian notion of weak executive power shared by Ron Paul and Glenn Greenwald views which have no support in constitutional law jurisprudence. Savage also sets up the presidency of George W. Bush as the sole baseline by which to judge the Obama administration’s use of executive power, while ignoring all of Bush’s recent predecessors. Continue reading
Both Glenn Greenwald and Taylor Marsh saw fit to end the year with massive anti-Obama rants where they basically announce openly their opposition to the President for 2012. Not that their opposition didn’t exist before, it’s just now official. First, Double G defends Ron Paul’s “effect” on our political discourse:
Long-time Balloon Juice commenter (and friend of ABLC) TVHilton is guest blogging over at No More Mister Nice Blog, and he penned a post that is well worth reading:
Last week Glenn Greenwald won the Dumbest Tweet of the Week award with this beauty, about Ron Paul:
Of course, this is laughable to anyone familiar with Paul’s positions on, say, abortion, or the Civil Rights Act (Dave Neiwert has a great piece on this). It’s also ridiculous in the light of the vicious racism in Ron Paul’s newsletters. Greenwald’s response on the former was to point to his terribly-clever1 use of the weasel word “many”; the latter, he dismissed with an airy “they all have serious flaws”.
Greenwald has since doubled down on his tweet, describing Paul as “the only candidate in either party now touting” the “foreign policy and civil liberties values Democrats spent the Bush years claiming to defend”. All of which says much more about Greenwald’s extremly narrow (Libertarian-friendly) conception of “civil liberties” than about either the President or Ron Paul. Continue reading
Shenanigans are afoot.
Matt Osborne of Osborne Ink has the story:
On December 10th an unknown spammer posted a selectively-edited video of Senator Carl Levin at YouTube and proceeded to tweet the link 45 times over 24 hours. The link is now dead (video deleted by user), but it has already been copied to accounts on various video sites. To find out what Senator Levin actually said, you can go watch the full C-SPAN clip at PoliticusUSA.
The video set off an online freakout of epic proportions. Recipients of this ‘reply message spam’ included a Bradley Manning account, Occupy accounts, and assorted hacktivist accounts. It was like squirting lighter fluid onto a smoldering flame, feeding paranoid memes of right and left. Indeed, “Joe Fangorico” was nonpartisan, including FOX News’ own Joe Napolitano and Ron Paulites on his or her list.
That’s because spammers are mainly looking for clicks. They make money from the first click, and so have incentive to obtain as many clicks as possible. A certain subset of netizen culture is eager for outrage, and therefore prone to pass disinformation. Video evidence that President Obama has evil designs on habeas corpus? That’s traffic gold, which is why so many different sites featured the video.
Joe Fangorico is not just a spammer, he’s also a hacker. You can see the Twitter account here:
(read the rest)
Who was taken in by and helped spread this tale? Need you even ask? Continue reading
“Outright media lies are easy to debunk. It’s the lazy, fact-free, inside baseball analysis that’s killing us.” -@Shoq
I have been getting bombarded by people on Twitter accusing me of “being on the wrong side of history” with respect to the NDAA simply because, I suppose, I am not exhibiting the appropriate amount of outrage to match theirs. My interest in politics, the media, and the manner in which narratives are created and disseminated throughout Blogistan, the Twittersphere, and ultimately to the mainstream media is seemingly gauche to some.
One need only look at the 800 plus comments at Balloon Juice yesterday (here, here, and here), many of them excoriating me for focusing on the “wrong” issue. The politics of the day is less important than the fact that our civil liberties are being infringed — at least that is what I’m told.
Nonetheless, as is my right, I will continue to focus on what interests me, no matter how unimportant it may seem to some — and that is this: the language we use to describe and discuss important prevailing issues. Continue reading
[Hiya! This is a post by Milt Shook for which I'm quite grateful because now I probably don't have to write one. See? Procrastination works! -ABLxx]
(Stay to the end, and watch me expose Glenn Greenwald as a liar once again.)
One of the most galling things about the professional left is the number of times they lie to make a point. You can’t be a progressive and also lie to the people who read your stuff. As this blog notes time and time again, the truth has a liberal bias; Fox News needs to lie; we do not.
Case in point; the hysteria over what many pro and emo lefties refer to as the “Indefinite Detention Bill.” Even people I often admire are buying into the hysteria, and it’s become depressing.
First thing you should know is, there is NO SUCH THING as an “Indefinite Detention Bill.” The actual bill Obama first threatened to veto and has now agreed to sign is called the “National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012.” The part about the “indefinite detention” is actually a poison pill amendment Republicans inserted into the bill to portray any Democrat who votes against it or President Obama if he vetoes it as being “against our troops.” Republicans put it there, not Democrats or Obama.
Yet, who the hell do these supposed “liberals” go after? Not the people who put that crap into the bill in the first place, of course. They go after President Obama, who has command the military (which includes my son, who’s working hard trying to rebuild Afghanistan, by the way) and have little choice but to put up with such Amendments. How incredibly stupid is this? Did so many progressive really learn NOTHING from the 2010 elections?
Obama doesn’t have a line-item veto, so he can’t veto the “Indefinite Detention Bill” without vetoing the entire NDAA. Now, you may think that would be a good thing, but would it? It’s not just about the troops. What about all of those civilians who might lose their jobs for at least a month or two, while Obama and Congress, including teabaggers, who have declared defeating Obama as their main goal, worked out a new NDAA without that little amendment, assuming they could do so? What do you think canceling all those defense contracts for a month or two would do to the unemployment rate? How about six months? What would happen to all of those small towns that depend on the military bases and contractors to support their small businesses? Do you imagine the GOP might be a bit energized after the unemployment rate suddenly rises to 10%? Continue reading
Unlike *Some* People
When the Supreme Court handed down the Citizens United ruling January 21, 2010 that cleared the way for corporations to spend unlimited amounts of cash in political campaigns with very little transparency, it even prompted the President of the United States, Barack Obama, to mention it in his State of the Union address. It elicited the childish, “nuh uh” look and utterance from Justice Alito — that instead of sparking a debate about the decision, made the media pontificate about whether it was appropriate for the President to mention the ruling and whether Alito’s response was appropriate. To me it signaled that the President really does care about the influence money has in our politics.
Now I know the haters on the left and right will trot out the old, President Obama has gotten a lot of money from big business meme, but when you look at what they base it on, it’s people who work for big business who are giving to President Obama. And yes, some of the leaders of business as well. And in their criticism lies an assumption that everyone who works for a big business is conservative and/or Republican. And that those employees, being all conservative, must be giving to President or candidate Obama because he is conservative too or that they are buying influence with him. They opine that anyone with money must be conservative and therefore if they give to a Democrat, then Democrats must be just like Republicans. It’s quite a twisted line of reasoning when you break it down. It’s just one example of the simplistic logic that permeates our media and punditry.
I had a real world example in my family. My step father was a successful lawyer and businessman, yet he donated to and voted for Democrats all his life. He also was a philanthropist and gave a lot of his money to many different causes and was modest in how he spent money. I go back to a recent post where I derided the concept of generalizing, where it is so much easier for people to just lump everyone together and attack that lump, instead of deal with real people with varying opinions. The same holds true for those who want to vilify everyone who works on Wall Street or for an evil corporation.
Now on to the actions that President Obama took last week, which shows he stands with the American people against the influence of money in our politics. RMuse gives us an excellent article at Politcususa, where she reports on President Obama’s drafting of an executive order that will make corporations doing business with the federal government more accountable for their donations: Continue reading
I’m not a huge fan of Glenn Greenwald. There are many reasons why I dislike the man and his writings, but the main ones are his dishonesty and hyperbolic rhetoric. I only read him when I’m tipped off to something particularly crazy.
I’ll be honest and say that when he was assaulting the Bush administration, I was cheering him on. But even then, I noticed that Greenwald played loose with the facts and exaggerated things beyond recognition (Warning, right-wing link). So even though it was aimed at Bush, it still left a bad taste in my mouth. Lying and misleading is a Republican thing, but of course, anyone who knows about Greenwald, knows that he leans libertarian and doesn’t vote.
I was searching Google one day and came across an article in The Nation titled “A Response to Glenn Greenwald“, written by Mark Ames and Yasha Levine. Of course, I had to click on it. In recent years, Greenwald has become an example of how — with the growth of the internet — people have been given platforms who don’t deserve it and don’t have enough integrity to wield such power. Glenn Greenwald has shown time and time again that he is vicious in his attacks on people and uses every sleazy rhetorical technique known to humans to push his narrative. He is completely anti-Obama, anti-government and anti-Democratic Party. He used to be anti-Republican Party during the Bush years and that is when he established some false credibility with the left.
I did a study of his posts on Salon.com for a period of just over a month. What I found was — out of 43 posts, 38 of them were anti-Obama and the remaining 5 were about something non political. There were zero posts that attacked Republicans. ZERO! I guess the GOP hasn’t done anything recently that has upset Glenn.
If you want to experience the full impact of Glenn Greenwald’s hyperbole and over-the-top rhetoric, I suggest you read things in the order that I did. None of the articles are extremely long, with the exception of Glenn’s with his many updates, so it shouldn’t take that long. But you can certainly just keep reading here, too. Continue reading