The people we are up against

National Review commenter:

I suppose the honesty is refreshing.

There has to come a point when the “respectable,” non-Fox News, non-AM talk radio media realizes that every single factual assertion made by right-wing media outlets are utterly false until proven accurate. We are dealing with the journalistic equivalent of sociopaths, people who simply refuse to feel guilt or remorse when they lie. It makes no sense for certain media outlets and pundits to make shit up repeatedly and somehow still be considered legitimate sources of information. It’s bad enough that media ownership is concentrated in the hands of self-interested conglomerates. Now we live in a society where you can lie with minimum damage to your credibility. All you need is a large audience of political cultists for whom truth doesn’t matter.

(Context here.)

Zionists feign outrage over map on Palestinian web site

Weekly Standard:

The logo of “the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations” – on their website and on top of their official statements at the U.N. – shows the Palestinian Authority’s claim to a Palestine that stretches throughout the entire historical entity of the former Palestine mandate.

Absent from the logo is any hint that Palestine consists of anything other than Arab territory. No nod is given even to the U.N.’s 1948 decision to divide the region into Jewish and Arab sectors. As for the shape of Israel by the time it was forced into waging the defensive Six Day war in 1967: irrelevant. The logo illustrates that the Palestinian bid before the U.N. for support of a unilateral declaration of statehood is disingenuous and dangerous.

There is not too much left to the imagination here: Israel is “wiped off the map.”

London Underground ad produced by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism:

Israel wipes Palestine off the map

Palestine Solidarity Campaign:

Posters have recently appeared in London Underground tube stations advertising Israel as a tourist destination. The map on the advert depicts Israel as incorporating the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights.

As far as I’m concerned, anyone who calls the West Bank “Judea and Samaria” really has no right to complain about being “wiped off the map” anyways.

Conservatives these days: Right for the wrong reasons

“Wall Street owns our government,” [Glenn] Beck declared in one rant this July. “Our government and these gigantic corporations have merged.” He drew a chart to dramatize the revolving door between Washington and Goldman Sachs in both the Hank Paulson and Timothy Geithner Treasury departments. A couple of weeks later, Beck mockingly replaced the stars on the American flag with the logos of corporate giants like G.E., General Motors, Wal-Mart and Citigroup (as well as the right’s usual nemesis, the Service Employees International Union). Little of it would be out of place in a Matt Taibbi article in Rolling Stone. Or, we can assume, in Michael Moore’s coming film, “Capitalism: A Love Story,” which reportedly takes on Goldman and the Obama economic team along with conservative targets.

Frank Rich, NYT Op-Ed, 20 Sep. 2009

Far more interesting than Beck himself is the increasingly futile effort to classify the protest movement to which he has connected himself. Here, too, confusion reigns. In part, this is due to the fact that these “tea party” and “9/12″ protests are composed of factions with wildly divergent views about most everything. From paleoconservatives to Ron-Paul-libertarians to LaRouchians to Confederacy-loving, race-driven Southerners to Christianist social conservatives to single-issue fanatics (abortion, guns, gays) to standard Limbaugh-following, Bush-loving Republicans, these protests are an incoherent mishmash without any cohesive view other than: “Barack Obama is bad.” There are unquestionably some highly noxious elements in these groups, but they are far from homogeneous. Many of these people despised the Bush-led GOP and many of them loved it.
But all that said, there are some identifiable — and plainly valid — underlying causes to these protests that are neither Republican nor Democratic, or even left or right. That’s when conventional political language ceases to be useful.

Glenn Greenwald, 22 Sep. 2009

It’s been obvious for quite some time that the US government is a tool of a small and increasingly exclusive elite. Making matters even more discouraging is the fact that the main source of “resistance” to this establishment is coming from the millenarian right instead of (what remains) of the American left. The right insists on remaining blind to the role played by the business and financial establishments in the destruction of the once prosperous American middle class, preferring to instead blame an imaginary cabal of powerful socialists, subversives and radicals for the nation’s decline. It is certainly true that the Obama administration is captive to a small clique. But it is not that of ACORN, Alinsky or any of the other bogeymen commonly identified. Rather, it is the same band of neoliberal DLC Beltway-insiders that have held sway in the Democratic Party since Clinton. The difference here is crucial and should rule out any possible alliance–even a temporary one of convenience–between those interested in a democratic, egalitarian society and the ideologues of the Tea Party movement.

One of the shrewdest tactics the anti-Obama right has engaged in lately is to accuse him of being a crony capitalist based on favoritism towards certain private businesses. Of course, this type of patronage through public-private “partnerships” and the outsourcing of government services has been a hallmark of all neoliberal regimes everywhere. By identifying the Obama administration (and his supposed cadre of closet revolutionaries) in the public eye as the sole perpetrator of this corruption, it rather brilliantly turns decades of lefty railing against corporate welfare and governmental collusion with big business on its head. In the right-wing version, the capitalist system is absolved of most of the blame since any government intervention in the economy is seen as an impure influence in the free market. If there is corruption, it is not “true” capitalism.

So, instead of the 2008 financial collapse being caused by financial sector deregulation and lax oversight of mortage securitization, we are left with a dizzying array of libertarian theories on how a real free market would have never let such a crisis happen. The narratives differ and often contradict each other. In one version, the government used the Community Reinvestment Act strong-armed hapless banks into making loans to shiftless borrowers who would never be able to pay them back. In an overlapping version, the banks were offered a perverse incentive by Fannie Mae and Freddie to give out loans and securitize mortages in a reckless manner. Some of these rightist narratives portray the private banks in a much more negative light, but only to the extent that they took part in liberal, “do-gooder” programs. Very few of these story-lines mention the 1999 repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act, which eliminated the de jure barrier between investment and commercial banking. This willful ignorance is necessary to maintain the false narrative that liberal government programs were the main cause of the crisis. It also allows the right to maintain a careful distance from the much loathed bankers of Wall Street. If the Tea Party could be overtly identified as apologists for the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, I imagine it would lose much of its populist edge.

I suppose it just figures that leftist theories about the power elite and corporate oligarchy only became effective at rallying a mass political movement when the right made slight alterations and adopted them as their own. blogger tells a whopper about Troy Davis’ “bloody shorts”

Erick Erickson:

For the first time in 50 years the United States Supreme Court ordered a federal court to conduct an entire rehearing of all the evidence. The court did and found all the new stuff was, again, “smoke and mirrors,” including the retracted confessions. [...] And then, if we really want to get into the weeds and talk about facts, consider this fact. Troy Davis immediately became the suspect and fled. Police roped off his house, obtained entry, and searched the home. In the laundry they found Troy Davis’s shorts from that night with evidence on the clothing directly tying him to Officer MacPhail’s murder — Officer MacPhail’s blood.

In re Troy Anthony Davis, No. CV409-130, (S.D. Ga. Aug. 24, 2010), p. 161, footnote 97:

The State introduced evidence regarding Mr. Davis’s “bloody” shorts. (See Resp. Ex. 67.) However, even the State conceded that this evidence lacked any probative value of guilt, submitting it only to show what the Board of Pardons and Parole had before it. (Evidentiary Hearing Transcript at 468-69.) Indeed, there was insufficient DNA to determine who the blood belonged to, so the shorts in no way linked Mr. Davis to the murder of Officer MacPhail. The blood could have belonged to Mr. Davis, Mr. Larry Young, Officer MacPhail, or even have gotten onto the shorts entirely apart from the events of that night. Moreover, it is not even clear that the substance was blood. (See Pet. Ex. 46.)

Yeah. Probably should try actually reading the documents you cite to make your case.

Our AIPAC-owned Congress

Priorities, priorities…

H. R. 2893: To prohibit Foreign Military Financing program assistance to countries that vote in the United Nations General Assembly in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state in the absence of a negotiated border agreement between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

H. RES. 297: To withhold United States contributions to the United Nations until the United Nations formally retracts the final report of the “United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict.”

H. R. 2589: To prohibit certain activities in support of the Arab League boycott of Israel, and for other purposes.

H. RES. 297: Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Secretary of State should withhold United States contributions to the regularly assessed biennial budget of the United Nations for purposes of the General Assembly of the United Nations if the General Assembly adopts a resolution in favor of recognizing a state of Palestine outside of or prior to a final status agreement negotiated between, and acceptable to, the State of Israel and the Palestinians.

H. R. 1609: To amend the War Powers Resolution to limit the use of funds for introduction of the Armed Forces into hostilities, and for other purposes.

(a) No funds available for the United States Armed Forces may be obligated or expended for introduction of the Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, in the absence of a declaration of war, specific statutory authorization or obligation under a treaty, or a national emergency created by an attack or imminent threat of attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or the Armed Forces.

(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the use of funds for introduction of the Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, to provide for the defense of Israel created by an attack upon Israel.

H. RES. 394: Supporting Israel’s right to annex Judea and Samaria in the event that the Palestinian Authority continues to press for unilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations.

How come we never heard about Rev. Wright enough from the MSM?

Answer: actually we heard plenty:

By now, the sermons, lectures, and commentaries of Jeremiah Wright quoted, reproduced, and discussed by other sources, ranging from broadcast and cable television and radio, to print and, of course, weblogs and the Internet-based audio- and video-hosting platforms such as YouTube, have been so numerous that sheer scale alone makes it impossible to define where his allegedly “controversial” and “offensive” statements begin, and where they end. But the relative intensity of coverage tells part of the story. According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, for the first 125 days of 2008 (January 1–May 4), the Wright-Obama relationship was the most frequently reported news item, receiving roughly 3.8-times more attention than did the second most frequently reported item, how the “superdelegates” were aligning in the primary process; it was covered 4.9-times as heavily as John McCain’s ties to lobbyists.13 Wright and his views also towered over the meager attention given to the views of Hagee, Parsley, and Robertson, and to their relationships with McCain. Media Matters for America reports that between February 27 and April 30—the 27th having been the date on which Hagee endorsed McCain in San Antonio while McCain was campaigning with Parsley in Ohio—the New York Times and Washington Post “published more than 12 times as many articles” mentioning Wright and Obama as they did mentioning Hagee and McCain. In terms of editorials and op-eds, the ratio was even greater—more than 15 to 1.14

Similar patterns were true across the board. For the ninety-six-day period from February 27 through June 1, mentions of Wright’s name in conjunction with Obama’s outnumbered mentions of Hagee’s with McCain’s 10.5 times to 1; they also outnumbered mentions of Parsley’s with McCain’s 40.2 times to 1. (See table 1.) Remarkably, even the Reverend Louis Farrakhan’s name turned up in conjunction with Obama’s more frequently than did McCain’s with Hagee’s or Parsley’s—although Obama has had no connection with Farrakhan whatsoever. The Project for Excellence in Journalism reports that at the apex of its coverage (April 28–May 4), the Wright-Obama relationship “accounted for 42% of that week’s campaign stories,” while at its apex (May 19–25), the Hagee-McCain relationship “accounted for only 8%.”15 The next week (May 26–June 1), when Obama resigned from Trinity United Church of Christ after a video was circulated of the Catholic priest, Michael Pfleger, mocking Hillary Clinton during a guest sermon at the church, coverage of this “accounted for 13% of all the campaign stories.”16 Indeed, so obsessive and so recurring was the media’s focus on Jeremiah Wright, on Wright’s Trinity United, and on any person or topic that could be squeezed into this frame of reference and used to generate negative reporting and commentary about the black preacher and his ties to the black candidate, that even when the McCain campaign officially rejected the endorsements it had previously sought from Hagee and Parsley, nearly one-half as many more articles mentioned Obama-Wright than mentioned McCain together with Hagee or Parsley. (See table 2.) This reveals a deep bias of remarkable consistency (Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, “Jeremiah Wright in the Propaganda System,” Monthly Review, Sep. 2008).

As Obama’s approval ratings tumble, we’re bound to hear this myth being pushed by the right more and more to assert that the media ignored Obama’s purported left-wing radicalism early on. There are, of course, many reasons to be upset with the media’s light treatment of Obama in certain policy areas, with foreign policy and civil liberties being the most notable. But the idea that they never gave the Rev. Wright connection enough attention is absolutely ludicrous.

As far as meta-media myths go, the prevalence of this one should make it self-refuting.