Archive for the ‘Conservative Hypocrisy’ Category

So factcheck.org analyzed Sen. Ted Cruz’ speech yesterday at Liberty College, where he formally declared his candidacy for president of the United States, and basically found that nothing he said was true. Ironically, the 30-second video announcing his candidacy begins with, “It’s a time for truth.” Yes, indeed. Stop by factcheck.org for a heaping helping of truthiness.

Another conservative-led state underperforms:

Wisconsin ranked 40th in the nation in private-sector job growth during the one-year period between September 2013 and September 2014, according to the latest detailed job numbers from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The numbers come from the Bureau’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, which economists say is the gold standard of job metrics. Because the QCEW is so thorough, the numbers take a long time to report.

They showed Wisconsin added private-sector jobs at a rate of about 1.16 percent from September 2013 to September 2014. By comparison, private-sector jobs grew by 2.3 percent nationwide.

All neighboring states fared better than Wisconsin, and when matched up against a broader region of 10 Midwest states, only Nebraska fared worse.

The Walker administration also released less-accurate monthly job estimates early Thursday morning, which were much more positive. They showed Wisconsin’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.8 percent in February of 2015.

Not only is the state faring poorly due to Governor Scott Walker’s policies, he also feels the need to lie about it. How typically conservative.

Earlier this week, the Japan Meteorological Agency released its average global temperature data for 2014, which shows that globally last year was the hottest year, by far, in JMA’s 120 years of record-keeping. Nine of the ten hottest years recorded have occurred in the twenty-first century. The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is expected release similar data soon.

Furthermore, there has been no “pause” in warming. Here is the chart from JMA of the average global temperature by year since 1891:

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Does that look like a pause to you? Didn’t think so. The trend line is obvious.

The fact is, “[T]here is broad agreement among climate scientists not only that climate change is real (a survey and a review of the scientific literature published say about 97 percent agree), but that we must respond to the dangers of a warming planet. If one is looking for real differences among mainstream scientists, they can be found on two fronts: the precise implications of those higher temperatures, and which technologies and policies offer the best solution to reducing, on a global scale, the emission of greenhouse gases.”

Michael Mann has written a paper for the scientific community, and others, about how special interests try to intimidate and discredit scientists. He calls it “the Serengeti strategy”:

Much as lions on the Serengeti seek out vulnerable zebras at the edge of a herd, special interests faced with adverse scientific evidence often target individual scientists rather than take on an entire scientific field at once. Part of the reasoning behind this approach is that it is easier to bring down individuals than an entire group of scientists, and it still serves the larger aim: to dismiss, obscure, and misrepresent well-established science and its implications. In addition, such highly visible tactics create an atmosphere of intimidation that discourages other scientists from conveying their research’s implications to the public. This “Serengeti strategy” is often employed wherever there is a strong and widespread consensus among the world’s scientists about the underlying cold, hard facts of a field, whether the subject be evolution, ozone depletion, the environmental impacts of DDT, the health effects of smoking, or human-caused climate change. The goal is to attack those researchers whose findings are inconvenient, rather than debate the findings themselves.

He goes on to say, “Many of the attacks have been aimed at undermining one of the scientific community’s great strengths—the trust that the public has in scientists as communicators and messengers. A poll conducted by Yale University and George Mason University indicated that climate scientists are the most trusted source of information about global warming for voting-age Americans (Yale Project, 2012). This is in line with a number of polls regarding science that have been conducted over the years, which consistently show that the public ranks scientists near the top for trustworthiness (Pew Research Center, 2009)—while they put members of Congress, TV reporters, and used-car salesmen near the bottom. (At the very bottom are lobbyists, who have only a 6 percent approval rating for honesty and ethics (Gallup, 2014)). In their effort to discredit the genuine science behind climate change, fossil fuel interests and their front groups have sought to undermine that trust in science and scientists.”

The full paper is worth a read.

Meanwhile, a perfect example of an individual with an agenda–in this case, an ideological one–is Blogs For Victory’s Mark Noonan, who continues with his on-going series of “global warming hoax” updates. In his latest post, Noonan latches onto an article alerting readers to the fact that “two rounds of Arctic cold will move through much of the U.S. this week.” To Noonan, this isn’t a temporary weather phenomenon; it’s further proof that global warming is a hoax. Clearly, like his favorite conservative politicians, Noonan isn’t a scientist.

Don’t be fooled by the clowns who live on Frozen Pond, Indiana. They can’t be bothered to look any further than their own backyard because ideology. Instead, they are convinced that cold Midwest winters prove there is no global warming. They don’t.

The real “hoax” in the “global warming hoax” is the one being perpetrated by individuals and organizations who attempt to discredit science and scientists for their own personal gain or agendas. It’s really pretty simple.

You really have to wonder what kind of depraved individual feels the need to smear Michael Brown, even in death, with video that falsely claims to depict him. I mean, Michael Brown is dead. Darren Wilson will not be charged with a crime. Having achieved the result that they wanted, you would think conservatives would have such superior moral standing in their beliefs and positions that they wouldn’t feel the need to further lie about a dead man, black or white.

The latest conservative lie making the rounds is a video that purportedly shows Brown assaulting an older black man in order to steal his backpack. It isn’t Brown. We shouldn’t be surprised, as conservatives also lied about Brown’s arrest record, the supposed injuries Wilson received at the hands of Brown, and posted alleged photos of Brown that turned out to be other people.

Open question to conservatives: Why do you lie about something like this?

Of course, now that they’re caught, conservatives will scurry away from their claim that the video is Michael Brown, claiming they were merely asking the question. It’s the best recovery they have, I guess, but it is clear to anyone with an ounce of morality that these same conservatives lack morals of their own, no matter how loudly they assert their claims of superiority.

As 2014 comes to an end, Republicans around the country should be rejoicing in the amazing track record of President Obama, who has accomplished the 2012 Republican presidential candidates’ agendas far faster than they themselves promised they would have!

From Steven Benen:

* The Romney Standard: Mitt Romney said during the 2012 campaign that if Americans elect him, he’d get the unemployment rate down to 6% by 2016. Obama won anyway and the unemployment rate dropped below 6% two years faster.

* The Gingrich Standard: Newt Gingrich said during the 2012 campaign that if Americans re-elected the president, gas prices would reach $10 per gallon, while Gingrich would push gas down to $2.50 a gallon. As of this morning, the national average at the pump is a little under $2.38.

* The Pawlenty Standard: Tim Pawlenty said trillions of dollars in tax breaks would boost economic growth to 5% GDP. Obama actually raised taxes on the wealthy and GDP growth reached 5% anyway.

Fantastic job, Mr. President!

Of course, sadly for Republicans, their own agenda was achieved via some, er, um, unorthodox methods (at least to them). I mean, President Obama and Congress allowed most of the Bush tax cuts to expire, and taxes even increased for the very richest among us.

Republican members of Congress spent much of the beginning of 1993 warning that raising taxes on the rich would destroy the economy.

“It will kill jobs, kill businesses, and yes, kill even the higher tax revenues that these suicidal tax increasers hope to gain,” Rep. Christopher Cox said.

And cut to the best job growth of the century — over 22 million jobs — and the first budget surplus in generations.

Of course, the nineties were an anomaly, with the end of the Cold War and the government’s decades-long investment in the internet suddenly paying off exponential returns. You can’t expect those kinds of returns again.

Cut to 2013, when President Obama’s re-election allowed most of the Bush tax breaks to expire with Republicans making similar warnings.

The result? Well, it wasn’t the best job creation of the century – yet. The 2,331,000 jobs created in 2013 was shy of 2005’s 2,506,000, which was fueled by the tens of billions of dollars the Bush Administrations flushed into defense and Homeland Security. I’d argue that 2013’s job growth could have beaten 2005 if not for Congress allowing a payroll tax to expire as the sequester went into effect. And don’t forget the how the GOP shut down the government for no discernible purpose.

In 2014, taxes again went up on those in the top percentiles to fund the Affordable Care Act. And with that money we were able to help 10 million Americans gain health insurance.

The result? According to the Labor Department, 2014 has already surpassed 2005 as the best year of job growth this century with 2,650,000 jobs projected to have been created through November.

Democratic policies that ask the rich to invest in our economy is the only way we ever created middle class jobs and it pays off for the rich.

“The U.S. economy not only grows faster, according to real GDP and other measures, during Democratic versus Republican presidencies, it also produces more jobs, lowers the unemployment rate, generates higher corporate profits and investment, and turns in higher stock market returns,” Princeton University professors Mark W. Watson and Alan Blinder have found. “Indeed, it outperforms under almost all standard macroeconomic metrics.”

Then there’s the terrible reality that the economy is growing despite the fact that millions of Americans are obtaining health care for the first time. In fact, I have conservative relatives who hate ObamaCare so much that they complain about the bureaucratic hoops they had to jump through to obtain the subsidies that allowed them to actually afford health care. The horror!

And let’s not even get started with all those “job killing” regulations that Americans are swimming in. Yes, we would all have been better off letting the Republican president slow things down in the name of ideology.

UPDATE

And let’s not forget the stock market. The Dow passed 18,000 a few days ago, which brings to mind the words of former George W. Bush adviser Michael Boskin, who on Mar. 6, 2009 penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled “Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Dow.” As Matt O’Brian writes in the Washington Post:

Boskin, though, didn’t think that this once-in-three-generations financial crisis was to blame for the market meltdown. Instead, he blamed it on Obama for … talking about raising taxes? “It’s hard not to see the continued sell-off on Wall Street and the growing fear on Main Street,” Boskin philosophized, “as a product, at least in part, of the realization that our new president’s policies are designed to radically re-engineer the market-based U.S. economy.” What followed was the usual conservative jeremiad against higher taxes on the rich, lower taxes on the poor, and deficit spending. Obama’s trying to turn us into Europe, and that’s why markets are pricing in the possibility of a Great Depression—not the dying economy he inherited.

Stocks bottomed on March 9, three days after the op-ed, as the Federal Reserve’s bond-buying and the Treasury’s stress tests restored confidence in the financial system. Then the stimulus started to kick in, putting enough of a floor under the economy that it began growing again that summer. It’s been a nasty, brutish, and long recovery, but unemployment is finally back under 6 percent and the economy is now growing at its fastest pace in over a decade.

Add it all up, and Obama’s radicalism has killed the Dow to the tune of a 171 percent return since Boskin’s op-ed.

So in his last days as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Darrell Issa chose Christmas week to release the committee’s report regarding the so-called IRS scandal, which according to Issa was a conspiracy in the White House to punish conservatives. Well, no, it wasn’t.

In many ways, this has been such a delightful week. Gasoline prices are low. The economy is growing at the rate of five percent. The stock market is high. Darrell Issa admitted he’s a fraud. I’m just shocked that none of this has made it onto the conservative websites. Shocked, I tell ya.

Issa released a 226 page “report” that contained cherry-picked excerpts from interviews, guesses, assumptions, and conspiracy theories.

The big takeaway from the report is that Issa found no connection to the White House in the IRS scandal. Here is a sample of the kind of guesswork and assumptions that fill the report. On page 161, “Other documents suggest that the IRS may even have aided Democrat legislators in partisan policy initiatives. For example, as Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) engaged in a lengthy correspondence with the IRS about section 501(c)(4) organizations in 2012, IRS personnel assisted his staff by providing information for some of the letters. In one e-mail, with the subject “[w]orking on the next letter,” Senator Levin’s staff sought answers from the IRS about its treatment of six applications, including Crossroads GPS, American Action Network, and the Club for Growth.”

The documents suggest that maybe the IRS could have been working with Democrats.

Issa’s report is such a failure that the main takeaway from it is that California conspiracy theorist Republican couldn’t find any connection to the White House. The New York Times reported, “An 18-month congressional investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s mistreatment of conservative political groups seeking tax exemptions has failed to show coordination between agency officials and political operatives in the White House, according to a report released on Tuesday.”

In over 200 pages, the Republicans could not find one piece of concrete evidence that the White House had anything to do with IRS’s behavior. Issa rejected all evidence that progressive groups were also targeted, and he continues to ignore the reason that the IRS targeted the 501(c) groups. The conservative groups were breaking the law by asking to tax-exempt status despite the fact that they were engaging in partisan political activity.

The IRS should have been targeting the groups because they were trying to get out of paying taxes. Issa’s own report confirms that there was no White House conspiracy. Obama wasn’t using the IRS to hold down conservatives. Issa was lying. He refuses to release the full transcripts of the interviews. The full evidence reveals that there is nothing to the IRS conspiracy theory. That is why Darrell Issa refuses to make all of the interview transcripts public.

Darrell Issa spent two years as chairman of the Oversight Committee trying to get Obama. In the end, Issa fell flat on his face, and his years of conspiracy theory went up in flames.

The Blame Game

Posted: December 21, 2014 by watsonthethird in Conservative Hypocrisy, Current Events
Tags: , , ,

In the immediate wake of the horrific assassination of two New York City police officers yesterday, conservatives have been quick to lay the blame at the feet of everyone from NYC mayor Bill De Blassio to Al Sharpton to President Obama. Pretty much anyone and everyone except for the killer himself.

Kevin Drum, writing in Mother Jones this morning:

Fair enough. But I assume this means we can blame Bill O’Reilly for his 28 episodes of invective against “Tiller the Baby Killer” that eventually ended in the murder of Wichita abortion provider George Tiller by anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder. We can blame conservative talk radio for stoking the anti-government paranoia that led Timothy McVeigh to bomb a federal building in Oklahoma City. We can blame the relentless xenophobia of Fox News for the bombing of an Islamic Center in Joplin or the massacre of Sikh worshippers by a white supremacist in Wisconsin. We can blame the NRA for the mass shootings in Newtown and Aurora. We can blame Republicans for stoking the anti-IRS paranoia that prompted Andrew Joseph Stack to crash a private plane into an IRS building in Austin, killing two people. We can blame the Christian Right for the anti-gay paranoia that led the Westboro Baptist Church to picket the funeral of Matthew Snyder, a US Marine killed in Iraq, with signs that carried their signature “God Hates Fags” slogan. We can blame Sean Hannity for his repeated support of Cliven Bundy’s “range war” against the BLM, which eventually motivated Jerad and Amanda Miller to kill five people in Las Vegas after participating in the Bundy standoff and declaring, “If they’re going to come bring violence to us, well, if that’s the language they want to speak, we’ll learn it.” And, of course, we can blame Rudy Giuliani and the entire conservative movement for their virtually unanimous indifference to the state-sanctioned police killings of black suspects over minor offenses in Ferguson and Staten Island, which apparently motivated the murder of the New York police officers on Saturday.

Or wait. Maybe we can’t do any of those things. Maybe lots of people support lots of things, and we can’t twist that generalized support into blame for maniacs who decide to take up arms for their own demented reasons. Maybe that’s a better idea after all.

The louder the conservative, the more partisan and hypocritical. Remember how much they resented any insinuation that Sarah Palin’s rhetoric incited and informed Jared Lee Loughner, who attempted to assassinate Rep. Gabby Giffords, killing six others in the process? I understand. It was wrong then. It’s wrong now.

Ezra Klein tells it like it is tonight.

[O]ne way or another, Republicans need to decide what to do with the 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the country now. They need to take away Obama’s single strongest argument — that this is a crisis, and that congressional Republicans don’t have an answer and won’t let anyone else come up with one.

Republicans aren’t just the opposition party anymore. They are, arguably, the governing party — they will soon control the House, the Senate, the Supreme Court, most state legislatures, and more governorships. And the governing party needs to solve — or at least propose solutions — to the nation’s problems. And that means the Republican policy on immigration needs to be something more than opposing Obama’s immigration policies. It needs to be something more than vague noises about border security.

This isn’t a problem made up by Obama. It’s math. There are 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the country right now. Congress allocates enough money to deport roughly 400,000 of them annually. Our policy towards the 10.6 million unauthorized immigrants we’re not deporting is that we don’t have a policy. Democrats support a path to citizenship. Republicans don’t support anything.

“Republicans don’t support anything.”

Actually, that’s not quite right. Since 2008, Republicans have supported one thing: Stopping President Obama–and by extension, the rest of the country–from solving problems. Because in their eyes, he’s an illegitimate president. To compromise or work with him in any manner would be to confer to him some legitimacy, even if only a tiny bit. And that is one thing Republicans have not been willing to do.

That, really, is Obama’s advantage right now. Even if you think he’s going too far, he at least wants to solve the problem. Republicans don’t seem to want to do anything except stop Obama from solving the problem. That’s not a winning position. More to the point, it’s not a responsible one.

It’s worth reading Klein’s entire post. It’s short.

That’s really all you can say about these people. Just go read it.

(h/t Balloon Juice)

Eric Cantor announced in a newspaper interview yesterday that he is going to resign from the House on August 18th. He is calling on Governor McAuliffe to hold a special election at the same time as the general election to fill his seat, giving his successor seniority over every other new Congressman elected this November.

Don’t do it, Governor.

After losing his primary, Cantor said he was going to complete his term. Either he lied or someone explained to him that resigning would make the new, likely Republican, Representative from Virginia more likely to get plum Committee seats. Cantor says he wants to make sure that Virginia is represented in the lame duck session by having the new Representative start on November 5th. If Cantor truly wanted Virginia to be represented by a senior Congressmen during that session, he can stay where he is instead of going back on his word and pulling a Palin.