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Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 08:54 PM
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Journal Archives

Eric Boehlert: How the press fuels the GOP's Big Lie

How the press fuels the GOP's Big Lie
Eric Boehlert

So many election lies were told at the far-right CPAC conference last weekend that at one point a conservative media outlet, Right Side Broadcasting, had to interrupt its live coverage in order to air a disclaimer so that it wouldn't get sued for spreading election lies.

The conference was drowning in misinformation and whacked out conspiracies about the 2020 election, but very few mainstream outlets identified them clearly. That helps the GOP's Big Lie metastasize and spread. A CNN fact check dubbed the election lies told at CPAC to be "false claims." The network stressed Trump's 90-minute speech was filled with "falsehoods."

Reporting on the right-wing confab, CBS News used weak, vague language when noting that "unsubstantiated claims of interference" had been addressed at CPAC election panels. CBS made no mention of the fact that Trump told attendees the election had been stolen from him — that he already "beat" Democrats twice at the polls. ABC News noted Trump’s “false election fraud claims.”

By depicting the lies as merely disputed claims, the press continues to downplay a Republican cancer in our culture.

It's a problem that the GOP's Big Lie, as its been dubbed by many online, often isn't even called a lie by the mainstream media, which years ago put up artificial guardrails against calling Trump and his followers liars.

Lying about presidential election results is now, without question, a mainstream Republican talking point, or at the very least the claim that 'millions of Americans have concerns' about election integrity. The Big Lie is dangerous because it's clearly being used to fuel an avalanche of sweeping voter suppression initiatives in state houses around the country, as Republicans use election propaganda to pass bills to make it hard to vote. (The RNC recently set up Committee on Election Integrity, in the wake of an election that had no integrity issues.) It's an extraordinary one-two combination, the likes of which our democracy has rarely faced — it's the essence of pure propaganda.

The media help by giving a voice to the Big Lie and treating it as another Republican debating point, as if the finer points of immigration and tax reform are being discussed. It was the Big Lie that sparked a murderous insurrection on Jan. 6. It's the Big Lie that goes to the heart of American democracy. The Republican Party is waging war on free and fair elections in this country, and the Beltway press, especially the Sunday morning network talk shows, too often acts like disinterested spectators facilitating a Both Sides debate — Republicans say elections are rigged, Democrats disagree!


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 3, 2021, 08:17 PM (1 replies)

White House taps insurers to boost vaccinations among vulnerable communities


White House taps insurers to boost vaccinations among vulnerable communities
The Biden administration will announce a new initiative with health insurers to ensure some of their most high-risk customers get vaccinated against Covid-19.
03/03/2021 06:00 AM EST

The Biden administration on Wednesday will announce a new initiative with health insurers to ensure some of their most high-risk customers get vaccinated against Covid-19, as the White House tries to energize lagging efforts to distribute the shots equitably.

The effort, organized by White House coronavirus adviser Andy Slavitt and led by major lobby America’s Health Insurance Plans, is aiming to fully vaccinate 2 million people 65 and older from vulnerable communities over the next 100 days, according to AHIP.

The program, which will be announced at the White House, is essentially leveraging the work health plans already perform with high-risk patients, such as helping them book appointments, reminding them about follow-ups and arranging transportation. The White House hopes the new focus will help quicken the pace of vaccinations for the most vulnerable patients, as confusing appointment websites or overloaded queues increase the risk they'll be left behind.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 3, 2021, 08:34 AM (6 replies)

The Ridiculous Golden Trump Statue at CPAC Was Actually Made in China, Says Report


The Ridiculous Golden Trump Statue at CPAC Was Actually Made in China, Says Report
Updated Mar. 03, 2021 7:09AM ET /
Published Mar. 03, 2021 7:08AM ET
Reuters/Octavio Jones

The absurd golden Trump statue at CPAC truly is the gift that keeps on giving. First, people rightly ridiculed the very existence of a massive golden statue of the ex-president, then they were further delighted when reports stated that it was built in Mexico—a country that Trump repeatedly demonized. But, according to Politico’s Playbook, there’s another twist in the tale... it was actually made in China. Artist Tommy Zegan initially claimed he made the statue with the help of three workers in Rosarito, Mexico, where he lives. But one of his business partners, Jose Mauricio Mendoza, then reached out to Politico to say Zegan appeared to have missed out a major part of the manufacturing process. “Everything is made in China,” Mendoza said. “I want to be straight, because if I’m going to sell these statues, they have to be true.” Mendoza also said he designed the statue, but that Zegan’s name was attached to it because “no one is going to buy ‘Jose’ stuff, at least not a Donald Trump statue.”
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 3, 2021, 08:12 AM (11 replies)

Rude Pundit: "Fuck Those Dr. Seuss Books" and Other Proper Responses to the Fake "Cancel Culture" BS

The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
"Fuck Those Dr. Seuss Books" and Other Proper Responses to the Fake "Cancel Culture" Bullshit


So this whole "cancel culture" thing is so fucking dumb and it's just another way that conservatives are exploiting the ignorance of their voters. So what if there's a warning in front of a couple of episodes of The Muppet Show to indicate that it's fucked up that Johnny Cash sang in front of a Confederate flag or that Spike Milligan did yellow face and fake Chinese voice. So what if the packaging for Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head went unisex? You can still put high-heeled shoes and a mustache on your plastic potato, just like you could before. And, really, truly, fuck those Dr. Seuss books. How is it not a problem that the books contain racist images? Let's stop acting like there aren't a million other books that are just as good that don't have crazy Arabs or weird indigenous Alaskans. Besides, you're not losing your Horton or Lorax or Grinch. Your childhood is protected, so you can stop being an asshole because (checks notes) the Seuss estate pulled the books out of publication.

The point here, of course, is not that some conservative dicks are upset that liberals believe things. That's been the story since forever. No, what we're seeing here is the distraction, the thing that makes you forget who the GOP really is. Remember that Republicans don't give a fuck about appealing to people through Ideas That Might Make Their Lives Better. No, they prefer the Shit That Makes Idiots Mad and Fuck Your Voting Rights approaches. The vaccine program is a big success? The COVID bailout prevents the nation from being economically fucked by the pandemic? Oh, fuck, what's a scummy GOP fucknut going to do? Time to cue up the culture wars, motherfuckers. "Yes, it's true that Republicans supported policies that flat out murdered hundreds of thousands of people, but, hey, look, Kermit's nuts are being cut off by Cancel Culture and AOC," they'll say and that'll be dutifully re-vomited by right-wing media led by Tucker Carlson's one-mustache-short-of-a-Fuhrer face.

This becomes the same-sex marriage or anti-abortion initiatives on ballots that distract people from voting for Democrats. Yeah, we've been through this before. In fact, every fucking time now with Republicans, who would rather toss shit than discuss an issue honestly. Or, these days, rather than talk about the same reality.

In so many cases, "cancel culture" just means "Oh, shit, they caught us" to the people who got caught. And they're pissed that now that they're caught, they can't just be white people who, say, casually use the n-word. Like, well, the Republican Party.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 3, 2021, 08:08 AM (19 replies)

Democrats reintroduce gun sale background check legislation

Not too much to ask!

Democrats reintroduce gun sale background check legislation
By Alex Gangitano - 03/02/21 10:02 AM EST

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) reintroduced legislation to expand federal background checks on all gun sales on Tuesday.

The Background Check Expansion Act is co-sponsored by 43 Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and would require unlicensed or private sellers to conduct a background check prior to transferring a firearm.

Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) reintroduced the companion legislation in the House on Tuesday.

“Joe Biden and hundreds of congressional candidates from both parties ran on the issue of background checks. This is the year to get this bill passed into law. And this legislation has the chance to bring this country together — even 85 percent of gun owners believe in expanding background checks, and a growing anti-gun violence movement, made up of both Democrats and Republicans, is demanding change,” Murphy said in a press release.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 10:36 AM (0 replies)

Democrats push Biden to include recurring payments in recovery package

Democrats push Biden to include recurring payments in recovery package
By Morgan Chalfant and Naomi Jagoda - 03/02/21 06:00 AM EST

A group of Democratic senators is urging President Biden to include recurring direct payments for some Americans in his forthcoming coronavirus recovery plan.

A letter spearheaded by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) calls for Biden’s forthcoming Build Back Better proposal to fund recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment insurance extensions that are tied to economic conditions. That would be on top of the one-time payments of $1,400 per person that are included in the $1.9 trillion relief package the House passed last week.

The letter has attracted at least nine other signatories, including the chairs of the Senate’s three major financial committees, and will be circulated on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to garner further support. The letter does not specify a dollar amount for the recurring payments.

“We urge you to include recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment insurance extensions tied to economic conditions in your Build Back Better long-term economic plan,” states the letter, text of which was obtained by The Hill. “This crisis is far from over, and families deserve certainty that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. Families should not be at the mercy of constantly-shifting legislative timelines and ad hoc solutions.”

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) along with Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) have all signed their names to the letter.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 10:33 AM (3 replies)

Trump Got Vaccinated Against 'Hoax Virus' In January And Didn't Tell Anyone


3/02/21 4:03am
Trump Got Vaccinated Against 'Hoax Virus' In January And Didn't Tell Anyone
While Trump continued to downplay the COVID pandemic, he managed to sneak himself and his wife the vaccine.
By Red Painter

It appears that the Former Guy and his current wife got the COVID hoax vaccine shot in January in secret, even as he was publicly downplaying the threat of the virus for the 12th straight month.

Ari Melber pointed out an interesting little twist that many may have overlooked. While others in leadership roles acted like real leaders - Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Mike Pence - Donald Trump chose to hide. He chose to be a coward. He chose to only focus on HIMSELF. He intentionally kept his vaccination secret. Was he afraid of looking weak? Was he terrified that his base would turn on him if he gave the Hoax legitimacy? Who knows.

"MAGA fans also erected a golden idol to their ex-president, who's back in the news as word came for the first time today about how Donald Trump got vaccinated. Turns out the president was quick to get one of the earliest possible vaccines, in January, which is what the experts advised for top government officials. But nobody actually knew at the time because he did so, oddly, in secret. so while the new President and the new Vice President as well as Donald Trump's own Vice President all stepped up to their vaccinations as a chance to lead in public on a critical public health priority to show everyone it's safe, to encourage others to get vaccinated,

Well, now we know officially Donald Trump was M.I.A., taking the vaccine, but only for his own safety and blowing a chance to lead on public education."

As his term was winding down, the Former Guy blew one of his last chances to put the country first, to do the right thing, to act as a leader. He left as he came in - a selfish, dumb, shameless narcissist who cared nothing about anyone but himself.

Good riddance, Former Guy.

Posted by babylonsister | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 08:50 AM (7 replies)

New York Prosecutors Are Going For The Jugular And Zeroing In On Trump's Finance Chief


Posted on Mon, Mar 1st, 2021 by Sean Colarossi
New York Prosecutors Are Going For The Jugular And Zeroing In On Trump’s Finance Chief

Donald Trump’s performance at CPAC over the weekend was a low-energy flop, but perhaps the reason the former president is so deflated is because he sees a legal tidal wave headed in his direction.

That legal turmoil continued to build on Monday as New York prosecutors who are currently investigating Trump are now zeroing in on the CFO of his company.

According To New York Times, “State prosecutors in Manhattan who are investigating former President Donald J. Trump and his family business are sharpening their focus on the company’s long-serving chief financial officer, asking witnesses questions about his dealings at the company, according to people with knowledge of the matter.”

The report notes that investigators looking into Trump’s chief financial officer are doing so as part of their investigation into potential financial fraud at the company.

More from The New York Times:

The increased focus on the executive, Allen H. Weisselberg, could step up pressure on him to cooperate with the investigation if the prosecutors unearth evidence of wrongdoing on his part. He has served as the Trump Organization’s financial gatekeeper for more than two decades and could be a vital source of information for the government about the inner workings of the company.

In recent weeks, the prosecutors working for the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., have been interviewing witnesses who know Mr. Weisselberg and have asked at least one witness about Mr. Weisselberg’s sons, Barry and Jack Weisselberg, according to two of the people with knowledge of the matter.

New York is going straight for Trump’s criminal enterprise

The news that the Trump Organization CFO is under scrutiny comes amid a flurry of Trump-related activity in New York.

Last month, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance recruited a federal prosecutor who specializes in organized crime to join the Trump investigation. The Trump Organization was also recently forced to hand over documents to New York AG Letitia James.

And in a huge development last week, the Manhattan DA (finally) received Trump’s tax returns following the Supreme Court decision to deny the former president’s request to keep them under wraps.

It is likely that these investigations will take time to fully develop, but New York prosecutors are coming for Donald Trump and there’s nothing he can do to stop it.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 08:46 AM (0 replies)

7-year-old girl sells lemonade to help pay for brain surgeries, but Medicare for All is 'radical'


7-year-old girl sells lemonade to help pay for brain surgeries, but Medicare for All is 'radical'
Aldous J Pennyfarthing
Community (This content is not subject to review by Daily Kos staff prior to publication.)
Monday March 01, 2021 · 2:00 PM EST

These kinds of stories drive me up the wall.

There’s nothing heartwarming or cute about this, but it’s the kind of thing people in this country slurp up like syrup.

Nothing against the journalist who brought this grotesquerie to light, but my takeaway from this tragic tale is that we live in a barbaric, backwards country, not that Americans have hearts of gold. Perhaps they do, but those full hearts could be far more effectively channeled toward fighting for Medicare for All than tossing crumbs to sick kids like they’re gimpy pigeons.

WIAT-TV in Birmingham, Alabama, recently caught up 7-year-old Liza Scott, whose family owns a bakery in Homewood, Alabama. They set up a lemonade stand inside the shop to help pay for a series of brain surgeries Liza needs to correct three cerebral malformations have have been causing her to suffer grand mal seizures.


Elizabeth Scott purchased additional insurance to help pay for Liza’s brain surgeries. But with travel and hotel costs heaped on top of medical expenses, the family is already nearing $10,000 in out-of-pocket expenses.

“As a single mom and the financial supporter of both of my children, this is not something you can budget for,” Scott said.

So in addition to selling the tastiest lemonade around, the Scotts are also looking for donations. As of Thursday afternoon, they have reached nearly $6,000. If you would like to help donate to Liza’s fund, click here.

And look how cute she is!

Naturally, I’m pulling for young Liza. How can you not? She needs major surgery, and it’s nice that people are chipping in to help her in her time of need. But what about the kids who aren’t as cute, don’t have a parent who owns a bakery, don’t have enough friends and supporters for a successful GoFundMe campaign, or whose bills are simply too astronomical to chip away at with a pop-up lemonade stand?

Are the social Darwinists in this country really prepared to argue that some people deserve to see a doctor while others are just shit out of luck?

Obamacare and CHIP were big steps forward, but we obviously still have huge gaps in our social safety net. It’s long past time we close them with true universal health coverage and let sick kids be kids instead of beggars and forced laborers.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Mar 1, 2021, 08:26 PM (20 replies)

"Illegal Alien" No More: The Biden Administration Drops the Label

This is a couple of days old, but I missed it.

February 25, 2021
“Illegal Alien” No More: The Biden Administration Drops the Label
Tell us which language and policy changes should come next.
Daniel King

In a major milestone for immigrants’ rights activists seeking shifts in language and law, the Biden administration has dropped “illegal alien” from government communications, taking federal agencies out of the business of branding people—instead of actions—illegal. The move marks the culmination of the yearslong “Drop the I-Word” campaign, spearheaded by author and Mother Jones board member Rinku Sen. Her movement is widely credited with creating much of the groundwork for retiring the phrase.

The shift was made in an internal Homeland Security Department memo directing officials to replace “alien” with “noncitizen,” and “illegal” with “undocumented.”

“I feel real pride” in the change, Sen tells me. Biden’s decision wouldn’t have been possible, she says, if it weren’t for many broader changes first, especially in the media. “This would have been much harder for the administration to do if we hadn’t first changed most journalistic and some governmental practice on the I-word.” Many newsrooms including ours use “illegal” only to describe actions, and Sen had amplified that distinction. But she’d met heavy resistance from some newsrooms whose editors construed her pitch as a call for euphemistic substitution rather than a material improvement to accurate reporting.


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Mar 1, 2021, 03:03 PM (4 replies)
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