Archive for lies

Torture & Lies

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NicoleSandlerHeadshotw202h202

President Obama admitted the US tortured "some folks" following the 9-11 attacks.

Obama has used the word "torture" before to describe the harsh interrogation tactics used at CIA-run secret prisons during the Bush administration. But his words at a White House news conference were notably more direct than previous statements.

The comments reflect the line the president is preparing to walk as he gets ready for the release of a Senate committee report on the Bush-era rendition, detention and interrogation program.

According to the president, torture is not OK - but lying about torture is acceptable, as long as you apologize for it. Why do I feel like he learned this strategy by parenting pre-schoolers?

Marcy Wheeler joined in for the last segment of today's show, and she hit the nail on the head with her aptly-titled post, "But Brennan Didn’t Fuck His Biographer!"

Amidst calls for Brennan’s firing, Obama basically responded, “Sure, we tortured some folks, but I still have confidence in the guy who found the waterboard and black sites at which to torture.”

But I’m not sure why folks are so surprised by Obama’s reluctance to criticize Brennan for lying about hacking the SSCI. Aside from the mutual complicity — Brennan was personal witness to each and every drone strike Obama approved that violated international law, after all — CIA Directors don’t get fired for lying.

They get fired for fucking their biographer.

In the first hour of the show, Howie Klein was on for our weekly "Steve Israel Hour." We touched on the torture and lies problem, and both admitted to having the same scary thought: that once a president is sworn in and sits at the Oval Office desk for the first time to read the letter left by his or her predecessor, they find out just how limited their power really is, and that the CIA and NSA are the ones calling the shots.

Howie wrote "If You Let Criminals Off Lightly, You Guarantee One Thing: More Crime" about the problem with Obama's thinking in excusing Brennan's role in all of this.

We also talked about some important Senate races (Tom Udall who was the first to call for Brennan's ouster after his "apology" and is facing a very tough re-election. Plus Shenna Bellows, Jeff Merkely, Brian Schatz and a few others.) Blue America has a Senate page for donations here.

We also talked about some gubernatorial races up for grabs, including a tough re-election campaign for Illinois' Pat Quinn and his "sleazy billionaire sociopath" challenger. They also have a gubernatorial page here... 

And we called out another World's Biggest Asshole today, Iowa Congressman Steve King who we remember as the one who claimed that for every valedictorian among the Dreamers, there are 100 who have calves the size of cantaloupes from smuggling marijuana across the border. Yeah, that guy. He's back...

During a conference call last month with the National Emergency Coalition, Rep. Steve King said that the U.S. needs to crack down on immigration because our nation’s borders were established by God. Disrespecting the borders, the congressman suggested, is disrespecting God’s will.

He also blamed the child migrant crisis not on drug-war-related violence in Central America but on President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, or as he calls it, “deferred action for criminal aliens.”

- via

As if that wasn't enough, he went of Fox "news" Sunday to threaten impeachment if President Obama dares to issue another Executive Order dealing with the issue of immigration:

How we've managed to survive this long is beyond me!

A big show is on tap for tomorrow, with Congressman Alan Grayson joining in at the beginning of the show (so get here at 10ET sharp!), and @GottaLaff in hour two.. Radio or Not!

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Darkhorse Candidate Soars Into Lead In Kentucky Senate Race

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Gil FulbrightPhoto courtesy of Represent.Us

It's that time of year when campaign ads are starting to infiltrate and pollute our radio and TV viewing. Candidates sling accusations and innuendos causing more irritable bowel syndrome than the hash at the local greasy spoon. Isn't it time to take a serious look at how these campaign ads are put together and what they really say?

The people over at Represent.Us have done just that. They've chosen a candidate who's so real, so sure to garner a huge amount of votes with his write-in candidacy, that it could just spell disaster for Mitch McConnell.  This man, Gil Fulbright is so honest and sincere you just can't turn away. You will want to watch more than once. So go ahead -- check out Gil Fulbright (not affiliated with the similarly named scholarship), Phil Gulbright, or Phillip Mamouf-Wifarts. No matter what you call him, "Funny" is his middle name.

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Doonesbury snarkitude-- "Fox": If rumor "proves to be false, we STILL pass it on!"

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doonesbury snarkitude roland hedley fox lies

How do I love thee, Garry Trudeau? Let me count the ways: 1. Your snarkitude. 2. Your snarkitude about Fox. 3. Your snarkitude about Fox spreading lies and propaganda based on rumor and/or headlines of their own creation. 4. Your snarkitude as a vehicle for telling the truth. 5. Did I mention your snarkitude?

Bill Maher touched on all those Republican lies on his HBO show, "Real Time." You can watch the video of that segment here. He referred to the GOP habit of perpetuating provably false b.s. as "Zombie Lies." They keep schlepping around threatening real journalism and democracy itself, way after their apparent demise, influencing voters despite being utter fiction, figments of what's left of conservative minds (assuming they had minds to begin with).

zombie lies bill maher

Which brings us to Trudeau's "Doonesbury" strip, in which he brings journalist Roland Hedley back to skewer the Fox fact-mangling machine. Hedley welcomes us to another edition of "Inside Fox News" in which he reports about their "elite team of mongers" who "break rumors." And what rumors they are! He ticks off a list of memorable Fox lies from President Obama being Kenyan to the War on Christmas to "Islamic sleeper terrorist Bowe Bergdahl."

Take it away, Roland:

doonesbury fox lies roland hedley

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Maher: GOP "Zombie Lies won't stay dead." (VIDEO)

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zombie lies bill maher

On Real Time last night, Bill Maher's rant was a particularly good one, all about how the GOP perpetuates lies. He started out mocking (what else?) politicians in both parties and how they invented their own euphemism for lying: "I misspoke." He then went on to nail Republicans on one of their own rules: "When they get caught in a lie, they don't have to stop telling it," as opposed to Democrats, who are more apt to admit their lies and correct the record. Maher noted that Dems understand that "there's this thing called observable reality." Republican talking points, he continued, "which have been disproven, remain! Like a guest who's been asked to leave a party, but does not! It reminds me of a horror movie where you think you've killed the lie, but it won't stay dead. Which is why I call them "Zombie Lies."

He came up with a whole ballot box full of examples, such as the mythical Obamacare "job killer" (that didn't happen) and "death panels" (there were none), not to mention the big bad "government takeover" of health care (that never materialized). He brought up nearly as many Zombie Lies as the House GOP has ACA repeal bills. He slammed "trickle down" economic policies, fracking, you name it. Watch:

Take it away, Bill Maher:

Finally, New Rule: Now that there's been an uproar over all the neocons who lied about the Iraq war with no consequences, someone must tell me why there isn't a similar uproar over all the Republicans who lied about Obamacare with no consequences.

It's been four years since the bill passed. Has anybody come across even one death panel? The next liberal to tell a Republican "You’re entitled to an opinion but not your own facts" should really just admit they’ve never seen Fox News....

Zombie Lies are neither alive nor dead-- like Dick Cheney...

They pass a Zombie Lie down to dumber and dumber people who believe it more and more...

And when you think the Zombie Lie has finally gone to die at the Idea Hospice of the Absolutely Stupidest People on Earth, there it is being retweeted by Donald Trump.

bam

Big hat tip to Heather over at Crooks and Liars for the video.

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Maddow blasts conservative media for "bullpucky" headLIES, hypocrisy

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maddow show hooker line and sinker

Last night Rachel Maddow rightfully blasted the conservative "news" media for creating false headlines, spreading "bullpucky," inventing their own news, and indulging in the worst kind of self-serving hypocrisy and propaganda. Here is the entire segment, well worth a watch. Further down is a much shorter clip in which Maddow skillfully and effectively gets to the heart of the matter.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Maddow bullet pointed several scandals, including this one:

Hooker scandals are about as rare in politics as hot days in July. We have a lot of them. But just because we have them all the time... it doesn't mean that they're ever anything but awkward. But here, perhaps, is the mother of them all.

vitter pillVitter madame phone list

And then she documented the blatant hypocrisy of the right wing commentator who founded the conservative media outlet The Daily Caller, Tucker Carlson.

They [the conservative media] decided that Sen. David Vitter's history with hookers just wasn't a big deal. Nothing that we should 'bother' the Senator about. Tucker Carlson [said], "That's barely illegal."

Tuck compared that felony to "double parking." Yes. He said that. Just watch the video above, it's at about 16:20. He tossed that out just before he blurted out that "one out of three women" patronizing New Orleans restaurants was "for sale." And then he claimed he'd defend any Democrat as zealously as he defended Vitter. An equal opportunity defender of hooking up with hookers. What a guy.

Maddow's Moment of Mockitude followed:

Who among us has not paid a hooker for sex while serving in the United States Senate? Can't these people solicit hookers in peace without us bothering them?

But oops! Carlson's own Daily Caller called out Democratic Senator Bob Menendez for... guess what?

daily caller gop fail hypocrisy hooker scandal

Of course, the Daily Caller pushed the story hard, and before you know it, that paragon of accurate reporting, Fox, ran with it. And ran with it. And ran with it. Right before the 2012 election. Of course, the story turned out to be bogus, but hey, that never stops the liberal right wing media, now does it? Oh, and Menendez won the election.

As it turns out, the only time the GOP defends paying for sex is when their fellow Republicans engage. But the minute a Democrat gets caught with his pants down, fugetaboutit. All bets are off. Peddle that story. Sell it hard. Make it sound legit. Smear the opponent. Condemn the Dem.

Here is how Rachel Maddow ended the segment. It's a concise history of right wing "news" headlies. That's no typo, it isn't meant to read "headlines." It's headlies. Because that's what they sell, and that's what eager and/or willfully ignorant and/or gullible audiences buy.

The most pointed part of the Rachel Rant came at the end. Here's the clip:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Maddow:

...Bullpucky that has been invented by and for the conservative media who are happy to tell each other for years that this is news and not just stuff they made up. While the real media, and frankly the politicians who have to swim in that sewer, have to worry about this parallel track of paranoid, fake information, that traffics as news on the American political right, but that is disproven everywhere else outside their echo chamber...

It is one thing for us to be domestically inventing this stuff for ourselves. It's another thing for this weird, fake channel in our supposed news media to allegedly, at least, to become a conveyor belt to foreign countries' disinformation about U.S. government officials...

[This] has to do with our own intelligence as a nation and what the consequences are for all of us, of a conservative movement that has now spent a full generation telling people, telling Americans, "Do not trust the actual news," and to instead invent their own conservative version of it. And they did that. And this is where it got us.

And apparently, at least, Cuba, maybe, appears to be delighted with the results.

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GOP austerity bit GOP in their IRS scandal ass

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issa Via Jamal Said-Reuters IRS

Image via Jamal Said-Reuters

Here we go, another full-on assault by Darrrell Issa, BSer In Chief, a rabidly fixated man suffering from Hyperventilitis Uninterruptus in search of a scandal. A hypocritical, lying camera-hog who is escorting a rabidly fixated gang on a desperate hunt for grounds to impeach President Obama. Somehow. Somewhere. Anywhere, dammit. Watch out, IRS, you're back in the exploitation hot seat.

From everything that's been reported, there may indeed be problems with the agency, but the IRS witch hunt is unlikely to lead back to the White House. So much for that wet dream.

I ran across some of the contradictory news on the topic, starting with a Los Angeles Times editorial that included this sentence:

But rather than addressing that issue systematically, the IRS gave extra scrutiny mainly to tea party groups, often in inappropriate ways, an inspector general reported.

But back in April 2014, there was this Think Progress headline :

New Records: IRS Targeted Progressive Groups More Extensively Than Tea Party

L.A. Times, your thoughts?

failure to communicate

Speaking of the Times, here is an interesting tidbit that they reported in an IRS Scandal for Dummeez article:

So wasn’t there a backup?

There was, but the backup tapes were recycled after six months, Koskinen said, and the agency didn’t try to recover Lerner’s emails from the tapes at the time. Budget cuts left the IRS with aging computer systems that limited the size of employees' inboxes and lacked the capability to archive everybody’s emails, he said. The agency decided it couldn’t afford the estimated $10 million it would cost to upgrade the system, he added.

Apparently, the GOP obsession with austerity bit the obsessed GOP in their obsessed GOP ass. Yes, Republicans, budget cuts-- the ones you insist upon and covet so very much and so very LOUDLY-- were a factor in the Big IRS Scandal Version Something.0 that you may very well have helped to create.

Give yourselves a big pat on the back, Team Issa. Then go back to doing what you always do:

blame obama

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Bill Clinton Death Wish: To Die For Hillary

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EBKleinw264h212

Well, when you're an author with inside connections, you will sometimes shine a light on some amazing stories. And today was no exception over at Fox News. Among the highlights was an interview with author Ed Klein, reported on by Raw Story:

"An author who Fox News hosts insisted had “impeccable” sources told the network on Tuesday that former President Bill Clinton had considered using his own death to help Hillary Clinton win the presidency.

That's some pretty big news. Sourcing is important if you're going to make claims like that.

Host Steve Doocy reiterated that Klein’s “sources are impeccable,” and that he had even talked to the household help after one of the Obamas’ vacations at Martha’s Vineyard.

Talking to the household staff after a vacation stay does sound pretty impeccable. I'm sure the Clintons felt comfortable revealing everything to strangers who were making their beds and doing their dishes.

Let's dig a little deeper and take a look at Ed Klein's bona fides. He's a previous author on the Clintons with his 2005 book, The Truth About Hillary, which was panned by critics for being “poorly researched, poorly written, poorly sourced.”

In that explosive expose of a book, Klein suggested that Hillary Clinton was a lesbian and that she was raped by then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton (D) when they conceived their daughter Chelsea. Now you can see where the 'poorly researched, poorly written, poorly sourced' label comes from.

Letting you decide the accuracy of those claims, let's look at Klein's  latest revelations. First Bill Clinton, upon being told he has a progressive heart disease was actually quite happy on two fronts. First, he thought "progressive" meant liberal (the author's way of making a joke). But secondly he felt good about his passing because of what it could mean for Hillary.

“And he’s discussed with Hillary, according to people who were in the room with them when he did it, what would happen if he died,” Klein said. “What should Hillary do? And what is said is, ‘Hillary, you should put on widow’s weeds, dress in black, and it would be worth a couple of million votes.”

This is all too delicious just to read.You gotta see it to believe it. The most amazing thing to remember is that just yesterday the hosts had been skeptical of Klein's assertions. What turned them around? See for yourself:

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