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Wednesday, den 20. March 2013

Fox News contributor and Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson added to the ongoing Republican civil war by calling conservative nonprofits “parasites” on conservatism who have consumed “literally billions of dollars” and “achieved virtually nothing in the last thirty years.” Carlson also remarked, “If there’s a more useless group of people in the world, I’m not aware of it.”   Since Mitt Romney’s defeat last November, Republicans have been feuding among themselves over the future of the party and conservative ideals. The fight exploded when Karl Rove and his allies at American Crossroads announced plans to, in the words of  The New York Times , ”recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts.”  Conservative media figures conservative   groups  like  FreedomWorks  have hit Rove over the project

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Category: Articles, author, Breaking News, Economy, Elections, Environment, Feeds, Foreign Policy, Health, Iraq, Justice, Media, Media Matters, Politics, Science, Taxes, Video, War, Washington | Comments Off
Sunday, den 10. February 2013

During an appearance on Meet the Press Sunday morning, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) reiterated his new found openness to providing a pathway to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants who were brought into this country as children. When host David Gregory asked Cantor point blank whether or not he supported the DREAM Act — which “would offer a pathway to citizenship for undocumented young people who attend college or serve in the military” — Cantor avoided giving a direct answer.

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Category: author, Congress, Economy, Feeds, Health, Justice, LGBT, Media, Pennsylvania, Politics, ThinkProgress | Comments Off
Saturday, den 10. November 2012

In the wake of the Mitt Romney’s loss in the 2012 presidential election, Fox News personalities are urging the Republican Party to reach out to Latinos and immigrants. But these same figures have spewed anti-immigrant rhetoric for years

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Category: Articles, author, Deficit, Economy, Elections, Environment, Feeds, Foreign Policy, Health, House Speaker, Justice, Media, Media Matters, Republican Party, Science, Taxes, Video, War | Comments Off
Tuesday, den 30. October 2012

As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the east coast, Breitbart.com is reporting  that President Obama’s “proposal for the upcoming budget sequester would cut nearly $900 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, including disaster relief, food and shelter, and flood management at both the federal and state levels.” This is absolutely false: the  report  they characterize as the White House’s “sequester proposal” is actually a legally required estimate of how scheduled automatic budget cuts will impact discretionary spending, and inveighs strongly  against  allowing those cuts to take effect.  The debt-limit deal passed in 2011 (with the support of  over two-thirds  of House Republicans, including GOP vice presidential candidate  Paul Ryan ) required both parties to find a way to cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion, or face  steep, automatic cuts across the board  starting in January 2013 — the sequester. On August 7, President Obama signed into law the  Sequester Transparency Act , which required the White House to “submit to Congress a detailed report on the sequestration” that provides “an estimate for each category of the sequestration percentages and amounts necessary to achieve the required reduction.” The White House Office of Management and Budget released that report in September

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Category: Articles, author, Breaking News, CNN, Congress, debt limit, Deficit, Economy, Elections, Environment, Feeds, Foreign Policy, Global Warming, Health, Justice, Media, Media Matters, Politics, Science, Slate, Video, War, Washington, White House, Yglesias | Comments Off
Wednesday, den 19. September 2012

Following up on their model policy to ensure ongoing bullying of LGBT students , Focus on the Family and Alliance Defending Freedom have released new model legislation about “ parents’ rights .” Much of the access they seek for parents greatly endangers children and deprives them the opportunity to learn about their own identities and the world around them. Here is the risky access these anti-gay groups seek for parents: The right to be notified if courses teach sex education, family planning, homosexual themes, diversity issues, and extreme violence

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Category: author, Congress, Economy, Feeds, Health, Justice, LGBT, Marriage Equality, Media, Science, ThinkProgress, Tweets, United Nations, War | Comments Off
Friday, den 31. August 2012

On Friday, Fox & Friends asked Ann Romney if it was difficult for the couple to turn down a $30 million job offer after Mitt lost the 2008 presidential nomination.

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Category: author, Economy, Feeds, Health, Justice, LGBT, Media, Politics, Science, The Nation, ThinkProgress, Tweets, Video, War | Comments Off
Friday, den 31. August 2012

Gina Rinehart, the world’s richest woman. According to the world’s richest woman , low-income people are only poor because they don’t work hard enough , and because the government has coddled them with a minimum wage that is too high. Australian Gina Rinehart, who inherited her $30 billion fortune, said, “If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain.

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Category: Articles, author, Economy, Feeds, Health, Justice, LGBT, Media, Science, Taxes, ThinkProgress, Tweets | Comments Off
Saturday, den 25. August 2012

By Roger Bybee, March 2011 issue How the New Republican Budget Chair Wrecked His District and Rose to Power.

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Category: Africa, Articles, author, Congress, Deficit, director, Economics, Economy, Feeds, Health, Media, Medicare, Peace, Politics, Social Security, Taxes, The Nation, the progressive, Video, War, Washington | Comments Off
Friday, den 24. August 2012

Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) FORT GARLAND, Colorado — Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) doesn’t have 99 problems, but the government allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health care plans is one

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Category: author, Congress, Economy, Feeds, Health, Justice, LGBT, Media, Medicare, Planned Parenthood, Science, ThinkProgress, Tweets | Comments Off
Wednesday, den 8. August 2012

A cute strawberry themed craft you and your kids will love.

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Tuesday, den 7. August 2012

The Illinois Family Institute, an anti-gay hate group , wants to make sure kids are kept in the most sheltered environments possible, free from any hint that being LGBT might be okay.

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Category: author, Economy, Environment, Feeds, Health, Justice, LGBT, Marriage Equality, Media, Politics, ThinkProgress, Tweets, War | Comments Off
Sunday, den 5. August 2012

By Cara Maresca Former NBC anchor Campbell Brown writes in a recent Wall Street Journal column that teachers unions are going to bat for sexual predators. This morning she stopped by the show to explain why. Brown ..

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Category: author, Feeds, Harry Reid, Headlines, Media, politico, Politics, SPONSOR, Taxes, Tweets, Video, White House | Comments Off
Tuesday, den 24. July 2012

America treats sex, not violence, as the biggest threat to families and the nation.

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Category: Alternet, author, Congress, director, Economy, Environment, Feeds, Foreign Policy, Headlines, Health, Justice, Media, Pentagon, Politics, The Nation, Video, War, Washington | Comments Off
Friday, den 22. June 2012

Hearts, stars, horseshoes, clovers, and boycotts — and no rainbows. Minnesota for Marriage has become a bitter Betty Crocker and is not cuckoo for General Mills’ opposition to the marriage inequality amendment. In an email to supporters today, the group has pledged to hold “ Dump General Mills rallies ” across from the company’s headquarters for four days next week

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Category: author, Economy, Feeds, Health, Justice, LGBT, Marriage Equality, Media, The Nation, ThinkProgress, Tweets | Comments Off
Wednesday, den 6. June 2012

This week, National Rifle Association president David Keene will moderate a “conservative conversation” at the Chicago Conservative Political Action Conference with NRA board member Maria Heil, Illinois State Rifle Association executive director Richard Pearson, and Wisconsin Tea Party figure Kimberly Jo Simac. Keene and the panelists all have a history of extreme and conspiratorial rhetoric. NRA’s Keene To Lead “Conservative Conversation” About Second Amendment At Chicago CPAC Keene Will Moderate A Panel With Gun Activists On “The Liberal’s Shadow War On Second Amendment.”  From the Chicago CPAC schedule: [From the CPAC Chicago schedule, accessed 6/5/12] MODERATOR DAVID KEENE, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION Keene Believes That Obama Is Involved In A Scheme To End Private Gun Ownership  Keene: Obama Supports Plan To “Severely Restrict Or Eliminate Our Second Amendment Rights.”  From a column by Keene in the January 2012 edition of the NRA’s  America’s 1 st  Freedom  magazine: This is a president who has signaled to the international anti-gun community that the United Nations should go ahead with its plan to develop a treaty that could severely restrict or eliminate our Second Amendment rights. [National Rifle Association, retrieved  6/4/12 ]  Keene: Gun Violence Prevention Advocates Developing “A Treaty That Could Destroy Private Gun Ownership In This Country.”  From a column by Keene in the September 2011 edition of the NRA’s  America’s 1 st  Freedom  magazine: As I write this, the United Nations has begun negotiating what many of its member states and supporters hope will be a comprehensive international treaty to regulate the trade in–and in many cases the private ownership of–small arms. Gun control advocates from this country have joined literally hundreds of like-minded Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to work with international anti-gun delegates to develop a treaty that could destroy private gun ownership in this country in spite of our Second Amendment. [National Rifle Association, retrieved  6/4/12 ] At NRA’s 2011 Annual Meeting, Keene Said Obama Administration “Would Take Our Guns If They Could.”  From an April 30, 2011 speech: KEENE: The future is fraught with danger. Our political, cultural and ideological enemies are as determined to defeat us as ever, even if we force them to change their tactics. In Barack Obama we have a president who is more opposed to gun ownership than any in our history, and who still believes he will prevail. He’s used every excuse to seek support for gun control measures. His team at the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms is harassing dealers and he has signaled the United Nations that his administration may look favorably on a treaty that would weaken or gut our Second Amendment. And most importantly he is fairly drooling at the prospect of another Supreme Court vacancy so that he can appoint someone who will empower liberals on the court to rewrite the Constitution and the Bill of Rights withouta Second Amendment. Make no mistake about it, Barack Obama, his minions in the Justice Department, his allies in the Congress, and his friends in the media would take our guns if they could, and they will if they can. [National Rifle Association,  4/30/11 ]  MARIA HEIL, NRA BOARD MEMBER Heil Called United Nations ”A Threat To The United States” Heil: “Now Is A Very Important Time Because We Have A Threat To The United States Of America And That Threat Is The United Nations.”  From a video released by Freedom Armory shooting range on October 3, 2011:   HEIL: Now is a very important time because we have a threat to the United States of America and that threat is the United Nations. And they have the Small Arms Treaty coming up.   It is actually an attack on our Second Amendment rights. And once they shred that they are going to be shredding the rest of the Constitution. [Freedom Armory,  10/3/11 ] Heil Advocated Extreme Gun Agenda On C-SPAN Heil: “Background Checks, I Can See Their Point, But It Is An Infringement.”  From a July 29, 2000 interview with C-SPAN: SUSAN SWAIN [C-SPAN HOST]: Does Second Amendment Sisters oppose any sort of proposals that have surfaced in recent years such as three day waiting periods, national reporting systems. Do you see any of those as infringement of Second Amendment rights? HEIL: Yes, they are, because actually, three day waiting period, if a woman is being stalked? She needs that firearm now, if she’s never owned one before. We advocate safety education, of course. But three day waiting period can kill people. It’s simple as that, it can kill people. SWAIN: How about national reporting systems? HEIL: How do you mean, you mean registration? SWAIN: Well, there have been requirements suggested that one must check on backgrounds before gun purchases can be allowed. HEIL: There are background checks, currently. SWAIN: Do you believe that’s an infringment?  HEIL: If it delays getting the gun or if there is a problem with the system being down–which it has been down quite a bit–yes it is an infringement then. And background checks, I can see their point, but it is an infringement. And if someone has a concealed carry permit, they have passed a background check already. [C-SPAN,  7/29/00 ]  Heil: The Second Amendment Is A “Threat To Keep The Government In Line.”  From a July 29, 2000 interview with C-SPAN: CALLER: I was calling because I’m not a hunter or sportsman in any way, but the reason why this attack on the Second Amendment has to be stopped is because the government failed to protect its citizenry against a known liar and a contempter of court Bill Clinton, and Al Gore, who said he would go down as one of the great presidents of U.S. history. Our senators failed miserably to uphold the law and order and justice and revealed both themselves as corrupt and the man whom they were protecting. SUSAN SWAIN [C-SPAN HOST]: Well where’s the linkage with this and with gun issues? CALLER: How does this link with gun issues? Because the government showed that it was failing to protect its citizenry. We need the Second Amendment more than ever now. When the government shows by the senators and the congressmen – or the congressman passed the impeachment trial over to the Senate – and then the senators, they said that the president basically was above the law. He had 33 senators in his pocket and he had more than that, that he was allowed to do whatever he wanted. It was a breakdown in the system. We were not protected. We need the Second Amendment more than ever. SWAIN: Okay, thank you. Maria Heil? HEIL: What the Second Amendment does, first of all the entire Bill of Rights protects all of our rights whether they are enumerated there or not. What the Second Amendment does, it protects us from a corrupt government. And everybody needs to realize that. It’s the threat–if you want to call it that–it’s the threat to keep the government in line. [C-SPAN,  7/29/00 ]  RICHARD PEARSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ILLINOIS STATE RIFLE ASSOCIATION Pearson Called Obama “An Enemy Of The Law Abiding Firearm Owner” And “A Friend To The Hardened Criminal” Pearson: Obama Is “An Enemy Of The Law Abiding Firearm Owner” Who “Is More Than Willing To Use Other People’s Money To Fund His Campaign To Take Your Guns Away From You.”  From an October 15, 2008, letter published by the Illinois State Rifle Association: Without a doubt, Barack Obama has proven himself to be an enemy of the law abiding firearm owner. At the same time, Obama has proven himself to be a friend to the hardened criminal. While a state senator, Obama voted 4 times against legislation that would allow a homeowner to use a firearm in defense of home and family. Obama has shown that he is more than willing to use other people’s money to fund his campaign to take your guns away from you. While a board member of the leftist Joyce Foundation, Barack Obama wrote checks for tens of millions of dollars to extremist gun control organizations such as the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence and the Violence Policy Center. In closing, I’d like to remind you that I’m a guy who has actually gone nose to nose with Obama on gun rights issues. The Obama I know cannot even begin to identify with this nation’s outdoor traditions. The Obama I know sees you, the law abiding gun owner, as nothing but a low-class lummox who is easily swayed by the flash of a smile and a ration of rosy rhetoric.  The Obama I know is a stony-faced liar who has honed his skill at getting what he wants – so long as people are willing to give it to him.  [Illinois State Rifle Association,  10/15/08 , emphasis added] Pearson Promoted ”One-World Government” United Nations Conspiracy Theory Pearson: “The Goal Of The U.N. Is To Strip Our Second Amendment Rights Away.”  From a June 23, 2006, column published by the Illinois State Rifle Association: The goal of the UN is to strip our Second Amendment rights away, have all civilian owned firearms registered with a UN registry, and, ultimately, to confiscate our firearms.  The UN’s aspiration is a one-world government that is free of firearms . Sadly, some American politicians are all for the gun ban, but fortunately, we know who they are. Some say it will never happen here, but let’s suppose Hillary Clinton gets elected President and she nominates hubby Bill Clinton as UN Secretary General; the UN would then have an American anti-gun Secretary General who is protected by the US Secret Service. Secretary General would lead the charge against the rights of US citizens, while those very citizens are paying for his protection. The UN is the first worldwide government-supported criminal organization that claims to exist only to fight tyranny throughout the world, when in fact IT is the most tyrannical organization in existence.  “I’m from the UN and I’m here to destroy your Constitutional rights as American citizens,” should be the slogan of the UN . [Illinois State Rifle Association,  6/23/06 , emphasis added]   KIMBERLY JO SIMAC, AUTHOR OF  WITH MY RIFLE BY MY SIDE: A SECOND AMENDMENT LESSON Simac Cited “Indoctrination” As Reason To Write Book That Teaches Children About Guns Simac: “If America Is To Persist, We Must Stop Indoctrination So Contrary To The Beliefs Passed Down To Us.”  From the introduction of  With My Rifle By My Side: A Second Amendment Lesson,  posted at the publisher’s website: The “Right to Bear Arms” is a Constitutional right embodied in the Second Amendment. It is a fundamental link to the heritage left to us by our nation’s Founders. With My Rifle by My Side is a story that conveys this right to children and teaches the honor and responsibility that come with the ownership and handling of guns. If America is to persist, we must stop indoctrination so contrary to the beliefs passed down to us. It is our duty and responsibility to defend the ideals and principles that our Constitution was founded upon and restore the link to our heritage. [ With My Rifle By My Side: A Second Amendment Lesson ,  6/18/10 ] Simac Compared Public Schools To Conditions In Nazi Germany On Tea Party Website, Simac Reportedly Likened The Public School System To “What Actually Happened By The Regime Of The Nazi’s [sic] In The Past.”  According to a July 26, 2011 Talking Points Memo article, Simac appeared to post incendiary comments (which were subsequently deleted) about the public school system to a tea party website in 2010. Simac’s post, as reported by TPM: I am done raising my kids but if I was a young parent today I would take my kids out of the public school system today. At what point will we stop talking about the comparisons to what is occurring today and what actually happened by the regime of the Nazi’s in the past?… Take the commercial that Glenn Beck showed from British Progressives that explains to little children that if they do not listen to their teachers recommendations on subjects such as carbon emissions, they could have their heads blown off. Add to that Kindergarten Sex Ed classes and I really wonder how it is American parents smile and kiss their children good bye every morning and in good conscience hand their most precious resource over to the hands of such questionable people. [Talking Points Memo,  7/26/11 ] 

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Category: author, Barack Obama, Congress, director, Economy, Feeds, Justice, Media, Media Matters, Science, talking points memo, The Nation, United Nations, Video, War, Washington | Comments Off
Sunday, den 3. June 2012

Another school is trying to “protect” kids from learning that some families have two moms or two dads, a lesson that some parents feel they need to consent to. At Davis County School District in Utah, a whopping 25 parents petitioned the board of librarians arguing that the book “In Our Mothers’ House” should not be publicly available to kindergartners. The book was not outright banned, but will be kept behind the librarian’s desk and must be specifically requested. Fox 13 reached out to the book’s author, Patricia Polacco, for comment. She described what once happened during a classroom visit that inspired her to write the book: POLACCO: What if you are raising a gay child and the child doesn’t know they’re gay and all they’ve heard is derision and criticism for that way of life? One little girl stood up, started to read about her family, and was immediately stopped actually by an aide — not the teacher, I think the teacher had left the room — [who] said “Oh no, Virginia, you don’t come from a real family. Sit down.” That little girl actually came to me at the end of the day sobbing and said, “Mrs. Polacco, are you ever going to write about us? About families like us?” And I said, “You know, I promise you I will.” Listen to it: In situations like both this one and the Illinois school discussed earlier today, it’s important to note that there is nothing to substantiate claims that kids are incapable of understanding diverse families. The problem is that the parents are uncomfortable answering questions about the existence of same-sex couples. This raises the question: How do these families respond when their kids’ classmates have same-sex parents?

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Thursday, den 31. May 2012

Right on cue, the American Family Association’s One Million Moms has expressed outrage at JCPenney’s new Father’s Day advertisement featuring a same-sex couple with their kids. Suggesting the ad is “promoting sin,” OMM attacks the store for “taking sides” instead of remaining “neutral” in the “culture war”: One Million Moms (OMM) is disturbed that JCPenney’s (JCP) is continuing down the same path of promoting sin in their advertisements . In JCP’s June catalog, there is another homosexual ad, but this time with two dads celebrating Father’s Day. The advertising booklet began arriving in mailboxes yesterday. If their marketing department follows the same plan they did in May, this mailer will be available to view on their website on June 1. It is obvious that JCP would rather take sides than remain neutral in the culture war. JCP will hear from the other side so they need to hear from us as well. Our persistence will pay off! One day we will answer for our actions or lack of them. We must remain diligent and stand up for Biblical values and truth. Scripture says multiple times that homosexuality is wrong, and God will not tolerate this sinful nature . OMM previously attempted to boycott JCPenney when the store announced Ellen DeGeneres would be its new spokesperson, but they abandoned that boycott as a failure. There’s nothing to suggest this second effort will be end any differently. It’s worth noting that OMM’s notion of “neutrality” is complete fiction. Same-sex families are very much a part of our society and our communities. There is nothing neutral about choosing to ignore them. One Million Moms is an anti-gay organization with an anti-gay agenda, and they clearly oppose any business that even dares acknowledge that gay people exist, let alone that they could be welcome customers.

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Thursday, den 31. May 2012

Fox is helping the GOP eviscerate vital antipoverty programs by characterizing the poor “as actually living the good life.” In fact, as incomes have stagnated and income disparity between the rich and working class have grown, such drastic cuts would mean “ending assistance for millions of low-income families.” Antipoverty Programs Keep Millions Out Of Poverty USDA: Food Stamp Benefits Led To “Average Decline Of 4.4 Percent In The Prevalence Of Poverty” Between 2000 and 2009. A U.S. Department of Agriculture study, “Alleviating Poverty in the United States: The Critical Role of SNAP Benefits,” explored how the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) affected “poverty from 2000 to 2009.” The study found “an average decline of 4.4 percent in the prevalence of poverty due to SNAP benefits, while the average decline in the depth and severity of poverty was 10.3 and 13.2 percent, respectively.” [U.S. Department of Agriculture, accessed 4/17/12 ] Study: Food Stamps’ “Antipoverty Effect Was Strongest In 2009, When Benefit Increases Were Authorized By … The Stimulus Package.” A summary of the study also stated: SNAP’s antipoverty effect was strongest in 2009, when benefit increases were authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), also known as the stimulus package. In 2009, SNAP benefits: Reduced the depth of child poverty by 20.9 percent and the severity of child poverty by 27.5 percent. Ensured that the depth and severity of poverty in the overall population increased only slightly from their 2008 levels despite worsening economic conditions. [U.S. Department of Agriculture, April 2012 ] Economist Len Burman: “Anti-Poverty Programs Actually Reduce Poverty.” In his Forbes column, economist Len Burman wrote: [A]nti-poverty programs actually reduce poverty. The EITC [Earned Income Tax Credit] does more to reduce poverty than any other cash assistance program, reducing the number of people in poverty by over 6 million (and 3 million kids). Food stamps come in a close second, at 5 million. The other subsidies are all under 3 million. Payroll taxes (FICA) and work expenses (primarily childcare) both add to the economic hardship of low-income people, each adding 4-5 million people to the poverty rolls. But the biggest hit to the economic well-being of the poor comes from unreimbursed medical expenses, which add a whopping 10 million people to the total. This suggests that health reform could have a very significant effect on the poverty rate — by expanding access to Medicaid and private health insurance for the poor and near poor and by closing the “donut hole” in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage. [Forbes, 11/7/11 ] CBPP: “Government Programs Kept Millions Out Of Poverty In 2010.” From Robert Greenstein, founder and president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Though grim in many respects, the Census data released this morning show that poverty and hardship would have been far worse in 2010 if not for key programs such as unemployment insurance, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), food stamps, and Medicaid.  The new figures send a powerful message to policymakers as they consider major changes in these programs this fall. Unemployment insurance kept 3.2 million people above the poverty line in 2010.  The official poverty measure doesn’t count the EITC or SNAP (food stamp) benefits as income, but the Census Bureau reported that if they were counted, as many analysts favor, they would be shown to lift out of poverty 5.4 million and 3.9 million people, respectively (see graph). History shows that deficit reduction can go hand-in-hand with protecting those on the lower rungs of the income scale and even with stronger policies for low-income families.  The three major federal deficit-reduction packages of the last two decades — those in 1990, 1993, and 1997 — actually reduced poverty and inequality, even as they shrank deficits substantially, by shielding core low-income assistance programs as well as through such measures as expanding the EITC. If policymakers instead impose significant cuts in programs for those at the bottom of the income ladder, it will have a strong and negative effect on the extent and depth of poverty in coming years and decades. CBPP included this graph to illustrate its findings: [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 9/13/11 ] Incomes At The Bottom Have Shown Almost No Growth In Decades CBPP: “The Era Of Shared Prosperity Ended In The 1970s.” From a CBPP report: Census family income data show that the era of shared prosperity ended in the 1970s and illustrate the divergence in income that has emerged since that time. CBO data allow us to look at what has happened to comprehensive income since 1979 — both before and after taxes — and offer a better view of what has happened at the top of the distribution. As Figure 2 shows, between 1979 and 2007, average income after taxes in the top 1 percent of the distribution rose 277 percent, meaning that it nearly quadrupled. That compares with increases of about 40 percent in the middle 60 percent of the distribution and 18 percent in the bottom fifth. The report included this graph: [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/5/12 ] CBPP: In The 1970s, “Income Disparities Began To Widen, With Income Growing Much Faster At The Top Of The Ladder Than In The Middle Or Bottom.” From the CBPP: Census family income data show that from the late 1940s to the early 1970s, incomes across the income distribution grew at nearly the same pace. Figure 1 indexes the level of income at several points on the distribution to its 1973 level. It shows that real (inflation-adjusted) family income roughly doubled over that period at the 95th percentile (the level of income separating the 5 percent of families with the highest income from the remaining 95 percent), the median (the level of income separating the richer half of families from the poorer half), and the 20th percentile (the level of income separating the poorest fifth of families from the remaining 80 percent). Beginning in the 1970s, income disparities began to widen, with income growing much faster at the top of the ladder than in the middle or bottom.  The report included this graph: [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/5/12 ] For more on incomes and income disparity, click here Yet Fox Insists On Dismissing The Hardship Of Living In Poverty The O’Reilly Factor Promo: “John Stossel Says America’s Poor Are Actually Living The Good Life.” A Fox News promotional spot for an episode of The O’Reilly Factor teased an appearance by John Stossel to claim that “America’s poor are actually living the good life.” [Fox News, 5/30/12] Fox’s Stossel: “This Idea” That Poverty Is “A Horrible, Growing Crisis Is Just A Lie.”  On Fox & Friends , Fox Business host John Stossel claimed that “the poor are not the same people” they were in previous decades and that the “idea” that poverty is “a horrible, growing crisis is just a lie”: STOSSEL: There’s this myth that the poor have gotten poorer; it’s not true. Also, the poor are not the same people. Oprah Winfrey was once on welfare, and now she’s one of the richest people in the world. There still is income mobility in America. I’m not — if you are mentally ill, if you’re in a shelter, you can have a really tough life. I don’t mean to make light of that. But this idea that government can fix it, and it’s a horrible growing crisis, is just a lie. [Fox News,  Fox & Friends ,  5/24/12 via Media Matters ] Fox’s Michael Goodwin: The “Sense Of Shame Is Gone” In Receiving Government Assistance. Discussing his column about fingerprinting food stamp applicants, Fox contributor Michael Goodwin lamented that “the sense of shame is gone” from people who depend on “entitlements” like “food stamps”: GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): Are too many Americans avoiding work to collect welfare? Well, check this out. Just last year, 45 million Americans received food stamps. That’s a 70 percent increase since President Obama took office. So you have to wonder: Are entitlements the new American dream. Joining me now, Michael Goodwin, Fox News contributor and columnist for the New York Post. You know, I almost get a stomach ache saying that becausee when you think of the American dream, you certainly don’t think about handouts, but is that what we’re becoming? GOODWIN: Well, it’s interesting. The thing I write about in here is the idea that shame used to be part of this. In other words, people didn’t want to accept a handout because they were ashamed to do it. There was a kind of social contract that said you don’t do it. You’re independent, you’re reliant. That was part of the American founding virtue, as Charles Murray calls them. And yet now we look at them, we see this explosion of entitlements. The sense of shame is gone. So I focus this week on food stamps, which I think is a real cultural issue, because it’s now 47 million people in the country are on food stamps. [Fox News, Fox & Friends , 5/21/12 via Media Matters ] Fox’s Greg Gutfeld On Chef Mario Batali Attempting To Feed His Family On SNAP Budget: “Does This Make You Want To Slap Him Around?” When Chef Mario Batali chose to highlight the problem of food insecurity by feeding his family for a week on the monetary equivalent of what a family of four would receive on SNAP assistance, Fox co-host Greg Gutfeld mocked him and asked his guest, “Does this make you want to slap him around?” [Fox News, Red Eye , 5/16/12 via Media Matters ] Fox’s Stuart Varney Attacks Earned Income Tax Credit: “It’s Free Money. Literally Pennies From Heaven.” During a segment on Fox & Friends called “Who’s ruining the economy,” Fox Business host Stuart Varney attacked the Earned Income Tax Credit that benefits working class Americans as “free money”: VARNEY: OK. You work, you don’t pay much in tax, if anything. You don’t earn much money. But bingo, you get into this program, and you will get a check from the government early in the year. It’s a refund of the tax that you didn’t pay in the first place — 26,800,000 people got those checks last year, averaging $2,240 each. The government shelled out a total of $59-and-a-half-billion to those 26 million people last year. It’s free money. Literally pennies from heaven. And now you have the government saying, hey, you may qualify. Come on in. We got a check for you. [Fox News, Fox & Friends , 4/11/12 via Media Matters ] Fox’s Varney Claimed Food Stamp Assistance Creates “An Entitlement Nation.” On Fox & Friends , Varney asked if we can afford to “reach out and give people food” and claimed that food stamp coverage leads to “an entitlement nation”: VARNEY: [C]an we afford this? We’ve got a trillion dollar deficit every year as far as the eye can see. But we want to reach out and give people food. VARNEY: — therefore you are entitled. Now, do you want an entitlement nation? Newt Gingrich said” this is the food stamp president.” Is this an entitlement nation? Where the government goes out and says “Hey, you’re entitled to this. You should have it. It will make you feel good. And by the way, when we give you this, maybe you’ll vote for us because we’re giving you something.” VARNEY: I don’t wish to be harsh, but we do have 46 million Americans on food stamps right now. That was as of December of last year. Twenty-two million households. That’s up by half since President Obama came to office in January of ’09. STEVE DOOCY (co-host): Shows you how bad the economy is. VARNEY: I mean, are you happy with this? I mean, do you want this vast expansion of another entitlement program? Do you want the government to outreach and say, “Come on in, we got the money. We got the food. You’re entitled. Go get it.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends,  3/15/12 , via  Media Matters ] Fox’s Hannity: Appliance Ownership Shows That “Poor In America Is Not Poor Like Around The Rest Of The World.” Discussing poverty with Donald Trump, Fox News host Sean Hannity downplayed the hardship of poverty by pointing to appliance ownership and access to basic facilitites: HANNITY: As bad as a neighborhood as some of these neighborhoods are, people have running water and plumbing, and they have kitchens, and they have microwaves and big screen TVs, and stereos, and most people have cars. They may not be brand new cars, but they’re cars.  HANNITY: So, poor in America is not poor like around the rest of the world. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show , 12/5/11 via Media Matters ] Click here to see more examples of Fox downplaying poverty in America GOP Budget Would Reduce Funding To Programs That Assist Millions Of Working Class Americans, Children, Elderly CBPP: Ryan Gets 62 Percent Of His Budget Cuts From Programs For Lower-Income Americans. In a March 23 report, CBPP found that the GOP budget “would get at least 62 percent of its $5.3 trillion in nondefense budget cuts over ten years (relative to a continuation of current policies) from programs that serve people of limited means”: Total cuts in low-income programs (including cuts in both discretionary and entitlement programs) appear likely to account for at least $3.3 trillion — or 62 percent — of Chairman Ryan’s total budget cuts, and probably significantly more than that; as explained below, our assumptions regarding the size of the low-income cuts are conservative. CBPP illustrated its findings with this graph: [CBPP, 3/23/12 ] CBPP: Under GOP Budget, 46 Million Americans Would Either Lose SNAP Benefits Or See Benefits Cut. In a report detailing how the House budget would affect low- and moderate-income American households, the CBPP stated: The House legislation contains an array of cuts covering a swath of basic assistance programs. Several of these cuts stand out. SNAP . Charged with finding $33 billion in savings, the House Agriculture Committee elected to exceed its target and to cut SNAP by $36 billion while shielding all other programs in its jurisdiction. Despite calls from across the political spectrum for reforming farm subsidies — three-quarters of which go to the largest, most profitable farms, according to Agriculture Department data — the committee declined to take a single dollar from farm subsidies.   The SNAP cuts would reduce or eliminate benefits for all SNAP households, including the poorest, the very old, and the disabled. Two million people, disproportionately people in low-income working families and the elderly, would lose SNAP benefits entirely. The other 44 million individuals receiving SNAP assistance would see their benefits cut. Every family of four receiving SNAP assistance would face a benefit cut of $57 a month this September. The legislation also would cut federal funding by 72 percent for the SNAP employment and training program — which helps jobless SNAP recipients find work — thereby making it harder for these people to obtain jobs. In addition, the SNAP cuts in the House package would cause 200,000 low-income children to lose free school meals, the Congressional Budget Office estimates, because of interactions between SNAP and the school lunch program. [CBPP, 5/10/12 ] CBPP: GOP Budget Would Eliminate Social Programs That Help Working Mothers, Address Child Abuse, And Provide Health Care For Elderly And Disabled. From the CBPP: Social Services . The bill would terminate the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG), producing $17 billion in savings over ten years. The current block grant, established under President Reagan, provides $1.7 billion a year to states primarily to: 1) help people become more self-sufficient, especially by providing child care assistance to low-income working mothers; 2) prevent and address child abuse and provide adoption services; and 3) provide community-based care for frail elderly and disabled people so they can remain in their homes rather than being placed in institutions. About 23 million people, half of them children, receive services that SSBG supports. The services that SSBG funds are focused heavily on low- and moderate-income families and communities. House leaders’ claim that SSBG duplicates other programs does not withstand scrutiny. The Government Accountability Office’s (GAO’s) recent comprehensive survey of duplication and overlap in the federal government makes no mention of any duplication related to SSBG. In fact, the GAO report’s sole mention of SSBG comes when the GAO points out that there is insufficient funding to provide child care assistance to all low-income working families that qualify for it, even with several federal funding streams supporting child care. Only one in six eligible low-income working families receives any federally supported child care assistance, according to Department of Health and Human Services data. Eliminating SSBG would worsen that shortage. It also would make it more difficult for many vulnerable elderly and disabled people to remain in their homes.   CBPP included this graph to illustrate its findings: [CBPP, 5/10/12 ; 5/3/12 ] CBPP: Under GOP Budget, About 350,000 Working Class Households Would Be Unable To Afford Health Insurance. From the CBPP: Health Insurance . The legislation would scale back the support that many near-poor and modest-income families and individuals would receive under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to help them purchase insurance in the new health insurance exchanges. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates these changes would cause 350,000 people to forgo coverage. The changes would also make it more difficult for the insurance exchanges to function effectively. Specifically, the legislation would substantially increase the repayment charges imposed at tax time on many people who have received subsidies to help them afford coverage during months of the year when their incomes are low but whose incomes increase later in the year because they have obtained a job, gotten a promotion, gotten married, or for other reasons. As a result, many people who are unemployed and receive subsidies for part of the year, but then find a job with employer coverage and cease receiving subsidies — as well as many people who get subsidies but then get married and join their spouse’s plan — would owe the IRS thousands of dollars at the end of the year.   For example, consider a low-wage mother with two children whose earnings equal 150 percent of the poverty line (a little over $28,500 in today’s dollars and using today’s poverty line) who receives subsidies to buy insurance for the first nine months of the year but gets married at the end of September, enrolls in coverage through her husband’s plan, and stops receiving subsidies. Under the House bill, if the married couple’s combined income for the year equaled a little over 350 percent of the poverty line, the couple would be required to pay the IRS almost $5,000 when it filed its tax return. [CBPP, 5/10/12 ] Krugman: GOP Budget “Slashes Taxes For Corporations And The Rich While Drastically Cutting Food And Medical Aid To The Needy.” In his April 1 New York Times column, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman wrote: [O]n Thursday Republicans in the House of Representatives passed what was surely the most fraudulent budget in American history. When I say fraudulent, I mean just that. The trouble with the budget devised by Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, isn’t just its almost inconceivably cruel priorities, the way it slashes taxes for corporations and the rich while drastically cutting food and medical aid to the needy. Even aside from all that, the Ryan budget purports to reduce the deficit — but the alleged deficit reduction depends on the completely unsupported assertion that trillions of dollars in revenue can be found by closing tax loopholes.[ The New York Times , 4/1/12 ] NEA: Ryan Budget Would Force About 200,000 Children Out Of Head Start Program In 2014. As the Huffington Post reported, the National Education Association found that the projected cuts in the Ryan budget would force about 200,000 children out of Head Start in 2014, and affect more than 2 million children over the next decade: The plan, proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who chairs the House Budget Committee, would eliminate slots for about 200,000 children in 2014, according to an analysis by the National Education Association. Over the next decade, the NEA estimates, more than two million children would lose opportunities to attend Head Start centers as a result of the cuts. As it stands, only 30 percent of eligible children participate in the program, but children’s advocates tend to argue that the program should be expanded, not diminished. [The Huffington Post, 3/29/12 ; National Education Association, 3/26/12 ] To find out more about how the GOP budget would adversely affect working class Americans, click here

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Category: Affordable Care Act, agriculture, author, Congress, Deficit, Economics, Economy, Feeds, Health, huffington post, Media, Media Matters, Medicare, Paul Krugman, Planned Parenthood, politico, Republican Party, Social Security, Taxes, The Nation, Video, War, White House | Comments Off
Saturday, den 19. May 2012

For conservatives, it never gets old. It’s 2012 and Obama’s dedicated media foes are still writing about his possible foreign birthplace.   But now, in a confusing twist, conservatives are demanding the mainstream press pay great attention to the latest Kenya-related blip-of-a-revelation , that a 21-year-old publishing pamphlet not meant for public distribution erroneously claimed that Obama had been born in Kenya. (The author of the pamphlet insists it was a simple mistake .) One Breitbart blogger is now insisting that the press take this story very, very seriously and follow it up with detailed reports. And if journalists don’t, well, that’s just proof that the liberal media is covering for Obama. Please note that up until very recently, conservatives were making the exact opposite claim. You’ll recall that birtherism, according to some right-wing pundits, was a liberal media conspiracy and the only reason the story lived on was because the Obama-loving press wouldn’t stop writing about it in hopes of making the president’s opponents look like ” right-wing nutjob kooks .”  (Hint: They didn’t need any help .) The claim, of course, was pure fiction. Last year, it was Fox News that went all-in on the birther story and gave Donald Trump a national platform to embarrass himself with his birth certificate expedition.   Nonetheless, right-wing commentators were in heated agreement : Talk of Obama’s birthplace was a deliberate ” distraction ” cooked up by the press and the White House to keep people’s minds off the real issues of the day. If so, then Breitbart.com is now part of that vast left-wing conspiracy, as the site has morphed into a clearinghouse this week with scores of blog posts about burning questions that surround Obama’s birthplace. Or at least the burning question that surrounds a 1991 pamphlet that mentioned his birthplace. Team Breitbart is making all the strenuous claim that by raising questions about Obama being listed as “Born in Kenya” on an old publishing pamphlet, and blogging about the topic incessantly, they’re not wallowing in birtherism. But it’s a distinction without a difference, really. Either you purposefully feed this conspiratorial jibberish or you don’t. This week there has been lots of feeding going on and naturally it’s been loudly promoted by professional birthers, such as Joseph Farah, who heralded the Breitbart pamphlet story as a “breakthrough.” (Although Farah was upset the Breitbart crew was “still reticent about publishing this blockbuster for fear of being labeled ‘birthers.’”) Breitbart.com contributor Pam Geller also held up the pamphlet story as validation of her previous birther nonsense. Last year, Karl Rove and Bill O’Reilly, two birther non-believers, were lamenting the story’s astonishing staying power when Rove noted, “Every moment that conservatives talk about this, they marginalize and diminish themselves in the minds of independent voters.” Rove and others please take note, it wasn’t the liberal media or the Obama White House that forced the entire right-wing blogosphere to, once again, wallow in questions about Obama’s birthplace this week. That dubious distinction came from within the heart of the conservative movement,  Breitbart.com. UPDATED : According to a Breitbart post today , the press is now ignoring, or covering up, the site’s birther scoop. So, last year the press protected Obama by hyping the birther story. Now the press is protecting Obama by not hyping the birther story. Noted.

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Sunday, den 6. May 2012

By Amitabh Pal, May 4, 2012 The peddlers of Islamophobia tar the New Jersey governor for “taking the Islamist side.” read more

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Wednesday, den 2. May 2012

President Obama today made a surprise visit to Afghanistan to speak with U.S. troops and meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign a “Strategic Partnership Agreement.” The right-wing media have responded by claiming that the visit constitutes an example of Obama “spiking the football” and “celebrating” the death of Osama bin Laden. Obama Visits Afghanistan To Visit Troops And Sign Agreement ABC News: President Obama Makes Secret Trip To Afghanistan To Thank Troops, Sign Strategic Partnership Agreement. From a May 1 ABC News blog post: President Obama has arrived at the Afghan Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan for meetings with President Karzai and to sign the Strategic Partnership Agreement, outlining the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship over the next decade. The president will then fly to Bagram Air Field to speak with US troops and address the nation in a speech that is scheduled to begin at 7:31:30 ET, and last 10-11 minutes. The Strategic Partnership Agreement provides the framework for the U.S./Afghanistan partnership after the transition and drawdown of US forces, from 2014-2024. The agreement will detail how the partnership will be normalized as the war comes to an end, senior administration officials told pool reporters traveling on Air Force Once. Afghan forces are scheduled to take the lead on security in 2013, with U.S. troops scheduled to withdrawal from the country in 2014. [ABC News, 5/1/12 ] Right-Wing Media React By Claiming Obama Is “Spiking The Football” Hannity: Obama’s Trip To Afghanistan “Is Political” And Obama Is “Spiking The Football.” On his radio show, Sean Hannity claimed that Obama’s trip to Afghanistan was “political” and constituted “spiking the football” over the death of bin Laden. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show , 5/1/12 ] Todd Starnes Calls Obama’s Afghanistan Visit “Excessive Celebrating” And Predicts He Will “Spike Football” During Speech To Troops. From Todd Starnes’ Twitter account:  [Twitter, 5/1/12 ] Hot Air: “Football Spiked: Obama To Address Nation On Bin Laden Anniversary Live From Afghanistan.” From a May 1 post by Allahpundit on Hot Air headlined “Football spiked: Obama to address nation on Bin Laden anniversary live from Afghanistan”: The official reason for the trip is to sign the new strategic partnership agreement with Karzai, but of course that doesn’t require his physical presence in Afghanistan. We all know why he’s there and why he chose today to visit. One word: Scoreboard. [Hot Air, 5/1/12 ] Drudge: “Gloating In Afghanistan.” The Drudge Report linked to a CNN report on Obama’s trip to Afghanistan under the headline “Gloating in Afghanistan”: [Drudge Report, 5/1/12 ] But Prominent Conservatives Say That People Shouldn’t Attack Obama Over Afghanistan Visit CNN: McCain Says That Obama’s Trip To Afghanistan Is A “Good Thing” And Doesn’t Constitute “Spiking The Football.” From a May 1 interview by CNN senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): Sen. John McCain, who earlier this week leveled harsh criticism at President Barack Obama for what he said was the politicization of the killing of Osama bin Laden, said Tuesday he did not believe the president’s trip to Afghanistan was a political move. “Well I think it’s a good thing,” McCain said when asked about the president’s surprise trip to Afghanistan. “I think it’s always good when the president goes to where our young men and women are in harm’s way and I think that many of us who have been involved in Afghanistan are very involved in the strategic partnership agreement, which I’m sure he will be talking about, and we think that the agreement is good and we obviously would like to know the details.” On Tuesday, McCain said the president’s Afghanistan visit did not constitute “spiking the football.” “No, I don’t see it as that,” McCain said. “And I wish the president would explain more often to the American people why Afghanistan is important, that Afghanistan not return to a base for attacks on America.” [CNN, 5/1/12 ] Ari Fleischer: The “GOP Should Not Criticize” President Obama For His Visit To Afghanistan. From the former White House Press Secretary for President Bush, Ari Fleischer’s Twitter account:  [Twitter, 5/1/12 ]

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Thursday, den 26. April 2012

In January 2007, the smear that President Obama attended a “madrassa” as a boy was sparked by a vague Internet report, then spread by Fox News, and finally debunked by CNN — within the span of a week. Right-wing media figures have continued to push the smear for years, and CNN contributor Dana Loesch joined the ranks yesterday. During Loesch’s radio show, a caller said: “Obama said — when he was talking about Romney — he was saying that he wasn’t born with a — he was talking about himself — wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. But he was born with a Quran in his hand.” Instead of correcting the caller by pointing out that Obama is a Christian and not a Muslim, Loesch said: “Well, yeah, I mean, he did study — he went to one of the madrassas over in Indonesia for a while. So he knows — I mean, he — which is kind of like the equivalent in Islam of a Catholic school in Catholicism. So there’s that.” Listen: Back in 2007, Obama’s campaign made clear that Obama spent two years in a predominantly Muslim school while living in Indonesia, but that he did not attend what Americans think of as a “madrassa.” While the word generally means “a Muslim school,” the American media have most commonly applied the word to schools that sprang up in South Asia after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and engage in anti-Western “political indoctrination.”

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Sunday, den 22. January 2012

By Dennis J. Bernstein, January 20, 2012 “White politicians are trying to recolonize the minds of young people in the state of Arizona.” read more

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Saturday, den 14. January 2012

Fox News has a simple rule when it comes to reporting on President Obama: pretty much anything he does is bad. Obama derangement syndrome has inspired the right-wing media to attack Obama’s tie color , his choice of burger condiment and the way he celebrated Halloween (and Hanukkah and Easter and Christmas ). Today, Fox News attacked Obama for his youth summer jobs program because in addition to paid jobs, the program will include unpaid internships. Fox & Friends co-hosts repeatedly implied that the White House has somehow been hiding this fact and is using unpaid internships to “make the numbers look good.” Here’s co-host Steve Doocy in a tease for a later segment on the story: DOOCY: Then — first the president used “created or saved” to make his jobs record look bigger. Now he’s got a new strategy: Counting unpaid internships to make the numbers look good. Story straight ahead. During the segment, the co-hosts again suggested that there was something nefarious about the program’s intent to create unpaid internships; Doocy even claimed that the program is the administration’s attempt to “entice the young people to vote for them again”: DOOCY: The Obama administration trying to create jobs. You know, during the last election, they promised those young people when you graduate from college, we’re going to make sure that you have jobs. Hope and change and it’s all going to be waiting for you. ERIC BOLLING (guest host): They were faking it? DOOCY: Fast forward to today. There aren’t that many jobs out right now. And in fact, apparently the way the administration is going to entice the young people to vote for them again is they are going to have a summer jobs program. They are saying that private business is going to ante up something like 180,000 jobs, which, when you look at the economy, is not that many but apparently only about 30 some percent of those jobs you can actually get a paycheck. The rest of them are unpaid internships. ALIYSN CAMEROTA (guest host): Right. That’s not really a job. If you’re — an internship is different if you’re not being paid than what people generally consider a job but, of course, you can still get experience but it’s different than what they had said previously. DOOCY: Experience don’t put beans on the table! CAMEROTA: Yeah, baby needs a new pair of shoes. Yes. But the White House never “count[ed] unpaid internships to make the numbers look good.” The official White House press release on the program, released January 5, specifically stated that “employment opportunities” created would include “paid jobs and internships.”

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Thursday, den 5. January 2012

Fox’s Eric Bolling asserted that China has “no debt” and that, if China wanted, it could demand higher interest rates on U.S. debt, which would “bankrupt” America. In fact, even the Chinese government says it has a national debt, and contrary to Bolling’s suggestion that the market for U.S. debt hinges on Chinese demand, recent Treasury sales have been robust, with interest rates near historic lows, while China’s Treasury holdings have remained steady. Bolling: China’s “Debt-To-GDP Is Zero” Bolling: “China Has No Debt. Their Debt-To-GDP Is Zero.” From the January 4 edition of Fox News’ The Five : BOB BECKEL (co-host): Look, when I say that debt doesn’t matter, I’ll repeat this again. I want somebody not with all this crying thing about my kids and my grandkids. You tell me today, this day, exactly what it is about this debt that did you damage economically. BOLLING: Can I? [laughter] BECKEL: Today, in your pocket. BOLLING: Well, nothing happens today, just like last night’s Iowa vote won’t affect your pocket or your president eight months from now. What it does do, though, is it puts us so — think about this for one second. China has no debt. Their debt-to-GDP is zero because they run a surplus. We’re indebted to China, we’re indebted to sovereign countries in the Middle East. [Fox News, The Five , 1/4/12] Reality: China Says Its Debt-To-GDP Ratio Is 17 Percent; Other Estimates Are Higher Harvard Researcher: Chinese Government Lists Ratio At 17 Percent, But Independent Studies Put It “Between 75 and 150 Percent.” From a December 14 Christian Science Monitor op-ed by Michael Beckley, “a research fellow in the International Security Program at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs”: Another misleading statistic is China’s debt-to-GDP ratio, which the Chinese government lists at 17 percent. America’s debt-to-GDP ratio, by contrast, will remain above 60 percent through 2020. But most Chinese state spending is not reported in official figures because it is funneled through investment entities connected to local governments. Studies that account for this spending place China’s debt-to-GDP ratio between 75 and 150 percent. [CSMonitor.com, 12/14/11 ] International Monetary Fund Lists China’s 2010 Debt-To-GDP Ratio At 33.8 Percent. [IMF.org, accessed 1/4/12 ] Bolling Says U.S. Would “Go Belly Up” If China Demanded Higher Interest Rates Bolling: If China Demanded Higher Interest Rates On U.S. Debt, “We Would Go Belly Up.” From Fox News’ The Five : BOLLING: If China ever said, “Bob, Obama, guess what? We don’t want to get 3 percent for our money anymore, we want to get 6 percent,” or, God forbid, 10 percent, we would go belly-up, bankrupt, broke. And we would have to say, “China, please, please don’t do this. We’ll do anything for you.” BECKEL: The best-selling financial instrument in the world today is the U.S. Treasury bond. BOLLING: Because of them. Because they haven’t done that. They could pull the trigger overnight. [Fox News, The Five , 1/4/12] But Demand For Treasuries Is High … Treasury: On November 9, Investors Submitted $63 Billion In Bids For $24 Billion In 10-Year Notes. [US Treasury, Bureau of Public Debt, 11/9/11 ] Treasury: On December 20, Investors Submitted $100 Billion In Bids For $35 Billion In 5-Year Notes. [U.S. Treasury, Bureau of Public Debt, 12/20/11 ] Treasury: On December 28, Investors Submitted $200 Billion In Bids For $30 Billion In 28-Day Bills. [U.S. Treasury, Bureau of Public Debt, 12/28/11 ] … And Interest Rates Are Near Historic Lows … St. Louis Fed: Interest Rates For 10-Year Treasuries Are At Levels Not Seen 1950s. From the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: [Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, accessed 1/5/12 ] … Even Though China Hasn’t Increased Its Holdings Of Treasuries Treasury: In October 2010, China Held $1.164 Trillion Of Treasury Securities, And In October 2011, It Held $1.134 Trillion. [Treasury Department, accessed 1/4/12 ] Most U.S. Debt Is Owed To Americans, Not Foreigners Treasury: About 69 Percent Of Debt Is Held Domestically, While About 31 Percent Is Held Abroad. According to figures from the Treasury, total U.S. public debt was $14.994 trillion in October 2011, of which $4.656 trillion was foreign holdings: [TreasuryDirect.gov, accessed 1/5/12 ; Major Foreign Holders Of Treasury Securities, Treasury.gov, accessed 1/5/12 ; chart created by Media Matters using Treasury statistics] China Holds About 7.5 Percent Of U.S. Debt. According to figures from the Treasury, China held $1.134 trillion of U.S. debt in October 2011. [Major Foreign Holders Of Treasury Securities, Treasury.gov, accessed 1/5/12 ]

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Tuesday, den 27. December 2011

By Rebecca Kemble, December 22, 2011 This local alliance of corporate executives, libertarian politicians and “educational entrepreneurs” is all about business. read more

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Tuesday, den 13. December 2011

Right-wing media are claiming that President Obama and his family went to church on Sunday because of an attack by Texas Gov. Rick Perry that Politico has called “one of the most audible dog whistles so far this cycle about President Obama.” This follows a week of Fox News hyping the Perry ad’s charge that Obama is waging a “war on religion.” After Fox Amplified Perry Ad Accusing Obama Of Waging “War On Religion” … Perry Promised To “End Obama’s War On Religion” In Ad That Has Been Likened To “Dog Whistles.” In an article headlined, “Rick Perry TV ad hits gays, President Obama ‘war on religion,’ ” Politico reported: Rick Perry’s latest spot in his Iowa ad buy rotation is another faith-based appeal, but one that is openly critical of gay rights and that has one of the most audible dog whistles so far this cycle about President Obama. In the spot, entitled “Strong,” Perry says, “I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As president, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again.” The hit on gay rights has become a staple of Perry’s faith pitch, after getting a hard push yesterday, but the comment about Obama’s “war on religion” will rather easily be read as trying underscore the perception among some voters of the president as “different,” and a reminder of the false assertions that the Christian chief executive is really a Muslim. [ Politico , 12/7/11 ] Bill O’Reilly: Perry “Hail Mary” Was “A Smart Move.” Bill O’Relly claimed that Perry was “turning to his Christianity” with the ad, calling the ad “emotional” and “a Hail Marry pass.” O’Reilly concluded that running the ad was “a smart move.” [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 12/8/11, via Nexis] Fox’s Hemmer: “Some Would Say” Perry’s Ad Is “Powerful.” During an interview with Perry on America’s Newsroom , host Bill Hemmer said: ” You’re on the air already with a, some would say, a powerful ad that goes toward what you consider liberal attacks on religion in America.” [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 12/8/11 ] Tucker Carlson: The Obama Administration Hates “Traditional Christianity.” During a panel discussion on Hannity about Perry’s ad , Daily Caller editor and Fox News contributor Tucker Carlson said: “That ad’s not right. There’s not a war on — they don’t hate religion. They hate traditional Christianity.” [Fox News, Hannity , 12/7/11 ] Fox’s Eric Bolling: Perry Ad “Really Hits Home.” On The Five , co-host Eric Bolling said of Perry: “He’s going after Obama’s war on religion. It’s provocative, so we’re going to talk about it.” Later in the segment, Bolling praised the ad again, calling it “very effective.” He added: “This ad really hits home.” [Fox News, The Five , 12/7/11, via Nexis] Fox’s Todd Starnes Used Perry Ad To Accuse Obama White House Of Routinely “Attacking The Christian Faith.” Fox News’ Todd Starnes claimed that in his ad, Perry “decided to address the big elephant in the pew as we head into 2012 — the Obama administration’s relationship with religion — specifically Christianity.” Starnes opined: The evidence of his White House attacking the Christian faith, however, is plentiful. [FoxNews.com, 12/8/11 ] … Right-Wing Media Credit Perry’s “Dog Whistle” Ad For Obama Going To Church Washington Examiner Headline: “After Perry Attack, Obama Displays Christian Faith.” A Washington Examiner blog post tied Obama’s public attendance at church to Perry’s ad with a headline that read: “After Perry attack, Obama displays Christian faith.” [ Washington Examiner , 12/12/11 ] Drudge Hyped Suggestion That Obama Attended Church Because Of Perry Ad. The Drudge Report hyped the Washington Examiner post: [Drudge Report, 12/12/11 ] Limbaugh Echoed Drudge: “What Does Obama Do” After Perry Attack? He “Goes To Church.” On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh stated: “So Rick Perry questions Obama’s religion or whatever he did in the debates, and what does Obama do? Goes to church yesterday for the first time since Easter.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show , 12/12/11 ]

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Friday, den 9. December 2011

Claiming he does not “want to break up families,” Fox host Eric Bolling again voiced support for mass deportation — even endorsing the idea of going into public schools to round up undocumented immigrants. In fact, experts warn that deportations result in broken families, often those of American children, and ultimately impact children’s safety and well-being. Bolling: “I Don’t Want To Break Up Families” Bolling: “I Don’t Want To Break Up Families. Those Parents Can Bring Those Kids Back With Them If They Want To.” During an interview with Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera in which Rivera criticized Eric Bolling’s immigration coverage and rhetoric, Bolling repeated his support for mass deportation of undocumented immigrants. Asked by Rivera if he would go into public schools and round up undocumented immigrants, Bolling replied: “Sure.” He then added: “I don’t want to break up families. Those parents can bring those kids back with them if they want to.” [Fox Business, Follow the Money , 12/2/11 ] But Bolling Supports Mass Deportation … Bolling Previously Said He Supports Deporting Millions By Bus. On his Fox Business show, Bolling discussed immigration with Fernando Mateo, president of Hispanics Across America, and Republican strategist Tony Sayegh: SAYEGH: You do have to create a certain path to citizenship for those who are here and, as a Republican Party, I am very concerned when we get way too rhetorical about our immigration policy. It’s a very practical problem. We have millions of illegals in this country. No one, that I know of, has advocated putting them on buses and sending them back but we do have to become the party that gives a certain — BOLLING: Oh, you know, I gotta tell you, Tony, I have. SAYEGH: Well — BOLLING: I’m one of the ones — I’m sorry, it sounds harsh, it sounds cold but, you know, you’re here illegally, you broke the law. [Fox Business, Follow the Money , 9/21/11 ] Bolling Previously Dismissed Impact Of Breaking Up Families By Deportation: “They’re Illegals.” After The Five co-host Bob Beckel stated that aggressive deportation has “picked up people who are not supposed to be deported,” including the children of undocumented immigrants that were born in this country – and thus are American citizens, Bolling dismissed the concern that deportation breaks up families, responding: “[T]hey’re illegals.” [Fox News, The Five , 8/19/11 ] … Which Breaks Up Families Applied Research Center: “[A]t least 5,100 Children Whose Parents Are Detained Or Deported Are Currently In Foster Care.” Colorlines.com reported: In a yearlong investigation, the Applied Research Center, which publishes Colorlines.com, found that at least 5,100 children whose parents are detained or deported are currently in foster care around the United States. That number represents a conservative estimate of the total, based on extensive surveys of child welfare case workers and attorneys and analysis of national immigration and child welfare trends. Many of the kids may never see their parents again. These children, many of whom should never have been separated from their parents in the first place, face often insurmountable obstacles to reunifying with their mothers and fathers. Though child welfare departments are required by federal law to reunify children with any parents who are able to provide for the basic safety of their children, detention makes this all but impossible. Then, once parents are deported, families are often separated for long periods. Ultimately, child welfare departments and juvenile courts too often move to terminate the parental rights of deportees and put children up for adoption, rather than attempt to unify the family as they would in other circumstances. While anecdotal reports have circulated about children lingering in foster care because of a parent’s detention or deportation, our investigation provides the first evidence that the problem occurs on a large scale. If these cases continue mounting at the same pace over the next five years, 15,000 children of detained and deported mothers and fathers will likely be separated from their parents and languish in U.S. foster homes. [Colorlines.com, 11/2/11 ] Following Deportation, Undocumented Mother Left Behind Her Three American Children. In an article about how deportations tear families apart, USA Today chronicled an undocumented woman’s deportation from Oregon to Mexico, in the process leaving behind her American family. The woman also explained why she didn’t want her school-aged children to join her in Mexico: After living for 21 years in the U.S., [Liliana] Ramos, 39, was deported to Mexico in September, separated from the two daughters and son she has raised as a single mother since her ex-husband left them seven years ago. She had lacked legal immigration status since crossing the border into the U.S. as a teenager with her parents, so the threat of arrest and deportation was always there. Even so, Lily, as she is known to friends, had hoped her clean record and two decades of work, paying taxes, going to church and providing for her U.S.-born children would allow her a path to legal status or at least avoid deportation. Ramos was released after her arrest in January and won a few more months to line up care for her daughters, Karleen, 11, a sixth-grader, and Ashley, 16, a high school junior. A son, Brian, 19, is looking for work and hopes to enter community college. Two relatives care for the younger children . In September, Ramos bid a teary farewell and drove across the U.S.-Mexican border at San Ysidro, Calif., to a country where she had little connection or family. She has been sleeping in a room lent by the friend of a friend and lives off her small savings. She has been unable to find a job or get the necessary Mexican documents, including a birth certificate, that she needs to work. Ramos says her children have discussed joining her in Mexico but she is against it. Her kids are U.S. citizens and don’t know enough Spanish to transfer to Mexican schools without repeating several grades, she says. Without a job, she has no way to support them. “The whole way we live now is different,” says Brian Tapia, her son. “My sisters are going through depression. … My little sister is crying a lot. We’re all really sad. … It’s really hard, being without her.” [ USA Today , 12/5/11 ] FACT: Deported And Detained Parents Face Steep Odds In Reuniting With Children Report: It Is Not Uncommon For Deported Or Detained Parents To Lose Parental Rights. An April 2010 report by First Focus, an “organization dedicated to making children and families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions,” estimated that “one child is affected for every two adults arrested in a workplace raid.” The report highlighted the following story: Encarnacion is a Guatemalan national and the mother of a young son. She was apprehended during a worksite raid in 2007. Through a series of events out of Encarnacion’s control, her 6-month-old son was placed in the care of an American couple. The couple later filed a motion to terminate Encarnacion’s parental rights and adopt the boy. Encarnacion was never aware that family court proceedings were underway and was therefore not able to fully participate in decisions regarding her son’s care. The notice to terminate her parental rights and the right to appeal were only provided in English, although her native language is Spanish. Furthermore, Encarnacion did not receive counsel until after the custody hearing and judgment was entered. Custody was terminated, and she is still fighting to get her son back. [First Focus, "Immigration Enforcement And Family Separation," 3/18/10 ] Report: Parents Face Strict Challenges In Reuniting With Their Child In The Welfare System Following Detention. According to First Focus: Once an immigrant family is involved in the child welfare system, there are several challenges immigrant parents face in reunifying with their child. In some cases, biased family court judges may inappropriately base their decision on a parent’s immigration status rather than their demonstrated parenting capacity. Language and cultural barriers, limited access to services, and the difficulty of navigating both the immigration and child welfare systems also threaten an immigrant parent’s ability to meet case plan requirements and timelines. Immigrant parents who are detained for immigration purposes encounter additional challenges that threaten their ability to meet [Adoption and Safe Families Act's] requirements. In some cases, child welfare staff is unable to locate a parent’s whereabouts, either because the information is not made readily available by the local ICE agency office, or because the parent has been transferred out of the state or deported. If a parent is detained, it is virtually impossible for that parent to meet case plan requirements, such as participating in parenting classes or regular visits with their child. Detained parents are also unlikely to be able to participate meaningfully in child welfare agency case meetings or in state court proceedings related to a child’s care and custody. Deportation cases often can and do last longer than the ASFA 15 month timeline. Furthermore, child welfare agency’s attempts to place children with family members may be complicated by the fact that undocumented adults are often considered ineligible to become foster parents by most child welfare agencies. All these obstacles increase the time in which separated children are involved in the child welfare system and create the risk for inappropriate termination of parental rights under ASFA’s strict timetable and requirements. [First Focus, "The Impact Of Immigration Enforcement On Child Welfare," March 2010 ] Applied Research Center: Undocumented Parents Risk Re-Entry To Appear At Juvenile Court Hearings. Colorlines.com reported that deported parents often risk apprehension by illegally re-entering the United States to reclaim their children: Many deported parents make the tormented decision to make the bloody desert journey over the U.S.-Mexico border without papers so that they can be present at juvenile court hearings. Caseworkers around the country said that in many cases, when a parent of a foster child is deported, they are back weeks later to appear in a juvenile courtroom to try and reclaim their children. The risks of crossing are enormous. In addition to growing violence in Mexico against migrants crossing into the U.S., immigrants caught in the country after a previous deportation now face prison time. Until recently, immigrants who were deported before were simply deported again. Now, “illegal reentry” is treated as a federal criminal offense that carries sentences of years. The charge now accounts for nearly half of all federal criminal prosecutions. [Colorlines.com, 11/2/11 ] FACT: Deportations Negatively Impact Children’s Well-Being, Development Report: “The Impacts On Child Well-Being And Family Unity Resulting From Such Enforcement Activities Are Immeasurable.” In its March 2010 report, First Focus found that “over 5 million children in the United States with at least one undocumented parent are at risk of unnecessarily entering the child welfare system when a parent is detained or deported.” The organization noted: In many cases, schools, early learning and child care centers, social service agencies, and communities are unprepared to respond adequately to protect the best interests of children left behind. Often, detained parents are not able to make child care arrangements, resulting in the unnecessary placement of their children in the child welfare system. Once a child is placed into foster care, it is extremely difficult for a detained parent to reunify with his or her child, especially if that parent is transferred to an out-of-state detention facility or deported before regaining custody of his or her child. [First Focus, "Immigration Enforcement And Family Separation, 3/18/10 ] Study: “Separations Pose Serious Risks To Children’s Immediate Safety, Economic Security, Well-Being, And Longer-Term Development.” In a February 2010 study examining “the consequences of parental arrest, detention, and deportation on 190 children in 85 families,” the Urban Institute found that parent-child separations pose “serious risks to children’s immediate safety, economic security, well-being, and longer-term development.” The study went on to document other negative effects, including housing instability, food hardship, and adverse behavioral changes in children. Discussing the sometimes painful choices families faced as a result of deportations, the study reported: In the long term, at least 20 families in our study experienced the deportation of a parent and were forced to confront painful decisions about whether children would leave the country with the deported parent or remain in the United States with either the other parent or another relative. In eight of these families, some or all of the children went with one or both parents to the parents’ countries of origin, and in 12 cases, children remained in the United States, separated from one of their parents. The whole family left to join the deported parent in some of these cases, while in others the parents and siblings were split between countries. Our time frame was not long enough to assess the impacts on children who faced separations following deportation or, in most cases, to know the ultimate outcome regarding deportations and longer-term separations. Finally, in a few cases, parents returned illegally to the United States to be reunited with their children and families. The return journeys were rough, and one parent died the day after he was reunited with his family. [Urban Institute, "Children in the Aftermath of Immigration Enforcement," 2/2/10 ] And Most Children Of Undocumented Immigrants Are American Citizens Nearly 80 Percent Of Undocumented Immigrants’ Children Were Born In America. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, “nearly four-in-five (79%) of the 5.1 million children (younger than age 18) of unauthorized immigrants were born in this country and therefore are U.S. citizens. In total, 4 million U.S.-born children of unauthorized immigrant parents resided in this country in 2009, alongside 1.1 million foreign-born children of unauthorized immigrant parents.” [Pew Hispanic Center, 8/11/10 ]

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Wednesday, den 7. December 2011

Led by Eric Bolling, Fox recently attacked The Muppets as having a liberal agenda to “brainwash” kids against capitalism. Right-wing media have a long history of attacking kids’ movies and TV shows, including Sesame Street and SpongeBob SquarePants. Bolling Leads Fox Freakout: “Liberal Hollywood” Is “Using Class Warfare” To “Brainwash Our Kids” Through The Muppets Bolling: “Is Liberal Hollywood Using Class Warfare To Kind Of Brainwash Our Kids?” During the December 2 edition of Fox Business’ Follow the Money, host Eric Bolling discussed the plot to the Muppets movie with Media Research Center’s Dan Gainor. Noting that the antagonist of the film is an oil tycoon named “Tex Richman,” Bolling asked, “Is liberal Hollywood using class warfare to kind of brainwash our kids?” Gainor responded by saying: “Yeah, absolutely. And they’ve been doing it for decades.” During the segment, on-screen text asked, “Are liberals trying to brainwash your kids against capitalism?” [Fox Business, Follow the Money , 12/2/11 , via Media Matters ] Tantaros: The Muppets Movie Is “Brainwashing In The Most Obvious Form.” Later on the December 2 Follow the Money , Fox News’ Andrea Tantaros said that The Muppets is “brainwashing in the most obvious form”: TANTAROS: It’s brainwashing in the most obvious form, right? I just wish liberals could leave little kids alone. Why does there have to be some kind of political message? I thought Sesame Street was supposed to be sharing and being nice to people, but over the years they’ve gotten more liberal. I mean, just a couple months ago, we talked about this on The Five, remember they had the hungry Muppet? The starving Muppet? Bolling responded by saying that “the evil person [should be] the Obama administration or Obama. After all, under Obama, food stamp usage has gone up 40 percent.” [Fox Business, Follow the Money , 12/2/11 , via Media Matters ] Bolling Again Criticizes Muppets Movie: “How Much More Demonizing Can You Be To Capitalism? It’s Terrible.” During the December 5 edition of Fox Business’ Follow the Money , Bolling said: BOLLING: We called out the new Muppets for demonizing oil executive Tex Richman and for brainwashing our kids with an anti-capitalist agenda. The liberal media went — pipeline went into overdrive with Media Matters ‘ blasting me and even NBC picking up on it, Huffington Post, etc., etc., etc. Guys, come on. It’s pretty obvious, is it not? Let me go to you, Chris Plante. Tex Richman is an evil oil executive who wants to take down the studio because there might be oil underneath it. I mean, how much more demonizing can you be to capitalism and — yeah, it’s terrible. [Fox Business, Follow the Money, 12/5/11 , via Media Matters ] But Bolling Is Just The Latest: Right-Wing Media Have Repeatedly Attacked Kids’ Entertainment SESAME STREET Fox: “Elmo [Is] Taking A Trip To Pakistan … On The Taxpayers’ Dime.” During the November 2 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends , co-host Brian Kilmeade attacked a U.S. government effort to help produce a Pakistani version of Sesame Street by stating that Elmo is “taking a trip to Pakistan … on the taxpayers’ dime.” [ Media Matters , 11/2/11 ] For more on Elmo’s “trip to Pakistan,” SEE HERE . Right-Wing Media Complained About Lily The Poverty-Stricken Muppet. Following the announcement that Sesame Street would introduce a new character, Lily, in a one-time special about children’s world hunger in order to educate children about the epidemic, right-wing media figures attacked the Muppet. For example, during the October 7 edition of Fox News’ The Five, co-host Andrea Tantaros called Lily the poverty-stricken Muppet “the biggest bunch of liberal bull.” The following graphic accompanied the segment: [ Media Matters, 10/6/11 ; Fox News, The Five, 10/7/11 , via Media Matters ] Bolling: “I’m Waiting For [ Sesame Street ] To Come Out And Have Like This Evil Republican Or Tea Partier.” During the October 17 broadcast of Follow the Money, Bolling said: “I’m waiting for them to come out and have like this evil Republican or tea partier that they’re going to blame Lily’s poverty on.” Guest Cheri Jacobus responded by saying, “If you don’t speak out against their political agenda, that’s probably what will happen.” [Fox Business, Follow the Money, 10/7/11 , via Media Matters ] Hannity Panel: Sesame Street Can Lead To Male Prom Queens. During the June 2 edition of Fox News’ Hannity, a panel that included conservative columnist Ben Shapiro and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell discussed Sesame Street’s supposed “liberal bias.” According to Shapiro, the Sesame Street website encourages parents to use “gender neutral language” and “give your boys dolls” and “give your girls fire trucks.” Blackwell stated that this kind of language was responsible for a male being elected prom queen at a school in Virginia, which Blackwell called part of “a direct assault on this country’s moral foundation.” During the segment, the following on-screen text aired: [Fox News, Hannity, 6/2/11 , via Media Matters ] Big Hollywood’s Larry O’Connor: “I Can’t Even Sit My Kids In Front Of ‘Sesame Street’ Without Having To Worry About The Left Attempting To Undermine My Authority.” In a November 3, 2009, post to Andrew Breitbart’s website Big Hollywood, Larry O’Connor wrote: Add one more soldier to the Left’s war on Fox News: Oscar the Grouch. Last week, in a re-broadcast of an episode that originally aired two years ago, Oscar starts his own news network, GNN (Grouchy News Network).  An irate viewer calls in to berate him that the news is not grouchy enough: “I am changing the channel. From now on I am watching ‘Pox’ News. Now there is a trashy news show.” Later in the episode, Anderson Cooper from 4th place CNN, guest stars as a reporter for GNN.  He interacts with “Walter Cranky” and “Dan Rather-Not” —  Muppets representing real-life liberal news personalities — and they talk about “Meredith Beware-a” and “Diane Spoiler.” But no affectionate nicknames for Fox News personalities; no Spill O’Reilly or Brittle Hume — nope, and the only disparaging characterization of real-world news is reserved for Fox:  Fox is a POX.  It is trashy. They didn’t even attempt to try “MessyNBC.” The message is clear, I can’t even sit my kids in front of “Sesame Street” without having to worry about the Left attempting to undermine my authority. [Big Hollywood, 11/3/09 , via Media Matters ] SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS Fox’s Steve Doocy: “Clearly Nickelodeon Is Pushing A Global Warming Agenda.”  On the August 3 edition of  Fox & Friends,  co-host Steve Doocy said: DOOCY: [T]he Department of Education invited a bunch of DC kids in, and they had this festivity, and they handed out these particular Nickelodeon books where clearly Nickelodeon is pushing a global warming agenda. [Fox News,  Fox & Friends , 8/3/11 , via Media Matters ] Fox’s Gretchen Carlson: SpongeBob “Blamed Man For Global Warming” But “Did Not Tell Kids That That Is A Disputed Fact.”  Fox & Friends  aired clips from the SpongeBob video and co-host Gretchen Carlson said: CARLSON: The Department of Education using SpongeBob SquarePants now to teach kids about global warming. The government agency showed kids this cartoon and handed out books that blamed man for global warming, but they did not tell kids that that is actually a disputed fact. Oops! [Fox News,  Fox & Friends , 8/3/11 , via Media Matters ] For the truth about Carlson’s claim that the Department of Education used a SpongeBob video and book to teach kids about global warming, SEE HERE . Doocy Claimed Unnamed “Parents” Think SpongeBob Book Pushes “Over-The-Top Green Agenda.”  On  Fox & Friends,  Doocy said: DOOCY: The Department of Education giving kids free books about SpongeBob . Seems like a good idea, right? Well, some parents don’t think so. They say the books are being used to push an over-the-top green agenda regarding global warming. [Fox News,  Fox & Friends , 8/3/11 , via Media Matters ] Fox: SpongeBob Showed “Bias” By Blaming Humans For Global Warming.  The following on-screen text aired during the August 3 edition of Fox & Friends : [Fox News,  Fox & Friends , 8/3/11 , via Media Matters ] The Blaze Claimed SpongeBob Is “Indoctrinating Children” With The “Overtly Controversial Stance” That Manmade Climate Change Exists. From an August 2 post on Glenn Beck’s website The Blaze: Is the U.S. Department of Education indoctrinating children to accept man-made global warming as fact? On July 20, 2011, kids in the Washington, D.C. area were treated to free books during a special U.S. Department of Education event. Two of the books that were offered featured popular Nickelodeon characters as part of the network’s “Big Green Help Series,” a campaign encouraging children to help protect the Earth. But one of these publications takes an overtly controversial stance, as it promotes the idea that global warming is a man-made problem that requires human intervention in order to be stemmed. [The Blaze, 8/2/11 , via Media Matters ] HAPPY FEET Michael Medved: Happy Feet Contained “A Subtext That Appears To Plead For Endorsement Of Gay Identity” And A “Bizarre Anti-Religious Bias.” In a November 17, 2006, Townhall.com post titled, “Don’t Be Misled By Crappy Feet,” conservative commentator Michael Medved called the animated movie Happy Feet “the darkest, most disturbing feature length animated film ever offered by a major studio.” He further claimed that the film contains “a bizarre anti-religious bias” and “a subtext that appears to plead for endorsement of gay identity.” Medved also attacked  Happy Feet  in a November 29, 2006, op-ed in  USA Today  for its purported “pro-environmental” propaganda. [ Media Matters, 12/15/06 ] Beck: Happy Feet Is “An Animated Version Of An Inconvenient Truth .” On the November 20, 2006, edition of his CNN Headline News program,  Beck said that  Happy Feet is “propaganda” and an “animated version of  An Inconvenient Truth .” [ Media Matters , 11/21/06 ] Cavuto “Half-Expected To See An Animated Version Of Al Gore Pop Up” In Happy Feet . On the November 20, 2006, edition of Fox News’ Your World, host Neil Cavuto called Happy Feet an “animated version of An Inconvenient Truth ,” stating that he “half-expected to see an animated version of Al Gore pop up.” [ Media Matters , 11/21/06 ] NICKELODEON On Fox, Newsmax’s Hirsen Said Nickelodeon Promotes “Political Indoctrination,” Including “Homosexual Parenting.” On the March 26, 2010, edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor , Newsmax’s James Hirsen claimed that “Nickelodeon, time after time, throws in political indoctrination. They have an agenda. They’ve proven it — they’ve proven it in very controversial areas like global warming science — or maybe not science — like in the area of immigration, and in the area of homosexual parenting.” [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor , 3/26/10 , via Media Matters ] G.I. JOE Citing G.I. Joe Movie, Beck Warned Of A Possible “One-World-Government Nightmare.” During the October 30, 2007, edition of his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck attacked the then-upcoming G.I. Joe movie, claiming that the title character “has now been discharged from the American military, and Hollywood now has him answering to some bullcrap international force like the U.N. We all know that the U.N. is a toothless bunch of pansies. They don’t deserve somebody like Joe, even the little plastic version.” He later asserted, “I believe some are trying to indoctrinate our kids into hating their own country, turning us into some one-world-government nightmare; hating America, turning it into a dirty word.” [HLN, Glenn Beck , 10/30/07 , via Media Matters ]

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Saturday, den 3. December 2011

At a November 30 fundraiser, President Obama reportedly told attendees, “I try not to pat myself too much on the back, but this administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration. And that’s not just our opinion. That is the opinion of the Israeli government.” Special Report anchor Bret Baier read the quote to members of his show’s All-Star Panel last night, and asked Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer, “Charles, is that the opinion of the Israeli government?” Krauthammer was decisive in his response: “It is not, and I’m sure Obama knows it. If he doesn’t, he’s delusional. And this is really chutzpah. This president has done more to delegitimize and undermine Israel’s position in the world than any other president.” Krauthammer is apparently party to information that no one else in the world possesses: the fact that the Israeli defense minister is not actually part of the Israeli government. In August, the current Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak — who is also a former prime minister of Israel — said that “as the minister of defense,” he “can hardly remember a better period of … American support” for Israel than “right now.” If Krauthammer missed this statement from the defense minister, perhaps he should watch more Fox News. Barak shared his opinion with Krauthammer’s colleague Greta Van Susteren:

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Saturday, den 3. December 2011

Fox Nation is hyping a CNS News article claiming that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi “dismiss[ed] Catholic bishops as “lobbyists.” But Pelosi was simply explaining the distinction between her private relationship with clergy as a Catholic and her public relationship with bishops taking positions on public policy.   But according to the way CNS misinterpreted her comments, Pelosi was dismissing bishops as lobbyists: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) on Thursday described America’s Roman Catholic bishops as “lobbyists in Washington, D.C.” in their efforts to persuade the Department of Health and Human Service to rescind a proposed regulation under the new health-care law that would force Catholics to act against the teachings of their church by compelling them to purchase health-care plans that cover sterilizations and all-FDA approved contraceptives, including abortifacients. The full context of her comments makes clear that Pelosi was simply distinguishing between her interactions with bishops privately, as a Catholic, and publicly, as a lawmaker: “[A]s a mother of five children in six years, as a devout Catholic, I have great respect for our bishops when they are my pastor. As lobbyists in Washington, D.C., we have some areas of disagreement.”

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Saturday, den 3. December 2011

Tucker Carlson’s news website The Daily Caller is clinging to a dubious study to push the discredited claim that women who have had abortions are at greater risk for developing breast cancer. Public health experts have long maintained that no such link exists. TheDC Points To Armenian Study To Promote Link Between Abortion And Breast Cancer  Daily Caller: “Study Shows Link Between Breast Cancer And Abortion, Cancer Institute: No Way.” A Daily Caller article headlined, “Study Shows Link Between Breast Cancer And Abortion, Cancer Institute: No Way,” reported: Pro-life advocates have argued for years that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer — due to hormonal changes during pregnancy which leave breasts more vulnerable to cancer. Despite their advocacy, the Department of Health and Human Services denies that there is any link. On Monday the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer pointed to a new study which found a nearly 3-fold increase in the risk of breast cancer among Armenian women who had an abortion as yet another reason women should steer clear of the procedure. The research found that induced abortions increased a woman’s risk of beast cancer [sic] 2.86 times — they claim however that “most evidence … points to no effect.” The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer contends that political correctness was the reason the researchers claimed there is no link. [The Daily Caller, 11/29/11 ] Public Health Experts Have Long Maintained That There Is No Link Between Abortion And Breast Cancer Public Health Expert David Grimes: Study’s Methodology Was “Grossly Inadequate.” In an interview with Media Matters , Dr. David Grimes, a clinical professor of OB/GYN at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and former chief of the Abortion Surveillance Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called the study’s methodology “one of the worst” he had seen. He stated that it was “grossly inadequate to attempt to gather detailed personal histories about women’s reproductive lives by telephone,” adding that the study was not designed to study the relationship between abortion and cancer.  “In studies of this type,” he said, “the persistent under-reporting of prior abortions among healthy controls (social desirability bias) produces a spurious relationship between abortion and later breast cancer.” Hence, studies that “rely on only self-reports of abortion (as opposed to medical records) are not credible.” [ Media Matters, 12/1/11 ] American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: No Causal Relationship Between Induced Abortion and Breast Cancer Risk. The American Cancer Society notes that public health experts have rejected past studies trying to link abortion to breast cancer: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Gynecologic Practice also reviewed the available evidence in 2003 and again in 2009. ACOG published its most recent findings in June 2009. At that time, the Committee said, “Early studies of the relationship between prior induced abortion and breast cancer risk were methodologically flawed. More rigorous recent studies demonstrate no causal relationship between induced abortion and a subsequent increase in breast cancer risk.” In 2004, the Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer, based out of Oxford University in England, put together the results from 53 separate studies done in 16 different countries. These studies included about 83,000 women with breast cancer. After combining and reviewing the results from these studies, the researchers concluded that “the totality of worldwide epidemiological evidence indicates that pregnancies ending as either spontaneous or induced abortions do not have adverse effects on women’s subsequent risk of developing breast cancer.” These experts did not find that abortions (either induced or spontaneous) cause a higher breast cancer risk. At this time, the scientific evidence does not support the notion that abortion of any kind raises the risk of breast cancer or any other type of cancer. [American Cancer Society, Revised 9/20/11 ] Study Of Premenopausal Women Found No Association Between Abortion And Breast Cancer. An April 2007 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found no link between abortion and breast cancer. The study analyzed information from women between the ages of 29 and 46 years old and concluded: Among this predominantly premenopausal population, neither induced nor spontaneous abortion was associated with the incidence of breast cancer. [ Archives of Internal Medicine , 4/23/07 ] Planned Parenthood: “Studies Have Shown That Abortion Is Not Associated With Breast Cancer.” Planned Parenthood has noted: Studies have shown that abortion is not associated with breast cancer. Undaunted by the absence of compelling evidence, anti-choice extremists insist on making the connection anyway. Once more they are using misinformation as a weapon in their campaign against safe, legal abortion. Anti-choice claims linking abortion and breast cancer fly in the face of scientific evidence. The National Cancer Institute (NCI), the American Cancer Society (ACS), and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have all refuted the reliability of such an association (ACOG, 2003; ACS, 2003; NCI, 2003). [Planned Parenthood For America, Updated 8/9/06 ] NIH’s National Cancer Institute: Abortions Do Not Increase Risk Of Breast Cancer. According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute: In February 2003, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) convened a workshop of over 100 of the world’s leading experts who study pregnancy and breast cancer risk. Workshop participants reviewed existing population-based, clinical, and animal studies on the relationship between pregnancy and breast cancer risk, including studies of induced and spontaneous abortions. They concluded that having an abortion or miscarriage does not increase a woman’s subsequent risk of developing breast cancer. A summary of their findings can be found in the Summary Report: Early Reproductive Events and Breast Cancer Workshop . NCI regularly reviews and analyzes the scientific literature on many topics, including various risk factors for breast cancer. Considering the body of literature that has been published since 2003, when NCI held this extensive workshop on early reproductive events and cancer, the evidence overall still does not support early termination of pregnancy as a cause of breast cancer. [National Cancer Institute, Updated 1/12/10 ] USA Today : “Researchers Found No Greater Rate Of Breast Cancer” Among Women Who Had Had Abortions. USA Today reported on the results of a 2007 Harvard study finding no link between abortion and breast cancer: The new study, appearing in Monday’s Archives of Internal Medicine, looked at data from 105,716 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study, which was established in 1976 to study a wide range of health issues affecting women. The women, ages 29 to 46 at the start of the study, were followed for 10 years. Every two years, they were asked about abortions, miscarriages and new breast cancer diagnoses. The researchers looked at medical records to confirm the diagnoses. The researchers found no greater rate of breast cancer among the women who reported having abortions, compared to the other women. They saw no greater risk associated with multiple abortions and no greater risk linked with miscarriages. [ USA Today , 4/23/07 ] Anti-Choice Centers Use Discredited Studies As “Scare Tactics” WSJ: Anti-Choice Centers Masquerading As Health Clinics Use Misinformation About Abortion As “Scare Tactics.” On October 12, 2010, The Wall Street Journal reported: “These are anti-choice centers masquerading as health clinics,” said Ms. Lapin, a Manhattan Democrat. “Women who are scared and vulnerable and having a very tough decision to make have a right to factually accurate medical information, and the fact that these folks would purposely try to mislead them is not right.”             To demonstrate support for the legislation, NARAL Pro-Choice New York Foundation and the National Institute for Reproductive Health, organizations that support abortion rights, will release Tuesday a report exposing what they call the “lies, manipulations and privacy violations” of these centers. The groups sent women pretending to be pregnant to the centers, and they received misinformation and experienced scare tactics, the report says. At one center in Queens, a woman was falsely told abortion could cause breast cancer, and there was literature there asking, “Is it really necessary to kill your baby?” the report says. [ The Wall Street Journal, 10/12/10 ]

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Tuesday, den 29. November 2011

Apparently there are those who find National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre’s exhortation that there is a “massive Obama conspiracy” in which President Obama is  planning to follow up his re-election  by somehow eliminating the Second Amendment just a touch too subtle.  In an  ad emailed out  to the list of WorldNetDaily this afternoon, the good people at USAAmmo explain that President Obama is “secretly conspiring to strip American Citizens of the right to bear arms”… just like Hitler. The sane response to this dastardly conspiracy is, of course, to stock up on military-grade assault weapons and ammunition, which the patriots at USAAmmo have helpful put on sale, presumably in honor of Cyber Monday or the impending dictatorship. While warning that gun control is “One Election Away!” USAAmmo manages to compare Obama to any number of dictators (see update): Clicking on the ad redirects readers to a  web video  posted by the company. The first half features haunting music and images of the various dictators who allegedly “established gun control” and the victims who, “unable to defend themselves, were imprisoned, enslaved, and annihilated.” In case, you missed the point, the music swiftly shifts to heavy metal as on-screen text warns viewers that “Governments render their citizens defenseless with GUN CONTROL!” because “The defensless [sic] are subject to enslavement, imprisonment and annihilation.” Declaring that “An unarmed American is a subject… an armed American is a citizen,” the website urges viewers to “Get armed at USAAmmo.com,” then shows images of the AR- and AK- variants and ammo on sale at the website. The video closes with the cheery/chilling statement, “Get them something they’ll love! BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!” It’s not unusual for gun manufacturers, sellers, or advocates to promote firearms sales by fearmongering  about impending gun control measures. But this is a little blunt even for them.

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Category: Afghanistan, Africa, author, Breaking News, director, Elections, Environment, Feeds, Iraq, Keith Olbermann, Media, Media Matters, Peace, politico, Politics, Science, War, Washington | Comments Off
Tuesday, den 22. November 2011

Last week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a summary report on the risks posed by climate disasters. The report says climate change will likely worsen certain extreme weather events like heat waves, floods, droughts and storms. This could be costly for the U.S., which has already experienced a record number of weather disasters this year, resulting in economic costs of almost $50 billion. The report discusses strategies for reducing vulnerability to extreme weather events. The panel’s findings have been reported by every major print outlet in the U.S., but have been almost entirely ignored by the television news media, including CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC and CBS. The only mention of the U.N. report on a major TV news outlet was a segment on NBC Nightly News.

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Category: Articles, author, Breaking News, CNN, Deficit, Environment, Feeds, Health, Media, Media Matters, Politics, Science, Social Security, War, Washington | Comments Off
Tuesday, den 15. November 2011

A new study confirms that Fox News systematically paints a distorted picture of climate change, with the effect of worsening political polarization. Published by The International Journal Of Press/Politics , the study examined primetime cable news broadcasts from 2007 and 2008, and found that Fox “discussed climate change most often,” but “the tone of its coverage was disproportionately dismissive”: According to the study, “Fox broadcasts were more likely to include statements that challenged the scientific agreement on climate change, undermined the reality of climate change, and questioned its human causes.” Since 2008, Fox’s climate coverage has only worsened.

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Category: author, Breaking News, CNN, Environment, Environmental Issue, Feeds, Global Warming, Health, Media, Media Matters, Politics, Republican Party, Science, The Nation, War, Washington | Comments Off
Tuesday, den 15. November 2011

On the November 15 broadcast of Fox News’ Fox & Friends , text reading “Good Riddance” was aired during a tease about the New York City police evicting the Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park: Previously: A Guide To The Smear Campaign Against Occupy Wall Street

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Wednesday, den 9. November 2011

Using the power of his top-rated, nationally syndicated Clear Channel radio show, Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday repeatedly turned his AM wrath on a schoolboy and portrayed the 13 year-old as a villain in the Herman Cain sexual harassment saga. A schoolboy . Limbaugh even likened the young teenager to a Nazi storm trooper. What prompted Limbaugh’s bizarre outbursts? It was news that single mom Sharon Bialek had sat down with her son and told him about the encounter she alleges to have had with Cain thirteen years ago, and that her son then urged her to come forward and make her claim publicly. Limbaugh was enraged that a mother talked to her son about a pressing family matter, and that her son offered guidance. From that innocuous premise, Limbaugh attacked the boy as a wannabe Nazi “brownshirt.” Thankfully, Limbaugh appears to be (mostly) alone among far-right provocateurs in picking on Bialek’s son. Limbaugh seems to be among the few commentators who thinks it’s fair game to ridicule and insult a 13 year-old boy because his mother decided to come forward with an allegation of sexual misconduct. Of course, Limbaugh’s been on a petty, Cain-induced streak for more than a week, sputtering all kinds of confused , misogynistic , race-baiting  rants while the Cain story continues to gain momentum , marked by additional allegations of wrongdoing against the Republican businessman.  On Tuesday, that mounting frustration led Limbaugh to unload on a middle school student and drag the poor kid into a political controversy. Limbaugh even mockingly imitated Bialek’s son, making him sound like a preschooler [at the :47 mark]:   Hey Rush, pick on someone your own size.  

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Saturday, den 5. November 2011

By Christopher D. Cook, November 4, 2011 It was a remarkable and inspiring scene, a river of people filling boulevards in the name of reform and revolution. read more

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Monday, den 31. October 2011

This morning, the Fox Nation website highlighted an Associated Press article about the White House’s annual tradition of giving out Halloween treats to costumed children. The article , a descriptive narrative about how the Obamas spent a snowy Saturday in front of the White House handing out “Halloween candy to trick-or-treaters from capital area elementary schools and children of military families,” bore the headline: “Things get seasonal at the White House; Obamas hand out Halloween treats.” From the AP’s story and the Washington Post ‘s photo gallery , it looked like Halloween at the White House was a roaring success. For the kids at least. For Fox Nation, not so much. “TRICK,” blared the headline above a photo of the Obamas. The entire Fox headline read: “TRICK: Obamas Hand Out Dried Fruit at WH Halloween”: An earlier Fox headline to the AP story read: “Happy Halloween: The Obamas Pass Out ‘Fruit’ “: Funny. Alisyn Camerota, Clayton Morris, and Dave Briggs — otherwise known as the Fox & Friends weekend morning crew — thought the whole thing was “cool”; including Michelle Obama’s healthy goody bag. Briggs said, “I’m with Michelle Obama. I would eat that! I’d go back [for] seconds.” And Camerota agreed that dried fruit was indeed “delicious.”

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Saturday, den 24. September 2011

Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson claimed that Gov. Rick Perry was “exactly right” when he said that the federal government has “not engaged … at all” in border security. In fact, under President Obama, deportations have increased — including deportations of convicted criminals — and the number of border patrol agents and funding for border security projects have also increased. Carlson Says “Federal Government Has Not Been Very Helpful” On Border Security Carlson: “[Perry Is] Exactly Right — The Federal Government Has Not Been Very Helpful In This Whole Process” Of Border Security. On September 23, Fox News’ Fox & Friends aired video of Gov. Rick Perry’s (R-TX) claim during the September 22 GOP debate that “[t]he federal government has not engaged in [border security] at all.” Afterward, co-host Gretchen Carlson agreed with Perry’s comments, saying, “He’s exactly right — the federal government has not been very helpful in this whole process.” From the broadcast: [begin video clip] PERRY: The idea that you are going to build a wall, a fence, for 1,200 miles and then go 800 miles more to Tijuana does not make sense. You put the boots on the ground. We know how to make this work. You put the boots on the ground. RICK SANTORUM (GOP presidential candidate): But it’s not working, governor. PERRY: You put the aviation assets in the ground. SANTORUM: But it’s not working. PERRY: No, it’s not working, because the federal government — SANTORUM: You say you know how it works. Is it working in Texas? PERRY: The federal government has not engaged in this at all. When I’m the president of the United States, I’ll promise you one thing — SANTORUM: But you’re saying you put the assets there. Has it worked in Texas? PERRY: We will put the assets on the ground, the boots on the ground — SANTORUM: You said you have. Has it — BRET BAIER (moderator): Senator Santorum, let him finish, please. PERRY: — the aviation assets on the ground and we will stop illegal immigration, we will stop the drug cartels, and we will make America secure. SANTORUM: Can you answer the question? Is it working? [end video clip ] CARLSON: The interesting thing there is that Rick Perry seems to have — there’s a dichotomy in his illegal immigration policy. Because on the one hand, he does believe in this in-state tuition [for undocumented immigrants in Texas] – and, in fact, most of the Texas legislature does as well. Only four of the 181 members of the Texas legislature voted against this. So it seems that Texas is in line with all of this. But, at the same time, he believes in much stricter enforcement. He wants to build a wall. And he’s exactly right — that the federal government has not been very helpful in this whole process , a la — just look at Arizona, as well. [Fox News, Fox & Friends , 9/23/11, emphasis added] PolitiFact Rates Perry’s Statement “Pants On Fire” PolitiFact: Border Patrol Has “Doubled The Number Of Agents Since 2004.” And There Are “More U.S. Agents Than Ever Patrolling the U.S. Border.” On September 23, PolitiFact rated Perry’s statement that the federal government “has not engaged” in border security “Pants on Fire.” From the post: Really? There aren’t any federal boots on the Texas border? PolitiFact looked at related issues this summer, concluding that U.S. Border Patrol has “doubled the number of agents since 2004.” Meanwhile, we found it Mostly True that the U.S. has more agents than ever patrolling its borders. Of those more than 20,000 agents in 2010, more than 17,000 worked along the Southwest border, much of which is Texas. No boots, huh? Perry’s own office has a Homeland Security Strategic Plan that notes that local and state law enforcement officials “partner with federal agencies like the U.S. Border Patrol” and also notes that part of Texas’ $200 million investment since 2005 to fill border security gaps came from federal grants. Meanwhile, at the end of fiscal year 2010, the federal Department of Homeland Security investments in border security had grown to $11.9 billion and included more than 40,000 personnel, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. We’re not checking whether federal investment has been effective — merely, as Perry said, whether the federal government has been “engaged.” With more U.S. agents than ever patrolling the U.S. border — most of them in the Southwest — we’ve got to say, Governor, your own boots might be at risk. Because we rate your statement Pants on Fire. [PolitiFact, 9/23/11 ] And Experts, Media Say Border Is “More Fortified Than Ever” Under Obama Admin. There Are Currently More Border Patrol Agents “Than Ever Before In The History Of This Country.”  The Obama administration has been increasing the number of Border Patrol officers on the southern border. During a July 2010 hearing of the House Committee on Homeland Security, U.S. Border Patrol chief Michael Fisher said, “Currently we have over 20,000 Border Patrol Agents nationwide, more than ever before in the history of the country.” Based on Department of Homeland Security data,  The Arizona Republic  created the following chart showing the increase in border patrol agents since 2001: [House Homeland Security Committee Hearing, 7/22/10 ; The Arizona Republic ,  5/26/10 ] AP: “The U.S.-Mexico Border Is More Fortified Now Than It Was Even Five Years Ago.” A June 23, 2010, Associated Press article noted: “You wouldn’t know it from the public debate, but the U.S.-Mexico border is more fortified now than it was even five years ago. Far more agents patrol it, more fences, barriers and technology protect it and taxpayers are spending billions more to reinforce it.” [AP,  6/23/10 ] For more on the Obama administration’s record on border security, SEE HERE .

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