Category: Chickens Coming Home to Roost

FOX Defends the GOP

Two recent examples:

  • Fox pundit Bill O’Reilly defends GOP candidate against charges of cannibalism, saying it’s an innovative free market approach to ending world hunger.
  • Fox & Friends automatons defend GOP operative who attempts to bug the offices of a sitting US Senator, saying the story needs “a lot of context”.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m suffering from credibility fatigue when it comes to Rupert Murdoch’s news empire. It’s getting harder and harder to tell truth from fiction with Fox News’ knee-jerk defense of Republicans.

The idea that it’s OK if you’re a Republican (IOIYAR), which is apparently the Fox News mantra, has led conservative talking heads to repeatedly defend the indefensible. In some cases, it’s just more convenient to identify the offender as a Democrat in your “news” program.

The GOP has been playing fast and loose with more than just their principles, and I wonder if there is anything that a Republican could do that would earn them the lasting ire of the GOP’s propaganda arm, cannibalism included.

With this current case of a group of GOP operatives arrested for trying to wiretap Senator Mary Landrieu’s office (a federal offense), I’ll be waiting to see how Fox spins it.

Lobbying from the Dark Side

Talking Points Memo is following a breaking story out today about Bonner and Associates, a lobbying organization who have admitted that a temp employee of theirs sent out letters opposing climate change legislation to Congresspeople with forged letterheads which made it seem like they were coming from grassroots groups like the NAACP and Creciendo Juntos.

Part of an Ongoing Effort?
In 2002, in response to complaints that Bonner and Associates was sending out misleading faxes to minority non-profits, founder Jack Bonner said “It’s a great exercise in the First Amendment.” Bonner’s lobbying firm was working for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) at the time to kill legislation aimed at lowering the cost of prescription drugs for Medicaid recipients.

In 2006, Bonner and Associates assisted an astroturf organization, 60 Plus Association, which fought legislation in New Mexico, Minnesota and Maine which would lower prescription drug costs. The 60 Plus Association, as well as Senior Coalition and United Seniors Association, were later revealed in this AARP newsletter article to be front groups for the pharmaceutical industry (including Pfizer, Merck and Wyeth-Ayerst).

Congress is set to probe the forged letters, so I expect we will be hearing more about deceitful lobbying industry practices in the future. Something to be aware of during the month of August as lobbyists come out in force to kill health care reform and the public option.

See related front groups: Health Benefits Coalition, DCI Group’s Coalition to Protect Patients’ Rights, Conservatives for Patients’ Rights,

Coming Soon: The Yes Men Save the World

The clip here is from a talk The Yes Men gave at Pop Tech, and is a good way to catch up on some of the antics in their new movie, The Yes Men Save the World, which will be released theatrically in the fall.

In preparation for the upcoming release, The Yes Men have also been working on an interactive game, the Fix The World Challenge, which is available on their website. Check it out! The Yes Men have promised a number of activities leading up to the film’s release in NYC.

Change is Gonna Come…Eventually

My peoples are righteously pissed about the passage of Prop. 8 in California. I went to the gay marriage march tonight and found a huge crowd of people who were not dejected by the election results, but rather, energized by their anger. You don’t take away the rights of twenty thousand people without a fight.

Already, John Aravosis of Americablog and DailyKos are calling for a boycott against the state of Utah, and major Mormon contributors to the Yes on Prop. 8 campaign, which includes the Mormon-owned Mariott Hotel chain.

Nearly 4 out of every 5 dollars raised for the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign came from Mormons – approximately 19 million dollars – according to the Huffington Post

Facebook groups and sites such as mormonsstoleourrights.com are popping up both to call for a boycott, and to organize a letter writing campaign asking the IRS to review the Mormon Church’s tax exempt status in light of their overtly political stance on the issue (churches are supposed to be mostly apolitical in order to receive tax exempt status).

List of upcoming protests in CA here.

Just a thought…

A couple of weeks ago, a staffer at Focus on the Family posted a video on YouTube asking followers to pray for rain on the night of Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. With Gustav close to making landfall, and the RNC scaled back as a result, is it fair to say that God hates Republicans?

Chimperial Hearings Tomorrow

The House Judiciary Committee meets Fri, July 25th to discuss the imperial presidency of GWB and possible legal responses. Starts around 10ish. The HJC’s website has video webcasts of all its meetings online, and I’m thinking it will be well worth the watch. Dennis Kucinich is one of the speakers, and will most likely discuss the grounds for dethroning King Bush.

According to RawStory, tenacious Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has previously laid out six areas to be covered in this meeting:

(1) improper politicization of the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorneys offices, including potential misuse of authority with regard to election and voting controversies; 

(2) misuse of executive branch authority and the adoption and implementation of the so-called unitary executive theory, including in the areas of presidential signing statements and regulatory authority; 

(3) misuse of investigatory and detention authority with regard to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, including questions regarding the legality of the administration’s surveillance, detention, interrogation, and rendition programs; 

(4) manipulation of intelligence and misuse of war powers, including possible misrepresentations to Congress related thereto; 

(5) improper retaliation against administration critics, including disclosing information concerning CIA operative Valerie Plame, and obstruction of justice related thereto; and 

(6) misuse of authority in denying Congress and the American people the ability to oversee and scrutinize conduct within the administration, including through the use of various asserted privileges and immunities.

The only question is, will our “liberal” media cover it substantively, or just focus on gaffes and neckties?