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Archive for the ‘Rumors and Lies’ Category

Knowledge Yourself.

It’s a Harlem-ism I picked up from a guy selling books on the street one day.  I like it despite its grammar issues.  I mean why can’t knowledge be a verb?

“Hey D. Zizzles, whatchya doin?”

“Oh you know… just knowledging myself…”

On second thought it might be a little creepy in that context…but even so.  Educating yourself is, as we’ve said here at Bandit Pulpit, one of the primary responsibilities of the citizenry.  However it’s no secret that time and motivation are scarce in a world where most of us are too busy with our lives to tend to the life of our Republic.  Fair Enough. This begs the question, how do we make it simpler and quicker for people to educate themselves without sitting through the inane chatter of the media?

Check it out:  http://www.opencongress.org/person/compare

Where does it lead?  To a new feature of Open Congress that allows you to compare the voting record of two politicians side by side and click through for information on what each of the votes was for.  Though the comparison has some obvious flaws in terms of presentation/clarity of information, the potential for this to become an incredibly useful time-saver both for news organizations and private citizens, should be clear.

Here’s the direct link to a McCain/Obama comparison.

Furthermore, according to the e-mail I received, they are planning two new features post-election day:

1)  A new way to save and share information with friends (facebook app?  mobile app? twitter feed?!  The possibilities are endless!)

2)  A “bird’s-eye” view of data about congress generated by the Open Congress community.  (Not entirely sure what this will entail; this is an awfully vague description.  You can imagine it may be a sort of congressional dashboard that tracks overall trends in legislation, appropriations, etc., by categories or something to that effect.)

Lastly, here’s an enlightening blog post with a side by side comparison on key votes that pertain to issues mentioned during the debates and over the course of the campaign trail.  http://www.opencongress.org/articles/view/728

Enjoy and let us know your thoughts!

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Honestly, it reaches a point where it’s perfectly fair to ask whether someone is spouting bullshit because she’s just an idiot or is doing so knowingly. And then it’s fair to point out that neither alternative is desirable.

Take Sarah Palin’s recent comments about Barack Obama’s 2001 radio interview in which he pointed out that the civil-rights movement had erred in relying too heavily on the courts for social justice and correctly observed, as a Constitutional scholar, that the courts are not structured to affect redistributive change. Either blissfully unaware or blithely indifferent to the actual facts, Palin said Obama was saying quite the opposite of what he actually was: that he wished the courts had been more radical and that he wants to rewrite the Constitution.

ABC News, in what had to have been one of the easiest fact-checking exercises ever, summarily debunked Palin’s absurd comments.

Now, if anyone is going to argue that quoting Karl Marx to Joe Biden counts as nothing more than fair, probing journalism, then who would say the media should not be all over Palin for spreading lies like these — or really, any of the other falsehoods the McCain campaign has pinned its last hopes upon?

The media need to understand that the truth is not self-evident to most people. And simply giving air time to lines like these in the interest of “equal time” and the “Fairness Doctrine” without spending as much — or more, actually — time devoted to exposing the lie ultimately does a great disservice to our society and democracy. And, if the American people are ever able to collectively take the search for truth into their own hands, to the credibility of all media.

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This would be hilarious even coming from Bill O’Reily or Sean Hannity. That it’s coming from a TV news anchor (not an analyst, mind you) makes this clip simultaneously hilarious and chilling in its are-you-shittin’-me quotient.

Check out this idiot from some station in Florida. One gets the sense she’d been rehearsing these questions for weeks, waiting for her chance to finally “stick it” to Obama and his socialist lackey Joe Biden. But give Biden mad credit for seeing right past this “hard-hitting” line of questioning and calling this whackjob out for her laughably over-the-top Fox News audition.

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Forget bulimia. Anyone looking to shed a few pounds need only to listen to the slime coming out of the mouths of Repulican fearmongers like Minnesota Rep. Michele Bauchmann, and you’ll be guaranteed to vomit right into your own lap.

Check this out:

Joe McCarthy would truly be proud.

The fact that an elected official from one of America’s two major parties would dare go on national television to accuse someone who very likely might end up our next president of harboring “anti-American” sentiments should sicken anyone who gives one iota of shit about honest, civil political discourse in America.

It’s easy to declare that Bauchmann, McCain, Palin and all the others who repeatedly insist on fanning these flames should be ashamed of themselves. But if shame were a possibility, we wouldn’t be hearing this crap. Rather, we need to ask them, WHY? Why do you think Obama is “anti-American”? Give me one example. Give me one reason. What has he said? Which of his policies, which have been laid out before the American people and seem to be gaining their approval, are “anti-American”? How can a man who might be chosen by the majority of Americans to lead them be “anti-American”? If the people are buying what he’s selling, hasn’t that issue been settled?

Where, exactly, is the anti-Americanism? Was is evident in being selected to the same conservative-lead, conservative-populated educational board as Bill Ayers? Evidence points to “no,” but that hasn’t stopped the likes of Bauchmann from peddling her phony outrage over the issue.

The GOP is clearly committed to this line of attack against Obama. They spend their time demanding “an explanation” from Obama about the nature of his association with Bill Ayers. They parrot this line repeatedly, and Obama has responded repeatedly, seemingly ready and willing to offer up the disclosure they’re demanding. But it doesn’t matter — the GOP will continue to act as if they weren’t listening, to put forth their dangerous insinuations by asking over and over for explanations that have already been offered time and time again.

Most ludicrous, perhaps, in all of this is that while Obama is forced to defend himself for serving on an educational board (founded by a pal of Reagan’s, no less) with Ayers, no one outside the liberal blogosphere — not even those insidious boogeymen in the “liberal” mainstream media — seems to give a shit about Sarah “Pro-American” Palin’s very real ties with the Alaska Independence Party, a uniquely Frontier State party that has made no bones about its interest in seceeding from the Union — an act that, by the way, isn’t just “anti-American” but flat unconstitutional as well. Gov. Palin was never a member of the AIP (although they initially declared that she had been), but her husband did join (if Michelle Obama’s remark about being proud of America for the first time is fair game to Bauchmann, than Todd Palin and the AIP sure as hell is) and Palin was more than happy to speak at their convention in 2006 while running for governor. (Oh, and this year she sent a video message to their convention: “Good luck … Keep up the good work.”)

Totally innocent and inconsequential, you say? A “smear,” you say? Fine, let’s agree to drop it if the GOP is willing to finally let go of this flimsy Ayers crap.

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This is what I’m talking about…

Yeah, well... McCain's middle name is Sidney.... I bet he's a gay.

Yeah, well... McCain's middle name is Sidney... I bet he's a gay.

Yeah, yeah… It’s some idiot’s sign in the crowd, but anyone who has ever been to a campaign rally knows that you go through multiple layers of security, and there are campaign staffers/political operatives all throughout the crowd handing out “home made” and mass produced campaign signs, and snatching up those that they disapprove of.

Oh, and as reported by The Huffington Post,

On Sunday, McCain refused an opportunity to criticize the state chair of the Virginia GOP, who compared Obama to Bin Laden, since “both … have friends that have bombed the Pentagon,” a reference to Ayers. Asked whether that was appropriate, McCain only said : “I have to look at the context of his remarks.”

Right. McCain says there is nothing to be afraid of with Barack Obama as President…. EXCEPT THAT HE IS JUST LIKE OSAMA BIN LADEN!

John McCain and his staff know that funny names and brown skin scare you, and they will continue to allow this sort of behavior to continue so long as they see it as an electoral advantage.

Here’s my final thought on all of this… I had toyed with the idea of starting a political blog for a few years, and the urge would hit me almost every week during the primaries and over the summer, but I never acted on it. However, that all changed when I was driving home from work one evening and I heard a report on the radio from a McCain rally where some knuckle-dragging douchebag shouted out “SUPPORT OBAMA, VOTE MUSLIM,” after which there was a bunch of LOL’ing and knee-slapping by a bunch of like-minded bigots. Needless to say, I nearly drove my car off of the road when I heard the comment and reaction.

We have a serious problem in this country… Obama isn’t a Muslim, and the fact that such an argument is being used to sway voters highlights the incredible ignorance that plagues our country. An ignorance that has played a major role in the failed GOP and neocon policies of the past 8 years. And it was with that thought that sparked Bandit Pulpit and brought us all together. Hopefully, our site will succeed in quashing the intolerance and lies being exploited by those who will do ANYTHING to stay in power.

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Many on the far left will, however I am not going to call the Republican Presidential Nominee a fascist… But, Jesus Christ are these rallies scary. I don’t think its a secret that we here at Bandit Pulpit aren’t the biggest fans of the self-proclaimed greatest Maverick of all time, but none of us would go to a rally and yell “KILL HIM,” “TREASON,” “TERRORIST,” or “OFF WITH HIS HEAD.” And I can’t speak for everyone else here, but if any candidate I was supporting intimated that John McCain was a terrorist or hated his country and people, then I wouldn’t support them. So, I will NOT call John McCain a fascist. I will NOT insist that McCain is pallin’ around with terrorists. I will NOT call John McCain and Palin racists, but one has to wonder what the hell is going on. Seasoned politicians and campaign managers are well aware of the messages they are sending out to the base, and I suspect the McCain campaign is no different.

So, I cannot deny the fact that McCain and Palin are playing on the fears, misconceptions, and deep seated hatred held by many in our country. McCain cannot win on the issues. McCain can not win in the debates. McCain cannot win with personality. But McCain and Palin can win by exploiting the fact that there are many people in this country who would rather die than see a President who is not white. But how do they do this? They stir crowds into a fury  by asking “who is Barack Obama?” and insisting that he is close with terrorists who hate our country. They nurture the idea in parts of this country that there is something so different about black people that make them dangerous, and un-American. While it goes unsaid, the message is clear… Barack Obama is not like you, and you should not only disagree with him, you should fear him. Barack Obama supports terrorism. Barack Obama will take your country away from you. Barack Obama and his supporters must be stopped.

Until this point, I have simply been disgusted by McCain’s campaign tactics. However, now I am actually scared of what could happen to Barack Obama, his family, his staff, and his supporters. And I’m not alone, just take a look at your daily paper, or take some time to check out Politico.com. This is not the kind of campaign that McCain should be proud of, and he should discontinue these practices now if he is really man of strong character he claims to be.

While McCain has actually come out and told a crowd at one of his rallies that they should not be afraid of Barack Obama, he was instantly BOOED. And let’s be honest, McCain doesn’t mean it. If he did, he wouldn’t approve ads like THIS or THIS. McCain says things like that to his crowds because he knows he is catching shit for it from the press. However, McCain knows EXACTLY what he is doing. Incite fear, incite anger, incite hatred, stop Obama, but then talk out of the other side of your mouth to deflect any blame. He doesn’t want people to just dislike Obama, he wants them to hate him because YOU have made the decision to based on slick campaigning, propaganda that questions Obama’s character/patriotism, political double-talk, deception, and downright distortions and lies that insist the Democratic Nominee is associated with terrorists.

So, in closing, I am not going to call McCain a fascist, but I cannot ignore the fact that the tactics currently being used by the Republican candidate are dangerous and despicable… There are those on the left who have, and who will insist that McCain is a racist and a fascist, but that would be just as terrible as what the McCain campaign is doing right now. Frankly, I expect more out of an American hero and so should you.

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As it often happens with controversies and scandals, what we are getting from the mainstream media in regards to this ACORN business has been incomplete at best.

While right-wingers, both those employed by FOX News and otherwise, have been pushing hard to pin this on Obama (big surprise), Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has taken the audacious step of calmly walking us through what’s up.

Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: ACORN pays individuals to go out and register voters. But these folks don’t always have the strongest work ethic (they may even be unemployed themselves) and so you end up with a lot of falsified voter-registration forms. The ones ACORN doesn’t catch get turned in and voila: massive left-wing, Obama-lead voter-fraud conspiracy.

But the folks doing all the huffing and puffing haven’t bothered to think through this. How could filling out voter registration forms with the names of cartoon characters, dead folks and the Dallas Cowboys actually lead to real voter fraud? Seriously, think about it. These applications will not make it past state screeners — as we are finding out. And if they did, then what? You cannot just line up with your fellow election-stealers outside the polling place and have your way with the voting booths. There are actual safeguards in place that prevent this.

So this is not about vote-stealing. As far as methods of voter fraud goes, this is a dead-end. If Obama was trying to steal the election, you’d think he’d have a little better strategy than trying to sneak Terrell Owens and Tony Romo onto the rolls in Nevada.

Agreed — this is inexcusable behavior and a phenomenal strain on public resources. Those responsible should be held accountable and punished within applicable legal guidelines. But why has the media narrative been about how Obama might be connected and whether our democracy is one step from the cliff’s edge? Why won’t anyone bother to apply, as Mr. Marshall did, a little common sense and critical thinking?

(And of all things, this? How about paperless electronic voting machines? Voter intimidation? Faulty equipment? Improper voter purges? Anyone?)

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