Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Republican Andrew Sullivan on GPS 360

This is the Transcript from the CNN page - http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1004/04/fzgps.01.html
Aired April 4, 2010 - 10:00 ET
Welcome, Andrew Sullivan.

SULLIVAN: Thank you, Fareed.

ZAKARIA: Where is Obama right now? You know the argument. A lot of people say he -- he hasn't governed from the center, the health care bill was written by the very Liberal forces in the House of Representatives, and that he should have tried to govern in a way that bridged the gap between the two parties.

SULLIVAN: Look, the health care bill is far more Conservative than Clinton's, certainly more conservative than Nixon's was. It gives the entire health care industry to the insurance companies. It does not have a public option. It allows drug companies 40 million new consumers, and it actually manages by CBO, if it is enforced, to reduce the deficit.

It has the first cuts in Medicare, real cuts in Medicare that have been proposed forever. ZAKARIA: That board that would cut cost in Medicare is probably one of the most important pieces of this.

SULLIVAN: Yes, and that -- I mean, I don't know about you, but that's a Conservative idea --


SULLIVAN: -- to actually cut entitlements. And this is allegedly a Left Liberal president doing that.

There are also important pre-market idea like health care exchanges, which can also be expanded.

I think it's dead center --

ZAKARIA: So why do you think -- why do you think --

SULLIVAN: -- dead center of whether you reform (INAUDIBLE) --

ZAKARIA: So why does the public feel so differently about it?

SULLIVAN: Because I think they've been -- it's -- that's a -- everything I've said is a very complicated and wonkish debate. And -- and frankly, it bores you to tears.

But the government's taking over your health care is a -- is a very clear and old thing, and it taps into people's fears of government control, which I -- which I feel too. And if, frankly, we were not in a crisis on the subject, if this wasn't going to bankrupt private industry, if it weren't repressing wages very profoundly, if our actual outcomes were anywhere near the amount of expenditure we're putting on this, I would be fine with the status quo.

But I think it's a reasonable centrist proposal. I think the more people hear about it, I think they'll see that. And also, I -- look, Fareed, I know what socialist medicine is. I grew up in a country with socialist medicine. This is not socialism by any means.

For example, it's extremely similar to Mitt Romney's proposal in Massachusetts. A Republican governor and leader trying to govern a Liberal state, and this is a -- a sort of Liberal president trying to accommodate a Conservative country. I think they're very similar.

ZAKARIA: But no tort reform for -- on, you know, medical malpractice issues. There are lots of people who feel the consumer doesn't pay enough, which -- which is part of what adds to this constant inflation, so you don't have consumers, you need (ph) there the high deductibles or some kind of --

SULLIVAN: And you need to get rid of the -- the subsidy for employer.


SULLIVAN: I agree with all of that. That can be done. That can be added. I mean, what people seem to forget is the legislation can be changed, and this legislation can be amended in the future.

But I think it's the framework to show that we can tackle this problem, and I think Obama was elected by many -- by many of us to tackle these problems pragmatically.

So I think the Conservatives should say, fine, but we -- and I do agree to tort reform, but, you and I know that tort reform in terms of cost control is trivial. It's totally trivial. And I -- I think he's done a really much better job than people have acknowledged in incorporating much of that -- much of the Conservative critique within the actual proposal.

It's not perfect. Getting anything through the Congress isn't perfect. But look, the other thing he's doing is restoring the Constitutional order. He's taking --

ZAKARIA: This is very important to you. You've been blogging about this a great deal. Why is it so important to you?

SULLIVAN: Because it -- its bottom -- this country is a Constitution. That's the meaning of America. It's not a -- it's not a -- it's not a physical territory, it's an idea. And the idea is that it should protect individual freedom, and one of the fundamental principles of that is the power in the government should be separated and minimalized.

And the way that President Bush, for example, with a majority, managed to ram through huge legislation, to give you a simple example, the Medicare Prescription Drug Act, which in the imposition violated almost every parliamentary procedure by the hammer, Tom DeLay, which added $32 trillion of unfunded liabilities to the future generations. That was -- that was a violation of the Constitution.

What Obama is doing is trying to allow -- surprise, surprise -- the Congress to legislate. This is what it's supposed to do.

ZAKARIA: Let's talk about the political moment, because I remember when you were editor of "The New Republic" many years ago and Clinton came into office and Blair came into the office.

You wrote very eloquently about how there was a kind of post ideological politics that was developing in the Western world, end of the Cold War meant that the old Left/Right divide didn't make any sense. And while we've had a lot of ideological fire and brimstone, it does seem, to me at least, that the center of the country is still roughly where you described, the kind of pragmatic, moderate center that wants most of these problems solved and isn't too worried about the ideological kind of litmus test.

But yet, that doesn't seem to be what Washington looks like -- very polarized, very partisan. What's going on?

SULLIVAN: Part of it I think is gerrymandering, to be honest with you, in which the vast majority of congressmen and senator are in seats -- well, congressmen particularly -- are in seats that have been fixed so they're so safe. So that, in fact, the main thing they have to fear is a primary opponent from their right or their left.

ZAKARIA: So they worry about the extremes of their party, not the center --


ZAKARIA: -- that they've --

SULLIVAN: Because they -- they know they've got the seat. They don't have to appeal for center (ph).

Then you also have what I think has been a Conservative media industrial complex, which has found it very lucrative to really get more and more extreme on the Right, and I'm thinking of FOX News in this respect, in which -- or CPAC, these places, which have really gotten out of hand, I think, in terms of the extreme rhetoric they're doing. So they're narrowcasting to that base, and those base tends to be the activist of the party.

Now, Obama is refusing to take the bait, which is a very ballsy move. It requires -- you seem, I think he's underestimated in this sense. I think restraint is sometimes much stronger than hitting back, and I think his greatest strength as president is responding to anger and emotion with reason and argument.

Now, I know people say it wouldn't work, and that, in fact, emotion, especially in these economic times, is going to work. But, at the same time, Obama is still out there, like at this health care summit, still want his -- when he's given the opportunity to make the case, I think most people in the middle realize he's a good guy.

I think most people do think, apart from the 30 percent that think he's the antichrist, the 70 percent, I think, think -- even when they disagree with him, he's a good guy. His favorables are pretty high. His approval rating is -- is, really, at 50 percent in this -- in this kind of economic crisis, pretty high. And, in fact, his approval ratings are exactly where Reagan's were at this point. They chart and mirror Reagan's exactly.

I think he's making a gamble that in the long run the American people will understand that they have some serious problems, especially on the debt, and that they want a grown up to deal with it. They don't want to watch a cable show on FOX News in which some grown- up tells them they've got to eat their vegetables, because I think, frankly, Fareed, the biggest problem in this country is not -- they are post ideological, but they're big babies.

I mean, people keep saying they don't want any tax increases, but they don't want to have their Medicare cut, they don't want to have their Medicaid or they don't want to have their Social Security touched an inch. Well, it's about time someone tells them, you can't have it, baby. You know, it's done. You have to make a choice.

And I fear that -- and I always thought, you see, that that was the Conservative position. The Conservative is the Grinch who says no. And, in some ways, I think this in the long run, looking back in history, was Reagan's greatest bad legacy, which is he tried to tell people you can have it all. We can't have it all.

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 2nd Rachel Maddow show Transcript re: Fox "News" Hoaxes

This from MSNBC transcript page - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36178673/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/


MADDOW: There used to be an organization called ACORN. ACORN tried to help poor people survive and even tried to get a leg up in America. They pushed for higher minimum wage. They pushed against discrimination.

They had hundreds of members.

And ACORN is now gone, thanks to a successful right-wing campaign of pure hooey, demonstrably false accusations that scared America into killing ACORN. The even bigger problem? The hooey doesn‘t stop with just ACORN. The whole story, next.


MADDOW: Did you hear that the community organizing group ACORN shut down all of its offices this week? ACORN shut all of their offices this week in the same week that the California attorney general release his assessment of what really happened in the supposed ACORN pimp video scandal that ultimately brought the group down.

Fox News, you‘ll recall, trumpeted this video from a conservative activist named James O‘Keefe, in which Mr. O‘Keefe supposedly dressed up like a flamboyant blaxploitation version of a pimp.

He went into different ACORN offices and convinced ACORN workers to give him advice on handling the finances of his prostitution business. Mr. O‘Keefe and his ACORN pimp video were promoted by an offshoot of the right-wing Web site, “The Drudge Report.”

Mr. O‘Keefe personally and his supposed expose were promoted heavily, heavily, heavily on the conservative Fox News Channel. And it might have been a tip-off early on when Mr. O‘Keefe refused to release unedited versions of what he actually taped in those ACORN Offices.

What Fox and O‘Keefe decided to show from these videos was damming. Him in the pimp costume, you know - how outrageous. How could these people not have known he was a bad guy?

Those ACORN people must be used to seeing guys like this all the time. And then, they actually offered to help him with this plainly illegal thing he was doing. It‘s outrageous. It‘s very damning, right?

After the videos came out, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of the Republicans who pounced on the ACORN issue, as if ACORN was a real threat to the republic. On the basis of the fact that some of the ACORN offices where O‘Keefe‘s filming took place were in California, Schwarzenegger asked California Attorney General Jerry Brown to investigate.

Mr. Brown did investigate. And an official warrant forced an investigation, he actually got a hold of the unedited O‘Keefe tapes, the raw footage before it was cut down to make the point that Mr. O‘Keefe and his conservative activist patrons and Fox News wanted to make.

And when you look at that unedited footage, well, lo and behold. Attorney General Brown describes O‘Keefe‘s pimp video as severely edited and says that the unedited videotapes show, quote, “that things are not always as partisan zealots portray them through highly selective editing of reality.”

Among the things made clear, he says, by the unedited tapes are things like an ACORN Staffer calling the cops on Mr. O‘Keefe and the fact that Mr. O‘Keefe didn‘t go into the ACORN Offices dressed as a pimp.

Quote, “At the beginning and end of the Internet videos, Mr. O‘Keefe was dressed as a 1970s Superfly pimp. But in his actual taped sessions with ACORN workers, he was dressed in a shirt and tie. He never claimed he was a pimp.”

So the whole premise of the attack on ACORN was false. This guy dressed up like a pimp and went into the ACORN offices. And they gave him straight up advice like that was normal.

Actually no, he was dressed up like a law student and they called the cops on him. Oh, well, no harm. No foul, right? Well, no. According to the attorney general again, “The original storm of publicity created by O‘Keefe‘s videotapes was instrumental in ACORN‘s subsequent denunciation in Congress, a sudden tourniquet on its funding, and the organization‘s eventual collapse.”

So ACORN is now gone and it‘s an afterthought that the attack on them that killed them off was totally made-up. Bogus. Bullpucky.

You know what else was bullpucky? Climategate - that made-up controversy promoted by climate change deniers and promoted on Fox News Channel that British scientists who provided evidence that climate change was real had been caught making up the data.


BRET BAIER, CORRESPONDENT, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: A lot of people are changing their minds about the theory of man-made global warming on the heels of a major scientific scandal concerning researchers and their behavior.

GLENN BECK, HOST, “GLENN BECK”: The leaked E-mail scandal known by some who actually read papers that report the truth, climategate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Continuing fallout from climategate. it about to save America‘s economy? Hacked E-mails from scientists preaching global warming found to be full of hot air.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST, “HANNITY”: The climate change E-mails uncovered at the University of East Anglia showed serious doubts on the science of global warming.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are the types of things that maybe you‘re not hearing from the mainstream media. But one of the things about whether or not climate change and everything that‘s going with climategate will actually get out to the general public. We don‘t know.


MADDOW: Thank god we have Fox. I don‘t mean to rain on all their excitement here, but it turns out that climategate is total bullpucky as well.

A little noticed news this week that the British House of Commons has officially investigated the controversy and found that no one misrepresented any data. Nobody lied.

Nothing about the supposed bombshell climategate scandal at all challenges that scientific consensus that global warming is happening, that it is induced by human activity.

So which did you hear more about, that climate change deniers have uncovered some huge scam about some climate data being faked? Or that when responsible, uninterested parties looked into the supposed scandal, they found that no one was faking anything?

Did you hear more about there being some scandal about ACORN giving prostitution advice to a right-wing activist dressed up like a pimp? Or did you hear more about the fact that when responsible, uninterested people looked into it, they found it was all made-up, down to the part where the guy wasn‘t actually even dressed up as a pimp?

What we‘re dealing with here is the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) politics from facts. The activists pushing the ACORN scandal knew it was fake. After all, they faked it. But it made a political impact anyway, so they win, right?

The climategate scandal, not an actual challenge to be homogenous consensus of decades of climate science but it could have a political impact, so go for it. It might work.

If the triumph of fake politics or advantage gleaned from stuff that‘s not real - and who cares if it‘s not real or if it has a political impact?

When Republicans complain President Obama is using recess appointments, they are faking it, because if they really had a real concern about recess appointments, they wouldn‘t have been fine with them when George W. Bush used them.

The recess appointments outrage is bull. Republicans are faking their outrage over their being an individual mandate in health care reform, too. It‘s a Republican idea.

The Republicans are faking their outrage over terrorism suspects being read their Miranda rights. They had no problem with that when it was done by the previous administration. That fake outrage is bull.

Same goes with the Republican outrage over civilian trials for terrorism suspects. If you weren‘t outraged with the shoe bomber getting a civilian trial, that‘s proof that your purported outrage over the underpants bomber getting a civilian trial is bull.

Republicans are faking their outrage over the stimulus. You can tell because when they go to home districts, they admit that it‘s working great. Their Washington outrage over the stimulus bill is bull.

The anti-ACORN crusade was bull. Climategate was bull. Repealing health reform is bull. The lawsuits against health reform are bull. The death panels, bull. The president is secretly foreign and doesn‘t have a birth certificate - bull.

Fear of the census is bull. Supposed threats to end the Second Amendment - bull. The claim that thousands of armed IRS agents are going to storm troopers to enforce health reform - it‘s bull.

The administration taking away the right to go fishing - it‘s bull. Scott Brown saying I‘m running against him is even bull. It‘s made up. It‘s bull. It‘s bull. It‘s not real politics. Let them eat fake.

These are not real problems to worry about and work on as a country, right? But there‘s more bang for the political buck to make stuff up like this than to try to debate real problems in the real world. So just go with the bull.

The “Atlanta Journal Constitution” reports today that billboards against Obama are popping up in the Atlanta area right now. They say things like, “Stop Obama‘s socialism,” and, “Now, it‘s personal.”

CNN has hired a contributor who said on his radio show yesterday that he‘d pull a shotgun on any census worker who came to visit his home. A group calling itself the Guardians of Free Republics has sent threatening letters to dozens of governors telling them to resign from office or else.

Dissent is not the aberration in a democracy. Dissent is the norm. Our political vitality depends on dissent. No one expects that the president is going to have the whole country agree with his options and his priorities.

Nobody expects Americans to share the same political opinions.

But has there ever been a time when we shared so few political facts? Let‘s argue. Let‘s have the great American debate about the role of government and the best policies for the country.

It‘s fun. It‘s citizenship. It‘s activism. It makes the country better when we have those debates. And your country needs you. It needs all of us.

But two things disqualify you from this process. You can‘t threaten to shoot people and you have to stop making stuff up.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Lot of us Knew, but it took a broadcast from Rachel to "Shine the Light" on just how crooked Fox "News" really is

Rachel Maddow's Bombshell, or rather "Cluster Bomb"on her Friday April 2nd evening show was to some of us on the "Left, just a total vindication what we already knew, and that is that Fox "News" along with their "Sources i.e. Drudge Report, breitbart.com, and other lesser known right wing organizations, have been leading a willful Hoax, larger than any I have ever known from media, against multiple groups of people all around the world. From ACORN to Climate Scientists from around the world, from big "stories" to many smaller stories, Rupert Murdoch's empire led by his Fox "News" president Roger Ailes, a former Republican operative, pushed false stories for months and years on multiple TV networks, websites, and "News"papers, until other mainstream media outlets picked up these stories. This gave Fox, Drudge, and other Right wing organizations the credibility and ultimately, the cover they so desired.
After the mainstream media picked up these stories, there was no turning back because of the way they have been operating for many years - Media doesn't correct entire stories. That is, until now, I hope, because a major player in the mainstream media, MSNBC just aired a scathing rebuttal to most all of these Hoaxes, perpetuated even by that network among most all the rest.
Here is the link to that MSNBC Rebuttal - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#36155851
I will only deal with the 2 main stories below, and will not bore anyone with the details.

1st is ACORN which BradBlog has done a tremendously great job with - http://www.bradblog.com/
For those who know most of the details to this story, here is the link to the State of California Attorney General's website which includes all the videos from the hoax - http://ag.ca.gov/newsalerts/multimedia/index.php
BradBlog deserves more credit than I could ever give them here. They really have done the work that our mainstream media has failed to do: "Is it really this hard for anybody in the corporate media --- the folks who actually get paid to do this job --- to get this story right??"

2nd is "ClimateGate" which involved stolen emails that were suppose to have taken "Most" of the credibility away from the Global Warming Consensus among the worlds Climate Scientists.
For this, I will turn you over to another great Journalist - Allison Kilkenny with her story here - http://trueslant.com/allisonkilkenny/2010/04/01/washington-post-misleads-on-cleared-climategate-scientists/