update: I made adjustments to the colors and contrast on both wallpapers since yesterday.
Ninety-eight major advertisers—including Ford and Geico—will no longer air spots on Premiere Networks’ ‘offensive’ programs. Insiders say the loss will rock right-wing talk radio.
According to John Avlon of The Daily Beast, the entire clown car of rabid rightwing radio firebreathers getting dragged down by Rush Limbaugh goes well beyond His Lumpiness …
Premiere Networks, which distributes Limbaugh as well as a host of other right-wing talkers, sent an email out to its affiliates early Friday listing 98 large corporations that have requested their ads appear only on “programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity).”
Contrary to the sniffling and whining on conservative web sites this is not censorship. This is the free market in action. Censorship would be for the FCC to barge in and take Limbaugh off the air simply for political speech it finds offensive. Maybe I listen to Limbaugh more than conservatives and the corporations who just let their advertising dollars pay for anything that sells their products, but the current flight of these corporations is long past due. Limbaugh has a history of sexism and misogyny as long as his career as a conservative propagandist. He revels in cruelty against people who either cannot fight back or do not, and never will have the kind of media soap box he has.
The comparisons to Bill Maher. Maher used the c-word in a joke directed at a woman. That was without equivocation, wrong. Even though that woman has a pretty despicable set of beliefs. If she would have been a he, Maher would not have gone there. That said comparing Maher to Limbaugh is ridiculous. Maher is in no way a spokesperson for libertarians ( which he identified himself as, some years ago) or as a spokesperson for Democrats. Limbaugh is a highly regarded spokesperson – among conservatives with a questionable set of morals anyway. Conservatives who have criticized him have been made to back off and apologize for those criticisms. RNC Chairman Michael Steele said that Limbaugh’s show was “incendiary” and “ugly.” A few days later under pressure from conservatives Steele backed off, “I was maybe a little bit inarticulate… There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.” Congressman Phil Gingrey (R-GA): “I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party. ” A few days later Gingrey gravelled, “I clearly ended up putting my foot in my mouth on some of those comments and I just wanted to tell you, Rush, […] that I regret those stupid comments.” A similar scenario with former ultra conservative S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford who said Limbaugh was “stupid” for wanting President Obama to fail. When is the last time a Democrat made a statement and Bill Maher and friends made them apologize. Limbaugh moves policy, legislation and public perceptions about people, events and issues. Maher is a kind of modern-day muckraker. He has taken shots at and satirized everyone across the political spectrum. Even conservative columnists George Will, a long time member of the conservative establishment admitted that conservative political leaders are afraid of Rush. Ever heard of a Democrat that shivered at the idea that Bill Maher might not like them or approve of what they say.
I and everyone else regardless of politics should be against any attempt to have the FCC remove Limbaugh from the air. Limbaugh and other right-wing shock jocks provide a kind of steam vent for far Right conservatism. Free speech means you have the right to be a sexist racist idiot. Let the market work. Limbaugh may go on, but he and his conservative radio clones have been severely hobbled by this recent episode.
I am quickly losing respect for Politifact. A site that had there for a while provided a much-needed service to the public in terms of fact checking. Sure my side took the occasional hit, but so be it. Watchdogs that call things straight up are ultimately good for my side and the general health of democracy. Politifact Jumps the Voter — er, Shark
Last week, a guest appearing on Stephen Colbert’s segment about voter fraud — a school teacher was charged for registering her civics class students without following the onerous new rules about how quickly registrations need to be turned in — claimed that voter fraud in Florida was more rare than shark attacks. Seeing the country’s reliance on FACT imperiled, Politifact swung into action: which happens more, voter fraud or shark attacks?
One of the people Colbert interviewed for his sarcastic report, which aired March 1, is Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. Florida officials claimed they needed to pass the law to prevent voter fraud, but these cases are actually pretty rare, he said.
“There are probably a larger number of shark attacks in Florida than there are cases of voter fraud,” he said.
We couldn’t resist diving in: Are there more shark attacks than cases of voter fraud in Florida?
Of course, what Politifact ended up comparing were allegations of voter fraud with documented shark attacks:
The shark attack figures include documented instances of sharks attacking human victims. The voter fraud cases indicate the number of cases deemed legally sufficient for an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Shark attacks vs allegations of voter fraud: not exactly the factual fulcrum on which the Republic falls or succeeds.
That shark analogy has become so common most reasonably intelligent adults know that he has become a near English idiom rather than a comparison to be taken literally. Though ThinkPpro did do a comparison with lightning strikes and found that instances of being struck by lightning are greater than the rate of voter fraud. Politifact could make this all go away by having a little humility and just say my bad, we were wrong to compare apples and imaginary oranges.
Glenn Greenwald and Digby say most of what needs to be said about the distressing tendency of many left-of-center types to eat their own, but I have a few things to add. Kucinich’s main sin, according to the Church of the Savvy establishment liberals who had it in for him, was his “weirdness.” And sure, some of Dennis’s New Age rhetoric and beliefs were pretty goofy.
But they were also completely harmless. Members of the Christian right like Rick Santorum have beliefs that not only at least as weird, but that are also quite malevolent, particularly where women and LGBTQ folks are concerned. And yet, you never hear their own political comrades-in-arms on the right taking them to task for that kind of weirdness. Conservatives tend to see, correctly, that what matters most is having a good soldier in the fight, and they generally don’t engage in bitchy, self-defeating behavior like attacking a comrade-in-arms because of his or her personal quirks. They realize that that’s a distraction from more important goals and that it hurts their movement’s effectiveness.
Liberals, not so much. I’ve heard establishment liberals go after Kucinich which a ferocity that I could only wish they’d unleash on conservatives — or on Blue Dog Dems, for that matter. There was never any substance to their complaints that I could see, beyond their own personal discomfort with some aspect of Kucinich’s personality — his eccentricity or (in one case I remember) his “ego.” (Like he was the only dude in Washington with an ego? Stop the presses!). The fact that he was a progressive champion who for so many years strongly and consistently fought for working people, against war, and against the egregious civil liberties abuses that have been carried out by presidents of both parties went unremarked. That he was often willing to stand up for unpopular but righteous causes should have made him more valued by his comrades on the left, but for establishment Dem types, this was seen as all the more reason to mock him.
Look at the Right. Conservative after conservative politician at the state and federal level -total wackos – from headless bodies in the desert to birth certificates obsession to guillotines to accusations that the President who got Bin Laden is a radical Muslim sympathizers – all of this unhinged behavior is normal to conservatives. Elected Democrats have a few eccentrics whose voting records are pure mainstream America, and the triangulating Democratic centrists feel obligated to kick one when he’s down.
One voter myth down, many more to go – The Swing Vote: The Untapped Power of Independents
Start with the premise of the book. It is that independents are all swing voters ready to move right or left politically—or in Killian’s feverish imagination, toward some inchoate centrist formation of the No Labels variety. This premise is based on the greatest myth in American politics: that independents are actually independent. They are not. As numerous studies have shown, the overwhelming majority of Americans who say there are “independent” lean toward one party or the other. Call them IINOs, or Independents In Name Only. IINOs who say they lean toward the Republicans think and vote just like regular Republicans. IINOs who say they lean toward the Democrats think and vote just like regular Democrats.
Just how strong is this relationship? In 2008, according to the University of Michigan’s National Election Study (NES), 90 percent of independents who leaned Democratic voted for Obama, actually a higher level of support than among weak Democratic partisans (those who said they were “not very strong” Democrats), 84 percent of whom voted for Obama. Among Republican-leaning independents, a still-high 78 percent voted for McCain, compared to 88 percent support among weak Republican identifiers.
Evidently, these two groups are quite different animals. On the one hand, we have a group of “independents” who voted 90 percent for Barack Obama. Moreover, as Alan Abramowitz and others have shown, the policy views of Democratic-leaning independents look just like the policy views of Democratic identifiers.
Just my experience, your mileage may vary, is that people who identify as independent do not want to offend anyone. If you talk politics in public – a lot – you’re labeled. So people avoid the stigma of labels by saying they are not affiliated. Democrats would be wise to remember this and stop playing to that pretty much imaginary Centrist Unlabeled voter. Especially at the federal office level you have the votes to win if you run on a Democratic platform, not a Right-wing lite platform.
Interesting historical letter recently donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History,
Washington wrote the letter to Dr. David Stuart from Mount Vernon on November 30, 1785. Stuart was both a trusted associate and a member of Washington’s extended family. He joined Washington’s family in 1783 when he married Eleanor Calvert Custis, the widow of Martha Washington’s son John Parke Custis, and became stepfather to the Washingtons’ four grandchildren. At the time of the letter Stuart was a member of the Virginia legislature.
The letter remained in the Stuart family until last year, when the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History acquired it through a donation by Dr. Peter Buck.
Transcript of the Letter
Your favor of the 16th came duly to hand & and I thank you for its several communications.
The Resolutions which were published for consideration vesting Congress with powers to regulate the Commerce of the Union have, I hope, been acceded to.—If the States individually were to attempt this an abortion, or a many headed monster would be the issue.—If we consider ourselves, or wish to be considered by others as a United people why not adopt the measures which are characteristic of it—Act as a Nation—and support the honor & dignity of one?—If we are afraid to trust one another under qualified powers there is an end to the Union. Why then need we be sollicitous to hold up the farce of it?
It gives me pleasure to hear that there is such an accordance of sentiments between the Eastern & Western parts of this State.—My opinion of the seperation has always been to meet them half way, upon fair & just grounds & part like friends disposed to acts of brotherly kindness thereafter.—I wish you had mentioned the territorial line between us.—
The Port Bill, the Assize Law (or any substitute for the speedy Administration of Justice) being established—Good faith with respect to treaties preserved by public Acts—Taxation continued & regularly collected that Justice to one part of the community may keep pace with relief to the other and our national character for Justice thereby supported.—A due attention to the Militia—And encouragement to extend the inland Navigation of this Commonwealth where it may be useful & practicable (which will not only be of amazing convenience & advantage to its Citizens, but sources of immense wealth to the Country through some of its Channels) are amongst the great & important objects which will come before the Assembly a due attention to which will, I trust, mark the present epocha for having produced able Statesmen—sound patriots—and liberally minded men—
At a late meeting of the Directors of the Potomack Company at the Great Falls, & from a critical examination of the ground we unanimously determined to petition the Assemblies of the two States to be relieved from the expence of sinking our Canal four feet deep as a considerable expence & no advantage that we could discover is like to attend it.—As the Petition which is herewith sent under cover to you & Colo. Syme recites the reasons on which it is founded I shall not repeat them.—The public, as well as the Company, interest calls for an economical use of the fund which has been subscribed for this undertaking.—The enemies therefore (if there are any) to the Navigation are equally bound with its friends to give it support.—
I should be much obliged to you for desiring the public printer to send me the Journals of the present Session from its commencement & to do it through the Session as they are printed by the Post—I pray you to pay him for them, and for my Gazettes (if Hay is the public printer) and I will repay you with thanks when you return.—
I am very glad to hear you have got so well over your fever—Mrs. Stuart has had a bad cold but is getting much better of it. All here join me in best wishes for you—and
I am—Dear Sir
Sincerely& affectly. Yrs
Washington, who is still generally thought of as the “father of our country” was pro united union, pro regulation, pro public projects for the common good. In other words U.S. history, real history, not the word salads emitted by conservatives like Palin, Santorum or Gingrich, has a distinctly liberal bias. Just an odd factoid about the Washington administration, he proposed a federal excise tax on distilled spirits.
“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry is own weight, this is a frightening prospect.” – Eleanor Roosevelt