Friday, March 23, 2007

Hannity Shenanigans - Bash Gore Express, Terrorist Environmentalism

Yesterday, Media Matters talked about a couple media outlets (cough, cough, FOX) that mischaracterized Gore's responses to the nutjob Inhofe. They should've held on for just a little longer. Thursday's Sean Hannity radio show pooped out the following excerpt:
SEAN: I wanna give a, a little bit of a follow up to this. Uh, James Inhofe questioning Al Gore about taking a vow of responsibility not to consume any more energy than the average American. Here's how this went down.

INHOFE: You're asking and you've asked people all over America 'Are you ready to change your way of life? Are you ready to, ready to change the way you live?" I would have to ask you that same question because we started my term on would you take a pledge to do that? I think the answer to that is "no," but in terms of changing the way you live, I think it's very difficult for you to ask other people to do it unless you're willing to do it. Are you willing to do it?

GORE: We live a carbon neutral life, Senator.

SEAN: That's not the answer!

Hannity was right: That's not the answer. As the Media Matters article points out, there was much more said by Mr. Gore. About wind energy. About solar panels. But Sean skipped all that, followed it by bringing up the unsubstantiated claims from Tennessee Center for Policy Research about his energy bills. Then to "Al Gore is a global warming hysterical alarmist and a hypocrite" and on to Senator Boxer being a blind supporter. "It's like having Bill Clinton lecture us on marital fidelity."

And then, this:
SEAN: Bruce is in Jackson, Mississippi. What's happening Bruce?

BRUCE: Hey Sean, how you doin'?

SEAN: Good sir, how you doin'?

BRUCE: Look, I was listening to your show yesterday and you were talking about Al Gore and this announcement came - Al Gore is, I know this sounds strong, is no different than Osama bin Laden in this fact: Osama wants the poor, uneducated followers of his cause to give everything - their life - for his cause but he's much too important for that. He's off hiding somewhere probably in luxury. Al Gore wants us to live in a 400 square foot house, cut off the lights, cut off the air conditioning and the heat, and ride a bicycle....

What the Christ!? Since when does a religious nut like bin Laden who wants to rule the world with a Muslim extremist fist (and is currently, successfully evading us) have anything to do with a man who wants people to recognize a scientific pattern and do more to make our relationship with the planet a little more copacetic?

And Sean did not correct Bruce or even question the analogy. Jesus, man. Now, by extrapolation, there are a handful of people out there that are going to equate buying an energy-saving light bulb to strapping yourself with explosives and walking into WalMart, relating "eco-friendly" to "terrorist."

Somebody turn off this man's mic.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Photoshop Love: Gonzales. Bush. 3000.

Bush: "...partisan fishing expedition..."
Sean Hannity: "...the president at his best"

Sean is wrong. It was "I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll...lemmie get my inhaler a minute."

Or perhaps "Mom, mom! But I didn't do it. It was the Democrats! All I did was fire some people and other people fire people and now they're yelling at me and - stupid Democrats - I'm bein' nice and they're just mean. Come on Alberto, we're goin' home. If they even look at me, we're just not playin'."

Who would've thought that mindless, meaningless, whiny bullshit would've been the result of the Gonzalestorm that buried the real story of the day: The American Freedom Agenda

And here's the love:

They Faced Amazing Odds. And Then 3000 Documents Emerged.
Bush and Gonzales in 3000
Click for bigger. You know you want to.

American Freedom Agenda: The Press Conference

The press conference on C-SPAN2 just aired. And it blew my mind.

This was not the Bush/Rove/Cheney administration monster, hungry for power, devouring our civil liberties. These were good men with the real thoughts of the founding fathers at the tips of their tongues (not theocracy). They want to restore our civil liberties. And they are conservative.

It just ended, they were talking to the audience about transpartisanship and not blindly following the president.

Here are some notes. Unquoted items are paraphrased.

Bruce Fein
"And those checks and balances and protections have eroded over the past few years."

AFA's 10 Stopping Principles:
  • Military Commissions (Judge, jury, executioner)

  • Habeas Corpus suspended

  • Unlawful Enemy Combatants

  • Warrantless Electronic Survaillence

  • State Secrets Privlidge (shield admin from accountability)

  • Presidential Signing Statements

  • Executive privlidge (Katrina, from blame)

  • Espianage Act (against the news media)

  • Extraordanary renditions, secret prisons

  • Inquisisational Identification of Terrorists, no due process

They would like to see every member of congress and all the candidates sign it.

Bruce Fein
"[Administration's policy] Has not been used to increase the safety of the American people at all."

We agree we are not yet a police state, but out founding fathers had much higher expectations for us than just avoiding a police state.

"We are protesting and launching this campaign"

Richard Viguerie
"Restore our constitutional government of checks and balances."

Bruce Fein
"The chief end of the state is to make men and women free...not to aggrandize the state"

David Keene
"We ratchet down our freedoms, and at the end of the conflict, we don't get them all back."
"All of the branches of government have been the expense of a system that for over 200 years" has worked to preserve our freedom.

Bob Barr
"We cannot sit by and wait 30 years for court decisions," cannot wait until the end of a four year term to resstore the Bill of Rights.

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) (Signed it right then and there)
Look what we could avoid if we didn't go to war without a declaration of war, look at what a mess we're in now.

Look at the threat from terrorists and "add the threat from the federal government."

"It's up to the people, it's up to congress, to rein in the executive branch."

American Freedom Agenda official website.
The American Freedom Agenda’s (AFA) mission is twofold: the enactment of a cluster of statutes that would restore the Constitution’s checks and balances as enshrined by the Founding Fathers; and, making the subject a staple of political campaigns and of foremost concern to Members of Congress and to voters and educators. Especially since 9/11, the executive branch has chronically usurped legislative or judicial power, and has repeatedly claimed that the President is the law. The constitutional grievances against the White House are chilling, reminiscent of the kingly abuses that provoked the Declaration of Independence.
Um, I can't argue with that. Actually, I'd argue for it.

The press release came out last Friday. And I can't find many opinions. And that pisses me off. I and many other bloggers piss and moan about our civil liberties. We sign petitions, make phone calls for change, and still watch them dissolve, sifting through our fingers like so much sand. And we criticize the conservatives that show up in guises of extreme evangelical or extreme bigotry, we criticize the blind followers of our president, the fool. And now I see conservatives doing what we say they should be doing, doing the job of the liberals in fact, and no one wants to speak up.

Good for them. Bad for us. But at least we're moving in the right direction.

Here's C-SPAN's site. I'll put up a link to the video when (if) they archive it.

UPDATE: C-SPAN has a link on this page but none of the links on that page are working. WTF?

Conservatives for Checks and Balances, Rolling Back Executive Power!

Because of Gonzo and the paper storm, nobody is talking about this. I've grabbed the whole press release from Citizens Party:
March 16, 2007
Contact: Alison McQuade (413) 531 – 8894
Conservatives Unite In Coalition to Defend Civil Liberties, Roll Back Excessive Presidential Power: Leaders in the Conservative Movement to Announce Campaign to Restore Governmental Checks and Balances, Individual Freedoms

WASHINGTON – An alliance of prominent national conservatives will hold a news conference on Tuesday, March 20, to announce the formation of the American Freedom Agenda (AFA), a coalition established to restore checks and balances and civil liberties protections under assault by the Executive Branch. The restoration would bind the current and all future occupants of the White House, irrespective of party affiliation. The group will present a legislative package to restore congressional oversight and habeas corpus, end torture and extraordinary rendition, narrow the President’s authority to designate “enemy combatants,” prevent unconstitutional wiretaps and mail openings, protect journalists from prosecution under the Espionage Act, and more.

They will present a “Freedom Pledge” to all Presidential candidates of both parties to sign, and call for a bipartisan grassroots campaign to protect the vision of the Founding Fathers — that no single branch of government should have excessive power.

Participants at Tuesday’s news conference will include:

• Bruce Fein, a constitutional scholar, conservative writer and columnist, and former Associate Deputy Attorney General under President Reagan;
• David Keene, Chairman of the American Conservative Union, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots conservative lobbying organization;
• Richard Viguerie, a conservative writer who is considered one of the main architects of the conservative grassroots movement over the past quarter century;
• Bob Barr, a former Member of Congress who served as an impeachment manager of President Clinton and holds the 21st Century Liberties Chair for Freedom and Privacy at the American Conservative Union.

When: Tuesday, March 20, 2007, 1 p.m.
Where: The National Press Club Zenger Room 529 14th Street, NW 13th Floor,Washington, D.C. 20045

That's right, An alliance of prominent national conservatives ... to restore checks and balances and civil liberties protections under assault by the Executive Branch.

There's nothing wrong with celebrating conservative hypocrisies and absurdities, but to be a little more fair and balanced, this is proactive and needs celebration and recognition. This is fracking brilliant!

And get your popcorn; today at 1pm, it's airing live on C-SPAN2. Snag it on cable or stream it free on the tubes!

UPDATE: Notes and quotes and links from the press conference.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Hannity Shenanigans - Racism Pileup

See if you can pick out the generalized accusation:
SEAN: I hope you saw on Hannity's America last night, we went through our top ten examples of liberal hate speech. Did you see Roger Clinton using the N word? How many of you saw that during the Clinton years even though the tape was available. How many of you questioned Why is Robert Byrd using that word, you know, still in the senate, especially with his klan past. Or Nina Totenberg, or Julianne Malveaux, or Hillary Clinton, or Joe Biden, a lot of the cuts we've played here - or Bellefonte, who, that was before his latest one.

This if from Monday, March 12, top of the third hour. Hannity whips out the reference to the N word as referenced by Roger Clinton. Then he pushes it through Robert Byrd "using that word," knocking immediately through Totenberg, Malveaux, Clinton, and Biden. My first reaction was "Wait, those people didn't use the N word." And they didn't. But Hannity's rush through the "facts," and name-dropping generalizes and implies that every one of those people mentioned as a racist.

Sometimes it's not the half-hour caller or inflammatory guest, but a sentence or two that is the culprit of his liberal smears. And his listeners are eating it up.

Help us all.