Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Attempts To Destroy The President Are Relentless.

The Attempts To Destroy The President Are Relentless.

School Kids "SHOCK VIDEO" Quickly Jumps From Conservative Blogs To Fox News

Taking cues from conservative blogs and the Drudge Report, Fox News and its online properties flogged a YouTube video that purports to show "[s]chool kids taught to praise Obama." Indeed, in discussing the significance of the story, Fox News host Megyn Kelly said that the video, which the school's superintendent has said was unauthorized, "is getting attention on the Drudge Report website this morning."

"SHOCK VIDEO" timeline: From YouTube, to conservative blogs and Drudge, to Fox News

June: Video reportedly "originally posted." In a September 24 post on her blog, Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin wrote that the "Dear Leader ... video was originally posted in June 2009 here by YouTube user 'brandnuwords.' Update: She has now removed the video sometime this morning." Malkin added:

"Brandnuwords" is the YouTube account of Charisse Carney-Nunes. More on her in a moment.

YouTube user "alteredbeat" re-posted the video on September 6 here.

Alteredbeat e-mailed Carney-Nunes to inquire about the location of the school. She told him it was a school in South Jersey.


Back to Charisse Carney-Nunes. Via ModernConservative, Carney-Nunes is senior vice president of The Jamestown Project, "the award-winning author of the children's books, I Am Barack Obama (2009)," and according to her biography, "a graduate of Harvard Law School, where she was a schoolmate of President Obama." I have e-mailed Carney-Nunes for comment as well.

August 24. User "deathtodiversity4" posts a 3-minute-and-1-second video of the schoolchildren -- headlined, "More Obama Indoctrination going on in schools" -- which includes background music and graphics of President Obama in Muslim garb and a nuclear explosion. The video is cited in a September 1 discussion on

September 6. User "alteredbeat" posts a 2-minute-and-24-second YouTube video -- an edited version of the longer deathtodiversity4 video -- with the title, "School kids taught to praise Obama." On September 24, alteredbeat posts an edited "School kids" video that has "[n]o background music.", Drudge, and Malkin, among others, have linked to alteredbeat's videos. Both deathtodiversity4 and alteredbeat's September 6 videos have the same background music.

September 23, 2:11 p.m.: Malkin. Malkin posts the video and writes that "[s]everal readers have sent a link to this YouTube video of a group of schoolkids who Obama rap."

September 23, 4:42 p.m.: NRO. National Review Online's Guy Benson posts the video under the headline, "Kidz4Change: Singing to Dear Leader."

September 23, 5:57 p.m.: On the conservative blog, which was founded by Malkin, Allahpundit posts the YouTube video in a post headlined, "Video: Children sing songs of Obama's glory." links back to Malkin's and NRO's posts.

September 23, 6:50 p.m.: Drudge. The Drudge Report posts a link to the YouTube video under the headline, "SHOCK VIDEO: School kids taught to praise Obama..."

September 23, 9:21 p.m.: Gateway Pundit. The conservative blog Gateway Pundit posts the video under the headline, "Sick. School Children Taught to Sing Praises to Obama." Gateway Pundit adds, "Of course, we've seen this sort of thing before," and posts a picture of Chairman Mao. Fox News' Kelly has stated that the show she co-hosts, America's Newsroom, uses the blog, among other "conservative blogs," as a resource.

September 24, morning: Fox Nation. During the morning of September 24, FoxNation.composts the video with the headline, "School Children Sing Songs of Obama's Glory." Fox Nation links back to's September 23 post.

September 24, morning: posts an article with the headline, "Elementary School Students Reportedly Taught Songs Praising President Obama." While the article does not include a timestamp, the first comment on the article -- "who are these children's parents?!!! brain washing CHILDREN!! this is satanic!!" -- was posted at 9:55 a.m. At 10:30 a.m., made the video its top story:

More Witch-Hunting: Fox News Targets "Safe Schools Czar" Kevin Jennings

In its Glenn Beck-driven witch hunt for "czars" in the Obama administration, Fox News has turned its attention to attacking Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools director Kevin Jennings, with Sean Hannity and Fox & Friends asking whether Jennings should be "fired" and whether he is "the guy for the job." In pressing for Jennings to be fired and misconstruing Jennings past comments, Fox News continues its pattern of using gross distortions to attack President Obama's advisers.

Hannity panel named Jennings "most dangerous" and "worst" of Obama's "czars"

Hannity: Jennings' group "provided graphic answers to children about how to perform various sexual acts." On the September 18 edition of his Fox News program, Sean Hannity aired a list of "10 people who President Obama has appointed or nominated to work on your behalf in your government," and asked, "Should any of them be fired?" Jennings was No. 7 on the list:

HANNITY: Now, No. 7 is the assistant deputy secretary at the Department of Education, Kevin Jennings. Now, before joining the administration, he was the executive director of a group called the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, or GLSEN.

Now, according to the Parents' Rights Coalition, the group sponsored a Massachusetts conference called Teach Out 2000, at which Department of Education employees provided graphic answers to children about how to perform various sexual acts. Now, doesn't that sound like something that parents ought to be teaching their kids, even if they so desire? [Hannity, 9/18/09]

Andrew McCarthy: Jennings is "the worst [czar] that [Obama's] appointed." During a subsequent panel discussion about the top 10 list, Hannity asked National Review's McCarthy: "Who do you think is the worst person he appointed? Who do you think is the most dangerous?" McCarthy replied: "Well, I certainly think, of the list we've looked at, Jennings is the worst that he's appointed. McCarthy went on to say, "[N]ext to [former Weather Underground member Bill] Ayers, I guess maybe Jennings is pretty mainstream, but I find him to be the worst." [Hannity,9/18/09 (from the Nexis database)]

Noelle Nikpour also said on Hannity that Jennings is Obama's most dangerous czar.Hannity asked Republican strategist Noelle Nikpour, "Who do you think is the most dangerous?" Nikpour answered: "Well, I think it's Kevin Jennings. Not only that, that he's a gay activist, but he was part of the GLISTEN. He was the former director for GLISTEN. They held a conference in which techniques for, I think it was, homosexuality, how to perform different techniques. That's insane." The Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore then added, "Remember, we -- used to be that sex education was putting condoms on bananas. Lord knows what they're going to do now." [Hannity, 9/18/09 (from Nexis)]

Fox & Friends questions whether Jennings' "past" makes him "the guy for the job"

Steve Doocy asks, "given his past, is [Jennings] the guy for the job?" Introducing a segment that echoed many of the criticisms of Jennings included in a September 23 article, Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy claimed, "We've been talking here at Fox because nobody else is talking about -- who exactly are these czars who have been appointed by the president to various high jobs. Let's take a look at" Jennings. "And there are some who are questioning whether or not this is a guy who should have the job given his history." Doocy later said that Jennings "expressed no regret" in his memoir for having used drugs in the past and concluded that "apparently he's been very successful at [preventing bullying], but only half the job revolves around that; the other half is about usage of drugs in school. And given his past, is he the guy for the job?" [Fox & Friends, 9/24/09]

Brian Kilmeade claims Jennings "promoted homosexuality in schools" and "expressed contempt for religion." During the Fox & Friends segment, Kilmeade stated, "[T]he safe school czar position was actually from George Bush's administration in 2002. President Bush said we need something like this. But maybe this wasn't the job -- this wasn't the resume he thought he'd get: Former schoolteacher who has promoted homosexuality in schools. Also, he has a -- he details a report on how he did not report an incident with an underage student who had sex with an older man, and also has expressed contempt for religion. So, as you expand the resume, it might not be the perfect candidate."

Fox News joins conservatives in attacking Jennings

Family Research Council launched "Stop Kevin Jennings" campaign in June. In a June 29 press release, the Family Research Council stated, "Today, Family Research Council announced the launch of the Stop Kevin Jennings campaign. Kevin Jennings is a radical homosexual activist whom President Barack Obama appointed to head the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools. The campaign includes a full page ad in today's DC Examiner newspaper and an online ad initiative." The release continued:

As the former president of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, Mr. Jennings worked tirelessly to bring the homosexual agenda into our nation's classrooms, even in grades as young as kindergarten. In addition, in his autobiography, Mr. Jennings expresses no regret about his past drug abuse or recognition of its risks. Instead, he seems amused. In his words, "[W]atching the planes take off and land is actually quite fun when you are drunk and stoned."

Jennings has spoken publicly about a high school student he once counseled who was in a sexual relationship with an older man he met in a bus station - yet Jennings never reported this abuse to the authorities, the school, or the child's parents.

WorldNetDaily, HotAir also have targeted Jennings. Jennings has also recently come under fire from the right-wing website WorldNetDaily and Michelle Malkin's blog

FRC, Kilmeade distorted Jennings' remark about "promoting homosexuality"

Jennings actually expressed hope that someday "most straight people ... wouldn't necessarily equate homosexuality with something bad." Kilmeade's baseless claim that Jennings "promoted homosexuality in schools" calls to mind the Family Research Council's "Stop Kevin Jennings" campaign, which quoted Jennings saying during October 25, 1997, remarks at GLSEN's mid-Atlantic conference, "I can envision a day when straight people say, 'So what if you're promoting homosexuality?' ... That is our mission from this day forward" [ellipsis in original]. But FRC distorted Jennings' remarks, as the blog Good As You noted. Jennings was actually calling for tolerance; he talked about countering "stereotypes and misinformation" in order to change peoples' views about homosexuality over time and stated that GLSEN's "mission from this day forward" was "[t]o not lose our faith, to not lose our belief that the world can, indeed, be a different place." Jennings also spoke in reference to a day when "most straight people, when they would hear that someone was promoting homosexuality ... wouldn't necessarily equate homosexuality with something bad that you would not want to promote" and "a day when straight people say, 'So what if you're promoting homosexuality? Or straight kids say, 'Hey, why don't you and your boyfriend come over before you go to the prom and try on your tuxes on at my house?' " Peter LaBarbera, president of a group that seeks to "expos[e] and counter the homosexual activist agenda," published a transcript of Jennings' 1997 remarks that LaBarbera said were reprinted from the Lambda Report.

From LaBarbera's transcript of Jennings' remarks, with the portions FRC quoted in bold:

JENNINGS: Two years ago, one of our board members, one named Ann Simon, was called to testify before Congress when they had hearings on the promotion of homosexuality in schools. And we were busy putting out press releases, and saying, 'We're not promoting homosexuality, that's not what our program's about. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.' And my best friend, who's a straight women who lives in London, e-mailed me ... and she said, 'So what if you are?' And I thought of how I can get so wrapped up in my own defensiveness, and ... the day-to-day struggle, and stuff, that being finished might some day mean that most straight people, when they would hear that someone was promoting homosexuality, would say 'Yeah, who cares?' because they wouldn't necessarily equate homosexuality with something bad that you would not want to promote. And when we were talking there, and Mike said, 'You know, and I'd like five years from now -- right now let's face it, for large swells of people they think of GLSEN and kids, and they think, 'GLSEN is bad for kids.' They do because of their stereotypes and misinformation -- I'd like five years from now for most Americans when they hear the word GLSEN to think, 'Ooh, that's good for kids.''


JENNINGS: All of us who are thinking this way are crazy, because you know what? Sane people keep the world the same [sh*tty] old way it is now. It's the people who think, 'No, I can envision a day when straight people say, 'So what if you're promoting homosexuality?' Or straight kids say, 'Hey, why don't you and your boyfriend come over before you go to the prom and try on your tuxes on at my house?' That if we believe that can happen, we can make it happen. The only thing that will stop us is our lack of faith that we can make it happen. That is our mission from this day forward. To not lose our faith, to not lose our belief that the world can, indeed, be a different place.

Fact: Kilmeade misrepresented Jennings' remarks about religion

Think Progress: Jennings indicated that "he later returned to religion," and he went on to join a Protestant seminary. Kilmeade's claim that Jennings "has expressed contempt for religion" -- which is based on a statement Jennings made in his memoir and has also been a component of FRC's campaign against Jennings -- ignores, as the blog Think Progress noted, "what Jennings writes a few sentences later: that he later returned to religion." Think Progress also noted that Jennings "went on to serve as an active member on the board of the Union Theological Seminary (UTS) in New York, the nation's most prestigious Protestant seminary."

Fox engaging in witch hunt for "czars"

Fox has led charge against Obama administration officials they have called "czars." AsMedia Matters for America has extensively documented, Fox News personalities such as Beck and Hannity have been leading the charge against Cass Sunstein, Van Jones, Mark Lloyd, John Holdren, and other Obama administration officials and nominees they have described as "czars" -- often by unearthing and criticizing statements the officials had made in the past rather than critiquing their job performance or credentials for those positions -- with Hannity, for example,declaring that "my job starting tomorrow night is to get rid of every other ['czar']."

FOX & Friends-Fox & Friends

Steve Doocy-


Fox News Channel-FOX News Channel
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036

Brian Kilmeade-


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Was it Wrong for American Girl to Introduce Gwen the Homeless Doll?

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Tempers Flare In Health Care Debate At Capitol (Now here is real crock!)

WASHINGTON — Tempers are flaring as the Senate Finance Committee starts its third day of exhaustive deliberations on a sweeping overhaul of the health care system.

Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona indignantly raised his voice after committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana urged him to hurry up and finish a point. An outwardly irritated Kyl told Baucus he was not delaying, but was instead trying to make an extremely important point about flaws in the legislation. Baucus shot back that while Kyl's point might be important, he also was holding up the panel's work.

Kyl was speaking in favor of a GOP amendment that could have prevented the government from implementing the bill — even if it's passed and signed into law.

Health Care Lessons From Israel

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Matthew Yglesias -

President Obama is confronting declining support for his handling of the war in Afghanistan and an electorate confused and anxious about the proposed health care overhaul as he prepares for pivotal battles over both issues, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

But Mr. Obama is going into the fall having retained considerable political strength. At 56 percent, his job approval rating is down from earlier in the year but still reasonably strong at this point compared with recent presidents. More Americans are starting to credit hisstimulus package with having helped to revive the economy. And Mr. Obama retains a decided advantage with the American public over Republicans on key issues, starting with health care.

The poll found that an intense campaign by Mr. Obama to rally support behind his health care plan — including an address to Congress, a schedule of campaign events across the country and an aggressive run of television interviews — appears to have done little to allay concerns about the proposal. Majorities of respondents said that they were confused about the health care argument and that Mr. Obama had not a good job in explaining what he was trying to accomplish

“The Obama administration seems to have a plan, but I’m not understanding the exact details,” Paul Corkery, 59, a Democrat from Somerset, N.J., said in a follow-up interview.

But the poll suggests that Mr. Obama is in a decidedly more commanding position than Republicans on this issue as Congressional negotiations move into their final stages. Most Americans trust Mr. Obama more than Republicans to make the right decisions on the issue; 76 percent said Republicans had not even laid out a clear health care plan.

And by a lopsided margin, respondents said that Mr. Obama and not Republicans had made an effort to cross party lines and strike a deal that has the support of both parties. Two-thirds of respondents said they wanted Congress to come up with a bill supported by both sides.

At the same time, there has been a slip in confidence in Mr. Obama’s handling of the war in Afghanistan. There is tepid support for maintaining, much less increasing, troop strength there, as his top commander in Afghanistan prepares to submit a request for additional forces. Fifty-five percent of Americans do not want troops there for more than two years.

Taken together, the poll reflects the cross-currents buffeting the president on every major issue. Americans still trust Mr. Obama and seem willing to follow him, particularly in contrast to Republicans. But he is not quite the commanding figure he was last spring, and his policies do not enjoy the support they once did.

At 56 percent, Mr. Obama’s job approval rating is about par for a president at this point in a first term: Reagan had a 53 percent job approval rating, while Bill Clinton was at 43 percent. Still that is down from 68 percent last spring.

The percentage who approve of the way he has dealt with Afghanistan has dropped to 44 percetn from 56 percent in April. The percentage of Americans who approve of his handling of the economy, at 50 percent, has dropped from 61 percent since April. In April, Mr. Obama had a 43 point advantage over Republicans over who would make the right decisions on the economy; that has dropped to a 26 point advantage.

And Americans think the economy is on the mend, while there has been a 15 point increase to 36 percent in the percentage of Americans who said Mr. Obama’s stimulus package has improved the economy.

The poll of 1,042 adults was conducted by telephone from Saturday through Wednesday. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

There is considerable evidence of public distaste with Washington that washes across both parties. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they believed Republicans in Congress were opposing Mr. Obama’s bill only for political gain, rather than because they believed it was bad for the country; just over half said Democrats in Congress backed the bill for political reasons.

Just 30 percent said they had a favorable view of Republicans in Congress. By contrast, 47 percent said they had a favorable view of Congressional Democrats.

“What I hear from the Republicans is that they’re just against anything the President has to say,” said Matt Lee, 48, a Republican from Hawaii. “ There is just too much division along party lines right now. I don’t think the President wants to hear anything the Republicans want to say but I trust him more because we need change.”

Mr. Obama was not spared from this sense of spirit of jadedness; 56 percent of respondents said they did not expect Mr. Obama to keep his promise not to raise taxes on households making less than $250,000.

The poll reflects the challenges facing the White House at a time when it is consumed by two issues, Afghanistan and health care. By a margin of 52 percent to 27 percent, Americans said Mr. Obama has better ideas about overhauling health care than Republicans. And the percentage of Americans who approve of how Mr. Obama has handled health care has gone from 40 percent in August to 47 percent now, about equal to where it was earlier in the year.

On one of the most contentious issues in the health care debate — whether to establish a government-run health insurance plan as an alternative to private insurers — nearly two-thirds of the country continues to favor the proposal, which is backed by Mr. Obama but has drawn intense fire from most Republicans and some moderate Democrats. The poll suggested that Mr. Obama’s big effort to deal with concerns about the health care plan has enjoyed, at best, mixed success. In the poll, 55 percent of Americans said Mr. Obama has not clearly explained his plans for changing the health care system, and 69 percent said they thought the health care reforms under consideration in Congress was confusing.

The fact that so many Americans say they do not know enough about the plan to offer an opinion– 46 percent – shows the risk of the White House’s strategy of not putting forward its own specific bill. And there is abundant evidence that critics of the bill made progress over the summer while the White House stayed largely silent: Nearly one in four respondents said they believed health care legislation would create organizations to decide when to stop providing medical care to the elderly – so called death panels – despite an all-out effort by Mr. Obama to debunk the claim, which is false. About the same percentage say that the bill would use taxpayer money to provide health care benefits to illegal immigrants.

“The president says they want to cover 47 million uninsured and that would include illegal immigrants, wouldn’t it, because they never said it won’t include them?” said Ernest Wolf, 68, of Kansas. In fact, Mr. Obama has specifically rejected any effort to have the bill cover health insurance for illegal immigrants.

Megan Thee-Brenan, Marjorie Connelly and Marina Stefan contributed reporting.

Has Nancy Pelosi’s Fear of Political Violence Been Realized?

Twelve days ago, in a Kentucky cemetery, a the body of a census worker was found hanging from a tree. Scrawled across his chest was the word "fed." Though it's too early to conclude that the man, 51-year-old Bill Sparkman, was targeted in an act of anti-government violence, that is an angle that authorities are currently looking into. And if that turns out to be the case, it wouldn't be all that surprising, considering the sheer volume of vitriol directed at the federal government and the Obama administration these days by conservative media personalities, websites, and even members of Congress. This even extends specifically to the census, the constitutionally mandated survey that occurs every ten years. You may recall recently hearing something about the evils of the census from some wide-eyed, hysterical woman — in the subway, perhaps? Nope, that was actually just Minnesota congresswoman Michelle Bachman. Here's Bachman, who had earlier claimed she would refuse to fill out her census form, on Fox News about three months ago:

If we look at American history, between 1942 and 1947, the data that was collected by the census bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations, at the request of President Roosevelt, and that’s how the Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps. I’m not saying that’s what the administration is planning to do. But I am saying that private, personal information that was given to the census bureau in the 1940s was used against Americans to round them up.

To paraphrase: "I’m not saying the government is going to use the census to round you up and throw you into internment camps, I’m just saying that sometimes that is what the census is used for, and I'm scared to fill it out." Got it!

In addition to this specific case of census-related fearmongering, you can add in the conspiracy theories about FEMA internment camps, long a mainstay of the Internet but recently stoked anew by the likes of conservative website World Net Daily and radio host Michael Savage. Then throw in everyone comparing Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and health-care reform to Hitler and Nazi Germany — like Rush Limbaugh, to take but one example. And death panels, and socialism, and birth certificates, and "trampling on the Constitution." It's this toxic stew of fear and anger and paranoia that Nancy Pelosi recently worried could compel someone to lash out. "I saw this myself in the late seventies in San Francisco. This kind of rhetoric was very frightening and it gave — it created a climate in which violence took place," she warned.

In a classic case of bad timing, House minority whip Eric Cantor told Politico yesterday that Pelosi was living in "another world." Unfortunately, we'll soon know for sure whether that's true.

Interviews Suspended After Census Worker Bill Sparkman Found Hanged [ABC News]

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Even as his re-election to the Senate from pro-gun Nevada is very much in doubt, anti-gunners like Sarah Brady and are pressuring him to do their bidding in Washington. To break a politician like Harry Reid, NAGR needs to ... -

Here are today's news items from Media Matters for America, click on the title or 'read more' to read the entirety of each story.

Fox's Glenn Beck increasingly sets media's agenda
Fox News' Glenn Beck has made no secret of his desire to influence the stories other news outlets cover, at one point boasting that a story on his program about ACORN would divert the media's attention from health care reform. In recent months, Beck has successfully pushed into the mainstream stories about ACORN; the April 15 and September 12 tea parties; White House "czars" Van Jones, Mark Lloyd, and Cass Sunstein; and the National Endowment for the Arts.Read More

Dobbs walks in Beckstep
Lou Dobbs has recently pushed a number of the same right-wing narratives that have been aggressively championed by Glenn Beck, has defended Beck's remarks, and has praised his reporting. In recent weeks, Dobbs -- like Beck -- has called for a "rigorous investigation" of ACORN and said that unless there is a "full-blown FBI investigation," then it will amount to "a sham"; has pushed the conservative attack that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is "politicizing the arts"; has decried as "propaganda" a documentary video; and has defended Beck's comments that Obama is a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred for white people." Read More

NBC latest to gloss over controversies surrounding O'Keefe
In a segment on conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe, NBC correspondent Mara Schiavocampo reported on O'Keefe's hidden camera investigations into ACORN but omitted key facts about the controversy that undermine his credibility. Schiavocampo ignored that O'Keefe falsely claimed that he was never turned away from ACORN offices; that despite claiming to be "absolutely independent," a conservative donor reportedly funded some of his past films; and that O'Keefe was accused by a friend of doctoring transcripts from a previous project. Read More

Beck, Hannity falsely claim IPCC's Latif has "pulled the rug out" from under climate change consensus
On their radio shows, both Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity seized on a World Climate Conference presentation on short-term natural climate variability by Mojib Latif, a prominent climate modeler, to suggest that, in Beck's words, Latif has "backed out now and said, 'We were wrong,' " about global warming because, according to Hannity, Latif stated that global temperatures are actually "cooling." In fact, Latif asserted that contrary to common "media" misperceptions of global warming as a "monotonic process" in which "each year is warmer than the preceding year," there are significant natural climate variations within the decadal timescale that do not change the "long-term warming trend." Read More

School kids "SHOCK VIDEO" quickly jumps from conservative blogs to Fox News
Taking cues from conservative blogs and the Drudge Report, Fox News and its online properties flogged a YouTube video that purports to show "[s]chool kids taught to praise Obama." Indeed, in discussing the significance of the story, Fox News host Megyn Kelly said that the video, which the school's superintendent has said was unauthorized, "is getting attention on the Drudge Report website this morning." Read More

New low: Beck and right-wing media minions fearmongering about kids to attack progressives
Glenn Beck and other right-wing media figures have recently fearmongered about how President Obama and progressive policies will harm children; among other things, Beck and these other media figures have repeatedly accused Obama of "indoctrinating" school children, aired unauthorized videos of children singing Obama's praises, and attacked Obama's "school saftey czar." On his September 25 television show, Beck plans to continue the trend by hosting 9-12 Project mothers, along with their children, who are "concerned" about "their kids' futures." Read More

Following coverage by Beck, media conservatives baselessly claim NEA broke laws
Advancing Glenn Beck's and Andrew Breitbart's aggressive promotion of an August 10 conference call, Fox News' Gretchen Carlson and conservative columnist Ben Shapiro have alleged that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) broke laws against lobbying and electioneering during the secretly taped call. In fact, the transcript of the conference call released by Breitbart's website contains no evidence of illegal electioneering or lobbying by government officials. Read More

LA Times report further undermines ACORN videographers' credibility
On September 23, Los Angeles Times media critic James Rainey reported that ACORN official Lavelle Stewart "told me this week" that when conservative videographers James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles came to Stewart's ACORN office in Los Angeles disguised as a pimp and prostitute, Stewart "tried to get the 'prostitute,' who claimed she had been beaten by her pimp, to go to a women's center." Stewart's reported statement and a police report filed by officials at ACORN's Philadelphia office undermine O'Keefe's and Giles' claims that they were never rebuffed at any of the ACORN offices they visited, and the videographers have yet to release the Los Angeles and Philadelphia videos. Read More

More witch-hunting: Fox News targets "safe schools czar" Kevin Jennings
In its Glenn Beck-driven witch hunt for "czars" in the Obama administration, Fox News has turned its attention to attacking Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools director Kevin Jennings, with Sean Hannity and Fox & Friends asking whether Jennings should be "fired" and whether he is "the guy for the job." In pressing for Jennings to be fired and misconstruing Jennings past comments, Fox News continues its pattern of using gross distortions to attack President Obama's advisers. Read More

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Bush's Wiretapping Goes To Court In S.F.

"May the president of the United States break the law in the name of national security? ... We're asking this court to say, 'no,' " Jon Eisenberg, lawyer for the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, told a federal judge in San Francisco.

Neither the president's constitutional powers as commander in chief nor Congress' authorization to use military force against terrorists after Sept. 11, 2001, entitled Bush to override a 1978 law requiring court approval for electronic surveillance of suspected terrorists, Eisenberg argued.

He cited presidential candidate Barack Obama's declaration in 2007 that "warrantless surveillance of American citizens in defiance of (the 1978 law) is unlawful and unconstitutional." Read more:

House Passes Bill To Avert Medicare Premium Increase

The House on Thursday passed a bill that would prevent Medicare premiums from rising sharply for about 11 million senior citizens. [Read More]

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