Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fox News vs. Glenn Beck @foxnews @glennbeck

Media Matters for America

Fox News vs. Glenn Beck

A recent report detailed growing tension between Fox News and its most famous on-air personality, Glenn Beck, and cited complaints by Fox president Roger Ailes of "Beck's hawking his non-Fox ventures too much on his Fox show." Fox News journalists are reportedly "worried about the prospect that Beck is becoming the face of the network."

Fox News takes on Glenn Beck

NY Times: Ailes "has complained about Beck's hawking his non-Fox ventures too much on his Fox show." In a September 29 profile of Beck in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Mark Leibovich wrote that Beck's "cross-promotion can be a sore spot at Fox News, particularly for its president, Roger Ailes, who has complained about Beck's hawking his non-Fox ventures too much on his Fox show," and that Ailes "has communicated this to Beck himself and through intermediaries." Leibovich further wrote that Ailes "has also been vocal around the network about how Beck does not fully appreciate the degree to which Fox News has made him the sensation he has become in recent months." The article continued:

In the days following Beck's Lincoln Memorial rally, which by Beck's estimate drew a half-million people, Ailes told associates that if Beck were still at Headline News, there would have been 30 people on the Mall. Fox News devoted less news coverage to the rally than CNN and MSNBC did, which Beck has pointed out himself on the air.

NY Times: There is "friction" between Beck and Fox News journalists. In his profile, Leibovich also reported that the "friction" between Beck and Fox "is evident in many areas." He wrote:

When I mentioned Beck's name to several Fox reporters, personalities and staff members, it reliably elicited either a sigh or an eye roll. Several Fox News journalists have complained that Beck's antics are embarrassing Fox, that his inflammatory rhetoric makes it difficult for the network to present itself as a legitimate news outlet. Fearful that Beck was becoming the perceived face of Fox News, some network insiders leaked their dissatisfaction in March to The Washington Post's media critic, Howard Kurtz, a highly unusual breach at a place where complaints of internal strains rarely go public. 

NY Times: Beck's "television ratings have declined sharply -- perhaps another factor in the network's impatience." Leibovich further wrote, "While Beck's personal ventures and exposure have soared this year, his television ratings have declined sharply -- perhaps another factor in the network's impatience." Leibovich went on to detail Beck's ratings slip and how "as of Sept. 21, 296 advertisers have asked that their commercials not be shown on Beck's show (up from 26 in August 2009)." Leibovich continued:

Fox also has a difficult time selling ads on "The O'Reilly Factor" and "Fox and Friends" when Beck appears on those shows as a guest. Beck's show is known in the TV sales world as "empty calories," meaning he draws great ratings but is toxic for ad sales. If nothing else, I sensed that people around Fox News have grown weary after months of "It's all about Glenn." I was sitting with Bill Shine, the director of programming, on the Wednesday after the "Restoring Honor" event, which was held on a Saturday and still drawing analysis in the news media four days later. At the end of a half-hour interview in which Shine spoke well of Beck, a look of slight irritation flashed his face. He shook his head slightly. "The president of the United States ends the war in Iraq," Shine said, which Obama did the night before in a speech from the Oval Office, "and on Wednesday we're still talking about Glenn Beck."

Wash. Post's Kurtz: "[T]here is a deep split within Fox" between Beck supporters and others. In a March 15 Washington Post article media critic Howard Kurtz wrote that "Beck's blinding burst of stardom ... may not be a good thing" for Fox. Kurtz reported: "[T]here is a deep split within Fox between those -- led by Chairman Roger Ailes -- who are supportive, and many journalists who are worried about the prospect that Beck is becoming the face of the network." Kurtz also wrote that Beck has achieved "lightning-rod status" by "calling President Obama a racist and branding progressivism a "cancer,' " which has "complicated the channel's efforts to neutralize White House criticism that Fox is not really a news organization." Kurtz added: "Beck has become a constant topic of conversation among Fox journalists, some of whom say they believe he uses distorted or inflammatory rhetoric that undermines their credibility." Ailes responded to the post by defending Beck and criticizing Kurtz's sources, saying, "We prefer people in the tent not dumping on other people in the tent," adding, "I was brought up to defend the family. If I couldn't defend the family I'd leave."

Sargent speculated that Hannity targeted Kevin Jennings because of Beck's ratings surge. In an October 1, 2009, post, blogger Greg Sargent noted: "Beck's overall viewership has climbed an astonishing 89%, and in the key 25-54 demo it has exploded by 136%. By contrast, Hannity's overall viewership has climbed a measly nine percent, and in the key demo it's jumped only 17%." Sargent speculated that this may have been the reason Hannity called for the firing of Department of Education official Kevin Jennings, writing: "Would Hannity be pursuing Jennings scalp if Beck hadn't seen his popularity surge in the wake of [former White House advisor Van] Jones' firing? Maybe. At the very least, though, maybe this explains the zeal driving Hannity. He wants his own scalp! Call it a quest for Beckian glory."

Huffington Post: "Is Sean Hannity Afraid Of Glenn Beck?" Following Sargent's post, the Huffington Post's Jason Linkins similarly wondered whether Hannity's call for Jennings' firing was "the actions of a hunted man." Linkins wrote that Hannity's actions may have been "driven by Hannity's fear of the sudden rise of Glenn Beck." Linkins went on to write:

Glenn Beck presents the only scenario in which you'd even dream of calling Sean Hannity vulnerable. But, really, all that Sargent suggests is that Hannity is acting on perceived vulnerability. So how does Hannity likely view the landscape?

Back when Beck was announced as Foxy-to-be, Hannity offered him a big showy welcome, which felt, even at the time, a little like a territorial pissing. Since then, Beck's been the superstar: making waves, taking those scalps, and getting the cable news network to come fully behind his Teabaggy 9/12 Project.

I can imagine that Hannity might find the attention lavished on Beck to be a little bit galling. Hannity's had the longer career, after all, during which he's dutifully suited up, sat behind a desk and occasionally had to fend off actual arguments: from Alan Colmes in the pre-solo days, to various panels now. The deck was always stacked in Hannity's favor, of course, but he had to at least offer the appearance of an honest broker of debate. Beck doesn't have to do any of that. Beck gets to stand up and riff about whatever he wants, pull morning-radio stunts and, really, not even worry about making any sense at all.

Beck flaunts the fact that he's the one guy on the network who never has to play it straight or even maintain intellectual consistency. Hannity, by contrast, is more of a duty-bound party hack and a broadcast traditionalist. He's doing the same work, carrying water for conservative interests, that he's always done, and makes the attempt to do so with gravity and professionalism. Beck takes that water, and uses it to boil a rubber frog. The next day, no one is talking about what happened on Sean Hannity's show. As it turns out, putting a mainstream face on the fringe isn't as attention-grabbing as letting your freak flag fly.


So, now, we have Hannity calling for a head of his own. It's not entirely out of step for him, but it sure feels like the actions of a hunted man. That said, let's not forget that Hannity has one trump card that will likely protect his prime-time perch for the time being: Fox can still sell national ads on his program in prime time.

Imus to Beck: "Sean Hannity, Rush, they both hate you." On the October 5, 2009, edition of Fox Business' Imus in the Morning, host Don Imus said to Beck: "You've got Sean Hannity, Rush [Limbaugh], they both hate you. You know that." Beck denied that claim, replying, "No, they don't."

Beck on Fox's "news" division: "Of course I make their job a living hell." On the March 17, edition of Imus in the Morning, Imus cited Kurtz's March 15 Washington Post article that Imus said showed "how Glenn is driving this big wedge between the news department and the shows at Fox News." Beck replied, in part, "I mean, of course -- of course I make their job a living hell," adding, "I don't -- that's not my intent." Imus later stated, "I've been around awhile. You guys all hate each other. And so, I understand all that. Hannity is livid."

Fox's Smith referred to Beck's show as the "fear chamber." On the March 13, 2009, edition of his Fox News show, Shepard Smith teased an upcoming episode of Beck's show, saying, "I love the program, but I don't listen to it." He later referred to Beck's show as "the fear chamber."

Cavuto to Beck: "You are scaring people." On the March 9, 2009, edition of his Fox News show, Neil Cavuto hosted Beck and told him, "You bum me out, because you say in 2014, I think you said there will be like three people working and the Dow will be at 27," as the blog Crooks and Liars noted. Cavuto also told Beck, "You scared me," and said "[y]ou think we're going to hell in a handbasket." He later said:

CAVUTO: Why are you doing this stuff in 2014 we'll all be eating lead? ... People watch you in droves. Your ratings are through the roof. You're radio rock star. So everything you say, when you say it, they're gonna say, "Gee, well, Glenn just said, you know, we're all gonna be dead." ... I just think that you're scaring people. I love you dearly, because you are a rock star. I'm just saying, I look at it, I watch in my office as I'm getting ready for my Fox Business show ... and I watch, and I'm saying, "Man, Glenn is scaring me."

Cavuto, who's show precedes Beck's, recently compared Beck to Howard Beale, saying that Howard Beale "is on the next hour" before adding: "I'm kidding, Glenn."

Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck

Fox News Channel

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

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

University of Chicago Law Prof's Blog About Struggling on $400Gs Draws Fire

University of Chicago Law Prof's Blog About Struggling on $400Gs Draws Fire
By Ed Barnes - FOX News

A prominent college law professor's posting of his family's finances on the Web to make the case that they're struggling to make ends meet -- despite their estimated $400,000-plus income -- has lit the fuse of an online debate that he claims has made him the target of an "online lynch mob."

Todd Henderson, a corporate law professor at the University of Chicago -- and a neighbor of President Obama -- says that since he posted his finances online he's been barraged with comments such as "die yuppie scum," forcing him to shut down his blog out of fear for his family.

"The consequences are devastating for me personally," Henderson wrote, "but my family has to come first, and my blogging has caused them incalculable damage." Contacted by, he said he no longer wants to comment on his post.

Henderson usually kept his blog posts to matters of corporate law and the markets. But last week he made it personal. He posted a portrait of his family finances to make his case that those who make more than $250,000 a year are struggling, like everyone else, to make ends meet -- and people in that income bracket will see their taxes go up if Obama succeeds in his plan to extend the Bush tax cuts only for low- and middle-income Americans.

"A quick look at our family budget, which I will gladly share with the White House, will show him that, like many Americans, we are just getting by despite seeming to be rich. We aren't," Henderson wrote.

He said he and his wife, a doctor, paid $100,000 in federal and state taxes last year and $15,000 in property taxes. He wrote that they have a mortgage on a house they own a short distance from President Obama's home, and they are paying off $250,000 in student loans. With an annual income of more than $250,000, he wrote, he and his wife are far from super-rich.

But almost as soon as he hit the send button, a firestorm erupted.. Henderson says he was inundated with e-mails that divided along the lines of "die yuppie scum" and "thank you for saying what we couldn't say." He says the vehement tone of the responses -- he called it "an electronic lynch mob" -- and fears for his family forced him to delete the post and quit blogging altogether.A business web site estimated his income at more than $400,000.

But though his blog was short-lived, it opened up a fiery online debate over the continuation of the Bush tax cuts and Obama's plan to raise taxes on the "super-rich," said Robert Bluey of the Heritage Foundation. Among the questions being asked: Just what is rich? Do the rich feel rich? Does America have a class system?

"Often these debates are conducted by the same faces. [Henderson] brought a new perspective to it," Bluey said.

"Any time you want to take away a sizable chunk of people's money, it has a big impact. You just have to look at Bell, Calif., to see how sensitive people are to wages," he said, referring to the outrage there when it was revealed that public officials in the city had voted to give themselves salaries that reached as high as $800,000.

Bluey said Henderson's post showed not only that there are different perspectives on wealth, "but that the additional taxes will impact everyone."

But others disagree -- and none more bitingly than Prof. Bradford DeLong of the University of California at Berkeley, who dismissed Henderson's posting as whining.

"By any standard they are rich," DeLong said. "But they don't feel rich."

He said the things Henderson takes for granted — retirement savings, private schools, new cars — are out of reach for most Americans, and he dismissed his complaint as a simple "cash flow problem."

But Michelle Newton-Francis, a sociology professor at American University, said Henderson's blog had an impact because it showed "the country is redefining what it means to be rich and powerful."

"We used to have a class hierarchy and most people wanted to be middle class," she said. "Being labeled rich or poor carried a stigma. Now it appears we are either rich or poor. His blog opened up a debate about where he stands."

And, by implication, where everyone stands. "But the bottom line," she said, "is that no one wants to pay more taxes."

Conservatives respond to alleged O'Keefe seduction "prank"

Media Matters for America

Conservatives respond to alleged O'Keefe seduction "prank"

Conservative media figures have begun to speak out about CNN's report that James O'Keefe planned to "seduce" and publicly humiliate CNN reporter Abbie Bourdeau. A number of conservatives have condemned O'Keefe, while Tim Graham of NewsBusters used the story as an opportunity to attack CNN.

Boudreau details alleged O'Keefe plan to "seduce me on his boat" 

In an article posted at, investigative reporter Abbie Bourdeau said that she learned that O'Keefe planned to lure her aboard a boat he called his "pleasure palace," where he would secretly record his attempts to "hit on her" with props including a "condom jar," Viagra, pornography, a ceiling mirror, and "fuzzy handcuffs." Boudreau reported that a document she obtained explained the motivation: "The joke is that the tables have turned on CNN. Using hot blondes to seduce interviewees to get screwed on television, you are faux seducing her in order to screw her on television."

Right-wing media reacts to allegations against O'Keefe

Newsbusters' Tim Graham attacks Boudreau and CNN. In a post to his Twitter account, Media Research Center director of media analysis Tim Graham responded to several Twitter posts about Boudreau's allegations that were posted by CNN's Howard Kurtz. Graham wrote: "Obvious question for @howardkurtz: CNN 'investigates' and exposes young conservatives, but just celebrates transgenders and gay parenting?" In separate posts to his Twitter account, Graham wrote: "Abbie Boudreau fails to 'reveal' Joe Biden in CNN 2008 special" and "CNN's Abbie Boudreau twisted 'Sarah Palin's Road to Nowhere' in 2008."

MRC's Bozell: O'Keefe's "attempted assault" is "ugly, dishonest, and filthy." L. Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center,  said in a September 29 statement: "There is no place in the conservative movement for this type of behavior." He added: "We want nothing to do with O'Keefe or his dirty antics." Graham subsequently posted a link to his Bozell's statement on his Twitter account.

 Ace of Spades: "I am guessing that by 'seduce' [O'Keefe] was joking." If not, O'Keefe's actions were "weird." In a post dated September 29, blogger Ace of Spades wrote, "I am guessing that by 'seduce' he was joking. She wanted the story 'James O'Keefe is a weirdo' so he was going to deliver that, playing a sexual deviant, let her run her story, and then reveal it was all a prank." The post concluded: "If it turns out he did really mean to seduce her, well, that's weird, and I'll eat my words But I think he just meant to be silly.

Confederate Yankee: "James O'Keefe's latest stunt is very creepy." In a September 29 post to his Twitter account conservative blogger "Confederate Yankee" Bob Owens, wrote: "FWIW, yeah, I think James O'Keefe's latest stunt is very creepy. It solidifies my opinion that his real concern is self-promotion."

Conservative columnist S.E. Cupp: O'Keefe's alleged plan is "disgusting." Conservative columnist and frequent Fox News commentator S.E. Cupp wrote on her Twitter account: "Disgusting. RT @HowardKurtz Whoa! James O'Keefe tried to lure CNN's Abbie Bourdreau onto boat filled w/sex props."

Conservative commentator Matt Lewis: O'Keefe is "desperate for fame and attention." In a post on, columnist Matt Lewis wrote that O'Keefe's alleged plan indicated that he "doesn't know when to get off-stage" and is "desperate for fame and attention." Lewis continued:

On one hand, it's hard not to admire his moxie. And one must give him credit for creativity. Clearly, in his mind, O'Keefe is attempting to appropriate the techniques of Sasha Baron Cohen and apply them to advancing his notion of conservatism (which appears to be focused primarily on pointing out hypocrisy within the Democratic Party and the national media).

The problem, of course, is that while O'Keefe brings youth and excitement to the table, he lacks wisdom. What is really needed here is some adult supervision to properly channel this energy into a productive cause. Conservatism can be stodgy and boring, and so there is a need for young activists who can inject energy into it. My guess is that this thirst has caused some conservatives to be too lenient when it comes to tolerating some of the amateurish actions of O'Keefe and his ilk.

Sadly, O'Keefe's insistence on continuing his weird brand of performance art has probably cost him his chance to be considered the 21st-century version of Paul Weyrich or Phyllis Schlafly. Instead, he seems more and more likely to be cast as the conservative version of The Merry Pranksters.

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The Lies of James O'Keefe

Media Matters for America

The Lies of James O'Keefe

CNN reports that conservative activist James O'Keefe attempted to "punk" a CNN reporter by luring her onto a boat "filled with sexually explicit props" and recording the encounter, a charge O'Keefe denies. If true, the alleged deception would be the latest in a string of lies and falsehoods O'Keefe has used to push his ideological agenda.

James O'Keefe: A history of lies, falsehoods, and deception

O'Keefe falsely claimed that ACORN tapes were a "nationwide ACORN child prostitution investigation" that implicated many ACORN employees. Discussing the ACORN videos created by O'Keefe and fellow conservative activist Hannah Giles, O'Keefe falsely claimed that the video campaign was a "nationwide ACORN child prostitution investigation" implicating many ACORN employees. But in at least six of the eight heavily edited videos produced by O'Keefe and Giles and distributed by Andrew Breitbart, either the activists did not clearly tell the ACORN employees that they were planning to engage in child prostitution; or the ACORN employees refused to help them or apparently deliberately misled them; or ACORN employees contacted the police following their visit.

Law enforcement officials criticize O'Keefe's "highly selective editing of reality." Three separate investigations cleared ACORN workers of any criminal wrongdoing, and a December 22, 2009 report by the Congressional Research Service stated that California and Maryland criminal laws may have been violated by the undisclosed taping done by O'Keefe. California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown, Jr. pointed out that the videotapes were "severely edited by O'Keefe." In a statement, Brown said, "The evidence illustrates ... that things are not always as partisan zealots portray them through highly selective editing of reality. Sometimes a fuller truth is found on the cutting room floor." Likewise, a March 1 New York Daily News article reported that "a law enforcement source" said of O'Keefe and Giles: "They edited the tape to meet their agenda." A March 2 New York Post article, headlined "ACORN set up by vidiots: DA," reported of O'Keefe and Giles' ACORN tapes: "Many of the seemingly crime-encouraging answers were taken out of context so as to appear more sinister, sources said."

Breitbart and O'Keefe withheld exculpatory LA ACORN video for two months. For more than two months after Andrew Breitbart's website began posting videos in which O'Keefe and Giles posed as a pimp and prostitute in ACORN offices, O'Keefe and his cohorts withheld video that directly contradicted what they said the videos showed. In September 2009, Giles and Big Government editor-in-chief Mike Flynn had both falsely claimed that every ACORN office O'Keefe and Giles visited had offered to help them. Also during September 2009, both Breitbart and O'Keefe were asked directly by reporters whether any ACORN offices had refused to help; Breitbart and O'Keefe chose not to disclose the existence of a tape that showed at least one ACORN worker who refused to help. In a video released November 16, 2009, O'Keefe finally acknowledged that a Los Angeles ACORN worker they filmed in August 2009 "would not assist us obtain a house for our illegal activities."

O'Keefe pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal charge of entering Senate office under false pretenses. As reported by The Times-Picayune on May 26:

The four defendants who were arrested in January in Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in the Hale Boggs federal complex in New Orleans pleaded guilty Wednesday morning in federal court to entering real property belonging to the United States under false pretenses.

Magistrate Judge Daniel Knowles III sentenced Stan Dai, Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan each to two years probation, a fine of $1,500 and 75 hours of community service during their first year of probation.

James O'Keefe, as leader of the group and famous for posing as a pimp in ACORN office videos, received three years of probation, a fine of $1,500 and 100 hours of community service.

O'Keefe's BigGovernment video omits relevant clip in claiming that "Census supervisors" were "systemically encouraging employees to falsify information on their time sheets." In a ten-minute video posted on, O'Keefe stated that he had been hired as a Census worker and attended two days of training. He said, "What I found were Census supervisors systematically encouraging employees to falsify information on their time sheets." The video includes clips of census leaders, who according to O'Keefe, "didn't seem to have a problem with the discrepancy" of the hours recorded on his time sheet versus the hours he claimed to have worked. O'Keefe omitted a clip that was later aired by ABC, which shows a census leader emphasizing the importance of accurately reporting on miles driven by census enumerators. 

Friend of O'Keefe reportedly objected to past transcript distortion. A September 18, 2009, New York Times article reported that Liz Farkas, a college friend of O'Keefe's while at Rutgers University, said she "grew disillusioned" after O'Keefe asked Farkas to help deceptively "edit the script" of a video involving a nurse at the University of California at Los Angeles.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hume falsely claims that the stimulus failed #p2

Media Matters for America

Hume falsely claims that the stimulus failed

Fox News' Brit Hume claimed that the stimulus "manifestly failed" to "get the unemployment rate down." This claim flies in the face of the economic consensus, as economists believe the stimulus raised GDP and increased employment and "substantial[ly]" boosted GDP.

Hume claims that the stimulus "manifestly failed"

Hume: Stimulus "manifestly failed" to "get the unemployment rate down." On the September 26 edition of Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume claimed that instead of getting "something done about the economy" as "the public wanted," Obama "allow[ed] Congress to enact this whopping stimulus bill, which was completely unfocused and promiscuous in its spending, that has manifestly failed, A, to end the rescission, which ended in June of 2009, and B, to get the unemployment rate down."

Independent and private analysts: Stimulus significantly raised employment

CEA: ARRA raised employment "by between 2.5 and 3.6 million." In its fourth quarterly report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act [ARRA] of 2009, the White House's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) stated that "as of the second quarter of 2010, the ARRA has raised employment relative to what it otherwise would have been by between 2.5 and 3.6 million. These estimates are broadly consistent with the direct recipient reporting data available for 2010:Q1."

CBO estimates stimulus increased employment by up to 3.3 million jobs. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in August that as of the second quarter of 2010, the stimulus "[i]ncreased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million." 

IHS/Global Insight estimates job impact of 1.7 million by early 2010. stated on February 17 that "[u]sing updated estimates provided to PolitiFact, IHS/Global Insight estimates that 1.7 million jobs will be created or saved by the first quarter of 2010." The CEA report also cites this estimate from IHS/Global Insight.

Moody's estimated 1.9 million additional jobs by early 2010.  The PolitiFact post further stated that "[u]sing updated estimates provided to PolitiFact ... Moody's estimated that 1.9 million jobs will be created or saved" by the first quarter of 2010. The CEA report also cited this estimate from Moody's

Macroeconomic Advisers estimated 1.8million additional jobs by early 2010. The CEA report stated that Macroeconomic Advisers estimates that the Recovery Act raised employment by 1.8 million as of the second quarter of 2010, citing an analysis provided to CEA.

Administration estimated stimulus would increase employment by between 3.3 and 4.1 million jobs by the end of 2010. In a January 9, 2009, report on the job impact of a "prototypical" stimulus package "in the range that the President-Elect has discussed," Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein estimated that a stimulus package would raise employment by between "3.3 to 4.1 million jobs" by the end of 2010. The report clearly notes that this estimate is calculated "relative to the no-stimulus baseline."

Economists: "The effects of the fiscal stimulus" on economy "appear very substantial"

Moody's study shows "the effects of the fiscal stimulus alone appear very substantial, raising 2010 real GDP by about 3.4%." A recent study by Alan Blinder, the president of Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers, and Mark Zandi, the co-founder of Moody's, simulated the "macroeconomic effects of the government's total policy response" to the recent economic downturn and found that "the effects of the fiscal stimulus alone appear very substantial, raising 2010 real GDP by about 3.4%, holding the unemployment rate about 1½ percentage points lower, and adding almost 2.7 million jobs to U.S. payrolls."

Wall Street Journal: 70 percent of economists surveyed said stimulus helped. The Wall Street Journal reported on March 12 that 38 of the 54 economists it surveyed "said the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act boosted growth and mitigated job losses, while six said the legislation had a net negative effect."

ABC News: Most on panel of economists "think the economy would be worse" without the stimulus. ABC News reported on February 18 that "most" of the economists on its panel "think the economy would be worse today without the big aid package, which totaled $787 billion and was signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 17, 2009."

NABE: 83 percent say stimulus raised GDP. A February survey of 203 members of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) found that, "[e]ighty-three percent believe that GDP is currently higher than it would have been without the 2009 stimulus package (ARRA)."

Special Report with Brit Hume

FOX Broadcasting Company

FOX News Sunday

Fox News Sunday

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Friday, September 24, 2010

I don't care why Mark Zuckerberg is donating $100 million to improve lives of Newark's children. I care very much that it's being done.


batshit crazy: VIDEO of Christine O'Donnell: I'm going to stop the whole country from having sex #p2

.@GOP 's 'Pledge to America': closer look at the details


.@gop The Scam On America - the Pledge to America - directed by a lobbyist #p2

The Scam On America

With great fanfare, House Republicans unveiled their "Pledge to America" yesterday, a document comprised primarily of attacks on legislation passed under President Obama. "The 45-page booklet explaining the Pledge contains archaic fonts reminiscent of the founding texts," writes the Washington Post's Dana Milbank. "Yet for all the grandiosity, the document they released is small in its ambition." Further investigation of the final release -- once the attacks on an "arrogant and out-of-touch government of self-appointed elites" and the full-color photographs of the House Republican elite are overlooked -- reveals that the "2010 Republican Agenda" is little more than a re-affirmation of the "Party of No." Yesterday's Progress Report noted that the entire economic platform of the pledge is a return to Bush's tax cuts and spending levels, the failed policies that brought us the worst recession since the Great Depression. The promised combination of regressive tax cuts, deficit reduction, and new spending in the Pledge is "fuzzy Washington math," charges Newsweek's Ben Adler. Energy policy is dispatched in one sentence. The Republican plan on health care is to replace the Affordable Care Act with provisions from the Affordable Care Act. "The Pledge to America should have been called the Scam on America because it does nothing to help Americans," writes the Examiner's Maryann Tobin, "unless of course they are CEOs of big oil companies, drug companies, or Wall Street bankers." Conservatives found the document risible as well. "It is a series of compromises and milquetoast rhetorical flourishes in search of unanimity among House Republicans because the House GOP does not have the fortitude to lead boldly in opposition to Barack Obama," charged right-wing blogger and CNN contributor Erick Erickson. "We're not going to be any different than what we've been," House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said at the Pledge's revealing. "It's not even a sequel!" the Daily Show's Jon Stewart responded. "It's like a shot-by-shot remake."

GOP PLEDGE TO LOBBYISTS: As the Huffington Post's Sam Stein revealed yesterday, the GOP's new "Pledge to America" was directed by a staffer named Brian Wild who, until early this year, was a lobbyist at a prominent D.C. firm that lobbied on behalf of corporate giants like Exxon. Moreover, the insurance industry is the leading contributor to Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the Republican who led the effort. "Instead of a pledge to the American people, Congressional Republicans made a pledge to the big special interests to restore the same economic ideas that benefited them at the expense of middle-class families," White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer argues. Consistent with its desire to placate lobbyists, the pledge omits any mention of a key Republican mantra: a ban on earmarks. When it comes to energy policy, the GOP leaders ignore public opinion and science, instead promoting the same old ideas flogged by Big Oil lobbyists and other energy interests: more oil drilling ("increase access to domestic energy sources") while disregarding pollution ("oppose attempts to impose a national 'cap and trade' energy tax"). The GOP pledge would also halt clean energy investments made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and block new safety, health and environmental rules. "Rather than listening to the American people, the pledge listens to polluter lobbyists," describes Center for American Progress Action Fund senior fellow Daniel J. Weiss.

RETURN TO RADICALISM: After Obama took office, a number of GOP officials and candidates embraced "tentherism," the radical belief that everything from Medicare to Social Security to unemployment insurance to belonging to the United Nations violates the Constitution's Tenth Amendment. Until the "Pledge to America," however, it's been an open question whether the GOP as a whole would embrace this absurd viewpoint, or whether they would leave tenther rhetoric to fringe figures such as Michele Bachmann, Joe Miller or Sharron Angle. The first passage is a pledge to read the Constitution as a tenther document, putting essential programs like Social Security or Medicare on the chopping block. "The constitutional lunatics are now in charge of the GOP's asylum," writes CAP policy analyst Ian Millhiser. Ignoring immigration reform, the Pledge proposes an enforcement-only approach to immigration and appears to endorse and promote Arizona-like immigration policies. Given that 54 percent of all Americans regard the immigration issue as "very important" and that a majority of voters -- across party lines -- support immigration reform, "it's surprising the GOP didn't provide more details," the Wonk Room's Andrea Nill responds. 

IGNORING AMERICA: Stripped of pablum, giveaways to lobbyists, and Bush-era ideas, little is left in the "Pledge to America." In fact, the "Republican Agenda" ignores some of the most essential challenges facing the United States. Global warming is nowhere to be found, even though this is the hottest year in recorded history. Even more remarkably, there is no plan for Iraq or Afghanistan. There is no mention of how Republicans plan to deal with either war and no acknowledgment that this year was the deadliest year in Afghanistan. Of the eight points in the plan devoted to national security, over half are devoted to keeping people out of America, indicating that the Republican House leadership simply doesn't know how it wants to engage the world. The agenda is supposedly the culmination of a project GOP lawmakers launched -- America Speaking Out -- which was designed to give the public a virtual platform to submit ideas and then vote on them. It may not be surprising that the Republicans ignored the highly popular ideas to decriminalize marijuana use, a ballot issue in five states this November. But they also deliberately ignored the most popular "job creation" idea, to "stop the outsourcing of jobs" by eliminating tax breaks for outsourcing companies.


"Senate Democrats said Thursday that they would postpone a highly contentious floor fight over what to do about the expiring Bush-era tax cuts until after the November elections." "We will come back in November and stay in session as long as it takes to get this done," said a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

The U.S. delegation walked out of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's U.N. speech yesterday after he said "most people believe the U.S. government was behind the Sept. 11 terror attacks" in order to "reverse the declining American economy" and "assure Israel's survival." The U.S. delegation said his "vile conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic slurs" are as "abhorrent and delusional as they are predictable."

Dick Armey's FreedomWorks -- the right-wing group that has coordinated the tea party movement -- yesterday endorsed GOP U.S. Senate candidate in Alaska Joe Miller. And in another boost, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) "lashed out" at Sen. Lisa Murkowski's (R-AK) write-in bid against Miller and Democrat Scott McAdams, asking his supporters to donate money to Miller's campaign.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) announced yesterday that she will be blocking the nomination of Jack Lew to direct the Office of Management and Budget until the Obama administration lifts its moratorium on offshore drilling. "I find it stunning that the administration was aware that their actions might eliminate nearly 23,000 jobs in an already faltering economy, and proceeded anyway," she said.

Yesterday, California's Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman said she would vote against Proposition 23, a ballot measure that would roll back California's landmark greenhouse-gas emissions law, AB 32. But Whitman also "reiterated her call for a one-year moratorium" of AB 32, attacking it as a "job-killer" and implying green jobs come at the expense of "the other 97% of jobs."

A new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says that the U.S. "is the fattest nation among 33 countries with advanced economies." Two-thirds of all Americans are overweight or obese while 72 million adults are obese — roughly 30 pounds overweight. "Obesity is a growing threat to public health in all the advanced countries throughout the world," an OECD spokesman said.

And finally: Rapper Kanye West has "finally broken his silence" over President Obama calling him a "jack--s" last year. "[I]f he said that to relate to the room or lighten the room up and the whole mood, then I'd be more than happy to be the butt of all of his jokes if it in the some way helps his overall mission," he said in a magazine interview.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

absolute douchebag: @Limbaugh: "If you voted for Obama, you deserve to be unemployed" and "in misery" #p2

Media Matters for America

Limbaugh: "If you voted for Obama, you deserve to be unemployed" and "in misery"

By Solange Uwimana

Rush Limbaugh was in full campaign mode today, using the majority of his three hours to stump for the Republicans and their newly released "Pledge to America." He gleefully announced, "I just love listening to all these Democrats react in panic to it," using "worn-out" talking points, he said, to rail against it. But it wasn't just Democrats who reacted negatively to the "pledge" -- some conservatives have also derided the plan, with David Frum calling it "a pledge to nowhere." But Rush enthusiastically promoted it time and again as a "basic, common-sense" plan that will put a halt to the Democrats' "wrecking ball of destruction."

He repeatedly referenced the "pledge" as an alternative to the Democrats, that "bankrupt bunch of people" who "don't want to give the keys back," who are "not through stripping the car -- the car being the country." Channeling the "average American," Rush claimed that the "pledge" is "what people are clamoring for" and said that "people want an end to what is happening now. They want the breaks applied to the Obama agenda."

Rush also continued to take up the cause of the wealthy, attacking those Obama voters who find themselves unemployed but believe extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy would increase the debt. Rush railed: "Now if you think -- if you are a college student and you've got a degree and you're out there and you can't find a job ... if you agree with Obama that the Bush tax cuts ought to sunset, if you think $700 billion ought to be taken out of the private sector and sent to Obama, then you deserve to be out of work for the rest of your life, because that $700 billion taken out of the private sector could be used to grow businesses and hire people. ... If you voted for Obama, you deserve to be unemployed. If you voted for Obama, you deserve to be in misery because that's what he has in mind for every one of us."

Rush also spent time telling his listeners to "vote against" "[a]nybody with a 'D' next to their name." He practically screamed at one point, "You want four more years of Obama and Biden and all the rest of them? You want four more years of assaults on the United States?" He would later vouch for Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, whom he referred to as "bright" and "smart," saying he didn't see what the problem was for those who hesitate to support her. Exasperated, he continued: "I don't think this is complicated at all." Capping off his keen political analysis of O'Donnell, he cracked: "I'd rather look at her than Mike Castle. I think she's kind of cute."

Here are some highlights from today's show:

Limbaugh: Obama doesn't "want any part" of Afghanistan war and said "screw you" to the generals

Limbaugh: Obama voters engaged in drug-induced "hook-up" in a bar, while tea partiers are "married to a cause"

Limbaugh in full campaign mode: GOP Pledge to America is "what people are clamoring for"

Limbaugh: Obama administration is "not through stripping the car -- the car being the country"

Limbaugh: "Anybody with a 'D' next to their name -- you vote against them"

Rush's political analysis: "I'd rather look at [O'Donnell] than Mike Castle. I think she's kind of cute"

Rush falsely claims that FDA might rescind approval of Avastin for breast cancer "because its too expensive"

Limbaugh: "If you voted for Obama, you deserve to be unemployed" and "in misery"

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.@gop Pledging Allegiance To Failed Policies from #p2

Pledging Allegiance To Failed Policies

Today, House Republicans are unveiling the "Pledge to America" -- a pre-election document styled after 1994's Contract with America -- at a hardware store in Sterling, VA. The plan sorts policy items into "five broad categories" -- jobs, government reform, federal spending, national security, and health care -- and is part of "an effort to respond to the allegation that the GOP is the 'party of no.'" "It's important to show what Republicans are for," said one House Republican involved in the drafting. The document only includes two items regarding social issues -- defending "traditional marriage" and preventing taxpayer funding of abortion in line with the current Hyde amendment -- and Republican aides have "cautioned against comparing the new proposal with the party's original Contract With America." In fact, only incumbent lawmakers were involved in its drafting, and they won't even be signing it. "The new agenda is not a political platform, aides said, but rather an outline of the party's targets in the final weeks of the legislative session," the New York Times reported. If that's the case, then, the document makes it abundantly clear that House Republicans are ready to double down on the failed policies of the Bush administration, on everything from taxes and federal spending to national security, and want to undo some of the strong progressive policies enacted by the current Congress.

REVIVING BUSH'S DEFICITS AND TAX CUTS: First and foremost, the Pledge calls for retaining the entirety of the Bush tax cuts -- rejecting President Obama's plan to save $830 billion by letting the tax cuts for the richest two percent of Americans expire on schedule -- and cutting overall government spending back to the 2008 level next year, thus literally embracing Bush's tax and spending policies. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has pointed out, cutting the budget back to 2008 levels across-the-board means 21 percent reductions in discretionary programs, including more than $8 billion in cuts to K-12 education. But the cuts don't come close to eliminating the deficit, particularly considering the GOP plans to pass $4 trillion more in tax cuts, plus an additional small business tax cut. Of course, endorsing an across-the-board cut, instead of laying out specific areas of the budget that can be pared back alongside responsible revenue increases, epitomizes the Republican approach to budgeting. In fact, when directly asked, many House Republicans, including House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (VA), can't name a single program they'd like to cut. And already, some Republicans are saying that the Pledge isn't even radical enough when it comes to cutting spending. "It's not taking us where we ultimately have to go as a country, dealing with entitlements and permanent tax changes," said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) who has reportedly "advocated for a plan that dealt specifically with Social Security." Notably, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) -- the Republican budget chief who has released a full plan for privatizing Social Security and Medicare -- was not scheduled to appear at the Pledge unveiling, confirming that many in the Republican leadership are hesitant to publicly tie themselves to his proposals.

REPEALING HEALTH CARE REFORM: The Republican pledge also dedicates an entire section to repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with some of the same solutions that the GOP promoted during the health care reform debate, such as medical malpractice reform (which won't do much to bring down health care costs) and allowing insurance to be sold across state lines (which would lead to a regulatory race to the bottom). However, repealing the ACA will add $143 billion to the deficit over ten years, according to the Congressional Budget Office, as the cost containment measures and revenue increases in the bill also disappear. Interestingly, the Pledge also says that Republican health care reform will prevent health insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions, but without including an individual mandate that everyone purchase health insurance. Of course, as Newsweek's Ben Adler explains, "Such a prohibition is economically infeasible without the individual mandate that health-care reform included," as people wouldn't buy health insurance until after they get sick. Forcing insurance companies to cover those with pre-existing conditions also puts House Republicans at odds with conservatives like former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR), who has likened the prohibition to automobile insurers being forced to insure already wrecked cars.

BRING ON THE SHUTDOWN: One of the most notorious episodes of the Congress that was sworn in after the original Contract with America was the government shutdown of 1995. For three weeks, then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) shuttered the government after Congress was unable to approve a budget. And House Republicans are already saying that they're game for a repeat performance. "If government shuts down, we want you with us," said Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA). "It's going to take some pain for us to do the things that we need to do to right the ship." Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has demanded a "blood oath" from House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) to include a repeal of health care reform in every appropriations bill next year, even if a government shutdown results. "We must not blink," he said. "If the House says no, it's no." Boehner, for his part, has disavowed the notion, saying, "Our goal is not to shut down the government." "It's absurd," added Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH). "That's not our goal at all." But Gingrich himself seems to think that another government shutdown would be productive, even though it means, among other things, that Social Security payments and veterans' benefits are not disbursed. "When we win control of the House and Senate this fall, Stage One of the end of Obamaism will be a new Republican Congress in January that simply refuses to fund any of the radical efforts," Gingrich said. Such talk has earned the GOP a scolding from President Clinton. "You see what happened last time: It didn't work out very well for them," Clinton said.


Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) introduced a political gimmick yesterday called the "Reins Act," which stands for Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny. His bill is designed to restrict the ability of federal agencies to issue new regulations.

Right-wing blogger and CNN contributor Erick Erickson panned the GOP's new "Pledge to America," calling it "dreck." He describes the 21-page document as "a serious of compromises and milquetoast rhetorical flourishes" that is "full of mom tested, kid approved pablum."

The "Pledge to America" was written with oversight from Brian Wild, a House staffer who "served as a lobbyist for some of the nation's most powerful oil, pharmaceutical, and insurance companies." Wild, who is on House Minority Leader John Boehner's (R-OH) payroll, lobbied for AIG, Exxon Mobil, Pfizer Inc., and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce until April of this year.

Senate Democrats are considering abandoning plans "for a preelection showdown with Republicans over expiring tax breaks for the wealthy, saying a lack of consensus within the party and a desire to focus on job creation may delay a vote until after the November elections." Some Democrats say they want the caucus to focus on companies that ship jobs overseas.

In addressing the United Nations General Assembly today, President Obama "will ask for international and regional help in securing peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians." While insisting that "efforts to chip away at Israel's legitimacy will only be met by unshakeable opposition" from the U.S., Obama says "the true security for the Jewish state requires an independent Palestine."

Senior Obama administration officials said yesterday that al-Qaeda and its allies are more likely to launch small-scale attacks in the U.S. because it is more difficult to thwart such plans in advance. At the same time, terrorism experts "have puzzled over" al-Qaeda's apparent unwillingness to conduct small-scale attacks in the U.S. since 9/11.

Florida's Third District Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that the state's "law that prohibits adoption by gay men and lesbians is unconstitutional." The state has 30 days to appeal the decision.
The Log Cabin Republicans honored Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) at a "a dinner banquet at the National Republican Club on Capitol Hill" last night, despite his vote this week against repealing the military's discriminatory Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. The group also honored five House Republicans.

And finally: Comedy Central comedian Stephen Colbert will be testifying before Congress tomorrow. Colbert will be appearing alongside UFW president "Arturo S. Rodriguez before the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law." The Daily Caller reports that he will, indeed, be appearing "in character."

Fox & Friends' "Pledge to America" reporting: A great pledge or the greatest pledge?

Media Matters for America

Fox & Friends' "Pledge to America" reporting: A great pledge or the greatest pledge?

Despite vowing to report both sides of the story "and let you decide," Fox & Friends' coverage of the GOP "Pledge to America" consisted almost entirely of conservatives who love the pledge and Republicans who want to promote it. However, Fox ignored that several conservatives have panned the "Pledge to America."

Fox vows to "report" both sides of "pledge to America" story and let "you decide"

Carlson's promise on pledge coverage: "We're going to report and let you decide." Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson opened the September 23 show by announcing: "The GOP out with a solution to save America this morning. But some say it's actually a pledge to the same people that got us into this mess. So who's right? We're going to report and let you decide."

But then Fox just decided: Coverage consisted almost entirely of support for the "solution to save America"

Fox & Friends' "point-counterpoint": Three Republicans who love the plan. In Fox & Friends' first segment on the Republican's pledge, correspondent Julie Kirtz reported on the elements of the pledge, including that it "promises to stop what Republicans call job-killing tax hikes." Co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy then purported to offer a "point-counterpoint" on the pledge, saying, "let's just listen to both sides," and aired a video consisting entirely of clips of Congresswoman Michele Bachman (R-MN), Congresswoman Shelley Moore (R-WV), and Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) all offering their support for the pledge.

The only opposition to the pledge Fox & Friends airs is Steny Hoyer's poem mocking the plan. Later during that segment, after Carlson explained that the Republicans came up with a "very massive, structured, specific plan" to counter the notion that they are simply "the party of no," Doocy mentioned Steny Hoyer's (D-MD) response to "what he thinks [the pledge] will say," and read the following:

I pledge allegiance to the hedge fund managers of Wall Street, and the consumer protections I want to take away... I pledge allegiance to the insurance companies, who we want to put back in charge of health care... I pledge allegiance to the wealthiest of the wealthy who I will protect before the middle class... I pledge allegiance to the oil companies whom we apologized to ... I pledge allegiance to big corporations and the jobs they outsource... with a recession and huge deficits for all.

Discussing Hoyer's statement again in the second hour of the show, Kilmeade called Hoyer "the voice of sarcasm." He then read a portion of Hoyer's comments and added: "You get the idea. So Steny Hoyer being sarcastic about the pledge, and sarcastic about what he claims to be the Republican agenda."  Fox & Friends aired no comments from other people criticizing the pledge.

Carlson's softball interview with Rep. Pence: "I guess the Democrats can't say that the Republicans are the 'Party of No' anymore." In a subsequent segment on the Republican's pledge, Fox & Friends hosted Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) to promote the Republican's pledge. Carlson began the interview by asking Pence: "Well I guess the Democrats can't say that the Republicans are the 'Party of No' anymore, can they?" Carlson then asked Pence if the pledge was a "tip of the hat to the tea party movement," and why "it was so important" to have a commitment to "families, traditional marriage and private and faith-based organizations" and to end "all public funding for abortion at home and abroad."

Fox & Friends hosted Malkin to say pledge shows GOP "is clearly listening" to its base. Later during the program, Fox & Friends hosted Michelle Makin to discuss the pledge. Malkin said that the pledge showed that Republicans are "clearly listening to the grassroots base of the Republican party who've been demanding some sort of written contract." She added that the pledge is "a good rejoinder to all of the knocks from the Democrats and the White House that the Republicans are simply the 'Party of No'." She also expressed concern that in the past, conservatives have seen "so many Republicans make these grand pledges and then forsake them in times of crisis," but "they've got an agenda now" and "of course they [had] to produce something." Carlson then agreed that "they have to produce it so that they're no longer the 'Party of No,'" and that "there's a tremendous amount of imagery and thought that went into this whole thing to appeal to the American public."

What Fox didn't tell you: Not all conservatives loved the pledge

Erick Erickson: Pledge is "Perhaps the Most Ridiculous Thing to Come Out of Washington Since George McClellan." In a September 22 post, RedState blogger and CNN contributor Erickson wrote of the pledge:

These 21 pages tell you lots of things, some contradictory things, but mostly this: it is a serious [sic] of compromises and milquetoast rhetorical flourishes in search of unanimity among House Republicans because the House GOP does not have the fortitude to lead boldly in opposition to Barack Obama.

I have one message for John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and the House GOP Leadership: If they do not want to use the GOP to lead, I would like to borrow it for a time.


The entirety of this Promise is laughable. Why? It is an illusion that fixates on stuff the GOP already should be doing while not daring to touch on stuff that will have any meaningful longterm effects on the size and scope of the federal government.

This document proves the GOP is more focused on the acquisition of power than the advocacy of long term sound public policy. All the good stuff in it is stuff we expect them to do. What is not in it is more than a little telling that the House GOP has not learned much of anything from 2006.

RedState's Hogan: "The Pledge to Nowhere." In a September  23 post to, blogger Hogan wrote that "Yesterday's much anticipated 'Pledge to America' represents a glimpse into how Republicans plan to govern, and simply put, it's a pledge to nowhere." He continued:

At a time when America needs a bold, simple, fresh plan for putting America on the path to fiscal and constitutional sanity - we get instead an almost 8000 word term paper of inside-the-beltway regurgitation that lacks the one thing the American people seem to be dying to have... actual leadership. Harsh? Hardly.


In one asinine move, the GOP House leadership demonstrated that it is more interested in votes than in changing Washington and that it has learned nothing. In fact, all you need to know is that the ever-inspiring and bold David Frum wrote yesterday about the Pledge, "GOP to Tea Party: Your Votes Yes, Your Ideas No."

Frum: "A Pledge to Do Nothing." In a September 22 post to the FrumForum, David Frum linked to Erickson's critique of the pledge, and wrote:

Here is the GOP cruising to a handsome election victory. Did you seriously imagine that they would jeopardize the prospect of victory and chairmanships by issuing big, bold promises to do deadly unpopular things?

But if the document is unsurprising, it's also unsurprising that Erickson and those who think like him would find it enraging. The "Pledge to America" is a repudiation of the central, foundational idea behind the Tea Party. Tea Party activists have been claiming all year that there exists in the United States a potential voting majority for radically more limited government.


But the true sad news is that this is not a document to govern with in the recessionary year 2010. It's fine to reject Tea Party illusions. But without an alternative modern Republican affirmative program, the GOP will find itself at risk of being captured and controlled by special interests instead.

The most admirable thing about the Tea Party is its zeal to find a bigger message for the Republican Party than: do what K Street wants. The message offered by the Tea Party may have been unworkable, unrealistic, or worse - but at least it was large and public-spirited.

I'd like to see a Modern Republicanism that responds better to the needs of the country, while retaining still the Tea Party's reforming spirit. What I fear is the worst of all worlds: a Republican majority that rejects not only extremist ideas, but all ideas.

Doug Ross: Erickson's point "that the GOP's effort is mostly 'dreck' -- is valid." In a September 22 post, blogger Doug Ross linked to Erickson's post and wrote: (emphasis in original) "[H]is point -- that the GOP's effort is mostly 'dreck' -- is valid. Washington's so freaking broken that the usual platitudes and rhetoric can't and won't suffice. 21 pages? How about starting with two words: THE CONSTITUTION?" He gave a critique of several elements of the pledge:

Consider the summary of the GOP pledge:

• We will fight to ensure transparency and accountability in Congress and throughout government. [Platitude]
• We will continue to fight the growth of government and oppose new stimulus spending that only puts our nation further in debt. [Platitude]
• We will fight efforts to fund the costly new health care law. [Feh]
• We will fight to increase access to domestic energy sources and oppose attempts to impose a national "cap and trade" energy tax. [Okay, barely]
• We will fight for the rights of workers and oppose "card check" schemes that put union bosses before individuals' right to a secret ballot. [Okay, barely]
• We will fight efforts to use a national crisis for political gain. [I have no idea what this means]

David Frum

David Frum

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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