This morning on Fox & Friends, during a discussion about how President Obama is (maybe!) a scary socialist, Gretchen Carlson and Andrea Tantaros enthusiastically agreed that George W. Bush set the country on the "slippery slope" to socialism.
Carlson declared that the "definition of socialism" is "advocating state ownership of industry" which is "kind of" what Obama did with the auto industry. Tantaros agreed, but said that "though it's not full-blown socialism, it's certainly a slippery slope that's on the road."
But if we're to abide by this definition of "socialism," then the person ultimately responsible for starting us down this "slippery slope" of the supposed "state ownership" of the auto industry is George W. Bush, and not Barack Obama.
President George W. Bush stepped in Friday to keep America's auto industry afloat, announcing a $17.4 billion bailout for GM and Chrysler, with the terms of the loans requiring that the firms radically restructure and show they can become profitable soon.
"If we were to allow the free market to take its course now, it would almost certainly lead to disorderly bankruptcy," Bush said at the White House, in remarks carried live by the national broadcast networks. "In the midst of a financial crisis and a recession, allowing the U.S. auto industry to collapse is not a responsible course of action. The question is how we can best give it a chance to succeed."
If you listen closely, you can hear the hoof beats of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, racing toward the battle.
John Hagee, Can America Survive?
Earlier this month, Glenn Beck hosted a variety of preachers and pastors on his TV show to give us a look at the news "through their prism." Beck called his guests "leaders in the faith community" and a "few brave preachers" who are examples of "people that need to start standing up."
One of these "brave preachers" was John Hagee, whose controversial views caused John McCain to publicly reject his endorsement during the 2008 presidential campaign.
During the show, Beck plugged Hagee's "excellent" new book, Can America Survive? 10 Prophetic Signs That We Are The Terminal Generation, saying that he "just started to read last night." As we documented last week, this book is about how the world is fast-approaching Biblical Armageddon. Hagee offers a wide variety of "evidence" to buttress this theory, but much of it focuses on a supposedly impending conflict involving Israel, Iran, Russia, and the rest of the world that, according to Hagee, was foretold in the Bible.
Not only did Beck promote Hagee's book, but he also explicitly endorsed Hagee's theories by stating as fact that "a lot of the pieces that have never been here for the prophecy are here now."
The "prophecy" Beck referred to was the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, which Hagee describes in great detail in his book. After reading through the book and discovering the "prism" through which Hagee views current events, it's worth asking why Beck singled out Hagee as one of the "few brave preachers" that "need to start standing up."
Defending his focus on Bible prophecy, Hagee explains in the book that "prophecy is the history of the future," and writes that "people in this era of doubt and skepticism feel that a person has to be either mentally unbalanced or a religious fanatic to manifest an interesting in Bible prophecy."
You be the judge.
Last week on his TV show, Glenn Beck assembled a panel including "pastors and preachers" to provide a "look at the news through their prism." As Media Matters detailed, the panel was made up entirely of evangelical Christians, many of whom have long histories of extreme rhetoric and conservative or Republican activism.
Among those pastors was John Hagee, whose extreme comments led John McCain to publicly reject his endorsement during the 2008 presidential campaign. While introducing Hagee, Beck described him as the "author of the book 'Can America Survive?'" which he said is an "excellent" book that he "just started to read last night."
So what is this "excellent" book about, and through what "prism" does Hagee view current events?
Well, the subtitle of the book is "10 Prophetic Signs That We Are The Terminal Generation," and it's apparently about how we are fast-approaching Biblical End Times.
After dozens of companies bailed on Glenn Beck's TV show in the wake of him calling President Obama a "racist" with a "deep seated hatred for white people or the white culture," most of the companies left advertising on his show are a mix of sketchy gold companies and fringe groups selling things like "survival gardens."
Occasionally, there are notable exceptions, such as last night when Kaplan Online Tutoring, which is owned by The Washington Post Company, advertised on Beck's show.
When Beck isn't launching baseless conspiracy theories, trying to rehabilitate Joseph McCarthy's legacy, running "documentaries" comparing progressives to Nazis, or attacking the Obamas' 11-year-old daughter, he is frequently crossing the line into violent, revolutionary rhetoric.
Earlier this week, following the lead of Matt Drudge, conservative media figures absurdly claimed that Vice President Biden "compared Republicans to Nazis" when he used the term "blitzkrieg" in a fundraising email. As we pointed out, not only have numerous conservative elected officials and media outlets used the term "blitzkrieg" in a political context before, but they also routinely make far more explicit comparisons of Democrats to Nazis.
Well, using Matt Drudge's "standards," apparently Ted Nugent compared himself to a Nazi today in an op-ed he published in The Washington Times:
I'm on my 47th annual blitzkrieg rock 'n' roll tour across America. I have many guitars, oversized amplifiers and plenty of guns and ammo. The American Boy Scout lives. Prepared is good. Unprepared is for losers. Know it.
It would be absurd and dishonest to accuse Ted Nugent of comparing himself to a Nazi here - just as dishonest as it was when conservative media figures played dumb to accuse Biden of comparing Republicans to Nazis.
Last week, when Matt Drudge promoted a report from CNS News that quoted attacks on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan from hateful bigot Rabbi Yehuda Levin - a man who has blamed gays for 9/11 Katrina, and the Haiti earthquake - I declared that the right-wing media had "officially hit the bottom of the barrel" in search of attacks on Elena Kagan.
Once again, conservative media figures have proven that you should never underestimate their ability to find a new low.
Under the headline, "SHOCKING: Kagan's Princeton Thesis Cited German Socialist Who Endorsed Nazis," conservative blogger Pam Geller is currently hosting the following image on her website:
Yes, that is Elena Kagan - who is Jewish - photoshopped to look like she is wearing Nazi uniform.
Proving yet again that his commitment to breaking "news" that appeals to the conservative noise machine trumps any commitment to facts and reality, Matt Drudge is currently hosting the following link on his website:
The article he links to makes no mention of gay employees being paid "more than" straight employees. What it does indicate is that Google will be adjusting the paychecks for its same-sex couples in order to cover a "disparity" in federal taxes on domestic partner benefits.
Here's how the New York Times explained the move by Google [emphasis added]:
Under federal law, employer-provided health benefits for domestic partners are counted as taxable income, if the partner is not considered a dependent. The tax owed is based on the value of the partner's coverage paid by the employer.
On average, employees with domestic partners will pay about $1,069 more a year in taxes than a married employee with the same coverage, according to a 2007 report by M. V. Lee Badgett, director of the Williams Institute, a research group that studies sexual orientation policy issues.
So Google is essentially going to cover those costs, putting same-sex couples on an even footing with heterosexual employees whose spouses and families receive health benefits.
A more accurate Drudge headline would have been: "Google to pay gay employees the same as straights," but I guess that just sounds too sane and reasonable.
Last summer, when Nancy Pelosi observed that some tea party protestors were carrying signs bearing swastikas, the conservative media twisted her comments to claim she was comparing the protestors themselves to Nazis. As we pointed out at the time, this was absurd for two reasons. First, Pelosi clearly was not comparing the protestors to Nazis; she was merely making an accurate observation that was later confirmed by Fox News' own reporting. Second, conservatives' supposed concern over Nazi comparisons was belied by the fact that they regularly compare Democrats and their policies to Nazis.
Well, once again conservatives are accusing a Democrat of making a Nazi comparison, and once again it doesn't hold up to even basic scrutiny.
Their latest trip to the fainting couch was brought on by the following passage from a fundraising email sent out by the DCCC, in which Vice President Joe Biden says:
As things heat up, you can expect House Democrats will be hit with a GOP blitzkrieg of vicious Swift-Boat-style attack ads, Karl Rove-inspired knockout tactics, thinly veiled attempts at character assassination and tea party disruptions.
In an apparent attempt to prove Biden's point, conservatives have dishonestly twisted Biden's use of the word "blitzkrieg" in order to engage in exactly the type of "thinly veiled attempts at character assassination" Biden warned against by claiming, in Matt Drudge's words, that "Biden Compares Republicans to Nazis."
This morning on America's Newsroom, Fox News promoted Trent Franks from an Arizona congressman to "Arizona senator." His promotion was short-lived, however, as the onscreen text demoted him back to a congressman a few moments later. On the bright side for Franks, he was once again promoted to "Arizona senator" at the end of the segment.
Fox had it right half the time: Trent Franks is, of course, a congressman representing Arizona's second district, not a senator.
Last Thursday, Glenn Beck devoted an entire show to red-baiting and trying to rehabilitate what he deemed the unfairly tarnished historical legacy of Joseph McCarthy. During the show, Beck and his guest, author M. Stanton Evans, agreed that McCarthy was "telling the truth." Beck went on to explain that progressives "mutate" communism's "evil" so that it "goes undercover." He claimed that "Marxism is alive and well" and "thriving here in the United States."
Beck also claimed that "three years ago," he would have "made fun of people like" himself for devoting a show to the threat of communism. However, far more recently than three years ago, Beck was mocking the idea of conservatives who always play the "communist" card.
During the promo for his then-upcoming Fox News show that ran on the network last January, Beck decried conservatives who say things like "Oh, those donkeys trying to turn us into communist Russia." He then yelled, "Stop!"
As we detailed at the time, this plea was disingenuous, as Beck had already labeled Obama a "Marxist" and criticized "Comrade Clinton." Indeed, Beck wasted no time in exposing himself as a hypocrite, spending the first several weeks of his show smearing President Obama, Democrats, and their policies as communist, Marxist, socialist, and fascist.
But based on how much farther he's tumbled down the red-baiting rabbit hole since then, it's possible that even the hypocritical Glenn Beck of January 2009 would want June 2010 Glenn Beck to "Stop!"