Fox News' Lou Dobbs is accusing President Obama of "trying to subvert the national sovereignty," "circumvent[t] our constitution," and impose "unprecedented ... rule by fiat" by participating in UN climate change negotiations, even though the latest round of talks is expected to accomplish little.
The UN climate change summit in Doha, Qatar is not expected to produce any new commitment to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change, and if it does, any treaty would need to be ratified by a supermajority in the Senate. Yet Dobbs claimed Obama is trying to "rule by fiat" by supporting action on climate change, even as anchor Megyn Kelly pointed out that Americans support doing more:
But far from "trying to subvert the national sovereignty," Obama was recently praised by the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board for "veto[ing]" an attempt by Europe to levy a carbon tax on U.S. airlines in one of his first moves after re-election.
From the November 8 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
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Following the death on Sunday of former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, conservative columnist and frequent Fox guest Ann Coulter tweeted, "Arlen Specter has just switched to the Dead Party."
From the September 23 edition of CBS' Face the Nation:
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A study published by scholars at Vanderbilt University titled "The National News Media's Effect on Congress: How the Spread of Fox News Affected Elites in Congress" found that between its incorporation in 1996 through 2000, Fox News exerted a "modest effect on elected officials' positions," which became "slightly more conservative."
The study concluded:
[W]e find no evidence that Fox News increased the probability that an incumbent would be replaced by a more conservative representative, but we do find consistent evidence that elected officials become slightly more conservative once Fox News enters their district. Moreover, the effect is largest among Democrats located to the left of Fox News in the ideological spectrum.
The Washington Times yesterday published a misleading account of a United Nations treaty that seeks to promote equal rights for people with disabilities, arguing that it threatens U.S. sovereignty. In fact, this interpretation amounts to nothing more than fearmongering since what the treaty calls for, non-discriminatory treatment of people with disabilities, is already U.S. law.
In the piece titled "Does The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities void US sovereignty?" Washington Times Communities columnist Bryana Johnson claimed that the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities voids U.S. sovereignty because of a clause in the treaty that she claimed "demands that all American law on the subject be conformed to the standards of the UN."
In fact, the treaty demands -- to use Johnson's word -- that we meet our own basic human rights standards and not discriminate against the 56.7 million Americans currently living with a disability.
Article 4 of the treaty, which Johnson cited as raising "the sovereignty issue," states:
1. States Parties undertake to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability. To this end, States Parties undertake:
a. To adopt all appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures for the implementation of the rights recognized in the present Convention;
b. To take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws, regulations, customs and practices that constitute discrimination against persons with disabilities;
c. To take into account the protection and promotion of the human rights of persons with disabilities in all policies and programmes;
d. To refrain from engaging in any act or practice that is inconsistent with the present Convention and to ensure that public authorities and institutions act in conformity with the present Convention;
e. To take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability by any person, organization or private enterprise.
Indeed, U.S. law already meets the standards the treaty requests. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) "prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications." If a law, policy, or program is found to be discriminatory, the government has the power, through the Department of Justice, to enforce the ADA on both a private and public level.
CNN contributor Dana Loesch had a meltdown on Twitter after learning that Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) was scheduled to be a guest on CNN to discuss the controversy surrounding his claim that it is "really rare" for victims of "legitimate rape" to become pregnant from the assault, despite this being one of the top news stories of the day.
CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight had announced that Monday's program would be hosting Akin -- "the biggest name of the day" and "the man everyone is talking about" -- following the Missouri Senate candidate's inflammatory comments. Upon hearing that news, Loesch took to Twitter to criticize Rep. Akin's decision to appear on her own network:
Apparently, Loesch thinks it's out of bounds for a Senate candidate and incumbent congressman to appear on a news network to discuss one of the major political news stories of the day. Loesch has been working to dismiss the ostracized congressman's outrageous comments in order to try and save face for Missouri Republicans.
By the way, Akin ended up being a no-show on Piers Morgan Tonight.
From the August 2 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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National Review Online blogger Ed Whelan is trying to aid the unprecedented obstruction tactics Senate Republicans are using to block President Obama's nominees.
On June 20, 2012, American Bar Association president William T. Robinson III sent a letter to Sens. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urging that the Senate hold confirmation votes on three judicial nominees who had strong bipartisan support but were being blocked despite the merits of their nominations. Whelan, a blogger with significant influence in the media and Capitol Hill, responded to the letter by saying: "A Senate staffer in the know tells me that the ABA never sent a similar letter on behalf of George W. Bush's nominees."
But it would have been impossible for the ABA to send a "similar letter" on behalf of President George W. Bush's judicial nominees, because Bush's judicial nominees were not subject to the type of obstruction experienced by the Obama nominees in question.
As the ABA noted in its letter, Obama nominees William Kayatta, Jr., Robert Bacharach, and Richard Taranto "are consensus nominees who have received overwhelming approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee." In addition, Kayatta and Bacharach have "the staunch support of" the Republican senators from their home states. And Taranto, who is nominated to a court with nationwide jurisdiction, has the "endorsement of noted conservative legal scholars."
Nevertheless, Senate Republicans have announced that they are blocking all three of these nominees along with every single one of Obama's judicial nominees until after the presidential election, regardless of whether they would be good judges.
Congressional experts Thomas E. Mann of the Brookings Institution and Norman J. Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute appeared on MSNBC's Up w/ Chris Hayes this morning to detail the Republican Party's "all-out war" against President Obama. They explained how the GOP has "been aggressively oppositional in every respect" and how it has succeeded in using parliamentary tools "to deny the majority an opportunity to act."
Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele objected, arguing that President Obama and the Democratic Party deserve just as much blame for the current political gridlock as Republicans.
This notion that it's Obama and the Democrats who refuse to compromise on policy issues is absurd, but it is an oft-repeated claim that media outlets and conservatives fling out to deflect from, and obscure, Republican obstructionism. Indeed, as Ornstein and Mann pointed out, the fault lies entirely with the Republicans.
From the June 3 edition of MSNBC's Up W/ Chris Hayes:
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Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, two well-respected, centrist congressional experts, will make their first Sunday talk show appearance on the June 3 edition of MSNBC's Up with Chris Hayes after being largely ignored by the media following their recent conclusion that Republicans are responsible for the current "dysfunctional" Congress.
On today's edition of his show, Hayes announced that Mann and Ornstein would make their "long-awaited, controversial first appearance on a national Sunday news program" to discuss their Washington Post op-ed and new book detailing the causes of political gridlock in Washington.
As The Washington Post's Greg Sargent and others have noted, Mann and Ornstein have been shut out of the Sunday morning talk shows since their April 29 op-ed. Moreover, as Media Matters' has reported, the top five national newspapers failed to mention Mann and Ornstein's recent observations about the dysfunction in Congress even though they regularly quoted the pair in past news articles.
Media Matters also found that in the months following the publication of Mann and Ornstein's 2006 book, The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (which was critical of both Democrats and Republicans), the two frequently appeared and were quoted on cable news shows, suggesting that the media is now giving Republicans a pass to avoid appearing biased.
The Washington Free Beacon today reported that "Senate Democrats pay female staffers less than male staffers" and are running afoul of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which provides women more legal room to file pay discrimination claims against employers. However, the Free Beacon story refutes its own attack.
From the Free Beacon article:
A group of Democratic female senators on Wednesday declared war on the so-called "gender pay gap," urging their colleagues to pass the aptly named Paycheck Fairness Act when Congress returns from recess next month. However, a substantial gender pay gap exists in their own offices, a Washington Free Beacon analysis of Senate salary data reveals.
Of the five senators who participated in Wednesday's press conference--Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.), Patty Murray (D., Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.)--three pay their female staff members significantly less than male staffers.
After highlighting the gender pay gaps of several other Democratic Senators, the Free Beacon threw cold water on its own claims:
Women working for Senate Democrats in 2011 pulled in an average salary of $60,877. Men made about $6,500 more.
While the gap is significant, it is slightly smaller than that of the White House, which pays men about $10,000, or 13 percent, more on average, according to a previous Free Beacon analysis.
That previous analysis showed that the gender pay gap for the White House is smaller than in the overall economy. The Free Beacon is telling its readers that the gender pay gap among Senate Democratic staffers is even smaller than that.
The Free Beacon then went even further in undermining their own story:
In a National Review blog post, Katrina Trinko falsely accused Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren of plagiarism. She alleged that Warren lifted passages for her 2005 book All Your Worth, which she co-wrote with her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi, from another book:
Trinko has since deleted that blog post and published a correction:
I took down my earlier post on Elizabeth Warren plagiarizing from the book Getting On the Money Track. On Amazon.com, the Warren book All Your Worth is listed as having been published January 9, 2006. As it turns out, that is the paperback publication date; the hardback book was published in March 2005. As such, it appears that Getting on the Money Track (published in October 2005) plagiarized from All Your Worth, not the other way around.
I apologize for the error.
On Fox News' flagship news program, Special Report, guest host Shannon Bream repeated National Review's false report:
Will Special Report issue a correction on Monday?
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) is receiving extra security after an activist in Missouri, Scott Boston, said, "We have to kill the Claire Bear." But in defending Boston, CNN contributor Dana Loesch failed to mention that she co-founded a conservative activist group with him.
From the Post-Dispatch:
At an event Thursday in Springfield, Mo., Scott Boston, a St. Louis area activist who has been involved with the Tea Party, told the crowd "we have to get Claire McCaskill out."
"We have to kill the Claire Bear ladies and gentlemen," Boston said. "She walks around like she's some sort of Rainbow Brite Care Bear or something but really she's an evil monster."
The comment was seen as ominous enough to prompt the U.S. Capitol Police to seek extra protection for the Missouri Democrat.
Police in Kirkwood, where McCaskill lives, confirm they were asked by the Capitol security agency to perform stepped up patrols around her house.
McCaskill has also had extra security tailing her at public appearances.
In writing about the incident at Big Government, Loesch reported that the FBI questioned Boston about his remarks at his home in St. Louis.
In December, Loesch and Boston helped to found the Gateway Grassroots Initiative, which is dedicated to "advancing conservatism at the national, state, and local levels." Boston has also co-authored a post promoting the Gateway Grassroots Initiative at Breitbart.com.
Loesch made no mention of her connection to Boston in her Big Government post.