Right-wing media figures have run with The Weekly Standard's John McCormack's completely baseless accusation that President Obama is buying Rep. Jim Matheson's (D-UT) vote on health care reform by appointing his brother, Scott Matheson, to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. McCormack provided no evidence to support the allegation -- which both Rep. Matheson and the White House have called "absurd" -- and even those pushing the charge acknowledge that Scott Matheson is "plenty qualified for the job."
This morning, in a post titled, "It's Not a Filibuster You Freaking Idiots," RedState writer Hogan slammed the media for referring to Sen. Jim Bunning's (R-KY) move to block legislation that would extend unemployment benefits as a "filibuster." Hogan wrote [emphasis added]:
As I noted in a previous post, and as is increasingly well known to those who actually are capable of comprehension, Senator Jim Bunning - for the simple reason he wishes it to be paid for - is objecting to a repeated unanimous consent request by Senate Democrats to call up and pass a bill that would temporarily extend unemployment benefits, transportation funding, medicare reimbursement, COBRA subsidies and other expenditures to the tune of another $10 billion or so.
Yet, news account after news account of his continued objection to this unanimous consent request report his actions as a filibuster. Politico, Roll Call, Fox News, CNN, and the list goes on and on. And the accusation of filibustering is even worse among Senators and Congressmen, as exemplified by the DCCC Chair, Chris Van Hollen and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. But it simply is not the case that what Mr. Bunning is doing is a filibuster under the rules, as anyone with a rudimentary understanding of the U.S. Senate fully comprehends.
Before attacking media outlets as "freaking idiots" not "capable of comprehension" and lacking "rudimentary understanding of the U.S. Senate," perhaps Hogan should have run a quick search to see if anyone at RedState had called Bunning's actions a "filibuster." Turns out Hogan's boss, Erick Erickson, has done so at least twice. Here's Erickson yesterday [emphasis added]:
The point of supporting Rand Paul was driven home to me last Thursday night as Senator Bunning launched a one man filibuster against the Democrats. He came under relentless attack and even his own Republican Party would barely come to his aid (kudos to Bob Corker (R-TN)).
And on Twitter last week:
God bless Senator Bunning. His filibuster is going to put government bureaucrats out of jobs! Hallelujah.
You might think this would have upset Erickson, but he's now promoting Hogan's post on Twitter:
Yeah! You tell 'em, Erick.
Right-wing media have praised Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) for blocking legislation that would extend unemployment benefits for hundreds of thousands of Americans, prevent rural areas from losing local television, and prevent cuts in Medicare reimbursements to doctors. The Department of Transportation also reportedly furloughed nearly 2,000 workers without pay as a result of Bunning's action.
Right-wing media figures have seized on comments Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made linking unemployment to a rise in domestic violence by suggesting that if he loses his re-election bid, then Reid, whose mother was a victim of domestic abuse, will subsequently become abusive toward his wife. Moreover, on Fox & Friends, Laura Ingraham dismissed a 2004 study, which found that "the rate of violence increases as the number of periods of male unemployment increases," to claim that Reid's comments were "lunacy" and "stigmatize the unemployed"; in addition to the 2004 study from which Reid was apparently citing, several other studies and experts indicate that there is a link between abuse and unemployment.
We wondered. The link goes to a The Hill article about Reid talking about a rise in domestic abuse by men because of joblessness.
Conservative media outlets have used recent winter storms in Washington, DC, as an excuse to forward attacks against former Vice President Al Gore and climate science. In fact, winter snow on the east coast of the United States does not disprove the scientific consensus that global warming is real.
Conservative media figures have used the recent snowstorms in the Washington, D.C., area to level more science-free attacks on global warming. As Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, scientists agree that short-term localized weather patterns are not relevant to global warming.
From RedState.com contributing editor and American Spectator contributor Caleb Howe's Twitter:
Numerous conservative media outlets have criticized President Obama's plan to hold a bipartisan health care summit "to go through systematically all the best ideas that are out there and move it forward," by attacking the summit as a "dog and pony" show or a "PR stunt" before the event has even occurred. Additionally, some have urged Republicans not to participate.
From RedState managing editor Erick Erickson's Twitter feed:
RedState managing editor Erick Erickson stated that Harry Knox, a Human Rights Campaign official appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Council of the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, is an "insult to the Christian faith" who "cannot be trusted to fairly work with Catholics" after criticizing Pope Benedict XVI for "hurting people in the name of Jesus." But Erickson, who stated that "the basis" for Knox's "attack on the Catholic Church is its position on homosexuality," did not note that Knox's comments came in response to the Pope's statement that condom distribution "increases the problem" of AIDS, a remark for which the Pope received widespread criticism, including from ministers of several nations.
Conservative media outlets, as well as a USA Today blogger, have suggested or asserted that the Obama administration is forcing the recall of millions of Toyota vehicles for safety issues regarding reports of sudden unintended acceleration in order to denigrate the company, benefit unions, and boost sales of vehicles manufactured by General Motors and Chrysler, which the federal government bailed out last year. In fact, sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles has reportedly been an issue as early as 1999, and Toyota has stated that its recall was voluntary.
A RedState post -- advanced by the Fox Nation -- cited a recent Department of Homeland Security report noting that "[d]ependence on fossil fuels and the threat of global climate change" threatens "America's national interests" to question whether "DHS is more serious about Homeland Security than they are about advancing Obama Administration policy goals." However, defense and intelligence experts -- including a National Intelligence Council chair under President Bush -- have previously said that climate change and fossil fuel consumption are relevant to national security.
Red State's Erick Erickson has uncovered what he thinks is a shocking admission in President Obama's 2011 budget: that "the White House is now admitting" that funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are being distributed over the course of two years. Erickson has also determined their purpose. From Red State:
Washington was "unwilling to solve" the problems because 2009 was not an election year and 2010 is. The President of the United States refused to help get unemployment down in 2009 by design so he could get credit in the 2010 election year instead.
You can't blame Erickson for jumping to this conclusion. Who wouldn't accuse the President of prolonging economic hardships in order to rig elections when no other justifiable reason has been presented?
Except Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag discussed exactly this last July:
In designing the Recovery Act, we also recognized that the economic situation we inherited was so severe that we needed to assure producers and consumers that aggregate demand would be boosted not just for a few months, but for a sustained period. That is why we envisioned a Recovery Act that would ramp up rapidly in 2009, have its peak impact in 2010, and lay the groundwork for further growth thereafter.
And in January 2009, the Congressional Budget Office illustrated the fact that the stimulus money was designed to be distributed over two years:
Combining the spending and revenue effects of H.R. 1, CBO estimates that enacting the bill would increase federal budget deficits by $169 billion over the remaining months of fiscal year 2009, by $356 billion in 2010, by $174 billion in 2011, and by $816 billion over the 2009-2019 period.
CBO and JCT [Joint Committee on Taxation] estimate that enacting H.R. 1 would increase budget deficits by $526 billion over the 2009-2010 period (about 19 months) and by a total of $816 billion over the 2009-2019 period.
And, as Vice President Joe Biden wrote in a July, 2009 New York Times op-ed:
The care with which we are carrying out the provisions of the Recovery Act has led some people to ask whether we are moving too slowly. But the act was intended to provide steady support for our economy over an extended period - not a jolt that would last only a few months. Instead of quick-hit rebates, we are giving Americans a tax cut in each paycheck. Instead of pumping out all the state aid immediately, we are spreading it over the two years that it will be needed. Road projects, energy projects and construction projects are being started as soon as they pass review, contracts are competitively bid and reporting systems are in place.
Following the Obama administration's budget proposal to cut a scholarship program named after the late son of Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), the Fox Nation claimed, "White House Gets Even With Stupak," and linked to a RedState post suggesting that President Obama proposed cutting the program in retaliation for Stupak's proposal of an anti-abortion amendment to the House health care reform bill. However, Stupak himself has reportedly said the proposed budget cut "was not an act of retaliation" and that the program "is a perennial target of budget cutters from both parties," including former President Bush.