Verum Serum

Tags ››› Verum Serum
  • Right-Wing Media Praised GOP For Walking Out On Default Crisis Talks, Now Attack Obama

    ››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

    Following reports that President Obama and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) had a "blow up" while negotiating solutions to the default crisis, in which Cantor accused Obama of "abruptly walking out" of the talks, right-wing media have attacked Obama as a "petulant child" for allegedly doing so. However, in June, right-wing media praised Cantor and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) for walking out of default crisis negotiations led by Vice President Joe Biden.

  • Conservative Media Calls For Filibustering Liu Despite Prominent Bipartisan Support

    ››› ››› MELODY JOHNSON

    As Media Matters has previously reported, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has filed a cloture petition on President Obama's nomination of Goodwin Liu to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the ninth Circuit. Despite bipartisan support for Liu by prominent conservative politicians, the right-wing media have continuously attacked the nominee, and in some cases called for a filibuster of the nomination.

  • Right-Wing Media Attack Obama Judicial Nominee Endorsed By Ken Starr, John Yoo, And Others

    Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has filed a cloture petition on President Obama's nomination of Goodwin Liu to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the usual suspects in the right-wing media are rehashing their reasons for opposing Liu.

    There is nothing new to the attacks, and we refer you to our previous rebuttals. But we do want to highlight just how out of the mainstream these attacks on Liu actually are.

    You wouldn't know it from the vitriol of the right-wing media, but Liu actually has a large number of conservative and Republican supporters.

    Among those supporters are former independent counsel and federal appellate judge Kenneth Starr; former Bush Justice Department official John Yoo, who authored the infamous "torture memos"; former GOP Rep. Tom Campbell (CA); conservative legal activist Clint Bollick; former Secretary of Transportation William T. Coleman; and law professor Richard Painter, who served as the chief White House ethics lawyer during the Bush administration.

    Kenneth Starr. A letter supporting Liu that Starr co-wrote with Yale Law Professor Akhil Amar stated: "What we wish to highlight, beyond his obvious intellect and legal talents, is his independence and openness to diverse viewpoints as well as his ability to follow the facts and the law to their logical conclusion, whatever its political valence may be."

    John Yoo. According to The Los Angeles Times, Yoo said of Liu's nomination: "[H]e's not someone a Republican president would pick, but for a Democratic nominee, he's a very good choice."

    Tom Campbell. Campbell -- former dean of the business school at the University of California-Berkeley and an unsuccessful candidate for the 2010 Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in California -- stated that Liu "is one of the most capable colleagues I've had in my three decades in academia. I hate the thought of Berkeley losing him, but it's a higher calling and the nation's gain. His ability to analyze, communicate, and inspire will make him a favorite among litigants and a leader among judges."

    Clint Bollick. Bollick, director of the Goldwater Institute, wrote that he "strongly support[s]" Liu's nomination, adding that, "[h]aving reviewed several of his academic writings, I find Prof. Liu to exhibit fresh, independent thinking and intellectual honesty. He clearly possesses the scholarly credentials and experience to serve with distinction on this important court."

    William T. Coleman. Coleman, Secretary of Transportation during the Ford administration, stated: "I have known Goodwin Liu for many years as after he finished Yale Law School and then clerked for a Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States he worked at O'Melveny & Myers LLP in the Washington office for several years and did a tremendous job." Coleman later added, "I think he will make a tremendous Judge for the Ninth Circuit."

    Richard Painter. Painter wrote: "Based on my own review of his record, I believe it's not a close question that Liu is an outstanding nominee whose views fall well within the legal mainstream. That conclusion is shared by leading conservatives who are familiar with Liu's record."

  • Right-Wing Media Rush To Defend Palin's Use Of "Blood Libel"

    ››› ››› ERIC SCHROECK

    Right-wing media have rushed to defend Sarah Palin over her use of the term "blood libel," a term that historically refers to the grave anti-Semitic charge that Jews use the blood of Christian children in some religious rituals -- a myth that has long been the source of anti-Jewish violence.

  • Latest Attack On Michelle Obama's Anti-Obesity Efforts: Obese People Cheaper Because They Die Younger

    Blog ››› ››› CHELSEA RUDMAN

    You really can't make this stuff up. In a recent post on right-wing blog Verum Serum, blogger John Sexton -- who also writes for Andrew Breitbart's "Big" blogs -- keeps the right-wing media's War on Nutrition alive, arguing that because obese people usually die young, and therefore cost the health care system less, Michelle Obama is a failure for campaigning against childhood obesity.

    You think I'm exaggerating? Decide for yourself. Here's the post, "Tell Michelle: Fat People Have Lower Lifetime Medical Costs," in its entirety:

    Michelle Obama has made it her mission to wipe out childhood obesity. But according to a new study, she may be hurting the success of her husband's signature achievement in office. It turns out heavy people spend less on health care over their lifetime than their svelte counterparts. But here's the catch:

    Although effective obesity prevention leads to a decrease in costs of obesity-related diseases, this decrease is offset by cost increases due to diseases unrelated to obesity in life-years gained. Obesity prevention may be an important and cost-effective way of improving public health, but it is not a cure for increasing health expenditures.

    Forget the vegetables, kids. Twinkies for everyone. Let's bend that cost curve! [Verum Serum, 12/16/10]

    Sexton accurately points out that a study published in the February 2008 issue of the Public Library of Science Medicine concluded that obesity prevention efforts may not necessarily lower total national health care expenditures, because it leads to people living longer. This is an interesting point and certainly seems worth discussing.

    But Sexton takes a different approach. "It turns out heavy people spend less on health care over their lifetime than their svelte counterparts," he writes. True, because as you can deduce from the paragraph of the report Sexton quotes, that's because they die younger. This is spelled out even more clearly in another paragraph of that report's summary:

    Until age 56 y, annual health expenditure was highest for obese people. At older ages, smokers incurred higher costs. Because of differences in life expectancy, however, lifetime health expenditure was highest among healthy-living people and lowest for smokers. Obese individuals held an intermediate position. Alternative values of epidemiologic parameters and cost definitions did not alter these conclusions. [PLoS Medicine, February 2008, emphasis added]

    So, yes, according to this study, healthy people spend more on their health over their lifetimes, because they live longer. To quote Rep. Alan Grayson, Sexton's health care plan for America, based on his post, actually does seem to be "die quickly."

    This just shows that the right-wing media will make any argument -- no matter how false or absurd -- to demonize Michelle Obama and her efforts to combat childhood obesity.

  • Conservative Media Scream "Reparations" in USDA Discrimination Case

    ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

    Conservative media have attacked Congress for approving $1.15 billion to settle discrimination claims by African-Americans against the Department of Agriculture (often referred to as Pigford II claims), asserting the settlement is a form of "reparations." In fact, claimants in the case must provide considerable evidence that they were victims of discrimination by the USDA before they receive any money.

  • Right-wing media launches absurd attack on Chu for praising BP grant in 2007

    ››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

    Right-wing media are absurdly attacking Energy Secretary Steven Chu's past praise of BP for awarding UC Berkley an alternative energy grant which Chu said would help "save the world." But the grant had bipartisan support, and scientists and university professors praised the grant's importance for alternative energy research aimed at weaning the world off of oil.