Thursday, December 31, 2009

KRMG's Skewed News Values: Making Rush Limbaugh the Top Story

Tulsa news took a back seat today on KRMG radio, which led its 4 p.m. newscast not with local news, but with a lame update on the health of radio blabber Rush Limbaugh.

El Rushbo, as it happens, was hospitalized in Hawaii for chest pains, where he was not serving his country or even the conservative movement. Oh no. Rush was playing golf.

We admit it: We don't care for Limbaugh, whose radio career consists mostly of lying or distorting the truth about everyone he doesn't like. (It's a long list.) Nevertheless, we wish Limabugh well.

That said, he's not local, has no Tulsa ties, and he didn't die. Indeed, he seems to be recovering. In short, Limbaugh is in no way a top Tulsa new story, even on a "news" station as pitiful as KRMG.

Robinson Takes Down Dick Cheney and His Repeated Lies

Dick Cheney is still trying to salvage the Bush years. After eight years of mismanagement, secrecy, bluster and incompetence, the former VP still wants Americans to believe that he and George W. saved the nation.

It's a lie, of course, but Cheney appears determined to badmouth the Obama Administration and anyone else who disagrees with the Bush-Cheney legacy (a generous term, in this context).

Thankfully, we have people who will push back. Among the best is Eugene Robinson, a Washington Post columnist who dares to challenge Cheney's lies and distortions. 


Here's an excerpt, well worth reading:
As Cheney well knows, unless he has lost even the most tenuous grip on reality, Obama's commitment to warfare as an instrument in the fight against terrorism has won the president nothing but grief from the liberal wing of his party, with more certainly to come. Hasn't anyone told Cheney that Obama is sharply boosting troop levels in Afghanistan in an attempt to avoid losing a war that the Bush administration started but then practically abandoned?

Cheney knows this. But he goes on to use the big lie -- that Obama is "trying to pretend we are not at war" -- to bludgeon the administration on a host of specific issues. Here is the one that jumps out at me: The president, Cheney claims, "seems to think that if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core al Qaeda-trained terrorists still there, we won't be at war."
Interesting that Cheney should bring that up, because it now seems clear that the man accused of trying to blow up Northwest Flight 253, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was given training -- and probably the bomb itself, which involved plastic explosives sewn into his underwear -- by al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen. It happens that at least two men who were released from Guantanamo appear to have gone on to play major roles as al-Qaeda lieutenants in Yemen. Who let these dangerous people out of our custody? They were set free by the administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Read Robinson's entire column here.

TPM Presents the Golden Dukes, Awards for Major Political Idiocy

Hey, kids! It's that time of year again—time for the Golden Dukes, presented by the political website Talking Points Memo.

Not surprisingly, the list includes such figures as ex-Gov. Sarah Palin and her famously incorrect charge of government deal panels. It also includes the whacky 'birther" lawyer, Orly Taitz, who keeps insisting that Obama isn't really an American.

Other Golden Duje winners include ethically challenged Christian conservatives John Ensign and Mark Sanford. 


What a fun year! The full list—with the gory details—is here.

Hypocrisy Alert: Inhofe, Coburn Voted Against Airport Screening Funds

Oklahoma's conservative Republican senators voted against a 2007 bill to improve airport screening.

Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn were among the eight GOP lawmakers to vote against the measure. Naturally, they are among the same legislators who have criticized the Obama Administration for lax airport security.

Leave it to Inhofe and Coburn to play both sides of the issue. Here are details, courtesy of The Huffington Post:
Some of the same Republican lawmakers currently criticizing the President for softness on terrorism voted back in July 2007 against legislation that, among other reforms, provided $250 million for airport screening and explosive detection equipment. 
The Improving America's Security Act of 2007 was a relatively non-controversial measure that effectively implemented several un-acted-upon recommendations from the 9/11 Commission. Eighty-five Senators voted in favor of the bill's passage. Seven missed the vote (several of whom were on the campaign trail, including Barack Obama, John McCain and Chris Dodd). 

Eight Republican Senators, however, voted against passage, including Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Tom Coburn (R-Okl.) Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), James Inhofe (R-Okl.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ari.).

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bad Book Titles: Shelby Steele's Faulty Obama Prediction

AltTulsa happened to be in a used bookstore the other day checking out the latest literary and historical bargains.

We found a few decent deals, but what caught our attention was a big stack of Shelby Steele's 2007 political work on the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama.

The title says it all about Steele's faulty crystal ball: A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can't Win.

Oops!

UPDATE: We see that Steele is pontificating about Obama and race this week in the Wall Street Journal. Given his previous prediction, however, we'd say Steele has no room to talk. After all, had his original prediction been true, John McCain would be president and Steele would have to come up with a new whipping boy.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Republican Family Values: After 24 Years, Karl Rove Gets Divorced

You know what they say about glass houses. Maybe some of the holier-than-thou Republican buttheads should keep that old saying in mind.

We're thinking specifically of one first-class hypocrite named Karl Rove, the man known as "Bush's brain," who is now divorced.

That puts Rove in good GOP company: Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh, for example.

Here's a snippet of the Rove news:
Karl Rove, the Republican strategist who served as a top aide to former president George W. Bush, and his wife of 24 years have divorced.

A spokeswoman said Tuesday that Rove and his wife, Darby, were granted a divorce last week.

Promoting Freedom: Obama Speaks Up on Behalf of Iranian Dissidents

President Obama has given moral support to the Iranian dissidents. History is on your side, the president said in a statement Monday.

The president's words run contrary to the whacked-out Talk Radio meme that Obama is (yawn) a secret, Muslim-loving terrorist intent on turning the U.S. into a socialist-Fascist-Communist state that oppresses all white Republican Christians.

As moronic as that sounds, it's a favorite fairy tale of the Tea Party crowd and John Birchers, including some GOP folks right here in Tulsa (Oklahoma State Sen. Randy Brogdon, comes to mind).

To read more on the president's speech, click here.

Monday, December 28, 2009

GOP Hypocrites: Republicans Decry Stimulus While Taking Credit for Improving Economy

In case you haven't noticed, the U.S. economy has done much better during the past several months, a testament to the success of the economic stimulus package put forth during the early weeks of the Obama Administration.

Problems remain, to be sure, but there are numerous indications that the economy has hit bottom and started to come back. Consumer confidence, for one thing, has rebounded and signs look good for a prosperous 2010.

But the Party of No, aka the Republicans, has nothing good to say about much of anything. In particular, they whine about federal spending at every turn (unless of course it's about a GOP president fighting an elective war, in which case then federal spending is just peachy).

The good folks at Think Progress have documented some of the Republican hypocrisy on stimulus spending. Read the story here.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tamping Down the Political Hysteria

The Right is up in arms over the health care reform bill (yawn), claiming that the deal making involved in passing the bill was unprecedented.

It's horse hockey, of course, like much of the hysteria on the Right.

Here's a helpful corrective from commentator Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post:
We are, or so we are told by conservative commentators and politicians, supposed to be indignant, outraged, horrified at the fact that lawmakers with bargaining power extracted special deals for their states in the negotiations over health care reform.

"Prostitution has been legalized in Washington, D.C.," railed Rush Limbaugh. "Backroom deals that amount to bribes," lamented South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Give me a break.

You may not like it. It's certainly not pretty. But this kind of political horse-trading has been around since the dawn of politics, if not the dawn of horses. So the protestations of fury from opponents of the measure are awfully hard to take.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Top Ten Books: Maureen Corrigan's List of Good (and Serious) Reads

We've been thinking a lot about books this holiday season (see posts earlier this month), so let's keep that theme going on this Christmas Eve.

Fresh Air, the terrific NPR program, has an interesting book critic, Maureen Corrigan, who has worked up her Top Ten list this year. It includes some interesting titles, including Fordlandia, a history of Henry Ford's ill-fated attempt to build a worker paradise in Brazil.

We'd never heard of this Ford project and we haven't read the book, but from everything we've heard, it's an amazing story. For example, Corrigan mentions that Ford outlawed "sex dances" at Fordlandia, restricting the workers to waltzes and other more sober dance styles.

Check out Corrigan's list here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

McMurtry Memoir Focuses on the Literary Life

AT has written before about our admiration for Texas writer Larry McMurtry, best known for Lonesome Dove, a popular novel that became a popular television mini-series.

McMurty's latest book is a memoir, Literary Life, which looks back at the author's life as a novelist, essayist, critic and screenwriter (McMurtry adapted the short story that became the award-winning movie, Brokeback Mountain).

Earlier today, NPR's Morning Edition aired an interview with McMurtry about his memoir and his life as a literary man. The interview provides some interesting insights into McMurtry's views of his own successes (and failures) as a novelist.

For McMurtry fans, it's worth a listen. The NPR story, with an audio link, is here.

Beautiful in Bronze: Republicans Defend Our Right to Get Tan

Those silly Senate Republicans. Ever eager to defend the status quo, they've jumped at the chance to complain about a tax increase on tanning.

That's right, Sooner fans, you ought to have the right to tan without any pesky federal taxes, the GOP says.

To be fair, the GOP leadership always goes after new taxes, big or small, justified or not. But let's face it, tanning is not exactly a required activity, even for teenagers. It's a vanity activity and luxury and, what's more, a luxury that isn't especially healthy for the skin.

Leave it to the Republican Party to whine about even this. The beautifully bronzed details (with video!) are here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Obstruction Gang: GOP Abuses the Filibuster to Stop Progress

The current version of the Republican Party has a well-deserved reputation as The Party of No. Whatever President Obama and the Democrats propose, the GOP is against it.

But there's more to it than simple political opposition. The Republicans play games with the filibuster, deliberately gumming up the legislative process in their effort to gain political advantage.

As evidence we submit this paragraph from a recent column by New York Times column Paul Krugman, commenting on the rise of Republican stalling tactics:
The political scientist Barbara Sinclair has done the math. In the 1960s, she finds, “extended-debate-related problems” — threatened or actual filibusters — affected only 8 percent of major legislation. By the 1980s, that had risen to 27 percent. But after Democrats retook control of Congress in 2006 and Republicans found themselves in the minority, it soared to 70 percent.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Misinforming the Public: Beck Wins National Dishonor as 'Misinformer of the Year'

He's a media clown, a shallow and ill-informed buffoon trapped in a maze of bad ideas.

We're speaking of Glenn Beck, the Fox News windbag who pontificates daily on the great issues of the day. Unfortunately for America, Beck is a consistent source exaggeration, hyperbole, misinformation and plain ole lies.

So it's no wonder than Beck has won this year's Misinformer of the Year award from Media Matters.

There was stiff competition for the award, of course, much of it also on Fox News, the home of Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and a number of other blowhards. But Beck is far and away the silliest and least coherent of the Fox crew, always ready and willing to twist the facts to suit his preconceived agenda.

As the saying goes, never lets the facts stand in the way of a good story. In a sentence, that is Beck's method.

Thankfully, Media Matters has called Beck on his shabby relations to the truth. Check out the video here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Misusing Religion: Coburn Calls on Citizens to Pray against Democratic Senators

Holy Cow! Or, more accurately, Holy Rev. Coburn.

In his effort to stop health care reform, the junior from Oklahoma, Tom Coburn, said today in the Senate chamber that the American people should pray for a Democratic Senator not to show up tonight for the vote.

What did Coburn mean, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin asked. Good question.

Is Rev. Tom calling on citizens to pray for the death of a political opponent? Or perhaps Sen. Coburn only wants a Democrat to be injured or fall ill.

Either way, this strikes us as a gross misuse of religion. We suggest that the Lord is not a Republican (or a Democrat) and, moreover, that the Lord has more important things to do than get involved in Rev. Tom's political battles.

Read about it, and see a video clip, here.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Who Needs Facts? Glenn Beck's Dishonorable "Lie of the Year" Award

Besides Sarah ("Facts, what facts?") Palin, PolitiFact has selected Glenn Beck as runner-up in its first Lie of the Year contest, a dishonor Beck richly deserves.

Beck can barely open his mouth without distorting the truth or, even worse, making up "facts" from whole cloth. So it was no surprise that Beck's imaginary (and inflammatory) charges against a White House science advisor didn't pass the "common sense" test.

When it comes to Beck and the other Fox News blowhards, the best advice is to turn on your B.S. detector—you'll need it.

Read the PolitiFact smackdown of Beck's lies here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Political Lie of the Year: Sarah Palin's Fake 'Death Panels'

The fact-checkers at Politifact have awarded their first ever "Lie of the Year." To the surprise of almost no thinking person, the winner is ex-Gov. Sarah Palin and her infamous "death panels" claim.

It was a bald-faced lie, as PolitiFact has documented.

Like many conservative true believers (Beck, Hannity, Rush, et. al.), Palin lied about health care reform, resorting to scare tactics to score political points.

With leadership this lame and dishonest, it's no wonder the conservative movement is in disarray. The full PolitiFact report is here.

By the way, the runner-up in the Lie of the Year sweepstakes was none other than Fox News fruitcake Glenn Beck.

Recent Reading: More War Stories from Iraq

Speaking of books (see previous post), it's time once again for an AT reading update.

Regular readers of AltTulsa will recall that we've been reading our way through Iraq war books this year. One of the best we've come across is Jon Lee Anderson's The Fall of Baghdad, published in 2004 by Penguin.

Anderson, who writes for The New Yorker, covers the same ground as two other Iraq books, Anne Garrels' Naked in Baghdad, and Richard Engel's A Fist in the Hornet's Nest. (See previous AT posts on both of these books.)

As you might expect Anderson's work goes deeper than these books, in part because Anderson takes the long view, a characteristic of his magazine. Anderson provides a more detailed and complex view of Iraq and the U.S. invasion, a qualities that give his reportage a more literary quality than either Garrels or Engel.

This makes Anderson's book an illuminating and useful guide to Saddam's Iraq and its people. In fact, The Fall of Baghdad prompted us to check out another highly praised Iraq book, Michael Kelly's Martyrs' Day. Kelly's book chronicles the first Gulf War, the one in which Saddam invaded Kuwait and caused George H. W. Bush to declare war on Iraq.

Like Anderson, Kelly is a fearless and highly observant reporter who documents the horrors of modern combat. Kelly is especially good at detailing the many crimes of Saddam and his cronies, facts that make plain the dehumanizing forces at work in a cult-like military dictatorship.

Taken together, Martys' Day and The Fall of Baghdad make interesting reading because they explain Saddam, Iraq and the United States involvement there at two critical points, one of which led to the dictator's demise.

One final (and sad) point: Kelly was the first journalist killed in the second Iraq war when the Humvee he was riding in came under fire and crashed. It's the public's loss.

Recommendations for Readers: NPR Lists Best Books of 2009

Serious reading is out of fashion, it seems, but the AT folks like to spend time with good books. We like all sorts of books, from biographies and travel books to literary fiction and even poetry. (Some of our best friends are poets.)

Our friends at NPR like books too. As 2009 comes to an end, the bookish types at the radio network have complied their list of the year's best, lists that include gardening books, debut fiction, mysteries, memoirs and much more.

The NPR book link is here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Beck the Misinformer: Fox Pundit Reports Rumors to Smear Obama

We at Alternative Tulsa enjoy a good laugh. So we are rarely disappointed with the political hysterics of Glenn Beck, the Fox News wingbag who has a loose connection to such notions as truth and honesty.

The latest Beck hysteria is his repeated rumor-mongering over a supposed Obama Administration tactic against Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson. According to Beck, the nasty folks at the White House are threatening to close an important air force base in Nebraska if Nelson doesn't cooperate on health care reform.

Great story—if it happened to be true. It's not, but that never stops a True Believer.

Since he doesn't have any actual evidence, Beck plays a little game of "what if." "If the rumor is true," he intones, "then it shows how evil Obama really is." It may be treason, Beck claims.

Media Matters documents the Beck lies. Read all about it here.

Latest Wingnut Charge: Wikipedia is a pro-socialist, pro-Obama scam!

The Far Right Conservative wing of the Republican Party (which, from the vantage point of Oklahoma, appears to be the entire GOP), is nothing if not paranoid.

To hear them tell it, the whole world has a Liberal Bias, which is why they can't get people to believe their whacked-out ideas.

Which brings us to Wikipedia, a collaborative online encyclopedia. Wikipedia is far from perfect, but a GOP senate candidate in New York, Andy Martin, is convinced it's a pro-Obama scam.

Sure, buddy. And if wishes were dollars, you'd be a very rich man.

The whole sad story is here.

More Nonsense from the Birthers: Still Beating the Dead Horse

AltTulsa loves the crazies on the Right.

The reason is simple: They get to live on Cloud Coo-coo Land, where thinking something could be true means it must be true.

Take the "Obama-is-not-really-president-because-he-was born-in-Kenya" crowd—Birthers, for short.

Nothing and nobody can convince them that they might be wrong. So they keep wasting their time (not to mention the Federal court's time) with speculation and rumor.

Read more at TPM.

Fun with Video: Jon Stewart Laughs at Inane Tea Party Rally

Highway to Health - Last Tea Party Protest of the Year
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Governator Questions Palin's Motives on Climate Change

Fans of Sarah Palin have their work cut out for them. That's because Palin continues to say whatever pops into her head, even when it disagrees with her previous statements.

Take the environmental crisis, for example. In her quest for Right-wing credibility, Palin has become a recent global warming denier—reversing her previous position.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, for one, has noticed. The Governator was not amused. Unlike many other Republican leaders, Schwarzenegger has consistently supported state and federal actions to slow the production of greenhouse gasses.

As usual, Palin is playing politics instead of paying attention to science, just like Oklahoma's own Jim Inhofe.

The link is here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

More Crap from the Master: Rush Shoveling More Economic Mature

Rush Limbaugh is the master of political exaggeration and distortion. If an idea or purported "fact" fits his agenda, he's liable to say it loud—the truth be damned.

So when recent employment statistics didn't square with the Rush view of the economy, El Rushbo invented his own "facts."

Unsurprisingly, Rush was wrong. Check out the PolitiFact story here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Climate Change Denier: Fact-Checkers Find Oklahoma's Sen. Inhofe Gets It Wrong

The embarrassing Sen. Jim Inhofe just keeps digging himself in deeper.

Inhofe, whose science credentials are as weak as his oil and gas ties are strong, has shot off his mouth again, and—again—he's made a fool of himself.

Never one to think very deeply about facts, Inhofe has claimed that the infamous (and stolen) stolen "Climategate" emails reveal that climate change was (and is) all bunk. They show that the climate scientists are lying, Inhofe claims.

Except that he's wrong. PolitiFact checked it out. The verdict: Climate change scientists: 1. Inhofe: 0.

Read the fact-checking here.

Maddow Exposes the Ties Between C Streeters and Uganda's 'Kill the Gays' Bill

Oklahoma politicians are not known for their empathy. For many of them, the whole notion of human kindness seems to be some sort of naive weakness, a silly left-wing affectation practiced only by Girly Men and Liberals (who, in their mind, are pretty much the same people).

Thankfully, there's a terrific journalist named Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. Maddow, as it happens, is smart, hard-working and tough. She also not afraid to challenge the status quo and Far Right politicians like, say, Sen. Jim Inhofe.

Maddow has done some interesting reporting on the notorious C Street House (home to some oversexed Christian conservatives such as Sen. John Ensign) and its political influence, stories that sometimes involve both Oklahoma senators (naturally, Tom Coburn is a C Streeter).

Just this week, for instance, there was this nasty business in Uganda, where—believe it or not—the government was considering a bill to kill homosexuals. Not too surprisingly, the origins of this legislation lead back to—you guessed it—the C Street House.

Then there's the odd fact that Sen. Inhofe has made some trips to—yes!—Uganda.

Even the Conservatives are backing off the Ugandan legislation, as well they should. Progressive Okie has some posted some footage from the Maddow show. Very interesting stuff. The link is here.

Faith in Human Progress: President Obama's Inspiring Words

To hear the GOP Wingnuts and Tea Party screamers tell it, the president of the United States is an anti-American Communist-Fascist-Nazi-Socialist-Muslim who is secretly trying to turn the nation into a dictatorship headed by Himself, the Great Obama.

A lot of these people live right here in Oklahoma, which is a problem since this sort of conspiracy-mongering and paranoia is not only wrong, it's dangerous.

It's also a sign that a lot of people are not paying attention. If they did, they'd be aware of the president's actual words and deeds, many of which give the lie to the silliness and lies of the Right-wing noise machine.

As evidence, we present a short section of the president's remarks yesterday at the Nobel Prize ceremony. We submit that these are not the words of a secret dictator with radical leanings. Instead, they are words that inspire high ideals in Americans and in others:
But we do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected. We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place. The non-violence practiced by men like Gandhi and King may not have been practical or possible in every circumstance, but the love that they preached — their fundamental faith in human progress — that must always be the North Star that guides us on our journey.

For if we lose that faith — if we dismiss it as silly or
na├»ve; if we divorce it from the decisions that we make on issues of war and peace — then we lose what’s best about humanity. We lose our sense of possibility. We lose our moral compass.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dr. Inhofe Gets It Wrong: Oklahoma Senator Distorts the Facts to Support His Views

Climate scientist Jim Inhofe, Ph. D., is blabbing environmental nonsense again.

That's right, Sooner fans, Sen. Jim Inhofe, convinced by years of detailed study of the data, has determined that climate change and global warning is a huge scam and he's going to lead us to sweetness and light.

Well, not exactly.

As it happens, Inhofe has a host of faulty opinions based on his own misreading of the science and driven by highly partisan motives. Once again, Inhofe has failed to lead and fallen back to reactionary know-nothingness, which is his standard political position.

And as usual, Inhofe and the facts have a stormy relationship. The gory details are here.

Fox Fails Simple Math: Poll Numbers Add Up to 120 Percent of Those Polled

The fake news types at Fox News can't get the numbers to add up. Or, more pointedly, Fox math is sometimes fake math—all to prove a political point.

When new polling numbers about global warming data were released this week, Fox News promptly produced an on-screen graphic explaining the numbers.

One tiny problem: the figures added up to 120 percent of those polled, a logically impossible percentage.

See the embarrassing screenshot here, courtesy of Think Progress.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Documenting More Beck Lies: PolitiFact Nails the Blowhard Again

Glenn Beck is the gift that keeps on giving.

In his quest to demonize everybody to the left of Richard Nixon, Beck makes up facts that fit his agenda. His latest imaginary fact involves a union leader who has been to the White House more than anyone else. Except it's a lie.

PolitiFact checked it out and the results are here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Write Like Sarah Palin: Slate Names the Dubious Winners

Inspired by her bestselling book, Going Rogue, the online magazine Slate has been running a "Write Like Sarah Palin" contest in recent weeks—an truly inspired idea.

Palin, who has trouble articulating anything of actual substance, didn't really write Going Rogue, of course, since she used a not-so-secret ghostwriter.

Nevertheless, Palin—and her book—have a kind of naive world view and homespun charm that seems to resonate with many Americans, people who don't want to think too hard (it makes their head hurt, after all).

The winning entries, which you can read here, are hilarious.

A sample: "The snow machine pummeled through the white-dusted plain like a jubilant beaver." That's so Sarah!

Beck's One-Man Christmas Show Flops

Our favorite TV wingbag, the moronic Fox News personality Glenn Beck, has been promoting his Christmas Sweater show in recent weeks, but the public isn't buying.

The one-man show, which was shown in movie theaters across the U.S. last night, was a bust in most of the country.

Few of the $20 tickets were sold in places like New York and Boston, according to media reports. Sales were sluggish even in Washington state, which is Beck's home territory. Not surprisingly, Beck sold more tickets in the South.

Read more here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fact-checking Glenn Beck: His Obama Cabinet Criticism Is Wrong (Again)

Fox News windbag Glenn Beck has an outstanding record of getting it wrong. From what we can tell, the only time Beck is right is when he's silent.

The latest Beck charge: That Obama's cabinet selections had little or no business experience. In Beck's story, less than 10 percent of Obama's cabinet officers had private sector experience.

PolitiFact checked it out. Unsurprisingly, the truth is much more complex than that. In fact, PolitiFact finds it false. The full story is here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rep. Sullivan Spends Big, Gets Little

Thanks to the Tulsa World, we learned this week that Rep. John Sullivan of Tulsa spent $240,339 on staff compensation from July 1 to Sept. 30 of this year.

Other Oklahoma representatives spent less. Rep. Frank Lucas, for example, spent a measly $187,398 for staff compensation during the same period. (Rep. Tom Cole, however, was only a few dollars lower than Sullivan.)

Too bad that Sullivan can't use some of that money to hire someone who actually knows English grammar.

We're referring to a recent propaganda piece we got in the mail from Sullivan, in which he is quoted as saying he voted against the "Democrat [sic] health care bill because of it's enormous cost…."

Grammatically speaking, this does not make sense. "It's," after all, is a contraction that means "it is." So what the congressman really said was "its." "Its" is possessive, like "his" or "her" and what Sullivan's document should have said.

You'd think for $240, 339, Rep. Sullivan could afford to hire someone who knew the difference between "it's" and "its." But you'd be wrong, just like John Sullivan.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Obama's First Year: Restoring America's Standing in the World

Political writer Jacob Weisberg has published a column that turns conventional wisdom on its head, which is often a good move.

Writing at Slate.com, Weisberg challenges the notion that President Obama has had a weak beginning. Indeed, Weisberg says Obama has had a highly successful first year, accomplishing more in that time than any president since Franklin Roosevelt.

Conservative pundits and GOP activists will disagree, of course, but Weisberg make a reasonable case that Obama has been effective in a number of areas, not least of which is his restoration of the U.S. as a force for good in the world, in contrast to eight years of Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld deception.

Read the piece here.

Celebrating the Brady Bill: The Anniversary of Landmark Handgun Control Legislation

Today, November 30, is the anniversary of the Brady Bill, a landmark piece of handgun control legislation that has stopped many, many thousands of criminals from obtaining illegal handguns.

President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law on this day in 1993.

As some readers may remember, the bill was named after James Brady, who served as the press spokesman in the Reagan White House and was severely wounded in an assassination attempt on Reagan by John Hinckley.

Sen. Inhofe Jumps on Generals Who Disagree with His Climate Change Ideas

Sen. Jim Inhofe is nothing if not partisan. Inhofe is so partisan, in fact, that he puts partisanship ahead of, well, everything.

The latest example shows Inhofe blasting retired generals because they dare to disagree with his assessment of global warming and climate change.

These generals, Inhofe claims, simply "crave the limelight." This judgment seems wrong on its face and it shows that Inhofe's interest in honorable military service is less important than taking shots at his many enemies.

The story, courtesy of our friends at Think Progress, is here.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rewriting History: Perino Claims Bush Years Free from Terror Attacks

The Conservative Talking Heads claim a reverence for truth. It's one of their fundamental principles—at least in theory.

In practice, truth isn't such a virtue in the Right-wing universe.

Dana Perino, former spokesperson for President George W. Bush, told Fox News exaggerator Sean Hannity the other day that the Bush presidency succeeded in preventing terror attacks in he U.S. (Hannity readily agreed, of course.)

Only one tiny factual problem with this statement: The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks happened on W's watch.

W., Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, Donald Rumsfeld—they were at the helm when America was attacked.

As the old joke goes: Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

Cowboy Collapse: Mike (I'm a Man!) Gundy's 'Pokes Come Up Empty as Sooners Roll

How 'bout them Cowboys?

Coaching genius Mike (I'm 40!) Gundy fired up his high-powered OSU offense today to boot the Sooners in the annual Bedlam intrastate game.

What's that? The high-flying Cowboys got skunked? Really?

Maybe Coach Gundy isn't the genius he thinks he is. And maybe OU's Bob Stoops has a more Top 10 seasons in his Sooner portfolio.

Meanwhile, if memory serves, the Texas Longhorns beat both OU and OSU this year and remains undefeated this season.

Oh well, there's always next year.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lying about Energy Policy: Rumors about Home Retrofitting Are Bogus

Ah yes, the know-nothing blowhards are at it again, putting forth made up "facts" simply to scare and confuse the public.

We're referring to a chain e-mail (buyer beware!) that claims new energy legislation will require homeowners to retrofit their homes to be more energy efficient, along with other onerous requirements.

It's nonsense, as the fact-checkers at PolitiFact have confirmed. In fact, they give this rumor their lowest rating on the Truth-o-Meter, the "Pants on Fire" award.

The lies are corrected here.

Purity on the Right: Republicans Roll Out an Ideological Test

No GOP dissenters need apply.

That seems to be the message of the Republican National Committee, which recent published its core ideological principles, from which no GOP candidate must not stray.

Okay, they can stray a bit—but just a little. As Talking Points Memo reports, Republican candidates must agree on eight of ten principles to pass muster.

Which begs the question: What if the candidate scores seven of ten? Is he or she drummed out of the party?

We'd hazard a guess that this is bad for political debate and discussion, but very, very good for party purity.

The details and the complete list are here.

Meanness on the Right: Tea Party Crowd Heckles Grieving Family

Ain't Right-wing politics great?

The know-nothing Tea Party folks don't want to be caught dead showing some un-American value like compassion.

That doesn't square with their notion of being patriotic or Godly.

The video of this unhappy spectacle is here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bartlett's Transition Pick Fails to Inspire Confidence

We noted with dismay this week that Tulsa mayor-elect Dewey Bartlett named 1st District Rep. John Sullivan to head his transition team.

This is not a good omen. Indeed, it raises serious questions about Bartlett's judgment and for the success of the Bartlett administration.

Besides the fact that Rep. Sullivan is one of the most reliable potted plants in Congress, Rep. Sullivan has no experience in Tulsa city government. None. Zip.

Then there's the fact that Sullivan has other duties—such as spending time in Washington representing the good people of the 1st District, which is what he was elected to do. Instead, as we have previously reported, Sullivan spends a fair amount of time pandering to the Tea Party crowd.

Sullivan told the Tulsa World this week that he will manage his time carefully and work nights and weekends, which sounds like a fine idea for a college student.

But Sullivan's previous record as a public servant has been marred by particular personal problems, including a recent stint at the Betty Ford Clinic in California.

Forgive us for pointing out the obvious, but does this record inspire confidence? Hardly.

GOP Plays the Fear Card to Blame Obama

The Republicans love to rant and rave—that's what they're best at. (Governing, well, not so much.)

It's no surprise then that the GOP plays politics with fear. Elect a Democrat and we'll be attacked, they claim. Obama is soft on terror, they shout. The sky is falling, they insist.

It's baloney, of course, but it is the Republican's signature style, led by the hysterics of Talk Radio and Fox News.

Talking Points Memo has rounded up the latest wave of GOP fear-mongering and posted an informative catalogue of the Top Four Wingnut charges. The details are here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wrong Again: PolitiFact Checks Palin's Reagan-Obama Recession Claim

Sarah Palin can't stop talking—or making things up. The former governor of Alaska is promoting her book this week, but her reputation is taking a beating.

Palin may sell a lot of books, but not because she's a zealot for accuracy.

PolitiFact has checked out Palin's claim that the recession of the Reagan years was worse than the one that President Obama inherited from George W. Bush.

Surprise! Palin is wrong. It's simply not true. Read chapter and verse of the real story here.

More Evidence Palin Lives in a Mindless Fantasy Land

As if we needed more proof that ex-Gov. Sarah Palin is a complete nincompoop, she makes this statement to the bozos at Newsmax:
But Glenn Beck I have great respect for. He’s a hoot. He gets his message across in such a clever way. And he’s so bold – I have to respect that. He calls it like he sees it, and he’s very, very, very effective.
And to think: she could have been a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Here We Go Again: Oklahoma Legislator Proposes Hate Crime Opt Out

Oklahoma's conservative politicians don't fare well on the national stage.

Sen. Jim Inhofe has been widely (and rightly) ridiculed for his blather about global warming and Sen. Tom Coburn has been recently pummeled for his hold up of a bill to support wounded veterans.

The Oklahoma legislature is also an especially easy target (think Rep. Sally Kern) , especially the GOP's growing "Tenther" brigade, those wishful thinkers who believe the Tenth Amendment gives states the right to pick and choose which Federal laws they can support.

Now we learn that a GOP Tenther from Del City, Rep. Steve Russell, wants the state to opt out of the recent hate crimes legislation recently signed by President Obama. The trouble, naturally, is protecting gay folks from hate. (Oh, the horrors!)

This opt out idea is making national news, once again marking the Sooner state as hostile to civil liberties and old-fashioned ideas like common decency. The details are here.

Bringing Up the Rear: Oklahoma at the Bottom in State Health Rankings

This can't be good: Oklahoma is one of the nation's unhealthiest states.

Readers of the Tulsa World will find this troubling report on page one. The newspaper quotes state health commissioner, Dr. Terry Cline, who says the state's situation is "appalling."

What's the cause of the state's health woes: bad habits. The World reports that Sooners have high rates of smoking, obesity, and heart disease. Oh, and we don't have enough primary care physicians either.

It's enough to make one think of moving to one of those horrible Blue states like Vermont, which was ranked the number one healthiest state.

The complete list of state rankings can be seen here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tulsa Voters Stay Home: Mayor Bartlett's 14 Percent Mandate

Thanks to the Tulsa World's Wayne Greene, Tulsans now know that Mayor-elect Dewey Bartlett Jr. got a whopping 14 percent mandate in last Tuesday's city election.

That's right, Sooner fans, 14 percent.

Greene did the math, which goes like this: Only 31 percent of the city's registered voters actually bothered to vote last week. Bartlett got 45 percent of that vote. The math works out to Bartlett being the choice of a mere 14 percent of Tulsa voters.

This is weak. Really weak. It's hardly a mandate of any kind. Or as Greene put it, "It was shameful."

Why the apathy? Greene speculates that it was the negative campaign: "The nasty, negative nature of the campaign's television advertising…did nothing to further either candidate's cause, and less to further the cause of our city."

Greene cites some Bartlett examples, including the bogus child molester nonsense and charges that Tom Adelson was an Obama liberal. Now, Greene says, Bartlett is going to have to prove he's a bigger man than that.

Amen, Brother Greene.

CBS Host Bob Schieffer: Palin Has No Future in Politics

Columnist Brooks on Sarah Palin: 'She's a Joke'

The Palin Media Blitz Not So Welcome

Ex-Gov. Sarah Palin is beginning her media campaign today in support of her new book, Going Rogue.

Meanwhile, Palin's stature and credibility as a political leader continue to suffer. Here are a couple of facts from a recent NY Times story on Palin's political stock:
A CNN poll taken last month indicates that 7 out of 10 Americans now think Ms. Palin is not qualified to be president, and even as ardent a conservative as Charles Krauthammer lamented in September 2008 “the paucity of any Palin record or expressed conviction on the major issues of our time.”

Politifact Knocks Down Another Obama Rumor

Don't you just love the conservative rumor mill on the Interwebs? It's so awesome—you can find out the real, unvarnished facts without the interference of the lyin' mainstream media.

If only life—and the truth—were so simple.

The latest bogus fact: That the Army officer accused in the Ft. Hood shootings was an Obama advisor. That's an email rumor all circulating over the web.

Of course, it's nonsense, as PolitiFact has documented. But the Wingnuts seem to love such "facts," bogus though they are.

The truth, as opposed to Wingnut rumor, is here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ex-Gov. Sarah Palin Criticizes NY Terror Trials Despite NY Trail History

In a surprise to absolutely no one, the Republicans are foaming at the mouth about the Obama Administration's decision to try five terrorists in civilian courts New York City.

You'd think that the GOP bigwigs would have more faith in the American judicial system, but no. The Republicans love to play the terror card, insisting that terrorists have no place in the U.S. courts.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, of course, had blasted the administration. So has ex-Gov. Sarah Palin.

Too bad, then, that the U.S. has previously tried earlier terror suspects in—gasp!—federal court in New York City and elsewhere.

It's true. Not once, not twice, but 145 times. But, hey, truth is hard—and the GOP screamers don't do hard. They do hyperbole and hot air.

The details are here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Listening to Savage, KRMG's Nightly Wingbag

Five nights a week, KRMG graces Tulsa listeners with the sweet words of Michael Savage, a joyous and beneficent radio talker of great thoughtfulness, wisdom and dignity.

As if.

For those of you keeping score at home, Savage is an amazingly bombastic blowhard, apt to say nearly anything if it makes his point—and sometimes he has one.

We were listening the other night to check out the nuttiness when Savage went off on women in the U.S. Navy. According to Savage, these women are more interested in getting pregnant than serving their country. It's all about "the easy life," Savage claimed.

Sure, Michael. Absolutely. Listen to the nonsense here.

Glenn Beck Makes Up Dog Insurance: Lying Again about Health Care Reform

Conservatives have a credibility problem. Actually, they have several such problems, many of whom turn up on Talk Radio and Fox News.

Take Glenn Beck, for example. No matter what you think of conservatives, Beck is bad for the cause. Why? Because he and the other windbags can't seem to tell the difference between fact and fiction. In the world of conservative commentary, truth seems to hold little value.

This week Beck claimed that the Democratic health reform plan will include insurance for dogs. The good folks at PolitiFact checked out Beck's claim and—surprise!—it's isn't true.

In fact, Beck's claim won PolitiFact's dishonorable "Pants on Fire" award as completely bogus. The lie is documented here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gov. Rick Perry: Going for Tea Party Cred

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is at it again. The grandstanding Republican leader is conjuring up all sorts of conspiracy theories as a way of shoring up his Tea Party credentials.

That evil socialist in the White House is out to get Texas—so Perry says.

Memo to Rick Perry: You're a broken record. No one with a brain takes this sort of posturing seriously. Grow the hell up.

The story here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Colorado Conservative Makes the Latest Bonehead GOP Quote of the Day

The wingnut branch of the Republican Party has a gift for overstatement.

They can't just disagree with the president or his policies. Oh no. They have to accuse him of being a Muslim or a Fascist or a Communist or the Anti-Christ or, better yet, all of the above.

Here's the latest example of exaggerated political mumbo-jumbo, courtesy of our fine friends in Colorado:
Colorado State Sen. Dave Schultheis (R-Colorado Springs) posted a tweet yesterday that called for a derailing of President Obama's agenda in a rather bold way.

"Don't for a second, think Obama wants what is best for U.S. He is flying the U.S. Plane right into the ground at full speed. Let's Roll," the tweet reads.

"Let's roll" were the final words of Todd Beamer, a passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 93, one of the four flights hijacked on September 11 and the only one to crash before reaching its intended target. The flight was diverted to Washington, D.C. after it was hijacked, but crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers tried to thwart the hijackers.

The Big Fox Tea Party Lie: Sean Hannity Gets Caught in Video Deception

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Bartlett Beats Adelson in Tulsa Mayoral Race

Tulsa oilman Dewey Bartlett Jr. will be the new mayor of Tulsa.

Bartlett, a Republican, took 45 percent of the vote to beat Democrat Tom Adelson in Tuesday's election. Adelson won 36 percent of the vote while independent Mark Perkins took 18 percent.

Bartlett's victory was not a huge surprise since Tulsa is a largely Republican stronghold. A poll published Sunday showed Bartlett with a sizable lead.

Despite the polls, Tulsa blogger Michael Bates predicted an Adelson win. Speaking on KRMG shortly after the polls closed, Bates said that his review of yard signs in midtown Tulsa indicated strong Adelson support, perhaps enough to carry Adelson to victory.

Bates was wrong. Of course, Bates had been a supporter of Republican Chris Medlock, who turned out to have very thin support and lost to Bartlett in the GOP primary.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Honoring the Fallen: Obama's Eloquence Today at Fort Hood

President Obama went to Fort Hood today to honor the victims of the shooting rampage last week. Here is part of what the president said:
We are a nation that endures because of the courage of those who defend it. We saw that valor in those who braved bullets here at Fort Hood, just as surely as we see it in those who signed up knowing that they would serve in harm's way.

We are a nation of laws whose commitment to justice is so enduring that we would treat a gunman and give him due process, just as surely as we will see that he pays for his crimes.

We are a nation that guarantees the freedom to worship as one chooses. And instead of claiming God for our side, we remember Lincoln's words, and always pray to be on the side of God.

We are a nation that is dedicated to the proposition that all men and women are created equal. We live that truth within our military, and see it in the varied backgrounds of those we lay to rest today. We defend that truth at home and abroad, and we know that Americans will always be found on the side of liberty and equality. That is who we are as a people.

Tomorrow is Veterans Day. It is a chance to pause, and to pay tribute - for students to learn of the struggles that preceded them; for families to honor the service of parents and grandparents; for citizens to reflect upon the sacrifices that have been made in pursuit of a more perfect union.

Election Day in Tulsa: Turnout Could Be Crucial

Tulsa voters will elect a new mayor today.

If you believe recent political polls, Republican Dewey Bartlett is the front-runner, though Democratic candidate Tom Adelson has cited his own polling that shows him in the lead. The race has been especially negative and nasty and we have no clear sense of how the vote will turn out.

In a highly Republican city, we expect the GOP candidate should carry the day. On the other hand, if Adelson can get out his voters, he may be able to stop the Republican tide.

One prediction seems safe: Independent candidate Mark Perkins probably doesn't have a snowball's chance of pulling off a victory.

We cast our ballots this morning. Although we were the only voters in the precinct, the poll workers said the number of voters was actually up compared to other city election.

There's still time to vote. The polls close at 7 p.m.

David Frum Blasts the Palin Boosters & Their 'Alternative Reality'

Conservative columnist David Frum takes a hard look at ex-Gov. Sarah Palin and her political base:
Palin supporters have constructed an alternative reality in which their heroine is wildly cheered by the American yeomanry, and despised only by a small coterie of sherry-drinking snobs. No contrary evidence, no matter how overwhelming and uncontradicted, can alter this view: not the collapse in Palin's support in just 5 weeks in 2008, not the statistical studies that show her as the only vice presidential nominee in ticket to have hurt her ticket, not her rampant unpopularity with American women, not her own flinching from a second encounter with the Alaskan electorate.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hawks Beware: Busting the Myth of Ronald Reagan

The Berlin Wall came down 20 years ago today, an event that marked the end of the Soviet Union and its Iron Curtain.

Conservatives remember this as a huge success for their hero, President Ronald Reagan. But like a lot of good stories, the Reagan success was not quite the conservative triumph they claim that it is.

Yes, the Wall came down, but it wasn't because of Reagan's hawkish policies. The truth, as usual, is a more complex story, and it doesn't favor the Conservative True Believers.

Read the analysis, from The Daily Beast, here.

Fox Blowhards Get It Wrong Again: The Revolution that Wasn't

Frank Rich, the NY Times columnist, followed up yesterday on the triumphal Fox News predictions of Tea Party victory in the heavily Republican New York 23rd congressional district.

Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly confidently forecast beginning of the Far Right Revolution. As usual, they were wrong, but that never stops the Fox blowhards. If it did, they wouldn't have much to say.

Here's part of the Rich takedown:
As Fox kept insisting, all eyes were glued on Doug Hoffman, the insurgent tea party candidate in New York’s 23rd Congressional District. A “tidal wave” was on its way, said Sean Hannity, and the right would soon “take back the Republican Party.” The race was not “even close,” Bill O’Reilly suggested to the pollster Scott Rasmussen, who didn’t disagree. When returns showed Hoffman trailing, the network’s resident genius, Karl Rove, knowingly reassured viewers that victory was in the bag, even if we’d have to stay up all night waiting for some slacker towns to tally their votes.

Alas, the Dewey-beats-Truman reveries died shortly after midnight, when even Fox had to concede that the Democrat, Bill Owens, had triumphed in what had been Republican country since before Edison introduced the light bulb.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Going Off Topic: Tea Party Protesters Miss the Message

Speaking of Michele Bachmann (see previous post), she's leading a big anti-health care reform rally in Washington, D.C., today.

Some of the protesters, however, are sending mixed signals, carrying signs wondering about the president's birth certificate (yawn…) and mixing in all sorts of other messages.

Check out some of the wacky signs here.

Rep. Bachmann Gets Caught Lying (Again) about Health Care Reform

The fine folks over at PolitiFact have fun fact-checking the charges and counter-charges made by politicians of all stripes.

Then there's Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is a one-woman full employment agency for PolitiFact. Without fail, Bachmann provides a steady stream of whoppers and stretchers about whatever it is she doesn't like.

Bachmann's latest lie involves bogus statements about the pending health care bill. PolitiFact rates her recent charges as a "Pants of Fire" lie.

Read all about it here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Maureen Dowd Takes Down Rush the Narcissist

Columnist Maureen Dowd isn't everyone's cup of tea. Too often, she's an equal opportunity slicer-and-dicer, chopping up Sacred Cows on the Left and Right.

Yet Dowd is often funny and she can be spot-on, as she is this week in her rip of professional blowhard Rush Limbaugh.

Here's a tasty morsel pertaining to Limbaugh's inane criticisms of President Obama:
If W. had gone to Dover in the middle of the night to salute the war dead, Limbaugh and Liz Cheney would have been gushing about his patriotism.

But since it’s Obama who at last showed up there to see the brutal cost of war, they simply have to dismiss the moving moment as a publicity stunt.

Years ago, when I dubbed Dubya “The Boy Emperor,” Limbaugh spewed a stream of personal invective about me that embarrassed even my mother, a Limbaugh fan.

But now Limbaugh calls Obama the “man-child president.”

The 48-year-old Obama is skinny and getting skinnier, but there’s nothing childish about him. He more or less raised himself and came to terms with his Oedipal demons on his own, and he radiates a hard-won maturity.

W., on the other hand, was like a kid who knew that Daddy’s friends would take care of him; he was always running off to the gym or going biking, leaving the governing to his regents, Cheney and Rummy, or incompetents like Brownie.

On Climate Change, Inhofe Leads the Party of No Show

The senator from the Oil and Gas Industry, Jim 'No Show' Inhofe, has taken his ball and gone home. He doesn't play well with others, especially when he's blowing smoke.

There are real and serious concerns about climate change and the role that fossil fuels and other human activities have played in creating that change.

Inhofe doesn't care. His mind is made up and he doesn't want to be confused by facts and other silly details. The story here.

Gun Owners Misfire Again: PolitiFact Corrects Bogus E-mail

The Internet is a wonderful thing. It can provide average citizens with all sorts of news and information at the push of a button.

It can also be a huge source of lies and malicious distortions, especially in the hands of less-than-scrupulous partisans.

Which brings us to the Gun Owners of America, the source of a chain e-mail that claims all guns will have to be declared on tax forms next year.

Well, no. Wrong. PolitiFact has fact-checked the claim and awarded the Gun Owners its dubious "Pants on Fire" award.

The lie is documented here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fun & Games in Political Paranoia: Wingnuts Go Wild

Barack Obama was elected president one year ago.

In honor of the occasion, some wag at The Huffington Post complied a list of the Top 11 Most Paranoid Conspiracy Theories dreamed up by the loose screws over at the far right end of the dial.

It's great and completely silly reading, though not exactly high on the veracity scale. Some of the players are hardly surprising. They include serial fabricator Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the gang.

The entire Top 11 list is here.

Utah's Orrin Hatch: Helping People is Bad for the GOP's Future

Those dang Democrats. As Sen. Orrin Hatch has pointed out, the real reason Republicans oppose health care reform is because it will help people.

Can you imagine? A government that wants to help its citizens.

We are not making this up. Hatch said it plainly: If health care reform goes through, it's likely to help so many people with their medical costs that they'll vote Democratic forever, thus ensuring a future dominated by Democrats.

This is highly dubious assertion on several counts, of course, but it's an also illustration of the Right's resistance to common sense and political reality.

Read the story here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bartlett Claims Adelson Loves Criminals—Really

Don't you just love local politics, nonsense and all?

We're referring, of course, to the Tulsa mayor's race featuring Dewey Bartlett and Tom Adelson, Republican and Democrat, respectively.

Unfortunately for Tulsa, both candidates have unleashed negative television ads. Adelson, for example has slammed Bartlett's term on the Oklahoma Turnpike Commission, when Bartlett expressed support for more turnpikes in and around Tulsa.

Bartlett has struck back with his own charges, some of which seem more than a little overheated. For instance, there's the "creepy guy" mailer we received the other day, which purports to show that Adelson is soft on crime.

Of course he is—he's a liberal. And we all know that liberals love criminals, especially child molesters! Ha!

This is complete crap, of course, but just the kind of underhanded allegation that some politicos think will win them votes in Oklahoma politics. Maybe it will. (Hey, it worked for Dick (Law and Order) Nixon—and look how well that worked out.)

Sure, negative campaigning is a staple of politics these days. But playing the fear card—especially the child molester charge—says more about Bartlett than it does about Adelson.

Some people, it seems, will say anything to get elected.

Mary Matalin Cites Global Cooling; PolitiFact Finds Her Claim "False"

We always love it when the Right spouts off with complete disregard of the facts. Take Mary Matalinplease!

But seriously, it must be nice to live in a universe of your own making, where believing something is true can make it true and actual facts don't matter a whit.

So when Matalin recently stated that the earth is cooling, the folks over at PolitiFact decided to check the facts.

And darned if she's wrong—again. Who woulda thunk it? Read the complete PolitFact investigation here.

Jon Stewart Uses Fox News Clips to Take Down The Spin Meisters at Fox News

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Making Stuff Up: Conservatives Blast Obama Without Benefit (Again!) of Facts

AltTulsa likes to live in the real world. Or to put it more baldly, we prefer to live in a world where facts matter, not in a world of rumors or myths or paranoia.

Our friends on the Right are not always so particular. Take, for instance, the White House visitor logs voluntarily released by the White House yesterday. Some Wingnuts immediately went bonkers, claiming that William Ayers and Jeremiah Wright had been White House visitors.

See! We told you so! Obama hates America and freedom! It sounds so convincing, so perfect for the fear-mongers and extremists. If only it were true.

The facts, from Think Progress, are here.