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
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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.