Monday, February 12, 2007

More Lies from the Reactionary Right

I try to ignore SWAC Girl and RightsideVA and STD--their blogs are filled with such nonsense and intentionally incendiary crap--but when they spread the lies of the Fascist Propaganda Machine they should be called to account. Not that any of these clowns will apologize for their misdeeds, but at least the rest of us will always recognize that very little truth is likely to be found on those sites.

One of the lies they're spewing this week is about Speaker Pelosi and the flap over the airplane request made on her behalf by the House Seargeant at Arms. Here's the real story, from Democracy Prevails:

Democracy Prevails

A Political Action Committee founded in 2004

February 11, 2007

The Start of the Swift Boating Season

Upset that the Democratic house Speaker, Nancy Pelosi third in line for the presidency, has higher approval ratings than Bush, in fact two thirds higher, the House Republicans needed to deflect media attention from their efforts to block discussion of Bush's war surge. They were looking to distract the American public from the necessary discussion about the need to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq and settled on the scandal of the mode of transportation of Nancy Pelosi for travels back home to San Francisco. As speaker of the house she was informed by the House Sergeant in Arms that she could not fly commercially but for security reasons had to use an Air Force plane that could fly nonstop to San Francisco from Washington.

After an apparent "leak" from the Bush administration DOD to the White House friendly Washington Times, the latter ran a story headlined: "Pelosi's Power Trip-- Non-stop Nancy seeks Flight of Fancy." Fox News jumped on the story, followed by other cable networks. The Republican National Committee stoked it with emails to reporters and briefing papers supposedly exposing Pelosi's imperial style and her ambitions. The predictable Sean Hannity declared that Pelosi "thinks she's president." Republican members of the House actually brought the issue up to the floor of the chamber and started take turns taking verbal punches at the lady speaker instead of focusing on the Iraq war.

House Republican Conference Chair Adam Putnam, of Florida accused Pelosi of displaying "an arrogance of office that just defies common sense." House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, of Missouri, referred to the plane Pelosi would likely use as a "flying Lincoln Bedroom." North Carolina Congressman Patrick T. McHenry, described the speaker's plane as "Pelosi One." and accused the speaker of "exploiting America's armed forces and taxpayers for her own personal convenience." This was the Republican spin machine churning at full throttle. There was only one problem, the charge that Pelosi was abusing her position was as pointed out above a complete fabrication.

If this congress has nothing else on its agenda, it might well be appropriate to inquire into whether Putnam, Blunt and McHenry used their positions to engage in a deliberate conspiracy to deceive the American people for partisan purposes.

Reference: Pelosi, Planes and Partisan Propaganda, by John Nichols posted in the Nation on February 9, 2007.

In a February 6 blog titled "Does John Edwards Condone Hate Speech?" ABC's Nightline co-host Terry Moran wrote that a "bit of a tempest is brewing over the strident and profanity-laced writings of Amanda Marcotte, a blogger recently hired by Edwards' presidential campaign. Anti-catholic Internet writings by Amanda and Melissa McEwen published before being hired by the Edwards campaign triggered a firestorm in the online community. In his post, Moran asked, "What, if anything, does it tell us about Edwards that he's joined up with this blogger?" and "If a Republican candidate teamed up with a right-wing blogger who spewed this kind of venom, how would people react?"

The New York Times and Associated Press both reported criticism by Catholic League president William Donohue of the two bloggers hired by the John Edwards' campaign; Donohue contends that the lady bloggers are "anti-Catholic, vulgar, trash-talking bigots." But neither the Times article, by John M. Broder, nor the AP article by writer Nedra Pickler, included any mention of Donohue's own history of vulgar, trash-talking bigotry-- or Donohue's decision to dismiss anti-Catholic bigotry on the part of a key anti-Kerry operative in 2004.

In response to all this John Edwards made the surprising decision to keep the two bloggers considering that Donohue is one of the foremost expert on "hate-filled" "obscene" "vulgar" and "bigoted" speech. In a Feb. 8 statement, Edwards said that the sentiments in some of Marcotte's and McEwan's postings "personally offended me. It's not how I talk to people and it's not how I expect the people who work for me to talk to people." "Everyone is entitled to their opinion" Edward's press release said, "but that kind of intolerant language will not be permitted from anyone in my campaign, whether it's intended as satire, humor or anything else." He said that both women had assured him that "it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith and take them at their word." In statements posted on Edward's campaign web site as well on their own blogs, Marcotte and McEwen apologized for offending people.

Donohue, however, was not satisfied with Edward's response. In a February 9 press release he vowed to immediately launch an advertising and public relations campaign directed at Edwards on "incredible double standard that exists regarding bigotry in American life … that will keep this issue afloat for the remainder of the year.

Kudos to John Edwards for standing up to a nasty right wing attack and taking the

proper decision with his bloggers.

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