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Archive for April 5th, 2010

For the record: Tea Partiers are Republicans

Posted by Charles II on April 5, 2010

Via Atrios and Jamieson Foser of Media Matters.

Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic:

Gallup’s new survey of the Tea Party movement is instructive for what it didn’t find: the movement does not encompass Democrats, including independent-leaning Democrats, or more than half of true Independents. In other words, the 28% or so of adults who say they’re Tea Partiers are very much likely to vote Republican when the chips are down.

Pay attention to terminology: it’s true that just half of those Tea Partiers surveyed called themselves Republicans. Yes, the lion’s share of the other half say they’re independent. But they’re not: they’re Republican-oriented conservative voters who are dismayed by the direction of the GOP and who don’t want to identify with the party’s brand. That’s not surprising, given how tarnished that brand is. Only 8% identify as Democratic; 7% identify as liberal; 70% percent identify as conservative; two-thirds are pro-life; nearly 90% were opposed to the health care bill.

CNN thinks the ratio is even more lopsided:

To be sure, the number of Democrats in the Tea Party movement is small. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows that while 96 percent of Tea Party activists identify themselves as either Republican or Independent, only 4 percent say they are Democrats.

As Media Matters points out, Republicans hating Democrats is not news.

I have added a new category, pseudonews to describe phenomena such as the focus on the Tea Party. It looks like news, sounds like news, smells like news, but when you bite into it, it’s styrofoam.

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Posted in frauds, GOP/Media Complex, Media machine, mediawhores | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Benedict On Abuse Coverup: I Was Only Following Orders!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 5, 2010

Guess who got thrown under the bus in Pope Benedict’s efforts to absolve himself of any blame in the metastasizing worldwide church sex-abuse scandal?

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — who became Pope Benedict — had tried to investigate the abuses as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, according to Schönborn. But his efforts had been blocked by “the Vatican”, an apparent reference to John Paul.

Asked by The Sunday Times whether John Paul’s role in the cover-up of abuse should be investigated, Schönborn said: “I have known Pope Benedict personally during 37 years of amiable acquaintance and I can say with certainty that … he made entirely clear efforts not to cover things up but to tackle and investigate them. This was not always met with approval in the Vatican.”

The Groer affair became public in 1995 when former pupils of an elite Catholic school accused him of sexual abuse.

After an outcry, Groer was replaced and made the prior of a convent. He was never punished and issued only a vague apology in 1998 before retreating to a nunnery where he lived until his death in 2003. Some of his victims were offered “hush money” from the church.

Michael Tfirst, 54, one of Groer’s victims, claims to have reported the abuse to highranking church officials from the 1970s onwards. He says the church paid him £3,300 in 2004 under a contract that obliged him to keep quiet.

“There is no question that Ratzinger knew all the details of reports on abuse within the church, as there is no doubt that John Paul, his superior, took part in a massive and systematic cover-up,” Tfirst said.

Somehow I don’t think that “I was only following orders” will work here, especially for those folks who either remember the Nuremberg trials or were taught about them in grade school.

But setting aside that, the whole effort on Benedict’s part to pretend that the abuse scandal is all the fault of his (conveniently dead) papal predecessor falls flat when one notes that abuse scandals were being covered up in Germany in the 1960s — long before JPII ascended to the Papacy.

Posted in mistitled Benedict, Pope Ratzinger, Pope Ratzinger (mistitled Benedict), religion, rightwing moral cripples | Comments Off on Benedict On Abuse Coverup: I Was Only Following Orders!

Tapdancing Around Terrorism

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 5, 2010

About the only worthwhile thing to come of this NYT thumbsucker on terrorism by Scott Shane (and no, I don’t consider the attempt to create yet another false equivalency between lefties and righties worthwhile) is this passage:

“The use of the term terrorism delegitimizes the opponent,” said Martha Crenshaw, a scholar at Stanford who wrote her first essay wrestling with the definition of terrorism in 1972. “It’s not just the tactics that are discredited, it’s the cause as well.”

Discrediting the motivations in this way allows one to avoid looking at root causes, or even admitting that the people behind the motivations might be human beings instead of targets to waste in wars.

This, of course, was one of the points of the Firedoglake piece by David “DDay” Dayen that Shane cited selectively but to which he wouldn’t link. Because that might have allowed people to investigate Dayen’s post, instead of blowing it off as “he said she said” as Shane does with his false-equivalency nonsense — which, as has been shown repeatedly, is just another way of allowing conservatives and Republicans to get away with whatever they want, up to and including murder.

UPDATE: Speaking of Dayen, he made this excellent catch in his news roundup last night:

Joe Lieberman had a fine set of Sunday show appearances. He intoned in his role as President that Iran had one last chance to resolve the nuclear situation peacefully, so I guess he’ll be on the phone with NORAD in a few months if it doesn’t work. Then, he decided that domestic terror threats are not as serious as “Islamic terrorism.” Ah, the truth comes out. See, because the family of the guy who Joseph Stack killed when he flew into an IRS building in Texas feels better because at least the kamikaze pilot wasn’t a stinking Muslim.

I suppose we should at least give Lieberman points for dropping the tapdance and coming right out and saying it.

Posted in GOP/Media Complex, Iran, Joe Lieberman, media, Media machine, mediawhores, terrorism | 9 Comments »

 
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