Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hypocrisy at Work

As some of you may know, just last week I made a blog post entitled "Presidential View" which spelled out my anger with (and in the case of Larry O'Donnell, deep disappointment in) MSNBC for their handling of President Obama's appearance on "The View".

I was angry at O'Donnell and spelled out my reasons quite clearly. I also expressed my anger at a "White House Correspondent" named Alex Wagner. Among her numerous completely outrageous statements in that broadcast, was her claim that Obama was lobbed "softball" questions, which was COMPLETELY untrue, and her asinine statement that Michelle Obama is too busy working on projects and “otherwise leading the country” to ever watch “The View.” This statement was ridiculous for numerous reasons...first and foremost of which is that (as I said in my post) since Mrs. Obama has actually been a guest host of the program, I'm pretty sure that she's watched it. To claim otherwise is just outright silly. Also, it caused me to question what actually qualifies one to be a "White House Correspondent" if they can get that job without KNOWING that the First Lady does NOT "lead the country". Apparently, they must have pretty damn low standards for "White House Correspondents".

Today, I came across another piece of hers (located at - entitled "Has the White House Gone Tone Deaf?" The content of this (supposedly "objective") piece was SO filled with Right-Wing Kool-Aid that it was literally DRIPPING. She stated that Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' statement that the Professional Left wanted “Canadian-style heath care" was "code" for "socialist", along with some pretty crude speculative comments about what drugs they might be using. She also remarked that instead of going to Spain to comfort a "grieving friend", Michelle Obama should have just baked a pie (golly...sexist much?), and that the only "baked goods coming out of the White House kitchen are space cakes." 

She then discussed the First Family's "much touted vacation" to the Gulf Coast...Really? A 36 hour "vacation"? Sounds more like a necessary trip to a troubled region than much of a "vacation" to me. Now, the trip to Martha's Vineyard, may actually qualify as vacation time...but even if it is, they deserve it, whether Ms. Wagner thinks so or not, and even if it IS a vacation, it still is far less vacation time than George W. Bush took during his years in office.

Then she rails about what she calls "presidential hubris" as the U.S. combat forces are being pulled out of Iraq and that Obama recently had a "virtual unfurling of a "Mission Accomplished" banner...which is utter crap. She then talked about how "the White House seems like it's setting itself up for a fall". Sounds to me like that's what Ms. Wagner is hoping for. From all that she has said, in EVERY piece/appearance of hers I've ever seen, it seems to me that she would like nothing more than for President Obama to utterly fail. Is this woman hoping for Limbaugh's job? Or maybe she's after Beck's...or Hannity's?

She then claims that at least Bush had "managed to keep his head down during the dark days, clearing brush in Crawford, abstaining from the golf course, and waving goodbye to his wife as she took off on low-cost (and domestic!) camping trips."  First...that's completely untrue...perhaps Ms. Wagner has forgotten, but I certainly have NOT, that old Dubya was out playing golf, and playing guitar with country singers while the city of New Orleans DROWNED.  If that's what Ms. Wagner considers keeping one's head down and abstaining from golf, she and I have VERY different views of those activities. As far as Laura Bush's supposed camping trip...I don't remember ever seeing a damn thing about it. I'm not saying it didn't happen, it MIGHT have, but I don't recall anything about it, and frankly, I was following the Bush administration pretty closely for most of their eight years. I do know, however, that Laura doesn't really strike me as the "camping" type.

In a previous article, also for "Politics Daily" written three days earlier (which can be read at - ), the astute Ms. Wagner said, "The Obama administration has been faulted by the left for the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a lack of a public option in the health care reform package, not yet having closed the prison at Guantanamo Bay, a financial regulation reform bill deemed not aggressive enough, stalled efforts on climate change legislation and for being perceived as not supportive enough on gay rights issues, including same-sex marriage, the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and federal funding for HIV and AIDS programs."

This paragraph actually made me literally Laugh Out Loud at its utter ridiculousness. True...we didn't get the public option (that we SHOULD have) in the health care bill...because of the Republicans. And it's also true that we haven't managed to extract ourselves completely from Bush's two failed wars...but not for lack of Obama's trying. It's also true that we have not yet closed Gitmo, but again, not for a lack of trying, but the "party of no" makes sure that NOTHING happens. It seems to be their strategy...make him SEEM like a total failure by demanding a Filibuster-proof majority for EVERY single decision so that nothing passes, then you can claim he didn't do what he promised. Yes, it's true...the financial regulation reform bill isn't aggressive enough, but that's all we could get through. And yes, we have hit a stall on efforts toward climate change legislation, but again...that's the "party of no", since they don't believe that "climate change" even exists in the first there's nothing to fix as far as they're concerned! And no...we haven't yet done enough towards gender equality regarding gay rights issues like same-sex marriage. But strides ARE being made, like the recent judicial decision out in California (which the Right is trying to paint as "judicial activism" and railing about the sexual orientation of the judge in the case). And the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is beginning to be dismantled, as it should be. As far as federal funding for HIV and AIDS programs, the Right won't even open their tight little fists to help the unemployed and small businesses, why on earth would anyone believe that they would be willing to help those with HIV/AIDS? Every single thing that she mentioned in that piece as to why the left is angry, has NOTHING to do with the Obama administration, but is the fault of the GOP. The only "fault" that falls on the Left over all this is them letting the GOP get away with it.

It was folks in the Bush White House that were very clear that one was "either with us or with the terrorists"...I've never heard that sentiment expressed from this administration. In fact, the only complaint I have about them is that they've been FAR too conciliatory toward the Right wing.

I've seen NONE of the things that the majority (GOP) did to the minority (Democrats) during the Bush administration. I've seen no locked committee meeting doors, I've seen no calls to the Capitol police trying to get their opposition removed from the building for complaining about being locked out of committee meetings, and MOST of all, I've seen no threats of a "Nuclear Option" to take away the one piece of power that the minority has in a government like ours...the Filibuster. During the Bush years, every single time the Left even THREATENED a Filibuster (usually in conjunction with some REALLY bad judicial nominee), the threats to take it away came like quicksilver. At first I was horrified that such threats could even be made by decent people...then I realized that was the problem. I was expecting "decency" from the Right, which is CLEARLY not capable of it. Now I find myself wishing they HAD taken away the damn Filibuster...then it wouldn't be there, being horribly abused on literally EVERY bill that comes to a vote.

Anyway, I was disgusted by this biased "reporting" and therefore scrolled down to see the comments on the piece, expecting to see her being taken to task. Instead, I was stunned to see that the vast majority of the comments seemed to be from crazed wing-nuts that absolutely LOVED what she had to say. At first I was deeply troubled that public opinion was so badly skewed away from reality and into the Right-Wing nuttery that is so common among them.

But then, as I was reading the comments attached to the article, I noticed a number of odd phenomena...first, the vast majority of the comments seemed to be from the hard (TEA Party) Right...and each of these comments (some that weren't even complete SENTENCES, let alone complete thoughts) had an excessive number of "thumbs up" tallies (one such comment, not even CLOSE to a complete sentence, had over FIFTY "thumbs up" clicks). Conversely, the few Left-leaning comments that were written had an seemingly excessive number of "thumbs down" tallies. I found this odd and wondered what the hell was going on.

But wait, there's more...
I started posting a few replies to some of these utterly bizarre anti-Obama posts (some were really downright nasty), but of course, since the comments are "moderated", there was a delay between the time a comment is posted and when it actually appears. But, I was willing to be patient. So, I waited...but it seems that NONE of the many clarifications/comments that I wrote actually made it through the "approval" process. Which of course makes me a bit curious...has there been a coup at AOL? Has the TEA party completely taken over and started their censorship program already?

But then I also started clicking "thumbs up" on the notes I agreed with and "thumbs down" on the ones I disagreed with. Initially, I wasn't paying close attention to the changing numbers. But eventually it began to catch my notice that...for example, one of the comments had 7 "thumbs up" at the time I clicked it, but rather than going to 8 as it should have, it went to 2. (Sounds a bit like the way they tallied votes back in 2000 and 2004 as well, IMHO).
I tried calling AOL with threats to cancel my long-standing account (I've been on AOL since the early 90's) unless I got some sort of reasonable explanation for all I had seen. Usually, a cancellation threat catches their attention, but this time I was talking to a girl with an Indian accent who claimed her name was "Jane" (why do they always claim to have "common, American names"?). I was furious...I demanded a phone number to speak to someone at the corporate offices in order to get some sort of explanation about what kind of shell game they were playing. I didn't get one. Instead, she gave me a corporate web site and said that perhaps I might find a phone number there.

I did find a number on that site for a community relations woman in the 212 area code, which gave me the impression that she was actually at the corporate HQ, so I called it...but of course got no live answer, but was instead directed to voice mail. I left a message expressing how angry/disappointed I was in what was happening on the "Politics Daily" site and demanded a call back. The woman actually did return my call, but I was unavailable at the time she called back, so hopefully I will talk to her soon, and likely add the information from that call into this post after I've spoken to watch this space for further updates.

In conclusion, I think it is worth noting that those on the Right are nothing but hateful hypocrites, and this Alex Wagner woman seems to be one of their lead cheerleaders.

Remember, if the GOP takes back the house, that guy who apologized to Hayward from BP for our President having "shaken them down" (for the $20 billion escrow fund so that those damaged in the Gulf can actually be paid without waiting years for litigation) becomes the Chairman of the House Energy Committee...which is certainly something that we cannot afford.

Wise up soon America...or it will be too late.

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