Immigration: “A Katrina Moment”

The situation du jour is the immigration problem with the children coming across the border……and as usual the GOP is turning it into something that can drive up their campaign donations…..when talking about the problem Texas governor Perry said that the situation was Obama’s Katrina…..and then another GOP lackey used the same term when describing the same incident…..talking points are a wonderful thing but at least try to use them in a way that you do not sound like a flipping minor bird……

Any way I got to thinking that I had heard the Katrina reference before when the GOP talks about Obama and whatever situation they are fixating on at the time…….so I decided to do a little research to see what I could find……..and HOLY CRAP!

Katrina Moment No. 1: The financial crisis. The initial Obama response to the financial crisis was framed as Katrina-ish in an encouraging sort of way. Seriously! “Unless and until Barack Obama addresses the full depth of Americans’ anger with his full arsenal of policy smarts and political gifts,” wrote Frank Rich in the NYT, “his presidency and, worse, our economy will be paralyzed.” Honestly, this doesn’t sound wrong.

Katrina Moment No. 2: Swine flu. The swine flu outbreak of April 2009! Sure, you may have forgotten it, but at the time Hugh Hewitt asked whether a botched response would destroy the Obama presidency. “A death toll is a death toll, and if one begins to pile up in the U.S. the at least four-day delay in moving decisively to control legal entry into the country from Mexico will be entered in President Obama’s account.”

Katrina Moment No. 3: The Underwear Bomber. Then-DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano responded to the lucky apprehension of a dim terrorist by saying “the system worked,” inspiring a NYT news analysis about how every flailing administration official was in danger of being compared to Michael “Brownie” Brown. “Hurricane Katrina was a crisis on a different order of magnitude than this event,” wrote Peter Baker, “certainly, but the politics of attack and parry do not dwell on context or proportionality.”

Katrina Moment No. 4: The Haiti earthquake. Opinions were mixed on this one. In early January 2010, Dan Kennedy argued that Haiti was not “Obama’s Katrina,” as Haiti is not part of the United States. (I just checked, and this is still true.) But later in the month, the Wall Street Journal cleared that up with a guest op-ed titled “Haiti: Obama’s Katrina,” and pointing out that “the death toll from Katrina was under 2,000 people” while “deaths in Haiti as of yesterday are at least 150,000.”

Katrina Moment No. 5: The BP oil spill. In the summer of 2010, polling showed the public even more critical of the government response there than it had been toward the Katrina response. “This was, of course, New Orleans’ Katrina and Mississippi’s Katrina,” said Brian Williams during an interview with the president. “And you’re familiar now that it’s getting baked in a little bit in the media that BP was President Obama’s Katrina. And it’s also getting baked in that the administration was slow off the mark. Is that unfair?” Spoiler: He did think it was unfair.

Katrina Moment No. 6: Hurricane Sandy. To be fair, it was mostly just Sean Hannity saying this. “With the horrifying images of Sandy’s devastation now contrasted with the president’s constant campaigning,” he said on Nov. 1, 2012, “this is starting to look like, in my opinion, Obama’s Katrina.” This was before the administration’s response to Sandy, and Chris Christie’s praise for it, helped make New York and New Jersey two of the only states where the Obama vote increased from 2008 to 2012. (The others? Mississippi and Louisiana.)

Katrina Moment No. 7: Benghazi/IRS/NSA. The trinity of scandals that broke out in the late spring 2013 were widely Katrina-fied. “If the president does not soon regain control of the narrative,” wrote Todd Eberly, “he is likely to suffer the same fate as his predecessor — a collapse in public confidence and a vastly diminished second term.”

Katrina Moment No. 8: Obamacare. In November 2013 this meme took on more force and popularity than any that preceded it, especially after progressives fumed at a media conflating a natural disaster with a website delay. Ron Fournier even argued that the website crisis might be Obama’s Katrina and Iraq. “The crises came after a series of unrelated events that had already caused doubt among voters about the presidents,” explained Fournier. “To borrow a cliché, Katrina was the last straw.”

Geez!  The mental midgets in the GOP and the media really need to find new material…….they are really getting desperate…..

Am I the only one that is sick of these word games?  What will it be next week?  Wanna venture a guess?

Propaganda 2.0

Congress should return today and it is 2014…there will be a lot of jockeying for position…..after all it is an election year……..the old tactic of propaganda will be employed…..I decided to help my readers out with a crash course in propaganda……..you are welcome!

A new year….time to get back to work…….

There is a wealth of people that have an opinion….both on-line, blogs and the media…..while I may not agree with too many I do appreciate hearing their point of view….at least most of the time.  But when it comes to selling a particular political opinion there are some tried and true methods….most of which were fine tuned by Joseph Goebells…….

This group was compiled by Truth Out……..

1. Panic Mongering. This goes one step beyond simple fear mongering. With panic mongering, there is never a break from the fear. The idea is to terrify and terrorize the audience during every waking moment. From Muslims to swine flu to recession to homosexuals to immigrants to the rapture itself, the belief over at Fox seems to be that if your fight-or-flight reflexes aren’t activated, you aren’t alive. This of course raises the question: why terrorize your own audience? Because it is the fastest way to bypasses the rational brain. In other words, when people are afraid, they don’t think rationally. And when they can’t think rationally, they’ll believe anything.

2. Character Assassination/Ad Hominem. Fox does not like to waste time debating the idea. Instead, they prefer a quicker route to dispensing with their opponents: go after the person’s credibility, motives, intelligence, character, or, if necessary, sanity. No category of character assassination is off the table and no offense is beneath them. Fox and like-minded media figures also use ad hominem attacks not just against individuals, but entire categories of people in an effort to discredit the ideas of every person who is seen to fall into that category, e.g. “liberals,” “hippies,” “progressives” etc. This form of argument – if it can be called that – leaves no room for genuine debate over ideas, so by definition, it is undemocratic. Not to mention just plain crass.

3. Projection/Flipping. This one is frustrating for the viewer who is trying to actually follow the argument. It involves taking whatever underhanded tactic you’re using and then accusing your opponent of doing it to you first. We see this frequently in the immigration discussion, where anti-racists are accused of racism, or in the climate change debate, where those who argue for human causes of the phenomenon are accused of not having science or facts on their side. It’s often called upon when the media host finds themselves on the ropes in the debate.

4. Rewriting History. This is another way of saying that propagandists make the facts fit their worldview. The Downing Street Memos on the Iraq war were a classic example of this on a massive scale, but it happens daily and over smaller issues as well. A recent case in point is Palin’s mangling of the Paul Revere ride, which Fox reporters have bent over backward to validate. Why lie about the historical facts, even when they can be demonstrated to be false? Well, because dogmatic minds actually find it easier to reject reality than to update their viewpoints. They will literally rewrite history if it serves their interests. And they’ll often speak with such authority that the casual viewer will be tempted to question what they knew as fact.

5. Scapegoating/Othering. This works best when people feel insecure or scared. It’s technically a form of both fear mongering and diversion, but it is so pervasive that it deserves its own category. The simple idea is that if you can find a group to blame for social or economic problems, you can then go on to a) justify violence/dehumanization of them, and b) subvert responsibility for any harm that may befall them as a result.

6. Conflating Violence With Power and Opposition to Violence With Weakness. This is more of what I’d call a “meta-frame” (a deeply held belief) than a media technique, but it is manifested in the ways news is reported constantly. For example, terms like “show of strength” are often used to describe acts of repression, such as those by the Iranian regime against the protesters in the summer of 2009. There are several concerning consequences of this form of conflation. First, it has the potential to make people feel falsely emboldened by shows of force – it can turn wars into sporting events. Secondly, especially in the context of American politics, displays of violence – whether manifested in war or debates about the Second Amendment – are seen as noble and (in an especially surreal irony) moral. Violence become synonymous with power, patriotism and piety.

7. Bullying. This is a favorite technique of several Fox commentators. That it continues to be employed demonstrates that it seems to have some efficacy. Bullying and yelling works best on people who come to the conversation with a lack of confidence, either in themselves or their grasp of the subject being discussed. The bully exploits this lack of confidence by berating the guest into submission or compliance. Often, less self-possessed people will feel shame and anxiety when being berated and the quickest way to end the immediate discomfort is to cede authority to the bully. The bully is then able to interpret that as a “win.”

8. Confusion. As with the preceding technique, this one works best on an audience that is less confident and self-possessed. The idea is to deliberately confuse the argument, but insist that the logic is airtight and imply that anyone who disagrees is either too dumb or too fanatical to follow along. Less independent minds will interpret the confusion technique as a form of sophisticated thinking, thereby giving the user’s claims veracity in the viewer’s mind.

9. Populism. This is especially popular in election years. The speakers identifies themselves as one of “the people” and the target of their ire as an enemy of the people. The opponent is always “elitist” or a “bureaucrat” or a “government insider” or some other category that is not the people. The idea is to make the opponent harder to relate to and harder to empathize with. It often goes hand in hand with scapegoating. A common logical fallacy with populism bias when used by the right is that accused “elitists” are almost always liberals – a category of political actors who, by definition, advocate for non-elite groups.

10. Invoking the Christian God. This is similar to othering and populism. With morality politics, the idea is to declare yourself and your allies as patriots, Christians and “real Americans” (those are inseparable categories in this line of thinking) and anyone who challenges them as not. Basically, God loves Fox and Republicans and America. And hates taxes and anyone who doesn’t love those other three things. Because the speaker has been benedicted by God to speak on behalf of all Americans, any challenge is perceived as immoral. It’s a cheap and easy technique used by all totalitarian entities from states to cults.

11. Saturation. There are three components to effective saturation: being repetitive, being ubiquitous and being consistent. The message must be repeated cover and over, it must be everywhere and it must be shared across commentators: e.g. “Saddam has WMD.” Veracity and hard data have no relationship to the efficacy of saturation. There is a psychological effect of being exposed to the same message over and over, regardless of whether it’s true or if it even makes sense, e.g., “Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States.” If something is said enough times, by enough people, many will come to accept it as truth. Another example is Fox’s own slogan of “Fair and Balanced.”

12. Disparaging Education. There is an emerging and disturbing lack of reverence for education and intellectualism in many mainstream media discourses. In fact, in some circles (e.g. Fox), higher education is often disparaged as elitist. Having a university credential is perceived by these folks as not a sign of credibility, but of a lack of it. In fact, among some commentators, evidence of intellectual prowess is treated snidely and as anti-American. Education and other evidence of being trained in critical thinking are direct threats to a hive-mind mentality, which is why they are so viscerally demeaned.

13. Guilt by Association. This is a favorite of Glenn Beck and Andrew Breitbart, both of whom have used it to decimate the careers and lives of many good people. Here’s how it works: if your cousin’s college roommate’s uncle’s ex-wife attended a dinner party back in 1984 with Gorbachev’s niece’s ex-boyfriend’s sister, then you, by extension are a communist set on destroying America. Period.

14. Diversion. This is where, when on the ropes, the media commentator suddenly takes the debate in a weird but predictable direction to avoid accountability. This is the point in the discussion where most Fox anchors start comparing the opponent to Saul Alinsky or invoking ACORN or Media Matters, in a desperate attempt to win through guilt by association. Or they’ll talk about wanting to focus on “moving forward,” as though by analyzing the current state of things or God forbid, how we got to this state of things, you have no regard for the future. Any attempt to bring the discussion back to the issue at hand will likely be called deflection, an ironic use of the technique of projection/flipping.

Check it out several times!  All 14 have been used extensively in the last 5 years or so……Goebbels would be proud of his handy work and that it was being used so extensively……….

Please….your thoughts!

NOTE:  May I suggest that you print this out and keep it close…..every time you see a political ad check out this post and you will find the tactic being employed…..not just the right….the left will be just as guilty…..

2013 Babbling Buffoons Of Babylon #3

I have terminated my old Anal statement award, the Assie” and decided to do a post occasionally quoting the Babbling Buffoons and their slimy though process…..enjoy….

#6 is fascinating on so many levels…..I will be watching to see if they “gave a revolution and NO one came”……..

1–Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) yesterday called into The Steve Deace Show where he accused President Obama of acting like an emperor on issues like health care reform and the Defense of Marriage Act.

“It’s amazing what they’re saying is covered by Obamacare,” the congressman continued. “If you decide to become transgender you can also get that covered…‘The next time I call your show,’” he said in a high-pitched voice.

2–Leading Iowa religious right figures Bob Vander Plaats and Steve Deace got together on American Family Radio today to discuss potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates and how they can move them even further to the right, as they didin 2012

Deace said that Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in the case was actually “an anti-Christian polemic” that he would “expect to be reading…at Mother Jones.”

Vander Plaats agreed, saying that Kennedy had in fact provoked a “constitutional crisis” by “defying the law of nature and the law of nature’s God” and “going against the document that predates the Constitution.”

3–Author Jonathan Cahn has become a star in Religious Right circles over his new book, The Harbinger, which basically claims that biblical prophecy regarding ancient Israel applies to the United States today. Cahn states that the September 11 attacks were a warning from God to repent and prophesied in the Bible. Instead of repenting, however, America is increasingly rebelling against God and Cahn predicts that such defiance will lead to the country’s ultimate destruction.

He appeared on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins yesterday to mark the anniversary of 9/11 and discuss a recent prayer gathering in the Capitol, where Michele Bachmann delivered a Cahn-like speech about how 9/11 and the Benghazi attack represented divine judgment. Cahn also spoke at the event.

4–Tennessee has becomeahotbedofwildSharia lawparanoia, and hucksters like John Guandolo, a disgraced former FBI agent who has made a careerpushinganti-Muslimconspiracy theories, have cashed in.

During an appearance on Crosstalk with VCY America’s Vic Eliason, Guandolo told a caller from Tennessee that his state — which has a whopping 1% Muslim population — is a hotbed of Sharia law and potential terrorism.

“I have spent a lot of time in Tennessee because Tennessee is one of the most dangerous states in the union with regard to this threat, you have some very courageous state legislators who are addressing the threat but you also have some folks there in leadership positions who are not addressing it,” Guandolo said, adding that that Muslim Brotherhood members he arrested confirmed his claims.

5–…………….according to Bachmann, Obama is now championing the terrorist group.

The Minnesota congresswoman referred to a decision by the Obama administration to allow vetted Syrian rebels not affiliated with terrorist organizations to help them resist chemical weapons attacks, which was spurred by the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons on civilians.

While the administration’s move is only related to non-lethal, defensive and protective aid, Bachmann falsely claimed that “President Obama waived a ban on selling arms to terrorists.”

“President Obama waived a ban on arming terrorists in order to allow weapons to go to the Syrian opposition,” Bachmann said. “Your listeners, US taxpayers, are now paying to give arms to terrorists including Al Qaeda.”

6–read this…and you old farts were afraid of what us radicals were going to do….

Larry Klayman is so confident that his “second American Revolution” will be successful that he has already planned a second Continental Congress to organize a new system of government. Klayman will lead a rally in front of the White House tomorrow, where he predicts that people will “converge on and ‘Occupy Washington’ in the millions” and that they won’t leave the city until President Obama resigns or the military forcibly removes him from office.

“Take our Reclaim America Coalition, for instance, which is proving to be a big success. For virtually the first time in modern history, we have assembled a host of conservative, libertarian and other public-interest groups and activists to work together for a common goal: to wage a Second American Revolution and peacefully and ultimately remove the tyrant evil fool in the White House, as well as corrupt Republican leaders like Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. This coalition is unique; for years I had been trying to get these groups and activists to work together, but ego and other cynical calculations got in the way. Now that the country is hanging by a thread, in the words of our great Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, we all realize that if we do not all hang together, we will hang separately under the oppressive and dangerous rule of our government leaders, of which Obama is the snake’s head.

Beginning at 10 a.m., Nov. 19, in the park just across from the White House, Lafayette Park (it is befitting of this French general who helped us whip Britain to gain our independence) that We the People, armed with courage and moral rectitude, as well as the divine grace of our Creator, will begin to fight back against government tyranny. We will not only serve notice that we will no longer endure tyranny from the corrupt leaders who have driven the nation to near destruction, by reading our renewed declaration of independence, but we will speak the truth about what needs to be done to right the ship of state for ourselves, our loved ones and to preserve the freedoms our Founding Fathers and their patriotic hordes fought and died for.

Coupled with this will be the masses who are being called to Washington for this non-violent uprising; we will serve testament to the onlooking nation and world that the people are in charge, not the likes of Obama and Boehner. If wise, the Mullah in Chief ultimately will retire to his favorite golf course in Tehran and the half-sober House speaker to his tanning salon in Georgetown.
Then, when our Reclaim America Now Coalition fires the first peaceful shots at “Lexington and Concord,” we will reconvene some weeks later in Philadelphia, at the City Tavern, which once accommodated the first Continental Congress, the one that gave us the original Declaration of Independence at Constitution Hall. There, delegates of the tea party and other patriots from all 50 states will deliberate, plan for the rest of the revolution and elect a government in waiting, ethically and competently poised to take over the reigns [sic] of a real government responsive to the people.

The Second American Revolution will succeed, because We the People will have the courage to make it so. And, to this end, I command you to join our forces, come to Washington, D.C., Nov. 19, 2013, attend the start of our Second American Revolution and make your voice heard. The time has come for action. The time is over for talk. Let us put both Obama and Democratic and Republican leaders out to pasture, where they can wallow in the manure they have encased us with, and let us reclaim our own destiny free from their political slime, incompetence and tyranny, so help us God!”  (thanx to Right wing Watch for this)……

I am still not sure why Americans are allowing this….you have far more to fear from idiots like this guy than from us so-called “Radicals”……….

What Did They Say?

The missiles are being polished and labeled with cute little sayings and will await the final countdown……..we know that McCain blames Obama for the use of chem weapons…..but what do other notables have to say about the situation involving Syria?

Ted Cruz:

The Lone Star State conservative said Monday that America shouldn’t intervene in Syria in the wake of a deadly chemical weapons attack in the country last week.

“The United States Armed Forces doesn’t exist to be a policeman for the world and I certainly hope the reaction isn’t lobbing some cruise missiles in to disagree with Assad’s murderous actions,” Cruz said on Fox News.

“The focus should be the only justifiable reason for U.S. military forces to be engaged is to protect our national security and sadly, that has been the missing variable from this administration’s approach from the beginning as they allowed Assad to slaughter over 100,000 of his people,” he added.

Joe Biden:

“The president believes and I believe that those who use chemical weapons against defenseless men, women and children should and must be held accountable,” Biden said.

He gave no hints about what “accountable” means in terms of U.S. actions, but his comments came amidst increasing rhetoric aimed at Syrian leaders from White House officials.

Biden cast the use of chemical weapons in Syria as a national security problem for the United States.

“National security is strengthened when we hold accountable those who violate international norms that are the foundation of global security, and ultimately, American security,” he said. “And there is no doubt that an essential international norm has been violated. Chemical weapons have been used.”

Rand Paul:

“Even if you believe we should arm Islamic fighters in Syria, shouldn’t, at the very least, Congress vote on the matter?” Sen. Paul asked of the crowd. “The Constitution is very clear. Congress is to declare war, not the president.”

“Nevertheless, President Obama is moving ahead with plans to get involved in the Syrian civil war, without the authorization of Congress,” he said.

“Last week I was told by the administration, you know what their goal is in Syria? To fight to a stalemate,” Mr. Paul said. “I’ve told them I’m not sending my kids or your kids or any American soldiers to fight for stalemate. When we fight, we fight to win, we fight for American principles, we fight for the American flag and we come home after we win.”

“For our country’s sake, certainly for our soldiers’ sake—for the sake of every veteran who ever donned a uniform and fought for this country—America’s mission should always be to keep the peace, not police the world,” Sen. Paul said.

Just a few of the media whores looking for a mike to rant into…….granted a couplke of them will most likely be in the running for a nomination so they need to beef up their rhetoric…..

Keep in mind that this could be the opening salvo of yet another war for the US in the Middle East……..

Oh Yeah,That Darn Pesky Constitution!

Daily we are bombarded with accusations of this or that is unconstitutional….just about everything the Obama utters is claimed to be unconstitutional…….if one mentions the 2nd amendment, then the counter is that whatever is said is unconstitutional, the same with economic stimulus or well the list goes on and on and ………….

Recently the GOP in Congress has introduced a bill that basically says, “No Budget, No Pay”……meaning that if the US Congress does not pass a budget this year then the elected officials will not get their pay.  Personally, I like the idea of no work, no pay but I would like it to be about ALL issues not just the issue du jour…….I have written this often….but as much as I like my idea or the GOP idea there is a problem……..

And what would the problem be?  The Constitution!

But first, what is this all about?

“No Budget, No Pay” was originally proposed by No Labels, a group of Democrats, Republicans and independents dedicated to the politics of problem-solving. I helped found the citizens’ group in 2010 with Mark McKinnon, Nancy Jacobson, Bill Galston, Lisa Borders, Kiki McLean, David Walker and many others. The proposal was the cornerstone of the “Make Congress Work” plan released last year.

Now Boehner has jumped on this band wagon……The House has passed its “no budget, no pay” bill, which suspends the debt ceiling for three months and calls upon both chambers of Congress to pass a budget resolution for fiscal year 2014 by April 15. Under terms of the legislation, if lawmakers miss that deadline their salaries are withheld. That’s where the “no pay” part of the thing kicks in.

And now the constitutional part of this thing…….the 27th amendment to the US Constitution states……..”No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.”

Oops!  You would think that the very person who wanted ALL legislation would be accompanied by a Constitutional verification would do a better job……you would think!

I have called our elected officials morons and idiots and NOTHING they do changes my opinion of them.  If anything….I think less of them………