We are the moderates

Sean Hannity recently screamed about the dreaded socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s radical left-wing platform, posting it verbatim on Fox News in order to scare his viewers (average age: 68).

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All those policy positions that Hannity pointed out as being outrageous socialist left-wing extremism? Yeah, they’re pretty much all supported by the majority of Americans.

For instance:

Medicare for All has the support of 63 percent of registered voters.

Tuition-free public college has 63 percent support.

A majority of Americans support Obamacare.  (This is especially true if you call it “the Affordable Care Act.”)

A majority thinks gay marriage,  abortion and marijuana should be legal.

A majority supports more gun control.

A majority wants to raise taxes on the wealthy and do not believe that “corporations are people.”

A majority want to raise the minimum wage and do something about campaign finance reform.   (And a majority support amending the Constitution to overturn the Citizen’s United case).

And let’s not forget that in 6 of the last 7 Presidential elections, the Democrat received more votes than the Republican.

We’re the moderates. We’re mainstream.  We’re the majority.

The right has done such a good job of demonizing liberalism and moving the window to the right that we seem to be extremists only by comparison to their far-right agenda. In most of the rest of the civilized world, our positions are even supported by the “conservatives” in those countries, because they’re mainstream views.

We need to stop acting like we’re asking for outrageous things.

The 4th Annual War on Christmas Contest

Merry War on Christmas, everybody!

Anger drives ratings, as Fox News is well aware. And that’s why they created the War on Christmas. Those poor Christians, being attacked and persecuted and treated terribly — how terrible it must be to be a discriminated against majority.grinch1

Every example Fox News gives for a “War on Christmas” always boils down to something like “They won’t let us force kids to sing our religious songs!” or “They say ‘Happy Holidays’ which acknowledges that not everyone is a Christian and therefore they are attacking us!” or “They are refusing to allow us to use taxpayer dollars for a religious display.”

So for four years now, I have challenged anyone to give me an example of a real “attack on Christmas,” because every one of these examples is, in reality, fought in defense. You wouldn’t even hear about them if these particular Christians weren’t trying to require everyone to obey their beliefs.

There are some Christians who apparently are so self-centered that if you say something like, “I respect your beliefs even though I do not share them and sincerely hope you have a happy holidays,” they are convinced that you are out to take away their rights.

So find me one example of anyone trying to prevent people from celebrating a religious Christmas. Just one.

I have a feeling I know what the result will once again be.

(And yes, of course, just to clarify: #notallChristians)

Everyone looks bad when you quote them out of context!

EDITED AND UPDATED BLOG POST

“‘The law in an ass.’ Charles Dickens said that.”

My law school professor saw my raised hand and nodded for me to respond.

“With all due respect, professor, a character in a Dickens novel said that. It’s not the same thing as him saying it.”

She waved me down and brushed it away, as if my objection was meaningless, but it’s true — you can’t hold someone to an internal quote made by someone else. Some of the characters in my novels have said terrible things that are the exact opposite of what I believe.

Which brings me to Fox News and Bernie Sanders.

Fox is attacking Bernie for this quote made at the recent debate:  “White people don’t know what it’s like to live in the ghetto.”

Ooh, bad statement — it implies that only blacks are in the ghetto, and shows a real misunderstanding of the situation.

When I first blogged about this, I said “Except he never said that. He was quoting someone else.  And that wasn’t even the exact quote; it’s a rewriting of it.”

I was basing that on other posts people had written, giving the quote from Bernie.

I should have known better.

I have since watched the clip (inserted above) and it’s clear that while the first part of the quote is from someone else, he then says “So to answer your question…” and replies with the part that is in contention, making it clear that this is him speaking and not the original woman.

Here’s the entire exact quote:

“I was with young people in the Black Lives Matter movement. A young lady comes up to me and says you don’t understand what police do in certain black communities. ‘You don’t understand the degree to which we are terrorized. I’m not just talking about the horrible shootings we have seen that we have to end and hold police officers accountable. I’m talking about everyday activities where police officers are bullying people.’ So, to answer your question, when you’re white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto and to be poor. You don’t know what it’s like to be hassled when you walk down the street or get dragged out of a car. I believe as a nation in the year 2016, we must be firm in making it clear: We will end institutional racism and reform a broken criminal justice system.”

So I apologize. While I am a Bernie supporter, I refuse to be misleading in order to support him. His statement was poorly said, and he has apologized and clarified his statement:

“What I meant by that is I think many white people are not aware of the kinds of pressures and the kind of police oppression that sometimes takes place within the African-American community. I don’t want to be lectured about talking about poverty whether it’s white, black, Latino. Nobody in this campaign has talked about it more, nobody in this campaign cycle has proposed more specific ideas on how to address poverty.”

And that was all him saying that.

Why are all these losers running for the Republican nomination?

Look at this list of people who have no chance of winning the Republican nomination:  Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckbee, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum … and that doesn’t count the other long-shots that may jump into the overcrowded clown car, such as Donald Trump. Some might put Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry in that group as well…clown car

So why do they do it?  Why would they run when they must know they have no chance of winning?

A few reasons come to mind:

They love the attention. I recall someone criticizing candidate Obama once by saying he had a big ego, which made me respond, “No! Really?  Someone who thinks he can be Leader of the Free World has a big ego?  I am shocked!” Come on, big egos come with every politician. They love the attention or they wouldn’t be running.

Money. Candidates can raise a lot of money and live nice off it for a short period of time.  If they lose the nomination and remain politicians, they now have made new connections and can use the money for their own PAC and their next political campaign — or they can give the excess to another candidate who will then owe them a favor.

Promotion.  Running for President gets their name out there and keeps them in the news, which leads to book sales and  speaking engagements which will make them richer.

Auditioning for another job. If they run a good campaign anyway and get good press and appeal to a certain segment of society, they might get considered for the Vice Presidency or a cabinet position.

Auditioning for Fox News. Based on past history, failed candidates have a great shot of getting a cushy well-paying job at Fox News as a commentator.

So do these guys really think they can win? Perhaps a few of the more deluded ones, but the majority probably have other motives in mind.

Hey, look! A thug!

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That thug George Zimmerman has been involved in yet another violent shooting. The criminal can’t go a year without getting arrested or getting into some sort of illegal activity involving a gun, can he? Clearly he is just a stain on society and .. what’s that?

Oh, my bad. I forgot.

The word “thug” has been co-opted by Fox News, and is used only for black people who are violent or who are the victims of violence or protest against violence or are black (did I mention that already)?

Seriously, here’s my challenge: Find a white person Fox has called a thug. (Hey, I’d love to be proven wrong…)

Fox News is #1 in the Ratings. So what?

Often after I attack Fox News for lying, some supporter points out that it is #1 in the ratings of news networks.

So what?

More people eat at McDonald’s than fine restaurants. More listen to Justin Beiber than Elvis Costello. More view reality shows than documentaries. More watched the latest “Transformers” movie than all of last year’s Oscar-winning films combined. FoxNewsMore read “50 Shades of Gray” than “Bloodsuckers:  A Vampire Runs for President.” (See what I did there?)

Using popularity to legitimize the worth of something is a weak argument. Yes, sometimes the most popular thing really is very good, but simply appealing to the majority doesn’t guarantee that.

And it certainly doesn’t mean it’s true. A large percentage of Americans also believe in astrology, ghosts, and various gods … that doesn’t mean they’re real.

I should also point out that the average age of a Fox News viewer is 68.8.  MSNBC is only slightly lower, at 62.5.  That’s because a majority of Americans don’t watch 24-hour news channels, and many get their news these days from the internet.

Further, Fox viewers are overwhelmingly tremendously conservative even though the majority of Americans are not. Fox News viewers are absolutely not representative of America in the same way that, for instance, viewers of the Super Bowl are.

So when you say “more people watch Fox,” you’re really saying “More old people who do not represent the majority of Americans” watch Fox.

I repeat:  So what?

Foreigners Run Fox News

It seems that one of the 9/11 conspirators has named a Saudi prince as a major player in the attack — the same prince who is one of the owners of Fox News, along with Australian Rupert Murdock.  1506991_787180068041716_6786631590963988121_n

Well, that’s just silly.  Why, if he had an influence at Fox, they’d be using their network to undermine American interests by constantly attacking our President, lying about our accomplishments, encouraging the destruction of our environment, building dissent among our citizens, and trying to pit religions against each other.

Wait a minute…

In all seriousness, while it is true that this guy was the second-largest stockholder at Fox (and still owns some of it), you need to be cynical about this new allegation.  After all, this 9/11 conspirator is unreliable. He’s said a bunch of other things in the past that weren’t true, and now he’s suddenly remembering that Waleed bin Talal is involved?  Yeah, I’m unconvinced.  This guy suffers from all kinds of paranoid delusions (as his own lawyers pointed out during his trial).  Prosecutors don’t believe he is credible, so it’s doubtful this will go anywhere.

Still, it is kind of ironic that the “news” network that rails against Muslims and warns of Sharia Law is partially owned by a Muslim who enforces that law in his own country.