Denied, Savagely

Man, the right-wing radio hatemongers really hate it when their words are put up for critical review. Michael Savage was so incensed at the Council on American-Islamic Relations putting up on its website a four-minute sound clip of the radio host ranting about Muslims and the Quran (and then commenting on it) that he filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the organization. But guess what?

He lost!

The damn activist judge hearing the case decided that not only did the posting of the clip fall with the fair use doctrine, but also added that “To comment on [Savage’s] statements without reference or citation to them would not only render [CAIR’s] criticism less reliable, but be unfair to [Savage].”

The judge also noted that the associated racketeering charge against CAIR was probably filed in an attempt to harass the organization. From the CAIR website:

Judge Illston termed Savage’s complaint “lengthy” and “redundant” and noted that he may have brought the racketeering allegations in an attempt “to harass the defendant.” She also ruled that some of Savage’s allegations did not comply with the basic structural form of a lawsuit as outlined in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

SNAP! CAIR twists the knife. “Hey Savage, not only was your lawsuit frivilous and vindictive, but next time you want to file a lawsuit, why don’t you find someone who knows how to write the whole thing up?”

A spokesman for Talk Radio Network (which syndicates Savage’s show) confirmed that Savage lost a few advertisers over the comments and the CAIR situation, while Savage claimed he lost $1 million in the whole ordeal.

Of course, that was all before he called autism a “fraud — a racket,” earlier this month and said:

…in 99 percent of the cases [autism] is a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out … They don’t have a father around to tell them don’t act like a moron, you’ll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up, act like a man, don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.

Well gee, Michael. If you really feel that way, and if your father really told you “act like a man and stop crying,” as you said he did on your show, shouldn’t you be able to suck up any criticism? You know, just take it like a man? I mean, instead of crying to the courts about it?

Meanwhile, those comments on autism have caused him to lose even more advertisers. Hoping perhaps to stop the bleeding, Talk Radio Network once again came to Savage’s defense, noting “The network is satisfied that he did not mean any disrespect to autistic children or their families, but was, instead, reiterating his longstanding concerns on public health issues.”

Oh man. No disrespect, but your kid’s an idiot who should just be told not to act like a moron.

McCain Flip-Flops (Again)

You can add another item to John McCain’s increasing list of flip-flops. This one’s a biggie. You might recall McCain talking about civility, how we need to bring the country together, how the campaigns should be above-board and focus on the issues. Why, just four short months ago the McCain camp put out a strategy memo about the tone of the campaign to come (empahses mine):

To: Campaign Leadership
From: Rick Davis
Subject: McCain Message
Date: 3/11/2008

John McCain is now the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party. It is critical, as we prepare to face off with whomever the Democrats select as their nominee, that we all follow John’s lead and run a respectful campaign focused on the issues and values that are important to the American people.

Throughout the primary election we saw John McCain reject the type of politics that degrade our civics, and this will not change as he prepares to run head-to-head against the Democratic nominee.

John McCain will continue to run on his principles and will focus on the future of our country. The stakes could not be higher in this election, and John will contrast his vision for America with that of Senators Clinton and Obama. He will draw sharp contrasts: victory versus surrender to Islamic extremism; lower taxes and spending versus more big government; free-market solutions to health care versus costly mandates; and the appointment of strict constructionist judges versus those who legislate from the bench.

Overheated rhetoric and personal attacks on our opponents distract from the big differences between John McCain’s vision for the future of our nation and the Democrats’. This campaign is about John McCain: his vision, leadership, experience, courage, service to his country and ability to lead as commander in chief from day one.

Throughout his life John McCain has held himself to the highest standards and he will continue to run a respectful campaign based on the issues. We expect that all supporters, surrogates and staff will hold themselves to similarly high standards when they are representing the campaign. To help guide you, please find talking points below.

This is an exciting time for our country and our Party. Thank you for your dedication and hard work. We face a great challenge this November: John is ready, and with your continued support I am confident we will succeed.

Thank you.

His wife, Cindy, also stated on the Today Show just two months ago, “What you’re going to see is a great debate. Which is what the American public deserves. None of this negative stuff, though. You won’t see it come out of our side at all.”

Here’s some examples of “none of this negative stuff” and a “respectful campaign based on the issues.” And note in particular how very little of this is “about John McCain,” nor is it about a “focus on the future of our country.”

Here’s a quote from an advertisement that aired in markets in Colorado, Pennsylvania and D.C.

He made time to go to the gym, but cancelled a visit with wounded troops. Seems the Pentagon wouldn’t allow him to bring cameras. … I’m John McCain and I approved this message.

As if to further extend the message, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds added, “You know, it really speaks to the experience that Barack Obama lacks. He prioritizes throngs of fawning Germans over meeting with wounded combat troops in Germany.”

Incidentally, a member of the Parliament in Germany has requested that McCain himself should, “as soon and as clearly as possible,” distance himself from these comments ridiculing Germans.

So why did Obama eventually decide not to visit troops in a military hospital in Germany? The Obama campaign realized that it would look too much like a mere photo-op, so they decided they something that might be viewed as a political stunt was cancelled. I’m sure the Republican operatives that managed to craft Paul Wellstone’s memorial into a campaign rally, even though it was nothing of the sort, were most disappointed.

An ad that started airing this week accuses Obama of being the biggest celebrity in the world, and shows pictures of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears followed by Obama talking on stage to crowds who gathered to listen to him speak during his recent trip to Europe. Several Republican strategists have already condemned the ad, and McCain’s former top aid, John Weaver, called the ad “childish” and noted, “for McCain’s sake, this tomfoolery needs to stop.” The McCain campaign stands by the ad, claiming that the ad “focused on the development of an enormous image of celebrity status.” Now, that’s not exactly keeping with “a respectful campaign focused on the issues and values that are important to the American people,” is it? Oh yeah, and “John McCain … approved this message” as well.

Perhaps the worst attack of all occurred just over a week ago, when McCain himself told an audience in Rochester, NH, “It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign.” Joe Klein of Time Magazine noted in his blog (referenced in the link), “This is the ninth presidential campaign I’ve covered. I can’t remember a more scurrilous statement by a major party candidate. It smacks of desperation. It renews questions about whether McCain has the right temperament for the presidency. How sad.”

Indeed. Sad that McCain is such a flip-flopper that he can’t even honor a campaign promise he made only a few months ago.

So why is the McCain campaign going so outrageously negative? Has the campaign seen some scary polls that have led it to believe that negative is the only way McCain will pull this out? Or is the campaign just trying to say controversial things to get them covered in the news to get more airtime dedicated to John McCain in an attempt to offset the amount of time that Obama can just go out and buy?

Whatever the reason, this tactic is a betrayal to McCain’s promise of civility, and any McCain supporter should be ashamed of him for “approving this message.”

Today, the McCain camp is saying that Obama is playing the race card for saying the following at a campaign stop:

So nobody really thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face, so what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, he’s not patriotic enough. He’s got a funny name. You know, he doesn’t look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He’s risky. That’s essentially the argument they’re making.

What?? Imagine that. A GOP campaign trying to frighten Americans into voting Republican?? Why, I’ve never heard anything so ridiculous in my life!

Murderer Echoes Limbaugh, Hannity in Confession

“Liberals [are] ruining the country, and Democrats [have] tied [t]his country’s hands in the war on terror and [have] ruined every institution in America with the aid of the major media outlets.”

Sound like something you’d hear from Limbaugh and Hannity every day?

Actually, it’s the confession of a man who shot and killed two people and wounded seven others in a church where a childrens play was being staged.

This particular church is The Unitarian-Universalist church in Knoxville, TN, a stronghold of tolerance in an area not particularly known for it. According to the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations website:

Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion with Jewish-Christian roots. It has no creed. It affirms the worth of human beings, advocates freedom of belief and the search for advancing truth, and tries to provide a warm, open, supportive community for people who believe that ethical living is the supreme witness of religion.

Imagine that. Ethical living is the supreme witness of religion. There’s something so radical about that, isn’t there? Something so liberal.

Unfortunately, due solely to its tolerance of other human beings, this congregation was targeted by a psychopath who was convinced that these people — these liberals — were a significant part of what is wrong with America today.

How did he get that idea?

McCain Gets What He Wishes For

Are they kidding?

Poor John McCain. One minute he’s laughing and joking on his tour bus with the press, and stories abound about how the press loves him. No one challenges him on his many flip-flops, and he’s free to complain about Obama’s ties to a pastor, all the while having his own pastor issues. The next minute, his campaign is bitching and moaning about how Obama’s getting all the press while he meets with world leaders in the Middle East. The headline on MSN was, “Is the Media being unfair to John McCain?

According to this article at the FOX News website, McCain “repeatedly challenged the Democratic front-runner to join him there and see the situation on the ground before concluding that U.S. efforts have failed to get the war-torn nation back on track.”

McCain wasn’t alone in calling for Obama to check out Iraq for himself. Republican National Committee Chairman, Mike Duncan, also chimed in with some rather pointed comments. This is also from the article referenced above:

Seeing a possible opportunity to gain points against Obama, the Republican National Committee on Wednesday launched a clock on its Web site that is counting the days since the Democratic presidential front-runner visited Iraq.

“Barack Obama has only visited Iraq once — and that was 871 days ago,” RNC Chairman Mike Duncan said.

“Obama has done shockingly little to educate himself firsthand about the war in Iraq. Instead, he displays an arrogant certainty gained on the campaign trail. … Obama’s failure to visit Iraq, listen and learn firsthand and witness the surge’s progress demonstrates weak leadership that disqualifies him from being commander in chief.”

So what did Obama do? He took their suggestion. He went to Iraq, visited with a few Middle East leaders, and was generally looking pretty presidential as he did it. Apparently the McCain camp was getting a little distressed that Obama’s trip was garnering so much positive attention worldwide, so it sent its attack dogs out once again. Hannity started calling him “the annointed one,” stories appeared in the press that Obama was getting all this positive coverage while no one was talking about McCain anymore. Conservative websites echoed the royalty theme.

Bah, humbug.

So after a large tour of the Middle East, a tour McCain suggested would change Obama’s mind about a withdrawal from Iraq, is Obama now onboard with the McCain plan? Doesn’t seem that way. In fact, Obama’s visit to Iraq only solidified his views that we need to redeploy troops in Afghanistan and that Iraq is ready to start assuming responsibility for its own security, free from American interference.

Careful what you wish for, McCain.

Rush Limbaugh — Socialist Advocate?

This is just precious. Rush Limbaugh is apparently jealous that China is subsidizing gasoline for its citizens so that they don’t feel the pain at the pump along with a subsequent desire to buy a smart car or Yaris or something very very small. Says Rush:

What are the ChiComs doing — while we move ourselves back to the Stone Age — well, at least in that direction. China’s most popular car is an SUV. SUV sales in China are exploding. “Nodding his head to the disco music blaring out of his car’s nine speakers, Zhang Linsen swings the shiny, black Hummer H2 out of his company’s gates and on to the spacious four-lane road. ‘In China, size matters,’ says Zhang, the 44-year-old founder of a media and graphic design company. ‘People want to have a car that shows off their status in society. No one wants to buy small.’

See, the ChiComs need their economy growing. They need people driving around, moving around. They need people to be able to afford fuel, so they’re subsidizing fuel. They’re not bailing people out of stupid home mortgage messes. They’re buying their gasoline for them, because they need an economy. Know what energy means to this, the whole subject of economic growth. So meanwhile, the ChiComs, a country certainly growing, certainly on the rise, but it ain’t the United States of America. How does it make you feel that Zhang Linsen has a big Hummer with nine speakers blaring as he pulls out into a four-lane road with so much smog he basically can’t see the car in front of him, and you are trading in all of your cars and trying to go out and find basically a lawn mower.

So let me get this straight. The government should be buying gasoline for its citizens so that we can drive big gasoline-suckers and so that we don’t go back to the “Stone Age?” And how is that not the socialism that Rush rails against on his show every day?

This just goes to show that with guys like Hannity, Limbaugh, Levin, Medved, and all the other right-wing radio hatemongers that it’s not about philosophy, it’s not about conservatism. It’s all about what they want. If it’s what they believe, and it doesn’t really fit in with their so-called “conservative” philosophy, they’ll spin it twenty ways to Sunday so that it looks like conservatism to those who are intellectually challenged and actually believe the garbage these fools shovel across the airwaves every day.

Liebermann… Again…

Gee, you’d think I went up to a well-known Jew and said that “Hitler was partially Jewish, … that the anti-Christ will be a Jew, … that Jews believed that their spit contains magic healing powers and thus ran around rubbing it in the eyes of blind people in order to heal them,” that person wouldn’t want anything to do with me. But not Joe Liebermann. No, he’s a real cross-the-aisle kind of guy. So forgiving, so gracious is he, that he seems to have a pretty tight relationship with John Hagee, who has at one point or another said all of the things above. In fact, the senator from Connecticut is going to be a keynote speaker at Hagee’s upcoming convention in Washington

Glenn Greenwald lays it all out in his column today.