Media Matters Defecates Over GOP’s Biggest Weekly Talking Point


The good people at Media Matters exposed a major fabrication today regarding the American Recovery And Reinvestment Act that had been repeated ad nauseam from many outlets, including Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s response to Barack Obama’s State of the Nation address.

Indeed, the hypothetical wasteful rail line from Las Vegas to Disneyland was completely false out of the mouth of the influential presidential hopeful. Read on:

During the February 24 broadcast of his Fox News program, host Sean Hannity repeated the false Republican talking points that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

directs that funds be spent to protect the salt marsh harvest mouse in San Francisco and on a high-speed rail line between Southern California and Las Vegas. In response to Hannity’s false claims, Hannity’s guest, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) noted, “Sean, that — those words are absolutely not in the bill, and you know it. You may be reading them off the Internet, but those words are not in the bill.”

After Sestak challenged Hannity to “try to name” an earmark in the bill, Hannity responded: “The salt harvest marsh mouse that gets $30 million. The railway from Los Angeles to Las Vegas: that is a pork project.” In fact, as Media Matters for America has noted, the bill does not contain any language directing funds to the salt marsh harvest mouse or its San Francisco wetlands habitat, a fact that the House Republican leadership aide who reportedly originated the claim has reportedly acknowledged. Nor does the bill include, as Media Matters has noted, a provision directing that $8 billion in funds be spent on a high-speed rail line between Southern California and Las Vegas.

After writing that “there isn’t any such money in the bill” for the mouse, The Plum Line blogger Greg Sargent reported on February 12 that the “marsh harvest mouse” claim originated in an email from a “House Republican leadership staffer” who, when contacted by Sargent, “conceded that the claim by conservative media that the mouse money is currently in the bill is a misstatement.” San Jose Mercury News staff writer Paul Rogers subsequently reported on February 13 that Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), originated the claim and said that “[t]here is no language in the bill that says this money will go to this project.”

Moreover, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace has said that the claim that the bill had funding to protect the mouse has been “supposedly … debunked.”

As Media Matters has noted, the mouse falsehood has been repeated several times on Fox News, including on Hannity. Furthermore, other media outlets such as The New York Times, Fox Business Network, The Washington Times, and CNN have advanced the same falsehood.

Furthermore, contrary to Hannity’s false claim — which has been pushed by House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) — that the economic recovery bill directs that funds be spent on a high-speed rail line between Southern California and Las Vegas, the bill does not direct high-speed rail funds to any specific high-speed rail project. Furthermore, any funding would be allocated by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former Republican congressman.

The bill states that $8 billion shall remain available for the “Secretary of Transportation” for “projects that support the development of intercity high speed rail service” and that the secretary shall “submit to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations a strategic plan that describes how the Secretary will use the funding provided under this heading to improve and deploy high speed passenger rail systems.” The Joint Explanatory Statement of the Conference Report on H.R. 1 further states of the high-speed rail program: “The conferees have provided the Secretary flexibility in allocating resources between the programs to advance the goal of deploying intercity high speed rail systems in the United States.”

From the February 24 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

HANNITY: And that was President Obama, delivering his remarks to a joint session of Congress just a bit ago. And joining us now to give us his thoughts on the president’s speech is Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak [PA] is with us.

You know, Congressman Sestak, I’m getting a little frustrated. He said in last week’s $1 trillion-plus with interest, you know, massive spending bill — he said there were no pet projects in it. We all know that’s not true.

I have a list of the $410 billion omnibus spending bill. I have a list — I’ll start reading them to you, if you like — of nothing but part of the 9,000 earmarks. How can you say with a straight face that this is not irresponsible spending when it’s full of earmarks? Last week’s bill; this week’s bill being debated. Explain that to me. You’re a Democrat. Help me out.

SESTAK: Absolutely. Sean, first off, you try to name me one — one in the recovery bill of an earmark. Now, with a –

HANNITY: Got it.

SESTAK: — 9,000 earmarks in this omnibus –

HANNITY: I got it.

SESTAK: — bill — just one moment.

HANNITY: Answer.

SESTAK: There were — OK. If –

HANNITY: One.

SESTAK: — you could, just answer this: Is — there’s 9,000 –

HANNITY: The salt harvest marsh mouse that gets $30 million. The railway from Los Angeles to Las Vegas: that is a pork project. That is reckless spending.

SESTAK: Sean, that — those words are absolutely not in the bill, and you know it.

HANNITY: What –

SESTAK: You may be reading them off —

HANNITY: — the stimulus –

SESTAK: — the Internet, but those words are not in the bill.

HANNITY: Yeah, of course, because you hide it. But we know where the money’s going. It’s just like, for example, all-terrain –

SESTAK: Now, Sean, those words —

HANNITY: I’ll give you another one.

SESTAK: Sean, if I could.

HANNITY: All-terrain vehicles –

SESTAK: Now, wait a minute, Sean, you’re reading off an Internet type of thing.

HANNITY: I’m actually reading the bill.

SESTAK: You’ve got to read the actual bill, and I’ve read every word.

HANNITY: You know –

SESTAK: Now let’s talk about the 9,000 earmarks.

HANNITY: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. You know and I know that Nancy Pelosi’s district, that these marshlands to help save the mouse, that’s where that money’s going. This railway for Harry Reid, these all-terrain vehicle trails, they’re in the bill, Congressman. We’re spending $1.3 trillion of our kids’ money. Why?

SESTAK: Sean, I just don’t want to mislead the public. Those words are not in the bill. Number two: We’re –

HANNITY: But the money is earmarked for it.

SESTAK: No, there are not, Sean. Number two –

HANNITY: You sound like Bill Clinton.

SESTAK: No, I’m just telling you what the facts are, ’cause I’ve read every word of the bill.

HANNITY: “I did not have sex with that woman.” They — that is where the money is going, Congressman. Be straight with the American people.

—A.J.W.

Media Matters Defecates All Over Week’s Biggest GOP Talking Points

Helpless Children Stabbed To Death With Pitchfork

From Paul Valone at The Baltimore Examiner:

The words of a grandmother whose grandchildren were murdered as the result of California’s mandatory gun storage law…

Yesterday, St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner Kurt Hofmann wrote a powerful piece entitled, “’Protecting’ children … from the ability to defend themselves” in which he discussed the plight of the Carpenter family. On August 23, 2000, Jonathan David Bruce broke into the Carpenter home and, armed with a pitch fork, brutally attacked the four children at home alone, killing two. Although the children were trained in the use of firearms, the family’s guns were locked away in compliance with California law.

The Carpenters turned tragedy into heroism, however, when they became national gun rights advocates. Grandmother Mary Carpenter brought two surviving grand-daughters, Anna and Jessica, pictured with Mary at right, to North Carolina in early 2001 to help defeat House Bill 320: “Safe” Storage of Firearms.

Below is the letter Mrs. Carpenter wrote to the North Carolina General Assembly, detailing how California’s mandatory gun storage law cost the lives of two of her grandchildren. Mary understands better than any of us that, as she put it: “You may declare gun free zones, but you cannot declare killer free zones.”

North Carolina General Assembly

To Whom It May Concern,

“To my understanding you are debating the passage of laws requiring trigger locks and mandatory storage of guns. I am a second generation resident of the State of California, a mother and a grieving grandmother. I wish to express to you how trigger locks and mandatory storage laws in the State of California affected my family. I hope my testimony may save someone in your state from sharing the pain we must now endure for the remainder of our lives. No law you can pass will keep the irresponsible from shooting accidents or a felon from stealing a gun. I am enclosing a portion of a letter I wrote to my own state legislators concerning the constant progression of laws restricting our guns in my state.

“Depending on whether or not you truly care, you may or may not recognize my name. I am the paternal grandmother of the two children who were brutally murdered inside their rural Merced California home on August 23, 2000 by a stranger with a pitchfork.

“Instead of suing gun manufacturers, I am of the opinion it is our lawmakers who need to be sued. It was you who created the laws that kept my grandchildren from being able to defend themselves with any weapon greater than their bare hands. All of my son’s children had been trained in the use of firearms but were unable to get to their Dad’s weapon because of California State Law.

“You, who have CCW permits or armed body guards, or both expect me to face a society gone mad because of drug altered brains and lax laws on the perpetrators of crime? You had no room in your prisons for the killer of my grandchildren though his wife had reported to the police in Mojave California in June of 1997 that he had forced her and their infant son into his car (kidnapping) while living in southern California? At that time she also reported how she had managed to escape from him in Mojave after he held a gun to her head (assault with a deadly weapon) threatening to kill her and their one-month-old child? Though more recently she had given to the Dos Palos California Police Dept. the tape from her message minder threatening to kill her present husband? Though he had assaulted a police officer while resisting arrest for drug charges? Though he had violated his parole by not appearing at his hearing and they had a warrant out for his arrest? Though they knew where he lived, and also his mother and grandmother, yet failed to pick him up? Will you then find room for my son in your prisons should his fourteen year old daughter have access to his gun while she is baby-sitting her siblings?

“There is a growing list, in my area alone, of people (mostly women) who might still be alive had they not been in a state where the use of a gun was prohibited. Juli Sund, Carole Sund, Selvina Pelosso, Joie Armstrong, Ashley and John William Carpenter to name a few. Lawmakers talk big about a woman’s right to choose yet don’t allow me the very basic right to choose to defend myself? If teachers were allowed to carry a concealed weapon to school you would see the school shootings disappear. The same is true with the citizen on the street. The reason is, these killers are cowards. You can tell by their choice of victims. They operate best where they know there are no guns.

“Look at your child tonight and imagine him or her with their eyes jabbed out, their skulls splintered, their brains pierced, and their spines broken with the heavy tines of a spading fork. In defending her sisters to the death with the only weapon you allowed her, Ashley had 138 puncture wounds. Twenty-nine of them were on the right side of her face, five on the back of her head, and thirty-seven to her chest and lower neck. (Obviously he was trying to behead her.) She was nine years old. While committing no crime greater than sleeping in his parents bed, in his own house, John William, 7 years old, was stabbed 46 times, with most of them in the chest, neck, and head. Depending on the condition of your heart, you may or may not feel a small measure of the pain my family and I must endure for the remainder of our lives.

“Now, imagine all the gun laws you can dream up and honestly admit whether or not they would have stopped such a mad dog as this. This man was a total stranger to the family, and other than a trace of marijuana, was not on drugs at the time. However, by the testimony of his wife and girlfriend, he was a drug user who became frightening whenever he used them. All your imagined gun laws will do is insure someone’s children will die again. Take a drive downtown and see for yourself all the drug-addled brains.

“You may declare gun free zones, but you cannot declare killer free zones.

“This tragedy has made me realize I am not even safe in my locked home, my barn, or my backyard. I dare you to request the autopsy reports of John William & Ashley Danielle Carpenter done on August 28, 2000 from Sheriff Tom Sawyer of the Merced County Sheriffs Dept. Also ask him for the police interview with the killer’s wife and girlfriend telling about his drug use and devil worship. Ask Detective Parsley about his fetish for horror movies produced by a John Carpenter, (no relation to us), and one he especially liked, that we have learned depicts a killing done with a pitchfork. His last employment was as a telemarketer in Merced. If you have an honest bone in your body you will see this country is in desperate need of a change of heart, not the gun laws that have been in place for over two hundred years. All the gun laws you can imagine cannot change the heart of a killer and you know it. Until man’s heart is changed, we will be like sheep led to the slaughter without our weapons of defense. May you stand before God and man as my two precious grandchildren’s killer if you pass any more gun legislation that will make me a felon should I own a handgun or any other gun for that matter.”

Sincerely,
Mary Carpenter

Comet Lands Safely, Kills 1

WILMINGTON, NC — In a stunning and completely untragic turn of events today, Comet Lunin, approaching it’s closest distance from the Earth’s surface, has unexpectedly landed unharmed in a local suburban backyard. Authorities were quick to the scene but even quicker to leave upon learning of the comet’s well-being.
“We’re just glad the comet wasn’t hurt,” stated Chief of Police, Jim Deaverson. “I mean, it’s not everyday a comet lands in your city. I’m honored really,” Deaverson added while photographing the crash site with a cellular telephone camera. “Awesome.”

While Comet Lunin may have landed safely, an unluckier bystander was fatally smashed/combusted as the comet crashed directly on his plane of existence. Sources unanimously claim that the victim “just shouldn’t have been standing there.” Although this is a seemingly tragic story, Sgt. Deaverson has urged concerned citizens to overlook the sole fatality and instead focus on the “shear awesomeness” of comet crash.

“The Greatest of Wrong” by Geronimo

As yesterday Harlyn Geronimo’s requests for the Bush family to relinquish the bones of the famous medicine man became more public yesterday, I decided now was an appropriate time to republish some of his ancestor’s famous words.

Perhaps the greatest wrong ever done to the Indians was the treatment received by our tribe from the United States troops about 1863. The chief of our tribe, Mangus-Colorado, went to make a treaty of peace for our people with the white settlement at Apache Tejo, New Mexico. It had been reported to us that the white men in this settlement were more friendly and more reliable than those in Arizona, that they would live up to their treaties and would not wrong the Indians.

Mangus-Colorado, with three other warriors, went to Apache Tejo and held a council with these citizens and soldiers. They told him that if he would come with his tribe and live near them, they would issue to him, from the Government, blankets, flour, provisions, beef, and all manner of supplies. Our chief promised to return to Apache Tejo within two weeks. When he came back to our settlement he assembled the whole tribe in council. I did not believe that the people at Apache Tejo would do as they said and therefore I opposed the plan, but it was decided that with part of the tribe Mangus-Colorado should return to Apache Tejo and receive an issue of rations and supplies. If they were as represented, and if these white men would keep the treaty faithfully, the remainder of the tribe would join him and we would make our permanent home at Apache Tejo. I was to remain in charge of that portion of the tribe which stayed in Arizona. We gave almost all of our arms and ammunition to the party going to Apache Tejo, so that in case there should be treachery they would be prepared for any surprise. Mangus-Colorado and about half of our people went to New Mexico, happy that now they had found white men who would be kind to them, and with whom they could live in peace and plenty.

No word ever came to us from them. From other sources, however, we heard that they had been treacherously captured and slain. In this dilemma we did not know just exactly what to do, but fearing that the troops who had captured them would attack us, we retreated into the mountains near Apache Pass.

During the weeks that followed the departure of our people we had been in suspense, and failing to provide more supplies, had exhausted all of our store of provisions. This was another reason for moving camp. On this retreat, while passing through the mountains, we discovered four men with a herd of cattle. Two of the men were in front in a buggy and two were behind on horseback. We killed all four, but did not scalp them; they were not warriors. We drove the cattle back into the mountains, made a camp, and began to kill the cattle and pack the meat.

Before we had finished this work we were surprised and attacked by United States troops, who killed in all seven Indians -one warrior, three women, and three children. The Government troops were mounted and so were we, but we were poorly armed, having given most of our weapons to the division of our tribe that had gone to Apache Tejo, so we fought mainly with spears, bows, and arrows. At first I had a spear, a bow, and a few arrows; but in a short time my spear and all my arrows were gone. Once I was surrounded, but by dodging from side to side of my horse as he ran I escaped. It was necessary during this fight for many of the warriors to leave their horses and escape on foot. But my horse was trained to come at call, and as soon as I reached a safe place, if not too closely pursued, I would call him to me. During this fight we scattered in all directions and two days later reassembled at our appointed place of rendezvous, about fifty miles from the scene of this battle.

About ten days later the same United States troops attacked our new camp at sunrise. The fight lasted all day, but our arrows and spears were all gone before ten o’clock, and for the remainder of the day we had only rocks and clubs with which to fight. We could do with these weapons, and at night we moved our camp about four miles back into the mountains where it would be hard for the cavalry to follow us. The next day our scouts, who had been left behind to observe the movements of the soldiers, returned, saying that the troops had gone back toward San Carlos Reservation.

A few days after this we were again attacked by another company of United States troops. Just before this fight we had been joined by a band of Chokonen Indians under Cochise, who took command of both divisions. We were repulsed, and decided to disband.

After we had disbanded our tribe the Bedonkohe Apaches reassembled near their old camp vainly waiting for the return of Mangus-Colorado and our kinsmen. No tidings came save that they had all been treacherously slain. Then a council was held, and as it was believed that Mangus-Colorado was dead, I was elected Tribal Chief.

For a long time we had no trouble with anyone. It was more than a year after I had been made Tribal Chief that United States troops surprised and attacked our camp. They killed seven children, five women, and four warriors, captured all our supplies, blankets, horses, and clothing, and destroyed our tepees. We had nothing left; winter was beginning, and it was the coldest winter I ever knew. After the soldiers withdrew I took three warriors and trailed them. Their trail led back toward San Carlos.

Why You Should Eat A Bowl of Crickets If Offered $40,000


By Katherine Felter and Tyler S. Bass, G.E.D.

It seems pretty obvious that, regardless of one’s social standing, it is reasonable to attempt to eat a bowl of live crickets if offered 40,000 USD. Crickets are nutritious; the social value of attempting to eat them for the first time is awe-inspiring in light of the cruel industrial complex that would usually end your prey’s life mechanically. In a way, eating an animal and feeling it die inside of your mouth is a startling, enlightening experience that can only be understood if experienced firsthand. Upon assessing the cost of value of time for even the most wealthy of the type-A set on the planet Earth, it is undeniable conclusion. The hedonists can piss it away; the most compassionate have every good reason to write their upcoming checks to UNICEF.

The many opportunities that present themselves with the money one would receive with eating live crickets outweigh the initial disgust with eating bugs in general. We would have to question eating worms, for the texture and sliminess, but since crickets would be crunchier, it would be easier to swallow them down. I guess if I really got mentally desperate I would think about the people who do not have much to eat and be thankful that I am getting paid to eat. Since this is a hypothetical situation, we’re not even going to entertain this further, but if someone would present this offer, we would go for it!

objectionable content

so i have noticed that someone had marked this blog for objectionable content. it.s hard to communicate what an honor i deem this to be. i am exploring the idea of blogging using this new cell phone. it seems to me that there is still much potential in the years ahead. someone tries to censore me. my heart is soaring. my existence, i say frankly, has given me true meaning.

The Assassination of Robert Kennedy

Threats For Debts: Clinton At The Asia Society

A key aspect to beginning negotiation of any sort is to emphasize common ground. Secretary of State Clinton began her speech by emphasizing the mutual interest of all nations involved in rooting out the rackets and “stateless” criminal enterprises that would seek to undermine everyone getting richer legally and faster. At this juncture, it would seem that the only collateral this government can truly offer is its grandiose defense spending.

Hillary Clinton has been swept away to a conference in New York where she is addressing our increasingly powerful bond market overlords at the Asia Society Conference. This move is to mark the beginning of her goodwill voyage to all corners of China, Indonesia, and the remaining sector of Korea which does not bitterly whittle radioactive spears, ships loads of counterfeit currency to the west coast and mumble bitterly about the imperialist pig-dogs of the United States.

In the wake of GDP-shattering stimulus, you can never do enough to convince your financiers that you are damn serious about being responsible. Secretary Clinton continued to emphasize that the United States had “learned the lessons” that “the past month” had brought to bear. Coming to the feet of the East Asian power brokers and making this claim while breaking the bank with $2.5 trillion in spending is a startling prospect, indeed.

With a retrospective eye-roll to the previous administration, Hillary Clinton revisited a typical new administration talking point, that of “restoring science” to its proper place. Last month at a TED conference, Microsoft founder Bill Gates professed a great deal of optimism that American math and science test scores could be brought up to snuff with those of East Asian countries if only quality teachers were injected into the system. Whatever its merits, this brand of optimism is nothing new regarding American prospects for the future. In this context, however, it is easy to see it as a quiet nod to potential deregulation of embryonic stem cell research.