Thursday, July 31, 2008

Rachel Maddow is My Hero

She SLAMS McCain, Dana Milbank, AND Patrick Buchanan to the floor!

John McCain: Cheap, Two-Bit Liar, Hannity Style

My my my. It turns out that old Johnny Boy had TWO attack ads ready to go against Barack Obama in regard to his visit to Germany. One if Obama HAD visited the wounded, and one if he HAD NOT. This article from Business Week demonstrates that McCain intends to keep repeating lies about Obama, because the tactic works. Think about that for a second. Right-wing scumbag punk Sean Hannity, who has been vomiting lies about Obama for months, uses the same tactic and is, in fact, completely coordinating with McCain's people.

McCain is a lying, dishonorable crook, and if, somehow, he were to lie his way into the White House, it would be a tragedy of monumental proportions. Please consider donating to my Personal Obama contributions page, on my Favorites list. We need all the help we can get to stop a son of a bitch like McCain.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Republicans to Our Paralyzed Veterans: "Go to Hell"

How long can these right-wing bastards get away with yapping about how they "support the troops" when they do something as filthy as this?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Why Obama "Not Knowing His Place" Matters So Much

This wonderful, brutally honest piece by Paul Jenkins in Huffington is right on the money in every way. Obama is being scrutinized so closely because he "hasn't waited his turn" and he is "challenging his elders". Jenkins points out how urgent the need to challenge those elders really is. It's wonderfully acerbic in its observations of how the candidates' wives are being viewed as well:

Obama's partner in elitism, his wife Michelle, is in extreme tongue-biting mode. This is a shame, but it is inevitable, as she too is under the kind of scrutiny that would make Cindy McCain's face melt back into some approximation of reality. It is widely understood that Obama is more deserving of close examination than McCain because she is more actively involved in her husband's campaign than Cindy is. This of course is a lie: McCain has campaigned extensively for her husband and, were it not for her family fortune and her private jet, he wouldn't even have come close to being nominated. The truth is that Obama is expected to play a certain role: strong, angry, overbearing, and every one of her statements is demeaningly parsed in that light. If every word uttered by McCain were analyzed and reported to fit the stereotype of the rich, spoilt, husband-stealing white woman that she is, all would be fair. But instead, we get adoring glances, little examination of her actual role and an occasional hiccup about Michelle Obama's lack of patriotism

Heh heh heh. Read the whole thing. And be glad that Barack Obama doesn't know his "place".

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Help Me Raise $10,000 for Obama

John McCain is getting millions of dollars of unpaid media support, especially from ABC News, Fox "News", and all of his other fans in the corporate media. The Republicans are going to throw about $400,000,000 at Obama as well. The primary battle with Hillary soaked up a lot of Obama's contributions. He needs YOUR HELP! I urge you, my dear friends, to contribute to Obama via my personal contributions page right here. I really do need to feel a part of this great fight to help save America from the disaster of four more years of radical right-wing government. Please give whatever you can. I thank you, and America's Future will thank you as well.

A Frightening UFO

Saturday, July 26, 2008

John McCain's Lying, Gutter-Level Campaign

One of the things that just makes me want to puke is the nonsense we hear about John McCain's "integrity" and his "honesty". McCain is a lying, corrupt, dishonest right wing fanatic and he always has been. He has supported the worst president in American history more than 90% of the time, and 95%+ in the last two years. And he is showing his true colors in this year's campaign. He has released an ad that makes the FALSE ACCUSATION that Barack Obama ignored wounded U.S. soldiers in Germany. The truth is that McCain's Pentagon buddies deliberately SABOTAGED Obama's visit with last-minute conditions and objections. Here is the truth of the matter

Disgusting. Just f---ing disgusting. Karl Rove couldn't have done it better. McCain is a two-faced, lying SOB. We need to smack him down HARD. May I suggest you use my personal Donate to Obama link right here to let McCain know what you think of his bullshit smear campaign. 

No "Swiftboating" this year, G-d damn it!

Friday, July 25, 2008

How the Republicans Steal, Cheat, and Intimidate Their Way to "Victory"

The disgusting details are here. The right-wing thugs and goons that run the Republican Party use every vicious, dishonest tactic known to prevent millions of Democrats, largely minorities, from voting. But the more Democrats are aware of this Republican bullshit, the better we'll be prepared to stop it.

And by God, we will.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Friends, THIS is What an Eloquent Leader Says

Barack Obama visited Israel's Holocaust memorial at Yad Vashem and left this message:


[Please click to enlarge.]

Won't it be nice to have a president we can be proud of again?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

McCain Botches the Most Basic Facts About Iraq

John McCain boasts of his superior "judgment" and his supposed "expertise" in relation to Iraq. But he got the sequence of events related to the period leading up to the "surge: completely wrong in talking to CBS about the issue. (CBS then COVERED FOR McCAIN by creative "editing".) Read the link and be shocked by this man's stunning ignorance and incompetence.

The idea that McCain is some kind of "expert" is a complete farce. He's either bare-faced lying in this matter or a complete buffoon.

Either way he doesn't belong in the presidency.

You Need to See This. Seriously.



The parts where McCain just FLAT OUT LIES are what get me the angriest.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Juan Cole Destroys McCain's Falsehoods About the "Surge"

Juan Cole, who has forgotten more about the Middle East than John McCain or his toadying supporters in the corporate media have ever learned (especially the infuriating, shameless Andrea Mitchell, otherwise known as Mrs. Alan Greenspan) demolishes one of McCain's "best" arguments right here--namely, that the "Surge" in Iraq (a euphemism for escalation) has been a rousing success. The following excerpts are particularly noteworthy:

Despite all the talk about Iraq being "calm," I'd like to point out that the month just before the last visit Barack Obama made to Iraq (he went in January, 2006), there were 537 civilian and ISF Iraqi casualties. In June of this year, 2008, there were 554 according to AP. These are official statistics gathered passively that probably only capture about 10 percent of the true toll.

That is, the Iraqi death toll is actually still 
worse now than the last time Obama was in Iraq! (See the bombings and shootings listed below for Sunday). The hype around last year's troop escalation obscures a simple fact: that Obama formed his views about the need for the US to leave Iraq at a time when its security situation was very similar to what it is now! Why a return to the bad situation in late 05 and early 06 should be greeted by the GOP as the veritable coming of the Messiah is beyond me. You have people like Joe Lieberman saying silly things like if it weren't for the troop escalation, Obama wouldn't be able to visit Iraq. Uh, he visited it before the troop escalation, just fine.

The troop escalation, which actually allowed the ethnic cleansing of the Sunnis of Baghdad and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis from the country, has largely been pushed as propaganda by the White House and the AEI
.


As they say in the Blog Biz, Read the Whole Thing. You will be enlightened.

And you won't fall for McCain's BS. Or Andrea Mitchell's for that matter.

(Click to Enlarge)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Iraqi Prime Minister Supports Obama's Iraq Policy

In a stunning rebuke to Neocon Warhawk Pseudo-Expert John McCain, the Iraqi PM has endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's Iraq proposals:


Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told a German magazine he supported prospective U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's proposal that U.S. troops should leave Iraq within 16 months.

In an interview with Der Spiegel released on Saturday, Maliki said he wanted U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible.

"U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes."

It is the first time he has backed the withdrawal timetable put forward by Obama, who is visiting Afghanistan and us set to go to Iraq as part of a tour of Europe and the Middle East.

Obama has called for a shift away from a "single-minded" focus on Iraq and wants to pull out troops within 16 months, instead adding U.S. soldiers to Afghanistan.

Asked if he supported Obama's ideas more than those of John McCain, Republican presidential hopeful, Maliki said he did not want to recommend who people should vote for.

"Whoever is thinking about the shorter term is closer to reality. Artificially extending the stay of U.S. troops would cause problems."


I would say that McCain just got picked up by the ankles and body slammed. One of McCain's BS arguments is that he understands the "situation on the ground" better than Obama. Now, the person who is in the best position to know the situation on the ground says he agrees with Obama.


Ha! That's gotta hurt. Poor John. Guess he isn't such an "expert" after all.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Again: McCain the All-Time Flip Flopper

Davefromqueens has the list here. The overview is startling. McCain has changed his positions on all the following issues:

Privatizing Social Security, Iraq Troop Withdrawal, Tax Cuts, Judges, Torture, Negotiating With Hamas, Bush Third Term, Agents Of Intolerance, 527s, Gramm's Whiner Comments, Economic Expertise, Illegal Wiretapping, Habeas Corpus, Everglades Restoration, Gay Couple Legal Contracts, GI Bill, Military Service Exploitation, Roe v. Wade, States Rights On Abortion, ANWR, Offshore Drilling, Role of States in Drilling, MLK Holiday, Windfall Profits Tax, Filibustering of Judges, Confederate Flag, Civil Unions, Constitutional Ban On Gay Marriage, Yucca Mountain, Undue Lobbyist Influence, Abortion Exceptions, Defense Cuts, Waterboarding , Mandatory Caps, Citizenship for Immigrants, Flying the Confederate Flag, Bush Tax Policies, South African Divestment, Alternative Minimum Tax, Estate Tax Repeal, North Korea Negotiations, Iraq + Stay The Course, Creationism, Time of Offshore Drilling, Campaign Finance Reform, Immigration Act, Fidel Castro, Pakistan, Bush's Pioneers, Occupying Muslim Lands, Russia, Law of the Sea Treaty, Ease of Iraq Conflict, Withdrawal from Iraq, NRA Influence, Arizona earmarks, ethanol, Balanced Budgets, Economic Times, Litmus Tests, Hagee, Wyly Brothers, Grover Norquist, Syria, Global Warming, Cigarette Taxes, Katrina Investigations, Surrogates, Equal Pay For Women.

But other than that, he's been perfectly consistent!

McCain is RAVENOUS for power and will say or do ANYTHING to win. Maybe some people trust a person like that, but I don't--and I hope you don't either.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

McCain Flat Out LYING About His Record With Veterans Groups

What, Mr. Straight Talk himself? A bald-faced, outright liar? Why, yes as a matter of fact. Check out the record, and tell me this guy isn't as phony as a $3 bill.

BTW, he also took credit for the GI Bill THAT HE OPPOSED. What a straight-talkin' maverick! The Washington Media told me so.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Any Other Candidate's Campaign Would Be Dead--But No McCain's

Democratic Underground has the story here on McCain's catastrophically bad week.

Any other candidate would be finished politically after such a week. But not McCain.

Why?

HIS FRIENDS IN THE MEDIA ARE COVERING AND MAKING EXCUSES FOR HIM.

That's why. Right-wing hack Mark Halperin, a Republican operative pretending to be a journalist for Time, even said that his good buddy John won the week. He ignored everything negative about his dear friend. Wouldn't want to embarrass poor John now, would we?

Can you imagine?? How in the hell can the Democrats EVER get a fair shake when the media covers McCain's ass for him--that is, when they're not kissing it?

Friday, July 11, 2008

If Clinton Was Judged for It, McCain Should Be, Too

If there's one thing that really steams me, it's the way John McCain's countless media friends always praise him for his "integrity". It's one of the most shameless pieces of campaign BS I've ever seen. McCain is the tool and captive of lobbyists. He employs Charlie Black, a racist tool who used to work for Jesse (Still Dead) Helms and who has represented a variety of this planet's worst regimes. He employs Phil ("Whining Americans") Gramm, architect of much of the current financial disaster we are facing as his chief economic advisor. McCain's financial ties to shady characters in Arizona have never been adequately explained. Old Johnny Boy also hid more than 95% of Jack Abramoff's financial records when McCain was a committee chairman in the Senate. McCain had his hands in the S & L scandal in the 80s, too. In short, this guy's "integrity" is a joke, just like his "maverick" record in the Senate where he supported Bush NINETY-FIVE PER CENT LAST YEAR AND ONE HUNDRED PER CENT THIS YEAR. But what about his personal life? Shouldn't that be off limits?

Hell no.

The corporate media practically wanted to lynch Bill Clinton over his marital infidelity and lying. I say, McCain gets no free pass. The LA Times has the story here of McCain's lying and dishonesty in his personal life. It's enough to make you sick. McCain CHEATED ON his loyal first wife, who had stood by him bravely when McCain was in captivity. She had been seriously injured in a car wreck and I guess she wasn't good looking enough for St. John any more. He dumped her, married a 24 year old heiress (whose family's money jump started McCain's political career) and went on to bigger things. Moreover, he apparently is still lying about the details of all of this:


In his 2002 memoir, "Worth the Fighting For," McCain wrote that he had separated from Carol before he began dating Hensley."I spent as much time with Cindy in Washington and Arizona as our jobs would allow," McCain wrote. "I was separated from Carol, but our divorce would not become final until February of 1980."

An examination of court documents tells a different story. McCain did not sue his wife for divorce until Feb. 19, 1980, and he wrote in his court petition that he and his wife had "cohabited" until Jan. 7 of that year -- or for the first nine months of his relationship with Hensley.

Although McCain suggested in his autobiography that months passed between his divorce and remarriage, the divorce was granted April 2, 1980, and he wed Hensley in a private ceremony five weeks later. McCain obtained an Arizona marriage license on March 6, 1980, while still legally married to his first wife.

Yeah, he's just Mr. Integrity. Just ask Bob Schieffer or Chris Matthews or any of his other ass-kissing buddies in the corporate media.

I spit on his g-d damned "integrity".


I've Never Linked to Drudge Before

because he's usually such a slimeball. But Andrew Sullivan noted this item, and I thought I'd pass it along.

The propaganda mill is already beating the wardrums for an attack on Iran.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

McCain: Privatize "Disgraceful" Social Security

He denies that he wants to privatize the most successful government program in history, but that's exactly what he DOES intend to do. Josh Marshall has the truth.

Join the War on Fox "News"

If there were ever a misnomer it's the term Fox News. Fox isn't a news operation. It's a gutter level right wing Republican propaganda machine, smearing and attacking Democrats 24/7. It employs some of the very worst people in the entire right wing ScumFest--O'Reilly, Hannity, Cavuto, and all the rest. Well, you can fight back. Besides boycotting Fox's sponsors and blocking Fox from your cable box, you can support this site--Fox Attacks--and get the ammunition you need to help combat this vile, pernicious cancer on the American way of life. Fox Attacks is also now part of my links list on the right side of the page.

Delende est Fox "News"--Fox "News" must be destroyed!

McCain: Economic Imbecile

He wants to privatize Social Security. He doesn't even understand how Social Security works. He thinks supply side economic voodoo is just dandy. He is ready to make the deficit even bigger than it is now. Read the gruesome details here.

And then GO CONTRIBUTE TO OBAMA using the link on the blogroll on the right side of this page.

John the Flip Flopper and Iraq

Monday, July 07, 2008

Donate to Obama--He Needs It!

Don't believe the stories you're hearing about Obama having unlimited $ to take on Media Darling, He-Who-Can-Do-No-Wrong St. John McCain (Let us now all genuflect). McCain is blatantly cheating, blatantly breaking the campaign laws by illegally coordinating his campaign with the Republican National Committee and "independent" 527s. It's the same crap Bush pulled in 2004. The right-wingers spit on the rules, basically, and they are raising megabucks for McBush--er, I mean McCain. The prolonged primary fight with Hillary really tapped Obama out. He needs YOUR help.


Here's where to help! (This is my PERSONAL Obama fund raising page.)

Pass it along!!

Hey, I Didn't Say Limbaugh WAS a Child Molester

I just want to hear him deny it.

After all, it works for Fox News.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Short, Succinct Reason I Want the Republicans to Lose BIG This Year





No, that about sums it up.

The National Media: All Criticism of John McCain is OFF LIMITS!

Democrats, progressives, liberals, moderates and independents worried about our country's future, and fed-up Republicans are moving toward Barack Obama. But there is a powerful group determined to stop Obama and put John McCain in the White House. THE NATIONAL NEWS MEDIA. Don't believe it? Check it out here, and then ponder the conclusion of the article:


Let's pause for a moment to review. According to the news media, if you call John McCain a "hero," but say that heroism doesn't qualify him to be president, you have dishonorably attacked his military service. (Feel free, however, to say the same thing about John Kerry.) And if you criticize McCain's Iraq policies, you are participating in "an organized campaign against John McCain's military service."


But wait! There's more!


The media's knee-jerk defense of McCain doesn't stop at their use of his military service to rule criticism of his Iraq policies out of bounds. It extends to (things having nothing to do with) his age, too. See, if you criticize John McCain for ignoring his own pledge to avoid negative campaigning, the media will quickly announce that you're really attacking his age. That was ridiculous, of course, but McCain aide Mark Salter told them to say it, so they did.


You get the picture: the media is on the verge of declaring any criticism of John McCain off-limits -- even when it isn't really criticism. Even when you call him a "hero," but not quite enthusiastically enough.


One of the hallmarks of the Karl Rove era of GOP politics is that the Republicans aren't particularly subtle about their tactics. They tend to clearly telegraph what they intend to do, though often with the slight wrinkle of accusing the opposition of doing what they plan to do themselves.


That is certainly true of the McCain campaign. In the very memo in which Salter convinced the media to pretend that Obama's criticism of McCain's negative campaigning was an attack on the Arizona senator's age, Salter wrote: "Senator Obama is hopeful that the media will continue to form a protective barrier around him, declaring serious limits to the questions, discussion and debate in this race."


Yes, that's John McCain's senior adviser complaining that the media has formed a "protective barrier" around Barack Obama.


I've said it before, folks--if you're a Democrat the national media IS YOUR ENEMY. They are working 24/7 to put McCain in the White House. Let these clowns who are kissing McCain's ass hear from us--loud and clear--that we're not going to stand for this bullshit one minute longer.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

All Aboard the Double Talk Express!



Help it go viral, baby!

The John McCain Lobbyist Mafia

Check it out here, courtesy of Talking Points Memo. McCain has surrounded himself with a startling array of con artists, particularly the gruesome borderline criminal Phil Gramm, who has been at the center of every major financial scandal of the last twenty years, and Charlie Black, a racist thug who worked for the late, unlamented Jesse Helms and who has represented a host of barbaric governments in his career. An eye-opening group, to say the least.

Yeah, McCain--he's really Mr. Integrity, isn't he?

Friday, July 04, 2008

Yes! Jesse Helms Finally Drops Dead!

The Senator from the Klan, the last true unreconstructed white racist in the Senate (as David Broder put it when Helms stepped down in 2003 after 30 years of doing damage to our nation), has died. He was a vicious, hate-filled bastard who spewed out his venom against anyone different from himself, and he represented EVERYTHING that is perverted, sick, corrupt, and evil in the conservative movement. His violent tirades against gays were especially ugly. If I believed in hell, I'd say he was rotting there today. Screw him. I'm glad he's dead. Too bad it didn't happen a long time ago.


A great way to celebrate the Glorious Fourth!

UPDATE: Think I'm being over the top? Check this out. Samples:

As an aide to the 1950 Senate campaign of North Carolina Republican candidate Willis Smith, Helms reportedly helped create attack ads against Smith's opponent, including one which read: "White people, wake up before it is too late. Do you want Negroes working beside you, your wife and your daughters, in your mills and factories? Frank Graham favors mingling of the races." Another ad featured photographs Helms himself had doctored to illustrate the allegation that Graham's wife had danced with a black man. (The News and Observer, 8/26/01; The New Republic, 6/19/95; The Observer, 5/5/96; Hard Right: The Rise of Jesse Helms, by Ernest B. Furgurson, Norton, 1986)

Ancient history? No. Helms remains unapologetic to this day. Forty years after the Smith campaign, Helms would win election against black opponent Harvey Gantt with another ad playing to racist white fear-- the so-called "white hands" ad, in which a white man's hands crumple a rejected job application while a voiceover intones, "You needed that job…but they had to give it to a minority."

In columns, commentaries and pronouncements from the Senate floor, Helms sowed hatred and called names: The University of North Carolina was "the University of Negroes and Communists." (Capital Times, 11/22/94) Black civil rights activists were "Communists and sex perverts."

(Copley News Service, 8/23/01) Of civil rights protests Helms wrote, "The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that's thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt traffic, and interfere with other men's rights." (WRAL-TV commentary, 1963)

He also wrote, "Crime rates and irresponsibility among Negroes are a fact of life which must be faced." (New York Times, 2/8/81)

Over the years Helms has declared homosexuality "degenerate," and homosexuals "weak, morally sick wretches." (Newsweek, 12/5/94) In a tirade highlighting his routine opposition to AIDS research funding, Helms lashed out at the Kennedy-Hatch AIDS bill in 1988: "There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy." (States News Service, 5/17/88)

More recently, when a caller to CNN's Larry King Live show praised guest Jesse Helms for "everything you've done to help keep down the niggers," Helms' response was to salute the camera and say, "Well, thank you, I think." (Wilmington Star-News, 9/16/95)

Finally, Helms' strong if sometimes shadowy support for violent, anti-democratic forces abroad, from South Africa to El Salvador, might have given media outlets further pause in describing him as a mere conservative; few probed his ties to groups that would more accurately be described as fascist. One exception was an editorial in the Boston Globe (8/23/01): "Helms' role in supporting foreign thugs such as Roberto D'Aubuisson, the cashiered Salvadoran major who ran death squads responsible for savage political murders, did lasting harm to America's good name. In South Africa, Argentina, Mozambique, Honduras, and Nicaragua, Helms cooperated with racists and fascists who have nothing in common with the ideals of American democracy."

Yes, good riddance to Jesse. Should have happened long ago.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Every Picture Tells a Story

Why McCain should be sweating bullets:




SIXTY-EIGHT PER CENT of the American people are worried that McCain is going to be an extension of Commander Chimpy McCodpiece, with almost half of all Americans VERY worried about it. And do you know why they're worried that a McCain presidency would simply be a third term for Bush?

BECAUSE A McCAIN PRESIDENCY WOULD BE A THIRD TERM FOR BUSH, THAT'S WHY.



Stick to Your Guns, General Clark!

Wes isn't backing down one damned inch from his ACCURATE AND TRUTHFUL remarks about John McCain. I notice, btw, that one of the people that McCain has brought on board to attack Clark is a particularly vicious, lying Swift Boat thug from 2004, one who called John Kerry a traitor. Now THAT was an attempt to smear a Vietnam veteran, not what Wes Clark said. Anyone who says Clark denigrated McCain's service is either a fool or a liar, maybe both.

Screw the Republicans. Swing the hammer, Wes!!

AMAZING! Even in Retrospect, McCain Would STILL Vote to Invade Iraq

Tell me again why this idiot wouldn't be a bloody freaking disaster.

Yes, I guess the 35,000 dead or wounded Americans, the 100,000+ dead Iraqi civilians, the 2,000,000 refugees, and the $600,000,000,000 spent (so far) all for the sake of eliminating WMDs that DIDN'T EXIST and overthrowing an (admittedly brutal) dictator THAT POSED NO THREAT TO THE UNITED STATES was all worth, wasn't it John?


You right wing hack.

The Rise of the Right Wing Propaganda Machine

Robert Parry has the shocking and infuriating story here. Since the 1980s the Republicans, aided by enormous amounts of money from right wing lunatic Sun Myung Moon and others like him, have established a disinformation-spewing monster that attacks Democrats with a shower of lies and secretly manipulates public opinion in favor of the Radical Right's agenda. Key sections:

... the Reagan administration [built] a domestic covert propaganda apparatus managed by a CIA propaganda and disinformation specialist working out of the National Security Council.

“One of the CIA’s most senior covert action operators was sent to the NSC in 1983 by CIA Director [William] Casey where he participated in the creation of an inter-agency public diplomacy mechanism that included the use of seasoned intelligence specialists,” the chapter’s conclusion stated.


“This public/private network set out to accomplish what a covert CIA operation in a foreign country might attempt – to sway the media, the Congress, and American public opinion in the direction of the Reagan administration’s policies.”

...[The] right-wing domestic propaganda operation not only survived the Iran-Contra fallout but thrived.

So did some of the administration’s collaborators, such as South Korean theocrat Sun Myung Moon and Australian press mogul Rupert Murdoch, two far-right media barons who poured billions of dollars into pro-Republican news outlets that continue to influence Washington’s political debates to this day.

Before every presidential election, Moon’s Washington Times plants derogatory – and often false – stories about Democratic contenders, discrediting them and damaging their chances of winning the White House.

For instance, in 1988, the Times published a bogus account suggesting that the Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis had undergone psychiatric treatment. In 2000, Moon’s newspaper pushed the theme that Al Gore suffered from clinical delusions. [For details, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege.]

As for Murdoch, his giant News Corp. expanded into American cable TV with the founding of Fox News in 1996. Since then, the right-wing network has proved highly effective in promoting attack lines against Democrats or anyone else who challenges the Republican power structure.

As President George W. Bush herded the nation toward war with Iraq in 2002-03, Fox News acted like his sheep dogs making sure public opinion didn’t stray too far off. The “Fox effect” was so powerful that it convinced other networks to load up with pro-war military analysts and to silence voices that questioned the invasion. [See Neck Deep.]

**********

In the two decades since the Iran-Contra scandal, both Murdoch and Moon have continued to pour billions of dollars into media outlets that have influenced the course of U.S. history, often through the planting of propaganda and disinformation much like a CIA covert action might do in a hostile foreign country...

Beyond these individuals, the manipulative techniques that were refined in the 1980s – especially the skill of exaggerating foreign threats – have proved durable, bringing large segments of the American population into line behind the Iraq War in 2002-03.

Only now – with more than 4,100 U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead – are many of these Americans realizing that were manipulated by clever propaganda, that their perceptions had been managed.

For instance, the New York Times recently pried loose some 8,000 pages of Pentagon documents revealing how the Bush administration had manipulated the public debate on the Iraq War by planting friendly retired military officers on TV news shows.

Retired Green Beret Robert S. Bevelacqua, a former analyst on Murdoch’s Fox News, said the Pentagon treated the retired military officers as puppets: “It was them saying, ‘we need to stick our hands up your back and move your mouth for you.’” [NYT, April 20, 2008, or see Consortiumnews.com’s “US News Media’s Latest Disgrace.”]

Bush’s former White House press secretary Scott McClellan described similar use of propaganda tactics to justify the Iraq War in his book, What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception.

From his insider vantage point, McClellan cited the White House’s “carefully orchestrated campaign to shape and manipulate sources of public approval” – and he called the Washington press corps “complicit enablers.”

Read the whole thing, and then tell me you still believe that America is the freest country in the world.