Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ted Cruz shows he only cares about himself by not endorsing Donald Trump in GOP convention speech


From CNN on Wednesday night:

"Ted Cruz sensationally withheld an endorsement of Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, earning a chorus of boos from the floor before he was upstaged in a power play by the GOP nominee himself."

In many ways, Cruz is the ultimate modern-day Republican. A lot of Republicans are greedy and care only about themselves. But Cruz takes it to a whole new level. Despite his rhetoric, he doesn't give a damn about the Constitution, or the GOP, or the voters, or anyone but himself.

On Wednesday night, we saw exactly why Cruz has earned a lot of harsh criticism this electoral season (with much of the harshest attacks coming from fellow Republicans). Trump has told a lot of lies this campaign---but he definitely told the truth when he said of Cruz:

"He's a nasty guy. Nobody likes him. Nobody in Congress likes him. Nobody likes him anywhere once they get to know him."

I know a lot of Republicans. Almost all of them are greedy and only care about themselves. They really don't give a shit about anyone else. Cruz is simply another example of the modern-day GOP mindset of "I've got mine, screw everyone else."

A good example of this mentality is an acquaintance of mine named Chris. He describes himself as a "rugged individualist," a Republican, and a "hard-core Libertarian." Chris claims to be strongly against ALL government spending with the sole exception of so-called "defense" spending.

If you didn't know the guy and had a conversation with him, you'd be under the impression that Chris lives in a remote cabin somewhere in the wilderness. You would think that he hunts his own food and digs his own well water and lives off the grid. You would think that, after listening to this self-described "rugged individualist." But you'd be wrong.

In reality, Chris is a retired government employee. For 25 years, he worked in what he himself describes as a "cushy" easy government office job. He enjoyed lavish benefits, like seven-week paid vacations that private sector workers could only dream of. Chris then retired in his 40s with a full government paid pension of $60,000 a year. That rock solid pension will be guaranteed until the day he dies, even if he lives to be 100.

All of this, of course, is paid for by taxpayers. Chris's government pension alone could eventually put a couple of million dollars in his pocket over the coming decades.

The bottom line is: Chris has a fantastic deal---all paid for by the taxpayers. His job benefits are vastly more generous than any private sector job I've ever heard of.

So you might think Chris would be a little bit grateful to the government that gave him a job (and the taxpayers who paid his salary and pension).

But the fact is, Chris has nothing but contempt for the government. And you'll never, ever hear anyone whine louder about having to pay taxes. If you let him, Chris will bend your ear all day about how he's supposedly "never" benefited from the government in any way.

I've known plenty of Republicans like Chris over the years. They talk a good talk about being hard-core "capitalists." And then they put on a pair of their best running shoes and run away to go to work in a cushy government office job for their entire working lives. Many of them, like Chris, are already retired and enjoying their cushy government pensions.

The reason I mention all this is that Ted Cruz reminds me of a lot of these people. After all, the taxpayers pay his lavish salary and the generous pension that he has to look forward to. But does Cruz have any gratitude to the government or the taxpayers?

No. Cruz doesn't give a shit about anyone but himself. Sure, you'll see him loudly whining about government spending. He would shut down the food stamp program tomorrow if he had the chance. But curiously, he doesn't have a word to say about one of the biggest drains on government finance: the lavish pay packets and pensions that government employees like himself get to enjoy. The fact is, a typical food stamp recipient, like a single mom with kids, only get a few thousand bucks worth of benefits a year (and a lot of them work full-time, as well).

Government employees like Cruz get literally millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded salaries and pensions over the course of their lives.

Indeed, Cruz is always whining about the IRS and vowing to shut it down. It makes me wonder if this dumb SOB has ever stopped to consider that, if it wasn't for the IRS, he wouldn't get a salary or a pension.

Say what you want to about Donald Trump. But he does seem to be aware of the fact that the government screws over the taxpayers to fund a lot of cushy (and let's face it, unnecessary) government jobs and pensions. Trump puts his money where his mouth is---he even has said he'll not accept his $400,000/year presidential salary if he's elected.

I very rarely agree with Republicans on anything. But I do have to admit, I wholeheartedly agreed with the Republicans who soundly booed Cruz at the GOP convention on Wednesday. They seemed to grasp a basic truth about Cruz: the guy only cares about himself and he doesn't give a shit about the Republican Party, (or indeed, who wins in November).

"Conservatives" like Cruz would likely defend his stance of "I've got mine, screw everyone else." But the likes of Cruz need to be reminded that it's We The People who pay his lavish salary and pension. This asshole works for us, whether he realizes it or not. If these people have such contempt for the government, then they need to quit their f*cking cushy government jobs and go get a real job in the private sector that they claim to adore so much.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

"The New York Times" Still Peddling Long-Debunked Bill Clinton Haircut Myth


In 1993, the mainstream media peddled the myth that Los Angeles International Airport shut its runways for nearly an hour and inconvenienced many ordinary passengers whose flights were delayed so President Bill Clinton could get a haircut. The "story" was Page One news in "The New York Times," "The Los Angeles Times," "The Washington Post," "The Boston Globe," and elsewhere.

There was only one problem: the story was complete bullshit.

But that's OK. The media does sometimes screw up. Nobody's perfect.

There's only one problem, though. Here we are, nearly a quarter of a century later and the media is still peddling the "haircut" myth.

Are we talking about Fox "News"? Uh, no, actually, we're talking about "The New York Times," a newspaper that is allegedly "Liberal."

On Wednesday, the "Times" once again regurgitated the long-debunked myth about Clinton's haircut, in an article about French President Francois Hollande getting expensive haircuts on the taxpayers' dime.

As the "Times" put it: "In 1993, two of Los Angeles International Airport’s runways were shut for nearly an hour so that President Bill Clinton’s Beverly Hills hairstylist could come aboard Air Force One to give him a haircut." (Note: by the time you read this, it's possible that the "Times" will have run a correction---but as of 10 p.m. Central Time, July 13, the "Times" is still peddling the haircut myth).

When I read this story yesterday, I vaguely recalled reading somewhere that this story had been long ago debunked. Then I remembered: I'd encountered this fact years ago, not in a "New York Times" correction, but in a 2005 Al Franken interview on Air America.

Rather than run a correction in 1993, "The New York Times" has continued to peddle the Clinton haircut myth over and over for more than 20 years. As media watchdog site, Media Matters put it in 2007, the story was long ago exposed as a crock:

According to Federal Aviation Administration records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the May 18 haircut caused no significant delays of regularly scheduled passenger flights - no circling planes, no traffic jams on the runways.

Media Matters has debunked "The New York Times" claim over and over----and yet, the "Times" has repeatedly regurgitated the haircut "story."

It's a myth that just won't die, much like the "Vince Foster was murdered" story and Al Gore supposedly claiming to have "invented" the Internet.

Comedian Bill Maher has a segment on his show that refers to right-wing "Zombie Lies" that are regurgitated over and over and never die.

You know what else never dies? Right-wing (and corporate media) lies about Democrats.

Over the years, I'd bet there's probably been more coverage of "stories" like the Clinton haircut and the Vince Foster "murder" and Obama's birth certificate than there has been of real scandals like Valerie Plame (remember her? The vast majority of Americans don't). That was a real scandal. But the same media that snoozed through the Plame case never misses a chance to trot out the Clinton "haircut" myth.

You know, it's one thing if the OxyMoron Limbaugh peddles crap like this. It's quite another thing if the "Times" does it. After all, a lot of people take the "Times" seriously. (Actually, I don't---and I haven't since "Times" reporter Judith Miller wrote stories supporting the pack of lies that Bush used to peddle his Iraq invasion). Of course, that was a much more serious failing by the "Times." Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children died.

But still, I find it astonishing that, after 23 years, the "Times" has yet to stop printing lies about Bill Clinton's 1993 haircut. Who needs Limbaugh when you've got "The New York Times" peddling the same outrageous lies?