Right Wing

Conservatives, Republicans Keep Up Incorrect Use of the "Nuclear Option"

Republicans and conservative news media outlets like Fox News keep repeating the error made by newly-elected Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, when he mistakenly called the Senate process of reconciliation "the nuclear option." The term the "nuclear option" was coined in 2005 by then-Majority Leader Trent Lott, when Democrats used the filibuster to block the appointment of appeals court judges nominated by George W. Bush. This prompted Republicans to threaten to change the Senate rules so they could cut off debate on judicial nominees using a simple 51-vote majority instead of the required 60-vote majority needed to end a filibuster. The momentousness of this change -- effectively blocking the stalling technique known as the filibuster -- moved some Democrats to dub the Republicans' threat the "nuclear option." Thus, the phrase "nuclear option" refers to a major change in the rules of the Senate, not passing a bill using reconciliation. Passing a bill -- even a large and important bill -- through reconciliation is fairly standard procedure, and has been used many times before to approve major health care reform initiatives.

It's getting clearer that conservatives would rather sling around a scary, loaded old term and hope to elicit some emotional effect than come up with a new term -- or use the right words -- to communicate what they mean.

The Latest Obama-Islam Conspiracy Theory

MDAlogo.jpgThe conservative blogosphere is busy charging that the United States Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) new logo looks suspicious ... like a combination of the Muslim crescent moon and Barack Obama's campaign logo. Some even say they detect a similarity to the logo of Iran's Space Agency.

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Cheney's Huge Blunder

Former VP Dick CheneyIn April, 2009, former vice president Dick Cheney called for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to release classified memos he said demonstrated how well "harsh interrogation methods" -- torture -- worked to prevent terrorist attacks and save lives. But investigators with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) just released a report saying that the CIA memo Cheney cited as justifying U.S. torture contains "plainly inaccurate information" that undermines its conclusions.

Deceptive Big Bank Ads Will be Key to Election 2010

Even before a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision blew the lid off corporate campaign spending, it was clear that the big banks would be key players in the 2010 election cycle. Unemployment will remain high, and so will resentment against the banks -- a volatile combination that will encourage savvy members of Congress to continue to fight for meaningful reform of the financial sector.

The Right Wing Media's Lie Machine

In a video posted on YouTube on February 3, House Representative Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) explains how the right wing media machine creates and spreads disinformation in an effort to smear the left. "Disinformation" should not be confused with "misinformation," the unintentional form of wrong information. Disinformation is produced by people who intend to mislead their audience.

Step 1: Fabricate the Lie

Frank tells how John Fund, an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal, told a lie about him in November of last year: In a speech at a conservative function in Florida called "Restoration Weekend," Fund claimed that, after losing the special election in Massachusetts, Democrats Chuck Schumer and Barney Frank were going to propose a bill to create universal voter registration. Fund further stated that Democrats were going to add all welfare recipients and unemployed people to the voter rolls, and he called it "felon re-enfranchisement." In reality, Frank explains, there was no such bill.

GOP Sends Out Fake "Census" Forms

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has sent out fund raising mailers that mimic the appearance of the 2010 U.S. Census forms, which started going out this week. The letters are sent in plain white envelopes bearing the words "2010 Congressional District Census" and "Do Not Destroy, Official Document." The word "census" is spelled with a capital "C," the same as the U.S. Census Bureau.

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