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Posts tagged "Jonah Goldberg"

H/T: Tom Kludt at TPM

Right-wing media have been Hobby Lobby’s biggest fans in the Supreme Court showdown between the federal government and the company over the health care law’s contraception coverage mandate, championing Hobby Lobby as only interested in protecting its religious liberties. But according to new documents obtained by Salon, the company is an active partner to activist groups pushing their Christian agenda into American law. 

This week the Supreme Court took on the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate, hearing arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, a case which could allow secular, for-profit corporations an unprecedented religious exemption from the requirement that all health insurance cover preventive services like birth control. The conservative plaintiff, Hobby Lobby, is arguing that some emergency contraceptives covered by the mandate amount to abortion — even though they don’t.

In the process, Hobby Lobby has become a darling of right-wing media, who have championed its cause and framed the company as a family-owned, Christian, small business victimized by the ACA.

Over at National Review, editor Rich Lowry framed the Green family — Hobby Lobby’s owners — as “law-abiding people running an arts-and-craft-chain,” “minding their own business,” until “Uncle Sam showed up to make an offer that the Greens couldn’t refuse — literally.” Jonah Goldberg, in an op-ed in USA Today, claimed that all Hobby Lobby is asking is to leave birth control decisions up to women and their doctors.

The conservative media sphere has repeatedly characterized Hobby Lobby as merely seeking “religious freedom.” As Fox News host Eric Bolling described the case, ”your religious freedom, guaranteed to you by the constitution, hangs in the balance.” He added that the mandate “feels like political ideology trumping small business.” The network has even given Hobby Lobby’s attorney the platform to champion the company’s small town virtues.

It turns out that the company right-wing media have worked so hard to champion has a significant hidden political agenda. On March 27 Salon broke the story that it had obtained a document revealing Hobby Lobby’s political funding ties to a network of activist groups “deeply engaged in pushing a Christian agenda into American law.”

According to Salon, a 2009 Tax Filing Form revealed that Crafts Etc., a Hobby Lobby affiliate company, and Jon Cargill, the CFO of Hobby Lobby, contributed a total of nearly $65 million in 2009 alone to the National Christian Charitable Foundation — one of the biggest contributors to the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Center for Arizona Policy.

These organizations pushed SB 1062 — the anti-gay legislation recently vetoed by AZ Governor Jan Brewer — to the AZ Statehouse, and their agendas include many other discriminatory and dangerous policies including legislation that forces women to have invasive ultrasounds before abortions.

The National Christian Charitable Foundation also contributed over $90,000 in 2012 to the Becket Fund, the legal group representing Hobby Lobby in its current Supreme Court battle over Obamacare’s contraception mandate. As Salon explained the relationship:

Seen in this light, the ideological connection between the Hobby Lobby suit and Arizona’s recently vetoed legislation becomes clearer: One seeks to allow companies the right to deny contraceptive coverage while the other would permit businesses to deny services to LGBT people. “There are really close legal connections between [Arizona’s anti-gay SB 1062 bill] and the [Hobby Lobby] Supreme Court case,” Emily Martin, vice president and general counsel at the National Women’s Law Center, told Salon. “Ideologically, the thing that unites the two efforts is an attempt to use religious exercise as a sword to impose religious belief on others, even if it harms others, which would be a radical expansion of free exercise law,” said Martin.

And the common thread is the much bigger trend across the country. “Individuals and entities with religious objections to certain laws that protect others are seeking to use their religion to trump others,” Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project, told Salon.

h/t: Olivia Kittel & Michelle Leung at MMFA

(via MSNBC’s Hayes: ‘The Only Way Out is Through’)

Chris Hayes opened his show with an editorial tonight and I’m right there with him. I’m sick to death of the media coverage comparing the rollout of the Affordable Care Act to Katrina. I’ve had it with the Republicans doing everything in their power to do real damage to real people’s lives with their sabotage and obstruction and like Hayes, I’m fed up with these weak kneed Democrats thinking that they can distance themselves from the law politically if they wanted to.

As Hayes noted during the opening to his rant, Media Matters had a very simple rebuttal to the talking point about Obamacare vs. Hurricane Katrina. Here’s some of the rest and it was definitely a breath of fresh air from what has dominated the better part of his own network’s broadcast time.

HAYES: If you’re anything like me, you’ve watched the last several weeks unfold with a potent mix of rage, frustration and exasperation and I will confess, as I’ve followed the coverage and immersed myself in the stories, here in the studio every day, I find myself pissed off at just about everyone.

I’m angry at a White House that failed to properly implement the single most important law they’ve ever passed, or that anyone has passed in a generation, that handed their ideological and political enemies ammunition, which they are now gleefully firing off at anything that moves, including, stalwart progressive allies and politicians who backed the White House and vouched for the law with voters.

For those of us on the single-payer left, the entire spectacle is particularly maddening, since many of us spent years noting the drawbacks, complexities and Rube Goldbergian nature of the entire Romneycare mandate and subsidies model. Those of us who worried that without a public option, insurance companies would use the law to manipulate and panic consumers. Those of us who worried about that, but ultimately embraced, celebrated and rejoiced at that ACA as a massive step forward on the long march for justice.

I’m also angry at a mainstream media, that due to a combination of gullibility, privilege and sloppiness has managed to elevate the story of a very small sliver of the health insurance market into a national panic, while largely allowing the names and faces and fates of the millions of poor people who will be denied health care by Republican governors to remain anonymous and untold.

But most of all, I’m quite simply appalled as I watch a Republican party and a conservative movement not even pretend to hide their glee, and schadenfreude over problems with the law they have done everything in their power to sabotage, destroy and discredit.

Hayes went on to take Jonah Goldberg to the woodshed along with other conservatives who are talking about what “great news” it is that people are going to be denied access to health care. Hayes final criticism was for the wobbly Democrats who are trying to back away from the law and he wrapped things up with this reminder for all of them.

HAYES: There is no separating yourself from this law. That goes for all of us on the left. If you think the ACA can go down and leave you unscathed, you are sorely mistaken. We are all in the same boat. […]

Health care is something every single person uses and every time, in every country a society has decided to reform the delivery of it, it has been done against the kicking and screaming and sabotage and backlash and rage of entrenched interest and reactionaries.

There is a reason almost a centuries’ worth of presidents and congresses tried and failed to pass health care reform. There is a reason passing and maintaining the Affordable Care Act has been so arduous; because it is the most ambitious piece of social legislation in this country in a generation.

And so amidst the deserved criticisms and bad press and the undeserved hysteria and shameful gloating, one thing is clear.

The only path left for those of us left committed to the goal of health care for all is forward. No retreat. No surrender. No going back. The only way out is through.

This won’t be the last battle. Others will come and there will be more after that and there’s never, ever going to be some calm final equilibrium where everything works and no one’s trying to take health care away.

There is only struggle today, tomorrow, forever, because nothing worth doing ever came without it.

At least most of them aren’t snickering about the blood clot.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was recently hospitalized after doctors found a blood clot in her head, a condition that ABC News reported was “potentially ‘life-threatening.’” The hospitalization came in the wake of the news in December that Clinton had suffered a concussion after catching a virus, becoming dehydrated, and feinting.

The unhinged concussion response seemed to mark the unofficial return of the Clinton Crazies, that marauding mindset among conservatives who spent the 90’s launching endless attacks against the Clintons; vicious and wildly personal attacks that went far beyond partisan debate. (i.e. Accusations of killings and mass murder.)

What else explains the conservative media’s decision to treat Clinton’s head trauma as being side-splittingly funny? There’s something very disturbing about how it coalesced around its strategy to make fun of her health. I’d suggest there’s also very distasteful about gleefully mocking the health of a woman in her mid-sixties.

But boy, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham thought the story was a hoot:

Ingraham loved the tasteless “Immaculate Concussion” quip so much she went on The O’Reilly Factor that same night and shared it with a national television audience, delighting in the phrase. Host Bill O’Reilly couldn’t contain his laughter. “I haven’t heard that! That’s good!” roared O’Reilly.

Still laughing, Ingraham responded, “Did she really have a concussion? Maybe she did. I mean, who knows.”

In truth, it might be easier to list the Fox talkers who didn’t laugh out loud while discussing Clinton’s faltering health last month. On The Five, Dana Perino chortled when co-host Greg Gutfeld joked Clinton couldn’t have a concussion since she’d been “ducking everything” regarding Benghazi. Later that same night, Sean Hannity’sshared a chuckle with Fox’s Charles Krauthammer for mocking Clinton’s “acute Benghazi allergy.” (A “good line,” Hannity assured his guest.) It was noteworthy that Fox host Greta Van Susteren went out of her way, via her blog, to distance herself from the “sarcastic” and “snarky” Fox News comments about Clinton’s health.

The topic of Clinton’s faltering condition became a running joke for weeks. Right up until the day the troubling blood clot news was revealed, National Review Online editor Jonah Goldberg was still making light of her condition:

In the December 31 issue of The Weekly Standard, readers were encouraged to laugh at the news of Clinton’s head trauma.

Blogger and USA Today columnist Glenn Reynolds recently made sure to share with readers a photoshopped picture of Clinton (with her head attached to a burly man’s body) that suggested she was “drunk as skunk” when she fell and suffered a concussion:

Reynolds also hyped the blatant lie that that Clinton had flown to a “Caribbean resort” for New Year’s Eve.

Reynolds’ baseless behavior was not unexpected. Two weeks earlier he had treated the concussion revelation as one big joke, writing, “HELP, I’VE FALLEN AND I CAN’T TESTIFY ABOUT BENGHAZI”

When Clinton’s doctor recently announced a blood clot had been found during an examine, Reynolds quickly linked to right-wing conspiracist Ann Althouse, who in a pair of blog posts wondered if the “oddities” surrounding Clinton’s health reports stemmed from “fakery.” When critics lampooned her rumor mongering, Althouse insisted she’d been sponsoring “political debate” by raising baseless doubts about the Clinton story.

In the New York Times report about Clinton’s blood clot, the newspaper quoted David Rothkopf, an acting Commerce Department under secretary in the Bill Clinton, who noted the heated politicization of the Hillary Clinton’s health. Beseeching common decency, Rothkopf urged partisan to stop the unseemly behavior and to just act like “human beings.”

For the Clinton Crazies, that’s not always an option.

H/T: Eric Boehlert at MMFA

The National Review’s Jonah Goldberg is claiming that 18-year-olds should be denied the right to vote because they are “so frickin’ stupid about so many things.” In a video first posted by the Daily Caller, Goldberg laments the culture’s obsession with youth and argues that conservatives should “beat out” young people’s belief that “socialism is better than capitalism.”

The magazine fired popular conservative columnist John Derbyshire in April after he topped off a long history of racism and sexism by advising children to avoid “concentrations of black.” It later ended its relationship with Robert Weissberg, who had ties to the white nationalist group American Renaissance.

H/T: Igor Volsky at Think Progress

Yesterday, a post appeared on a Google+ account representing itself as belonging to Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman:

The trouble is, Krugman doesn’t have a Google+ account and did not make this statement. This morning, a post from Krugman on his actual New York Times blog explained:

Well, this is interesting. I hear that the not-so-good people at National Review are attacking me over something I said on my Google+ page. Except, I don’t have a Google+ page.


Apparently some people can’t find enough things to attack in what I actually say, so they’re busy creating fake quotes. And I have enough on my plate without trying to chase all this stuff down.

So if you see me quoted as saying something really stupid or outrageous, and it didn’t come from the Times or some other verifiable site, you should probably assume it was a fake.

A number of right-wing outlets jumped on this statement without bothering to check whether the Google+ account actually belonged to Krugman.

The Washington Examiner's Tim Carney tweeted:

Hot Air, following the link from Carney, put up a post attacking Krugman, which it later updated to acknowledge that Krugman never made the statement.

The Washington Examiner's Conn Carroll wrote a piece with the headline “Quake exposes Keynesian fraud,” which has since been updated to acknowledge that the Krugman statement was a hoax. However, Carroll apparently stands by his attacks on Krugman:

Some thought Krugman’s pining for more damage was so outrageous that the Google+ post was a hoax. Maybe it is. [UPDATE: It is a hoax!] But Krugman’s quake statement is perfectly in line with everything else he has ever said on the subject. After 9/11, Krugman wrote: “Ghastly as it may seem to say this, the terror attack — like the original day of infamy, which brought an end to the Great Depression — could even do some economic good.” In 2008 he said on This Week: “it took an enormous public works program known as World War II to bring the economy out of a Depression.” And just recently Krugman suggested that massive government defense spending to prevent a fictional alien invasion could also spur economic growth.

But what happens when the aliens don’t attack? Wouldn’t all that spending on anti-alien rays be wasted? Yes. But the Church of Keynsianism doesn’t care. As long as government policy is driving up spending, it doesn’t matter what the government spends the money on or what else gets destroyed in the process.

Reason magazine also put up a post without bothering to investigate whether the account was legitimate:

The post has now been updated with an apology.

National Review Online’s Kevin Williamson indicated that he hoped he was “being had” but, like many of his conservative colleagues, did not bother to investigate further before putting up his post:

First the stimulus wasn’t big enough. Now the earthquake isn’t big enough. Paul Krugman:

People on twitter might be joking, but in all seriousness, we would see a bigger boost in spending and hence economic growth if the earthquake had done more damage.

I honestly cannot tell if I am being had here. I hope I am. 

Where’s the Nikkei opening today?

However, the winner in this contest of irresponsible reporting may be National Review Online’s Jonah Goldberg. He sent out numerous sarcastic tweets attacking Krugman for his supposed statement, and has thus far not retracted:

This is not the first time right-wing websites have skipped the fact-checking process and reprinted as fact something that later turned out to be a fabrication.

h/t: Media Matters For America