Tag Archives: Glenn Beck

The Morning Grumpy

1 Jul


I have a voracious appetite for internet memes, video, podcasts, news and analysis, so each morning I’ll share several links that you can consume during your “morning grumpy”.

1. Van Jones, liberal firebrand, has started a new movement you should give a shit about. It’s called “Rebuild The Dream“. It’s the liberal answer to the Koch-funded Tea Party. I’ll let Van explain the three pillars of the movement. Check it out.


2. This conversation at Forbes is about Detroit, but it might as well be about any rust belt city.

3. The Sunlight Foundation has created some excellent tools to increase government transparency, including something called the Influence Explorer. The tool shows that Bank of America is among the heaviest investors in Congress. Bank of America made $3,613,051 in campaign contributions in the 2009-10 election cycle, 62 percent of which went to Republicans. Read about how much other banks and investment firms have donated to influence policy.

4. In the current economic recovery, 88% of national income growth has gone to corporate profits while just 1% has gone to wages. Wow.

5. Have kids? You’ve undoubtedly read them the book “Goodnight Moon“. Here is the backstory of the meandering, royalty-funded life of the guy who inherited the rights to the book.

6. Contrary to what Republicans keep repeating on all those “liberal media” channels, Americans are fine with raising some taxes along with cutting spending in a bid to cut the deficit and the debt.

7. Still think Fox is “Fair and Balanced”? Well, let this be proof that it was never intended to be anything but a GOP propaganda machine. Seriously.

8. Keith Olbermann says goodbye to Glenn Beck. Fantastic.


9. Reading material for the weekend, The Atlantic highlights the 14 Biggest Ideas of the year.

Jack Davis’ Outburst Contextualized

5 May

The other day, I posted a video of an irate, irascible Jack Davis doing his best Archie Bunker impression, yelling at a questioner at a candidates’ forum to “shut up, you!” At least one commenter said he’d love more context as to why Davis was being such a meanie.

The questioner was Michael Madigan, an active member of the Rus Thompson/Palinist/Glenn Beck wing of the local tea party establishment – at odds with the Ostrowskiite/anarcho-capitalist/Paulist/Jack Davis payoff/glibertarian wing of said tea party. Some tipsters sent along information that Madigan, who is dogging Davis throughout the district asking him questions specifically about his stance on abortion, himself works for a local biotechnology firm whose corporate parent is a leader in embryonic stem cell research. I sent Mr. Madigan the following email:

Yesterday, I posted a video that Rus had posted to his FB page because it was emailed to me, and I detest Davis. Someone emailed me to tell me that it was you who Davis barked “shut up” at, and that you’ve been following him at various forums to press him on his stance on abortion. It was relayed to me that you are vehemently anti-abortion, and that you have focused on that issue to attack Davis.

Someone else then pointed out to me that you work for Invitrogen in its product development team, and that Invitrogen is owned by Life Technologies, which is among the largest embryonic stem cell research companies in the US. I’m wondering how you rationalize your pro-life views, as well as your vocal political pro-life activity with what your company does.

Your response may be published at WNYMedia.net.

Thank you,


Mr. Madigan sent me the following:

Thanks for asking prior to posting second hand items Alan:

My position on abortion is consistent with Corwin’s – anti partial birth, not for outlawing. I consider abortion a wedge issue that is used as a political football and it should not be. I do not believe either side should be cashing in on it fund raising wise.

Regarding stalking:
Check meet-up record for We Surround Rochester on-line – I have been a member of Rochester We Surround group since November 2009 and attended all of their candidate vetting sessions – all of them. I attended vetting of Reed, Burkle, Rowland, Paladino, Redlich (he was on Skype), Roberto, DioGuardi and Bernsten…… Jack Davis flatters himself thinking I am stalking him.

For this past Saturday’s meeting -I worked with Paul S (We Surround Roch Co-organizer) to extend invite to Kathy Hochul (see below e-mail). – We truly wanted all 3 candidates present so we could hear their positions and voters could make an informed choice – that is our goal. I extended invite to Kathy Hochul for the prior vetting sessions as well – as she will verify – Niagara Patriots meeting and TEA New York sessions.

You should read the reviews Davis received from that meeting Saturday -ouch!! (Meet-ups have post meeting on-line reviews)…Davis even scared a young child, as per the reviews, due to his angry displays. He even admitted he was angry. Corwin received very positive reviews. It has not been reported widely but when Corwin entered the room and extended her hand to shake Davis’s hand he shouted liar in her face and the crowd gasped (reviews capture that at “We surround site).

It is regrettable that Hochul failed to attend 3 out of 4 of these meetings to make her case to her potential voters – she would have done better than Davis – she apparently did not feel she could field the questions well. Hochul did attend 1 vetting session with TEA New York where she struggled with the Federal questions/she did well with state and local.

While not a voter in the 26th district I assist with organizing such events for voter education – frequently the sessions are outside of my district but most who attend are in the district. I attend and participate in >90% of the meetings held by each of the groups where Davis appeared. Our goal is to have fully informed voters entering the voting booth that have heard the positions of all legitimate candidates unfiltered.

Best regards;
Mike M

I’ll let my question and Mike’s answer speak for themselves, but will comment on one thing – Hochul. Kathy Hochul has nothing really to gain from appearing before tea party groups, because (a) they’re populated by people who aren’t quite likely to support her; and (b) they’re great at holding forums, but lousy at getting out the vote and doing the other legwork that’s required to make a fundamental impact on a campaign. Jack Davis (supposed Ostrowskiite candidate) got himself on the ballot because he paid people to do it, and in such a volume that it was not cost-effective for his opponents to challenge signatures’ validity. By contrast, Bellavia got almost zero help from the tea party to get his failed petition effort going, and had to rely on his own network of veteran activists. (Incidentally, I don’t think we’ve heard the last of Bellavia as far as the NY-26 race is concerned).

To put it another way, the tea party is just a vocal wing of the Republican Party that likes to pretend it’s not. All talk, no walk. I’ll note two additional factoids: firstly, TEA New York (Palinists) are quite vocally anti-abortion. Furthermore, Madigan is an equally vocal and active supporter, as a member of TEA New York, of Jane “Corwination” Corwin. He voted to endorse her at TEA New York’s forum a few weeks ago, and is actively assisting her campaign, both directly and indirectly. He’s not a resident of the district, so it’s odd why he’d take such a passionate interest in this particular race.

So, there you have it. The reason Jack Davis – payer of Ostrowski tax debts – barked at Mike Madigan is now explained.

Wrong by 1000%

13 Dec


Glenn Beck Institute For Fear and Paranoia

20 Nov

Recently, Glenn Beck created a three part series giving George Soros the Jud Süß treatment. Spending hours of broadcast time to paint Soros as “The Puppet Master” of an evil cabal of liberals who intend to overthrow America. Yes, seriously.


Connecting Soros with shadowy networks, painting him as the architect of non-violent revolutions resulting in the overthrow of national leaders, the king of a mass media empire who intends to destroy America from the inside.

In six years of writing on this website, which includes over three thousand articles, I have never used any sort of reference to Nazism. I find such allusions to be overused and overwrought. Today, that streak ends.  Mr. Beck and his boss Roger Ailes seem to have an affinity for throwing around Nazi allegations and the time Beck spent this week creating a piece of work on Soros was eerily reminiscent of an old Nazi propaganda piece which painted Jews in much the same way.  Here are some choice quotes:

  • Soros seeks a world free of nationalities. It is a global replacement for our republic, for all the work our Founders did, that’s old news. We must progress past it. We must have a new world order. It is a replacement for the republic.
  • Remember, he believes America is a repressive regime. He is turning lives and countries upside down and inside out, and he loves it.  He has to feed the addiction. So, he decides to go after the biggest market yet, America.
  • The puppet master is putting on a show. We’ve been an unwitting audience.  Now, the curtains are being lifted. We’re exposing the extent of his reach.
  • If you thought $5 or $4 a gallon gas is painful, wait until Soros devalues your dollar even more. Forget driving. How about eating?
  • He will gain profit and power — and you will lose both. He’s playing god, which is fine by him because he’s an atheist.
  • So, not only does he want to bring America to her knees, financially, he wants to reap obscene profits off us as well.

Beck’s constant purposeful stupidity and his twisting of historical fact to suit his own narrative reminds me of an old proverb, “The wise understand by themselves; fools follow the reports of others”. The masses who consume this nonsense from Beck trust that this former morning zoo radio host is coming from a place of sincerity and honesty. And, damn, he knows how to sell it.   Chalkboards, puppet shows, visual graphics, accusations, shadowy associations, talk of the new world order…he’s just asking questions, don’t you know!?!?


He sells like a traveling faith healer/huckster in tent revival sessions for the American spirit. The fact that his audience laps it up is inherently troubling for our republic. Has a man of such willful ignorance who routinely engages in purposeful manipulation of fact ever had as big a soapbox as Beck does?

How does a reasonable person deal with a nutjob like Beck who has a broadcast platform that reaches millions?  Well, if you’re Keith Olbermann, you scold Mr. Beck.


Effective?  Not really.

If you’re Jon Stewart, you absolutely destroy Beck with a stomach punch parody of Beck’s propaganda piece and turn the tables on him.

Part 1:


Part 2:


Effective?  Absolutely.

I don’t fear Glenn Beck, but I do fear the millions of brainless automatons who consume his chalkboard scribblings, study his alternative version of American History at the Glenn Beck Institute and then go vote.  Jon Stewart may be an effective counter to Beck, but sanity still needs to be restored.

Quick Political Thoughts

12 Oct

I’ve had a couple political thoughts rattling around in my head for the last couple days – what’s the link:

1) President Obama and the Democratic Party have gone absolutely Beckian. Glenn’s basic rhetorical strategy is to say something outrageous about a person or group, and then dare them to repudiate (refudiate!) his conspiracy theories.

Enter Obama and the Democrats who have charged the US Chamber of Commerce with taking money from foreign corporations to be used specifically for attack ads against Democratic candidates. The Chamber says, “What are you talking about?” The Dems say “If it’s not true, then prove it!” Just like Beck has failed to prove he did not rape and murder a girl in 1990. If you can’t beat them, join them – see the end of item #2.

2) An inherent hypocrisy in modern American Liberalism’s disdain and contempt for the Right has been brought into clearer focus: material wealth as invalidator of political rights.

Slate noted recently that in today’s American politics, the Right thinks the Left is evil, but worse, the Left thinks the Right is crazy, pathetic, retarded, and unworthy of respect. Exhibit A’s is Matt Taibbi’s recent masterpiece of condescension, masquerading as a profile of the Tea Party. The pinnacle:

After lengthy study of the phenomenon, I’ve concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They’re full of shit. All of them.

Taibbi’s article encapsulates not just the objective reasons for the Left’s dismissal of the Tea Party, but the feeling and flavor of it as well. Shorter Matt Taibbi: not only is the Tea Party wrong, but they don’t deserve to have a voice in the first place. Why? Because they are white, by and large, well to do (often by sucking at the government teat).

Thus the essential Liberal contradiction: the movement that dismisses material possessions as unimportant and race as irrelevant invalidates the political beliefs of the Tea Party because the material possessions and race of their followers. Wait?! I thought they didn’t matter? Shorter Liberalism: What are you Teabaggers complaining about – look how good you have it.

If material success should not be a prerequisite for power (see: the Civil Rights movement), then why should an entire movements’ political beliefs be dismissed based upon material success? Is being poor and of color the only way one is allowed to have a legit political voice now? Note that the Tea Party is reading Saul Alinsky, and used his tactics in the Health Care Screaming last year. Liberals loves two things: being smart and defending victims – if the Left thinks the Tea Party is so stupid, then they should be leaping to their feet to save these Teabaggers from themselves, no matter their race or economic success. 

3) It’s time we finally rid ourselves of Antoine Thompson. I mean, seriously. In case you have forgotten, here are all the reasons why.

He has a real opponent this year. Mark Grisanti is winning the lawn sign battle on Grand Island, at least. He can only win the election if the people who are disgusted with Antoine actually vote for him. I could hope Paladino’s coat tails drag him along, but I’d rather stump for him instead.

Glenn Beck, Political Shock Jock

3 Sep

In these times, what does the growing popularity of Glenn Beck mean?  I’ve been thinking about this for months; how did Glenn Beck and “movement conservatives” take the lead out of the wilderness in which Republicans found themselves after the Democrats won a sweeping mandate to govern in 2006 and 2008?  By any measurement, he brought a whole lot of people to the Washington Mall last weekend for what amounted to a prayer service with an underlayment of political messaging…not many media personalities could do the same.


Beck’s anti-intellectualism, cultural and ideological xenophobia and revival tent style proselytizing represent an insurgency into the American politic.  It’s an insurgency of insincerity, quasi libertarian kabuki theater and purposeful pandering that is dumbing down our national debate.  Certainly, there have been many like him before and there will be more like him in the future.  However, Beck is becoming the leader of a movement he helped to create.  The merging of spirituality, fear, purposeful ignorance, revisionism, and propaganda to create a media empire to confuse the masses and profit from becoming their sole voice of reason in the ideological storm of his creation.

Never before has a person of this ilk had so many outlets to reach so many people near instantaneously.  Beck hosts a four hour long, nationally syndicated daily radio show, spends an hour live (with a replay later!) on Fox News, writes blog posts, publishes bestsellers, posts frequent Twitter updates and friends all his fellow cultural warriors on Facebook.  His reach exceeds that of most major news organizations and the narrative he’s selling is being lapped up by a Parsons-like populace so subsumed with media choices that they are looking for any harbor in a storm.  This is what he has wrought:


He has enormous power and his partnership with Fox News, Sarah Palin, the cultural tea party and movement conservatives grows monthly.  He has fomented in many a fear that our nation is on a steady march to socialism, stalinism, fascism, nazism, and/or communism.  That the only way to stop this creeping tide of totalitarianism is to watch his shows, listen to his radio program, read his books, attend his university (even though he never attended one himself), and follow him to freedom.  He has staked out ground to say he’s neither supportive of Republicans nor Democrats, so he has the high water safety regardless of who holds official power.  He is the classic Charlatan and Americans are lapping it up.  How has the sane portion of America ceded so much ground to such a deliberate opportunist?  How has his narrative and that of the ultra-right taken over the agenda of the Republican Party?  Where do we go from here?

In this clip, he compares U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to Kim Jong Il and Mao, all while comparing universities to dictatorial re-education camps.


I mean, really.  This is not a responsible discussion or debate.  It’s the political version of being a radio shock jock on some morning zoo program in a podunk town…just like Beck was before he became the voice of the new right.


King of the Shock Jocks, Howard Stern, breaks down the Glenn Beck phenomenon in his own inimitable way.  In a sign of the upside down times we find ourselves, Howard has morphed into a voice of reason in America.  Seriously.


Lewis Black is My Hero

13 May


It’s Come to This

9 Mar

HT Elizabeth Benjamin at Daily Politics

The Postscript on Massa’s Exit

9 Mar

He left after all, didn’t he. Monday was somewhat of a spiraling descent into the rabbit hole, where the morning headlines touted the fact that passage of health care reform would be eased somewhat by his departure, and the afternoon headlines featured him not going down without a fight. He launched a blistering attack on Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, he said that he was the victim of a plot to oust him over his health care vote, and he’s now preparing to spend an entire hour on not only the Larry King Hour of Ill-Informed Narcolepsy™, but also on the Glenn Beck Hour of Idiotic and Insane ACORN Ranting™.

If Massa was lying or overselling the cancer scare; if he is not being forthcoming about what happened to spur on the ethics investigation, then my trust in him was shortsighted and unfortunate. I always saw him as an honest and forthright guy, and due to his past candor, I give him every benefit of every doubt before assuming he’s full of it.

As a side note to everyone who’s “disappointed” in what I wrote, when I wrote it, and how I wrote it: I don’t care. Be as disappointed as you want. Going into this, Massa was a good guy, a principled guy, a cancer survivor who cited health reasons. The ethical accusations were completely without factual foundation at the time, so it would have been ridiculously speculative for me to condemn or defend any of it. But with each passing hour, the whole thing got weirder and weirder. So, take your disappointment and go read one of those objective blogs that don’t offer an opinion, and don’t hold a political bias.

Massa is too far to the left to be a credible Republican, and he’s burning his Democratic bridges left and right. I don’t know what he plans to do in the future, but clearly it won’t be in elected office. I figure a guy like he wouldn’t go around throwing “they’re out to get me” unless he really believes that. I also have no doubt that Massa ruffled feathers; but it’s one thing to go down fighting – it’s another to drop out of the fight, claim that you’re being forced into it, and BTW they’re all motherfuckers.

Glenn Beck at CPAC

25 Feb