SwingStateProject: OH-07: Republicans Assail Neuhardt for Aiding Rwandan Genocide Survivor

SwingStateProject (9/24/08)

OH-07: Republicans Assail Neuhardt for Aiding Rwandan Genocide Survivor

Republican state Sen. Steve Austria, running to replace retiring GOP Rep. Dave Hobson in an R+6 central Ohio district, is spewing out a “unique” new attack against his Democratic opponent, attorney Sharen Neuhardt. Austria is now criticizing her family’s sponsorship of a Rwandan political refugee and survivor of that country’s brutal genocide:

Austria’s campaign manager, Brad Mascho, told Cox News that “harboring an illegal immigrant with a criminal record is a serious matter.”

There are lies and then there are vile lies — this one is the latter. As Jeff at the Ohio Daily Blog writes, Ishema Umuhoza has been living in the United States legally as he waits for federal courts to review his petition for political asylum. In the meantime, he graduated from the University of Dayton in 2005 and had some minor brushes with the law (driving without a license and walking home while intoxicated). The Neuhardt family has been aiding Umuhoza since 2002, offering him a place to stay and taking up his legal fight for political asylum in the courts. In turn, Republican Steve Austria and the slimeballs at the NRCC are attacking Neuhardt for her act of generosity.

Media Matters: Hannity falsely claimed Raines is “a chief economic adviser” to Obama

Media Matters (9/24/08)

Hannity falsely claimed Raines is “a chief economic adviser” to Obama

Summary: Sean Hannity falsely asserted that former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines is “a chief economic adviser” to Sen. Barack Obama. A McCain campaign ad claims that Raines “advises” Obama — a claim that Raines and the Obama campaign have denied — but even that ad did not claim that Raines is a “chief” adviser.

RightWingNews: Obama Salute Goes Back Further Than We Knew

RightWingNews (9/24/08)

Obama Salute Goes Back Further Than We Knew

It turns out the lineage of the official Obamunist salute goes back further than the astro-hippies on Star Trek.

Here’s the Obamaniac “Sign of Progress”:

…and here’s a photo from the history books…

I thought the idea of the salute was to make a zero, summing up the emptiness of the Obamania phenomenon. But maybe it represents the circle that race-obsessed, socialist progressives go round and round in, decade after decade, without making any progress.

SquareState: HD23 Republican Candidate Links Immigration & Crime, Opposes Spanish Language Ballots

SquareState (9/24/08)

HD23 Republican Candidate Links Immigration & Crime, Opposes Spanish Language Ballots

GOP statehouse hopeful Mary Lynn Wagner has linked immigration with crime in campaign fliers, and opposed Spanish language ballots in remarks published on her website. In a flier distributed on Saturday in Golden, Mrs. Wagner supplies the following bullet point which I quote in full:

IMMIGRATION
Enforce existing laws, penalize employers who willfully hire illegal aliens, enforce English as the State language, report crimes committed by foreign nationals, no sanctuary cities!

Just in case you had any doubt about who Mrs. Wagner has in mind, her web thoughts on ENGLISH AS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE [sic] make things perfectly clear:

I find it especially disturbing that the Colorado Secretary of State provides voter registration and request for an Absentee Ballot in foreign languages:
Formulario de solicitud de inscripci de votante
Solicitud de balota de votar en ausencia
When one must be a citizen to vote and one of the requirements for citizenship is that an applicant “must be able to read, write, speak, and understand words in ordinary usage in the English language.” However, this is probably an unfunded, federal mandate from the Voting Rights Act which is interfering with State’s [sic] Rights [my italics]. In any case, the Balkans, Quebec, and more recently, Holland, have proven that a nation must have a common language. It is a tremendous unifier!

“[F]ederal mandate from the Voting Rights Act which is interfering with State’s [sic] Rights.” Let the words sink in for a second, kids. The point of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was to prevent states like Alabama, Texas, and Mississippi from using the power of local government to interfere with the rights of minority groups under the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. Moreover, “States’ Rights” has long been code talk among those opposed to these Reconstruction Amendments. In a rather unsubtle way Mrs. Wagner is deploying the rhetoric of Confederate dead-enders against voting rights for Latinos.

Weekly Standard: Dem Congressman: Palin Doesn’t Care Too Much About ‘Jews and Blacks’

Weekly Standard (9/24/08)

Dem Congressman: Palin Doesn’t Care Too Much About ‘Jews and Blacks’

This is what playing the race card looks like:

Rep. Alcee Hastings told an audience of Jewish Democrats Wednesday that they should be wary of Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin because “anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks.”

“If Sarah Palin isn’t enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention,” Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida said at a panel about the shared agenda of Jewish and African-American Democrats Wednesday. Hastings, who is African-American, was explaining what he intended to tell his Jewish constituents about the presidential race. “Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks. So, you just think this through,” Hastings added as the room erupted in laughter and applause.

Fox News Fires Producer Who Chyroned Michelle Obama Barack’s “Baby Mama”

Huffington Post (9/24/08)

Fox News Fires Producer Who Chyroned Michelle Obama Barack’s “Baby Mama”

Fox News has fired Jessica Herzberg, the freelance producer responsible for the “Obama’s baby mama” chyron from June, according to Chickaboomer.

In June, during a segment on Fox News’ “America’s Election HQ,” a chyron read: “Outraged Liberals: Stop Picking On Obama’s Baby Mama!”

At the time, Fox News’ Senior Vice President of Programming, Bill Shine, acknowledged Herzberg’s poor judgment, saying, “A producer on the program exercised poor judgment in using this chyron during the segment.”

Herzberg has reportedly moved on to CNBC.

Stumper: The First ‘Postmodern’ Presidency?

Stumper (9/24/08)

The First ‘Postmodern’ Presidency?

In his new article on Team McCain’s willingness to say something misleading and then, when challenged, suggest that the truth or falsity of their statements doesn’t actually matter–Obama commits the first sin, but not the second–the New Republic’s Jonathan Chait highlights a fascinating poly-sci study that I, for one, had never heard of:

Last February, political scientists Brendan Nyhan of Duke and Jason Reifler of Georgia State published the results of an experiment designed to test the effects of political untruths. The results would unsettle any idealist. The first conclusion they found was that lies work. When subjects were confronted with an untrue political claim (President Bush banned stem-cell research; weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq) respondents naturally moved toward those positions. When the lie was corrected, however, the effect of the untruth in moving opinions largely remained. The truth, in other words, is no antidote for a lie.

Their second conclusion was even more disturbing. Subjects who identified as politically conservative were not only immune to the effects of having a lie corrected, the correction made them even more likely to believe a lie. So, for instance, one group of conservative subjects was presented with a news story that depicted President Bush claiming weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq. A second group of conservatives was presented with the same thing, along with a paragraph noting that Bush’s statement was untrue. The second group was more likely than the first to believe that Iraq possessed WMDs. The very fact of the press challenging their beliefs seems to have made conservatives more likely to embrace them. If this finding is broadly correct, then the media’s newfound willingness to fact-check McCain will only succeed in rallying the GOP base to his side.

Who knows if Steve Schmidt and Co. are aware of the Georgia State research. But I suspect that they intuitively grasp its importance. It’s why spokesman Brian Rogers told Politico that “we’re running a campaign to win, and we’re not too concerned about what the media filter tries to say about it.” And it’s why Republican strategist John Feehery informed The Washington Post that “the more The New York Times and The Washington Post go after Sarah Palin, the better off she is, because there’s a bigger truth out there, and the bigger truths are: She’s new, she’s popular in Alaska, and she is an insurgent. As long as those are out there, these little facts don’t really matter.” It’s not just that getting factchecked doesn’t dissuade voters from believing the initial lie. It’s that it actually makes some of them more likely to believe it. So why not just make stuff up?