Lies, distortions and disappointments in a sinking America: No. 1

Distortions:  Rush Limbaugh, the far-right radio talk show host, said on August 11 that a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  Limbaugh was correct up to a point.  The percentage of Republicans voting for the legislation was at least 16% greater than Democrats in the Senate and House.  What Limbaugh  failed to tell his audience was that the Republican Party of today bears little resemblance to the party in 1964.  The Civil Rights Act was passed on July 2 of that year, and in less than two months, the Democrats and LBJ faced revolt by their white-supremacist Southern wing during the nominating Convention in Atlantic City.  Southern whites defected to the Republican party  which welcomed them with open arms.  The “Southern strategy” has long been a big part of the GOP’s election plans and is no more than a thinly-veiled attempt to attract racists to the ballot box.  Limbaugh knows that but tried to paint Republicans as the best friend of all Americans, even blacks.  (8/11)

Disappointments.  Obama’s bland speech on Monday, August 8.  In an attempt to calm financial markets about the S&P downgrade of the government’s credit rating, he only increased the fears.  The Dow was at minus 400 when Obama began his speech and dropped almost 235 points after it.  The speech caused Joe Nocera of the NY Times to remark in an op-ed piece, “When did President Obama become such a lousy speech-maker?”  (8/9)

Not credible.  Standard & Poor’s down-graded U.S. credit rating.  The agency has a shady past of greed and protecting Wall Street interests as the financial crisis hit.  For example, subprime loans were given the agency’s highest AAA rating until disaster struck in 2008.  See Chapter 9 of the Gretchen Morgensen and Joshua Rosner book Reckless Endangerment for an objective and damning look at the rating agencies’ role in the debacle on Wall Street.  (8/9)

Lies.  arizonateaparty.com:  Headline on Standard & Poor’s downgrade of U.S. rating says, “S&P Executive:  It Could Take 18 Years to Repair Progressives’ Damage.”   No where in the article beneath does that executive, John Chambers, blame Progressives.  In fact, he blames the dysfunction of government, both Republicans and Democrats, for the agency’s downgrade. (8/8)

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