What follows is a guest blog by the former Communications Director of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
Ed Garvey and Charlie Sykes make a perfect match, since they both are hideous liars.
That Sykes is a liar need not be debated in this space at any length. Just ask the nun who caught him making up quotes. Or any of his ex-wives.
But Garvey has gotten a pass for too long, and I find it especially galling that he’s now the source of the talking points for Garvey and the Journal Communications/Bradley Foundation “Axis of Suck” as they try to damage my former employer, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, as well as my former boss.
I won’t dignify their talking points, since they are based neither in truth – nor in of any desire to reach any truth.
But I do think it’s well past time for Garvey to be called on his bullshit.
Several times over the course of my job Garvey behaved with total dishonesty, both to me and with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, with whom he seems to be nursing some kind of special hatred (last I checked, he’s not a member).
At first, I tried to deal directly with Ed Garvey when he would raise one point or other. In this day and age of cellphones and voice mail, he never seemed to be able to get back to me when I tried to correct one of his profligate errors, or to respond to one of his baiting questions.
Then, I would read his blog the next day to find his claim that I could not be reached. Now, ask any reporter in Wisconsin whom I’ve dealt with, but being hard-to-reach has never been a failing.
Garvey went on a harangue about my views about the rights of women to make their own medical decisions that dishonestly portrayed ME as anti-choice, and deliberately misrepresented my views as expressed on social media.
But beyond how Garvey has lied to and about ME or about the Democratic Party and its leaders, the bigger crime is how he’s lied to and taken advantage of the progressive movement in Wisconsin.
Two things need to be said here, though there are plenty more.
The first is that Ed Garvey is one of the single individuals in this nation most responsible for the election of George W. Bush, not necessarily a watershed moment for any progressive cause in America. Garvey went up onstage when Ralph Nader announced his candidacy to endorse the insipid notion that there is no difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties. The tiniest fraction of the votes that Nader got in Florida would have ensured Al Gore the presidency.
Garvey does the typical gymnastics in forgiving himself for that great blow to working men and women, and for progressive causes. If he thinks there is no difference between a Bush or Gore presidency, he should, for instance, proclaim so at any of our national cemeteries, next to the graves of the Iraq war dead.
Secondly, it is of special irony that Ed Garvey has now reinvented himself as an enemy of the corrupting influence of money in politics, and an enemy of the special interests. In each of his campaigns (I’d call them “losing campaigns,” but he doesn’t have any other kind), Garvey sucked deeply of the teat of the very corporations and monied interests against whom now he has magically developed the courage to inveigh.
I’m all for rabble-rousing. But rabble-rousing does not necessarily require that you attack your friends. Sometimes that’s necessary, in my view, but Ed Garvey has made this its own, warped virtue. He’s gone round the bend so much so that, in his recent spree of attacks, he’s marching in lockstep with the lying Sykes, and the same crew that is hard at work as lapdogs for the Koch Brothers and Scott Walker. Enough.
Let’s start with Jonathan Karl’s unacceptable response to printing fabricated lies obtained from Republicans.
ABC’s Karl expresses ‘regret’ over false Benghazi report – The Maddow Blog
Now, who is Karl serving? Is it the public? No. He is serving his Republican source. Contrary to that journalistic standard of not revealing confidential sources, I ask: are there instances where sources should be revealed? I think so. This is one of those instances. Journalists continually insist the only way to maintain their integrity and their special status in our democracy is their ability to keep their sources confidential. Perhaps this is a general truism. Yet, does that remain always true? I think not.
In the Age of Reason, Thomas Paine discussed Liberty of the Press saying:
“Nothing is more common with printers, especially of newspapers, than the continual cry of the Liberty of the Press, as if because they are printers they are to have more privileges than other people. As the term Liberty of the Press is adopted in this country without being understood, I will state the origin of it, and show what it means. The term comes from England, and the case was as follows:
Prior to what is in England called the Revolution, which was in 1688, no work could be published in that country without first obtaining the permission of an officer appointed by the government for inspecting works intended for publication. The same was the case in France, except that in France there were forty who were called Censors, and in England there was but one, called Imprimateur.
At the Revolution, the office of Imprimateur was abolished, and as works could then be published without first obtaining the permission of the government officer, the press was, in consequence of that abolition, said to be free, and it was from this circumstance that the term Liberty of the Press arose.”
Liberty of the Press has nothing at all to do with modern journalism’s maxim of “integrity” based on “confidentiality of sources.” Jonathan Karl should reveal his source. It is in the public interest for him to expose those Republicans who attempted to undermine the presidency of the United States. If Karl were a journalist with integrity, he would do so. Until he does he’s an unethical journalist colluding with the government to undermine the government. Journalists doing the government’s bidding to destabilize the government. There’s the breaking story.
But what about AP? Is the AP source different? The same? Should AP give up its government source? AP and its source potentially threatened national security. Until we know more, the AP story can’t be adequately analyzed. In the meanwhile, we can examine the intersection between national security and responsible journalism. Across the board, journalists dismiss the idea that putting operatives in the field and the American people at risk as a “canard,” claiming it a pretext for stifling the press. This we read time and again since the AP/DOJ story broke. However, responsible investigative journalism can distinguish between landing a story and exploiting one or investigating further, or running with a single source or confirming a story with more than one. Then again, investigative journalism isn’t the standard in today’s media. It’s the exception.
The AP case prompts the question: Should the public incessantly scrutinize everything the government does? And by extension everything public employees do? I think not. Transparency is one thing. We need more transparency in a number of areas. But we’ve seen it used as a pretext for intimidating public employees and subverting the public sector. We’ve seen oversight transformed into a tyrannical weapon. We’ve also seen Congressional Republicans on more than one occasion breach national security during their irresponsible scandal mongering. The post-911 legacy of misusing national security as an excuse for overreach is undeniable. At the same time, if we the people revere freedom of the press, we must ask ourselves, what precisely is it that is to be revered in our present-day press? Our press is as corrupted and dysfunctional as our government.
Two more remarks from Paine’s Liberty of the Press:
The writer of this remembers a remark made to him by Mr. Jefferson concerning the English newspapers, which at that time, 1787, while Mr. Jefferson was Minister at Paris, were most vulgarly abusive. The remark applies with equal force to the Federal papers of America. The remark was, that “the licentiousness of the press produces the same effect as the restraint of the press was intended to do, if the restraint was to prevent things being told, and the licentiousness of the press prevents things being believed when they are told.”
“Whoever has made observation on the characters of nations will find it generally true that the manners of a nation, or of a party, can be better ascertained from the character of its press than from any other public circumstance. If its press is licentious, its manners are not good. Nobody believes a common liar, or a common defamer.”
And finally PBS, A Case in point:
Jane Mayer: How Far Did PBS Go to Avoid Offending a Sponsor? : The New Yorker
The government isn’t the only threatening entity to Liberty of the Press. I would submit that government intrusion doesn’t hold a candle to what Mayer reveals. Let us remember, too, that the press is not now what it was in the 18th Century. “Journalism” in the 18th Century wasn’t a mass conglomerate industry as it is today. Today we must unfortunately consider Liberty of the Press in terms of Liberty of the Press Industry. And we the people are afforded no protections of Press Liberty from the Press Industry.
For all the bandying of the “chilling effect” posed by the DOJ seizing AP phone records, the most chilling threat to Liberty of the Press has occurred at PBS. And, most notably, it wasn’t the government but one powerful individual that stifled independent journalism.
Because of federal support of ethanol production, large swathes of middle America, from Kansas through Texas, have converted to growing corn. And corn production requires far more water than many other cash crops and that dry central farming region has heavily relied on irrigation to raise bumper crops of corn…until the last few years as the extended drought has required additional irrigation and the high plains aquifer has begun to flat out run out of water.
From the May 19th edition of the New York Times:
“Looking at areas of Texas where the groundwater has really dropped, those towns are just a shell of what they once were,” said Jim Butler, a hydrogeologist and senior scientist at the Kansas Geological Survey.
The villain in this story is in fact the farmers’ savior: the center-pivot irrigator, a quarter- or half-mile of pipe that traces a watery circle around a point in the middle of a field. The center pivots helped start a revolution that raised farming from hardscrabble work to a profitable business.
Since the pivots’ debut some six decades ago, the amount of irrigated cropland in Kansas has grown to nearly three million acres, from a mere 250,000 in 1950. But the pivot irrigators’ thirst for water — hundreds and sometimes thousands of gallons a minute — has sent much of the aquifer on a relentless decline. And while the big pivots have become much more efficient, a University of California study earlier this year concluded that Kansas farmers were using some of their water savings to expand irrigation or grow thirstier crops, not to reduce consumption.
A shift to growing corn, a much thirstier crop than most, has only worsened matters. Driven by demand, speculation and a government mandate to produce biofuels, the price of corn has tripled since 2002, and Kansas farmers have responded by increasing the acreage of irrigated cornfields by nearly a fifth.
At an average 14 inches per acre in a growing season, a corn crop soaks up groundwater like a sponge — in 2010, the State Agriculture Department said, enough to fill a space a mile square and nearly 2,100 feet high.
Sorghum, or milo, gets by on a third less water, Kansas State University researchers say — and it, too, is in demand by biofuel makers. As Kansas’ wells peter out, more farmers are switching to growing milo on dry land or with a comparative sprinkle of irrigation water.
But as long as there is enough water, most farmers will favor corn. “The issue that often drives this is economics,” said David W. Hyndman, who heads Michigan State University’s geological sciences department. “And as long as you’ve got corn that’s $7, then a lot of choices get made on that.”
Of course I’ve railed against corn production for ethanol a number of times, but mostly because it artificially increases the cost of food production…but here we also have the unintended consequences of destroying our sources of fresh water for a basically unsustainable push for biofuels.
And this is just another warning that the eyes of the nation beyond the Waukesha’s of the world will soon be focused on Lake Michigan…just sayin!
While ranting on The Fine Print with Jeff Zeleny about the IRS ‘scandal’, Representative Michelle Bachmann presents a duh moment:
“Over and over and over, the common thread is the Obama administration was too willing to use the government to advance their agenda, their political agenda,” Bachmann tells The Fine Print.
Duh Rep. Bachmann, isn’t that exactly why every politician from dog catcher to President runs for office???
And the rest of the idiocy in this interview is incredible…does she even think before she talks?
Congressmen Pocan and Ellison Introduce “Right to Vote” Constitutional Amendment
This is an exciting development. The only way to secure voting rights from political attack is a Constitutional Amendment. That such an amendment is necessary, however, is a sad comment on the state of affairs in America today when political warfare rather than loyal governance dominates the political sphere.
Send Action Alerts to Congress in support of PDA initiatives here (efforts like the ERA and a financial transaction tax):
Progressive Democrats of America
Yeah, not so much…
The cover-up story relies on the premise that Obama administration officials pushed the idea of spontaneity in order to obscure the fact that they had missed warnings of planned terrorist attack. It’s plausible that someone was pushing that story for parochial reasons in these email exchanges. Perhaps the CIA put that idea in its first assessment and kept it there in every subsequent version to cover for its failure to stay on top of the al-Qaida affiliates in Benghazi, even though there was a CIA outpost there. It’s also obvious that the State Department wanted to shift blame away from its failure to protect its people in Benghazi. But there’s no evidence in the emails that the idea of spontaneity was initiated by anyone associated with Obama, the White House, or the president’s wider political fortunes. Did Obama benefit from the spontaneity narrative? Yes. But to embrace intelligence from your CIA that is favorable to you–when you have no reason to doubt your intelligence service–is not the same as making up a false story. It’s not even a sin.
Our own PJ also does an excellent job of debunking the manufactured scandal by Republicans, and there’s this as well:
As Erik Wemple points out, this contradicts the other damaging accusation from the scandal known as “Benghazi-gate.” The Obama administration’s first fumbling attempts to explain the killings put them in the context of “protests” against a viral anti-Muhammad movie. On Sept. 16, UN Ambassador Susan Rice probably talked her way out of a promotion by sticking to talking points on the event and saying a “spontaneous” protest was hijacked by an armed “clusters of extremists.” McCain and other critics scoffed at the gullibility on display. “Most people don’t bring rocket-propelled grenades and heavy weapons to a demonstration,” said McCain on CBS News, speaking immediately after Rice.
The truth lay in between the talking points and the snark. The mob that crashed the consulate was attacking diplomats. But they were able to kill our ambassador, and sow confusion, by setting fires. The heavy weapons came later.
So far, three State Department officials have fallen on their swords in response to this report. That was what investigators asked for, basically, blaming the circumstances in Benghazi on “senior State Department officials” who “demonstrated a lack of proactive leadership and management ability.” They failed to provide security before Sept. 11. On Tuesday, describing the video he’d been able to watch of the attack, Sen. Bob Corker told reporters that the compound was so wanly protected that “you or I could have walked right in.”
That doesn’t suggest a real-time campaign of cowardice. It doesn’t suggest a cover-up, either. It suggests that the neglected budget for embassy security needs a harder look in 2013. When that happens—or when it doesn’t happen—we’ll know what politicians learned from Benghazi.
As for the impact of the Republican attempts to find a coverup where none exists regarding Benghazi, the impact on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be absolutely nil.
On a related note, I’m still banned (it’s been over a year now) from commenting/asking Sebring questions on his Facebook page, and I know I’m not alone in being banned. Apparently Sebring cannot tolerate opinions that dissent from his own, which strikes me as a poor quality for an aspiring elected official to have.
According to a new report from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed rejection of a federally funded expansion of state health programs will cost Wisconsin taxpayers about $50 million per year.
The new report from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau immediately became part of the debate over Walker’s budget proposal for Medicaid programs, which is currently before lawmakers on the Joint Finance Committee. The budget panel is rewriting Walker’s bill and will send it to the Assembly and Senate early next month for their consideration.
The Walker administration had presented his plan as saving roughly $3 million compared to current law. However, the Fiscal Bureau said there would be an additional $49 million in costs – a swing of $52 million from Walker’s estimate.
In addition, thousands more people would be covered if the state accepted the federal expansion.
Yeah, that Scott Walker….he’s a fiscally responsible guy!