Category Archives: Rick Santorum

Dear GOP: The Internet Is Not Your Friend

Read and marvel at the latest crock to spew from Rick Santorum’s mouth, this one about old people in the Netherlands:

“In the Netherlands, people wear different bracelets if they are elderly. And the bracelet is: ‘Do not euthanize me.’ Because they have voluntary euthanasia in the Netherlands but half of the people who are euthanized — ten percent of all deaths in the Netherlands — half of those people are euthanized involuntarily at hospitals because they are older and sick. And so elderly people in the Netherlands don’t go to the hospital. They go to another country, because they are afraid, because of budget purposes, they will not come out of that hospital if they go in there with sickness.”

Euthanasia bracelets? Ten percent of all deaths in the Netherlands are from euthanasia? Fifty percent of all elderly in that country are put to death involuntarily? Do these statistics make sense to anyone? Where the hell does he get this stuff? Predictably, we are the laughing stock of the Netherlands now. Thanks a lot, asshole.

I’ll tell you where he gets it. This is the kind of nonsense that lands in your e-mail box with a huge list of FW: names. Hey, conservatives: think about what you’re doing, okay? Before you unthinkingly hit the “send” key on that fact-free bullshit your cousin’s best friend got from her sister-in-law’s former Bible study teacher, think about what you’re reading. Stop a moment and consider: do you want this coming out of Rick Santorum’s mouth? Because there’s a very good chance that this is where it will end up. And that means people who aren’t brain dead are going to hear it, and someone might actually check the facts, and then the rest of us will point and laugh, and your favorite candidate’s chances for the presidency go down in flames.

From the WaPo:

Nevertheless, the statistics show it is still a relatively uncommon form of death. In 2010, the number of euthanasia cases reported to one of five special commissions was 3,136, according to their annual report. This was a 19 percent increase over 2009, but “this amounts to 2.3 percent of all 136,058 deaths in the Netherlands in 2010,” said Carla Bundy, spokeswoman for the Dutch embassy in Washington.

At the time of the annual report, the commissions had been able to reach conclusions in 2,667 euthanasia notifications reported to the agency and found only nine in which “the physician had not acted in accordance with the due care criteria,” the annual report said. More than 80 percent of the patients were suffering from cancer; almost 80 percent died at home.

A 2005 study by the New England Journal of Medicine found only a minimal number of the cases — 0.4 percent — in which there was an ending of life without explicit request by the patient. The study concluded the rate had actually been cut in half since the euthanasia law was passed.

These statistics were so at odds with Santorum’s claims that we wondered how he could have thought that 50 percent of the elderly were put to death involuntarily (or that 10 percent of all deaths in Holland were from euthanasia.) Spokesmen for Santorum did not respond to a query, but the best we can tell, he is grossly misinterpreting the results of a 1991 survey known as the Remmelink Report, which was influential in crafting the 2001 law.

And those bracelets? The article quotes Dutch officials saying they don’t exist. They can only conclude that Santorum was talking about living wills, which they do have in the Netherlands and which we also have here in the States.

So, where does this shit come from? I’ll tell you: right wing organizations that have the word “family” in their name. Phony Christian groups located in the hinterlands of Louisiana or Kansas or Georgia, who claim to love the 10 Commandments but keep forgetting about that ninth one (look it up if you don’t know). The Patriot Depot, a massive money-making machine spreading misinformation and lies to the gullible. These folks make some shit up and put it in an e-mail or direct mail piece because the more outrageous and salacious, the more likely some poor sucker will shake the change out of their wallet. These groups are the worst sort of grifters, unworthy of the trust their followers have placed in them. But when nobody bothers to call them on it, the lies just spread like a poison gas around the populace. Until they end up in the mouth of a politician like Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin or Rick Santorum, of course. Then we all get to point and laugh.

So conservatives, think before you send. You never know where this nonsense will end up.

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Filed under 2012 presidential election, culture wars, Rick Santorum

It’s Because They’re Phonies

Last night on Real Time With Bill Maher, panelist David Frum had the nerve to chide progressives for not supporting Rick Santorum on at least one front, namely that he’s the only Republican candidate who seems to care about the poor. Frum basically called progressives hypocrites because they support Ron Paul’s foreign policy ideas, but they don’t support Rick Santorum on poverty.

First of all, I’m not sure any of that is true: any true progressive support Ron Paul has pretty much stops at his anti-war, anti-imperialism rhetoric. Sure there are some progressives who think we need to bring our troops home from the many corners of the world where they are stationed, but Ron Paul is someone who doesn’t believe in government intervention of any type: not after a devastating natural disaster like the Haiti earthquake, not to stop genocide like in Kosovo, not even to stop Hitler from exterminating the Jews. So, that’s not really a progressive position.

But Rick Santorum? Really? You think progressives should support him because he mouths the right words about the poor? Look how much he cares about the poor:

But homeless families and troubled children were not the biggest beneficiaries of “Operation Good Neighbor.” Instead, the foundation spent most of its money to run itself, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees for fundraising, administration and office rental paid to Santorum’s political allies.

The charity also had significant overlap with the senator’s campaigns and his work on Capitol Hill. Among the leading donors to the foundation were Pennsylvania development and finance firms that had donated to his election efforts and had interests that Santorum had supported in the Senate.

Santorum, whose last-minute surge in the Iowa caucuses has brought new attention to his presidential bid, portrays himself as a common man concerned about the gap between the nation’s rich and poor. But in the case of his charity, his efforts ended up mostly helping his cadre of political friends.

Before it folded in 2007, the foundation raised $2.58 million, with 39 percent of that donated directly to groups helping the needy. By industry standards, such philanthropic groups should be donating nearly twice that, from 75 to 85 percent of their funds.

Let’s see, a politician who starts a charity which is used to help said politician’s political friends. Where have I heard that story before? Oh yeah, here. And here. I’m sure I’m missing some others.

See, David Frum: this is why progressives don’t support Rick Santorum on the poverty thing. He’s a phony, that’s why.

This is actually old news to bloggers like Will Bunch. Santorum’s scandals are well-documented, and the link provides a nice run-down. Like, for instance, the time Santorum rushed to Terri Schiavo’s Florida deathbed — not from his home in Virginia or Pennsylvania, but from the Outback Steakhouse-sponsored political fundraiser in Tampa, having been flown there on a Wal-mart private jet.

Sorry, David Frum. Apparently progressives can smell a bullshit artist a mile off. Too bad you can’t, too.

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Filed under 2012 presidential election, Rick Santorum

CNN’s “Leave It There” Problem

Since we’re memorializing our late, great news media this weekend, I thought I should direct folks to Jay Rosen’s piece on CNN’s “leave it there” problem. Rosen’s Jon Stewart clip from last year is priceless and sums up everything that’s wrong with cable news. Rosen writes:

But too often, on-air hosts for the network will let someone from one side of a dispute describe the world their way, then let the other side describe the world their way, and when the two worlds, so described, turn out to be incommensurate or even polar opposites, what happens?… CNN leaves it there. Viewers are left stranded and helpless. The network appears to inform them that there is no truth, only partisan bull.

Last week CNN’s Ali Velshi actually made news for not doing this. A clip of Velshi calling Rick Santorum on his hilarious claim that the stimulus “only created 240 million jobs” went viral, with bloggers and the Twitterati dutifully applauding Velshi for telling Santorum to “check his math.” So, you know, good for Velshi — but even here he missed the point. Worse than Santorum’s math was his obviously incorrect facts, which Velshi completely ignored. Think about it: we live in a country of 300 million people! A stimulus that created 240 million jobs would have created more jobs than workers, more jobs than able-bodied adult citizens.

Which begs the question: is this what it takes before a CNN host calls a guest on their does a guest have to make claims so obviously this flat-out wrong before a host calls them on it? Before CNN decides not to “leave it there”?

Says Rosen:

Leave the partisan fights to the guests: sounds great. Until you think about it for a minute. And really, that’s all it takes: about a minute. In a hyper-polarized environment like the one we increasingly have in the U.S. these fights have long since broken the borders of opinion. They now routinely break out over matters of fact. (Example: does cutting Federal tax rates increase revenues to the government?) Leaving partisan fights—over matters of fact—to the guests is a disaster, journalistically. But intervening in those fights takes skill, knowledge… and balls. Because one side could be a lot righter than the other, factually speaking.

In other words, you could have a situation where in order to do your duty journalistically, you have to take sides and say, “I’m sorry, Senator, but that simply doesn’t square with what we know.” Soon as you do that, your mantra, “We cover both sides but don’t favor either side” starts working against you. Cognitive dissonance rises. You’re not doing “straight news” any longer. You’re calling foul on the deceiver, raising the question: why did you invite this guy, anyway? You’re taking to heart what Daniel Patrick Moynihan was supposed to have said: You’re entitled to your own opinion. You’re not entitled to your own facts.

Rosen notes CNN’s managing editor Mark Whitaker has hinted they’ve seen the error of their ways. Whether CNN will continue to “leave it there” remains to be seen.

[UPDATE]:

Somebody, please tell me he’s joking:

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Filed under Ali Velshi, CNN, Media, Rick Santorum

>Rick Santorum: Still An Asshole

>Some politicians just need to go away. For example, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who went on the Laura Ingraham Show yesterday to spout this nonsense:

SANTORUM: Sarah Palin is the Clarence Thomas for feminists. The civil rights community, the African-American community obviously should have rallied behind Clarence Thomas and his achievement, but they hammered him because he was a conservative. And the civil rights establishment was first and foremost liberal and then for the liberal rights of — as liberals saw it, what blacks should have in this country. And the same thing with the feminist community.

Oh, obviously.

Thank you, Rick Santorum, for telling us on the left who we should be supporting. I guess the fact that we didn’t and don’t support these folks is lost on you. I guess any person of color, no matter how extreme to the right, and any vaginal-American, no matter how anti-feminist her beliefs, should be OK with us.

In Santorum’s world, a woman who doesn’t believe in choice, sharing the ticket with a Senator who is against equal pay legislation, should still be OK with feminists simply because of her gender.

Heh. Well, thanks for explaining why Sarah Palin is on the ticket to begin with. I suspected as much. Out of the mouths of idiot wingnuts, eh?

Here’s a news flash for Rick Santorum. Unlike the Kool-Aid drinking Republicans, it’s not just about superficialities with us on the left. It’s not just about a person’s gender, or sexual orientation, or skin color, or religion. It’s also about what stands they take, the policies they support, what they will actually do. It’s about what people believe in.

Imagine that.

I’m not surprised that you don’t get that, Little Ricky. You’ve always been about as deep as a creek bed in August, and about as bright as a dying light bulb.

Now fuck off you little twerp.

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Filed under 2008 presidential election, Rick Santorum

>Yeah, Some Elections Have Made Me Cry, Too

>[1 UPDATE]
Most of us were celebrating the ousting of Intelligent Design-loving, homosexual-hating, man-on-dog fearin’ conservitard Rick Santorum. But I can see why the Senator’s 8-year-old daughter, not really old enough to understand the world of grown-up politickin’, would have shed tears on election night 2006. Little girls love their daddies.

But in one of those “only in Nashville” stories, we learn that Martina McBride’s new single “For These Times,” penned by self-described “Fox News junkie” Leslie Satcher, was inspired by the little girl’s tears on election night:

Inspiration struck on election night.

Satcher and her husband — “big Fox News junkies” — were riveted by the scene.

“I saw the cameras zoom in on that little girl,” Satcher said.

“That’s awful. They are not even showing Rick. They are showing her crying. She is hurting, and she knows her dad is hurting.”

It was pretty awful how the cameras zoomed in on the sobbing child, especially since for all we know she was crying because she was humiliated at being used as a stage prop by her dad. But whatever. This is the money quote:

“The song is about the fact that we are a faith-believing, conservative nation, and that voice gets very little front-page time to me.”

The first verse is about Sarah Maria [Santorum], Satcher said.

Only a Fixed Fox News junkie would be so out of touch as to think we’re a “faith-believing, conservative nation.” And anyway, I thought we weren’t supposed to use little children to send political messages?

But never mind that. I wonder if Leslie Satcher has ever been inspired by images like these:


Probably not, because she’s a Fixed Fox News junkie, and they would never dream of showing icky things like this to their viewers.

(h/t, Attaturk)
[UPDATE]: Leslie Satcher responds to my post:

I hope you understand that the song is not about Rick Santorum or his daughter. There is a big difference between a song being about a person (I write songs about my husband) and a line of a song being inspired by a person, an image or maybe a sentiment or memory. Check on the difference between “about” and “inspired”.

As for your comment about “if Leslie Satcher has ever been inspired by images like these”; yes. The second verse of “For These Times” was inspired not by what I have seen on any news channel, but by what I have seen with my own two eyes on my trips to Walter Reed Hospitol. If you had heard the song, you may have gleened that from it. I encourage you to hear the song before passing judgement; I wrote it for you.

I also encourage you to seek out some of my other songs. Specifically a song called “Peace”.

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Filed under Leslie Satcher, Rick Santorum