AMERICAblog NewsJon Stewart – AMERICAblog News http://americablog.com A great nation deserves the truth // One of America's top progressive sites for news and opinion Thu, 19 Jul 2018 19:07:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.7 City of Paris to sue Fox News for defamation http://americablog.com/2015/01/city-paris-sue-fox-news-defaming-french-capital.html http://americablog.com/2015/01/city-paris-sue-fox-news-defaming-french-capital.html#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 17:25:46 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=125758 Fox claimed that Paris was filled with Muslim no-go zones where no Christian dare tread.

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The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, says the city is planning on suing Fox News.

The charge? Lying about France in general, and Paris in particular, by claiming it is filled with Muslim-inhabited “no-go zones” so dangerous that “real” Frenchmen dare not tread.

Except that, as I reported the other day, it’s not true.

I lived in one of Fox News’ Muslim “no-go zones” in Paris for a few months back in 2009. Near Metro Goncourt in the 11th, it’s a colorful neighborhood comprised mostly of blue collar north Africans and (rather-white) gays. So it’s not only not a no-go zone, it’s not even a no-gay zone.

I noted last week that it was interesting that conservatives were acting so pro-French in the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attacks two weeks ago, in which masked gunmen shot and killed 12 people (including two police officers) at the Paris headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. (Another gunman went on to kill another police officer, and then take hostages at a kosher supermarket (he killed four of the hostages).) Conservatives in America were irate that President Obama didn’t show solidarity with our French allies by attending a religious service and march for the victims in Paris.

Well, that didn’t last long. Only days later, the lead conservative propaganda organ was back to bashing the French, this time with a little Islamophobia mixed in for good measure. (Conservatives did the same with New York City; a place they loathed and routinely vilified, until September 11, when you’d have thought Ronald Reagan was born in Chelsea.)

Back to Paris. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour broke the news yesterday that the mayor of Paris says the city his going to sue Fox for “insulting” and “discriminating” against the city.

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Interestingly, Fox “corrected” its error and apologized — four times in fact — for the reporting. (For also reported that the city of Birmingham in England is a “totally Muslim city where non-Muslims don’t go in.” That was news to the 78% of Birmingham residents who aren’t Muslim.)

French comedians had a field day visiting the “dangerous” zones of Paris, pretending to be Fox News reporters. My favorite part was the sledgehammer machine guns:

The reporter overly-concerned about his breath was pretty funny too.

And we close with Jon Stewart’s response to all of this, that is of course priceless:

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Jon Stewart leads into interview with Rubio by ripping Florida http://americablog.com/2015/01/jon-stewart-leads-interview-rubio-ripping-florida.html http://americablog.com/2015/01/jon-stewart-leads-interview-rubio-ripping-florida.html#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 19:30:54 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=125726 Stewart started by going off on Florida's opposition to gay marriage, but then went into much more. It's juicy.

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Jon Stewart had GOP Senator, and likely 2016 presidential hopeful, Marco Rubio on his show. But first, Stewart had a little chat about the state of Florida, where Rubio hails from.

Oh, it was quite juicy. While the segment was ostensibly about the state of Florida’s recent failed attempt to stop the marriages of gay couples in the state, it looked at a lot of other issues addressing Florida.

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Among the Florida stories Stewart covered: How one person was arrested for attacking another with a lizard.

God bless Jon Stewart.

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Jon Stewart on Ferguson & the Rams “hands stand” http://americablog.com/2014/12/jon-stewart-ferguson-rams-hands-stand.html http://americablog.com/2014/12/jon-stewart-ferguson-rams-hands-stand.html#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 16:23:36 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=125057 Five St. Louis Rams players held their hands up in a "don't shoot" gesture of solidarity with Ferguson.

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Jon Stewart weighed in on the “controversy” over five St. Louis Rams football players holding their hands up, in a “don’t shoot” show of solidarity with protesters upset about the decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

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“Boobs on the ground”: Fox host on female troops fighting ISIS http://americablog.com/2014/10/boobs-ground-fox-news-guest-re-female-troops-fighting-isis.html http://americablog.com/2014/10/boobs-ground-fox-news-guest-re-female-troops-fighting-isis.html#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:00:11 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=123441 Fox Host Eric Bolling referred to a female Air Force pilot who led a strike against ISIS as "boobs on the ground."

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A friend sent me this Jon Stewart clip from a few days ago, in which he discusses the GOP’s latest “treason” charge against President Obama: namely, that the President held a coffee cup while saluting.

We’d written about this previously, and about how President Bush also saluted the troops with something in his hand, in Bush’s case a dog.

But I hadn’t seen this video from Stewart, in which Fox Host Eric Bolling refers to a female air force pilot from the United Arab Emirates as “boobs on the ground.”

In fact, the pilot, Maj. Mariam Al Mansouri, led the UAE’s recent air strike against ISIS. That’s pretty incredible social progress for anywhere, let alone that region.

But leave it to Fox News to turn a brave military mission against terrorists into a discussion of breasts.

On a decent television network, let alone a “new” network, you’d lose your job for a comment like that. But not on the Republican “news” channel.

Here’s Jon Stewart, covering this and the larger “story.” He was pretty ticked, and at one point even told Fox News: “F— you, and all your false patriotism.”

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The Herman Cain 2016 juggernaut (by Jon Stewart) http://americablog.com/2014/06/herman-cain-2016-juggernaut-jon-stewart.html http://americablog.com/2014/06/herman-cain-2016-juggernaut-jon-stewart.html#comments Thu, 05 Jun 2014 16:07:21 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=120040 Cain might have suggested that he's waiting for a sign from God as to whether he'll run. One can only hope.

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With former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain making more rumblings about running for president in 2016, Jon Stewart weighs in on the joy that would be the Herman Cain presidential juggernaut, including a best hits of Herman Cain weirdness.

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The best of Lewis Black (video) http://americablog.com/2014/05/best-lewis-black-video.html http://americablog.com/2014/05/best-lewis-black-video.html#comments Fri, 23 May 2014 20:16:12 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=119630 John Stewart posted a short series of clips of the best of Lewis Black. They're great.

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John Stewart posted a short series of clips of the best of Lewis Black.  They’re great.

It’s also really interesting to see clips of him when he was younger, compared to now:

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I also don’t remember the segment where Black got John McCain to walk off the set. I’ve googled and I’m not finding it. If anyone can find it, post it in the comments.


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Where’s the GOP outrage over 9/11 and the Iraq war intelligence failures? (video) http://americablog.com/2014/05/jon-stewart-biggest-story-ever-benghazi.html http://americablog.com/2014/05/jon-stewart-biggest-story-ever-benghazi.html#comments Tue, 06 May 2014 22:00:42 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=118778 Stewart discusses intelligence failure that led to American deaths on 9/11 and in Iraq, compares them to Benghazi.

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Jon Stewart does a masterful job showing how Lindsey Graham and Fox News didn’t give a lick of “outrage” over the Bush administration intelligence failures that led to 9/11 and to the disastrous war in Iraq.

Yet now, suddenly, the Republicans are “outraged” over the intelligence failures that led to Benghazi.

LINDSEY GRAHAM: Where’s the outrage there?

JON STEWART: Okay, I think I see the problem. You think people’s failure to match your level of outrage is based on ignorance. That after 100 network news stories, 100s of cable news stories about Benghazi, 13 congressional hearings, 50 further congressional briefings, and 25,000 pages of official findings concerning what happened in Benghazi, that if we all only knew about it, we would care. You know, there are very few things we’ve heard more about in the past year and a half.

Stewart continues, with this graphic:

jon-stewart-bin-laden-memoJON STEWART: I think I see the problem. Here’s your problem. You’re asking people to get outraged about an intelligence failure that tragically led to some Americans losing their lives. One intelligence failure. (He then shows a copy of the famous “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” memo.) Imagine if there’d been a second intelligence failure right after that one, that tragically led to even more Americans losing their lives. (He then shows a picture of Colin Powell lying to the UN about Iraq.) But you’re not concerned about that.


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Jon Stewart & Sean Hannity declare war on each other over Cliven Bundy (3 delicious videos) http://americablog.com/2014/04/vicious-jon-stewart-takes-hannity-cliven-bundy.html http://americablog.com/2014/04/vicious-jon-stewart-takes-hannity-cliven-bundy.html#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 18:03:42 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=118056 "Sean Hannity has now made Glenn Beck the voice of reason."

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Oh my. Jon Stewart and Sean Hannity broke into open war this week over Hannity’s open embrace of racist seditionist Cliven Bundy.  Hannity ripped into Stewart repeatedly, and Stewart, god bless him, utterly destroyed Hannity in return.

There are 3 videos.  Watch them all. You will not be disappointed.

Stewart starts off with various Hannity segments praising Bundy (for more info, Becca did a huge post explaining all the background on the Cliven Bundy controversy).

At one point, Hannity talks about how people like Bundy, who are squatting on federal lands without paying the necessary grazing fees, are helping to make beef prices lower for American consumers.  Stewart responds: “Yes, most goods are cheaper when you steal the raw materials necessary to make them. Have you seen the prices at ‘Fell Off the Truck Mart’?”

Jon Stewart and Sean Hannity break into open warfare over racist seditionist Cliven Bundy.

Jon Stewart and Sean Hannity break into open warfare over racist seditionist Cliven Bundy.

Stewart then goes on to show Hannity’s obsession with Democrats who “pick and choose” what laws the obey, from President Obama on down. Yet, Hannity is fine with Bundy refusing to obey the law and repeated court orders.

Then Stewart shows Hannity ripping into Occupy Wall Street, with Hannity yelling “What right do you have to take over a park?”

Then, Stewart shows Hannity criticizing Stewart for having Cat Stevens at his big rally a few years back. Stevens (who changed his name and converted to Islam decades ago) apparently supported the fatwa against Salman Rushdie.

Stewart admitted that Hannity was right about Stevens being a bit too far out there, but then Stewart turned the “guilt by musical association” around on Hannity and showed Hannity praising NRA board member Ted Nugent, who is about as hateful as they get.

Stewart then went on to note all the flags that Hannity has on his set, and how Hannity even wears a flag lapel pin, yet he’s embracing Cliven Bundy, a man who doesn’t even believe the United States exists: “He doesn’t recognize America’s existence – he’s a US-atheist.”

It’s really a thing of beauty. All three videos are below.


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Cliven Bundy is a seditious liar, not a patriot http://americablog.com/2014/04/cliven-bundy-seditious-liar-patriot.html http://americablog.com/2014/04/cliven-bundy-seditious-liar-patriot.html#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=117838 Bundy claims there's no such thing as federally-owned land, and doesn't recognize the US govt. "as even existing."

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As a resident of the American Southwest — New Mexico to be exact — I’ve become familiar with complicated interplay of federally-owned lands, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), state lands, reservations, and even this interesting notion of ‘land grants’ which sometimes date back to before there were states in this part of the country.

We also have more than our share of radical libertarians and wingnuts. So I’ve been watching the Cliven Bundy situation in Nevada with a fair amount of interest because all of these elements are in play.

Long story short: Bundy is not the states-rights patriot he claims to be, but appears to be a law-breaking liar who has — quite literally — said he doesn’t believe in the legitimacy of the United States government. Not just since a black man became President, but EVER.

Pretty much the opposite of ‘patriot’ in every respect.

The Cliven Bundy story in a nutshell

Bundy owns a 160-acre cattle and melon ranch in Clark County, Nevada, near the town of Bunkerville, which is on the Virgin River — close to the Nevada-Arizona-Utah borders. Interstate-15 runs right through the area. This much is not at all in dispute. (BTW, the Virgin River is one of the feeders into Lake Meade, site of Hoover Dam.)

Fox News' version of Cliven Bundy.

Fox News’ version of Cliven Bundy.

In 1993, in response to reports that a local desert tortoise was dying off and that cattle were doing too much damage, the Feds began restricting access to cattle grazing on federally-owned lands throughout the entire region.

On top of denying access to some areas and more strictly enforcing grazing fees in others, the Feds began limiting which grazing ranges were open in any given year and how many cattle were allowed on the allotments.

Nevada’s Clark County also bought up and retired all of the remaining grazing leases in the nearby Gold Butte area, south of Bunkerville.

Well, Cliven Bundy refused to pay. He’s also defied repeated orders not to graze his cattle on protected federal lands.

He claims there is no such thing as federally-owned land and that there is no Constitutional basis for the Interior Department or the BLM. Yes, he’s that far out there.

Time and time again, Bundy went to court, including an appeal to the 9th Circuit in 1998, in which Bundy represented himself. His claims have invariably been nonsensical and at odds with established facts and laws.

In the ’98 case, a federal judge issued a permanent injunction ordering Bundy to remove his cattle from federal lands. By 2014, the unpaid fines and fees are now in excess of $1 million. He’s never paid a dime.

In August 2013, he was given 45 days by the BLM to remove his cattle, or they would be seized and sold off to pay the fines. Bundy refused. (Actually, the BLM has warned him a whole bunch of times over the years to remove the cattle or risk forfeiture.)

Last April, in response to a BLM move to seize Bundy’s cattle which were still grazing illegally on federal land, he rounded up about hundred friends, relatives, and would-be allies and began threatening BLM rangers and federal employees.

The militia types from out-of-state also showed up, heavily armed. They talked openly about firing on BLM rangers and federal law enforcement officers. In one report, one of the militia types — a retired sheriff from Arizona and member of the Oath Keepers (a radical Bircher-related militia movement) — Richard Mack, said they were planning to put the women and children in front. How courageous.

“I would have put my own wife or daughters there, and I would have been screaming bloody murder to watch them die,” he said. “I would’ve gone next, I would have been the next one to be killed. I’m not afraid to die here. I’m willing to die here.”

“But the best ploy would be to have had women at the front,” he continued. “Because, one, I don’t think they would have shot them. And, two, if they had, it would have been the worst thing that we could have shown to the rest of the world, that these ruthless cowards hired by the federal government will do anything.”

Right, because there’s nothing cowardly about using unarmed women and children as human shields so the heavily armed menfolk don’t get killed first.

In an effort to defuse the situation and avoid bloodshed, the BLM backed down, for now.

“I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing”

Cliven Bundy and his allies have never won in a court of law, whether it’s Nevada state or a federal court. In a radio interview in April, he said, I abide by all of Nevada state laws. But I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing.

Cliven Bundy and his friends say they’re patriots, but they deny the authority of our elected federal government — and apparently Nevada state, too, whenever it suits them.

Sedition: (noun) (1) incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government. (2) any action, especially in speech or writing, promoting such discontent or rebellion.

(Source: Dictionary.com)

Sound familiar?

Cliven Bundy is either a liar…or a serious exaggerator

In many of the early reports, Bundy is quoted as claiming his family had been ranching there since 1877. According to a report by KLAS:

“I’ve lived my lifetime here. My forefathers have been up and down the Virgin Valley here ever since 1877. All these rights that I claim, have been created through pre-emptive rights and beneficial use of the forage and the water and the access and range improvement”

Well, that first sentence is more or less true. The rest is sovereign citizen gobbledygook.

And the claim of his ancestors being there, with legal rights to the land since 1877, is not true. KLAS-TV out of Las Vegas and their investigative reporter, Nathan Baca, has done some terrific research and reporting on that particular claim of inherited rights that would predate the creation of the BLM itself in 1946.

Bundy’s father didn’t start grazing cattle there until 1954

Clark County records show that Cliven Bundy’s parents bought his ‘ancestral’ 160 acre ranch in 1948, and didn’t start grazing cattle on the adjacent federal lands until 1954. Prior to that, they lived in Arizona. Bundy himself was born in 1946.

“All my life” apparently doesn’t include his first two years.

 

See Jon Stewart's segment on Bundy's madness below.

See Jon Stewart’s segment on Bundy’s madness below.

According to court records, his father grazed cattle for several years in the Bunkerville Allotment, then stopped. Then presumably Bundy himself resumed in 1973, paying the required fees until 1993 when he stopped paying but kept grazing. After being served with several notices in 1994 to pay up or remove the cattle, he asserted ‘vested grazing rights’ — which have never been upheld in any court, nor has Bundy offered any documented proof of those rights when given numerous chances to do so.

Bundy has further claimed, “My rights are before the BLM even existed, but my rights are created by beneficial use. Beneficial use means we created the forage and the water from the time the very first pioneers come here.”

Again, apparently the rights Bundy claims also predate his ancestor’s presence in the immediate vicinity of his current ranch. And he weirdly claims he’s creating the water and the grass his cattle herds have been using up. Last I checked, Mother Nature took care of that sort of thing.

The term ‘beneficial use’ by the way is a term from the original 1862 Homesteading Act, whereby a family could lay claim to lands in certain designated areas, pay a small fee, and as long as they improved it and lived on it, they could claim title after five years. The Act itself was repealed in 1976, and in any case was limited to claims of just 160 acres total. It has never been recognized as an authority to seize or use federally-owned lands not listed as eligible for homesteading. (BTW, it’s no accident that Bundy’s ranch is 160 acres.)

According to additional reporting from KLAS’s Steve Karnigher, no Bundys lived in Bunkerville NV in 1930 or 1940. Bundy’s mother and her parents lived in the neighboring town of Mesquite, with census records from 1930 indicating John and Christena Jensen (Bundy’s maternal grandparents) were from Utah, which is about another 20-30 miles up the present-day I-15. They did have a farm (usually not considered the same thing as a cattle ranch), but it’s reported to have been near Main Street in Mesquite.

Although Bundy’s assertion is his right to graze and water his cattle on federal lands comes from his mother’s side of the family, he can point to no document, no contract, no license or agreement, and no law establishing this inheritable right in perpetuity. Just his specious assertion that the Federal government cannot legally own land inside any state — an assertion that has been dismissed repeatedly in state and federal courts.

Indeed, the only established legal rights he has under the law are the water rights, including water from the nearby Virgin River, associated with the 160-acre ranch which was purchased from Raoul and Ruth Leavitt in 1948. There are no records of inherited grazing rights, pre-emptive rights, special rights, or grandfathered federal land use rights assigned to Bundy or his ancestors.

Basically, Bundy claims grazing rights on the federally-owned lands adjacent to his property because he says so.

Irony abounds

One of the militia types in from Alaska, a man named Justine Giles, who is apparently as history- and irony-challenged as Bundy himself, remarked, “They are literally treating western United States citizens, ranchers, rural folks like this are the modern-day Indians. We’re being driven off of our lands.”

Bundy says his claim dates to 1877. The irony is that in 1875, the local Paiute Indians were forced off those lands into reservations so white men could move in and seize them.

Two years earlier, in 1873, the same land Bundy now owns and uses to grow his melons and raise cattle had been promised to the Paiute. A promise broken, obviously.

Those ‘pioneers’ of the late 19th century stole the land from the indigenous people already living there.

Bundy is a moocher, and he’s stealing from all of us

It costs money for the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management and National Parks Service to manage the lands they’re in charge of. There are access roads to maintain, firefighters to deal with range fires, reclamation efforts, soil and water conservation — and the need to repair the damage done by overgrazing.

A big chunk of the BLM and NPS budgets comes from the Federal government — funded by us taxpayers — because although they can charge licensing fees for the grazing, farming, and mineral rights they regularly lease out, these fees are just a fraction of fair value and actual cost of management.

For example, for the last 30 years, the BLM has charged a mere $1.34 per animal per month (AUM) of grazing. That’s less than a quarter of what it costs the BLM to manage the lands. In 2004, the GAO estimated that private grazing fees, in today’s 2014 dollars, to be $10-29 AUM.

From Salon (emphasis added):

The public lands livestock grazing program uses approximately 250 million acres of the arid west, with permitted users paying a pittance to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or the Forest Service for the privilege to do so. And it is truly a pittance. When Bundy stopped paying BLM in 1993, he owed just $1.86 per animal unit month for his mama cows, or $3,348 to use the land year-round. But Bundy refused to pay the fees because he didn’t want to reduce his herd to just 150 animals in order to help save the Mojave desert tortoise, a species given an emergency Endangered Species Act listing, and whose existence is specifically threatened by livestock competition for scarce desert vegetation and direct crushing and trampling of tortoise burrows. Bundy’s non-payment of fees was coupled with non-cooperation about getting his cows off the range. Since 1993, Bundy’s herd has ranged from 550 to more than 900 animals, far more than he was ever legally permitted. His cows have roamed over a much broader area than he was ever legally allowed to use. Without accounting for the legal expenses incurred by BLM and the costs of last week’s failed roundup, Bundy has since racked up a million dollar bill for overdue fees, trespass fees, and fines.

The lands Cliven Bundy claims as his own, to do with as he pleases, belong to all of us. Through our federal government and its laws, we elected to try to preserve a portion of those near-desert range lands, even as ranchers are being treated exceedingly generously with those ridiculously low grazing fees.

But that’s not good enough for a man like Bundy, a man who denies the United States even exists as a legitimate nation.

I’ll give him this much: He’d rather take a stand and cheat the rest of us out of the few thousand bucks a year he’d otherwise owe than to admit the federal government of the United States of America has any authority over him, a citizen not of America but of the sovereign and apparently independent nation-state of Nevada.

However, these are not the beliefs and positions of an American patriot. They’re the acts of a man committing an act of rebellion against lawful authority, a man whose patriotism and allegiance is not to any nation or state, but to himself alone.

The funny thing is he’s not even being a patriot to Nevada either, whose government’s position is he should pay for the damned grazing licenses like everybody else.


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And here’s on Stewart’s take on Cliven Bundy, from Monday night:

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“America’s oldest hall monitor, Sean Hannity, dedicated 5 shows to the horrors of Spring Break” http://americablog.com/2014/04/americas-oldest-hall-monitor-sean-hannity-dedicated-5-shows-horrors-spring-break.html http://americablog.com/2014/04/americas-oldest-hall-monitor-sean-hannity-dedicated-5-shows-horrors-spring-break.html#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:49:11 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=117340 "More skeptical viewers might think this is a reason to spend the week running wildly inappropriate T&A footage."

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Jon Stewart recently covered the odd fact that Fox News’ Sean Hannity dedicated five different shows to the “horrors” of Spring Break.

Hannity’s shows were replete with lots of B-roll showing bikini-clad women dancing and twerking, to the point where Stewart wondered if that wasn’t the entire point of the series after all:

“Now, some of the more skeptical viewers might think, this is less of a news story and more of a reason to spend the week running wildly inappropriate T&A footage alongside pundits tsking said footage. But you’d only be 99.9% right.”

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Even stranger, Hannity and his guests shared their funny tales of Spring Break (but don’t you dare send the kids), and then demonstrated for the audience how to use a beer-bong.

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DiFi’s hypocrisy over domestic spying – Jon Stewart’s take (video) http://americablog.com/2014/03/feinstein-hypocrisy-domestic-spying-jon-stewart-can-cover-video.html http://americablog.com/2014/03/feinstein-hypocrisy-domestic-spying-jon-stewart-can-cover-video.html#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 15:09:02 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=115014 CIA hacked into Senate Intelligence Committee computers, deleted 900 documents it didn't want Senators to have.

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Jon Stewart weighs in on the growing controversy over the CIA having hacked into the computers, and network, of the US Senate Intelligence Committee.

The CIA reportedly not only broke into the computers in order to spy on members of the committee, but they also deleted over 900 documents that they didn’t think the Senators should have access to.

As David Kravets at Wired points out, Dianne Feinstein, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who is outraged over the new revelations of CIA spying on US Senators, has been quite supportive of such spying when other Americans are the victims:

jon-stewart-dianne-feinsteinFeinstein’s statements criticizing the CIA have particular significance because she is perhaps the biggest senatorial cheerleader for domestic surveillance, including the telephone snooping program in which metadata from calls to, from and within the United States is forwarded in bulk to the National Security Agency without probable cause warrants. A federal judge declared such snooping unlawful last year but stayed the decision pending appeal. The case is before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Here’s Jon Stewart’s take.


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Jon Stewart interviews Jim DeMint, head of GOP’s Heritage Foundation http://americablog.com/2014/03/jon-stewart-interviews-jim-demint-head-gops-heritage-foundation.html http://americablog.com/2014/03/jon-stewart-interviews-jim-demint-head-gops-heritage-foundation.html#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 20:50:25 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=114658 DEMINT: Our hearts are in the same place. STEWART: No they're not. I mean, chest-wise, yes, biologically they are.

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Jon Stewart interviews Jim DeMint the head of the lead conservative thinktank, the Heritage Foundation.

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Stewart schools DeMint on the GOP tendency to demonize government per se. Rather than pointing out problems in government, the GOP always wanted to demonize the very notion of government.

At another point, DeMint denies that Heritage came up with the government shutdown.  Except of course, they were behind the shutdown:

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And PS, another thing that Heritage created, which it likes to deny, is the Obamacare “individual mandate.”  From our earlier coverage…

Here’s the cover of Heritage’s 1989 publication:

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And in a section called “The Heritage Plan,” Butler sets the premise for a form of guaranteed universal health care that would be anathema to the far-right Tea Party that controls the Republican party today:

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A few pages down into the “Heritage Plan,” Butler proposes the individual mandate:

heritage-foundation-invidual-mandate


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The GOP love affair with Vladimir Putin http://americablog.com/2014/03/gop-love-affair-vladimir-putin.html http://americablog.com/2014/03/gop-love-affair-vladimir-putin.html#comments Fri, 07 Mar 2014 21:00:04 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=114484 Putin is a "strong leader" but Obama is a "dictator." Yeah, right.

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Jon Stewart did two segments on Russian President Vladimir Putin, the first looking at Putin’s autocratic style, and the second looking at how Republicans in the US are just fawning over the man.

Stewart makes a great point, among many.  It’s funny how Republicans just love Putin’s dictatorial style, while they accuse Obama of wearing “mommy jeans.”  But then whenever Obama actually does something, like pass health care reform, the President suddenly becomes “Dictator Obama” who jams unconstitutional legislation down the throats of the American public (by letting the Congress vote on it 50 times).

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Every conservative adores a fascist.

I had a little back and forth on Twitter with some folks from the GOP publication, the Daily Caller, who were crowing over the fact that a former blogger for the liberal blog ThinkProgress is complaining that he got reprimanded after writing a post critical of Obama’s troop draw-down in Afghanistan. The blogger, and the Daily Caller’s, point was that this was just like what Russia does censoring content via its official propaganda organ, Russia Today (aka RT).

Um, huh?  First off, ThinkProgress is a blog.  Russia Today is the official voice of the Kremlin.  ThinkProgress is partisan, Russia Today is propaganda – it’s the difference between rooting for one political team, and being a paid liar.  And just as ThinkProgress tows the progressive line, I’m sure Daily Caller does a bang-up job towing the conservative line, probably more so.  (And let’s not forget Christopher Buckley, who basically got thrown off the National Review for violating conservative dogma by endorsing Obama.)

Partisan publications have editorial positions that more or less color their coverage.  Gaius and I don’t agree on every issue, but I let him write whatever he wants, because I know he’s a good progressive, and he won’t be writing pieces lauding Arizona’s anti-gay law, or arguing that slavery was actually a good thing for African-Americans.  Does the fact that I’d never let someone with those views be a regular contributor to AMERICAblog make us Pravda? Hardly.

I also have a problem with Daily Caller putting this out there, and in essence joining in the false equivalence between Russia Today and ThinkProgress, i.e., the false equivalence between Putin’s Russia and Obama’s America.  Some kid getting scolded on a liberal blog is a far cry from working for the Kremlin, an institution that condones Russian neo-Nazi gangs kidnappings gays, black and Jews across Russia (and Ukraine), in addition to currently being in the process of annexing an independent country against its will.

Which takes us back to conservative hagiography of Vladimir Putin, and today’s clips from Jon Stewart. Enjoy.


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Michio Kaku on Stephen Hawking and the wonders of the brain (video) http://americablog.com/2014/02/michio-kaku-talks-jon-stewart-wonders-brain-video.html http://americablog.com/2014/02/michio-kaku-talks-jon-stewart-wonders-brain-video.html#comments Thu, 27 Feb 2014 12:00:03 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=113515 Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist. He recently appeared on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show."

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A brainy guy talking about the brain. Ain’t nothin’ better.

I’ve only seen Michio Kaku on TV a few times. My usual favorite brainy guy is Brian Greene.

And I don’t mean Mormon bigot Orson Scott Card.

Or that guy from 90210.

Rather, it’s this guy:

brian-greene

In any case, Kaku talked about a number of fascinating things, including the fact that Stephen Hawking has glasses with a computer chip in them that reads his brainwaves, and permits him to type.

Here’s Kaku explaining it to NPR:

Michio-Kaku

Michio Kaku

Stephen Hawking, my colleague, is totally paralyzed, and he has a chip in his right glass. Next time you see him on television, look in his right frame, and you see a brain sensor which picks up radio from his brain and allows him to type mentally.

From my googling, that’s not exactly what I’m finding. What I did find was that the glasses have a chip that reads infrared from Hawking’s cheek, and that the movement of his cheek helps him put together words on a Google Glasses type screen in front of him.

Scientific American did say a year ago that Intel was helping Hawking come up with an improvement to the word processing setup, and that it would hopefully help him create 5 words or more per minute, versus the one word per minute that he can create now.  I had no idea he was only able to create one word a minute.  He apparently writes longer things, saves them, and then plays them back, such as when he gives speeches.  I suspect the TV spots we’ve seen of him must have been done this way as well.  I never realized.

Anyway, maybe Kaku is referring to something new that Hawking didn’t have at the time of the Scientific American story. Regardless, he’s an interesting speaker, and is able to explain complicated science to regular people, which is a pretty neat gift.

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Daily Show’s Jason Jones’ final report from Russia (video) http://americablog.com/2014/02/jason-jones-final-report-russia-video.html http://americablog.com/2014/02/jason-jones-final-report-russia-video.html#respond Wed, 26 Feb 2014 00:45:46 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=113459 "Of course, their ode to all their really great writers and artists they had shot, imprisoned or exiled."

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Both the Daily Show and Colbert Report did some great reporting from Russia generally, and the Sochi Olympics in particular.

Below is a segment of Jason Jones, of the Daily Show, doing his final report from Russia. It’s hard to explain what it’s about exactly – it’s about a lot of different things, mostly looking at various dissidents, from Pussy Riot to a blogger the government keeps harassing.

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Jon Stewart did have a funny opening line, talking about the closing ceremony for the Olympics, where they showed oversized photos of a number of famous Russian writers and artists:

“Of course, their ode to all their really great writers and artists they had shot, imprisoned or exiled.”

Enjoy.


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Jon Stewart on Kansas bill to let parents hit kids harder http://americablog.com/2014/02/jon-stewart-crazy-missouri-evolution-bill-kansas-gay-bill.html http://americablog.com/2014/02/jon-stewart-crazy-missouri-evolution-bill-kansas-gay-bill.html#comments Fri, 21 Feb 2014 19:00:00 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=113249 Missouri citizen: "Evolution, it's not taught in the bible, it shouldn't be taught in the class."

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Jon Stewart weighs in on the crazy far-right bills being considered in a variety of state legislatures.

jon-stewart-meth-labs-of-democracy

He looks at Missouri’s crazy evolution bill, and two proposals from Kansas – one to let people discriminate against gays, and the second to let parents hit their kids harder.


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Putin spokesman compares being gay to having sex with a table http://americablog.com/2014/02/putin-spokesman-compares-gay-sex-table.html http://americablog.com/2014/02/putin-spokesman-compares-gay-sex-table.html#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 16:45:59 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=112788 Jason Jones of the Daily Show OBLITERATES homophobic Putin spokesman Sergei Markov in one of best segments ever.

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In one of the best Daily Show segments ever, Jason Jones does an amazing report on gays in Russia.

Specifically, Jones talks to one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s allies, and spokesmen, Sergei Markov, who compares gays to having sex with a table (which apparently, Markov says, you have the freedom to do in Russia).

Then Markov tells Jones to go ahead, have sex with the table right now.  Jones demurs.

sex-with-table

I’ve never felt very strongly about Jason Jones either way.  Samantha Bee has always been my favorite, along with Aasif Mandvi. But my god, Jones was simply amazing in this segment.  Funny, ironic, and when necessary, downright vicious. All I can say is: Thank you.

Here’s a bit of Jones’ interview with Markov.

Jason Jones: Let’s talk about gay rights, or as you call them in Russia, whatever the oppose of that is.

Putin spokesman Sergei Markov: I am tired of this issue.

Jason Jones: You’re tired of talking about gays?

Putin spokesman Sergei Markov: A little bit boring from my point of view.

Jason Jones: Basic human rights for gays, pfft, who cares.

Putin spokesman Sergei Markov: There is real personal freedom in Russia. Nobody care with whom you want to have the sex. For example, you absolutely free to make sex with this table. Go ahead.

Jason Jones: Okay.

Putin spokesman Sergei Markov: From my point of view, even right now we can do it.

Jason Jones: I’m not gonna f*ck the table.

Putin spokesman Sergei Markov: But, you can many times repeat me that it’s normal, that it’s absolutely freedom, that it’s democracy, that it’s “human right” for you to making sex with this table.

Jason Jones: That’s a false analogy.

Putin spokesman Sergei Markov: Having sex between man and woman, normal. Having sex between man and man not normal. Everybody knows this, including gays.

Jason Jones voice-over: After listening to this nutjob, I only had one thought: Boy, do I owe Rick Santorum an apology. Because even though he’s said pretty much every homophobic thing imaginable, he’s never had the gall to say gay people agree with him.

The conversation continues:

Putin spokesman Sergei Markov: No gay propaganda to childrens.

Jason Jones: Why, why?

Putin spokesman Sergei Markov: Because the world too dangerous.

Jason Jones: Dangerous? It’s dangerous for gays to walk by holding hands in front of kids?  Who cares?

Putin spokesman Sergei Markov: Parents of children, they care.

Jason Jones: I’m a parent, I don’t care.

Putin spokesman Sergei Markov: Sometime you will care, and you will say to me, Sergei you was right.

Jason Jones: I don’t have a lot of certainties in life, but the one absolute certainty I have is that I will never say Sergei you were right.

Jones then goes on to the street to talk to real Russians, because certainly they can’t be as bas as their government:

Jason Jones: Why don’t we have a gay pride parade, followed by a homophobic parade, followed by a f’g idiot parade. Then the kids can see all viewpoints.

Russian on the street: I can only imagine taking my kid to school and seeing two dads bringing a kid, and me trying to explain to my kid what’s going on here.

Jason Jones: Right, I mean it’s tough to explain that that kid has two daddies.

Russian on the street: How to find the words?

Jason Jones: Well, other than the words I just used.

Russian on the street: You, you did?

Jason Jones: Yeah.

Russian on the street: I cannot find the words.

Jason Jones: Repeat what I said.

Russian on the street: What?

Jason Jones: That kid has two daddies.

Russian on the street: No way.

Jones does find one courageous woman, willing to defend gays – she was pretty need, and he ended the show with her.

You wonder if Putin even realizes how badly he messed up by having the Olympics in Sochi. The world knew little of Russia after the Soviet days. Then came the Olympics, and for the past year the world has been watching and listening. And the results have been devastating. Russia is coming across as a third world backwater.  And that can’t be helping Putin’s dream of the Olympics introducing a modern 21st century Russia to the world.

Oh, the world got introduced to Russia all right.  Then quickly excused itself, and ran off to take a shower.


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Stalin bunker tour lets Moscow tourists nuke New York City http://americablog.com/2014/02/stalin-bunker-tour-lets-moscow-tourists-nuke-new-york-city.html http://americablog.com/2014/02/stalin-bunker-tour-lets-moscow-tourists-nuke-new-york-city.html#comments Wed, 12 Feb 2014 19:10:48 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=112739 "We destroyed America, finally."

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In a rather disturbing video from the Daily Show, we learn that a tour of Stalin’s underground bunker in Moscow lets tourist take turns nuking New York City.

stalin-bunker-nuke

I saw this in a new video from the Daily Show, and couldn’t believe it. But yes, the Russians thought it would be a fun thing for tourists visiting Stalin’s underground bunker to be able to launch mock nuclear missiles at New York City, and watch New Yorkers run for shelter as millions of Americans are burned alive.

Finally, the Russian tour guide announces to the tourist, “We destroyed America, finally.”

Here’s one tourist’s report that collaborates what the Daily Show showed:

At one point volunteers were requested for a simulation. Naturally, I was the first to volunteer, but I should have thought about the task at hand in advance.

I had to sit at a desk and was given keys and told buttons to press to set off a simulation of a nuclear explosion. There was a video where a Russian city was bombed. As retaliation my job was to turn a key and press a button and blow up…. New York!

I can’t say I enjoyed watching a nuclear explosion hit the center of NYC.

Is that a great country, or what?

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stalin-bunker-nuke-america


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Coke re-airs “that” commercial during the Olympics, while Jon Stewart weighs in http://americablog.com/2014/02/coke-re-airs-america-the-beautiful-ad-olympics.html http://americablog.com/2014/02/coke-re-airs-america-the-beautiful-ad-olympics.html#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 14:00:34 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=112438 During the Olympics opening ceremony, Coca-Cola re-aired its “controversial” pro-diversity ad, featuring the song “America the Beautiful” sung in various languages, to signify the patchwork that is America. I wrote about this last week when Coke first aired its ad during the Super Bowl. Conservatives lost their minds over it, convinced the ad was part of […]

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During the Olympics opening ceremony, Coca-Cola re-aired its “controversial” pro-diversity ad, featuring the song “America the Beautiful” sung in various languages, to signify the patchwork that is America.

I wrote about this last week when Coke first aired its ad during the Super Bowl.

Conservatives lost their minds over it, convinced the ad was part of a larger conspiracy to promote Democratic immigration reform proposals to Congress (seriously).

Jon Stewart weighed in on this a few days ago, and I missed it.  Here’s what Stewart had to say:

How much more American assimilation can they have? Maybe if they were open-carrying a gun shaped like Jesus, while using a bald-eagle strap-on to f*** an apple pie, but for God sakes, what else?

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The rest of the Daily Show segment is below, enjoy.  And don’t miss the funny parody of the ad, showing the languages that didn’t make Coke’s final cut, including Dothraki and Klingon.


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Patrick Stewart bids Earth goodbye, dressed as China’s dying moon rover (video) http://americablog.com/2014/02/patrick-stewart-bids-earth-goodbye-dressed-chinas-moon-rover-video.html http://americablog.com/2014/02/patrick-stewart-bids-earth-goodbye-dressed-chinas-moon-rover-video.html#comments Wed, 05 Feb 2014 18:25:05 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=112117 Unfortunately, China's lunar rover, named Jade Rabbit, has a technical malfunction, and is facing imminent death.

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You might have heard the news that China landed a rover on the moon. Unfortunately, their lunar rover, named Jade Rabbit, has a technical malfunction, and is facing imminent death. Well, actor Patrick Stewart, of Star Trek fame, dressed up as the rover and bid Earth farewell in a short clip on Jon Stewart.

patrick-stewart-as-china's-moon-rover

Before we get to that, Jade Rabbit has been tweeting, and tweeted a rather touching goodbye:

Although I should’ve gone to bed this morning, my masters discovered something abnormal with my mechanical control system. My masters are staying up all night working for a solution. I heard their eyes are looking more like my red rabbit eyes. Nevertheless, I’m aware that I might not survive this lunar night.

If this journey must come to an early end, I am not afraid. Whether or not the repairs are successful, I believe even my malfunctions will provide my masters with valuable information and experience.

The sun has already set here and the temperature is falling very quickly. I’ve said a lot today, yet still feel like it’s not enough. I’ll tell everyone a secret. Actually, I’m not feeling especially sad. Just like any other hero, I’ve only encountered a little problem while on my own adventure.

Good night, planet Earth. Good night, humanity.


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