Josh Glasstetter's blog

Senator Polliwog (aka Lindsey Graham) on Barack Obama, Michael Phelps, and North Carolina

Barack Obama claimed the state of North Carolina today, which hasn’t gone to a Democrat since Jimmy Carter. But before we could reflect on this historic triumph, we were reminded of something we read last week, which made us think of this:


Don’t worry. We can explain.

Senator Lindsey Graham, warming up a North Carolina audience for McCain, assured them that McCain would win: "He fits North Carolina like a glove…I’ll beat Michael Phelps in swimming before Barack Obama wins North Carolina." Whoops! Graham continued, "Don't let me down, because I can’t swim."

But rather than eating his words, we hope Graham will take the opportunity to learn to swim. Swimming is an important skill, especially for a man who could himself get washed away by a blue wave.

We’ve done him the favor of inquiring about beginner lessons in South Carolina. The Columbia YMCA has two very promising offerings:


Graham was right about one thing: McCain does fit North Carolina like a glove. We tried it ourselves, and the glove kept getting hung up on Asheville:


Sean Hannity Asks the Tough Questions about So-Called “Winner” of Presidential Election

In the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s historic election, the McCain campaign and RNC led a coordinated campaign to cast the integrity of the vote into doubt. They claimed ACORN was engaging in massive voter fraud. They claimed that Obama was receiving illegal foreign contributions. They claimed that the “liberal media” was skewing the polls in favor of Democrats.

In other words, they were writing themselves an insurance policy in the event of a contested election or narrow loss. But it wasn’t even close.

As a result, the anticipated barrage of conspiracy theories and false charges never materialized. Yet not everyone could just let it go.

Here’s the current poll on Hannity.com:

(h/t: Bob Geiger)

McCain-Palin Pit Bulls Turn Feral

There's a long history in American politics of exploiting divisions and fanning bigotry to win elections. In recent decades those strategies were honed by Lee Atwater and Karl Rove. Now the torch has passed to Steve Schmidt, and he’s done just about everything possible to fan the flames.

Schmidt’s tactics and the right-wing echo chamber have convinced millions of Americans that the nation is about to elect someone who hates America and “pals around with terrorists.” Just take a look at this video of supporters outside a Palin rally:

In recent weeks, the right wing has grown even more frenzied as McCain and his allies pushed the ACORN voter fraud hoax. Not only is Obama a Manchurian candidate, the thinking goes, but his evildoer comrades at ACORN are trying to steal the election. It’s little wonder that some people are going berserk.

McCain, Palin, Schmidt, Limbaugh, Hannity and the rest of them have created something very powerful, but very ugly, and it’s grown too big for them to control. Here is just some of what happens when you train your pit bulls to fear and hate and attack, and then they get loose:

Obama lawn sign replaced by rebel flag

Obama sign burned on black family's front lawn

Anti-Obama Fury Spills Over Into Down-Ticket Contests: "Bomb Obama"

Death threat, vandalism hit ACORN after McCain comments

ACORN Deluged with Threatening and Racist Voicemails and Emails

Obama Called a Socialist and 'Un-American'

McCain supporters heckle early voters

Dead bear covered with Obama signs found at school

People For the American Way is tracking such incidents around the nation. If something happens in your community that people should know about, please get in touch.

Hate You Can Believe In: ACORN Deluged with Threatening and Racist Voicemails and Emails

It’s bad enough that the employees of ACORN have had to endure days of baseless and outlandish attacks by John McCain and the RNC. But after McCain outrageously claimed before a national audience on Wednesday night that ACORN was “maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy,” the group came under attack, literally. In the following days, ACORN’s Boston and Seattle offices were vandalized and at least one employee received a death threat.

And for nearly two weeks, ACORN offices across the nation have been subjected to an onslaught of racist and threatening voicemails and emails. We have secured copies of some of the most disturbing and offensive messages and have reproduced them below in order to show the very real consequences of the Right Wing’s overheated and misplaced “voter fraud” rhetoric.

Warning: the emails and voicemails below are highly explicit and have only been edited to remove personally identifying information. Please also note that, where relevant, the proper authorities have been notified.

Voicemail #1:  

“Hi, I was just calling to let you all know that Barack Obama needs to get hung. He's a fucking nigger, and he's a piece of shit. You guys are fraudulent, and you need to go to hell. All the niggers on oak trees. They're gonna get all hung honeys, they're gonna get assassinated, they're gonna get killed.”

Email #1: This email was received by the Cleveland office. The subject line was the name of a senior staffer who had recently appeared on TV to defend the group.

According to McClatchy, the email was traced back to a Facebook account featuring a McCain-Palin sign.

Email #2:

Voicemail #2:

"You liberal idiots. Dumb shits. Welfare bums. You guys just fucking come to our country, consume every natural resource there is, and make a lot of babies. That's all you guys do. And then suck up the welfare and expect everyone else to pay for your hospital bills for your kids. I just say let your kids die. That's the best move. Just let your children die. Forget about paying for hospital bills for them. I'm not gonna do it. You guys are lowlifes. And I hope you all die."

Washington Times Lands Abe Lincoln Scoop

Washington Times columnist and prominent neoconservative Frank Gaffney opened his Wednesday column with a forceful quote attributed to President Abraham Lincoln:

Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.

This quote may have been news to Lincoln scholars, but it appears thousands of times on the Internet. It was even cited last year at a DC press conference by Congressman Jack Murtha’s Republican opponent, Diana Irey. The quote was especially familiar to close readers of Unification Church publications, which include the Washington Times and Insight magazine. That’s because the quote is fake and first appeared in the pages of Insight magazine. J. Michael Waller opened his 12/23/03 article, “Democrats Usher in An Age of Treason,” with those words. He later explained in an email to Factcheck.org:

The supposed quote in question is not a quote at all, and I never intended it to be construed as one. It was my lead sentence in the article that a copy editor mistakenly turned into a quote by incorrectly inserting quotation marks.

In other words, a Washington Times columnist recycled a fake Lincoln quote that originally appeared in the Washington Times' magazine. Incidentally, Factcheck.org concluded that, quote marks or not, Waller’s assertion about Lincoln was false. Insight is now defunct as a stand-alone magazine, but its website has continued to peddle misinformation with remarkable success. A recent smear piece, which falsely claimed that Hillary Clinton would accuse Barack Obama of covering up time spent at an Indonesian madrassa as a child, was picked up by Fox News and conservative talk radio and spewed across the nation.

You might think any news organization would be embarrassed to no end for making the same glaring error twice. But the Washington Times didn’t run a correction in today’s paper and Gaffney’s column is still posted – without an update, correction or apology – on washingtontimes.com and David Horowitz’s frontpagemag.com. For right-wing pundits, agitating the base clearly trumps getting the story right. After all, as Abraham Lincoln might have said, one should "never let the facts get in the way of a good story."

Update: The Washington Times has finally pulled the Gaffney column from its site, but not before Republican Congressman Don Young of Alaska cited the quote on the House floor.

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