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    Over the weekend, Howard Fineman wrote a hit piece against President Obama on rightwing Arianna Huffington's blog.  For background, Arianna's blog was started by Andrew Breitbart and Arianna Huffington.  Her blog is owned by AOL, where Dick Cheney's daughter, Mary Cheney is, or was and maybe still is, the Vice President of Consumer Advocacy and Vice President of Communications.  My point: Arianna's blog has a clear rightwing slant.

     The first sentence of Fineman's hit piece against Obama is factually wrong. Fineman splits hairs and gives the false notion that only one Democrat President ran a successful re-election campaign since FDR:

WASHINGTON -- As he tries to become only the second Democratic president since Franklin Roosevelt to win reelection, Barack Obama is adopting much of the strategic playbook Republicans have developed and used for 40 years.
    Facts must not matter at Arianna's blog: After FDR -
Fineman is splitting hairs with his strange claim that only one Democrat President ran a successful Re-Election campaign:

- President Truman (D) served two terms.
Elected as VP in 1945.
First Term: 1945-1949
Won Re-Election as President Second Term: 1949-1953

- President Johnson (D) served two terms.
In accordance to the 22nd Amendment:
Johnson's First Term was after JFK's Death
Won Re-Election & won.
His second term began in 1964.

- President Clinton (D) served two terms
Won Re-Election

Webster Dictionary
Re-Elect: : to elect for another term in office.
From Harry Truman Library
In 1948, Truman won reelection.
Then there are this LBJ re-election button:
    Therefore, according to the Truman Library, Fineman is wrong.  According to LBJ re-election buttons, Fineman is wrong and by definition, via Websters definition of the word "re-elect" Fineman is wrong, Truman, LBJ and Clinton all won re-election for another term in office.

     Fineman wrote the following - yet provide no sources to backup his claims:
Wedge Issues. 
The phrase is often misused. It means forcing the other party to defend an idea, policy or person in such a way that it divides the other party's base. The classic example, used for years if not decades by Reagan, was welfare, which split white and black working-class Democrats. Obama is trying to do the same thing to the GOP on immigration. His administration just filed suit against Arizona's controversial and, to many, egregiously anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The goal is not just to bring him in line, but to make Republicans defend him.

     Who is the source that told Howard Fineman "the  goal is not just to bring him in line, but to make Republicans defend him."

    Who is source that told Fineman that the DoJ lawsuit against Sheriff Arpaio is to "make Republicans defend him."  

     Who is the source that told Fineman the Department of Justice is lying in their lawsuit against Sheriff Arpaio?

     With no sources to substantiate a GD thing Fineman wrote about Apraio, Fineman accuses the Department of Justice of lying and filing a lawsuit for political reasons as opposed to legal reasons.

    Where are your sources Howard?

Fineman ignores facts stem from June 2008 DoJ Investigation that ended Dec 2011:

Department of Justice Website:
     The Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit in federal court today against Maricopa County, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio, arising from unconstitutional and unlawful actions by the defendants.

      The lawsuit follows a comprehensive and independent investigation initiated, in June 2008, under Section 14141 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.   On Dec. 15, 2011, the department issued a 22 page letter of findings, which found reasonable cause that MCSO and Sheriff Arpaio were engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional conduct and/or violations of federal law.   Following the issuance of the letter of findings, the department attempted to reach a resolution with MCSO and Sheriff Arpaio and provided them with a comprehensive draft settlement agreement.  The proposed agreement contained a number of key reforms that had been successfully implemented elsewhere.  However, negotiations were unsuccessful, primarily because MCSO and Sheriff Arpaio refused to agree to any independent oversight by a monitor.

     Howard Fineman had no sources yet he accused the Department of Justice of being corrupt and filing a lawsuit on political grounds rather than legal grounds. WOW! JUST WOW! I don't think Fineman could have been any more irresponsible and unprofessional on that.

          Notice: "a comprehensive and independent investigation initiated, in June 2008" yet Howard Fineman, again, with no sources gives his readers the false illusion that he somehow knows the "goal" of the 2008 investigation and subsequent lawsuit was not due to illegal, unconstitutional activity from the Sheriff but rather " to make Republicans defend him."

     Does Howard Fineman think George Bush's DoJ began the investigation in June 2008 to help President Obama win the 2012 election?

    Fineman continued his rants against President Obama with:

Single-Sex Marriage. By declaring his personal belief in the full right of gays and lesbians to marry, the president turned the four-decades-long culture war on its head. He is betting, and there are data to back him up, that the country has changed on this issue. He thinks that his timing is perfect and that he will push the GOP into a regional, cultural and historical corner.
 
     Who is the source that told Fineman President Obama was being disingenuous in supporting same-sex marriage?

     Who is the source that told Fineman President Obama is "betting" on data rather than speaking from the heart?

     Who is the source that told Fineman what President Obama "thinks" about his "timing."

Pants on Fire and Pinocchio Test:

1) Fineman claims DoJ is corrupt and investigated and filed suit against AZ Sheriff to have GOP candidates defend that sheriff.
- No source

2) Fineman falsely claims only one Democrat President since FDR has won re-election and President Obama hopes to be the second.
- Factually wrong. Truman, LBJ & Clinton all won Re-election campaigns.

3) Fineman accuses President Obama of not really supporting same-sex marriage but only supports same-sex marriage because "He is betting" and "He thinks" that his timing is perfect and that he will push the GOP into a regional, cultural and historical corner."
- No Source 

    My grade to Fineman: FAIL ... Eight Pinocchio .... Pants on Fire

     Fineman, perhaps the GOP's new tool, tossed out a lot of accusations, some corrupt accusations, against President Obama with no sources to back up his claims.

     Fineman's entire piece was bizarre, designed to make President Obama look corrupt via the Department of Justice with absolutely no sources to substantiate any claim that Fineman wrote.

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Comment Preferences

  •  SPOT ON!!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TeamSarah4Choice, live2learn

    I thought the same thing when I read his article.

  •  However, Fineman is splitting hairs: (8+ / 0-)

    Truman was only elected once.  He finished Roosevelt's term then served one of his own.

    Same with Johnson.

    The ONLY Democrat ELECTED to two terms since FDR is Clinton.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon May 14, 2012 at 10:57:08 AM PDT

  •  WaPo Was Able to Find 5 Rich Guy Sources (5+ / 0-)

    against Mitt.

    Well Fineman, after all. We're not talking about a journalist.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon May 14, 2012 at 10:58:13 AM PDT

  •  no, it's factually right (10+ / 0-)
    As he tries to become only the second Democratic president since Franklin Roosevelt to win reelection
    Truman and LBJ were each elected president once. LBJ was eligible to run again, in spite of the 22nd ammendment since he was not re-elected in 1964. He was elected in 64.
    •  correctamundo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mallyroyal
    •  They both won Re-Election after being President (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sebastianguy99

      hence, Fineman is wrong, they won re-election.

      •  how many times (6+ / 0-)

        were they elected president?

      •  "Re-election" means "elected again" (5+ / 0-)

        3. points

        1.  Truman and LBJ did not have a first "term" in office.  They had a first part of a term.  So, the 1948 and 1968 elections were not electing them to "another term," they were electing them to their first full term.  So, "to elect for another term in office" -- the dictionary phrase -- means that you already had "a term in office."  Neither Truman nor LBJ had a term; they only finished part of someone else's term.  

        2.  "To elect for another term in office" implies that you were elected for the first term in office.  

        3.  The general understanding of the term "re-elect" means "to elect again," assuming that you were elected the first time.  Like "redo" means "do again," assuming you did it once.  Same with "reread." Or "rebuild."  Or "restate."  Or "re" anything.  The prefix "re" means "again."  

        (I know, I know, this is all silly, just like it was silly to pick on Fineman for this point.)

        •  Don't think so. The point of 're-election' is that (0+ / 0-)

          a pol has to run for election on a prior record in that office. If Fineman were correct, then LBJ could have run for election for a third term or part thereof, because the first part of a term didn't count, and, of course, he was not part of a slate elected in 1960, or at least that election did nto count either.

  •  Has nothing to do with HuffPo 'right wing' (12+ / 0-)

    slant. Fineman's job is to crank out articles and editorials and put his stupid smug face on tv as a pundit - when bored he
    manufactures issues and 'concerns' that don't exist. When things get serious he will be more overtly democrat-leaning. He has been doing it for years and years, typical beltway behavior.

    Huffington Post is not right wing, it's green wing. Whatever headline will get people to view the site, they'll do it.

    If I knew it was going to be that kind of party, I'd have stuck my ---- in the mashed potatoes! - Paul's Boutique

    by DoctorWho on Mon May 14, 2012 at 11:05:35 AM PDT

    •  Exactly what I was going to say (0+ / 0-)

      Like many media outlets, they pump out whatever will get them the most dollar amount.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Mon May 14, 2012 at 12:27:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Speaking of sources (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carol in San Antonio

    I'd add yours for you

    Link

    "All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree" -- James Madison

    by paulitics on Mon May 14, 2012 at 11:09:00 AM PDT

  •  lies? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffeetalk
    Who is the source that told Fineman the Department of Justice is lying in their lawsuit against Sheriff Arpaio?

    With no sources to substantiate a GD thing Fineman wrote about Apraio, Fineman accuses the Department of Justice of lying and filing a lawsuit for political reasons as opposed to legal reasons.

    Your Fineman blub didn't mention have any claims of a lie, nor a link to the article, so i'm kinda confused about these points.
    •  Fineman's implication that DOJ filed suit against (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sebastianguy99

      Arpaio for reasons other than what they say in the Complaint, implies that they are lying about the reasons they sued him...at least that's how I interpreted this.

      •  That's not a fair interpretation I think (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jabney, quill
            Howard Fineman had no sources yet he accused the Department of Justice of being corrupt and filing a lawsuit on political grounds rather than legal grounds. WOW! JUST WOW! I don't think Fineman could have been any more irresponsible and unprofessional on that.
        I don't see anywhere where Fineman accused DOJ of acting for political reasons INSTEAD of legal reasons.  I don't see anywhere where Fineman implied, for example, that DOJ did not have legal grounds.  What he is saying is that the DOJ lawsuit is ALSO good politics.  

        Did politics ALSO play a role in the DOJ action?  I don't know.  It wouldn't be the first time that a DOJ action was also a good political move for an administration.  That's why AG is a politically appointed position and not a civil service job.  

      •  An incomplete answer is not a lie. (0+ / 0-)

        Their stated reason just has an unstated side benefit.

  •  as others have said, that first sentence is right, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vita Brevis, wwjjd, shanikka, greengemini

    strictly speaking.  Truman and LBJ didn't win REelection.

    however, yes it's a hit piece, and it's only "bizarre" if you ignore who his boss is... which you haven't lol.

    This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

    by mallyroyal on Mon May 14, 2012 at 11:10:49 AM PDT

    •  I corrected my Diary - however, strictly speaking (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sebastianguy99

      both LBJ & Truman ran for Re-election and won.

      Fineman is splitting hairs

      •  the prefix "re" implies they were elected for (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, eatbeans

        their respective first terms.  they weren't, that's the problem.

        gramatically, Fineman is right, and you're wrong.

        but I love the spirit of your diary.

        This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

        by mallyroyal on Mon May 14, 2012 at 11:29:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Truman and LBJ were incumbent Presidents (0+ / 0-)

        How can they be incumbents and not be said to be reelected upon winning their subsequent elections for that office?

        Truman and LBJ were elected Vice President. If Gerald Ford had won in 76 then I could see a case being made that he was not reelected. Even then, it is hard to justify.

        "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

        by sebastianguy99 on Mon May 14, 2012 at 01:15:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  you might also want to consider (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4kedtongue, VClib

    that opinion peices are exactly that. Someone's opinion.

  •  Can you a provide link (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paulitics, quill

    to Fineman's piece please?

  •  More than a 'blog post' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wwjjd, MKinTN

    Howard Fineman is the political editor for HuffPo.  Under his alleged lefty leadership, the already miserable swamp that was HuffPo political coverage has become an even uglier,factually challenged cesspool full of nothing but sneering inuendo.  

    As he lounges at Mitt's desk and tries to convince us that Democrats trust him on anything.  

    A complete disgrace.  

  •  Let MSNBC know..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wwjjd

    Ed Schultz and the others that have this asshat on.  Let them know that he belongs on Fox or at the very least comes out honestly as the corporatist he is.  At least be honest about it.  

  •  At least Fineman says "Democratic president" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quill

    You keep saying "Democrat President"

    false notion that only one Democrat President
    strange claim that only one Democrat President
    falsely claims only one Democrat President

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Mon May 14, 2012 at 11:59:07 AM PDT

  •  The definition of "reelect" (0+ / 0-)

    Oh my gosh, the pedantic nit-pickers on this site! Of course the diarist is correct, and Howard Fineman is wrong. Truman and Johnson were both reelected president.

    Yes, it's true that both Truman's and Johnson's first terms were the result of the elected president dying in office. But so what? They were president, and they ran for reelection.

    The definition of "reelect":
    Merriam-Webster.com: "to elect for another term in office."
    thefreedictionary.com: "to elect (a person, political party, etc.) to an official office for a further term."

    The pedantry of the complainers is irritating because this is a great diary, good job cc! I read that Fineman piece on the Huffington Post quickly, and frankly didn't notice that it didn't cite even one source, while repeatedly claiming that legitimate actions were nothing more than cold-blooded politics. Thanks for pointing that out.

    •  out of curiosity (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wsexson

      # times elected president

      FDR 4
      Truman 1
      Kennedy 1
      LBJ 1
      Carter 1
      Clinton 2
      Obama 1 (so far)

      What Should the correct phrasing of Fineman's point have been?

      •  Number of Terms Served as President (0+ / 0-)

        Truman 2
        Kennedy 1
        LBJ 2
        Carter 1
        Clinton 2

        How many Terms did Truman, LBJ & Clinton serve? TWO

        From the Truman Library
        "In 1948, Truman won reelection."

        Link: http://www.trumanlibrary.org/...

        Call the Truman Library and tell them they are wrong --

        Also, click on the below link to see "Re-Elect LBJ buttons"

        http://www.anderson-auction.com/...

        •  had Fineman said (0+ / 0-)

          Obama was seeking to be the first since FDR to serve two terms, i'd agree with you that he had erred.

          But i think it's kinda obvious that he is speaking of going before the voters and getting 270 electoral votes as president twice.

          And only Clinton and FDR have done that in the last 80 years for the democrats.

          He's just using a different (and easily distinguishable) sense of the term.  Thus my as yet unanswered question.

          •  you think you know more than Truman Library? (0+ / 0-)

            Do you think you know more than LBJ re-election campaign who used "Re-elect LBJ Buttons?

            You dismiss the facts I gave you that prove both men were re-elected:

            1) From the Truman Library

            "In 1948, Truman won reelection."
            Link: http://www.trumanlibrary.org/....

            Call the Truman Library and tell them they are wrong --

            2) LBJ Re-Elect LBJ buttons

            Fineman should have used facts and not BS to say, President Obama is seeking re-election.
            •  logical fallacy (0+ / 0-)

              Argument from authority fallacy. Because the Truman Library says so, it is therefore true. No. Because a campaign button--and LBJ had every reason to stress continuity--says, it is therefore true. No. Make a reasoned argument as to the proper usage of the word "re-elect", and you might persuade your readers. These two fallacious "arguments" won't do it.

      •  The correct phrasing: (0+ / 0-)

        The correct phrasing should have been:
        Obama is seeking to become only the second Democrat since FDR to be elected president twice.

        Instead, Fineman claimed he was the second to be reelected. That's different.

        Fineman's wording clearly ignored Johnson and Truman, and used a bogus point to bolster a bogus suggestion that Democrats aren't popular or important for long stretches of history. That's kind of offensive, because Johnson and Truman were significant presidents with major achievements, doncha think?

        Johnson: Voting Rights Act, Civil Rights Act.
        Truman: Won WWII.

        You think a Republican would have done either of those things? Come on.

    •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

      and your reply is appreciated.

  •  So many nit-pickers on this site (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sebastianguy99

    attacking the ambiguity of "re-elect."

    Fine, it might be technically correct on Fineman's part, but the gist was the "center-right" tendency of our electorate, and that's ridiculous for many reasons, not the least being the electoral history of our presidents. Truman and Johnson abdicate, Kennedy was killed. And there were those four terms by FDR that make jumping off from WW II an arbitrary and convenient point of reference.

    I read the piece - and I like Fineman for the most part - and it was horrendous, phoned-in hackery. He mentions "polls that show a tight race" while on the very page he says it there is an aggregator map of polls showing Obama with a 124 EV lead.

    Then he starts talking about "Reagan was focused on fiscal issues..." Yeah like giving the country a deficit it would take a decade - and a Democratic president - to resolve.

    It was pure crap.

  •  My goodness. Haven't we got our bloggies in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jabney, Blu Gal in DE

    a wad.

    Fineman's right on the reelection thing. Either way...get over it.

    Fineman's not claiming that the DOJ is "corrupt," as you say. He merely believes (this is an OPINION piece) that there may be a little bit of politics mixed in with the DOJ's otherwise correct conclusion that Sheriff Joe is violating the law. Politics...right here in River City!

    Fineman's conclusion that Obama's same sex marriage comments are politically timed is not a declaration that those comments are also insincere. You can read into it all you want, but I don't see anywhere that Fineman is saying the President's lying about his position. If you think that the timing of Obama's remarks were not heavily debated by the political wing of the WH and the campaign, before they were made - well, I just don't know what to tell you.

    Settle down. Fineman''s one of the good guys.

    Liberals: Taking crap for being right since before you were born. - Driftglass (and the amazing Professional Left Podcast at http://professionalleft.blogspot.com/)

    by briefer on Mon May 14, 2012 at 12:43:22 PM PDT

    •  Fineman is wrong - so you get over briefer (0+ / 0-)

      Fineman is wrong and cc gave very detailed proof that Fineman is wrong.

      Fineman is claiming the DoJ is corrupt.  Nowhere in Fineman's hatchet job does he say the DoJ thinks the Sheriff violated the Constitution, Fineman wrote: "The goal is not just to bring him in line, but to make Republicans defend him." with not one GD source as to where he came up with that BS lie.

      Let me guess, briefer: your name is Howard Fineman

    •  Truman Library says YOU and Fineman are WRONG (0+ / 0-)

      I suppose you didn't read cc's Diary where cc shows Truman Library link where they document:

      "In 1948, Truman won reelection."

      ~ Truman Library
      Link: http://www.trumanlibrary.org/...

      I suppose you missed the LBJ Re-election button cc put in this Diary.

      Fineman has no source to any of his claims.

      Fineman has no source for his claim: "The goal" of the lawsuit was "not just to bring him in line, but to make Republicans defend him."

      Fineman has no source for any of his accusations regarding the timing of Obama's same-sex marriage.

      Fineman, right now, is a GOP tool and his hatchet job on Obama with no sources to back up any of his claims prove he is not "one of the good guys" but is a hack.

  •  Fineman proves once again that he is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cc, TeamSarah4Choice

    a lazy useless hack

  •  Truman and LBJ were President when reelected (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    keepemhonest, KayCeSF

    President Clinton was the first Democratic president to be reelected after initial election to the office. Whoopie Do!

    Fineman's assertion ignores that both Truman and LBJ, like Clinton, held the office when seeking reelection. They were not reelected as Vice President, but as President while already sitting in office.

    How can one be the incumbent President yet not be reelected?

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Mon May 14, 2012 at 01:03:53 PM PDT

  •  but really, isn't this the job of a DC "pundit" (3+ / 0-)

    to bloviate unsubstantiated drivel???  fineman is an expert at that

  •  Well, he's feeling pissy? (0+ / 0-)

    We heard our President roast Huffington Post the night of the Correspondents Dinner-- IMO Fineman has been pissy since then and he's been taking a lot of jabs at President Obama since this remark:

     

    “Plenty of journalists are here tonight,” said Obama. “I’d be remise if I did not congratulate the Huffington Post on their Pulitzer Prize. You deserve it Arianna. There is no one else out there linking to the kinds of hard hitting journalism that HufPo is linking to every single day and you don’t pay them. It’s a great business model.”
    [emphasis added]

    Politics is personal for Fineman?  He's just "hard hitting" in this piece to live up to Mr. President's expectations as a HuffPo journalist.  pffft.

    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

    by KayCeSF on Mon May 14, 2012 at 01:43:08 PM PDT

  •  Not to defend Fineman, but this prosecution is (0+ / 0-)

    political in the sense that it is unlikely to have happened under a McCain administration's DOJ.  The Regent and Liberty University grads who would have been installed by McCain would never have seen much wrong with the way Arizona justice and this crazy Sheriff acts.

    And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

    by MrJersey on Mon May 14, 2012 at 03:22:28 PM PDT

  •  Fineman is so full of himself... (0+ / 0-)

    I just cringe every time he's on msnbc.  Thank goodness, it's not as often as it used to be.  He just opens his mouth and spouts crap.  I'm not even sure he knows where it comes from, although I could give him a little hint...

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Mon May 14, 2012 at 03:42:42 PM PDT

  •  Huffpo gets dumber by the day. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "The disturbing footage depicts piglets being drop kicked and swung by their hind legs. Sows are seen being kicked and shoved as they resist leaving their piglets."

    by Bush Bites on Mon May 14, 2012 at 05:05:14 PM PDT

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