The Sarah Palin Network

Tina Fey hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend. Fey portrayed Palin introducing The Sarah Palin Network (video above).

Senate Votes To Continue Consideration Of Spending Bill

Earlier today the Senate ended a Republican filibuster designed to block debate on temporary funding measure for programs including unemployment benefits, COBRA, and maintaining Medicare payments at current rates.  The  vote was 60-34  with four Republicans,  Scott Brown, George Voinovich,  Susan Collins, and Olympia Snowe voting with the Democrats. It is hoped that this clears the path to pass another extension of this spending, but it also remains possible that the Republicans can slow this down with further procedural moves.

Ron Paul: Obama Not A Socialist

It isn’t only Fox which is now questioning those who believe Barack Obama is a socialist. While at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference last weekend, Ron Paul stated that Obama is not a socialist:

“The question has been raised about whether or not our president is a socialist,” Paul said. “I am sure there are some people here who believe it. But in the technical sense, in the economic definition of a what a socialist is, no, he’s not a socialist.”

“He’s a corporatist,” Paul continued. “And unfortunately we have corporatists inside the Republican party and that means you take care of corporations and corporations take over and run the country.”

Paul said examples of President Obama’s “corporatism” were evident in the heath care reform bill he signed into law last month. He said the mandate in the bill put the power over health care in the hands of corporations rather than private citizens. But he said the bill wasn’t the only place where corporatism is creeping into Washington.

“We see it in the financial institutions, we see it in the military-industrial complex,” he said. “And now we see it in the medical-industrial complex.”

Paul should have stopped after he said “no, he’s not a socialist.” While there is some truth to the corporate influence in both parties, and health care reform does help preserve the insurance companies, Paul still manages to miss a key point. The law, instead of putting “the power over health care in the hands of corporations” helps reduce the abuses which we now see from the corporations.

It is curious that Paul concentrated on attacking the mandate and on the corporations. There was not even any talk of “death panels.” Does this mean he realizes that conservatives are wrong in claiming that health care reform is a government take over of health care?

Fox Reports On Those Who Believe The Conspiracy Theories They Have Been Spreading

There’s nothing really surprising in this story. We already knew that the tea party movement is dominated by people from the far right, and that these people are prone to believing conspiracy theories. What is surprising is the source–Fox. The story not only reports on the falsehoods widely believed by those at Tea Party rallies, but even points out that they are untrue:

…while organizers have held the tour as a way to stay front-and-center as a political force, the rallies have also attracted the kinds of mistruths, exaggerations and conspiracy theories that make Tea Party leaders cringe. Though the movement is still trying to shore up its credentials as a grassroots power that’s here to stay, the so-called “fringe” and its accompanying antics continue to give critics fodder.

“Obama, to me, is a socialist. He’s a Muslim and all he wants to do is bankrupt us and run us into the ground,” Ken Schwalbach of Escanaba, Mich., said at a rally on Friday.

Though Obama is a Christian — and his Christian faith was a focal point of debate during the campaign-era controversy over his former pastor Jeremiah Wright — the allegations that the president is a secret Muslim persist years later.

The charge of socialism has been a common theme at Tea Party gatherings — but some activists have gone beyond merely portraying Obama as a European-style, big-government liberal.

Some suggest Obama wants to keep Americans unemployed so that they become dependent on government-run programs. Lenin and Stalin have become catchwords to describe Obama in the speeches denouncing his policies.

Going further, swastikas, as well as pictures of Obama’s face next to Adolf Hitler’s, have appeared on signs at dozens of rallies blasting the president and the Democrat-controlled Congress.

Other Tea Party members continue to question the president’s citizenship — a sign reading “Show Us Your Birth Certificate” popped up at a recent rally in Traverse City, Mich.

“What’s more disturbing is that he’s not answering them,” Tea Party member and conservative blogger Andrea Shay King said of the questions over Obama’s birthplace.

The Hawaiian government twice confirmed during the 2008 presidential election that a copy of Obama’s birth certificate was authentic. tracked down the birth certificate and posted copies of it online.

Questionable characterizations of the massive health care legislation have also resurfaced at Tea Party gatherings.

Ron Moore of Petoskey, Mich., said he stood firm in his belief that the Democrats’ goal was to implement “death panels” to decide who receives medical care and who does not.

“They’ve already started,” he said.

It is good to see any source point out that these beliefs of the far right are false. However, as Think Progress points out, Fox is responsible for spreading many of these false beliefs:

But of course, one of the primary reasons that so many of these right-wing activists believe these conspiracies is because Fox News has pushed them. For example, the “birther” conspiracy has been advanced on Fox News websites. The “death panels” myth has been advocated by Fox News personalities Peter Johnson Jr, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Brian Kilmeade, and Michelle Malkin, among others.