Spinning the Spinners



    Have you ever wondered how easy it is to spin a lie when you have the complete cooperation of the media?  Want to hear about a couple of perfect examples?

    First up we have a little article from NASDAQ's site for today, 7/7/03.  I doubt if it will still exist by the time this article runs but here is the general drift.

    The headline tells anyone with a mind what the article will really be trying to achieve: "Bush Seeks Improvements In Preschool Education Programs"   Now, we all know that Bush has nothing to do with this idea anymore than putting a dog's paw print on a card means that the dog wrote or understands the card.  As soon as you see the word "improvement" or  "reform" in relation to Bush's puppet masters, you also know that it means "destroy" or "privatize" or just "hand the money to the worst possible people with the least interest in anything save mere profits".

    What the little moron (we'll go along with the facade of his being involved just to make the explanation easier) wants to do is to give the federal funds currently being spent on Head Start, the most effective government education program ever legislated, to the states.  Of course, having the federal government involved has the happy result of an equal set of regulations and direct access to other federal departments and funds, a situation that no longer be true under this proposal.

    Okay, now say that you, like millions of other Americans, believe the Head Start program is working well and would work much better if the moron and his henchmen would stop cutting the funds and provide enough from the budget to actually be available to all of America's disadvantaged children.  In fact, if you run a Head Start program, how do you think the government and the corporate media will look at you if you say that the idea is a very bad one and that the program's funding and regulation should remain in place?  In fact, if you believe that giving the funding directly to states would result in lower standards, a change in Head Start's mission of providing health, nutrition and parental involvement, and a large cut in the state's direct funding, what would you expect to be seen as?

    According to Ari Fleischer, that jabbering Nazi spokesman for his fellow fascists in Washington, to disagree with this proposal makes you a part of "a very small but liberal faction."  Any protests that you may make will, according to NASDAQ's reporters and the Nazi regime in Washington, will only prove that the regime directing the programs are being criticized by "the many liberals who operate individual centers under government grants."  In fact, if you are against such a dirty little plan to once again harm the nation's poorest children by reducing funding for programs that benefit them the most then you are among those who are afraid that you "could lose their centers if the Bush plan goes through and the states are free to contract with whomever they choose."   (Read "they choose" as lobbyists and bribers and relatives.)

    So, if you believe that the Head Start program is one of the finest acts that this government has ever passed, that it is among the most important programs any needy child could ever be offered in that it improves that child's possibility of gaining an education worthy of this nation, then you are a liberal and that's that. 

    If you believe that the states will just add state funds to the federal funds for Head Start's budget, then you're an idiot.  The states will simply reduce their obligations to the programs by that amount, closing centers or reducing availability of services to children and their parents.  As in every other instance of Republican thuggery against programs for children and parents in poverty, once the program is destroyed, they can happily proclaim the problem solved - there isn't a program anymore so there must not be a need for one - and any efforts by caring, decent people to reenact these programs will become more fodder for the Nazi's chant of "tax and spend Democrats and liberals".

    Folks, this is simply another effort by the Nazi wing of the Republican Party (a magnificent oxymoron) to eliminate any and all programs that do not directly and only benefit the wealthy and corporate owners of that mean little party.   By removing programs such as these, the meanest segments of society can continue their greedy little efforts to insure a steady stream of illiterate, jobless slaves to be ground up and spit out of their minimum wage positions and into the injustice system and then into the corporate prison system.  It also guarantees that the next few generations will be less and less liable to actually think and question since their sole means of gathering information will be from the flickering light of the idiot box. 

    Nothing that the moron and his band of thugs plan are meant to be benefits for anyone but themselves and those that own them.  Anytime the moron opens his mouth and spews the filth that his handlers have placed there it means more hell for the real human beings in America and, most assuredly, for the weakest and most defenseless among us.  They know that the real human beings in America are so sick of the evil that the Republican Party has become and of how useless and tame the weenies in the Democratic Party have become that few, if any, will take the time to waste another vote.  The Republicans are winning through he simple act of castrating the Democrats (with little fuss or bother from them) and then making the world such a nightmare place that real Americans see no possibilities of life getting any better.

    So, this latest attack on the nation's poorest children will undoubtedly go through with little or no real opposition.  Why, you ask?  Because the regime and the media have agreed to label any opposition as "liberals", thus giving them the heavenly right to ignore any and all of that opposition.  Will the media allow even one dissenting voice to be heard amongst the grunting and snorting of the Republican pigs at the taxpayer's trough?  Not very fucking likely.

    The second example comes from the silly state of California (I live here and it has become silly and nearly meaningless beyond measure).

    This state, like the other 49, are feeling the same damage to its economy that the moron and his thugs have inflicted over the last three years to the nation's economy.  Revenues are down because unemployment is at record highs and getting higher.  Revenue from the federal budget is being dramatically slashed along with the tax responsibilities of the wealthy and corporations.  There simply isn't the money available to pay for the services that the state offered during the so-called "boom times" of the nineties. 

    During the nineties, the state increased funding to the education area in order to hire more teachers, decreased class sizes so that those teachers could effectively teach, repaired the crumbling buildings and up-dated the books and supplies necessary for learning.  The state also began to repair and improve the aging infrastructure of the state, the roads and bridges and transportation systems.  It also, sadly, entered into poorly designed contracts with the prison guard unions, contracts that were needed in order to maintain manpower in this difficult career but also contracts that locked the state into large increases regardless of the state's revenue problems.

    At the same time, the state also idiotically deregulated the energy sectors in the state resulting, as in every other industry that has been deregulated in the last twenty-three years, in the theft of public money and a massive decrease in services and standards.  The program to deregulate allowed criminal enterprises such as Enron and Global to steal hundreds of billions of dollars from the consumer's paychecks through the illegal manipulation of available power.  It forced the average consumer to face either bankruptcy or the dark and the poorest simply couldn't pay their bills.

    California's Governor Davis repeatedly asked the FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) to step in and take control of the spiraling energy costs and, since California had voted in huge numbers against the moron's regime in 2000, it continually refused to so.  The Governor, believing that there was no way to stop the steep increases in energy costs, costs that seemed to nearly double each week, decided to enter in contracts with these corporations in order to lock in electrical prices.  At the time, it was a very well received plan and one that few spoke out against.  It would cushion the consumers from any further rate increases.  Shortly thereafter, though, the stock market began its collapse, the blatant theft of corporate and employee funds were accomplished by CEOs and other high ranking executives with no interference from this regime, and the costs for energy dropped like a rock.

    The result is that, three years after the fact, the FERC has reported that corporations like Enron and the rest had illegally manipulated the energy market and that they had made hundreds of billions of dollars in illegal profits.  It also reported that people like Kenneth Lay and Jeffery Skilling and the executives of WorldCom and Global Crossing had illegally stolen from their own corporations and from the pension funds of those corporation's employees.  Finally, it agreed with the contention often repeated by Gov. Davis that the vast majority of the state's financial problems could be laid at the door of these same criminals.

    What the FERC would not do, however, was order these lawbreakers to repay the illegal profits back to the state and void the contracts that would continue to pour taxpayer money into these same criminal enterprises.  Why, you might ask, would the FERC force California to continue paying grossly inflated energy profits into the coffers (or the bankruptcy court's appointed overseer) of these corporations?  Well, if you guessed it was because California voters rejected the moron's campaign in 2000 and defeated nearly every Republican who tried desperately to ride his frayed and borrowed coattails in that election.  By refusing to help this state in its legal cases and requests that were being sought so that the state could reacquire those massive over payments, the moron and his thugs decided to make the state pay for having the intelligence to refuse to vote for the worst and dumbest candidate that ever soiled the American ballots.

    So, now we find ourselves in July of 2003.  The state is $34 billion short of being able to maintain the budget it had during the nineties and into the last year or so.  Davis won the last election with only a slim margin against another Republican who supplied his own campaign with tens of millions of dollars of his personal fortune.  The legislature is pretty much controlled by Democrats and the Republicans are being voted out of office each election cycle.  How does the Republican Party behave when faced with such a crisis, one affecting every Californian?

    Well, of course, they find another Republican, a fellow named Issa, who has far more money than sense and he pays the entire cost of a recall program in hopes of removing the Democrat from office.  Does he do this with any high minded ideals at hand?  Hey, I told you he was a Republican so of course he has an ulterior motive to removing Davis; he wants to run for that office himself.  What's comical about that part of this little right wing drama, though, is that all of Issa's money may not buy him the governor's office since another B-grade actor may set his sights on running - one Arnold Schwarzenegger.   Hey, if a senile old fool like Ronald Reagan can somehow win an election outside of his dressing room, then a grunting foreign-born B-grade actor like Arnold can, too.  That leaves Issa with only the comfort of spending millions of his own dollars in order to elect not just someone else but someone else who is even less qualified than Issa.

    Now, to get to the "spin" part.

    In the July 4th issue of the LA Times, that recall effort is spun completely out of focus.  In the same issue of the Daily News, it hardly makes the news at all.

    In two separate "reports" on the recall, the LA Times first proclaims that a "Slim Majority of Voters Back Davis Recall".  It offers up  a pie chart to prove that statement which shows that 51% of the voters would vote to recall Davis, 42% would not and 7% haven't the slightest idea what the pollster was talking about (but labeled "Haven't heard enough/Don't know) 

    This story quotes an unemployed software engineer as saying, "We need to get rid of him." and goes on to proclaim that, "He's the man in charge, so that buck stops there."  (Just as an observation, though, there doesn't seem to be people like this bozo calling out for the moron's recall since he is supposed to be the ultimate "man in charge" so this stinking economic mess is, using this logic, 100% his fault)

    It isn't until the fifth paragraph, though, that this certainty about the recall vote is put into its appropriate perspective.  There, far away from the average readers attention span, it informs us that, when the respondent is informed of the cost of a recall - $25 million - that the recall is completely doomed.  When those same respondents were asked if they would vote for a recall if there were only Republicans running for that office, the numbers against a recall grow once again.  In fact, it isn't until one turns to page A24, light years beyond the average attention span of ordinary voters, do we finally see the actual numbers.

    What the real figures prove is that voters, when uninformed of the costs or possible results of a recall vote against Davis, tend to favor a recall since, in my humble opinion, the average voter truly believes that no problem can't be handled in less than the 22 minutes that a sitcom airs or with any simplistic and poorly thought out political chicanery.  Once they see the actual cost that would fall on taxpayers in a state with an already massive deficit, they suddenly see little reason for wasting the money.  Then, when they see that any recall might provide a Republican a possible run for the office, they have second and third and fourth thoughts about the whole thing.

    Fact of the matter is, according to the poll, even if Davis were to be removed through the recall, another Democrat would take the office anyway.  Dianne Feinstein, one of California's Senators, would handily win any vote minus Davis.  Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante would be the voter's next choice. 

    Issa, according to this poll, wouldn't even be the Republican's choice.  He gets only 8% of registered Republican's votes with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Richard Riordan taking 18% and 17% respectively.  The big winner in the Republican ranks?  One Bill Simon, the Republican that Davis beat last time.  Simon gets the highest percentage of Republican votes at 24%.

    On page B1, though, all stops are pulled out and reality takes a back seat to headlines.  Here we read "Bid to Recall Davis Surges Ahead".  It informs us that the recall effort, now known as "Rescue California" but still 100% paid for by Rep. Darrell Issa (Rep. - Vista, CA), has 75% of the necessary number of signatures for inclusion on the fall ballot (a ballot that would only offer the recall and the replacement candidates which is why this idiocy will be so expensive for California's taxpayers). 

    Again, it isn't until page B14 that any real information is imparted to the reader about the thoughts and actions of those against such a politically motivated election.  Way back here we learn that this group, known as Taxpayers Against the Governor's Recall, had also acquired one million signatures of Californians who don't want the recall measure to be added to any ballot.  Their signatures, however, aren't meant for the ballot so their numbers are only supposed to be a balance against the recall numbers.  Of course, with only two paragraphs out of all the column inches dedicated to spinning the recall as a fait accompli, one doesn't know much about their positions.

    The article barely gets in-depth about the issues surrounding any recall but, by the time the average readers gets to that part, Good Day LA is on TV and the paper goes into the trash.

    In this instance, the Daily News handles the entire process with much less spinning and twisting of reality (and, no, I never thought I would say that about the Daily News)..  Instead, it dedicates maybe three inches on pg 4 under Local, Regional & State for their article headlined "Petitions turned in, say recall activists".  The story explains basically the same issues that the LA Times did but in a couple dozen less paragraphs.  It also informs us that the groups for the recall are going to sue the state over the method of signature counting since the backers want the signatures counted immediately but the law states that only those petitions turned in during a predetermined period of any month have to be counted during that month with the remaining ballots rolled over into the next period  The backers are thus going to add to the $25 million cost of a special election for the recall by forcing the state to argue its laws in court.

    So, here are two examples of the media participating in the act of informing the people of what they are to believe and how they are to act.  Since the vast majority of Americans think that they are receiving facts when they drool in front of their flickering idiot boxes, it works quite well.  Did I spin the stories to my needs?  Of course I did.  The difference is that you know that I have a progressive agenda and deep loathing of all things Nazi or weenie.  I certainly purport to be unbiased.  That's the divide, though, in that the media wants you to think that they are telling you everything they want you to know while I just expect you to think.

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Copyright 7/7/03