How Political Lies Spread On The Left

Someone on Twitter asked me last night if I’d heard about what was happening in Minnesota with the poor. I didn’t, so they sent me a link to Crooks & Liars that talked about a law proposed there that would make it illegal for poor people to carry more than $20 cash!

(Note : It’s a total lie, but play along with my fake outrage for now.)

Look!!! Here’s some headlines. Wow!!!

Minnesota GOP wants it to be illegal to carry cash if you’re poor

Minn. to Make it a Crime for Poor to Have More Than $20


And here’s what the first couple of paragraphs of the Crooks and Liars piece says…

First Susie Madrak writes…

They’re not just crazy, they’re evil — and un-Christian, should they have the audacity to claim otherwise. If only we could force them to live like this, they wouldn’t last a week:

And then quotes an article that says…

St. Paul, MN – Minnesota Republicans are pushing legislation that would make it a crime for people on public assistance to have more $20 in cash in their pockets any given month. This represents a change from their initial proposal, which banned them from having any money at all.

Wow!!! It would be a crime for people on public assistance to have more than $20 in cash in their pockets any given month! A crime!

And the article continues and there’s a ton of outraged comments, too – starting with Karoli, who I’ll talk about in a minute.

So that’s the claim. I sort of skimmed it and thought to myself “Sounds like a serious charge. “ Up until quite recently, I would have left it at that because Crooks and Liars was one of my go-to sites for information.

Now I think they might want to shorten their name to the more concise and appropriate Liars.

After a few minutes, I did some research. The name of the law in question is House File 171, so I did a Google search on that. I found the story was making quite a stir in the left wing blogosphere – you can see that from the headlines I quoted above.

You can do a Google Blog search yourself for House File 171 – here are screengrabs of what I found.

MN_Google01 MN_Google02 MN_Google3 MN_Google04

That’s a lot of left wing blogs from Marxist ones to ‘moderate left ones. One interesting thing is that they repeat the same story – like, literally cut and pasted. That’s what I would call ‘lockstep liberalism’ but it’s gone beyond that to mindless copycat liberalism.

Did anyone question the story at all or even read the law? Four pages, at the bottom – I found someone. A right winger who quotes the Bible and has a Hillary Clinton ‘Joker’ picture on his blog. The sort of fellow that liberals would call a right wing nutjob, if they were being kind.

Guess what? That’s the guy who had the story right. Hundreds of liberals get crazy about this story, with smugly violent comments about how stupid and evil the Republicans are…and a lone right winger absolutely nails the story. I present to you, The Catawissa Gazetteer., Tom Usher.

He quotes the law itself, including this relevant portion…

During the initial 30 calendar days of eligibility, a recipient may have cash benefits issued on an EBT card without the recipient’s name printed on the card. This card may be the same card on which food support is issued and does not need to meet the requirements of this section.(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), EBT cardholders may opt to have up to $20 per month accessible via automatic teller machine or receive up to $20 cash back from vendor.

Then he gives his opinion. Tom’s reading of the law is the same as mine…

…does it appear to you in any way that the Republicans are trying to limit the amount of cash anyone is allowed to carry? No. They are merely limiting the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from the state issued debit card.

Yep. That’s exactly what the law says. It doesn’t say (as Crooks and Liars reported) that it’s “a crime for people on public assistance to have more than $20 in cash in their pockets any given month. “

Tom closes with a statement I couldn’t have said better myself…

The internet is a wonderful way to stay on top of the issues of the day but all people, regardless of political persuasion, need to check their facts before running with a story. It’s way to easy to become party to the spreading of lies meant to harm one group or another.

The C&L story and all the left wing blog posts had it totally wrong. They had either not done basic research or they just didn’t care. Oh, man. Depressing.

A quick note about the law – I don’t know if this is a good law. Do some cash restrictions make sense? I think so but $20 seems a bit low given laundry or bus fare or whatever. There’s room for reasoned debate – except that’s not what the left wing blogs I read are doing. It’s all insults and lies and hype. So, while I am unsure about the law, I am 100% sure about the lie.

So I tweeted this info and got into a nice conversation or two about it. I wondered if Crooks & Liars would post a retraction or (more importantly) if their fans would ask for one, since the story was 1) blatantly misleading and 2) widely repeated. Nope.

In fact, the opposite. Karoli wrote a fast blog post about this called (ironically?) Because reading comprehension seems to be at a premium. I’ve know Karoli for a few years on  Twitter. She’s nice if you agree with her.


Let’s break down how someone who is pretty widely respected in the left wing blogosphere will just blatantly fabricate something. I mean, lie in an easily provable fashion that should be embarrassing to an adult.

Karoli’s post is a lesson in total denial and misdirection. She’s clearly counting on her readers not to check her work, link a link or call her on her bullshit. Here’s the opening to her piece…

See this title?  War On The Poor: Minnesota Republicans Want To Bust Poor People Who Carry Cash | Crooks and Liars

That title was written by Susie Madrak in a post at C&L yesterday. And here’s what Susie said:

They’re not just crazy, they’re evil — and un-Christian, should they have the audacity to claim otherwise. If only we could force them to live like this, they wouldn’t last a week:

Here’s the piece of the article Susie quoted:

“House File 171 would make it so that families on MFIP – and disabled single adults on General Assistance and Minnesota Supplemental Aid – could not have their cash grants in cash or put into a checking account. Rather, they could only use a state-issued debit card at special terminals in certain businesses that are set up to accept the card.”

Hey, wait! Karoli said ‘Here’s the piece of the article that Susie quoted”’….but she left out something. Something kind of important…

Here’s a screen grab I did of Susie’s article on C&L,  just in case anything suddenly changes. Look at the paragraph I highlight in the screen grab and its position, right at the top of the story.


So, when Karoli says ‘Here’s the piece” – she’s leaving out that piece. That’s the part that says…

Minnesota Republicans are pushing legislation that would make it a crime for people on public assistance to have more $20 in cash in their pockets any given month.

And as I pointed out, it’s just simply not true. It’s a lie that was repeated and now Karoli triples down on it by intentionally leaving it out of her article. It’s nowhere to be found. Huh!

Karoli then says…

Nowhere in that paragraph quoted or Susie’s opener does she say anything about being arrested. She does talk about being busted, and rightly so. However, some have interpreted her post and use of the word “busted” in particular as “arrested”. (Emphasis added.)

Karoli is correct – because she didn’t quote the paragraph that’s at issue and then she creates a totally made up semantic debate about the word ‘busted’ — an irrelevant point to try and misdirect what the debate is about. And even THAT is load of BS, because – yes, some interpret the word ‘bust’ as ‘arrested’ when the second ‘paragraph’ in your ‘article’ talks about it being a ‘crime’ for people to have more than ‘$20’ in their ‘pockets’ any given ‘month’.

My eyesight is horrible but I can read through that that just fine, thanks.

This misdirection is common tactic I’m seeing lately and I’ll have lots more to say about it in a future post.

Update: Corrections

Blogger BJ Keefe issues a correction.


  1. It’s one thing to say these bloggers didn’t do their homework on this story, but quite another to accuse them of lying. It is true that they all seem to cite that same source, this “FightBack!News” site–directly or indirectly–and that none of them bothered to check whether what that source said was true. That’s the kind of echo chamber familiar to anyone who reads blogs, be they left, right, or otherwise. But to lie, these left leaning bloggers would have to know ahead of time that that source was itself was lying, and Lee offers no evidence that they did.

    Now, I would expect them to admit they made an error and to correct it–and I might even call those who refused to do so liars, once I’m satisfied that they know their version of events is untrue–but I wouldn’t be so quick to label them as quickly as the author here chose to do.

    • I think it’s very clear — proven, actually — that Karoli is choosing to be deliberately dishonest about this story and criticism of it.

  2. The whole silly issue is merely about the method of delivery of welfare. Easy fix is to do away with welfare. Get government out of the business of charity. It does more harm than good. As a society I would hope we would individually support charities that provide food and shelter for those in distress. However, the government should not be passing out money to folks as that merely acts as a disincentive to improving ones lot in life.

  3. Karoli is being dishonest by not acknowledging the whole of the cite at C&L. That’s one. But what about C&L, and all those other bloggers on your four page list… Are you still accusing them of lying, or might you retract that?

  4. Umm — I don’t think I’m the one who needs to retract anything. Let me know if you see anyone retract the obvious falsehood about the story and clarify thing. Find someone honest and I’d be glad to acknowledge.

  5. That’s kinda what I expected… “Do as I say, not as I do.”

    Hopefully, some of the sites on your list will correct their error, and say that “FightBackNews” was telling a lie, and they should’ve checked the story’s (or site’s) veracity before running with it.

    And hopefully, you’ll consider doing the right thing as regards your claims of widespread liberal lying, as well.

  6. What did I just say? Find someone who retracts and I’ll say so, right here. Find a bunch of people who retract and I’ll say it seems like I spoke too soon.

    But first — find ONE person to retract. Ask C&L to retract. You see how Karoli acted. Go check and see how others react.

  7. Every word a Progressive says is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the’.

    Every accusation a Progressive makes is projection.

    Know this, and you know progressives. C&L lie because they don’t know any other way.

  8. So this “honest man” stuff I’ve been reading about you seems to be true. I hope you’re prepared for what’s coming. The left will make you pay.

  9. Guilty until proven innocent… That’s not the America I live in, Lee…

    The way I’ve always understood it, it’s incumbent on the person making an allegation to prove that the allegation’s actually true, rather than insisting that the accused prove that the allegations against them are not true. If you’re going to call folks liars, shouldn’t you, y’know, prove that they’re lying–or retract the charge if you can’t–rather than insisting that they prove they’re not the liars you claim they are?

    I mean, I know I’m just a liberal n’all… (and thus “don’t know any other way” or whatever, because we’re all just like that, and sweeping generalizations and partisan bigotry be damned) …but aren’t unsubstantiated allegations like these worth every cent it cost to post and read ’em, and not a penny more?

  10. Dude, I’ve been through this before — I’m STILL banned from DailyKos for saying that it seemed to me that John Edwards might be having an affair.

    This isn’t a court of law — it’s my opinion. I’m not going to pre-retract.

  11. Proving the allegations one makes–and retracting them, if one cannot–isn’t strictly a legal matter, Lee. It’s the basis of good quality reporting. It’s often the difference between fact and fiction, objective truth, and subjective opinion.

    If your saying that all these liberal blogs are lying about this story is nothing more than your opinion, and based on little more than your own biases, I guess that’s your prerogative… But even so, folks should still judge those opinions based on the backing evidence you do (or fail to) present in support of them. And I’ve no doubt, all the readers who come here will, with all your new friends sure that “they” are all liars (being progressives, n’all… It seems to go without saying, or any need of backing evidence at all) and all the rest of us questioning the whats, the whys and the hows, as I have…

  12. Which allegation are you talking about?-I accused the liberal blogs of REPEATING a lie.

    I accuse Karoli of lying and I make semi-joke about C&L — what else are you talking about?

  13. Lee, I bookmarked your blog after Patterico highlighted your work (along with Breitbart). It appears you are in the early stages of a intellectual conversion or awakening. If so, enjoy the ride. If not, I’ll continue to enjoy your writing even though I’m fairly confident we disagree about most issues. Best of luck and stay safe.

  14. @repseac3
    “The way I’ve always understood it, it’s incumbent on the person making an allegation to prove that the allegation’s actually true,”

    Then it’s incumbent on all of these Lefty bloggers who are making the allegation (that the MN GOP is pushing legislation that will make it a crime for a person on public assistance to be in possession of more than $20 cash) to prove that allegation’s actually true. it is a bald assertion with absolutely no basis in fact.

    If they didn’t know this allegation was a lie when they first spread it, then they weren’t lying, so much as being careless with the truth. But once the fact that the law does not say what this lie claims it says is brought to their attention, if they don’t retract the statement that it does, they’ve moved from carelessness to deliberate prevarication. By doubling down, they’re lying now even if they weren’t before.

  15. Which allegation are you talking about?-I accused the liberal blogs of REPEATING a lie.

    I accuse Karoli of lying and I make semi-joke about C&L — what else are you talking about?

  16. Not that you named me specifically in your post, but if you care, I was one of those bloggers who passed along the incorrect report. I have since corrected my post and linked back to here.

  17. The way I’ve always understood it, it’s incumbent on the person making an allegation to prove that the allegation’s actually true, rather than insisting that the accused prove that the allegations against them are not true

    But wouldn’t that apply to C&L, then? They made the allegation that Minnesota Republicans want to make it a crime for poor people to have more than $20 cash in any given month. And they certainly haven’t tried to prove their allegation.

  18. I have seen tactic of argumentum ad poor reading comprehension used in the past, usually when the person using it has no leg to stand on. I must say I find it, at best, deeply ironic.

  19. Steverino:

    You’re on the right track, I guess, but no, the author at C&L didn’t make an allegation so much as quote a source that was lying, and that she failed to investigate for herself. (The same is true of a bunch of other lib sites who got it from C&L or that FightBackNews blog.) At this point though, she’s clearly not willing to make the correction, so yeah, I’d say the author who wrote the piece at C&L is a liar. (And I’d also say the same is true of any of the other lib sites where Lee or some commenter told them they had it wrong, and gave ’em 24 hours or so to fix it.)

    Some of the blogs I’ve read think the wording of the bill is a little vague as concerns the $20.00 (and point out that if the card is their only income, the effect is the same; no more than $20.00 in cash), but I don’t see it. It seems clear enough to me.

    As A lib, I’m disappointed in C&L. I do expect better of ’em–and of all the blogs I read.

    And yeah, I guess I was a little hard on Lee… The implication about libs being liars is there, IMO, but no, other than his “joke,” he never comes out and says so in plain English. (The same is not true of some of his commenters, however. Gotta love them sweeping generalizations…)

  20. Lee,

    Thanks for the link. I was sittin’ on the porch this afternoon, a cold beer in my hand and a little SRV on the box when I happened to look at the blog and saw all kids of activity, the kind a lonely blogger from Missouri just isn’t accustomed to.

    You and I may have a few differences when it comes to politics but I think we’d both agree that unless we have truth as a foundation nothing else matters.

    By the way, the Joker picture is our Senator in Missouri, Claire McCaskill, not Hillary. Separated at birth? You be the judge. Actually, as much as I disagree with Mrs. Clinton on political matters I feel for her. She’s been put in a nearly impossible situation.

    If you ever get out St. Louis way give me a holler. I’m thinkin’ that a night sittin’ ’round the fire might be quite enjoyable.

  21. You expect politicians to use fallacious arguments. Maybe I’m naive, but I was under the impression the media was meant to point out those fallacies, not proliferate them.

    P.S. You need some serious training in mental gymnastics to keep up with repsac3.

  22. Hello,

    I have been reading some of your writings since you were “premiered” on Patterico. It is good to get all opinions, and yes, many sites are retreads of others’ notes, writings, etc.

    Hats off to you for this work in exposing the perpetually-outward spiralling misguidance.

    Limiting the amount of free cash is a necessary evil in public assistance programs. I would support drug-testing requirements as well as making homeless/jobless people perform public works (street sweeping, trash policing at a park, etc.). When people receive free things with no expectations to reciprocate in one way or another, they are merely receiving the fish we catch and contribute nothing in the end, but to the overall burden on society.

    That said, limiting the amount of “free cash” they can use, or limiting the materiel that they may purchase with these cards (casinos, hookers, smokes, etc.) must be described in some sort of way, perhaps through legislation.

    I can remember when I first had a job in the 90’s. I was at a store, in the line, and watched a guy and a gal, both dressed in rasta-hippy garb, wait in line. They each bought a jalapeno pepper (quantity 1). In Arizona, the food stamps were $20 each and the individual received the difference in cash. They both purchased the peppers, at $0.02 each, took the change, threw the peppers into the trash, then proceeded to the liquor department to purchase cheap beer. When I asked the cashier about the legitimacy of the transaction, she had told me there is nothing the can do, other than refuse service. My first experience as a tax payer to the very flawed system developed by people with “compassion” (read: no cajones to enforce responsibility on the individual).

  23. Lee, I can’t help but agree with you. I keep going round and round with progressive friends of mine when they pick up these panicky little memes from progressive and outright lefty blogs and “news” sites, and start twittering and feeblebooking them to one another. Sometimes, they haven’t bothered to read the article they’re posting about, and sometimes they have no idea what the article is about even if they DO read it. Just in the past couple of months, I’ve seen them complain that:

    Sarah Palin’s response on her website was just a cheap political shot to “drag herself into the debate”. The person making this allegation claimed that “no one had said she had contributed to the shooting”. When it was pointed out that the only reason she was posting anything at all on the issue was that half the country was trying to indict her for murder based on a graphic, he said “well, I never read that.”

    Another post, and a claim that author Ayn Rand was a “welfare queen”. There apparently was some article about it somewhere, but no one bothered to do a Google search and see that the woman had actually responded to the allegations herself back in her own newsletter.

    Yet another post, claiming that “Fox News has been denied entry into Canada because of a law that prohibits false news”. Utterly false, since a quick peek at the Fox website shows it is currently carried by several Canadian cable companies. The tiny nugget of truth is that they were trying to start a NEW venture, a combined US and Canadian news station, and THAT was denied — but because it would compete with native businesses unfairly, not due to any supposed inaccuracy in Fox’s reporting.

    As the line from “A Fish Called Wanda” goes, “these are all mistakes, you can look them up.” But the Progressives in question were so busy being hystrionic and socially relevant that they couldn’t be bothered to actually make sure what they were saying was factual. And trying to convince them usually requires a cold chisel and a mallet — to open their minds.

  24. Lee – you’re soooooooo not going to get invited to the parties you used to get invited to.

  25. Intellectual dishonesty is the mainstay of extremists. And, extremists no longer see Truth, only dogma.

    As a Conservative blogger, I gauge the intent and integrity of what I write. I question whether it is something I should be posting, or not. Though I focus primarily on posting my views on the American culture war, I still have to ground what I write on facts and then intellectually-honest analysis. I hope I succeed.

    What I read on sites like Politico, Democratic Underground, Slate, etc., are some of the most intellectually dishonest articles and posts imaginable. Which makes me wonder how the writers can think of themselves as “journalists,” or even “thinkers.”

    This goes for bloggers on the Right who do not do their research, much less read their passed-on sources. It is disturbing. Because more and more, people getting their information on the Internet (or on mainstream TV) just stop with the talking points and sensationalized headlines.

    That doesn’t mean I want any form of censorship or Fairness Doctrine (same thing). Adults are capable of being responsible for taking what they read and see and deciding for themselves. Many need to learn how to do this.

    It would be great if bloggers of all stripes as well as all news outlets were responsible themselves. But, people are people, and this is not an ideal world.

  26. Those of us on the right are much more disciplined because we have long been under the scrutiny of the MSM. If one lunatic on the right makes a remark that taken a certain way can be construed as racist then pius, avenging journos will be all over him. Leftist media watchdogs have made us extremely disciplined. Karoli assumes we hate the poor, we just will not admit it. Therefore it is OK make crap up about us that is probably true anyway.

    As for us we do not have to make crap up because the left is loud and proud in their lunacy. International Answer, Muslim Student Associations, pro-abortion protesters, gay rights advocates (Zomblog), SEIU, Wisconsin Protests, Anarchists, Black Panthers in Philly,…

  27. Lee,
    What about all of the lies spread by Breitbart’s “Big” sites? Where you blog. When are you going to tackle them?

    • Do you have something specific in mind?

  28. Lee,

    You know, the LIES! All those lies about, you know, STUFF! and the h8! and the RACISM!!! Come on! You have tackle the H8! and LIES! and the RACISM!!!

  29. Good job Lee! We’re political opposites but you honesty is to be lauded. You personify what it means to disagree agreeably. Keep up the good work and keep everyone’s feet to the fire!

  30. Zebras can’t change their stripes and so it is with Progressives (Socialists). To paraphrase Newt Gingrich, if the left was honest with the American people about their goals and intentions, they’d never get elected.

  31. Great job. I am so sick of both sides not being honest. When you have to make up lies to prove that your side is right then maybe your on the wrong side. All of these websites that Liberals and Conservatives get their information needs to be checked before you run around quoting them. It is pretty bad that I have to do research every time I read something. This article alone took me 30 minutes of reading all the sites involved to find out that Lee speaks the truth. At least I found a couple more people to follow on twitter.

  32. Another good recent example, posted on Facebook by a couple of my liberal friends, was an article by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. from the Huffington Post (and other sources) about how a Canadian regulation that forbids lying in the news keeps Fox News out of Canada.

    Nevermind that the issue is more complicated than the article lets on, but Fox News has been in Canada since 2004, so the whole premise of the article is false.

    I say this as a conservative who applies the same rules to conservative sources. If what the article claims sounds too good to be true, then it probably is and you should verify back to the original sources to see if they say what the author claims they say. And the less that partisans of all kinds check the work of partisan authors, the more those partisan authors can count on those who politically agree with them not to check their work, to the detriment of all.

  33. One of the tenets of liberalism is that it insists on complete freedom in matters of immorality. One of those matters is the freedom to just out and out lie. My basic default setting when dealing with liberals is; if a liberal’s mouth is open, he or she is lying.

  34. Um, Lee – you actually have to ask if Amanda has something specific in mind?
    The most alarming off the top of my head is the blatant misrepresentation and character assassination of Shriley Sherrod, but if you want a list:

    Not saying the Breitbart incidents are worse than repeating misinformation, and I commend you for calling out the facts… but let’s be get real here. Liberal blogsphere is getting more aggressive to combat the tactics the far right has been using to slander, misrepresent and sow seeds of fear and mistrust for anything that is “other” – especially dark skin kenyan negroes that aren’t american enough to be president and rag head sand negroes that shouldn’t be trusted.

    Lets be real about the nature of the partisanship – the liberals may occasionally stumble trying to fight back, but are far more saintlier than the crap coming out of the right wing.

  35. Lee,
    As a scientist this sort of thing drives me around the bend. Thanks for the effort. I used to watch ABC’s “This Week” until they did this sort of thing several times in a row with a twist: They would take a soundbite from a politician, say a Mr X, who would say, “A is B but A is not C”. Then the panel would begin their opinions by first stating that Mr X “really” said that A was C.

  36. I used to consider myself pretty left leaning up until a couple of years ago. When I actually began researching the things I was hearing, to understand them better, I became alarmed at how much I took for granted as true was based on deeply misleading information. So, I would say you’ve discovered what many of us have: So much of the left has no interest in being accurate, they are only interested in being persuasive, and they have enough cover it seems to get away with it. There are elements of the right that do the same, but the receive far more scrutiny in my observations.

  37. Hey, Amanda

    You know, if you weren’t an unhinged moonbat, you might stop to realize that Lee is doing an incredible service for Your Side. One word. Try to follow.


    See, by policing his own, by saying “Okay, wait a minute, there are enough serious critiques to be made without making things up” his arguments, unlike the “RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACIST! BUSHITLER!” parrot chorus will be listened to.

    Here’s the money quote, Mandykins:

    “A quick note about the law – I don’t know if this is a good law. Do some cash restrictions make sense? I think so but $20 seems a bit low given laundry or bus fare or whatever. There’s room for reasoned debate – except that’s not what the left wing blogs I read are doing. It’s all insults and lies and hype. So, while I am unsure about the law, I am 100% sure about the lie.”

    See how this works, sweetie? He’s not on the side of the Republicans. He’s just against LYING about it in arguing against it.

    He’s on YOUR side.

    But you Orthodox Liberals cry, and scream, and throw tantrums if people think for themselves and don’t mindlessly buy into and accept “Teh Narrative.”

    Which is why I don’t mind pointing it out to you. Which is why I use condescending language. You won’t even GET to this part, Amanda. You’re going to pop your cork before you get here, and keep alienating allies. Which works very well for me.

    You have a good day. You all are so CUTE! 😉

  38. i think it is incorrect to say that crooks and liars should shorten their name. why should they? its perfectly descriptive. they’re all crooks and liars.

  39. Obviously people have a hard time getting the point of this. Susie Madrak, intentionally or unintentionally, posted incorrect information without verifying that the source she cited was even accurate. It’s been three days since she posted this story and there is still no acknowledgment on her part or anyone she works for that she used an inaccurate source. Then Karoli tried to smear Lee by leaving out the main point of his post. That is lying, and Lee doesn’t have to apologize until they can have any sort of dignity and admit their mistake.

  40. Finally, someone is putting some light on a favorite Democrat trick – something learned from the KGB during the Cold War. KGB would insert an article in some place like a newspaper in Koala Lampur, then it would be picked up somewhere else, and then the whole media apparatus would run with it. A favorite method of spreading lies and misinformation, which has been adopted by the Democrats.

    The Republican party knows about this but says and does nothing in response. It’s the Bush strategy of wilful blindness all over again, leaving it up to sites like this to hold the water while the national Republican party does things like having Boehner go on ’60 Minutes’.

    National Republicans have got to see themselves as something more than Democrat lite, or they need to be replaced, and that goes for Boehner as well, who has got to be a big disappointment. Not necessarily his actions, but his utter failure to use the alternative media. As Mark Levin said, it was the tea party that put him and other national Republicans in power, but these people can’t run fast enough away from the Tea Party, and do nothing to counter the lies spread by the national media about the Tea Party. So perhaps the National Republican party has to be replaced too using the power of the ballot to vote in real conservative Republicans. These people have to learn to fight or they will be overwhelmed by the Democrats – we can’t afford Bush and Rove’s policy of non-engagement – without that misguided policy we wouldn’t have OBAMA. In short without Rove’s policy of being above it all, and leaving it to us to get the message out you wouldn’t have an OBAMA election.
    That policy does not work – and Republican leaders better wake up or get out.

  41. I propose a new self-help book for recovering progressives: “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Lie Them”

  42. I’m a small “L” libertarian. My ax grinds both ways. Left and right. I have a lot of respect for your clear mindedness and honesty here. But as others have saidm, brace yourself. You’ve been picked up by those dastardly rogues like Instapundit, Althouse, and Neo-Neocon (gasp). I expect the backlash will be quite severe from people on the left that you never expected it to come from. Stay on the path and good with all of that.

  43. C&L didn’t make an allegation so much as quote a source that was lying, and that she failed to investigate for herself

    Which is the same as reiterating the lie.

    Will C&L issue a retraction and clarify the original story, or run a better, more in-depth version? I think we both know the answer to that: no. Otherwise, they would have already done these things.

  44. I would say the entire point of the “story” was to smeer Republicans. What else is the point than to say “See , they’re just as inhuman as our bigoted stereotype of them says they are”

    This opens the door for the brilliant commenters..

    “I hate Republicans” “Not as much as I do” “They delight in this kind of thing.” “They deserve our hate” “I hate Republicans” “Well maybe the story is..” “Kill the traitor troll Rove plant!!”

    If what Leftists said about the people they oppose was said about, say, Muslims, they’d be crying “HATECRIME HATE CRIME”

  45. FightBack! News is an arm of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Of course they lie. On purpose. Saul Alinsky… Rules for Radicals…Whatever it takes. The end justifies the means.

  46. Do you have something specific in mind?


  47. Lee, you keep this up and they’re going to vote you off the island. Good on ya, brother.

  48. A right winger who quotes the Bible and has a Hillary Clinton ‘Joker’ picture on his blog.

    FYI, That’s Claire McCaskill, not Hillary. 😉

  49. Lee, you have to understand. If it doesn’t follow the meme drilled into your head, it is a lie. Facts be damned.

  50. I may not be fan of Lees politics and I get for the left the Bush years were long and miserable and the Obama years have been a roller coaster but this sort of thing are like an important immune system that is part of a healthy movement and culture. A fever might be unpleasing but its your body trying to heal itself. I have never voted for a republican before 2010 but the left these days scares the crap out of me. Here is some advice to help get back to your civil libertarian roots then i can vote for you again.

    *apply all those principles/arguments you made so much noise about with Iraq to Libya.
    *stop defending the TSA because Obama is in charge, want to call yourselves liberals then act like liberals (look it up if your not sure the real definition)
    *you know all those worries you have bout police and military power? Try applying those to the rest of government. Bullying and stealing with pens and paper instead of guns is still bullying and stealing.
    *The 2006-2010 democrat congress was really awful on a lot of things. Republicans certainly are not above lying but right now there is so much crap from Pelosi/Reid’ Congress they don’t have to make anything up.
    *find some right wing thinking blogs that you can stand to read and read what their real ideas and thinking are. The real world of politics is not simple good guys vs bad guys. Its good ideas with bad side effects and harsh sounding ideas with good side effects. If you want to live in the “reality based community” then get used to being in the muddy ambiguous confusing reality that is life.

    In short, while I think history shows socialism for all its good intentioned followers does not work on large diverse nations. My two main priorities are civil liberties and religious freedom. Your hatred of the right lately has left you often blinded or outright hostile two these two important universal rights of late. Mr Stranahan is the cure not the disease to healthy American liberalism.

  51. Excellent post and excellent point. One little quibble: reading the quotes, it would appear that the restriction only applies to the first 30 days of eligibility, while the eligible party still has a card without preprinted name. It would seem like that’s a reasonable protection — you can’t get rolled for your new benefits card and have it cleaned out.

  52. Thank you, Lee. I get excoriated as a Liberal all the time for calling out the false hyperbole on my own side. Quite frankly, I have a hard time getting my fellow libs to see that repeating trumped-up ridiculous stories only makes us look hysterical, and loses us support in the long run. I’m not sure when liberal blogging became an exercise in repeating any and every awful and overblown thing about the Republicans you can find, whether true or not, but it’s getting ridiculous. It has gone far beyond the occasional “oops” in the past few years. There is enough to criticize without resorting to lies and false screaming headlines. It’s a little difficult for me to convince my swing-voting non-political neighbors that we lefties are the sensible ones, when I have to combat this kind of junk. Keep up the good work, and never mind those who want to see you as traitor for merely trying to preserve our credibility.

  53. “This misdirection is common tactic I’m seeing lately and I’ll have lots more to say about it in a future post.”

    It’s been covered. It was just projected onto right wingers.

    Epistemic closure.

    That’s why lefties are normally so boring to argue politics with. It’s like arguing about the divinity of Jesus with Christians.

  54. You’ve been mugged by the reality that conservatives have been facing for years.

    Yes, grown people should be absolutely ashamed to be pushing such nonsense. I have no idea why they do it. If you asked me if I thought a 20 dollar cash back limit was too low I would completely agree (despite being a conservative! GASP!). But they have to frame it in such a ridiculous, nonsensical, incorrect way that they knock themselves out of the argument.

    I think they are happier snipping with all their little buddies about the evil rethuglicans than they are having a reasoned arguments with other adults using the actual facts, even if it is an argument where they might find substantial agreement from those with whom they disagree on other issues.

  55. As I meander through the political commentary sites on the web, I find myself being dragged slowly but surely to the conservative side – a place I never thought I would find myself.

    While of course I come across conservative writers/views/articles/blogs I disagree with, on the whole I find them well written, civilised in tone, usually based in fact (ie you very often find links to source data), and generally thoughtful. Generally the point is to express a view for the reader to consider, to except or reject as they see fit: the writer is attempting to persuade the reader on the strength of their argument.

    On the left leaning side, what I too often find is someone telling what I must believe, with no tolerance of dissention. This is a great example – Lee appears to be copping quite a bit of flak for pointing out the bleeding obvious, that the original story, since multiplied, is patently false. Note that so far there is only a single correction.

    What I find from leftist writers is that it is all about the narrative, or the idea, and facts are too often very loose. Viewpoints and accusations are presented with little or no attempt at substantiation.

    I find myself persuaded by those people who make the effort to persuade me, not those who demand I blindly believe what they choose to tell me I believe. And I really don’t like being lied to or treated with contempt – I make up my own mind, but I find it is only on the conservative side that my views are treated with civility, even by those who disagree. My left leaning friends very quickly descend to name calling and insults – attacking the person rather than the idea being discussed. Increasingly I am finding that is becoming an almost universal response on the left, and frankly, its just silly.

  56. Rational discourse? I think I might weep for joy. Forget life on Mars, I have found evidence of hope on the inter-tubes.

  57. Mr. Stranahan, you have made a bold decision int he course of your life, and I’m afraid those on the Left side of the ideological will not tolerate your honesty any more than they tolerated Pat Caddell’s or Juan Williams’. If you don’t march in lockstep, especially when they’re lying, then you’re off to the proverbial gulag.

    This is not to say you won’t have work available. Just be prepared to lose a chunk of the friends you thought you had.

  58. Just my two cents, but there seems to be some confusion as to the $20 limit imposed on the EBT card, and that the amount may be too low. Having been on food stamps I can tell you that in most cases, the “money” that is put onto the card can only be used for food purchases, and most times will never be converted to cash. You have the preloaded debit card that you use at grocery stores and it MUST be used to buy food. There are some instances where people have separate funds loaded onto their cards that can be used to buy other goods, such as bus fare, gas, paper products, diapers, etc. Given that fact, there really is little reason for people to need actual cash, and it is limited so that people cannot use said cash to purchase alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs. It’s the same principle as giving a homeless person food as opposed to the money. You never know what it’ll be used for. So I think limiting the monthly amount to $20 CASH is more than reasonable.

  59. For cryin out loud, there were no typos when I proofread my previous entry – at least I saw none – but lo and behold… My apologies for the sloppy writing.

  60. I just checked, they are still running the story as it is real with even more nasty comments. Typical.

  61. Basic ethics of anyone blogging or reporting would require you to track back your sources. Especially if it sounds as ridiculous as this. Or, as many on the Left would say, ‘too good to be true’. If I saw the Left claiming something equally crazy, I’d backtrack it to find the source. Then read the source. Then, if it looks as advertised, run with it. The problem is, just as with Dan Rather, it so fit their preconceived notions of eeeviilllee RethugliKKKans, that they didn’t even bother to check.

  62. Wow! This is a refreshing website–just picked you up on Twitter. Chose have the tweets sent to my iPhone, Lee, that is an honor given to only a few…

  63. Wait, you expected Karoli to be honest? That woman has been caught lying so many times that it is amazing she is allowed to post….oh, wait, sorry, she’s a liberal. Lying is what they do best.

  64. Thank you for looking at this dispassionatly. Seems all too often any more political orthodoxy wins out over reasoned debate, even when the facts would seem to indicate that the proposal is very likely to NOT give the results indicated on the box, so to speak.

    Maybe part of the problem with the left is that they know, down deep, that their supposedly rational arguments can only be supported by force. There is no disagreement allowed or even discussion – you’ve seen that, certainly. Discussion of a subject could lead to the realization that they’re wrong in their thinking – so it must not be allowed.

    I’ve seen speculation that a lot of the dislike towards conservatives (the accusations of bigotry, hatred, and the like) are actually projection of what the liberals themselves are feeling. THEY can’t admit to such feelings – therefore they project them on those they hate.

    And sometimes I think they can’t NOT hate. If there isn’t a cause, they’ll come up with one – by (as you showed) completely misrepresenting something or other. And once the idea is spawned, it’s pretty difficult to kill it off.

    Good luck – and keep up the honesty!

  65. Lee: Interesting how the quote about the $20 does not appear anywhere in her post now. I did however note this lovely bit of misdirection: “Ironically, some apologists out there slamming Susie and others as “lockstep liberals” are the same ones who were most in need not that long ago. Now that they’ve moved beyond that and found better circumstances, they’ve become a bit mean-spirited and even selfish. What was good enough for them isn’t good enough for anyone else. I don’t claim to understand that, but there it is.”

    So, there you go, now that you have “found better circumstances”, you no longer care about poor people… just like the Republicans.

  66. Really enjoying this comment thread. I feel like I’m watching the left and right struggling to rip the curtain away from the great OZ. Maybe we can get into our heads that these stories with these radical headlines are written not by truth-seeking journalists, but by media puppeteers. They attempt to to frame every debate by first stirring up the passions and prejudices of people who can’t be bothered to research, and turning mirrors toward smug narcissists who like to see their own intellectual and moral superiority”proven” in the most hyperbolic way, so that before they even read the actual story they’re convinced that not only is their idealogical opponent wrong, but he is evil, and no amount of civil debate will wash that notion away. That kind of mindset is a pretty big obstacle to overcome if we’re ever going to struggle together to find the truth. That being said, it seems there’s a 50-50 left/right divide on this comment thread…where do we ever get to see that?

  67. Lee ,
    What do you have to say about the Pamela Geller column at Big Government six spots above your column? Do you have the guts to condemn it? Or do you agree with her that the President is consistently Anti-American? Do you agree with her that President Obama supports Al-Qaeda, the Iranian mullahs, Hamas, and Hezbollah? I’d like to hear your thoughts on that one.

  68. Leftists lie, even when they tell the truth.

    Expecting them to act in good faith is foolish. They tell the truth only to the extent to which it advances their malignant agenda.

    It is important to call them on their bullshit and shine a very bright light upon them. Not because their own duplicity will be shameful to them. It won’t be. But they will be very displeased to have their dishonesty exposed to others as it is only by convincing others to believe their lies that they draw power to themselves. Leftists won’t tell the truth, therefore it is important that we tell the truth FOR and ABOUT them.

  69. Nothing says that a recipient with more then $20.00 in their pocket will get busted. It says that you can’t withdraw cash more then that in a month. Now I, as a Member in Good Standing of the Right Wing DeathBeast Association, actually have a problem with that. It says that you are granted a certain cash allowance because of your situation; but “We’re” going to tell you how to spend it! What a load of crap. People’s situations vary…laundry, bus fare and other things that a debit card simply won’t buy.

    A conservative should be of the opinion that while I think it’s wrong to give people money like this for extended periods of times it’s even wronger ( I know) to tell them how to live their lives.

    Isn’t this the whole point of “get the government out of our lives”?

    Here you have a Republican, now supposedly being one of the smaller government sorts, playing the same games Liberals and Democrats play with the largess…payed by you and I…that is: “you can have it, but only if you play by my rules”. And this is why independents and Tea Party members have little tolerance for Republicans.

    The logical conclusion for the author of this bill would be, to insure the money is spent wisely, to buy everything from government stores and vendors. Like in Moscow twenty years ago.

  70. Amanda’s question was directed at a different “Lee,” but I feel the need to answer it just the same.

    I personally think that Obama does support the enemies of western civilization, not because he has any special love for them or for what they believe, but because his mind is steeped in the dogma of Gramscian Marxism which casts them as the noble oppressed by virtue of their ethnicity and religion. It is the same dogma that designates certain people here in the US as official “victims” to be held above reproach as members of a “minority.”

    He’s just another brain-dead liberal who can’t see right from wrong because he views everything through the prism of leftist victimology. People like him are a dime a dozen in any humanities department on any college campus.

  71. And like clockwork, Amanda wants to change the subject to something Lee has no control over or anything to do with. Something unrelated to the nutosphere’s making up their own “facts” about legislation they didn’t even read and don’t understand in the first place.

    Because the topic of the post and its implications are just, well, a bit too inconvenient.

  72. “Or do you agree with her that the President is consistently Anti-American?”

    Hell yes. Little lord brakabama has never in his worthless, feckless life missed an opportunity to undermine this nation.

    You brakabama butt-kissers have no leg to stand on. All you have is your racist pity for his worthless little ass.

  73. If I’ve read all of this correctly, the only connection between the left’s view of the law, and the actual text of the law, is that both mention $20, right?

    While I’d love to agree that this is new and limited to the internet, it’s not.

    Remember the “Bush Tax Credit For SUVs” about 6-8 years ago? Covered for weeks on all of the alphabet network news programs, also in the NYT, Time, US Snooze, et al.

    Guess what?

    It never existed.

    The tax credit in question, a modification to Section 179 depreciation that would allow the immediate expensing (rather than depreciating over a number of years) of the “business use” portion (commuting doesn’t qualify here) of the cost of certain specified trucks over a minimum GVW of 8,000 pounds. Yes, there are two rarely sold models of SUV that meet that minimum weight rating.

    1. This was accelerated depreciation, not a tax credit (big difference).
    2. The deduction only applies to vehicles used in business, and the 8,000# minimum proves the intent applied to commercial trucks.
    3. While the law did use a technical definition (bulkhead/wall required between driver’s compartment and cargo compartment), it specifically EXCLUDED all SUVs except those in use as a taxi, hearse or ambulance.

    So here again, the only connection between the law and the reporting was the mention of an SUV, albeit somewhat cryptically in the case of the law. Never mind the the law essentially banned SUVs from qualifying for the deduction, while the reporting passed off the law as being a credit solely for SUVs.

    The left and the media (sorry for the redundancy) use this tactic all the time. The take one word out of its original context, and then build an entire narrative that is 100% contrary to reality around that word.

    If their lips are moving, you know they’re lying.

  74. What say you Lee,
    Are you going to condemn the Anti American views of Pamela Geller?

  75. Anti-American? She’s saying Obama is Anti-American, not that she is. Geller is being over-hypey and over-stating her case — although I think Obama’s foreign policy right now is hard to explain, much less defend. This isn’t one of her worse pieces, overall, given the events in the Middle East lately. I think she’s as overstated as a lot of people on the left, not moreso, really. Kucinich was just talking impeachment.

    But the wider point is no, I don’t feel the need to attack every other blogger on either HuffPost or BigGovernment. I have stuff I’m interested in and just because I blog somewhere doesn’t mean I agree with everyone else who blog there, obviously.

  76. The Hillary Clinton ‘Joker’ picture is actually supposed to be Claire McCaskill.

  77. Every thing I read and watch theses days has a political twist to it and not the facts. I am so sick and tied of being sick and tied of all this crap. Not only does the media seem to pour out just what they think we should , but also how they want us to hear it. the press has forgoten how to write. It should be just who, what,where, and how. Not there opinions or beliefs and the truth of the matter with checking the source of the information. The only way to stop this crap is bringing all the lies out in the open and shame them. As far as politics I see no end in ether side putting in place a reasonable goverment who works for the people so they may use there own money for what they deem right without harm to others. Common sense is not there strongsuit by no means because they are to busy playing for power and money in thier own pockets.

  78. These intellect deficit news whores have no shame. They spread their lies like a cancer. I have a bad feeling about what is to come in the next couple of years. I fear it might come to bloodshed as they won’t quit or give up until their demands are met or they can no longer make said demands.

  79. ‘lockstep liberalism’ is a fancy word for spam. Too bad they can’t be reported for spamming search engines…

    This is an excellent post and well said. As always, anyone that disagrees with the liberal brain washing machine is crazy… Do I dare say that Liberalism is modern day Orwellism right down to the double speak…

  80. Amanda – setting aside the article on another blog on another topic – what are your thoughts on the topic of this article? Stranahan is writing about the intellectual dishonesty of the Left (and how it is hurting their credibility greatly) and offers up a pretty solid example. Is this type of reporting ok with you or would you like to see more accurate reporting from both sides of the political spectrum? Do you think Lee has been unfair in his analysis?

  81. Believing anything from the “liberal” outlets, is like believing in WMDs!

    Media, regardless of point of view, has a very difficult time retracting anything. They were for it before they were against it. Acorn and a couple black panthers were the reason Obama won. Voting roadblocks and removing voters from voting rolls is the reason Bush won.

    Get real. Both sides have an agenda and anything that pushes forward that agenda is deemed appropriate, the facts be damned. If you are a partisan then you are fodder for that side of the argument. It’s disturbing seeing both sides play the emotion game and care so little for reality.

  82. I don’t see the problem with the law at all I can withdraw my $20 sell the debit card to someone else for cash at half value then report it lost at the end of the month and get a new one for the next month and repeat the process, it works for food stamps just as well. I can take my $485 worth of food stamps per month sell them for $250 buy me an 8-ball of coke, cut it, sell 10 bags for $400 take that and buy two more 8 balls and repeat it is profitable and requires no cash outlay from me at all.

    By the end of the month I have turned that $485 worth of food stamps into $4000 and haven’t really had to turn my hand over as far as work goes.

  83. I try to find the facts of every issue that is important to me. Like most other people, I don’t have time to research everything. I live in East Texas, where the great majority of people describe themselves as conservative. During Bill Clinton’s years in office I would get emails from conservative friends everyday with the most outlandish claims and accusations. I can honestly say that I never get emails like that from liberals. For every false or distorted accusation from the “left” that you can show me, I can show you ten from the “right”.



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