From Tim Dickinson at Rolling Stone:
How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory
The onetime Nixon operative has created the most profitable propaganda machine in history. Inside America’s Unfair and Imbalanced Network
The key to decoding Fox News isn’t Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity. It isn’t even News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch. To understand what drives Fox News, and what its true purpose is, you must first understand Chairman [Roger] Ailes. “He is Fox News,” says Jane Hall, a decade-long Fox commentator who defected over Ailes’ embrace of the fear-mongering Glenn Beck. “It’s his vision. It’s a reflection of him.”
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From TALKING POINTS MEMO:
Democrats are pushing hard on ending tax breaks for oil companies, linking the issue to the deficit and high gas prices, which have boosted profits in the industry to new heights.
In a floor speech on Tuesday, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said the Senate would target $4 billion in benefits for oil companies with the intention of using the savings to help address the nation’s growing debt.
“If we’re serious about reducing the deficit, this is an easy place to start,” Reid said. “It’s a no-brainer. Let’s use the savings from these taxpayer giveaways to drive down the deficit, not drive up oil company profits.”
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From Paul Harris at the Mail & Guardian online:
The bright lights of the Las Vegas strip were an apt setting for the Donald Trump carnival roadshow to end up in last week. Amid the garish neon of the gigantic Treasure Island Casino, the business mogul-turned-reality TV star-turned-potential Republican presidential candidate made his latest stop.
Speaking at an event called The Reagan Revolution: From Ronald to Donald, Trump made his pitch to an audience of Nevada Republican bigwigs and curious onlookers in one of the key early-voting states in the nomination process. In the casino’s ballroom, which featured an ice statue of himself, Trump gave a virtuoso performance that was full of braggadocio and littered with expletives. “Our leaders are stupid, they are stupid people,” he said, before referring to the Chinese government as “motherfuckers” against whom he’d raise trade tariffs.
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From the New York DAILY NEWS:
The Tea Party is steamed over DC’s budget deal.
While President Obama, Senate majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) hailed Friday night’s eleventh hour accord to avoid a government shutdown as “historic,” several Tea Party members did not feel the same way.
Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) called the $39-billion slashing deal a “disappointment.”
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From TALKING POINTS MEMO:
In a statement this afternoon, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor acknowledged what top Republicans have hesitated to acknowledge since they won back the majority in November: a government shutdown is a real possibility and, he says, the country will blame Democrats if that happens.
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Tuesday’s breakdown in Republican discipline weakens Speaker John Boehner’s hand in White House budget talks and raises the chances of a government shutdown next month unless he and President Barack Obama greatly step up their game.
Fifty-four Republicans broke ranks with Boehner, leaving him suddenly dependent on Democrats to win House approval of a must-pass three-week spending bill to keep the government operating past Friday. Tea-party-backed freshmen contributed to the embarrassment, but an equal force was a set of more veteran conservatives — some with their own political agenda but also more willing to risk an immediate fight with the White House.
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