The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, April 14, 2005

A look into the abyss

Every once in a while, it can be enlightening to look into what the right-wing blogosphere is writing about (which isn't to say that you should bother to follow any of the links in this post-- they're strictly for the morbidly curious). From 'Blogs for Bush' comes a recent post on the success of Bush's attempts to privatize Social Security. At least their name is honest:

"According to Republican strategists, we have won the first round in the Social Security debate, and they're now "preparing to plunge into the next fight over President Bush's plan to help fix the program with private investment accounts."

All righty. Never mind that the source is the Washington Times, owned by Moonie Brother Number One Sun-Myung Moon. You know, the guy who had himself coronated "humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent" in the presence of a dozen Republican Congressmen ( And never mind that the author is Donald Lambro, a committed shill for the administration:
(Also see today's post "How to sell privatization" for more Lambro hackery.)

What the article suggests is that a large percentage of Americans acknowledge that Social Security will need adjustments at some point, and that Social Security is a 'major concern' for many Americans-- that's it. What isn't stated is that pretty much every poll out there shows that some 60-70% of Americans are opposed to privatization. I'm guessing that the actual implication of the data is that Americans are concerned about Social Security because this administration is doing everything it can to dismantle the program. Some 'victory.'

I couldn't resist taking a look at one of the site's advertisers. The tag line begins this way:

"Iraq's chances of thriving are much better than most of the media would have us believe. The New Iraqi Dinar is unbelievably affordable. The same amount that was once equal to over $82,000 can now be purchased for around $45."

Talk about a jaw-dropper. First, it takes an unsubstantiated swipe at "the media." Then it suggests that a devalutaion in Iraq's currency of 1,822% is great news. Here's a thought: if you woke up tomorrow and found that your savings account balance of $5,125 was now valued at $2.81, I seriously doubt that your reaction would be "now that's a thriving economy!"

So who's responsible for this up-is-down reasoning? A site called 'Bet on Iraq' (.com). Who are they? You're not going to find that out from the site. They say they're based in Danbury, CT, and Houston. But that's all the info contained on the site.

Yes, I realize that they are speculating on a future rise in the value of the dinar, the line of reasoning being "it's got nowhere to go but up." But how many American entrepeneurs put their money into Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union? Precious few, and Russia is still trying to overcome a devalued currency, a corrupt rulership, and an economy dominated by gangsters.

DISCLAIMER: Matt Sandwich is not a market analyst, but he's not a dumbass, either.

Now let's take a look at the founder of the blog in question. According to this site,, Matt Margolis has a 'posse' threatened a 13-year old with legal action for posting one of the blog's graphics on his own site. (I came across other sites that confirm the story, not just this one.)

Margolis is also a recipient of money from right-wing PACs:

He disapproves of infringements on the right of free speech, but hasn't spoken out against Bush's practice of banning citizens from taxpayer-funded events (he's not so good with grammar or syntax, either).

And, he's committed the most basic of 'journalistic' sins-- passing a stirical story off as real news.

There you have it-- portrait of a young brownshirt. Ideology trumps fact, things are only wrong when your opponent is doing them, and firmly in the pocket of the powers-that-be.

Finally, I should mention a topic that was generating some buzz on progressive blogs a couple of weeks ago-- discussion of an analysis that found right-wing blogs to be largely funded by right-wing organizations, and liberal blogs to be largely unfunded projects by politically-minded individuals.

These are your allies, Republicans. Take a good look, and don't neglect the backdrop...

Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon