Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Gone Fishin

Dear Reader,
I am going on a trip for a few days, trying to find new ways to screw up Bernard Goldberg's America. Who knows? Given the evil deeds of the Nobel Prize Winners, etc., we have already identified, the possibilities are legion. Anyway, no further news on the Goldberg 100 until I return.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

#10 Ralph Neas

According to Goldberg, Neas, President of the People for the American Way, is screwing up America, because he opposes the Boy Scouts' antigay agenda and because he worked against the nomination of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. Goldberg particularly focussed on PAW's opposition to Bush's appeals court nominee, Charles Pickering. Actually, what Goldberg hates the most is that unlike most liberal lobby groups Neas' PAW has been pretty effective in an overwhelmingly conservative regime. One measure of such effectiveness is the way that clueless Democratic politicians find their spine when Neas pushes them.

Ralph Neas, President of PAW, came to PAW after an unsuccessful run for Congress from Maryland. From 1981 through 1995, he served as Executive Director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation's oldest and largest coalition. During that time, landmark laws enacted included the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988, the 1988 Fair Housing Act Amendments, the Japanese American Civil Liberties Act, and the 1982 Voting Rights Act Extension. Senator Edward Kennedy, in a 1995 Senate floor statement, described Ralph as the "101st Senator for Civil Rights."

In 1987, he chaired the successful bipartisan effort by the 300-organization Block Bork Coalition to defeat the confirmation of Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court. For his successful efforts, Ralph was named ABC's "Person of the Week."

As President of People For the American Way and People For the American Way Foundation since 2000, Ralph has increased the members and supporters of People For from 300,000 to more than 750,000 and fought a series of largely ineffective battles against conservative legislation like the Patriot Act and the Bush tax cuts.

His organization's website, asserts special pride in how relentlessly the right wing attacks him, nonetheless, for his effectiveness, especially the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, where he has been personally criticized more than 50 times.

He has been honored by organizations representing the spectrum of issues to which he's devoted his career, including the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award from LCCR; the Benjamin Hooks "Keeper of the Flame" Award from the national NAACP; the Flag Bearer Award from Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays; the Public Service Achievement Award from Common Cause; the Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award from the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund; the Isaiah Award for the Pursuit of Justice from the American Jewish Committee; the Edison Uno Memorial Civil Rights Award from the Japanese-American Citizens' League; the University of Chicago Alumni Public Service Citation; "Citizen of the Year" from the Guillian-Barre Syndrome Foundation International; named one of Vanity Fair’s Best Stewards of the environment (2004); and the “National Good Guy Award” from the National Women's Political Caucus.

Goldberg's elevation of Neas to top ten reflects a larger issue: that the right cannot tolerate any limits on their absolute power whatsoever. From Goldberg 77's point of view, Neas and PFAW have done very little to defeat the overwhelmingly conservative dominance of every meaningful agency of American life, including its special target, the judiciary. When liberals try to exercise power, conservatives react as if their car talked. "Drive to work? Not on your life! Today, we're going to the beach."

Saturday, August 27, 2005

#9: Jonathan Kozol

Goldberg describes education writer Jonathan Kozol as someone who has lectured for decades on public education standards, specifically promoting the idea that children should become critics of America. According to Goldberg, Kozol views the education system as brainwashing, and that children should be counter-brainwashed by being skeptical of authority. Ironically, to Goldberg, Kozol draws much of his inspiration from the educational systems of Cuba and China. All of this activity has made Kozol, according to Goldberg "the patron saint of today's powerful liberal education establishment."

Born into one of Goldberg's hated affluent Jewish families (see Krugman,#8), Kozol has made a practice of leaving comfortable surroundings for more challenging, impoverished areas. He enjoyed teaching young children and eventually got a job in the public school system in Roxbury teaching fourth grade. Thereafter, Kozol spent most of his adult life teaching, speaking, and writing about the conditions and problems of urban youth. Kozol's first book, Death at an Early Age (1967), a devastating chronicle of children he met during his first year of teaching, won the National Book Award. Rachel and Her children (1988), a study of homeless families, won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. His most recent book, Amazing Grace (1995), which appeared on the New York Times best-seller list for several months, takes place in the South Bronx, the poorest Congressional district in the U.S. Kozol has said, "Of all my books, Amazing Grace means the most to me. It took the most out of me and was hardest to write because it was the hardest to live through those experiences. I felt it would initially be seen as discouraging but, ultimately, sensitive readers would see the resilient and transcendent qualities of children and some mothers in the book-that it would be seen as a book about the elegant theology of children. That's what happened finally. The most moving comments about it also pointed to its moral and religious texture."

A blogger I found put his finger on Goldberg's targeting of this defender of the poorest and most helpless of Americans -- the children -- perfectly:
"I’ve never heard anyone breathe a negative word about the man previously, but clearly Kozol slighted Bernie at a cocktail party at some point in the 80s and he hasn’t forgiven him.”

Goldberg 77 sees a slightly different -- and uglier -- pattern emerging. What Bernard Goldberg hates most is Jewish men, born into privilege, who give up their privileged positions to advance the claims of people less powerful than themselves.
As the New Testament says "For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required." -- Luke 12:48. A little Freud anyone? Could our Bernie be feeling just a teensy bit guilty about his own selfish, vulgar ways?

Friday, August 26, 2005

#8 Paul Krugman

Goldberg calls Paul Krugman "the most ideologically left-wing columnist on the Times' op-ed page." Surveying the rich trove of Krugman's twice weekly columns and dozens of published books on economics and economic politics, Goldberg can find only one instance of how Krugman is screwing up America: On May 11, Krugman compared the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal to the My Lai massacre, because both scandals had been exposed in part by long time journalist Seymour Hersh. Goldberg does try to draw a larger lesson from the one column, concluding that "for Paul Krugman, and for many of his devoted readers who eagerly embrace his warped view of America and its military, this blatant absurdity had become a simple fact."
As an aside, Goldberg also asserts that Krugman is screwing up America, because he is one of a group of "rich kids," like Frank Rich (no pun intended I assume), who wrote for their college newspapers.


Krugman is a Professor of Economics at Princeton. He is the winner of the prestigious Clark medal, awarded biennially to the best young economist under forty. He has written many books, including a classic text on international economics. In his column for The New York Times he has argued forcefully against the Bush economic policy, persuasively making the case that the Bush policy reflects the seamless melding of corporate, class, and political party interests.

In September, 2003, Krugman published a collection of his columns in a bestselling book, The Great Unraveling, arguing that decreasing taxes, maintaining public spending, and fighting a war in Iraq were in the long run unsustainable, and would eventually generate a major economic crisis.

Goldberg did not have to attack Krugman for his youthful prosperity or college journalism, as Krugman has attracted many commentators willing to give him the respect of addressing his actual political and economic positions. Online National Review columnist Donald Luskin, for example, has started a "Krugman Truth Squad," a group of commentators dedicated to debunking Krugman's perceived deceptions, and Lawrence Kudlow and James Cramer have routinely debated Krugman on the real issues of economic facts and forecasts.

It is interesting to note, dear readers, that in attacking Frank Rich and Paul Krugman with this "college rich kids" rhetoric Goldberg is just overtly doing what the conservative thought police do every day -- using code talk to stir class resentment amongst people who would actually benefit from liberal policies against liberals -- words like "coastal" and "elite" and my personal favorite "Barbra Streisand." You may note that such code words are often used on Jews. So the poor people in West Virginia vote for the quintessential plutocrat George Bush and wind up unable to pay for gasoline. That'll show 'em. I guess.

In addition to allegedly writing for his college newspaper, Krugman the adult has also written for The Harvard Business Review, Foreign, Policy, The Economist, Harper's and the Washington Monthly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

#7 Margaret Marshall

Margaret Marshall is Chief Judge of the Massachusetts Supreme Court. Although she has written and participated in many opinions in her years on the Court, the only thing that matters, according to Bernard Goldberg, is that she was the author of the opinion that struck down the Massachusetts law against gay marriage. None of the other three Justices who made up the four Justice majority are listed in Goldberg's book.

THE REAL MARGARET MARSHALL came to the Massachusetts Court after a stint as general counsel for Harvard University and a partnership in the old Boston firm of Choate, Hall and Stewart.She has a master's degree from Harvard and a law degree from Yale. Before the opinion in the gay marriage case, the described herself as having lived through two revolutions already: the abolition of apartheid in her native South Africa and the American feminist movement. Then Harvard President Neil Rudenstine describes her most consistent trait as a concern for individual rights. Goldberg 77 assumes that it is not Marshall's brilliant education, her world of admiring friends and family, or her uniform plaudits from prior employers that earned Bernard Goldberg's condemnation.

Rather it is simply that she stands for the issue of the individual rights of gay individuals. On that subject, gentle reader, Goldberg 77 leaves you to your own moral conscience, as she did on the content of Jesse Jackson's Presidential platform and the public policies of Senator Edward Kennedy. She would simply note that when a liberal like Margaret Marshall has an impeccable personal life, Goldberg attacks them for their public positions. When a liberal has a controversial private life, Goldberg attacks them for their PRIVATE positions. No wonder the only liberals he admires are safely entombed in the cold, cold grave.

Monday, August 22, 2005

#6 Jimmy Carter, former President of the United States

For weeks now, your correspondent, Goldberg 77, has been braying about being on the same list OF ANYTHING as Jimmy Carter. She expects the call from Stockholm any minute.
Here's what Goldberg retails as President Carter's fatal screwups.
He praised the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, North Korea's Kim Il Sung, and others. He said the election of Hugo Chavez, still the President of Venezuela, did not have fatal electoral flaws, he criticized the process in Florida, and he sat next to Michael Moore (see, #1 Michael Moore, the seer, above).

Jimmy Carter was President of the United States from 1976--1980. His Presidency was marked by both failures and successes, successes including the peace treaty he brokered between the states of Israel and Egypt with the Camp David Accord, the SALT II treaty brokered with the Soviet Union, and the Panama Canal treaty which turned the canal over to Panama, and failures including economic inflation and stagnation and the Iranian takeover of the American embassy.

But Goldberg is not interested in Carter's Presidency; it's his twenty-five years of post Presidency that Goldberg credits with Screwing Up America. On the international front, since his unsuccessful bid for re-election, Carter has been involved in a variety of public policy, human rights, and charitable causes. His Carter Center focuses on international conflict resolution and health care including the campaign to eliminate guinea worm disease. He and members of the center are sometimes involved in the monitoring of elections, including acting as election observers, particularly in Latin America and Africa. Carter was the third U.S. president to receive the Nobel Peace Prize award. Like many of the screwups on Goldberg's list, Carter has been publicly critical of George Bush's war in Iraq.

Bernard Goldberg, who resides in Miami, FLA, has a public mantra that liberal "elites" from coastal areas are screwing up the good America, presumably of the heartland, with their elitist ways. Although his home state of Georgia does have a coastal border, it is worthy of note that Carter and his wife Rosalynn are well-known for their work with Habitat for Humanity, which builds houses for poor people, and that every September he goes to the Plains Peanut Festival and reportedly frequents the Pink Pig Barbecue Restaurant in Cherry Log, Georgia when he and the former First Lady are visiting their log cabin near Ellijay, Georgia. Carter also teaches a Sunday School class at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia. He is also an accomplished amateur woodworker and has occasionally been featured in the pages of Fine Wood Working magazine.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

#5 Anthony Romero, ACLU

Goldberg uses the same techniqe with Anthony Romero, the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, that he uses with Jesse Jackson. I call it the Old Lefty strategy. Goldberg says, "I'm not a right wing ideologue, because I supported liberal causes thirty years ago." We have no way of knowing this, of course, particularly when Goldberg is merely reporting the contents of his (former) mind. Thus he praises not the present advocate of social change, Jesse Jackson, but the immortal (dead) Martin Luther King, Jr., who can now do nothing to affect our common life. In Romero's case, it's not the ACLU defending civil liberties against the Bush Justice Department's War on Terror, which is happening right now, or enforcing the separation of church and state, which is the hottest current issue in constitutional law, but a thirty-year old march by some marginal self-styled Nazis in Skokie, long ago resolved in favor of the ACLU's position on free speech.

Thus, Goldberg makes Romero NUMBER FIVE on the list of people screwing up our common society, because he is an "absolutist," whose organization sees its job as "to defend ourselves against John Ashcroft (who has since resigned as attorney general) and a government that tramples on the Constitution in the name of national security."

THE REAL ANTHONY ROMERO is Executive Director of the ACLU.
Romero, an attorney with a history of public-interest activism, has presided over the most successful membership growth in the ACLU's 85-year history, almost doubled the budget of the organization and increased the national staff by over 75% since he began his tenure. Romero is the ACLU's sixth executive director, and the first Latino and openly gay man to serve in that capacity. He came to the organization from the Ford Foundation's Human Rights and International Cooperation Program after a stint at the Rockefeller Foundation. There's nothing immediately apparent from his biography to qualify him as a screwup. As a former lefty of course Goldberg can't be put off by Romero's being gay or Latino, so Goldberg 77 can only conclude that Bernard Goldberg picked Romero, because Goldberg thinks the ACLU itself is screwing up America. Here is the ACLU's platform, so you can decide for yourselves.

The mission of the ACLU is to preserve all of these protections and guarantees:

Your First Amendment rights-freedom of speech, association and assembly. Freedom of the press, and freedom of religion supported by the strict separation of church and state.

Your right to equal protection under the law - equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.

Your right to due process - fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.

Your right to privacy - freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.
We work also to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor.

Goldberg 77 wants to take this opportunity to thank Bernard Goldberg for motivating her to do the actual research into the lives and work of the men and women he describes as Screwing Up America. After a generation of right wing dominance of the culture, she had lost sight of how many people are still out there, doing honorable work, and keeping idealism alive.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

#4 Reverend Jesse Jackson

Goldberg describes Jesse Jackson as screwing up America, because he blames other people for African-Americans'problems. Jackson seems to be one of several people targeted by Goldberg because they weren't as good as his recollections of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Goldberg Screwup #77 notes in passing that conservatives almost always reserve their admiration for liberals to distant heroes who could not possibly make social change during present lives. In the Fifties, conservatives, critical of King, doubtless found much to admire in George Washington Carver.)In any event,

Jackson has been the target of so much scrutiny, including a lot of scrutiny from questionable sources, that Goldberg Screwup 77 is reluctant to participate in the process, even by restating the controversy. She will try to stick to publicly verifiable facts.
Jackson, in his Sixties, is a minister, civil rights activist, and former candidate for President in 1984 and 1988 (in the Democratic Party). Here is the platform on which he ran for President:
creating a WPA-style program to rebuild America's infrastructure and provide jobs to all Americans,
reprioritizing the War on Drugs to focus less on mandatory minimum sentences for drug users (which he views as racially-biased) and more on harsher punishments for money-laundering bankers and others who are part of the "supply" end of "supply and demand,"
reversing Reaganomics-inspired tax cuts for the richest ten percent of Americans and using the money to finance social welfare programs,
cutting the budget of the Department of Defense by as much as fifteen percent over the course of his administration,
declaring Apartheid-era South Africa to be a rogue nation,
instituting an immediate nuclear freeze and beginning unilateral disarmament negotiations with the Soviet Union,
creating a single-payer system of universal health care,
ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment,
increasing federal funding for lower-level public education and providing free community college to all,
applying more strict enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, and
supporting the formation of a Palestinian state.

After Jackson's long campaign against Anheuser Busch for not having black beer distributorships, in 1998, two of his sons purchased the Anheuser Busch distributorship in River North, Chicago. More recently, Jackson participated in challenging the electoral outcomes in Florida in 2000 and in Ohio in 2004. Married and with several children of his marriage, Jackson has admitted to fathering a child with a woman not his wife. Most recently, Jackson participated in the events surrounding the Terry Shiavo case, on behalf of the parents, seeking to continue treatment.

Friday, August 19, 2005

#3 Senator Edward ("Ted") Kennedy

Kennedy is screwing America, according to Bernard Goldberg, because he is treated as the liberal concscience of the Democratic Party and yet opposed the war in Iraq and, thirty-six years ago, was involved in a fatal auto accident with a single woman.
Senator Edward Kennedy has been in the United States Senate for more than forty years. Since 1994, his party has been essentially out of power there. He has held mostly liberal positions within the Democratic Party, as portions of the Party have tried to draw it to a more conservative position. From this position of double disempowerment, he is regarded as a relatively effective Senator, in part because his staff is supposed to be the best in Congress, although he has yet to see most of his cherished positions, such as alternative energy programs and liberal immigration policies, enacted into law. When he tried to work with the Bush Administration, he was partially responsible for the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, although his professed achievement turned sour within one month, when he found out how underfunded it was to be.
In a recent poll, over sixty percent of Americans were found to oppose the Iraq war, so if opposition is the equivalent of screwing America, Goldberg's list is going to have to get a lot longer soon.
The auto accident scandal seems more like a private screwing than a national one, but, if private wrongdoing toward women is a criterion, it is puzzling that the BTK killer in Kansas did not make Goldberg's list. And of course as to sexual misconduct, Don Livingston, Henry Hyde, Newt Gingrich.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Help Goldberg Screwup 77

As part of her inquiry into screwing America, Goldberg Screwup 77 is gathering biographical data on Goldberg himself. She suspects that his hysterical antifeminism may have something to do with an ugly divorce in the past. Does anyone know whether BG is still on his first marriage?
Reply privately if you wish to

#2 Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.

Goldberg blames Sulzberger personally for the "liberal bias" he finds in the New York Times, quoting Sulzberger as saying that if white men aren't complaining, the Times is not doing its job.

Goldberg Screwup #2, New York Times Chairman, is the head of the most admired companhy in America, according to that distinctly non liberal source, Fortune Magazine.
Although Goldberg screwup 77 does not for a moment believe that Sulzberger's ascension to the chairmanship of the family owned company was the result of a liberal and merit based search even within the Family (does no Sulzberger generation ever include sisters?),
it is the case that during Sulzberger’s tenure as publisher, The Times has earned 28 Pulitzer Prizes including well deserved prizes for photography of 9/11, "A Nation Challenged" and "Portraits of Grief."
And it is the case that Bernard Goldberg would detect liberal bias in a left turn arrow at an intersection.

6:02 AM

#1: Michael Moore: The Seer

Wednesday August 17#1 Michael Moore
Goldberg doesn't really say much about the film maker and author, other than to castigate him for being an "America Basher." Goldberg explains Moore's behavior by noting that Moore's age places him among the middle agers who learned skepticism from the experience of the Vietnam War era.

REAL MICHAEL MOOREMoore is a fifty-one year old, who was barely out of high school when the US pulled out of Vietnam. His most successful works make three points about American society.
1. That American manufacturing was moving overseas, with terrible consequences for the working class, and huge rewards for the executives. (Roger and Me, 1989)
Since Roger and Me, American manufacturing has moved overseas with terrible consequences for the American working class and their communities but huge rewards for the executives.
2.That American gun culture is based on an overall culture of fear, which makes people do things that are more harmful to themselves than the very things they fear. (Bowling for Columbine, 2002)
Since Bowling for Columbine, Ohio, which twice provided the electoral votes to put George W. Bush in the White House, had the single largest number of casualties in any incident in the Iraq war. Bush's victory is widely attributed to his superior standing on the subject of national security in the eyes of American voters.
3. The American war in Iraq was based on false information, destined to fail, and likely to take the lives of many American men and women, all at the instance of a group of men, none of whom have ever been near a war zone in anything but the Presidential helicopter. (Fahrenheit 9/11, 2004)
Since Fahrenheit 9/11, the information about WMD in Iraq has turned out to be false, American casualties are reaching into the thousands, and neither President George W. Bush nor Dick Cheney has yet served in any war. Goldberg 77 wonders what Moore will predict next. Wish he were managing my investments.
6:46 AM

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Free the Goldberg 100

I am happy to announce that right wing fulminator Bernard Goldberg chose me as #77 in the 100 People Who Are Screwing America. This is the blog for the people who are screwing America. Each day for 100 days I will post a line or two of what Bernie thinks of one of the 100 and then a paragraph about who they really are.
Charity begins at home:
Although I am not the most famous feminist in America, I am the most "arrogant, smug and condescending," according to Goldberg. My offense? I failed to recognize that brilliantly educated women who could have had the jobs that run the world are better off tending their toddlers. And I said so on Sixty Minutes. Worse than being wrong, I was judgmental. How dare I be judgmental, asked the author of a book that attacks Jimmy Carter for screwing America?
REAL LINDA HIRSHMAN is a retired Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies at Brandeis. In her years there, she consistently earned the highest student ratings of anyone in her Department. Her favorite comment came early in her tenure, when an anonymous student wrote, "I will never think of my life in the same way again." Before taking up philosophy, Hirshman was a lawyer, representing working men and women. She was one of the lawyers who tried the Supreme Court case that still defines the line between the federal government and the states and got her clients a little overtime pay. Recently, her well loved daughter opened her con law book to find the class was studying her mother's case.
TOMORROW: Michael Moore
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