Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sensenbrenner: Lying with impunity

Xoff beat me to the punch on Sensenbrenner's continued abuse of taxpayer money through "junkets." (Aside: If F. Jim is so big on not wasting taxpayers' money for things like hurricane relief, why is he ok with traveling on our dime?) So I'll pick up on a tip from a reader instead.

I heven't spent a lot of time following F. Jim's press releases, but once you get into them, you can find them riddled with lies--lies no one in the Milwaukee-area press seems to be calling him on. For example, from May:
Over the past several months, organized anti-war protests have taken place around the country, including in Wisconsin, at the funerals of servicemen and women killed while fighting in the war against terrorism. These extremist demonstrators harass family members and friends with chants and signs that read, ‘Thank God for dead soldiers,’ ‘God hates you,’ and ‘Thank God for IEDs.’ This behavior is revolting and deeply disrespectful.

Whatever your political persuasion, or stance on the War on Terror, I think we all can agree that family members and friends should be protected during military funerals. [. . .] As a result, I, along with over 100 Republican and Democrat House Members, cosponsored HR 5037, the Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act. The bill would prohibit demonstrations on national cemetery grounds, unless specifically approved, and would silence all demonstrations one hour before and one hour following a military memorial service within a 500-foot radius.
Lies. Sensenbrenner clearly labels the protesters targeted here as "anti-war," and with his reference to "political persuasion," implies that said protesters are liberal. This is not true: The resolution came about as a direct result of protests at military funerals by Fred Phelps, an ultra-conservative who is not anti-war, but anti-gay, and feels that the US deserves to have its servicemembers die beczuse of our liberal policies regarding homsexuality in this country. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel covered Phelps when he brought his circus to Wisconsin, and if F. Jim had bothered to read the paper, he'd know that the protests are not anti-war or liberal in nature.

The New York Times ran an op-ed just this week (behind their stupid subscription wall) in which the writer claimed that liberal anti-war protesters were disrupting military funerals. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) investigated and found that, in fact, it was all Phelps's group, not liberals.

Google all you want; you will not find that liberals--or anyone anti-war--are protesting military funerals.

(Tip on that one from Green opponent to F. Jim, Bob Levis.)

One example ought to be enough, but there's more. This release, for example, lies about what's in the Senate immigration bill. My favorite is possibly this one, which may not be a lie, but is certainly dripping with irony:
The National Taxpayers Union (NTU), an independent tax watchdog group, has awarded Menomonee Falls Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner the ‘Taxpayers’ Friend Award’ for 2005 because of his voting record to reduce and control the tax burden on American taxpayers. Congressman Sensenbrenner, the only Member of the Wisconsin delegation to get an ‘A,’ received the ninth highest score in the House of Representatives. [. . .]

“Ultimately, this is the taxpayers’ money we’re talking about and we’re the ones entrusted to spend it responsibly,” Sensenbrenner concluded.
Who is it being irresponsible with taxpayers' money again?

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