I know. I know. First of all, I never say MSM, because I don’t believe the old media is mainstream. They’re out of the mainstream on most of the issues I’ve been referring to. So I don’t use that phrase. I believe that as I’ve said several times, happy to say again, that anyone who’s conservative in this country has every justification to be skeptical about anything, an internal memo, or product that goes on the air, from the old media, because of a forty year or more history of liberal bias on a range of issues. And after what CBS News did in 2004, regarding the President’s National Guard record, I would be…I am thankful that any conservative looks to us every for news and information, given how outrageous what they did was.
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Tuesday, October 31, 2006
No Wonder the Housewives Are Desperate [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
This is an exchange from The View today:
Behar: “A black female Republican can win, is my opinion, in this country.”
Walters: “Then you're talking about Condoleeza.”
Behar: “Condoleeza could possibly run.”
Rosie O’Donnell: “I don't think she could win, because I think she’s like that person on Scooby Doo who unzips themself and then it's Dick Cheney's evil twin brother is inside of her. That’s what I think.”
Behar: “I'm not sure about that, because I think she has her own opinions. And I don’t know if that’s a hundred percent that she’s not following orders right now, but if she was in the position, she would change.”
O’Donnell: “Ooh, Scooby, I think that scary man with the ring is actually the ghost!”
ABC News Reporter Bill Blakemore declared “I don’t like the word ‘balance’ much at all” in global warming coverage at a journalism conference in Vermont over the weekend.
Blakemore, who reported on August 30, 2006, “After extensive searches, ABC News has found no such [scientific] debate” on global warming, (http://abcnews.go.com/US/print?id=2374968) said he rejects ‘balance’ in order to justify excluding any skeptics of manmade catastrophic global warming from his reporting. He made his remarks at Friday’s panel discussion at the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference in Burlington.
Monday, October 30, 2006
The long war. It's a phrase one hears now and again, dropped by pundits and commentators as they try to make sense of the mare's nest that is Iraq.[snip]
We were all, or at least this could be said of most right leaning folks, behind the short war. It didn't require much in the way of resources; only what almost everyone could muster if asked. A few weeks of reflexive patriotic ardor, a chance to cheer on one's team as they went after the bad guys, no time to question, really, the means or even the goal.
And then reality set in. Suddenly the lines didn't seem so neatly drawn. There were no clear-cut metrics for measuring success - the finish line seemed nowhere in sight. And as the war stretched on and on and the insurgency began to grow and adapt, intermingling with and shielding itself behind the civilian populace of Iraq, rather than meeting their aggression with matching force the scrutiny of a watching world forced us to scale back our response. We were, in many cases, fighting with both hands tied behind our backs.
In this war, it has proved all too easy for the enemy to exploit the weaknesses of western democracy - all too easy for him to turn us against each other. And all the foolishness of a soft, complacent society: political correctness, moral squeamishness, the inability to deal with conflict, have proved apt weapons to his hand. It's true. We are soft. And there are dark places in our own souls, into which we are afraid to go
From Editor & Publisher:
This is the fourth consecutive semi-annual report to register a severe drop in daily circulation and -- perhaps more troubling to the industry -- Sunday copies. While the estimated decline 2.8% for daily circulation for all reporting papers may seem negligible, consider that in years past that decrease averaged around 1%. Sunday, considered the industry's bread-and-butter, showed even steeper losses, with a decline of about 3.4%.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
In Virginia, the "macaca" campaign which defined the race between Senator Allen and challenger Webb, was entirely the production of the Washington Post and then amplified by the rest of the MSM. That fact, and that alone has led to one of the most mean-spirited campaigns in memory and it can be laid at the door of the "prestige" mainstream media.
From Bill's article:
What portion of campaign ads in presidential campaigns did you find were negative?
Over the last 44 years there has been an increase in negativity. But it's basically a 50-50 divide. But if you were to listen to coverage of campaigns you'd think you only get negative ads.
...reflects directly on The Tennessean and the rest of the Nashville news media, which seem to be covering only those races this election year in which one or both sides are launching negative ads.
There's the Corker-Ford race for the U.S. Senate, of course. Also, the media has covered the 17th District state Senate race, where the attack ads are flying between incumbent Sen. Mae Beavers and former Sen. Bob Rochelle. The media also has covered the 23rd district state Senate race, where well-funded Democratic nominee Mary Parker has launched a vicious and false attack ad against Republican nominee Jack Johnson.
But the media ignores the 21st district state Senate race between 36-year-incumbent state Sen. Doug Henry, the Democrat, and Republican challenger Bob Krumm, in which there have been no attack ads and nothing but civility between the two sides.
Why? Is it because the media believes Henry unlikely to lose? Then why do they care about the 23rd district race between Johnson and Parker? The 23rd district, after all, is heavily Republican and Johnson, the GOP nominee, is the heavy favorite. The 21st district, where political newcomer Krumm, 40, is taking on 80-year-old Sen. Henry, who was elected in 1970 before thousands of district's residents were even born, is much more evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.
And this morning, the Virginian Pilot's front page morphed into their editorial page with the headline article. It's a puff piece about Jim Webb, the candidate they endoresed on their editorial page a few days ago. We are invited to go to their on-line issue to find out about Senator Allen.
Republican Senator George Allen’s campaign for reelection was dealt what many in the media are calling a “death blow” when a former classmate came forward to reveal sordid details from Allen’s past.
In a new television ad paid for by the “Webb for Senate” campaign, Albie Wyner, a pre-school classmate of Allen’s at the Mary Moppet Day School of Fairfax Virginia revealed that during a particularly tense playground confrontation in 1955, Allen called him an inappropriate name. “I remember we were playing tag,” Wyner said. “Georgie tagged me and said I was it. I didn’t want to be it. So, I slapped him. He called me a ‘pooh-pooh head.’ I started to cry. I was so humiliated. I told the teacher, but she was a Republican and wouldn’t do anything. George Allen ruined my life. Don’t let him ruin yours. Vote for James Webb for U.S. Senate.”
Reached for comment, Allen said he did not recall the incident. “I was in pre-school 50 years ago,” said Allen. “I don’t remember who was in my class, much less what may have happened on any given day.”
Webb characterized Allen’s memory lapse as “awfully convenient.” “A man who forgets so easily isn’t someone the voters should trust to be their senator,” Webb said. “The indifference to suffering demonstrated by this incident is indicative of the heartless nature of the Republicans when it comes to human rights. I only hope that the message gets through to enough Virginia voters in time.”
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Thursday's Howard Kurtz profile of NBC Baghdad correspondent Richard Engel in the Washington Post has a real clash of perspectives. First, NBC anchor Brian Williams claimed Engel "is the most agenda-less person I've met in our business." Then Engel declared "I think war should be illegal...I'm basically a pacifist." The story included no critics of Engel's reporting, but praise from Williams and CBS colleague Lara Logan, and Engel's mother.
a “tough-minded tactician.” “kept the fractious House ...in line.” “thwarted many .. initiatives” by getting [the party] to “hang together.” Yes, [the opposition makes accusations] of being an obstructionist, but that’s just the sort of name-calling [the other parties] always engage in, now isn’t it?
“casually reckless” “ruthless” “authoritarian” a “bomb-thrower.” given to “slash and burn, knife and smear” tactics. “mad as hell” or riding “a surge of voter anger.”
Well you know that the press just plays it right down the middle....
Sorry, just spilled my coffee laughing at the last line.
You can turn off CNN, stop e-mailing me The New York Times editorials and stuff a sock in Keith Olbermann’s piehole. You’ve done it. You’ve closed the deal.
I’m ready to vote Democrat.
Yes, the man who proudly ran Pat Buchanan’s campaign in South Carolina in 1992 is ready to vote Democrat early and, in keeping with tradition, often.
Speaker Pelosi? No problem. Majority Leader Reid? Absolutely. I don’t care how much cash he rakes in off unreported Las Vegas land deals. I say, “Let it ride!”
I can count on one hand the Democrats who’ve gotten my vote - mostly candidates for jobs involving the pursuit and restraint of unleashed pets.
But George W. Bush has screwed up nearly everything he’s touched, and congressional Republicans are spending more time with their hands on backsides than Mark Foley at a high school Twister tournament. Throw the bums out!
I’m not alone. Some politically savvy conservatives argue it’s time to let the Kool-Aid spill where it may and send the GOP leadership into the political wilderness for a couple of years. This makes sense in a twisted, masochistic “I read Machiavelli when I was a freshman but didn’t quite grasp the concept” sort of way.
Regardless, I’m a shameless bandwagon jumper and I’m ready to cast my lot with the party of Roosevelt, Truman and McCain (mostly).
I only have one, small question first. Should be easy.
What are you (sorry, make that “we”) Democrats going to do about Iraq and the Islamists?
See, I’m a one-issue voter, and my one issue is defeating the Islamist threat facing Western civilization. Given that it involves the survival of our culture and the principles of our Constitution, I think it’s kind of a big deal.
And the Democrats’ non-stop bashing of Bush foreign policy shows they’re with me. This is priority number one and Bush just isn’t getting the job done.
Mission accomplished? Please. We’d settle for “Mission Not Royally Screwed Up.”
But I think I must have missed a meeting or accidentally deleted an e-mail from Moveon.org, because I still haven’t seen the Democratic plan to fix Iraq and kick terrorist butt. Could someone please point me to the page of Time magazine’s recent “Barack For President” issue with the Democrats’ “How we defeat the woman-beating, homosexual-executing, book-burning, anti-Semitic, knuckle-dragging Islamists who want to kill us” bullet points? Thanks.
Wazzat? You can’t? Comrade, what do you mean there isn’t a Democratic strategy for terrorism? There’s gotta be. I mean - seriously - what kind of political party has no war plan at a time when we’re actively at war? When 135,000 troops are in the field, and where six weeks ago we foiled a plot to blow 10 American aircraft out of the sky?
Hey, I’m ready to go here - Hillary, Kennedy, hell, I’ll vote Ned Lamont if I have to. I just need to see the Democrats’ plan for victory first.
After all, the Democrats’ position on stopping terror can’t be to abandon democracy in Iraq, stop wiretapping, end coercive interrogation and reveal our secret tracking of terror money abroad in The New York Times. That’s crazy.
No, there’s got to be a serious Democrat war plan, and I want in on it. When and how to use force, how giving Iraq to the Islamists today will help defeat them tomorrow - you know - the plan?
I’m just waiting on you, Democrats, and then I’m off to stuff the nearest ballot box.
Some say I’m going to have a long wait. But being a Democrat means to keep hope alive.
The problem for the Democrats, is that Webb is not actually a Liberal. In fact, he is a reactionary; a conservative more in the mold of Pat Buchanan than George Bush or Ronald Reagan.
What has made Webb acceptable to the Democrats of Arlington, however unevenly, is his furious opposition to the war in Iraq, which he declared early, before there was even a war to oppose, in an op-ed in the Washington Post in September 2002. And Webb's opposition to the war is doubly valuable to Democrats because of his bona fides as a warrior. Democrats are so sick of being labeled the peace party--mostly because they are the peace party--that they grow faint at the first flash of a battle ribbon, in hopes of proving they too are just as recklessly bloodthirsty as their opponents.
This warrior romance has led them into numberless absurdities. It explains why, for example, they stuck that Snoopy helmet on poor Michael Dukakis and forced him to ride around in a tank. And it explains the entire national convention of 2004, in which desperate Democrats nominated an undistinguished career politician for no other reason than that he was a decorated war hero and then launched his campaign with ceremonies so martial they might have been borrowed from a Latin American coup: phalanxes of saluting veterans, crisscrossing color guards, brass bands pumping Sousa tunes--everything short of a firing squad to liquidate the opposition.
When I asked another neighbor what she thought of Webb's experience working in the Reagan administration--he served as secretary of the Navy late in Reagan's second term--she waved me off.It looks as if Allen will win, but it's entirely possible that if Webb wins the Right may not have reason to complain.
"He resigned in protest!" she said.
And so he did--but only when Reagan ordered cuts in the military budget that threatened the Reaganite goal of a 600-ship Navy. It's hard for anyone in these days of the Reagan Afterglow to remember that some people, back in the late 1980s, thought Old Ron was going soft.
Dreema Fisk, an Arlington poet and retired schoolteacher, told me she'd heard that Webb had once been a member of the Republican party--a group with which, she said, she was tragically familiar. "I come from West Virginia," she said, "and I discovered last time that my entire family back home voted for Bush." She shook her head and kneaded her hands. "I cried all night."
She said she was a Quaker. I asked her whether she'd read any of Webb's war novels. "Are they violent?" she asked. "Maybe I should read one."
Among those Arlingtonians who do know more about Webb, enthusiasm is often muted. As chairman of the County Board a decade ago, Ellen Bozman helped bring about Arlington's continuing era of Democratic dominance. At the party she told me that many of her acquaintances had expressed reservations about her candidate.
"I have friends who say they'll vote for him, but reluctantly," she said. "His service as a Reagan administration official, that bothers some people. And they worry--about other
"Like affirmative action?" I said.
"There are concerns here and there," she said.
"And guns," I said. "He's incredibly pro-gun."
"There can be reasonable differences Democrats can have," she said. "I had a cousin who had guns. He hunted. Of course, that was in rural Illinois."
"And the Confederacy. He really likes the Con fed eracy. He named his son after Robert E. Lee."
"One friend tells me she just won't feel right voting for him," Mrs. Bozman said. "I say, He'll listen. He'll learn."
Most of the press reaction has been feigned outrage at Rush. How dare he criticize this poor cripple? Like the 9/11 widows and Cindy Sheehan, Michael J. Fox is more infallible than the Pope and CANNOT be attacked.
I thought he handled the issue well in his broadcast. The issue is this: is the Fox ad truthful both in its facts and in the depiction of the disease that Fox has.
The first question has not been addressed by any of the media criticizing Limbaugh, and he spent considerable time demonstrating the Fox ad in not truthful. My research into the benefits of stem cell research comes up with lots of hype for embryonic stem cell research and its assumed benefits, but virtually no (at least none that I have been able to find) actual beneficial effects. And this is not because embryonic stem cell research is illegal. It is not. It is simply not supported by government funds.
Then there is the question of whether Fox is under medicated, over medicated or simply acting for the ad. Only the people involved in making the ad know for sure. But one thing is sure, Fox and the people who made this ad wanted people to see and sympathize with Fox and wanted people to believe that only Republican candidates stood in the way of a cure for Fox. This may be politics in a political season, but it is a sick brand of politics.
But since breathing, drinking, eating, religion and sex are now part of the political process, I guess I should stifle my outrage and get used to it.
I agree with Rush in this:
"Democrats are lying to sick people about cures for what ails them. It is cruel. It is mean. It is full of false hope. It's a classic dirty ad."
Click on the link to Rush Limbaugh and you can see Michael J. Fox looking "normal" and spastic. Is the difference medicine or acting? I don't know, but either way it's deception on a grand scale.
UPDATE: More from NewsBusters in the Washington Post criticism of Limbaugh:
It's sad that the Post can't focus on the factual problems in the ad. In an age when reporters routinely pick apart ads for being untruthful or misleading, this ad should be scorned in the press for making claims that are not yet scientifically accurate. Claiming conservatives oppose “life-saving” stem-cell research is, at the moment, completely unsubstantiated. Life-saving? Right now, it’s in danger of looking like the embryo-destroyer’s version of WMD intelligence. For the latest on how the “promising” research is still leading to rodent brain tumors, see the WashPost’s latest (on page A-9, not A-1) here.
Aside from the factual flaws, it has the sickening usual liberal flaw of leading with the Unmockable Victim, and thinking the facts don’t matter, especially with those emotional chicks. (Oh, the liberal consultant smirks are everywhere, no doubt.) But blaming Bush or Steele or Talent for Parkinson’s disease is akin to John Edwards claiming in October 2004 that Christopher Reeve would walk again “when John Kerry is president.” This ad is shameless, uncivil, unproven, and a very personal attack.
Michael J. Fox is, after all this victimization politics, out as America's Sweetheart, and in with all the arrogant liberal partisans who think with a quasi-religious zeal that they are on the side of Science, against those backwards Religion folks. This is, in a political sense, Michael J. Fox's Tom-Cruise-Scientology moment. He is following the L. Ron. Hubbards of stem-cell science fiction.
Wolf Blitzer says it’s obvious. So do I.
Click here to see the videos.
The case has been in the headlines for months, three young men have been accused of a vicious rape; their lives either ruined or forever changed. The Prosecutor, Mike Nifong has given countless interview on the case and has built his political career and hopes for re-election on it, but …
The district attorney prosecuting three Duke Lacrosse players accused of raping a woman at a team party said during a court hearing Friday that he still hasn't interviewed the accuser about the facts of the case.
This is not only hard to believe, but if it’s true, it represents one of the most egregious cases of official malfeasance I have ever encountered.
Read the whole story.
According to the Raleigh News & Observer, there is now a video showing the accuser pole dancing during the time period she was visiting hospitals complaining of pain.
A woman identified as the accuser in the Duke lacrosse rape case performed an athletic pole dance at a Hillsborough strip club at the same time that the accuser was visiting hospitals complaining of intense pain from being assaulted.
A time-stamped video shows a woman at The Platinum Club on March 26. The club's former security manager, H.P. Thomas, identified her as the accuser.
The video, reviewed by The News & Observer, shows a limber performer. The same woman told doctors at UNC and Duke hospitals around that time that she had been beaten and assaulted and was racked with pain.
Friday, October 27, 2006
A Muslim cleric's claim that women who do not wear the veil are like 'uncovered meat' who attract sexual predators sparked outrage around Australia yesterday.
Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, the nation's most senior Muslim cleric, compared immodestly-dressed women who do not wear the Islamic headdress with meat that is left uncovered in the street and is then eaten by cats.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Iowahawk rephrases Calame:
But, now that I've had the chance to think it over for a while, I've started to persuade me that despite these important reasons for disclosure of the program, they were ever-so-slightly outweighed by two factors to which I and myself had possibly given too little emphasis. First, while the surveillance program was potentially at odds with privacy laws in the EU, North Korea and Iran, it turns out that neither I nor The Times legal staff nor myself have been able to find evidence that the surveillance program was technically illegal under United States laws. Yeah, I know, go figure. It surprised the hell out of me too. I guess US banking laws are sort of like the Alabama civil code that lets you marry your twelve year old cousin or something. Unless new incoming House Intelligence Committee Chairman Alcee Hastings grandfathers in a fix for this glaring loophole, the Adminstration escapes on a technicality.
Second, and equally surprising, there apparently weren’t any abuses of private data linked to the program. Yes, I know as well as you do that the administration and their closeted gay pedophile allies in Congress probably had plenty of data abuses planned - data waterboarding, data pederasty, data humiliation, IM-ing underaged data with creepy suggestive data messages - but as far as our investigators have found nothing that was actually implemented. Ironically, it was probably The Times disclosure of the program and its resulting shutdown that saved the administration from another embarrassing abuse scandal. Hey guys, you're welcome.
But anyhoo, long-story-short, while it’s a close call now as it was then, I guess I don’t think the article should have been published.
But I mean, seriously, can you blame me or the editors or I for previously defending it? You try sitting in on a lunch meeting while a bunch of stupid administration reps beg and plead you not to print a story, claiming that "we're tracking Sheik Abdul-al-Whatzis, bla bla bla." The idiots are sitting right there telling tells you they're hiding something, which makes it even more newsworthy and juicy and scandalous! And when you print the story they start in with the vicious attacks, like you had whipped out your cell phone at Le Cirque or something. Always with the screaming and whining about national security "secrets." I mean, how freaking "secret" can it be? For crissakes, it's been on the front page of the New York Times!
The opponents of the Virginia ballot initiative on marriage have sworn it can’t happen here and … by the way, it should happen here. This position is incoherent, but that has never stopped the Left.
From The Corner:
House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) today issued the following statement expressing outrage at the New Jersey Supreme Court's decision to order the state to recognize same-sex marriage or its equivalent, taking the definition of marriage out of the hands of New Jersey voters...
Iran held its Quds Day celebrations on the last Friday of Ramadan, and last Friday it indulged itself in an orgy of hatred towards Israel and America, demanding the destruction of both. As Steven Stalinsky notes at the New York Sun, the only aspect of Quds Day more astonishing than the day-long hate festival was the utter lack of interest in it by the Western media:
There was a revealing exchange the other day when a reporter from the Boston Globe asked Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney a rambling question about removing some tolls from the Mass. Turnpike. Eventually, Romney interrupted by joking, "Do you have a point of view on this?" The reporter responded, "I represent the people, governor." To which Romney said, "No, I represent the people, you represent the media."
Click on the link for the video.
Would you trust a Hurricane Katrina report datelined “direct from Detroit”? Or coverage of the World Trade Center attack from Chicago? Why then should we believe a Time Magazine investigation of the Haditha killings that was reported not from Haditha but from Baghdad? Or a Los Angeles Times article on a purported Fallujah-like attack on Ramadi reported by four journalists in Baghdad and one in Washington? Yet we do, essentially because we have no choice. A war in a country the size of California is essentially covered from a single city. Plug the name of Iraqi cities other than Baghdad into Google News and you’ll find that time and again the reporters are in Iraq’s capital, nowhere near the scene. Capt. David Gramling, public affairs officer for the unit I’m currently embedded with, puts it nicely: “I think it would be pretty hard to report on Baghdad from out here.” Welcome to the not-so-brave new world of Iraq war correspondence.
Vietnam was the first war to give us reporting in virtually real time. Iraq is the first to give us virtual reporting. That doesn’t necessarily make it biased against the war; it does make it biased against the truth.
It’s not fair to say the hotel-dwellers never leave their safe and comfy confines. “Despite the danger, Nancy [Youssef, Knight Ridder bureau chief] and her colleagues do venture out and do find inventive ways to talk with ordinary Iraqis,” then–Knight Ridder D.C. bureau chief Clark Hoyt wrote in a column. He explained that Nancy says, “When I go grocery shopping, I listen to people’s conversations. What are they talking about?” So this is what passes for “war correspondence” of the Baghdad Brigade.
Yet the glaring gap between the reality of the Iraq war and the virtuality from the hotels and IZ is what leads embeds to go to the most dangerous places in Iraq and Afghanistan on their own dime.
One of them made this point quite forcefully in a recent column. Jerry Newberry, communications director for the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a Vietnam Army vet, wrote in a September column just before heading off for Afghanistan and then Iraq: “For the most part, the wars being fought by our people in Afghanistan and Iraq — their successes, heroism, and valor — [are] reported by some overpaid, makeup-wearing talking heads, sitting on their fat rear-ends in an air-conditioned hotel. They rely on Iraqi stringers to bring the stuff to them and then call it reporting.”
Yet embeds perform a service beyond just their willingness to see combat, and to describe accurately the specific events they witness. “Although some journalism professors may worry that military embedding is subverting the media, I would argue the contrary,” Robert Kaplan wrote in The Atlantic Monthly. Kaplan, who has been embedded all over the world, went on to observe, “The Columbia Journalism Review recently ran an article about the worrisome gap between a wealthy media establishment and ordinary working Americans. One solution is embedding, which offers the media perhaps their last, best chance to reconnect with much of the society they claim to be a part of.”
Hey, all you mouth-breathing bible-thumpers, we can see that you’re upset with what you think is our spin on the news. Well, we promise we’re going to correct that little problem so that you can come on back and trust us again as your primary source of information. Yes sir! We’re going to dress up that spin real pretty, and make it so you neanderthals can’t perceive our bias anymore. We know it works on you with beer commercials, we’re sure it’ll work on you with politics.
One can make the case that Saddam was to Iraq as Tito was to Yugoslavia; that the ethnic minorities in the Balkans have the counterparts in the Sunnis, Shi'ites and Kurds of Iraq. One very striking difference between the two ex-Ottomans is that, except for fitful attempts by Russia to intervene in Yugoslavia and the arrival of some Jihadis in Kosovo, there was no foreign intervention to oppose NATO. Had hostile and powerful nations fueled the Yugoslav wars as Syria and Iran are now fueling their clients in Iraq, NATO might have found its task much harder. Indeed, had the United States undermined the European effort in Yugoslavia to the extent that Europe has diplomatically opposed American efforts in Iraq, events in the Balkans since may have been far different. Moreover, the international press never demonized Western efforts in former Yugoslavia to anything like the degree it depicts Iraq.
A friend directs our attention to the Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board interview with Bob Casey, candidate for the United States Senate. She asks us to "read this and think about the fact that the newspaper endorsed Casey." She comments: "It would be funny if we weren't actually at war." Putting that disagreeable fact to one side, this is funnier than any Hollywood political satire since "Dr. Strangelove" or perhaps "Being There." Bob Casey apparently can't think, and he can't talk, but he likes to watch television:
What do you call it when the ombudsman of the New York Times admits he made a mistake?
A good start.
New York Times ombudsman Byron Calame has initiated what we can only hope will be a trend in America’s holier-than-thou media -- that overwhelming and influential part of our nation’s news business that feigns objectivity, fairness and interest in our national well-being while relentlessly pursuing partisan and destructively anti-American agendas.
Calame, in the throes of some inexplicable crisis of conscience, has admitted his newspaper was wrong to reveal a secret U.S. government program to monitor bank transactions of terrorists, and that he was not only wrong but hypocritical to defend it. He did not mention hopelessly lacking in perspective, but I’ll get to that.
Somewhere out there, there may be a public editor who is really willing to take on his paper. Dan Okrent had the seeds of that spirit. But I’m not holding out much hope for Byron Calame, who buried his milquetoast change of heart halfway down a column about magazine journalism and perfume critics.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
When Rep. John Doolittle attacks Democratic rival Charlie Brown for his membership in the American Civil Liberties Union, the Roseville Republican describes it as an organization that defends pedophiles.
The Massachusetts case giving rise to the congressman's indignation -- and that of many others -- is serving as exhibit A as Doolittle seeks to make the argument that Brown is too liberal to represent his district.
The issue raised in the Massachusetts civil lawsuit is about the right to publish and read controversial material, regardless of how unpopular and despicable the content might be, the ACLU says.
These are the facts: In October 1997, 10-year-old Jeffrey Curley was lured into a car in Cambridge by Charles Jaynes and Salvatore Sicari. He fought back for as long as 20 minutes before he was suffocated with a gas-soaked rag. His body was sexually molested before it was finally packed in a container and dumped into the Great Works River in Maine.
Sicari was later convicted of first-degree murder and Jaynes was convicted of second-degree murder and kidnapping. Both are in prison on life sentences, Sicari without chance of parole.
Sicari and Jaynes were members of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), although Jaynes' membership check had apparently bounced.
Curley's family filed a federal wrongful death suit in 2000 against NAMBLA in Massachusetts, seeking $200 million on allegations that the organization had turned Jaynes from a timid and confused soul into an aggressive pervert.
NAMBLA has since been dismissed from the case, but several of its members who were responsible for its Web site and published materials remain as ACLU clients.
Among the allegations is that Jaynes read material he obtained on NAMBLA's
. . . The ACLU of Massachusetts is defending the case
In a response to this, someone wrote
:Funny how the ACLU is always ready to defend unpopular ideas, but just try and get them to help conservative college students whose positions are belittled in class. A few years ago at the University of Penna a conservative editorial was not allowed to be distributed by black students. Papers were confiscated by a black faternity, university administrators did nothing. When the conservatives went to the ACLU, they were told there was nothing they would do. Kinda depends on whose ox is being gored, doesn't it?
To which another replied:
Or maybe it depends on whether the institution is public or private. UPenn is a private university, and so the ACLU has nothing to do with it. From the ACLU’s position statement on “speech codes” on college campuses: “The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects speech no matter how offensive its content. Speech codes adopted by government-financed state colleges and universities amount to government censorship, in violation of the Constitution. And the ACLU believes that all campuses should adhere to First Amendment principles because academic freedom is a bedrock of education in a free society.”
This is a popular misconception held by many people, especially of Libertarian bent because it reinforces their own prejudices regarding the separation of the public and private sphere. It excuses the ACLU by claiming that the ACLU is bound by precedent from staying out of the private affairs of private institutions. However, it has long been established that by accepting federal funds via research grants and federal aid to students, even "private" institutions are required to adhere to legal and constitutional rules. This includeas all the amendments.
Hillsdale College is the only college that refuses to accept any federal aid, even indirectly for this very reason. So the ACLU is being disingenuous when it fails to support free speech on private universities.
But assuming for a moment that the Libertarians are correct, the ACLU is not an organization that simply follows precedent, it helps create precedent. Roe vs. Wade (for example) established a precedent based on premises that even most legal scholars consider ridiculous. The court position that a prayer by school students was an impermissible establishment of religion was precedent setting. The list of ACLU precedents is virtually endless. To suggest that the ACLU would not find a reason to defend free speech in an institution that had part of its budget paid for by the federal government simply because of precedent is ludicrous.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Over a lunch of chicken Caesar salad with editors and reporters at The Washington Times, he's jovial and optimistic going into the midterm elections that conventional Washington wisdom says are going the Democratic way. Recalling that one newspaper account described him as "inexplicably upbeat," we asked if he could be merely "explicable." He replied: "I'm confident we're going to keep the Senate. I'm confident we're going to keep the House." A moment later he amended this to "pretty confident," and added, "I liked it better before Foley."
From France: Youths set passenger bus alight in Paris. Which youths might those be? The article doesn't actually say, but you can guess:
There are all sorts of euphemisms that people use. At one time legs were described a “limbs” Today, “youths” are … want to guess?
Sunday, October 22, 2006
"Congress was briefed," Mr. Bush said. "And what we did was fully authorized under the law. And the disclosure of this program is disgraceful. We're at war with a bunch of people who want to hurt the United States of America, and for people to leak that program, and for a newspaper to publish it, does great harm to the United States of America."
Vicious? Can you say "macaca?"
It would not surprise me, though, to see other feminist women decide to take the veil of Islam in order to declare themselves liberated, partly because so many feminists, particularly radical feminists, are all about rejection of Western norms, extreme action and, yes, trendy thought. I've wondered for a year or more whether we might see a number of Western women go "undercover" because it seems glamorous, rebellious and edgy, and I wonder if this Sunday Hajib Edition of the Washington Post is not going to be the catalyst for such a trend. Perhaps.
And perhaps the feminist embrasure of head coverings and veils might be a boon and a saving adjustment to Islam...depending, I suppose, on just how tightly rolled is the newspaper.
So you don't believe liberals are really anti-American; that they pose a real danger to you and your family and all of America?
Lynne Stewart the leftist lawyer and hero of liberals was found guilty of helping Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman who helped organize the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 continue to communicate from federal prison with his savage Egyptian terrorist organization, the Islamic Group (Gama'at al Islamia).
Stewart is a known sympathizer of Stalin, Mao, North Vietnam, and considers terrorists "liberationists".
As an attorney she has defended the Weather Underground bomber Kathy Boudin, Black Panther Willie Holder, Mafia turncoat Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, cop killers, murderers, attempted murderers, so-called political prisoners and leftwing extremists of every stripe. Stewart has even gone on record as saying that she would defend Osama bin Laden.
I remember during the last wave of Times cutbacks I was standing in the lunch line at some press conference when another journalist there asked what I thought about the cutbacks. I’m typically less horrified about them than some of my colleagues, because as a freelancer I generally see too much fat in these heavily staffed media institutions anyway. Getting rid of people who are paid no matter how little (or badly) they write, and replacing them with people who don’t get paid unless they work themselves up into something worth reading usually strikes me as a pretty good idea.
But then, of course, that’s what I would say.
“As a former staffer and once-a-week contributor, I think the Times is one of the finest papers in the world!” the guy said huffily, standing up very straight while balancing his plate of free food. “Look at all those Pulitzers!”
Yes, just look at them. But I suspect journalists are far more impressed by Pulitzers than readers, who tend to remember (and subscribe to a paper because of) an old-fashioned “Hey, Martha!” human interest story than the kind of worthy prize-grabbing thing that wins accolades from peers.
I feel sorry for the Ford workers laid off when their plant closes. Whey then do I get a lighhearted feeling when a newspaper fires a large part of its staff? It's a puzzlement.
For a special article on “Islam and Women,” the Washington Post today gives column space to an utterly deranged, hard-core Islamofascist sympathizer, Yvonne Ridley—without identifying her as anything but the “political editor of Islam TV.”
And it’s titled: How I Came to Love the Veil. Ridley’s premise is that Islam respects women much more than the Western world.
I think the mainstream media can’t possibly surprise me any more. Then they do something like this.
Yvonne Ridley is a member of George Galloway’s RESPECT party, and has written numerous essays defending Islamic terrorism. She described those murdered in last year’s terrorist attacks in Jordan as “collaborators.” She wrote, “I think I’d rather put up with a brother like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi any day than have a traitor or sell-out for a father, son or grandfather.” She described Shamil Basaev, the mastermind of the massacre of Russian school children at Beslan, as “a Shaheed,” or martyr. She was fired by Al Jazeera because she was too extreme even for them.
This is mainstream media at its absolute worst, promoting the propaganda of radical Islamists without even a hint of context. If they’re going to publish this crap, at the very least they should tell us who is writing it. What the hell is wrong with the Washington Post?
The Post’s ombudsman is Deborah Howell, and she can be reached at 202-334-7582 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact the Washington Post and let them know what you think about this outrage.
Byron Calame, NY Times Public Editor, has changed his mind and now believes that the disclosure of the SWIFT international funds transfer program by the NY Times was a mistake. So why did he defend it a few months ago? Well, that was Bush's fault - the critics were so nasty that Calame reflexively defended the Times.
This is all buried as an afterthought to his Sunday column provocatively headlined - "Can ‘Magazines’ of The Times Subsidize News Coverage?".
Among the comments:
If we're going to hope that this apologia is a 'sign', let's hope that it's a preemptive move on Commissar Calame's part to distance himself from those he believes will soon be undergoing trial for the NSC disclosures.
The thought of Keller, Sulzberger, Risen and Lichtblau wandering aimlessly around the exercise yard at Leavenworth always cheers me up.
I keep wondering of the staff dismissal on the House committee might be a precursor to something similiar happening wrt the Senate intelligence committee. Maybe accompanied by a reading of the Rockefeller memo on national TV...
And of course, the last wheeze of the piece is to BLAME BUSH. The writer still can't take responsibility for his own actions - it's BUSH's fault!
Aha! The Devil made him do it.
But not ONLY was it Bush's fault - it was Bush taking advantage of the writer's NOBLER INSTINCTS! Damn! If only he wasn't such a champion of the downtrodden none of this would have happened!
This comes into the category of "Sorry I was angry about the mess made when I ran over your dog,but it was on my driveway".
I rarely lose my temper, but that does not mean I don’t have one. Generally, I am disappointed in certain actions or words I disapprove of by people or organizations, rather than angry. But this time, I am really angry at CNN, because I am taking it personally.
When a CNN executive accused U.S. troops of targeting journalists in Iraq to stop their reporting, I viewed it as anti-military left wing rhetoric, with no basis in truth. I think most Americans who bothered to read this story agreed with me. When CNN showed the U.S. Marine shooting a terrorist pretending to be wounded, while attempting to set off the explosives wired to the booby-trapped body next to him, I knew that any reasonable inquiry would exonerate the soldier; and I was right. As CNN showed the embarrassing pictures of the detainees at Abu Ghraib over and over, I ascribed it to their agenda to discredit American forces, in much the same manner as Illinois Senator Dick Durban when he compared our soldiers to Nazis and the Khmer Rouge of Pol Pot. Again, they were just pushing their well documented agendas, with little regard for its repercussions. But this time, they have crossed a line that no news agency in the United States should cross. They have become a news service advocating for the enemies of our Nation.
I am referring, of course, to their decision to broadcast the sniper “Snuff Film” provided by a terrorist organization in Iraq. CNN defends this with the absurd argument that they were reporting the “unvarnished truth”. The truth is that they have played, on international television, the worst form of pornography, the “Snuff Film”. That they have done so to advance the cause of the Islamic terrorists is not an opinion that I have arrived at lightly, but the evidence is beyond circumstantial. When taken in context, it is obvious to me that they are rooting for the other team. While CNN would certainly refute this, I think the facts speak for themselves.
Beginning with the attacks on the United States on September 11th, CNN has scrubbed much of their coverage. As with other main stream media, they have abstained from showing all of the video and pictures from that day. Never has the viewing public seen the pictures of those victims who leapt to their deaths from the World Trade Center, rather than suffer the pain of being burnt to death. Most Americans have never seen the tape and pictures of scores of bodies lying on the sidewalks and streets of New York, before the collapse of the twin towers. The sounds of bodies hitting the pavement have never been heard on CNN, out of their “sensitivity”. CNN has also shielded us from the graphic videos of helpless prisoners being shot or beheaded by terrorists. While most Americans are aware that these incidents have occurred, they are not aware that hundreds of bound innocents have been murdered in this manner, and that the practice continues to this day. The terrorists not only take pride in these murders, they provide the videos to news services on a regular basis. But the American media, including CNN, has decided not to show them, as they are “disturbing”. The murder by beheading of three Christian schoolgirls by Islamists in Indonesia was not even reported by most media; let alone the broadcast of the pictures of these young girls with their heads resting on their chests. Not one American news service has ever shown the cartoons of Muhammad that sparked world wide Muslim rage, including the deaths of scores of people, out of “respect” for Islam. But they are perfectly willing to show an entertainer like Madonna showing her disdain for Christianity by turning the crucifixion of Jesus into a vaguely obscene musical skit.
What CNN and most of the mainstream media have actually done is to do their best to hide the true nature of the enemies of the United States. While claiming that certain images are too graphic for us to see, the effect is to hide the barbarity of those against whom we struggle. Some of these decisions are due to cowardice. The media is simply afraid that taking a truly unbiased journalistic stance will put them at risk of becoming a target for Muslim rage, which often turns deadly. Certainly CNN has admitted they deliberately omitted reporting on the atrocities of Saddam Hussein, although they were well aware of the horrendous acts committed by his regime; because their access to him might be restricted, and their personnel placed at risk. And yet, they appear to have a direct pipeline to the terrorists, and are on the priority mailing list of these murderers.
The airing of the sniper footage by CNN has, in my opinion, placed them at a new low. The intent of the terrorists in filming the sniper attacks is to show that they can kill Americans at will, without repercussion. The recent upsurge in attacks aimed at Americans in Iraq is a blatant attempt by the terrorists to influence the upcoming elections. The timing of this film is an obvious propaganda ploy, meant to augment the reporting of increased American casualties, and discourage Americans from supporting the efforts in Iraq. CNN has become the willing tool of the Jihadi propaganda strategists. Yet, the actions by CNN go even beyond this. And this is where it becomes personal.
CNN claims it was unable to identify the American soldiers shot in cold blood for our viewing pleasure. This is beyond oversight. It is a blatant falsehood. The U.S. military keeps very detailed records detailing the circumstances surrounding every American casualty. Eyewitness accounts, wound examination, situation reports and after action reports are all on file, and can be used by the appropriate authorities to identify each of the soldiers shot on the video. What I find reprehensible is that there are families here who may have seen their loved ones shot down on television. Families receive a fairly detailed account through official sources of the circumstances surrounding each casualty. The soldier’s commanding officer will usually send a personal letter to the family, often providing additional detail. Finally, the comrades of the fallen soldier will often write to the family, with even more detailed information. The bottom line is that a little investigative journalism on the part of CNN would enable CNN to identify the soldiers who were cut down. That they did not make this effort allows them to avoid the confrontation with the families of these men, and the subsequent criticism CNN would receive if they showed the deaths of Americans who have an identity. Anonymity serves their purpose, but exposes the families to the pain and horror of watching their son, brother or father die in prime time.
Why is this personal? My youngest son is in the military, as is a nephew. I also have a number of friends and former Scouts in harms way, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. I take this action by CNN in a very personal way, as it could be a family member or friend who appears on the next episode of Prime Time Snuff. I do not want to have a public viewing of the last moments of someone I know so that CNN can achieve an “exclusive report” in their ratings race, while advancing the image of how effective a terrorist sniper can be.
CNN claims to have a mission and vision statement, and adheres to a standards and ethics code. May I also suggest that they also have a motto, borrowed from a movie. The motto, aimed at we viewers, is “The Truth? You can’t handle the Truth!” CNN is living up to that motto.
Will someone please explain to me the MSM's standards for airing graphic footage?
At the time of 9-11 itself, the MSM apparently made a collective decision that it wouldn't show any of the graphic evidence of the horror that had been visited on thousands of our fellow citizens. No pictures of victims. No close-ups of the poor souls who chose to jump rather than being consumed by the flames. Even years later, there was somber MSM discussion, as here and here, as to whether movies like 'World Trade Center' or 'Flight 93' had come too soon.
And God forbid a GOP commercial should portray even the most fleeting image of 9-11. "Political exploitation!" screams the MSM. As if it's wrong to bring into the political debate the most pressing issue of our times.
But a hyper-realistic movie portrayal of the assassination of Pres. Bush? Why, as NewsBuster Noel Sheppard has pointed out, that wins a critics award at the Toronto Film Festival.
And terrorist footage of deadly sniper attacks on US troops? Not only did CNN decide to air it multiple times, but the decision has been supported in the MSM. Take today's column, What's really going on in Iraq, by the Boston Globe's Joan Venocchi, who writes "CNN was right to broadcast this material, even if insurgents supplied it."
But Vennochi gives away the game when the sole source she cites in support of the decision to air the sniper footage is . . . John Kerry, whom she describes as "a strong critic of President Bush's Iraq war policy." Other than the minor detail of having voted to authorize the war, of course. Oh, and Kerry did vote for the $87 billion before he . . . but I digress.
So, Ms. Vennochi and Sen. Kerry, since you're interested in Americans seeing "more truth," what about the graphic truth of 9-11?
When somebody from the Herald used to get a job at the Globe, we’d always say he was going to the velvet coffin.
Now, I guess it would be more accurate to just describe the money-losing rag as the coffin.
The New York Times bought the bible of political correctness 15 years ago for $1.1 billion. And now, according to The Wall Street Journal, the Globe has fallen into the red and it can’t get up. And the pompous, pampered poodles in the newsroom can’t blame their financial meltdown solely on Craigslist, Google, or even George W. Bush.
It’s finally caught up with them, all those years of fake stories, penned by gullible limousine liberals who go weak in the knees just thinking about their daily paeans to illegal aliens, drive-by shooters and plucky NAMBLA types who are trying to rebound from a rest-stop collar.
In the pages of the Globe, everyone must be coddled, except of course Roman Catholic heterosexuals without trust funds who were born and raised here, most of whom are assumed to be guilty of some sort of heinous hate crime (unless they’ve endorsed Deval Patrick).
Fortunately for the Globe’s bow-tied bumkissers, they do have one ace in the hole. All those dodgy liberal pols they’re in the tank for (“Sen. Kennedy Turning Life Around”) have come to the defense of the common nightwalkers of Morrissey Boulevard.
In a lachrymose missive to New York Times publisher Pinch Sulzberger, more than 20 local hacks, led by the aforementioned hero of Chappaquiddick, described the ongoing collapse of the Globe as a terrible shame.
Ted Kennedy, a spoiled rich kid, writes the spoiled rich kid who owns the Globe, begging him not to fire any more of the spoiled rich kids who write the fake-news stories for the Globe’s dwindling readership of spoiled rich-kid moonbats.
Apparently, Sen. Kennedy considers some newspapers more worthy of salvation than others. Remember what he tried to do to this tabloid and the New York Post back in 1987, just because a certain scribe was describing him as Fat Boy.
Teddy had one of his crapulous Senate pals sneak a late-night rider into a Senate budget bill to force Rupert Murdoch - whom Ted kept calling Rudolph Murdoch - to sell both papers if he wanted to retain his more-profitable TV stations in Boston and New York.
With his bill of attainder, Teddy was willing to put maybe 1,500 people - mostly blue-collar, almost all union - out of work just to choke off different voices. So much for celebrating diversity.
But now Ted and his gaggle of PC sycophants harrumph that it is their duty to help preserve quality journalism in Boston.
What Teddy really wants to preserve is a sheet that does his bidding, and always has, going back to 1962. That was the year one of the Globe’s Irish tokens was sent to the White House to negotiate with President Kennedy over how the story of Teddy’s expulsion from Harvard for cheating would be played on the front page before his Senate campaign began. JFK held out for a two-column headline, below the fold. He got his way, and so has his brother, ever since.
The newspaper industry is on the ropes, and the Herald is certainly not immune to the financial carnage wrought by technology. But we’ve always known we had one foot on the banana peel, and have acted accordingly. The smug Ivy League legacies at the Globe never heeded the words of Jackson Browne: Nobody owes you nothing. And now on the Boulevard they take it hard.
There’s a German word that’s always posted on conservative Web sites whenever another corrupt liberal newspaper goes into its death throes. The word is schaudenfreude, which essentially means taking pleasure in the downfall of someone else, especially a bunch of sanctimonious carpetbaggers who’ve got it coming to them, big-time, in spades.
So the Globe is hemorrhaging money and a lot more Beautiful People are going to be laid off and Ted Kennedy’s heart is breaking.
Let me be the first to say it: I’m feeling schaudenfreude.
October 22, 2006: The recent survey, published in the British medical journal, "The Lancet," claiming over 650,000 civilian deaths due to the liberation of Iraq, was quickly labeled propaganda, not science. Is the survey accurate? The answer is, apparently not. The survey is widely out of sync with casualty counts by other organizations, and by a wide margin. A 2004 study by the same authors claimed 100,000 civilian casualties – a survey at odds with one done by the United Nations at the same time (which estimated 18,000 to 29,000 deaths). To compare this with other studies – the group Iraq Body Count only claims 49,000 civilian deaths, the Brookings Institution reports 62,000, and the Los Angeles Times has reported 50,000 civilian deaths since the liberation of Iraq.
Another sign this number is off is the fact that it implies that, on average, hundreds of civilians per day have been killed since the liberation of Iraq. Not even the mainstream media has reported death tolls that high. One recently reported "surge in violence" involved a total of 110 people killed in a two-day span. That is an average of 55 people killed per day – which would imply a total of roughly 72,000 civilian deaths (somewhat higher the Brookings Institution estimate).
Something else that has been ignored is the fact that in the past, false claims of massacres and a high death toll have occurred. One such example was the alleged massacre in Jenin. Palestinians claimed that over 500 civilians were killed. Later investigations revealed that the death toll was 52 – 30 of whom were Palestinian terrorists from various groups (including Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and the al-Asqa Martyrs Brigade).
The small samples and the past history of exaggerated casualty counts have not stopped numerous opponents of the liberation of Iraq, like Greg Mitchell of " Editor and Publisher" (a publication geared towards the media), from citing the study – and attacking those who have questioned it. In this case, a highly questionable figure has been seized upon, and is now being bandied about – while the flaws have been ignored. Another favorite subject at " Editor and Publisher" is, "why don't people trust the media." Here is a case where the answer is closer than the editors of " Editor and Publisher" would like to admit.
An article by Margaret Edds headlines: “Voters can’t stop gay pride, progress.” Translation: The people of Virginia should not be allowed to define the meaning of marriage. These are the sort of things that should be left to the wisdom of editorial writers and Liberal judges. Message to the people: SHUT UP!
An article by Mark Pinsky headlined: “Meet the new “kinder, gentler” evangelicals.” Pensky is the religion writer for the Orlando (FL) Sentinel and author of “A Jew Among the Evangelicals: A Guide for the Perplexed.” Enough said.
The main article is about the US hitting the 300 million mark in population. The headline: “Where did all the people come from?” The answer appears to be better medicine, immigration, and enough food to eat. WOW! Stop the presses! This article was NOT written by a junior high school student assigned a 500 word essay. It was penned by Rowland Nethaway who is senior editor of the Waco (TX) Tribune Herald. We question who held the gun to Dennis Hartig’s (Pilot Editorial Page editor) head to force him to carry this piece of drivel. OTOH, we suspect he did it of his own free will. It’s typical.
The letters to the editor were unusual. Instead of the typical 10 to 1 slant against Senator George Allen and Representative Thelma Drake, the letters were fairly even.
Bob Herbert took a day off from bashing Bush to writing about prostitution in Atlanta.
Martin Schmidt is upset that food is too cheap and wants drive-through restaurant food taxed heavily.
And David Brooks pens a plea for Barak Obama to run for President.
This saves you a whole lot of time and trouble that you could use much more productively elsewhere.
Don’t thank me, it was my duty.
A Moslem woman stated she was proud of her headscarf, and asked, how could Ann so "viciously criticize the Islamic world for wearing burkahs?" Ann replied, "In America, you have a choice, under Sharia Law, you don’t have a choice, you would be beaten if you didn't wear a headscarf."
On Mark Foley: "I thought liberals stood up for gay rights, not run them out of town. A lot of Republican staffers are gay. Why wouldn't a gay want to be a Republican? Gays are well educated and highly paid, therefore, they get to keep more of what they earn. Gays are victims of crime, and so they support law and order. Gays know that terrorists want to kill them first."
Deeply controversial issues like abortion and suicide rights have nothing to do with the Constitution, and unelected judges too often choose to find new rights at the expense of the democratic process, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Saturday.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Michael Rubin gives us an idea of the makeup of the Baker-Hamilton Commission and a depressing prediction of the type of "political realism" that always manages to kill millions of people as "peace" descends like a curtain and we avert our eyes while congratulating ourselves on our pragmatism.
POLICYMAKERS ARE ABUZZ with the explosive recommendations for U.S. policy toward Iraq soon to be released by the Baker-Hamilton Commission: Abandon democracy, seek political compromise with the Sunni insurgents, and engage Tehran and Damascus as partners to secure stability in their neighbor.
Read the whole thing.
In the American Democratic Party, the chosen method of liquidation is not the midnight knocks at the door or the forced confession in a show trial. The preferred method is the anonymous source to David Corn of The Nation or to anyone at the NY Times.
Which brings us to Jane Harman. The ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, she had the reputation of rationality, a reputation that has of late become rather tattered. It has been puzzling me until the linked article on The American Thinker provided a reasonable explanation.
Michael Barone notices, as have I, that in the past few months the normally sensible and moderate Harman has been behaving out of character. He offers this explanation:There is an interesting moral end ethical question that one asks oneself: how much is your honor worth. The price for a lot of people is surprisingly low.Jane Harman, the ranking Democrat on the committee, has protested strongly against the staffer’s suspension. Harman for several years has been a responsible member on the committee. But during the course of this calendar year, she has been making more shrill partisan statements and fewer thoughtful critiques. The most likely reason: pressure from the Democratic left.[snip]
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is said to be determined to replace her with Alcee Hastings, the former federal judge who was impeached by the House for bribery and convicted and removed from office by the Senate…
But if this isn’t strange enough, Time online has a most peculiar story —one so nonsensical it could only have been planted by people in her own party who, having realized marginalizing defense hawks in the party through the ballot box (ala Lieberman) is a losing strategy, have now resorted to under-the-radar smearing of them.Did a Democratic member of Congress improperly enlist the support of a major pro-Israel lobbying group to try to win a top committee assignment? That’s the question at the heart of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and Justice Department prosecutors, who are examining whether Rep. Jane Harman of California and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) may have violated the law in a scheme to get Harman reappointed as the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, according to knowledgeable sources in and out of the U.S. government.
The sources tell TIME that the investigation by Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which has simmered out of sight since about the middle of last year, is examining whether Harman and AIPAC arranged for wealthy supporters to lobby House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Harman’s behalf. Harman said Thursday in a voicemail message that any investigation of “or allegation of improper conduct by” her would be “irresponsible, laughable and scurrilous.” On Friday, Washington GOP super lawyer Ted Olson left voicemail messages underscoring that Harman has no knowledge of any investigation. “Congresswoman Harman has asked me to follow up on calls you’ve had,” Olson said. “She is not aware of any such investigation, does not believe that it is occurring, and wanted to make sure that you and your editors knew that as far as she knows, that’s not true… . No one from the Justice Department has contacted her.” It is not, however, a given that Harman would know that she is under investigation. In a follow-up phone call from California, Olson said Harman hired him this morning because she takes seriously the possibility of a media report about an investigation of her, even though she does not believe it herself.
The article is sourced to the Nation, megaphone of the lying left.
Sample of the Dem's agenda following the election:
The Justice for the Unprotected against Sexually Transmitted Infections among the Confined and Exposed Act, or JUSTICE Act, sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif. This bill would make sure the "guests" housed in federal prisons have government-issued condoms aplenty for their use. Subsidized homosexual activity by convicts – yep, that's the kind of America I want to live in.
The Crack-Cocaine Equitable Sentencing Act, sponsored by Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. The bill would eliminate the mandatory minimum sentence for crack-cocaine convictions. Finally – a bill to start reversing the silly tough-on-crime mindset that has kept far too many crack-cocaine dealers behind bars.
A bill "to provide for coverage under the Medicare and Medicaid Programs of incontinence undergarments," sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., would make adult diapers a covered item under Medicare and Medicaid. Now here's a piece of legislation our Founding Fathers would be proud of. After all, we all know their intent was for government to provide for the "common Depends." A diaper in every drawer! (or drawers).
Wow! We just passed 300 million! At exactly 7:46 a.m. EDT Tuesday, the clock rolled over to the big figure -- 300 million times the press has told us Democrats will win back Congress! What an amazing milestone. Press "reports" that Democrats were 'poised to win back Congress' began approximately 8 or 9 seconds after the GOP won back Congress. Twelve years ago. In the fall of '96, Democrats were still 'poised to win back Congress.' In the fall of '98, Democrats were still 'poised to win back Congress,' as they were in the fall of 2000, 2002, and again in 2004. Democrats are now poised to rack up their 6th term of not having won back Congress.
But! The press says Democrats are really fired up this time, like never before -- I guess that's why Air America just filed for bankruptcy. First it was North Korea's nuke, then it was Air America -- that's two bombs from the Left in a week.
Voter turnout for Democrats during this year's primaries amounted to 16%. Armed with this knowledge, the New York Times says "enthusiasm among Democrats is particularly high this year, significantly higher . . . than the intensity of Republicans." They must be basing this on those sterling exit polls.
If you look at it historically, Franklin Roosevelt got his clock cleaned by Republicans in the 1938 midterm. It was the sixth year of his presidency. Popular Dwight Eisenhower got a shellacking from Democrats in the 1958 midterm. It was the sixth year of his presidency. Immensely popular President Reagan lost the Senate in the 1986 midterm. It was the sixth year of his presidency. Yeah, it's a mystery why Bush will lose seats in his sixth year.
Democrats need a net gain of 15 seats in the House in order to usher in world peace, surrender in Iraq, surrender to the Taliban, shut down Gitmo, repeal tax cuts, repeal the Patriot Act, block funding for border control, fund stem cell research, end faith-based programs, draw up articles of impeachment, end climate change, stop Wal-Mart, impeach Bush.
Democrats need a net gain of 6 seats in the Senate to imprint with a rubber stamp whatever junk the House passes and put Bushigula on trial for "spying" on innocent al-Qaeda-Americans, tracking terrorist financing, killing ABM, killing Kyoto, killing the global criminal court, snookering John Kerry with yellow-cake, booting out Saddam and other serious abominations.
With the Nancy Pelosi set in charge in the House, no more suggestive IMs to underage adult ex-pages. It'll be back to business as usual -- raping teenage pages and running gay call-boy prostitution rings from their Washington pads. When Democrats ran the show, then Congressman Gerry Studds (DEMOCRAT-Mass.), who died over the weekend, did a teen page. Democrats praised him for not crossing the line into sending the page "overly friendly" notes. He got a wrist slap. Studds, who wrote a new page in history as the first openly pederast Congressman, turned his back on the House when his "censure" motion was being read. All across America, gay child molesters -- those not castrated -- gave Studds a standing ovation.
(Democrats refer to Studds as a "martyr" -- which means they probably think he's in paradise meeting his 72 virgin teens.)
Democrats couldn't bring themselves even to 'censure' Rep. Barney Frank -- whose boyfriend was running a prostitution ring from Frank's pad. A motion to "censure" Frank failed, even after Harry Reid "amended" the charges from 'sick, sick, sick behavior' to 'mildly ill behavior.'
If you look at the big picture, every prediction that 'Democrats are poised to win back Congress' is based on polls. Nothing new there. Based on polls, Colorado GOP Senator Wayne Allard was declared 'dead' in 2002. He won decisively.
Polls showed Saxby Chambliss could never beat Vietnam war hero Sen. Max Cleland. Chambliss beat him.
Georgia Gov. Ray Barnes was 'coasting' to reelection in the polls. He lost. Georgia got its first GOP governor since 1872 -- despite very "reliable" polls. Republican Mitt Romney was "too conservative" for one of the most liberal bastions in America. No chance of winning there, according to polls. He won.
DNC honcho Terry McAuliffe said "Jeb Bush is gone!" Payback for 2000. Polls. Jeb Bush won, 56% to 43%. Texas Democrat Senate candidate Ron Kirk won handily in the polls. He lost to John Cornyn at the ballot box. Polls showed Katherine Harris couldn't win in Florida's District 13. Payback for 2000. She won. Polls showed Walter Mondale was a shoo-in for the Senate in Minnesota. Former presidential candidate. Can't lose. He lost. Republican Linda Lingle couldn't win the race for governor of Hawaii, polls showed. She did.
Elizabeth Dole? Polls showed her opponent Erskine Bowles couldn't lose. Former Clinton chief of staff. Businessman. He lost. In Maryland, Democrat candidate for governor Kathleen Kennedy . . . WAIT -- STOP RIGHT THERE. A Kennedy -- lose? Against Robert what's-his-face? She lost.
Shockingly, polls weren't much better at predicting anything in 2004. Howard Dean's "unstoppable" -- polls. "Electable" Kerry -- polls. Unpopular war. David Kay's "We were all wrong" Senate testimony. Abu-Ghraib. Fallujah. Bush sinking -- polls. Bombings, kidnappings and ambushes in Iraq. Bush sinks further -- polls. TANG documents. Richard Clarke. Report by 9/11 Commission. Al-Qaqaa "missing" explosives. Bush totally sunk -- polls. Bush "loses" 3 debates -- polls. Kerry calls Mary Cheney a "lesbian." Christians vow to stay home, according to polls. Bush and the lesbian's father go on to win the election. Most polls were only wildly off.
Pollsters couldn't even do exit polls of ACTUAL VOTERS right. John Zogby had horseface trouncing Bush in his last projection -- late in the afternoon, Election Day. So, yeah, we can really trust these guys.
Now polls are showing Democrats are revved up and ready to go vote. But even if true, it wouldn't matter since Democrats are still too stupid to know where to vote.
"There is a huge potential for some sort of October surprise," Zogby tells Reuters. There's a huge potential for some sort of November "surprise," too. It's called Republicans winning the elections. The good money is still on the GOP.
My Two Cents...
And where, by the way, mind altering drugs are legal as is prostitution, the Dutch are finally finding that their social contract is not a suicide pact.
In a country that can still seem a parody of itself — a magistrate ruled recently that an armed robber was entitled to a tax rebate on the cost of his gun as a tool of his trade —
Multiculturalism is damned. A recent poll found 80% in favour of stronger measures to get immigrants to integrate — and 40% said they "hoped" Muslims "no longer feel at home here".It's a long article that covers events not only in the Netherlands but throughout Europe. A question is asked by a European prelate that may seen parochial and religious, but that is at the heart of the struggle we are in:
How did this happen? The first open shift came in 2001, with 9/11. Frits Bolkestein, the leader of the VVD Conservative Liberals, had struck a chord in the 1990s with his insistence that immigrants conform to western culture, but immigration issues were largely the preserve of "racists" and "crypto-Nazis" on the political margins. Then came reports that the atrocities in New York and Washington had been greeted with cheers in parts of Rotterdam. Forum, the Dutch institute for multicultural development, commissioned an opinion poll of Dutch Muslims. It showed that 48% had "complete understanding" and 27% "some understanding" of the attacks. Overall, only 62% disapproved. Wim Kok, the then prime minister, expressed his shock.
"Political leaders ask whether the Muslims will accept our values," he said. "I ask, 'What values are those? Gay marriage? Euthanasia?'" The cardinal said that the time when Christians "would fight and die for their faith" were long past, but he hoped "tragic acts" like the van Gogh murder "will force us to recover our identity".
Indeed, what values are we fighting for? This country is divided roughly evenly between those who wish to support traditional Western values and those who believe that those values are the cause of the world's problems.
Is Europe giving way to blackmail? The question was raised in Germany last month by an article in Die Welt, the country's most heavyweight paper, by Mathias Dúpfner, head of the big Axel Springer publishing group. He titled it Europe — Thy Name Is Cowardice. He said that a crusade is under way "by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians, directed against our free, open western societies" that is set upon the "utter destruction" of western civilisation. This enemy, he said, was spurred on by "tolerance" and "accommodation", which were taken as signs of weakness. Europe's supine response, he said, was on a par with the appeasement of Hitler.
It's a good question. The answer is not in the back of the book.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
The post links to an article by Alan Dershowitz, writing in the New York Sun, who complains of a double standard applied by the media to him, George Bush and Bill Clinton.
Are you amazed that this drew no response from the MSM?
In a recent interview on National Public Radio, Mr. Clinton was asked, as someone "who's been there," whether the president needs "the option of authorizing torture in an extreme case."
This is what he said in response: "Look, if the president needed an option, there's all sorts of things they can do.Let's take the best case, OK.You picked up someone you know is the No. 2 aide to Osama bin Laden. And you know they have an operation planned for the United States or some European capital in the next three days. And you know this guy knows it. Right, that's the clearest example. And you think you can only get it out of this guy by shooting him full of some drugs or water-boarding him or otherwise working him over. If they really believed that that scenario is likely to occur, let them come forward with an alternate proposal.
"We have a system of laws here where nobody should be above the law, and you don't need blanket advance approval for blanket torture.They can draw a statute much more narrowly, which would permit the president to make a finding in a case like I just outlined, and then that finding could be submitted even if after the fact to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court." ...
Where is Russ Feingold? Where is John McCain? Where are the Democrats who are screaming long and loud about the bill just passed by Congress and signed by the President which specifically forbids torture?
If there is no denunciation of these remarks from the perpetually outraged civil libertarians and ACLU types, there is only one conclusion to be drawn: they are lying about their position.
They have no objection to torture. Their outrage is fake. They lie and lie shamelessly.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
by Dr. Howard Dean
Chairman, Democratic National Committee
Dear Valued Potential Customer:
As the leader of one of America's premier political parties, I know firsthand the importance of building bridges to the various communities and constituencies we serve. Unfortunately, when serving as many diverse communities as we do at the DNC, sometimes an important relationship can inadvertently fall through the cracks. Frankly, I realize we have not always brought our "A Game" when it comes to the concerns of conservative-Americans. That's why we would like to take this opportunity to start a dialog with you, the conservative "values voter," by addressing an issue of vital importance to all of us -- the growing Republican homo menace.
Despite what you may have heard on Fox News, we Democrats know what issues are on the minds of heartland conservatives like you. We know that your number one concern of is the safety of your children -- whether they are plucking their banjos on the back porch, speaking tongues to snakes at Jesus Camp, or torching crosses at your local Nascar racing contest. We also know that the number one threat to your children's safety is the scourge of international homo-ism. That's why we at the DNC have created "The Contract With American Hillbillies," a new multipoint investigation program to identify and root out conservative stealth homoism before it threatens you or your precious little inbreeds.
Read the rest...
We never cease to be amazed at the double standard applied to the morals and ethics of Democrats and Republicans in Congress. We've already commented on how Republican Mark Foley was forced to resign for sending lewd e-mails to congressional pages, while Democrat Gerry Studds received mere censure and standing ovations after actually having sex with one, being allowed to serve until he decided to retire.
But the case of Senate Minority Leader Reid is a double standard on steroids. The latest episode is his request to file an "amended" ethics statement after the Associated Press revealed he made $1.1 million on a $400,000 investment on property he hadn't owned for three years; it was the subject of an earlier editorial on these pages. . . .
OK, fine. But why the double standard and the hypocrisy? Is anybody investigating Harry Reid?
We remember the feeding frenzy over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's alleged violation of federal tax law in using tax-exempt funds to fund his allegedly political college course, "Renewing American Civilization."
After a 3 1/2-year ordeal, and a $300,000 fine paid to the House Ethics Committee, the IRS finally ruled that the sponsoring organization, the Progress and Freedom Foundation, "did not serve the private interests of Mr. Gingrich" and was both apolitical and completely legal.
Which is more than you can say about Reid's shenanigans. Gingrich wasn't offered a "do-over" or the opportunity to amend anything. In his case, it was sentence first, trial later. But then, unlike Reid, he was both innocent and a Republican.
“There is a mighty task before us and it welds us together. It is to make the United States a mighty Christian Nation, and to Christianize the world.”
— Woodrow Wilson.
Stop the Theocrats!!!!!
From today's White House Bulletin... [Rich Lowry]
a point that has been noted in this space before:
* Recent Polls Outside The Historical Norm For Party ID. A spate of recent polls paints a very gloomy electoral outlook for GOP candidates in next month's elections. One reason for that, possibly, is a set of samples in recent polls that do not mirror the historical norm for party ID. A memo circulating among Republicans on the Hill, authored by GOP pollster David Winston, takes a look at the historical spread between Democrats and Republicans in House elections and polling over the last 14 years. According to Winston's analysis, there is a material discrepancy between the party identification listed by people in exit polls (people who actually voted) between 1992 and 2004, and those used over the last few weeks.
In most of the years between 1992 and 2004, Democrats held a slight advantage in party ID. Winston based his data on VNS/Media exit surveys, and concluded in 1992, Democrats held a 3 point advantage; in 1996, they held a 4 point advantage; in 1998, a 1 point advantage; and in 2000, a 3 point advantage. In two election years, 1994 and 2004, the percentages of people identifying themselves as Republicans and Democrats were identical, i.e., no advantage to either party. 2002 was the only year in which Republicans held an advantage over Democrats, with 40% identifying themselves to exit pollsters as Republicans and 38% identifying themselves as Democrats.
In short, between 1992 and 2004, only once did one party enjoy an advantage as large as 4 points over the other in party ID. But in recent polling samples used by eight different polling organizations (USA Today/Gallup, CBS/NYTimes, ABC/Washington Post, CNN/Opinion Research, Newsweek, AP/Ipsos, Pew, and Time), the Democratic advantage in the sample surveyed was never less than 5 points. All these organizations conducted surveys in early October. According to Winston, the Democrats held the following party ID advantages in these early-October surveys:
* USAToday/Gallup: 9 points.
* CBS/NYT: 5 points
* ABC/WP: 8 points
* CNN: did not provide sample party ID details.
* Newsweek: 11 points.
* AP/Ipsos: 8 points.
* Pew: 7 points.
* Time: 8 points.
Party registrations shift over time, and many political operatives believe the country starts to gravitate away from a party that has been in power over an extended period of time. Republicans have controlled the House since 1995. Winston acknowledges that possibility in his memo, writing, "It is certainly not out of the realm of possibility that this year's election could fall outside of historical results, but any survey that does should acknowledge that the data presented are based on a foundation that reflects a structural shift in the way the electorate identifies itself with a party."
Here's more from Big Lizards:
How much to weight for party ID is a weighty question for a very weighty reason: if poll samples consistently come up with significantly more Democrats and Independents than voted in the last comparable election (and consequently fewer Republicans), does that mean that a bunch of registered Republicans now consider themselves more in the Independent or Democratic camps -- hence will vote that way -- or does it mean there is an unidentified but systemic bias in the sample selection that will disappear when voters actually go to the polls?
In other words, should polls be weighted to "correct" the typical "oversampling" in favor of the Left in the pool of Rs, or does that supposed oversampling actually reflect true voter intent -- hence should not be eliminated by weighting?
And there is a related question that even further complicates the situation: assume some number of Republicans are mad at the party, so when asked their party affilliation, they say "Independent" or even "Democrat," and when asked who they will vote for, they say "Casey." What percent of them will, in the end, come back to the fold and vote for Santorum, even if they must hold their noses while doing so? After all, if you believe that a person will "switch" his party affilliation one direction, then he could jolly well switch it back in the voting booth, too.
The reality is that the percent of overpolled Democrats and Independents who are in fact "false-flag" voters -- voters who say they're one party while actually being another -- is neither 0% or 100%; nor will all the false-flaggers actually vote for Democrats:
A fourth category are literary allusions to hymns and scripture. In our first inaugural, we had "when we see that wounded traveler on the road to Jericho, we will not pass to the other side;" or "there is power, wonder-working power in the goodness and idealism and faith of the American people" in the State of the Union.
I've actually had, in the past, reporters call me up on a variety of speeches and ask me where are the code words. I try to explain that they're not code words; they're literary references understood by millions of Americans. They're not code words; they're our culture. It's not a code word when I put a reference to T.S. Eliot's Choruses From the Rock in our Whitehall speech; it's a literary reference. And just because some don't get it doesn't mean it's a plot or a secret. (Laughter.)
I remember one incident in the last election when Frank Bruni - who is one of my favorite people; I really like and respect him - wrote on the front page of The New York Times that the president had said in an interview, actually - not a speech - that people should take the log out of their own eye before taking the speck out of their neighbor's eye. And Frank, writing on the front page of The New York Times, called this an odd version of the pot calling the kettle black. (Laughter.) Neither he nor his editors knew it was from one of the most famous sermons in history, and the part of the New Testament that's in red. (Laughter.) But actually, most Americans knew and the disconnect was not particularly - I don't think - the president's fault.