Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
"It used to be that a handful of editors could decide what was news-and what was not. They acted as sort of demigods. If they ran a story, it became news. If they ignored an event, it never happened. Today editors are losing this power. The Internet, for example, provides access to thousands of new sources that cover things an editor might ignore. And if you aren't satisfied with that, you can start up your own blog and cover and comment on the news yourself. Journalists like to think of themselves as watchdogs, but they haven't always responded well when the public calls them to account."
To make his point, Murdoch criticized the media reaction after bloggers debunked a "60 Minutes" report by former CBS anchor, Dan Rather, that President Bush had evaded service during his days in the National Guard.
"Far from celebrating this citizen journalism, the establishment media reacted defensively. During an appearance on Fox News, a CBS executive attacked the bloggers in a statement that will go down in the annals of arrogance. '60 Minutes,' he said, was a professional organization with 'multiple layers of checks and balances.' By contrast, he dismissed the blogger as 'a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing.' But eventually it was the guys sitting in their pajamas who forced Mr. Rather and his producer to resign.
"Mr. Rather and his defenders are not alone," he continued. "A recent American study reported that many editors and reporters simply do not trust their readers to make good decisions. Let's be clear about what this means. This is a polite way of saying that these editors and reporters think their readers are too stupid to think for themselves."
When an organization avoids doing their job because they decide to inform their stupid readers which stories they have think are most important for fulfilling their agenda while ignoring actual news and information the readers feel is important, they will continue to bleed red ink. The media should inform, not dictate.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
This is a prime example of the media trying to push their viewpoint and manufacture consensus rather than reporting the news. Obama before the election was running web ads and the first page of his website was devoted to you seeing how much money you would "save" under an Obama administration because of his tax plan.
Now of course comes the huge, extravagant swearing in, and then we will have the lip biting State of the Union Address where we will be told HOPE™ and CHANGE™ involves us not asking what Obama can do for us, but what we can do for Obama. The thing that we will be doing of course is paying more taxes. It will be fine though. AP will have already had several months worth of polling for the talking heads to spin. The support for tax cuts was "soft" anyway and wasn't the "primary" reason Obama was elected. The fact that it is a huge lie and a broken promise, we could investigate that, but we hear that Trig Palin still has a sock at her house that was paid for by RNC money and we need to send several teams out to investigate that instead.
Liberal Democrats are going to wake up from their sadomasochistic, anti-Palin orgy with a very big hangover. The evil genie released during this sorry episode will not so easily go back into its bottle. A shocking level of irrational emotionalism and at times infantile rage was exposed at the heart of current Democratic ideology -- contradicting Democratic core principles of compassion, tolerance and independent thought. One would have to look back to the Eisenhower 1950s for parallels to this grotesque lock-step parade of bourgeois provincialism, shallow groupthink and blind prejudice.
I like Sarah Palin, and I've heartily enjoyed her arrival on the national stage. As a career classroom teacher, I can see how smart she is -- and quite frankly, I think the people who don't see it are the stupid ones, wrapped in the fuzzy mummy-gauze of their own worn-out partisan dogma. So she doesn't speak the King's English -- big whoop! There is a powerful clarity of consciousness in her eyes. She uses language with the jumps, breaks and rippling momentum of a be-bop saxophonist. I stand on what I said (as a staunch pro-choice advocate) in my last two columns -- that Palin as a pro-life wife, mother and ambitious professional represents the next big shift in feminism. Pro-life women will save feminism by expanding it, particularly into the more traditional Third World.
As for the Democrats who sneered and howled that Palin was unprepared to be a vice-presidential nominee -- what navel-gazing hypocrisy! What protests were raised in the party or mainstream media when John Edwards, with vastly less political experience than Palin, got John Kerry's nod for veep four years ago? And Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, for whom I lobbied to be Obama's pick and who was on everyone's short list for months, has a record indistinguishable from Palin's. Whatever knowledge deficit Palin has about the federal bureaucracy or international affairs (outside the normal purview of governors) will hopefully be remedied during the next eight years of the Obama presidencies.
I've had several friends recently that I simply stopped discussing politics with and they were of the opinion that it was related to the pending loss of McCain. Nothing could be further from the truth. If anything after eight years of RINO Bush, we want someone with clear conservative principles and credentials and that was not John McCain.
As Paglia notes, it was the pure rage and emotionalism that stopped the discussion. You can't have a discussion with someone who isn't thinking and instead is stuck in a circle of hateful imagery and emotional chanting that precludes all thought. Real facts attempt to puncture this and they just ratchet up the self-enforcing delusion. Now that the media is waking up from their Obama hangover, perhaps they will do the same and might begin resuming rational thought. Chanting no hate, no mcsame isn't rationale discourse and it isn't something worth participating in.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Despite widespread predictions of record turnout in this year’s presidential election, roughly the same portion of eligible voters cast ballots in 2008 as in 2004.
Between 60.7 percent and 61.7 percent of the 208.3 million eligible voters cast ballots this year, compared with 60.6 percent of those eligible in 2004, according to a voting analysis by American University political scientist Curtis Gans, an authority on voter turnout.
A good candidate, a good campaign and someone who helps the party follow it's core principles would have gotten Republicans a good result. There isn't some huge tsunami of unbeatable Democrats out there. This is about a tune up, not ripping the party to pieces.
Yet, in article after article we are already told that those things won't matter because Obama will inspire the change with his mere election. This morning on Meet the Press I heard that people are already telling themselves to stop selling drugs on street corners and to finally start helping their children with school homework. All this is based on nothing more than inspiration.
You'll have to pardon me if I chuckle a bit. I wish I had a insanely huge DVR so I can play the world's biggest game of "I told you so."
Utopia is here. Obama ran on it and now will deliver it with his mere election. The Bloggers of Iran are safe, your car is full of gas, your mortgage is "affordable", your job is safe, nothing is to big to fail because everything is a vital national interest and it is of course a national interest even though Obama is a citizen of, leads and inspires the entire globe.
Maybe not. Maybe when Meet the Press has the editor of Newsweek on for an Obama-lovefest/Roundtable and asks him his views, but not why his poll was the most inaccurate of the entire cycle we can see that what is being pushed yet again is propaganda and not news.
Prepare yourself accordingly.
People will be begging for Republicans soon enough after Democrats taking and spending all their money doesn't achieve that promised utopia. Obama will not free you from paying the rent and filling the car up with gas. Finally in "post-racial" America, we will realize that we aren't past racism when we can hire him, but rather when we can fire him.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
The Post provided a lot of good campaign coverage, but readers have been consistently critical of the lack of probing issues coverage and what they saw as a tilt toward Democrat Barack Obama. My surveys, which ended on Election Day, show that they are right on both counts.
My assistant, Jean Hwang, and I have been examining Post coverage since Nov. 11 last year on issues, voters, fundraising, the candidates' backgrounds and horse-race stories on tactics, strategy and consultants. We also have looked at photos and Page 1 stories since Obama captured the nomination June 4. Numbers don't tell you everything, but they give you a sense of The Post's priorities.
The count was lopsided, with 1,295 horse-race stories and 594 issues stories. The Post was deficient in stories that reported more than the two candidates trading jabs; readers needed articles, going back to the primaries, comparing their positions with outside experts' views. There were no broad stories on energy or science policy, and there were few on religion issues.
But Obama deserved tougher scrutiny than he got, especially of his undergraduate years, his start in Chicago and his relationship with Antoin "Tony" Rezko, who was convicted this year of influence-peddling in Chicago. The Post did nothing on Obama's acknowledged drug use as a teenager.
Isn't it fun when such things are admitted AFTER the election. I don't really care about the drug use of Obama but then I didn't care about Joe the Plumber but the Post found a way to report on him including details about his licensing and liens. The difference of course is bias and sadly, Joe the Plumber was a campaign prop while Barack Obama is president-elect.
One gaping hole in coverage involved Joe Biden, Obama's running mate. When Gov. Sarah Palin was nominated for vice president, reporters were booking the next flight to Alaska. Some readers thought The Post went over Palin with a fine-tooth comb and neglected Biden. They are right; it was a serious omission. However, I do not agree with those readers who thought The Post did only hatchet jobs on her. There were several good stories on her, the best on page 1 by Sally Jenkins on how Palin grew up in Alaska.
Joe who? Biden? The name sounds vaguely familiar. By chance is he a plumber? No. Hmmmm, he is running mate on the ticket and has been serving in the United States Senate for 30 years but you can't seem to find anything on him. That indeed is telling. Can anything but bias explain why we know more about one Joe and nothing about the other?
Thursday, November 6, 2008
College students, consider this your $725 a year tax increase. High School students, enjoy the taxation without represention.
I Hope™ you enjoy the Change™.
Coming on the heels of victory for Obama, CNN's own online video selections contain not one video, not two, to be frank I lost count at twelve - video's with misleading headlines, such as "Michael Crichton Dies" or "Heroes in Question"... So, these videos should be about Michael Crichton and Heroes, right? Or at lease dominate the video piece? Nope... Unbelievable. The video's mislead the viewer into something interesting, and force you to drink more Liberal Kool-aid to get a tiny morsel of that which you came for.
They gave Crichton only 1:06 for a 3:10 piece titled "Michael Crichton Dies"... The beginning of all-out liberal flag waving for 4-8 years.
I guess you could say "be ready to get only a 1/3 of what you're owed".
The list with a few highlights on my part. Rasmussen was second most accurate last cycle if I recall correctly. Either way the trend is pretty clear.
1T. Rasmussen (11/1-3)**
1T. Pew (10/29-11/1)**
3. YouGov/Polimetrix (10/18-11/1)
4. Harris Interactive (10/20-27)
5. GWU (Lake/Tarrance) (11/2-3)*
6T. Diageo/Hotline (10/31-11/2)*
6T. ARG (10/25-27)*
8T. CNN (10/30-11/1)
8T. Ipsos/McClatchy (10/30-11/1)
10. DailyKos.com (D)/Research 2000 (11/1-3)
11. AP/Yahoo/KN (10/17-27)
12. Democracy Corps (D) (10/30-11/2)
13. FOX (11/1-2)
14. Economist/YouGov (10/25-27)
15. IBD/TIPP (11/1-3)
16. NBC/WSJ (11/1-2)
17. ABC/Post (10/30-11/2)
18. Marist College (11/3)
19. CBS (10/31-11/2)
20. Gallup (10/31-11/2)
21. Reuters/ C-SPAN/ Zogby (10/31-11/3)
22. CBS/Times (10/25-29)
23. Newsweek (10/22-23)
The problem of course is that the same folks coming dead last are those broadcasting the debates, and the attempting to form the consensus about who won right afterwards via their talking heads and their polls. Polls at the bottom of that list were off by 100%. They literally doubled the winning margin predicting double digit wins when it wasn't even close to that. They clearly are using their polls to push the news/propaganda instead of reporting. You see a debate, then watch the network go to their "snap poll" which is of course 100% wrong and then watch them spend the next several days repeating their wrong conclusions. It doesn't affect everyone but it does crowd out the real news and it does make it harder for the candidates to discuss issues instead of being hit with "What is your campaign doing wrong to be down 13 points in the polls?"
I watched McCain several times on the Sunday Talk Shows do nothing more than spend the entire segment having to explain how his internal polling didn't show 13 point blow out leads. In the future the candidate should have the gumption to tell the reporter that they blew it last election and unless they care to discuss issues instead of their misreporting, then the interview is done.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
So yes, that means I voted no on 1a, 2, and 8.
I voted for McCain/Palin and they lost but really, I'm not too sad about that. Democratic plans of governing have amounted to criticism and utopianism. If they think independents will somehow now buy the nonsense that nothing can change now that CHANGE has been elected as president, they will be in for a rude awakening two years from now.
However now is also when the real fun begins. I haven't gotten to watch the last couple of seasons but I used to be a very big fan of the show Survivor. One of my favorite episodes would be right after the merge. Inevitably one tribe would have a pretty large lead over the other and it would appear as if the next several weeks of shows would already be a settled affair with one tribe voting off the other.
This of course wouldn't be very good for ratings so the producers clearly crafted challenges where the fate of the outcome is not in the hands of the individual. Instead the group determines the individual winner. These "pecking order" challenges reveal the hierchy within the tribe and when several parties wake up and discover they are not where they imagined in the pecking order, the fun begins.
In California we want a high speed rail, just don't power it with alternative energy sources. We want our chickens to have room but we can tell our homosexuals like Obama did that we don't endorse homosexual marriage but still claim that we would vote no on 8. I did vote no on 8 but it is clear that a large percentage of Obama supporters did not. Thus the pecking order begins to show the truth to the tribe.
Some of the truths, paygo is a lie and we will soon be pinning for the "small" $250 billion dollar a year deficits we had under Bush. How sad will that be?
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
If a man proposes to redistribute wealth, he means explicitly and necessarily that the wealth is his to distribute. If he proposes it in the name of the government, then the wealth belongs to the government; if in the name of society, then it belongs to society. No one, to my knowledge, did or could define a difference between that proposal and the basic principle of communism. It might be said, perhaps, that communism is more practical and less cruel, at least in theory: a communist government takes over an entire economy and forbids men to act, but assumes the responsibility of providing for their livelihood. Mr. McGovern’s proposal is closer to the theory of fascism: it leaves to individual men the responsibility to production and of struggling for existence, but lets the government assume the power to dispose of anything they produce.
No one, to my knowledge, has asked the only relevant question: By what right?
RINO's need not apply.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor's identity, campaign officials confirmed.
Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged. Instead, the campaign is scrutinizing its books for improper donations after the money has been deposited.
The Obama organization said its extensive review has ensured that the campaign has refunded any improper contributions, and noted that Federal Election Commission rules do not require front-end screening of donations.
In recent weeks, questionable contributions have created headaches for Obama's accounting team as it has tried to explain why campaign finance filings have included itemized donations from individuals using fake names, such as Es Esh or Doodad Pro. Those revelations prompted conservative bloggers to further test Obama's finance vetting by giving money using the kind of prepaid cards that can be bought at a drugstore and cannot be traced to a donor.
Other blogs have noted that it isn't just limited to pre-paid credit cards. You can punch your own credit card into his campaign website and it doesn't even have the most basic security features enabled. We are talking about features that the companies that create the software have as standard features like those that check the name against the card number being used. This means you could punch in Mickey Mouse from 1600 Walt Rd. and make a $2000 donation to your own credit card and his website would not stop that from happening.
I'm sure this is just the type of oversight we want in our government.
At least that is what the headline would be if the media were covering him the same way they are covering Sarah Palin. I'm still awaiting the several front page articles from the NY Times telling me how much ol' Joe has spent on veneers, hair plugs, tanning and other assorted goodies like the suspected botox for the VP debate. Only the botox is questionable, the rest are as plain as day.
What, no coverage of it yet? No articles speculating that Biden tans to avoid being deranged due to lack of Vitamin D?
Monday, October 27, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
CHICAGO Hours after The New York Times Co. released third-quarter results Thursday that including a sliding profit but that beat Wall Street expectations, Moody's Investors Services warned of a possible downgrade into junk territory of the publisher's unsecured debt and commercial paper.
Maybe if they stopped being a propaganda machine and started actually digging for and reporting news, they would get the junk off their front page and out of their bond rating as well.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
What does that mean? Obama's election would provoke an international incident because of his inexperience and even Obama's biggest supporters won't be reassured by his response?
Then there were Biden's predictions on the economy: "I promise you, you all are gonna be sitting here a year from now going, 'Oh my God, why are they there in the polls? . . . Why is this thing so tough? . . . I'm asking you now, be prepared to stick with us. Remember the faith you had at this point, because you're going to have to reinforce us.
Biden's prediction about his own ticket is that Obama will be elected and that within six months we will have an international incident equivalent to the Cuban Missle Crisis. Then on top of that his own polling on items like direction of the country and job satisfaction rating will be in the toilet. Biden expects large majorities of the population to be questioning the effectiveness and direction of an Obama administration.
If a Republican were claiming such things about the ticket it would be national news and would be the subject of several media spin cycles. With Biden and the Democrats though what we get is nothing but non-coverage and crickets chirping.
The gaffes are just gravy.
ELECTION REJECTION: NETWORK NEWS SLUMPS; VIEWERSHIP FADES
Wed Oct 22 2008 07:25:40 ET
The Obama-McCain match-up is proving to be a lackluster election ticket for the Big 3 network news programs, according to NIELSEN MEDIA RESEARCH.
As the shouting from the trail and the frantic spinning from the anchor desks intensify, the audience is voting with their remotes.
All 3 evening news shows experienced audience drops year-to-year for the week of Oct. 13-19, 2008.
CBSNEWS w/ Couric shed a half a million viewers, falling from 6.4 million to 5.9 million; ABCNEWS dropped from 8.1 million to 7.6 million; NBCNEWS slumped from 8.2 million to 7.8 million.
This is like the NBA Finals having worse ratings than a regular season game. It is as if the series season finale pulled down worse numbers than reruns. The fact that it occurs across all three just shows what happens when news organizations can report on Joe the Plumber, but not really give us any background on Barack Obama. We can know that Sarah Palin installed a tanning bed, but will never understand the property deal that somehow got Obama his current home in conjunction with Tony Rezko.
Let them die because propaganda isn't news and doesn't deserve our time and money.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
JOE BIDEN: The whole world is waiting, folks. The whole world is waiting. I know almost every one of those major leaders by their first name, not because I'm important, because they were young parliamentarians when I was coming up and we've been hanging around a long time. I'll tell you what, mark my words, within the next, first six months of this administration if we win, you're gonna face a major international challenge, because they are going to want to test him just like they did young John Kennedy. They're going to want to test him, and they are going to find out this guy has got steel in his spine.
The media stampede to investigate why the V.P. candidate of a major party would dare say such a think about the top of the ticket. I have no doubt if this were Palin they would also be diagramming that statement for fun and using it to claim she can't speak and is an idiot.
Mr. Biden, what do you mean by "test?"
Oh wait, I forget this is the American Liberal Media and so that means the only thing reported on this is the sound of chirping crickets. I know that Joe the Plumber has a $1200 tax lien but of course I won't even see reported or followed up what Mr. Biden means by "test."
Even Dan Rather gets it.
RATHER: But let me point out that what happens on the internet may be as important or more important than what's happening in the newspapers. And I'll be surprised, and you know, Joe, I'm frequently surprised, but I'll be surprised if this doesn't have a run on the internet, with among the points two that you raised. Number one, if Sarah Palin had said this, the newspapers would have jumped all over it and so would have the major television outlets. And number two, they can't be happy inside the Obama campaign about this, and let me emphasize I've not spoken with them this morning.
This is akin to the N.Y. Time or CNN just finally giving up the who pretense of reporting news instead of generating propaganda. When a propaganda master notes that it is so transparently biased that even he will gladly admit it, then we see that news is not being reported, but distorted.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I explained to him that in a country where the banks aren't responsible for the loans they originate and their parents aren't responsible for the lies they told to get them, that no one was going to hold a nine year old responsible for their own academic progress. This helped him understand. He can now properly shrug his shoulders and thus keep his job. I'm getting ready to shrug a bit myself. The looters are coming. What will they take from you?
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The total: Republicans, 286. Democrats, 42.
"Generally the Republicans get targeted much more often than Democrats, but this election is driving it off the charts," said CMPA Executive Director Donald Rieck.
Letterman and Leno told 106 jokes about McCain and 180 about Palin in the 25 shows that aired between Aug. 29, when McCain chose her, and Oct. 2, the date of the vice presidential debate.
We are even getting ready to send a comic to the Senate.
I wonder how soon it will be before we realize that telling jokes and governing are not the same thing.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
There is plenty of money to lend. The Fed will keep printing it until we all add zeros to all our financial dealings. There simply aren't enough credit worthy people to loan to anymore. We are a sub-prime nation as I have noted in the past.
This is the danger of utopian socialism and while Obama is the more dangerous candidate in this regard, McCain isn't exactly opposed to it which is why it is so hard for him to truly attack Obama. They both believe magical platitudes and legislation make problems go away. Much of the West is stuck in this dangerous mindset. It is one that uses sarcasm and smears to ignore reality. To me the most interesting example of this is how the Sunday talk shows all now spend a segment on the jokes throughout the week. It is apparent that even they would rather watch reality be dismissed with a laugh than report on it.
One of the reasons the derision has been aimed so strongly at Palin is that she reignites the culture wars in many regards and that is really what much of this is about. She may mangle an answer or two at a gotcha press conference, but the real danger is that she will remind us that two parents are better than one and legislation and money can't change that no matter how hope-filled, mavericky or anything else it happens to be. You can't spend more than you earn. One can't really be two. We love our kids and try to help them through their mistakes rather than letting them run to the village that deluded them in the first place for help.
On the business side, income matters, jobs matter, ratios matter not just to borrowers but to lenders and no acts or legislation that compels either side of these equations to ignore these facts will work. No amount of good intentions in the beginning or blame in the end will change this. Of course we won't have much chance of moving to a true understanding of this while the Sunday talk shows would rather laugh at people than report news and discuss true solutions. Nero truly is fiddling while Rome burns.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
A different way to ponder debt beyond the mere realm of dollars and cents.
In heaven, there are no debts -- all have been paid, one way or another -- but in hell there's nothing but debts, and a great deal of payment is exacted, though you can't ever get all paid up. You have to pay, and pay, and keep on paying. Hell is like an infernal maxed-out credit card that multiplies the charges endlessly.
I was very lucky in some ways in that I stumbled upon some simple truths while growing up. My first job was as a dishwasher at a restaurant. I worked exceedingly hard while I was there and the job involved busing as well as washing. The wage was $3.15 an hour and my first paycheck came to roughly $42.00 after taxes. My first thoughts were of immediately of what I could buy with that hard earned money. All the things I wanted were, of course around $120 dollars and so with that very first paycheck I realized that no matter what you earn, you can always think of a way to spend much more. I consider that a very lucky insight. It taught me then to focus on the expense side of the equation instead of just the income side.
Overtime this has lead to a perspective that pretty much despises debt. There are so many other things I treasure more than what borrowed dollars would buy me. We carry no debt other than a very reasonable mortgage. There have been times I have even wanted that gone and have threatened to carry it out but knowing what I do about governments and fiat currency, I like my inflation hedges.
Still I recently purchased yet another beater motor home. This one is a 1972 something or other Class C on a Dodge platform. I got it for $1200 and cannot wait to begin ripping into and exploring it. The experience is so freeing in that you can't really screw up too bad when the initial cost was so little. The return is infinite. You only have to make it suck less. Any improvement is huge. My wife is tolerant and loving with regard to my strangeness. Some men drink and others gamble. Her husband wants to check propane lines, caulk roof vents and go camping over the weekend in the ugliest thing on the road.
To me, this is heaven. The guy driving the brand new recreational vehicle with multiple slides rolling down the road with a big price tag and a 15 year loan to match is my definition of hell. In an earlier post I sold my earlier motor home, a 1971 Winnebago and purchased a 2002 Ford Escort outright. I love that little car. It isn't just because it is great on gas. It is because despite the flaws it might have, it belongs to me with no worries or concerns of others.
Perhaps this is the problem with our debtor government today. It is like a version of hell and you have the debt forced on you and even the participation forced on you since it does not stay within any preset spending limits. I could let it alone but when it is giving away the future a trillion dollars at a time, you have to get involved. Long ago I decided I would rather us not be an empire no matter the cost to my standard of living here at home. I wonder if some others would be willing to do the same with regard to somehow making the world fair or just when it never has been. In the meantime they argue that someone is greedy and someone else argues that someone is threatening and both spend us into hell.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The mainstream media has long been accused of bias towards the left. With the exception of Fox News, the Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal, the MSM has had this bias for some time. We know its leaders: NBC and MSNBC, CNN, CBS and to a lesser extent ABC. In print, we have the NYT, The Houston Chronicle, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the LAT, USA Today, Time and Newsweek. All have been accused of bias in the past. At the least, we can agree that they are liberal outlets, even if some have tried to have their news coverage be fair. Sure, we’ve had egregious examples of bias before, such as Dan Rather clinging to the Bush National Guard story despite the memo in question being a proven forgery. But I have bad news…it’s gotten much, much worse.
Today, it's become clear that we've gone beyond what conservatives have decried as "media bias." We've entered a era where it's not just points of view that come through in news coverage. It's not just liberal editorial boards and the failure to label liberal ideas and points of view as such. No, it's more than that. I submit that we've entered an era where the MSM actively campaigns for one party's candidate and tries to harm the other through manipulation of the news. We're now seemingly living in a time where certain news divisions have made a deliberate and conscious choice to embrace the hard left. In their wake, they've ignored critical stories for their chosen candidate and focused intently on anything that even appears detrimental to their political opponents. We've past the era of bias and entered the era of full blown Media Malpractice.
A prime example is the coverage of the Presidential campaign. Specifically? The MSM ignored the Jeremiah Wright story for a full year. Mr. Obama has not had to answer almost any question about his background as a "community organizer" or his association with the terrorist radical William Ayers, with whom he maintained a long relationship. Mr. Obama has not had to explain or apologize for his statement about American troops "air raiding villages and killing innocent civilians" in Afghanistan. Any attempt to ask him such questions is met with fierce resistance. "You're trying make an issue of my associations! That's old school politics! Swiftboater!" are all cries that are heard from the Obama camp. Aided by the MSM, Obama has seen to it that we can't even talk about who he IS. Does he believe that more social spending is a good thing? We'll never know. Would he attack Iran if he thought they had a nuclear weapon about to come online? We'll never know. What did he mean when he said that Iran and Syria and North Korea were "tiny countries compared to the Soviet Union" and "don't represent a real threat." He won't answer, but they won't ask.
Just when I thought the bias couldn't get worse, it did. It happened last week with the financial meltdown on Wall Street. As the media focused on McCain's actions, they began to get word of who exactly was responsible for the meltdown in the first place, and who was trying to fix it. Hint: They are one in the same.
That's right. The media is now committing the ultimate injustice against the American people. It's not just malpractice, it's practically treason: They are ignoring that tangled in the roots of the financial meltdown are Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters and....Barack Obama.
As we all know, Barack Obama worked as a “community organizer.” But what does that mean? The man worked with ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. One of ACORN's main focuses is lobbying Congress to pass legislation making housing "more affordable." ACORN, together with the Clinton Administration and Barney Frank (who claimed in 2005 that there was no crisis at Fannie and Freddie), Maxine Waters and others (including several Republicans), helped push through the Community Reinvestment Act, which relaxed lending standards. They even went to court to force lenders to relax standards for lower income and minority Americans. They, together with Republicans who let it happen, helped lay the groundwork for this disaster. And now these people are the ones crafting the "bailout," assailing the GOP and Wall Street all the way for greediness, the failure of the free market, and of course..."deregulation." Wow. Just....wow. These are the same exact people that helped cause the problem. And now they want $700 billion dollars of our money.
And where is the media? They're busy claiming that the failure of the bailout was "both parties fault" or even just the GOP's fault alone. They've ignored the fact that Barack Obama is associated with Franklin Raines, former Fannie Mae chairman, and Jim Johnson, former Freddie Mac chairman. Both advised Mr. Obama, at least until recently. The MSM is ignoring that Obama is the second largest recipient of funds from Fannie and Freddie in the U.S. Senate, despite him only being a Senator for three years.
They have utterly ignored all of this. We thought it was just liberal bias and MSNBC being "in the tank" for Obama. But it's much worse. They are committing malpractice against the citizens of this country. They know the truth and are ignoring it to get their candidate elected. We've entered a scary, new world. God only knows what they’ll do next.
George gets it right when he notes that ultimately, we the people are the problem in this matter.
Concerning which, a timeless political trope is: Government should budget the way households supposedly do, conforming outlays to income. But the crisis came partly because so many households decided that it would be jolly fun to budget the way government does, hitching outlays to appetites.
Beneath Americans' perfunctory disapproval of government deficits lurks an inconvenient truth: They enjoy deficits, by which they are charged less than a dollar for a dollar's worth of government. Conservatives participate in this, even though deficits fuel government's growth by obscuring its cost.
The people can emulate the government because credit has been democratized. Democratization of everything is supposedly an unquestionable good, but a blizzard of credit cards (1.5 billion of them, nine per cardholder), subsidized loans and cheap money has separated the pleasure of purchasing from the pain of paying. Furthermore, the entitlement mentality fostered by the welfare state includes a felt entitlement to a standard of living untethered from savings.
The credit crisis is still not really yet a crisis. People are still trying to find a way to reinflate the bubble. People are upset because assets are finally, FINALLY starting to be priced at what they are worth instead of what can be loaned against them. As has been anguished over by the media we have had huge amounts of paper wealth melt away as well it should since it wasn't true wealth. If some parties manage to hold strong and do not bail out these banks, the cost of credit might once again be higher than the cost of doing business with cash which is as it should be.
For almost two decades the cost of credit was cheaper than cash since interest rates were so low and real inflation was a bit higher. You essentually got the money for free and paid back a bit less than was owed. You can find thousands of articles that advocated never paying off mortgages, or even paying off low-rate credit cards because the rate of return on anything else was better. We cannot endure as an entire nation of debtors who makes our way through the world treating everything as a giant carry trade that generates free money forever.
So let this line of reasoning and the institutions that pursue it fail. There cannot be several more national "refinances" to try to fix our problems. We must face up to them now.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
It is correct to say that there has been significant deregulation in the U.S. over the last 30 years, most of it under Republican auspices. But this deregulation -- in long-distance telephone rates, air fares, securities-brokerage commissions, and trucking, to name just a few sectors of the economy where it occurred -- has produced substantial competition and innovation, driving down consumer costs and producing vast improvements and efficiencies in our economy.
The Internet, for example, wouldn't have been economically possible without the deregulation of data-transfer rates. Amazon.com Inc., one of the most popular Internet vendors, wouldn't have been viable without trucking deregulation.
-- Republicans have favored financial regulation where it was necessary, as in the case of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while the Democrats have opposed it. In 2005, the Senate Banking Committee, then under Republican control, adopted a tough regulatory bill for Fannie and Freddie over the unanimous opposition of committee Democrats. The opposition of the Democrats when the bill reached the full Senate made its enactment impossible.
Barack Obama did nothing; John McCain endorsed the bill in a speech on the Senate floor.
A true instance where politics and finances cross. Why is it that absolutes are applied so easily in politics. Being against regulation when there are instances when it stops competition makes perfect sense but somehow this was used as a means of bludgeoning opposition to reforms needed at Fannie and Freddie. It is the worst sort of slippery-slope reasoning and for some reason it is never stopped.
I am old enough to remember the telecommunications industry before it was deregulated. You leased the same rotary phone every month from the time you took service until the time you died unless you really wanted some very expensive fees. In almost every example cited you went from one very expensive choice to an array of choices and price plans. Most of the time there wasn't much savings because the companies enticed you with an every expanding array of services in an attempt to keep their revenues up. The results have been phenomenal. It is only in areas like higher education, medicine, housing now and perhaps soon stocks with this bailout where the disconnect from the market becomes too large to sustain and thus we have a crisis that requires we all pay to fix the previous solution that is now a mistake.
How long this can go on only depends on how long the government can print money and have others accept it as something of value. My suspicion is that the bill will soon come due.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Perhaps the best advice yet given to John McCain during this election season.
We Americans face a real financial crisis. Usually the candidate of the incumbent's party minimizes the severity of the nation's problems. McCain should break the mold and acknowledge, even emphasize the crisis. He can explain that dealing with it requires candor and leadership of the sort he's shown in his career. McCain can tell voters we're almost certainly in a recession, and things will likely get worse before they get better.
And McCain can note that the financial crisis isn't going to be solved by any one piece of legislation. There are serious economists, for example, who think we could be on the verge of a huge bank run. Congress may have to act to authorize the FDIC to provide far greater deposit insurance, and the secretary of the Treasury to protect money market funds. McCain can call for Congress to stand ready to pass such legislation. He can say more generally that in the tough times ahead, we'll need a tough president willing to make tough decisions.
With respect to his campaign, McCain needs to liberate his running mate from the former Bush aides brought in to handle her - aides who seem to have succeeded in importing to the Palin campaign the trademark defensive crouch of the Bush White House. McCain picked Sarah Palin in part because she's a talented politician and communicator. He needs to free her to use her political talents and to communicate in her own voice.
There isn't a better way to say it. Free Sarah Palin to use the intellect and voice that made her noteworthy in the first place. Second, be as honest as possible with the electorate about the current conditions and what it takes to address them. Obama is weakest on foreign policy because he cannot admit to current conditions and show that he can change his mind about what must be done.
McCain is very much suffering from this domestically. There was a willingness to address the crisis and even though I disagree with the solution, the motivations themselves will resonate more with voters than simply proclaiming all is well with the economy.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Here's Obama's recent "honor" ad. Wow. "Vile?" What happened to "change!?"
Here's Obama's campaign claiming Carly Fiorina said McCain couldn't run a corporation: This is the ad version.
This is what she actually said.
Here's the ad claiming McCain can't use a computer and is "out of touch."
But...whoops. McCain doesn't use a computer because of his war injuries.
And the accusations that McCain ran a dishonest ad about Obama supporting for Kindergarten students? Well gee..look at the text of the bill:
What, specifically, was the bill designed to do? It appears to have had three major purposes:
The first, as Ronen indicated, was to mandate that information presented in sex-ed classes be “factual,” “medically accurate,” and “objective.”
The second purpose was to increase the number of children receiving sex education. Illinois’ existing law required the teaching of sex education and AIDS prevention in grades six through twelve. The old law read:
"Each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades 6 through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention, transmission and spread of AIDS."
Senate Bill 99 struck out grade six, changing it to kindergarten, in addition to making a few other changes in wording. It read:
Each class or course in comprehensive sex education in any of grades K through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV.
So who's running the "sleazy" campaign here?
I know this: Obama cannot win this game. Why? Because it damages his Change™ and Hope® brands. He's supposed to be above it all, whereas McCain is "old Washington." Double edged sword, I guess.
Update 9/18: Check out this link for more Obama stupidity. This is not February's Obama.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Issue by issue:
1. Race: Obama's candidacy has been hailed as the post-racial candidacy. Not only did a black man get the nomination, but being black wasn't an issue. That's how far we'd come. Obama would seek to unite the nation, racially speaking.
Reality: Obama has run anything but a post-racial candidacy. He's played the race card on his own party (read: Bill Clinton). He's made constant references to his race. "Republicans will try to scare you, tell you he's got a funny name...did I mention he's black"? and "He doesn't look like the Presidents on the those dollar bills" come to mind (the latter was repeated on at least three separate occasions. Obama, who Gave A Speech About Race Relations, is using the every turn. His wife has joined in on at least two occasions, requesting "more white people" in front of the camera at a campaign event, and complaining about (and recalling publicly) race relations at Harvard.
2. Hope: Obama's message of Hope goes unquestioned. Even McCain and Palin accept that this is a tenant of his campaign. But how is Obama running an optimistic, hopeful campaign? The entire message from Obama is that Americans must do with less. They must eat less, drive less, heat their homes less and expect less. Americans cannot survive without national healthcare and a host of federal programs. Obama's acceptance speech clearly demonstrated this attitude. He mocked the GOP for suggesting that people pull themselves up by their bootstraps, pay for their own healthcare and make ends meet on their own. He doesn't feel (or didn't feel until recently) that we could make it work in Iraq. What is it that Obama is hopeful and optimistic about?
3. Change(TM): The word change has essentially replaced Obama's very name at campaign events. Thousands carried "Change" signs in Denver, obviously unaware of how ridiculous they looked. Beyond the usual "what kind of change?" attacks from his opponents, one must ask: is anything he's proposing that different from the Democratic agenda of the last 40 years? He's called for more socialism. He's used the typical Democratic scare tactics on voters, talking about the GOP's plans to take away their healthcare and social security checks (even if not directly). He's proposed billions if not trillions in new spending. He's not even mentioned earmarks that I recall. He's proposed raising taxes. He wants to talk to insane dictators and play Let's Make A Deal, ala Madeline Albright. He's a dyed-in-the-wool liberal who is running as a centrist. Change? I think not.
4. Open Goverment: This has been a complaint of the Left for some time. Obama's campaign frequently speculated on McCain's VP choice being "the next Dick Cheney." But what about Obama? Obama has refused to answer questions about his background, dismissing them as old school politics. His relationships with J. Wright and Bill Ayers? "They're going to try and make something of my associations and attribute their comments to me!" What, exactly did he do as a community organizer? "I helped steel workers! Change!" Criticize Obama on anything in his background or even a policy he holds? ""You're making race an issue!"" or a 6 minute "nuanced" explanation follows. How can we trust him to do away with the so-called culture of secrecy if we're not allowed to talk about who he IS?
This is by no means an exhaustive list. But whether one supports him or not, I think claiming that he's "different" (or "special" as his wife has said) is a bit dubious in the least.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
My colleagues in the American liberal press had little to fear at the start of the week. Their charismatic candidate was ahead in virtually every poll. George W Bush was so unpopular that conservatives were scrambling around for reasons not to invite the Republican President to the Republican convention. Democrats had only to maintain their composure and the White House would be theirs. During the 1997 British general election, the late Lord Jenkins said that Tony Blair was like a man walking down a shiny corridor carrying a precious vase. He was the favourite and held his fate in his hands. If he could just reach the end of the hall without a slip, a Labour victory was assured. The same could have been said of the American Democrats last week. But instead of protecting their precious advantage, they succumbed to a spasm of hatred and threw the vase, the crockery, the cutlery and the kitchen sink at an obscure politician from Alaska.For once, the postmodern theories so many of them were taught at university are a help to the rest of us. As a Christian, conservative anti-abortionist who proved her support for the Iraq War by sending her son to fight in it, Sarah Palin was 'the other' - the threatening alien presence they defined themselves against. They might have soberly examined her reputation as an opponent of political corruption to see if she was truly the reformer she claimed to be. They might have gently mocked her idiotic creationism, while carefully avoiding all discussion of the racist conspiracy theories of Barack Obama's church.Palin rises above shrill media
But instead of following a measured strategy, they went berserk. On the one hand, the media treated her as a sex object. The New York Times led the way in painting Palin as a glamour-puss in go-go boots you were more likely to find in an Anchorage lap-dancing club than the Alaska governor's office.
On the other, liberal journalists turned her family into an object of sexual disgust: inbred rednecks who had stumbled out of Deliverance. Palin was meant to be pretending that a handicapped baby girl was her child when really it was her wanton teenage daughter's. When that turned out to be a lie, the media replaced it with prurient coverage of her teenage daughter, who was, after all, pregnant, even though her mother was not going to do a quick handover at the maternity ward and act as if the child was hers.
Don't feel bad for the Democrats. They asked for it. The bunch that President Bush aptly described as "the angry left" has been high-sticking Palin since Day One with a series of assists from their friends in the news media.As you may have noticed, this has not been the fourth estate's finest hour. Reporters, anchors and pundits have mocked Palin and belittled her accomplishments. They've turned tabloid by going nuts over her pregnant teenage daughter, even demanding -- according to top McCain strategist Steve Schmidt -- DNA and blood tests to see if there is truth to the blogger-conceived conspiracy theory that Palin's youngest child really belongs to her oldest daughter. Some even shamefully descended into sexism by calling her a product of political affirmative action, depicting her as a pretty face with no substance -- McCain's "trophy vice," according to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd -- and asking 1950s-type questions about how she expected to balance family and a new gig as vice president.Rallying the Right, Confounding the Left
The sexism continued after Palin's speech. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the speech "shrill and sarcastic." That brought some members of the media back to their senses. CNN's Campbell Brown and Gloria Borger were among the female journalists who cringed at the word "shrill" and pointed out that -- while that was a term leveled at Hillary Clinton -- you don't often hear it directed at a man.
True believers even amended their dogma. Palin prompted the left to reveal a distaste for mothers in politics with young children at home. When did they start telling their daughters they could grow up to be president of the United States, but only after their children reached an undisclosed age?Palin's judges attached no corollary for men in public life. Forty years ago, Robert Kennedy exulted in announcing during his presidential campaign that his wife was expecting their 11th child.Gee, and I wonder why someone wouldn't grant an interview request for this nonsense. I have no doubt it will continue and yes, the regular folks out there absolutely hear and get what the media is doing. No candidate is going to contribute to the attempts to smear them by the media.
It was open season Monday when the Palins announced that their 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. Advocates of a sweeping application of the right to privacy decided no opinion or inquiry was too intrusive if it could damage the candidate.
Palin's critics applied some new math. Five children, including a baby with special needs, and a pregnant daughter was too much. And, if John McCain had really known about the pregnant daughter, he would not have chosen the egregious mother under their calculus.
The New York Times disagreed with Obama's merciful statement that children are a no-go zone and put three stories about the pregnancy on Tuesday's front page.
Palin has only herself to blame. She refused to buckle. Worse, she returned fire with jocular cheer. The Volkswagen-driving diva, who took the stage Wednesday, ignored the pathos and launched into an aria about the joy of her common life. She is not aggrieved. No millionaire's refrain — mewling over the cost of dance lessons — for her.
The left began baffled and tumbled into incomprehension. Ideology's enforcers don't understand how a woman, any woman, could be a conservative. That a Republican convention, their capitol of misogyny, would not only nominate this woman but be dizzy with enthusiasm for her is an abomination inside the hive. A spokeswoman for the National Organization for Women accused Palin of being more of a "white man" than a woman. Deviation breeds contempt. The Washington Post's Richard Cohen sounded deranged when he reached into antiquity to liken Palin to Caligula's horse, the crazy emperor's choice for consul.
The Alaska governor should brace herself for worse, especially if someone turns up proof she's a denizen of the local Wal-Mart. In the smartest zip codes, they'll turn puce from angry condescension.
Palin should strike fear
Journalists last week cast aside the mask of objectivity to reveal they are so deeply in the tank for Mr. Obama most have grown gills. For six days, Sarah Palin and her family were subjected to a relentless barrage of innuendo. Journalists were trying to "define" her before she had an opportunity to introduce herself to the people in the lower 48. She was portrayed as an ignorant redneck from a hick town who should be home caring for her children instead of running for high public office.Then Sarah Palin got her opportunity to speak, and her enemies learned firsthand why her nickname is "Sarah Barracuda."A feminist's argument for McCain's VP
Dismiss if you will the rapturous response to Ms. Palin's speech by the delegates in the convention hall and the posters on conservative blogs. The best testament to its power was the lame response of the Obama campaign. They noted she had the help of a speechwriter (the very talented Matt Scully) in preparing her remarks. Well, duh. Every major political figure has speechwriters. Sarah Palin works fine without a script. It's Barack Obama who ums and ahs without a teleprompter.
In my lifetime, I've only heard three or four speeches (all by Ronald Reagan) that I thought were as good or better than Sarah Palin's. She's as much a natural in politics as Michael Jordan was in basketball.
"Several moderate Democrat friends of mine have been e-mailing -- few if any would ever vote for McCain -- but all agree Palin was very strong," Michael Crowley wrote on The New Republic's blog. "The more liberal among them are a little panicked."
With good reason. With a smile on her face, Ms. Palin sliced and diced Barack Obama with the skill she dresses a moose she just shot. There were a host of good lines which I'm sure we'll see in McCain commercials in the near future. But ultimately the most effective may be this one: "In small towns, we don't know quite what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening."
Clinton voters, in particular, have received a political wake-up call they never expected. Having watched their candidate and their principles betrayed by the very people who are supposed to be the flame-holders for equal rights and fairness, they now look across the aisle and see a woman who represents everything the feminist movement claimed it stood for. Women can have a family and a career. We can be whatever we choose, on our own terms. For some, that might mean shooting a moose. For others, perhaps it's about shooting a movie or shooting for a career as a teacher. However diverse our passions, we will vote for a system that allows us to make the choices that best suit us. It's that simple.The rank bullying of the Clinton candidacy during the primary season has the distinction of simply being the first revelation of how misogynistic the party has become. The media led the assault, then the Obama campaign continued it. Trailblazer Geraldine Ferraro, who was the first Democratic vice presidential candidate, was so taken aback by the attacks that she publicly decried nominee Barack Obama as "terribly sexist" and openly criticized party chairman Howard Dean for his remarkable silence on the obvious sexism
Ironically, all this at an event that was negotiated and twisted at every turn in an astounding effort not to promote a woman.Virtually moments after the GOP announcement of Palin for vice president, pundits on both sides of the aisle began to wonder if Clinton supporters - pro-choice women and gays to be specific - would be attracted to the McCain-Palin ticket. The answer is, of course. There is a point where all of our issues, including abortion rights, are made safer not only if the people we vote for agree with us - but when those people and our society embrace a respect for women and promote policies that increase our personal wealth, power and political influence.BOOOOOM
Make no mistake - the Democratic Party and its nominee have created the powerhouse that is Sarah Palin, and the party's increased attacks on her (and even on her daughter) reflect that panic.The party has moved from taking the female vote for granted to outright contempt for women. That's why Palin represents the most serious conservative threat ever to the modern liberal claim on issues of cultural and social superiority. Why? Because men and women who never before would have considered voting for a Republican have either decided, or are seriously considering, doing so.
They are deciding women's rights must be more than a slogan and actually belong to every woman, not just the sort approved of by left-wing special interest groups.
Palin's candidacy brings both figurative and literal feminist change. The simple act of thinking outside the liberal box, which has insisted for generations that only liberals and Democrats can be trusted on issues of import to women, is the political equivalent of a nuclear explosion.
On the day McCain announced her selection as his running mate, Palin thanked Clinton and Ferraro for blazing her trail. A day later, Ferraro noted her shock at Palin's comment. You see, none of her peers, no one, had ever publicly thanked her in the 24 years since her historic run for the White House. Ferraro has since refused to divulge for whom she's voting. Many more now are realizing that it does indeed take a woman - who happens to be a Republican named Sarah Palin.Keep denying it. Keep spinning it. Palin is going to help change this election. Obama claims to represent change and for his first and most important choice chose a 35 year serving, 65 year old white man who, while nice has the sorts of slips and quips that reflect the thinking that goes on behind the PC platitudes. Obama chose the past.
McCain chose the future. He chose the new and the different. Those who claim to want different showed with their scorn and disdain that they want the same old thing and they used the same old sexist, misogynistic arguments to slap at and attempt to define the true change in this campaign. That first decision really did reveal a lot about each man.
Can anyone tell me how a state governor, any state governor gains experience in foreign policy while serving their state? Executive experience is what counts and that is why we seldom if ever select senators for president and often elect governors. In this instance we can't elect a governor but I know which I would rather put a heartbeat away.
Every hurdle screamed about with regard to Palin will be approached, met and cleared. The left knows this and it is what has them in such a panic. They can scream about it early and often. They can demand their made-up checklist of priorities be met and that the people we elect to lead somehow follow their priorities and timelines. It won't happen. Reporters can cast their disdain and scorn around forgetting that they are to report the news instead of creating it. The profit reports will show rivers of red ink. Their spin will not alter the reality, and in the end, the electorate will not buy their lie.