Archive for September, 2010

Us vs. Him

Dumb and Dumber

“Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition. It is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view.

“It’s a point of view that I disagree with. It’s a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world.” Barak Obama to Rolling Stone Magazine September 2010

At some point in life, reality is going to catch up with Mr. Obama. I think it’ll start on November 2nd, but we’ll just have to see.

Politico is reporting the following from White House Spokesman Bill Burton, “If you’re on the left, if you’re somebody like Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow or one of the folks who helps to keep our government honest and pushes and prods to make sure that folks are true to progressive values, then [the president] thinks that those folks provide an invaluable service.”

Now, let us contrast these two statements. One laments intentional bias while the other seems to champion intentional bias. He’s deriding all of Fox News- not just the opinion commentary of the evening broadcast- while praising two of the most partisan opinion shows on what has consistently been shown to be an overwhelmingly biased network.

Hello Pot, meet Kettle.

This isn’t the first time Obama has gone after Fox News either. He did it back in June:

I’ve got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration…That’s a pretty big megaphone. You’d be hard pressed if you watched the entire day to find a positive story about me on that front,” Obama said.

“We welcome people who are asking us some tough questions. I think I’ve probably been as accessible as any president in the first six months…..I think that actually the reason people have been generally positive about what we’ve been trying to do is people feel as if I’m available and willing to answer questions and we haven’t been trying to hide the ball.

Of course, he’s got the rest of the media kissing his ring and jumping over themselves to write the next gloating “article”. Consider:

Overall, roughly four out of ten stories, editorials and op ed columns about Obama have been clearly positive in tone, compared with 22% for Bush and 27% for Clinton in the same mix of seven national media outlets during the same first two months in office, according to a study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Recently, a Politico/George Washington University Battleground Poll found that, “Among cable news channels, Fox was the clear winner, with 42 percent of respondents saying it is their main source, compared with 30 percent who cited CNN and 12 percent who rely on MSNBC.” In January of this year, Public Policy Polling found that “Americans do not trust the major tv news operations in the country- except for Fox News.

Our newest survey looking at perceptions of ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and NBC News finds Fox as the only one that more people say they trust than distrust. 49% say they trust it to 37% who do not.

CNN does next best at a 39/41 spread, followed by NBC at 35/44, CBS at 32/46, and ABC at 31/46.

Pew Research did a study on the State of the Media and found that the strongest ratings and ratings growth were on ideological programs.

Glenn Beck was up 96% from the year before in Fox’s 5 p.m. time slot. The O’Reilly Factor, the top program in cable, was up 16% to an average of 3.3 million viewers. The Rachel Maddow Show ended the year with 13% higher viewership than in the year before. Perhaps the one exception to this pattern was Lou Dobbs, whose viewership was down 25% for the year before he left CNN.
But over all, these audience figures seemed to reward what had become a clear branding strategy at the channels.

… The tone of cable news content seemed to mirror this ideological alignment. The partisan gap that showed itself during the 2008 election season continued into 2009, at least when it came to cable’s coverage of the new Obama administration. A PEJ study of the first 100 days found that the majority of Obama stories on Fox were clearly negative in tone. It was the only outlet studied where that was the case. On MSNBC, the majority of stories were clearly positive in tone. It was the only outlet studied other than Newsweek where that was the case. In that respect, the two channels offered divergent images of Obama. CNN, meanwhile, mirrored the rest of the mainstream news media in the tone of its coverage.

… After bowing to criticism and removing the liberal hosts Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews from covering the election, MSNBC brought them back on for the presidential inauguration. “Our guys do have a point of view in prime time, but they base everything on research and facts and they’re smart,” said MSNBC president Phil Griffin.8

… By contrast, Fox achieved growth across nearly all key metrics. Its audiences were up by nearly a quarter in both prime time (2.13 million viewers) and daytime (1.2 million viewers). Its profits (up 19% to $534.8 million) and revenues (up 14% to $1.21 billion) grew substantially. The channel’s news investment was up 10% to $674 million.

… As for MSNBC, the median audience for its prime-time programming, now filled with liberal talk shows, rose 3% to 786,000 for the year. Its daytime audience, when it relies more on news from NBC, fell 8% to 325,000. Financially, the mixed audience results helped keep things flat. Profits rose 1% to $149.6 million, on revenues that were similar, up less than 1% to $368 million. As a consequence, MSNBC is expected to have spent roughly the same amount, $217.9 million, on newsgathering in 2009 as a year earlier.

I’m not surprised one bit to see that Obama, once again, is on the opposite side of the American people. He doesn’t like Fox News, obviously because Fox News is the only channel actually questioning the Administration. He loves MSNBC, who’s only critique of the Administration has been that he hasn’t gone far enough to the left.

Obama’s approval rating is plummeting, and likewise, MSNBC’s ratings are in the basement.

The one thing we can count on from this Administration is this- whatever position the American people make, Obama will surely be on the otherside.

Mentally Retarded

Mentally Retarded

My dear friend, Rutherford (hence forth- R), has put together a post that seeks to defend Congress’s invitation to Steven Colbert to testify- in character- as an “expert witness” on migrant workers. His expert status was granted based on his one day stint, which according to his own show, he failed at, as a migratory worker in the field. R’s ultimate justification to Colbert’s presence was the attention it would bring the issue.

I, of course, have a hard time with R’s position on this.

First is R’s statement that the topic held zero interest for him but were it not for Colbert’s satirical genius, which of course highlighted the “most ignorant aspects of conservative social policy.” I’d be curious to have R explain those aspects of social policy and their ignorance, but alas, that’s likely another post… maybe. R ultimate point, I think, was the government’s hypocrisy and inanity. Funny, considering that it is LIBERALS who control both Chambers of Congress and the White House. Ironic in that on the very day Colbert testified, LIBERAL Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and LIBERAL Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi postponed working on the expiring Bush Tax cuts till after the election season because… wait for it… they didn’t have time to debate the issue.

R’s position, which apparently echo’s Colbert, is that he is incensed that American’s WILL NOT do the jobs that illegal’s do. He comments:

Are we Americans so snobby that there are certain jobs that we simply will not do? When a “Take Our Jobs” program was announced in order to attract legal immigrants and citizens to farm work, only six people wound up permanently employed. The argument then goes, with no Americans willing to work the fields, farms will go under if they do not employ willing labor and that willing labor is substantially illegal.

I guess R forgets saying this in March: “ And of course there was the occasional dumbass like John Kyl who suggested that unemployment benefits discourage people from going out and finding work.” Heaven forbid there might actually be a connection between the two. Why pick strawberries when I can collect unemployment.

Finally, R compared Colbert’s testimony to- in all seriousness- Elmo. Yes, that’s right, that fury little 3 yr old monster from Sesame Street. Per R:

In 2002, the Sesame Street character Elmo “testified” before Congress on school music programs. It wasn’t the least bit controversial. Perhaps that is because unlike Stephen Colbert, Elmo didn’t shine a light on our nation’s hypocrisy and our government’s inanity.

Yes R, your party is both inane and hypocritical, but there is no comparison between Elmo and Colbert.

Ultimately, this is going to do nothing but harm for the Dems and there really isn’t any other way to put it. Consider- the House Sub-Committee on Immigration has met 10 times this session. In those ten sessions, there has been one dedicated to making a mockery of Congress (re Colbert’s ‘testimony’) and zero spent debating sponsored bills on immigration. That’s right, the sub-committee has not debated a single piece of legislation.

More importantly, it might be important to look at who had a hand in organizing this charade:

A press release from the United Farm Workers describes how Colbert will appear before the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International law to testify on the group’s “Take Our Jobs” campaign, which encourages “U.S. citizens and legal residents to replace hundreds of thousands of immigrant field laborers, most of whom are undocumented.”

My friend R is wrong. This was a political mistake on the part of the Dems and more importantly, an insult to our political system and a colossal waste of time and money. This is the epitome of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse.

So, Who’s the New Bull Connor?

Bull Connor

“Can you believe we’re going to Mississippi to protect white voters?”

This comment was made by Department of Justice attorneys who traveled to Mississippi’s Noxubee County in 2006 to investigate a voter intimidation allegation against a black politician, specifically the Noxubee County Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Ike Brown.

I’ve been a little out spoken about racism. It’s not really my bally-wick, but I’m sensitive to the issue- especially when I’m called a racist. But I’m also a firm believer in the premise that if racism is wrong for one, then it is wrong for all. And when the government refuses to enforce and prosecute election law because of the victims race, well, welcome back to the 1950’s.

Imagine if the statement had been, “can you believe we’re going to Mississippi to protect black voters?”

It’s chilling, it’s insulting, it’s derogatory and it’s wrong.

Rights in this country have been a big deal from the get go. In fact, it was rights that started everything off. From the Bill of Rights to Civil Rights, there has been a constant evolution of rights in this country. This evolution has worked towards the expansion of national participation and the inclusion of all citizens. It wasn’t always pretty, it certainly wasn’t always easy, but it was always about strengthening the citizens of this nation. Voting is probably the most important of these rights, and we expect that right to vote to be protected- for everyone.

Which brings us to today’s testimony by Department of Justice Attorney Chris Coates. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has issued several subpoenas to address the issue of the DoJ decision to drop its case against the New Black Panther Party, and Attorney General Eric Holder the DoJ have refused to honor any of them.

It is becoming clear that once again, we are seeing a Dem party that isn’t interested in defending the Constitutional rights of citizens to vote. In fact, it appears that there is a policy of not defending the voting rights of whites.

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released a draft Vaughn index prepared by the Department of Justice (DOJ) that shows that the two top political appointees at the DOJ were involved in the decision to dismiss the voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense (NBPP). The index, obtained pursuant to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, contradicts sworn testimony by Thomas Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, who testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that no political leadership was involved in the decision.

The index describes 122 documents (totaling at least 611 pages) that the Obama Justice Department is withholding from the public in their entirety. A federal court hearing in the matter is scheduled on October 5, 2010 in Washington, DC, before U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton.

“This new evidence shows that the Obama team lied when it said politics did not influence the Black Panther dismissal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We now know that top political leaders inside Obama Justice Department were involved in the call to drop the Black Panther case. And we also know that at least one top Justice official said otherwise under oath. In the meantime, we will ask the Court to require the Obama Justice Department to release these (and other) secret documents about this scandal and its cover-up.”

The Department of Justice Inspector General Glenn Fine has decided to investigate the DoJ’s decision on the NBPP case. Hopefully, he’ll clean that cesspool up and we can get away from what appears to be an attitude of racial retaliation.

What’s the difference?

Having the right doesn’t make it right.

Why hasn’t Obama come out and told the American people that it is well within the Constitutional rights of this Pastor to burn the Koran? He’s been quick to castigate the wisdom of doing such, yet he hasn’t defended the right to do so. This is in direct contrast to the Ground Zero Mosque, where he was there to defend the right to do so, but refused to comment on the wisdom of such. What’s the difference, for if this is a question of freedom of religion and speech, then are these both not protected actions?

What’s the difference?

The American people, interestingly enough, seem to see this for what it is- a provocation. That goes for both by the way. The majority are against burning the Koran, likewise, the majority are against building a mosque on Ground Zero. To listen to the left (Olberman, Shultz, Maddow, etc), these are mutually exclusive positions since to be against the GZ Mosque is to be an Islamophobe, which one would think would relish a good Koran burning. But that just isn’t the case.

Hmmmmm, maybe there is a little something to the argument that the GZ Mosque and the general opposition to it has absolutely NOTHING to do with freedom of religion and everything to do with tolerance.

This Eid, the ending celebration following the conclusion of the month of Ramadan, will fall on September 11th. Recognizing this, most Mosques are calling for a subdued Eid celebration, recognizing the sensitivities of the 9/11 date- that’s tolerance. That’s something to be celebrated and appreciated, not because they have the Constitutional right to do so, which they obviously do and that is without question, but because it was the <i>wise</i> thing to do. Why is it wrong to expect the same from New York?

While we’re on the topic of tolerance, let’s consider this: tolerance is not accepting that which you agree with. It is practicing restraint in the face of that which you disagree with, recognizing they have a right to do so. Islam has repeatedly failed this test. The Danish cartoon’s is by far the best example, but this is a test as well. You don’t have to like the fact that some nut job is burning the Koran, but consider the source re: nut job and move on. Sending over a hundred threats to the Pastor, regardless of how vile you find him, only solidifies the stereotype that Islam is not a tolerant religion.

Right now, only the American people have been right on these issues: no, you should not burn the Koran, likewise, no, you should not build a Mosque on ground zero.

The Definition of Insanity

TEN POOREST CITIES (City, State, % of People Below the Poverty Level)
1. Detroit, MI 32.5%
2. Buffalo, NY 29..9%
3. Cincinnati, OH 27.8%
4. Cleveland, OH 27.0%
5. Miami, FL 26.9%
5. St. Louis, MO 26.8%
7. El Paso, TX 26.4%
8. Milwaukee, WI 26.2%
9. Philadelphia, PA 25.1%
10. Newark, NJ 24.2%

U.S. Census Bureau, 2006 American Community Survey, August 2007

What do the top ten cities (over 250,000) with the highest poverty rate all have in common?

Detroit, MI (1st on the poverty rate list) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961.

Buffalo, NY (2nd) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1954.

Cincinnati, OH (3rd) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1984.

Cleveland, OH (4th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1989.

Miami, FL (5th) has never had a Republican mayor.

St. Louis, MO (6th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1949.

El Paso, TX (7th) has never had a Republican mayor.

Milwaukee, WI (8th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1908.

Philadelphia, PA (9th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1952.

Newark , NJ (10th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1907.

Einstein once said, ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatreds.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
” – William J. H. Boetcker

When ‘No’ IS the Answer

The Dems have been shouting from the mountain top for some time now that the GOP has no plan, or rather, that the GOP plan is simply to go back to Bush policies and in the mean time, just say no. This has been a central point to the messaging of the Dems, with everyone from the President, to his Administration, to the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority leader , and throughout the- as Gibbs so eloquently described them- ‘Professional Left’. This has been the central message since the first part of the year, specifically around the time of Obamacare’s passage, and the Dems have been consistent in their calls.

This makes the recent Gallop poll on the Generic ballot all that more interesting. The GOP, in rare form, have consistently and- for all intents and purposes- unanimously voted against the major initiatives of the Dems. However, since the Dems control both Chambers of Congress and the White House, there is little the GOP can do to stop the Dems agenda. The issue has been the Dems and the unpopularity of their agenda. But I think it goes beyond just the unpopularity of their agenda, I think it is the collapse of trust in the government and the Dems specifically.

The townhall meetings of last summer, the Dem response to those townhall meetings, and the revelations since of multiple backroom deals like the Cornhusker Kick-back, the Louisiana Purchase, Gator Aid, etc, coupled with the public comment by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Obamacare deals, stating that, “I don’t know if there is a senator that doesn’t have something in this bill that was important to them. And if they don’t have something in it important to them, then it’s — [it] doesn’t speak well of them.” A better example of why the citizenry of this country is so dissatisfied with Washington could not be made.

Which brings us to the question of who the American people think will handle the business of the country better.

The GOP leads the Dems on the following issues: Terrorism 55%/31%; Immigration 50/35; Fed Spending 50/35; the Economy 49/38; Afghanistan 45/38; Jobs 46/41; and Gov Corruption 38/35. It is a statistical tie between the parties on healthcare 43/44 and the Dems lead the GOP on the Environment 54/31. However, in the immortal words of my late Grandmother: “You can’t eat the scenery.” Which, in the greater scheme of things, the American people agree as they prioritize the issues this way (extremely important, very important, and moderately important): the Economy 62%/31%/6%; Jobs 60/32/6; Gov Corruption 51/30/14; Fed Spending 51/30/15; Healthcare 49/30/15; Terrorism 47/28/17; Immigration 38/27/23; Afghanistan 35/33/24; and the Environment 28/32/29.

This is indicative of a greater movement in the nation, and one I’ve commented on repeatedly here, here, and here. The nation is a conservative one, and the ideological focus of this Administration, and the general shift of the Dem party towards liberalism was bound to turn off the electorate. Who would have guessed that it would take just one electoral cycle to do it.

The mistake the Dem party consistently makes at this point is that they fail to recognize the consistent polling showing that independents are calling themselves conservative. So, is it really any wonder when a poll from Gallop shows the GOP leading the Dems in the Generic ballot by 10 points?

So, about that ‘Party of No’ messaging. Regardless of how inaccurate it is (the GOP actually had a healthcare reform plan first, and has had several other legislative initiatives- all ignored by the Dem controlled Congress), the simple fact of the matter is that the message of ‘No’ is kicking the Dems ass. Generic ballot polarity is widening, to the point that you have Dems actively running against the Administration- with the campaign slogan of ‘No’.

Rep. Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, not only trumpets his vote against health reform, his opposition to the bailout, but also proclaims his willingness to “stand up” to Obama and Pelosi.

Rep. Bobby Bright of Alabama proclaims that he’s an “independent conservative,” who voted against the “massive government healthcare” bill, the bailout, the stimulus and the trillion-dollar deficit. And then there was that little quip about Pelosi.

Rep. Glenn Nye of Virginia is running, proclaiming that he took on Congress by voting against the health care bill and, going against his own party, voted against the bailout.

Rep. Joe Donnelly of Indiana is running spots blasting Obama as part of the “Washington crowd” and hitting “Nancy Pelosi’s energy tax.”

The American people have had enough, and when it comes to this Administration, ‘No’ is the answer.

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