Tag Archives: Media

News v. Propaganda: The Danger of Losing a Check & Balance

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As illustrated by today’s mainstream media, there is a very fine line between news reporting and the act of propagandizing. The aware understand that news reporting consists of the sometimes painful process of conveying the “who, what, where, when, why and how” of a story, while at the very same time expunging the reporter’s opinion and bias from the report. This is true reporting; this is true journalism.

Today, especially in the mainstream media — and beginning most often in the schools of journalism, aspiring reporters and established journalists alike routinely inject opinion, bias and emotion into their reporting. Intentionally or not, this is the blatant manipulation of the news; the manipulation of the consumer, the American citizen, through propaganda, be it special interest, ideological or government driven.

ForeignPolicy. com reports:

“For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the US government’s mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic US consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for US domestic propaganda efforts. So what just happened?

“Until this month, a vast ocean of US programming produced by the Broadcasting Board of Governors such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks could only be viewed or listened to at broadcast quality in foreign countries. The programming varies in tone and quality, but its breadth is vast: It’s viewed in more than 100 countries in 61 languages. The topics covered include human rights abuses in Iran; self-immolation in Tibet; human trafficking across Asia; and on-the-ground reporting in Egypt and Iraq…

“A former US government source with knowledge of the BBG says the organization is no Pravda, but it does advance US interests in more subtle ways.”

The need for the federal government to even have a “news generating” journalistic arm is questionable. News releases meant to inform the people on the actions, policies and concerns of the federal government are routinely issued; and issued for the free press — which holds First Amendment Rights so that it can dig into said statements to assure honesty and accountability — to relate to the American people. In reality (and this is predicated on a press that is not corrupted for ideological purposes), the government/media relationship is supposed to afford the public with a check and balance on governmental power.

When the federal government is able to create the news and then report on its own creation, there is no avenue for a check and balance. And when there is no avenue for a check and balance the atmosphere is ripe for the arrogance of power; when there is no avenue to hold the federal government accountable for the information they “issue” to the people, there is, inherently, a move to propagandize, even in the most innocent of ways.

Today, the Obama Administration has proven time and time again that its idea of “transparent government,” is anything but.

The Obama Administration’s idea of transparency in government requires those seeking accurate information to file multiple Freedom of Information Act requests, for Congress to issue subpoenas, and in some instances for Congress to even hold the Attorney General of the United States in contempt of Congress for his refusal to be forthright and penchant to mislead.

Today, the National Security Agency gathers information on American citizens who have done nothing to warrant their Fourth Amendment Rights to be transgressed, while the Director of National Intelligence tells congressional committees that they do no such thing and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation exists clueless as to who is supposed to be investigating the matter.

Today, the Internal Revenue Service targets Conservative non-profit groups for audit based on their political beliefs, even as everyone involved in that corrupt and criminal process scurries from responsibility like rats leaving a sinking ship, doing so while the team leader of the “gang of hate” pleads her Fifth Amendment Right to avoid self-incrimination.

And now, on the eve of the holiday on which the entire country celebrates the anniversary of the most courageous act in the history of man; a quest for liberty against the world’s pre-eminent power of the age; an oppressive and totalitarian regime that stifled the rights and freedoms of its own people, we witness perhaps the second most radically ideological federal administration in American history — led by a man who stated publicly that he believes the Constitution of the United States is flawed, quietly unleashing the power of one of the most powerful propaganda machines in the world on its own people under the guise of transparency.

Maybe it’s just me, but questions come to mind where this revelation is concerned. With the mainstream media being so incredibly “in bed” with this administration, why would they need to have this propaganda effort? And, given that the mainstream media has been “carrying the water” for this elected group of radical ideologues (which in and of itself conjures up the images of Chavez, Castro, Ahmadinejad and Putin), what can be so intricate, so important, so “it’s got to be just right” that they couldn’t trust their info-lackeys to deliver the message with fidelity?

My fellow Americans, I don’t know about you, but this simply doesn’t smell right. And with the current administrations record of clandestine activity — crafting legislation with the help of labor unions behind closed doors, myriad scandals that target the American people and political foes alike, and their overall distrust of the very people they were elected to serve — can we really be sure they can be trusted with such a potent “weapon”?

Perhaps we should ask the people of the former Soviet Union if this is a wise move. Perhaps, we should recall the warnings issued by the soon to be oppressed and slaughtered of pre-Hitler Germany.

Perhaps, just perhaps, it is time to wake-up and call this administration on what it really is…

Faults With False Hero Worship

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A former community organizer from Chicago, the president entered the Oval Office five-plus years ago, amid high hopes and promises of transparency. Critics warned not to expect anything of the kind, and to expect a velvet glove treatment if you were not counted among Obama’s close friends. Named the “Chicago Way” for a reason, operating only in a city, there is a reason it is not called, the “Way of the World”.

As the president and his lieutenants have so repeatedly illustrated, when a leader attempts to use a huge, overarching, government- and media-machine to nudge, cajole, and force results that they want, so long as the administration’s stories contain a modicum of believability, the media will push the narratives. Where Obama and others erred, was that they thought themselves to be above the fray. They would not have to actually do the dirty work, but they would surely benefit from others completing it.

Except the administration committed  a big no-no. They spied on their media friends. In a story that is still being worked out, the Justice Department intercepted two months’ worth of office, cell, and home phone communications of Associated Press reporters. The AP’s president and CEO, Gary Pruitt, went so far as questioning if the actions were not a violation of the press’ Constitutional rights.

The IRS, the supposed non-partisan tax processing and collection agency,utilized onerous and expanded questioning for conservative and Tea Party groups’ non-profit applications, and the agency may have actually delayed the applications’ approvals too. There are concerns that the IRS targeted Pro-Israel groups as well. While I hold the possibility of the narrative that some small-time, low-level, bureaucrats acted on their own, I also would not simply dismiss the charges that the impetus for the questioning and delays came from much higher-ranking officials. As many as 1/4 of select right-wing groups could have received this extra “attention”.

Adding to those crises, is the still-ongoing investigation into the Benghazi massacre. The administration calls the September 11 attack, terrorism – or not – and blames a video – or not – it seems even they cannot keep the current story straight. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s shrill reply before Congress, of, “At this point – what difference does it make?!” has already become a centerpiece of a conservative group’s advertisement.

A president who took for granted his ability to spin a yarn, and have it accepted by a mostly friendly press. So many rabid supporters, all seeking to earn recognition from a president who made crowds faint while he was campaigning in 2008. So many others who just wanted a little recognition, and who would do anything to get it – is this what that kind of false hero-worship delivers? A kind of desperate symbiotic relationship of the media and the left-wing? That is an easy claim to make, and comes with plenty of proof.

Do we find ourselves with an executive branch, run amok, ignored for too long by its chief? Are these issues of underlings, who were acting far above what their roles should allow? Or is it simple, gross, incompetence?

Worst president everA few things are now apparent. The president who worried many on the right, due to his tendency to act first, worry about Constitutionality later, is still bound by that Constitution and the rule of law. His administration, even with five years of a complicit Fourth Estate, still cannot fully run roughshod over the nation. The “Chicago Way”? It cannot be run to its feared potential, outside of a city on Lake Michigan, where its corrupt roots run much deeper. The years of waste and graft have taken a dire effect on the entire state of Illinois, and Chicago is now a micro managed miasma.

Finally, any lingering thoughts that the Tea Party had run out of steam, that conservatism had become an anachronism – should be ignored. When shown its alternative, and the machinations necessary for an alternative to even resemble a functioning ideology, people, as we are beginning to see now, will react with disgust and disdain.

CIA admits to using the “news” to manipulate the USA since at least 1975

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We all know the famous line from A Few Good Men… “You just can’t handle the truth!”

This is what the “News Media” is counting on!

“The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” – William Colby, former CIA director

“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”
– William Casey, CIA Director (from first staff meeting, 1981)

Obama, The Gift That Keeps Giving?

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We have seen the missteps and the successes of the Obama administration. We have seen the worst, seemingly having each “accomplishment” being worse and worse than the previous one. The country is now subject to a namesake piece of legislation, in Obamacare, and we have seen Obama’s revolving door of big-government, tax-and-spend Keynesians spin like a dynamo.

We have seen the confident Obama boast that, “We won” when talking about his party, and their misreading of elections results. Most recently, the country has seen the administration’s misunderstanding of the Middle East, and their finger-pointing ability when they sought to make the Benghazi fiasco go away. We were witness to a massive fall in the president’s support among his former voters too (although it was not enough to overcome the lack of support for Mitt Romney among conservatives).

So, how does all this make Obama a hero of the right? Simply, he has given us on the right ample opportunity to call him on the carpet, to point to his lackadaisical leadership style, and undermine his party’s claims that the right is the party of the corporations and “big money”. At times, Obama seems like a political version of the “Teflon Don”, John Gotti – nothing seems to stick to the guy.

So, what has happened? All these opportunities for the right, and a shrinking advantage in Congress, and a lost presidency, are all we have to show from Obama’s continual failures. Excused away were things that would have sunk a Nixon, a Reagan, even a Bill Clinton presidency, and they were lost amid a maelstrom of personnel shuffling, which the administration claims is their holding people responsible.

Forget a president who goes through so many people so quickly, any anonymous person who acted as Obama does would have no friends left at this point. Obama has thrown Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton, and even his own grandmother, under various buses. There is no end to his cadre of useful idiots. New scandal? New idiots.

If it were not for his left-wing charisma, which holds his supporters hanging on his every word, Obama’s election would have gone to Mitt Romney. The media, who not only parrots Obama’s words, also happily defends him from critical guests on talk shows and news channels. Soledad O’Brien, Piers Morgan, and others, not only defend his administration’s mistakes, but in Soledad’s case, attempt to give Obama excuses and explanation for former associations with racists and terrorists.

So – with the overwhelming evidence of media collusion, associations with enemies of the state, and other tawdry actions – how on the earth is he a hero to the right? Simply put, he has given the right everything it could hope for, to ensure landslide elections in both 2014 and 2016. Having involvement with his administration has tainted virtually everyone with a sort of “stain of Obama”.

Obama has either forced Congressmen to swallow bitter pills (as with Obamacare), or he has outed them as having agendas that run counter to their constituents’ concerns. The issues that cost Democrats Congressional seats in the 2010 elections may still have juice that can be wrested from them – especially after Americans saw their paychecks affected by mainly left-wing budget issues. Receipts showing Obamacare’s new medical excise taxes have popped up online too, posted by people angry at already tight purse-strings becoming tighter. The American people have finally begun showing an interest and concern regarding the way their government is functioning (or malfunctioning).

The Republicans may have never had it so good. They seem to only have the media to overcome (which I will agree is a giant mountain to climb). For anyone paying attention, the Obama-touch is enough for them to vote for any candidate who is not Obama or Obama endorsed. We saw in the last election how cool Democratic candidates were to an Obama endorsement.

The ways that the right must capitalize are threefold:

  1.  Stop allowing the talk show circuit to reframe subjects and terms. The right seems to fail more and more on this subject. The effects of ignoring the media’s word-redefining-ways last long beyond the initial interviews, stretching at times into month-long disasters. Adding to that the fact that if a GOP candidate verbally missteps, and his footage recycled repeatedly, and the Republicans not only weaken the current campaign, they accept the dings that the gaffe provides for any future campaigns as well. That means that the candidate’s campaign is over before it takes off. If solving this means giving a week-long class on oratory and rhetoric for prospective candidates – do it. The pay off will show such actions as invaluable. Call the left-wing fear mongers exactly what they are, and reiterate that America’s had enough scaring in place of actual results/budgets/legislation.
  2. Make the products of the current administration and current candidates very personal. The aforementioned excise tax? Use that receipt as a prop for all budget talks. Make it as conspicuous as a pocket Constitution. Make it plain for all Americans to understand they do have skin in the game, and that the left wants even more. Pin that receipt and those small, numerous taxes on the left. Make it their brand. Paint the left as the never satiated, taxing, spending, over-bearing beast that it is. When the left attempts to re-frame the argument that “only certain income levels are effected”, fire back with more questions intended to build your own point on the sarcastic  order of, “…like this year’s taxes only affected a few people?” Put the skills that the politicians learned in tactic one to good use.
  3. Finally, as much as possible, have the GOP stress how disastrous conservatives staying home on election day was for the last election. If it evolves to nothing more than a massive guilt trip, place much of the onus for the next four years’ policy in the laps of people who stayed home instead of voting in November, 2012. After so much work to unseat Congressmen who voted contrary to Tea Party, libertarian, and other conservatives ‘ concerns, to have sat home on Election Day, with an opportunity to unseat the most progressive president of our lifetimes, was a tremendous overestimation of the gains made. It was akin to driving with a pedal through the floorboards, and expecting to coast successfully for the final 1/2 lap.

So, reviewing quickly, that is “enunciate, elaborate, and motivate”. The right has no excuse remaining for faltering at this point. Right-wing voters must get over the party in-fighting (which should have evaporated with the revelations of just how far Obama leans to the left). They must get over the one issue that they have a firm, unrelenting hold of, the one sticking issue that prevents them from getting off their duffs and voting, so that they may actually win the positions in government that would allow issues to be changed. And before you think that is a poor way to manage a movement, or it sound impossible to sustain such measures – look at the deluge of awful legislation and regulation we have seen from the organized left in four short years.

Media Hypocrisy In The War On Guns

CASV Yard SignWould YOU put this sign in YOUR yard?

A crew of undercover journalists asked just that of the many editors, commentators and journalists in the New York & DC metro following weeks of media attention given to a New York paper that published the names and addresses of law abiding gun owners. Their responses were astonishing and quite different than their on-air and/or published stance. And it’s all caught on video.

Project Veritas, the brain child of James O’Keefe who has unraveled ACORN and exposed voter fraud in at least 5 states, approached MSNBC’s Toure, editors of the now notorious “gun maps” and even knocked on the door to Attorney General Eric Holder’s home, which greeted them with armed security.

Watch the video here: (This writer is the first person in the video!)

The “targets” of the investigation are those in media who have advocated for strict gun control in the US and who have attempted to publicly shame legal gun owners. The goal? To determine if the gun control activists would practice what they preach and place a sign in their own yard advertising their home was a “gun free zone.”

O’Keefe has been a fierce critic of cable and mainstream media outlets for promoting a political agenda and says he aims simply to point out the hypocrisy in popular liberal circles.

“The fact that they will say one thing on air to get ratings or whatever, the fact that they will publish and target law-abiding citizens, and then not live to their own standards is astounding,” says O’Keefe of the journalists in the video who refused signs or felt uncomfortable sharing their own personal information.

Shortly after the Journal News published the names and addresses (complete with interactive maps on the newspaper’s website), the National Rifle Association struck back with a long list of their own “outing” gun control advocates.

As expected by many, there is already an investigation into one robbery where a 72 year old law abiding man’s home was targeted specifically for the guns he had locked inside.

The Climate of Fear & Powerlessness

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fear1In this once free country, we have settled into a “permanent revolution” of non-stop fear and anxiety paralysis,  induced by the mainstream media’s terrorist tactics so that citizens learn to stop standing up for their rights and give in to unlimited government.

We are now pointing at inanimate objects and as amorphous a thing as “the culture” to explain the actions of a single, sick shooter. America is to blame for the miscreants and fluke tragedies of everyday life in a nation of more than 300 million people in one of the largest countries in the world.

Every last individual is to be suspected as a potential criminal, because we have depraved criminals. Every American must be asked to give up his rights, because some don’t know how to responsibly exercise their rights.

Those responsible citizens who believe in such well-accepted things as free speech, the right to adequate self-defense, and a government that spends within our means have all of a sudden become “extreme.” Because of the widespread acceptance of the truism that opinions are subjective, the perspective of what is extreme depends on the mind’s eye of the viewer. There are no objective standards for willful ignoramuses (and that is one reason why conservatives should take seriously the philosophy of Objectivism).

The right wants us to fear others. The left wants us to fear ourselves. What we should fear is the government. The behavior of the media and the government make it apparent that both parties have ulterior motives, and are exploiting tragedies for political gain in a way that would make terrorists proud.

The former hippie burnouts that make up today’s left-wing intelligentsia have gone from fighting the power to fighting for power; instead of opposing the man, they want to be the man.

In a masterstroke of irony, the same tree-hugging, weed-smoking, communal-living lefties who once wanted to “drop out” of the system now clammer for a micro-managing, hyper-regulatory, tax-and-spend government with powers tantamount to a police state. People can no longer trust themselves is the underlying message; they should trust the government with complete power in the blind faith that it will never be abused.

This is a great puzzle — something akin to playing Jenga drunk and blindfolded. But it is simply beyond the scope of a blog piece to explore why the liberal mind is a relativistic maze of internal contradictions strung together by fuzzy yarns of emotion and repressive tolerance. Simply pulling that thread would result in a mess requiring a psychotherapist on the order of Freud years to put back together. Instead of probing those irrational depths with the dim flashlight of rational thought, we will simply look at how the media manipulate non-objective minded souls on both the left and the right.

Fear. America witnessed it after 9/11. The feeling of awestruck terror, the initial shock bleeding into helplessness, as the second plane made it abundantly clear that it wasn’t an accident. Somebody had hijacked those planes and intended for Americans to die. The insecurity smoldering in the wreckage settled into a palpable way of life for years afterwards; and the event’s aftershocks are still felt today.

Unsureness as an American way of life was rare throughout the Clinton years prior; although the horrifying Oklahoma City bombing and the Columbine shooting provoked an intense sense of tragedy in the public at large. Other events were more memorable for political junkies: Waco, Ruby Ridge, the Unabomber — these events strangely came to symbolize a subculture where those who feared the government became branded by the media as nutjobs. Argument by anecdote is a left-wing media forte.

In that bygone era, mobilization to enact sweeping changes, such as something radical like gun confiscation, was clumsy and ineffectual. The populace was not sufficiently terrorized to give up its right to self-defense, whether from a criminal or the state (then again, I repeat myself)..

The hard left was once again forced to take the incrementalist road. People were alarmed and therefore wanted to “cling to their guns.” What the left needed were alarming tragedies that would persuade people their guns needed to be pried away. Left-wing agitators didn’t need to conjure up a catastrophe; they merely needed to observe the maxim “never let a good crisis go to waste.”

What gives the mainstream media game away to some extent are those things they choose to highlight and those they choose to ignore. Some things promote the left-wing media agenda, others do not. It’s in some ways a matter of timing, but also one of editorial discretion.

There had been the first WTC bombing attack in 1993, the Khobar Towers bombing of 1996, the U.S. embassy bombings of 1998, and the U.S.S. Cole bombing as Clinton was departing — but these events were intentionally muted by media that were more concerned with the president’s legacy than with effective and factual reporting.

None of these pre-9/11 terrorist attacks had provoked quite the level of hysterical crying out for action, removed from any context or rational discussion, as the recent Newtown massacre. And in some ways, the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting was outrageously brutal and inexplicable on a level uncountenanced since the Oklahoma City bombing. (And certainly since the Bath School bombing of 1927, which had killed 37 schoolchildren).

But the calls for gun control within hours of the terrible news comes off as both contrived and classless. The normal reaction for a human being upon learning of such rare and chilling news is to mourn and to pray for the families and victims. It’s not to beat the war drums of left-wing issue group causes and to instantly vilify known political adversaries like the NRA.

So, it’s hard for me to figure out who is sicker: Adam Lanza or those in the mainstream media who know the facts about gun control and immediately try to use the deaths of 20 children to promote a cause that has lost after long-standing rational and fact-based deliberation. It was the same mainstream media terrorist tactic that was seen with 9/11 and the ill-conceived Patriot Act (renewed twice by former opponent Barack Obama) — take a statistically rare but psychologically traumatic occurrence and exploit it to the utmost for more government power.

The left didn’t mind renewing the Patriot Act, because the Department of Homeland Security is like a mini-KGB for spying on Americans and running depraved operations like Fast & Furious, which deliberately put assault weapons in the hands of drug cartel members. These fine folks then predictably used those untraced weapons to kill dozens of Mexican citizens and at least one American, border patrol agent Brian Terry. Horrific, right? Well, the scandal doesn’t promote the gun control agenda, so you won’t hear about it.

And what about Benghazi? The administration refused to clearly call the security debacle the result of a “terrorist attack” for weeks, meanwhile blaming a pathetic anti-Islamic video. It was our fault for allowing wiseguys like that movie’s director to speak his stupid mind about Islam, and the president basically did the terrorists a service by promoting the al-Qaeda-preferred message: we are to blame.

The lapdog media lapped up and repeated the idiotic, implausible meme that a ridiculous YouTube video was the cause of the 9/11 anniversary attacks (after all, it helped promote the notion that al Qaeda was all but defeated in the president’s all-important re-election year). It’s our insensitive First Amendment that should be scrutinized, and not the Muslim extremists rioting at embassies and burning our flags — this was the media’s implicit chide. The future doesn’t belong to those who slander the prophet Muhammad, as the president so eloquently put it in his UN address.

And due to those reasons, the media are barely interested in the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans: Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stephens, diplomat Sean Smith, and security personnel Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. The heroic story of how Woods and Doherty disobeyed multiple stand-down orders, which were almost certainly known by and possibly given by the executive branch, is the stuff of Hollywood gold. But the mainstream media don’t care about their deaths, because they don’t help take away free speech or gun rights.

What does promote the gun control narrative? Slain children. It’s a harrowing image the mainstream media can project, and it is on that basis they can make their irrational arguments. (There are other images — like the conjuring up of a “fiscal cliff.”) Uber-tolerant leftists now want to fundamentally transform our culture into one that permits the petty manipulators in government to have their way with us. And yet there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that violent video games, movies, or music caused the rampage killing at Sandy Hook.

How can that be? Because as usual, mentally obtuse people only see what they see, and not what they don’t see. It’s the same with the economy as it is with violent crime: there is the fallacy of the seen and the unseen. People see the similarities among spree killers and conclude those similarities must cause them to kill; they don’t consider just how rare these spree killings are and just how many millions of people share those same characteristics and yet find a way not to kill classrooms of innocent children.

Activists in the mainstream media want to convince us that we are sick, that America is sick, and that we cannot be trusted with freedom. On the contrary, they are the ones who are sick. The control freaks of the left are intrinsically without shame and will exploit any tragedy to further their unquenchable powerlust.

Spielberg’s Lincoln Isn’t Pro-Obama

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As most people, I went and saw Lincoln.  I’m no fan of biopics, but this one was rather good. In fact, it was excellent.  Daniel Day-Lewis will probably win another Academy Award for Best Actor, and it was not a pro-Obama film.  Many conservatives feared that the movie would be allegorical about the 44th president.  Steven Spielberg, Tony Kushner, and Doris Kearns Goodwin are liberal, but the film focused on how the 16th president delicately maneuvered to have slavery abolished in this country.  There is nothing liberal, or conservative, about this point in history.  I hope both sides would agree that slavery is unjust.

When Lincoln is told that the 13th Amendment was two votes shy of the 2/3 majority needed, he reminded the congressman, and some members of his cabinet, that those votes must be ascertained.  When questioned how to do that Lincoln said, “I am the President of the United States, clothed with immense power, and I expect you to procure those votes.”  Some of my conservative friends say that it’s a pro-Obama scene. I disagree.

Lincoln was a war president – and war presidents wield extraordinary power.  This isn’t controversial. It’s fact.  Furthermore, this film was in production for over ten years.  Spielberg bought the rights to Goodwin’s book in 2001, which is long before Barack Obama was on the national stage.

What should be noted is that the film shows how Lincoln was uncompromising on his position about slavery and its abolition.  He employed political operatives who used unscrupulous methods to secure votes for the amendment’s passage in the House.  Furthermore, it showed the political genius of Lincoln.  He carefully maneuvered through the dynamics of the 13th Amendment and the planning of the Hampton Roads Conference – which was a failed attempt to end the war in February of 1865.  The Confederate delegation insisted on their independence, and no deal was made.

However, Lincoln knew that if such news would break, the amendment would be finished.  Why pass such a poisonous amendment that everyone knew would be a deal breaker with the Confederacy?  Nevertheless, Lincoln’s considerable political acumen prevented disaster, and slavery was outlawed.

As I mentioned before, the film shows how compromise isn’t always the best option.  Furthermore, in politics, you’re going to have to get down into the gutter to get things done.  Barack Obama is always talking about compromise, or gives off the veneer that he’s willing to do so, but fails miserably at achieving his goals. He’s a loser.  Whereas, Lincoln saved the country, won the Civil War, and abolished slavery.  If liberal Hollywood wanted to make this film as a comparison to Obama, then they should have picked someone else.

Second, Obama would’ve hated the tactics Lincoln used to pass the amendment.  Third, Goodwin’s book was called Team of Rivals.  Lincoln had one of his political rivals in his cabinet, Edwin Stanton, to serve as Secretary of War, which was, and remains to be, a very powerful position since its reincarnation as Defense Secretary.

Do you think Obama would appoint a Republican to an equally powerful position under similar circumstances?  Lastly, Lincoln, as I’ve said before, accomplished his legislative goal.  The keyword is accomplished.

In the end, Lincoln is our greatest president.  Not only because he abolished slavery – but he also began the process that developed into the national identity we hold today.  After 1865, Americans began viewing themselves as Americans.  Prior to 1865, an intense regionalism was ingrained into our socioeconomic fabric where states were viewed as separate countries.  As such, without the evolution of such a uniting force, Americans wouldn’t have come together as strongly as we did during the Spanish-American War, World War II, or on 9/11.  Barack Obama is never, and will never, set forth a new identity like the one Lincoln managed to construct after winning the Civil War.  He simply can’t since he’s not American.  He is a citizen by birth, but concerning understanding the social dynamics and traditions of America – he’s as hopeless as Jefferson Davis.

Originally posted on The Young Cons.

Slate Writer: White Guys Voting for Romney ‘In Defiance of Normal Americans’

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Remember when liberals scoffed at the fact that Romney could win more than 60% of the white vote? Not only has Romney successfully tackled that hurdle, and liberals are apparently mad about it. Tom Scocca of Slate Magazine wrote on November 2 about the “tribal appeal” that Mitt Romney has with whites and why “white people think” he’ll be a better president. I’ll give you a hint: It’s R _ C I S M.

After proudly declaring his support for President Obama (and how Slate will traditionally list all its staffers’ votes for the Democrats), Scocca insists they are not in a liberal bubble. He channels the insufferable and dismissive tone American liberalism has successfully monopolized over the past years.  He claims “White men are supporting Mitt Romney to the exclusion of logic or common sense, in defiance of normal Americans.”

“White people don’t like to believe that they practice identity politics. The defining part of being white in America is the assumption that, as a white person, you are a regular, individual human being. Other demographic groups set themselves apart, to pursue their distinctive identities and interests and agendas. Whiteness, to white people, is the American default,” according to Scocca.

He then cited the National Journal piece stating that Obama needs to win 80% of the minority vote to win the election.  Scocca laments “again, why are “minorities” treated as a bloc here? The story mentions no particular plan by the Obama campaign to capture the nonwhite vote. Instead, it discusses how the Romney forces hope to get a bigger share of white voters than John McCain did—by “stressing the increased federal debt” and attacking “Obama’s record on spending and welfare.”  Yes, as if, spending, welfare, and debt are code words for racism.  I wonder if Scocca will share his secret race decoder because Americans don’t have enough time to drink the amount of Ovaltine for a device of their own.

In all, Romney is polling better amongst whites, especially women, which is all due to the racism of the Romney campaign.  This   is based on “the foundation of Republican presidential politics for more than four decades, since Richard Nixon courted and won the votes of Southerners who’d turned against the Democratic Party because of integration and civil rights. The Party of Lincoln became the party of Lincoln’s assassins, leveraging white anger into a regional advantage and eventually a regional monopoly.”  Or, it could be that the economy is bad.  Women are surging in the workplace, therefore, more on the frontlines of the economic decisions in the household – and they don’t like what they see from this president.  It should also be noted that Democrats in the south supported Jim Crow legislation.  Does Gov. Ross Barnett ring a bell?

Nevertheless, Scocca claims there are two races going on right now.

And so we have two elections going on. In one, President Obama is running for re-election after a difficult but largely competent first term, in which the multiple economic and foreign-policy disasters of four years ago have at least settled down into being ongoing economic and foreign-policy problems. A national health care reform bill got passed, and two reasonable justices were appointed to the Supreme Court. Presidents have done worse in their first terms. In my lifetime—which began under the first term of an outright thug and war criminal—I’m not sure any presidents have done better. (The senile demagogue? The craven panderer? The ex-CIA director?)

In the other election, the election scripted for white voters—honestly, I’m not entirely sure what the story is. Republican campaigns have been using dog-whistle signals for so long that they seem to have forgotten how to make sounds in normal human hearing range. Mitt Romney appears to be running on the message that first of all, Obama hasn’t accomplished anything, and second of all, he’s going to repeal all the bad things that Obama has accomplished. And then Romney himself, as a practical businessman, is going to … something something, small business, something, restore America, growth and jobs, tax cuts, something. It’s a negative campaign in the pictorial sense: a blank space where the objects would go. A white space, if you will.

Granted, racism does exist in the United States, but to construe this as the overall mentality of the white electorate is disingenuous, ignorant, and outright nonsensical.  In the world of Scocca, it’s all due to the alleged race baiting.  He noted how it was racist to partake in the “baiting of Obama, throughout his term, for supposedly being unable to speak without a teleprompter.”

More bizarrely, Scocca says that “Republicans predicted, over and over, that the president would be exposed and humiliated in face-to-face debate with an opponent (Newt Gingrich especially fantasized about being that foe). Eventually this led to Clint Eastwood haranguing the empty chair. And then in the first presidential debate, Obama was slack and ineffectual against a sharp Romney. See? It was true!”  Yes, it was true.  He came unprepared, and even The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank made a citation of the president’s debate performance.  Adding that Obama’s lack of press conferences – his last one was in June – contributed to an insular mindset that produced and insipid showing in Denver.  Is Dana Milbank racist?

Concerning the 47 percent comments, Scocca noted how this was a giant race baiting move to court whites.

Here, Romney is speaking fluent White. In white people’s political English, “personal responsibility” is the opposite of “handouts,” “food stamps,” and particularly “welfare,” all of which are synonyms for “niggers.” This was Ronald Reagan’s rallying cry, and it was the defining issue for traumatized post-Reagan white Democrats. Like George Wallace vowing not to be out-niggered again, the Democratic Leadership Council and the New Republic and Bill Clinton made Ending Welfare as We Know It the policy centerpiece of the 1990s.

The actual policy never mattered. Now the Romney campaign is running ads in Ohio saying that Obama “gutted the work requirement for welfare” and “doubled the number of able-bodied adults without children on food stamps.” In mixed company, Romney glosses the food-stamp lines as concern about the country’s economic status, but that’s not why “work requirement” and “able-bodied” are in there. It’s the rusty old Confederate bugle, blown one more time.

So, is this whole get out the white vote is based on coded racism and dog whistling, or is it that Scocca is so frustrated that his favorite in this race isn’t performing as well as he did in ’08?  It’s petulant.  Forgetting the fact that Democrats haven’t won the so-called “white vote” since 1964, Scocca is saying that the whites who decided to leave the president in 2012 are racists.  Therefore, they’ve lost their credibility and their sanity as well.  They’re not “normal.”

If liberals ever get a chance to look in the mirror and ask themselves why they’re so bad at winning elections, they need to go no further than Tom Scocca’s laughable attempt at ‘white people’s studies’.  It seems the seeds of the bitter narrative liberals will hurl against Republicans in a plausible post-Obama defeat have already been laid.

Originally posted on NewsBusters.

Yes, Nate Silver is a Joke

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If you’ve ever gone on Nate Silver’s 538 Blog for The New York Times, you’ll see where reality ends, and fantasy begins.  It was more vividly displayed after the third and last presidential debate where I wrote, in a previous post, for Hot Air that “the headline for his [Silver’s] October 23 post after the last presidential debate read ‘Obama unlikely to get big debate bounce, but a small one could matter.”  Talk about grasping at straws.

Still, with the contest being so tight, any potential gain for Mr. Obama could matter. Mr. Obama was roughly a 70 percent Electoral College favorite in the FiveThirtyEight forecast in advance of the debate, largely because he has remained slightly ahead in polls of the most important swing states.

If Mr. Obama’s head-to-head polling were 2 percentage points higher right now, he would be a considerably clearer favorite in the forecast, about 85 percent. A 1-point bounce would bring him to 80 percent, and even a half-point bounce would advance his position to being a 75 percent favorite in the forecast.

Still, Mr. Obama should not take even that for granted. There have been some past debates when the instant-reaction polls judged one candidate to be the winner, but the head-to-head polls eventually moved in the opposite direction.

[…]

So, since Obama is ahead of Romney within the margin of error, why does that constitutes a win for the president?  I think most analysts would put a 2-4 point lead, for any candidate, in the toss-up column – especially for a battleground state.  Thus, making his 70% prediction of an Obama victory a nonsensical exercise.   Silver has states listed as toss-ups on the blog, but didn’t reference them here.

Furthermore, Silver’s notion that a half point ounce would increase Obama’s probability of re-election to 75%, a 1 point bounce to 80%, and a 2 point bounce to 85% is abjectly senseless.  He is lying and waiting for a miracle to happen.

However, while we shouldn’t expect much from a former Daily Kos blogger, he seems to be keeping liberal spirits high.  As Rosie Gray at BuzzFeed wrote on October 29:

Here in New York, Silver is very much on the tongue of the media and the left-leaning professional elite: Everyone from photographers to the managing partner of a major law firm cops to hitting refresh every hour to stay sane. And out in the Democratic hinterlands, the reaction is much the same.

“I was at a Halloween party last night and it was just kind of funny because we’re down here in South Carolina and none of these people are media people or DC kind of types,” said Teresa Kopec, a substitute teacher from Spartanburg, South Carolina. “And they were kind of whispering to each other, ‘But Nate Silver says…’”

“If people have heard of him down here in South Carolina that’s kind of amazing,” Kopec said.

Furthermore, Gray noted that “some Democrats, meanwhile, concede that their affection for the wonky analyst is less the details of his model than the consistency of his message.”  That being Obama wins – in every projection he runs.

With Silver catching flak it wasn’t long before his allies at The Washington Post, namely Ezra Klein, decided to jump in front of the train for his liberal colleague. “Before we get too deep in the weeds here, it’s worth being clear about exactly what Silver’s model — and that’s all it is, a model — is showing. As of this writing, Silver thinks Obama has a 75 percent chance of winning the election. That might seem a bit high, but note that the BetFair markets give him a 67.8 percent chance, the InTrade markets give him a 61.7 percent chance and the Iowa Electronic Markets give him a 61.8 percent chance. And we know from past research that political betting markets are biased toward believing elections are more volatile in their final weeks than they actually are. So Silver’s estimate doesn’t sound so off,” says Klein in his October 30 post on the WonkBlog.

Klein then goes on to trivialize the whole matter by saying:

…it’s just as important to be clear about this: If Mitt Romney wins on election day, it doesn’t mean Silver’s model was wrong. After all, the model has been fluctuating between giving Romney a 25 percent and 40 percent chance of winning the election. That’s a pretty good chance! If you told me I had a 35 percent chance of winning a million dollars tomorrow, I’d be excited. And if I won the money, I wouldn’t turn around and tell you your information was wrong. I’d still have no evidence I’d ever had anything more than a 35 percent chance.

There are good criticisms to make of Silver’s model, not the least of which is that, while Silver is almost tediously detailed about what’s going on in the model, he won’t give out the code, and without the code, we can’t say with certainty how the model works. But the model is, at this point, Silver’s livelihood, and so it’s somewhat absurd to assume he’d hand it out to anyone who asks

Here’s the catch.  We know his code.  In fact, anyone of us can replicate Silver’s methodology on Microsoft Office.   As Sean A. Davis, COO of Media Trackers, wrote in The Daily Caller on November 1:

Silver’s key insight was that if you used a simple simulation method known as Monte Carlo, you could take a poll’s topline numbers and its margin of error and come up with a probability forecast based on the poll. The effect of this method was to show that a 50-49 lead in a poll with 1,000 respondents wasn’t really a dead heat at all — in fact, the candidate with 50% would be expected to win two-thirds of the time if the poll’s sample accurately reflected the true voting population.

To a political world unfamiliar with mathematical methods that are normally taught in an introductory statistics course, Silver’s prophecy was nothing short of miraculous.

But was it? To find out, I spent a few hours re-building Nate Silver’s basic Monte Carlo poll simulation model from the ground up. It is a simplified version, lacking fancy pollster weights and economic assumptions and state-by-state covariance factors, but it contains the same foundation of state poll data that supports Nate Silver’s famous FiveThirtyEight model. That is, they are both built upon the same assumption that state polls, on average, are correct.

After running the simulation every day for several weeks, I noticed something odd: the winning probabilities it produced for Obama and Romney were nearly identical to those reported by FiveThirtyEight. Day after day, night after night. For example, based on the polls included in RealClearPolitics’ various state averages as of Tuesday night, the Sean Davis model suggested that Obama had a 73.0% chance of winning the Electoral College. In contrast, Silver’s FiveThirtyEight model as of Tuesday night forecast that Obama had a 77.4% chance of winning the Electoral College.

So what gives? If it’s possible to recreate Silver’s model using just Microsoft Excel, a cheap Monte Carlo plug-in, and poll results that are widely available, then what real predictive value does Silver’s model have?

That’s a very good question.   In the meantime, this is Silver’s Electoral College and Election forecasts, which were updated at 7pm on November 4.  Immerse yourself in the ignorant – or delusional – bliss.

 

Liberal on Liberal Violence, MSNBC’s Fineman Calls Lehrer ‘Useless’ and criminally negligent

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MSNBC contributor Howard Fineman lamented how the president was on the defensive concerning his first bout with Republican nominee Mitt Romney last night.  Jim Lehrer, who moderated the October 3 debate, has a history of bias that is usually cloaked with his soporific disposition. However, Fineman seemed agitated to the point of calling Lehrer “useless” and equated his moderating of the debate to “criminal negligence.”  Fineman’s ire seems to be indicative of liberals’ reaction towards Obama’s poor debate performance

This latest incident on liberal on liberal violence could be cathartic for those on the political left as they discover that the president isn’t a very good debater.

 

HOWARD FINEMAN: In terms of debate tactics, Romney was on the offensive most of the time – the president did very well on Medicare, but for the rest of it – and Obamacare – rest of it he did not. He missed many chances to correct the record or to ask questions. Jim Lehrer was practically useless as the moderator.  It was criminal negligence not to follow up on the question – Mr. Romney specifically what tax loopholes or deductions do you want to get rid of – he didn’t ask it. The president should have asked it.  That’s only one example of many and it was clear to everybody in this room tonight what happened in this debate.

 

Univision Does the Work Mainstream Media Just Won’t Do

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 Spanish language network Univision is quickly becoming a powerhouse in U.S. media.  Perhaps that’s because they are more concerned about their markets (read:money) then winning the beauty pageant on Capitol Hill. Their obvious concern for the people they serve and what moves them has led Univision to step out in front on the Fast and Furious scandal, which very well may be the biggest political scandal of our time. For months conservatives have been begging the mainstream media to pay attention to the deaths of hundreds of Mexicans and border agent Brian Terry as a result of the ill-conceived gun walking scheme from the Obama administration. But since the MSM is really made up of under-cover racists who actually don’t really care about the lives of people they don’t know or understand, they’ve buried their heads on the issue. Here comes Univision, picking up the slack and doing the job the mainstream media just won’t do. Perhaps when MSNBC starts caring a little more about their ratings than their spot on the cocktail circuit they’ll join Univision in covering real news. Until then, here is a replay of the Univision story with English subtitles. Please share this with friends. Americans need to know what has been happening at our hands south of the border.

 

crossposted at kiradavis.net

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