Tag Archives: Washington Post

The Obama Administration, the Mainstream Media and the Death of Journalism

It’s nothing new to point out that the mainstream media has placed itself as the tool of the Obama Administration. However, over the past 24 hours, that contention has taken on a truly frightening meaning. Bluntly, it seems that there are countless examples of the media regurgitating whatever the Obama Administration spoon feeds it, and passing it off as journalism. It’s gone beyond the point of even considering fact-checking, and “news” has become almost purely opinions pieces – not “straight journalism.”

DonkeyHotey (CC)

While examples of this abound, the focus here will be on the mainstream media hijacking the narrative to place this administration in a good light, and it will include a true opinion piece – not something that’s being schlepped as real news. The Fix from the Washington Post passed along a lovely example of this wonderland mentality that really doesn’t have a firm grasp on reality. Now, to be fair, this item was probably started before the events in the Middle East, and just maybe, Chris Cillizza might change his tune a little bit once the actual political fallout from these events come home to roost, so to speak. But, as of this morning, his contention is that Mitt Romney is panicking, and he dutifully offered some comments from some Republicans on this. Of course, it should go without saying that the Romney camp should examine this article for some of the finer points, and maybe make some minor adjustments accordingly. There are some worthwhile points made in this article. However, they are definitely overshadowed by Cillizza’s regurgitating of the Obama camp narrative that has been permeating the mainstream media.

Like the assertion that Romney made a mistake by calling the Obama administration on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo tweeting apologies to Muslims before, during, and after the attack there. It’s been observed, repeatedly, that if it was a Republican in the White House (George W. Bush, for example), the press would have been all over him for this. That is absolutely true. But where is the press now? Well, they’re buying the quasi-retraction from the Obama administration, and focusing on Romney, calling him an alarmist, or worse. Or they’re complaining about him breaking the 9/11 promise, and talking politics – but please don’t mention that the Obama camp was active from point one, fundraising, soliciting for volunteers, sending out surrogates, and sniping against the Romney camp on Twitter. But, back to the utter failure of the media, where were the questions on that Obama retraction? If that statement was “unauthorized”, who’s really in charge? Or was this statement merely an extension of an already established position of this administration? Either way, what Romney did or didn’t say isn’t the story here. The story is in that Embassy and in this administration.

And to keep things even here, even the right-wing media missed this one. Sure, it might feel good to say that someone in the Obama administration deserves to be fired, but that doesn’t change the fact that the real story lies somewhere much higher than that one staffer. Again, where are the questions about who is really in charge here? On one hand it’s said that this president is leading from behind, a perfect example of this falls in the laps of the conservative media, and all they can come up with is that a relatively low-level diplomatic corps employee deserves to get canned? Talk about a lost opportunity!

But, back to Cillizza’s wishful musings. Other than giving the Romney camp a mini-roadmap for fixing some issues in their campaign, what does this piece say? Given the number of words devoted to the whole Libya issue, it wouldn’t be out of the question to suggest that the administration doesn’t want anyone focusing on what’s actually happening now, when it comes to a response to the incident. After reading, and re-reading Romney’s statement, the only problem is this:

America will not tolerate attacks against our citizens and against our embassies. We’ll defend also our constitutional rights of speech and assembly and religion.

There is no doubt that is Romney’s opinion on the matter, however it is unlikely that the Obama administration agrees. Romney should have avoided talking about reaction by the government at all, since he’s not in a position to cause any action himself at this time. As it is, Marines apparently will not be permitted to use live ammo in Egypt, and while there are ships going to the region, it is unclear if there are any plans of action by the U.S. military. That in itself should be making headlines nationwide, but given the mainstream media’s love affair with Obama, that’s unlikely. Another item that should be getting the attention of journalists is the fact that Obama yet again walked away from taking questions from the press. Romney didn’t, but instead of being happy with the opportunity to get questions answered, the mainstream media found it necessary to conspire against him. Or so they thought, because it could easily be argued that Romney handled the questions very well, especially considering the fact that the journalists were ganging up on him. It was particularly heartening to hear his refusal to even consider hypothetical questions, and if his replies to their questions this time are any indication, it is fair to guess that the mainstream media will be crying regularly that he refuses to answer anything on national security, except in a very broad sense. Also, don’t expect any of the journalists to point out that Romney might have learned not to do that from Obama himself. They do try to forget his campaign promises of 2008 on Afghanistan and Gitmo, after all.

So, instead of having journalists and the press act as watchdogs over the government, we are left with the “Obama Administration State Media.” And that is the death of journalism in this nation. When journalists stop questioning our leaders meaningfully, and start acting as little more than mouthpieces for politicians, it is no longer a free press. It is no different than the state-controlled media in regions like the Middle East. Perhaps we all need to mull over the sad irony of that.

WaPo Columnist Works Gratuitous Swipe at Romney Into Story About National Park Service

Lake vacations are now controversial

Lake vacations are now controversial

“Summer’s in full swing, and unless your family is rather Romney-esque, there’s a chance you’ll be spending some time in one of the country’s hundreds of national parks. “

That’s how Washington Post “In the Loop” columnist worked in a gratuitous swipe at the presumptive GOP presidential nominee in today’s “In the Loop” column in which he interviewed Jonathan Jarvis, the head of the National Park Service.

It’s tempting to think this was an out-of-the-blue snark by Kamen, but you will recall that on June 25 he asked his readers for their input on where the Obamas should vacation, cheekily noting that it was “our civic duty” to help pick the next vacation spot for the first family — although it appears Kamen never had such a contest when President Bush was in office.

In that same column Kamen wrote the family might have to settle for an abbreviated trek to somewhere far less posh — perhaps a national park. You might recall that during the 1996 presidential reelection campaign, the Clintons (who also favored holidaying at Martha’s Vineyard) hunkered down during the GOP convention in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and toured Yellowstone, a poll-tested acceptable vacation spot in a crucial reelection year. 

George W. Bush waited out the Dems’ 2004 summer confab at his Crawford, Tex., ranch.”  However, heaven forbid Mitt Romney take some time off without the help of an opinion poll from voters and on his own dime.

Kamen is not alone, of course, among journalists attacking Romney’s vacation venue.  Kristin A. Lee of New York Daily News wrote that “as Mitt Romney continued a family getaway at his multi-million dollar New Hampshire compound on Friday, President Obama recalled riding on Greyhound buses and staying at Howard Johnson hotels on his own childhood vacations.”

“During a campaign rally in Ohio, Obama said that as a child he was excited just to play with the ice machine and swim in the hotel pool. It didn’t matter how big it was, Obama said.”  Does the media forget that Mr. Obama is also in the 1%?”

If the media is trying comment on families having to scale back on vacation and rely on national parks, isn’t that partly Obama’s fault, given his handling of the economy?  You don’t have to be Romney rich to spend a week on a lake.

Nevertheless, ABC News’s Emily Friedman noted in a blog post that “just a few hours after telling reporters the jobs report today was a ‘kick in the gut’ for Americans, Mitt Romney returned to his vacation, driving his high-power speedboat, filled to the brim with his kids and grandkids, to a nearby home for a dip in Lake Winnipesaukee.”

Norah O’Donnell took a shot at Romney on CBS This Morning stating  “while the president’s on a bus, Romney’s been on a boat, photographed while on vacation with his family in New Hampshire, and facing criticism from his own party.”

I never knew a family vacation will reap so much coverage from the dead tree media.

Pulitzer Winner Breaks Law Daily

Jose Antonio Vargas has been making the rounds on the talk show circuit promoting his new book and is garnering a wealth of attention… while breaking federal laws in the process.

Vargas, according to his own mini-autobiography published in the New York Times in June 2011, arrived in America at the age of 12 when his mother shipped him off to live with his grandparents who had immigrated legally from the Philippines. Vargas’ grandfather, “Lolo,” obtained fraudulent documents for him so he could travel and then attend school in the San Francisco Bay area. He remained unknowing of the fraud for 4 years.

“One day when I was 16, I rode my bike to the nearby DMV office to get my driver’s permit…” writes Vargas. “But when I handed the clerk my green card as proof of US residency, she flipped it around, examining it. ‘This is fake,’ she whispered. ‘Don’t come back here again.'”

Like any other teenager unaware of the situation his mother and grandparents had bestowed him, he was confused and proceeded to ask for an explanation from Lolo, only to learn that the document was in fact falsified and he was living in the United States illegally.

Vargas says he faced many challenges trying to assimilate and become as American as possible. He wanted to perfect English and lose his accent. He wanted to fit in and get a job in America. He again leaned on Lolo.

“Using the fake passport, we went to the local Social Security Administration office and applied for a Social Security number and card. It was, I remember, a quick visit. When the card came in the mail, it had my full, real name, but it also clearly stated: “Valid for work only with I.N.S. authorization.”

When I began looking for work, a short time after the D.M.V. incident, my grandfather and I took the Social Security card to Kinko’s, where he covered the “I.N.S. authorization” text with a sliver of white tape. We then made photocopies of the card. At a glance, at least, the copies would look like copies of a regular, unrestricted Social Security card.”

The New York Times editors failed to ask for more details about this, but should have. Social Security cards are blue. They have a specific design on them. Covering a portion with white tape would most certainly distort the image to look completely fake. Perhaps his first few employers like Subway and the YMCA should also have done a bit more digging.

Nevertheless, the fraudulent card was getting so easy to use that Vargas admits after a while, he began checking the citizenship box on I-9 forms (one of the documents federally required of new employees to ensure legal citizenship/immigration status). He claims he was nervous about getting caught – so he understood it was wrong – but that he kept doing it anyway.

Vargas attended San Francisco State University on a scholarship that Vargas admits “was not concerned with immigration status.” He sought out avenues to avoid bringing attention to the fact that he was breaking the law on a daily basis.

In early 2002, Vargas sought the help of an immigration lawyer who told him that to become a legal US citizen, Vargas would have to return to the Philippines for 10 years and then return legally with documentation.

Apparently, as an adult, fully aware of the consequences of his actions, Vargas chose NOT to obey the law. In fact, he downright ignored it. What he did next can only be described as intentional defiance of state and federal laws with complete disregard for morality.

“…I spent an afternoon at The Mountain View Public Library, studying various states’ requirements. Oregon was among the most welcoming — and it was just a few hours’ drive north,” remembers Vargas.

Using a false permanent address, some fraudulent documents, a photocopied Social Security card and his college ID, Portland, Oregon gave Vargas a driver’s license.

“I knew what I was doing now, and I knew it wasn’t right. But what was I supposed to do?”

As justification for his crimes, Vargas basically whines, “I was paying state and federal taxes…”

Perhaps Vargas should remember that simply paying taxes doesn’t make you American, nor does it make your actions justified. Perhaps Vargas should also consider that he was and continues to benefit from the taxes paid just like legal US citizens. Roads, fire protection, a federal military, etc. have all been available to him regardless of his being unlawful.

Vargas claims the license meant a great deal to him because it allowed him to drive, travel by plane and work. What is he doing now? How is he able to make it to all those television interviews to promote his new book? If he is using that license (or a new one since that license was set to expire last year), should he not be stopped by the TSA when trying to board a plane? Or perhaps the television shows or stations are flying him by private jet? Still, it begs the question, “how has he not been arrested for repeatedly breaking the law and being so open about it?”

Vargas has worked as an employee for the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Philadelphia Daily News and the Huffington Post, all with the help of falsified documents. He has also likely been paid as a freelance writer/contributor and has made documentary films, which aren’t free. I wonder if he’s ever filled out a 1099 form and turned it in to the IRS by April 15th? If so, I wouldn’t believe its truthfulness.

To see the beat down Lou Dobbs gives this guy, click here.

WaPo’s Useless Racism Analysis

Obama lost around 40% of the vote in primaries held in Kentucky, Arkansas and West Virginia.  Of course, The Washington Compost posted a story providing useless and utterly inane analysis surrounding the reasons why the president did so poorly as the incumbent candidate.  Chris Cillizza wrote:

that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that Appalachia and portions of the South — particularly those states without large African American populations — have long been hostile to President Obama.

There are any number of data points that make that point plainly.

During the 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign, Obama lost Kentucky by 35 points and West Virginia by 41(!) points to then Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton even though both states voted late enough in the process that it was already clear Obama would be the nominee.

In the 2008 general election, only five states voted more Republican than they had four years earlier. Those five states were: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia. (In Oklahoma and West Virginia, Obama and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry got the same percentage of the vote but Obama got less raw votes.)

And, since a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s an amazing graphic courtesy of the New York Times that shows the counties that voted more Republican in 2008 than they did in 2004.

I’ll save you some time with the link:

However, it may surprise some liberals that a significant amount of Democrats have conservative leanings, especially in the region Mr. Cillizza is referring to in this post.  Furthermore, Cillizza quotes

Tom Cole, a Republican House Member, dismissed the idea of race as a major factor in opposition to Obama out of hand.

Said Cole:

Obama fares poorly in states like Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arkansas because he has nothing in common with them. They are rural, he is urban. They are populist, he is elitist. And in case anyone hadn’t noticed, they are conservative while he is liberal. That isn’t just true of Republicans in these states. It is true of Democrats as well.

Well, there you have it Chris.  I can say the same for my home state of Pennsylvania, which is aptly described as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Alabama in-between concerning the political disposition of its electorate.  In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 1.2 million, the PA GOP were able to clinch eleven more courthouses, thus controlling fifty-one  of the sixty-seven counties.  That is up from 40 in 2007.  As Executive Director Mike Barley noted:

Nine of these wins occurred in “blue” counties where Democrats have a registration advantage – Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Clinton, Elk, Lawrence, Mercer, Monroe and Westmoreland…in all of these counties we witnessed Republicans, Independents and even Democrats rejecting Democratic candidates, their big government agenda and President Obama, proving that great Republican candidates can compete and win even in the Democratic counties in the Commonwealth. The story lines are even more intriguing when looking at each race county-by-county and case-by-case. Consider Westmoreland County, where Democrats out-register Republicans 53% to 38%, yet Republicans won the courthouse for the first time in more than 50 years, winning two commissioners and sweeping all of the row offices… in these cases, we see conservative “Reagan Democrats” coming out in droves for Republican candidates. While each county in Pennsylvania is unique, a universal distaste for President Obama’s failed policies was found everywhere and Republicans were successful in large part because we related the ongoing national debates surrounding spending and taxes to issues at the local level.

These rather embarrassing results for the president is not attributed to his race, but his failed record and liberal policies that are destroying the socio-economic health of the country.  The American people are saying “no thanks” to the president’s agenda.  What’s more amusing about Mr. Cillizza’s piece is when he admits that race cannot be gauged in any shape or form.

simply labeling the 42 percent of Kentuckians who supported “uncommitted” over Obama or the 41 percent of Arkansas who backed Tennessee lawyer John Wolfe over the incumbent as “racists” is a major oversimplification.

Untangling or decoupling how people feel about Obama’s race from how they feel about the policies he has pursued in office and his general beliefs about the size and necessity of government is impossible. No poll or election result can divine voters’ motivations.

So why insinuate that racism was a possibility?  Yes, there are some people in America who are racist and will not vote for Obama because of his African-American roots.  However, this is not a new revelation.  And for most of them to be located in the southern and appalachian regions; I’m stunned! Although I’m sure you can find, regrettably, plenty of like minded individuals all over the country.  Think Boston in the 1970s when local schools were desegregated which led to the forced busing fiasco.

In all, for liberals, it is almost unbelievable that people don’t support the president.  It is unbelievable that people don’t support his policies and his far left vision for America.  If you’re against him, you must be racist. That’s their default position to silence the opposition.  However, as demonstrated in key battleground states like Pennsylvania, voters, especially the blue dog, conservative wing of the Democratic Party are beginning to sour on Barry for his failure to get America back on track.  Unemployment has remained above 8% for over thirty-eight months, the national debt has increased by $ 5 trillion dollars, and we’ve ran our third consecutive trillion dollar deficit under this administration. These aren’t things that drive the faithful to the polls.  His record is dismal and the people are calling him out on it. It really isn’t that difficult left wingers.  A study session isn’t needed for everything.

Nine out of ten journalists say, “Guilty!”

Audio experts are working around the clock to find more Zimmerman racism hidden in the 9–1–1 tapes. Maybe if they play them backward...

Audio experts are working around the clock to find more Zimmerman racism hidden in the 9–1–1 tapes. Maybe if they play them backward...

Good news for Neighborhood Watch celebrity, George Zimmerman. The Associated Press reports that in 23 years only 2,000 people have been exonerated after being wrongly convicted of a serious felony.

Each year there are nearly one million felony convictions, over 10,000 times more than the 90 innocent defendants wrongly convicted. The findings are particularly encouraging for Zimmerman as he faces criminal prosecution for second–degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin and simultaneously a trial–by–media for the same offense.

The miscarriage of justice rate compares very favorably with the hospital medical error rate of 18 percent, where presumably the doctor doesn’t have any animus toward the customer, as opposed to prosecutors who do.

And public opinion is starting to come around. A new Rasmussen Reports national survey found 40 percent think Zimmerman acted in self–defense.

This finding is in sharp contrast to a survey of mainstream journalists that found 85 percent believe Zimmerman should already be doing time in Guantanamo.

Then when it appears justice may finally be allowed to take its course, the Washington Post uses a discredited CNN idea to attack George.

You may recall CNN reporter Gary Tuchman examined Zimmerman’s 9–1–1 call and discovered RACISM! Which is to be expected from someone with a white father. Using “one of the most sophisticated audio edit suites in the broadcast news business” CNN heard Zimmerman saying “(bleeping) coons” after technicians “enhanced” the recording.

Naturally to demonstrate even–handed news judgment, the tape was played for viewers about 300 times during the segment. As the reporter intoned, “Listen closely for “coon,” a word only bigots use. Remember it starts with a ‘c’ and ends with ‘oon.’”

Except the word wasn’t “coon.” Two weeks later, with much less fanfare, CNN re–enhances the tape and sure enough Zimmerman was saying “(bleeping) cold.”

How fortunate Zimmerman didn’t have to hide in the weeds to observe Martin. I can only imagine what the media would have done if George had muttered something about being bitten by a (bleeping) chigger.

Which brings us back to the sound–enhancing WaPo and its recording of a witness call, which FBI analysts have already termed “inconclusive.” The WaPo recycles the lie that Zimmerman ignored an order from the dispatcher. And in a nice touch, writes “…cursing under his breath, Zimmerman got out of his truck and began to follow (Martin).” But, thanks to CNN, we know Zimmerman was cursing the weather, a common activity worldwide, and not Martin.

Martin’s father heard the WaPo tape and told police the voice was not his son’s, But that was before lawyers got to him and visions of wrongful death lawsuits began dancing in his head. In contrast, the WaPo’s expert — who wouldn’t have known Trayvon if the kid had approached him at 7/11 and asked for a loan to buy Skittles — imagines Martin yelling, “I’m begging you!” “Help me!” And then, “Stop!”

Since the story was written by two females, I won’t fault them for their lack of expertise when it comes to fight dynamics. But in the real world the person who lands the first punch usually wins. Since witnesses place Martin on top of Zimmerman repeatedly punching him “MMA” style, it’s reasonable to assume his was the first punch.

Someone winning a fight is also not the one calling for help. The puncher is usually concentrating on pounding the punchee. Evidence shows Zimmerman’s back was wet from ground contact and he had a broken nose, two black eyes and cuts on the back of his head, so Trayvon evidently was doing a thorough job.

You can find the recording on the Post website and identifying any one element is like trying to isolate a single razzberry in a Spike Jones recording. One of the edited audio segments purports to be Martin’s “Stop!” But I’ve been in recording studios for 35 years and I hear “Help!” in both recordings, which stands to reason since Zimmerman is losing the fight.

But this is where it gets interesting. The “expert” asserts those 45 seconds aren’t Zimmerman calling for help during the fight, but Martin pleading with Zimmerman not to shoot him AFTER the fighting was over.

So by his reckoning, the fight is concluded. Zimmerman has his gun out. Martin begs for his life for almost a minute and then Zimmerman executes him in cold blood.

But lab results reveal the gunshot was so close it burned Martin’s skin. We know there was a single shot. If the entry wound is low and travels upward, it supports Zimmerman. But even without that information, if the fight was over and Martin was pleading for his life, chances are he would have been backing or running away, putting distance between himself and Zimmerman.

Common sense would dictate waiting for the evidence and using practical experience to evaluate it, but the Post, along with the majority of the media, has already found Zimmerman guilty and they want us to join them.

Conservatives Get Stupid, Again

What a let down. Here conservative Republicans were so close to respectability and even acceptance in polite society. In Prince William County, VA where I live, conservatives convinced themselves we’d come far from that time in the recent past when the Washington Post described evangelicals (essentially another word for conservative Republicans, since there is considerable overlap among the two demographic groups) as “poor, undereducated and easily led.”

Then TheAtlantic.com piled on with this description of former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, “People are sometimes caught off guard by [his] intellectual competence because of his rural Arkansas habits (he and his wife lived in a trailer while the governor’s mansion was being renovated) and his outspoken evangelical views.”

Not those rural Arkansas habits again! What was Huckabee thinking when he moved into one of those tornado–bait tin cans? I happen to know there’s a Hilton in Little Rock.

Conservatives, who are frequently optimists in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, chose to focus on the progress we’ve made since 2008. Why Gov. Huckabee is currently living in a house that doesn’t require you to check the pressure or rotate the foundation every 5,000 miles. And nationally Republicans — if not all conservatives — have an almost–anointed presidential candidate who is articulate, thinks double–wide is an unfortunate term for the overweight and has perfect hair.

Why Mitt Romney looks just as good as that Democrat intellectual giant, John Kerry, without all the annoying French mannerisms.

Then last week all our hope for acceptance came crashing down. In a “news story” wailing about the clout Northern Virginia lost in Richmond when the GOP took control of the Senate, the Washington Post complained, “Northern Virginia senators also worry about their ability to block legislation on social issues that play very differently in the more racially diverse, better-educated and liberal Washington suburbs than in more rural parts of the state.

It was only a passing reference that spoke volumes about ingrained, institutional prejudice. The phrase is simply elite shorthand that means we’re back to: Liberals = Smart and Conservatives = Dumb.

I hope to visit the WaPost newsroom one day, because I’m convinced its map of Northern Virginia still manages to leave Prince William County (PWC) out, much like the maps of the Palestinian Authority never seem to include Israel.

This county is in the top ten nationwide when it comes to household income, we boast the satellite campus of George Mason University — where taxpayer–subsidized “arts” groups can perform — and residents frequently shop at our very own Wegmans grocery store; yet we’re still pickin’ on the banjo with the rest of the Deliverance caucus as far as the Washington Post is concerned.

And the really ironic element in this assault on the conservative intellect is the bias is based on geography, which I thought was forbidden in elite circles. Here we have an organization, which has never met an illegal alien with a sob story that it wouldn’t put on the front page, denigrating an entire class of human beings because their point of origin is South of Alexandria.
What’s next? The ideological equivalent of E–Verify for conservatives, along with a refusal to issue a Virginia licencia de conducir so they can’t drive in Richmond?

Have a heart. These migrating conservatives are yearning to live the American Dream, too. They just want to cast the votes in the General Assembly that liberals refuse to cast. Besides, they don’t actually want to live in Richmond. I’m sure they will return to their native counties once the job is done.

This current distress of Virginia and DC liberals is the result of something their Dear Leader Obama warned about, “Elections have consequences.”

And as a consequence of last November’s election, Republicans are now in control of both the House and the Senate. So in under four years Virginia has gone from a Democrat in the governor’s office and Democrats in control of the Senate to a Republican governor and Republican control of the entire General Assembly.

I think even a liberal can notice a trend here.

Specifically what this means for Virginia residents is an obstructionist Democrat Senate will no longer be able to block passage of bills that protect the life of unborn babies, defend marriage, eliminate Public Broadcasting subsidies, cut spending, reduce the size of government, prevent the appointment of activist liberal judges, discourage illegal immigration and recognize the Constitutional right of citizen self–defense.

Whew.

It’s time conservatives refuse to be on the defensive regarding intelligence. We used to ask know–it–alls, if you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich? Now it’s time to update that and ask liberal Democrats, if you’re so smart, why aren’t you winning elections?

Virginia's Light Governor Gains Heft

The bad old volcano days are but a distant memory for Lt. Governor Bill Bolling. That’s when he was trapped in Florence Italy for almost a week during April 2010. European air travel was canceled after an Icelandic volcano, with a name no Virginian could pronounce, spewed ash and gas into the skies over Europe, canceling the Lt. Gov’s flight plans.
Now you may contend a politician stranded by hot air is a situation rich in irony, but it’s not funny when you are the strandee. The particularly humiliating part was almost no one noticed.
No Amber Alerts for Bill Bolling. No thwap, thwap, thwap from helicopters searching overhead. Just an empty coffee cup, abandoned on a lonely desk in Richmond. The Commonwealth even managed to conduct both a special session of the legislature and the annual Shad Planking in Bolling’s absence, with no one — other than a few thousand shad — inconvenienced in the least.
But it’s a situation that won’t be repeated. On Election Day Democrats suffered losses in both the Senate and House, but the loss of two Senate seats created a 20–20 tie, which makes Bolling ‘Mr. Tie Breaker’ and rockets him from vestige to Viceroy.
Senate Republicans are considering requiring Bolling to wear one of those home detention ankle bracelets so they can locate him at a moment’s notice.
Virginia’s absentee ideological nanny, The Washington Post, feared that in spite of Senate Democrat’s gerrymandering efforts, an ignorant electorate might put Republicans in control of all three branches of government.
The WaPost tried its darndest to warn us regarding the dangers of conservative government. In endorsement editorials Democrats were glowingly portrayed as: “smart,” “sober,” “sane,” “savvy,” “sensible” and “grown–ups.” Conservative Republicans, on the other hand, were: “incendiary,” “loopy,” “reckless,” “extreme,” “partisan” and “over–the–top.”
But if anyone is out of step with Virginia, it’s the WaPost.
In Prince William County the Post endorsed Del. Luke Torian (D–Dumfries) described as an incumbent who “must woo a swath of new voters in this redrawn district.” What is not said is the district was designed to elect a black delegate, new voters or not.
Staunch conservative Del. Bob Marshall, (R–PWC) also had a newly drawn district that removed much of his base and put him in a politically precarious situation. Our betters at the WaPost describe Marshall as a “loopy…take–no–prisoners culture warrior.” Naturally, since Marshall is one of the Republicans too extreme for Northern Virginia, WaPost endorses his “smart, sane, sober, moderate” opponent.
Torian wins re–election with 61 percent of the vote and Marshall also won with an almost identical 60 percent of the vote, so who is out–of–step with whom?
We have the same phenomenon in the Senate. Incumbent Sen. Chuck Colgan (D–PWC) gets the endorsement as a “civil, widely respected and deeply committed lawmaker.” In Loudoun County’s open senate race, conservative Republican Dick Black is characterized as, “one of the legislature’s most over–the–top ideologues.” His Democrat opponent is endorsed as “a cogent, serious–minded businessman who has common–sense proposals.”
Strangely enough, on election night Colgan wins by 55 percent, while non–incumbent Black wins his hotly contested seat by 57 percent. If I didn’t know better, I’d think Virginia voters support conservatives.
Bill ‘Tie–breaker’ Bolling is soon to discover with his great responsibility comes the potential for great blame if anything conservative should occur on his watch.
The WaPost editorial page has already started its ‘not so fast, buster’ routine, complaining, “Few Republicans candidates emphasized (social) issues on the campaign trail.” Consequently, according to the WaPost, the GOP is not allowed to introduce any social legislation in the next session.
This shows a basic lack of understanding with regard to branding, which could account for the Post’s loss of subscribers and money over the past few years.
Voters are smart enough to understand a conservative Republican is pro–life, pro–traditional marriage, pro–law enforcement, pro–Second amendment, pro–business, anti–tax increase and anti–illegal alien.
During a campaign the positions that matter most to the voters at that time are the positions discussed. Just because a Republican doesn’t mention abortion during the campaign, it does not mean he’s hoping for an appointment to the board of Planned Parenthood.
Voters knew what they were getting when they voted Republican.
Meanwhile, if Bolling wants to stay in the good graces of the WaPost, he would be wise to urge the Senate to double the funding for ‘public broadcasting’ and book another flight with Volcano Travel

WH Outbursts at CBS Reporter Say a Lot

             The new tone has been shown. The new tone only applied to those who question the Democrat party. Sharyl Attkisson’s interview on Laura Ingrahm’s talk show illustrates two blatant inconsistencies in the Obama narrative. Attkinson is a well-respected investigative reporter from CBS news, not from any of the news organizations that have been consistently attacked by the Obama Administration. She was screamed at and swore at by White House aid Eric Schultz, and got similar treatment from a woman at the D.O.J. by the name of Tracy Schmaler. She received this treatment in response to her questions about the Fast and Furious scandal.

            Attkinson was told that she was being “unreasonable.” She was also told that other news organizations knew that “Fast and Furious” wasn’t a story. All of this being shouted, and in the case of Eric Schultz, also included swearing. There goes the new tone, but then again, the White House has never even tried to live up to their mandates, no matter how simple, obvious and expected from moral, civilized people.

This incident also puts into question, yet again, whether the Obama administration is really committed to transparency. The answer is, obviously not. The administration seems to think their job is to tell the press what is and is not a “story.” If they don’t agree, it is their job to shout at, swear at and intimidate those who feel differently into feeling the way they feel. Historically “Fast and Furious” makes Watergate and Iran Contra look like child’s play, the idea that it isn’t a story is purely ridiculous, yet that is the White House line.

Besides these two blatant inconsistencies, another disconcerting issue is highlighted by this recent incident. If the Newspapers mentioned by Eric Schultz view the deaths of innocent Americans and Mexicans as non-stories, have they done that at the behest of the Whitehouse, or are they just simply incompetent. The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post were all mentioned in the vein that they “understood” that Fast and Furious was a non-story. Considering how obviously newsworthy of a story Fast and Furious is, it is logical to question whether those decisions are made by the Whitehouse as opposed to the newsrooms of the newspapers in question. This incident needs a highlight, and it should never be let go. It calls into question both the Whitehouse and the Media, and whether they have the best interest of the country, or the best interest of the Obama administration in mind. 

Washington Post Creates False Conflict Between O’Donnell and NBC

Lawrence O'DonnellChris Mathews washed out and got replaced. Lawrence O’Donnell is quickly on his way to washing out and getting cancelled. To create a fake controversy, The Washington Post wrote a story about the conflict that wasn’t.

O’Donnell criticized the network that employs him for continuing to host Trump’s “The Apprentice”. On O’Donnell’s MSNBC show, “The Last Word”, he said, ““NBC has created a monster and it is called Donald Trump,” and he continued by calling the Donald “the most deranged egomaniac in the history of the NBC Entertainment division”. O’Donnell brought up the tired assertions that Trump is a birther and called the Trumpster’s actions sleazy.

Where WaPo comes in is in it’s attempt to raise O’Donnell to media hero status for having said such brave things against the NBC star.

After his very public broadside against his employer, he waited for a reaction. And waited. But there were no angry calls from NBC executives, no take-him-to-the-woodshed meetings at 30 Rock, MSNBC’s home. “We didn’t get a single call” from the brass, O’Donnell says, a sly smile breaking across his lips.

The non-reaction bespeaks either the network’s tolerance for self-embarrassment or O’Donnell’s critical importance to MSNBC.

Wow. The experts at creating straw men to knock them down, the Washington Post (you’ve seen the ridiculous “5 myths” crap from them right?), is now putting the absolute failure of a commentator that is Lawrence O’Donnell on a pedestal because NBC didn’t respond to him criticizing Trump??

The Washington Post is quickly becoming supermarket tabloid material. News Flash WaPo, EVERYONE is already criticizing Donal Trump. It was a show boat move on his part. He never intended to run. We all got that months ago.

Granted, the Post did publish it on Friday when everyone’s busy doing everything other than reading news. It still doesn’t hide that absolute bias that lives within the halls of the Post.

A Fact Check of Washington Post’s Fact Check of Netanyahu .. or something

The Washington Post published a fact check piece attempting to discredit Benjamin Netanyahu’s statements before a joint session of Congress by brushing over them with the stain of “world opinion”. We fact-checked their fact-checking and found it .. lacking.

As all left-leaning media will do, WaPo’s writer spent the entire article using European leftist “we know better for you than you do” innuendo to create a false moral equivalence between the Israelis and the Hamas and Fatah- led Palestinians.

NETANYAHU: “You don’t need to send American troops to Israel. We defend ourselves.”

THE FACTS [According to WaPo]: Israel is a leading recipient of American foreign aid, including more than $1 billion in military assistance each year.

The real facts:

In the quote the author used is the truth. Netanyahu said that no American troops were needed in Israel. Turning around and saying that giving money and putting boots on the ground are the same thing is not only dishonest, but an insult to the fine men and women of the United States and Israeli armed forces.

NETANYAHU: “In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers. We are not the British in India. We are not the Belgians in the Congo.”

THE FACTS [According to WaPo]: While the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria, is promised to the Jewish people in the Bible, the international community considers the West Bank occupied territory.

The real facts: The international community does not have the right to revise 4,000 years of Jewish history and change the status of the Jewish homeland on a whim. As Egypt, Syria and Jordan created the situation out of which the 1967 lines appeared, perhaps Jordan should be asked to give up some of it’s land to the Palestinian state. Anyone that references the U.N., E.U, World Bank and I.M.F. (aka “the international community”) as sources of morality and decency has moral compass issues.

NETANYAHU: “You don’t need to export democracy to Israel. We’ve already got it.”

THE FACTS [According to WaPo]: Israel does give its Arab minority full civil rights, including participation in elections. But Israeli Arabs suffer from systematic discrimination in housing and the workplace. Also, more than 2 million Palestinians living in the West Bank do not have Israeli citizenship and therefore cannot vote in Israeli elections.

The real facts: Also a quote from the very same speech, “..of those 300 million arabs, less than one half of one percent are truly free – and they are all Isreali citizens”. Of course the Washington Post glosses over those references. Missing the point that Israel is the home of more free Arabs than any other country, the writer simply says – that’s not all that great.

Oh and the farthest reach of all. Here the writer tries to clean up Hamas’ image by twisting Netanyahu’s words then disproving the false message. All too typical lefty-styled “build a straw man and take it down”.

NETANYAHU: “Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by the Palestinian version of al-Qaida.”

THE FACTS[According to WaPo]: While Hamas and al-Qaida have killed hundreds of people in religious holy wars, they have no connection, and Hamas has in fact come under criticism from the global terror network for being too moderate. Al-Qaida preaches global jihad. Hamas says its struggle is solely against Israel, not the West at large. In its Gaza stronghold, Hamas has violently clashed with smaller armed groups that claim inspiration from al-Qaida.

This is the second time the post’s creator opts to disprove something that Netanyahu didn’t say. The prime minister made the claim that Hamas is the Palestinian version of Al-Qaida. He never said that they were related or part of that terrorist organization. It’s clear that Netanyahu was labelling Hamas a terrorist organization – one that is bent on genocide – one that acts and works much like Osama bin Laden’s group.

Texas Budget Debate: Washington Post vs Newsmax

Map of TexasTexas’ two year budget plan will be released by the State House of Representatives today. It will reportedly cut government spending by 11%. Of note is the fact that the Texas Constitution requires a balanced budget be passed which means no spending above the projected State revenues. If spending increases are sought, there must be either cuts in spending, tax increases or a combination of both. I find it interesting how States on the brink of bankruptcy today fail to see the budgetary logic in the Texas budget policies. This also ties into the National Debt we face today and the fact that in 2010, the Federal Government was run on continuing resolutions and never produced a budget. That is just plain irresponsible as far as our Congress is concerned. Thank you, Nancy Pelosi, any maybe this is why you are now known as the Ex-Speaker of the House.

When researching the Texas Budget debate, we see two very different sides to this debate from The Washington Post’s April Castro* and Mark Tannenbaum of NewsMax.com.** The Washington Post piece seems more like a Democratic attack piece that ignores the reality of the situation.  The Texas Legislature is being vilified for making the tough choices required to create a balanced budget (Which is required by law).  Here are the main talking points from April Castro at the Washington Post.* (both articles were accessed on 1/19/2011)

The lead paragraph exposes the agenda behind this piece.

“Texas lawmakers got their first glimpse of what the next state budget might look like late Tuesday, including a staggering $5 billion cut to public schools, as Gov. Rick Perry and his supporters were dancing at an inaugural celebration. Is there something wrong with the Governor and his supporters dancing at an inaugural ball? Note the inclusion of the word ‘Staggering’ when discussing the cuts to public school also. When talking about cutting wasteful spending within a huge Texas State budget, is 5 Billion dollars really that staggering? Are they doing away with wasteful,redundant or unnecessary programs? What is really “staggering,” is a country that is 14 Trillion dollars in debt, now that’s staggering!

“While almost every other state agency would see a reduction in employees, the average number of full-time employees in Perry’s office over the next two fiscal years would go to 132, up from an average of 120 in the 2010-2011 budget.” I would think that the demand for more intense budgetary scrutiny by the Governor’s office would require a few more people to get the job done here. This seems like partisan nit-picking here. 12 new employees over a 2 year span doesn’t seem all that “staggering” to me.

“It’s a catastrophe. No financial aid for kids to go to college. No pre-kindergarten for kids to learn their numbers and their letters. Health and human services slashed,” said Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine. “No Texan can be proud of this.” That simply isn’t the truth there. There will be cuts, but there still will be financial aid and grants. To say everyone will be denied is a sad attempt at false propaganda usage. I wonder where the quotes from the realists that have drawn up this budget plan are here? A decent, unbiased article on the proposed Texas State budget should include viewpoints from both sides.

“Perry took the oath of office earlier Tuesday for his third term in office. After a day of parties, he spent the evening at a celebration in downtown Austin, just a mile from the Capitol. Donors are picking up the $2 million tab for the 2011 inaugural. The Legislative Budget Board was required by law to release the budget to leaders on Tuesday, the fifth business day after the session starts.” Another dig at Governor Perry, which seems to be a pattern here.

In analyzing the Newsmax article, we see a more realistic approach to reporting the proposed Texas Budget legislation. There are quotes from several viewpoints, such as Mr Hochberg- D- Houston,( bigger class sizes) Republican Jim Pitts the main House budget writer, ( the votes for more spending are not there) and Democrat Roberto Alonzo.( Use the rainy day funds now).

In contrast to the Washington Post lead attack paragraph, Newsmax leads with the cold hard facts:

“ The two year budget plan that the Texas House of representatives will release today may eliminate more than 8000 jobs and cut spending spending schools, universities and social services by 11 %. It will not tap the 9.4 billion set aside for deep economic stress, Republicans say.” Nobody enjoys having to make serious budget cuts, but the fact is that without them, Texas wouldn’t be confronting the realities of the true need for budget reform. They should also be commended for refusing to go the way of Illinois, who raised taxes 66% recently.

Newsmax also points out the danger of what other States have done in recent years, by refusing to make the tough choices and instead used up their own rainy day funds:

‘”The (rainy day) fund has risen six-fold since 2007, while other states drained reserves to balance total deficits likely to top 190 billion over the next two years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.” This is the common sense long term budgeting that is needed today. It doesn’t rely on the “budget gimmicks” that seem so popular today,and that are based on the denial of reality.

Newsmax also lets Governor Perry express his viewpoint in this article, which The Washington Post article deemed not worthy of inclusion:

“We don’t have shortfalls in Texas,” Perry told reporters last week. “You prioritize what’s important in this state. We will fund those.” It is hard to take any journalist seriously that would leave that statement out of an article about the Texas budget.

Newsmax also included a statement from a spokeswoman from the Texas Hospital Association, Amanda Engler that stated that the sick will suffer under the proposed cuts. That is a different view that isn’t mired in any facts yet, since the exact cuts haven’t even been announced. Kudos for Newsmax for putting an opposing viewpoint in there.

Newsmax also summed their article up with a very good explanation on the rainy day fund, and how it was used from 2003-2007 to shore up funding for children’s health insurance, retired teachers healthcare and two economic development funds.

So there you have the tale of two news articles which both vary immensely. The first one from the Washington Post is a very poor example of reporting, when it comes to being unbiased and fact-based. The author seemed more intent on attacking the Governor of Texas and it’s legislature, than facing the reality of the necessity of a properly balanced budget today. They also ran a very one-sided article there. Newsmax gave us the basic facts as we they were known at the time, a statement from the Governor as to how Texas approached their budget, and some viewpoints from both sides of the debate.
After looking into the current Texas Budget debate here, we also see some disturbing facts as to what Journalistic Integrity, ( or lack thereof) means today. My deep respect goes to Governor Perry and the Texas legislature for taking on the responsibility of balancing their state budget today. Well done.


Sources:

 

*http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/19/AR2011011900050.html?
** http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/BNALL-BNSTAFF-BNTEAMS-BON/2011/01/18/id/383070

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