During June 30th's "Larry King Live," Robert F. Kennedy Jr., senior attorney at the National Resource Defense Counsel, made a head-turning statement regarding subsidies to the oil and coal industry, and not a single panelist challenged him on it. Not that one would expect King himself to do it; however, the other panelists included Chevron's David O'Reilly and ABC's John Stossel. Relevant portion of the transcript follows:
JOHN STOSSEL, ABC'S "20-20": I think a lot of it is silly. I think we have an energy policy in America and the world and it's called the free market. When oil is above 100 dollars a barrel, coal, as he's saying, becomes viable. We don't need Washington to do it. It's a fatal conceit to say the politicians can lead this. Higher prices will lead to alternatives.
Once again, it's time to play "Name That Party." As the Massachusetts State Legislature debates "Jessica's Law" -- named after Jessica Lunsford who was raped and murdered in Florida by a repeat sex offender -- one representative who is against the law expressed his displeasure on the floor of the House. Really expressed his displeasure. The representative, one James Fagan, said he'd
“rip apart” 6-year-old victims on the witness stand and “make sure the rest of their life is ruined.”
In a fiery soliloquy on the House floor, Fagan said he’d grill victims so that, “when they’re 8 years old they throw up; when they’re 12 years old, they won’t sleep; when they’re 19 years old, they’ll have nightmares and they’ll never have a relationship with anybody.”
Another representative, Karyn Polito, "a Republican from Shrewsbury who supports Jessica’s Law," understated the case when she said about Fagan's comments, “The words speak for themselves. I think there’s a large part of the (House) membership that doesn’t agree with that.”
Newsweek is at it again (see here, here, and here for starters). Virtually any positive angle its writers can come up with for Barack Obama, it'll take. The latest comes from "special guest columnist" Alan Ehrenhalt who argues -- and then doesn't argue (you'll see what I mean) -- that Barack Obama's experience as a state legislator makes him more qualified (to be president) than John McCain's twenty-two years as a U.S. Senator (and his four years as a U.S. Representative before that).
But here's something I bet you didn't know: If Obama becomes president, he will have spent more time serving as a state legislator (eight years) than anyone who has occupied the White House since Abraham Lincoln.
An article at CBSNews.com and MSNBC.com utilizes the claims of a scientist with some very questionable ideas and theories. In this case it's "seismic activity is five times more energetic than 20 years ago" and the reason is due to -- you guessed it -- global warming.
The research proves that destructive ability of earthquakes on Earth increases alarmingly fast and that this trend is set to continue, unless the problem of "global warming" is comprehensively and urgently addressed.
The analysis of more than 386,000 earthquakes between 1973 and 2007 recorded on the US Geological Survey database proved that the global annual energy of earthquakes on Earth began increasing very fast since 1990.
Dr. [Tom] Chalko said that global seismic activity was increasing faster than any other global warming indicator on Earth and that this increase is extremely alarming.
GOP Presidential Nominee John McCain has proposed a series of ten townhall-style debates between himself and Barack Obama from now and August. According to the Earth Times, this is "widely seen as an effort to counter Democrat Obama's likely advantage in raising campaign funds."
The article goes on to note that Obama has countered with "an offer of two townhall meetings between now and November to go along with the three presidential debates traditionally held after the parties' nominating conventions in August and September." The reason for this counter proposal? The Earth Times doesn't say.
As noted earlier today on Newsbusters by Matthew Balan, Michael Moore appeared on CNN's "Larry King Live" last evening. I caught a good portion of the "interview" (if King's constant agreement and sucking up qualify as an interview) and one little segment in particular got my attention. The subject was taxes:
MOORE: You were asking me a serious question. I'm sorry. Actually, you know what I would do is I would get -- I would try to lower Americans' taxes to the rate that the French pay. The French pay less taxes than we do, less.
On last night's "Verdict" with Dan Abrams, Dan and guest [Constitutional Law Professor] Jonathan Turley dissected Sunday's "60 Minutes" interview with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. After dissenting with Scalia's claim that it was Al Gore "who brought it (election 2000) into the Florida courts," Turley then made the following claim:
Look, both sides were challenging this question. The funny thing of course is that Al Gore appears to have won Florida. And so, when Justice Scalia says he brought this trouble upon himself, that‘s not exactly fair since he apparently won the state, did not get credit for the state and ultimately lost the presidency over that failure.
CBS News journalist Richard Butler doesn't know who kidnapped him (for some two months), but he thinks it was some Iraqi policemen who are sympathetic to, of all folks, Hezbollah:
Butler, a British journalist kidnapped with his interpreter on Feb. 10, was rescued by Iraqi troops on April 14 when he was found with a sack over his head in a house in Basra.
He was taken from a hotel room in Basra, where he was on a trip to meet the chief of staff for anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Men wearing police fatigue uniforms and armed with AK-47's hustled him out of the room and into a car. He was first taken to a police station in Basra and then was held in different places — including three nights where he was sealed into a small room between two walls, he said.
While he was held, he heard a lot of Hezbollah propaganda video and Hezbollah ringtones on mobile phones, but he can't be sure his captors were affiliated with the organization.
Last night on CNN Headline News's "Showbiz Tonight," so-called Hip Hop Professor Marc Lamont Hill noted that he was "freaked out" by Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus's claim that she loves Jesus. Host AJ Hammer played a clip from a YouTube video where Cyrus and pal Mandy answered fans' questions, this one dedicated to their religion:
Are we Christian?
Yes. We are.
We love Jesus. Happy Easter by the way. He died for our sins. That is how great he is. That`s why we do what we do. I sing and act Jesus. Not the acting but I sing and dance for Jesus. Actually, I act for Jesus, too. And now that I think about it, I do everything for Jesus.
There was recently a brief flurry of a few incorrect labels of [former] NY Governor Eliot Spitzer -- noting him as a Republican. Perhaps the most inventive excuse for that mistake comes from Reuters via Newsbusters reader Doug M. Doug had sent an e-mail inquiring as to why Spitzer was mislabeled in this story. Here's the response from Reuters' Vincent Baldino:
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you but I wanted to look into this. Our online photo editor just got back to me and confirmed that the (R) means that he is the person on the right side of the photo. It has nothing to do with democrat or republican.
Take a look at the picture and corresponding caption again. Being that onlySpitzer and his wife are in the photo, why is it even necessary to indicate that the former governor is "on the right"? Doesn't "wife" denote "female?" Where else could Eliot Spitzer possibly be but on the right? In addition, wouldn't "(at right)" be the common method of indicating direction in a photograph?
You be the judge on whether Reuters' excuse holds any water.
Remember the former governor of New Jersey, Jim McGreevey? What political party did he belong to? Can't remember? Well, don't rely on the Associated Press to assist you in its article yesterday about him and his continuing marital woes:
They've bickered over whether she knew he was gay, whose tell-all book would sell better, whether a poster of a nude man hanging over his new lover's bed had to come down before she'd allow their 6-year-old to visit.
It's quite interesting how CNN.com words the bios of the various presidential candidates. Interesting in that the Republican candidates have negative comments included, whereas the Democrats do not. Case in point: Here are the GOP candidate bios (my emphasis):
John McCain: The U.S. senator from Arizona ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2000, but lost to George W. Bush.
Mitt Romney: The former Massachusetts governor made an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate in 1994.
Rudy Giuliani: The two-term mayor of New York City once ran for the U.S. Senate, but dropped out in 2000.
Two Ohio towns. Identical story. That's what the AFP presented to us on Sunday and then again yesterday. On Sunday, we read this:
The streets are empty. Trash rustles down the road past rusted barbecues, abandoned furniture, sagging homes and gardens turned to weed.
This is Shaker Heights, a suburb of Cleveland and a town ravaged by the subprime mortgage crisis roiling the United States.
Faded "for sale" signs sit in front of deserted houses. The residents are gone, either in search of new jobs after the factories shut down, or in shame after being evicted for missing their mortgage payments.
A red, white and blue American flag flies over windows and doors which have been boarded up to keep the drug dealers away.
You're in a country illegally, and your infant child is very ill. Waddya do? Well, being the person that I am, I'd do anything to ensure the well-being and life of my child. Possibly being deported would be a distant concern when compared to my child. Guess I'm just weird like that:
Edgar Castorena had diarrhea for 10 days(!) and counting, and the illegal immigrant parents of the 2-month-old didn't know what to do about it. They were afraid they would be deported under a new Oklahoma law if they took him to a major hospital. By the time they took him to a clinic, it was too late. (Link.)
And, of course, the AP blames a new Oklahoma law for the child's demise:
One of GOP presidential candidate John McCain's greatest potential weaknesses is his view(s) on immigration. He supported an amnesty program in 2003, and most recently "comprehensive immigration reform" which many (especially on the right) considered just another form of amnesty. Now, in the thick of the primary season, McCain has said he "gets it," and "now understands that we need to secure the border" before any sort of immigration reform is enacted.
But how has John demonstrated that he "gets it"? By hiring open borders advocate Juan Hernandez as one of his advisors! I have watched Hernandez numerous times on pundit shows (like "The O'Reilly Factor") and Juan comes across as a genial fellow. (He has a habit of referring to debate opponents as "my friend.") However, his views on [Mexican] immigration are far from the mainstream, especially so from the conservative point-of-view. As Michelle Malkin and Bryan at Hot Air have shown, for example, Hernandez stated in 2001 that Mexican immigrants (presumably legal and illegal) “will think Mexico first…”I want ‘em all to think Mexico first.” In addition, Hernandez related to Rep. Tom Tancredo that the United States and Mexico "are not two separate countries, but 'just a region.'” Then there's Juan's defense of Mexican bus drivers who transport illegals across the border and his promotion of letting illegals open bank accounts.
As expected, no one (yet) in the MSM has picked up on this story, especially the important angle of how the revelation of having Hernandez as a campaign adviser will impact (further) McCain's image with conservatives.
The World Entertainment News Network seems to have an unusual notion as to what transpired during World War II. In a story about actor Will Smith's supposed positive remarks about Adolf Hitler, WENN offers the following:
Hitler's totalitarian leadership as Fuhrer during 1934 until his eventual suicide in 1945 resulted in the persecution of an estimated six million Jews in the Holocaust, and his invasion of Poland in 1939 led to the start of the Second World War.
Actually Hitler's totalitarian leadership as Fuhrer resulted in the murder of an estimated six million Jews in the Holocaust. But why get technical about accurate terminology, eh? Unbelievable.
Meanwhile, in case you're wondering about Smith's comments, Eugene Volokh says "give him a break":
Between railroad tracks and beneath the roar of departing planes sits "tent city," a terminus for homeless people. It is not, as might be expected, in a blighted city center, but in the once-booming suburbia of Southern California.
The noisy, dusty camp sprang up in July with 20 residents and now numbers 200 people, including several children, growing as this region east of Los Angeles has been hit by the U.S. housing crisis.
The unraveling of the region known as the Inland Empire reads like a 21st century version of "The Grapes of Wrath," John Steinbeck's novel about families driven from their lands by the Great Depression.
During a question and answer session with about 100 people in attendance (in a town of only 1,374 people), John Edwards handled quite well a very unusual question.
An elderly man told Edwards that “something has been sticking in my craw” and explained that “a certain fella committed two murders in California and the jury found him not guilty. And all they said was, ‘It’s payback time.’ How are you going to have that come out in this election to combat one of your competitors?”
Edwards seemed puzzled, as most people in the audience seemed to be.
“The black jury in Los Angeles, the reason they found O.J. not guilty was ‘payback,’” the older gent explained.
“Payback for what?” Edwards asked.
For mistreatment by white America, the man said.
“What do you want the president to do about that?” Edwards asked.
“How are you going to get that brought out in your campaign? Will the same thing happen? If he should become elected, you think Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Oprah Winfrey are going to let him forget about that and their obligation?” the man said, not identifying who he meant by “he” and “him.”
“I’m still not sure what it is that you’re asking,” Edwards said, a bit uneasily.
“Obama,” the man said, “has never said anything about payback for the problems the blacks have had getting their foothold in society.”
MSNBC's Tom Curry writes that it wasn't totally clear "but the man seemed to want Barack Obama to denounce the 'not guilty' verdict in Simpson’s 1995 trial." But the money quote, as they say, comes when Curry offers this:
Congress.org, a service of Capitol Advantage and Knowlegis LLC -- "private, non-partisan companies that specialize in facilitating civic participation" -- seems to have a partisan problem. This past weekend, their main page featured its "Hot Topics in Congress," and the subject of the Iraq "surge" was featured prominently (including a pic of John Murtha).
Notice the two links shown. Now, if you think the surge is indeed working, you'll click the "Yes, the surge is working" link, right?
In an article that is otherwise fairly balanced, Delaware's biggest daily, the Wilmington News Journal, proclaims in a headline today that senior Senator Joe Biden has a "Tangled tongue, but a civil record," with the sub-header "Biden's bloopers don't jibe with his votes."
Sen. Joe Biden sees black supporters as his base and maintains a stellar voting record with the NAACP.
But he's also gotten in trouble for comments involving race or ethnicity.
Biden's supporters say the apparent gaffes are merely examples of his unscripted style, which they admire. Others say he should be more aware of how his words come across.
Most recently, Biden drew a comparison between the nation's capital and Iowa that suggested to some he was blaming Washington's large minority population for its low-performing schools.
Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama is demanding that John Tanner, head of the Justice Department's voting rights division, be fired for racially insensitive remarks:
John Tanner's remarks came during an Oct. 5 panel discussion on minority voters before the National Latino Congreso in Los Angeles. Tanner addressed state laws that require photo identification for voting, saying that elderly voters disproportionately don't have the proper IDs.
"That's a shame, you know, creating problems for elderly persons just is not good under any circumstance," Tanner said, according to video posted on YouTube. "Of course, that also ties into the racial aspect because our society is such that minorities don't become elderly the way white people do. They die first."
"There are inequities in health care. There are a variety of inequities in this country, and so anything that disproportionately impacts the elderly has the opposite impact on minorities. Just the math is such as that."
As reported by Matthew Balan earlier today here at Newsbusters, Nation of Islam [former] leader Louis Farrakhan gave a speech Tuesday night which included the implied threat of violence against law enforcement officials. But you sure wouldn't know that based on the Associated Press's account of the speech. Merely referring to Farrakhan as a "fiery orator," the AP was more interested in his fashion sense than the calls for possible violence:
Farrakhan cut a healthy-looking figure Tuesday in a gray and gold pinstriped suit, a wide smile flashing often under the trademark side-part in his wavy, black hair and thin-rimmed glasses.
Were you aware that embattled Idaho Senator Larry Craig has been inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame? If you journeyed over to MSNBC.com, you couldn't miss [this AP] story; their 8:30am EDT update highlights it not once, not twice, not three times, but four times in different sections of their main page. Here's one from the "Inside MSNBC.com" segment:
Did Chris Matthews, on his September 24th edition of "Hardball," really hear Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "allow" that there was a Holocaust? This is what he insisted to New York City Councilman David Weprin:
MATTHEWS: OK, let‘s talk about that very point. The hottest issue of the last century, of course, and the worst case of inhumanity to man, of course, is the Holocaust. I listened carefully to him. And I know you did, sir. Didn‘t you hear him allow the fact that there was, in fact, a Holocaust?
WEPRIN: Well, he—his statement today was different than his statement in the past.
WEPRIN: In the past, he‘s clearly said that the Holocaust was a hoax, it never existed. Now he‘s talking about doing more research. There‘s no question...
MSNBC.com highlights the AP story with the headline "Gay characters disappearing from network TV." But as is often typically the case, the situation is not as dire as it seems. The first paragraph reads:
A new report says a total of seven series on the five broadcast networks feature regular lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters this season, down from nine last season. The number has dropped for the past three years, according to the annual "Where We Are on TV" study by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
"Studies" of this type will never produce "satisfactory" results since they would require an increase every year! In addition, with the "massive" decrease of two whole shows not featuring gay characters this season, doesn't this mean that it is likely some other "underrepresented group" thus gained representation?
Over at the Intellectual Conservative, writer Gary Larson discusses what he discovered when viewing an episode of PBS's "History Detectives":
Entertaining, a smidgen on the shaggy-dog side, the PBS program showcases four academic “detectives” traipsing around the country tracking down arcane histories of assorted relics. It’s a fun program, a fast hour of delicious cotton candy for us history buffs.
It leads us down paths of little discoveries — a shard of bone, a piece of flag, some old cannon ball. Then a “detective” tells us what parts they played in history, if at all. The joy of watching is in the journey.
According to the Manhattan Borough President and the New York Civil Liberties Union, "military recruiters are frequently given free reign in New York City public schools and allowed into classes in violation of the school system’s regulations." That's basically the first paragraph of the article. The next few read as follows:
The report, based on surveys of nearly 1,000 students at 45 high schools citywide last spring, said the city’s Department of Education exercised almost no oversight over how much access recruiters had to students at high schools.
The state of Delaware's largest daily, the News Journal, writes that the state's 'All-white court casts long shadow' and laments that there is no African-American serving on the state's Supreme Court.
A former border state whose citizens kept slaves but also supported the Underground Railroad, Delaware today has a rich tradition of black culture and achievement.
But unlike other states with such diverse populations -- and many whose residents are far more monochromatic -- Delaware has never had a black jurist on its Supreme Court, the last stop for most criminal and civil decision-making.