Retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is actually a conservative according to Newsweek columnist Andrew Romano, who apparently hasn't read any Supreme Court decisions in the last 20 years or so.
Romano rejects the notion that Stevens is a liberal, going so far as to chastise his fellow members of the media who frequently get suckered by "whichever shorthand, cheat-sheet label gets repeated most frequently." Romano further writes that the current coverage is "myopic" and that the lowly uniformed "laypeople are being given little choice but to remember the hunched, bow-tied Stevens, 89, as really, really liberal—Dennis Kucinich in robes."
On Wednesday, former vice president Dick Cheney made the following brief statement to Politico:
[W]e are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe. Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war? It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency — social transformation — the restructuring of American society.
Cheney's statement was made on December 30, and was given in the context of President Obama having waited for three days to personally comment on the Christmas Day terrorist attack on Northwest Flight 253. Cheney was very obviously giving his opinion that Obama prioritizes social reform over national security, pointing to Obama's handling of the Christmas terror attack as proof.
CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen is a long-time critic of the Bush administration, enhanced interrogation techniques, military tribunals, Gitmo, and many aspects of the government's prosecution of the war on terror. For general background, see Cohen's CBS News blog "Court Watch." It is, therefore, no surprise at all to see Cohen defending the propriety of the upcoming New York City terror trials.
Nancy Pelosi has been under the media microscope this week regarding her knowledge of enhanced interrogation techniques, specifically waterboarding, in the months following 9/11. Pelosi's seemingly endless series of contradictions on the subject has led the media to probe: "what did she know and when did she know it?" But another question could easily be posed to the media itself ... "What took you so long?"
The precipitating event in this scandal is a December 9, 2007, Washington Post article titled: "Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002," in which the Post pointed a finger directly at Nancy Pelosi ...
In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.
The ABCNews.com Law and Justice front page currently features an article, dramatically titled "Will Steal For Food: Crisis Creates Criminals." On that same page, alleged bank robber Bruce Windsor is featured in an orange jumpsuit above a caption that reads: "In poor economy, police have arrested a rash of atypical alleged bank robbers."
Associated Press writer Matt Volz has been a busy bee covering the Troopergate anti-scandal over the last two weeks. Not surprisingly, he continues to write story after story without citing to the obvious bias underlying the entire investigation.
I am guessing most of you know the basic facts, but here they are in a nutshell. Sarah Palin has an ex-brother-in-law named Mike Wooten. Prior to Palin becoming governor, she and her family filed a formal complaint against Wooten regarding a number of misdeeds including the tasering of a young boy, threatening to kill Palin's father-in-law, and shooting a moose (apparently a heinous crime in Alaska). After Palin became governor, she and her staff had several conversations about Wooten with Walt Monegan, the Public Safety Commissioner. Palin later had a separate dispute with Monegan and offered him a reassignment. Monegan refused - and would later claim he felt pressure to fire Wooten. Palin has repeatedly stated that Monegan was offered reassignment (i.e. fired) for independent reasons and Wooten had nothing to do with it.
From this modest difference of opinion, the Alaska legislature saw fit to order an independent investigation. Although Palin initially welcomed the investigation, once she became John McCain's running mate the probe took a decidedly partisan tone.
Joe Biden appeared this morning on Meet the Press, moderated by Tom Brokaw. In the opening series of questions, Brokaw probed Biden about the effect of Governor Sarah Palin's inclusion in the presidential campaign.
Brokaw asked generally how Biden would handle his upcoming debate with Palin, underscoring his question with the premise that it might be a delicate situation debating a woman. Biden responded with a rambling answer in which he stated that he debates women all the time in the U.S. Senate and had previously run against a formidable female opponent in one of his Delaware Senate races. Biden went on to say that he would have an easier time debating vice presidential runners-up Tom Ridge and Mitt Romney since he was familiar with their policy positions. Biden said he did not know Governor Palin's policy positions (video here).
BIDEN: ... what is new is I have no idea what her policies [are]. I assume they're the same as John's. I just don't know.
Biden further claimed he had not seen Palin's entire RNC speech (only the ending).
By now, you have all heard of Wednesday's Supreme Court decision prohibiting the death penalty in cases of child rape. Having read several articles, the mainstream media's take on the case was mostly informational and understated. And that was to be expected. While the ruling could be considered a victory for civil libertarians, even the press understands that you can't do a victory dance when a child rapist is spared the death penalty.
MSNBC has been criticized as being in the tank for Barack Obama. And so today, when the Obama campaign launched its own rumor-squelching website, MSNBC was all-too-eager to promote the site through several news bits.
But there was just one problem. For a time this afternoon, MSNBC mistakenly promoted a prank site (UPDATE: site has since been pulled and url removed from this post), as opposed to the actual Obama site http://fightthesmears.com.
While the Obama site denies and denounces the viral internet rumors, the gag site satirically perpetuates and builds upon them! Fair warning: the gag site deserves a bad taste alert.
USA Today Supreme Court Reporter Joan Biskupic penned an article today titled "O'Connor's legacy fading on reshaped court." For this particular title, "reshaped" is code for "conservative." Biskupic's article laments several recent conservative decisions of the court, and she frames these decisions as a blow to the legacy of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Biskupic literally builds up O'Connor as a national hero.
When retired justice Sandra Day O'Connor visited Capitol Hill recently to speak publicly about her husband's Alzheimer's, she was greeted as a national hero. Senators lauded her historic place as the first woman on the Supreme Court and the justice whose opinions often set the nation's law.
O'Connor, who was frequently the tie-breaking vote in close cases, is further praised for her "middle-ground" practical approach in her decision making. But things have changed since O'Connor's retirement from the high court.
The United States Supreme Court upheld Indiana's voter ID law today in a 6-3 decision. In an earlier post, Ken Shepherd pointed out that Associated Press reporter Mark Sherman framed the ruling as "splintered." While the four conservative Justices joined in the majority opinion, the decision itself was written by liberal Justice John Paul Stevens, and so Sherman's terminology is questionable at the very least.
But this isn't the first time Sherman has used the phrase "splintered." When the Supreme Court issued its death penalty ruling two weeks ago, Sherman wrote:
U.S. executions are all but sure to resume soon after a nationwide halt, cleared Wednesday by a splintered Supreme Court that approved the most widely used method of lethal injection.
Incredibly, Sherman framed this decision as being made by the "conservative court led by Chief Justice John Roberts," even though it was a 7-2 decision.
The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld Kentucky's lethal injection procedure for capital punishment. The decision will likely end self-imposed death penalty moratoriums in several states. As of writing this article, Virginia had already lifted its moratorium.
The decision had been long-awaited by advocates on both sides of the death penalty debate. Court prognosticators had mostly believed the court would uphold Kentucky's lethal injection program. But it was a surprise to many that the affirmance came with a 7-2 vote. The Roberts court has been known for a series of contentious 5-4 splits of any number of decisions, often with Justice Kennedy being the key swing vote.
In the Roberts court a 7-2 decision is a landslide, but that did not stop Associated Press writer Mark Sherman from describing that the "splintered Supreme Court cleared the way" for the resumption of capital punishment.
The Newsweek article "When Reason Meets Rifles" discusses the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, which was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court today. The basic dispute in the case is whether D.C.'s outright handgun ban and de facto ban on rifles, shotguns, and other firearms are unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. Notice that the bias begins in the title itself, where "reason" and "rifles" are implied to be mutually exclusive concepts.
The Washington Post reported today that select members of congress were briefed by the CIA in 2002 about enhanced interrogation techniques. Included in the briefing was current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.
"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.
According to the article, the CIA gave congressional overseers approximately 30 private briefings, some of which included descriptions of waterboarding, other harsh interrogation methods, and virtual tours of the CIA's overseas detention sites.
Then-Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-FL) was also a party to the briefings.
The media have gone into full frenzy mode the last two days over some destroyed CIA interrogation tapes. And are you really surprised? The story has all the ingredients that the mainstream media just can't resist: 1) waterboarding, 2) allegations of cover up and obstruction of justice, 3) and the opportunity to ask "what did they know and when did they know it?"
It's one thing for NewsBusters and conservative commentators to blast CNN for its shoddy "moderation" of the recent Republican YouTube debate. It's quite another thing to see CNN get eaten by one if its own. And that's exactly what happened in the surprising LA Times article titled "CNN: Corrupt News Network."
LA Times Columnist Tim Rutten (who is no stranger to NewsBusters) pulls no punches in blasting CNN.
[T]his most recent debacle masquerading as a presidential debate raises serious questions about whether CNN is ethically or professionally suitable to play the political role the Democratic and Republican parties recently have conceded it.
We had a little campaign drama yesterday as a disturbed man (who claimed he had a bomb) took hostages in the Rochester, New Hampshire, headquarters of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Over a period of several hours, all of the hostages were released. And eventually the hostage-taker, Lee Eisenberg, surrendered without incident (but not before calling CNN ... maybe he had a debate question?).
When the incident began, Hillary Clinton was in the Washington area. She cancelled her campaign schedule for the day and immediately travelled to New Hampshire, where she met with law enforcment and the families of the hostages. Clinton made at least two public statements during the day, and she held a news conference (video) after the ordeal ended. Clinton's actions were certainly appropriate for the incident, and her statements were sober and direct. But in the end, her actions were no different than what any other politician or candidate would have done.
We know that the mainstream media love to report on all of the following: 1) the mass firing of prosecutors for political reasons; 2) anything about New Orleans; 3) and race issues in Lousiana. So what happens when you have one story that covers all three topics? The answer is almost nothing when the story involves an embattled Democratic official.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Friday shows the approval rating for all members of Congress sits at a dismal 22 percent, while 75 percent of those surveyed disapproved of the way Congress is handling its job.
The report indicates that just over 600 Americans were asked the following question: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job? The current poll results, as well as those of a year ago, were listed as follows: Oct. 12-14, 2007 (Approve-22%; Disapprove-75%; No opinion-3%); and Oct. 6-8, 2006 (Approve-28%; Disapprove-63%; No opinion-9%).
Following these results, however, is an extensive list of polling data on congressional approval ratings going back to April 1974 (presumably the oldest polling data available). The historical polling data is labelled "GALLUP CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP TRENDS." It should also be noted that the polling is not listed on a monthly or yearly basis. Some years had monthly results on the poll question, while other years (particularly in the 1970's) listed as few as one poll per year.
With pressure mounting, Democratic Congressman Pete Stark finally apologized today for his reprehensible statements on the House floor last week.
In his disjointed anti-war rant last Thursday, Stark shamefully remarked:
You don't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement.
Republicans immediately objected, with House Minority Leader John Boehner demanding a retraction and noting that "Congressman Stark's statement dishonors not only the commander in chief, but the thousands of courageous men and women of America's armed forces who believe in their mission and are putting their lives on the line for our freedom and security.''
In his recent article, Time.com's Joe Klein makes the case that the white male vote is the key demographic in the 2008 presidential campaign. So if you're Joe Klein - and you want to speak to the typical white male voter - who do you interview? Well, you were right if you guessed has-been country singer Merle Haggard.
That's right. Joe Klein's article is titled "Does Merle Haggard Speak for America?" and of course details Haggard's alienation from the Republican Party and support for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
In its October 9 editorial, the Toledo Blade condemns Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for his ongoing "savaging" of Anita Hill.
In a decidedly one-sided article, Hill is hailed as a hero for coming forward with her unsubstantiated sexual harassment allegations in 1991 against then-nominee Thomas. According to the Blade:
The Thomas confirmation hearings were painful to watch, but they were also important because they blew away the veil of complacency over sexual harassment. Women - and even some men - were empowered by Ms. Hill's testimony to step forward and file complaints and lawsuits against sexist practices that permeated the workplace and other areas of society.
Ann Coulter did her best to drop a bomb on the October 10 episode of "Tucker" on MSNBC. At the conclusion of her interview, Ann Coulter announced (video) that the National Enquirer was just reporting that John Edwards had an 18-month affair while on the campaign trail. You can read the story here.
Before going any further, this allegation must be met with a healthy degree of skepticism. First of all, the story is originating from the National Enquirer, which in and of itself, raises questions as to the story's reliability. Secondly, Coulter had a notorious run-in earlier this year with Elizabeth Edwards on an MSNBC episode of "Harball." Coulter would have every motivation to repeat a salacious tabloid sex allegation about John Edwards.
With that said, though, you would think that the mere allegation would be worthy of a media frenzy based upon its recent behavior. The media have extensively covered the "bathroom sex" case of Senator Larry Craig. Before that, the media happily reported when Sentator David Vitter's phone number showed up in the records of the "DC Madam." Even before that, the Mark Foley story lingered for a month during a crucial point in the 2006 campaign.
The CNN.com article "Mistake Costs Dishwasher $59,000" details the trials and tribulations of Pedro Zapeta, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala. The article explains that:
Two years ago, Zapeta was ready to return to Guatemala, so he carried a duffel bag filled with $59,000 -- all the cash he had scrimped and saved over the years -- to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
So an illegal immigrant (who, by the way, doesn't speak English) tries to leave the country on an airplane with $59,000 cash stuffed in a duffel bag. How could this plan go wrong?
The article goes on to paint Zapeta in the most sympathetic light possible, pointing out that Zapeta, "lived his version of the American dream in Stuart, Florida: washing dishes and living frugally to bring money back to his home country." The article claimed that Zapeta had worked in this country for 11 years.
According to CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, the election of a Republican president in 2008 will bring a certain end to Roe v. Wade.
Toobin has made the rounds promoting his new book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. In a recent Time.com article (a straight question-and-answer account of his interview), Toobin stated the following:
Time.com: Your book strongly suggests that personalities and personal views are more important than case law.
In his September 10 article "Opportunities Squandered Since 9/11," CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen declares that "[o]ur leaders have made it far worse for themselves, and for us, by choosing confrontation over collaboration in the creation of a new legal order to best combat terrorism." Cohen's idea of "collaboration," of course, means that Republicans and the Bush Administration should listen to and implement the ideas of Cohen (and others who think lik
Illinois Democrat Rahm Emanuel and California Republican Duncan Hunter appeared on CNN's American Morning Monday to discuss the Iraq War and anticipated address from General David Patraeus. CNN's John Roberts questioned the congressmen.
During the interview, Hunter challenged his Democratic counterpart (Emanuel) by pointing out that Democrats had previously implored President Bush to "listen to his generals," but now the Democrats were preemptively being critical of General Patraeus. Having heard enough, Roberts switched the questioning to Emanuel, prodding for a response to Hunter's point. But in asking for a response, Roberts addressed the Illinois congressman as "Rahm," as in - what is your response to that point "Rahm?"
Roberts, recognizing his mistake almost immediately, thereafter made a point of addressing Emanuel as "congressman." Roberts, however, never addressed the California congressman as "Duncan."
Upon President Bush's arrival yesterday in Sydney, Australia, deputy Prime Minister Mark Vailes politely inquired about progress in Iraq. President Bush answered bluntly that "we're kicking a--."
In making this statement, President Bush at once committed two acts for which the mainstream media has historically been critical: 1) he used a curse word, and 2) he used sharp rhetoric.
In July 2006, President Bush (while speaking to Prime Minister Tony Blair) said: "See the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this s--- and it's over." The media eagerly played the video over and over.
While Abu Ghraib represents a low point for the United States in the Iraq War, it is also a symbol of the liberal media run amok. The New York Times ran front page stories on Abu Ghraib for 32 successive days. The media gleefully reported as Democratic politicians, one by one, called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
One of those Democratic politicians calling for Rumsfeld's resignation, Senator John Kerry, just happened to be running for president at the time, and coincidentally Abu Ghraib remained in the headlines from spring 2004 (when the story broke) though the November 2004 presidential election. An opportunistic Kerry used Abu Ghraib not only to criticize Rumsfeld, but also to criticize his campaign rival in August 2004 stating:
The media predictably went into full frenzy mode in reporting the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. But leave it to the Cable News Network to interject its own brand of social commentary into the discussion. On CNN.com's Political Ticker, contributor Roland Martin openly suggests that it is "[t]ime for a black attorney general."
In the article, Martin praises PepsiCo executive Larry Thompson as an ideal candidate for nomination.