This morning, in a series leading up to the 10th Anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the Denver Post begins a series on Muslims in America, with an article profiling some prominent members of the Denver Muslim community. Yours truly makes a cameo appearance, in the profile discussing a well-publicized 2008 primary race for the State House.
Rima Barakat-Sinclair's offenses against civility and the truth extend far beyond what was noted in the article, and include denying on air that the Hamas Charter called for the destruction of Israel, and the claim in a Jordanian newspaper interview that American support for Israel is a result of Jews like Rupert Murdoch (sic) investing in the media.
When I read a television column, I want to see reviews of shows. I'll even read reviews of one-time shows like the Academy Awards, if the column is entertaining enough. But Tom Shales's long slide down to irrelevance started, I think, when he began turning his reviews into political columns.
Nobody's going to confuse Joanne Ostrow with Tom Shales, but she's following his lead in turning her TV column into political commentary. First, there was the snark-filled review of Sarah Palin's Alaska, where she finds the show more "troubling" than just about every other reality genre including "numerous shows about families with 19 kids, hoarders, polygamists and JonBenet look-alikes." Like her or not, there are plenty of people out there willing to make fun of Bristol's formerly delicate condition, without Ostrow's needing to join the fun. It's not worth refuting her point-by-point, of course, but we don't come away knowing if the show's any good.
In this morning's Denver Post, Mike Littwin manages to display simultaneously the insularity and smugness of the One Party media, as well as one of the last tools left in the left's rather empty playbook.
Apparently, during a Senate debate at Channel 12, Jane Norton said, "We need a NASA budget that doesn't cater to making Muslims feel good but that is strong on science ..." This scandalized Littwin, who assumed it was a cheap shot at Muslims. Evidently, he hadn't seen the video of NASA head Charles Bolden that's been making the rounds on the conservative and libertarian blogosphere:
Remarkably, instead of conceding that we're paying all those scientists, engineers, and bureaucrats to actually achieve, or at least facilitate achievement, in space, Littwin uses his and the rest of the MSM reporters' ignorance of the interview as evidence that the argument was out of place, and then goes straight for the race card:
Probably no more than Janet Napolitano or Eric Holder has read the new Arizona SB1070. Ann Althouse has described the Washington Post's dereliction of duty in its description of the Texas curriculum. The AP articles are no better.
In twoarticles over the last two weeks, the AP has written the following (sometimes more than once) about the new Texas curriculum:
A far-right faction of the Texas State Board of Education gained a giant step forward Friday in injecting conservative ideals into social studies, history and economics lessons that will be taught to millions of students for the next decade. (Emphasis added. Nothing like setting the tone up front.)
Teachers in Texas will probably be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers — but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state.
Curriculum standards also will describe the U.S. government as a "constitutional republic," rather than as "democratic."
CNN and the Detroit Free Press remind me of why we miss the Rocky Mountain News.
Years ago, the News had a foreign affairs editor named Holger Jensen. Jensen was relentlessly anti-Israel, reliably making excuses for her attackers, and faulting Israel for defending herself. His fact-checking was always a little suspect, but in April 2002, Jensen went too far. He reprinted offensive excerpts from an Amos Oz interview purported to be with Ariel Sharon. In fact, the interview was not with then-Prime Minister Sharon, but with another soldier.
This was, you remember, mere weeks after the murderous Passover Bombing in Netanya. Israel's response, which was drawing howls of indignation, and Jensen probably thought the timing was right.
With a beaming Mr. Obama standing next to him, Mr. Medvedev signaled for the first time that Russia would be amenable to longstanding American requests to toughen sanctions against Iran significantly if, as expected, nuclear talks scheduled for next month failed to make progress.
China will not support increased sanctions on Iran as a way to curb its nuclear program, a government spokeswoman said Thursday. Although China has generally opposed the use of sanctions, the announcement is sure to complicate President Obama ’s efforts to impose tougher penalties on Iran, should international talks over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, scheduled for Oct. 1, fail to make headway.
Even if China had supported sanctions - and Obama may yet find concessions to bring them on board - there's no particular reason to think Russia would abide by them.
Powerline nicely summarizes the problems with (now former) Obama Administration official Van Jones:
Who do they have in the White House? A self-proclaimed Communist. A vulgar Marxist twice over. A supporter of cold-blooded cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal. A 9/11 Truther . A racist hater, whose hatred extends to the United States. And insofar as his current job is concerned, we have a man who sees the "green jobs" con as a tool for overthrowing capitalism. We have, in short, the complete left-wing nightmare package.
I know it's accepted by now that the MSM group will label any conservative group, "conservative," any libertarian group, "conservative," and any liberal group, "left-leaning" or "centrist," when they bother to label them at all. But when a new one comes along, it's good to put both that group's leanings, and the MSM's failure to note them, on the record.
Despite those fears, a study from the nonprofit Small Business Majority found health reform, even with a mandate, would save small business more than $500 billion over the next decade.
"Should everybody be in?" asked Elisabeth Arenales, an analyst with the Colorado Center on Law and Policy. "What's the contribution of the business sector? Businesses stand to gain a lot from health-insurance reform."
The CCLP may be talking about small business, but that doesn't mean it's speaking for small business. Far from it.
The Fed and the FDIC have waived lending and borrowing rules for GMAC in order to ease consumer borrowing for GM and Chrysler cars, and the Washington Post doesn't seem to find anything unusual about this:
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. granted a rare approval to a program that will allow GMAC to raise money cheaply and take on lending for Chrysler. The Federal Reserve had to waive a rule separating banking and commerce that would have prevented GMAC, which just became a bank holding company, from lending to GM customers because the auto maker is a major shareholder in GMAC.
According to the Post, "The decision by regulators to grant these waivers demonstrates the lengths the government is going to prop up the nation's auto industry." Well, Ford Motors is also part of the auto indutry, but it doesn't appear that Ford Credit is going to benefit from this program, so it's not the auto industry that's getting breaks, it's the now-government-un car companies.
For the Fed to make an exception to its rule separating banks and commercial enterprises would not be unprecedented. The Fed took such a step in its original decision to bring GMAC under the agency's umbrella and it made similar moves involving other financial companies.
The Denver Post reporters John Ingold and George Plavin either don't know what "astroturfing" is, or don't care to correct leftists for using the term incorrectly. In their report on the Denver Tea Party, they quote Mike "The Headless Chicken" Huttner, as deriding the Tea Parties:
"The tea parties are the latest version in a months-long campaign against change, organized by right-wing think tanks and lobbyists who have done well over the last eight years under George Bush," he said.
He pointed to a number of national conservative political groups listed as sponsors on Taxdayteaparty.com, including FreedomWorks and Americans for Limited Government.
Apparently, one-tenth of one percent is too much money spend tracking, ah, your money. The states are now starting to complain that they don't have enough money to track and publicize all the spending they're doing:
When it comes to the $787 billion in federal stimulus money flowing from Washington to the states, it will cost money to spend money.
Nebraska's governor's office told lawmakers it expects to spend more than $1.2 million over two years to oversee disbursement of about $1.5 billion Nebraska stands to receive in federal stimulus funds.
Other states, including Colorado, are in similar straits. But Washington — at least for now — isn't handing out money for states to hire auditors and accountants, and the stimulus law requires stringent reporting from states to ensure transparency and curb abuses.
Among the questions the Post and the AP decided not ask were:
As the Colorado House of Representative took us further down the road to socialized health care earlier this week, Douglas County School are considering moving to a Health Savings Account plan for their employees. Needless to say, the Denver Post finds this objectionable:
Douglas County School District soon may join a growing number of employers pushing workers to manage their own medical spending with health savings accounts, eliminating copays for drugs and doctor visits.
The transition is frightening for many who see it as a reinvention of health insurance as they've always known it.
E. W. Scripps has announced that Friday will be the last day of publication for the Rocky Mountain News. This is a sad day for Denver and Colorado, and given the state's pivotal position in national politics, it's not too good for the country, either.
The Rocky always had longer articles, better coverage, and sharper commentary than its surviving rival, the Denver Post. But a tabloid format and a series of poor marketing and business decisions left it unable to compete in the shrinking market for dead-tree-based news.
The Rocky was also one of the main reasons that the more liberal Post didn't become the utterly irresponsible caricature of a newspaper that the Star-Tribune and the Los Angeles Times have turned into. With the Rocky now gone, there will be less pressure on the Post to be a responsible outlet, rather than a mouthpiece for the Democratic party and its affiliates.
In past times, the Post would have picked up the important features and much of the news staff of the Rocky. However, the Post is facing financial problems of its own, laying off some editorial and management staff, and it's unclear how long it will continue to function, even without direct competition.
Analysis: GOP gambles in opposing Obama stimulus By CHARLES BABINGTON and LIZ SIDOTI AP White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven contributed to this report.
At least two of these folks come with a history. Charles Babington, when at the Washington Post, and Jennifer Loven, in her current position as Democratic flack for the AP, each have a history of writing briefs for the current Democratic position disguised as news reporting or analysis, with Loven having trouble interpreting polls correctly.
WASHINGTON (AP) Eight days after Barack Obama took office as a "change" president, House Republicans have made a huge political gamble that could set the tone for the next election cycle. In unanimously opposing the massive spending bill that Obama says is crucial to reviving the economy, they signaled they are not cowed by his November win or his calls for a new era of bipartisanship.
So, once again, students in the Colorado university system and their parents will be asked to pay more for tuition. The Rocky slips this university talking point into its report: "Low state funding has driven heavy tuition increases every year since the beginning of the decade."
Of course, how the money's being spent escapes all attention. Good luck figuring out how much it takes to educate a 4-year student at CU; the university's allegedly been trying for years to figure that out, and still can't provide a number.
"Stingy," was what the UN deputy Secretary General called Americans for our response to the Asian tsunami a few years ago. His comparison conveniently ignored our private contributions, which dwarf anything governments have to offer, especially in Red States. (It also ignored the fact that the US Navy was the only instrument delivering anything approaching actual aid, as opposed to notional aid, which consists of meetings about aid rather than aid itself.)
So it should be a matter of concern when the Colorado Non-Profit Association issues a report claiming large declines in Colorado's charitable giving between 2005 and 2006. The average family's charitable giving declined from $4075 to $4046.
As some of you may have heard, New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress carried an unlicensed handgun into a New York nightclub (is there any other kind of handgun for a private citizen in New York?), and put himself on the disabled list by shooting himself in the leg.
This is the latest in a series of gun-related, ah, fumbles by NFL players in recent months, and Feinstein uses it as an excuse to call for repeal of the 2nd Amendment, and to launch a broadside at those who might disagree.
Completely missing from media reports of the Mumbai attacks are India's strict gun control laws, which virtually disarmed the people at the point of attack, turning them almost inevitably - and almost immediately - into victims. (Hat Tip: Instapundit)
Should you - God forbid - find yourself in such a situation, you must act as though your life is already forfeit, since the jihadis will treat your life that way. Difficult though it is, acting to thwart or complicate the attack is the best way to save your life and those of others.
Apparently, it hasn't occurred to the media that the best way of making sure that doesn't happen is to make the targets helpless.
The Washington Post managed to write an entire article about Countrywide's regulators at the Office of Thrift Supervision without once mentioning the name of Sen. Christopher Dodd. The Connecticut senator claimed he received his sweetheart mortgage from Countrywide without his knowledge, under a plan specifically designed for policy-makers and VIPs.
The Post similarly seems shocked, shocked, to find that a regulatory agency became an advocate, rather than a regulator. We're still waiting for such shock to register concerning the FEC, the FCC, the NLRB, or indeed, the entire Department of Labor.
The Denver Post took note of leading state Democrats' objections to the Bush Administration's royalty rates for oil shale development in the state. Senator Ken Salazar and Governor Ritter's spokesman claimed that setting rates was putting the cart before the horse, as the technologies weren't fully vetted yet:
[Sen.] Salazar's brother, Democratic Rep. John Salazar, was also critical, saying water, energy and the impact of shale development on Colorado towns remain unresolved.
Harris Sherman, director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, said it was "irresponsible" to move ahead before officials have a better idea of which technologies will work and what the likely impact will be on towns, air, water and land.
Of course, the Senator and the Governor have been among the most vocal in blocking the creation of a regulatory regime that would permit experimentation on a large enough scale to vet the technologies. Then again, Mr. Sherman claims that the "right rate" is unknowable, while Sen. Salazar insists that it's too low. The mutual contradiction here also goes unremarked.
If Obama or congressional Democrats now put a card-check bill high on their agenda, they will risk a "Ritter moment" that would damage their relations with moderates and the business community. That's what happened to Gov. Bill Ritter in 2007 when a bill gutting long-standing rules limiting "union shops" in the Colorado Peace Act hurtled through the legislature with little public input.
Ritter rightly vetoed that bill, but the move angered his labor supporters. Later that year, the governor tried to make amends by granting limited collective-bargaining rights to state employees. That move, in turn, alienated much of the business community. This year's wholly avoidable fights over a right-to- work initiative and four anti-business initiatives that labor later withdrew all followed.
The Colorado squabbles weren't worth it. Whatever benefits labor might have gained by disrupting a decades-long accord with business were far outweighed by the disruption these duels caused.
At right is the New York Times web front page from March 24.
That's right, the story on the 4,000 American war dead in Iraq features an American soldier, Daniel Agami, in front of an Israeli flag. There were certainly other pictures available, as shown by their web page devoted to Pfc. Agami. But they chose to use one with an Israeli flag. As in, "it's the Israelis' fault."
Walt and Mearsheimer, not to mention CAIR, must be very proud.
UPDATE: It's been pointed out to me that the photo they ran came from Pfc. Agami's family. That hardly absolves the paper from its editorial responsibilities.
Just about any photo they'd run would be probably be from the family, and they obviously had other photos to run, since they ran them on the page devoted to Pfc. Agami. This wasn't just the page for him, this was on the front page of the paper, and it set the tone for the entire section.
The Los Angeles Times runs a story today about the difficulties that the US is having in tracking and shutting down terrorist financial operations. The story leads with a number of factors impeding both our domestic and international efforts:
The U.S.-led effort to choke off financing for Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups is foundering because setbacks at home and abroad have undermined the Bush administration's highly touted counter-terrorism weapon, according to current and former officials and independent experts.
In some cases, extremist groups have blunted financial anti-terrorism tools by finding new ways to raise, transfer and spend their money. In other cases, the administration has stumbled over legal difficulties and interagency fighting, officials and experts say.
But the most serious problems are fractures and mistrust within the coalition of nations that the United States admits it needs to target financiers of terrorism and to stanch the flow of funding from wealthy donors to extremist causes.
Can anyone spot what's missing? Anyone? Sigh Anyone besides Lisa?
The New York Times minimizes the role of the atomic bomb - and thus the heroism of Gen. Paul Tibbets - in his obituary today.
Brig. Gen. Paul W. Tibbets Jr., the commander and pilot of the Enola Gay, the B-29 Superfortress that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in the final days of World War II, died yesterday at his home in Columbus, Ohio. He was 92....
The crews who flew the atomic strikes were seen by Americans as saviors who had averted the huge casualties that were expected to result from an invasion of Japan. But questions were eventually raised concerning the morality of atomic warfare and the need for the Truman administration to drop the bomb in order to secure Japan’s surrender.
TheTimes says, "...in the final days of Work War II," as though one had nothing to do with the other. The reason they were the final days of the war is because Tibbets flew that plane.
Never's a long time, but, "Never Enough" seems appropriate for the state Democrats and their enablers over at the Denver Post. This morning, the paper's Local & Western Politics Blog runs an uncritical story about the desire of state Democrats to raise taxes again under the title, "Seventeen tax proposals under discussion in Colorado." The two liberal groups quoted, the Bell Policy Center and the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, are not identified as such. Members of Bell campagned with Ref C supporters a couple of years ago. And the CFPI's parent institute, the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, describes its mission as: "The Colorado Center on Law and Policy's mission is to promote justice and economic security for all Coloradans, particularly lower income people.
A year after state lawmakers passed what they called the toughest illegal-immigration laws in the nation, there is no proof illegal immigrants have been caught taking advantage of taxpayers. Instead, there are abundant stories of citizens eligible for services who can't prove it because they lack the required ID.
Of one side, the side that wants to prevent illegal aliens from taking our tax dollars, "proof" is demanded. From the other, anecdotal evidence comprising "abundant stories" is sufficient. Of course, abundance is also in the eye of the reporter.
Media bias doesn't operate by outright lies (usually). Instead it operates by settling on and relentlessly repeating an overly-simple and therefore deceptive narrative. The Washington Post's article yesterday morning about how meaningful climate change legislation is being stifled (but only on this side of the Atlantic) by economic concerns in Climate Change Debate Hinges on Economics. There are those of us who are grateful for such concerns, but the Post seems disturbed by them. Naturally, the issue is cast as a morality play, with the selfless Europeans facing off against the narrow-minded Americans. The truth is, naturally, a little more, ah, nuanced.
The potential economic impact of meaningful climate legislation -- enough to reduce U.S. emissions by at least 60 percent -- is vast. Automobiles would have to get double their current miles to the gallon. Building codes would have to be tougher, requiring use of more energy-efficient materials. To stimulate and pay for new technologies, U.S. electricity bills could rise by 25 to 33 percent, some experts estimate; others say the increase could be greater.
The Washington Post's David Montgomery just loooooves those Chavistas ("What a Difference a Day Makes; Venezuela, Toasting Freedom on the Fifth"). Along with the typical Washington party stuff, he goes to great pains to explain how we're not so different, Chavez and us, eh? (You can almost hear Eli Wallach in the background: "If God didn't want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep.")
An embassy official gives a ceremonial reading of the Venezuelan Declaration of Independence. Alvarez declares, "Now, more than ever, Venezuela is struggling to assume a full independence" -- referring to the freedom to carry out the Chávez program without meddling by the United States, which now plays the part of Spain in the national drama.
Right. The freedom to carry out the Chavez program. That would include harboring the Buenos Aires JCC bombers, making nice with Iran, supporting FARC terrorists in neighboring Colombia (a real democracy, by the way), suspending Constitutional liberties, shooting down your opponents in the streets, stealing elections, and aiding and abetting Middle Easterners in getting into the US illegally. No reason for us to meddle at all. Of course, we play the part of Spain in Chavez's propaganda, not the actual national drama, and not, one suspects, in the minds of the mass of Venezuelans.
The AP's David Rising discusses the diverse backgrounds of the British bombers:
The eight people held Tuesday in the failed car bombing plot include one doctor from Iraq and two from India. There is a physician from Lebanon and a Jordanian doctor and his medical assistant wife. Another doctor and a medical student are thought to be from the Middle East.
Gee, what else might they have had in common? Anyone? Don't want to spoil the suspense, but we find out in paragraph 8, sort of. By implication: