Keith Olbermann is a regular guest on the Dan Patrick show during the middle hour. Today, they were discussing the John Amaechi story, and making the inevitable comparisons to Jackie Robinson. Olbermann let loose with this:
Imagine what would have happened if he [Robinson] had hit .197 instead of .297 in 1947. We would have had literal apartheid in this country. That's how important that [season] was.
This is a quote.
Now, I know that 1947 was important, and that Branch Rickey worked hard to make sure that Robinson was a success: waiting until he found someone with a tough temperment, making sure he was seasoned in the minor leagues before being called up, and so on. But to claim that the difference between the civil rights movement and South Africa rested on Robinson's ability to plunk down a couple of extra hits a week is rather, ah, disproportionate, don't you think?
"How can you talk about bombing a country when you won't even talk to them?" said Clark. "It's outrageous. We're the United States of America; we don't do that. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the military option is off the table - but diplomacy is not what Jim Baker says it is. It's not, 'what will it take for you boys to support us on Iraq?' It's sitting down for a couple of days and talking about our families and our hopes, and building relationships."
When we asked him what made him so sure the Bush administration was headed in this direction, he replied: "You just have to read what's in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided, but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers."
Sure looks that way. The Denver Post this morning essentially accused Republican candidate for Colorado's 7th District Congressional seat of unethical - or at least hypocritical behavior - for accepting a weekend trip to Panama:
Republican congressional candidate Rick O'Donnell, who has blasted politicians who accept perks, took an expenses-paid trip to Panama with his girlfriend arranged by a TV station doing business with a state agency he headed.
O'Donnell took the trip three weeks before he resigned as the head of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education to campaign for Congress full time.
KCNC-Channel 4 gave him the trip, paid for by the CBS network, after the commission purchased television ads encouraging Latinos to attend college, O'Donnell said. Such perks - called incentive trips in the industry - are commonly used for heavy advertisers.
Our Favorite Imam is at it again, this time with the enabling help of the Denver Post. Asked about the Pope's comments and the worldwide Islamic justification thereof, Kazerooni replied:
Said [Denver Archdiocese Chancellor Fran] Maier: "Holy war is becoming a cult in parts of the Islamic world, and naming that for what it is needs to be done. The pope spoke reasonably and truthfully. The criticism so far is neither."
Kazerooni said Benedict's comments inflamed tensions as the Middle East simmers over Danish cartoons portraying the prophet Muhammad and President Bush's comments about "Islamo-fascism." Kazerooni leads an interfaith program based at St. John's Episcopal Cathedral.
This morning's Washington Post features a Reuters wire service story by one Parisa Hafezi about the Iranian Holocaust Cartoon exhibition that just opened in Teheran ("Iranian Exhibit Takes On the Holocaust"). The reporter gives the idea that the competition and exhibit are all about challenging the Holocaust and testing free speech.
"This is a test of the boundaries of free speech espoused by Western countries," Masoud Shojai, head of the Cartoon House, which helped organize the exhibition, said as he stood next to the Statue of Liberty drawing.
In fact. almost all the cartoons equate Israel or the US with the Nazis, as part of Teheran's ongoing propaganda war against the Jews. The point isn't to question the Holocaust - the point is to deligitimize Israel. In fact, most of the cartoon implicitly accept the Holocaust as true, otherwise the comparisons of Sharon to Hitler wouldn't make any sense.
The Financial Times, as posted by MSNBC.com, has unilaterally promoted Hezbollah to a state and re-introduced Syria into Lebanese affairs. On a piece describing the ongoing cease-fire negotiations at the UN, FT said this:
Any agreement between Washington and Paris, as well as London, would
also need approval from other Security Council members such as Russia,
buy-in from Israel, Lebanon and Hizbollah, and the acquiescence of
Hizbollah is a militia. It's not a state, it's not treated like a state, and it doesn't have negotiating power. I suppose ever since the UN let Arafat carry a pistol onto the floor of the General Assembly, and created a special status for the PLO, this line - like much of the UN's vision - has been a little blurry. Still, when there's an existing resolution, 1559, calling for the dismantlement of this militia, saying that a Security Council resolution has to go to Bint Jubeil or Baalbek for approval is making some rather astonishing leaps.
Raeed Tayeh, who will lead today’s event, is former head of the public relations office of the Muslim American Society, a national civil rights group. He also served as a speechwriter for Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, D-Georgia. His articles have appeared in major newspapers and magazines, and he has been a guest speaker on several radio and television programs including, "The O'Reilly Factor." Tayeh is also the author of "A Muslim's Guide to American Politics and Government."
I glad the reporter from the Rocky knew how to type, so she could transcribe this from the press release word for word. Either that, or she can cut-and-paste with great aplomb, with the same great skill I used to bring it to you. Actually being a reporter, and finding out something about her subject seems to be beyond her, at least when she's on deadline.
"We are excited about it," Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks
basketball team, said yesterday. He described the show as "an
opportunity to do news in what I like to call 'fearless mode,' what Dan
calls 'with guts.' Go out there and find the stories we think will have
Well, hurricane season is almost upon us again.
He added: "Traditional broadcast and cable news is all about numbers.
Get a pretty face, pay for it in the upfront," the annual conference
for advertisers. " 'How does MSNBC beat Fox?' The lead story is never
the reporting or news itself."
Funny. I thought the reason for Rather's being exiled in the first place was that the reporting became the story.
CORRECTION: In accordance with one of the comments, HDNet is apparently available at least on Adelphia cable, in at least some markets. I haven't had time to check the others, but HDNet is, in fact, not dish-only. The WaPo only mentions the two dish networks, so I assumed that was the extent of HDNet's distribution.
As for the quote, "How does MSNBC beat Fox News?" debated in the comments, I believe that Cuban is putting himself in the position of an MSNBC exec, asking that rather hopeless question when the season's programming is being set up. It's rhetorical, not unlike discussing the NBA draft and having a mythical GM ask, "How does Dallas beat Miami?"
My friend Peter Baker is following the President around on the campaign trail. This morning's report from a Missouri fundraiser for Senator Jim Talent contains this technically accurate but deeply dishonest paragraph:
Sharpening his rhetoric as the midterm congressional campaign season accelerates, Bush offered a robust defense of his decision to invade Iraq even though, ultimately, no weapons of mass destruction were found, and drew standing ovations for his attacks on those who question his leadership of the war or the fight against terrorists.
The only merit in this sentence is that it so neatly encapsulates the MSM's storyline on Iraq and the politics surrounding it. And the only thing that allows the Post to publish something like this without abject shame is their years-long ostrich-like refusal to publish anything that doesn't fit.
In theory, we're all pro-assimilation. And in theory, even the CEA agrees that Latino kids ought to be learning English. So naturally, the same education professionals who brought you "whole language" and the New Math oppose English immersion programs:
A proposal to immerse students who don't speak English into intense English-instruction classes for a year before they return to mainstream classrooms is not educationally sound and could be harmful to students, educators and critics say.
"This (proposed state constitutional) amendment is one-size-fits-all, regardless," said Sheila Shannon, a professor in the School of Education at the University of Colorado.
At issue is the "Education of English Learners" ballot initiative proposed by a Weld County-based committee, English for Colorado. It calls for placing kids learning English into language classes for a year, without lessons in math, science, social studies or other topics.
But critics of the Bush administration handing of the war question
whether the ambitious goals for withdrawing troops are realistic given
the difficulties in maintaining order there. The insurgency has proven
resilient despite several big military operations over the years, and
previous forecasts of significant troop withdrawals have yet to
Now, after criticizing Democratic lawmakers for
trying to legislate a timeline for withdrawing troops, skeptics say,
the Bush administration seems to have its own private schedule, albeit
one that can be adjusted as events unfold.
The world's second-richest man, Warren Buffett, has asked Sen. Ken Salazar to vote against repealing the estate tax.
Buffett sent a letter to Salazar, D-Colo., the senator's spokesman, Drew Nannis, said. The multibillionaire Monday called on Congress not to repeal the tax.
Repealing the entire estate tax now would cost the government an estimated $550 billion to $700 billion through 2010. (emphasis added - ed.)
The Post gives no citation for this number, nor does it consider the additional wealth that will be created by businesses that can, well, stay in business after their owners die. And once again, note the assumption that it's the Government's money. If the estate tax comes back, it will be on estates over $1 million. Most estates over that number aren't just cash sitting around under mattresses. They're in businesses that employ people.
The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News continue to ignore the good economic news in the ISM's Regional Reports on Business. The Institute for Supply Management's monthly national survey is one of the most respected and widely-followed economy surveys, covering as it does the expected purchasing and hiring trends, as well as the trailing indicators of price and supplier performance.
In addition to the national survey, the ISM also publishes monthly regional surveys, one of which is based in Denver. For the last two months, the manufacturing survey has been extremely strong. This month, the more violatile non-manufacturing index moved from slightly negative (49.4) to solidly positive at 53.2.
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) -- The United States said Thursday that a
U.S. missile-defense system under development has "limited operational
capability" to protect against weapons such as the long-range missile
North Korea is said to be near firing.
Tom Shales, on Dan Rather's final departure from CBS:
As most of those who follow such events know, Rather was removed as anchor of the "CBS Evening News" a year short of his 25th anniversary after the airing of an apparently flawed "60 Minutes II" report on George W. Bush's alleged special treatment while in the Texas National Guard. Rather was the correspondent on that report. One producer lost her job, others are suing.
Look, we don't need to rehash that day when we all watched update after update attach to the bottom of the Sixty-First Minute. This report wasn't "apparently flawed," it wa a piece of hack journalism that failed because the story was too good to check out.
Well, yes, actually, although you wouldn't know it from this morning's addition to the "Yes, but" Chorus from the Rocky.
The al-Qaida leader's demise has given the Iraqi people "a lot of hope and optimism," said Joe Rice, a former Glendale mayor and Army reservist who recently completed his second tour in Iraq.
Joe Rice is also running as a Democrat to succeed Joe Stengel in the Colorado House's 38th District. Should our friend Matt Dunn win the Republican nomination, this is the guy he'll be going up against.
On March 18, the Rocky ran both an op-ed by Rice, and an editorial referencing that op-ed, and neither mentioned Rice's candidacy for the House 38th.
Talk about handing the media a gift. Yesterday's altercation between employees of the two Republican candidates for governor - at a forum that included the Democrat - gave the Rocky Mountain News's Stuart Strears a chance to focus on the Republicans' arguments and the Democrat's message:
An intern for the Holtzman campaign, Laura Mendenhall, tried to block a Beauprez staffer, Jory Taylor, from videotaping the event. That outraged the Beauprez campaign, which says it routinely tapes such forums.
"They were shoving him out of the way," said John Marshall, a spokesman for Beauprez. "They totally accosted him. This is just junior high school stuff. It's disappointing and juvenile and not befitting a campaign for the highest office in Colorado."
George Will is fond of saying that American politics is played between the 40-yard-lines. Well, according to the Denver Post, Republicans are somewhere in the shadows of their own goalposts:
As the deadlines to get on the ballot near, all but one of eight Republicans vying to replace Joel Hefley in Colorado's 5th Congressional District are running hard to the extreme right - touting views against abortion, gay marriage and stem-cell research.
Never mind that support for Roe in its current form is now the minority position. Never mind that gay marriage runs behind even Walter Mondale at the polls. And never mind that the stem cell debate is, at this point, about federal funding rather than the research itself. These positions are "extreme."
The Denver Post reports that among Joe Nacchio's other problems, he was the first Qwest CEO to refuse to help the NSA analyze phone records in the pursuit & deconstruction of terrorist networks. Even as,
"This is a case where (Qwest) showed some independence and courage," said Phil Weiser, a University of Colorado law professor who specializes in telecommunications issues.
In 2002 he chaired the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, a group of industry executives who advised President Bush. He also chaired the Network Reliability and Interoperability Council, an advisory panel on emergency communications networks and homeland security to the Federal Communications Commission.
In this AP article is an ironic twist of Sophoclean proportions. An Israeli company has cut off - get this - gasoline supplies to the Iranian-funded Palestinian territories for non-payment of bills:
An end to fuel supplies could cripple hospitals, halt food deliveries and keep people home from work - a devastating scenario for an economy already ravaged by Israeli and international sanctions.
Right. The "economy" has been "ravaged" by Israeli sanctions. It's nothing whatever to do with the fact that Arafat and his friends - and that includes the current President, the Holocaust-denying, walking Hamas assassination target, Mahmoud Abbas - have spent the last fifteen years shipping everything that's not nailed down (and if they can pry it loose, it's not nailed down) out of the country. Which, as of the last AP report, was the reason that Hamas got elected in the first place, not their hostility to Israel, if you remember.
MSNBC's First Read continued its obsession with gas prices to the exclusion of, well, all other economic news this past week. A rough word-count of economic reporting on First Read's blog shows that of 3500 words devoted to economics, 3250 were about gas prices. This does not include a Monday posting ostensibly about the Dahab bombing that spent the second paragraph talking about oil prices.
Ironically, First Read is aware of the problem, even if they don't know that they know. On Friday:
Asked in the April 21-24 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll who is most responsible for high gas prices, 37% of those polled say the oil companies are most responsible. Oil-producing nations rank second at 22%, while only 15% lay the most blame at President Bush's feet and 4% say Congress bears the most responsibility.
Last week, we noted how MSNBC's First Read blog had reprinted the New York Daily News's misquote of a CNN poll about how oil prices were affecting families. In the poll, 23% said that gas prices were having a "severe effect," 46% said they were having a "moderate effect." The Daily News and First Read both reported 69% under the "severe effect" label.
On Tuesday, we quoted a New York Daily News article, which cited a CNN poll showing that 69% indicate gas prices are causing them severe hardship. However, the actual poll finds that 69% say these prices are causing them "hardship", not "severe hardship."
This morning's NBC "First Read," ostensibly an analysis by NBC News's Political Director Elizabeth Wilner (and others), misleads about the contents of an NBC/WSJ Poll:
The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll and other surveys continue to show that Americans have little appetite for extending the tax cuts in the face of more pressing domestic concerns -- including energy prices.
The poll contains exactly two questions about taxes. By a 49-29 margin, respondents said they were more likely to vote for a candidate favoring "making the tax cuts of the past few years permanent." And by a 56-39 margin, respondents support the tax cuts (Question 18). Gas prices do not show up on the list of questions. The only support for Wilner's comment is that by a 49-19 margin, people asked are more likely to vote for someone who "emphasizes domestic issues over military and foreign policy issues," leaving those issues completely unspecified.
Forty-ninth just sounds more dramatic. Union activists in at least nine other states - Arizona, Louisiana, Nevada, Florida, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Tennessee, Illinois and Utah - apparently agree. By one survey or another, all claimed to be 49th in 2004 or 2005.
The typical response is that [insert state name here] is thankful for Mississippi. But wait:
But Franks and others argued that the Legislature had to set priorities, and education should be the No. 1 priority. "Is it practical for us to be 49th in education funding?" Franks asked.
There is not as much money per pupil as before. This occurs at a time when Ontario's funding for education stands 49th in North America.
Gee, with 50 states and 11 provinces, not counting Mexico, you'd at least think they'd have been imaginative enough to make it 60 out of 61. Welcome to the Education Establishment, and the Media Echo Chamber. Where all the unions are strong, the statistics are good-looking, and all the funding is below-average.
More than 50,000 people gathered downtown Saturday as part of a national protest against a crackdown in immigration laws, including federal legislation aimed at criminalizing illegal immigrants and building more walls along the U.S.-Mexico border. (emphasis added -ed.)
In fact, the proposed legislation would make being here in the country a felony. It's already a crime, of course.
This is at least a two-part issue. We can have an open immigration policy, or a closed policy, or something in-between. But we can't have any policy at all without control of our borders. The fact is, and it is a fact, one can be for strong border control and support a large flow of immigrants, or even a guest-worker program. This kind of obfuscation lumps all immigrants together, makes it easier to accuse border-control advocates of racism, and is part of a larger set of talking points designed to politicize the issue along partisan lines. The ultimate goal, of course, is to preserve the Hispanic vote for Democrats:
James J. Zogby, president of the Washington-based Arab American Institute, said he is not surprised by the poll's results. Politicians, authors and media commentators have demonized the Arab world since 2001, he said.
Juan Cole, a professor of modern Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan, agreed, saying Americans "have been given the message to respond this way by the American political elite, mass media and by select special interests."
Cole said he was shocked when a radio talk show host asked him if Islamic extremists would set off a nuclear bomb in the United States in the next six months. "It was ridiculous. I think anti-Arab racism and profiling has become respectable," he said.