Corruption to the left of him. Corruption to the right of him. Corruption right in front of him. Yet in spite of all this, Howard Fineman of Newsweek maintains that Barack Obama has been somehow hermetically sealed off from Chicago corruption throughout his political career. Fineman is merely echoing the premise currently being promoted by much of the media in his Newsweek article about Illinois governor Rod Blagovech and Jesse Jackson, Jr.. Fineman starts out by hinting that Jesse Jackson, Jr. was corruptible (emphasis mine):
What I know about the South Side of Chicago I know not from Barack Obama, but from Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. In the summer of 1997, I spent two days with him there. He was in his second term representing the area. He was fond of it, but the real message I got from him was: I want to be in the Loop, literally.
The son of the civil-rights leader had attended St. Albans School in Washington and gone on to earn a law degree. He of course knew the history of the movement, and revered it. He admired his dad, whom he called "The Rev." But it was clear that Junior hungered for proximity to established money and power.
He told me about the time that friends in the business world had taken him downtown for a tour of the Federal Reserve's branch on LaSalle Street. He had been ushered into the inner sanctum and shown the real stuff: bundled stacks of Benjamins.
With all the attention being focused on the Rod Blagojevich scandal involving the attempted selling of the U.S. senate seat vacancy by the Illinois governor, another senate vacancy seems to have been almost forgotten. That is the New York senate seat to be left vacant by Hillary Clinton who will soon become the Secretary of State.
So who should New York governor David Paterson appoint to that senate seat? Washington Post writer Ruth Marcus provides excellent reasons why it shouldn't be Caroline Kennedy but then, absurdly, decides she needs to become a senator so as to fulfill the "girly" dream of Ms Marcus to make possible the "modern fairy tale to have the little princess grow up to be a senator." I kid you not. First Marcus explains how her head says "no" but her heart says "yes" in her article about the possible appointment of Caroline Kennedy to the senate (emphasis mine):
On the question of Caroline Kennedy for Senate, my head says no, on balance. My heart says yes! Yes! Right now, as you might guess from the hedging on the former and the exclamation points on the latter, my heart is winning.
Remember Baghdad Bob? He was the Iraqi press spokesmen who caused much amusement in the West because of his unrealistically upbeat pronouncements when Iraq was invaded by the United States and its allies in 2003. Among Baghdad Bob's funnier announcements was his declaration that no Americans were in Baghdad at the same moment when American troops were patrolling the streets of that city just a few hundred yards from where he was holding that press conference. Well, the newspaper industry has its own Baghdad Bob in the form of McClatchy CEO, Gary Pruitt, who in early 2007 gave his own unrealistically upbeat reports to his company's employees on the purchase of Knight-Ridder in 2006. That purchase quickly turned into an utter disaster as evidenced that the former Knight-Ridder flagship newspaper, the Miami Herald, is now being put up for sale by McClatchy. Below are a few excerpts from the 2007 video of Pruitt performing his Baghdad Bob routine including a bizarre invocation of that great "philosopher," Lenny Kravitz:
Hi. I'm Gary Pruitt, CEO of McClatchy. This has been a busy year for all of us and I haven't been able to meet with as many of you as I'd like. I hope to start changing that. But for now I would want to spend a few minutes here talking to you about our company. Where we've been and where we're headed. Let's start with last year. Conventional wisdom is that 2006 was a catastrophe for the newspaper industry. That's just not the case.
"In Umm Qasr, the fighting is fierce and we have inflicted many damages. The stupid enemy, the Americans and British, failed completely. They're not making any penetration."
Although the New York Times enthusiastically supports the appointment of Janet Napolitano as Homeland Security secretary, they fear a downside for the state of Arizona. Evil Republicans would be left in charge. The Times editorial lays out the tone of their concern starting with the very title: "State of Fear." You can pretty much tell the liberal Times attitude towards Republicans right from the get-go of their editorial (emphasis mine):
If Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona is confirmed as homeland security secretary, she will leave behind a state in full Republican control, with immigration zealots embedded in both houses of the Legislature, and not enough moderates to go around.
Mark Pinsky, writing for the New Republic, has an idea of what to do with all the journalists currently being laid off by the dying newspapers around the country: put them on the public payroll by hiring them for a resurrected Federal Writers Project. This was the New Deal project which provided funding for works which were primarily of a leftwing nature. And any current version of this government program is likely to have the same political ideology as its predecessor. Pinksy explains his dream of subsidizing unemployed journalists (emphasis mine):
Barack Obama sounds like he wants to reach back to the New Deal's Works Progress Administration to jump start the economy with an economic stimulus proposal featuring infrastructure repair. If so, it may be time for the man who would be FDR to take a look at another successful--but largely forgotten--jobs program from the Depression era: the Federal Writers Project.
In every recount of the senate election from Minnesota, incumbent senator Norm Coleman has consistently been ahead of challenger Al Franken by hundreds of votes. At this point it looks like it will be impossible for Franken to exceed Coleman's total in the recount of the few ballots remaining. So what is the solution of New York Times guest op-ed columnist and associate professor of journalism at New York University, Charles Seife? Why just declare the election a "statistical tie" and flip a coin to determine the winner. Seife explains how he has come up with his laughable resolution for the election in which Coleman continues to lead:
Before the recount began on Nov. 19, Mr. Coleman and Mr. Franken were within about 200 votes of each other. With a little under three million ballots cast in the election, that margin was unbelievably small: a few thousandths of a percent separated the two candidates. So, as Minnesota law requires, election officials began counting, by hand, every single ballot from the more than 4,000 precincts around the state.
The only thing remotely interesting about San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's bizarre decision to upload his incredibly dull 7.5 hour "state of the city" speech to YouTube is the knowledge that it is sure to inspire parodies. So how dull is Newsom's speech? Well I challenge you to listen to just a couple of minutes of it without hearing the beckoning call of Mr. Sandman enticing you to enter a deep slumber. Here is the take on this YouTube speech by Michelle Malkin:
Hey, remember that judge who sentenced noise violators to Barry Manilow music? Here’s a worse sentence: Sitting through 7.5 hours of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom droning on and on and on about the “state of the city.” There are YouTube segments on health care, education, and the environment. But nada on the city’s infamously deadly illegal alien sanctuary policies.
He’s uploaded his entire speech on YouTube. Even his fellow libs can’t take it:
There is a terrific Gary Larson cartoon (right) showing a psychiatrist jotting notes down about his patient who is talking while reclining on a couch. On his notepad, the shrink is writing, "Just plain nuts!" Well, that is the feeling of your humble correspondent about psychologist Lauren Slater after reading the beyond bizarre recollections of her "love life" in the New York Times. And why on earth did the Times even publish her sanity challenged screed? Were they hoping the shock value would help boost their sagging circulation? In any event, I must warn the reader about continuing further. To read Slater's much too personal account could cause you to want to take a scorchingly hot shower to wash away all filthy memories of her sordid life:
I COULD chalk it up to getting older, the fact that sex interests me these days about as much as playing checkers. But the fact is I’ve never much liked sex, even though it has, on occasion, captivated me. Says my proverbial therapist: “Sex threatens you, Lauren. You feel overcome.”
Another distinctly less sexy possibility is that I have never much liked sex because, when all is said and done, there’s not much to like. I mean, really: What is the big deal? Especially when it’s with the same person, over and over again; from an evolutionary standpoint, that simply couldn’t be right. I, for one, have always become bored of sex within the first six months of meeting a man, the act paling for me just as the sun pales at the approach of winter, and as predictably, too.
Remember how most of the mainstream media used to deride Ronald Reagan to the extent of constantly declaring the "end of the Reagan era?' Well, now the MSM is starting to find "strange new respect" for Reagan but primarily as a way to boost Barack Obama. Newsweek columnist, Eleanor Clift, now favorably compares Obama to Ronald Reagan. Gone is the previous antagonism to The Gipper which has been replaced by admiration for his wisdom (emphasis mine):
Enough with the Lincoln analogies; Reagan is the president that Barack Obama is most closely modeling himself after. Ronald Reagan inherited stagflation, a defeat abroad and a nation at its nadir in morale. Through the sheer force of his personality as much as his policies, four years later, it was "Morning in America," the theme of his 1984 re-election campaign when he won 49 states. Obama isn't president yet, but his determined calm and orderly transition pace appear to be soothing the financial markets, producing the first sustained gain in stocks since the mid-September meltdown.
Suddenly popular Kathleen Parker is continuing on her new shtick: pretending to be conservative while bashing conservatives. Her latest effort in this gig is this Washington Post column titled, "Giving Up on God." As you can see, it resembles the fake "advice" that liberals often give to Republicans but in this case it is coming from somebody supposedly conservative. So let us now watch Parker with her latest bid to remain popular with the Georgetown party set (emphasis mine):
As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.
Last night, Larry King had four guests on his show to discuss the nomination of Eric Holder to become Attorney General. Even though Holder's role in the pardon of fugitive Marc Rich by Bill Clinton was highly controversial, not one of the guests had any real problem with that. Somehow Larry King couldn't find a single guest who would offer arguments against the appointment of Eric Holder. To get you up to speed on Holder's role in the Marc Rich pardon, here is an Associated Press story on this subject from last June:
The last time Washington attorney Eric Holder participated in a high-profile vetting, it was for fugitive financier Marc Rich.
The episode in 2001 became the final scandal of the Clinton administration and landed Holder, at the time the No. 2 official at the Justice Department, in the middle of a congressional investigation.
Now Holder, a co-chairman of Barack Obama's campaign, is one of three big names who will lead the search for a potential running mate for the presumed Democratic presidential nominee.
...In the Clinton pardon scandal, Holder was deputy attorney general when his duties intersected with the efforts of Rich's lawyer, Jack Quinn, who had been White House counsel earlier in the Clinton administration.
The entire matter was handled in an unorthodox manner - on a straight line from Rich's lawyer to the White House, with a consulting role for Holder.
How could political analysis of the 2008 election be complete without the input of the bathrobe-wearing Hugh Hefner? For those who couldn't care less what Hefner thinks about politics, a video of Playmate Kendra answering a really controversial question is presented at the bottom of this story. But first, here is the Hef answering a few questions about Sarah Palin beginning with, "As an advocate of teen abstinence, is Sarah Palin a hypocrite because of her daughter's pregnancy? Is she fit to be VP?"
I wouldn't call her a hypocrite. I think, uhh, she's not the one who got pregnant. Her daughter is her own person. I just think that, uhh, Sarah and a lot of other people misguided in terms of some very serious issues. Uhh, I don't think she is in any manner, shape, or form suited to be the vice president of the United States. And particularly not suited to be the vice president of a president who is in his 70s. And, you know, a heartbeat away from the presidency. She's clearly not qualified.
Slate political writer, Christopher Beam, has some "friendly advice" for Republicans: Go Green and become just like Democrats. Your humble correspondent previously chronicled Beam's earlier advice suggesting that John McCain could "rehabilitate" himself by angering Republicans and disowning Sarah Palin. Therefore you can take Beam's latest suggestions about Republicans becoming like Democrats with a huge grain of salt:
If the Republican Party wants to recover from the Great Drubbing of 2008, it shouldn't waste too much time worrying about how to turn blue states red. It should be thinking about how to turn itself green.
And becoming just like Democrats. Of course, you will never hear Beam suggest that Democrats become more like Republicans.
It looks like Chris Matthews of MSNBC's Hardball needs to learn that it isn't a good idea to speak out of class. As relayed by the New York Post's Page Six, Matthews was caught mouthing off on the subject of Hillary Clinton during a train trip:
"HARDBALL" host Chris Matthews and the other "castratos" at MSNBC shouldn't hold their breath waiting for a Hillary Clinton interview.
Matthews, who once opined that men who supported Clinton were "castratos in the eunuch chorus," forgot the cardinal rule for those who are often mentioned on Page Six - he didn't take a good look around on the Acela train from Philadelphia to Washington Saturday before he started bad-mouthing the New York senator.
This is a video that is both extremely funny as well as very sad. It shows how the perceptions of Barack Obama voters were shaped by the mainstream media. We have already seen the vast amount of misinformation displayed by Obama supporters by an interview with them on the streets of New York conducted by the Howard Stern Show and now the How Obama Got Elected website goes into even more detail about how the MSM shaped the information:
On November 4th, 2008 millions of Americans were shocked that a man of Barack Obama's limited experience, extreme liberal positions and radical political alliances could be elected President of the United States. For many of these Americans, the explanation was rather simple... the news media, completely enamored with Obama, simply refused to do their job.
On Election day twelve Obama voters were interviewed extensively right after they voted to learn how the news media impacted their knowledge of what occurred during the campaign. These voters were chosen for their apparent intelligence/verbal abilities and willingness to express their opinions to a large audience. The rather shocking video below seeks to provide some insight into which information broke through the news media clutter and which did not.
Perhaps the PBS Nova producers should have consulted the Naked Archaeologist or The Bible as History before making a show whose purpose is to debunk the Old Testament. Here is the description of the special two hour edition of Nova as reported by Reuters/Hollywood Reporter:
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Bill Maher, on HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher," frequently refers to the Old Testament of the Bible as the Book of Jewish Fairy Tales. The description might anger the pious and the fundamentalists, but guess what? Maher's close to the truth.
A visually stunning two-hour special edition of "Nova" examines decades of archaeological studies that contradict much of what is in the Bible. The entire Exodus story is debunked, as is the idea that the Israelites were monotheistic following the contract made between God and Abraham. It turns out idol worship was common through the reign of King David and right up to the Babylonian exile.
The Chief Innovation Officer of the Tribune Company, Lee Abrams, is salivating all over himself in excitement over the ways that corporation's newspapers could capitalize on Barack Obama's election. If you think Abrams couldn't top himself with his idea of boosting the circulation of the Los Angeles Times by repainting its news vans with different colors, he gives it a good try this time mixed with his usual unintentional humor. Here are some of Abrams' psychedelically tinged thoughts on Obama and newspapers as relayed by Bob Norman's The Daily Pulp (emphasis mine):
November 10, 2008 THINK PIECE: THE OBAMA WAKE UP CALL
The demand for last Wednesday's post election papers is obviously enormous. If there's ever an indicator that newspapers are timeless, this is it. The wake up call last week (like $200 copies on eBay) spurred a lot of thinking and action across the Tribune Nation. Now, as the march to the inauguration begins is when we can:
a) Capitalize on it Or b) Let other media steal it from us.
*Compartmentalize so it's in a reliable place *Logo or iconize so it's not just a series of stories *Give coverage some visual CHARACTER & Style
John Edwards. Remember him? He was the guy whom the Los Angeles Times for an excruciatingly painful period of time found it impossible to write about in the midst of his breaking scandal last summer. In fact, Times bloggers were forbidden to write about the scandal by Times editor Tony Pierce who came up with this excuse for the moratorium:
Because the only source has been the National Enquirer we have decided not to cover the rumors or salacious speculations. So I am asking you all not to blog about this topic until further notified.
Another excuse not to cover the Edwards scandal was given by Top of the Ticket blog author, Don Frederick:
For the most part, mainstream media outlets have not pursued the matter, in part because Edwards no longer is a presidential candidate nor does he hold a public office. The Times National Editor Scott Kraft explained the newspaper's stance in a note today, published on the Reader's Representative blog.
It's not exactly an earth shattering scandal but CNN did get caught in a bit of a fib when they declared they were the first to use hologram technology in a broadcast featuring Wolf Blitzer interviewing a Jessica Yellin "hologram" on election day.
I put "hologram" in quotes because a perturbed Don Reisinger of CNET News declared that it was false advertising since CNN wasn't using a real hologram. CNN soon backed down from their hologram claim in the face of not only criticism but mockery from the other networks.
I suppose the best way to respond is by humor as you can see in this video of Anderson Cooper 360 which features a clip of Jay Leno presenting a "hologram" attacking Wolf Blitzer. It sure made your humble correspondent break out laughing. Here is a transcript of the interchange on the "hologram" controversy between Anderson Cooper and Erica Hill:
Watch this amazing video of an anti Proposition 8 mob in Palm Springs swarming an elderly woman, ripping a cross out of her hand, and then stomping on it. What is most amazing about this video is the idiotic summation of what happened by KPSP TV anchorman, Kris Long. However before we get to his money quote, let us take a look at a report on this mobbing by LifeSiteNews.Com:
Video footage from KPSP CBS 2 Palm Spring News shows Proposition 8 protesters surrounding an elderly woman and the reporter trying to interview her, shouting and blocking the camera's view of the woman, ultimately forcing the two to flee from the encircling crowd.
Phyllis Burgess, a supporter of true marriage, had been assaulted earlier as she displayed a large cross in front of the protesters. Video footage shows the anti-marriage crowd pushing Burgess, slapping the cross out of her hand and stomping on it as they surround her.
Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen has taken a divorce from reality in recommending that Barack Obama appoint the "Custodian of the Planet," Al Gore, as Secretary of state. Cohen submits this proposal, along with other wacky ideas, in his latest column (emphasis mine):
If there is a single appointment Barack Obama could make to signal how dramatically things will change in Washington, it would be to name Albert Gore Jr. -- former House member, former senator, former vice president, former presidential nominee and current Custodian of the Planet -- as secretary of state. For all the other aspirants to the job, sorry -- this is an inconvenient truth.
(Check out the update below. Apparently this "leaker" is actually a hoaxer. Did Carl Cameron get scammed with completely false information? I have now added video of the person who claims to be "Martin Eisenstadt" that was uploaded to YouTube on October 28. Why do I have the feeling that this person is a leftwing Democrat engaging in Web guerilla warfare?)
The leaker who "revealed" to Carl Cameron of FOX News that Sarah Palin didn't know that Africa was a continent or which nations were in the North American Free Trade Agreement has outed himself. First of all the leaker turned out not to be Mitt Romney nor one of his associates as some have suspected. More importantly, the leaker's own revelation does not show that Sarah Palin didn't know that Africa was a continent nor that she didn't know which countries were in the NAFTA. Okay, so who is the leaker? Drum roll please, maestro! And the leaker is....Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain campaign adviser. Eisenstadt revealed himself to be the leaker and his reasons for leaking in his blog:
Barack Obama hasn't yet served a single day in office yet MSN Money writer, Jon Markham, has confidence that he can solve our economic problems for the most fatuous of reasons: he is a good speaker like Ronald Reagan which is why his article is titled, "Why Obama is the new Reagan." In fact, the actual economic policies themselves take a backseat to eloquence according to Markham. First Markham sets up the economic challenge facing Obama (emphasis mine):
CNN has a wonderful new toy that they seem to love playing around with. It's called a "hologram." I put "hologram" in quotes because according to an annoyed Don Reisinger of CNET News, it's not really a hologram. You can get an idea of just how upset Reisinger was with the CNN "hologram" by the very title of his CNET story, "Stop the Insanity: CNN's 'hologram' was horrendous."
Can someone please explain to me why so many people are making a big deal about this CNN "hologram" that the channel unveiled during election coverage Tuesday night?
See, Don, CNN found a new toy that they are going to play with while pretending to deliver the news.
According to CNN, it was real "hologram" technology that beamed Jessica Yellin, a CNN correspondent from Chicago, to the CNN press center in New York, where Wolf Blitzer could grill her about what was going on in Chicago.
First off, let me say that it wasn't even real "hologram" technology, which annoys me from the start. Don't say it's a "hologram" technology unless it really is. If CNN was truly using a "hologram," it would not have employed a green screen and overlay images. Instead, it would have captured scattered light and then reconstructed it back in the studio.
Oh, and it probably would have bankrupted CNN too.
Somebody claims they heard something at a Minnesota voting precinct. And that certain someone just so happened to have also been a reporter for a small leftwing newspaper. And upon that very thin gruel, TV station reporter Esme Murphy of WCCO in Minneapolis is claiming that the senate voting results in that state could be overturned. It's pretty ridiculous but let us allow Ms Murphy to make her absurd case:
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) ― Allegations have surfaced of voter irregularities involving a paid staffer of Sen. Norm Coleman, and the ramifications could have a profound effect on the outcome of Coleman's race against Al Franken.
A reporter for the Minnesota Independent, a progressive online publication, was working on a story about voter turnout when she overheard that Republican poll challengers monitoring voting at the precinct had brought in Mahamoud Wardere to help voters translate.
It looks like the type of column that only appears in one of those sleezy freebie sex rags that can be found primarily in beatup newspaper racks. However, this column by Violet Blue (photo right) was published in a major newspaper, the San Franciso Chronicle. Come to think of it, being that the city is San Francisco, this almost makes sense. Ms. Blue has sort of a kinky sex advice column featured regularly in that periodical called, "Open Source Sex." And now Violet Blue is deeply concerned about repression. Not repression by the EVIL Republicans who are on their way out of power in Washington. Instead, Ms Blue is worried about a leftwing extremist feminist group called "Stop Porn Culture." Let us now watch Violet Blue describe the problem posed by this group and, as you read this stuff, keep reminding yourself that it is actually appearing in the largest San Francisco newspaper, not some side street sleaze sheet:
Slate political reporter, Christopher Beam, has some advice on how John McCain can "rehabilitate" himself: become more like a Democrat and admit that his choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate was a mistake. In a report reminiscent of how people who differed slightly from the party line in Stalinist Russia or Mao's China could rehabilitate themselves by admitting the "error" of their ways, Beam comes up with some "helpful" tips on how McCain could become liked by the mainstream media again. As you can see in his Slate article, the advice that Beam offers pretty much boils down to the fact that McCain must become a liberal:
PHOENIX—One major casualty of the 2008 race is the McCain brand, as a big chunk of his former fans have turned critical. The media, a group John McCain once called his "base," have fallen off the boat. Independents who admired his stances on immigration and Bush's tax cuts have drifted away. Veterans of the 2000 campaign have said they barely recognize the 2008 Republican nominee. Mark Salter, McCain's co-author and confidante, has said that Obama has "dinged up" the McCain brand.
Well, now is the time to rebuild. McCain may have lost the election, but in the coming weeks and months, he'll have an opportunity to fix a damaged reputation. Here are a few things he can do:
Beam should be more specific by suggesting, "Here are a few LIBERAL thing he can do:"
Michael Crichton passed away yesterday. Many of you might remember Crichton as the author of superb science fiction novels such as "Andromeda Strain" and "Jurassic Park." Fewer people will know Crichton as a prominent global warming skeptic. And very few of you out there might know that Crichton was also a prophet who predicted the demise of the mainstream media way back in 1993. This seems like a good time to honor the memory of Michael Crichton by taking a retrospective look at his 1993 Wired magazine article titled "Mediasaurus" about the impending demise of the mainstream media (emphasis mine):
Sheesh! Talking about rolling around in the dirt! CNN's Rick Sanchez was arguing taxes with Joe the Plumber (Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher) yesterday and somehow couldn't figure out the concept of "principles." Ironically, Sanchez then showed just how unprincipled he is by rolling around in the mud and digging up recycled "dirt" on Joe. Here is the transcript of the video so you can see for yourself just how low Sanchez went in an attempt to smear Joe the Plumber (emphasis mine):
RICK SANCHEZ: Probably nobody in this campaign has been referred to more by his acronym or slash name than "Joe the Plumber." His real name is Joe Wurzelbacher. And he's good enough to join us now to bring us up to date on what's going on with them -- Joe, are you there?
JOE WURZELBACHER, "JOE THE PLUMBER": Oh, hey, I'm doing good. How about yourself today?
SANCHEZ: Good. Good.
Man, we -- I've got to tell you, just to be completely open about this, so many people have been writing to me today saying why are you talking to this guy, why are you talking to this guy?
So here's your chance to answer a lot of the questions that I've been getting from a lot of them. And I'll start with just probably the most curious question that a lot of people have.
Why would you be so upset about people who clear more than $250,000 a year having to pay taxes when you're nowhere near that category? Is that a fair question? Can you give me answer?
The foes of Proposition 8 in California which would restore the definition of marriage in that state as being between one man and one woman have produced an incredibly bizarre and bigoted commercial. The video depicts a pair of Mormon missionaries invading the home of a lesbian couple and ransacking it until they find their wedding license and then tearing it up. This video displays obvious hatred towards Mormons who mostly support Prop. 8 but to Los Angeles Times blogger Karin Klein such bigotry is no big deal (emphasis mine):