As debate rages across the country about whether it is reasonable to reduce federal spending in light of the fact that the federal government is spending more than eight times what it takes in, the same publications willing to defend that spending often simultaneously criticize spending by businesses that make a profit. One such story ran in publications nationwide this week, including the Chicago Tribune.
In a story blaringly entitled "Eight Outrageous Executive Perks" circulated by Tribune Media Services, author Kathy Kristoff laments the compensation packages offered by varied companies to their founders and/or CEOs.
For example, Qwest CEO Ed Mueller’s family was permitted use of the company jet, an expense totaling $281,182 for the year. Occidental Petroleum served as another example; the company's CEO moved from Texas to California to do his job. Texas has no state income tax; California had a 9% state income tax at the time. Occidental agreed to pay the tax for him.
Amid the media's vilification of Rep. Peter King, their continuing coverage of Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison's "tearful struggle" stands in stark contrast.
"Amid the raw feelings of Thursday's House hearings on domestic Islamic radicalization, Rep. Keith Ellison could not fight back the tears" as he recounted a story about Mohammed Salman Hamdani. Rep. Ellison "choked up and spoke haltingly of how some tried to 'smear' Hamdani because of his faith," declared the Minneapolis Star Tribune on March 10. The manner in which Hamdani was defamed, and the identities of the guilty, has remained ambiguous to date.
Echoing Rep. Ellison's Twitter post "America is big enuf for all of us," USA Today declared "Rep. Keith Ellison" has made it clear "America is big enough for us all." Cursorily noting that "Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y. vowed not to bow to 'political correctness,'" it went on to give an in-depth reaction provided by a talk show host based out of Minnesota: "As I was wiping my tears," she said, "I was thinking what is it about my faith that is not being accepted as an American? My faith? My scarf? My ethnicity?"
Absent from all of the media's coverage of Rep. Ellison's weeping is the Title 1 of Section 102 in the Patriot Act passed by Congress after 9/11:
According to a large story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on January 26th, income inequality is widening. Wrote David Westphal, "income inequality is likely to deepen beyond its growth of the 1980s and 1990s, when incomes of affluent Americans grew more than three times faster than those of the low-income."
"Inequality is growing in all parts of the country," said Jared Bernstein, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.
"Certain trends have been favoring the left for the past several decades. In the early 1960s, transfer payments (entitlements and welfare) constituted less than a third of the federal government's budget. Now they constitute almost 60 percent of the budget, or about $1.4 trillion per year. Measured according to this, the US government's main function now is redistribution: taking money from one segment of the population and giving it to another segment. In a few decades, transfer payments are expected to make up more than 75 percent of federal government spending."
There was an interesting article in the Floridian Gainesville Sun over the weekend. Said the article,
"The statements sound like a refrain from a third-party independent like Ross Perot or Ralph Nader:
'I think we are living in a time where there is a remarkable abuse of power in Washington and Tallahassee,' the candidate told reporters earlier this month. 'People are so hungry for change because they don't feel a part of what happens up here.'"
In the midst of the recent controversy surrounding Harriet Miers' political leanings, the media seems to have come to its own comfortable determination that Miers is a suitable candidate for the Supreme Court.
In this story by Donald Lambro for the Washington Times, several Republican chairmen are quoted as saying they believe their constituents support Miers. What I want to know is the last time a party chair said, "Yeah, my constituents agree, our president doesn't know what he's doing." This is news? And what about the conservative megasite, Townhall.com's recent poll, that said 86% of the site's viewers don't like Miers? I'm not great at math, but something isn't adding up.
The BBC is planning to run a series proving that Christianity has turned Bush into a deranged lunatic, according to one story written by Rupert Cornwell for The Independent.
"In the programme Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs, which starts on Monday, the former Palestinian foreign minister Nabil Shaath says Mr Bush told him and Mahmoud Abbas, former prime minister and now Palestinian President: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, 'George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.' And I did, and then God would tell me, 'George go and end the tyranny in Iraq,' and I did.'"
WorldNetDaily is reporting that Cindy Sheehan called the terrorists in Iraq "freedom fighters." Newsmax did so earlier Wednesday. Evidently, no one in the MSM has bothered to pick up on it.
Iraq was not involved in 9-11, Iraq was not a terrorist state. But now that we have decimated the country, the borders are open, freedom fighters from other countries are going in, and they [American troops] have created more terrorism by going to an Islamic country, devastating the country and killing innocent people in that country. The terrorism is growing and people who never thought of being car bombers or suicide bombers are now doing it because they want the United States of America out of their country."
You'd think someone would bother to talk about it. If Sheehan viewed her son as an oppressor of the weak and innocent, it'd be ironic that we're allowing her to use his name in validating her beliefs.
Given all the negative coverage of the president, the highlighting of his imprudent comments, and the constant reiteration of the fact that he's down in the latest opinion polls, a request for the media to report on what his opposition actually believes in should be reasonable enough. Perhaps it's time for an opinion poll that asks if anyone agrees with Sheehan's definition of freedom.
I found an interesting article by Laura King of the LA Times a few days ago. Apparently, being a reporter wasn't her first job choice. She'd rather be writing short stories, preferably about Israel's illegal occupation of the Gaza strip.
"Moments later, a young woman, her long skirt grazing the ground, approached the same soldier, speaking in gentle tones. 'You are my brother,' she told him. "How can you even think of tearing us away from our homes? Don't help do this…. Refuse orders. Refuse."
"The soldier, sweat sliding down his face in the noonday heat, stood his ground at the dust-choked, flyblown main checkpoint leading into the Jewish settlements of the Gaza Strip."