The Department of Energy (DOE) continues to tout the importance of safety at nuclear facilities, while simultaneously ignoring legitimate safety concerns in the name of saving time and money.
Last week, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board delivered a scathing report on the ‘safety culture’, or lack thereof, being perpetuated by the DOE. Within that report, which focused on how the department handled safety complaints at a nuclear waste cleanup site in Richland, Washington, were statements from several witnesses who believed that raising safety issues could be detrimental to their career. One specific situation seemed to bear this out, in which a former Engineering Manager, Walter Tamosaitis, had raised several technical safety issues in July, and was abruptly removed from the project the next day.
These findings led the House Appropriations Committee to amend a proposed 2012 DOE budget document report, stating that:
"The most recent (defense board) report describes an environment where the professional exchange of views which a safety culture relies upon is discouraged and at times punished. These revelations are both alarming and disturbing and should be interpreted by the secretary of energy as a call to action."
Perhaps using a preemptive strike to help combat the May jobs report to be released on Friday, MSNBC has already found an excuse for lost jobs, and an increased unemployment rate – storms, tornadoes and flooding. According to a business report:
“…homes or places of business have been destroyed in this year's wave of storms, tornadoes and flooding. That means thousands of workers in the South and Midwest could be out of work for some time, potentially pushing up the nation's jobless rate and further taxing financially strapped state unemployment funds.”
Yet in 2004, when reporting on an October jobs report in which hiring had increased at the fastest pace in seven months, MSNBC somehow managed to find analysts who said the jump in hiring was due mainly to another form of natural disaster – hurricanes. The business report at that time read:
“Some analysts were skeptical about the latest surge of hiring, pointing out that much of the unusually large jump in October stemmed from cleanup and rebuilding in Florida and other states that were ravaged by four hurricanes…”
That assessment is buoyed by an accompanying CNBC video (seen below) in which Senior Economics Reporter, Steve Liesman, asks President Bush’s economic advisor, Gregory Mankiw, about the ‘Hurricane Effect’ on a jobs report.
In December of 2007, a conservative organization known as Freedom Watch created an advertisement with a message of support and thanks to America’s troops serving around the world. They were rejected by NBC.
In April of this year, a Muslim organization known as the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) created an advertisement with a message to counter Islamophobia from the ‘conservative right’. They are currently running on NBC Universal media networks.
The alleged difference?
NBC claimed their reason for rejecting the Freedom Watch ad was because “the group insisted that the spot contain the URL address of its Web site.” However, the new ICNA ads clearly contain the groups WhyIslam.org website.
The real difference?
Freedom Watch is an organization that supports the war on terrorism. The ICNA simply supports terrorism.
It defies explanation for a major network to avoid performing a background check on the individuals they interview for their segments. MSNBC however, has done it not once, but twice, in a single article.
In a piece published earlier today by reporter, Kari Huus, two individuals with questionable ties are interviewed in an attempt to show that Muslim-Americans are indeed celebrating bin Laden’s death. While there are plenty of spotlights placed on the backlash against Muslims, requisite accusations of Islamophobia, and even a mention of a ‘war on ignorance’, the report mentions nothing of the questionable backgrounds of Mohamed Magid and Yasir Qadhi.
Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), states that “Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.” And speaking of mass murderers, the ISNA in 2008 admitted in a federal district court in Dallas to holding ties with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Magid goes on to say that, “(Bin Laden’s) demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.” This has to create quite the contradiction for Magid, considering the Muslim Brotherhood has recently taken the opposite route, condemning the killing of bin Laden.
Sunday was an historic day for America, an historic victory in the War on Terror - Usama Bin Laden, the man who had ordered the death of over 3,000 Americans on 9/11, had finally been killed. It was also an historic revelation that, conducting the war according to far-left liberal policies would have prevented this day from ever happening.
A news article written by a reporter at AFP and reproduced at such news sites as Google, Yahoo, NPR, the Dallas Morning News, and others, might qualify as an example of what happens when one allows opinion to seep into reporting. Despite a mission statement involving claims that AFP coverage is balanced, accurate, and includes the other side of the story, this piece makes no secret of where the reporter’s bias lies.
The article features such gems as:
A strong yet hyperbolic opening statement – “President Barack Obama, once a fresh faced prophet of hope…”
Comedy – “Obama will … brandish a record as a genuine reformer…”
Labeling of the President’s opposition – “…a Republican Party dragged right of the crucial political center ground by the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement” – with no labeling of his own liberal policies or base.
Most interesting was the inclusion of this possible 2012 campaign slogan: “Though many of America's problems predated his presidency…”
Here is a short list of American problems since Obama took office:
Excerpts from a new book have revealed that President Obama once laid claim to building ‘a race-neutral administration’. When asked whether race drives decision-making in the White House, the President responded, “You just don’t think about it, you really don’t.” Shortly thereafter, he thought about it, telling guests at a private White House function that race was likely a key component of rising opposition from conservatives – particularly the Tea Party movement – calling it a ‘subterranean agenda’.
Far from being race-neutral, the Obama administration has been race-driven, ushering in an era of unprecedented prejudiced rhetoric and actions. The most recent example of this being Attorney General Eric Holder, a man assigned with representing the people, defending the Justice Department’s weak efforts in the voting rights case against members of the New Black Panther Party, claiming that the pursuit of justice would be “a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line… for my people.”
Equal Opportunity statements prohibit organizations from discriminating based on such factors as race, religion, and national origin, among other things. But one could submit that Barack Obama and his administration have made a career of governing with those factors specifically driving the decision making process. Could anything less have been expected from a man who spent over two decades listening to the sermons of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a man who once decried a world ‘where white folk’s greed runs a world in need’?
Recently, the Los Angeles branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) released a video showing a group of protestors exhibiting anti-Muslim sentiments outside an ICNA fundraising dinner. Liberal media outlets ran with the press release as a way to highlight bigotry towards Muslims, with the video showing up on The Guardian, Think Progress, Salon, Mediaite, Huffington Post, and Hillary Clinton’s source for ‘real news’, Al Jazeera. Problem being, the video and press release is so wrought with false statements, distortions, and a cut and paste documentary style, it could have passed as a Michael Moore film.
Naturally, these news outlets casually gloss over the ICNA’s controversial ties to radical clerics, terrorist organizations, and the implementation of Sharia law. Outlined previously, the group has hosted events with such speakers as radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, and Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and one of the keynote speakers at this particular fundraiser. Additionally, the group has documented ties to Hamas, Jamaat-e-Islami, and the Muslim Brotherhood.
All facts which seemingly bear little relevance as to why there would be a protest in the first place. But even beyond an exploration of reasons behind the protest, is concern that these media outlets would present a distorted video as evidence of anything other than their own journalistic malpractice.
Is Rush Limbaugh’s fear of a state-run media coming to fruition?
Hillary Clinton spent the morning on C-Span defending the State Department’s need for funding, because she feels private media in the U.S. has fallen woefully behind the likes of Al-Jazeera, the Chinese, and Russia.
"Al Jazeera is winning. The Chinese have opened up a global English language and multi-language television network, the Russians have opened up an English language network. I've seen it in a couple of countries and it's quite instructive."
Has she watched MSNBC or CNN lately? The coupon book in the local newspaper is far more informative than the American media.
More perplexing is that Clinton seems to be blurring the line between popular media and the need to disseminate information via her State Department. Essentially, because the Republicans want to slash the State Department budget in half, efforts to spread U.S. propaganda through new media will suffer. Without money, her department cannot spread information to Arabic and Farsi language audiences. This apparently, is the fault of Republicans cutting spending, and a private American media that can no longer compete. Enter the state-run media.
Coming on the heels of an election in which the people clearly rejected the concept of government intrusion, one New York State Assemblyman has decided to introduce legislation calling for… well … more government intrusion.
Meet Michael DenDekker, Democrat from Queens, who recently revealed two measures that would require all bicycles in the state to be registered, inspected, and carry a license plate costing a minimum of $25.
It’s like your car’s license plate, but for your bike.
Two bills recently introduced in the state Assembly would require that all bikes in the state be registered each year and sport a license plate.
The first applies to personal bicycles. The license plate would cost $25 for the first year and $5 each year after.
The second bill would require a $50 license plate fee for commercial bikes. It would also require casualty insurance.
All bikes would have to pass a safety inspection -- including lamp and equipment requirements -- to get the license.
In an interview with Gothamist, DenDekker explained that the two bills were a result of constituent complaints on the difficulty of reporting cyclists who don’t obey traffic laws. He expanded upon his vision, expressing a desire to one day see cameras monitoring bike lanes, holding cyclists accountable for their actions.
One of the largest Muslim organizations in North America is considering plans to build a summer camp on 114 acres of land in the Adirondacks. Via the Albany Times Union:
“The Islamic Circle of North America, a Muslim advocacy group based in New York City, hopes to raise money to develop a camp for children and families of all religions on land donated to it last year.”
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), based in Queens, New York, is not devoid of controversy in a history that spans over 40 years, yet there is scant mention of these controversies by the media. The Times Union article states that, “U.S. law enforcement agencies have investigated, but never prosecuted, ICNA for terrorist connections.” And there is coverage of a fundraiser involving speakers having made anti-American statements in the past, which is quickly justified by saying, “the meeting raised money for homeless women.”
But the ICNA has so much more to offer in the way of newsworthiness, including an event involving radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, as well as a link to the presently relevant Muslim Brotherhood.
The New York Times simply can’t help themselves. They simply cannot leave their opinions out of supposedly objective pieces of journalism. Which begs the question, if the bulk of the articles contain this type of reporting, why does the Times even bother having a separate opinion section?
In a profile piece on Tucson gunman Jared Loughner titled, Looking Behind the Mug-Shot Grin of an Accused Killer, the Times takes two separate occasions to toss in a casual link to ‘right-wing groups’ (h/t Byron York).
The first cheap shot shows up on the first page of a seven page profile:
He became an echo chamber for stray ideas, amplifying, for example, certain grandiose tenets of a number of extremist right-wing groups — including the need for a new money system and the government’s mind-manipulation of the masses through language.
The second instance addresses the currency issue and casts blame on the right as well :
Despite the complete and thorough debunking of the media’s attempt to link common political discourse with the actions of a deranged lunatic in Tucson, one Congresswoman is taking politically correct rhetoric to ridiculous lows (h/t Michelle Malkin).
Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) took to the Huffington Post to voice her opinion on the Gabrielle Giffords assassination attempt. She starts harmlessly enough admitting that, “We don’t know what prompted the shooter … to kill innocent people.” Even though we don’t know the motivation, Pingree says, it’s important “that we do everything we can to prevent it from happening again.”
Then, echoing the prevailing liberal sentiment, she offers the preventative solution – cranking down the rhetoric. The first step?
With the founder of the Daily Kos deliberately trying to tie Sarah Palin's target list to yesterday's shooting in Tucson, perhaps it's time Markos Moulitsas took this opportunity to look at his own people in regards to using incendiary rhetoric. Markos took the time to send a message to his followers yesterday tweeting, “Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin”.
But if target lists are considered dangerous and violent rhetoric at the Daily Kos, and not hyperbolic metaphors used for rallying supporters, then Chris Bowers, their Campaign Director, has some 'violent' speech in his past. Most recently, Bowers made a name for himself by starting a failed campaign to manipulate search engine results for the midterm elections.
In a 2006 post titled, Use It or Lose It: Full Frontal Assault, Bowers discusses how 'we fired some warning shots across the bow of ultra-safe House Democrats who are hoarding campaign cash'. He explains that the campaign cash is necessary for huge election gains, because 'our target list (is) deeper than it has been in a generation'.
In the original call to action, Bowers repeatedly discussed how they need to target Republican seats, and how they also need to target House Democrats not willing to part with their campaign funds.
Capitalizing on the shooting in Tucson this afternoon, CBS furthered the lunatic left rhetoric that Sarah Palin was somehow responsible for this heinous crime. The theory being that the shooter was inspired by Palin’s midterm election map, which featured Gabrielle Giffords as a potential target.
“…critics of Sarah Palin have already drawn a link between the shooting and the fact that the former Alaska governor put Giffords on a "target list" of lawmakers Palin wanted to see unseated in the midterm elections.”
It’s a little concerning that CBS would fall for such a disgusting attempt to point the finger at Sarah Palin, a theory being perpetrated by liberal bloggers. But more concerning are the critics being cited in the article – commenters on Palin’s Facebook page. Impressive bit of journalism.
The first comment reads:
"What a hypocrite you are. You targeted this woman - literally with a target on her district - one of your freaky Fox followers hunted her down - and now you try to distance yourself from blame."
The New York Times ran a rather serious report on Tuesday, regarding former Vice-President Dick Cheney and the new mechanical heart pump he received in July. The addition of the new pump means that Cheney’s heart will never again beat at full strength, and leaves him with a daunting decision whether or not to have a full heart transplant.
Naturally, juveniles in the liberal media have had a blast with the news.
Political Wire, a supposedly non-partisan political blog led off a post about the heart transplant with this gem:
The New York Times confirms what many of his political opponents always assumed: Dick Cheney has no pulse.
A man is arrested and detained for months without any charges being brought against him. He is being held in deplorable conditions, forced to endure extreme physical and mental distress. He is exposed to the same ‘torture’ tactics that other enemies of the United States have allegedly suffered through.
So why isn’t the Commander-in-Chief taking heat for this travesty of justice?
Because this isn’t the Bush administration.
Firedoglake blogger, David House, has been detailing a recent visit with Bradley Manning, accused of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, at a military prison at the Quantico Marine base in Virginia (h/t Weasel Zippers). Of course, House bemoaned the ‘inhumane’ treatment of Manning, describing the toll that months of solitary confinement have taken on his physical and mental well-being.
AFP ran with the story and made it clear that they had no intention of offering a balanced report. In fact, viewing the headline, one would never know that the story came from an extremely liberal website, reading more as fact than a slanted accusation.
For all of the bluster and glory, for all of the pomp and circumstance and yes, for all of the anticipated hope and the promised change, the whirlwind of hype and expectation surrounding the President a mere two years earlier has virtually dissolved, and Barack Obama has set a course that will leave his legacy as no more than a footnote in American Presidential history.
From the same organization that gave us the ‘lives touched’ method for calculating stimulus job creation, the Department of Energy (DOE) has now stumbled upon a whole new way to increase employment.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced that they are investigating ‘an uncontrolled spread of radioactive material’ at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Niskayuna, New York. Elevated radiation levels have been confirmed in the air surrounding the site, as well as the Mohawk River which was deluged with over 600 gallons of radioactive water. The radiation stemmed from an incident in late September when workers attempted to take down a building – building H2 - at the site.
Worse, the DOE failed to notify local officials of the spill, leaving those who rely on their water supply from the Mohawk completely oblivious to the potential health and safety issues.
The Albany Times Union obtained a copy of a report filed by investigators for the DOE, which cited “an atmosphere of fear among the work force not to speak up about issues of concern”. The report reveals the main reason that workers for the Washington Group International (WGI), a private company contracted to clean up the Cold War-era facility, felt pressured to ignore safety issues:
The company was pushing to finish work three months earlier than first planned -- by September 2011 rather than December 2011 -- in order to receive an extra $32 million in federal stimulus funding awarded for the cleanup in April 2009.
An audio clip from about two months ago has been uncovered by The Blaze which clearly demonstrates that, even with all of his opining and public speaking skills, there is a reason that Howard Dean’s most notable quote will always remain a timelessly incoherent scream. Despite being a one-word definition of ignorance, Dean doesn’t mind discussing how to control the media in an effort to educate what he considers to be the ignorant masses – Americans.
What would he do about the media?
“I would bring back the Fairness Doctrine so you couldn’t have a spectacle of a Fox Flooze, which just makes stuff up and is a propaganda outlet. You would actually have to have some sanctioned human beings talking to the other side. And MSNBC would have to do the same. They would have to have some conservatives on there too. I think that’s much better for the country.”
Why does he want the government to control media?
“Americans don’t know what’s going on and therefore the media can have their way with them intellectually.”
If Dean is so concerned about propaganda outlets making stuff up, then perhaps he should be fact-checking his own statements. Such as…
This past election cycle, the American people marched to the polls with a clear-cut message for their officials in Washington - stop. Stop the rise of massive government. Stop developing policy behind closed doors, through backroom deals. And stop this anti-American agenda. The results were a ‘shellacking’ for the party in power.
Despite the clarity of voice with which the people spoke on November 2nd, the Democrat response indicates that they did not get the message. Despite troubling job uncertainty, and an extension of the Bush tax cuts on the table, Democrats are pushing what would seemingly be a low-priority issue – immigration legislation.
President Obama recently met with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, discussing passage of the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors). The Act, which Investor’s Business Daily describes quite simply as ‘an amnesty bill,’ would open a path to citizenship for illegal immigrant students depending on certain criteria. Worse, the Act is being viewed as a ‘down payment’ to more widespread amnesty measures.
The media seems to take an exceptional interest in Senator Lisa Murkowski when she’s uttering liberal talking points on ‘compromise’ or when she’s blasting Sarah Palin as being ‘not worldly enough’ for the office of the Presidency.
Case in point, as NewsBuster Brad Wilmouth pointed out, CBS recently highlighted Murkowski’s claim that she believes Palin lacks the ‘intellectual curiosity’ to run in 2012. And the rest of the main stream media ran with it, as reports on the ‘intellectual curiosity’ slap began cropping up at MSNBC, the Washington Post, the New York Times, ABC News, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, etc.
Then of course, there is the Anchorage Daily News (ADN), who’s seemingly made a living in coming to Murkowski’s aid. In fact, it wasn’t long ago that they were reporting on a Republican letter urging Tea Party candidate, Joe Miller, to start answering questions about his background, and offered their own editorial suggesting that personal matters are indeed fair game in an election.
CNN has been airing a video clip today of the President and First Lady trying out some folk dance moves on their trip to India. The scene isn’t necessarily newsworthy, nor does it stand out. The President should be commended for at least trying to entertain the children and performers at a Mumbai high school. It was a fun moment. But McClatchy reporters went a little over the top with their personal dance review (clip below the jump).
They have dubbed it "the Obama Indian Tango."
It might be better known as "How Barack's Wife Got the President's Groove Back."
One of the biggest questions facing President Barack Obama in the wake of the Democrats' Election Day "shellacking" was whether he'd still have that "Yes We Can" charisma that energized people around the world. Apparently, in India, the answer is yes.
If only he had pulled out these dance moves prior to the election, perhaps the Democratic base would have been equally as energized.
Forced movie references aside, the gushing review doesn’t end there…
MSNBC suspended Keith Olbermann indefinitely … after news broke that he had given the maximum allowable contribution to three Democrats without disclosing it to his employers.
With Olbermann out, MSNBC needed a fill-in, so in steps Chris Hayes, editor of the liberal magazine, The Nation. MSNBC pegged Hayes to fill in for the suspended Countdown host on Friday. His gig was short-lived however.
Several hours after the announcement, Hayes had been dropped. (h/t Weasel Zippers)
For a series of donations to Democratic campaigns in recent years.
Reporters from a CBS affiliate in Alaska recently left an accidental voicemail message for an aide to Senate candidate Joe Miller, in which producers are heard discussing the possibility of reporting on the appearance of a child molester at a Miller rally. Essentially, they could be heard conspiring to create or fabricate stories. The incident was so outrageous, it prompted Sarah Palin to refer to the reporters as ‘corrupt bastards.’
After initially claiming their employees were taken out of context, the General Manager at KTVA has announced the termination of two individuals involved in the conversation.
“The recorded conversation in question specifically involved how that evening's Miller rally might be promoted and the ensuing dialogue went downhill from there. These particular comments were not in line with KTVA standards. As a result of this incident, the two producers involved in the recorded conversation are no longer with the station.”
This is a far cry from the station’s original response to the incident, in which they stated:
Perhaps there is a bit of witchcraft to be found amongst the Christine O’Donnell camp after all. Problem is, it appears to have generated from an independent television station in Delaware, who somehow managed to make the Republican Senate candidate’s 30-minute television advertisement disappear.
The Washington Post reports that O’Donnell, running short on time to have her ad aired on networks in the Philadelphia and Delaware markets, turned to public television as an outlet. She urged supporters at a Tea Party Express rally to tune in to her ad on Sunday night. Just prior to the airing, O’Donnell excitedly tweeted to her followers, “1 minute until the premiere of our 30 minute feature. Tune in to meet all the heartwarming people I've met on the campaign trail. Ch. 28.”
But alas, it was not to be.
On Monday, the O’Donnell camp issued a press release stating the ad would appear again that morning. It did not.
Tim Qualls, Executive Producer at Delaware Channel 28, claims that the ad did not air because O’Donnell’s campaign failed to deliver the video by an agreed upon deadline. But at least one source at the station claimed that they simply “forgot to air it.”
In a powerful speech a couple of weeks ago, Sarah Palin framed the upcoming election using an issue sometimes relegated to the backburner during turbulent economic times – abortion. According to Palin, the elections boil down to candidates who favor a ‘culture of life’, and those who promote a ‘culture of death’.
There are several arguments made by those supporting legalized abortion, the health of mother and child, and cases of rape and incest being what resonates with most. Polling suggests that a very low percentage of abortions are performed for these extreme reasons. Problems arise mostly in those who view abortion as a matter of social and economic convenience. Herein lies a fundamental flaw with the pro-choice argument; a struggle to acknowledge the fact that a human life begins at conception, and that same life is not an inconvenience but rather, a necessity.
This has been a concept that I, myself, once struggled with. A little over nine years ago, on September 11th, 2001, that personal struggle ended. For most, 9/11 has a singular tragic meaning related to the events we endured as a nation. For one man, it also served as an awakening; a transformation from a liberal ‘culture of death’ mentality, to a conservative embracement of life.
Is Palin bashing a pre-requisite for an appearance on the new Parker-Spitzer show? Aaron Sorkin referred to Palin as an ‘idiot' and ‘jaw-droppingly incompetent' on Monday's show. And now, Tuesday's show featured Oliver Stone calling Palin a ‘moron'.
Kathleen Parker asks Stone about the prospect of making a movie about Sarah Palin, and he uses this as a launching point for a PDS rant.
Parker: Can you see making a movie about Sarah Palin? Is she movie fodder? I would think ...
Stone: It's a bad idea because I think you're already empowering her. She's a moron in my opinion. She doesn't say anything.
He wasn't nearly content to rest on those insults however (clip below)...
Eric Bolling's new show on the Fox Business Channel, Money Rocks, saw a significant display of fireworks this evening. During a discussion of some already controversial statements made by Democratic strategist, Bob Beckel, a very heated exchange developed involving Beckel and Atlas Shrugs publisher, Pamela Geller.
The controversy started when Bolling played a clip of Beckel's previous appearance on the show in which he stated:
"Look, at some point, I know it's sensitive here in New York and probably New Jersey, but we have to get over 9/11."
What did he mean by ‘we have to get over 9/11'? According to Beckel, this was simply an expression of frustration for a variety of things, such as extra security at airports and a few other minor inconveniences designed to catch "a bunch of non-existent terrorists."
The short list of ‘non-existent terrorists' since 9/11 that Mr. Beckel must be referring to, include the Madrid train bombers, Russian train bombers, Shoe Bomber, the Lackawanna Six, Fort Hood assassin, the Virginia ‘Jihad' Network, Christmas Day bomber, Fort Dix plotters, and the Times Square bomber.
Beckel might have been feeling the stress of trying to defend such a blatantly insensitive statement, by providing a blatantly inaccurate defense, as he experienced a misogynistic meltdown directed at Geller in the middle of the segment in which he said:
"You're a woman, you better be careful about saying who I carry water for."