Scanning the columns at Townhall.com is part of my early-morning routine, and it was at about 6 A.M. today that I read Charles Krauthammer's "Obama Bombing." I marveled at how perfectly the Pulitzer Prize-winning author had captured the essence of Hugo Chavez, calling the Venezuelan thug "a malevolent clown."
Krauthammer's words obviously impressed Matt Lauer, too. For barely an hour later, I was pleasantly surprised to find the psychiatrist-turned-pundit's phrase turning up on the screen at "Today," with Lauer clearly seeming to advance the conservative commentator's theory.
Lauer was interviewing MSNBC's Chris Matthews on this week's Hillary-Obama dust-up.
"TODAY" CO-ANCHOR MATT LAUER: Let me ask you about this debate, the issue that came out of the debate, this whole inexperience-versus-change thing, when Barack Obama answered that in the first year of his presidency he would meet with people like Castro and Chavez. Let me read you what Charles Krauthammer wrote in the Washington Post this morning:
Do the Democrats want to risk strike three, another national security question blown, but this time perhaps in a final presidential debate before the '08 election, rather than a midseason intraparty cattle call? The country might decide that it prefers, yes, a Republican -- say, 9/11 veteran Rudy Giuliani -- to a freshman senator who does not instinctively understand why an American president does not share the honor of his office with a malevolent clown like Hugo Chavez.
One of the chief reasons that Republicans in general and Conservatives in particular were always wary of John "the maverick" McCain is the slobbering love that the MSM so constantly lavished upon him. The MSM is so distrusted that their love for McCain relayed to the country that there must be something wrong with him. As his campaign descends into ever lower depths of disarray, we may begin to see the MSM fall to the floor in abject lamentations over his demise. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth now that their favorite Republican looks to be a goner, at least if Michael Hirsh of Newsweek is any indication. In "Why McCain’s Collapse Matters", Hirsh not only laments McCain's diminishment of influence, but blames the American people for not listening to military "heroes" on how evil this war is. Hirsh also uses his piece as an excuse to repeatedly bash Fred Thompson using the media's "He's just an actor" mantra. Naturally, Hirsh learns all the wrong lessons from his review of history and displays it in this little tsk tsking tirade aimed at the American people for their gall in not fawning over McCain like the MSM does.
Newsweek’s Jonathan Darman lamented this week that the John Edwards poverty tour/publicity tour didn’t passionately grip America, that it did not immediately become a mythic event, like filthy-rich Bobby Kennedy's poverty tour in 1968. In a dramatic flourish, the young Harvard-educated whipper-snapper blames this tragedy on not-very-compassionate America:
"There is something tragic about Edwards's failure to break through. Today, 37 million Americans live below the poverty line, 12 million more than at the time of Kennedy's death. And yet Edwards's call of conscience has not resonated. By all rights, Edwards, the son of a millworker, should have an easier time talking about poverty than did Kennedy, the son of a millionaire. His difficulty speaks to the candidate's inability to connect. It also speaks to the nation's inability to be moved."
Yesterday, Brent Baker at NewsBusters caught the Old Media emphasis on the decline in existing-home unit sales, even though the median existing-home price went up. CBS and Katie Couric apparently invoked the Great Depression in their existing-home sales commentary (I think any number of those 90 and older could say: "I knew the Depression, and Katie, this is no Depression.").
The median price of a new home sold last month dropped to $237,900, down by 2.2 percent from a year ago. It was the biggest year-over-year price drop since a 6.5 percent fall in April. The median price is the point where half the homes sold for more and half for less.
But at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'm forced to make the same point I made a couple of months ago in more detail -- by the time you consider changes in the regional mix in home sales, you're left with an overall new-home market where regional prices are holding steady or perhaps even slightly increasing -- and definitely NOT in decline.
A quick look at the following figures will illustrate the point:
Thursday's NBC Nightly News combined the usual with the unusual for an evening newscast story: A breast cancer survivor story which would appeal to woman and a look at an Army Sergeant who has now fulfilled her 'dream' of getting to serve in Iraq, hardly a view expressed very often on network news. Anchor Brian Williams introduced the profile: “Tonight we have a story of a woman who is serving her country and serving as an example, in her bravery, to the rest of us.” Checking in on the state-side training being undergone by Army Sergeant Elizabeth Cowie, reporter Jennifer London explained how “it's been her dream to serve in Iraq.” Cowie, however, was sidelined by breast cancer. But now that she successfully treated it, her dream has been “realized,” London related, as “this was Sergeant Cowie's final training mission before deployment.” Cowie expressed her idealism and commitment: “We have a lot of liberties, we have a lot of freedoms that other people around the world don't have, and so for me that's important, so I'm willing to do what I have to do and put my own life at risk.”
After London's piece, Williams followed up with how Cowie arrived in Iraq and sent an e-mail to NBC News “with the following request, quote: 'Keep our soldiers in your prayers. They are the best of America.'”
The current political buzzword is "naive." That's of course what Hillary called Obama, and he has responded in kind. But when it comes to being an ingenue, Obama has a long way to go to top Sally Quinn, grande dame of the DC set and wife of former WaPo editor Ben Bradlee. Here's what she said on this afternoon's "Hardball."
SALLY QUINN: The fact is that the new word these days is 'dialogue.' [Ed.: New? Well shut Socrates mouth!] And so many of these dictators, quote, dictators [Ed.: we wouldn't want to offend Assad or Kim Jong Il] are really sort of shallow people who are looking for respect, andif you talk to them, you can immediately sort of get them down and get them on your side.
On July 13, NewsBusters reported that Michael T. Eckhart, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy, sent an e-mail message to Dr. Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute threatening to destroy his career:
If you produce one more editorial against climate change, I will launch a campaign against your professional integrity.
During a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Thursday, this matter was brought to the attention of Stephen Johnson, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, as was the shocking revelation that the EPA is a part of ACORE.
Presenting this information was Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), who showed and read the following panel of the offensive e-mail message for the record (video available here):
A week ago, NewsBusters editor and MRC vice president Brent Baker noticed that ABC had a decidedly negative slant on the Dow Jones industrial average closing above 14,000 points, much the same as it did in April, when the DJIA cracked 13,000.
Wednesday night on "The Colbert Report," author Charles Kaiser was on the show to plug his book, The Gay Metropolis. Hoping to get the Colbert bump, Kaiser talked about how his book chronicles the history of gay culture and society in New York starting from 1940. One of his claims is that homosexuals and African Americans are “both more interesting than straight white people.” He also discussed being open with who you are or else you become like Mark Foley: “You become a congressmen who sends nasty notes to teenagers over the computer.” He lastly implies but denies that J.Edgar Hoover is gay.
Stephen Colbert constantly pointed out when Kaiser was stereotyping people, whether it is dance choreographers, white straight people or Republican congressmen. “I wish I could stereotype but I’m not allowed to. I’m not gay. I have to play by the rules you make but don’t live by,” Colbert stated after Kaiser put the label on dance choreographers being gay. Kaiser jumped into the interview trying to show how exciting and interesting minorities are compared to straight white people:
CNN's John Roberts, co-host of "American Morning," gave nothing but softball questions to New York senator Chuck Schumer on Thursday morning. Prefacing his interview with sound bites from a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where attorney general Alberto Gonzales was testifying on the controversial Terror Surveillance program, Roberts got right to the point that Schumer wanted to get out in the press. "So, did Gonzales lie to you?" Roberts was even brazen about his aid to Schumer with this interview at the close of the segment. "Well, there's your newsy sound bite this morning. Senator Schumer, thanks very much. Good to see you."
In his Sunday Business section story for the New York Times, "Did McDonald's Give In to Temptation?" reporter Andrew Martin took a surprisingly moralistic look at the corporation's new menu.
One wonders what the paper's beef is with McDonald's, which after all provides safe, inexpensive food to the lower-to-middle-class section of society the Times claims to care about (and convenient bathroom facilities for the homeless, at least in Times Watch's neck of the woods). But apparently some things can't be forgiven. The source of the Times' angst? McDonald's is re-introducing its giant-size soda under a new name, "The Hugo."
"It wasn't too long ago that the only thing McDonald's seemed good at was making people fat.
Put down your coffee mugs before you continue, sports fans, for conservative columnist Ann Coulter wrote a review of Monday's Democrat presidential debate, and your computer is in grave jeopardy if fluids are nearby.
In a column entitled "Obama Hails a Unicorn," Coulter first skewered the junior senator from Illinois' claim that "he couldn't get a cab in New York because he's black" (emphasis added throughout):
Last year, a black writer in the [New York Times] pointed out how things had changed in New York in the 10 years since he had been out of the country. Not only did he have no trouble getting a cab, but he cited statistics from taxi sting operations that showed a 96 percent compliance rate among cabbies in picking up blacks.
However, her best shot was taken at the junior senator from New York:
Earlier today Matthew Sheffield noted that Hollywood was "gearing up to release a bunch of anti-military movies that portray veterans of the Iraq war as deranged psychopaths, screwed up by an "unjust" war."
Unfortunately we don't have to wait to whet our whistle on the entertainment industry's full court press to gin up anti-war sentiment in preparation for next year's elections. It seems that they are delivering on that promise already as hinted by last night's 10 separate "anti-war" solos that were performed on the Fox TV reality show, So You Think You Can Dance. (see Video here)
Is it just me, or is there something missing in the coverage of the terrible flooding happening in China? Let’s see:
Destruction of life and property? Check.
Daring rescues? Check.
People fleeing their homes? Check.
Floods a result of man-caused global warming? Er…
In all the stories I’ve read from major news outlets about the devastating flooding in China, I have yet to see that the floods have been linked to the phenomenon known as man-caused global warming. Meanwhile, recent flooding in Britain has been connected to it on more than one occasion, as Newsbustershasreported.
Ali Velshi needs a teleprompter. Maybe then he wouldn't misstate corporate earnings by billions of dollars.
“ExxonMobil reporting quarterly earnings of $10.26 billion a share, John. We’re on this and we’re going to continue to find out where that money is being made,” said Velshi during the 8 a.m. hour. of the July 26 CNN "American Morning."
Environmentalists are targeting kids and using deception to get their message out. Anthropogenic global warming evangelists and wildlife filmmakers, Sarah Robertson and Adam Ravetch, made the upcoming live action “Arctic Tale” because as Robertson told the LA Times, "Global warming to a lot of people is statistics...What we wanted to do was put a face on climate change."
OK, so there's the goal, now how to accomplish it? Adults ask all of those pesky questions, but children's minds are easier to mold and manipulate. During the credits, the filmmakers came right out and showed their cards, using kids to shill for AGW and convince their parents to change their evil habits.
The expected tugging of emotions was turned into a shell game by the way the movie was created. “Arctic Tale” is sold to the public as a heartwarming movie that follows a polar bear and a walrus through their first eight years of life. The problem is, they're not real, and the alarming story about their environment was crafted by scriptwriters (emphasis mine throughout):
Americans interested in free speech got a boost Monday when the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Kevin J. Martin, came out strongly against any reimplementation of the Fairness Doctrine.
As reported by the Associated Press Thursday (emphasis added):
Martin, in a letter written this week to Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., and made public Thursday, said the agency found no compelling reason to revisit its 1987 decision that enforcing the federal rule was not in the public interest.
This letter (PDF available here) quite supported the views concerning this issue being expressed by Congressional Republicans in the past few weeks since this matter took center stage (emphasis added):
With the same sentiment that originally brought the spotted owl to fame, Reuters is now concerned that the proposed border fence between the U.S. and Mexico will harm butterflies and other creatures (see also Joe Steigerwald's prior post).
Upon further examination of its July 25 article, Reuters has concentrated on a realtively small forest area in Texas - described as being a "few miles" along the border - which is the habitat for ocelots (wild cats), birds, and over 300 species of butterflies.
Our friends at the MRC's Business & Media Institute (BMI) have documented the media's obsession with the so-called obesity epidemic in this country. [Update: BMI's Jeff Poor wrote about this today here.]
Of course, unlike real epidemics which involve communicable diseases, obesity is not a condition you "catch" from casual, or even intimate, contact.
But as true as that is and ever shall be, it can't hurt advancing the storyline to suggest that, yes, in a manner of speaking, fatness is catchable.
In the past four days, the New York Times published two reviews of "Arctic Tale," a new film about polar bears threatened by - wait for it! - global warming.
Makes one wonder whether the need for two reviews versus the normal one was due to the Times's desire to advance alarmism concerning the great, liberal bogeyman of climate change, or that the screenplay was co-written by soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore's daughter Kristin.
Whatever the reason, both articles were certainly chock-full of scary global warming references like the following from Andrew C. Revkin's piece from Sunday (emphasis added throughout):
With any weather related disaster, the mainstream media typically blames it on "global warming." This was no exception on the July 26 edition of "The Early Show." Upon reporting on the flooding in Britain, correspondent Elizabeth Palmer concluded her report blaming the disaster on global warming and predicting more to come.
"But most people think that with climate change, flooding like this, or even worse, could become common place here in Britain."
As if floods did not occur before the industrial age. CBS followed NBC's "Today" as correspondent Keith Miller blamed the disaster on "global warming."
First it was the traumatized Vietnam veteran, now are Iraq vets set to become the next "progressive" cliché?
Being the strapping patriot sort of folks that they are, the Hollywood left is gearing up to release a bunch of anti-military movies that portray veterans of the Iraq war as deranged psychopaths, screwed up by an "unjust" war. The New York Times's Michael Cieply reports (h/t Instapundit):
Now some in Hollywood want moviegoers to decide if the killing is emblematic of a war gone bad, part of a new and perhaps risky willingness in the entertainment business to push even the touchiest debates about post-9/11 security, Iraq and the troops’ status from the confines of documentaries into the realm of mainstream political drama.
Nothing says "idealistic" like brutally suppressing freedom and imprisoning courageous advocates of democracy. At least in the view of CBS News, apparently.
At 7:21 a.m. EDT on this morning's "Early Show," CBS's Kelly Cobiella reported from Havana on the occasion of Cuba's national day. Co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez asked Cobiella about the prospects for change.
CBS "EARLY SHOW" CO-ANCHOR MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: There's no question that Fidel and [his brother] Raul are different types of leaders. I'm sure we'll see it when he speaks later. He doesn't have Fidel's charisma and he seems a little bit more open to change. As he solidifies his power, what kind of changes do you think Cubans can expect to see?
That's when Cobiella went into Fidel-fan mode . . .
Liberals love to decry the Bush administration's alleged undermining of the rule of law. The lead editorial in today's New York Times, for example, demands Congress "not capitulate in the White House’s attempt to rob it of its constitutional powers."
But ironically, just below the editorial appears a column by one Jean Edward Smith brazenly entitled "Stacking the Court." Far from condemning the possibility, the author, a Marshall University professor, endorses the prospect as a means of coercing the Supreme Court into issuing rulings more to his, and his fellow liberals', liking.
Threatens Smith, with all the subtlety of a mobster telling a mark he'd hate to see anything happen to his kids:
If the current five-man majority persists in thumbing its nose at popular values, the election of a Democratic president and Congress could provide a corrective. It requires only a majority vote in both houses to add a justice or two. Chief Justice John Roberts and his conservative colleagues might do well to bear in mind that the roll call of presidents who have used this option includes not just Roosevelt but also Adams, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and Grant.
In a letter sent far and wide to anyone (including the MRC) who criticized his hour-long tantrum tub-thumping for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney on July 13, PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers lectured PBS ombudsman Michael Getler that PBS was created to disturb the "official consensus" and praised his two pro-impeachment guests, a "liberal" and a "conservative scholar who reveres the Constitution," for "they made a valuable contribution to the public dialogue, as confirmed by the roughly 20:1 positive response to the broadcast. Of course I could have aired a Beltway-like 'debate' between a Democrat and a Republican, or a conservative and a liberal, but that’s usually conventional wisdom and standard practice, and public broadcasting was meant to be an alternative, not an echo."
Reuters seems to be jumping into the fray over the Supreme Court's latest decision on the issue of racial diversity in our schools. At least, it seems so because their latest story on the decision seems an advocacy piece against the Supreme Court and for forced "diversity" policies in our schools. In fact, Reuters seems only too happy to claim that the Supreme Court is causing "fear" in our innocent children in their piece titled, "Students, schools fear end of racial diversity."
Reuters is obviously giving voice to this forced "diversity" and giving the bussing crowd the thumbs up in a report that also seems to say that black kids only "get in fights" when they go to predominately black schools.
On a day when the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported a rise in the price of homes so the average median price is above where it was a year ago, Wednesday's CBS Evening News featured a soundbite claiming “home price depreciation” unprecedented since the Great Depression. Apparently, reality wasn't negative enough for CBS, so they felt a need to add some embellishment.
“The housing market is going deeper in the dumper,” anchor Katie Couric rhymed, as “America's Realtors reported today that used homes were selling in June at the slowest pace in four and a half years.” She acknowledged “a bright note for homeowners,” but added a caveat in relaying that “house prices went up for the first time in nearly a year, but just barely.” The headline for the NAR press release from which CBS cribbed gave equal weight to two developments -- “Prices Rise, Existing-Home Sales Decline” -- but Anthony Mason's story explored only the negative, as he focused on rising foreclosures and declining sales, and even managed to spin the climbing home prices into a dire situation. “In a Wall Street conference call, Countrywide's CEO, Angelo Mozilo, had this warning,” Mason stressed. Then, with matching text on screen, viewers heard audio of Mozilo from a day before NAR's numbers were released on the higher median home price: “We are experiencing home price depreciation almost like never before, with the exception of the Great Depression.”
Amidst all the MSM analysis of the dust-up between Hillary and Obama over his statement at the CNN/YouTube debate that he would commit to meet with the world's worst dictators in his first year in office, I haven't noticed anyone observing the obvious: that with her statement on the subject, Hillary has made it very problematic for herself to name Obama as her VP running-mate. To see why this is true, consider the kind of ad that the Republican candidate would inevitably run if Hillary were to tap Obama for the Veep spot . . .