For all the false cries of censorship when the marketplace and not the government marginalizes a voice, or point of view, this is blatant censorship enacted by our government through McCain-Feingold. h/t Instapundit.
Bloggers should consider coming together from both sides to
challenge this un-democratic law by developing a series of podcast or
YouTube commercials pointing out what they see as negative
points regarding incumbents. Not only would it bring attention to a bad
law, it would force the very thing these career politicians don't want
heard to be featured in any coverage - that being the actual criticism
Something almost without precedent
in America will happen Thursday. That’s the day when McCain-Feingold —
aka the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 — will officially
silence broadcast advertising that contains criticism of members of
Congress seeking re-election in November. Before 2006, American
election campaigns traditionally began in earnest after Labor Day.
Unless McCain-Feingold is repealed, Labor Day will henceforth mark the
point in the campaign when congressional incumbents can sit back and
cruise, free of those pesky negative TV and radio spots. It is the most
effective incumbent protection act possible, short of abolishing the
Among political consultants, the general rule of thumb is that a disapproval rating of 40% spells a candidate's near-certain defeat. After all, virtually no one who disapproves of a candidate will vote for him, while approving of someone is no guarantee of a vote.
Hillary Clinton's disapproval rating of 44% in a recent Time magazine poll thus bodes very ill for her presidential prospects. Yet the Sunday Times of London has managed to put a rosy gloss on what would have most politicians looking for another line of work. Pollyannas the Times of the poll results:
"Only 44% viewed her negatively, figures that President George W Bush can only dream of at the moment."
It was a rollicking episode of 'The Long & The Short of It' this morning, and even taking my personal biases into account, it was hard not to score it 2-0 for the tall man. The regular Sunday-morning feature of Fox & Friends Weekend pits long, conservative Newsday and TCS columnist Jim Pinkerton against short, liberal Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News.
The opening topic this morning, in a match refereed by FNC host Kiran Chetry, was a report that retired General and former Dem presidential nomination-seeker Wesley Clark will be issuing on behalf of Democrats this week, intended to "detail the failures of Republicans" on national security.
The ostensible topic was the NFL fantasy-league draft that members of the Today show crew recently conducted. But in sharing her strategy for making draft picks, Campbell Brown might have unintentionally offered hope to Republicans looking nervously to November and beyond.
Campbell admitted to weekend co-host Lester Holt that she knows little about football. So in making her picks, Brown said she simply adopted this strategy: "I picked the ones who looked tough and mean."
Saturday's edition of the Times has a pretty misleading article filled with Karl Rove's woe and informing all of us beyond the beltway lifeforms that Rove is now useless to the Party where once he was a kingmaker. At least they are hoping this to be the case.
Where it is misleading is that, as they fill the piece with how Rove is losing influence, they don't balance that claim with the simple fact that nearly every 2nd term president and his team struggles to keep hold of the Party reins as that president's last years in office roll on. It happened to Clinton, too, if the Times will remember?
One would think that Rove has lost his midas touch and that he is now routinely ignored by Party hopefuls and candidates all up and down the line by this piece.
This week, the MRC’s Megan McCormack brought us a second-by-second account of Kyra Phillip’s now infamous "bathroom chat." She also did a follow-up on FNC’s "Fox and Friends" parody of the event. Soon, the story became a full blown media sensation.
During the course of a conversation with former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Jed Babbin on this afternoon's show, Tucker Carlson described himself as "a real conservative."
But it was just a few minutes earlier, chatting with New Republic editor-at-large Peter Beinart, that Carlson mentioned in passing that he hadn't supported President Bush for president in 2004.
When Carlson stated that he had been wrong to support the war in Iraq [and now opposes it], Beinart retorted:
"You've just made a statement which almost guarantees that you're going to have to support the Democratic candidate in 2008 because there's virtually no chance we're going to have a Republican candidate who says they were wrong to support the war in Iraq. So I congratulate you on flipping over to the other side."
Replied Carlson: "Well I doubt I'm going to support the Democratic candidate. Whether I'll support the Republican candidate is a whole separate question. I didn't last time, I may not this time."
The text box: "A group of critics says it has found signs of widespread voting irregularities." The phrase "far-left critics" would have been more accurate, but there's not a single label to be found in Urbina's story.
To judge by the outraged defense of Democrats and the MSM that Matt Lauer and Tim Russert advanced on this morning's Today show, the Bush administration's arguments on fighting the war on terror are hitting home.
NBC reporter Kelly O'Donnell set the tone with this little shot at the president:
"While the president has cautioned not to politicize what he is talking about, he was greeted here in Salt Lake by 2,000 invited members of the public who carried signs, there was music playing - a campaign-style event - and we were told this was intended to counter some of the war demonstrations led by people like Cindy Sheehan."
Preliminaries over, it was on to the main event, the Lauer/Russert tag team.
Florida senatorial candidate Katherine Harris drew a voluminous amount of media attention for her recent comment that the separation of church and state is "a lie." Another Republican Senator, the liberal Lincoln Chafee from Rhode Island, made this liberal error during an August 26 debate with his conservative primary opponent:
Lincoln Chafee: "Rhode Island was founded on separation of religion, separation of church and state....‘Full liberties of religious discernment,’ I think is in our charter and, uh, when we wouldn’t sign the U.S. Constitution, 1789, until we got the same liberties, the same separation of church and state, that we had here in Rhode Island, in the federal Constitution. It took us 13 months as Rhode Islanders, until we got in the First Amendment, first words of the First Amendment in the Constitution, separation of church and state."
Not only is the phrase "separation of church and state" not the first words, it’s not in the First Amendment at all. (Presumably Mr. Chafee was attempting to refer to the Establishment Clause, which is not the same thing in word or meaning.) Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC’s "Countdown," had this to say about Katherine Harris and her comments on August 24:
A New York Times editorial and an op-ed piece by one of its house columnists have something interesting in common this morning: stamp-your-feet frustration with the way the world is and an inability to suggest what should be done about it.
In The Falling Paycheck, the Times editorial board complains that real wages aren't keeping up with the economy's continued expansion. "American employees have not shared in the wealth they’ve helped to create," laments the Old Gray Lady. Sure sounds as if the Times subscribes to the 'surplus value' theory of labor. And we know who came up with that.
The New York Times continues its coverage of the world the way they think it ought to be, with the Democratic party in control of the United States Congress. This morning's piece - Issues Await if Democrats Retake House - goes through the issues facing our gallant Dems as they prepare to take back the various House chairmanships that were usurped by Speaker Newt lo these many years ago. The New York Times, of course, is in favor of that happening. So they're willing to make sure that NY Times readers are aware that the potential Democratic committee chairs are "increasingly being portrayed by Republicans as liberal extremists." They aren't liberal extremists, of course. But they're being "portrayed as liberal extremists." John Conyers has a lifetime rating of 5 (out of 100) from the American Conservative Union, Barney Frank and Charles Rangel have 4s, but they're just being "portrayed" as liberal extremists.
If once is an aberration, and twice a trend, what's three times?
The first time Joe Biden told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that he was "praying," it got my attention. By the third time - using the variant "I pray to God" - I was thoroughly curious. Then something happened at the end of the interview that might provide a clue as to Joe's sudden bout of religiosity.
By the way, Biden claimed to be 'praying' in response to various pieces of evidence that Wallace confronted him with suggesting that, at long last, the security situation in Iraq might be improving. Biden repeatedly responded that he was 'praying' that Wallace was right, all the time suggesting that in fact there was no real reason for optimism.
Well, Republicans may have
made a lot of mistakes in the last couple of years, but they're
generally not stupid. I predicted months ago that Republicans would
soon begin combing the far-left hate-blog Daily Kos as part of
their opposition research for the upcoming elections. They would be
idiots not to. Prominent Democrats from all over the country have
openly aligned with Markos and his group of Blame America First
defeatists. Voters have every right to know that information before
they walk into the voting booth.
I notice there are a lot of blasts at whiny defeatist Ned "Hamsher
and Markos's Lapdog" Lamont, too. Good. The Lamont Democrats have not
yet gotten a tenth the kicking around they deserve. They are are
vicious beyond belief. They need to be exposed to the world, for
they've been given the role of "kingmakers" in today's Democratic
Party. The Democratic Party therefore needs to either answer directly
for that, or embrace it and explain why it's a good thing that
hatemongering idiots like Markos and his hordes are the future of their
NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell continued the skewed media reporting of the Middle East by noting the important social work that Hezbollah does and how the rest of the world has a very supportive take on the terrorist organization.
Liberal TV critic Bob Laurence hypothesized that the scant coverage of the kidnaping of two Fox News journalists was due to the frequency of abductions and the network’s "insulting" attitude towards other media outlets. (According to Laurence, nobody, not even terrorists, like FNC.)
On this evening's Hardball, Matthews pleaded with Buchanan to take back the Republican party from neo-conservatives. In closing an earlier segment with guest Joe Biden, Matthews had taken a shot at neo-cons: "Unfortunately we have been carried into Iraq by the dreams of the ideologues."
When Buchanan came on, Matthews took that same notion one step further:
"Pat, when are the traditional conservatives in this country who believe in less government, less role in the world, like yourself, though you might be more extreme than some, George Will, Bill Buckley, when are you guys going to retake your party from the neo-conservatives and stop these overseas campaigns?"
Jonathan Alter, the Senior Editor of "Newsweek," last night told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann that Democrats regaining power is the only way to hold the Bush administration accountable for its "incompetence." Appearing on the August 23 edition of "Countdown," he exhorted Democrats to inform voters of this fact:
Alter: "I think it`s really important for the Democrats to remind the voters that this election is really about accountability, because there hasn’t been any. The only way you can get any is to get at least one chamber of Congress."
According to Alter, this is the only scenario under which the Democrats will, at long last, be able to punish the President:
Alter: "Otherwise, you can`t hold hearings to hold their feet to the fire. You have no subpoena power, forget impeachment and all the rest of that, just getting basic answers to questions about why this administration has been incompetent. In order to do that, you`ve got to get some control and some power back. And that`s what this election is really about."
NBC reporter David Gregory last night described Senator George Allen’s now well known "macaca" comment as a "off-the-cuff racial slur," giving the darkest possible interpretation of his words. The Senator has since apologized several times and stated that he wasn't attempting to use a discriminatory term. Gregory’s segment, which aired on the August 23 "Nightly News" at 7:13PM EDT, discussed the impact the web site YouTube is having on politics. This occasion allowed for Allen’s quote to be played, yet again. Gregory did mention that the remark was directed at an "Indian-American staffer from his rival’s campaign." He didn’t, however, recount the pertinent fact that this young man also shot the video and created what amounted to a free commercial for Democratic opponent Jim Webb. The NBC reporter also played a June 17 quip of another Senator with presidential aspirations, Democrat Joe Biden. Back in June, he made some ill-conceived comments about Indian Americans and their propensity to be in the vicinity of a 7/11 or Duncan Donuts. For some reason, however, the media didn’t seem very interested. And Biden's quotes were picked up by C-SPAN, not a political operative.
What does Maureen Dowd want? Her column of today is the latest evidence of a woman torn between the imperatives of modern feminism and a not-so-secret longing for more traditional domestic arrangements.
The topic of Ring-a-Ding-Bling [subscription required] is marriages in which the husband plays a decided second fiddle to the wife. You might think that Dowd-the-feminist would celebrate marriages in which women play the leading role. But, with one notable exception, she expresses little but scorn for husbands whose wives have the upper hand.
Mo's Exhibit A is the Britney Spears/Kevin Federline couple. Dowd begins by professing that "to make fun of Mr. Spears [would be] too easy — shooting tuna fish in a can, as they say." By referring to Federline as "Mr. Spears" Mo has of course mocked him already. Then, utterly ignoring her own precept, she proceeds to ruthlessly ridicule him, describing his recent attempt at rap music as "even more deliciously atrocious than anticipated," also letting us know that "the hip-hop community reacted with amused disdain."
S. R. Sidarth, the Jim Webb for Senate volunteer who filmed Sen. George Allen nicknaming him 'Macaca,' appeared Tuesday on the far-left Pacifica Radio network show "Democracy Now" with Amy Goodman, the playground of wild-eyed radical leftists like Cindy Sheehan, Ramsey Clark, and Noam Chomsky. Sidarth replayed his outrage. But the show also featured Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an expert The Washington Post also used to denounce Allen. He was denouncing Allen as a racist on the nationally distributed show, traveling rapidly from little off-the-cuff nicknames to "neo-Confederate hate groups" and Trent Lott praising Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrat campaign for president:
The "Today" show’s Kelly O’Donnell described President Bush’s discussion of the Iraq War at yesterday’s news conference as "a mix of campaign style rhetoric and crystal ball." O’Donnell, who seemed perturbed by the President’s determined attitude, also mentioned that Bush counseled against an early withdrawal "with a hammering repetition." (If President Bush repeated himself, it might be because the assembled media kept asking the same questions.)
The August 22 segment, which aired at 7:15AM EDT, featured downbeat assessments by Michael O’Hanlon, a Senior Fellow at the liberal Brookings Institute and political analyst Charlie Cook.
Michael O’Hanlon: "I think if the President insists on framing the choice as stay the course versus accept defeat, he will be, frankly, misleading the public and running the risk of undercutting his own support even more."
Charlie Cook: "I think the danger for Republicans is that we are nearing, or at the point, when people just give up and start tuning out on President Bush."
Having read it a couple times, the answer is inescapably . . . yes. Frank's fundamental thesis is that, since conservatives don't believe in the beneficent powers of government, they are essentially unfit to govern. Or as Frank puts it, bad things happen "when you elevate to high public office people" like Ronald Reagan with a healthy skepticism about government.
This week is shaping up as the MSM's kick-off of its Hillary for President campaign. Using Time Magazine's 10th cover of Hillary as a springboard, this morning's Today show convened a liberal coffee klatsch on Clinton's political future. Dem pollster Peter Hart summed up the segment's zeitgest nicely: "I think Americans are ready for a female president. I think they are definitely ready for Hillary Clinton."
Not a discouraging word was to be heard, as 'Today' found it unnecessary to invite to the party anyone who might have a negative view of Hillary
Talk about your party pooper! Like a disgruntled waiter spitting in the champagne back in the pantry, The NY Times editorial this morning, Hold the Champagne, approaches parody status in its attempt to find the cloud on the silver lining of the economy's good performance.
The Times began by comically scolding investors for "almost certainly overreact[ing], pushing up stocks and bonds as if all was right with the economy" in reaction to the news that inflation had been lower than expected. And if anyone should know about stocks going down, it's the folks at the NY Times who have watched the Times' own share price droop steadily downward over the last year.
If I ever knew that Chris Matthews' brother Jim Matthews is the Republican candidate for Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania, I had forgotten. Chris manifestly has not, and on this evening's Hardball peevishly berated a Republican guest who had the temerity to remind him of that fact.
After interviewing Dem Congressman Jack Murtha, Matthews had Murtha's Republican challenger Diana Irey on as a guest. Before getting into substance, Matthews testily alluded to the fact that Irey's campaign manager had sent Matthews a press release with proposed questions for Murtha. First on the list:
"How hard is it for you knowing that Jim Matthews just appeared two days ago with your opponent Diana Irey to cut the ribbon at her volunteer HQ in your hometown of Johnstown?"
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who never accuses Democrats of "playing politics" with Iraq and the war on terrorism, opting instead to join them in attacking President Bush, continued to slam Bush for "playing politics" with terrorism, which Olbermann labelled as "something that should matter to all of us." The Countdown host, who regularly signs off his show by recounting the number of American troops killed "since the declaration of 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq" to embarrass Bush, on Wednesday's show highlighted recent comments by former President Clinton accusing Bush of "playing politics" with the London plane bombing plot. Guest Dana Milbank of the Washington Post lamely joked that "it's a matter of time until the whole JonBenet lead turns into an al-Qaeda business." (Transcript follows)
Imagine Bill Clinton in the setting shown here. Would he be standing at arm's length, tentatively extending a finger? Never! He'd be right down there hugging the child, probably - for that matter - getting an arm around Mom too.
That,in a nutshell, captures the problem campaign ad makers have in softening Hillary's frosty image.
There I was on the couch this morning in full pajamahadeen mode, searching for nuggets of MSM bias with which to titillate NB readers, when for the first time a Hillary campaign ad popped up. It's standard stuff. The theme is Hillary 'Standing Up': standing up for jobs, for military bases, for health care - seems the senator never sits down! As I type this, a freeze frame shows a nicely-coiffed Hillary in a striped pink shirt and sporting a single strand of pearls. On a desk in the background you can discern family photos: Bill, Hillary and Chelsea in one, what looks like a young Chelsea as a ballerina in another.
I'll get to the good stuff in a minute. But before I tell you just how Mark Green went about slurring VP Cheney, President Bush and religious conservatives, let me explain why he went out of his way to defame them in the most obnoxious possible manner on this evening's Hardball.
Mark Green is about to lose to Andrew Cuomo in next month's New York Democratic primary for Attorney General. The latest poll has him eating Cuomo's dust by 18 points. And that was before the final nail in his coffin - yesterday's AFL-CIO endorsement of Cuomo. Green has a history of losing. He lost to Al D'Amato for senator. He did manage to get himself elected consumer commissioner of NYC, but then lost to Bloomberg for mayor. His impending loss to Cuomo will in all likliehood mark the end of his elective political career. Any future run could put him in Harold Stassen territory.
A Washington Post Editorial addressing a recent gaffe by Virginia Senator George Allen, actually mis-characterizes the incident. The line "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia" had nothing to do with anyone's race, or presumed country of origin. It followed directly on the heels of Allen lambasting opponent Webb for being off with the Hollywood elite. It was that contrast Allen was attempting to draw as you can see here.
The idea that holding up minorities to public scorn in front of an all-white crowd will elicit chortles and guffaws? (It did.) The idea that a candidate for public office can say "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia!" to an American of Indian descent and really mean nothing offensive by it?
One of the interesting evidences of bias in the mainstream press is the way that all political discussions tend to be written from the point-of-view of "what do the Democrats need to do to win?" This New York Times "analysis" is just the latest example. All of the factors that you'd expect to see from a PR firm trying to help Democrats get elected are present.
Introductory paragraph framing the issue from the Democrats' perspective? Check.
After being outmaneuvered in the politics of national security in the last two elections, Democrats say they are determined not to cede the issue this year and are working to cast President Bush as having diminished the nation’s safety.