At the Politico, Darren Samuelsohn reports that "The public has largely tuned out the Democrats’ repeated warnings about ... (what will happen) if the sequester cuts stay in place." He also notes in a separate report that Republicans "Republicans are winning the sequester wars," and that "even the White House admits there’s little chance of reversing all the cuts."
Of course, what's in question here mostly aren't "cuts" at all, but reductions in projected spending increases, as pollster Scott Rasmussen explained in his note accompanying a recent poll his organization did on the topic:
The New York Times' kazillion-word, March 17 article by Michael Luo on the failures of state courts to get guns out of the hands of men in domestic violence situations has caused a sensation.
The main purpose of the article was to tweak America's oldest civil rights organization, the National Rifle Association, for opposing some of the more rash anti-gun proposals being considered by state legislatures, such as allowing courts to take away a person's firearms on the basis of a temporary restraining order.
Actress and Tennessee resident Ashley Judd announced today that she is not running for Senate in Kentucky.
Politico has two items on this political development. The main story by Maggie Halberman and Manu Raju defensively describes her as "an eighth-generation Kentuckian." The second is a very short post from Caitlin McDevitt linking to the longer original which merely excerpts five paragraphs from the longer item. It's at that post where a commenter made the following observation:
We've come to expect this sort of thing from MSNBC, but the Associated Press should be ashamed of itself. In a story about Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) signing into law a new voter ID law requiring a photo ID to vote-- which may be provided free-of-charge to indigent Virginians, by the way -- the AP strongly suggested the bill is an attempt by Virginia Republicans to prevent a Democratic presidential candidate from winning the state in 2016.
"Republican majorities in the Virginia House and Senate pushed the bill to passage one year after a more modest GOP-sponsored voter identification law failed to prevent President Barack Obama from winning Virginia for the second presidential election in a row and a Democratic U.S. Senate victory," the AP noted in the fourth paragraph of their March 27 story. As you can see in the full story pasted below, this was in the context of hyping a liberal Democrat's charge that requiring voter ID is akin to Jim Crow-era disenfranchisement efforts (story accessed via FoxNews.com, emphases mine):
In an item about how Arizona Senator John McCain is sticking to his characterization of illegal immigrants as "illegal," Kevin Cirilli at the Politico relayed without the least bit of skepticism a claim by illegal-immigrant advocates that those who enter the country illegally should only be called "illegal" if they have previously been deported, and that those who illegally overstay their visas really aren't acting illegally at all.
McCain's current position (who knows what it will be tomorrow or a week for now?), as quoted by Cirilli, is that "Someone who crosses our borders illegally is here illegally. You can call it whatever you want to, but it’s illegal. I think there’s a big difference between someone who does something that’s illegal and someone who’s undocumented. I’ll continue to call it illegal.” Illegal-immigrant advocates -- incorrectly, as will be seen -- don't see it that way (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The liberal media's push for gun control has long included the tactic of attempting to shame the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun rights activists into silence. That tactic was once again deployed by MSNBC's Thomas Roberts this morning in his interview with liberal Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), who is calling on the nation's oldest civil rights organization to cease and desist robocalls to phone numbers in the Newtown, Connecticut, area.
AP Reporter Dina Cappiello at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, has put up what I guess is supposed to be an analysis of President Obama's possible actions relating to "climate change" that is so bad that an adequate critique would require a college term paper -- at one of the few colleges left which doesn't brainwash and intimidate students into believing the alleged unassailability of contentions about man-caused "global warming."
So other than noting that Cappiello "somehow" forgot to note a Bloomberg News report about Obama's plan to "expand the scope of a Nixon-era law that was first intended to force agencies to assess the effect of projects on air, water and soil pollution" to now include "climate change" -- an action which if carried out to its full potential could stop virtually any project anywhere -- I'll just post key paragraphs and let commenters have what promises to be virtually endless fun picking Cappiello's work apart:
As I noted earlier this evening, Obama spoke last week under a banner of Yasser Arafat, "the father of modern terrorism." That move is being seen as a gaffe by the very few, almost none of whom are in the establishment press, who have even noticed it. What if it's not a gaffe, but rather an intentional move? That may be the case if what Al Arabiya reported on Friday, seen after the jump, is indeed true (HT Examiner.com):
On Thursday in Ramallah, as Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard blog noted, U.S. President Barack Obama "addressed the assembled journalists while standing under a Yasser Arafat banner." Arafat is rightly considered the “father of modern terrorism.” Since U.S. establishment press coverage is non-existent, I'll take readers to an outraged Nile Gardiner at the UK Telegraph to express how utterly offensive Obama's silently condoning Arafat's legitimacy really is:
The “nonpartisan” Organizing for Action is using the president’s twitter account. How is that not a violation of their 501 (c) (4) status? They’re selling access to the president. The site’s URL is Barackobama.com, and they recently made the decision to not disclose their donors, which seems to be fine with the D.C. watchdog community. Under Bush, this conduct would’ve drawn vociferous reactions from the political left, but Obama has the left and the media cowed.
Aaron Blake reported for the Washington Post on March 22, that the OFA was going to share the president’s Twitter account.
In a brief item Friday at Politico, Donovan Slack reported that President Obama has withdrawn his nomination of Caitlin Halligan for the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.
Concerning Republican senators' opposition to her nomination, Slack said it was "because they said she had a record of advocacy and an activist view of the judiciary" without citing specifics. It's almost as if Slack knew he had to write something, but wished to keep a rare Republican success at stopping an objectionable court nominee as vague and quiet as possible. In early March, the folks at Eagle Forum compiled a useful list of how awful Halligan would have been had her appointment made it through the Senate (bolds are mine throughout this post):
As hard as the establishment press has worked over the years to make certain politicians appear to be somehow out of touch with the situation of average Americans, you might think that two legislative leaders complaining about cuts in their Congressional offices' allowance might be news. One whined that her aides, some of whom "earn" in excess of $100,000 per year, are being "priced out" of a good lunch on Capitol Hill.
Don't be silly. The press only cares about making Republicans and conservatives appear out of touch. The complainers in question are Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who also heads the Democratic National Committee, and longtime Democratic Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia. The Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard noted Schultz's and Moran's whining on Wednesday:
Silly me. I thought a "balanced budget" was defined as one where receipts equal outlays and there is no surplus or deficit during the period involved.
Not to David Espo, who is chief congressional correspondent at the Associated Press. In an "analysis" piece which looks more like a tool to begin reframing the language of "balance" to mean what Barack Obama and his Democratic Party really want it to mean -- namely to describe a "budget" containing deficits as far as the eye can see that has lots of tax increases and "spending cuts" which based on the historical record never materialize -- Espo showed once again why it's more than fair to call his employer and its journalists "the Administration's Press" (bolds are mine):
MSNBC's Chris Matthews is the "real face of character assassination," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued on the March 21 edition of Fox News Channel's Hannity program. The Media Research Center founder and president reacted to just the latest instance of the Hardball host bashing Tea Party conservatives as racist, xenophobic, and anti-gay. "On Monday night, he was so off on his attacks on CPAC" that the non-partisan media criticism site Mediaite.com "called it grossly unfair and inaccurate." Two nights later, Matthews practically wrote off as insufficiently black African-American politicians like Mia Love, Herman Cain, former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who identify strongly with the Tea Party movement.
Also discussed on the "Media Mash" segment was a new Pew survey showing MSNBC is 85 percent commentary to 15 percent news reporting [watch the full Mash segment below the page break].
Well, this is a stunning reversal of fortune. Remember when Organizing for Action – the so-called non-partisan 501(c)4 group aimed at disseminating and lobbying for Obama’s agenda – would release the names of its donors, especially the ones who give big to the organization. Well, they’ve decided to nix that, not that the liberal media care to note the reversal.
For the first time, I am wondering about the long-term viability of the Republican Party. I say this not as an advocate of its demise or restructuring but as an observer of troubling signs.
The Republican Party is thought to be the institutional vehicle for the advancement of conservative policies, but for decades, the conservative movement has been frustrated with the party's deviation from conservative principles — its refusal to live up to its decidedly conservative platform.
A Marine Corps official accuses the Senate majority leader of "pure political posturing on the backs of these dead Marines" and the networks whistle right by it. There is no question what Harry Reid is implying during his disgraceful remarks on the Senate floor. He links the sequester to the deaths of seven Marines, and ABC, CBS, and NBC censor the story by giving it ZERO seconds of coverage.
His conduct is disgusting, and so is theirs. [read more below page break]
At the Washington Post's Post Politics blog on Monday, Juliet Eilperin revealed that the White House has notified participants invited to the April 1 Easter Egg Roll that the event "is subject to cancellation due to funding uncertainty surrounding the Executive Office of the President and other federal agencies."
Eilperin only considered the White House's latest obvious example of "no petty and partisan gesture left behind" a partisan matter when a Republican who hasn't held political office for 15 years objected (bolds are mine):
The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has released its 2013 pity party -- er, annual report -- on the State of the News Media (home page; full overview).
Two things struck me in my initial scan-through: First, the whining about newsroom cutbacks, which are largely related to pervasive bias and misplaced priorities; second, the characterization of newsmakers' improved ability to take their cases directly to the public "without any filter by the traditional media" as some kind of automatically negative trend.
We should give credit to the Associated Press's Calvin Woodward, with help from AP Polling Director Jennifer Agiesta and writer Alan Fram, for calling out politicians and other gun-grabbers who have been abusing a two decades-old gun-related statistic and passing it off as if it's still factual.
That's nice, but Woodward could have saved many words, mountains of paper, and tons of bandwidth by telling readers in plain English that claims such as one made President Barack Obama that "as many as 40 percent of all gun purchases are conducted without a background check" have never, ever been true. Instead, the AP reporter used 13 paragraphs, at one point excusing researchers who came up with a 30-40 percent estimate even "with a clear picture eluding them." There was never any defensible basis for their "estimate." Excerpts from Woodward's Wednesday item following the jump:
In an interview with former Bill Clinton adviser George Stephanopoulos at ABC (transcript here), President Barack Obama claimed that “We don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt." Despite his claim, no one can know that for sure, but it's at least consistent with what he said during the 2012 presidential campaign ("we don't have to worry about it short term").
Obama's elaboration on the debt topic, however, was not consistent: "In fact, for the next ten years, it’s gonna be in a sustainable place." Ten years is long-term by any reasonable definition. His statement directoly contradicts what he said In October 2012: "... it is a problem long term and even medium term." Of course, ABC's subsequent coverage of that interview by Jonathan Karl didn't note the President's change of tune, and went further to assist Obama by presenting a misleading visual and by misstating the relative size of this year's officially projected deficit to that seen in fiscal 2009.
In Monday's New York Times, in a report which appeared online late Sunday, reporters Richard W. Stevenson and John Harwood devoted considerable space to the idea that President Obama's latest "outreach" effort is primarily an attempt to "salvage a big deficit-reduction deal," and not a political ploy to show voters in the 2014 congressional elections that he's really interested in achieving a compromise when no genuine desire exists.
Steven Hayes at the Weekly Standard believes it's the latter ("For Obama, It's All About 2014"), as should anyone, probably including the reporters just cited, who is on the mailing list of Obama's permanent campaign known as Organizing For Action. On Thursday, three days before the Times reporters tried to convince America that Obama is in deal-making mode, OFA, which self-evidently tailors its message to the White House's true desire went into over-the-top scaremongering mode in an email from proven prevaricator Stephanie Cutter (bolds are mine):
In a mild shock -- mild because it's mentioned before the elections, but probably won't be when it really matters after the polls close -- Frank Bajak and Jorge Rueda at the Associated Press, in a story about how the last opposition TV station in Venezuela is being sold to an insurance magnate who is reportedly "friendly with government," noted the extraordinary handicaps that Venezuela's opposition presidential candidate faces as he attempts to unseat the Chavista successor to the late dictator Hugo Chavez in April's upcoming elections.
It will be interesting to see how much national play this story gets. My guess is: "little."
Following up on a matter on which I initially posted last month, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported yesterday that the prosecutor for Hamilton County, Ohio, where the county seat is Cincinnati, is bringing charges related to improper voting against three people – including a longtime poll worker and a nun. In connection with the poll worker, reporter Sharon Coolidge notes something that should earn today's prize for inadvertent deadpan humor (in bold):
In a New York Times op-ed which has been receiving deserved criticism from other quarters concerning other matters (e.g., here and here), Ta-Nehisi Coates ("The Good, Racist People") repeated one of those establishment press-induced "everybody knows" mantras which doesn't stand up to scrutiny after considering the available evidence: "New York is a city, like most in America, that bears the scars of redlining, blockbusting and urban renewal. The ghost of those policies haunts us in a wealth gap between blacks and whites that has actually gotten worse over the past 20 years." In Coates's fevered mind, it's largely due to racism.
In national context, the white-black wealth gap in the two decades since 1993 is not yet known, but in 2005, the 15th of the past 20 years for which information is available (1991-2010), it stayed the same. The multiple only went up significantly when the housing bubble burst and the recession took hold.
With all the talk of sequstration and its supposed "austerity on autopilot" (as characterized at Voice of America -- your tax dollars at work against you), it's useful to look at what has really been happening with federal spending over the past six years, something the establishment press is very reluctant to do.
On Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office released its February Monthly Budget Review ahead of the Treasury Department's official report which will arrive early next week. It estimates that the federal government ran a one-month deficit of $205 billion. It also shows that year-to-date spending through five months of the government's fiscal year is up by 2.7 percent, and is up even after adjustment for timing quirks:
This posts builds on another by Noel Sheppard which appeared earlier today at NewsBusters. At ShowBiz411.com, Roger Friedman, who worked at Fox News for a decade until he was fired in 2009 over alleged film piracy, claims that Brooke Shields is “Likely” to join “The View” as Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck depart. "Likely"? Wow, Rog, way to put yourself on the line.
Friedman went heavy on praise for Shields and took shots at Hasselbeck. Commenters certainly aren't supportive, as will be seen after the jump.
It's as if Associated Press reporter Paul Haven saw colleague Frank Bajak's pathetic obituary of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez earlier today (covered by Matthew Balan at NewsBusters) and said: "Oh yeah? I can outdo you."
That he did, in an execrable report excerpted after the jump which should be saved to the hard drive and shown as evidence that anyone who calls the wire service "the Authoritarian Press" is not at all out of line (bolds are mine):