The National Center for Public Policy Research's health care senior policy analyst, David Hogberg, contacted
the CBS television show "60 Minutes" five times last week -- by telephone, fax and e-mail -- to warn the show's producers that a report by the leftie big-government health care lobby group Families USA, which "60 Minutes" planned to highlight in Sunday's show, rested on faulty data.
The Families USA report made certain claims in support of calls that Medicare be permitted to "negotiate (read: dictate) drug prices to drug companies. An analysis David completed for the National Center in January, and which he made available to "60 Minutes," called the Families USA study "nonsense."
As David explained in a National Center press release today:
Two days ago, I blogged about how the Washington Post's Jeff Birnbaum believes that "without question," Reagan's tax cuts went "too far."
In today's Post, Slate's Timothy Noah went a few steps further in his negative review of John Patrick Diggins's Reagan biography "Ronald Reagan: Fate, Freedom, and the Making of History."
Noah tried his hand at being a shrink, attributing psychosexual motives to Reagan's economic policy. Emphasis mine.:
...Reagan, like just about every other actor who ever passed through Hollywood, had a very hard time viewing sex as something to repress. This genial hedonism would later express itself in Reagan's embrace of supply-side economics. Tax cuts would pay for themselves, he told himself, and when they didn't, he left to his two White House successors the drudge work of reducing the huge budget deficit.
This is a developing story, so there's room for it to play out a bit, but the law firm congressional Democrats are hiring to help plow through the U.S. attorney firings, Arnold & Porter, has a history of heavy donations towards Democrats.
For today's lesson in bias by labeling, class, turn to today's "Annapolis Notebook" in the March 28 Washington Post.
It's there that reporter Lisa Rein skewed her portrayal of a debate over tuition for illegal aliens in favor of the liberal Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly, with everything from watering down the label "illegal immigrant" to painting Republicans as angry partisans and Democrats as righteously angry protecters of the underprivileged.
Writing in the "Swampland" blog for Time magazine today, Karen Tumulty insisted the U.S. attorney firings deserved"massive commitment of journalistic resources" before going on to cite a study showing that media attention in the past few weeks has skewed heavily towards the non-scandal scandal:
before all our commenters jump on me, let me stipulate: I think the
unfolding U.S. Attorneys story is a huge one, it deserves a massive
commitment of journalistic resources, it is not likely to go away any
time soon and I'm skeptical that Alberto Gonzales is going to survive
it. I also believe that history has shown us many times that the
broadest measures of public interest are a lagging indicator of the
significance of a story. Finally, the blogosphere deserves huge credit
for leading the way on it.
Translation: "the public don't know it yet, but this is an important story, we're going to make it an important story, and, kudos to liberal bloggers for making a fuss over it."
In 1993, Time magazine didn't show the same interest in blowing up the Clinton/Reno firings into a story the public would care about. [continued...]
At the end of his 2004 campaign, Howard Dean started Democracy for America, billed as a grassroots Democratic political action committee "dedicated to supporting fiscally responsible, socially progressive candidates at all levels of government."
Last week, DFA staged an online Dem presidential candidate preference poll. As a proud DFA member [meaning that I joined the email list], I just received the results of the poll. Hillary's advisers might want to dust off Hirohito's famous statement at the end of WWII to the effect that the situation "has not progressed entirely as we would have wished." Because Hillary finished in fifth place with 8.7%, behind Dennis Kucinich and barely one point ahead of Bill Richardson. Obama finished first with 28%, John Edwards a close second at 25%.
Now it's true that this is an unscientific poll, and that DFA surely attracts people from the liberal wing of the Dem party. But then again, isn't the conventional wisdom that Dem primary voters come from that same liberal wing?
Was DFA Executive Director Tom Hughes mortified by the results? He buried the mention of Hillary's embarrassingly bad performance in the eighth paragraph of his email!
Wednesday’s "Good Morning America" continued its hyperbolic, Democratic-friendly coverage of the scandal revolving around the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys and President Bush’s announcement that White House officials such as Karl Rove would not be testifying under oath on the subject.
An ABC graphic described the disagreement between the White House and Congress as a "constitutional showdown." Co-host Diane Sawyer asserted that Bush was "double-daring the Democrats in Congress," while fellow host Robin Roberts wondered if the White House could even survive more revelations.
The first report, which aired at 7:02am on March 21, featured ABC reporter Jessica Yellin derisively using the "decider" nickname to describe President Bush:
Would you take a paycheck from an organization you consider illegitimate? Neal Gabler apparently would.
"I don't want to bite the hand that feeds me my Kool-Aid," claimed Gabler on this evening's "Fox News Watch." He then proceeded to do just that, claiming that Democrats pulled out of the Fox-sponsored presidential candidate debate in Nevada "for the same reason that Republicans would not go on Air America -- it doesn't make any political sense. Why in the world would you want to legitimize a network that spends hour after hour after hour after hour to, to."
Call it confirming the obvious, but a poll released today by the Zogby organization, conducted in conjunction with the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet, reveals that a vast majority of Americans believe that the media is biased. 83% of likely voters said the media is biased in one direction or another, while just 11% believe the media doesn’t take political sides.
Of particular significance: "nearly two-thirds of those online respondents who detected bias in the media (64%) said the media leans left, while slightly more than a quarter of respondents (28%) said they see a conservative bias."
If Stephen Colbert is going to pretend to be a conservative, perhaps he shouldn’t play along when a guest compares President Bush to a genocidal dictator like Adolf Hitler. On the March 13 edition of "The Colbert Report," the Comedy Central host had University of Missouri professor Dr. Donald Shield on to discuss the (media generated) controversy over the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys.
Shields was appearing to tout a study claiming that federal prosecutors investigated Democrats over Republicans by a five-to-one margin. However, the discussion quickly degenerated into Nazi comparisons with Colbert happily joining in:
Stephen Colbert"...The Republicans are in power so they're using the full force of the federal government to target the Democrats specifically to make sure they get all the corrupt ones out of there. I mean, that's government efficiency."
Dr. Donald Shields: "Well, that's kind of the way Hitler started out in Nazi Germany, isn't it?"
Colbert: "Well, I mean, he started out efficiently. He got bad later. But first it was about making the trains run on time. You gotta give me that. You gotta give me that!"
As the Managing Editor of Fox News Channel's Washington, DC bureau, you might have thought Brit Hume would have taken great umbrage at John Edwards' high-profile decision to spurn a debate of Dem presidential contenders that Fox had organized for August in Nevada. The Edwards pull-out ultimately led to a cancellation of the debate by the Nevada state Democratic party. Edwards had come under pressure from liberal netroots and organizations such as Move.on, which had organized a petition drive calling for cancellation of the debate.
But in a fair-and-balanced comment reflecting an appreciation of real politik, Hume has praised Edwards' move as "shrewd" -- at least in the short run. During the panel discussion on this morning's Fox News Sunday, Hume observed:
Does Karen Greenberg believe the United States is involved in a war with Islamist terrorists? Judging by her column in today's Los Angeles Times, The military's Gitmo script, you really have to wonder. Greenberg is executive director of the Center on Law and Security at NYU law school. Her bio there [from whence her photo here comes] indicates that she is a former Vice-President of George Soros' Open Society Institute. Her colleague at the Center, NYU prof Stephen Holmes [pictured here], lists as one of his areas of specialization: "the disappointments of democratization after communism." Ah, remember the good old days under Uncle Joe?
In any case, Greenberg recently toured the detention facilities at Guantanamo, and several of her comments make clear her skepticism as to the seriousness of the terror threat. Examples:
"The View’s" Joy Behar demonstrated again this week that the ladies of the ABC program are committed leftists, determined to spread propaganda. Co-host Behar made this point clear when she slandered the Bush administration as "murderers."
On the Al Gore front, "Today" co-anchor Meredith Vieira proclaimed the former Vice President to be the "coolest guy" at last Sunday’s Oscars. "The Washington Post," meanwhile, one-upped the NBC host and wondered if the potential 2008 candidate is "America’s coolest ex-Vice President ever." [Emphasis added]
"CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric blogged on the subject of Gore, referring to him as a "secular saint."
Last week, the Senate Ethics Committee exonerated former Virginia Senator George Allen on charges that he failed to report stock options he earned during the time he served as a director of a biotech company. As Cal Thomas throughly documented in his current column, this determination of innocence has gone little noticed by the mainstream media. The accusations, however, which were made last October during Allen’s heated, and ultimately unsuccessful, reelection campaign, were heavily covered.
As noted by CNSNews.com, the charges, first reported by the AP, were picked up and editorialized in several prominent Virginia papers. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee even used the claims in an ad for Allen’s Democratic opponent James Webb. (See above picure) Not so coincidentally, Senator Allen ended up losing his pivotal Senate seat by around 8000 votes. So the question is, now that it turns out the media hyped faulty accusations, where does Senator Allen go to get his reputation and his Senate seat back?
In his March 1 column, Cal Thomas commented on the shoddy coverage by the liberal media [emphasis added]:
Ever since the new Defeatocrat party took control of our Congress less than two months ago, the snarling anklebiters who make up its support base have allowed their irrational hatred for the Bush administration to propel them to new heights of lunacy, and it doesn't look as if they're going to be piloting the starship moonbat toward planet reality anytime soon.
Of course, there has never been a time when the word rational could have been used to accurately describe this particular generation of leftists, however, with each passing day it's becoming more and more difficult to refer to them as anything but a gaggle of frothing nutjobs.
If the truth be known, I'd rather be locked in a room with a few dozen hysterical 5-year-olds for a week than spend half an minute listening to the sort of mindless gibberish that routinely flows from the mouth of Cindy Sheehan. Unfortunately, the Jurassic media feels the need to report every idiotic phrase uttered by that brainsick rube, while virtually ignoring the opinions of the most honorable people in America; the men and women of our armed services.
For the third time since the 2006 midterm elections, CNN’s "Situation Room" has highlighted liberal Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as a role model for the national GOP. On the Monday edition of the cable program, reporter Jeff Greenfield discussed the California leader’s visit to Washington to give a speech and he also described Schwarzenegger’s "centrism." Additionally, Greenfield highlighted the former movie star's liberal initiatives:
Jeff Greenfield: " In 2005, frustrated by a Democratic legislature, Schwarzenegger went to war, promoting ballot measures to curb the power of unions, to cap the budget, to change redistricting. All of those measures went down to defeat."
Arnold Schwarzenegger: "I just made terrible mistakes."
Greenfield: "So, in a remarkable 180 degree turn, Schwarzenegger began cutting deals with the legislature on education spending, on expanding health care to all children, on dealing with the budget deficit and roads through bond measures, that’s borrowing. He’s joined Senator John McCain, embracing a massive effort to cut greenhouse gasses, something the conservative GOP base is not exactly crazy about. And he’s even defended the Republicans’ public enemy number one, Hillary Clinton, over her Iraq War vote."
On Wednesday’s "Situation Room," reporter Bill Schneider, in a piece on minorities in America, very casually alleged that African Americans don’t vote for Republicans because of "the perception of racism."
He also claimed that blacks have no reason to distrust the federal government because, after all, that institution rescued them from slavery. (Apparently conservatives just don’t appreciate this point.) After noting the losses by several African American GOP candidates in 2006, Schneider made his point about racism:
Bill Schneider: "President Bush appointed two African-American secretaries of state. Republicans nominated three African-Americans for important statewide offices last year. None of them came close to carrying black voters, which suggests it's not just the perception of racism that drives most black voters away from the Republican Party. There's something else. Distrust of the federal government is a core issue for Republicans."
"Nightline" host Terry Moran recently blogged about the dustup over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her request for a larger plane to fly back to her San Francisco district. In the February 8 entry, the ABC host criticized the Bush administration for leaking the story to "The Washington Times," whom he referred to as "a kind of house organ for conservatives." "The Washington Times" certainly leans right, but has Mr. Moran ever labeled "The New York Times" a mouth piece for liberals?
An excerpt of Mr. Moran’s blog is below:
After the 9/11 attacks, Speaker Hastert was, for security reasons, given ‘shuttle service’ by military transport to and from his congressional district in Illinois. This year, citing the same security concerns, the Sergeant at Arms of the House of Representatives asked the Department of Defense to provide a plane that could get Speaker Pelosi to and from her district in California--which would require a bigger and costlier plane than Hastert used.
What did the Bush administration do? Leak the story--to The Washington Times, a kind of house organ for conservatives in the capital. And sit back and watch the flap.
On Sunday’s "Late Edition," CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer conducted a syrupy interview with consumer advocate and frequent presidential candidate Ralph Nader. Blitzer allowed the former Green Party standard-bearer to once again promote left-wing PBS host Bill Moyers for President in 2008. The CNN anchor also gushed over Nader’s new work of non-fiction, "The 17 Traditions," a liberal tome about rasing families. Blitzer described it as a "beautiful book with a lot of emotion." But first, he prompted Nader to plug the Moyers for President campaign:
Wolf Blitzer: "Here's what you wrote back in October on Bill Moyers, the PBS commentator: ‘Moyers brings impressive credentials beyond his knowledge of the White House, congressional complexes. As millions of viewers and readers over the decades know, Bill Moyers is unusually articulate and authentic in evaluating the unmet necessities and framing the ignored solutions in our country.’ You'd like him to run for president?"
Ralph Nader: "Very much. I got a great response to that column."
Blitzer: "What -- What response did you get from Bill Moyers?"
CNN analyst, author, and former Clinton operative James Carville appeared on Monday’s "Good Morning America" and complained that journalists are too tough on Hillary Clinton. Referring to the comment made by the New York Senator and 2008 presidential candidate that she has experience dealing with "evil and bad men," Carville asserted that members of the media should be lauding her strong sense of humor. The Louisiana native also touted Mrs. Clinton’s nascent White House run, saying that it was the best campaign kick off ever. However, the CNN analyst became most animated when speaking of Hillary’s recent joke:
Diane Sawyer: "I want to turn to Iraq in a moment, but you mentioned sense of humor. So, who did you think she was talking about when she said that about bad men?"
James Carville: "You know– You know, journalists are funny. All you hear is, [Adopts whiney tone] 'Hillary don't have a sense of humor. She’s too cold. She does this and that.' And then, she cracks a joke, which, by the way which was a pretty funny joke. And they say, 'Well, look at this. Look at this.' You know? And I thought it was sophisticated, and the fact that she didn't answer it is an element of good humor. And I know her personally to be a very warm and humorous person and I was delighted to see that come out. Good joke, Senator. Way to go."
On a long drive home from a Indianapolis this weekend, I had the dubious pleasure of listening to a CBS news break at the top of the hour on a talk station and in one of their reports on Saturday's anti-War protests the verbiage used to report the gatherings was so slanted that it was startling and was so obviously intended to make it seem much greater than it really was that it wasn't even funny.
Reporter Jim Taylor started his report saying "A nation says no to war ..." as an introduction to the story of the goings on in Washington.
A "nation" says no? A few protests equates the the whole nation, CBS?
If you've been student of politics on the internet for more than a few years, you've no doubt seen variations on what your political ideology is. With Democrats recently having taken control of congress and the Right wondering where to head after big losses in 2006, I think it's time to break down what I think defines a person's political ideology. The following is my attempt to do this:
Moral: Religion, censorship, science, and sexuality.
Social: Race, regulation, the welfare state
Foreign policy: America's cultural place in the world, military interventions
Fiscal: Taxation, spending
Organizational: Unionization, regulating politics
Tell me if you think I've missed any broad topics that should be in here. Then, head over to the Pew Center's political Typology Test and see where you fit in. I have a poll at the bottom of the sidebar where you can say which group you're in. I did notice two flaws in the poll, though: It skews your results if you say which ideology you think you are.
This one is really waaaay too funny, and will definitely require all drinking vessels, flammables, and sharp objects be safely stowed.
Psychology Today magazine has a long study published in its January/February issue about the differing mindsets and personalities of conservatives and liberals. Who do you think the report praised, and who did it slam? Which ideological group was perceived as smarter, and which was considered more insecure?
If you’re having a hard time answering these questions, read this (emphasis mine throughout). However, please fasten your seatbelts, for you are about to be greatly insulted by one of America's leading psychology periodicals:
In her story today on the resumption of the debate on embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) in the House, Laurie Kellman of the Associated Press reports the following as fact:
Polls show Americans overwhelmingly support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. And scientists aren't sure that stem cells shed by a fetus and extracted from the surrounding fluid carry the same possibility for treatments and cures of diseases as those culled from embryos.
The facts are that:
At least one poll involved asked a misleading question to get a still-not-"overwhelming" result that does not support the characterization of "overwhelming support" she employs.
The poll's sample was skewed to Democrats and strong Democrats.
The "possibility for treatments" for stem cells obtained from amniotic fluid may have MORE disease-eliminating possibilities than those obtained from ESCR will ever have.
Amidst all the media hype over what CBS’ Bob Schieffer called the congressional Democrats’ "ambitious schedule" to reform ethics rules and regulations, Wednesday’s "Anderson Cooper 360" actually provided a tough, worthwhile report on what real ethical reform would be. According to CNN correspondent Drew Griffin, convicted members of Congress still receive thousands of dollars in pensions. Yes, disgraced felons such as James Traficant, Randy Cunningham, and Dan Rostenkowski each year accrue large sums of taxpayer money. Host Anderson Cooper introduced the subject and seemed to issue a challenge to the Democrats:
Anderson Cooper: "Well, the new Congress convenes tomorrow with Democrats in control, who have pledged to pass a number of bills in the first 100 legislative hours. They have also promised to change some ethic rules on Capitol Hill. One law that they're not tackling is pensions for convicted members of Congress. That's right, tax dollars used to pay for the retirement of felons."
Apparently deciding that one puff piece on a Democratic leader isn’t enough, Wednesday’s "American Morning" featured a virtual DNC press release on incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her childhood city of Baltimore. Reporter Andrea Koppel noted that the Congresswoman comes from a neighborhood "full of proud American-Italian Catholics" and that Pelosi hopes voters will recognize the fact that she "places a premium on family values." The piece featured no criticism of the soon-to-be Speaker, only praise for her "historic moment":
Andrea Koppel: "Now, as Congresswoman Pelosi walks into the history books, becoming the first female Speaker of the House, she plans to pay tribute to her Baltimore roots. Professor Matthew Crensen says the visit could help her refashion her image."
Matthew Crensen (John Hopkins professor): "That she's not just a well-dressed lady from San Francisco, who is married to a millionaire, that she came from a working-class ethnic, religious neighborhood, that she's one of them."
Koppel: "And with Democrats set to take control of Congress this week, that message, that Pelosi places a premium on family values, is one that she, and her party, hope will resonate with middle-class America..."
For those of a Republican bent, Election Day wasn't much fun. But that's not to say that defeat doesn't bring with it certain muted pleasures of its own. Such as watching the liberal media take the Dem congressional majority to task as it begins to moonwalk away from various campaign promises. Chief among those pledges was this one, part of the DNC's official 6-Point Plan for 2006:
"We want to close the remaining gaps in our security by enacting the 9/11 Commission recommendations."
One of the most important 9/11 panel recommendations called for Congress to reform its own house when it comes to the oversight of intelligence. This might sound like inside baseball, but it's important. The basic notion is this: intelligence agencies will be most responsive to those congressional committees that control their budgets. The way Congress is currently organized, the various committees on intelligence - those with the most expertise in the area - are effectively toothless. They have no budget control over the intelligence agencies they theoretically oversee. Instead, budgetary control is in the hands of the armed services committees and the appropriations panels' defense subcommittees.
I'm confused. Doesn't the MSM abhor the mixing of religion and politics? Isn't it quick to invoke the specter of theocracy and decry the crumbling of the [non-existent] "constitutional separation of church and state"? Well, yes, in general. But there is an exception to the MSM rule. Turns out it's OK to mix religion and politics, when it's Dems in general - and Barack Obama in particular - who are making the merger.
On this afternoon's Hardball, guest host David Shuster played a clip of Obama, in church, explictly calling for his Christian religious faith to "guide us to a new and better politics."
Asked Shuster of CNBC chief political correspondent John Harwood: "Your reaction - mixing religion and politics in that way?"
Harwood: "It's smart. Democrats need to do more of that."
It in turn touted a study by a social work master’s student at Southern Connecticut State University purporting to find that there exists "a direct link between mental illness and support for President Bush."