Awwww. Don Berwick is unhappy. In a speech at the annual conference of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement excerpted at the Boston Globe's White Coat Notes blog, the man whom Congress would not confirm as Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator seventeen months after President Obama gave him a recess appointment lashed out at his critics, especially their use of the terms "rationing" and "death panels," describing the employment of the latter term as "beyond cruelty."
Neither Chelsea Conaboy's introduction at the Globe excerpt nor Sam Baker's coverage at the Hill's Healthwatch blog brought up why the two terms Berwick despises so accurately describe his health care views, which include his belief that the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and signed by President Obama last year -- the one where, as Nancy Pelosi warned, we're still figuring out what's really in it -- is, as he told Boston station WBUR, "majestic." What follows is most of Conaboy's intro, which almost completely ignored the overheated rhetoric in the speech excerpts which followed:
It appears that cleanup crews around the country aren't the only ones engaging in sanitation exercises in the wake of the largely disbanded Occupy encampments around the country.
At the Associated Press, which made the goings-on in the waning days of Occupy LA national news, the aftermath is apparently just a local or regional story. Here's a list of results at the AP's national site of a search on "occupy Los Angeles" (not in quotes):
You can count on the Daily Kos to be embarrassed by how America's Republican presidential contenders have ruined the country's image in the eyes of socialist Europeans -- to be specific, the hard-left German magazine Der Spiegel and its latest diatribe against Republicans, tenderly headlined "A Club of Liars, Demagogues and Ignoramuses."
The blogger "Downeastdem" cannot believe these GOP leaders dare present themselves on the debate stage: "It's horrifying because these eight so-called, would-be candidates are eagerly ruining not only their own reputations and that of their party, the party of Lincoln lore. Worse: They're ruining the reputation of the United States."
CNN anchor Carol Costello mocked the annual "War on Christmas" theme on Wednesday morning's Newsroom. Liberal Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) said he would light the state's "holiday tree" and "Fox News, as it does every year, went crazy." Apparently, the calmer CNN mocks this at the same time it lines it up to be its "Talk Back" feature for audience reaction.
Costello underlined the liberal nature of CNN by then reading from Jason Linkins of The Huffington Post about how this whole "war on Christmas" just "never was" and is insulting to Christians, such as himself. But Costello drained out the HuffPo writer's talk of Christians issuing "fatwas" and carrying around an "insane persecution complex."
The Democratic National Committee blasted ABC reporter Jake Tapper in an "open letter" for declaring on his Political Punch blog that their ad was "deceptive and false" on Mitt Romney's position on the stimulus (as we reported first here.) Ben Smith at Politico reported it, and noted it has now been unpublished. This is probably why: DNC National Press Secretary Melanie Roussell charged, "If you had only done your due diligence, you might have learned that Mitt Romney expressed his support for the Recovery Act on more than the one occasion."
Her problem? The example she cited was quoted by Tapper after he talked to someone at the DNC, and he then dismissed it as a non-starter. Who wasn't doing their "due diligence"? As part of a too-regular pattern, Tapper has faulted Team Obama on his blog, but ABC doesn't quite accomplish it on the airwaves to a much larger audience. Here's how it went down:
On November 15 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I compared how two of the leading wire services, Reuters and the Associated Press, covered the announcement by Geron Corp. of its decision to halt the first government-approved clinical trial involving embryonic stem cells. Reuters fairly noted that "teams working with adult stem cells -- a less ambitious area -- are making good progress." While one could quarrel with the characterization of adult stem cell research as "less ambitious" (unless you throw in cloning, which is what sometimes seems to be embryonic researchers' primary area of intrigue), its "good progress" descriptor was fair. Meanwhile, the Associated Press's coverage of the same story failed to even recognize the existence of adult stem cell research.
Wesley Smith, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism and an influential prolife author, has observed that the establishment press has largely come down where AP did. A Friday Catholic News Agency item elaborates (bolds are mine):
On Monday, Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters noted how former New York Times op-ed writer (and before that, theater critic) Frank Rich, who now plies whatever his trade is at New York Magazine, criticized MSNBC's Chris Matthews for writing a "man-crush of a biography" about John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated 48 years ago today.
Monday evening, Allahpundit at Hot Air identified a particularly egregious contention in that same very poor Rich piece, namely that "the hate that ended his (JFK's) presidency" which inspired avowed communist and Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald to commit his heinous crimes (Oswald also shot Texas Governor John Connally in JFK's motorcade and killed Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit later that day) came from the right. Really. What follows are selections from Rich's risible self-righteousness:
On Monday, the Daily Kos covered the Saturday night GOP debate in Iowa with a typical headline "Republicans pander to American Taliban." (Who's doing the pandering? That's also the title of the latest book by Kos bloglord Markos Moulitsas.) Jed Lewison insisted Rick Santorum was Talibanesque when he said, in the Washington Post account: “As long as abortion is legal in this country... we will never have rest because that law does not comport with God’s law.”
Lewison proclaimed: "So the next time you hear Rick Santorum complain about government imposition of Sharia law, keep in mind that he doesn't have a problem with violating the separation of church and state. To him, the only thing that matters is whether the government is imposing his beliefs." (Italics in the original.) Blogs like Right Wing Watch (from People for the American Way) seized on the answer.
Oops, he supposedly did it again. Herman Cain, the GOP presidential candidate who has experience as a rocket scientist on his resume, made another allegedly "stupid" remark. Why, if you buy the press's accounts of his statements, it's hard to believe the guy can dress himself in the morning without hanging his pants over his head and putting his socks on his hands.
Here's what Cain said that has the ninnies at ThinkProgress aka ThinkRegress (whom I won't link) and the Politico all lathered up -- When Cain recounted how he wouldn't answer a reporter's non-specific question about Libya, he responded that he needed to know which aspect of President Obama's current "policy" (there is one?) he should address: "Do I agree with siding with the opposition? Do I agree with saying that Qadhafi should go? Do I agree that they now have a country where you’ve got Taliban and Al Qaeda that’s going to be part of the government? … Do I agree with not knowing the government was going to — which part was he asking me about? I was trying to get him to be specific and he wouldn’t be specific." Well, it turns out, in an update at Politico which ThinkRegress isn't posting, lest it disturb its meme of constant condescension, that a Cain spokesman identified an important Libyan official with Taliban connections lickety-split:
The next time you hear liberals mourning that today's conservative movement has no William F. Buckleyesque figure to banish the right-wing wackos to the fever swamps, just remember what passes for left-wing political thought at the Daily Kos. Last year, the Kosmonaut known as "Troubadour" predicted things were going to go very badly after the midterm elections: "Win or lose this election season, Republicans appear to be headed on a one-way path to organized political violence."
This has apparently been proven by police suppression of the Occupy Wall Street protests, and next the liberals should watch out for the "the internet blacklist bill" and the "the internet kill switch" if Republicans take power in 2013. Full-blown GOP dictatorship is around the corner:
"[A]s Occupy Wall Street embarks on a day of action across New York City that's being echoed by protests around the U.S. and the world, Bloomberg may yet question whether he should have let Zuccotti be," Time magazine's Ishaan Tharoor noted in a November 17 "Global Spin" blog post at the magazine's website.
Tharoor has previously romanticized the OWS movement, and today's post, "The Whole World Watches Again: Occupy Wall Street Fights Back," was no deviation from that pattern, with Tharoor acting more as a press agent -- or at least an apologist -- for the Zuccotti Park squatters than as an objective journalist (emphases mine):
Blogger John at Verum Serum has unmasked yet another instance where initial claims by "leaders" at an Occupy site claiming non-involvement with crime fell apart after a short while. Even worse, after his post went up, a subsequent report on the same incident a few hours later scrubbed the truth to again make Occupiers appear not culpable .
After the jump, readers will see the initial and then revised stories about what happened at Occupy Orlando on Monday, each via Local TV station "News 13."
"Memories, light the corners of my mind. Misty watercolor memories of the way we were." -- Barbra Streisand, The Way We Were
Sober political analysis, or merely an MSMer pining for the good old days of Speaker Pelosi? On Morning Joe today, touting a Politico Pelosi puff piece about her "golden touch,"Mike Allen claimed it was "very possible" that Democrats would retake the House majority in 2012. Video after the jump.
In Hawaii today, according to an Associated Press dispatch filed by Ben Feller, President Barack Obama is reported to have told supporters that, in Feller's words, "everything they worked for and that the country stands for is on the line in his 2012 re-election bid."
Well, if what those donors have "worked" for is an inside track to government money, and if what the country stands for is crony capitalism, the President is right. The following excerpt from Peter Schweizer's new book, "Throw The All Out," provides the details in just one commercial arena (via The Daily Beast; HTs to Doug Ross, Conservatives4Palin, Victory Chronicles, and Heritage; bolds are mine; extra paragraph breaks added by me):
A key part of the left's narrative about American politics is that conservatives hate not only minorities (e.g., blacks, Latinos, gays) but also a majority group: women, who, according to the 2010 census, make up 50.8 percent of the U.S. population. Of course, it's absurd to accuse anyone of misogyny (and worse) simply because he or she is pro-life, but that didn't stop two Kossacks from doing so this past week.
As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym.
To Washington Post religion reporter Lisa Miller, evangelical ministers like Rick Warren and Tim Keller should be applauded for their "clinical frankness" about God's design for sexual pleasure within the covenant of marriage in their sermons, books, and even tweets.
Initiative 26 -- which would have amended the Mississippi state constitution to include unborn children as persons protected under the law -- was rejected by Magnolia State voters last night.
In response, Georgetown professor and Washington Post "On Faith" blog contributor Jacques Berlinerblau quickly hacked out a post celebrating the temporary victory over the "devastating sleeper cell of a law" but warned that in losing, those dastardly villains on the religious right may have actually won (emphasis mine):
The left often accuses the right of dog-whistle politics, but likening actual conservatives to actual dogs? Two Kossacks went there this past week. That plus the ongoing Herman Cain sexual-harassment tale and the new statue of Ronald Reagan at National Airport are among the grist for this edition of DKWIR.
As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym.
“[S]ocial conservatives believe that efforts to protect gays from assault, discrimination or bullying impinge on their religious freedom to express and act on their belief that homosexuality is an abomination. That’s stating it harshly, but it is the underlying belief,” Time religion reporter Amy Sullivan huffed in a November 4 Swampland blog post on the magazine’s website.
“[T]he Michigan legislature is doing its best to make me hang my head in shame,” Sullivan, a “transplanted Michigander” groused, explaining that:
Yesterday I noted the unbalanced reporting of Washington Post blogger Elizabeth Flock regarding a Georgia Christian university's new policy requiring all faculty to agree to abide by certain standards of conduct, including not engaging in homosexual acts, premarital sex, or adultery.
Today I found an equally biased and harshly-toned blog post from Nsenga Burton, editor-at-large of the Washington Post-owned website TheRoot.com.
"F*** you!" is how MSNBC's Chris Matthews reportedly objected to the notion that he used the services of a ghostwriter for his new book, "Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero."
In a November 2 blog post, Forbes.com's Jeff Bercovici detailed the Hardball host's testy reaction to the suggestion that just as Matthews's boyhood hero heavily relied on Ted Sorensen, Matthews had a professional scribe assist him on his latest project (emphasis mine):
"This is the biggest single Twitter controversy of the campaign. 48,000 mentions!"
That was Mike Allen doing his best "look--a squirrel!" dodge on today's Morning Joe. Pressed by Joe Scarborough as to whether Politico had any more details beyond its story's vague allegation that Herman Cain had made gestures "that were not overtly sexual but that made women uncomfortable," Allen's telling first instinct was to point to the story's popularity on a social networking site. Video after the jump.
The "mildly Islamist" party that won a plurality of votes in recent Tunisian elections is not a troubling sign, nor is the possibility that Egypt and Libya may be moving in an Islamist direction post-Qadhafi and Mubarak, Reza Aslan argued in a Sunday "Guest Voices" piece for WashingtonPost.com's "On Faith" section (emphases mine)
Someone please tell Joe Klein that it's Halloween, not April Fools' Day.
The Time columnist held forth on the magazine's Swampland blog on Friday that it's "hilarious" of Republican critics to slam President Obama for deploying class warfare. After all, on economic policy, the president is "as centrist if you can get."
In fact, Klein huffed, President Obama may be as conservative as Ronald Reagan:
Herman Cain has been taking heat for his response to questions about Politico's story on alleged sexual harassment. But today on Morning Joe, it was Politico's own Jonathan Martin, lead author of the story, who was being evasive about the details of the allegations against Cain.
Incredibly, when Willie Geist asked him to describe specifically what Politico is accusing Cain of having done, Martin hemmed, hawed then ultimately said "we're just not going to get into the details of exactly what happened with these women," beyond the sketchy generalities in the Politico story. Video after the jump.
Muller's pretense to have held beliefs differing from his true past may be the least of his problems. A story breaking in the UK contends that results obtained by the prof's BEST (Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures) project team, instead of "settling the debate" in favor of warmists, showed that global warming "has stopped." If so, this is potentially as explosive as the "hide the decline" conspiracy uncovered almost two years ago when the Climategate emails surfaced.
On October 13, Monika Scislowska of the Associated Press reported that a "legendary freedom leader ... says he supports the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York that protests corporate greed," and that "that he is planning either a visit or a letter to the protesters." That leader would be Poland's former President Lech Walesa.
On Friday, October 21, at 5:01 p.m., Adam Andrzejewski at BigGovernment.com (HT Smitty at The Other McCain) reported that "Based on our discussion and intervention, President Walesa is not going to get involved with the OWS." The AP's follow-up story is after the jump:
Tharoor essentially argued that the "occupiers" were a global youth movement, that it was populated by the "have nots," and that, unlike the Tea Party, "Occupy Wall Street still believes in politics and government."
Mike Allen of Politico has provided a text-book illustration of how the liberal media can spin a positive into a negative for a Republican. Instead of focusing on the political pluses of Chris Christie's endorsement of Mitt Romney, Allen has twisted the event into a negative that reveals the "very ruthless" efficiency of the Romney campaign. Moreover, if there's a politician around today who thinks for himself, it's Christie. Yet Allen alleges that rather than making a reasoned decision, Christie was "roped" into endorsing Romney.
Allen made his sour-grape remarks on today's Morning Joe. Video after the jump.