A week ago, there was news indicating that September auto sales will be down drastically, and that most of the blame for the nosedive belongs to Cash for Clunkers. If you haven't seen any establishment media coverage of this, it's because there has been very little. A Google News Search on ["september sales" "cash for clunkers"] (typed exactly as indicated) for September 17-25 returned all of 68 items (Google's indication that there are over 400 is wrong), and a significant number of them are stories in the various cities served by bizjournals.com.
Here is part of Chrissie Thompson's Automotive News report from September 18 describing how dire things have gotten at dealer showrooms around the U.S.:
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air had the catch of the day yesterday when he revealed, based on Congressional Budget Office internal projections distributed to Congress during the summer, that the Social Security system will spend more cash than it takes in during the government's next fiscal year ending September 30, 2010. Read about it there, or here, because you won't see the establishment media acknowledge the existence of these revelations.
Morrissey isn't clear as to when the report was prepared, but if it dates back to July or even early- mid-August, it's possible that Social Security will show a measly positive cash flow of less than $10 billion when the dust settles on the current fiscal year that will end next week, compared to +$72 billion a year ago. That's because the decay in Treasury's cash collections during the current quarter has been that bad.
As the Obama-loving media continue to abdicate their journalistic responsibilities in order to blindly support the President's agenda, the conservative blogosphere has for the third time in as many weeks uncovered dirty little secrets that have precipitated immediate action from the White House or entities close to it.
In response to revelations published Monday by Big Hollywood, the Obama administration on Tuesday issued new guidelines for conference calls held by the National Endowment for the Arts.
This comes in the same month that investigative efforts by the rightosphere led to the resignation of Obama green jobs czar Van Jones as well as the federal defunding of the controversial organization ACORN.
According to ABC's Jake Tapper, just hours after the release of Patrick Courrielche's stunning exposé about the Administration using the NEA to help drive the President's agenda via the art community, new guidelines have been mandated by the White House to prevent it from happening again:
"It's the most explosive moment for the soda industry since the Diet Coke and Mentos experiment," CBS's Katie Couric quipped of a proposed federal soda tax in her September 18 Notebook video on CBSNews.com (embedded at right).
While careful not to explicitly endorse a proposed one-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks, Couric hinted that taxing sodas could help curb obesity, because, after all, "some lawmakers say taxes on cigarettes have reduced smoking and raised revenues."
Pledging to help soda-drinking Americans lose weight while simultaneously thinning their wallets -- and fattening Uncle Sam's coffers -- certainly appeals to the self-appointed food police and tax-hiking liberals, but it's likely to cause average Americans to gripe about having to pay taxes for the harmless guilty pleasure of cracking open an ice-cold soda pop.
Yet Couric sees only a downside to that dastardly profitable soft drink industry, not average Americans tired of government intrusion into their personal choices:
Last Wednesday, ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis, in the wake of James O'Keefe's and Hannah Giles's embarrassing video barrage, went into damage control mode:
As a result of the indefensible action of a handful of our employees, I am, in consultation with ACORN’s Executive Committee, immediately ordering a halt to any new intakes into ACORN’s service programs until completion of an independent review. I have also communicated with ACORN’s independent Advisory Council, and they will assist ACORN in naming an independent auditor and investigator to conduct a thorough review of all of the organization's relevant systems and processes.
The Politico entry from Ben Smith linked above reports that the (cough, cough) "Independent Advisory Council" consists of the following eight members:
Not to be outdone in the pious-sounding eco-rhetoric, the San Francisco Chronicle's Thin Green Line blog today warns tech geeks and video game aficionados against the original sin of technological advance:
Technology, at times, offers a magic key into the environmental garden of Eden, where humans can use energy and feel good about it. But, at times, it can be the serpent tempting us to eat the apple that will mean our eviction.
Blogger Cameron Scott goes on to explain that the wages of tech are carbon, tons and tons of carbon:
They say you shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you. But the 44th President of the United States doesn't seem to be worried about that.
President Barack Obama, still with no fear of being overexposed, made the rounds on five Sunday morning talk shows on Sept. 20 to make another attempt at winning the hearts and minds over on his vague health care proposal.
According to Obama, alleging he wasn't doing any "media-bashing," mentioned the three major cable news networks by name, and said they were the ones enabling the "rude" behavior that some of their on-air voices have decried by giving it so much attention.
Leave it to the Associated Press to drive the establishment media's attempt to portray ACORN's serious impairment as almost entirely the product of the Republican Party.
Never mind that Democrats control the Senate, which voted 83-7 to pull HUD funding from the group earlier this week, meaning that the vast majority of Democrats supported the measure. Never mind that the House, including about 70% of Democrats, yesterday voted to totally defund ACORN by 345-75.
In the world of Jim Abrams and the Associated Press, it must be almost all the GOP's fault that this happened. Check out the headline (frequently used elsewhere, as seen in this Google Web search on the exact title in quotes) at the reporter's story:
The Politico is threatening blogger Stephen Gutowski with legal action to wrest control of his TheCollegePolitico.com domain on trademark infringement grounds.
Gutowski -- full disclosure: he serves as the content editor for the Media Research Center's EyeBlast.tv -- gives readers details and offers his argument for why the claim by Politico is specious here at his blog.
Early this morning (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I posted on the Associated Press's treatment of the firing of two employees at ACORN's Baltimore office. These employees were successfully stung by undercover filmmaker James O'Keefe, who posed as a pimp (one who said he has plans to use the money from his "enterprise" to run for Congress), and Hannah Giles, who posed as a prostitute.
In a pair of videos (full script here) released on Thursday, viewers saw the two helpful ACORN Baltimore employees tell O'Keefe and Giles, among many jaw-dropping things, that:
Giles should call herself a “freelance performing artist” for tax purposes.
That they should claim three of 13 underage girls the pair planned to bring in from El Salvador to work as prostitutes as dependents.
That the prostitute should also claim child tax credits for those declared as "dependents."
O'Keefe and Giles piled on Friday morning by releasing a second pair of videos showing that they had pulled off a similar sting at ACORN's DC office.
But if we're to believe the Associated Press's Hope Yen, Friday's out of the blue decision by the Census Bureau to sever its ties with ACORN in connection with the 2010 census had nothing or at most very little to do with what O'Keefe and Giles pulled off. Instead, Yen portrayed the decision as a cave-in to the minority party in Washington known as Republicans. Uh-huh.
Friday night on his HBO show, Bill Maher tried to discredit critics of President Barack Obama, including those concerned about his talk to school children, by smearing them as racists – before he pointed to a Drudge Report headline, “POLL HELL: OBAMA NEGS RISE,” as somehow an example of the ways “some of the right-wingers are always dropping subliminally racist messages.”
Maher first took up Congressman Joe Wilson's “you lie” shout at Obama: “To heckle a President, to shout in the middle of a speech, would he have done that if it was a white President? I don't think so. I think this is a southern guy who thinks 'I can do whatever I want when it's a black guy speaking.'”
Moments later on Real Time, Maher raised “the folks who did not want the President of the United States to speak to their children. No one who is sane would think the President was going to make a partisan speech to school children. And yet, there's something about that,” recalling “I grew up in an all-white town in northern New Jersey” and “I remember hearing parents talk when I was a kid, you know, they didn't want black people just talking to their kids. That's what this reminded me of.”
Thursday night, the Associated Press reported on the Baltimore ACORN sting carried out by James O'Keefe of Andrew Breitbart's new BigGovernment.com web site. A paragraph near the end of the report is virtually a de facto commercial for the controversial group.
As to the sting itself, in case you missed it -- in two devastating videos originally posted here that you must see, O'Keefe and Hannah Giles posed as a pimp and prostitute who, as summarized in original Fox News coverage, told officials at ACORN's Baltimore office that they "wanted to secure housing where the woman could continue to maintain a prostitution business."
ACORN said Thursday that it has fired the two employees who are seen on tape telling O'Keefe and Giles the following, among a host of sickening howlers:
So Charlie Sheen recently penned a fictitious conversation between himself and President Obama – one in which he questions our Commander-in-chief on the big 9/11 cover up. Yes, the star of Scary Movie 3 – and Scary Movie 4 – believes that the Bush/Cheney regime were behind the attack, and feels that our current President should investigate immediately, in an effort to answer a “bottomless warren of unanswered questions surrounding that day…”
Now, never mind how insulting this is to anyone personally affected by the tragedy – or who saw it firsthand. Sheen is just awesome for illustrating the three key components to being a conspiracy theorist/loser:
The egomania. In this “open letter,” Sheen actually uses Obama’s made up words to compliment himself. Yes, the President admits to enjoying “Two and a Half Men,” writes Charlie. And here I thought Martin was the delusional one in the family.
At first I thought it must be an article from The Onion. Surely this couldn't be a legitimate news story.
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), who shouted "you lie!" at President Obama during his Wednesday night address to Congress, admitted to regularly consuming caffeine pills in 2007.
It is unclear if Wilson still takes NoDoz, a brand of pill that contains 200 milligrams of caffeine a pop. By comparison, a seven ounce cup of drip coffee contains 115 to 175 milligrams of caffeine.
Sadly this is someone's idea of news. The above excerpt is the startling revelation that appeared in The Hill's Blog Briefing Room under the ominous headline "Wilson regularly took caffeine pills in 2007". (h/t The Jawa Report)
TVNewser is reporting that "20/20" co-anchor John Stossel is leaving ABC News to join the Fox Business Network:
TVNewser has learned Stossel will host a weekly, one-hour program for the 2-year-old business channel. He's expected to signed a multi-year deal with Fox which will include regular appearances on Fox News Channel during daytime and primetime. He'll also host four, hour-long specials on Fox News, much like the business/consumer specials he'd hosted for years on ABC.
Stossel, a libertarian, has been appearing on Fox News for years as a guest on shows including "The O'Reilly Factor," "Hannity & Colmes" and "The Big Story."
After plugging his latest column in a September 10 post on the magazine's Swampland blog, Time's Joe Klein (shown in file photo at right) pegged Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) as "vile" before defending taxpayer-funded health care for illegal immigrants:
On this whole question of whether illegal immigrants will be included in the plan, which caused the vile Congressman from South Carolina to shout "You lie" when the President said they wouldn't be covered. Why shouldn't they be? After all, when an illegal immigrant cuts his hand while chopping cabbage and goes to the emergency room, the rest of us pay for it. Isn't the point to expand the risk pool as much as possible, to lure the insurance companies into concessions and lower prices?
I know it 's not going to happen. Congress will never vote to subsidize the health care of those who arrived here illegally. But, given the fact that we're already subsidizing them through the back door, it does make sense, doesn't it?
While the mainstream media mock as overblown and unjustified the concerns of many conservatives that President Obama's televised speech to the nation's schoolchildren would be accompanied by liberal politicking, one online news outlet is noting how the president took the chance to push his agenda to a small group of Northern Virginia students prior to the actual speech.
"Prior to his nationally broadcast speech to students on Tuesday, President Barack Obama made a pitch for health care reform in a discussion with 40 freshmen at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va.," reports Penny Starr of CNSNews.com, a sister organization* to NewsBusters.org.:
Although the president avoided controversial topics in his speech, he did promote health care reform in a face-to-face discussion at Wakefield High School. Asked by a student how he stays motivated to do his job, Obama replied that his staff gives him 10 letters every day from “ordinary folks.”
“Some of the stories are really depressing,” Obama told the 40 freshman, who were chosen to meet with the president during freshman orientation, according to school officials.
“You hear about people who are sick but don't have health care, and suddenly they get a bill for $100,000, and there's no way they can pay for it, and they're about to lose their house. And you’re just reminded that the country is full of really good people who sometimes are going through a hard time,” Obama said.
Today as President Barack Obama was preparing to deliver a speech to America's students, some school voucher-supporting Democrats in the District of Columbia were gearing up to protest the president's decision to scuttle the city's federal voucher program by blocking the doors to the federal Department of Education building in Washington.
Nikita Stewart of the Washington Post's D.C. Wire blog covered the planned protest in a post this morning and fellow Postie Nick Anderson reported on the protest -- joined by D.C. councilman Marion Barry (D) and led by former D.C. councilman Kevin Chavous (D) -- after the fact shortly after noon.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews has told his viewers that he disagrees with Obama's decision and supports renewing the congressionally-funded D.C. voucher program. It should be interesting to see if Matthews covers the protest today on his "Hardball" program.
I wouldn't hold my breath for any coverage elsewhere on MSNBC or on the broadcast networks tonight, however.
By Friday, after White House Secretary Robert Gibbs would only say that he still was a part of the administration, it was obvious that Jones's resignation was only a matter of time. The 9/11 truther and other evidence accumulated by Glenn Beck, Gateway Pundit, WorldNetDaily, and others was simply overwhelming.
But it seems to me that it would have been more convenient had the White House waited until early Sunday afternoon to announce Jones's resignation. Given the establishment media's near blackout of his past statements and actions, it's likely that the Sunday morning network talk shows would have avoided Jones completely, or would have given the topic very short shrift. A Sunday afternoon resignation would have been much more invisible -- except for something that came out on Saturday evening.
I believe that Jones's resignation may have been moved up by 12 hours or so. That's because on Saturday evening, Scott Johnson at Powerline presented proof that roughly 40 hours after the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred, avowed Communist Jones publicly declared that the U.S. deserved what happened. I'm not kidding.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has come down strongly on the Associated Press's decision to publish a picture of a dying Marine.
On Sunday, Palin wrote to her followers at Facebook claiming the wire service was "heartless and selfish to turn its back on the wishes of a grieving family in order to exploit the tragic death of a true American hero"
Van Jones and Mark Lloyd: Hopefully Headed in the Same Direction
Editor's Note: In Sunday's More czars on conservative hit list, the Politico's Lisa Lerer stated "conservatives have accused (Mark) Lloyd, appointed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as the agency’s Chief Diversity officer in late July, of secretly wanting to reinstate the controversial Fairness Doctrine." Below is my full response to her and them, excerpts of which I posted in their Comments section and sent via their email form directly to her.
This is not at all accurate. We at the Media Research Center broke the news of Lloyd’s FCC gig (created just for him just the way the “green jobs czar” slot was for the recently dispatched conspiracy-addled Truther-Communist Van Jones). And we specifically stated that he had "no need for the mis-named 'Fairness' Doctrine." From that essay:
These last two (Lloyd report recommendations) get perilously close to the use of "localism" to silence conservative (and Christian) radio stations, about which we have been warning for quite some time.
...In a follow-up essay to the CAP report entitled "Forget the Fairness Doctrine," Lloyd specifically instructs liberal activists to do the latter - use the "localism" requirement to harass conservative stations by filing complaints with the FCC. The FCC would then assess these stations fines, with the money going to (very liberal) public broadcasting.
Or worse - the FCC would rescind these stations' broadcast licenses. In other words, shut them up by shutting them down. Thus, as Lloyd says, no need for the mis-named "Fairness" Doctrine.
We have repeatedly said the same on TV, radio and in print, in fact since long before Lloyd got his new job.The Left’s plans to travel these "localism" and "diversity" alternate routes to arrive at the same censorship destination as the mis-named “Fairness” Doctrine - the silencing of conservative and Christian talk radio – long predate Lloyd’s appointment.
Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan are Democrats. Is it okay to write that? Apparently, it's not in an establishment media report, based on the last six months of coverage of these two corrupt Pennsylvania judges.
In February (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that the Associated Press ran a story about two Pennsylvania judges "charged with taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers," and and initially told readers that "Both are Democrats."
But AP removed the judges' party affiliation from a subsequent version of the story (graphic proof comes later in the post), even though the later rendition added many other details in the case. This of course begged the question of why AP did what they did, especially since the wire service's Stylebook says the following about identifying party affiliation:
In today’s L.A. Times director Oliver Stone discusses his upcoming documentary “South of the Border,” about the “warmhearted” Hugo Chavez. [emphasis added]:
Oliver Stone is shown warmly embracing Hugo Chávez, nibbling coca leaves with Evo Morales and gently teasing Cristina Elizabeth Fernández de Kirchner about how many pairs of shoes she owns. …
“I think he’s an extremely dynamic and charismatic figure. He’s open and warmhearted and big, and a fascinating character,” … ”But when I go back to the States I keep hearing these horror stories about ‘dictator,’ ‘bad guy,’ ‘menace to American society.’ I think the project started as something about the American media demonizing Latin leaders.
Guys like Stone are forced to rationalize that the American media is right-leaning in order to avoid their head exploding due to an acute case of FacingTheTruth-itosis. But maybe the doc will be more critical than we’re led to believe in this article. During their warm embrace, it’s possible Stone whispered hard-hitting questions in Hugo’s ear about reports such as this from the not-so-conservative Human Rights Watch.
Some of us have been wondering how viable the Voluntary Employee Benefit Arrangements (VEBAs) set up by the United Auto Workers for its auto industry employees really are. This is of particular concern at the VEBAs tied in to General Motors and Chrysler. What happens to the employer stock these VEBAs own will heavily influence whether they have the money to pay promised benefits.
The answer to the viability question must be "not very," because the House version of health care that has made it out of committee has a $10 billion provision tucked into it that would largely work to back the VEBAs up in case GM and Chrysler are never able to stand on their own -- or in case other high-wage, high-benefit companies, many of which are unionized, follow them into serious financial difficulty.
Maybe it's because $10 billion doesn't mean much any more in an era of trillion-dollar deficits, but media coverage of this "little" provision has been very, very light. A Google News search on "retiree health care UAW" (not typed in quotes) came back with only about 25 relevant items of roughly 100 total results earlier this afternoon. Many of those results are outraged editorials and op-eds. There is precious little original news coverage of the topic.
One of the few examples of original coverage is an August 24 report by Justin Hyde and Todd Spangler of the Detroit Free Press that explains the provision and provides background: