Update (17:23): Monkey see, monkey do: MSNBC's Chris Matthews quoted extensively from this post on today's "Hardball" in a segment entitled "Whatever Happened to John McCain?" Matthews and his guests lamented McCain's swing to the right in 2010.
Hell hath no fury like Joe Klein disillusioned.
The Time magazine writer apparently had a bit of a liberal journalist man-crush on Sen. John McCain back when the Arizona Republican was reaching across the aisle to work with Democrats for illegal-immigrant amnesty.
Now post 2008, not so much, particularly since McCain has tacked to the right on immigration and border security and stayed there even after his successful reelection to the Senate in November.
Klein unloaded both barrels on McCain in a Saturday evening Time.com Swampland blog post entitled "Two Dreams, One Dead" (emphasis mine), calling McCain every label that popped into his head from "troglodyte" to "trigger-happy gambler":
Tuesday's Washington Post print edition ran a front-page obituary for Richard Holbrooke which closed by noting that the veteran diplomat told his surgeon "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan."
Of course numerous news outlets latched onto that quote. Leftist magazine Mother Jones even made the line their quote of the day late Monday evening as blogger Kevin Drum approvingly added in a December 13 post, "That would be a fitting memorial."
[See screen capture after page break]
But politicizing a dying man's last words has its risks. It turns out Holbrooke's exchange with his doctors taken out of context:
In the warm, generous glow of the Christmas season, it's quite expected that scolds of the Left will accuse the conservatives of being the very archetype of Ebenezer Scrooge. On The Daily Kos, Mark Sumner touts a Scrooge musical over diversions like "knife fighting for this year's top toy," especially when you can describe "I Hate People" as a "secret Republican theme song":
When it comes to musical versions of Dicken's [sic] ghost story, I much prefer the 1970 version Scrooge with Albert Finney in the titular role. With a dozen (if not a hundred) other versions of the story competing for a spot on your 500 channel tuner, this very British turn is often overlooked. However, this is the one irresistible marker of season at my house. And at any time of year, my curmudgeonly heart is warmed by a verse of "I hate Christmas," [sic] which I think of as the secret Republican theme song (when I see the indolent classes, sitting on their indolent asses, drinking ale from indolent glasses, I hate people).
A hacker who styles him "th3 j35t3r" -- The Jester in plain English -- has made quite a name for himself disabling jihadist websites and, more recently, the U.S. national security-threatening site WikiLeaks.
While his methods are technically illegal, The Jester's motivations are patriotic, aimed at saving American lives on the battlefield.
The Christmas season is "a tough time for supporters of abortion rights who have just as much excitement and take just as much joy in expecting a baby in their family as does everyone else, but end up feeling defensive and grumpy about the baby Jesus being hijacked for political gain."
That's how former Catholics for Choice president Frances Kissling lamented the enthusiastic response of pro-life activists to a church ad campaign in the United Kingdom that shows a sonogram with the unborn baby sporting a halo. "He's on His Way," reads the accompanying tag line. "Christmas starts with Christ," continues the caption in smaller print at the bottom of the advertisement. [image of the ad included after page break]
Well, no wonder the true intentions of the couple putting their preborn baby's life up for a vote were difficult to decipher. Turns out Pete Arnold is pro-life and his wife Alisha is pro-abortion.
(Baby boy "Wiggles" is pictured above, waving at the camera at his 17-wk check-up earlier this week.)
First, his side of the story. CNN reported yesterday Pete admitted "they never intended to terminate the pregnancy":
Arnold... bought the domain name "birthornot.com" before wife Alisha became pregnant about 4 months ago... adding that his wife is pro-choice but agreed that abortion was not on the table for them....
Arnold told CNN... the site was not a hoax even though there were never any plans to accept the vote results if abortion won.
"A lot of people elect representatives based on this issue alone, yet nothing happens, nothing comes of it, nothing changes." he said, adding that the couple called the baby "Baby Wiggles" to give people more to think about.
"My intent is not to deceive people, but at the same point, I do want people to talk about this. This seemed like a pretty good way to further the discussion, because people don't ever seem to want to talk about it for real if there's no name on it, no Baby Wiggles," he said.
Meanwhile KSTP reported late Monday night that Alisha had been fired from her job at software firm TempWorks as "a grave threat to the reputation of the company." TempWorks went further, requesting employees to defriend Alisha on Facebook.
It seems that the Times's Michael Shear is disappointed that Dear Leader is yet again caught up in a "distraction" ("Pat-Downs Ensnare White House in New Distraction"). It's headlined in the item's browser window as "Pat-Downs Ensnare White House in New Controversy." Interesting edit, don't you think? If it's a "controversy," the President owns it. If it's a "distraction," well, it's an unfair intrusion. Clever.
Shear wrapped it in a narrative whose theme was that "It all felt vaguely familiar." Well, yeah. What's more than vaguely familiar has been the press's tendency to lament the distractions our supposedly otherwise focused like a laser beam chief executive must endure. On April 9, 2009 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that "The words 'Obama' and 'distraction' have both appeared in 2,425 articles in just the past 30 days; excluding duplicates, it's about 450."
In his blog entry, Shear listed many other awful distractions the president has encountered. What's interesting are how many of them escalated because of Obama or people working directly for him:
The Washington Post announced Tuesday that it has hired Commentary Magazine contributing editor Jennifer Rubin to write a blog on the conservative movement and the Republican Party.
The move suggests that the Post has learned its lessons from the short run it gave blogger Dave Weigel, who resigned in June after emails surfaced showing him viciously attacking some prominent conservatives. The emails suggested that Weigel was hostile to large segments of the conservative movement, the beat he had been assigned to cover.
Apparently the sophomoric folks at Newsweek are getting a bit giddy during the short work week leading up to Thanksgiving.
To accompany David Graham's November 23 The Gaggle blog post, Newsweek editors included a photo manipulation featuring the face of Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) on the body of Adam in Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam"
The photoshop was inspired by a March 2009 comment Shimkus made that reflects his religious beliefs, a comment that Graham apparently finds suitable for mockery and as evidence that Shimkus would be a poor choice to chair a committee that might deal with climate change-related issues and legislation:
In theNew York Daily News on Wednesday, S.E. Cupp theorized "The reason Palin has become such a lightening [sic] rod, a kingmaker and a punching bag, a celebrity and a power player, is simple. It's because she's so gosh darn happy.For her fans, like the ones I had the pleasure of meeting in Chicago, she's refreshingly upbeat and resilient, the bubbly friend from childhood who was always great at cheering you up and cheerleading you on. But for her detractors, nothing raises the ire of cynical liberals more than a happy-go-lucky, totally unburdened, freethinking and self-assured conservative woman who has everything she wants and then some. And without anyone's help."
Naturally, this drew protests from the lefties at the Daily Kos, who imagine themselves as the Guardians of Truth against those conservative "rubes" who can barely read (and their New York Daily News supporters). On Friday afternoon, the blogger with the handle "Zagrobelny" trashed Cupp (and her "Wonder Woman" publicity photos) for "boundless stupidity" in championing Palin: "my expectations were not disappointed, my faith in literacy and intelligence were." Palin is apparently the enemy of all attempts at literacy and intelligence:
What really raises the ire of this cynical liberal is not that Sarah Palin is happy-go-lucky, but that she happily and cynically goes around trashing people and issues held deal by liberals. This doesn't just happen with programs and issues liberals advocate, but she trashes fundamental concepts: intelligence, literacy, expertise, language, spelling, and truth. And she does it all with a wink while she rakes in the money of those ecstatic rubes that Cupp attempts to praise in the opening of her piece. [Italics in the original.]
A pregnant married couple is taking votes whether to abort their baby boy or carry him to term.
The last day of the pregnancy they say they can legally abort in their home state of Minnesota is December 9, a day before the baby is 20 weeks old. And, they say, they will go however the final vote tally goes.
Although the posts appeared plausible when I perused them, the concept had "scam" written all over it. So I didn't buy in. My thought was the couple was trying to punk pro-lifers.
In the last few days the blogosphere has gotten hold of the story, and I've received several emails to write about it. It appears Gawker started the chatter after interviewing the couple,Pete and Alisha Arnold.
The reaction has been most interesting. Pro-choicers think this is a scam against them. Now, while pro-lifers are becoming incensed and begging the couple not to abort, pro-choicers are becoming incensed and wanting the couple to be shot.
It's a weighty charge, plagiarism. But your credibility in making it tends to dissipate when you do so on a site founded and run by an alleged serial plagiarist.
Arianna Huffington has been accused of lifting portions of a number of her books from other authors, and in one case had to dole out a 5-figure settlement to put plagiarism charges to rest. Her site has also taken heat from celebrities whose names appear on bylines on the site, but who didn't actually write those posts' contents.
The Olbermann-lovers at the far-left Daily Kos blog believe in the Vast Keith Conspiracy – that Olbermann contributed to three Democrats as part of a large-scale plan to embarrass MSNBC president Phil Griffin and underline just how important and popular the left-wing bomb-throwing is, especially with young voters. In a Monday morning post titled “The Brilliance of Keith Olbermann,” the blogger “willynel” found only genius:
I think Keith knew exactly what he was doing.
I really think that what Keith Olbermann did was a stroke of genius.
I think he made a bet that this would happen, that the would be suspended and that he would get overwhelming support from his fans and his co-workers. Why else would he not say that he is sorry?
Campo-Flores answered in the affirmative, noting that Reid enjoyed anywhere from 68 to 90 percent support from Hispanic voters, depending on the exit polling model:
According to election-eve polling and analysis by Latino Decisions, a surveying firm, Hispanics chose Reid over Angle 90 percent to 8 percent—an astounding margin. CNN’s exit polls showed a significantly smaller spread, with Reid winning 68 percent to Angle’s 30 percent. But Latino Decisions argues that exit-polling methodology is typically inaccurate at measuring voting by Hispanics and other subgroups.
Campo-Flores took the argument even further, hinting that Republicans could see long-term decline and Democrats long-term gains thanks to "disenchantment" from Latino voters thanks to the party's conservative stance on immigration:
In a November 4 Swampland blog post, Time magazine's Joe Klein laid a fair share of blame for Democrats losing the House of Representatives on "conservative" Blue Dogs and their alleged reticence to spend taxpayer dollars:
Liberals don't want to believe that anyone would oppose the Obama agenda out of a principled stand against massive government spending and massive intervention in the free enterprise system. It's easier (and dirtier) to blame it all on racism. The leftist blog Daily Kos is keeping up that smear: "It's the black man in the White House, stupid." Michael Moore truly thrilled the blogger called "blackwaterdog" by claiming "Two years of a black man who secretly holds socialist beliefs being the boss of them is more than they can stomach. They've been sick to death since the night of 11/04/08 and they are ready to purge."
MSNBC should be so proud that this blogger frames this smear with a Rachel Maddow segment celebrating all the "achievements" of Democrat-dominated Washington in the last two years. (The lowlight is Maddow celebrating that the "bureaucracy" of private student loans has been removed and it's all wonderfully streamlined and nationalized now. Or Maddow celebrating how health care "reform" is the secret to reducing the horrendous national debt. Or...) Then came the Kosmonaut song sheet:
Although the Rally to Restore Sanity definitely had a decidedly liberal tinge to it, Comedy Central's Jon Stewart did his level best to ensure his official message was that of "a pox on both your houses" to raised voices on the Right and Left in cable news media.
Of course the thin-skinned host of MSNBC's "Countdown" won't have any of it, leaving liberal fans of both Stewart and Olbermann torn between the two.
In a Monday article, Rachel Zoll of the Associated Press played up the efforts of Catholic "theological conservatives" online who "say the church isn't Catholic enough" and are "unsettling the church." Zoll even quoted from a Vatican analyst for a heterodox Catholic publication who dubbed the phenomenon "Taliban Catholicism," with the slight caveat that "liberals can fit the mindset too." The writer, however, focused most of her attention on the conservatives.
Zoll, who berated conservative Southern Baptists as "vicious" zealots embarked on trying to "wipe out" every last liberal or moderate from their church in a January 29, 2008 article, wasted little time in her latest article, "Catholic bloggers aim to purge dissenters," in zeroing-in on her conservative targets: "Pressure is on to change the Roman Catholic Church in America, but it's not coming from the usual liberal suspects. A new breed of theological conservatives has taken to blogs and YouTube to say the church isn't Catholic enough. Enraged by dissent that they believe has gone unchecked for decades, and unafraid to say so in the starkest language, these activists are naming names and unsettling the church."
Not that it justifies the horrible consequences of leaking classifed information, thereby endangering our troops, our allies, our friends, and their families (of course it doesn't), but the WikiLeaked documents being carried at outlets like the New York Times are revealing some truths that are proving quite inconvenient for Iraq war opponents.
Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that a post at one of Wired.com's blogs ("WikiLeaks Show WMD Hunt Continued in Iraq – With Surprising Results") rnoted that "for years afterward, WikiLeaks’ newly-released Iraq war documents reveal, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins, and uncover weapons of mass destruction." Add that to the already large pile of evidence that totally debunks the leftist folklore that "there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."
Now Andrew Bolt at Melbourne, Australia's Herald-Sun (HT Instapundit) tells us that another leftist myth about the war's impact on Iraq's general populace is getting retired to the ash heap of false history (links are in original):
The WikiLeaksters seem to have inadvertently done history a bit of a favor in the their obsession, with the help of heavy-breathing media mouthpieces like the New York Times, to release classified military documents.
It seems that some of those documents reveal the utter untruthfulness of a core claim of Iraq War opponents, namely that "We now know that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."
This contention, not nuanced in any way (i.e., not "no stockpiles" or "not that many," but instead absolutely none), is part of leftist folklore. Here are just a few example of so-called "mainstream" or "respected" liberal sources found to have made that exact contention in a brief Internet searches this morning:
The Democrats' "localized approach to the midterms is understandable, defensible—and wrong. The best way to keep control would have been a national message targeted at independents," Newsweek's Jonathan Alter complained yesterday in an article at the magazine's website.
And what exactly should the Democrats have touted in a national campaign strategy for the midterms? Why, shovel-ready infrastructure jobs, of course:
Exploring the question, "Why Are Democrats Down in Pennsylvania?" Newsweek's Ben Adler determined the answer was fairly simple: not enough stimulus spending to benefit the rural areas of the Keystone State, which he says is "sometimes called 'Pennsyltucky'" by virtue of its being largely "white, rural, blue-collar, and poor":
With the Democrats losing so badly in the polls, the bloggers of the Daily Kos are coming more unglued than usual. The diarist going by the name "Troubadour" predicted on Monday "This Could Get Ugly." In other words, the GOP are going to start killing liberals:
The difficult thing about dealing with a frenzied totalitarian movement like today's Republican Party is not only do they not take "No" for an answer, they don't even really take "Yes." Whether they're sent packing by the electorate or accepted with open arms, their one and only response to all possible events is to further crystallize their beliefs, purify their ranks of dissent, and break all of their own records for violence, depravity, and madness. So we find ourselves confronting a bitter realization: Win or lose this election season, Republicans appear to be headed on a one-way path to organized political violence.
This would seem to take a page directly from liberal historian Richard Hofstadter's essay The Paranoid Style in American Politics. It might seem counterintuitive to get violent after winning, but this Kosmonaut imagines (wildly) that the right-wing hate-radio subculture will grow more vicious with every election-night victory...into moderate-Republican assassinations:
After getting spanked in the November 2 election, Christine O'Donnell needs to find herself a good Christian man to submit to. Or she could open a Wiccan supply store.
Those are just two of the six mocking suggestions that Newsweek's David Graham came up with yesterday on the magazine's The Gaggle blog for the Delaware Republican Senate nominee's future.
Graham's list is just more evidence that O'Donnell seems to have inherited Sarah Palin's mantle as the conservative female politician liberal journalists most love to write arguably misogynistic screeds against (emphasis mine):
Karl Rove is a great American patriot, a genius, a statesman, even. And now he has proven his phenomenal, overflowing patriotism by setting up a secretive finance group, in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce--that's right, our very own, United States Chamber of Commerce--to run sleazy political ads, funded by foreign investors. I can't imagine why all these foreign companies are just itching to hook up with Rove and influence American politics...can you?
I'm sure Klein's die-hard groupies found that wickedly witty. But even writers further to the left of Klein and the center-left mainstream media, like the folks at Mother Jones magazine, think the complaint is just plain lame.
Naturally, the rejoicing over the surfacing Chilean miners can't just be a human triumph. At the Daily Kos, it's just another excuse for “Yomamaforobama” to unfurl a utopian laundry list of liberal dreams:
This is the ultimate example of humanity racing to better and save its own. This is what is so sorely missing from our everyday lives. No wonder that, when the forces of good and cooperation coalesce, we are so spiritually and morally exalted. Unfortunately, we see this altruism and coming together surface too often only after a disaster has occurred, i.e. 9/11, the Haiti earthquake, the Wall Street almost-meltdown, etc. Other areas that are screaming for our attention, in advance of a possible calamity, are basic human rights, equality in justice, infrastructure renovations, climate control, health care availability/coverage and education upgrades.
The biggest obstacles to the enactment of this list are the punishing theists of the Republican Party:
Why are Americans not being bombarded with sermons on the irresponsibility of blogs and new media generally? After all, the White House's attacks on the Chamber of Commerce originated with a salacious, factually-erroneous report on a highly partisan left-wing blog. Shouldn't we be hearing about the dangers of relying on new media for political news?
We were inundated with such talk after the video that led to the Department of Agriculture's fired of Shirley Sherrod turned out to have misrepresented her words. The story - that Sherrod made race-based decisions in her capacity as an Ag Department employee - was based on faulty evidence. It would never have made it into the mainstream were it not for the lax journalistic standards of digital reporters - in this case, Andrew Breitbart.