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.
It's the tale of two attempts at "digital astroturf" or "online grassroots activism" or whatever you want to call it. Regardless of the label, there's an apparent media double standard at work: attempts to rig prominent online information sources for political gain is only worth reporting if the perpetrators are conservatives.
The blogosphere - though not the mainstream media - has been buzzing about a proposed campaign by a Daily Kos blogger to game Google's search algorithm to promote stories unfriendly to the Tea Party and the GOP.
Contrast the media's silence with the buzz over an alleged attempt by a conservative group on the aggregator Digg to "bury" stories on that site. That plot got coverage from ABC News, the Atlantic, the San Francisco Chronicle, even across the pond at the UK Guardian - not to mention from scores of liberal blogs.
With low poll approval ratings and the prospect of his congressional allies in Congress taking a drubbing in November, it's hardly surprising the liberal media are looking for any silver lining for Obama that it can find.
Enter Time magazine's Kate Pickert, who on the magazine's Swampland blog yesterday claimed that a ruling upholding ObamaCare's constitutionality yesterday was a "significant victory for the Obama administration."
A temporary boost, perhaps, but significant? The ruling was at the District Court level, and the public interest firm representing the plaintiffs plans to appeal to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Plus Pickert herself noted that there are plenty of other court challenges against ObamaCare, and they are not all bound to come down the same way District Court Judge George Steeh ruled yesterday.
What is significant is how Judge Steeh's reasoning profoundly obliterates the scope of the Constitution's interstate commerce clause to define refraining from commerce as commerce. It's an open question if appellate courts agree.
A number of media liberals are up in arms over a far-left blog's inconclusive investigation - replete with innuendo and assumption - purporting to show that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has illegally spent funds obtained from foreign entities on political campaigns in the United States.
Of course near-identical efforts by a handful of the most powerful labor unions have not been mentioned.
The New York Times and MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Ed Schultz have all opined on the horrors of the Chamber's use of foreign funds. They all unquestionably parroted a report by the Center for American Progress's ThinkProgress blog that doesn't actually show that foreign funds have been spent on domestic political races. Meanwhile, labor unions have been given a pass, despite the amazing resemblance their political spending bears to the Chamber's.
Think President Barack Obama has thin skin? How could one not, after the attacks on media personalities like Rush Limbaugh or his on-the-record comments about the liberal blogs and Fox News?
On PBS’s Oct. 2 broadcast of “Inside Washington,” NPR’s Nina Totenberg pointed out the left-wing blogosphere has been critical of Obama, yet she chalked it up as just being “whiny.” “Inside Washington” panelist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer responded, and pointed out the president’s “thin skin,” in the wake of his remarks about his cable channel in a recent Rolling Stone interview.
“You would think that the presidency is slightly higher than the left blogosphere, but it is not, and that is what the problems,” Krauthammer said. “The president has an unbelievably thin skin, left or right. His obsession with Fox is a good example of that.”
In their "Pledge to America," House Republicans have promised to "require each bill moving through Congress to include a clause citing the specific constitutional authority upon which the bill is justified."
On September 22, Newsweek's Ben Adler denounced that simple pledge as "dangerous even as a mere suggestion," complaining that it intrudes on the constitutional prerogative of the courts to decide the constitutionality of federal law.
On this the 24th and final day of his Election Road Trip, Time's Joe Klein availed himself of the opportunity to attack center-left blogger Mickey Kaus and conservative writer Jonah Goldberg for "distort[ing] a striking point" made by a liberal Democrat vineyard owner from California that Klein quoted in a September 27 Swampland blog post.
Klein vented most of his spleen at Kaus, a blogger for rival magazine Newsweek.
Wealthy attorney and Iron Horse Vineyards founding partner Barry Sterling had simply argued that "the current, post-Reagan tax fetishism of the Republican party is foolish," Klein insisted. "He made the point with a creative overstatement of the case--that he'd survived 70% marginal tax rates; indeed, the high rates caused him to work harder to make more money. I am absolutely certain that Sterling was not advocating a return to 70% rates, as Mickey well knows," Klein protested. The Time reporter went on a few sentences later to label Kaus as a "feckless, puerile jerk at times."