This morning at the Christian Science Monitor, Staff Writer Peter Grier demonstrated a stunning level of ignorance about the Boston Marathon's significance. He then built on that ignorance to posit that yesterday's bombing at the Marathon's finish line "could indicate that the bomber was a local or at least a native of the United States."
Among other things, Grier seems completely ignorant of the fact that Boston is one of six "World Marathon Majors" (the other five are New York, London, Tokyo, Berlin, and Chicago). The related paragraph from Grier's report, followed by other indicators of the Marathon's worldwide significance, follow the jump:
Yesterday, the Department of Labor announced that it had certified "more than 18,000 former Hostess workers around the country as eligible to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance." I'll save excerpts from DOL's inane announcement for after the jump.
The story has garnered some local coverage in areas affected by Hostess plant closures late last year, including a couple of regional Associated Press stories. But the AP, based on a search on "hostess," did not have a story at its national site as of 9 a.m. today, even though former Hostess workers in 48 states are affected. Additionally, virtually every story found in a Google News search on "Hostess trade adjustment" (not in quotes) is local in nature. Could this possibly be because doling out tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars to workers whose unions thought the company was bluffing when it said it would throw in the towel without acceptable labor contracts is more than a little embarrassing, especially when President Barack Obama is simultaneously claiming that the federal government will have no choice but to lay off and furlough employees if sequestration takes place?
Californians will be surprised to learn that the income-tax increase voters approved in November was, according to Doug Ferguson at the Associated Press (HT Steven Greenhut at Reason.com), "the first tax increase in the state since 2004." I had no idea that residents of the once-Golden state have been so lucky in avoiding any tax increases of any kind for so long. (/sarc)
It would appear that Ferguson, in his coverage of golfer Phil Mickelson's mea culpa for having the nerve to observe that California's onerous taxes might lead him to make difficult decisions which might even include retirement, meant to write that California has seen no statewide income tax increase in nearly a decade. But that isn't what he wrote. Maybe I should cut the AP reporter some slack because he's on the sports beat, and in context, one could see that he was probably only referring to income taxes. But I won't, because of the final excerpted sentence seen after the jump (bolds are mine):
During the past two years, Republican governors and lawmakers in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan have been the targets of a great deal of negative attention from the establishment press, particularly on TV, as a result of taking necessary actions to get their states' fiscal houses in order and to become more economically competitive. Meanwhile, the Midwest's largest and Democrat-dominated state careens toward bankruptcy, and it's barely news.
In early 2011, Illinois enacted massive personal and corporate income-tax increases of 67% and 46%, respectively. The tax hikes were advertised as required to address the state's huge backlog of unpaid bills to vendors and other service providers, and to shore up its badly underfunded pension funds. Almost two years later, as two separate Associated Press reports this weekend demonstrate, the state still has a huge and possibly even larger stack of unpaid invoices, and its pension situation has worsened.
Reviewing several dispatches from the past couple of days, the latest news out of Egypt is that Egyptian "President" Mohammed Morsi "is not backing down in the showdown over decrees granting him near-absolute powers," that "clashes between the two camps (Morsi's Islamist supporters and secular opponents) ... left two dead and hundreds injured," and that the country's Muslim Brotherhood-dominated assembly "pushed through the 234-article draft (constitution) in just 21 hours from Thursday into Friday ... (after) Coptic Christians and liberals earlier had walked out."
The draft constitution includes several articles "that rights activists, liberals and Christians fear will lead to restrictions on the rights of women and minorities," and omits "bans on slavery or promises to adhere to international rights treaties." Oh, and I almost forgot: "The Obama administration is declining to criticize Egypt's draft constitution." It's worth identifying at this point several (but by no means all; what follows is surely a small sample) of those who in 2011 reassured the world that Egyptians had nothing to fear if the Brotherhood and Islamists became dominant.
Some liberals would have you believe that just because you can't see it on the surface, Mitt Romney's campaign ads are brimming with racism. What's funny about this analysis, if you could call it one, is that it seeks to combat racism by being racist. It's like the Voter ID narrative the left is pushing in the media. Liberals feel that blacks and minorities are incapable to obtaining a non-driving government issued ID, yet conservatives are the racist ones.
Witness a July 23 column published at the Christian Science Monitor website by Charlton McIlwain and Stephen M, Caliendo in which our helpful liberal guides explain that, "in the presidential election, it’s not a matter of whether racism will appear in campaign messaging, but when":
This afternoon, Jack Coleman at NewsBusters noted how MSNBC's Rachel Maddow took a shot at GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain for supposedly "taking a month off the campaign trail -- taking a month off -- to go on a book tour."
The original source for this "claim" is a very poorly written and quite deceptively headlined October 3 item at the Christian Science Monitor by David Grant. The trouble is, Grant badly distorted an item at MSNBC's First Read blog which, while quite critical of Cain, said nothing about "suspending" or "taking a month off" from the campaign (internal links are in original; paragraph breaks added by me):
The Christian Science Monitor appears to have a problem monitoring its bloggers. Even though it asserts that its "diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there ... (have) responsibility for the content of their blogs," the largely respected CSM should understand that Jared Bernstein has just embarrassed it bigtime.
To its credit, CSM describes Bernstein, currently a senior fellow at the very liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Director emeritus: Marian Wright Edelman), as a Biden/Democrat hack: "Jared was chief economist to Vice President Joseph Biden and executive director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class." But unless CSM wants to be seen as a place like the Huffington Post, where it seems that anyone can throw up anything regardless of its truthfulness (I'm talking to you, Sam Stein), it needs to at least fact-check info with an obvious surface stench -- and I could smell the acrid aroma from Bernstein's item here in Ohio. His woeful Wednesday post goes beyond predictable cherry-picking into the realm of flat-out errors.
Correction [December 7; 15:05 EST]: Ms. Bachmann has informed me Tages-Anzeiger is based in Zurich, not Geneva.
The liberal media are generally fond of touting European countries for their liberal domestic policies, chastising America by comparison for being too conservative.
But when the electorate of such a country votes to institute a strong conservative policy over the objections of its political elite, the media's fascination with the European everyman evaporates.
Take Sunday's vote by Swiss citizens to institute a referendum law requiring foreigners convicted of serious crimes to be expelled from the country after serving out their sentences. Fifty-three percent of voters approved the bill, dismissing the objections of their professional political class who urged "no" votes.
Covering the story, the Christian Science Monitor decried the move as "the latest example of a sweeping set of popular antiforeigner measures around Europe":
In the November 22 issue of Newsweek magazine, Daniel Stone defended the Obama administration by blaming the institution of the presidency for failures rather than the chief executive himself: "The issue is not Obama, it’s the office....Can any single person fully meet the demands of the 21st-century presidency?" The same argument was used to excuse an overwhelmed Jimmy Carter 30 years earlier.
The sub-headline for the piece read: "The presidency has grown, and grown and grown, into the most powerful, most impossible job in the world." At one point, Stone explained: "Among a handful of presidential historians Newsweek contacted for this story, there was a general consensus that the modern presidency may have become too bloated." A January 13, 1980 Washington Post article made a similar conclusion about the beleaguered Carter administration: "Voters have lowered their expectations of what any president can accomplish; they have accepted the notion that this country may never again have heroic, larger-than-life leadership in the White House."
When the Republican Party launched a new website in October of last year, they had some serious problems with the new site. The media ate it up.
Within a few days, media outlets ranging from Politico to "The Daily Show" to the Huffington Post to the Christian Science Monitor - and, of course, a host of liberal blogs - had weighed in on the website's problems. Their commentaries mostly took the form of mockery.
Last week, the Democratic Party launched a new site of its own. It too had some major bugs in the hours after it went live. The media's response: crickets.
The following clip aired on the Daily Show on October 15, two days after the GOP's site launched:
The report tells us that Oklahoma had a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 6.6% last month. That's far lower than the 9.9% reported for the entire USA two weeks ago. No state with a larger population has a lower unemployment rate than the Sooner State (states with lower April unemployment rates were KS - 6.5%; NE at 5.0%; ND - 3.8%; SD - 4.7%; and VT - 6.4%).
As seen in the chart below, Oklahoma's unemployment rate has been significantly lower than the national rate for well over two years, and on average in 2009 was that way across all major ethnic groups (source data for 2006 to 2009 can be accessed here; scroll down to "Annual Average Statewide Data"):
On Monday, the Christian Science Monitor bucked its mainstream peers by reporting something truthful about the TEA party movement: police officials have begun to relax security requirements at conservative rallies because of the remarkable absence of violence.
Yes, you read that right: despite nonstop media warnings about hateful protests, violence from TEA party attendants is so nonexistent that police feel safe allowing them to bring large items and sometimes even guns.
The Monitor was compelled to check things out when a TEA party in Raleigh, North Carolina, persuaded officials to overturn a ban on flag poles. Such items are typically banned because a flag pole is really just a very big stick that could be used as a weapon. The Monitor's research led the paper to admit that conservative protests are far less threatening than many past demonstrations.
Patrik Jonsson's article drew a refreshing contrast between violent rallies of the Vietnam era versus the new model of peaceful civil uprising:
Stephen Kurczy of the Christian Science Monitor tried to dispel "persistent myths" about St. Patrick in a Monday article on the patron saint of the Irish, but ended up forwarding outlandish claims. Kurczy even went so far to inaccurately contend that "Patrick...isn't even recognized by the Roman Catholic Church as an official saint."
The Christian Science Monitor's Peter Grier wrote on Friday that the gunman who opened fire at the Pentagon on Thursday "appears to have been a right-wing extremist with virulent antigovernment feelings." The article’s headline screamed, "John Patrick Bedell: Did right-wing extremism lead to shooting?"
Grier did note that writings by Bedell, the shooter, "question whether Washington itself might have been behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks." However, the author didn’t point out that this world view is often associated with the left. (A Rasmussen poll in 2007 found that 35 percent of so-called Truthers are Democrats.)
If Ellie Light is indeed a Democratic operative, she is only the proverbial tip of the party's astroturfing iceberg. Patterico's investigative work, which was also at the forefront of the blogosphere's efforts to expose Light, have revealed an even greater effort at manufacturing the appearance of public support for Democratic policies.
Organizing for America and the Democratic Party each have forms on their websites for supporters to write letters to the editors of their local papers. Both have suggested "talking points" next to the submission form. Both advise supporters to use their own words, but talking points from both of the sites have appeared in letters to the editor in a multitude of newspapers nationwide.
The Christian Science Monitor’s Dan Murphy and Tom Sullivan examined the politics behind the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, and while looking back at past winners, the two equally blamed the 1994 Prize winners- Yithak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and Yasser Arafat- for the ultimate failure of their peace efforts: “All three men could be said to have blood on their hands from that conflict.”
Murphy and Sullivan began by acknowledging how “the surprise decision to award President Barack Obama the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize had much of the world scratching its head on Friday, even among the president’s most ardent fans.” After expounding on the President’s “loft promises...to diplomacy... and that a less belligerent America is in the offing,” the two reporters continued that “the peace prize has often been awarded more in hope than hindsight — and with an eye to nudging world events.”
It's no secret the print newspaper industry is struggling. It's become all too common to hear that papers, like the Christian Science Monitor or the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, have ceased publishing a print edition and gone completely online.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright addressed this challenge and its impact on a government at the Aspen Institute's Forum on Communications and Society earlier this month. According to Albright, the fourth estate was intended to keep government in check and that countries without a free press tend to be authoritarian societies.
"Let me just say, in terms of Democracy and the free press, I think it is absolutely an essential part and all we have to do is go back and look at our Constitution," Albright said. "But I have looked at this from a number of different angles. When I was an academic, wrote about the role of the press internationally in political change. And there is no question in my mind, in terms of authoritarian societies, if you do not have information, you can't operate and it is power."
Unfortunately we won't be able to hear Billy Mays say that again in person but that recorded line is destined to live on for as long as there are people. The untimely death of Billy Mays inspired numerous accolades from around the country including this tribute video, one of many that you can find on YouTube. However, in contrast to the almost universal admiration of Mays, there was one discordant note sounded on the opinion page of the Christian Science Monitor in the form of this sneering column written by one Darryl Campbell. You can almost hear the elitist condescension dripping as Campbell looks down his haughty nose at Billy Mays:
It's almost impossible to go a full day without hearing the words "Hi, Billy Mays here" at least once. For over a decade, Billy Mays pitched everything from laundry detergents to Mighty Putty, Hercules Hooks to health insurance, to the television-viewing public. He was neither an inventor-salesman like Ron Popeil nor a celebrity endorser like Suzanne Somers; instead, he used his talent for working a crowd and an infinite capacity for shouting (he insisted that it was "projecting") in order to become the best-known and by far the loudest practitioner of the old-school hard sell.
In case you've been in a cave the last few news cycles, it's been widely reported that the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska's largest newspaper, has endorsed Barack Obama. Typical was this from NPR's Morning Edition:
Newspapers have been making presidential endorsements. Republican John McCain won the backing of his home state's largest paper, The Arizona Republic. The Chicago Tribune endorsed Chicago resident Barack Obama — the first time that paper has endorsed a Democratic candidate for president. And Obama received the backing from another paper you might not expect — the Anchorage Daily News. The state's largest newspaper was not swayed by the fact that McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, is the state's governor.
I have to give the Christian Science Monitor credit for at least discussing Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos which is his plan for Republicans to register as Democrats in order to vote for Hillary Clinton so as to cause yet more disorder in the Democrat party. One can search in vain in Google News for dreaded term "Operation Chaos," but with the exception of the Christian Science Monitor, the mainstream media shuns any mention of it despite the fact that registrations of Democrats in Pennsyvania are at record levels due to "mysterious reasons." Often when reading or watching media outlets describe the record number of Democrat registrations in the Keystone State without giving credit to Operation Chaos, I feel like channeling the late great comedian, Sam Kinison, who was famous for yelling: "Say it! SAY IT!!!"
Christian Science Monitor writer, Dante Chinni, finally said it in his article, "Rushing to register? Limbaugh’s efforts not yet showing signs of big effects in Pennsylvania." First Chinni discusses that which most others in the mainstream media refuse to even mention:
However, it's really something else altogether when a major American newspaper would actually publish an article with the headline:
Global Warming Not Always to Blame for Extreme Winters
No, this wasn't the National Enquirer, or The Star. This was the Christian Science Monitor, which is now on a growing list of press outlets clearly uncomfortable with the winter of 2008 (emphasis added throughout):
In the wake of Hillary Clinton's 2-1 thrashing in South Carolina at the hands of the politician I typically refer to as BOOHOO (Barack O-bombaOverseas Hussein “Obambi” Obama), the spin from Mrs. Clinton's husband is that it has no more significance than Jesse Jackson's Palmetto State victories in 1984 and 1988.
Assume for a moment that a new study by NASA proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that manmade global warming was indeed responsible for the recent ice melts in the Arctic. Think media would have reported it?
In reality, that's a bit of a trick question, for in the past several weeks, television newscasts, papers, and magazines have been filled with hysterical assertions about decreasing Arctic ice levels destined to cause imminent flooding to coastal regions around the world.
As such, it certainly was no surprise when NASA released a report Monday claiming "the rapid decline in winter perennial ice the past two years was caused by unusual winds," virtually no media outlets shared the information with the citizenry, and those that did still blamed the melting ice on - you guessed it - global warming.
The largely boycotted announcement out of NASA stated no such thing (emphasis added):
According to the media's parade of children who need government assistance for insurance, President Bush must really just hate children. After all, he vetoed a bill today that would have expanded the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
Leading up to the October 3 veto, the media couldn’t resist scripting it as a vote against children.
What’s at stake, though, included a proposed $35-billion expansion of taxpayer-funded insurance made possible by a huge tax increase on tobacco users many of whom are poor -- burdening the same families the program is designed to help.
This one is really too funny, folks, and definitely requires all potables, combustibles, and sharp objects be properly stowed (grateful and humorous h/t to NBer dscott).
Despite all the carping and whining by folks like soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore and his not so merry band of sycophant devotees about global warming killing polar bears, there is actually a baby boom occurring in this species in Canada’s eastern Arctic.
As marvelously reported May 3 by the Christian Science Monitor (emphasis added throughout):
Soon it’s going to cost you more to mow your lawn, and the Christian Science Monitor doesn’t mind because it’s all in the name of a cleaner planet.
“[H]elp is on the way. Thanks to a new rule unveiled by the Environmental Protection Agency this week, homeowners will finally be able to buy mowers that give their lawn a truly clean cut,” wrote Mark Clayton of the Monitor.
But it was not homeowners who pressured mower manufacturers to lower emissions, but a mandate from the EPA. According to the new rule, beginning in 2011 small engines like those used in lawn tractors must filter out “an additional 35 pollutants … in addition to the 60 percent reduction mandated last year.”
Mike Strizki lives in the very first solar-hydrogen house in the U.S. and according to The Christian Science Monitor, "It sounds promising, even utopian: homemade, storable energy that doesn't contribute to global warming."
But the very positive profile of Strizki and his unusual new home left out the cost to other New Jersey residents.
“The total cost, $500,000, was paid for in part with a $250,000 grant from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities,” correspondent Jared Flesher wrote on March 15.
Let's see ... a grant from New Jersey. Since New Jersey isn't a person that means the $250,000 came from taxpayers.