Elizabeth Edwards, I'm sure, is a smart, capable woman. A well-educated lawyer, seasoned politician's wife, and mother of three, her battle against cancer is laudable no matter what your politics are. But in all honestly, is she really that much of a scholarly health care policy or health care finance expert?
Not sure if this was expected or known in advance, but the announcement today that Elizabeth Edwards is joining the Center for American Progress as a senior fellow is striking in two ways. First, it's great for CAP. Think tanks don't often get the benefit of having famous and well-liked authors or thinkers on their staffs. Hers will be a prominent voice on the health care debate going forward, and CAP will bask in her reflected fame...
ABC White House reporter Martha Raddatz (file photo at right), formerly that network's Pentagon correspondent, is clueless when it comes to federal law regarding U.S. military personnel and what they can and cannot say publicly about their politics, bloggers Richard Gardner and James Joyner argue in an April 8 post at Outside the Beltway.
Why not “Government Employees Cannot Participate in Partisan Political Activity”? Or how about government employees are not allowed to state who they support politically? How about government employees are NOT allowed to vote? How about UNION government employees are not allowed to vote?
Gardner went on to quote an excerpt in which Raddatz equated servicemen expressing "their personal endorsements" -- that is telling people for whom they plan to vote -- to engaging "in partisan political activity" which "the military is not supposed" to do.
Gardner called Raddatz on the absurdity of her statement:
Some time after this was posted, the third paragraph of the original piece was changed in a fashion that radically altered the meaning of the entire article (picture courtesy AP).
In fact, what was once a realistic portrayal of new data released by the World Meteorological Organization suddenly became another hysterical report espousing doom and gloom at the hands of manmade global warming.
Here was how the piece began before Saturday's edits (emphasis added):
In yet another in a disgraceful series of indecent journalistic collaborations, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Hillary Clinton's Think Progress actually quoted al Qaeda's second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri to discredit Republican presidential candidate John McCain (video embedded right, use scrollbars to properly center).
The bashing began in a March 20 post that explained Baldwin had been part of a Navy dive team assigned to recover the remains of WWII servicemen from a B-24 crash site in the South Pacific. The staff writers criticized the waste of their tax dollars on “ancient history,” musing “let's talk about why we the taxpayers are footing the bill on such BS” and asking readers if they thought it was a “[r]idiculous waste.” TMZ's staff expressed their disbelief that anyone would bother searching for such an old wreck and then dismissed the importance of recovering the remains, snarking, “At least [Baldwin] got a really good tan" (all bold mine):
What, you ask, were they looking for? A B-24J bomber that went down during the war. Not Iraq. Not Vietnam. No, not Korea. We're talking WWII, as in more than 60 years ago.
Turns out, the military spends $52 million each year to find the remains of missing soldiers -- it's part of the POW/MIA program. That's all well and good depending on the circumstances. But a crash that is ancient history, at a time when the economy sucks and the Federal government is sucking the life out of everyone with taxes??
Over at Media Bistro's fishbowlDC blog Patrick W. Gavin was on hand to live-blog an appearance by News Corp's Rupert Murdoch who visited Georgetown University's Gaston Hall to talk about the shape of today's media landscape. As reported by Gavin, Murdoch had some interesting things to say. Among his comments was that we shouldn't have any fear that the media is becoming less free and.... oh, yeah... he claimed that CNN has "always been extremely liberal." (Gosh, who knew?)
Murdoch also commented on the state of TV and how it can no longer assume it can reach such a "mass audience."
Wall Street saw a 391-point rally on the Dow today, the first day of the second quarter. ABCNews.com saw the development worthy of a "Breaking News" tag towards the top of its Web page and put the story in the top headlines rotation.
But it appears that ABCNews.com was alone among its competitors in trumpeting the news. I checked numerous Web sites shortly after 5:30 and found ABC's to be the only one to give the rally top billing. [see the screencaps below the page break]
Update: Reaction from document examiner Emily Will added at bottom of post (April 3 | 13:02 EDT)
Mary Mapes (file photo at right), the former CBS producer behind the Bush National Guard memo scandal that eventually felled Dan Rather's career has a post up at the liberal Nation magazine's Web site insisting that comparisons between Memogate and the L.A. Times falling for fake documents about Tupac Shakur's murder are "simplistic, unfounded and unfair." (h/t Patterico)
Apparently, there's a profound difference between trying to sway a presidential election with questionable documentary evidence and messing with Tupac.
Mapes defended her work in Memogate before turning, predictably, to fire on the Bush administration. Of course in doing so, Mapes, who had just finished defending her reliability as a journalist, laid out at least two commonly-repeated falsehoods propagated by the Left about the Iraq war. First, Mapes insisted that:
The greatest fraud perpetrated in modern journalistic history was the Bush Administration's linking of Iraq to September 11.
But the Bush administration never argued such a thing in the lead-up to the war. As the BBC, hardly a Bush cheerleader, rightly noted in September 2003:
Chicago Tribune columnist/ blogger Eric Zorn is a liberal, but from what I'm familiar of his writing, he's not a cartoonishly goofy one. So at first I thought his post today -- Coming out of the dark on Earth Hour -- was a bit of an April Fool's joke. But reading and re-reading it, it became clear to me Zorn was being serious, even as he invoked quasi-religious language to describe his joy in observing the sanctimonious green gimmick (emphasis mine):
Earth Hour was so cool.
I was surprised.
During the buildup, it all sounded a bit earnest to me — reproachful and grim.
Update at bottom of post: Williams responds (18:24 EDT)
I have to hand it to the AP this time. They actually noted the political party affiliation of another Democrat in legal hot water. So did CNN.com and Reuters.
But for some reason, MSNBC's Pete Williams left out the party affiliation of Louisiana's Rep. William Jefferson (D) in this March 31 item at the First Read blog:
In something of a surprise, the U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear an appeal involving the FBI's unprecedented search of the Capitol Hill offices of Congressman William Jefferson.
A federal appeals court ruled that the FBI wrongly used its own agents look through the material seized to determine what might be covered by congressional privilege. This is a considerable victory for Jefferson, largely validating his objections to the search and giving him certain bragging rights. But prosecutors claim they have sufficient evidence independent of the search. The cash in his freezer, for example, was found well before Jefferson's offices were searched.
It is so easy to get sucked in by context-free negativity, isn't it?
If you looked at the home page of the New York Times a couple of hours ago, these items you would have among those seen in the (appropriately) far-left column:
In This Shiite Battle, a Marked Shift From the Past (article link)
Shiite Militias Cling to Swaths of Basra and Stage Raids (article link)
Top-of-hour network radio reports in the past few days, including Fox's, have also "successfully" left the impression that there has been serious decay in the Iraq situation. Who could blame the average person reader/listener for believing that?
As previously reported by NewsBusters, there's an international climate change awareness promotion going on today called Earth Hour, and websearch giant Google is not only participating in it, but advocating its goals.
It wants "to restore balance and reason to the carbon debate, and to explain and defend the key role of carbon in production of most of our energy for heat, light, and transportation, and all of our food."
With this in mind, Carbon Sense on Friday strongly advocated observance of Earth Hour with a slight twist destined to bring a smile to climate realists across the globe (emphasis added throughout, h/t Heartland):
Want some more proof of Google's political leanings.
Well, consider that the websearch giant is participating in Earth Hour, "a global event created to symbolize that each one of us, working together, can make a positive impact on climate change - no matter who we are or where we live."
Here's what Google displayed at its website moments ago (h/t NBer Wilbur747, emphasis added):
Leave it to liberals to pile on Sen. John McCain with cheap shots about his age, and we're not talking making jokes about him serving in the Civil War or what not. Mocking John McCain's age, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann imagined that the senator could easily segue from talking about foreign policy or the economy to talking about "buying more Depends or something like that." (h/t Conservative Punk)
"You can dissassociate yourself from that remark if you wish," Olbermann immediately added in his exchange with Rachel Maddow of the liberal Air America radio network.
Yesterday NewsBusters noted a liberal blogger who took a cheap shot at McCain's false teeth. McCain's teeth were bashed out by North Vietnamese tormentors during his time as a POW.
The Associated Press, reporting the indictment of Puerto Rico Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila (pictured at right via AFP/Getty Images file photo) failed to note Vila is a Democrat, let alone that he is an Obama superdelegate.
But Vila's party affiliation is hardly a state secret. Indeed, ABC's Jake Tapper noted the Obama connection on his Political Punch blog this morning:
Liberal blogger Molly Priesmeyer may have bitten off a bit more than she can chew with a blog mocking Republican presidential candidate John McCain for his false teeth. Of course, commenters on her blog have noted that McCain's teeth were smashed out by North Vietnamese tormentors, but Priesmeyer's entry at Minnesota Monitor remains online although it obviously is in poor taste:
If bloggers are saying one thing about John McCain this week it's that the 71-year-old has some serious grit. Of course, that grit comes in the form of McCain Mouth, a deformity that apparently causes teeth to look like a mess of yellowed and contorted Chiclets. Today, BuzzFeed.com has picked up on the mouth meme, turning McCain's piano-key chompers into an official phenomenon.
The consensus? "They're old." And, "He looks like Reverend Kane from Poltergeist II." And, "Dude has had a ton of plastic surgery, can't he afford a dentist?"
Hot Air's Ed Morrissey noted today that Minnesota Monitor is funded by left-wing megamillionaire George Soros:
Liberals get a bit wiggy when it comes to electoral shenanigans in Ohio. On The Huffington Post, Ari Melber accuses Rush Limbaugh of encouraging Republicans to commit a felony by crossover voting for Hillary Clinton. Those "lying voters" are under investigation, although prosecutions are "considered unlikely," he reports:
"Operation Chaos," Rush Limbaugh's campaign urging Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton in Democratic primaries, has been very effective. It doubled Republican turnout in Ohio and Texas, boosting Clinton and prolonging the Democratic race. But in Ohio, it was also almost certainly illegal.
Ohio law requires that citizens genuinely support a political party in order to vote in its primary. To change parties for a primary, a citizen must pledge, under the penalty of election falsification, that she is affiliated with the party and "supports" its principles. Lying on the pledge is a felony, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. The law also stipulates that poll workers have a "duty" to challenge voters who are "not a member of the political party whose ballot the person desires to vote."
YouTube watchers have often marvelled at the video website's floating enforcement of copyright laws.
Another such incident guaranteed to cause a lot of conservative heads to be scratched is this weekend's decision by YouTube to yank an advertisement created by the Competitive Enterprise Institute -- as reported by NewsBusters March 12 -- harshly critical of Nobel Laureate Al Gore's hypocritical views on global warming.
If you ask the average man on the street, regardless of his religion, he'd probably tell you that anyone who would disrupt an Easter Mass with a political protest -- complete with stage blood and attempted "die-in" -- is a jerk with little if any reverence for God or the sanctity of a church as a place of worship.
But according to the Chicago Tribune's Manya Brachear the so-called Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War are representative of a "frustrated faction" of Catholic faithful (emphasis mine):
Cardinal Francis George has long opposed politics at the communion rail. But Sunday’s anti-war protest at the start of his Easter homily spotlighted a frustrated faction in the Roman Catholic church who believe committed Catholics must do more than preach and pray for peace.
The rantings of Barack Obama's pastor sound strange to most Americans, Christian or non-Christian, black or white. Yet to some in the media, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's preaching is in the "mainstream" of Christian doctrine.
Take the Chicago Sun-Times's David Roeder, reporting on Trinity United Church of Christ's (TUCC) Easter Sunday service:
Theirs is a mainstream Christian theology, but shaped by oppression that they feel yields a connection to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. It's a church they said most Americans could embrace if they only got beyond media sound bites.
Roeder noted that TUCC, as it proudly declares on its Web site, is "Unshamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian." The TUCC Web site also celebrates the church's identity as "an African people" that "remain[s] 'true to our native land,' the mother continent, the cradle of civilization."
Now, of course, there's a wide array of debate among "mainstream" Christians over varying points of Christian doctrine, both between and within denominations, but the notion of ethnocentric identity within the church itself is alien to the preaching and teaching with which most American Christians, black or white, would be familiar:
The Huffington Post has learned that Bill O'Reilly -- who claims to love America -- spent Sunday at a "church" run by a former Hitler Youth named Joseph Alois Ratzinger. Ratzinger has gone to elaborate ends to hide this connection, including taking on the absurd pseudonym "Pope Benedict XVI." Which, even if it doesn't prove anything, certainly makes you think.
This shocking revelation comes only a week after Barack Obama admitted he attends a church formerly run by Jeremiah Wright, who talks smack about America, although probably less than Goebbels did.
Freshly squeezed into his Political Punch blog this morning, ABC's Jake Tapper (pictured in NB file photo at right) calls the Clinton camp for denying that they are milking the Obama/Wright controversy when, in fact, they are:
Seriously, how can the Clinton campaign with a straight face claim it in no way is pushing the Rev. Wright story?
Former Ambassador Joe Wilson, who appeared with Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, Tuesday in Philly writes in the Huffington Post of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, that "Claims of superior intuitive judgment by his campaign and by him are self-evidently disingenuous, especially in light of disclosures about his long associations with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Tony Rezko."
Are liberal Democrats less likely to have social lives than conservatives?
According to Karl Rove, the answer to that question is yes. The Republican guru all but made that argument explaining why he thought liberals are more likely to be on the web than conservatives.
"I hate to sound sort of diffident about it but it strikes me that a lot of people on the right have got active lives and are doing other things," Rove said. "The idea of spending a lot of time on the internet and taking their talents and displaying them there is not something [conservatives] really do."
It seems the more Barack Obama tries to explain the peculiar statement he made Tuesday concerning his white grandmother's "fear of black men who passed by her on the street," the more he's assuring attention regarding the matter.
Applauding Barack Obama's March 18 speech, Time's Joe Klein (file photo at right) argued that most people will understand why the Illinois senator could not throw his pastor under the bus, even as Klein applauded the fact that Obama made his grandmother a speedbump on the bus ride to the Denver convention (emphasis mine):
The part about his grandmother is the real payoff, though: I'd say that most white people, over a certain age, have had grandmothers like that. (I had two such.) And I suspect most fair-minded white people who hear that section will understand: Obama can't toss aside the pastor--who, after all,was probably a powerful father figure for a man whose own father disappeared when he was two years old--any more than I could, or would want to, toss aside embarrassing old Grandma Rae, who almost always produced some dreadful jaw-dropper at Thanksgiving.
Now, perhaps Wright was a father figure in some ways to Obama. But doesn't that spiritual father-son relationship over decades require maturation with which the "son figure," Obama, would avail himself the opportunity to respectfully but sternly rebuke Wright and ultimately to leave the congregation if and when such concerns went resolved?
Perhaps it was his attempt at balance, but CNN's Bill Mears cast a cloud over the constitutional right to keep and bear arms by stacking his March 18 article about today's District of Columbia v. Heller case in "personal" terms that focused heavily on the victim of a tragic school shooting. What's more, Mears put the constitutional language about the right to keep and bear arms within the dreaded dismissive quote marks (emphasis mine):
Shelly Parker wants to know why she cannot keep a handgun in her house. As a single woman she has been threatened by neighborhood drug dealers in a city where violent crime rates are on the rise.
"In the event that someone does get in my home, I would have no defense, except maybe throw my paper towels at them," she said. But Parker lives in the nation's capital, which does not allow its residents to possess handguns.
Elilta "Lily" Habtu thinks that is how it should be. She knows about gun violence firsthand, surviving bullets to the head and arm fired by the Virginia Tech University shooter nearly a year ago.
It's a funny thing about the Bill of Rights. Rather than view each Amendment's protections as equally valid, many (but not all) liberals tend to enshrine some as sacrosanct but dismiss others at antiquated. Hence the First and Fourth amendments and their protections of free speech and press and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure respectively are held in extremely high regard, with state or federal restrictions on these rights held to strict scrutiny. But the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bears arms, eh, not so much.
But shouldn't a major newspaper like the Los Angeles Times take due care to not echo that line of thinking in its reporting? Above at right is a screen capture for a teaser headline on the L.A. Times Web page that hints that the First Amendment's protections are more iron-clad in their nature as individual rights than the Second's guarantee of firearm ownership rights.
What's more, in the third paragraph of reporter David Savage's article, the writer seems to suggest the Second Amendment does not guarantee the right to keep and bear arms because, well, the Supreme Court hasn't said as much (emphasis mine):
Lead Los Angeles Times scold Patrick Frey, aka Patterico, ripped into the Times's Saturday story on Barack Obama and the sermons of Trinity United Church of Christ Pastor Jeremiah Wright, giving us yet another reason to be thankful for New Media:
(The Times) downplays the 20-year relationship Obama has had with the pastor, and fails to report or accurately describe the most incendiary things Wright has said. For example, the article doesn’t even bother to tell readers that Wright screamed “God damn America!” in a sermon, or that Wright suggested America deserved to get attacked on September 11. Nor does the article tell readers any details regarding the intimacy of the relationship between Wright and Obama.
On Monday, the same morning that the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal broke, Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee posted an e-mail from the Associated Press which explained the newswire's policy against blogs using AP photos. The long and short of it: unless you have a license from AP, you're violating copyright to use an AP photo.
But today, blogger Jules Crittenden informed me, the AP is defending its policy of lifting from her MySpace page copyrighted photos of Spitzer call girl Ashley Alexandra Dupre: