Green Vehicles is no more. The world will somehow have to get by without the lovely vehicle pictured after the jump populating our streets and highways.
Given that its owner put an "I've giving it up" blog post last Tuesday, and even though Drudge just caught it a few hours ago, it's pretty safe to assume that the Green Vehicles debacle won't be a national establishment press story.
It is, however, a fairly hot story in Salinas, California, a city of about 150,000 fifty or so miles south of San Jose.
The video-game industry has won again in court, insisting on their right to make the most debased gaming experience imaginable and market it to children with little commercial restraint. On June 27, the Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 against California’s law mandating that children are not allowed to purchase “Mature” video games without a parent.
The political elites are celebrating the Court ruling as a victory for a vibrant First Amendment, rejectinthe very notion of social responsibility on the part of the video-game makers and their often-twisted conceptualization of what constitutes “fun” for children.
Redwood Heights Elementary School in Oakland, CA has joined the chorus of those wishing to mainstream “gender-bending” by enacting a program this week that, according to a press release, tells kindergarteners “there are more than two genders.”
The kindergarten through fifth grade school hosted a 2-day program for students titled, “Gender Spectrum Diversity Training,” in which single-sex Hawaiian geckos and transgender clownfish were brought in to teach children that “there are different ways to be boys. There are different ways to be girls,” according to Redwood Heights principal Sara Stone. Students received gender diversity training as they learned about “boy snakes that act ‘girly’.”
Quirky liberal California Gov. Jerry Brown (elected to the post for the second time) was glorified in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine story by reporter Adam Nagourney in "Jerry Brown’s Last Stand."
Brown proceeded to answer the reporters’ questions with a display of self-confident humor and a command of facts, history and language that befits a man in the eighth decade of his life, as he likes to describe himself. The news conference ended, 22 minutes after it began, only when a reporter signaled the close with a clipped, "Thank you, governor." Brown wandered down the terminal, trailed by two television reporters who wanted to book him for studio interviews. One handed him a business card, which Brown slipped into his shirt pocket. When the governor arrived at his waiting car, he laid a garment bag straight and neat in the trunk and climbed into the passenger seat.
This White House faced strikingly little press criticism during the 2008 presidential campaign and through most of its first two years in office. So seldom is this White House meaningfully criticized in fact, that even the most mild jab apparently inspires backlash against the press.
Just last week it was revealed that a San Francisco Chronicle reporter was booted from the White House press pool for the crime of recording an anti-Obama protest with her smartphone. Then today, the Pleasanton Weekly, a small newspaper in Pleasanton, California, revealed that the White House had asked that the paper remove a passage it felt reflected poorly on First Lady Michelle Obama.
And, amazingly, the paper obliged. It removed the passage, saying it didn't want to make a "fuss." The White House is grateful for the self-censorship, I'm sure.
They are a constant if unlikely pair these days: the oldest man elected governor of California and the woman who is its youngest budget director, shuttling from office to office as they meet with lawmakers, confer quietly in the Capitol hallways and fend off reporters and lobbyists.
Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, lived through another fiscal crisis when he was governor 30 years ago. The budget director, Ana Matosantos, 35, was barely able to do addition back then, but she has the experience that comes with having served under the last governor and through three years of California fiscal crises.
Medina painted Matosantos as a budgetary whiz (who, conveniently, is also opposed to Republican spending cuts):
Recently, the Los Angeles branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) released a video showing a group of protestors exhibiting anti-Muslim sentiments outside an ICNA fundraising dinner. Liberal media outlets ran with the press release as a way to highlight bigotry towards Muslims, with the video showing up on The Guardian, Think Progress, Salon, Mediaite, Huffington Post, and Hillary Clinton’s source for ‘real news’, Al Jazeera. Problem being, the video and press release is so wrought with false statements, distortions, and a cut and paste documentary style, it could have passed as a Michael Moore film.
Naturally, these news outlets casually gloss over the ICNA’s controversial ties to radical clerics, terrorist organizations, and the implementation of Sharia law. Outlined previously, the group has hosted events with such speakers as radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, and Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and one of the keynote speakers at this particular fundraiser. Additionally, the group has documented ties to Hamas, Jamaat-e-Islami, and the Muslim Brotherhood.
All facts which seemingly bear little relevance as to why there would be a protest in the first place. But even beyond an exploration of reasons behind the protest, is concern that these media outlets would present a distorted video as evidence of anything other than their own journalistic malpractice.
MSNBC's prime-time "town hall" on immigration reform yesterday exemplified one of the more unseemly elements of media bias: brazen political advocacy disguised as an "honest conversation."
Attempting to pass itself off as a forum for voices on all sides of the immigration issue to elevate the dialogue, "Beyond Borderlines" featured droves of liberal guests who dismissed, admonished, and overwhelmed only token conservative opposition.
From the outset of the program, conservative guests were disadvantaged and drowned out. The "conversation," which touched on a wide-range of issues related to immigration reform, was steered by hosts Lawrence O'Donnell, who is a self-described socialist, and Maria Teresa Kumar, who is executive director of Voto Latino, a liberal immigration reform group.
Mike Cutler, one of the few guests who offered a contrasting perspective on the issue, was repeatedly attacked by Kumar, who oscillated between the conflicting roles of questioner and answerer, and the other panelists.
Yesterday the California Supreme Court ruled "that illegal immigrants are entitled to the same in-state tuition breaks that are offered to citizens who attend public colleges and universities."
The Associated Press reports that "[t]he high court unanimously upheld a state law that says any student, regardless of immigration status, who attended a California high school for at least three years can qualify for in-state tuition that's much less than what out-of-state students pay."
The losing party in the case plans an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, so this may not be the final word on the issue.
Given that the Golden State is flat broke and illegal immigration is a hot button issue nationally, this sounds like a story worthy of mainstream media attention.
Yet it appears the story has been largely ignored or buried by the MSM thus far.
It’s no secret that the nation is preparing for a GOP tidal wave with significant conservative victories in the Senate and House next Tuesday. The election has essentially focused on domestic economic policy. Conservative candidates have been gaining ground with a popular job growth/lower taxes/revive the economy mantra.
But desperate liberal Democrats have suddenly shifted the focus from the economy to divisive social issues like abortion and gay rights, and the mainstream media have been more than willing to give them a platform. Media personalities like Matt Lauer, Rachel Maddow and Eleanor Clift are loudly voicing concerns over the future of gay marriage and the legal status of abortion.
Earlier this evening, conservative radio host and friend of NewsBusters Mark Levin conducted a nearly 20-minute interview with Gloria Allred, a celebrity attorney who's also known for her liberal politics.
Allred is representing one Nicky Diaz, an illegal immigrant who worked as a housekeeper for California Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman. Allred alleges Whitman employed Diaz knowing that she was an illegal immigrant. Whitman denies the allegation and says she fired Diaz after learning that she was an illegal.
Levin, a veteran of the Reagan Justice Department and president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, grilled Allred for, among other things, willingly exposing her client to legal jeopardy. Diaz is, after all, an illegal immigrant who quite possibly committed Social Security fraud, a federal felony.
Levin also asked Allred if she was working for Diaz pro bono or if she was being paid by a third party. Allred declined to disclose that information and also denied any collaboration with the campaign of Whitman's Democratic opponent, Jerry Brown.
In late July, NB Contributing Editor Tom Blumer busted the Associated Press for neglecting to mention the party affiliations of scandal-plagued officials in Bell, California. The AP piece was one of hundreds of reports on the scandal. Of those hundreds, one solitary report mentioned party labels for the five officials.
Can you guess which party they belong to? I'll bet you can.
The only news outlet that mentioned the officials were Democrats was the Orange County Register. And even that paper noted the absence of party labels only in response to reader complaints. "Our readers noticed one part of the story has been left out by virtually all media sources," the paper's editorial board wrote. "All five council members are members of the Democratic Party."
The most prominent of the officials in question, former Bell city manager Robert Rizzo, resigned after it came to light that he was making $1.5 million per year - in a town with a per capita income languishing at about half the national average.
Many readers may already be familiar with recent exposure of the treasury plunderers disguised as public officials serving up hefty salaries to themselves while allegedly serving their constituents in the LA suburb of Bell, California.
Here's some of the latest from the Associated Press, carried at the Los Angeles Times, which broke the original story, for those who need a quick catch-up. Almost as night follows day, the news doesn't answer a question many readers here and elsewhere will naturally have:
Several hundred angry residents from a modest blue-collar Los Angeles suburb marched Sunday to call for the resignation of the mayor and some City Council members in a protest sparked by the sky-high salaries of three recently departed administrators.
The residents of the city of Bell marched to Oscar's Korner Market and Carniceria, owned by Mayor Oscar Hernandez, then to his home, demanding that he reduce his own six-figure compensation or quit.
They then did the same with some members of the City Council, with many marchers wearing T-shirts that read "My city is more corrupt than your city."
When news recently broke that the 78 year-old actor Larry Hagman had surfaced in California promoting solar energy as means of staving off the end of civilization, I must admit I was somewhat taken aback. Prior to this, the last time anyone had heard from Hagman was when he was part of a "who done it" spoof which TV viewers watched in an attempt to ascertain "Who Shot J.R.?"
Now he looks like just so many other Hollywood figures that miss the limelight and therefore come out and say something crazy in order to get a little attention: Either that or he actually believes the things he said in the interview for the Oregonian. (After reading the interview a couple of times, I personally hope he's just talking crazy to get attention because if he really believes the things he said, Hollywood has hit a new low.)
In the interview, Hagman takes Sarah Palin's famous "Drill, baby, Drill" and augments it to fit solar energy by changing it to "Shine, baby, Shine." He describes solar power as "an inexhaustible source of energy" which he uses to provide electricity for his home.
ABC anchor Diane Sawyer greeted Meg Whitman’s victory in California’s Republican gubernatorial primary by putting forward Democrat Jerry Brown as the savior protecting the nation against Whitman becoming Governor. “Jerry Brown told us today, he wants the country to know that he sees this as an epic duel in California between the politics of ideas and the power of money,” Sawyer warned from Los Angeles in setting up an interview with Brown aired on Wednesday’s World News. Sawyer later relayed how Brown “believes the soul of California is at stake.”
Condemning Whitman’s spending on ads, Brown charged “it's almost like a ministry of information in a totalitarian country,” before he offered up pablum, unchallenged by Sawyer, about how he’ll solve the Golden State’s $20 billion shortfall by telling “legislators you have to get did of your cars, get rid of your perks.”
Sawyer fondly recalled: “For 40 years we watched him – the son of a political family who studied to be a Jesuit priest, then turned Buddhist seeker. When he became governor, he lived in one room, bed on the floor, and rode around in his own Plymouth.” Now, “he says it's a singular time for a man who believes the soul of California is at stake. He remembers studying Buddhism in Japan.” Brown got the last word in ABC’s infomercial for him: “‘Life and death is a serious matter. Time waits for no man. Do your best.’ And that, I think, could be the spirit of this campaign.”
Nagourney argued that Arizona's strict new immigration enforcement law has "hijacked this contest" and "stirred worry" that the Republican nominee will be weakened against Democrat and former California Gov. Jerry Brown. (Yes, that Jerry Brown.) He portrayed being on the strong side of a popular issue as a stumbling block for California's G.O.P. gubernatorial candidates:
At a pro-Gaza protest in Los Angeles on Memorial Day a lone counter-protester showed up to voice his support for Israel. While doing nothing more than walking around with an Israeli flag, the counter-protester was chased and the police had to protect him from the angry crowd.
Make sure you visit this post at the Eyeblast Blog to get more details on what happened and to discuss why things like this only happen at far left protests.
For the second year in a row, a state official has proposed eliminating the former Golden State's "welfare-to-work" program, which the rest of us know as "welfare," or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Last year, it was left to a spokesman for the state's Department of Finance to bring out the idea. This year, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger fronted it himself.
As has been the case for the almost four years I've been following the situation, the press once again universally failed to provide anything resembling context. If it did, people would understand that this is a story about a decade-long shocking level of theoretically well-intentioned waste (the cynical observation would be that the good intentions are tempered by the likelihood that dependent voters are overwhelmingly Democratic voters).
The as up to date as possible context (through September 30 of last year for recipients and families, the latest available government data; some estimation was required because certain data fields are blank) is this:
A California middle school and state university both apparently find extreme environmentalist indoctrination to be worthy of expending taxpayer dollars. Jehue Middle School and California State University at San Bernardio were both involved in the making and promotion of a video called "Environmental Police Agency" which features middle schoolers going around tackling and arresting "non-environmentalists" for crimes like having a refrigerator, leaving computer screens on, and throwing away a soda can. At the end they caution that drastic times call for drastic measures so we should institute this kind of green police state to save the world.
Just a week after the last time a California school told its students that the American flag was somehow racist, another California school repeated the lesson. This time a middle school student was taught that drawing an American flag was wrong. However, drawing a picture of President Obama was apparently praise worthy:
In late August 2009, Toyota announced that it would close its New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) factory in Fremont, California at the end of March. The plant had been a joint venture of the company and General Motors until June, when GM withdrew.
Almost six months later, in the wake of a series of Toyota product recalls, and roughly seven weeks before the plant's scheduled shutdown, the UAW and the AFL-CIO on Friday began an attempt to gin up a campaign to convince the company to reopen the plant, and to encourage the public to refuse to buy its products it if doesn't.
Since there is virtually zero chance of the plant remaining open (the company said at the time of the closure that "it will close the plant, regardless of financial incentives offered by the state"), you'll have to excuse me if I question the overall timing, and even if there might be just a wee bit of government and union coordination going on here -- especially given some of the people involved and some of the statements made at a rally outside the plant and at the UAW's nearby union hall yesterday.
In terms of press coverage of yesterday's events, you have to wonder if Brooke Donald of the Associated Press and George Avalos of the Oakland Tribune were actually in the same place. Donald's AP coverage made what was going on appear relatively benign, while Avalos included important details to the contrary.
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.
Reporters at the Associated Press are clearly unhappy that Maine voters turned out to refuse to honor "gay marriage" at the ballot box. An AP dispatch two days ago by Lisa Leff and David Sharp suggested conservatives are misleading voters with charges that have "no evidence," like students going on a field trip to a lesbian wedding.
Are they that factually challenged at AP? From Fox News on October 13, 2008, just weeks before the vote on California’s Proposition 8:
First-graders in San Francisco took a field trip to City Hall to celebrate the marriage of their lesbian teacher on Friday, but opponents of same-sex marriage in the state say the field trip was an attempt to "indoctrinate" the students, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The field trip was suggested by a parent at the Creative Arts Charter School, and the school said the trip, where students tossed rose petals on their teacher and her wife as they left City Hall, was academically relevant.
The Democratic mayor of Oakland, CA and his wife recently admitted to failing to pay $239,000 in taxes since 2005. The San Francisco Chronicle covered the story, but made no mention of the mayor's party, in striking contrast to coverage of recent ethics violations by Republicans in the state.
"We owe taxes," Mayor Ron Dellums, pictured right, bluntly said in a statement on Tuesday. "The matter is being dealt with and will be resolved in short order." The IRS imposed a tax lien on the couple's $1.4 million home in the Foxhall Crescent neighborhood in Washington, DC, and 3,200 square foot house in Oakland Hills.
There is no party identification in the story, however, only a statement in the second-to-last paragraph that Dellums is a "stalwart of progressive ideals." It seems the Chronicle could not bring itself to state the he is a Democrat.
Want to make a big splash to bolster your chances in a political campaign? A tried and true strategy for some attorneys general has been to champion a populist position by exploiting the legal system for publicity. Just look at the lead up to the launch of former New York AG Eliot Spitzer gubernatorial campaign with his attacks on Wall Street.
And that appears to be the playbook California Attorney General Jerry Brown is using in a lawsuit accusing State Street (NYSE:STT) of cheating the state's two largest pension funds, the California Public Employees' Retirement System and the California State Teachers' Retirement System, of at least $56.6 million.
However, CNBC's Michele Caruso-Cabrera wasn't afraid to ask Brown if that was indeed the case in an Oct. 20 interview on CNBC's "Power Lunch."
[Update, 12:30 am Eastern Saturday: Josh Brahm of the RLCC, mentioned below, contacted me and sent me the link to an edited video taken of the assault, which is imbedded at right (obscene language warning). -MB.]
Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.com reported on Friday that a pro-life activist was assaulted on October 15 by a supporter of abortion in front of the Planned Parenthood in Fresno, California, during a vigil for the nationwide 40 Days for Life campaign. Ertelt also noted that local TV news outlets ignored the story of the assault in their evening broadcasts, brushing it aside either because the victim’s injury wasn’t serious enough, or because they thought a story on “chocolate-covered bacon” was more important.
Victor Fierro, director of Latinos4Life, a pro-life organization, was physically attacked by a “pro-choice woman,” according to the press release by Right to Life of Central California (RLCC), which was also cited in the LifeNews.com report. The woman “shouted obscenities” at the pro-life demonstrators participating in the 40 Days for Life vigil in front of the Planned Parenthood facility, “before attempting to break the event security camera and assaulting...Fierro....The attacker cut Fierro’s arm with an unknown object, drawing blood, and then stormed back to her car and fled the scene.” The entire incident was captured by the video camera, though most of the assault occurred outside of its field of vision. However, the camera did capture her face and her car’s tag number.
ABC's World News, which has twice in the past few months rued how it's too hard to raise taxes in California, on Tuesday night used one homeowner's appreciation, for the firefighters battling the wild fires threatening his house near Los Angeles, to tout how “he would gladly pay more taxes.”
Reporting from Tujunga, Brian Rooney warned “California has burned through nearly two-thirds of its emergency firefighting money early in the season,” so “the Governor and other authorities today politicked for even more emergency funds.” After a clip of a union official, Rooney highlighted: “One homeowner, at least, says he would gladly pay more taxes after watching the performance of firefighters.” In the subsequent soundbite, the unidentified man didn't actually say he wanted higher taxes, just that the current high level is worth it for the performance of the firefighters (who only get a small sliver of the state budget): “I think we're the highest in the union, but for last night I'm happy to pay it.”
Apart from several reports on FNC, and a few on CNN, the mainstream television news media have ignored the controversial firing of former Inspector General Gerald Walpin, who had recently battled for tougher penalties against Obama friend and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson after an investigation by Walpin found Johnson had misused hundreds of thousands of tax dollars granted by the AmeriCorps program to the Johnson-founded St. Hope charity. Over the past weeks, there have been a number of developments, including the opening of an FBI investigation into the St. Hope charity, further casting doubt on the White House's decisions and bolstering Walpin's case that he was wrongfully booted.