A story generating a lot of discussion today concerns how former Philadelphia Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, who is receiving $905,000 in severance, has applied for unemployment benefits, and has been promised that the school district will not contest her claim.
Not so fast, people. I searched Google and Google News briefly, and found an interesting aspect of the situation which no one in the media apparently wants to consider. It relates to how Ackerman's employment ended. One of many place where that ending is described came from Matt Petrillo at Philadelphia Weekly just three weeks ago. It began thusly: "It’s been 11 weeks since the School Reform Commission unanimously voted to fire public school boss lady Arlene Ackerman." A quick visit to the relevant page at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry would appear to indicate that Ackerman should not get unemployment benefits, and that it shouldn't matter whether the district contests her claim:
Imagine if it were discovered that free-market think tanks were caught vetting scripts of Fox News programs, intervening to prevent free-market sceptics from receiving air time, and consulted with the network about how it should alter its programing in a free-market direction. The howls of outrage would be loud, long and unrelenting from other news networks, the wire services, and leading U.S. newspapers.
What I have just described, and more, characterizes a decade-long relationship between the British Broadcasting Corporation and UK-based climate scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) -- except that the BBC is government-funded and disproportionately controls the flow of broadcast news in the UK. What the UK Daily Mail has revealed today as part of its ongoing review of the second set of Climategate emails released before Thanksgiving has caused Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation to write that the BBC is "in cahoots with Climategate scientists." What follows are excerpts from the David Rose's Daily Mail story (bolds are mine):
The recent announcement by reality TV stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar that they are expecting their 20th child has proven yet another opportunity for journalists to snark about the Arkansas couple's choice to have a large family.
Take celebrity gossip writer Sonia Mansfield, who wrote a feature for The Examiner newspapers today.
Muller's pretense to have held beliefs differing from his true past may be the least of his problems. A story breaking in the UK contends that results obtained by the prof's BEST (Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures) project team, instead of "settling the debate" in favor of warmists, showed that global warming "has stopped." If so, this is potentially as explosive as the "hide the decline" conspiracy uncovered almost two years ago when the Climategate emails surfaced.
Yesterday, in what appears to have been a not particularly sweat-breaking research enterprise, blogger Don Surber at the Charleston Daily Mail demonstrated that the Richard Muller, a Berkley scientist who the Washington Post's Brad Plumer declared to be a "cliimate skeptic," has been a believer in human-caused global warming -- since the 1980s.
Muller convinced Plumer that as a result of looking at matters more closely, he has now become convinced that his skepticism was unwarranted. In Plumer's words, "Muller’s team appears to have confirmed the basic tenets of climate science." Surber smelled insincerity, and found supporting evidence quite quickly, which of course makes one wonder why Plumer didn't even bother to look for it, or was so clumsy that he failed to find any (bolds are mine):
Only at the self-described "Essential Global News Network" could the Sunday deaths in Egypt of 26 people, mostly Coptic Christians, be kept out of a story's headline and their mention deferred until the third paragraph.
But that's what readers will see in the four-paragraph grab which follows from a much longer item by the Associated Press's Maggie Michael yesterday:
UPDATE: John Frank responded to yours truly in an email. Go to the end of the post for the email and my reax.
Yesterday, Raleigh News & Observer blog contributor jbfrank, who from all indications is also RN&O reporter John Frank, assured readers that North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue was joking when she suggested that "I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years" at a Rotary Club luncheon in Cary.
That's what his headline said: "Perdue jokes about suspending Congressional elections for two years." There were no quote marks around "jokes." The headline echoed what the Governor's apparatchiks were saying. All the while, "Frank" had audio and didn't post it. He finally did this morning, and acknowledged that he was the one who did the taping:
Apparently there's no audio or video of North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue's Tuesday humdinger, namely that "I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover." -- yet.
If none surfaces, that will be too bad, because the guess here is that the wiggle room desperate apparatchiks to North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue and writer "jbfrank" at the Raleigh News & Observer are attempting to create -- namely, that she was only joking -- would vanish without a trace if we saw or heard how she delivered the following:
Sometimes, I think that we wouldn't have a useful press at all if it weren't for the British press.
The big news out of the International Monetary Fund this weekend was, as reported by the UK Telegraph, that it "may need billions in extra funding." Specifically, it "may have to tap its members – including Britain – for billions of pounds of extra funding to stem the European debt crisis."
In other words, the IMF doesn't have enough money to address the potential problems it sees on its own:
The paper of record for upstate New York is at it again, letting their readers know that Republicans and Tea Party members should essentially do as they say, not as they do.
The Albany Times Union has criticized Republicans for playing political games with a recently defeated bill that provides $3.65 billion for disaster assistance.The problem, it seems, is that the bill included offsets for such aid - $1.5 billion in cuts to the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program.
Earlier this evening (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I cited a few of very many examples where the press has not hesitated during the Obama years, and really since Barack Obama became the frontrunner for the Democratic Party's nomination in 2008, to engage in uncalled-for creativity to avoid calling a statement made a lie or an unlawful action illegal. One of the lastest: A Raleigh New & Observer reporter concluded that in implying that North Carolina has bridges in imminent danger of falling -- specifically, by asking his audience: "Why would we wait to act until another bridge falls?" -- Obama "may have" merely "over-suggested the risk to public safety."
Jim Kuhnhenn's report at the Associated Press tonight on the President's visit to the Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River connecting Cincinnati to Covington, Kentucky appears to have taken the cover-up of the president's misleading statements to a new level, as seen in the following excerpted paragraphs (bolds are mine):
Bruce Siceloff at the Raleigh News & Observer had the task on Tuesday of writing up the results of his newspaper's follow-up investigation into the safety of bridges in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina area after Barack Obama's visit there last week. In a speech there, the President asserted that "In North Carolina alone, there are 153 structurally deficient bridges that need to be repaired. Four of them are near here, on or around the Beltline. Why would we wait to act until another bridge falls?"
I know this will come as a total shock to readers -- not -- but the president wasn't being truthful. Behold what Siceloff and his paper found, and how he felt compelled to come up with a new word to describe Obama's untruthful characterizations (HT to Rush Limbaugh, who brought this up on the air today):
It appears that it's not news anywhere but at the Hartford Courant, where "Little Pink House" author Jeff Benedict reported the development on Saturday, and at Reason.com (HT to commenter dscott), which linked to the Courant story earlier today. I suspect it won't get much coverage at other establishment press outlets.
The development is that one of the four Connecticut Supreme Court justices in the 4-3 majority which ruled against Susette Kelo and the New London, Connecticut eminent-domain holdouts, ultimately sending the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled 5-4 against the plaintiffs in Kelo vs. New London, has apologized -- quite emptily, as it turns out -- to Ms. Kelo, face to face:
David Lewis is running for Congress as a Republican in Ohio's Eighth Congressional District for the seat House Speaker John Boehner currently holds. To be kind, Lewis doesn't stand a chance. To be not as kind, the establishment press is using Lewis's candidacy as an excuse to attempt to cast doubt on the ability of Tea Party activists and the GOP establishment to get along. To be clear, there's plenty of reason for the existence of such doubts, but David Lewis's candidacy is certainly not one of them.
To the chagrin of the GOP establishment, I'm a fan of serious primary efforts, especially against incumbents who may have lost their way. But Lewis's effort is not serious. It is fundamentally flawed in its premise and completely miscasts Boehner's current prolife record. It also has given the press an opportunity to distort the priorities of the Tea Party movement.
Yesterday, at organized labor's traditional Labor Day picnic at Cincinnati's Coney Island amusement park, Vice President Joe Biden gave the keynote address. His key lines, as reported by Carl Weiser at the Cincinnati Enquirer's Politics Extra blog (video is here at MRC-TV): "... this is a different kind of fight. This is a fight for the heart and soul of the labor movement. This is a fight for the existence of organized labor. You are the only ones who can stop the barbarians at the gate! That’s why they want you so bad.”
Biden's statement is in an important aspect more problematic than the more widely (but not sufficiently widely) noted "son of a b*tches" comment made by Teamsters President James Hoffa Jr. in Detroit yesterday at a Labor Day event President Obama keynoted. While Hoffa was threatening and hateful, he was at least in theory speaking only for Big Labor (though Obama has essentially adopted it by not condemning it). In Cincinnati, Biden, who was elected to serve all citizens of the country, personally characterized a large plurality of those he is supposed to be serving with a word which means "savage, primitive, uncivilized persons." Biden's "barbarians"comment has received very light establishment press coverage, as did what appears to have been a singularly unimpressive number of people who actually heard his speech:
In light of a new raft of abysmal polling data for President Obama, Martin Bashir this afternoon brought on Democratic National Convention committee CEO Steve Kerrigan to rally rank-and-file Democrats at home watching MSNBC.
At one point, Kerrigan insisted that "at the president's direction, we're the first and only convention in history to eliminate corporate money, lobbyists' money, PAC money, and special interest money from funding this convention."
"It's going to be funded by the grassroots of America and by the people," Kerrigan added.
While that's a cute talking point for the Democrats, it's not exactly accurate. As the Charlotte Observer reported today, there's a huge loophole to the ban on corporate and special interest money (emphasis mine):
On Wednesday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), quoting Indiana Congressman Andre Carson's inexcusable, hateful comment at a Congressional Black Caucus event on August 22 (key sentence: "Some of them in Congress right now of this Tea Party would love to see you and me ... hanging on a tree"), I observed that "Carson was obviously accusing some of his congressional colleagues, whom he gutlessly would not name, of actually wanting (not metaphorically wishing) to see himself and his black colleagues lynched." I should also note that in an earlier segment of the quote originally cited by Matthew Balan at NewsBusters, Carson said, of Tea Party sympathizers wishes, "And this is beyond symbolic change." This is why I also wrote that "The meaning of the words Carson used is not arguable."
With a disregard for the truth and gutlessness similar to Carson's, Indianapolis Star columnist Erika D. Smith wrote today that the congressman "had the guts to stand up and say what we've all seen over the last three years," while also asserting that "I really don't care" if any congressmen actually want to lynch anyone. Here's more; brace yourself (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
According to the Associated Press's Steve Peoples in a Saturday evening report, presidential candidate Rick Perry, speaking at a private reception in New Hampshire (which begs the question of whether Peoples was even there), told those attending: "I don't support a fence on the border." Then, again according to Peoples, "The answer produced an angry shout from at least one audience member."
"Jane" (actually Jane Woodworth) at the YouTooCongress blog (HT Instapundit) says otherwise: "I attended that event, stood about 15 feet from where he delivered those remarks and never heard an 'angry shout.' Either the AP is making it up or it wasn’t much of a shout. Perhaps they can supply the audio." They definitely should.
In June 2005, in its Kelo vs. New London decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the City of New London, Connecticut could condemn and take over private property, including that on which Susette Kelo's pink house sat, for a "public purpose" (a redevelopment plan worked up by the city's New London Development Corporation), instead of limiting the Constitution's Fifth Amendment application to "public use," as the Founders intended.
The Supreme Court justices who supported the ruling largely justified it on the basis that "The City has carefully formulated an economic development plan that it (the city) believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including–but by no means limited to–new jobs and increased tax revenue." Carefully formulated or not, nothing even remotely positive happened after the ruling until very recently, and nothing even remotely resembling decent national media coverage of post-ruling events has ever occurred.
In late July, in a move with some similarities to what yours truly has noted in Wausau, Wis. this week (here, here, and here), the Allegheny County Labor Council of the AFL-CIO in Pittsburgh declined to allow the Steel City's lone Republican candidate for City Council the ability to march in its Labor Day parade.
The differences between Wausau and Pittsburgh are that: a) being picky about who can march is a Pittsburgh parade tradition; b) the Labor Council dubiously claims that it underwrites the event (the city of Wausau has always paid for theirs); c) The Pittsburgh parade has since morphed into a highly partisan "March for Jobs."
Toledo-area blogger Maggie Thurber recently referred me to a week-old item at the odious, leftism uber alles Toledo Blade. Written by "Blade Staff" (can't say I can blame anyone for not wanting to put their name on this disgrace), it described a violent shooting incident which took place in Lambertville, a town in Monroe County, Michigan just north of the Glass City.
If you knew nothing else about the event and only relied on the Blade's story, you would think that what occurred was some kind of random act of violence:
Today Tucson congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) cast her first vote since she was critically injured in a January shooting.
You'll recall that in the weeks that followed, the media bemoaned the incivility -- supposedly predominantly conservative in nature -- of the political debate which had allegedly created a climate of hate.
But there appears to to be no firestorm over how, just last week, Arizona Daily Star cartoonist David Fitzsimmons fantasized about President Obama sending a SEAL team to assassinate Tea Party-friendly House Republicans.
If there's a reason why Dayton Daily News staff writer Drew Simon wrote his Tuesday morning story ("Seniors fear losing Social Security checks") other than to scare the elderly, I don't know what it is.
Nowhere in his report did Simon say who was the first person to invalidly raise the specter of Social Security checks not going out on August 2 (it was President Barack Obama, in case you missed it). Nowhere did he mention that the likelihood is extremely remote, and that if it happens it would only be because the Obama Treasury Department decided to let it happen. Messy items like that distract from the main purpose. Oh, but Simon did get an apparatchik from AARP who also should and probably does know better to chime in on his behalf.
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.
In his coverage of this weekend's We The People Convention in Columbus, Ohio early Saturday morning, Columbus Dispatch reporter Ben Geier found it "surprising" that many attendees would "go after the Republican Party and House Speaker John Boehner" in expressing their opinions relating to developments in Washington. It's as if he's totally unaware of what the movement's leading members and its grass roots activists have been saying (and proving) since the first anti-stimulus rallies in early 2009 (and at earlier events--see this comment below), since Utah Tea Partiers unceremoniously ousted supposedly entrenched incumbent Bob Bennett in May 2010, and since Ohio Tea Partiers ran serious but largely unsuccessful opposition candidates for State Auditor, Secretary of State, and the State Republican Party's Central Committee slots that spring.
Since Rip Van Geier missed it, here's the message: The Tea Party movement isn't about propping up a party; it's about electing sensible, Constitution-following conservatives to political office regardless of party, revising state and federal laws to reflect constitutional principles, and of course educating the general populace about those principles and their importance.
Whoever is compiling a list of what journalists really believe when they put forth certain vague but commonly used phrases (e.g., using "some people believe" instead of truthfully saying "in my opinion") should consider adding the following: "small but vocal group" really means "a tiny bunch of people I agree with."
That's my assessment as I look at two uses of the term this past weekend, each referring to pathetically small gatherings of people using tax-filing weekend as a excuse to protest "corporate tax loopholes."
The first comes to us via David Roeder of the Chicago Sun-Times (HT JammieWearingFool via Instapundit), where the paper's headline writers cooked up something that would give those who didn't read the underlying report the impression that the city's Tea Party Tax Day protest was small:
It may be laziness, or it may be failure to recognize reality, but the Associated Press's official tally of the Wisconsin Supreme Court race carried at JSOnline (but note the AP-based URL) still shows Democrat JoAnne Kloppenburg with a 204-vote lead over incumbent David Prosser, and hasn't been updated since Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.
This failure to update has occurred despite the following statement made at the 3:00 mark of the video (HT Hot Air) showing Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus explaining why over 14,000 country votes were not originally reported to the Badger State's Government Accountability Board (GAB), which oversees state elections, at a late Thursday press conference:
These numbers will be reflected in my official results, canvass report, that was submitted to the Government Accountability Board.
Ms. Nickolaus mixed up tenses, but it seems pretty clear that by using the word "official" she is saying that the GAB now has the results, and that they should be reflected in any official reports.
Accordingly, yours truly has updated the AP's non-current scoreboard with the Waukesha County correction and a couple of smaller ones: