Today's web-only column on the Alito hearings by Newsweek's Jonathan Darman contains an irritating sentence ("In the coming days, Alito and the White House will use small gestures to assure moderate senators, and moderate Americans, that he lives in the same world they do") that suggests that Jonathan may be related to Richard Darman, the famously centrist OMB director under Bush 41.
Far worse, though, is Jonathan Darman's smirky, ahistorical quip, bolded at the end of the excerpt below, at the expense of Clarence Thomas:
Women were everywhere in the first two days of Alito’s confirmation. Seated just behind him as he took the podium yesterday were nine females, including his wife, sister, daughter and mother-in-law. These women were largely silent (though the Alito women were overheard breezily joking with one another on a ladies’ room break). But their mere appearance makes a difference. TV cameras zooming in on his face couldn’t help but capture two striking figures seated behind him wearing robust red. One was the nominee’s wife, Martha, the other, Rachel Brand, the Justice department attorney charged with preparing his nomination. This image, an earnest jurist with a rosy angel on each shoulder sent a message: Let the Democrats say what they like, this judge will remember the ladies.
Call me overly suspicious, but the story of 16-year-old Farris Hassan traveling to Iraq on a whim strikes me as unbelievable. The Florida teen of Iraqi descent was all over the news in December when he apparently took off without telling his family and headed to Iraq to see what all the fuss was about. Hassan was able to finance his plane ticket to Kuwait with money he earned trading stocks on the Internet.
All the media coverage portrayed Hassan as a naïve young man who simply wanted to, in his own words, "experience…the same hardships ordinary Iraqis experience everyday." In an essay written by Hassan and e-mailed to his teacher from Kuwait, he seemed to have pro-American views and he spoke passionately about the need to defeat the terrorists in Iraq. He was also interested in a career in journalism and after taking a course in "immersion journalism," he made the decision to go to Iraq. In the process, he found himself smack dab in the middle of a war zone.
Today's "legal context" article in the NYT shifted the focus of the Alito confirmation hearings from abortion to the limits of presidential power. Once again, reporter Adam Liptak offers a confusing round-up of the issues Alito will likely face in the hearings today and during the week.
The opening line of the article, however, is key when asking some later questions:
"The opinion is more than 50 years old, and it is not even binding precedent."
The opinion Liptak is referring to is a 1952 decision from Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company v. Sawyer, in which President Truman attempted to sieze private steel mills in order to put down labor disputes during the Korean War. The Truman Administration argued that it was in the interest of national security to have steady steel production, but this position was rebuked a court which felt Truman was over-stepping his presidential authority.
Had it not been for coverage provided by the blogosphere (hat tip Malkin), most people would not have known that the trial of the Election Day Slashers had started today. The coverage of the trial to this point is limited to a few local sources such as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
As Michelle Malkin puts it:
"If these dudes were Republicans, their faces would have been all over the news today as their trial on felony counts of vandalism in the Election Day 2004 tire-slashing of more than 20 vehicles rented by Republican campaigners finally got underway"
Indeed, with a witness list that includes the President of the AFL-CIO, John Sweeney, and Illinois Democrat Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., and seeing how the alleged perps include the son of a Congresswoman (Gwen Moore) and the son of a former Milwaukee Mayor, one would think that such a scandal involving Republicans would be well-known by now.
In her most recent Human Events column titled 'This Is Why We Don't Trust Democrats With National Security', Ann Coulter relates that "The Democratic Party has decided to express indignation at the idea that an American citizen who happens to be a member of al Qaeda is not allowed to have a private conversation with Osama bin Laden," adding that "If they run on that in 2008, it could be the first time in history a Republican president takes even the District of Columbia."
Once again Miss Coulter has managed to hit the nail squarely on the head, so to speak, just as she's done so many times in the past. Indeed, how suicidal do you have to be, both politically and actually, to argue that President Bush doesn't have the right to order the interception of communications between individuals in the U.S. and known terrorists overseas unless, as Congressional Democrats require, he first asks some lawyer in a black robe for permission?
Here we go again, the liberal media leftist elite have nothing better to do with their time than to attack Pat Robertson again. This time they are taking issue with Robertson's comments regarding Ariel Sharon's health and how Sharon has given away part of the holy land for "peace".
"God considers this land to be his," Robertson said on his TV program "The 700 Club." "You read the Bible and he says `This is my land,' and for any prime minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says, `No, this is mine."'
Before introducing his guest Byron York, Matthews gave the following segue:
Now The National Review, one of the staunchest defenders, a big conservative magazine has said Delay must go.
The above statement was followed with "we're joined right now by Byron York of The National Review and Katrina Vanden Heuvel of The Nation." There was no mention that The Nation is a liberal magazine or that Katrina Vanden Heuvel is a staunch liberal.
York was asked the first question about the recent scandal involving former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and was hurried and cut off to give his answer. When Vanden Heuvel was asked a similar question, she was given all the time to answer it with a liberal spin. In fact, she praised Sen. Russ Feingold (D) for having "one of the best lobbying and ethics reforms plans". Not so quick, Katrina. The National Republican Senatorial Committee is reporting that Sen. Feingold has received at least $1,250 from Abramoff or his associates. I guess the saying is right, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Of course host Chris Matthews didn't question her, in fact he just completely changed the subject.
Once in a while, it happens. TV serves up human drama in real time. So it was on this morning's Today show, when the bereaved son of one of the Sago miners confronted the governor of West Virginia over allegedly lax safety enforcement in the mine.
Matt Lauer began with a stand-up interview at the disaster site of WV Governor Joe Manchin. Lauer then brought in John Bennett, the adult son of Jim Bennett, one of the miners who died. Bennett stood at Lauer's other side.
Bennett described the history of violations in the mine. Lauer turned to Manchin to inquire about the violations. Manchin had launched into his response when Bennett took matters into his own hands.
Bennett, wearing the red cap in the photo here, spoke across Lauer directly to Manchin:
In an appearance on MSNBC today just after 1 PM Eastern time, Chris Matthews didn't accuse Jack Abramoff of being in the "Republican culture of corruption", but still uses the term:
MATTHEWS: He's cut a deal. The deal means he has to talk and that means if he's plead guilty to bribery that means he's bribed people. (Editor's Note: Thanks Chris for telling us the meaning of bribery) That means he's going to tell people who he bribed and that could be a half-dozen Congressman, it could be more, we've seen reports of more than 20 people involved here, including staffers. Mostly Republicans, not all Republicans who've figured in this story so far. I think it's going to be a big, sleezy story. I'm not sure it's partisan. I'm not sure people are going to see him as part of any Republican culture of corruption.
Matthews then went on to describe Abramoff's looks -- which was kind of scary -- and called him "Satan."
Sometimes a story comes along that may look to be something particular, but then turns out not to be. The story written by Associated Press (AP) journalist Patrick Condon titled: "Sign Tallying Iraq Casualties Causes Stir" is just such a story.
Condon seeks to portray Vietnam veteran Scott Cameron as anything but an anti-war, politically motivated Democrat, who just so happens to have his "modest memorial" to U.S. forces posted in the Campaign office of Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Steve Kelley. Kelley's office just also happens to be next door to the Army's military recruiters office.
The New York Times syndicated cancer has an editorial about the NSA spy story that hit some newspapers today. This time they have outsourced the dishonesty to James Bamford, author of The Puzzle Palace, a 23 year old book on the NSA.
For the agency to snoop domestically on American citizens suspected of having terrorist ties, it first must to go to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA, make a showing of probable cause that the target is linked to a terrorist group, and obtain a warrant.
As we all now know, that is flat out untrue. But who even said the calls intercepted were American citizens? This NSA program looks at calls to terror states or terrorist suspects. How does Mr. Bamford and the NYT know the person placing that call is a US citizen rather than a visitor from abroad?
On tonight's edition of 60 Minutes Dan Rather was supposed to interview Former President Bill Clinton for the "work" his foundation has done for AIDS relief. However, it quickly turned into a fluff piece that promoted his Presidency, how much he accomplished, and his hopes to be the First Husband.
Clinton blames those big bad pharmaceutical industries for charging high prices for medicine that prevents people who are suffering from AIDS to use it. He accuses them of price gouging and thinks that they can "sell them for a lot less and not lose any money". Of course the report does not mention the amount of money and time devoted on researching cures and medicine that will prevent death.
On the subject of AIDS relief failure during his Presidency, Clinton blames Congress:
CLINTON: Well I don't think I could have done more. It was like pulling teeth to get any foreign aid money from Congress when I was there and when they had a President of their own party and they had their core Christian conservative constituents saying okay we want to fight this, and then it became much easier. I wish I could have gotten more but I couldn't have.
Yes, that darn Congress. I don't think Clinton heard what he said. He thinks that Congress withheld on giving money and then some how predicted that a Republican President would be elected in '96 or in '00 and then they would give it. Congress punished millions of people just because Bill Clinton was not of their party? I hope that Bubba does know that not all members of Congress were Republican during his tenure as President.
Much coverage has been accorded the woman who was issued a restraining order by Santa Fe District Court Judge Daniel Sanchez against talk-show host David Letterman. Typical was Keith Olbermann on Countdown's December 27th program:
"Colleen Nestler of Santa Fe, New Mexico, somehow managed to get a temporary restraining order issued against Letterman last week saying he had to stay at least three yards from her at all times. But the judge who granted that order today reversed himself, lifted it.
Ms. Nestler had alleged since 1994 Letterman had been using coded words during his broadcasts and gestures and, quote, "eye expressions," unquote, to show that he wanted to marry her.
Today, of course, when asked for proof of her allegations by Judge Daniel Sanchez, she could offer none."
One of the central political issues facing the American People over the past few years, and certain to be one in the next few, is the issue over whether or not governments are required to recognize same-sex relationships in the same manner that marriages are recognized. Ground-zero in that debate, and one of the places where that discussion has joined arm-in-arm with the debate over judicial activism, is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In November of 2003, in the case of Goodridge v. Massachusetts, the Commonwealth's Supreme Judicial Court ruled on a 4-3 vote that the state constitution required that the institution of marriage be extended to same-sex relationships. I'm not aware of any public opinion surveys which show a majority of the people of Massachusetts agreeing with or supporting that decision, but it is now the law in Massachusetts anyway.
One of the entities which has been strongly supportive of that decision, however, is the Boston Globe. The largest media entity in New England, it is referred to in some circles as the "all-gay, all-the-time Boston Globe" because it is clearly an entity with an agenda. Unfortunately for the news consumers in New England, that agenda isn't confined to the editorial pages. I've mentioned it before, a couple of times, on front-page stories that don't warrant the front-page on any news judgement other than mainstreaming same-sex marriage.
The Chairman Mao book requesting student speaks out to the public through the duped newspaper that is valiantly protecting his fragile identity.
"The fact is that my being panicked about this hole (sic) event led me to unfortunately prop up my story (i.e., fabricate it), for that I have to apologize to you and to my professors. I have spoken to my family about the whole issue and the fact is that they were understandibly (sic) angry. My name has been dishonored within my family and so I will spend the rest of the winter trying to restore even a little bit of it back, at least."
Apparently there is no writing requirement at UMass Dartmouth. As for your dishonored name, you might want to free up the spring too. They're really doing fabulous work with the kids at Darmouth. I'm sure all the doors swing both ways, if my Far Side friends know what I'm talking about.
The newspaper used this for the headline: "When a story is too good to be true" apparently admitting that they wanted Bush to have library stalking gestapo.
The article describes how it happened, too long to reprint here but worth a read if you want to laugh. The reporter didn't even have confirmation of the story from the two main subjects -- the student or Homeland Security -- yet they ran the story anyway. It's the kind of reporting you'd expect from a couple of kids with mom's typewriter.
A UCLA political scientist conducted a recent study on media bias and came to the conclusion that many of us reached a long time ago. The media tilts left. But the study did produce some unexpected results.
It turns out that PBS’ NewsHour With Jim Lehrer is the most "centrist outlet," while the Drudge Report "leans left." Most readers find the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page to be conservative (with the exception of their stance on illegal immigration, which mirrors that of the far left), but the UCLA study found that the news pages are "even more liberal than The New York Times."
If the Wall Street Journal’s Middle East news coverage is any indication, UCLA knows what it’s talking about. A front page article in the news section of the December 28th issue demonstrates all the usual biases and blind spots of the liberal media when it comes to the Middle East.
While we've tried to police the pajama party in our comments section (you behave down there or I'm coming down!), some disgruntled lefty bloggers wail in sordid tones without a nanny. James Wolcott putting down someone else for being sour is certainly an accomplishment of some sort:
Take Tim Graham, for example. The righteous stick up his butt extends to the top of his head, leaving a little nub that he's convinced has magical qualities. He believes that if he keeps rubbing it the Hooters girls will bring him extra pie.
Put aside for a moment how difficult it would be to feel magical while impaled from bottom to top. I must confess I've only been to Hooters once, for an MRC employee's farewell lunch (although the ham and cheese was magical, as I recall.) Wolcott thinks it's quite un-Christmaslike to demand Brokaw and Koppel get something more difficult than a manicure from Tim Russert.
Keith Olbermann accuses FOX News host Bill O'Reilly of doing a wrap up of his "rants and distortions" last week, however Olbermann's distortions have been well documented by me and many others at NewsBusters.
Olbermann plays the clip of the O'Reilly saying that the 4am rerun of The Factor beats Countdown 50% of the time. He claims that O'Reilly's viewers aren't bright people and follow him like sheep with a comparison to "800 billion flies". He ended his verbal attack on O'Reilly by calling him "one of those blissful idiots who can rationalize anything".
Keith spends the rest of the segment lambasting another FOX News host, John Gibson. Olbermann lashes Gibson for making what he called a "functionally stupid" mistake when he denied things that were caught on tape about a remark he [Gibson] made about his religion. He then went on to suggest that Gibson should resign.
For kicks: On Tuesday, Dec. 20, O'Reilly had 2,807,000 viewers while Olbermann had 405,000 during the 8pm Eastern hour.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 - The National Security Agency has traced and analyzed large volumes of telephone and Internet communications flowing into and out of the United States as part of the eavesdropping program that President Bush approved after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to hunt for evidence of terrorist activity, according to current and former government officials.
Yes, we know we already reported this exact story, but you didn't return the outrage against Bush we were looking for. Actually, his poll numbers are up (thank you Big Media brother Jersey Journal for finding a way to paint a negative - localize, newspapers, localize.) Let's all just take another shot at this. We'll add a few technical words like "switches", some anonymous sources that may or may not be the same anonymous sources from last time, and it will seem like a whole new article. All the usual suspects can then write hundreds of articles about this article, we'll talk about it on the Sunday talk shows, and with all of your determined help, we can bring down this evil conservative and the majority of Americans who recently elected him. again.
The American press did not side with the Nazis in WW II and afterwards. But parts of it are siding with the Ba’athists in the Iraqi War, now. Witness this lede from the Lexington Herald-Leader, in Kentucky, online version, today (Friday):
An Iraqi court has ruled that some of the most prominent Sunni Muslims who were elected to parliament last week won't be allowed to serve because officials suspect that they were high-ranking members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party.
Knight Ridder has obtained a copy of the court ruling, which has yet to be circulated to the public.
The ruling is likely to dampen Bush administration hopes that the election would bring more of the disaffected Sunni minority into Iraq's political process and undermine Sunni support for the insurgency. Instead, the decision is likely to stoke fears of widening sectarian divisions in a nation already in danger of descending into civil war.