Category Archives: media

Bloomberg Mistakenly Puts Editorial in News Section

On the Bloomberg website today, they seem to have put this editorial in the “News” section by mistake. It begins with a misleading assertion in the headline:

Boehner Builds Economic Case on Assertions at Odds With Markets, Studies

House Speaker John Boehner, giving Wall Street leaders his prescriptions for growing the U.S. economy and reducing the nation’s debt, built his case on several assertions that are contradicted by market indicators and government reports.

….

Sounds bad. Sounds like Boehner is just making stuff up, with disregard for undisputed facts.

But wait:

Boehner’s statement in his Wall Street speech that government spending “is crowding out private investment and threatening the availability of capital” runs counter to the behavior of credit markets.

“Look at interest rates. Look at capital spending,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist of IHS Inc., a research firm based in Englewood, Colorado. “It’s very hard to come to a conclusion that there’s any kind of crowding out.”

….

Still, some economists, including former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan and Stanford University Professor John B. Taylor, a Treasury undersecretary in Republican President George W. Bush’s administration, have argued that the deficits have been crowding out private investment.

Greenspan said the deficit is one reason that corporate investment as a share of profits is lower than historical patterns, in an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Dec. 3, 2010.

“Approximately one-third of the decline in capital investment as a share of cash flow is directly attributable to” the “crowding out by U.S. Treasury borrowing,” Greenspan said in the interview.

….

Boehner also repeated familiar Republican political criticisms that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government mortgage companies, “triggered the whole meltdown” of the U.S. financial system.

That differs from the conclusions earlier this year of the Democratic majority on the congressionally appointed Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. It reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “participated in the expansion of subprime and other risky mortgages, but they followed rather than led Wall Street and other lenders in the rush for fool’s gold.”

Three of the panel’s four Republicans, while faulting Fannie and Freddie, didn’t place the blame squarely on the two mortgage giants.

“They were part of the securitization process that lowered mortgage credit quality standards,” said a dissenting report by Keith Hennessey, Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Bill Thomas, former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. In a Wall Street Journal essay, the three said laying primary blame on government intervention is “misleading” and cited 10 reasons, taken together, for the crisis.

Only Peter Wallison, the other Republican commissioner, offered support for Boehner’s view that Fannie and Freddie caused the mortgage bubble and subsequent collapse. Wallison’s dissent put most of the blame on government housing policies that encouraged Fannie and Freddie to buy more subprime mortgages to promote home ownership among low-income people.

….

So “Boehner Builds Economic Case on Assertions at Odds With Markets, Studies” should really read something like, “Boehner Builds Economic Case on Assertions at Odds With Some Economists, and Many Democrats”.

They can call their Op-Ed anything they want, they shouldn’t call it a news story.

The issue is not unions, it’s government employee unions

A common tactic on the left, including in the media, when there’s a discussion of illegal immigration, is to talk about “immigrants” rather than “illegal immigrants”, in order to cloud the issue at hand.

A similar dynamic is occurring in the current debate over government employee unions in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Protesters in Wisconsin, and their media and political allies, consistently speak of “worker rights”, “labor rights”, “union rights”, etc. But no one anywhere is talking about doing anything at all regarding private sector unions. The issue at hand is solely about government employee unions.

It’s important for people to understand that the relationship between management and labor in the public sector is entirely different from the relationship in the private, profit-making sector. Even liberal icon FDR understood this well back in the 1930s:

“The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service,” Roosevelt wrote in 1937 to the National Federation of Federal Employees. Yes, public workers may demand fair treatment, wrote Roosevelt. But, he wrote, “I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place” in the public sector. “A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government.”

It’s understandable that the protesters in Wisconsin would want to obscure the distinction, but conservatives (like Sarah Palin, for example) should be careful to preserve it whenever they address the topic. The government union bosses, who want to preserve their political clout and perks, want to portray the issue as “fat-cat rich Republican politicians” against “working people”. Conservatives need to be careful not to help them do it.

The Arizona shooting and the blame game

There’s not much to say about the shooting in Arizona on Saturday that hasn’t already been said in other places. It’s just a horrific, senseless act of evil by a deranged loner. We don’t see that there’s any great lesson to be derived, or any great national discussion to be had. This terrible event doesn’t, as far as the evidence at present shows, tell us anything about the current political environment, or American society, or anything; it just appears to be a senseless crime by one twisted individual in Arizona.

But the concerted effort of the left, and their allies in the mainstream media, to try to pin any of the blame on conservatives, or the tea parties, or Sarah Palin, is just despicable. There is no evidence of any connection. None. As human beings, and allegedly professional journalists, they should be ashamed, but they seem incapable of shame. These are some of the same people who have hounded Mrs. Palin since a few minutes after she was named as the vice presidential nominee in 2008, and now they’re going to turn around and blame her for incivility? Incredible, but completely unsurprising.

There certainly is an argument to be made that political discourse in America could be more civil, but that is an entirely different topic from what happened to Representative Giffords and the other innocent victims on Saturday. We certainly aren’t interested in hearing any lectures from the left on civility, or from people like Paul Krugman, or Keith Olbermann or Senator Dick “Pol Pot” Durbin.

Glenn Reynolds summed up the issue nicely in his piece today at The Wall Street Journal:

To be clear, if you’re using this event to criticize the “rhetoric” of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you’re either: (a) asserting a connection between the “rhetoric” and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you’re not, in which case you’re just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?

It is both a vicious lie and contemptible.

Washington Post pans movie “Fair Game” for fabrications

The Washington Post had an editorial on Friday, criticizing the new move about Joe Wilson And Valerie Plame, “Fair Game”, for repeating many of the untruths about the whole Wilson-Plame episode and the Iraq war.

The close:

Hollywood has a habit of making movies about historical events without regard for the truth; “Fair Game” is just one more example. But the film’s reception illustrates a more troubling trend of political debates in Washington in which established facts are willfully ignored. Mr. Wilson claimed that he had proved that Mr. Bush deliberately twisted the truth about Iraq, and he was eagerly embraced by those who insist the former president lied the country into a war. Though it was long ago established that Mr. Wilson himself was not telling the truth – not about his mission to Niger and not about his wife – the myth endures. We’ll join the former president in hoping that future historians get it right.

It’s good to see a mainstream media outlet that tries sometimes to report it straight. Of course, there’s not so much to gain politically now from the “Bush lied” myth, so it’s safer to diverge from it.

Joe Scarborough’s catty attack on Sarah Palin

“Palin is not a stupid woman”.

We agree. and we wish we could give the same benefit of the doubt to Keith Olberman’s first warm-up act and token “conservative” at the far left cable outfit MSNBC, Joe Scarborough.

But, based on his latest screed posted at Politico.com, we unfortunately cannot come to that conclusion. Maybe his post isn’t a result of stupidity. Maybe his gross hypocrisy and complete lack of self-awareness are caused by something else. We just can’t eliminate the possibility.

And now a point of personal privilege. I work hard every day to assume the best of Americans who engage in public service. But I am offended by Palin’s attempt to build herself up by tearing down great men like Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Palin is not a stupid woman. But like the current president, she still does not know what she does not know. And she does know how to make millions of dollars, even if she embarrasses herself while doing it.

That reality hardly makes Palin unique, but this is one Republican who would prefer that the former half-term governor promote her reality shows and hawk her books without demeaning the reputations of Presidents Reagan and Bush. These great men dedicated their lives to public service and are too good to be fodder for her gaudy circus sideshow.

See? According to Scarborough, you demonstrate your “work … every day to assume the best of Americans who engage in public service” and your objection to demeaning the reputations of others, by demeaning Mrs. Palin, spending an entire column hurling puerile, schoolgirl insults at a woman because you don’t want her to run for president.

UPDATE: Apparently, according to the Puffington Host, the irony-challenged former congressman is going to help launch a new “civility group” next month:

TV’s Joe Scarborough, who today dismissed Sarah Palin as a symbol of “anti-intellectualism” with a “dopey dream” of being president, will help headline the launch next month of a new national group dedicated to restoring civility in politics.

Scarborough, a Republican, former Florida congressman and host of “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, will participate in the debut event of “No Labels” on December 13 at Columbia University in New York.

“No Labels”, eh Joe? You better re-edit that column then.

President Obama vs. Strawman (Again)

At a commencement speech today at the University of Michigan, President Obama said, “…what troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad…”

Some enterprising professional journalist, if there are ever any around the president some time, ought to ask President Obama for a specific example of someone who said that all government is inherently bad. We hear the tea partiers saying that the government ought to be limited to its proper constitutional role. If President Obama can back up his assertion with some facts, he should do so. Reporters should do their job for a change and press him to do so. This seems to be nothing more than another example of the president simply making things up for rhetorical effect.

obama - words are cheap

The president also said, “Throwing around phrases like ‘socialists’ and ‘Soviet-style takeover,’ ‘fascists’ and ‘right-wing nut’ – that may grab headlines” But it also “closes the door to the possibility of compromise…”

We’ll see if the president’s fellow Democrats will listen to his advice and tone down their hysterical and extreme rhetoric that’s been directed at the fine citizens of Arizona for the last week. We’ll see what kind of rhetoric comes from the illegal alien marches scheduled for today in several cities.

AP decries “far-right” influence in Texas school textbooks

This has to be one of the most biased “news” items ever from the AP, and that’s saying something.

It begins:

“A far-right faction of the Texas State Board of Education succeeded Friday in injecting conservative ideals into social studies, history and economics lessons that will be taught to millions of students for the next decade.”

Really? A “far-right faction”? Sounds almost like there’s going to be some sort of military coup at the next Texas State Board of Education meeting.

Later in the article:

Ultraconservatives wielded their power over hundreds of subjects this week, introducing and rejecting amendments on everything from the civil rights movement to global politics.

Oh my! Not just conservatives, but “ultraconservatives”! You can almost smell the extra evil.

This “news” item reads almost like a post on some nutty left-wing blog like the Daily Kos or Think Progress.

So what does this sinister, “far-right faction” want to teach our kids? According to the AP:

Teachers in Texas will be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation’s Founding Fathers, but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state. Curriculum standards also will describe the U.S. government as a “constitutional republic,” rather than “democratic,” and students will be required to study the decline in value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.

….

According to the AP, “Another amendment deleted a requirement that sociology students ‘explain how institutional racism is evident in American society.'”

Just try to find an AP news item, referencing events in the United States, that refers to Democrats or liberals as “far-left” or “ultraliberal”. Notice that the writer doesn’t seem to find anything politicized or “far-left” in teaching children about “institutional racism.” For liberals, liberal views are just normal and apolitical, it’s only conservative (or simply non-left) views that are suspect and need to be labeled or critiqued. That would be just fine in an editorial piece, it has no place in a supposedly objective news item.

Establishment Media reinforce racial double-standard

This morning, RNC Chairman Michael Steele made some comments about Harry Reid’s alleged “Negro dialect” statement. Steele pointed out the obvious and blatant double standard that is applied to Republicans vs. Democrats in such situations.

Bringing another example of the establishment media’s inability to go beyond their own hackneyed liberal views, CNN correspondent Jessica Yellin, appearing this morning on CNN’s “State of the Nation” program, made some comments somewhat defending the double standard:

[CNN host John] KING: But when they say — Jessica, jump in, when you say they’re not going to let this get in the way, of course, the Republicans would like to keep this getting in the way. And their African-American national chairman, Michael Steele, who, as I said in the last block, is no stranger to controversy of his own, but he was out this morning making a point, Jessica.

Listen to Michael Steele. His point is, if a white Republican had said this, everyone wouldn’t go, oh, he apologized, it’s over.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEELE: Mitch McConnell had said those very words, that this chairman and this president would be calling for his head, and they would be labeling every Republican in the country as a racist for saying exactly what this chairman has just said. So if I sat here and said what he just said, if Mitch McConnell used those words, no one would find it to be credible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: The other chairman, of course, the Democratic chairman, Tim Kaine, sitting right there with Michael Steele.

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: First of all, a masterful political play by Michael Steele because he would like to change the topic this morning from some of his own issues right now.

And sure it’s true that the Republican Party has a different history and a different baggage, Abraham Lincoln notwithstanding, on the issue of race. Just like the Democratic Party has different history and baggage on national security. And so they each have to be careful — more careful than the other party on those particular topics.

To some extent he may be right. But, look, and let’s point out we’ve all heard racial gaffes. Joe Biden himself said something very similar and he became — what did he say, he was — Obama was clean and articulate and he became vice president. So the country is kind of used to gaffes like this.

Really? It’s the Republican Party that has all the baggage on race matters? Not the party of Jim Crow segregation? The party of Bull Connor and George Wallace? The party of current Senator and former Klansman Robert Byrd?

By her inability to look beyond the typical liberal viewpoint on Republicans vs. Democrats and race, Yellin merely reinforced Mr. Steele’s point.

Moore Capitalism

Michael Moore’s new movie is anti-capitalism. So is he going to sell tickets?

Cap-and-Tax cheerleading from the Associated Press

The opening line of an AP report on the ongoing attempt by House Democrats to shove through the Cap (our economic growth) and Trade Tax bill:

House Democrats have narrowly won an important test vote on legislation to combat global warming and usher in a new era of cleaner energy.

Doesn’t that sound a lot more like a press release from the White House or Speaker Pelosi’s office than a straight news account? Another day, another instance of DeMSM bias.

Update: The Obama tax increase on 100% of Americans passed the House of Representatives, 219 to 212.