So, you want a value-added tax?

July 30, 2010

Democrats and some Republicans are floating the idea of a value-added tax to help ease the crushing deficits caused by the (Social) Democrats’ massive spending binge. Before you say “Sure, why not?”, take a look at the VAT rates that would be required over the next ten years to eliminate the deficit:

(Click to enlarge)

Remember, that tax would be applied at every stage of production, from raw materials to the moment you purchase the item, and the costs would be passed along to you.  Oh, and then you’d pay state sales tax, too.

Still think it’s a good idea?

Here’s a better one. Maybe they should cut spending and borrowing, instead. Idea

RELATED: Reasons why a VAT won’t work.

(via dmataconis on Twitter)


Friday laughs: Klavan on the Culture’s best bloopers

July 30, 2010

Enjoy.


My God. What have they done to General Motors?

July 30, 2010

I was the proud owner of a ’64 Impala for many, many years, and my family always bought GM. But… O, how the mighty have fallen! First they’re bought by the government, then they introduce the Volt, an all-electric car that costs only $41,000 and can take you a whopping 40 miles before it needs recharging! (Or switching to a gas engine that will pollute only a little bit…)

But now, the nadir. Where once auto shows had rock music and hawt babes to sell their cars, now GM gives us… this:

I wonder if they told those dancers they’d be performing to the eco-warrior’s theme from The New Zoo Review?

Poor GM.

(via Iowahawk)


When a campaign imitates the Hindenburg

July 30, 2010

I linked to this yesterday, but it really deserves a post of its own. In a spectacular case of self-immolation, the campaign of Congressman Mike McMahon (D-NY) released a report detailing all the money his opponent was receiving from Jews:

Mike Grimm, a G.O.P challenger for Mike McMahon’s Congressional seat, took in over $200,000 in his last filing.

But in an effort to show that Grimm lacks support among voters in the district, which covers Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, the McMahon campaign compiled a list of Jewish donors to Grimm and provided it to The Politicker.

The file, labeled “Grimm Jewish Money Q2,” for the second quarter fundraising period, shows a list of over 80 names, a half-dozen of which in fact do hail from Staten Island, and a handful of others that list Brooklyn as home.

“Where is Grimm’s money coming from,” said Jennifer Nelson, McMahon’s campaign spokeman. “There is a lot of Jewish money, a lot of money from people in Florida and Manhattan, retirees.”

Asked how the McMahon aide who compiled the report knew which donors were Jewish and which weren’t, Nelson replied:

“She herself is Jewish so she knows a lot of people in that community…”

I can picture it now, late at night at the McMahon campaign bunker HQ, the aide looking over the list and saying “Jew, Jew, Goy, Jew…”

After the firestorm broke, McMahon tried to salvage the situation by the time-honored “apologize and blame the staff” ploy, but somehow I don’t think it’s going to work. In fact, the real question is probably whether McMahon loses by 50 points or is forced by his Democratic colleagues, who are already terrified of November, to drop out of the race so they can field a replacement.

Just amazing.

LINKS: More from Moe Lane and Little Miss Attila.

AFTERTHOUGHT: And wouldn’t this be a nice opportunity to strike a blow against dirty politics by donating to McMahon’s opponent, Mike Grimm?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Say it after me: “If Bush had said this…”

July 29, 2010

What would your reaction be if President George W. Bush, his father, or any president of the last 100 years had referred to African-Americans as a “mongrel people?” You’d be shocked at the tone-deafness, right? Maybe outraged, determined to vote for his next opponent, maybe even calling for his resignation?

How about if President Obama said it?

President Obama calls African-Americans a ‘mongrel people’

President Obama waded into the national race debate in an unlikely setting and with an unusual choice of words: telling daytime talk show hosts that African-Americans are “sort of a mongrel people.”

The president appeared on ABC’s morning talk show “The View” Thursday, where he talked about the forced resignation of Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod, his experience with race and his roots.

When asked about his background, which includes a black father and white mother, Obama said of African-Americans: “We are sort of a mongrel people.”

“I mean we’re all kinds of mixed up,” Obama said. “That’s actually true of white people as well, but we just know more about it.”

The president’s remarks were directed at the roots of all Americans. The definition of mongrel as an adjective is defined as “of mixed breed, nature, or origin,” according to dictionary.com.

I’m sorry, but the writer’s breezy dismissal of Obama’s use of “mongrel” is just plain specious. It is an incredibly charged word in the history of American racism, often made use of by White supremacist groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan. In fact, the late Senator Robert Byrd, once a Klan officer, wrote long ago in a letter that he never wanted to:

“…see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels.”

And now we have a President of the United States using the same words as the Klan? An African-American president? How clueless and tone deaf do you have to be to miss the significance of calling Blacks “a mongrel people,” no matter how you try to spread it around?

(This reminds me of the interview he gave in Britain, in which he said he believed in American exceptionalism, just as Greeks believed in Greek exceptionalism and Britons in British exceptionalism. In other words, it’s further proof he does not understand the country he leads.)

To go back to the opening questions, you can be sure that, if Reagan, either of the Bushes, Clinton… or any modern president had said that, there would be huge demonstrations and race hustlers such as Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton would be calling for his resignation. If it were said at a Tea Party or put on a sign, it would be taken as proof that the Tea Parties are just a racist front.

But, just watch. I have a sneaking suspicion that,since the press corps largely sees his success as their mission, they’ll try to give this a pass and let it flow down the memory hole.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go pick my jaw up off the floor.

UPDATE: Bruce at GayPatriot reminds us of the use of “mongrel” in perhaps the most inflammatory movie in US history.

RELATED: “Jew money??” What is it with Democrat politicians lately? What’s next? The Theodore Bilbo memorial dinner?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Islamic cleric: Hitler was right

July 28, 2010

Hussam Fawzi Jabar hosts a program on religion on Egyptian TV. In a recent episode, he let his viewers know exactly what he thought of Jews and Der Führer’s plans for them:

Here’s an excerpt from the transcript:

This is the nature of the Jews. By nature, they abhor keeping their commitments. By nature, they hate peace. By nature, they love treachery, betrayal, deception, killing, and blood. This is their nature.

[...]

It is very sad to see some of our own people, who speak our own tongue, try to convince their peoples that the Jews are peace-loving, that a solution to the satisfaction of both parties can be reached with them. I say that whoever says this and tries to convince others should either deny what is said in the Koran and the Sunna, and accept what the Jews say as truth, or else deny what the Jews say and accept what is said in the Koran and the Sunna. There is no third alternative.

[...]

The Jews are not happy living among their neighbors unless they are harboring hatred toward them, betraying, and deceiving them. They are always ready and prepared to generate reasons for this. This is why the West in its entirety got rid of the Jews, by creating a new country for them in Palestine. They spew them out away from them, and gave them a new country, at the expense of Islam and the Muslims.

At the same time, the West uses the Jews as a pitchfork with which to stab the giant [Islam] whenever it begins to awaken. If Egypt arises, Israel goes to war with it. If Syria arises, Israel begins clashes with it. If Lebanon arises, Israel starts conflicts with it. When Iraq arose, global Zionism mobilized the entire Western world to occupy Iraq. When Afghanistan arose… And so on and so forth… It stabs the giant [Islam] whenever it wants to awaken.

One of the most amazing things I have read is that Hitler said: “I could have annihilated all the Jews of the world, but I left some of them, so that you would understand why I did this to them.” Hitler was right to say what he said and to do what he did to the Jews.

Charming fellow, no? Be sure to watch the whole clip or read the whole transcript, because the genocide-admiring Jabar drinks deep from the well of Islamic paranoia and self-pity, imagining atrocities against Muslims by all sorts of people around the world, not just Jews.

But don’t doubt the special hatred Islam bears for Jews, which predates any contact with the Nazis. Islamic sacred texts are replete admonitions and violence against the Jews, from the Qur’an to the hadiths (sayings and deeds of Muhammad and his earliest companions) and the earliest biography of Muhammad. Islamic law mandates an inferior position for Jews in society. For a good, thorough survey of this topic, see Bostom’s The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism.

Far from being an extremist, Mr. Jabar is well within bounds of orthodox Islamic opinion regarding the “Enemies of Allah,” and it isn’t that of a “religion of tolerance.”

Video and transcript courtesy of MEMRI.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Wednesday laughs

July 28, 2010

The latest NewsBusted, with Jodi Miller:


Antisemitic idiot: “I’m sorry, don’t hate my movies!”

July 27, 2010

Having made a jackass of himself over the weekend, film director Oliver Stone has apologized:

“In trying to make a broader historical point about the range of atrocities the Germans committed against many people, I made a clumsy association about the Holocaust, for which I am sorry and I regret.

“Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry. The fact that the Holocaust is still a very important, vivid and current matter today is, in fact, a great credit to the very hard work of a broad coalition of people committed to the remembrance of this atrocity — and it was an atrocity.”

Call me a cynic, but I think this apology was motivated less by a sincere regret for saying hurtful and untrue things than by a sincere regret that those hurtful and untrue things became publicly known. After all,  Stone still is bosom buddies with Hugo Chavez, himself a devout antisemite.

Roman Polanski, Mel Gibson, and Oliver Stone. What a trio to represent Hollywood, eh?  Rolling Eyes

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Oliver Stone: “I am an idiot!”

July 26, 2010

Well, he didn’t say that in so many words, but that’s the takeaway from the antisemitic, Hitler-apologetic interview he gave to the UK’s Sunday Times decrying Jewish domination of the media:

Director Oliver Stone belittled the Holocaust during a shocking interview with the Sunday Times today, claiming that America’s focus on the Jewish massacre was a product of the “Jewish domination of the media.”

The director also defended Hitler and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and railed against the “powerful lobby” of Jews in America.

Stone said that his upcoming Showtime documentary series “Secret History of America,” seeks to put Hitler and Communist dictator Joseph Stalin “in context.”

“Hitler was a Frankenstein but there was also a Dr Frankenstein. German industrialists, the Americans and the British. He had a lot of support,” Stone told reporter Camilla Long during the interview, which can be found behind the paywall on the Sunday Times’ website.

Henry Ford was an antisemite, but that’s a long way from being a genocidal maniac, and Stone’s cry for “context” seems to be nothing more than a way to soften the crimes of two of History’s worst monsters. But Stone isn’t just fond of long-dead dictators; he has a soft spot for modern tyrants, too, such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez:

The Scarface screenwriter had even more encouraging words for socialist Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who Stone called “a brave, blunt, earthy” man. The director has recently been promoting his Chavez-praising documentary called “South of the Border.”

When the interviewer pointed out that Chavez has had a less-than-stellar record on human rights, Stone immediately dismissed the criticism.

“The internet’s fully free [in Venezuela],” said Stone. “You can say what the hell you like. Compare it with all the other countries: Mexico, Guatemala, above all Colombia, which is a joke.”

While Stone has not been as blunt about his views on Jews and the Holocaust in the past, he has been outspoken in his fondness for Chavez and his disagreements with the U.S.’s policy on Iran.

Oh yeah, he hearts President Gilligan Ahmadinejad, too.

It’s hard to work up any outrage over this -Stone’s been known as a conspiracy nut for years- but it’s still pathetic that someone holding these views can become influential in Hollywood. Sadly, in a town that a) leans strongly to the Left and b) can lionize the likes of Roman Polanski, I suspect this nauseating interview won’t hurt his career too much at all.

TANGENT: It’s a shame the Times has gone behind a paywall. I’ve heard (but haven’t had confirmed) that online readership is way down, as people refuse to pay the price. Perhaps the publishers will relent and make their site freely accessible once again.

UPDATE: Not surprisingly, the American Jewish Committee has denounced Oliver Stone:

“By invoking this grotesque, toxic stereotype, Oliver Stone has outed himself as an anti-Semite,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “For all of Stone’s progressive pretensions, his remark is no different from one of the drunken, Jew-hating rants of his fellow Hollywood celebrity, Mel Gibson.”

LINKS: More from Hot Air.


Another busy day at work

July 26, 2010

So, light-to-no blogging today. Curse these people for making me earn my pay!

Meanwhile, there are plenty of fine sites to choose from in the sidebar. If I may suggest a good one to start with…


Meanwhile, back at the jihad – updated and bumped

July 25, 2010

While Chicken Littles squawk over an invasion of Texas for which there’s no evidence, Threat Matrix brings us news of a war that’s all too real: French troops in action against al Qaeda affiliates in North Africa:

French commandos, likely from the General Directorate for External Security, or DGSE, and Mauritanian troops raided an al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb camp in Mali in search of a French citizen kidnapped by the terror group. From Reuters:

  • A Mauritanian security source said the raids had continued some 200 km (125 miles) into Mali after Thursday’s pre-dawn attack on a group of Islamists who are believed to be holding the 78-year-old French hostage in Niger’s desert Sahel region.
  • The French Defense Ministry source said the operation was launched after AQIM failed to provide proof that Germaneau was alive or engage in negotiations over him. The operation follows calls for better international cooperation against AQIM, which was previously focused on Algeria but now has two factions that are increasingly active in remote desert regions of Mauritania, Mali and Niger.

Threat Matrix questions why Malian forces weren’t involved, since the raid was so deep in their country’s territory. My guess would be that the French, the former colonial power in Mali, had information indicating that the Malian security forces weren’t reliable. Perhaps they’re infiltrated by Islamists, a la the Pakistani military?

Regardless, this news is a reminder that our war with Salafis bent on jihad is worldwide, not just in Iraq or Afghanistan.

UPDATE: Damn. It looks like the brave, brave knights of Allah have executed their hostage, a 78-year old man. I hope the French kill every one of those swine. Slowly.


More about the Laredo “invasion” rumor

July 25, 2010

Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee is doing great work debunking this nonsense. Here’s an excerpt from today’s entry:

Tell Chuck Norris to stand down. Invasion USA never happened.

I contacted both the Laredo Police Department and the Webb County Sheriff yesterday and debunked claims that Los Zetas gunmen from the Gulf Cartel has crossed the border from Mexico and took over two ranches in Texas. The Laredo Morning News also refuted the claim. Pro 8 News, the NBC affiliate, didn’t think enough of the absurdity to even comment on it… they found the installation of a new traffic light more newsworthy.

Absurdly, the same trio of sites that cried wolf are still sticking by their story, utter lack of credible evidence aside.

Cypress News publisher John G. Winder is sticking with the story, not because any additional evidence has been produced, but because the two sources for his version of the story, blog Digger’s Realm and Examiner.com’s San Diego (CA) County Political Buzz Examiner blogger Kimberly Dvorak are standing by their militiamen and anonymous police sources.

The original Cypress Times story? A re-publication of the original Digger’s Realm story.

The Digger’s Realm story? Two anonymous Laredo police sources and a San Diego California Minuteman named Jeff Schwilk who claims he got his information from… an anonymous Laredo PD officer.

San Diego County Poltical Buzz Examiner Kimberly Dvorak? She claims her information also comes from two anonymous Laredo PD sources.

Are we noticing a pattern here? Every bit of of this claim, which has now scattered far and wide across the Internet, can be traced back to two anonymous police department sources of a police department that does not even have jurisdiction where the alleged invasion is taking place.

Be sure to read the rest, as well as Bob’s follow up. And if you want some thoughts on what’s behind this latest example of Internet hysteria, check out Conservative Daily News:

That lead me to ask the age old question, what’s in it for the parties involved.  For Los Zetas, not much.  They get their drugs into the U.S. just fine.  Taking over a few ranches in the U.S. brings the full brunt of the United States of America on them and will almost certainly (I say almost because of present leadership) lead to the absolute shut-down of the border.  The Zetas don’t want that because it would kill-off a huge distribution channel.  Keeping U.S. officials off of their back means they can concentrate on killing members of rival cartels.

What’s in it for Jeff [Schwilk, the Minuteman cited as the original source at Digger's Realm -Phineas]?  Well, sudden recognition, media attention, perhaps interviews or a book deal.. maybe just some ego petting – unfortunately at the expense of America-loving Conservatives that might rush off to help defend our borders.

There is another portion of the population that would love to see this circus get out-of-hand – progressives.  They would love nothing more than to use someone like Schwilk as a broad brush with which to paint all pro-immigration enforcement Conservatives.  We should and will defend America if she truly comes under threat, but we can’t get taken down on a sham.

As I wrote yesterday, spreading unchecked rumors and relying on anonymous sources with no independent confirmation will only give the pro-illegal immigration crowd a large stick with which to beat border-security advocates and conservatives, in general. The situation there is bad enough without propagating falsehoods. If you are helping to spread this fairy tale, knock it off. Don’t just read and link or tweet about it: think about sources, follow the links back.

Read critically.

And, for Heaven’s sake, stop acting as if the sky is falling.

RELATED: A Fox video has been a source of confusion, as some people think it means Laredo, Texas, is under a lockdown. But watch the video: the city where Americans have been warned to stay indoors is Nuevo Laredo, across the border in Mexico.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Seven eminent physicists skeptical of man-made global warming

July 25, 2010

Heretics! Don’t they realize there’s a consensus? That the IPCC has a computer model? How dare these men, two of whom have won Nobel Prizes, defy the Goracle?

Question not. The science is settled. Amen.

Joking aside, these scientists, living and dead, deserve our respect for refusing to go along with a farcical consensus and for reasserting that real science requires skepticism and empirical testing, not just computer models that spit back programmed results.

You can read all about them at Watt’s Up With That?


No, Texas has not been invaded

July 24, 2010

An Internet rumor has been spreading for hours now claiming that Los Zetas, a notorious and extremely violent Mexican drug gang, has crossed the border and taken over two ranches near Laredo. The source seems to be a blog called Diggers Realm. See also this breathless account at examiner.com:

In what could be deemed an act of war against the sovereign borders of the United States, Mexican drug cartels have seized control of at least two American ranches inside the U.S. territory near Laredo, Texas.

Two sources inside the Laredo Police Department confirmed the incident is unfolding and they would continue to coordinate with U.S. Border Patrol today. “We consider this an act of war,” said one police officer on the ground near the scene. There is a news blackout of this incident at this time and the sources inside Laredo PD spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Word broke late last night that Laredo police have requested help from the federal government regarding the incursion by the Los Zetas. It appears that the ranch owners have escaped without incident but their ranches remain in the hands of the blood thirsty cartels.

Laredo Border Patrol is conducting aerial surveillance over the ranches to determine the best way to regain control of the U.S. ranches, according to the Laredo Police department.

One problem: It’s not true. Bob Owens of Confederate Yankee took the unusual and daring step of actually calling the Laredo PD and the local sheriff’s office to get the true story. Here’s a part of what he learned:

[Laredo PD Sgt. Perez] also provided me the number of the Sheriff’s Department. The deputy that answered the phone there was less bemused, having also dealt with this rumor multiple times in a short amount of time. She also told me that there was no invasion and no law enforcement siege, and that deputies were continuing normal operations.

So where and how Digger and Examiner.com’s Kimberly Dvorak got their “confirmations, ” I have no idea. But a simple phone call to the relevant authorities showed this was just another Internet myth.

What I do know, however, is that the situation on our border is serious and the dangers faced there are real. Those of us concerned about border security -and on the Right in general- face a hostile mainstream media and political elite looking for anything they can use to dismiss us and smear us as racists and extremists in need of being controlled.

Let’s not give them any ammunition, okay?

UPDATE: The Laredo Morning Times hasn’t heard of any trouble, either. You’d think the local paper would know, wouldn’t you?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Porker of the Month!

July 24, 2010

And she’s a worthy winner, too:

Ms. Kaptur “represents” Ohio’s 9th district. Maybe it’s time the voters there looked for someone who won’t treat the public treasury as her personal piggy bank.


Saturday morning satire

July 24, 2010

The latest Newsbusted, with Jodi Miller:


How Journolist could influence the mainstream media

July 23, 2010

Ed has a good example I had forgotten about.


The Wrath of the Khan-Democrats – Updated

July 23, 2010

It’s sad to contemplate, but there is a not-likely-but-real possibility that, in the wake of a large-scale defeat in the November midterms, the Democrats might try to use the constitutionally mandated “lame duck” session of Congress that comes between the elections and the inauguration of the new Congress to ram through legislation they couldn’t pass before the elections. Charles Krauthammer explains:

[Retiring and defeated members] could then vote for anything — including measures they today shun as the midterms approach and their seats are threatened — because they would have nothing to lose. They would be unemployed. And playing along with Obama might even brighten the prospects for, say, an ambassadorship to a sunny Caribbean isle.

As John Fund reports in the Wall Street Journal, Sens. Jay Rockefeller, Kent Conrad and Tom Harkin are already looking forward to what they might get passed in a lame-duck session. Among the major items being considered are card check, budget-balancing through major tax hikes, and climate-change legislation involving heavy carbon taxes and regulation.

Card check, which effectively abolishes the secret ballot in the workplace, is the fondest wish of a union movement to which Obama is highly beholden. Major tax hikes, possibly including a value-added tax, will undoubtedly be included in the recommendations of the president’s debt commission, which conveniently reports by Dec. 1. And carbon taxes would be the newest version of the cap-and-trade legislation that has repeatedly failed to pass the current Congress — but enough dead men walking in a lame-duck session might switch and vote to put it over the top.

It’s a target-rich environment. The only thing holding the Democrats back would be shame, a Washington commodity in chronically short supply. To pass in a lame-duck session major legislation so unpopular that Democrats had no chance of passing it in regular session — after major Democratic losses signifying a withdrawal of the mandate implicitly granted in 2008 — would be an egregious violation of elementary democratic norms.

Charles doesn’t think even the Democrats are that dishonorable, but I’m not so sure. When in the minority from 2003-2006, the Democrats regularly and shamelessly put the electoral interests of their party ahead of the national interest during the war in Iraq, so much so that they reminded me of their Copperhead ancestors of the 1860s.

Then, having taken control of both Congress and the White House in January, 2009, they rammed through ObamaCare in the face of massive public opposition while freezing the opposition out of the process and making use of dishonest parliamentary maneuvers. While the public wanted them to pay attention to jobs and the ailing economy, the Democrats instead went on a spending binge with a pork-laden stimulus package (that only stimulated the debt) and budgets that bore no relation to fiscal reality or the will of the people. They’ve only recently shelved the latest version of their economy-killing and unpopular cap-and-trade bill – perhaps to rise like a zombie in the lame duck session? And, as Krauthammer points out, that isn’t all that’s on their progressive wish list.

Like all good progressive statists, the dominant wing of the Democratic Party believes government elites know better than the people what’s good for the people and that we “just don’t understand.” They need us to vote them into office but, once there, they have no further need to listen to us. (Remember the resentment they showed at the town-hall meetings in the summer of 2009 -or more recently?) And because they see themselves as an elite that knows better than everyone else what the nation needs, it’s not hard for me to imagine a good number of them acting out of pique at having their mandate withdrawn in November and thinking “Fine, we’ll show you!”

The prospect of a legislative finger flipped at the public in a lame-duck session reminds me of nothing so much as a line from Moby Dick – or the best of the Star Trek movies:

“To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee; For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee”

If that happens, the Republicans should go into total-filibuster mode, blocking everything except the most routine legislation. In the short window of a lame-duck session, they can probably hold the line.

After which the Democrats, like Khan, can enter a well-deserved exile.

LINKS: Power Line thinks the Democrats might feel constrained by the number of seats they have to defend in the Senate in 2012. More from Allahpundit.

UPDATE: I knew it, I just knew it!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Connections and collusion? – updated

July 22, 2010

When I first started reading the Journolist revelations, my thought was “these guys are jackasses and propagandists of the worst sort, but I don’t see a direct influence on policy here.”

Now that’s entered the realm of possibility:

Jared Bernstein, chief economist for Vice President Joseph Biden, served in 2008 as an economic adviser to the Obama campaign. At the same time, he was a member of JournoList, the controversial progressive email list.

Bernstein’s bio at Politico, which appears not to have been updated since 2008, states: “He is an economic adviser to the Obama campaign.”

He was known to many for his regular appearances on the financial channel CNBC. His primary employer in 2008 was the Economic Policy Institute, a pro-labor progressive think tank, but according to his bio when appointed to the Obama-Biden Administration, he also was a member of the Panel of Economic Advisers of the Congressional Budget Office.

Reached today at the Office of the Vice President, Bernstein revealed that his position with the Obama campaign was as something called a “surrogate.” “I was not paid by the campaign,” he explained. “They would call me from time to time to represent their positions, that side of the debate.”

Asked when he left JournoList, Bernstein replied, ‘‘I think I left the list around the time I came here.” Bernstein was announced as Chief Economist and Economic Policy Adviser to the Vice President-elect on December 8, 2008.

One question that has arisen in the last week is how closely JournoList members, not only discussed how to shape the news to advance the fortunes of Barack Obama, but coordinated with the Obama campaign. Jared Bernstein’s position as an unpaid adviser and surrogate shows that there was at least one direct link between JournoList and the Obama campaign.

Like roaches in a kitchen, there’s never just one. How many other connections were there between the Obama campaign (and now the Obama White House) and this list of progressive journalists? Was there any coordination? If so, on what and how much? Given the early attempts by the White House to coordinate propaganda “outreach efforts” with artists through the NEA, I think it’s fair to ask these questions about the members of Journolist, too. Note that while Bernstein says he left Journolist when he joined the White House, he was a member of it while an adviser to the Congressional Budget Office, and thus in a position to influence policy.

The more that comes out, the more the credibility of any journalist on that list falls to shreds.

UPDATE: At Legal Insurrection, Professor Jacobson reminds us of an incident at the White House involving Jared Bernstein that takes on possibly new significance in light of recent news. A summary quote:

So… An Obama campaign operative interacted on the Journolist with sympathetic media types in the run-up to the election, and then rewarded favored Journolistas with a visit to the White House.

Nothing to see here, move along.


Race and gender at play in auto dealership closures?

July 22, 2010

Or was it payback for rural counties not voting for Obama in 2008? The BlogProf looks at the report by Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) Inspector General Neal Barofsky. It certainly seems … suggestive.

Hope and Change?

(via Sister Toldjah)

UPDATE: Ed at Hot Air takes a different angle, seeing the closures as an example of making economic decisions based on the needs of political theater, in this case the need to demonstrate shared sacrifice.


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