Saturday Links Fiesta

March 3, 2012

Time to clear out some backlogged links; I think you’ll find something worth reading under each category:

MEDIA:

If you’ve ever doubted that the MSM is full of hypocritical cowards, this should clear things right up: BBC Chief admits Christianity treated worse than other religions. And by “other religions,” I don’t think they mean Judaism… (via Howie)

ECONOMY:

I’ve said before that the Democrats’ policies (“Quantitative easing,” aka “printing money;” a devotion to radical environmental agendas) will cause inflation, for example in the cost of gasoline. But the Consumer Price Index (CPI) pegs inflation at a modest 3.1%. So, was I wrong? No, I wasn’t. Real inflation for the things you buy everyday is at more than 8% for the previous year. And it will get worse. (via Fausta)

Meanwhile, James Pethokoukis rips into Treasury Secretary Geithner’s arrogance and financial ignorance. I’m so glad Turbo-Tax Timmy is watching our money. Aren’t you?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:

The One has warned Iran not to call his bluff over his opposition to their development of nuclear weapons. Ed Lasky asks “Why shouldn’t they?” Hey, it’s worked so well in the past!

In light of the coming election, George Will has argued that Republicans should concentrate on capturing Congress, making Obama a relative lame-duck with a limited opportunity to do harm for the next four years. While I agree we need to take Congress to implement much-needed reforms, I strongly disagree that Obama would be a gelded president. So does Bryan Preston, in a must-read article. Three words: Supreme Court appointments.

As part of his class-warfare campaign to get reelected, Obama likes to excoriate oil companies for the supposedly obscene profits they rake in. And gullible people lap it up. At Power Line, John Hinderaker shows how much ExxonMobil puts back in to the American economy, making them a good corporate citizen, not evil.

OPERATION FAST & FURIOUS:

Here’s an excellent summary of what we know about “Gunwalker’ and the scandalous behavior of the administration, so far. Long, but very worthwhile. (via Moe Lane)

In what is one of the better examples of chutzpah I’ve seen in a while, Attorney General Eric Holder wants credit for stopping Fast and Furious. Really, this guy knows no shame.

CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson, one of the few MSM reporters giving Gunwalker serious coverage, reports that the gun used to kill ICE Agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico in 2010 also came from an ATF undercover operation. That is, it was ultimately supplied by our Department of Justice. That makes two US federal agents and over 300 Mexicans killed by “walked” guns.

I wonder if Eric Holder wants credit for that, too?

Oh, and as Mary Chastain points out, the gun that killed Mr. Zapata came from a second Gunwalker-style operation. Just how many of these fiascoes lie waiting to be discovered? Well…

MEXICO:

A potentially larger problem than Operation Fast and Furious is the danger of our southern neighbor becoming a failed state, or, at the least, the Mexican government losing control of large swathes of its territory on our mutual border. Some say that’s overstating the problem. But, what if the warning is coming from the governor legislators of a Mexican state bordering Texas? “Nuevo Leon on the verge of collapse.”

But, that’s okay. Obama and Napolitano say the border is more secure than ever.

I feel reassured, don’t you?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


In which Newt eviscerates CNN’s John King

January 20, 2012

There’s no other way to describe it: John King, moderating last night’s debate in Charleston, SC, opened with a question about salacious allegations made by Gingrich’s second ex-wife. The former Speaker then gutted King and the MSM in front of the entire nation, calling them out for their biased coverage. It was a thing of beauty, an instant classic. The only thing missing was King falling to his knees in tears to beg for mercy.

Enjoy, my friends:

Now, I’m not much of a fan in Gingrich, though I admire his intellectual acuity; he has a lot of good ideas (and a lot of bad ones). But, were he to become the nominee, I would so look forward to the debates with Obama. The president would be reduced to a quivering mound of Jello.

And I’d need extra popcorn.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


At least Newsweek is honest

January 16, 2012

This really is what the intelligentsia in the MSM, academia, and the leadership of the Democratic Party think of most of the nation:

I don’t know about you, but I prefer this honest contempt to the patronizing variety we usually get.

For those not familiar with Andrew Sullivan, he had been blogger for The Atlantic, until he went off the deep end with wild conspiracy theories about THE TRUTH behind the birth of Trig Palin. Now he writes, supposedly as a conservative, for (what’s left of) Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

But we’re the dumb ones.

via Newsbusters

UPDATE: Joel Pollak asks, “Why is Andrew Sullivan so dumb?”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Shocker: MSM fakes information in “mutant shark” story to promote climate-alarmist agenda

January 5, 2012

I knew it! I just had a feeling there was something funny going on here!

Remember the story about hybrid sharks I posted about the other day? I mocked it for it’s use of weasel words to scare the reader and push a climate-alarmist, pro-AGW agenda. The story was cited by several news outlets under different bylines (I quoted the original AFP report by writer Amy Coopes), but a Business Insider story by Dina Spector carried (for a while) an even more lurid headline:

“The World’s First Hybrid Shark Is Another Scary Sign That Global Warming Is Real”

At Watt’s Up With That, a commenter wrote directly the researcher cited in the articles, Jess Morgan, to ask her if she really said anything about shark hybridization being possibly related to global warming/climate change. Here’s her answer:

Quote not correct – I have now stated numerous times that it is extremely unlikely that climate change caused the hybridization event – however, the hybrid-Australian blacktips are now being seen further south of their known range (Australain blacktips have a tropical distribution) in cooler waters suggesting that the hybrids may have a wider temperature tolerance than their parents (ie the hybrids may be better adapted to handle changing water temperatures). That long statement is being condensed and printed as your quote below.

(Emphasis in the WUWT post)

Well, well, well. As Arte Johnson might have said, “verrry interesting… but shtinky!” Whether Spector or Coopes or someone else was the original source, and whether the misrepresentation of Morgan’s words was deliberate or unintentionally born of a do-gooder’s enthusiasm, what might have been an interesting bit of scientific reportage was transformed into street-corner preaching for the Cult of Anthropogenic Global Warming, agenda journalism of the worst sort.

It’s a prima-facie example of what Professor Bob Carter has called “noble cause corruption,” the perversion of of scientific (and other) ethics in the service of some cause or vested interest, rather than empirical truth:

Such corruption arises from the belief of a vested interest, or powerful person or group, in the moral righteousness of their cause. For example, a police officer may apprehend a person committing a crime and, stuck with a lack of incriminating evidence, proceed to manufacture it. For many social mores, of which “stopping global warming” and “saving the Great Barrier Reef” are two iconic Australian examples, it has become a common practice for evidence to be manipulated in dishonest ways, under the justification of helping to achieve a worthy end. After all, who wouldn’t want to help to “save the Great Barrier Reef”?

And this is yet another example that journalists are no more immune than cops or scientists — or anyone. It also serves as a healthy reminder to us all to read critically and, when possible, do like the commenter at WUWT and go straight to the source when something catches our eye, rather than relying on authority.

Be sure to read the whole post at WUWT. At the end, you’ll see Business Insider was forced by all the embarrassing questions to change both its headline and article text.

PS: As of this writing, AFP/Yahoo has not corrected the text of the article I originally quoted. Also, be sure to check out Bob Carter’s excellent critique of the “science” behind the theory of dangerous man-caused climate change, “Climate: The Counter-Consensus.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Quote of the Day, “Journalists just don’t get it” edition

December 27, 2011

Iowahawk on the Solyndra debacle and The Washington Post‘s ideological blinders:

Look, I have nothing against Linda Sterio, any more than I have anything against a waitress unwittingly employed by an Al Capone speakeasy. I wish her well in obtaining employment. But let’s be clear: the scandal is not that she lost her job at Solyndra, it’s that she ever had a job at Solyndra. And that she, and countless others, were deprived jobs at legitimate businesses because government sucked $500 million out capital markets to endorse and underwrite the “clean-energy” hustles of its favorite check-writing eco-crooks.

The price of newsprint being what it is, I suppose it might be too much to ask the WaPo to run photos of the real victims of this scam, the 100 million or so American taxpayers who were left to pick up the tab. Unlike Ms. Sterio we never got a paycheck out of it, only a $5 invoice. But would it kill the Post’s editors to occasionally re-examine its J-school narratives and acknowledge sometimes failure is not the result of Government Not Doing Enough?

And if you haven’t bookmarked Iowahawk, you should. When he’s being serious, he’s good. When he’s being satirical, he’s good and funny.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#OccupySanDiego honors White House shooter

November 17, 2011

No, really.

Somehow, I don’t think 99% of us would approve of taking shots at the White House.

But, according to the Left, Occupy is just like the Tea Party. As Ace puts it:

If anyone in the Tea Party expressed solidarity with Jared Loughner (and if a group of Tea Partiers than bowed their head in respectful silence for him), do you imagine the media would have been interested?

Don’t worry, Ace; I’m sure CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, NPR, and (especially!) MSNBC will be all over this like ants at a picnic.

Just as soon as they can find a way to blame it on Sarah Palin.

RELATED: Earlier posts on the Occupy movement.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


In which the Master schools the ignorant student and leaves him whimpering for mercy

November 14, 2011

I don’t know how many of you watched the Republican debate on foreign affairs and national security last Saturday (1); I caught only parts, but I have to share this gem, which came when arrogant prat CBS anchor Scott Pelley (2) asked Newt Gingrich about the rule of law and the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki last September. The former Speaker starts to answer, and then Pelley kicks his moderator role to the gutter and begins to argue with him. (3)

Let’s just say that, when Gingrich was done with him, Pelley looked like Daffy Duck after yelling “Duck! Fire!

Thing. Of. Beauty.

RELATED: ST surprises herself by taking a second look at Newt. Much to my surprise, so am I.

Footnotes:
(1) I had been avoiding them up until this point; I hate the quiz-show format. I will be watching the AEI-Heritage-CNN debate on the 22nd, however, since it will deal with foreign policy, one of my main interests.
(2) Pelley infamously compared skeptics of Man-caused global warming to Holocaust deniers. As you might imagine, he’s one of my favorite people.
(3) Thus displaying again the renowned impartiality of the MSM.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gunwalker: “Does no one care about the dead Mexicans?”

October 10, 2011

Subbing for Hugh Hewitt on the radio last week, the great Mark Steyn asked a darned good question that touched on hypocritical liberal bigotry:

“Now real Mexicans are dead,” he continued. “Does the president of the United States, does his attorney general, does CNN, does The New York Times, does NPR — do they not care about dead Mexicans?

“I mean, forget the United States Border Patrol guys that were killed about these ‘Fast & Furious’ guns. Real-live, or previously live, citizens of third world countries — the kind of people that NPR, The New York Times claim to love — are dead because of this.”

“Why isn’t that a national scandal?” he pleaded. “This is absolutely a — Iran-Contra didn’t rack of that kind of body count. Watergate didn’t rack up that kind of body count. Sarah Palin’s daughter’s boyfriend’s mother, or whatever stupid story they were chasing around Wasilla for months, that didn’t rack up a body count. There were hundreds of dead Mexicans from a gun running program run by the United States.”

The answer, of course, is that they only care about the dead Mexicans when they’re useful for attacking a Republican administration

Click through for a recording of the segment.

RELATED: At Fausta’s blog, read all about how Sinaloa’s top assassin was hoarding weapons obtained via Operation Fast and Furious. Earlier Gunwalker posts.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Clueless editorial

October 6, 2011

Normally I like the Washington Examiner; it’s a great center-right paper and they feature some excellent columnists. I highly recommend it.

But, in an editorial saying Sarah Palin was right not to run, the editorial writer showed himself to be intellectually lazy and shallow:

As he bowed out of next year’s race, Christie said President Obama “has failed the leadership test.” Christie added: “Everything else you can be taught. You can’t be taught how to lead and how to make decisions.” The reality is that by resigning her post as governor of Alaska — citing as her reason an ethics law that she had championed — Palin failed the same leadership test as Obama. It does not matter how deeply unfair the press was toward her during the 2008 presidential cycle, when John McCain chose her as his running mate. By quitting the job she was elected to do, Palin essentially acknowledged her critics’ most essential contention — that she was not ready for higher office. Nothing she has done since then has changed this.

Oh, boy. Here we go.  It’s the “quitter” argument, again, the favorite of people who look at one fact –“She quit!”– and then shut off their brains. They only look at it from a national perspective, not recognizing or acknowledging or perhaps even caring about differences between states and their laws.

To whomever wrote this editorial: it wasn’t the 2008 press coverage that made her quit. It was the campaign of unending and baseless ethics charges that were aimed at her political paralysis and financial ruin. As I wrote to a friend when we were discussing this yesterday:

The law in question was the Alaska ethics statute. Under it:

  • All complaints and charges had to be investigated. There was no preliminary vetting.
  • The accused had to pay for their own defense, no state resources. In other words, the state AG couldn’t lift a finger, unlike other states.
  • All document requests had to be honored. Given the number of requests filed, this ate up an enormous amount of staff time and public money.

By the time she resigned, the Palins had accumulated $700k of legal debt at least on a combined salary of (roughly) $200k. Again, there would be no reimbursement from the state, nor anything paid by losing complainants. I think asking someone to continue as governor and take bankruptcy on the chin is a bit much. (Regarding some sort of a legal defense fund, they tried that, a predecessor to SarahPac, and it was challenged under the ethics law, too. The money was locked up. I donated to it and was eventually given a refund.)

The ethics law was well-intentioned but (as is so often the case) poorly designed and fraught with unintended consequences. Not surprisingly (as I understand it), it was changed under her successor.

So I ask the editorial’s author: How would it be passing a test of leadership to hang on to an office at the price of it being paralyzed by the complaints (thus being unable to do “the job she was elected to do”) and her family being bankrupted? Would you seriously call that leadership? Honestly?

Sure, the rest of the editorial is largely complimentary, but the heart is in the quoted paragraph. This editorial wasn’t even a backhanded compliment; it was a thinly-disguised patronizing slap to Sarah Palin’s face from a mouthpiece for the Beltway Establishment.

Bah.

AFTERWORD: My understanding of the Alaska ethics law is based on several years hashing over this topic. My apologies for not having a link handy. If I’m wrong in my summary, I’ll gladly stand corrected if someone can cite the relevant text from the law as it existed during Palin’s administration.

RELATED: Stacy McCain has a good article on Palin’s decision at The American Spectator.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Political cartoon of the day: What media bias?

August 8, 2011

Michael Ramirez nails it:

(Click the image for a full-size view.)

via Big Journalism, which carries a related article on the transformation of American journalism into a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party.


Klavan on the Culture: Michele Bachmann makes a gaffe!!!

July 15, 2011

Andrew Klavan has decided it’s too much fun not to participate in the mainstream media’s latest game: waiting for Representative Michele Bachmann to get something wrong so they can make fun of her.

Pay no attention to that chap in the background:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Predictable, really

June 22, 2011

The marketing divisions of the Democratic Party, aka The New York Times and The Washington Post, have launched a vigorous defense of the Obama administration in the wake of scandalous revelations about Operation Fast and Furious (“Gunwalker”) by launching a smear campaign against Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the committee investigating this fiasco. Patrick Richardson at PJM’s Tatler blog has the story:

Issa of course has been holding hearings on the fiasco that was Operation Fast and Furious, where the ATF allowed thousands of guns across the border into the hands of the drug cartels, weapons which then began showing up at crime scenes, including the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

The NYT is continuing to tell the lie that most of the weapons which end up in Mexico came from the U.S. They also show their complete ignorance when they say the weapons sold were military rifles. They were not. Whatever the semiautomatic rifles sold may look like, they are not true assault rifles. They do not have a selective fire capability, meaning they cannot fire full auto, as military rifles will. The NYT is merely using these hearings in order to push for the re-enactment of the so-called assault weapons ban while doing the administration’s dirty work.

The WaPo is perhaps more thoughtful in their attack, attempting to look like real reporting. Using anonymous sources to take potshots at Issa, claiming he was briefed in on the operation last year.

Let’s keep in mind that not only have two US federal agents been killed by guns that were allowed to “walk” over the border with the full knowledge of the ATF, but at least 150 Mexican soldiers, federal agents, and civilians. And Mexico is an ally.

If they were real newspapers truly concerned with the pursuit of the truth, the Times and the Post would be demanding to who knew what when and who gave the okays. They’d be digging into the serious foreign policy implications for the United States (1), and they’d be giving wall-to-wall coverage of the grotesque human tragedy caused by gunwalker — on American orders — something Representative Issa has described as “felony stupid;” an understatement if there ever was one.

But that would only happen if there were an (R) after the president’s name.

Real newspapers are mostly gone, at least at the national level. (2) Now, instead, we have PR flacks disguised as newspapers trying desperately to distract us from a trail that seems to lead directly to the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, if not to the Oval Office itself.

Heckuva job, guys!

Footnotes:

(1) Supplying weapons to groups that threaten to destabilize a foreign state. Y’know, those little things we used to call “acts of war.”

(2) One exception is the Washington Examiner, which has a great lineup of journalists and analysts. Among the legacy media, CBS deserves real credit for following “Operation Fast and Furious” almost since the story first broke.

RELATED: Background and links

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Katrina was newsworthy; Midwest floods, not so much

June 12, 2011

And the difference seems to be the letter after the President’s name, in this case a D instead of a R.

At Pajamas Media, Roger Kimball thinks back to the hysteria-laden criticism of the Bush administration during and after Hurricane Katrina and, in a photo essay, wonders why everyone is so quiet, now. Here’s one sample:

To which Roger asks:

Why is the MSM not demanding to know where are the FEMA trucks and trailers and food services?

Good question. Click through for more.

Afterthought:

And yet Sarah Palin’s email records as governor are so important that the MSM goes into a feeding frenzy and begs the public for help? Seriously?


That sound you hear is NPR’s funding being flushed

March 8, 2011

During the 2008 campaign, it came out that then-Senator Obama held the average American in a sort of patronizing contempt:

And it’s not surprising then [small-town Americans] get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Now we have an example (as if we really needed it) of just how widespread this bigotry is among our progressive elites. Conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe (he of the ACORN exposés) has captured two National Public Radio executives trashing conservatives and Tea Party members, and not at all demurring at antisemitic statements, in order to impress what they thought were two donors from a Muslim Brotherhood front group that wants to spread sharia law. Watch and be enlightened:

And this is only part one. I can’t what to see what part two brings.

From the Daily Caller article:

“The current Republican Party, particularly the Tea Party, is fanatically involved in people’s personal lives and very fundamental Christian – I wouldn’t even call it Christian. It’s this weird evangelical kind of move,” declared [Ron] Schiller, the head of NPR’s nonprofit foundation, who last week announced his departure for the Aspen Institute.

In a new video released Tuesday morning by conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe, Schiller and Betsy Liley, NPR’s director of institutional giving, are seen meeting with two men who, unbeknownst to the NPR executives, are posing as members of a Muslim Brotherhood front group. The men, who identified themselves as Ibrahim Kasaam and Amir Malik from the fictitious Muslim Education Action Center (MEAC) Trust, met with Schiller and Liley at Café Milano, a well-known Georgetown restaurant, and explained their desire to give up to $5 million to NPR because, “the Zionist coverage is quite substantial elsewhere.”

On the tapes, Schiller wastes little time before attacking conservatives. The Republican Party, Schiller says, has been “hijacked by this group.” The man posing as Malik finishes the sentence by adding, “the radical, racist, Islamaphobic, Tea Party people.” Schiller agrees and intensifies the criticism, saying that the Tea Party people aren’t “just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic, I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.”

Schiller goes on to describe liberals as more intelligent and informed than conservatives. “In my personal opinion, liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives,” he said.

If you’re done gagging, you might want to read the rest.

It’s rather disquieting (to say the least) that media executives would be so anxious to solicit funds from self-proclaimed religious fascists whose stated goal is the destruction of the very system of constitutional liberty that makes a free press possible — while taking the money of taxpayers who would rightly object to seeing those same liberties replaced by sharia law.

But then, I’m just an uneducated, unfair, and unbalanced rube.

Ed Morrissey has some good analysis of this, including the suggestion that we help Schiller discover whether NPR will, as he believes, do better without federal funding. After this, I think a lot of congressmen and senators will be even more willing to assist.

One last thought: After listening to the bile spewed by Schiller and Liley, they have the nerve to call us bigots? Maybe someone should hand them a mirror — and then tell them to pass it along to all their “more educated” friends.

RELATED: If you want a good laugh, check out this article on NPR chief Vivian Schiller* at Big Government.

When asked “Do you believe there is an imbalance at NPR in terms of liberals and conservatives in the newsroom? If the answer is ‘yes’ what do you propose to do about it?”

Schiller responded by saying they get a “tremendous amount of criticism for being too conservative as well” and wishes those people could be in their editorial meetings so they could see what goes on. She then states NPR’s journalism reflects “no particular bias.”

After, she says there’s no question it’s a “perception issue” that some believe NPR is liberal in nature.

Now, I wonder why folks would get that perception? Follow the link for video.

*No relation to Ron Schiller that I know of.

UPDATE: Roger L. Simon calls this The Protocols of the Elders of NPR.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


How liberal journalists think

January 24, 2011

I never knew these things were documentaries.

via Legal Insurrection

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


California: Brown’s austerity budget?

December 29, 2010

The LA Times has an interesting article today about incoming Governor Brown’s proposed budget – interesting mainly for what it hints at and leaves out, and secondarily for a bit of media bias. First, the proposal:

Gov.-elect Jerry Brown is laying the groundwork for a budget plan that would couple deep cuts to state services, including university systems and welfare programs, with a request that voters extend temporary tax hikes on vehicles, income and sales that are set to expire next year.

The blueprint Brown will unveil when he takes office early next month also is expected to take aim at several tax breaks and subsidies that have been fiercely guarded by the business lobby in Sacramento, according to people involved in budget discussions with the incoming administration.

Among the breaks are multibillion-dollar incentives for redevelopment projects and hundreds of millions of dollars of “enterprise zone” credits meant to encourage investment in blighted neighborhoods. Also targeted is a recent change to state business tax formulas that has saved corporate California roughly $1 billion.

The combination of austere spending and extended tax hikes is designed to confront both parties and their allied interest groups with painful choices that Brown says are necessary to truly resolve the state’s massive budget problems. He intends to take swift action, using the political capital of a new governor to confront a deficit that could easily subsume his governorship.

In a symbolic gesture to garner the trust of a skeptical public, Brown has already pledged to cut his own office budget by 25%.

First promising sign: the Governor-elect recognizes we’re in a deep mess and cannot keep spending the way we have been for the past 25 years :

California state spending has outgrown the state’s tax base by 1.3 percentage points annually for 25 years. Simple arithmetic dictates that in lieu of constant tax increases, this perpetuates a deficit.

From 1985 to 2009 state GDP in California grew by 5.5 percent per year, on average (not adjusted for inflation). Annual growth in state spending was 6.8 percent, on average. Three spending categories have dominated this spending spree: public schools, cash assistance and Medicaid. Making up half of state spending, they are outlets for traditional redistributive welfare state policy.

(h/t Wyoming Liberty Group)

Back to the Times article, Brown plans to ask for cuts to California’s welfare, public school, California State University, and University of California allocations. He also wants to change or eliminate special enterprise zones (areas of lowered taxes to encourage local hiring) and the way a particular tax is calculated for businesses. Finally, he wants voters to approve an extension of onerous tax increases enacted a few years ago, which will expire with this fiscal year.

It’s a mixed bag, with something to tick off everyone. By one theory of politics, that means he must be doing something right. Teacher’s unions and the universities, for example, will hate the cuts to education. But, let’s be blunt here: CSU and UC students, even after recent fee hikes, are still heavily subsidized and charged nowhere near market rate for what they get. And higher education is a public good, not an unalienable right. If the state can’t afford to keep subsidizing it at current levels, then logic dictates cutting back. And it’s not as if public school performance in California has warranted giving the teachers unions more, instead of forcing some competition and choice into the system, as has New Orleans.

The proposals to cut back business enterprise zones will surely anger business communities, but the article mentions (but does not cite directly) studies arguing that those zones have not had the desired effect. Shouldn’t fiscal conservatives be open to the idea of ending programs that don’t work, even if they are ones conservatives sympathize with?

One of the greatest obstacles Brown’s proposals face is the extension of tax rates. California is already one of the mostly highly taxed states in the nation, one of the reasons businesses and people are leaving for other states that don’t punish success nearly as much. Here in the Golden State, if you make more than $47,055, but less than a million, you pay the second-highest rate, 9.55%. Sales tax in Los Angeles county is 9.75%, which is a 1.5% premium over the state rate of 8.25%. And auto registration fees (the dread car tax, which was part of why Gray Davis lost his job in 2003) is 1.15% of the car’s value. Brown is hoping that spending cuts will persuade a skeptical and angry public to extend these tax rates in a special election in return for deep spending cuts. We’ll see.

The devil, of course, is in the details, and Brown’s representative was deliberately vague, probably not wanting to show his hand in advance of what is sure to be a hard fight in the legislature. Here are some questions I have for the once-and-future governor:

  • Are these spending cuts permanent reductions in bloated state spending, or just a temporary cutback until the economy picks up, at which point we’ll go on a binge again?
  • When would the extended tax rates expire? When the economy recovers, will you consider tax cuts to stimulate economic growth?
  • Will you push for an increase in school choice to break the stranglehold of the teachers unions and make sure we’re getting value for the money we put into education?
  • What will you do to reform California’s regulatory environment, which helps make this state the worst in which to do business?
  • What will you do to curb the corrupting influence of other public-employee unions?

I’m sure there are a lot more questions, but these are a start — as is Brown’s plan. We’ll see what comes out in the details in the months ahead.

TANGENT: The article does a pretty good job with the basics, but still reflects the LA Times’ pro-Democrat, pro-progressive bias. When discussing portions of Brown’s proposal that the business community might not like, it mentions only opposition with no word about people who might be hurt by the changes. When talking about cuts to welfare and education, we get pity-words about students and the poor, with no attention given to the effectiveness of those programs — unlike we see in the discussion of enterprise zones.  Not egregious, not outrageous, but sadly typical.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Sunday Funnies: Klavan on the Culture

November 7, 2010

Forget Survivor and Jersey Shore, Andrew Klavan brings us the best reality show yet: Lies! Deceit! Treachery! You too can be a Mainstream Media reporter!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Oh, no! The extremists are coming!!

October 22, 2010

In this latest Klavan on the Culture, Andrew Klavan explains to us how our mainstream media (which is really left wing) is trying to warn of the danger posed by extremist Tea-Partiers and Republicans (who are really mainstream) and encourage us to vote for moderate, centrist Democrats (who are really extremists), while…

Oh, never mind. I’ll let Andrew explain it. Besides, he’s much funnier than I. 

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


FOX more tolerant than NPR

October 22, 2010

Yesterday, I opined that NPR’s firing of Juan Williams was due to his sin of honesty: admitting that flying with Muslims tended to make nervous, presumably because of the long, bloody history of Islamic terrorism in recent years. Violating the politically correct, multi-culti canon of modern left-liberalism had placed him beyond the pale.

Looks like that was only the shark’s fin breaking the water, giving sign of the real problem hidden underneath the surface: NPR listeners were complaining about Williams appearing on the hated FOX network and actually engaging conservatives. Ed Morrissey cites analysis by both Michael Barone, who noted that few if any FOX viewers complained about Williams airing liberal views on “their” network, and the NPR ombudsman, who admitted NPR listeners were complaining about what Williams said on FOX, and adds this observation:

So …. it’s safe to say that Williams’ appearances on NPR weren’t a problem at all.  NPR’s entire problem with Williams is that he shared his liberal perspective with the supposedly intolerant right-wing audience at Fox News, where people enjoyed an actual debate.  It’s also pretty clear that NPR was looking for a reason to cut Williams, and leaped at what appeared on the surface to be their best opportunity without actually watching the whole clip and hearing the context of Williams’ remarks, which actually argued against the point of what Bill O’Reilly was making.

And so we have the rather amusing, if destructive, spectacle of a radio network casting out a true believer solely because he dared to take the faith outside the chosen circle.  NPR insists that it hosts the most diverse forums for political debate, but based on their own actions, they’re not interested in diversity or even debate.  Rather than relish having a liberal point of view presented in what they see as a conservative forum, they prefer to keep their liberal point of view within the compound — and so do their listeners.

Just who is suffering from “epistemic closure,” here?

LINKS: My blog-buddy Sister Toldjah has a lot more on the crock of you-know-what justification given by NPR’s ombudsman for firing Williams.


NPR fires Juan Williams for admitting he’s human

October 21, 2010

Yesterday, National Public Radio terminated its contract with liberal commentator Juan Williams over remarks he made on Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox:

Here’s a transcript, courtesy of Big Journalism:

The move came after Mr. Williams, who is also a Fox News political analyst, appeared on the “The O’Reilly Factor” on Monday. On the show, the host, Bill O’Reilly, asked him to respond to the notion that the United States was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” Mr. O’Reilly said, “The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet.”

Mr. Williams said he concurred with Mr. O’Reilly.

He continued: “I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

Mr. Williams also made reference to the Pakistani immigrant who pleaded guilty this month to trying to plant a car bomb in Times Square. “He said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts,” Mr. Williams said.

And for that, Williams was fired:

NPR said in its statement that the remarks “were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”

So, let me get this straight. In an era when Muslims bent on jihad blow themselves up on crowded buses and in pizza parlors, when Muslims bent on jihad hijack planes and kill nearly 3,000 Americans in one day, when a Muslim bent on jihad takes to heart the Islamic doctrine of Wala’ wa Bara’ (“loyalty and enmity”) and guns down his fellow soldiers, when even the general manager of al-Arabiya television says

It is certainly true that not all Muslims are terrorists, however, sadly we say that the majority of terrorists in the world are Muslims.

… and on and on around the world: London, Edinburgh, Madrid, Beslan, Mumbai, Bali, Thailand, Nigeria, and on an on in a trail of blood blazed by Muslims bent on jihad…

…Juan Williams admitted to a very human failing: he gets nervous around Muslims. He’s not saying every Muslim is a terrorist; he is not saying he hates all Muslims or that all Muslims are jihadists. He is admitting to an instinctive reaction based on years of witnessing horrifying things done by Muslims waging jihad.

News flash: I was once robbed at gunpoint by a Black man. To this day, I still get a bit nervous when a Black male stranger approaches me on the street. It’s irrational, I usually ignore it, but it’s still there: a normal human reaction based on our survival instinct. And I bet if you look around hard enough, you’ll find Black men who have had bad experiences with White cops and get nervous when encountering another White cop.

Would NPR fire them, too?

What this really shows is how narrow the limits are on free speech at that bastion of liberalism, National Public Radio. Express an opinion beyond the bounds of progressive, multicultural orthodoxy and you get punished. And it’s another example of how the Left in general pays only lip service to intellectual freedom: you have the freedom to express any thought as long as it’s on the approved list.

Conservative women, minorities who stray off the liberal reservation, and Black liberal pundits who are honest about their feelings, on the other hand, can just shut up.

PS: Why in God’s name is the United States government giving taxpayer money to a media organization that punishes people for exercising their First Amendment right to free speech?

PPS: And how odd this happened right after “progressive” billionaire (and Nazi collaborator) George Soros’ “Open Society Foundation” a $1.8 million grant to pay for more reporters. Must be a coincidence.

LINKS: As you can guess, lots of sites are writing about this today. In addition to Big Journalism (and do read their post for a good survey of NPR’s “editorial standards and practices”), see also The Jawa Report, Fausta, Power Line, Legal Insurrection, Hot Air, and Michelle Malkin. On a related note, The Los Angeles Times’ Andrew Malcolm reports that most Americans feel political correctness has gone too far. I’ll bet Juan Williams would agree with that.

UPDATE: Sammy at Yid With Lid argues that Juan’s presence on Fox was NPR’s real problem, not so much what he said.

UPDATE II: Oh, now they’re after Mara Liasson, too.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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