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Friday, March 6, 2009
NewsBusters Gives CNBC Anchor's Stupidity A Pass
Topic: NewsBusters

In a March 5 NewsBusters post, Jeff Poor approving cites CNBC anchor Jeff Macke's claim that the Obama administration "has created a country full of 330 million people who all want to make $249,000 a year, lest they want to become one of the ‘wealthy,' who apparently the government hates." Poor curiously fails to note the stupidity of Macke's statement.

As Slate's Daniel Gross points out, the U.S. tax structure is marginal. Because Obama has not proposed a tax increase on the first $250,000 of income, and Obama's proposed tax increases apply to amounts past $250,000, the tax liability on that first $250,000 is not affected by the tax increases. Thus, Macke's claim that we "all want to make $249,000 a year" is stupid because the tax liability on that amount is not affected by having income over that amount.

As Gross summed it up: "That dentist eager to slash her income from $320,000 to $250,000 would avoid the pain of paying an extra $2,100 in federal taxes. But she'd also deprive herself of an additional $70,000 in income!"


Posted by Terry K. at 3:15 PM EST
Examiner Mindlessly Repeats Discredited Obama Attack
Topic: Washington Examiner

A March 5 Washington Examiner editorial asserts that as senator, "Barack Obama was compiling a voting record described by the National Journal – not exactly a charter member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy  – as 'the most liberal' in the U.S. Senate."

It's too bad that the Examiner's editorial writers don't venture outside their conservative bubble. If they did, they would know that the National Journal's ranking has been discredited -- and methodology, not ideology, is to blame. The National Journal's ranking was based only on a subjectively chosen select number of votes, not all relevant votes. In contrast, a separate study by political science professors Keith Poole and Jeff Lewis, using every non-unanimous vote cast in the Senate in 2007 to determine relative ideology, placed Obama in a tie for the ranking of 10th most liberal senator.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:04 AM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Newsmax

Obama has declared war on America.

[...]

I am not ready to surrender the greatest nation in the history of the world to a tin horn tyrant who never outgrew his adolescent communist stage.

[...]

 

Obama is fine with burning the bridge of prosperity behind him because he has his wealth, but he didn’t earn it the “old way” — he got his the easy way, by trading favors from his public office for private ones and using his elected office to sell books about himself.

If he had gotten it the hard way, like many of the people he plans to take from, he would have too much respect for their work ethic to take from them their resources to buy votes that increase his power and his lot.

-- Scott Wheeler, March 5 Newsmax column


Posted by Terry K. at 1:24 AM EST
Correlation-Equals-Causation Fallacy Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

A March 5 CNSNews.com article by Matt Cover is based around the implication that Barack Obama is responsible for the tanking economy: "In fact, Obama’s rise has seemed to accompany the economy’s fall." But Cover never offers any direct evidence that the two are related, nor does he acknowledge events outside of Obama's control that are much more likely factors.

For instance, Cover wrote:

On Feb. 9, the president made two campaign-style stops in South Bend and Elkhart, Ind. Obama made the case for government stimulus in his first national news conference, saying that only government could save the economy.


[...]

The following day, the NYSE lost 210 and the NASDAQ lost 51 points, with the NYSE shedding $400 billion the next day.

In fact, stock analysts did not tie those market declines to Obama's comments. A Feb. 10 New York Times article stated: "Investors had been expecting the Obama administration to unveil a shock and awe solution on Tuesday for the nation’s hobbled banking system. But the main reaction was disappointment as the new plan raised more questions than it answered, sending stock markets and the shares of banks assumed to be holding toxic assets sharply lower."

Cover has written several problematic CNS articles lately. He has taken Obama's words out of context, peddled false claims about the stimulus bill, and issued vaguely written attacks on Obama's economic plan.

Meanwhile, Newsmax follows in these same footsteps with a March 5 article by Greg Brown on its MoneyNews website suggesting a similar correlation: "Since Barack Obama was sworn in as president on Jan. 20, stocks have tumbled to record lows — with investors losing an estimated $2.5 trillion in market value." But like Cover, Brown offers little evidence to back up his suggestion.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:12 AM EST
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Meanwhile...
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Editor & Publisher reports that the latest version of the Sacramento Union has shut down.

As we've noted, WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah is a former editor of the original Union and was an adviser on the 2004 re-launch as a magazine (re-re-launched as a weekly paper in 2006).

The latest iteration was conservative-leaning but, by the end, heavily relied on propaganda pieces from right-wing think tanks.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:06 PM EST
Newsmax Headline Watch
Topic: Newsmax

The headline the Associated Press put on a March 5 article: "Census Bureau said behind schedule for 2010 count."

The headline Newsmax put on that same article: "White House-Controlled Census Behind Schedule."

The Newsmax headline repeats a false Republican talking point. In fact, the White House is not "controlling" the census; the article itself states that the Obama administration has said "the Census Bureau would not be removed from the Commerce Department."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 PM EST
MRC Double Standard Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

In a March 4 NewsBusters post, Matthew Balan complains that during an appearance by Eric Burns, president of "the left-wing organization Media Matters for America" (disclosure: my boss) on CNN, anchor Rick Sanchez "failed to mention the political leanings of Media Matters."

This complaint might have some validity if Media Research Center ever bothered to insist that Fox News identify it as a conservative group when MRC representatives appear on the channel.

UPDATE: Balan's post appears in the March 5 MRC CyberAlert.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:39 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, March 5, 2009 2:40 PM EST
Kessler Misleads on Labor Law
Topic: Newsmax

In a March 4 Newsmax column agitating against the Employee Free Choice Act, Ronald Kessler writes: "Under labor relations laws, workers for the past 75 years have had the right to choose by secret ballot whether to sign up to join a union."

In fact, workers do not "the right to choose by secret ballot whether to sign up to join a union"; that choice is made by the employer. As Media Matters summarizes, under current law, a union that shows it has the support of a majority of workers can represent the workers if their employer voluntarily agrees to recognize the union, without holding such an election. The choice to have a secret-ballot election is the employer's, not the workers'.

Kessler also falsely states that the EFCA "would deprive workers of the right to a secret ballot." In fact, it would merely move the choice to have a secret-ballot election from the employer to the workers.

Further, Kessler uncritically states that "When given the right to choose by secret ballot, employees generally reject unions" without also noting why that might be. Employers regularly use anti-union tactics such as intimidating workers, firing workers, and threatening to shut down factories and businesses. Kessler also uncritically writes that the EFCA "subjects the employee to possible intimidation and retaliation if he does not go along and sign up to join the union" without mentioning that, according to the National Labor Relations Board, the vast majority of complaints over alleged unfair labor practices are filed against employers, not unions.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:02 AM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

President (I use the term loosely) Barack Obama was voted in by guilted whites and brainwashed blacks. He might even be an illegal alien.

[...]

Obama's objective is to compromise America economically; the goal being to establish first a socialist state, and finally a Marxist one.

-- Erik Rush, March 5 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 AM EST
Blumer Repeats Dubious 'Debunking' of Biden
Topic: CNSNews.com

In a March 3 NewsBusters post, Tom Blumer asserts that Vice President Joe Biden made a "false claim" that Louisiana is losing 400 jobs a day. Blumer cited a "fact check" by a Louisiana TV station claiming that, in Blumer's words, "Biden isn't merely wrong; the Bayou State actually gained seasonally adjusted jobs in December."

But that "fact check" appears to have problems of its own. As the Wonk Room details (h/t County Fair), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of unemployed people in Louisiana spiked from 109,000 in November to 122,000 in December -- which works out to 430 a day, which would seem to prove Biden right.

So, at best, there's some confusion over different sets of numbers being used. At worst, Blumer is mindlessly repeating a false right-wing talking point.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 AM EST
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
False Modesty Watch
Topic: Horowitz

From a sycophantic March 2 FrontPageMag Q&A with Jamie Glazov, FrontPageMag editor, about Glazov's new book, "United in Hate: The Left's Romance With Tyranny and Terror":

Q: Did the content of the book present challenges in finding a publisher?

A: Yes. It is a hard-hitting book against the liberal-left, which makes it difficult to find a publisher. And it says many things that the boundaries of discourse, which are molded by the Left, do not allow.

Oh, we suspect it wasn't that hard for Glazov to find a publisher -- after all, right-wing publishing houses would slather over the opportunity to publish someone like Glazov who is likening liberals to terrorists. And that's exactly the kind of publisher Glazov found: the book division of WorldNetDaily.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:46 PM EST
Speaking of Climate Lies...
Topic: CNSNews.com

Alan Caruba's March 2 CNSNews.com column once again asserts that "the Earth, based on weather satellite data, is now ten years into a distinct cooling cycle."

As we've pointed out every time Caruba makes this claim, that's not quite true. British meterological experts and researchers point out that "[t]emperatures are continuing to rise" and states that "[a] simple mathematical calculation of the temperature change over the latest decade (1998-2007) alone shows a continued warming of 0.1° C per decade." Further, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies reports that "[t]he eight warmest years in the [global] GISS record have all occurred since 1998, and the 14 warmest years in the record have all occurred since 1990."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 AM EST
New Article: Jerome Corsi, Badly Trained Economist
Topic: WorldNetDaily
You wouldn't know the WorldNetDaily reporter's purported economic expertise from his biased, error-ridden and anti-Obama reports -- or his failed investment venture. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 AM EST
Blog Misleadingly Comes to Kincaid's Defense
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media has linked to a video, produced by the right-wing birther-populated website 24Ahead, that purports to defend Cliff Kincaid's comments buying into the right-wing conspiracy that Barack Obama isn't an American. The video weirdly attacks Think Progress for falsely titling their version of the Kincaid video by stating that he "suggests Obama wasn't born in U.S.": "Kincaid didn't 'suggest Obama wasn't born in the U.S. He didn't make any suggestions as to where Obama was born. He only -- correctly -- stated that we don't really know."

That's a distinction without a difference. Given that the alternative to being born in the U.S. is not being born in the U.S., by questioning whether there is proof that Obama was born in the U.S., Kincaid is, in fact, suggesting that he was not.

The video goes on to repeat other conspiratorial points about the birth certificate, claiming the one released by the Obama campaignis, "at this point in time, just a picture," and that FactCheck.org has only "seen" the certificate. In fact, FactCheck states it has "seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate."Nevertheless, the video asserts that the folks at FactCheck "aren't document experts and they didn't verify it with the issuing agency." And even WorldNetDaily has declared that the certificate posted by Obama's campaign is authentic (though it now pretends it didn't).

24Ahead also asserts that FactCheck "blatantly lies about the 10/31 statement from the state of Hawaii" without offering evidence. It then tries to raise doubts by claiming there is no "definitive proof."

At no point does 24Ahead acknowlege the logical point that if, according to the Oct. 31, 2008, statement that 24Ahead is presumbly referring, Hawaii state health director Chiyone Fukino said that Obama's original birth certificate is on file with the state in accordance with state policies and procedures, and all information on the released certificate is derivative of the original certificate, then there is no need to release the original certificate other than to sate the partisan anti-Obama paranoia of folks like the anonymous staffers of 24Ahead.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 AM EST
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Blog Misleadingly Comes to Kincaid's Defense
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media has linked to a video, produced by the right-wing birther-populated website 24Ahead, that purports to defend Cliff Kincaid's comments buying into the right-wing conspiracy that Barack Obama isn't an American. The video weirdly attacks Think Progress for falsely titling their version of the Kincaid video by stating that he "suggests Obama wasn't born in U.S.": "Kincaid didn't 'suggest Obama wasn't born in the U.S. He didn't make any suggestions as to where Obama was born. He only -- correctly -- stated that we don't really know."

That's a distinction without a difference. Given that the alternative to being born in the U.S. is not being born in the U.S., by questioning whether there is proof that Obama was born in the U.S., Kincaid is, in fact, suggesting that he was not.

The video goes on to repeat other conspiratorial points about the birth certificate, claiming the one released by the Obama campaignis, "at this point in time, just a picture," and that FactCheck.org has only "seen" the certificate. In fact, FactCheck states it has "seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate."Nevertheless, the video asserts that the folks at FactCheck "aren't document experts and they didn't verify it with the issuing agency." And even WorldNetDaily has 

24Ahead also asserts that FactCheck "blatantly lies about  the 10/31 statement from the state of Hawaii" without offering evidence. It then tries to raise doubts by claiming there is no "definitive proof."

At no point does 24Ahead acknowlege the logical point that if  and according to the Oct. 31, 2008, statement that 24Ahead is presumbly referring that Hawaii state health director Chiyone Fukino said that Obama's original birth certificate is on file with the state in accordance with state policies and procedures, and all information on the released certificate is derivative of the original certificate, then there is no need to release the original certificate other than to feed into the partisan anti-Obama paranoia of folks like the anonymous staffers of 24Ahead.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:41 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, March 5, 2009 1:32 PM EST

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