CNS Give Boehner's False GM Claim A Free Pass Topic: CNSNews.com
A Nov. 19 CNSNews.com article by Dan Joseph uncritically repeats a claim by House Minority Leader John Boehner regarding "the government’s reaction to General Motors and the bailout from the government" that "we’re talking about tens of thousands of Americans who were punished as a result of the government’s action." Joseph went on to quote a Boehner spokesman saying that Boehner was talking about "both the bondholders and the employees at the dealerships that were arbitrarily closed by the White House."
But fewer GM dealers have closed than originally announced, and many of those that did close were connected to brands that GM discontinued, while others merely lost the ability to sell certain GM brands while continuing to sell others.
Edmunds.com reports that effective Nov. 1, GM has a network of about 4,500 dealers, compared with 6,049 dealerships in June 2009. This represents four brand combinations in 15 brand combinations, compared to the previous setup that represented eight brands via 87 brand combinations.
Edmunds also reported that "GM recently reinstated many dealerships that were previously notified of franchise agreement terminations. On March 8, 2010, GM contacted 661 dealerships to negotiate terms of retaining the franchises. Other dealers contested the franchise agreement terminations through an arbitration process that ended on August 5, 2010." And the final closure list includes dealers of the discontinued Hummer and Pontiac brands.
Boehner's complaint about "dealerships that were arbitrarily closed" is a misnomer on two fronts. First, GM did not and cannot close dealerships -- it grants franchises to sell its cars, and what it did was seek to cancel or decline to renew franchises with individual dealers, which may or may not result in the closing of the dealer. That dealer also has the option of trying to obtain another new-car franchise, or to sell only used cars.
Second, GM and Chrysler did not act in an arbitrary manner in withdrawing franchises. As The Truth About Cars writes:
Over at GM, the problem is more complicated given that the Pontiac brand is being eliminated after GM’s recent efforts to build its Buick-GMC-Pontiac sales channel, and that GM is in the process of selling its Hummer, Saturn, and Saab brands. GM dealers will be evaluated based on four criteria to judge their viability. These criteria include:
To be part of the new, post-bankruptcy GM, these dealers have to perform well in all four categories.
For those dealers being eliminated, GM is offering some dealerships from $20,000 to $1 million to wind down their businesses over the next 17 months, the payment based on factors such as brands carried, regional sales rank, and current inventory.
That's hardly arbitrary. But Joseph didn't see fit to question a Republican making such a claim, which presumably is CNS editorial policy.
WND's Ringer: Strip Voting Rights From Everyone Under 30 Topic: WorldNetDaily
Robert Ringer is all about trying to keep certain people from voting, especially if they might vote contrary to his right-wing beliefs. We've previously noted Ringer's desire to strip voting rights from government workers; now he wants to deny the franchise to anyone under 30.
I was happy to see Ann Coulter's recent article about the need to repeal the 26th Amendment, as preventing immature young adults from voting is something I have long advocated. In some ways, it's more harmful than the 14th Amendment, whose misinterpretation encourages ready-to-deliver Mexican women to scamper across our southern border and give birth to freshly minted U.S. citizens.
In her article, Coulter focuses on research done over the past five years that has shown that human brains are not fully developed until age 25 and are particularly deficient in their frontal lobes until then. This is important, she says, because the frontal lobes control decision-making, rational thinking, judgment, and the ability to plan ahead and resist impulses.
My mind harkens back to the Barack Obama of the 1960s, who ran against an incumbent president, Lyndon Johnson, for the Democratic nomination in 1968. That particular version of Barack Obama went by the name of Robert F. Kennedy (RFK).
As Coulter points out, voters 18 to 29 years of age voted in favor of Obama by a whopping 66-31 percentage spread. And since they comprised 20 percent of the number of people who voted, they were able to put a social-justice guy into the White House whose policies are guaranteed to destroy their own futures.
Why would young adults who, for the most part, are reasonably intelligent and college educated, do such a self-destructive thing? Because, as we now know, the brain is not fully developed until age 25 – meaning that Obama's ascendancy to the power throne was made possible by millions of young adults whose brains were not even physiologically capable of making rational decisions!
Voting for people to govern other human beings is, at best, a questionable and corrupt activity – an activity that is all about lies, smear campaigns, money, pandering, bribery and thugs trying to intimidate voters with nightsticks. But if we must elect officials to govern us, I would go much further than just repealing the 26th Amendment.
I'd like to see an amendment that would require voters to be at least 30 years of age. Even though research indicates that the brain is fully developed by age 25, you have to give a newly formed adult brain a reasonable period of time to experience enough life to be in a position to shed itself of the bad habits it has developed over a period of 25 years. This is particularly true if a young adult has gone to college and been fed large doses of misinformation about history, economics and the Constitution.
I would be happy if Congress would just take the first step and revoke the voting rights of impressionable kids who are still engrossed in tree-hugging, the romanticizing of Che Guevera and other embarrassingly immature activities.
A man who refuses to acknowledge that Barack Obama is the president has little room to complain about the "embarrassingly immature activities" of others.
Ringer goes on to reiterate his desire to strip voting rights from government employees , adding to his hit list "people receiving government benefits." Ringer magnanimously offers an exception to this rule:
I would make an exception for Social Security recipients for now, because that's a program that was literally forced upon the entire population, and people have been misled into believing that they have "paid into the system." Hopefully, Social Security ultimately will be phased out, in which case it would no longer be an issue.
Actually, anyone who has had FICA taxes taken out of the paycheck has, in fact, paid into the system.
Ben Shaprio peppers his Nov. 18 column, published by CNSNews.com, with some "jokes" that are painfully unfunny because they are so clearly borne of his screeching hatred of President Obama, his administration, and pretty much any liberal:
Are Barack Obama’s poll numbers up, or is Janet Napolitano just happy to see us?
This week, the TSA began installing full-body scanners in airports across the country. TSA employees will be viewing us in our birthday suits each time we fly. Pregnant women and children will not be subjected to these scans due to low doses of radiation; frequent fliers, however, will soon be glowing in the dark.
If we opt not to participate in such full-body scans, we will be subjected to Paris Hilton-style pat-downs by members of the same gender (TSA employees will be baffled by Chaz/Chastity Bono). The TSA has announced that pat-downs, in fact, are not enough—screeners will utilize a “hand-sliding motion” to examine passengers’ genitals, buttocks and breasts. In some cases already, TSA employees have been sticking their hands down the pants of passengers.
The only question now is whether the TSA porn movie will be titled: (a) Transportation Sexuality Administration; (b) Flying The Friendly Skies; (c) The Mile High Club; or (d) Pee-Wee’s Big Airplane Adventure.
Bill Clinton is so excited that he just applied for a job at TSA. He wouldn’t be the only sexual aggressor to be working for the agency if hired.
In Shapiro's world, every TSA employee is "Bubba the Junior High Graduate" who "get[s] off on naked scans of the nearest nun." And needless to say, he embraces racial profiling:
Here’s the boilerplate disclaimer: not all Muslims are terrorists. And not all rectangles are squares. But all squares are rectangles, and every terrorist attempting to blow up American airplanes is Muslim.
Why has Shapiro chosen to be an insufferable putz?
Bozell Ignores Right-Wing Softballs for Bush Book Topic: Media Research Center
In his Nov. 16 column, Brent Bozell writes about news coverage of former President Bush's new book, complaining that NBC's Matt Lauer, in a one-hour interview, "toed the liberal line" and dared to be somewhat confrontational and seemed proud that "Lauer never laid a glove" on the former president.
It seems that Bozell would have preferred the approach of Fox News and right-wing radio hosts, which used their interviews with Bush as an opportunity to rewrite his presidency by promoting false claims and misinformation about Bush's tenure.
Bozell went on to complain that news outlets "created these myths about the stupidity of Reagan and Bush," but doesn't hold his fellow right-wingers responsible for creating and maintaining myths about Bush's brilliance in office.
WND Columnist Rants About TSA, Liberals Topic: WorldNetDaily
Craige McMillan writes in his Nov. 18 WorldNetDaily column:
TSA is very much like the income-tax-administered health-care law passed by the Democrats. Health "reform" was an end run around the Constitution, using the IRS to give the government permission for something it doesn't have. So too the TSA is an end run around the Constitution. TSA is designed to give the federal government something denied it by the Constitution: A federal police force.
Now you have an inkling of how it works, America.
It wouldn't be McMillan if he didn't engage in some good old-fashioned derangement, and he delivers:
Here's a summary of today's elitist thinking on security: Islam trying to kill us; Islam good. Christianity trying to save us; Christianity bad.
The more prestigious the university attended, the more likely it has indoctrinated its wards with communist propaganda and historical revisionist fantasies, devised by a faculty intentionally removed from daily reality. These permanently defiled grads have gone on to their rightful (in their minds) places of influence, educated to the ethical and historical level of third-graders at the time of the American Revolution.
Thanks, Mr. McMillan, for reminding us yet again why nobody should take anything you say seriously.
Jeffrey Breaks CNS Style to Bash Gays Topic: CNSNews.com
Standard CNSNews.com style is to use the word "homosexual" instead of "gay." Terry Jeffrey largely breaks with that style in his Nov. 17 column.
Why? Perhaps because Jeffrey's column is syndicated, and he knows that no self-respecting newspaper editor would put up with a right-wing construct designed to be insulting to gays.
Jeffrey's column, by the way, is intended to demonstrate that "there can be no such thing as a pro-gay-agenda conservative":
By definition, conservatives are against the gay agenda because the gay agenda ultimately seeks to overturn the moral order that makes freedom possible. Fidelity to the natural law—including in the laws of our land—is at the very core of what conservatives seek to conserve.
Jeffrey never explains what the "gay agenda" is.
Jeffrey specifically targets the gay-conservative group GOProud, claiming that "most of the new Republicans elected to Congress on Nov. 2 told voters they were pro-life and pro-marriage. What GOProud and its allies are saying to these new congressmen is that when they get to Washington, D.C., they should not act on the principles they told voters they stood for when they ran for office. That can hardly be a tenet of the tea party."
Teen Thinks Molotov Mitchell Is A Good Role Model Topic: WorldNetDaily
David Thompson is a youth whose father, as a present for his 13th birthday, gave him the opportunity to meet with "52 godly men, men of character and integrity who would not only be able to share from their wealth of experience in business and professions but also in the greater arena of how to approach life from the perspective of someone who is committed to the lordship of Jesus Christ." David's experiences are detailed on his blog.
Nothing wrong with that -- in fact, it's an interesting and creative idea. Unfortunately, one of these "godly men" chosen to spend time with David is Molotov Mitchell.
David writes that he got to hang with Molotov at his video operation and attend a Krav Maga martial-arts class with him. Molotov even made him the subject of his latest WorldNetDaily video, in which he "joked" that Molotov "took me hunting liberals," complete with playing with a huge assault rifle:
Now, is someone who who allow a 13-year-old to "joke" about "hunting liberals" really a "godly man"? Is someone who despises gays so much that he seems to be encouraging violence against them and has no objection to a law that would execute them merely for being gay a "godly man"? Is someone who would repeatedly lie and misinform about those he despises a "godly man"?
We would argue that he is not. It's sad that David Thompson and his father apparently think he is.
Kessler Serves Up Another Bush Fluffing Topic: Newsmax
The release of former President Bush's new book has given Newsmax's Ronald Kessler a new reason to fluff his favorite president, a opportunity he has already taken advantage of. Apparently trying to prove that too much fluffing is not enough, Kessler does it again in a Nov. 17 column by taking the bizarre approach of chiding Bush for not taking enough credit for his administration's successes:
In his book “Decision Points,” former President Bush failed to mention that Saddam Hussein admitted to FBI agent George Piro that he was planning on resuming his WMD program, including development of a nuclear weapon.
Why would Bush omit such an important point when addressing the pros and cons of taking down Saddam? As noted in the Newsmax piece "'Decision Points' Brings Out the Real George W. Bush," while Bush made the right decisions to prevent another terrorist attack, he often neglected to communicate well to the American people, undercutting his agenda. The failure to mention such an important point in his book spotlights that tendency.
Kessler's goal is still making his hero look as good as possible, asserting, "Now that Bush is going on the book circuit, people are getting a glimpse of what a decent, humorous, and articulate man he is." He even quotes an anonymous "close friend of Bush" to give a positive spin on one supposed failure of the presidency:
I asked a close friend of Bush why he so neglected the communication side of his presidency.
“I believe President Bush is very focused on results,” he said.
As for not mentioning that we practice waterboarding on our own troops, he said, “I imagine it was enough for the president that his lawyers said waterboarding is legal, and I imagine it would have angered more people than it softened to point out that we subject our own troops to it.”
Ironically, we now have in the White House a president who is a master at communicating, but so many of his policies are weakening the country. In contrast, Bush’s policies kept us safe after the 9/11 attack, but he didn’t explain them well.
Ideally, we would have a president who is a good communicator and a good president, as was Ronald Reagan. But given a choice between the two qualities, I’ll take the latter any day.
WND Still Won't Admit Obama Trip Figure Is False Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily just can't let go of the lie about the cost of President Obama's trip to Asia.
A Nov. 18 WND article details yet another attempt by Les Kinsolving to get the cost of thetrip out of White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. The article falsely suggests that the $200 million cost has some validity, stating only that the White House was "denying a report that the daily cost of President Obama's trip to India would be $200 million – but refusing to reveal the actual cost."
At no point does WND acknowledge that numerous news organizations and fact-checking groups that have looked into the number have repeatedly discredited the figure.
What a dishonest "news" organization.
On a side note, Kinsolving's second question to Gibbs was this:
Robert, presuming the president supports the Transportation Safety Administration's pat-down searches of airline passengers and that he believes they will never have male security personnel patting down female passengers, what if any of these male security personnel are not heterosexual?
WND justifies this bizarre line of questioning by highlighting how rabidly anti-gay group American for Truth About Homosexuality had previously raised the issue of "the sexual nature of the invasive pat-downs."
Depiction-Equals-Approval Fallacy Watch Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has apparently decided that any news report on gay culture that doesn't harshly condemn it is a "promotion" of the gay lifestyle.
That depiction-equals-approval fallacy is exactly the approach MRC news analyst Matthew Balan takes in a Nov. 17 NewsBusters post, in which he declares a CNN report on the idea of "e-marriages" as a way to get around state laws that ban gay marriage to be a "promotion" of it. Balan huffed of CNN's Ali Velshi, who reported the segment: "This isn't the first time Velshi has helped promote the homosexual agenda."
Balan, it seems, has a serious problem with the very existence of gay-related reporting, particularly on CNN:
Overall, CNN has regularly devoted segments to pushing homosexual activism during 2010. On August 4, the network leaned mostly towards those who opposed Proposition 8 after the voter-approved amendment to the California state constitution was struck down by a federal judge. Later that month, CNN.com highlighted a new online magazine for same-sex couples planning their same-sex "marriage" ceremonies.
During June, CNN aired several pro-homosexual agenda segments as part of their promotion for their propagandistic "Gary and Tony Have a Baby" documentary. On October 7, anchor Anderson Cooper gave cover to openly-homosexual University of Michigan student body president Chris Armstrong, stating that he "hardly seems...[to have] a radical agenda," despite his support for gender-neutral student housing. The network also heavily promoted GLAAD's "Spirit Day" or "Wear Purple Day"on October 20 by devoting five segments to the cause.
A little obsessed about subject, are we, Mr. Balan?
UPDATE: Media Matters catches Balan in another example of botched media criticism, when he claimed in a Nov. 16 NewsBusters post that CNN hosts Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer "failed to give ideological labels to their liberal guests, while clearly identifying Tim Phillips as being president of 'Americans for Prosperity, a right-wing group' and labeling Bjorn Lomborg a 'controversial author.'" But as Balan himself stated, Rep. Anthony Weiner was identified as a "Democratic representative from New York," and Russell Simmons was described as an "avid Obama supporter." Balan doesn't explain what that's not a sufficient "ideological label."
Dan Gainor's Hypocritical Freak-Out Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Dan Gainor freaks out over reports that Sarah Palin's daughter Willow used homophobic slurs on her Facebook account. Not that Willow used the slurs -- that would run counter to the MRC's anti-gay agenda -- but that they were reported in the first place. Gainor writes on his Twitter account: "Sleazy left finds new Palin to attack. This one's only 16. Scumbags. HuffPo's disgusting."
Gainor links to a Huffington Post account of the incident, which was first reported by TMZ. But HuffPo doesn't "attack" Palin; it merely reports what had surfaced about her Facebook posts. It seems that telling the truth about conservatives (or their children) equals "attacking" them, as far as Palin is concerned.
Needless to say, Gainor is being hypocritical on the subject of the foibles of politicians' children. Back in 2001, the MRC was offended that the media didn't give blanket coverage to a speeding ticket received by Al Gores then-17-year-old son:
The network fascination with the initial investigation of Jenna Bush for using another person’s ID to buy an alcoholic drink at an Austin restaurant Tuesday night contrasts with how the networks last summer ignored the speeding and reckless driving citations issued to Albert Gore III for going 97 mph in a 55 mph zone. While Gore was 17 at the time of his offense on an August weekend before the Democratic convention, and so still a minor, and Bush’s daughters are now 19, the media-applied standard has been that offspring are only off-limits until they make "the police blotter."
As we noted at the time, the difference between Jenna Bush and Al Gore III was that Bush was over 18, got popped for the same offense twice within a month, and faced the threat of possible jail time because of a get-tough law her father signed into law as Texas governor, due to an alleged third alcohol-related offense.
The MRC expressed no concern over attacking a minor in the Gore case as Gainor does regarding Willow Palin.
Gainor also ignores the fact that Facebook is at least a quasi-public forum, and it's not that much of a violation of privacy to reprint her words, which no one has denied are hers.
While one should always tread carefully when dragging the children of politicians into the spotlight, it's hypocritical for Gainor to complain about the treatment of Willow Palin when his employer sought to do the exact same thing to Al Gore III.
As a transnational, Obama is as much a citizen of the world (an oxymoron to be sure) as an American national. It may even explain why there are many Americans who believe he is a Muslim, despite his denials. There is little doubt that he is the first transnational president, even though some historians pin that tag on Woodrow Wilson.
He is also probably the first president sufficiently arrogant to assume he possesses insight into the American character others do not possess. Perhaps this explains why he has called Republican opponents, “enemies” a characterization unprecedented from a president of the United States.
From my perspective these statements and characterizations are beneath contempt, but obviously not beneath this president.
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein is all about anonymously sourced attacks on President Obama. He's been pretty busy lately on this front.
Klein wrote in an Oct. 31 article that "Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is 'shaking from fear' about the policies that President Obama will enact toward Israel after this week's midterm elections," citing only "a senior Palestinian Authority official" as support.
A Nov. 9 article claims that "The White House is working with the Palestinians to enhance their diplomatic stature in the U.S. and in European countries as a step toward the possible unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state," again citing only "a senior Palestinian Authority official."
That mysterious "senior PA official" surfaces again in a Nov. 12 article, supposedly claiming that "A U.S. proposal for a deal with the Palestinian Authority did not include an Israeli lease for part of the strategic Jordan Valley as widely reported."
Klein cites no on-the-record source to back up any of these main claims.
Given Klein's demonstrated antipathy toward Obama, there's no reason for anyone to trust that these attacks have any factual basis, especially given his repeated propensity for hiding behind anonymity to make them.
Just because WND has abysmally low journalistic standards doesn't mean the rest of us should.
We have an answer to the question of Joseph Farah's mysterious poll.
Earlier, we wrote about how Farah used his WorldNetDaily column to promote a poll result claiming that "our greatest hope for the future of this nation" is a "Return to traditional moral values,"but Farah curiously failed to explain where the poll came from, though he insisted on calling it "a scientific public opinion survey."
Alert ConWebWatch readers pointed us in the direction of a new book called "Beyond a House Divided: The Moral Consensus Ignored by Washington, Wall Street and the Media" by Carl Anderson. Indeed, Farah touts the book in his column as something that could set straight "the elitists who report the news, make our movies and TV shows, sell us goods, make our laws and teach our children," and WND's store is selling the book.
Anderson is the supreme knight of the Catholic fraternal group Knights of Columbus, and a series of polls paid for by the K of C and conducted by Marist College apparently forms the basis for the book.
The website for Anderson's book lists several of these polls -- but not the one Farah is referring to. Further, the Marist poll blog of items tagged "Knights of Columbus" makes no reference to this particular poll.
Marist generally has a good reputation for accuracy, but the K of C is an organization with an agenda, which raises concerns about the poll's balance. Since we don't have a copy of Anderson's book -- which apparently is the only place to find this particular poll -- we have to reserve judgment on it until we get more information.
New Article: The ConWeb's Bad Trip Topic: WorldNetDaily
In defiance of the facts, WorldNetDaily and the Media Research Center cling to the repeatedly discredited claim that President Obama spent $200 million a day on his trip to India. Read more >>