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Friday, February 11, 2011
Same As The Old Boss: Kessler Sucks Up to New CPAC Chief Too
Topic: Newsmax

As a longtime buddy of the American Conservative Union's David Keene and recipient of the ACU's "Robert Novak Journalist of the Year Award," it was inevitable that Newsmax's Ronald Kessler would help Keene deflect controversies surrounding CPAC, which the ACU operates, regarding its allowing the gay conservative group GOProud to participate (and completely ignoring claims that Keene's ex-wife embezzled money from the group).

Thus, it's even more inevitable that Kessler would similarly suck up to Keene's replacement as ACU leader, Al Cardenas -- and that's exactly what he does in a Feb. 10 Newsmax column, touting how Cardenas is "a mentor of Sen. Marco Rubio" and once told off Fidel Castro.

Kessler also gives Keene a valedictory toast, declaring that he is "one of the country’s most astute political observers" who is "proud that he leaves the 1 million-member ACU on a sound footing." He also baselessly declares the ACU's ratings for members of Congress "the gold standard for assessing the ideology of members of Congress."

Kessler also serves up another dismissal of CPAC controversies:

Some critics claimed that Cardenas was not socially conservative enough. Others attacked Keene for allowing GOProud, a gay conservative organization, to have a booth at CPAC. Still others criticized CPAC for not putting enough emphasis on national security issues in its selection of speakers.

Given that the conservative movement encompasses those who believe in strong national security, fiscal restraint, and socially conservative values, tensions will inevitably arise among those who wish to advance only one of those causes and don’t recognize the value of combining forces to win elections.

“Unfortunately, we have conservatives who think that the movement ought to be defined in terms of themselves,” Keene says. “But that’s not the way you build a very popular movement. It’s not the way you attract very many people. And it’s certainly not the way you win an election.”

No mention, of course, of Keene's ex-wife's alleged embezzling.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 PM EST
WND Falsely Claims "Obama, Soros Create 'Palestine'"
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The headline of Aaron Klein's Feb. 10 article states "Obama, Soros create 'Palestine'."

Wrong -- not even Klein's article does that. Rather, it obsesses over semantics:

In partnership with a government fund initiated by Barack Obama, philanthropist and billionaire activist George Soros is investing in a private equity company that just launched in the Palestinian territories.

The company, Siraj Fund Management Company, says it was created "for the sole purpose of managing investment funds in Palestine."

The new company's website repeatedly refers to what it calls the "country" of "Palestine." There is, however, no such country as Palestine. Siraj is apparently referring to territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

There is no "creation" of Palestine by Obama and Soros -- a fund management company that has received investment money from Soros and from an initiative "to support technological development in Muslim-majority countries" announced by Obama in 2009 (under the auspices of a government-operated development finance institution, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, that was founded in 1971) has chosen to use the word "Palestine" to describe the area where it will be managing funds, perhaps because Klein's suggested construct of "territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority" doesn't exactly roll of the tongue.

If we can't blame the headline's lie on Klein, we can still blame him for some fundamental dishonesty. He repeats his misleading claim that a reported issued by a Soros-funded group "urges the Egyptian regime to allow the [Muslim Brotherhood] to participate in political life" without also noting that the report also called for the Brotherhood to moderate its views.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 PM EST
Farah's Strained Attempt Equating Homosexuality, Adultery
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah writes in his Feb. 8 worldNetDaily column:

The U.S. military is being ordered to start accepting and recruiting active and open homosexuals into all services at the very same time it is prosecuting and imprisoning heterosexual adulterers.

This strikes me as somewhat schizophrenic.

If you doubt me, let me submit the case of William C. Gurney, the former top enlisted man for the Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

On Jan. 28, the master sergeant was sentenced at a court-martial to 20 months in military prison and given a dishonorable discharge for sex-related charges with 10 female airmen.

Reports from the courtroom said he appeared stunned.

I'm not surprised. I'm stunned, too.

The question on the minds of many Americans upon hearing this news will be: "Is homosexual sex in the military OK, while heterosexual carousing is not?"

The charges he was convicted of include indecent conduct, dereliction of duty, adultery, failure to maintain professional relationships and misuse of government communications equipment including a computer, cell phone and e-mail account he used to send and receive sexually charged text messages and photos.

A law professor said the punishment was designed to send a message about how the Air Force is going to treat "sexual harassment." However, Gurney wasn't convicted of sexual harassment. He was convicted instead of adultery, among other charges.

Now, understand I don't have a problem with Gurney's conviction or his sentence.

I just question how the military can justify punishing and expelling adulterers while embracing open homosexuality.

To believe what Farah believes, one must gloss over, as he does, exactly what Gurney was accused of doing.

From a separate Dayton Daily News article from the one Farah linked to:

On Thursday, the jury deliberated more than six hours at Scott Air Force Base before finding Gurney guilty of mistreating two female airman by making repeated sexually offensive comments to them and pursuing sexual relationships with them.

The jury acquitted Gurney on three remaining charges, unwanted touching of an airman’s breasts and buttocks; and trying to influence Air Force personnel to assign two women he liked to where he would have access to them.

[...]

Gurney used his authority to find and zero in on the airmen he liked, Maj. Patricia Gruen, the government’s chief prosecutor, told the jury. He made one of the photos that highlighted his genitals and was electronically transmit to an airman in his AFMC office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Gruen said in her closing argument.

“He used this organization like his own personal Match.com,” Gruen told the jurors, known as court members in military parlance. “This is how Chief Gurney chose to use his prestigious position as a command chief.”

Arguably, adultery was the least of the offenses Gurney was guilty of. But Farah also appears to be ignorant of the military definition of adultery. From Slate:

Proving adultery under military guidelines is no mean prosecutorial feat. According to Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the prosecution must prove that the accused not only committed the indiscretion, but also that his or her conduct "was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces." In other words, the affair must somehow have hampered the military's ability to do its job—say, by lowering morale on a base, or by damaging the public's faith in the armed forces.

In April 2002, President Bush further discouraged adultery prosecutions by issuing an executive order that clarified the circumstances that might necessitate legal action. Although the order maintained that "adultery is clearly unacceptable conduct," it also listed a variety of factors that commanders should take into consideration before proceeding with a court martial. These include the accused's rank, the impact of the affair on the involved parties' job performance, and whether any of the hanky-panky took place while the accused was on the clock.

In other words, Gurney had to engage in much more than mere sexual intercourse with a woman who wasn't his wife to be convicted of adultery.

It's absurd for Farah to conflate adultery as defined by the military with mere gay sex. But he does anyway:

Adulterers have no political lobby. There are no pro-adultery organizations with any political clout. Adulterers don't get together and raise money for politicians to promote their lifestyle. Homosexuals, on the other hand, are extremely politically active.

Then again, Farah thinks adulterers should die. Imagine what he thinks should happen to gays.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:14 AM EST
Updated: Friday, February 11, 2011 2:16 AM EST
CNS' Silly Japanese Car Freak-Out
Topic: CNSNews.com

The headline on Penny Starr's Feb. 9 CNSNews.com article shouts: "U.S. Transportation Secretary: I Told My Daughter to Buy Japanese Car."

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today that he told his daughter to buy a Japanese car--a Toyota Sienna--and that she did so.

LaHood's comment came as he announced the results of a 10-month long Department of Transportation study that was undertaken to determine whether electronic systems could have been responsible for reports of sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles. The study determined that this was not the case.

LaHood's statement that he told his daughter to buy a Japanese car also came less than two months after he announced a "Buy America" campaign at the Department of Transportation (DOT).

What Starr doesn't mention: the Sienna is built in Indiana.

Also, the DOT's "Buy America" campaign is targeted at infrastructure improvements, not vehicle purchases. If it did apply to vehicles, the Indiana-built Sienna would likely qualify.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 AM EST
Thursday, February 10, 2011
NEW ARTICLE: Aaron Klein, Mubarak Mouthpiece
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Jerusalem reporter does the bidding of the Egyptian dictator while relying on distortions and anonymous sources to dismiss the will of the Egyptian people -- even apparently making sure the regime got copies of his Obama smear book. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:46 PM EST
NewsBusters Praises CPAC White Its Parent Boycotts It
Topic: NewsBusters

A Feb. 10 NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd begins: "Today marks the opening of the 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Regardless of where you may stand on internal debates about some of this year's co-sponsors, there's no denying that for nearly four decades its been an enduring legacy of conservative political activism."

Shepherd curiously didn't mention that his employer and the operator of NewsBusters, the Media Research Center, has taken a clear stand on those "internal debates" -- and it's the opposite of the stand Shepherd is taking.

As we've noted, the MRC is boycotting CPAC this year over its inclusion of the gay conservative group GOProud -- a fact it has yet to report in any straightforward fashion to its readers. It hasn't even bothered to issue a press release to announce its decision.

The closest we've seen is a Feb. 9 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan stating that CNN contributor Jon Avlon "erroneously included Capital Research Center" on a list of groups boycotting CPAC, parenthetically adding, "perhaps he meant the Media Research Center, the parent company of NewsBusters."

It seems that the MRC's dealings with CPAC -- taking a bold stand by boycotting, but not terribly eager to publicize that stand -- are nearly as cowardly and contradictory as that of WorldNetDaily.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 10, 2011 3:01 PM EST
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily tried to put its own bizarre spin on the unrest in Egypt with a Feb. 5 article suggesting that the "pale rider" depicted in the Book of Revelation was captured in a video image of the protests. Of course, Revelation's "pale rider" was a harbinger of plague, which we have not seen in Egypt.

Richard Bartholomew has more.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 PM EST
After F-Word Allusion Freak-Out, NewsBusters Give Palin A Pass On 'WTF'
Topic: NewsBusters

When NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein had a bizarre freak-out over MSNBC's Cenk Uygur using the word "friggin'," -- calling it "profanity with malice aforethought" and a "vulgar new low" -- we noted that he remained silent over Sarah Palin's use of "WTF."

Meanwhile, another NewsBuster has weighed in on Palin's vulgarity, and not surprisingly, she gets a total pass.

In a Feb. 8 post, NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard writes:

 

It was also interesting to see Schultz use the phrase "Big f-in deal."

When former Alaska governor Sarah Palin recently referred to Barack Obama having several "WTF moments" in his State of the Union address, numerous MSNBC commentators thought it was childish of her despite the fact that she was making a hip pun with the President's oft-repeated "Winning the Future" line.


So "friggin'" is a "vulgar new low," while "WTF is a "hip pun." Got that?

Sheppard concludes: "As I've said for years, it takes a staggering amount of rationalizations to be a liberal these days." It appears it takes even more rationalization to be a Media Research Center employee.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:10 PM EST
Why Are WND Authors And Columnists Attending CPAC?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For all of the anti-gay and anti-Muslim hate WorldNetDaily has spewed against CPAC for allowing GOProud to take part in the conservative convention (and not allowing Farah to do a birther panel), you'd think that anyone associated with WND would be barred from participating.

Well, you'd be wrong.

A Feb. 8 WND article touts how Phyllis Schlafly -- "a columnist for WND" and co-author of a book "scheduled for release by WND Books March 15" -- "is scheduled to tell an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference Feb. 11 about the dangers of the feminist movement."

She's not the only one. The CPAC master schedule lists Jack Cashill -- also a WND columnist and author of an upcoming WND-published book -- as signing books on Feb. 12 at noon.

If WND editor Joseph Farah was a genuinely principled person, he would have kept everyone associated with WND from setting foot in the place. But when it comes right down to it, he cares more about selling books and fattening his wallet than he does staying completely true to the principles he claims to have.

UPDATE: That's not all. WND "senior staff writer" Jerome Corsi is reporting from CPAC.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:27 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 10, 2011 12:16 PM EST
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Bozell Whines Media Isn't Covering Planned Parenthood Sting Hoax
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell, as he is wont to do, spends his Feb. 9 column whining that some story isn't being covered by the "liberal media" -- in this case, the "shocking" and "damning" entrapment videos by anti-abortion activist Lila Rose at Planned Parenthood.

Bozell has to hide the facts to keep you thinking that this story is "shocking" and "damning." Nowhere does Bozell mention that Planned Parenthood contacted the Justice Department after visits from Rose's activist group Live Action warning of possible sex trafficking -- the very offense Rose's hired actors were trying to convince Planned Parenthood they were engaging in.

Bozell seems to be failing to consider the fact that the reason the "liberal media" is not reporting this story is because there's no story here.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:23 PM EST
Barbara Simpson's Obama Derangement
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Barbara Simpson has a fit of Obama derangment in her Feb. 7 WorldNetDaily column:

As if not bad enough, other released cables show that Barack Obama used Britain's nuclear secrets as bargaining chips in getting the Russians to sign the START treaty.

To make it clear: The United States betrayed long-time alliances with Britain by giving Russia secret information about every Trident missile the Brits have, as well as their nuclear capability.

Britain had steadfastly refused to agree to share the Trident information with Russia. Despite that, the U.S., in its determination to get the START treaty signed, gave the information to Russia anyway. Now, not only will the number of British warheads be known but also the number of missiles.

Can they ever trust us again?

That Barack Obama would betray Britain is disgusting to anyone with any sense of history who knows the unique political and social relationship between the two countries. But Obama has his own agenda and loyalty to democratic and freedom-loving friends isn't part of it.

In fact, the language that required the disclosure appeared in the original 1991 START treaty, and both U.S. and British officials  called the Telegraph report "bunk."

Simpson also referenced the alleged "arbitrary return of former Prime Minister Tony Blair's gift of the Churchill statue" by the Obama administration. In fact, the decision to return the Churchill bust -- which was on loan to President Bush and not a gift -- was made by the Bush administration, not Obama.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:22 AM EST
CNS Loath To Admit Its Boss Is Conservative
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com is usually good about labeling the political leanings of the subjects it writes about -- except when the subject is the organization that owns it, the Media Research Center.

A Feb. 7 CNS article by Christopher Goins on the MRC's report "preserving Ronald Reagan's legacy and highlighting the liberal media’s resentment and distortion of it" did not describe the report as coming from a conservative viewpoint, though it used "liberal" as a descriptor six times, including three mentions of "liberal media."

Another Feb. 7 article by Pete Winn on the MRC's hyperbolic reaction to AOL's purchase of the Huffington Post did describe MRC chief Brent Bozell as "conservative," though it described the Huffington Post as "liberal" three separate times.

Needless to say, neither article provided any opposing viewpoint to the MRC's. Also there was no mention of whether Bozell's assailing of organizations that "target and obscenely smear" their political enemies and, thus, do not deserve to be called "news" will results in the word "news" being lopped from CNS' name.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:20 AM EST
WND's Klein Misrepresents Report To Bash Soros
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein keeps earning his stripes as a Mubarak mouthpiece by once again using his patented guilt-by-assocation methods to blame unrest in Egypt on George Soros.

From a Feb. 8 article by Klein:

An international "crisis management" group led by billionaire George Soros long has petitioned for the Egyptian government to normalize ties with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The International Crisis Group, or ICG, also released a report urging the Egyptian regime to allow the Brotherhood to establish an Islamist political party.

The ICG includes on its board Mohamed ElBaradei, one of the main opposition leaders in Egypt, as well as other personalities who champion dialogue with Hamas, a violent offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In a June 2008 report entitled, "Egypt's Muslim Brothers Confrontation or Integration," Soros' ICG urges the Egyptian regime to allow the group to participate in political life.

The report dismisses Egypt's longstanding government crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood as "dangerously short-sighted."

The ICG report called on President Hosni Mubarak's regime to "pave the way for the regularization of the Muslim Brothers' participation in political life," including by allowing for the "establishment of a political party with religious reference."

Klein curiously doesn't link to the ICG report so readers can judge for themselves. Why? Perhaps because those readers would learn that Klein has cherry-picked from the report to misrepresent its contents.

The above is the very limited extent to which Klein describes the details of the report. What he doesn't tell you: ICG told the Muslim Brotherhood to moderate its views as well:

The Muslim Brothers also carry their share of responsibility. Although they have made considerable efforts to clarify their vision and can make a credible case that they embrace the rules of democratic politics, including the principles of citizenship, rotation of power and multiparty political life, serious questions linger. Many of their pronouncements are ambiguous; not a few – including in their most recent political program – retain a distinctly non-democratic, illiberal tone. This is particularly true concerning the role of women and the place of religious minorities, neither of whom, for example, the Muslim Brothers believe should be eligible for the presidency. Clarification is needed. Democratising the Society’s internal practice also would help, particularly if the group’s more pragmatic wing is able to make a credible case for a doctrinal revision as the price to pay for political integration.

[...]

To the Society of Muslim Brothers:

4.  Engage in a dialogue with members of the government, opposition and civil society, notably by:

(a) approaching officials and reform-minded NDP members to discuss conditions necessary for the Society’s peaceful political integration;

(b) engaging with secular opposition parties and movements to form a consensus on how the Society can best be integrated as well as wider issues of political reform;

(c) engaging with representatives of the Christian community in a frank dialogue on sectarian relations and the Society’s stance toward religious minorities;

(d) supporting comprehensive political reform clearly, as opposed to a bilateral arrangement between the Society and the regime; and

(e)   ensuring that consensus positions on these issues are formed within the Society in a democratic manner to avoid contradictory approaches by members.

5.  Finalise and amend the Society’s political program, in particular by:

(a) altering its position on the role of women and non-Muslims in public life;

(b) continuing to seek input from a wide range of its members as well as non-members; and

(c) clarifying relations between the Society and a future related political party.

If Klein had told the truth about the ICG report, it would have destroyed his little storyline of Soros masterminding the Egypt chaos. As we already know, the storyline is more important to Klein than the truth.

UPDATE: Klein falls back on his overreliance on anonymous sources in another Feb. 8 article claiming that "Members of a vast Hezbollah terrorist cell suspected of planning attacks against tourist sites and economic targets in the Suez Canal have escaped from Egyptian prison." Klein cites only "informed Egyptian security sources" to back the claim and offers no on-the-record confirmation.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 12:52 PM EST
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
MRC's Graham Admits Truth About GOP's 'Forcible Rape' Provision
Topic: Media Research Center

When the provision in an anti-abortion bill that redefined a rape exception as limited only to "forcible rape" became public, Republicans wouldn't defend it -- heck, even NewsBusters had to dance around it -- and Republicans ultimately vowed to remove it.

Now, the MRC's Tim Graham is admitting what his right-wing fellow travelers wouldn't -- that the provision was an attempt to further restrict abortion.

Graham uses a Feb. 8 NewsBusters post to attack some random Daily Kos blogger for calling the Republican Party the "Rapeublican Party." Graham writes that the "forcible rape" provision was an attempt to "deny taxpayer subsidies for abortion in cases of statutory rape." Not in so many words, of course; he doesn't use the term "forcible rape," and he doesn't quite concede that that the term would constitute as a narrowing of current law regarding restrictions on federal funding of abortions.

Nor does Graham quite concede (beyond a block quote of the Kos blogger he's attacking) that the  "forcible rape" construct would go way beyond statutory rape to rape of a physically or mentally incapacitated person. Graham distrcts from what his admission by attacking the Kos blogger for supposedly claiming that "taxpayers who aren't committing statutory rape should lend a helping financial hand to those who are, and women who aren't 'daring to have sex' until they get in trouble should be subsidizing those women who do."

Graham's attack mode doesn't change the fact that he broke the GOP's anti-abortion omerta by essentially admitting what the "forcible rape" gambit was really about. His telling the truth may be bad news within his little activist conclave, but it's good news for the rest of us.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:46 PM EST
WND Baselessly Blames Obama for What Anonymous People Are Supposedly Claiming
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 7 worldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein carries the subhead, "Look what Obama's support for Islamist group is doing." What is is that Obama is supposedly "doing"?

An Egyptian Islamist terrorist organization founded by the Muslim Brotherhood is re-establishing itself amid the political upheaval in Cairo, WND has learned.

Both Egyptian and Israeli security officials said the group, Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, is being reconstituted at the direction of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The officials affirmed Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya serves as the de fact [sic] "military" wing of the Brotherhood, which originally founded Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya.

[...]

The information comes after the U.S. tacitly approved the Muslim Brotherhood's involvement in political dialogue in Egypt.

At no point does Klein demonstrate any direct corellation between the Obama administration "tacitly approv[ing]" participation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt's "political dialogue" and the purported return of Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya -- not even the anonymous sources Klein quotes. So the WND headline is a lie -- just another way Klein and WND are serving as a Mubarak mouthpiece.

By the way, is Klein ever going to quote an actual named person about Egypt? He hasn't so far.

 


Posted by Terry K. at 2:22 PM EST

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