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Tuesday, July 13, 2010
CNS Columnist Praises Silly Documentary
Topic: CNSNews.com

A July 12 CNSNews.com column by Ken Connor touts a documentary called "Generation Zero," which he claims is "based upon the premise that the indulgent parenting style of the Greatest Generation produced the self-centered risk-takers ultimately responsible for the collapse of 2008."

Actually, as Media Matters points out:

This denies reality. It is in fact the conservative movement that has regularly supported the power of personhood for corporations, and the resulting dissolution of personal responsibility for corporate decisions. In fact, one of the producers of this very film is David Bossie. Bossie is behind Citizens United, the conservative activist group who recently won a Supreme Court case that affirmed the power of political speech for coporations like Citizens United (the case was decided 5-4 with the justices regularly categorized as conservative voting in the affirmative).

It might be possible, maybe, that Bossie is secretly one of those corporate loving hippies in disguise. But I'm doubtful.

nevertheless, Connor thinks this biased, ahistorical little film is Very Important.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:29 PM EDT
NewsBusters Offended That 'Only Pro-Gay Side' of Story Was Told
Topic: NewsBusters

The headline of a July 12 NewsBusters post sums up Scott Whitlock's lament: "No Balance Required? MSNBC Features Only Pro-gay Side of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Debate."

Interestingly, Whitlock didn't describe the other side of the debate as "anti-gay." Nor can we remember any Media Research Center employee describe opposition to repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell as "anti-gay" even though it appears to consider support of repeal as "pro-gay," as Whitlock demonstrates.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:33 AM EDT
WND Headline: 'Obama Hates America. Why?'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A promotion for the latest issue of WorldNetDaily's Whistleblower magazine carries this headline:

That, of course, is a bald-faced lie, and they know it. Perhaps the headline should be: "WND can't do a story about Obama without lying. Why?"

The lying continues in the article itself by taking Obama quotes out of context to make a false conclusion:

"America is – is no longer, uh, what it could be – what it, it once was. And I say to myself, I don't want that future for my children."  – Barack Obama to a 7-year-old girl asking why he wanted to be president, Elkhart, Indiana, Aug. 6, 2008

Whether Barack Obama is apologizing about America to a 7-year-old child or to European and Muslim world leaders, after 18 months as president there is no longer any doubt about which direction he's taking America: Down.
  • "Given our interdependence, any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail."  – President Barack Obama in Cairo, Egypt, June 3, 2009
  • "Whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower."  – President Obama at close of two-day nuclear-security summit in Washington, D.C., April 13, 2010
  • "[The world] cannot depend as much on the U.S. as it did in the past." – U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to the BBC, June 25, 2010

By every objective measure, it's clear that President Obama and those surrounding and guiding him are firmly committed to ending, once and for all, America's economic, military and moral leadership in the world.

The purported antidote is not telling the truth -- as one might expect from a self-proclaimed "news" organization, but this very issue of Whistleblower, which managing editor David Kupelian describes as "the antidote to Obama and his vision of a dependent, enfeebled, American socialist utopia. ... It transports readers to the real America – the nation they loved as a child, the 'shining city on a hill' our founders gave us and the Pilgrims dreamed about and courageously pursued."

The funny thing is, Kupelian shares the same idea about the country as Obama, as expressed in the first out-of-context quote -- that America is no longer "what it once was."

Actually, there's another funny thing going on here. As one of the premiums for subscribing to its overpriced magazine, WND will give you ... a copy of Glenn Beck's ridiculous novel, "The Overton Window."

Which makes it only slightly more ridiculous than WND's compulsion to lie about Obama.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:05 AM EDT
Monday, July 12, 2010
CNS' Starr Still Hiding Facts on Crisis Pregnancy Centers
Topic: CNSNews.com

A July 9 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr offers another skewed view of crisis pregnancy clinics, this asserting that a new congressional bill will "restrict the speech of pro-life crisis pregnancy centers by regulating the advertising they do."

In fact, all the bill does is forbid ads that "create the impression that such person is a provider of abortion services if such person does not provide abortion services." While Starr quotes this provision in herarticle, at no point does she or any of the "pro-life" people she quotes explain how that provision equates to "restricting the speech of pro-life crisis pregnancy centers."

As she has before, Starr omits the fact that numerous crisis pregnancy centers have been found to give out misleading or false information about abortion or even acted in a "controlling and intimidating" manner to the client. Starr did quote from the websites of NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood for their views on crisis preganancy clinics, as well as a press release from the member of Congress who introduced the legislation, but she appears not to have actually talked to anyone who supports the legislation.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:43 PM EDT
Sheppard Baselessly Ridicules Maddow
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard asserts in a July 11 NewsBusters post: "Channeling her inner Nancy Pelosi, Rachel Maddow on Sunday actually said extending unemployment benefits is 'the most stimulative thing you can do' to help the ailing economy." Sheppard went on to call Pelosi's original claim to that effect "one of the most inane statements ever uttered by a House Speaker in American history," adding, "Does Maddow actually BELIEVE that unemployment benefits stimulate the economy, or was she just mimicking Pelosi and repeating Democrat talking points?"

But Sheppard is too busy ridiculing Maddow and Pelosi to mention that economists agree that, yes,  unemployment benefits do in fact stimulate the economy.

Another thing Sheppard was too busy doing to tell the truth  was attacking Maddow for "falsely stat[ing] that Obama inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit." Sheppard contorts the facts thusly:

After all, on March 14, 2008, then Sen. Obama voted in favor of the 2009 budget which authorized $3.1 trillion in federal outlays along with a projected $400 billion deficit. The 51-44 vote that morning was strongly along party lines with only two Republicans saying "Yes."

When the final conference report was presented to the House on June 5, not one Republican voted for it.

This means the 2009 budget was almost exclusively approved by Democrats, with "Yeas" coming from current President then Sen. Obama, his current Vice President then Sen. Joe Biden, his current Chief of Staff then Rep. Rahm Emanuel, and his current Secretary of State then Sen. Hillary Clinton.

As such, when Maddow says, "They put all that stuff on the deficit, $1.3 trillion sitting there as -- in a deficit when Obama took over," the "They" were Democrats INCLUDING Obama. 

How is this possibly something he inherited when his Party ramrodded the original budget through Congress with virtually no Republican approval -- save Bush's signature, of course -- and the highest members of the current Administration -- including the president himself!!! -- supported it when they were either in the Senate or the House?

Sadly, Maddow's math doesn't incorporate this inconvenient truth.

Of course, Sheppard doesn't mention that Bush could have vetoed any of those bills, but chose not to. Bush had the final say, and that was to sign those spending bills, thus making them his responsibility.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:55 PM EDT
Pat Boone Regurgitates Kagan Distortions
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Pat Boone's July 10 WorldNetDaily column is largely a regurgitation of false and misleading right-wing talking points about Elena Kagan. For instance:

While serving as dean of the Harvard Law School (one of Obama's alma maters), Kagan tossed military recruiters off campus, protesting the legally mandated military policy of "don't ask, don't tell." In so doing, she was in violation of federal law (the Solomon Amendment).

She then sought to have the Amendment overturned, but the Supreme Court, on which she now seeks to serve, repudiated her 8-0. Not even liberal Justice Stevens (whom she hopes to replace) agreed with her activist stance.

Wrong. Kagan never "tossed military recruiters off campus"; she prohibited them from using the law school's careers office. Students had access to military recruiters during that semester via the alumni office, and military recruiting at the school was not affected. Further, Kagan did not act "in violation of federal law during that one-semester prohibition; the Solomon Amendment had been overturned by an appeals court, which gave her the legal rationale to institute the prohibition.

There's also this:

While at Princeton, Kagan authored a paper expressing sympathy for the plight of the Socialist Party, and Judicial Watch quotes her: "The story is a sad but also chastening one for those who, more than half a century after socialism's decline, still wish to change America." 

In fact, Kagan did not "express sympathy for the plight of the Socialist Party"; she merely wrote a historical examination about the decline of socialism in New York in the early 20th century.

And then there's Boone's curious description of Kagan as an "otherwise nice woman who likes her softball." Playing the gay-baiting dog whistle, are we, Pat?

UPDATE: Newsmax has also posted Boone's column, but it deletes the reference to Kagan being an "otherwise nice woman who likes her softball."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 12, 2010 10:42 AM EDT
Kessler's Unverifiable Attack: An Update
Topic: Newsmax

A few weeks back, we wrote about a column by Newsmax's Ronald Kessler, which he and John M. Palatiello, president of the Business Coalition for Fair Competition, attack the Obama administration for allegedly "changing government rules to prevent agencies from using private firms in order to reduce costs." Palatiello cited "a small business man up in Peekskill, New York, who is a food service catering company. ... And he had a contract pulled from him and brought in-house," but offered no other identifying information in which his story could be verified.

Well, we heard from a man who claims to be the guy in Peekskill. He didn't want the email reprinted, but he assures us he exists and his situation is real.

We're willing to take him at his word, but we're also willing to venture this situation is not unique under, or even a direct result of, the Obama administration; there are likely other instances of similar contract issues that happened under previous administrations. And Kessler and Palatiello could have avoided letting their partisan agenda show by offering verifiable evidence that the Obama adminstration is behaving in a fashion different than other administrations.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EDT
Sunday, July 11, 2010
WND Promotes Hate Group's Attack on Kagan
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A July 10 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn promotes an attack on Elena Kagan by the far-right anti-gay group MassResistance.

WND, of course, didn't mention that MassResistance is far-right or anti-gay. And it definitely didn't mention that the Southern Poverty Law Center placed MassResistance among "anti-gay" groups on its list of active hate groups.

As we've detailed, WND has regularly served as the press agent for MassResistance.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 11, 2010 10:11 PM EDT
Reagan Doesn't Get NASA's Diplomacy Mission
Topic: Newsmax

Michael Reagan writes in his July 9 Newsmax column:

NASA administrator Charles Bolden recently told Al Jazeera English that President Obama "wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with the dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science and math and engineering."

After hearing this statement, my deepest fears about the dangerous priorities being put forth by this administration were confirmed.

Could someone please explain to the hard-working men and women of NASA, or, even more importantly to us as taxpayers who fund the agency, why the leader of that organization is being asked to essentially serve as a diplomat?

Where in NASA's mission statement does it discuss the role of the agency in making nations "feel good"?

With such an egregious misuse of resources, personnel and priorities, I hardly know where to start.

But as Slate's Christopher Beam points out, NASA has always had a diplomacy mission:

Bolden chose his words poorly when he said the goal was to make Muslim nations "feel good." But his statement revealed a truth about NASA that's rarely articulated by public officials: One of its main missions is now—and always has been—public relations.

When NASA was first created in 1958, it served several purposes. The United States and the Soviet Union were engaged in a Cold War, so the space race was partly about defense—whoever controlled the skies controlled the world. But it was also symbolic: Landing on the moon before the Soviets represented the triumph of American technology and innovation. It was also an opportunity for the United States to win fans across the globe. There's a reason Neil Armstrong didn't call the moon landing one giant leap for the United States of America.

[...]

The Shuttle-Mir Program, a U.S.-Russia collaboration announced in 1993, fostered good relations between former rivals. The International Space Station was another opportunity for cooperation with Russia, Japan, and the European Space Agency. Obama puts even more emphasis on international relations. An administration report on national space policy released last week promises that exploration projects will help "all nations and peoples—space-faring and space-benefiting." It also assures allies that "there shall be no national claims of sovereignty over outer space or any celestial bodies." In more concrete terms, the administration's current plans for human space travel—a stop by an asteroid by 2025, followed by an eventual (and still very hypothetical) trip to Mars—would likely include other nations, and U.S. officials have reportedly reached out to China about joint space efforts.

In context, using NASA to reach out to the Muslim world doesn't sound all that crazy. Bolden may have put that goal in patronizing terms. But the core idea—that space efforts represent an opportunity for cooperation with countries in the Middle East—is a compelling one. Iran has a space program, as do Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. Inviting them to join the International Space Station or to collaborate on bilateral projects would be win-win.

Reagan also claims that "this story is also going to fuel the rumors that abound when it comes to the president and affinity for and preferential treatment of the Islamic world." So if Reagan knows the rumors are false, what, if anything, is Reagan doing to debunk them? Nothing, we suspect.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:37 AM EDT
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Meanwhile ...
Topic: NewsBusters
Media Matters details how NewsBusters, with an assist from Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell, piled up the smears and misinformation about new Medicare head Donald Berwick.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 PM EDT
Robert Ringer Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

What sort of goofy thing is Robert Ringer saying this week? Why, it's term limits for the Supreme Court! Oh, and also strip voting rights from government employees:

I believe the U.S. needs a constitutional amendment that would call for Congress to vote for nine new Supreme Court justices every eight years. In other words, eight-year term limits. A liberal Congress could vote in nine liberal judges, but when voters got fed up with their anti-constitutional decisions, it would be all the more reason to replace Congress itself.

And well it should be replaced. If we ever manage to get enough honest politicians elected, they should also pass a constitutional amendment placing strict term limits on both House and Senate members so we could get back to having government by the people. Limiting the three branches of government to two terms would have the effect of putting the electorate back in control of things.

Having said all this, I may as well throw in one last amendment that I believe would maximize the integrity of our constitutional system of government: Make all government employees – at the local, state and federal levels – ineligible to vote. If we can do it with incarcerated felons, who are locked up and unable to continue committing crimes, why not do it with bureaucrats, who are on the loose and able to vote to assure that their neighbors will be forced to continue paying for their cushy lives?

How, exactly, is Ringer "A Voice of Sanity"?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 AM EDT
Friday, July 9, 2010
NewsBusters Ignores Exoneration of Scientist It Repeatedly Attacked
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters has an entire category dedicated to climate scientist Michael Mann -- and not because it likes him. Instead, it's filled with attack after attack on Mann; for instance, an April 28 post by Jeff Poor describes him as "a central figure in the Climategate scandal" and "best known for his discredited "hockey stick graph." Noel Sheppard, meanwhile, promoted a parody video built around a misrepresentation of Mann's statement in a stolen "Climategate" email referring to a method to "hide the decline" in certain data. Sheppard also touted how Mann is "being investigated by his University as a result of his involvement in ClimateGate."

Well, that investigation has been completed at the beginning of. What did it find? CBS News' Wyatt Andrews explains:

An internal investigation at Penn State University has cleared meteorology professor Michael Mann of all "climate gate" charges, in which Mann stood accused (both formally and in the blogosphere) of research fraud.

The review cleared Mann of charges that he falsified climate change data, manipulated that data, improperly refused to share his research data and--generally behaved badly by trying to discredit other researchers' work. The panel mildly rebuked Mann for not getting express consent from various researchers before sharing their work -- but that was it.

[...]

The most infamous email praises Penn State's Michael Mann of using a research "trick" to "hide the decline." What's that? Basically, scientists who used centuries worth of tree ring data to establish the baseline of global temps in the 20th century, could never explain why those same tree rings started showing a decline in global temps roughly after 1960.

Tree data showing global temps going down didn't mesh with actual recorded temperatures, so pains were taken, (most of the time disclosed, but sometimes not) to use actual temp recordings and "hide the decline" from trees. Sometimes, on the so called hockey stick charts that show global temps as a flat line and then a sharp upward spike are indeed mixing tree ring data and actual temps. Earlier this year the Penn State investigators, like most mainstream scientists, dismissed this part of the fraud charge, finding no "fraud' in the use of actual temp data -- the spiking part of the hockey stick -- which on its own is not in dispute.

You could call this an inside job, of course, and many will, but when a university formally investigates one of its own scientists for fraud, AND releases the report, that's serious.

You'd think that NewsBusters would want to report such serious news to its readers, but no -- more than a week after theMann report was released, NewsBusters has yet to acknowledge its existence.

Oops! 

NewsBusters should want to correct the record and admit its attacks were bogus. But so far it won't.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:55 AM EDT
Inaccuracy in Academia: Kline Misleads on New Deal Unemployment
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Academia's Malcolm Kline writes in a July 8 Accuracy in Media article:

The unemployment rates at both ends of the New Deal—roughly 20-20—show that Roosevelt’s programs did not work, although they left us with the cycle of deficit spending that even Republican presidents, for the most part, have accepted as a fait accompli.

This is a highly misleading generalization. As we've previously noted, unemployment peaked in 1933 at 24.9 percent and had dropped to 14.3 percent in 1937 -- de facto evidence that the New Deal worked. While unemployment increased in 1938 and 1939, many experts believe that it was because  Roosevelt cut spending and raised taxes in an effort to reduce the deficit. Further, government statistics at the time did not count those in government work projects as being "employed," even though they technically were.

Kline has a history of making misleading claims. So much for "accuracy in academia."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:49 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, July 9, 2010 11:06 AM EDT
WND's Farah, Rush Promote Bogus New Black Panther Case
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah used his July 8 WorldNetDaily column to promote the dubious and unsubstantiated claims of J. Christian Adams that the Obama administraiton "dropped the voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party because Obama's Justice Department refuses to prosecute black defendants accused of victimizing whites." Farah adds: "It's a shocking case – given the overwhelming evidence against the radical, revolutionary racists in the center of it."

What Farah won't tell you: the Bush administration -- not the Obama administration -- declined to press criminal charges against the New Black Panthers, and Adams has no firsthand knowledge of the claims he's making.

Nevertheless, Farah goes on to whine: "Think about this: The Obama Justice Department refused to prosecute the New Black Panther Party. The Obama Justice Department has refused to prosecute ACORN. But the Obama Justice Department is prosecuting the state of Arizona for enforcing U.S. laws against illegal immigration!"

Farah was joined in promoting Adams' bogus claims by Erik Rush, who ranted:

To American progressives and the establishment press (which has been complicit in every seditious machination devised by Barack Obama and his minions) the contention that our president and this administration are racists is practically incomprehensible – but that is precisely where I am going. Although it still eludes those who are either dedicated Obamanoids or profoundly dim, our president's antiwhite, anti-Christian, anti-American and anti-Semitic sentiments have been painfully evident for some time. The New Black Panther Party case is just the cherry on the topping.

[...]

This retrograde, black-nationalist comportment is the worst sort of policy held to by an administration since the days of segregation.

In short, it is abject racism.

[...]

The long and short? We're stuck with a racist president. Well, we've survived those before; it's Obama's intention to transform our nation into a cross between China and Venezuela that I'm more concerned about.

Of course, the Obama administration isn't the one playing the racism card since they weren't the ones who declined to prosecute the case. But nobody ever said that Farah and Rush care about telling the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:24 AM EDT
Even More Right-Wing 'Experts' At Newsmax
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's David Patten has a penchant for writing articles featuring "experts" on various issues that are invariably right-wing -- a political affiliation he usually does not disclose. Patten churned out a pair of these articles on July 6.

One article quoted "legal scholars" President Obama appears set on a collision course with the conservative-leaning Supreme Court over the constitutionality of his administration's transformative legislative agenda. Shockingly, Patten identified the conservatives he interviewed -- from Judicial Watch and the Committee for Justice -- as conservative.

The other article, featuring "immigration law experts" claiming that the Obama administration "has little chance of prevailing" in its effort to fight the new Arizona immigration law, reverted to form. The conservatives -- Center for Immigration Studies' Stephen Camerota and "Law professor Kris W. Kobach" -- are not identified as such.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 AM EDT

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