Les Kinsolving writes in his Nov. 23 WorldNetDaily column:
Since 2007, we U.S. taxpayers have paid $2,100,745 for now-outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to make 85 flights aboard a 42-seat Air Force C-32 – which is the size of a Boeing 757.
These Pelosi flights took her back and forth from Washington to her home district in San Francisco in one of the most infuriating of Democratic financial abuses.
In fact, the dollar figure Kinsolving cites is for Pelosi-led congressional delegations -- i.e., the congressional delegations set up through the Speaker's office, many of which included other members of Congress as well -- not her personal travel. Further, a number of those delegations included Republicans.
Wouldn't it be fun if the new House, as one of its first orders of business, asked for legislation to compel the enormously wealthy Pelosi to pay for the cost differential between those Air Force C-32 flights of hers and former Speaker Dennis Hastert's use of a 12-seat Gulfstream III passenger jet?
But the reason Pelosi had access to such a jet is for security purposes, as confirmed by the House Sergeant at Arms. The reason the larger jet was used is because the smaller jet Hastert used cannot make it non-stop from Washington, D.C., to California -- again, for security purposes. (Hastert needed to travel only to Illinois to visit his district.)
But we can't expect Kinsolving to care about something as basic as reporting the facts when he apparently spends his time thinking up biasedquestions to ask during White House press briefings.
Dick Morris writes in his Nov. 23 Newsmax column that President Obama "is moving to implement, through executive action, two of the most controversial items in his 2010 agenda — a carbon tax and pollution permit system and a ban on the use of secret ballots in union elections." But the latter case Morris is referring wouldn't ban secret ballots.
Morris is referring to a 2007 case involving the Dana Corp., which Morris misleadingly claims "mandates secret ballots in unionization elections." That's false. As the Society for Human Resource Management details, the National Labor Relations Board's decision in the Dana case created a provision that allowed workers to call for a secret-ballot election to decertify a union whose bargaining unit was established through the card-check process within 45 days of that establishment. The NLRB has agreed to review the ruling. The SHRM continues:
Dana overturned almost 40 years of precedent, Waxman remarked, noting that one of the dissenters to Dana, Wilma Liebman, now is chairwoman of the Board.
Under the old rule before Dana, if there was voluntary recognition, that was the end of it and there would be no election, Leslie Silverman, an attorney at Proskauer Rose in Washington, D.C., and a member of the SHRM Labor Relations Special Expertise Panel, added.
“The grant of review is a clear signal of the Board’s interest in reversing precedent,” said John Raudabaugh, an attorney with Nixon Peabody in Washington, D.C., and a member of the SHRM Labor Relations Special Expertise Panel.
Writing a concurrence to the grant of review, Liebman responded that “the decision to revisit long-established legal rules in Dana itself was premised on the Dana majority’s belief that ‘changing conditions in the labor relations environment can sometimes warrant a renewed scrutiny of extant doctrine.’ That belief is surely correct. Whether the Dana Board’s ultimate policy choice was correct or not, the decision, by its own terms, cannot stand for the proposition that the Board rules are meant to last forever.”
What Morris appears to be describing is the Employee Free Choice Act, but he's wrong about that too. That proposed law would not ban the use of secret ballots in union elections; it would give workers, instead of employers, the right to demand a secret ballot.
NewsBusters' False Equivalence on Nazi Smears Topic: NewsBusters
Lachlan Markay goes the false-equivalence route in a Nov. 22 NewsBusters post responding to NPR's noting that "Fox News does stand out amid mainstream media outlets for its ferocity and frequency" in hurling Nazi smears.
Markay asserted that "NPR invoked vague claims by far-left Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank ... to paint FNC as unique in its invocation of Nazism." In fact, Milbank was quite specific in his claims, even if NPR wasn't in citing him. From Milbank's Oct. 3 column:
At the heart of Beck's technique of amplifying fringe theories is his obsession with Nazism. For much of the past 70 years, there has been an unwritten rule in U.S. political debate: Avoid Hitler accusations. Once you liken your opponent to the Nazis, any form of rational discussion becomes impossible. But Beck, it seems, has a Nazi fetish. In his first 18 months on Fox News, from early 2009 through the middle of this year, he and his guests invoked Hitler 147 times. Nazis, an additional 202 times. Fascism or fascists, 193 times. The Holocaust got 76 mentions, and Joseph Goebbels got 24.
In his recitation of liberals who "routinely prove Godwin right," Markay cites only a handful of isolated instances -- far short of the hundreds of references by Beck alone and none of which were made by the president of a news operation, lilke Nazi smear-hurler Roger Ailes.
Markay also incorrectly labels Garrison Keillor as "NPR's own." While Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" typically airs on NPR-affiliated radio stations, it is not an NPR production; it's produced by Keillor's own production company and distributed by American Public Media.
In a Nov. 21 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard touts how Newt Gingrich said he would not participate in a debate that had MSNBC's Chris Matthews or Keith Olbermann moderating, claiming they would be "relentlessly hostile." But Sheppard conveniently omitted a statement by Olbermann in the Mediaite article he links to as a source for the Gingrich comment that he has never moderated a GOP debate.
Sheppard updated his post to link to a NewsBusters post about a May 2007 GOP presidential debate in which Matthews served as a moderator, claiming that he "asking really silly questions." Asking silly questions, however, is not the same as asking "relentlessly hostile" questions, which Gingrich seemed to accuse Matthews of doing. Even Brent Baker, who wrote the 2007 post, couldn't come up with any genuinely hostile questions from Matthews, instead complaining that he was "bizarrely attacking White House aide Karl Rove and favorite target Scooter Libby."
Indeed, as Media Matters' Jamison Foser points out (and Baker doesn't), Matthews did lob the softball questions Gingrich seems to prefer during that 2007 debate.
But where's the hypocrisy, you ask? Well, back in 2007, Sheppard was uncritically repeating how Bill O'Reilly "was none too pleased" about how Democratic presidentical candidates pulled out of a planned presidential debate sponsored by Fox News, an action that came after Fox News chief Roger Ailes (supposedly jokingly) compared Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden. Sheppard asserted that "Democrats succumbing to this pressure does not serve their interests of taking over the White House in 2008."
So, according to Sheppard, Democratic presidential candidates avoiding an allegedly biased news outlet is the result of succumbing to pressure, while a Republican avoiding an allegedly biased news outlet is a principled stand. Got that?
New Article -- Out There, Exhibit 52: CNS' Obama Word Obsession Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com, led by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey, is fixated on every single word the president says -- or doesn't say. Read more >>
WND's Washington Gulps Down Beck's Soros Smears Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ellis Washington wouldn't know the truth if it bit him, so it's no surprise that Washington has swallowed every false and misleading bit of Glenn Beck's smears of George Soros, declaring in his Nov. 20 WorldNetDaily column that "Beck has been doing a masterful job over the past few weeks in his series exposing the man that gave America President Barack Obama, the radical socialist billionaire George Soros."
Washington dutifully repeated Beck's smear that "Soros worked for the Jewish Council, which had been established during the Nazi occupation of Hungary to forcibly carry out Nazi and Hungarian government anti-Jewish measures." In fact, Soros played no role in taking the property of Jews.
After regurgitating Beck's propaganda regarding the methods Soros plans to use to control the world, Washington writes:
George Soros is a very evil man and has perfected the economic deconstruction of nations, which he learned firsthand as a child in Nazi-controlled Hungary and later throughout Communist-controlled Eastern Europe – except Soros needs no bullets for his revolution; he has a much more treacherous and inconspicuous weapon: money and propaganda.
Because George Soros is an atheist, he has no allusions about a heaven beyond the grave. Therefore, like most socialists, progressives, Darwinists and atheists, he is trying to establish a utopian society here on earth – a one-world centralized government without borders, religion or culture, one currency, one language and one puppet master to pull the strings of the useful idiots in power … while controlling the world from beyond the shadows.
Washington cares only about shadowy conspiracies. He cares nothing about the truth. No wonder he can't seem to keep a full-time job.
With WND-Aping Op-Ed, Wash. Examiner Goes Birther Topic: Washington Examiner
It seems inevitable that every conservative news outlet will, sooner or later, dirty its hands by latching onto the birther issue. The Washington Examiner plunges in by publishing a Nov. 22 op-ed by Diana West promoting one birther's case.
West wrote that Terrence Lakin, an Army lieutenant colonel, "faces an upcoming court-martial at Fort Meade, Md., on Dec. 14 for refusing to follow orders to redeploy to Afghanistan because of his conviction that the president hasn't proven his eligibility to hold office." Lakin is the birthers' latest hope for promoting their case, and West admits she's writing about him in part because "Lakin supporters have dubbed this week Terry Lakin Action Week, urging American citizens to take the occasion to call their congressional representatives about the case."
West highlighted a claim that "unknown, unknowable site authorities ‘took down' a new entry" on Lakin "almost as soon it went up." That claim comes straight from the birther fanatics at WorldNetDaily.
West lionized Lakin as "a senior military officer with an unblemished career" who is committing "what amounts to a historic act of civil disobedience for which he may well serve time in prison." The reality, meanwhile, is that a military judge has already ruled that, according to military law, the personal beliefs or convictions of a soldier are not enough for the soldier to deem an order illegal, that Lakin cannot introduce any evidence related to Obama's citizenship at his court-martial, and that the military court was not the proper venue for determining the eligibility of a president.
West peppered her op-ed with standard birther arguments:
Of course, Obama's failure to release his original 1961 birth certificate (which, contrary to mantralike misperception, has never been released) is just the beginning. There remains a startling dearth of documentation pertaining to Obama's progress through his 49 years of life that only begins with his birth certificate.
A gaping hole -- dare I say "memory hole"? -- seems to have consumed all possible Obama records from his education, health, family records, even his pre-presidential political career. But this subject is never taken seriously by the media or the political establishment, including, most glaringly, erstwhile GOP opponent John McCain, who, on being challenged on the eligibility question himself, should have called on candidate Obama to join him in releasing their bona fides together.
But even to suggest such a thing is to indulge in "conspiracy theories." Not surprisingly, Wikipedia defines this term for us as well, noting that it's "often used dismissively in an attempt to characterize a belief as outlandishly false and held by a person judged to be a crank or a group confined to the lunatic fringe."
Is the birther path really the one that Philip Anschutz's aggressively conservative publication wants to take? It appears so.
WND Misleads to Push Contrail Conspiracy Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Nov. 19 WorldNetDaily article, citing Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin cites "governmental military experts with extensive experience working with missiles and computer security systems" to claim that the mystery contrail caputred on film off the California coast "emanated from a single source nozzle of a missile, probably made in China." But WND makes an apparently false claim and relies on conspiracy theorists in the process.
WND states that "the Federal Aviation Administration documents that there were no aircraft flying in the area at that time, the night of Nov. 8." But we could find no evidence that the FAA made such a claim.
What FAA spokesman Ian Gregor did say is that "The FAA ran radar replays of a large area west of Los Angeles based on media reports of the possible missile launch at approximately 5 p.m. (PT) on Monday. The radar replays did not reveal any fast moving, unidentified targets in that area," and that "The FAA did not approve any commercial space launches around the area Monday."
WND also cites "Wayne Madsen, a former naval officer who has worked at the National Security Agency and the Naval Data Automation Command," and "Dr. Lyle J. Rapacki of Sentinel Intelligence Services, LLC" to back up the claim that the contrail came from a Chinese missile.
As we've noted, Madsen is a well-known conspiracy theorist with a long record of making dubious claims -- including claims about Barack Obama's birth certificate that apparently even WND didn't find credible enough to embrace. And Rapacki is a birther whom WND has credibly cited in an April 2009 article by Bob Unruh, touting Rapacki's claim that issue of Obama's eligibility to be president could become a "flashpoint" in the United States. Rapacki has also ranted about "the malice aforethought intent to ruin our Nation by radical Marxists, especially you Mr. Obama, who despise everything about America."
At $9.95 a month or $99 a year, G2 Bulletin is the remaining subscrption-based publication WND publishes. Yes, WND is charging for the rantings of conspiracy theorists.
MRC's Graham Has Another Anti-Gay Freakout Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham has beenwatchinglikeahawk for any evidence of gayness in the media. Why? Because to him, gay = liberal, and neither can really be allowed to exist in the media.
Which makes Graham's freakout in a Nov. 20 NewsBusters post over the Washington Post helping to sponsor a National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce conference in Washington and sending an employee to speak so utterly predictable: "The Post didn't just fund it. They participated. On Friday afternoon, the program touted their Communities of Color Business Initiative, with speaker Jonathan Capehart."
Graham went on to declare that "There's no question that what the Post is funding here is a socially liberal advocacy group."
Is it the liberalness or the gayness that offends Graham more? Or is the combination that pegs his squick meter?
WND Adds Obama-Hater Victoria Jackson As Columnist Topic: WorldNetDaily
In a Nov. 19 WorldNetDaily article announcing that right-wing actress Victoria Jackson has become a regular WND columnist, WND editor Joseph Farah is quoted as saying, "Victoria is a hoot. ... But she also really cares about her country – I mean deep, down in her heart and soul."
But Jackson's presence as a WND columnist likely has more to do with the fact that she hates President Obama almost as much as Farah does. She has called for Obama's impeachment, and in a previous WND appearance, she described Obama as "a Marxist, progressive, leftist, radical, socialist, communist dictator drunk with power" who has put America "under seige."
That's not comedy, that's hate. But Farah and WND don't appear to know the difference.
Parents and school officials who want to convey timeless values such as commitment, sexual responsibility, and physical and psychological well-being are wise to form a shield between kids and the LGBT lobby.
That lobby is telling kids that if only the American public would embrace homosexuality as normal, natural and healthy, children would feel free to "come out of the closet" and be comfortable with their same-sex attractions without fear of condemnation from their families, friends and, dare we say, religion.
Then, they reason, sexually confused youth would never contemplate suicide, experience higher-than-average psychological disorders, abuse illegal substances at alarming rates and take part in dangerous sexual practices, exposing themselves to violence and sexually transmitted diseases.
It's all too typical for homosexual activists to justify their behavior by claiming "we're born that way" and then blame the tragic consequences of their actions on an intolerant society. But pushing this lie to young people is the ultimate death sentence for those who do not want to live a homosexual life. It offers no hope to youth who are struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions, and it's unconscionable to lure young people into behavior that has so many serious risks, and then deny them the opportunity for change.
The facts reveal that even in the most gay-friendly cultures, it's not society that is responsible for the consequences of homosexuality; it's the behavior. It really makes one ask the question, just what about the homosexual life gets better?
-- Christopher Doyle, Nov. 20 WorldNetDaily column
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.