“Obamacare” is about to be referenced, even though today’s topic is not about healthcare. So for those opposed, don’t immediately use this column as toilet paper.
The Supreme Court ruled Obamacare constitutional on the grounds that it was a tax. Had it been a mandatory purchase, it would not have passed legal muster.
Which makes the situation occurring in towns nationwide absolutely mind-blowing. Local governments, often via their Sewer Authorities, have been mandating residents pay huge out-of-pocket costs to connect to public sewer systems, even if one’s septic system is working flawlessly.
In other words, you are required by duty-to-connect ordinances to shell out big bucks for something you might not want, need, nor can afford (despite already paying substantial taxes). In most cases, there are no opt-outs, negotiations, exceptions. You buy in, or else.
A case in middle-class suburban Philadelphia provides a vivid example of this mammoth government overreach.
Several years ago, paternalistic leaders decided they wanted public sewers. So they enacted ordinances requiring residents to participate in what amounted to a double-whammy.
It doesn't take a lot of sleuthing to figure out where in "middle-class suburban Philadelphia" -- a different version of Freind's column in the Delaware County Times identifies the municipality as Upper Providence Township in Delaware County, Pa.
Freind fails to mention that failing septic tanks have been a longstanding issue in the area. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported in 1990:
Take a walk through parts of suburban Upper Providence Township on a warm summer afternoon and chances are you'll encounter more than just the smell of flowers.
And watch your step. That water flowing over some streets and driveways isn't coming from natural springs.
It's coming from failed septic tanks.
Upper Providence has a widespread problem with failed or failing septic systems, according to a preliminary engineering report on the need for sewers in the township.
More than 125 township residents turned out Monday night for a special public hearing on the report.
The study concluded that 33 percent of the septic systems in the township have failed or are likely to fail soon and another 25 percent are only marginally operational, said David Linaham, a sanitary engineer for Yerkes Associates, which prepared the report.
The Inquirer also noted that the population density in some parts of the township makes it increasingly difficult to repair failing septic systems. That same population density also makes installation of sewer lines more cost-effective, so it makes sense in both the short term and long term for every property in the vicinity of a new line to be required hook up. Not only does it make sense as a community responsibility, it arguably lowers the value of a property if it's not connected to an adjacent sewer line.
Has Freind ever lived next to a property with a failed septic tank? We suspect not.
Americans by large margins believe that despite President Obama’s claims of innocence, he not only knew of the Internal Revenue Service strategy to target conservatives, he used the feared federal agency for payback against his political enemies, according to a new poll.
“An overwhelming majority of 68 percent said they believe Obama was aware of the IRS efforts to target his political opponents, and 63 percent said they believe that, not only did he know of this effort, he was directly involved in the plan,” explained Fritz Wenzel, whose Wenzel Strategies conducted the poll.
That's the result WND wanted, and Wenzel made sure it happened by asking skewed questions designed to generate that result.
Here are the questions Wenzel asked:
There has been a lot of attention to issues involving the Obama administration and the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups to delay their applications for status as non-profit groups, while fast-tracking certain liberal groups to receive the same preferred tax status. How interested are you in news developments about this issue?”
How would you rate the job performance of President Barack Obama regarding the IRS?
At the time when the IRS was targeting conservative groups, the head of the IRS was visiting the White House for meetings more than 150 times. The previous head of the IRS visited the White House just one time during the time that he served as the leader of the IRS. Do you agree or disagree that this level of ongoing communication with the Obama administration indicates that the Obama administration was deeply involved in the discrimination against conservative groups?
Do you agree or disagree that President Obama personally must have known about the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups?
Do you agree or disagree that President Obama not only knew about but was somehow involved in the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups?
Please tell me if you agree or disagree with this statement: The IRS targeting of conservative groups was directed by the White House to punish political enemies.
Do you agree or disagree that, given the highly charged partisan atmosphere in Washington right now, that an entirely independent investigator should be appointed to get to the bottom of this story involving the IRS, the White House, and the tea party groups around the country?
Wenzel primes the desired response by repeating a bogus talking point about White House visits by the IRS commissioner, Douglas Shulman. In fact, Shulman was merely cleared for entry 157 times, which does not reflect the apparently far fewer number of times Shulman actually visited the White House. Further, of those clearances, the vast majority were for discussion of health care reform.
Wenzel also ignores the fact that the IRS also targeted liberal nonprofit groups for extra scrutiny. But that would have interfered with the poll results WND was paying him to deliver.
CNS Praises Accused War Criminal Topic: CNSNews.com
A July 8 CNSNews.com article by Michael W. Chapman touts how "Remarks by President Barack Obama during his recent Africa trip concerning sexual orientation and discrimination were rebuked by several Kenyan leaders as contrary to the laws of God, who also emphasized that Kenya “is a God-fearing nation.”
Those comments spread quickly and on Sunday, June 30, Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto responded at St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Kenya, saying, “Those who believe in other things, that is their business. We believe in God.”
“This country, the nation of Kenya, is a God-fearing nation,” he said. “We believe in God.”
Chapman didn't mention that Ruto is facing charges in the International Criminal Court of inciting violence after a 2007 election in Kenya. In September, Ruto will be tried in abstentia on charges including crimes against humanity, murder, and the forcible removal of persons leading to civilian deaths.
Chapman, by the way, is CNS' managing editor.
CNS blogger Jen Kuznicki similarly touted Ruto's remarks without noting he's an accused war criminal, noting "How our nation has declined into the category of non-God-fearing as remarked by the deputy Kenyan President."
In her July 4 column, Diana West not only makes sure we know what the N-word is -- "The offending word, of course, is 'nigger,' and no matter how ugly it is, it is hardly taboo when a quick search of iTunes pulls up 2,000 entries for sale featuring the term"-- she runs to Deen's defense:
Deen, 66, may have supported President Obama in 2008, but she is an old, white Southerner, which, in good, ol’ fashioned Marxist-Leninist terms, is still a class of person best defined as “enemy of the people.” Detestable. Expendable. Throw her under the “limousine liberals’” limousine while they, admiring enemies of the Constitution (or U.S. troops), whiz by us in cultural camouflage all the way to the reliably capitalist bank.
All because of a word – forbidden to all but blacks and liberals.
Those two women on the radio laughed at and derided Deen for her ancestry, her accent, her looks and her work. They cackled like Macbeth’s witches.
Their support of the dramatic take-down of Deen was appalling. Not only did they take total delight in the almost instantaneous destruction of Deen, her career, her business and likely her life – but when asked if Deen losing her program and sponsors was enough punishment, both media woman shrieked and laughed “NO” – more was required.
I guess they wanted a tarring and feathering, followed by a week in the stocks and then a burning at the stake.
Deen is not one of the Salem witches, but she’s become an instantaneous victim of the politics of personal destruction.
Reducing Deen's offense to merely having once used the N-word decades ago -- as West, Simpson, and other WND defenders of Deen have done -- is revisionist history. She also reportedly wanted black to play slaves at a plantation-themed wedding. Another former employee alleges that Deen would constantly require the black men who worked in her restaurants to serve at catering events at her Southern mansion, and would compensate them in beer and liquor instead of cash.
There's a lot more going on with Deen than her defenders at WND have admitted. Of course, if they did admit the full truth, their defense would not look so noble.
Newsmax's Walsh Says We Don't Understand Middle America Topic: Newsmax
James Walsh dedicates his July 5 Newsmax column to criticizing us:
Terry Krepel, a Media Matters for America senior editor, has challenged a May 31, 2013, Newsmax commentary entitled “A Checkout-Line Town Hall” that reported on middle-America sentiments. He questioned the likelihood that such conservative comments would be coming from neighborhood shoppers.
His concern is understandable, since Media Matters for America is among the political-action groups funded in whole or in part by billionaire money-manipulator George Soros and other supporters of the Democrat Party’s liberal agenda. Krepel, via his ConWebWatch, serves as a media watchdog for the political left on guard against Conservative thought in print.
Although he found it difficult to believe that neighborhood shoppers would “just parrot” the author’s views,” voter polls regularly show Americans thinking like the checkout-line Town Hallers, who are reacting to Internal Revenue Service excesses that remain in the news.
Town Hallers are concerned by the continuing saga of the Benghazi fiasco that left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead and by mounting Obamacare problems. For informed citizens, these remain topics of local discussion.
Most fair-minded Americans are beginning to realize that glib talk by President Barack Obama falls short of leadership. Although all polls should be questioned, recent ones show that 54 to 57 percent of Americans no longer favor the president.
Krepel ought to know that U.S. field soldiers don’t parse words in the midst of a fire-fight. Whether the order was “stand down” or “stay down” or whatever, they help their buddies. In the Newsmax commentary being challenged by Krepel, a Marine quoted in the check-out line merely expressed the U.S. military code, even though this may not be understood by left-wingers.
They also may not understand when citizens ask, "Why does the Obama administration state that the Fort Hood shooting of Americans was “workplace violence" rather than an act of terrorism?
Walsh misses the entire point of our blog post. We did not question that anyone would criticize Obama; we questioned that they did so in the exceedingly convenient manner in which Walsh depicted it. Indeed, while Walsh vociferously defends the anti-Obama views of Middle America, at no point does he offer any evidence he was quoting actual people in his column or that the events he describes in his column happened in real life.
Walsh's headline declaration that we "misunderstand Middle America" shows misunderstanding of his own, again rooted in his attempt to portray our blog post as criticizing Middle America and not him.
Besides, Walsh couldn't be more wrong about who we are or what we do. I was born and raised in Nebraska, and spent much of my adult life in various locations in flyover country. I understand Middle America much better than Walsh thinks I do.
Nor is the point of ConWebWatch to be "on guard against Conservative thought in print." We monitor conservative disinformation and insanity -- something Walsh has been guilty of on occasion. We serve as a corrective measure for Walsh's anti-immigrantattitudes and othermiscellaneousdishonesty. And ConWebWatch is funded by nobody other than myself.
WND's Train Wreck of Anti-Gay Metaphors Topic: WorldNetDaily
Dan Cummins' July 5 WorldNetDaily column is awesome -- if you like seeing veritable train wrecks of metaphors in the service of gay-bashing.
The premise is that the "rainbow curtain" purportedly erected with the Supreme Court's approval of gay marriage is exactly like the Soviets' Iron Curtain. It just gets more painful from there. Take this passage, for instance:
From their juridical lair, the liberal Gang of Five recently set off a catalytic charge toppling traditional marriage – the last principled pillar upholding Uncle Sam’s home. Just how long can his 237-year-old colonial manor remain standing minus its moral supports intact is anyone’s guess. But the collapse of America’s moral infrastructure has been irreversibly set into motion by five legislating justices.
As the new civil rights movement packs the neighborhood streets shouting, “Move that bus,” is America ready for the extreme home makeover the LGBT architects have designed for the evolving modern family?
Like a surreal scene from “Red Dawn,” America woke up on June 26 to a divided nation with 95 million of its citizens in 13 states held hostage to judicial legislation, trapped behind the Rainbow Curtain and forced to accept the moral dictates of the elitist ruling party – a pentagram of liberal judges on the Supreme Court.
As the metaphors get more tortured, so does Cummins' sense of victimization:
The LGBT radical leadership has set its sights on the remaining 37 Free Zone states. They have made it clear that they will not rest until the “majority” opinion becomes the law of the land. They will act quickly while the power structure in Washington remains intact and supports their philosophies. They are well-organized, liberally funded and zealously motivated in their quest to establish their newly won minority status – now complete with legal standing to empower their zealots. Pro-biblical marriage groups are not prepared nor organized to oppose their well-planned, thought-out agenda.
Churches in the Free Zones will be intentionally targeted by transplanted same-sex couples unpacking their rainbow watermarked marriage licenses issued in the Gay Zone states. They will demand membership in your churches. Businesses will be forced to render services to LGBT demands or face discrimination lawsuits. School boards will be sued and parents powerless to keep their children from being taught homosexual curricula in schools.
Finally, Cummins asks, "Will there only be two churches left in America when that time comes – the State church with its complicit clergy complete with gay members, and the underground church of Jesus Christ?"
Cummins' column is short on facts and long on scare tactics -- which makes WND the appropriate home for it.
CNS Remains Upset That Federal Money Is Spent On LGBT Issues Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com loves to portray any federal money spent on LGBT causes to be a waste, and that that attitude continues in a July 3 article by Melanie Hunter complaining that "The Department of Health and Human Services through its Administration for Children & Families plans to spend almost $1 million on 'transitional living programs' for homeless lesbian, gay, lesbian, transgender and/or questioning (LGBTQ) youth."
The headline for Hunter's article puts "LGBTQ" in scare quotes:
Hunter offered no explanation for why she devoted an article to this program, but the article's vitriolic comment thread suggests that it was done to provide an opportunity for CNS readers to express their longstanding hatred toward the LGBT community.
WND's Farah: I Hate Paula Deen's Critics More Than Deen, So I Started Selling Her Books Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his July 5 WorldNetDaily column, Joseph Farah explains the tortured thought process that led him to add Paula Deen's books to his online store. He decries "the vitriolic, unforgiving, ravenous wolf-pack reaction to her racial indiscretions," but "another side of me thinks she’s getting just what she deserves" because she's an Obama supporter: "Paula Deen is a Democrat through and through – which really shouldn’t surprise anyone given that her party was founded as the political wing of the Ku Klux Klan and fought desegregation and civil rights through the early 1960s."
Farah doesn't mention, of course, that the Democrats who weren't eager to give up their racism usually gravitated toward the Republican Party.
Ultimately, it all came down to which side he disliked more (and, of course, a money-making opportunity):
If they can do it to Paula Deen, they can do it to anyone.
And there is no accountability for these corporate Torquemadas.
They don’t even care about their own bottom line!
Paula Deen’s publisher had the No. 1 book at Amazon in pre-release – and decided to kill the book!
How far will people like that go to atone for their own guilty consciences? Whatever happened to the Christian notion of “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone”?
So it comes down to this: Whom do I like least – Paula Deen or her persecutors?
For me, it’s an easy call. I despise her persecutors.
That’s why I directed my company’s retail division to offer all of Paula Deen’s books to the public – and to promote them as well. Why? To stick a finger in the eye of those pompous, self-righteous publishers, TV networks, big-box chain stores and everyone else looking to raise themselves up by tearing down Paula Deen.
In fact, I’ll go one further: If Paula Deen is looking for a publisher who still believes in free enterprise and the First Amendment to distribute her new book, I’m just a phone call or email away. I’m obviously not sugar-coating it. I’m not sucking up or making excuses for anything Paula Deen has done. I just believe to preserve a free society, we have to guard vigilantly against witch hunts like this.
Editor in chief Terry Jeffrey piled on with his own article declaring that "Since January 2009, when Barack Obama was inaugurated as president, the United States has seen 54 straight months with the unemployment rate at 7.5 percent or higher, which is the longest stretch of unemployment at or above that rate since 1948, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics started calculating the national unemployment rate." It's an arbitrary starting point chosen only for its Obama-bashing value; Jeffrey offers no evidence that 7.5 percent is a particularly meaningful number.
Another article by Jones focuses on how "The number of Americans employed part time for economic reasons (involuntary part-time workers) increased by 322,000 to 8.2 million from May to June." The attack point here is the unsubstantiated claim that "As the Obama administration prepares to roll out the Democrats’ health-insurance-for-all plan in 2014, many businesses have warned that they will keep their payrolls below 50 full-time workers to avoid penalties imposed by the law."
As she did in her first article, Jones downplayed the added 195,000 jobs, grousing that they were "far fewer than the increase in involuntary part-time workers."
Bill Ayers Continues to Mess With WND's Conspiracy Theories About Him Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily seems to be finally figuring out that Bill Ayers is just messing with them.
For the first time that we remember, a June 26 WND article by Art Moore reports with some skeptism Ayers' latest statement on the authorship of Barack Obama's book "Dreams From My Father":
When asked on several occasions over the past five years if he wrote “Dreams from My Father,” Ayers has not denied it, but instead has resorted to irony, telling inquirers in essence, Yes, I did, and if you can help me prove it, I’ll split the royalties with you.
It happened again in a video interview June 19 with Real Clear Politics Executive Editor Tom Bevan and Charlie Stone.
Still, the crux of Moore's article is that Ayers' ghostwriting is a fact, and WND columnist Jack Cashill proved it:
Author Jack Cashill has been called a lunatic, and worse, for his belief that unrepentant 1960s revolutionary terrorist Bill Ayers was the primary writer of the book offered as evidence that Barack Obama is an intellectual heavyweight worthy of the Oval Office despite his relatively thin resume.
When Cashill, after careful literary analysis, first posed the potentially election-changing theory in 2008, Obama was deflecting questions about his substantial working relationship with the former Weather Underground leader, dismissing Ayers as merely a fellow resident of his upscale Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago.
But what if Ayers – whose radical movement sought to overthrow the U.S. government and replace it with a communist regime – was not only more than “just a guy in the neighborhood” but also the philosophical heart and soul, as well as the talent, behind the biography that launched his political career?
Moore goes on to rehash the supposed evidence that Cashill has:
Cashill reported at least four different stylometric analysts supported his extensive forensic evidence.
His experts included university professors from the U.S. and England in the statistical analysis of authorship, systems engineers, writers and Ph.D. literary analysts. Most, particularly professors at public universities, asked that their names not be revealed.
One analyst said it was possible Ayers served as a “book doctor,” drastically rewriting work Obama already had done.
Oh, I'm sorry, Noel. You weren't talking about yourself?
As it happens, he wasn't. He was mocking radio host Alex Jones for saying, "I will defeat Rush Limbaugh in the free market of ideas. People, people like this show more than his." After posting ratings for top radio hosts, Sheppard adds:
You see Alex Jones's name anywhere on that list?
No. Neither do I.
Just keep that in mind the next time he spouts another crazy conspiracy theory.
Keep in mind, too, that the folks at Alex Jones' website loved his show on global warming conspiracies.
Aaron Klein Guilt-By-Association Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein tries, and fails, to get the goods on Mohamed Morsi in a July 2 WorldNetDaily article:
Was Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood involved in the deadly Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya?
Circumstantial evidence possibly links the attack to Morsi’s campaign to free the so-called blind sheik, Omar Abdel-Rahman, who is serving a life sentence in the U.S. for conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
That's all Klein admitted he has: "circumstantial evidence" that "possibly" supports his claims.
Unfortunately, such shoddily source claims are a staple of Klein's WND reporting.
CNS Misleads on Obama's Africa Remarks Topic: CNSNews.com
Ryan Kierman misleads in a July 1 CNSNews article, under the headline "Obama: 'Planet Will Boil Over' If Young Africans Are Allowed Cars, Air-Conditioning, Big Houses":
President Barack Obama said at a town hall event in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Saturday that unless we find new way of producing energy "the planet will boil over" if people in Africa are allowed to attain air conditioning, automobiles and big houses.
Omitted from that lead paragraph is the proper context for Obama's statement, which Kierman waits until the second paragraph to include (emphasis added):
“Ultimately, if you think about all the youth that everybody has mentioned here in Africa, if everybody is raising living standards to the point where everybody has got a car and everybody has got air conditioning, and everybody has got a big house, well, the planet will boil over -- unless we find new ways of producing energy.”
Kierman goes on to attack Obama for claiming that global warming constitutes “the biggest challenge we have environmentally,” asserting that "the President’s statements do not reflect statistics released by the United Nations" because air and water pollution kill more people. But Kierman fails to mention that addressing climate change by cutting carbon pollution will help solve those other problems as well:
Building on efforts underway in states and communities across the country, the President's plan cuts carbon pollution that causes climate change and threatens public health. Today, we have limits in place for arsenic, mercury and lead, but we let power plants release as much carbon pollution as they want - pollution that is contributing to higher rates of asthma attacks and more frequent and severe floods and heat waves.
Cutting carbon pollution will help keep our air and water clean and protect our kids. The President's plan will also spark innovation across a wide variety of energy technologies, resulting in cleaner forms of American- made energy and cutting our dependence on foreign oil. Combined with the President's other actions to increase the efficiency of our cars and household appliances, the President's plan will help American families cut energy waste, lowering their gas and utility bills. In addition, the plan steps up our global efforts to lead on climate change and invests to strengthen our roads, bridges, and shorelines so we can better protect people's homes, businesses, and way of life from severe weather.
Kierman's goal with this article was not to tell the truth but to attack Obama, which probably makes him an ideal CNS reporter.
MRC, Newsmax Complain 'White House Down' Has Right-Wing Villains Topic: Media Research Center
The ConWeb just hates it when a film features right-wingers as villains, so the whining over the new film "White House Down" was rather predictable.
In a July 1 Media Research Center Culture & Media Institute item, Katie Yoder has a full-on fit about it:
Once again, Hollywood can’t bring itself to acknowledge America’s real enemies – the ones who actually kill American soldiers, diplomats and civilians. Instead, it turns fellow citizens with a differing view into bloody-minded monsters. In White House Down,” Columbia Picture’s new film directed by Roland Emmerich and written by James Vanderbilt, pro-military citizens and right-wingers – the destroyers of the peace – bring are the culprits.
Right-winger Timothy McVeigh had a "differing view," too, and that didn't keep him from being a terrorist. Yoder doesn't mention that.
James Hirsen joins in the fit-having in a July 1 NewsBusters column:
A humbling $26 million take has landed the recently released Sony film, “White House Down,” in fourth place for the weekend’s box office.
The movie’s underachieving status is perhaps an indication that the public is not currently in sync with those in Hollywood who subscribe to a liberal agenda and who tangentially pledge allegiance to the current administration.
The mastermind of the domestic terrorist activity is eventually revealed to be the leader of the opposition party, a Boehner-like character who actually harbors presidential aspirations of his own and is willing to use any means to achieve his goal.
Once the villains are defeated, the president is able to usher in world peace.
Unfortunately, what he is unlikely able to do is to stop the word of mouth on this agenda-ridden flick.
Does Hirsen consider conservative films to be "agenda-ridden"? Probably not.