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Sunday, July 11, 2010
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
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Obama's father was an alien and never a U.S. citizen. Regardless of any "cherished delusions" about his son's place of birth, but rather in the context of the place that Americans call "home," we find Obama Jr. to be an alien who: was raised for several years in Indonesia, took a trip to Pakistan in 1981 after college, later returned to Bali for many months to complete an autobiography, traveled to Kenya at least four times (including appearances alongside his then-campaigning communist cousin Odinga), has a wife who has twice in public speeches called her husband Kenyan and Kenya his "home country," during his campaign after visiting "57 states" called himself a "citizen of the world" and bows to foreign leaders. The Secret Service, with its strict clearance requirements, would undoubtedly not even allow Obama to work for himself.

Most importantly, Obama, an alien in his background, associations, attitude and language, seems to be alien to the very idea that is America.

Whether respected conservatives consider Obama an alien of ideology, or the disrespected birthers consider Obama an alien in eligibility, they both recognize him correctly for what he is – an alien.

-- Cindy Simpson, July 8 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 1:57 PM EDT
NewsReal Blogger Likens Obama to Charles Manson
Topic: Horowitz

Here's some five-alarm Obama derangement from NewsReal's Kathy Barkulis:

Charles Manson claimed he was trying to start a race war when he killed Sharon Tate and the others in Los Angeles 40 or so years ago but knew nothing about starting one.  The people who are doing a good job of trying to start a race war now were barely out of diapers when Manson went on his killing spree.  Attorney General Eric Holder, President Barack Obama, and the New Black Panther Party have joined forces to make sure that divisions remain between the races, and it’s all in the name of voter intimidation and getting Democrats elected. Or is there something else brewing too?

[...]

It is stunning that the first African American President and the first African American Attorney General are going to use their historic places in history to stick it to the white man.  

Barkulis' entire premise, in addition to being hateful, is entirely baseless: The Bush administration, not the Obama administration, declined to charge the New Black Panthers, and the so-called whistleblower she's relying on is a right-wing activist with no firsthand knowledge of the claims he's making.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:28 PM EDT
WND Promotes Unfounded Accusations
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A July 6 WorldNetDaily article by Brian Fitzpatrick is a one-sided affair that uncritically repeats accusations by former Department of Justice staffer J. Christian Adams about purported "anti-whte bias" in the department and its decision not to pursue a criminal case against the New Black Panther Party on charges of voter intimidation.

How unbalanced is this article? It's not until the 40th paragraph that Fitzpatrick sees fit to include a single paragraph of response from the DOJ.

This means you will not learn from WND that Adams has no firsthand knowledge of the accusations he makes -- despite Fitzpatrick's quoting of Adams saying otherwise -- that the Bush administration, not the Obama administration, made the decision not to prosecute the New Black Panthers, or that Adams is a right-wing activist who was brought into the DOJ as part of a politicization process taken undertaken during the Bush administration.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:14 AM EDT
Hirsen Mum About Gibson's Racist Rant
Topic: Newsmax

Last year, we detailed the close relationship between Newsmax columnist James Hirsen and actor Mel Gibson -- a relationship Hirsen did not disclose as he was promoting Gibson's films and serving as defender of Gibson by claiming he had apologized sufficiently for his 2006 anti-Semitic tirade.

Hirsen hasn't written much about Gibson lately, perhaps because most of the news about him has been bad, i.e., his divorce and affair, which resulted in an out-of-wedlock child.

Well, Gibson is in the news again, this time for dropping the N-word in a rant against his now-ex-mistress and mother of his out-of-wedlock child (specifically: You look like a f**king pig in heat and if you get raped by a pack of ni**ers it will be your fault"). And gee, what a surprise, Hirsen won't say a thing about it -- there's no mention of it in his July 6 "Left Coast Report." Hirsen deemed Lindsay Lohan's latest travails to be more newsworthy than Gibson.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:50 AM EDT
WND Columnist Endorses Vandalism, Censorship
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Chrissy Satterfield insists in her July 7 WorldNetDaily column that "Never would I encourage vandalism," but of course she does exactly that:

Just when I start believing there is no hope for our country I get a little reminder from my God that all is not lost. It was reported June 29 that a billboard sign sponsored by a North Carolina atheist organization had been vandalized. The ad reads, "One Nation Indivisible." It seems someone didn't think the sign was an accurate depiction of our Pledge of Allegiance, so the vandals inserted "Under God" with spray paint – and I couldn't be more relieved. It's nice to know that I am not alone in my beliefs and that some people are still willing to stand on the right side of truth.

Never would I encourage vandalism, but in this case I think I'll let it slide. Atheists have been vandalizing my beliefs for years, so it's about time the shoe was on the other foot. When asked about the vandalism, William Warren, the spokesman for Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics, said, "It was done by one or two people off on their own who decided their only recourse was vandalism rather than having a conversation." Hmm. That's interesting, because the Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics felt its only recourse was to deliberately insult those who understand the importance of "Under God." They probably figured that because the Bible teaches Christians to turn the other cheek, we'll just take their abuse forever. We will only take so much before we stand up against our oppressors. Besides, I can't count how many times an atheist and I have had a "conversation." They're not as calm and passive as Warren suggests.

[...]

I also need to extend a thank-you to some people in Sacramento and Detroit. In February, 10 atheist billboards were defaced in the Golden State and a slew of atheist bus ads were vandalized in Detroit. My dose of honesty this week: I am not happy that vandalism seems to be the only way to get an atheist's attention. I'm happy that I can count on other Christians to stand up for themselves and for Christians everywhere. It gives me hope.

So Satterfield not only endorses vandalism, she also endorses the censorship of a viewpoint that she opposes. 


Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 AM EDT
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Kovacs Still Whitewashing Birther Hero's Racist Ties
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In a July 6 interview on Denver's KHOW radio, WorldNetDaily's Joe Kovacs continued to whitewash the apparent racist links of birther hero Tim Adams, following the host's lead in promoting the idea that Adams is "anything but a racist."

As he has before, Kovacs does not address the core issue -- Kovacs first made his claims on the radio show of a self-described "pro-white" host while at a convention of the white-supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens.

Kovacs goes on to say of Adams, "He's not a birther, he's a Hillary Clinton supporter." But that means nothing, since the first birthers, like Philip Berg, were Hillary supporters as well.

Kovacs also insists that "everything he has said is so far true, " but that's not necessarily true. As we noted, Glen Takahashi, administrator of the Honolulu City Clerk's office where Adams worked, has contradicted Adams' claims about how much access he had to database records, as well as Adams' claim that Obama's lack of a birth certificate was an "open secret."Kovacs has never reported Takahashi's statement -- presumably because they do conflict with the birther narrative that is WND editorial policy.

 


Posted by Terry K. at 1:56 PM EDT
Logrolling In Our Time
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Have you ever read a book so great, so important, so revealing of the deepest convictions you hold that you say to yourself, "Gee, I wish I wrote that!"

That's what happened to me not just upon turning the final page of "How Evil Works," but literally after every chapter!

"How Evil Works" by my longtime friend and colleague, David Kupelian, is the sequel to another work that had that effect on me – "The Marketing of Evil." While the first book, as the title implies, exposed how the very real existence of evil in our world is sold to us as good, this book probes even deeper, providing insights into the very nature of evil and how prevalent it is in our modern world.

This book is deep, but engaging – transformative, but eminently readable.

-- Joseph Farah, April 6 WorldNetDaily column

Joseph Farah – not only my long-time friend, colleague, WND founder and crusading journalistic veteran, but a risk-taking patriot who understands the true basis of lasting liberty and isn't afraid to talk about it – has come forth with an eloquent and powerfully reasoned argument for letting God back into our lives, into America and into the tea party.

Following in the tradition of Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" and other passionate revolutionary-era pamphleteers, in "The Tea Party Manifesto: A Vision for an American Rebirth," Farah appeals equally to the hearts and minds of his countrymen with an irresistible call simply to return to our roots as Americans.

-- David Kupelian, July 6 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 PM EDT
Newsmax Perpetuates Biden Falsehood
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax writes in a July 4 "Insider Report" item:

Vice President Joe Biden has been accused of comparing Republicans with Nazis by using the word “blitzkrieg” in a fundraising e-mail.

In the e-mail sent via the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Biden warned that House Democrats “will be hit with a GOP blitzkrieg of vicious swift-boat-style attack ads.”

“Blitzkrieg” is a term that was used to describe Germany’s military offensives during World War II.

The Newsvine website, in an article headlined “Biden e-mail compares Republicans to Nazis,” said Biden “continued with his Nazi slur by referring to Democrats as the Allies who fought back the Nazi occupation of Europe.” Biden stated: “Our Democratic allies in the House need your help, and the president and I hope we can count on you to come to their defense.”

A spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner told the New York Daily News that “invoking the Nazis’ crimes against humanity in a political debate is simply inappropriate.”

The idea that Biden is likening Republicans to Nazis by using the word "blitzkrieg" is utterly ridiculous. Newsmax apparently got the inspiration for this smear from Matt Drudge, so that explains a little.

Newsmax also treats Newsvine as some sort of legitimate news organization. It's not -- it's a personalized news aggregator. What Newsmax is quoting from is a blogger named "Dr. Danny," whose blog is apparently hosted by Newsvine.

But if using the word "blitzkrieg" is equal to calling someone a Nazi, let's see Newsmax's record:

  • In a September 2002 column, Phil Brennan referred to then-California "Gov. Gray Davis’ advertising blitzkrieg" against opponent Bill Simon.
  • A December 2002 column by Tammy Bruce references "Sen. Tom Daschle's nutty blitzkrieg against Rush Limbaugh."
  • The attack book "Hillary's Scheme" by Newsmax's Carl Limbacher, references "the Clinton IRS blitzkrieg" against opponents.
  • In a August 2009 column, Arnaud de Borchgrave quotes the right-wing Human Events as promoting their daily newsletter as having the goal to "defeat the pro-abortionists' 'stealth' media campaign with its own media blitzkrieg designed to counter . . . lies and propaganda with the facts."

Unless Newsmax is willing to admit that all of these people were endeavoring to liken those they were attacking as Nazis, they should back away from smearing Biden in this manner.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:25 AM EDT

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