WND's Unruh Peddles Falsehoods About Houston Nondiscrimination Ordinance Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh has never been all that interested in using his reporting to tell the truth -- all he wants to do is push his own (and WND's) right-wingpropaganda.
Unruh proves his disregard for journalism yet again in an Aug. 8 WND article that promotes a right-wing attack against a nondiscrimination ordinance in Houston. Unruh quotes only critics of the ordinance and can't be bothered to talk to any supporter of it.
Because Unruh is a propagandist and not a reporter, he repeats several falsehoods about the ordinance and its supporters. For instance, he attacks Houston Mayor Annise Parker, claiming that "The ordinance was adopted 11-6 by the Houston City Council on the insistence of Parker, who has acknowledged it’s 'all about me.'"
We could not find the original source of Parker being quoted as saying the ordinance was "all about me." We did find, however, a similar statement that, when put into context, shows that Parker is not making the narcissistic statement Unruh portrays her as saying. From the Houston Business Journal:
"This is personal. It is not academic. It is my life that is being discussed," said Parker, the first openly gay mayor of a U.S. city. "It applies to the range of protected groups ... but the debate is about me. It is about two gay men at this table. It is very intensely personal."
That's much different than Unruh's made-up quote. But then, Unruh's not interested in facts.
Unruh also uncritically repeats right-wing claims that the ordinance shields sexual predators:
Critics dubbed the Houston law the “sexual predator protection act,” claiming that by designating transgender or gender-confused persons as a protected class, women and children are threatened by predators seeking to exploit the ordinance’s ambiguous language.
Political activist Steven F. Hotze said the ordinance would establish minority status for transvestites, allowing men who dress as women to enter women’s public bathrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities.
“I want to protect my wife, daughters and granddaughters from being exposed to the dangers of male sexual predators masquerading as women in women’s public bathrooms and other facilities,” he said. “This is why it has been called the Sexual Predators’ Protection Act.”
In fact, numerous experts have debunked this claim -- no state or city that has enacted a nondiscrimination ordinance similar to Houston's has reported problems with sexual assaults as a result of it.
Strangely, Unruh doesn't want to inform his readers about this fact. It seems he's so used to lyingabouttransgenders that the truth is utterly foreign to him.
CNS' Starr Unhappy That U.S. Promotes 'Homosexual Rights Agenda' Topic: CNSNews.com
Penny Starr declares in an Aug. 6 CNSNews.com article:
The president, vice president and a former State Department official with the Obama administration took advantage of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit this week in Washington, D.C., as an opportunity to advance the homosexual rights agenda.
And what is this supposed "homosexual rights agenda" the U.S. is trying to advance? Starr identifies nothing beyond "human rights" and "respect." Starr doesn't explain why she considers such an "agenda" to be so distasteful that she feels she must call it out.
Starr, however, makes sure to tell us that "homosexuality is illegal in 38 of the 57 countries on the African continent – or almost 67 percent." She adds, with an apparent tinge of regret:
On Aug. 1, a Ugandan panel of five judges ruled that Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act was not valid, because it had been passed by Parliament without a proper quorum. The ruling does not preclude the law from being reconsidered and put in place with the proper quorum requirement.
Starr failed to mention that right-wing American anti-gay activists like Scott Lively are the driving force behind Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act.
WND: 'Obama Seeks To Appease Pagan Gods' Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Aug. 10 WorldNetDaily article by Steve Peacock serves up the most ludicrous we've seen in quite some time (and remember, our job is to monitor the ConWeb, so we see lots of ludicrous stuff):
Yes, that's right, "Obama Seeks To Appease Pagan Gods." And how, exactly, is Obama doing that? By providing money to Egypt to protect historic temples:
Amid surging violence in the Mideast, from Gaza to Syria to Iraq, the Obama administration is stepping up efforts in Egypt to preserve a multi-deity temple to the “creator god” Horus and the “crocodile god” Sobek.
After footing a multi-million-dollar bill to help the government of Egypt lower the water level at the Temple of Kom Ombo and other archeological sites, U.S. taxpayers are now shelling out more cash to extend the project beyond its contractual end date, according to procurement documents WND discovered via routine database research.
While Peacock's article never makes the claim that that Obama is appeasing pagan gods, theheadline is ridiculous, and Peacock should be complaining to his WND bosses that his articles are ill-served by misleading headlines.
Then again, Peacock's main function at WND is to obsess about how much aid money is going to Kenya under the Obama administration, so perhaps he sees this headline as accurate.
Some have speculated that Obama’s real father may have been the slain black civil rights leader Malcolm X, who embraced Sunni Islam after his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1964 and being expelled from the Nation of Islam. Apart from the uncanny likeness of the two men, there are those who claim that ample evidence exists to support this theory. One former intelligence operative has come forward, asserting that DNA evidence exists excluding Barack Obama Sr. as the president’s father. None of these parties has been able to produce incontrovertible evidence, however.
All things considered, a Malcolm X paternity certainly would explain the president having also embraced Sunni Islam, which he is dedicatedly working to advance. It might also explain his poorly concealed anti-Christian bias, as well as his administration’s appalling treatment of Israel.
“Wouldn’t proceedings documenting Obama’s dictatorial assault on the former Constitution” – the voice of the youngster speaking stayed steady – “have turned many voters against him, too?”
The old lady thought for a minute. “I’m not sure anyone thought of that,” she replied.
“Did the Stupid Party at least win those stupid elections?”
“What does it matter now?” she said. “They turned out to be the last ones.”
“What’s ‘media’ again?” someone said, just to break the gloomy silence.
“People paid to flatter the tyrant – I’ve told you. Now, where was I? Oh yes, it was an election year.”
The youngsters looked blankly. They just didn’t get why elected officials, sworn to uphold the former Constitution, would break their own oath just as surely as Obama had and do nothing to defend the nation against what turned out to be the tyrant’s final assault.
I’m proud that I was among the first to recognize Obama is unfit for office and a threat to the nation he claims to lead. He’s more of a threat to national security than any terrorist organization. Why? Because terrorists can only kill some of us.
But unconstitutional action by the president of the United States corrupts the very soul of America. If it is not dealt with decisively through impeachment, it can kill the rule of law. It can kill our very spirit. It can kill the American ideal that the will of the people is pre-eminent, rather than the will of some vaunted elite.
The long-term effects of the socialized medicine plan that bears his name will inevitably lead, if not repealed, to lots of death, economic dislocation and suffering of the kind we have seen in Obama’s Department of Veterans Affairs.
Understand what I am saying here – and this is not hyperbole: We have reached a point in which our own government poses a greater danger to the future of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in America than do the formidable foreign enemies we face.
If Obama is not impeached for his high crimes and misdemeanors before he leaves office of his own accord, then it is hard to imagine any future president ever being impeached, again. The crimes he has committed against the Constitution are breathtaking and legion, unsurpassed in American history and, hopefully, in America’s future.
In other words, if Obama is not impeached, we should write off this constitutional provision forever.
Mr Obama, who would be the most powerful man in the world if he had the faintest idea how to govern, is a shambling amateur. His embarrassing and elementary mistakes – from Benghazigate via his bogus “birth certificate” to his war on coal and his naïve declarations of belief in the apocalyptic exaggerations of a handful of climate communists.
The Obama faction is not making war just on whites. When Obama colludes in the exploitation of hapless youngsters as pawns in the elitist faction’s war on America’s borders, he’s making war on them. He pretended that illegal immigration is about compassion for job seekers. Black, Hispanic and Asian Americans, as well as all other workers began to wake up to the damage that implied for their job prospects. So he manufactures a “crisis” that focuses attention on youngsters too young to work. Yet his deceit camouflages the truth, which is that his elitist faction corporate masters are mainly interested in cheapening labor in America, no matter what group has to be damaged and exploited to do so.
We are no longer debating what is an impeachable offense; we are being asked to look away and pretend the Constitution is not being shredded. Our answer must be: Sorry, but that is not something allowed by the genetic code of patriots.
The truth is impeachment will NEVER be the safest course or the smartest course for the political establishment, but it is the necessary course for the survival of the U.S. Constitution even if ultimately rejected by the U.S. Senate after a fair trial. We must make the case for impeachment to demonstrate that no man is above the law, not even the first black president. If we do not make that case, we are betraying the Constitution and degrading our children’s inheritance.
If we go down the road of “not now but maybe later” when Obama is arrogantly daring us by openly engaging in clearly unconstitutional acts, when will it ever by “smart politics” to threaten impeachment against unconstitutional acts by any future president? Impeachment will always be “off the table.”
For another thing, say what you will about Clinton, he comes off as a good old boy. Obama comes across as an arrogant schmuck whose domestic agenda has put a brake on our economic recovery and whose foreign policy has alienated America’s friends and emboldened our enemies.
Under the Obama administration run by our so-called commander in chief, affirmative action has been expanded to include Muslim terrorists such as Hamas and yet another Afghan terrorist, amidst its security forces, who just killed the American general, Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, the highest-ranking U.S. officer to be murdered since 1970 in the Vietnam War.
Thus, in the world of war against radical Islam, Obama and his comrades, like Kerry and the U.N.’s Ban, have created a new type of affirmative action where Muslim terrorists have more rights than our own military and our country as a whole.
Obama must now be held legally accountable for his treason, either through impeachment or some other legal means. The nation finally must be rid of this tyrant, who allows our own best and brightest to be sacrificed at the altar of his Muslim roots and sympathies.
The Washington Post has deeply and lovingly covered the corruption scandal around former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, and couldn’t contain its excitement over the trial. In Sunday’s newspaper and in Tuesday’s Post Express tabloid, they highlighted this preview in headlines: “It’s Going To Be Ugly.” They couldn't wait for the ugliness.
Can Graham read the minds of Post writers? Apparently so.
However, it didn't take much mind-reading to foresee that the trial of McDonnel and his wife would bring out very tawdry things -- heck, the defense, as a key part of their case, is claiming that the Republican governor's wife had a crush on the man who lavished her and the governor with gifts and cash.
It seems that Graham would prefer that the media censor this story. And one part of it is -- NewsBusters sister organization CNSNews.com, which is burying the story by not highlighting it on its front page and leaving coverage to wire reports instead of sending a reporter.
NewsBusters is doing a fine job of censoring it as well: Graham's post is the most recent item with the Robert McDonnell tag.
The Media Research Center lovestoaccuse the media of censorship any time it fails to advance a given right-wing-friendly storyline. But it undermines whatever moral authority it thinks it has to make such an accusation when its own websites censor stories it doesn't like.
WorldNetDaily columnist Marisa Martin hides behind a pseudonym, and we would too if we wrote the kind of paranoiddrivel she cranksout.
In her July 6 WND column, "Martin" goes into full freak-out mode over over the Archie Comics storyline in which Archie dies taking a bullet for his gay best friend:
Archie Andrews was the love of my life at 12 – but I was forced to share him with sweet Betty and sultry Veronica, of course. How galling.
Faced with the usual dilemma of gracefully deposing a cartoon character who has “lived” ungodly long periods of time, Archie’s creators had him lay down his life for a friend. Isn’t that wonderful? Just as Jesus commended, but with so many variables … and the devil lies in the details, as they say.
One of these details is that by 2014 Archie’s taste in friends has greatly changed. Goofy Jughead was replaced by “best friend” Kevin Keller, an open homosexual. From the malt shop podium they could kick back and extol the virtues of the “gay” life, just like Plato and his disciples (although Plato later reversed this, describing the “crime of male with male, or female with female, is an outrage on nature utterly unholy, odious to the gods and ugliest of ugly things”).
Moving back to Riverdale from Athens, Archie Comics gladly sacrifices their protagonist to homosexual “BFF” Kevin in his final chapter. Although this was issued last month, it’s part of a campaign to reshape comics as a tool of social reeducation. Progressive “Archie” publisher and co-CEO John Goldwater informed the AP of this himself: “We hope by showing how something so violent can happen to Archie, that we can – in some way – learn from him.”
It’s understandable that Archie’s publishers would want him bashed, because they obviously reached way beyond the public gullibility point. How many straight guys have a “gay” best friend, anyway? Perhaps an acquaintance or even a few friends, but Kevin and Archie discussing baseball and the comparative hotness of his babes?
Goldwater is a true believer, though. Aggressively pushing a type of “gay” hero worship, he claims to have accidentally stumbled across the story idea.
He eulogizes Archie’s murder in a paean of grandeur and praise for the noble sacrifice of life – but it’s obviously all about the homosexuality: “[Archie] dies selflessly in a manner that epitomizes not only the best of Riverdale, but the best in all of us.”
It’s clearly all about the sex, or an “openly gay” character wouldn’t be intrusively inserted into the storyline in Boy Scout country of Riverdale. Merits of homosexuality are never discussed in Goldwater’s interviews or the appropriateness of forcing it on children either. Why not have Archie die for Mother Teresa or a bus load of children? No political capital.
Martin continues her descent over the edge by correctly diagnosing her paranoia in the process yet reveling in it anyway:
I’ll probably be accused of being a conspiracy theorist for this, but the timing of these social campaigns is extraordinarily coincidental. Goldwater and his cronies launch his big change-the-kids campaign about 2008, the nascent Obama years. Talking points are identical: change, diversity, gun control and promotion of “gay” and alternative lifestyles, specifically in the military – oh, and zombie invasions.
I’m sure it’s a total coincidence, though, and Goldwater and his co-workers have never even heard of Obama or the Democratic national platform, nor are they useful lackeys in any way or have they been promised an ambassador’s position in Libya.
Goldwater proudly announces, “A new Riverdale is born!” with the death of traditional “Archie” and friends.
At its heels comes the news of their new series, “Escape from Riverdale.”
Perhaps some merciful writer/artist team will dream up “Escape from the Undead: Liberals Suck Riverdale Dry: Will Archie save the town in time?”
Like we said: If we wrote stuff like this, we'd hide behind a fake name too.
Mark Levin Effectively Calls Female Senator A Whore, MRC Stays Silent Topic: Media Research Center
It's been more than a week since right-wing radio host Mark Levin ranted at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its endorsement of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu: "You lie down with whores like this and you become one." That means he was effectively calling Landrieu a whore as well.
You'd think that the Media Research Center, which has a business relationship with Levin, would say something. But it hasn't -- just like it didn't when Levin went on a bizarre rant against Jon Stewart, declaring that "I don't trust Jews who change their names."
Perhaps that business relationship has a clause in which the MRC is to ignore Levin's rants, no matter how offensive. After all, this is the same organziation that reacted to Rush Limbaugh's misogynistic tirade against Sandra Fluke by starting an "I Stand With Rush" fan page and calling Limbaugh's denigration of Fluke as a "slut" and "prostirtute" merely a "regrettable blunder."
Perhaps Brent Bozell and the crew really do believe Landrieu is a whore. After all, they had no problem believing Fluke was a slut.
WND's Barbara Simpson Ignores Facts To Rage At Immigrants Topic: WorldNetDaily
Barbara Simpson rants in her Aug. 3 WorldNetDaily column:
There’s only one way to describe my immediate reaction a couple of weeks ago when it was announced that the feds were going to use an upscale resort in Weslaco, Texas, to house illegal aliens.
The announcement came with pictures of the intended illegal domicile. It looked like something a travel agent would use to entice you to book a reservation.
I looked at those pictures and felt as though someone had plunged a knife in my gut. I had never felt that way before. It was depressing.
I looked at those pictures and realized with horror and dejection that my country was lost and that the likes of Barack Obama and his ilk were destroying our borders forever, and they would continue, virtually unimpeded, to destroy the greatest nation this planet has ever known.
The resort had all the amenities that only people with a substantial income could afford if they were in the market for a wonderful vacation – green lawns, lighted tennis courts, three pools, a Jacuzzi, an exercise room, suites, concierge service and all the amenities, plus retail and meeting space on seven acres.
For reasons not fully explained, the place was unoccupied and as far as the feds were concerned, it was ready and waiting for the occupants they were more than ready to provide.
It was just sitting there – waiting – for illegal aliens, people in this country illegally.
The intent was to have the illegals ensconced in luxury they could never have imagined, and it would all be free, along with meals, educational and recreational programs, case management, residential child care, as well as medical and mental health care – of course.
Simpson is so invested in her hatred of immigrants that she's ignoring facts about the proposed facility that debunk her rage.
"The feds" were not going to run this facility; a local group, Baptist Child and Family Services, were. And it would have been turned into a dormitory-type facility like others BCFS runs, not operated in a way to have "illegals ensconced in luxury."
Because of misinformation promulgated by conservatives like Simpson, BCFS has abandoned its plan for the facility.
But never mind the facts, Simpson still has rage to vent:
The common thread in all of this is that America taxpayers are paying for it and will be left with open borders and the influx of millions of uneducated, unskilled, non-English-speaking people who will fancy themselves American citizens.
What a farce.
Thanks, Barack, for killing my country, without firing a shot.
And thanks, Barbara Simpson, for demonstrating what an ideal WND columnist you are with your complete disregard for the facts.
CNS Still Pushing Birth Control 'Abortifacient' Myth Topic: CNSNews.com
Brittany Hughes writes in an Aug. 5 CNSNews.com article:
While advocates of religious freedom and the sanctity of life have hailed last month’s Hobby Lobby decision in the U.S. Supreme Court, the ruling did not liberate health insurance companies from being required to provide coverage for abortifacient drugs in their plans.
The Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby, which is a Christian family-owned company, could not be required to provide cost-free coverage for two types of IUDs and two abortifacient drugs because the owners believed doing so violated their religious beliefs.
As CNS sofrequentlydoes, it's falsely portraying birth control as abortifacients. In fact, birth control methods that prevent implantation of a fertilized egg are, by medical definition, not abortifacients.
CNS management is aware of this medical fact. In a July 2 column CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey grumbled that the conservative Supreme Court justices who wrote the majority opinion in the Hobby Lobby case pointed out the medical reality that such birth control methods are not abortifacients. He then tried to create his own reality by snarking: "OK, so do not call it an 'abortion.' Just call it a 'killing'."
So, it appears that CNS has chosen to deny reality because it conflicts with its political agenda. So much for journalism.
NEW ARTICLE -- Out There, Exhibit 60: Is Gina Loudon A Psychopath? Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily columnist's eagerness to armchair-diagnose President Obama's purported mental illness makes one wonder about her own mental state. Read more >>
MRC Is Mad That People Wish Obama A Happy Birthday Topic: Media Research Center
Scott Whitlock really did devote an Aug. 4 Media Research Center item to this complaint:
From 2009 to 2014, every year of Barack Obama's presidency, the networks have observed his birthday, often wishing him a special day. A graphic for CBS This Morning on Monday touted, "Happy Birthday, Mr. President." Co-host Charlie Rose enthused, "President Obama is waking up a year older. The President turns 53 today, but his birthday weekend began Saturday." He reiterated, "Happy birthday, Mr. President."
Guest co-host Vinita Nair parroted, "Happy birthday." Over on NBC's Today, Savannah Guthrie reminded, "By the way, we should mention it's President Obama's 53rd birthday. So, happy birthday to him." Fill-in host Carson Daly offered, "Happy birthday." On America This Morning, the very early ABC show, co-host Devin Dwyer cheered, "Well, happy birthday wishes going out this morning to President Obama."
How hateful and partisan do you have to be to begrudge anyone wishing the president of the United States a happy birthday? Whitlock can't even be bothered to do any research on how "the networks" have acted in the past, only vaguely claiming that "George W. Bush's July 6 birthday only received sporadic note from the networks."
Yes, we know August is a slow month on the political calendar, but Whitlock has gone beyond "media criticism" and inadvertently exposed the MRC's partisan political agenda.
WND's AAPS-Linked Doctor Irresponsibly Fearmongers About Ebola Topic: WorldNetDaily
Fearmongering about filthy, disease-riddenimmigrants is what has endeared Elizabeth Lee Vliet to WorldNetDaily. And as befits a WND writer and someone affiliated with the ffar-right-ringe Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, facts just don't seem to matter to her.
In her Aug. 3 WND column, Vliet latches on to the Ebola scare:
Deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever is raging out of control in multiple countries in West Africa. Border Patrol agents confirmed that West Africans have been apprehended coming via Mexico into the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, with a number of seriously ill individuals whisked away to undisclosed locations for treatment of undisclosed illnesses. ABC News reported in mid-July that seriously ill illegals were flown from Texas to Ventura Naval base recently with high fever, respiratory difficulties, and coughing blood. At least three required ICU admission. No information was released on what illness was diagnosed, but the time course, severity of symptoms, and need for immediate ICU treatment is not typical for tuberculosis and more consistent with Ebola or hemorrhagic forms of dengue fever.
But the WND article to which Vliet links as evidence says nothing about seriously ill West Africans crossing the southern border and being "whisked away to undisclosed locations for treatment of undisclosed illnesses."
Vliet gets more unhinged and conspiratorial as her column goes on:
Ebola’s use as a weapon of terror and mass destruction has been documented by GlobalSecurity.org, which reports that the former Soviet Union biological weapons program had weaponized the Ebola virus, and that Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese terror group, recently sent members to Africa to harvest the virus during an outbreak.
After long neglecting the contagious disease issues that arose in early June, on July 31, ABC, NBC, CBS and other news outlets simultaneously reported the arrival of two Ebola patients from Africa. Does this give “plausible deniability” to the possible role of illegal border-crossers in bringing Ebola to the U.S.?
In fact, the GlobalSecurity.org article she cites are only speculation and unverified reports (emphasis added):
Reports suggested that the Ebola virus was researched and weaponized by the former Soviet Union's biological weapons program Biopreparat. Dr. Ken Alibek, former the First Deputy Director of Biopreparat, speculated that the Russians had aerosolized the Ebola virus for dissemination as a biological weapon. The Japanese terrorist group Aum Shinrikyo reportedly sent members to Zaire during an outbreak to harvest the virus.
Given that this article is undated, Vliet has no basis to claim any of these purported incidents happened "recently."
Meanwhile, PolitiFact points out just how remote the possibility of Ebola-infected immigrants from West Africa being smuggled across the southern border is, citing actual experts in doing so:
"The incubation period is two to 21 days, so theoretically, an African could fly from an infected area, land in a Mexican airport, take a bus toward the border, hire a coyote to take him across and then ‘present’ with Ebola," said Thomas Fekete, section chief for infectious diseases at the Temple University School of Medicine. "But this presupposes a suicidal person who also has the resources for this kind of travel."
Indeed, the prior, scattered examples of exotic and deadly diseases reaching the United States suggest that "the likelihood of an illegal migrant getting infected and introducing the disease to the U.S. is probably less than that of a ‘legal’ traveler," said Daniel G. Bausch, head of the virology and emerging infections department at the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No.6 in Lima, Peru.
Another problem: If you had such an infection, the chances are good that you would die on the journey to the United States, said Arthur Caplan, director of the division of medical ethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. "You would be too sick to make it to the border by foot," he said.
But Vliet isn't done:
Not very contagious? Really? Then why do World Health Organization officials say the “worst on record” Ebola outbreak in three countries in West Africa is spreading out of control? Why all the special hazmat suits for doctors and nurses? Why did two doctors die treating Ebola patients? Why all the special and expensive isolation units for Ebola patients? In sharp contrast to WHO, U.S. Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, and government spokespersons seem to be going out of their way to downplay risks to Americans.
That's because the risks are, in fact, miniscule. Numerousexpertsagree that there is little threat of an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. because the U.S. health infrastructure is much more robust than it is in West Africa. And since Ebola is not transmitted through the air but, rather, by direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, it is indeed "not very contagious."
By spreading lies and conspiracy theories, Vliet is acting in an irresponsible manner with her Ebola fearmongering.
Newsmax Whitewashes Kansas Economy To Save Brownback Topic: Newsmax
John Gizzi devotes his Aug. 1 Newsmax column to putting the best face he can on the economy in Kansas in order to boost Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's flagging re-election prospects:
In one of the most improbable poll results to emerge from any state this year, a SurveyUSA poll two weeks ago showed Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback trailing Democratic opponent Paul Davis by a margin of 48 percent to 40 percent among likely voters statewide.
"Improbable" is the adjective most frequently used to characterize these results because it accurately reflects the idea that any Republican governor, especially a national conservative hero for his no-tax, small government agenda, could be trailing a Democrat in Kansas. In the last 76 years, the Sunflower State has elected only five Democratic governors.
So why is Brownback, a former two-term U.S. senator who captured the governorship in 2010 with 63 percent of the vote, in political hot water this year?
To pundits, Brownback is the underdog against state House Minority Leader Davis because the governor has pursued a decidedly conservative agenda. With Brownback in charge as the state faces a $300 million revenue shortfall, The Washington Post concluded "he may be paying a political price."
Brownback supporters say his agenda is working, but like the tax and spending cuts Ronald Reagan helped put into law in 1981, its positive results may not occur immediately.
With Republicans in firm control of both houses of the legislature, Brownback successfully guided to law major cuts in the state income tax rate (from 6.4 percent to 4.8 percent) with the eventual goal of abolishing the state income tax. While it is true that Kansas faces a major shortfall, it also has unemployment of only 4.9 percent — "the tenth lowest in the nation," Brownback proudly says — and has witnessed a growth in technical education.
Actually, the economy in Kansas under Brownback is in much worse shape that Gizzi will admit.
The Kansas City Star points out that the job growth rate in Kansas has been anemic, and that in fact the state has recently lost jobs, led by thousands of local and state government jobs that were cut:
Kansas has had one of the nation’s poorest rates of employment growth during Brownback’s time in office, including since the first tax cuts took effect in 2013.
The new Bureau of Labor Statistics report also reveals that Kansas — like eight other states — had fewer jobs at the end of June than it did seven months ago. This fact undermines the Brownback mantra that the state’s economy is gaining steam in 2014.
By the way, several other states also have trimmed local and state government employment, yet still surged ahead of Kansas in private sector jobs. For good measure, the number of government and private sector jobs have grown in states like Colorado, Oklahoma and Iowa.
Meanwhile, Forbes describes how Brownback bought into right-wing ideology that tax cuts pay for themselves, the folly of which is demonstrated by the state's current revenue shortfall:
The business boom predicted by tax cut advocates has not happened, and it certainly has not come remotely close to offsetting the static revenue loss from the legislated tax cuts.
One can argue whether cutting taxes is a good thing. One can argue about whether government is too big. One can even argue about whether low taxes increase business activity. But one cannot credibly argue that tax cuts increase revenue or even pay for themselves. They didn’t for Ronald Reagan. They don’t for Sam Brownback. They won’t for the next politician who tries—whether he (or she) is in Washington, D.C. or in some state capital.
Nevertheless, Gizzi concludes his column in full Brownback rah-rah mode: "If Sam Brownback, who has already made history of sorts with a bold and controversial agenda, next makes history by winning re-election, it will be one of the defining political moments of 2014."
A team of attorneys is jumping to the defense of a scientist who was fired after making the stunning discovery of soft tissue attached to a triceratops skeleton, undermining the belief that dinosaurs roamed earth no less than 60 million years ago.
The Pacific Justice Institute said its case on behalf of Mark Armitage alleges a university official where Mark Armitage worked shouted at him, “We are not going to tolerate your religion in this department!”
The suit against California State University Northridge, filed recently in Los Angeles County Superior Court against the board of trustees, alleges discrimination.
“Terminating an employee because of their religious views is completely inappropriate and illegal,” said Brad Dacus, PJI president.
Unruh is so invested in advocating for PJI that not only can't he be bothered to obtain any response to the lawsuit from the university, the headline of Unruh's article is surprisingly close to the headline on PJI's press release on the lawsuit.
Unruh also obscures facts to make PJI and its client look good. He suggests that Armitage's dinosaur research was done under the auspices of the university that employed him; in fact, Armitage was doing his dinosaur research outside of the school with other creationists, and he was employed by the university only as a part-time microscope technician.
Unruh also suggests that Armitage's publication of his "stunning discovery of soft tissue attached to a triceratops skeleton" was directly linked to his alleged firing. But as the blog io9 points out, Armitage apparently went beyond his job description by discussing his young-earth creationism with students:
This description of events sounds like Mr. Armitage informed some students of his young-earth creationist beliefs, and this might be where Dr. Kwok, his new supervisor, found out about them as well. Unmentioned by the lawsuit, students (undergrad? grad?) in biology departments are not big fans of hearing about young-earth creationism, so at least one of these students might have thought Mr. Armitage was proselytizing to them, even if he didn't intend to.
It sounds like Mr. Armitage said something not-very-scientific towards students and may or may not have told them that dinosaur fossils are thousands of years old. Maybe Mr. Armitage shouldn't have done that.
Further, as io9 commenters went on to note, Armitage's paper on his dinosaur research is suspect because it lacks information about where his research was conducted or any acknowledgments for research assistance. This raises the possibility that Armitage may have been using the microscope lab he worked at to conduct his research, perhaps without permission.
It seems there's much more to this story than Unruh would have you think. Too bad Unruh is completely uninterested in reporting it.