August 24, 2008

More Biden Wiki Wackiness: A Whole Year Disappears

The Friday evening version of Joe Biden’s Wikipedia entry remains firmly ensconced in a Firefox tab on my desktop, so it can be compared to its current form as Obama-Biden’s busy bees brush it up. I’m doing comparisons as time allows, and there isn’t much of it at the moment.

One thing is quickly obvious — a whole year has disappeared:

BidenWikiSun082411AMvFri0822

Amazing. Where did 2004 go?

You’ll just loooooove what got moved to a different and less logical section of the entry, while the section “2004″ went away (Note: I originally believed that the text in the “2004″ section had been deleted; also see the Update below):

BidenWiki2004McCainAsKerryVP

(The text was moved to an area before the section for the 1988 campaign. For reasons unknown, the entry now posits that Biden didn’t “really” campaign in 2004, though evidence noted in the Update below indicates that he did.)

Joe Biden thought that John McCain would be perfectly qualified to be Veep on the Democratic ticket in 2004, and thus fit to serve as President if something should happen to John Kerry, his party’s nominee.

Now we get to hear Joe Biden tell us why John McCain shouldn’t be president.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

Incidentally the two footnoted links in the 2004 picture both work (here and here).

But, “oddly enough,” all that remains of the footnote relating to McCain is a headlined article at MSNBC with no text:

What are the odds that anyone in traditional media will take any interest in the ongoing whitewash? Or is it really possible that they’re participating in it?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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UPDATE: I have made some modifications to the original entry, given the circumstances.

Before Biden was picked by Obama, there was a section in “presidential campaigns” called “2004.” That heading for that “whole year” has disappeared, as if he didn’t “campaign” for president. The headline of this post is therefore fine.

We can split hairs over the definition of “campaign,” but you’ll see at this CNN link from early 2004 that after Kerry was the clear nominee, Biden was considered someone “Who’s out.” The fact that he’s on the list means that in mid-2003, he must have been considered among the viable candidates with serious intentions to run, and that CNN considers him to have to some extent “campaigned.” “Campaigning” includes trying to bring on big-money donors and/or big-money connections and finding out that the money isn’t there, as Biden did.

The problem, if I recall correctly, is that Howard Dean was hogging all of the oxygen during that time, and people like Biden and certain others in the “who’s out” group couldn’t get noticed.

So I believe that the original 2004 entry was valid where it was, and its text should never have been moved to above 1988. I didn’t scour the entry from top to bottom to see where the text had been moved. Who would?

I have now noted that the text was moved to an illogical place, but that doesn’t change the fact that 2004 as a “Biden presidential campaign” disappeared — apparently, only because he was selected as Obama’s Veep. There’s no defense for that.

All of this makes it a slightly less egregious whitewash, but a whitewash nonetheless.

More to the point re the ads and disads of Wiki, the “wiki community” was fine with the entry for the 2004 section until Biden was selected. There is no reason, besides an invalid agenda-driven one, that Biden’s selection should have affected that section’s existence or its text’s location in any way, shape, or form.

UPDATE 2: Commenter Jim Taylor found the MSNBC article, which was actually from Reuters, in the Wayback Archive. It is reproduced here for fair use and discussion purposes –

WASHINGTON – Sen. Joseph Biden, a senior Democrat, on Sunday urged Republican Sen. John McCain to run for vice president with the Democratic hopeful, Sen. John Kerry, in order to heal the “vicious rift” dividing America.

McCain, of Arizona, “categorically” ruled out standing with Kerry, but Biden, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he had no second choice.

“I’m sticking with McCain,” Biden said.

“I think John McCain would be a great candidate for vice president,” Biden, from Delaware, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where the two senators appeared together to take questions on Iraq and other subjects.

“Do I think it’s going to happen? No,” he said. “But I think it is a reflection of the desire of this country and the desire of people in both parties to want to see this God-awful, vicious rift that exists in the nation healed, and John and John could go a long way to heal in that rift.”

McCain, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee and in line to take over the Senate Armed Services panel in two years, endorsed Biden’s call for bridging the political gap between Democrats and Republicans.

“There’s too much partisanship in America, and there’s too much partisanship in the Senate,” he said. “And we’re not doing our job as our constituents expect us to do.”

“I will always take anyone’s phone calls,” McCain said of any call he might get from Kerry, a fellow decorated Vietnam War veteran. “But I will not, I categorically will not do it.”

Kerry said Wednesday that McCain, a frequent critic of President Bush, would be his first choice to replace Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense now wrestling with the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal.

“I have any number of people that I would make secretary of Defense, beginning with our good friend John McCain,” Kerry said last week.

But on “Meet the Press” Sunday, McCain also indicated he was not interested in becoming secretary of defense in the event of a Kerry victory in November.

The POR Economy: Not Too Poor to Swing an Election

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:45 am

Note: This was posted at Pajamas Media on Friday morning under the title “Economy May Not Be Bad Enough to Help Dems.”

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In early July, I was concerned enough about the antics of Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid that I coined the term “POR Economy” to describe what they were creating with their anti-oil, high-tax agenda.

The tax-happy, Big Oil-punishing trio seemed to believe that a poor third-quarter economy would enhance their chances of winning the presidency and larger congressional and Senate majorities. They appeared to be in a position to make it happen.

Their energy intransigence, the prospect of automatic tax increases as the Bush tax cuts expired, and of further increases under a President Obama, led me to observe that:

Businesses and investors are responding to their (Pelosi’s, Obama’s, and Reid’s) total lack of seriousness by battening down the hatches and preparing for the worst.

Three things have occurred since then to greatly reduce the chances that the economy will go move into negative territory in the third quarter:

  1. President Bush and House Republicans have awoken from their slumber and gained the upper hand in the energy debate.
  2. Previously lukewarm John McCain has come out clearly for expanded drilling.
  3. Obama has performed poorly on the campaign trail, culminating with last Saturday’s disaster at Rick Warren’s church. Obama’s position “is more vulnerable than at any point since the primaries concluded.”

As a result, the palpable near-panic businesses and investors were exhibiting in early July has largely subsided.

The biggest factor in their improved outlook has been oil’s price retreat of over 20% from its all time high of $147. (Update: Since this column was originally written, oil prices have headed upward again, primarily because of the Russia-Georgia situation.) Although consumption has fallen, the bigger influences have clearly been President Bush’s Executive Order allowing offshore drilling in parts of Alaska, and the tide turning towards the GOP in the Outer Continental Shelf drilling debate. These two developments have shown that the mere prospect of increased supply can bring down current prices, making it obvious that actual increases in supply, even if nominal at first, will bring them down even more.

Don’t get me wrong. This economy still isn’t, and shouldn’t be, impressing anyone. If it replicates the second quarter’s current sub-2% growth performance (pending revisions), that will be nice, given how things looked just a short time ago. But it remains unacceptable.

We have seen seven straight months of seasonally adjusted job losses. The housing and mortgage markets remain in the doldrums. The July Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index reports released this past week indicate that inflation looms as a serious potential problem, possibly forcing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to raise interest rates at a very bad time.

Things are not going well. But the election questions are:

  • First, is the economy bad enough (or perceived that way) to affect the election? Because of its unacceptable current condition, combined with years of relentless negativity by traditional media (even when times were good), the answer is “yes.”
  • Second, who will get pinned with the blame?

Normally the answer to the second question would be easy. If it’s bad, or perceived as such, it must be the fault of the party holding the White House, and that party’s presidential candidate is in deep trouble.

But I don’t see that being the case this November, for four reasons.

First, Pelosi, Obama, Reid, and the Democratic Party are on the side of energy obstruction, while the Republicans and McCain are pushing the drill now, do-it-all alternative that is clearly what people prefer.

Second, the moratorium on most offshore drilling, which expires on September 30, is something that must be voted on every year. Pelosi, Obama, and Reid continue to act as if they’ll be able to extend it. The markets doubt it. The harder Pelosi et al try, the more visible their failure will be. If they push too hard, they will be courting electoral suicide. The lose-lose problem is that a back-off will then give the GOP bragging rights.

Third, the large states with the worst economies (Michigan, Obama’s Illinois, and Ohio) happen to have Democratic governors, and another (California) might as well have one. I don’t recall a period of economic sluggishness where four states performed so poorly, while the rest of the country for the most part held its own.

Finally, no presidential candidate, at least in my lifetime, has called for massive tax increases in a difficult economy. Barack Obama has. His tax proposals are playing so poorly that he’s pulling back from some of his most extreme positions. One example: His idea to apply “the payroll tax” of 12.4% to all income over $250,000 (6.2% employee, 6.2% employer) has morphed into a “well, it might be OK if it’s 2% to 4%.”

But it’s too late. Everyone knows that it’s tax increases Obama wants, and if he becomes president, it’s tax increases we will get, regardless of their effect on the economy. He has turned what should have been an electoral advantage into a handicap. His vulnerability is quite understandable.

Positivity: Benedict XVI — Bishop Egger tirelessly brought the Gospel to people

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:05 am

From the Vatican, and Italy:

Pope Benedict XVI remembered the late Bishop Wilhelm Emil Egger of Bolzano-Bressanone, an expert on the Bible who had been named special secretary for the Synod on the Word of God. He described the late prelate as a “beloved friend” and “learned pastor who the Church has lost, a kind and pious man who tirelessly brought the good news of Christ to people.”

The L’Osservatore Romano published a letter the Holy Father wrote for the funeral of Bishop Egger, which took place on Thursday at the Cathedral of Bressanone. In his letter, the Pope noted that “love for the Word of God and the sanctification of Sunday are now the particular testimony of Bishop Egger, which will help the faithful and parish communities to make the encounter with the God of love the center of their lives.”

After expressing his closeness to the diocese in prayer, the Pope underscored in his letter Bishop Egger’s “profound relationship with the Sacred Scriptures, which molded his entire life and from which he learned. Thus the celebration of the Eucharist constituted the central moment of his spiritual life, and therefore he celebrated Sunday Mass in a profoundly pastoral way with the faithful of his diocese.”

In recalling the last pastoral letter of Bishop Egger entitled, “Called to Follow Love,” the Holy Father said this title “aptly expresses the life of this man of the Church as a Christian, a religious and a bishop. His example is an invitation to each one of us to open ourselves to the love of God and enliven it with consistent effort in order to bring out in our own lives the authentic ‘following of love’.”

Go here for the rest of the story.