July 18, 2009

Text of Revealing Video Coverage from AP on Cronkite’s Death

CronkiteOnDeathOfJFK1163Perhaps inadvertently, the text of the Associated Press’s earliest video coverage (scroll down the right frame at the link) of Walter Cronkite’s death would appear to say a lot about how journalists see themselves — and it’s not as objective communicators of what is occurring in the world:

Cronkite: “Hello, I’m Walter Cronkite.”

AP’s Diane Kepler, narrator: He was the most trusted man in America.

Cronkite (November 22, 1963): From Dallas, Texas, the flash apparently official. President Kennedy died at 1PM Central Standard Time, 2 o’clock Eastern Standard Time, some 38 minutes ago.

DK: Walter Cronkite, for many the quintessential TV journalist, has died. For most Americans he was the man to turn to on everything from the assassination of President Kennedy to what to think about the war in Vietnam.

Cronkite (1968): But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then would be to negotiate, not as victims, but as an honorable people, who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.

DK: He covered battlefields, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, and was a familiar presence to all of the presidents he covered. But it was his presence and his ability to tell a story with his Midwestern intonations that endeared him to Americans from coast to coast, always promising always to report an event the way it is.

Cronkite (apparently in the late 1950s or 1960, ahead of an interview with John F. Kennedy): Our interview with the Senator will be entirely unrehearsed. It will be spontaneous, it will not be edited. The questions have not been submitted to Mr. (John F.) Kennedy in advance. And I will be asking them of him for the first time.

DK: His familiarity led many to call him “Uncle Walter,” and even though he didn’t know them personally, he sometimes shared America’s enthusiasm on the air, like when man first walked on the moon.

Cronkite (July 20, 1969): “Man on the moon!”

Apollo 11′s Neil Armstrong: Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.

Cronkite: Boy!

Apollo 11′s Neil Armstrong: We’re going to be busy for a minute.

DK: Cronkite left the anchor desk in 1981, handing the reins over to Dan Rather. However, Cronkite wouldn’t soon disappear from the landscape. He backed then-President Clinton when he was suffering from the Lewinsky scandal. He also condemned former President George W. Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq.

Cronkite: If the war we are fighting cannot be sustained with the people knowing what it takes to win that war, then we shouldn’t be there in first place.”

DK: Walter Cronkite, dead at the age of 92. Diane Kepling, the Associated Press.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

ACU Prez David Keene Endorsed Romney?

Filed under: Activism,Business Moves,Scams,Taxes & Government — Rose @ 1:31 pm

Gee, I’m so shocked…

Many of us have been criticized for calling out ”Objectively Unfit Mitt,” not just on his horrendous policies in MA, but also on his apparent practice of paying-to-play with regards to ”key” endorsements.

Turns out that David Keene, President of American Conservative Union (a man whose startling endorsement essentially kept Romney in the race last year) has gotten a taste for the ”pay to play” process in DC…

From yesterday’s Politico:

The American Conservative Union asked FedEx for a $2 million check in return for the group‟s endorsement in a bitter legislative dispute, then flipped and sided with UPS after FedEx refused to pay.In return for the $2 million, ACU offered a range of services that included: “Producing op-eds and articles written by ACU‟s Chairman David Keene and / or other members of the ACU‟s board of directors. (Note that Mr. Keene writes a weekly column that appears in The Hill.)

“The conservative group‟s remarkable demand — black-and-white proof of the longtime Washington practice known as “pay for play” — was contained in a private letter to FedEx that was provided to POLITICO.

The letter exposes the practice by some political interest groups of taking stands not for reasons of pure principle, as their members and supporters might assume, but also in part because a sponsor is paying big money.Maury Lane, FedEx‟s director of corporate communications, said: “Clearly the ACU shopped their beliefs and UPS bought.”

In the three-page letter asking for money on June 30, the conservative group backed FedEx. Rebuffed, the group signed onto a two-page July 15 letter backing UPS. American Conservative Union’s logo is at the top, along with those of six other conservative groups.

Read the whole thing including the two letters involved, it’s unbelievable.

What a racket.  Why not just send them a proposal?  Why take the arrogant position that “this is how it’s gonna be if you want us on your side.”  No, no, no …you should be on their side because it’s the right thing to do.

And “strategists” wonder why there is such a disconnect between elected officials and the electorate?  Well how serious would you take a political ideology when those who are given donations to lobby on it’s behalf, can be bought?

The electorate is not changing, rather there are too many wolves in sheeple clothing who claim to fight for one thing but can be bought to bring about another.

Next time you get an email from David Keene @ ACU (host of CPAC btw, whose “Romney wins” straw polls are now extremely suspect), Ed Fuelner @ Heritage Foundation, Tony Perkins @ Family Research Council, Jay Sekulow @ ACLJ and countless others who unabashedly supported a man who governed to their collective, polar opposite, ask yourself what you really know – and don’t know – about them and how firm they are in their beliefs.

Due diligence should show actions and tangible results commensurate not only with the ostensible goals of these organizations, but with the billions of dollars they have taken in…

Most of all, before you give them a check or credit card in response to an emotional “help us fight the good fight” plea, ask yourself whether or not you think that these men/organizations would gladly give up the limelight , iconic adulation and HUGE incomes,  if it meant that their respective missions were accomplished.

To be clear, I am not admonishing the many sincere, diligent people who work for and support these organizations, rather their leaders.  Let’s face it, in many ways, they have become the very thing against which they started out fighting…an obstructive bureaucracy full of narcissists willing to sell their souls for a seat at the popular table of the day.

Perhaps that is why the fight has become so futile… it’s hard to fight that which you have become.

Additionally, I’d like to know when that particular strategy (of being bought-off) is going to start working in our favor.  That’s a rhetorical question of course because the strategy is akin to vying for liberal votes as a Republican…it fails every time it’s tried and all you come out with are more liberal Republicans, or ineffective blowhards as the case may be.

If you want to support someone or something, may I suggest starting locally?  Find out about your local political committees, join them if possible, support them if they are effective.  Meet (more than once) with any poor fool willing to run for a county or statewide position, look him/her in the eye and decide whether or not they are worthy of your hard-earned money.  That will not only motivate you to keep track and hold them accountable, but will eventually produce genuine leaders who more accurately reflect the communities they serve.

Our eyes must be wide-open and crystal clear if we are to increase our chances of turning things around in this country and that must always start with cleaning our own house…even when it means sweeping some of our most beloved “conservative characters” out the door.

Update: Here is the response from ACU’s EVP Dennis Whitfield.  And I agree with Excelsior (#2) in wanting to know who’s running that show.

Update #2: Here is a response from UPS.

Update #3: David Frum and Michelle Malkin weigh in as well…

If this wasn’t illegal, it was bad business on steroids that should result in a major overhaul at ACU.

Latest Pajamas Media Column (‘The Language of Taxation Needs an Overhaul’) Is Up

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:06 am

It’s here.

It will go up at BizzyBlog on Monday morning (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

Here is a slightly revised version of the column’s graphic (in appearance only; no numbers are different) that shows how the highest marginal tax rate will change for Ohio small business owners who are affected by the following (based on the Wall Street Journal’s assessment as of Monday of this week):

  • the tax-rate changes anticipated in the health care bill;
  • the automatic tax increase scheduled next year when the current tax-rate structure otherwise reverts to where it was in 2001 (this in known in common parlance as “repealing the Bush tax cuts”);
  • the current highest marginal tax rate in Ohio;
  • the current big-city municipal tax rate in the Buckeye State.

TaxRatesUnderHealthCareVsCurr0709

Bottom line, from the column: “Congress wants to make a very small percentage of people pay roughly 50% more to the federal government than they do currently and, depending on their state of residence, to take about one-third of what they currently live on — all to fund other people’s health care.”

Not included: If the affected person lives and works in different Ohio cities, both of which have municipal income taxes, that person will have to pay the full tax where he or she works, and very often part or all of the tax where he or she lives (i.e., many suburbs don’t grant full reciprocity for taxes paid where one works). That can add up to 1% to the marginal rates above for those in such situations.

Positivity: ‘Extraordinary’ Arizona legislative session witnesses pro-life victories

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:34 am

From Phoenix, Arizona:

Jul 16, 2009 / 05:55 am

The Arizona Catholic Conference says the latest state legislature session was “truly extraordinary” and possibly the most pro-life session in Arizona history. …..

Characterizing the legislative session, which ended July 1, as “one of the most unusual and bitter legislative sessions in memory,” Ron Johnson of the Arizona Catholic Conference (ACC) listed legislative achievements in a “wrap-up” announcement.

Johnson said the ACC was “especially grateful” that Governor Jan Brewer signed into law the Abortion Consent Bill, which requires informed consent and a 24-hour waiting period before abortions, tightens parental consent requirements. The new laws also specify that non-physicians cannot perform surgical abortions and they provide conscience protections for health care workers and pharmacists.

According to Johnson, the provisions barring non-physicians from performing abortions were added because new information showed that nurse practitioners performed more abortions than previously thought.

A state ban on partial-birth abortions was also enacted, while an end-of-life measure preserves food and fluids for certain patients with guardians. ….

Go here for the full story.

RIP, Walter Cronkite

Filed under: General — Tom @ 12:30 am

CronkiteOnDeathOfJFK1163The picture is from when the CBS anchor, who died Friday, told the nation on November 22, 1963 that President John F. Kennedy was dead.

The man who, decades after his retirement, said he missed setting the nation’s agenda  — thereby admitting that he did so while he was working — is going to a place where someone greater than you or I will, among many other much more important things, weigh how well he did that, and whether that was even his place.