December 6, 2009

Is that the POT(us) Calling the Congress Black?

Filed under: Activism,Economy,Taxes & Government,Wide Open — Rose @ 1:06 pm

Update: In the end…the CBC gets what they want to the tune of $6 billion. Sad that they continue to enslave their own communities to the government plantation.

Or the other way around?

Looks like the Congressional Black Caucus is moving their own king into check…”we want more money or else.”

From Dick Morris and Eileen McGann:

A civil war is breaking out within the left of the Democratic Party pitting the Congressional Black Caucus against the first African-American president.

The battle began when California Congresswoman Maxine Waters complained publicly about the Administration’s failure to do more to help minority-owned businesses in the current recession. (Translation: In the new Stimulus of “Jobs” Bill making its way through Congress, they want a larger take). It continued yesterday when ten members of the Black Caucus refused to participate in a meeting of the House Banking Committee which was considering the bill to restructure financial regulations forcing Chairman Barney Frank to push the bill through by the uncomfortable margin of only 31-27.

The latest shot in the battle was fired by Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss) a card carrying regular of the Black Caucus. Faced with the need to investigate the gate crashing at the White House during the recent state dinner for India, he chose to embarrass the Administration by subpoenaing White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers rather than quietly negotiating for her appearance.

…The merits of the controversy are obvious. What possible reason would a Social Secretary, for goodness sakes, have for the assertion of executive privilege that is usually reserved for issues of national security? Obviously, none. But Thompson chose his target well. He struck at the social core of the Chicago Mafia that runs the White House, probably striking within the Obama family as well.

Read the whole thing here. Interesting move…threatening to take down your own king.

Three Big Stories, Three Media Disappearing Acts

Hear_No_Evil_See_No_Evil_Speak_No_EHow media magicians have made $80 billion, the homeless, and a thus far marginal Christmas shopping season disappear.

_________________________

Note: This items was posted at Pajamas Media and teased here at BizzyBlog on Friday.

__________________________

Have you heard about the $80.7 billion “reorganization gain” General Motors posted in its recent release of financial information?

I’ll bet not. Specifically, that gargantuan sum is the positive portion of a net amount of $79.672 billion that “old General Motors” — now known as Motors Liquidation Company — recognized as “special items” during the first nine days of July. You read that right.

To reach the details of this most extraordinary gain, the company forces you to download and open a 14-page Word document; I guess the news about that marvelous invention known as Portable Document Format (PDF) has yet to reach Detroit. Finally, the reader sees the line-by-line treatment on Page 6:

OldGM80bilGainDetail

Allow me to translate:

  • After writing off $53.639 billion in “loans,” the federal government has a majority stake in “new” General Motors supposedly valued at $2.505 billion. The difference of $51.134 billion represents the direct amount U.S. taxpayers have lost thus far as a result of bailing the company out.
  • The third item is the total of the debts and other general obligations the bankruptcy court in essence allowed GM to walk away from.

This astounding and precedent-breaking set of transactions is news by any reasonable definition of the word. At first, the Associated Press treated it that way. Relatively brief versions of AP reports issued during the first hour or so after GM’s early morning November 16 release noted the $80 billion pickup (pun not intended). But by 9:30, the $80 billion disappeared and never returned; it is nowhere to be found in the final version of the wire service’s coverage. The focus in later revisions moved to further discussion of the “new” GM’s reported “managerial net loss” of $1.2 billion, and to the company’s intention to begin repaying some of the additional money that Uncle Sam lent to it after it emerged from bankruptcy. To be clear (which AP wasn’t), the loans targeted for payback are over and above the $50-plus billion already written off.

Although it doesn’t involve huge sums of money, a second recent establishment media disappearing act involves hundreds of thousands of Americans who have always received prominent mention in the run-up to Thanksgiving whenever Republicans have occupied the White House. I am of course referring to the homeless.

Let’s see. Is the economy worse or better than it was two Thanksgivings ago? October 2009′s unemployment rate of 10.2% was 5.5 points higher than October 2007′s 4.7%. The U.S economy in the third quarter of 2009 was smaller than it was two years earlier, and home foreclosures have dominated the economic news for quite some time.

Given the obviously worse and still deteriorating employment and housing situations, one would think that to the extent the homeless problem is truly serious, it has almost certainly gotten worse overall, and definitely so in certain parts of the country. One might therefore conclude that homelessness would have received more media coverage just before and after this year’s Thanksgiving than it has in previously years, and that enterprising reporters would have rushed out of their comfortable offices to breathlessly tell their audiences how awful the plight of the homeless has become.

That didn’t happen. A Google News search I did on November 29 on “homelessness rising” (not in quotes) returned all of 22 unique listings. I repeated that search on December 2 and got the same results. As far as I could tell, none of the listings were from national establishment media sources, and virtually none of them addressed overall national or local trends. Similar searches done two or more years ago while George W. Bush was president would certainly have retrieved far more results.

A third disappearing act has to do with Christmas and Christmas shopping, and has two aspects. Since 2005, I have chronicled the decline in media use of the term “Christmas shopping season” in favor of “holiday shopping season” (typed in quotes in each case). Four years ago, in searches done just before Thanksgiving, “Christmas shopping season” references made up about 15% of the total results of all “shopping season” searches. This year, those references were only 6% of the total. At that rate of shrinkage, we won’t see any references to the “Christmas shopping season” within three or four years.

The other angle disappearing from journalists’ Christmas reporting lists is the one where they go all gloomy telling us what a mediocre selling season retailers will have, are having and finally did have. This commonly played out at the New York Times during the Bush 43 years of 2001-2007.

This year, it seems that they’re turning into Pollyannas. In Tuesday’s Times, reporter Stephanie Rosenbloom waited until her 15th and final paragraph to tell us that two retail associations predict that overall Christmas shopping season sales will come in 1%-2% below last year’s objectively dreadful, bailout blues-induced result.

As I prepared this column, it seemed that the establishment media’s dogged effort to keep Climategate under wraps was starting to unravel. But if they can successfully hide $80 billion, ignore hundreds of thousands of homeless, make the Christmas shopping season disappear, and pretend that Christmas retail business really isn’t that bad, I wouldn’t bet against them on Climategate just yet.

Name That Party: AP and Local NE PA Press Fail to ID Party of Third Guilty-Pleading Judge

namethatparty

Well, you can’t say they aren’t consistent.

Two brief AP dispatches from December 2 and December 3 about Michael Toole, a Pennsylvania judge who has agreed to plead guilty to corruption-related charges, fail to mention that Toole has at least been a contributor to the Democratic Party, and appears very likely to have been a party member.

This see-no-party treatment parallels local media coverage of Toole’s situation (four of many examples are here, here, here, and here). As far as I can tell, no one has directly identified Toole’s party affiliation.

It wasn’t easy to ascertain that Toole is a more than likely a mule. The best online evidence of his party affiliation consists of a March blog post at Sights on Pennsylvania identifying contributions by Toole to the Luzerne County Democratic Party in 2003. Whether Toole is actually a registered Democrat, or was until shortly before his legal troubles began, is supposed to be AP’s and other journalists’ job to determine — and report.

The wire service refers to Toole as a “third judge” to be hit with corruption charges. As previously noted several times at NewsBusters and BizzyBlog, the other two, Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan, are definitely Democrats. The AP actually said so in an early dispatch about the pair’s indictment in February, but removed mention of their party membership a short time later; graphic proof that this occurred is at the earliest related post at (here and here) at each blog. As far as I can tell, the pair’s party affiliation has not since been mentioned in an AP report.

Here is the full December 2 AP dispatch, followed by an excerpt from December 3:

(December 2)

A third judge in northeastern Pennsylvania has been charged with corruption on the bench.

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday filed fraud and tax charges against Luzerne County Judge Michael Toole. Court documents indicate he will plead guilty.

Prosecutors say Toole “corruptly abused” his position by concealing his financial relationship with an attorney who appeared before him in court. They say the 49-year-old judge “improperly ruled” in the attorney’s favor in an arbitration case.

Two other Luzerne County judges were charged in January with accepting millions of dollars in kickbacks to place youth offenders in privately owner detention centers.

A total of 20 people have been charged this year in a wide-ranging federal corruption probe in Luzerne County.

(December 3)

Pennsylvania’s highest court says a Luzerne County judge can no longer take any official action a day after he was charged in a federal corruption probe.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday relieved Judge Michael Toole of all judicial and administrative duties. His salary and benefits aren’t immediately affected.

The best evidence that only Democratic Party officials and members are involved in the apparent cesspool of corruption in Luzerne County is this paragraph from a pre-election report at CitizensVoice.com in October 2009:

The Republican Party’s campaign theme – that the corruption scandal is a symptom of longtime one-party Democratic rule in the county – could resonate with independents and disaffected Democrats. Conahan, Ciavarella and the five other elected officials charged in the probe are registered Democrats.

All told, 20 people including those not in public office have been charged thus far, according to this party ID-free list compiled by TimesLeader.com.

Perhaps NB and BizzyBlog readers more familiar than yours truly with the goings-on in Northeast PA can serve the cause of public knowledge by identifying in the comments, preferably with supporting links, the party affiliation of those on the list who have not already been clearly ID’d (i.e., all except Ciavarella and Conahan, whose offenses involve placing juvenile offenders into detention centers in return for millions in kickbacks). The AP and the local press in that area apparently can’t or won’t do it, so someone will have to do it for them.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Positivity: South the ‘birthplace of black Catholicism’ says expert

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:47 am

Primarily from Sacramento, California:

Dec 5, 2009 / 12:28 pm

Craig Manson, Distinguished Professor and Lecturer in Law at the University of the Pacific, has recently written about how the South in the U.S could be regarded as the “birthplace of black Catholicism.”

Explaining the historical context, Manson told CNA that “evidence suggests that the first black Catholics in America were those in Florida as early as 1565. They came with the Spanish explorers. Some were slaves; others were free Africans.”

“As for slaves, we know that the Spanish baptized their slaves and treated them like human beings, not property,” continued Manson. “Black people did comparatively well under Spanish rule in Florida, as opposed to, for example, South Carolina. In the late 1600s, slaves from the Carolinas began escaping to Florida, where one condition of their sanctuary there was baptism.”

Manson also told CNA that “there exists in St. Augustine a baptismal record for a black child dated 1606. Some scholars believe there were Catholic child baptisms in Florida earlier than that, but the records just haven’t survived.”

“A great many black Catholics have roots in Louisiana,” explained Manson. “The reason is similar to the other situation: the French who governed Louisiana originally required slaves to be baptized and encouraged the preservation of family structures among slaves. They required slave marriages to be consecrated by the Church.”

“Additionally,” said Manson, “the French were quite a bit more liberal than the British when it came to interracial marriages.”

When asked about the significance of these findings, Manson told CNA that he believes that “understanding history gives us a perspective on the present. It explains why we are where we are and how we got there. As a life-long black Catholic myself, I didn’t know much about the history of black Catholics until recently.” ….

Go here for the rest of the story.