May 19, 2010

AP, in Playing Defense for Blumenthal, Disses the New York Times (But It All Looks Very Convenient)

Earlier this morning, I was minding my own business, reading this unbylined Associated Press roundup of yesterday’s elections, when I got to the report’s final few paragraphs.

They involved “other concerns” the two major parties have. After noting yesterday’s resignation by Republican congressman Mark Souder, the report’s final paragraph read as follows:

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx40/mmatters/

Well, that’s rich. I wonder how the folks at the New York Times, which prepared the 2,100-word article (“Candidate’s Words on Vietnam Service Differ From History”) to which the AP refers, feel about their august publication being called merely “a newspaper”? Or about the Blumenthal campaign press release disguised as a news report the wire service’s Susan Haigh put forth yesterday? Or is there more going on?

As to Blumenthal’s “dispute,” here’s a clue for both the AP and the Nutmeg State’s AG: There is no “dispute.” There are only these facts and direct quotes:

“We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group (veterans and senior citizens) gathered in Norwalk (CT) in March 2008.”

… In 2003, he addressed a rally in Bridgeport, where about 100 military families gathered to express support for American troops overseas. “When we returned, we saw nothing like this,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “Let us do better by this generation of men and women.” (Returned from where? The PX? — Ed.)

… In at least eight newspaper articles published in Connecticut from 2003 to 2009, he is described as having served in Vietnam.

… And the idea that he served in Vietnam has become such an accepted part of his public biography that when a national outlet, Slate magazine, produced a profile of Mr. Blumenthal in 2000, it said he had “enlisted in the Marines rather than duck the Vietnam draft.”

It does not appear that Mr. Blumenthal ever sought to correct those mistakes.

These Times-delivered facts and quotes are not subject to “dispute.” They are part of the historical record.

But before anyone goes overboard handing out props to the Old Gray Lady, one can’t help but notice that the report’s timing “just so happens” to be quite helpful to Blumenthal. That’s because, as the AP’s Haigh notes, “(Connecticut) Democrats (will) meet this weekend to endorse a candidate for the seat.” With only four days to think about it, will party bigwigs dare to withhold or deny an endorsement to its highest state officeholder? That doesn’t seem likely.

Once endorsed, Blumenthal’s false claims about Vietnam will instantly turn into “old news” that can’t be brought up again without the establishment press characterizing any such effort as an “unfair attack.” Blumenthal’s road to victory in November, while of course not assured, nonetheless looks pretty comfortable, in no small part because of the pathetic-looking crop of potential GOP opponents.

Brilliant. It’s almost as if the whole thing’s coordinated. Nah — the AP and the Times wouldn’t do that … would they?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

About Last Night …

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:11 am

Here are some thoughts on last night’s various elections.

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Rand Paul’s victory in Kentucky’s GOP primary shows what happens when the state party establishment lets the voters decide. When that happens, real Tea Party Values prevail. It’s sad to say that yours truly lives in Ohio, a state where the GOP establishment believes that this is a bad thing.

One intriguing element of the race was how James Dobson publicly switched his endorsement to Paul (not that he’s the greatest indicator of a candidate’s fitness; see Bob McEwen, 2005). Dobson even said he was originally misled about Mr. Paul’s issue positions. I wonder which “senior members of the GOP” (Dobson’s words) did that?

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Arlen Specter’s defeat was entirely predictable once he had a challenger (which, in full disclosure, I didn’t think would happen), though the 8-point loss margin was worse than yours truly expected. Specter should have known that switching parties wouldn’t necessarily save him.

Holly Maddux was unavailable for comment about last night’s results. Concerning Maddux’s brutal murderer, Ira Einhorn:

Einhorn’s attorney was soon-to-be U.S. senator Arlen Specter, and bail was set at a staggeringly low $40,000 — only $4,000 of it needed to walk free. It was paid by Barbara Bronfman, a Montreal socialite …

… shortly before his trial was to begin in January 1981, Philadelphia’s own philosopher king simply vanished (fleeing to Europe).

Einhorn was a radical environmentalist darling until and even after his arrest — even well after his true monstrosity was fully exposed. Arlen Specter has come home.

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The man who defeated Specter, Congressman Joe Sestak, is pretending to be anti-Washington, anti-Obama, and anti-pork. This ABC post-election report says that “Sestak, a virtual unknown compared to his incumbent opponent, successfully exploited the anti-Washington mood …”

Sorry Joe, no sale — your Club for Growth scorecards show you are a big part of the problem, as follows:

2009 — 7%
2008 — 4%
2007 — 6%

Sestak’s 2009 grade during Obama’s first year make him more pro-Obama and pro-pork than the following sampling of leftist “luminaries”: Marcy Kaptur (10%), Pete “Soldiers Die for Bush’s Amusement” Stark (18%), and Dennis Kucinich (28%).

Oh, and Sestak’s 7% ties him with … Nancy Pelosi.

Sestak will go up against former Club for Growth head Pat Toomey. The result of that face-off is all about whether Pennsylvania can ever conquer its own variation of Stockholm Syndrome known as “Insulted Voter Syndrome.” Yesterday’s result in PA-12 should be a warning shot to Toomey — and the state and national GOP establishment that owes him its full and unconditional support for his part in finally taking Snarlin’ Arlen out of the picture — to take nothing for granted.

Imagine We Have a President Who Won’t Call a Videotaped Murder … a Murder

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:21 am

Imagination (first meaning at dictionary.com):

the faculty of imagining, or of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses.

What does what the world saw and heard when Islamist kidnappers killed Daniel Pearl and videotaped his murder have to do with “imagination”?

Ask President Obama (HT Atlas Shrugs):

Transcript:

President Obama: Obviously the loss of Daniel Pearl, uh, was, uh, one of those moments that captured the world’s imagination because it reminded us, uh, uh, of how valuable a free press is.

“Loss”? “Loss”?

“LOSS”?

I can’t imagine why anyone, let alone the alleged leader of the free world, would call a cold-blooded murder designed to intimidate the international press and the civilized world a “loss.”

Ah, perhaps there’s the answer … he’s intimidated.

Chris Littleton: ‘So the Tea Party Was Born’ (With Application to ORPINO, Husted, and Portman)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:15 am

I don’t agree with Mr. Littleton in certain details, but he has the problem nailed (heavily excerpted because it’s important, but read the whole thing):

Two classes define modern America — a political class and a producing class.

… (in) our famed two-party system … Political parties exist to provide an apparatus for achieving elected positions. At no point does either party adhere to a specific set of principles — it is merely responsible for cobbling together a coalition of people who loosely share beliefs in order to achieve victory.

A well-run party consolidates its voting bloc by doing more for its constituents than anyone else. Over time, these constituents become supportive of the chosen party, paying little attention to the actual policies generated by their supported political class.

We are then left with Republicans whose primary goal has become to manufacture prosperity as a defense for a complete lack of fortitude, and Democrats whose primary goal is to manufacture equality as justification for their so-called superior moral status — both equally destructive.

At what point does this highly detached political class consider, “Why am I doing this?” or “Is it right?” The system perpetuates decisions and alliances based on the preservation of their electoral apparatus. Intent and rhetoric are valued far beyond method or outcome, and character and principle are easily abandoned in favor of expediency.

All this is possible only when our producing class has disengaged from the political process altogether. Why? They incorrectly made the assumption that the party they support works for their best interests.

… both parties defend their respective positions as different from the other. Yes, their agendas are different. Yes, their rhetoric is different.

But their methods and outcomes are identical.

Both use government expansion and influence to achieve their goals.

So the “tea party” was born — not to rebel against one party or official, but to begin the great American re-engagement of the producing class. Those who were too busy looked at their children, knowing the political classes were destroying any semblance of the American dream, and finally crossed their line.

They knew that democracy’s own prosperity had bred this new entitled lifestyle and therefore saw complicity in the political class’s abuse of power.

… Those who gave birth to the tea party remembered that we look not to political parties, but to ourselves, for guidance. We were never meant to have rights administered or abused.

So in the end the tea party movement wasn’t a departure to the right. It was the rebirth of the American conscience — a conscience previously too busy, as members of the producing class, to worry about engaging. Now, they no longer trust blindly nor do they seek to divide, but rather to unite through principles — shared beliefs in limited government, free markets and fiscal responsibility.

The tea party movement isn’t about taxes or a third party. It’s the new conscience of the body politic. At its very essence, the tea party movement is the overdue paradigm shift required for the continuation of this “great experiment.” Without a conscience rooted in liberty and accountable through action, the political class will destroy the very fabric of our republic.

It has come perilously close to doing so already.

Borrowing from Mr. Littleton, the following statement might as well be the motto on the walls of the offices at ORPINO (the Ohio Republican Party In Name Only):

We make decisions and perpetuate alliances based on the preservation of our electoral apparatus. We will present noble intent and rhetoric to the voters and could care less about how we get to our desired outcome. We will abandon character and principle in favor of expediency.

What else explains ORPINO’s enthusiastic promotion of the objectively unfit Jon Husted’s candidacy, in direct violation of at least two items Kevin DeWine’s post-2008 election “10-point plan for building a new Ohio Republican Party”? (*) Merely because the system refused to hold Husted accountable for his self-evident offense against representative government — living in Columbus for years while falsely claiming to live in the district he represents — ORPINO and Husted expect the electorate not to care. If sufficiently aware, “the new conscience of the body politic” will not reward Husted with a promotion to the office responsible for administering the state’s election laws.

Extending the rhetorical borrowing from Mr. Littleton a bit further:

At what point does Rob Portman, the highly detached political insider, consider, “Why am I doing this?” or “Is it right?”

Am I being unfair? Consider this, from a 2005 Cleveland Plain Dealer profile:

“I probably am a little risk-averse compared to some members [of Congress],” he concedes, “but I think a lot of that is a deliberate decision on my part that some things are worth it for my career and some things aren’t.”

So when the chips are down, will Portman choose country first, or Rob first? When the Constitution’s original intent is being twisted like a pretzel, while Portman choose it first, or Rob first? What does it look like?

Rob Portman has to prove to “the new conscience of the body politic” that it’s not about him. He clearly hasn’t done so yet. I don’t even know that he can.

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(*) – the “LeadingOhio.com” web site that formerly contained the 10-point plan, at least through late May of last year, and which included “conservative credibility” (Point 1) and “zero-tolerance policy” (Point 10) is no longer available, even in an archive.org search, and merely redirects to ORPINO’s home page. Expediency, and not “a specific set of principles,” rules.

Positivity: Woman Transplanted With a Third Kidney

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 7:36 am

From Dupo, Illinois:

Jessica Phillips, a young woman from Dupo, Illinois, recovers after receiving a miraculous third kidney. After her rare transplant last week some are calling the 27-year-old a “medical miracle”.

“I’ve seen people who’ve had two but I’ve never really heard of anybody saying anything about three,” explains Jessica.

It was 2:30 in the morning last week when Jessica and her husband, Jacob, got the call that a perfect match kidney had been located. The Phillips only had an hour to get to Barnes Hospital to begin the surgery.

Ten years ago, Jessica’s kidney contracted a rare disease that required her first donation made by her mother, Nancy. After the first transplant failed, Jessica’s stepfather donated a kidney for a second transplant. That kidney held on well enough, but doctors were afraid the organ would not do well with the grueling dialysis Jessica was preparing to go through. …

Go here for the rest of the story.