January 12, 2011

Jonathan Alter, From the Dark Side at Newsweek

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:24 pm

I’m going to link to Taranto’s Best of the Web for the pull paragraphs because Alter himself deserves no traffic for what he wrote Monday at Newsweek.

Here are the two evil paragraphs in question (and yes, evil is the right word), with Taranto’s excellent commentary bookending them:

TarantoOnAlterOnGiffords011011

Column Preview: Reaganomics Routs Obamanomics

For the “must have charts” crowd, here’s one whose data will be addressed further at my pending Pajamas Media column (Note: the following graph shows private-sector jobs, which was not specifically ID’d in an earlier version of the chart; stay tuned for total jobs when the PJM column appears, the contrast is even more stark):

ReaganVobamaPrivateJobs18mos

If you’re wondering why the establishment press hasn’t done a lot of direct comparisons to the economy’s post-recession performance in the 1980s, the chart pretty much explains why. It’s embarrassing — no, make that humiliating.

More to the point: I would assert that almost 4 million people are out of work (more like over 5 million, if you consider growth in the potential workforce in the intervening quarter-century) because of deliberately chosen policy prescriptions proven not to work in the past (i.e., stimulus, government intervention; e.g., 1930s USA, 1990s Japan), and deliberately ignored policy prescriptions proven to have worked in the past (i.e., across-the-board and investment-targeting tax cuts, regulatory moderation; e.g., early 1960s USA under Kennedy, 1980s USA under Reagan).

“Party of Compassion” my a**.

A Bad START to the New Year (Robert Roll Debut Column)

Filed under: National Security,Taxes & Government — Rob Roll @ 10:42 am

Editor’s Note: This is the BizzyBlog debut column of Robert Roll, the blog owner’s nephew and a freshman at Ohio Northern University. Rob is a Finance major who has been writing columns for ONU’s student newspaper since last fall.

Oddly enough, the Ohio Northern Review stopped publishing its content over the Internet about two years ago, meaning that Rob’s columns to this point have not appeared online. Considering the quality of his work, that situation is unacceptable. Rob has an online outlet here as long as he wishes to utilize it.

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A Bad START to the New Year

It is a new year and that means it is a time for a few new starts. It is time for you to start that quarter-long project that you have not even thought about yet. It is time to start your new workout routine that you will maintain for one week, two tops. But just like that tofu-papaya-pea diet, there are some things that you should not start. Another example of this is the New START treaty. While most of you were home with your family and friends, a lame-duck United States Senate ratified the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. The treaty is an agreement between the United States and Russia to decrease the number of nuclear weapons in their arsenals.

The original START talks, which were highly successful and beneficial to America, occurred during the Cold War between President Ronald Reagan and counter-part in the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev. At that time, those were the only two true nuclear powers in the world. Today’s situation is very different. There are now ten nations that possess nuclear weapons, five of which are not exactly our friends (Russia, China, Syria and in all likelihood Iran and North Korea). Given the change in the geopolitical landscape, how can this disarmament not be taken as a sign of weakness, especially when the United States got the raw end of the deal?

When signing the New START treaty in Moscow, President Obama announced his vision for a “world free of nuclear weapons”. While that statement was great for a sound bite, it is incredibly destructive for a stable world. The reason that nuclear weapons are so vital for our national security is because they prevent other nations from using nuclear weapons on us. Why would a nation attack us if they knew that they would be obliterated from the face of the earth because of our retaliation? This is why nuclear weapons have been the greatest force for world peace ever.

Plus, if Obama really wanted to rid the world of nuclear weapons then why would he get rid of the one thing that could cause that to happen? According to the New START treaty, the United States will reduce its missile defenses. In addition, earlier in his term, Obama removed a missile shield from Poland. Both of these actions hinder our ability to defend ourselves from an attack and decrease the chances for a nuclear-weapon-free world. The best way to rid the world of nuclear weapons is to render them obsolete, which is what missile defenses do.

You are probably asking the question, “If this treaty is so detrimental to the United States, then why did Obama sign it?” Many people have put forth their answers to that question and most of them are just a bunch of psychobabble. The only logical answer that I can come up with is that Obama is just plain naïve. And naivety is the most powerful Weapon of Mass Destruction.

USAT Cites Kanjorski NYT ‘Civility’ Op-Ed As ‘Smart Insight’; Former Congressman Called For Rick Scott’s Shooting

The folks at USA Today really ought to vet their candidates for the “Et Cetera — Smart insights on the news of the day” section of the print edition of its editorial page a bit more thoroughly.

Wednesday morning’s opener in that section (apparently not available online) featured two paragraphs from a New York Times op-ed by former Pennsylvania Congressman Paul Kanjorski, including this final sentence:

Therefore, it is incumbent on all Americans to create an atmosphere of civility and respect in which political discourse can flow freely, without fear of violent confrontation.

As I noted yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog; original HT Mark Hemingway at the Washington Examiner), Kanjorski’s entitlement to lecture on civility is more than a little suspect, given what he said about Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott and the health insurance industry last year:

“That Scott down there that’s running for governor of Florida,” Mr. Kanjorski said. “Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him. He stole billions of dollars from the United States government and he’s running for governor of Florida. He’s a millionaire and a billionaire. He’s no hero. He’s a damn crook. It’s just we don’t prosecute big crooks.”

In his op-ed, Kanjorski joined the pantheon of alleged journalists, editorialists, and others whose writings have appeared in the New York Times during the past several days who have all of a sudden discovered the need for “civility” in the wake of the Tucson murders while demonstrating little if any restraint previously.

It’s too bad that USAT let itself get suckered into giving Kanjorski's work more undeserved, response-free exposure. It’s definitely not consistent with the stated goal of Founder Al Neuharth (whose "civility" credentials are also suspect) for the paper "to serve as a forum for understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation."

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Lucid Links (011211, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:20 am

John Nolte at BigJournalism.com (“New Media Soundly Defeats Left-Wing Media’s Political Witch Hunt”):

Those of you old enough to remember the assassination of President Kennedy also remember the media blaming a murder committed by an openly Marxist Castro supporter on right-wing anger.

… these last three days will rightly haunt the mainstream media for decades to come.

… Empty your soul of all that’s decent so that for just one moment you can imagine what it’s like to be a part of the mainstream media. Imagine what it was like as recently as 15 years ago to enter the field of “journalism” under the promise that if you were successful you’d have unlimited and, better yet, unaccountable powers to destroy whomever you wanted and to tell whatever lies necessary to further a personal agenda. Now imagine how frustrating it must be to have that promise almost completely evaporate with the rise of Citizen Media, New Media, and Fox News.

What we witnessed these past three days wasn’t just political partisanship, what we witnessed was the horror show of entitled and angry elitists desperate for that warm, nostalgic feeling of reaffirmation that comes with a successful character assassination and a death blow to their political enemies. Yes, the media made complete fools of themselves and further damaged what was left of their reputations, but the brass ring of a momentary return to the good old days was impossible not to reach for.

Now, refill your soul and imagine what the last three days would’ve looked like without New Media, without the ability of decent people to have a say in the ongoing narrative — a say that included logic, facts, truths, and humanity. Thanks to the power of New Media and the patriotic willingness of everyday Americans to take the time to utilize it, “The Three Days of the Krugman” ended up being another humiliating defeat for the left, a permanent black mark on their record every bit as black as RatherGate, only more sweeping.

… this past weekend mattered for reasons much more important than politics. Now that the indecent have retreated to the shadows to lick their wounds, this nation can finally unify and get on with the proper business of grieving for the victims of a monstrous attack on our country and democracy.

I’m not as convinced as Nolte that the pushback was as successful as he describes it, but there’s no doubt that it largely neutralized and exposed the worst excesses; CBS polling data cited at Hot Air somewhat confirms this. 57% aren’t buying the establishment press’s horse manure; it ought to be 97%.

And, as we’ll see shortly, they’re still pounding away. We should not forget who has revealed their fundamental ugliness over this.

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Dana Milbank at the Washington Post doesn’t quite see it the way Nolte does, and gets the history wrong in the process:

The killer claimed he was inspired by an anarchist, not by Hearst – but that didn’t stop opponents from falsely claiming that Czolgosz had a copy of Hearst’s New York Journal in his pocket when he did the deed. Secretary of State Elihu Root later accused Hearst of driving the “weak and excitable brain of Czolgosz” to murder. The outcry against Hearst’s incitement – there were boycotts and a burning in effigy – dashed his presidential ambitions.

A similar, and long overdue, outcry has followed the Tucson killings.

Seriously, the melted-down mind of Milbank is celebrating the idea that a narrative known to be false ended someone’s presidential ambitions, and hopes that a similar false narrative involved in the Tucson murders might be successful.

W. Joseph Campbell at Media Myth Alert (HT Instapundit) agrees that Milbank’s column “suggests that using smears to batter foes into silence is somehow worthy or admirable.” Campbell also shows that Milbank got the history wrong:

Milbank’s column, moreover, erred in claiming the uproar that followed McKinley’s assassination “dashed” Hearst’s presidential ambitions.

Not so.

Hearst mounted a serious bid for Democratic nomination for president in 1904. He was by then a congressman, and his presidential bandwagon gathered some momentum during the first months of that year.

In the end, though, his candidacy was doomed–not by the smears and fabrications raised after the McKinley assassination but by the reluctance of William Jennings Bryan to embrace Hearst’s bid.

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At Hot Air, Allah nukes a Newsweek premise that the Tucson murders show that Janet Napolitano was right to single out “right-wing extremists” like prolife protestors, and also outs the reporter (paragraph breaks added by me):

The first inkling you get that Jared Loughner might not, in fact, be a “right-wing extremist” comes … in paragraph 19 (of 20) …

Was ideological extremism even a minor driving factor? As far as I know, there’s still no reason to believe so, which means the entire premise of the piece ends up being detonated before it’s over. But then, they’re not expecting you to read to the end; the important information in a news article is always placed up front, so if you happen to be a Newsweek reader — and if you are, you really should ask yourself why — who’s not following the coverage of the shootings closely, you’re sure to come away with the wrong impression of Loughner if you quit reading halfway through.

Although if you do make it to the end, there’s a special surprise waiting for you: This story was written not by a Newsweek staffer but by a reporter from the “nonpartisan” Center for Public Integrity, which has been criticized for years for taking money from, among others, Soros’s Open Society Institute.

Specifically, here’s Newsweek’s description of their “reporter”: “Aaron Mehta is a reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative reporting organization in Washington D.C.”

Even Wikipedia can’t stomach the absurd notion that the Center for Public Integrity is operationally “non-partisan.”

Newsweek has dressed up a person from an clearly biased organization as a “reporter.” It’s not even worth the $1 its buyers paid to get it away from the Washington Post last year.

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A couple of weeks ago, I demonstrated that the homebuilding industry is at its lowest level since World War II — even before adjusting for population.

Cindy Perman at CNBC has noticed what has happened to home values:

In the past few years, we’ve all been careful to choose our words carefully, not calling it a recession until it fit the technical definition and avoiding any inappropriate use of the “D” word — Depression.

Things were bad but the broader economy never reached Depression territory. The housing market, on the other hand, just crossed that threshold.

Home values have fallen 26 percent since their peak in June 2006, worse than the 25.9-percent decline seen during the Depression years between 1928 and 1933, Zillow reported.

This shouldn’t have happened. I predicted that it wouldn’t happen. But I, like millions of others, never dreamed that our next president, his party’s House Minority Leader, and his party’s Senate Majority Leader would keep the economy mired in recession followed by malaise for 2-1/2 years, while orchestrating what may be the most ineffective government market intervention into an industry (the HAMP effort) ever undertaken. Heckuva job, Barack, Nancy, and Harry.

Positivity: Archbishop Chaput remembers deep Catholic faith of judge killed in Ariz. shooting

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 8:11 am

From Denver:

Jan 11, 2011 / 05:54 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver expressed anguish over the recent Arizona shooting that left 6 dead and over a dozen wounded, noting particularly the life and deep Catholic faith of victim Judge John Roll.

U.S. Federal Judge John Roll was killed on Jan. 8 along with 5 others, including 9 year-old Christina Taylor Green.

The incident began on Saturday when 22-year-old Jared Loughner opened fire at a local supermarket where recently elected Democrat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was giving a community address. Loughner, a socially isolated, anti-government youth with a history of mental instability, was reportedly intent on killing the congresswoman with whom he took personal issue. Rep. Giffords is alive but in critical condition after being shot in the head at point-blank range.

In his Jan. 12 column for the Denver Catholic Register, Archbishop Chaput remembers Judge Roll as a political figure who lived a life of “powerful, authentic Catholic witness.”

The archbishop recalls a trip to Phoenix in 2008 where he gave the homily for an annual Red Mass for the state’s lawyers and politicians. Sitting in the congregation that day, was Judge Roll’s wife, Maureen, “an active and very committed Catholic.”

Archbishop Chaput says that Maureen must have mentioned his homily to Judge Roll, since 10 months later “I got the first of several extraordinary letters from her husband.”

“It’s impossible to fully know a man from correspondence alone,” he writes. “But each of John Roll’s letters had the same four clear marks: generosity; intelligence, largeness of spirit and a sincere love for his Catholic faith.”

The archbishop says that two days after Judge Roll’s murder, he spoke to his law clerk, attorney Aaron Martin, who described the late political leader.

Judge Roll was devoted to St. Thomas More and kept a biography of the saint on a table near his desk. He was also known as a father figure among his subordinates and expressed a sincere interest in the lives and families of those he worked with.

“He liked mentoring young Christian attorneys because he believed their faith gave them a better moral foundation for the vocation of law,” Archbishop Chaput says. …

Go here for the rest of the story.