January 16, 2012

AP Ignores, NYT Downplays Fri. Solyndra Doc Dump Showing WH Pre-Election Knowledge of Layoffs

solyndra_thumb_0On Friday, the White House engaged in its customary document dump, mostly secure in the knowledge that a lazy establishment press would, as usual, pay it little heed and then declare it to be old news by Monday morning.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air identified the significance of documents relating to now-bankupt Solyndra, the California-based solar panel manufacturer which borrowed $535 million through the Department of Energy. Read the whole thing, of course, but for brevity’s sake I’ll present the accurate timeline Ed presented:

  1. 10/25/2010 — Solyndra CEO writes to the DoE that he will announce worker layoffs on 10/28.
  2. 10/27/2010 — In the White House, climate change adviser Zichal sent out an e-mail to Obama adviser Browner and several other officials warning of a layoff announcement in very specific terms — “200 of their 1200 workers” — and added, “No es bueno,” which is Spanish for “not good.”
  3. 10/28/2010 — No announcement comes forth from Solyndra on layoffs.
  4. 10/30/2010 — Solyndra investor explains that the DoE “push[ed] very hard” for a delay on the announcement until November 3rd, the day after the election, even remarking that the DoE “oddly they didn’t give a reason for that date.”

As Morrissey stated:


AP’s Julie Carr Smyth Uses Tired Dem Talking Points in Josh Mandel Hit Piece

Republican Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel is challenging incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown this November. Despite the false bravado emanating from the DNC and Ohio’s Democratic Party and polls solely based on name recognition, Brown, as the Senate’s most liberal member (2009 and 2010 Club for Growth ratings: 0%) in a swing state, is very vulnerable.

Associated Press Ohio reporter Julie Carr Smyth has apparently preliminarily staked out a role as the race’s designated Democratic Party talking point and innuendo relay person. Her Saturday report on Mandel (“Ohio Treasurer Seeks To Unseat Brown”; alternate title showing her byline is “Ohio treasurer focused on politics in 1st year”) is so transparent it’s almost funny.

She makes sure everyone knows that Mandel is Jewish (as if that matters, unless it’s a setup to call the two-tour Iraq War vet a dreaded “neocon” later), that his wife Ilana is rich (her family is, but unless Smyth has proof, that doesn’t mean Ilana is), that he hasn’t had a big coming-out party announcing his candidacy (but somehow, everyone knows he’s officially running, because he is), and that’s he’s supposedly not spending enough time tending to his duties as Treasurer (but has somehow managed to save the state at least $1.2 million). What follows are Smyth’s excerpts making those claims, as well as a couple of others (numbered tags are mine):

During his first year as state treasurer, Ohio Republican Josh Mandel has been a man between two worlds, balancing duties of his first statewide office with a fledgling U.S. Senate campaign.

Mandel has aggressively worked the fundraising and speaking circuit these past months, amassing more than $3.8 million this year in his Senate bid against Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown. That’s perhaps more than any other Senate challenger in the country.

At the same time, his weekly calendars as state treasurer are almost devoid of appointments outside of staff meetings and speaking engagements. And he’s yet to hold a single news conference to discuss the work he’s doing for Ohioans. [1]

Mandel, a Jewish Republican [2] and two-tour U.S. Marine veteran who married into a well-connected Cleveland family, [3] has emerged as one of the most ambitious young politicians in a closely divided battleground state.

… Known locations of Mandel’s Senate fundraising destinations include Washington, D.C.; New York; San Francisco; Chicago; and Hawaii.

Mandel, whose wife Ilana is a millionaire, [3] has never officially told Ohioans he wants to be elected in November as one of their two U.S. senators. Instead, the news has leaked out bit by bit through federal filings and word of mouth. [4]

Critics say Mandel has little to show for his time as state treasurer because he’s been so focused on his federal campaign. [5] They say he’s afraid to face reporters at a news conference because they’ll question his promise to serve his full four-year term as treasurer and ask about his experience level for higher office. [6]

… “When I came in here, I took the position that we were going to try to run the office quietly, humbly, keep our head down and do our job,” he said in a recent AP interview.

He contrasted the approach to that of Democrat Richard Cordray, a predecessor in the office who was criticized for his large communications staff. [7]


[1] — State treasurers are expected to hold news conferences? Since when?

[2] — The relevance of Mandel being Jewish is exactly what?

[3] — The relevance of Mandel “married into” a well-off family is exactly what, and relevant to whom — the Occupy movement? It appears that Julie and Democrats trying to imply that Mandel, who earned a reputation as a hard worker and dogged campaigner since his days as a local city councilman and has never let up, somehow doesn’t deserve to be where he is. Amazing. I also question whether there is proof that Mandel’s wife Ilana herself is a millionaire. And while we’re on the topic, how often did the establishment press report that presidential candidate John Kerry had a multimillionaire for a wife? (Answer: Rarely)

[4] — Seriously, Julie, do you think that official public filings with the Federal Elections Commission like this one (it’s called a “Statement of Candidacy” for a reason), are “leaks”? The document “leaked” pretty easily onto my computer screen. It would appear that what upsets Smyth is that Mandel didn’t have a big public event of some kind. So? According to her “logic,” that should hurt him. She should be happy.

[5] — Smyth knew better than to report this claim of non-accomplishment without a rebuttal. In contrast to Mandel’s predecessor, who had a nasty habit of wasting money on self-promotion, hiring cronies, and patronage-driven decisions, Mandel claims to have saved the state $1.2 million, stopping such ridiculous practices as driving certain bank deposits from Columbus to Cleveland every month instead of transferring funds via computer.

[6] — The objection to Mandel’s decision to run after promising to stay as Treasurer for four years would have some credibility if it were applied equally to Democrats. But of course it never is. Bill Clinton made the same promise during his final run for Arkansas governor in 1990 with no negative blowback. And of course, Barack Obama promised to serve out his full Senate term after his November 2004 election to that office. By October 2006, he decided, according to (irony alert) an AP report, that “he could no longer stand by the statements he made after his 2004 election and earlier this year that he would serve a full six-year term in Congress.” I don’t necessarily object to these changes of heart; what I object to is the double standard so obviously being applied depending on the politician’s party.

[7] — The comparison to the now-unconstitutionally appointed Mr. Cordray is valid. Among other things, Cordray was the first Treasurer to force Ohioans renewing their drivers’ licenses to make their checks out to the state treasurer by name (great way to increase name recognition for a reelection campaign, eh?). Shortly after he declared his candidacy for Attorney General following Marc Dann’s resignation in disgrace, he conducted “Borrower Outreach Days” in at least five Ohio cities. It sure looked like a great way to engage in taxpayer-funded campaigning to me.

The two most important things Julie Carr Smyth’s report tell us are that Democrats are more than a little concerned about Mandel’s prospects for knocking off Sherrod Brown, and that Julie Carr Smyth and the AP appear interested in doing everything they can to help Brown in his defense.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Mark at WoMD: MLK’s Dream Isn’t Dead, But It’s Being Abused

I get upset, perhaps more than most, when people use the memory and life of the Rev. Martin Luther King to promote things that run opposite to his message, as the Cincinnati Public Library just has done in using today’s holiday as a vehicle to promote a book by racist, violence-supporting 1990s rapper Sister Souljah.

So does Mark at Weapons of Mass Discussion, who has articulated why we cringe and mourn at the serial abuse. Two of many key paragraphs:

I always believed in content of character over color. Always. And where is the status of Dr. King’s dream today? Sadly, with what I see in our culture today, the Dream is dying on the vine. Color and ethnicity are being trumped over character and shared values. Color and tribe are being used to divide us, especially at a time in our nation when we should and need to be together.

The Sistah Souljah garbage at Cincinnati Public Library is just a small part of the problem. There has been a huge shift in our culture and in the dynamic of the black community. Where once we were about coming together and being color blind, now we seem to be overly color sensitive. And it is spawning a backlash. Don’t get me wrong. Martin’s dream was not about giving up identity or being proud of one’s race or background. Rather, it was about respecting that; but at the same time, looking past the paradigms of color and getting to the essence of each other. We don’t seem to do that much anymore.

He goes on to provide many examples.

Read the whole thing.

Good News for SOPA Opponents, Bad News for OH-01 Voters

Filed under: Activism,Privacy/ID Theft,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:15 pm

The good news is that the Stop Online Piracy Act has been “killed”:

The controversial Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) has effectively been stopped in its tracks. Virginia Republican Representative Eric Cantor killed the bill.

However, an equally controversial Protect IP Act (PIPA) which is being proposed in the US Senate may still get through.

Massive online protests against SOPA certainly played a role in killing the bill.

It could still come back to life, but its near-term prospects are grim.

The bad news for OH-01 Congressional District residents is that Republican Congressman Steve Chabot appears to have never renounced his cosponsorship of SOPA. Absent a voluntary “I was wrong, I am sorry,” it’s difficult at best and perhaps impossible to make a case that he should continue in Congress, even though it is in all likelihood too late for a primary challenge.

Waiting, Steve …

In Fawning Virtual Press Release, AP Avoids Calling John Edwards a Democrat Until Paragraph 15 of 17

JohnEdwardsJan2012In the annals of fawning coverage of scandal-plagued Democrats, Michael Biesecker’s Saturday morning report on John Edwards’s illness and its effect on his upcoming trail on campaign finance violations surely must be among the worst.

Biesecker missed at least a half-dozen natural opportunities to tag Edwards as a Democrat, finally doing so in cryptic fashion in his 15th of 17 paragraphs. He didn’t identify Edwards as the 2004 vice-presidential candidate until that same paragraph, and in doing so named who was at the top of the GOP ticket (George W. Bush) without naming who was at the top of the Dems’ (John Kerry). The AP reporter threw obsequious virtual kisses at a man who betrayed his terminally ill wife while omitting two clearly relevant recent reports, one from an outlet which has scooped the look-the-other-way establishment press time after time in this sad, four-year saga. Here are several paragraphs from Biescecker’s blather (some of the many clear opportunities to tag Edwards as a Dem and examples of over-the-top fawning are bolded):

Judge: John Edwards has serious heart condition

Ex-presidential candidate John Edwards has a serious heart condition that will require a medical procedure next month and his illness limits his travel including for an upcoming court case over possible campaign violations, his doctor told a judge, who delayed the trial.

Federal Judge Catherine Eagles did not disclose the exact nature of Edwards’ illness Friday or what procedure he needed. However, she said the two-time presidential candidate had “three episodes” and indicated his condition could be life-threatening if left untreated.

A cardiologist for the 58-year-old ex-North Carolina senator wrote two letters about his condition to Eagles, who talked about them during a hearing to consider whether the trial on six felony and misdemeanor counts should begin this month. Eagles said jury selection will now start March 26, at the earliest.

Edwards is taking medication and is scheduled to undergo a procedure in February from which it will take several days to recover, Eagles said. She did not describe what the episodes involved or if the procedure would require unclogging arteries or other common treatments. The doctor’s letters and other medical records have been kept under seal by the court.

… The trial has already been delayed twice, including a continuance granted so Edwards could attend his eldest daughter’s wedding.

Known for being telegenic Edwards had customarily entered the federal courthouse through the public entrance, where a group of reporters and cameramen assemble. But on Friday, he took steps to slip through unnoticed. A court security officer indicated he had come and gone through a back door.

Two years ago, Edwards confessed he fathered a baby born to his ex-mistress. He had long denied the girl, Frances Quinn Hunter, was his, even after he admitted cheating on his wife with the child’s mother, Rielle Hunter. Hunter had been hired before Edwards’ 2008 White House campaign to shoot behind-the-scenes video of him.

(Paragraph 15 of 17)

… In early 2010, Edwards publicly admitted fathering Hunter’s child and friends disclosed that he and his wife, Elizabeth, were separated. She died in December 2010 from incurable breast cancer that was first diagnosed in 2004, a day after the Democratic ticket that included John Edwards as the vice presidential candidate lost to George W. Bush.

The Edwardses were law school sweethearts who married just days after they took the bar exam together in the summer of 1977. They had four children together, including a son who died at age 16. Although the couple had separated, John Edwards was at her side around the clock as her health deteriorated. He did not speak at her funeral.

Of course, I wish Edwards a speedy recovery from his medical situation.

Here are the two stories Biesecker ignored:

  • National Enquirer, Janaury 9 (“John Edwards Secret Rendezvous With Love Child”) — “IN a last-ditch bid to avoid prison, JOHN EDWARDS plans to wed mistress RIELLE HUNTER – and reunited with her and their love child in a dramatic meeting photographed exclusively by The ENQUIRER. The disgraced politician popped the question after a terrifying heart scare led to his request to postpone his impending criminal trial, sources say, and Rielle eagerly agreed to marry him.”
  • Celebrity Baby Scoop, January 13 — “Former presidential hopeful John Edwards, 58, reunited with mistress Rielle Hunter, 47, and their soon-to-be 4-year-old daughter Quinn on Wednesday (January 11).”

To the inevitable snarking that the Enquirer and other tabloid-like entities aren’t reliable sources, the response is obvious: They nailed the Edwards story over four years ago, and dragged the establishment press kicking and screaming into covering it. Biesecker could easily have cited these reports and their sources and let readers decide how much faith to place in them. But instead, he engaged in the standard “la-la, you don’t exist” routine. Who will be surprised if the AP and the rest of the press haven’t been scooped again?

The sad thing is that the press doesn’t seem to care if they get scooped — at least if the scandal-pagued politician involved is a Democrat.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Very Disappointing: Sister Souljah Remains on MLK Day Recommended List at Cincinnati Public Library

Filed under: Activism,Education,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:50 am

The Cincinnati Public Library, despite being made aware of the obvious conflict between Sister Souljah’s “contributions” to the violent, racist strand of rap music in the early 1990s what today’s holiday is supposed to be about, has not removed her book Midnight and the Meaning of Love from its Martin Luther King Day recommended reading list (a “pick” is a recommendation, folks).

In asserting in a response to yours truly that “Selecting a book for one of our many booklists does not indicate that the Library endorses any or all opinions and statements made by an author,” it dodges the fact that putting a book on a recommended reading list is at a minimum a statement that of all of the thousands of books available on a topic — in this instance, supposedly the life, teachings, literary output, and impact of Dr. King — Sister Souljah’s is somehow one of the few which rises to the top and should be read.

As Bill Sloat at the Daily Bellwether explained earlier this month, the relationship of Midnight and the Meaning of Love to Dr. King is somewhere between nonexistent and polar opposite:

It is about a teenage boy and his teenage wife. He is black and 16, she is Japanese. Yes, they are underage minors. There is sex, violence, polygamy and a showdown with Asians — who some might feel are stereotyped in Sister Souljah’s tale. Fans believe she has mellowed since she became the Queen of urban lit. Still, it’s hard to square her gritty novel with the humanitarian works that Ohio’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission wants celebrated in his memory this year. The commission’s idea of a humanitarian is someone who pours their heart into making life better for others — someone who promotes the betterment of all people and the elimination of pain and suffering through their own selfless service. Pretty tall order.

Obviously, Sister Souljah books should not be banned nor censored. The library is absolutely within its responsibilities to own and circulate titles under her authorship. But it might want to weigh whether her newst novel is consistent with Dr. King’s standards, teachings and the spirit of his dreams for our nation. He knew that hate was hate, whether preached by white, black, Christian, Muslim or anybody in any culture or religion. He stood up to it.

It is naive and dangerous to the Library’s long-term prospects for its management to continue to believe that the public’s (and taxpayers’) well of goodwill is bottomless.

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (011612)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:15 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.


Positivity: Martin Luther King

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 8:14 am

From the Nobel Peace Prize’s biography:

Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) was born Michael Luther King, Jr., but later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family’s long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, serving from 1914 to 1931; his father has served from then until the present, and from 1960 until his death Martin Luther acted as co-pastor. Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen; he received the B. A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had graduated. After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, he was awarded the B.D. in 1951. With a fellowship won at Crozer, he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955. In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott, a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments. Two sons and two daughters were born into the family.

In 1954, Martin Luther King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race, King was, by this time, a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization of its kind in the nation. He was ready, then, early in December, 1955, to accept the leadership of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States, the bus boycott described by Gunnar Jahn in his presentation speech in honor of the laureate. The boycott lasted 382 days. On December 21, 1956, after the Supreme Court of the United States had declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses, Negroes and whites rode the buses as equals. During these days of boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse, but at the same time he emerged as a Negro leader of the first rank.

In 1957 he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement. The ideals for this organization he took from Christianity; its operational techniques from Gandhi. In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action; and meanwhile he wrote five books as well as numerous articles. In these years, he led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that caught the attention of the entire world, providing what he called a coalition of conscience. and inspiring his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, a manifesto of the Negro revolution; he planned the drives in Alabama for the registration of Negroes as voters; he directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his address, “l Have a Dream”, he conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for President Lyndon B. Johnson; he was arrested upwards of twenty times and assaulted at least four times; he was awarded five honorary degrees; was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963; and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure.

At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.

On the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated.