January 22, 2012

Ann Barnhardt on Romney: ‘Go Home’

What follows is a video Ann Barnhardt, who courageously quit her cattle brokerage business in the wake of the client fund-raiding actions at MF Global two months ago, put up in June 2011.

In the opening minutes (beginning at about 1:05 through about 4:40), she makes the points yours truly and so many others, up to and (finally in December) including Rick Santorum, have been making for years about how Romney unilaterally imposed same-sex marriage in Massachusetts by violating the state’s constitution and the oath of office he took when he became the state’s governor — because he promised that he would.

But don’t stop there. Listen or watch the whole thing.

Here goes (language is PG-13):

A much longer video with snarky inserts made by others is here (HT Noisy Room). I personally like my Barnhardt straight up, undiluted, as presented above.

Steyn on the Titanic vs. the Concordia and ‘The End Of Social Norms’

Filed under: General,Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:21 am

In his latest column, Mark Steyn notes that those who hope to rely on protocol-driven norms in the past have a great deal to fear, and not just if they happen to be on a sinking ship:

… In the centenary year of the most famous of all maritime disasters, we would do well to consider honestly the tale of the Titanic.

… First Officer William Murdoch … threw deckchairs to passengers drowning in the water to give them something to cling to, and then he went down with the ship — the dull, decent thing, all very British, with no fuss.

… On the Titanic, the male passengers gave their lives for the women and would never have considered doing otherwise. On the Costa Concordia, in the words of a female passenger, “There were big men, crew members, pushing their way past us to get into the lifeboat.”

… Today there is no social norm, so it’s every man for himself — operative word “man,” although not many of the chaps on the Titanic would recognize those on the Costa Concordia as “men.” From a grandmother on the latter:

“I was standing by the lifeboats and men, big men, were banging into me and knocking the girls.”

… The Costa Concordia isn’t merely a metaphor for EU collapse but … the fragility of civilization. Like every ship, the Concordia had its emergency procedures — the lifeboat drills that all crew and passengers are obliged to go through before sailing.

… Since the economic downturn of 2008, the Titanic metaphor — of a western world steaming for the iceberg but unable to correct course — has become a little overworked, the easiest cliché for any politician attempting to project urgency. But let’s assume they’re correct, and we’re heading full steam for the big ‘berg. When we hit, what’s the likelihood? That our response will be as ordered and civilized as those on the Titanic? Or that we will descend into the hell of the Concordia?

The contempt for “women and children first” is not a small loss. For soft cultures in good times, dispensing with social norms is easy. In hard times, you may have need of them.

Given the economic direction in which we are currently headed, the weakest among us, who are already being told by their self-appointed betters that their lives aren’t worth living, that “comparative effectiveness” rules should dictate that they should not receive readily available medical treatment, and who have somehow survived the reported 90% rate of abortion inflicted on preborn babies diagnosed as having certain birth defects, had better hope those social norms experience a resurgence.

AP Pins ‘Failed’ Tag on GOP’s Perry (2012) and Romney (2008), But Not Far Worse-Performing Dems

After Rick Perry ended his presidential bid on Thursday, the Associated Press’s Chris Tomlinson opened his dispatch about the announcement thusly: “Gov. Rick Perry dropped out of the presidential race on Thursday, endorsed his old friend Newt Gingrich and returned home to Texas, where the failed White House candidate has three years left to serve as the chief executive.”

Based on much of his prior reportage, Tomlinson appears have a particular animus towards the Texas Governor. But tagging GOP presidential candidates or their candidacies as “failed” is not an aberration at the AP, while the wire service’s omission of such tags on wildly unsuccessful Democratic candidates pointedly betrays the presence of obvious bias.

In May 2008, three months after Mitt Romney ended that cycle’s presidential bid, an AP report noting his purchase of a California home told readers the following:

RomneyFailedHeadline0508

The AP even made sure in 2007 that John McCain, who was running for the presidency a second time, was tagged as a failure when he announced his bid: “Trailing in national polls and fundraising, the failed candidate of 2000 hopes GOP voters will view him as a principled leader for his unflinching war stance in the face of political pressure and, ultimately, will reward him with the 2008 Republican nomination.”

This negativity might be palatable if the self-described Essential Global News Network tagged Democratic primary drop-outs similarly. But the only example I found was one item where the term “failed” apparently disappeared in subsequent revisions.

Otherwise, though I saw observations that certain Democratic candidates “failed” to win primaries or caucuses in AP reports, I couldn’t find any others where actual candidacies were labeled as failures, as Perry’s was, or who were personally labeled as failures, as Romney was. This was the case even among candidates who could not say that they ever came close to winning a primary or caucus (as Romney did in 2008) or who ever led in any pre-primary polls (as Perry did for a time after he declared his candidacy).

Democrats not tagged as failures in AP reports include the following poor performers:

  • Joe Lieberman, 2004 –never gained meaningful traction. Described by AP as “unable to inspire Democratic voters who embraced his 2000 vice presidential campaign.”
  • Howard Dean, 2004 (link is a “wire service report,” but AP is cited within it) — was leading in early polls, but never won a caucus or primary, and became infamous for his post-Iowa caucus “Dean scream.” The report’s opening: “Howard Dean abandoned his Democratic presidential bid on Wednesday, but the former Vermont governor urged his followers ‘to transform the Democratic Party and to change our country.’”
  • Carol Moseley Braun, 2004 (AP “contributed” to the USA Today report) — a virtual nonentity in the campaign. Yet look how her withdrawal and accompanying endorsement of Dean were treated: “Former Illinois senator Carol Moseley Braun dropped out of the Democratic presidential race Thursday and endorsed Howard Dean for the party’s nomination, saying he was ‘a Democrat we can all be proud to support.’ … The high-profile endorsement comes as the race here is tightening.”
  • Dennis Kucinich, 2008 — In two tries, Kucinich was occasionally unintentionally entertaining, but never seriously contended. AP’s opening: “Democrat Dennis Kucinich is abandoning his second, long-shot bid for the White House as he faces a tough fight to hold onto his other job – US congressman. In an interview with Cleveland’s Plain Dealer, the six-term House member said he was quitting the race and would make a formal announcement today.”
  • Joe Biden, 2008 — Beth Fouhy’s AP report described the circumstances surrounding Biden’s miserable performance in positive terms: “The veteran lawmaker and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee received less than 1% of the vote in Iowa’s caucuses despite a spirited campaign in which he emphasized his international policy credentials and long career in public service.”
  • Chris Dodd, 2008 — Fouhy, in the same report where she described Biden’s blip of a candidacy, also gushed over the now-former Connecticut senator turned Hollywood lobbyist: “Mr. Dodd was never able to break from the pack of Democratic contenders despite his long and distinguished Senate career. He won just 0.02% of the state’s caucus-goers.”

The one semi-exception I found which really serves to reinforce the primary point of this post was in a Google News Archive search on [Democrat "failed candidate" associated press] (typed exactly as indicated between brackets, for January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2009). The Charlotte Observer search result listed indicates that the AP’s James Kuhnhenn called Dean a “failed candidate.” But I was able to find what appears to be a later extended version of the report elsewhere; in it, the AP only said that Dean “folded his presidential campaign”; no variation of the word “fail” is present.

Though there may conceivably be real exceptions, it seems that in the fever swamp known as the Associated Press, only Republican candidates have “failed” candidacies or are “failed” candidates. Democrats don’t fail — even ones who have done so quite miserably.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (012212)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:30 am

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

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Positivity: Native Americans overjoyed at news of first saint

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:00 am

From Washington:

Jan 20, 2012 / 06:02 am

The recent announcement that Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha has been approved for sainthood is generating great excitement among the Native American community.

“There’s an awful lot of interest,” said Monsignor Paul A. Lenz, the vice postulator of Bl. Kateri’s cause for sainthood.

Msgr. Lenz told CNA on Jan. 19 that he has seen an “unbelievable response” to the news of the canonization, with reactions pouring in from all over the United States and Canada.

Msgr. Lenz, who previously worked in the Black and Indian Mission Office in Washington, D.C., said that Native Americans are extremely excited about having a saint come from within their own community.

Although the date for the canonization has not yet been announced, he said that multiple groups are already organizing pilgrimages to Rome to be present when the first Native American is officially elevated to sainthood.

When the date for the canonization is made public, Msgr. Lenz believes it will attract lots of attention in both the religious and secular media.

Known as “the Lily of the Mohawks,” Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha was born in upstate New York in 1656. Her father was a Mohawk chief, and her mother was an Algonquin who was raised Catholic.

Go here for the rest of the story.