January 29, 2012

WaPo’s Ron Paul Newsletter Informer Stays Anonymous to ‘Avoid Criticizing Former Employer,’ Then Criticizes Away

Jim Taranto at the Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Web caught the Washington Post either misrepresenting the motives of an anonymous informer in connection with Ron Paul’s long-ago newsletters, getting duped by said informer, or trying to dupe its readers. Perhaps it was a bit of all of the above, all of which worked out to conveniently smear Paul without giving him — or readers — a chance to know who was going after him.

The 1700-word story by Jerry Markon and Alice Crites (“Paul pursued strategy of publishing controversial newsletters, associates say”) concerned the degree of knowledge the presidential candidate had of allegedly racially charged material in his newsletters published during the 1990s. The contradiction follows the jump:

A person involved in Paul’s businesses, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid criticizing a former employer, said Paul and his associates decided in the late 1980s to try to increase sales by making the newsletters more provocative. They discussed adding controversial material, including racial statements, to help the business, the person said.

“It was playing on a growing racial tension, economic tension, fear of government,’’ said the person, who supports Paul’s economic policies but is not backing him for president. “I’m not saying Ron believed this stuff. It was good copy. Ron Paul is a shrewd businessman.’’

The articles included racial, anti-Semitic and anti-gay content. They claimed, for example, that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “seduced underage girls and boys’’; they ridiculed black activists by suggesting that New York be named “Zooville” or “Lazyopolis”; and they said the 1992 Los Angeles riots ended “when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.’’ The June 1990 edition of the Ron Paul Political Report included the statement: “Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.”

As Taranto wrote:

Wait a minute: He “spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid criticizing a former employer”? That is exactly the opposite of the reason he spoke under condition of anonymity.

Really. Imagine how harsh the critique would have been if the anonymous person had decided to really hurt Paul’s reputation.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

AP’s Yost Ignores Fri. Fast and Furious Doc Dump Email Saying Holder Was ‘Alerted’ The Day Brian Terry Died

Well, let’s see. During the early days of the Clinton administration, we had the sad spectacle of Treasury aide Josh Steiner telling Senators investigating the Whitewater real estate deals and the Resolution Trust Corporation that that he written untrue things in his diary, i.e., that “essentially …. he had lied to his diary.” During the Paula Jones trial, the jury was entertained (members are said to have laughed) when Bill Clinton tried to answer a question by saying that “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

Soon, another insufferable howler may eventually enter the lexicon, courtesy of Monty Wilkinson, former deputy chief of staff to Attorney General Eric Holder, namely, “I lied in an email when I wrote that ‘I’ve alerted the AG.’”

The subject deserving of an “alert” was the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on December 14, 2010 at the hands of Mexican criminals using guns which had previously disappeared during the course of Operation Fast and Furious. As reported by Matthew Boyle at the Daily Caller, Wilkinson’s supposed lie, which was emailed that day to now-former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, appears to be the only thing standing between Holder and definitive proof that the Attorney General did not tell the truth when he told the House Judiciary Committee in early May 2011 that he had only learned of Fast and Furious a “few weeks” earlier (later amended to “a couple of months”).

Don’t expect even a little recognition of how serious this matter is from Pete Yost at the Associated Press, otherwise known as the Administration’s Press.

(more…)

Univ. of Ill. Research Org, As Unemployment Hits Almost 10%: State ‘In Better Financial Situation’

IllinoisMapA report carried at CBS News in St. Louis from Jim Anderson of the Illinois Radio Network (IRN), which appears to be a private entity, tells readers that a research study (summary; PDF of relevant chapter) published by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) at the University of Illinois has identified “a combination of tough policies (which) could bring the state into fiscal balance by the end of the decade.” To be clear, the end of the decade is seven years and eleven months from now.

Predictably, the “tough policies” include “maintaining increased income tax rates after they are scheduled to expire.” On the spending side, what IGPA describes as “extreme austerity” means “keeping the growth rate of all spending down to 2.1 percent per year.” Those who would rather not look at IGPA’s detail can be forgiven, because the opening paragraph of the linked chapter above, which IRN did not cite, gives away the researchers’ detachment from reality:

Illinois ended 2011 with a better financial situation than it faced a year earlier. However, the state began the year with a hole so deep that not even a massive tax increase and drastic spending cuts could come close to filling it.

In your dreams, guys. The 67% and 45% “temporary” increases in personal and corporate income-tax rates passed earlier this year — increases which, according to Governor Pat Quinn, would prevent the state from “careening towards bankruptcy” — have not created a “better financial situation.” The credit markets agree. The state’s credit rating, recently downgraded, is the worst in the nation.

There’s also this odd sentence at the end of the IRN report: “The state’s operating budget is close to balanced, (Univ. of Illinois Economist Richard) Dye said, but the state has $8.1 billion in unpaid bills, according to the state comptroller, and more than $80 billion in unfunded pension obligations.” That gives me the impression that the state has “balanced” its cash-based operating budget by falling further behind in paying its bills. This is a “better financial situation”?

It’s worth recalling predictions establishment press types swallowed whole when the tax increases became law about their supposedly inconsequential impact on employment and company relocation (bolds are nine):

J. Fred Giertz, a University of Illinois economics professor, says an immediate exodus isn’t likely.

Companies, he says, weigh workforce availability, transportation and other factors when deciding where to build or expand. “Our state is close to insolvency, and they don’t like that either,” he says.

“An immediate job killer? Not likely,” says Ed Morrison, economic policy adviser at Indiana’s Purdue Center for Regional Development. “Much more important is regaining financial stability.”

Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by “immediate.” Unemployment didn’t increase the next day. But at the time the tax increase was passed, the unemployment rate in Illinois was 9.2%, which was lower than that of Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Missouri. By the end of 2011, the unemployment rate in the financially stinkin’ Land of Lincoln was 9.8%, higher than every state just mentioned — yes, even including Michigan (9.3%).

Job growth didn’t stop “immediately,” either, but in the final ten months of 2011, the Illinois economy added only 8,000 seasonally adjusted jobs. Companies on the whole aren’t hiring, it’s likely that many are leaving, and the state is having to bribe some larger companies to stay with incentives and tax abatements.

I can’t wait for the IGPA’s superlatives if the state’s unemployment rate gets above 10% and the backlog of unpaid bills hits $10 billion.

There is someone who got it right:

John Tillman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, a non-partisan research group dedicated to free-market principles, says the tax increases could cost 268,000 jobs over the next three to five years.

“When you raise the cost of doing business,” he says, “people vote with their feet.”

Given the employment growth in other states during 2011, particularly Ohio and Michigan, it’s perfectly reasonable to believe that Illinois employment should have increased by at least 50,000 during the final ten months of 2011.

The other “experts” above who made dumber-than-a-box-of-rocks predictions any child should have been able to see through should lose their credibility as news story sources. But they won’t.

At Dollar Collapse (HT Instapundit), John Rubino asks: “Why Isn’t Illinois A Bigger Story Than Greece?” Good question, especially given that Illinois has more residents.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (012912)

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: Catholic faith set the foundation for ‘Extreme Makeover’ homebuilder

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:00 am

From Charlotte, North Carolina:

Jan 28, 2012 / 01:03 pm

Frank Hereda has moved around a bit during his 35 years, but he keeps the values he learned growing up in a Catholic family and as a Catholic student close to his heart wherever he goes. Hereda, who lived in Ohio, Indiana and Washington, D.C. before moving to Charlotte, N.C. five years ago, is co-founder of Bellamy Homes in Cornelius, N.C., the builders of the latest “Extreme Makeover” home in Lincolnton, N.C., that was completed Dec. 17, 2011. The home will house foster parents Devonda and James Friday of Lincolnton and their children, five of whom they recently adopted.

Hereda credits his family and his childhood with his desire to help others in need.

“I was born and raised Catholic. I went to St. Paul’s Catholic School in Indiana. It’s played a large role in my life in the fact that it instilled values from the start and that has shaped my life in an important way.”

Hereda and his Bellamy Homes partner, Wade Miller, were friends at Purdue University, and have teamed up to build a company that reflects the Catholic values Hereda learned in his youth.

Their company took a huge leap of faith and trust in reaching out to help the Lincolnton family, whose story appeared this past Christmas on a special two-hour episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” on ABC.

“We wanted a solid foundation (for the company)” Hereda said. “The first thing that came to mind was trust. It’s the most important thing.”

Building a 4,000-square-foot home in basically four days is going to require a great deal of trust and faith, Hereda admits.

“My faith is important to me. I have always focused on doing the right things… I think that if you just focus on doing the right things – in this case we are focusing on helping this family – we’ll be fine. It will work out how it’s supposed to work out.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.