March 31, 2012

Observation of the Night: Rick Santorum

Filed under: Activism,Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:41 pm

An astounding historical fact cited by Rick Santorum with CNN’s John King, noted in a Newsax item (bold is mine):

Santorum noted that the Republican establishment in Washington and New York typically pushes for a moderate like Romney to lead the party, and they typically lose.

“ … if we don’t have a conservative, we will end up with the same situation we have had over the past 100 years. There’s been over 100 years now. There’s only one Republican that’s ever defeated a sitting Democratic incumbent president, one.

“And it’s the one time we ran a strong conviction conservative, in the face of the party saying no, no, no, we need a moderate. We need to win. We need to win. They always say that. And we always lose. And the one time we didn’t listen to the establishment, the Washington insiders, we had Ronald Reagan. And not only did we win. We changed the country.”

And made it immensely better, I might add.

The last Republican to defeat an incumbent Democrat before Reagan defeated incumbent Jimmy Carter in 1980 was Benjamin Harrison, who bested Grover Cleveland in 1888.

Peggy Noonan: BO Not So Rare and True…

Filed under: Activism,Economy,Scams,Taxes & Government — Rose @ 9:45 am

For some reason, this sent me over the edge today.  Just when I thought Obamican Peggy Noonan couldn’t make herself anymore irrelevant, she proves me wrong again (HT: Emailer).

Reading her piece in the Wall Street Journal was like suffering under the Crutiatus Curse

“Something’s happening to President Obama’s relationship with those who are inclined not to like his policies. They are now inclined not to like him. His supporters would say, “Nothing new there,” but actually I think there is. I’m referring to the broad, stable, nonradical, non-birther right. Among them the level of dislike for the president has ratcheted up sharply the past few months.”

Soooo…anyone who disliked Mr. Obama from the get-go is a narrow, unstable, radical birther?

How about this: Any dolt who did NOT see this blatant socialist for who and what he is from the get-go, should have had their voting privileges revoked on November 5, 2008.  But I digress…

“…The shift started on Jan. 20, with the mandate that agencies of the Catholic Church would have to provide services the church finds morally repugnant. The public reaction? “You’re kidding me. That’s not just bad judgment and a lack of civic tact, it’s not even constitutional!” Faced with the blowback, the president offered a so-called accommodation that even its supporters recognized as devious. Not ill-advised, devious. Then his operatives flooded the airwaves with dishonest—not wrongheaded, dishonest—charges that those who defend the church’s religious liberties are trying to take away your contraceptives.

What a sour taste this all left. How shocking it was, including for those in the church who’d been in touch with the administration and were murmuring about having been misled.

Events of just the past 10 days have contributed to the shift. There was the open-mic conversation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in which Mr. Obama pleaded for “space” and said he will have “more flexibility” in his negotiations once the election is over and those pesky voters have done their thing. On tape it looked so bush-league, so faux-sophisticated. When he knew he’d been caught, the president tried to laugh it off by comically covering a mic in a following meeting. It was all so . . . creepy.”

Indeed, I am soooo shocked (/sarc) that anyone affiliated with this god among men would be…creepy or misleading!  With all due respect, genuine, faithful Catholics were not hoodwinked by this clown anymore than the non-Jimmy Carter-esque Protestants…

“…From the day Mr. Obama was sworn in, what was on the mind of the American people was financial calamity—unemployment, declining home values, foreclosures. These issues came within a context of some overarching questions: Can America survive its spending, its taxing, its regulating, is America over, can we turn it around?

That’s what the American people were thinking about.”

Um, no sweetie, most of us were thinking two things: 1) “How can we prevent this rabid socialist & his Communist handlers from destroying the republic?” and 2) “When did Peggy Noonan lose her ever-loving mind?”

“…And so the relationship the president wanted never really knitted together. Health care was like the birth-control mandate: It came from his hermetically sealed inner circle, which operates with what seems an almost entirely abstract sense of America. They know Chicago, the machine, the ethnic realities. They know Democratic Party politics. They know the books they’ve read, largely written by people like them—bright, credentialed, intellectually cloistered. But there always seems a lack of lived experience among them, which is why they were so surprised by the town hall uprisings of August 2009 and the 2010 midterm elections.”

Well THAT explains things!  Alas, I have judged poor Saul, Jeremiah, Rahm, Bill Ayers and Van Jones unfairly & owe all well-intended Communists everywhere an apology.  Obviously your lack of real-life experience has caused you to be misunderstood.  Shame on all of us liberty-lovers for not being ”broad, stable, nonradical, and non-birther ” enough to love you properly. (/sarc).

“…An American president has to make cooperation happen.

But we’ve strayed from the point. Mr. Obama has a largely nonexistent relationship with many, and a worsening relationship with some.

Really, he cannot win the coming election. But the Republicans, still, can lose it. At this point in the column we usually sigh.”

Oh I’m sighing alright, but not for the reasons you so sanctimoniously suggest, rather because I can’t imagine how anyone as clueless as you have proven yourself to be, continues to enjoy any elevated forum in thinking society (though admittedly it would be fun to visit your world for just a spell).

By the way, who are “we” in that last sentence?  The dems, the other Obamicans and/or the Republican establishment?  Because “we” here in the critical thinking world – which may or may not include a few of those “narrow, unstable, radical birthers you love to hate –  were not surprised in the least that your beloved Obama turned out to be so “dishonest and devious.”

You see Peggy, there really are socialists & communists out there; dishonest, devious and deceitful enough to destroy our republic, as has been their intent for ages…and no we can’t all just get along  because light, my famously fleeced friend, can have no fellowship with darkness.

Headlines Control the Narrative. Guess Who Controls the Headlines?

The pro-Obama media must be countered in 2012.

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Note: This column went up at PJ Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Thursday.

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On Thursday, Rush Limbaugh, addressing one of the Associated Press’s latest offenses against journalism, suggested that we “regard every AP story, particularly this year, as nothing more than a propaganda piece for the reelection of Barack Obama.”

Good idea — and of course, that goes for ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Reuters, Bloomberg News, and virtually the entire establishment and entertainment press. Many if not most of their reports betray an ever more obvious preference for four more years of Dear Leader.

There’s a new and largely overlooked problem in this election cycle: Story headlines have become more powerful than ever. That’s because far more people than in 2008 are getting their “news” from headline feeds sent to computers, smart phones (46% of all wireless phones), and tablets (34 million users). Even avid news consumers with busy lives won’t go to what’s behind most of the headlines they see on these devices — and when they do, especially given the limited real estate on their screens, they will rarely read past the opening paragraph or two.

This is a serious concern because the aforementioned propagandists, with special assistance from certain leftist outlets, have a virtual lock on these feeds. As I see it, their privileged access has given them extraordinary power this time around to influence the political and cultural narrative — and they have learned how to abuse it.

I will support my take on things first by discussing several headlines I observed in two hours of reviewing a Google-driven news feed on Tuesday evening. I will then cite examples from Thursday and Friday where the headlines and opening teases worked with stunning effectiveness to portray Obama favorably or to denigrate his potential electoral opponents.

The Google News feed review was a truly discouraging experience, especially when imagining how a politically disengaged user might process what I saw. Here is some of it:

  • Via the Washington Post — “Ryan introduces GOP budget plan, slashing social programs and tax rates.” You could hardly make up a more obvious “heartless conservatives steal from the poor to give to the rich” headline. Those who click through will see the following opening sentence: “House Republicans renewed their commitment Tuesday to the politically risky strategy of targeting Medicare and other popular social programs to tame the national debt, unveiling a $3.5 trillion spending plan that would also slash the top tax rate paid by corporations and the wealthy.” Apparently anything that isn’t based on letting out-of-control programs stay on autopilot indefinitely constitutes “slashing,” because the actual Ryan Plan shows Medicare, the one program specifically mentioned, going up by no less than 4.7% in any year between 2013 and 2021, and by 70% during the nine-year time period.
  • “Killings Could Stall Election’s Nationalist Turn” — Since it’s from the New York Times, a story like this will get carried in a news feed, even though the “don’t bother reading this” headline tells readers nothing about where the killings occurred or who was involved. Tellingly, the story’s browser window title is “Killings Could Taint French Presidential Campaign,” indicating that the Times deliberately watered down its transmitted title. The story is about what PJ Media’s David Gerstman calls the “No Islamists Here” murders of seven, including three soldiers, a teacher, and three Jewish children in France — by (surprise … not) a Muslim. We don’t want to let anybody know that in the age of the alleged “Arab spring” there are still jihadists in Western countries killing innocents, do we? Don’t you know that Barack Obama solved all of this?
  • At the Wall Street Journal — “2012 GOP Wives More Popular Than Husbands.” Really, people? This is feedworthy news (or even true?), when the vast majority of even engaged GOP voters barely know who these women are? The goal, of course, is to get the disengaged to start thinking: “Boy, these guys must really be schmucks.”
  • At AFP – ”Obama disowns De Niro white First Lady joke.” Readers who don’t get past the headline will think that the President himself responded (what a guy!) in reaction to De Niro’s “joke,” wherein the actor asked an audience: “Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white First Lady? Too soon, right?” No, the reaction came from Obama’s campaign; and instead of “disowning” it, a spokesperson would only say: “We believe the joke was inappropriate.”

Certain organizations deemed eligible for newsfeed treatment were more than a little questionable, unless you think you can get a reliable diet of straight facts from the likes of the Huffington Post.

Thursday’s hands-down champ for misleading headline of the day was at the AP, also known to yours truly as the Administration’s Press. In covering Obama’s visit to Cushing, Oklahoma to glom onto the opening of a section of the Keystone Pipeline which had been the works for some time and was completed without the need to obtain his permission, the AP’s headline read: “Obama defends handling of Keystone as he puts another key oil pipeline on the fast track.”

“Another”? When has Obama ever “fast-tracked” anything not involving “green energy”? And even if he did so sometime in the past three years, why is it relevant? Until Keystone is the international pipeline its sponsors envision, it may be more appropriate, as Mark Steyn suggested on Limbaugh’s show on Friday, to call what Obama visited the Pipeline to Nowhere. Maybe an even better name for AP would be the Administration’s Pravda.

My final example, linked at Matt Drudge’s place early Friday morning, shows that even people on the center-right who should (and maybe do) know better are allowing misleading headlines to dictate the discussion. Drudge’s headline (“SANTORUM SNAPS: OBAMA PREFERABLE TO ROMNEY!”) screamed a flat-out falsehood which made an already deceptive AP report (“Santorum: Might As Well Have Obama Over Romney”) even worse. Rick Santorum’s conditional statement — “If they’re going to be a little different (Mitt Romney compared to Obama), we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future” — became a manufactured controversy when the AP’s Will Weissert eliminated its conditionality and piled on in his first sentence with something Santorum absolutely did not say: “Presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Thursday said Republicans should give President Barack Obama another term if Santorum isn’t the GOP nominee …” Drudge’s compounding of what was already a set of serious errors was disgracefully irresponsible.

In terms of this election cycle, center-right activists seem far too confident that New Media’s vetting of Obama’s past and exposure of the myriad flaws in his performance as president will reach vast hordes of attention-limited and largely disengaged voters. Barring a pretty prompt sea change, most of them won’t ever see it.

Major center-right outlets and their architects need to develop and aggressively promote their own apps and feeds, consider consolidating their efforts in that regard, and above all get creative. Michelle Malkin’s Twitter-monitoring Twitchy.com enterprise looks to be a significant step in the “right” direction.

The time to react to the proliferation of election-influencing device-driven deception, dreck, and drivel from the propagandist press is growing short.

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (033112)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:00 am

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

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Positivity: Cardinal Burke calls young converts ‘beautiful’ image of God’s grace

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:45 am

From Rome:

Mar 30, 2012 / 04:03 am

Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, head of the Vatican’s highest court, described the beauty of receiving two young Americans in Rome into the Catholic Church.

“Today we are privileged to witness in a most beautiful manifestation the work of God’s grace flowing from the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus through the mediation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” said Cardinal Burke in his homily March 28.

Jonathan Wasserman, 19, from Kansas City, Missouri, and 19-year-old Kristina Landry from Ellington, Connecticut, are both students at Thomas More College in New Hampshire. As part of their four-year liberal arts course they have been studying in Rome for the past three months.

On March 28, within the historic surrounding of the Vatican’s Church of Saint Anne, both were received into the Church by Cardinal Burke. The former Archbishop of St. Louis is now resident in Rome as the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Church’s highest court.

“I’m feeling great,” Jonathan told CNA moments afterward. “I feel incredible. It was a dream come true. I’m just glad to have this all. I’m just happy.”

“Yeah, it’s incredible, amazing, awe inspiring,” added Kristina. …

Go here for the rest of the story.