September 30, 2012

Politico: Romney’s the One With an Adviser-Related Libya Problem

Let’s see. Who has the bigger problem with Libya and the Middle East? Is it the guy who’s in charge with a foreign policy in disarray who has described the first murder of a U.S. ambassador in 33 years a “bump in the road“? Or his presidential campaign challenger Mitt Romney?

If we’re to believe Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei, and Politico, it’s Romney, where “Romney advisers at odds over Libya” was the only thing visible on my computer screen when I went to the web site’s home page at 10 p.m. ET. You have to go almost all the way to the bottom of the home page to see stories about how “at odds” Obama administration advisers have been and still are about the U.S. positions on Libya, terrorism, Israel, and the Middle East during the past several weeks. Several paragraphs from the Romney story, wherein one learns that there really isn’t much in the way of conflict, accompanied by yet another round of “the polls say Romney’s doomed,” follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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Steven Rattner: ‘We Need Death Panels’; Will PolitiFact Reverse ‘Lie of the Year’ Tag on Palin?

PalinAtFacebookPost0809For those who want the short answer to the question in this post’s title, the answer is almost definitely “no.” But in a New York Times op-ed piece in mid-September, former Obama “car czar” Steven Rattner effectively said that the so-called “fact-check” site known as PolitiFact should make amends to former Alaska Governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

In December 2009, PolitiFact’s Angie Drobnic Holan outrageously characterized the following statement made by Palin in an August 2009 Facebook post as its “Lie of the Year” (bold is mine):

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Why Media Bias Matters: AP’s Ohlemacher Fibs and Obfuscates on Social Security

The Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, has been running a series of “Why It Matters” items in the run-up to the presidential election purporting to educate readers about important issues.

Reporter Stephen Ohlemacher’s contribution to the series concerning Social Security opens with a bald-faced fib, omits the fact that the system’s benefit payments and costs have exceed payroll tax collections for several years, and doubles down on the fib at the end. His opening sentence and other excerpts follow the jump:

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AP’s Coverage of Calif. Dairies’ Peril IDs Price Controls as Culprit, But Not Corn Crop Diversion to Ethanol

At the Associated Press on Saturday, Gosia Wozniacka did something one rarely sees any more in wire service coverage, actually blaming a government policy for an industry’s financial problems — in this case, state-imposed price controls on the California dairy industry.

But price controls in the highly tarnished Golden State, while very relevant, have been around for decades. Ms. Wozniacka ignored the most recent cause of farmers’ difficulties, namely the government-mandated diversion of much of the corn crop towards ethanol production. Several paragraphs from her report (also carried at CNS News) follow the jump:

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NY Times Ignores Muslim Day Parade Call for ‘Blasphemy’ Law, State Senator’s Walkout

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:52 am

Note:  This post has been revised to reflect the Times’s 2012 coverage. The original version erroneously linked to a 2010 article. I sincerely regret the error.

The New York Times’s coverage of year’s annual Muslim Day parade in Manhattan appears to have consisted of a photo at This Week in Pictures and another at the City Room blog.

At the end of the parade, in news not relayed by the Times, at least one speaker called for suppression and criminalization of free speech and another seemed to revel in violence-based rhetoric. One can hardly argue that these presentations weren’t related to the parade, since invited political dignitaries were on hand, including one gentleman, Democrat New York State Senator Tony Avello, who walked out after hearing calls for punishment speech seen to commit “blasphemy” against Muslim prophet Muhammed.

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More Obama Reelect-Presumptive Coverage at the Politico: ‘America’s Next Top Diplomat’ As Susan Rice or Kerry

Does anyone remember anybody in the establishment press speculating over who might hold Cabinet positions during a second Bush 43 term in the fall of 2004 without qualifying it with “if Bush is reelected”? Neither do I.

But at the Politico on Thursday, the closest Josh Rogin got in an item found at the web site’s “The Cable” section speculating on whether John Kerry or Susan Rice is better positioned to be Obama’s nominee to be “America’s next top diplomat” (i.e., Secretary of State) was quoting a Republican Senate aide who merely referred to the possible fireworks “if it’s the beginning of a second Obama term.” That doesn’t even qualify as a qualifier either, because a victorious Obama might attempt to confirm a new nominee to replace Hillary Clinton during a lame-duck session. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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NewsBusted (092812)

Filed under: NewsBusted — Tom @ 7:40 am

Here goes, a couple of days late, but still just as funny:

TOPICS:
–Congressional Budget Office
–Obamacare
–President Obama
–Muslim Botherhood
–Obama Flag
–Rupert Everett
–Facebook
–Applebee’s

Best line: “The Obama campaign has redesigned the American flag with the Obama logo. They wanted to create a flag to which Obama would be comfortable pledging his allegiance.”

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (093012)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:30 am

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

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Positivity: Former abortion clinic workers detail conversion stories

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:25 am

From Washington:

Sep 29, 2012 / 05:03 pm

At a recent conference in Illinois, former abortion workers told the stories of the work that they once thought was helping women, and how they were converted to the pro-life position.

“We wanted to better understand the mindset of people who work in the abortion industry,” said conference planner Ann Scheidler, who serves as the vice president of the Pro-Life Action League.

She told CNA that the purpose of the “CONVERTED: From Abortion Provider to Pro-Life Activist” conference was to hear what former abortion workers had to say about why they entered the abortion industry and what led them to leave it.

While abortion doctors and clinic workers are sometimes viewed as heartless by pro-lifers, some are actually “extremely compassionate people” who are misguided and believe that they are “helping women,” she explained.

“It’s very good for us to understand where these people are coming from,” she said.

The Sept. 22 conference was held Crowne Plaza O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, Ill., and featured eight former abortion workers who told their personal stories of conversion.

Scheidler said that each one had a different story, but they shared the experience of realizing, “This isn’t what I thought.”

The decision to leave can be “difficult,” she continued. They often find that “everybody they know is pro-abortion,” so leaving their job means finding an entirely new community and peer group.

“That’s asking a lot,” she said. “That’s hard to do.”

While the lack of resources has made this transition especially difficult in the past, a new ministry by former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson is now helping those who wish to leave the abortion industry but are struggling in their decision to do so.

Johnson spoke about her ministry, And Then There Were None, which has had contact with 30 abortion workers in recent months. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

September 29, 2012

Obama Campaign: Birth Control Costs $18,000; Press Doesn’t Expose to Deserved Ridicule

If anything as embarrassing as what follows occurred at a Republican presidential contender’s website, including the follow-up ridicule by the opposition, the press would never be able to resist covering it.

A mythical (I hope) ecard created at the Obama-Biden campaign site call purports to be from a daughter to her mother, and asks about the most ridiculous question you can imagine.

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Calif. Creates State-Run ‘Opt-Out’ Private Sector Retirement Savings Scheme; AP Cites As Potential ‘National Model’

From the “I thought Social Security was supposed to have solved this decades ago” Dept.: The State of California has just passed a law mandating opt-out pension plan contributions of 3% of earnings for six million workers in the private sector, or roughly half of its private sector workforce.

The targeted population is the cadre of those working at employers of five or more who do not offer a retirement plan. It has the distinct aroma of a bailout, because of who gets to manage the money. Excerpts from a predictably dreadful Associated Press report by Judy Lin follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

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Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092912)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:30 am

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

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Positivity: Bishop: Florida Voters Should Vote Pro-Life First

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:50 am

From St. Augustine, Florida (HT Life News), via The Felipe J. Estévez, the Bishop of St. Augustine, Florida, in an open letter to Catholics in his diocese (bolds are mine):

As we rapidly approach a very important general election, I want to take this opportunity to urge each and every one of you to register and vote. If you have not already registered to vote in the general election, in Florida you can do so up until Oct. 9. It is not difficult to register. Contact your county supervisor of elections.

As Catholic Christians we have always believed that voting and participating in our community is not just a privilege but also a responsibility. We are called by Christ to be salt and light to the world, and to infuse the culture around us with the values of our faith. And so I urge you to take your Catholic beliefs, values and consciences into the voting booth with you.

I would not tell you how to vote or who to vote for, but it is my responsibility to remind you that, for us Catholics, some issues are simply never morally acceptable. The taking of an innocent human life, whether inside the womb or not, and up until natural death, is always and everywhere intrinsically evil. Such issues as embryonic stem cell research and attempts at human cloning are also direct attacks against the dignity and uniqueness of human life made in the image of God. Finally, preserving the dignity of traditional marriage is of central importance and must never be undermined because marriage is a cornerstone of any stable society. Any attempts to re-define marriage as something other than between a man and a woman, should be vigorously opposed by a Catholic as contrary to reason, the natural law, and the divinely revealed truths of the Bible. Beyond these fundamental issues, and closely related to them is the issue of religious liberty – our ability as Catholics to live our lives publically according to our faith and morals at all levels of society.

As Catholics we must first consider the various candidates and party platforms in light of those immutable issues I have mentioned above. Then, in good conscience, we must give preference to the candidate who does not oppose our God given moral principles. …

Go here for the rest of the bishop’s letter.

September 28, 2012

Put This in Your Polling Pipe and Smoke It: Big Drops Since ’08 in Voter Registration, Especially Among Dems

Rush Limbaugh brought up an important matter relating to polling today, which even beyond what is already known about party affiliation from Rasmussen and Gallup, further supports the notion that performing presidential preference polls based on 2008 presidential turnout is fundamentally flawed.

Read it below, because you can virtually bet what’s left of the value of your home that you won’t see this item mentioned anywhere in the establishment press, even though its ultimate source is a liberal group:

Drop in Ohio voter registration, especially in Dem strongholds, mirrors nationwide trend

… a precipitous decline in Democratic voter registration in key swing states — nowhere more apparent than in Ohio.

Voter registration in the Buckeye State is down by 490,000 people from four years ago. Of that reduction, 44 percent is in Cleveland and surrounding Cuyahoga County, where Democrats outnumber Republicans more than two to one.

“I think what we’re seeing is a lot of spin and hype on the part of the Obama campaign to try to make it appear that they’re going to cruise to victory in Ohio,” Cuyahoga County Republican Chairman Rob Frost said. “It’s not just Cuyahoga County. Nearly 350,000 of those voters are the decrease in the rolls in the three largest counties, Cuyahoga, Hamilton and Franklin.”

Frost points out that those three counties all contain urban centers, where the largest Democrat vote traditionally has been.

Ohio is not alone. An August study by the left-leaning think tank Third Way showed that the Democratic voter registration decline in eight key swing states outnumbered the Republican decline by a 10-to-one ratio. In Florida, Democratic registration is down 4.9 percent, in Iowa down 9.5 percent. And in New Hampshire, it’s down down 19.7 percent.

Of course, voter registrations aren’t the same as self-reported party affiliation, wherein many who haven’t registered as Dems or Republicans nonetheless identify themselves as members of one or the other party. But it would make sense that at least some of the disproportionate Democratic fall-off, even after culling the dead and those who have moved away from the voter rolls, will end up being reflected at the ballot box.

It also supports the notion that there has been the kind of party affiliation shift Rasmussen has documented (from Dems +7.6 in November 2008 to GOP +4.3 in August 2012), and the related notion that polls containing far more Democrats than Republicans do not representatively sample the way things are now, i.e., that they’re seriously cooked.

Rasmussen’s September 28 tracking poll has Obama up by one point nationally at 47-46%.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Positivity: Bishop Paprocki — Think and pray about your vote in upcoming election

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:28 am

From Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Springfield, Illinois diocese (bolds are mine):

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

Much attention was given at the Democratic National Convention held recently in Charlotte, N.C., to the fact that all references to God had been purged from the draft version of the party platform. After outcries of protest from outside as well as within the Democratic Party, the sentence with the same reference to God used in 2008 was restored to read, “We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”

Before anyone relaxes and concludes that all is well now that the Democratic Party Platform contains a single passing reference to God, the way that this was done should give us pause. Convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa had to call for the voice vote three times because each time the sound level for the “ayes” and the “nays” sounded about even, far short of the two-thirds necessary according to convention rules to amend the platform. That did not stop the convention chairman from declaring, “The ayes have it!”

What is troubling about that is the blatant disregard for the rules and for the apparent wishes of about half the delegates. The reference to God is back in the platform apparently because President Obama wanted it back in. That may be fine for now, but if a future president wants references to God taken out, apparently that can be done regardless of the wishes of the delegates if that is what The Leader wants. That does not bode well for democracy in the Democratic Party.

Even more troubling is that this whole discussion about God in the platform is a distraction from more disturbing matters that have been included in the platform. In 1992 Presidential candidate Bill Clinton famously said that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” That was the party’s official position until 2008. Apparently “rare” is so last century that it had to be dropped, because now the Democratic Party Platform says that abortion should be “safe and legal.” Moreover the Democratic Party Platform supports the right to abortion “regardless of the ability to pay.” Well, there are only three ways for that to happen: either taxpayers will be required to fund abortion, or insurance companies will be required to pay for them (as they are now required to pay for contraception), or hospitals will be forced to perform them for free.

Moreover, the Democratic Party Platform also supports same-sex marriage, recognizes that “gay rights are human rights,” and calls for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law signed by President Clinton in 1996 that defined marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman.

Now, why am I mentioning these matters in the Democratic Party Platform? There are many positive and beneficial planks in the Democratic Party Platform, but I am pointing out those that explicitly endorse intrinsic evils. My job is not to tell you for whom you should vote. But I do have a duty to speak out on moral issues. I would be abdicating this duty if I remained silent out of fear of sounding “political” and didn’t say anything about the morality of these issues. People of faith object to these platform positions that promote serious sins. I know that the Democratic Party’s official “unequivocal” support for abortion is deeply troubling to pro-life Democrats.

So what about the Republicans? I have read the Republican Party Platform and there is nothing in it that supports or promotes an intrinsic evil or a serious sin.

Go here for the rest of the bishop’s letter.