February 19, 2013

LAT’s Hennessey: ‘Obama’s Vacations Have Been Rare, Brief and Regularly Interrupted’

My nominee for Media Puppet of the Day (we should consider making such an award a daily or weekly event) is Kathleen Hennessey at the Los Angeles Times.

From her perch at the paper’s Washington bureau, she wrote a pathetic story today about how President Obama is so much more relaxed now that he’s in his second term. Among other howlers, Hennessey claims that “Obama’s vacations have been rare, brief and regularly interrupted by crises at home and overseas.” Key paragraphs — as many as I think readers will be able to stand, and no more — follow the jump (HT to NB commenter Gary Hall at another post; bolds are mine):
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48 Hours After ‘Kill’ Order, Bogus AP Rand Paul Item Is Still at Several AP.org Addresses and Yahoo

BizzyBlog Update, 4:50 p.m.: The AP’s Paul Colford responded to an email inquiry about the still-existing stories thusly — “Thanks for checking. This is a technical issue that we’re working to fix for a number of downstream destinations carrying AP’s stories.” For what it’s worth, the “downstream” distance from ap.org to hosted2.ap.org shouldn’t be very far.

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Following up on an item posted yesterday — 48 hours after it issued an order to subscribing publications and outlets to “kill” a story it filed on Sunday (“Sen. Paul: Voters want to round up immigrants”) claiming that Kentucky Republican Senator Rand “sees voters wanting, quote, ‘somebody who wants to round people up, put in camps and send them back to Mexico,’” the story is still present on web — at several sites whose URL begins with hosted2.ap.org. These are sites belonging to AP itself. Additionally, the story is still present at the widely read Yahoo.com.

Specifics follow the jump:

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Politico Pair Cry a River of Crocodile Tears Over ‘Obama, the Puppet Master’

CrocTears CrocTearsWide

UPDATE. 4:40 p.m.: Rush Limbaugh linked to and sort of quoted from the NewsBusters version of this post on today’s show.

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Instead of doing the work they were supposed to be doing last night — i.e., following their publication’s mission statement, which is (or maybe was) to “turn … reporters (i.e., themselves) loose on the subject we love: national politics” — Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen spent over 1,800 words whining.

Their disingenuous complaint: The Obama administration supposedly has insurmountable technological and resource edges over the establishment press attempting to cover it. Because of those advantages, VandeHei and Allen claim, in essence (my words, except for the internal quote), “It’s not our fault that President Obama is ‘a master at limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House.’ So if you dumb skeptics and conservatives think the problem is media bias, you’re wrong. We’re powerless against the puppet master.” The first four paragraphs of the pair’s insufferable dreck, which I believe is all that readers will be able to tolerate, follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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NewsBusted (021913)

Filed under: NewsBusted — Tom @ 7:16 am

Here we go:

TOPICS:
– Marco Rubio Water
– President Obama
– State of the Union Speech
– Pope Retiring
– Carnival Cruise Ship
– Oscar Pistorius
– Drone Attacks
– American Idol Ratings

Best Line: “A Carnival Cruise ship was brought back to Alabama adrift for several with no food, no power, and overflowing sewage. Conditions were so bad that the ship was rechristened ‘The S.S. Obama Economy.’”

The Real State of the Union

The longer it goes on, the fewer who will remain fooled.

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This column went up at FrontPageMag.com early this morning.

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In his State of the Union speech on February 12, President Barack Obama failed to note that this nation’s 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, was born on the same date 204 years earlier. Perhaps that’s because it was Lincoln who said: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

Obama removed all doubt about his foolishness — at least in his public statements, though possibly not in regards to his and fellow progressives’ larger agenda — when he told the assembled senators and congressmen that, concerning the state of the economy, “[W]e have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger.”

No it’s not, and all of the insufferable media cheerleading describing jobs reports as “mostly encouraging” even when the official unemployment rate goes up, and about “A U.S. Economy That’s Strengthened Over (the) Past 4 Years,” won’t change that.

The evidence could take up a book. I’ll limit mine to three areas: employment, student loans, and housing.

A February 1 Investor’s Business Daily editorial which appeared shortly after the government released its January jobs report laid out the primary truth about the current job market:

It took an average of just 24 months to regain all the jobs lost in the previous nine recessions. But at the current Obama job-creation pace, it will take about 80 months to regain those lost jobs.

Mort Zuckerman, the liberal editor-in-chief at U.S. News who voted for Obama in 2008, recently wrote the following in a Wall Street Journal column:

After four years America remains in a jobs depression as great as the Great Depression. But the crisis isn’t seen in that light because the country isn’t confronted daily by scenes of despair like the 1930s photographs of bread lines and soup kitchens …

… The jobless today are much less visible than they were in the 1930s because relief is organized differently.

Zuckerman’s subheadline succinctly detailed the point just made: “Twelve million out of work, 48 million on food stamps, 11 million on disability.”

Even those glum statistics don’t adequately capture the entire problem. Per Zuckerman, “The only work that has increased (since the November 2007 peak in nationwide employment) is part-time, and that is because it allows employers to reduce costs through a diminished benefit package or none at all.” Many employers are also clearly doing all they can to keep all but a few key employees from toiling more than 30 hours per week, because ObamaCare will compel them to treat employees who work 30 or more hours as “full-time,” forcing them to either provide mandatory health insurance coverage or pay a fine if they don’t.

Additionally, the jobs that are being obtained are going overwhelmingly to workers who are 55 and older, where employment (again, largely part-time) has grown by 4 million during the past four years. Employment for everyone else during that same period has decreased by almost 3 million. The overall labor force participation rate is back to where it was during the early 1980s, an era when a much higher percentage of spouses voluntarily stayed home to raise their children.

The growing crisis in the government’s student loan programs may be the least publicized trillion-dollar mess in world history. Outstanding balances have grown by $400 billion during just the past four years. During that time, the percentage of loans which is 90 or more days delinquent has skyrocketed from an already awful 8 percent to 11 percent, with most of that increase occurring during just the past few reported quarters.

Why is this happening — and why will the situation probably get much worse? A record percentage of high school grads is going on to college, but an unprecedented percentage of those who do is ill equipped to succeed in their studies. When they fail, their student loans don’t go away, not even in bankruptcy. If they can get jobs, they probably won’t pay very well. Their student loan payments act as an effective millstone hindering their ability to otherwise advance in life.

The alleged recovery in the housing industry is one of the most heavily publicized economic myths going. We’re supposed to be excited that new home sales are achieving three-years highs, even though today’s level is barely back to where it was during the early-1980s recession, when the U.S. population was 25 percent lower. Today’s level of homebuilding activity is about half of what it should be in a truly healthy economy. Though it’s clear that the housing bubble engineered by government frauds by design Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and assisted by previous Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan caused home prices to increase beyond reason during the previous decade, the fact remain that inflation-adjusted home prices are right back where they were in 1990. So much for a home being a great long-term investment.

Uncanny in its inability to learn from past mistakes, risky lending policies and decisions have taken yet another government housing entity, this time the Federal Housing Authority, to the brink of insolvency. Last week, the Government Accountability Office “released a report stating … (that it) is a ‘high risk’ entity.”

Lincoln said something else about foolishness which ties directly into Obama’s State of the Union address: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” As the nation’s Obama-induced economic malaise continues, the roster of those who are being fooled will continue to shrink.

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (021913)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

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

Positivity: EWTN mourns passing of Deacon Steltemeier, founding president

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Irondale, Alabama:

Feb 15, 2013 / 06:49 am

Deacon R. William Steltemeier, Jr., founding CEO of the Eternal World Television Network, died in Hanceville, Ala. on Feb. 15 at the age of 83 after a lengthy illness.

Michael P. Warsaw, current network president and CEO, called Deacon Steltemeier “a man of incredible faithfulness,” noting that only EWTN founder Mother Angelica was more closely associated with the network.

“As a husband, a father, an attorney and in his vocation as a permanent deacon, Bill always remained focused on serving God and serving others,” Warsaw said.

“He devoted himself totally to Mother Angelica’s mission and sacrificed all he had to help her build EWTN into the tremendous vehicle for evangelization that it has become.”

Warsaw added: “While we mourn his passing, we take comfort from his own example of faith and are confident he has heard those words from the Gospel of Matthew, ‘Well done good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your master.’”

Deacon Steltemeier was born in Nashville, Tenn. on June 6, 1929. He married Ramona Schnupp on Aug. 22, 1953. He graduated from Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt Law School before entering the U.S. Army and serving for two years in France.

He co-founded the law firm of Steltemeier & Westbrooke in Nashville in 1960. The firm specializes in bankruptcy and commercial law and continues to operate today.?

Bishop Joseph A. Durick of Nashville ordained Steltemeier to the diaconate on April 26, 1975. He was among the first American men ordained to the permanent diaconate.

Deacon Steltemeier first met Mother Angelica at a legal convention in Chicago in March 1978.

When he heard Mother Angelica speak, he heard an inner voice say “Until the day you die.” He believed this to mean his life would be dedicated to serving Mother Angelica.

When EWTN was founded in 1980, Deacon Steltemeier became its first president and board member. He resigned from his law firm in 1985 to serve EWTN full-time. He commuted from his Nashville home to EWTN headquarters in Irondale, Ala. for 22 years.

In 2000, the deacon succeeded Mother Angelical as EWTN’s chairman and CEO. He and his wife moved to Hanceville, Ala. in 2002. He retired as CEO in 2009, but was re-elected chairman of EWTN’s Board of Governors the same year. …

Go here for the rest of the story.