July 30, 2013

New Haven Register: Fox, Coulter, the GOP, Nugent, Some of Its Readers — and Don’t Forget Toad’s Place — Embrace KKK’s Message

Those who falsely smear the other side in an attempt to make an argument tend to do so because they have run out of real ones. It would appear that the New Haven Register’s argument cupboard is completely barren of everything but poisonous rhetoric.

In an opinion piece which I can hardly believe is a house editorial, the Register characterizes Ann Coulter, Fox News, the Republican Party, anyone who thinks George Zimmerman really was innocent, Ted Nugent, and Toad’s Place, the venue where Nugent is playing next week, as among those who have “embraced” the “same basic message that the KKK has promoted for 148 years.” Tellingly, the paper turns on many of its readers, adding “a burgeoning array of fringe ‘conservative’ media and members of our own community commenting on stories on the New Haven Register’s website” to the KKK-sympathetic cadre. Brace yourself for what follows after the jump, and ask yourself why any person of genuine good will — left, right, or middle — would willingly support a publication such as this.

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Politico’s Elliott Entirely Ignores Abortion-Related Reasons Why EMILY’s List Head Won’t Run for U.S. Senate in Montana

At the Politico, Rebecca Elliott has reported that “EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock will not be running for Senate in Montana,” and that Schriock’s decision represents “another blow to Democrats’ hopes to retain the open seat in 2014″ currently held by the retiring Max Baucus.

Puh-leeze. Two minutes of research would have revealed why Schriock’s candidacy, already dicey in a largely pro-life state, had a high likelihood of turning into the mother of all train wrecks.

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AP: Gathering of 75 in Des Moines Shows ‘Iowa Residents Largely Support’ Medicaid Expansion

Who knew that merely getting just over six dozen people together to support having Iowa “expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul” would earn coverage from the Associated Press, and then be treated as some kind of groundswell of support?

Well, it did. The item involved, complete with a headline which makes it appears if some kind of poll might have gauged Iowans’ sentiments on the topic — the better to deceive those who only see the headline — follows the jump (posted in full because of its brevity; HT Instapundit):

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What’s ‘Phony’ Is The U.S. Economy

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:00 pm

The Obama administration’s scandals are very real. 

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This column went up at PJ Media early Sunday afternoon Eastern Time and was teased here at BizzyBlog Sunday evening.

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During his one-hour, six-minute snoozer of a speech supposedly about the economy in Galesburg, Illinois on Wednesday, President Barack Obama denounced Washington’s “endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals.”

“Phony”?

The rest of the President’s speech was so utterly devoid of new ideas that even ordinarily reliable apparatchik Chuck Todd at MSNBC couldn’t handle it, aptly observing of Obama and his administration: “They have nothing new to say.”

Obama, whose flunkies presented his speech as yet another “pivot” back to jobs and the economy, didn’t even identify employment growth as his top priority. Instead, he said that it was reducing income and wealth inequality (“reversing these trends has to be Washington’s highest priority”). That’s pretty funny, because his administration’s policies, in coordination with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s “quantitative easing,” now simply known as “stimulus,” have driven recent increases in those inequalities.

Let’s address those supposedly “phony” scandals.

Scandal” is defined as “a disgraceful or discreditable action.”

Disgraceful or discreditable actions define this administration’s everyday modus operandi. Its contemptuous conduct has generated far too many genuine scandals to address in a single column. While recognizing that certain older scandals, particularly Operation Fast & Furious and Benghazi, are more serious because innocent people died as a result, I will only address the three which broke this past spring.

Go to members of the press — but first get them individually behind closed doors with guaranteed anonymity, because they apparently can’t publicly admit that they disagree with anyone in the Obama administration without losing their precious “access,” let alone their credibility among their peers. Ask them one by one if they believe that Eric Holder, who signed the search warrant for Fox News reporter James Rosen’s private emails, lied under oath when he said the following at a congressional hearing:

As to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something that I’ve ever been involved in, heard of or would think would be a wise policy.

Then ask them if lying under oath to Congress about going after a journalist as a potential criminal is a form of disgraceful or discreditable behavior.

Ask members of Congress — the ones who, like Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, aren’t knee-jerk Obama koolaid drinkers — if Director of National Intelligence James Clapper engaged in disgraceful or discreditable behavior when he lied to Congress during a March hearing when he was questioned by Wyden about the extent of the National Security Administration’s collection of data on the activities of everyday Americans. Go one step, further, and ask how scandalous it is that even though Clapper has admitted to his egregious lie, he appears to have suffered no negative consequences for his deception.

As to the IRS scandal, it primarily involved but was by no means limited to the targeting of not-for-profit status applications from conservative and tea party groups for harassing scrutiny and inexcusable delays. At this point, it’s beyond meaningful dispute that the enterprise’s deliberate mission was to mute opposition efforts during the 2010 congressional and 2012 general elections. The targeting’s comprehensiveness during the year or so before 2012 balloting — along with the fact that its existence, though common knowledge in the White House in early 2012, was not disclosed until this year — for all practical purposes has delegitimized Obama’s 2012 electoral victory as a genuine expression of the will of an informed electorate.

We can go to Obama himself for proof that the IRS targeting, which we now know was orchestrated by IRS officials in Washington and not low-level rogue employees in Cincinnati, was scandalous. (The current completely predictable stonewalling, obfuscation, and obstruction are also scandalous, but I digress.)

In May, Obama, who claimed that he read about the IRS targeting in the papers like everyone else, said the following:

This is pretty straightforward. If in fact IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported, and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that’s outrageous. There’s no place for it.

“Scandalous” is a synonym for “outrageous.”

IRS personnel, Obama appointees, and White House officials have been shown to have “engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported,” and more. Sorry, Mr. President: Since it was outrageous then, it’s scandalous now. Therefore, since it wasn’t phony then, it can’t be phony now. Your attempt to describe it as phony now is itself scandalous.

What is undoubtedly phony (“false or deceiving; not truthful; concocted”) is our current economy.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said something very important but really scary at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee on July 17. How do I know it was important? Because the establishment press, with the exception of the wire service AFP, didn’t have a single story which referred to it.

During the question and answer session after his prepared testimony, Bernanke said the following:

I don’t think the Fed can get interest rates up very much, because the economy is weak, inflation rates are low. If we were to tighten policy, the economy would tank.

(The link is to “Q&A highlights” at Reuters, but that wire service’s related coverage also did not contain the quote.)

Keep in mind that “tightening” in the current context involves reducing, or “tapering,” the $85 billion per month in money Bernanke is electronically printing so he can buy government debt and mortgage-backed securities.

What kind of economy needs continuous artificial injections of $85 billion out of thin air every month to be kept from “tanking”?

  • One whose government continues to run unustainable deficits and which probably could not borrow enough money from other sources to finance them without those artificial injections.
  • One where any hint that Bernanke might start tapering is treated by the stock market as a reason to start scoping out the exits.
  • One where the stock market treats indications that the employment market or economic growth might finally start accelerating — in other words, what you and I would consider “good news” — as reasons to sell. Why? Because Big Ben might start tapering.
  • One which has had trillions and trillions of dollars in artificial stimulus from fiscal deficits and the Fed, and yet, as seen in the recent reductions of analysts’ second-quarter growth estimates from about 1.7 percent to below 1 percent, still can’t generate acceptable economic growth.

In other words, a phony one.

Evil Employers Forcing Employees Into ObamaCare Exchanges

Except that the evil employers are municipal governments, as an Investor’s Business Daily editorial noted yesterday:

Detroit Shows How ObamaCare Will Bankrupt the Country

Cost-Shifting: Looks like Detroit might get a federal bailout after all, by offloading its retiree health costs onto federal taxpayers via ObamaCare. It’s a window into why Obama-Care costs will quickly spiral out of control.

On Sunday, the New York Times noted that Detroit hopes to push its younger retirees who aren’t yet eligible for Medicare into the ObamaCare exchanges, where many will be eligible for subsidized insurance. Federal tax payers will pick up the tab, rather than those in Detroit. (IBD’s Jed Graham first wrote about this last month.)

One of the first to suggest this clever cost-shifting idea was Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was in the Obama administration while it was putting ObamaCare together. In May, he revealed plans to save about $108 million a year by tossing 30,000 retirees into the ObamaCare exchanges.

If Detroit and Chicago get away with this, you can bet other cities will try, too. The U.S.’ 61 largest cities have more than $118 billion in unfunded retiree health care liabilities, the Pew Charitable Trusts estimates.

And the National League of Cities is practically drooling over the opportunity to shift as much as possible onto ObamaCare.

Imagine that. The public-sector unions will probably roll over on this. Union bosses tend to be all about representing current workers. When push comes to shove, they’ll throw retirees, who often do not have a vote on union contracts, under the bus and let the nation’s taxpayers pick up the tab (e.g., [although they're private sector -- well, sort of in GM's case]: GM and Chrysler bailouts).

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (073013)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.

If you are on the front page, click “more” to see today’s items (updated sporadically; items time-stamped 6:05 a.m., if any, were posted earlier and held).
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Positivity: One of Air Force’s most decorated heroes passes away

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Shalimar, Florida (HT to an emailer):

One of the most decorated Airmen in Air Force history, whose career spanned three wars and four decades, has passed away.

Retired Col. George Everett “Bud” Day, an Air Force pilot, shot down during the Vietnam War and imprisoned in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” along with Sen. John McCain, defiantly resisted the North Vietnamese for more than five years, and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. He passed away July 27, in Shalimar, Fla., at age 88.

Day received close to 70 medals and awards, 50 of them combat-related, during a career that began in 1942 when, as a young 17-year-old, enlisted in the Marine Corps. Day would spend three years in the South Pacific during World War II before returning home to get a law degree.

In 1950, Day joined the Air National Guard and was called to active duty a year later, where he would go through pilot training and become a fighter pilot in the Air Force, where he would fly sorties during the Korean War.

But it was during the Vietnam War that Day would make his mark on history. In 1967, Maj. Day commanded Detachment 1, 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, an F-110 unit, with the top secret mission to fly over Vietnam and Laos as forward air controllers. On Aug. 26, Day’s plane was hit by ground fire, and as he plummeted to Earth, ejected and smashed against the fuselage, breaking his arm in three places.

Day was initially captured and taken to an underground shelter, where he was threatened with a mock execution after refusing to answer the enemy’s questions. After five days, he escaped. In spite of his serious injuries and missing his boots, he traveled over 25 miles. During his arduous travel, he ate only local fruit and raw frogs, and he was further injured when a bomb went off nearby. After about 10 days, Day made it across the Ben Hai River into South Vietnam and a few days later was about two miles away from the Marine base at Con Thien. Tragically, Viet Cong insurgents discovered Day and shot him in the left thigh and left hand.

He was then moved to the “Hanoi Hilton,” where his wounds were left untreated, he suffered from malnutrition and constantly tortured. Day endured years of agonizing treatment. Many of his injuries did not heal properly, and his weight dropped to about 100 pounds. Still, Day remained defiant. In the spring of 1968, he was taken to the “Zoo,” a punishment camp for “hard resisters.” There, he was beaten so hard his vision became blurred. After Ho Chi Minh died in the fall of 1969, the POWs’ situation improved somewhat, but Day was still singled out for especially harsh treatment.

During one instance in 1971, guards burst in with rifles as some of the prisoners gathered for a forbidden religious service. Day defiantly stared the guards down and began to sing the “Star Spangled Banner” in protest. The other prisoners, including the prison’s top ranking officer, James Stockdale, joined him. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Howard Dean in WSJ: IPAB ‘Essentially a Health-care Rationing Body’; Will He Share Palin’s 2009 ‘Lie of the Year’ Award?

Sarah Palin, call your office. PolitiFact, you’ve been refuted again.

In the later sections of a Wall Street Journal column on Sunday (in Monday’s print edition), former Vermont Governor and unsuccessful 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean wrote in opposition (HT Twitchy) to Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, calling it “essentially a health-care rationing body.” We’ll let former Alaska GOP Governor Palin take it from there with her August 7, 2009 Facebook post (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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