February 21, 2014

AP, NYT AWOL on FCC’s Newsroom Snooping Proposal

On Thursday, Kyle Drennen at NewsBusters noted that none of the three broadcast networks had covered the intent of the Federal Communications Commission, in the words of Byron York at the Washington Examiner, to “send government contractors into the nation’s newsrooms to determine whether journalists are producing articles, television reports, Internet content, and commentary that meets the public’s ‘critical information needs.’”

Given that the nets take many of their new prioritization cues from the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, and to a lesser extent from the New York Times, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that searches at the self-described “essential global news network” and at the Old Gray Lady indicate that neither outlet has covered it. The FCC has supposedly backtracked, but not really, as Katy Bachman at AdWeek noted yesterday (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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Washington’s Pack of Pretenders

Preserving and expanding the government’s (and their) power.

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This column went up at PJ Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Wednesday.

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On Friday, in what would be a humiliating episode if it were capable of embarrassment, the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, acted as if a tweet from “@BarackObama” about the TV program “House of Cards” represented an “endorsement” of the program by President Barack Obama himself. It even described the tweet as his “latest playful executive order,” and reported that a cast member somehow “double-checked the authenticity of the tweet before celebrating.”

The folks at AP are so smitten with Dear Leader they either weren’t aware or didn’t care that the Twitter account involved is from Organizing for America, a group of Obama lovers who are technically but not substantively separate from the White House, and whose life mission is to promote his missions of the moment. The “@BarackObama” account description clearly tells the world that “Tweets from the President are signed -bo.” The “House of Cards” tweet contained no such “signature.”

AP’s seeming cluelessness is really a case of institutional acceptance of the unacceptable: It, and the rest of the press, have become so used to covering government and government-aligned entities which are not at all what they pretend to be that they no longer even care to question their legitimacy. Several of too many examples to fit into a single column follow.

Certainly Eric Holder’s Department of Justice isn’t what the Attorney General’s “about” page says it is, namely “the central agency for enforcement of federal laws.” It is instead the central agency for approving fishing expeditions against news organizations like the AP; harassing states in matters such as the administration of elections which are solely their province; deciding which federal laws it will refuse to defend, e.g., the Defense of Marriage Act; and determining which laws it will ruthlessly reinterpret beyond Congress’s and even the Supreme Court’s intent.

Holder himself is the only attorney general, and in fact the first sitting cabinet member, ever held in contempt of Congress. There is documented evidence that he knew of Operation Fast and Furious, the enterprise involving the provision of thousands of guns to Mexican drug cartels, in July 2010, five months before Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s murderer used one of those guns to kill him. In Mexico, as of over two years ago, Fast and Furious guns “showed up at nearly 200 crime scenes” involving an estimated 300 “people killed or wounded.” In a functioning government, Holder’s impeachment and involuntary removal from office would have occurred long ago.

The charlatans at the Internal Revenue Service claim to be about helping Americans “understand and meet their tax responsibilities” and to “enforce the law with integrity and fairness to all.” Four decades ago, the agency’s head directly refused to honor President Richard Nixon’s request to audit 200 of his political enemies. Barely a year after Obama’s first inauguration, it became a political tool of his administration dedicated to stonewalling, harassing, and auditing liberty movement, voter integrity and social conservative organizations and their leaders. Holder’s FBI, after conducting a months-long non-investigation of the agency during which it apparently spoke with no targeted organizations, implausibly decided that no criminal activity had taken place.

The Democratic wings of the House and Senate are filled with elected officials who have long since lost interest in making and passing laws their constituents desire while overseeing the executive branch’s execution of those laws. They instead believe that nothing is more important than staying in office to protect their Senate majority and to prevent the growth of Republicans’ House majority, even if doing so involves having the IRS ramp up its aforementioned intimidation and letting it expand its efforts into silencing their opposition during reelection campaigns.

Many Republicans in the House and Senate pretend to be fiscal conservatives frightened by the approaching fiscal train wreck that becomes more of a foregone conclusion with each passing day. But at crunch time this week, they weren’t content merely to unconditionally approve an increase in the nation’s debt ceiling.  They chose to go much further, removing the ceiling entirely, giving the administration a de facto blank check to run up as much debt as it can for the next 13 months. That’s very unfortunate, especially because the economy, which has “unexpectedly” begun to show signs of significantly slowing, may cause the still completely unacceptable but lower deficits seen during the past year or so to become a distant memory. It is virtually certain that Obama won’t accept the reimposition of any kind of debt ceiling as long as he is in office.

The administration pretends that there is a law on the books called the Affordable Care Act, and inconsistently whines when people call it “Obamacare.” But the President’s statist health care regime simply must be called “Obamacare,” because any time something in the law as passed by Congress become politically inconvenient, Obama’s bureaucrats at either Kathleen Sebelius’s Department of Health and Human Services or Jack Lew’s Treasury Department concoct regulations self-evidently designed to minimize electoral fallout. At last count, the administration has made 18 major changes, “unilaterally and often in direct contradiction to legislative language.”

Obama’s pretenders thrive because the nation’s leaders have chosen to at least ignore and often directly defy the late Henry Hyde’s warnings about what would transpire if it abandoned the rule of law. Those who could have prevented it have failed to react with sufficient vigor to its serial undermining. This is why the American experiment is in dire, unprecedented peril.

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (022114)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:55 am

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

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Laughing uproariously for several minutes in an open hearing would be the best response to claims like this: “Sebelius Denies Well-Documented ObamaCare Joblessness.”

Investor’s Business Daily’s wrap: “… denial of obvious realities goes beyond honesty and borders on delusional.” I would disagree in Sebelius’s case. She knows she’s lying, and doesn’t care.

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At Heritage“Why It’s the Government’s Fault There Isn’t Enough Salt to Make Roads Safe in New Jersey”

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(Ohio Governor John) Kasich wants younger vocational students; Wants 7th-graders to get vocational training and 1st-graders to start planning careers.” So vocational training takes six years now? I shouldn’t even have to explain why the “1st-graders” idea is stupid. But, amazingly, it does correlate with cradle-to-grave mindset of Common Core.

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A non-surprise“Union Intimidation Continues at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga Plant”

Related: “German Union Boss Threatens American Workers’ Jobs After They Reject UAW”

Also: The UAW appears to have spent an estimated $5 million in its unsuccessful VW-Chattanooga effort. That’s about $8,000 per vote, and about $3,500 per plant employee.

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Congressman Dan Maffei of New York is the latest participant in the fraudulent Food Stamp Challenge.

He says that “I will be eating on a budget of $4.50 per day, which is the average grocery budget that SNAP recipients live on daily.”

The current Maximum Monthly Allotment for a single person is $189 per month. That’s about $6.25 a day. The averages for rising family sizes work out to between $5.28 and $6.11 (they drop with larger household sizes.). If you can’t eat on those amounts per day, you’re not trying hard enough.

Maffei, like all of the other participants in this bogus “challenge,” refuses to recognize that not everyone gets the Maximum Monthly Allotment because there are offsets for income and sometimes for assets.

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Steve Deace observes: “It has now been 6 days since 1.22 million of Rand Paul’s constituents who voted to defend marriage in their state constitution were disenfranchised by a federal judge. Rand has said nothing.”

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From mid-November, desitined for the “You Can’t Catch Everything Right Away” file (HT Political Outcast): “WebMD pockets millions from feds to promote Obamacare”

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As anyone could have predicted, they won’t let a little thing like a court ruling stand in their way: “FCC: We’re Not Done With Net Neutrality; Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler challenges last month’s court ruling, moves forward with plans to create a new version of rules promoting an open Internet.”

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At Hot Air“Are California Democrats abandoning Gov. Brown’s beloved high-speed rail boondoggle?” We should be so lucky.

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“Time to push back against the global warming Nazis” — Actually, it’s long past time. It would easy and oh so politically correct to say that Dr. Roy Spencer is overreacting and going where one shouldn’t go. Sadly, he’s not incorrect.

If the true believers in the environmentalist movement, whose pet cause is maximizing statism through promotion of globaloney, were to have their way, they would take the earth’s population down to under 1 billion, turning the number murdered in the Holocaust into a rounding error.

Positivity: Downton Abbey’s Pro-Life Message

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From a February 16 column by Cortney O’Brien at Townhall:

Longtime fans of Downton Abbey probably think the writers don’t want their characters to live happily ever after. Understandably so, considering all the tragedies that tainted season three. But, one recent storyline is so reassuringly pro-life, it seems viewers are allowed to smile for once.

For anyone who hasn’t seen the popular British program, here’s a brief introduction to the family at its core: The Crawleys are an aristocratic family in the early 20th century. Lord Grantham and his wife Cora share a huge castle with their three daughters Mary, Edith and Sybil. It’s the middle Crawley sister, Edith, who is at the center of the show’s recent pro-life plot.

Known as the sister who always seems to be unlucky in love, Edith’s relationship troubles continue with her new lover Michael. After spending the night with him, especially controversial since Michael is still technically married (it’s a long story), the latter mysteriously goes missing and Edith learns she’s pregnant. Her initial reaction – to both his disappearance and her condition – is panic. After painful deliberation, she decides to take a trip to London – to abort her unborn child.

Almost as soon as she arrives in London, however, she starts to regret her decision. …

Go here for the rest of her column — and the plot’s evolution.