May 24, 2014

AP’s Fram Neglects to Mention ‘Filibuster’ or ‘Waterboarding’ in Covering Judicial Confirmation of Obama’s ‘Drone Memo’ Author

At the Associated Press on Thursday, reporter Alan Fram covered the Senate’s confirmation of David Barron without using the words “filibuster” or “waterboarding.”

Given that he was confirmed on a 53-45 vote, it is highly unlikely that Barron’s nomination would have survived had Senate majority leader Harry Reid not imposed the “nuclear option” last year to prevent senators from stopping a contentious nomination by requiring 60 senators to approve the idea of even having a confirmation vote. As for waterboarding, Barron’s nomination became controversial because he is, as Fram noted, the “architect of the Obama administration’s legal foundation for killing American terror suspects overseas with drones.” 53 Democratic senators are apparently okay with that, even though many if not most of them have gone apoplectic over the idea of waterboarding known terrorists of any nationality who may have knowledge of their fellow travelers’ plans.


Obamacare: Home of the $11,500 Paper App

Move over, Pentagon.


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


Remember the good old days when the Pentagon was spending only $640 for a toilet seat and $400 for a hammer?

Yes, I wrote “only.” (And yes, I understand that the problems at the Defense Department had far more to do with bureaucratic bloat than with genuine fraud or abuse.)

It turns out that procurement officers there were, relatively speaking, wise stewards of taxpayer dollars, at least when compared to the Obama administration’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CMS has given the American people the $11,500 paper Obamacare application — and that may be a lowball estimate.

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (052414)

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 may follow. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Catholic movie producer makes his pitch with ‘Million Dollar Arm’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:01 am

From a column by Carl Kozlowski:

May 22, 2014

Mark Ciardi is no stranger to challenges, having worked his way up to the major leagues, albeit for a brief stint back in 1987. This past weekend, he faced another one in a completely different career field when the movie he produced, “Million Dollar Arm,” had to open against the biggest monster movie of summer, “Godzilla.”

The movie opened decently with $10.5 million, but received an A in audience surveys, which should help it stick around a while on word of mouth. As noted in my review last Friday, it’s a solid and engaging film that is smart enough for adults and clean enough for kids to see as well, continuing a strong track record for Ciardi in his association with Disney.

In fact, he’s had seven solid hits so far in his career, many of them inspirational sports dramas like “Arm,” including “Miracle” (the story of the 1980 US Olympic hockey team’s miracle win over the Soviets team) and “Invincible” (the story of a Philadelphia garbage man who became a player for the Eagles). He recently spoke with CNA about why he feels that sports dramas are great films, about foul language in movies (his have none or almost none), and his abiding Catholic faith.

CNA: How did you get involved with the “Million Dollar Arm”?

CIARDI: “We’re always obviously looking for great stories, we’ve done a lot of sports films with Disney. I knew JB [JB Bernstein, the real-life sports agent the movie is about] before I was in the film business and I ran into him in 2007 at a Super Bowl party and he said he was headed to India to find a pitcher for a reality show. I thought he was crazy and a year and a half later he told me he got the boys signed and I saw the transition he went through and I quickly realized we had something really special.”

CNA: How did you make the transition from baseball to movies?

CIARDI: When I played baseball I moved to LA and spent off-seasons here and met people in the film business. My partner Gordon Gray wanted to get into the film business. We looked at each other and said why don’t we produce movies? We worked out of a garage and decided this was something we wanted to try. That was in ’98. Basically I didn’t know any better. Our first film was “The Rookie” and that was shot in 2001 and came out in 2002.

CNA: Are these sports films all true?

CIARDI: They’re all true stories. This is our fifth sports film and they’ve been inspirational true stories. We have one with Kevin Costner coming in the fall. We’ve done some family comedies and other films, but these six we have are all true stories.

CNA: How much was your own baseball expertise relied upon for the film?

CIARDI: I certainly have a say in things but we hire really great people. I look at everybody and chime in but I think it helps to have a background in sports. We had to teach these actors how to pitch, a case of life imitating art. We had to get them to be able to throw and be believable. …

Go here for the rest of the column.

WaPo’s Report on Obamacare’s Subsidy Mess Gets Almost No Other Establishment Press Coverage

The press continues its disinterested fiddling while the royal mess known as Obamacare burns through money and exhausts the patience of those attempting any kind of oversight.

One of the more obvious examples of this is how the Washington Post’s May 17 story on errors in calculating Obamacare subsidies has gone absolutely nowhere. About one-third of the 20 results returned in a Google News search on “healthcare subsidies” (not in quotes) at 11 p.m. ET Friday evening were partial reprints or rewrites of the original story by WaPo reporters Amy Goldstein and Sandhya Somashekhar. Most of the remaining results were from center-right outlets, while a few came from medical sites. The results didn’t change much when searching on “health care” instead of “healthcare.” What the WaPo pair reported is a breathtaking cacophony of incompetence which, as Heritage noted last year, won’t even “solve” itself when Obamacare enrollees file their 2014 tax returns. Goldstein and Somashekhar also missed an opportunity to make a fundamental point, which is that everyone who has enrolled has some exposure.