January 11, 2010

Blog Highlights, History, and Purpose

Filed under: — Tom @ 11:33 am

(last revised and updated January 11, 2010)

BizzyBlog began in late February 2005.

Some noteworthy accomplishments and posts:

  • (March – April 2005) Became involved in the national discussion of “Bankruptcy Reform.”
  • (May – June 2005) Influenced Ohio’s Second District GOP Congressional Primary, mostly by pointing out the myriad flaws and shortcomings of one candidate who had been considered the favorite by many observers only three weeks before the election. That candidate lost by less than 3,000 votes.
  • (July – August 2005) Influenced Ohio’s Second District Special Congressional election by exposing the mixed messages (loyal to Bush locally, cursing him nationally) being sent by Democratic candidate Paul Hackett. Blogger Trey Jackson posted a video of a Hackett advertisement obtained from me; that video was seen by Rush Limbaugh, who spent almost two hours on Election Day in August 2005 pointing to the differences between what Hackett was saying in his local ads and what he was saying to the New York Times and USA Today, among others. Hackett lost to the Republican winner of the primary mentioned earlier by only 4,000 votes.
  • (July 2005 – Fall 2009) Have chronicled events in New London, Connecticut, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Kelo eminent-domain decision, including the multiple attempts to evict the holdouts, the rise of a new party in the city formed specifically to fight eminent domain, and many other noteworthy items that rarely received Old Media coverage outside of Connecticut and New England.
  • (January 2006) Played a key role in refuting claims made by many Old Media outlets, particularly the New York Times, that the Sago Mine Tragedy, where 12 coal miners died, was somehow the fault of inadequate funding and lax safety enforcement by the Bush Administration. Showed that 2005 had been the all-time lowest year for coal mining fatalities, that they had been trending downward for four years prior to that, and that they were lower than the levels seen during the 1990s. The post was referred to by, among many others, Michelle Malkin, The Corner, and Don Luskin.
  • (April – May 2006) Influenced Ohio’s Second District GOP Primary by pointing to and finding some of the even more extensive flaws in the same candidate who had been defeated in June 2005. That candidate lost by less than 5% of the vote.
  • (August 2006) Referred a suspicious New York Times photo out of Lebanon that appeared to be an example of what came to be known as fauxtography. Gateway Pundit and others did the heavy lifting to show that someone portrayed as injured had been shown quite healthy in an earlier Times photo, and that he appeared not to be covered with dust and debris as a wounded person in his position would have been.
  • (October 2006) Was among the first, if not the first (even before the Bush Administration itself), to report that the annual federal budget deficit had been cut in half during fiscal 2006 from its peak three years earlier — three years before the Administration’s 2009 target for doing so.
  • (October – November 2006) Influenced Ohio’s Second District Congressional election by helping to expose the Democratic candidate’s contrary statements to the press about a proposed nuclear material-handling facility (characterized erroneously by her as a “nuclear waste dump”) and the supportive letter she had written to union members currently employed at the facility being considered for expansion. The incumbent Republican congresswoman won by only a couple of thousand votes.
  • (November 2006) Played a behind-the-scenes role in encouraging Patterico to investigate a Los Angeles Times report on a military strike in Ramadi that a soldier who corresponded with an Ohio blogger called out as largely false. The Times later sort of corrected itself.
  • (January 2007) Noted that some US cities have at various times during the past 40 years had higher violent death rates than occurred in Iraq in 2006.
  • (April 2007 – late 2008) Was the second (after columnist Mona Charen, whose column I did not know about at the time of the original post) to point out the erroneous premise behind the Food Stamp Challenge, and Old Media’s repeated failure to accurately report on it. As of when written, the $21 per person per week the Challenge used did not reflect the benefits available to Food Stamp recipients who have no other resources; the real numbers in fiscal 2007 varied from about $27-$36 (plus annual increases for inflation after that), depending on family size.
  • (May – July 2007) Found and posted the Wall Street Journal’s 1984 “There Shall Be Open Borders” editorial as an example of media disingenuousness in the immigration debate. Also, reported otherwise non-known information about George Voinovich’s intention, communicated to Ohio GOP leaders, that he intended to vote for immigration cloture in late June. Ultimately, he changed his mind and voted “no,” and immigration “shamnesty” cloture failed.
  • (September – October 2007) Along with Patrick Poole of Central Ohioans Against Terrorism, exposed the questionable Omaha past of a new imam selected by the Islamic Center of Cleveland, by following up on clues the Cleveland Plain Dealer refused to follow, even after it was clear that bloggers would do the necessary digging (which we ultimately did) if they didn’t. The imam, who never was able to refute the charges leveled at him, resigned from the assignment before it began, and blamed bloggers who had supposedly “poisoned the atmosphere.”
  • (December 2007) Exposed stealth campaign, the absence of an “honored to have” EMILY’s List endorsement, and the lack of any substantive issue positions on the web site of one of the candidates in Ohio’s 5th District Special Congressional Election. In a race the pundits considered very close on election eve, that candidate lost by almost 14 points.
  • (December 2007) Showed that Mitt Romney’s claims about Ronald Reagan and Henry Hyde having been once proabortion and prochoice, in Reagan’s case supposedly “adamantly” prochoice, were simply not true. In Reagan’s case, referenced original New York Times reporting from June 1967, the time period California’s abortion bill was under consideration and passed, to show that Reagan had strong prolife instincts even before the prolife movement began, and was deceived, as were many others, about the impact of what he signed and the sponsors’ true intentions. In the case of Hyde, showed that his obituaries and various articles written at the time of his death had no references to his formerly being prochoice/proabortion. One obit indicated that he had never thought much about abortion until confronted by a legislative effort in the late 1960s.
  • (November 2007 – February 2008) Gave further exposure to work already done by others relating to presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s failures to follow his state’s constitution during his term as the state’s chief executive. First, there was his inclusion of taxpayer-subsidized abortion services in the new state-run health care system known as Commonwealth Care, something he allowed to occur well after his so-called “epiphany,” when he supposedly changed his views from pro-abortion to pro-life.
  • (November 2007 – February 2008) There was also Mitt Romney’s unilateral imposition of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, even though the state’s legislature, in failing to respond to a state supreme court ruling, had NOT passed a law that would have enabled him constitutionally to do so. The same-sex marriage imposition followed up on a promise Romney had made to a homosexual group that he would not fight the state’s impending same-sex court ruling to get their pre-election support. In other words, Romney promised a group that he would violate the state’s constitution, and that he would break his oath of office before the people of Massachusetts and God, even before he was elected.
  • (November 2007 – September 2008) In Iowa, Romney went from trailing slightly to trailing by up to 22 points in less than two weeks in the wake of these posts, with the help of blog posts and media appearances by others making the same points. Romney finished second in the Iowa Caucuses by over 9%. After the caucuses, several examples of Romney’s poor economic stewardship while governor emerged, particularly relating to the state’s new centralized health care system. In New Hampshire, Romney lost his once formidable lead in the polls to John McCain, and finished second in that state’s primary by 5.5%. Romney consistently underperformed compared to expectations, up to and including Super Tuesday. He suspended his campaign for president days later. Largely because of this accumulated baggage, he was not selected as John McCain’s vice-presidential running mate.
  • (March 2008 – May 2008) Was the first to expose the racist, pro-Palestinian, and probable Founding Fathers-defaming material contained in the weekly church bulletins of the Trinity United Church of Christ, headed by the Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright. The mid-March exposure of the bulletin’s inclusion of a 2-page op-ed column authored by a Palestinian terrorist was noted by dozens of blogs and a few “Mainstream Media” outlets. Later posts (here and here) on the Rev. Wright’s probable defamation of Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, plus the republication of a different op-ed by a person who, among other things, accused South Africa and Israel of developing an “ethnic bomb,” lengthened the controversy over Wright’s Black Liberation Theology, and opened to further question the plausibility of presidential candidate Barack Obama’s claims that he wasn’t aware of the content of Wright’s sermons or TUCC bulletin content. Mr. Obama was noted by another writer as taking notes during one Rev. Wright sermon, opening up the possibility that Obama was taking notes in one of the very bulletins he claimed not to have read. Hillary Clinton brought up the content of TUCC’s church bulletins at a mid-April Pennsylvania Primary debate.
  • (July 2008) Correctly surmised that a recession as usually defined (two or more quarters of economic contraction) had just begun as a result of actions and statements by presidential candidate Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Named the economy from that point forward the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy.
  • (May 2009) Was the first person to report that Ford Motor Company’s first quarter 2009 worldwide revenues were larger than those at General Motors for the first time in over 80 years.
  • (June 2009) Discredited a Pew Research report claiming that “green jobs” were growing at a rate about 2-1/2 times faster than overall job growth, when their growth based on comparison to widely used government data was actually lower.
  • (September 2009) Uniquely analyzed the purported activities of ACORN to show that their operations had been very unproductive in serving those whom they claimed to be assisting.
  • (January 2010) Pajamas Media column on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (“Fan and Fred: Fraud by Design?”) noted and elaborated upon by Mickey Kaus.

Some Notable References Elsewhere to BizzyBlog Posts:
- New York Post
- National Review’s the Corner (also several other instances)
- Accuracy in Media
- Ham Nation
- Michelle Malkin (plus roughly a half-dozen other posts)
- Ace (plus roughly a half-dozen other posts)
- Hot Air (plus roughly six other posts, plus a few Hot Air Headlines placements)
- Instapundit (plus roughly 20 other posts)
- Pajamas Media (plus roughly a dozen other posts before and another dozen since becoming a regular Pajamas Media columnist in early 2008)
- Mark Steyn, National Review — April 11, 2009
- Mark Levin, on the air concerning steep declines in federal tax receipts — June 30, 2009
Investors Business Daily in an editorial — August 13, 2009
- Mark Tapscott, Washington Examiner — October 11, 2009

Articles published elsewhere
- New York Post (“Red State vs. Blue State Economics”) — September 21, 2008
- Wall Street Journal (“Non-TARP Lenders Aren’t Making Up the Stories of White House Pressure”) — May 8, 2009

Radio/Broadcast appearances:
- Lifelike Pundits (blog no longer active): August 2005 (Post-Mortem on Ohio 2nd District Congressional Election)
- Pundit Review: January 2006, July 2006, November 2007
- Have appeared several times on Pajamas TV.
- Matt Hurley Show (Blog, Weapons of Mass Discussion; Venue, Wide Awakes Radio) – roughly eight interviews in late 2006 and early 2007
- Ongoing involvement in TIB (Truth in Blogging) Radio over the Internet with Matt Hurley and Mark Garbett of Weapons of Mass Discussion

Affiliations:
- Contributing Editor at NewsBusters.org
- Pajamas Media weekly columnist.
- Member and co-leader of the State of Ohio Blog Alliance.

OK, Whose Blog Is This Anyway?

This blog is the creation of me, Tom Blumer:

Tom Blumer Author of BizzyBlog

I run my own business, Monetary Matters, in Mason, Ohio. I present workshops on money management, retirement, and investing at companies, and have done so since 1991. I also have web models that help users come up with a spending plan and get out of debt. I don’t sell or support investment, insurance, or financial products (i.e., I’m not a financial planner).

What Does the Blog Cover?

The blog (not necessarily in this order):

  • Lets me vent on any topic I think readers are, or should be, interested in.
  • Communicates basic and important information and correct common misconceptions about how the business and financial world work.
  • Advocates and defends free-market approaches to solving the major economic challenges facing us, particularly in Social Security, the retirement system, health care, and education.
  • Points out when those whose job it is to report on business and the economy either misreport events, distort the truth, or simply fail to tell us what’s really happening.
  • Points out when those who supposedly believe in the free-market system are letting it down or abusing it to take advantage of the ignorant and ill-informed.
  • Provides tips to consumers to help them save money and protect what they have.

I’m really bothered by a number of things I think I can do something about, namely:

  • The K-12 and postsecondary education systems are doing a simply awful job of teaching the basics about the economy, money, and personal finance.
  • The business press, which used to do a pretty decent job of telling people what is going on in the financial world, has really dropped the ball during the last 20 years or so. This is due to a combination of ignorance about and bias against the free-market system.
  • Thanks to the first two reasons, even a lot of really smart people don’t know some very fundamental and important things about how the economy and the business world work.

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