May 21, 2015

State Gets Paper Copies of Hillary’s Emails; Is She Hiding Info Available Digitially?

In a complete non-surprise given her career track record, Hillary Clinton’s definition of “cooperation” with requests to turn over whatever emails she unilaterally deigned could be seen meant giving them to the State Despartment on paper.

That’s lots and lots of paper, 55,000 pages in all, some of them double-sided, all seemingly part of a conscious strategy to deliberately slow down the process at taxpayers’ expense. It’s quite easy to believe that if a Republican or conservative politician engaged in these tactics instead of turning over digital files, the press would be giving this a lot more exposure. Beyond that, a person with IT experience has informed me that Mrs. Clinton may have chosen to turn in paper copies of those emails because digital copies might have exposed damning information.

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Houston Chronicle Reporter Writes That Ted Cruz Believes Opponents Will Force People Into Same-Sex Unions

This afternoon, Dylan Baddour at the Houston Chronicle comically interpreted a remark made by 2016 GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz as meaning that Texas’s junior senator is worried that same-sex “marriage” proponents are “trying to force all Americans into same-sex unions.”

The only open question is whether Baddour is so dense that he really believes what he wrote, or if he was trying to spread an obvious lie about a GOP candidate’s statement so that some people would actually believe his nonsense, thereby partially poisoning the electoral well.

Here is the part of what Baddour originally which was later changed, as captured by Caleb Howe at Truth Revolt:

Cruz apparently believes that efforts to let same-sex couples marry in the United States would force him to wed a man.

Here is how it currently looks at the comical Chronicle:

Cruz recently made comments on a conservative radio show that suggest “mandatory gay marriage” may be on the way.

But to be clear, there is still serious fever-swamp paranoia in Baddour’s write just a couple of paragraphs later in the revised story:

In an interview with conservative talk radio host Eric Metaxas on Friday, Cruz apparently alleged his political opponents were trying to force all Americans into same-sex unions.

For heaven’s sake, no one believes that. “Mandatory gay marriage” is about force, but “only” about forcing states to allow same-sex marriages to occur and forcing the states to recognize them.

The Chronicle can’t possibly allow that sentence to stand.

Baddour’s blather is reminiscent of Natasha Vargas-Cooper’s crude, ignorant attempt to smear Wisconsin Governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate Scott Walker in late February at Jezebel. Vargas-Cooper originally claimed that Walker wanted colleges to stop reporting sexual assaults. Three months later, her post still carries that dishonest headline (“Scott Walker Wants Colleges to Stop Reporting Sexual Assaults”), which will conveniently give any readers who stumble upon her post and don’t read on the impression that the headline’s claim is still true.

It isn’t. Vargas-Cooper ultimately, but only after a great deal of online drama-queen agony, apologized on Twitter. That’s nice, but the Jezebel “correction” at the original post only apologizes for not providing “full context” and for presenting “an unfair and misleading picture.”

That’s utterly inadequate. In reality, Vargas-Cooper’s story is utter horse manure. Scott Walker doesn’t “want colleges to stop reporting sexual assaults.” Instead, he was asked by the University of Wisconsin system to delete redundant reporting requirements.

That’s it. There was no story.

We’re supposed to believe that the Houston Chronicle is not like Jezebel. It’s supposedly a reputable news organization which cares about the ultimate accuracy of what it publishes.

If that’s really the case, it’s not showing in the current instance.

What’s more, the Jezebel incident was clearly journalistic negligence. The proper characterization of the origins of the Chronicle’s lie about Ted Cruz, as noted in this post’s introduction, remains an open question.

Given the only two possibilities — breathtaking ignorance or maliciously lying — I don’t see how the Chronicle can defend continuing Dylan Baddour’s employment — and it obviously still owes its readers and the general public a correction, and an apology.

Paper on ‘Changing Minds’ on Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Retracted, Media Outlet Retractions Abound

Examples of scientific fakery in matters relating to sexuality and especially homosexuality go back decades, all the way to Alfred Kinsey.

One of the more recent such underhanded episodes, involving a paper originally published in December 2014, was called “When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support for gay equality.” It claimed that “a single conversation (can) change minds on divisive social issues, such as same-sex marriage.” That assertion made by a “layman” wouldn’t pass the smell test with most people. But because the paper was published in Science Magazine (“The World’s Leading Journal of Scientific Research, Global News and Commentary”), it gained a now-obviously clearly undeserved veneer of credibility.

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AP, After Nationally Hyped Preview, Treats GOP Win GOP in Jacksonville Mayor’s Race as a Local Story

The idea that the nation’s largest cities are impenetrable Democratic Party strongholds took a serious hit Tuesday night. In Jacksonville, the nation’s 13th-largest city, a Republican took back the mayor’s office, unseating the incumbent Democrat who won four years ago.

Predictably, the Associated Press, perhaps sensing that Democrat Alvin Brown might hold on in his reelection attempt, treated the hotly contested race as a national story before the election, identifying Brown as a 2011 beneficiary of a Barack Obama campaign effort which “targeted … 2008 and 2012 with the goal of making a solidly Republican area more competitive,” and tagging him as “on a short list of Democrats seen as potential candidates for governor in 2018″ if he won. Today, with Republican Lenny Curry winning the race, it’s crickets at the wire service’s national site:

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May 20, 2015

As Press Ignores Soldiers Who Fought and Won at Ramadi, Debbie Lee Speaks Out

Web and news searches at Google, as well as a search at the Associated Press’s national site, indicate that there is very little interest in the establishment press in getting the reactions of current and former U.S. soldiers who defeated enemy forces in Ramadi during last decade’s Iraq War to the loss of that city to Islamic State forces.

Sadly, that’s not surprising. Posters at NewsBusters have noted three different times the broadcast networks’ reluctance to air any form of criticism of the Obama administration’s decision to take U.S. tropps out of Iraq when it did or the Pentagon’s strategy (assuming one exists) for turning things around. As usual, Fox News is doing work the rest of the press refuses to do. This morning, Debbie Lee, whose son Marc Alan Lee, the first Navy SEAL killed in the Iraq War, died at Ramadi, appeared on Fox & Friends. Video, plus an excerpt from a rare exception to the establishment press’s indifference at the Daily Beast, follow the jump.

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Slate’s Saletan: ‘ISIS and the GOP Are in Perfect Harmony’

On Tuesday, I wrote that “Every day seems to bring in at least one new example of alleged journalists who are really propagandists insisting that what is obviously false is true.”

Today’s entry into that category will be extremely hard to beat, and may well stand as one of the worst attempts at an argument ever made by a leftist hack. Before I excerpt William Saletan’s column at Slate and his attempt to describe it in detail, I’ll ratify the observation in the column’s current top comment: “So during WWII, Japan said they were at war with the USA. The USA agreed. So that means we were ‘sounding a lot like Japan’?”

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Attention Ohio Media: Governors Whose States Lost a Combined Million-Plus Jobs Set to Rally Party Faithful in Late June

The former Democratic governors of Michigan and Ohio are on tap to be in the same place at the same time on June 27 in the Buckeye State capital of Columbus.

This is a made-for-the-media event for the record books. I certainly can’t recall a time when two former governors who oversaw a combined total of over 1 million peak-to-trough job losses during their terms in office have been at the same place at the same time — to celebrate. Yes, I said celebrate.

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Politico Hack: ‘The GOP Is Dying Off. Literally’ (See BizzyBlog Add-on)

Daniel J. McGrow, who describes himself as a “writer and recombobulator” at his Twitter account, got seriously discombobulated in public on Sunday.

His headline at Politico is meant to reassure leftists who don’t read on that “The GOP Is Dying Off. Literally,” and that Democrats have an incredible advantage going into the 2016 elections. Those who do read his column should be able to recognize that he based his claim on an historically faulty assumption (bolds are mine thoughout this post):

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May 19, 2015

April Housing Starts and Building Permits Jump; Please Hold the Flippin’ Champagne

While improvement beats lack of it, the apparent euphoria over today’s news on housing starts and building permits needs some context.

Here is the context.

April’s actual total for housing starts of 103,700, while the best April since 2007, is only higher than four other Aprils since 1959, when the government began keeping such records: 1991, 1982, 1980 and 1975. The first and last of those years represented the first month after an officially declared recession ended. The middle two occurred during officially declared recessions.

The number of U.S. households was obviously much smaller during each of thse previous years. Adjusted for population, today’s result is still lower than every other year from 1959-2007 — even 1982′s 84,700.

As noted, while upward movements in economic activity are good news, celebrating a housing market which is still operating at historially recessionary levels is unseemly.

May 18, 2015

GOP Exposes Second Hillary Clinton Email Address NY Times Ignored

The New York Times has published two articles on the relationship between former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton and longtime confidant Sidney Blumenthal. It has been known for some time that Blumenthal, barred by the Obama White House from working at State, nevertheless ran “a secret, private intelligence network” for Mrs. Clinton’s benefit, “apart from the State Department’s own Bureau of Intelligence and Research.”

The Times also published certain of the emails exchanged between the two, and either missed or ignored a major revelation contained in three of them. The national Republican Party didn’t:

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At WashPost, Philip Bump’s Anti-GOP Amtrak Harangue Is Chock Full of Falsehoods

It’s bad enough, as Bryan Ballas at NewsBusters noted on May 16, that the Washington Post’s Philip Bump dishonestly used last week’s Amtrak tragedy to rip Republican members of Congress for somehow being responsible for the (theoretically) for-profit entity’s “constant struggle” for funding.

As Sean Davis at the Federalist explained, Amtrak has really had no funding struggles. Bump had to make things up to create that impression, and even when caught, issued a “clarification” containing serious errors (HT Patterico, who has demanded corrections; bolds are mine):

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MSNBC Mocks Cop Dragged by Fleeing Suspect

The folks at MSNBC exhibited a sick sense of “humor” on Friday.

As Gateway Pundit’s Kristinn Taylor reported Friday afternoon, the network posted “a video to MSNBC’s Facebook page that mocks police over a criminal dragging a police officer by a car as he attempted to flee …” The post asked the following question, which was also tweeted: “Does it count as a police chase if you take the cop along for the ride?”

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World and U.S. Press Completely Botch Pope’s ‘Angel of Peace’ Statement to Abbas

The competition is fierce, but perhaps the most consistent area of outright and arguably deliberate U.S. and worldwide press distortion is found in their coverage of the Catholic Church and its pontiff.

Last week, the major international wires and several U.S. outlets once again demonstrated that readers, listeners and viewers can never trust that they will get an accurate story relating to these matters without also consulting other publications and online outlets. Numerous stories claimed that Pope Francis called Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) an “angel of peace.” As Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media and Ellen Carmichael at National Review have noted, he did no such thing.

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May 17, 2015

PolitiFact’s ‘Half True’ Evaluation of Fiorina Layoffs Claim Is Utterly False and Dishonest

On May 5, PolitiFact’s Louis Jacobson kept with the alleged “fact-checking” web site’s actual role as pack of leftist hacks by issuing a fundamentally dishonest “Half True” ruling on a statement made by CarlyFiorina.org’s cybersquatter. I raise the matter now because the web site’s critics, while raising most of the relevant points, haven’t gone far enough in tearing apart Jacobson’s work.

As his headline states, the cyberquatter “accuses Carly Fiorina of wishing she’d laid off 30,000 employees more quickly” during the Republican presidential candidate’s tenure as Hewlett-Packard’s CEO which ended a decade ago. The squatter is lying. She didn’t make that statement in connection with H-P’s layoffs. That should have been the end of it, but Jacobson still pretended that the lie is “Half True” in his evaluation.

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May 16, 2015

AP’s Crutsinger Celebrates April Budget Surplus, But Ignores Its Cause: Economy-Sapping Tax Increases

On Tuesday, Associated Press reporter Martin Crutsinger celebrated the federal government’s large April budget surplus, caused by “a flood of tax payments (which) pushed government receipts to an all-time high.” He didn’t mention that the tax payments were higher largely because of tax increases passed in 2013. It certainly didn’t occur because of an improving economy — because it’s not meaningfully improving.

Crutsinger also noted that the April 2015 result of $156.7 billion “was the largest surplus since April 2008,” without telling us that the previous surplus was achieved despite (better argument: “because of“) the Bush 43 tax cuts.

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