November 26, 2014

Time Contributor Writes Column ‘In Defense of Rioting’

Rush Limbaugh today justifiably criticized Oliver Friedfeld, a Georgetown student who was recently robbed at gunpoint and wrote a column — “I Was Mugged, and I Understand Why” — saying “I can hardly blame them” (the criminals) for doing what they did.

One point Rush made was that there are a lot of people out there who are determined to justify the unjustifiable actions of others — in Friedfeld’s case, even if it harms and could have potentially killed him. Time Magazine contributor Darlena Cunha has just proven his point. Cunha reacted to the crime sprees in Ferguson by writing a column called “In Defense of Rioting” (bolds are mine):
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AP Report on Venezuela Touts How Chronic Shortages ‘Bury Mindless Consumerism’

It’s amazing how any reporter can cover the deepening economic crisis in Venezuela without saying a word about how the country got there.

But Associated Press reporter Hannah Dreier was up to the task. In a bizarre, sickening November 20 report on how its people are having to get “creative” in the face of chronic shortages of basic goods to get by, she acted as if those shortages — and the over five decades of worse problems in Cuba — somehow just happened.

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November 25, 2014

Schumer: Election Results Show That Dems Need to Go Further Left

An Associated Press story late this afternoon has New York Senator Chuck Schumer saying the darnedest things, with only a tiny bit of pushback from reporter Charles Babington.

In the wake of a midterm election rout which saw Republicans win at least eight Senate seats, increase their House majority, and take gubernatorial races in at least three deep blue states (MD, MA, and IL), Schumer now says that Democrats erred in pushing passage of the Affordable Care act, aka Obamacare, at the supposed expense of economic issues. Hey Chuck, that’s because the Keynesian clowns in the Obama administration thought they had the economy totally under control in 2009 thanks to the stimulus plan.

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Boy, We’re Lucky None of Those Irresponsible Bloggers Have Told Us Where Darren Wilson Is

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 9:36 pm

Oh wait …

That’s because the a**hats at the New York Times did it instead, limiting the location of the home of the police officer who was not indicted by a grand jury in the death of Michael Brown and his new wife down to a side street which is about two blocks long. (Of course I’m not linking.)

Remember this unbelievably irresponsible and dangerous action the next time someone in the establishment press whines about bloggers’ ethics or antics.

AP’s Kurtenbach Stunned That Japan Is in Recession Again Despite ‘Unprecedented Stimulus’

After reading Elaine Kurtenbach’s coverage of how Japan’s latest dive into yet another recession is affecting young people there, I can only say, “The Keynesian koolaid is strong in this one.”

The AP reporter’s headline says that the recession was “unexpected,” and her first sentence calls it “a surprise.” Anyone watching economic events in the country, and I think that’s supposed to include her, should have known it was imminent. Kurtenbach, and apparently every other Keynesian koolaid drinker is shocked — shocked, I tell you! — that the recession occurred despite “unprecedented stimulus,” and believes that young Japanese really, really want yet another tax increase (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

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Year 10 Christmas/Holiday Layoff and Shopping Searches: Round 1

Background behind these annual searches is here and here.

Here are the results of this year’s first round of searches:

Here goes (for the past month):

That is the lowest “Christmas” component ever. The lowest-ever result for a full Christmas season (three searches) was 8.5% in 2012. The press seems determined to separate “shopping” from the reason for the season.

Now on to the second set of searches (for the past month):

  • Christmas layoffs (not in quotes, also excluding the word “challenger” to ensure that about 30 items relating to the mass layoffs report issued by Challenger & Christmas were exluded) — 14,500 (27.5%)
  • Holiday layoffs (not in quotes) — 22,400 (42.5%)
  • Holidays layoffs (not in quotes) — 15,800 (30.0%)

As has been the case in previous years, the press is far more likely to use “Christmas” in connection with layoffs (4 times as likely in the most recent set — 27.5% vs. 7%), an obviously negative thing, than it is to use “Christmas” in connection with shopping and commerce, a generally positive or neutral thing.

Additional searches will take place in roughly two and four weeks.

NYT’s Cooper Sanitizes and Spins Report on Hagel’s Sacking for Print Edition

The New York Times continued its annoying, Winston Smith-like habit of rewriting history in virtually real time yesterday.

Helene Cooper’s original Monday afternoon report on Chuck Hagel’s sacking as Secretary of Defense is no longer available at the Times. However, since I anticipated that the paper would conduct a comprehensive cleanup yesterday when I posted on the paper’s original coverage, it is available here at my web host for fair use and discussion purposes. Cooper’s Tuesday Page 1 print edition replacement is starkly different from her original effort. Side-by-side comparisons of certain sections follow the jump.

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November 24, 2014

Top Google Engineers Throw Up Their Hands on Renewables, Ignore Nuclear Power

As of 5:30 p.m. ET today, a search on “Koningstein” at the Associated Press’s national web site returned no results.

That’s an indication that the wire service’s globaloney-believing pseudo-science reporters are still trying to figure out how to respond to a November 18 article in the IEEE Spectrum by Ross Koningstein & David Fork, a pair of Google engineers tasked by the company in 2007 to “tackle the world’s climate and energy problems.” The pair, whose active work on the project at Google ended in 2011, have concluded, as succinctly stated in the UK Register (HT Instapundit), that renewable energy sources “will never permit the human race to cut CO2 emissions to the levels demanded by climate activists.”

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Huh? NYT Says Hagel ‘Wasn’t Fired,’ But Obama ‘Made the Decision to Remove’ Him

As is the case with so many executive changes in both the public and the private sector, there is vagueness in the circumstances surrounding the end of Chuck Hagel’s stint as Obama administration Secretary of Defense.

While it's not unusual for an exec to be asked to resign to avoid being formally fired, which was apparently the case with Hagel, the higher-ups involved are usually smart enough to pay tribute to the departed official and move on without letting contrary information get out. Apparently not this White House, and not the New York Times — unless their joint mission is to subtly discredit Hagel. The contradictions in today's report by Helene Cooper (saved here for future reference and fair use purposes) seem too obvious to be accidental (bolds are mine):

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WaPo Policy Editor Feels Need to Fact Check SNL’s ‘Executive Action’ Skit

Demonstrating that serving as the Palace Guard for Dear Leader is a 24-7-365 enterprise, Zachary A. Goldfarb, policy editor at The Washington Post, somehow felt the need on Sunday morning to critique the Saturday Night Live opening skit which appeared two nights ago.

Twelve hours after the skit was first broadcast, Goldfarb, whose whose full archive going back to August indicates that he has not written a WaPo item for Sunday publication in the past four months, nitpicked a comedy skit for — oh the humanity! — failing to distinguish between an “Executive Order” and “executive action” (bolds are mine):

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On Cosby … It Seems Like They Knew

… someone I knew contended last week that the nearly instant distancing from Bill Cosby by outfits like NBC, TVLand, and others was a red flag that industry players knew about what he had been up to all along but had kept silent to keep the gravy train running on schedule.

To me, this item arguably confirms that take as quite prescient (HT Ed Driscoll):

EXCLUSIVE: Ex-NBC employee Frank Scotti claims Bill Cosby paid off women, invited young models to dressing room as he stood guard

Veteran NBC employee Frank Scotti says he helped Bill Cosby deliver thousands of dollars to eight different women in 1989-90 – including Shawn Thompson, whose daughter Autumn Jackson claimed the actor was her dad. The ex-aide also tells the Daily News he stood guard whenever Cosby invited young models to his dressing room, which eventually led him to quitting after years on the job.

Driscoll notes previous instances of horrid behavior by NBC stars, e.g., John Belushi, Garrett Morris, Alec Baldwin — again, ignored as long as they were delivering audiences and dollars.

As Ed writes: “Anything as long as the show goes on.”

So why do we let the news divisions at NBC and other networks oh so selectively lecture us on the moral uprightness of center-right politicians and public figures while ignoring far more horrid behavior on the left and far-left?

The response: Don’t watch.

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UPDATE: Instapundit
— “When it was Arkansas State Troopers, nobody believed this kind of story.”

November 23, 2014

‘Any Way We Can Fix Fox?’ Attkisson Relays DOJ Fast & Furious Email (See Update: WH/DOJ Clearly Withholding Other Emails)

How long it would have taken from the time of its exposure for the press to have prominently reported on an email sent from the the Bush 43 White House to its Justice Department asking, “Any way we can fix the New York Times?” We can be confident that it would have taken less than a New York minute, and that saturation coverage would have continued for days.

Well, one revelation in a series of Saturday tweets by former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, one of only a very few establishment press journalists who did serious reporting on the Department of Justice’s Operation Fast & Furious Mexican gun-running operations beginning in 2011, is that the Obama administration was considering what it could do to “fix” another news operation.

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It’s Long Past Time to Restore Voters’ Privacy

Their voting habits are their business, not everyone else’s.

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

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In this year’s Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race, Democratic challenger Alison Grimes repeatedly refused to tell the public whether she voted to reelect President Barack Obama in 2012. Her unwillingness to admit to something so obvious was an incredibly impolitic move, and it certainly contributed to the size of her loss to incumbent Mitch McConnell.

However, and perhaps to the surprise of many readers, what became her go-to objection to reporters’ and debate moderators’ questions — “I respect the sanctity of the ballot box” — resonated with more than a few people with whom I’ve spoken during the past month.

There’s a reason for that. Many voters have figured out that their voting habits have become the subject of unwarranted scrutiny and electoral gamesmanship — and they don’t like it one bit. Nor should they.

Less than a week before Election Day, the New York Post reported that the state’s Democratic Committee had sent letters to “1 million registered Democrats who had failed to vote in previous midterm elections.” The missive reminded them that “whether or not you vote is public record,” and told them that the committee would be reviewing voting records “to determine whether you joined your neighbors who voted in 2014.” Recipients also received a “report card” of their voting record in the past four elections.

Although the intimidating and threatening tone of the letter generated an unusual amount of outrage, the practice of “voter shaming” itself has become fairly common.

Oddly enough, about a week before Election Day, a friend gave me an invalidly addressed postcard from the Ohio Democratic Party in Columbus which had been misdirected to his Cincinnati mailbox. It told “Christina,” the addressee (the last name was provided but has been withheld), how many times she had voted in the past five general elections “according to public records,” compared her show-up rate to “others in your neighborhood,” told her that “it’s time to do your part,” and provided her polling location. The postcard’s other side listed the Buckeye State’s almost completely hapless Democratic slate.

I vote in nearly every election, which may explain why I have never received a piece of mail or a phone call claiming to benchmark my voting behavior against others. But if I did, my reaction would be profoundly negative, to the point where I might consider not voting or withholding my vote from the candidates or causes involved. That’s apparently not how inconsistent voters react. The Post item noted above cited a 2008 study showing that “voter participation increased substantially after lazy voters received letters telling them their spotty voting history was a public record that would be scrutinized.”

It’s far too easy for voter shaming to go to the next level. In Wisconsin’s bitter 2012 gubernatorial recall election, “a group allied to the recall effort” apparently revealed information about the voting habits of residents’ neighbors. Some Democrats in heavily leftist districts even thought it would be a good idea to publicly identify neighbors who were registered Republicans. In 2014, some Wisconsin Democrats accused a group of unknown origin of targeting those who had signed the 2012 recall petition who might “also have any outstanding warrants or tax defaults” when they showed up to vote.

Voter shaming is also being employed during our now drawn-out elections. In an interview I recently had on a talk radio program in Colorado, a state which has recently gone completely to voting by mail, I learned that Republicans have credited much of this year’s electoral success to the daily monitoring of the status of targeted individuals’ ballots. Those whose ballots hadn’t yet arrived at the county boards of elections apparently received nearly daily reminder phone calls.

I have also confirmed with a local county board of elections spokesperson here in Ohio that during early voting and absentee ballot counting in the Buckeye State, records about who has voted are posted daily, giving candidates the opportunity to nag supporters who haven’t yet voted until they cast their ballots.

This is out of control. At an absolute minimum, no individual or aggregated information about early or absentee votes should be released or made available until after the polls close on Election Day. If it takes legislation to make that happen, so be it.

Candidates for public office struggling to get their message out to voters and to get their supporters to the polls aren’t going to like this, but I have a real problem with the whole idea of citizens’ voting records being available to anyone and everyone, which is apparently how it is in most if not all states.

Even having basic registration data out there seems problematic to me. I know several upstanding people who will not register to vote because they don’t want anyone besides close friends and family to know where they live. I find it more than a little ironic that many of the very people who decry low voter turnout don’t seem to care how being a registered voter can put a target on your back. It’s actually quite clear that many so-called “good government” types actually like it that way.

Though some clearly disagree, I think it’s fair to contend that Alison Grimes, as a candidate, owed Kentuckians an answer as to whether she voted for Obama two years ago. It’s not at all fair to say that the whole world has a right to know the registration status of each and every citizen, along with when they have and haven’t voted.

In a system which supposedly pays homage to the secret ballot and the sanctity of the ballot box, what private citizens have and haven’t done in elections should remain a secret.

November 22, 2014

Missouri Governor Calls the Guard Into Ferguson; WaPo Provides Cover for DOJ’s Claims of ‘Escalation’

On Monday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat, ordered the National Guard into Ferguson, Missouri and declared a state of emergency in anticipation of a grand jury’s decision about whether to criminally charge police officer Darren Wilson in the August death of Michael Brown. If only Nixon had called in the Guard, as virtually every governor of all political persuasions did in response to the riots of the 1960s, when it became clear shortly after Brown’s death that law and order had broken down in Ferguson. But he didn’t, allowing all manner of mayhem and destruction to go on for days.

Sari Horwirtz and Wesley Lowery at the Washington Post reported Friday evening that Attorney General Eric Holder and the U.S. Department of Justice are upset at Nixon’s actions. But the two reporters failed to tell readers what happened in Ferguson in August when Nixon didn’t act. This gives DOJ’s position credibility with many readers that it emphatically does not deserve (bolds are mine):

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Friday Obamacare Doc Dump: HHS Proposes ‘Default Re-Enrollment’ — Into Another Plan

Even if you like your Obamacare insurance plan, Health and Human Services may move you by default into a different one — often with a different network of providers. In such situations, you wouldn’t get to keep your doctors and other providers unless you acted.

That’s what HHS’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid has communicated in a 300-page proposal dumped yesterday so it would get minimal media attention (a six-page summary is here). Bloomberg News is one of the few outlets which has noticed it, and is predictably spinning it as a good thing (bolds are mine throughout this post; and numbered tags are mine):

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