January 22, 2015

It’s Potemkin Props All the Way Down (See Update: All But 9 Counties Which Have Achieved Full Recovery From Recession Are in 4 States; 41 States Shut Out)

Filed under: Economy,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:06 am

Really, Barack Obama and his peeps couldn’t find anyone else to showcase as an example of the wonders of the current economy (with apologies to Glenn “It’s Potemkin Villages All the Way Down” Reynolds):

WashFreeBeaconObamaSOTUprop012115

Actually, it’s not that surprising they had a hard time finding someone, when you consider that 98 percent of U.S. counties haven’t recovered yet. Of the 65 counties (out of just over 3,000 in the U.S.) which have recovered, 39 are in either Texas (254 total counties) or North Dakota (53), which means that fewer than 1 percent of counties in the rest of the nation haved recovered (26 divided by about 2,700).

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UPDATE, 10:30 p.m.: Based on a detailed look at the data, I revised the final sentence above to reflect Texas having 24 recovered counties and North Dakota 15. Another source had indicated that ND had 16.

Further elaborating, only two other states had a decent number of counties recovering: KS with 8 and MN with 9. That left only 9 other counties achieving recovery in the entire rest of the country (MT-3, IA-2, AK-2, SD-1, SC-1).

41 states had no counties which fully recovered on all four of the metrics involved.

January 14, 2015

Lafayette Reporter Who Thinks He Flunked the ‘Food Stamp Challenge’ Really Didn’t

At the Lafayette, Indiana Courier Journal, reporter Mikel Livingston, that paper’s social policy reporter, set out to try to pass the Food Stamp Challenge.

The idea, in his words, was to “survive for one week on $29.69,” because, he says, that is “what the average recipient of SNAP benefits, commonly called food stamps, receives each week in Indiana.” By Day 6, he claimed, “faced with the possibility that eating all my remaining food on the final day would net me just 619 calories, I realized I had failed.” What he really proved is that he was well on his way to succeeding with room to spare.

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Three Major December Media Misfires

All truly “cringeworthy.”

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This column went up at PJ Media late Sunday evening and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Monday.

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The Columbia Journalism Review claims that the mission of its bimonthly magazine and CJR.org, its companion online effort, is “to encourage excellence in journalism in the service of a free society.”

The flip side of that mission should be to identify, criticize and discourage incompetence, dishonesty and bias. CJR.org’s alleged year-end compilation of “the worst journalism of 2014″ — “a recap of this year’s most cringeworthy news blunders” — does an extraordainarily poor job of that.

It’s only an alleged year-end list because CJR published it on December 22, following the herd of dozens of other annual list presenters who couldn’t wait until 2014 actually ended.

It’s also an extraordinarily weak list. Rolling Stone’s now-exposed fabricated account of the fraternity gang rape that didn’t happen at the University of Virginia topped the list, but only one of the other items in its compilation — the entirely made-up story of Mohammed Islam, the 17 year-old who suckered New York Magazine into believing that he had made $72 million in the stock market — is anywhere near as “cringeworthy” as at least three other egregious media misfires in December alone.

Here are those three December candidates, all of which did not become known until after CJR’s premature publication.

1. “Peaceful” Ferguson protester confesses to arson and burglary.

For several months, 18 year-old Joshua Williams was a media and leftist darling at those Ferguson, Missouri mob gatherings serially misidentified as “protests.” Williams “perfected the skill of catching the attention of journalists and using them to elevate his claims of police brutality to national attention,” and was “quoted or photographed in countless articles in publications including the New York Times and USA Today.” The Associated Press photographed him marching “arm in arm” with black radical Cornel West in October. In mid-December, Williams, who was constantly begging others for money, somehow made it to Washington and spoke at one of Al Sharpton’s affiliated whine festivals.

Shortly after Christmas, the media hero was charged with and reportedly confessed to “1st degree arson, 2nd degree burglary and misdemeanor theft” in the torching and looting of a QuikTrip convenience store in Berkeley, Missouri on Christmas Eve. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch apparently had a hard time getting over being jilted, headlining Williams, after his arrest, as a “Protester who advocates peace.”

2. The Lena Dunham postscript.

In early December, John Nolte at Breitbart’s Big Hollywood thoroughly debunked and discredited the details Lena Dunham had included about her alleged rape in her Not That Kind of Girl memoir. “Barry,” a name only later identified as a pseudonym, could not have been Oberlin College’s “campus’s resident conservative.” Among other things, there was no “Barry” who had “a flamboyant mustache,” a job at the campus library, or “purple cowboy boots.” Nolte “could not find a Republican named Barry who attended Oberlin during Dunham’s time there who came anywhere close to matching her description of him.”

On December 9, the day after Random House, Dunham’s publisher, covered its legal keister by exonerating a “Barry” who did attend Oberlin during the time in question, Dunham posted a pathetic I’m-a-victim non-defense at BuzzFeed, claiming that she had made up details about her attacker to conceal his identity. Two days later, responding to several media insinuations to the contrary, Nolte made it redundantly clear that “Breitbart News never once questioned whether or not Lena Dunham was raped.”

What followed is what should have made CJR’s “blunders” list.

On December 31, J.K Trotter at Gawker, who appears to have set out to perpetuate the straw-man criticism against Dunham’s detractors, reported something far more troubling:

The 2012 proposal for Not That Kind of Girl recounted the same night of unwanted unprotected sex—and supplied enough specific biographical detail to identify the man being described.

The final manuscript of Not that Kind of Girl contains a significantly altered version of Dunham’s original account.

Trotter is nearly certain that he has identified the attacker Dunham described in her 2012 proposal. His name is at the link for those who are curious, but the fundamentally important point is that this person “did not affiliate with either major political party until 2012, when he formally registered as a Democrat,” and “does not appear to have ever been an on-the-book Republican.”

Thus, Dunham’s rape story, even assuming she was indeed raped, was from all appearances originally packaged in 2012 to smear Republicans and conservatives for an act committed by someone who was neither. When revised two years later, it was further dressed up with more juicy details not traceable to a specific person to enhance the smear’s memorability.

It would seem that no one at Random House or at any other publisher who might have seen Dunham’s original proposal and read the final product has ever questioned the credibility of her underlying story. This is either astonishing negligence or intensely hostile groupthink. Are these people all that lazy and clueless, or were Dunham’s fabrications okay in publishing land because her story attacked liberalism’s enemies?

3. The Imaginary Kwanzaa “Parade.”

In recent years, the annual late-December Kwanzaa parade in South Central Los Angeles has fallen on hard times. In 2011, the second-last year the Los Angeles Times covered it, the paper claimed that “hundreds” attended, but could only muster a photo showing a half-dozen participants and about the same number of onlookers.

On December 26, 2014, apathy won. A CBS-Los Angeles reporter tweeted a photo showing an empty boulevard with no spectators captioned, “People in #SouthLosAngeles disappointed by lack of turn-out for #Kwanza parade. Parade lasted 10 mins.” (What “people”?) Two minutes later, he tweeted: “Parade is over.” It was never a real parade. It wasn’t even a motorcade.

But then, in an online report, CBS-LA, despite its own reporter calling out a non-event, descended into full fictional cringeworthiness, making it appear as if a genuine parade had occurred:

LA Celebrates Start Of Kwanzaa With Parade Along Crenshaw Boulevard

The 38th annual KwanZaa Gwaride parade made its way down Crenshaw Boulevard Friday, marking the start of the seven-day festival of Kwanzaa.

Some participants walked the parade carrying signs underlining important issues to the community, such as police brutality, home foreclosures, judicial corruption, transparency in government and environmental racism.

Never has one of the favorite sayings of Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds been truer: “It’s Potemkin villages all the way down.”

And all the way up – to the see no liberal media evil folks at the Columbia Journalism Review.

December 27, 2014

In LA, CBS Station Pretends There Was a Real Kwanzaa Parade Yesterday

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Scams — Tom @ 8:22 pm

What follows is an object lesson in why year-end best, worst and other lists shouldn’t be published until the year actually ends.

A Kwanzaa “parade” was held in Los Angeles yesterday. In reporting on the event, CBS Los Angeles published a work of fiction (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) which absolutely belongs on any 2014 list of most embarrassing moments in journalism (HT Twitchy; bolds are mine):

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December 23, 2014

AP’s David Crary Perpetuates Michael Brown ‘Hands Up’ Myth as ‘Police Killings of Blacks’ is AP’s Top Story of Year

Establishment press reporting has all too often been about perpetuating a narrative, even long after it has been proven false, than conveying facts and truth. Anyone arguing that 2014 has been one of the worst years ever for this growing trend won’t get an argument here.

An Associated Press poll about the top stories of the year got responses from 85 editors at subscribing AP outlets. Although the top story named wasn’t a surprise (disappointing, yes; surprise, no), the way the AP’s David Crary wrote it up to support the proven-false “Hands up, don’t shoot!” narrative on Monday was absolutely outrageous (bolds and numbered tags):

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November 28, 2014

AP Pair: Michael Brown’s Hands Weren’t Up, But ‘For Some, That’s Irrelevant’

To grievance-mongers in the fever swamp, Trayvon Martin will always be a cute little kid who had just bought Skittles and iced tea, and then got shot by a bloodthirsty racist on neighborhood watch. The truth — that Martin bought Skittles and AriZona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail, two of the three key ingredients in a mind-altering, dangerous concoction known as “lean,” and that Martin’s autopsy showed “liver damage … consistent with … excessive ‘lean’ usage” — doesn’t matter.

Taking dishonesty to the next level, the mythology surrounding Michael Brown’s death at the hands of Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson, which insists that Brown had his hands up and said “Don’t shoot!” has been completely discredited. But that doesn’t matter, because, y’know, it’s a “metaphor” that can’t be allowed to go away. The Associated Press, via reporters David A. Lieb and Holbrook Mohr, disgracefully — but all too typically — gave the reality-deniers a 980-word story to spread their garbage (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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October 29, 2014

AP’s Bauer Effectively Admits That Media Didn’t Vet Mary Burke

M.D. Kittle at Watchdog.org’s Wisconsin Reporter scooped everyone covering the Badger State Governor’s race on Tuesday when he reported that Democratic candidate Mary Burke’s resumé is not what her campaign’s web site says it is.

Burke’s campaign bio claims that she “played a central role in Trek’s expansion as the Director of European Operations.” Kittle found “multiple former Trek executives” who told him that, in Kittle’s words, she “was fired by her own family following steep overseas financial losses and plummeting morale among Burke’s European sales staff.” The real question to me is why it took until a week before Election Day to learn this.

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October 28, 2014

Wow: ‘Chicago Activists Unchained, Destroy Black Leadership’

Filed under: Activism,Economy,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:21 pm

Just watch … never thought I’d see this in my lifetime … and it is sooooooo long overdue:

Chicago Activists Unchained, Destroy Black Leadership

Money Quote: “Most of the people are homeless, livin’ in the street. And it’s because of you Mr. President.”

More on the “Brother’s Keeper” program referenced in the video is here.

It looks like someone has figured out that “It Matters.”

October 5, 2014

AP Report Takes Fictional Wildlife Federation’s Walrus Claims at Face Value

At the end of each chorus in “I am the Walrus,” the Beatles’ 1967 song, John Lennon sings what is more likely than not a nonsense line: “Goo goo g’joob.”

Apparently, Margaret Williams, managing director of the World Wildlife Federation's Arctic program, interpreted that line as "cuckoo-ca-choo," and has gone cuckoo in talking about real walruses in the real world, blaming a large gathering of them on global warming (which hasn't been occurring for 18 years). The Associated Press's Dan Joling apparently left his cuckoo detector at home in reporting on what Ms. Williams had to say. Following the jump, readers will see what resulted from this cuckoo convergence (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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September 29, 2014

AP Blindly Relays Claim That Vote Fraud Arrest Shows System’s ‘Strength’ — Five Years Later

Democratic State Representative Christina Ayala has been arrested and charged with 19 felony charges of voter fraud. Eight of the counts are for fraudulent voting. Other Ayala family members are under investigation, and criminal charges have been recommended but not made against one of them.

The press is letting Connecticut’s Secretary of State claim that the Ayala prosecution proves that the Nutmeg State’s elections system works, even though the charges go back to elections held as far back as five years ago. Why are we supposed to be impressed?

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September 16, 2014

Passages of the Day: On ‘Climate Change’

Filed under: Economy,Environment,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:47 am

From the New York Post:

Oregon-based physicist Gordon Fulks sums it up well: “CO2 is said to be responsible for global warming that is not occurring, for accelerated sea-level rise that is not occurring, for net glacial and sea ice melt that is not occurring . . . and for increasing extreme weather that is not occurring.”

Al Gore was right in one respect: Climate change is a moral issue — but that’s because there is nothing quite so immoral as well-fed, well-housed Westerners assuaging their consciences by wasting huge amounts of money on futile anti-global-warming policies, using money that could instead go to improve living standards in developing countries.

It’s all a bunch of globaloney.

August 19, 2014

Bob Beckel: Fellow Dems Defending Perry Are ‘Wusses’

Liberals and even far-leftists who would normally be inclined to cheer political attacks on Republicans and conservatives have been distancing themselves from last Friday’s indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry. Former Clinton special counsel Lanny Davis, lawyer Alan Dershowitz (this “what happens in totalitarian societies”), and former Obama White House advisor David Axelrod are just a few of them.

“The Five” co-host Bob Beckel is definitely not in that crowd. In Monday’s segment on the topic, Walter Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign manager called his fellow liberals “wusses” and Rick Perry “a jerk.” Wait until you see his reason why Rosemary Lehmberg, who was sentenced to 45 days in jail for driving drunk with a blood alcohol reading three times the legal limit, should remain in her job. Excerpts from the relevant Monday segment follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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August 15, 2014

In Covering Perry Indictment, AP Mischaracterizes Tom Delay Case’s Result, Focuses on Cost of Defending Him

Texas Governor Rick Perry, who, in the oddest of coincidences (that’s sarcasm), just so happens to be considered one of the Republican Party’s stronger potential contenders for the 2016 presidential nomination, was indicted in Austin today by a Travis County grand jury. The charges are “abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant” in connection with a veto “threat” he carried out — thus making “promise” a better word to describe his original stated intentions.

“Threatening” a veto and then carrying through on that “threat” is obviously a pretty routine occurrence in governmental jurisdictions through the country, from the President on down. As to initial press coverage, Paul J. Weber and Will Weissert at the Associated Press predictably misstated the results of another politically motivated prosecution of a major GOP elected official, namely former Congressman Tom “The Hammer” Delay, and focused on how expensive it might be to defend Perry by quoting an hourly legal representation rate which may or may not be accurate. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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July 31, 2014

The Gruber Grovel

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:49 pm

This video summarizes (HT to a NewsBusters commenter) how utterly ridiculous Jonathan Gruber and all Obamacare-supporting politicians and pundits are when they claim that the the Affordable Care Act’s limitations of premium subsidies to those participating in state-run exchanges was a “typo”:

Money quote (at 1:08 in the video):

If your governor doesn’t set up an exchange, you’re losing hundreds of millions of dollars of tax credits to be delivered to your citizens. So that’s the other threat. Will the states do what they have to do to set it up?

The intent to force governors to set up an exchange or lose billions could not be clearer.

As I wrote shortly after the DC court’s ruling came out, that ruling has to stand, or the rule of law is dead.

July 26, 2014

Megyn Kelly Chronicles IRS Lies and Flip-Flops the Press Refuses to Cover, Let Alone Feature

On Thursday, with PJ Media’s J. Christian Adams as her guest, Fox News’s Megyn Kelly recited a list of assertions (under oath, she reminded us) made by Internal Revenue Service officials which have later been shown to be lies or cause for agency flip-flops after “new” facts have been revealed.

It’s a significant list. By implication, it’s an indictment of the vast majority of the establishment press, which has refused to give the IRS scandal the attention it deserves. Video and a transcript follow the jump.

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