January 9, 2010

‘Strangers On My Flight…’

Filed under: Activism,General,Taxes & Government,Wide Open — Rose @ 2:11 pm

This is hysterical. Go to the link, crank up the volume and sing along!


December 6, 2009

Is that the POT(us) Calling the Congress Black?

Filed under: Activism,Economy,Taxes & Government,Wide Open — Rose @ 1:06 pm

Update: In the end…the CBC gets what they want to the tune of $6 billion. Sad that they continue to enslave their own communities to the government plantation.

Or the other way around?

Looks like the Congressional Black Caucus is moving their own king into check…”we want more money or else.”

From Dick Morris and Eileen McGann:

A civil war is breaking out within the left of the Democratic Party pitting the Congressional Black Caucus against the first African-American president.

The battle began when California Congresswoman Maxine Waters complained publicly about the Administration’s failure to do more to help minority-owned businesses in the current recession. (Translation: In the new Stimulus of “Jobs” Bill making its way through Congress, they want a larger take). It continued yesterday when ten members of the Black Caucus refused to participate in a meeting of the House Banking Committee which was considering the bill to restructure financial regulations forcing Chairman Barney Frank to push the bill through by the uncomfortable margin of only 31-27.

The latest shot in the battle was fired by Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss) a card carrying regular of the Black Caucus. Faced with the need to investigate the gate crashing at the White House during the recent state dinner for India, he chose to embarrass the Administration by subpoenaing White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers rather than quietly negotiating for her appearance.

…The merits of the controversy are obvious. What possible reason would a Social Secretary, for goodness sakes, have for the assertion of executive privilege that is usually reserved for issues of national security? Obviously, none. But Thompson chose his target well. He struck at the social core of the Chicago Mafia that runs the White House, probably striking within the Obama family as well.

Read the whole thing here. Interesting move…threatening to take down your own king.

November 5, 2009

A Quick and Unconditional Congrat ….

Filed under: Taxes & Government,Wide Open — Tom @ 11:29 am

…. to Ohio blogger and former Wide-Opener Jill Miller Zimon of Writes Like She Talks on her election (scroll about halfway down) to Pepper Pike City Council.

November 1, 2009

Scozzafava Quits…Newt, Call Your Office

Filed under: Activism,Taxes & Government,Wide Open — Rose @ 4:12 pm

Michelle Malkin has a great synopsis here.

Newt Gingrich better call his office…

First, I received this email from Newt’s spokesman last week:

Below is my appearance on Your World with Neil Cavuto yesterday on the Fox News Channel. I am available for interviews on the topic by replying to this message.

Best regards,

Rick Tyler

Spokesman for Speaker Newt Gingrich



Shortly thereafter, Newt got totally blasted on his own blog.

In his quest to remain relevant, Newt became irrelevant and part of the problem, overnight.

Newsflash Newt: It’s hard to defeat that which you have become…moron.

August 30, 2009

Video: The Government Can…

Filed under: Activism,Economy,Taxes & Government,Wide Open — Rose @ 1:05 pm

From my favorite parody writer, Tim Hawkins (direct YouTube link):

August 25, 2009

America’s Real Homeland Security…

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Activism,Taxes & Government,Wide Open — Rose @ 5:09 pm

A great piece by Larry Pratt from News With Views

By Larry Pratt
August 21, 2009

From New Hampshire to Arizona, Americans openly carrying firearms have been seen outside presidential appearances. The most remarkable thing about this is that some find this behavior to be remarkable.

…The Second Amendment was added to our Constitution to ensure that the individual right to keep and bear arms not be infringed. Infringement would impair the proper functioning of the militia which had been America’s homeland security system all through colonial times and well into our republican era.

The armed attendees made it clear that they were exercising their right to keep and bear arms. Zero tolerance of firearms has become so extreme that even a picture of a gun can get a student kicked out of school. The presence of armed citizens helps correct the notion that guns are inherently dangerous.

…In addition to the educational value of going about openly armed, the presence of such citizens has another positive impact. Real homeland security is being maintained. The Secret Service is tasked with protecting the president and other select individuals — and nobody else.

For those who object to openly armed citizens being present near presidential events, do they have any concern for the wellbeing of those who do not benefit from Secret Service protection?

Rosie O’Donnell comes to mind here…you know, the idiot who thinks that guns kill people (I’m sure in the same way she thinks her silverware makes her fat). She doesn’t want anyone to have Second Amendment rights (proving she should be kicked out of this country) and yet hires private, armed body guards.

Additionally, I love how the left went ballistic (no pun intended) because a dissenter not only attended one of Obama’s Town Hall meetings, but did so fully armed. Obviously they don’t want anyone exercising their First OR Second Amendment rights in the near vicinity of a President charged with upholding those rights…

Finally, I don’t remember them being outraged when THEY exercised THEIR “freedom of speech” by writing a book on how to assassinate President Bush.

See how ridiculously inconsistent these fools are? Zheesh.

August 10, 2009

No Virginia, There Isn’t Freedom of Speech…

Filed under: Activism,Wide Open — Rose @ 2:58 pm

At least not for Christians in Richmond Virginia, that is…

From Catholic News Agency (bold is mine)

Jail officials censored mother’s letters over religious content

Richmond, Va., Aug 8, 2009 / 10:06 am

Civil rights and religious freedom groups are criticizing the Rappahannock Regional Jail in northern Virginia, charging that the jail illegally censored the letters a Christian mother sent to her jailed son for being “too religious.” Jail authorities cut out so many Bible passages that her letters resembled “Swiss cheese,” the groups said.

The letters of inmate mother Anna Williams were stamped for censorship with the words “Religious Material from Home,” a press release from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty reports. On at least one occasion, all that was left of a three-page letter was its salutation, its first paragraph, and its signature “Love, Mom.”

A July 9 letter from civil and religious liberty groups to the jail’s superintendent, Joseph Higgs, Jr., protested the alleged censorship.


…Such censorship destroyed the religious messages Ms. Williams sought to convey to her son and reduced her letters to something resembling Swiss cheese. Using scissors or a hobby knife, Jail officials literally cut the religious portions out of Ms. Williams’ letters and delivered only the snippets that did not quote the Bible.

…The letter to the superintendent was signed by officials from the Becket Fund, the Rutherford Institute, Prison Fellowship, the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, the Friends Committee on National Legislation and several local and national American Civil Liberties Union officials.

…Eric Rassbach, National Litigation Director at the Becket Fund, was a signatory to the letter.

The citizens of Rappahannock County should be alarmed that their government has decided to join North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Iran in treating the Bible as dangerous contraband,” he said in a statement.

Although the Bible says, ‘the truth shall set you free,’ prison authorities shouldn’t treat the Bible as a security risk,” he added. “In censoring this mother’s letters, the prison violated the First Amendment rights of both the prisoner and his mother.

Ya think? You know I can’t help but wonder how much coverage this would have gotten if it had been a Muslim mom sending her boy passages from the Koran…

As Long As We’re ‘Learning From Other Countries…’

Filed under: Activism,Taxes & Government,Wide Open — Rose @ 10:15 am

The following piece came from Pravda in late April:

American capitalism gone with a whimper…

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent (sic) into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their “right” to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our “democracy”. Pride blind the foolish.

…The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America’s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?

These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more then a whimper to their masters.

…So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set “fair” maximum salaries, evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses? Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert basking in his homosexuality (of course, amongst the modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well as that of the general West, homosexuality is not only not a looked down upon life choice, but is often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.

The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other words, divest while there is still value left.

The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.

Read the whole thing here. I’m overjoyed at how the whole world now “thinks so much better” of us (eyeroll).

So was the author a prophet who can spot a Stalin-like regime from a mile away; or just another crazy Ruskie on too much vodka?

Well, let’s look at some of what’s happened since he wrote the article…

  1. The Long-Legged Mack Daddy and his “Gangsta Government” decided in May that fundamental property rights should be confiscated and given to the UAW lap dawgs (the organization who contributed millions to BO). Fiduciary duty? Rule of law? Fool, please…
  2. To the peril of the very auto companies taxpayers were forced to bail-out, racist, bigoted homophobe “PDB” (Puff-Daddy BO) and his “Gangsta Government” disproportionately closed white-owned auto dealerships, even though most of them would be getting taxpayers a better return on their forced investment than the minority-owned dealers who were kept on.
  3. In an attempt for more “turf,” er, I mean power & control, DJ Scary Barry and his “Gangsta Government” push for a complete & comprehensive overhaul of a healthcare system with which over 80% of the American people are satisfied. If passed, he and his “peeps” will decide who “is worth” getting care and by extension who lives and dies.
  4. Lost in a tidal wave of dissent and disapproval, “Fitty-Trillion Cent” and his “Gangsta Government” have started a new company: “UberCommie & Snitch.” A thug will track you down, fit you with shackles and/or violent crimes and make you pay for disagreeing with “the one.”

Seeing as that just skims the surface, I’d say the old Russian was right on the money. I think I need the vodka now…

February 15, 2009

Appearance on the Gregg Jackson Show (11 PM ET Sunday)

Fire the publicist! (oops, that’s me)

Gregg Jackson interviewed yours truly for about an hour on Thursday morning. That interview will be broadcast on KDAR in California tonight from 11 p.m. until midnight.

The “Listen Live” link is at the top of the station’s home page. Topics are the economy and other things.

It will also be posted soon at Gregg’s radio archives.

February 5, 2009

Latest Pajamas Media Column (‘President Obama’s No-Confidence Game’) Is Up

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Saturday morning (link won’t work until then) after the blackout lifts.

Wrap-up question in the column:

If we’re supposed to believe that Team Obama doesn’t want to keep the economy down — at least long enough to get its mislabeled “stimulus” passed — this question remains: what would they be doing differently if they did?

June 4, 2008

Couldn’t Help But Comment (060408)

Car Carnage in May:
- GM – down 28%.
- Ford – down 16%.
- Chrysler – down 25%. Has Bob Nardelli beaten Chrysler down to the point where nobody will want it?
- Toyota – down 4%. Even with the slide, the company came within 9,300 vehicles of beating out GM for #1 in unit sales.
- Honda – up 16%.
- Nissan – up 8%.

If you think this is bad, see what will happen if Chris Pummer of MarketWatch gets his wish and gas goes to $8 a a gallon. Chris says we should rejoice if that happens.


This got lost in the shuffle last week, but it deserves a mention (HT Say Uncle via Instapundit):

Police: 3 dead in Nevada bar shooting that may have stemmed from feud
May 25, 2008 9:15 PM ET

WINNEMUCCA (AP) – Police say three men were fatally shot and two other people were injured early this morning at a bar in Winnemucca, and the shootings may have stemmed from a longstanding feud between several local families.

Winnemucca Police Chief Bob Davidson says a man entered Players Bar and Grill and fatally shot two members of a rival family before he was shot and killed by a patron. All three were pronounced dead at the scene.

Better headline: Possible Massacre Averted.


Here’s another one of those “unexpected” good-news econ reports:

April U.S. factory orders unexpectedly jump 1.1%

U.S. factory orders unexpectedly jumped 1.1% in April 2008, the U.S. Commerce Department announced Tuesday, primarily due to increased prices for gasoline and other petroleum products.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected April 2008 factory orders to decline 0.1%. Factory orders increased 1.5% in March 2008.

Excluding a 7.9% decline in transportation goods, factory orders rose 2.6% April 2008.

The Census Bureau’s original is here.

Related, from AP’s Martin Crutsinger:

Orders for iron and steel were up by 5.5 percent. Orders for mining and oil field equipment jumped 48.6 percent and orders for electrical equipment and appliances surged 28.1 percent.

Orders for nondurable goods rose by 2.8 percent.

If you go to Crutsinger’s second paragraph at the link, you’ll see a drop-dead obvious mistake:

The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that orders were up 1.1 percent in April following a 1.5 percent increase in March. Those gains followed big declines in January and March that raised concerns …..



California also had a primary yesterday for all relevant offices except president.

Good news for fiscal conservatives: It looks like Tom McClintock, “admired for his unyielding opposition to tax hikes,” is going to be a congressman.

Cindy Sheehan? Not so much (HT Instapundit).

To be fair, Sheehan is running for Congress against Nancy Pelosi as an Independent and wasn’t on yesterday’s ballot. Trouble is, as the link indicates, she needs 10,198 signatures, presumably of people in the congressional district, to get on the ballot in November. Rots of ruck, babe.

If she were serious instead of grabbing for one last shot at relevance, Sheehan would have run against Pelosi as a Democrat in yesterday’s primary, where she might have had a chance in a far-far-left district in a very low turnout election with a strong grass-roots/nutroots effort. Now, even if she miraculously collects enough signatures to qualify in November, she’ll get clobbered.


Per a tip from reader Dan — RomneyCare’s fines hit home:

Nearly 100,000 Massachusetts taxpayers have been fined for failing to obtain health insurance, even as a major survey concludes the effort to create near-universal coverage in the state is meeting key goals.

Five percent of taxpayers failed to obtain health coverage last year, and more than half of those – about 97,000 – were forced to forfeit their personal exemption – worth $219 – after it was determined they could have afforded health care.

Do the math: That’s $21.2 million.

This year (collected on tax returns to be filed next year) the fines will increase to as much as $912. I would expect that one other thing will increase: the number of people leaving the People’s Republic of RomneyCare.

February 5, 2008

Ahmed Alzaree Follow-up: Mosque Is ‘Back to Drawing Board’

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Wide Open — Tom @ 7:17 am

The Cleveland Plain Dealer apparently decided to do something wtih a story it was dragged into kicking and screaming last fall — one that it seemed at the time to be wishing would go away.

Saturday, David Briggs, the paper’s religion reporter, did something with a near non-story relating to previous events that he and his paper failed to do twice when it counted: He followed up, reporting on the difficulties a Cleveland mosque is experiencing in finding a new imam.

That contrasts starkly with how Briggs and the PD handled the story of the guy who was on the verge of becoming that mosque’s imam last fall.

In September, Briggs wrote a PD puff piece a about the imminent arrival of Ahmed Alzaree as new imam for the Islamic Center of Cleveland. In that report, Briggs did nothing with a red-flag statement by Alzaree that he “would not confirm his hiring, at one point saying he would not come to Cleveland because a reporter was inquiring about his background.” Keep in mind that the Center’s previous imam, Fawaz Damra, as Briggs again noted Saturday, “was convicted of falsifying his citizenship application by failing to disclose ties to extremist groups. He was deported to the Middle East in January 2007 after more than a year in jail.” Prior to that, Briggs noted in his September story, Fawaz had been exposed for “railing against Jews and raising money for Palestinian militant groups such as Islamic Jihad.” Plain Dealer reporters filed over 45 stories on Damra during all of this.

After Briggs’s September story on Alzaree, yours truly did extensive follow-up work, poring through years of records of Alzaree’s activities.

Well, not exactly. Actually, I took a few seconds and Googled “imam ahmed alzaree” (not in quotes), and quickly found a link to a sermon Alzaree gave in 2003 at the Omaha mosque where he had previously served. That sermon, since taken down from the Omaha mosque’s web site but saved here for posterity, included this near its conclusion:

Dear brothers and sisters, the talk about the Day of Judgment is long and full of things that will confuse the human mind and put fear in the hearts of the faithful. Every day that comes is much more Worse than the day before it as we get closer to the hour. Among the signs of the approach of Day of Judgment is what the messenger of Allah PBUH said: “The hour of judgment shall not happen until the Muslims fight the Jews. The Muslims shall kill the Jews to the point that the Jew shall hide behind a big rock or a tree and the rock or tree shall call on the Muslim saying: hey, O Muslim there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him, except the Gharqad tree which will not say, for it is the tree of Jews.”

Patrick Poole at Central Ohioans Against Terrorism (COAT) also weighed in on Alzaree, pointing out that his also contained a lament that the Quran-based “jizya” tax that is supposed to be imposed on non-Muslims in Muslim-dominated countries wasn’t an active practice. More important, Poole noted that Alzaree had an association with an Orange County, California Muslim cleric with apparent terror ties who had recently agreed to leave the US for 10 years rather than face a US trial on terror-supporting charges.

Having been scooped by two bloggers, the PD’s Robert Smith sprung into action, following up with a comprehensive expose of Alzaree’s activities and background.

Well, not exactly. In a sympathetic piece, he noted that Alzaree was under “public scrutiny,” and that the mosque was “standing by their imam.”

It seemed reasonable at the time to believe that there would be more digging by Plain Dealer. Especially given what had happened with the previous imam, the paper, now awakened, would surely delve into Alzaree’s past at the Omaha mosque and elsewhere.

Well, not exactly. In fact, not at all.

One month later, after no follow-up on the PD’s part, COAT’s Poole posted the results of work he had done investigating Alzaree’s Omaha mosque using the Internet Wayback Machine (the mosque apparently scrubbed most of its content shortly after the Cleveland controversy began). He found posts sympathetic to Palestinian terror groups and characterizing Israelis as “the new Nazis,” as well as links to Jihad-supporting, terror-financing, and “revolutionary worker” sites. As Poole noted, “virtually all of this material began to appear around the time that Alzaree took his position with the Islamic Center of Omaha (in 2002 — Ed.), and these sources continued up until recently.” Yours truly also noted that the Islamic Center of Cleveland itself still had officials who had been outspokenly sympathetic to deposed leader Damra and to the Palestinian terror group Hamas in high positions at the mosque.

Having been scooped yet again, religious reporter Briggs then jumped at the chance to use his paper’s extensive resources to get to the bottom of all of this.

Well, not exactly. He instead wrote an extensive “This Is Your Life” piece on Alzaree, reporting that the imam had “put aside his worries and will begin work Thursday at the center in Parma.”

Three days later, Alzaree resigned from his new job even before he started it.

Briggs reported Alzaree’s claim that “allegations by bloggers that he was anti-Semitic and was associated with individuals suspected of having terrorist ties so poisoned the atmosphere in Northeast Ohio that he and his wife, Marwa, decided to look elsewhere.” The Associated Press dutifully piled on with the headline “Blog critics force imam to resign at Ohio mosque.” Yeah, that’s the ticket: Blame it on the bloggers.

The Feb. 2 piece by Briggs attempts to add to the Parma pity party, and takes a sideswipe at those who exposed Alzaree (bold is mine):

The Islamic Center of Cleveland is struggling to find a spiritual leader three months after a Nebraska imam bowed out under pressure from critics who accused him of anti-Semitism.

Leaders at the Parma mosque said there is a shortage of American-born imams who are Islamic scholars and fluent in Arabic.

“It’s very, very hard to find somebody like that,” said Ahmed Fellaque of the Council of Elders. “The ones who are good are not gettable.”

….. Last September, the mosque hired Imam Ahmed Alzaree, an Egyptian-born cleric who led a mosque in Omaha. But the man mosque leaders thought would help rebuild interfaith relations in Northeast Ohio came under fire after bloggers posted a portion of a 4-year-old end-times sermon in which the imam quoted the Prophet Muhammad saying one sign of the approach of the Day of Judgment is that “the Muslims will kill the Jews.”

Alzaree never substantively refuted the charges. The fact that decided not to stay on the flimsy excuse that bloggers who live hours away from Cleveland had ruined it for him would seem to indicate that he couldn’t.


….. the mosque, having “been burnt so many times,” wants an Islamic scholar who is fluent in the English language and culture, preferably born in the United States, can relate to younger generations and the larger community and can pass a strong background check.

Excuse me for thinking that the “background check” — i.e., finding a cleric who will survive “public scrutiny” — remains the biggest stumbling block.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.


Previous Posts:

  • Sept. 25 — Meet the New Imam, Same as the Old Imam?
  • Sept. 29 — Ahmed Alzaree Follow-up: Who WAS That Cleveland.com Blogger? (at the Plain Dealer’s Wide Open blog)
  • Oct. 2 — COAT’s Imam Ahmed Alzaree Follow-up
  • Oct. 25 — Imam Ahmed Alzaree and the Islamic Center of Cleveland Follow-up: Part 1
  • Oct. 25 — Imam Ahmed Alzaree and the Islamic Center of Cleveland Follow-up: Part 2
  • Oct. 29 — Imam Ahmed Alzaree Resigns from Islamic Center of Cleveland (Update: AP Headline Hits Rock Bottom)
November 19, 2007

About Bull-SCHIP and Nationalized Healthcare: See, A Bunch of People Told You So

Filed under: Health Care,Taxes & Government,Wide Open — Tom @ 6:10 am

Here’s one of ‘em, from the aptly screen-names “dgreatone”, at the now-dormant Wide Open blog on September 26 (misspelling corrected):

Of course, the SCHIP is one of many attempts to nibble around the edges and gradually move the nation from private health care to government healthcare. After all, how many government programs are doing it “for the children”?

Jeff Coryell, one of the four Wide Open bloggers, begged to differ in a subsequent comment:

However, I obviously disagree that SCHIP is bad or that it is a step toward “socialized medicine.” It’s about covering kids who don’t have insurance coverage now, not supplanting private insurance.

Not quite, Jeff.

Former Iowa Governor and early presidential race dropout Tom Vilsack, one of Hillary Clinton’s earlier endorsers, let the cat out of the bag, as Michelle Malkin notes (audio is at link):


“I think there is going to be a commitment to universal coverage. I don’t think it’s necessarily going to be a sector by sector process. I think you either need to go in whole hog or not. We tried to sort of squeeze the middle here with doing children and doing seniors, and trying to squeeze it. If anything happens, it would more likely look something like this: you would extend eligibility for children from 200% of poverty to 300% of poverty, and create resources to insure the parents of those children.”

I must ask Jeff and others who argued similarly: Did you know this, or were you fooled? If the former, why were you pretending? If the latter, how does it feel to be duped?

November 6, 2007

My Last Boring Plain Dealer-Wide Open Follow-up Post

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Wide Open — Tom @ 10:51 am

Being a silver-lining person, I’m focusing on the fact that the demise of the PD-WO experiment has freed up blog time to look at things that regretfully fell by the wayside during October, and even moreso during the past week.

But for now, please indulge one last roundup and thought dump.

For starters, it bears noting that Dave and I were aware by mid-to-late morning Wednesday that Jill would resign. She asked us not to disclose her departure until she posted, so there was no point in posting anything until she did. Jill’s post went up in the late afternoon, and ours (here and here) came within a few hours of that. Interpreting our radio silence during this time as a lack of support for either Jeff or Jill, or as indicating some hope for revival for the project, would be incorrect. Neither Dave or I had any belief, barring divine intervention, that it could go on.

Before I read PD Reader Representative Ted Diadiun’s Sunday column, I believed that salvage efforts might have had potential if the four of us had huddled before Jeff’s post-termination post. I still think we should have convened as a group first (and Jeff in essence agrees with that), but Diadiun made it clear that continuation was out of the question when, after appearing to equate the blogosphere as a whole with “primordial ooze,” he concluded that:

Here’s the reality:

You can’t contribute to a political candidate and then write about his or her campaign, either as an employee or as a paid free-lancer for The Plain Dealer, on paper or online. Period.

Steve LaTourette has got nothing to do with that, now or ever.

This is one of those times when you wish you had done some thinking for other people who should have known better.

Ted, your company should have known that the Wide Open bloggers had made political contributions in the past, and should have asked us if we intended to do so prospectively (and about our activism intentions in general), before Wide Open launched. I know y’all seem to have acquired a reluctance to investigate imams, but you surely haven’t been averse to investigating bloggers in the past. The contributions and advocacy issues came up very early on, and should have been resolved early on. Stupid us — we thought that they had been resolved, or had faded into unimportance.

And I have one other name to add to the inconsistency list: Connie Schultz (aka Mrs. Sherrod Brown). If the PD gave a rip about independence in appearance it would not have allowed her to continue at the paper after Brown declared his Senate candidacy. I think her continued presence as a journalist at the paper after she married Brown while he was still a Cleveland-area congressman was out of bounds. Get married, be compelled to get a different job. It’s not like that never needs to happen — or is that only a standard when the politician involved is a Republican?

Bill Sloat, whose earlier reported contentions that Congressman Steve LaTourette was not pressuring for a Jeff Coryell ouster from PD-WO Mr. Diadiun appears to at least partially refute, made an excellent point that Newspaper Guild dues/contributions from real reporters largely go to Democrats. Two obvious questions: 1) Why are they allowed? 2) How can any dues-paying reporter covering issues like the Supreme Court’s Beck decision and its implementation claim with a straight face to be objective?

Jill has thoughts on the Diadiun column here; Dave follows up here. Jill has even more at her place (just scroll).

Jeff is still breaking through the resigned/fired thing. In a different realm, I’ve been there, done that.


UPDATE: Meant to say this — Whether or not bloggers associated with a newspaper are paid is really a dumb question, and resolves nothing. A for-profit enterprise should expect to have to pay for professional services that it values. Further, the fact that bloggers aren’t being paid doesn’t “solve” the conflict of interest problem. Just wait until an unpaid blogger in a similar situation is found to have made contributions to a political candidate without disclosing them. It will happen, and you will find that attempting dissociation through non-payment doesn’t fly. In fact, it’s likely to attract the kind of dissembling opportunists the paper thinks it is avoiding exposure to.

UPDATE 2, Nov. 7: The Cleveland Free Times’s coverage of the story points to another potential PD conflict yours truly mentioned in a different discussion in early September (last sentence at link) –

And though it has nothing to do with blogging, it’s worth pointing out that Plain Dealer publisher Terrance Eggar joined the board of the Cleveland Clinic while the paper was running extensive coverage of the Medical Mart proposal, a pet Cleveland Clinic project. Is that less indicative of bias than a $100 campaign contribution from a blogger?

Good point, though in my view the PD is on solid ground if it has consistently and prominently disclosed the relationship.

November 2, 2007

Couldn’t Help But Notice (110207)

John Fund gets to the bottom line on driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants in New York — “This Will Make Voter Fraud Easier.” Of course it will. That’s why Eliot Sptizer, Hillary Clinton, and the Democratic Party want it so bad.


Jerry Bowyer contrasts the handling of the disasters in New Orleans and San Diego.


Exempting military pensions from Ohio state income tax would be a positive move for Ohio’s economy:

“For those who say the state cannot afford to give up this tax, I would remind them that the military is a young person’s organization,” said retired Air Force Col. Dan Bigelow, chairman of the Dayton Chamber Military Affairs Committee.

“Many retire after 20 years,” he said. “Most are forced to retire after reaching 30. Many in their 40s have not had the stability or resources to invest in a home and so must seek other jobs to maintain or improve their lifestyles. Thus Ohio gains additional compensation and tax revenue from the second career of the retiree, the spouse’s job, and investment interest.”

Military members who leave have often been all over the world, and are much more likely than the average job-changer to settle where the opportunity is best and the taxes are lowest. That would include any one of several states with no income tax. Exempting their pensions from state taxation should be seen as a skilled worker recruitment tool.


Wesley Smith (HT Life News) recounts a remarkable recovery that goes a long way towards proving that those who didn’t want Terri Schiavo to involuntarily die from starvation were right:

On October 19, only months after being nearly dehydrated to death when his feeding tube was removed, Jesse Ramirez walked out of the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix on his own two legs. Ramirez is lucky to be alive.

Early last June, a mere one week after a serious auto accident left him unconscious, his wife Rebecca and doctors decided he would never recover and pulled his feeding tube. He went without food and water for five long days.

But then his mother, Theresa, represented by lawyers from the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, successfully took Rebecca to court demanding a change of guardianship on the grounds that Rebecca and Jesse’s allegedly rocky marriage disqualified her for the role.

The judge ordered that Jesse be temporarily rehydrated and nourished. Then Jesse regained consciousness. Now, instead of dying by dehydration, he will receive rehabilitation and get on with his life–all because his mother rejected the reigning cultural paradigm that a life with profound cognitive dysfunction is not worth living.

Michael Schiavo was apparently unavailable for comment. Old Media was apparently unavailable for coverage.


Why am I not surprised at this? — “In the football gospel according to (Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver) Chad Johnson, selfish is good — even if it rubs teammates the wrong way.” As one recently rubbed, I can attest that it’s no fun watching a teammate (inadvertently or not) sabotage a team’s efforts.

Much more important — Just as critics who think Johnson should shut up and play can justifiably claim vindication in the Bengals’ 2-5 record, management at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, thanks to this and this (with, “oddly enough,” no mention of this), surely feel more justified in their decision to terminate Jeff Coryell today than when they did the deed on Tuesday.

Along with that, Old Media types in general attempting to adapt to the brave new world (and, despite the frequent snark here, at least a few will surely make the necessary decisions and adjustments) are less likely to see the road to success running through serious dealings with the existing blogosphere.