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Belated Thoughts on the Dave Weigel Brouhaha:
How could someone so eager to belong on the left offer even-handed coverage of the right?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:30 pm - June 29, 2010.
Filed under: Blogging,Misrepresenting the Right

In the wake of the Dave Weigel contretemps, as the record of his participation on the left-wing Journolist seeps out, one question comes to mind:  how can a journalist dispassionately and honestly cover conservative bloggers when he is so eager to ingratiate himself with their left-of-center counterparts.

Even before Weigel was “exposed” this past week as harboring some attitudes common among the “netroots” toward conservatives, I had heard rumor of his animosity toward our ideological confrères.  That said, on the few occasions, I had checked out his column on the Washington Post‘s web-site, I found little to complain about.  His posts seemed pretty even-handed to me, but then I only caught them three, four, maybe five times.

Yet, even as he called opponents of gay marriage “bigots,” unless I missed something, he seemed entirely unaware of gay blogs on the right side of this blogosphere, including this one.

The real revelation is all this is really nothing new–it’s just the regular misrepresentation of conservatives — and our ideas — in the mainstream media.  If Weigel were truly interested in honestly covering conservatives, why would he participate a list whose very purpose is to push left-of-center narratives in the news media while undermining conservative ideas?  “The Journolist,” Ann Althouse writes, “was a self-herding device. They wanted to be good cogs in a machine that would generate power for the Democratic Party, didn’t they?”

A number of other bloggers, including importantly Dan Riehl, have looked at the larger meaning of Weigel, the Journolist and the state of media coverage of the most dynamic political movement in America in the past forty years, a movement which has been flourishing for forty years (at least).  Dan believes the Post‘s coverage of “the Right was a blatant effort by big Beltway media to marginalize the Right – intentionally, or not.

In addition to Dan, Ace also gets what’s going on here.  The problem he found in Weigel’s coverage was that the guy didn’t like his job well enough to do it well: (more…)

Obama Prefers Holding to his Ideology of Governing than Considering the Circumstances of his Administration

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:18 pm - June 29, 2010.
Filed under: Leadership,Obama Arrogance,Obama Incompetence

Last week, Roger Simon asked a question which has kept me thinking well into this one, “Does Barack Obama want to be president?

Ever since viewing his depressing and disconnected “energy” speech last week, I have been mulling whether Barack Obama actually wants to be president anymore. That was an address given by a man who looked very much like he didn’t want to be there, didn’t want to continue. He appeared slumped and worn, as if he aged eighteen years in eighteen months. His demeanor was oddly distracted.

I am not being metaphorical here — I am quite serious. The more I have thought about this, the more I am convinced Barack Obama no longer wishes to be president. The degree that he admits this to himself, I am not sure. But I rather suspect that in the small hours of the morning he fantasizes he were anywhere but 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And who could blame him?

Now, much as I admire, respect and just plain like Roger (having met him and his lovely bride Sheryl) on numerous occasions, I have to disagree with him on this one–even as I think he’s onto something with his question and his post.  (Just read the whole thing.)

Roger’s right that Obama didn’t seem very engaged in that speech, treating it as most of us would treat a visit to a grouchy relative, an obligation we must perform to keep up appearances.  The president just plain seems frustrated by the unexpected crises a chief executive must face.  He’d rather give speeches and otherwise get the adulation of his fans (including especially various assorted celebrities).

Not just that, instead of considering the circumstances of the day, he wants to stick to the big-government agenda he’s been pushing all along.  It’s as if nothing has changed since the campaign.  (No wonder he and his fellow Democrats stick to their tired bromides about “inherited” problems and “failed [GOP] policies.”) (more…)

Obama & Biden’s “Summer of Recovery” Continues…

If this is recovery, I hate to see a Depression! 

  • Near 10% unemployment for months on end
  • Housing starts plummeted in June
  • Americans are clutching onto what little savings they have
  • Consumer Confidence plunged…

All of which led to this:

No matter where they look, investors are seeing economic trouble.

Stocks and interest rates tumbled Tuesday after signs of slowing economies from China to the U.S. spooked traders who were already uneasy about a global recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 268 points, or 2.7 percent, and dropped below 10,000. The benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed at its lowest level since October.

Interest rates fell in the Treasury market after demand for the safety of government debt grew. The yield on the 10-year note dropped to as low as 2.96 percent, the first time it has fallen below 3 percent since April 2009. The yield is used as a benchmark for many consumer loans and mortgages.

The markets began the day by following Asian and European markets lower. Asian stocks fell after an index that forecasts economic activity for China was revised lower. European indexes continued the slide after Greek workers walked off the job to protest steep budget cuts.

Then, shortly after U.S. trading began, the market was hit with news that consumer confidence fell sharply this month because of worries about jobs and the overall economy. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index fell to 52.9 from a revised 62.7 in May. It was the steepest drop since February and economists polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast only a modest dip.

Nice work, Barry!  He may have inherited th problem, but the Stimulus & Healthcare Spending Us Into Debt Acts are killing the private sector recovery.

On a completely related and weird note, I pulled all of my current and future 401K holdings out of stocks & bonds Sunday evening and put them into a Fixed Interest account.  I just had a funny feeling that this week folks would finally realize that the worst is yet to come.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Anti-Gay Planks In Montana & Texas GOP Platforms Undermine Republican Message of Liberty

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:14 pm - June 29, 2010.
Filed under: Freedom,Gay America,Gay Politics

A reader alerts me to a plank in the platform of the Montana GOP similar to language recently adopted by Republicans in the Lone Star State:

We support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal.

At least Montana Republicans avoided the detailed attack on the “practice of homosexuality” contained in the Texas platform.  That said, the inclusion of this plank — as of that in Texas — is both troubling and counterproductive and strikes at the heart of the basic Republican principle of freedom.

We’re not asking anyone to embrace what social conservatives call our “lifestyle,” we’re asking instead that they leave us alone to control our own lives, using our God-given liberty to engage in the pursuit of happiness in the manner which, we believe, best corresponds with our nature as individuals.

When social conservatives press the GOP to include such passages in their party platforms, they allow the media (and their allies in the Democratic Party) to turn the focus from the small government policies most state parties are coming to embrace and instead to portray the party as an institution seeking to regulate every aspect of our private lives.  And this even as reader darkeyedresolve, himself a former Democrat, put it in a private communication (which I quote with his permission), ” party platforms are pretty much rewards to activists”.

He noted further that “only the most passionate people are going to have time to take out of their lives to go to a convention and then sit around and vote on a platform.”  He hadn’t “heard of one prominent Texas Republican attached to it.”

The left dwells on these planks because it fits their narrative of an intolerant GOP.  They may well give more ink to such issues even as Republican legislators devote more time to opposing the Democrat’s big-government legislative initiatives and proposing small government reforms.

That said, reprehensible as these planks are, they are isolated occurrences.  Most Republicans have reached a kind of modus vivendi with the increasing social acceptance of homosexuality in American society and basically ignoring gay issues.   (more…)

Further Proof that Gay Organizations Serve as Gay Arm of Left

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:24 pm - June 29, 2010.
Filed under: Gay PC Silliness,Gay Politics,Liberalism Run Amok

If you want evidence to buttress our case that the various gay organizations see themselves as the gay wing of the liberal (or “progressive” as they style themselves) movement, look no further than this headline: Gay rights groups join boycotts over [Arizona’s] immigration law.

So glad that at the conclusion of my cross-country journey, I filled my tank a the last station in Arizona before crossing into California (even though my tank was far from empty).  Not only am I standing up to a PC boycott (spearheaded, in large part, by people who haven’t even read the legislation), but I’m also defying the gay left.

From the article:

Twenty-three gay rights and advocacy groups said Tuesday they would join economic and meeting planner boycotts of the state already imposed by labor unions and Hispanic activists including the National Council of La Raza.

It’ that me-tooism inherent in the gay left.  They want to join into every happening in which other left-wing and left-leaning institutions (and individuals) participate.  If they were genuinely concerned about focusing on improving the lot of gay individuals in American society and not just advancing the causes of the left, they would steer clear of controversial issues such as this one, particularly because it has no bearing on the well-being of gay Americans.

Suing McDonald’s for Giving Away Toy With Happy Meal?!?!

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:06 pm - June 29, 2010.
Filed under: Liberalism Run Amok

Is there no area of life that the busybody left doesn’t want to regulate?  Do they really believe that individuals are incapable of making good choices?  Now, we’ve got some nanny-staters suing McDonald’s for giving away a toy with its Happy Meal:

Remember last month, when the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance to prevent restaurants from giving away toys with unhealthy meals? Someone at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) must have thought that was a great idea. The advocacy group is planning to sue McDonald’s over Happy Meal toys, because it says the toys are designed to get children to use their “pester power” to convince Mom and Dad to visit the Golden Arches. Once there, kids acquire the latest cheap plastic doohickey, which comes with fattening food.

This is too much even for Brett Singer who believes that “CSPI seems like a good organization.”  He contends that that the “threatened lawsuit against McDonald’s is attacking the wrong problem”, asking “Does anyone really believe children will stop wanting McDonald’s french fries without the promise of a free toy? (Hasn’t anyone at CSPI ever eaten those fries?)”

Good point.  Great (rhetorical) questions.

Now, it’s one thing to remind us of the dangers of eating too much fast food, but quite another to try to prevent fast food companies from running their business as they see fit.  McDonald’s is not forcing children to eat Happy Meals nor are they forcing parents to take them there.  Why can’t these liberals trust parents to raise their children as they see fit?  Why do they remain convinced that children’s “pester power” overrides parental decision power?

Do they have such a low opinion of parents that they believe them incapable of standing up to their children’s “pestering”?  (Now, uncles on the other hand . . . )

Shouldn’t they focus on the parents and help them develop means (on their own, without the coercion of the state) to stand up to such pester power?  Eliminating toys from fast food restaurants won’t help kids learn anything about healthy nutrition.  By contrast, teaching children about making choices will.

What “failed policies”, Mr. Gore*?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:18 pm - June 29, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Blame Republicans first,Bush-hatred

Via Glenn Reynolds, we learn of a fundraising e-mail former Vice President Al Gore sent out on behalf of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:

After eight years of the Bush-Cheney administration, America is now beset with major challenges: A massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, an economic downturn that has put good people out of work, and a crisis that I have dedicated my life to solving — global warming.

And yet, Republicans are asking for another turn at the wheel.

House Republicans are actually campaigning on the promise to bring back the same failed policies and put in place some of the very same leaders that created this mess in the first place. And they are deadly serious.

You can just hear the high dudgeon in Gore’s words:  “deadly serious.”  Yes, to Gore, Republican policies mean death.  (He really believes that.  He does.  He does.)

Note how the former Vice President repeats several of the current Administration’s talking points, still blaming the Republicans for the problems which beset America (including an oil spill which happened well over a year after Bush left office).

And then he goes on about “failed policies.”  Is he even aware how the various policy proposals of Republicans in Congress (and conservatives in think tanks) differ from those of the previous (Republican) Administration?  Or, do they just assume that W adopted more free market reforms — even as they ran against him for spending too much? (I believe one Democrat used the expression, “living beyond our means“, to castigate that Republican president.)

And when Democrats like Gore throw out the accusation of “failed policies,” do they ever identify said policies and point to particular Bush era policies to which said new proposals are akin?

*Or, are we supposed to say, “crazed sex poodle“?

A Bad Day for Terrorists in Afghanistan

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:27 pm - June 29, 2010.
Filed under: Credit to Democrats,War On Terror

There are few men alive more trusted today to win a war that General David Petraeus.  Not only has he thought long and hard about developing battlefield strategies to combat the rise of terrorism in the current era, but he has battlefield experience — and had it had even before the successful “surge” in Iraq, a plan that he developed and implemented.

Now, many have concerns about the timeline the president proposed for Afghanistan, having our troops out by a certain date next year, but Obama did tap Petraeus to lead our efforts in that troubled land.  And his testimony today before the Senate Armed Services Committee shows that the general wants to win this war (even if his boss won’t use the term “victory”)

Gen. David Petraeus cautiously endorsed President Barack Obama’s exit plan for the Afghan war on Tuesday, leaving himself room to recommend changes or delays as he interviewed for the job of commander of the stalemated war.

Petraeus, the emergency replacement following the sacking of the previous commander, told a Senate panel that Obama wants him to provide unvarnished military advice. Petraeus has previously said that he would recommend putting off any large-scale withdrawal if security conditions in Afghanistan can’t sustain it.

Obama has said troops will begin to leave in July 2011, but that the pace and size of the withdrawal will depend upon conditions.

Emphasis added.  That the president wants unvarnished advice from a military man like Petraeus goes well for the future of this war.  The line above about withdrawal depending upon certain conditions suggests Obama has shifted a little in its insistence on a speedy conclusion to this operation.

The choice of Petraeus suggests as much.  Indeed, some other things the general said indicated Petraeus’ focus on victory:

Petraeus also promised to “look very hard” at the rules of engagement governing troops in Afghanistan, if confirmed as the war’s next top commander. (more…)