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Will CBS Add any Gay Conservative Characters?

In response to pressure from GLAAD, CBS plans on adding some gay characters to its “scripted programs“.  Now, I have no objection to this inclusion, indeed, think it’s a good thing, but wonder if the gay characters they introduce will adhere to the stereotypes of gay people as defined by the various gay organizations (you know, activists militating for “equality”) — or will they be as complex and diverse as are real-world gay men a lesbians?

I mean, if they add at least three characters, then one of them (to reflect gay demographics) should be a Republican.  Should they introduce such a character, will he be a caricature (as was the gay Republican in a recent movie) or will he be an interesting and independent thinker, regularly exposing the prejudices of his supposedly broad-minded peers?

And while we’re at it, I’m sure conservatives are also underrepresented on CBS shows.  I’m sure the Tifanny Network is moving ahead with all deliberate speed to right that wrong.

(H/t:  Reader Peter Hughes.)

Obamacare: Democrats’ “bridge too far”

Cleaning out my e-mail box, I discovered and elegant and insightful column that Michael Barone pennedd during the health care debate.  He reached a conclusion somewhat similar a notion I had wanted to blog on how the health-care debate was a lose-lose situation for the Democrats.  If it passed (as it did), Democrats would suffer at the ballot box for their failure to listen to the American people.  If they failed to press the unpopular legislation, they would depress their base.

And while the passage may have energized some rank-and-file liberal voters — as well as the various special interests who stand to gain from its passage, Barone contends the Democrats’

. . . mistake was making government-directed health care a priority in the first place. They assumed that economic distress would make Americans more amenable to big government programs. They felt history calling: Harry Truman called for national health insurance in 1945 and Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare in 1965; now it was time to go farther.

So powerful was their commitment to pushing this long-standing big-government dream that they ignored the popular mood.  At the time, Barone thought Pelosi’s Democrats would fail to pass the Senate bill, calling “the goal of health care legislation was a bridge too far.”

But, in building that bridge, Democrats overextended themselves and revealed themselves to prefer the dreams of liberal ideologues to the concerns of their constituents.

If global warming science is settled, why resort to ad hominem?

Sonicfrog wonders why global warmists respond to their critic not with argument but with ad hominem:

When you can’t defend you actions, attack your enemies. When you can’t defend your scientific practices, attack your enemies. And of course, the pathetic lazy main stream media is all too happy to follow along.

I mean, if they had the science on their side, wouldn’t it be easy to debunk their critics — and skeptics?  Guess than once the science is settled, you resort to attack.

Small Business Employees Don’t Like Their Health Care Plans?

Just caught this while cleaning out my in-box:

Internal administration documents reveal that up to 51% of employers may have to relinquish their current health care coverage because of ObamaCare.

Small firms will be even likelier to lose existing plans.

The “midrange estimate is that 66% of small employer plans and 45% of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfathered status by the end of 2013,” according to the document.

Two-thirds of small-employer plans will be declared null and void by Obamacare?  That’ll help small business.

Guess, that means than an overwhelmingly number of employees are dissatisfied with their health plans — or at least, the Obama Administration believes them to be so dissatisfied.

I mean, didn’t White House health care flak Linda Douglas debunk “the myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors.”  So, therefore, employees of small business must have really disliked their plans.  Wonder what that number didn’t show up in polls.

Once again, Ma’am, Where Are the Jobs?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:54 pm - July 30, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,California politics,Economy

Today, California’s outgoing junior Senator Barbara Boxer shows just exactly why she has tried her hand at writing fiction.  She lives in a land of her own imagination.  The 28-year Washington veteran is touring the Bay Area, talking about job creation.  Only problem is that there haven’t been many  jobs created in California since her party gained control of all the levers of power in our nation’s capital last January.

In June, the last month for which statistics are available, California “continued to have the most metro areas with the highest unemployment, taking 10 of the top 12 slots of jobless rates over 15%“:

El Centro in Imperial County had an unemployment rate of 27.6% in June, the highest among the nation’s 372 metro areas. Yuma, Ariz., was second at 26.4%.

Other California communities on the worst rates list included Yuba City in northern California with 19.4% unemployment and Merced in the San Joaquin Valley at 18.1%.

Orange County’s 9.5% June unemployment was in the middle of the pack among the 32 largest metropolitan divisions. A year ago, local unemployment was at 9.4%.

The Washington, D.C. area with its government-related employment base, had the lowest jobless rate among big metros.The Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick metro division was lowest at 5.8%.

Guess spending so much time in the nation’s capitol has caused the Bay Area Democrat to forger the state she represents.  More than 2 million Californians are out of work, with an unemployment rate among the highest in the nation — at 12.3%.  By contrast, when Mrs. Boxer was first elected to the Senate (in the midst of a recession), unemployment in the state stood at 9.8%. (more…)

Hate Crimes, Gays & Guns

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:24 pm - July 30, 2010.
Filed under: Freedom,Gay America

Shortly, after posting my piece this morning (PST) where I noted that every time a gun-crime generates headline, we hear the usual suspects repeat their mantra about the need for gun control, I wondered why we hear a similar mantra every time some hateful nut assaults a gay person about the need for hate crimes legislation.

Yet, their support for hate crimes legislation comes not from any evidence that such laws prevent crime, but from their devotion to identity politics.  (Should I see convincing evidence that such laws actually reduce violent crime, then I might reconsider my opposition.)  At the same time, we have a whole raft of evidence showing that crime rates go down when states adopt concealed-carry laws.

So, I ask, why don’t we hear a clamor for concealed-carry laws every time some crazy kook assaults a gay person?  Shouldn’t laws that work — and protect gay people — be at the top of the agenda of the groups supposedly militating for our rights?

An illustration of why we need Andrew Breitbart

Michael Barone lays it out:

Our friends at the Washington Post gave front-page treatment this morning to SEC charges that Texas billionaires Sam Wyly and Charles Wyly gained $550 million in fraudulent stock trades. It also noted prominently that they are big contributors to Republican politicians.

Contrast with how the

Post handled the conviction and sentencing to 12 years in jail earlier this month of Democratic fundraiser Hassan Nemazee for defrauding banks of $292 million earlier this month? Answer: it ran as part of a three-item story labeled CRIMINAL JUSTICE on page A3 a five-paragraph Associated Press story headlined “Former Democratic Fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, Kerry Gets 12 Years for Fraud.” . . . .

The Post did make clear Nemazee’s ties to leading Democratic politicians, if only briefly, at the top of its July 16 story. But it didn’t give nearly as great prominence to them as it did to the Wylys’ ties to leading Republican politicians in its July 30 story.

Front page coverage to charges against an (allegedly) crooked Republican fundraiser.  Burying coverage of a convicted Democratic fundraiser.  No, there’s no bias in the mainstream media, none at all.

UPDATE:  Glenn Reynolds quips, “Acting like a loyal party organ. Which organ is left to the reader’s imagination.

Leave Lindsay Lohan Alone (and Chelsea too)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:43 pm - July 30, 2010.
Filed under: Media Bias,Movies/Film & TV

It seems you can’t look up at a television monitor in Los Angeles and avoid images of and speculation about Lindsay Lohan’s recent incarceration.  The home pages of various ISPs (e.g., Yahoo! and AOL) lead with stories about the twentysomething pop star.  Can’t people leave well enough alone?

Yeah, I guess it’s news when a celebrity is driving under the influence (multiple times), but do we need saturation coverage?  So, report her arrest, then move on.

And then there’s Chelsea Clinton’s wedding.  Her father may be a successful politician who longs for the limelight and her mother the Secretary of State, ambitious for recognition, but their daughter is only a “celebrity” by dint of her famous parents.  She has, on the whole, conducted herself with class when put on the public stage.

Now, those celebrated parents may be throwing a big bash for her nuptials this weekend, but it’s her wedding not theirs.  Let her enjoy it without the constant intrusion of cameras or the excited coverage of reporters excited to be within earshot of her famous father.  This should be an occasion for her to celebrate with her friends and family and not for the media to speculate about who was or wasn’t invited and why.  Oh yeah, and I think the Clintons aren’t perfectly justified in having vendors sign confidentiality agreements.  This isn’t a matter of state.

And anyway, did Jenna Bush’s wedding generate this amount of coverage?  And her Dad was president at the time of her nuptials.

Do crazy, hate-filled thugs fear well-armed gays?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:00 pm - July 30, 2010.
Filed under: Freedom,Media Bias,Random Thoughts

Whenever some kook generates headlines by committing a crime with a firearm, the talking heads in the mainstream media respond by rote (and in unison), “Gun control, gun control, gun control.”  Tim Daniels addresses this in a post at the Daily Caller, but adds a twist, er, an anecdote that doesn’t fit the narrative:

It’s a song and dance that we on the right have grown to be accustomed with concerning second amendment rights and the press. Virulent anti-gun groups and mainstream press outlets essentially spout the same talking points. We expect this, we accept this.

But with the recent grizzly bear attack near Yellowstone National Park that killed one and left two injured, one may wonder if the typical progressive, anti-gun canard still holds water?

Read the whole thing.

Wonder if more stories like this would generate headlines if there were more in the media intent on serious conversation on guns.  And not just when humans could have protected themselves against wild animals, but also wild members of our own species.

You know, why is there never any speculation about how, when some kook attacks gay people, a concealed carry law might have caused that nut to think twice before he acted on his animus.  Why not the narrative:  Crazy hate-filled thugs fear well-armed gays.

CNN’s “teachable moment” in their coverage of Breitbart

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:51 am - July 30, 2010.
Filed under: Media Bias,New Media,Random Thoughts

There was a time, say about a quarter-century ago (and more), when CNN was the new media. Today (or was it yesterday), when I was pushing myself on the Stairmaster (or Elliptical Trainer), I looked up to see the “news” network running a piece on Shirley Sherrod, portraying her, as it were, as a martyr against the sloppy reporting of right-wing bloggers.

Now, I didn’t see the whole segment — it may not even have been a segment, may just have been a promo — so I write only to make an observation not to arrive at a conclusion. But, from what I’ve observed on CNN since this story broke is an attempt to jump on Andrew Breitbart (as a representative of the new conservative media) and apologize for traditional media.

And yet, in their rush to demonize Breitbart, the folks at CNN as well as their cohorts in the MSM, lose sight of the incredible complexity of this story.

Indeed, a story of this complexity leads to a difference of views between my co-blogger and myself.  From the very breaking of this story and throughout its “trajectory”, we have not seen eye to eye on this matter.  I do think he was right to apologize, but cut him more slack than he did.

I would rather he hadn’t taken back his apology (but I do appreciate the traffic that post generated 🙂 ), just wish he had walked it back a bit or at least qualified it instead of withdrawing it all together).  Still, on one key issue, he’s right.  This is a complex story.

And Andrew Breitbart, while clearly not guilty of malfeasance, did blunder in his initial release of the video; he should have (as per the Anchoress) said he would like to see the rest of the video before rendering a final judgment on Ms. Sherrod.

Now, while I agree that Breitbart had blundered in not so qualifying the initial posting. I believe those in the media who are attacking him are using the occasion not to address the error per se, but to try to bring him down because his work has threatened their enterprise — and the power they once enjoyed to set the national agenda. (more…)

Considering Obama’s Record on Gay Issues

Back when I met lefty lesbian blogress Pam Spaulding on my cross country journey, we talked about doing regular Point-Counterpoint blog posts where one of us would address a topic of the day and another would respond.

Well, even though the editors of the Hill had little knowledge of our conversations, they did ask each of us to weigh in on whether or not “gay-rights issues are being adequately addressed by the Obama administration and this Congress.” Neither Pam nor I had seen each other’s pieces before they were posted.

Here is the beginning of my post (written in haste last Friday):

Unlike most gay activists, when it comes to politics, I have a very small “gay agenda.”  I believe Congress needs to repeal Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT) and allow the Administration time (say no more than six months) to find a means to implement repeal without compromising unit cohesion or military effectiveness.  And I believe the federal and state governments should recognize same-sex civil unions (or domestic partnerships or marriages or whatever they’re called) while granting same-sex partners of government employees the same benefits that different-sex spouses in traditional marriages currently receive.

Other than that, the government should leave us alone to live our lives as we please.

With this as background, let me address the question of the day:  is the Obama Administration and the Pelosi-Reid Congress adequately addressing gay rights issue?

And the answer is well, sort of.

You can read the rest, including Pam’s piece, here.

Why not cut salaries of federal employees to reduce deficit?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:50 am - July 30, 2010.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Blogging

I apologize for my sporadic blogging these past few days, but a lot has been passing through my mind lately, little related to politics.  When I realized last Friday (another slow blogging day) that my e-mail box for this blog contained over 500 e-mails, I knew it was about time to start going through it.  I cleared out over 200 that day — and found the process most draining.

Well, today (Thursday), I’m back at it and have reduced the number to under 200 (despite an never-ending stream of new missives) and keep chancing up e-mails I opened, then “kept as new” as they linked newsworthy articles.  I haven’t decided yet how to address all of them, but may do a series of posts where I link articles which I still find timely.

I just encountered one from last December that remains salient:  Government salaries soar in bad times:

This recession has been such a boom time for the tax-supported bureaucracy that “federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14% to 19% of civil servants during the recession’s first 18 months — and that’s before overtime pay and bonuses are counted.” USA Today was especially struck by the fact that there was only one career federal worker making an annual salary of $170,000 or more at the U.S. Department of Transportation when the current recession began. Today, 18 months later, there are more than 1,600 career employees making that much at Transportation. We can only hope that none of those additional 1,600-plus high-paid workers was responsible for the $2 billion Cash for Clunkers debacle run by the Transportation Department.

If the president were serious about cutting the federal deficit and having our government living within its means (as he hinted he would do during the third debate), he’d cut federal salaries across the board as many private employers are doing.

His failure to do so indicates either an unwillingness to stand up to the public employee unions or a lack of seriousness about our nation’s fiscal problems.  Or both.

RELATED:  Recession chugs on, except in government.

UPDATE: Time to rein in government pay.

UP-UPDATE:  Even Democratic-appointees are concerned about costs of federal employees:

David Walker, the U.S. comptroller appointed by President Bill Clinton who continued in the role under George Bush, on Friday gave a bracing indictment of the pension and salary benefits being rewarded to government workers at the federal, state and local level. Walker said that public sector workers are growing prosperous on the back of private sector workers.

Read the whole thing.  H/t:  Glenn Reynolds.