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Murdoch’s Troubles Don’t Translate Into Larger CNN Audience

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:32 pm - July 20, 2011.
Filed under: FDS (Fox Derangement Syndrome),Media Bias

Yesterday was one of the few days I caught CNN’s resident JournoLister Jeffrey Toobin smiling.  That liberal pundit often tries to show how wise and dispassionate he is by putting on his serious Edward R. Murrow face and delivering Democratic talking points with a grim demeanor.

But, not when talking about the hacking scandal facing Rubert Murdoch’s empire.  Yesterday, he was practically giddy as he detailed Murdoch’s woes spelled out his suspicions about Murdoch’s knowledge of the hacking.  He just knew Murdoch had to know about it because, well, he wasn’t watching The Simpsons (a show on a network owned by the media mogul).

Does seem that’s the only scandal that really interests the folks at CNN.  It’s as if they believe that as soon as people see what a horrible, no good very bad man is Rupert Murdoch, FoxNews’ audience share will drop and people will turn to the more “responsible” journalists at CNN for their news.

Toobin may be giddy now, but he promises to return to his serious face when the dust settles after the collapse of FoxNews.  And then he can once again provide serious commentary to those who currently depend on a Murdoch outlet for their information on national and world affairs.

Obama’s Serious Slippage in Democratic Poll

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:18 pm - July 20, 2011.
Filed under: Post 9-11 America

Obama’s numbers,” writes Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling (PPP), a Democratic outfit, about its poll, showing the president slipping, particularly among independents:

. . . are worse than they appear to be on the surface. The vast majority of the undecideds in all of these match ups disapprove of the job Obama’s doing but aren’t committing to a candidate yet while they wait to see how the Republican field shakes out. Here’s an idea of where these various match ups might stand once all voters have made up their minds:

-In the Obama/Romney head to head 21% of undecideds approve of Obama and 61% disapprove. If you allocate them based on their approval/disapprove of Obama, Romney would lead 52-48.

Emphasis added. Seems they’re more ready to vote for a generic Republican than a specific Republican.  The latest Gallup poll or registered voters shows the “Republican Party’s candidate for president” beating Obama in the 2012 election by a margin of 47% to 39%.

What’s interesting to note as well is that not all those approve of the president’s performance are sold on renewing the Obama’s lease on the Oval Office.

What’s DNC Chair’s Plan to Cut Deficit & Make Medicare Solvent?
CNN’s Blitzer Helps DNC’s Wasserman-Schultz Play Victim Card

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:54 pm - July 20, 2011.
Filed under: Democratic demagoguery,Media Bias

Thanks to Wolf Blitzer’s bias, I got a little more cardio in today after my workout. As I was beginning my cool-down, I looked up to a television monitor in my gym to see the CNN anchor interviewing the chair of the Democratic National Committee, Florida Congressman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

As per the above  blurb from the Situation’s Room Facebook page, the focus was on Representative Allen West’s intemperate remarks in an e-mail to Mrs. Wasserman-Schultz after she demagogued the Florida Republican’s vote his vote to hold the line on federal spending:

“The gentleman from Florida, who represents thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, as do I, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries — unbelievable from a member from South Florida,” Wasserman Schultz charged Tuesday on the House floor, without mentioning West’s name.

In an e-mail responding to her attack, West called the Democrat “vile, despicable and cowardly” in large part because she leveled her attack after the Republican had left the House floor.

What was interesting about Blitzer’s segment with the Democrat* was that while he focused on the Republican’s intemperate remarks, he did not question her on the substance of her attack on said Republican.  Jim Treacher summarized her remarks as “boilerplate Democratic rhetoric about Republicans killing Grandma for Big Oil.”  Tina Korbe points out that the Democrat’s statement was “inaccurate”:

The “Cut, Cap and Balance” bill makes no changes to Social Security or Medicare. Most of the cuts in the bill come from discretionary spending, anyway, but the bill specifies that the $35 billion cuts to mandatory spending would come from non-veterans, non-Social Security, non-Medicare spending.

Wonder if Wolf asked to justify her attack.  And if he asked the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee about her plan to hold the line on federal spending and put forward a plan to make Medicare solvent in light of the recent trustees’ report.

Oh, and one more thing.  In the thirty minutes I was watching Wolf’s program, waiting for a Republican to come on to offer a balanced perspective, I caught only one other politician on his show, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill.  Mrs. McCaskill is a Democrat.

* (more…)

“Gang of Six” Plan: Obamaism Revisited

Whenever President Obama signals his support for some lofty idea, sometimes in soaring rhetoric, we need always ask for the details.  In his campaign, he promised us hope and change, but what exactly were we hoping for?  What changes was he promising?

He was going to giving us a “net spending cut”, but never spelled out the specific government programs he was going to cut.  Just over three months ago, he delivered a major speech on the budget, yet provided no specifics of how he was going to get federal spending under control.

Yesterday, we read that he had praised the deficit-reduction plan of the bipartisan “Gang of Six”.  (Gotta love how Yahoo! include the Obama mantra of “hope” in the AP article they published.)  Today, Conn Carroll reports in the Washington Examiner:

If the Gang of Six’s goal was to produce a detailed and credible plan to reduce our nation’s deficits and solve the debt limit crisis, then they failed spectacularly yesterday. The plan they released contains no specific spending cuts, kicks all the major decisions down the road to Senate committees and congressional commissions, and depending on what baseline you use, raises taxes by as much as $3 trillion. And Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., a member of the Gang of Six, admitted yesterday that the details of the plan are nowhere near firm enough to be scored by the Congressional Budget Office before the August 2nd deadline.

Emphasis added.  Details nowhere near firm enough to be scored by the CBO.  Now, why does that sound familiar?

Where’s the Scrutiny?

According to Kevin Sack of the New York Times, “The White House on Wednesday declined to challenge an account in a new book that suggests that President Obama, in his campaign to overhaul American health care, mischaracterized a central anecdote about his mother’s deathbed dispute with her insurance company.”

Yet, as Rich Noyes (who alerted me to the above) notes, “ABC, CBS and NBC have yet to mention Scott’s now-undisputed account, drawn from a review of Ms. Dunham’s [Obama’s mother] correspondence with the insurance company“.  Throughout “the 2008 campaign” and in his “push for ObamaCare”, those networks repeated his claim that when his mother “was sick with terminal cancer, she had to fight with insurance companies to ‘pay for her treatment.’”

We now have the White House refusing to challenge evidence of his misrepresenting the facts in order to push through unpopular legislation.  When there were just allegations (none substantiated) that the president’s predecessor lied us into war, the media all but made a martyr of the long-since discredited accuser.

Had the media treated Barack Obama as they treated George W. Bush, they would be rifling through all his statements on his mother’s illness and in support of his health care overhaul to see what other lies he told mischaracterizations he made.

And now those pundits and talking heads who refuse to look into allegation of Obama’s misrepresentations are celebrating him as the “the adult in the room” in the battle over the debt ceiling, even though the Democrat has yet to offer his own plan to cut spending — or even to provide an actual plan to support his April 13 budget speech.

Why is a media so obsessed with the color of Sarah Palin’s stockings so heistant to look into the president’s misrepresentations and manufactured statistics and so reluctant to excoriate him for his failure to offer a plan to address our nation’s pressing fiscal problems (problems which his policies exacerbated)?

Fearing gay man was reaching for a gun, bashers skedaddle

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:09 am - July 20, 2011.
Filed under: Freedom,GOProud,Second Amendment

Just about a year ago, I blogged that I would “reconsider my opposition” to hate crimes legislation should I see “convincing evidence that such laws actually reduce violent crime”.  In that post, I pointed out that “we have a whole raft of evidence showing that crime rates go down when states adopt concealed-carry laws.”

Hence my belief that such legislation advances “gay rights” because it offers us an effective tool to protect ourselves from gay-bashers.  If such creeps fear we have a gun, they’ll be less likely to attack.

Just this week, we learn how effective that fear can be — and how it served to protect one of our friends attacked by a teenager in a jurisdiction with “a hate crimes law explicitly address[ing] sexual orientation.”

Riding home from work on his bike a few days ago, GOProud Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia “was attacked on a secluded street behind Union Station“:

. . . the unidentified youth punched him in the chest about 8:30 p.m. as he rode past the youth and six or seven other male teenagers who were with the person that struck him on 2nd Street, N.E. just north of L Street.

After calling Jimmy a “faggot”,

the attacker and a few of the others with him “puffed up their chests and were clearly ready to continue the attack,” [Jimmy] said. But seconds later, the group fled the scene after he kept his hand inside his backpack, “allowing them to wonder if I was reaching for a gun.”

The District’s hate crimes law didn’t deter Jimmy’s attackers; the fear he had a gun did.

Glad to hear Jimmy’s doing okay.

House Republicans do their job; Where’s the President’s Plan?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:50 am - July 20, 2011.
Filed under: Congress (112th),Real Reform

“The House,” Jeff Goldstein writes at protein wisdom, “did its job“:

For now. That they were cut off at the knees by the Senate? Well, we’ll see what happens. We’re being told by our betters that now that this political theater is out of the way (and the ludicrous Tea Party dolts “mollified”), the grownups can talk, and therefore that real leaders (of the kind it takes to raise our ability to vote ourselves a credit increase in order pay for more things we can’t pay for by way of more borrowing we’ll soon be unable to pay back), can dig in their heels and reach a good, solid, bipartisan compromise.

Offering a view a bit less cynical, Ed Morrissey says the ball is now in the president’s court:

John Boehner and the Republican caucus in the House passed the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act as promised on a near-party-line vote tonight, 234-190.  The move puts the onus back on the White House to propose an alternative or assume responsibility for killing the debt-ceiling hike it contains. . . .

Oh, and, by the way, has the White House presented any such alternative plan?

Why didn’t Obama back this* when Democrats had majorities in both Houses of Congress?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:08 am - July 20, 2011.
Filed under: Gay Marriage,Obama and Gay Issues

Obama Supports Repeal of Defense of Marriage Act:

President Obama is throwing his support behind the Respect for Marriage Act – the bill to repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage even for couples married under state law.

Why didn’t he make any effort to repeal DOMA earlier in his term. Just asking.

*or similar legislation

Once Again, Tom Coburn Lays it Out

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:41 am - July 20, 2011.
Filed under: Congress (112th),Noble Republicans,Real Reform

Although I disagree with the junior Senator from Oklahoma on a handful of issues, I have always admired Tom Coburn as one of the few men of principle in Washington.  He was a small government conservative before it was cool to be a small government conservative.

In the spendthrift George W. Bush era (an era parsimonious by Obama’s standards), he challenged his own party to take a tougher line on federal spending.  Now, he’s come out with a budget proposal of his own.  Unlike Republicans, he’s calling for eliminating “tax breaks.”  Unlike Democrats, he’s put forward a detailed plan which spells out specific cuts.

Among the tax breaks he seeks to eliminate is the “mortgage interest deduction on second homes”.  Apparently, he also wants to limit that deduction “to homes worth $500,000.”  That may allow middle class families in Oklahoma to maintain that deduction, but would deprive many such families in cities like Los Angeles (where the cost of the average home is higher) of its benefits.

That said, his plan merits consideration.  According to the AP, Coburn told reporters that he had “no doubt that both parties will criticize portions of this plan, and I welcome that debate. . . .  But it’s not a legitimate criticism until you have a plan of your own.”  (Emphasis added.)

Indeed, how many of his Democratic colleagues (and their allies in the MSM) demagogue his plan as demagogic when they have yet to offer one of their own?  Kudos, Senator Coburn, for putting forward a plan to put us on a path to fiscal sanity.  Would it that your good friend from the Senate class of 2004 could do the same.

UPDATE:  I’m concerned he’s back to backing the Gang of Six Plan — even if the plan’s details remain murky.