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So, Newt didn’t ask his wife for a divorce on her death-bed?

If you want to know why so many conservatives were initially skeptical of the allegations leveled against Herman Cain, all you need do is read the latest column by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s daughter, Jackie Gingrich Cushman.

For the longest time, our liberal friends have told us how the Georgia Republican presented his first wife with divorce papers while she lay dying of cancer in an area hospital. They wanted to show us just what a horrible, no good very bad man this guy is. Seems some Democrats are willing to sacrifice the truth in order to smear a rising Republican.

As Mrs. Cushman reports, the real story is far removed from the Democrats’ narrative:

My father, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, has been in politics as long as I can remember.

And as long as I can remember, media coverage about him has contained misstatements of facts. . . .

I’m talking about the story of my father’s visit to my mother while she was in the hospital in 1980.

For years, I have thought about trying to correct the untrue accounts of this hospital visit. After all, I was at the hospital with them, and saw and heard what happened. But I have always hesitated, as it was a private family matter and my mother is a very private person. In addition, for the four people involved, it was one of a million interactions and was not considered a defining event by any of us. (more…)

Remember folks, we don’t have a Republican Congress,
but we do have a Do-Nothing Democratic Senate

Democratic talking points notwithstanding, the 112th Congress is not Republican.  The GOP controls just one chamber, the House of Representatives.  The president’s party, i.e., the Democrats, still have a majority in the Senate.

While it took the Republican chamber 102 days to pass a budget, as of tomorrow the Democratic Congress will have gone nine times than long without passing a similar spending. There are no plans to vote on one in the next twenty-four hours.

Speaking to reporters “after a conference meeting in which he rallied House Republicans around the message that while the lower chamber is taking action on jobs legislation, the Senate is dithering and the president is campaigning”, House Speaker John Boehner reminded them just what the Republican chamber of the federal legislature has accomplished:

Citing the so-called “Forgotten 15” House-passed bipartisan bills that have been shelved in the Senate, Boehner told his conference, according to a source in the room: “These jobs bills are stuck in the Senate because we have a president who is disengaged from the legislative process. Instead of engaging in the legislative process, the president has been campaigning. If the president would get more engaged and call on the Senate to get moving, there’s a lot more we could get done this year on jobs for the American people.”

Democrats may “counter that the legislation Republicans have hyped would do little for job creation”, but Republicans would say the same thing about the “Jobs Act” the president has proposed.  And Republicans can point to the failed “stimulus” as evidence, given the similarities between the legislation the president has proposed to the current Congress and the one which passed the previous Congress.

Seems for the president’s party, doing nothing means not doing what Democrats want to do. (more…)

The Underreported story of Christian persecution

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:41 pm - November 2, 2011.
Filed under: Media Bias,Politics abroad

The most underreported story in the Middle East“, writes Jennifer Rubin

. . . is the suffering inflicted on Christians in Arab lands. “So while Christians are thriving in Israel they are under intense pressure in many neighboring Muslim countries. Europeans, and American enemies of Israel like the famous professors Walt and Mearsheimer, most often attribute American support for Israel to the ‘Jewish lobby.’ But American Christians know more about the Middle East than these supposedly sophisticated critics, and are aware of the fate of their coreligionists. They see Christianity free to grow in Israel, and faced with violence and suppression nearby. They see Christians free to worship in Israel but fleeing all too many Arab lands. There’s no need for complicated political science analyses here, much less bigotry: those seeking to understand why American Christians overwhelmingly support Israel should study the treatment and the fate of Christianity in the Middle East.”

Wonder when all those concerned for the victims of what they deem Israeli apartheid will stand up for the Christians suffering under tyrannical non-Jewish regimes.

For fixing economy, Americans prefer Gipper to FDR

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:44 pm - November 2, 2011.
Filed under: Economy,Real Reform,Ronald Reagan,We The People

Wonder if the White House has seen this poll:

Ronald Reagan beat out Franklin Delano Roosevelt as the former president Americans would like to see in the White House during these trying economic times, a new 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll finds.

Thirty-six percent of those polled said they wanted the Gipper to lead America out of the economic crisis, while 29 percent picked Roosevelt. Thomas Jefferson came in third place with the support of 14 percent of those polled, followed by Roosevelt’s successorHarry Truman at 8 percent. William Henry Harrison, who was inaugurated in March 1841 and died one month later, came in last with 1 percent support.

Maybe that’s because there’s actual evidence that Reagan’s policies worked, helping end an economic downturn and create an era of prosperity.  By contrast, FDR’s policies worked only in theory.

Media coverage of #OWS becoming more even-handed?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:42 pm - November 2, 2011.
Filed under: New Media,Occupy Wall Street

Maybe, the Cain story notwithstanding, our media are offering more critical treatment of the left. Just caught this on Yahoo!’s homepage.

The article linked comes from the conservative-leaning Daily Caller.

Time to return government to its proper boundaries

Commenting yesterday on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s contention the the federal government should shut down a non-unionized private sector plant in South Carolina, Ed Morrissey  offers a nice synopsis of the conservative view of government:

Government should have no interest in whether a particular plant is unionized or not, let alone assert authority in this area.  Government exists to uniformly enforce the law without bias.  Agencies like the NLRB want to use the color of authority to favor unions because they see that as a preferred social-engineering outcome — whether or not workers themselves want union representation or not.

We have come far from the legitimate exercise of government in this and many other areas.  It’s time to demand a return of government to its proper boundaries, and perhaps eliminating altogether those agencies that have arrogated to themselves the power to impose their preferred social prescriptions through the abuse of agency authority.  That would include the NLRB, the EPA, and a number of other federal entities.

Emphasis added.  Exactly.  This helps explain — in a most succinct manner — the rise of the Tea Party.

Herman Cain: Not Prepared to Face Biased Media

While I have devoted most of my coverage of the Cain kerfuffle to discussing what it shows about our biased media, I think the Republican candidate could have done a better job responding to the allegations.  As Michael Barone explains, putting the story into its proper political context:

And it has to be said that Cain and, even more, his campaign spokesmen were unprepared to deliver a single definitive response to a story that they had known was brewing for several days.

Read the whole thing.  Barone is spot on in his analysis.  The candidate seems to keep shifting his strategy as details of the story drip out.  As soon as his team knew the story was “brewing,” they should have developed a strategy to respond.  (As Meg Whitman learned last fall, even a well-prepared response to a a media hit job may not provide adequate “damage control.”)

Simply put, Republican candidates have to be prepared to face a media which covers them more critically than it does Democrats.  It may not be fair.  Indeed, it’s not, but that’s the way it is.  At least for now.

Had John McCain recognized that fact, he might have added a couple more states to his tally in 2008.

NB:  Fixed a whole passel of typos in this post which I originally crafted somewhere between 2:30 and 3:00 AM PST.

An explanation of CNN’s Herman Cain Obsession

On Monday, it was Anderson Cooper.  On Tuesday Wolf Blitzer.  If I work out at different times of the time, I chance upon different CNN anchors flacking the same story.  Despite record deficits, continued economic unease and turmoil abroad, no other topic seems as important as the allegations leveled against a charismatic conservative.

Others have noted the “news” network’s obsession.  An Instapundit reader also took note of the coverage — and its bias:

I’m at one airport, my sister’s at another, and of course they’re both playing CNN, and it’s wall-to-wall coverage of Cain and the harassment charge. Two things: first, they aren’t bringing people on who will defend Cain or at least criticize the poor reporting involved, and second, they are reporting and commenting on it as though it is hard fact and there are no questions about what went on.

CNN, it appears, has devoted more time to this story than it has to the cozy relationships between politicians (mostly but not exclusively Democrats) and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored enterprises at the heart of the financial meltdown.

Heck, a New York Times reporter even wrote a book on the topic.

With all the media focus on these allegations, they have less time to devote to real scandals inside the Obama administration or to the sour state of the economy.  Maybe that explains why the folks at CNN find this story so newsworthy.

On liberals who take things on faith, er, theory

Yesterday, I started Thomas Sowell’s Economic Facts and Fallacies, underlining many passages, including this one:

. . . the zero-sum fallacy had kept millions of very poor people needlessly mired in poverty for generations before such notions were abandoned.  That is an enormously high price to pay for an unsubstantiated assumption.  Fallacies can have huge impacts.

Emphasis added.  In the margin, I wrote, “Obama’s ‘stimulus’: was there evidence it would work — where have similar programs tried & succeeded?”  Yes, we read economists explaining how the president’s plan was supposed to work, but they derived their explanations from Keynesian theory and not marketplace experience.  They reached their conclusions on unsubstantiated assumptions.  And we’re paying an enormously high price for that.

It does seem that Democrats and left-of-center pundits, not to mention intellectuals, make their cases on faith, er, theory rather than experience.  A few hours after reading Sowell, I caught something  on Instapundit which helped confirm that hypothesis:

JIM TYNEN: “Here’s what interests me: why do the journalists and professors so fervently believe in things they cannot possibly verify on their own? . . . Journalists who are not scientists, or professors who are not climate scientists, identify with the Knowledge Class.”

Tynen adds that “journalists and others on the low rungs of the Knowledge class defend the dogma. And of course this also goes for the dogma of Keynes, and multiculturalism, and much else.”  Emphasis added.

Last Thursday, a blogger at Ace of Spades quoted White House flack Josh Earnest’s contention that the president’s American Jobs Act is “the only plan before Congress that independent analysts confirm would create jobs right away“. And just who are those independent analysts, Josh? And did they show how the president’s plan was similar to other government programs which led to job creation or did they base their conclusions on economic theory?

It seems sometimes that so much of liberal theory is just that, theory, based not on how the world works, but on how some very smart people believe it works.

W warned of increasing costs of entitlements
Democrats cheered their obstruction of his reforms

Going through old e-mail, I chanced upon this video linked in one of Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolts.

Note particularly what he says at the beginning and end of the clip.  He begins by saying that we “must also confront the larger challenge of mandatory spending or entitlements.  When Democrats cheered their obstructionism, the Republican reminded them that the “rising cost of entitlements is a problem that is not going away” (1:17 above).

Seems this guy had a plan at least to face a long-term fiscal challenge facing the federal government.  Oh, and please remind me, ’cause I kind of forgot, what is the current president’s plan to reform entitlements to prevent them from bankrupting the federal government?

Name that president

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:51 am - November 2, 2011.
Filed under: American History

“On the night of his inaugural gala, all his dreams seemed within his grasp. . . .
within 100 days _______ would be compared to Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.”

(Heard on a recent documentary.)

HINT:  It’s not Barack Obama.  And that’s the point of this post.

UPDATE: Seems Cas has been reading my posts as I had mentioned last week that I had been watching a DVD about LBJ.  It was indeed LBJ.  And few would consider that Democrat one of the greatest U.S. Presidents though he shepherd through a lot of legislation.

Seems that the presidents about whom our chattering classes have the highest expectations turn out to be the greatest disappointments.