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LA Times forgets to indicate that Bob Filner is a Democrat

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:36 pm - July 31, 2013.
Filed under: California politics,Democratic Scandals,Media Bias

In its article on the latest lame excuse from the Democratic Mayor of California’s second largest city, the LA Times leaves out the so-called* man’s partisan affiliation:

The attorney for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner said in a letter the city may be liable for damages in a sexual harassment lawsuit because Filner never received mandated training about such behavior.

“The city has a legal obligation to provide sexual harassment training to all management level employees,” wrote attorney Harvey Berger in a letter requesting the city pay Filner’s legal bills in defense of the lawsuit filed by his former communications director.

Annotated Screen Capture: (more…)

Boycotting Sochi Olympics should be on the table

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:16 pm - July 31, 2013.
Filed under: Gays in Other Lands

Drudge has now picked up on a story that some of my Facebook friends had linked yesterday.  And Drudge linked a story on a major new site (ABC) whereas my friends had linked one on a gay site.

Good to see this story getting the national attention it should:

This week, comments by a lawmaker from St. Petersburg set off a firestorm online when he said that fans and athletes would not be immune from prosecution during the games [2014 Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi, Russia].

Vitaly Milonov, who sponsored legislation in St. Petersburg last year that became the basis for a national law signed by President Vladimir Putin in June, was quoted telling the Interfax news agency that the law will remain in place during the Olympics and will be applied to foreigners.

Under the law:

Public displays of affection by gays, including holding hands or displaying symbols like a rainbow flag, are now banned. Violators face steep fines and jail time; foreigners face similar penalties plus deportation.

The U.S. administration should ask Russian authorities to guarantee that it will not detain or prosecute gay athletes or spectators from engaging in such activities.  Should they fail to be able to guarantee that, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry should say that the US may have to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics.  We should not send a team to Sochi if the authorities in the host country cannot guarantee the safety of the athletes — or the freedom of American spectators.

Stand Up to the Bully/Drink More Stoli

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:50 am - July 30, 2013.
Filed under: Gay PC Silliness,Gays in Other Lands

We should commend gay activists for drawing our attention to the horrible state of affairs for our fellows in Russia.

As Scott Shackford reports, not only has Vladimir Putin’s government criminalized “anything remotely gay“, our fellows “are being publicly physically attacked with no consequence; indeed, the police and government seem to be cheering it on.”

But, just because they criticizing the Russian state’s thuggish tactics against gay people does not give them license to smear a good company that happens to have a Russian background.  As you may know, some gay activists are calling for a boycott of just such a product, Stolichnaya Vodka. Problem is, as Shackford reminds us is that

The Stoli we drink here in the states is not made in Russia. It’s actually made in Latvia. It is actually a different vodka from what is sold within Russia. Russia seized the internal brands and renationalized them back in 2001. There is a big, nasty battle between Russia and the private Stolichnaya company and its owner, Yuri Scheffler.

And Scheffler’s company “is one of the gay-friendliest global companies in the world“.  The man himself is no ally of Putin, indeed, he now “lives in exile” due to “disagreements with” that Russian leader.

As Oscar Raymundo writes in the San Francisco Examiner, “not only [is] this boycott is misinformed, but . .  it’s [also] hurting a brand that has not once wavered in its public support for the LGBT community — not just our rights, but our local businesses and events.”

Stoli has donated to a number of gay and lesbian organizations, including some like GLAAD and HRC, on the left of the political spectrum.

Let us stand up to those who would bully a corporation merely because of the Russian origin of its product.  On my way home from the Meatless Mondays Steak Dinner last night, I stopped by my local Trader Joe’s and bought a bottle of Stoli.  Join me in supporting a gay-friendly company wrongly targeted by gay activists on the far, far left.

About that Fox News interview…

If you know a lot of leftists, as I do, chances are you’ve encountered a link to this interview of Reza Aslan by Lauren Green at some point in the past two days or so.  They see the interview as an example of the evil of Fox News.  They claim it illustrates the bias of the network, and that it illustrates how “smart” the author is and how he “totally pwns the interviewer’s assumptions.”

I watched the interview, and I encourage you to do the same, but my main reaction to their claims about it is to think:  Excuse me?  Did we even watch the same interview?  I believe neither the interviewer nor the guest came off particularly well in this exchange.

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Lauren Green comes across as someone who likely hasn’t read the book, but who has read many reviews of the book, and is trying to provoke a response from the author. Reza Aslan, though, comes across as the ultimate disingenuous academic who says, “I am just a historian, I have no agenda whatsoever.”  He keeps reiterating that he is an academic with a PhD, as though that is an adequate defense against bias.  Green could have done a more skillful job challenging his assumptions or his arguments; her questions only serve to make him defensive, and so the interview doesn’t appear to accomplish much for either party.

Nevertheless, I didn’t view the interview as a complete failure for Fox News.  Quite to the contrary, I thought it illustrated that there is more journalistic spirit alive at Fox News than at most of the mainstream press outlets who have interviewed the author or reported on the book.  Why do I say that?  Because, the other morning I had to endure this NPR interview with the same author of the same book, and I heard a lot of claims by Aslan about his book, and his beliefs, but no one challenged those claims or tried to interrogate Aslan’s motivations for writing the book that he wrote.  The NPR interview was so concerned with helping him make his points, that it could have just as easily come from the public relations office of his publisher.

Not surprisingly, the other day NPR’s website featured this story entitled “Reza Aslan Hearts NPR”: “Author and religious scholar Reza Aslan is one of those people who’s at NPR West so often that he blurs the line between guest and employee. We always joke with our regulars that they should have a punch card, and when it’s full, they get their own cubicle.”  Even less surprisingly, today NPR has this sympathetic story about the reaction on the left to the Fox News  interview.

When you compare NPR’s very sympathetic pieces helping Aslan promote both his book and his talking points, with Lauren Green’s somewhat awkward attempt to interrogate him, though, it’s pretty clear to me which “news” outlet is more interested in informing its viewers and letting them decide for themselves.   Green’s interview told us much more about Aslan than NPR’s pieces: it showed us something of his character, it introduced us to some of the controversies surrounding the book, and it raised the question of his worldview and its influence on his writing.

And as it turns out, there is a lot of reason for controversy, as Pamela Geller Robert Spencer points out in her his own detailed post about the controversy (hat tip: Pamela Geller).   Geller Spencer writes:

I don’t care about his scholarly credentials. Even if everything he had said about his degrees had been true, it would confer on his book no presumption of accuracy or truth. I am constantly assailed for lacking scholarly credentials, but as it happens, when it comes to writing about religion I have exactly the same credentials as Aslan, a B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, and an M.A. in Religious Studies. His other two degrees are in other fields.

But anyway, it doesn’t matter: there are plenty of fools with degrees, and plenty of geniuses without them. My work, and Aslan’s, stands or falls on its merits, not on the number of degrees we have. Aslan’s pulling rank on Lauren Green and starting to reel off (inaccurately) his degrees was a sign of insecurity: it implied that he didn’t think his book could stand on its merits, and had to be accepted because he had a lot of degrees. And indeed, his book doesn’t stand on its merits.

I encourage you to be sure to read Geller’s Spencer’s whole post.

To my mind, the reaction on the left tells us more about their fondness for credentials and their disdain for Fox News than anything else;  that the same people who view this interview as an instance of intolerable bias think nothing of the swill served up regularly by NPR and MSNBC should tell us all we need to know.

Meatless Mondays Steak Dinner Tomorrow July 29 in LA

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:05 pm - July 28, 2013.
Filed under: LA Stories,Liberalism Run Amok

You still have time to RSVP for our Meatless Mondays Steak Dinner tomorrow, Monday July 29 in Los Angeles.

As you may know, we’ll be honoring the Los Angeles City Council’s unanimous vote last November on a resolution “endorsing the ‘meatless Monday’ campaign and asking residents to make a personal pledge to ditch meat for one day a week.”

Drop me a note to RSVP.

CA and IL: worst credit ratings

Just a reminder that, of all the 50 States (or 57-58 States, if you’re Obama), California and Illinois continue to have the worst credit ratings.

That means they’re the most financially ill-run States; the ones in the most trouble with debt. They have swapped spots in 2013, with California upgraded from A- to A and Illinois downgraded from A to A-. But they’re still the bottom two.

By the way, Rahm Emanuel’s duchy of Chicago is getting low on cash, as it faces rising debt and expenses. The next Detroit?

Why is Bob Filner not the media face of his party?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:53 pm - July 26, 2013.
Filed under: Media Bias,Random Thoughts

You know the answer because the Mayor of San Diego, accused by multiple women of sexual harassment is a Democrat. If he were a Republican, as Jim Geraghty observes in today’s Morning Jolt, available by subscription:

he would already be at least as well-known as Todd Akin, with his face on the cover of Time magazine under the headline: “PARTY OF CREEPS: WHY THE GOP’S PROBLEMS WITH WOMEN KEEP GETTING WORSE.”

UPDATE: George Will gets it:

I will not dwell on the fact, although it is a fact, that if these two men, Filner in San Diego and Wiener here, were Republicans, this would be part of a lot of somber sociology in the media about the Republican War on Women. . . . I will skip that.

Watch the video at the link.  (Via Instapundit.)

Did CNN ever feature interviews with Tea Party Leaders Targeted by IRS?

Toward the end of my workout tonight, I caught CNN trumpeting its “exclusive” interview with one of New York Democrat Anthony Weiner’s “sexting” partners.  They even featured the story on their website:

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 6.58.38 PM

(Screen capture at 6:58 PM PST, 9:58 EST/GayPatriot blog time.)

Do wonder if the network ever interviewed leaders of Tea Party groups targetted by the IRS? And featured them so prominently.

(FYI, I don’t know the answer to the above question, but, in all the hours that I have spent watching CNN while it plays of the TV monitors at my gym, can’t recall seeing a single such interview.)

Of Shiny Objects & Squirrels (American Media in the Obama Era)

Perhaps inspired by having to watch over an hour of CNN while doing cardio on a day when I was reading David Freddoso’s Spin Masters: How the Media Ignored the Real News and Helped Reelect Barack Obama, I decided to create this new category.

Despite recent revelations in the IRS/Tea Party scandal, Wolf Blitzer, Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper were more interested in rehashing the Zimmerman trail, replaying footage of a train wreck in Spain and talking about the sexual escapades of a New York Democrat.  None made any mention of Obama appointee, William Wilkins, the IRS Chief Counsel or his meeting with the president at the White House on April 23, 2012.

And it wasn’t just this and  other scandals swirling about the Obama administration. The president delivered a much-anticipated speech on the economy yesterday. And CNN, at least when I was watching, gave short (if any) shrift to that. Just one day after Obama made his remarks.

Guess they just got distracted by the footage of the train crash and the salacious nature of the Democratic mayoral candidate’s latest indiscretion.

In 2011, Obama Saw Detroit “Coming Back”

Well, if it weren’t for the pressing stories about Anthony Weiner, that kid in the UK, maybe someone outside the conservative media might wonder why in a 2011 Labor Day speech in the erstwhile Motor City, President Obama saw a “city that’s coming back.”  As Michael Barone reported yesterday in the Washington Examiner:

National Journal’s Major Garrett has an excellent column today looking back on President Obama’s 2011 Labor Day speech in Detroit. “This is a city that has been to heck and back,” Obama said then. “And while there are still a lot of challenges here, I see a city that’s coming back.” Noting that Obama cited the “advanced battery industry taking root here in Michigan,” Garrett points out that the battery firm in question, A123 Systems, received $249 million in Energy Department grants–and is now bankrupt. And of course so is the city of Detroit.

In matters economical, this man’s powers of prognostication aren’t particularly strong.

Why Barack Obama Loves Anthony Weiner

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:52 pm - July 24, 2013.
Filed under: Democratic Scandals,Media Bias

Screen Capture from Drudge Report at 6:45 PST (07.24.13):

Screen shot 2013-07-24 at 6.45.33 PM

The tribulations of the New York Democrat and the birth of some baby in England, not to mention Gerlado’s shirtless picture are drowning out coverage of Obama’s anemic economic speech and new details emerging in the IRS scandal.

Stories the legacy media is missing (while focusing on Mr. Weiner, Geraldo and the baby):

So. If You Have Been Wondering What I’ve Been Up To…

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 5:01 pm - July 24, 2013.
Filed under: 2014 Elections,Carolina News

… this should explain everything.

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-Bruce (@GayPatriot)

NORTH CAROLINA PASSES SWEEPING GAY RIGHTS LEGISLATION

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 4:34 pm - July 24, 2013.
Filed under: Gay Politics,Gay Victimization

I broke the news on Twitter a few minutes ago.

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)

Meatless Monday Steak Dinner July 29, 2013 in LA

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:40 pm - July 23, 2013.
Filed under: LA Stories,Liberalism Run Amok

In honor of the Los Angeles City Council unanimous approval last November of a resolution “endorsing the ‘meatless Monday’ campaign and asking residents to make a personal pledge to ditch meat for one day a week”, we will be organizing another Meatless Monday Steak Dinner this coming Monday, July 29.

If you’d liked to attend, please RSVP for details.

Liberals on Detroit: Do they actually believe what they’re saying?

At times, certain spokespeople for leftism will assert notions which are so unreal that I must stop to ponder: Are they cynical, that is, people who knowingly spread lies in a quest to gain power through manipulation of the unwary?

Or are they self-deluded and mentally ‘flexible’, Orwell-style, such that they do believe what they are saying – at least in the moment of saying it?

The latest example is Detroit. Its decades of decline are, of course, due in large measure to its decades of uninterrupted rule by left-liberals, as mentioned here.

In reaction, a wave of left-liberals on TV have claimed that Detroit failed because of…(wait for it)…conservatives, Republicans, and small-government policies. For examples, see here (Sally Kohn), here (Ed Schultz) and here (Melissa Harris-Perry with Howard Dean).

So, which is it? Do they lie knowingly? Or are they “that” deluded?

Sally Kohn’s example is instructive for other reasons. She worries that conservatives will “try to use Detroit falsely as an example to push more austerity.”

Think about what she’s saying. She obviously wants the opposite of “austerity”, which word she means as a pejorative for tight government spending and balanced budgets. It follows that she prefers loose government spending and unbalanced budgets, the very factors that have mathematically bankrupted Detroit.

In other words, her solution to Detroit’s decline and bankruptcy is, moar profligacy. Thus proving that, for left-liberals, it is never never ever a good time to reduce government spending.

UPDATE: Commentor BL mentions the possibility that people could be deluded from mis-education. I can accept that answer for younger leftists. It’s problematic for the older ones, because for older people, mis-education is a choice.

Some Zimmerman links

Recent-ish, and I found them worthwhile:

  • Shelby Steele on The Decline of the Civil Rights Establishment. “The purpose of today’s civil-rights establishment is not to seek justice, but to seek power…based on the presumption that [blacks] are still…victimized…This idea of victimization is an example of what I call a ‘poetic truth.’ Like poetic license, it bends the actual truth…[listeners] say, ‘Yes, of course,’ lest we seem to be racist…this establishment is fighting to maintain its authority to wield poetic truth…One wants to scream at all those outraged at the Zimmerman verdict: Where is your outrage over the collapse of the black family?” – Read the whole thing.

  • A good piece from Cathy Young reviewing the depth of the Established media’s malpractice in this case, and one from Bill Whittle expressing his outrage over that malpractice.

  • Now old, but: Video of the jury reading the Not Guilty verdict. (Just to see the moment. And sorry, but there is no honest way to force Zimmerman into a ‘white’ identity; by conventional standards, he seems clearly a Latino / person of color.)

BONUS (from Kurt in the comments): Bryan Preston critiques how Obama has cast his lot with the race-baiters. “In Florida, blacks benefit from ‘stand your ground’ laws more often than whites do…[and] the president went on to acknowledge that…’stand your ground’ was not invoked in Zimmerman’s defense, [but said] we should re-examine such laws anyway. Logically, why?”

UPDATE: Zimmerman helps people, despite the nasty death threats that Trayvon Martin supporters have inflicted not only on him, but even on strangers who (say) happen to have a phone number similar to his.

Is Obama’s Press Secretary a “paid liar”? (part III)

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 2:21 am - July 22, 2013.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Dishonest Democrats,Economy

Some weeks ago, Dan asked if Jay Carney is a paid liar? Looking at Benghazi, I answered ‘yes’. Here is a newer example.

Last week, as reported by The Hill, Carney:

…dismissed reports that some employers were hiring more part-time employees because of the president’s signature healthcare law.

“The data reflects that there is not support for the proposition that businesses are not hiring full-time employees because of the Affordable Care Act,” Carney told reporters.

Perhaps Carney’s statement can be made true if we parse it Clinton-style, seeking his definitions of “data” and “is”. Perhaps Carney only accepts Harvard studies (or some such), and very likely, there hasn’t been one.

But the phenomenon of employers replacing full-time employees with part-time, due to Obamacare, is real and growing. The same article notes:

employers have added more part-time employees — about 93,000 a month — in 2013 than full-time workers — averaging about 22,000 per month. That’s a reversal from 2012, when employers hired 31,000 part-time workers and 171,000 full-time ones per month.

And how do we know it’s due to Obamacare? Well, I can’t think of any other (real) reason that Obama wants to delay his own employer mandate; can you? Or a reason why labor unions suddenly hate Obamacare?

But we don’t have to infer the cause. Comments and stories have abounded in the media lately, of businesses switching to part-time employees directly because of Obamacare’s insurance mandate for full-timers. Here is one recent commentary.

And even Uncle Ben says the Fed has been hearing it from the countless businesses which report into it:

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged that Obamacare regulations have caused employers to hire part-time workers, rather than full-time employees…

“[O]ne thing that we hear, you know, in the commentary we get at the FOMC is that some employers are hiring part-time in order to avoid the mandate there,” Bernanke told Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., during a House hearing. “So we have heard that.”

So, Jay: Can the baloney, OK? There doesn’t have to be an academic study on something for it to be true (and widely known).

Top political donors of the last 24 years

Via Zero Hedge last week.

I’m just a li’l part-time blogger, but in the top 20, I count only one eeeeeevil corporation favoring the GOP…against twelve unions, strongly favoring Democrats. Which party is all about the “big money” again?

ZH has a longer list, wherein you’ll glean these tidbits:

  • HRC comes in impressively (I mean it) at number 100, having given $11.9 million; 89% to Democrats.
  • The much-pilloried Koch Industries only comes in at number 62, with $17.4 million.
  • The much-pilloried NRA only comes in at number 52, with $20.2 million.
  • Umm…did I miss Halliburton? Or are they not in the top 100?

Top political  donors of the last 23 years

Detriot in ruins

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 9:11 pm - July 20, 2013.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Liberalism Run Amok

Last month, I remarked on Detroit’s astounding decline. Last week, they made it official: Detroit is in bankruptcy court.

The fetching and clever Steven Crowder looks at the causes of Detroit’s decades-long decline:

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Here’s the short answer: Decades of Big Government…Leftists…Unions. It turns out that government interventions, subsidies and bailouts don’t help people to live better lives and build better cities; in the long run, they subsidize inefficiency, failure and crime. Who knew?

Related tidbits:

After listening to that last one, I need to contemplate humanity’s doom at the hands of our new Robot overlords.

UPDATE: As a study in opposites, I bring you the perennially-booming Texas.

Real justice for Trayvon

As Dan has noted, some 35 Gay Left advocate groups have signed an “open letter asking for justice for Trayvon Martin”. Justice is a crucially important value, so let’s give that suggestion its due, by considering what it could mean.

Since the groups were prompted by the Zimmerman verdict: perhaps they mean that bad things, such as imprisonment, should happen to George Zimmerman. But why would any reasonable person think that? A jury of his peers looked into the matter as intensively as any people on Earth, and found Zimmerman not guilty of breaking any laws. The jury felt that he bore Martin no enmity and saw a strong possibility that Zimmerman acted in legitimate self-defense.

We will never know, to a certainty, what happened the night Martin was killed. But Martin’s friend, Rachel Jeantel, has stated her belief that Martin must have thrown the first punch. (Also, she has stated her belief that Martin had profiled Zimmerman as a gay rapist – which, if Martin had, would make his attacking Zimmerman first an anti-gay hate crime.)

Jeantel has also expressed a belief that Martin did not mean to kill Zimmerman; that Martin would have stopped short of killing him, just in time. But Zimmerman could not possibly know that, as his head was being slammed into the concrete.

For sake of argument, let’s believe Jeantel for a moment, on those two points: that Martin did attack Zimmerman, but without meaning to kill him. Then any reasonable person must agree that Trayvon Martin did not deserve to die.

But people die all the time, who don’t deserve it. The only people who deserve death are the very few who have committed the most heinous crimes. Everyone else’s death is a tragedy, including Martin’s.

Without casting aspersions on Zimmerman, and based on the available evidence: real “Justice for Trayvon” would be if Martin and Zimmerman had both kept their lives that night – and Martin had then been arrested, charged and put on trial (perhaps in juvenile court) for the crime of assault.

It’s strange, how the “Justice for Trayvon” advocates always manage to leave out that last part.

The LGBT advocates’ letter does say:

Every person, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, must be able to walk the streets without fear for their safety.

We can agree on that. But the JfT advocates need to remember that the “every person” includes George Zimmerman – a Latino neighborhood resident who was patrolling his community to help it deal with a crime wave; not a gay rapist, and apparently, not anyone who deserved to have his head slammed into the concrete.