Monday, January 2, 2012

Where's the Press?

What’s new Today

Our #1 story reviews the difference in the Democrats and Republicans in their attitude toward Grover Norquist and the no tax increase pledge.  #2 reviews the state of voter fraud and IDs in the USA.  #3 looks at 10 examples of the media not doing their job. #4 talks of how the press treats Obama differently than any other president.  #5 talks about the 10 most under reported stories of 2011.  #6 helps us to understand the nails are in the AGW (climate change) coffin. 

1.  Pledges and Democracy

"The Pledge," in most political news stories today, refers to the Taxpayer Protection Pledge,  promoted and monitored by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). This group, headed for the entirety of its 26-year existence by Grover Norquist, invites candidates around the country—for the U.S. House and Senate, governorships, and the state legislatures—to promise to oppose any and all tax increases by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Only six Republicans in the House of Representatives and seven GOP senators have not signed it, compared to exactly three of the 246 elected Democrats on Capitol Hill who have. When ATR believes that a pledge-signer has supported a tax increase, or is about to, it is not bashful about reminding the politician and his electors about the broken promise.

When the "super committee" of six Democratic and six Republican members of Congress recently failed to reach a "grand bargain" on reducing the federal government's borrowing, many Democrats blamed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Without it, the argument went, those Republicans who were willing to raise taxes if it meant cutting spending could have worked out a deal with those Democrats who were willing to cut spending in order to raise taxes…

….During that era when the new claims of democracy were being slowly, reluctantly conceded, many believed that for rulers to descend to making specific promises they were expected to keep, or for voters to make equally specific demands, would have been vulgar and the beginning of a descent into mob rule.

The assumptions of that age are not the assumptions of this one. America has now had 183 years of vigorous, unapologetic democratic politics since Andrew Jackson's successful presidential campaign of 1828. The politicians who ask to govern us by our consent, expressed through our votes, can no longer expect to close the sale by offering their eminence and good judgment, with the policy details to be filled in after the votes are counted. Voters aren't shy about demanding specifics from politicians; the prospective office-seekers who considered such questions an affront have all gone into other lines of work. No candidate is obligated to take the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, as no voter is obligated to consider whether a candidate has signed, spurned, or even broken it. Given those undiminished possibilities for free democratic expression, there is no reason why one promise on one issue should be singled out as a threat to popular government… unless all promises on all issues are.

In the age of “we need to pass the bill to see what is in it,” we need a few more pledges to insure that our congress actually reads the bill the plan to pass. 

2.   Voter Photo ID’s

…as American Civil rights Union attorney Peter Ferrara noted in the group’s friend- of-the-court brief:

No one has been denied the right to vote by the Indiana Voter ID Law. The record clearly establishes without challenge that 99 percent of the voting age population in indiana already has the required id, in the form of driver’s licenses, passports, or other identification. Of the remaining 1 percent, senior citizens and the disabled are automatically eligible to vote by absentee ballot, and such absentee voting is exempt from the Voter ID Law.”

Does that sound “severe” to you?As Mr. Ferrara notes, “the slight burden of additional paperwork for a fraction of 1 percent, to show who they are and thereby prove their eligibility to vote, cannot come close to outweighing the interests of all legitimate legal voters in maintaining their effective vote.”

A bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform in 2005 chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III found no evidence that requiring photo IDs would suppress the minority vote. The panel recommended a national photo ID system and a campaign to register voters.

In a 2008 column, Mr. Carter and Mr. Baker cited a study by American University’s Center for Democracy and Election Management that echoed the election commission. Among other things, researchers found that in three states - Indiana, Mississippi and Maryland - about 1.2 percent of registered voters had no photo ID….

…. In Chicago, a federal investigation of the 1982 gubernatorial election estimated that at least 100,000 illegal votes had been cast and that voter fraud had been routine for many years….

Next time a liberal states there aren’t any problems with voter fraud, quote them from this article. 

3.  Ten 2011 Examples of Major Media Malfeasance

…In 2011, passive news consumers were extremely ill served, as the leftist legacy media seemed to almost completely abandon any pretense of objectivity or fairness left over from its disgraceful collective performance in 2010.

Why did this happen? Beyond the normal factors, 2011 saw White House thuggery directed at a press corps already inclined to reflexively parrot its positions reach previously unseen heights.

To name just three examples:

  • In March, Orlando Sentinel reporter Scott Powers, sent to cover a fundraiser involving Vice President Joe Biden and Florida Senator Bill Nelson, was confined in a “to keep him from mingling with high-powered guests.” Sentinel editors “dropped the story”

  • In April, the White House banished San Francisco Chronicle reporter Carla Marinucci “for using a video camera to capture an event.” The paper was “threatened with more punishment if they reported on it.” Chronicle Editor at Large Phil Bronstein called the White House’s subsequent attempt to deny it all “a pants-on-fire moment.”  Press coverage elsewhere was scant.
  • In May, the White House Press Office “refused to give the Boston Herald full access to President Obama’s Boston fund-raiser” because it objected “to the newspaper’s front page placement of a Mitt Romney op-ed.” The shutout was virtually ignored.

In a mid-May editorial, Investor’s Business Daily called out the press for failing to stand up for its own, and correctly characterized the White House’s actions as baby steps “toward state control of the media, using the carrot of access against the stick of exile.”

Nothing has changed. In December, a Washington Post item noted that “when a reporter gets something wrong or is perceived as being too aggressive, the pushback is often swift and sometimes at top volume” (including heavy doses of profanity). What do you guys expect when you just sit there and take it — something you would never do under a conservative or Republican administration?

It’s reasonable to believe that the constant threats of White House pushback and especially of access denial significantly drove this year’s extraordinarily negligent coverage of the administration’s scandals, corruption, policy failures, and misleading statements….

But even with the press being subjected to the Obama Administrations tactics, they still expect to receive special treatment as shown in the next story.

4.  The No News Stories of 2011

….All of which gets us to the real story that was never reported on:

1) Barack Obama simply does not expect to follow normal political customs and traditions because he knows the media do not expect him to: he will not release the transcripts because he does not have to and it is his pleasure not to, in the way he did not worry about explaining his near worship of his racist pastor of twenty years, or being the first to renounce public financing of presidential campaigns in the general election, or the first nominee in recent memory not to have released his medical records, or the first to have raised $1 billion dollars in private cash, or the first to have played 90 rounds of golf in his first three years in office. All of these may or may not be real issues, but they have always been real issues to the press and suddenly are no longer such—and Obama not only knows it, but enjoys knowing how the media exempts rather than audits him.  Does a Chris Matthews understand just how much contempt Obama has for someone so sycophantic as himself?

2) The second reason may well be that Barack Obama really did not “bust hump” to get into Occidental, Columbia, or Harvard, but in fact coasted the entire time. In other words, the record does not reflect an A-/B+ student whom affirmative action consideration can boost into the Ivy League, but perhaps a C+/B- (or worse?) student whom even “diversity” usually cannot. That would prove embarrassing in the sense that the myth of Michael Beschloss “smartest president ever” might be endangered (remember, PJ readers, the media, not us, iconize long ago college grades). A lackluster academic record might as well bring up the entire topic of affirmative action in a way not heretofore discussed. Finally, a dismal transcript might offer perspective on the Obama method of rhetoric over achievement….

It would be interesting to see Obama’s transcripts.  I don’t think it will happen.  The left likes to assume the right’s candidate is a dummy while theirs is brilliant.  If you can’t stand the answer, you don’t ask the question. 

5.  Top Ten Stories that were Underreported in 2011

This is the time of year for lists, everything from the best movies of the year, the top news stories of the year, best political quotes, etc. The list that few if any outlets report is the one of stories that were important and should have received wide-spread coverage, but were ignored by the mainstream media. Reports that would show the other side of an issue, and the lack of reporting is just more evidence that the mainstream media is in the tank for the progressive movement. What follows is my list of ten important stories that when unreported in 2011.

Chief Medicare Actuary Rips Obamacare In House Budget Committee Testimony - Richard Foster, the chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (the guy in charge of crunching the Medicare’s numbers) testified before the House Budget committee in late January and said that Obamacare would not suppress healthcare costs nor would it allow people to keep their present providers, a contradiction of the promise that Obama made to us.

9. Kathleen Sebelius Admits The Obamacare Books Were COOKED. They screamed, they begged, cajoled but everyone called them liars. Ever since the outline of the Obamacare began to be circulated people pointed out that the $500 billion dollars of Medicare savings were being double counted in the cost estimates….

8. The STUXNET Virus, Is Queen Esther Saving the Jewish People From Persia Again?  

7. NASA Gets Caught Faking Climate Change Data: The consensus of global warming predictions is that the seas would rise about 3 feet because of climate change in the 21st century. But satellite data proved that the first decade of the 21st century sea level grew by only 0.83 inches (a pace of just 8 inches for the entire century). Even worse there has been no rise since 2006. So the scientists at the University of Colorado’s NASA-funded Sea Level Research Group did what any other self-respecting global warming alarmists would do, they fudged the numbers. They simply added .3 millimeters per year to its Global Mean Sea Level Time Series. Now they could report that the sea level rise was accelerating, instead of what was actually happening--decelerating.

6. Cowardly President Obama Refuses To Address The Key Middle East Issue In May, the President made a major speech about the Middle East. He made demands about Israel returning to the 1949 armistice lines but didn’t make any demands of the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the Jewish State…

5. A Heck-of-a-Loophole: Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, Owes $1 Billion In Back Taxes In August, Billionaire friend of Obama, wrote an op-ed in the NY Times urging our government to stop coddling the super-rich and support Obama’s position that the rich should pay more taxes. What Buffet neglected to say is his own company; Berkshire Hathaway owes the federal government more than $1 billion in back taxes, a noted by Auditors in the Berkshire annual report…
4. Congresswoman Maxine Waters-Obama is Only The President of the African-Americans In Maxine Waters’ warped mind President Obama hasn’t screwed up the economy, he has only screwed it up for Black people. On the day the President was to make his major jobs speech in September, Waters complained that the first Black President has not shown enough love to African-Americans.

3) Congressman Steve Israel Betrays the Jewish State For Politics The fifth most important Democrat in Congress, who represents part of Long Island, Israel claims to be a huge supporter of the State of Israel and other Jewish causes. His deeds however, do not back up his words.

2. Obama’s Class Warfare Tactics Makes For Good Speeches—But He Isn’t Being Truthful. According to the IRS in 2009 (the last time they released these numbers) households making more than $1 million will paid an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes and payroll taxes, households making between $50,000 and $75,000 paid 15 percent of their income in federal taxes, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes and households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent. So what is the president really saying when he says people should pay their fair share.

1. Climategate II Emails Show US and British Gov.s Colluded With Scientists to Suppress Data That Would Disprove Global Warming. Just before Thanksgiving, more than 5,000 emails were leaked online as a follow-up to the first set of Climategate emails released two years ago. The emails written by government officials and some of the world’s leading scientific proponents of the global warming theory show a systemic suppression of evidence, reports being “blessed” even though scientists knew they were using approaches that deviated from scientific procedures and even worse, direction by people in the United States and British Governments to some of those scientists to hide evidence that would dispute the global warming theory….

A good list that folds into the previous two stories.  The MSM is in the tank for progressives in general and Obama in particular.  I think I would have put 7, 9, and 10 higher on the list. 

6.  Fake, Fake, Fake

In discussing the recent release of some 5,000 Climategate e-mails, blogger Anthony Watts uses the clever headline "They are real -- and they're spectacular." He credits Jerry Seinfeld as the source. Following his example, I choose the headline "Fake! Fake! Fake! Fake!" -- also taken from a Seinfeld episode -- in discussing the surface temperatures generally reported for the latter part of the 20th century; they form the science basis for prosperity-killing international climate policy.

Here I am using the word "fake" as an adjective, and not as a verb. I mean to say that the scientific conclusions derived from such temperatures are not real, but I don't imply that the values themselves have been purposefully altered or adjusted. We simply don't have any information to support such an accusation.

But I do claim that the commonly reported and accepted warming between 1978 and 2000 is based only on thermometers from land surface stations and is not supported by any other evidence that I could find. Specifically, ocean data (from 71% of the earth's surface) and global atmospheric data (as recorded by satellites and independent balloon-borne radiosondes) do not show such a warming at all. In addition, most proxy data, from non-thermometer sources such as tree rings, ocean sediments, ice cores, stalagmites, etc., show no warming during this same crucial period. (One has to be careful in this analysis since the year 1998 shows a major warming spike caused by a Super-El Niño. But by 1999 and 2000, temperatures had returned to pre-1998 values.)

Now, I am well aware of the fact that the recent release of the temperature data from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project does show a warming trend from 1978 to 2000. Many would jump to the conclusion that this represents confirmation of the existence of global warming -- or even of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). However, that would be an error in logic.

What the BEST result shows is that surface thermometers from the land area of the globe (about 29% of the earth's surface) show a warming trend. But this is not global warming. And BEST director Professor Rich Muller explicitly disclaims that his trend results indicate a human cause.

He also correctly points out that many of the weather stations used are badly distributed, mostly in the U.S. and western Europe, and possibly subject to local heating effects, such as urban heat islands. He cautions that a third of his monitoring stations show a cooling, not a warming. And that 70% of the U.S. stations are poorly situated and don't satisfy the requirements of the U.S. Weather Service. It is likely that stations elsewhere have similar problems….


Within the United States, and also elsewhere, global warming scares have become a means of transferring taxpayer money to politically influential cronies. There is now so much "crony capitalism" that it would be difficult to reverse or even stop the ongoing subsidies, outright grants, tax breaks, and other transfers to privileged groups.

Time is becoming short. We're reaching a tipping point -- not of the earth's climate, but of the financial schemes that permanently divert funds from productive activities into wasteful ones, all in the name of "saving the climate." The results are evident: higher levels of spending, deficits, or taxes; higher prices for energy and electricity and therefore for all manufactured goods; less productive activity; less employment; and more misery.

The Global Warming movement is over as a serious issue.  It has fallen to the emails and to the global economy. 

No comments:

Post a Comment