Friday, October 23, 2009

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due (Update Below)

Sometimes people do the right thing when you least expect it.

Via Fausta's Blog:

Charles Krauthammer explains,

Then on Thursday, the administration tried to make them complicit in an actual boycott of Fox. The Treasury Department made available Ken Feinberg, the executive pay czar, for interviews with the White House “pool” news organizations — except Fox. The other networks admirably refused, saying they would not interview Feinberg unless Fox was permitted to as well. The administration backed down.

I think maybe the journalists understand that what goes around comes around. When a Republican administration comes back (and let's hope that is sooner than later), they could just follow Obama's lead and only give interviews TO Fox News. If the media doesn't rise up against this now, then they will have no credibility to complain if that happens (I don't think it would happen with a Republican administration, but the media is better safe than sorry).

Also, read Krauthammer's article. It's excellent. It outlines this Chicago type politics that this administration came from. Did you know that Rahm Emanuel once sent a dead fish to a pollster? I didn't know that. It's like a movie about the mafia, really.

The more we know about this administration, the more surreal it is.

UPDATE: It seems the left is spreading a certain meme to prove that (heaven forbid!) the other networks were NOT standing up for Fox News. No, no, Talking Points Memo put this out to prove it was simply a technical issue:

Feinberg did a pen and pad with reporters to brief them on cutting executive compensation. TV correspondents, as they do with everything, asked to get the comments on camera. Treasury officials agreed and made a list of the networks who asked (Fox was not among them).

But logistically, all of the cameras could not get set up in time or with ease for the Feinberg interview, so they opted for a round robin where the networks use one pool camera. Treasury called the White House pool crew and gave them the list of the networks who'd asked for the interview.

The network pool crew noticed Fox wasn't on the list, was told that they hadn't asked and the crew said they needed to be included. Treasury called the White House and asked top Obama adviser Anita Dunn. Dunn said yes and Fox's Major Garrett was among the correspondents to interview Feinberg last night'

In reference to Manny's assertion that my post and Krauthammer is inaccurate, I didn't realize at the time he was quoting The Talking Point Memo. Which is laughable in itself. Not only leftwing, but known for it's own inaccuracies. Manny's supposedly "correct" version is an unsourced post by Christina Bellantoni at the leftwing Talking Points Memo. So please. I think I'll take Krauthammer over TPM any day.

What is amusing about this is that the left does not want anyone to IMAGINE that the other networks would show integrity by doing this. The bigger story here is, of course, that the White House tried to exclude a news organization and was rebuffed, whatever the reason you want to believe, even the TPM one, this is an embarrasement to the administration for trying to manipulate the media and failing.

But if you would like to hear from someone else on this instead of the left leaning TMP and the right leaning Krauthammer, how about White house reporter from CBS?:

"And on Thursday, the Treasury Department tried to exclude FOX News from pool coverage of interviews with a key official. It backed down after strong protests from the press.

"All the networks said, that's it, you've crossed the line," said CBS News White House correspondent Chip Reid."

Nice, Talking Points Memo, but your spin didn't work this time.

Update II: Another meme TPM tried to put out there (and picked up by the associated press I might add) was that Fox News hadn't asked for an interview and THAT was why Fox wasn't included. Yeah.... That isn't true either:

Today Fox News provided more details on the sequence of events to the Huffington Post.

“Of course we requested an interview,” Fox News Senior Vice President Michael Clemente told the Huffington Post.

This directly contradicts reports by the Associated Press and Talking Points Memo, both of which reported that the White House had excluded Fox News because it did not request an interview.

Clemente said that CBS News Washington Bureau Chief and current pool chairman Chris Isham — who did not respond to phone or e-mail requests for comment Saturday — received a call from the Treasury Department Thursday saying that Feinberg would be available to speak to all of the networks in the pool except for Fox News, and that Bloomberg would be included instead.

Clemente said that when Isham presented that scenario on a conference call with the other pool members — including Fox News — "they unanimously said, instantly, no, that's not gonna fly. Either Fox is in or none of us is doing it."

So, you guys who so desperately wanted to believe that the other networks wouldn't stand up for Fox News will have to accept the disappointment that they really did do the right thing and go against the Obama administration. Sorry.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

HHS Sec. Sebelius Could Learn Something From Her Cancer

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appeared before a Senate panel Wednesday with a bandage on her forehead and a puffy eye.

I wondered what had happened to Sec. Sebelius so I checked the WaPo and found this:

Sebelius had a basal cell carcinoma removed from her forehead on Tuesday during a successful standard outpatient procedure, according to HHS spokeswoman Jenny Backus.

"She is back fighting to get everyone the same good health care she has," Backus said in an e-mail.

She just had to throw that in there, didn't she?

Keep in mind that Sebelius recently said that she is "all for a single payer system eventually."

A single payer system like the NHS (National Health Service of Great Britain) perhaps? I happen to find someone online who also had a similar, although more rare, cancer, Merkel Cell Carcinoma. He found a spot above his elbow. You can go here to read his journey though the kind of system where "everyone receives the same good health care." It begins in June of 2004 and was last updated in August of 2008 (check out the photos linked on the left. They will freak you out).

If you think that is just one person, you might want to check out this helpful page called "CancerHelp UK." It has all kind of information for you if you are under the UK's nationalized health care system. Like this for instance:

"There can be quite a long wait to see a dermatologist. This can be very worrying if you are concerned you may have cancer. But non melanoma skin cancer takes years to develop in most cases. Waiting a few weeks isn't likely to do any harm."

You wouldn't have minded waiting, would you Ms. Sebelius?

If you read the journal link I posted above, you might get an idea of what happens when you wait a few weeks.

Ms. Sebelius, this is the kind of care you would have received under a single payer system or a government run "public option. So why don't you inform your spokesperson to not use your cancer scare as a propaganda piece for government run health care, when it is clear that you would never have received the kind of excellent care you did anywhere else but here, and without a government system.

Dick Cheney sets us straight on Afghan war policy

Everyone is talking about Dick Cheney's speech yesterday. Here's the money quote (via HotAir):

“Recently, President Obama’s advisors have decided that it’s easier to blame the Bush Administration than support our troops. This weekend they leveled a charge that cannot go unanswered. The President’s chief of staff claimed that the Bush Administration hadn’t asked any tough questions about Afghanistan, and he complained that the Obama Administration had to start from scratch to put together a strategy.

“In the fall of 2008, fully aware of the need to meet new challenges being posed by the Taliban, we dug into every aspect of Afghanistan policy, assembling a team that repeatedly went into the country, reviewing options and recommendations, and briefing President-elect Obama’s team. They asked us not to announce our findings publicly, and we agreed, giving them the benefit of our work and the benefit of the doubt. The new strategy they embraced in March, with a focus on counterinsurgency and an increase in the numbers of troops, bears a striking resemblance to the strategy we passed to them. They made a decision – a good one, I think – and sent a commander into the field to implement it.

“Now they seem to be pulling back and blaming others for their failure to implement the strategy they embraced. It’s time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity.”

This was necessary to say since White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel had said on the Sunday talk shows that the Obama administration had had to "start from scratch" in Afghanistan because there was no policy in place.

This is the astonishing thing. The Obama administration ASKED the Bush administration NOT to make these findings public and because the Bush White House agreed, they actually decided that it was ok to go on the news and LIE to the American people about it. Did they really think that they could get away with that? The ego involved here is mindboggling.

Here is the former Vice President of the United States clearly calling out this administration in a lie so egregious that it demands our full attention. I don't remember anything like this before. Will the MSM (other than Fox News) cover it? At 6:54 am central time I take a look at and see nothing at all about Cheney's speech. MSNBC? Nada. ABC News? If you click on Jake Tapper's page you will read about it. Why? Because Jake Tapper is one of the last great journalists who never lets his own politics effect his reporting. George Stephanopoulos mentions that Cheney "took a swipe" at the Obama administration. A swipe? Really? The Obama administration is lying about our war strategy and it's just "a swipe?" Seems the last time a White House was accused of lying about a war strategy, we couldn't pass by a newspaper or a news program without that point of view screaming at us. CBS news has zero about it in their "Top Political News," but thank goodness they have the important story of Michelle Obama hula hooping there.

I am beginning to wonder how much the msm is willing to ignore about this White House until they find their journalistic integrity again. That is, if they have any left.

Fox News Unhurt By White House Boycott

If you were wondering if Fox News has been damaged by the attacks of the White House, wonder no more.

For the week of October 12-18, amid MLB playoffs and "Monday Night Football" on ESPN, Fox News was the #4 cable network in primetime, averaging 2,098,000 total viewers — placing it behind only ESPN.

Just to compare.

MSNBC ranked #27 in primetime with 696,000 total viewers, while CNN came in at #28 with 674,000. In total day, CNN ranked #25 with 511,000 total viewers, while MSNBC did not place in the top 30.

Does anything this White House does ever work?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Obama's Enemies List

One of the reasons many people voted for Obama was because he promised a more civil tone in Washington. People believed that his friendly charismatic demeanor would mean a more bi-partisan cordial way of politics. Remember the "No red states, no blue states, only the United States" rhetoric? Well it seems it was only rhetoric. In nine short months the opposite has occurred.

As far as reaching across the aisle, Obama makes George Bush look like Gandhi in that regard.

Republicans have all but been shut out of the health care reform process. Obama is using Chicago type politics to "neuter" the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from its traditional Washington role as the chief representative for big business because it disagrees with the White house on Cap and Trade and the public option for health care reform. And most disturbing of all, he now uses the office of the Presidency to shut out a news organization.

This is beginning to be called what it enemies list. Sen. Lamar Alexander, familiar with the Nixon enemies list, being a 29 yr old staff aide in the White House at the time, is warning Obama that this is a very bad idea.

Alexander remembers back in 1971 that Nixon had a list of what he called “persons known to be active in their opposition to our Administration” and to "use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.” Many on that list were news organizations.

Is this sounding chillingly familiar?

Is Obama using the federal machinery to "screw political enemies?" You decide. The Obama administration, through The Department of Health and Human Services, imposed a gag order on a health care company, Humana, who had sent its Medicare Advantage customers warnings that their benefits might be reduced in Democratic health care reform proposals (the gag order has since been removed thanks to Republican Senator Mitch McConnell). The White House has also been reportedly "taking names” of bondholders who resisted the GM and Chrysler bailouts." Remember when Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, said to ABC that the stimulus plan wasn’t working? The White House then writes to the governor of Arizona and said, “If you don’t want the money, we won’t send it.”

One would hope that if Nixon taught us anything, it was that bullying and wielding power over the heads of those you are suppose to serve, only ends in humiliation and defeat.

The Obama administration would do well to learn from history and not repeat it's mistakes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Commentary from the Rush Limbaugh Show's Official Obama Criticizer, Bo Snerdley

Why Rush Limbaugh and Fox News Are So Popular

I can't get this video to embed here for some reason. But check out HotAir that has a CNN video explaining why people listen to Rush.

Here CNN attempts to explain why people listen to the likes of Rush Limbaugh. This is the usual absurdity from the "real" news channel that facts checks SNL skits.

If anyone is really interested, I thought I might explain why I think Fox News is the number one rated cable news, and why Rush is so rich and talk radio so popular. And it has nothing to do with us going along with the so called "bully." If anything, Rush is the kid on the playground keeping the bully (govt) from beating up us.

In the early 80's I couldn't wait to get my issue of National Review. I would sit down and read it cover to cover. I knew that I would get "the other side of the story" there. I was just becoming a conservative and I was young. But I knew already there was a liberal slant to the news because I used to believe in that slant. When I read the National Review, I just couldn't believe what the mainstream media had left out of any given story.

During the Reagan years the media turned even farther left. Reagan had the communication skills to overcome that, but for conservatives and libertarians watching the news became downright painful.

This, quite simply, is why Rush began his incredible rise to the top of talk radio. Finally someone was speaking to the conservative values that we embraced. It's almost like when someone lives in a foreign country and you miss America terribly. Then you find a radio station that is American based. You turn it on every day to hear your native language and hear the news from where you grew up. You didn't feel so alone. That is what listening to Rush was like in the '80's.

But even with talk radio, the evening news and CNN still drove us crazy. We would listen to a news story, and we knew the rest of the story that was being left out. We would yell at the TV, "Show some objectivity for heaven's sake! Tell us both sides!"

Then came Fox News, who promised "fair and balanced." And that is what they gave us. The hard news at Fox is as fair and objective as it gets. It doesn't get better or more objective than Brett Baier, Major Garrett, Shepard Smith, and Bill Hemmer to name just a few. The left and the White House sees it as right leaning simply because the news had never shown the right side AT ALL. So naturally hearing it as well drove them insane. Which is where you find the White House today, stomping their feet like a toddler with a temper tantrum, and refusing to go on Fox News. It's petty and it diminishes the office of the Presidency.

The White House's fight with Fox News is also a warning to the other news organizations. In the interviews with the rest of the mainstream media on Sunday, the White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel told CNN that President Obama does not want “the CNNs and the others in the world [to] basically be led in following Fox." In other words, don't pick up their stories that make us look bad. As Greta Van Susteren points out, it's not like the White House has been sending people to Fox News and now suddenly stopped. She says they haven't sent people sent January and obviously it hasn't effected their ratings or how they do their job.

But there is another reason Fox News is so popular. Obviously it isn't just conservatives watching Fox News. So why do people watch Fox News more than the others? Every day news organizations have editorial meetings. They get together and they decide which stories are interesting and important and should be on the air. Fox News is genius at this. While ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and CNN dismiss stories because they let their political bias get in the way, Fox News seizes upon them, and Fox is always right on the money. They are the stories that people want to see. That is why their ratings are so high. Many times the other news organizations are forced to follow because of the obvious interest in the story, like the Rev. Wright story. Other times they refuse to follow Fox News and get embarrassed. For example, when Van Jones resigned over his controversial past. They had to report that one of Obama's Czar's had quit over stories that they had never even bothered to cover.

We on the right have no problem with the left's point of view. We have never been afraid of debate. What we had a problem with was having our point of view ignored. With Fox News and talk radio, it isn't ignored anymore. And that is why they thrive.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Obama and The Black Urban Family

You might remember my post from a few days ago called "Emotional Adoption." Basically saying that if we don't step in and fill the void of fathers in the inner city, we will continue to see the drugs, violence, and crime we see now.

The WaPo has an excellent article up by a high school teacher who finally asked the children why they didn't try. They answered honestly:

Why don't you guys study like the kids from Africa?"

In a moment of exasperation last spring, I asked that question to a virtually all-black class of 12th-graders who had done horribly on a test I had just given. A kid who seldom came to class -- and was constantly distracting other students when he did -- shot back: "It's because they have fathers who kick their butts and make them study."

Another student angrily challenged me: "You ask the class, just ask how many of us have our fathers living with us." When I did, not one hand went up.

This is one issue that Obama and myself agree. And Obama has said the right things (even to the point where he riled up Jesse Jackson, always a sign you are doing something right)

Here are a few excerpts from his speech to the NAACP:

"...more than half a century after Brown v. Board, the dream of a world-class education is still being deferred all across the country. African American students are lagging behind white classmates in reading and math -- an achievement gap that is growing in states that once led the way in the civil rights movement. Over half of all African American students are dropping out of school in some places."

Unfortunately Obama starts out citing a dozen different way of throwing more money at the problem, which we know doesn't work. I think Obama knows that too, but has to tow the liberal line, but he goes on to say:

"Government programs alone won't get our children to the Promised Land."

Then he gets to the crux of it that he and I agree:

We've got to say to our children, yes, if you're African American, the odds of growing up amid crime and gangs are higher. Yes, if you live in a poor neighborhood, you will face challenges that somebody in a wealthy suburb does not have to face. But that's not a reason to get bad grades. That's not a reason to cut class. That's not a reason to give up on your education and drop out of school. No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands -- you cannot forget that. That's what we have to teach all of our children. No excuses. No excuses.


To parents -- to parents, we can't tell our kids to do well in school and then fail to support them when they get home. You can't just contract out parenting. For our kids to excel, we have to accept our responsibility to help them learn. That means putting away the Xbox, putting our kids to bed at a reasonable hour. It means attending those parent-teacher conferences and reading to our children and helping them with their homework.

But where Obama really came down hard on the absent dads was in a speech in a large black Chicago Church in June of 2008:

Too many fathers are M.I.A, too many fathers are AWOL, missing from too many lives and too many homes,” Mr. Obama said, to a chorus of approving murmurs from the audience. “They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.”

Obama doesn't mince words or specifics here either: In Texas in February '08, Mr. Obama told the mostly black audience to take responsibility for the education and nutrition of their children, and lectured them for feeding their children “cold Popeyes” for breakfast.


Just an aside, but can someone tell me why Obama can say that with no problem, but when Michael Steele says he's going to bring "Fried chicken and potato salad" to woo African Americans, the left side of the blogosphere goes nuts?

I suggest to anyone who has a problem with people referring to blacks liking fried chicken, to go get a room at The Reality Hotel (although I honestly think it's more a southern thing, than a black thing).

Also in Obama's speech:

“But we also need families to raise our children,” he said. “We need fathers to realize that responsibility doesn’t just end at conception. That doesn’t just make you a father. What makes you a man is not the ability to have a child. Any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.”

Mr. Obama spoke of the burden that single parenthood was on his mother, who raised him with the help of his maternal grandparents.

“I know the toll it took on me, not having a father in the house,” he continued. “The hole in your heart when you don’t have a male figure in the home who can guide you and lead you. So I resolved many years ago that it was my obligation to break the cycle — that that if I could be anything in life, I would be a good father to my children.”

Obama may be the only one who can say the things that need to be said. If he would like a truly remarkable legacy for his Presidency, then this should be his focus. Changing a generation of inner city African Americans into successful and happy human beings that don't leave their babies, that don't turn to drugs, and don't end up in prison.

Talk about bi partisan support.

All of us, white or black, Democrat, or Republican feel sadness for what our inner cities have become. We desperately want someone to address it, to fix it, to show those living with limited means that you can make a good life for yourself.

I believe this is possible. But we have to stop wringing our hands and do something. We have to demand out leaders do something. No one has the ear of those mired in poverty and drugs more than our President right now. He can really make a difference here.

I hope he does.