This blog is mainly about the spectacular train wreck at The Sacramento Bee and its parent company, the McClatchy Company. But I also post about current events, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, politics, anything else that grabs my attention. Take a look around this blog, hope you enjoy it.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Thursday Spetember 17 -- Got news or an update?
If you have news or an update, leave it in comments. . . .
Working Class Zero
. . .
For average Americans, the last 10 years were a lost decade. At the end of President George W. Bush’s eight years in office, American households had less money and less economic security, and fewer of them were covered by health care than 10 years earlier, the Census Bureau reported in its annual survey.
. . .
Of course this reflects the ravages of a horrid recession. But the decline started before the collapse in the housing and financial sectors — and it was calculated, in the eyes of some.
. . .
Harvard economist Lawrence Katz called it “a plutocratic boom.” If anything comes close to defining the era, that would be my nomination. President Bush cut $1.3 trillion in taxes — and the biggest beneficiaries by far were the top 1 percent of earners. At the same time, Wall Street was inflated by the helium of a regulation-free economy that eventually gave us Bernie Madoff and banks begging for bailouts.
Now consider the people who showed up in a state of generalized rage in Washington over the weekend. They have no leaders, save a self-described rodeo clown — Glenn Beck of Fox News — and some well-funded Astroturf outfits from the permanent lobbying class inside the Beltway. They are loosely organized under a Tea Party movement, but these people are closer to British Tories than 18th century patriots with a love of equality.
And they have the wrong target.
Mark Williams, a Sacramento talk radio host, was speaking to CNN on behalf of the demonstrators — many of whom carried signs comparing Obama to a witch doctor, an undocumented worker or a Nazi — when he played the blue collar card.
Who is Williams? A garden variety demagogue who calls Obama “an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug” and the Democratic party “a domestic enemy” of America. He also refers to the president as “racist in chief.” That says all you need to know about leaders of the Tea Party movement.
Williams repeatedly invoked the “working stiffs” who feel left out. Working people are always the last to get aboard the gravy train, and the first to be used in campaigns that will not advance their cause. And with these demonstrators, and the hucksters trying to distract them from real issues, history repeats itself.
Where was the Tea Party movement when the tax burden was shifted from the high end to the middle? Where were the patriots when Wall Street, backed in Congress by Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, rewrote securities laws so that the wonder boys of Lehman and A.I.G. could reduce home mortgages to poker chips at a trillion-dollar table?
Where were the angry “stiffs” when the banking industry rolled the last Congress — majority Democrat, by the way — into rewriting bankruptcy law, making it easier to keep people in permanent credit card hock?
Where were they when President Bush started the bailouts, with $700 billion that had to be paid on a few days’ notice — with no debate — to save global capitalism?
They were nowhere, because they were clueless, just as most journalists were.
. . .
One more detail caught my eye in these new economic reports on the lost decade. People in their prime earning years — age 45 to 54 — took the biggest hit in the last years of the Bush Administration, their median income falling by $5,000. And the region that suffered most — the South.
Older southern whites — that’s who got hit hardest by the freewheeling decade now fading. They should be angry. But they’re five years too late.
Fox News reports fake murder story from ACORN video as fact
After Andrew Breitbart posted a video of an ACORN employee in San Bernardino, California, claiming that she had killed her ex-husband, Fox News' Glenn Beck, Karl Rove, Greta Van Susteren, and Sean Hannity promoted it without fact-checking it or indicating that they had contacted ACORN for a response to the claim. In fact, ACORN stated that the employee made up the story because she recognized that the actors in the video "were clearly playing with" her so she "matched their false scenario with her own false scenarios," and, indeed, the San Bernardino Police Department has said her claim is false.
The GOP Is Too Crazy to Be Racist
Not to go all Maureen Dowd on you, but today's Republican Party is a lot like the line from that old Brando movie, The Wild One. Somebody asks Brando, "What're you rebelling against, Johnny?" And he says, "Whaddya got?"
With all due respect to former President Carter, he is wrong when he says that "an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man... that he's African American."
Perhaps someone who grew up in the rural South as Carter did is more likely to see race as the basis for the Republicans' outrageous behavior over the last few months. It is undeniable -- undeniable -- that people like Matt Drudge and Glenn Beck are consciously stoking racial fears.
And yet, the color of the President's skin does not matter to the lunatics dictating the direction of the Republican Party. I mean, it matters in that it's icing on the cake -- but they were baking regardless of all that.
Scores of Republican activists would've accused President Hillary Clinton of setting up "death panels." Rallies would've been filled with Hitler mustaches painted on the portrait of President John Edwards. A grandstanding GOP congressman would've shouted "You lie!" at President Bill Richardson.
Why? Think back to the fall of 2007 (even earlier than that, maybe). Hillary Clinton was the Democratic front-runner, staking out a cautious path to the White House. And what did we see on what seemed like every Republican website? Big ads for black t-shirts showing Hillary with a red slash over her neck, sandwiched between the words, "RE-DEFEAT COMMUNISM; 2008."
The point is that there is no method to their madness. The hardcore whatever-they-are's at these rallies would be there no matter what. How did anyone ever get the idea that these protests are actually about something? And I don't just mean policies or race, I mean anything.
It just goes to show that if you say something loud enough and long enough, you will drown out the truth. Remember how these rallies started organizing during President Obama's first month in office? It was so very clear that they were about nothing -- that they were parties for sore losers and extremists. Yay! Bring some crazy signs! Wrap yourself in the flag and call everyone else a traitor! Woo-hoo! The media, politicians, people in general saw all that for what it was: a bunch of loonies who were bummed that the guy they hate won.
That's one thing. People like that have always been around. They will always be around. What's different is that a political party has never adopted them before.
Because as the rallies met again and again, the Republican Party and their echo chamber got even more into it each time. This was, they said, proof of grassroots opposition to the President's policies. Wrong. It got bigger because Republican bigwigs realized they couldn't compete with Democrats on ideas; that Americans will reject the Bush-Cheney portfolio they continue to use today. So, they figured out something not-so-secret: policy discussions make for boring TV; loud anti-everything rallies make for great TV!... Who needs ideas, anyway?
So they're putting everything they've got into feeding this beast of boisterousness. Are there some racists out among the crowd? Absolutely. Is race an overtone? You bet. But -- and it's a big 'but' -- is "the overwhelming portion" of it based on race as President Carter contends? No.
John R. Bohrer
Over the past few days, I've written about the wildly outsized claims of czars in the Obama administration undermining the government. Republican Senators are sending letters and GOP House members are holding up posters and attempting to pass thoroughly baffling bills to prevent the Obama White House from appointing advisers.
These elected officials seem to be unaware of some basic facts. Many of the people they insist need to be confirmed by the Senate already have been confirmed. Many of the people they consider to be holding unprecedented appointments are merely filling well-established positions. In some cases, these lawmakers seem to have forgotten that they themselves passed laws that mandated the appointments. And in a few cases, they just select some established functionary at random -- like a State Department envoy or the Deputy Secretary of the Interior -- and call that guy a "czar" just for fun!
All of these fears and complaints are indicative of either a powerful desire to mislead or an advanced mental disease that hopefully Dr. Charles Boustany will be able to treat, with some sort of Louisiana voodoo poultice.
And of course, it's always worth pointing out that "czars" (the term itself being nothing more than a media shorthand standing in for long government titles and/or complex portfolios) have been a fact of life in American politics since the Nixon administration. And it's equally worth pointing out that the Bush administration itself deployed a veritable flotilla of czars.
The latter point is being made abundantly clear in a new Democratic National Committee ad entitled "Dancing With The Czars," which employs the services of Fox News's own Glenn Beck to elucidate some of the 47 Bush czars that walked the face of the earth before the Obama administration came to the White House.
"With apologies to Tom DeLay, and despite the railing you're hearing from the Republican caucus room and Fox News, the GOP has been 'dancing with czars' for a very long time. The unmitigated hypocrisy of these attacks not only speaks to the credibility of this manufactured controversy, but to the inability of the Republican party to say no to the marching orders doled out by Glenn Beck and the far right's noise machine," said DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan.
Louisiana (Gannett) papers consolidating printing (Gannettoid.com)
Gannett's The Town Talk in Alexandria, La., will lay off about 40 employees when it shifts its printing next month to Lafayette, La., according to a Wednesday memo.
Leslie Hurst, Gannett's vice president of the South group and publisher of The Daily Advertiser in Lafayette announced the move in a memo obtained by Gannettoid.com. In the memo, Hurst said, "this decision was not made lightly, but is the result of a great deal of thought and research to ensure that we are making the best decision for both operations."
According to a story published Wednesday on The Town Talk's Web site, most of the 40 positions to be cut are part-time.
According to the memo, the move begins with the Oct. 27 edition.
What Would a Communist Do? (American Thinker)
The best person to answer that question would be a communist. Since I don't have a communist under my bed (I looked), I turned to the Communist Party USA as a source. Here then, is my report on what the CPUSA has been up to recently (or at least what it is willing to post on its public web site). http://www.cpusa.org/
(Some of you might be thinking it a bit retro to call someone a communist. I am very aware that we cannot read what is written in the heart of another man.
But when a person is a member of the Communist Party, calls himself a communist, and justifies his arguments based on the teachings of Marx and Lenin, I think it safe to call him a communist.)
The liberal media's ACORN blackout
NY Post (Michelle Malkin)
UNDERCOVER journal ism is only acceptable when it fits a liberal agenda. That's the message from professional reporters and left-wing activists outraged by the successful video stings targeting President Obama's old friends at the left-wing, tax-subsidized outfit ACORN.
Summing up the ACORN Housing Corp. philosophy, a Brooklyn ACORN official told BigGovernment.com's James O'Keefe (playing a pimp) and Hannah Giles (posing as a prostitute) bluntly: "Honesty is not going to get you the house."
ACORN spokesman Scott Levenson blasted the investigation as gotcha journalism.
That would be gotcha multiplied by at least five: The pair has so far caught ACORN operatives dispensing illicit advice in Washington, DC, Baltimore, San Bernardino and San Diego, as well as in the Brooklyn office.
Olbermann, Maddow ratings = abysmal
Apparently, there isn't a very big market of people eager to hear blowhards like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow ceaselessly trumpet the hackneyed, old canard which says that any disagreement with President Obama's far-left policies must necessarily be rooted in racism.
On what, pray tell, do Olbermann and Maddow blame their own pathetic ratings?
Certainly they can't blame racism. I humbly suggest that their dismal numbers are a result of the fact that few Americans - of any skin color - can stomach the sight or sound of a hateful, raging, smug, intolerant, glib, close-minded white ideologue, any more than they can stomach a black ideologue of similar description.
Rangel: The Most Corrupt Dem? (Human Events)
First there was “Countrywide Chris” Dodd (D-Conn.), whose combination of poor judgment and possible corruption qualifies him to be Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.
Then there was Tim “TurboTax” Geithner, whose false tax return filings qualify him to be Secretary of the Treasury.
And now, in keeping with the Democrats’ recent tendency to have scoundrels in the highest positions involving regulation of the nation’s finances, we have the Chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), who recently filed amended financial disclosure reports showing a net worth about double what he had previously reported.
New Footage Purports to Show ACORN Worker Helping 'Pimp,' 'Prostitute'
On the same day that the anti-poverty group ACORN announced the launch of an "internal review" after four undercover videos exposed its workers offering advice on how to skirt federal laws, a fifth video surfaced that purports to show a worker offering to help bring underage girls into the U.S. for the purposes of prostitution.
The latest video was filmed in San Diego by conservative activist James O'Keefe, 25, and partner Hannah Giles, 20, who posed as a pimp and prostitute as they did in their previous undercover stings.
In the latest video, O'Keefe asked the man if Tijuana is the best place to bring the girls to cross over into the U.S.
News Outlets Largely Ignoring ACORN Scandal, Critics Say (FoxNews.com)
Employees at no fewer than four ACORN offices have been caught on videotape advising a man and a woman on how to skirt federal law to obtain housing and operate a brothel — but you'd hardly know it if all you watch and read are the mainstream media, conservative media critics say.
"A major national scandal and none of the broadcast networks is covering it," said Dan Gainor, vice president for business and culture at the Media Research Center.
"This is the news media in the era of Van Jones and President Obama.
The major outlets cover what they want and create the themes they want."
A search of transcripts through Monday at NBC, CBS and MSNBC revealed no national TV coverage of the growing ACORN scandal.
CNN and ABC, meanwhile, have run some segments on the matter, including a quick mention during Saturday's "Good Morning America."
ABC NEWS FINALLY DISCUSSING ACORN!! (Can't Ignore the Elephant in the Room Any Longer) WABC Radio
ABC News just lead off its 3:00 p.m. radio newscast with a report on ACORN, including comments at today's condemnation by Gobbs at the Whitehouse Presser!!
Just like Van Jones, they lamestream media can no longer ignore this huge political story!
I guess once John Stewart made fun of Press for ignoring the story, the alphabet networks and the print media to go after ACORN -- including the LA Times and the NYT -- were shamed into reporting the story.
Kudos to Fox News, Glenn Beck, Hannity, Breitbart and those two young folks who risked it all to get the truth out!!
Obama’s Direct and Lucrative Ties to ACORN (Canada Free Press)
Since Obama announced his run for the presidency of the United States of America, some us have been reporting on the direct ties—both ideological and financial—between Obama and his voter-fraud and massive-corruption organization ACORN.
Thus far, any and all attempts to investigate ACORN have been blocked by ObamaThugs and the Democrat-run Congress.
As a reminder, the below are only a few of the direct ties and activities that the Obama pretender-to-the-throne has engaged in with ACORN.
In a number of crucial cases, Obama was the Attorney for the Chicago ACORN chapter and he used them to assist him in his run for the Illinois State Senate in 1996
•In 1992, prior to his working as ACORN’s attorney, Obama was Executive Director of ACORN subsidiary “Project Vote” Obama trained ACORN workers
•While sitting on the board of the Woods Foundation, Obama and domestic terrorist William Ayers—who is also a major Obama fundraiser—arranged for grants for ACORN
•While both on the board of Chicago’s Annenberg Challenge—Ayers and Obama with Obama as Chairman—funds were funneled to ACORN
•In his run for the Democrat presidential nomination, Obama paid ACORN subsidiary “Citizen’s Services, Inc.” over $830,000 to engage in ACORN ‘get out the vote’ activities (these would later be called the Obama-ACORN Voter Fraud Alliance)
•ACORN is falsely registered as “non-partisan,” as its leader Maude Hurd endorsed Obama for president
•Tax dollars collected from US citizens are paying for this Obama and Democrat Party fraud voter fraud group. Did you know that?
The USA is for all its legal and true citizens. It is not for the criminals—no matter what elevated heights and positions they may have achieved…or usurped.
Not long ago Obama Promises Seat Acorn a seat at Table. Today, Obama Drives Bus Over Acorn. (Politico)
Obama said 12/01/07, "Before I even get inaugurated, during the transition we're going to being calling all of you in to help us shape the agenda.
We're gonna be having meetings all over the country with community organizations so that you all have input into the agenda of the next presidency of the United States of America" Senator Obama 12/01/07
Today "the One" has his puppet say, "Obviously, the conduct that you see on those tapes is completely unacceptable.
I think everyone would agree to that," Gibbs said. "The administration takes accountability extremely seriously."
Why Are Embezzlement Coverup Conspirators Still at ACORN? (American Spectator)
ACORN did the right thing in firing employees who advised a couple on the finer legal points of establishing a child prostitution ring but ACORN officials who covered up a nearly $1 million embezzlement for eight years still have their jobs, the ACORN 8 declared in a statement today.
Members of ACORN 8, a reform group founded by former ACORN national board members Marcel Reid and Karen Inman, released a statement today regarding the three videos that have surfaced so far that show ACORN employees telling two undercover journalists posing as a pimp and prostitute how to launder money, evade taxes, defraud banks, and conceal the fictitious scenario the duo cooked up.
Although the ACORN workers caught behaving badly "were immediately terminated for behaving unprofessionally...senior staff members who assisted and concealed a million dollar Rathke embezzlement remain employed," ACORN 8 said in the release.
Reid and Inman were expelled from the ACORN board after they asked uncomfortable questions about ACORN's finances in the wake of an embezzlement scandal involving ACORN founder Wade Rathke.
Rathke covered up his brother Dale's circa 2000 theft of $948,000in ACORN funds but the long-hidden misappropriation was revealed last year and this led to the founder's expulsion from the group.
Reid and Inman were appointed by the board to probe the group's finances.
When they tried to actually do so, the same people who helped Rathke engineer and sustain a coverup showed them the door.
Politico’s Mike Allen: Networks Have to Cover ‘Real News;' Too Busy to Talk About ACORN
The Politico’s Mike Allen appeared on Wednesday’s Morning Joe to both defend the mainstream media’s decision to ignore the ACORN controversy and agree that a double standard is at work.
SEIU is “One of the Pillars of the ACORN Family” (Big Government)
For one of Big Labor’s most notorious organizing partners, ACORN, the “chickens have come home to roost” thanks to the James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles continuously unfolding ACORN exposé.
If you rely on MSNBC for your news, you may not have noticed ACORN’s very thin “community organizer” veneer being sanded away exposing the rotten termite-infested wood underneath.
Part of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now’s (ACORN) rotten core includes a very cozy relationship with Big Labor.
In fact, in many instances ACORN and Big Labor are one and the same. In 2008, Big Labor funneled ACORN millions of dollars for so-called organizing activity. But, that is only the tip of the Big Labor iceberg.
ACORN controls or significantly dominates several Big Labor unions and organizations. ACORN created and controls SEIU 100 (Gulf Region) and SEIU 880 (a recently expanded SEIU mega-local that covers Chicago, Illinois, Indiana, and Kansas).
ACORN founder S. Wade Rathke referred to mega-union SEIU 880 as “one of the pillars of the ACORN Family.”
New York City freezes ACORN funds, Cuomo launches probe
The media may be trying as hard as possible to ignore the series of undercover videos taken at ACORN offices around the nation, but politicians don’t have that luxury.
Even in New York, both state and city officials have reacted to voter outrage over the actions of ACORN staffers offering advice on hiding tax evasion and child prostitution, especially since these offices run in part on taxpayer money.
The New York Post reports that the city council in NYC have suspended payments to ACORN pending further investigation, and that Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo has launched an investigation
ACORN: "We knew they were filming us so we played along for laughs"
The latest thigh-slapper from the gangsters at ACORN.
Surprise: ACORN audit to be conducted by panel full of leftists and cronies (HotAir)
“A Soros hack, an SEIU thug, someone who pleaded to lying to the FBI, and a Kennedy.”
All that’s missing are a few pimps and prostitutes for “technical expertise.”
Hardest-hitting internal investigation evah:
“Two white kids from the cast of High School Musical with $3k and their grandmother’s chinchilla broke this story!
It costs CNN $3k to turn on their holograph machine!
I do fake news and I’m embarassed these kids broke this story!”
...Jon Stewart on ACORN and the MSM media blackout
Rasmussen : ObamaCare more unpopular than ever (Hot Air)
And on the seventh day since Barack Obama gave The Word to a joint session Congress, the voters have seen ObamaCare and pronounced it … not good.
Rasmussen now reports that opposition to ObamaCare has hit its highest level yet at 55%, with its low equaling its August nadir:
One week after President Obama’s speech to Congress, opposition to his health care reform plan has reached a new high of 55%.
The latest Rasmussen Reports daily tracking poll shows that just 42% now support the plan, matching the low first reached in August.
ABC World News Boss on Ignoring ACORN: 'We're Not in the Business of Noise'
Backing up his anchorman, Charles Gibson, who suggested on the radio that maybe the ACORN story "is just one you leave to the cables," World News executive Jon Banner extended the liberal snobbery on Politico:
While Banner admits that some stories may get more attention on cable, blogs or talk radio, it doesn’t mean they’re suited for the "World News" audience.
"There’s a tremendous amount of – for lack of a better word –‘noise’ out there. We’re not in the business of noise."
ABC can devote entire segments to Obama swatting a fly on camera, but they report "news," not "noise"?
Banner also claimed: "It’s a very different editorial process when you have 24 hours to fill as opposed to 22 minutes," Banner said, explaining why ACORN hasn’t yet fit in the evening newscast.
Lately, Banner noted that the program has been focused on covering Afghanistan, health care, the economy and the anniversary of 9/11.
The Uselessness of Paul Krugman
There’s nothing liberals love more than apologizing for the misdeeds of others.
Recently in the New York Times Magazine, Paul Krugman took it to an extreme with his 6,670-word article titled “How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?”.
Don’t bother reading it. It’s clear that he still doesn’t get it and definitely isn’t looking for any real answers.
Just the length of the piece is comical. We imagine poor Paul gazing out the window of his New York Times office searching for just one more quote, one more study, one more insight to help redeem his profession and his reputation in the wake of the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Because in Krugman’s ivory tower and on the Times editorial board, economics still matters and no debate about stimulus packages or health care plans or financial regulation would be complete without his unique and important insights.
He’s too big to fail and worth every word. And who could edit him anyway? He won a Nobel Prize.
Over here in reality, most of us already know that he and those that follow in his footsteps have no reputation to salvage. ...
Fiat CEO: Chrysler worse than we thought
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The situation at recently rescued Chrysler Group is even more dire than first thought, the CEO of Italy's Fiat -- which came to the aid of the U.S. automaker -- said Wednesday.
"We were surprised by how little had been done in the past 24 months," Sergio Marchionne told reporters in Frankfurt, Germany.
Chrysler will present a revised business plan in November, Marchionne told reporters.
Baucus Plan Allows for Fines Up to $3,800 for Failing to Get Health Insurance (foxnews.com)
Families who fail to get health insurance could be fined up to $3,800 under a health care reform plan proposed
Today the first four posts are from liberal trolls. The thuggish trolls have met the goal to clog this blog with garbage in the first posts. Why would conservatives want two Huffington posts, another from the Soros Media Matters, and one titled, ‘The GOP Is Too Crazy to Be Racist’? This is not a freedom of speech issue. These trolls know exactly what they are doing. During the last election, trolls were paid to interrupt blogs that were unfavorable to Obama. Now that news unfavorable to Obama floods the internet they are back out in force. Just as we need to stop socialism, we need to stop these liberal infiltrators that would ruin this blog. They are following Alinsky’s rules, and they must not succeed. Tomorrow it will be even more liberal articles the majority don’t want to read. Where does it stop?
Pelosi: I'm clueless about cash cut-off (ACORN.........) (NYPOST)
WASHINGTON -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said yesterday she is clueless about an amendment to prohibit government funds for embattled ACORN, although it overwhelmingly passed the Senate Monday and the White House is calling for the group to be held accountable.
"I don't even know what they passed," Pelosi told The Post yesterday. "What did they do? They defunded it?"
The amendment to suspend housing grants was a stunning blow to the community-activist group -- and came as some Democrats and the White House have been backing away from the group.
The vote was preceded by the release of videos by conservative activists posing as a pimp and prostitute soliciting -- and receiving -- tips from ACORN employees about how to shield income, avoid taxes and set up a brothel.
Where does it stop?
I am wondering the same thing. Surely the blog master realizes that they are flooding his blog with leftist propaganda to harm it.
...they are flooding his blog with leftist propaganda to harm it...
Translation: We don't want to read anything we don't already agree with. It's too confusing to have to consider opposing viewpoints.
Translation: We don't want to read anything we don't already agree with. It's too confusing to have to consider opposing viewpoints.
I, for one, appreciate your posting these articles. Sometimes taking a break from reality is relaxing. Not as relaxing as aiding in the exploitation of 13 year old sex slaves, but as relaxing as it gets for us old racist uptight white conservatives.
5:32 hmmm -- according to this link, Mike Allen from Politco said the ACORN story is newsworthy, and he also said MSM was too slow covering it.
7:09 deleted for violating the rules.
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