Friday, March 01, 2013

Again:  Obama says one thing and does another

President Obama told a meeting of the National Governors Association: "At some point, we've got to do some governing. And certainly, what we can't do is keep careening from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis." Really?

Yes, really. He added, referring to the sequestration: "These cuts do not have to happen. Congress can turn them off anytime with just a little bit of compromise."

Obama has repeatedly demonstrated that he does not consider himself bound by a duty of good faith to square with the American people. He has shown that he is unafraid to utter the most egregious distortions and exaggerations; he has no fear of being called on them.

Just consider the few assertions I've cited. "At some point, we've got to do some governing." Does he mean that at some point, he needs to quit using every possible opportunity to play golf on the public's dime, that he should stop treating the people's White House as a platform for permanently campaigning, that he intends to forgo his Alinskyite tactics of bullying and demonizing in lieu of dealing with issues on the merits, that he aims to quit flouting his legal obligation to present a budget and that he will begin to exercise leadership over his party and pressure its leaders in the Senate to pass a budget? I didn't think so.

How about his statement that we can't keep careening from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis? Does he mean that he is finally going to renounce his policy, first divulged by his former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, not to let a crisis go to waste, that he regrets having painted a false picture of crisis about the nation's uninsured to force Obamacare through Congress, that he is sorry that he used the 2008 financial collapse as an excuse to enact recklessly irresponsible bills to spend more borrowed money under the guise of stimulating the economy, that he is sorry he leapt on the Sandy Hook shootings to begin a frantic manufactured-crisis-driven crusade to ratchet up his effort to severely restrict the rights of gun owners, that he plans to repent for falsely laying the blame for our disgracefully unbalanced budgets on the "rich," who are already contributing more than their fair share, that he is going to square with the American people about the shameless hyperbole and corruption in his environmental agenda and cease and desist from his dishonest fear-mongering about carbon emissions to advance that agenda, that he is sorry for exaggerating the effects of the Gulf oil spill in order to justify breaching his promises to remove restrictions on offshore drilling and that he is going to quit pretending that America's infrastructure is in a crisis state of repair in order to fuel his case for ever-greater government control and the creation of public-sector jobs? I didn't think so.

Indeed, if Obama is so weary of crisis governance, of which he is the peerless master, then why is he using these very same speeches to manufacture a phony crisis over the sequestration? We are talking about very small-percentage cuts here, mostly in the rate of spending increases.

If Obama were interested in changing his MO from crisis-mongering to governance -- instead of doubling down on his effort to expand the scope, reach and control of the federal government at any cost, literally -- then he would quit characterizing every single activity of the enormously wasteful federal government as an essential service.

Private-sector businesses don't enjoy the luxury of simply injecting public funds into their ailing enterprises to avoid cutting expenditures they can't afford. Are private-sector businesses and employees that much less important to Obama than public-sector services and employees? Silly question.

In his ongoing crisis-stoking, Obama never laments the real economic destruction his own policies have already caused. When he does deign to acknowledge economic difficulties, he callously understates the dismal conditions we're experiencing -- and the hardship people are already enduring as a result of his ideological intransigence against cutting spending and reforming entitlements.

But what makes Obama's oratorical flurry against crisis governance an even more insulting farce is that we do have a real, wholly unmanufactured crisis looming that will affect far more than a limited number of government jobs and programs. At the risk of breaking an already broken record, I'd like to point out again that we are going bankrupt because Obama won't agree to spending cuts and entitlement reform.

It is time that he quit playing games and insulting our intelligence by blaming Republicans for the sequestration he authored and for allegedly refusing to compromise when they are the ones who have compromised. They have done so on taxes, whereas he has refused to compromise on spending and entitlements. You make a deal with Obama, and he moves the goal posts.

Seriously, how can Obama continue this charade with a straight face? How long will the public tolerate it?



Pro-homosexual bias at The Washington Post

If you're a reporter at the Washington Post and you aspire to write unsigned editorials, just send an email to the ombudsman.

That's a lesson one might draw from yesterday's extraordinary column by Patrick Pexton, the veteran journalist who, according to the Post's website, "represents readers who have concerns or complaints" about "accuracy, fairness, ethics and the newsgathering process." One such reader wrote to both Pexton and a Post reporter to complain that the paper's coverage of same-sex marriage gives "short shrift" to "the conservative, pro-family side of the argument."

Pexton, who withholds the names of both the reader and the reporter "at their requests," quotes the reporter's response at length: "The reason that legitimate media outlets routinely cover gays is because it is the civil rights issue of our time.

 Journalism, at its core, is about justice and fairness, and that's the 'view of the world' that we espouse; therefore, journalists are going to cover the segment of society that is still not treated equally under the law."

The reader wrote back: "The mission of journalism is not justice. Defining justice is a political matter, not journalistic. Journalism should be about accuracy and fairness."

Whereupon the reporter dug in: "Should the media make room for racists, i.e. those people who believe that black people shouldn't marry white people? Any story on African-Americans wouldn't be wholly accurate without the opinion of a racist, right? Of course I have a bias. I have a bias toward fairness. The true conservative would have the same bias. The true conservative would want the government out of people's bedrooms, and religion out of government."

In addressing the disagreement, Pexton acknowledges his own bias on the subject and his incomprehension of opposing arguments:

Many Americans feel that allowing gay men and lesbians to marry diminishes the value of their heterosexual marriages. I don't understand this. The lesbian couple down the street raising two kids or the two men across the hall in your condominium--how do those unions take anything away from the sanctity, fidelity or joy you take in your heterosexual marriage? Isn't your marriage, at root, based on the love and commitment you have for your spouse, not what you think about the neighbors?

That's a straw man. We've been following this debate for years, and we've never heard opponents claim that same-sex marriage would diminish or endanger their own marriages. Their arguments are based on morality, tradition, and worries about the effects on the institution of marriage, on society as a whole, and on the rights of individuals and institutions that adhere to the traditional view of marriage. The merits of those concerns are of course debatable, but Pexton is either obtuse or disingenuous in reducing them to a nonsensical appeal to self-interest.

Even so, the reporter's self-righteous rant went too far for the ombudsman. Pexton concludes by agreeing with the reader that the Post "should do a better job of understanding and conveying to readers, with detachment and objectivity, the beliefs and the fears of social conservatives." Along the way he comes very close to conceding outright the paper's liberal bias:

Because our profession lives and dies on the First Amendment--one of the libertarian cornerstones of the Constitution--most journalists have a problem with religionists telling people what they can and cannot do. We want to write words, read books, watch movies, listen to music, and have sex and babies pretty much when, where and how we choose.

That "libertarian" is quite a dodge. Most journalists are anything but libertarian in areas where that would mean siding against the left, such as guns, education, taxes, nonsexual health care and nonmedia corporate free speech. And as blogress Mollie Hemingway notes, Pexton's disparagement of those who disagree with him as "religionists," which means zealots, is invidious. Was Martin Luther King a religionist?

The anonymous reporter, however, goes far beyond bias, and even beyond bad faith--that is, beyond abusing his credibility as an "objective" reporter to further his cause. To judge by his emails to the reader, he has achieved a perfect Orwellian inversion. He has convinced himself that objectivity and bias (or at least his bias) are one and the same thing.

Or has he? This is where the reporter's insistence on anonymity is telling. If he really believes that propagandizing for same-sex marriage constitutes good journalism, why wouldn't he leap at the opportunity to express that view openly in the pages of the newspaper? There are two possible answers. One is cognitive dissonance: Upon further reflection, he realized that his view was illogical and would make him look foolish. The other is social pressure.

Notwithstanding the pervasive so-called libertarian bias that Pexton describes, it is possible that enough of the old-fashioned ethos of objectivity survives in the Post newsroom that it would be harmful to a reporter's career to be exposed as so brazen an advocate. In other words, while there seems to be little question that the Post is biased, it may be less biased than the anonymous reporter's screed would indicate.

Hal Holbrook as Deep Throat in "All the President's Men. Four decades later, a Washington Post reporter requests anonymity.
If that's the case, then in granting the reporter anonymity and not affording other reporters or editors an opportunity to respond, Pexton depicted the problem of bias at the Post in an inaccurately harsh light. That would be a disservice to readers, but even more a disservice to the Post--and especially to any conscientious journalists who happen to work for the Post. Imagine that you're a Post reporter who covers the debate over same-sex marriage but, unlike Pexton's secretive scribe, you make an honest effort to play it straight and be fair to both sides. Your reputation is now tainted by the supposition--propagated in the very pages of the Post--that Post reporters believe bias is objectivity.

Why would the Post agree to grant one of its own reporters anonymity to ventilate views that make the paper's own newsroom look like a den of bias and unprofessionalism? According to the paper's website, Pexton "operates under a contract with The Post that guarantees him independence." That presumably means he has complete discretion in interpreting the paper's policies on source confidentiality, if he is expected to follow them at all.

Pexton's two-year term as ombudsman ends this week. In his Feb. 17 column, he broke the news that "discussions are underway within The Post" about abolishing the position of ombudsman: "For cost-cutting reasons, for modern media-technology reasons and because The Post, like other news organizations, is financially weaker and hence even more sensitive to criticism, my bet is that this position will disappear." Unsurprisingly, he hopes it doesn't:

Can I say for certain that an ombudsman makes The Post more credible? No, I can't point to any good study saying that. But people's trust in the media is declining. Eliminating the ombudsman seems a shortsighted move.

Surely Pexton's spotlighting a particularly egregious example of journalistic bias at the Post doesn't enhance the paper's credibility. And his agreement to conceal the reporter's identity makes it difficult if not impossible for the editors to take remedial action aimed at restoring readers' trust.

One may salute Pexton for being honest enough to broach the subject of liberal bias and to report on a compelling example of it. But even that doesn't do much to burnish the Post's credibility. After all, he operates under a contract that guarantees him independence.



The savage  intolerance of the liberal media

Fox News political analyst and “Special Report” panelist Juan Williams said in an interview with The Daily Caller’s Ginni Thomas that mainstream media outlets “stab” and “kill” dissenting voices.

Williams was fired from National Public Radio in 2010 after saying he sometimes gets “nervous” when seated on an airplane with Muslims, while making a broader point about the importance of religious tolerance.

“I always thought it was the Archie Bunkers of the world, the right wingers of world, who were more resistant and more closed-minded about hearing the other side,” he said. “In fact, what I have learned is, in a very painful way — and I can open this shirt and show you the scars and the knife wounds — is that it is big media institutions who are identifiably more liberal to left-leaning who will shut you down, stab you and kill you, fire you, if they perceive that you are not telling the story in the way that they want it told.”



Hollywood again

Argo — the movie that won Best Film — is yet another piece of Hollywood’s Brit-bashing junk history that casts Brits in a poor light.

The film, directed by and starring Ben Affleck, tells the story of how the Canadian government and the CIA managed to rescue six American diplomats from the clutches of the Iranian students who occupied the U.S. embassy during the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Although the movie is a cracker — tense and terrifying — like so much that comes out Hollywood, Argo plays fast and loose with the facts. And unsurprisingly, the Brits are given a real pasting. For, according to the Affleck version of the rescue mission, the six embassy staff were refused refuge by British diplomats. ‘Brits turned them away,’ says a senior CIA character in the film.

The sad irony is that what really happened in Tehran in 1979 is just as thrilling as Argo, if not more so — and it involved astonishing British pluck.

When the American Embassy was overrun by armed students on November 4, 1979, five members of staff managed to escape by a side exit. The remaining 55 embassy staff were to be held captive for a further 444 days.

The most senior member of the escaped group was Robert Anders, who worked in the visa department. He decided the best place to find refuge was the British Embassy.

The group made its way through the bustling streets, only to find the British embassy was also surrounded by an angry mob.

Thinking on his feet, Anders quickly took the group back to his flat and from there tried to contact anybody who might help rescue them.

After a tense night, a call came through from the British embassy informing the five terrified Americans that it could give them refuge in its residential compound, which was known as Gulhak.

As Argo neglects to mention, this was an exceedingly brave offer. Both the British embassy and residential compounds were under serious threat. After what had happened to the Americans, the British understandably feared an attack on their own staff.

The Iranian revolutionaries had dubbed Britain the ‘Little Satan’, and for our officials to shelter diplomats from the ‘Great Satan’ (America) meant running a huge risk.

Much more HERE



List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


No comments: