From Jim Hoft's January 3 Gateway Pundit post, headlined "After Passenger Saves Plane From Terrorist Bombing- New Rules Require Heroic Passengers to Stay Seated During Last Hour of Flight":
It's an Obama World... Up is down, big is small, losing jobs is creating or saving jobs, and heroes are asked to be seated.
Yesterday, Jasper Schuringa, a video director and producer from Amsterdam, told CNN how he helped the cabin crew to subdue Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old who reportedly ignited a small explosive device on board the plane Friday as it prepared to land in Detroit.
In response to this courageous act of heroism, the Obama Administration enacted new policies today. The new rules will force heroic passengers to stay in their seats for the final hour of their flight before landing.
Could I possibly make this stuff up?
Althouse even dreams up how Obama would announce to the country his plans to not run for reelection. Hint: It's completely illogical [emphasis added]:
I should not permit the Presidency to become involved in the partisan divisions that are developing... With America's sons in the fields far away, with America's future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world's hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office — the Presidency of your country. Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.
That's right, Althouse thinks Obama won't run for reelection because of "partisan divisions."
UPDATED: Some common sense commentary from National Review Online's Mike Potemra, who's equally perplexed by the right-wing blogosphere's reaction to a single, benign Obama photo:
A picture of Obama and Biden going around on the Internet is attracting some negative comments, but I haven't yet seen any real explanation of how the photo is actually unflattering. To me, the president looks like a tired man with a tough job, having to go to a formal event at the end of the day when he'd rather be at home relaxing, and the James Bond-style crossed legs show he's trying to make the best of his lot. I'd appreciate it someone could explain to me what's so bad about the picture; until then, I will suspect that this is a case of the wish being father to the thought.
Fox's Brit Hume says Tiger Woods' faith is inadequate, urges him to become a Christian:
"The extent to which he can recover seems to me depends on his faith," said Hume. "He is said to be a Buddhist. I don't think that faith offers the kind of redemption and forgiveness offered by the Christian faith. My message to Tiger is, 'Tiger turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world."
If this wasn't Fox News, I'd take "Tomorrow, 2 pm" in the when-will-Hume-apologize pool. But it is Fox, so "the Fifth of Never" seems like a safer choice.
This one's a couple days old, but it still deserves to be mocked. And yes, it's by the GOP's favorite polling firm, Rasmussen, which seems to have a patent on asking really dumb, and misleading, polling questions designed solely to generate dubious "buzz."
Behold the latest [emphasis added]:
The good news for Senator Ben Nelson is that he doesn't have to face Nebraska voters until 2012.
If Governor Dave Heineman challenges Nelson for the Senate job, a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey shows the Republican would get 61% of the vote while Nelson would get just 30%.
That's right, Rasmussen is now polling hypothetical election match-ups that may or may not take place 33 months from now. I believe in the polling industry the Rasmussen survey would be what's known as "utterly useless."
UPDATED: Turns out lots of people have problems with Rasmussen's work.
The first Sunday show lineup of the New Year looks to be focused on the aftermath of the attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253.
Among the guests appearing tomorrow will be Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) on CNN's State of the Union. Will guest host Gloria Borger ask DeMint about his vote against the FY 2010 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which included $4,358,076,000 in funding for screening operations by TSA, $1,116,406,000 of which was specifically for explosives detection systems? [Senate Vote #323, 10/20/09]
Or how about his vote against the Improving America's Security Act of 2007, which implemented recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, including several provisions related to airline security? [Senate Vote #284, 7/26/07]
Terry Moran, who is guest-hosting ABC's This Week, is including Representative Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) on his roundtable. Given Dick Cheney's recent attacks on President Obama for not using the phrase "war on terror," will Moran remind the Congressman of his own May 2008 comment that "the phrase 'war on terror' was the 'dumbest term...you could use'"? [Financial Times, 5/28/08]
Finally, Bill Kristol will take his regular spot on Fox News Sunday's panel. Will the other panelists allow him to blame Northwest 253 on Obama, or will they remind him of his previous statement that 9/11 is part of Clinton's "legacy"? [WeeklyStandard.com, 8/28/08]
May's December 31 post on National Review Online's blog The Corner, headlined "A Bipartisan Proposal":
Step (1): Return all Gitmo detainees to Yemen.
Step (2): Use Predator missiles to strike the baggage-claim area 20 minutes after they arrive.
Just an idea.
TPM Media's Zachary Roth reported earlier in the week that the political action committee that organized the Tea Party Express -- Our Country Deserves Better PAC -- funneled almost two-thirds of its spending from July to November back to the political consulting firm from which it was spawned, Russo, Marsh, and Associates. More than $850,000 of the money the supposedly grassroots PAC collected went to the firm of GOP political operatives who ran it.
For those who may have forgotten, the Tea Party Express was the faux-grassroots operation that Fox News hopped aboard in late August, after the network's promotion of the health care town hall meeting disruptions but before they started flogging the 9-12 protest. (It's so hard to keep Fox's political activism straight!) It was a nationwide bus tour organized by a political action committee whose mission is to oppose President Obama and other Democrats; with a pedigree like that, how could Fox resist?
Fox News heavily promoted the Tea Party Express; the Our Country Deserves Better PAC even used Fox's promotion in a fundraising email. Then Fox's Griff Jenkins hit the trail with the Express, following that bus around the country, throwing journalistic integrity aside as he declared its riders "the America that Washington forgot."
But somehow, Jenkins missed out on the real story: how loyal tea-party-goers were separated from their hard-earned cash, which was funneled to fat cat Republican political consultants. Russo, Marsh, and Associates salutes you, Fox News. They could have scammed the tea partiers without you, but it probably wouldn't have been nearly as lucrative.
The GOP-friendly polling firm continues to struggle with the basic understanding of terrorism investigations. Here's a finding from Rasmussen's poll in the wake of the attempted Christmas Day attack [emphasis added]:
Seventy-one percent (71%) of all voters think the attempt by the Nigerian Muslim to blow up the airliner as it landed in Detroit should be investigated by military authorities as a terrorist act. Only 22% say it should be handled by civilian authorities as a criminal act, as is currently the case.
Flashback: Rasmussen advertised the same ignorance in the wake of the Ft. Hood handgun massacre in November, when the polling firm asked whether that attack should be handled by the military as a terrorist attack, or by civilian authorities as a criminal one.
We highlighted the obvious flaws in the question back thend. And guess what? The the flaws still hold today:
Why is it an either/or question? Why are respondents asked to pick between a "military" terrorist investigation and "civilian" criminal investigation? It makes no sense. First of all, a terrorist investigation, by definition, is a criminal one. Second, it's the FBI (i.e. a "civilian" authority) that has been investigating "terrorists acts" in this country for generations. Civilian authorities launch terrorist investigations all the time, so why does Rasmussen pretend that only "military authorities" do that? Why does Rasmussen suggest that if civilians investigate Ft. Hood, then it won't be a terrorist investigation?
Why did Rasmussen formulate a question that makes no sense?
You have to credit Andrew Breitbart for perseverance. Less than a week after Ornamentgate blew up in the blogger's face, he's back with yet another dubious accusation. And just like his last smear, this one crumbles with the least bit of scrutiny.
Yesterday, Breitbart's BigGovernment.com claimed that the "Bertha E. Lewis" who visited the White House in September, according to recently released visitor logs, was in fact ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis. In a breathtaking bit of hubris, the post links Lewis' purported visit to the heavily edited ACORN tapes Breitbart released that month, expressing shock that Obama had subsequently "acted almost as if he'd never heard of the group," even as he had just met with its CEO.
The post concludes:
Of course, it is possible that this isn't ACORN's Bertha Lewis. After a previous dump of visitor records listed the name, Jeremiah Wright, the White House said, 'oh, that was a different Jeremiah Wright.' The media, of course, said, 'okay,' and never followed up. So, maybe the Bertha Lewis listed here isn't the CEO of ACORN. Just another Bertha Lewis who gets special weekend access to the White House Residence, complete with an extra-special staff tour. Sure, possible, but we'd love to see a bookie's odds on that.
It's not clear how President Obama meeting with the CEO of ACORN would be problmatic anywhere outside the right-wing fantasy world in which the group is the root of all evil, but guess what? Politico's Ben Smith called the White House. Yup, it's a different Bertha Lewis (a whitepages.com search turns up more than 100 matches, go figure). He also called ACORN. Yup, Lewis' middle initial isn't "E."
Looks like there's more egg all over Breitbart's face (and that of Glenn Reynolds and the other right-wing bloggers who ran with his report).
I can't wait for BigJournalism.
UPDATE: Fox Nation is now blaring the headline, "ACORN CEO Visited White House Week Before Scandal Broke." This is what happens when you run with a Breitbart story: you end up being embarrassed.
In January 2007 -- in what can only be described as a stunning display of race baiting, religious bigotry, and outright dishonesty -- the hosts of Fox & Friends spent a substantial portion of a broadcast repeating an obviously false online claim that then-Sen. Obama had attended a radical Islamic madrassa as a child in Indonesia.
The madrassa lie was quickly debunked by CNN. Fox & Friends was forced to "clarify" its report. John Moody, who was a Fox News executive at the time, reportedly said that the Fox News hosts who ran with the false story "violated one of our general rules, which is know what you are talking about. ... They reported information from a publication whose accuracy we didn't know." Separately, Moody also reportedly wrote of the madrassa incident: "For the record: seeing an item on a website does not mean it is right. Nor does it mean it is ready for air on FNC."
But almost three years later, the madrassa smear has returned to Fox. On two shows this week -- both guest-hosted by Fox News' Eric Bolling -- frequent Fox guest Ann Coulter has claimed three times that Obama attended "madrassas" as a child. Bolling has yet to challenge Coulter's false claims.
Mediaite posted video of one of Coulter's comments here.
From the December 28 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor (as transcribed on Fox News' website):
COULTER: And I also would like say, especially with a former Obama advisor on the program, I mean, this is - this was part of the selling point of for Obama liberal. Andrew Sullivan pointed out, you know, what are these radical Islamists going to do when they look and see the president of the great Satan. And you know, he has brown skin. And he attended madrassas. And he talks about how he's so moved by the call to prayer five times a day. He used to hear in Indonesia. If anyone can say we're going to look for radical Islamists, it ought to be President Obama. If he does that, if he institutes racial profiling at the airports, I'll vote for him.
BOLLING: Matthew, would it be so bad?
From the December 30 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck (as transcribed in the Nexis database):
BOLLING: Ann, let me just talk to you about this for a second.
Since Obama has been in office June 2009, the Little Rock soldier was killed, August 2009; U.S. citizen born in Brooklyn, he's going to fight for the Taliban; in September, Talib Islam born Michael Finton wants to go fight for the Taliban; the Zazi brothers in Denver, they want to blow up the New York City subway; Nidal Hasan, the Army major at Fort Hood; and then this attack on Christmas.
You know, these incidences have definitely stepped up in the last 11 months.
COULTER: Right, I think they have. And that isn't a very long time for three actual attacks on U.S. soil. And I think the point is, these are two competing ideologies of how you deal with our enemies. And if anything, I mean -- I mean, they kept using it as a selling point that Obama would throw Islamic radicals on their hind legs when they look up and they see someone who studies with [sic: studied at] madrassas and they see the "Great Satan" has a president with a brown face and the world is going to love us.
Well, that clearly has not come to be the case. And moreover, you know, he is in a position even stronger than George Bush to do what ought to be done and that is to start looking for passengers who look like the last three dozen terrorists to attack airplanes. He could engage in -- whatever you want to call it -- racial profiling, ethnic profiling, looking for young Muslim males, foreign-born Muslim males. But no, to the contrary, what we have is his homeland security coming out and saying the system works.
BOLLING: Andrew, you're in the west coast. Are feelings changing a little bit? It's been a liberal left coast for a long, now they see all these attacks and potential attacks going on. Is the sentiment changing?
BREITBART: In Hollywood -- well, look, the thing is, what's happened over the last few years in Hollywood and as being a critic of Hollywood at large, I have to make an apology to the FOX audience because, for years, I thought it was a monolithically left-centered town. It's not. There are tons of right-of-center libertarian-leaning conservatives. It's just that there's a certain Stalinist bent to leftist where if a person were to peep, a conservative peep were to comes out of a Jon Voight, these people are merciless in getting rid of them.
There are a ton of people who would love to make movies that portray the threat of terrorism, to use Hollywood like Hollywood was used in World War II, to be part of the war effort, but Hollywood continues to still make anti-war movies at a time of war even with Obama in power.
BOLLING: Ann, what -- is it going to take a successful attack where, you know, a lot more Americans die for the sentiment to change? I mean, this whole, you know, it's a culture. This whole culture has to change. It has to be more -- hey, we better err on the side of safety, because if we don't, people die. If we err on the side of political correctness, people's feelings get hurt, right?
COULTER: Right. Right, well, I happen to think sentiment has changed. Maybe it didn't need to change. I think if you polled Americans after 9/11, they would have said drop the political correctness when it comes to boarding airplanes.
And like I say, Obama can be doing more than Bush. He is specially situated that way, as having gone to madrassas as a child, not being a white male, which is, you know, the height of political incorrectness, but just the contrary, we're moving in exactly doing the -- making -- repeating the worst mistakes of the Bush administration.
The response to this attack is -- is for Obama to take the bull's move, not to allow people to read magazines for the last hour of a flight, not to go to the bathroom for the last hour of a flight. I mean, the way of objective of airport security seems to be to just make it more and more unpleasant for Americans to fly and to make it easier and easier for radical Muslims to fly to the point that now they're talking about doing these full nude body scans for everyone boarding an airplane.
BOLLING: And, Andrew, Ann makes a good point. Have they won? Have they won? If they haven't won the war, has al Qaeda won a small battle just making, you know, our lives miserable every time we step into an airport?