Yesterday, the United States Senate voted to bring health care reform legislation to the floor for debate. Now, take a look at how the Washington Post reports that vote in the lead headline on the paper's web site:
Democrats vote. Now, it's true that all of the Senate's Democrats voted to bring the bill to the floor. But not only the Democrats: Connecticut for Lieberman party member Joe Lieberman -- who is a Senator today because he ran against the Democratic party's most recent nominee for his seat -- did, too, as did independent Bernie Sanders.
More importantly, "Democrats vote" -- as compared to, say, "Senate votes" or "Senate decides" -- suggests Senate Democrats' vote to bring the bill to the floor was a political act rather than an act of governing. It suggests that yesterday's vote didn't take place in the full Senate, but in the Democratic cloakroom, or at the DNC -- that it was just Democrats deciding among themselves to move the bill to the floor, without any Republicans (or Connecticut-for-Liebermans) involved in the vote. And it suggests that the actions of a house of Congress don't really count unless they are "bipartisan."
More unintentional comedy, courtesy of Breitbart and Big Government.
As CF noted, Breitbart's defending himself against the claim by Columbia Journalism Review that he's "blackmailing" Attorney General Eric Holder. This, after Breitbart went on Fox News last week and demanded that the DOJ launch an ACORN investigation or that Breitbart would reveal more undercover videos during next year's election season.
Here's Breitbart defending his look-at-me, investigate-or-else charade [emphasis added]:
And now to address the fever-swamp's notion that what I said on "Hannity" last night was "blackmail." Blackmail occurs when one party threatens to reveal an unsavory piece of information about another party, and demands money in exchange for silence.
There's no way Breitbart is trying to blackmail Holder, because Breitbart isn't demanding money, right? Laugh along at Breitbart's ignorance as you read the definition of "blackmail":
1. (Law) to exact or attempt to exact (money or anything of value) from (a person) by threats or intimidation; extort2. to attempt to influence the actions of (a person), esp by unfair pressure or threats
Blackmail has been defined in the broad sense to mean "compelling someone to act against their will or gaining or attempting to gain something of value." Courts vary on interpreting what "something of value" includes, but it is not necessarily a money payment in all cases.
[CJR] has been sitting it out on the sidelines, waiting - rooting - for Hannah Giles, James O'Keefe and me to make a mistake.
The Washington Post's David Broder had a predictably dour column about health care reform yesterday -- a paint-by-numbers job consisting of little more than a couple of quotes from interest groups that don't like government spending and a poll showing that people worry health care reform will add to the deficit. (Broder's summary of the poll alone took up 6 of his 16 paragraphs.)
If Broder ever was worth reading for his insights rather than his reporting, that time is long gone, as yesterday's column reminds us.
And, indeed, Broder's colleague Ezra Klein quickly exposed the flaws in the little bit of Broder's column that wasn't simply a regurgitation of poll results and interest-group quotes:
David Broder has a column today expressing skepticism that health-care reform will really cut the deficit. But he doesn't provide much evidence for the charge.
The specific budget gimmick mentioned in the column is that Reid has delayed the subsidies "from mid-2013 to January 2014 -- long after taxes and fees levied by the bill would have begun." But not that long. The excise tax, for instance, begins in 2013. More to the point, it's not clear what Broder's complaint is. Reid delayed the implementation of the subsidies in order to ensure the bill's deficit neutrality in the first 10 years, which is what Broder wants. Why attack him for it?
In other words, the revenue and the savings grow more quickly than the costs. Extend that line out further and, yes, federal spending on health care falls as a result of this bill. In other words, the bill satisfies Broder's conditions. But he doesn't come out and say that.
More broadly, I'm confused by the budget hawks who that take the line: "This bill needs to cut the deficit, and I don't believe Democrats will cut the deficit, but since the actual provisions of the bill unambiguously cut the deficit, then I guess Congress won't stick to it."
People who want to cut the deficit should support this bill, and support its implementation. The alternative is no bill that cuts the deficit, and thus no hope of cutting the deficit.
If anyone wants to offer a reason -- other than inertia -- why the Post's print edition carried Broder's column and not one by Klein, I'd love to hear it.
From a letter Glenn Beck posted to his website November 21:
There is much to do, much to learn and time is of the essence. While I will be explaining the entire Plan over the coming weeks and months, I did want to give you a preview of some of the highlights:
- Education is key, and not just for our children. To that end, we will be conducting a series of conventions. These will be full-day experiences where you will be immersed in learning about topics ranging from self-reliance, community organizing, the economy and how to be a political force in your own neighborhood and country. The first one will be in Orlando at UCF Arena on March 27th. You will also be able to vote to have a convention in your region by clicking here.
- I have begun meeting with some of the best minds in the country that believe in limited government, maximum freedom and the values of our Founders. I am developing a 100 year plan. I know that the bipartisan corruption in Washington that has brought us to this brink and it will not be defeated easily. It will require unconventional thinking and a radical plan to restore our nation to the maximum freedoms we were supposed to have been protecting, using only the battlefield of ideas.
- All of the above will culminate in The Plan, a book that will provide specific policies, principles and, most importantly, action steps that each of us can take to play a role in this Refounding.
- On August 28, 2010, I ask you, your family and neighbors to join me at the feet of Abraham Lincoln on the National Mall for the unveiling of The Plan and the birthday of a new national movement to restore our great country.
From Kenneth P. Vogel's 738-word November 20 Politico article:
Glenn Beck, the controversial Fox News television host, is planning on becoming more active in the populist conservative movement he spawned, according to sources familiar with his thinking.
At a rally Saturday at a massive retirement community in Central Florida, Beck is planning to unveil what he has billed as a "big plan" for 2010, which is expected to involve the 9.12 Project, the group he started earlier this year and named for the day after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when he says the nation was unified.
"Coming this January, my whole approach changes on this program," he hinted cryptically on his Wednesday show. "This next year is going to be critical, and I think it's going to change and I think we are going to set it right, at least set our course right. And if that means the Democrats or the Republicans are destroyed along the way, well, good. Good."
Beck's Saturday rally, which is set for 3 p.m., is timed to coincide with the kickoff of a tour promoting his new book, "Arguing with Idiots."
From Andrew Breitbart's November 21 BigGovernment.com post:
In response to the Columbia Journalism Review's accusing me of "blackmailing" the Attorney General of the United States, I must take notice that the mainstream media as a journalistic establishment IS paying attention to the ongoing ACORN scandal. Good. I thought so.
What the Columbia Journalism Review is doing is very similar to what Media Matters is doing: protecting the Democrat-Media Complex, the natural alliance of the Democratic Party and the mainstream media. This ACORN investigation has been going on for two months and Hannah, James, and I have proven to be truth-tellers every step of the way, while the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now has been proven time and again to be liars.
Yet instead of engaging the real, newsworthy issues of ACORN's possible corruption, malfeasance and illegal behavior, the CJR, like its more overtly political online counterpart Media Matters, and indeed every other MSM outlet, has been sitting it out on the sidelines, waiting - rooting - for Hannah Giles, James O'Keefe and me to make a mistake. In fact, my appearance Thursday night is the only time in which the media has introduced itself into this ongoing narrative: proof that it's paying attention and taking sides.
And now to address the fever-swamp's notion that what I said on "Hannity" last night was "blackmail." Blackmail occurs when one party threatens to reveal an unsavory piece of information about another party, and demands money in exchange for silence. For obvious reasons, it is most often conducted in private. I, on the other hand, went on national television with a challenge to the Attorney General to do his job; unlike this administration and its justice department, what I did was fully open and transparent.
There will be consequences if there isn't an investigation into ACORN. The videos will be shown and at a particular moment. There is nothing illegal about my proposed response to the continued inaction from this justice department, and there's nothing I'd like more than to have my day in court and let a jury hear why I have gone to such extraordinary measures to tell a major story that the dying, partisan, leftist media has worked so hard to suppress.
The days of the Democrat-Media Complex controlling the narrative are in their end times. And if the AG wants to turn his focus on me instead of ACORN, then that day will be closer than many of them think.
From BigGovernment.com blogger Kyle Olson's November 20 post:
Brad O'Leary spends an entire Washington Examiner column responding to Media Matters' highlighting of his skewed Zogby polls and, more specifically, his racially charged poll question regarding Mark Lloyd:
The author of this "racially charged" language is none other than Obama's Diversity Czar Mark Lloyd himself. Here is what he said at the 2005 Conference on Media Reform: Racial Justice:
"This - there's nothing more difficult than this. Because we have really, truly good white people in important positions. And the fact of the matter is that there are a limited number of those positions.
"And unless we are conscious of the need to have more people of color, gays, other people in those positions we will not change the problem. We're in a position where you have to say who is going to step down so someone else can have power."
I find it equal parts troubling and incredible that in 21st Century America there could be anyone, much less a high-level federal appointee, who thinks the government should be forcing hirings-and-firings at private companies based solely on race and sexual preference.
Media Matters, evidently, is only outraged that someone would dare report the matter or ask America's opinion about it. Or maybe Media Matters thinks it is unfair to hold a presidential appointee responsible for something he said just four years ago.
O'Leary, however, did not include any of that background -- which the vast majority of respondents would have no knowledge of without it -- in asking his poll question, which was this:
Federal Communications Commission Chief Diversity Czar Mark Lloyd wants the FCC to force good white people in positions of power in the broadcast industry to step down to make room for more African-Americans and gays to fill those positions. Do you agree or disagree that this presents a threat to free speech?
Also problematic for O'Leary is that the question, as asked, is false. As we've noted, at no point does Lloyd advocate using the FCC to "force good white people" in the broadcast industry out.
O'Leary has only himself to blame for his false, out-of-context framing of Lloyd's statement. And he's a veritable laugh riot in coming to Zogby's defense:
I choose to do polling with Zogby because they've been among the most accurate pollsters for the past two decades. I find that Zogby does very well in balancing my questions to remove any conservative or other bias that may exist. When you're searching for the truth, it does no good to rig the outcome.
A truly balanced poll would have included more points of view than those of "some people" and "most Republicans." But then, a guy who has written a book-length screed attacking Barack Obama is not actually interested in "searching for the truth."
In a December 26, 2007, post, Williams referred to former President Jimmy Carter as a "creepy little faggot":
On January 27, 2008, Williams wrote that members of a Vermont town shouldn't be called "retard CHUDs" but "genetically defective, circus freak, tiny cranium, hairy-arm-pitted female & faggot alleged male biological train wrecks who totally make the argument for forced Eugenics":
As we've noted, the Tea Party Express spokesman has also called President Obama and Jimmy Carter "Nazis," and referred to Obama as the "racist in chief." Williams is a birther who has forwarded claims that Obama was born in Kenya.
Despite his history of incendiary rhetoric, Williams is a regular guest on Fox News and CNN. For instance, Williams has appeared on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 at least six times in the past four months: November 2, October 26, September 15, September 14, September 10, and August 13. He also appeared on CNN Newsroom in August. On the September 14 edition of American Morning, reporter Elaine Quijano referred to Williams as one of the "tea party leaders" who "disavow[ed] any racist views" by protestors.
Fox News, which frequently cheerleads for the tea party movement, has hosted Williams on Fox & Friends (numerous times), America's News HQ, and Hannity. Williams also appeared on Fox Business Network's Cavuto.
Given Williams' history of smears and slurs, and his prominent position with the Tea Party Express, will the media continue to extend "great coverage" to Williams and his group?