Logic - NRO Style

A column in NRO yesterday smacks down the whole "birther" nonsense, and commends the NRO for (allegedly) "smacking down" the whole nonsense, because it is, in the words of this NRO columnist, "lunacy."

And then nevertheless proceeds to reproduce an extremely long email that in essence ressurects the question.

The reproduced email constituting most of this column claiming to condemn the birther thing as sheer lunacy, actually makes this twisted point: "If the question is so crazy.... why all the fuss?"

Apparently, this is truly not obvious to the NRO, or this emailer.

In other words, this NRO columnist notes his satisfaction with the "lunacy" birther thing having been smacked down, and then devotes some 90 percent of his column to an email, using contorted and disconnected logic, that resurrects it.

Accusing Obama of not having been born in the U.S.A, despite evidence to the contrary, is "sheer lunacy," on the one hand, but yet on the other hand, Obama is "getting a pass" because this "sheer lunacy" has not been investigated further?

There is also the strange notion -- surely absent in spades by this same e-mailer and columnist prior to January, 2009 -- that "transparency" in the White House somehow means (essentially) that every potentially troublesome, embarrasing or negative PR detail of every moment or fact of Obama's existence on this planet must be continually re-vetted -- just see the column, which references things which are now wholly irrelevant, and then complains how "Obama is getting a pass, whereas other Presidents have not.")

But the most interesting about this tied into knots logic so typical of NRO, is that the main claim in the cited piece that there is something to this, is the "hysteria" when this "lunacy" is brought up. In other words, why the annoyance when it is brought up? (Answer, because, in your words, it is "lunacy"?)

Yet other columns, while similarly dismissing the "lunacy" of the birthers claims, have used not "hysteria" but in fact, a rather unconcerned"dismissal" by the Administration as evidence that there is something to this "birther" issue after all!

In other words, why the lack of annoyance when it is brought up?" (Answer, because, in your words, it is "lunacy," and thus ridiculous, sidetracking, and has been vetted?)

To sum it all up. Here is what NRO and cohorts believe: The birther thing is sheer lunacy.

Except we really can't be sure. Because why all the concern on the part of the administration?

Except we really can't be sure. Because why all the lack of concern on the part of the administration.

It really doesn't matter what the facts are. They will be spun, torqued, twisted, manipulated, distorted beyond all recognition, to meet a predisposed set of beliefs. In NRO's case, those beliefs include the inherent dislike it must feel over Obama, even if the so called birthing "lunacy," as they put it, should have nothing to do with it.

Memo to the Wall Street Journal's Blog: When "After" Means Days, Not 22 Years.

Taking the concept of literalness, to ridiculous lengths, here's another oddity from the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto:

Even Including That, the Story Was Accurate
Here’s an odd correction from the Los Angeles Times:

"An article in Sunday’s Section A about Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s role in Congress’ healthcare debate said that Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) had urged his friend to stop drinking after the Massachusetts Democrat’s 1969 car accident at happaquiddick. Hatch gave the advice in 1991, after Kennedy spent an evening at a Florida bar with his nephew William Kennedy Smith, who subsequently was charged with rape and later acquitted."

Why the correction? We’re pretty sure 1991 was after 1969

Are we missing the satire here? Surely Taranto can not claim to mean that when the statement "I urged him to stop drinking after the [fill in very specific event]" somehow does not mean within an appropriate vicinity of time, but "technically" any time after, including decades after.

That would be like, to someone who said "We were over Taranto's house drinking Yuengling when he showed us this kind of crazy column he wrote," saying "so you were in a helicopter over his house drinking?" and meaning it. On second thought, it would be worse.

Here's another example, and one we hope someone can share with Mr. Taranto:

Q: "Why did you never correct your brother's tendency to turn his head away before connecting with the ball?

A: "I did, after the Kingsdale game, junior season."

Only the person did it, 22 years after, the Kingsdale game, junior season.

Of course a correction was necessary by the LA Times: The article unequivocally implied that Hatch had urged Kennedy to stop drinking in a reasonable vicinity of time "after" the 1969 accident, not 22 years later -- and no one reading the article would have thought otherwise. Taranto's logic here, or (to us) incomprehensible satire, is somewhat hard to fathom.


These two pieces were harsh on the NY Times Maureen Dowd -- and deservedly so. And it has been acknowledged that Pulitzers are routinely awarded based on politics, and little more. But as we noted in a link to the second piece, Dowd has had a distinguished career (including a Pulitzer), so we labored to find a column that was not atrocious.

The very first one we came across, on Gates, Crowley, and Obama a few days earlier, while not all of it was pinpoint, was reasonably perceptive. So to Maureen Dowd, who, we are sure, could give not a whit, we say "nice column."


Earlier, we noted that NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote the following:

Hillary, who so often in the past came across as aggrieved, paranoid and press-loathing, was confident and comfortable in her role as top diplomat, discussing the world with mastery and shrugging off suggestions that she has been disappeared by her former rival, the president.

And why it was a "wee" bit off the objective scale, and a "wee"bit onto the playing into hyperbolized and manipulated characterizations scale.

Since reading Dowd's superficial, conventionally parroting, and manufactured democrat chic opinions is fairly painful (and what's the point, really, though the country's leading newspaper apparently thinks there is one), we relied on The Daily Howler for this quote as well, from the same column by Dowd quoted from above.

Notice the irony:

The Alaskan [Palin] who shot to stardom a year ago as the tough embodiment of Diana the Huntress has now stepped down as governor and morphed into what theRepublicans always caricatured Hillary as—preachy, screechy and angry.
We'll ignore Maureen Dowd's dopey Diana characterization, and focus on this: "morphed into what the Republicans always caricatured Hillary as—preachy, screechy and angry."

"What the Republicans" (actually, only some Republicans -- namely, right wing Republicans) "caricaturized Hillary as - preachy, screechy,and angry."

Yet here is Dowd, in the very same column in which she later notes this fact, writing: "Hillary, who so often... came across as aggrieved, paranoid and press-loathing."

Ah, but that's not a "Republican caricature" of Hillary Clinton. Rather, it is just a Dowd observation, right? Or perhaps just a pandering, kowtowing media characterization --or should we say "caricature"?

So we peeked at Dowd's column (sometimes one can't help looking at the car wreck across the highway.) Here is another incredible statement:
Sarah, who was once a blazingly confident media darling
Really? Conventional wisdom (namely, the "wisdom" that the far right has been screaming at the top of its lungs since the day after John McCain somewhat"spontaneously" announced little known -- including, to McCain himself, apparently -- Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate) has it that the press has had it in for Palin from almost the start. We don't agree with the "conventional wisdom" here. But to call Palin a media darling?

That is pretty funny.

Palin's coverage may have been favorable relative to the facts (a claim that even the " left" is content not to make - preferring, as always to fight the battle under the framing of its political opponents), but the facts were, and are, extraordinarly unfavorable. Yet to Dowd, Palin was a media darling? Her column only gets worse from there, to ridiculously drawing made up parrellels between the two women, besides, of course, the painfully obvious ones.

It seems this NY Times columnist simply makes things up, to arrange her prose in nice, flowing, sentences. This is what it seems, much editorilization in America has come to in the 21st century. Dowd just does a particularly good (or should we say "bad") job of it.

notes from althouse piece on scary logic of far right - obesity, divorce

There has long been a debate as to how much of a role the government should play in helping to promote health. Note also that helping to promote it is far different than dictating it. Obesity, according to some experts, is a health crisis in this country. And obesity is perhaps a relevant, practical inquiry in a nation that spends almost a fifth of its entire GNP, directly or indirectly (and we think, rather haphazardly), on health care; including more money shelled out by the government on it than on anything else save national defense. To inquire how to promote better health, does not necessarily mean infringement upon personal freedom. Can the government go too far in addressing obesity? Yes. But one could list an endless number of possibilities with respect to any statement made on any subject,in this vein. The question is what policies, and what is being stated?



One of the greater ironies of our time is how the far right appears to be only very selectively concerned with government intrusion into the lives of individuals in a country of liberty and checked, limited, government powers -- the founding premises of our nation.

That being said, selective concern is far better than no concern.

Except many of the instances of expressed concern seem to be misleading, or logically stretched. Curiously enough, they also almost always seem to be directly aimed at an overall policy, government or politician that the far right itself politically opposes.

Here's a quick example of both of these points, at once.

Yesterday, we noted how the very popular blog Althouse cited the Washington Post, while missing essentially the entire point of the linked piece, and then some.

Today, Althouse, presumably as non satire, promotes the following monstrosity:
Think about it. Yesterday, we were talking about how the government "has ways of changing behavior" to deal with the supposed medical expenses studies attribute to obesity.If studies show that divorce damages health, then horning into our marriages will become the government's business too. Obviously another blue pill. You expect us to pay for the red pill, when there's a blue pill?
We certainly understand the well warranted concern over government dictating what people can and can't do. But while the very general idea here, in theory, is solid, the example given is absurd.

The claim made in the first part of the above quote, that "yesterday, we were talking about how the government 'has ways of changing behavior'" regarding obesity and health, is extremely misleading. And the connection, after that, to the idea that therefore, studies show that "divorce might be bad" health wise, is incredibly specious, or simply flat out stone cold illogical (aka, preposterous.)

The Wall Street Journal article discussed "yesterday" quotes someone from a non profit Trust concerned with promoting health, not, "the government." Calling that "the goverment" is wildly irresponsible.

The relevant portion of the WSJ article:

Unless you address obesity, you're never going to address rising health-care costs." Obesity-related conditions now account for 9.1% of all medical spending, up from 6.5% in 1998, the study concluded.

Health economists have long warned that obesity is a driving force behind the rise in health spending. For example, diabetes costs the nation $190 billion a year to treat, and excess weight is the single biggest risk factor for developing diabetes. Moreover, obese diabetics are the hardest to treat, with higher rates of foot ulcers and amputations, among other things.

The new study's look at per-capita spending may offer a shock to the wallets of people who haven't yet heeded straight health warnings.

"Health care costs are dramatically higher for people who are obese and it doesn't have to be that way," said Jeff Levi of the nonprofit Trust for America's Health, who wasn't involved in the new research. "We have ways of changing behavior and changing those health outcomes so that we don't have to deal with the medical
consequences of obesity
," added Mr. Levi, who advocates community-based programs that promote physical activity and better nutrition.
It was awkwardly stated -- and maybe he even meant worse by it; but "ways to change" certainly can mean mean "ways" without compulsion. In any event, once again, it is a Trust for health, not the government.

But it was precisely that "chilling locution" that set off the wave of fright of the possibility of, say, "the government telling people they could not get divorced," because, like a million other things, divorces are correlated with slightly higher disease rates. (And we don't even know if the lack of a divorce in an otherwise unhealthy living situation, might or might not be similarly correlated, since there is no way to account for this variable, it seems.)

This leap to divorce -- aside from the over ominous reading of a non profit Trust analyst (who may or may not (but probably) meant promotional advocacy means), with the government itself -- is simply a ridiculous leap of logic. It helps illustrate how the far right's thinking is often grounded in hysteria and specious speculation, that the far right itself often confuses for "common sense.'

We see it done on a repeated basis.

Normally, it just goes right on unchecked, for the most part; even, sometimes, helping somewhat to frame our national discussion. (Since, as long as loud enough voices say it just convincingly enough, our media likes to then parrot it as reasonable and one "side" to some debate.)

On this little bit of "chilling locution"/divorce zaniness, it was of course promoted by that overly popular bit of horse malarkey, instapundit itself. Shocker, that. Note to Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds -- who actually teaches law -- perhaps you should read the things that you link to? Although, in quite a telling symmetry, it is clear that this site that you linked to, also does not.

The Wall Street Journal's John Fund is to Political and Media Objectivity, what Sarah Palin is to Serving out Full Terms as Governor

The chasm between prematurely ex-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's rhetoric, and reality, is so large given her status as one of the GOP frontrunners, that it is frightening.

Below is an example of precisely the type of media that Palin does not viciously condemn; does not blatantly mislead about; does not frighteningly misunderstand the entire purpose of and premise behind; and which, irony of ironies, is precisely what Palin likely envisions when she nevertheless speaks of something entirely disparate, about that very same media itself.

That is, media not doing its job, and not serving as an independent, objective, fourth estate check upon power and the powerful, upon government, upon groupthink run amuck, and upon misrepresentation and untruth, but rather a media that says what Palin wants to hear, in the way that she wants to hear it. In other words, exactly what defines a state run media in non democratic regimes.

The scary thing is Palin, and her followers -- like the Wall Street Journal's Fund -- do not seem to see the extraordinarily ignorant hypocrisy in Palin's statements, including this one - a statement that here Fund promotes as if it were quite reasonable, coming from Palin:
Ms. Palin appeared liberated by leaving office and used blunt words to take her media critics down a peg. “You represent what could and should be a respected, honest profession that could and should be a cornerstone of our democracy,” she said. “Democracy depends on you, and that is why -- that’s why our troops are willing to die for you. So how about in honor of the American soldier, you quit makin’ things up.”

She didn’t stop there. “One other thing for the media, our new governor has a very nice family, too, so leave his kids alone,” she told the enthusiastic crowd gathered at a picnic grounds in Fairbanks. Ms. Palin will no doubt have a future as a stump speaker and political commentator in the lower 48, and her media critique certainly will find receptive audiences.
For just the tip of the iceberg -- but enough to objectively (something that Fund routinely appears on the road to being incapable of doing) establish a bit of the case above, see this piece with respect to Palin's statement to the media to "quit making things up."

Perhaps Fund should read it. Along with a bit more in regard to the actual facts, the actual media coverage of Palin, and the rhetoric that Palin has repeatedly used. (It is almost like while the rest of us are composed of flesh and blood -- most of us anyway -- or, alternatively, a few key atoms in various combinations, Palin is composed of something entirely different: Pure, unadulterated rhetoric. It is like in the science fiction movies where "it" is not a being, but a pure energy field -- except Palin is instead a pure rhetoric field. )

It works, of course, because in that same media itself -- including those, like Fund, who might be about as politically (and journalistically) objective as as Fox guarding a hen house is on reporting about a missing hen -- are those who buy it.

Yet It is rhetoric like Palin's, and the sheep like mentality that does not look behind it at the facts, that has changed the nature (and, ultimately and quite ironically given Palin's constant yammering to the contrary, the freedom) of every once great nation or society the world has ever seen.

Fund, as an allegedly independent journalist, is a bit of a cheerleader for it, without even knowing it. Fund's bs meter is not only broken; so long as it meets his political orientations, he's got a bs feeder, which apparently sniffs it out and promotes it.

And then, of course, there are some others, such as conservative columnist Katherine Parker, who seems to want to like Palin, but nevertheless, aptly penned perhaps the most applicable line about Palin yet put to print.

Yet Parker is either not very objective; or, perhaps more likely, not excessively knowledgeable with respect to all the facts. And was "relieved" at Palin's vice presidential debate performance, and praised it -- as apparently, truthfulness, or again, knowledge, was not relevant to Parker's assessment (or again, more likely, unknown to her.) Yet contrast the absurd standard that Parker starts with; "What did they do with the other Sarah Palin? I mean the one who bases foreign policy experience on the proximity of Russia to Alaska" with this from the link just cited:
Most media outlets [etc.] repeated the [idea] that ...Palin “exceeded” expectations...and that there were no real gaffes. ...[And] there were no gaffes:...by the standard which expected Sarah Palin to be incapable of uttering a coherent sentence. But let’s apply a different standard, one which some might have the temerity to suggest is more applicable to the actual situation: That is, what might be expected and required of .... someone who's the right arm to, and a heartbeat away from, the most important job in the world.
Contrast that idea,with Parker's positive assessment of Palin's debate performance, because Palin did not (once again) say that she had relevant foreign policy experience because "Alaska is close to Russia." ("Close to" hundreds of hundreds of miles of some of the most barren, desolate, largely uninhabited tundra on earth, and further away from Moscow than Washington, D.C, is from London.)

And then Parker had this to say about Palin:

Does that mean she's ready to lead the free world should circumstances warrant? that question remains. Right next to same question about Barack Obama.
Granted, Parker is a conservative, so she is not supposed to be hawking Obama. Though -- unreported by the general media, and largely ignored by active Democrats, who somehow neglected to see the relevance in terms of building credibility with those whom the Democrats need to reach -- Obama was supported by an unusually high number of knowledgeable, leading Republicans. (Some of whom are now questioning that support, as are some Democrats, at least. But we forget that Obama inherited a lot of problems, that are quickly transitioning over to being "his." Particularly with Democrats once again losing the battle of framing -- or perhaps, not even fully knowing how to wage it, or recognizing its prominent existence in the first place.)

And Parker certainly was entitled to her legitimate doubts. But to place Palin, given the ex-Alaska Governor's incredibly poor grasp of facts, constant reliance upon almost zealous belief, continual habit of misrepresentations, lack of relevant experience and almost complete and utter lack of any world knowledge, equally alongside Obama in terms of being ready to lead the "free world," is a bit much.

Yet here is what a few days prior, Parker had, much more insightfully, penned about Palin, which pretty much sums it all up:
If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.

John Fund, who writes for the Wall Street Journal, and about Wall Street, apparently bought it; hook, line, and sinker.


As posted by Sonoma County Democracy for America, and reflective of various sites picking up the "story" that Colin Powell, "in an interview with CNN's Larry King," suggested that both Sergeant Crowley and Professor Gates could have acted a bit differently:
by The Huffington Post News Team [courtesy of Politics on HuffingtonPost.com]
Technically, this is true. The "Huffington Post "news team"very briefly summarized this portion of the interview, and provided the video itself and a convenient transcript of it. Still, we are pretty comfortable with the impression that it was CNN that produced the actual news here.

This is not to say that the Huffington Post did not provide a valuable service, or that acknowledgements are not appropriate. But it seems that somewhat lost in this acknowledgement is the fact that CNN produced the relevant news; the Huffington Post then made the news on TV, easily available online.

The "By The Huffington Post News Team," along with "courtesy of Politics on Huffington Post," phrasing, might subtly suggest that the Huffington Post engaged in actual news reporting here. That is, we tend to think of the "news team" not as the team that gathers the news, but one that is the original reporter or, as in the case of CNN and Larry King's interview, creates it.

Perhaps that is no longer clearly the case.

The Huff Post indeed has a very cost efficient model. But could it be replicated, in the absence of the actual CNNs, the NY Times', and the scores of other "real" news" services? (Note, the Hufffinton Post also itself engages in reporting, serving a quasi blog -- news function; part of the reason why this question is more than esoteric.)

Below, we suggested (on the otherwise same topic of Professor Gates arrest in his own home):
As the wonderful Althouse re-reports (indulging in what, for the most part, passes for the reporting that the "online blogosphere" must over rely upon in order to replace traditional, necessary, hard hitting investigative journalism with -- a large part of the reason why we are sour on the claim that with the "rise" of the blogosphere, the demise of today's mainstream media is somehow less relevant) and we re-re-report..
Regarding the substance of what Powell said, see immediately below, here


Riot of the Year -- Palin's Directive to Media

Or, we should say, it would be a riot if it were not so serious, and this person was not actually considered a potential leader of the GOP.

Here are Palin's words to a media that -- despite constant cries and whines to the contrary, has actually gone rather softly on her IN RELATION TO THE FACTS. "Quit making things up."

Palin, without, of course, supporting her accusation, was referring to the media "making things up" with respect to American Soldiers.

Last year, Sarah "Quit Making Things Up" Palin, stated that Obama's statement that our air raiding Afghanistan villages was resulting in too many civilian casualties, was a "a reckless, reckless comment and untrue comment." Eight days before Obama's comment, the Washington Post reported on its Sunday front page
A mounting toll of civilian casualties, mostly in bombing raids... have inflamed public opinion, turned many Afghans against the foreign forces [note; that's us], and further strained [Afghan President Hamid] Karzai's credibility.
Of course, remember that when asked what source of news she reads, Palin could not cite a single one.

Palin also does not appear to listen to our top military commanders, either: In September of 2008, Afghanistian Senior Commander David McKiernan (who in the vice presidential debate, Palin called "McClellan") asserted that there were mounting civilian casualties in Afghanistan, due to an over reliance upon air power. The next day, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, issued an apology to the Afghanistan government for the excessive casualties -- the ones that, in Palin's world of "making things up," didn't exist. (That's "straight talk" for ya: Something that Palin is a virtuoso at claiming she delivers, and the exact opposite, in actually delivering.)

The "Bridge to Nowhere," that in speech after impassioned speech Palin riled her supporters with her boldly and almost zealously repeated"principled" opposition to? Palin was a firm supporter of it until the issue was over -- until it became a national issue, until Congress made clear that it was withdrawing any more support for the project (and thus, no longer a matter of "pork," Alaska would have to pay for it), and even until shortly after John McCain scathingly mocked it himself on the campaign trail.

Last year, to Joe Biden's point that the McCain campaign opposed granting bankruptcy judges the power to change interest rates and principal on borrower’s primary residences, Palin, who clearly did not know, again, simply "made something up," and stated: "that is not so." It was so. And McCain's campaign corrected Palin the next day.

Here's Palin completely "making stuff up" on Energy -- the topic on which she is an alleged expert -- and then continuing to do so, even after being corrected.

Climate Progress.org calls the Washington Post editorial page a "joke" for running an energy piece by Palin. Is it?

The piece was against capping carbon (perhaps not a good position, but that is not the issue with the piece.) Palin, the "quit making things up" ex-Alaska Governor, was asked this by Gwen Ifill during the vice presidential debate. "do you support capping carbon emissions? PALIN: I do. I do."

And the list goes on... and on.... and on....

Yet Palin, as with many things rhetorical, has reduced attacking the media to art form and unequivocal passion until the media, even if it does not do its job and stays soft, simply states Palin's version of reality. This is perhaps more troubling in a popular figure than many, Republican or Democrat alike, seem to recognize:

In fact, to this same media which almost universally proclaimed her "performance" both reasonable and gaffe free, Palin has repeatedly vented in this manner, as if in a "democracy," the role of an independent press -- which Thomas Jefferson considered so important that he proclaimed given a choice between the two, he would choose it before government itself -- is to merely parrot the points of candidates and the government that the candidates and government want the people to hear; that is, the operational principle of almost every governmental system the world over, that is in fact not a democracy.

....Actually, it is manipulation, and misinformation like Sarah Palin delivered in spades to the American people, that is the problem. Not to mention our putting up with it.


Bill Kristol -- Expert on Health Care Issues, Or Another Famous Pundit Who Has Almost No Clue What They are Talking About?

Kristol asserts that the "the deepest vulnerability of Obamacare is that it (intentionally) puts us on a course towards government rationing of health care. " The word "intentionally" in the parenthetical is Kristol's, also. Wonderful how he knows this.

He cites the following language from a Ted Kennedy - Bob Shrum health care article as proof of his naive explanation and prognosis on rationing:
For example, in Medicare today, 18 percent of patients discharged from a hospital are readmitted within 30 days--at a cost of more than $15 billion in 2005. Most of these readmissions are unnecessary, but we don't reward hospitals and doctors for preventing them. By changing that, we'll save billions
Kristol finds this idea frightening, neglecting to note that health care insurers already practice forms of selective rationing all the time, but with their bottom line duty being profits, not maximizing the benefit of the health care with the costs.

He may or may not have a point with respect to the government potentially making too many decisions (which is part of why we recommend this) in what is otherwise a sea of misinformed conjectures, but contrast Kristol's analysis of how the government -- which already spends hundreds of billions a year on health care -- trying to save money, is bad, with an example of health insurer practices in order to save money:

Bayonne Medical Center filed a federal lawsuit yesterday accusing Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey of intimidating patients into leaving the hospital early and avoiding its emergency room in an effort to save money.

The suit alleges Horizon routinely sent couriers to hospital bedsides to warn patients they could incur massive bills if they did not transfer out of Bayonne, which does not participate in the insurer's payment network. Hospital officials said the tactics violated state law and in some cases seriously jeopardized patients' health.
Here's the hospital --which also clearly has a vested interest in this -- spin on it:

Bayonne Hospital Center and Hospital Patient File Federal Lawsuit to Protect Bayonne, New Jersey Residents From Life-Threatening Business Practices of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ.

Suit Charges Horizon with Systematic Attack on Emergency Care in Quest for Profit

Here's the legal complaint filed by the hospital, against the insurer.

Of course, with respect to Kristol's unsubstantiated and a bit hypocritical assertion that health care reform "puts us on a course of government rationing of health care," that same assertion was also aggressively postulated with respect to the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid over four decades ago.

Once again, we say the problem is over insurance, not the extent to which the government decides to foot some health insurance costs as an option for some otherwise struggling to do so.


The Politics of Waterloo and Health Care?

On the other hand, the issue seems to be about the best way to improve the health care mess - whether there's far too much government expenditure on it already, not enough coverage or ability to afford good health care on the part of citizens, or both -- rather than the President's "waterloo."


But seriously, speaking of the Washington Post, are they trying to become the new official voice of ignorance?
The AP' s Washington Bureau Chief simply continues to amaze.

Much more problematic is that those concerned with the importance of a rigorous, independent, and at least reasonably objective press, continue to put up with this partisan shrill clothed in the camouflage of a reporter, much less the all important role of Washington Bureau Chief for the Associated Press.

Fournier's just doing his thing, which is practicing his often wildly misleading and skewed presentations, housed as "news." It's those who put up with him which is the real issue.

What do you do? Those with the power, make the case, and make it stick. That's all. Don't make it to your fellow choir mates, make it to America. Turn it into a story.

I suppose we could document several hundred instances, with hundreds more links and relevant facts, to emphatically back this up. But, really, what's the point. Do you really want to read it?
"Palin Bashing is Women Bashing." Okay.

Christian Science Monitor: "Langhorne, Pa. - Let's call it what it is: sexism in the media. No matter your political stripe, pundits are skewering Sarah Palin. Again. Back in the media spotlight for announcing her resignation as governor July 3, she's become easy fodder for misogynistic bashing."

Bob Somerby had an interesting column (see 2d half of his piece) on this very same point (emphasis added).

"'COHEN (7/7/09): ...Was it okay with the GOP if the person a heartbeat away from the presidency was—pardon me, but it's true—a ditz with no national experience whatsoever? You betcha. The party had cracked up, accepting a nullity because she was antiabortion over a seasoned senator and former governor because they were not. Ideology won. The nation lost.'

...Palin was a horrible candidate...But someone like Cohen can’t voice such a judgment about a woman without quickly turning to familiar sexist language. He asks our forgiveness as he does, thus showing he knows there’s a problem.

“Pardon me,” the elite pundit says, calling Palin “a ditz.” “Pardon me”—but the statement "is true.”

Now that is a teachable moment.

And, of course, Cohen’s so dumb that he seems to think that a stereotypical insult of that type can actually be a matter of “fact.” You really have to be dumb—and uncaring—to say something like that."
Harsh, but Somerby is right. Someone being a "ditz," by definition, can not be a matter of "fact," but not, apparently, to Cohen, who, um, uh, errr, is a bit of a ditz. In our humble opinion, by the way, as all such proclamations are. As per usual, Cohen's also wrong as to why the "party" accepted the nomination (while at the same time missing the fact that quite a number of very prominent republicans, increasingly, lambasted the choice); because Palin brought an "energy" (manipulative as it is, see this above) and it was McCain's choice, not theirs.

Still, what the Christian Science Monitor is missing, and what the media still has not very well covered, are the facts. Let's take a look back when they really mattered, then and today.

As noted above, the point is...
Update, to this Post below.

Apparently, some Senators are also alleging outright that the concealment by the CIA broke the law.

Additionally, as this constitutional issues Salon columnist aptly notes, the Attorney General may be part of the administration, but also acts independently in matters of prosecution.
"It seems to be pure, unadulterated spin," in reference to this, by Instapundit, is what we wrote below.

The Washington Post, despite widespread efforts to paint the contrary picture, has hardly been an Obama Cheerleader. But according to the Post, whaddya know, "Recent Disclosures Prompt Obama Administration to Rethink Approach to Inquiries." You mean, not poll numbers, but things like "fresh disclosures about CIA activity that had been hidden from Congress for seven years"? Or the suggestion by the House Intelligence Chairman, less than a week ago, that the CIA "lied to lawmakers," apparently backed up by the director of the CIA"? Or perhaps reports that, of course, warrantless survelliance has been far more widespread than had been represented, and previously thought, at the same time its efficacy and effect have possibly been greatly exaggerated? And that there may even have been "hints" of "political pressure in preparing...threat assessments that helped form the legal basis" for continuing the classified [and quite possibly unconstitutional] program?

Nah, it's just poll numbers. Instapundit. Your one stop shop for pithy commentary, witty observations, and non stop far right wing subjective partisan b.s.
It seems our suspicions below were correct; it does appear to be a case of simple, unbridled, deeply seated skepticism, perhaps even well ahead of the facts.
Speaking of Glenn Reynolds and Instapundit.... what a skeptic, searching far and wide to find the most "fitting" quotes for the unbiased benefit of readers everywhere.

We'll keep our eyes open on the issue. But there has been a non stop and sometimes reasonable call to at least look at the torture question, so are we? And is the Attorney General, in contemplating it, really looking at Obama's poll numbers?

The case could be made, but so far, it seems to be pure, unadulterated spin. I'm just sayin'.

And speaking of torture, "American Conservative" (also mentioned just below) has this interesting twist to add, in its August 1 edition.
Law Professor and "Instapundit" Glenn Reynolds seems like a pretty intelligent, witty guy. But someone needs to explain the concept of "variance" to him, to say the least. (It's a theme we have seen repeatedly). It is funny though.

But really, now.


Hilarious Headline of the week: "Palin Willing To Campaign For Democrats." And it's posted on the Huffington Post, among other places.

Yes, Palin is willing to campaign for Democrats. This Palin. Now attempting to play Democrats (who if you ask them, never get played) -- and of course, once again, the voters -- like a fiddle.

I suppose we could give about a thousand examples of how Machiavellian this is, and how, of course, the media (and Huff Post) is playing into it. But what would be the point.