Why are phony "hate crimes" so common, especially on college campuses?
Oh really? Phony hate crimes are common? Taranto arrives at this conclusion from ... a single case? (He later cites two cases of phony hate crimes ... from thirty and twenty years ago, respectively. Neither were on a college campus.)
Where is the data to back up this claim? Can Taranto show us any more cases of phony hate-crime reports from college campuses? Yes, there have been some (we know of a few others), but just how many are there? Enough to claim that it's "common"?
Jim Wallis repeats the words of Martin Luther King Jr.: "A budget is a moral document."
In the first three years of the Clinton White House, there were two memorable budget wars, in 1993 and 1995. The open fights with the Republicans were brutal, highest-of-high stakes white-knuckle showdowns where Clinton’s entire Presidency was on the line. Behind the scenes, though, our internal fights inside the White House were almost as intense. One thing I will never forget was a meeting where my old friend Bob Boorstin, one of the earliest staffers to join Clinton’s campaign, was fighting to keep some important line items in place that would help the poor, and bluntly told President Clinton, “Your budget represents your values.”
While those of us fighting for more spending to help low- and middle-income people lost a few rounds in these internal debates, we won more than we lost, and in both 1993 and 1995 the budgets Clinton presented and the ones he ended up negotiating with Congress were quite progressive. The 1993 budget raised taxes on the wealthy, lowered taxes on the poor through a big expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, and increased investment in programs like education, the environment, Head Start, and Student Grants and Loans. In the 1995 budget showdown with the Republicans in Congress, Clinton rejected the advice of people like Mark Penn that he avoid a showdown, and decided to draw a line in the sand to save “Medicare, Medicaid, Education, and the Environment” from cuts Gingrich wanted to impose, and he decisively won that battle. In all of the budgets that Clinton proposed and negotiated with Congress while President, he (for the most part) embraced Democratic values.
Twenty years after Clinton’s first epic budget battle, our current Democratic president is wrestling with what budget to propose to Congress. The House and the Senate have already proposed radically different ideas of what a budget should look like, so obviously what Obama proposes is just one part of a much longer budget debate, but symbolically, as a presentation of his values, it remains a very important moment. The president has been spending the last year and a half talking about how he wants to fight for the middle class, and his budget should reflect those values.
This is why it is so deeply troubling, as the Wall Street Journal and other news outlets are now reporting, that Obama is strongly considering putting a Social Security cut into his budget document. By doing this, the President can no longer fall back on what he has been telling progressives and Democrats in Congress, that he doesn’t want to cut Social Security but is willing to trade it for some good things that the Republicans would give up in a budget deal. By embracing- embracing! Social Security cuts as part of his budget, his statement of values, the President is telling the American public, senior citizens, and progressives that he wants to cut what they overwhelmingly and passionately support.
As I've said before, the Wall Street Journal editorial board is full-out whacko -- to the point where they frequently contradict reporting from their own staff. Now we have another example of how divorced the WSJ ed board is from any semblance of journalistic integrity. But then, having served as undisclosed debate advisor to Ronald Reagan hasn't seemed to hurt George Will's ability to make a buck!
The Wall Street Journal has been criticized by senior US journalists for failing to disclose that 10 of its op-ed writers are Mitt Romney advisers.
Max Frankel, a former New York Times executive editor, called the lack of disclosure “shameless.” He added: “They ought to put a banner saying Romney has approved of this page… It looks like the Wall Street Journal editorial and op ed pages have enlisted in the campaign. They should be disclosing that.”
“Not disclosing is inexcusable,” declared Stephen Henderson, editorial page editor of the Detroit Free Press.
“It is important to disclose that so that the reader can evaluate the argument intelligently,” said Nicholas Goldberg, Los Angeles Times editorial page editor, adding that transparency is “absolutely essential.”
John Diaz, editorial page editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, said the prominence of the writers should have raised a red flag that they could be Romney advisers.
Harold Jackson of the Philadelphia Inquirer, said: “I don’t know why it would be harmful for them to disclose those kinds of connections. I think readers would expect it.”
A review by Media Matters on September 19 named the 10 WSJ writers with strong Romney links as John Bolton; Max Boot; Lee Casey; Paula Dobriansky; Mary Ann Glendon; Glenn Hubbard; Paul Peterson; David Rivkin Jr; Martin West; and Michael Mukasey.
Maybe I'm just being naïve, but I always thought journalists should disclose direct connections to organizations which are critical of other organizations that journalist is criticizing. When your spouse sits on the board of StudentsFirstNY and is the top staffer assigned to Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan (who happens to have an extreme view on public education and teachers), I would think it's not simply a question of credibility, but also basic journalistic ethics.
To hear Brown tell it in this segment, the criticism she received for Senor's links to StudentsFirstNY and the Romney campaign were nothing more than some left-wing strategy to undo her Very Important Message. She whines about being unable to talk issues on the merits because someone mean will come along and try and undermine her credibility. She likens this to the current campaign discourse (or lack thereof).
BWAHAHAHAHA. Really? Because running out of the gate by saying unions enable sexual abusers is polite, issues-based discourse? Because Mitt Romney intentionally lying about what President Obama said is an invitation to talk issues on the merits? Because maybe knowing what backchannel associations exist is relevant to framing any debate with anyone?
Does it get any more disingenuous than this? When Sam Stein points out that he discloses his wife's association with the Obama Administration, we get a real dose of Campbell coming to Jesus. Begrudgingly. Brown agrees and admits that she "has no doubt that if she wrote about what she was planting in her garden someone would raise their hand and say she's married to a Romney guy." Dawwww, poor Campbell.
I think perhaps the moment that was most revealing came right after that whine, where she said "You can't win if you don't put it out there all the time."
I'm curious. Brown claims to be a journalist. What does it mean when a journalist says "You can't win"?
Granted, she has been writing op-eds. But even op-eds aren't about winning, are they? Aren't they about issues, and the merits of those issues? If they're about winning, then who is she winning for? What marks the end of the race, the finish line, the win?
In the controversy surrounding the uniforms of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, the problem isn't China. That the uniforms were made there is merely a deep embarrassment and a missed opportunity. Our textile and manufacturing companies deserved that work. You wonder how it could be that no one in the American Olympic Committee or in Ralph Lauren's company asked, "By the way, we're making the outfits in America, right?"
Sure, they could've. But Nooners didn't seem to notice or care that in 2008, when a Republican was president, the Ralph Lauren designed uniforms were also made in China. Sure that was an oversight.
But that isn't the biggest problem. That would be the uniforms themselves. They don't really look all that American. Have you seen them? Do they say "America" to you? Berets with little stripes? Double breasted tuxedo-like jackets with white pants? Funny rounded collars on the shirts? Huge Polo logos? They look like some European bureaucrat's idea of a secret militia, like Brussels's idea of a chic new army. [...]
Americans wear baseball caps, trucker hats, cowboy hats, watch caps, Stetsons, golf caps, even Panama hats and fedoras.
I'm not sure Americans have ever worn "trucker hats" as part of an Olympic uniform, but during the 2002 Winter Olympics they wore -- wait for it -- berets with little stripes. But then again, a Republican was in the White House, so no biggie.
Then Nooners shifts gears and wrinkles her nose at the President.
I am certain the president has no idea how patronizing he sounds. His job is to tell us a story? And then get our blankie and put us to sleep?
When he says "a story" he means "the narrative," but he can't use that term because every hack in politics and every journalist they spin uses it and believes in it.
We've written of this before but it needs repeating. The American people will not listen to a narrative, they will not sit still for a story. They do not listen passively as seemingly eloquent people in Washington spin tales of their own derring-do.
The American people tell you the narrative. They look at the facts produced by your leadership, make a judgment and sum it up. The summation is spoken—the story told—at a million barbecues in a million back yards.
Maybe Mr. Bush should begin to think in terms of his own narrative. Maybe the real question is whether he and his people will write it, or whether it will be imposed on him by the media.
One thing is sure. The media abhor a vacuum. If they find one, they’ll fill it. Which suggests the Republicans, who have despised the sleek savvy of the Clinton years, may have to emulate it to some degree. Mr. Bush has not only got the White House. He’s got a great, grand stage. Mr. Clinton strutted there. Mr. Gore would have too. And Mr. Bush? Will he develop a sharper stagecraft to go with his statecraft? Now that he’s on stage—a large, grand stage—he needs a greater narrative, and a bolder sense of drama.
Nooners' columns would be more effective propaganda if she could lay off the Tanqueray martinis long enough to check her own archives.
From the Wall Street Journal, columnist Justin Lahart takes a look at how state and local job losses drove up the unemployment rate. Let's remember that the states run by Republican governors insisted on paying for tax cuts by laying off government workers, and that the Republicans in Congress and their Blue Dog enablers who blocked government spending to the states did their part, too. (Remember "jobs, jobs, jobs"? Thanks, Grand Old Piranas!)
One reason the unemployment rate may have remained persistently high: The sharp cuts in state and local government spending in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and the layoffs those cuts wrought.
The Labor Department’s establishment survey of employers — the jobs count that it bases its payroll figures on — shows that the government has been steadily shedding workers since the crisis struck, with 586,000 fewer jobs than in December 2008. Friday’s employment report showed the cuts continued in April, with 15,000 government jobs lost.
But the survey of households that the unemployment rate is based on suggests the government job cuts have been much, much worse.
In April the household survey showed that that there were 442,000 fewer people working in government than in March. The household survey has a much smaller sample size than the establishment survey, and so is prone to volatility, but the magnitude of the drop is striking: It marks the largest decline on both an absolute and a percentage basis on record going back to 1948. Moreover, the household survey has consistently showed bigger drops in government employment than the establishment survey has.
The unemployment rate would be far lower if it hadn’t been for those cuts: If there were as many people working in government as there were in December 2008, the unemployment rate in April would have been 7.1%, not 8.1%.
Ceteris is rarely paribus, of course: If there were more government jobs now, for example, it’s likely that not as many people would have left the labor force, and so the actual unemployment rate would be north of 7.1.
these are real jobs by real people of the type you see everyday when you drop your kid off at school, get a speeding ticket (whoops…bad e.g., but you know what I mean), or pass a firehouse. You see their work when you go to a soccer game at a public field that’s in decent shape or stroll in a public park.
there’s a significant multiplier to state and local spending, both in terms of contracting out work to private entities and spending by public workers in their communities (Zandi puts it at 1.4–for a dollar of state fiscal relief, GDP grows $1.4).
The WSJ is the voice of the DC-New York GOP establishment, and that voice was crackling with anger and tears on Tuesday.
Let's just say right now what voters will be saying in November, once Barack Obama has been re-elected: Republicans deserve to lose.
Well, yes. They deserve to lose because they've learned nothing from spectacular failures of the Bush/Cheney years and are doubling down on every right-wing fetish: Even lower taxes! Even more wealth inequality! Even more war! Even fewer regulations! Let's deport 12 million people! Let's bring back child labor!
But I digress.
Above all, it doesn't matter that Americans are generally eager to send Mr. Obama packing. All they need is to be reasonably sure that the alternative won't be another fiasco. But they can't be reasonably sure, so it's going to be four more years of the disappointment you already know.
But won't Newt beat Obama in the debates?
A primary ballot for Mr. Gingrich is a vote for an entertaining election, not a Republican in the White House.
Ouch. But...but...don't we need a businessman to create jobs?
On the evidence of his campaign, Mr. Romney is a lousy CEO.
Oh, snap! And the big finish!
...the U.S. will surely survive four more years. Who knows? By then maybe Republicans will have figured out that if they don't want to lose, they shouldn't run with losers.
Cheer up, WSJers! There's got to be a Bush lying around somewhere for 2016. In the meantime, please note that Newt and Willard are advocating exactly the same policies you've cheered on for decades.
This holiday season, let's spare a kind thought for the decent people who toil inside Washington's legislative machinery. These good folk must live and work inside the dreamlike bubble that is today's policy and media world. Each day they strain to see reality through the reflected light of the false but colorful narratives projected against the bubble's surface.
Or would it be a better metaphor to say they're prisoners in some cold underground cell? No matter how many polls are conducted, no matter how many economic analyses are performed, no matter how many bitter lessons are taught and re-taught, there are those who hope to deny them even a glimpse of reality.
Instead these good people are forced to stare into the harsh glare of synthetic reality, hour after hour, as if were a naked lightbulb in windowless room. Only a few precious slivers of genuine sunlight penetrate the dank basement of illusion that imprisons them.
Well-intentioned staffers in Washington need good information to do their jobs well. Instead they're being inundated with confusing pseudo-facts and empty fear-mongering. This week's case in point? The Congressional "Super Committee." Did you know that unless they come up with their cuts there will be no Christmas this year? You didn't? Then you haven't been reading the Wall Street Journal.
Unfortunately, that kind of distortion isn't the exception. It's the rule.
In June of this year, AlterNet quietly published an article about Herman Cain's deep ties to Americans for Prosperity. At the time, no one paid close attention because most people had no idea who Herman Cain was or why they should care. But now that Cain is the current frontrunner of the day in the Republican primaries, it's worth revisiting and re-examining Cain's close relationship to the Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity.
From the AlterNet article:
Not only is Cain a frequent speaker at AFP Foundation events, he was also, by his own account, tapped by [Mark] Block to be one of the faces of Prosperity 101, a workplace seminar program, designed for employers to present to their employees at "voluntary" workplace gatherings where they are told that the legislative initiatives typically embraced by Democrats -- health-care reform, energy reform, higher taxes for the wealthiest Americans -- could so hurt their employers as to force layoffs. The program was set in motion during the lead-up to the 2010 elections. (AlterNet, working in collaboration with the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute, published an expose on Prosperity 101 last week.)
The idea behind Prosperity 101 is simple: Employers gather employees for a "voluntary" seminar where nervous workers, already sweating in an economy that is shedding jobs, are told that government regulation, unions and tax increases -- even if only on the wealthy -- are bad for their employers, thereby threatening the workers' own livelihoods. Then they're reminded to vote -- for example, in last year's midterm elections. (The Prosperity 101 textbook includes a sample voter registration form from the State of Wisconsin.) And in the program textbook, employee participants are urged to join Americans for Prosperity, which has a history of alliances with GOP candidates.
In the textbook's introduction, Hansen, Prosperity 101's creator, plays on workers' fears of economic insecurity, stirred up by the lingering recession:
'You go to work every day, giving your best efforts in hopes of keeping your job through every economic cycle and every corporate downsizing…Will you be included in the next round of layoffs?… Do you know your job security is not just dependent on your performance?...Prosperity 101(TM) is designed to empower you, the employee, to go beyond your paradigms and look at job protection in a new way.'
It isn't just Herman Cain involved in Prosperity 101, either. The Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore and John Fund were also involved.
In addition to workplace "education", Prosperity 101 is actively involved in voter registration drives in the workplace. From The Nation Institute:
"A key component of Prosperity 101 is working with employers to help them encourage voter registration among their employees," Hansen, trim and stylish at 52, explained to the crowd. "So when Herman [Cain] first heard the concept here, he said, 'You've come up with the answer to ACORN!'"
Hansen then played the Prosperity 101 promotional video, which features Cain and the Journal's Stephen Moore.
Moore's segment confers a crucial air of legitimacy upon Prosperity 101 by virtue of his post at the world's premier financial newspaper, an affiliation that is highlighted both in the video and in the program's other promotional materials. "Washington is working against employers," Moore tells viewers. "It's working against people who are trying to create wealth and are trying to employ workers."
Each audience member received a copy of the program's textbook, a slender paperback that features material by Cain and Moore, among others.
Suddenly Herman Cain's "surge" begins to fall into place. The combination of workplace indoctrination and voter registration last year means many workers have a clear idea of who he is, as compared to others. At this point, he may be the single candidate with name recognition.
There's an even larger strategy at work here, coordinated with tea party groups and others who seek to drive a wedge into the African-American community and shave away some of Barack Obama's popularity. They do this by playing the "Cain would be the first 'REAL' black President" card. That initiative has begun and is spreading via conservative radio talkers and tea party groups, who see it as an opportunity to push back on the perception that they're racists.
That notion, however, spurred Ingraham to contemplate the GOP’s African-American presidential candidate Herman Cain. In comparing the “blackness” of the two African American politicians, Ingraham wondered whether Cain would actually be 'the first black president' because he doesn’t 'have a white mother, white father.' Therefore,isn’t he the real black candidate?:
INGRAHAM: And what happened with Obama is that he gets this job that he’s not qualified for… OK, so [Obama is] Constitutionally qualified for but he’s not really qualified for. And guess who pays the price? All of us. Because we had such a yearning for history.Well I have a question. Herman Cain, if he became president, he would be the first black president, when you measure it by — because he doesn’t — does he have a white mother, white father, grandparents, no, right? So Herman Cain, he could say that he’s — he’s — he’s the first, uh — he could make the claim to be the first — yeah, the first Main Street black Republican to be the president of the United States. Right? He’s historic too.
Listen to it here:
By the way, this really is an issue in the African-American community. Mixed race is another layer to the already-complicated race issue, which is why the Kochs hope it will effectively divide them.
As much as I'd like to shrug Herman Cain off as the newest Republican shiny thing, it's difficult to do when he enjoys the corporate backing of Rupert Murdoch, Charles Koch and David Koch. I expect they will throw as much mud and money as need be to get their guy in the front of the pack. The Wall Street Journal is moving full-tilt boogie to attack the President on as many fronts as possible, including this ridiculous editorial published yesterday, which once again begins with the even more ridiculous premise that President Obama is a "loner." Ann Althouse joined the echo chamber with her own laudatory review of Cain's Meet the Press appearance yesterday, practically falling over herself in adoration of his heritage:
Notice how simply and vividly he struck a chord — the classic black American experience — and made it resonate for anyone who works for living. There is a quality of nobility, that fits with the idea of heritage.
The bottom line here is that Charles and David Koch are patient men with a lot of money. Cynical patient men. They will stop at nothing to enrich themselves at the expense of every citizen in this country, including grooming and backing a completely unqualified candidate, extolling his heritage as being "authentic African-American," and positioning him as the guy with the awesome tax plan that will cripple the working poor in this country more than they already are, even as they clamor for it.
David Axelrod may think Cain isn't a top-tier candidate, but David and Charles Koch see that differently. As long as they have the money and resources to pour into his campaign, my suspicion is that he will continue to 'surge', at least until he implodes like the rest of them seem to do.
In the meantime, I expect we will be hearing and seeing a lot more of Herman Cain.
Warren Buffett has answered theWall Street Journal's snarky remarks about his tax returns. Today in an interview with Fortune Magazine editor Carol Loomis, he challenged Rupert Murdoch to release his tax returns to the press. Buffett said he'd release his at the same time. Here's the transcript, via CNBC:
CAROL LOOMIS: Well, one of the centers of criticism has been the Wall Street Journal's editorial page.
WARREN BUFFETT: Oh, really? (Laughter.)
CAROL LOOMIS: And they've asked you to give them your income tax statement.
WARREN BUFFETT: Yeah.
CAROL LOOMIS: What do you think about that?
WARREN BUFFETT: Well, I think it might be a terrific idea if they would just ask their boss, Rupert Murdoch, and he and I will meet at Fortune and we'll both give you our tax returns, and you can publish them. (Applause.)
CAROL LOOMIS: We like it. We like it. (Laughter.)
WARREN BUFFETT: I'm ready tomorrow morning.
So far, crickets from Rupert. But then, he may be preoccupied with how he's going to pull his tail out of Rupertgate's fire.
I wouldn't hold your breath on those tax returns, but maybe it'll shut up the whiners over at the Wall Street Journal for awhile, and it's always amusing to watch a verbal game of chicken between two billionaires.