On Sunday’s "60 Minutes" anchor Lesley Stahl interviewed former Vice President turned global warming alarmist, Al Gore, and observed: "There's still a lot of skepticism about whether global warming is manmade...there's pretty impressive people, like the Vice President [Dick Cheney]." Gore then described skeptics like Cheney this way: "I think that those people are in such a tiny, tiny minority now with their point of view. They're almost like the ones who still believe that the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona and those who believe the Earth is flat." Gore then went on to explain: "That demeans them a little bit, but it's not that far off."
Stahl teased the interview at the top of the program: "Since he lost the election, Al Gore has become a certified celebrity, a popular prophet of global warming." In the introduction to the segment, Stahl proclaimed: "When Al Gore ran for president in 2000, he was often ridiculed as inauthentic and wooden. Today, he is passionate and animated, a man transformed."
Stahl began the interview by asking Gore about the Democratic presidential race and the possibility of him brokering a deal between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. However, as Stahl later observed: "He's not ruling it out, but he says he already has a job -- as he puts it, P.R. agent for the planet."
A tip for today's starter: ReviveTube. This site lets you watch videos that YouTube has pulled from its public archive because of censorship complaints.
It seems to work by accessing the Flash files directly from YouTube's servers since when it "deletes" a video, really all that YouTube does is just deny access to the page it's on. The files are still cached an accessible, provided you know how to get at them. Luckily, ReviveTube does.
Just once I'd like to see blame for one of our societal ills put in the proper place these days. Everyone has to finger point at everyone else while ignoring their own part in the mess. This incident, though, is just another bad example of blame put everywhere but where it belongs. In this case, the AP reports about a University of Texas at San Antonio incident of plagiarism of which Clemson University's Daniel Wueste ridiculously blames on the Internet.
At the UofT, a student committee was convened to write an honor code to discourage cheating and plagiarizing, a rising problem in our Universities nation wide. Unfortunately, the student committee's results lifted sections of Brigham Young University's honor code that the UofT students found on-line. Yes, the code to discourage cheating and plagiarism was, in part, plagiarized.
When This Week assembled a round-table of four liberals versus one conservative yesterday, I kvetched. Maybe I should have cheered. ABC's idea of balance looks good compared to that of CBS. This morning's Early Show preview of the Bush admin's plan, to be announced later today, to regulate the financial industry was essentially conservative-free. OK, to be absolutely accurate, there was a brief clip of Treasury Secretary Paulson saying the plan would protect the Fed's balance sheet and US taxpayers.
But in her set-up piece, CBS's Kimberly Dozier emphasized the negative: "critics say it's win-win for banks, not the consumer. Less regulation, but no new legal limits to stop questionable lending practices or to stop the shell-game financial structures that led to the current mortgage debacle." The only expert she aired was University of Maryland economist Peter Morici who griped that under the plan: "[banks] can still engage in sharp practices that got them in trouble. There's no reason to believe that this regulatory format will keep the kind of crisis we just had from happening again. Nor will it get us out of this recession."
Co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez took the baton from there. She first interviewed Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), who claimed Congress had already given the Fed "massive" regulatory authority. Dodd predictably blamed the current situation on "a failure of leadership." Then it was on to Rodriguez's in-studio chat with CBS News biz correspondent Anthony Mason who--surprise!-- was also a critic of the plan.
In Monday's Washington Post environmental reporter Juliet Eilperin wrote up a large article on Al Gore's latest climate heroics, headlined "Gore Launches Ambitious Advocacy Campaign on Climate." Gore has pledged to spend $300 million over 3 years "aimed at mobilizing Americans to push for aggressive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, a move that ranks as one of the most ambitious and costly public advocacy campaigns in U.S. history."
Skeptics of catastrophic global warming theory do show up -- in paragraph 20. Before that, we learn Al Gore's putting together strange bedfellows: "One of its early ads will feature the unlikely alliance of clergymen Pat Robertson and Al Sharpton sitting on a couch on Virginia Beach, talking about their commitment to address climate change."
Eilperin also notes that John McCain is at least partially committed to Gore's global goals, and he also has the support of former Republican congressman Sherwood Boehlert. (She doesn't note Boehlert is the most liberal of Republicans and a Sierra Club favorite.)
If only we were all Norwegians, we'd have the high taxes we need and all the welfare we want. But because America is diverse, we selfishly worry that members of other ethnic groups might benefit from our tax dollars. As a result, our taxes aren't high enough and our welfare spending too low.
That in a nutshell is Eduardo Porter's thesis in his NY Times column of today, Race and the Social Contract. Porter, a graduate of Mexico's UNAM who began his journalism career with the Mexican news agency Notimex, is now a member of the NYT's editorial board.
Porter believes that the US needs to make "big investments in the public good" to deal with the "enormous challenge" of "globalization." But that goal is thwarted by our selfishness that in turn is prompted by our diversity.
The columnist begins by noting that, when it comes to taxes and public spending, we rank toward the bottom among developed countries. Now, you might cheer that fact, but Porter sees it as a bad thing. And he cites a number of studies suggesting that in ethnically homogeneous countries, citizens support higher taxes and public spending levels because they're confident their cohorts will be the beneficiaries. But in the more diverse USA, "racial and ethnic antagonism all too frequently limit" public spending.
In a Wednesday story on food stamp program participation in West Virginia that is still being linked at Drudge this evening, Charleston Daily Mail writer Justin D. Anderson fell into the same trap reporters have been falling into for nearly a year, but later largely made up for it by acknowledging that the program is a supplement, and is not designed, or intended, to pay for all of its beneficiaries' food costs.
Here are paragraphs 1, 5, and 6 of Anderson's report:
Challenged by George Will during This Week of March 30th, liberal economics professsor Paul Krugman looks nervously to liberal economics professor Robert Reich. Krugman was one of four liberals at the round-table versus the sole conservative, Will.
When Mitt Romney stated that he saw his father march with Martin Luther King Jr., there was wall to wall media coverage reporting how he had to start backpeddaling. Even after witnesses came forward claiming they had seen his father march with him, the media story of Mitt fabricating the story still persists.
Have a look at the screencap from today's This Week, then please answer this serious question: has ABC no shame? How does the network justify a round-table consisting of four liberals against one conservative?
Let's review the batting order:
Robert Reich: Clinton's former Labor Secretary comes from the leftward reaches of the Dem party. He's a co-founder of the liberal American Prospect magazine.
Paul Krugman: Like Reich, a very liberal professor of economics, and a NYT columnist.
Donna Brazile: Dem activist, Gore 2000 campaign manager.
George Stephanopoulos: The show host was a senior political adviser to Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign and later became Clinton's communications director.
George Will: conservative columnist and [since we're talking batter order and this is Opening Day after all] baseball aficionado.
It is so easy to get sucked in by context-free negativity, isn't it?
If you looked at the home page of the New York Times a couple of hours ago, these items you would have among those seen in the (appropriately) far-left column:
In This Shiite Battle, a Marked Shift From the Past (article link)
Shiite Militias Cling to Swaths of Basra and Stage Raids (article link)
Top-of-hour network radio reports in the past few days, including Fox's, have also "successfully" left the impression that there has been serious decay in the Iraq situation. Who could blame the average person reader/listener for believing that?
Tonight, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann will once again get to do his Countdown show on the NBC network. A frequent and harsh critic of President Bush, especially regarding the Iraq war, Olbermann has used his Countdown show on MSNBC to regularly attack the President whom he has called an "Idiot-in-Chief" and a "fascist." Olbermann has also branded the Republican party as a "terrorist group" that tries to scare Americans into voting for them. The MSNBC host is celebrating the fifth anniversary of his Countdown show, and, on Thursday's program, he closed the show previewing Sunday's NBC special:
A plan set for release Monday would give new powers to the Federal Reserve so that the central bank serves as the system's overarching protector of stability. The proposal would abolish agencies such as the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, shifting their responsibilities to other federal institutions.
Does such a move scare you? Is this a similar overreaction to corporate malfeasance as Sarbanes-Oxley was to Enron? Similar to Soxley, will whatever legislation that emerges today end up harming lending and the real estate market tomorrow?
At his blog Political Punch, ABC reporter Jake Tapper noted the latest thing outraging Republicans. As the McCain campaign prepared to release an ad highlighting McCain's military service, Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean sent out an obnoxious reply: "While we honor McCain’s military service, the fact is Americans want a real leader who offers real solutions, not a blatant opportunist who doesn’t understand the economy and is promising to keep our troops in Iraq for 100 years."
The GOP seized upon the term "blatant opportunist" to suggest that Dean is implying McCain is an opportunist for including his POW information in his latest TV ad, with the RNC demanding an immediate apology. Tapper suggested:
That's all noise. What's more interesting are the Dean quotes from 2004 that may come back to haunt him this year.
Mort Kondracke got one thing right: Rush Limbaugh would go Krakatoa . . .
The resident moderate of The Beltway Boys has counseled John McCain to offer the VP slot to Christie Todd Whitman. Mort made his move during last evening's show-ending "Buzz" segment.
MORTON KONDRACKE: Two new McCain Veep ideas: first, he should offer the Vice-Presidency to Colin Powell, who may well not take it. If not Powell, then Christie Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey. Rush Limbaugh would go Krakatoa but independents will like it, women will like it, and so will African-Americans, the whole package.
Mollie Z. Hemingway at Get Religion is confounded by an obnoxious Newsweek essay by Christopher Dickey titled "Christian Rage and Muslim Moderation." In it, you can see the Cold War echoes in it, with Newsweek taking up the usual schtick: the American (or conservative, or anti-Islamic) side is being clumsily, pointlessly, tastelessly provocative, while the Ayatollahs are calmly, reasonably planting seeds of a new detente. But it’s Muslim rage, not the headlined Christian rage, that Dickey is suggesting that the "wrong" side is hoping to foment:
Pope Benedict XVI, an exiled Egyptian journalist, a bleach-blond Dutch parliamentarian and Danish cartoonists all have something in common with a Teddy bear named Mohammed. They have been at the center of that seething storm called Muslim rage in the last few months, and, with the exception of Mohammed T. Bear, they appear to be testing that anger to see if it will erupt … yet again.
As previously reported by NewsBusters, there's an international climate change awareness promotion going on today called Earth Hour, and websearch giant Google is not only participating in it, but advocating its goals.
It wants "to restore balance and reason to the carbon debate, and to explain and defend the key role of carbon in production of most of our energy for heat, light, and transportation, and all of our food."
With this in mind, Carbon Sense on Friday strongly advocated observance of Earth Hour with a slight twist destined to bring a smile to climate realists across the globe (emphasis added throughout, h/t Heartland):
Want some more proof of Google's political leanings.
Well, consider that the websearch giant is participating in Earth Hour, "a global event created to symbolize that each one of us, working together, can make a positive impact on climate change - no matter who we are or where we live."
Here's what Google displayed at its website moments ago (h/t NBer Wilbur747, emphasis added):
Just how obvious is it that the media's economic and business coverage is so negatively skewed that it has to be part of a political agenda in an election year?
Obvious enough for the folks at Fox News to do an entire segment Saturday morning asking the extraordinary question: "Media ‘Talking Down' the Economy to Get a Dem Elected?"
Despite my surprise seeing "Cavuto on Business" begin with such a question framed at the bottom of the screen, I was almost enraptured by the comments from Neil's guests which not only included regular assertions that this is clearly about getting a Democrat in the White House, but also that media are "committing a crime against the general public" by creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that will end up costing people their jobs in the long run.
More importantly, "if we have a serious recession, a great deal will lie at the media's feet."
Iraqi authorities say the death toll from five days of intense fighting between Iraqi forces and Shi'ite militias has surged to more than 200. Many of the casualties have occurred in Baghdad's Sadr City, a stronghold of militias loyal to Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. A spokesman for the Iraqi Health Ministry says at least 75 people have been killed and nearly 500 wounded in clashes and U.S.-led airstrikes.
Will media go back to paying to attention to the war not that it's getting hot again? Will this be fresh fodder to claim the surge is a failure? Will this hurt McCain given his support of the war and the surge?
Liberal arrogance alert: In promoting his new book (and Brent Bozell's attack on it, too), leftist Eric Alterman asks his fans at the Altercation blog to travel over to Daily Kos: "If Brent is not your cup of ideological tea, I came across this smart commentary on Daily Kos, which illustrates at least one of the reasons I wanted to write the book in the first place, and so I'm pleased to see it."
In it, the Daily Kos diarist "Killer of Sacred Cows" theorizes on the differences between liberals and conservatives in a post titled Liberalism: Reclaiming the Right to Think. First and foremost, conservatives are rigid and inflexible in their ideological rules, while liberals are more fluid in their means to achieve liberal ends. Why? Because liberals are the deep thinkers, while conservatives are naive, afraid, and allergic to thinking deeply. The Kosmonaut advises: Introduce some complexity to their mental diet, because their brains are starving:
Just when you thought the conflagration over James Carville's Judas analogy might be dying down, here comes Derrick Z. Jackson to pour gasoline on the flames with a return-fire Judas shot of his own.
Readers will recall that when Bill Richardson endorsed Obama, Clinton fan Carville chose Good Friday to say:
Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic.
Offered the chance to apologize or withdraw his remarks, the cantankerous Cajun declined, choosing instead to rub in his remarks:
I was quoted accurately and in context, and I was glad to give the quote and I was glad I gave it. I’m not apologizing, I’m not resigning, I’m not doing anything.
Enter Obama fan Jackson with his column of today, On race, Clinton misses the call, in which the Boston Glober sees "signs that [Hillary] will continue to skate the thin ice of race politics and risk the Democratic Party falling through." He saves his Judas shot for last [emphasis added]:
He calls it Hardball, but again tonight Chris Matthews showed he's a softy when it comes to Barack Obama. Chris was crestfallen when NBC News political director Chuck Todd laid out the case, chapter and verse, that political payback, even revenge, explained Sen. Bob Casey's endorsement of Obama as much or more than the "spiritual" reasons Chris so wanted to believe in.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Chuck, I didn’t expect this guy. He’s a very cautious U.S. senator in his first year, his first term, and what did he do? Almost a spiritual announcement he made today: I’ve got to be for Barack.
On Monday night, the CBS Evening News failed to identify Kwame Kilpatrick as a Democrat in reporting criminal charges filed against the Detroit Mayor, but on Friday night the same anchor, Harry Smith, used the very first word, of his introduction to a story on another politician in criminal trouble, to name the party:
Republican Congressman Rick Renzi of Arizona goes on trial next month, charged with using his office to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars. He denies breaking any laws, but the indictment spells out a string of alleged dirty deals.
A little under two years ago, then-CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer avoided the party affiliation of a Democratic Congressman in introducing a Monday, May 22, 2006 story:
The government says FBI agents videotaped Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson taking $100,000 in cash from an informant and later found $90,000 in his home freezer. But Jefferson said today he will not resign from Congress and he said he thought it inappropriate for the FBI to search his Capitol office this weekend. To the surprise of some, the Senate Republican leader said he too has concerns about the search.