American Elephants


When Will Journalists Ask What’s In It? by The Elephant's Child

I don’t understand the mainstream media. Theoretically, they are journalists, trained to dig into archives and conversations, to ask questions and conduct interviews. And granted, most are Liberals, but still…How come they miss so much? Only now that ObamaCare is coming fully into effect, a few media sources are beginning to notice that all is not as it seemed.

Headline: AP Exclusive: Applying for health care not easy And this is a surprise? The forms run to 15 pages for a three-person family. Online there are 21 steps with added questions. Three major federal agencies, including the IRS will scrutinize your application. That’s the first part that lets you know if you qualify for financial help. Then you have to pick a health insurance plan. Now your financial information is to be made available to the CIA as well.

HHS has put out a full 60 pages on its website to describe all the wonders of the 15 page form. Is this not typical of government?

The” Affordable Care Act” (you always knew that name was a joke) has 21 tax increases, and costs twice as much in new taxes as was advertised.  Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation pegs the price tag at over $1 trillion, almost twice the $570 billion suggested when the law was passed by legislative trickery three years ago.

The individual mandate was supposed to cost $17 billion. Looks more like $55 billion.

The “Cadillac tax” on higher-cost plans is $111 billion, not $32 billion.

The employer mandate is not the estimated $52 billion but a stunning $106 billion, and expect those estimates to continue to climb. Federal Programs are always vastly more expensive than estimated, often to and three times as much.

Conservatives warned in the beginning that the only federal government plan that had come in significantly cheaper than estimates was the much derided Bush  Medicare Drug Plan. And of course, Democrats removed the incentive that made the plan less expensive — the so-called “donut hole.” Democrats do not understand incentives.

Many employers will drop spouses from their insurance plans. People are able to keep their adult children on their policies until they reach age 26, which is an added cost for insurers. There is no requirement to keep spouses on the policies, and many employers are expected to drop them.

The country’s big health insurers say they expect premiums — the cost for insurance coverage— to rise from 20 to 100 percent for millions of people due to changes that will occur when key provisions of the Affordable Care Act roll out in January 2014.

When media people have to apply for their own health insurance, and pay for it, they may get interested in just what the act entails and how it will affect the American people. Of course when people really needed to know what they were facing, the media was either absent or uninterested. The closed doors behind which the law was being devised made a mockery of administration transparency claims, but nobody noticed.

I once went online to check out the Columbia Journalism School, and the classes all seemed to be “how to write an obituary,” or “how to write about global warming” (I made that up, there is a Society of Environmental Journalists that takes care of the science part. There isn’t any. They teach each other.) But there wasn’t a single class mentioned in journalistic ethics, or “how to be a government watchdog.” But then this was just an online list of classes, not an official catalogue.



Our Irresponsible Media, Irresponsible Again. by The Elephant's Child

Do you remember Polifact’s  “Big Lie of the Year?” Well, of course the fact-checking record of the fact checkers is not exactly pristine. It remains highly tinged with partisan bias, and a distinct lack of self-awareness. This was a big one, though.

It was a lie told in the critical state of Ohio in the final days of a close campaign — that Jeep was moving its U.S. production to China. It originated with a conservative blogger, who twisted an accurate news story into a falsehood. Then it picked up steam when the Drudge Report ran with it. Even though Jeep’s parent company gave a quick and clear denial, Mitt Romney repeated it and his campaign turned it into a TV ad.

And they stood by the claim, even as the media and the public expressed collective outrage against something so obviously false.

The public, of course, did not express collective outrage. That was Polifact pretending more attention that existed. And they did not accurately represent what Mitt Romney said in the ad:

[Mitt Romney] Says Barack Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China” at the cost of American jobs.

Here’s what Reuters reported on Thursday:” Fiat and its U.S. unit Chrysler expect to roll out at least 100,000 Jeeps in China when production starts in   2014 as they seek to catch up with rivals…”

Mitt Romney was also scoffed at for mentioning dangers in Mali.

 



The Overheated Media Once Again Makes Fools of Themselves! by The Elephant's Child

Progressives apparently thought that the Tea Party Movement was so scary— all those people carrying flags and signs — that the ordinary folk out there would be frightened.  After all,  New York Times reporter Benedict Carey found the country running a right-wing political fever of rage, in a front-page Sunday Week in Review essay.  The online headline said “When Does Political Anger Turn to Violence?”

An archive photo from Getty Images of the late-1960s left-wing domestic terrorist group The Weathermen, with Obama’s friend Bill Ayers sat directly above a picture of marching Tea Party protesters.  Seems to me that the Weathermen were actually responsible for killing and attempted killing.  The photos caption:

VARYING DEGREES OF RAGE The Weathermen, including Bill Ayers, second from right, during the Days of Rage in 1969, and anti-health reform protesters in Washington on Sunday.

Rep. John Lewis, (D-GA)claimed that when he and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus walked through a tea party protest last week in Washington, they heard the N-word shouted at them 15 times.  No video or audio recording — when everyone seems to have a recorder — has shown up to back the claim.  Andrew Breitbart offered a hefty reward for any such recording, but none has appeared, and videos of the Caucus walk have surfaced with a distinct absence of such threats. The only person arrested for threatening violence in recent days was held for threatening Eric Cantor, the No.2 Republican in the House, and a spent bullet hit the window of his district headquarters.

The Tea Parties I have seen videos of, seem cheerful, as if the protesters are having a great time waving their Gadsden ‘Don’t Tread On Me” flags or national flags, and their signs and conversation seem to indicate that they are well-informed, and object to policy. There is an absence of threats unless you consider “Kill the Bill” terribly threatening.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) canceled a town hall meeting on the healthcare law Tuesday because of concerns about the security of the event reported The Hill.

The congressman’s office cited safety issues at the facility where the meeting was to take place and threats to his office, according to a report by News 21.

We just thought it best to cancel it for safety concerns.  This was not meant to be a place where we’re going to talk partisan politics, Pat Lowry, a member of Ryan’s staff told News 21.

Cute idea, fellows, but it just didn’t work. The Tea Party people are angry, but their anger is directed at policy they disagree with, and at the process through which that policy was enacted.  And just as a reminder, this is exactly the way things are supposed to work.

Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech…or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Gullible Left-Wing Media Discovers Right-Wing “Hate:”

And a Little Trip Down Memory-Lane:

There are few things so embarrassing as a montage of the media obediently following the talking points, especially when there was no basis for all their excitement, no basis at all.



The Continuingly Amazing Story of ACORN Activities. by The Elephant's Child
September 15, 2009, 10:26 pm
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Law, Liberalism | Tags: , ,

I hope you have been following the ACORN drama as it unfolds. Following three incredible videos of an ACORN sting involving a young couple, posing as a prostitute and her pimp, who wanted to buy a house as a base from which to operate a business featuring 13 year-old hookers imported from El Salvador, the couple approached ACORN for help.

ACORN workers were completely helpful, instructing the couple in how to defraud the government, avoid getting caught, hide their income and how to disguise the 13 year-old whores as something legal.

The couple went to ACORN housing offices in Baltimore, Washington D.C. and New York, and now in San Bernardino, California. You can see all the videos at Big Government.  The Census Bureau reacted quickly, and severed all ties with ACORN.  The organization has a long record of being prosecuted for voter fraud, but had contracted to supply census workers for the 2010 census.

Now a pattern emerges of ACORN workers very willing to help people engage in prostitution, tax fraud, housing fraud, and human trafficking of children.  The first video was of a meeting in ACORN’s Baltimore office on Thursday.  ACORN promptly fired the workers, and claimed that these two reporters had tried and failed to carry out their sting in other offices.

The Senate voted to block HUD from giving grants to ACORN.  House Republicans have called for a total cutoff of federal funds to ACORN.  ACORN, in turn, has threatened to sue Fox News, and Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe — the reporters.  They were threatened with prosecution in Maryland, but it turns out that ACORN cannot operate legally in the state of Maryland.

You would think that all this drama would make page one in most newspapers, or at least get a mention.  Charles Gibson said in an interview on W AM Chicago’s “Don Wade & Roma Morning Show, that he didn’t even know about it.

British papers had no trouble picking up on the story.  Oddly, the American media didn’t know anything about Green Jobs Czar Van Jones either.  Being a professed radical communist, 9/11 truther is apparently no big deal for a figure in the administration.

NBC Reporter Chuck Todd said that “covering the Van Jones story was a waste of time”  Jones, he said was just a minor character way down the pecking order in the administration and just wasn’t important.  GatewayPundit notes that “Jones was in charge of doling out $80 billion to selected green projects.” I suppose that as taxpayer dollars are measured these days, $80 billion is no longer a big deal.

Does the media simply think that these things don’t matter?  Do they not matter if the perpetrators are on the “correct” political side?  Do they not matter because in both cases, there are close ties with President Obama?  Is our media so politicized that they do not recognize their own mindset?  Do they not recognize that this is rather closely related to declining subscriptions and lost journalism jobs? It is a puzzle.



What Should We Learn From 9/11? by The Elephant's Child

Janet Napolitano, Secretary of  Homeland Security, famously referred to terrorism with “nuance” as “a man-caused disaster.” If that wasn’t enough, she didn’t know how the 9/11 terrorists got into the country — she thought they came in from Canada, and Immigration is part of her department.  She added that crossing the border illegally is not a crime, which it is, and then approved an absolutely moronic intelligence assessment that warned of increased “radical right-wing extremism” including the recruitment of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Conservatives were justifiably insulted.

The “unbiased” media is now claiming that Secretary Napolitano was right.  Why just look at the past two weeks:

In the past two weeks, the country has seen the bombing of a Starbucks coffee shop in New York City, the arrest of four men for allegedly plotting to blow up synagogues and shoot down planes, the shooting of two soldiers at an Army recruitment center in Arkansas, the assassination of a doctor inside a Kansas church, and the shooting at the Holocaust Museum…. Although these are not all cases of right-wing extremism, each is an example of domestic terrorism.

What a grouping of odd people.  You have domestic Islamist jihadists,  a crackpot who murdered an abortion provider, and an 88 year old “9/11 Truther,” a neo-Nazi, who hates Bush, Cheney, the Neo-Cons and is a violent anti-Semite, and this is the fault of radical Right-Wing extremists?  The only connection is that many conservatives are opposed to abortion.  How crass of  Liberals to instantly think of how they can exploit these events to score cheap political points.

We have been confronting an international terrorist threat domestically for over 20 years when the World Trade Center bombers began training in the New York area in 1998.  This latest example of domestic jihadism is hardly the only domestic plot that has been exposed and prevented.

Democrats, for political purposes, have chosen to claim that there really never has been a terrorist threat, that it was only the actions of the evil BushCheneyRumsfeld that drove otherwise innocent young Muslim men into the arms and training camps of Osama bin Laden.  If these terrible men had not tried to scare you into voting Republican by threatening you with terrorism, then, well the terrorists would just vanish— poof!  Madrid, London, Bali?  The Cole?  The embassies?  Never mind.

But it’s all under control.  Jake Tapper (ABC) asked what would happen to the first terrorist to be tried in U.S. court were not found guilty?  Would he be released in the U.S.? Imprisoned anyway? Sent back to the battlefield?  Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he wasn’t going to get into hypotheticals.

The administration announced that it was sending four of the Uighurs to Bermuda.  Great Britain announced that Bermuda is a British protectorate, and nobody asked them, and they want to know exactly under what conditions and safeguards these people are being sent to Bermuda.  It was noted recently that the Uighurs at Guantanamo threw a television across the room because a woman on the screen bared her arms.  There are consequences to be considered.

The rest of the Uighurs are going to Palau in exchange for $200 million.



Is there bias in the media? Perish the Thought. by The Elephant's Child

Many people by now have seen the videos of CNN reporter Susan Rosegen demonstrating, for the uninitiated, media bias at it’s most blatant, at an Illinois Tea Party last week.  Poor Susan made headlines herself for her perfect portrayal of political bias.  Objectivity anyone?  Bill Whittle explains Media bias, at Pajamas Media TV.



Now they tell us. by The Elephant's Child

Gwen Ifill, who will moderate the vice presidential debate on Thursday, has written a book called The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama to be published on January 20, 2009.  Inauguration Day.  Does anyone sense a, um, conflict of interest here?

If Obama wins the election, she will certainly sell many more copies, if he loses, sales will be slow at best.

Ms. Ifill did a good job as moderator of the vice presidential debate in 2004. But this time she is in an awkward position.

The McCain campaign was not informed of the book, nor of the conflict of interest, which calls the Commission on Presidential Debates into question.  A uncomfortable situation that was entirely preventable.




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