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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Propaganda: It's not often that the press exposes its own bias. But a Washington Post story this week reveals both the Obama administration's attempts to censor the news and the media's complicity in that effort.
For decades, news outlets have relied on pool reports from a rotating group of White House correspondents who follow the president on his travels to public or semipublic events and file quick-and-dirty reports. Their stories are then distributed to other news outlets to use as they wish.
Pool reports can be inane, such as the Sept. 4 dispatch making note of the fact that, while in Wales, "Obama and Prince Charles posed for the cameras and laughed. Obama greeted a group of children who were gathered behind the rope line."
But occasionally they can be seriously damaging, such as the pool report that alleged President George H.W. Bush's ignorance of supermarket scanners.

read more


Friday, September 19, 2014

Dana Milbank, Washington Post: When Trey Gowdy got the job to run the House's new Benghazi select committee, there was good reason to fear bad things. ... But when the South Carolina Republican chaired his panel's first public hearing Wednesday, Gowdy did something completely unexpected: He played it straight. There was no discussion of talking points or stand-down orders, and only one of the seven Republicans on the panel -- Jim Jordan of Ohio -- even mentioned Clinton. Instead, Gowdy adopted as the theme of his first hearing an idea suggested by one of the committee's Democrats, Adam Schiff of California: How well the State Department has been implementing recommendations to prevent future attacks on U.S. diplomats like the one in Libya two years ago that killed four Americans. read more


Monday, August 25, 2014

At last, we know the reason why comedy writers don't make fun of President Obama much.
It turns out the man is completely unmockable.
We learn this from Jim Downey, the longtime "Saturday Night Live" specialist in political japery. "If I had to describe Obama as a comedy project, I would say, ‘Degree of difficulty, 10 point 10,'" the writer says in the expanded new edition of the "SNL" oral history book, "Live from New York." [snip] read more


Monday, August 18, 2014

Climate-change science is "settled," say proponents of anthropogenic (human-induced) global warming, or AGW: the earth is getting warmer, and human activities are the reason. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up by the United Nations in 1988, has issued five assessment reports since its founding. In its most recent, in 2013, the IPCC stated that it was now "95 to 100 percent certain" that human activities -- especially fossil-fuel emissions -- are the primary drivers of planetary warming. Frequent news reports -- such as the story of the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, a process that some scientists say is irreversible -- seemingly confirm these conclusions.

And yet, highly credentialed scientists, including Nobel Prize–winning physicist Ivar Giaever, reject what is often called the "climate consensus."...


Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Northeast governor gets elected in large part on a promise to "clean up" the corruption in his state. He quickly dives into his mission, claiming high-minded interest in restoring public trust in government. Tough and savvy, his popularity increases as he appears to make strides in combating unethical behavior. His national profile grows along with his political ambitions.

Then it all comes to a screeching halt.

A scandal hits. Allegations of potential abuse of power swirl. Investigations are launched.

If this sounds familiar, it should, because it applies to not one, but two northeast governors. This is where the similarities end, though. One governor has taken a beating in his standing with the voters. The other one has not.

One of the big reasons for the discrepancy? The governor with the sliding poll numbers is a Republican; the one skating with the public (so far) is a Democrat. read more


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