Thursday, September 30, 2010

The anti-Alan Grayson ad that wrote itself.

More accurately, it’s the anti-Alan Grayson ad that he himself wrote. I would love to add something to this, but, really: when it comes down to it, the best argument against Grayson is… Grayson. No summary needed. You know what he says about non-progressives, it’s all in there… and in thirty seconds, too. The NRCC outdid itself, really.

Enjoy. And donate to Daniel Webster’s campaign.


Finding out what’s in ObamaCare: McDonald’s needs waiver for health-care coverage for hourly workers

posted at 2:55 pm on September 30, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

 No good deed goes unpunished.  McDonald’s takes a lot of heat for the nutritive value of its menu, usually from self-assigned food nannies, but the company did try to find ways to improve the health of its part-time staff by offering them a low-cost health insurance plan that was affordable and effective.  That effort will have to end, thanks to ObamaCare, which mandates that certain percentages of revenue have to go to claims rather than administrative costs.  That will leave tens of thousands with no option for coverage except expensive comprehensive plans they can neither afford nor really need:
McDonald’s Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul.
The move is one of the clearest indications that new rules may disrupt workers’ health plans as the law ripples through the real world.
Trade groups representing restaurants and retailers say low-wage employers might halt their coverage if the government doesn’t loosen a requirement for “mini-med” plans, which offer limited benefits to some 1.4 million Americans.
The “mini-med” plans offer limited coverage, mainly for routine checkups and acute issues, in exchange for very low rates.  The Wall Street Journal reports that the annual cost of the McDonald’s plan was $728 for an annual maximum of $2000 in payouts, or $1664 for an annual maximum of $10,000.  The premiums were paid each week by the hourly workers whose employment is so volatile that the administrative expense of keeping up with enrollments goes much higher than with traditional employer-based coverage.  For that reason, and because this is a low-risk pool that utilizes the health-care system less frequently than other populations, the plan spent more than 20% of its revenues on administration.

In the ObamaCare world, however, that is no longer allowed.  Regardless of whether the employees and the employer believe the service to be valuable, the federal government has decreed a cost-to-revenue structure that forbids this kind of offering.  McDonald’s and other retailers want an exemption, but it’s difficult to see how HHS will justify it.  The intent of Congress and this administration clearly aimed at exactly these kind of plans — the nimble, niche, low-cost plans for younger and healthier people who don’t need expensive comprehensive health insurance.  They want those people in larger plans to subsidize the risk for those who will now get policies under mandates to cover pre-existing conditions and adult offspring of customers.

In other words, this isn’t a bug at all.  It’s a feature.

However, it once again exposes the dishonesty of Barack Obama’s insistence that those who liked their coverage could keep their coverage.  It also exposes the damage done when politicians in Washington assume the arrogance to reorder an entire industry — two of them in this case, insurance and health care — without any extensive experience or knowledge of either.  To lift a slogan from a McDonald’s competitor, we can’t have it our way any longer.

Note: ABC reports that McDonald’s is denying that it intends to dump the plan, but the WSJ has a memo from McDonald’s asking HHS for a waiver on this mandate:
The Wall Street Journal reviewed a memo by McDonald’s, asking federal officials to determine if their most basic health insurance plans can be exempted from the medical loss ratiorequirements of the new health care law. The law requires that 80-85 percent of the premiums received go directly to patient care, not to other expenses like overhead, executive salaries or dividends for shareholders.
The McDonald’s plan, according to the report, has higher overhead costs because it provides insurance to a highly transient population of hourly workers in its restaurants and would not likely meet the minimum requirements of the new law.
HHS today called the story premature, saying guidance on the new medical loss ratio rules have not even been issued.
New rules will be implemented after the National Association of Insurance Commissioners submits its report, due at the end of the year. The NAIC is still soliciting comments on its draft proposal.
“The medical loss ratio isn’t even settled,” Sebelius said at a reporters’ breakfast organized by the Christian Science Monitor. “As soon as we have a regulation that has a process in it we will begin those discussions.”
What happens if they don’t get the waiver?  They’ll have to dump the plan, regardless of the hedging today by McDonald’s.

And so we come to another problem with ObamaCare: regulatory uncertainty.  The “loss ratios” should have been set by Congress as part of the bill (or not set at all, and left to the market) so that employers could plan for coverage options — which have to be settled by about this time to get enrollments set for 2011.  It’s been more than six months since ObamaCare’s passage, and no one can tell employers yet what the rules are?  Apparently, no one in the government understands the bill, nor do they understand that employers have to negotiate with insurers for plans months ahead of enrollment to budget properly for the next year.

And Democrats wonder why businesses aren’t hiring.

Hot Air

Bob Beckel, the Politics of Personal Destruction, and Me

With the story of the Islamic supremacist mega-mosque at Ground Zero continuing to dominate the news cycles, I have been doing a lot of media, and readers of my website are well aware of the campaign of destruction that the leftist/Islamic machine against freedom defenders. Monday night’s Ground Zero mosque segment on Eric Bolling’s Money Rocks on Fox perfectly illustrates this, and the perverse marriage of the left and the jihad.

The particularly vile (though typical for the unindicted co-conspirator, Hamas-linked, Muslim Brotherhood front Council on American-Islamic Relations — CAIR) Ahmed Rehab did his usual Islamic supremacist jig, and he had the grotesque Bob Beckel as his water boy. Beckel is a famous failure: he was Walter Mondale’s campaign manager for his disastrous 1984 presidential campaign. I had been fortunate, up until Monday night, not to have to be in the same studio with that slob, but on this occasion I was not spared the abuse of Beckel’s presence.

I was the only female on the panel, and as we were prepping (getting miked, etc.) for the show, Beckel was regaling his victims (Bill Hemmer, David Webb and Bolling) with sordid tales of pole dancers and the like. It was grotesque and deliberate – and unwelcome: nobody was backslapping this pig, trust me.

Once we went into the live tape, Beckel carried water for the Hamas-linked CAIR rep — and he was richly rewarded for his dhimmi status. Bolling played an earlier tape of Beckel saying, “Look, at some point, I know it’s sensitive here in New York and probably New Jersey, but we have to get over 9/11.” That was all Rehab needed: he referred to this constantly.

But Beckel’s response when asked about this was to attack me. So I said this:
I would like to address Mr. Beckel’s point. I don’t know why you’re carrying water for the most radical, intolerant ideology in the world today. There have been 20,000 documented radical Islamic attacks since 9/11. Each one with the imprimatur of a Muslim cleric.
To that, Beckel showed his misogynistic side, turning to me, waving his finger in my face and saying:
You better be very careful. You’re a woman, you better be very careful about who you say I carry water for, because you have no idea what you’re talking about. And don’t start putting me in the middle of your crap!
“You’re a woman”?

Remember, this was the same Beckel who called Hannah Giles a “ho” last winter, and who was the focus of an extortion plot by a prostitute who tried to get $50,000 out of him to keep him quiet about their liaisons. It looks as if I was right when I called him a “woman-hater.”

It got ugly between Beckel and me not only during the show, but also after the show. When we cut to a break after the first segment, Beckel chided Bolling for not bringing “Jewish slumlords” on the show (referring to Bolling’s segment on Ground Zero Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s status as a New Jersey slumlord, so named in a lawsuit against Rauf by Union City).

When I heard Beckel’s Jew-hating belch, I said, “and you’re an anti-semite.” He told me, “kiss my ass,” to which I responded that he would never get anyone anywhere in the world to get with that.

Meanwhile, on the show, Rehab repeated Media Matters lies about me and my work, trying as hard as he could to make the Ground Zero mosque story into one that was all about me, hoping that if he and Beckel succeeded in destroying me, the mosque story would go away.

media matters

The leftists and the Islamic supremacists cannot counter our arguments, so they resort to personal destruction.

This is what happens to anyone who stands against them and for freedom today: they will comb through what you have said and done to try to find material they can use to discredit you, no matter how much they have to misrepresent it and lie about your real intentions to do so. They will shout you down and call you names, all the while accusing you of doing what they are actually doing. They will stop at nothing to destroy you, so that not only will no one take you seriously or listen to you, but also anyone whom they can associate with you, however tenuously, is also tainted.

But all this means only this: that lovers of freedom must stand up all the more, and speak out all the more loudly, and never rest in the cause of justice and the right. Because their evil, thuggish, bullying tactics must not prevail. And they will not prevail.

Big Journalism

As November Looms, Desperate MSM Goes Into Attack Mode Against Tea Party

Popular culture is in full-scale attack mode on the Tea Party.

I’m figuring they are very afraid of something. The Tea Party movement has caught the emotion and passion of America and network TV shows feel they have to fight back.

This is quite odd.

We have a new season of TV shows being unveiled by the networks and many of them feel like it’s important for them to attack those with conservative Constitutional values.

There is no better indication that the Tea Party has arrived and they are a force in American culture—not just pop culture, but American culture in general.

The goal of the networks is to connect with the public. When they do that, their shows become valuable and everybody makes a lot of money. Nothing wrong with that, but the networks have no idea how to connect with the public. In fact, since polls say that most Americans are sympathetic to Tea Party values, the networks are showing they have no problem with attacking a large portion of their potential viewers. Agenda is more important than success.

We’ve known for a long time that the TV networks are biased with their news broadcasts. While they feel they are fooling everybody, America is laughing at them and ratings are in free-fall. Credibility is the only thing that they can hope to have, and that is long since lost—now they hope to blast the Tea Party with their TV shows in prime time.

CSI, NCIS, Grey’s Anatomy, Saturday Night Live and other shows have taken their shots at Constitutional ideals and principles lately. I’m sure there are others, but I don’t have the time or patience to watch them all.  SNL took direct shots at Christine O’Donnell last weekend and I guarantee you a couple of weeks ago they had no idea who she was.


Christine O’Donnell? How has she become a target all of a sudden? Somebody at NBC sees her as a great threat so they must work to destroy her. Anybody who thinks their attacks are aimed at both sides are not watching, or they are ignoring reality. These attacks are partisan and they are political.

This is absolute desperation on the part of those who program and produce network shows. Ratings are falling and November is coming.

Big Journalism

As the Election Approaches, Do Not Trust the MSM

Andre HarperPosted by Andre Harper Sep 30th 2010 at 2:17 pm in Mainstream Media, media bias

I am ashamed to admit that there is one thing the contemporary mainstream media does well. Having spent years studying politics, history, and language, I find it amazing that media is able to convince people to believe conflicting narratives. The creation and perpetuation of these contradictory beliefs cannot be possible without a media structure, as well as an educational structure, that discourages, and too often scorns, analytical thinking. In George Orwell’s novel “1984″, he described this as doublethink which is the power to hold two completely contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accept both of them.


Now that we are a month away from the midterm elections, the Democrats and their friends in the media are going to be working overtime to create these conflicting narratives that confuse and distort reality in order to preserve their power. What I find most fascinating is the liberal perception of tolerance. Liberals are probably the most intolerant people in America. Recently, Andrew Brietbart was spit on by liberals at an “Anti-Hate” rally. Here are just a few other stories that illustrate their “tolerance:”

Understanding doublethink and the process of creating conflicting narratives will help you navigate this campaign season. Liberals and the media have figured out that injecting emotion into rational debate confuses those who cannot separate fact from feelings. The liberal elite have used this tactic to control black people by using powerful accusations like racism, bigotry, and injustice that conjure up fierce emotions yet are nearly impossible to define. You will notice that the biggest supporters of liberalism too often can’t define this doctrine or the policies that result from it. This lack of critical thinking and intellectual maturity is why liberals prey on those in hardship, those with little education, children and students. Taking advantage of the homeless and drug abusers was a big part of Obama’s election strategy.


Recently, I got a message from bragging about how productive this congress has been by passing Obamacare, stimulus and financial reform. For years, Democrats have told us how great these things will be.

Now that they are law, some Democrats are running away from these great “accomplishments” while others are campaigning against them. So what’s their strategy going into the midterms? Their strategy is to double down on confusing voters! Pay close attention to what language is used and where it is used because Obamacare will be an “accomplishment” in a union hall and a detriment at a Chamber of Commerce debate.

You won’t see Democrats flaunt their voting records. You will see them spend millions of dollars on a barrage of the most vicious attack ads in the history of politics. You won’t see the media hold liberals accountable that purposely try to destroy opponents reputations and livelihoods. You will see the media portray Democrats as well-meaning servants and at the same time they are going to position the GOP and Tea Party candidates as racist, intolerant war mongers.

During this campaign season, I urge you to remove all personal bias and seek facts in order to make informed decisions. It’s going to take work because we no longer live in a country where the media reports the news. The mainstream media has drawn a line in the sand and clearly shown us what side of the line they’re on. They continue to move farther to the left. At the same time their audience is shrinking. This is a direct correlation.

Big Journalism

Soros Unmasked

Jennifer Rubin - 09.27.2010 - 8:46 AM

We have learned that J Street is not the grassroots group it has made itself out to be; rather, it is but one anti-Israel organization that George Soros had founded and funded. It isn’t simply $750,000 for J Street to advance its (or rather, Soros’s) Israel-bashing agenda. There is also Human Rights Watch.

As many others have documented, Human Rights Watch is another exercise in false advertising. Noah Pollak has adeptly analyzed HRW’s anti-Israel agenda, which has featured infamous figures like Joe Stork. Who is HRW’s sugar daddy? None other than George Soros – to the tune of $100 million.
Then there is, the leftist group that ran the infamous “General Betray-us” ads and sought to move the Democratic Party and the country left. Who was the founder and financier of Well, it wasn’t netroots sending in pennies and dimes. It was Soros, who fed the group $5 million. With his pocket change ($20,000), he also contributed to the legal defense fund for terrorist’s lawyer Lynne Stewart.

The pattern is clear here: where there is a well-funded group seeking to undermine the U.S.-Israel relationship, delegitimize Israel, or push for America’s retreat from the world, it’s a good bet Soros is behind it. HRW and J Street should be seen in that light — the facade for a billionaire whose animosity toward Israel is well documented and who figuratively and literally bets against the West. (He bragged in 1992 that he broke the Bank of England by selling short $10 billion in British pound sterling.) A pro-Israel activist sums up (I have provided links for reference purposes):
Jeremy Ben Ami says he wants to change the meaning of “pro-Israel,” and now this week we hear from him what we’ve suspected all along: that J Street is “with the values and principles” of George Soros, and we all know what that means when it comes to Israel. His $100m gift to Human Rights Watch after their founder denounces them in the New York Times as obsessed with Israel and having lost all moral basis, their top military analyst is outed as an avid collector of Nazi memorabilia, and the head of their Middle East division, who has a poster in her office for a movie praising suicide bombing, is caught with her hand in the Saudi cookie jar begging for money to beat up on Israel, is a vivid reminder of who J Street’s mentor is.
And, of course, at the center of this operation is Soros’s right-hand man, Mort Halperin, who heads Soros’s OSI (the entity that spreads Soros’s money around). Follow the bouncing ball: Halperin is OSI’s senior adviser, but he’s also on Soros Street’s advisory council to keep an eye on Soros’s investment. And to boot, he wrote Richard Goldstone’s defense. How efficient.

A number of questions remain: How long will J Street survive? Are Jeremy Ben Ami’s days as a Beltway operator over? (The activist comments: “So when Jeremy says he wants to ‘redefine’ the word ‘pro-Israel,’ yeah, he does. So as to include anti-Israel, and hostile to Israel, and ambivalent to Israel, and  pretty much anything but actually ‘PRO-Israel.’ The jig is up.”) It will be fascinating to see if the media and politicians grasp that Soros-Halperin groups aren’t genuine expressions of popular opinion but rather the play things of a single billionaire. Will those who receive Soros’s money — think tanks, organizations, politicians — become concerned that they will be viewed as weapons in Soros’s personal arsenal?

And while we are on the subject of shadowy funders, Obama and David Axelrod have been whining about the influence of independent money in America politics. Obama has been obsessing over “corporate money.” (”The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide.”) He’s furious that “the biggest impediment we have right now is that independent expenditures coming from special interests — who we don’t know because they’re not obligated to disclose their contributions under a Supreme Court decision called Citizens United — means that in some places, you’ve got third parties that are spending millions more than the candidates combined, more than the parties in these states.” Axelrod is incensed about the “audacious stealth campaign being mounted by powerful corporate special interests.” He is so very concerned: ”There is still time for the media to shine a light on these front groups. There is still time for an aroused public to rise up against this ominous special-interest hijacking of our elections. There is still time for candidates on both sides of the aisle to take the side of average Americans and challenge these groups to disclose their secret funders.”

So are they ready to call out Soros, demand that he stop flooding elections with his loot, and cut off ties with his lackeys? (One wonders if J Street’s officials will get any more White House visits.) Don’t hold your breath. It’s only the other guys’ money that is a threat; the liberals will — and apparently do — take Soros’s money anytime.

Big Journalism

‘Waiting For Superman’ Review: A Masterpiece of Moral Clarity

Waiting for ‘Superman’” is not only the most important documentary made in many a year but it might also help to restore a little of your faith in humanity, and I’m not even talking about the movie itself, which I’ll get to in a bit. I’m talking about its creator Davis Guggenheim, best known for directing and winning the Oscar for Al Gore’s alarmist global warming screed “An Inconvenient Truth.” In an era when, in order to hold on to power and take control of our lives, the Left tells Big Lies just as quickly as they can make them up, along comes Guggenheim, an acknowledged pro-union liberal, to take on the most powerful, and in my opinion destructive, special interest group in America: the national teachers union.

Whatever his personal beliefs were as he began the process of documenting the fate of five children whose very futures rest on the less-than 10% chance of being accepted into a charter school, in the end Guggenheim risks the grave sin of apostasy as he courageously bucks the left-wing narrative to present a heartbreaking and damning exposé of the American public school system.

Had the exact same film been brought forth by a right-winger it would have had zero chance of creating any kind of national debate, much less change. But coming with Guggenheim’s clout and left-wing bona fides, there’s a chance his noble effort could spread a Road to Damascus virus among those who have for too long turned a blind eye towards an indefensibly immoral system propped up at the expense of children. Armed with facts and actual inconvenient truths, “Superman” deconstructs every lie told by politicians, union officials and bad teachers in defense of a status quo that destroys as many, if not more lives than drugs or gangs.

Anthony, a 5th grader from DC who lost his father to drugs; Francisco, a 2nd grader from the Bronx; Bianca, a kindergartner from Harlem whose working single mother can no longer afford Catholic school; Daisy, a Los Angeles fifth grader; and Emily a middle-class 8th grader from Silicon Valley, are all on the bubble – especially the first four who are minority children living in rundown inner-city neighborhoods and in families dealing with unemployment, under-employment and in all but one case, a single parent household. To say these kids are at risk is an understatement, and Guggenheim introduces us to them at what might be the most important crossroad of their lives. The parents know it, and because they’re incredibly intuitive, so do the kids. One path leads to what is most likely to be a hopeless future thanks to a failing public school with a horrific drop-out rate. The other path leads to a dynamic charter school (that receives both private and public money) freed from the shackles of an unreasonable, unethical and entitled teachers union where graduation rates can exceed 90%.

peter jackson directorGeoffrey Canada

Incredibly, although it does appear to be the fairest method, the fate of American children desperate for a chance at a real education depends on a lottery system. Whether it’s bouncing bingo balls, a computer, or pulling names from a bucket — at schools across the country, every year hundreds of families gather in the hopes that Lady Luck won’t condemn their child to a “Failure Factory.”

To Guggenheim’s credit, a large part of his documentary focuses on what can and does work. If the film has a real-life Superman it’s Geoffrey Canada, a Harvard-educated reformer who intentionally chose the worst school district in the country to start a charter school in order to prove his belief that regardless of socio-economic background, with attentive teachers doing what it takes to make sure no child falls behind, these kids can be ready for college. Currently his Harlem-based charter school is producing much better graduation rates and a much higher percentage of students ready for college than the average suburban school.

If there’s a Superwoman, Washington, D.C., schools chancellor Michelle Rhee is it. Her tireless fight against an intractable union culminates in the ridiculous and the tragic when the union refuses to even allow for a vote a proposal that could potentially double teacher salaries if in exchange they agree to accountability by giving up the tenure (earned after only three years) that makes it virtually impossible to fire them for anything. In one incredible aside, we learn that the State of New York spends $100 million a year on teachers who have been removed from the classroom for a potential fire-able offense and, while being paid full salary and benefits, hang out all day in what’s called the “Rubber Room” playing cards and reading newspapers as they’re put through a termination process that rarely results in termination.

peter jackson director

Guggenheim doesn’t slam teachers, though. In fact, he has an enormous amount of respect for what they do and believes the good ones need to be paid better. But as one person informs us, the problem is that the unions see it as “a teacher, is a teacher, is a teacher,” and they fight tooth-and-nail against any proposal involving pay based on merit and make it impossible to get rid of the 6-10% of bad teachers who are shuffled from school to school and literally destroy lives by allowing their students to fall so far behind they eventually lose hope and drop out. If you’re looking for context, the national average of doctors and lawyers who lose their license is somewhere around 1 in 75, for teachers it’s a jaw-dropping 1 in 2500.

And a lack of funding is most certainly not the problem. As the film informs us, prior to the 1970s the American public education system was the envy of the world. But over the past 40 years as per student spending has risen (allowing for inflation) from $4,000 to $9,000, student performance rates have hit bottom when compared to other industrial nations.

If anything, Guggenheim sees money as the problem and doesn’t shy away from the fact that it’s Democrats in bed with the teachers unions – who just so happen to be the most powerful lobbying force in the country (oil companies are a distant second). The director even gives George W. Bush credit for reaching across the aisle to Senator Kennedy and at least trying accountability with No Child Left Behind. But as the film’s informative and creative animation (think Schoolhouse Rock) informs us, NCLB just isn’t the solution.

peter jackson director

Schools are failing due to lack of funding? That’s a lie.
Kids from troubled homes and poor socio-economic backgrounds can’t learn? Another provable lie. And what proves it best is the devastated look on the faces of those parents who don’t win the lottery – who believe their child might now be, as one parent so memorably puts it, “doomed.”

“Waiting for Superman” is nothing less than God’s work and is as deserving of as much support as we can possibly give it. Furthermore — and who ever thought I’d write these words — the director of, yes, “An Inconvenient Truth” deserves our respect Predictably, he’s already under fire from protesting teachers unions.
But in the end Guggenheim might prove to be the real Superman to these kids. After all, the old Vulcan proverb says that only Nixon can go to China. Well, maybe only a progressive can finally and forever make this righteous case to the well-intentioned but misinformed liberals standing in the way of much needed reform. Let’s just hope there are enough of them out there.

Big Government

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Weekly Claw 9-29-2010

Posted by The Crawfish on Sep 29 2010. Filed under Weekly Claw.

While bringing y’all my commentary on this week’s news, I deliberately decided to avoid the GOP’s new Pledge, as that could be broken down into a multi-part series of its own. Besides, there was puh-lenty of more entertaining, astounding, and aggravating stuff goin’ on. Suggested accompaniment for this week’s column is a nice amber ale, and your waiter’s picks are: Swashbuckler Brewing Company’s Red Sea Amber, Rahr & Son’s Rahr’s Red, or Fat Tire Amber.

What kind of man is the leader of the Democratic Party, George Soros? Well, he spent 1944 confiscating property from his fellow Jews to turn over to the Nazis and described it as “the best year of my life.” In 1992, he shorted the British Pound, thereby tanking the Bank of England and millions of British homeowners. Two years later, he crashed the economy of Russia, and said ““the former Soviet Empire is now called the Soros Empire.” He has done the same thing in Georgia, Ukraine, Thailand, Burma, Yugoslavia, France, his native Hungary, and Malaysia. His anti-Americanism is summed up by his quote, “(T)he main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States.” While the press and the Democrats (same thing) keep blaming Bush for the economic woes of the past few years, Soros says that the financial crisis is “in a way, the culmination of my life’s work.” The Crawfish’s good friend GunnyG has an expose of his own on this creep in The Anti-Liberal Zone. So how’s that hopey-changey thing going?

Please tell me y’all saw this one coming. General Motors stopped making political contributions when their financial problems mounted, but now that they are owned by the UAW and the Obama Administration, they have started making political contributions (using YOUR tax dollars to do so) to…wait for it…Democrats. Remember that while GM claimed to have paid back the bailout years ahead of schedule, they did it by using more money handed to them by the government.

Auntie Obama has been smoking khat. Even though she was in our nation illegally for years, until her son granted her amnesty, she says, “If I come as an immigrant, you have the obligation to make me a citizen.” Really? The only obligation we have is to kick your illegal backside out!

Then there’s Representative Loretta Sanchez of Kookifornia. While she claims that the GOP and the Tea Party is made up of racists, she goes on a non-English television network (which should not be on the air outside of tourist hotels in America) claiming that her Congressional seat is a latino seat (racist) and that the latinos need to keep it out of the hands of the Vietnamese Republican (racist comment) who is anti-immigrant (actually, he is anti-ILLEGAL immigrant, but to La Raza there is no such thing as illegal). How many times do we really need to show which party is made up of racists and race baiters?

The hard core left’s assertion that the Tea Party is almost exclusively made up of white racists is taking yet another hit. A new PJTV tracking poll shows that 32% of blacks who are likely voters say that they are “somewhat” or “very likely” to vote for someone supported by the Tea Party Movement. Meanwhile, The Crawfish Survey shows that 100% of half-blacks in the White House are “certain” to vote for an anti-Constitutionalist.

Meanwhile, the leftists and Hollyweird (but I repeat myself) are still doing everything that they can possibly do to make the Tea Party folks look like Tim McVeigh. The season opener of the original “CSI” has Justin Bieber playing a “domestic terrorist with Tea Party leanings” according to the Noo Yawk Slimes, which was all-too-happy to make the analogy. Are the leftists planning some kind of Reichstag Moment before the election?

The possibility of election fraud in Houston is becoming more certain each day. There are already thousands of registered Democrats who live in vacant lots or five to a room in the city. The voter registrar already stated that the voter registration rolls were “under an organized and systematic attack” by a liberal group called Houston Votes. That group is run by Obama’s favorite thugs, the SEIU, and they have turned in over 23,000 falsified voter registration cards. Houston Votes’ head fundraiser has worked with some very shady characters in the past, including Noo Joisey’s Governor McGreevey, who had to resign because he was having homosexual affairs while married. A mysterious fire destroyed all of the county voting machines, throwing the whole election into chaos. One local candidate was part of ACORN. Finally, the Democrat candidate for Governor is the former Mayor of Houston, and his term in office was filled with typical tax and spend liberal policies that local officials say have mortgaged the future of the city. Is Houston becoming the Chicago of the South?

This next story needs to be examined on multiple levels. A so-called palestinian male gets killed by a security guard in East Jerusalem and the rest of the so-called palestinians riot. The dead man and a number of other so-called palestinians were hurling rocks at the security guard, so he should have shot all of them. The rioters went on a rampage because they can’t take it when Israelis fight back against the violence of the so-called palestinians, and because they are the Religion of Perpetual Outrage. Then there’s the obvious bias on the part of the Financial Times who referred to East Jerusalem as “occupied”, referring to Israelis living there when’s editorial board believes it should belong to the so-called palestinians or the Jordanians (the nation that is the actual homeland of most of the so-called palestinians). Sorry, but the Jordanians lost East Jerusalem in a war in which the arabs tried to exterminate Israel. It belongs to Israel, so the only “occupiers” are the so-called palestinians. Deal with it!

All The Crawfish can say to this little story is that karma is a real beeotch, ain’t it.

After all these years, there is a new piece of evidence showing why the RMS Titanic sank. A surviving officer told his relatives that the helmsman turned the wrong way to avoid the iceberg when it was spotted.
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern is an idiot, and not just because he’s a Democrat. While cameras were rolling, he dropped the f-bomb while talking about anybody who opposes Obamacare. He also lamented “people in this state who look at health care as a privilege, not a right.” I don’t see anything in the Constitution that gives me a right to health care coverage paid for by someone else. Obamacare’s free preventative health care provision kicks in this month, but who is actually paying for it? The doctor’s office isn’t providing any services for free, since that’s how they earn a living. Insurance companies aren’t going to provide services for free. Somebody’s gotta pay. Oh, that’s right…the RICH will pay for it, since the
Democrats believe that anybody who earns enough to actually pay taxes is rich.

The media is making a big deal about Dear Leader actually attending an Episcopal church earlier this month.
What they aren’t letting y’all in on is the key. Firstly, liberals love the Episcopal Church these days because that church adheres to the Bible as much as liberals adhere to the Constitution (the Bible and the Constitution are merely suggestions, not law), which is why that church is splintering. Those who believe that the Lord meant it when he said that homosexuality is an abomination are moving to the Anglican and Catholic Churches. Secondly, and this one is a biggie, St. John’s Episcopal Church had a special guest speaker that day. He was Dr. Zaid Asali, a muslim, anti-Israel, anti-America activist! You see, while proclaiming his Christian identity, Barack Obama flocks to wherever the muslim view or black power view is being preached. Remember, Reverend Wright didn’t preach Christianity either during those 20 years that Barack and Michelle sat on the front pew. He preached Black Liberation Theology, a combination of black power racism and marxism.

The California Air Resources Board just insured the end of industry in their state by approving new regulations that will require the state to get 1/3 of its electrical power from solar and other renewable sources within the next ten years. Since that goal will never be achieved, and power requirements will definitely increase, there will be a major shortage of energy in NEW New Mexico. How is Hollyweird going to make films without electricity? Then again, by that time there might not be enough people in California who can read English to realize what the regulations say.

Once upon a time, there was a great empire centered upon the city of Rome. History shows that one of the reasons for Rome’s demise and fall was that they brought large numbers of non-Romans into their army, gave them weapons and armor, and taught them how to fight and be military leaders. The non-Romans used the weapons and training to fight the Roman army and destroy the empire. So guess what the Democrats and the liberal civilians in the Defense Department want to do. Yep, they want to use the DREAM Act to boost the size of the US military with illegal aliens, many of whom will have ties to gangs such as MS-13, who have zero loyalty to our nation and our Constitution. I’ve said it a bunch of times, but it bears repeating. The Democrats in general, and Barack Obama in particular, want the United States to fall. The only question is whether they want us to fall to the socialists or the muslims.

Somebody came up with an alternative usage for one of the most important items available at your local mall.

Now how’s she supposed to get that thing off in an emergency without flopping out?

Like father, like son. Jesse Jackson Junior is in hot water over bribery allegations. While he denies it, a major fund raiser has told the feds that Jackson instructed him to give Governor Blago millions of dollars in exchange for the Obama Senate seat. Daddy was known to use bribery and extortion to get his way and to make his people rich. Daddy just never did so in a way that could send him to prison.

If y’all come across any weird/stoooopid/strange news stories that might be fodder for The Weekly Claw or

The Weekend Claw, e-mail them to me at and I’ll consider ‘em. Yes, I will give you newshounds credit.

“The precept of the Koran is perpetual war against all who deny that Mohamed is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force.” John Quincy Adams

The Constitution of the United States

Popularity: 1% [?]

Governor Palin Champions Team America

By Adrienne Ross –
Posted by Adrienne Ross on September 29, 2010

Have you ever watched a boxing match, a basketball game, or even a swim meet–any intense competition? Competitors gear up, take to the ring, the court, or the pool, and prepare to give their best effort. Their preparation is intense and their hopes high. The goal is simple: win.

Real competitors–and I know because I’m one–don’t usually embrace the “it’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game” concept, which was probably invented by some kid’s parent to make his child feel better after getting destroyed on the court. Real competitors don’t snuggle up to “remember, it’s just a game.” As I told the first basketball team I ever coached, “You want to play a game, go play checkers. Here, we play basketball!” By the way, “Play for fun”? Not on my team; I learned very early on that there just ain’t no fun in losing! So real competitors play to win. They step up to the challenge with a sense of focus and an intent to be victorious, to never let down, to refuse to succumb to any amount of pressure.

That’s the plan, but as admirable as this “never let ‘em see you sweat” ideal is–as familiar as it is to those of us who have ever left it all out on the court, or the field, or wherever–the truth is that as the competition progresses, the legs lose their lift, the arms lose some flex, and the body simply loses speed. This becomes the reality no matter the intent. Yes, the good ones find a way to dig deep, but even still, they are affected–if not conquered–by fatigue that comes from taking the punches, the bangs, and the bruises. It’s common. It’s human nature. It’s life.

Then there are the competitors who are otherworldy. They defy nature. There’s nothing common about them.

They never stop moving. They never stop being on the offensive. They handle every defense thrown at them.

They’re not just good; they’re special. In the world of basketball, Michael Jordan was one such athlete. So was Cynthia Cooper. Today, it’s Kobe Bryant. These type of people come along very rarely in a lifetime. They set their eyes on a target and nothing short of tying them down and locking them up will keep them from getting out there and being competitive.

Governor Palin is one such person. This was the case long before we ever knew who she was. As a basketball player, she played on a broken ankle. As a business owner, she fished with a broken hand, as documented by Joe Hilley. As a mother, she was back on the job within three days of giving birth. Each time there was work to be done, and sitting it out just wasn’t an option. “No pain, no gain,” as they say. So real competitors say, “Bring it on!”

All these years later, not much, if anything, has changed. The Governor is a person who absorbs punch after punch and rides wave after wave, without seeming to lose the slightest bit of strength or effectiveness in the process. With all she’s been put through, she continues on–and never misses a beat. After every attack, there she is–still moving forward, still swinging, and the thing that drives the Left the craziest, still smiling. She is like that champion who simply cannot be defeated because she won’t throw in the towel. Nevermind the full-court press, the dirty fouls, the low blows, the attempts to drown her in a sea of lies. Governor Palin won’t sit on the end of the bench and hide. She simply won’t take a breather. Thus, she wears out her opponents, who simply cannot keep up.

This is why she is so hated by the Left. They’ve tried it all. Nothing works. How does one defeat an opponent who won’t go away, who can’t be annihilated? She is to them what nightmares consist of: an enemy that cannot be destroyed no matter the tactic employed. To those who oppose fiscal responsibility, the Constitution, national security, and American exceptionalism, I have this to say: “be afraid; be very afraid!”

Every time it appears they’ve got her backed in a corner, she takes the non-traversy, redefines it, and refuses to be sidetracked by it: They point out that she wrote on her hand–and she draws attention to the President’s teleprompter and continues to use her own “poor man’s teleprompter.” They misquote her as saying she can see Russia from her house–and she reminds them that she can also see November from there. They use her title as a means to shackle her–and she steps away, proving she doesn’t need a title to make a difference.

They even move in next door–and she does something the feds should be doing in our border states: she builds a fence. She even follows up enjoying watching her daughter perform on Dancing with the Stars with a scathing tweet about Pete Rouse a couple hours later. Nothing, absolutely nothing, extinguishes her determination to keep the main thing the main thing. And that’s why they’ll never defeat her, and that’s why they hate her.

Governor Palin’s endorsements will continue to matter, her fundraising will skyrocket all the more, and she will remain a powerful force to be reckoned with because she cannot be conquered. From anonymous campaign staffers to cowardly Journolisters, from attacks on her family to crime at her church, from insane boob-gate to asinine boo-gate, she withstands each impact, and then releases another smackdown Facebook note like nothing ever happened. While continuing to smile, it’s as if she says, “Is this the best you’ve got?”

These are crucial times, and much is at stake. That’s why people who have never been involved politically are suddenly mobilized and mobilizing others. I coached for years, and never did I build a game strategy around a bench warmer, an injured athlete, or a spectator. No, those leading the charge will be hardest hit. And who has been hit harder than the Governor? Who would ever blame her if she packed it in and went home to the state she loves, the family who loves her, and the life they once knew? But isn’t this what the Left wants? The fact that she won’t do it is what they can’t figure out. They stay awake at night contemplating why she isn’t succumbing to the pressure, why she isn’t pulling her jersey to sit out the fourth quarter, why she isn’t in a fetal position on the hardwood floor, waiting for it all to end. They have no answer for her stamina, and she has no intentions to cave.

Every once in a while a competitor emerges with superb skill, undivided focus, and an unbending spine. These are the franchise players. Everyone is gunning for them, yet they never choke. They’ll never be accused of going halfway, nothing will keep them from being out there where and when it matters, and they always find the strength to push past the limitations that constrain regular people. That’s because they’re not regular people. They’re real competitors with a special something that drives them. Governor Palin has those championship qualities.

Governor Palin is working hard to take us where we need to go–back to common sense principles and practical solutions. Her refusal to be sidetracked will keep the target on her back. The Left’s inability to knock her out of the race will only infuriate them more and make them more desperately seek new ways to cause her harm. If what we’ve seen so far is any indication, however, we can be sure that she will continue to take what they throw at her, handle it with grace, and fight like a Grizzly for the future of Team America. And like every real competitor–every champion–she’ll win. And we’ll win with her.

Reps. Bachmann, King Allege Fraud in Black Farmers Settlement

by Publius
From the Hill:


House Republicans on Wednesday charged that a multibillion-dollar settlement with black farmers supported by the Obama administration was rife with fraud.

At a press conference in the Capitol Visitor Center, Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Steve King (R-Iowa) alleged that a $1.25 billion Agriculture Department settlement to resolve discrimination claims included individuals who were never farmers.

Bachmann said the discrimination claim process was subject to “massive and widespread fraud and abuse.” King also said he believes the Obama administration has ignored the fraud allegations surrounding the settlement.
“I think they have turned a blind eye to the fraud and corruption here,” King said.

The GOP lawmakers called on Attorney General Eric Holder to start an investigation into the settlement’s claimants to ensure they are genuine. In addition, they asked congressional leaders not to sign off on new appropriations for the settlement.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack “should put the brakes on this. He should not be asking the Congress to sweep money into this,” Goodlatte said.

Congress has to appropriate the funds to pay the settlement claims. The House passed a measure to do so this past summer, but it has hit gridlock in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has tried several times to secure a vote on the settlement funds — the last time being before the August recess — only to be blocked by Republicans who cited concerns over adding to the national deficit as well as procedural complaints.

 USDA settled that case in 1999. The department reached a new settlement in 2010, known as Pigford II, to resolve claims by late filers to the original settlement.
John Boyd Jr., president of the National Black Farmers Association, has been driving his tractor to the Capitol this month to protest the delay in the settlement. He has called on the Senate to approve the funds.

President Obama has also called on Congress to take action on the funding request, and the USDA has been working to have the money appropriated.

“It is a fair settlement. It is a just settlement. We think it’s important for Congress to fund that settlement. We’re going to continue to make it a priority,” Obama said on Sept. 10.

Full article here.

Big Government

Obama: GOP Hasn’t Been Honest with Americans

by Publius
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Arguing doggedly against returning Republicans to power, President Barack Obama told Iowa voters Wednesday that the GOP has been dishonest about what needs to be done to revive the economy and restore middle-class dreams.

“We can’t pretend that there are shortcuts,” the president said, addressing about 70 voters in a grassy backyard.

adirondak chairs

“When you look at the choice we face in this election coming up,” Obama said, “the other side, what it’s really offering is the same policies that from 2001 to 2009 put off hard problems and didn’t really speak honestly to the American people about how we’re gonna get this country on track over the long term.”

Five weeks ahead of midterm elections that will determine whether Democrats retain control of Congress,
 Obama confronted stark voter angst. The first question he got was from a woman who said of her son, a recent college graduate, and his friends: “They are losing their hope which is a message you inspired them with.”

Obama responded by citing a list of areas of optimism, ones she could tell her son about it. He said his government is providing more students loans, trying to encourage private job growth, and making tough decisions now that will help the county reclaim its rightful stand as the top leader in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Over the long term, the president assured, “their future will be fine.”

Obama spoke to about 70 people at the home of Jeff and Sandy Clubb. It’s the second such “backyard discussion” he’s holding in as many days as he tries to convince Americans to keep Democrats in power. The president will finish his four-state tour Wednesday afternoon with a meeting with voters in Richmond, Va.

In the Clubb backyard the president had a homey setting, with a birdfeeder and tiki lamps visible on the lawn behind him.

There is irony in Obama using Iowa as a venue to try to avert a Republican landslide. His victory in the January 2008 Iowa caucus put him on the path to the Democratic presidential nomination, and he carried the state comfortably that November against Republican John McCain.

But almost every state is a battleground in this fall’s congressional elections, and Obama is devoting ever more time to campaigning for his party.

A rally he held Tuesday night at the University of Wisconsin came the closest so far to recapturing the enthusiasm of his 2008 drive to the White House.

Big Government

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Nabbed in Double Scandal

The trial of scandal-ridden former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich came to an unjust conclusion weeks ago, as Blago was largely let off the hook for his crimes. But as the government plans its second attempt to prosecute the case, news continues to break regarding Blagojevich’s scheme to sell President Obama’s then-vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder.


According to the Chicago Sun-Times:
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) said Tuesday he is “deeply sorry” for having “disappointed some supporters” regarding his relationship with a female “social acquaintance.”
But the congressman vowed to stay in office in the wake of a Chicago Sun-Times report that a major political fund-raiser has told federal authorities that Jackson directed him to offer former Gov. Rod Blagojevich millions of dollars in campaign cash in return for an appointment for Jackson to the U.S. Senate, to succeed President Obama.
As you may recall, Jackson’s connections to the Blagojevich scandal landed him on Judicial Watch’s list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” for 2009. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported back then, emissaries for Jesse Jackson Jr., named “Senate Candidate A” in the Blagojevich indictment, reportedly offered $1.5 million to Blagojevich during a fundraiser if he named Jackson Jr. to Obama’s seat. And three days later federal authorities arrested Blagojevich.

So Jackson is partially correct when he said that these allegations are “not new.” But what is new, however, is that Jackson Jr.’s fundraiser, Raghuveer Nayak, has come forward to personally tell investigators that Jackson Jr. asked him to offer not $1.5 million, but a whopping $6 million in campaign cash to Blagojevich to secure the Senate seat!

And here’s something else new that emerged this week. Apparently Jackson asked Nayak to “pay to fly a Washington, D.C., restaurant hostess named Giovana Huidobro — described as a ‘social acquaintance’ of the Democratic congressman — to Chicago to visit him.” Nayak reportedly did so twice.

We all know what “social acquaintance” means under these circumstances. Jackson Jr. says this is a “private and personal matter between me and my wife.” But not if it involved public funds, an issue that remains unsettled.

So too is Jackson Jr.’s political future. The Chicago congressman was rumored to be in the crowded field of candidates running for Mayor of Chicago, a possibility that seems more remote in light of recent developments.

Now that Jackson Jr.’s political stock is dropping through the basement floor, the press is chattering about the possibility of Chicago native and current White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel leaving the White House and throwing his hat into the ring to serve as Chicago’s next mayor.
But here’s the thing. Emanuel also has a Blagojevich problem.

As I’ve told you previously, the government cut short its Blagojevich prosecution to avoid implicating White House officials at the highest levels, including Emanuel. According to Judicial Watch blogger Irene Garcia, who did some excellent reporting from the trial, Blagojevich repeatedly ferried messages to President Obama through Emanuel. For example, Blagojevich’s former Chief of Staff John Harris testified that Blagojevich asked him to call Emanuel to see if the president was “still in agreement” that the Senate seat should go to…

…You guessed it, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Only in Chicago.

Big Government

EXCLUSIVE: Boxer Campaigners Hire Day Laborers to Protest Fiorina

by Publius 

A citizen journalist interviewed sign-holding protesters at a Barbara Boxer rally outside of KPCC radio station where Boxer was debating Carly Fiorina.

Big Government

Senate Republicans Yet Again Give Middle Finger to the Tea Party Movement

It is a story that superficially is about Jim DeMint.
He beat up his Senate Republican colleagues in an email the other day for what they did. Lisa Murkowski left the party to run as a write-in candidate against Joe Miller in Alaska after he beat her in the GOP primary.
Murkowski’s chief selling point is that she is the ranking Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee. The Senate GOP could have stripped her of that position, but chose to keep her there.
This has given Murkowski a new attack against Miller, i.e. even the Senate GOP expects her to come back.
DeMint took exception to that.

National Review has done yeoman’s work getting Senators on record about how they voted. What they are finding is that pretty much every Republican Senator supports Murkowski.
Republican Senators are now attacking Jim DeMint for siding with the tea party movement.

I would take issue with that,” said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, No. 4 in the GOP hierarchy. He said DeMint’s statements are “overstating what happened. I think the Republican leadership is very much doing everything they can to help the Republican nominee in Alaska.” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) called DeMint’s pitch a “mistaken idea,” saying there “isn’t one sitting Republican in the Senate that isn’t supporting Joe Miller.”
Bond, an appropriator who has sparred with DeMint, said the South Carolina senator’s characterization was “totally inaccurate” and noted that Republican senators are raising money for Miller this week during his Washington fundraising rounds.
Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, the GOP conference chairman, said simply that DeMint’s fundraising e-mail “speaks for itself.” But he expressed concerns about the fact that DeMint publicly aired material from a closed-door meeting.
“Our strong tradition in the Republican Conference is to have a free and open exchange and to keep that among ourselves,” Alexander said. “I’m always disappointed when some member of our conference decides not to follow that tradition. It makes it hard for us to be a team.”
These keepers of the status quo do not get it. They have sent a strong signal that what Lisa Murkowski did was perfectly acceptable. They do not care about Joe Miller. They can say they are supporting him, but it’s like supporting a nation at war through hand claps instead of action.
“I know from experience that trying to work within the system for 12 years has not yielded results —and our country is worse off [than] where it was when I got here,” DeMint said Tuesday. “The party is not going to mind what I do as long as I’m not effective.”
We need to stand up for Joe Miller and we need to stand up for Jim DeMint. The Senate Republicans have lost their way.


Matt Taibbi on the Tea Parties

Matt Taibbi's head hankie
If sophistication is the ability to understand different kinds of people and grapple with different ideas, Matt Taibbi’s latest Tea Party bashing piece in Rolling Stone can best be read as an expose of the provincial unsophistication of Taibbi, his editors, and any readers who take his article seriously. Taibbi’s piece is a slovenly mess of leftist tropes, with his usual lazy approach to basic facts. This is a shame. The story of the Tea Party era, in the hands of a more competent writer, is incredibly interesting, breaking all sorts of rules of politics, changing our understanding of base and establishment relationships, and marking a possible turning point in the history of American political movements — but Taibbi is so committed to his predetermined plot, he blatantly ignores –- or in some cases abuses –- the truth along the way.

Taibbi blasts away at the Tea Partiers as stupid evil people manipulated by smart evil people — as a bunch of crazy redneck idjits created by Ron Paul, who then got co-opted by even more despicable corporate interests. His narrative is that the “Tea Party’s political outrage is being appropriated, with thanks, by the Goldmans and BPs of the world,” and the subtitle of his piece is “How corporate interests and Republican insiders built the Tea Party monster.” Of course he’s right about this, when you look at the facts. We’ve all seen how the Republican establishment and their corporate allies, with their savvy and secretive organizations, were able to manipulate the Tea Party movement into supporting candidates like Bob Bennett, Arlen Specter, Charlie Crist, Trey Grayson, Jane Norton, and Lisa Murkowski. The evidence is everywhere! Right? Right. And never mind that Taibbi happens to pick as his examples two corporations — BP and Goldman Sachs — known for their conspicuous donations to the Democratic Party (by hefty margins).

Taibbi mentions the Koch brothers in passing (no conspiratorial piece about Tea Party funding goes without this, though like any good water-carrier, Taibbi leaves out their inconvenient donations to the Democrats). But he saves particular bile for FreedomWorks, the Dick Armey-led group which has been a major policy source for Tea Partiers.

Here’s where it just gets silly. Taibbi writes that FreedomWorks was “conspicuously silent during George Bush’s gargantuan spending” — uh, did someone never learn how to use Google? FreedomWorks has long been known as an organization guided by libertarian principles and an emphasis on small government. Any schoolchild with access to Google can see an immense paper trail of FreedomWorks opposing big government approaches under Bush, Clinton, Bush, and even Reagan. FreedomWorks was one of the most vocal opponents of Bush’s spending initiatives from the right, including Medicare Part D and the TARP Wall Street bailout (which other less principled outfits supported). If Taibbi is revealing anything here, it’s that he himself was never much interested in critiques of big government until he was compelled by party loyalty to try to discredit them.

This type of inaccurate reporting goes beyond laziness — it’s so wrong, and so easily correctable, that I can’t think it is explained by a series of unintentional mistakes. It’s just a blatant lie, one the fact-checkers let stand.

 I recognize that Taibbi was a tabloid journalist in Russia covering sports and gossip in the early 1990s while FreedomWorks was protesting HillaryCare at every speech where Clinton promoted her plan, but saying that anti-big government activists “only took to the streets when a black Democrat president launched an emergency stimulus program” is just flat-out wrong. Any honest Capitol Hill staffer will tell you that the real pushback started in September 2008, when the yet-unnamed Tea Partiers let fly against the Bush-Pelosi-Reid bailout, and exploded in the late summer town halls of the following year, primarily in response to the President’s health care bill. Yet somehow Taibbi credits this movement to Ron Paul + secretive Republican manipulators + those Jewish bankers he’s always yammering about? (And a hint to Taibbi: if your conspiracy theory involves the Paul family collaborating with Goldman Sachs, that tinfoil’s screwed on too tight).

There were precious few benefits to come out of the recent financial crisis, but one of them has to be the acceptance of Taibbi’s public descent into raving insanity. His reputation is as a once-interesting writer ruined by his increasingly partisan ideology — better than never being interesting at all, of course, but it’s never a good thing when more than one person compares your path to Paul Krugman. So few people who cover Wall Street or understand the economy take Taibbi seriously after his mumbling articles for Rolling Stone and the now defunct True/Slant, which contained buckets of paranoid meanderings and often bizarre inaccuracies about the beat he claimed to own. He seems far more petty and vindictive now, perhaps just because Rolling Stone’s editors seem uninterested in cutting it out.

It’s a small factor, but there’s something else here too. Taibbi became an exclusive magazine property after True/Slant was purchased by Steve Forbes’ publishing company, thereby ending his popular blog at the site — Taibbi doesn’t disclose this fact, but in a classic measure of his dry wit, he does brand Forbes a “billionaire turd.” No comment from Forbes, who was probably jetskiing across Lake Franzibald.

This piece is just clumsy. It’s not clever, it’s not new, it’s not even interesting, and it gets more facts wrong than it has pages. It’s Taibbi’s agenda tarted up as a piece of journalism and trotted out to please those seeking eager dirty talk about the Tea Party, as if he hopes they’ll ignore the smeared makeup and track lines.

Maybe Taibbi is just tired of covering a movement months after he pronounced it “Perverted and Irrelevant.”

Maybe he’s tired of getting owned by Dana Loesch on CNN. Or maybe his head hankie is tied too tight.

I asked Max Pappas at FreedomWorks to weigh in on this, and he offered this response:
“Few in the GOP establishment would agree with his claim that the tea party movement has been ‘deployed’ to their advantage by groups like FreedomWorks. Rather, it’s been a hostile takeover resisted by the GOP establishment at every step,” Pappas said. “This genuine grassroots movement is the people reasserting themselves against the members of both parties who make up the arrogant political class that has abused its powers for too long… something the once-upon-a-time anti-establishment Rolling Stone may have sided with, rather than defending the powers that be.”

Apt, considering that Taibbi’s piece comes on the heels of Jann Wenner’s slobber-drenched interview with President Obama. As the saying goes, politics sooner or later makes a fool out of everyone. “Once you wanted revolution/now you’re the institution/how’s it feel to be the man.”


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Barney's new excuse

The fannie-freddie menace:
Charles Gasparino

Rep. Barney Frank & Co. are getting set for yet another hearing this week on the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-controlled mortgage lenders. Once again, they're not after the truth -- they're looking to conceal it.

The House Financial Services Committee chairman and his brethren on the left want you to believe they're making a good-faith effort to figure out what went wrong with Fannie and Freddie -- what mistakes led to their failure and takeover by the government during the 2008 financial collapse, and how to fix both institutions for the future.
Barney Frank & Co. want Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to  continue   their evil ways.
Barney Frank & Co. want Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to continue their evil ways.

In fact, what they'll deliver is more hot air from so-called "housing advocates" obscuring just how much Fannie and Freddie contributed to the housing
bubble, the 2008 financial collapse and the Great Recession.

It's all meant to give lawmakers an excuse not to do what's necessary and prudent -- namely, kill Fannie and Freddie before they come back to do it all again.

The notion of "housing" as a God-given right had been promoted by people like Barney Frank for nearly two decades. Their vehicles to expand homeownership for all were "government-sponsored enterprises" Fannie and Freddie -- which, starting in the mid 90s, began buying up and placing guarantees on mortgages taken out by people with lower incomes and lousy credit histories.

Giving low-income people access to the housing market sounds nice enough -- but the reality was far different. Housing prices were bid up to levels that made repaying mortgages nearly impossible. When the bubble burst, the government "sponsored" agencies were in hock for billions -- and so was their "sponsor," the US taxpayer.

And once Fannie and Freddie stopped making loans to anyone with a hearbeat (and many people without jobs), housing prices began to deflate, taking the banking system and the rest of the economy with it.
Now it looks like Fannie and Freddie are back to their old tricks -- with the evident support of both Barney Frank and President Obama.

Spencer Bachus, the top Republican on Frank's Financial Services Committee, tells me that both agencies have started new programs that once again make loans and guarantees to "subprime" borrowers, or people with the lowest credit ratings -- the same sort of lending practices that contributed to their collapse back in 2008.

He demanded an explanation from Edward DeMarco -- who, as acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, is supposed to be overseeing Fannie and Freddie. Bachus reports that DeMarco told him, "He was unaware these programs were started."

Bachus is in line to run the committee if the Republicans win control of the House in November. In a recent Fox Business Network interview, he told me that, as chairman, he'd put two issues at the top of the agenda:

* Ending "too big to fail" -- notion that banks like Citigroup must be bailed out by the American taxpayer when they lose money.

* Shutting down, once and for all, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Much as he wants to put Fannie and Freddie out of their misery immediately, Bachus says the agencies current role in the mortgage market makes that impossible. Even in government "conservatorship," the two remain major players in helping banks in the mortgage market. "We're addicted to cheap government money and taxpayer supported, guaranteed money," Bachus said.

"And for the addiction process to end you're going to have to have a weaning process. . . We plan to finish the job in two years with a new president."
Let's hope two years goes quickly.

Charles Gasparino is a Fox Business Network senior corre spondent; his latest book is "Bought and Paid For."