NewsBusters Whining About Keith Olbermann’s “Liberal Bias.”

June 29, 2006

… His segment, titled “Worst Person in the World,” is a strong measure of the MSNBC host’s overwhelming bias against conservatives as the segment has served as a launchpad for attacks against conservative figures and positions at a dramatically greater rate than against the left. As reported by the latest Media Reality Check, by a staggeringly lopsided 8 to 1 margin, Olbermann has targeted conservatives, sometimes with substantial venom, while hitting a comparatively miniscule number of liberals.

Gee! Ya think? Do you feel MSNBC should be “fair and balanced” like FOX News?

Wonder what the ratio of liberal vs. conservative targeting is on Hannity and O’Reilly? Have you checked THAT?

From a comment on this story:

Isn’t it funny how people like DNC “Master of Puppets” Dean proclaim that the Government of George Bush keeps everything in secret and from the public; yet amidst news that is reported as is happens across the globe, and with leaks pouring out of Washington like Lake Ponchetrain Levee, that the DNC truly has identified it’s target market: Ill-informed and pathetically ignorant and stupid Americans, most of them poor, uneducated and wanting a father figure.

Stop! Your’re killing me!  This bit of hysterics comes from a Reagan supporter, no doubt!

Olbermann is clearly a Paid Hack, the type of person the DNC really needs, to keep feeding the mass of people who clearly avoid digesting the truth over some saucy appetizer called “headlines”.

There seems to be a growing belief that anyone who believes anything different than you is “paid” to say so by your enemies. Sad. 

In some circles, I get accused of being a “paid hack” of the DNC and/or DLC.  Do you you think I’d be worried about paying this month’s mortgage if I was getting paychecks from various levers of the party aparatus?

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Crude blogger (KOS) is lowering the bar

June 28, 2006

Piece by Jonathan Gurwitz of the San Antonio Express-News

School’s out for summer, and all the wayward children who received detention for shooting spit wads and carving naughty words into their desks are evidently attending the Kos Camp for Splenetic Activism.

The camp’s proprietor is Markos “Kos” Moulitsas, founder of the influential DailyKos blog and a nominal leader of the Angry Left. “Crashing the Gate,” a book Moulitsas co-authored with political consultant and penny stock touter Jerome Armstrong, is the playbook for progressive political activism and the “Net roots,” a synthesis of traditional, progressive politics and the power of the Internet. And there’s no doubting the contribution Moulitsas has made to advance what he calls people-powered politics.

Unfortunately for the people who take their politics seriously, Moulitsas himself and many of his paste-eating charges at Camp Kos seem more committed to acts of adolescent political vandalism, as the title of his book implies, than to the intellectual maturity of political leadership.

The Kos kids and their counselor got all worked up recently about a column in which I criticized their penchant for savaging Democrats who stray from their ideological agenda, their intolerance for dissent and their bullying tactics.

But what really set Moulitsas’ marshmallow aflame, I suspect, was an affront to his vanity. I quoted his risible comment following the Texas primaries in March that his Net-roots effort had given Rep. Henry Cuellar “an ass whooping” in an election that Cuellar comfortably won.

“Another idiot columnist tries to peddle the ‘scary Daily Kos is trying to liquidate moderate Democrats’ bull—-,” Moulitsas wrote on his blog. And his little band of Net hooligans set out to demonstrate just how tolerant and non-bullying they really aren’t.

“I would love to purge this party of these DLC Centrist type Dems who think they can ride the middle to get votes from both sides of the fence,” wrote one Kossack.

“Basically, you are full of —-. As a nurse, I can say that word, it is a medical term when someone spews idiotic statements and shows their stupidity,” wrote another. Other Kos campers evidently drank from the same batch of Kool-Aid. Their topic headlines read, “Gurwitz tries to peddle BS” and “Bull—- article.”

One generously expressed his hope that someday I “gain at least some self-respect back. You, as all humans, deserve it.” Another burnished his progressive merit badge by simply writing, “The test came back positive. Start AZT as soon as you can.”

Back at Camp Kos, there was even a plea for civility of sorts. “E-mail the idiot columnist,” wrote one reader at DailyKos. But, he suggested, “be nice and don’t give him a chance to write the ‘angry lefties sent me nasty e-mail’ column.”

Sorry to disappoint, but no one should expect followers of a profanity-spewing pied piper not to be nasty. Moulitsas, who is currently venting his rage at liberal journalists who refuse to keep silent about pay-for-play political allegations against him and Armstrong, makes Ann Coulter seem downright charming by comparison.

In 2004, when four Americans working for a military contractor were murdered and their bodies mutilated in Fallujah, Moulitsas commented: “I feel nothing over the death of mercenaries. They aren’t in Iraq because of orders or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them.”

One of Moulitsas’ colleagues in the Net-roots community wrote to me apologetically, the Kos reputation for vulgarity being well-known. “You are probably getting more than your share of uncivil responses from frustrated activists who believe their voices don’t count as much as others. This will not be one of them.”

And, indeed, what followed was strong yet sensible and civil criticism. That’s an art Moulitsas and his followers haven’t even attempted to master, preferring instead the rhetorical equivalent of gang graffiti.

Moulitsas has been instrumental in helping thousands of frustrated activists make their voices heard.

Being heard, however, is not the same as being taken seriously.


Politics is my second love. Tonight, I’m visiting my first

June 27, 2006

Politics is my second love. Tonight, I’m visiting my first

I was only 10 years old and found it hard to sit still for five minutes, much less 2 and a half hours. But there I was, wide eyed and innocent, sitting in a movie theater on a cold day in December of 1978, watching the opening credits of Superman: The Movie soar across the silver screen.

Mesmerized.

My older brother was next to me and later he would gleefully tell mom and dad how I sat speechless, mouth wide open in amazement. In adoration even. My favorite comic book hero, the subject of many pencil and crayon creations at our dining room table, was now being brought to life before my very eyes.

There have been many pivotal moments in my life that I remember clearly. My first day of kindergarten, the first time I looked over my shoulder as I peddled a bike down the road and saw my dad was no longer holding the seat for me, my first kiss, the first time I had sex (who could forget THAT!), and watching my bride come down the aisle towards me.

But Superman. Oh my God. Before the first kiss was even thought of, when girls were still icky, and learning to ride a bike was a distant memory, Superman defined my 10 year old personality. Truth, Justice, and the American way! That mantra may have planted the seeds of my political future.

Unknown to the little kid on the front row, Superman was created in the 1930s, during the depression. The character as we know him today originally fought against the causes of hardship and poverty. But, of course, he wasn’t real. It took a Democratic President named Franklin Roosevelt to lift America out of depression. But if FDR could have written Superman into his New Deal, I’m sure he would have.

Now, almost 70 years since the Depression, and almost 20 years since we last saw Christopher Reeve in the red cape, Superman Returns. Tonight. 10PM.

It’s been a ritual for me these last few weeks to Google the latest reviews of the movie. Most have been positive. A few have been negative. The predominant theme I’ve noticed in the scattered negative reviews have been a yearning for Christopher Reeve – an almost “how dare they make a new Superman” attitude.

It might surprise them that many people never took to Christopher Reeve as Superman. My dad didn’t. He grew up during the depression. He saw Kirk Alyn first portray Superman at the movies, and then watched 105 episodes of the George Reeves TV series in the 1950s. To my father, George Reeves was Superman, not Christopher Reeve. It will be the same now. Brandon Routh will be Superman to today’s movie goers. Old-timers will have to accept it. I have.

So tonight, I’ll be 10 years old again for at least 2 and a half hours. This time my wife will see me transfixed with wonder. She then might understand why I haven’t shut up about this movie in months. But unlike that cold December day in 1978, I won’t embarrass her by running up the aisle, arms stretched out, and making a swooshing sound when the movie is over.

Or will I?


Why Al Gore is the Democrat’s Best Bet in 2008

June 23, 2006

The New Republic has endorsed Al Gore for 2008.   This really shouldn’t surprise anyone.  They did the same in 2004 even thought Gore wasn’t running.  Now it’s true Gore has become the darling of the far left, but let’s not kid ourselves – he’s not the “progressive” the netroots make him out to be.  As Peter Beinart said on Scarborough Country last month, paraphrased: “He was a foreign policy hawk during the Clinton years, big supporter of the Kosovo intervention, supported the first Gulf War. He opposed the Iraq war and, in retrospect, that looks like a good decision.”

I suspect that Al Gore will be annoyed at me for writing this article. He has never so much as hinted to me that he is or will be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president. At most, he has been coy about the matter–as he was coy about it on television last Sunday. Still, I want to assure the reader that I have not written it in consultation with Gore at all. I haven’t even hinted to him that I am writing it. This is written out of solidarity with those political moderates and liberals who are desperate to find a nominee about whom both their minds and spirits can be intellectually sure and psychologically fervent.

The first pragmatic reason to be for Gore, then, is that he is electable. He won once. He can win again. This is not simply a slogan; it is a serious thought. I find, moreover, that there is an undercurrent of guilt around the country about the fact that the presidency was taken from him by a vote of 5 to 4, with the 5 votes coming from Supreme Court justices who, on any other matter, would otherwise have reflexively deferred on a matter of Florida votes to the power of the Florida courts whose judgment would have resulted in Al Gore being president and not George Bush. These “strict constructionists” and “originalists” suddenly turned activists. That Bush has been such a clot as a president, such a golem magnifies Gore’s stature as a thinking person with beliefs he can defend honestly and persuasively. Imagine what would be the outcome of a rematch. My guess is that if there were a poll asking voters whom they had voted for in 2000, Gore would win by a landslide. I know people who are actually ashamed of having cast their ballots for George Bush. But Gore will not be running against Bush….

…I was first for Al Gore for president when he ran in the primaries in 1988. He lost to Michael Dukakis in that year’s suicide of the Democratic Party, an ignominious campaign by a smug and utterly disconnected governor from the only state that had voted for George McGovern. Jesse Jackson was the celebrity candidate, with his hip-hop language that some patronizing folk will still tell you is eloquence. Had Al Gore been the nominee in 1988, he likely would have defeated George Herbert Walker Bush, and the nation would have been saved the grim experience of his unlikely and uncomprehending dynasty.

Let’s consider another aspect of an Al Gore (and for the matter, Hillary Clinton) presidency.  Even considering the potency of the rightwing smear machine, what could the swift boat goons drag out about Gore we haven’t already heard?  Gore and Clinton are virtually immune to the kinds of slander the GOP has perfectec because we’ve heard it all before.  Couple that with the fact that Gore and Clinton will fight back.  They proved it in the 90s.

There was a reason the Republicans suddenly backed down on their impeachment hardons. 


Dem young guns launch journal of ideas

June 20, 2006

The Hill reports today that two young intellectuals have founded a quarterly periodical modeled after influential conservative journals like Commentary and The National Interest.

Kenneth Baer and Andrei Cherny, both speechwriters and authors who have worked within the New Democrat movement, will launch Democracy: A Journal of Ideas today at the National Press Club. They will appear on a panel with Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol, American Prospect Editor Michael Tomasky and Francis Fukuyama of The American Interest.

“We think that the party is rich in tactics and poor in ideas,” said Baer, who worked as a speechwriter for former Vice President Al Gore. “What we really need for long-term success is deep, serious thinking about how we’re going to apply long-held progressive values to new challenges.”

“I had started thinking about where all of the conservative ideas, for better or worse, had come from,” Cherny said. “Every big idea — Social Security privatization, supply-side economics, preemption, faith-based initiatives — had come out of one of their journals in their intellectual infrastructure.”

Over lunch last year with Baer at Mackey’s Public House on L Street, Cherny proposed starting their own journal to help foster debate across the political spectrum. The first issue appeared online yesterday at http://www.democracyjournal.org


“I don’t want our guys getting used to shrimp and martinis”

June 12, 2006

Just like their cousins on the far right, the nutroots of the left provide their fair share of comic relief.  Check out this bit from a Salon article on the recent KOS fest in Vegas:

… there was Warner on Friday night, looking, as one blogger commented, like a cross between John Kennedy and Richie Cunningham of “Happy Days” as he danced between two Blues Brothers’ impersonators at the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino. At a reported cost of around $50,000, Warner had rented out the highest bar in Vegas to entertain the nearly 1,000 bloggers and online activists who were in town for YearlyKos, a conference sponsored by the largest online community of Democrats in the country…

…When he was done, about two-thirds of the audience gave him a standing ovation, many of them clearly impressed with his biography as a red state Democrat and high-tech executive. But dissension was also not far under the surface. Minutes after Warner stepped outside of the convention hall to answer questions from reporters and bloggers, Edward Anderson, a Connecticut blogger whose screen name is DeanFan84, confronted him with a broad-based concern. “Do you understand that a lot of us in the grass roots feel that the money could have been spent better?” Anderson asked the former governor, referring to the Friday night Warner party at the Stratosphere. “We don’t want to join the consultant class. I don’t want our guys getting used to shrimp and martinis.”

LOL! Shrimp and martinis?

I’m sure I’ll catch hell from the “commoners” here like “DeanFan84,” and be hit with all sorts of anti-Warner, anti-DLC bombs, but I find that “Shrimp and martini” line strikingly funny.

Perhaps DeanFan84 and “his guys” would have preferred their blogging cuisine of choice – Hot Pockets and beer?

And what of the cost of the KOS event itself?  It cost about $360. a person. http://www.yearlykos.org/register – not even including transportation, hotel stay, and meals (unless you live off the one provided lunch per day.)

With an estimated 900 in attendance we get $324,000.   Deanfan84 attended an expensive event in Vegas, no less, a city known for it’s excesses.  The event raised thousands of dollars.  Has Deanfan84 asked anyone where THAT money is being spent?  Yet, he’ll lecture Mark Warner, a Democrat who knows how to win in a RED STATE for not spending his money where the blogger believes it should go! LOL!


A Democratic Plan for Childcare and College

June 6, 2006

When/If Democrats offer their version of the “Contract With America,” I’d like to see some of this plan in it. I think the only thing I would modify is the healthcare part, namely, providing the healthcare for free if economically feasible.

Howard? Harry? Nancy? Rahm?

Oh yeah, it’s from the feared DLC.  (cue scary music!)

Time for Parenting

Time to Spend with Newborns. States should promote innovative ways to ensure moms are able to spend quality time with their newborns by implementing a paid family and medical leave system or offering a Family Leave Tax Credit.

Time to Care for a Sick Child or Attend School Activities. States should allow all employees to use personal sick leave to care for a sick child or attend routine medical appointments, and require employers to grant leave for parents to attend school conferences or activities of the employee’s child.

Protecting Kids

Background Checks for Those Who Care For Kids or the Elderly. States should require state criminal history checks, state child abuse registry checks, and FBI background checks on all owners, employees, and volunteers at day care centers and nursing home facilities.

Child Care Quality Rating System. State and local governments should institute an online quality rating system for every child-care facility licensed by the state. Such a system would encourage and recognize quality child-care providers, giving them additional recognition based on a three or five-star system, and should include incentives to improve care.

Crack Downs on Sex Offenders, Particularly Those Who Prey on Children. States should increase sentences to put more sex offenders behind bars, increase registration and reporting requirements for those not in jail, and track the most serious offenders using technology such as GPS monitoring.

Online Access to Information on Keeping Kids Safe. States and localities should provide parents with online access to information and tools to keep their kids safe from inappropriate material on television and the Internet and in music and video games to empower parents to decide what is appropriate for their children. (Note: This is not a call to censor material, but rather to make parents aware of the material and content)

Online Safety Instruction. States should establish Internet safety curriculum in every school to ensure that children understand the dangers that exist in cyberspace.

Health Coverage for All Kids. States should do everything in their power to ensure that every child has access to private health insurance with affordable, comprehensive coverage.

Creating Opportunity for Kids

Cradle to College Accounts. States should create accounts for every child born in their state that is endowed with an initial investment and redeemable at age 18 to pay for their college education.

Universal Pre-K. State and local leaders should enact universal or targeted preschool programs that ensure all children have an opportunity to attend high-quality, academically oriented preschools that serve all children and include a strong school readiness curriculum, taught by teachers with early childhood education and training.

Quality After-School Programs. States and localities should provide safe and educationally constructive alternatives for kids during the after-school hours.

Student PC’s. States and localities could ensure that every student has the opportunity to have a computer and Internet access by using their bulk purchasing power to offer all families with kids in schools the opportunity to buy a computer and services at a reduced rate — all without increasing government spending.

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