Posts Tagged ‘Washington Post’
January 16th, 2017 at 2:12 pm
Stat of the Day: Terrible Deterioration of Race Relations Under Obama
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In our Liberty Update commentary last week, we noted the many failures of Barack Obama as president over the past eight years.  Today, as the nation celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a Washington Post-ABC News survey shows just how disastrously race relations have declined under his watch:

In a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 63 percent of Americans think race relations are ‘generally bad.’ Shortly after Obama took office, that number was 22 percent. In the same time period, those who think race relations are ‘generally good’ plummeted from 66 percent to 32 percent.”

Of his failures and disastrous legacy, this may be the most depressing.

November 21st, 2013 at 3:03 pm
Destroy the Country! Yeah, That’s It!!!!

For a while I thought the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart might turn out to be one of those increasingly rare birds, a thoughtful and constructive and fair-minded liberal. I was wrong. Today, Capehart has a column entitled — I kid you not — “The GOP is out to destroy the country.” Now Capehart obviously knows this is a cheap shot, so he tries to have it both ways, in the have-cake-eat-too mode, by immediately labeling his own headline “rather hyperbolic” and then, in the very same lead paragraph, writing that the headline actually does “seem appropriate” because, as he goes on to explain, those meanie Republicans just don’t want to let Obama “move this nation forward.”

Egads. Since when do we need a president to move our nation forward? Lord forbid that we need a president or a government to move American forward. I thought that was our job as individuals, while government was just there to protect us and ensure our basic freedoms. I guess I made the mistake of actually studying and understanding American political theory and history, while the morally superior folks like Capehart knew they could put all that aside and instead assume a class of elite managers in Washington is best able to move us forward because we just are too inept to do so on our own.

Ignoring any policy proposals he doesn’t like allows Capehart to blast Republicans for “failing to have viable alternative proposals worthy of national debate.” Note the qualifiers. And who, pray tell, gets to decide what is “viable” or not and what is “worthy of debate”? None other than lefties like Capehart. Never mind that Republicans and conservatives for years have pushed policy alternatives on just about every important national issue under the sun, only to be — if one applies his own terminology to his side as well as ours — “blocked” by the “obstruction” of Democrats.

Calling for the parties to work together (by which he obviously means Republicans should work to do what Democrats want), Capehart on one hand blames Republicans for poisoning the well while on the other hand doing some serious poisoning of his own by asserting as a stated fact, that “Half of the legislative branch is in thrall to a band of right-wing zealots unmoved by facts as much as they are motivated by hatred of the president.” Yeah, that’s it: Accuse the other side of nastiness while insulting it in ways you would never accept if aimed at you. That’s just a great way to promote healthy dialogue.

Somebody needs to teach Capehart some manners. And some civics lessons, too.

July 9th, 2013 at 7:05 pm
Resistance, on the Grapevine
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Make what you will of the fact that the most provocative stories in the Washington Post come from the Style section, but this one is a doozy:

KERMAN, Calif. — In the world of dried fruit, America has no greater outlaw than Marvin Horne, 68.

Horne, a raisin farmer, has been breaking the law for 11 solid years. He now owes the U.S. government at least $650,000 in unpaid fines. And 1.2 million pounds of unpaid raisins, roughly equal to his entire harvest for four years.

For what offense has our scofflaw earned the contempt of the state? I’ll tell you, but you should probably take a moment to get any sharp objects out of your immediate vicinity:

He said no to the national raisin reserve.

“I believe in America. And I believe in our Constitution. And I believe that eventually we will be proved right,” Horne said recently, sitting in an office next to 20 acres of ripening Thompson grapes. “They took our raisins and didn’t pay us for them.”

The national raisin reserve might sound like a fever dream of the Pillsbury Doughboy. But it is a real thing — a 64-year-old program that gives the U.S. government a heavy-handed power to interfere with the supply and demand for dried grapes.

It works like this: In a given year, the government may decide that farmers are growing more raisins than Americans will want to eat. That would cause supply to outstrip demand. Raisin prices would drop. And raisin farmers might go out of business.

To prevent that, the government does something drastic. It takes away a percentage of every farmer’s raisins. Often, without paying for them.

This, by the way, is not a novel approach for the feds. Back in 2007, George Will noted the practical realities that had galvanized the otherwise moderate (then)Senator Richard Lugar to oppose farm subsidies:

Time was, Riley Webster Lugar, a Hoosier farmer, vociferously disapproved of the New Deal policy of killing baby pigs to control supply in the hope of raising prices. When his son Marvin ran the family farm, if a cashier giving him change included a Franklin Roosevelt dime, he would slap the offending coin on the counter and denounce the New Deal policy of supporting commodity prices by controlling supply — by limiting the freedom to plant.

Today, Marvin’s son Dick is carrying on two family traditions — running the farm and resenting the remarkable continuity connecting today’s farm policies with the New Deal’s penchant for economic planning. The grandson, now 75, is again trying to reform what Franklin Roosevelt wrought.

Lugar is gone from the Senate now, but let’s hope that members of Congress taking up a monstrosity of a farm bill can find the time and will to carve up all provisions that irrationally demand artificial scarcity as a means to abundance.

June 6th, 2012 at 3:24 pm
Wisconsin “Close,” Like Hand Grenades

The old saying goes that “close” only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Well, last night’s Wisconsin recall election must have been a really explosive hand grenade, according to the Washington Post. Drudge has been making fun of the Post for sub-heading its story on Gov. Scott Walker’s victory a “close vote.” Well, I went the extra mile and compared this “close” election to the Post’s handling of another one with very similar results.

In reporting on Barack Obama’s victory in 2008, the text of the Post story called it a “Democratic rout.” And what was Obama’s margin over John McCain? It was 7.2 percent. What was Walker’s margin over Tom Barrett last night? A nearly identical 6.8 percent. Yet the first was a “rout,” while the second was a “close vote.”

Hmmmm….. maybe what the Post meant was that last night was “close to being a rout.”

October 4th, 2011 at 8:09 pm
Washington Post Resorts to Gutter Journalism for Perry “Racism” Story
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On Saturday, the Washington Post ginned up some controversy by running an unnecessarily long-winded investigative piece alleging that the Texas hunting camp owned by Governor (and now presidential candidate) Rick Perry, along with his father, possesses a racially-offensive name (involving the most common — and jarring — epithet for African-Americans).

The piece made for good election cycle copy, but bad journalism. In essence, the name far predated the Perrys’ acquisition of the property and never seems to have been used by them — in fact, they actually painted over a rock that included it (and eventually just turned it over). In addition, the Post never made clear what it means to say that the offensive name is what the property “is called,” apart from the fact that the name had been used by previous owners and the rock still remains on the land.

If the WaPo had any journalistic sense, it would have left the story there. Instead, they’ve now published a follow-up piece by Amy Gardner claiming to examine Perry’s “complicated record” on racial issues. Like recent stories wondering what Chris Christie’s weight says about his potential mettle as president, this was an example of journalism that was long on space to fill and short on meaningful analysis.

In truth, Perry’s record couldn’t be less complicated. He appointed the man who became the first black chairman of Texas A&M’s board of regents, had an African-American chief of staff, and hired two black general counsels. According to the story, however, his views on race are questionable because he (A) supports the Tea Party (B) believes in the Tenth Amendment (C)  ran a campaign ad in 1990 featuring his opponent with Jesse Jackson and (D) once had misgivings about a piece of hate crimes legislation (which he eventually signed).

While there’s no evidence to suggest Perry is actually a racist (and, in fact, plenty of evidence showing exactly the opposite), don’t expect that to prevent the formation of a meme on the left. We fully expect to see the Perry-as-racist shtick on parade in Bill Maher’s next monologue. Perhaps some of the Washington Post‘s writers would feel more comfortable on Maher’s staff — at least there the belief that facts are immaterial is explicit.

August 5th, 2011 at 2:58 pm
WaPo Helped Facilitate Obama’s Watergate?

Writing for Human Events, gun advocate Neil W. McCabe documents how the Washington Post was aware of ATF’s “gun walking” program before the operation led to the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on December 14, 2010.

The AK-47 that killed Terry was sold by Lone Wolf Trading.

That means that the reporters working on the Dec. 13 story for months were completely aware that the bureau was getting its statistics from the undercover operations that allowed the guns to pass through the normal controls.

What they should have also known is that this ill-conceived project was a completely irresponsible abrogation by sworn law enforcement officers and their leaders.

They should have known that it was a dangerous contamination of public servants and members of the free press working together toward the political goals shared by both the platform of the Democratic National Committee and the paper’s editorial board.

Finally, they should have known that they were sitting on top of one of the biggest stories of anyone’s career, titled, “As Mexico drug violence runs rampant, U.S. government agents clear, and expedite to crime gangs, guns tied to crime south of border.”

McCabe also shows how the Post continued to report ATF’s scandal as though the deliberate “walking” of guns across the border wasn’t verified, even though the Post had been given detailed statistics by ATF about the numbers of guns flowing across into Mexico.  (How would ATF know unless it was green-lighting the transfers?)

How ironic it is that the newspaper most identified with bringing down a president for abusing the public’s trust acted as the PR firm for an administration whose actions actually killed an American citizen.

No wonder the Post couldn’t be bothered to pick up the story until after CBS and Fox News took it mainstream.

October 31st, 2009 at 10:36 am
How the Berlin Wall Was Actually Opened

There is a fascinating story in today’s Washington Post describing the events that led up to the opening of the Berlin Wall. Although there were many well-documented causes, particular events and their sequence of occurrence had much to do with making November 9, 1989, the day the most visible barrier to human freedom fell. An excerpt:

Even the exact hour mattered: The wall opened when many East German political and military leaders were sequestered in meetings, and many significant Soviet leaders — because of the time difference — were already asleep. What if they’d had time to fortify the borders before the flood of people arrived? As it was, none of them could mount an immediate response, and soon it was too late to undo the events of the evening.

We like to think that all great events have great causes, and obviously long-term political, economic and military forces shaped the Cold War — and how it ended. But momentous events are also a sort of ambush of history, when all those long-term pressures come together in an unexpected way. The opening of the Berlin Wall, largely unintentional, was such an event, an unsettling thought for those who see history as the result of strategy and planning by pivotal leaders.

If only a few things had been different, we might not have such happy memories to celebrate next week. But thanks to the mumbling of a sleep-deprived East German official, some overzealous Western reporting and the willingness of East Germans to risk a trip to the wall, the Cold War reached a swift and peaceful conclusion.”

Read the entire article here.

October 7th, 2009 at 2:46 pm
Rangel Survives Ethics Inquiry … For Now
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The House of Representatives protected one of its own today by voting only to refer Rep. Charles Rangel to the House Ethics Committee; he will remain the Chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

Rangel, as the NY Times has revealed, has taken many liberties in his position of power.  The Times discovered that Rangel has four rent-controlled apartments, and actually uses one as his campaign office, likely in violation of House rules.  In addition, Rangel recently revealed that he failed to disclose assets from his swanky beach home in the Dominican Republic, leading to over $10,000 in back taxes.

Being an elected official has been prosperous for the New York Congressman, as Rangel lists his net worth in the millions.  Apparently there are perks to writing the nation’s tax laws, and subsequently failing to follow them.  His published ethical improprieties are just the tip of the iceberg, which is why newspapers across the country are calling for Rangel to step down. See here and here.

Today, Representative John Carter from Texas introduced a resolution that would have referred Rangel’s case to the House Ethics Committee and stripped Rangel of his Chairmanship.  The vote failed 153-246, with six Republicans voting with Rangel (King (NY), Rohrabacher (CA), Paul (TX), Murphy (PA), Jones (NC) and Young (AK).

So, as of today the New York Times and the Washington Post are investigating Rangel but Congress is not.  It looks like it will take an indictment or two to get things rolling in America’s most expensive sausage factory.