Howard Portnoy

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Author and Writer

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

Latest from Howard Portnoy

The New York Times has been around since 1851, when it was known as the “New-York Daily Times.” The paper was there to cover the Civil War and the two “Great Wars.” It witnessed the Stock Market Crash of 1929, the Great Depression that followed it, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the fall of Richard Nixon. The Washington Post is nearly as old, having been founded in 1877.

Liberals have been denied another victory. A promising video posted to Facebook Tuesday, which showed a female bicyclist standing up to a van full of sexist males, earned a chorus of “You go, girl” from the media. But sadly, as is so often the case these days, the “spontaneous” moment turned out to be staged. Ultimately, the video was scrubbed from Facebook (though not before it was uploaded to YouTube multiple times).

Yesterday, the Washington Post ran a story on President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees that began this way: "Democratic senators plan to aggressively target eight of Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees in the coming weeks and are pushing to stretch their confirmation votes into March — an unprecedented break with Senate tradition."

Full disclosure: I never heard of Dean Obeidallah before his name came up in connection with the dustup over an MSNBC panel’s ill-chosen reactions to a Mitt Romney family photo. Obeidallah, who self-identifies as a comedian, was on the panel, and if his commentary was any indication of his sense of humor, I haven’t been missing much.

He has a piece at the Daily Beast defending himself against criticism for a “joke” (his term) he made in reaction to the photograph of some two dozen Romneys, all of whom are white except for the black infant on the former GOP presidential hopeful’s right knee.

A recurring theme during the Obama presidency has been that, despite the distinct sense he gives of a man who sees himself as “above it all,” the president is a regular down-to-earth Joe. His efforts to connect with the hoi polloi have not always succeeded. His most recent attempt, enrolling in Obamacare, was sullied by the revelation that he didn’t actually dirty his own hands navigating the exchanges — his “staff” enrolled for him — and the gesture was purely symbolic anyway.

Former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen observed at the Washington Post that the cynicism of the move would be matched if the Obamas announced that they were “symbolically” sending their daughters to D.C.’s failing public schools as a show of solidarity, while keeping the girls enrolled at the tony Sidwell Friends.

The title is borrowed from a post by Salon’s Brian Beutler that addresses what he calls the moral conundrum facing right-wing extremists when the Obamacare website starts working. Buetler, who in a previous post reveals he is not only an Obamacare supporter but a user, appears to be painting himself into a corner by speaking of when, rather than if, the site works.

Since he assumes the Administration will be able to get the exchange website fixed in the very near future, Beutler believes this will create a real problem for conservative opponents of President Obama's signature achievement. Beutler bases his faith in the first premise on “the confluence of two pieces of news last week:”

By most pundits’ reckoning, Obamacare is in serious trouble. Another poll is out today, this one from CBS News, and the findings provide no relief for the administration or its defenders. Just the opposite.

Obama’s poll ratings are down and so are the numbers for his sole major legislative achievement, his healthcare law:

Of all the soft-cushion drubbings Barack Obama has taken at the hands of once (and future) cheerleaders, none is as silly as an op-ed by Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The piece is titled “Obama will have to take his lumps,” but the context suggests Tucker is using the metaphor in the sense of “one lump or two?”

Her argument, if it can be rightly called that, might be encapsulated as “Sure, Obama lied, but only after those conniving Republicans sabotaged his undeniably excellent health care reform law, thereby forcing his hand.”

magine a world where everyone held hands and shared equally in the income amassed by a few. Barack Obama is able to imagine such a world. He articulated his vision of it in July 2011, when he expressed his loathing for being “able to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income that I don’t need, while a parent out there who is struggling to figure out how to send their [sic] kid to college suddenly finds that they’ve [sic] got a couple thousand dollars less in grants or student loans.”

He never enlarged upon the novel concept of “additional income that I don’t need” or who gets to make that determination for other people, but he has made it clear on several occasions that he is a firm believer in income redistribution.

I’m not sure which polls late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel is citing in his prefatory remarks, which include the claim that “Americans don’t like Obamacare but love what’s in it.” Nevertheless, his man-on-the-street interviews paint a sobering picture of Americans’ ignorance when it comes to the president’s signature health care reform law — the bone of contention that led to the current partial government shutdown.

The hilarious experiment is an indictment as well of the law’s complexity: In its original incarnation it was 2,700 pages long.

Just yesterday, libs were absolutely radiant, gushing over Irani President Hassan Rouhani’s conciliatory gesture to the Jewish people, who are about to begin a New Year, according to the Hebrew calendar. The Washington Post’s Max Fisher proudly recorded Rouhani’s tweet for posterity:

"As the sun is about to set here in  I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah."

Were you outraged over the senseless shooting of Chris Lane? If you were, what you were really experiencing was vengeance toward blacks for their daring to react to the death of Trayvon Martin. In fact, unless you are a conservative, you probably didn’t feel outrage over the death of Chris Lane at all.

This bit of psychologizing comes to you courtesy of Grio columnist Joy Reid, who sat in as guest host on MSNBC’s Martin Bashir’s show Friday night. The discussion had turned to the use of race as a “political football,” when Reid interrupted with this insight (video below, begins at around 3:52):

I must admit: I learned something from reading Alex Seitz-Wald’s post at Salon titled “No, Chris Lane is not Trayvon Martin!” I didn’t know until I read it there that Rush Limbaugh had called the crime the “Trayvon Martin [case] in reverse.”

I agree with Seitz-Wald that the two crimes are very dissimilar, though his and my reasons for so stating could not be further apart.

No, really — it has. And it’s all Congress’s fault. (Well, not all of Congress. Just Republicans, who want to “hurt Americans.”) You can tell how serious these rabbit-killing budget cuts are when the Huffington Post writes about them under the banner “Sequestration Ushers In A Dark Age For Science In America.” Ooooh, ominous.

So, what exactly is the story? The least dramatic telling of it is at Grist, which reports that the National Institutes of Health was forced by sequestration to trim $1.7 billion from its budget. Among the projects that were deep-sixed was research on human retinal degeneration at the University of Utah medical school. The project director, ophthalmology professor Robert E. Marc, is distraught not only at having the rug pulled out from under his research but at having to kill his colony of genetically modified bunnies.

If you’re a fairly large daily paper and you’re looking to make a complete fool out of yourself, you can find a how-to primer in the editorial pages of the New Haven Register. It goes something like this: Accuse a rival news organization, whose views on race you disagree with, of deriving its inspiration from the Ku Klux Klan. Then realize how dumb you sound, and write a retraction. Then lather, rinse, and repeat.

Erik Wemple of the Washington Post reported on this lapse in journalistic judgment, which began on Monday with an editorial titled “The KKK, Ted Nugent and ‘mainstream’ racism.” The money passage from the editorial follows:

Many were ready to convict George Zimmerman based on the poisonous claim made by race hucksters like Al Sharpton and reinforced by the leftist blogosphere that the verdict was in some way unfair. Now, ABC News reports, one juror has poured gasoline on that bonfire. She has come forward and said that Zimmerman “got away with murder” and feels that she owes an apology to Trayvon Martin’s parents.

The juror in question was not identified by name — the court sealed the jurors’ identities during the trial and the court order still hasn’t been lifted — but Juror B29, as she is known, has been described as the only minority member of the all-female panel. She told Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” that she was the lone dissenter and was holding out for a hung jury.

It’s too bad for some bloggers that the Internet doesn’t come with an eraser. It would certainly come in handy right now to a whole slew of online “journalists” who seized on the calm before the storm on Sunday as proof that the “white” predictions of riots were way overblown.

Take PoliticsUSA, which prides itself on being a source of “real liberal politics.”

Despite the fact that she obsessively covered the George Zimmerman murder trial, it would seem that Nancy Grace, the left-wing former Georgia prosecutor who has become an HLN television host, missed a few things in the actual courtroom proceedings.

Mediaite’s Andrew Kirell notes that on Saturday, moments before the verdict in the trial was read, the hilariously named Grace uttered the words “f--king coon” slowly and deliberately on air. Network censors either failed or elected not to bleep the words.

Last night, just before the stroke of 10, a jury of his peers found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter. He is a free man — sort of.

If you’re wondering about the qualification, the Associated Press sheds some light on it:

Fallen food icon Paula Deen may have lost her Food Network cooking show, lucrative endorsement deals, book contracts, and possibly even a trace of her self-respect. But one thing she hasn’t lost is her ability to generate headlines. Last week Deen was in the news after an adult website that specializes in MILF-centric movies offered her six figures to appear in a porn film.

This week she is back. Reuters reports via the Chicago Tribune that the 66-year-old Deen is about to star in a comic book about female empowerment.