Joshua Sharf

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This morning, in a series leading up to the 10th Anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the Denver Post begins a series on Muslims in America, with an article profiling some prominent members of the Denver Muslim community. Yours truly makes a cameo appearance, in the profile discussing a well-publicized 2008 primary race for the State House.

Rima Barakat-Sinclair's offenses against civility and the truth extend far beyond what was noted in the article, and include denying on air that the Hamas Charter called for the destruction of Israel, and the claim in a Jordanian newspaper interview that American support for Israel is a result of Jews like Rupert Murdoch (sic) investing in the media.

When I read a television column, I want to see reviews of shows.  I'll even read reviews of one-time shows like the Academy Awards, if the column is entertaining enough.  But Tom Shales's long slide down to irrelevance started, I think, when he began turning his reviews into political columns.

Nobody's going to confuse Joanne Ostrow with Tom Shales, but she's following his lead in turning her TV column into political commentary.  First, there was the snark-filled review of Sarah Palin's Alaska, where she finds the show more "troubling" than just about every other reality genre including "numerous shows about families with 19 kids, hoarders, polygamists and JonBenet look-alikes."  Like her or not, there are plenty of people out there willing to make fun of Bristol's formerly delicate condition, without Ostrow's needing to join the fun.  It's not worth refuting her point-by-point, of course, but we don't come away knowing if the show's any good.

In this morning's Denver Post, Mike Littwin manages to display simultaneously the insularity and smugness of the One Party media, as well as one of the last tools left in the left's rather empty playbook.

Apparently, during a Senate debate at Channel 12, Jane Norton said, "We need a NASA budget that doesn't cater to making Muslims feel good but that is strong on science ..." This scandalized Littwin, who assumed it was a cheap shot at Muslims. Evidently, he hadn't seen the video of NASA head Charles Bolden that's been making the rounds on the conservative and libertarian blogosphere:

Remarkably, instead of conceding that we're paying all those scientists, engineers, and bureaucrats to actually achieve, or at least facilitate achievement, in space, Littwin uses his and the rest of the MSM reporters' ignorance of the interview as evidence that the argument was out of place, and then goes straight for the race card:

Probably no more than Janet Napolitano or Eric Holder has read the new Arizona SB1070.  Ann Althouse has described the Washington Post's dereliction of duty in its description of the Texas curriculum.  The AP articles are no better.

In two articles over the last two weeks, the AP has written the following (sometimes more than once) about the new Texas curriculum:

A far-right faction of the Texas State Board of Education gained a giant step forward Friday in injecting conservative ideals into social studies, history and economics lessons that will be taught to millions of students for the next decade.  (Emphasis added.  Nothing like setting the tone up front.)

Teachers in Texas will probably be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers — but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state.

Curriculum standards also will describe the U.S. government as a "constitutional republic," rather than as "democratic."

CNN and the Detroit Free Press remind me of why we miss the Rocky Mountain News.

A few days ago, the New York Times was trumpeting President Obama's "gains" at the UN concerning Iran's nuclear program.

With a beaming Mr. Obama standing next to him, Mr. Medvedev signaled for the first time that Russia would be amenable to longstanding American requests to toughen sanctions against Iran significantly if, as expected, nuclear talks scheduled for next month failed to make progress.

Powerline nicely summarizes the problems with (now former) Obama Administration official Van Jones:

I know it's accepted by now that the MSM group will label any conservative group, "conservative," any libertarian group, "conservative," and any liberal group, "left-leaning" or "centrist," when they bother to label them at all.  But when a new one comes along, it's good to put both that group's leanings, and the MSM's failure to note them, on the record.

The Fed and the FDIC have waived lending and borrowing rules for GMAC in order to ease consumer borrowing for GM and Chrysler cars, and the Washington Post doesn't seem to find anything unusual about this:

The Denver Post reporters John Ingold and George Plavin either don't know what "astroturfing" is, or don't care to correct leftists for using the term incorrectly.  In their report on the Denver Tea Party, they quote Mike "The Headless Chicken" Huttner, as deriding the Tea Parties:

Apparently, one-tenth of one percent is too much money spend tracking, ah, your money.  The states are now starting to complain that they don't have enough money to track and publicize all the spending they're doing:

When it comes to the $787 billion in federal stimulus money flowing from Washington to the states, it will cost money to spend money.

Guess which one gets a better review?

As the Colorado House of Representative took us further down the road to socialized health care earlier this week, Douglas County School are considering moving to a Health Savings Account plan for their employees. Needless to say, the Denver Post finds this objectionable:

Douglas County School District soon may join a growing number of employers pushing workers to manage their own medical spending with health savings accounts, eliminating copays for drugs and doctor visits.

The transition is frightening for many who see it as a reinvention of health insurance as they've always known it.


E. W. Scripps has announced that Friday will be the last day of publication for the Rocky Mountain News.  This is a sad day for Denver and Colorado, and given the state's pivotal position in national politics, it's not too good for the country, either.

Opposition to excessive debt as "analyzed" by the AP:
Analysis: GOP gambles in opposing Obama stimulus By CHARLES BABINGTON and LIZ SIDOTI AP White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven contributed to this report.
At least two of these folks come with a history.

Evidently, not until the 10th paragraph of this puff piece about a pro-government rally (is there any other kind in Pyongyang?) that attracted conscripted 100,000 hapless souls.  Here's how it starts:

So, once again, students in the Colorado university system and their parents will be asked to pay more for tuition. The Rocky slips this university talking point into its report: "Low state funding has driven heavy tuition increases every year since the beginning of the decade."

Of course, how the money's being spent escapes all attention.  Good luck figuring out how much it takes to educate a 4-year student at CU; the university's allegedly been trying for years to figure that out, and still can't provide a number.

"Stingy," was what the UN deputy Secretary General called Americans for our response to the Asian tsunami a few years ago.  His comparison conveniently ignored our private contributions, which dwarf anything governments have to offer, especially in Red States.  (It also ignored the fact that the US Navy was the only instrument delivering anything approaching actual aid, as opposed to notional aid, which consists of meetings about aid rather than aid itself.)

So it should be a matter of concern when the Colorado Non-Profit Association issues a report claiming large declines in Colorado's charitable giving between 2005 and 2006.  The average family's charitable giving declined from $4075 to $4046.

I've been a fan of John Feinstein's sports writing for years.  Not so much of his political writing. Today's Washington Post carries a sterling example of the latter, masquerading as the former.

As some of you may have heard, New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress carried an unlicensed handgun into a New York nightclub (is there any other kind of handgun for a private citizen in New York?), and put himself on the disabled list by shooting himself in the leg.

This is the latest in a series of gun-related, ah, fumbles by NFL players in recent months, and Feinstein uses it as an excuse to call for repeal of the 2nd Amendment, and to launch a broadside at those who might disagree.

Completely missing from media reports of the Mumbai attacks are India's strict gun control laws, which virtually disarmed the people at the point of attack, turning them almost inevitably - and almost immediately - into victims.  (Hat Tip: Instapundit)

The Washington Post managed to write an entire article about Countrywide's regulators at the Office of Thrift Supervision without once mentioning the name of Sen. Christopher Dodd.  The Connecticut senator claimed he received his sweetheart mortgage from Countrywide without his knowledge, under a plan specifically designed for policy-makers and VIPs.