Terry Trippany

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Leave it up to the Chicago Sun Times editorial page to take opportunistic privileges with the Arizona Shooting tragedy and post a shamefully rambling and incoherent smear against the right.

With the claim that “we cannot walk away from this one” the newspaper rails against the tone of America’s political rhetoric, to end the fear-mongering and “quit the demonizing”. And then in an incredibly inane example of ideological laziness the editorial demonizes “the right” for the tragic shooting.

It must be hard for newspaper editors to pick and choose which candidates to report on in an election season when their endorsed candidates fall on the opposite side of issues that contradict the paper's endorsed claims. Case in point, given the choice of reporting about the numerous reports of Illinois not paying their obligations and that of a payment glitch concerning a leading Republican gubernatorial candidate which story do you think the Chicago Sun Times would choose?

If you picked the non-story hiding behind candidate R you would be correct.

If you go to Google today and search on the phrase "warmest decade" you will get a result set with thousands of breathless articles claiming that 2000 to 2009 is the warmest decade on record. This is on the cusp of an announcement from the UN climate talks in Copenhagen where world leaders are desperate to speed past Climategate and refocus the world's attention on their apocalyptic global warming agenda.

The media that couldn't bring themselves to report on the growing scandal surrounding falsified data is all on board with reporting this latest news. Yet it is clear that the Huffington Post, CBS News, the New York Times and others didn't even bother to check the data that was released from the the UK MET (UK Government Department of Climate and Weather Change). If they had they would have immediately discovered what I found, that the US csv (comma delimited) data dump from 1851 to 2009 is erroneous in its compilation. The January column for each year shows period information instead of temperature records and the latitude appears transposed as well. It appears that they incorrectly shifted the column headers when compling the dump. (Load the raw file into Excel and compare it with the UK csv data to see the erroneous data columns side by side. Data provided by the Guardian UK.) 

GQ Magazine is telling a tale of two leaders. On the one side you have Barack Obama, champion of the left, leader of the mainstream media; GQ's Leader of the Year. On the other side you have Sarah Palin, pariah of the right, dangerous and poisonous to the American way according to an interview in the very same publication.

Think I'm kidding? I couldn't make this garbage up.

I'm not sure what accomplishments helped the Conde Naste publication come up with these dubious distinctions. Perhaps it is the tripling of the nation's deficit in 10 short months, bungling the swine flu vaccine, overseeing an economy with record double digit unemployment or pitting one American against the other with unpopular proposals such as socializing health care that made them annoint President Obama. Whatever it is, none of that is apparently as terrible as Sarah Palin who the author describes as showing back up on the scene despite having been "driven her back into her hole" after last year's election.

Sarah Palin is like the mole in that addictively frustrating, ultimately futile carnival game whack-a-mole. Just when we think we've driven her back into her hole, out pops the side-swept updo and rimless Kazuo Kawasaki eyeglasses from another burrow. Katie Couric plays her the fool; she discovers Twitter. The hard right champions her as the frontrunner for 2012; she leaves office. Lawsuits threaten to sack her; she comes up with death panels.

Will The MSM Notice?

A Towers Perrin Survey came across the Business Wire on Reuters this morning stating that a majority of employers surveyed will reduce benefits resulting from the proposed Democrat Health Care Reform bill that is working its way through Congress if it increases costs.

At first I thought it must be an article from The Onion. Surely this couldn't be a legitimate news story.

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), who shouted "you lie!" at President Obama during his Wednesday night address to Congress, admitted to regularly consuming caffeine pills in 2007.

It is unclear if Wilson still takes NoDoz, a brand of pill that contains 200 milligrams of caffeine a pop. By comparison, a seven ounce cup of drip coffee contains 115 to 175 milligrams of caffeine.

Sadly this is someone's idea of news. The above excerpt is the startling revelation that appeared in The Hill's Blog Briefing Room under the ominous headline "Wilson regularly took caffeine pills in 2007". (h/t The Jawa Report)

Little has been made about yesterday's "The Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam" conference that was held at the Hilton Hotel Grand Ballroom in Oak Lawn, IL. The conference was held by the group Hizb Ut Tahrir; a group that has been banned in Germany, Russia, Pakistan and several other Middle Eastern countries. Yet most mainstream media organizations in the United States didn't even bother to mention the event.

Indeed. Although the story did appear in Chicago's suburban Southtown Star, the paper's sister publication, the Chicago Sun Times penned it as an "ecomonic session" and homogenized the coverage as follows.

The estimated 800 attending the conference discussed issues related to the global capitalist economic system and Islamic alternatives to that system, said spokesman Mohammad Malkawi. Opinions about Hizb ut-Tahrir varied widely. Outside the hotel, protesters said the organization is simply another terrorist group. - Chicago Sun Times, Muslim group's economic session draws opponents

You have to dig pretty deep into the book of varied reality to classify this event as an economic session. The video accompanying this article is a direct promotional video for the event. If the video alone doesn't convince you of the group's aim then perhaps the reasons other countries have banned the group will.

The BBC is reporting on the findings of a Lancet Medical Journal report regarding high HIV rates among gay men in some African countries. The conclusions? Blame anti-gay attitudes.

HIV rates among gay men in some African countries are 10 times higher than among the general male population, says research in medical journal the Lancet.

The report said prejudice towards gay people was leading to isolation and harassment, which in turn led to risky sexual practices among gay communities

I would never discount the fact that the stigma of being a gay male in sub-Saharan Africa would lead such men to be less willing to seek treatment. But that determination can hardly be the primary reason behind such high numbers in light of other contributing factors. Yet the BBC report leads with this conclusion despite other findings that would likely be the focus of such a report in a world where cause and effect didn't take a back seat to hope and change.

The BBC exemplified the declining journalistic standards that have ushered in this era's liberal bias with the stunning headline "Penguin murders prompt sniper aid". It is not until the third paragraph that the reader is told that the "murderers" are, ahem, dogs and foxes.

The mutilated bodies of the animals, known as fairy penguins, were found in a national park near Sydney harbour.

The main suspects are dogs and foxes. At 40cm tall, the world's smallest penguin species is clearly no match for such aggressive enemies.

The main suspects? Mutilated bodies? Murder? Ridiculous as it may seem we have seen this sort of exaggeration  increase over time as environmentalists become more desperate to get their message out. It is a strategy designed to equate the deaths of animals with that of humans; going so far as to classify the natural predatory nature of dogs and foxes as murder. Such stunts are all the more alarming when they are allowed to occur as a headline within the pages of a major mainstream media news organization.

Update below: Wall Street Journal Removes 'Probe' From Headline, edits article text.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the man lovingly referred to as the "D.N.C.'s A.T.M.," by the New York Times is under scrutiny by the SEC in an alleged kickback scheme involving New York state's pension fund. The pay to play scheme has already resulted in the arrest of a top political fundraiser in a "123-count state criminal indictment that included money-laundering, enterprise-corruption and bribery charges."

Steven Rattner, the leader of the Obama administration's auto task force, was one of the executives involved with payments under scrutiny in a probe of an alleged kickback scheme at New York state's pension fund, according to a person familiar with the matter.

A Securities and Exchange Commission complaint says a "senior executive" of Mr. Rattner's investment firm met with a politically connected consultant about a finder's fee. Later, the complaint says, the firm received an investment from the state pension fund, then paid a $1.1 million fee.

The "senior executive," not named in the complaint, is Mr. Rattner, according to the person familiar with the matter.

The school district reviewing the invite of Bill Ayers to a Napervile Illinois High School has canceled the appearance by the former terrorist and his wife Bernardine Dohrn. The community was up in arms after having learned of the invite. Also canceled was the post appearance book signing at Anderson's Book Shop in the same town.

School Superintendent Alan Leis released the following statement:

The appearance by Dr. Bill Ayers at Naperville North High School next week has been canceled.

On Friday, it was announced through a Talk203 email that we were reviewing the decision to invite him and that we were also exploring the possibility of moving the appearance to another venue. Initially, many people were upset about his appearance in a school building, even though it was to have been with a select group of students with required parental permission. Several people offered worthy suggestions about how to make the event more meaningful by concurrently inviting someone that would provide an equally strong opposing viewpoint.

Over the weekend, however, it became clear that this issue was not really about where Dr. Ayers was speaking, but that he was speaking at all. Each day, the level of emotion and outrage has seemed to increase, along with the number of emails and phone calls received. What was most unfortunate was that a few directed their anger toward an outstanding high school and at a well-regarded, award-winning teacher who encourages students to think for themselves.

This afternoon I learned that Bill Ayers has been invited to speak to high school students in the suburb of Naperville Illinois where he will discuss his days in the Weather Underground. (h/t Doug Ross Journal). The school district is defending the decision with the laughable claim that they would never invite anyone to the school that advocated violence. No kidding, this isn't a joke.

"While we firmly believe in exposing students to a wide variety of speakers and opinions, offering them the chance to experience different viewpoints and the opportunity to hone their critical thinking skills (one of the tenets of our mission), please know that we would never invite anyone who advocates violence," District 203 said through a news release issued Friday evening. "Our understanding is that Bill Ayers does not, although this point is being actively debated by several who have contacted us. In addition, administrators from other school districts who have heard his presentation to students, have indicated that Ayers focuses on students being involved in social justice."

Really, this claim is being actively debated? Bombings and dead people weren't enough to convince these educators that violent activism is what Bill Ayers is all about?

Hush all you sniveling bailout hating troublemakers. Just shut up, you don't need the money. That is the message from Washington Post personal finance commentator Michelle Singletary.

In his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama declared that he was going to "speak frankly and directly."

That's what I want to do as well. I want to speak frankly and directly to the many people who have written to me complaining that they aren't directly benefiting from the federal government's efforts to resuscitate our gasping economy.

The sniveling sentiments of these people come down to one question: "What about me?"

It appears that Singletary has an axe to grind. Apparently she sees the same sniveling sentiments across the country and wants to shut them up before they sour the President's bailout efforts. 

South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn appeared on WIS-TV yesterday in a round table setting to discuss how the stimulus bill will affect South Carolina.  During the debate he stated that he was insulted by opposition to the plan; specifically targeting GOP Governors of Southern States by implying that their opposition was a "slap in the face of African-Americans" as if race was a determining factor. 

"The governor of Louisiana expressed opposition. Has the highest African-American population in the country. Governor of Mississippi expressed opposition. The governor of Texas, and the governor of South Carolina.
These four governor's represent states that are in the black belt. I was insulted by that," Clyburn said. "All of this was a slap in the face of African-Americans. It had nothing to do with Governor Sanford." (src - WIS-TV)

While Capitol Hill is working on a "compromise" I thought it fitting to take a look at how the usual suspects in the media are dealing with Republican leaders that dare speak out and identify elements of the stimulus package that have nothing to do with stimulating the economy. For this task I turned to Rolling Stone Magazine and quickly came upon an article headlined "The Unserious Opposition".

In that article Rolling Stone Magazine Contributing Editor Tim Dickinson rolled out his Mother Jones bona fides with a predictable attack on Republican Senators after CNN published a Republican list of 32 wasteful provisions contained in the proposed bill.

With the simple phrase "And look at what the GOP considers to be pork in this bill", Dickinson takes the common path of those that can't stop living in the past and sarcastically twists the list to portray the Republicans as "Cheneyite" ideologues. In his logic however we find a convoluted line of reasoning that is misleading at best. It exemplifies the typical approach taken by gushing media types that have forsaken their watchdog duties to become members of the Presidential fan club.

ABC News is reporting that an attorney that did undercover work for the FBI in the 1980's told federal authorities decades ago that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich ran an illegal gambling operation and payed the mob a street tax in order to operate. (see update below)

Former mob lawyer and Chicago cop Robert Cooley was so credible as an FBI informant that his work netted 24 corrupt judges, lawyers and cops in operation Gambat. Yet ABC news elected not to report the story during Blagojevich's 2006 re-election campaign because Cooley wanted to remain anonymous and the Governor denied the allegation.

"When I was working with government wearing wire, I reported, I observed Rod, the present governor, who was running a gambling operation out in the western suburbs. He was paying street tax to the mob out there," said Robert Cooley, federal informant.
On a web-based interview show last week, Cooley said he reported to federal authorities nearly two decades ago that Rod Blagojevich had been operating an illegal sports gambling business.
Robert Cooley is a former Chicago police officer-turned mob lawyer-turned federal informant. During Operation Gambat in the late 1980's and early 1990's, Cooley's undercover work and testimony put away 24 crooked politicians, judges, lawyers and cops. Several years ago, when Mr. Blagojevich was running for re-election, Cooley provided the same information to the ABC7 I-Team. Because Cooley did not want to be identified at the time and the governor denied it, ABC7 did not report the story.

A small county in rural Alabama is making national news for passing a motion declaring that the second Monday in November will be forever recognized as "Barack Obama Day".

Normally small county resolutions that affect a mere 40 of this nation's 301 million residents would not capture a national audience. In this case however the AP has discovered one of those pivotal occasions where they can pursue what should be an obvious national event while at the same time implying the obvious racism of the rest of the state that supported John McCain "largely on strong support from White voters."

MARION, Ala. - In central Alabama's Perry County, government workers already get a day off for President's Day, Martin Luther King Day, and Veteran's Day. In 2009, they'll get one more: "Barack Obama Day."

The rural county, which overwhelmingly supported Obama in last month's presidential election, has approved the second Monday in November as "The Barack Obama Day." Commissioners passed a measure that would close county offices for the new annual holiday and its roughly 40 workers will get a paid day off.


Perry County has 12,000 residents, most of them Black. Voters there backed Obama by over 70 percent in a state that gave 60 percent of the overall vote to Republican John McCain based largely on strong support from White voters. - Save the date: Ala. county passes Obama holiday

An independent investigator hired by the Alaska Personnel Board has determined that state prosecutor Steve Branchflower miscontrued evidence and applied the wrong state laws to determine that Sarah Palin abused her office by firing Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.

The report provides vindication for Sarah Palin who had claimed that Branchflower's investigation had been motivated by partisan politics.

The board decided to release the normally secret findings after Palin waived her privacy rights. According to Fox News the board released the findings as a matter of public interest due to Palin's status as John McCain's running mate in tomorrows election.

Chicago Tribune staff writer Rex Huppke has solicited the expertise of communist party leaders to defend Barack Obama from the fallout of the now famous answer he supplied to a man referred to as Joe the Plumber.

In an article with the misleading headline "Socialists: Obama No Socialist" Huppke applied some painstaking logic to reach his conclusion that Barack Obama can not be a socialist if avowed communists will not state that he is.

Local communists, rarely tapped as campaign pundits, say Sen. Barack Obama and his policies stand far afield from any form of socialism they know.

John Bachtell, the Illinois organizer for Communist Party USA, sees attempts by Sen. John McCain's campaign to label Obama a socialist as both offensive to socialists and a desperate ploy to tap into fears of voters who haven't forgotten their Cold War rhetoric.

Time Magazine editor at large Mark Halperin appeared on WLS AM radio in Chicago this morning with Don Wade and Roma to discuss politics as he does every Monday. In one of the better moments in radio Don Wade quipped that Halperin was doing stand up comedy after Halperin stated that Rahm Emanuel, Charles Schumer and Dick Durbin would actually prevent Barack Obama from going crazy liberal. (audio here, jump to 5:55)

Don Wade: New Gingrich called it the repo administration, he says if Obama wins, and if he has a moderate House and Senate he would probably be more like a Richie Daley in his administration. But he doesn't have a moderate House and Senate, he has Reed and Pelosi who are far lefties so we are in for a lot of trouble.

What do you think of that idea, that if the House and Senate were moderate that Obama would be more like Rich Daley?

Halperin: Well, I think the House and Senate are going to have a lot of moderates and a lot of liberals. And a lot of liberals in positions of authority. I am currently thinking, although there is speculation on both sides of this, that people like Congressman Emanuel, a friend of your program, and people like Charles Schumer, an others, maybe even Dick Durbin, who is relatively liberal, are going to be looking to work with Congress on behalf of the administration if there is an Obama administration to try to keep him from going crazy liberal. And I think that what will happen.