NewsBusters Columns

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid finally appeared in a debate on October 14 in Las Vegas with his Republican opponent, Sharron Angle. The appearance might come as a surprise to consumers of the national media. While Angle has been pounded relentlessly by national media outlets as being both dangerously radical and ridiculous, Reid has been left alone, and untouched.

But what about Harry? He’s the Majority Leader after all. Is he, like so many of his colleagues, simply afraid to talk about his legislative “accomplishments”? Nobody’s wondered why he hasn’t been making the rounds of interviews on national television. While reporters rush to report the latest “wacky” quote from Angle, the networks haven’t lifted a finger to cover Reid’s cascade of rhetorical stumbles and outrages, especially since Angle won the GOP primary.

We won’t count Reid’s remarks last year comparing opponents of health reform to supporters of slavery, or his describing those opponents as “evilmongers,” which he delighted in repeating and telling reporters he’d coined a new word.

There’s a list of fresh gaffes, and it just keeps growing.



The White House's wish almost came true last week. It was hoping most of us and even the mainstream media would miss the release of the Congressional Budget Office's preliminary report on the 2010 federal fiscal year. And most did.

The Wall Street Journal, however, exposed why the White House was being so secretive about its results: The CBO concluded that federal government spending has skyrocketed 21.4 percent in just the past two years since President Barack Obama took office!

The White House's actions remind me of President Ronald Reagan's words: "We could say they spend money like drunken sailors, but that would be unfair to drunken sailors. It would be unfair because the sailors are spending their own money."

It's no new revelation that Washington has lost its way from our Founders' vision and fiscal frugality. But in the past two years, it has become a financial runaway train. And it is only we the people who can save it from completely derailing our country and all of us on board.



You know Lee Greenwood: He's the country-music star who hit patriotic pay dirt with his 1980s hit song "God Bless the U.S.A."

Joe Miller, the Republican nominee for Senate in Alaska, looks much like Greenwood, to the point that he could easily be mistaken for the singer if he ever strolled through Nashville. And, listening to Miller speak, you hear echoes of Greenwood's famous tune. The tea party may not be looking for a single spokesman or leader, but in Joe Miller it has its personification: an outsider, a constitutionalist and someone who's thoroughly fed up with the political system's disrespect for the common man.

If I brought Greenwood up to Miller, he wouldn't wax nostalgic about the '80s, or assess the fine pleasures of a Hannity Freedom Concert. Miller would probably want to know why I spent three sentences talking about anything other than policy solutions. There's no shooting the breeze with Joe Miller. When he recently dropped by National Review's Capitol Hill office, the Alaskan was, in the words of my colleague Bob Costa, "cool as ice."
Miller's coolness is refreshing in such hot political times. A former U.S. Army officer who earned a Bronze Star in the first Gulf War, Miller gives the impression of great seriousness. He's a man on a mission.



The White House attack on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce isn't about "disclosure." It's about disarmament. While posing as campaign finance champions, the ultimate goal of the Democratic offensive is to intimidate conservative donors, chill political free speech and drain Republican coffers.

Chamber of Commerce official Bruce Josten tried to educate the public. "(W)e know what the purpose here is," he told ABC News. "It's to harass and intimidate." Josten cited protests and threats against chamber members as retribution for ads the organization ran opposing the federal health care takeover.

But this isn't the first time liberal bullyboys have targeted right-leaning contributors. Far from it.

In August 2008, a former Washington director of MoveOn.org — the smear merchant group that branded Gen. David Petraeus a traitor for overseeing the successful troop surge in Iraq — announced a brazen witch hunt against Republican donors. Left-wing political operative Tom Matzzie told The New York Times he would send "warning" letters to 10,000 top GOP givers "hoping to create a chilling effect that will dry up contributions." Matzzie bragged of "going for the jugular" and said the warning letter would be just the first step, "alerting donors who might be considering giving to right-wing groups to a variety of potential dangers, including legal trouble, public exposure and watchdog groups digging through their lives."



Why does it seem at times that our government and “public health” advocates think parents are a social problem? Parents at Hardy Middle School in the affluent Glover Park neighborhood in Washington, DC were shocked to discover that a sex-and-drug-use survey had been distributed to 12-year-olds in their physical education classes without any warnings or consent forms sent to parents.

The first words the children read were these: “This questionnaire asks you about sex and drugs (like cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, ecstasy, and marijuana).” Of course, they promised, “Your answers will not be told to anyone in your school or family.”

The mindset of these popsicle psychiatrists was evident right off the bat. The very first question was “What is your gender?” Two possibilities, you think? Try four boxes: Male and female, plus – “transgender (M to F)” and “transgender (F to M).” This was handed out to 12-year-olds.



It is interesting and disappointing that so many politicians treat "faith" — at least the Christian faith — as a poison pill they cannot touch, much less swallow. Republicans often run from it because of PC intimidation, and Democrats because it's in their DNA to do so.



Researchers announced Monday they had injected embryonic stem cells into a patient suffering from a spinal cord injury. It marked the world's first human clinical trial of a procedure developed from such a source. The procedure took place at Shepherd Center, a spinal cord injury facility in Atlanta. The use of embryonic stem cells for such purposes had been banned under the Bush administration, but allowed under the Obama administration.

The question is why?



The National Transportation Safety Board has again recommended that airlines require a separate seat for all children, regardless of age, eliminating the current practice of permitting children under the age of 2 to fly for free on the lap of a parent. Will mandating child restraint systems make air travel safer? The answer is probably yes but that's the visible.

Having to purchase an extra airplane ticket, some families will opt to drive to their destination instead. Thus, mandated CRS will force some families to switch to a less safe method of travel and some highway fatalities will represent the invisible victims of NTSB policy. By the way, if parents wanted a greater measure of safety for their infant, it's available to them right now. They can purchase a seat and seat restraint for their infant.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is charged with ensuring that drugs are safe and effective. Drugs must meet FDA approval before they can be marketed. FDA officials can make two kinds of errors. They can approve a drug that has unanticipated, dangerous side effects that might cause illness and death. Or, they can err by either not approving or causing huge delays in the marketing of a safe and effective drug. Statistically, these are known as the Type I and Type II errors.

FDA officials have a bias toward erring on the side of over-caution. If FDA officials err on the side of under-caution, approving an unsafe drug, they are attacked by the media, patient groups and investigated by Congress. Their victims, sick and dead people, are highly visible. If FDA officials err on the side of over caution, keeping a safe and effective drug off the market, who's to know? The victims are invisible.



Oh, this is side-splitting: After exporting U.S. jobs, importing foreign debt and kowtowing to global thugs shamelessly over the past two years, the Obama administration is now playing the America First card. Democrats deserve a Guinness World Record award for their election-season cognitive dissonance.

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, White House senior adviser David Axelrod and their mynah bird operatives across the country accused Republicans last week of benefiting from "money from foreign corporations" — which liberals claim the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funneling into domestic political ads.

Democratic clown prince Al Franken is leading a Senate inquisition against the chamber. A Democratic National Committee ad lambasted the GOP for "Stealing Democracy," complete with piles of Asian currency. Endangered Democratic candidates across the country are dutifully parroting the line of attack, which originated with the Center for American Progress, funded by far-left billionaire George Soros.

It's beyond comical to watch the party that cries "RAAAACISM" whenever conservatives question their shady foreign funny money suddenly sounding the alarm over non-U.S. campaign cash. And it's beyond galling to hear Democrats fret about foreign intrigue while the foreign agent-in-chief has inextricably tied America's fate to the Chinese holders of our T-bills. Guess we're all "nativists" now, eh, Obama?



Do you have your John Boehner Halloween costume yet? I know it's not flying off the shelves of your nearest costume headquarters, but you'd never know that listening to President Barack Obama and those who exist to keep the Democratic Party in power.

After Obama's recent attempts to demonize the pro-life Republican Ohio congressman -- and presumptive House Speaker, after the midterms -- the pro-abortion feminist group EMILY's List has hit the trail, and perhaps your favorite liberal gal's Facebook page, looking to make even the sound of Boehner's name chill-inducing enough to make you vote Democratic. "Don't let John Boehner and Republicans turn back the clock," their "John Boehner's America" website implores -- indicating that this chronically dissatisfied interest group can't even come up with new pickup lines. In a speech to the Women's National Democratic Club, EMILY's List president Stephanie Schriock announced: "John Boehner can only take the speaker's gavel from Nancy Pelosi by defeating the Democratic women you and I have worked so hard to elect. And by discouraging women voters so much that they stay home on Nov. 2."

And with that, the president of EMILY's List, a political action committee that exists to elect supporters of legal abortion to political office, made clear she's not listening to what Americans are telling politicians. She's taking her November strategy from the president, and focusing like a laser on making a pro-life Ohio congressman from humble roots this year's bogeyman.