Obama hypnotizingFor 8 years, life was good and easy for the liberal political cartoon community--they had George W. Bush & Dick Cheney to kick around. With hardly a care in the world, they boldly spoke truth to power, at immense personal risk to themselves, and quietly stacked their Pulitzers for being so bold and courageous and funny.

Then along came Barack Obama--the cool, handsome, African-American incarnation of JFK & Abraham Lincoln (no less). What were the professional sketch satirists to do?

Politico.com reports:

"I had all my villains in place for eight years and they've been taken away," lamented Pulitzer Prize winner Pat Oliphant, one of the most widely syndicated cartoonists. "I don't know that I've ever had this experience before, of a president I maybe like. This is an antagonistic art. We're supposed to concentrate on finding things wrong. There's no point in drawing a cartoon that's favorable."



Lovelock0109.gifJames Lovelock (picture is from his web site) has been the topic of at least three previous NewsBusters posts:

  • In September 2006, Dan Gainor marveled at how the Washington Post could devote 2,400 words to Lovelock and his "Gaia Theory" -- the idea that the earth acts like a living organism. 
  • In October 2007, Gainor noted Lovelock's appearance in that esteemed scientific publication Rolling Stone, which called him "The Prophet of Climate Change." Lovelock claimed that global warming is irreversible, and that, as stated by writer Jeff Goodell, "the Earth's population will be culled from today's 6.6 billion to as few as 500 million."
  • A March 2008 post by Jeff Poor told readers that Lovelock, in the UK Daily Mail, had apparently moved up his disaster scenario by 60 years, among other things predicting that by 2040 China would be uninhabitable.

Lovelock clearly isn't the go-to guy for cool, calm, and collected science. But given his standing with many environmentalists, his views of certain aspects of environmentalism are worthy of attention. They are profoundly negative, as recorded in the January 24 issue of New Scientist by "Gaia Vince," where Lovelock also proposes a last-ditch strategy for saving the planet and salvaging several hundred million more survivors:



It's on. 22 months remain.

The first suckerpunch of "Ohio Media v. Any and All Viable Republican or Conservative Politicians" comes from Joe "Hack" Hallett and Jonathan Riskind of the Columbus Dispatch ("Wall Street ties might hamstring GOP hopeful Kasich"). The recipient is former congressman and current Fox weekend show host John Kasich, who is frequently mentioned as a possible GOP challenger to Buckeye State Governor T-Shirt Ted Strickland.

It takes the pair 14 paragraphs to tell us that there's no story here -- that is, unless they want to accuse Kasich's spokesperson of lying:



In addition to his regular pundit responsibilities at Fox News and sometime column in the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove has taken it upon himself to do the job of the MSM--reporting the news.

Yesterday, my colleague, Noel Sheppard, noted the lack of coverage of President George W. Bush's homecoming in Texas. Only Fox News was present to cover what was, in Sheppard's words (and I agree), "one of his finest speeches ever." Thanks to Fox News, we have documentary evidence of this speech.

Were it not for Karl Rove, we might not have any similar evidence of President Bush's hearty farewell at Andrews Air Force Base. From Greg Pallowitz at NRO's Media Blog, video after the jump.



One convicted on bribery, the other attacks cops at crime scene saying she wasn't driving drunk

Now that the media has had it's near orgasmic reaction to Obama's inaugural, it's apparently time for some more "name that party" fun for everyone. Today we have incidents widely separated by distance, but not separated at all in at least one way. We have in Alabama a pair of convictions on bribery and conspiracy of a state wide politician and a Jefferson County Minister and in Chicago we have a City Alderman arrested for drunken driving who decided to get all up in the faces of the arresting officers as they attempted to do their job. The coincidence between the two stories is that, you guessed it, none of the stories detailing these incidents could find room in them to identify these politicians as Democrats. I know, I know. You're shocked, eh?

Our first case is that of Alabama Sen. E.B. McClain and his pal the very in-trouble Reverend Samuel Pettagrue, both convicted after only a scant 8 hours of deliberation by a jury of their peers. It was guilty on all 48 counts for the pair in a Birmingham court because "Pettagrue accepted nearly $760,000 in state grant money obtained by McClain to run a nonprofit foundation and then gave McClain more than $300,000 in kickbacks."



GeithnerIdunnoLOL0109.jpgSometimes you learn a lot from commenters.

I was going through the comments tonight at my Pajamas Media column about the Geithner nomination that went up earlier today, and came across this at Comment 39 from "Mike M":

The deduction he took for the summer camp as a day care expense is EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED IN THE IRS CODE! That’s out and out tax fraud. Even Leona Helmsly (sic) is jealous in her grave ....

Summer camp!?

It turns out that there is a lot more to the Geithner story. It has been sitting right there in details that were made public last week, but were mostly ignored by the Washington press. While the amounts involved aren't anywhere near as large as those relating to Geithner's self-employment taxes from 2001 through 2004 on his earnings at the International Monetary Fund -- taxes he didn't pay until audited by the IRS (2003 and 2004) or until just before his nomination was announced (2001 and 2002) -- they are nonetheless revealing, infuriating, and disturbing. They make the claims of "honest mistakes" that his defenders up to and including Barack Obama continue to employ look much, much weaker (paragraph image is from Pages 3 and 4 of the relevant report stored here as a PDF; a larger JPEG image is here):



GeithnerIdunnoLOL0109.jpgThe Associated Press's 1:12 p.m. coverage (saved here, as the dynamic link changed during the drafting of this post) of the Senate Finance Committee's hearing on Barack Obama's nomination of Timothy Giethner as Treasury Secretary has plenty of discussion of Geithner's tax "mistakes" (the picture, but not its heading, is from a November 21 New York Times article).

But as has been the case with every AP report I've seen, there is no mention of the fact that the International Monetary Fund, Geithner's 2001-2004 employer, partially reimbursed him for his Social Security and Medicare "self-employment tax" liabilities.

Here are the first eight paragraphs of AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger's report:



CBSNews.com greets readers of its World Watch blog today with, "Cubans Look For 'Change' To Believe In."

The blog post by Havana-based Portia Siegelbaum began by insisting that

Expectations are almost as high among Cubans as they are among Americans as the countdown to the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama speeds up. 

Of course, far-left rhetoric notwithstanding, the United States is a republic with two major parties and a healthy tradition of freedom of speech and press, whereas Cuba is a totalitarian throwback to the Soviet era.

Yet Siegelbaum failed to note that President Raul Castro is a dictator unanswerable to the call of change from his people.

What's more, the CBS reporter practically laid the entire blame for Cuba's poor economy not on the failures of Communism and dictatorship but the long-standing U.S. embargo:



2008 was the safest year ever to be an American miner. The combined number of fatalities from all forms of mining was the lowest ever.

2007 (latest information available) also shows the lowest "all-injury" rate for miners on record by far.

Yet Ken Ward Jr.'s early-January contribution at the Charleston (WV) Gazette to the spate of final-month Bush-bashing pretended that this data doesn't exist. Instead he gave the impression of an opposite situation. Media outlets have been trying and failing to make this case since the Sago Mine Disaster of January 2006 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), even while the safety stats have generally showed nearly continuous improvement.

You'll see that Ward also uses a headline that will leave those who recall Barack Obama's campaign promise to bankrupt new coal-powered plants shaking their heads in disbelief (bolds after headlines are mine):



Imagine for a moment that Sen. John McCain won the election in November and that John Hagee gave a sermon at Jerry Falwell-founded Liberty University the Sunday preceding the inauguration wherein he slammed the "egregious menage a trois of homosexuals, Hollywood, and hell-bound atheists" for destroying the United States.

The coverage would be non-stop and President-elect McCain would be pressed to repudiate the remarks from his stalwart evangelical supporter, even though he's already distanced himself during in the campaign.



In a January 18 ABC News exclusive interview, former Obama pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright confessed to, but did not repent of, his inflammatory rhetoric directed at the media. Wright's excuse:

"They were arrogant, they were evil, they were devious and I responded in kind," Wright said. "I just talked to you about a 500-year tradition but you don't ask me one question about that because that's not your interest, your interest is to taint Barack Obama. So no, I'm not going to be conservative, I'm not going to kiss anybody's behind and if I'm standing up straight you can't ride my back.

In other words, Wright sees himself as repaying evil with evil and insult with insult. Hmm, I seem to remember Scripture warning Christians not to do that and that pastors and preachers have a higher standard for the words they speak, particularly publicly from the pulpit. And that's a 2000-year old tradition!

Yet apparently ABC staffers Tahman Bradley and Ferdous al-Faruque failed to question Wright on whether his demeanor from the pulpit exhibited more the gospel of class and race warfare than the gospel of Jesus Christ. What's more, Bradley and al-Faruque failed to point out that some print journalists such as Newsweek's Eleanor Clift have hailed Wright as a "prophetic" voice, something that cuts against Wright's view that the MSM has had it in for him.



ObamaAndGeithner0109.jpgThe Associated Press's record of running interference for Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy Geithner continues mostly unabated.

My chronicle of AP's largely weak coverage, most of which has been previously detailed at NewsBusters (here, here, and here), is at the end of this post.

No AP report I have seen has noted that Geithner applied for and merely pocketed partial "reimbursements" from the International Monetary Fund for payroll/"self-employment" taxes. He signed IMF forms saying that he had paid or would pay those taxes. He didn't pay up for 2003 and 2004 until his returns were audited. He more than likely never would have paid up for 2001 and 2002 if he had not been nominated, even though a strong case could be made that he engaged in tax evasion.

These aspects of Geithner's tax situation, if widely known, would, I believe, cause the average taxpayer to object strongly to the very idea of his nomination. AP's alleged journalists appear to believe that this cannot be allowed to happen.

AP Personal Finance writer Dave Carpenter, in a mostly Q&A piece with a really weak title ("Meltdown 101: US tax laws can even foil the pros"), continued the silence on pocketed reimbursements yesterday afternoon (stored here for future reference). He also seems to have found every excuse for Geither except "the dog ate my W-2":