May you live through interesting times goes the wording of an ancient Chinese curse, or so I've heard many times through the years.
The possibility of US military intervention in Syria is producing something comparable -- we are living through unusually candid times, at least for some people who previously didn't seem capable of it. (Audio clips after the jump)
Barack Obama ran for president as the last of the red-hot pacifists, so it might have sounded preposterous to predict that after a few security briefings at the White House, President Obama would follow in the same policy footsteps of horrid warmonger George Bush, with his anti-terrorist wars and strategies.
So where is the anti-war movement now?
A number of Democratic members of Congress came out Wednesday throwing their support behind the protest known as Occupy Wall Street.
Fox News's Neil Cavuto interviewed one of them on Your World marvelously asking Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh.), "So why didn’t you celebrate when Tea Partiers were running around the country and protesting all the spending and protesting the budget and the debt getting out of control? I don’t remember you glomming on to that one" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer showed her labeling slant in Wednesday’s “news analysis” on how the war in Libya is tearing apart the Republican Party, “U.S. Mission Exposes Divisions in Congress and Within G.O.P.,” finding “conservatives” and “right-of-center” pols, but failing to identify the ultra-liberal Rep. Dennis Kucinich as a liberal. The strongest word Steinhauer could find for Kucinich was “anti-war.”
In the past Steinhauer has singled out Republican politicians as ideologically extreme, citing Rep. Allen West for his “hard-right stands” and overdosing on the “conservative” label. She wrote on Wednesday:
MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Tuesday could barely contain a tingle as he fawned over left-wing Congressman Dennis Kucinich, connecting the Representative to World War II hero Winston Churchill and NBA star Lebron James.
Discussing the idea that Kucinich, who could be redistricted out of his Ohio seat, might move to Seattle and run there, the Hardball anchor offered a pledge of positive coverage: "Let me make a promise to you. Should you make this incredible decision, we will be covering your campaign with enthusiasm. And that's a fact."
[See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Ron Paul may be considered a "fringe" conservative for his beliefs, but as a U.S. congressman running for a major party presidential ticket he received some bizarre coverage on CNN Friday. Anchor Carol Costello chuckled as the network played a clip of comedian Conan O'Brien mocking Paul's presidential bid, before asking her panel about the 2012 presidential field.
"We couldn't help but play a Conan O'Brien spot to lead into this Ron Paul segment," Costello admitted with a grin during the 10 a.m. EDT news hour Friday.
The clip featured TBS's O'Brien laughing at Paul's lax positions on the legalization of heroin and prostitution. "Yeah, his campaign slogan is 'Let's just see what would happen,'" O'Brien joked.
(Video after the break.)
While Scott Walker has become a hero to conservatives by taking on the public sector unions driving the state's budget into the red, he is as close to universally vilified on the Left as any public figure in America today. Every proclamation and action from Walker is subjected to intense scrutiny. Thus, no doubt, there was much consternation when Laurie Kellman of the Associated Press reported that Walker had stated - in a Congressional hearing, no less - that restricting collective bargaining for Wisconsin public employees would not save the state any money.
That statement was, of course, contrary to a number of Walker’s claims made while trying to get his budget repair bill through the Wisconsin state legislature. So for him to admit that a prominent element of the legislation – which opponents had dubbed a “union-busting” provision – was not actually meant to be a budget-balancing measure amounted to a stunning admission on his part.
But there was just one problem with AP’s claim: it was flat-out untrue.
As Brian Williams hailed Patrick Kennedy’s "gripping" attack on the media for ignoring yesterday’s House debate on Afghanistan, perhaps Kennedy should be offering an apology to his fellow liberals at National Public Radio. On Wednesday’s night’s All Things Considered, NPR reporter Andrea Seabrook hailed the debate, and even though Kennedy’s "anti-war" side lost by almost 6 to 1 (356 to 65), NPR’s soundbite count was far different: three for "peace," two for "war."
Seabrook seemed thrilled that Kucinich had pressed this rather pointless debate. She concluded that it was "elemental," where the peaceniks could just talk of peace:
The most striking thing about the debate today was that the House was having it at all. This is the first time since Congress voted to authorize the war in 2001 that there's been a clear debate about the policy. In previous debates, the war policy was always connected to its funding. So, if lawmakers didn't support the war, they would have to vote against a bill that included support for the troops. That's a tough position for an elected official whose charge, in part, is to deploy the armed forces responsibly.
During George W.'s administration, liberals loved to wail over the supposed--but never demonstrated--suppression of free speech.
But now we have the spectacle of a member of the Dem majority warning a leading representative of Fox News to stop celebrating his network's success--under threat of reinstitution of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine." On last evening's Factor, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, invoking the possibility of the return of the 'Fairness Doctrine,' warned O'Reilly to stop "crowing" about Fox's success.
O'Reilly had been questioning Kucinich about the collapse of the liberal media as reflected in the demise of Air America and Fox's crushing of CNN and MSNBC during this past Tuesday's election night coverage by margins of five and six-to-one.
On May 15, I posted (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) on the Obama administration's and government-run Chrysler's blatant deception concerning whether plants would be closed as a result of the company's bankruptcy filing.
Specifically, on April 29 and 30, Obama, the administration and Chrysler told senators, congressmen, state and local politicians, and local and regional union leaders that the bankruptcy (these are Obama's words) "will not disrupt the lives of the people who work at Chrysler or the communities that depend on it." Those who heard this and other reassurances reasonably concluded that no plants would be permanently closed. But on May 1, government-run Chrysler announced that it would close plants in Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Days later, hundreds of Chrysler dealers were terminated.
The national media establishment has treated all of this as a non-story, so I expect it will do the same with this update from the Cleveland Plain Dealer. It includes news that two Ohio congressmen, one Democrat and one Republican, are demanding documents relating to the who, what, where, when, and why of the plant-closing decisions:
Too bad this particular report didn't include an expert that was railing against the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) bailout before it was passed last October. They could have said, "I told you so."
Global banks lending money to other countries including "the playground of the Middle East" may have angered Congressmen, but Lisa Myers investigation didn't point out that those critics of how the banks lent money voted for TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) in the first place.
In a segment on March 11 "NBC Nightly News," Myers, NBC's senior investigative correspondent, probed into why three particular banks - Citigroup (NYSE:C), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) - made loans to overseas institutions, but supposedly neglected domestic institutions.
Guess Which Party, and What Label?
Here are Old Media excerpts relating to recent presidential contenders you might find interesting.
First, here's the Associated Press from May 15 (fourth short item at link):
The United Steelworkers union endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president Thursday, giving the Illinois senator a powerful advocate in attracting blue-collar voters.
The endorsement comes one day after former presidential candidate and Steelworker ally John Edwards endorsed Obama, a key component in the union's decision to go with the Democratic front-runner.
Edwards won only one primary, his home state of South Carolina, in two presidential runs.
Here's ABC's "Political Radar Blog" on that same day: