hat tip: Vines & Cattle

Reason #312 No One Takes the New York Times Seriously

Just, damn.

In a Q&A with U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul, the New York Times interviewer actually nags Paul.

NYT: But in light of your distrust of the federal government, where are you on an issue like seat belts? Federal legislation requiring people to wear seat belts could obviously save lives.
Paul: I think the federal government shouldn’t be involved. I don’t want to live in a nanny state where people are telling me where I can go and what I can do.

NYT: You shouldn’t trivialize issues of health and safety by calling them nanny issues.
Paul: The question is, do you want to live in a nanny state where the government tells you what you can eat, where you can smoke, where you can live, what you can do, or would you rather have some freedom, and freedom means that things aren’t perfect?

Dallas Tea Party Takes on Whites-Only MSNBC


Medina Repudiates Truthers

Was it a rookie mistake in a big interview, or something worse?

Is her immediate post-interview clarification enough?

I listened to the interview with Debra Medina this morning. When Glenn Beck asked her about the 9/11 truthers, she said some good questions have been asked, but she’s focused on Texas issues, and that she doesn’t have time to give psychological tests to every volunteer and campaign worker.

I didn’t hear it as her endorsing the 9/11 truthers, but it wasn’t a solid condemnation.

Notably, as Bud Kennedy points out — “Remember that Beck’s radio pals include Pat Gray and Rick Perry backer Sen. Dan Patrick”

Listen: You decide

Immediately after the show, Medina’s spokesperson issued a statement — “Debra Medina is not a 9/11 truther.”

Is this sufficient?

UPDATE: Full Medina Statement (h/t JJM)

I was asked a question on the Glenn Beck show today regarding my thoughts on the so-called 9/11 truth movement. I have never been involved with the 9/11 truth movement, and there is no doubt in my mind that Muslim terrorists flew planes into those buildings on 9/11. I have not seen any evidence nor have I ever believed that our government was involved or directed those individuals in any way. No one can deny that the events on 9/11 were a tragedy for all Americans and especially those families who lost loved ones.

The question surprised me because it’s not relevant to this race or the issues facing Texans. This campaign has always been about private property rights and state sovereignty. It is focused on the issues facing Texans. It is not a vehicle for the 9-11 truth movement or any other group.

The real underlying question here, though, is whether or not people have the right to question our government. I think the fact that people are even asking questions on this level gets to the incredible distrust career politicians have fostered by so clearly taking their direction from special interests instead of the people, whether it’s Rick Perry and his HPV mandate or Kay Hutchison and voting for the bank bailout. It is absolutely the right and duty of a free people to question their government. Texas does not need another politician who tells you what you want to hear, then violates your liberties and steals your property anyway. I fully expect to be questioned and to be held accountable as Governor, and that’s the underlying issue here: should people be questioning their government. And the answer is yes, they should be.

Yet Let’s Be Content, and The Times Lament*

Sarah Palin is playing chess while the left is playing with itself Candyland says…the Huffington Post?

And the left needs to stop misunderestimating Palin says…David Broder?

Oh my. The world turned upside down*. (headline explained)

Palin Derangement Brings Out Beta Males and Handwringers

Sarah Palin isn’t near as interesting as the reaction people have to Sarah Palin.

I'll be in my bunk.

I'll be in my bunk.

Before I even start, some disclosure: I have far more I disagree with Sarah Palin on than I agree with her about. She’s a politician, and like all of them she talks more than she walks. Politicians, even the best of them, are at heart people who seek power and influence that they couldn’t earn rightfully in the private sector. Some rare few actually rise above popularity contestant status to becoming actual leaders and statesmen, but they’re as rare as white power forwards in the NBA.

So what I do like about Palin? For starters, she’s hot, and “real beauty is on the inside” is something ugly people say. Like it or not, people pay more attention to attractive people — this is why you’re reading my blog, after all — and in the great, horrible game of democracy getting people’s attention is a big part of it. I won’t lie — I like looking at her. (Don’t act like I’m the only one this shallow — the media has been telling us constantly and with a straight face that Barack and Michelle are attractive despite evidence to the contrary, so don’t go damning my hormones.)

More importantly, I like the glimmers of true federalism Palin’s shown on some issues. When asked about marijuana legalization, she says, well, here’s what I think, and here’s the argument against legalization…but this is what the Constitution says so let’s go with that. By which she means let states legalize if they want. Amazing concept, I know. She’s applied this thinking to gay unions and, despite her overbearing religious beliefs, it’s put her in a position where she’s more gay friendly than the current Democrat inhabiting the White House.

Even more, I just love how she brings out the worst in the people who keep telling us they’re the best — the opinion elite who work for cable networks with fewer viewers than Palin has Facebook friends, and old-line newspapers that no one reads except as a joke. These are the beta males, the unoriginal hacks and the professional hand-wringers who repeat the talking points of the day as if they’re original and drone on about “teaching moments” even though they’ve only ever taught people like me not to bother reading the New York Times for any reason: Frank Rich, Bob Herbert, Maureen Dowd, David Brooks, et al.

Tina Fey skit line mistaken for actual quote reference? Check. Beauty queen reference? Check. Quitting governorship after two years? Check. (Hey, didn’t Obama quit his Senate seat after less time? Shh.) Counterfactual reference to warddrobe bill? Check. Hack list complete.

Palin’s derided for being uninformed and not so intellectual by people who keep telling us that Barack Obama is intelligent and informed. Obama, you see, demonstrated his vast intellect on the campaign trail in all 58 states.

His intellect is so awesome his college transcripts and written thesis are sealed from public view. Obama’s shown it in his strong grasp of strategy in Afghanistan (he voted “present”), and his cool lack of bias in pointing out when cops act stupidly, while cautioning us not to rush to judgment over a militant Islamist who shouted “Allahu ackbar!” while on a killing spree at Fort Hood. Obama’s savvy in doing happy shout-outs to conference attendees when he went on the air to address the shootings? That’s how smart he is. And don’t get me started on his grasp of history and protocol.

Why, the man is so intelligent he creates (or saves!) millions of jobs in congressional districts that don’t even exist.

Seriously — it takes a unique mind to create government spending that even gives the Chinese government pause. But that’s our boy.

But back to Sarah. Really? The AP assigns 11 reporters to fact check her book (they found six “errors” that weren’t errors) but not one to Obama’s or, for that matter, Al Gore’s various global warming books and movie. How about Joe Biden’s?

Forget books — why weren’t these reporters covering issues like, I don’t know, the massive health care takeover that’s going to cost hundreds of billions more than the AP reported and which, it turns out, will make health insurance costs rise more than doing nothing, and which will cover illegal immigrants? (Obama did, in fact, “You lie!” it seems) Or to cover whether AG Holder is telling the truth when he said he alone made the decision to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a New York criminal court with no input from Obama?

But no, mainstream media fact checking is reserved for Palin’s book. And Saturday Night Live skits that are critical of Obama.

Like the meaningless Nobel on Obama’s mantle, Sarah Palin’s very existence seems to undermine their chosen leader, since she accomplished more by the time she ran for Vice President than Obama has to this day.

She angers the media because she has more pull as a private citizen — she derailed the health care takeover momentum with two words on her Facebook page: death panels — than sitting in exile in the governor’s mansion in Alaskastan. (Loved watching the Obama people scramble to deny it, saying, “There are no death panels. And we’ll take them out.”) She reaches people without needing the media, something every last century journalist grinds his teeth over. How crappy do you feel as a professional gatekeeper when no one needs to use your gate?

Why do I think the opinion elite really hate her? Even they know how classless they look falling over themselves to try to destroy her. I mean — this is just pathetic. The ladies of the press and their female counterparts do protest way too much here:

Picture 1

As a libertarian who doesn’t like anyone in power and who isn’t that fond of democracy anyhow, what happens with Sarah Palin is pure spectator sport for me. I don’t think she’s uninformed at all — here’s the real story behind the lousy hack job interview Katie Couric did:

Palin mixes too much religion in her politics, too much populism in her appeal, and — at heart — she’s a politician like any other, with plenty of BS in her backstory.

But if.

If she were to make a hard left turn the left-wingers would embrace her in a heartbeat. She has a high Q score, so if she’s the face of your cause, you’re going to make headway.

So for me, if she were to grow on issues like federalism and take up the Goldwater standard — that government needs to stay out of the boardrooms and the bedrooms; that government needs to keep out of churches and who they wed and churches need to keep out of schools; and that 90 percent of what mainstream Republicans and Democrats want government to do the government has no business doing because of what the Constitution says — then we may be able to do some business.

(No, I don’t care if she’s like Dr. Zauis on evolution if she keeps her promise to not to push it on schools. She said in 2006: “I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum.”)

I’ll be watching. And so will everyone else, in spite of the girl fight slaps from the opinion geldings in New York and Washington.

Even if Sarah doesn’t go my way — fingers crossed but not holding my breath — watching the media embarrass themselves attacking her is worth the price of admission.

‘Mom Seeks Law…’ Is Your Warning That Stupidity Follows

Nine times out of 10. Why? Because, God and Darwin love ‘em, moms are irrational and fierce protectors of their children who will do anything for their kids.

Which on one hand is good, but on the other is exactly why when you see “Mom Seeks Law…” in a headline, it’s going to be a bad idea and go way too far.

Which brings me to today’s little venture into Big Mother politics.

Dallas-area mother challenges Texas law allowing parents to show children pornography

Texas’ devotion to protecting parental rights allows moms and dads to provide pornography to their children.

Now a Dallas-area mother is trying to change that, saying that her ex-husband faces no punishment for showing their young daughters online images of three-way adult encounters.

She’s getting support from a variety of sources, including a Panhandle prosecutor who wanted to charge the man but concluded he had no way to win a case.

No, I don’t support showing porn to kids, but yes, how I teach my kid about sex education is not your business or the state’s business and blah blah blah. But this isn’t a political argument.

For starters, the sloppy writing suggests it’s an established fact that the dad in question did what the sentence says. It is not. It’s an allegation. And when we read further into the story, we learn it’s an allegation from a mother who did not have custody of her own kids.

This is big red flag No. 1. Divorces are nasty, and child custody fights even more so. Otherwise honest mothers will tell you they will do anything to keep their kids, and that includes lying. Especially if they’re lying about ex-husbands.

Red flag No. 2 — she didn’t have custody. When a mother doesn’t get primary custody or joint custody of kids, almost invariably there’s something really ugly going on with her.

Red flag No. 3 — the scenario described further down in the story doesn’t pass the smell test:

The Dallas-area woman said her three grade-school-age daughters were living with their father earlier this year when he started drinking, woke two of them late at night and showed them porn on his computer. They later told a counselor, who alerted authorities. Amarillo police investigated, found the girls believable and sought advice from Farren’s office before proceeding.

This doesn’t add up. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s improbable. As described in this admittedly poorly reported and badly written story, it doesn’t fit the profile.

It does, however, fit the script of someone trying to get back custody of their kids.

As for “Amarillo police investigated, found the girls believable and sought advice from Farren’s office before proceeding” need I remind you that Fort Collins police thought the Balloon Boy’s family was credible until the kid admitted on morning television it was a hoax?

So given all that we’ve been presented by the paper, I call BS on this woman.

Do kids need to be protected? Of course.

But regardless of whether this lady is lying, do we need the kind of laws that result from crusading moms? Absolutely not.

John Stossel Moving On Up

john-holmesThe best broadcast journalist, the best ‘stache.

Rock on, John.

Full story here.

UPDATE: Via PeterK, this from the ‘stache man himself:

It’s time for a change.

In one month, I leave ABC News.

In October, I will join the folks at Fox.

I plan to do a one hour prime time show every week on FBN, the Fox Business Channel, and contribute to various existing programs on Fox News Channel.

I’m grateful to ABC News for allowing me to do stories that challenged conventional wisdom, and occasionally enraged many of its viewers. But it’s said that everyone should change jobs every 7 years.   I’ve been at ABC for 28 years …

In my new job, I want to dig into the meaning of the words “liberty” and “limited government”.  ABC enabled me to do some of that, but Fox offers me more airtime and a new challenge.

I’m still considering what I will do with my own show, one hour each week.   Economics certainly.  Exercises in understanding libertarianism.  My “take” on the issues of the day.   Kind of like this blog.  In fact, maybe we’ll call it, Stossel’s Take?

I ask you for your ideas.  A studio audience?  Should I wander around Congress?

To be continued…


Oh noes! People are saying bad things on the Internet!

Mary Mapes of Dallas, Your Response?

At the risk of being labeled pro-Bush (I am not), Bernie Goldberg raises some interesting questions about the old 60 Minutes II hit piece on the former president in 2004 just before the election, and Mary Mapes’ complicity in the shoddy reporting. Read it here.