Archive for November 2009
Filmmaker and progressive standard bearer Michael Moore does not take too kindly to President Barack Obama’s plan to send 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan.
All of us that voted and prayed for you and cried the night of your victory have endured an Orwellian hell of eight years of crimes committed in our name: torture, rendition, suspension of the bill of rights, invading nations who had not attacked us, blowing up neighborhoods that Saddam “might” be in (but never was), slaughtering wedding parties in Afghanistan. We watched as hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were slaughtered and tens of thousands of our brave young men and women were killed, maimed, or endured mental anguish — the full terror of which we scarcely know.
When we elected you we didn’t expect miracles. We didn’t even expect much change. But we expected some. We thought you would stop the madness. Stop the killing. Stop the insane idea that men with guns can reorganize a nation that doesn’t even function as a nation and never, ever has.
Stop, stop, stop! For the sake of the lives of young Americans and Afghan civilians, stop. For the sake of your presidency, hope, and the future of our nation, stop. For God’s sake, stop.
The Week takes on the new Sarah Palin vs. The Media squabble over the fact-checking of her book, “Going Rogue.” Here are some of its findings:
“The blogosphere has been busy truth-squading [Sarah Palin’s new memoir] ‘Going Rogue,’ reports The New York Times, calling the Associated Press’s debunking of the book’s claims an unusually “sharp-elbowed” dispatch. Conservative blogs have posted detailed rebuttals, and Palin herself, via her Facebook account, has condemned the AP’s decision to devote 11 fact-checkers to produce “erroneous” “opposition research” when they could have been fact-checking “Sheik Mohammed’s trial, Pelosi’s health care takeover costs, [and] Hasan’s associations.” Is Palin wise to wage war against perceived media bias? (Watch a discussion on whether the media treats Sarah Palin fairly)
The excessive AP attack justifies Palin’s angry defense: This media abuse has gotten ridiculous, says Mark Steyn in National Review. The AP “assigned 11 writers to ‘fact-check’ Sarah Palin’s new book,” and the resulting 695-word report came up with nothing even remotely “earth-shattering.” So “if you wonder why American newspapering is dying…”
Fighting with the press never ends well: “Going to war with the Associated Press is as dumb as going to war with Fox News,” says Don Surber in the Charleston Daily Mail. Just ask President Obama. “Sarah Palin should leave the criticism of the media to others. We like our leaders a little above the fray.”
With her shrewd counterattack, Palin is channeling Reagan: Ronald Reagan didn’t fight with the media, says Dan Riehl in Riehl World View. Instead, “he went over the media’s head directly to the American people.” By exploiting Facebook and the like, Palin’s doing much the same thing. And “don’t be surprised if it works, even as the media and some old-line politicos point how what a bad idea it is.”
Here’s a snippet of this morning’s news shows from POLITICO.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told NBC’s David Gregory today on “Meet The Press” that she would happily accept an offer from former Gov. Sarah Palin to sit down for a coffee, as mentioned in Palin’s new book, “Going Rogue.”
“I absolutely would look forward to having coffee. I’ve never met her. And I think it would be very interesting to sit down and talk with her. I’ve got more than I can say grace over to read, but obviously, in the next week there’s gonna be a lot of attention paid to her book. And I’m sure that I’ll see excerpts printed and you know, snippets of interviews as I, you know, channel surf in Singapore and in Shanghai and in Beijing. But you know, I’m ready to have a cup of coffee.”
Palin wrote: “Should Secretary Clinton and I ever sit down over a cup of coffee, I know that we would fundamentally disagree on many issues. But my hat is off to her hard work on the 2008 campaign trail.”
Clinton did say she would also talk about politics: “Maybe I can make a case on some of the issues that we disagree on.”
There have been between 14 million and 34 million cases of 2009 H1N1 between April and Oct. 17, 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced yesterday.
It estimates that 2009 H1N1-related deaths range from 2,500 to 6,000.
The report also said that between about 63,000 and 153,000 2009 H1N1-related hospitalizations occurred during that time period.
The CDC warned that the estimated ranges generated by this methodology provide a sense of scale in terms of the burden of disease caused by 2009 H1N1. It may never be possible to validate the accuracy of these figures. The true number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths may lie within the ranges provided or it’s also possible that they may lie outside the ranges.
This methodology is not predictive and cannot be used to forecast the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths that will occur going forward over the course of the pandemic because they are based on actual surveillance data.
Pictured is a negative stain EM image of the 2009 H1N1 influenza A/CA/4/09 that was taken by C. S. Goldsmith and A. Balish of the CDC.
The Los Angeles Times asks the question this morning after President Barack Obama greeted Japanese Emperor Akihito today with a very low bow, which is often seen as a sign of great respect and deference to a superior in Japan.
The photo is sure to garner the ire of the conservative pundits for the next few days.
This photo will get Democrat President Obama a lot of approving nods in Japan this weekend, especially among the older generation of Japanese who still pay attention to the royal family living in its downtown castle. Very low bows like this are a sign of great respect and deference to a superior.
To some in the United States, however, an upright handshake might have looked better. Remember Michelle Obama casually patting Britain’s Queen Elizabeth on the back during their Buckingham Palace visit? America’s royalty tends to make movies and get bad reviews and lots of money as a sign of respect.
Obama could receive some frowns back home as he did for his not-quite-this-low-or-maybe-about-the-same-bow to the Saudi king not so long ago.
As the conquering Allied general and then presiding officer of the U.S. occupation, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, decided to allow Japan to keep its emperor as a ceremonial unifying institution within a nascent democracy.
Tojo, on the other hand, was hanged.
MacArthur treated Emperor Hirohito respectfully but, as his body language in this black and white postwar photo demonstrates, was not particularly deferential.
(But then MacArthur was not known as a particularly deferential person, as Truman discovered just before firing him later. But that’s another war.)
Sam Stein of The Huffington Post today wrote about Anita Dunn, the outgoing interim White House communications director, and her parting shots at Fox News:
The outgoing administration spokeswoman took a clear and enjoyable dig, first at Sean Hannity for recently airing spliced footage designed to make a crowd of anti-health care protesters seem bigger than reality.
“A fun fact from this week is that an opinion show on a certain news network was using edited footage to make it appear that a rally last week, and political opposition to the president, was much larger than it appeared,” said Dunn, during her appearance at the Bloomberg News Washington Summit. “Some of you may have heard about it. The people who went in and did fact checking on that, and actually exposed the spliced edited was… Jon Stewart of the ‘Daily Show’ on Comedy Central. Well that is where you are getting fact-checking and investigative journalism these days folks. It is a different media environment.”
Showing an even greater appreciation for the “Daily Show”‘s Fox News fact-checking abilities, Dunn referenced another Stewart triumph later in her question-and-answer session.
“Jon Stewart actually did one of the most amazing pieces of journalism last week or a couple of weeks ago,” she said, “in which he looked at the way Fox, on their opinion shows, raises some issue that then gets reported on by their news division as ‘a controversy.’ … Now, that’s a point of view. That’s fine. That’s entertainment. It helps their ratings. But I think if you go downstairs and walk through the Newseum that’s not traditionally what you think of as traditional news — to some extent inventing the story.”
Approached in the halls outside the forum, the Huffington Post asked Dunn to put Glenn Beck’s recent theatrics into the context of her critiques of Fox News’s coverage. She chuckled. For the past few weeks, Beck has insisted that the outgoing communications director considers Mao Zedong a political hero and has put a red telephone on his set begging for her to call and explain her political dispositions.
“I think it was news to everybody who knows me,” she replied. “You know, most media consultants usually are accused of other things, but that’s not one of them.”
Last month, Dunn got caught up in a war of words between the White House and Fox News when she made the rather bland observation that the network carries a Republican agenda. On Friday, she was asked whether she considered MSNBC to have a counter-balancing bias — a common retort offered by Fox’s defenders. Dunn replied by noting that for three hours every morning that network handed over its programming to “a former Republican congressman who was a member of Newt Gingrich’s revolution”: Joe Scarborough.
Elsewhere in her remarks, Dunn acknowledged that her decision to go after Fox News was not an example of her “going rogue.” White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and perhaps even the president himself gave her the green light …