Archive for the ‘Media Bias’ Category

Another Perspective on the Auto Bailout

December 17, 2008

I came across a column by economist Thomas Sowell this morning entitled “Postponing Reality,” and I’d just like to discuss part of this column with you:

We are told that the collapse of the Big Three automakers in Detroit would have repercussions across the country, causing mass layoffs among firms that supply the automobile makers with parts, and shutting down automobile dealerships from coast to coast.

You should hear the news stations here in Detroit.  The news anchors night after night of covering House and Senate votes keep making comments like, “Some Senators just don’t understand how detrimental this will be to Detroit,” or “The Southern Senators don’t understand what’s happening here in Detroit” or “Talk to your friends in other states about contacting their representatives to explain how bad this would be for Michigan.”  And you can substitute the word Senators with Republicans for a lot of the news anchors, since the media here in Detroit tends to lean left (as does all of Wayne County).

A renowned economist of the past, J.A. Schumpeter, used to refer to progress under capitalism as “creative destruction”– the replacement of businesses that have outlived their usefulness with businesses that carry technological and organizational creativity forward, raising standards of living in the process.

It’s survival of the fittest, economic style.

Indeed, this is very much like what happened a hundred years ago, when that new technological wonder, the automobile, wreaked havoc on all the forms of transportation built up around horses.

For thousands of years, horses had been the way to go, whether in buggies or royal coaches, whether pulling trolleys in the cities or plows on the farms. People had bet their futures on something with a track record of reliable success going back many centuries.

Were all these people to be left high and dry? What about all the other people who supplied the things used with horses– oats, saddles, horse shoes and buggies? Wouldn’t they all go falling like dominoes when horses were replaced by cars?

Unfortunately for all the good people who had in good faith gone into all the various lines of work revolving around horses, there was no compassionate government to step in with a bailout or a stimulus package.

They had to face reality, right then and right there, without even a postponement.

He actually brings up a really good point here.  Industries go through cycles, and to stop these cycles with the use of  government funds is only going to harm us more in the long run.  Like I’ve said before, the main reason that Michiganders support this is because it helps Michigan.  If the technology industry were to suffer detrimental losses, I’d be willing to bet that you couldn’t find 30% of Michiganders who would be in favor of spending billions of tax dollars on helping Silicon Valley in California.

Who would have thought that those who displaced them would find themselves in a similar situation a hundred years later?

Actually the automobile industry is not nearly in as bad a situation now as the horse-based industries were then. There is no replacement for the automobile anywhere on the horizon. Nor has the public decided to do without cars indefinitely.

While Detroit’s Big Three are laying off thousands of workers, Toyota is hiring thousands of workers right here in America, where a substantial share of all our Toyotas are manufactured.

 But Toyota doesn’t have union workers.  Without unions, their workers make (on average) a measly $30/hour.  Wait a minute, that’s not measly.  In fact, that’s more than the average GM worker ($29.78/hour).  The difference comes in pensions and health care.   GM has to pay out an extra $39.22/hour (that includes pensions for retirees), while Toyota has to pay out an extra $18/hour (with far less retirees).  So, the average Toyota worker (assuming he worked 40 hours/week with 4 weeks of vacation), would make $57,600.  That’s not that bad folks.  You assume that his spouse works part time (20 hours/week at $10/hour), that’s another $9,600.  That’s a yearly total of $67,200, which is DEFINITELY enough to live off of (My family of 4 lived off of about $80,000/year until my mom got a job, but she did that more out of boredom than need for more cash inflow.  And we were decently well off.  We aren’t rich, but we’re definitely nowhere close to going broke.), even though they may get a little less when it comes to health care.

Will this save Detroit or Michigan? No.

Detroit and Michigan have followed classic liberal policies of treating businesses as prey, rather than as assets. They have helped kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. So have the unions. So have managements that have gone along to get along.

EXACTLY!  I was just talking about this the other day.  Every time one of the Big 3 is in financial trouble, they go to the UAW and ask them to take a pay cut.  The UAW, being filled with greedy Americans says no.  So instead of setting a good example and taking a 50-75% pay cut, the management simply sat there and said, “You need to take a pay cut, otherwise we may go bankrupt.  The UAW continues to say, “No.  And if you don’t give in, we’ll go on strike.”  So, the company heads wind up giving in.  If I were head of any of the Big 3 right now, I’d immediately decrease my pay to $0.  Then, I’d tell the unions, “Take a pay cut, or go on strike.”  If they didn’t take a pay cut, I’d let them go on strike and hire new workers.  If a court ruled that I’m not allowed to hire new workers, I’d let the strike continue.  Eventually, the workers will have to come back to work or the company will fail.  If the company fails, it was the union’s fault for not showing up to work.  But the UAW wouldn’t let the company completely fail, because then their workers would be out of a job.  The corporate heads need to 1) lead by example, and 2) have some guts and stand up to the UAW.

Toyota, Honda and other foreign automakers are not heading for Detroit, even though there are lots of experienced automobile workers there. They are avoiding the rust belts and the policies that have made those places rust belts.

A bailout of Detroit’s Big Three would be only the latest in the postponements of reality. As for automobile dealers, they can probably sell Toyotas just as easily as they sold Chevvies. And Toyotas will require just as many tires per car, as well as other parts from automobile parts suppliers.

So, there you have it.  This was one of the best analyses I’ve seen on the auto bailout, and I couldn’t agree more.

Who’s at fault, the UAW or the corporate heads?  Both.  The UAW needs to stop being greedy and be willing to take a pay cut.  The leaders of the Big 3 need to lead by example and take MASSIVE pay cuts and start standing up to the unions.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! ::

College Newspaper Labels McCain “Viagra’s Next Spokesman”

November 6, 2008

In an effort to raise awareness ofthis issue, this blog post has also been posted on RightMichigan.com and OutsideLansing.com

Well, my school’s news paper, the Central Michigan Life (Central Michigan University) has sunk to a new low.  In a video article titled “Voters discuss their picks for president,” (the video has since been taken down, but there are still comments at the bottom of the page) they have students saying who they voted for and used that candidate’s logo as the image.  The problem came when Adam Kaminski, the video’s creator, used a logo which read, “Make Me Viagra’s Next Spokesman” on Senator McCain’s logo.

The above video is owned by the Central Michigan Life and has been posted under the Fair Use Clause of the Copyright Act of 1976.

Now, had this have been a joke, I would have no problem with it.  But when it is presented as a serious news story, I find this appalling.  If the video would’ve included, “Allah’s Next Great Prophet” for Senator Obama, I guarantee that people would be outraged.  And they should be!

This case is just a continuing pattern of terrible journalism by the CM-Life.  Let’s ignore the blatant spelling and grammar errors that a spread throughout most every issue, and look at some other cases of poor journalism:

Political columnist hack David Peterson’s article about Proposal 2, the proposal that legalized embryonic stem cell research, where he merely stated that it legalized stem cell research.  There’s a huge difference between legalizing stem cell research (which are already legal) and specifically embryonic stem cell research (which was illegal, up until the passage of the Proposal).

Here’s what Peterson wrote: “I’m sure everyone in the state of Michigan has seen the ads concerning roposal 2, the decision to allow stem cell research within the state of Michigan for the purposes of discovering cures for various diseases, disorders and organ replacement procedures…”

And how many times does he mention the word embryo (or any variation of the word)?  Once.  In the middle of the article.

I wrote the following letter to the editor, in addition to several requests for a printed correction (a request which was never honored):

First, you have a general lack of understanding of Proposal 2. Proposal 2 does not “allow stem cell research within the state of Michigan.” Stem cell research is already allowed. Proposal 2 will allow embryonic stem cell research. That’s a pretty important fact that you managed to leave out. This has been a common “error” that proponents of proposal 2 make. Just because a person opposes embryonic stem cell research does not mean that they oppose stem cell research overall.

I think the students of CMU deserve columnists with better knowledge of the issues than this.

These 2 cases show that the CM-Life is lacking in journalism ethics.  And apparently it’s lacking in editors, and I’m not just talking about editors who should’ve noticed these “mistakes.”  I’m talking about editors who should catch typos like “non threatening life injury” instead of “non life threatening injury,” or the various typos that plague almost every issue of the newspaper.

I hope the editors will honor my request for a correction this time, and if not, I will have lost all respect for the newspaper.  Even my liberal roommate (the other one, not the one that I normally talk about on here) agrees that this went way too far.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! ::

Joe Biden: “We’re gonna have an international crisis to test the mettle of [Obama]”

October 21, 2008

Yesterday, Biden said the following at a fundraiser in Seattle, Washington.  The first 2 paragraphs are what has gotten the most media attention (and if anybody out there has a full copy of this, post the link, because this is the most complete copy I could find, and even that needed some splicing together parts from other clips I found, so this is a couple of copies fitted together, but I never found the whole thing):

Mark my words.  It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy.  The world is looking.  We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America.  Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said.  Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.  And he’s gonna have to make some really tough — I don’t know what the decision’s gonna be, but I promise you it will occur.  As a student of history and having served with seven presidents, I guarantee you it’s gonna happen.

The interesting thing about that quote is that the part in italics wasn’t talked about by most of the media outlets.  And that’s interesting, because it’s the biggest gaffe in the whole speech.  What Biden should have said was something like, “I may not know what his decision is gonna be, but I know it’ll be a good one” instead of making a statement that comes across as, “I don’t know what he’s going to do, but he’s going to do something!”  It was really dumb wording on Biden’s part, and it didn’t show that Obama has a plan.  I’m not arguing for or against the fact that Obama does or doesn’t have a plan.  I’m just saying that Biden did not portray Obama well here.

I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate.  [All I could find anywhere that covered his speech was that he mentioned the Middle East and Russia].  And he’s gonna need help.  And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you – not financially to help him – we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him.  Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.

OK, so he’s making the point that

Gird your loins.  We’re gonna win with your help, God willing, we’re gonna win, but this is not gonna be an easy ride.  This president, the next president, is gonna be left with the most significant task.  It’s like cleaning the Augean stables, man.  This is more than just, this is more than – think about it, literally, think about it – this is more than just a capital crisis, this is more than just markets.  This is a systemic problem we have with this economy.

I’ve forgotten more about foreign policy than most of my colleagues know, so I’m not being falsely humble with you.  I think I can be value added, but this guy has it.  This guy has it.  But he’s gonna need your help.  Because I promise you, you all are gonna be sitting here a year from now going, “Oh my God, why are they there in the polls?  Why is the polling so down?  Why is this thing so tough?”  We’re gonna have to make some incredibly tough decisions in the first two years.  So I’m asking you now, I’m asking you now, be prepared to stick with us.  Remember the faith you had at this point because you’re going to have to reinforce us.

There are gonna be a lot of you who want to go, “Whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don’t know about that decision.”  Because if you think the decision is sound when they’re made, which I believe you will when they’re made, they’re not likely to be as popular as they are sound.  Because if they’re popular, they’re probably not sound.

You literally can see what these kids are up against, our kids in that region.  The place is crawling with al Qaeda.  And it’s real.

We do not have the military capacity, nor have we ever, quite frankly, in the last 20 years, to dictate outcomes.  It’s so much more important than that.  It’s so much more complicated than that.  And Barack gets it.

I probably shouldn’t have said all this because it dawned on me that the press is here.  All kidding aside, these guys have left us in a God-awful place.  We have the ability to straighten it out.  It’s gonna take a little bit of time, so I ask you to stay with us.  Stay with us.

Overall, I think the first sentence of that last paragraph was right.  Biden said some stupid stuff in there.  The bolded paragraph at the front is what’ll hurt him the most.

Comparing him to Kennedy was a mistake.  In his first 6 months in office, Kennedy got beat up by Khrushchev, so comparing Obama to Kennedy may be good-looking to the American people, but once the historians get a hold of that quote, they’ll tear down Biden for saying that.

Saying that the polls are going to be bad, but to stick with him and Obama came across to me as essentially giving credit to the Bush administration.  Isn’t this what Bush is saying?  “The polls are down, stick with me?”  That seems to be Bush’s attitude.  I think that statement was another dumb one.

This speech has to be one of the worst things Biden has done this election cycle, but I find it so asinine that the media is censoring out the worst parts.  How is that being impartial!

If Obama is elected and faces an international crisis, I pray that he does better than Kennedy, otherwise Obama too will say, “He just beat the hell out of me.  I’ve got a terrible problem if he thinks I’m inexperienced and have no guts.”

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! ::

Rasmussen Poll: 51% Think the Media Is Out to Hurt Sarah Palin

September 4, 2008

Well, a new Rasmussen Reports poll came out today, and boy is this good news for the McCain/Palin campaign.  Here are the results, with commentary:

1* How closely have you been following new stories about John McCain’s vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin?

57% Very closely
28% Somewhat closely
10% Not very closely
3% Not at all
1% Not sure

So, we know that a LOT of people have been hearing stories about her in the media, and this is pretty obvious because she’s been a hot topic ever since McCain picked her.

2* In covering her campaign, are most reporters trying to help Sarah Palin, hurt Sarah Palin, or provide unbiased coverage of Sarah Palin?

5% Help
51% Hurt
35% Provide unbiased coverage
10% Not sure

WOW!  That’s great for Sarah Palin and John McCain.  51% saying that the media is trying to hurt her biases them toward her side.  Apparently 5% of these people watch FOX News!  Just kidding – honestly, FOX has been the fairest to her.  35% saying it’s unbiased is a little high in my opinion, because I think they’ve been overly brutal to her.  This many people agreeing with me is good for us though!

3* Does the media coverage of Sarah Palin and her family reflect a double standard that treats women worse than men?

46% Yes
35% No
19% Not sure

That’s another good number.  Having people think she’s being mistreated because she’s a woman is going to sway some, not a lot, but a few of Clinton’s former supporters.  Even if we only get 1 more vote, it helps.

4* Whohas the better experience to be president of the United States –- Barack Obama or Sarah Palin?

49% Barack Obama
39% Sarah Palin
12% Not sure

I disagree.  Palin does.  She’s had EXECUTIVE experience.  The President is an executive position.  And what experience as a legislator does Obama have?  He’s basically voted “Present” on half the stuff in the Illinois legislature, and he was campaigning during most of his Senate term.

5* Have news stories about Sarah Palin and her family made you more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain, or had no impact on your vote?

 

24% More likely

19% Less likely

54% No impact

3% Not sure

And here’s some demographic breakdowns:

Eighty percent (80%) of Republicans say reporters are trying to hurt the GOP vice presidential nominee, and 28% of Democrats agree. Only six percent (6%) of Republicans – and even fewer Democrats (4%)– think the reporting is intended to help her. Most Democrats (57%) think the reporters are being unbiased, but just nine percent (9%) of Republicans concur.

Among unaffiliated voters, 49% say reporters are trying to hurt Palin, while 32% say their coverage is unbiased. Only five percent (5%) say reporters are trying to help her.

Voters are more ambivalent about whether the media coverage of Palin and her family reflects a double standard that treats women worse than men. Forty-six percent (46%) say it does, but 35% disagree. Most Republicans and unaffiliated voters say the stories show the media’s double standard against women, but a majority of Democrats disagree.

Eighty percent (80%) of Republicans say reporters are trying to hurt the GOP vice presidential nominee, and 28% of Democrats agree. Only six percent (6%) of Republicans – and even fewer Democrats (4%)– think the reporting is intended to help her. Most Democrats (57%) think the reporters are being unbiased, but just nine percent (9%) of Republicans concur.

Among unaffiliated voters, 49% say reporters are trying to hurt Palin, while 32% say their coverage is unbiased. Only five percent (5%) say reporters are trying to help her.

Voters are more ambivalent about whether the media coverage of Palin and her family reflects a double standard that treats women worse than men. Forty-six percent (46%) say it does, but 35% disagree. Most Republicans and unaffiliated voters say the stories show the media’s double standard against women, but a majority of Democrats disagree.

So there was a net gain of 5% for the McCain/Palin ticket.  And if the media continues to pound her (on stories that have even been proven to be untrue, like her being a member of the Alaskan Independence Party), they’ll hand the victory right over to McCain.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! ::

Newt Gingrich Slams MSNBC Reporter During Discussion on Sarah Palin’s Qualifications

September 3, 2008

Here’s a video of Newt Gingrich being interviewed by MSNBC’s reporter Ron Allen.  A transcript is available below the video:

Allen: But to be fair, her resumé is not something that we’re familiar seeing with Presidential candidates.

Gingrich: It’s stronger than Barack Obama’s.  I don’t know why you guys walk around saying this baloney.  She has a stronger resume than Obama.  She’s been a real mayor, he hasn’t.  She has been a real governor, he hasn’t.  She’s been in charge of the Alaskan National Guard, he hasn’t. She was a whistle-blower who defeated an incumbent mayor.  He has never once shown that kind of courage.  She’s a whistle-blower who turned in the chairman of her own party and got him fined $12,000.  I’ve never seen Obama do one thing like that.  She took on the incumbent governor of her own party and beat him, and then she beat a former Democratic governor in the general election.  I don’t know of a single thing Obama’s done except talk and write.  I’d like you to tell me one thing Senator Obama’s done.

Allen: Thanks very much, Mr. Speaker. I’m going to leave it there.  I’m not going to argue the case.  Thanks very much.

And then he goes back to Keith Olbermann who goes to a commercial break.  Unfortunately, Olbermann doesn’t have videos up from yesterday, and MSNBC doesn’t seem to have anything else up either.  If anybody has the response from Olbermann, I’d love to link to it!

But that was pretty awesome.  Like I say, the media needs to be put in its place sometimes, and boy did Gingrich do that!

Done Laughing,

Ranting Republican
add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! ::

Liberals, Media Ignore GDP Growth and Continue Calling It a Recession

August 3, 2008

At the end of July, a report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis came out saying that the Gross Domestic Product grew at a rate of  1.9% during the second quarter.  Well, that’s good, considering that it only grew .9% in the first quarter.

So, the media ran stories about this right.  Well, kinda.  They ran stories saying things like “Q2 GDP Doesn’t Meet Analsysts’ Expectations,” which is true, since analsysts predicted anywhere from 2.0%-2.4% growth (those are the numbers I’ve mostly seen).

Now, the media has also reported that the Bureau of Economic Analysis, within the Department of Commerce may update the real GDP; however, the change is normally no more than +/- .2%.  So there’d still be an increase in the rate from the first quarter.

So, why is the media (and liberals) downplaying this?  Because they said we were in a recession.  And just like EVERYTHING the media reports on, the evidence MUST support the position that the media has taken.  Screw taking a position based on the evidence.  Take the position that’s good for liberals, and make the evidence fit!  I’ve even seen a liberal ask, “Are official GDP growth statistics wrong?” just because Americans are so convinced that we MUST be in a recession.

And whatever liberals did acknowledge the positive growth, said it was because the stimulus checks were such a good idea.  Yeah, bailing people out for making stupid housing decisions is a good idea.  Instead of just giving out tax cuts, let’s complicate the system with a stimulus package!

As I’ve said before, we’re not in a recession, so the media really needs to stop saying that we are.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! ::

49% Think the Media Will Try to Help Obama Win

July 28, 2008

Here’s another story I heard about when I was on vacation: A recent Rasmussen Reports poll came out about media bias in the 2008 Presidential election.  I’ll post the results and then analyze them:

National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
Conducted July 19, 2008
By Rasmussen Reports

1* When covering a political campaign, do most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage or do they try to help the candidate they want to win?

16% Offer unbiased coverage
71% Try to help the candidate they want to win
13% Not sure

Those 16% must be FOX viewers.  But seriously, FOX, CNN, ABC, NBC, NPR, EVERYBODY does it.  I think the word reporter might be a bad word to use in the question, since most people think of reporter as the guy with the microphone covering the story, when in actuality, the person who mostly shapes and directs the story is the anchor.  They’re the ones doing the analysis and either highlighting or suppressing certain parts of the story.

2* Think for a moment about the three major presidential candidates this year. Which candidate received the best treatment from the media so far—Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or John McCain?

57% Barack Obama
11% Hillary Clinton
21% John McCain
10% Not sure

Again, somewhat of a bad question.  In 2007, you know who got a lot of press, after a couple of polls came out in New Hampshire?  John McCain.  And it was that press, I believe, that gave him the momentum to go on to Michigan, and place well there, to win South Carolina, etc….  After McCain won the nomination, his press died down, understandably.  So, the question is somewhat a bad question, but there is a point that Obama has been getting a LOT more press lately (especially with his trip to Iraq, where THREE major news anchors went with him.  When did they ever do that for McCain, or even Bush?)

3* Looking ahead to the campaign between Barack Obama and John McCain, will most reporters try to help Barack Obama, offer unbiased coverage, or try to help John McCain?

49% Try to help Barack Obama
24% Offer unbiased coverage
14% Try to help John McCain
13% Not sure

Alright – I’ll agree with that.  But what I find interesting here is the bias in the people taking the poll.  Nobody wants to admit that their candidate is being unfairly helped by media bias, so notice the 8% jump from question 1 to question 3 saying that the media will be unbiased.  Now that’s ironic!

4* Suppose a reporter learned some news that might politically hurt a candidate they wanted to win. Would most reporters hide that information to help the candidate?

45% Yes
30% No
25% Not sure

Again, “reporter” here is a bad word to use.  Reporters really don’t have a say in what’s run on the news or edited in or out – that’s more the producers and the anchors.  But if you asked that question with “news station” in the place of “reporter,” I could agree with the answers to that poll.  I’d say yes, but you can’t do it too often, or people do see a bias.

5* When it comes to information about the Presidential campaign, who do you trust more—news reporters or family and friends?

29% News reporters
43% Family and friends
28% Not sure

And where are these family and friends going to get their information?  Are they interviewing the candidates?  They’re probably getting it from news reporters.  So, family and friends will place their bias on information that is, apparently, already biased!

 

NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

Alright, so there you have it – Most Americans think the media is biased, and we’ve shown that at least 8% of those polled, are afraid to admit that bias (at least which way the bias leans).

Interesting survey, although I do take issue with the word “reporter” being used, but overall, it’s a good indicator of how Americans feel about the media and its effects on the 2008 election.  As I’ve always said, sometimes the media needs to be put in its place!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! ::

Obama Says Clinton Supporters Need Help to “Get Over It”; The Media Takes it Out of Context and Overreacts

June 25, 2008

Well, the media has been reporting a story recently about Obama making the statement, “If women take a moment to realise that on every issue important to women, John McCain is not in their corner, that would help them get over it.”

Congresswoman Yvette Clark told reporters that Obama said this at a meeting with members of the Congressional Black Caucus last week.

Most news headlines have said, “Obama Tells Clinton Supporters to ‘get over it.'”  Well, those headlines aren’t really true.  It’s not like he yelled “GET OVER IT!” at them, a paraphrase of what he said was, “Look, I know your ticked off that your candidate lost.  I’d feel the same way.  But think about how much you disagree with John McCain, and let that motivate you to make sure that I get elected.”  Having worked on several campaigns, I know what Clinton supporters are going through.  They do need to get over it and help Obama (I hope they don’t), if they want to beat McCain.

I really don’t think Obama was being insulting or dismissive, like some are saying.  Congresswoman Diane Watson told him, “Don’t use that terminology,” and she was right – it caused problems.  It shouldn’t have, but it did.

What this does show is the fact that there’s still a divide, and this is GREAT for McCain.  All of this media coverage on this mis-phrasing gives me some encouragement, just when I was beginning to worry that McCain might not be able to pull off the win.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! ::

Barack Obama: Bitter Pennsylvanians “Cling to Guns or Religion”

April 12, 2008

So Barack Obama was at a fundraiser in San Francisco last week, and he gave the following speech:

So, it depends on where you are, but I think it’s fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people feel most cynical about government. The people are mis-appre…I think they’re misunderstanding why the demographics in our, in this contest have broken out as they are. Because everybody just ascribes it to ‘white working-class don’t wanna work — don’t wanna vote for the black guy.’ That’s…there were intimations of that in an article in the Sunday New York Times today – kind of implies that it’s sort of a race thing.

Here’s how it is: in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long, and they feel so betrayed by government, and when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn’t buy it. And when it’s delivered by — it’s true that when it’s delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama (laugher), then that adds another layer of skepticism (laughter).

But — so the questions you’re most likely to get about me, ‘Well, what is this guy going to do for me? What’s the concrete thing?’ What they wanna hear is — so, we’ll give you talking points about what we’re proposing — close tax loopholes, roll back, you know, the tax cuts for the top 1 percent. Obama’s gonna give tax breaks to middle-class folks and we’re gonna provide health care for every American. So we’ll go down a series of talking points.

But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there’s not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Um, now these are in some communities, you know. I think what you’ll find is, is that people of every background — there are gonna be a mix of people, you can go in the toughest neighborhoods, you know working-class lunch-pail folks, you’ll find Obama enthusiasts. And you can go into places where you think I’d be very strong and people will just be skeptical. The important thing is that you show up and you’re doing what you’re doing.

Some people have said that he comes across as an elitist based on the comment, “You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them.  And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.  So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”  I’m somewhat mixed on how I feel about that.  Does it come across as elitist necessarily?  I don’t think so.  Does it stereotype smaller towns as being either a small religious town or a small trigger-happy town, and does that seem to make him out of touch with small town America?  I have to say yes to this.  I don’t think he’s looking down on them as lower than him, but I do think that he’s stereotyping them.

I’ll also say that I’m offended at his stereotype of religious people.  I think most religious Americans are religious because they have faith in God, not because they have a lack of faith in their government.  People don’t turn to religion because government fails them.

Clinton gave a speech criticizing Obama’s statements, while she was campaigning in Indianapolis:

I am the granddaughter of a factory worker. I grew up in the Midwest. Born in Chicago, raised outside of that great city. I was raised with Midwestern values and an unshakeable faith America and its promise.

Now, like some of you may have been, I was taken aback by the demeaning remarks Senator Obama made about people in small town America. Senator Obama’s remarks are elitist and they are out of touch. They are not reflective of the values and beliefs of Americans. Certainly not the Americans that I know – not the Americans I grew up with, not the Americans I lived with in Arkansas or represent in New York.

You know, Americans who believe in the Second Amendment believe it¹s a matter of Constitutional rights. Americans who believe in God believe it is a matter of personal faith. Americans who believe in protecting good American jobs believe it is a matter of the American Dream.

When my dad grew up it was in a working class family in Scranton. I grew up in a church-going family, a family that believed in the importance of living out and expressing our faith.

The people of faith I know don’t “cling to” religion because they’re bitter.

People embrace faith not because they are materially poor, but because they are spiritually rich. Our faith is the faith of our parents and our grandparents. It is a fundamental expression of who we are and what we believe.

I also disagree with Senator Obama’s assertion that people in this country “cling to guns” and have certain attitudes about immigration or trade simply out of frustration. People of all walks of life hunt – and they enjoy doing so because it’s an important part of their life, not because they are bitter.

And as I¹ve traveled across Indiana and I¹ve talked to a lot of people what I hear are real concerns about unfair trade practices that cost people jobs.

I think hardworking Americans are right to want to see changes in our trade laws. That¹s what I have said. That¹s what I have fought for.

I would also point out that the vast majority of working Americans reject anti-immigration rhetoric. They want reform so that we remain a nation of immigrants, but also a nation of laws that we enforce and we enforce fairly.

Americans are fair-minded and good-hearted people. We have ups and downs. We face challenges and problems. But our views are rooted in real values, and they should be respected.

Americans out across our country have born the brunt of the Bush administration¹s assault on the middle class. Contrary to what Senator Obama says, most Americans did much better during the Clinton years than they have done during the Bush years.

If we are striving to bring people together – and I believe we should be – I don’t think it helps to divide our country into one America that is enlightened and one that is not.

We know there is an unacceptable economic divide in America today, but that is certainly not the way to bridge it. The way to do that is to roll up our sleeves and get to work and make sure we provide, once again, economic opportunity and shared prosperity for all Americans.

People don’t need a president who looks down on them; they need a president who stands up for them. And that is exactly what I will do as your president.

Because I believe if you want to be the president of all Americans, you need to respect all Americans. And that starts with respecting our hard working Americans, and what we need to do here is to take a lesson from Allison transmission.

I disagree with some of what Clinton says here – it’s not elitist, but it is out of touch.  And of course it’s not representative of a lot of who she represents – she represents New York, and a lot of that population is made up of New York City, so its nothing like small town America.

While giving a speech at Ball State University in Indiana (which has its primary the same day as Pennsylvania), Obama clarified his statements:

I didn’t say it as well as I should have. But what is absolutely true is that people don’t feel like they are being listened to. And so they pray and they count on each other and they count on their families.

Lately, there’s been a little typical sort of political flare-up because I said something that everybody knows is true, which is that there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my hometown in Illinois, who are bitter. They are angry, they feel like they’ve been left behind. They feel like nobody’s paying attention to what they’re going through.

So I said, well you know, when you’re bitter you turn to what you can count on. So people, they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community. And they get mad about illegal immigrants who are coming over to this country.

The truth is that these traditions that are passed on from generation to generation, those are important. That’s what sustains us. But what is absolutely true is that people don’t feel like they are being listened to.

And so they pray and they count on each other and they count on their families. You know this in your own lives, and what we need is a government that is actually paying attention.

I really don’t think that this speech helped much – I think he addressed the wrong issue (which isn’t his fault – it’s Clinton’s and the medias, for portraying him as elitist instead of just out of touch.  I mean, I don’t view what he said as elitist.  I just view it as out of touch with small town America.

Today, the Clinton and McCain campaigns issued statements responding to Obama’s response:

Phil Singer (Clinton): “Instead of apologizing for offending small town America, Senator Obama chose to repeat and embrace the comments he made earlier this week.  Americans are tired of a President who looks down on them, they want a President who will stand up for them for a change.”

Tucker Bounds (McCain): “Instead of apologizing to small town Americans for dismissing their values, Barack Obama arrogantly tried to spin his way out of his outrageous San Francisco remarks.  You can’t be more out of touch than that.”

So, again, I don’t think it was elitist, but I do think he showed that he was somewhat out of touch by stereotyping small town America.

Honestly, I don’t see how Clinton is getting away with claiming that Obama’s elitist, after making comments saying that the Secret Service agenst are her “personal, trained pigs,” but, LET THE INFIGHTING CONTINUE!!!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! ::

Geraldine Ferraro Steps Down from Clinton’s Campaign

March 16, 2008

OK, so Geraldine Ferraro (former Congresswoman and Vice Presidential candidate with Walter Mondale; also former member of Senator Clinton’s Presidential election finance committee), in an interview with the Daily Breeze (Torrance, California) last week, said, “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position.  And if he was a woman, he would not be in this position.  He happens to be very lucky to be who he is.  And the country is caught up in the concept.”  Ferraro also accused the “sexist media” of attacking Clinton too much.

Now, here’s my thoughts on her comments.  Were they out of line?  Yes.  Were they partially correct?  Yes, but because of different reasons than what were behind her comments.  I think that originally (this means back before Iowa), Obama’s race helped him in the media (just like the media helped McCain in New Hampshire once he became the leader in ONE poll.  The media jumped and said – “OH MY GOSH!  HE’S BACK IN IT!!!!!”  And that’s what got him back in the race.  Without the media pouncing on a single poll, he never would’ve become the nominee.  Without the media jumping on Huckabee for doing so well in the debates, he never would’ve won Iowa or even been a contender in South Carolina.).  The point is – the media helps everybody (normally – Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, and Alan Keyes would be exceptions), and it was Obama’s race and charisma that got the media’s attention.

So, was it his race that got him this far?  Partially, but if he were white, it would have been some other quality.  And I would say that his charisma has helped him out MUCH more than his race ever could.

OK, so Ferraro, in response to a lot of  media attention on her, told the Daily Breeze, “Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says, ‘Let’s address reality and the problems we’re facing in this world,’ you’re accused of being racist, so you have to shut up.  Racism works in two different directions.  I really think they’re attacking me because I’m white.  How’s that?”

She also told  FOX News, “I got up and the question was asked, ‘Why do you think Barack Obama is in the place he is today’ as the party’s delegate front-runner?  I said in large measure, because he is black.  I said, Let me also say in 1984 — and if I have said it once, I have said it 20, 60, 100 times — in 1984, if my name was Gerard Ferraro instead of Geraldine Ferraro, I would never have been the nominee for vice president.”

David Axelrod, the top strategist for the Obama campaign, said that Clinton should sever any ties that she has with Ferraro, saying, “When you wink and nod at offensive statements, you’re really sending a signal to your supporters that anything goes.”  He said that Ferraro’s comment, plus Clinton’s “own inexplicable unwillingness” to deny that Obama is a Muslim, was part of “an insidious pattern that needs to be addressed.”

Senator Obama said that Ferraro’s statements were “patently absurd.”

He told the Allentown Morning Call that “I don’t think Geraldine Ferraro’s comments have any place in our politics or in the Democratic Party.  They are divisive.  I think anybody who understands the history of this country knows they are patently absurd.  And I would expect that the same way those comments don’t have a place in my campaign, they shouldn’t have a place in Sen. Clinton’s, either.

Now, I find this kinda funny.  Axelrod wants Clinton to immediately disassociate from Ferraro, but it took Obama how many years to disassociate from his pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright?

Senator Clinton issued a statement to the Associated Press saying that “It is regrettable that any of our supporters on both sides, because we’ve both had that experience, say things that kind of veer off into the personal.  We ought to keep this on the issues.  There are differences between us.  There are differences between our approaches on health care, on energy, on our experience, on our results that we’ve produced for people.  That’s what this campaign should be about.”

Senator Obama later said, “I think that her comments were … ridiculous. … I think they were wrong-headed.  I think they are not borne out by our history or by the facts.  The notion that it is a great advantage to me, an African-American named Barack Obama, in pursuit of the presidency I think is not a view that has been commonly shared by the general public.  Divisions of race, gender, of region are precisely what has inhibited us from moving effectively forward to solve big problems like health care, energy, the war on terror.

On Wednesday, Ferraro sent her letter of resignation to Senator Clinton, saying, “I am stepping down from your finance committee so I can speak for myself and you can continue to speak for yourself about what is at stake in this campaign.  The Obama campaign is attacking me to hurt you.  I won’t let that happen.”

She then told CNN that the Clinton campaign did not ask her to resign and that her and Clinton are still on good terms.  She said that she was “absolutely not” sorry for what she said, and that “I am who I am and I will continue to speak up.”  She went on to criticize Obama and his campaign for attempting to keep her from exercising her First Amendment rights.

So, to summarize, I think that Ferraro was out of line (but what she said was partially true), but there is a HUGE double standard in the fact that Ferraro was so criticized by the Obama campaign who has up until recently ignored Reverend Wright’s comments.

I think both candidates need to put this behind them, or the infighting is going to tear down their party more (big shame).

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! ::


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 358 other followers

%d bloggers like this: