URLs du Jour

2021-11-23

  • The lies are pretty blatant. In case you missed it, NHJournal has the story: Kuster, Pappas Back Biden 'Build Back' Plan Adding Billions in Debt, Benefits for Illegals.

    U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas says the Biden’ Build Back Better” plan he voted for last Friday “is fully paid for and will reduce the deficit by $112 billion.”

    Rep. Annie Kuster also says the bill “is fully paid for” by “making super-wealthy corporations and the top one percent pay their fair share.”

    But nearly every economic review of the legislation, including the Congressional Budget Office analysis they both claim to rely on, says the bill will add billions in new debt. And the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) projects the actual cost of the bill is closer to $5 trillion.

    Let's not forget the "fair share" lie: The decrease of the state and local taxes (SALT) cap benefits (mostly) the rich in (mostly) NY, CA, NJ, and IL.


  • And (going out on a limb here) so is Pun Salad. Jacob Sullum provides a First Amendment refresher course: The New York Times Is Protected by Freedom of the Press. So Is James O'Keefe. He explores the NYT's efforts to distinguish what it does from what O'Keefe's "Project Veritas" does.

    As UCLA law professor and First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh has shown, the idea that freedom of the press is a privilege enjoyed only by bona fide journalists, however that category is defined, is ahistorical and fundamentally mistaken. It is clear from the historical record that "freedom of the press" refers to a technology of mass communication, not to a particular profession.

    In a 2012 University of Pennsylvania Law Review article, Volokh carefully considered how freedom of the press was understood when the Constitution was written, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when the 14th Amendment (which extended First Amendment limits to the states) was ratified, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and in Supreme Court decisions since the 1930s. The evidence clearly shows that the provision protects anyone who uses the printed word—and, by extension, media such as TV, radio, and the internet—to communicate with the public.

    The Times is nevertheless obsessed with policing the line between real journalism (what it does) and fake journalism (what Project Veritas does). "Project Veritas has long occupied a gray area between investigative journalism and political spying," Times reporters Adam Goldman and  say in the story that prompted Wood's order. The organization's "sting operations," they explain, "typically diverge from standard journalistic practice by employing people who mask their real identities or create fake ones to infiltrate target organizations."

    I hope we don't have to add another couplet to that Martin Niemöller poem:

    Then they came for Project Veritas and James O'Keefe, and I did not speak out—
    Because screw those guys.


  • In the same vein… Charles Glasser writes a long article (surprisingly long for Instapundit). As the Blogfather saith: read the whole thing. But here's the bottom line:

    If corporate media wants to survive into the next administration — and the ones after that — they will have to step up to the plate and pressure the Biden Administration to rethink this new effort at “disqualifying” outlets because of either their views, or their investigative techniques when properly executed. American government simply does not have the right to “license” or “define” journalism. In Turkey, CNN famously avoided broadcasting images of ongoing anti-Erdogan demonstrations and instead broadcast a documentary about penguins. Penguins.

    Perhaps major media, who have already cut their investigative reporting to the bone, are planning as we speak on making exclusive deals with the San Diego Zoo. Because footage of penguins may be all that news outlets are allowed to publish.

    "Indeed."


  • Attempts to rewrite history fail… thanks to David Harsanyi: Al Gore Wasn't 'A Man' about Losing

    Federal senior district judge Reggie Walton contends that Al Gore, unlike Donald Trump, was “a man” and “walked away” from the 2000 presidential election after losing. That’s not how I remember it. I remember Gore setting a destructive precedent, attacking the integrity of the system and then dragging the country through an unnecessarily divisive legal battle. Gore “walked away” only after the Supreme Court deprived him of any other legal path to try to claim Florida.

    Like Trump and Hillary Clinton, Gore has never, as far as I can tell, definitively accepted his loss. The well-worn myth that the 2000 election was “stolen” from Gore is, in fact, still quite popular among conspiracy theorists on the left. When confronted with his past comments on the topic, Terry McAuliffe (who thought the 2004 election also was stolen) says that he wished “the United States Supreme Court had let them finish counting the votes” in 2000.

    “They” did finish counting the votes. Bush won, and then Gore demanded selective recounts in the most heavily Democratic counties — without offering any genuine cause for the recount other than its being close. Democrats soon settled on the “hanging or dimpled chad” hysteria, and the media went about uncovering confused voters who made contentions that could never be verified. Gore’s lawyer Mark Herron also instructed Democratic recount observers to challenge Republican-heavy military overseas absentee ballots. (Democrats would later pretend this memo was overblown. But Ron Klain, the Gore campaign’s general counsel, led the charge in trying to exclude military votes. “The idea that people were going to vote after the election and have those votes count,” he said, “that’s a pretty irregular idea.”)

    Ah, yes, I remember it well. Dubya wasn't the greatest president, but he was significantly better than Gore would have been.


  • Also laughter. Kyle Smith writes wisely at the NYPost: Thanksgiving is a holiday dedicated to gratitude and tolerance — so the woke have their knives out for it,

    You there, fellow American! Were you under the impression that Thanksgiving is the uniquely American holiday that celebrates how English settlers and Native Americans peacefully crossed linguistic, cultural and racial barriers to share a meal together and create a model for gratitude and tolerance that would be the envy of the world?

    Wrong! says Woke America. Thanksgiving is about murder, plunder and hate. Invite your relatives over to spread love and gravy? No, if you really want to honor the spirit of Thanksgiving, you should whip yourself with barbed wire all day.

    In a Nov. 20 MSNBC segment, “The Thanksgiving history you’ve never heard,” Gyasi Ross screams at his audience in a tone of voice suggesting an Oberlin sophomore from the Militant Vegans’ Brigade: “The truth is that pilgrims did not bring turkey, sweet potato pie or cranberries to Thanksgiving. They could not. They were broke! They were broken! Their hands were out! They were begging! They brought nothing of value. But they got fed! They got schooled!

    “Instead of bringing stuffing and biscuits, those settlers brought genocide and violence. That genocide and violence is still on the menu! And state sponsored violence against Native and black Americans is commonplace!”

    One of the things I'm thankful for: Kyle Smith watching MSNBC so I don't have to. I'm pretty sure I'd have an aneurysm.