A TALE OF TWO GDPs • Summer 2008, GDP jumps 1.9 percent: “Disappointing.” Summer 2009, GDP shrinks 1 percent: “Glimmer of hope.”
BEST CORRECTION EVER? • In 1969, New York Times ran correction of 1920 editorial that suggested rocket travel wouldn’t work in a vacuum.
The American Conservative Union and The Hill newspaper should fire David Keene — quickly.
The ACU’s executive veep, Dennis Whitfield, should go, too.
According to Politico, the two have been caught red-handed in a pay-for-play scheme asking FedEx for more than $2 million in exchange for the ACU’s support in the shipping company’s fight with UPS and labor unions.
In a letter from the ACU to FedEx, Whitfield offers a long list of services the organization had to offer. The list clearly shows that the ACU is for sale. What’s more disturbing, after FedEx declined, Keene and the ACU came out in favor of UPS’s position.
Whitfield calls the Politico story “false,” but note that he never denies writing the letter to FedEx that promised that Keene would write supportive columns for FedEx’s position if they paid the ACU more than $2 million. That’s not “receiv[ing] support from individuals and organizations,” that’s selling a service. It certainly left FedEx with the impression that they could buy Keene’s public support, and when he acted (either as an individual or as head of the ACU) to oppose their position after FedEx declined to cough up $2 million, it looks a lot like Keene decided to exact a little revenge for FedEx’s decision.
It certainly doesn’t bode well for the ACU, which sponsors CPAC, to be for sale. How can we trust any of their positions? (As it turns out, this isn’t the first time Keene’s been caught selling his position.)
Most disturbing is this item on the list of services the ACU had to offer:
Producing op-eds and articles written by ACU’s Chairman David Keene and / or other members of the ACU’s Board of Directors. (Note that Mr. Keene writes a weekly column that appears in The Hill.)
The Hill is a respectable publication and, as such, should stop running Keene’s column immediately. In fact, any publication should question whether to run any pieces written by Keene or any other member of the ACU’s board.
I once fired a columnist after discovering he had lifted a few paragraphs from another source. He begged me to keep him on (apparently the whopping $30 we paid him each week was important), apologized for the error claiming he “didn’t know” what was acceptable.
But I couldn’t trust anything he wrote after that. Likewise, knowing Keene whored himself out to FedEx, we can’t trust any of his positions. We can’t really trust any position taken by the ACU now, either. Whitfield and Keene have to go to save what integrity the ACU has left.
And The Hill’s editor, Hugo Gurdon, should also drop Keene’s columns to preserve the integrity of his opinion pages. Space in The Hill is not Keene’s nor Whitfield’s to offer for $2 million.
Pay-for-play isn’t anything new, and many suspect it goes on all the time, involving organizations from across the political spectrum. But the ACU has been caught. The group should seriously consider replacing its entire board (they’re services were offered up, too) and its executive staff.
At the very least, it’s time for Whitfield and Keene to take one of those 3 million jobs the Obama stimulus has created.
THE POLITICS OF DRIVING • ‘In the ’80s, it was the politics of dancing. In the ’90s, the politics of caring. Today, in bailout nation, we have the politics of driving.’ — That’s a great lead … and an interesting story.
FIRST CITY TO LOSE ITS DAILY NEWSPAPER • Ann Arbor, Mich. The town’s only daily, The Ann Arbor News, will close in July. Sad.
For someone who so often is praised for his superior intellect, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman lays a big, fat moronic turd today.
His column, titled “The Big Hate,” is so full of generalizations, distortions and grossly flawed arguments that one has to wonder whether the Swedes will be asking for the Nobel back (though, considering they’ve also given one to Jimmy Carter, they may be OK with it). He begins thusly:
Back in April, there was a huge fuss over an internal report by the Department of Homeland Security warning that current conditions resemble those in the early 1990s — a time marked by an upsurge of right-wing extremism that culminated in the Oklahoma City bombing.
Conservatives were outraged. The chairman of the Republican National Committee denounced the report as an attempt to “segment out conservatives in this country who have a different philosophy or view from this administration” and label them as terrorists.
But with the murder of Dr. George Tiller by an anti-abortion fanatic, closely followed by a shooting by a white supremacist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the analysis looks prescient.
There is, however, one important thing that the D.H.S. report didn’t say: Today, as in the early years of the Clinton administration but to an even greater extent, right-wing extremism is being systematically fed by the conservative media and political establishment.
He then goes on to malign Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, John Voight, Mitch McConnell, The Washington Times and the Republican National Committee — suggesting in a fatuous assertion that all are to blame for the terror caused by “right-wing extremists.”
Krugman, a professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University, is conveniently oblivious to the fact that James Von Brunn, Wednesday’s shooter at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, was anything but “right-wing.” He hated the Republican Party, John McCain, both presidents with the last name Bush and touted socialism as the “future of the West.”
What’s more, FBI agents visited the offices of The Weekly Standard, telling staffers they had found the conservative magazine’s address among Von Brunn’s effects. According to Krugman, The Weekly Standard must be a bastion of liberalism in order to be targeted by such a “right-wing extremist.”
Krugman is following the template of the left during the 1990s — when bad things happen, blame conservatives in the media. Back then it was used in pursuit of reviving the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.” The argument rings just as hollow now as it did then.
He concludes his column like this:
… the analysts at Homeland Security fretted that things may turn out even worse than in the 1990s — that thanks, in part, to the election of an African-American president, “the threat posed by lone wolves and small terrorist cells is more pronounced than in past years.”
And that’s a threat to take seriously. Yes, the worst terrorist attack in our history was perpetrated by a foreign conspiracy. But the second worst, the Oklahoma City bombing, was perpetrated by an all-American lunatic. Politicians and media organizations wind up such people at their, and our, peril.
Krugman would have us believe that the “conservative media and political establishment” are responsible for the actions of Von Brunn and Scott Roeder, George Tiller’s shooter. According to Krugman’s senseless logic, conservatives are to blame for Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols and their bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995.
If that’s true, then whom does Krugman blame for the actions of Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, who shot William Long — who died — and Quinton Ezeagwula outside a Little Rock military recruiting office June 1? Should we condemn President Barack Obama for his efforts to make nice with the “Muslim world?” Or how about Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid? What of MSNBC?
Whom should we castigate for inciting unibomber Ted Kaczynski? What of the terrorist attacks of Bill Ayers and the Weathermen? Do we blame the rhetoric of “liberal media” like The New York Times and the Democratic National Committee?
Should we then assert that Krugman be blamed for suicide bombings in Jerusalem because he shares the honor of winning a Nobel Prize with Yasser Arafat — who received his own in 1994?
No. That would be absurd.
And so is Paul Krugman.
Glenn Beck unloads on Krugman
I’m the biggest Beck fan, but he layed into Krugman pretty good, bringing up points about the Earth Liberation Front and others.
2009 AP STYLEBOOK IS OUT • And the 56th edition of the “journalist’s Bible” includes … you guessed it .. Twitter.
I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON IN THE WORLD • Probably because it didn’t turn out to be Stephen Colbert. Or maybe, just maybe, Time’s readers are even more geekier than the average fair.
CAL THOMAS MARKS 25 YEARS • Columnist says on his silver anniversary with newsprint: “We used to talk to each other, now we just talk at each other. There are more ways to communicate, but fewer conversations. The result is everybody is talking but fewer people are listening.”
FACEBOOK: THE NETWORK FOR OLD LADIES • Users older than 35 double, women older than 55 flock to social networking site. Are they also being hit on by creepy old men or just replacing them?