Archive for the ‘Media Bias’ Category

The St. Cloud Times Editorial Board’s latest editorial could’ve been written by Moms Demand Action. The sad thing is that the Times is just as uninformed now as it was a year ago.

For instance, their chief recommendation is “Improving background checks. There are a variety of proposals in Congress that are reasonable. A good starting point is the long-proposed plan to require background checks for all gun purchases online and at gun shows. Unfortunately, the Senate, the day after the San Bernardino shootings, rejected this proposal 50-48. It was the second failure of the measure. It also rejected 55-45 a proposal to prevent people on the terrorist watch list from being able to legally buy guns.”

First, the Times should read the existing laws. Sean Davis, the founder of The Federalist, did. Then he wrote this post demolishing the myths that the Times still perpetuates:

1) The ‘Gun Show Loophole’ Allows Anyone, Even Criminals, To Get Guns

In reality, the so-called “gun show loophole” is a myth. It does not exist. There is no loophole in federal law that specifically exempts gun show transactions from any other laws normally applied to gun sales. Not one.

If you purchase a firearm from a federal firearms licensee (FFL) regardless of the location of the transaction — a gun store, a gun show, a gun dealer’s car trunk, etc. — that FFL must confirm that you are legally allowed to purchase that gun. That means the FFL must either run a background check on you via the federal NICS database, or confirm that you have passed a background check by examining your state-issued concealed carry permit or your government-issued purchase permit. There are zero exceptions to this federal requirement.

If an individual purchases a gun across state lines, from an individual or FFL which resides in a different state than the buyer, the buyer must undergo a background check, and the sale must be processed by an FFL in the buyer’s home state.

Here’s a pointed question for the TEB (Times Editorial Board): Do we need multiple federal laws covering the same situation? Here’s another question for the TEB: Might it not be better if we just enforced the laws that already address these situations?

Further, I wrote this article to highlight the fact that the federal government failed to do what it’s supposed to do. It won’t do any good to write new laws if the federal government won’t consistently and efficiently enforce the laws on the books.

To be fair, the TEB did its liberal duty. It did what it’s expected to do. Unfortunately, according to chapter 1, verse 1 of the progressives’ gospel is to disseminate untruths frequently and consistently.

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The St. Cloud Times is on a roll editorial-wise. Last week, they published this hate-filled editorial that ended with a church getting vandalized, thanks in large part, I suspect, to the Times editorial, which did everything except call the church a host for bigotry. A week later and the Times Editorial Board is at it again, this time telling Gov. Dayton to play politics rather than correcting the DFL’s sabotaging of a bonding bill that would’ve fixed the most dangerous stretch of highway in Minnesota.

Apparently, the St. Cloud Times doesn’t care that motorists will be put at risk because DFL senators put a higher priority of funding the Southwest Light Rail project than they put on fixing the 38-mile stretch of Highway 12 between Wayzata and Cokato. What a heartless bunch the Times Editorial Board is. Of course, they don’t put it that way. Instead, they insist that they’re recommending no special session because politicians need to be taught a lesson for not getting their work done on time.

There is no budget shortfall. The operation of state government programming and services is not contingent on legislation being drafted and approved. And there certainly is no natural disaster, no unemployment benefits nor even war bonuses for veterans (see Korea, 1958) that require legislators to reconvene in St. Paul this year.

So don’t convene a special session. Make the best decisions you can about the legislation sent to your desk and be done with it.

Technically, the Times is accurate. Still, the Times is blind as a bat. There is an emergency that the DFL didn’t address. The DFL Senate insisted that the House approve funding for the controversial Southwest Light Rail project be included in the bonding bill. By doing that with minutes left in the session, the DFL Senate killed the bonding bill and, with it, funding to fix Highway 12.

To the Times editors, I’ll just say this: your editorial is shameful. You didn’t think things through. Either that or you just don’t care about public safety. Either that or you just aren’t that bright to begin with.

Finally, before publishing your next editorial, think these things through. It’s embarrassing to read an editorial that’s this filled with depravity.

The Times’ latest editorial reads more like DFL chanting points than an editorial that required original thought. Even the commenters noticed the Times’ dishonesty.

What they noticed is that the Times said “As the final hours of the session ticked away, the House inserted into the omnibus tax bill a measure that gives about $32 million in tax breaks to tobacco companies. It does so largely by stopping an automatic annual increase in the state’s tax on packs of cigarettes.”

One of the commenters got it right when he said “Nothing any legislative body does should be put on autopilot — taxes or spending. Every increase should be a deliberate and separate decision by lawmakers. They need to be individually accountable for their votes (yes or no) on every increase. They should not be able to dodge responsibility because a change in an economic index triggered an automatic increase. Vote for a cigarette tax increase in the next session — and the session after than and …. . Just have the guts to accept responsibility.”

The DFL has been preaching that BS for over a week. The DFL has insisted that the GOP tax bill provides a tax break for tobacco companies:

“It is inconceivable to me that we would reward cigarette producers given what we know about their proclivity to entice young people to use their products,” Rep. Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, wrote in a letter to Dayton. “There are countless better purposes in Minnesota for tax dollars, purposes that will build our future.”

Rep. Murphy wouldn’t know intelligent public policy if it bit her in the backside. Tax increases on autopilot are terrible policy because it’s multiple tax increases with a single vote.

Anne Mason, a spokeswoman for ClearWay Minnesota, a nonprofit group that lobbies for reducing tobacco use, said the issue is about tobacco. The group has produced surveys showing that Minnesota’s rising tobacco costs have motivated people to quit or to not start smoking, particularly the young. “The benefit we’ve seen in the yearly increases is in keeping tobacco prices high relative to inflation,” Mason said. “We would expect that to dull over time if we don’t have the periodic increases.”

If it’s such a benefit, the ClearWay shouldn’t have any difficulty persuading the legislature into passing their tax increases. At minimum, if the cigarette tax increases are as popular as ClearWay insists, they shouldn’t have trouble defeating legislators that vote against ClearWay’s agenda.

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It’s time that the St. Cloud Times put more thought into their Our View editorials. This one is particularly annoying. Their chief complaint is that things don’t get done until there’s a deadline. Now that’s a shocker. Both parties hold to their positions until the last minute. The DFL does it because they’re rigid ideologues that want things their way. Principled conservatives, not to be confused with Republicans, stick to their guns because they’ve thought things through and believe that their ideas work.

The Times might as well have just used Paul Thissen’s talking points in writing the opening paragraphs of the editorial. Those paragraphs state “With three days left in the 2016 legislative session, anything can happen. Of course, Minnesotans would not know about it because it probably would take place behind closed doors.

That introduction in itself highlights one of the biggest frustrations rank-and-file Minnesotans have about the 2016 session. Just like so many other recent sessions, 2016 is coming to a conclusion with virtually no way for voters to see what’s going into final agreements worth potentially billions of tax dollars.”

When government is this intrusive, it’s guaranteed that there will be lots of lobbyists looking for a slice of the government pie. Rather than whining about last minute negotiations, the Times should be complaining that government is too intrusive, too expensive and too larded up with fat to effectively serve the people.

Editorials like this give the DFL the cover to keep doing what they’re doing. Simply put, they know that a ‘throw the bums out’ editorial, which this is, plays to their advantage because they’re the out party in the House.

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt, DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and perhaps a handful of other key legislators are holding “closed door” negotiations as they try to bridge gaps involving transportation funding, the $900 million state surplus and a statewide bonding bill. These leaders emerge from their meetings and say virtually nothing that helps voters learn anything useful. Then it’s rinse and repeat until a secret deal is reached.

While the Times’ editorial whines about secrecy, the Times says nothing about the fact that the DFL transportation bill sticks people with a major tax increase. Why don’t they speak out against something substantive rather than whining about process? Isn’t the goal to pass legislation that improves society?

Based on the Times’ editorial, their goal seems to be to whine without providing substantive solutions.

It isn’t surprising that Sarah Palin predicted that Speaker Ryan would get “Cantored” in Wisconsin’s August primary. I wrote this article to state my opinion that Mrs. Palin has started believing her press clippings a bit too much.

Palin’s track record isn’t exactly filled with success. That’s mostly because she doesn’t do her research and her off-the-cuff statements are positively loony. This past Sunday, Mrs. Palin said that she’d do whatever she could to help Paul Nehlen, the sacrificial lamb that’s about to get trounced. After this tweet, though, I think Ryan can focus his time on important things rather than waste a split second on this annoying little gnat. Check out what Nehlen tweeted:

Nehlen all but officially ended his campaign with that tweet. That he thinks people will feel scandalized that a Catholic sent his kids to a Catholic school tell voters that he’s either stupid or that he’s incredibly desperate. I’m betting it’s the latter.

The truth is that Nehlen should consider it a moral victory if he doesn’t lose by 60 points. Contrary to Mrs. Palin’s prediction, this isn’t a close race. It never was going to be. The Washington Free Beacon’s article highlights what Nehlen was tweeting about:

Breitbart News reached out to the school as a perspective [sic] applicant and obtained a copy of the school’s 2015-2016 registration papers and tuition contract. The document inquires specifically into the applicant’s religious background; in particular, it asks whether the applicant is a parishioner at the associated Catholic parish. The school recruits through the parish by offering a tuition discount to those who have been baptized and are members of the parish.

Then there’s this astonishing admission:

As the registration forms explain, the school exists for the express purpose of helping to foster Catholic children.

Trumpbart has really outdone themselves with this one. If Andrew were alive today, he wouldn’t let his websites be used like this. Period. Finally, there’s this:

While Muslim students could presumably get into Ryan’s school, the school’s reliance on the parish as a recruiting center and the above-cost tuition fees would, by definition, function as a mechanism for screening them out.

There’s no cheap shot that Trumpbart won’t use against their enemies.

When this election is over, what will be the fallout from news consumers on Fox News? Which personalities and hosts will be looking for new jobs? Will Megyn Kelly jump ship for a network job or a show on CNN? One thing that likely won’t change is that Bill O’Reilly will still have his show. His “I’m just a simple man” schtick still resonates with his viewer, most of whom seem to have the intelligence of eighth graders.

O’Reilly’s talking point Wednesday night is a shining example of O’Reilly’s ignorance:

O’Reilly’s statements aren’t the statements of a well-educated man. They’re the statements of a man who hasn’t studied reality. Let’s compare O’Reilly’s statements with Karl Rove’s statements. (I’m not a fan of Rove but he’s smarter about this stuff than O’Reilly.)

The most important information from Rove’s WSJ article is when he writes “Mr. Trump’s sweeping victory was impressive. But, as Henry Olsen of the Ethics and Public Policy Center pointed out at National Review, it was also expected.” I’d quibble that it wasn’t totally expected. Trump’s victory exceeded expectations. Still, Trump is trailing the OTT (Other Than Trump) delegates.

That didn’t matter to O’Reilly, who said “Simply put, Trump is so far ahead that Ted Cruz and John Kasich or any other Republican phantom simply does not have the constituency to take the nomination away from Trump. Any back room dealings will be quickly exposed and will doom the Republican Party.”

That’s something only an idiot who hasn’t studied the convention would say. First, if Trump doesn’t win on the first ballot, he’ll face a major uprising from delegates in the Bible Belt states, the Rust Belt states and the Midwest. That’s because Trump’s gotten spineless lately. Trump wants to change the GOP platform on abortion. What’s worse is that Trump “thinks transgendered people should be able to use whatever restroom they’d like to use.”

Changing the GOP platform on abortion requires an uphill fight that Trump wouldn’t win. With the delegates attending the convention, Trump’s position on the bathroom issue resembles a suicide mission. While many northeastern delegates would continue faithfully supporting Trump, he’d be the person losing his constituency attending the convention.

O’Reilly’s Talking Points is wrong because he didn’t pay attention to the details. That’s because he’s an impatient, big-picture guy. Compare that with Rove’s column:

According to the National Association of Secretaries of State, by the time Republicans gather in Cleveland on July 18, the deadline for Mr. Trump to be listed on the ballot as an independent will already have passed in 12 states with a combined 166 Electoral College votes.

There’s those pesky little details inserting themselves into the conversation again. By the time the convention ends, it would be clear that a Trump third party run was his attempt to hand the presidency to Hillary Clinton.

Some of Fox News’ anchors haven’t indulged in drinking the Trump Kool-Aid. Unfortunately for them, not enough of them have refrained from drinking that toxic drink.

Thus far, politicians endorsing Donald Trump haven’t paid a price. It isn’t a stretch to think it might hurt them in the future. Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-NE), is a rising star in the Republican Party. He’s a freshman who isn’t afraid to criticize Mr. Trump or other politicians.

This weekend, Sen. Sasse criticized Trump, saying “This is sad and everyone who has a sister or wife or daughter or mom should reconsider supporting this tiny little man.” Then Sen. Sasse finished the criticism of Trump, saying “@RealDonaldTrump loves bullying women on Twitter. But he’d never have the guts to talk like this abt a guy’s wife to his face. #fakeToughGuy”

Trump’s disgusting statements about women (think Megyn Kelly and Carly Fiorina) and his denying his campaign team’s physical mishandling of women (think Michelle Fields) are creating a problem that there isn’t a solution to.

Trump can’t call women ugly or accuse them of mistreating him because they’re menstruating or have his campaign manager physically manhandle a reporter without creating a general election problem that he can’t dig himself out from.

Some of the things Trump’s said are fixable. Frequently insulting women isn’t fixable. Just because Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham support Mr. Trump doesn’t mean women will support him in the general election. They won’t. Polls consistently show Trump with a 25-30 point favorability gap with women. That can’t be swept aside by saying that you “cherish women.”

Here are Sen. Sasse’s tweets:

Thanks to conservatives with character, Republicans that endorse Donald Trump will have some explaining to do in the years to come. They’ll have to explain why they supported a man “devoid of honor, integrity or manliness.” When Trump loses, whether at the convention or in the general election, people will get criticized for supporting him without questioning Trump’s lack of integrity.

When that day of reckoning comes, it won’t be a good day for Fox News, Breitbart hacks or Sean Hannity.

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Prior to Super Tuesday’s primaries and caucuses, Donald Trump’s ceiling of support seemed to be in the 35%-36% range. He won handily in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. It’s particularly noteworthy that those 3 states were open states where Democrats were allowed to cause mischief or where independents could vote.

Yesterday’s events were closed events, with only Republicans voting. This table shows yesterday’s results:

Combining the 4 events together, Sen. Cruz got 41% of the votes cast. Meanwhile, Trump got 33.3% of the vote.

I haven’t hidden my disgust with Trump. If I were king for a day, I’d banish him to Gitmo and throw away the key to his cell. I’ve got great company in not respecting Trump. Steve Hayes’ article lowers the boom on Trump, especially this part:

The worst of these moments may have come when Trump mocked the disability of a journalist who had criticized him. At a rally in Sarasota last November, Trump was discussing Serge Kovaleski, a reporter for the New York Times. “The poor guy, you’ve got to see this guy,” Trump said, before flailing in a manner that resembled a palsy tremor. Kovaleski suffers from arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that affects the movement and positioning of his joints.

When Trump was criticized, he said he couldn’t have been mocking the reporter because he was unaware of Kovaleski’s condition. That wasn’t true. Kovaleski had interviewed Trump a dozen times and said they had interacted on “a first-name basis for years.” Trump then accused Kovaleski of “using his disability to grandstand.”

This came up last Friday, as I drove my 8-year-old son to see the Washington Capitals play. I’ll be gone on his birthday, covering presidential primaries, so this was an early present.

My son and his older sister have followed the campaign, as much as kids their age do, and they’re aware that I’ve traded barbs with Trump. So we sometimes talk about the candidates and their attributes and faults, and we’d previously talked about Trump’s penchant for insulting people. On our drive down, my son told me that some of the kids in his class like Trump because “he has the most points,” and he asked me again why I don’t like the Republican frontrunner.

I reminded him about the McCain and Fiorina stories and then we spent a moment talking about Kovaleski. I described his condition and showed him how physically limiting it would be. Then he asked a simple question:

“Why would anyone make fun of him?”

Why indeed?

I’d flip this around a bit. I’d ask what qualities or policies would convince me to vote for Mr. Trump. In terms of national security policy or taxes, regulations, federalism, the Constitution and the rule of law, I find Mr. Trump utterly deficient. Listening to Trump answer a question on national security is torture. At times, he’s said that he’d “bomb the s— out of ISIS.” At other times, he’s said he’d talk Putin into taking out ISIS. Bombing the s— out of ISIS sounds great but that’s just part of the threat ISIS poses. That does nothing to stop ISIS from radicalizing Muslims in Europe or the United States. Apparently, Trump hasn’t figured that out, mostly because he doesn’t even have an elemental understanding of foreign policy.

On national security, Trump says he’ll be strong and frequently pronounces himself “militaristic.” But he doesn’t seem to have even a newspaper reader’s familiarity with the pressing issues of the day. He was nonplussed by a reference to the “nuclear triad”; he confused Iran’s Quds Force and the Kurds; he didn’t know the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah. The ignorance would be less worrisome if his instincts weren’t terrifying. He’s praised authoritarians for their strength, whether Vladimir Putin for killing journalists and political opponents or the Chinese government for the massacre it perpetrated in Tiananmen Square. To the extent he articulates policies, he seems to be an odd mix of third-world despot and naïve pacifist.

Like Steve Hayes, I’m a proud member of the #NeverTrump movement. While pundits like Sean Hannity and Andrea Tantaros talk about Trump like he’s a conservative god, I won’t. That’s because I care more about the principles that make conservatism and capitalism the most powerful forces for positive change.

Why anyone would vote for a disgusting, immoral liberal like Donald Trump is mind-boggling. Personally, I won’t.

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During his stump speeches and during debates, Donald Trump frequently criticizes politicians who are “all talk and no action.” The media, especially shills like Joe Scarborough, Sean Hannity, Andrea Tantaros and Eric Bolling, never question Trump on that statement. If there’s anyone who is all talk and no action, it’s Mr. Trump. What’s worse is that he threatens lawsuits against newspapers, reporters and presidential candidates in his attempt to intimidate them into silence.

Wednesday, Mr. Trump made the mistake of threatening to sue the Cruz campaign. I wrote this post to highlight the incompetence of Mr. Trump’s attorney and Sen. Cruz’s willingness to stand up to Mr. Trump. Jeffrey Goldman, Trump’s attorney, sent a cease and desist letter to Sen. Cruz’s campaign. Not only didn’t Sen. Cruz refuse to cease and desist, Sen. Cruz held a press conference to literally tell Mr. Trump to bring it on, calling Trump’s lawsuit frivolous. In addition to that, Sen. Cruz’s attorneys replied to Mr. Trump, saying ”
As recently as Saturday, February 13, 2016 – four days ago at the Republican Debate sponsored by CBS – Mr. Trump said Planned Parenthood “does do wonderful things.” Planned Parenthood is the leading abortion provider in the country. Being pro-life and supporting Planned Parenthood are incompatible. Moreover, Mr. Trump has recently donated political contributions to many pro-choice candidates and officeholders, including Chuck Schumer, Andrew Cuomo, Anthony Weiner, and Rahm Emanuel. Do you, on behalf of your client, deny that these contributions were used to help elect pro-choice candidates to office? Indeed, before the 2008 election cycle, Mr. Trump donated $303,600 to Democrats, many of whom are pro-abortion. Mr. Trump also donated to the New York State Democratic Party, whose platform is pro-choice, and he has donated to pro-choice candidates as recently as 2014. Suffice it to say, there is ample evidence casting grave doubt about the truthfulness of Mr. Trump’s campaign claims that he is truly pro-life.”

Since then, Sen. Cruz has taunted Mr. Trump, daring Mr. Trump to file his lawsuit. Mr. Trump is caught between a difficult position. If he files the lawsuit, Sen. Cruz has threatened to personally depose Mr. Trump. That opens all kinds of legal difficulties for Mr. Trump. It’s one thing for Trump to lie about being pro-life on the campaign trail. It’s another to say that during a deposition:

Trump isn’t pro-life in any meaningful way. He’s recently contributed tens of thousands of dollars to staunchly pro-abortion candidates like Chuck Schumer, Andrew Cuomo, Anthony Weiner and Rahm Emanuel. I’ve yet to find a pro-life activist who wouldn’t instantly reject contributing to any of those politicians. It’s impossible to find a pro-life activist who would contribute to all of these pro-abortion dirt bags.

Next, Trump’s defense of Planned Parenthood is that Katrina Pierson, his dishonest spokesperson, said that “Mr. Trump has said that Planned Parenthood does do cervical cancer screenings, and that is a good thing when you are a poor, single mom in a neighborhood that doesn’t have access to these other clinics.” That doesn’t even rise to the level of flimsy. There were 669 Planned Parenthood clinics across the nation in 2013. That number was shrinking. The number of cancer screenings provided by Planned Parenthood was dropping, too.

By comparison, there were 9,059 Federally Qualified Health Centers, aka FQHCs, in the United States. The number of FQHCs is increasing. I’d love hearing Ms. Pierson prove that there’s a Planned Parenthood clinic that provides cancer screenings in a city where there isn’t an FQHC that can do those same cancer screenings.

Simply put, Mr. Trump has shown tendencies that make First Amendment activists worry. He’s shown a willingness to use intimidation tactics to silence his critics. Now that someone has called his bluff, it’ll be interesting to see if Trump will do something or just talk big.

Here’s my prediction: if Mr. Trump doesn’t sue Sen. Cruz, we’ll know that he’s all talk and no action. We’ll have proof that he’s a whiny punk who doesn’t like being held accountable. Mr. Trump is right. DC has too many politicians who are all talk and no action.

We don’t need to nominate another all talk and no action politician to be the GOP presidential candidate.

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Reuters’ debate analysis sounds either like a paid Trump ad or it was written by an alien from another solar system. Their article starts by saying “Even in boycotting a debate with his Republican rivals, front-runner Donald Trump managed to upstage the event on Thursday with a typical dramatic flourish.”

My initial response is “Seriously”? Wow. It gets worse from there, with Reuters’ team of reporters throwing accuracy to the wind when they wrote “Instead of attending a seventh debate, the former reality TV star held a competing event across town that he said raised $6 million for U.S. military veterans. In doing so, he cast a shadow over his rivals, who frequently tossed barbs his way.”

I watched the debate. The candidates didn’t frequently toss barbs his direction. There were a half dozen mentions of him. That’s hardly frequent in a 2-hour debate. The accurate adjective in this instance is sparse, not frequent.

Further, Trump’s absence made for the best, most substantive debate of the cycle. Sen. Cruz summed it up best when responding to Megyn Kelly’s question about the “elephant that’s not in the room” when he said “Let me say, I’m a maniac, and everyone on this stage is stupid, fat and ugly, and Ben, you’re a terrible surgeon. Now that we’ve gotten the Donald Trump portion out of the way,” he finished to laughter.”

Otherwise, Mr. Trump was an afterthought at best. This statement is just wrong:

Senator Ted Cruz from Texas and Senator Marco Rubio from Florida, the two top challengers to Trump in Iowa, engaged in squabbles over immigration and national security and did not appear to threaten Trump’s lead. He holds the edge over Cruz in polls of Iowa Republicans.

The polls actually show Trump and Cruz virtually tied. The Monmouth University poll that shows Trump with a 7-point lead is based on a turnout model that’s more fantasy than scientific. Further, let’s stipulate that Trump’s most loyal supporters aren’t going anywhere. They simply aren’t. The latest Quinnipiac poll, though, shows 39% of Republican caucusgoers might still change their minds. They aren’t likely to break in Trump’s direction.

Reuters needs to discipline these reporters because their reporting is woefully inaccurate.