Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Political Digest for June 15, 2011

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.

The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
Info about my book. All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans. Please forward and post where possible.

For those who want further information about the topics covered in this blog, I recommend the following sites. I will add to this as I find additional good sources.

Top Ten Countries for blog page views
According to the blogger stats section, my Old Jarhead blog had the following numbers of page views in the past week, from the top ten countries viewing it: US-3,449. UK-215. Russia-107. Iran-103. Australia-82. Germany-76. Netherlands-57. Ukraine-48. Canada-41. France-37. No word on number of views from the White House.

Is Pawlenty Plenty? By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Among the other announced Republican presidential candidates, former governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota talks the most sense and shows the most courage. When you tell people in a corn-producing state like Iowa that you want to cut back on Ethanol subsidies, that takes guts, because Iowa will also produce the first results in next year's primary campaign season. And first results, like other first impressions, carry a lot of weight. But somebody has got to talk sense about our dire economic problems-- and it is painfully clear that Barack Obama will not be that somebody. The fact that Pawlenty has put his neck on the line to do so is a big plus. Tim Pawlenty cites his track record to back up his statements. That includes reducing Ethanol subsidies when he was governor of Minnesota and cutting the growth of state government spending from just over 20 percent a year to under 2 percent a year. Governor Pawlenty fought Minnesota's transit unions over runaway pensions and hung tough during a long strike. "Today," he says, "we have a transit system that gives commuters a ride, without taking the taxpayers for a ride."

New Hampshire Republican debate: Winners and losers
Excerpt: The first major debate of the 2012 Republican presidential race is in the books, a two-hour affair where the seven candidates on stage avoided attacking one another and instead focused their rhetorical firepower on President Obama. We live-blogged the proceedings but also managed to come up with our initial read-out of the winners and losers from tonight’s proceedings. Our picks are below. Agree? Disagree? The comments section awaits. WINNERS Michele Bachmann: For viewers who had never heard of the Minnesota Congresswoman before tonight, she put on quite a show. For the first 45 minutes of the debate, Bachmann dominated the stage with quotable lines galore and an audience hanging on her every word. She faded somewhat in the middle of the debate — particularly with her confusing answer on whether she supports a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage — but rallied in the closing moments. What Bachmann proved tonight? She’s ready for primetime. (Debates can make or break a candidate. In 1972 I was given no chance before the incumbent Democrat senator agreed to debate me on a small cable station in the smallest city in the district. With few people watching, he got angrier and angrier. When I closed the debate with, “When you bring your problems to Senator Hall, you won’t have to bring your checkbook!,” he exploded. He called me a “snide, slimy young man,” on air and refused to shake hands. I could have kissed him—exactly what I was looking for. The press covered it, we demanded he apologize, all the cable stations re-ran the debate, with a lot of folks watching, and he refused further chances to debate. In November, at 6:30 am, the last town came in—and put me ahead by nine votes out of over 60,000 cast. ~Bob.)

High Speed Rail Subsidies In Iowa: Nothing For Something
Like Global warming, Multiculturalism and Racial Discrimination, er, excuse me “Affirmative Action”, High Speed Light Rail is part of the Liberal Confession of Faith. Results and Facts are of no interest, only Intentions matter. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Federal government is again offering money it does not have to entice a state (Iowa) to spend money that it does not have on something it does not need. The state of Iowa is being asked to provide funds to match federal funding for a so-called "high speed rail" line from Chicago to Iowa City. The new rail line would simply duplicate service that is already available. Luxury intercity bus service is provided between Iowa City and Chicago twice daily. The luxury buses are equipped with plugs for laptop computers and with free wireless high-speed internet service. Perhaps most surprisingly, the luxury buses make the trip faster than the so-called high speed rail line, at 3:50 hours. The trains would take more than an hour longer (5:00 hours). No one would be able to get to Chicago quicker than now. Only in America does anyone call a train that averages 45 miles per hour "high speed rail." The state would be required to provide $20 million in subsidies to buy trains and then more to operate the trains, making up the substantial difference between costs and passenger fares. This is despite a fare much higher than the bus fare, likely to be at least $50 (based upon current fares for similar distances). By contrast, the luxury bus service charges a fare of $18.00, and does not require a penny of taxpayer subsidy. Because the luxury bus is commercially viable (read "sustainable"), service can readily be added and funded by passengers. Adding rail service would require even more in subsidies from Iowa. The bus is also more environmentally friendly than the train.

Applying the "Yellow Pages" Test
Excerpt: The unprecedented fiscal challenges facing Pennsylvania call for new and innovative policy solutions. By applying the "Yellow Pages" test, governments of all sizes have been able to do more with fewer resources. The "Yellow Pages" test says that if a service can be found in the Yellow Pages of a phone book, government should consider buying it rather than using taxpayer dollars to hire and manage public employees, say the Reason Foundation and the Commonwealth Foundation. The Yellow Pages test helps government concentrate on delivering "inherently governmental" services -- those that should be performed by public employees, like public safety and judicial systems -- while contracting with businesses and nonprofit organizations for other services. Ending taxpayer-subsidized competition with private businesses also frees up resources for agencies to complete their mission and saves taxpayers money. Consider: Municipalities throughout Pennsylvania own a total of 49 golf courses. Numerous local governments operate fitness centers. The Dauphin County Authority owns the Hyatt Regency at the Pittsburgh airport. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources owns a luxury hotel at Bald Eagle State Park. And about 30 counties in Pennsylvania operate nursing homes. Getting government out of unnecessary services is not limited to auctioning off services and assets; privatization can also involve governments partnering with for-profit firms to deliver services or with nonprofit organizations or volunteers. Given the fiscal challenges facing their state and local governments, Pennsylvania policymakers need to use the current crisis as an opportunity to transform public service delivery and apply the Yellow Pages test to drive down the cost of government.

Obama’s focus: Romney, Pawlenty and Huntsman
Excerpt: Only three Republican candidates for president are listed on the wall of President Obama’s new campaign headquarters — Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman. Seven Republicans debated each other in New Hampshire on Monday night, but the handmade wall sign here in Chicago might give a better glimpse of the men who most worry Obama.

Marine undergoes knee replacement surgery after injured in Afghanistan
Excerpt: A Bardstown marine injured in an IED blast is one step closer to getting his dream back of walking and working on his farm. Matthew Ballard, 26, underwent a complete knee replacement. It was a surgery he says has given him his life back. Ballard said he is able to take step because of the help of Dr. Raymond Shea and Dr. Madhu Yakkanti with Shea Orthopedics at Jewish Hospital.

Suspect in professor’s killing is out of police’s reach across Mexican border
Excerpt: Jorge Landeros has taken to taunting the police from his new home in Mexico. The man accused of killing American University accounting professor Sue Marcum sent an e-mail to an El Paso detective recently to say that he wouldn’t come to the United States to answer questions. “Of course you are cordially invited to cross the same bridge, in the opposite direction, and meet me at Sanborn’s, a great cafe and restaurant here in Juarez, and we can talk shop all you want,” Landeros wrote. “It’s best if you come on a Sunday. We can have brunch. It will of course be my treat. Yours, Jorge.” It was that same brash charisma that drew Marcum to Landeros in the first place and now has marked him as a fugitive in an international murder case. (Taking him out be a nice, easy training mission for Special Ops guys. Wonder if it was a professor’s love of multiculturalism that really drew her to him. ~Bob.)

Sgt Reckless - Korean War Horse Hero
Great story. ~Bob.

The Week That Was: 2011-06-11 (June 11, 2011)
As always, many informative articles are in TWTW. The excerpt is from an overview of an article about the ongoing controversy over the EPA all but closing down the Keystone XL Pipeline over some very minor spills (since completely cleaned up) during the process of construction and testing. What do they think the “testing” is testing for? Ron P. Excerpt:  A major political and environmental fight remains over a second TransCanada pipeline, Keystone XL. This $7 Billion privately funded project is designed to carry about 900,000 barrels per day, following a different route, from the Alberta, Canada, tar sands to tie into the existing pipeline near the Kansas-Nebraska border, and then to continue to refineries in Texas. These refineries are among the few in the world that can process the heavy crude from Venezuela, which ships its crude oil to the US for refining. (…) Among those organizations insisting that they should influence this international decision by the State Department are the EPA, and many environmental groups, including, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). NRDC came into the national limelight with its very effective propaganda campaign in 1989 that falsely declared that Alar was a pesticide that caused cancer, causing great harm to apple growers. Alar is a chemical used for controlling fruit ripening and the cancer scare was as remote as the great cranberry cancer scare of the 1950s. What makes NRDC's involvement in pipeline issues informative is that President Obama appointed the current president of NRDC, Frances Beinecke, to the special commission investigating the BP Gulf Oil Spill and that his current nominee to head the US Department of Commerce, John Bryson, is a co-founder of NRDC.

Bachmann Announces President Run at Debate
Excerpt: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said Monday night during a debate of declared and potential Republican presidential contenders that she had filed the paperwork needed to enter the race. Bachmann, a favorite of the Tea Party movement, said she intended to make a formal announcement of her candidacy soon. She and other Republican White House hopefuls criticized President Obama's handling of the economy from the opening moments of the two-hour debate and pledged emphatically to repeal the administration's year-old health care law.

CAIR Official Hypes American "Islamophobia" on Iranian Television
Excerpt: The Iranian government is pursuing nuclear weapons, helping Syria brutally suppress anti-government uprisings and is "the most active" sponsor of terrorist groups throughout the world. And, of course, it considers the United States to be the Great Satan and a bitter enemy. Yet American Islamists seem to have no hesitancy taking to Iran's state-sponsored English-language media arm to bash America as inherently hostile toward Muslims. The latest to do so is Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) national spokesman Ibrahim Hooper, who appeared June 4 to argue anti-Muslim sentiment is raging in America. "It's really a disturbing situation where, primarily right-wing extremists are exploiting and promoting anti-Muslim sentiment for their own political gain," Hooper said. "And I think we're going to see more and more of it leading up to the 2012 elections." Last month, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney went on PressTV to blast American and NATO operations in Libya, actions that came at the Arab League's request.

Economic Study Shows EPA Regulations Increase Prices, Kill Jobs
So, you say they are working as planned, right? ~Bob. Excerpt: The study found that if EPA were to impose these new regulations, electricity prices would rise by a nationwide average of 12 percent by 2016 – and reduce employment by 1.4 million by 2020, killing four jobs for every one job created. The study found that electricity prices would rise from an average of $87 per MWh [megawatt-hour] to $92 in 2035. In some states, electricity prices would rise by more than 20 percent as the regulations took a heavier toll on these industrial-based states that have already seen high unemployment and poor job situations during the current recession. States such as Michigan, Illinois, and Kentucky would all see electricity prices rise by more than 20 percent in 2016 alone, followed by continued price increases as the regulations are fully phased in.

FCC Commissioner Talks of FCC's Governance of Internet's 'On/Off Ramps'
Excerpt: Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, an Obama appointee, told that the FCC does not want to regulate Internet content but it does want to regulate the Internet's “on/off ramps.” (What an interesting analogy! I’ve never yet seen an on or off ramp in my online adventures. How are they planning to define them, I wonder? Going with the analogy for a moment, how would you expect use the nearest Interstate or other limited-access highway, if you had no on or off ramps available to you? Control of the ways to put data on the net and take it off is exactly what we should be fighting against. This is called “censorship” when done by a government. It should be protected under the First Amendment, but who knows? Who do they hope to fool? Ron P. Of course. If you can't get on the highway, you can't go anywhere they don't want you to. Why not the on/off switches on our computers? ~Bob.

Obama Jokes at Jobs Council: ‘Shovel-Ready Was Not as Shovel-Ready as We Expected’
Try this one out on the guys down at the unemployment office--you kill them. ~Bob. Excerpt: President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness met today in Durham, NC at Cree Inc., a company that manufactures energy-efficient LED lighting. One of the Council’s recommendations to President Obama was to streamline the federal permit process for construction and infrastructure projects. It was explained to Obama that the permitting process can delay projects for “months to years … and in many cases even cause projects to be abandoned … I’m sure that when you implemented the Recovery Act your staff briefed you on many of these challenges.” At this point, Obama smiled and interjected, “Shovel-ready was not as … uh .. shovel-ready as we expected.” The Council, led by GE’s Jeffrey Immelt, erupted in laughter.

Obama's Economic Experiment Has Failed -- Time to Get Back to What Works
Excerpt: A flurry of recent economic news – especially the May jobs report – confirms what many have feared for some time: This president’s leadership deficit has caused a disastrous jobs deficit, and where he has led, his policies have made things worse. The president clearly inherited a difficult fiscal and economic situation when he took office. But his response to the crisis has been woefully inadequate. The president and his party’s leaders have made it their mission to test the hypothesis that more government spending and greater government control over the economy can jump-start a recovery better than the private sector can. That experiment has failed. The stimulus spending spree failed to create jobs. Massive overhauls of the financial sector and health-care sector are fueling uncertainty and hindering our recovery.

“Drop 200 Pounds Fast” T-Shirt
300 and over, double tap.

Man dies while raping elderly South Texas woman
Swift justice. ~Bob. Excerpt: Investigators said a man has died while in the act of raping an elderly South Texas woman. The Refugio County Sheriff's Office identified the man as 53-year-old Isabel Chavelo Gutierrez. Sheriff's Sgt. Gary Wright said the incident happened June 2 after he rode two miles by bicycle from his home to that of his 77-year-old victim in the tiny coastal community of Tivoli.

‘Paula Brooks,’ editor of ‘Lez Get Real,’ also a man
Excerpt: Just one day after the author behind a popular Syrian lesbian blog admitted to being a married, American man named Tom MacMaster, the editor of the lesbian news site Lez Get Real, with the tag­line “A Gay Girl’s View on the World,” acknowledged that he is also a man. “Paula Brooks,” editor of Lez Get Real since its founding in 2008, is actually Bill Graber, 58, a retired Ohio military man and construction worker who said he had adopted his wife’s identity online. Graber said she was unaware he had been using her name on his site. Brooks’s identity came under suspicion after news broke that a woman called Amina Arraf on the blog “A Gay Girl in Damascus” might not really be a Syrian lesbian. (“Help,” he cried, “I’m a lesbian trapped in a man’s body.” Ron P. See what happens when straight males are discriminated against? They have to hide their identity to get attention. ~Bob.)

The Senate: How Much Does It Cost?
Excerpt: Did you know that each year the Treasury allots a certain amount of taxpayer money to go to the “Senate Hair Care Revolving Fund”? Yep… The Federal Government has a fund that was created specifically for the hair care of its Senators! For fiscal year 2010,$33,387 was used to outlay this expense.

Makes sense. The dead can vote here, but you can’t expect them to do this, too. ~Bob. Excerpt: Startling results from an ongoing investigation reveal that the City of Chicago uses non-citizens to supervise and operate some of Chicago’s early voting polling places. Investigations uncovered at least 6 non-citizens supervising or working at early voting sites. Investigators also found that 65 different employees, or 1 out of 4 workers at early voting sites, administrated elections without declaring their eligibility to work on federal I-9 forms. (The I-9 is the mandated Federal Employee Eligibility Verification form.) These workers have the authority of an election judge at the early voting polls.

The Five Themes of Obama's 2012 Campaign
Excerpt: Don't kid yourself: beating a seated President is NEVER a cakewalk. Knocking off Barack Hussein Obama won't be a snap either. He may raise as much as a billion dollars, the mainstream media will pull out all the stops to get him re-elected, and he has the power of the presidency to try to impact events. We also can't discount the possibility that the economy may improve, that Obama may do something right besides killing Bin Laden between now and the election, or the GOP may once again show everyone why it’s called “the stupid party" by choosing a terrible candidate. That being said, Obama is a bush league President with some major league challenges. To begin with, it might send a thrill up your leg to be able to say that you voted for the first black President, but once you've already done it, it's not nearly as exciting the second time around. Moreover, Obama's not going to be able to successfully run on "change," "hope," "unity," and being everything to everybody in 2012. Americans have already been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, and it's already too ratty to wear even when they're mowing the lawn.

American Crossroads "Debbie Downer"
Funny satire. ~Bob.

1.9 Million Fewer Americans Have Jobs Today Than When Obama Signed Stimulus
Excerpt: Twenty-eight months after Congress passed President Obama’s signature economic stimulus law, and nearly one year after he declared the summer of 2010 to be “Recovery Summer,” 1.9 million fewer people are employed.

The Last Domino: Syria
Actually, there are several other dominos: Israel, Europe, then America, the real “last domino.” ~Bob. Excerpt: If the news from Syria isn't about another massacre, it's about preparations for one. Bashar al-Assad's once iron rule of that country is being challenged, and the result is almost daily bloodshed, especially on Fridays, the Muslim sabbath, when the crowds go directly from mosque to demonstrations. Or to the funerals of those slain the day before, which have a way of turning into more protests and attracting more gunfire. The deadly cycle continues, and nobody knows where it will end. Especially the dictator, who grows more than usually desperate and therefore more than usually dangerous. Maybe he'll survive, maybe he won't. The only thing for sure is that a lot of Syrians won't. Not that its ruler cares about their fate, but only about how all the death and destruction might affect his own. That's the Middle East. Bashar al-Assad was supposed to be a milder ruler when he succeeded his father, but we all know how that turned out, and tends to turn out in the Middle East. Behind the face of every reformer, the same old power lust lurks, and tends to erupt when power, new or old, is challenged. As it is being challenged in today's Syria as the regime's once imposing structure develops surprising cracks.

Travesty of Lawmaking by George Will
Excerpt: "The legislative cannot transfer the power of making laws to any other hands. ... The power of the legislative, being derived from the people ... (is) only to make laws, and not to make legislators." -- John Locke "Second Treatise of Government" WASHINGTON -- Here, however, is a paradox of sovereignty: The sovereign people, possessing the right to be governed as they choose, might find the exercise of that right tiresome, and so might choose to be governed in perpetuity by a despot they cannot subsequently remove. Congress did something like that in passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. The point of PPACA is cost containment. This supposedly depends on the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB, which is a perfect expression of the progressive mind, is to be composed of 15 presidential appointees empowered to reduce Medicare spending -- which is 13 percent of federal spending -- to certain stipulated targets. IPAB is to do this by making "proposals" or "recommendations" to limit costs by limiting reimbursements to doctors. This, inevitably, will limit available treatments -- and access to care when physicians leave the Medicare system. The PPACA repeatedly refers to any IPAB proposal as a "legislative proposal," and speaks of "the legislation introduced" by the IPAB. Each proposal automatically becomes law unless Congress passes -- with a three-fifths supermajority required in the Senate -- a measure cutting medical spending as much as the IPAB proposal would. (When I was a State Senator in Massachusetts, the Senate Counsel routinely flagged bills that delegated legislative decision making authority to other bodies as unconstitutional. Recently in DC, talking about this issue to an aide to a highly, placed Democrat senator, she said, “Well, as you know, the Congress is really bad about making decisions about money….” Excuse me, I said, isn’t that their job? Would you go to a surgeon I told you was really bad at surgery?” This is a part of the continuing downward spiral of our country. Once the government decides that no citizen should be responsible for his or her acts (it’s always the fault of drugs, or society, or poverty), why should a legislator be responsible? ~Bob.)

The FCC's Good Deed: A new report says government shouldn't subsidize local news.
Excerpt: Well, knock us over with a feather, the Federal Communications Commission wants the government to keep its distance from the media business. In a report published Thursday, the FCC sketched gloomy prospects for local media outlets but stopped short of pitching the federal bailout many had expected. "Government is not the main player in this drama," the report says. While it may be able to eliminate some obstacles to local reporting, most of the answers "will be found by entrepreneurs, reporters, and creative citizens, not legislators or agencies. Government cannot 'save journalism.'" In a rare display of bureaucratic modesty, the report even notes that technology is changing so fast that "heavy-handed regulatory intervention dictating media company behavior could backfire, distorting markets in unhelpful ways."

Why ObamaCare Is Losing in the Courts: The government's lawyers keep changing their arguments as each one is exposed as constitutionally suspect.
Excerpt: When we first articulated ObamaCare's fundamental constitutional flaws in these pages nearly two years ago, our objections were met with derision by the law's defenders. Those who have been following the unfolding litigation are no longer laughing. Three U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals are poised to render decisions on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the coming months. Despite hundreds of briefing pages and numerous oral arguments, government lawyers have yet to address the law's most basic constitutional infirmity. Only a "general police power"—the right to enact laws alleged to be in the public interest without regard to interstate commerce or some other federal legislative authority—can support the law's centerpiece, the "individual mandate" that all Americans purchase health insurance. The Constitution denies that power to the federal government, reserving it to the states alone. In enacting the individual mandate, Congress purported to rely on its power to regulate interstate commerce and, in the process, reach individuals who are already engaged in that commerce. But the individual mandate does not regulate commerce, interstate or otherwise. It simply decrees that all Americans, unless specially exempted, must have a congressionally prescribed level of health-insurance coverage regardless of any economic activity in which they may be engaged. Requiring individuals to act simply because they exist is the defining aspect of the general police power that Congress lacks.

The Muslim Wall of Silence
Excerpt: The inaptly dubbed “War on Terror” continues to run up an ever-higher body count. In the nearly ten years since 9-11, the so-called “Religion of Peace” has racked up over 17,000 deadly attacks, killing tens of thousands all over the globe (all carefully documented by the indefatigable folks at aptly-named site The Religion of Peace). With the body count ratcheting ever higher on a daily basis, why do many if not the majority of Muslims seem so indifferent to the carnage, or worse, even enthusiastic about the never-ending bloodshed committed in the name of Islam? In fact, Muslims have proven themselves highly resistant to the idea of criticizing their coreligionists, no matter what outrage has been committed.

Nigerian Islamists open fire on beer garden, kill four
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Suspected members of a radical Islamic sect have shot dead four people at a beer garden in a north Nigerian town where the group recently staged bomb and gun attacks, police said Monday. "Four people were killed in an attack by gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram sect on a beer parlour in the Bulunkutu surburb of the city last night," Zakari Adamu, assistant police commissioner for Borno state told AFP.

Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Sixteen terrorist suspects have been arrested for their alleged roles in separate plots, including a group not linked to any established networks that reportedly planned to poison police officers.

A Buffalo Man Accused of Killing a Detroit Police Officer
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Saddam Hussein Mohsin, 30, of Buffalo has been charged with attempted murder after hitting Detroit Police Officer Charles Armour with his car. Mohsin was driving the wrong way down a one-way street, when Armour tried to approach his car to let him know he was driving illegally. Mohsin did not stop but ran the officer down, landing Armour in the hospital.

Immigrants in Sweden: 200 child marriages yearly; 8,500 fear forced marriages
Excerpt: Muslim immigration has introduced a new perspective on love in Sweden: Child marriages and forced marriages. A couple of hundred child marriages are registered every year in Sweden. This is the conclusion after analysing data that the government ordered from the central tax office.

Police 'covered up' violent campaign to turn London area 'Islamic'
Didn’t get…Well, you know. ~Bob. Excerpt: Victims say that officers in the borough of Tower Hamlets have ignored or downplayed outbreaks of hate crime, and suppressed evidence implicating Muslims in them, because they fear being accused of racism. The claims come as four Tower Hamlets Muslims were jailed for at least 19 years for attacking a local white teacher who gave religious studies lessons to Muslim girls. The Sunday Telegraph has uncovered more than a dozen other cases in Tower Hamlets where both Muslims and non-Muslims have been threatened or beaten for behaviour deemed to breach fundamentalist “Islamic norms.” One victim, Mohammed Monzur Rahman, said he was left partially blind and with a dislocated shoulder after being attacked by a mob in Cannon Street Road, Shadwell, for smoking during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan last year.

Lessons from the Palin emails fiasco
well, the media demanded and went through all Obama’s e-mails from his senate/state senate days, right? Right? ~Bob. Excerpt: It would be tempting simply to dismiss the mad rush by the New York Times, the Washington Post and other liberal media outlets to get their hands on those 24,000-plus emails that Sarah Palin wrote while she was governor of Alaska. Clearly, there was a "gotcha" expectation among journalists poring over the Palin messages. They thought they would find damaging new revelations about the woman who, for good or ill, has become in less than four years one of the most controversial figures in American politics. That nothing of note has yet emerged tells us that something other than sound news judgment drives the reporting agenda in too many newsrooms. … Second, too many media outlets that went wild over the Palin emails have not devoted anywhere near as much passion, energy and resources to holding President Obama accountable on the pledge he made on his first day in the Oval Office -- that he would run the most transparent administration ever. The list of Obama transparency outrages is a long one, but it has received only sporadic coverage in most precincts of the mainstream media.

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