Free Markets, Free People


What reporters do … or at least continue to pretend to do

I was reading TIME’s “Battleland” blog about the Sergeant that allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians, including women and children.

The reporter/blogger wrote this before the Sergeant had been identified to the press and the reporter produced a long list of extenuating and mitigating circumstances that might work in the favor of the then unnamed Sergeant.   All of them, says the reporter were from his defense attorney, or strong rumor or innuendo or, in some cases fact:

– He was suffering from marital strife.

– He was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder

– He was suffering from a traumatic brain injury he got in Iraq in 2010.

– The Army inadequately tested him and permitted his redeployment despite those conditions.

– He’d been promised he wouldn’t have to go back to war after his third tour in Iraq.

– He was ordered to Afghanistan overnight for his fourth tour in December.

– He saw a buddy’s leg blow off hours before the massacre.

– He got drunk before leaving his southern Afghanistan post at 3 a.m. to kill 16 men, women and children.

The reporter then says:

Army mental-health and legal officials aren’t surprised by the expanding roster. That’s what defense attorneys do. And – to avoid the death penalty, which Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said is possible in this case – proving only one of these extenuating conditions may be sufficient to keep him alive at Fort Leavenworth, albeit for life.

I don’t disagree.   That’s what defense attorneys do. 

However, speaking of trying to introduce extenuating and mitigating circumstances, you have to understand that the reporter is trying to excuse the press for reporting rumors and innuendo.

To do that, the reporter breaks out the BS flag and waves it from the top of Mt. Hood:

It’s also what reporters do, especially when the press lacks a name so they are unable to dig into the suspect’s childhood to see what role his parents, siblings, elementary-school teachers and fellow Boy Scouts may have played.

No it’s not.  Proof? Two words: Barack Obama

Tell me about his Harvard days, Mr. Reporter.  Or heck, his Columbia days.  ACORN days?  Community organizer days (and not just quotes from his book, thank you very much)?  Tell me about his association with Derrick Bell, Bill Ayres and Jeremiah Write and what effect they had on his life.  You dug into all of that, right?  Tell me about others with whom he associated throughout his life and the role they played in his life.   Got a clue?

Yeah … I know … never mind.


Twitter: @McQandO

OWS: Fail

So what do the real 99% think about the motley .0001% trying to represent themselves as the majority?

Not so much:

A new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows that the "Occupy" movement has failed to capture the attention of a majority of Americans, indicating either ambivalence toward it or lack of interest.

The poll finds that 56% of Americans surveyed are neither supporters nor opponents and 59% say they don’t know enough to have an opinion about the movement’s goals.

The survey, however, does show an increase from 20% to 31% in disapproval of the way the protests are being conducted.

If Occupy Wall Street’s goal was to capture the attention of America and spark a movement that would change its face (even if it isn’t exactly sure what it wanted that change to look like), it has apparently failed, if this poll is any indication.

Majorities didn’t know or care much about them and also weren’t paying enough attention to them to understand if they had any goals and if they did, to have an opinion about them.

In effect OWS has been reduced to a side show that surfaces again every now and then when some new outrage is discovered to have happened among the protesters.

I assume that even the slowest among the Democrats has effectively abandoned OWS by now.


Twitter: @McQandO

The White House stimulus chart

The gift that keeps on giving: The White House’s chart of unemployment predictions in the Stimulus/no Stimulus world. Superimposed is the graph of actual unemployment, but now, with wall street economists predictions for the near-term future.


I think a big speech will help, though. ‘Cause that’s what we’ve been missing. Speeches.

The analysis of that speech is pretty straightforward and simple. We’ve spent $800 billion for TARP, $1.4 trillion in the stimulus package, and $2 trillion in quantitative easing from the Fed. Now, if we spend another $430 billion on the American Jobs Act, that’ll be the fix we’ve been looking for, and everything will be peachy.

The president’s child-like faith in the power of government is touching. And frightening.

Dale Franks
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Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

I suppose I should be surprised at this, but I’m not. Mitch McConnell seems now to believe that earmarks are a hallowed legislative prerogative, and Rep. Jerry Lewis is keen to retake the gavel of the Appropriations Committee.

Basically, the deal is this: After talking a good game about fiscal conservatism for months, the GOP is going to take its cues in the Senate from a guy who basically doesn’t give that much of a crap, and very likely empower a guy in the House whose top priorities have previously included money pit swimming pools into which he likes to dump massive, great, heaping piles of your hard-earned cash because, hey, he’s in charge here, dammit.

I don’t like it; you don’t like it. Let’s hope that by some miracle, folks calling the shots up on the Hill might possibly be paying attention to what everyone from the Tea Partiers to me, your local candy-ass RINO, thinks: Quit with the earmarks, and let’s not just empower the people who pursued them with zeal last time the GOP was in charge, because well screw it, we won… kind of…

So, is that the deal? Head fake to the right on spending for the Tea Party during the election, but back to business as usual after winning? Are the 2006 Republicans back?

If so, it’s gonna be a long two years, and 2012 is gonna be a nightmare.