Friday, March 27, 2009

The Churchill Series - Mar. 27, 2009

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

A Churchill Centre post, Action This Day(Summer, 1945), contains an excellent sketch of people and events connected with the July, 1945 British general election. Here’s part of it.

Despite Churchill’s war record his Party’s prospects for reelection were discouraging. Since 1942 the Gallup poll had shown a large Labour lead. Eight Conservative candidates, unopposed by Labour because of a wartime electoral truce, had already been beaten by independents.

The Conservatives focused on Churchill as the leader who had won the war. Churchill reminded the overseas troops that there was "no truth that you can vote Labour or Liberal without voting against me." As grateful as they were, many people expressed concern that the great war leader would not be a good peace leader. ...

From the beginning he struck hard against his opponents. Controversy ensued when he said the Socialists "would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo." His daughter Mary later recounted how her mother begged Churchill "to delete the odious and invidious reference to the Gestapo. But he would not heed her." ...

Polling day was 5 July in Britain but it took three weeks to count the service vote. Meanwhile Churchill flew to Bordeaux to rest before moving on to Berlin [to attend the Potsdam Conference].

Shortly after arriving in the German capital Churchill, with his daughter Mary, toured its ruins including Hitler’s Chancellery. When Churchill observed the German populace he said his "hate died with their surrender."

On the same day he met President Truman for the first time. A few days later the two leaders agreed to use the atomic bomb against Japan.

Churchill’s last public event as British Prime Minister occurred on 21 July when he took the victory salute in Berlin. "Twice in one generation," he told the troops, "as in bygone times the German fury has been unleashed on her neighbours. Now it is we who take our place in the occupation of this country."

Among the cheers, however, were ominous signs. John Peck noted how "the great war leader but for whom we should never have been in Berlin at all, got a markedly less vociferous cheer than Mr. Attlee." [Clement Attlee was at time the Labour Party leader and Deputy Prime Minister in the national unity government Churchill formed upon taking office as Prime Minister in May, 1940.]

On 25 July Churchill left Stalin and Truman, without saying goodbye, to return to London with Attlee to await the results of the election. On 28 July Clement Attlee returned to Berlin as Prime Minister. ...

[Following his defeat Churchill made a gracious] concession speech [which]included the admirable comment: "I thank the British people for many kindnesses shown towards their servant." This remark stands in contrast to Stalin’s reported comment that he was surprised because he had supposed that Churchill would have "fixed" the results.

On 29 July Churchill signed "finis" in the visitors’ book at Chequers. Many high-ranking officials who owed their positions to Churchill, including Lord Louis Mountbatten, were now expressing Labour sympathies.

When Chamberlain had resigned in 1940 many Conservatives clearly expressed their preference for him over the new Prime Minister. This time, however, the Conservative MPs showed their hearts were with Churchill. When he entered the House on 1 August they sang an enthusiastic "For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow." Later he joined Attlee to celebrate VJ-Day and clearly received greater ovations.

On 16 August the House recognized Churchill’s war leadership. The new Prime Minister spoke for all when he said that Churchill’s "place in history is secure."
Most people are unaware Churchill headed a national unity government during the war. Attlee was one of many Labour leaders who held important cabinet posts. Leaders of the much smaller Liberal party held offices as well including the party leader, Archibald Sinclair, who served as Secretary of State for Air.

The entire post is here.

We've had rain and cool weather in central North Carolina the last three days. But as soon as the sun returns the days will be beautiful.

I hope the weather's nice where you are or soon will be.

And I hope you have a nice weekend.


Murtha Award Sparks Outrage

I've posted twice on former Navy Sec. Donald Winter's disgraceful action granting the Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award to Marine slanderer Dem Rep. Jack Murtha. ( See here and here)

At both posts you can access a site where you can read and sign an online petition expressing opposition to what Winter's did.

JinC Regular Tarheel Hawkeye, a recipient of the Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award, originally intended to return his award to the Navy.

However, in response to commenters here who urged him not to give up an award he earned, he's holding on to it and writing the Navy Secretary asking for an explanation of how and why Murtha was selected for the award.

While the story of Winter's award to Murtha has not yet been picked up by most MSM, JinC Regular cks informs that Fox News has reported on Winter's action.

And yesterday, a mil news site that gets heavy traffic, reported the story.'s report began - - -

In one of his last moves before leaving office March 13, then-Navy Secretary Donald Winter quietly awarded 19-term Democratic congressman John Murtha (Pa.) with the service's highest civilian honor.

Citing Murtha's "courageous leadership, vision, and loyalty to the men and women of the Department of the Navy," Winter presented the influential chairman of the House Appropriations Committee's defense panel with the Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award, an honor bestowed in "those extraordinary cases where individuals have demonstrated exceptionally outstanding service of substantial and long term benefit to the Navy, Marine Corps, or the Department of the Navy as a whole," a Murtha release stated.

The award generated little publicity when it was given to Murtha in early March, but as news of the honor trickled out, some veterans groups ignited a firestorm of protest.

Poll: Should the Navy reconsider Murtha’s award

The primary reason for their ire stems from the congressman's statements in May, 2006, that a squad of Marines who responded to an IED ambush and short firefight in Haditha, Iraq, rampaged through the village, murdering civilians "in cold blood."

Murtha made those comments in the heat of the 2006 congressional mid-term election campaign, in a move some political analysts saw as an attempt to stoke the anti-war vote for a Democratic takeover of the House. The former Marine and distinguished Vietnam veteran continued his accusations in follow-up media appearances before an official Pentagon and Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigation had been completed.

When the dust settled more than two years later, six of the eight Marines and Sailors accused of crimes in the Haditha incident had their cases dismissed, one was found not guilty and the last has been continued indefinitely.

The Navy did not respond to a request for comment on the award or the backlash from veterans groups by post time.

Murtha has refused to recant his accusations or apologize to the Marines he accused of war crimes. When asked by in late 2007 whether he regretted his initial statements and owed the exonerated Marines and Sailor an apology, Murtha refused to comment, saying the cases were still being adjudicated....

[One] influential veterans group has reacted strongly against the award, crafting a petition to lobby the Navy to rescind it.

Vets for Freedom, a group that generally supports the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, called Murtha's award "appalling" and his accusations against the Haditha Marines "vile and despicable."

"Congressman John Murtha should apologize for slandering the Marines of [3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment], and for undermining the efforts of those servicemen and women who fought in Iraq," the online petition states. "If he does not, the Secretary of the Navy should rescind this award as a sign of his unwavering support for those who served in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom."

So far more than 35,000 supporters have signed the online petition.'s entire report's here.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Churchill Series - Mar. 27, 2009

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Some years ago at a Churchill Society dinner, Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten’s daughter spoke about her father’s relationship with Churchill.

Lord Mountbatten, Dickie to his friends, had known Churchill since boyhood. His father had been First Sea Lord for a time when Churchill served from 1911 to 1915 as Lord of the Admiralty.

During his long life, Lord Mountbatten served the government in a number of important capacities. For much of WW II he was allied commander for the China-Burma-India Theatre. He later served as Great Britain’s last Viceroy to India.

Mountbatten and Churchill developed a lifelong friendship. There was a break when Churchill was angered by Mountbatten’s support for Indian independence but the rift healed over time

In her speech Countess Mountbatten recalled two incidents involving Mountbatten and Churchill I think you'll find amusing.

The first occurred before WW I when Mountbatten was a cadet at Osborne, a naval preparatory school. The second occurred in later years by which time Mountbatten was onto what Churchill’s Private Secretaries called “his tricks.”

[My father] was at school a few years later at Osborne and Mr. Churchill came down as First Lord to visit. He went round the cadets and he very unwisely asked them whether they were satisfied with their evening meal which they happened to be eating, and my father, who was never at a loss for words, said, "Well not really Sir, we only have two sardines, and we would very much like to have three."

So Mr. Churchill called up to whomever was going around with him and said, "Admiral, see to it that these young gentlemen are given three sardines for their suppers!" The Admiral said, "Yes, Sir." However, they waited a day or two, a week or two and nothing happened. […]

At the other end of Churchill's long life, my father was sent for to report on an important matter about which there'd been some little difference of opinion. Mr. Churchill gave his views at length and then sitting back in his chair, removed his hearing aid (he had become a bit deaf) and said, 'Now Dickie, tell me your views on that."

My father was not easily beaten, as you would know. He leaned forward, handing him back the hearing aid, said firmly, "Certainly Winston, provided you can hear me!"
You can read all of Countess Mountbatten’s speech here.

Hanson: “Age Of Mindless Mob Rule”

Excerpts from Victor Davis Hanson at NRO today with my comment below the star line.

Hanson begins - - -

In the last three months, we’ve been reduced to something like the ancient Athenian mob — with opportunistic politicians sometimes inciting, sometimes catering to an already-angry public.

The Greek comic playwright Aristophanes once described how screaming politicians — posing as men of the people — would sway Athenian citizens by offering them all sort of perks and goodies that the government had no idea of how to pay for. …

Lately we’ve allowed our government to forget its calmer republican roots. We’ve gone Athenian whole hog.

Take the AIG debacle. The global insurance and financial-services company is broke and needed a federal loan guarantee of $180 billion to prevent bankruptcy. Some $165 million (about 1/1000th of that sum) had previously been contracted to give bonuses to its derelict executives. [
Hanson should have noted some of those execs had no part in AIG's failure and were working to set things as right as possible. - JinC]

That set off a firestorm in Congress. Politicians rushed before the cameras to demand all sorts of penalties for these greedy investment bankers. Soon, they passed an unprecedented special tax law just to confiscate 90 percent of these contracted bonuses.

Those who shouted the loudest for the heads of the AIG execs had the dirtiest hands.
(emphasis added)

President Obama was outraged at their greed. But he alone signed their bonus provisions into law. And during the recent presidential campaign, no one forced him to accept over $100,000 in AIG donations.

Rep. Charles Rangel (D, N.Y.) was even more infuriated at such greed and helped pass the retroactive tax bill. Yet for years, the populist Rangel — who is in trouble over back taxes owed and misuse of his subsidized New York apartments — had tried to entice AIG executives to fund his Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York.

Sen. Chris Dodd (D, Conn.) was the fieriest in his denunciations of Wall Street greed. Yet he was the very one who inserted the bonus provision into the bailout bill, despite later denying it.

And Dodd has taken more AIG money than any in Congress — in addition to getting V.I.P. loan rates from the disgraced Countrywide mortgage bank.

Then there is the matter of blowing apart the budget. President Obama inherited from George Bush a $500 billion — and growing — annual budget deficit and a ballooning $11 trillion national debt.
Obama nevertheless promised us an entirely new national health plan, bigger entitlements in education, and a vast new cap-and-trade energy program.

But there is a problem in paying for the $3.5 trillion in budgetary expenditures that Obama has called for in the coming fiscal year. Proposed vast additional taxes on the “rich” still won’t be enough to avoid tripling the present budget deficit — and putting us on schedule over the next decade to add another $9 trillion to the existing national debt. …

[We] — through our government — are spending money that we don’t have.

We’re told the rich will pick up the tab, even though there are not enough rich with enough money to squeeze out the necessary amounts. Our new demagogues, though, are arguing that this is the only fair course of action.

Meanwhile, these leaders — who have taken so much Wall Street money in the past — are driving us into fury to punish the guilty on Wall Street.

This is truly the age of mindless mob rule.

Hanson’s entire column’s here.


My Comment:

I don’t think America’s at the point of mindless mob rule, but it’s sure sliding that way.

Witness Abuse At Recent Congressional Hearing

Yesterday I posted Another AIG Victim Of Our Dem Leaders.

The short of it: An AIG exec said he had nothing to do with the company's problems and had stayed with AIG to try to help fix them. However, he was now resigning because of broken promises regarding bonuses and threats he and others there were receiving from the politician-led mob seeking and vowing vengeance.

I noted that members of Congress have contributed to that mob mentality and our country's slide toward banana republic standards by their frequent abuse of witnesses at congressional hearings.

The following photo and accompanying text from a Financial Times story helps make my point.

Edward Liddy testifies to Congress

Last week, testifying to Congress, Edward Liddy (pictured), chief executive of AIG, the stricken insurer at the centre of a scandal about bonuses paid to top executives in spite of a $170bn bail-out, told of lurid death threats, including a vow to garotte staff with piano wire. Jimmy Cayne, the dethroned chief executive of Bear Stearns, is said to employ armed guards.

The Churchill Series - Mar. 25, 2009

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Dominique Enright has brought together a nice collection of anecdotes and commentary in
The Wicked Wit of Winston Churchill. Here’s a bit of it:

Making speeches, WSC is said to have claimed, is “The art of making deep sounds from the stomach sound like important messages from the brain.” […]

[Churchill’s] friend, [F. E. Smith, later] Lord Birkenhead [once] quipped; “Winston has devoted the best years of his life to preparing his impromptu speeches.” […]

[Churchill worked his secretaries ] hard – to the point of making them stay up all night taking dictation – (“I shall need two women tonight,” he would say to his Private Secretary at busy times, no doubt loudly enough to startle any guest not in the know); and he was kind to them, if sometimes irritable and impatient.

Almost without exception they, and also his male research assistants and Private Secretaries, grew to love him – “His secretaries adored him …We were all in love with him; he was such a lovely man, said Maurice Ashley, one of his research assistants.

Enright’s book is a brief , fun, and sometimes touching read for anyone, especially fans of “Our Man.” In Enright see pages 45-6 and 95-6 for the items mentioned here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Remember When Europeans Were Going To Support The US?

It would happen once we got rid of that wicked President Bush and elected the “magnetic,” “brilliant,” “transnational,” and “exciting,” Barack Obama, “more popular with Europeans than any American public figure since John Kennedy.”

At least that’s what the liberal/leftist press corps and the trolls kept telling us.

But today we read:

“EU leader condemns US ‘road to hell’”

Team Obama Goes For Broke

The latest example Team Obama presides over a government getting sucked down the debt hole comes from the AP via - - -

The post office will run out of money this year unless it gets help, Postmaster General John Potter told Congress on Wednesday as he sought permission to cut delivery to five days a week.

"We are facing losses of historic proportion. Our situation is critical," Potter told a House panel.

The agency lost $2.8 billion last year and is looking at much larger losses this year. Reducing mail delivery from six days to five days a week could save $3.5 billion annually, Potter said. …

The rest of the story’s here.


My Comments:

Who’s surprised the Post Office is broke?

It’s been broke for decades.

But it’s a government entity, so it hasn’t gone out of business.

It’s simply raised rates, cut services and continued operating in the red.

While that’s happening, President Obama's working on a plan for the federal government pay the mega-trillions of dollars in health care bills of about 40 million people who can’t or won't pay their own health care costs.

Obama, his pals Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, Frank, Rangal and their MSM flacks are leading us to a new, farthest-out-there kind of "going for broke."

Duke’s John Hope Franklin dies at age 94

The AP’s reported within the last hour - - -

Duke University professor John Hope Franklin, a revered historian of life in the South and the African-American experience, has died. He was 94.

Duke says Franklin died Wednesday of congestive heart failure at the university's hospital in Durham.

Born and raised in an all-black community in Oklahoma and often subjected to humiliating incidents of racism, Franklin broke numerous color barriers during his career.

He was the first black department chair at a mostly white institution and the first black president of the American Historical Association.

Franklin was part of the team of scholars who assisted Thurgood Marshall to win Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 case that outlawed the "separate but equal" doctrine in the nation's public schools.


Duke News has just posted a lengthy obituary tribute which includes the following:

...[Franklin] is survived by his son, John Whittington Franklin, daughter-in-law Karen Roberts Franklin, sister-in-law Bertha W. Gibbs, cousin Grant Franklin Sr., a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, other family members, many generations of students and friends. There will be a celebration of his life and of his late wife Aurelia Franklin at 11 a.m. June 11 in Duke Chapel in honor of their 69th wedding anniversary.

“John Hope Franklin lived for nearly a century and helped define that century,” said Duke President Richard H. Brodhead. “A towering historian, he led the recognition that African-American history and American history are one. With his grasp of the past, he spent a lifetime building a future of inclusiveness, fairness and equality. Duke has lost a great citizen and a great friend.”

[In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to the Aurelia W. and John Hope Franklin Endowed Scholarship Fund at Fisk University, c/o Office of Institutional Advancement, 1000 17th Street North, Nashville, TN 37208.] ...
The entire obituary, accompanied by a portrait photo, is here.

In 1998 the Raleigh News & Observer selected Franklin Tar Heel of the Year. You can read the profile it did at the time here.

John Hope Franklin (1915 – 2009), R.I.P.

N&O Still Stonewalls On Mar. 25, 2006 Duke Frame Story

At the Raleigh N&O’s Editors’ Blog there's an Oct. 5, 2006 post by now senior editor Linda Williams titled "March 25 interview"

Williams' post attempts to explain decisions the N&O made concerning its now discredited, deliberately fraudulent March 25, 2006 story headlined:

Dancer gives details of ordeal

A woman hired to dance for the Duke lacrosse team describes a night of racial slurs, growing fear and, finally, sexual violence
As you’ll see if you go to the post thread, readers immediately challenged Williams. They pointed out facts she’d misstated and inconsistencies between what she claimed were N&O journalistic practices and what the paper actually did.

Williams did not respond to the readers.

Instead, the then executive editor for news, Melanie Sill, began commenting.

After criticizing readers for their anonymity and praising the N&O for its Duke lacrosse coverage, Sill failed to provide data refuting the many reasoned, fact-based commenters who’d challenged Williams.

As an example of what I’m talking about and because it’s very relevant to today, I want to share a comment I made on the thread, after which I'll add some further comments below the star line.

Comment from: John [Visitor] •
10/16/06 at 16:01

Dear Melanie,

I've 10 questions for you:

At 10/06/06 at 15:40 above you say:

“We got the woman identified as the victim and interviewed her. As Linda notes, it wasn't an extensive or extensively planned interview -- it was boots on the street hustle to track down the key players.”

1) In the Durham community with 250,000 people, “boots on the street” didn’t lead you to the accuser.

Someone who knew who she was and where she was led you to her either directly or with address information. Most likely the person(s) was someone who could reach the accuser quickly and “arrange” for the interview.

Who was that person(s)?

2) What was that person’s motive for leading your reporter to the accuser?

3) Was that person a member of either the Durham Police Department (I include as a member of the DPD Cpl. David Addison who, while assigned full-time to CrimeStoppers, is a sworn DPD officer) or the Durham District Attorney’s office, including DA Nifong?

4) Was the interview audio taped, which is common practice with an interview of such critical importance, especially as what was said could be relevant to a then ongoing police investigation and possible subsequent indictments and trials?

5) If the interview was audio taped, what can you tell us about the custody and condition of the tape; and whether there is anything about the technical nature of the tape that would prevent you from releasing it to the public with only the accuser and her family’s IDs removed?

6) If the interview was not audio taped, why not?

7) You say you didn’t publish those parts of the interview that concerned remarks made by the accuser about the second dancer, Kim Roberts, because the remarks were unsubstantiated.

But as many readers on this thread have demonstrated, you published a great number of unsubstantiated statements you say the accuser made about the lacrosse players.

Whose interests are you serving by refusing to inform the public of the parts of the interview you suppressed on Mar. 25?

8) On what day did the N&O first learn of the extensive, voluntary cooperation the three Duke lacrosse captains provided police on Mar. 16, including signed statements, going to DUMC for “rape kit” testing, helping police ID and locate others who were at the party, etc?

9) On what day and in what detail did the N&O report to readers the cooperation the captains provided the police and the fact that the court order for 46 lacrosse players to submit to DNA testing and “mug photos” could have been appealed, but that not a single one of the 46 exercised his right of appeal (not even the ones who weren’t in Durham the night of the party)?

10) What’s your definition of news suppression?

Yes, Melanie, some of the questions are repeats of ones I first began asking months ago.

It's time you answered them.





Sill never responded.

Almost three years after I and many others first began asking those question, they remain unanswered by anyone speaking for the N&O on the record.

Regarding Question 7 - “Whose interests are you serving by refusing to inform the public of the parts of the interview you suppressed on Mar. 25?”:

On April 12, 2007, the day
after AG Roy Cooper declared the three wrongly indicted young men innocent, the N&O ran a story, Contradictions tore case apart, reporting, among other things, statements it said the accuser made in her Mar. 24, 2006 interview with N&O reporter Samiha Khanna.

The Apr. 12 story under Khanna’s byline and with Joe Neff listed as a contributor included the following:
…She did not give details but maintained that she had been raped. Mangum said that although she did not witness it, she thought the second dancer was sexually assaulted but didn't come forward because she would lose her job as an escort.

"I got the feeling she would do just about anything for money," Mangum said of the second dancer, Kim Roberts. …
The N&O withheld that critically important news, exculpatory for the players, from its Mar. 25, 2006 framing story about an “ordeal” which ended in “sexual violence.”

In it’s April 12, 2007 story finally reporting that news, the N&O offered no reason for why it had withheld it for thirteen months.

In fact, the Khanna/Neff story makes no mention that Mangum's statements were withheld from its Mar. 25 story and that N&O readers were reading about them for the first time. (That's slick, yes; disgusting, too)

Why did the N&O withhold for thirteen months such important news? Whose interests did that serve?

Why did the N&O only disclose what Mangum had said the day
after the players had been declared innocent? Whose interests did that serve?

Why hasn’t the N&O answered any of the questions I asked Melanie Sill on the March 25 interview post thread? Whose interests does it serve for the N&O to keep silent on those questions three years after the story first appeared?

Finally, with the N&O refusing to answer the above questions, how can some people keep saying the N&O’s news reporting of the Duke hoax, frame-up attempt and the ongoing cover-up has been outstanding except for a few days in March 2006?

Another A.I.G. Victim Of Our Dem Leaders

Excerpts from a NY Times op-ed - - -

The following is a letter sent on Tuesday by Jake DeSantis, an executive vice president of the American International Group’s financial products unit, to Edward M. Liddy, the chief executive of A.I.G.

DEAR Mr. Liddy,

It is with deep regret that I submit my notice of resignation from A.I.G. Financial Products. I hope you take the time to read this entire letter. Before describing the details of my decision, I want to offer some context:

I am proud of everything I have done for the commodity and equity divisions of A.I.G.-F.P.

I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G. Nor were more than a handful of the 400 current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. Most of those responsible have left the company and have conspicuously escaped the public outrage.

After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials.

In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.

I take this action after 11 years of dedicated, honorable service to A.I.G. I can no longer effectively perform my duties in this dysfunctional environment, nor am I being paid to do so.

Like you, I was asked to work for an annual salary of $1, and I agreed out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to its aid. …

I never received any pay resulting from the credit default swaps that are now losing so much money. I did, however, like many others here, lose a significant portion of my life savings in the form of deferred compensation invested in the capital of A.I.G.-F.P. because of those losses.

In this way I have personally suffered from this controversial activity — directly as well as indirectly with the rest of the taxpayers

I have the utmost respect for the civic duty that you are now performing at A.I.G. You are as blameless for these credit default swap losses as I am. You answered your country’s call and you are taking a tremendous beating for it….

[However,] I and many others in the unit feel betrayed that you failed to stand up for us in the face of untrue and unfair accusations from certain members of Congress last Wednesday and from the press over our retention payments, and that you didn’t defend us against the baseless and reckless comments made by the attorneys general of New York and Connecticut.

My guess is that in October, when you learned of these retention contracts, you realized that the employees of the financial products unit needed some incentive to stay and that the contracts, being both ethical and useful, should be left to stand.

That’s probably why A.I.G. management assured us on three occasions during that month that the company would “live up to its commitment” to honor the contract guarantees. …

Many of the employees have, in the past six months, turned down job offers from more stable employers, based on A.I.G.’s assurances that the contracts would be honored. They are now angry about having been misled by A.I.G.’s promises and are not inclined to return the money as a favor to you.

The only real motivation that anyone at A.I.G.-F.P. now has is fear. Mr. Cuomo has threatened to “name and shame,” and his counterpart in Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, has made similar threats — even though attorneys general are supposed to stand for due process, to conduct trials in courts and not the press.

So what am I to do? There’s no easy answer. I know that because of hard work I have benefited more than most during the economic boom and have saved enough that my family is unlikely to suffer devastating losses during the current bust.

Some might argue that members of my profession have been overpaid, and I wouldn’t disagree.

That is why I have decided to donate 100 percent of the effective after-tax proceeds of my retention payment directly to organizations that are helping people who are suffering from the global downturn.

This is not a tax-deduction gimmick; I simply believe that I at least deserve to dictate how my earnings are spent, and do not want to see them disappear back into the obscurity of A.I.G.’s or the federal government’s budget. …

This choice is right for me. I wish others at A.I.G.-F.P. luck finding peace with their difficult decision, and only hope their judgment is not clouded by fear.

Mr. Liddy, I wish you success in your commitment to return the money extended by the American government, and luck with the continued unwinding of the company’s diverse businesses — especially those remaining credit default swaps.

I’ll continue over the short term to help make sure no balls are dropped, but after what’s happened this past week I can’t remain much longer — there is too much bad blood. I’m not sure how you will greet my resignation, but at least Attorney General Blumenthal should be relieved that I’ll leave under my own power and will not need to be “shoved out the door.”


Jake DeSantis

The entire DeSantis resignation letter is here.

I’m sorry for the way he was treated and understand why he’s leaving. I wish him well.

We should worry for America when scoundrels like Dodd, Frank and others with help from the Obama administration and politicians like Andrew Cuomo and Richard Blumenthal remain office while Jake DeSantis is viciously attacked by some of the very people who created the problems he's worked to fix.

Hat tip: AC

Sowell: The "Degeneration Of Politics In Our Time"

Excerpts from Thomas Sowell with my comments below the star line - - -

Death threats to executives at AIG, because of the bonuses they received, are one more sign of the utter degeneration of politics in our time.

Congressman Barney Frank has threatened to summon these executives before his committee and force them to reveal their home addresses— which would of course put their wives and children at the mercy of whatever kooks might want to literally take a shot at them.

Whatever the political or economic issues involved, this is not the way such issues should be resolved in America. We are not yet a banana republic, though that is the direction in which some of our politicians are taking us— especially those politicians who make a lot of noise about "compassion" and "social justice."

What makes this all the more painfully ironic is that it is precisely those members of Congress who have had the most to do with creating the risks that led to the current economic crisis who are making the most noise against others, and summoning people before their committee to be browbeaten and humiliated on nationwide television.

No one pushed harder than Congressman Barney Frank to force banks and other financial institutions to reduce their mortgage lending standards, in order to meet government-set goals for more home ownership.

Those lower mortgage lending standards are at the heart of the increased riskiness of the mortgage market and of the collapse of Wall Street securities based on those risky mortgages.

Senator Christopher Dodd has played the same role in the Senate as Barney Frank played in the House of Representatives. Now both are summoning government employees and the officials of financial institutions before their committees to be lambasted in front of the media.

Dodd and Frank know that the best defense is a good offense. Both know how hard it would be to defend their own roles in the housing debacle, so they go on the offensive against others who are in no position to reply in kind, given the vindictive powers of Congress.

This political theater is in one sense cheap beyond words. In another sense, it is costly beyond words. (emphasis added)

It is cheap because the politicians who are creating this distraction from their own role also voted for the very legislation that enabled contracted bonuses to be paid by companies like AIG that received government bailout money.

If members of Congress can't be bothered to read the laws they pass, then they have no basis for whipping up lynch mob outrage against people who did read the law and acted within the law. ...

Whether the particular executives who received bonuses were the ones responsible for AIG's problems, or were among those who warned against those problems, is something that those of us on the outside don't know. That includes those in politics and the media who are making the loudest noise.

The politicians claim to be protecting the taxpayers' money. But having politicians trying to micro-manage any business is far more likely to make those businesses lose more money, including the taxpayers' money. ...

Politicians and bureaucrats micro-managing the mortgage sector of the economy is precisely how today's economic disaster began.

Why anyone would think that their micro-managing the automobile industry, or executive pay across a wide sweep of other industries, is likely to make things better in the economy is a mystery.

The real point is to pander to envy and resentment against people who make a lot of money. Envy is always referred to by its political alias, "social justice."

But to put the lives of the wives and children of executives at risk for the sake of Beltway grandstanding shows how low our political saviors have sunk.

Sowell's entire column's here.


My Comments:

Sowell is right on every point he makes.

People like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd have no sense of decency or respect for the democratic process.

On the contrary, they're a threat to it. They're pulling America down with their "banana republic" leadership.

The kind of witness abuse Sowell writes about is terrible. But it's nothing new for many members of Congress. Sens. Pat Leahy and Ted Kennedy and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee are among the worst offenders.

I've viewed extensive portions of films and tapes of films of the late Sen. Joe McCarthy abusing witnesses. At his worst - and his worst was bad - McCarthy didn't treat witnesses as badly as do some current members of Congress.

I wish C-SPAN would televise a two-hour program with the first devoted to "the worst of McCarthy," and the second devoted to "the worst of Kennedy" abusing Judges Bork, Pickering and Alito at their confirmation hearings to, in the cases of Bork and Alito, move up to the Supreme Court bench, and in the case of Pickering the Appellete bench.

Kennedy's shouting, table pounding, interrupting, ridiculing and misrepresenting the judges during their testimony was a disgrace. It set the treatment of Congressional witnesses bar in a gutter where others, including Frank and Dodd, have followed.

Banana republic? How about Soviet show trials?

Hat tip: BN

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Churchill Series - Mar. 24, 2009

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Finest Hour, Third Quarter 1965 - - -

The twenty-fifth anniversary of the Battle of Britain saw many posthumous honours bestowed on Sir Winston.

The first Churchill crown was struck at the Royal Mint and the very heavy demand for the coin exceeded that for the Coronation crown of 1953.

On 19 September forty members of the Churchill family attended the Battle of Britain Service in Westminster Abbey. The congregation rose as Lady Spencer-Churchill and Randolph walked down the aisle. A march of homage to Sir Winston composed by Sir Arthur Bliss, a massive, sombre piece of music, was played.

After the service the Queen unveiled a Churchill stone in the middle of the aisle, immediately west of the Unknown Warrior's stone. It is the first memorial one sees on entering the west door. On the wall just above it is the commemorative plaque to President Roosevelt. The Churchill stone is inscribed:

Earlier in the day a Spitfire and Hurricane flew over the Churchill grave at Bladon.

Our Toxic Government Wants To Do More

George Will today in WaPo with my comments following below the star line.

Will begins - - -

With the braying of 328 yahoos -- members of the House of Representatives who voted for retroactive and punitive use of the tax code to confiscate the legal earnings of a small, unpopular group -- still reverberating, the Obama administration yesterday invited private-sector investors to become business partners with the capricious and increasingly anti-constitutional government.

This latest plan to unfreeze the financial system came almost half a year after Congress shoveled $700 billion into the Troubled Assets Relief Program, $325 billion of which has been spent without purchasing any toxic assets.

TARP funds have, however, semi-purchased, among many other things, two automobile companies (and, last week, some of their parts suppliers), which must amaze Sweden.

That unlikely tutor of America regarding capitalist common sense has said, through a Cabinet minister, that the ailing Saab automobile company is on its own: "The Swedish state is not prepared to own car factories."

Another embarrassing auditor of American misgovernment is China, whose premier has rightly noted the unsustainable trajectory of America's high-consumption, low-savings economy.

He has also decorously but clearly expressed sensible fears that his country's $1 trillion-plus of dollar-denominated assets might be devalued by America choosing, as banana republics have done, to use inflation for partial repudiation of improvidently incurred debts.

The rest of Will’s column’s here.


My Comments:

You can’t blame China for worrying when it sees the Fed print more than a trillion dollars. Just like that! Just the way Monopoly money’s printed.

On top of that, President Obama, who’s heading a government that can’t begin to meet its current financial obligations unless the Fed prints what amounts to Monopoly money, steps forward and says he wants the government to pay the medical bills of 40 million + uninsured Americans.

On the other hand, Obama doesn’t want to ease government restrictions that make it all but impossible to build nuclear power plants.

Sure they’d create jobs and add to the tax base while providing mostly clean, domestic produced energy.

When energy’s produced here we need to buy less foreign oil. That means more of our dollars stay at home, our balance of payments improve and, other things being equal, our dollar strengthens.

All of that would be good for America. But the Greenies who supported Obama don’t want nuclear power plants and he’s not going to go against them.

Printing money, taking on huge government debt and sponsoring new programs that will add more huge debt to the backs of taxpayers is fine with Obama.

Too bad it’s not fine for America.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Churchill Series - Apr. 23, 2009

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Fair warning: today’s post's source is the top of my head.

You know Churchill paid attention to details. Remember an earlier series post about the time just after he became PM when he ordered his motorcade to stop as it passed a very large, abandoned green house? Some of its glass panes were broken; but most were not.

Churchill directed the unbroken panes be stored where they could be easily retrieved. The UK's cities were surely going to be bombed soon. They'd be many shattered windows; replacement glass would be a much needed item.

Other details that always drew Churchill's attention included the names of military operations. When Churchill learned of the name of an operation he would sometimes immediately interrupt whoever was outlining the operation and ask why it had received the name it had. If he didn't think the name appropriate, he'd argue for a change. Sometimes he just ordered one.

One operation name Churchill thought very appropriate was Torch, the name for the joint Anglo-American invasion of North Africa in November, 1942. He suggested it himself.

Churchill said Torch was the best word and symbol to convey what the allies were doing: bringing the light of freedom to a Nazi dominated part of the world. He requested a logo with two hands holding up a torch; the hands represented British and American forces jointly pursuing the same objective.

Selecting Torch as the operation name was an inspired and inspiring choice.

Beyond what Churchill said in urging Torch as the operation's name, I wonder if he wasn't also thinking Torch would resonate with Americans whose Lady Liberty held a torch to light the way to freedom, and with the French whose eternal flame in Paris honors those who died defending France.

I can't be sure Churchill thought of Lady Liberty and Frances eternal flame but I suspect he did. Not much escapes a man who looks at a broken, abandoned greenhouse, and sees something very valuable.

Caught In Sleaze Squeeze, Frank Plays Gay Card

The public – or at least the informed public – is finally catching on to Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Barney Frank's work crafting policies that forced Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to take on high risk loans and his subsequent refusal to support needed changes in those policies.

Frank succeeded in preventing the changes that might have prevented the catastrophic collapse of both Freddie and Fannie.

Frank’s one of those who've helped saddle American taxpayers with hundreds of billions in bad mortgage debt.

So what’s Frank’s response?

The openly gay congressman's decided it’s time to play the gay card.

The AP reports tonight - - -

Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank called Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a "homophobe" in a recent interview with the gay news Web site

The Democratic lawmaker, who is gay, was discussing gay marriage and his expectation that the high court would some day be called upon to decide whether the Constitution allows the federal government to deny recognition to same-sex marriages.

"I wouldn't want it to go to the United States Supreme Court now because that homophobe Antonin Scalia has too many votes on this current court," said Frank. The video of the interview is available online.

Frank's office did not respond to a request Monday to expand on his remark. Scalia also had no comment.

The rest of the story’s here.

Barney’s reaching a little deep down in his deck for his Scalia gay card.

It’s pretty obvious he’s just trying to change the subject.

But let’s not let him get away with it.

For Some The N&O's "A Good Dancer”

I often receive comments about McClatchy’s liberal/leftist Raleigh News & Observer that go something like this:

Those first N&O stories in March 2006 about the Duke lacrosse case were terrible. But after that the N&O really did a very good job covering the case.
Similar comments appear at other blogs.

Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, co-authors of
Until Proven Innocent are also very positive about the N&O’s overall Duke lacrosse coverage.

At his Durham-in-Wonderland blog, KC regularly praises the N&O’s coverage, which he’s called “outstanding.”

N&O editors who’ve spoken out agree with KC; and, like him, fulsomely praise their paper’s Duke lacrosse news reporting.

But as most frequent visitors here know, I don’t accept the “after the first few days the N&O’s coverage was outstanding” claim.

Sure, after March 2006 there were some N&O news stories that were fact-based which a reasonable person might call “outstanding.” I’ve posted about and praised a few of them.

But consider the following:

On March 24, 2006 false accuser Crystal Mangum told the N&O she believed the second dancer, Kim Roberts, had also been raped at the party but didn’t report it for fear of losing her job. Mangum also said she thought Roberts would do anything for money.

If the N&O had reported that news, exculpatory for the falsely accused players, on March 25 what would then-DA Mike Nifong have said?

However, for reasons it’s never honestly explained, the N&O decided to suppress that critically important news until April 12, 2007, the day
after NC AG Roy Cooper declared innocent the three young man indicted in the Duke/Durham frame-up attempt.

Can a newspaper cover-up such important news central to one of its most important stories in the last decade and still be said to have provided “outstanding” coverage of that story?

It’s Not About The Truth, Don Yeager’s book written in collaboration with coach Mike Pressler, N&O columnist Ruth Sheehan’s admits she relied on Mike Nifong as the anonymous source for her March 27 “Team’s silence is sickening” column.

Sheehan said she was fed Nifong’s information by someone(s) at the N&O who talked her off the column she was planning to run and onto the Nifong sourced column she subsequently wrote.

To this day the N&O’s publisher, former executive editor for news, its current executive editor for news and its recently resigned former public editor all refuse to comment on whether Sheehan’s admission is true.

In a December 16, 2007 column mostly about mistakes other newspapers have made, executive editor for news John Drescher told N&O readers:
We felt that pressure during the Duke lacrosse case. We broke the news that 46 team members had been ordered to give DNA in a rape investigation.

The day we published that story, we had an interview -- the only one to date -- with the accuser. The next day [, March 25], we published her account.

I wish we had held that story for a day and done more reporting on the accuser, her statement and her prior run-in with the law.
Well, we can all understand the pressure of newspaper deadlines.

But Drescher didn’t tell readers why the N&O during the next few days didn't do “more reporting on the accuser, her statement and her prior run-in with the law.”

And he never has since.

Surely we can all agree it was a great help to Mike Nifong, the other framers and their enablers that the N&O didn’t do in March and for weeks during April “more reporting on the accuser, her statement and her prior run-in with the law.”

And we can all surely agree it was great help to Nifong and the rest that the N&O covered up until April 12, 2007 the critically important and exculpatory for the players news it first learned on March 24, 2006.

When I reflect on the N&O’s Duke lacrosse coverage from March 24 right up to this day, I often recall from some years ago a story I heard about a women I think was in her late 60s or early 70s.

She lived alone and was befriended by a neighbor in his 40s. He started doing favors for her – walking her dog on rainy days and the like. He bought her flowers on special occasions. They began going out dancing together.

While they never married, in time she trusted him with her financial affairs.

I bet some of you already know where this story is heading: He began bilking her.

I think it was her bank and her brokerage company that began talking to each other, after which the woman and the police were notified. The story also got to the papers.

The woman understood what had happened. And while she cut her relationship with the guy, she couldn’t bring herself to press charges.

She said she couldn’t because while she knew he’d cheated her, she got a glow when she remembered the special things he’d done for her and what a good dancer he was.

I guess for some people the N&O's “a good dancer.”

Obama's Katrina Moment?

Some say you can see it on the following YouTube clip. I don't agree.

For one thing, MSM was going after President Bush, blaming him for everything that was wrong in the rescue and relief responses.

MSM kept reporting things that were demonstrably false. Remember the thousands supposedly dead in the Superdome?

With President Obama it's different.

How often have you heard that in his last year as Senator, Obama and Chris Dodd each received more A. I. G. money than any other Senator? Has even one MSM reporter asked whether Obama plans to return the money A. I. G. gave him?

With a hat tip to AC, here's the clip.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hamas Leader Hails Obama’s Approach

AFP reports - - -

The exiled leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on Sunday hailed the "new lexicon" being used by US President Barack Obama towards foreign policy issues the Middle East.

"The challenge for everyone is that (Obama's new language) is a prelude to a sincere change (of direction) in US and European foreign policy," Khaled Meshaal said in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

A senior US envoy said in Damascus earlier this month that Syria can be an important and constructive force in the Middle East, as Washington pursues a new policy of engaging with all countries in the region, even long-time foes.

And the Syria-based leader predicted that an "official" opening of US and European Union channels for dialogue with Hamas, listed as a terrorist organisation by the EU since 2003, is now "only a matter of time".

"The big powers need us to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," he said.

"Our weight in resolving the Palestinian question stems from our roots in society, in the people who have voted for us and who will do so again."

The rest of the story's here.

My Comments:

As far as I'm concerned the story's report has credibility because it's a story Hamas wants to get out and Italy's La Repubblica is a leftist newspaper hugely sympathetic to Hamas and, at every chance, anti-American.

Don't Do It, Tarheel Hawkeye

JinC Regulars know the Navy a few weeks ago gave an award to Marine slanderer and longtime skimmer of public money, Dem Rep. Jack Murtha. I posted about that disgraceful action and included a link to a site where readers can sign an online petition protesting the Navy's action. (See Comments re: Don't Honor Murtha Petition )

The post has drawn the following comment:


When I retired from federal service after 20 years with the Army and 16 years with the Navy, I was presented The Department of the Navy's Meritorious Civilian Service medal and commendation.

I was always proud of that award but today I have packed up the medal and the commendation and first thing tomorrow I'll mail them back to the Secratary of the Navy with a letter telling him that the Murtha award denigrates all such civilian awards, and I no longer wish to have the medal.

Murtha is a disgrace to Pennsylvania, to the United States and our species.

Tarheel Hawkeye

Message to Tarheel Hawkeye: Don't return the medal and citation you earned.

But do write the Navy Secretary. Ask as a former medal holder why he decided to honor someone who slandered Marines fighting in Iraq?

Also ask him why he'd honor a guy with Murtha's history of involvement in bilking the public and now under investigation for questionable activities involving possible abuse of his public trust.

It's your call, but there's my two cents.

Do You Believe Obama & The Dems Care About The Deficti?

Today’s lead Washington Post editorial calls attention to the smoke and mirrors the Obama administration's using to justify the staggeringly large increase in federal debt it wants to lay on the backs of Americans.

Here’s part of the editorial - - -

Very little of the claimed deficit reduction [in future years] in the Obama plan comes from policy changes; it results more or less automatically from the assumed end of the recession, as well as by claiming savings in reducing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan from unrealistically high forecasts.

Yet both the White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the [independent Congressional Budget Office] report is no reason to revise the president's ambitious tax and spending blueprint.

Mr. Obama should treat the CBO report as an incentive to fulfill his repeated promises, during and after the campaign, to make hard choices on the budget.

Until now he has offered a host of new spending -- on health care, middle-class tax cuts, education and alternative energy -- without calling for much sacrifice from anyone except the top 5 percent of the income scale. Though his emphasis on controlling health-care costs is welcome, it's not a substitute for reforming the entitlement programs that are the drivers of long-term fiscal crisis, Medicare and Social Security.

Yet the president has offered no plan for either and no road map even for achieving a plan. Several members of his own party in the Senate have been expressing doubts about his strategy, and the CBO report will lend credibility to their concerns.

He should heed them.

The entire editorial’s here.


My Comments:

Yes, President Obama should heed them. But does anyone think he will?

Obama and his Dem colleagues such as Reps. Frank and Rangel, Sens. Dodd and Reid, and Speaker Pelosi care as much about crippling deficits as they did about the fiscal soundness of Freddie and Fannie.

Comments Re: Don’t Honor Murtha Petition

Friday I posted Petition Opposing Award to Rep. Murtha.

The short of it: The Navy's given what's been thought of as a prestigious award to Dem Rep. Jack Murtha, who slandered our Marines in Iraq and who's history of sleaze involvement is as bad as that of Dem Reps. Charlie Rangel and Barney Frank, former Dem Detroit Mayor Kwame Kirkpatrick, and Dem Sens. Harry Reid, Tom Harkin, Dick Durbin, Ted Kennedy and Tom Dodd.

An online petition expresses the outrage of decent citizens at what the Navy's done. I linked to where people can sign and said I have.

As of 3/21 @ 8:30 ET there are 5 comments on the post thread. I want to respond to each here.

Comments are in italics; my responses are in plain

SoCal Pir8 said - - -

Signed as well. Murtha is the exception to "Once a Marine, Always a Marine."

Thanks for signing and he certainly is.

But even the greatest organizations have their turncoats.

North of Detroit said - - -


Were you the Anon who first alerted me to the petition? I’d like to be sure that person knows of my thanks for the alert.

cks said - - -

Thank you for the link - signed the petition. Murtha is a disgrace.

Thank you for signing and ditto on the Murtha sentiments.

How's the ap for the Churchill Seminar going?

Your comments here are certainly in the WSC tradition.

Anon @ 11:08 said - - -

Thanks, John, I just signed. There's over 20,000 of us now. Why did the Navy ever decide to "honor" that slimball Murtha?

Thanks for signing. I don’t know why the Navy gave him the award. I hope in time we learn why it happened.

Tarheel Hawkeye said - - -

The Navy has been politicized! During the many years I worked for the Department of the Navy, I can't recall ever seeing such a blatant political maneuver. Absolutely disgusting!

Disgusting is a very good word for it.

Thank you all for commenting.

Update on the petition signature count:

As of 8:45 PM ET today, it’s over 23, 000.

You can read the petition and sign it here. I hope you will if you haven’t already.

You must give an email for verification but you can indicate you want it to remain private.

N&O’s Drescher Lashes Out At WRAL’s Goodmon

News executives often slice and dice competitors but it’s almost always off the record. However, in his latest column John Drescher, executive news editor at the McClatchy Co's. liberal/leftist Raleigh News & Observer lashed out at one of the N&O’s competitors.

I want to tell you about it and share my response to Drescher and snips from a few others who’ve commented at his column online.

After fulsomely praising the N&O for what he said was its “willing[ness] to talk about our[]” problems, Drescher told readers:

We might have written too much about our problems. But we wanted to set a standard for leaders in business and government.

No executive, in responding to a request from The N&O, can claim that we have not been willing to talk about our problems and share information about our business.

Also, Publisher Orage Quarles III and I have been available to reporters from other news outlets.

Compare our approach to that of one of our competitors, Capitol Broadcasting Co., which owns WRAL-TV.

TV stations are being hit by the same decline in advertising as we are. Capitol executives met with employees this week to discuss cost cutting. When The N&O's Jonathan Cox cornered Jim Goodmon, Capitol's owner and CEO, in a parking lot, Goodmon declined to talk.

Executives in the Triangle take note: Goodmon will send a reporter to talk to you about your business -- but he won't talk about his. And he operates on the public airwaves. He has more of an obligation than most to discuss his company's finances.

After we published a story about WRAL's problems, Goodmon gave an interview to But WRAL-TV still has not aired a story about itself.

I reminded Goodmon that Quarles talked with a WRAL reporter Monday but that Goodmon wouldn't talk with us. "My view is this is a private company and that's our business," he said Friday.

He said he would talk with us soon about industry trends but not give specifics about Capitol….
Drescher’s entire column’s here.

I responded to Drescher with this comment on his column thread:
Yes, you've run stories about N&O buyouts, layoffs, etc., often AFTER others such as WRAL and McClatchy Watch have reported them.

You and Quarles have been available to reporters, often for just a "no comment."

I don't recall an N&O story detailing ad revenue numbers for the last 5 years; or a story examining the effects on the N&O of McClatchy's K-R [Knight-Ridder] purchase.

Many say McClatchy (MNI ) CEO Pruitt's decision to purchase K-R loaded MNI with debt payments which forced it to lay off employees at all papers including the N&O; and that those layoffs have reduced the quality and scope of the N&O with the result that readers and advertisers have deserted the N&O in numbers greater than would otherwise be the case.

Former N&O editor Dan Gearino, like many others, has called for Pruitt's resignation. There's been no story on that.

And your columns have been very upbeat at a time when many N&O'ers say the N&O may go belly up as a print product.

John in Carolina
Folks, you see I made no reference to the specifics of what Drescher says about Goodmon or WRAL. That’s because at this point I know nothing about their side of it.

I’ll be following the story and would appreciate any info you can share.

Here are snips from the three others who’ve commented on the column thread.

WRAL's Jim Goodman is being hypocritical when he sends his reporters out to cover the latest bad news from other local businesses but refuses to talk about his own business. He should be transparent.
[Drescher’s] comments are reprehensible, eye poking as usual. The N&O is suffering an industry transition, being too stodgy to adapt in the age of the Information.
And third:
You have refused to comment in the past on N&O's financial affairs, preferring to handle the release of information on your own terms. Now not even a week since you extend a symbolic olive branch of transparency to a WRAL reporter, you lambaste Capitol for not following suit? …

This seems to me like borderline entrapment, and in my opinion, is a prime example of the kind of behavior that newspapers cannot afford to be associated with right now. What we need is integrity, as the papers so often remind us.

Obama's Nowruz Message With And Without The Flag

It's true the version of President Obama's Nowruz message not showing the American flag was deliberately cropped.

But it's not true, as some people are saying, that the cropping to eliminate our flag from view was done by photo-shopping bloggers out to embarrass Obama.

The cropped version, intended for showing in Iran was created by The White House.

You can see that for yourself by viewing the two versions below and checking at You Tube where The Obama White House is cited as the source for both versions.

I haven't seen a news report explaining why Team Obama released to American media a version showing Obama with the flag beside him and the cropped version to Iran.

Releasing two versions was a mistake.

Iran's leaders will see Obama's decision as pandering and a sign of weakness. Sensible Americans who learn what happened will reach a similar conclusion.

So far the cropping story is still under the MSM's radar.

If it becomes enough of a public story, The White House will likely say something about the President not wanting Iran's leaders to have any excuse for not letting his message be shown there.

But if that was really the case, why not release just the version without the flag?

Folks, you know the answer as well as I: Obama wanted to have it both ways.

Hope and Change!

Here are the two versions: