Watergate: Finally Some Results


Announcing a new News Service

Today I launch the PBA News Agency. Pseudo Bulbar Affect News: “When you don’t know whether to laugh or cry”. Below is the initial report, filed at Instapundit:
Latest poll shows Congress’s opinion of electorate at all-time low. 78% of Representative consider consider voters dim-witted and ungrateful, an opinion shared by an astonishing 91% of Senators.
This stunning drop in trust of the public crosses all wealth groups, from the bottom quintile (net worth $2M – $5M) to the top quintile (net worth > $500M). Disappointment in constituents is bipartisan, with both Democrats and Republicans reporting significant drops in the quality of their people. A rare exception can be found among self-identifying “Tea Party” members, who obstinately continue to find the voters to be “concerned”, “informed” and “engaged”. It is unclear from the survey whether these differences are attributable to real differences in the voting population or the inexperience of Tea Party elected officials.
One member of Congress, who insisted upon anonymity (“The vaguest hunt of who I am will result in your entire life becoming a hot topic at the IRS, NSA, HHS, EPA, EEOC, DOD, DOJ right down to the National Endowment for the Arts. Am I making myself clear?”), told the PBA’s reporter that in recent years, voters had turned “surly, whiny and mulish”. “I came to D.C.to govern, and these ingrates have become all but ungovernable. They act like their rights were handed down by God Himself. It’s gotten to where the Congressional recesses aren’t fun any more. I long for the day when we are back in session, and the rabble can’t just pop into my office to ‘share’ their ‘views’. They’re not the lead dog, so their view never changes.”
Congress seems uncertain how to proceed. With elections coming up in just over a year, there are some hopeful glimmers. “I’d love to just fire them all and start over”, said a completely different anonymous member of Congress. “But there are too… many of them. The best we can hope for is that they stay home on election day.”
///Story filed 10-12-2013 by Pseudo Bulbar Affect News, “The news source for those who don’t know whether to laugh or cry”///

The Charge of the Flight Brigade

Honor Flight, that is. WWII vets come to DC to visit the WWII memorial, an open-air park that is generally open 24 hours/day, 365 days/year.

Because of the government shutdown, the Obama administration deemed it appropriate to spend money to “close” the park, by putting barricades, manned by Park Service personnel, around the park. (Keeping aged veterans out of open space must be an “essential service” of government.)

These veterans stormed more formidable barriers than metal temporary fencing and yellow police tape. Who in the administration thought that the veterans would retreat?

(H/T Instapundit)


NPR: Tool or Dupe?

I am currently reading Diana West’s eye-opening Betrayal Of The West, which has gotten me thinking (as she explicitly intends) about how much trust I should put in press reports. What happens when I “think critically” about the news?

Just this morning, NPR provided me with a case study: its report on the launch of Al Jazeera America on cable systems throughout the US. (As of noon, 21 August, there is no transcript, only the audio.) The reporter, David Folkenflik, shares with the listeners that Al Jazeera’s goal is to provide objective, serious news to Americans. But David finds some skeptics, who think Americans don’t want serious news. That’s right: Al Jazeera America (AJA) might fail, not because it won’t be objective and serious, but because Americans won’t watch objective and serious news.

There appears to be no question about AJA’s sincerity in proclaiming its goals. Folkenflik quotes no less an authority than John Sigenthaler (sp?) one of the American reporters hired by AJA. John tells David that AJA’s goal is to do “serious, in-depth news”; and that “they” are “not interested in ratings.” Folkenflik, ever the careful reporter, second-sources Sigenthaler with… the president of AJA. Obviously, with sources that detached from any personal interest, David saw no need to look for any other perspectives. 

Now, who are these benefactors who will spend half a billion dollars to buy a moribund cable network, then run programming without regard to ratings or profit (they will reportedly run only 6 minutes of commercials per hour, compared to about 20 on other cable news channels)? Who are these people so committed to truth and freedom of the press that they will pour out their fortunes to provide this service to a reluctant American public? 


According to Freedom House, Qatar is not free, and does not have a free press. And yet, we are expected to believe that they will lose money to create a news outlet in American homes that will be serious, objective, fact-based, untainted by ideology or point of view.

No. No, no, no. If Qatar wants to promote a free press, let them start somewhere closer to home, such as Qatar. Once they’e demonstrated their abiding commitment to Western Enlightenment values, then we might entertain the possibility that they can provide serious objective news to America. In the meantime, anyone who chooses to watch AJA should stock up on grains of salt.

Who Are These People? Volume I, Issue 1

Anthony Weiner
What has he accomplished other than giving sexting a bad image? As a Congressman from 1999 to his resignation in disgrace in 2011, he introduced or sponsored 200 bills, of which 194 died in the House. Of the 6 that passed, none were adopted by the Senate. (To be fair, one was essentially the same as a Senate bill, and the ultimate bill passed by both Houses was the Senate version.) Go ahead, check it out.

He is so unburdened by knowledge of how the economy works that, in 2009, he introduced a bill to increase the size of mortgages for multi-family houses. Raising lending limits in an over-leveraged market is, let us say, counter-intuitive.

His ignorance really shouldn’t be a surprise. His education stopped after he got a BA in Political Science from SUNY Plattsburgh (ranked 91st among colleges in the North region by US News. He distinguished himself at college by not making the varsity hockey team, and by coming in 16th in a race for 15 seats in the student Senate. From there, he went directly into politics, working on then Representative Schumer’s staff.

Six years later, Weiner was elected to the New York city council, winning the seat by appealing to the racial fears of the mostly white district in which he was running. An anonymous flyer was distributed, linking one of his opponents to David Dinkins and Jesse Jackson. Weiner ultimately admitted to being the source of the flyer. (Hey, that’s how George Wallace got elected! After losing as a pro-integration candidate, Wallace became a segregationist.)

Weiner’s only experience outside politics is his two-year enforced sabbatical, time he apparently used to create “Carlos Danger”, who could do what “Anthony Weiner” wanted to do. One must ask: who will be mayor of New York? Weiner or Danger? (And what a tell us that choice of surname for the alter ego!)

So, Anthony Weiner appears to be an unfettered id, a voracious hunger driven by an unfillable void. He should be kept well away from the levers of power.