Bill Eccles: October 2012 Archives

“My message to the governors as well as to the mayors is anything they need, we will be there, and we will cut through red tape,” Mr. Obama said. “We are not going to get bogged down with a lot of rules.”

We’ve had a few natural disasters during your presidency, Mr. Obama, and yet you still have not streamlined the government and eliminate the red tape you vow to “cut through.” Why not? It’s because your solution is typical of liberals: Make government bigger, trying to cure the symptom instead of solving the problem.

Obamacare is a prime example. It does not do anything to address the basic problems of health care costs, instead trying to find ways either to pay inflated costs or to force costs to be lower with magic, all the while increasing demand for health care without adequately addressing supply. Obamacare is nearly 2,000 pages of legislation which sticks a BandAid on the patient’s knee instead of trying to figure out why the patient has cancer in the first place.

If red tape can be cut through, don’t just cut through it: get rid of it.

Beer Choice

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My dad on his choice of beer:

I chose Miller because Bud involves big horses, although both are tiresome yellowish liquid.

My dad is cool.

Yes! My favorite clock face gets to stick around.

via arstechnica

So I’m going to change careers and become a comedian. Here’s my first joke:

Waka waka wakaaaaa!!

(Thanks to William for that one. I’m working on my own material in the meantime.)

Ω Journalistic Integrity? Dead.

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I posted a link to an article called A Guide to the Obama Administration’s Five Major Scandals for Mainstream Media Dummies on Facebook. Yes, I know, I broke the Office Christmas Party Protocol, and I wasn’t sure exactly sure at the time why I posted it.

I finally put my finger on it: As much as I believe this article does indeed portray an unfortunate level of comfort this administration has with being a corruptocracy, I believe it’s as much—if not more so—an indictment of the media for its consistent failure to investigate with unbiased zeal the misdeeds and missteps of our political establishment. We can no longer rely on the press to investigate the very government which it is supposed to protect us from.

The media used to be equal-opportiunity haters. All politicians hated them because they were relentless in their pursuit of the deepest, darkest misdeeds of all politicians. They did this task out of a sense of journalistic responsibility, of integrity, and of a need to sell papers.

No more, however, is the free press independent, nor is the independent press free.

To the first half of the preceding statement, and by far the worst part of this problem, the media is letting their work be done by the very branches of the government from which they are supposed to be independent. When the President’s staff gets veto power over statements the press is planning on publishing, the press cannot possibly be the objective fourth estate we need.1

And independence means not only independence from the government, but independence to have opinions and findings different from others. The mere existence of the JournoList and the collusion thereon is indicative that this level of independence is dead.2 News organizations which do not toe the party line are called out as radical regardless of how much truth there may be to their stories.

I suppose that the guarantees in the Bill of Rights give the press the right to collude and write the narrative and to spin the data however they like. But the result is that Americans don’t trust the media to do their job at all, as discovered in a recent Gallup poll.3

I’m not alone in this concern. Democratic pollster Patrick Caddell said, “We designed a constitutional system with many checks and balances. The one that had no checks and balances was the press, and that was done under an implicit understanding that, somehow, the press would protect the people from the government and the power by telling—somehow allowing—people to have the truth. That is being abrogated as we speak, and has been for some time.”4

Quite frankly, I do not understand, given the death of the American newspaper, why journalists are so unwilling to investigate this administration. Controversy sells papers, after all. Maybe it’s cost cutting. Maybe it’s a group decision to support this president because there’s something in it for the media that I just can’t figure out—other than outright access, that is. On that subject, The Guardian says “It is pure ‘access journalism’: these reporters are given scoops in exchange for their wholly unjustified promise to allow government officials to propagandize the citizenry without accountability (that is, from behind the protective shield of anonymity). By necessity, their journalistic storytelling is shaped by the perspective of these official sources.”5 If people on the other side of the pond can see what’s going on so very clearly, I can’t help but wonder why we’re so blind to what’s happening within our own borders.

Finally, when the polls are intentionally skewed to reflect the beliefs and leanings of their publishers, as have past media polls6, I believe all the journalistic integrity which decades’ worth of reporters before them have gone to the ends of the earth to build is thoroughly and completely dead.

Given the media’s inability to provide any checks or balances on this administration, I would much rather there be a different administration in place, one in which the media are actively committed and doggedly interested in exposing the government’s misdeeds. That’s a media I could respect.


1 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/16/us/politics/latest-word-on-the-campaign-trail-i-take-it-back.html?_r=0

2 http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/20/documents-show-media-plotting-to-kill-stories-about-rev-jeremiah-wright/

3 http://www.gallup.com/poll/157589/distrust-media-hits-new-high.aspx

4 http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/09/29/mainstream-media-threatening-our-country-future/

5 http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/08/obama-administration-making-us-media-its-mouthpiece

6 http://spectator.org/archives/2012/09/25/how-carter-beat-reagan/print

Guess what? Obama preserved his voting bloc in one defense contractor’s workers.

But is it even what’s best for the workers? That depends on your point of view.

If it’s 2012 and you’re the current Obama administration, then it’s good. On January 2, if the Pentagon cancels contracts and thousands of workers are laid off, then they might say that it was to the workers’ benefits because they didn’t have to “needlessly worry” about the layoff. President Obama’s administration think’s it’s good.

But if it’s 2007 and you were then-Senator Obama who co-sponsored the Forewarn Act which upped the warning in the WARN Act to 90 days and expanded the number of companies affected by it, then it’s certainly bad. These workers could get zero notice. And that’s bad. Really bad. Then-Senator Obama thought it was bad.

And they say Mitt Romney flip-flops… Where’s Obama’s confidence in his voters in this runaway election?

(Background story here.)