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Fox News leads media blackout of Operation American Spring

I ran a Google query to find out what Fox News Channel is saying about Operation American Spring. They aren’t saying anything–the only hits were from Fox Radio’s token liberal, Alan Colmes.

I will admit that sometimes Fox News makes editorial decisions based on its Republican bias, but in the case of Operation American Spring, I think that the lack of coverage at Fox (and CNN and MSNBC and the hometown Washington Post) is not a matter of editorial bias, but that it’s just not a real story. I even checked the US Capitol Police web site, and there’s nothing there about OAS.

It’s always useful to keep in mind the difference between real law enforcement, real lawyers, real forensic document examiners and real journalists—compared to citizen bloggers like me.1 I expect that real journalists have made some calls to people in the know to find out whether there is anything to “Operation American Spring” beyond some web sites and social media. The fact that there’s no media coverage probably means that they have found that there’s no national mobilization and that there is going to be no event of note. If even 10,000 protesters were coming, not to mention the 10 million fantasy league fans, it would be big news.

Dog bites man v. Man bites dog

I understand that there is somebody in front of the White House protesting something every day, so that in and of itself protest is not news. In order to be news, something special is required, such as the presence of a celebrity, like actress Maria Conchita Alonzo.

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Organizers

One cannot argue with the fact that Obama supporters can organize. They make phone calls, they knock on doors, they raise big money, and they motivate people. I get the impression that the right-wing types behind Operation American Spring are more in line with the movie cliché, “if you build it, they will come.” Reports on OAS web sites say that they haven’t even applied for demonstration permits (required for groups of 20 or more).2 They say that the 10,000,000 people coming will not be in groups that large—sounds to me like a lame excuse for a lack of organization.

Of course, the Operation American Spring folks aren’t building anything, but rather are trying to tear something down, something that for all it’s failings, is much beloved by my country folk: the Constitution, the ballot and the rule of law. Most Americans don’t want to be Egypt.


1It’s also worth noting the difference between real community organizers and keyboard astroturfers.

2Here, by the way, are the areas where demonstrations are permitted.

“Birther” is a “hateful insult”

So says NewsBusters, a self-described web site dedicated to combatting “liberal bias” in the media.

It was on the Morning Joe program on MSNBC where Thomas Roberts called Senator Ted Cruz a “birther” — not just a birther but “big on the birther movement.” As far as I know, Ted Cruz is not a birther.

Now it’s not me who’s calling this an “insult” but rather NewsBusters itself:

No one on the panel bothered to correct Roberts’ disgusting commentary, and instead sat idly by as the liberal MSNBC host desperately tried to connect Cruz to birther Donald Trump.

Other than the fact that Roberts mentioned that Donald Trump discussed Cruz’s Canadian citizenship to the Texas senator, the MSNBCer provided no evidence to back up his insulting claim. One wonders if such hateful commentary from an MSNBC employee would be tolerated …

Who knew it was so bad?

For an opposing view, check out this story.

Polling conspiracies

imageI saw in passing a bit on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC that there was a story circulating that all the polls are being manipulated (even the Fox News Poll1) to show Obama ahead, when he’s actually not ahead. I wouldn’t always trust Maddow to report a story representing the best possible case from the other side, but what she said was that these conspiracy theorists say that the polls are biased because they polled more Democrats than Republicans, and that they should have polled more representative numbers of each.

Let me give an example. Let’s say that there are 100,000,000 Democrats and 1,000 Republicans, and to simplify matters that all the Democrats are supporting Obama and all the Republicans Romney. In a random poll of 1,000 people (a typical size for such polls) one would get 999 Democrats and 1 Republican, and the polls would show Obama winning with 99.9% of the vote. The objectors say that a fair poll would survey 500 Republicans and 500 Democrats and the poll would show both candidates at 50%. Maybe the objection is a little more sophisticated than that.

You can read it from the horse’s mouth at UnSkewedPolls.com. Here are their assumptions:

The QStarNews poll works with the premise that the partisan makeup of the electorate 34.8 percent Republicans, 35.2 percent Democrats and 30.0 percent independent voters. Additionally, our model is based on the electorate including approximately 41.0 percent conservatives, 20.0 percent moderates and 39.0 percent liberals.

Republicans are 68 percent conservative, 27 percent moderate and 5 percent liberal. Among Democrats, 14 percent are conservative, 36 percent are moderate and 50 percent are liberal. Independents include 39 percent conservatives, 36 percent moderates and 25 percent liberals.

Our polls about (sic) doubly-weighted, to doubly insure the results are most accurate and not skewed, by both party identification and self-identified ideology. For instance, no matter how many Republicans answer our survey, they are weighted at 37.6 percent. If conservatives are over-represented among Republicans in the raw sample, they are still weighted at 68 percent of Republicans regardless. This system of double weighting should insure our survey produces very accurate results, not skewed either way for the Democrats or for the Republicans.


1In the latest UnSkewed Poll, Fox News shows Obama up by +2, the only UnSkewed poll showing Obama ahead.

Taitz v. everybody else: Orly’s massive lawsuit

A “do over” of the last four years is what Orly Taitz seems to be asking for in her latest filing in California, Judd v. Obama [link to complaint on Taitz web site]. This is the amended complaint in the case that was originally styled Taitz v. Obama, Feinstein, Emken et al.

Photo of Plaintiff Keith JuddSince Orly Taitz is still an attorney in California, she’s representing herself as well as a collection of the usual birther litigants, but this time the lead plaintiff is Keith Judd (aka “Dark Priest” right), a candidate for President. Recall that Judd got 40% of the Democratic primary vote in West Virginia and is supposed to be released from prison next June. Judd claims that he should have gotten all of West Virginia’s votes at the Democratic Convention because Obama wasn’t eligible. It seems a little late, though, to be pressing that claim.

What is amazing is the list of defendants, including pretty much everyone that has ever crossed Orly Taitz, even federal judge Clay D. Land who sanctioned her in Georgia. She’s got Obama in her sights of course, plus the Social Security Administrator, Selective Service, the secretaries of state of Virginia, Georgia, California and New Hampshire. She has the Republicans in California, her Republican opponent in the California Senate race, a pile of news organizations (MSNBC, CNN, The Daily Beast, Forbes Magazine and KFI AM), and the US Attorney General and even the Postmaster General. The State of Hawaii and the Democrats get their place at the table too–31 defendants all told.

Not only are there several plaintiffs and many defendants, in addition to filing the case in the US District Court for Central District of California, Southern Division, it is also being sent to the Department of justice, Inspector General of the Department of Justice, Public Integrity Unit of the Department of Justice, House of Representatives Oversight committee, Judiciary Committee, Elections subcommittee, Civil Rights Commission of the United Nations, International Criminal Bar Panel in Haague (sic), and the Inter-American commission for Human Rights.

The 110-page complaint (not including exhibits) includes an incoherent mix of causes of action as diverse as the list of defendants. I hesitate to try to impose order on this thing, but I’ll take a shot at the high points. Orly is taking aim at:

  • Republicans, for Orly’s loss in the California Senate Race (she claims fraud)
  • Government agencies (Social Security, Selective Service, the US Postal Service) that won’t do what she wants
  • The State of Hawaii that won’t bend their laws to let Orly play detective
  • Democrats who nominated Obama, or said he is eligible
  • People in the media who have said not nice things about Orly
  • Secretaries of State and elections commissions who are putting Obama on the ballot even though Orly told them not to
  • Everybody who has engaged in a criminal conspiracy to keep her from getting Obama out of office.
  • The federal judge who sanctioned her for her previous antics in court

Basically Orly is trying to re-litigate all of her prior losses in court over the last 4 years, hold the California Republican Senate Primary again, and to punish the media for speaking ill of her. It’s as if Orly never learned one essential English word: “no.”

Since Orly has pretty much lost all of these cases already, I can imagine that the defendants will looking for monetary damages for having to defend a frivolous lawsuit. Skimming Orly’s usual nonsense might be light entertainment for some, but it has to be a royal pain for the attorneys and law clerks to go through these things point by point, citing applicable law as to why they should be dismissed. By suing everybody under the sun, she’s opening herself up for some serious sanctions and assessments of costs and fees. Orly’s mania may have finally ruined her.

The empty chair advantage

Sometimes I wonder if Obama is playing the birthers like a cheap violin

I don’t spend much time reading liberal sources and watching liberal commentators, so I can’t characterize them, but at least in anecdote I can report a theme, and that is that the birthers are good for Barack Obama.

One example is the Martin Bashir program on the Arpaio Cold Case Posse investigation of Obama on MSNBC that I linked to previously. On that program, commentator Goldie Taylor said:

I’ve heard a lot of my colleagues call this the “politics of otherness.” This is just their way of calling the President something else, like “Muslim,” like, you know, “illegal immigrant.” … So they can get around saying what they want to say, and that word we won’t use on this television today. This is just a cover for their own bigotry. …

You know what I love about it? What I love about it is that it’s going to remind people there there is a reason to go to the polls this fall. I think that this is a bad miscalculation on their part, if they believe that they can whip up, that they can incite this kind of hatred, push this kind of bigotry, and that the American people won’t respond.

Each time I hear this sort of thing my knee-jerk reaction is that it is just self-serving rhetoric – spin if you will. However, I am reconsidering the possibility that encouraging birtherism may actually be part of the Obama re-election campaign strategy, exactly as Karl Rove described it:

This is the White House strategy. … The President can come out and say “here are the documents.” But they’re happy to have this controversy continue because every moment the Conservatives talk about this, they marginalize themselves and diminish themselves in the minds of independent voters.

What got me thinking about this was what Obama and Democrat attorneys have done, or more accurately what they have not done in defending recent ballot challenges. What they could have easily done was to submit a certified copy of the President’s birth certificate (the short form). Instead, in Georgia supposedly an uncertified copy of the long form was sent to the Secretary of State, and a hyperlink to a web page containing the form was submitted in Mississippi. This, along with Jablonski’s non-appearance in Georgia and the empty chair in Indiana could be viewed as egging the birthers on. It was only when people started taking birthers seriously did the White House respond, as it did last April when it released the long form birth certificate.

The examples I have cited are a long way from sufficient evidence of an intentional Obama campaign strategy of nurturing birthers just enough to use them to discredit conservatives in general, but in the future I’ll not be dismissing such claims as just rhetoric.

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