A Toxic Tale Of….Economic Growth?

Remember back in February of this year, when the US government was facing an across-the-board 5% budget cut, known colloquially as the “sequester”, because nasty old Republicans wouldn’t bow down to the Presidents spending desires? At the time, the BBC’s US President editor couldn’t have been more cross, calling it a “toxic tale of cruel dismemberment and government by crisis”. Oh, how we were fed doom and gloom. The emotive language, the hand-wringing, the tales of woe just kept coming. Remember, titled BBC editors somehow don’t have to be impartial at all times. They give “expert analysis”, which is opinion when its at home. Is it bias when all the opinions come from the Left?

In any case, the President wasn’t getting His way, and it looked as if the nasty white Republicans wanted to prevent Him from saving us all. BBC went into full White House propaganda mode. As I wrote in that post, the BBC also lied about how the sequester came to be. It was such a bad idea, they felt, that it couldn’t possibly have come from the President. Yet, it had. And so the BBC pretended it wasn’t true. Mark Mardell repeated the falsehood:

Many Republicans say the idea for the “sequester” budget cuts was President Obama’s in the first place. The White House rejects that.

Whoever came up with the idea, the 2011 law meant failure to agree would cut both cherished Democratic programmes that helped the poor and defence spending beloved of Republicans.

We know who came up with it, and so did Mardell when he pretended to be unsure. The President did, because He believed it would be a threat so great that the Republicans would cave. Of course, only a fool would think that the Republican leadership, under pressure from Tea Partiers and other fiscal conservatives, would see cutting government spending as something to be avoided at all costs. So Rep. Boehner didn’t blink, and we got the cuts.

Either Mardell or a sub editor gave his post the headline: ‘Sequester budget cuts: America’s grim fairy tale ‘. It was a very dark day for the country, apparently.

And how’s that “cruel dismemberment” working out now? Here’s how:

US economic growth revised upwards to 2.5%

Now that is cruel….to anyone who believed that the sequester was going to destroy the recovery. What was the actual fairy tale, then: the real story of the budget negotiations, or the BBC’s tale of “cruel dismemberment”?

The US economy grew at an annualised pace of 2.5% in the second quarter of the year, the Commerce Department said in revised figures.

That was more than double the pace recorded in the previous three months, and above estimates of 2.2%.

The rise, helped by an increase in exports, is a further sign that the economy may be getting back on track.

The government had originally estimated that GDP grew at a 1.7% rate in the second quarter.

Others have noticed that maybe the sequester wasn’t the horror show Mardell and the BBC believed it would be. Sure, the usual water-carriers at the WaPo and HuffPo have said it’s been restricting growth, but who here thinks that growth would be rocketing past 5% or something now if there had been no spending cuts? If the sequester was really killing the economy for two quarters, the BBC would be all over it.

And the BBC analysis about how the sequester wasn’t such a catastrophe after all, and that the President was wrong?

What’s funny is that the Beeboids probably see this latest report as a sign that The Obamessiah is saving us, that His Economic Plan For Us is starting to bear fruit, in spite of Republican intransigence and enemies wanting to destroy Him. So bringing the sequester into the picture isn’t going to help that at all, as they sure can’t make a case that we’d be going like gangbusters without it. The BBC links to other articles they’ve run recently trumpeting signs of economic growth and recovery, and no mention of the sequester anywhere. If it was as bad as the BBC’s top experts warned us it was, how can this be?

I think we can safely ignore any BBC expert analysis on the US economy, budget, or politics.

Detroit Is Bankrupt – So Is BBC Journalism In The US

Detroit has declared bankruptcy at last, and the BBC is on the case. Emily Buchanan, one of the battalion of Beeboids working the US scene, has put together a video report explaining why the once successful city has fallen so far. Her reasons:

White flight, leaving inner city blacks to suffer and find themselves trapped in an urban nightmare

The collapse of the car industry

“Detroit has suffered a vicious cycle of decay, mismanagement, and population decline.”

This last one, a direct quote, is a meaningless statement. It says nothing about how or why it all happened. Who let the urban center decay after the whites fled? Why did the auto industry collapse? Is there a relationship between the crushing burden of pensions and the collapse of either the auto industry or Detroit? There is, but don’t expect the BBC to tell you, because that would tread on sacred union ground. If the population has been dwindling for so long, and the tax base along with it, why did the city spend as if it still had the historically full population and wealthy tax base?

(UPDATE as the story has “evolved”: For some reason, the BBC has removed Buchanan’s video and replaced it with some disaster pr0n by Michelle Fleury.)

Spot the missing political party which has been running Detroit for the last 43 years: Democrats. Every single mayor since 1970 has been a Democrat, and they’ve all been African-American since 1974. Neither Buchanan’s video, nor the accompanying article, nor Jonny Dymond’s inset “analysis” mention either of these key facts. Why the censorship? Because it doesn’t help the Narrative.

The BBC isn’t really interested in discussing the realities behind Detroit’s destruction. No, they’re interested in the emotional impact of the story of evil wealthy white people abandoning a proud industrial city, destroying the lives of the working class and black people, and the city in general. They don’t talk about the corruption, they don’t talk about profligate spending in the face of a declining tax base. They admit that it’s been going on for a long time, but only that it’s “linked to declining industry”. Detroit’s income was largely dependent on a single industry. People in Britain know all too well how this is never a recipe for lasting success. But there’s no Thatcher to blame here, so the Beeboids aren’t really interested in going after the culprits. Although, didn’t the President save the auto industry a few years back? How’s that working out, BBC?

The accompanying article is only marginally better than the video. At least there we learn that public sector pensions have strangled the city coffers. Oh, wait, no we didn’t. We learn instead that two city unions opposed the bankruptcy plan to give creditors – union pension funds included – 10 cents on the dollar. The ones the BBC mentions are for retired workers, in case you hadn’t teared up enough yet. Dymond actually mentions corruption and mismanagement, but leaves it there. Instead we get more sexy details over which to shed tears and feel bad.

But there’s something of a dichotomy between the two quasi-explanations give. Either it was white flight and a declining tax base due to the collapse of the auto industry, or it was corruption and mismanagement. It’s both, of course, and mostly the corruption and mismanagement has been done in the last decade or so. One mayor even went to jail for it. However, there’s no identity politics benefit to be had from going into that issue, so it’s ignored entirely.

The thing is, we’ve seen all this from the BBC before. Two years ago, they sent Ian Pannell to spin a similar tale of woe. Pannell’s story was that the poor urban blacks whom Buchanan now describes as being abandoned and left to rot by wealthy whites were victims of income inequality, thrust upon the city by outside forces. The city was on the brink of bankruptcy in 2005. Eight years later, after much more corruption and fiddling and shuffling the deck chairs, the city was finally allowed to declare it openly. At least Dymond and Buchanan now admit (barely) that there was some local responsibility for the problems. They won’t say whom or how they ruined the city, but at least it’s a tiny improvement. The corruption doesn’t really burn all the money, but it does keep the powers-that-be from doing anything useful. It’s also likely that politicians who are so corrupt were never capable of doing anything useful in the first place, so it’s a no-win scenario no matter how you slice it.

Simply listing unpleasant statistics about empty homes and population decline and murder rates isn’t an explanation of anything. It’s merely a laundry list of indicators. How did it rack up such debt in the first place? What policies led to the city being so burdened by retired workers and public services maintained at a level which hasn’t been sustainable for a decade or more?

Actually, there was a brief period of potential growth after 2001. The city built casinos and sports stadiums, the kind of development which usually brings in a short-term boost. Of course, since the place was already falling apart and the population exodus was underway, it was never going to be sustainable. There’s that word again. The only time the BBC ever seems to understand that word is when discussing so-called “green energy”. When it comes to endless government “investment”, the word “sustainable” vanishes from their dictionary. By the time the next mayor took office and started burning money, the serious financial problems became clear. Here’s a more informative timeline, giving you more insight than anything the BBC can provide. As usual, you’d have been better served by a news aggregator than the millions of pounds spent on all the staff in the US.

The BBC isn’t interested in any of this, or in informing you of anything really useful or important. All they see here is a tear-jerker, and story-tellers love that sort of thing. So that’s what you get from the BBC: a story. Nothing particularly informative or worth your time, but that was never the point. The point is to manipulate your emotions. Plus, it’s an opportunity to continue to spin the myth that this kind of collapse is due largely to those outside, uncontrollable forces Pannell was talking about two years ago. The BBC brings up Stockton, CA, and other cities elsewhere which have declared bankruptcy recently, as if they’re all part of a piece. They are, but not the way the BBC wants you to think.

Here’s an example of how the BBC prioritizes the causes in  Detroit:

The city, once renowned as a manufacturing powerhouse, has struggled with its finances for some time, driven by a number of factors, including a steep population loss.

The murder rate is at a 40-year high and only one third of its ambulances were in service in early 2013.

Declining investment in street lights and emergency services have made it difficult to police the city.

And Detroit’s government has been hit by a string of corruption scandals over the years.

Between 2000-10, the number of residents declined by 250,000 as residents moved away.

Steep population loss, which equals steep tax loss. Less tax revenue means less money for the local government to spend, which in Beebspeak becomes “declining investment”. Murder rates on the rise, which, I suppose, translates into more white flight. Only then do we get to the corruption scandals. This should come first, not last. I say last and not penultimate because the last item is simply a more specific reiteration of the population decline point. Gosh, I wonder why people left in droves over the last decade, BBC? White flight, or cutting losses in a clearly corrupt and financially suicidal regime, with no real industry or commerce developed to replace what the auto industry provided?

All those other bankrupt cities the BBC mentions, except for San Bernardino, were run for a very long time by Democrats and powerful unions as well. And San Bernardino had massive public sector employee debts anyway. As Margaret Thatcher said, it’s fine until you run out of other people’s money. Instead of pointing the finger at the corruption and mismanagement and long-term unsustainable fiscal policy, the BBC blames other people’s money.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that the BBC played another Spot the Missing Party game about another city where decades of Democrat, African-American mayors and city mandarins screwed the place up, where the economically deprived African-American urban community suffers most: St. Louis.

UPDATE 2: The BBC does, in fact, mention a political party: The Republican Governor who agreed to the bankruptcy deal (h/t Rufus McDufus). Naturally, the reason they mentioned a political party can be gleaned from the sentences preceding it:

But Ed McNeil, the lead negotiator for a coalition of 33 unions, told Reuters news agency the move was about “busting the unions”.

“This is not about fixing the city’s finances,” he said. “It’s about the governor and his own agenda to take over the city of Detroit.”

In a letter accompanying Thursday’s filing, Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder, a Republican, said he had approved the request for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

“It is clear that the financial emergency in Detroit cannot be successfully addressed outside of such a filing, and it is the only reasonable alternative that is available”.

Could the innate bias be any more obvious?

Don’t bother trusting the BBC on this or any US issue.

Mardell Tells A White House Lie

Yes, I say “lie”. Mark Mardell is lying. I say he’s lying and not merely reporting something when he’s misinformed, or making a claim based on false information for which he’s not responsible. I’m saying Mardell is lying because he knows what he’s saying is not true.

The BBC’s US President editor continues pushing the White House talking points about the “Sequester” budget cuts on Today, and here’s a link to the printed version.

Sequester budget cuts: America’s grim fairy tale

It’s more or less the same biased stuff he produced the other day, which I wrote about here. This time, though, instead of avoiding telling you who really came up with the Sequester plan, Mardell just openly lies about it.

Many Republicans say the idea for the “sequester” budget cuts was President Obama’s in the first place. The White House rejects that.

Whoever came up with the idea, the 2011 law meant failure to agree would cut both cherished Democratic programmes that helped the poor and defence spending beloved of Republicans.

There’s even a bit of bias in the last line there, which I’ll get to in a moment. First, to expose the lie.

It’s not just Republicans saying it. By phrasing it that way, Mardell leads you to believe that it’s a matter of opinion. In fact, as I showed in my previous post on Mardell’s spin, the White House has admitted that it was the President’s offer. I’ll just reprint the quote from CNBC (not Fox News, not Breitbart) about it, to save defenders of the indefensible the pain of having to read another post of mine:

Woodward documents in his 2012 book The Price of Politics that team Obama first proposed the idea of the sequester. Expanding on his work in a Sunday Washington Post op-ed, he noted—as he has before—that both President Obama and his would-be Treasury Secretary Jack Lew lied on the campaign trail by saying the sequester originated with House Republicans. The White House has now ceded that fact.

“Fact”. Not good enough for you? Forbes says it was His idea. The Washington Post, which Mardell reads regularly, gives His claim Four Pinocchios, and provides evidence to back up the fact that it was His idea. Even Politifact rates the President’s claim that the cuts was Congress’s idea as “mostly false”Politico, which Mardell reads regularly, almost admitted it, but they couldn’t quite bring themselves to hurt Him and so framed it in an amusingly contorted bit of spin that would make Helen Boaden proud:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) agreed to give Obama the authority…

Then there’s this bit from a different Washington Post article (not Fox News, not Breitbart):

Last year, the House passed two bills that would have stopped the sequester and replaced some of the spending cuts with others. But the White House said the magnitude of the cuts was unacceptable and would imperil critical government programs.

Anyone who gets their information on US issues from the BBC will be very aware of which Party runs the House. The President could have prevented this, but chose not to. Curiously, Mardell chose not to tell you about it.

If none of this is good enough for you, here’s White House spokesman Jay Carney, personal friend of BBC Washington correspondent and anchor of BBC World News America Katty Kay, saying, “the sequester was one of the ideas yes put forward, yes, by the president’s team.”

In other words, Mardell knows exactly who started this, exactly whose idea the sequestered cuts are, and exactly what he’s doing when he misleads you. Blame must always be shifted from The Obamessiah. Trapped in a world He never made, it’s not His fault, you see.

Almost forgot about the bias in that sentence about which cuts supposedly hurt whom. Consider the pantomime caricatures Mardell uses: the Democrats want to help the poor, while it’s the war machine that’s so beloved by the Republicans. Can you tell where you’re meant to boo and hiss, and where you’re meant to cheer? I guess that makes Mardell the pantomime dame, although that’s probably an insult to the integrity of pantomime dames everywhere.

In case you didn’t come away from all this “journalism” with the idea that the cuts supposedly forced on Him by evil Republicans would be a catastrophe for the country (another White House talking point which is going to turn out not so true) and, by extension, the UK and the world (which is why it gets promoted on Today), the BBC’s US President editor ends with this bit of dramatic prose:

There is seemingly no end to this toxic tale of cruel dismemberment and government by crisis.

Emotive terms, value judgment, full stop. Notice whom he’s criticizing, and who gets a free pass. This is an editorial, an opinion piece, not journalism. Don’t trust him or the BBC on US issues.This is your license fee hard at work.

PS: I realize most people here don’t really care much about the US or much foreign stuff at all, and are mostly – and quite rightly – concerned with the BBC’s bias on domestic issues. All I can say is that you should be concerned that the BBC spreads poison elsewhere at your expense, and that they’ve clearly gone far beyond their remit of providing public service broadcasting and are actually dedicated to expanding the BBC’s tentacles across the globe purely because they can. The BBC exists now for itself, and not for you. It’s also a relentless drive for more revenue, something else that’s not supposed to be part of the BBC’s reason for existence. The BBC does this stuff in your name, and the BBC bias is everywhere, across the spectrum of broadcasting, all over the world.

BBC Spins For The White House Again

I’m sure by now everyone knows about the looming swinging budget cuts that will happen automatically if no new budget deal is reached between the Republicans and the President. This is known as the “sequester”, and is the result of them kicking the can down the road a while back.

The BBC reports that the President doesn’t want this to happen, thinks it’s a bad idea, and has called on Democrat Governors to try and influence the elected Representatives and/or Senators in their States to cave compromise.

He warned the $85bn (£56bn) cuts would put thousands of teachers out of work and bring economic uncertainty.

The president has called on Congress to pass revenue rises and narrow budget cuts to avoid the automatic reductions.

The Democratic president will travel to Virginia on Tuesday to discuss the cuts’ impact on the defence industry.

“These cuts do not have to happen,” Mr Obama told a bipartisan assembly of governors at the White House on Monday. “Congress can turn them off any time with just a little bit of compromise.”

“Revenue rises”. Typical partisan language there. The Republicans refer to it as “tax rises”, of course, and the BBC uses instead the Left-wing terminology. Is the President offering to compromise as well? Don’t be silly. He doesn’t, and shouldn’t have to. According to Mark Mardell, when Congress is controlled by Democrats who don’t need to negotiate with Republicans to pass His plans, it’s a Golden Age.

Unsurprisingly, there’s another point of view that these cuts won’t really do much damage at all. In fact, spending will actually continue to rise and rise. The “cuts” just mean that the spending will rise slightly less than it would have otherwise. Does that sound familiar? Even Forbes admits this. Equally unsurprising is the fact that, not only does the BBC refuse to acknowledge this, but they even manage to quote a cuddly Republican, Sen. McCain, who says he doesn’t totally blame the President and is hoping for a compromise to protect the defense industry.

The BBC dutifully informs you that both sides of the aisle will try to blame each other. So, whose fault is this, really? The BBC reports it this way:

The budget cuts, known in Washington DC as the sequester, were devised in 2011 as an intentionally painful cudgel to encourage Democrats and Republicans in Congress to strike a deal to reduce the US budget deficit.

Note the passive voice, as if the cuts materialized out of thin air during some bi-partisan discussions. In actual fact, it was the President’s idea. He and the White House have been lying about it, and the BBC plays along like the good little propaganda organ it is.

Even the sainted Bob Woodward says so.

Woodward documents in his 2012 book The Price of Politics that team Obama first proposed the idea of the sequester. Expanding on his work in a Sunday Washington Post op-ed, he noted—as he has before—that both President Obama and his would-be Treasury Secretary Jack Lew lied on the campaign trail by saying the sequester originated with House Republicans. The White House has now ceded that fact.

The BBC doesn’t want you to know this, so they spin for the White House and deliberately mislead you. Defenders of the indefensible cannot impugn Woodward here. After all, not only is the above not from Fox News or Breitbart, but a previous book on the President by Woodward was lauded by the former BBC Washington correspondent and anchor of BBC World News America, Matt Frei. A diehard Obamessiah worshiper himself, Frei’s only concern then was that all the fascinating issues in the book might get in the way of the reader appreciating “the nuance of his finely-tuned brain”.

The cuts probably won’t be a big deal at all, and in fact will be considered a good start in some circles. The possibility of this is so great that Democrats and their lobbyists are worried about what might happen if there is no disaster. That’s in the Washington Post, not Fox News, not Breitbart. So the President has to do as much fear-mongering as possible, and work behind the scenes (i.e. get the Democrat Governors to do political cuts in the manner of Labour councils in Britain) to ensure as bad an outcome as possible. Is the BBC providing any analysis from this angle? Of course not. He can do no wrong. It’s not His fault, you see. And in any case, cutting government spending is a sin.

Your license fee hard at work, providing a propaganda outlet for the leader of a foreign country.

Evil Republicans Want To Harm The Elderly And The Poor

Or so says the BBC’s US President editor (the title “North America editor” bears no resemblance to the job he actually does: at best, his job title should be something like “political editor”, which he was for Newsnight a few years ago) when giving you White House propaganda disguised as analysis.

Fiscal cliff: What would Mrs Lincoln say to John Boehner?

You can already guess where this is going, no?

The Republicans’ rather huffy letter to US President Barack Obama made me think of a glorious moment in Stephen Spielberg’s Lincoln.

The letter, signed by House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, among others, says there has been a “status quo” election “in which both you and the Republican majority in the House were re-elected”.

They are claiming that this means the American people expect both the victors of the recent election to “come together on a fair middle ground”.

What a curious concept, eh? The House of Representatives and representational voting actually mean something? LOL.

It is reasonable to assume the White House see things rather more like Mrs Lincoln.

Her moment occurs at a White House reception when the president’s wife holds up a long reception line to give Thaddeus Stephens, a Republican leader in the House of Representatives, an almighty ear-bashing.

I cannot remember the exact words, but the gist of it is: “My husband is loved by the people, known to the people, he’s just been re-elected, and you are nobody – now just back off.”

Yes, just like our defenders of the indefensible implied after the election, l’état, c’est Lui. Votes for anyone but the President are worthless, and anyone who voted for their Representative to Congress should simply ignore the meaning of the term “representative”. In other words, screw you if you did not vote for Him and still think you voted for anything that matters. This is no longer a Constitutional Republic but is now a kingdom. I make no comment on how Mardell’s behavior resembles that of a wife defending her husband.

Mr Obama is betting that most Americans will feel the re-election of the president carries more moral weight than the re-election of the House.

Most, or just the small majority He won? Semantics mavens can parse this to the end of time, but the fact remains that the President won with less votes than in 2008.

He has been on Twitter repeating his demand for tax rises for the rich, opposition to deep cuts in education budgets, and so on.

Everything he has done has been about political positioning, not serious negotiating.

I’m glad Mardell has admitted this. The question is, why doesn’t He have to negotiate? Bill Clinton had to reach across the aisle after winning his second term. Why is this President exempt? What happened to all that desire for bi-partisanship and working together he’s been telling us for the last two years that the country really wants? I know, I know: we should work together so He gets His way. That’s why Mardell views the first two years of The Obamessiah Administration with its Democrat super-majority where they rammed legislation through without a single Republican vote as “a golden age”.

That has further outraged the prickly Republicans, who write of their shock that when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner went to see them he proposed a plan that was in their view “neither balanced nor realistic”.

“Huffy”. “Prickly”. The Republicans earn Mardell’s scorn, but the equally stubborn and angry President doesn’t get labeled. Even though Mardell knows exactly what He’s doing, as he will reveal later on.

So, they have countered by backing a plan – already passed by the House – to cut healthcare for the future elderly and food stamps for the poor.

Oh, no! Hurting grannies and the sainted poor! Is that it, though? Is that really all there is to the evil Republicans’ plans? Mardell seems to think that’s a fair summation. Of course, it’s pure spin and not fair at all, but that’s irrelevant to the foreign bureau of the White House press office.

Here’s some reality. By the way, the President’s Plan For Us also cuts $400 billion in Medicare – “healthcare for the future elderly” – over 10 years, and the President’s refusal to address trimming entitlements of any kind – Social Security, “food stamps for the poor”, etc. – is really just kicking the can down the road. Again. The Republicans plan (an earlier incarnation of which Mardell described as “hardline”) is not so far off from proposals from the Simpson-Bowles Commission, which was ordered by the President Himself. Which He then blew off because He really had no intention of doing anything other than continue to spend. The Republicans’ plan, on the other hand, intends to cut $600 billion from Medicare, but partly by raising the age at which people enroll. Not exactly how Mardell portrays it. Cutting other entitlements will actually amount to linking it to a metric which will keep costs from rising so much. Once again, the BBC defines a freeze or a lower increase as a “cut”. It’s dishonest, partisan language, but that’s the BBC’s US President editor for you.

There’s a lot more to it than simply cutting support for the poorest and most vulnerable Yet that’s all Mardell sees, all he wants you to know.

And never mind the $700+ billion that ObamaCare is going to take from Medicare and Medicaid to pay for all the new bureaucracy, exchanges, new anti-depression programs, and the like. Forbes has analyzed it as having a 15 -1 cuts to new benefits ratio, which shows just how dishonest Mardell is being here. That’s already a done deal, so we can actually say that the President Himself is going to take $1.1 billion and more away from the poorest and most vulnerable, whereas if Romney had won, thus assuming ObamaCare gets repealed (or watered way down), and the Republicans’ budget more or less gets passed, the damage done to the poorest and most vulnerable would be reduced by two thirds. But never mind all that, as you’re meant to think that only nasty Republicans want to harm the poorest and most vulnerable for the ideological reason that the government shouldn’t do anything for anyone (see here and here).

I’m not here to debate which side is right or wrong. I’m illustrating how dishonest and partisan Mardell is being.

 They demand a response and serious negotiation. Mr Obama, a more aggressive president than in his first term, is manoeuvring them where he wants them, by getting under their skin.

This is nothing short of an outright lie. In fact, the President Himself said He would not release a plan until the Republicans did first. Which is rather bizarre considering that they passed a budget in the House twice in the last two years, whereas He’s never gotten one out of the gate (the Stimulus spending spree doesn’t count). Now that they’ve done so, it’s the height of dishonesty to claim that they “demand a response”. They’re only asking for what He promised. Mardell is simply presenting a false representation of the facts. It’s also very curious that the man the BBC expects you to trust most on US issues doesn’t see anything odd in the President refusing to offer a budget when we’ve all know for two years what the Republicans want.

He is claiming the public label of the man who wants tax cuts for everybody, forcing them to champion deep spending cuts. This is not yet about doing a deal – it is about defining how a deal is seen, when it is done.

In other words, the President’s true goal is not to fix the economy but to destroy the Republican Party. And Mardell has no criticism to offer, not even the slightest frown in His direction. All his scorn is reserved for his beloved Obamessiah’s enemies.

Don’t trust the BBC on US issues.

The Simpson-Bowles (C)Omission

Jonny Dymond has a piece out pretending to analyze the recent joint-statement from Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. They’re understandably “gloomy” about Congress’s chances of making any kind of useful deal to avoid the US heading over the fiscal cliff after the ill-begotten debt agreement from last year expires. I say Dymond is pretending to analyze it because what he’s really doing is laying out a few White House talking points.

Fiscal cliff: Simpson and Bowles gloomy on deal chances

Dymond explains that everyone is really worried about what might happen if the intransigent Republicans don’t cooperate. Okay, he doesn’t say it exactly like that, but that’s the main point of his article. The worst problem with this piece is where he mentions that these guys were the head of the President’s Simpson-Bowles Commission in 2010, which came up with a plan (actually more like one with a set of options) to reduce the deficit and avoid having to go to the wall on the debt ceiling, as it were.

It wasn’t a bad plan, plenty of good things in there but, as Dymond says, it was never adopted. Except he doesn’t say why not. If it was so great that everyone is now hanging on their every word, why wasn’t it adopted? All you really learn from the Beeboid is that “disagreement” is bad, m’kay. So long as Congress (read: nasty Republicans, even though the Democrats controlled both houses for two years and the Senate for all four) doesn’t come to some agreement, we know whom to blame. In case anyone misses the point, Dymond closes with a quote from Bowles (Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff):

But from Mr Bowles comes a cold dose of Washington realism, and what seems to be the prime driver of his pessimism.

“There’s been no punishment,” he says, “for intransigence in this town.”

If I had a nickel for every time I saw that word used in this context…..

So why was this plan never passed? Because the President blew them off for purely ideological reasons. Dymond either doesn’t know that, or doesn’t think it’s important enough to mention. This is very curious as it’s the entire reason the two men made the press conference, and the entire reason Dymond was sent to do the report. But because mentioning that would make The Obamessiah look bad, or even remotely responsible for any problem, Dymond doesn’t mention it.

Mardell’s Mandate Muddle

As the US Congress and the President head into negotiations over the looming never-ending budget crisis to figure out how to avert hitting the debt ceiling again, the BBC’s US President editor (a more accurate description than his actual job title) is on the case to give you his muddled view of how US government should work.

America’s fiscal suicide pact

He starts right in with the violent imagery, just to set the proper tone in which you should understand the scene.

America might be forgiven for thinking they suffered a concussion, instead of holding an election, on Tuesday night. The country now has double vision.

The violent imagery is supported by the now-obiligatory context of a deeply divided country, most-polarized-ever-ever-omg. And you’ll never guess whose fault that is.

Republicans in Congress have other ideas. House Speaker John Boehner is insisting tax rises for the wealthy can’t be allowed to happen.

Typical dishonest, class-war rhetoric, straight out of the White House propaganda machine. Actually, this comes naturally to Mardell, no prompting necessary. Boehner is insisting that no tax rises for anyone should be allowed. But since that includes the evil rich, it’s “accurate” to say that he doesn’t want tax increases for them. It’s not a particularly honest description of the proceedings, but I suppose it fits the BBC requirement for “accuracy”. Impartial it is not. Here’s what Boehner actually said:

Boehner today maintained that Republicans want to avert the fiscal cliff without raising any taxes and “in a manner that ensures that 2013 is finally the year that our government comes to grips with the major problems that are facing us.” Next year, he said, “should be the year we begin to solve our debt through tax reform and entitlement reform.”

The speaker added that he had a “cordial,” short conversation with Mr. Obama earlier this week and is hopeful that “productive conversations” can begin soon on the fiscal cliff. As he has for more than a year, Boehner said that he’s open to creating more tax revenue, by closing tax loopholes and eliminating some deductions, just not raising tax rates.

That last line sure looks to me like someone talking about increasing tax payments for the wealthy. Only a highly partisan, disingenuous person would describe Boehner’s position as refusing tax rises for the wealthy. Unless we’re playing semantic games about an increase in income tax rates as opposed to just increasing the taxes actually paid. Mardell cleverly left all that out and quoted this instead:

Speaking before the president did so this afternoon, he said: “Everyone wants to get our economy moving again. Everyone wants to get more Americans back to work again. Raising tax rates will slow down our ability to create the jobs that everyone says they want.”

He called on the president to lead.

So you really aren’t told at all the reality of what Boehner is thinking. Mardell continues:

Mr Obama did, but not in a direction that will delight Republicans. He is using the moral authority of his re-election to push his case. There is nothing new in his call for Congress to extend “middle-class tax cuts” at once. He’s said it repeatedly before the election.

But it’s different now. He has a renewed mandate and his demand has a fresh moral weight behind it. He pointed out even people who didn’t vote for him told opinion pollsters that taxes should go up for the richest.

And here’s where Mardell really starts to get it wrong. The President got fewer votes this time than in 2008. Almost 10 million fewer. Sure, Romney didn’t get as many as McCain did, but the difference wasn’t as great. So who actually did worse? Remember, we’re not talking about simply winning or losing: Mardell said “renewed mandate”, which requires much more than simply winning. Voter turnout was also substantially lower (except for places Philadelphia, which had a turnout that even Sadaam Hussein would have envied) The President may have dominated the Electoral College, but won the popular vote by only 2.5%.  Boris Johnson won his race for mayor of London by a slightly larger amount – 3% – but the BBC described that as a “tight margin”. Go figure. Anyone here expect Mardell to declare that Boris has a renewed mandate? Some projected counts (they’re still counting actual votes in places like Ohio and Florida) expect the President to crack that 3% mark, but that’s it. Still no mandate when it’s a non-Left politician.

When journalists make value judgments like this, it leaves the door wide open to personal opinions influencing their reporting. This is a classic example. In 2004, George Bush defeated John Kerry by just over 3 million votes. The President’s popular vote victory over Romney was – you guessed it – just over 3 million votes. You will not find a BBC report saying that Bush had a renewed mandate in 2004. You’ll find analyses stating that Bush supporters and Christians were saying that, but you will not find a BBC editor or reporter stating it.

Now that he’s established that the President is supposed to get His way, Mardell lays out the doom and gloom if Republicans don’t let Him.

There has to be an agreement. If the two sides can’t get behind a plan to cut the deficit there will be pretty horrible consequences.

The ugly phrase “fiscal cliff” has stuck, but it is more like a ticking economic timebomb. The two sides agreed to a suicide pact if they couldn’t reach agreement – tax rises and defence spending cuts the Republicans loathe – as well as other spending cuts that are offensive to Democrats.

The trouble is if the bomb goes off, it is not just the politicians who will be hurt. It is American economy that would explode, probably taking what’s left of the world economy with it.

This is more or less true, and nobody’s denying that we’re looking at trouble here. We then get a bit of “balance”, where the President says this, and the Republicans say that. He even allows that some Republicans might think they, too, have a mandate.

President Obama said that people had voted for action but he would refuse to accept any approach that wasn’t balanced and made the middle class suffer alone. He said there shouldn’t be a long, drawn-out drama.

The Republicans won’t play along, and he will presumably portray them as churlish bad losers who won’t accept the people’s verdict. They will doubtless point out they too (or some of them) also have a fresh mandate.

Note the qualifier. You’re meant to understand that they really don’t have one. So Mardell wraps up with this:

While both Mr Obama and Mr Boehner sounded consensual they were in fact restating their mutually exclusive positions.

They are heading for confrontation, but this is only the first act – they are both stating a hard line, before the give and take of negotiations. They do have to get a move on. The drama can’t run for long before it turns into tragedy for all of us.

Except we already know whom to blame, don’t we? Mardell has already told us: Republicans who want to protect the wealthy. (I remember back when this budget agreement was passed. The US President editor was singing a slightly different tune then.)

But spot the missing upper house of Congress. This happens over and over again with both Mardell’s “reporting” and other BBC coverage: they leave out the Democrat-controlled Senate. Again and again we hear about how it’s all Republicans blocking Him. What about the Senate? And you’re expected to ignore Democrats who side with Republicans on certain issues.

While actual spending is really allocated by the House of Representatives, the Senate also has to pass an agreed version of the budget for the country to actually have one. Yet, unbeknownst to BBC audiences because you were never told, the Democrat-controlled Senate never passed one. In fact, even the Democrat-controlled Senate (it’s worth repeating) unanimously voted against the joke budget proposed by the President Himself. Oh, and let’s not forget either – no matter how much biased Beeboids like Daniel Nasaw would like you to – that the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress for His first two years in office. No budget then, either. And Mardell once actually referred to that as a Golden Age, because the President was able to ram some things through without a single Republican vote. Who’s really to blame here?

But that’s just the bias part. Now here’s where Mardell really gets muddled.  The real problem with Mardell declaring the President has a mandate is that he’s presenting the whole thing as if the President is king. He does not appear to understand – or perhaps just doesn’t approve – of the way the US government is set up.

There are two issues here. First, is the way the government is split into three separate branches: the Executive (the President and Administration), the Legislative (Congress – both Houses), and the Judicial (the Supreme Court and the lower Federal system). This is what’s known as “Checks and Balances”, the idea being that no one branch has too much power. Never mind that one of the Democrat operatives the BBC had on the panel of their election night coverage didn’t understand that, and thought it meant Republicans weren’t allowed to vote for what they wanted, and the Beeboids were too ignorant to correct her. Mardell certainly doesn’t understand it, and thinks if the President wins – even by a “tight” Boris Johnson-style margin – He has a “mandate”, and the Republicans should bow to it.

The House of Representatives is what is says on the tin: a group of legislators who are there to represent their individual constituencies. They’re not State-wide representatives, like Senators are: they represent a single collection of 500,000 voters in their State. Same as the Electoral College. Representatives are not elected to do the President’s bidding: they’re there to represent their own constituency. If a Republican gets elected on whatever issues, that’s his or her mandate, not a directive to obey the President. Because different States have dramatically different population totals, some have a much greater presence in the House than others. When a State loses population, they lose representation in the House. If more people move there, they get more Reps. The total number of Reps. in the House can change with each election if the national population does. If it seems a bit unfair, it’s meant to be. Sort of.

But New York and California do not run the country, even if the popular vote makes it appear that they might. Nor should they. The House of Representatives is not a mirror of the Electoral College vote, even though their numbers are the same. The House – ideally – represents the wishes of their individual constituencies. Representatives are not meant to be a reflection of some national conscience. This is all connected to another US concept the BBC neither likes nor fully understands: States’ rights. I use the upper case “S” here and always to emphasize the point that most Founding Fathers considered their State to be their country, and wanted that independence preserved. Some of us still understand that. The individuality inherent in the House of Representatives is part and parcel of that concept.

This is also why the Senate, the upper house, exists. Each State gets two Senators, and that’s it. In this way, each State has equal representation. But that’s also why real spending is decided in the House. The Senate is much more than a rubber stamp, though, as they have their own agenda and powers. But that’s all for another time.

What I’m talking about here is the idea that – contrary to how Mardell presents it – an election victory for a President does not actually translate into carte blanche. To really be successful, a President must also bring his political party along for the ride to victory as well. Failing that, he must compromise, triangulate, as, for example, Bill Clinton did. Funny how you don’t see much comparison of The Obamessiah to Clinton these days. That would make Him look petty and partisan and incompetent, though, so the astute BBC analysts tend to refrain from doing it.

The Republicans in the House are there to do the job they were sent to do, not merely the President’s bidding. If they were voted in to avoid taxing us all into oblivion, that’s what they need to focus on. They’re also not required to bend over backwards to compromise if it means doing something they believe will damage the country. Politicians get voted out when they do too much their constituents don’t like. Just ask all the Dems and Big-Government Republicans who got kicked out in 2010 for voting for ObamaCare.

The other party must try to compromise as well. But you never hear the BBC complaining about President “I won”, or that the President is the one drawing a line in the sand with His tax rises for the wealthy. Mardell may write a sentence saying both sides must work together – and he even admits that the President only sounds like He wants to compromise, but doesn’t appear to be just yet – but only after he’s already set you up to assign blame for who won’t. And again: what about the Senate? And why has neither Mardell nor anyone else at the BBC examined why the President never got a budget passed while He had both houses under Democrat control? Could it be because that might force them to learn that Congress isn’t simply a vehicle for a President’s policies? Or perhaps because they might be forced to admit that the President’s own fiscal policies are so ludicrously extreme that even the Democrats won’t vote for it?

Mardell either doesn’t understand how the US government is meant to work, or simply doesn’t care. He pays lip service to the notion that both sides must compromise, but he’s already framed it in the context of Republicans being in the wrong. Yet he’s the man the BBC wants you to trust most on US issues. Don’t.

 

Don’t Blame Him

As if all the other BBC reporting isn’t enough, they got their (freelance) World Service economics correspondent to ask, in the usual manner of journalists posing a question to which they’ve already decided the answer, if the poor US economy is the President’s fault.

US economy: Who to blame for poor economic performance?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: The economy really isn’t that bad if you consider it in historical context, and no, only some people say it’s His fault for not doing enough to fix it.

The opening section is devoted to telling you how the economy really isn’t as all that bad from an historical perspective. Moreover, the US doesn’t look so bad at all compared to the current European situation, as well as Japan. In fact, the latest quarterly figures show the US has made up all lost ground, and is now doing better than before the recession! Never mind the massive debt, or the continuously rising deficit, or the fact that the latest GDP bump is mostly due to the Fed printing more money we don’t have. So before we even get to assigning blame, we’ve softened the blow considerably, and in fact might even cause some people to wonder what’s the point of assigning blame at all.

This follows on Walker’s report from the other day defending the President on unemployment, where he dutifully regurgitated the latest jobs report without mentioning that previous jobs figures keep getting revised down. So when he then tells you that Romney will be lying if he now claims that the President has presided over a net jobs loss, you don’t actually know the whole truth. Interestingly, the last two lines of that piece are actually a set-up for this one.

In any case, now that Walker has established his premise that the economy really isn’t so bad if you think about it, he sets about pretending to ask if the President is to blame.

For the “It’s not His fault, you see” side, he links to a Bloomberg opinion piece by two economic academics explaining the historical context, and declaring that the current doldrums are nothing unusual. In fact, they say, history tells us this was always going to be the case after such a bad financial crisis. It’s not His fault, you see.

For the racist side blaming the President’s policies, Walker mentions two other economic academics, but links only to a PDF file of the “Romney Plan” on the Romney campaign website. It’s written by the people he mentions, but this is obviously going to raise a red flag with readers. It’s a partisan campaign manifesto, so not to be taken as seriously as the view Walker offers from the other side. Even though he allows as how the other economics experts are sympathetic to the President, an independently researched and published book and opinion piece isn’t even remotely the same thing as an actual party platform. It’s rather disingenuous to present these as apples-to-apples.

I suppose it would be churlish to compare word counts here, like they did for the debates. This is just one more piece to support the BBC’s overall Narrative that there is no legitimate opposition to the President’s policies, and that those who express the desire to vote against Him are motivated by something else.

For a hint at Walker’s personal political views, see this old piece where he sanitizes the political views and writings of that well-known eugenics fan and Stalinist, Bernard Shaw.

Mardell Redistributes His Political Ideology

This post from Mark Mardell has to one of his most misguided and biased efforts yet. In an attempt to get his readers thinking that quasi-Socialism is in fact a very American ideal, he plays coy, pretending that he’s only asking a question, as if he’s merely opening debate on the topic and doesn’t have a position. It’s quite obvious that he does, although as we’ll see, his understanding of it is rather bizarre. His ultimate goal, of course, it to prove that Mitt Romney is wrong.

Is redistribution a foreign idea to the US?

Mitt Romney, in the wake of his “47%” comments, told Fox News that government redistribution of wealth is an “entirely foreign concept” to Americans.

He repeated the point today: “I know there are some who believe that if you simply take from some and give to others then we’ll all be better off. It’s known as redistribution. It’s never been a characteristic of America.”

I am not sure whether Mr Romney means that such ideas come from abroad or just that redistribution is alien to American values.

But he is on to something.

What Mardell means is that Romney may have hit on something that will appeal to the uglier instincts of the voters.

Despite being factually wrong, he has hit upon a central reason why American politics can seem so very different to what happens in Europe, including in Britain. Specifically, conservatism here is very different from conservatism there.

See, when I said that his goal was to prove that Romney is wrong, it wasn’t just my biased inference. “Factually wrong”, eh? How so?

There is a large section of the American right, indeed of the American people, which does not accept the grand central bargain of post-war politics across the other side of the Atlantic.

And we all know how well that has worked out, don’t we? Or is the sad situation in Greece and Spain, and the general death spiral of the Euro something Mardell hasn’t quite grasped? He’s writing as if Euro-style Democratic Socialism is the correct way to go, and those who don’t accept it are on the wrong side of history. So how is Romney wrong?

The Republican candidate of course protests too much. In a technical sense, any system of taxation involves a redistribution of wealth, from the individual to where the government chooses to spend it.  

Ah, here we go, Mardell is going to demonstrate how Romney is wrong.

Of course, hundreds of years ago it was distributing the wealth of the masses upwards to the kings and lords. But nowadays, even if every citizen paid exactly the same in a minimalist state there would still be redistribution to defence manufacturers, or to the police force, or whatever.

???????

This is a joke, right? Some under-educated teenage prankster has hacked into Mardell’s blog and stuck this in, right? Can he seriously believe that the basic business of government – defending the borders, keeping the peace, or whatever – is the same thing as the kind of wealth redistribution we’re all talking about? I mean, technically, using tax revenue to fund government agencies like the military and the police meets the definition of the word “redistribution”, but that’s got absolutely nothing to do with the concept that’s causing all this debate. Yet Mardell seems to equate anything the government is supposed to do on the most basic level with everything it can do if it wants.

In other words, he’s claiming that Romney said that not funding basic local services is the real American way. Which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Mardell has actually revealed his misguided beliefs before. In March, he displayed a serious misunderstanding of the entire argument against the individual mandate of ObamaCare, which forces people to purchase health insurance or face a serious tax penalty.

The centrepiece of Obama’s changes to the healthcare system is what’s called “the individual mandate”.

This means that Americans have to buy health insurance, just as in most countries you have to have car insurance if you drive.

The opponents say the government can’t require people to buy services, any more than they can make them buy bananas.

Notice how he doesn’t understand the difference between health insurance and car insurance, or the concept of commerce. The Supreme Court thought otherwise. Even the liberals on the Court understood how Mardell is wrong. As Justice Kennedy would point out in the hearing, when one buys car insurance, one has already engaged in commerce by buying the car. ObamaCare is forcibly creating commerce just so they can regulate it.

Furthermore, car insurance is first and foremost about protecting other people against what the insurance policy-holder might do. All the other coverage is subsequent. Not so with health care. Yes, the Court eventually upheld the individual mandate, but my point isn’t about whether or not it’s constitutional. The point is that Mardell’s analogy is wrong, that he has a poor grasp of the subject, and that his personal belief system shows through in his commentary. In fact, he also showed this same misguided opinion in this piece, where he says that the Individual Mandate is:

weird jargon for an accepted fact of life in most countries, that everyone has to have health insurance, just as in most places everyone has to have car insurance if they want to drive.

His bias on the issue makes him criticize the opinion of people on which he’s reporting. Even if he provides space for the other side of the argument, he’s not supposed to take sides. Yet he does, repeatedly. Like when he declared that the Supreme Court’s approval of ObamaCare was “good for democracy”. He’s a titled BBC “editor”, so that means he’s allowed to write opinion pieces. How or why one is supposed to separate his opinions from his allegedly impartial reporting, I have no idea.

Mardell then writes a couple of paragraphs demonstrating that he actually does know the difference between progressive wealth redistribution and basic government spending. Which makes it all the more ridiculous for him to conflate the two as he does elsewhere. He opens the next section of his piece by again using biased terminology, although very cleverly begins what he thinks is an epic takedown of Romney with this setup:

But he is right that in America has only slowly embraced anything that looks like redistribution of wealth. After all it was that arch-reactionary, Otto von Bismarck, who introduced the world’s first welfare system, including the old-age pension, in Germany in the 1860s.

America didn’t get anything like it until Franklin Roosevelt – FDR – brought in the New Deal, including a pension for the poorest in 1935.

Maybe it is something about presidents with three initials, but the real expansion of redistribution came with LBJ’s Great Society.

“Embraced”. And then he uses von Bismarck as some kind of “Mikey likes it” example of the palatability of wealth redistribution. Gosh, if an “arch-reactionary” can like it, what’s my problem, right? Never mind the vastly different political, social, cultural, and economic heritage of an only recently largely feudal Europe and the clean break, independent-minded heritage of the US.

Richard Nixon built on this, but many conservatives have never accepted the changes.

The one time Leftoids use Nixon as a good example of anything. Yawn.

This is in contrast to Europe, where both main political traditions after World War II seemed to broadly agree that while Soviet Union-style socialism didn’t work, capitalism if left to its own devices produced inequalities which if not softened could prove dangerous.

Dangerous when? How? Shut up, just accept the Gospel.

We know from Mardell’s infamous appearance at the BBC College of Journalism that he believes that Britain is superior to the US because of this difference.

He then holds up “Butskellism” and Mrs. Thatcher as still more proof that Conservatives ♥ wealth redistribution (his line about how she actually didn’t destroy the welfare state after all ought to shock a few BBC producers and favored edgy comedians, no?). Again we see that Mardell is showing his own personal bias on this political issue. Look, he’s saying, proper Conservatives and reactionaries (Tea Partiers take note) have long embraced wealth redistribution. Those who still reject it are wrong-headed.

Mardell then makes a fatal error.

Until a few months ago it was a core part of Mitt Romney’s argument that President Barack Obama was leading the US towards a “European-style entitlement society”.

Until a few months ago? Never mind that Romney’s only been the actual nominee for about three weeks, as he’s been the de facto nominee for a few months now. Mardell is suggesting that Romney hasn’t mentioned it much since, I suppose, Rick Santorum dropped out. Even so, during the Republican challenge for the nomination, the candidates were picking apart each other and not really focusing too much on the President. However…..

Mardell opened this piece with a mention of Romney’s recent interview on Fox News. Apparently he didn’t he notice that Romney said this:

Obama, supporters, ‘more European than American’ in outlook

Oops. Did Mardell miss this part? Not understand it? Ignore it entirely because it didn’t suit his agenda for this article? I mean, what does Mardell think that whole 47%er thing was about? Think it’s only just now popped back up? Think again:

June 27: “He’s taking us down a path towards Europe.”

Sept. 22: ‘European socialist policies not right for US’

In reality, it’s still a core part of his argument. I have no idea why Mardell chose to say that. Quite frankly, it destroys his credibility. Finally, this being a Mark Mardell report for the BBC, he has to get in a dig at the Tea Party movement.

The Tea Party stands for “taxed enough already”, but it was given life by one man’s revulsion at the Obama administration’s financial help for home owners who couldn’t pay their mortgages – a classic redistribution of wealth.

The “one man”, as Mardell’s link shows, is Rick Santelli, the CNBC reporter whose rant from the trading floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange gave the name to a movement which had already quietly started about a month earlier. But, contrary to Mardell’s narrow mischaracterization, Santelli was talking about sub-prime mortgages which should never have been given out to people who – as we now know – could not have afforded them in the first place. It was that whole Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac propping them up which led to the disastrous debt bubble which crashed our economy. Santelli’s point was that this was the government promoting bad behavior by supporting the idea that it was okay to get into massive debt that you could never pay because the Nanny State would take care of it.

Instead, Mardell wants you to think this was about the government merely stepping in to lend a warm helping hand to those temporarily in need, tending to the poorest and most vulnerable. So he demonizes millions of people for their “revulsion” (an emotional term chosen to manipulate you against them) for something he believes he’s already established is right and just and already accepted by proper Conservatives. Because that’s how he sees it.

His personal political ideology informs his reporting from start to finish. It leads him to misinterpret, misrepresent, and misunderstand what’s going on.

Now for an alternative viewpoint about the US and the inherent “revulsion” at “classic redistribution of wealth”. It’s a quote from early United Statesian icon Davy Crockett. Yes, that Davy Crockett. It’s rather long, but well worth your time, and hopefully you’ll get a better understanding of the US perspective than anything the BBC’s US President editor can provide.

SEVERAL YEARS AGO I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. When we got there, I went to work, and I never worked as hard in my life as I did there for several hours. But, in spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made homeless, and, besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them, and everybody else seemed to feel the same way.

The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done. I said everybody felt as I did. That was not quite so; for, though they perhaps sympathized as deeply with the sufferers as I did, there were a few of the members who did not think we had the right to indulge our sympathy or excite our charity at the expense of anybody but ourselves. They opposed the bill, and upon its passage demanded the yeas and nays. There were not enough of them to sustain the call, but many of us wanted our names to appear in favor of what we considered a praiseworthy measure, and we voted with them to sustain it. So the yeas and nays were recorded, and my name appeared on the journals in favor of the bill.

The next summer, when it began to be time to think about the election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up, and I thought it was best to let the boys know that I had not forgot them, and that going to Congress had not made me too proud to go to see them.

So I put a couple of shirts and a few twists of tobacco into my saddlebags, and put out. I had been out about a week and had found things going very smoothly, when, riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather coldly, and was about turning his horse for another furrow when I said to him: “Don’t be in such a hurry, my friend; I want to have a little talk with you, and get better acquainted.”

He replied: “I am very busy, and have but little time to talk, but if it does not take too long, I will listen to what you have to say.”

I began: “Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates, and…”

“’Yes, I know you; you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again.’

This was a sockdolager… I begged him to tell me what was the matter.

“Well, Colonel, it is hardly worthwhile to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the Constitution to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest. But an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is.”

“I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake about it, for I do not remember that I gave any vote last winter upon any constitutional question.”

“No, Colonel, there’s no mistake. Though I live here in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by a fire in Georgetown. Is that true?”

“Certainly it is, and I thought that was the last vote which anybody in the world would have found fault with.”

“Well, Colonel, where do you find in the Constitution any authority to give away the public money in charity?”

Here was another sockdolager; for, when I began to think about it, I could not remember a thing in the Constitution that authorized it. I found I must take another tack, so I said:

“Well, my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did.”

“It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government.

So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other.

No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this county as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week’s pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men in and around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life. The Congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving by giving what was not yours to give.

The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution.”

I have given you an imperfect account of what he said. Long before he was through, I was convinced that I had done wrong. He wound up by saying:

“So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you.”

I tell you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go talking, he would set others to talking, and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, and the fact is, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him:

“Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it full. I have heard many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said there at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote; and if you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot.”

He laughingly replied:

“Yes, Colonel, you have sworn to that once before, but I will trust you again upon one condition. You say that you are convinced that your vote was wrong. Your acknowledgment of it will do more good than beating you for it. If, as you go around the district, you will tell people about this vote, and that you are satisfied it was wrong, I will not only vote for you, but will do what I can to keep down opposition, and, perhaps, I may exert some little influence in that way.”

“If I don’t,” said I, “I wish I may be shot; and to convince you that I am in earnest in what I say, I will come back this way in a week or ten days, and if you will get up a gathering of the people, I will make a speech to them. Get up a barbecue, and I will pay for it.”

“No, Colonel, we are not rich people in this section, but we have plenty of provisions to contribute for a barbecue, and some to spare for those who have none. The push of crops will be over in a few days, and we can then afford a day for a barbecue. This is Thursday; I will see to getting it up on Saturday a week. Come to my house on Friday, and we will go together, and I promise you a very respectable crowd to see and hear you.”

“Well, I will be here. But one thing more before I say good-bye… I must know your name.”

“My name is Bunce.”

“Not Horatio Bunce?”

“Yes.”

“Well, Mr. Bunce, I never saw you before, though you say you have seen me; but I know you very well. I am glad I have met you, and very proud that I may hope to have you for my friend. You must let me shake your hand before I go.”

We shook hands and parted.

It was one of the luckiest hits of my life that I met him. He mingled but little with the public, but was widely known for his remarkable intelligence and incorruptible integrity, and for a heart brimful and running over with kindness and benevolence, which showed themselves not only in words but in acts. He was the oracle of the whole country around him, and his fame had extended far beyond the circle of his immediate acquaintance. Though I had never met him before, I had heard much of him, and but for this meeting it is very likely I should have had opposition, and had been beaten. One thing is very certain, no man could now stand up in that district under such a vote.

At the appointed time I was at his house, having told our conversation to every crowd I had met, and to every man I stayed all night with, and I found that it gave the people an interest and a confidence in me stronger than I had ever seen manifested before.

Though I was considerably fatigued when I reached his house, and, under ordinary circumstances, should have gone early to bed, I kept him up until midnight, talking about the principles and affairs of government, and got more real, true knowledge of them than I had got all my life before.

I have told you Mr. Bunce converted me politically. He came nearer converting me religiously than I had ever been before. He did not make a very good Christian of me, as you know; but he has wrought upon my mind a conviction of the truth of Christianity, and upon my feelings a reverence for its purifying and elevating power such as I had never felt before.

I have known and seen much of him since, for I respect him—no, that is not the word—I reverence and love him more than any living man, and I go to see him two or three times every year; and I will tell you, sir, if everyone who professes to be a Christian lived and acted and enjoyed it as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm.

But to return to my story: The next morning we went to the barbecue, and, to my surprise, found about a thousand men there. I met a good many whom I had not known before, and they and my friend introduced me around until I had got pretty well acquainted—at least, they all knew me.

In due time notice was given that I would speak to them. They gathered around a stand that had been erected. I opened my speech by saying:

“Fellow citizens—I present myself before you today feeling like a new man. My eyes have lately been opened to truths which ignorance or prejudice, or both, had heretofore hidden from my view. I feel that I can today offer you the ability to render you more valuable service than I have ever been able to render before. I am here today more for the purpose of acknowledging my error than to seek your votes. That I should make this acknowledgment is due to myself as well as to you. Whether you will vote for me is a matter for your consideration only.”

I went on to tell them about the fire and my vote for the appropriation as I have told it to you, and then told them why I was satisfied it was wrong. I closed by saying:

“And now, fellow citizens, it remains only for me to tell you that the most of the speech you have listened to with so much interest was simply a repetition of the arguments by which your neighbor, Mr. Bunce, convinced me of my error.

“It is the best speech I ever made in my life, but he is entitled to the credit of it. And now I hope he is satisfied with his convert and that he will get up here and tell you so.”

He came upon the stand and said:

“Fellow citizens—It affords me great pleasure to comply with the request of Colonel Crockett. I have always considered him a thoroughly honest man, and I am satisfied that he will faithfully perform all that he has promised you today.”

He went down, and there went up from the crowd such a shout for Davy Crockett as his name never called forth before.

I am not much given to tears, but I was taken with a choking then and felt some big drops rolling down my cheeks. And I tell you now that the remembrance of those few words spoken by such a man, and the honest, hearty shout they produced, is worth more to me than all the honors I have received and all the reputation I have ever made, or ever shall make, as a member of Congress.

“NOW, SIR,” concluded Crockett, “you know why I made that speech yesterday. I have had several thousand copies of it printed and was directing them to my constituents when you came in.

“There is one thing now to which I will call your attention. You remember that I proposed to give a week’s pay. There are in that House many very wealthy men—men who think nothing of spending a week’s pay, or a dozen of them for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased—a debt which could not be paid by money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $10,000, when weighed against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it.”

(Source)

Paul Mason On Paul Ryan

Newsnight economics editor Paul Mason has put together a little hit piece on Paul Ryan. Under the pretext of examining whether or not Ryan’s budget proposals will help the US in fiscal crisis, Mason attacks and demonizes.

Could Paul Ryan’s plans fix US debt?

Hands up all those who think we’re going to get an honest examination of those plans. Nobody?

Mason’s opening salvo tells you it’s an attack. Right away he claims that in a matter of days Ryan has “polarized US politics”. What? Haven’t Mardell and the rest of them been telling us that the country’s politics have been polarized and more divided than ever before since the nasty Tea Party got busy? All of a sudden we’re polarized?

The video clip of Ryan is cut short before we get to actual policy points, allowing through just a statement about cutting spending in general. So far, you’re not informed at all about the actual plans.

First expert commentator: this benefits the President. How does this help examine whether or not Ryan’s plans will benefit or harm the country? Don’t be silly: that’s not what Mason’s goal is at all. His real goal is show that Ryan is bad for the country, and a bad choice for Romney. Whether or not Ryan’s policies help the President in campaign rhetoric is irrelevant to a discussion about Ryan’s plans fixing the debt. But that’s what Mason gives you.

Then Mason plays an excerpt of Ryan giving the President a hard time over budget issues. This video has been making the rounds of the Rightosphere lately, as evidence of why Romney chose him. So the Beeboids do pay attention after all. But listen to what Mason says next. Ryan wants to cut Welfare and Food Stamps, apparently. And, “says, Ryan, growth would follow.” So that’s it, is it? Crushing the poorest and most vulnerable is Ryan’s recipe for success, eh?

It’s the simplest trick in the world: use the most general terms possible, no details, and claim “accuracy”. In fact, even the mandarins at the government program themselves admit that it’s more about putting back some means-testing as a way to get spending back to 2008 levels. Sure, they describe it as the cruel wresting of vital support for “low-income families”, but that’s their job. They’re not about fixing the debt problem. Mason is giving you a talking point more than he’s giving you a useful fact. Of course, the BBC can claim “accuracy” here, because Ryan’s plan would, in fact, cut expenditure on these programs. The hows and whys are apparently irrelevant.

But that’s not even the real point, is it? This is supposed to be about whether or not Ryan’s budget ideas will save the country. Mason, it seems, has no interest in giving you any information with which to decide for yourselves. Instead, he’s giving you partisan attack points. Then the biased reporting really kicks in.

Mason next shows a clip from Ryan’s recent stump appearance in Iowa. He got heckled, and Mason uses this as proof that “the Democrat half of the country” doesn’t like him. Again, we get no policy statement from him, just the bit where he gets heckled.

I’d like to pause for a moment and ask defenders of the indefensible to show me examples of the BBC showing the President getting heckled and reporting it as proof that a portion of the country has a legitimate objection to His policies.

As for the Ryan clip, all we see is him criticizing the hecklers, which is followed immediately by footage of the President having a great old time meeting some other Iowans. He’s at ease, smiling and pressing the flesh, complimenting the local prowess in sno-cone making, and nearly kissing a baby. No hecklers, no negatives, no hint that part of the country might object to any of His policies.

However, I have to ask if this footage was included in the interests of “balance”? If so, why? This is supposed to be about Ryan and his budget ideas. Actually, Mason cleverly uses this as a segue to support his rather fatuous statement that this election is suddenly about “where you’re from”. It’s bogus because Ryan was teasing. Anybody who doesn’t rely on or trust the BBC for their news on US issues will know very well about just how ugly and violent the Democrats in Wisconsin can get when they don’t like a politician. Ryan wasn’t seriously saying those hecklers could never be from Iowa or Wisconsin. He was just making a weak crack about them being rude. For Mason to take that and spin it into a larger issue of some kind of regional divide is even weaker. Now, one could make a case for the South not being so supportive of the President, but that’s all racism, according to the Left and the BBC, and not because they think Ryan’s budget ideas are sound. But that’s another argument altogether, and won’t help Mason’s agenda.

Then we get a liar from the Washington Post. She plays the class war game, much beloved by Mason and the BBC. The WaPo hack claims that choosing Ryan is proof that Romney wants to cut taxes on the rich, full stop. Once again the BBC can claim the vaguest definition of “accuracy” here, because a tax cut across the board – for everyone – will by definition include tax cuts for the rich. This is, in fact, Romney’s plan, something the BBC leaves out in order to seriously mislead you and grossly misrepresent the facts. Mason gets away with it this time because it’s some US mouthpiece saying it and not him. So where’s the balance, the explanation of even one single relevant detail of Ryan’s or Romney’s plan never mind whether or not it will help fix the debt crisis? Don’t make me laugh.

After this, Mason gives us another White House talking point: it’s Congress’s fault. No mention that the Republican-led House has passed a budget – twice – while the Democrat-led Senate has blocked it and failed to pass one in three years and counting. No mention that the President’s own offerings have been such a joke that the CBO couldn’t even score it and His Plan For Us never passed the laugh test enough for anyone in Congress to even consider it.

Mason gives us one last generality, that Ryan wants to cut spending in order to promote growth. “But that is one major throw of the dice.” Yes, that’s one opinion: Paul Mason’s. Which is the whole reason the BBC has these titled “editor” positions. It gives them an excuse to allow opinion-mongering in place of real reporting. Not a single second of actual reporting is in evidence here. Instead, it’s carefully selected and edited footage to support Mason’s opinion of Ryan’s fiscal conservatism.

Now that I’ve spent time playing the ball, it’s time to play the man. We know for a fact that Mason is a Marxist, and supports the Occupy movement. We know his political opinions from his tweets and his books and his support for and participation in far-Left organizations and conferences. All that on its own would be enough to cause concern over his capability for impartial reporting, except the BBC doesn’t accept that. Yet now we see his opinion being offered on air, and it’s the same one we see from his extracurricular activities. His personal political bias informs his “reporting”. It’s as plain as day.

Your license fee hard at work, promoting the domestic agenda of the leader of a foreign country.

Mardell On Message

At last, someone at the BBC has mentioned the President’s “You didn’t build that” gaffe, which has haunted His campaign for a couple of weeks at least. The revealing Collectivist statement has inspired a series of mocking responses from small businesses and ads from the Romney campaign. It was in all the major US media outlets – they had to come to His defense, after all – yet the BBC censored all news of it: until now. The BBC’s US President editor mentioned it in his latest online article, and yes – what a shock – he comes to the President’s defense. But first, the bias in Mardell’s editoria before we get to that part:

Mitt Romney’s economic open goal

The opening paras are more or less simple statements of positions, not a big deal. However, Mardell immediately starts providing support for the President’s side.

Alan Krueger, chairman of the council of economic advisers, issued a statement saying “today’s employment report provides further evidence that the US economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression”.

The CEA existed originally to provide objective economic analysis to the President. The problem with that scenario, though, is that the President appoints the three members, who are then approved by the Senate. These are policy advisers, not statesmen or people in charge of anything, so there’s not much danger of them not being approved for the job.

In this case, though, Krueger is the third chairman in three years for the President. Although he’s ranked among the top 50 economists in the world, he’s Left-leaning, known as a “labor economist”. Krueger is one of Leftoid dreamboat Paul Krugman’s colleagues at Princeton, with a focus on trying to prove that we must raise the minimum wage, and other Leftoid shibboleths, like “inequality”.

The second member, Katherine Abrahams, wrote her doctoral dissertation on….wait for it…”Vacancies, unemployment and wage growth”. Anyone sensing a pattern here? While her main focus in recent years has been about time management, she also, according to her bio, has maintained an interest in labor market, as well as how government grants increase college enrollment. Shocking, I know.

The third member of the CEA, Carl Shapiro, was an academic at Berkeley, and was promoted from within the Administration, where he was advising the DOJ on how to go after businesses engaged in anti-competitive practices. Not necessarily hard Left, but since the current DOJ is one of the most politicized in history, it’s not hard to guess which side his recommendations will favor.

In short, the CEA is not exactly the most objective group going these days. When Krueger says that we’re clearly on the right path, one must take it with a very large grain of salt and assume that this is a statement coming from the Administration, and not from an objective third party. Yet Mardell doesn’t qualify that at all, and expects you to accept it as such. So already you’re being led to believe one side versus the other.

After that, every negative is qualified, “balance” obligingly provided.

The figures are in fact a mixed bag. Unemployment is up to 8.3% from 8.2% But 163,000 jobs were added, more than expected.

First the negative, but then the “unexpected” positive. Not the other way around, which wouldn’t be as supportive.

So the familiar political battle for interpretations is sharper than usual.

But it is not hard to stand back. It is pretty clear that the shaky recovery is continuing to move in the right direction, but that unemployment is a stubborn, serious and long-term problem.

No, it’s not so clear to those outside the bubble. If it was pretty clear, the President’s job approval would be a bit better, and those jobs added wouldn’t be so “unexpected”. Perhaps this is just another case of that typical mindset of our betters: if we don’t agree with them, it’s just because we don’t understand, or the message hasn’t been disseminated well enough. Mardell, though, obviously firmly believes things are on the right track. But just in case:

A shock from Europe or the Persian Gulf could crush the shell of this recovery’s snail-like progress.

It’s not His fault, you see.

When President Obama was elected he never dreamt the economy would be in such a poor state by this time in the election cycle.

Really? Do tell. This can be interpreted in two ways. One could accept that He had no idea how bad things would be because it’s all out of His control, He could never have known that even His best efforts couldn’t save us all. Alternatively, one could accept that He had no idea how bad things would be because of His poor grasp of economics, His far-Left ideology, and that His policies would fail and fail again. We know which perspective Mardell is coming from.

It is only in the last few months that his team seems to have understood that he is fighting for his political life against a strong “feel-bad” factor.

“His team”? What about Him? What happened to that amazing genius who strode among us like a giant, who ran the most perfect election campaign ever, ever, ever? Are we supposed to believe He had no idea? This is either evidence that He’s supremely arrogant and clueless, or that someone is shifting blame. It’s not His fault, you see.

Now Mardell must be the good proselytizer and give you the Gospel:

President Obama’s basic argument is simple. Without his actions, including spending to stimulate and save industries, the economy would have gone down the drain.

The president claims what is needed is more Obama – notably “an extension of middle-class tax cuts” and a Congress that will pass his American Jobs Act, to help public-sector hiring.

Ah, borrowing and spending, and public-sector hiring.

It is not my job to judge competing economic policies, but even if he is absolutely right, as a campaigning position it is pretty lame.

No, but we know your judgment anyway, don’t we? It’s not his job to judge, “but…”, which means we’re going to get his opinion. We know Mardell thinks the President most definitely is “absolutely right” (an editorial emphasis) because he told the BBC College of Journalism just that (beginning @5:51 in). But even he knows this isn’t the most inspiring message. We’ve seen before how Mardell can mope when the President fails to inspire him. And it’s killing Him now.

“It could have been worse” is not a great rallying cry.
While blaming Congress may be popular, it is peculiar as an argument for re-election.

Mardell is little more than a campaign junkie, and spends most of his time on election issues. Is this worthy of the title “North America editor”? He knows there’s an open goal for Romney here, and just can’t help himself but play defense.

If Obama wins he is likely to face an even more intransigent bunch on the Hill.

“Intransigent”? Because they don’t let Him get His way anymore. We’ve heard that term time and time again since the 2010 mid-terms. Yet we never heard Mardell – or any other Beeboid, for that matter – refer to Congress as a “lapdog” or “rubber stamp” back when both Houses were easily controlled by the Democrats and they were able to ram through ObamaCare and other laws without needing a single Republican vote. Congress doesn’t exist simply to grease the skids for a President’s every desire. Did the BBC refer to the Democrat-controlled Congress under Bush as intransigent when they didn’t let him get his way? I forget.

The thing is, only the House of Representatives has a Republican majority and Speaker. The Senate is still controlled by Democrats. It’s rather dishonest to lump both houses of Congress together in this way. Especially since quite a few Democrats have sided with the Republicans on things like the Budget and

Actually, when Mardell writes that warning about the President facing that awful obstacle in a second term, he’s continuing to write from writing from the perspective that His Plan is “absolutely right”, but He might not get His way and save the country.

After all this, we at last get to the first mention by the BBC of the “You didn’t build that” gaffe. Naturally, since it makes the President look bad, what has been a major story in the US media doesn’t merit its own report, and Mardell dutifully provides the balance by first gently sneering at Romney’s recent ruffling of a few British and Palestinian feathers.

The Romney team has focused its recent campaign around Mr Obama’s contention that “if you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen”.

Their previous onslaught targeted his remark after the June unemployment figures that “the private sector is doing just fine”.

The often-quoted remark, that a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth, is nearly right.

In these cases it is when the president reveals his underlying contempt for his opponents.

What? Contempt for His opponents? No. It’s contempt for private enterprise, for economic freedom, for individuality. It’s contempt for anyone who doesn’t believe as He does, that the State is all. The President revealed what worried many of us back in 2008: He’s a Collectivist at heart. If we take Mardell at his word, though, it means that private enterprise, free market proponents, and independent businessmen are the President’s opponents. This is not a good recipe. It also highlights the President’s far-Left political beliefs.

Slavishly, the BBC’s US President editor then defends Him, reading out the White House explanation:

Mr Obama’s point was that even entrepreneurs rely on the government many Republicans so despise: they are educated using taxpayers’ money, travel to work on federally funded roads and so on.

No, those who were allowed to hear the full speech – which the BBC has censored entirely – know all too well that He went much further than that. It was much more revealing than Mardell and His supporters in the mainstream media want to let on, hence the mad scrambling to explain it away, walk it back, and attack Romney over his recent trip.

His remark about the private sector is an unwise dig at the demand for deeper cuts in government spending – in June and July unemployment figures are higher because the government is shedding workers – 9,000 in the latest figures.

Both comments suggest Mr Obama’s irritation with his opponents’ strident anti-government message.

The lurid characterisation of his politics by some of them (my inbox this morning contained a warning of his “Marxist agenda”) obscures the fact that he probably is to the left of most America voters.

He does, in a rather centrist European social democratic way, believe in government as an enabler. Many Americans instinctively don’t.

“Lurid”. “Despise”. “Strident”. No emotive terms, no editorializing there, then. Yeah. But what a giveaway. Someone at the BBC at last admits, after years of claiming that He’s a moderate, a centrist, that the President is pretty far to the Left. When Mardell says “centrist European social democratic”, it betrays his own perspective that the US is wrong for being to the Right of Him. He’s a centrist in Mardell’s mind, and you’re getting analysis from that perspective. This is not impartial, not objective reporting. Nor do we expect that from Mardell at this point in the game.

At last we get to Romney’s policies. Sort of. In case there are any lingering doubts in his readers minds, Mardell starts off by saying that there are “questions” about Romney’s policies, and that the situation in the UK proves that they’re wrong anyway.

There are questions about his policies. And as the British government has found out, even if tax cutting, spending cutting, red-tape scrapping is the right way ahead, it takes a painfully long time to work.

Note that Mardell doesn’t write “even if…..is absolutely the right way ahead.” Nope, that was reserved for the President’s Plan For Us. Does the President’s big-government, Statist Plan take a “painfully long time to work”? We aren’t told. Mardell doesn’t dare speculate there, does he? I wonder why.

Mr Obama’s charge is that these are the very policies that led America into the current mess.

Again we get a White House talking point, and have yet to see a single one from the Romney campaign. I don’t think Mardell even realizes he’s doing it. It’s reflexive, what he does naturally, and what’s expected of him at – and clearly approved by – the BBC. And anyways, the last few Bush years certainly were not full of “austerity” measures. Bush ramped up the spending, increased our debt. Either Mardell isn’t aware of this because he was busy as the BBC’s Socialist Europe editor at the time and had no idea, or – more likely – he doesn’t want you to know so doesn’t point out that the President might possibly be wrong about it. If this was supposed to be a piece about the President’s weakness and a way in for Romney, there sure is an awful lot of defending the President against that weakness and only a brief mention of what that weakness actually means.

Some readers may at this point still be worried that the President won’t come out on top in the end. Fortunately, Mardell provides that ray of hope:

Opinion polls show them level pegging, but in the really important swing states Mr Obama is ahead.

I’ve long said that this election will be about two very different visions of America. I still think I am right. But character may be just as critical.

Many polls suggest a majority don’t like Mr Obama’s handling of the economy and think Mr Romney would be better on the issue, but give the president higher scores when it comes down to what they call “likeability”.

Even though Mardell still has to admit now that there’s trouble ahead, he provides that last bit of optimism.

This election really is wide open.

America may feel let down by Mr Obama. It has yet to be convinced by Mr Romney.

Whew! That’s a relief.

That open goal has plenty of blocking from Mardell, anyway.

SHOCKER: Mark Mardell Spins Romney, Then Plays An Obamessiah Campaign Video

This is why I call Mardell the BBC’s US President editor instead of his official title, BBC North America editor. Mardell’s report about Romney’s trip to Israel leaves out the most important thing he said, and the second half of it is devoted to defending the President on the domestic economy issue.

Mitt Romney: US will stand with Israel

In the accompanying blurb, the BBC mentions that Romney said that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Yet Mardell strangely left that out. Why? He instead says that Romney’s show of support for Israel and strong stance against Iran is less about appeasing US Jews and more about portraying him as being stronger on foreign policy than the President. This is actually correct, and I’m left wondering why Mardell strayed off the BBC reservation here. He’s previously fretted over the Jewish Lobby, so it’s interesting that he doesn’t see them as the main factor here.

First, though, let me whine for a moment about Mardell’s offensive use of the term “Wailing Wall”. While I don’t expect him or any Beeboid to use the Hebrew, ha Kotel (literally, “the Wall”), as showing that much respect is reserved for Muslim holy sites, I do expect him to use the correct English term, “Western Wall”. The “Wailing Wall” is an outmoded stereotype, which comes from non-Jews observing the orthodox Jews’ style of praying. To the uninformed, it was said to sound like wailing. Plus, there’s the historical emotional connotation of this being the only part left standing of the Holy Temple, the only actual holy site in all of Judaism. This is also the only part of the Temple Mount at which Jews are allowed to pray, or even wear religious garb. Mardell should show more respect, and the BBC ought to educate it’s staff better, the way they do for Muslim issues. To many Jews today, the term “Wailing Wall” is offensive. The New York Times (admittedly with more concern for its Jewish audience than the BBC ever could have) uses the term “Western Wall”, and Mardell has no problem taking a page from their playbook when he refers to Bibi Netanyahu as Romeny’s “old friend”, so one would have thought he’d at least get that right as well. But no, he uses an outmoded stereotype temr instead. Whine ends.

It’s especially curious because he fails to mention Romney’s statement about Jerusalem, which is meant to speak to Jews everywhere, and specifically US Jews who are worried about the President’s increasing betrayal of our ally on this issue. Did I say “betrayal”? Yes I did. Has the BBC reported this? Of course not.

We all know by know that Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is not approved by the BBC’s editorial policy. Several people here have shown how they refuse to show it on, for example, the Olympics page for Israel. Yes, everyone knows it’s “controversial” because the Palestinians don’t accept it, and that the Muslim World hates it and wants Jerusalem to be Judenrein, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Knesset is in Jerusalem and it’s the functioning capital of the country. Outside factors do not decide the capital for any country. The BBC, of course, bows to the Muslim position here, and decides not to acknowledge Israel’s sovereignty on the matter.

Fortunately, the BBC has reported elsewhere that Romney said that about Jerusalem, and used the dodge of reporting other press reports about it as a means of showing how awful it was without having to make any messy editorial decisions themselves. Yes, the Muslim press is all about anger at appeasing the Jewish Lobby. So why does Mardell omit what many see as the most important statement Romney made? Could it be because he knows this will highlight the President’s increasing betrayal of a US ally on this issue?

I say betrayal because that’s exactly what it is. In 2008, when running for President, Candidate Obamessiah said Jerusalem was the capital of Israel. Now, He’s been distancing Himself increasingly from that position. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that His press secretary (personal friend of BBC Washington correspondent and anchor of BBC World News Ameirca, Katty Kay, and husband of her friend and business partner) refused to answer reporters questions about it. Watch the video below:

Yes, you saw that bit at the end right: the President now says that Jerusalem is up for grabs, going back on His word. No wonder the BBC’s US President editor didn’t want to admit what Romney said. If any defenders of the indefensible want to say that doesn’t matter because it’s in the blurb or on that other website page featuring Muslim anger about it, remember that most people will see only Mardell’s video report and not the website text, and so most will remain blissfully unaware of it. And for those wishing to play the source and not the ball, attempting to dismiss this because of who made that video, dispute this quote if you can, and dispute the video evidence above of the President’s original statements and Carney’s sad display.

In reality, Romney’s trip to Israel was meant to show everyone in the US who cares – remember, we hear about how evil Evangelical Christians are equally concerned about Israel’s safety just like the nasty old dual-loyalty Jews are – that he will not betray Israel like the President has been doing. Regardless of which side of the issue one is on, the facts of both candidates’ positions and behavior are there. Mardell spun all that away very nicely.

But that was only a fraction more than half of Mardell’s report. The rest was spent defending the President against the charges that He can’t handle the economy. In fact, Mardell merely states a few words of Romney’s criticism – the only acknowledgment by the BBC anywhere of that “You didn’t build that” gaffe!!! – then plays about ten seconds of the President’s own campaign video rebuttal, complete with the President Himself smiling and speaking to the camera. This is the BBC’s tacit admission that it was a big deal after all. Mardell then closes his report by saying what he thinks Romney’s stop in Poland will cover.

Basically, the President gets a chance to speak for Himself in a report about Romney, while Romney’s campaign gets only Mardell uttering one sentence from their side. In the end, Mardell spins away Romney’s trip to Israel, refusing to mention the most important issue from it.

UPDATE: Oh, dear, it seems I’m 100% wrong on this one. As we know, the standard line on things like this from defenders of the indefensible is that the BBC can’t be biased because other media outlets are reporting the same way. The killer line:

Instead of sending political reporters who report on politics, the foreign affairs reporters might have given us serious reporting on the international issues raised when the Republican nominee for president traveled abroad.

While Romney was in Israel, for example, he proposed a U.S. policy fundamentally different from the one President Obama has given us. Most of the political reporters on the trip missed the significance of the announcement.

Missed, or censored? So either Mardell is a useless tool who just follows along with what his DC Beltway colleagues say, he deliberately censored the key bit out to protect the President, or he’s just a poor political analyst and doesn’t deserve his job. But the BBC expects you to trust him anyway.

Is The President’s Harvard Law School Professor A Racist?

Roberto Unger, one of the President’s old professors at Harvard Law School, has said that the President “must be defeated” in the next election (@6:10). Is he a racist?

Actually, Unger is making the same criticisms of the President as some others from the far-Left have been making, including Occupiers: He has failed to transform the country into a Progressive Paradise. He hasn’t governed Left enough.

“President Obama must be defeated in the coming election,” Roberto Unger, a longtime professor at Harvard Law School who taught Obama, said in a video posted on May 22. “He has failed to advance the progressive cause in the United States.”

Unger is one of those who believe that their side must spend a few years in the wilderness in order to refocus and regain strength and purity.

Unger said that Obama must lose the election in order for “the voice of democratic prophecy to speak once again in American life.”

He acknowledged that if a Republican wins the presidency, “there will be a cost … in judicial and administrative appointments.” But he said that “the risk of military adventurism” would be no worse under a Republican than under Obama, and that “the Democratic Party proposes no new direction.”

But check out the specific policy criticisms:

  • His policy is financial confidence and food stamps.”
  • “He has spent trillions of dollars to rescue the moneyed interests and left workers and homeowners to their own devices.
  • “He has delivered the politics of democracy to the rule of money.”
  • “He has disguised his surrender with an empty appeal to tax justice.”
  • “He has reduced justice to charity.”
  • “He has subordinated the broadening of economic and educational opportunity to the important but secondary issue of access to health care in the mistaken belief that he would be spared a fight.”
  • “He has evoked a politics of handholding, but no one changes the world without a struggle.”

Much of this resembles complaints from the Tea Party movement, no? Unger even says it was misguided to push ObamaCare through when they did. I realize, though, that most of the rest of his diatribe is standard far-Left fare.

As we know, the BBC Narrative is that there is no legitimate opposition to any of His policies, and any objection to Him is really inspired by racism. Their top man in the US, Mark Mardell, came to the US job expecting racism as a reason for opposition to the President.

The relationship between black and white has been such an important driving factor in American political history that it would be strange if it now mattered not a jot.

Last year, he told the BBC College of Journalism that opposition to the President’s policies – particularly amongst Tea Party types – is ultimately based on racism. Mardell also reiterated his expectations of racism. Beginning at 55:30:

“I’ve been to lots of Tea Party meetings, and I honestly don’t think most of them are racists. I think some of them…..uh…certainly not in a straight forward sense…I think for them it really is about the government spending…uh…their money. Now, I think that deeper than that, it’s about the government spending money on people who are not like them….sometimes.

And I think there are people who feel a disconnect because they just didn’t expect this sort of person in the White House, and particularly because He plays against their stereotype of what a black person is like. I mean, it’s actually quite a stereotype in the African-American community, the thoughtful, professorial…uh…you know…intellectual. But it’s not a stereotype in the ‘country’ South.

But yeah, I mean it’s one of those things that I feel that I can only answer when I go out and when I talk to people. And I haven’t found it as strongly as I thought I would.”

So when Prof. Unger criticizes the President for having a policy of “financial confidence and food stamps”, is that racist? When he scolds about the “politics of handholding”, is it about the government holding the hands of people not like him? Or are some people permitted to object to these policies while others are not?

Another BBC correspondent in the US, Jonny Dymond, made a rather dishonest report about how there’s been an “explosion” of hate groups since the black man became President.

So, one has to ask Mardell and everyone else at the BBC: is Prof. Unger a racist after all? Or is he magically exempt from the charge of racism because he’s of the Left, even though some criticisms are virtually indistinguishable from those Mardell suspects to be driven by racism?

Oh, and the BBC sure won’t be telling you about this any time soon. Doesn’t help the Narrative.

Life In These United States – No. 6

Here’s a new one, clocking in at 14:35. Sorry I missed last week, just had no time to prepare anything. As always, this is meant as a rebuttal to BBC reporting on US issues.

Life In These United States – No. 6

(Audio hosted by EyeTube)

SOURCES:

 Weak US job figures for May hit markets

Katty Kay’s tweet

More Sub-Par Employment Numbers

Politifact: Voter fraud means GOP candidates in Wisconsin “need to do a point or two better” to win, GOP chairman Reince Priebus says

Why are Walker allies so rattled by early voting?

Wisconsin Voter Fraud Has Already Happened

Wisconsin voter fraud proves need for ID laws

Wisconsin, 2004

BBC US Election section (click on the map for Wisconsin page)

Wisconsin’s balanced budget comes at political cost

MI Report Chronicles Success of Wisconsin Budget Reforms

On wrong side of issues, Obama avoids Wisc.

Crowd for Clinton-Barrett rally in Milwaukee 10 minutes before scheduled start: 400 people?

Wisconsin Unions See Ranks Drop Ahead of Recall Vote

BBC Changes The Story From Wisconsin, But Censors Even More

More BBC Dishonesty About Wisconsin

BBC Bias And Wisconsin – Again

Greater Wisconsin Political Fund

Letter telling people their neighbors will be told if they vote or not

Letter informing people of their neighbors’ political donations

Escape From New York? High-Taxing Empire State Loses 3.4 Million Residents in 10 Years

Taxrates.com: Florida

State Sales, Gasoline, Cigarette, and Alcohol Tax Rates by State, 2000-2010

Jewish Population of the United States, by State

Obama’s ‘To-Do’ List Finds Few Takers

BBC: Indiana Senator Lugar loses Republican primary fight

Mark Mardell: Lugar defeat shows the Tea Party is alive and well

House votes to approve FDA funding bill

House Vote 247 – House Approves $310 Billion in Cuts

House Vote 177 – Passes Business Tax Cut

Senate Vote 96 – Approves Extension of Export-Import Bank

 

Life In These United States – No. 5

It’s time for another one. This one lasts 16:15.  I try to keep them down to 15 minutes, but I don’t have the benefit of all those BBC editors and producers.

As always, it’s meant to be a rebuttal to BBC coverage.

Life In These United States – No. 5

(Audio hosted by EyeTube)

SOURCES:

Insurers Must Credit Obamacare When Isuing Rebate Checks

Health insurers to pay $1.3 billion in rebates: study

White House website with Presidents bios

Judge deals setback to state unions on dues withdrawals

BBC US Election section (click on the map for Wisconsin page)

Wisconsin: DCCC Involved In Gubernatorial Recall

Marquette Law School polls

Daily Kos Wisconsin Poll

Wisconsin State Assembly

Wisconsin GOP Loses Senate Majority, After Recall-Targeted GOPer Resigns

Legislators file to run in new districts
Others won’t seek re-election

Obama Crushes Romney in Ivy League Campaign Donations

Calif. watchdog sees budget gap topping $17 billion

A gold-plated burden

How California Unions Hijacked the Golden State

Has the Golden State gone bust?

State bond ratings (PDF file)

California Cities Face Massive Budget Cuts, Default, Bankruptcy

New California Law Will Restrict Cities’ Access To Bankruptcy Under Chapter 9

Untouchable Pensions May Be Tested in California

Losses of factory jobs in California blamed on regulation

California companies fleeing the Golden State

California slipping toward bankruptcy, again (info about Redevelopment Agency fiasco)

Explainer: The end of redevelopment agencies