Friday, October 22, 2010

Barone on Juan Williams and the NPR audience

NPR’s intolerant firing of Juan Williams

Reading between the lines of Juan’s statement and those of NPR officials, it’s apparent that NPR was moved to fire Juan because he irritates so many people in its audience. An interesting contrast: while many NPR listeners apparently could not stomach that Williams also appeared on Fox News. But it doesn’t seem that any perceptible number of Fox News viewers had any complaints that Williams also worked for NPR. The Fox audience seems to be more tolerant of diversity than the NPR audience.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Barney Frank: The Man in Full

Fannie, Freddie, Frank, and fiction

BARNEY FRANK can be ruthless in debate, especially when laying into opponents who try to evade the historical record. But as he pursues a 16th term in the US House, Frank seems to be attempting a little evasion of his own.

Dude, show some respect

Frank belittles members of Congress. He berates Capitol Hill staffers. It’s not that he doesn’t suffer fools; he doesn’t really suffer anyone.

Now that he’s in his first competitive reelection campaign in 28 years, fending off justifiable questions over his role in the collapse of the housing market and a candidate good at asking them, Frank has toned down his act.

Is Barney Frank?

You would be hard pressed to find a politician who is less frank than Congressman Barney Frank. Even in an occupation where truth and candor are often lacking, Congressman Frank is in a class by himself when it comes to rewriting history in creative ways. Moreover, he has a lot of history to rewrite in his re-election campaign this year.

No one contributed more to the policies behind the housing boom and bust, which led to the economic disaster we are now in, than Congressman Barney Frank.

Is Barney Frank?: Part II

Among long-time politicians who are being seriously challenged for the first time this election year, Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts best epitomizes the cynical ruthlessness which hides behind their lofty rhetoric.

Having been a key figure in promoting the risky mortgage lending practices imposed by the federal government on lenders, and on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy these risky mortgages from the lenders, Barney Frank blamed the resulting collapse of financial markets and the economy on everybody except Barney Frank.

This one is a two-fer: Frank as greenhouse gas hypocrite and Frank the "financial reformer" cadging rides on the private jet of a hedge fund plutocrat:


That's just the new stuff. There is plenty more in these older posts and their links:
Barney Frank

An unsurprising headline that should shock us all

Frank has been a walking disaster for some time and not just on the financial system. He also managed to hinder out anti-terror efforts:

From Gerald Posner's Why America Slept

"[In March 1987], the ABCC [Alien Border Control Committee] had its first notable success. The CIA tipped off the FBI to a group of suspected Palestinian terrorists in Los Angeles. The Bureau arrested eight men. But instead of being lauded, the Bureau and the Agency came under harsh attack from civil liberties groups who argued that the ABCC should be banned from using any information the CIA gained from the government's routine processing of visa requests. Congressman Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who was a strong advocate of protecting civil liberties, led a successful effort to amend the Immigration and Nationality Acts so that membership in a terrorist group was no longer sufficient to deny a visa. Under Frank's amendment, which seems unthinkable post-9/11, a visa could only bedenied if the government could prove that the applicant had committed an act of terrorism. Rendered toothless by the Frank amendment, the Reagan administration had virtually no way to block entry visas even when there was information linking the individuals to terrorist groups."

And let's note this gem from the always astute (he is, really, just ask him) David Frum:

I say "aye" to the proposed national debt bailout - and a big shout out to Rep. Barney Frank, one of its early authors, who has been a prescient early voice on the need for a big solution to a big problem.

Why libertarians fail

Two posts on the problem. The first raises honest questions:

Why Does Liberty Lose?

There is a good discussion going in the comments.

But maybe the real problem is not the ideas or ideals but the people espousing them. Say for example, the bozo who kicked of this little discussion at

disagreeing with the guys at

HT:View From The Porch (Read her comments too).

Sometimes it seems to me that what passes for libertarian activism is often little more than a snotty juvenile sense of entitlement.

This also probably explains part of the problem as well:

From the outset the eminence of this new creature, the intellectual, who was to play such a tremendous role in the history of the twentieth century, was inseparable from his necessary indignation. It was his indignation that elevated him to a plateau of moral superiority. Once up there, he was in a position to look down on the rest of humanity. And it did not cost him any effort, intellectual or otherwise. As Marshall McLuhan would put it years later: 'Moral indignation is a technique used to endow the idiot with dignity.'

Tom Wolfe, Hooking Up

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New job, same old Howie

Ace of Spades has a couple of posts on that barely critical press critic Howard Kurtz:

As Usual, Howard Kurtz Very Nearly Says Something Interesting, Then Restrains Himself From Making So Great An Error

Howard Kurtz occasionally writes media bias pieces, but in the end, he can't bring himself to actually criticize the MFM. Here, though, he goes right up to the line of being interesting and accurate before once again shying away.

And Howard Kurtz Misses The Point, Besides

First of all, note how that is put: the overheated hyperbole did him no favors. It's interesting that Kurtz lapses into this sort of Freudian slip where he laments the press' having done Obama a bad turn -- that is, he proceeds (unknown even to himself, I'd bet) from the premise that the press was supposed to prop up Obama, but, by claiming he could walk on water, overpromised, which now leaves their Precious in a bad spot.

Related posts:

What is the true function of a public editor

Media criticism and corralled rebellion

Straws in the wind

Friday, October 15, 2010

The cornerstone of the dynasty

Steelers' Greene to receive Dapper Dan Lifetime Achievement Award

Greene is in the discussion for greatest defensive tackle in history. But what made him the greatest Steeler was his selfless commitment to winning. He was a superstar but not a diva.

This is from an old post:

The clincher, to my mind, is that Greene was the acknowledged leader on that team. As Rocky Blier puts it: "If Joe didn't like something, none of us liked it. If Joe says we should do this, we all did it." It was Greene who kept the Bradshaw/Gilliam controversy from becoming a black-white issue in the locker room. Greene's ferocious desire to win helped Chuck Noll change the culture of losing that surrounded the franchise. Joe's influence kept the team together when the WFL started raiding players.

The selection of Joe Greene in 1969 changed the fortunes of the franchise. Other great players followed, but Joe was first then, and he is first-among-almost-equals today

Monday, October 11, 2010

How good is the Giants's ace?

Will Tim Lincecum Be the 21st Century Bob Gibson? Time Will Tell

Cause for concern?

Toby Harnden thinks so:

10 reasons to be worried as Tom Donilon, Afghan war sceptic & desk-bound foe of US military, gets top foreign policy job

I find number 9 especially interesting:

9. Donilon is a former lobbyist. Remember how Obama was going to change how Washington worked and rid the city of lobbyists? Well now his top foreign policy adviser is a former lobbyist for Fannie Mae who consulted for Goldman Sachs.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Is it something in Pittsburgh's water?

The Pirates added to their record for losing seasons by losing a hundred games this year. Not surprisingly, they just fired their manager. Maybe John Russell was the only thing standing between the Pirates and winning.

Somehow i doubt that. The guy they fired before they hired JR ended up in Colorado and somehow managed to get them into the playoffs last year. Even with an epic September collapse, the Rockies finished with a winning record this season. Pirates fans would die if we finished above .500 and chased a wild card spot into the fall.

Ron Cook suspects that Russell was not entirely blame.

Joe Guzzardi touches on another aspect of the Pirates futility. How come some of the bad players we trade away, turn out to be good players at their new clubs?

Baseball’s Most Fortunate Player: Matt Capps