Sunday, May 31, 2009

Troops Fight And Die For Our Right To Have Our Chicken Done Right And Nothing More, Claims The Oklahoman

May 31 Editorial

In their multiple short blurb Sunday opinion section today, two things stand out to me. First, in a short piece "States frown at smiles" the Editors once again show their disapproval on the fact that the Voter ID proposals were vetoed by Governor Henry. They conclude the piece with "...we wonder why there was such a fuss about presenting a simple ID when exercising the privilege of voting."

In another piece, "Victim upgrades" as is to be expected the Editors show their rage at the fact that even the idea of hate crimes exists. They conclude with the statement "...legislation pending in Congress would allow victimhood upgrades for victims based on sexual status in addition to race, religion and national origin — despite a lack of evidence that "hate crime” laws prevent violence."

want to say a couple things about these editorials. For the first, once again The Oklahoman as they always do are refusing to look to the massive data on voter rights bills, most importantly that there are no cases of voter fraud in our state (primarily because the penalties are so high for committing fraud at the voting booth) and rely solely on ideological reasoning. They do this on a daily basis, and I think it is pretty disgusting. We are the freest country in the world, and have access to so much information, and when we sweep all the facts about issues to the side, and rely on what we want for the things we write about, we are telling the people who fought and died for our rights to these freedoms that what they did was for little more than to give us 24/7 access to the Fresco Menu at Taco Bell. It couldn't possibly be for anything important like having access to information that would create a just society for all, right?

And regarding the second piece, I do not know a lot about studies on hate crimes, but could easily find them if I took some time to look. And I know the Editors do and I know they didn't take that time. But I do have one thing to contribute to this discussion. A few years ago, I was at a party and this punk was there. He was a guy who'd been in and out of jail, a couple times for violent crimes. I don't know how this came up, but someone started talking about hate crimes, and this guy said and I quote "Man! Don't ever be hittin' no gay person...I would never do that man....I know this guy, he beat up a gay #$%^$# and he got way more time than if he'd beaten up a normal, I swear I would never..."

The reason I heard this conversation, and know that there probably is likely studies that show hate crimes laws do prevent crimes, is that I have life experience, I've been all over the country, I've seen enough to know some things. The Oklahoman preys on people who haven't seen much, don't know much, and put faith in "leaders" (yes, some people see these people who write this garbage as leaders, and people they should trust).

I think I've made it obvious that this newspaper is a disgrace, and as Columbia Journalism has said, the worst newspaper in America. Thank goodness. If there was a worse one, who knows what shape our country would be in.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Today The Oklahoman Wants Affirmative Action!

May 29 Editorial

Once again, The Oklahoman has changed it's ideological views to fit their needs. In an shockingly foolish editorial entitled "The new GM: Bankruptcy deal signals new era", the editorial staff concludes a pointless column with "...There’s also the potential for partisan mischief, detailed in a Washington Examiner report suggesting Chrysler dealers who contributed to Republicans are inordinately represented on the list of dealerships targeted for closing under its reorganization. GM also is paring dealerships, so stay tuned."

And once again, The Oklahoman is turning to a Heritage Foundation alum (Mark Tapscott) to spread disgraceful propaganda.

Nate Silver has already torn this non-sense apart, and it says a lot that The Oklahoman and their paid to think by the makers of tanks friends believe they can get away with this something this outlandish.

Silver did the research via the numerous campaign contribution tracker sites, and determined that 88% of people who own car dealerships donate to Republican campaigns. It is bizarre that The Oklahoman would get upset that just 4% more than this amount were shut down (92% of Chrysler dealers, apparently per the folks propagating this silliness) especially in that they are always so upset when minorites suggest that they should be equally represented in things. Here is what he says about all this:

"It shouldn't be any surprise, by the way, that car dealers tend to vote -- and donate -- Republican. They are usually male, they are usually older (you don't own an auto dealership in your 20s), and they have obvious reasons to be pro-business, pro-tax cut, anti-green energy and anti-labor. Car dealerships need quite a bit of space and will tend to be located in suburban or rural areas. I can't think of too many other occupations that are more natural fits for the Republican Party. Unfortunately, while we are still a nation of drivers, we are not a nation of dealers."

View Silver's analysis here

One more thing. Let's play a game, and pretend that this non-sense is true. Playing games is fun! Ok here goes. Not long ago I shared an article on Freedomworks' (a close ally to The Oklahoman) website that stated: "...In 1995, Democratic districts received an average of $35 million more in federal largesse than Republican districts, which seems roughly fair given that Democratic districts have more people in need of government aid. By 2001, the gap had not only reversed, it had increased nearly twentyfold, with GOP districts receiving an average of $612 million more than Democratic ones. Justifying this shift, then- Majority Leader Dick Armey said, 'To the victor goes the spoils'..." So, if Obama and friends truly did what they are accused of, they could just play the old game of "well, they did the same kind of thing!"

But reality is much different. Former Republican majority leader Dick Armey ADMITS to doing the kind of thing that these hoodlums are pretending Obama is doing! What on earth is wrong with these people? Has it really all gotten this bad?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Oklahoman Hates Journalism Almost As Much As They Hate Teachers

May 28 Editorial

This fall, Freshman Journalism Students will be given a lesson early on regarding "Who, What, When, Where, Why and How" which are the very basics of Journalism. In Thursday's editorial "Bright idea: Urban schools seek curriculum reform" the fine folks at The Oklahoman start out by telling us people working in education are currently focusing on innovation, as that is what will get them stimulus money.

They go on to state their opinions on what would be good for children, sort of a peer suggestion thing, and then go on to forget about the basics of Journalism, as always. They tell us of "Administrators in Tulsa and Oklahoma City" who were "..talking about curriculum reform before the stimulus money became a conversation." Then they go on to state "...They’ve described a partnership with two well-known education groups to keep what’s working and change what’s not."

Who, What, When, Where, Why and How?!?!? Can you give us ANY details on these super top secret Administrators and extra-super top secret education groups? I doubt this would be a problem for national security if they told us, however it might be a problem for people like Brandon Dutcher. Or better yet as Sarah Knopp writes in her fine essay Charter Schools and the Attack on Public Education "...The tendrils of Corporate America reach deep into our schools via nepotistic contracts--from the $3 billion testing industry accelerated under No Child Left Behind, to McGraw-Hill and its Reading First program pushed through by the Bush administration..." So, disclosure will be a big problem for those guys as well.

In short, do not trust The Oklahoma with your children.

Heaven Forbid We Should Start Producing Goods!

May 27 Editorial Cartoon

It is no surprise that The Oklahoman Editorial folks are concerned that the dollar might lose some value. Recall during the Clinton years, it skyrocketed and the inflated dollar destroyed a number of manufacturing jobs in the States, as imports became very cheap.

Anyone who's brain works knows that China prefers our dollar to be inflated, so that we can afford to buy all of their crap. And if the dollar loses value, heaven forbid other countries will be able to afford our goods, and then people will be working in manufacturing jobs again making decent wages! That is something that elitists like The Oklahoman Editorial folks are horrified of, and for reasons that would take significant time to list.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Benham (MO) Clear Channel (TX) hello??!?!?!

May 26 Editorial

In "Boomer bus: Stimulus cash rolls onto Edmond streets "The Editorial writer states, regarding a new transit system being implemented in Edmond using stimulus money "...The new operator will be Texas-based McDonald Transit...Those who believe Americans shouldn’t buy Japanese autos because the profits go to Tokyo should take note that Edmond will be sending its transit dollars to north Fort Worth instead of downtown Oklahoma City."

I don't have a problem with this, however I wish The Oklahoman would have advocated for local businesses to benefit from the NBA situation, which we paid for to the tune of now $1/4b (Sales Tax, Quality Jobs $$$, Use tax...). Benham, who is doing the upgrades to the stadium is out of Missouri, and Clear Channel who got the radio broadcast rights (after I pleaded with city council to try and advocate for locally owned Perry to get the rights**) is out of Texas.

Sadly, the Editors will only stand up for something when it is convenient. Saying anything negative about something Clay Bennett, Aubrey McClendon and friends are doing would just be too much for these cowards.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Stating Facts Is Important

May 24th Editorial

In Sunday's editorial "Tie that binds: U.S. putting Israel in a difficult spot" gives vague opinions on how Obama is being too hard on Israel, stating things like "...Obama signaled that his administration believes peace would result if Israel would stop building Jewish settlements on the frontier and work harder for a two-state solution."

This is all good and fine, if this weren't just rhetoric. The Oklahoman seems to have an opinion that that Obama is a rhetoric kind of guy, when it is convenient for them, specifically at the end of the editorial when they state "..The new American administration appears unlikely to do anything beyond the usual diplomatic carrots and sticks to impede Tehran’s nuclear march..."

One way of knowing that Obama's "Tough Talk" (it wasn't) towards Netanyahu was just talk, one could start by looking at the latest budget in which Obama is giving more than a 10% raise in aid to Israel. Imagine what The Oklahoman would say if he cut it??? I imagine the front page of the paper would have a huge picture of Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel crying with a mushroom cloud behind them with a man-lands-on-moon font up top reading "OBAMA: WORSE THAN HITLER!!!"

But when he significantly raises their aide, which he just did it gets no mention. This is how irresponsible people like the Oklahoma Editorial staff operate.

Oh, also I think it is worth noting that like so many anti-semitic, "pro-Israel" entities, The Oklahoman hates the fact that over 75% of Jews went for Obama:

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

RIP Paul Strasbaugh

From The Oklahoman May 21

"Longtime Oklahoma City civic and business leader, Paul B. Strasbaugh, died May 20, 2009. He was 91. Paul loved Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. For over six decades, Paul worked with other civic and business leaders to build a bigger and better Oklahoma City. Even though his fingerprints can be seen on the development of almost every major economic success for over a half century, he preferred to work behind the scenes. In fact, one of his favorite sayings was, "It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn't matter who gets the credit." Paul began his distinguished career with the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce in 1946....

...In 1933, a new Eagle Scout, 16 year old Paul Strasbaugh, was selected by his fellow Eagle Scouts to make a presentation in the Oval Office to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Paul approached the President and said, "Mr. President, on the behalf of 1,500 scouts of the York Adams Area Council, I have the honor and privilege to present to you five dozen white roses symbolizing York County, Pennsylvania." President Roosevelt responded, "Isn't that marvelous." He took to heart the Scout Oath, which begins, "On my honor, I will do my duty, to God and my country?." As a member of what Tom Brokaw has called the "Greatest Generation," Paul did his duty in World War II as a combat participant in the Battle of the Bulge in Europe. His accomplishments are too numerous to list..."

Oklahoman Sleight of Hand Masks Reality, History, The Scriptures, etc...

May 21 Editorial

Thursday's editorial "Jobbed? Stat sleight of hand masks reality" quotes two neutral observers (he said jokingly), Libertarian in a corporate way* Cato Institute adjunct scholar and Reason Magazine contributor Veronique de Rugy, and Greg "Watch me flaunt my Harvard pedigree, and watch The Oklahoman buy into it all, even if they usually don't like elitist East Coast professor folks!!" Mankiw. Mankiw has been referencing de Rugy a lately and her strange CATO Foundation video commentaries, so to find them here together makes me think the editorial staff is getting lazy again.

Today's editorial reminds me of a picture I took while observing Oklahoma City's Tea Party at the State Capitol April 15th.

I will explain why in a bit....

The Oklahoman editorial staff today writes "...government doesn’t create economic growth... Government can facilitate growth by keeping spending and taxes low so the private sector can create real jobs, not just imaginary ones."

Now, I hate to constantly bring up the March 4 "Big League City!" issue, where the hard working people were coerced by a multi-million dollar propaganda campaign to give $125m to wealthy basketball team owners. But that moment in time was so relevant to so much that is going on now, especially this editorial.

The reason I say this, is that The Oklahoman strongly supported the tax (which later became taxes, and now exceeds $1/4b via the State Quality Jobs Act amendment giving it upwards of $80m, a "use tax" giving them $25m more, and I think something else I think...hard to keep up with it all!) and their arguments were consistently that the increase in taxes would create economic growth, as well as jobs (examples to come).

For all the information you need on this matter, listen to my Tuesday 3-25-08 appearance on The Touch, 1140 am in Oklahoma City

Noting that The Oklahoman chooses it's positions based on what benefits them is important, but it is also worth looking back at our Country's history. Such an exercise can show how The Oklahoman chooses to revise things in this and so many of their other editorials.

Ok, so this requires a bit of work, and I think The Oklahoman knows that. Therefore, these hoodlums can easily get away with spewing ridiculous ideologies all the while accusing others of doing just the same. I say this with regards to their statement in today's piece "...the 'jobs saved' statistic (is) basically pulled from thin air." Here they are accusing President Obama of playing games with regards to how well the stimulus is and will be working.

If you have an interest in uncovering the disgraceful lies of this paper, have a look at Ha-Joon Chang's 2003 piece, "Kicking Away The Ladder: The Real History of Free Trade". While this is a lengthy article, it is well worth reading, but if you are short on time go to page 5 and read some of the information on Alexander Hamilton. You will discover that The Oklahoman is accusing him of never existing, something not particularly nice to do to someone like Mr. Hamilton.

But a founding father who worked so hard in the Government to create economic growth and jobs is quite a threat to a paper that argues against such things. Especially a paper who is constantly ranting and raving about what swell fellas the founding fathers were.

Oh, with regards to the picture, in the 1999 Columbia Journalism Review's article "The Worst Newspaper in America." kidded about the fact that the recipiant of this prestigous award, The Oklahoman "..runs a front-page prayer every day". While I don't have as much of a problem with that as CJR appears to, I do have major problems with this paper's "We're the greatest christians since the apostles!" attitude parlayed with their desire to try and outsmart their God via a never ending "Why should we condone rendering unto Caesar, when we can just drown his ass in the bathtub, like Grover Norquist has instructed us to!" ideologies. To me, it is simply disgusting.

* "Libertarian"In A Corporate Way, Norman Solomon

Addendum: Here is a new video from "neutral observer" Veronique de Rugy. It is funny to watch! Especially if you read William Pfaff's column "As Smash-and-Grab Capitalism Collapses, the French Economy Shines" before you watch it! Also consider that it is assumed she knows everything about France since she is from there. I assume therefore The Oklahoman and their ideologically like-minded friends will be calling Jane Fonda soon for her domestic policy ideas, since she is from America.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kill Kill kill !!!! Oh, wait....

May 19 Editorial Cartoon

At some point, I will do the academic endeavor of comparing the editorial cartoons of the early W Bush days to those of the early Obama days. The results will be no mystery, but still it will have some value.

I want to share something regarding the Tuesday cartoon, and let me make it perfectly clear I have no problem with folks at Notre Dame being upset over Obama's views on abortion (although it is worth noting they are similar to Clinton's, and abortion rates went down at a higher percentage under Clinton than under W Bush. And once again, I am no apologist for Clinton.)

This comes from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting's website today, and is kind of interesting. They pointed out something Mark Howard had written, about how neither the protesters at Notre Dame nor the media had any problems when George W. Bush spoke there in '01 after receiving an honorary degree. Here is what he wrote, and thanks to FAIR for pointing this out:

Every good Catholic knows that the church is strictly opposed to capital punishment. Since Bush set records for carrying out death sentences when he was governor of Texas, you would think that the same guardians of virtue that are protesting Obama, who has never personally signed an abortion certificate, would have been out in force for a man who presided over 152 executions. But there was nary a peep. There were no bishops signing petitions opposing Bush's appearance. There were no protests on campus. There were no students refusing to participate in graduation ceremonies. And there were no cameras from national news networks circling like buzzards.

If these Catholic Crusaders are truly interested in demonstrating their piety without prejudice, they should immediately call for Notre Dame to revoke Bush's honorary degree. If the press is honestly endeavoring to be objective, they should pose this question to the protesters.

FAIR goes on to point out a poll showing a majority of Catholics supported Obama's invite to Notre Dame. Sadly for Obama, apparently Today is one of the days when their constant flip-flop between us being a Democracy not a Republic, or being a Republic not a Democracy does not come out in his favor.

Editorial Staff uses SOME Kaiser Foundation Research Again

May 19 Editorial

In today's editorial, "Washington should take time on health care reform" more Frank Luntz and big business health-care talking points with no documentation on their statements are made. It is essentially the same piece that was written last Monday, which I broke down as not just straight propaganda, but plagiarized straight propaganda.

The only difference this go 'round, is that the paper is saying Congress should take extra time to figure things out regarding this issue. Now, I am no apologist for Bill Clinton that is for sure, but this certainly brings to mind this editorial written a little more than eleven years ago:

There are numerous examples (the war on Iraq is a fine example). Many more recent ones where the fine writers at The Oklahoman show incredible bias on issues regarding whether we should act right away, or take time to figure things out (or stall) but I thought this example was kind of funny. Especially when you recall that the lying under oath incident didn't occur until four days after this was written!

But back to the issue at hand, The Oklahoma ONCE AGAIN quotes The Kaiser Family Foundation study that stated "...about 80 percent of insured Americans say is excellent or good, according to a study last year" but ONCE AGAIN leave out The Kaiser Family Foundation study that stated:

" ....poll says 80 percent are dissatisfied with the cost of health care."

And once again, they leave out a study done with residents of 30 rich countries polled by Gallup. Americans came in 18th in terms of satisfaction with their care, despite the fact that we out-spend everyone else on the list by an incredibly significant amount. Ireland, Switzerland, and Belgium topped the list.

Another statement in the article was interesting. "...'Our goal is to have a healthier America,' Pelosi said last week after a meeting with President Barack Obama. No House Republicans were present." While this apparently is true, what is more important to note are things like zero representation in any important discussions with the Obama-Pelosi crew with single-payer advocates. This is worth noting because this is the main thing The Oklahoman is ranting and raving about! Note this excerpt from a recent column by Amy Goodman:

"Barack Obama appeared this week with health-industry bigwigs, proclaiming light at the end of the health-care tunnel. Among those gathered were executives from HMO giants Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Health Net Inc., and the health-insurance lobbying group America’s Health Insurance Plans; from the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association; from medical-device companies; and from the pharmaceutical industry, including the president and CEO of Merck and former Rep. Billy Tauzin, now president and CEO of PhRMA....Still absent from the debate are advocates for single-payer, often referred to as the “Canadian-style” health care. Single-payer health care is not “socialized medicine.” According to Physicians for a National Health Program, single-payer means “the government pays for care that is delivered in the private (mostly not-for-profit) sector.” read the rest of the column here.

The Oklahoman continues to be nothing short of a complete disgrace.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Brandon Dutcher Contradicts Himself AGAIN, Yet Still Makes $82,500+/year

May 18 Editorial Column
By The OCPA's Brandon Dutcher!

Thus far I have only discussed Staff Editorials, but I have planned on swaying from doing just that from time to time. Occasionally I will post articles and things that have been written by contributors and myself, and every now and then critique a non staff editorial.

I will unquestionably do so whenever someone like Brandon Dutcher is featured. I have very little tolerance for people who rant and rave about teachers being overpayed, all the while making close to $100k/yr (see Dutcher's '07 salary, taken from The OCPA's IRS shows a strategy of "throw piles of money at think-tank employees, that will solve all our problems!") for doing little more than "tweeting" all day, writing an occasional opinion column, supporting $1/4b in taxpayer money going to Billionaires for their basketball team (shhh! Don't say that too loud while I'm at a tea party rally deal says Brandon!), and participating occasionally in elegant dinner parties with fancy guests.

Today The Oklahoman features a rant written by Dutcher (in between important "tweets" no doubt!), entitled "‘HOPE’ is irresponsible public policy."

Dutcher sounds the alarm early in the column, stating "...the state’s most powerful labor union, the Oklahoma Education Association, are asking taxpayers for an additional $850 million annual bailout." and it is no mystery what he is doing here. Increased taxes AND a powerful union behind it? Yipes! That is enough to get people pretty darn riled up around here!

He then goes on to show us how EVERYONE is on his side, even "radicals" like David Blatt of the left-of-center Oklahoma Policy Institute who he quotes as saying on this issue:

"...state policymakers will need to display a great deal of flexibility and willingness to utilize all the policy options at their disposal to keep the state budget afloat during the upcoming years.”

This here should no doubt be the proverbial nail in the coffin for teachers and folks who want public education in Oklahoma to be funded on a level equal to other states in the region (which is what HOPE is, a mandate that Oklahoma schools receive funding on average equal to other states around us)... But wait!

Luckily for those of us who do not approve of people like Dutcher, this is the bible-belt and those who take the bible and it's lessons seriously, do not appreciate liars and charlitans.

Dutcher proves to be such - quite clumsily three paragraphs down by quoting Ed Allen "...unless the state receives a windfall in additional revenue, 12 percent across-the-board budget cuts for every agency will need to occur.”

Am I missing something, or did Dutcher just tell us via Mr. Allen that the revenues the teachers are asking for will come from other agencies, not from additional taxes? That is exactly what it looks like to me. And note the phrase "..unless the state receives a windfall in additional revenue" and note why Dutcher refers to Stimulus money as "Stimulus" in the column. Dutcher knows quite well that it is impotant to write-off this windfall in additional revenue early on so as to support his arguments later in the column.

And regarding the quote from Blatt, I asked him about what Dutcher wrote and he replied:"I of course meant using the Rainy Day Fund and considering new revenue sources. At least he didn't pretend we agree.Thanks for the heads up." Yet Dutcher pretends he is talking about this matter and how rotten a thing it is. I would like to ask Brandon what they have been teaching him at the innumerable bible classes he attends, but I am pretty sure that he does not listen when he attends so why bother.

Also, wasn't Dutcher one of the big guys behind TABOR a few years ago, and the real goal of TABOR was to take funding away from these agencies so that their tasks could be then taken on by the glorious private sector? It would seem to me that those agencies losing some of their funding would partially fulfill Dutchers dream scenario he has been fantasizing over for some time.

But anyone who knows anything about this fellow, his number one goal is to destroy public schools. All fantasies must be pushed aside until this is done so all children can grow up and be nice think-tank employees and play on Twitter all day instead of contribute to society by working for a living.

(to be continued...)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Some Consistancy With Leaders Would Be Nice!

May 17th Editorial

A few years back I did a study, looking at the sixty days before and after the start of the current war in Iraq and what The Oklahoman had to say about the situation. Of all the editorials I looked at, not a single one had anything negative to say about the prospects or the actuality of the war (once it started), and some of the editorials said disgraceful things about individuals who were not for the war.

In the Sunday editorial "Guantanamo, other issues show leadership dilemma" the author points out that Obama has "flip-flopped" on the issues of closing Guantanamo and releasing torture photos (true), and asked "Why weren’t things more thoroughly thought out before policy declarations were made?"

The editorial goes on to quote Debra Burlingame, sister of 9-11 victim Charles "Chic” Burlingame III who stated "We’d been had,” when Binyam Mohamed was released and repatriated to Britain. This suggested that she'd been lied to by Obama who said he wouldn't let any "potential Jihadists" go.

While I do not disagree with The Oklahoman at all that we should hold Obama to his promises, and demand that he be the person he claims to be (appointing Summers, Rubin, Pritzker etc..??? What is this man thinking?!??!) I do think it would have been good if they'd held the previous administration to similar standards. I mentioned the Iraq War at the beginning, because I think "Why weren’t things more thoroughly thought out before policy declarations were made?" is something they could have asked in at least one of those radically pro-war 120 days I looked at, but weren't because the paper refused to be critical of Bush.

I also mention Debra Burlingame and The papers synthetic compassion for her, because I think if you compare it to what they write about people like Cindy Sheehan or Andrew Rice, you will discover that their sympathy for people who have lost loved ones is quite conditional.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Brad Henry Plays Funny Prank on Ideological Oklahoman Editorial Writers

May 15th Editorial

A February CBS News poll found that 59 percent in the U.S. say the government should provide national health insurance. The Oklahoman ignored that, and many other things (like the other Kaiser poll showing 80% of Americans polled are upset with health care costs) in the 5-12 editorial. They wanted to ensure that the ignorant masses do not get what they want.

But every time a couple of days pass, The Oklahoman editorial folks forget they are the world-leader in "We are a Republic! Not a Democracy!!" rants. Today's piece, "Split decision: Voters like Henry, but not his leanings " does a not so subtle job in telling the readers to think twice next time about voting for someone with any similarities to Brad Henry. And their main problem is that he is not always doing the will of the people, or at least doing what "Sooner Poll" claims to be the will of the people.

Amazingly, they are willing to push their beliefs aside for the day to try and encourage folks to consider someone with a stunningly flawless record of doing the will of the people, and loving democracy like Mary Fallin next go 'round.

All I can say is that if people here like Henry, and so many are Republicans, it is because he is doing what they want. They want to live in a Republic, not a Democracy. And by doing what he is doing, they seem to be enjoying him and his time in office.

If you are concerned about The Oklahoman and what they've done here, moving away from their love of being a Republic, not a darned Democracy, wait a day or two they'll be back to their good ol' ideological ways.

If you are interested in what I think of Henry, I say he's ok. Nothing too fantastic. I will say though Largent would have handled the disgraceful NBA issue better though, however I am still glad I did this in '02:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sixth Graders Have it Way Too Tough

May 12 Editorial

In Tuesday's article "The Obama Plan: ObamaCare plan worth a national donnybrook", the Editors stated that “...120 million Americans with private insurance could be shifted to the public option under Obama's plan...” and went on “...Most Americans like their current health care insurance setup."

There were a handful of reactions from readers who had questions about these claims and even belittled them in the comments section, ("Mombocat" stated: “Most Americans like their health care setup? ... the conservative media is whipping up hysteria out of lies.”) however I believe this fellow and others are being too harsh on The Oklahoman Editorial writers, and let me explain why.

A column in The Weekly Standard written a couple of days ago by DC Lobbyists/Employees of The Ethics and Public Policy Center, James C. Capretta and Yuval Levin, and shortly after the Luntz memo was released stated:

“... the Obama plan would involve a profound displacement of currently insured Americans, who for the most part are happy with their coverage and will not appreciate being dumped into a program that could end up resembling Medicaid. A recent study by the Lewin Group estimates that almost 120 million Americans could be forced from employer-based coverage into government-run insurance by the kind of two-step strategy the Democrats envision.”

If former School teacher Sally Kern were ever handed a paper by a 6th grader directly copied from Darwin's theories on evolution, it is safe to assume she would first reprimand the child for plagiarism. Later, she maybe say some things about the subject at hand, but probably not before it was understood it is not good to copy from others.

I don't think we need to attack The Oklahoman as harshly as a Teacher would Jimmy or Billy, as The Editors were merely copying the talking points given to The Weekly Standard which were Given to Frank Luntz by the nice folks at The Kaiser Foundation, and a host of other folks paid to think by the makers of tanks. These are tactics children are either too naive or innocent to engage in, plus, even if they are friends with the school's biggest bully, no way is said bully as big and mean as the friends of The Oklahoman who will defend them.

Before I go on, I would like to mention something about The Kaiser Foundation. the ones who provided the “people enjoy their plans!” via a study they conducted that found “well over 80 percent of insured Americans rated their health insurance as excellent or good!”. If these numbers are true, health care in other countries is absolutely amazing and we might be well served to find out why.

I say it must be absolutely amazing, and base this statement on a study done with residents of 30 rich countries polled by Gallup. Americans came in 18th in terms of satisfaction with their care, despite the fact that we out-spend everyone else on the list by an incredibly significant amount. Ireland, Switzerland, and Belgium topped the list. We trailed Iceland, Denmark and Finland and some others too depressing to name.

This Gallup study, put together with The Kaiser Study makes me believe another study mentioned in an article on on 08/01/07 which stated:

"...74 percent in a recent Democracy Corps poll say they are dissatisfied with the cost of health care, a number matched in a Kaiser Family Foundation poll from 2006 (80 percent)."

Putting aside the “People are quite happy with things, no need for change we can believe in or any of that!” talking point and any questions as to why the other kaiser study was ignored, I would like to briefly touch on the “ ...120 million Americans with private insurance could be shifted to the public option under Obama's plan...” point The Oklahoman Editorial writers took from The Weekly Standard piece, who took it from others and eventually end up at a group by the name of The Lewin Group.

On this, I would like to defer to Jacob Hacker, author of “The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream”. Note this commentary is from early June and he accuratly predicts that “fear mongers will seize on these false numbers”. Have a look:

So as you see I was able to find sources on the “120 million” and “things are fine!” references from multiple sources, however there is another statement in The Oklahoman's piece that I only found in one place. In “their” editorial, they go on to state “Concerns appear across the board. Federal subsides could cost $150 billion a year and more than $1 trillion over 10 years, analysts say.”

The place I found information on these number was ...brace yourself... in The Weekly Standard column! Here is what they write:

“Most analysts expect the subsidies for expanded coverage to cost at least $150 billion per year. Even if phased in over several years, the ten-year price tag will easily exceed $1 trillion.”

Once again, 6th Graders Billy or Jimmy would no question be in deep trouble for copying something directly for someone else's writing, but to hold The Oklahoman to such standards would be way out of line. Therefore, I will just point this out and let the readers decide what to think on this matter.

I must wrap things up, even though there is a ton more to say. But I will go ahead and conclude with this. I have a friend who is in DC for awhile, and I asked him to attend A talk at The Heritage Foundation given today on these issues. It has been scheduled for awhile now, and I figured they wouldn't have time to alter their discussion away from the leaked Luntz memo. I was correct on that. Read what my friend Kevin has to say about what he witnessed there:

The Lack of Conservative Principles of Health Care Reform - Kevin Bogle

This morning I attended a lecture given by The Honorable Mike Enzi (R-WY) at The Heritage Foundation. The talk was brief and titled “Conservative Principles of Health Care Reform: The Road Ahead.”

What I learned about the republicans plan is not shocking, incendiary, or even that radical—because I had read the speech the day before. I’m speaking, of course, of the leaked Luntz memo called The Language of Healthcare 2009.

Rep. Enzi spoke at times directly from the talking points memo calling for a “search for common ground” with Obama, yet deriding the Washington “bureaucrat or healthcare lobbyist” who would stand between the patient and his doctor. He blamed the White House for not talking when he and Coburn, Burr, Cochran et all have been working for two and a half years on a bill and claimed that the “Democratic plan would deny Americans” the access to the help they need. This language is all directly from the talking points memo—a memo that was the basis for the Oklahoman Editorial this morning.

Beyond the memo, Enzi said that the Republicans have no cohesive plan. He claims that between the 40 Republican senators, there are at least 20 different plans (Coburn, Burr, Cochran have one, Limbaugh another, his office a third) and they have no solid plan to oppose the Democrat’s bill. His solution to this is easy—don’t fight the democrat bill. Instead, he claims that there has never been a health care bill this complicated and is confident that the Republican minority can befriend moderate Democrats and slip in their bill as amendments and additions instead of having to directly confront them.

This is exactly where we need to step up and hound them—ask them for their alternative, ask them to show a plan that is better than Obama’s, and force them to put forward a real alternative package. This is something that Mike Enzi could not do today, and, to be honest with you, he didn’t seem that worried.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Never Mind What People Want

May 10 Editorial

Sunday's editorial "Government programs can’t trump bad behavior" was not about millions given to Bass Pro, "Quality Jobs Act" adjustments made specifically for Billionaire basketball team owners, funds abused by TIFF district folks, rather it was about (brace yourself!) health care reform.

The editorial which references HB 2026 (.rtf file - not an exciting read, save for a part of the bill that gives a better deal to 501(c)(3) groups, which suggests that the bill was probably written by one) basically suggests that people should just do the right thing and keep things as they are with minimal changes, all the while pulling themselves up by their boot-straps and all of that typical business.

But wait, hold the presses! Earlier last week, Bernie Horn wrote a piece entitled "The Secret Right-Wing Strategy on Health Care—Exposed!". In the article, he details a memo put together by the famous pollster Frank Luntz (the man who helped Gingrich piece together the Republican Contract with America in 1994), aimed at defeating Obama's coming health care reform proposals. It is apparent that the memo was so appalling, that a high-ranking Republican that received the memo leaked it to the press.

I can not recommend that you read Horn's article enough, and if you have time look at Luntz's leaked memo here. After doing so, it is worth going back and reading what the editorial staff has written, and deciding for yourself what is going on here.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Oklahoma City: Big League Neoliberalism!

May 9 Editorial

Friday's editorial "Oklahoma City is doing more with less" is yet another very misleading addition to the paper's long history of misleading editorials. Some general information is given on how the city's population has grown in the past 16 years, yet the city government workforce has not grown (they use the phrase "roughly the same"). Then, it is mentioned that city departments other than Police and Fire are going to have to cut budgets by one percent.

It is quite true that OKC is doing better than many cities, and this has been pointed out in poorly researched articles and "studies" in publications like Bloomberg (Oklahoma City Penn Square Lessons Give It 5.6% Jobless Rate) and Forbes (In Depth: America's Most Livable Cities) as of late. But what they, and the Oklahoman Editorial board completley miss out on is just how we have done "so well".

Like yesterday's analysis of The Oklahoman's piece on Israel and the Middle East, I can not go in depth enough with the many problems I have with this article. However I will give you the word for the economic ideology that has brought us our success, and offer some history and a frightening analogy. First the word you need to know about OKC's economic system is:


Mick Cornett, the Chamber of Commerce, and the other powerful people/entities in this town are NOT Conservatives. Ask anyone you respect on the topic, and they'll tell you the same. These people are Neoliberals. To simply state, this economic ideology is used to ensure powerful elites outside of the Government have control of the society.

This is done by a number of ways such as preaching the wonders of small government, all the while giving tax-payer funds to unaccountable groups like The Chamber of Commerce, Pro Basketball LLC., Outlet Malls that will "create jobs" (read: put money into the hands of developers and the like, for more on this read Greg Leroy's excellent book The Great American Jobs Scam: Corporate Tax Dodging and the Myth of Job Creation).

Also, it is very important in a successful Neoliberal environment to do things such as implement very unfriendly conditions for workers, namely "Right to Work" which essentially creates a culture where Jimmy's Egg Waitresses are held to significantly higher standards than Executives of fancy companies.

These things, along with other wonderful ideas like selling off the city's most important assets like it's TV and Radio stations to the highest outside bidder (I hosted a panel featuring Mark Shannon, Ron Black, GOP Head Gary Jones when Channel 4 and 43 were purchased by Oak Hill Capitol Partners in Ft Worth, all agreed it was not a good thing) create an environment where only elites have control over the affairs of the city, and growth is merely addition by subtraction. By that I mean, we do well but at costs to people in other Cities more often than not, Cities in other States.

Decisions made by working people are restricted to what is called "Market Democracy", and occasionally called that with a straight face, usually by folks in the "We are a Republic!" crowd. Recall Mayor Cornett last year teamed up with Yum! Brands, Inc's company Taco Bell to offer new choices to consumers wishing to lose weight. I jokingly said he chose YUM as a real stand up company regarding Market Democracy, as their sister company KFC once offered patrons "A Right to have your chicken done right!". That individuals who are a part of a Republic because they are viewed as unfit to govern their own affairs could possibly make the best decisions in markets when bombarded 24/7 with propaganda on products, seems a little dishonest. But I am afraid that is the point.

The state capital, Guthrie, was moved to Oklahoma City in 1910. I think it will soon be safe to say that the Nation's capital for Neoliberalism will soon be moved from Chicago (Milton Friedman created the basis for this brutal economic system and implemented it first in Chile' under the Dictator Augusto Pinochet') to Oklahoma City. To find out why I believe this, please read:

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Not their place to even think about this stuff

May 8 Editorial (2)

To critique The Oklahoman's piece "Leaning on Israel won’t bring Middle East peace" would take far too much time and space. I would like to defer to a couple of interesting individuals, first Robert Fisk who has covered the Algerian Civil War, the Iranian Revolution, the American hostage crisis in Beirut , the Iran-Iraq War, the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, Israel’s invasions of Lebanon, the Gulf War, and the invasion and ongoing war in Iraq. He states quite simply "I don't think we Westerner's care about the Middle East."

Secondly, I showed the article to Norman Finkelstien who is an Author, Activist, and Son of a Mother who survived the Warsaw Ghetto, the Majdanek concentration camp as well as two slave labor camps, and a Father who lived through Auschwitz. Upon reading the Oklahoman's opinion, he merely replied in obvious disgust:

"Hamas has repeatedly stated that it's willing to
settle the conflict on the June 1967 border, which
is a lot more than ANY Israel government has agreed to."

Finkelstein in his work often points out that New York Times columnist Isabel Kershner refers to the illegal settlements as "developments", and it is worth noting that The Oklahoman doesn't even stoop to that level here. I mention this, becauase I feel it says a lot about the insanity of the whole situation.

But everything is not terrible and miserable with everyone hating eachother. Finkelstein runs an excellent piece by Professor David Shulman, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem showing Palestinains and Israeli's working together for positive things. As he says, it is worth reading.

Friday, May 8, 2009

More foot-stomping on vouchers

May 8 Editorial

It is no mystery that The Oklahoman's philosophy is quite aligned with Grover Norquist and his "..drown it in the bathtub" ideologies towards Government. Therefore, complete backing of a voucher system is not a surprise. This was shown in Friday's editorial "Rescue plan: Obama should bail out D.C. vouchers". The article is timely in that it comes out at a time when Governor Henry is set to decide on the contraversial SB834, a bill written by individuals who have moved on from voucher arguments to what they see as the next best thing.

Sarah Knopp wrote an excellent piece on the topic of how elites with strong neo-liberal economic tendenices have essentially given up on the voucher movement for now, and are focusing on Charter Schools. Read the article here, it is lengthy, but quite good with excellent annotations. Knopp details groups like The Montgomery Securities Group, Green Dot, and other players in the Educational Management Organization for-profit school operation fields. "Philanthroprenuers" such as Wal-Mart who give $50m+ per year to promote the end of public schools as we know them are detailed as well. Parlay these things with the $3b/year testing industry which one can only imagine would flourish in a for-profit school system, which is mentioned in the article, and one should question The Oklahoman's positions on the matter.

One of The Oklahoman's favorite go-to guys on the matter of vouchers, Brandon Dutcher of The OPEA is worth looking into on this topic. Dutcher is a radical neo-liberal who participated in the tea-parties, however oddly enough, was a big proponent of the NBA tax which has now given close to $1/4b to the wealthiest Okahomans at the expense of working Oklahomans. It is also worth noting that Dutcher, like so many in the for-profit educational field who constantly rant and rave about GM auto workers making $53k/yr, made $82,500 in '07 for doing little more than writing blogs and organizing one elegant dinner party.

Update: Brad Henry has vetoed SB 834

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Oklahoman has decided we aren't a Republic for the day.

May 7 Editorial

In Thursday's editorial: "Hay makers: More posturing by Congress over tribes" the authors quickly leave behind Wednesday's "...We’re not defending (Republicans)" fairy-tale, and take a more open and honest approach, which I appreciate and am sure others will on both sides.

The piece is reminicent of their 1-21-03 piece that tore apart Iraq War Protesters. A claim is made in today's editorial that Barney Frank "..never met a grandstanding opportunity he didn’t like", compare that to the anti-protesters-we-don't-like piece where they write about "..Misinformed and misguided" individuals taking place in an event that appeared "... in large part to be a reunion of interests that live for protesting — something, anything."
The article goes on to state that "..the tribe’s members, not the tribal government — voted to remove the descendants, called freedmen." and continue, knocking a California Congresswoman who "...wants to see federal funds withheld from the Cherokees if freedmen aren’t placed back on the rolls."

This is an interesting flip on The Oklahoman's philosophy of frequently running letters to the editor and op-ed pieces that solely discuss the topic of how our country is "A Republic, not a Democracy!" It no doubt brings up the obvious question: Why the sudden interest in Democracy?

Also, The Oklahoman forgets the lessons learned in Bible Club on hypocrisy when they write "...six members of (Boren's -D) party, who have written the Justice Department seeking an investigation...(although) the case is now in federal court, not that Frank or the others care about that." and go on to get an opinion from Cherokee spokesman Mike Miller on the matter without talking to the other side. It would serve the reader well to look up similar cases where issues are in the courts, and Reps act similarly, i.e Terri Schiavo, the Elian Gonzales situation, the innumerable issues regarding The war in Iraq, and see what the editorial staff has to say on those matters. My guess is that the "good guys!" won't be referred to as blowhards.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Assuming no one ever reads these editorials

May 6 Editorial

In "Owning up: Brouhaha displays Democrats’ excesses", The Oklahoman Editorial staff writes that "...Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, is president of the Oklahoma Senate. Questions surrounding (Glenn Coffee's) failure to pay income taxes on time, a tax lien filed against him and a bank loan to have that lien removed are fodder for a partisan attack." and continue "...We’re not defending Coffee in saying that this needs to stop! We’re defending the people’s right to an end-of-session period devoid of excess partisanship."

Considering The Oklahoman's history of breaking out the proverbial MAN LANDS ON MOON! Font anytime the ol' crook Gene Stipe does anything, portraying bush supporting Pedophiles as decent people, calling for Clinton to resign on 1-22-98, and calling Iraq War Protesters "...graying hippies, lifelong peaceniks, malleable college students...(who) trash McDonald’s and Starbucks stores during demonstrations" while referring to the recent Tea Party at the Capitol as "Something real" and how the participants "showed how easy it is to quickly channel and mobilize raw emotion" (to name a few things) makes their claim that they are not defending Coffee suspicious.

Also, in the comments field of the article on the site, "Jan" points out that "...
Glen Coffee is not the President of the Senate. That honor is Constitutionally assigned to Lt Gov. Askins. Coffee is the President Pro Tem. That office is filled by a vote of the Senate. The Senate President's office is filled by a vote of the people. In case there's not an Oklahoma Constitution around the Oke's editorial office, you can pick up one at the State Library."