December 2010

The Society of Professional Journalists which found itself in the middle of the illegal immigration debate after an article calling for banning the use of the words “illegal immigrant” has now clarified its stance.

Here is the latest statement from SPJ;

CLARIFICATION: The following article is an opinion piece and does not reflect the views of SPJ, its membership or its Diversity Committee. The committee itself has taken no official initiative on the use of the phrase “illegal immigrant.”

The article in question is by Leo Laurence and talks about discussions the SPJ’s Diversity committee has had on this issue and as a result gave the public the impression that the organization and the committee had called for a ban when in fact it was only Laurence’s opinion that they do so.

The rebranding is aimed at not offending Latinos though there hasn’t exactly been an outcry to change the terminology to the “less” offensive undocumented worker or alien.

Just look at this debate on Fox before the clarification was issued.

Props to Megyn Kelly for calling out Jehmu Greene for her claim that the use of the term “illegal immigrant” has increased violence against immigrants.  Greene responded that language leads to how people look at communities and we need to be fair and unbiased.  That’s her opinion but where are the facts to back up Greene’s claim?  They don’t exist because if she had any she would have used them.

Laurence may have been trying to float a trial balloon in anticipation of the SPJ”s 2011 convention but the public has just stuck a giant pin in it and sent it crashing to the ground.



Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) warned that the U.S. could turn into another Greece if we don’t curb wasteful government spending.

Coburn faces a tough fight as most politicians, Republicans included can’t resist the urge to feed at the government trough and while Wallace calls him an alarmist on debt if he didn’t sound the alarm who would?

Tick, tick, tick goes the debt bomb.

Liberal talk show host Alan Colmes dismissed the idea that Muslims are th only ones responsible for terrorist plots against the U.S.

When Monica Crowley brought up the fact that all of the 126 people arrested for terrorist related acts were Muslims Colmes said that was only because we were targeting Muslims.

The government is targeting potential terrorists period no matter what their faith is.

But based on a recent survey of Muslim students in the U.K. a little profiling may not be a bad idea.

From the Daily Mail

Around a third of young British Muslims favour killing in the name of Islam, according to a survey revealed by the WikiLeaks’ publication of U.S. diplomatic cables.

A survey of 600 Muslim students at 30 universities throughout Britain found that 32 per cent of Muslim respondents believed killing in the name of religion is justified.

A U.S. diplomatic cable from January 2009 quoted a poll by the Centre for Social Cohesion as saying 54 per cent wanted a Muslim party to represent their world view in Parliament and 40 per cent want Muslims in the UK to be under Sharia law.

The survey results, revealed by WikiLeaks’ release of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables, suggests increasing radicalisation among Britain’s young Muslims.

This is part of a disturbing trend that has already seen Britain come under more terrorist attempts in recent years and could lead to a jump in attempts in the U.S. where security is not as tight as it is in the U.K.

James Carville and Eliot Spitzer don’t like the tax compromise bill that media has hailed as a great Obama victory.

What’s a poor liberal to do these days?

MSNBC hardball host Chris Matthews was at it again on Friday night when at the beginning of his program he mentioned the just announced appointment of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) to the Intelligence Committee.

Matthews: Gentlemen, before we proceed I just one of those flash news flashes that I have to report immediately upon getting it.  Congresswomen Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has been named to the Intelligence Committee (laughing) What genius Howard thought this was the perfect match? (still laughing)

Howard Fineman: Uh, I have no comeback.  That speaks for itself.

This is how Matthews deals with politicians especially ones of the conservative persuasion that get under his skin is to make light of them as a way to denigrate their ability.

For Bachmann she shouldn’t be offended by this slight but should wear it as a badge of honor that Matthews is irked enough to recognize her.  It’s almost as good as being named Olbermann’s Worst Person in the World.




Being green may be the politically correct thing to do but for residents in Great Britain it comes ata realtively steep price.

According to the British price comparison website uSwitch households will pay an additional  £500 ($780) per year to help fund the investments untilities will need to make to comply with the government’s plan to develop low carbon power plants like wind farms and nuclear plants.

One possibility the government is considering is to levy a tax on coal and gas to make them more expensive than low carbon sources which will push up costs to the end user.

The real impetus behind the effort is largely due to European Union targets that mandate that Britain increase its share of energy from renewable sources from 3 to 15 percent without regard to cost.

To encourage the greening of the energy grid the government is planning to offer a guaranteed price for electricty which may result in more wind farms but as we have seen in the U.S. doesn’t mean it will be cheaper than energy  generated by coal or gas after the costs of construction are factored in.

Even though energy secretary Chris Huhne  dismisses the claims of higher costs  the Department of Energy and Climate Change admitted t that electricity prices would rise, but that it was still best for consumers.

So I guess it depends on who you trust more the government or the energy industry.

With winter having already arrived in Britain energy costs are already on the rise and with the global recession still lingering the last thing households need is a politically manipulated energy policy that will cost them more while delivering few net benefits.

The same forces of moderation within the Maryland Republican Party that brought us a humiliating defeast in the governor’s race in November tried and failed to continue that legacy on Saturday with the defeat of Mary Kane in her attempt to become the next GOP state chairman.

Kane was soundly defeated by former state Senator Alex Mooney who narrowly lost his reelection bid last month after 12 years in office.

Mooney whose candidacy was pushed by the conservatives within the party took a commanding lead on the first ballot and after the three lowest vote total candiadates dropped out won handily on the second ballot. 

As a first time delegate I knew Kane was in trouble when half of my county (Montgomery) which is home to Kane went for Mooney. 

The election of Mooney is a big win for conservatives who have felt that it was time to move on from the Ehrlich machine and get a fresh start for the 2012 and 2014 elections.  For Kane it kept her streak of having never won an election intact and may signal the demise of moderates at the state level.

One person who didn’ take Kane’s loss graciously was her husband John the former state party chairman under Gov. Ehrlich who told the Washington Post that the decision was “unfortunate” and a “step back to an uncompromising and uninviting environment that clearly didn’t work in the past and won’t work in the future.”

This is as opposed to the squishy middle that is willing to compromise with the liberals that control the state and sacrifice principle just to get ahead politically.

Mooney won’t have much time to rest on his laurels as a conservative state Senator that rattled the cages of the liberals for years making him a top target in every election since 1998 as he will need to find good candidates to run for Congress and Senate for 2012 and plan for statewide elections in 2014.

While the Republicans made some real gains in the eastern and western portions of the state the hard core liberal areas  still remain a serious stumbling block in the GOP’s efforts to put some balance into the state legislature.  If Mooney can make some progress in these areas he will set the party up for a much needed resurgence and mollify the moderates who eye him with suspicion.

The Republican Party has talked  a lot about controlling spending when they take over Congress next month but their recent choice for the Chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee sends a message that nothing has really changed.

For some reason the GOP thinks that just because they passed a two year earmark moratorium that members won’t try to find a way to bring home the bacon to their districts.

What’s worse is that by naming Rogers as the chairman it not only gives the liberals fodder about the  seriousness of the Republican agenda but is an insult to voters who want the government to cut spending.

If John Boehner and Eric Cantor were really serious about this issue they should have looked to someone like Jeff Flake from Arizona who has been a champion of earmark reform rather than pick an old dog who will resist learning new tricks.


Political correctness in Hollywood has struck again with the latest target being the Narnia books written by C..S. Lewis. 

Actor Liam Neeson who provides the voice for Aslan is now stating that the character doesn’t necessarily represent Christ but a Christlike figure and therefore could also be the prophet Mohammed or Buddha.

Needless to say Narnia fans are up in arms about this revisionism by Neeson pointing out that Lewis in writing about Aslan described him as ” an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question: “What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia?”.”

No reference to any other figure by Lewis there.

According to a report in The Telegraph  Neeson said: “Aslan symbolises a Christlike figure, but he also symbolises for me Mohammed, Buddha and all the great spiritual leaders and prophets over the centuries.

“That’s who Aslan stands for as well as a mentor figure for kids – that’s what he means for me.”

This comeas a wuite a surpirse for Walter Hooper, Lewis’s former secretary and a trustee of his estate, who told The Telegraph that the author would have been angered by Neeson’s comments and that Lewis made it very clear that the Narnian story is about Christ. 

Neeson is entitled to his opinion but the timing of his statement on the eve of the third  Narnia movie’s release is odd to say the least.  He should be helping to drive people to the movie but could wind up alienating the very audience the movie is targeting.

If “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” does well maybe the producers can look for a new voice for Aslan, one who actually understands what the books are about.

College Democrats at the University of Utah fight an uphill battle.

From the Daily Utah Chronicle

The College Democrats welcomed a special guest on campus Wednesday to speak about getting involved at the Utah State Capitol. Senator Ross Romero spoke to a room full of fellow Democrats and one Libertarian.

Romero said though most people in Utah are Republican, many people believe in the Democratic Party’s philosophies but don’t realize it. Things such as funding for zoos and museums are “family-friendly,” which is a priority for Utahns, but are funded by taxpayer money.

The best thing you can do is talk to people because you’ll usually find out what issues you agree on, he said.

Romero, a U alumnus, said he wanted to know the Democratic community on campus because the U is in his district and there are so few Democrats in the community to begin with.

Developing a tightly woven network between Democrats is beneficial for the few there are, Romero said.

Romero has served six years in the Legislature and one term in the House and is starting his second in the Senate. Romero also serves on the appropriation committee for higher education, which sets the priority for what needs funding in the Legislature.

The senator took questions from students, mostly about his views on issues in Legislature.

“Our job is to keep tuition small, but at the same time make sure there is access to jobs when you get out,” he said.

There are many legislators who don’t care about higher education and the challenge is getting them on your side, he said.

Romero spoke about some of the bills he will be supporting this next legislative session. They include allowing the sampling of wine, spirits and beer. Another is banning cell phone use while driving for anyone under the age of 18.

 The only person in the room who wasn’t a Democrat—Rob Alordvord, a junior in psychology and a Libertarian—was interested in the perspective of the College Democrats.

“It’s really good to see others involved,” Alordvord said. “I have respect for the College Democrats, even if we disagree on things.”

Elisabeth Jessop, the president of College Republicans, said they will be holding a debate with the College Democrats in February, and are hosting leader of the Utah Republican Party, Dave Hansen, next semester.

Located in Salt Lake City the University of Utah has what is probably the most liberal or Democrat friendly student body in the entire state. 

My own father who was not very political in his youth graduated from the U as it si known in 1942 as a flaming radical which he attributed to his professors.  It took him decades to see the rror of his ways.

In any event I can understand any frustration that the Democrats may have at the U or in Utah in general as a resident of Maryland where the politics are completely the opposite of what they are in Utah.

Of course the problem with one party states is that the majority party tends to get a little complacent and that often breeds apathy.

The campus at Brigham Young University is a good example of this.  When I spoke to the College Republicans there a few years ago I chatted with the chairman who told me that they had about 200 members and were lucky to get 50 students to show up for a meeting.  This is at a campus of 30,000 plus students where the majority of them are conservative Mormons.  Even the College Republicans at the University of Maryland can draw a higher percentage of students to their events. 

Maybe this is heresey but I would gladly trade some Republicans in Utah for some Democrats in Maryland to bring a little more parity to the system.

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