Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The JournoList Assault on Journalism... in Perspective

Roger Simon, writing today for POLITICO has the best short and readable synopsis of the JournoList scandal. In part he writes in Journalism Veers Out of Bounds:

"This may be the most embarrassing thing I have ever written — and looking back on my writing, there is a lot of competition for that dubious distinction — but when I became a reporter, it was almost a holy calling."

"We really believed we were doing good. We informed the public and helped make democracy work. We exposed wrongdoing wherever we found it. We reported without fear or favor. As a columnist, I tried to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."

"Somewhere along the way, things have gone terribly wrong."

Read the complete article at

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Death of Journalism

Being a journalist was once a proud and noble profession, filled with high ideals and strong ethics. In several great movies of the early to mid 20th Century reporter were real heroes battling against corrupt government and powerful corporations.

We were inspired, even in awe as we watched Orsen Welles' Citizen Kane, spellbound by Humphrey Bogart in Deadline, USA, and mesmerized by Cary Grant and Rosiland Russell in His Girl Friday.

Get the story and get it right!

Those days are now very officially dead.

We were genuinely betrayed by FOX's gross negligence in handling the explosive Shirley Sherrod video. There are many, especially in the left who proclaim we "should have known" FOX would repeat such gross falsehoods without so much as asking for a simple verification of the tape. Regardless, FOX failed to follow the most basic of journalistic standards.

But what is much, much worse in the now revealed cabal of liberal reporters who conspired, successfully, to throw an election. Barack Obama might just have won fair and square, but now we'll never know.

In an EDITORIAL today
Investors Business Daily assesses the terrible damage the JournoList cabal did to America. They are dead on-correct in virtually every word they print:

There are so many things wrong with this, we hardly know where to start. Nominally competitors, these supposedly impartial media mavens colluded in a way that would put airline or insurance officials in the dock for anti-competitive practices. They engaged in activism instead of fact-finding and mixed incestuously with activists whom they also should have been covering impartially.

Worst of all, they deprived millions of Americans of the information they needed to size up this new face on the political scene and determine if she really was a candidate who represented their interests.

That still remains to be done — and the country is poorer for it.

I'll leave you with Anderson Cooper's on air discussion of Journalism. While he himself has often failed to live up to the standards, it's till good to hear him recite then to remind us of what we've lost.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The 2,000 Page Nightmare

Only now are accountants, government officials and government agencies like the IRS unraveling the massive Health Care Reform Law. And only now are we beginning to understand the consequences of taxation and regulation included in the bill.

In three short words: It's a Nightmare.

I genuinely believe that we must never allow Congress to enact to two thousand page bill again. And I believe that every single member of Congress who voted for this monstrosity should be removed from office.

We will spend months, if not years, undoing the damage this bill has done. But that's if, and only if, our country survives the interim damage.

Small business had feared the actual Health Care requirements would damage business and profits. As it turns out the most severe damage is coming from a new, massive ($$$$ 17 BILLION DOLLARS $$$$$) that will devastate all Americans earning LESS THAN $250,000.00 a year. And small business as we have long known it will likely cease to exist.

The small hidden regulations sound simple enough. Families and business have long been requires to report on an IRS Form 1099 any monies paid to workers or independent contractors. Money paid to nannies or yard workers for example had to be reported to the government. Many a politician has been tripped up by his or her failure to properly document such payments.
But, under new regulations in the Health Care Reform Act, all people and businesses must also file an IRS Form 1099 for and purchase of goods or material from a single individual that totals a mere six hundred dollars ($600.00) per year or more. For many businesses this could be tens of thousands of such forms (and taxes). Imagine a small restaurant who buys lettuce, tomatoes, fruits and vegetables from a variety of local farmers. Or a grocery store.

But similar situations apply to virtually all small businesses. The loudest complaints are streaming from Gold bullion and coin dealers who buy and sell from the public all day long.

In an article today on the
ABC NEWS Website they report that "...every time a member of the public sells more than $600 worth of gold to a dealer the transaction will have to be reported to the government by the buyer (in this case the small business)."

Pat Heller, who owns Liberty Coin Service in Lansing, Mich., deals with around 1,000 customers every week. Many are individuals looking to protect wealth in an uncertain economy, he said, while others are dealers like him.

With spot market prices for gold at nearly $1,200 an ounce, Heller estimates that he'll be filling out between 10,000 and 20,000 tax forms per year after the new law takes effect."
Rep. Daniel Lungren, R-CA, has introduced legislation to repeal the section of the health care bill that would trigger the new tax reporting requirement because he says it's a burden on small businesses.

"Large corporations have whole divisions to handle such transaction paperwork but for a small business, which doesn't have the manpower, this is yet another brick on their back," Lungren said in a statement e-mailed to "Everyone agrees that small businesses are job creators and the engine which drives the American economy. I am dumfounded that this Administration is doing all it can to make it more difficult for businesses to succeed rather than doing all it can to help them grow."

That's an understatement, Mr. Lungren.