Category Archives: Media
The big story on Fox New Sunday was that IRS kingpin Lois Lerner would waive her 5th amendment rights and testify before Daryl Issa’s House Oversight committee. At least that’s what Issa told Chris Wallace on Sunday. On Wednesday Lerner pled the fifth again.
Issa Cummings Committee Chaos
Angered by Lerner’s continued silence, Issa ruled the the hearing adjourned. He then silenced the leading committee Democrat, Ellijah Cummings, by cutting off his mic. The room erupted in chaos with Cummings shouting “I’m a U.S. Congressman” and fellow Dems chanting “shame”. Let’s go rinkside to Dana Milbank:
Issa told Wallace on Sunday that Lerner’s “attorney indicates now that she will testify” after refusing to do so at a hearing last year. The lawyer denied this, and Lerner did not testify Wednesday — and that would have been the news, if not for Issa’s sound-system antics.
Indeed. Issa keeps stepping on his own punchline. The news might have been about why Lerner doesn’t want to talk about these emails:
“Tea Party Matter very dangerous… Counsel and Judy Kindell need to be in on this one… Cincy should probably NOT have these cases,” Lerner said in a February 2011 email.
“Cincinnati wasn’t publicly ‘thrown under the bus’ (but) instead was hit by a convoy of Mack trucks,” wrote Cindy Thomas, former director of the IRS exempt organizations office in Cincinnati, in a May 10, 2013 email to Lerner.
It looks like the IRS intimidated conservative groups and the Tea Party was relatively quiet in the 2012 election. Was there corruption? So far Republicans haven’t come up with a smidgen of proof.
You like your doctor but you can’t keep him. You like your insurance but you can’t keep it. ObamaCare is a train wreck.
Koch Brother Horror Stories
These horror stories are all lies, lies, and damned lies according to cowboy poet Harry Reid. They didn’t really happen to you. They were ginned up at the un-American Brothers Koch Fairy Tale mill to send red state democrats running for cover.
Today is the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Flynt v Falwell decision. It was a very important ruling because it acts as a kind of get out of jail card for cartoonists. Also, it gives me an excuse to quote myself from my book The Recent History of the United States in Political Cartoons: A Look Bok!:
As an endangered industry, political cartooning seeks, and gets, federal protection. It comes in the form of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Flynt v Falwell
Larry Flynt published an over-the-top raunchy cartoon, in his porn magazine Hustler. The cartoon was about Rev. Jerry Falwell and his mother. Falwell sued and the case made its way to the Supreme Court. Falwell claimed the cartoon caused him emotional distress. Of course it did. That was the point, as Chief Justice Rehnquist noted in the court’s unanimous opinion for Flynt:
“The appeal of the political cartoon or caricature is often based on the exploration of unfortunate physical traits or politically embarrassing events… often calculated to hurt the feelings of the subject of the portrayal.”
In order to protect political cartoons the court had to protect Larry Flynt’s offensive cartoon. Not many jobs have a Supreme Court mandate to cause emotional distress.
Even so, it’s not like I keep this date marked on my calendar. I noticed it when I stumbled on this piece about it by Carl Cannon at Real Clear Politics. Cannon had this to say about the court’s ruling:
To decide otherwise, the eight justices reasoned, would effectively outlaw political cartooning. This, too, the high court ruled, would be an unwise and unconstitutional decision to render. Rehnquist quoted approvingly from the words of a cartoonist:
“The political cartoon is a weapon of attack, of scorn and ridicule and satire; it is least effective when it tries to pat some politician on the back. It is usually as welcome as a bee sting, and is always controversial in some quarters.”
Flynt and Falwell eventually went on the road together debating the First Amendment.
Last week the Wall Street Journal published a story about an FCC plan to pressure newsrooms to provide the kind of coverage the government wants. That led to the kind of coverage the government didn’t want and the FCC backed off its scheme.
There will be no Sochi Spy Swap for Edward Snowden.
Pussy Rioters served Russian prison time for protesting President Putin’s human rights record. That and desecrating a church. In Bieber’s case it would be for assaulting his limo driver. Or for assaulting his jet pilot with second hand pot smoke.
No Sochi Spy Swap but Snowden Welcome
Putin says Edward Snowden is welcome to attend the Sochi Olympics. Pussy Riot, not so much.
I meant to include a shirtless Putin but ran out of room.