- House passes VA reform compromise
- Obama admin to blame for HealthCare.gov woes, $840M cost: GAO
- Al Gore’s climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- Army’s 3-D printed bombs will create ‘a whole new universe’ of deadly capabilities
- Hamas calls on Hezbollah to join in fight against Israel
- Senators to FIFA, others: Don’t reward Putin with the World Cup in 2018
- U.S. condemns Israeli shelling of shelter in Gaza
- Obamacare shoots premiums up by 88 percent in California
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Obama to Republicans: ‘Stop just hatin’ all the time’
Inside the Beltway
Question of the Day
THE FAULTY PRESS
News coverage of the Arizona shooting showcased a wide spray of partisan attacks in the 48 hours that followed the tragedy, with collateral damage and much talk of political rhetoric and biased media coverage. A charged environment, intense public interest and minimal facts led to extrapolation, error, blame and instant agenda.
"This is a horrendous act of violence. But does it surprise you, in the context of the bitterness of Arizona politics at the moment?" asked ABC News correspondent David Wright in the aftermath.
"The safe observation for us to make now — you will hear it from others all week — is that the angry and irresponsible talk that might lead an unhinged person to pick up a gun is common across the political landscape, from right to left. But that simply is not true," declared a Chicago Sun-Times editorial. "Overwhelmingly today, the fear-mongering and demonizing flow from the right, aided and abetted by cable TV and talk-radio hosts."
A New York Daily News column headine read, "Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' blood is on Sarah Palin's hands" suggesting that a 10-month-old voter campaign at Mrs. Palin's political action committee website that used a rifle cross-hair symbol to single out Mrs. Giffords and 20 other lawmakers for their support of President Obama's heath care reform contributed to the grave wounding of the Arizona Democrat.
"Anyone with any sense at all knows that violent language can incite actual violence, that metaphor can incite murder. At the very least, Palin added to a climate of violence," Daily News columnist Michael Daly explained.
His newspaper also offered a reader poll asking whether Mrs. Palin "shares responsibility for the shooting"; a majority of respondents — 55 percent — said she could not be held accountable for "encouraging lunatics." Meanwhile, CNN, National Public Radio and Reuters were among major news organizations to report Mrs. Giffords had succumbed from her wounds, says Craig Silverman, a PBS media analyst and creator of regretthe error.com, a site that tracks journalistic gaffes.
"The media, under the guise of 'a full exposition' of the evil in Arizona, is back to subtly and not so subtly pinning the blame for the attempted assassination of the congresswoman and the related shootings on the tea party movement, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, me, you, and everyone right of center," says Redstate columnist Erick Erickson.
"And from what we now know, it is not just media malpractice, but a lie," he says, adding, "By the way, as an exit thought, the tea party movement won in November. Winners don't go on shooting sprees."
Observes Linda Valdez, a columnist with the Arizona Republic, "The debate over the consequences of ugly rhetoric began long before the victims fell Saturday."
BLOOM OFF BLOOMBERG
Alas, a blizzard of frosty opinion swirls around New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose favorability ratings among voters — now at 37 percent — are at an all-time low following his lousy management of a major snowstorm, according to a new Marist Poll. Indeed, there is still uncollected garbage on the streets of Brooklyn and elsewhere, languishing on sidewalks since Christmas. Those Brooklynites in particular give Mr. Bloomberg a dismal 24 percent favorability, the very lowest of the low numbers.
And the snow matter still matters: Seventy-one percent of voters give the mayor a "poor" rating for his storm management prowess — a cautionary tale for officials who don't believe that streets, garbage or public utilities hold political sway.
"Mayor Bloomberg clearly will need a big shovel if he wants to dig himself out of this political storm," observes Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which also found that 53 percent of Big Apple voters say New York and all its boroughs are headed in the wrong direction, and "need a new compass."
Attention Al Gore, et al. Inexpensive igloo-shaped, pollution-eating devices nicknamed "Poo-Gloos" can clean up sewage just as effectively as multimillion-dollar treatment facilities for towns outgrowing their waste-treatment plants, says Fred Jaeger, chief executive officer of Wastewater Compliance Systems Inc., which sells the modest structures under the name Bio-Dome.
Things like organic waste and ammonia levels in the water dropped by as much as 95 percent and nitrogen by two-thirds after a jaunt through the domes, which occupy 28 square feet and use about the same energy as a 75-watt bulb. Pilot Poo-Gloo project are already, uh, springing up in Jackpot, Nevada, and other rural spots; Mr. Jaeger presented his idea before Water Environment Federation's Impaired Water Symposium in Miami on Thursday.
POLL DU JOUR
• 29 percent of likely voters think Congress should be required to fully fund a law if it is unable to repeal the legislation.
• 46 percent say Congress should not be required to fully fund the measure.
• 25 percent are not sure.
• 47 percent say if the current Congress does not think the nation can afford a law passed by a previous Congress and signed by the president, it should repeal that law.
• 22 percent say Congress should refuse to approve funds to implement the law.
• 31 percent are not sure.
Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Jan. 5 and 6.
• Murmurs and asides to firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Ron Paul giving away a Colt AR-15 in the name of 'freedom'
- John Bolton endorses Scott Brown, the newest 'national security candidate'
- Inside the Beltway: Immigration rage festers on all sides
- Alaska's language challenge: translating tax forms into Siberian Yupik (at $50 an hour)
- Third time the charm? Americans wish certain presidents had stayed beyond two terms
Latest Blog Entries
- A startling 20 percent of Democratic lawmakers already endorse Hillary Clinton for president
- Hey food police: calling obesity a 'disease' is actually a health risk
- Cheese and an 'enhanced experience': White House goes showbiz on the State of the Union address
- Cruz calls it a 'circus': the State of the Union spectacle begins
- Half of American fans say God and 'supernatural' forces are in play during sports events
TWT Video Picks
Exchanges reveal an ugly American abroad out to bring down conservatives
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- Al Gore's climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- HURT: Impeaching Obama is a losing strategy for the GOP
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- House votes to sue President Obama over claims of presidential power
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world