News Coverage: Fact vs. Fiction

Regular readers of this blog know that I periodically comment on the state of the media, whether for news or for entertainment. Sad to say, they often intersect. It’s no joy for me to point out the problems, particularly since my first degree was in radio, TV, and film production. I’ve always loved the media’s potential for being a benefit to society.

Unfortunately, the media now, both in news and entertainment, seem more focused on agendas, and the most disturbing development is the apparent nonchalance over whether what is being reported is even accurate. The big thing now is to create “awareness,” a word I used to like but would now excise from the language if I could:

Increase Awareness

How does it help anyone to put forward stories that have not been adequately researched to find out if they’re actually true? Truth should never be a casualty.

Is It True

Truth is no longer the goal; forwarding a political/cultural agenda is. Conscience, at times, seems to disappear:

A Bad Thing

There really should be a distinction between fact and fiction. When our sources for news blur the two, our civilization devolves more quickly. Anyone remember the word “integrity”?

Pulitzer

As a student of American history, I can point to these same types of problems in the past, but I sense we’ve turned a corner—and not a good corner—in the past few years:

News That Matters

Choose your sources for news carefully. While it might be interesting to know if dogs dream in color, there are far more important things for us all to focus on.

Happy New Year? Will Government Help or Hurt?

The last two days I’ve looked at the role of Christians and the moral/cultural climate as we peer into 2015. I’ve said that the key to this being a happier year is whether real Christians take their task as salt and light seriously. Then I dissected the trend of the culture morally, showing the immense job we have ahead of us.

Today, let’s consider government’s role, and what it does, either to help reverse current trends or push us further along a wrong path.

Good & EvilUnlike some conservatives/libertarians, I don’t think that government is a necessary evil. Rather, it is established by God to bring order to society. According to Romans 13, it is to be a servant of God to protect those who do good and punish those who do wrong.

I can see why many chafe under civil government when it does the opposite of what it is intended by God to accomplish. I feel the same way. When I survey what our government has done in the past (and being a historian, I’ve done a lot of surveying), I can point to many times when it has deviated from God’s directive. Yet, in America, regardless of the failures, we’ve done better than almost any other nation on the globe, both currently and in the past.

Obama Arrogant LookI regard the ascension of Barack Obama into the presidency as a watershed in American history. His vision to fundamentally transform the country was not just rhetoric. He is the first president who, in the deepest part of his being, doesn’t really like and appreciate the nation he is presiding over. He doesn’t like its history, the way the government was set up in the Constitution, nor the free-market approach to prosperity.

In short, he is the antithesis of everything America was designed to be.

His election was supposed to heal the racial divide, but his words and actions have only widened that divide. He has put the federal government in charge of as much as possible, from student loans to the healthcare system. His outright support for homosexuality and same-sex marriage has encouraged our retreat from Biblical morality, and he is the first president ever to address Planned Parenthood—the foremost provider of abortions—and ask God’s blessing on their efforts.

Obama’s background is a deadly mix of anti-colonial resentment, Marxist ideology, and black liberation theology. All three fuel his drive to remake America in his own image.

During his tenure, we have seen one scandal after another—the IRS, the NSA, the VA, Benghazi, etc. In each case, he has swept the dirt under the rug, and the media has obliged by ignoring the potentially devastating nature of the infractions and the blithe dismissal of solutions.

Stymied by Congress, he has now decided to operate as a lone wolf—first by executive orders for which he has no authority; lately, by mere executive memos that even fall short of an official order. His word is all that is necessary to make law.

This is, in summary, the beginnings of a tyranny.

The Obama vision was rejected soundly in the 2014 congressional and state elections. As I’ve noted in previous posts, Republicans now control 70 of the 99 state legislative bodies and both houses of the Congress. Based on that, one might expect a genuine attempt at reversal. But will we see it?

Boehner-McConnellAlready, many suspect that Republican leaders, spurred on by the Chamber of Commerce, are in league with the president on the immigration amnesty. Will they do anything at all to counteract it? The next two months will reveal the truth.

Are Republicans truly committed to repealing Obamacare, step by step? Yes, they still have the hurdle of a presidential veto of anything they pass, but will they take a principled stand, at least? Again, we’ll see.

The Supreme Court may do their job for them on that issue: a case is going to be decided that could kill Obamacare for good. There is hope.

There are two opposite things that Christians must never do: we cannot believe that the government is our savior; neither can we withdraw from the political scene and just let things play out. We must have a realistic view of what government can and cannot accomplish, but then we have an obligation to actively work for the good it can accomplish.

Christians & PoliticsIt still comes back to what I said two days ago: the key for a happier New Year lies with those who are devoted followers of Jesus Christ. They are the only ones with the ultimate Truth to share, and they should be the ones who have the wisdom to apply that Truth properly to society.

Will we be wise? I wish I could be more certain of that, but that goal remains at the top of my prayers.

Cartoon Potpourri

This will be my last blog post until the new year, so let me leave you with a plethora (look it up) of political cartoons to help tide you over. Whenever you need a cartoon fix over the next couple of weeks, just come back here.

Let’s begin with a man who has made real news this year, probably the most honest man who has worked with the government (at least until he was put before a congressional panel to testify):

Architect

In the Senate, the Democrats gave the terrorists an early Christmas present:

Future Interrogation

And here’s one person’s creative idea on illegal immigration:

Sound Immigration Policy

Just kidding.

Of course, at the center of all things political is this man who has become a legend in his own mind, particularly on Biblical knowledge:

It Does Now

I must also add one for a political party that somehow manages to turn a major win into no advantage whatsoever:

Too Quickly

I have a number of cartoons that deal with the government’s lack of ability to do almost anything effectively:

Urge

Love Govt Work

Functional Government

Finally, I offer the true spirit of the season from our cultural masters:

Faith-Based

May we never succumb to that spirit. May the birth of Christ—and everything that flows from that—be the essence of your Christmas.

The Obamacare Desertion

Probably no better indication of President Obama’s unpopularity in his own party can be found than the repudiation of the passage of Obamacare by two of his own senators who voted for it.

First was New York senator Chuck Schumer, who publicly stated that passing Obamacare in they way they did, and making it such a priority, was a wrong move. He obviously feels little loyalty nowadays to the presumed head of his own party:

Dr. Schumer

Close on his heels came retiring Iowa senator Tom Harkin, who, with nothing to lose anymore, echoed Schumer’s rejection of the Obama initiative:

Hands On Deck

The captain of this ship seems rather oblivious to the loss of some of his essential crewmen.

Of course, the president will continue to have the support of one very strong constituency:

Getaway Car

But no matter how hard the media tries to repair this wreck of a vehicle, all it can do is perhaps rework its image; it’s really not going anywhere.

Then there’s the very real possibility (probability?) that the Supreme Court may cripple it decisively when it rules on the case coming before it this spring.

Yes, there is hope.

The New Congress

Bill CassidyThe 2014 Senate elections are now complete. On Saturday, Republican Bill Cassidy defeated incumbent Louisiana senator Mary Landrieu 56-44%. Landrieu had served as a senator for eighteen years; now she will have to find out what the private sector is like, pretty much for the first time in her life. Don’t feel too sorry for her, though; she comes from a political family with deep ties to the corridors of power. She won’t exactly go hungry.

Cassidy, who is currently a congressman and who is a medical doctor, in an interview yesterday, said his top priority was to do something about Obamacare, which he believes is a complete failure. His addition to the Senate now puts the new Senate, which will be seated in January, at 54 Republicans and 46 Democrats, a stark reversal of the last eight years.

Martha McSallyOne House seat remains to be called. In Arizona, Republican challenger Martha McSally is leading incumbent Democrat Ron Barber by a mere 161 votes, so a recount is underway. Barring any political shenanigans, it appears McSally, a retired Air Force pilot, will win. That would give the Republicans the greatest majority they’ve had in the House since the 1928 election.

Now, the real question: What will Republicans do with control of both houses of Congress? Will they stand firm on principle or cave? Will they show the nation they can lead in a new direction or will they go along with the occupant of the White House just to get along?

I never expect everything to go the way I think it should politically, but I do expect improvement after this last round of elections. Pray for wisdom and stiff spines.

A New National Conversation

I’m fighting the temptation to write a blog that lists every action of the Obama administration that manifests scandal, deception, misinformation, racial division, or astounding incompetence, but I don’t have the time to write that long of an article—nor would many readers make it to the end. So I have to break up those incidents into bite-sized pieces.

Let’s just focus for now on the latest manifestations. Jonathan Gruber of Obamacare deception infamy will be testifying before a congressional panel soon. That will put him back in the limelight, which is important, because the public needs to be constantly reminded of what has been foisted upon them. When that happens, I fully expect this type of response from the White House:

Most Transparent Admin

The president’s chief enablers will probably step in at that point, and it will be hard to tell the difference between the White House spin and what the enablers are saying. But if they could be totally honest, we would hear something like this:

Our Job

Also, since Ferguson has been our obsession for the past week and a half, and we’ve made a hero out of a thug/thief, the administration has decided that we once again need a national conversation on race. If I had the authority, I think I would ban the phrase “national conversation on race” indefinitely. Why? The administration’s definition of any such national conversation only goes one way—blaming law enforcement for all the problems. In the past, we’ve had presidents who acted racially—think of Woodrow Wilson, a staunch supporter of segregation who acted it out during his administration—but now the pendulum has swung in the other direction:

Racial Profiling

Translation: guilty until proven innocent, and in our eyes, you are never innocent.

Almost unnoticed while the fallout from Ferguson continues is the new barrier we’ve broken with our national debt. The $18 trillion mark is now in our rearview mirror as we head on to new heights in the next two years. It is now an established fact that the Obama years have added more to the national debt than all other years in our nation’s history combined. Yet the president brushes it off as inconsequential while he seeks to add even more to that total:

How Much

What makes this particularly galling is that while running for president back in 2008, he specifically targeted the debt George Bush contributed, calling it “irresponsible” and a “failure of leadership.” Then, to add to the rhetorical flourish, he said that amassing a debt such as Bush had done was clearly “unpatriotic.”

By your own words, you will be judged.

Might I suggest a new national conversation? How about we talk nationally about the voters’ responsibility to place men and women of honor and integrity in office? For some reason, I doubt the eagerness of the Obama administration to take part in that national conversation.

Identifying the Truly Stupid Voters

I think we’re now at six videos of Jonathan Gruber talking about the stupidity of the American voter and how to pull the wool over their eyes . . . and counting.

Apparently, Prof. Gruber is not a shy individual; he has been broadcasting his views about pulling a fast one with Obamacare for a number of years. So why are we only now hearing about this, when so many videos are available to view? Might it have something to do with the media blackout on the dysfunctional nature of the misnamed Affordable Care Act?

Melissa FrancisMelissa Francis, formerly of CNBC, and now with Fox Business Network, has come forward to tell her tale. She says when Obamacare was being pushed she ran the numbers on it and saw just how phony it all was—it couldn’t really work. She started talking about that on the air—it’s called real reporting—but then was taken to the woodshed by her superiors, who told her that her critique of Obamacare was “disrespecting the office of the presidency.” She had to curtail her honest reporting from that time on. Fortunately for her, she’s now at a network where she can tell the truth to the American people.

Meanwhile, our president, who has a superb track record of throwing people under the bus—Bill Ayers was just someone in his neighborhood; Jeremiah Wright was like the crazy uncle and he never heard him say such things in the twenty years he sat under his teaching—has now tossed Prof. Gruber under the same vehicle.

When questioned about Gruber, the Obama response was one that anyone who has paid any attention to him over the past six years could have guessed ahead of time. You see, he just found out about all this controversy, he hardly even knew Gruber (just by name as he sat around a table with many others), and he was “some adviser” who wasn’t on the president’s staff.

Goodbye, Mr. Gruber, it was nice not really knowing you all that well:

Professor Friend

Ignore, of course, that Gruber was paid nearly $6 million in taxpayer money to be merely “some adviser.” Don’t mention that he was “on loan” at one point by the White House to Congress to spread his wisdom there also. No, don’t pay any attention to those distractions; just believe whatever we tell you:

I'm with Stupid

Yes, many voters were fooled, but they were lied to repeatedly and wanted to trust their governmental leaders. That’s not the same thing as being stupid. If we truly want to tag that label on any voters, how about the ones who didn’t find any problem voting for a law they hadn’t read?

Critical

Now, there is the prime example of outright stupidity. Keep in mind that not even one Republican signed on to this monstrosity. This wasn’t bipartisan stupidity; it’s “owned” by one party only.