links for 2009-09-14

  • Rep. Joe Wilson, the Republican from South Carolina who shouted "You lie" during President Obama's health-care address to Congress, has already apologized at least twice: once in a statement issued by his office and once in a phone call to the White House. He tried to reach the president and had to settle for Rahm Emanuel — not, by all accounts, one of the more forgiving souls in politics. But some Democrats are not satisfied. They want Wilson to apologize on the House floor. Presumably this means during an official House session, and not actually while lying prostrate on the carpet. If he won't apologize on the floor, they want a resolution officially declaring that he's "it" or he has cooties — or whatever the appropriate language is under House rules.
    From Michael Kinsley no less!
    (tags: Joe_Wilson)
  • In the message bin Laden says that US President Barack Obama is "powerless" to halt the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and must rethink his policy on Israel, accusing "neo-conservatives" of maintaining a grip on the White House.

    Analysts said the latest message appeared to be less strident than the Al-Qaeda leader's previous diatribes against the West, and the United States in particular.

    "There is a relatively new change, there is a transformation … He is not giving any warnings and is seeking to justify the September 11 attacks," said Diaa Rashwan, a leading expert on militant groups.

    "For the first time, he didn't mention or praise the martyrs who perpetrated the September 11 attacks," said Rashwan, who is deputy head of Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo.

  • In the process of reporting on remarks by President Obama that were made during a CNBC interview, ABC News employees prematurely tweeted a portion of those remarks that turned out to be from an off-the-record portion of the interview. This was done before our editorial process had been completed. That was wrong. We apologize to the White House and CNBC and are taking steps to ensure that it will not happen again.
  • The public’s assessment of the accuracy of news stories is now at its lowest level in more than two decades of Pew Research surveys, and Americans’ views of media bias and independence now match previous lows.

    Just 29% of Americans say that news organizations generally get the facts straight, while 63% say that news stories are often inaccurate. In the initial survey in this series about the news media’s performance in 1985, 55% said news stories were accurate while 34% said they were inaccurate. That percentage had fallen sharply by the late 1990s and has remained low over the last decade.

  • LGF's Charles Johnson pursues his idee fixe, for the benefit of those few readers who have yet to be banned. I won't link him, but again he recycles familiar smears against me. Two cases in particular require discussion:
  • Charles Johnson’s gone completely off his rocker. I wondered, when I started writing at my own site, where all the commenters were coming from accusing Stacy McCain of being a neo-Nazi crypto-racist, and now I’m pretty sure I know, because Charles has made that accusation towards Stacy. All of those visitors had one thing in common: when I pressed them for evidence, they didn’t have any.

    Dan Riehl writes about this invidious libel here. Meanwhile, Charles has apparently swallowed hook, line and sinker the view that resistance to the policies of The One is prima facie evidence of racism, a canard voiced by pothead pseudo-intellectual Bill Maher, for which he’s receiving kudos from the sycophantic worshippers of Baracky (scroll down at News Busters for more allegations of racism).

  • Despite sweeping Democratic successes in the past two national elections, continuing job losses and President Barack Obama's slipping support could lead to double-digit losses for the party in next year's congressional races and may even threaten their House control.

    Fifty-four new Democrats were swept into the House in 2006 and 2008, helping the party claim a decisive majority as voters soured on a Republican president and embraced Obama's message of hope and change. Many of the new Democrats are in districts carried by Republican John McCain in last year's presidential contest; others are in traditional swing districts that have proved tough for either party to hold.

    From New Hampshire to Nevada, House Democrats also will be forced to defend votes on Obama's $787 billion economic recovery package and on energy legislation viewed by many as a job killer in an already weak economy.

    (tags: democrats GOP)
  • Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden told Americans in a new message that their support for Israel had prompted him to launch the September 11, 2001 attacks, a US-based terror monitoring group said.

    Al-Qaeda's As-Sahab media released a video titled "Message to the American People," which features a still image of bin Laden and an audio statement, said IntelCenter.

    The release came two days after the United States marked the eighth anniversary of the Al-Qaeda-sponsored attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.

    According to the center, Bin Laden said that among "some other injustices," US support to Israel motivated Al-Qaeda to launch the 9/11 attacks.

    He also stated that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were driven by the pro-Israeli lobby in the White House and corporate interests, not Islamic militants.