I Suspect That This Is Not The First Time This Has Been Done

On Thursday The Federalist posted an article about The New York Times best seller list. It seems that the list is not as straight forward as it should be.

The article reports:

The New York Times fudged book sales data in order to deny top-five billing to the best-selling “Justice on Trial,” the definitive and deeply reported account of the nomination and confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which was written by Carrie Severino and Mollie Hemingway, a Senior Editor for The Federalist. Industry sales figures show that the New York Times ignored actual data on nationwide sales in order to depress the rankings not just for the Hemingway/Severino book, but also Mark Levin’s latest book on the corruption of modern journalism.

According to Publisher’s Weekly, the only public source of point-of-sale data on book sales, “Justice on Trial,” was the top-selling non-fiction book published over the last week. Tara Westover’s blockbuster memoir “Educated” was the top-selling non-fiction overall according to data from NPD Bookscan, but is excluded from Publisher’s Weekly’s list since it was first published over a year ago.

Mark Levin’s “Unfreedom of the Press” came in at #2 on the best-selling list, followed by David McCullough’s “The Pioneers” at #3, “Three Women” by Lisa Taddeo at #4, and Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” at #5. Hemingway’s and Severino’s book outsold each of those books placed ahead of it on the New York Times list, according to nationwide sales data.

Amazon.com, the online retail giant, reported that “Justice on Trial” was also the top-selling non-fiction book on its site last week. It was Amazon’s top-selling book overall, non-fiction or otherwise, from Monday through Friday of last week.

The New York Times, however, reported a very different ranking at complete odds with the Publisher’s Weekly/NPD Bookscan sales figures. Instead of accurately reporting that “Justice on Trial” was the second best-selling hardcover non-fiction book in America last week according to widely accepted industry sales data, the New York Times put the book at #6 on its list, behind Mark Levin’s book at #5. Neither ranking can be justified by actual sales figures.

The article concludes:

Rather than collecting nationwide data on book sales across all platforms and locations, the New York Times reportedly surveys only select retailers, the identities of which the paper refuses to disclose.

In a 2007 column, former public editor Clark Hoyt all but admitted that the New York Times Best Seller list was fake news.

The list “is not a completely accurate barometer of what the reading public is buying,” Hoyt wrote. “For my money, if the main list is a best sellers list, it ought to reflect what’s selling best.”

So I guess The New York Times best seller list is about as accurate as the rest of their reporting.

 

This Is Sad, Petty, And Unnecessary

Some of the attacks labeled at Donald Trump and his family are simply amazing. The man won an election–that is no reason to insist that he and his family be drawn and quartered. I simply do not understand it. I was never a fan of Barack Obama, but he was President, and that was that. I don’t think his political opponents ever stooped to the level of childishness and meanness that we are seeing in the political left right now.

Newsbusters posted an article today about Robin Givhan, the fashion writer at the Washington Post.

The article reports:

Robin Givhan, the liberal political columnist who plays fashion writer at The Washington Post, dominated the front of the Style section on Friday with a question: Can a fashion designer in good conscience agree to dress Melania Trump? Givhan argued that blacklisting the new First Lady is a good way to show a social conscience. The Trumps can buy off the rack, so it’s not really a blacklist.

The subheadline explained: “When it comes to dressing the Trump women, a designer’s most natural vehicle for protest — and patriotism — is the absence of their name.” Would it be “patriotism” if a designer refused to dress Michelle Obama? Perish the thought. Givhan said dressing the First Lady – especially for Inauguration Night, has always been an honor, until Donald Trump inspired “new waves of racism and violence.”

I really can’t believe the pettiness.

I love the way Givhan explains that refusing to dress Melania Trump is different than refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding. I guess freedom of association (as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution) only applies sometimes.

This is the explanation given:

Givhan implicitly argues against the conservative pushback without being forthright: So a Christian baker has to make a cake for the gay wedding, but the gay fashion designer can refuse service to the President of the United States? It’s not the same, she argued:

Anyone with disposable income can buy a designer’s wares at retail — and even some red-carpet celebrities choose to do so. Hayden Panettiere purchased a Tom Ford gown for the 2014 Golden Globes. For the 2016 Globes, Bryce Dallas Howard picked up her Jenny Packham gown at Neiman Marcus.

That’s why declining to dress a celebrity is not the equivalent of refusing service. In doing so, designers would in fact be refusing a favor, with all the publicity that goes along with it.

What about patriotism? Should personal feelings and personal satisfaction be put aside out of respect for the symbolism of the first lady? Not necessarily. Protest that grows out of a desire to make the country better, to push it to live up to its ideals, is surely a form of patriotism….for those designers for whom fashion serves as their voice in the world, they should not feel obligated to say something in which they do not believe.

It is really sad to see people behave this badly because their candidate lost the election.

 

This Is Lunch?

Yesterday tpnn news posted the picture below. This  is lunch under Michelle Obama‘s Nutrition Guidelines:

Chickasha-lunch

Just for the record, the Obama daughters attend the Sidwell Friends School. The article reports on lunch at that school:

Their lunches are prepared fresh by Meriwether Godsey, a catering company. The menu consists of such items as all natural rosemary chicken, fresh herb risotto, cheese tortellini, crusted tilapia, and fresh baked muffins, just to name a few.

“Let them eat cake.”

The Tale Of The Illegal Cookie

The Daily Caller is reporting today on the saga of the famous Elyria pink cookie. The cookie has been a staple in the public schools in Elyria, Ohio, since roughly the Carter Administration. Now the cookie is illegal because it does not meet the nutritional guidelines of the new Smart Snacks standards created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is part of the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, a signature issue of Michelle Obama.

The article reports:

Amy Higgins, a spokeswoman for Elyria City Schools, agreed.

“It’s a tradition,” Higgins told Fox. “It’s not only a tradition. It’s one that tastes really, really good. You’d be surprised by how many people are upset about the pink cookie going away. Anyone who’s gone to Elyria schools in the last 40 years knows the pink cookie.”

Efforts to bring the pink cookie into conformity with federal guidelines have failed.

Teaman, the cafeteria services director, told The Chronicle-Telegram that his staff tried whole-grain flour and less icing, to no avail.

“There is only one way to do the pink cookie, and to do it any other way would not do it justice,” he said.

“It’s not the pink cookie anymore,” Higgins explained. “It doesn’t maintain the integrity of the homemade recipe.”

Mayor Brinda likened an Obama administration-approved pink cookie to “eating diet potato chips.”

The government should not be taking cookies out of schools. I understand that obesity in children is a problem in America, but that is not the government’s responsibility. I would not oppose a program to educate children and parents about nutrition, but I am not sure that this is a matter of education. I do think banning a cookie is not something the government needs to be involved in.

An Infrequently Reported Example Of Bullying

This was written by a friend on Facebook:

Against Bullying? Start with Walmart

By: Christine Morabito – July, 2014

After years of harassment by special interest groups, Walmart is fighting back. As with most bullies, the claims they make have less to do with reality than with bolstering the tormentor’s self-esteem.

This was evident in Timothy Egan’s New York Times op-ed, June 19, 2014, entitled “The Corporate Daddy,” where Egan accused the company of paying “humiliating wages.” He claimed, “Working at Walmart may not make you poor, but it certainly keeps you poor.”

Responding to the NYT hit piece, Walmart’s David Tovar, Director of Corporate Communications, reposted Egan’s article, complete with snarky, red-inked edits in the margins. He began, “Thanks for sharing your first draft.” Tovar proceeded to dispute claim after baseless claim. It reminded me of the triumphant scene in “Napoleon Dynamite,” where the relentlessly mistreated protagonist earns a standing ovation for his dance moves.

With 2.2 million employees worldwide, Walmart is also the largest U.S. employer. The average full-time associate earns around $12 an hour, well above minimum wage. In 2013, the corporation was praised by First Lady Michelle Obama for announcing plans to hire 100,000 veterans. Last year they donated more than $1 billion to charity globally. They also offer education assistance and help associates who have been affected by catastrophic life events such as fire, divorce, death, etc. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the retailer sent truckloads of goods to help victims. Yet, their reputation is under constant attack.

The Washington Examiner reported that Walmart’s health insurance is not only more affordable than Obamacare, but it also offers better coverage, minus the income, age or gender restrictions. The retailer revolutionized the pharmacy industry by offering inexpensive prescription drugs with little to no co-pays for their employees. Still, nothing satisfies the bullies, intent on pushing Walmart down and taking their lunch money.

Walmart is known for their entry level positions. But starting wages are rarely static. According to their website, “About 75% of our store management teams started as hourly associates, and they earn between $50,000 and $170,000 a year … Last year, Walmart promoted about 170,000 people to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay.” This is a key point lost on the Walmart bashers — as people gain knowledge and experience they climb the economic ladder.

It is clear the Walmart smear campaign is a pastime mostly enjoyed by far left activists, unions, angered by the superstore’s refusal to unionize, and the politicians beholden to such groups. To protest the opening of Walmart stores in cities, like Brooklyn, New York and Boston, is to deprive consumers of a wide variety of quality goods at low prices. A 2011 NYT poll showed 62 percent of New Yorkers wanted a store in their neighborhood. In her blog, “Ghetto Economics & the Politics of Poverty,” Stephanie Davis writes: “In essence, Boston’s political class has turned its city limits into a type of food dessert or island in which the cost of goods is higher because of limited supply or lack of competition.”

Today’s trend is to be obsessed with the gap between the highest paid worker and the lowest. Of course there’s an income gap! But, we must also take into account the gap in initiative, experience and in some cases, education (all of which can be rectified). These things being equal, we could legitimately criticize the income disparity. If career politicians and intellectual elites had even a smidgen of experience in the private sector, they might understand how this works. Until then, they shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near economic policy.

Call me old-fashioned, but I miss the days when we valued hard work and success in this country. Young people today are encouraged to vilify those who have more. It seems to me a childish and selfish way to view the world.

In my youth, I had many low paying jobs. When I got tired of being broke, I applied for student loans, studied hard and became a nurse. If I wanted more money, I could go back to school and become a nurse manager or even a surgeon. Here’s the thing: I don’t want to. I’d rather not put forth the effort or incur the associated expense. Do I resent doctors because they make more than me? Not at all. Do I march in the streets and demand the same salary as a physician? That would be absurd.

Instead of browbeating Walmart and coveting thy neighbor’s paycheck, maybe we should be inspiring people to educate and market themselves so they have skills employers need. I learned early in life that no one is going to pay me to sit around looking pretty.

This Is No Way To Fund Pet Projects

Yesterday The New York Post reported that money will be taken out of the food stamp program to fund Michelle Obama’s pet project, Let’s Move.

The article reports:

On Nov. 1, sizable cuts were gouged into the federal food-stamp program (or, as it’s now called, SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), which feeds 47.6 million people, or nearly one in six Americans. In the city, 1.9 million folks get the bulk of their Jell-O and Campbell’s Soup from stamps.

But news has spread among the poor, like leafy green vegetables, that it wasn’t heartless Republicans who triggered the cuts.

Rather, some of the food-stamp cash was snatched to pay for Michelle Obama’s pet project, Let’s Move. What?

It’s come to this. Some 76 million meals a year will vanish from this city — poof! — partly because the president diverted money from SNAP to the first lady’s signature program, part of her Let’s Move anti-obesity initiative — the bean-sprout-heavy, $4.5 billion Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

This project will not create healthy, hunger-free kids. Instead it will create more hungry kids. Another problem with the Let’s Move project is that the school children don’t like Michelle Obama’s healthy lunches. It seems to me that it would be a good idea to mix healthy lunches with things children like to eat for a successful program. However, in no way is it appropriate to take money away from a program that provides children with meals at home that they will eat and invest that money into lunches they will not eat at school.

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Does This Mean Mayor Bloomberg Will Put The Salt Shakers Back On The Tables At New York City Restaurants?

On June 21, a website called PreventDisease.com posted a story stating that there is no benefit in reducing salt intake and it may even be dangerous. In the past, New York‘s Mayor Bloomberg has attempted to limit the use of salt in New York City’s restaurants.

Now the Democrat food police (yes, I realize that Mayor Bloomberg is a Republican, but check the circumstances of his becoming mayor) have a new issue. First Lady Michelle Obama has been trying to change the lunch programs in our schools.

On Friday, Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line about the latest escapades of the Democrat food police.

The article quotes a Washington Times article:

“[Food service manager Nicky] Boehm and her staff worked hard to implement the new regulations, but there were just too many problems and too many foods that students did not like and would not purchase,” said Assistant Superintendent Chris Abdoo about the National School Lunch Program in a statement reported by EAGNews.org. “Students complained of being hungry with these lunches and the district lost money.”

The school system decided to instead create its own lunch menu for next year.

The district lost about $100,000 trying out the federal menu, which offered such meals as “part” of a chicken patty on a minicroissant, EAGNews.org reported.

Would that satisfy you? It would be really nice to see children eat better, but I am not sure that is something the government can accomplish. It seems to me that it’s not even an education problem. Most people over the age of twelve understand that eating fast food every night or living on potato chips and sugar is not a good idea. The only thing that will reduce the obesity rate in America will be American’s deciding that they want to lose the weight. It comes down to individual choice.

The ‘nanny state’ is not really helpful to anyone. As science changes regarding salt and other foods, the government may not be in a position to undo the regulations it set in place. We don’t always make the correct personal choices, but we all have the right to make those choices.

 

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Some Information To Add To The Pile

Wikipedia describes the Debka File as “a Jerusalem-based, English– and Hebrew-language, Israeli, open-source, military intelligence website with commentary and analyses on terrorism, intelligence, security, and military and political affairs in the Middle East. The word “Debka” refers to an Arab folk dance.” The Debka File is a respected source of information regarding terrorism.

On Saturday, the Debka File posted their analysis of the Boston Marathon bombing, its aftermath, and what they considered the motive and reason for the bombing. Needless to say, their report has not been included in any of the reports I have heard from the mainstream media. One thing to keep in mind here is the lack of accuracy in the initial reporting of the killings in Newtown, Connecticut. A similar lack of accuracy has occurred in the reporting of the Boston bombing.

The intelligence experts at the Debka File believe that the Tsarnaev brothers were double agents–they had been recruited by the FBI and later turned by the group they infiltrated. There is also a link of Saudi money involved in the operation, which may explain the odd behavior of the State Department regarding a ‘person of interest’ later declared simply a witness who was visited by Michelle Obama during her recent visit to Boston. At first it was reported that the Saudi was scheduled to be deported, the State Department denied that, and subsequent reports say that he will be deported.

The article at Debka File lists the reasons their intelligence analysts believed that the Tsarnaev brothers were double agents. It also gives a few examples of prior agents recruited by the FBI to infiltrate terrorist groups. Please follow the link to the article to see the list.

The article at Debka File ends with four questions it believes need to be answered as soon as possible:

a) At what date did the Tsarnaev brothers turn coat and decide to work for Caucasian Wahhabi networks?b) Did they round up recruits for those networks in the United States – particularly, among the Caucasian and Saudi communities?
c)  What was the exact purpose of the Boston Marathon bombings and their aftermath at MIT in Watertown?
d) Are any more terrorist attacks in the works in other American cities?

I think the American people deserve those answers.

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Some Rational Comments About Sequestration

Yesterday the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported on some comments Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal made after the governors met in Washington.

This is the video of Governor Jindal’s statement as posted on YouTube:

The article at the Times Picayune reports:

If sequestration cuts go into effect, the White House said that Louisiana schools and childrens’ programs would lose millions of dollars, 7,000 civilian department of defense employees would be furloughed, and other programs supporting crime prevention, children’s vaccines, and domestic violence victims would lose crucial funds.

Are we supposed to believe that when you cut 2.5 percent of the federal budget (not to mention that some of this is not cuts–it is a cut in the rate of growth) one of the first things to be cut is schools and children’s programs? How about asking President Obama to see if he can limit some of his trips on Air Force One? How much did the taxpayers pay to send Michelle Obama to the Oscars? How much is the government paying in tobacco subsidies? Have you noticed that legally the President’s salary is immune from the sequester? What about congressional pay? What about the golf or vacation budget?

We are being manipulated, and if the White House and those in Congress who want to raise taxes and increase spending get away with this we can expect more manipulation in the future. The runaway spending is going to drive America into bankruptcy. We have an opportunity to slow that down. The questions is, “Are there enough people in Washington honest enough to do what needs to be done?”

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Showmanship Over Substance

The Daily Caller reported today that at least five Democrat Senators are bringing illegal aliens to President Obama’s State of the Union speech.

The article reports:

The DC reported Tuesday that five Democrats — First Lady Michelle Obama, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Marc Veasey and Rep. Kathy Castor — have announced that they are bringing illegal immigrants to the speech as their guests.

Most of those guests are young. Alan Aleman, the 20-year-old guest of Michelle Obama, is a benefit of President Obama’s deferred deportation program for illegal immigrants who were brought into the country when they were under 16 years old. He has since been given a Social Security number.

But Gutierrez is bringing 27-year-old Gabino Sanchez, an illegal immigrant who lives in South Carolina and is fighting deportation, as his guest.

The article points out that all attendees of the speech undergo a government background check which includes providing a Social Security Number, which theoretically an illegal alien would not have. An American citizen would have to provide that information.

It would be interesting to know what inspired these government officials to bring people who were in the country illegally to a major Presidential speech.

Our government seems to have forgotten that protecting our borders is supposed to be one of its highest priorities. The government also seems to have a problem understanding the meaning of the word illegal.

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Sometimes It’s Not What You Know–It’s Who You Know

Yesterday the Washington Examiner posted a story about the price of state dinners at the White House. The cost of those dinners has soared during the Obama Administration. Please follow the link above to read the story. It states the obvious, but near the bottom of the story, there is an interesting fact:

The documents also reveal that the Obama White House retained an outside planner for the dinners. Bryan Rafanelli, a Boston-based celebrity event planner who was retained last year, managed former first daughter Chelsea Clinton’s 2010 nupitals. His firm’s website boasts that he produced “State Dinners hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.”

WALSH

Rafanelli’s business partner, Mark Walsh, is deputy chief of the State Department’s Office of Protocol, which reimburses the White House executive residence for the events.

My, isn’t that convenient.

The article further reports:

Asked about the propriety of a White House contractor having a business relationship with a federal official in a position such as Walsh, Walters (Gary Walters, who ran presidential household operations for 21 years during Democratic and Republican administrations) said, “I don’t think it looks very good. Does it smell right? No.”

Walters said he never used outside event planners because “I believed the White House residence staff could do the job.”

Does anyone remember the White House travel office under the Clintons? It just seems as if the last two Democrat Presidents have used the office as their own personal payback fund.

 

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This Seems A Little Over The Top

2009-08-06-blueheron3.jpg

This is a picture of the Blue Heron Farm Estate, where President Obama and his family are vacationing. The picture is from the Huffington Post.

Yesterday the U.K. Daily Mail posted an article about the travel expenses of Michele Obama since President Obama took office.

The article reports:

White House sources today claimed that the First Lady has spent $10million of U.S. taxpayers’ money on vacations alone in the past year.

There is nothing wrong with the President or his wife taking a vacation or with part of that vacation being paid for by taxpayers, but there seems to be a certain tone-deafness to the world that the rest of America is living in. Many families have not gone on vacation this year because of financial pressures–loss of jobs, high price of gasoline, high price of food, etc.

The article reports:

The Blue Heron Farm estate, where the Obama family are currently staying, rents for about $50,000 a week.

According to U.S. News and World Report, the Coast Guard is required to keep ships floating near the property, the presidential helicopter and jet remain at the ready and security agents will be on 24-hour duty.

I understand that there are security concerns when the President travels or is on vacation, but this seems a bit excessive to me. I truly believe that the first family of America is acting like someone who just won the lottery and has money to spend for the first time in his life, and I know that is not the case. I hope in the future, the first family will be more considerate of the taxpayers’ pocketbooks.

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