Friday, September 08, 2006

Bad news - Stop Overspending Proposal is DOA

Bad news. My top ballot issue is DOA. This is a major defeat for fiscal conservatism. From the AP.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan elections board on Friday voted against putting a measure on the November ballot that would limit state government spending, agreeing that backers did not collect enough valid signatures.

The bipartisan Board of State Canvassers' 4-0 vote came after state election officials estimated the Michigan Stop Overspending Committee fell about 20,000 valid signatures short of the 317,757 needed for the proposed constitutional amendment to go before voters.


We need to try again for 08.

11 comments:

Keith Richards said...

The ballot has been getting pretty crowded already. It might do better in '08 with fewer issues and races distracting voters attention.

Come to think of it, I never did see the petition for this going around, not even at the state Republican convention in Novi.

Communications guru said...

It's a win for common sense, and a defeat for fraud.

liberals Hate America said...

Not to change the subject, but I find it sad that the Democratic Party will trample on our Constitution (1st Amendment) by trying to stop the 9/11 docudrama. They as portraying themselves as the party of people’s rights are trying to stop a TV mini series. If you remember they were also upset about the networks pulling the President Reagan docudrama eminently after his death.. Again they want to have it both ways what ever way suits their political interests at the given time.
I wonder if they took a pole first the see if this is what their voting block wanted or did they actually make a decision on there own?

Communications guru said...

I don’t understand, so maybe you can explain it to me. It was perfectly OK to pull the Reagan mini-series back in 2003, but it’s a violation of 1st Amendment if the 9/11 fiction is pulled? How is that? Critics aren’t even asking it be pulled, just to be accurate. Since when have conservatives ever cared about the Bill of Rights, especially the 1st Amendment?

To top it off, the so-called “liberal media” pulled the Reagan series, but it’s not pulling the 9/11 hit piece. For the 9/11 series they actually had an historical record to base the program on, the 9/11 Commission Report, yet the “liberal media” ignored that bipartisan commission and made up their own conclusions based on their imagination.

anonymous said...

Matt,

This is just one more "do as I say, not as I do" demonstration from the Dummycrats.

liberals Hate America said...

The Reagan series was pulled as it was in poor taste only days after his death. It is called respect. The point is the liberal’s cried as it was pulled and now they are crying to pull this one. If it is factual or not is not the point, was the Reagan series factual, I do not know or care, is this mini drama factual, it is TV what on TV is factual. Are the liberals not for the 1st Amendment, you will take a person to court as he apposes a pissed soaked American flag being displayed that a person calls art yet you want to suppress an made for TV show. I don’t get it.
Attached is the letter Bill Clintons lawyer sent to ABC tell me he does not want it pulled, also Harry Reids letter. Guru you always cannot tell the truth. Should Clinton be allowed to edit the series?

I though there were no anonymous posts allowed on this blog?


September 1, 2006

Dear Bob,

As you know, ABC intends to air a two part miniseries, “The Path to 9/11,” which purports to document the events leading up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. ABC claims that the show is based on the 9/11 Commission Report and, as Steve McPherson, President of ABC Entertainment, has said: “When you take on the responsibility of telling the story behind such an important event, it is absolutely critical that you get it right.”

By ABC’s own standard, ABC has gotten it terribly wrong. The content of this drama is factually and incontrovertibly inaccurate and ABC has a duty to fully correct all errors or pull the drama entirely. It is unconscionable to mislead the American public about one of the most horrendous tragedies our country has ever known.

Despite several requests to view the miniseries, we have not been given the courtesy of seeing it. This is particularly troubling given the reputation of Cyrus Nowrasteh, the drama’s writer/producer. Mr. Nowrasteh has been criticized for inaccurately portraying historical events in the past. In response to previous criticism, he has even said, “I made a conscious effort not to contact any members of the Administration because I didn’t want them to stymie my efforts.” Indeed, while we have not been given the courtesy of a viewing, based upon reports from people who have seen the drama you plan to air, we understand that there are at least three significant factual errors:

-- The drama leads viewers to believe that National Security Advisor Sandy Berger told the CIA that he would not authorize them to take a shot at bin Laden. This is complete fiction and the event portrayed never happened. First of all, the 9/11 Commission Report makes clear that CIA Director George Tenet had been directed by President Clinton and Mr. Berger to get bin Laden (p. 199 & 508-509). Secondly, Roger Cressy, National Security Council senior director for counterterrorism from 1999-2001, has said, on more than one occasion, “Mr. Clinton approved every request made of him by the CIA and the U.S. military involving using force against bin Laden and al-Qaeda.”

In addition, ABC’s own counter-terrorism consultant, Richard Clarke, has said that contrary to the movie:

1) No US military or CIA personnel were on the ground in Afghanistan and saw bin Laden;

2) The head of the Northern Alliance, Masood, was nowhere near the alleged bin Laden camp and did not see bin Laden; and

3) CIA Director Tenet said that he could not recommend a strike on the camp because the information was single-sourced and there would be no way to know if bin Laden was in the target area by the time a cruise missile hit it.

As Clarke and others will corroborate, President Clinton did in fact approve of a standing plan to use Afghans who worked for the CIA to capture bin Laden. The CIA’s Afghan operatives were never able to carry out the operation and the CIA recommended against inserting Agency personnel to do it. The Department of Defense, when asked by President Clinton to examine the use of US troops to capture bin Laden, also recommended against that option.

-- The drama claims that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright refused to sanction a missile strike against bin Laden without first alerting the Pakistanis and notified them over the objections of the military. Again, this is false.

-- Using newsreel footage of President Clinton, the drama insinuates that President Clinton was too pre-occupied with the impeachment and the Lewinsky matter to be engaged in pursuing bin Laden. This allegation is absurd and was directly refuted by ABC News consultant Richard Clarke in his book, Against All Enemies: “Clinton made clear that we were to give him our best national security advice without regard to his personal problems. ‘Do you recommend that we strike on the 20th? Fine. Do not give me political advice or personal advice about the timing. That’s my problem. Let me worry about that.’ If we thought this was the best time to hit the Afghan camps, he would order it and take the heat.”

While these are three examples that we are aware of that are utterly baseless, they are clearly indicative of other errors in the substance and bent of the film. Indeed, the overall tone in the advertisements we’ve seen for this drama suggest that President Clinton was inattentive to the threat of terrorism or insufficiently intent upon eliminating the threat from bin Laden. Note that the 9/11 Commission Report says:

-- We believe that both President Clinton and President Bush were genuinely concerned about the danger posed by al Qaeda.” (p. 349)

-- “By May 1998 … clearly, President Clinton’s concern about terrorism had steadily risen.” (p. 102)

-- “President Clinton was deeply concerned about bin Laden. He and his national security advisor, Samuel ‘Sandy’ Berger, ensured they had a special daily pipeline of reports feeding them the latest updates on bin Laden’s reported location.” (p. 175)

-- “President Clinton spoke of terrorism in numerous public statements. In his August 5, 1996, remarks at George Washington University, he called terrorism ‘the enemy of our generation.’” (p. 500)

We challenge anyone to read the 9/11 Commission Report and find any basis for the false allegations noted above or the tenor of the drama, which suggests that the Clinton Administration was inattentive to the threat of a terrorist strike.

Frankly, the bias of the ABC drama is not surprising given the background and political leanings of its writer/producer, Mr. Nowrasteh, which have been well-documented on numerous conservative blogs and talk shows in his promotion of this film. Mr. Nowrasteh’s bias can be seen in an interview he gave to David Horowitz’s conservative magazine Frontpage, during which he said:

"The 9/11 report details the Clinton’s administration’s response – or lack of response – to Al Qaeda and how this emboldened Bin Laden to keep attacking American interests. The worst example is the response to the October, 2000 attack of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen where 17 American sailors were killed. There simply was no response. Nothing."

But as Sandy Berger told the 9/11 Commission: “[T]o go to war, a president needs to be able to say that his senior intelligence and law enforcement officers have concluded who is responsible.” And as the 9/11 Commission report repeatedly acknowledges, the US did not have clear evidence of bin Laden’s connection to the attack on the USS Cole before the end of the Clinton Administration (p. 192, 193, 195 & executive summary).

While ABC is promoting “The Path to 9/11” as a dramatization of historical fact, in truth it is a fictitious rewriting of history that will be misinterpreted by millions of Americans. Given your stated obligation to “get it right,” we urge you to do so by not airing this drama until the egregious factual errors are corrected, an endeavor we could easily assist you with given the opportunity to view the film.

Sincerely,

Bruce R. Lindsey

Chief Executive Officer

William J. Clinton Foundation

Douglas J. Band

Counselor to President Clinton

Office of William Jefferson Clinton

Cc: Ms. Madeleine K. Albright

Mr. Samuel R. Berger

Mr. Richard A. Clarke

Mr. Stephen McPherson

Mr. George J. Mitchell

Mr. John D. Podesta

Mr. David Westin

National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States


Press Release of Senator Reid

SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP URGES DISNEY CEO TO CANCEL MISLEADING 9/11 MINISERIES

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Washington, DC — Urging him to cancel the grossly inaccurate upcoming miniseries The Path to 9/11, the Senate Democratic Leadership today sent the following letter to Disney President and CEO Robert Iger. Disney’s subsidiary ABC erroneously claims the misleading miniseries is based on 9/11 Commission report and is planning to air it on September 10 and 11. Shockingly, the network is also planning to use the program as a teaching tool through Scholastic, potentially misinforming thousands of children about the most important event in recent American history.

The text of the letter, signed by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin, and Senators Debbie Stabenow, Charles Schumer, and Byron Dorgan, is below.

September 7, 2006

Mr. Robert A. Iger

President and CEO

The Walt Disney Company

500 South Buena Vista Street

Burbank CA 91521

Dear Mr. Iger,

We write with serious concerns about the planned upcoming broadcast of The Path to 9/11 mini-series on September 10 and 11. Countless reports from experts on 9/11 who have viewed the program indicate numerous and serious inaccuracies that will undoubtedly serve to misinform the American people about the tragic events surrounding the terrible attacks of that day. Furthermore, the manner in which this program has been developed, funded, and advertised suggests a partisan bent unbecoming of a major company like Disney and a major and well respected news organization like ABC. We therefore urge you to cancel this broadcast to cease Disney’s plans to use it as a teaching tool in schools across America through Scholastic. Presenting such deeply flawed and factually inaccurate misinformation to the American public and to children would be a gross miscarriage of your corporate and civic responsibility to the law, to your shareholders, and to the nation.

The Communications Act of 1934 provides your network with a free broadcast license predicated on the fundamental understanding of your principle obligation to act as a trustee of the public airwaves in serving the public interest. Nowhere is this public interest obligation more apparent than in the duty of broadcasters to serve the civic needs of a democracy by promoting an open and accurate discussion of political ideas and events.

Disney and ABC claim this program to be based on the 9/11 Commission Report and are using that assertion as part of the promotional campaign for it. The 9/11 Commission is the most respected American authority on the 9/11 attacks, and association with it carries a special responsibility. Indeed, the very events themselves on 9/11, so tragic as they were, demand extreme care by any who attempt to use those events as part of an entertainment or educational program. To quote Steve McPhereson, president of ABC Entertainment, “When you take on the responsibility of telling the story behind such an important event, it is absolutely critical that you get it right.”

Unfortunately, it appears Disney and ABC got it totally wrong.

Despite claims by your network’s representatives that The Path to 9/11 is based on the report of the 9/11 Commission, 9/11 Commissioners themselves, as well as other experts on the issues, disagree.

# Richard Ben-Veniste, speaking for himself and fellow 9/11 Commissioners who recently viewed the program, said, “As we were watching, we were trying to think how they could have misinterpreted the 9/11 Commission’s findings the way that they had.” [“9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased,” New York Times, September 6, 2006]

# Richard Clarke, the former counter-terrorism czar, and a national security advisor to ABC has described the program as “deeply flawed” and said of the program’s depiction of a Clinton official hanging up on an intelligence agent, “It’s 180 degrees from what happened.” [“9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased,” New York Times, September 6, 2006]

# Reports suggest that an FBI agent who worked on 9/11 and served as a consultant to ABC on this program quit halfway through because, “he thought they were making things up.” [MSNBC, September 7, 2006]

# Even Thomas Kean, who serves as a paid consultant to the miniseries, has admitted that scenes in the film are fictionalized. [“9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased,” New York Times, September 6, 2006]

That Disney would seek to broadcast an admittedly and proven false recounting of the events of 9/11 raises serious questions about the motivations of its creators and those who approved the deeply flawed program. Finally, that Disney plans to air commercial-free a program that reportedly cost it $40 million to produce serves to add fuel to these concerns.

These concerns are made all the more pressing by the political leaning of and the public statements made by the writer/producer of this miniseries, Mr. Cyrus Nowrasteh, in promoting this miniseries across conservative blogs and talk shows.

Frankly, that ABC and Disney would consider airing a program that could be construed as right-wing political propaganda on such a grave and important event involving the security of our nation is a discredit both to the Disney brand and to the legacy of honesty built at ABC by honorable individuals from David Brinkley to Peter Jennings. Furthermore, that Disney would seek to use Scholastic to promote this misguided programming to American children as a substitute for factual information is a disgrace.

As 9/11 Commission member Jamie Gorelick said, “It is critically important to the safety of our nation that our citizens, and particularly our school children, understand what actually happened and why – so that we can proceed from a common understanding of what went wrong and act with unity to make our country safer.”

Should Disney allow this programming to proceed as planned, the factual record, millions of viewers, countless schoolchildren, and the reputation of Disney as a corporation worthy of the trust of the American people and the United States Congress will be deeply damaged. We urge you, after full consideration of the facts, to uphold your responsibilities as a respected member of American society and as a beneficiary of the free use of the public airwaves to cancel this factually inaccurate and deeply misguided program. We look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Sincerely,

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid

Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin

Senator Debbie Stabenow

Senator Charles Schumer

Senator Byron Dorgan

Communications guru said...

I can sum up your long rant in two words. Double standard.

Big Kahuna said...

I did not like the baggage that the SOS proposal had with it. Any proposal whatsoever had to be voted on at the local level. That is WAY too cumbersome. If there was a proposal to pave my street and use a special assessment to pay for it, the whole municipality would have to vote to approve. That is unreasonable. I think that any future proposal should seperate the local stuff from the state changes.

liberals Hate America said...

Guru take a pole and see what way the wind blows.

Luther said...

see this

America Marks 5-Year Anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, Attacks

liberals Hate America said...

The short of it is, the left is opposing the showing of this film because 1) Clinton actions are criticized and 2) Bush’s actions aren’t criticized enough. The latter being the main point of anger for liberals in that it goes against everything they have tried to obfuscate for the past 5 years. They want the enduring image of 9/11 to be George Bush sitting in a classroom reading a children’s book, not the towers collapsing or people jumping out of buildings. Anything that goes against The Narrative is a threat to expose the entire tissue of lies, exaggerations, misrepresentations, conspiracy fantasies, and deliberate falsehoods perpetrated over the last 5 years with the help of an all too willing media and a vast network of former government officials always willing to shift blame for their own inadequacies in the face of Islamic terrorism.