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Friday Talking Points [268] -- PBS, Citizen Koch, And Obama's Press Conference

[ Posted Friday, August 9th, 2013 – 16:15 PDT ]

The big political news today, of course, was President Obama's press conference. While the subject matter largely revolved around the National Security Agency reforms Obama is belatedly proposing, I found the rest of the presser to be more interesting, personally -- mostly because the excerpt we're going to provide will in all likelihood be virtually ignored in most media reports. But we'll get to all that in the remainder of the column.

Sometimes, come Friday, I give in to the urge to just unleash a rant. Usually, this is provided at the end of the column, in lieu of the talking points. Today, we're switching things around a bit, and instead are leading off with a little mini-rant (mostly because it's so off-subject). So we'll get to Obama's comments in a bit, but first, my advice for anyone who donates regularly to the Public Broadcasting System (I've been meaning to rant on this for a while, but it's now pledge season once again, so it's definitely time to speak up).

If you haven't heard this story already and are a supporter of public television, I heartily encourage you to read up on what has been going on there. And then I also heartily encourage you to phone up your local PBS station during pledge-break hours and say to them something similar to the following:

"I'm calling you up because you are begging for donations once again -- seems like you do pledge drives every month, these days. I'm calling up today to explain why I will not be donating any money to your PBS station. You should write this down and provide it to the bigwigs at your station, in fact.

"I used to think PBS was worthy of donating to for the sole reason that you are one of the most-trusted media entities in America. Through thick and thin, I thought it was a bedrock tenet of PBS that you were independent and would not be influenced by commercials, advertisers, or anyone else who offered you money to change your editorial policies in any way. Sadly, I no longer think this.

"When I heard the story of how PBS greenlighted the documentary Citizen Koch -- only to pull out of the deal right after one of the Koch brothers reportedly threatened to stop a multimillion-dollar donation to one of PBS's flagship stations, I have to tell you, I was downright disgusted.

"To hear that PBS's editorial policies could be so crassly influenced by a big donor was disheartening and disillusioning, to say the least. Thankfully, these days, there is social media to spread this story, since I certainly didn't hear about it on any of your news shows. Also, thankfully, there are online ways to donate directly to the producers of this documentary, so that their work will not die after PBS cut off the funding for it due to pressure from a donor.

"Since you have shown that this is what motivates you these days -- pressure from donors -- I just had to call to let you know that while I might have otherwise considered donating some money to you, I will instead be donating to the financing for Citizen Koch. While my donation is a whole lot smaller than millions of dollars, there are many who feel exactly as I do. And we're taking our money elsewhere, until you have regained our trust.

"So please make sure you write this down and pass it along to the PBS executives. I will not be donating one thin dime to your station until I see you have scheduled Citizen Koch to play on your station. Because you've shown that money talks at PBS, I'm hoping that when enough people call in and tell you exactly the same thing, you will see the error of your ways and return to being a truly independent source of information. So you can hold all the pledge drives you want, but my money will be going elsewhere until I see Citizen Koch aired on your station."

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Moving on to the political news of the week, President Obama pretty much trumped all other news with today's afternoon press conference. Obama, like many second-term presidents, hasn't been giving as many of these pressers as he used to, of late. Even though it's been months since the last one, there was a clear focus today to both Obama's initial announcement and most of the questions from the press.

Obama began by stating that he's now going to get behind four reforms of how the federal government conducts surveillance. This is what most of the news leads have focused on as well, from the few we've yet seen. As we stated, though, we were much more interested in the other subjects brought up at the end.

We'll have plenty of time to hash over the N.S.A., surveillance, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, proposed reforms, and all the rest of it in the coming weeks. So forgive us if we largely ignore them today.

But when contemplating awards this week, we came to the conclusion that the most impressive person this week (if not a "Democrat" -- we've never heard party affiliation even discussed) is none other than Edward Snowden.

Now, love Snowden or hate him, the measure of the effectiveness of any leaker is what gets done after the leak. Does the media and the public yawn and ignore it? Is there a public outcry, but no political action? Or does the leaked information become so important that it not only spurs a public outcry but also leads to politicians actually reforming the problem?

By this measure, Snowden has been not just effective, but outstandingly effective. Within a few weeks (which is light speed in Washington), the House almost passed a bill scrapping the entire N.S.A. program and President Obama was forced not only to just give a press conference which centered around the problems Snowden exposed, but also to actually support several important reforms to the program, some of which have already been introduced as Senate bills. That is not only effective, that is impressive.

Of course, we could give a Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week to the senators behind the reform bills, but we already did that last week. We imagine that Senators Richard Blumenthal, Tom Udall, and Ron Wyden were as surprised as the rest of us at how quickly the White House jumped on their bandwagon, in fact. But, like we said, we already gave them all MIDOTW awards last week.

We could give the award to President Obama for belatedly getting on the reform bandwagon, but if we did, we'd have to also give him the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week as well, for his strong insistence during the press conference that all of this would have happened anyway, since he had suggested some more-timid reviews and reforms in a speech a few months ago. We simply don't find that believable. Does anyone really think this all would have played out in anywhere near as effective a fashion if it hadn't been for Snowden? Obama even admitted this directly, today:

And there's no doubt that Mr. Snowden's leaks triggered a much more rapid and passionate response than would have been the case if I had simply appointed this review board to go through -- and I'd sat down with Congress and we had worked this thing through -- it would have been less exciting and it would not have generated as much press -- I actually think we would have gotten to the same place, and we would have done so without putting at risk our national security and some very vital ways that we are able to get intelligence that we need to secure the country.

This is disingenuous not only because he's right about the fact that it wouldn't have been exciting, but also because if some commission had looked at it and issued some report at some point far in the future, this report likely would have been a one-day story in the press, and would have been absolutely ignored by Congress. We simply would not have "gotten to the same place." True reform of both the N.S.A.'s programs as well as the fundamental ways the F.I.S.C. operates are now politically possible. That just would not have been true if nobody now knew the name Edward Snowden.

So we're going to forego both the MIDOTW and the MDDOTW awards this week, and instead award a custom-designed Most Impressive And Effective Leaker award to none other than Edward Snowden.

As we said -- love him or hate him, call him "patriot" or "traitor" -- it is now absolutely impossible to argue that his leaks weren't effective, meaningful, and will actually cause the federal government to have a national conversation with its citizens about what it feels it is legally able to do. And that, to us, is impressive indeed.

[We have no contact information for Edward Snowden, of course.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 268 (8/9/13)

Today, we're going to pre-empt our usual amateurish attempts to provide Democrats with talking points they can use. Instead, we're going to provide the portion of Obama's press conference which other news organizations may ignore completely (what with all the N.S.A. news and all).

We're providing the following extended excerpt from the transcript of the press conference for a reason. While the N.S.A. dominated the press conference (and will likely dominate the coverage), Barack Obama, toward the end, responded to a question by a Fox News reporter (and a followup by a different reporter) on the subject of "Obamacare." This is going to be the number one issue when Congress returns in September, especially since the hotheads in the Republican Party are threatening to shut down the federal government in a final, ineffective tantrum over the law's implementation. Obama also had a good answer on immigration reform at the very end, but since immigration reform doesn't have a deadline built into it, the first big fracas Congress will face is going to be the last stand of the anti-Obamacare absolutists. Meaning that the most important (or most immediately relevant) part of the press conference politically was actually the excerpt below.

Obama's response is the best full-throated defense of the law I think I've ever heard, which is why it's worth reading in full. He not only laid out what the law actually is, he "framed" the issue better than I've ever heard it presented before by just about anyone. Again, this is going to be the big overarching battle when Congress returns, so the entire answer was a shot across the bow of the Republicans in Congress. Obama is presenting his position before the fight even begins. And he did so extraordinarily well, which could bode well for what happens in September.

The first part of the question is provided. There was a second question from the Fox guy, but it was nothing more than the obligatory Benghazi question you'd expect, so we've edited both the question and Obama's response out. This excerpt was taken from the official White House transcript of the press conference. The emphasis (bold text) in the transcript is our own, to highlight the best "talking points" which came out of Obama's answer. Democrats should learn these well and start repeating them often, to lay the groundwork for the upcoming fight in Congress.

Q: Okay, thank you. I want to ask you about two important dates that are coming up. October 1st, you've got to implement your signature health care law. You recently decided on your own to delay a key part of that. And I wonder, if you pick and choose what parts of the law to implement, couldn't your successor down the road pick and choose whether they'll implement your law and keep it in place?

[Benghazi question and response cut]

PRESIDENT OBAMA: With respect to health care, I didn't simply choose to delay this on my own. This was in consultation with businesses all across the country, many of whom are supportive of the Affordable Care Act, but -- and many of whom, by the way, are already providing health insurance to their employees but were concerned about the operational details of changing their HR operations if they've got a lot of employees, which could be costly for them, and them suggesting that there may be easier ways to do this.

Now what's true, Ed, is that in a normal political environment, it would have been easier for me to simply call up the Speaker and say: "You know what, this is a tweak that doesn't go to the essence of the law -- it has to do with, for example, are we able to simplify the attestation of employers as to whether they're already providing health insurance or not -- it looks like there may be some better ways to do this; let's make a technical change to the law." That would be the normal thing that I would prefer to do.

But we're not in a normal atmosphere around here when it comes to, quote-unquote, Obamacare. We did have the executive authority to do so, and we did so. But this doesn't go to the core of implementation. Let me tell you what is the core of implementation that's already taken place. As we speak, right now, for the 85 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, they are benefiting from being able to keep their kid on their plan if their kid is 26 or younger. That's benefiting millions of young people around the country, which is why lack of insurance among young people has actually gone down. That's in large part attributable to the steps that we've taken.

You've got millions of people who've received rebates, because part of the Affordable Care Act was to say that if an insurance company isn't spending 80 percent of your premium on your health care, you get some money back. And, lo and behold, people have been getting their money back. It means that folks who've been bumping up with lifetime limits on their insurance, that it leaves them vulnerable. That doesn't exist.

Seniors have been getting discounts on their prescription drugs. That's happening right now. Free preventive care -- mammograms, contraception. That's happening right now. I met a young man today on a bill-signing I was doing with the student loan bill who came up to me and said "Thank you" -- he couldn't have been more than 25, 26 years old -- "Thank you; I have cancer; thanks to the Affordable Care Act, working with the California program, I was able to get health care, and I'm now in remission." And so right now people are already benefiting.

Now, what happens on October 1st, in 53 days, is for the remaining 15 percent of the population that doesn't have health insurance, they're going to be able to go on a website or call up a call center and sign up for affordable quality health insurance at a significantly cheaper rate than what they can get right now on the individual market. And if, even with lower premiums, they still can't afford it, we're going to be able to provide them with a tax credit to help them buy it. And between October 1st into March, there will be an open enrollment period in which millions of Americans for the first time are going to be able to get affordable health care.

Now, I think the really interesting question is why it is that my friends in the other party have made the idea of preventing these people from getting health care their holy grail, their number-one priority. The one unifying principle in the Republican Party at the moment is making sure that 30 million people don't have health care and, presumably, repealing all those benefits I just mentioned -- kids staying on their parents' plan; seniors getting discounts on their prescription drugs; I guess a return to lifetime limits on insurance; people with pre-existing conditions continuing to be blocked from being able to get health insurance.

That's hard to understand as an agenda that is going to strengthen our middle class. At least they used to say: "Well, we're going to replace it with something better." There's not even a pretense now that they're going to replace it with something better.

The notion is simply that those 30 million people, or the 150 million who are benefiting from the other aspects of Affordable Care, will be better off without it. That's their assertion -- not backed by fact, not backed by any evidence. It's just become an ideological fixation.

Well, I'll tell you what, they're wrong about that. There is no doubt that in implementing the Affordable Care Act, a program of this significance, there are going to be some glitches. No doubt about it. There are going to be things where we say: "You know what? We should have thought of that earlier. Or this would work a little bit better. Or this needs an adjustment." That was true of Social Security. That was true of Medicare. That was true of the Children's Health Insurance Program. That was true of the prescription drug program, Part D, that was rolled out by a Republican president and supported by Republicans who are still in the House of Representatives. That's true, by the way, of a car company rolling out a new car. It's true of Apple rolling out the new iPad.

So you will be able to, whenever you want during the course of the next six months and probably the next year, find occasions where you say: "Ah-ha! You know what? That could have been done a little bit better. Or that thing -- they're kind of making an administrative change; that's not how it was originally thought this thing was going to work." Yes, exactly. Because our goal is to actually deliver high-quality, affordable health care for people and to reform the system so costs start going down and people start getting a better bang for the buck. And I make no apologies for that.

And let me just make one last point about this. The idea that you would shut down the government unless you prevent 30 million people from getting health care is a bad idea. What you should be thinking about is: how can we advance and improve ways for middle class families to have some security so that if they work hard they can get ahead and their kids can get ahead.

Jessica Yellin.

Q: Thank you, Mr. President. And following on what you just said, Republicans in the House might give you that choice soon to either allow the government to shut down, or see Obamacare defunded. Would you choose to let the government shut down to ensure that Obamacare remains funded?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I'm not going to engage in hypotheticals. I can tell you that the American people would have difficulty understanding why we would weaken our economy, shut down our government, shut down vital services, have people who are not getting paid who then can't go to restaurants or shop for clothes, or all the other things that we're doing here, because Republicans have determined that they don't want to see these folks get health care.

Again, they used to say they had a replacement. That never actually arrived, right? I mean, I've been hearing about this whole replacement thing for two years. Now I just don't hear about it, because basically they don't have an agenda to provide health insurance to people at affordable rates. And the idea that you would shut down the government at a time when the recovery is getting some traction; where we're growing, although not as fast as we need to; where the housing market is recovering, although not as fast as we would like; that we would precipitate another crisis here in Washington that no economist thinks is a good idea -- I'm assuming that they will not take path. I have confidence that common sense, in the end, will prevail.

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

43 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [268] -- PBS, Citizen Koch, And Obama's Press Conference”

  1. [1] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Thanks for the heads up, CW. I'm a donor to both our local PBS affiliates here in Cincinnati.

    Was searching for a national contact though as I'm not sure if boycotting local stations is the best approach. These stations are usually in charge of their own programming and get to pick off a menu of different options provided by PBS. At least this is my understanding.

    Would hate to punish local stations for a decision which seems like it was made by either WNET or ITVS.

    It's a bit of a confusing mess though as it seemed unclear who would be best to contact.

    ITVS can be contacted here:

    651 Brannan Street
    Suite 410
    San Francisco, CA 94107
    Phone: (415) 356-8383
    Fax: (415) 356-8391
    Email: itvs@itvs.org

    Shoot, they're right in your neighborhood, CW.

    WNET here:

    http://www.wnet.org/about/contact/

    Maybe calling the local stations would help as well so I'm going to give that a shot too.

    Thoughts?

    -David

  2. [2] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Thank you, Chris. I'll now try to find out if our local equivalent, Knowledge Network BC, has ever been similarly influenced.
    I'm NOT looking forward to the predicted outpouring of "frontier jibberish" from out resident loon (R-You've got to be kidding with this crap), but since that seems to be the American way, I'll continue to skim past the same nonsense - I just wish the sane Weigantian readers would do the same :)

  3. [3] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Ouch, typo, out should be our :(

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Today, we're switching things around a bit, and instead are leading off with a little mini-rant (mostly because it's so off-subject).

    If YOU do it, is it really "off subject"?? :D

    Regarding the Citizen Koch rant and the subsequent support.

    I have to ask..

    Would ya'all be just as disgusted if PBS bowed to DEMOCRAT economic terrorism and pulled support for CITIZEN CLINTON??

    Of course ya'all wouldn't. Ya'all (The Grand Poo-Bah excluded, of course) would support PBS to the HILT on THAT move...

    That's why it's hard to justify any outcry over THIS move.. Because, if PBS's move supported the Left or Democrats, ya'all would be 1000% behind it..

    Same ol same ol.. Nothing to see here, move along..

    As far as your unique award... I don't have to hash out my feelings on Snowden as I am sure ya'all could quote them verbatim...

    Having said that, I must give credit where credit is due..

    Snowden showed EVERYONE, beyond a SHADOW OF A DOUBT, that when it comes to CT policies, Obama is much worse (at least, how YA'LL define "worse") then Bush...

    And yet, ya'all STILL support Obama.. :D

    Like I said before, I get it. Because Obama gives ya'all SOME of what ya'all want, ya'all are willing to overlook the "morally abhorrent" and the stuff of war criminals....

    Like I said, I get it..

    Kevin,

    I'm NOT looking forward to the predicted outpouring of "frontier jibberish" from out resident loon

    I enjoy the sparring and such. But this blatantly immature name-calling is something I would have thought would have been beneath you..

    But, as I am wont to do when it occurs, I guess I have to admit I was wrong.. :D

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    GALLUP LOWEST: OBAMA FALLS TO 41%
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/113980/Gallup-Daily-Obama-Job-Approval.aspx

    Couldn't happen to a more deserving POTUS.....

  6. [6] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Out of curiousity, I googled "Michale, Troll" and came up with this.

    http://thedailybanter.com/2013/07/watch-right-wing-trolls-with-ner-t-shirts-at-a-travyon-martin-rally/

    I suggest watching the video,it sure looks like Michale from his shop-cam days. Plus it fits with his gleeful posts about Zimmerman getting away with Trayvon's murder. Weigantian's, know what you're dealing with.

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Do we REALLY want to go into that again, Kevin??

    There was no "murder". You and all the other racists had your trial. A trial even the JURORS say should never happened...

    Ya'all had your trial and the evidence (AND THE FACTS) overwhelmingly proved Zimmerman's innocence beyond ANY doubt, let alone a reasonable doubt..

    The racists lost. Get over it already...

    As for quoting BanterLine??

    Why on EARTH would something from a tin-plated hitler-wannabee be appropriate in a forum that has a REAL exchange of ideas and discussions (Weigantia) instead of being nothing but an echo chamber filled with a bunch of Left wing ditto heads(Banter Line)??

    I'm just sayin'....

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    In a (likely vain) attempt to head off another conflagration.... :D

    David,

    Care to comment on the theory that Obamacare was designed to fail so as to pave the way for a Single Payer system??

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/aug/10/reid-says-obamacare-just-step-toward-eventual-sing/

  9. [9] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Hey CW:

    Another good read. However, while going in, there was nothing wrong with your presumption about what the media would pick up from the speech, it does look like you were mistaken.

    There are at least as many articles out there on the non-NSA portions of the speech, with a lot of them quoting from the same text you give above.

    Personally, I think that bodes well overall....

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Personally, I think that bodes well overall....

    It's hilarious to me how political ideologues can, on one hand deal in absolutes when one Political Party is in power, but then deal in nothing but nuance when the OTHER Political Party is in power..

    For example...

    Under the Bush Administration (Republican), torture, rendition and domestic surveillance was utterly unequivocally and without question, bad.. It was wrong, it was evil and it was morally abhorrent...

    Under the Obama Administration (Democrat), those SAME qualities or even ENHANCED aspects of those qualities are glossed over, ignored. AVOIDING those topics in favor of the mineteau "bodes well" for the Administration....

    I am fascinated what people can accept and ignore, all in the name of Party loyalty...

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    First dog Bo is airlifted to Obama holiday home
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/10236302/First-dog-Bo-is-airlifted-to-Obama-holiday-home.html

    Sequester???

    There ain't no stinkin' sequester...

    My gods, the complete and utter arrogance of Emperor Barack The First...

    Doesn't this clown know that Americans are having trouble SURVIVING!!!???

    And this guy is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for a SPECIAL plane ride for his frakin' DOG!!!????

  12. [12] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Out of curiousity, I googled "Michale, Troll" and came up with this.

    I would only echo the words of the man speaking in the video: "Don't fall for the bait!"

    Getting lost in battles about whether individual people are racist or not is typically a losing battle because it often means having to prove what someone is thinking.

    None of this obviates the fact that those guys in the video are idiots. I'd suggest focusing on the statistics of our justice system and ignoring the village idiots. If we know the 'village idiots' are a distraction tactic, why get distracted by them?

    My two cents anyhoo ...

    -David

    p.s. BTW, some good news in the media. Looks like the Justice Department is recommending getting rid of the mandatory minimum sentencing which has been used to overcrowd jails w/ first time offenders:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/holder-seeks-to-avert-mandatory-minimum-sentences-for-some-low-level-drug-offenders/2013/08/11/343850c2-012c-11e3-96a8-d3b921c0924a_story.html

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'd suggest focusing on the statistics of our justice system and ignoring the village idiots.

    By all means, let's focus on the statistics...

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303404704577307613183789698.html

    Until people actually look at the ROOT of the problem w/o accusing anyone who does of being a racist, nothing will ever get solved...

    You can't solve the race problem with so many racist con-artists like Sharpton and Jackson being the "leaders" of the black community..

    Tawana Brawley

    Edmund Perry

    Trayvon Martin

    You seeing the pattern.. Racist con-artists like Sharpton and Jackson are injecting race into areas that had absolutely NOTHING to do with race..

    This is why we STILL have a racial problem here in this country.. Because of assholes like Sharpton and Jackson and the morons that follow them and give them credence..

    And, the FACTS show that it has gotten WORSE, not better, under Obama...

    So, by all means, let's look at the stats..

    But let's look at ALL the stats.. Not just the ones that support a political agenda...

    And let's do so without accusing those who DO look at ALL the stats of being racists...

    Only then can we have a REAL and honest discussion...

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    p.s. BTW, some good news in the media. Looks like the Justice Department is recommending getting rid of the mandatory minimum sentencing which has been used to overcrowd jails w/ first time offenders:

    Ever read the Jake Grafton novel, UNDER SIEGE??

    That's the best solution, in my learned and experienced opinion...

  15. [15] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Until people actually look at the ROOT of the problem w/o accusing anyone who does of being a racist, nothing will ever get solved.

    If statistically, white crime is much higher than black crime, where's the outrage over "white on white" crime?

    http://gawker.com/video-of-violent-rioting-surfers-shows-white-culture-o-954939719

    Why are so many in the media concerned with black people when statistically, they're not the problem?

    -David

    BTW, this piece is satirical. It's intended to point out the silliness of the entire 'black on black' narrative.

  16. [16] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Here's another good example of how the media 'plays' you ...

    http://gawker.com/watch-cord-jefferson-discuss-the-white-culture-of-viole-975400723

    It's also extremely funny ...

    -David

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    If statistically, white crime is much higher than black crime, where's the outrage over "white on white" crime?

    You miss the point.. Don't know if it's intentional or not.

    The black community so-called "leaders" want you (the sheep) to focus on white on black crime.. This allows these black "leaders" to inject race into issues that have NOTHING to do with race..

    These "leaders" can't do that when the discussion is black on black crime.

    But here's the funny thing.

    White on black crime is about 6%....

    Black on black crime is 93%!!!

    Now, you tell me..

    LOGICALLY and RATIONALLY speaking, where should the focus be??

    Remember, I am referring to logical and rational. Not hysterical and ideological...

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why are so many in the media concerned with black people when statistically, they're not the problem?

    93% of crime against black people is committed BY black people.

    And YOU think that, statistically, they are not the problem???

    Are you frakin shittin' me!!?????

  19. [19] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Let's take a step backwards for a second, my friend.

    Overall, who commits the most crimes? White people or black people?

    According to FBI statistics, 70% of total arrests are white people.

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-43

    If crime is the issue, how come we only hear about the 30%? Why don't we hear more about the 70%?

    Do you agree with the FBI that white people commit more crimes?

    93% of crime against black people is committed BY black people.

    You're talking about 93% of 30%. That would be 28% of the crime.

    What about the other 72% of crimes committed by white people?

    The black community so-called "leaders" want you (the sheep) to focus on white on black crime.

    No evidence supports this claim.

    It's funny how this seems to be your main concern though. Not crime of any sort. But what so-called 'black leaders' are saying.

    I don't believe it's right for people to get accused of racism unfairly, which is why it's a charge that I almost never lay on an individual.

    But it's hard to ignore the fact that far more crimes are committed by white people, yet our media and justice system seem obsessed with black crime.

    Once again, though Michale, I vote that we wind this down. It's not the subject of CW's column so I'm not going to say anything more on the subject here.

    -David

    Footnote about the FBI statistics: Someone pointed out to me something really interesting about the FBI statistics: the only categories for race are white and black.

    There's no 'Hispanic' category at all.

    The reason this is interesting is that it's quite likely many Hispanics (or other dark-skinned races) get categorized as black. So the 'black' arrest rate is quite likely even lower than 30%.

  20. [20] 
    akadjian wrote:

    You're talking about 93% of 30%. That would be 28% of the crime.

    Quick statistical correction. The FBI statistics are not broken out by "crime against". So that 30% would need to be split into how much of it is against black people. If we assume a conservative 25% estimate (it's likely lower), we'd be talking about 7.5% of crime which if you multiple by 93%, you get 7% of all crimes total are black on black crime .

    What about the other 93% of crimes? Why isn't the media more concerned with the 93%?

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Overall, who commits the most crimes? White people or black people?

    We're not talking just "crime"..

    We're talking VIOLENT crime.. Drug related crime... Assaults, murders things like that..

    You're talking about 93% of 30%. That would be 28% of the crime.

    No, I am talking 93% of VIOLENT crimes...

    But it's hard to ignore the fact that far more crimes are committed by white people, yet our media and justice system seem obsessed with black crime.

    More violent and drug related crime is committed by black people than by white people..

    This is the problem within the black community...

    But no one wants to talk about that because it would mean that the black community would have to take SOME responsibility for their actions...

    But those "so-called" leaders would rather just inject racism into the issue and blame it all on ANYONE but black people.

    These are the facts.. Regardless of whether you acknowledge them or not..

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Your theory presupposes that white collar crimes like art theft and counterfeiting and embezzlement are the reasons why the black community suffers so..

    But you and I both know that it's not THOSE crimes that are the problem within the black community.

    It's the murders and the rapes and the drugs and the assaults and the gang-violence..

    THOSE are the crimes we are discussing here.

    THOSE are the crimes that cause all the misery within the black community.

    And THOSE are the crimes that are committed BY black people AGAINST black people 93% of the time.

    You want to help the black community??

    Let's talk about THAT...

    You want to help the Democratic Party??

    Continue to obfuscate the issue and blame ANYTHING and ANYTHING but the black community...

    It's your call.....

    "You must choose. But choose wisely."
    -Knight, INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Once again, though Michale, I vote that we wind this down. It's not the subject of CW's column so I'm not going to say anything more on the subject here.

    Hay, don't blame me! :D I offered to change the subject to Obamacare... :D

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Continue to obfuscate the issue and blame ANYTHING and ANYTHING but the black community...

    Hmmmmmm Two "ANYTHING"s and no "ANYONE"s...

    What's wrong with that picture?? :D

  25. [25] 
    akadjian wrote:

    We're talking VIOLENT crime.. Drug related crime... Assaults, murders things like that.

    Even more violent crime is committed by white people.

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Even more violent crime is committed by white people.

    Not against black people...

    We ARE talking about the black community and alleged 'racism', are we not???

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Even given that, you'll have to back up your claim with some facts...

  28. [28] 
    akadjian wrote:

    We ARE talking about the black community and alleged 'racism', are we not?

    I'm talking about violent crime. And how the media portrays it as being committed almost solely by black people.

    Even given that, you'll have to back up your claim with some facts.

    According to the FBI statistics I sent previously, violent crime is defined as murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

    Murder and manslaughter ... 4,000 4,149
    Forcible rape ... 9,504 4,811
    Robbery ... 35,443 45,827
    Aggravated assault ... 194,981 102,597

    Totals 243,928 157,384

    If you add in drug-related crimes as you suggest

    Drug abuse violations 783,564 371,248

    New Totals 1,027,492 528,632

    More violent crimes & drug related crimes are committed by white people.

    Of course popular perception is that violent crimes are committed by black people because this is what is portrayed in the media: criminals, especially violent criminals, are black.

    Make of it what you want.

    -David

  29. [29] 
    akadjian wrote:

    p.s. Sorry 'bout the poor spacing. Tried to space right, but they get cut out.

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    Make of it what you want.

    Hokay... :D

    The original discussion (started by Kevin in comment #6) was regarding the Zimmerman shooting and the alleged racism against black people as a whole as epitomized by said shooting.

    THAT is the discussion here.

    However, I'll be happy to discuss YOUR point...

    Taking the PERCENTAGES of white/black violent crimes and breaking them down by crime, we see the following:

    Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter
    48% white 49.7% black

    Forcible rape
    65% white 32.9% black

    Robbery
    43% white 55.6% black

    Aggravated assault* (what Martin was guilty of w/ a Hate Crime Special Circumstances rider)
    63.9% white 33.6% black

    Burglary
    66.7% white 31.7%

    Remember, these numbers are from YOUR stats...

    So yes, your stats show that overall, white people commit more violent crimes than black people.. If we average out those percentages listed above, we come up with 57.32% of violent crimes committed by white people and 40.7% violent crimes committed by black people..

    So, the stats would seem to bear out your position..

    BUT....

    But we're not done yet.

    To give an ACCURATE statistic, we must process in the Per Capita factor..

    Unfortunately, my math skills peaked at figuring out the average percentages above.. :D I'll have to rely on your computational skills..

    You will need to factor into the above averages the fact that black people make up approx 12.6% of the US population and white people make up approx 72.4% of the US population.

    I think that, once you factor in the per capita, you will see that I am right..

    However, regardless of all that, it's not the point of the discussion that Kevin started..

    The point of THAT discussion is this.

    Is racism responsible for the plight and poverty of the black community nation wide..

    The answer is clearly "no" and the stats that are relevant to THAT point are conclusive.

    "Simple logic"
    Admiral James T Kirk, STAR TREK IV, The Voyage Home

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's still not too late to discuss Obamacare... :D

    Yet Another White House Obamacare Delay: Out-Of-Pocket Caps Waived Until 2015
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/08/13/yet-another-white-house-obamacare-delay-out-of-pocket-caps-waived-until-2015/

    If Obamacare is so awesome and so necessary, why all the delays???

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    Is racism responsible for the plight and poverty of the black community nation wide..

    The answer is clearly "no" and the stats that are relevant to THAT point are conclusive.

    The simple fact is, institutionalized racism against black people is dead in this country.

    It died when we elected a (to use the Leftist MSM's new found racial designation protocols) black white man as POTUS.

    On the other hand, racism against white people in this country is alive and well..

    It's called Affirmative Action....

  33. [33] 
    akadjian wrote:

    You will need to factor into the above averages the fact that black people make up approx 12.6% of the US population and white people make up approx 72.4% of the US population.

    Well done! And I mean that sincerely. Absolutely, per capita should be taken into effect. I give you props for bringing up.

    This is part of what I mentioned as well about 'Black' most likely meaning 'all people of color'.

    Using your per capita stats, even without factoring in Hispanics, it still shows the majority of violent crime is committed by white people. 57.32% to 40.7%.

    My guess based on demographics is that if you factor in Hispanics the numbers would look more like 55% white, 26% Hispanic, 16% black.

    But even at 60%/40%, why do so many people think all violent crime is black? Why is black violent crime played up in the media as the only violent crime?

    And why does the FBI categorize all people of color as black so it looks like 40% of violent crime is committed by black people?

    -David

    Is racism responsible for the plight and poverty of the black community nation wide?

    I don't know. I haven't seen enough evidence to make an argument either way.

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well done! And I mean that sincerely. Absolutely, per capita should be taken into effect. I give you props for bringing up.

    I have my moments. :D

    But even at 60%/40%, why do so many people think all violent crime is black? Why is black violent crime played up in the media as the only violent crime?

    I would say it's not.. During the Sanford affair, the MSM ignored all the black on white crimes and violence in favor of the white on black crimes and violence. I don't even have to bother pointing out that it was the MSM that created a racist issue where no racism existed..

    And why does the FBI categorize all people of color as black so it looks like 40% of violent crime is committed by black people?

    Never actually worked for the FBI, so I wouldn't know..

    My GUESS is that it just reduces the number of variables which, in turn, makes it easier to spin the numbers...

    I don't know. I haven't seen enough evidence to make an argument either way.

    The fact that 93% of violent crime against blacks are committed by other blacks would seem to indicate that blacks victimize blacks more than whites victimize blacks.

    Further, if one looks at some planks of the Democratic Party platform (Immigration and Drug Legalization for example) if those agendas come to fruition, it will be the black community who suffers greatly...

    That is also supportive evidence that it's not racism from whites that is the cause of misery and poverty within the black community...

    But I am heartened to see that you don't reflexively blame racism for the condition of the black community..

    That makes you a better person than most, Gunga Din... :D

    As an aside, I am absolutely clueless as to the origination of the "Gunga Din" reference... I hope it's not racial.. :D

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Using your per capita stats, even without factoring in Hispanics, it still shows the majority of violent crime is committed by white people. 57.32% to 40.7%.

    I am at a loss to understand the methodology that you used to arrive to the conclusion.

    If 12.6% of people in the US are black, in a perfectly balanced world, it SHOULD be that 12.6% of the violent crimes committed are committed by blacks..

    Put another way, blacks are 12% of the population, but they commit 40% of the violent crimes..

    If we extrapolate that out (here's where I go cross-eyed) if blacks and whites were evenly distributed (50%-50%) and the violent crimes were equally extrapolated then ........ Oh I dunno...

    Blacks are 1/10th of the population, but commit 4/10ths of the violent crime.. So if we increase the percentage of blacks to 5/10ths (50%) then we would have to increase the percentage of violent crimes by 4/10ths to 8/10ths (80%)...

    To make the numbers come out right, the percentage of whites in the US is 7/10ths. So we would have to reduce the percentage of whites by 2/10ths to equal the 5/10ths (50%) extrapolated. We would then have to reduce the percentage of violent crimes by the same 2/10s... In the example whites are responsible for 57% of the violent crime. Let's round that up to 60% for computational ease..

    6/10ths minus 2/10ths equals 4/10ths or 40%...

    So, when one accounts for per capita data, blacks commit 80% of the violent crimes and whites commit 40% of the violent crimes...

    Obviously my math is off somewhere as that equals 120%..... :^/

  36. [36] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Obviously my math is off somewhere as that equals 120%..... :^/

    You're spot on here:

    If 12.6% of people in the US are black, in a perfectly balanced world, it SHOULD be that 12.6% of the violent crimes committed are committed by blacks.

    And this is probably the best way to compare as well.

    Rather than trying to divide out per capita, you can just compare the distributions to see where the anomalies are, just like you did.

    In other words, you can compare 40% to 12.6% and say this seems to be a statistical anomaly. What might be causing this?

    The first one is likely that Hispanics are not broken out. If you break out the 40% into Black and Hispanic the same way population is, then you likely have blacks accounting for 15% of violent crime.

    The other way to do this is to look at the white population percentage and lump everyone else into the 'Black' category.

    If you do this, whites are 72%, 'blacks (+hispanics)' 28%.

    You can then compare 72% to 60% violent crime and 28% to 40% violent crime.

    There's still anomalies (likely due to other factors), but these stats are much more believable.

    I'll run the per capita numbers later ... they should look very similar to the differences in percentages.

    -David

  37. [37] 
    akadjian wrote:

    This is actually quite fascinating as race and ethnicity were separated out on the 2010 census for the first time.

    If you ask people about race, 72.4% identify as white.

    If you ask them about ethnicity, only 63.7% identify as white.

    Fascinating ...

    -David

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, Spock... :D

  39. [39] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Heheheh ...

    "Vulcans never bluff," Spock, The Doomsday Machine

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Vulcans never bluff," Spock, The Doomsday Machine

    Impressive..... :D

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:
  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Death toll in Egypt violence rises to 525
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_EGYPT?SITE=7219&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-08-14-11-55-48

    Obama's vaunted Foreign Policy success...

    Going down in flames...

  43. [43] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Hey Michale,

    Sorry has taken so long to respond. It finally hit me why I was struggling with this.

    Basically, we were already done when we were looking at percentages.

    Percentages are normalized to 100 so they can be compared. And we were looking at percentages.

    Black people making up 13% of the population for example is normalized to 100. So is 40% of violent crime committed by black people. So you can compare these numbers directly if the meaning of 'black people' is the same. As previously mentioned, it's a bit sticky here because I couldn't find how the FBI determines if someone is 'black'. Do they count Hispanics as black or white basically?

    We were both thinking of it correctly though in terms of comparing percentages. If we wanted to we could multiple these percentages by the same X number of people - 1 million say. So you could say 136,000 people out of every million are black. And then compare these numbers. But this just adds an extra step.

    Anyway, hope I haven't lost you. Just wanted to say that you don't have to do anything additional to get a per capita number. You can think of a percentage as per capita for 100 people.

    Good discussion as always!

    -David

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