The Top Stories We Broke in 2010

Ben Johnson,

As we end 2010 and begin a new year, the media take a look back at the year gone by. We too wish to look back at all the stories this website has broken in the few months of our existence. Some have been ignored, others have been reported nationally — without credit to those of us who discovered them. Nonetheless, we are happy the information has spread and look forward to leading the charge in 2011. We want to take this time to celebrate all we have accomplished in so little time by highlighting a baker’s dozen of stories that we broke. Counting down our stories, from least to greatest.

13. Obama Apologizes to Guatemala for a Guatemalan Government Experiment (story). On October 1, Barack Obama phoned Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom with a heavy heart. He learned that from 1946-48, the U.S. Public Health Service had tested the effectiveness of penicillin in treating syphilis by infecting Guatemalan prisoners and soldiers with the disease, then treating them. Guatemalan politicians howled for “compensation,” and Obama promised “a thorough investigation.” The experiments — discovered by Susan Reverby of Wellesley College and revealed in the January issue of the Journal of Policy History — were inhumane. However, Reverby noted one fact Obama overlooked: The Guatemalan government approved of the experiments at the time. The story shows Obama’s focus on what he describes as America’s “tragic history” and absurd reflex to apologize for American behavior. In this case, the courageous leader of the free world apologized to the president of a third world backwater for experiments both their governments approved and conducted before either one of them was alive.

12. Oklahoma’s Muslim Law Ban Struck Down by Clinton Diversity Pick (story). On election day 2010, more than 70 percent of Oklahoma voters approved State Question 755, which forbids state courts from considering Islamic religious law, Shari’a, in pending court cases. However, federal judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange of the 10th Circuit Court issued a series of injunctions against the measure. In her tangled view, a law prohibiting judges from deciding cases based on religious law constituted an attack on the First Amendment. As we alone exposed, Miles-LaGrange, whom Bill Clinton appointed in 1994 as “first African-American federal judge in the six states that make up the 10th Circuit,” is a thoroughgoing mediocrity who has spent her entire career benefiting from or promoting Affirmative Action. She now sees Muslims as the next victims of an oppressive Christian America. Remember this the next time someone calls Bill Clinton a “moderate.”

11. Left-Winger Confirms Obama’s “Covert Propaganda” Scandal (story). In August, Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issued a 36-page report accusing Barack Obama of engaging in “covert propaganda” activities that were “inappropriate and sometimes unlawful.” The White House, Issa wrote, would enlist third parties to promote its talking points without mentioning its connection to Obama, a move he alleges is illegal (and thus impeachable). Within days, far-Left activist Sally Kohn confirmed another facet of this story on The Huffington Post. I reported the administration invited Kohn to a May 2009 “cultural policy summit” with five dozen other radical activists and extremists. Kohn wrote this was the beginning of the Obama administration’s weekly “Common Purpose” meetings, where “the White House dictated its agenda and appealed to the professional left for back-up.” Kohn, a onetime Ford Foundation employee, is a self-described “Jewish lesbian” who once wrote a DailyKos diary entry entitled, “Why I Have a Little Crush on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.” Her allegations that the president used them in a covert propaganda campaign are worthy of inclusion in an investigation of this scandal. To date, no one else has noticed them.

10. Obama’s Stimulus Put Microchips in Your Trash (story). Nearly half-a-million dollars of the stimulus bill went to….

Read more.

Video of the Day: Obama is Building an Imperial Presidency

This Year, I’d Rather Party Like It’s 1999

Tom Purcell,

Ah, New Year’s Eve. What a great night to revisit the past year.

Though I’d rather revisit 1999.

The unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in 1999.

Dot-com stocks were still creating lots of paper millionaires.

The U.S. deficit for that year was $1 billion — that’s right, “billion” with a “b,” a far cry from the $1 trillion to $2 trillion it is nowadays.

Things were going so well, we had to make up crises, such as Y2K, the Millennium Bug!

Because computerized devices used only two digits to record the date — “99” for “1999” — numerous glitches were expected to occur at exactly 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2000, when at least some of the devices would mistake “00” for “1900.”

Senators held press conferences to warn the public to prepare for the worst.

President Clinton told us to keep a lookout for terrorists, who might take advantage of the potential chaos.

Federal bureaucrats even appeared competent.

They established mobile command centers on the National Mall, where thousands of New Year’s Eve revelers would celebrate.

They directed police, firemen, FBI agents and CIA operatives to crawl around our nation’s capital to thwart anyone looking to pull any funny business.

They made detailed preparations — cots, blankets, bottled water, canned goods, shelter, portable lighting — to respond to any and every contingency.

But nothing happened.

When the clock struck midnight that New Year’s Eve, there were few glitches, no chaos and zero mass hysteria of any kind.

Y2K, wrote The Wall Street Journal, was, essentially, a giant hoax.

That was the downside of America then. We were at our best in preparing for crises that weren’t real.

We lived in a fiction of our own creation — fake wealth, fake security, fake spending promises at the local, state and federal levels that we’d never be able to afford….

Read more.

New Year, Old Fight

Susan Stamper Brown,

Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and William F. Buckley Jr.

At the stroke of midnight December 31, old and new acquaintances will once again join hands to sing the words to Robert Burns’ old folk song “Auld Lang Syne.” “Should auld (old) acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne (for the sake of old times).”

How many times have we sung that most catchy Scottish tune having no clue what the lyrics actually mean? Burns’ seemingly harmless melody asks the sobering question – is it wrong to simply forget the past and disassociate ourselves from old ideas and acquaintances who, for better or worse, make up our past.

Sigmund Freud’s research suggests that humans repress memories to lessen anxiety and protect self-image – but sooner or later reality surfaces and past experiences must be addressed for what they are. And at that point we must choose – as the saying goes – to learn from our past mistakes or we will be doomed to repeat them.

The same is true of cherished American history that some would like to erase and replace with their own contrived version of reality that finds Conservatism irrelevant and outdated. The recent political battle during the midterm elections was in many ways a fight to reassert the significance and relevance of American Conservatism. But this fight is not new nor is it over….

Read more.

Cartoon of the Day: No Jobs Next Year, Either