Monday, May 20, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
And why is CNN treated as a serious news organization?
So now that claim is the worst sort of falsehood according to our professional fact checkers. What are we to say about Candy Crowley’s debate “moderation” when she “fact-checked” those lies as though they were true and Mitt Romney was misleading the public?
Four Pinocchios: A Cute Way of Saying Obama Lied
Glenn Kessler, who writes the Washington Post's fact-checker column, now informs his readers that the president's claim he called the Benghazi attack an "attack of terrorism" rates four Pinocchios. That's Kessler's cute way of calling our president a complete and thorough liar.
And remember—her network and most of her media peers supported her actions.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
This Politico story purports to explain why Amb. Susan Rice was the sacrificial lamb who who had to go on five Sunday talk shows to push the discredited talking points.
Why did Hillary refuse to do the interviews?
Could Hillary have political reasons for avoiding interviews where Benghazi would be topic 1, 2 and 3?
“[Hillary] has a standing refusal [to do Sunday shows]. She hates them. She would rather die than do them,” said one aide on condition of anonymity. “The White House knows, so they would know not to even ask her.”
Thrush asked three people, couldn't get an answer, and decided to drop the subject. See, that's big league journalism, boys and girls.
None of the officials was willing to speculate on why the secretary wouldn’t make an exception after such an extraordinary event — or whether Clinton had wanted to avoid a controversy that could have compromised her political future.
Why Susan Rice?
Thrush takes no notice of Rice's past history which might have made her the ideal choice for the White House's purposes:
Rice, who was close to the president’s team and regarded as a disciplined messenger who could be relied on to the deliver the talking points without going off message.
Ben Rhodes who is the brother of the president of CBS News.
The second nugget explains why General Petraeus was a bad choice to repeat the talking points:
So the White House knew that the head of CIA thought the "CIA Talking Points" were a joke after State got through revising them. Yet, they sent Rice out there to repeat the "utterly useless" talking points.
It was common knowledge around the West Wing and Foggy Bottom that Petraeus thought the sanitized talking points — scrubbed of references to Ansar al-Sharia, a Libyan group suspected in the attack, at the request of a Clinton subordinate — were “a joke” and “utterly useless,” as one former administration official told POLITICO.
In a September 15th email obtained by CBS News, Petraeus wrote that “he doesn’t like the talking points” and he would prefer the administration “not use them.”
And no one at the White House was willing to force Hillary Clinton to stand behind those talking points after her department turned them into a joke?
Thrush never raises the possibility that Hillary shared Petraeus's view of the revised talking points. That's a shame. It seems like an important question.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Last June, the Washington Post convened a series of panels to discuss Watergate on the fortieth anniversary of the break-in. Fred Thompson was on one of the panels and said that four factors caused Watergate to end in Nixon’s resignation. (Watch here)
It is no surprise that Benghazi lacks heft as a scandal because the MSM has been anything but aggressive. Four eith months the MSM has been anything but aggressive. Most of it has been bored by the story and too lazy to dig into the details. A significant minority has advanced the White House’s spin and abetted the cover-up.
1. An aggressive press eager to pursue the story.
2. Deep Throat--A highly placed source whose leaks could keep the story alive and moving forward.
3. John Dean’s public testimony.
4. The Watergate tapes--Incontrovertible evidence of Nixon’s wrong-doing.
They are happy to play the role of scandal condom for the Obama administration.
If we look at Thompson’s other points, it is clear that Benghazi has ripened faster than the Watergate scandal. We have three public whistle-blowers who are not tainted as Dean was by participating in the cover-up. Gregory Hicks, Mark Thompson, and Eric Nordstrom are willing to tell their stories in front of the Congress and the whole world; they eschewed anonymous leaks and late night meetings in parking garages.
We also have the same bread crumbs the Washington Post followed when they were the only paper on the Watergate trail:
The last four days make this David Halberstam quote especially pertinent:
If they’re clean why don’t they show it? Why are there so many lies? I’ll tell you why. Because you’ve got them.
Time was on the side of Woodward and Bernstein. A story like Vietnam or Watergate has a balance of forces of its own. At first the charges are deniable, the existing structure holds, powerful men with powerful positions can keep their troops in line. All the weight is on one side, and reporters like Woodward and Bernstein are a tiny minority, seeming puny by comparison. But there is the momentum, The denials slowly weaken, events undermine the denials so there have to be more denials, and each denial is a little weaker than the previous one. … Slowly the people who are issuing denials lose credibility, and the reporters begin to gain credibility.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Why is it so important for the liberals to push out the only reporter who covered Benghazi?
"Ghettoization." If the "neutral media" -- actually liberal as hell -- can present a unified party line on stories, always supporting one another and never showing a crack in the wall, they can sneer at stories they don't like by saying "Only Fox claims that."
R. S. McCain:
One this week's Reliable Sources, well-traveled hack Margaret Carlson admitted that this is going on:
All of that ridiculous “PlameGate” nonsense was taken very seriously by the mainstream media, as though it were a real scandal that might implicate the president in High Crimes and Misdemeanors, and yet it was transparently absurd from start to finish.
So fast-forward: Terrorists kill a U.S. ambassador and four other Americans in an attack on the consulate in Benghazi, and Obama administration officials — obviously concerned about political fallout during an election year — begin stacking up lies like cordwood. Everything we know about the matter leads to the conclusion that the administration failed before, during and after the attack, that they consistently lied at every step of the way, and that they’re quite likely still trying to hide the truth, especially in regard to who gave the “stand down” order to cancel a Special Operations rescue.
According to Alex Koppelman, however, this was just a “Republican obsession” until Jonathan Karl of ABC reported it, even though Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard had previously reported the same basic story about the edited Benghazi talking points.
Note, especially, that the MSM is now using the "Bad Fox, Bad Rush" gambit to justify their epistemic barriers to all right-wing writing. Carlson's argument boils down to "Glenn Beck is crazy so I don't read the Weekly Standard".
CARLSON: And rat on the bosses. And say what really happened. We didn't have another face to put on Benghazi and now we have it. The other thing back to your point is that because the right wing went so far on this story, it's Watergate, it's impeachable. We couldn't hear Steven Hayes in the "Weekly Standard." It did take somebody who is just a meat and potatoes reporter.
GERAGHTY: Don't cite the nut job and Steven Hayes is not to be listened to. This is a huge conspiracy. The president should be indicted and aliens are involved and my dog is talking to me. You can find that for any story in the whole wide world. You can use it as an excuse to not cover something.
CARLSON: It was just a constant drum beat and they weren't doing any reporting.
Speaking of Glenn Beck, I first heard about Anita Dunn and the White House's war on Fox on his old FNC TV show. You remember Anita Dunn right? She was the Obama point woman when the effort to discredit Fox started::
“What I think is fair to say about Fox — and certainly it’s the way we view it — is that it really is more a wing of the Republican Party,” said Anita Dunn, White House communications director, on CNN. “They take their talking points, put them on the air; take their opposition research, put them on the air. And that’s fine. But let’s not pretend they’re a news network the way CNN is.”
Sunday, May 12, 2013
So now this makes a lot more sense:
Presidents of ABC and CBS News Have Siblings Working at White House With Ties to Benghazi
"CBS News President David Rhodes and ABC News President Ben Sherwood, both of them have siblings that not only work at the White House, that not only work for President Obama, but they work at the NSC on foreign policy issues directly related to Benghazi."
That is CBS speak for "Hey! You're making my brother look bad"
Saturday, May 11, 2013
The MSM owes Ron Ziegler an apology.
On Friday, Jay Carney put on a display that was breath-taking in its arrogance and dishonesty. Nixon's flack could never muster up the sangfroid Carney showed as he offered up one tedious, bald-faced lie after another. When he was called to account for his own previous deceitful statements ("only stylistic changes", he reached Clintonian depths of cynicism and shamelessness.
It was a bravura performance by a political hack who loves his work.
Here's the thing--
It was not that long ago that Time magazine told us that Carney was an honest, non-partisan seeker after the truth.
They have some explaining to do.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Benghazi figured prominently in the second debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney. In that case, CNN’s Candy Crowley lied her ass off to blunt Romney’s attacks on the Administration’s lies and incompetence. It now turns out that Benghazi figured in the defining moment of the final debate, albeit more as subtext than explicit issue.
In that debate, Romney tried to make the case that the Obama administration was hollowing out America’s defenses:
The president parried Romney’s attacks with a combination of snark and lies.
“Our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917,” Romney said. “The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We're now at under 285. We're headed down to the low 200s if we go through a sequestration. That's unacceptable to me.”
“I will not cut our military budget by a trillion dollars, which is a combination of the budget cuts the president has, as well as the sequestration cuts,” he added. “That, in my view, is making is making our future less certain and less secure.”
For the record, Obama was factually incorrect about the bayonets.
“But I think Governor Romney maybe hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works,” Obama said. “You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed.”
Obama is wrong. we have hundreds of thousands more bayonets now? than in 1916.
We now know, based on Bob Woodward’s reporting, that sequestration was something the president proposed.
“First of all, the sequester is not something that I've proposed,” Obama said. “It is something that Congress has proposed. It will not happen.”
I think the really interesting point is the statement made by Obama as part of his snark offensive:
In terms of Benghazi, the Joplin Globe understood the issue six months ago:
“We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them,” Obama said. “We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”
So, the president was right, we do have these things called aircraft carriers. We just did not have any where we needed them during the Benghazi attack. As the administration pleads their case that there was nothing they could do to save the Americans attacked by terrorists, they are also confessing that Romney was right that their policy had depleted American military forces to a dangerous level.
Recall the old question that presidents usually asked during times of international tensions: “Where are the carriers and Marines?”
We just had a national crisis in Benghazi. But we have no carriers in the entire Mediterranean Sea.
Not a unique occurrence:
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Used as Photo Prop for Obama
President Obama had nothing to say to the moonwalker and didn’t seem to want to hear anything from Aldrin on the long flight to Florida. So Aldrin sat in the back of Air Force One and never saw Obama – until it landed.
When it landed, Aldrin said he was summoned to the front of the plane. But he found out it was not to talk about space policy. Instead, President Obama wanted Aldrin to emerge from Air Force One next to Obama for a photo op. The moonwalker was to be a mere prop.
"You guys make a pretty good photo op,”
Soldiers did not join the military to be props to an egomaniac’s photo-shoot. Soldiers join to protect family, friends, and the Constitution — the foundation of America.
An Isolated Man Trapped in a Collapsing Presidency
Everybody else, including members of his Cabinet, have little face time with him except for brief meetings that serve as photo ops. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner both have complained, according to people who have talked to them, that they are shut out of important decisions.
Thursday, May 09, 2013
I wonder what the interior monologue sounds like.....
Unemployment sucks and no one seems to take my experience seriously. But at least we Journolists were able to keep those awful conservatives from besmirching the Chosen One.
The hearings also turned over a rock and found another Susan Rice lie:
Ambassador Stevens’ reason for going to Benghazi has been cleared up. Hicks testified that Ambassador Stevens traveled to Benghazi to fulfill one of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s wishes. Despite the fact that security was worsening in Benghazi for months leading up to the 9-11 attack, Clinton wanted to make the post there permanent. Her State Department had denied repeated requests from the U.S. team in Libya to upgrade security there, but she wanted to use the permanent post as a symbol of goodwill. Stevens was committed to that goal and told Clinton he would “make it happen.” He was in Benghazi on 9-11 furthering Clinton’s goal. She had denied requests to beef up security at Benghazi and then blamed his death on a YouTube movie. Hicks’ testimony raises the question of Clinton’s competence and grasp on reality, strongly suggesting that she put political perceptions ahead of the facts on the ground in Benghazi.
On Sept. 12, Ambassador Susan Rice told the first of her many untruths, claiming in an email that the FBI investigation into the attack was already underway. It would not actually get underway for 17 days after the attack, by which time the scene of the attack had been compromised and contaminated.
If you are going to call your readers stupid-- make sure your big blue hired gun gets his facts straight.
THE HILL: Republican leader rips the media for ‘shoving us in the corner.’ “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) ripped the media in a speech Tuesday to the Ripon Society, arguing press coverage is partly responsible for the GOP’s messaging woes.”
You want to punish ‘em? Mandate cable unbundling, which is the right thing to do anyway — and popular, to boot.
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Bryan Preston gets to the heart of the matter with Benghazi:
As we assess Rice’s role it is worth reading this ABC.com piece:
During her talk show appearances, Rice claimed that the attack was not premeditated and that it happened due to a spontaneous protest of a barely seen “hateful” movie that had been posted on YouTube months before the attack. Why did Rice mischaracterize the attack? Was she aware of the original talking points, and how they had been altered? Were Rice or Clinton the senior officials on whose behalf State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland had the talking points scrubbed of references to al Qaeda and terrorism? Why was Rice the face of the Obama administration that day, when she was the US ambassador to the UN, not Libya?
From this we learn three critical facts: 1. Susan Rice is a diplomat who had no qualms about considering domestic politics when making diplomatic decisions. 2. She is an Obama loyalist who was an early passenger of the Hope and Change Express. 3. Her loyalty to Obama made her quite willing to kneecap her old patrons the Clintons.
Who Was UN Ambassador Susan Rice Before Benghazi?
But her tenure at the Clinton Administration was not without controversy. In a 2001 Atlantic Monthly article, Samantha Power, a human rights journalist who is now an Obama administration adviser, criticized Rice's response to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda during her first years in the Clinton administration. Power wrote that Rice wondered on a conference call how the use of the word genocide would affect the November elections if the U.S. failed to intervene, appearing to be more preoccupied with the domestic political ramifications of the tragedy than in stopping the violence.
Rice has since said she deeply regrets the U.S. inaction in Rwanda. …
In 2007, she joined the first Obama presidential campaign as Senior Adviser for National Security Affairs. Rice was a staunch, outspoken surrogate for the president, and according to her detractors, maybe too outspoken.
In a 2008 Huffington Post blog, she sharply criticized Obama's primary opponent, then-Sen. Clinton, for voting for the Iraq war, saying it proved Clinton wouldn't be ready for a "3 a.m. call" in a national security emergency….
Her loyalty and blunt-speaking manner has been appreciated and rewarded by allies, such as Albright and President Obama. When he took office he named Rice as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
So, are we to believe that the White House ignored all that when they chose Susan Rice to go on the Sunday shows to deflect blame after the disaster at Benghazi?
Keynes Was Gay Not That There’s Anything Wrong with That
What I find interesting about the Ferguson controversy is how disconnected it is from the past. Even academics I respect reacted to Ferguson’s comments as if they bordered on unimaginable, unheard-of madness. I understand that we live in a moment where any negative comment connected to homosexuality is not only wrong but “gay bashing.” But Ferguson was trafficking in an old theory that was perfectly within the bounds of intellectual discourse not very long ago. Now, because of a combination of indifference to intellectual history and politically correct piety he must don the dunce cap. Good to know.
Friday, May 03, 2013
They are a key part of his coalition.
Instapundit pointed to this Chicago Magazine article which details the murderous corruption of Mogadishu on Lake Michigan.
There seems little doubt which group holds the whip hand:
Gangs and Politicians in Chicago: An Unholy Alliance
While they typically deny it, many public officials--mostly, but not limited to, aldermen, state legislators, and elected judges--routinely seek political support from influential street gangs. Meetings like the ones Baskin organized, for instance, are hardly an anomaly. Gangs can provide a decisive advantage at election time by performing the kinds of chores patronage armies once did.
It is no surprise, then, the players in the game are compelled to minimize the danger posed by gangs:
At some of the meetings, the politicians arrived with campaign materials and occasionally with aides. The sessions were organized much like corporate-style job fairs. The gang representatives conducted hour long interviews, one after the other, talking to as many as five candidates in a single evening. Like supplicants, the politicians came into the room alone and sat before the gang representatives, who sat behind a long table. “One candidate said, ‘I feel like I’m in the hot seat,’” recalls Baskin. “And they were.”
The former chieftains, several of them ex-convicts, represented some of the most notorious gangs on the South and West Sides, including the Vice Lords, Gangster Disciples, Black Disciples, Cobras, Black P Stones, and Black Gangsters. Before the election, the gangs agreed to set aside decades-old rivalries and bloody vendettas to operate as a unified political force, which they called Black United Voters of Chicago. “They realized that if they came together, they could get the politicians to come to them,” explains Baskin.
The gang representatives were interested in electing aldermen sympathetic to their interests and those of their impoverished wards. As for the politicians, says Baskin, their interests essentially boiled down to getting elected or reelected. “All of [the political hopefuls] were aware of who they were meeting with,” he says. “They didn’t care. All they wanted to do was get the support.”
No one wants to insult the real power brokers in the city.
Many forms of political corruption--taking bribes, rigging elections, engaging in pay-to-play deals--are plainly unethical, if not illegal. But forming political alliances with gangs isn’t a clear matter of right or wrong, some say. In many Chicago neighborhoods, it’s virtually impossible for elected officials and candidates for public office not to have at least some connection, even family ties, to gang members. “People try to paint this picture of bad versus good--it’s not like that,” says a veteran political organizer based in Chicago who specializes in getting out the vote in minority areas. “Everybody lives with each other, grew up with each other. Just because somebody goes this way or that way, it doesn’t mean you’re just gonna write them off automatically.”
Somehow, I can’t see a reporter accepting such a nuanced picture of killers and criminals if the gang in question was the KKK or Aryan Brotherhood. It’s probably worth quoting the great Stanley Crouch here:
I’m shocked, SHOCKED, that politicians who are willing to beg for gang support at election time sometimes make questionable decisions:
[Between 1980 and 2002] street gangs have killed 10,000 people in Los Angeles, which is three times the number of black people lynched throughout the United States between 1877 and 1900, the highest tide of racial murder in the history of the nation.
(Reconsidering The Souls Of Black Folk)
Coddled politicians become corrupt politicians. Corrupt politics leads to dangerous cities.
Most alarming, both law enforcement and gang sources say, is that some politicians ignore the gangs’ criminal activities. Some go so far as to protect gangs from the police, tipping them off to impending raids or to surveillance activities--in effect, creating safe havens in their political districts. And often they chafe at backing tough measures to stem gang activities, advocating instead for superficial solutions that may garner good press but have little impact.
Chicago may be an outlier (maybe*) but I think this article helps to explain why Nanny Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns has such appeal to politicians. They cannot address the lawlessness of their cities because the criminals have friends and families who vote. Just as in Chicago, the gangster’s camp followers represent a sizable bloc of voters.
Two police sources--a former gang investigator and a veteran detective--bluntly acknowledge that even if the police know of dubious dealings between an alderman and a gang leader or drug dealer, there is little, if anything, they can do, thanks to what they say is the department’s unofficial rule: Stay away from public officials. “We can’t arrest aldermen,” says the gang investigator, “unless they’re doing something obvious to endanger someone. We’re told to stand down.” The detective concurs: “It’s the unwritten rule. There’s a two-tier justice system here.”
Meanwhile, the city’s inspector general can’t--by design of the City Council--investigate council members. (In May 2010, the council, under pressure to curb its corruptible ways, created its own inspector general. The job went unfilled for more than 18 months, until last November, when the council picked a New York lawyer for the part-time position, which has a minuscule budget and no staff and which critics have decried as window-dressing.)
It is so much easier to blame the crime on the gun, not the criminal. After all, the laws MAIG wants to pass mainly target gun nuts outside the city limits. I. e. they can’t vote for mayor.
As I read this report I kept wondering, “what is wrong with the GOP in Illinois?” Why don’t they make Chicago’s lawlessness and corruption an issue in every election? Make the Democrat-gang alliance in Chicago part of the Democratic brand for suburban voters and downstate conservative Democrats.
* Philadelphia has had its own history of corrupt politicians and politically powerful killers.