Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) had some harsh words Thursday for the Obama administration collecting phone records of millions of Americans.
Speaking with Yahoo! News, Paul said, “I think it would be remedial education for those who are doing this. They need to go back and read the Constitution, read the Fourth Amendment, and understand that our records are private.”
It's always heartwarming to see non-conservatives who are so concerned about the current state of the Republican Party that they generously provide advice on how the GOP can be more popular and win more elections. Unfortunately, if those recommendations were actually followed, conservatives would have no political party to call home, and all elected officials would be “progressives.”
One such provider of unsolicited advice is David Frum, a contributing editor at such liberal outlets as The Daily Beast who announced his departure from that outlet with more predictable urgings for the GOP to move leftward on such issues as Obamacare and the environment.
Yesterday, the editorial board at the New York Times published an editorial harshly criticizing President Obama and his administration for continuing to collect the phone records of millions of Verizon customers. Presumably, the board obtained word-for-word consensus before hitting the "Enter" key on this crucial sentence in the editorial's second paragraph: "The Obama administration has lost all credibility."
Mere hours after its initial publication, Jamie Weinstein at the Daily Caller notes, the editorial ("President Obama's Dragnet") was revised. Yours truly has the graphic grabs of the most crucial changes after the jump.
On Wednesday's The Last Word show, MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe -- formerly of Newsweek -- suggested that FNC host Bill O'Reilly was motivated by racism when he recently called it "shady" for President Obama to select Susan Rice as national security advisor to avoid Senate confirmation hearings.
A bit after host Lawrence O'Donnell played several clips of O'Reilly using the word "shady" to describe the move, Wolffe cracked:
"Poll Finds Support Slumping for Health Law," blares the top headline on page A4 of Thursday's edition of the Wall Street Journal. "Americans' unease with President Barack Obama's health-care law has intensified," staff writers Patrick O'Connor and Louise Radnofsky noted, and that "just as the administration is gearing up to persuade people to sign up for some of its major provisions" according to a poll commissioned by the Journal and NBC News.
Among other things the poll found "the number calling [ObamaCare] a bad idea reached a high of 49%... with 43% 'strongly' holding that view" and double the number of poll respondents (38 percent to 19 percent) believing they will prove "worse off" under ObamaCare's implementation rather than "better off." Sure enough, however, NBC News elected to leave out those damning statistics from Thursday's edition of the Today morning show program.
The most interesting thing (to me, at least) about Wednesday's report in the Los Angeles Times by Ricardo Lopez on how the author of an economic report out of UCLA has said that the U.S. economy's performance since the recession officially ended in June 2009 stinks -- "It's not a recovery. It's not even normal growth. It's bad" -- is how the Associated Press relayed it to its readers and subscribers. I don't recall ever seeing a 15-plus paragraph report go unbylined, but this one did.
Maybe whoever wrote the AP item didn't want to incur the wrath of his or her colleague Tom Raum, who early last week wrote that the economy is "clearly, if slowly" recovering. It's also somewhat likely that Christopher Rugaber, who wrote "Gone are the fears that the economy could fall into another recession" in early April, might be a bit miffed. Choice nuggets from Lopez's LAT lament follow the jump:
A Google News search on ["Susan Rice" "executive privilege"] (typed exactly as indicated between brackets) returns two stories. The main one is at Fox News, where K.T. McFarland pointed out that President Obama, now that he has appointed Susan Rice to be his National Security Adviser, can invoke executive privilege to keep her from testifying before Congress. The second is at Mediate, and notes that McFarland said the same thing to Fox News Channel anchor Martha MacCallum earlier today.
Among those who conveniently didn't catch this: Frank James at NPR, who didn't identify the executive privilege dodge in his "5 Takeaways From Obama's Susan Rice Appointment"; the Associated Press, whose three Wednesday items on Rice (here, here, and here) don't mention it, and where a search on "executive privilege" (not in quotes) returned nothing relevant; and the Politico, where a search on "Rice executive privilege" (not in quotes) also returned nothing relevant. Excerpts from McFarland's column, with harsh words about Rice's lack of qualifications, follow the jump (bold and italics are hers except final paragraph):
Just when you thought the folks at MSNBC couldn't go any lower in defending the current White House resident, someone there stoops to new depths.
On the Martin Bashir show Wednesday, the host actually said that Republicans are using the acronym "IRS" as the latest dog whistle in their "war against the black man in the White House" (video follows with fuller transcribed highlights and commentary):
Wednesday's CBS This Morning minimized Susan Rice's refuted claims about the terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi as they covered her appointment as national security adviser. Charlie Rose and John Dickerson dwelt more on outgoing national security adviser Tom Donilon's term, with Dickerson only vaguely mentioning how Rice was "the focus of so much controversy in the Senate."
The only time that a CBS News personality specifically mentioned Benghazi during the segment was when Gayle King wondered if President Obama's decision to choose the current U.N. ambassador to succeed Donilon was a "message to Republicans who came down hard on Susan Rice during the Benghazi hearings."
Isn't it rich that the White House is accusing Attorney General Eric Holder's critics of being "partisans who seem more interested in launching political attacks than cooperating with him to protect the security and constitutional rights of the American people"?
Partisan? Launching political attacks? Well, if the White House and Holder were not so partisan and attack-oriented themselves, we wouldn't be having this discussion about Holder, the IRS or the AP.
MSNBC continues to disparage the scandals that have plagued the Obama administration the last few weeks. On Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, the host brought on former Democratic staffer Jimmy Williams and former RNC chairman Michael Steele to reluctantly discuss the scandals once again. Of course, rather than focus on the substance of the controversies, Witt fell back on the concern that she and many others in the liberal media have often expressed: “[D]oes this have the potential to derail the president's second-term agenda?”
The president’s agenda is always the victim of these scandal investigations in the minds of the press, at least when there's a (D) following the president's surname. Williams, being the Democrat that he is, brushed aside that question and riffed on another favorite left-wing talking point – Republicans will overreach, just as they did with Bill Clinton in 1998:
Media members thinking the Republicans are overplaying their hand with the Internal Revenue Service scandal should pay attention to what happened on NBC’s Tonight Show Monday.
When host Jay Leno joked that President Obama should close the IRS rather than the terrorist detention center in Guantanamo Bay, the audience erupted in thunderous applause (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Woody Harrelson, during an interview with Details magazine, admitted to being "an absolute moron" during his carefree Cheers days; this came after telling his questioner that Barack Obama is like Richard Nixon because Nixon escalated the Vietnam War:
The New York Post offered an op-ed on Monday adapted from the new paperback edition of Ed Klein's book The Amateur. Klein says Team Obama and Team Clinton made a deal last summer: Bill Clinton would give the key nominating speech at the Democratic convention in Charlotte endorsing Obama. In exchange, Obama would endorse Hillary Clinton as his successor. But after he won his second term, Obama had second thoughts about endorsing Hillary in 2016.
"Bill Clinton went ballistic and threatened retaliation. Obama backed down," Klein asserteed. "He called his favorite journalist, Steve Kroft of '60 Minutes,' and offered an unprecedented 'farewell interview' with departing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton."
As NewsBusters reported Sunday, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on CNN’s State of the Union called White House press secretary Jay Carney a “paid liar.”
On Fox News’s Special Report Monday, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer took issue with Issa saying, “I’ve argued here for months that Carney is majorly underpaid, and I think that really is the problem” (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
The role of the White House press secretary is to disseminate information to the media, and that should be an especially important function when the president and his administration are plagued by several scandals.
However, Jay Carney has only held six press conferences in the past three weeks, far fewer than usual. In addition, the press secretary only held two brief “gaggles” during presidential trips to New Jersey and New York. Could this be happening because the people in the usually compliant media are actually asking tough questions and demanding clear answers?
The Washington Post offered a roundup of commencement speech wisdom on the front of Saturday’s Style section. It started with Oprah Winfrey urging the graduates of Harvard to think broadly enough to “have more face-to-face conversations with people you may disagree with.”
That’s really not a principle at work inside the liberal media. CBS left that clip out in hailing Oprah's speech on Friday. The only wise people on the Post’s speaker list were liberals they agree with:
The ice seems to be cracking beneath Attorney General Eric Holder's feet.
When asked by NBC Meet the Press host David Gregory Sunday if Holder is going to "stay in the job" given the leaks investigation scandal, former NBC Night News host Tom Brokaw replied, "Boy, I think it’s tough to see how he does" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Arianna Huffington got a much-needed education about 501(c)(4)s Sunday.
When she claimed during an ABC This Week discussion about the Internal Revenue Service scandal that Crossroads GPS shouldn't have qualified because "it was all about politics," former George W. Bush senior advisor Karl Rove struck back (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Kibret Markos's Friday report noted the doctor's Occupy Wall Street sympathies ("Rivera also was quoted in a Bloomberg News report last year voicing his support for Occupy Wall Street protesters"). The AP, whose union was among OWS's most ardent supporters, did not. Instead, it "cleverly" misdirected by telling readers that "Prosecutors haven't said why Rivera had the items or what he planned to do with them." Evidence of those sympathies and of that involvement follow the jump.
PBS's Mark Shields on Friday, in an attempt to mock Fox News, actually made a bit of a fool of himself.
After noting on Inside Washington that ObamaCare had passed Congress, been signed into law by the President, and affirmed by the Supreme Court, Shields ridiculed Fox News as being "a fourth branch of government...that hasn't approved it" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Politico's Evan Thomas went where few journalists dare on Friday.
Appearing on PBS's Inside Washington, the former Newsweek editor called Barack Obama "dishonest" and said he was guilty of commiting a "huge act of hypocrisy" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
HBO Real Time host Bill Maher on Friday twice came down on the object of his affection and charity, Barack Obama.
After mocking the current White House resident for not knowing what the Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department do, Maher ridiculed "our first pothead president" for escalating "the war on pot” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It appears that even HBO’s Bill Maher is starting to question Barack Obama’s abilities as president, for on Friday’s Real Time, the host said, “He doesn't even know what the IRS and the Justice Department are doing” (video follows with transcript and commentary):