Government Agencies

By Tom Blumer | August 15, 2014 | 11:35 PM EDT

Texas Governor Rick Perry, who, in the oddest of coincidences (that's sarcasm), just so happens to be considered one of the Republican Party's stronger potential contenders for the 2016 presidential nomination, was indicted in Austin today by a Travis County grand jury. The charges are "abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant" in connection with a veto "threat" he carried out — thus making "promise" a better word to describe his original stated intentions.

"Threatening" a veto and then carrying through on that "threat" is obviously a pretty routine occurrence in governmental jurisdictions through the country, from the President on down. As to initial press coverage, Paul J. Weber and Will Weissert at the Associated Press predictably misstated the results of another politically motivated prosecution of a major GOP elected official, namely former Congressman Tom "The Hammer" Delay, and focused on how expensive it might be to defend Perry by quoting an hourly legal representation rate which may or may not be accurate. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

By Matthew Balan | August 12, 2014 | 5:01 PM EDT

Former CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, with the assistance of the conservative organization Judicial Watch, filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Servies on Friday, seeking records related to the ObamaCare website, HealthCare.gov. Attkisson announced the lawsuit on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon: "I'm suing the federal govt for http://healthcare.gov docs but not optimistic since they now say some are lost... "

Before she parted ways with CBS, the journalist filed two reports in late 2013 about the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov. On the November 4, 2013 edition of CBS Evening News, Attkisson spotlighted how the Obama administration launched the website without proper security protocols:

By Tom Blumer | August 12, 2014 | 10:54 AM EDT

A brief report at the neighborhood web site DNAinfo in New York City, which describes itself as "New York's leading neighborhood news source" with "award-winning journalists" on staff, exemplifies how weak and negligent reporting on urban crime can be.

A video capture of an assault in the City's West Greewich Village area shows a young black man first punching and knocking to the pavement a man who it turns out is in his 70s, and then running away. That video and most of how it was written up by reporter Natalie Musumeci follow the jump.

By Tom Blumer | August 11, 2014 | 1:30 AM EDT

Fort Thomas Independent Schools in Northern Kentucky have decided to get out of the federal school lunch program, specifically because of the requirements imposed in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act championed by First Lady Michelle Obama. Simply put, the district is tired of being forced to give kids food they won't eat.

Until it ran into problems, HHFA was seen as Mrs. Obama's signature achievement, and the press fawned over its alleged awesomeness. Now that the program has encountered fierce real-world resistance, her association with it seems to have vanished from many press reports. One such report was filed by the Associated Press last month from the School Nutrition Association's annual convention in Boston. A local example appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer Saturday evening. Excerpts from that report by Jessica Brown follow the jump (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | August 10, 2014 | 10:52 PM EDT

To read the Associated Press's Friday evening coverage of a federal judge's refusal to block North Carolina's election law reforms from taking effect in the upcoming general election, you'd think it was an unsuccessful effort on the part of a group of poor Davids to defeat the Tar Heel State's government Goliath.

As J. Christian Adams at PJ Media noted shortly after the decision, it was nothing of the sort. Attorney General Eric Holder's Department of Justice weighed in heavily, and is in fact listed as the plaintiff in one of the three cases Federal District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder decided. Additionally, a prominent national law firm took the case on a pro bono basis for the allegedly aggrieved groups. I'll first look at a bit of what AP's Michael Biesecker and Gary D. Robertson wrote, and follow it with Adams's reality-based rendition.

By Tom Blumer | August 4, 2014 | 6:46 PM EDT

It would almost not be worth noting, because it's so predictable. On Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams, with strategic support at opportune times from National Journal's Ron Fournier, characterized the support within the Republican Party for impeachment as coming from "Tea Party opposition ... (with) no diversity, it's a white, older group of people."

What makes it worthy of notice is the fact that Michael Needham, head of Heritage Action for America, called out Williams for his comments and held his own as Fournier attempted to be the supposed voice of reason while really bringing aid and comfort to Williams. Video and a transcript follow the jump:

By Tom Blumer | August 2, 2014 | 10:30 AM EDT

Former Congressman Barney Frank had "a July interview" with the Huffington Post. The liberal blog's Zach Carter put up a post about it on Friday, August 1 at 3:59 p.m.

How convenient, because Frank ripped President Obama and his administration, who he says "just lied to people" about whether they could keep their existing healthcare plans under the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Naturally, despite the fact that most of those "if you like your plan-doctor-provider-drug regimen, you can keep them" promises were made before the law's passage, whoever interviewed Frank at HuffPo didn't follow up with the obvious question: "Despite the lies, why are you still comfortable with having voted for it?" Or if they did, they chose not to publish Frank's response. Excerpts follow the jump.

By Tom Blumer | July 31, 2014 | 10:08 PM EDT

This post is not about an item in The Onion. It's about a supposedly serious establishment press story at The Hill.

This morning, Amie Parnes and Peter Schroeder covered the Obama administration's apparent plan to pivot to the economy for the umpteenth time. But this time, Obama and his apparatchiks aren't doing it because they think they need to convince people that things are getting better. No-no-no. They're declaring victory, "tying his legacy" to Obama's apparently wondrous stewardhip of the economy. In the words of the Hill pair, they are "seizing on the administration’s successes in boosting the nation during financial woes." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | July 30, 2014 | 11:59 PM EDT

Gosh, how could this have happened?

Tonight at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, a dispatch by Ken Dilanian and Eileen Sullivan reports that "a document circulating among White House staff" about post-9/11 allegedly harsh and inhumane CIA interrogation techniques — a document which was "accidentally emailed to an Associated Press reporter" — claims that Former Secretary of State Colin Powell "may not have been informed when the techniques were first used in 2002." Given the wire service's unrequited lapdog love for all things Obama, it seems more likely, as posited by Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds, that the "AP reporter" in question is on the regular circulation list and was told to call this particular leak an accident. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

By Matthew Balan | July 30, 2014 | 10:30 PM EDT

ABC's World News stood out as the sole Big Three evening newscast on Wednesday to not cover the release of Lois Lerner's e-mails, where the former top IRS official slammed conservatives as "a**holes" and "crazies." Instead, the news program devoted full reports to the water main that burst on the campus of UCLA and the controversy over usage charges on cell phone bills.

By contrast, NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News on Wednesday both set aside about two minutes each of air time to Lerner's "salty language," as NBC's Kelly O'Donnell put it: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

By Tom Blumer | July 29, 2014 | 7:52 PM EDT

At the Washington Post's Plum Line blog this afternoon, Greg Sargent argued that the legislative history of Obamacare supports the argument that Congress intended that participants in federal exchanges be entitled to premium subsidies (alternatively referred to in some quarters as "tax credits"), and that the history should doom the Halbig suit, which contends that tax subsidies cannot be disbursed to Obamacare participants who purchased their coverage through the federal exchange.

Unfortunately for Sargent, the history really makes the opposite legal argument, significantly strengthening the Halbig side's hand. First we'll look at what Sargent wrote. Then we'll see how a RedState diarist nuked his argument within two hours.

By Tom Blumer | July 28, 2014 | 5:04 PM EDT

Of all the Associated Press reporters out there, Matt Lee, whose beat is the State Department, appears to have the least patience with the pablum (and worse) he is expected to swallow from the Obama administration.

In September of last year, as the situation in Syria escalated, Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry proposed a non-mandatory request for a Congressional vote on U.S. military involvement in Syria. After hearing State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki defend that proposal as "courageous," Lee, after getting a non-response to a question as why it was courageous, famously asked: "Was there some kind of, like, group spine-removal op procedure at the White House over the weekend?" Though he may not have exercised the best judgment this morning in posting the tweet which follows the jump, at least we can say that Lee hasn't taken up permanent residence in the wire service's otherwise very crowded water-carrier wing: