During an appearance on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 on Tuesday night, CNN’s Paul Begala blasted Vice President Dick Cheney for blaming President Obama for the rise of ISIS. The Democratic strategist argued that Cheney’s comments were “a portrait of a political sociopath...I actually went and looked up on the Mayo Clinic website the definition of that disorder and it fits Mr. Cheney to a T, inability to ever express remorse, to admit error, manipulative, dishonest.”
How bad is it getting for Hillary when the best her defenders can come up with is Harold Ford Jr.'s formulation: okay, so the words most associated with her are "liar," "dishonest" and "untrustworthy" but, hey!—she's not "unpatriotic."
On today's Morning Joe, after Ford resorted on Hillary's behalf to the last refuge of scoundrels, Joe Scarborough hit him with a killer question: does Ford think David Petraeus—who was convicted of a crime for improperly passing classified material--is a patriot? Ford had to acknowledge that he is, but when Harold tried to distinguish Hillary's actions from Petraeus', Scarborough swept in to challenge him to a Romneyesque $10,000 bet: "who do you think passed more classified material along, David Petraeus or Hillary?"
The establishment press is all over revelations by Fox News Friday morning that the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails involves a "section of the Espionage Act is known as 18 US Code 793," and that "the focus includes a provision of the law pertaining to 'gathering, transmitting or losing defense information,'" according to "an intelligence source." ... Just kidding.
The only reaction I've seen thus far is at the Friday evening version of "The 2016 Blast" collection by Henry C. Jackson at the Politico. The fifth item covered — after a snippet on "John Kasich's Aerial Attack" and three snoozers on Mrs. Clinton's predictable dissembling — reads as follows (bolds and italics are theirs):
A story that the networks would have almost assuredly covered if George W. Bush was still President, the major broadcast networks failed to cover on Wednesday a front-page New York Times report that a Pentagon inspector general is investigating the possibility that intelligence assessments on the U.S. fight against ISIS may have be altered to reflect a better picture than reality allowed.
Over at the Associated Press this afternoon (later updated), Ken Dilanian, with the help of four other reporters, prepared a lengthy dispatch attempting to defend 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's email and private-server practices. Boiled down to its essence: Boiled down to its essence: "[D]iplomats routinely sent secret material on unsecured email during the past two administrations."
Nice try, guys, but there are two problems with your "many others did it" defense. First, Dilanian and his team quietly admitted that Mrs. Clinton has been lying when claiming in recent weeks that she never sent any classified emails. Additionally, they ignored a December 2009 Executive Order from President Obama which, as Catherine Herridge at Fox News reported this morning, specifies that only "intelligence agencies who own that information in the first place have the authority to declassify it."
On Tuesday, Hussein Sheikholeslam, a senior foreign affairs adviser to the Iranian parliament claimed that Israel “should be annihilated.” The condemnation came after the United Kingdom reopened their shuttered embassy in Tehran on Monday. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond lauded the move by the British government, citing the current Iranian administration's “more nuanced” attitude toward Israel’s place in the Middle East. This comment resulted in the incendiary correction by the senior official according to Iranian news agency FARS:
You can tell that the left is getting nervous about a scandal when they invoke the successful Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth campaign of 2004 against John Kerry.
As I noted on Saturday, Maria L. La Ganga at the Los Angeles Times did that as she described Planned Parenthood's attempts to fight back against the Center For Medical Progress's exposure of their baby body parts business. On Friday at the New York Times, in a story about how Hillary Clinton was "interrupting" her Martha's Vineyard vacation, Amy Chozick found a Clinton contributor who characterized her email and private server scandal as "somewhat of a tempest in a teapot," and also described it as "their (Republicans') Swift boat issue of 2015."
Well, this was inevitable. On the same day that the Center for Medical Progress exposed the CEO of former Planned Parenthood partner StemExpress laughing "about shipping whole baby heads," a reporter at the Los Angeles Times, in what I have beeen told is a front-page story, has compared CMP's video campaign exposing the commerce in baby body parts to the 2004 Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth's campaign. The Swift Boat Vets' effort successfully exposed Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's serial lies about his service in Vietnam and his smearing of Vietnam veterans as war criminals after he returned.
Times reporter Maria L. La Ganga joined the paper in 1981, and "has served as San Francisco bureau chief, edited in the Business section and pitched in on five presidential elections." Even if one of those five elections wasn't 2004, and even if she didn't dig into conflicting claims over whether Kerry truly earned the Vietnam War medals he received, it's virtually inconceivable that she doesn't know about his frequently stated "Christmas in Cambodia" lie.
You rubes. Don't you understand that the entire problem Hillary Clinton is facing over her use of a private server to process government communications is the fault of thousands upon thousands of people who don't know how to classify documents?
That's essentially the argument Hillary Clinton's spinmeisters are now employing. This evening, Josh Gerstein at the Politico was all too ready to relay such arguments, even to the point of cleaning up what one of her defenders said to advance the cause.
Yesterday, CNN.com published a attempted defense of Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State by Eleni Kounalakis. An "Editor's Note" before the piece begins describes Ms. Kounalakis as the "United States ambassador to Hungary from 2010 to 2013," the author of a book on her time there, and "a senior adviser to the Albright Stonebridge Group" (as in "Madeline Albright").
The "editor" at CNN "forgot" to mention one "little" thing, noted by John Hinderaker at Powerline: "... she was one of Hillary’s top (2008) fundraisers, a fundraiser who was paid off with an ambassadorship, and therefore hardly an objective observer of Hillary’s successes (or lack thereof) as Secretary of State."
In the wake of GOP leaders expressing optimism that they can defeat the Obama Administration’s recent nuclear deal with Iran, CNN’s Carol Costello brought retired Air Force General Merrill McPeak on to her show to insist the only alternative to this deal is war.
Partisanship oozing out of Howard Dean's wherever! On today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski, exasperated by Howard Dean's dead-ender defense of Hillary on the email scandal, told him "your partisan whatever is just ooz[ing.]"
You know Hillary is in hot water when even Andrea Mitchell had to report that there are "big" problems for Clinton on the email front. But Howard Dean has apparently decided to go down with Hillary's ship, clinging to his claim that the email scandal is "hooey" and declaring "you're just not going to get me to give on this."