At the end of Joe Klein's stupefying defense of Susan Rice and the Obama admin's misinformation campaign on the Benghazi outrage on today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough asked Time's Klein whether President Obama had invited him to play golf, "because you are just gobbling up the talking points like Thanksgiving turkey." H/t NB reader Carmel.
Here were some of Klein's astounding assertions: There are no unanswered questions about Benghazi. Ambassador Stevens had all the security he wanted. Rice's talking points were "absolutely accurate"--it was a spontaneous demonstration by extremists. Al qaeda was not involved in the attack. Not clear that reports from Stevens asking for more security exist. View the video after the jump.
As I wrote this morning to the NewsBusters editor who alerted me to the Washington Post's editorial, "The GOP’s bizarre attack on Susan Rice," I don't read WaPo much, but somehow assume they're not quite as extreme as the New York Times." Silly me, judging by WaPo's ugly, over-the-top opinion item.
Here's the ugly last paragraph from today's editorial: "Could it be, as members of the Congressional Black Caucus are charging, that the signatories of the letter are targeting Ms. Rice because she is an African American woman? The signatories deny that, and we can’t know their hearts. What we do know is that more than 80 of the signatories are white males, and nearly half are from states of the former Confederacy." More after the jump.
From Joe Scarborough to John Heilemann, Katty Kay to Mark Halperin to Willie Geist, it was unanimous on today's Morning Joe. Whatever the substance, whatever the policy, Republicans would be making a massive political mistake by opposing the possible nomination of Susan Rice as Secretary of State.
Summed up Scarborough the MJ zeitgeist: "do a bunch of old white guys want to make their first big battle, post-election, a battle going up against a younger woman of color?" View the video after the jump. H/t reader cobokat.
Suddenly discovering something that anyone with eyes could see before the election, Josh Gerstein at Politico tells us that "Obama's foreign policy team hits turbulence."
Please. For over a week after September 11, the administration was pretending that a video which wasn't relevant at all caused protests which never occurred were what supposedly led to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya which killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. We had different people in the administration taking blame (but not really), and learned that but for the heroics of two of the men who died, dozens of others might have perished. But only now is Gerstein discovering "turbulence." Read on for a narrative which would be funny if it were not so sadly symptomatic of a see-no-evil press corps:
Does anyone remember anybody in the establishment press speculating over who might hold Cabinet positions during a second Bush 43 term in the fall of 2004 without qualifying it with "if Bush is reelected"? Neither do I.
But at the Politico on Thursday, the closest Josh Ragin got in an item found at the web site's "The Cable" section speculating on whether John Kerry or Susan Rice is better positioned to be Obama's nominee to be "America's next top diplomat" (i.e., Secretary of State) was quoting a Republican Senate aide who merely referred to the possible fireworks "if it's the beginning of a second Obama term." That doesn't even qualify as a qualifier either, because a victorious Obama might attempt to confirm a new nominee to replace Hillary Clinton during a lame-duck session. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Once again MSNBC has shown it is more a Democratic operative rather than an actual news organization. On Thursday morning, Obama campaign national press secretary Ben LaBolt appeared on both CNN’s Starting Point and MSNBC Live, and the interviews could not have been more different.
LaBolt got the kid glove treatment from MSNBC's Thomas Roberts, who first teed him up to slam the Romney campaign's "sloppy messaging." Contrast that with CNN"s Soledad O'Brien grilling LaBolt on whether ObamaCare's individual mandate was a tax or a penalty. [Video coming soon. MP3 audio here.]
Reporter Steven Lee Myers heaped praise on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a 5,500-word profile for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, evident in the title, "Last Tour of the Rock-Star Diplomat."
One of Myers's big scoops is that Hillary Clinton can remember names and personal details, which is apparently just as important as all that foreign policy guff: "Whatever she might have lacked in scholarship or experience in foreign affairs, she has made up for with a politician’s touch....She has an acute attention to detail, remembering names and personal details." Myers concluded by promoting a Hillary run for president in 2016, when she would be "more iconic than ever."
Myers was not nearly as big a fan of a Republican at war, President George W. Bush. He wrote for the Times on February 12, 2008: "Mr. Bush never sounds surer of himself than when the subject is Sept. 11, even when his critics argue that he has squandered the country's moral authority, violated American and international law, and led the United States into the foolhardy distraction of Iraq."
Readers are advised to remove all food, fluids, and flammables from proximity to their computers before proceeding. You've been warned.
NBC News justice correspondent Pete Williams on this weekend's syndicated Chris Matthews Show actually said that when it comes to nominating judges, "A Democratic president is more likely to appoint somebody near the middle who is less ideological" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Is the New York Times trying to soften up the Supreme Court before its Obama-care ruling, which may come later in June and could see the law declared unconstitutional? An unusual poll conducted by the Times and poll partner CBS News and plastered on Friday's front page is food for thought.
Perhaps it’s unrealistic to expect history textbooks to present and analyze events and epochs with complete objectivity. But it’s entirely reasonable to demand that they don’t actively reinforce the news media’s liberal bias when it comes to recent history and individuals who are still alive and active in shaping that history.
Yet commonly used American history textbooks have eschewed historical analysis when discussing recent Supreme Court justices, and in its place substituted partisan political commentary.
Yesterday, as apparently first reported at the Daily Caller, Oklahoma Republican Senator James Imhofe revealed that Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 administrator Al Armendariz had explained his enforcement philosophy towards companies within his jurisdiction as "[C]rucify them ... Find people who are not compliant with the law, and you hit them as hard as you can and you make examples out of them, and there is a deterrent effect there." Remember that Antagonistic Al was referring to those who are "not compliant." A YouTube video of Armendariz's remarks in fuller context is here.
The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, in what I would hope is only its first version of coverage (but don't count on any follow-up), did its level best to minimize the significance of Armendariz's remarks, with a headline designed to make people think he only said one bad word, and content which tried to emphasize that the administrator reserves his harsh treatment only for actual lawbreakers. At Forbes, Christopher Helman has made mincemeat of that pretense in one very prominent case.
Jury selection in the trial of two-time Democratic Party presidential candidate and John Kerry's Democratic Party running mate in the 2004 election John Edwards began on Thursday. In the related five-paragraph Associated Press story, Michael Biesecker actually identified Edwards as a Democrat in his fourth of his five paragraphs.
That's not a stellar performance (a Republican or conservative in the kind of trouble Edwards is in would have his or her party identified in either the headline, the first paragraph, or both), but at least the party label is present. As blogger extraordinaire Doug Ross noted earlier this evening, in an 1,800-word item at the Atlantic on Wednesday ("Why the John Edwards Trial Is a Bigger Deal Than You Think"), author and undisclosed former Democratic candidate for statewide office Hampton Dellinger failed to name Edwards's party at all, while figuring out a way to tag something or someone "Republican" five times. Here are the opportunities studiously avoided in his treatise only relating to variations on the word "president" (bolded by me):
Liberal pundits, journalists, and yes, the president of the United States seem to be in a full-blown panic about the prospects of ObamaCare going down in flames when the Supreme Court rules on HHS v. Florida in two months. Doing so would be the sort of judicial activism that conservatives decry, President Obama complained ludicrously earlier this week.
But have no fear, liberals, for law professor and Daily Beast/Newsweek contributor David R. Dow -- who previously wrote a book defending judicial activism -- has your solution. The Yale-educated lawyer suggests that President Obama's congressional defenders could try something last attempted in 1805: the politically-motivated impeachment of a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Here's how Dow opened his April 3 Daily Beast post:
The Department of (I don't know what kind of) Justice has decided to drop its case again prolife sidewalk counselor Mary Susan Pine and pay her $120,000 in legal fees. DOJ had no case in the first place.
Van Jones, "Lefty Dreamboat"? The New York Times assures us that yes, he is. Jones was the Obama administration's Advisor for Green Jobs until he was booted in September 2009 when his name showed up on a list of people who had signed a 9-11 Truther petition, suggesting he thought there was a Bush administration coverup of what really happened on September 11. In his new book "Rebuild the Dream," Van Jones denies ever having signed it, and Andrew Goldman's weekly Q&A for the Times Sunday magazine takes his word as law, under the sick-making headline "Meet the New Lefty Dreamboat – Can Van Jones Take on the Tea Party?"
On Saturday, Barbara Hollingsworth at the Washington Examiner (HT Peter Roff at US News) reported on the latest development in lawsuit filed by former congressman Steve "Sore Loser" Driehaus against Susan B. Anthony's List (SBA).
Democrat Driehaus, who served one term in Congress before losing to Republican Steve Chabot, is suing SBA under a Ohio’s False Statement Law for "loss of livelihood." Seriously. Driehaus says that his vote for ObamaCare, which has no prolife protections hard-wired into the law, was not a betrayal of his prolife beliefs. SBA says it was a betrayal, and is correct. Driehaus's excuse was that President Obama wrote up an Executive Order with supposed prolife protections, which of course can be revoked at any whimsical presidential moment -- like, say, January 21, 2013 if he's reelected (or January 19, 2013 if he's not).
Uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, the NBC Nightly News on Thursday took a moment to recount an appearance by Brandeis University Professor Anita Hill commemorating the 20th anniversary of her Senate testimony making unsubstantiated accusations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for sexually harassing her in the 1980s.
Anchor Brian Williams relayed Hill's contention that "her role in the hearings was worthwhile," before playing a clip of her asserting that her testimony "was not in vain." Below is a complete transcript of the segment from the Thursday, October 6, NBC Nightly News:
Wednesday on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, Morgan interviewed GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum. The host spent considerable time on Santorum's views on homosexuality. Confirming the candidate is a Catholic, Morgan asked if he believes homosexuality is a sin. Santorum stated he subscribes to his Church's teaching that it is. Morgan asked how Santorum would react to learning one of his sons is gay and after listening to his response:
MORGAN: I guess one of the reasons it's troubling and difficult for people to come out is because of the level of bigotry that's out there against them. I have to say that your views you espoused on this issue are bordering on bigotry, aren't they?
So an orthodox Roman Catholic who adheres to his faith's determination that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered" borders on bigotry. Not Morgan, however:
MORGAN: Well, I'm a Catholic, too. I just think, unfortunately, we're in a different era. We're in a modern world. And the fact --
President Obama’s nominee to a top State Department post is one of the few American diplomats to have met North Korea’s Kim Jong-il, whom she later described as “smart, capable and supremely confident.”
Wendy Sherman traveled to Pyongyang in 2000 in her capacity as counselor to then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Visiting South Korea four years later – when she was no longer in government – Sherman had positive things to say about the reclusive Stalinist leader.
NPR's Nina Totenberg strangely cast doubt on the liberal credentials of Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor on Saturday's Early Show on CBS, claiming that "they're not nearly as liberal as justices were...thirty years ago." Totenberg also hinted that the other members of the Court were right-wing radicals: "Compared to the much more conservative members of the Court, they are liberal."
Anchor Russ Mitchell brought on the journalist for her take of the most recent term of the Supreme Court. Near the end of the interview, Mitchell noted how "this was the first full term for President Obama's two appointees, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor" and asked, "What do you think? Did we see a shift in the Court's philosophy this year at all?"
We all know how the story ended for the first "Sheriff of Wall Street," Eliot Spitzer. CNN hailed attorney Preet Bharara as the "New Sheriff of Wall Street" in a puff-piece Thursday afternoon, and one can only wonder if his career path will eventually take him to a prime-time slot at CNN as a Democrat mouthpiece.
Bharara was nominated by President Obama in 2009 to be U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. In less than two years he has convicted 44 people on Wall Street for insider trading, thus earning him headlines and a complimentary title from CNN.
A headline in The Washington Post's Wednesday Style section declared: "American Indians object to ‘Geronimo’ as code for bin Laden raid." Writer Neely Tucker goes on to lament: "In a triumphant moment for the United States, the moniker has left a sour taste among many Native Americans."
Tucker explained: "It was his [Geronimo's] name that the U.S. military chose as the code for the raid, and perhaps for Osama bin Laden himself, during the operation that killed the al-Qaeda leader in Pakistan." He later remarked: "It isn’t clear yet which branch of the military came up with the nickname — the Army, Navy, CIA or any of the anti-terror special forces groups involved in planning the raid — but it apparently wasn’t bin Laden’s nickname for very long."
In honor of Harry Smith leaving the CBS Early Show at the end of the month, along with weatherman Dave Price and already departed co-host Maggie Rodriguez, actor Mark Wahlberg concluded an interview with the morning show host by literally getting on the floor and kissing Smith's feet, declaring "You're the best, ever."
On November 30, it was announced that Smith, Rodriguez, and Price would be replaced by Chris Wragge, Erica Hill, Jeff Glor and Marysol Castro starting January 3. Walhberg's send-off included not only feet-kissing, but he embraced Smith twice as the show moved on to the next segment.
A major staff shakeup has occurred on the CBS Early Show. Starting January 3, current co-hosts Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez, along with weatherman Dave Price, will all be replaced. Saturday Early Show co-host Chris Wragge and the broadcast's current news reader Erica Hill will take over for Smith and Rodriguez, while former ABC weather person Marysol Castro will take the place of Price.
Associated Press television writer David Bauder reported the changes on Tuesday, noting: "CBS News is completely overhauling 'The Early Show' to give the broadcast team a fresh look." The network morning show has long trailed in the ratings, consistently coming in a distant third compared to NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America.
Congress shall make no law . . . abridging . . .the right of the people . . . to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. -- First Amendment to the Constitution
Remember the MSM brouhaha when some conservatives suggested reconsidering the automatic granting of citizenship to children born in the US to illegal immigrants? Suddenly, the sanctity of the 14th Amendment became the single most precious thing to liberals—even though no amendment of it, let alone its abolition, would have been necessary to revise the policy on birthright citizenship.
So should we expect the liberal media to take up its constitutional cudgel against Elizabeth Warren? After all, Pres. Obama's newly appointed [not nominated] head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau went on Morning Joe today and in effect proclaimed that the right to petition government for the redress of government "scares" her. More disturbingly, Warren suggested we need to work on "dialing back" that right.
To be sure, Warren never cited the First Amendment or the right it recognized to "petition government for a redress of grievances." But read and listen to her words: that's exactly what she was kvetching about—and wanting to "dial back."
In a video interview this week, White House Office of Science and Technology Director John P. Holdren told CNSNews.com that he would use the "free market economy" to implement the "massive campaign" he advocated along with Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich to "de-develop the United States."
In his role as President Barack Obama's top science and technology adviser, Holdren deals with issues ranging from global warming to health care.
"A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States," Holdren wrote along with Paul and Anne H. Ehrlich in the "recommendations" concluding their 1973 book Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions.
"De-development means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation," Holdren and the Ehrlichs wrote.
ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday wondered if a Florida pastor's threat to burn a Koran could "change" and "challenge" the meaning of the First Amendment. [MP3 audio here.]
Talking to Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, the Good Morning America host speculated, "When you think about the internet and when you think about the possibility that, you know, a pastor in Florida with a flock of 30, can threaten to burn the Koran and that leads to riots and killings in Afghanistan, does that pose a challenge to the First Amendment, to how you interpret it?"
Stephanopoulos followed-up, "Does [the threat of the Koran burning] change the nature of what we can allow and protect?" The ABC host didn't explain expand on how the First Amendment "changes" in light of an unpopular action such as a Koran burning.
On Wednesday night's "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin claimed that the federal judge in the Arizona immigration case doesn't possess "a strong political profile one way or another," which is a sign the decision is well-supported by the law.
Cooper asked Toobin if Judge Bolton, who decided the case, was a liberal, noting that she was appointed to the post by President Clinton."She's a Clinton appointee, but she was recommended by Jon Kyl," Toobin responded, "who is a very conservative senator from Arizona."
"She's clearly not a strong partisan, but we are a long way from the last word on the constitutionality of this law," Toobin added. "This is a hard case. You are going to see other judges come out other ways on this."
Toobin's points were also echoed by liberal blogs such as Media Matters and ThinkProgress, a liberal blog.