In a story the New York Times appears not to have touched, Hunter Walker at Observer.com's Politicker ("about" page is here) reported on Tuesday that Thomas Lopez-Pierre, a black Harlem activist, "circulated an email" Monday night "in an attempt to plan a 'private meeting' to 'discuss the potential damage to the political empowerment of the Black and Hispanic community if Mark Levine, a White/Jewish candidate was elected to the 7th Council District in 2013.'" So we see that black Chicagoland establishment officials trying to ensure that the successor to the recently resigned Jesse Jackson Jr. in Illinois' 2nd Congressional District are not alone in seeing a political office as somehow "belonging" to them.
The Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required) has also picked up the story ("Race, Religion Used as Basis For an Attack"). Verbiage from the Politicker report, along with separate comments from James Taranto at the WSJ's Best of the Web, follow the jump (internal links are in originals; bolds are mine throughout this post):
In what has become a daily occurrence on MSNBC, liberal hosts and pundits on the network continue to attack the GOP for their scrutiny of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s post-Benghazi spin for the White House on September 16 editions of the network Sunday interview programs.
Appearing on Wednesday’sMSNBC Live, network contributors Joy-Ann Reid of TheGrio.com and Ari Melber of The Nation appeared on anchor Thomas Roberts's program to continue casting aspersions on Sen. John McCain and other Republicans who have dared to criticize Susan Rice as unfit for a promotion to Secretary of State. Melber and Reid threw in charges of racism and sexism and a conspiracy theory about electing Scott Brown to the Senate. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
The real news in today's new-home sales information published by the Census Bureau is that September's previously reported 389,000 in seasonally adjusted annual sales was written down by over 5 percent to 369,000. Hmm -- The higher figure, aggressively touted as the highest in 2-1/2 years by the Associated Press and other establishment media outlets, was reported on October 24, just 13 days before Election Day on November 6. Now we learn that it was a mirage, and that the revised figure was merely the same as the number turned in four months earlier and barely above February. In fact, the new home market, portrayed throughout the summer and early fall as recovering somewhat nicely, merely treaded water. That trend continued in October, as annualized sales came in at 368,000. Imagine that.
To his credit, the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger at least acknowledged the major prior-month revision in each of his first two paragraphs; however, the AP's headline writers ignored it. To Crutsinger's detriment, it's clear that he tried very hard to find someone who would pin a major portion of the blame for October's 0.3 percent drop on Superstorm Sandy. When he couldn't, he decided to take it on himself to make the point (bolds are mine):
Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren has reached her boiling point after seeing yet another person at MSNBC hurl a gratuitous, objectively false charge of "racism" at Arizona Senator John McCain for having the gall to believe that Susan Rice would not be a good choice to be the next Secretary of State.
According to Dylan Byers at Politico, the National Journal's Ron Fournier is going to "step down as editor-in-chief" and moving to "a role as editorial director." Before joining that publication in June 2010, Fournier worked at the Associated Press for a total of over 20 years in two different stints. In an email response to Politico yesterday, Fournier elaborated on the motivation behind his move (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Throughout his tenure as Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo has chosen to maintain a surprisingly low profile. Think quick: how much footage have you seen of him in the Hurricane Sandy aftermath compared to his cross-George Washington Bridge buddy, Chris Christie?
But has Cuomo finally decided the time has come to make himself more visible? A PSA for Hurricane Sandy relief, aired on Morning Joe today featuring a star-studded cast of Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Whoopi Goldberg, Edie Falco, Michael J. Fox, Julianna Margulies and Nathan Lane. One panel, devoid of reference to the relief organization, starkly read "Join Governor Cuomo and New York." View the video after the jump.
In his coverage of black Chicagoland Democrats' fears that the seat that was held by just-resigned Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. until last week, Politico's Alex Isenstadt initially wrote that Chicago is home of "the nation's first black president, Barack Obama, and the first black member of Congress, Oscar De Priest." Evidence of this original wording is seen at this Google search on the quoted sentence.
Apparently, someone helped Isenstadt get a grip on history -- but really, who didn't know that there had to be at least one African-American congressmen during the 19th century after the Civil War? The sentence now says that De Priest was "the first black member of Congress in modern congressional history." What a pathetic non-admission of an obvious error. Let's run down, courtesy of a congressional web site, how seriously wrong Isenstadt really was:
This is really too easy. Imagine the hue and cry in the press and elsewhere, which to be clear would be quite appropriate, if an accurate story about a special congressional election to replace a white congressperson began as follows: "White leaders are growing increasingly worried that a black candidate might seize the seat of former Rep. ____ in the upcoming special election."
Well, a story by Alex Isenstadt at Politico with a truth-obscuring headline ("Blacks fret free-for-all for Jesse Jackson Jr. seat"; the headline should be "Blacks fear a white person will win 'their' seat") clearly shows that Chicagoland's black establishment thinks it has first dibs on IL-02, and apparently believes that "Jackson's seat" (as if he ever owned it) can't be appropriately represented by a white person, even though the early frontrunner is clearly liberal on most issues (bolds are mine):
Well, if the President himself can call a sacked consulate and four dead Americans who deserved adequate security and didn't get it "bumps in the road," why not?
Monday morning, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, presented a story in advance of United Nations ambassador Susan Rice's meeting today with certain Republican senators -- a meeting from which Rice, who engaged in serial falsehood peddling during the weekend after the September 11 Benghazi attack, apparently falsehood-peddling Rice emerged today even worse-off than before. In that story, both the headline and first paragraph of Anne Flaherty's coverage characterized Benghazi as a "PR (public relations) disaster."
Others can comment on the entirely of the Sunday New York Times story by Serge F. Kovaleski and Brooks Barnes (used in Monday's print edition) about Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the maker of the infamous "Innocence of Muslims" YouTube trailer the authors characterize as a "film" a dozen times in their write-up. Nakoula has now been in jail for two months.
I'm only going to comment on the following two sentences from the writeup which follow the jump:
[UPDATE: See bottom of post] Chris Matthews on Monday disgustingly connected conservatives unhappy with the 2012 election to Hitler and the 1936 Olympics. After Huffington Post journalist Howard Fineman mocked the GOP for supposedly considering the African American and Hispanic vote to be "extraterrestrial," Matthews spewed, "The last guy to refer to the black auxiliary was Hitler." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Matthews, known for his verbal gaffes, prefaced the Nazi comparison by rambling, "...And these references are always dangerous, but I'll take it anyway." Trying to explain his smear, the Hardball anchor expanded, "During the '36 Olympics, we had Jesse Owens and a couple other guys winning the Olympics and they [the Nazis] were saying, "Well, they had their auxiliary out there." As if this made his comments all go away, Matthews added that his comments have "no bearing on the Republican Party."
It’s commonplace for a news organization to be attacked for failing to cover certain major news events. On the other hand, it is rare for a news outlet to be attacked for doing its job and reporting the news.
According to Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Thomas Ricks, Fox News’ extensive reporting on the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi is not only a waste of time but an example of how Fox is, “the wing of the Republican Party.” Appearing on Monday’s Happening Now, Ricks openly called out Fox News for its coverage of what he dismissed as merely a “small firefight.” [See video below break. MP3 audio here.]
Isn't it tragically ironic that the man who rode the perfect storm into public office on the horse of national unity has now perfected the politics of division so spectacularly that he won re-election despite the worst record in decades?
For when you sift through the rubble from the Republican Party's 2012 nuclear catastrophe, you find consistent clues pointing to a simple explanation: We lost because Barack Obama convinced enough voters that he cares more about people than Mitt Romney, a rich white guy who is contemptuous of the poor, women, blacks and seniors. Never mind results; Obama cares and Republicans don't.
Small minds always leap to the answers given the last time around, which is probably why Maxine Waters keeps getting re-elected. But the last time is not necessarily the same as this time. A terrorist attack is not the same as the Cold War, a war in Afghanistan is not the same as a war in Iraq, and Mitt Romney is not the same as John McCain or Bob Dole.
But since the election, many conservatives seem to be coalescing around the explanation for our defeat given by Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots, who said: "What we got was a weak, moderate candidate handpicked by the Beltway elites and country club establishment wing of the Republican Party. The presidential loss is unequivocally on them."
Armed with so-called 'facts' disguised as the same liberal talking points we're all too familiar with, MSNBC's staff of bloggers published an article yesterday that detailed the top 10 comebacks that are guaranteed to confound and demoralize any Republican relative who dares to speak ill of Obama at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
The "Lean Forward" network won't let their bias take a rest even for the holidays, nevermind that politics is hardly polite conversation for the dinner table on any given holiday, let alone Thanksgiving. But family harmony is a small price to pay for dutifully defending President Obama to your relatives who aren't buying into the hope-and-change mantra.
Ah, Thanksgiving. A time for Americans to come together, be grateful for their blessings—and tell people with different politics to stuff it?
That's apparently Ed Schultz's take on the holiday. On his MSNBC show this evening, gloating over his presumption that taxes will be going up on the top 2%, Schultz sent this warm 'n fuzzy message to John Boehner: "think about it over your turkey and stuffing Speaker Boehner. And by the way, you can put some gravy on that--and you know the rest of the sentence." View the video after the jump.
Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned from office today. The timing of the Democratic congressman's resignation (even beyond it taking place on Thanksgiving Eve) is convenient, coming just two weeks after his reelection and prior to what in apparently an imminent indictment. The former enables Democratic Party kingpins in Chicago and its south suburbs to ensure that the seat stays with someone they like and can control (a general election situation with a preceding mini-primary might have been more problematic), while resigning before an indictment makes it likely that Jackson will be eligible for a congressional pension he might have lost had he still been in office when charged.
We are told that Jackson is too distraught to get through a publicly spoken resignation and that he cancelled a conference call with his staff. His resignation letter (original here; Washington Post transcription here) to House Speaker John Boehner, our best potential window to his current state of mind, reveals a man who is utterly full of himself and his wonderfulness. In the process of building this monument to himself, Jackson delivered several self-evident falsehoods the press would never let a Republican in a similar position get away with making without sharp criticism. Since it's a public document, the letter follows the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Even though Republicans kept the House, CNN was trying to bury the Tea Party on Wednesday. Anchor Carol Costello asked if the movement was dead while CNN's headline proclaimed the "end of the Tea Party movement."
"Is the Tea Party dead?" Costello ridiculously asked GOP strategist Ana Navarro. She took a shot at Fox News after Bill O'Reilly blamed some liberal media for "promoting ideology," to which Costello said "You mean like Fox?" Costello apparently believes she is non-partisan. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Peter Nicholas of The Wall Street Journal is playing dumb. He played it straight when When Politico’s Mike Allen asked Obama campaign manager Jim Messina “which Republican would have had the best shot at beating your boss?” and Messina said Jon Huntsman.
“We were honest about our concerns about Huntsman,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said at a Politico breakfast event Tuesday. “I think Huntsman would have been a very tough candidate.” This is like praising the last player at the end of the bench.
Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh responded on Monday to comments from Republican strategists Mike Murphy and Steve Schmidt, who have called on the party to “stray away from a vision” that is right out of the conservative commentator's “dream journal.”
The radio personality deflected the criticism, noting that the moderate GOP consultants got the candidate they wanted -- former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney -- and stated that strategists get rich regardless of who wins the elections.
CNN.com cherry picked a few conservative blog posts to make the sweeping claim that "arch-conservatives" are in denial over President Obama's victory. It's definitely poor journalism when four bloggers at two conservative websites represent all "hard-core conservatives."
The article points to four writers at Tea Party Nation and RedState.com as examples of "many" "die-hard conservatives" who "remain stuck somewhere between denial and anger, very far from acceptance" of Obama's re-election. In short, the implication is that conservatives need to get with the times and change their message.
Appearing on Saturday's NBC Today, CNBC chief Washington correspondent John Harwood completely dismissed the scandal surrounding the Benghazi terrorist attack as merely leftover campaign politics: "...what we're seeing in the Petraeus scandal and the Benghazi issue being prolonged is an extension of some of the conflict and the bitterness that we had during the election campaign." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Harwood predicted the whole controversy would just go away: "I'm not sure what the resolution of that is going to be. I think ultimately that energy is going to get spent and lawmakers are going to turn to the real crisis that is looming over the American economy, which is the fiscal cliff..."
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.
More than 40 years ago, the federal government launched a war on drugs. Over the past decade, the nation has spent hundreds of billions of dollars fighting that war, a figure that does not even include the high costs of prosecuting and jailing drug law offenders. It's hard to put a price on that aspect of the drug war since half of all inmates in federal prison today were busted for drugs.
Despite the enormous expense and growth of the prison population, only 7 percent of American adults now think the United States is winning the War on Drugs. Eighty-two percent disagree. The latest statistics on drug usage support that conclusion.
CNN anchors have been turning to advocacy. Don Lemon didn't show a hint of journalistic integrity on Sunday's Newsroom as he ripped into conservative guest Will Cain and lectured him on the offensiveness of Mitt Romney's "gift" remarks, joining liberal journalist LZ Granderson in the leftist ambush.
"This is an astounding interview," Cain remarked, realizing he was outnumbered by two liberals. "I'm a little taken aback by the chorus of surprise. I really am. From both of you guys." Cain lashed out on Twitter after the ambush. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In an interview with liberal historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin for NBC's Press Pass, Meet the Press moderator David Gregory invited her to draw parallels between President Obama and Abraham Lincoln: "It seems like it's so hard to put Lincoln in a modern political context...But there is a leadership lesson that you think is important now and is important for President Obama embarking on a second term, as he seeks to be what he's always wanted to be, which is not just a president, but a great president."
Kearns-Goodwin used the newly released film about Lincoln to make the point: "Absolutely. I mean I think the timing of it couldn't be better. And it's just coincidence that it really happened to be....there's this great scene, it's not just a scene, but Lincoln's actual words, 'I am clothed with immense power. You will get this vote.' So a president is clothed in immense power if they use the leadership skills to make it happen."
It should come as no surprise to most people that MSNBC is a liberal network, but it appears as though they are now actively campaigning for the Democratic Party. For several years, MSNBC has produced their own ads featuring numerous on-air personalities promoting different liberal causes.
MSNBC’s latest ad, however, goes well beyond promotion of liberalism and has shifted into outright DNC promotion. Narrated by ultra-liberal primetime host Rachel Maddow, the commercial is a litany of Democratic “achievements” essentially a mirror-image of the DNC platform. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
It took more than a month -- and an intervening presidential election -- but it appears as though MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough has finally joined the chorus of conservatives criticizing Candy Crowley for covering for President Obama’s false statements on Libya during the presidential debates.
Speaking on Monday’s Morning Joe, Scarborough strongly rebuked the Obama administration’s handling of the post-Benghazi coverage. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
CNN's Piers Morgan gave a (left) thumb up Friday to states legalizing marijuana and opposing a traditional marriage amendment. He joined conspiracy theorist Jesse Ventura in applauding the votes.
"Well, Jesse, I can only say I totally agree with you on both the drugs and the gay marriage issue," Morgan said after Ventura declared "hoorah for Colorado," "Hooray for Washington," and "hooray for the state of Minnesota." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
It's rare that we take on liberal newspaper columnists. They're entitled to their opinions and no one expects them to adhere to a standard of objectivity. But on those occasions when a columnist transgresses the bounds of decency, we have to take note.
The Miami Herald's Leonard Pitts Jr. is one such opinion writer. In his November 17 column he argued some of the blame for a suicide in Key West, Florida, should be laid at the doorstep of conservative talk show hosts: