Blogs

By Tom Blumer | September 20, 2014 | 10:48 PM EDT

On Sunday, CBS's "60 Minutes" will broadcast Scott Pelley's recent interview of former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

In CBS's promotional tease, which was broadcast on Friday, in response to Pelley's question about whether he was confident that the U.S. troop withdrawal "was the right thing to do" at the time it was done, Panetta said, "No, I wasn't." That's big news. How big? So big that, based on searches on Panetta's last name, the Associated Press and the New York Times have yet to cover it. In other words, it's fair to contend that these two leading icons of American journalism are waiting for an administration response before they run the story, so they can then turn it into a "White House denies" piece. The video follows the jump.

By Tom Blumer | September 20, 2014 | 9:37 PM EDT

The real problem with Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke's "jobs plan," the detailed version of which appears to be no longer available at her campaign's web site, isn't its plagiarized material. It's the content. The presence of certain obviously wrong facts and patently pathetic assertions indicates that Ms. Burke, a successful entrepreneur who one would think should have known better, hardly scrutinized her plan at all before allowing its publication.

Thursday evening, BuzzFeed reported that "Large portions of Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke’s jobs plan (saved separately by BuzzFeed — Ed.) for Wisconsin appear to be copied directly from the plans of three Democratic candidates who ran for governor in previous election cycles." As would be expected, the Associated Press's Scott Bauer attempted to come to the rescue, finding an "elections expert" who said that "it's not really plagiarism because the person working for her did it." But Bauer also noted that Burke "has no plans to change the material, which she called a small part of the 40-page plan," so criticism of its content remains fair game.

By Tom Blumer | September 18, 2014 | 9:41 AM EDT

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has become a darling of the left for being an early promoter of the "you didn't build that" meme President Obama used during the 2012 presidential campaign, and for generally espousing positions to the left of Hillary Clinton.

The press rushed to Warren's defense in 2012 when compelling evidence that she had used her barely present Indian ancestry to "cheat on affirmative action" to advance her academic career went public. So it shouldn't surprise anyone that they have paid little attention to her recent outrageous attempt to establish her leftist bona fides as a harsh critic of Israel, seen in the video after the jump:

By Tom Blumer | September 17, 2014 | 3:29 PM EDT

President Obama cited American exceptionalism at least ten times in his speech at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa today.

Early in his administration, Obama went out of his way to downplay the nature of U.S. exceptionalism, claiming that it was really no different than how any other nation's citizens saw their own country's uniqueness. So his speechwriters knew better than to use that word. But Obama cited how America is "unique" (read: superior) six separate times, and told his audience — and the rest of the world — that "when the world needs help, it calls on America." Time's Zeke J. Miller is one of the first among many who are choosing or will choose to ignore this change in posture, choosing primarily to obsess over whether U.S. ground troops will be called upon to quash the ISIS/ISIL threat.

By Tom Blumer | September 11, 2014 | 1:38 PM EDT

A new Gallup poll reports that Americans trust the federal government less than they ever have. Given that President Obama has increasingly insisted on acting on his own, it's not unreasonable to infer that this result means, consistent with other polling the press has stubbornly ignored — documented in a new Media Research Center study — that they also trust his leadership less than they ever have.

Gallup's main headline dressed up the results up by focusing on only half of what it found: "Trust in Federal Gov't on International Issues at New Low." But the subheadline says, "Americans' trust in government handling of domestic problems also at record low." Okay, guys. What problems aren't either domestic, international, or a combination of both? So trust in the federal government to handle any problems is at an all-time low. How tough is it to say that?

By Tom Blumer | September 11, 2014 | 10:55 AM EDT

As the midnight oil-burning Curtis Houck at NewsBusters noted last night, John McCain ripped into Jay Carney's attempts to rewrite history Wednesday evening on CNN. Among other things, he reminded the former White House Press Secretary that "We had it (the Iraq War) won, thanks to the surge." In other words, our military and Iraqi government had achieved victory. Barack Obama and his administration, perhaps until last night, have seemed indifferent at best and dismissive at worst at what has happened in Iraq since then.

After McCain got in his rips, it was Newt Gingrich's turn. The former House Speaker, whose assertion, as will be seen later, is supported by contemporaneous reporting by Tim Arango at the New York Times, took apart Carney's hypocrisy in whining about how a status of forces agreement with Iraq with the number of American troops our generals believed would be necessary to maintain the peace would have meant our presence there "in perpetuity":

By Tom Blumer | September 10, 2014 | 10:49 PM EDT

In quite remarkable testimony on the day before the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 Islamist terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the Washington Free Beacon's Adam Kredo reported today that "Francis Taylor, under secretary for intelligence and analysis at DHS, told senators during a hearing that ISIL supporters are known to be plotting ways to infiltrate the United States through the (nation's southern) border."

Predictably, Taylor's statements are getting very little other press attention.

By Tom Blumer | September 9, 2014 | 11:25 PM EDT

On August 22 — a Friday, of course — the Obama administration's Department of Health and Human Services issued a brand-new version of the Obamacare contraception mandate supposedly "accommodating" organizations with religious belief-based objections to providing such coverage.

The new version is a facile variant of the subterfuge the Obama administration failed to slide by the Court in the recent Hobby Lobby case. It now says that organizations which oppose providing their employees abortifacient contraceptive coverage can notify the government of their objections; previously, objectors informed their insurers. The government will then tell the insurance companies to pay any claims involved. Anyone can see that nothing has substantively changed, and that affected employers are still associating themselves with practices they believe are abhorrent. Nevertheless, CNBC's Dan ("Obama-who-cares") Mangan described the administration's move as a "compromise."

By Tom Blumer | September 9, 2014 | 4:13 PM EDT

CNBC's Dan Mangan, last seen at NewsBusters claiming that the American people want politicians to just "shut up about Obamacare," is out with a column today reacting to the Kaiser Family Foundation's latest Affordable Care Act-related polling effort.

Sarah Ferris at the Hill also reviewed the poll, and has two primary messages for readers. First, "support for ObamaCare continues to fall." Second, "Healthcare remains one of the most important issues in midterm elections, ranking only behind the economy and jobs as voters’ top issue." To be clear "the economy and jobs" is considered one issue. So it's really pathetic how Mangan twisted the same poll Ferris covered (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | September 5, 2014 | 1:57 PM EDT

There's an establishment press cleanup in progress on behalf of Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

As Tim Graham at NewsBusters noted Thursday, the DNC Chair on Tuesday likened Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and tea party activists to domestic abusers.

By Tom Blumer | August 31, 2014 | 10:55 PM EDT

When last seen in coverage at NewsBusters, Anjem Choudary was sparring with Sean Hannity while claiming that ISIS atrocities are a Western "falsehood" and that Islamic Sharia law will be implemented "in the whole world one day."

Before getting to his latest stunt on CNN's Reliable Sources program with host Brian Stelter, it's important to provide some context, simply because Choudary, described at Wikipedia as a "Muslim social and political activist," has already said that "if you had a sense of humor, maybe you would have laughed" at how he conducted the mic check before his interview.

By Tom Blumer | August 31, 2014 | 9:03 AM EDT

The "Office of Refugee Resettlement" in the government's Department of Health and Human Services has released a county-by-county list of 29,890 unaccompanied children sent "to safe settings with sponsors (usually family members)." Year-to-date, the number, according to an HHS state-by-state list, is 37,477. This has occurred "while they await immigration proceedings."

Now that they're out in the general population, we're still supposed to believe that the majority of these "children" (more on that later) will ultimately be deported. After all, that's what White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on July 7, specifically: