Monday, June 23, 2014

Cruising the Web

Matthew Continetti of the Washington Free Beacon tells of how the University of Arkansas is pulling out the stops to get his journal to take down the audio of Hillary laughing about how she got an accused child-rapist who she thought was guilty a light sentence by threatening to attack the 12-year old victim and taking advantage of a police mistake in handling the evidence. Even though there are questions about WFB's posting of the audio of Hillary's interview and whether that violated the University's copyright provisions, that doesn't matter to the content of the Hillary interview. What really gets Continetti is the lack of interest that the MSM has shown in this story.
And yet, looking over the treatment of Goodman’s scoop over the past week, I can’t help thinking that the reaction to “The Hillary Tapes” is just as newsworthy as the tapes themselves. That reaction has been decidedly mixed. Not long ago, in 2012, the Washington Post ran an extensive investigation into the “troubling incidents” of Mitt Romney’s prep-school days, whereupon the media devoted hour after hour to the all-important discussion of whether Willard M. Romney had been something of a child bully. Here, though, we have a newly unearthed recording of Hillary Clinton laughing out loud over her defense of a child rapist—and plenty of outlets have ignored the story altogether. The difference? As the Newsday editor said: It might have an impact.

No matter your view of Hillary Clinton, no matter your position on legal ethics, the recording of the Reed interview is news. It tells us something we did not already know. It tells us that, when her guard was down, Clinton found the whole disturbing incident a trifling and joking matter. And the fact that so many supposedly sophisticated and au courant journalists and writers have dismissed the story as nothing more than an attorney “doing her job” is, I think, equally disturbing. Dana Bash to the contrary notwithstanding, Hillary Clinton was not forced to take on Taylor as a client. It was her choice—and not, for her, a hard one. Certainly that complicates our understanding of the former first lady as an unrelenting defender and advocate of women and girls.

Let’s even concede that Clinton was just doing her job. What makes that job exempt from inquiry and skepticism and criticism? Yes, Mumia, Bill Ayers, and child rapists have the right to legal representation. But that does not give the lawyers who represent them the right—the entitlement—to public office. If it is fair to attack a candidate because he used to travel with the family dog on the roof of his car, because he may have forcibly subjected a fellow student to a haircut, then it is entirely fair, it is more than fair, to attack a candidate for defending the rapist of a 12-year-old girl, and for laughing about it a decade later.
Sometimes I wonder if the members of the national media even recognize their own prejudices in what they think is newsworthy.

Of course, what do we expect of the media when CNN is coaching its audience on how to cheer for Hillary.

Philip Klein explains what is really going on with the story that immediately received national headlines about Scott Walker being investigated for a "criminal scheme." The truth is that a partisan District Attorney has been trying for four years to nail Scott Walker and conservative groups that have supported him. Their case has been thrown out of court twice.
Eric O'Keefe, the director of the Wisconsin Club for Growth, sued prosecutors on First Amendment grounds and two judges have sided with him and rejected prosecutors' legal claims. As of now, no charges have been filed against Walker, and the probe has been halted, pending further appeal by prosecutors.

What happened on Thursday is that a court unsealed hundreds of pages of documents related to the lawsuit, including a document in which prosecutors outlined their thus-far-failed legal argument. Reporters plucked two words from the documents -- "criminal scheme" -- and plastered them on headlines.
You can read the details that Klein lays out, but this is what is important to know - the judges who have looked at the evidence have all thrown it out.
As of now, the case is halted, pending an appeal. But what’s ironic is that after years of fighting to keep their investigation secret, prosecutors have lately been supporting the unsealing of documents.

Referring to this reversal in a separate order issued Thursday, [U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph] Randa wrote that, prosecutors "appear to seek refuge in the Court of Public Opinion, having lost in this Court on the law."
As Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Christian Schneider writes, the whole point was to get headlines making Scott Walker look bad even though there was no there there. All that mattered was the headlines.

Nolan Finley has some wise words for all those people getting heated up for the Divest from Israel movement. Why do they choose Israel as the one country in all the world to get so upset about?
What is it they want Americans to divest from? A rare, functioning Middle East democracy that operates under the rule of law and treats all its citizens — men, women, Arab, Jew — with justice and respect.

A nation enduring an average of nearly one rocket attack a day launched by Palestinian militants and their supporters; many of those rockets are targeted at schools and residential neighborhoods.

A nation forced by an international community that purports not to negotiate with terrorists to sit across the bargaining table with those who have slaughtered their children in vicious terrorist strikes.

A nation surrounded by neighbors who are pledged to its extermination, and yet is blamed for all of the instability and unrest in its region.

And still under today’s bizarre hierarchy of victimhood, it’s the Palestinians who wear the mantle of the oppressed.

Israel is blamed for the stagnant peace process, even though the Palestinians have repeatedly broken the conditions established for resuming talks, most recently by forming a unity government with Hamas, the terrorist group that controls Gaza — the primary launching pad for those rockets.
You know whom we should be protesting and wanting to stop money going to? The Palestinian Authority.
Even the United States, supposedly Israel’s best friend, is ignoring its own law against providing support for any nation that aligns with terrorists by continuing to fund the Palestinian Authority to the tune of $440 million this year. With Hamas in the PA fold, that’s a direct subsidy of terror.

The Palestinians pioneered and perfected terrorism as a means of gaining political leverage. They’ve strapped bombs to their own young people and sent them forward to murder other young people. And for this they’ve been given a seat at the table, where they stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the right of the Jewish state to exist.

Israel has provided a substantial return on international investments in the form of cutting edge technology and lifesaving biomedical breakthroughs.

The Palestinians have taken the money the world has given them and used it to fund hate and violence.

Maybe we should divest in them.

Mona Charen has some reasonable questions for President Obama:
At your press conference, you said that “it is in our national-security interest not to see an all-out civil war in Iraq.” If that is the case, why did you withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011? Were you motivated by something other than U.S. national interests?

....If it is in the U.S. national-security interest to keep Iraq from disintegrating, why are you deploying at most 300 special forces — just 50 more than you sent to find and destroy Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda? Does Kony represent a comparable threat to the United States, in your judgment?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We've heard it all before how the Clintons and the Obamas can't stand each other. But, when necessary, they'll suck it up and pretend to be in a love-fest.

So, now we're learning that the IRS had cancelled its contract with an email archiving company back in 2010. Did they hire some other company? What about federal law requiring them to keep records? Did they just decide that was a law they could ignore? At this point, would any answer to those questions surprise you?

And add in the EPA to the list of rogue agencies. Sharyl Attkisson links to a story on how, after 13 years, a U.S. District Judge has held the EPA in contempt for destroying files under a FOIA request since 2001.

Don't expect it to end here - Fox News lists nine times that the Obama administration has been blindsided by events both foreign and domestic. Reality just keeps sneaking up on them.

Meanwhile, Ron Fournier of the National Journal, who used to be a rather bland, down-the-middle reporter, has the temerity to compare the Obama administration with the Bush administration.
For the Obama administration, the book should be a lesson in the consequences of shading the truth for short-term gain. A video caused the Benghazi attack … If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor … The website works for a vast majority of people … Not even a smidgen of corruption occurred at the IRS … Oops, we lost Lois Lerner's emails … Veterans don't wait long for health care … Watchdog journalism isn't a crime … Our administration protects whistleblowers … NSA doesn't collect any type of data hundreds of millions of Americans – at least not wittingly.

Too often, the Obama administration has peddled bad information – knowingly (a lie) and unknowingly (incompetence and recklessness), because the president and his team have determined that, in Washington's toxic environment, the unmitigated truth is a vulnerability. They couldn't be more wrong.

Hillary readies herself for tossing around the victim card...again.

Hillary is going to have a tough time casting herself as a woman of the people.
When Hillary Rodham Clinton said this month that she was once “dead broke,” it was during an interview in which she led ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer through her $5 million Washington home, appointed like an ambassador’s mansion. Mahogany antiques, vibrant paintings and Oriental rugs fill the rooms. French doors open onto an expertly manicured garden and a turquoise swimming pool, where Clinton recently posed for the cover of People magazine.

On her current book tour, the former secretary of state has traveled the country by private jet as she has for many of her speaking engagements since stepping down as secretary of state last year. Her fee is said to be upwards of $200,000 per speech; the exceptions tend to be black-tie charity galas, where she collects awards and catches up with friends such as designer Oscar de la Renta and Vogue editor Anna Wintour.
Add in how she's lived for other 30 years in the isolated life of the politician in a governor's mansion and the White House before she settled in her two mansions. And telling the British Paper, The Guardian that she and her husband are different from the "truly well off" because they earned their money from hard work and pay ordinary income tax isn't going to hack it. Especially since they're, totally justifiably, using some of the same financial planning strategies to minimize future estate taxes that other multimillionaires use. Earning millions from writing memoirs or giving speeches is going to be a tough point to convince voter is more "hard work" compared to that of an entrepreneur who built a business. Or even an entertainer or athlete. She is so tone deaf. Bill must be face palming each time she goes into one of these interviews and digs herself a deeper hole from her original complaint about their being "dead broke" when they left office despite earning millions that same year from book advances.

Byron York has some fun trolling through trademark-protected names that many people might find as if not more offensive than Redskins.
It is, in fact, easy to find a multitude of potentially problematic trademarks. Indeed, a stroll through the Patent Office's Trademark Electronic Search System is a lesson in the remarkable diversity of trademark-protected names -- names that some Americans might well find offensive.

For example, there are registered trademarks that could easily offend some women. Start with "Crazy Bitch" (a barbecue sauce registered in August 2013). Or "That Bitch is Nuts" (a roasted nuts snack registered in October 2013). Or "Bitches of South Beach" (a reality show title registered in November 2012). That's just three; there are plenty of others.

Or take "Wine Slut" (a clothing name registered in January 2009). Or "S.L.U.T.S" (a thermal cup brand registered in August 2008). Or "The Slutcracker" (a dance performance registered in July 2009).

Or "Whore Couture" (a clothing label registered in December 2007). Or "Whoremoans" (clothing registered in September 2008). Or "Food Whore" (clothing registered in June 2014). There are lots of others.

In his new book on the Clintons and Obamas, Edward Klein reports that one of Hillary's legal advisers told him that it was President Obama who wanted to blame the Benghazi attack on a video and Hillary was just sick about the deception. So, if you believe this report, Hillary went along with a story she didn't believe in and knew would fall apart because the President told her to do so. And she's tried loyally since then to blur how all this happened and just now, one of her aides gives out this new version of the story when it would have helped her to leak it earlier - maybe after she left office. I wouldn't put anything past Obama or Clinton, but we'll have to see how much faith to put in Klein's reporting.

Michael Morell, who served as acting head of the CIA under Obama counts Obama's failure to address the ISIS threat earlier as a major failure of the Obama administration.
“Al-Qaeda in Iraq was essentially defeated when U.S. military left at the end of 2011,” Morell conceded. “And the intelligence community monitored the growth of al-Qaeda post 2011 in great detail with intelligence reporting, with analysis. We made very clear that this group is becoming more and more dangerous.”
But that would have contradicted the Obama claim about how al Qaeda was decimated so nothing was done.

Walmart has a lot of fun with a point-by-point rebuttal of criticism from NYT columnist Timothy Egan.

As Jazz Shaw writes, there are "yet more health care plans you may like but won't be able to keep." Amazing how that keeps happening, isn't it?