Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Death of the Main Stream Media

The news today is upsetting and disappointing.  President Obama, just months into his second term, is embroiled in scandal after scandal.  Three of these scandals are so serious they might actually bring down his Presidency.  My gut tells me President Obama is primarily guilty of gross incompetence, but these investigations must play out in there own time and their own way.

But we are talking about the most serious Presidential Crisis since Watergate.  This is, in sum, considerably more serious than the President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky Affair and that one ended in an Impeachment Trial.

But my point this afternoon is that several of the traditional news media leaders are pretending like this isn't even happening.  This afternoon neither National Public Radio (NPR) nor NBC/MSNBC even mention any of the scandals on their website homepages. Not even a link! And today is the day IRS official Lois Lerner took the 5th and refused to testify before Congress and Press Secretary Jay Carney faced a revolt from the White House Press Corps.

Ratings indicate viewers are abandoning MSNBC is droves. The network is a virtual ghost town. And all the major network news broadcasts are failing in the ratings, trying to regain their footing.  Yet they continue to try to ignore the current Presidents troubles, I assume believing that if they don't report them, they don't exist.

Meanwhile the new media gets it right.  The Drudge Report dominates on-line news and The Huffington Post works hard at genuine journalism and is willing to let the chips fall where they may.  Other smaller news organizations and even bloggers, some leaning left, some right, all are on the case and gaining viewers and followers in droves. 

Here's Huffington's Home Page minutes ago: 

Huffington also covers the IRS scandal in depth on their front page, as well as the rest of today's news. 

The problem at NBC and NPR this afternoon is that they insult their viewers and readers intelligence. People know there is a crisis and they want the latest facts.  When they can't find them on NBC News or NPR, they go elsewhere.  

Old fashioned journalism works.  America was, quite literally, built on it.  By deciding to ignore journalistic principle and simply become a "Progressive" or Democratic Party advocate, you quickly lose all credibility.

Viewers can handle the truth.  And they want the truth.  They demand a robust press not a babysitter.  

Friday, May 17, 2013

Every Citizen in American Needs to See this Video

New York Times: Treasury Knew of I.R.S. Inquiry in 2012

I am increasingly disturbed by the events unfolding in the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) mishandling of Conservative Groups applications for Tax Exempt Status.  I am equally disturbed by the Republican's overstating the severity of the offenses and the Democrats continued efforts to deflect or deny what has happened.

I greatly fear the administration has committed acts that are both morally reprehensible and very possibly a violation of the law.

Calls for Impeachment have already begun and I pray (and I'm reasonably confident) it will not come to that.  But had either this scandal or the  Benghazi scandal come to light before the election most certainly Mitt Romney would be President today.  And the country would be much better off.

If somehow you're not up to date on the FACTS (and not just the partisan rhetoric) please read the entire NEW YORK TIMES article (only a few sentences are included below):

     Treasury Knew of I.R.S. Inquiry in 2012, Official Says
The Treasury Department’s inspector general told senior Treasury officials in June 2012 he was auditing the Internal Revenue Service’s screening of politically active organizations seeking tax exemptions, disclosing for the first time on Friday that Obama administration officials were aware of the matter during the presidential campaign year.
At the first Congressional hearing into the I.R.S. scandal, J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, told members of the House Ways and Means Committee that he informed the Treasury’s general counsel of his audit on June 4, and Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin “shortly thereafter.”

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Barack Obama Portrays the President on TV

Is it remotely possible that MSNBC host Chris Matthews read my blog entry from last September 20, 2012?  My ego would like to say yes, but it's much more likely that he and I have come to virtual identical conclusions on our own.

I'll still take it as a compliment that Mr Matthews has echoed my observation that President Obama really doesn't like doing the job of President.  He loves the pomp, the speeches, the crowds, just not the work.  Here's what Chris Matthews had to say yesterday:

"What part of the presidency does Obama like? He doesn't like dealing with other politicians -- that means his own cabinet, that means members of the congress, either party. He doesn't particularly like the press.... He likes to write the speeches, likes to rewrite what Favreau and the others wrote for the first draft."
"So what part does he like? He likes going on the road, campaigning, visiting businesses like he does every couple days somewhere in Ohio or somewhere."
"But what part does he like? He doesn't like lobbying for the bills he cares about. He doesn't like selling to the press. He doesn't like giving orders or giving somebody the power to give orders. He doesn't seem to like being an executive.

Last September I wrote:
President Obama loves to campaign and loves to play President, but is both unwilling and unsuited to actually do the work of the job. He is the first President in 20 years to not meet a single Head of State during his visit to the United Nations. He instead appeared on “The View.”
His avoidance of his National Security Briefings (he attends only 30% of the briefings) and his failure to hold a single meeting of his own Jobs Council in over 6 months are just two of dozens of examples of his avoiding the actual work of being President. He doesn’t love the work, he loves the role.
This is also why he avoids the work of actually compromising with Congress. By delegating his normal role to Pelosi and Reid, he abdicated the normal responsibilities of the executive branch.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

It's Not Rocket Science

I'm not a psychic.  I don't have a sixth sense.  But when I said on October 24th last year  that after "President Obama wins re-election the Main Stream Media will then investigate" the White House cover-up of the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, it was simply a logical conclusion.  And this week that prediction came true with a vengeance.

On October 24, 2012 I wrote a blog entry titled "Why Did Obama Lie?"  In that essay I predicted the ultimate outcome of the Benghazi cover-up that was then in its infancy:
We will never know why the President ordered Susan Rice, the United Nations Secretary to outright lie on four Sunday Morning News Interviews, destroying her credibility forever.
We will never know why in the world Vice President Biden told such an involved fictional account of the information known to the administration, even recounting totally false dates, during the Vice Presidential Debate.  Biden knew from day one.  Why did he destroy any chance he might have had of becoming President? 
Certainly the administration will never explain these lies and the bizarre and unnecessary cover-up of the facts.  It's a mini-Watergate with no logical explanation. 
We can only guess that the President was trying to place the blame elsewhere, on an obscure video maker, to avoid any direct blame that would harm his re-election chances.  It just all seems so odd.
President Obama wins re-election the Main Stream Media will then investigate and ask these same questions.  If he loses it will fall upon a disgruntled staffer to reveal the truth.  But either way, Mr. President, the truth will come out.
But this week the dominoes all began to fall.  As I predicted the Main Stream Media has turned on Obama for the very lies they helped his cover-up before the election.  First CBS News. Then ABC News. Now everyone.

Mark Mardell, the North American Editor for BBC News probably summed it up best in his article: After Benghazi revelations, heads will roll

There's new evidence, obtained by ABC, that the Obama administration did deliberately purge references to "terrorism" from accounts of the attack on the Benghazi diplomatic mission, which killed four people including the US ambassador to Libya.
Conservatives have long maintained that the administration deliberately suppressed the truth about the attacks.
This is the first hard evidence that the state department did ask for changes to the CIA's original assessment.
Specifically, they wanted references to previous warnings deleted and this sentence removed: "We do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa'ida participated in the attack."
There's little doubt in my mind that this will haunt Hillary Clinton if she decides to run for president, unless she executes some pretty fancy footwork.State department spokesperson Victoria Nuland is directly implicated, and the fingerprints of senior White House aides Ben Rhodes and Jay Carney are there as well.
In the interests of full disclosure I have to say I have not in the past been persuaded that allegations of a cover-up were a big deal. It seemed to me a partisan attack based on very little
But the evidence is there in black and white, unless we doubt the documents obtained by ABC, which I don't..
This is now very serious, and I suspect heads will roll. The White House will be on the defensive for a while.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Truth About Cable Network News

Here's an incredibly short post (by the usual Wizard standards) about Cable Network News.  I just want to share the ratings for last Wednesday, a relatively typical night for Cable News, although slightly inflated because of the U.S. House of Representative's Benghazi hearings.

Included are the shows on Comedy Central because, quite frankly, that's where many Americans get their news.


There are two reasons FOX NEWS dominates the ratings. First they are much more entertaining.  Each host has fun and schedules a mix of lighthearted news and discussion with heavier commentary.

Second, they are, by far, fair and honest given the RIGHT WING perspectives of the hosts.  The shows tend to be facutal and often present both sides of the issues being discussed.

As a LIBERAL I can watch FOX, laugh at them and, occasionally cuss at them and always learn from them.

As a Liberal, I am appalled that 877,000 people watch Rachel Maddow, the single most dishonest person in major broadcasting.  I've learned the hard and painful way that if Rachel Maddow says it, it's likely not true, at best half true.

We Liberals DESERVE voices as HONEST and as ENTERTAINING at the conservatives have over on FOX.  We DESERVE BETTER THAN WHAT WE GET ON MSNBC. 

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

I Blame Mitt Romney

Most of the sane and reasonably informed people, press, politicians and pundits have seen the unraveling of President Obama's lies and deception about the attack and murder of our Ambassador in Libya coming for a long time.  Now even the major media is finally investigating and reporting on a scandal worthy of censure, if not outright Impeachment.

Not only did Hilary Clinton and the Obama Administration refuse to send readily available aid to the Ambassador, they then engaged in the most bizarre series of lies and cover-ups in modern history.

Here are just a few of today's stories unfolding:

Benghazi whistleblowers allegations: US forces in Tripoli told to stand down on night of attack; Hillary cut department’s counterterrorism bureau out of the loop

Clinton sought end-run around counterterrorism bureau on night of Benghazi attack, witness will say

CBS NEWS: Diplomat: U.S. Special Forces told "you can't go" to Benghazi during attacks

NBC NEWS: Official: US Special Forces team wasn't allowed to fly to Benghazi during attack by Lisa Meyers  Here's a small snippet from Lisa Meyers report:

A small team of Special Forces operatives was ready to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi last year after Libyan insurgents attacked the U.S. mission there, but was told it was not authorized to board the flight by regional military commanders, according to a career State Department official scheduled to testify before Congress on Wednesday.
Gregory Hicks, then deputy chief of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya, told investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that U.S. officials had persuaded the Libyan government to allow the Special Forces operatives to board the rescue flight from Tripoli to Benghazi. But an officer received a phone call telling them to stand down before they left for the airport, according to excerpts of his account made available to NBC News on Monday. That conversation occurred after the U.S. ambassador to Libya and another American had been killed in the initial attack, but hours before a second attack that killed two other Americans
What has bothered me since the attack in Libya is why candidate Mitt Romney failed to use this major issue in his campaign.  I wrote this in my blog on November 1, 2012:
Curiously Mitt Romney had a chance. Even more curiously, he decided to forgo almost certain election and pursue a genuinely bizarre last minute campaign strategy, ignoring the huge issue of the Obama Administration's cover-up of Libyan Ambassador Steven's torture and murder in Benghazi and opting instead to double down on a deceptive ad about Jeep moving production to China. 

Obviously had Mitt Romney been elected it wouldn't change the events that had already taken place.  But the cover-up, which continues to this day, would be over and the facts would be known.

In my opinion this event calls into question Barack Obama's fitness to be President.  There will be no Impeachment, nor should there be one.  But the facts, at least as known so far, certainly disqualify Hilary Clinton from becoming President.  That's a shame and a personal disappointment as I've been a long time Hilary Clinton supporter. 

As so often it is in the case of government scandals it's not the event but the cover-up that brings down the politician.  Sadly, this is beyond a doubt the stupidest and most unnecessary cover-up in history.