Anyone truly concerned about the safety of U.S. diplomatic personnel abroad — and that should include every American — has fresh reason for fury over last September’s disaster in Benghazi and its aftermath. But the target of public anger should not be Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose conduct has been exemplary ever since the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three of his brave colleagues lost their lives last September. Far more deserving of scorn are the likes of Republican Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and all the other grandstanding, conspiracy-mongering, ill-informed politicians who questioned her Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
Four months after the tragedy occurred, Republicans on both the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee still seem to be obsessed with the talking points provided to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice before she appeared on television to discuss the incident. According to Republican folklore, unsupported by facts, the Obama White House engaged in a conspiracy to conceal the true nature of the terrorist attack by mischaracterizing it as a “demonstration.”
Read the Rest @ Benghazi Hearings: Capitol Hill’s Angry Little Men Keep Making Hillary Bigger – Yahoo! News.
Uhmm… Republican folklore? Unsupported facts? It was indeed mischaracterized as a demonstration, this has already been reported to anyone who was actually paying attention. Keep on sweeping, mainstream news media, its a big rug, and nobody’s looking.
Looks like Mr Environmentalism Al Gore is having a tough time on his book tour after selling out, literally… At least the hosts are polite about it, “I thought it was an odd move … maybe I was naive”
NBC News has re-aired a video its critics say was selectively edited after finding itself embroiled in another controversy about edited video.It’s not the first time a controversy over editing has plagued MSNBC. NBC aired doctored versions of a 911 call in the Trayvon Martin case, which led to an apology and several people losing their jobs in April.
On Monday, MSNBC aired a video that seemed to show a grief-stricken man being heckled by pro-gun lobbyists while talking about his recently murdered son.
… The video that aired, though, clipped out Heslin’s question and pause in the audience’s direction. The resulting edit made it look like boisterous audience members interrupted Heslin’s testimony. Then, after he aired the edited clip, Martin Bashir set up pundits with: “A father’s grief, interrupted by the cries of a heckler. That was the scene today in Hartford, Conn., where the parents of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary testified before an audience that wasn’t always friendly.”
Read the Rest @ MSNBC Airs Unedited Sandy Hook Father’s Testimony After Critics Complain
MSNBC Continues Misleading Headlines @ Emotional father of Sandy Hook victim heckled at Gun Hearing
“Yesterday in your Las Vegas rally I met Leticia. She is an undocumented mother of three. And she and so many other people– ask me to ask you, ‘Why can’t you do for them what you did for the DREAMers?’” he asked
“Well, I think as– as you know– and I’ve said this before to you, Jose, but– I’m not a king,” Obama replied. “You know, my job as the head of the executive branch ultimately is to carry out the law. And– you know, when it comes to enforcement of our immigration laws– we’ve got some discretion. We can prioritize– what we do. But we can’t simply ignore the law.”
Obama added that “DREAMers” were probably going to school instead of committing crimes, and weren’t much of a threat to the country.
“They’ve– effectively– been raised here and– think of themselves as Americans,” Obama added. “And so let’s prioritize our enforcement resources.”
Read the Rest @ Obama: I’m not a king, I can’t just ignore immigration laws | WashingtonExaminer.com.
Here he is trying to explain how the Wealth Tax would work, followed by more tax talk. He’s currently a university professor…
A number of readers have raised questions about the president’s statement that he goes skeet shooting “all the time” while at Camp David. In these suspicious times, they would like to see some evidence. But the White House has been oddly silent about the matter.
… The evidence suggests that until Obama had access to a shooting range as president, he never went skeet shooting. He certainly did not speak like a politician who had once used a firearm.
But it is also curious that the White House refuses to provide any documentary evidence that he actually used the shooting range at Camp David, since he claims he uses it “all the time,” or that a presidential friend has not come forward to confirm the president’s comments.
We live in suspicious times and the president lives in a media fishbowl. That’s the way it is. In the meantime, we do not have enough information to make a ruling one way or the other. We are eager to see a photograph, or hear from someone who saw him at the skeet range, to put this matter to rest.
Read the Rest @ The White House’s curious silence about Obama’s claim of skeet shooting – The Washington Post.
(Reuters) – The euro held near a 14-month peak against the dollar and a 2-1/2 year high versus the yen on Thursday, having risen solidly as investors expect central banks in both the United States and Japan to keep an aggressive easing stance.
The U.S. Federal Reserve underscored that view by leaving in place its monthly $85 billion bond-buying stimulus plan on Wednesday, arguing the support was needed to lower unemployment. “The bottom line is that there are no signs of a shift away from QE3,” said Vassili Serebriakov, strategist at BNP Paribas referring to the Fed’s bond-buying program.
“Moreover, recent data suggest that the economy remains well short of the substantial and sustained improvement that the Fed is looking for.”
Read the Rest @ Euro gets the hugs, as dollar and yen stay unloved | Reuters.
“… by leaving in place its $85 billion bond-buying stimulus plan” How many months has that been going on for?
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy shrank from October through December for the first time since the recession ended, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles. The decline occurred despite faster growth in consumer spending and business investment.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the economy contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter. That’s a sharp slowdown from the 3.1 percent growth rate in the July-September quarter and the first contraction since the second quarter of 2009.
Read the Rest @ US economy shrinks 0.1 pct., 1st time in 3 ½ years – Yahoo! Finance.
LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – Just over a week into his second term, President Barack Obama took his fight for immigration reform to the West on Tuesday and pushed Congress to quickly find a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented residents.
But as Obama praised a bipartisan immigration plan during a speech in Las Vegas, disagreement emerged between the White House and Republicans that underscored the difficulty of resolving an emotive issue that has long defied a legislative fix. “I’m here today because the time has come for common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform,” Obama said at a high school. “The time is now. Now is the time.”
… A Hispanic Republican, Senator Marco Rubio, complained that Obama’s speech neglected border security and left the impression that “he believes reforming immigration quickly is more important than reforming immigration right.”
“I am concerned by the president’s unwillingness to accept significant enforcement triggers before current undocumented immigrants can apply for a green card,” he said. “Without such triggers in place, enforcement systems will never be implemented and we will be back in just a few years dealing with millions of new undocumented people in our country.”
Read the Rest @ Obama pushes Congress on immigration, split emerges – Yahoo! News.
President Barack Obama must be willing to accept border security measures as part of a comprehensive immigration reform package or else “there won’t be a solution,” Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, a leader of the GOP reform effort, said on Tuesday.
Rubio, who on Monday unveiled a blueprint for an immigration overhaul as part of a bipartisan group of eight senators, said Obama must embrace the principles in the outline. The president was announcing his own vision for immigration reform on Tuesday afternoon in Las Vegas.
“He can either decide that he wants to be part of the solution, or he can decide he wants to be part of a political issue and try to trigger a bidding war. I’m not going to be part of a bidding war to see who can come up with the most lenient path forward,” Rubio said during an interview on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program before Obama’s speech. “If he’s gone to Las Vegas to give a speech and try to trigger a bidding war, then no, it doesn’t bode well. There won’t be a solution. We’ll just continue to have what we have now, because that issue I think is a bright line for most of us that are involved in this effort. Unless there’s real enforcement triggers, we’re not going to have a bill that moves on.”
Read the Rest @ Rubio: Obama must accept border security as part of immigration reform | The Ticket – Yahoo! News.
On 60 Minutes, the news-magazine show that prides itself on “hard-hitting” investigations and interviews, correspondent Steve Kroft, who has won most of the highest awards in his industry, has just broadcast another softball interview with the most powerful man in the world, a performance that ought to earn him a rebuke from his peers in the news business but almost certainly won’t. His CBS bio page proudly touts his unparalleled access to President Obama: He scored the first post-election sit down after Election 2008, another exclusive following the killing of Osama bin Laden, and a third sit-down as the president kicked off his reelection campaign.
Little wonder that Obama keeps going back. The 60 Minutes brand is associated with probing interviews, and Kroft is adept at using his tone and manner to create the impression of tough questions without actually asking any. For Sunday’s interview, Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who sat beside him, benefited from 60 Minutes gravitas while answering questions better suited to Ellen. It hardly matters whether Kroft is deliberately pulling his punches to secure ongoing access or is simply disinclined to fulfill the core journalistic duty of holding powerful people accountable for their actions; his Obama interviews ought to diminish his standing and the reputation of his employer…
Read the Rest @ Steve Kroft’s Softball Obama Interviews Diminish ’60 Minutes’ – Conor Friedersdorf – The Atlantic.
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s army chief warned Tuesday of the “the collapse of the state” if the political crisis roiling the nation for nearly a week continues.
The warning by Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who is also defense minister, were the first comments by the powerful military since the country’s latest crisis began last week around the second anniversary of Egypt’s uprising. They came days after President Mohammed Morsi ordered the army to restore order in the Suez Canal cities of Port Said and Suez — two of three cities now under a 30-day state of emergency and night curfew.
The attempts by Morsi to stem a wave of political violence appear to have made no headway as the country sinks deeper into chaos and lawlessness. So far, nearly 60 people have been killed in five days of unrest.
Read the Rest @ Egypt army chief warns state could collapse – Yahoo! News.