Yes, it's real. Hope everyone had a happy weekend.
Open thread begins below...
Yes, it's real. Hope everyone had a happy weekend.
Open thread begins below...
Flaming Lips reinvents The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" and the result is, wow. The new album, with this single, is out now.
Whatcha listening to this evening?
Sen. Rand Paul continued with his charges from earlier this week that former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton had "her fingerprints all over these talking points" on the Benghazi attack and claims that she never "really accepted culpability" because she failed to resign shortly after the tragedy. When CNN's Candy Crowley asked Paul if he was worried about appearing to politicize the controversy by making his remarks in Iowa and other presidential battleground states, Paul dismissed the notion that his remarks were based on politics.
It's laughable that anyone expects us to believe that Republicans care one iota about this trumped up Benghazi story for any other reason than to muddy up Hillary Clinton, because they all assume she's going to be the front-runner for the next presidential election.
And I'd say it's safe to assume Rand Paul is going to take up his father's mantle and make a career out of perpetually running for president as a fundraising scheme. It worked out pretty well for his dad and the press is already propping him up because of it -- with this being the latest example -- so why not?
If we've done anything successfully in the last nine years, C&L has proven without a shadow of a doubt the conservative projection phenomena. Anything that conservatives accuse the other side of doing is because they themselves are guilty of it. So Freedomworks-funded Rush Limbaugh can accuse liberals of taking Soros' paychecks (still waiting for mine, George) without even the slightest evidence of cognitive dissonance. Or you can hear every single Republican parrot talking points crafted by Heritage and Grover Norquist on the Sunday news shows.
Sadly or not, depending on your point of view, there isn't this kind of infrastructure on the liberal side. But that doesn't stop openly partisan hack Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post from dismissing Take Action News' David Shuster bringing facts to the coordinated 'outrage' with the accusation that he is merely saying "Media Matters talking points".
SHUSTER: The overall Republican point here that the Obama administration was trying to protect the State Department. The Obama administration trying to protect the State Department and that the White House was somehow trying to characterize the talking points or change the talking points in order to minimize political damage.
That Republican -- that Republican idea is just flat out wrong. This turns out to be a boring set of e-mails where simply CIA and State Department officials are --
RUBIN: All right, you had your speech coming out of the administration.
KURTZ: David, Jennifer --
RUBIN: Very nice to have the Media Matters talking points recited out of David's lips.
SHUSTER: What are you talking? What are you talking about, Jane?
RUBIN: Howard. If you want to hear me, fine.
SHUSTER: Let somebody from Media Matters --
KURTZ: Let's assume that everybody is giving their own views and you may disagree with them.
RUBIN: No, they're actually on Media Matters. These exact comments are coming out of Media Matters. Absolutely.
SHUSTER: Well, I don't talk to Media Matters. Jennifer, that's an unfair accusation for you to make. But the bottom line is, the Republican argument in all of this is flat out wrong --
Does Bill O'Reilly know that Rubin is stealing his shtick? It's so pathetic that Rubin actually asks Kurtz to "mute" Shuster.
And of course, it needs not be said that Rubin is doing nothing more than distracting from the real scandal for partisan advantage. Jonathan Karl was absolutely wrong because he failed at the most basic of journalistic skills. All he did was take the word of a Republican operative and regurgitate it without even a bit of fact checking or confirmation. They tried the same thing with Major Garrett and Jake Tapper, who were able to see through it. But this is kind of lazy journalism that Karl does regularly.
Former Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Sunday used the news that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had scrutinized tea party groups to slam the agency's connection to President Barack Obama's heath care reform law.
Host Chris Wallace pointed out to Ryan on Fox News Sunday that the Treasury inspector general had suggested that a recent IRS scandal had been a "bureaucratic snafu" because tea party groups only represented 96 of the 298 groups that received special scrutiny about their tax-exempt status.
Ryan, however, insisted that the IRS had targeted conservative groups based on their political beliefs and "to suggest that this is some bureaucratic snafu, that's already been disproven."
"The other point I'd say is that as bad as this is, the person in charge of this bureaucratic snafu is now been put in charge of implementing Obamacare," he continued. "I mean, the IRS is now going to be granted huge amounts of unprecedented power over our health care in the implementation of Obamacare."
"And so this is just rotten to the core. This is arrogance. This is big government cronyism. And this is not what hard-working taxpayers deserve."
CBS News observed last week that there was no evidence that Sarah Hall Ingram, who headed the IRS office overseeing tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012, "sanctioned or was even aware of the targeting practices."
This Week with George Stephanopoulos notes the deaths of service members killed in Afghanistan.
According to iCasualties, the total number of service members killed in Afghanistan is now 3,315.
In addition, the following notable names lost their lives this week:
Russian politician Sergei Alexeyev, 88
Psychologist and television personality Joyce Brothers, 85
WA state politician Margaret Rayburn, 86
Argentinian president Jorge Rafael Videla, 87
Singer/songwriter Alan O'Day, 72
Republican strategist Karl Rove says that Crossroads GPS, which is a part the American Crossroads super PAC that he founded, is a legitimate tax-exempt organization because it promotes "social welfare" like the NAACP.
During a panel discussion on Fox News Sunday about the IRS scrutinizing tea party groups, host Chris Wallace asked why Rove's political action committee qualified as a tax-exempt status as a social welfare group.
"Didn't the IRS have a problem in the wake of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling in getting a handle on the question of what groups did and didn't qualify under the tax code for 501(c)4 status?" Wallace wondered.
"Look, 501(c)4s have been around for a long time," Rove explained. "And the Democrats and the left have used these for years, these social welfare groups to do some politics and a lot of social welfare. NAACP voter fund, for example, ran a $10 million advertising blitz in 2000 against George W. Bush. The League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, National Abortion Rights Action League and so forth. All of them are 501(c)4s, and there are pretty clear rules about what you can and cannot do. You have to spend a majority of you money on social welfare and a minority of your money on political activity."
"So what happened is the Democrats had this for decades -- literally decades -- and no criticism at all, and then Republicans began in 2010 to say if it's good enough for them, we'll duplicate that structure as well. And then suddenly we get what we get, which is a huge bunch of activity aimed at conservative groups that are filing as 501(c)4s."
"The only advantage of a 501(c)4 is it allows you to take your contributions and not pay taxes on them," Rove insisted. "That's the one advantage that this allows you to do."
"And also the donors aren't revealed," Wallace pointed out.
"Well, because again, it's a social welfare organization," Rove agreed. "This literally goes back to the 1940s when criminal penalties were added for the revelation by the IRS of donors because southern attorneys general were attempting to get the donors to the NAACP."
After criticizing President George W. Bush's administration, the NAACP was hit with an audit in 2004 over accusations of improper political activity. At the time, the IRS insisted that the audit had been initiated by the Kentucky office and was not done for political reasons.
White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer on Sunday told Fox News host Chris Wallace that it was "offensive" to suggest that President Barack Obama had allowed last year's attacks in Benghazi that killed four Americans.
In an interview with Pfeiffer on Fox News Sunday, Wallace explained that there were "lingering questions" about where the president was and what he was doing on Sept. 11, 2012 when the attacks happened.
Pfeiffer pointed out that Republicans had been spinning a "series of conspiracy theories," but the president had been updated about the attacks throughout the night by his national security team.
"Was he in the [White House] Situation Room?" Wallace pressed. "Do you not know?"
"I don't remember what room the president was in," Pfeiffer replied. "And that's a largely irrelevant fact. The premise of your question is that there is something that could have been done differently, okay, that would have changed the outcome here. The accountability review board has looked at this, people have looked at it, it's a horrible tragedy what happened. What we have to do is make sure it doesn't happen again."
"No one knows where he was or how he was involved or who told him there were know forces," the Fox News host insisted.
"The suggestion of your question is that somehow the president allowed this to happen," Pfeiffer observed. "The assertions from Republicans here that somehow the president allowed this to happened or didn't take action is offensive. It is absolutely offensive. And there's no evidence to support it."
Yes, who better to ask about "government accountability" than war criminal Donald Rumsfeld? It seems the producers of Meet the Press and host David Gregory are doing their best to become a parody of Fox "News" - because that's certainly what they gave us this Sunday by allowing Rumsfeld on there for this softball interview.
We didn't get any questions about the invasion of Iraq, or torture, or whether Rumsfeld has any remorse about his actions during the Bush administration, but we were treated to him being asked about sexual assaults in the military, the IRS, Benghazi and of course he got plenty of time to hawk his new book.
Note to David Gregory: Here's how an interview with Donald Rumsfeld should be conducted if you want to call yourself a "journalist." -- Kai Ryssdal asks Rumsfeld some of the questions we've all wanted to ask.
UPDATE: Here's the transcript if you don't have the stomach for watching the clip.
Reporters from the famous multinational mass media corporation Bloomberg are accused of using the company’s financial data terminal to spy on individuals that use the service for market news and trading information.
The news came to light after Goldman Sachs representatives started complaining about the fact that Bloomberg reporters were keeping tabs on their employees.
A few hours ago, Matthew Winkler, the editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, admitted that reporters had accessed client information. However, he stressed that they could only access limited data.
Michael Bloomberg made his fortune, in part, from the sale of these terminals, found in almost every financial office and media outlet that reports financial news. For decades, those terminals have not only allowed for the monitoring of financial news and trades, but allowed those in the know (which reportedly included some at Bloomberg News) to monitor what was being monitored through back door security. Think about it: every article on a company's financial status, every search of buying and selling trends, every examination of trades by influential finanicial organizations was available for Bloomberg News to cull together for stories or even actions. At best, this is espionage by a private company that allowed them to access the search the financial actions of nearly EVERY company and financial officer (including Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner). At worst, this is potentially the biggest violation of privacy for personal profit in American history, but hey, let's get ourselves in a lather over a legal--albeit secret--subpoena.
Having stipulated that, it's instructive to look at this segment of Reliable Sources to see how well the media seems to understand not only the larger ramifications of this story, and the condemnation of their own industry but also how they do their jobs. Mediaite's Joe Concha -- who has never attempted to tamp down his own conservative leanings in his reporting -- loves the idea of taking this very serious story and glibly use it to smear Michael Bloomberg, who by all reports, separated himself from Bloomberg News when he ran for office as Mayor of New York City. Even as Howard Kurtz corrects him, Concha shrugs it off.
It takes Jane Hall, late of Fox News, to point out the hypocrisy of journalists wailing about being monitored (legally, and with a subpoena, mind you) by the government when they had no compunction of doing their own monitoring completely illegally. And they're hardly the only ones. We've still yet to find out if the wiretapping and hacking done in the UK was done by NewsCorp outlets in the US, although I think it's fair to assume the practice was widespread.
But once again, the media fails to realize that their collective actions are exactly the reason why nobody trusts them anymore.