The Thin Line Of Censorship

A friend of mine who is in radio advertising tells me that radio stations do not have the ability to refuse political ads. During an election season, a station must air all ads that a political campaign pays for. Evidently this is the result of the fact that radio stations are controlled by the Federal Communications Commission. Unfortunately the new media is very loosely controlled by anything. This is a very mixed blessing. I don’t want the government telling me that I have to accept political ads on my blog whether or not I agree with the ads. However, the censorship of conservative speech that is going on at YouTube, Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc., is not acceptable.

Breitbart is reporting today that according to a report by 60 minutes more than 300 of President Donald Trump’s political ads have taken down by Google and its video platform YouTube, mostly over the summer.

The article reports:

The CBS reporters were unable to find specific reasons for the mass takedowns of Trump ads, a common problem with social media companies, which are often reluctant to explain precisely why a ban or other act of censorship has happened. “We found very little transparency in the transparency report,” concluded 60 Minutes.

The article includes the following quote from CBS News:

60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl asked Wojcicki, “Have you taken down any of President Trump’s ads at all?” YouTube’s CEO responded, “There are ads of President Trump that were not approved to run on Google or YouTube.” When pressed for an example, Wojcicki added, “Well, they’re available in our transparency report.”

In response to concerns raised after the 2016 election cycle, Google and YouTube, like Facebook, keep a searchable archive of political ads that have run on the site.

60 Minutes reviewed the archive to learn more about President Trump’s problematic political ads. We found that over 300 video ads were taken down by Google and YouTube, mostly over the summer, for violating company policy. But the archive doesn’t detail what policy was violated. Was it copyright violation? A lie or extreme inaccuracy? Faulty grammar? Bad punctuation? It’s unclear. The ads determined to be offending are not available to be screened. We found very little transparency in the transparency report. 

We are coming into a very important election season. American voters need to hear both sides of every campaign. We already know that the mainstream media is extremely biased. How are people supposed to get information when free speech is being suppressed?

I Know This Is Simply An Incredible Coincidence, But…

CBS News is breathlessly reporting today that Congress Justin Amash is the first Republican Congressman to call for the impeachment of President Trump. Wow. That’s really amazing. Well, maybe not. Let’s take a look at Congressman Amash and some of his financial interests. Congressman Amash represents Michigan’s Third District.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse reported:

Michigan Republican Congressman Justin Amash made headlines Saturday by declaring on Twitter that President Trump deserved impeachment.  The media was quick to promote his position and advance an anti-Trump narrative.  However, a review of Amash’s financial interests quickly reveals a very personal business motive.  His family tool business is heavily invested in Chinese manufacturing.

In his 2017 financial disclosure forms (pdf here), Representative Amash reports income of between $100,000 to $1,000,000/yr. for his ownership stake in Michigan Industrial Tools.  Michigan Industrial Tools is the parent company, manufacturing in China, that produces Tekton Tools, Justin Amash’s Michigan family business.

…It is demonstrably a fact (as above) that “Michigan Industrial Tools” operates as a manufacturer in China, and the product they produced is Tekton Tools which is Amash’s family company (as admitted in the interview).

Obviously President Trump’s tariff and trade position against China is adverse to the financial interests of Justin Amash.

So Congressman Amash’s motives might not be entirely pure. China has had a trade war going on with America for many years. They have manipulated their currency to give themselves and unfair advantage and the have stolen intellectual property. It is wonderful that we finally have a President who is willing to stand up against these unfair trade practices. Unfortunately those Americans who have benefited because of these unfair trade practices are not going to meet the attempts to level the playing field with enthusiasm.

It is truly sad when a Congressman puts his own personal financial interests above the interests of the people he is supposed to be serving. The answer to Congressman Amash’s financial problem is not the removal of President Trump–it is a change in the trading practices of China to create a  more equitable balance of trade.

Israel Is Going To The Moon

CBS News reported yesterday that on Thursday night Israel launched a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral. The rocket launched an Indonesian communications satellite into orbit and carried a small Israeli spaceship that is scheduled to land on the moon in April. The mission is privately-funded.

The article reports:

If successful, the $100 million mission will put Israel in an exclusive club, joining the United States, the Soviet Union/Russia and China as only the fourth nation in space history to pull off a powered landing on the moon.

“This is going to be the first private interplanetary mission that’s going to go to the moon. This is a big milestone,” said Yonatan Winetraub, co-founder of SpaceIL, the non-profit that is promoting the mission to boost STEM education initiatives across Israel.

“This is going to be the first time that it’s not going to be a superpower that’s going to go to the moon. This is a huge step for Israel.”

The article describes the Israeli spaceship and its mission:

Landing on the moon’s Mare Serenitatis is targeted for April 11. During the final descent to the surface, a magnetometer will measure the local magnetic field before the main engine shuts down at an altitude of about 16 feet. From there, the spacecraft will free fall to the surface.

Beresheet is equipped with a high-resolution camera to capture panoramic views of the landing site to help scientists better understand the area. The spacecraft also carries a small “time capsule” loaded with cultural artifacts, including a copy of the Bible engraved on a coin-size disk.

“We have a vision to show off Israel’s best qualities to the entire world,” said Sylvan Adams, a Canadian-Israeli businessman and philanthropist who contributed to the SpaceIL project and is an enthusiastic, if unofficial, “ambassador.”

Payloads aside, the Falcon 9 launching was of vital importance to NASA, helping clear the way for the March 2 launch of a SpaceX Crew Dragon astronaut ferry ship on an unpiloted test flight to the International Space Station. NASA plans to hold a flight readiness review Friday.

Space exploration is moving to the private sector.

Why Isn’t News Just News?

This blog is an opinion blog. The name of the blog tells you what to expect. I don’t claim to be objective news, but I try to report things that I believe the mainstream media might have missed. The problem in news occurs when a news source claims to be objective, but is only giving you one side of the story. Unfortunately, there is a lot of that going on.

CNS News posted a story on Friday about the news coverage of President Trump.

The article reports:

There may be fake news, but there’s no making up the media’s loathing of Donald Trump. The press has been unrelenting toward this president since day one – and Media Research Center’s data proves it. Even the 89 percent negativity from his early months almost seem benevolent now, with numbers in the 91-93 percent range (the latter, according to Harvard).

“Our latest numbers show that coverage of Trump on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts in September, October and November was more than 90 percent negative (our methodology counts only explicitly evaluative statements from reporters or non-partisan sources)” MRC explains. “In September, there were just 31 pro-Trump statements on the Big Three vs. 359 negative. In October, the number of positive statements grew to 41, while the negative statements swelled to 435.”

That is really sad. What we are witnessing now by the Democratic Party, the Washington establishment and the mainstream media is an attempted coup of a duly-elected President. Make no mistake, this group is well aware that the economic policies of the Trump Administration will be beneficial to all Americans. They are not stupid. They understand that a successful Trump presidency would illustrate that sometimes the answers to our nation’s problems are found outside the ‘club’ that has been in power for so long. Smart Americans will understand this media bias and find alternative sources of information.

Losing Touch

It is no surprise to anyone living outside the bubble of Washington, D.C., California, or the Northeast that the mainstream media has totally lost touch with average Americans. There are a few general traits of average Americans that the media has forgotten. America was originally founded by people who were fleeing persecution and looking for religious freedom. There are still a number of us who consider religion an important part of our lives. Generally speaking, members of the mainstream media do not fall into that category. Many of the original British settlers to America were the second sons of their family. Under British law, they would receive no inheritance, so they set out to start from scratch in a new land. They understood the risks, but were willing to settle the new land. Personal responsibility and the risks included in that were part of our growth as a nation. The other trait that permeates our culture is cheering on the underdog. When someone is under constant attack or being bullied, Americans seem to rally to their side. That is something the mainstream media has overlooked in their frenzied attacks on President Trump. A recent article in The Conservative Treehouse illustrates that point.

The article states:

If you were to review how CNN and corporate mainstream media talk politics, well, according to their echo-chambered versions of President Trump, each week that passes is the worst week ever in presidential history.  Seriously, no joke. President Trump has been in office for 30 weeks, and 20 of those weeks have been called “the worst” by media.

However, if you actually engage with people living their lives and not focused on who the media blame for the latest round of horrid offenses; well, then you might recognize the scope of how over-emphasized and out-of-touch the media perspective really is.

CBS and The Associated Press each found themselves picking their corporate media jaws off the floor when they actually did ask people.  You know, ordinary people.  Folks like you and me.  The media didn’t anticipate the power of common sense to see through their BS.

There is also the analogy of the boy who cried wolf. Twenty of the thirty weeks President Trump has been in office have been described by the mainstream media as “the worst.” The seems more than a little over the top.

I am sure that the comments made in the video included in the article were a bit of a shock to the media. Here is the video:

The video is from CBS News. I am somewhat amazed that they were willing to release it.

Did CBS Report The News Or Manipulate The News?

President Obama was re-elected in 2012. He won. The Republican Candidate was portrayed as an out-of-touch rich man who caused people to die of cancer. When he warned of the dangers of Russian aggression, Mitt Romney was told, “The 80’s called, they want their foreign policy back.” It was a big joke. And when Mitt Romney pointed out that it took President Obama 14 days to admit the Benghazi attack was terrorism President Obama balked, saying he did it that day.

Well, CBS News edited out part of a 60 Minutes‘ interview with President Obama on the day after the Benghazi attacks. During the interview, the President stated, “Well, it’s too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved. but, obviously, it was an attack on Americans.” 

Yesterday, Breitbart.com posted an article about the incident. The article reports:

(Investigative Journalist Sharyl) Attkisson said, “Let me say that that exchange should have been pulled out immediately after the debate, which would have been very newsy at the time. It was exclusive to CBS. It would have to me proven Romney’s point against Obama. But that clip was kept secret.”

“I was covering Benghazi, nobody told me we had it and directed me from the ‘Evening News’ to a different clip of the same interview to give the impression that the president had done the opposite. And it was only right before the election that somebody kind of leaked out the transcript to others of us as CBS and we were really shocked. We saw that was something very unethical done to have kept that up.”

She added, “The ‘Evening News’ people who had access to that transcript, according to the emails that I saw when it was sent from ’60 Minutes’ to ‘Evening News’ the very day it was taken, they, in my view, skipped over it, passed it up, kept it secret. And I think that was because they were trying to defend the president and they thought that would be harmful to him.”

I don’t know whether airing that exchange would have changed any votes. I don’t know how well-informed the people who voted for President Obama were. I do know, however, that it was unethical to edit that exchange out of the interview. It prevented the American voters from getting a true picture of the events at Benghazi and the President’s reaction to those events.

 

Sharyl Attkisson Continues Her Work As A Good Reporter

I have previously posted articles about the work of Sharyl Attkisson, who left the Washington bureau of CBS News after realizing that they were not interested in actual investigative reporting on the Obama Administration. She is continuing her work as an independent reporter, using the tools often used by Judicial Watch to get information from a less-than-transparent Obama Administration.

The Daily Signal is reporting today that Sharyl Attkisson has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services to obtain information about the rollout of ObamaCare last year.

The article reports:

The former CBS News reporter and Emmy award-winning journalist won’t be going alone; the legal group Judicial Watch will represent her in court.

The lawsuit follows four unsuccessful Freedom of Information Act requests. In October 2013 and again in June of this year, Attkisson requested information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) concerning the efficiency and security of the HealthCare.gov website.

All four requests went unanswered.

The government’s GSA website explains the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA):

The 1966 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) permits any person to request access to federal agency records or information. Federal agencies are required to disclose records upon receipt of a written request, except for records that are protected from disclosure by nine exemptions or three exclusions in the Act.

Another government website lists the exceptions:

1) classified national defense and foreign relations information,

(2) internal agency rules and practices,

(3) information that is prohibited from disclosure by another law,

(4) trade secrets and other confidential business information,

(5) inter-agency or intra-agency communications that are protected by legal privileges,

(6) information involving matters of personal privacy,

(7) certain information compiled for law enforcement purposes,

(8) information relating to the supervision of financial institutions, and

(9) geological information on wells.

The article in The Daily Signal reports:

Attkisson admits that her lawsuit can never produce these lost documents “out of thin air,” but she said a court might help “get to the bottom of what occurred.”

Unfazed and optimistic, Attkisson wrote on her website that “It doesn’t hurt to try.”

We need more Sharyl Attkissons!

A Perspective From A Good Reporter Who Continues To Be A Good Reporter

Sharyl Attkisson was part of the Washington bureau for CBS News. She resigned earlier this year when after investigating the Fast and Furious scandal and the Benghazi scandal, she realized that the network was not interested in reporting the stories she was investigating. The major networks have a political agenda, and they do not deviate from that political agenda regardless of how important a scandal is.

The video below is found on YouTube. It is Sharyl Attkisson on ABC This Week explaining how Watergate would be handled today:

More information on Sharyl Attkisson’s reporting can be found on her website.

Asking The Right Questions

Sharyl Attkisson has done an amazing amount of good investigative reporting on the scandals in the Obama Administration. That reporting resulted in her being fired from CBS News, but she is still doing excellent work. On Saturday, June 14th, she posted an article at her website about the emails that were requested by the House Ways and Means Committee that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) claims it has lost. Anyone who has any experience with computers understands that even in computer crashes, data can generally be recovered. This excuse for not complying with a request from a Congressional oversight committee does not hold water.

Ms. Attkisson has suggested a number of questions that should be asked of the IRS.

She suggests a number of questions, but this is the question that would probably get the most interesting results:

I would also ask for those who discovered and reported the crash to testify under oath, as well as any officials who reported the materials as having been irretrievably lost.

A friend of mine who blogs at datechguyblog.com put it this way:

That question suggests that not only political operatives and career bureaucrats would come under oath, but IT guys, computer techs, database and data recovery specialists.

It’s not unusual for a political operative to take a fall in order to be a “good soldier” under the theory that it is easier to get hired by a campaign or put in a government job or a friendly think tank after committing an ethical lapse than to be hired by a campaign or being employed by a friendly think tank after reporting on an ethical lapse.

This however doesn’t apply to the IT department, these guys can often find better work at a better wage outside of government and their expertese and ability to get job is not tied to

It’s one thing to get a political hack to lie under oath or to take a fall to keep himself viable in that world, it’s quite another to get the non political people who have no real skin in the game to be willing to perjure themselves before congress in an attempt to claim incompetence.

These guys simply aren’t going to take the fall for a bunch of political hacks.

The clock is ticking, as soon as the IT guys are under oath the IRS scandal is going to explode and that blast is going to take a lot of people with them.

It is going to be an interesting summer.

The Information On Benghazi Continues To Drip Out

Sharyl Attkisson continues to investigate the Benghazi cover-up and report on her findings. She is doing the job that CBS News should have been doing when she worked for them. Yesterday she posted an article at sharylattkisson.com with a link to a Department of State email showing that the State Department knew almost immediately that the attack at Benghazi was the work of Islamic militia terrorist group Ansar al Sharia.

This is the link to the email. The email is from Beth E. Jones, then-Assistant Secretary of State to Hillary Clinton.

This is the main part of the email:

BenghaziEmailSharyl Attkisson reports:

There is no uncertainty assigned to the assessment, which does not mention a video or a protest. The State Department provided the email to Congress in Aug. of 2013 under special conditions that it not be publicly released at that time. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sought and received permission to release it Thursday.

Why is this information coming out now? Because enough people have realized that there has been a cover-up of what actually happened at Benghazi, and many officials (as well as the American people) are tired of being lied to. The Obama Administration has successfully withheld documents and information about the Benghazi attack and the death of Christopher Stevens from Congress and the American people until very recently. It is because the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and those organizations such as Judicial Watch that we are becoming aware of the truth. Hopefully, when you vote in November, you will remember who helped with the cover-up and who helped reveal the truth.

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The Complete Employment Picture

Yesterday CBS News posted an article about jobs and employment in America. On Friday the Labor Department announced that the unemployment rate has remained at 6.7 percent and that 192,000 new jobs were added in March. That sounds reasonable, but it does not tell the whole story.

The article included the following snapshot of the statistics:

march-jobs.jpg

There are currently 7.4 million Americans who are working part-time because full-time jobs are not available. The economy has not recovered from the 2008 recession, and unfortunately until ObamaCare is repealed, it will not. As long as employers can save large amounts of money by hiring part-time employees that they do not have to provide healthcare for, they will do so. Robert Gibbs suggested this week that the employer mandate would probably never actually go into effect. If the employer mandate does not go into effect, America may see the return of the full-time worker. However, if the employer mandate does not go into effect, and the uninsured do not sign up for ObamaCare (which they have not), then what exactly did ObamaCare accomplish other than totally disrupting the American medical infrastructure?

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This Lady Has More Courage Than All Of Congress

Sharyl Attkisson has set up a website. I strongly recommend that you follow the link and visit the site. Ms. Attkisson resigned her job at CBS after encountering significant interference in her reporting on Fast and Furious, Benghazi, and other administration scandals. At one point her computer was hacked. She is a fantastic investigative reporter who was blocked from doing her job. The website is organized by topic, with links to various stories she has written on specific topics. I wish her the best and hope her website gets a million hits!

 

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This Isn’t A Surprise, But It’s Sad

Yesterday Newsbusters reported that Sharyl Attkisson has resigned from CBS News. Ms. Attkisson’s coverage of the Fast and Furious scandal won an Edward R. Murrow Award in 2012.

Politico reported Monday:

Attkisson, who has been with CBS News for two decades, had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsize influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting, several sources said. She increasingly felt that her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her reporting on air.

At the same time, Attkisson’s reporting on the Obama administration, which some staffers characterized as agenda-driven, had led network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting. She is currently at work on a book — tentatively titled “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington” — that addresses the challenges of reporting critically on the administration.

…Attkisson joined CBS News from CNN in 1993. She served as an overnight anchor for two years before becoming a Washington-based correspondent, a position she held until this week. She has won five Emmy awards for her reporting on Fast and Furious, the Red Cross, Republican fundraising, TARP and border patrol.

Ms. Attkisson is a very good investigative reporter, and I hope she can find a job where her skills will be appreciated and she will be able to bring us more great reporting.

 

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Tax Policies Do Impact Employment

CBS News posted a story yesterday detailing the impact of the Medical Device Tax included in ObamaCare on jobs in the medical device industry. The information about the impact was taken from a survey of the Advanced Medical Technology Association.

The article reports:

“According to the report, the tax has led to employment reductions of approximately 14,000 industry workers and foregone hiring of 19,000 workers,” the study stated. “The total job impact of the tax on industry employment was approximately 33,000.”

Stephen J. Ubl, CEO of AdvaMed, said this tax needs to be repealed.

“During a time when there is bipartisan support for growing high-technology manufacturing jobs, these results should serve as a wake-up call. As a result of the medical device tax, we have seen an unprecedented impact on jobs and key investments in R&D (research and development),” Ubl said. “The findings of the report underscore the need to repeal this tax.”

This is just one of the problems with ObamaCare.

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The Search Continues

CBS Detroit is reporting that Federal agents believe that they are about to uncover the remains of former Teamsters Union Boss Jimmy Hoffa. Hoffa disappeared in July 1975.

The article reports:

CBS News has confirmed a suspicious concrete slab was retrieved by investigators from the Oakland Township field where they have been digging for any sign of Hoffa. It’s too soon, however, to know whether the slab is anything more than part of an old foundation for a barn.

The dig — the latest in what’s been nearly a 40-year search — is reportedly the result of extensive FBI interviews with former mobster Tony Zerilli.

As someone who was living in New Jersey during the1960’s, this story amazes me. The rumor in New Jersey was that Jimmy Hoffa was buried under the goalposts in Giants stadium. I guess we are all about to find out whether that rumor is simply not true.

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Do Americans Really Have A Right To Privacy?

The argument in Roe v. Wade was about Americansright to privacy. This isn’t an article about abortion, but I think it is interesting to remember that argument in light of everything that is happening in America today–the NSA is spying on Americans, the IRS is targeting Americans, political opposition is being targeted, etc. Don’t Americans have the right to express themselves privately? Are we losing that right if we don’t agree with the people in power?

On Monday, CBS in Philadelphia reported that Sharyl Attkisson’s computer had been hacked. Ms. Attkisson is a CBS reporter who was pursuing stories on both Fast and Furious and the attack at Benghazi. I posted an article about her in May concerning her problems with the Obama Administration because of her reporting.

The article reports Ms. Attkisson’s comments on the hacking::

“Whoever was in my work computer, the only thing I was working on were work-related things with CBS were big stories I guess during the time period in questions were I guess Benghazi and ‘Fast and Furious.’ The intruders did have access to personal information including passwords to my financial accounts and so on, but didn’t tamper with those, so they weren’t interested in stealing my identity or doing things to my finances. So people can decide on their own what they might have been trying to do in there.”

…“We’re continuing to move forward aggressively, CBS News takes this very seriously, as do I. I think whenever an unauthorized party comes into the home of an American, whether it’s any private citizen or journalist and gets in their house, searches their computers — these are computers my family uses — and they’re inserting or removing material for whatever their reasons are, I think that’s a really serious and disturbing matter and we’re gonna follow it up and keep pursuing it.”

It will be interesting to see how far CBS News takes this investigation. I have a feeling that they may not like what they find and may be reluctant to report it.

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The Seamy Side Of The Internal Revenue Service

It seems rather obvious that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was a little unfair to to conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, but there is more to the story. Hot Air posted an article yesterday about some other very questionable activities the IRS was engaging in during the past few years.

The article at Hot Air cites a McClatchy news story about IRS harrassment:

McClatchy includes the case of Catherine Engelbrecht, which CBS NewsSharyl Attkisson co-reported yesterday.  That case, of course, goes far beyond the IRS; Engelbrecht’s business got harassed by the FBI, ATF, and OSHA as well, which would mean coordination far above the Treasury Department.  They also include the case of an anti-abortion group that was told they couldn’t picket Planned Parenthood locations if they wanted to keep their exemption, and a Nebraska veteran who got hassled in an IRS audit over his donations to his church once he began donating to conservative causes.

John Eastman, a constitutional law professor and former Dean at Chapman University in California, posted an article at USA Today explaining an IRS abuse that took place during the debate on homosexual marriage in California in 2012.

Professor Eastman explains:

My organization was not the only conservative-linked political group or business that appears to have faced shady actions from IRS employees. ProPublica reported this week that the IRS handed over to them confidential documents of nine conservative organizations whose applications for non-profit status were still pending. Among them: Crossroads GPS, a key group backing Mitt Romney‘s presidential campaign.

Our case was particularly egregious because the IRS leak of confidential information fed directly into an ongoing political battle. For months before March 2012, the pro-gay marriage HRC had been demanding that my group, NOM, publicly identify its major donors, something that NOM and many other non-profits refuse to do. The reason is simple. In the past, gay marriage advocates have used such information to launch campaigns of intimidation against traditional marriage supporters.

Just as gay marriage proponents were demanding the information, the IRS appears to have illegally given them exactly what they were looking for. The tax return released by the HRC contained the names and addresses of dozens of major donors to NOM. And there’s little doubt where the documents came from. The tax returns contained internal coding added by the IRS after the returns were originally submitted.

For the IRS to leak any organization’s tax return to its political opponents is an outrageous breach of ethics and, if proven, constitutes a felony. Every organization — liberal and conservative — should shudder at the idea of the IRS playing politics with its confidential tax return information. But the situation here is even more egregious because the head of the HRC was at the time serving as a national co-chair of President Obama’s re-election campaign.

On Tuesday the House Ways and Means Committee will hold hearings to allow the victims of IRS targeting to testify. During the next two weeks, the House Oversight Committee will be interviewing the ‘low level employees’ in Cincinnati who have been scapegoated for these crimes. It will be interesting to hear what they say about who was directing their activities. Keep in mind that targeting specific groups and releasing tax information is a crime. It may be an interesting week.Enhanced by Zemanta

We Might Eventually Get Answers To Benghazi

Breitbart.com posted an article today stating that whistle blowers are speaking to Congressional investigators about the attack on Benghazi.

Power Line posted the following tweet from CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson:

Finding out the cause of this tragedy and the reasons America left people there to die will not bring the dead back to life, but contrary to what Former Secretary of State Clinton said, it does make a difference.

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We Are All Being Watched

Britain routinely has surveillance cameras on its streets. In America we bristle at the idea of that kind of intrusion on our privacy. However, there are no laws against stores having cameras so that if a crime is committed against the store they can find the criminal. Well, it sounds like store cameras may eventually lead us to whoever bombed Boston on Monday.

CBS News Boston reported today that investigators are looking at a surveillance tape from the Lord and Taylor store near the explosion for clues as to who did the bombing.

The article reports:

Sources say investigators are trying to identify a person described as a young white man who is standing in the crowd near the scene of the second bombing just before the device exploded, reported CBS News correspondent Bob Orr. A surveillance camera at a nearby Lord and Taylor department store captured images of the man who was carrying a backpack and talking on a cell phone.

The man was wearing a black jacket, a grey hooded sweatshirt and a white or off-white baseball cap backwards. He is 6 feet or 6-feet-2-inches tall with a medium build.

Investigators say the man, who seemed to be alone, put the backpack on the ground. Then, when the first explosion occurred at the finish line about 100 yards down Boylston Street, he took off. Just a few seconds later, the second bomb exploded near where the man had been standing.

Please follow the link above to read the entire story–it contains news about the investigation, but also news about the survivors.

I believe that we will see the people responsible for this bombing apprehended with the week. I hope I am right.Enhanced by Zemanta

Imposing Portion Control On Sugary Drinks

CBS News today posted an article about the New York City ban on sugary drinks of more than 16 ounces that goes into effect tomorrow.

The article reports:

The cola crackdown goes into effect on Tuesday. The new regulation puts a 16-ounce limit on sugary drinks and applies to both bottled and fountain drinks.

The ban but does not include grocery or convenience stores that don’t serve prepared food. It also does not apply to diet soda, other calorie-free drinks or anything that has at least 50 percent milk or milk substitute.

So when I order my million-calorie pizza for delivery, I can order it with a 2-liter diet soda–I just can’t order it with a 2-liter regular soda. Wow!

Because lattes have more than 50 percent milk or milk substitute, Starbucks can continue offering 20 ounce drinks because of the milk content. Like Dunkin’ Donuts, customers will also be able to add their own sugar to their coffee.

Just for the record, a 20-ounce regular coca-cola has 240 calories. A grande size Starbucks Caramel Macchiato has 224. Coca-cola in that size cannot be legally purchased in a restaurant in New York City, the Caramel Macchiato can.

What this says is that all that the coffee shops  have to do is put the sugar in a place where the customer can add their own sugar to their drink. This will result in higher cost to the coffee shop, more of a mess where the sugar is added, and general inconvenience for everyone involved. It also does nothing to solve the problem of obesity.

This law is government at its worst. New York City has bigger problems than residents buying large sodas.

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Why Sequestration Was Necessary

CBS News reported yesterday that the national debt has risen by more than $6 trillion since President Obama took office. During the eight years George W. Bush was President, the debt grew by $4.9 trillion.

The ‘cuts’ in sequestration are not the best cuts that could be made. There were better ways to do this. The most obvious improvement would have been to actually cut the budget. Although sequestration cuts the budget from now until June by about $40 billion (to keep things in perspective–aid to the victims of Hurricane Sandy was  $50 billion), it only cuts the future rate of growth–it does not cut future spending. Next years budget is larger than this years budget.

The Independent Journal Review posted an article listing five basic things all Americans need to know about the sequester:

1. The cuts are small, and most of them take place in future years. We know how that generally works.

2. Government spending is still increasing, even with the cuts.

3. The Pentagon budget will be about $500 billion, not counting war-related and emergency appropriations.

4. One example of how badly the government manages money is that the  one program which the sequester cuts by $2 million ended last year and does not even exist anymore.

5. The sequester was the President’s idea. The President and the media should not be allowed to use the sequester as a battering ram against the Republicans. First of all, runaway spending should not be a political issue–it impacts all of us.

Since the current leadership in Washington does not want to put the welfare of the country over their own petty politics, both parties need new leadership. Sequester happened because there was no one with the courage (or possibly the will) to cut government spending. Until Americans elect more people who are willing to stand up for the rights of working Americans who pay taxes, we will only have more spending, more debt, and eventually, bankruptcy.

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Just In Case You Still Believe The Mainstream Media

Yesterday Breitbart.com reported that John Dickerson, who Slate describes as its chief political correspondent is also the political director at CBS News. Why is this important? It isn’t unless you take a look at some of Mr. Dickerson’s writing for Slate. For example:

Go for the throat! Why if he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party.

…The president who came into office speaking in lofty terms about bipartisanship and cooperation can only cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP. If he wants to transform American politics, he must go for the throat. …

Obviously, Mr. Dickerson is entitled to his personal opinion, but his rhetoric seems a little harsh to me. Why should I believe any political reports on CBS News if their political director is that biased?

I need to note here that it is okay for a reporter to be biased, as long as he or she is honest about that bias. The frustrating part of the mainstream bias is that it not only colors the stories they report, it causes them not to report the stories that would provide a balanced viewpoint.

The article at Breitbart.com concludes:

And yet, even as they do, even as they openly celebrate their left-wing biases out of one side of their mouth, out the other, they will claim they remain objective and unbiased.

The Big Lie has officially arrived.

And somewhere Dan Rather‘s thinking, “Oh, so now it’s okay!?”

Thank God for the internet and the alternative media.

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Fiddling While Rome Burns

It’s nice that Congress is back to work after the election. Between expiring tax cuts and the new taxes of ObamaCare, we are facing a fiscal cliff on January 1, so it is good to see Congress back to work addressing the task at hand. Just yesterday, according to CBS News, the Senate voted 92-5 to debate a bill to ease restrictions on hunters and fishermen and allow 41 U.S. hunters to bring home polar bear carcasses trapped in Canada due to a ban on trophy imports.

The article reports:

The polar bear provision would allow the 41 hunters — two are from Tester’s home state— who killed polar bears in Canada just before a 2008 ban on polar bear trophy imports took effect to bring the bears’ bodies across the border. The hunters involved were not able to bring the trophies home before the Fish and Wildlife Services listed them as a threatened species.

The bill has bipartisan support and is backed by the National Rifle Association and the National Wildlife Federation. The White House said Tuesday that the Obama administration also supports the bill.

Anyway, I guess I am glad that Congress is back to work on something.

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The More We Learn, The Less It Adds Up

CBS News is reporting tonight that during the attack on the Embassy in Benghazi, President Obama did not convene the Counterterrorism Security Group, (CSG), the top interagency counterterrorism resource.

The article reports:

“The CSG is the one group that’s supposed to know what resources every agency has. They know of multiple options and have the ability to coordinate counterterrorism assets across all the agencies,” a high-ranking government official told CBS News. “They were not allowed to do their job. They were not called upon.”

The question becomes, “Why weren’t they called?”

The article further reports:

Counterterrorism officials from two agencies said they concluded almost immediately that the attack was by terrorists and was not spontaneous. “I came to this conclusion as soon as I heard the mortar rounds were impacting on top of the building our people were occupying,” says one. “The position of the mortar must be plotted on a map, the target would have to be plotted, computations would be calculated that would result in the proper mortar tube elevation and the correct number of powder bags to be attached to the rounds.”

We have no way of knowing whether President Obama, who has no prior military experience, would have understood that mortar rounds are not part of a spontaneous attack. That is why it is up to a President to have people close to him who know these things. By not calling in the CSG, he was depending on his own limited knowledge rather than bringing in the experts. I don’t know if the four Americans in Benghazi would be alive if this had been handled differently, but I do know that the people who would have immediately understood the situation and been able to evaluate correctly what was happening were left out of the loop.

Had the CSG been called in immediately, I doubt we would have had to listen to Susan Rice tell us on five Sunday shows that this was simply a demonstration that got out of hand.

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