Fake News

Yesterday The Boston Herald reported that Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey has had to issue an apology for remarks made on CNN. Unfortunately I think it is very possible that many people will hear the remarks and few people will hear the apology.

The article reports:

Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey was forced to apologize yesterday after he “erroneously” claimed live on CNN that a New York grand jury was investigating President Trump’s campaign ties to the Russians.

“There are very strong allegations the Russians had relationships with people inside of the Trump campaign,” Markey said. “In fact, subpoenas have now been issued in northern Virginia with regard to Gen. (Michael) Flynn and Gen. Flynn’s associates. A grand jury has been impaneled up in New York.”

But responding to a Herald inquiry yesterday, spokeswoman Giselle Barry said Markey had made the New York comments “erroneously.”

“Senator Markey does not have direct intelligence that is the case, and the information he was provided during a briefing is not substantiated,” Barry said of the senator’s alternative facts.

The apology explained that there are subpoenas in Virginia regarding the behavior of General Flynn, but there is no grand jury in New York.

On February 17th of this year, Forbes Magazine posted an article showing the ties between Russia and a number of Democratic lobbyists. Ninety percent of what you are hearing in the news about Russia and the 2016 election is fake news. I just wish the media was required to correct a story when they get it wrong.

The Ever-Changing Story

There are some serious problems with the actions of the Obama Administration in terms of unmasking American citizens making phone calls. It is not an incredible coincidence that the unmasked citizens were people closely connected to the Trump presidential campaign. One name that has continually been mentioned as part of this unmasking is Susan Rice. She appeared on the Sunday News Shows (hasn’t she done that before?) today to explain her innocence.

The details are posted at Hot Air today.

Ms. Rice stated this morning:

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice denied President Donald Trump’s claim that she tried to unmask Americans in an attempt to implicate Trump campaign officials, adding that she never did anything “untoward with respect to the intelligence” she received.

During an interview with CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” airing Sunday morning, Rice said Trump’s accusation is “absolutely false” and that members of Congress have not found anything inappropriate in the situation.

“I think now we’ve had subsequently members of Congress on the intelligence committees on both sides of the aisle take a look at the information that apparently was the basis for Chairman [Devin] Nunes’ concern, and say publicly that they didn’t see anything that was unusual or untoward,” Rice said, referring to the California Republican.

But what has she said before? The article reports:

You may recall that when the story first broke Rice spoke to Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC and at least heavily implied that Trump’s initial accusations were all some sort of fever swamp fantasies. (What she actually said was that she never leaked anything.) But before very long the details which emerged told a very different story. Within days it was revealed that she had, in fact, actively sought to have names revealed to her even if they had originally been picked up “incidentally.” Eventually we reached the point where the best they could say was that it appeared that she hadn’t done anything that was technically illegal.

Now, in the fashion so typical of politicians (as opposed to national security experts), she’s answering an entirely different question. Yes, she did get that information but she never did anything “unusual or untoward” with it. And why would we be so suspicious as to think she might have seen some value in data collected on people associated with the guy who was then in a heated battle to defeat the candidate who was promising to carry on her boss’s legacy? Perish the thought.

If the Justice Department has actually become the Justice Department rather than a political arm of the Democrat party, someone will be charged with a crime in this matter. The leaking of the names and information to the media was illegal. The leaking of the information was exactly what some members of Congress warned about when the Patriot Act was passed–that there would be eavesdropping on Americans that would be used for political purposes. What happened during the 2016 presidential campaign is an example of this. If no one is held accountable, it will continue to happen. That is not good news.

 

Why ObamaCare Was Not Repealed

I used to be a Democrat. Then I used to be a Republican. Now I am an unaffiliated voter because there is not a conservative party that believes in smaller government. The Republicans used to believe in smaller government, but they have forgotten who they are. Yesterday was a glaring example of that fact. The Conservative Review posted an article yesterday about the failure of the House of Representatives to vote on the repeal (and replacement) of ObamaCare. The headline of the article is, “How DARE House Freedom Caucus hold GOP accountable to its promises!?” For me, that pretty much sums up what happened.

The article reminds us:

In 2016, the GOP-controlled Congress passed a clean repeal bill through the reconciliation process. It was sent to Barack Obama who vetoed it, as CNN reported at the time. In 2017, Rand Paul (R-Ky) has offered a bill that does many of the same things, as the 2016 legislation.

CNN reported:

The GOP-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon passed legislation that would repeal ObamaCare, and after more than 60 votes to roll back all or part of the law, the bill (to) dismantle it will finally get to the President’s desk.

But it won’t stay there long; President Barack Obama has vowed to veto any Republican bill that guts his signature health care law, a five-year-and-counting effort.

The vote was 240-181, largely along party lines.

The article goes on to explain that members of the House Freedom Caucus wanted the 2016 bill to be voted on in this session of Congress. It is very annoying to those of us who have followed this story closely (rather than listen to what the media is telling us) that the Freedom Caucus is being blamed for the failure of this bill. This is simply not true. As usual, the establishment GOP has dissed its voters.

The article concludes:

It’s pretty easy to see who one should truly be disgusted at. It’s not Mark Meadows (R-NC), and the other members of the Freedom Caucus. It is Paul Ryan and his leadership team, who refuse to offer the bill they already passed in 2016 as the model they would use if they had a president who would sign it.

Ryan now has a president who would sign the 2016 legislation that easily passed in a campaign year as the blueprint for repeal. He refused to bring it to a vote, lest it show that the GOP campaign promises mean nothing. The Freedom Caucus is absolutely right to insist that the House and Senate do so.

President Trump is a very smart man, but I believe that he does not yet fully understand the backstabbing that is an everyday part of Washington. I believe Paul Ryan purposely stabbed President Trump in the back. Paul Ryan has become part of the Republican establishment that is fighting to maintain the status quo. The Republican establishment would like to see President Trump fail as much as the Democrats would. As ObamaCare collapses, which it will, the establishment Republicans will be the ones who will bring us nationalized healthcare. That is truly sad. It can be prevented, but it needs to be done quickly and decisively. It may be time to change the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives.

Whoops!

Was President Trump wiretapped during the presidential campaign? America‘s spy agencies say no. However, that doesn’t seem to be the end of the story.

The American Thinker posted a transcript today of an interview of Larry Johnson by CNN’s Brian Stelter.

This is the transcript:

STELTER: “Let me ask you about this thing.”
JOHNSON: “Sure.”
STELTER: “So my sense is that on Monday, Napolitano says this on TV, he says he has Intel sources who believe this is true. You’re saying you were one of those sources, but you didn’t know Napolitano was going to use you like that?”
JOHNSON: “What happened was I communicated, when Donald Trump tweeted what he did Saturday two weeks ago, the next day I was interviewed on Russia today. I had known about the fact that the British, through ghcq were information back channel, this was not at the behest of Barack Obama, let’s be clear about that. But it was done with the full knowledge of people like John Brennan and Jake clapper. Two people I flow within the intelligence community in January, they were very concerned about this because they saw it as an unfair meddling in the politics, but it was a way to get around the issue of American intelligence agencies not collecting.”
STELTER: “To be clear, you have this secondhand? So you didn’t get this information directly, you’re hearing from others.
JOHNSON: “I’m hearing it from people who are in a position to know, that’s correct.”

Obviously, there will be more information on this story in the coming days. The question is, “Who ordered the surveillance?”

At Some Point We Are Going To Have To Deal With This

There are some things going on in Washington that are under reported in the news. We as Americans are going to have to deal with these things quickly. Most of them have to deal with the actions of the former President and his undermining of the current President. Evidently the plans for undoing the Trump Administration were laid before the November election. Some of these actions would be envied by the Nixon Administration–they make Watergate look like the third-rate burglary that it actually was.

Breitbart posted the list yesterday. Mark Levin is credited with doing the research:

1. June 2016: FISA request. The Obama administration files a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) to monitor communications involving Donald Trump and several advisers. The request, uncharacteristically, is denied.

2. July: Russia joke. Wikileaks releases emails from the Democratic National Committee that show an effort to prevent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) from winning the presidential nomination. In a press conference, Donald Trump refers to Hillary Clinton’s own missing emails, joking: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.” That remark becomes the basis for accusations by Clinton and the media that Trump invited further hacking.

3. October: Podesta emails. In October, Wikileaks releases the emails of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, rolling out batches every day until the election, creating new mini-scandals. The Clinton campaign blames Trump and the Russians.

4. October: FISA request. The Obama administration submits a new, narrow request to the FISA court, now focused on a computer server in Trump Tower suspected of links to Russian banks. No evidence is found — but the wiretaps continue, ostensibly for national security reasons, Andrew McCarthy at National Review later notes. The Obama administration is now monitoring an opposing presidential campaign using the high-tech surveillance powers of the federal intelligence services.

5.  January 2017: Buzzfeed/CNN dossier.Buzzfeed releases, and CNN reports, a supposed intelligence “dossier” compiled by a foreign former spy. It purports to show continuous contact between Russia and the Trump campaign, and says that the Russians have compromising information about Trump. None of the allegations can be verified and some are proven false. Several media outlets claim that they had been aware of the dossier for months and that it had been circulating in Washington.

6. January: Obama expands NSA sharing. As Michael Walsh later notes, and as the New York Times reports, the outgoing Obama administration “expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.” The new powers, and reduced protections, could make it easier for intelligence on private citizens to be circulated improperly or leaked.

7. January: Times report. The New York Times reports, on the eve of Inauguration Day, that several agencies — the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Treasury Department are monitoring several associates of the Trump campaign suspected of Russian ties. Other news outlets also report the exisentence of “a multiagency working group to coordinate investigations across the government,” though it is unclear how they found out, since the investigations would have been secret and involved classified information.

8. February: Mike Flynn scandal. Reports emerge that the FBI intercepted a conversation in 2016 between future National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — then a private citizen — and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The intercept supposedly was  part of routine spying on the ambassador, not monitoring of the Trump campaign. The FBI transcripts reportedly show the two discussing Obama’s newly-imposed sanctions on Russia, though Flynn earlier denied discussing them. Sally Yates, whom Trump would later fire as acting Attorney General for insubordination, is involved in the investigation. In the end, Flynn resigns over having misled Vice President Mike Pence (perhaps inadvertently) about the content of the conversation.

9. February: Times claims extensive Russian contacts. The New York Times cites “four current and former American officials” in reporting that the Trump campaign had “repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials. The Trump campaign denies the claims — and the Times admits that there is “no evidence” of coordination between the campaign and the Russians. The White House and some congressional Republicans begin to raise questions about illegal intelligence leaks.

10. March: the Washington Post targets Jeff Sessions. The Washington Post reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had contact twice with the Russian ambassador during the campaign — once at a Heritage Foundation event and once at a meeting in Sessions’s Senate office. The Post suggests that the two meetings contradict Sessions’s testimony at his confirmation hearings that he had no contacts with the Russians, though in context (not presented by the Post) it was clear he meant in his capacity as a campaign surrogate, and that he was responding to claims in the “dossier” of ongoing contacts. The New York Times, in covering the story, adds that the Obama White House “rushed to preserve” intelligence related to alleged Russian links with the Trump campaign. By “preserve” it really means “disseminate”: officials spread evidence throughout other government agencies “to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators” and perhaps the media as well.

President Trump is continuing to move forward on his agenda. That is good, but at some point the Justice Department that former President Obama is attempting to cripple will have to move forward with charges on some of these actions. The actions of former President Obama are a serious threat to our republic. This is not about Democrat or Republican–this is about a former President who is willfully undermining a current President. That is not acceptable behavior.

How To Lie With Statistics

The mainstream media has not yet realized that they have been revealed as dishonest and misleading. They are still at it. A story posted yesterday in The Daily Caller illustrates that point.

The article reports:

Two polls released Tuesday — one from ABC and a second from CNN — tout Donald Trump as being the most unfavorable incoming president in modern history — yet on second look, the data is clearly boosted by the pollers’ decision to oversample Democrats.

According to Gallup, 28 percent of Americans identify themselves as a Republican, while 25 percent identify as a Democrat.

ABC’s poll sampled 1,005 adults across the nation. However, partisan breakdown shows that only 23 percent of participants identified as Republican.

Conversely, 31 percent of participants identified as Democrats and 37 percent as independent, while nine percent did not answer.

…Similarly, CNN’s poll also featured an eight-point partisanship gap.

Of the 1,000 adults taking part in the Atlanta-based news network’s poll, 32 percent claimed to be Democrats, 24 percent claimed to be Republicans and the remaining 44 percent claimed to be “independents or members of another party.”

I they had chosen their samples according to the actual statistics on party affiliation, I suspect they might have gotten a different result. However, they did get the result they wanted so that they could report it as news.

Beware Erroneous Campaign Ads

It is very obvious that integrity and political campaigns parted ways a long time ago. However, every now and then a whopper is told that is so big that even the mainstream media will correct it. Yesterday Hot Air posted a story about a fact check that CNN did on a Hillary Clinton campaign ad.

The article reports:

A new Clinton ad, which is airing in seven states this month, echoed the previous claim saying Hillary “got the treaty cutting Russia’s nuclear arms.”

But as Jake Tapper points out nearly all of this is false. It’s true that there is a treaty called New START which sets limits on the number of strategic nuclear weapons Russia can deploy. However that treaty doesn’t say anything about short range nukes or the number of total nuclear weapons Russia can have. It doesn’t require a single nuclear weapon be destroyed.

Even more striking, Tapper notes that Russia was already under the agreed limit when the treaty was signed in 2011. Russia has since increased the number of strategic nuclear arms by nearly 200, from 1,537 to 1,735. “Not only did it not cut the number of nuclear weapons,” Tapper says, “there’s actually been an increase.” Here’s a chart created by FactCheck.org back in April showing the number of strategic nuclear arms held by the U.S. and Russia. Note that the number of warheads held by Russia is up:

nukesTapper and FactCheck.org both grant that the treaty has value but the claims Clinton is making about the treaty reducing the number of Russian arms is false.

The campaign season will be over in about six weeks. Thank God.

This Really Isn’t A Surprise

Posted at Real Clear Politics yesterday:

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Todd Walther told CNN’s Erin Burnett Thursday night that 70% of those arrested in race riots in that city this week were not locals.

“This is not Charlotte that’s out here,” he said. “These are outside entities that are coming in and causing these problems. These are not protestors, these are criminals.”

“I’m not saying all the people, but we’ve got the instigators that are coming in from the outside. They were coming in on buses from out of state. If you go back and look at some of the arrests that were made last night. I can about say probably 70% of those had out-of-state IDs. They’re not coming from Charlotte.”

So logically, shouldn’t someone investigate who is paying for the buses and consider pressing RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) charges? Protesting is a legal activity–looting and rioting are not. It would be very interesting to find our who is paying for the buses.

Really??!!

This article is based on information posted on The Federalist Papers Project.

There will be three Presidential debates and one Vice-Presidential debate before the election. That’s good news. Americans will get to see how the candidates respond to questions and charges, etc. However, the choice of moderators is simply ridiculous.

The first “Commander in Chief” forum on September 7 will be moderated by Matt Lauer, Mr. Lauer is a ‘notable’ member of the Clinton Global Initiative. Does anyone really believe that he will be an impartial moderator?

The first Presidential debate will be moderated by Lester Holt, Anchor, NBC Nightly News. Mr. Holt can be expected to be somewhat less than even-handed.

The second Presidential debate will be moderated by Martha Raddatz, Chief Global Affairs Correspondent and Co-Anchor of “This Week,” ABC and Anderson Cooper, Anchor, CNN. If you are okay with this, remember Candy Crowley in the Obama/Romney debate. It came out later that Romney was telling the truth and Candy Crowley was lying, but at that point the truth didn’t matter. Expect the same sort of tactics in this debate. I would like to note that this debate is up against an NFL football game between the Giants and the Packers.

The third Presidential debate will be hosted by Chris Wallace. This is an attempt to appease the Republicans. Chris Wallace is not a horrible choice–he is probably the most neutral moderator possible considering who controls the media. At least he occasionally has been know to hold Hillary Clinton‘s feet to the fire when she is lying.

Regardless of moderators, schedules, etc., there will be some things learned during these debates. How does Hillary look? It seems that in the course of her questioning by the FBI about her emails, she talked about a brain injury from a fall and the fact that she was only able to return to work part time. How will she look to the American voters? Make-up can do wonderful things, but it can’t hide memory loss or mental confusion. We shall see.

Meanwhile, stay tuned and get out the popcorn–there is going to be a show!

 

An Uninformed Public Is Fair Game For The Media

The media is all abuzz right now claiming that Donald Trump disrespected the parents of a Muslim soldier who was killed in Iraq. The parents of the soldier were paraded in front of the public for whatever reason. What Trump said was probably unnecessary, but so was parading the parents in front of the public. (Just for the record, we should probably look at some of the comments Hillary has made about Patricia Smith.) At any rate, let’s look at these wonderful Muslim parents. There are a few things that the mainstream media seems to have overlooked.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about Khizr Khan and his background.

The article reports:

But, as Breitbart News showed on Monday midday, that clearly was not the case. Khizr Khan has all sorts of financial, legal, and political connections to the Clintons through his old law firm, the mega-D.C. firm Hogan Lovells LLP. That firm did Hillary Clinton’s taxes for years, starting when Khan still worked there involved in, according to his own website, matters “firm wide”—back in 2004. It also has represented, for years, the government of Saudi Arabia in the United States. Saudi Arabia, of course, is a Clinton Foundation donor which—along with the mega-bundlers of thousands upon thousands in political donations to both of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2016—plays right into the “Clinton Cash” narrative.

All of this information was publicly available, and accessible to anyone—including any of these reporters, and Breitbart News—with a basic Google search. Anyone interested in doing research about the subjects they are reporting on—otherwise known as responsible journalism—would have checked into these matters. But clearly, none in the mainstream media did—probably because, as Fox News’ Chad Pergram noted, Democrats “sense blood in the water over” the whole Khan controversy.

The article also points out that Khan now runs a law firm that financially benefits from opposition to Donald Trump’s policies on migration — specifically that he aims to represent aspiring EB5 visa holders, who pay large sums of money to enter the country, a program that the Senate Judiciary Committee has uncovered as having major flaws.

Somehow in their attacks on Donald Trump, the media overlooked the background of Khizr Khan.

This attack on Donald Trump while leaving out significant facts is only a foretaste of what is to come. The only defense against this sort of misinformation is to do your own research and ignore the major media.

I am truly sorry that the Khans lost their son, but I am also truly sorry that they are being used as political pawns while the truth about who they are and the things they support are being hidden.

Stories You Missed If You Watch CNN For Your News

Breitbart posted an article today on how some of the media handled the coverage of the Republican National Convention. As you know, part of the Republican platform includes deporting illegal aliens that commit crimes. As part of the presentation last night, the Republicans included speakers who had been impacted by the crimes of illegal immigrants. Unfortunately, much of America did not get to see that part of the program because CNN cut away from the convention at that point.

The article at Breitbart reports:

Mary Ann Mendoza, Sabine Durden, and Jamiel Shaw, who each lost a child through crimes committed by illegal aliens, spoke from the heart about why they supported Donald Trump’s proposal to enforce immigration law and build a border wall.

Shaw, who is black, told the tearful audience in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena “You’d think Obama cared, and black lives mattered … Only Trump called me on the phone one day to see how I was doing … Trump will put America first.”

But CNN, which lately fought to rebuild its audience by including more conservative perspectives, filtered out those voices, returning to the speeches in time for Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), who gave a good but otherwise unremarkable address.

A purported screenshot spread through social media with CNN’s chyron apparently describing these speakers as “impacted by undocumented immigrants” — a cold whitewash of the fact that their family members were murdered.

The network did carry the live speech of Pat Smith, mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith. But it bracketed her speech with fact-checking, suggesting that despite her feelings that Hillary Clinton was to blame, there was no direct link to the former Secretary of State. CNN’s fact-checker later labeled the claim that Clinton was responsible for the Benghazi deaths as “false.” (Jake Tapper did push back, pointing out that the argument was that Clinton was responsible for her entire department.)

This sort of media reporting may explain why Hillary is still in the race despite a history of bad decisions, bad judgement, and basic dishonesty.

 

Parts Of The Story You May Not Have Read In The Media

It is unfortunate that the police shot Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge. However, there is some history to the story that you may have missed. My sources on this are CNN and a website called Clash Daily. The police were called to the scene by a homeless man who claimed that Sterling threatened him with a gun. Sterling was a felon with a rather long rap sheet who could not have legally purchased a firearm. He was also a registered pedophile. There were also warrants out for Sterling because of his involvement in gun running.

I am sorry that the man was killed and that this incident is being used by some to gin up racial discord. However, there is obviously considerable more to the story than is being reported. We are being manipulated.

The Filters In The Media

Regardless of whether or not it is admitted, we are engaged in a war with radical Islam. The enemy is inside our gates and influencing our media, government policy, and national security apparatus. (see rightwinggranny.com) We have reached the point that as consumers of news we need to be aware of the political leanings of all sources and the political connections of all reporters. Major news outlets are not telling us the truth–they are omitting and twisting information according to their own political aspirations.

For example, yesterday The Clarion Project posted an article yesterday about a recent story (and map) posted by CNN.

The article reports:

A CNN map detailing terror attacks around the world perpetrated during Ramadan has omitted Israel, Nigeria, Niger, Pakistan Somalia, Malaysia, Cameroon and Kenya.

During Ramadan there were also terrorist attacks as yet unattributed to specific groups in Madagascar, Bahrain, Mali and Indonesia, where evidence indicates possible Islamist motives.

Ramadan began on Monday June 6 and culminated on Wednesday July 6.  

On Wednesday, June 8, four people were murdered when gunmen linked to the Islamic State opened fire at a restaurant in Tel Aviv. Hamas praised the attack saying, “This is the first surprise in store for the Zionist enemy during Ramadan.”

CNN apologized for the omission of Israel and released an updated map that included the Jewish state. However, they did not update the map to include attacks on several African and Asian countries.

During Ramadan, many Muslims are encouraged by their mosques to engage in terrorist attacks (jihad) as part of their celebration of the holiday. Because the Obama Administration does not allow the monitoring of what is preached in American mosques, we have no idea which American mosques are specifically preaching jihad. Any amateur sleuth could easily figure this out by looking at the funding of the mosque, but the government does not seem to be capable of figuring that out. Any mosque funded by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Trial, and a group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood) probably bears a certain amount of watching.

At any rate, if you depend on CNN as your primary news source, I would strongly recommend that you find an additional source to use for frequent fact checking.

Can This Be Fixed?

I have watched Fox News since it arrived on my cable system many years ago. I appreciated Brit Hume, Tony Snow, and watch Bret Baier. The discussion panels up until the past year have been informative and smart. There was also a reasonable balance of liberal and conservative points of view. Starting somewhere last year, there was a change. I am not a Trump supporter, but even I winced at some of the things said about Donald Trump during the week and on the weekend shows. The clips I heard from the other networks were no better. Well, today NewsBusters confirmed my suspicions.

An article posted at NewsBusters today contained the following graph:

SundayShowRoundtableThe article reports:

The difference between liberals and conservatives is still significant when you include anti-Trump GOP guests. While Fox and CNN had equal numbers of Republican and Democratic guests, ABC, CBS and NBC had nearly three times the number of liberal guests (36) compared to either pro or anti-Trump Republicans (13).

The purpose of having four participants is to encourage a wide variety of views in the discussion. By stacking these discussions with liberal journalists in addition to outright Hillary and Sanders surrogates, the networks are steering the narrative in a particular direction.

ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, CBS’s Face the Nation each only had one Trump supporter during that entire time period, meaning that they each had three out of four roundtable discussions with no representative of the presumptive GOP nominee. NBC’s Meet the Press only had two during that time period. This lack of Trump supporters remained unchanged during the Sunday shows on May 29, after Trump had clinched the 1,237 delegates needed to earn the GOP nomination. 

In contrast, CNN’s State of the Union hosted by Jake Tapper featured a Clinton Supporter, Sanders supporter, anti-Trump GOP guest and a Trump supporter consistently on all three of his shows which included panels (his show on May 29 consisted of an hour-long interview with Florida Senator Marco Rubio).

Each Sunday show broadcast had a roundtable discussion with four pundits or journalists, adding up to a total of 73 roundtable participants over a four week period between the five shows. The only exceptions were ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos on May 8 which had five guests, CBS’s Face the Nation on May 8 which had eight guests, and CNN’s State of the Union on May 29 which did not have a roundtable discussion.

Over the course of four Sundays, there were 20 anti-Trump GOP roundtable participants: Alex Castellanos (twice), Rich Lowry, Bill Kristol, Ben Domenech, Jennifer Rubin, Russell Moore, Michael Gerson, Ramesh Ponnuru, Brit Hume (four times), Kimberley Strassel, George Will (twice), Ron Fournier, Amanda Carpenter and S.E. Cupp

During the same four weeks, there were nine pro-Trump participants: Tom Cole, Bill Bennett, Matt Schlapp, Kellyanne Conway (twice), Michael Needham, Jan Brewer, Andre Bauer and Marsha Blackburn.

So where do you go to become an informed voter? If you have an internet connection, you can go to alternative news sources. NewsBusters is a very good example of one. But that is not really the point. The media should not be cheerleaders–they should report the news as it is. If they have a bias, they should be open about it from the beginning. People who listen to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin understand that they are hearing the conservative point of view–first because they represent an informed audience, and second because the point of view of the show’s host is stated. I would love to see that sort of honesty from the mainstream media. The American voter is not informed, particularly the younger generation. They are not taught history in school, and they learn about current events through unreliable sources.

Thomas Jefferson understood the value of education. He stated, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” Neither our schools nor our press is keeping the voting public informed. Unless that changes, the America we all love will be no more.

Turning A Debate Into A Cage Match

I will admit that I did not watch the latest Presidential debate. I have seen enough of the debates to feel that they are useless at this point, and I knew that I would hear about it the next day. There were a lot of articles about the debate, but one in particular caught my eye.

Yesterday Breitbart.com posted an article stating that during the debate, Fox News was acting as a super PAC for Marco Rubio.

The article pointed out a few things that lead to that conclusion:

Trump was never asked to attack his rivals. On at least three occasions, Trump’s rivals were invited to attack him.

…On a number of occasions, Wallace and Kelly tossed off their roles as moderators to actually debate Trump, in the hopes of tripping him up or cornering him. As bad as the mainstream media has been to Republican presidential candidates over the years, I have never seen anything like this.

…There were two unbelievable moments even lower than that. The first came from Kelly, who used leaked reports and unsubstantiated rumors surrounding an off-the-record interview Trump supposedly had with the left-wing New York Times.  Apparently, the Times leaked information about the off-the-record interview to the left-wing BuzzFeed, who in turn, without hearing the audio, launched a McCarthy-ite attack against Trump, accusing him of saying one thing to the Times and another to the voters regarding immigration.

The article concludes:

Fox News’s brand and reputation is already in freefall. Thursday night, in service to Marco Rubio and the Republican Establishment, Fox News stooped lower than NBC News or CNN — something many of us never thought possible.

*To justify singling Trump out with graphics and videos, Fox News announced at the beginning that the other candidates had faced these in the debate Trump boycotted.

As I have previously stated, I am not a Trump supporter, but this is ridiculous. Please follow the link to the article to read the transcripts that substantiate the various charges. For whatever reason, FOX has chosen to align itself with the establishment Republican party. Based on some of the programming choices FOX has made in recent years, that should not be a surprise. However, it is unfortunate. FOX News had a chance to truly be an objective news source. Obviously, that is not the path they have chosen.

A Solution Is Needed–I’m Not Sure This Is The Right One

This is not a new article, but I think it is something that needs to be looked at in view of the current presidential campaign.

In October 2015, CNN reported statements made by John Kasich about Social Security. There are some serious problems with Social Security and no obvious solutions, but while we are looking for solutions, young workers in America are still having Social Security deductions taken out of their paychecks despite the fact that they will probably never see a penny of that money. There are a few reasons for the problems with Social Security funding. The first problem is the declining birth rate. We need more workers paying into Social Security to keep the system going. Those workers may never see the money, but we need them paying into the system. That is dishonest, but that is the way it is set up. President Obama and some members of Congress are trying to avoid the problem by importing workers.

In November 2014, Fox News reported:

Illegal immigrants who apply for work permits in the U.S. under President Obama’s new executive actions will be eligible for Social Security and Medicare, the White House says.

Under the sweeping actions, immigrants who are spared deportation could obtain work permits and a Social Security number, which would allow them to pay into the Social Security system through payroll taxes.

No such “lawfully present” immigrant, however, would be immediately entitled to the benefits because like all Social Security and Medicare recipients they would have to work 10 years to become eligible for retirement payments and health care. To remain qualified, either Congress or future administrations would have to extend Obama’s actions so that those immigrants would still be considered lawfully present in the country.

So for ten years we will have more people paying in, and then after ten years many of those people will be looking for money–a temporary solution at best.

Another reason for the problems with Social Security is that there is no Social Security trust fund. Since the 1960’s, Congress has spent the money deducted from paychecks for Social Security. Anyone who served in Congress is responsible for allowing this to continue.

So what does John Kasich say about Social Security. The CNN article reports:

“We can’t balance a budget without entitlement reform. What are we, kidding?” Kasich said when asked about his opponents who say they won’t touch entitlements.

Kasich said he was part of the effort to reform Medicare and Medicaid in the ’90s, and that he also had a plan to change Social Security so that initial benefits were lowered for individuals not yet near eligibility.

He asked audience members to raise their hands if they were far from receiving Social Security, asked them if they knew yet what their initial benefit would be and then asked them if they would be bothered if it were a little lower for the good of the country.

One person said it would be a problem.

“Well, you’d get over it, and you’re going to have to get over it,” Kasich joked.

First of all, Social Security is not an entitlement–the people currently working have been paying into it since they started working. The majority of the people currently collecting it have paid into it during their entire working career. Entitlements are things that people get for free that they never worked for or paid into. I think our welfare programs should be seriously cut before any cuts are made to Social Security. I also think that younger workers should be given the option of setting up tightly controlled individual retirement plans that would be out of the government’s reach when it comes to spending money. A large part of the problem with the current Social Security system is that Congress has not acted in a fiscally responsible way. We cannot change the past, but we can fix the future. I don’t believe I want John Kasich to be the person attempting to fix the future of Social Security.

 

We Obviously Need A New Foreign Policy

Jim Geraghty posted an article in The Corner at National Review today about the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the article he reminds us that CNN reported the following:

During a National Security Council meeting held at the Pentagon on Dec. 14, President Barack Obama told top military officials and other officials he wanted to see a better job of having the so-called “narrative” of the war on ISIS communicated to the American people, a senior defense official told CNN.

Communication is not the problem.

The article at The Corner reports:

In Afghanistan, Taliban Controls Most Territory Since 2001; ISIS Preparing ‘Greatest Religious Cleansing in History

The story includes this report from a German journalist:

A German journalist who spent 10 days with Islamic State says that the radical jihadist group that has captured wide swaths of Syria and Iraq is deterred by only one Middle Eastern country – Israel.

In an interview with the British Jewish News, Jurgen Todenhofer recalls his brief time behind enemy lines during which he spoke with ISIS fighters.

“The only country ISIS fears is Israel,” Todenhofer, a former member of the German parliament, told Jewish News. “They told me they know the Israeli army is too strong for them.”

The writer said that ISIS wants to lure British and American forces into Syria and Iraq, areas where it thinks it has an advantage.

“They think they can defeat US and UK ground troops, who they say they have no experience in city guerrilla or terrorist strategies,” he told Jewish News. “But they know the Israelis are very tough as far as fighting against guerrillas and terrorists.

This doesn’t sound as if we are making progress in the War on Terror.

How Media Bias Works

There have been a number of videos posted on Facebook of people attempting to list the accomplishments of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. There have also been numerous articles, jokes, etc. This is something of a problem for her presidential campaign, and CNN has done its part to solve the problem.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about a CNN op-ed by Eleni Kounalakis. The article praised the accomplishments of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

These are some of the articles glowing accounts of Secretary of State Clinton’s accomplishments:

As a diplomat, she wielded the star power of one of the world’s most well-known female leaders. And finally, she had the right kind of work ethic, the right brand of wonkiness, to be embraced quickly by her 70,000 new employees at the State Department.
***
For three and a half years at my post in Budapest, I started my mornings reading Clinton’s daily schedule. Hillary Clinton traveled to more countries than any other secretary in the history of the department, logging nearly a million miles and visiting 112 nations. She visited countries that hadn’t had a U.S. secretary of state visit for up to five decades (Laos) or ever (Togo). After all, America can never have enough friends.

The article decribes Mrs. Kounalakis as follows:

Eleni Kounalakis was United States ambassador to Hungary from 2010 to 2013. She is the author of “Madam Ambassador, Three Years of Diplomacy, Dinner and Democracy in Budapest,” published by The New Press. She is a senior adviser to the Albright Stonebridge Group.

That’s fine. Sounds good. However, the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine tells us a little bit more:

Although a case could be made that she, like many ambassadors before her, was tapped only because of her political activism—and the more than $1 million she helped raise as head of Greek-Americans for Hillary Clinton—Tsakopoulos Kounalakis brings to her post professional and personal experience well suited to navigating the challenges her new job presents.

As Ambassador Ken Yalowitz, director of Dartmouth’s Dickey Center and a 36-year State Department veteran, points out, “Although ambassadors will always have their respect, foreign service professionals have a general concern when a political appointee is named. But political appointees can be exceptional diplomats—well qualified, highly motivated. Often they can accomplish things because of their access to people a career foreign service officer might not be able to reach.”

Indeed, in addition to other political activism such as serving four times as delegate to the Democratic National Convention from California, Tsakopoulos Kounalakis has meditated with the Dalai Lama and been honored by the Greek Orthodox Church for her interfaith work mediating forums with the World Council of Religions for Peace. She has also served on the California State World Trade Commission.

Does anyone actually believe that the CNN op-ed piece was objective?

 

How Media Bias Works

Many people who follow news sources other than the mainstream media have been appalled by the recent Planned Parenthood videos. The videos are edited, but it has been acknowledged that the unedited versions confirm that Planned Parenthood is selling aborted baby body parts. So why hasn’t there been outrage? Have we become that calloused? Well, maybe, maybe not. It seems that people who depend on the mainstream media for their news sources may not be aware of the videos.

On Wednesday, The Daily Signal posted an article about a CNN interview about an abortion poll taken in America.

The article reports:

A May 2015 Gallup poll asked, “Should abortion be legal?” Here’s how the numbers broke down:

Twenty-nine percent said abortion should be legal under any circumstances.

Fifty-one percent said abortion should be legal only under certain circumstances.

Nineteen percent said abortion should be illegal in all circumstances.

Here’s what Camerota (CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota) said:

“That’s 80 percent of respondents who believe abortion should be kept legal.” (She added together the 29 percent who said abortion should be legal in any circumstance and 51 percent who said it should be allowed only in certain circumstances.)

Here’s what Camerota could have said:

“That’s 70 percent of Americans who believe there should be limits on abortion.” (Adding together the 51 percent who said it should be legal only in certain circumstances and the 19 percent who said it should not be legal under any circumstances.)

Those who identify as pro-choice are more inclined to report the poll the way CNN did, and those who identify as pro-life are likely to use the latter number—the point being, in this particular poll and many others, you can “interpret the data” to get the spin you want.

The article further noted that CNN had omitted the answers to the following poll question:

Have you seen or heard recent news about videos that supposedly show Planned Parenthood employees discussing the sale of aborted fetus tissue, or not?”

Here were the responses:

Only 27 percent said they had heard a lot.

Only 21 percent said they had heard a little.

But 53 percent of respondents said they had not heard about the story at all.

I wonder how different the other answers in the poll about fetal tissue research and defunding Planned Parenthood would have been if the 74 percent of people who had heard or seen little to nothing had indeed seen the videos.

This is how media bias works.

Why We Still Need Guantanamo

Yesterday CNN reported that Belgium police had arrested two former Guantanamo detainees on terrorism charges.

The article reports:

One of the former Guantanamo Bay detainees was Moussa Zemmouri, 37, a Moroccan national born in Antwerp, Belgian federal prosecutors announced Friday. The other was an Algerian identified as Soufiane A., who prosecutors believe spent time in Syria.

Both have been charged with participating in the activities of a terrorist group and all five have been charged with attempted armed robbery.

Zemmouri was released from Guantanamo in 2005 and authored a book “Innocent at Guantanamo” after returning to Belgium. His case was featured prominently by the UK Muslim prisoner advocacy group CAGE, which has long maintained that he has no links to terrorism.

In the past it has been acceptable practice to hold prisoners of war until the war was over. Unfortunately, the war on terror may last a very long time, but that is no excuse for sending terrorists back into the world. The recidivism rate of former Guantanamo prisoners is high. Even if it were low, do we want to release people who are trained to kill innocent civilians?

Sometimes Lying Just Gets Old

Yesterday CNN posted the transcript of an interview of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by Brianna Keilar, CNN’s Senior White House Correspondent.

The is part of the transcript:

KEILAR:  One of the issues that has eroded some trust that we’ve seen is the issue of your email practices while you were secretary of state.  I think there’s a lot of people who don’t understand what your thought process was on that.

Can you tell me the story of how you decided to delete 33,000 emails and how that deletion was executed?

CLINTON:  Well, let’s start from the beginning.  Everything I did was permitted.  There was no law.  There was no regulation.  There was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate.  Previous secretaries of state have said they did the same thing.  And people across the government knew that I used one device – maybe it was because I am not the most technically capable person and wanted to make it as easy as possible.

KEILAR:  But you said they – that they did the same thing, that they used a personal server and –

KEILAR:  – subpoena deleted emails from them?

CLINTON:  You know, you’re starting with so many assumptions that are – I’ve never had a subpoena.  There is – again, let’s take a deep breath here.  Everything I did was permitted by law and regulation.  I had one device.  When I mailed anybody in the government, it would go into the government system.

Now I didn’t have to turn over anything.  I chose to turn over 55,000 pages because I wanted to go above and beyond what was expected of me because I knew the vast majority of everything that was official already was in the State Department system.

And now I think it’s kind of fun.  People get a real-time behind-the-scenes look at what I was emailing about and what I was communicating about.

KEILAR:  Wearing warm socks, you said to John Podesta.

CLINTON:  Exactly and – or, you know –

KEILAR:  Working a fax machine

CLINTON:  – yes, a secure fax machine, which is harder to work than the regular.

So yes, this is being blown up with no basis in law or in fact.  That’s fine.  I get it.  This is being, in effect, used by the Republicans in the Congress, OK.  But I want people to understand what the truth is.  And the truth is everything I did was permitted and I went above and beyond what anybody could have expected in making sure that if the State Department didn’t capture something, I made a real effort to get it to them.

And I had no obligation to do any of that.  So let’s set the record straight.  And those 55,000 pages, they will be released over the course of this year.  People  can, again, make their own judgments.

I know you say you were permitted.  I just am trying to understand some of the thought process behind it.  One former state attorney general, a Democrat, told CNN that they know of no lawyer who would advise someone, a client, facing the kind of scrutiny that you’ve been facing to wipe their server.

I mean, what do you say to that?

CLINTON:  Well, what I say to that is turned over everything I was obligated to turn over.  And then I moved on.  People delete their personal emails, their work-related emails, whatever emails they have on a regular basis.  I turned over everything that I could imagine.

I added the underlines and italics.

So what are the facts? The National Journal posted a picture of the subpoena that Hillary Clinton says she never got. The subpoena was sent to her in March:

SubpoenaOfHillaryClintonThe National Journal reports:

That (Hillary Clinton’s statement that she had never had a subpoena) drew a rebuke from Trey Gowdy, the GOP chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, who said the need to “correct the inaccuracy” led him to break with his practice of not releasing subpoenas the panel has issued.

“The committee immediately subpoenaed Clinton personally after learning the full extent of her unusual email arrangement with herself, and would have done so earlier if the State Department or Clinton had been forthcoming that State did not maintain custody of her records and only Secretary Clinton herself had her records when Congress first requested them,” Gowdy said in a statement.

The subpoena sought Clinton’s messages from 2011 and 2012 related to Libya and the 2012 attack on a diplomatic compound and CIA facility in Benghazi that killed four Americans.

Very few people have honorable reasons for wiping a computer hard disk clean–particularly after they have been subpoenaed.

On March 3, 2015, The Atlantic reported:

On January 13, 2009, Hillary Clinton attended her first confirmation hearing as a Secretary of State nominee. The same day, with Bush officials still under fire for using private email accounts to circumvent public records laws, someone registered Clintonemail.com, a domain that now appears to be at the center of a scandal. “Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department,” The New York Times reported in a story published late Monday. “Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.”

This was willful, flagrant disregard for public records rules.

Why does this matter? Other than the disregard for the Federal Records Act, it means that we will never have an accurate record of Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. The record we do have will have omissions and changes, and we will have no way of knowing what is missing or what is edited. Evidently Mrs. Clinton did not feel that the law applied to her.

 

Who Can You Trust?

It’s fun to gripe about the left wing media. If the left wing media were not so skewed, there would be no need for the right wing media (or bloggers like me). However, when you look at some of the left wing media stories individually and realize some people depend on the left wing media for their sole source of news, you begin to worry.

Breitbart.com posted a story today about three recent lies told by the mainstream media. The first story had to do with the National Rifle Association‘s Convention rules that seek to comply with the laws of the convention venue.

Breitbart.com previously reported:

Breitbart News previously reported that concealed carry is allowed at the NRA convention everywhere that concealed is allowed by state law and local policy. This means concealed carry-loaded handguns are allowed in the Music City Center but not at events in Bridgestone arena.

The ban on concealed carry in Bridgestone arena is not an NRA ban but a local policy.

This is what the New York Times reported:

After all the N.R.A. propaganda about how ‘good guys with guns’ are needed to be on guard across American life, from elementary schools to workplaces, the weekend’s gathering of disarmed conventioneers seems the ultimate in hypocrisy.

Would the New York Times rather the N.R.A. ignore local and state regulations?

The April 11th article at Breitbart.com sums up the logic:

The Times also found it hypocritical that the NRA requested its gun dealers to remove the firing pins from display guns that thousands of conventiongoers will have access to Apparently, the Times finds it just as bizarre when dealers remove the keys from automobiles at car shows and my local WalMart removes the video games from video game boxes.

The second media lie involved Rand Paul, a candidate whom the Democrat party obviously sees as a threat. This lie came from The Guardian and Politico. The lie was that Rand Paul stormed out of an interview and shut out the lights. The truth is rather different. Rand Paul explained to an interviewer from The Guardian that he only had time to answer one more question, which he did. He then left the set and the lights went out. CNN later admitted that they had turned out the lights–Rand Paul did not. However, the lie was already out.

The third media lie came from Bloomberg. Someone at Bloomberg read at The National Report website (a satirical website) that Nancy Reagan had endorsed Hillary Clinton. Because the person did not know that it was a satirical website and did not check to see if it were true, they ran with the story. Eventually they retracted their lie.

Obviously this is not quality reporting. It is a danger to our representative republic–the key to our freedom is informed voters. This sort of news coverage does not produce informed voters. There are a lot of news sources out there. Some are more reliable than others. I strongly suggest that any story coming from the mainstream media needs to be checked against another source. We can no longer trust the press to do its job.

Petulant Children Do Not Belong In The White House

PJ Media posted two stories today about the Israeli election. The first notes that leaders of other countries are congratulating Benjamin Netanyahu on his election victory, but President Obama has not commented. The second article notes exactly how the Obama Administration has handled the Netanyahu victory.

The second article reports:

On CNN this morning, White House aide David Simas avoided congratulating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Israeli elections. Instead, he would only congratulate the Israeli people on having an election.

“We want to congratulate the Israeli people for the democratic process for the election that they just engaged in with all the parties that engaged in that election. As you know now, the hard work of coalition building begins. Sometimes that takes a couple of weeks. And we’re going to give space to the formation of that coalition government and we’re not going to weigh in one way or another except to say that the United States and Israel have a historic and close relationship and that will continue going forward,” Simas said.

The article then goes on to list the leaders that President Obama congratulated on their election victories in recent years. The list includes leaders elected in Russia, Iran, Turkey, and Egypt. There seems to be a double standard here. Oddly enough, as the Obama Administration pulls away from Israel as an ally, Middle Eastern countries are quietly forming alliances with Israel. The countries in the Middle East realize the threat that Iran poses, and also realize that President Obama will not be willing to deal with it. Prime Minister Netanyahu will deal with the threat, and since other countries share the threat, alliances are quietly forming. The rest of the world recognizes that there is an empty suit occupying the White House. I just wish more Americans would wake up to that fact.

Adding To The Confusion Of ObamaCare

CNN posted an article today about how the subsidies paid to ObamaCare subscribers are going to impact their taxes. No one told them this was going to be taxable!

The article reports:

Obamacare enrollees who received subsidies to help pay for coverage will soon have to reconcile how much they actually earned in 2014 with how much they estimated when they applied many, many months ago.

This will likely lead to some very unhappy Americans. Those who underestimated their income either will receive smaller tax refunds or will owe the IRS money.

That’s because subsidies are actually tax credits and are based on annual income, but folks got their 2014 subsidy before knowing exactly what they’d make in 2014. So you’ll have to reconcile the two with the IRS during the upcoming tax filing season.

Filing taxes has never been any fun–ObamaCare just made it worse.

Subsidies were what kept the cost of ObamaCare down for subscribers:

We’re not talking chump change. Those who applied through the federal exchange received an average monthly subsidy of $264, according to the most recent figures reported by the Obama administration. They only had to pay $82 a month, on average, for coverage, Roughly 85% of total enrollees received help with insurance premiums. The administration last month said 2014 enrollment was 6.7 million.

Those who underestimated their earnings could owe thousands of dollars, though there is a $2,500 cap for those who remain eligible for subsidies. The threshold for eligibility is based on income – $45,900 for an individual and $94,200 for a family in 2014.

In June, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether or not subsidies can be given in states that did not create healthcare exchanges. If the ruling says no, we can expect total chaos in the healthcare sector of the economy while everyone regroups. Meanwhile, the taxman cometh!

The ‘Unknown Motive’ In Ferguson

In an attempt to explain recent events in Ferguson, some of the major media sources (CNN and some of the networks) have referred to an ‘unknown motive’ on the part of Michael Brown. Yesterday World Net Daily posted an article that might provide the answer to what the ‘unknown motive’ was.

The article reports:

Reporting from the scene, Lemon (CNN’s Don Lemon) said, “Maybe a minute, two minutes ago we heard a gunshot and watched people scattering. And we’re watching people on the roofs of cars, on the tops of cars and … Obviously there’s a smell of marijuana here as well.”

“Lemon’s comments sparked fierce backlash on social media,” reported Toyin Owoseje of the International Business Times. She said “many members of the online community” accused him of “adding fire to the flames and promoting his own agenda.”

I am not saying that marijuana is to blame for the rioting–I am saying that marijuana impairs judgment and that people under the influence of the drug might do things that they might not do otherwise.

The article also points out something that I have not heard elsewhere:

Rathbone points out that Kevin Torres, a reporter for KUSA in Colorado, where marijuana is legalized, has done a balanced story on the issue, noting that researchers from Harvard and Northwestern University recently found “younger marijuana users are more likely to have learning and mental health problems.” He cited an article from the New England Journal of Medicine showing high THC use being linked to paranoia and psychosis.

Michael Brown was not only high on THC but was apparently preparing to smoke more dope when Officer Wilson caught him walking down the center of a street and asked him to move to the sidewalk. The swisher sweet cigars Brown had stolen from the convenience store are notorious for being used to make marijuana “blunts.”  (emphasis mine)

The media has attempted to paint Michael Brown as an angelic gentle giant. Clearly, that is not the case. Michael Brown was obviously as flawed an individual as the rest of us. His death was unfortunate, but was also the result of choices that he made. If you take the marijuana out of the equation, you have no theft and probably no reason to attack a policeman. Marijuana may be harmless at times, but obviously this time it was fatal.