The Media Only Told Half Of The Story (As Usual)

The Daily Wire posted an article today about the disinviting of Kaitlan Collins, a White House correspondent for CNN, to a Rose Garden press conference. The media would have you believe that Ms. Collins is being censored for asking the wrong questions or that CNN was barred from the Rose Garden press conference. Neither is true.

The article reports what actually happened:

But White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders offered a very different account.

“At the conclusion of a press event in the Oval Office a reporter shouted questions and refused to leave despite repeatedly being asked to do so,” Sanders said in a statement. “Subsequently, our staff informed her she was not welcome to participate in the next event, but made clear that any other journalist from her network could attend.”

When you are asked to leave the Oval Office, it is wise to do so.

The article concludes:

Just as fellow CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta has been doing since Day 1 of the Trump administration, Collins is clearly trying to get famous by being “tough” on the president. But she’s not being tough, she’s being rude. Ask a question, maybe two, then get out.

So now, that’s a new tactic by the press: Get into the Oval, then simply refuse to leave.

When Trump tires of the tactic (he will) and bars the entire press corps from his office, the MSM will be up in arms.

And when that happens, they should, perhaps, direct some of their ire toward Collins and Acosta. There’s a way to do the job, a very difficult job, without being rude. Give it a try, White House press corps, you just might like it.

We need Emily Post to educate the press corps on basic manners. They seem to have forgotten or never learned them.

Irony?

Last Tuesday I wrote an article about the New York Times interview by Ben Rhodes. The Sunday New York Times Magazine featured a rather lengthy interview with Mr. Rhodes. In the interview, Ben Rhodes essentially brags about taking advantage of the ignorance of young White House reporters in spinning the Iran nuclear deal.

The New York Times article quotes Ben Rhodes:

Rhodes singled out a key example to me one day, laced with the brutal contempt that is a hallmark of his private utterances. “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

Well, Congress asked Mr. Rhodes to testify about the Iran nuclear deal and his actions in selling it. Mr. Rhodes (and President Obama) were not interested in talking to an audience that might be less than friendly and that might actually be seeking the truth.

Fox News posted a story today about Mr. Rhodes’ refusal to testify.

The article states:

Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, wanted the deputy national security adviser to testify at a hearing set for Tuesday titled, “White House narratives on the Iran Nuclear Deal.”

“We’re planning as if he is attending, and he’ll have a comfortable seat awaiting his arrival,” Chaffetz said Monday afternoon of Rhodes.

But W. Neil Eggleston, White House counsel, sent a letter to Chaffetz late Monday saying Rhodes would not attend.

He cited what appeared to be an executive privilege-related claim, asserting that such a senior presidential adviser’s appearance “threatens the independence and autonomy of the President, as well as his ability to receive candid advice and counsel.” For those reasons, he said, “we will not make Mr. Rhodes available to testify.”

Chaffetz earlier had made a last-ditch attempt to pressure Rhodes into appearing. After White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest initially said he should invite GOP Sen. Tom Cotton, whom he accuses of spreading false information about the deal, Chaffetz did exactly that — inviting Cotton to testify, on condition that Rhodes appeared as well.

“[Earnest] suggested that you should be invited to appear at the hearing as well, because you have some ‘interesting insight’ into the JCPOA [the Iran deal]. Therefore your appearance before the Committee would be contingent on Mr. Rhodes’ appearance at that hearing,” Chaffetz said in a letter Friday.

It seems very ironic to me that Mr. Rhodes is willing to tell all to The New York Times but not willing to talk to Congress.

The article at Fox News explains why Congress requested Mr. Rhodes to appear:

Sources tell Fox News that the committee was keen for Rhodes to appear voluntarily so they avoid the territory of a possible subpoena.

The magazine article that touched off the controversy outlined how Rhodes created a narrative of the deal coming out of the 2013 election of “moderate” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iran’s subsequent “openness” and willingness to negotiate.

In fact, the story stated, the majority of the deal was hammered out in 2012, well before Rouhani’s election. However, the Rhodes narrative was politically useful to the administration as it presented them as reaching out to the moderates who wanted peace.

Congress needs to hold the President (and his ‘truth-spinner’) accountable for the lies that were told to gain acceptance of a treaty that will eventually be a threat to America‘s national security. It is very telling to me that Ben Rhodes was willing to spend as many hours as it took to get his interview in The New York Times but is not willing to talk to Congress.

Is The Justice Department Just?

The American Thinker posted an article today about some recent remarks made by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. In what I am sure was an innocent attempt to blunt the force of new revelations about Hillary Clinton and her emails, Mr. Earnest stated, “That will be a decision made by the Department of Justice and prosecutors over there. What I know that some officials over there have said is that she is not a target of the investigation. So that does not seem to be the direction that it’s trending. But I’m certainly not going to weigh in on a decision or in that process in any way. That is a decision to be made solely by independent prosecutors but again, based on what we know from the Department of Justice, it does not seem to be headed in that direction.”

There are some problems with this statement. How do ‘we’ know anything from the Department of Justice?

The article reminds us:

It would be entirely improper for the White House to be in communication with the Justice Department over an ongoing criminal investigation. This would constitute political interference. A congressional committee could well issue a subpoena for Earnest, which would raise the Watergate flag when executive privilege likely would be claimed.

Second, this claim is likely to infuriate the FBI and those DoJ prosecutors with integrity. The normally staid ace reporter Catherine Herridge used the expression “super pissed off” to describe it to Greta Van Susteren.

There are people of integrity working in our government. I suspect they are having a very difficult time right now. I wish this story would go away. I am tired of it, as I am sure most Americans are, but there is the concept of ‘equal justice under the law’ which on the surface seems to have been violated. That aspect of this needs to be investigated, along with finding out what damage was done by the mishandling of classified information that Secretary of State Clinton exhibited.

There Are Rules For This?

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about the charges that Planned Parenthood is selling aborted baby parts for profit. Since the Obama Administration has been a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood, White House spokesman Josh Earnest was asked about the charges.

The article states:

On Friday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the group’s explanation was good enough for the White House.

“I did read the news reports indicating that the policies that are followed by Planned Parenthood are entirely consistent with the strictest ethical guidelines that have been established in the healthcare industry,” Earnest said.

He then tried to refer questions about Planned Parenthood’s compliance with those standards to the group itself, and deflected when a reporter pressed him on whether the president believes it is ethical to sell aborted fetus remains.

“There are medical ethicists that have taken a close look at this, and Planned Parenthood, I understand, has said that they follow those ethical guidelines and in fact the highest ethical guidelines,” he said. “But for their compliance with them and exactly what that means, I’d obviously refer you to them.”

“I don’t have intimate knowledge of the kinds of practices that they engage in,” he added.

Evidently there are rules for selling aborted baby parts and Planned Parenthood is following them. It is truly sad that our culture has fallen to this level.

Ignoring The Truth Doesn’t Really Help Anyone

Breitbart.com posted an article today about the verbal gymnastics the Obama Administration is going through to avoid calling the attack in Paris Islamic terrorism.

The article reports:

Earnest explained to White House reporters during the press briefing that this is a question of “accuracy.”

“We want to describe exactly what happened. These are individuals who carried out an act of terrorism, and they later tried to justify that act of terrorism by invoking the religion of Islam in their own deviant view of it,” he said.

The White House may call it a deviant view, but there seem to be an awful lot of armed Muslims who share that view and are ready to die for it.

It is not an incredible coincidence that a Kosher Deli was attacked. Antisemitism is a serious problem in France, fueled in part by the growing Muslim population in France. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has whitewashed the terrorism briefings of our military and diplomatic corps, taking out the words Islamic terrorism and replacing them with the word extremism. The report on September 11, 2001, has also been purged of the words Islamic terrorism. Sun Tzu, the great Chinese strategist stated that the first rule of war is to “know your enemy.” Someone needs to remind the Obama Administration of that rule.

Someone Finally Takes Responsibility

Fox News reported yesterday that Secret Service Director Julia Pierson has resigned. Her resignation comes after a number of security breaches have been made public.

The article reports:

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced the resignation in a written statement, and the White House confirmed her decision shortly afterward. President Obama “concluded new leadership of that agency was required,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

Johnson said: “Today Julia Pierson, the Director of the United States Secret Service, offered her resignation, and I accepted it. I salute her 30 years of distinguished service to the Secret Service and the Nation.”

A source familiar with the situation told Fox News that Johnson told Pierson the resignation would be effective immediately, after she offered.

The fact that an intruder was able to enter the White House is troubling. Many of us, myself included, have home security systems that would prevent that–not to mention the simple step of locking the doors.

It is time to take another look at the entire Homeland Security Department.  As is historically typical of government agencies, it has grown very large and very inefficient. It is time to streamline the department and separate it into manageable entities. I am sure there would also be some financial savings in that reorganization.

Is This The Beginning Of The End?

Breitbart.com is reporting tonight that the White House has granted a six-week extension for Americans to sign up for health care. The new deadline will be March 31, 2014.

The article reports:

Monday’s move had been expected since White House spokesman Jay Carney promised quick action last week to resolve a “disconnect” in the implementation of the law. Technical problems continue to trouble the website that’s supposed to be the main enrollment vehicle for people who don’t get health care at work.

Under the new policy, people who sign up by the end of open enrollment season won’t face a penalty.

Previously you had to sign up by the middle of February, so your coverage would take effect March 1.

It will be interesting to see if the Obama Administration can design a secure, user-friendly website in time for that deadline.

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Trying To Make A Difference When You Really Don’t Have The Power

Admittedly there are some squishy Republicans who are part of the problem and not part of the solution in Washington, but there is also reality. Even if every Republican were on board, there would still be limits on what the House of Representatives could do to stop the runaway spending in Washington. Katie Pavlich posted an article at Townhall.com today outlining the current Republican strategy for dealing with the excessive spending of the Obama Administration.

The bottom line here is simple–as long as the 2009 budget is used as a baseline (because the Senate has not passed a budget since then), America will continue to have trillion dollar deficits every year. Logically, part of the solution is to change the baseline. The way to do that is to pass a new budget. Now for the strategy.

The article at Townhall.com reports:

House leaders on Monday unveiled legislation to permit the government to continue borrowing money through May 18 in order to stave off a first-ever default on U.S. obligations. It is slated for a vote on Wednesday.  

Although President Obama is getting a temporary break from the debt ceiling fight as a result of this latest move by Republicans, he’ll be anything but satisfied. After all, President Obama wants the debt ceiling completely eliminated and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has repeatedly said a short term increase isn’t acceptable. On the other hand, Carney also refused last week to explain how much of an increase in the debt ceiling Obama is looking for.

There is a very interesting item in the Republican proposal:

The measure also contains a “no budget, no pay” provision that withholds pay for lawmakers if the chamber in which they serve fails to pass a congressional budget resolution by April 15. That’s a provision designed to press the Senate to pass a budget.

I cannot imagine the Senate agreeing to that, but it is an interesting proposal. The vote is expected tomorrow despite the fact that no one is saying how high the debt ceiling should be raised. Does anyone want to try to run their household finances this way?

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