February 26, 2013

Astro-Tweets: Many Obama-Encouraged Gun Control Messages to Congressmen Sent From Fake Twitter Accounts

OFAastrotweetWideAt the Hill on Monday, Pete Kasperowicz, employing the establishment press’s usual “mean Republicans attack” spin, is packaging something first aggregated on Friday at Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy.com exclusively as an accusation coming from GOP Congressman Steve Stockman of Texas.

Malkin’s credit-denied crew, with the help of citizen activists who did much of the dirty work, detected what I will call “Astro-Tweets,” a Twitter-driven variant of the campaign tactic known as “astroturfing,” which aims, using a variety of means, to create the illusion of public support for a cause where little or none exists (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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NYT: $500K to OFA Gets You Quarterly Access to Obama; Admin’s Carney Dodges, Walks Away; AP Builds Denial Firewall

OFAaccess500kWide

It’s hard to imagine that Nicholas Confessore and his editors at the overwhelmingly Obama-friendly New York Times were just making things up when he reported over the weekend in a Page A1 story that the Obama campaign’s Organizing For America operation, now “rebooted” as the supposedly independent Organizing For Action, “will rely heavily on a small number of deep-pocketed donors … whose influence on political campaigns Mr. Obama once deplored,” granting them quarterly access to the Obama if they raise $500,000 or more.

According to Charlie Spiering at the Washington Examiner, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, when asked about the story, in Spiering’s words, “asserted that OFA was an ‘independent organization’ that just happened to support the president’s policy agenda,” “refused to address the New York Times reporting,” and “ended the press briefing as reporters were still asking questions and fled the podium.” If the late Tony Snow had done this while serving as press secretary under George W. Bush, we’d be seeing a continuous loop of the walkout on network TV all day long. The key paragraphs from the Times story, the reaction of MSNBC’s Chuck Todd follow the jump, and the Associated Press’s non-denial denial firewall follow the jump.
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IBD Editorial Debunks LaHood’s ‘Fight Delays’ Lament About Sequestration

Doing the kind of reporting the establishment press would be doing if it were something other than the collection of presidential supplicants it has become, an Investor’s Business Daily editorial Monday evening completely refuted outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s claim that a $600 million “cut” (really “a reduction in projected spending”) would hurt the Federal Aviation Administration so badly that flight delays would be an inevitable result. One suspects that similar analyses of other agencies would also reveal that the fears expressed by “President Armageddon” (the Wall Street Journal’s recent nickname for President Obama) have little if any basis in fact — if one bravely assumes that the administration isn’t hell-bent on inflicting the maximum amount of visible pain if sequestration indeed comes to pass.

As I’ve said often, there’s far more of what really amounts to legitimate fact-based reporting (as opposed to White House stenography) in IBD and Wall Street Journal editorials than you’ll find in most of the establishment press’s so-called “straight news reporting” on the same topics. As far as the FAA is concerned, IBD shows that all the agency would have to do is redeploy its existing resources — something which obviously should have been done long ago — and should ultimately privatize the entire operation, as Canada has successfully done (bolds are mine):

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Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (022613)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: A gold medal for his faith

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Tucson, Arizona:

Feb 23, 2013 / 01:04 pm

When coaches and athletes are preparing to head to the Olympic Games, they certainly long for the thrill of victory and don’t even want to consider the agony of defeat. But what of the challenge of even going to the Olympics, period, when an immediate family member dies in the final weeks before the Games?

That was the case for current University of Arizona women’s softball head coach Mike Candrea, who held that same position with Team USA for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. Just prior to his leading the Americans on the world’s stage just over eight years ago, his wife, Sue, died suddenly of a brain aneurysm.
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