May 20, 2013

But of Course: For Bloomberg’s Al Hunt, ‘Scandal’ Is a ‘Misnomer’ for Benghazi, IRS Targeting and DOJ’s Snooping on AP

Old dog, same old tricks.

At Bloomberg Views, Al Hunt, formerly “the executive editor of Bloomberg News, directing coverage of the Washington bureau,” referred to the controversies swirling around the White House as “faux scandals” and insisted that … wait for it … the Obama administration “is the most scandal-free administration in recent memory.” No wonder Bloomberg News developed into such a hopelessly biased outfit while he was there. As much as I could stand to excerpt from Hunt’s harangue follows the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

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AP Waits Until WH Responds to WSJ Story on IG’s IRS Tea Party-Targeting Report, ‘Forgets’ to Mention WSJ Story

Well, it looks like I was right earlier this afternoon when I thought that the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, was among those holding off on reporting the Wall Street Journal’s Sunday evening disclosure that Kathryn Ruemmler, the head of the Office of the White House Counsel, “learned weeks ago that an audit of the Internal Revenue Service likely would show that agency employees inappropriately targeted conservative groups” was “nervous about the Journal’s report, waiting for administration apparatchiks to tell them what to say, or both.”

It turns out that the AP, in an unbylined report, waited until Jay Carney told them what to say and then pretended that the Journal’s Sunday story didn’t exist (the time stamp seen at story as carried at the AP’s national site at the time of this post was 2:51 p.m.; the graphic which follows is of the identical story at Yahoo News):

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WSJ Reports ‘Obama’s Counsel Was Told of IRS Audit Findings Weeks Ago’; Almost All But NYT So Far Ignoring

Saturday, David Espo at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, engaged in an execrable exercise in advocacy journalism entitled “Obama Agenda Marches on Despite Controversies.”

Yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I took apart Espo’s claim that there is a “lack of evidence to date of wrongdoing close to the Oval Office” by showing that in at least five situations — Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS targeting, AP phone snooping, and HHS’s shaking down of insurance companies to fund ObamaCare promotions — have all been known by people who directly report to the President, and are thus just one step away from him. On Sunday evening, the Wall Street Journal reported that in the case of the IRS targeting, it’s a lot less than one step (bolds are mine):

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AmSpec Scoop: Obama ‘Met With Anti-Tea Party IRS Union Chief the Day Before Agency Targeted Tea Party’

Jeffrey Lord at the American Spectator has reviewed the White House logs looking for a relationship between meetings listed there and the timeline found in the Inspector General’s report on the targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups issued last Tuesday. Lord’s work represents yet another example of alternative media scooping a lazy or negligent establishment press.

What Lord has found (single-page print version) is that President Barack Obama met with the President of the National Treasury Employees Union Colleen Kelley, on March 31, 2010. The NTEU is “the 150,000 member union that represents IRS employees along with 30 other separate government agencies.” The Inspector General’s report, blandly titled “Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review,” indicates that the IRS, in Lord’s words, “set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America” the very next day. Lord’s work is a mandatory read-the-whole-thing item. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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Ohio schools corruption update: Ten districts ‘scrubbed’ attendance records; probes of Columbus district expand

Filed under: Education,Ohio Politics,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:35 am

This column went up at Watchdo.org with minor edits a short time ago.

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In July 2012, the Columbus Dispatch broke the story of “attendance scrubbing” in Columbus City Schools. It seems safe to say that reporter Bill Bush had no idea of the full extent of deception and corruption he, other Dispatch reporters, state investigators, and other law enforcement officers would uncover, both at CCS and elsewhere.

If Bush had found nothing else, it would have been bad enough. But since then:

  • Nine other mostly large districts throughout the state were found — one by the Ohio Department of Education, the other eight by the Ohio Auditor’s office,  to have purposely engaged in the practice.
  • The auditor’s office, headed by Dave Yost, found that CCS had also expanded its fudging by changing the grades of hundreds and perhaps even thousands of students.
  • As if this wasn’t enough, the Dispatch learned in mid-February that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has expanded its involvement, and is looking into “possible contract fraud and bid-rigging” at CCS.

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Latest PJ Media Column (‘Scott Pelley’s POS’) Is Up

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Wednesday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (052013)

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

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

Positivity: Helicopter ministry offers unique perspective for faith

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Denver:

May 19, 2013 / 04:01 pm

Hovering 500 feet above the ground, a ride in the Prayer One helicopter offers community leaders the opportunity to join in fellowship – and prayer – above their beloved Mile-High City.

What was born from a conversation during a “boys’ boondoggle in the Bahamas” some nine years ago has now turned into a unique way for Denver’s faith leaders to join in prayer and camaraderie in the skies.
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