September 30, 2013

AP Finally Fact-Checks ‘Slippery Claims’ on Obamacare, But Buries Obama’s Empty ‘You Can Keep Your Plan’ Promise in Paragraph 15

Calvin Woodward finally got around to “fact-checking” Obamacare’s “slippery claims” this morning, 3-1/2 years after the Affordable Care Act became law and the day before open enrollment in its state insurance exchanges was to begin. Way to be there when it matters, Cal.

Woodward’s report (also saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) also mixed in budget showdown issues, and buried President Barack Obama’s original false claim, that “If you like your health plan, you can keep it,” in a very late paragraph. Such courage (/sarcasm). Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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I Would Analyze the Associated Press’s Disgraceful Pre-Shutdown Story …

… but John Hinderaker at Powerline has nailed Andrew Taylor’s de facto trampling of the truth.

Go there. Then tell people how insanely biased the news they’ll hear tomorrow morning will be.

NYT Bemoans August Al Qaeda Plot Leak After Blowing Open Bush Admin Financial Monitoring in 2006

Isn’t this rich? The New York Times, in a Sunday story placed on the front page of Monday’s print edition, took shots at another news organization for leaking sensitive intelligence. The Old Grey Lady must think we all have short memories.

Unfortunately, Dylan Byers at the Politico does have a short memory — either that, or he’s protecting the sacred Times and its history-challenged reporters Eric Schmitt and Michael S. Schmidt. Here’s how Byers lays out the situation (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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Twitter Allowing Terrorist Account Set-ups, Recommends ‘Follows’ For Other Terrorists

Filed under: National Security,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:28 pm

It’s not yet a safe haven, but it seems that terrorist outfits are having little problem setting up Twitter accounts. It also seems that these accounts tend to stay up until someone complains, meaning that the company either has no effective mechanisms for detecting pro-terror sentiments and the gruesome pictures which sometimes accompany them, or isn’t using them. The ease with which all of this can be done has not become much of a national story, even though becoming one would seem to be a natural outgrowth of last week’s Kenya mall attack, given that one such Twitter account gleefully posted attack photos.

Here are some of the specfiics from Bridget Johnson at PJ Media (bolds are mine):

Twitter Not Only Allows Terrorist Accounts, But Suggests Terrorists to Follow

TwitterOtherTerroristAccts0913

As terrorists increasingly have embraced social media, Twitter has increasingly come under criticism for hosting terror feeds. Al-Shabaab is on it sixth account after getting suspended in the past for tweeting photos of a dead French special ops soldier, and most recently the Somali terror outlet blazed through a few accounts after suspensions for gloating about the Westgate mall massacre. Their latest account, @HSM_PR, has remained active for many days now and has racked up 59 tweets. During the attack and its aftermath, journalists were checking the Shabaab feed for its latest claims and links to statements.

So when al-Qaeda announced it had launched its first official Twitter account, I, like other journalists who cover terrorism, hit the follow button. The @shomokhalislam account was suspended Sunday by Twitter after being allowed to remain open since Tuesday, posting nearly 50 tweets that included an attack on “the servants of worshipers of the cross” in a bombing that targeted staff of Pakistan’s interior minister in Peshawar.

On Saturday, I received one of those occasional emails from Twitter offering suggestions based on a recent follow — suggesting that I follow other terrorists.

The first suggested account, “Islam Workshop,” is connected to an al-Qaeda web forum to “rouse the believers.”

… The second appears to be linked to the Al-Battar training camp, al-Qaeda’s program that has offered DIY as well as hands-on terrorist advice.

The fourth claims to be “one of the foot soldiers” of Al-Shabaab, and posted several press photo from the Westgate attack while gloating about Shabaab’s gruesome accomplishments.

Twitter has said it can’t comment on users when asked to explain why terrorist accounts remain up. The only reason Al-Shabaab’s account fell a couple of times after the horrific Westgate attack was because of intense pressure from angry Twitter users in Africa and around the globe.

Twitter’s official policies relating to account suspension do not depend solely on user complaints. Even given terrorists’ occasional level of tech sophistication, it is especially troubling, given Twitter’s policy that “Accounts created to replace suspended accounts will be permanently suspended,” that terrorists have been able to create new post-suspension accounts.

Obviously, the prohibitions against “Violence and Threats” and “Unlawful Use” should also be quite relevant.

It’s disappointing that Twitter appears not to be automatcially deploying its search engines to detect key words which raise suspicions of terrorist affiliation — or if it is, it’s not paying much attention to generated results.

One would think that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security might be interested in the ease with which terrorists can set up accounts and have them go undetected in Twitterland — that is, if they, the NSA, and others can tear themselves away from spying on Americans’ love interests long enough to do real national security work.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Sy Hersh: ‘The republic’s in trouble, we lie about everything, lying has become the staple.’

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize winner, is definitely on the left philosophically.

But he’s also consistent in pursuit of the truth, which is a problem when almost all of the rest of the establishment press has become leftist Obama administration lapdogs.

The excerpt which follows doesn’t require a lot of elaboration (bolds are mine):

Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA and the ‘pathetic’ American media

The Obama administration lies systematically, he claims, yet none of the leviathans of American media, the TV networks or big print titles, challenge him.
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Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (093013)

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

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: John Paul II, John XXIII to be canonized Divine Mercy Sunday

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Sep 30, 2013 / 03:34 am

The Vatican has announced that former Popes John Paul II and John XXIII are slated to be canonized this coming spring.

The announcement was made following the Sept. 30 consistory, in which the Holy Father proclaimed that the pontiffs would be canonized together April 27, 2014 on the second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday.

A consistory is a meeting where the Pope and the College of Cardinals come together to discuss and determine dates for current causes of beatification or canonization.

In recent months, the final steps paving the way towards Bl. John Paul II’s canonization, including the approval of the second needed miracle, have been completed.

However, in the case of John XXIII, only one miracle has been formally approved by the Vatican, instead of the usual two. Although the decision to waive the second miracle is unusual, it is within the authority of the Pope to do so.

When the decision was announced earlier this summer, Vatican press office director Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. explained that since there was already one approved miracle allowing Pope John XXIII to be beatified, the canonization will still be valid, even without a second miracle. …

Go here for the rest of the story.