January 19, 2014

Obama Plays Race Card on Falling Poll Numbers While New Yorker’s Remnick Tries to Rewrite History

Much will be written, and should be, about President Barack Obama’s whining that racism partially explains the year-long plunge in his popularity since his reelection in 2012. What’s also worth noting about the ponderous and painfully long (18 web pages) January 27 writeup in The New Yorker (“Going the Distance; On and off the road with Barack Obama”) is David Remnick’s apparent obsessions with rewriting history and recasting reality.

But first, here’s the paragraph where Obama, apparently feeling that the “it’s Bush’s fault I inherited all these messes” card may finally have worn itself out, goes for the race card (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

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HealthCare.gov’s Lack of Security Is Still a Disgrace, As Is the Press’s Failure to Recognize It

On Thursday, Stephanie Condon at CBS News reported (“Security chief: HealthCare.gov has passed security testing”) that Teresa Fryer, who had recommended against allowing HealthCare.gov going live before its October launch but was overruled, “told Congress … that the Obamacare website passed security testing in December, and she would recommend that its official Authority to Operate (ATO) be extended when the current ATO expires in March.”

On Friday at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, in an otherwise keister-covering dispatch apparently designed to show that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was really, really unaware of the web site’s prelaunch security problems, claimed without qualification that “There have been no successful attacks on the site” — even though by law the government “need never notify customers that their personal information has been hacked or possibly compromised.”

It would appear that Condon and Alonso-Zaldivar deliberately chose to ignore something else which occurred during Thursday’s congressional hearings. Kevin Mitnick, one of the world’s most infamous hackers, “submitted a scathing criticism to a House panel Thursday of ObamaCare’s Healthcare.gov website.” Additionally, on Fox News Sunday, “white hat” hacker David Kennedy contradicted Alonso-Zaldivar’s “no successful attacks” claim by asserting that that the government doesn’t even possess the ability to detect them.

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AP’s Hananel Weakly Covers Union’s Threats Against USPS-Staples Retail Partnership

Presumed union member (the News Media Guild) and Associated Press reporter Sam Hananel’s Sunday morning coverage of union threats against a pilot partnership between the U.S. Postal Service and Staples Inc. fails to deliver on at least three counts.

First, while noting that American Postal Workers Union (APWU) boycott threats ended a similar effort at Sears stores in the late-1980s, Hananel “somehow” forgot to note its aftermath, which resulted in even wider distribution of USPS products by non-union workers. Second, Hananel ignored the fact that USPS’s main competitors, UPS and Fedex, both already have large networks of relatively convenient nonunion retail shipping outlets – compared to most post offices, which are separate-trip, standalone locations. Third, and most critically, he fails to note that the APWU’s demand to have its members staff the Staples counters, even ignoring the wage differential, would be an extraordinarily counterproductive waste of labor. Excerpts from his coverage follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (011914)

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: Be true witnesses rather than ‘pure legalists,’ Pope exhorts

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Jan 14, 2014 / 10:50 am

In his daily homily, Pope reflected on different models of Christian witness, cautioning the faithful against hypocrisy when they evangelize, and encouraging them to imitate Jesus.

“Let us ask the Lord that these two readings help us in our lives as Christians,” said the Pope in reference to the day’s scripture passages, and let us learn “not to be pure legalists, hypocrites like the scribes and Pharisees…but to be like Jesus, with that zeal to seek the people.”

During his Jan. 14 homily given in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse, Pope Francis used the characters in the day’s readings to develop the theme of Christian witness, highlighting how the attitudes portrayed display four different types of believers.

Focusing on Eli the priest from the first reading, his sons who were also priests, the scribes and on Jesus, the pontiff explained that the Lord’s attitude is one of teaching with authority, while the others bound their people with heavy burdens.

“It is Jesus himself who says that (the scribes) did not move these things even with a finger, right?” the Pope explained, “And then He will say to people: ‘Do what they say but not what they do!’”

The scribes, he noted, are “incoherent people,” adding that it often seems “that these scribes and Pharisees are always beating on the (regular folks).”

However, the pontiff explained that “Jesus told them…that in this way, they closed the door to the Kingdom of Heaven, (as if to say), ‘You don’t let others enter, and so neither will you yourselves gain entrance.’”

“This is how some people teach, preach and witness the faith…and how many people out there think that the faith really is as they present it.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.