August 24, 2016

In Covering Clinton Foundation/State Dept. Access Scandal, NBC Nightly News Is Far Left of Morning Joe

Early Wednesday morning, Nicholas Fondacaro at NewsBusters noted how the NBC Nightly News spent Tuesday evening defending Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation in the wake of an Associated Press report showing that “At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs.” Wednesday evening, Fondacaro observed that Wednesday’s Nightly News “failed to mention the scandal at all.”

Contrary to usual past form, the broadcast network’s Nightly News treatment seems to be running far to the left of its weak cable sister MSNBC in the name of keeping damning information about Mrs. Clinton’s activities away from low-information voters.

On Wednesday’s Morning Joe, by contrast, every panelist in the video segment presented below was either shocked, disgusted, dismayed, or asking, “What was she thinking?”



AP Reporter Grills State Dept. Spokesman About $1.3B Paid to Iran (Updated)

Several items Associated Press reporter Matt Lee brought up at yesterday’s daily State Department briefing relating to $1.31 billion in payments which allegedly made their way into the coffers of the government of Iran in January were newsworthy. Yet, based on relevant searches at the AP’s two main sites (main national site; Big Story site), the wire service, as of noon on Wednesday Eastern Time, failed to publish a story reflecting Lee’s assertions and efforts.

Those payments are listed on the website of the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, specifically at its “Judgment Fund.” Claudia Rosett at the New York Sun reported on Monday that that amounts involved include 13 “multiple 10-digit payments” of one penny less than $100 million dollars, plus “a 14th payment of just over $10 million.” On Tuesday, the AP’s Lee spent 6-1/2 minutes questioning the State Department’s Mark Toner about these payments. Lee also circled back to the $400 million in cash sent to Iran in January, while making several points which should be widely disseminated news by now.



Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (082416)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


Positivity: U.S. Olympic Champion Saves Cousin’s Baby From Abortion — ‘I’ll Adopt Her’

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

Posted yesterday by Katie Yoder at NewsBusters:

Claressa Shields made history in Rio as the first U.S. boxer to win back-to-back gold medals. But while the major media outlets praised her historic win, they forgot about her most important personal win.

On Monday, the 21-year-old credited God for her success on Good Morning America after ABC anchor Amy Robach referenced her “difficult childhood.”

… when her cousin begged her for abortion money, Shields decided to adopt a baby of her own as a teenager.

… Her cousin had wanted to abort Klaressa, but didn’t have the $500 to pay for it.

When she asked for money, Shields refused, writer Kevin Iole reported.

“I told her I didn’t believe in abortion and so I wasn’t giving her any money to do that,” Shields stressed.

When her cousin later raised $400, she again asked for Shields’ help – to pay for the last $100.  That’s when Shields pointed to another option.

“I really wanted a baby myself and I wanted to have one when I turned 18 right after I won the [2012] Olympics,” she told Iole. Because she couldn’t get pregnant while training for the 2016 Olympics, she told her cousin, “You have the baby, and I’ll adopt her.”

And that she did. Shields took Klaressa home and readjusted her schedule to care for her. …

The full post is here.

August 23, 2016

As She Frets over Obama Losing ‘Vacation Glow,’ AP’s Darlene Superville Distorts Iran Cash-For-Hostages Points

At the Associated Press Tuesday morning, Darlene Superville added another chapter to her rarely uninterrupted eight-year exercise in hero-worship coverage of President Barack Obama and his administration.

Superville infamously gobbled up precious press briefing time at a White House briefing last year asking questions about the President’s upcoming father-daughter weekend the day after Islamic terrorist attacks in Chattanooga, Tennessee killed five U.S. servicemen. Tuesday morning, she opened her coverage of Obama’s return from his two-week Martha’s Vineyard vacation with verbiage that would even embarrass tabloid celebrity stalkers. In later paragraphs, she played the “Republicans say” game, and twisted facts about the hard-cash-for-hostages exchange with Iran. (Also, see the Update at the end of this post.)



Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (082316)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:20 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


Positivity: U.S. Pole Vaulter Sam Kendricks Stops Mid-Run, Stands at Attention During the National Anthem

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Paula Bolyard at PJ Media:

AUGUST 21, 2016

U.S. Olympic pole vaulter Sam Kendricks turned some heads in Rio last week when he interrupted his pole vault during the qualifying round to stop and listen to the national anthem. Kendricks, 23, is a former Ole Miss standout and a second lieutenant in the 655th Transportation Company of the U.S. Army Reserves in Millington, Tenn.

On his approach to the bar during the qualifying round, he stopped abruptly on the track, set his pole on the ground, and stood at attention as the national anthem played in another part of the venue.

Even with that interruption, he managed to qualify for the finals with a jump of 5.7 meters. He went on to win the bronze medal by clearing 5.85 meters, becoming the first American to win a medal in pole vault since 2004.

“They say back home, and jokingly in track circles, that if you win a medal it will change your life,” Kendricks told the Clarion-Ledger. “I think your life is changed on the way to that medal, honestly. With all the journeys and sacrifices that you make, all the training that you do, and the people you leave at home to watch. That is what is really the value of the (medal). I’m glad I have something tangible to bring home and show for it. I know that everybody in Oxford will love to see it. But the journey, like my coach says, is the goal. Not necessarily the medals. And it’s very fun to come and compete, but not necessarily the end of all things.” …

Watch Kendricks come to a dead stop, put his vaulting pole down, and stand at attention here.

August 22, 2016

USA Today, Wash Post Rewrite History to Give Bill Clinton Full Credit For Welfare Reform

On August 22, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, aka “welfare reform,” into law.

Writeups today at USA Today and in the Washington Post would make readers believe that credit for this accomplishment belongs entirely to Bill Clinton, and that it was his advocacy that brought it all about. The truth is that “ending welfare as we know it” was a 1992 Clinton presidential campaign promise which languished in inactivity until 1996. The promise would have remained a long-forgotten slogan if it hadn’t been for the persistence of the Republican-dominated Congress and the looming 1996 presidential election. That combination forced Clinton’s hand — against his will.

There are other problems in the two papers’ reports, but this post will primarily rebut their historical revisionism.



On CNN, Gov. John Bel Edwards Backs Off, Calls Trump’s Louisiana Flood Visit ‘Helpful’

On CNN’s Sunday State of the Union show, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, apparently mindful of the disastrous optics his party’s top two leaders had allowed to occur and powerless to do anything about it, admitted to the network’s Dana Bash that Donald Trump’s visit to flood-ravaged areas in his state last week was “helpful.”

Edwards, in noting that Trump’s Bayou State visit had “helped to shine a spotlight” on the Louisiana flooding, which has been called the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since Superstorm Sandy in 2012, also indirectly confirmed that the Obama administration and the national press had done a poor job — until the Republican nominee’s visit — of informing the rest of the nation about the suffering taking place in his state.



Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (082216)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


Positivity: Despite the Islamic State, the Church celebrates the first communion of one hundred children

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Alqosh, Iraq:

08/16/2016, 17.33

Alqosh (AsiaNews) – The first communion Mass in Alqosh was an historic moment” for a “frontier town” that has been under threat from the militants of the Islamic State (IS) for a long time. Now it can “hope for peace and normalcy” around these hundred children, said Mgr Basil Yaldo, auxiliary bishop of Baghdad and close associate of the Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako.

The Chaldean primate presided over the ceremony that was attended by “all the priests of the city, the nuns and more than 700 people. The faithful were excited because for the first time, the patriarch celebrated communions in the community.”

Alqosh is an historic town in the Nineveh Governorate, Iraqi Kurdistan. It is located about 50 km north of Mosul, a Jihadist stronghold, and constitutes one of the main centres of the Assyrian-Chaldean Christian tradition.

At about 3 km from the centre, in the mountains overlooking the city, stands the ancient monastery of Rabban Hormizd, see of the Nestorian patriarchs from 1551 to 1804.

Over time, the original structure, too exposed to attacks from outside as well as a symbol of a troubled period of the local Church, was replaced by the new monastery of Our Lady of Messi, just outside the city.

Today it is inhabited by a group of monks, who opened their doors to orphans and unaccompanied minors separated from their families because of Islamist violence.

Like many other towns in Iraqi Kurdistan, Alqosh too welcomed scores of refugees.

“Life in the area is almost back to normal,” said the vicar of Baghdad. “We hope that soon the whole plain [of Nineveh] can be liberated from the jihadists, and that refugees can return to their villages.”

The work to secure the area, he added, has “already started and for the past two days Iraqi troops have launched the battle to liberate the villages surrounding Mosul.”

Addressing the boys and girls who received the first communion, Patriarch Sako urged them not to abandon their land, the city of Alqosh, but to stay and help in the reconstruction “because there is a (Christian) heritage to be preserved.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

August 21, 2016

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (082116)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


Positivity: Helen Maroulis’s perfect response to Ryan Lochte overshadowing her historic gold medal

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Rio de Janeiro:

August 19 at 3:11 PM

One day after winning the United States’ first Olympic gold medal in women’s wrestling, Helen Maroulis said she plans to return four years from now and defend her title at the Tokyo Games.

… Maroulis said at a news conference Friday afternoon that she was still processing her emotional win over Japan’s Saori Yoshida, a legend in the sport.

… Not surprisingly, Maroulis is as poised and comfortable off the mat as she is on it. She was asked whether she was bothered that the controversy surrounding swimmer Ryan Lochte overshadowed her big day, and her answer was a reminder of what drives most Olympians to compete at this level. Hint: It’s not mega-sponsorship checks and primetime interviews with Billy Bush.

“I didn’t come here to win a gold medal for the media attention,” she said. “I didn’t come here to win a gold medal in order to find something within myself or some peace within myself. I found that self-worth before I stepped on the mat. I think that’s why I won the gold medal.

“Yesterday was about stepping on the mat and just wrestling to the best of my ability and really taking joy in what I do. If they covered Ryan Lochte over my match, well, I think that’s a poor decision on their part, but I’m not running the show. My job is to be a wrestler, and I stepped on the mat and did what I needed to do. I’m happy with the results.”

Go here for the full story.

August 20, 2016

AP, NYT Ignore Landrieu Thanking Donald Trump For Visiting Flood-Ravaged Louisiana

In a CNN interview on Friday, former three-term U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democrat, thanked Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for visiting the flood-ravaged Bayou State. Then, addressing the absence to that point of President Barack Obama and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, she said, “I hope Secretary Clinton will make her way down. I hope President Obama will make a visit” — which is as close as a fellow Democrat can possibly get to saying what’s really on their mind, which is “Where in the heck are you guys?”

Those who have noticed it have decribed Landrieu’s gratitude to Trump combined with her de facto callout of Obama and Clinton a “rare moment.” It should surprise no one, though such behavior continues to deeply disappoint, that based on relevant searches neither Landrieu’s statements nor any allusion to them have appeared at the two main national sites of the Associated Press (main site; Big Story site) or at the New York Times.



Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (082016)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 11:55 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.