DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates announced on Wednesday that five of its diplomats were killed in a bombing in southern Afghanistan the day before, one of the worst attacks to target the young nation’s diplomatic corps.
Meanwhile, the Taliban denied planting the bomb in the Kandahar attack, which also wounded the UAE ambassador to Afghanistan.
Afghan security forces inspect the site of two large bombings in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Two loud explosions have rocked the Afghan capital of Kabul, causing casualties. The target of the blasts was probably an area that includes government and lawmakers’ offices. Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said that first, a suicide bomber carried out an attack, followed by a second explosion, caused by car bomb parked near the site. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE’s prime minister and vice president, said on Twitter that “there is no human, moral or religious justification for the bombing and killing of people trying to help” others. Read the rest of this entry »
Hillary Clinton cannot seem to seal the deal with voters, and the left is lashing out at the media in frustration.
Noah Rothmans writes: For months, frustrated liberals have bemoaned the fact that Donald Trump receives any fair coverage at all. His xenophobic policies and racially toxic rhetoric, they contend, render him beyond the pale. To “normalize” him as though he were just another politician is irresponsible, and the press should not be giving him equal footing with a more responsible candidate like Clinton.
This view has recently received traction among liberal commentators and mainstream Democrats as it becomes ever clearer that Hillary Clinton’s post-convention halo is gone. Worse, Donald Trump continues to be mired in scandal, alleged misconduct, and potential fraud, and yet none of it seems to be affectinghis polling.
“He is playing you guys like a Stradivarius. Dominating news instead of Newsweek story, Trump Foundation. Pathetic.”
— the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza
Instead, superficial matters like the health of both candidates—propelled along by absurd displays like Trump’s apperance with celebrity physician Dr. Oz—are sucking up all the oxygen. These have been the prevailing conditions since Donald Trump entered the political fray, but only when Clinton became vulnerable did they become intolerable.
“He is playing you guys like a Stradivarius. Dominating news instead of Newsweek story, Trump Foundation,” perennial Republican critic Norman Ornstein barked at the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza. “Pathetic.”
“[Y]ou can ask any question about Trump, Trumpism or anti-Trumpism except the existential ones,” wrote newly minted GQ pundit Keith Olbermann, “because the existential ones could lead him to stop calling in to your morning show and providing you with your highest-rated hour for free.”
Even President Barack Obama has become a media critic. “We cannot afford suddenly to treat this like a reality show,” Obama said, lambasting the press for covering the 2016 campaign as though both candidates were acceptable alternatives. “We can’t afford to act as if there’s some equivalence here.” Read the rest of this entry »
“Is one of the goals for you … to spur more actual debating?” CNN’s Brian Stelter asked debate moderator Jake Tapper a few days before the event. Stelter pointed to a moment in the August Fox News debate in which two candidates, Chris Christie and Rand Paul, had an extended and heated — and illuminating — exchange with each other.*
“That was my favorite moment from the debate,” Tapper said. “Let’s have as many of those as possible. So, yes, what the team and I have been doing is trying to craft questions that, in most cases, pit candidates against the other, specific candidates on the stage, on issues where they disagree, whether it’s policy or politics or leadership. Let’s actually have them discuss and debate.”
“I don’t think this is a debate where you’ll have candidates attack each other; we’ve not seen this on the campaign trail. Bernie Sanders has been very clear. He’s not going to go after Hillary Clinton by name. He’s not going to criticize her. And I see no reason that Hillary Clinton would do that with any of the candidates.”
— Anderson Cooper
That was then. Now, another CNN anchor, Anderson Cooper, will be moderating a debate, this time among Democrats, and he says there will be none of that raucous “actual debating” this time around.
Leave the slugfest to the Republicans. The Democratic debate will be a serious discussion of the issues. Read the rest of this entry »
On Fox News Sunday earlier today, George Will had fierce words for both Clintons in the wake of this week’s revelations about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server in her time as secretary of state.
“It’s axiomatic that the worst political scandals are those that reinforce a pre-existing, negative perception. The Clintons come trailing clouds of entitlement and concealment and legalistic, Jesuitical reasonings — the kind of people who could find a loophole in a stop sign.”
“Her obvious motive was to conceal. You conceal in order to control. And that’s what makes this literally, strictly speaking, Orwellian. This is a way of controlling what we will know about the history of our country. And it is deeply sinister.”
At The Corner, Ian Tuttle writes: Why did House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) not mention his invitation to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House? “Because I wanted to make sure that there was no interference,” the Speaker told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace.
“There’s no secret here in Washington about the animosity that this White House has for Prime Minister Netanyahu. And I, frankly, didn’t want them getting in the way and quashing what I thought was a real opportunity.”
Boehner said elsewhere in the interview that inviting Netanyahu was apposite…(read more)
New York Times Magazine forced to admit that Megyn Kelly might be great at her job
This piece from New York Times Magazine wouldn’t be all that remarkable were it not for who was writing it and who the subject was. It’s a rather rare moment when anyone from the elite enclaves of their Manhattan offices comes down to Earth and actually has something nice to say about any of the Fox News crew, and it’s a surprisingly candid and positive piece about evening desk host Megyn Kelly. But even for the honest appraisal, the author can’t seem to help acting surprised that Kelly actually takes people to task from both sides of the aisle in what he calls a “Megyn Moment.”
For those unfamiliar with the phenomenon, a Megyn moment, as I have taken to calling it, is when you, a Fox guest — maybe a regular guest or even an official contributor — are pursuing a line of argument that seems perfectly congruent with the Fox worldview, only to have Kelly seize on some part of it and call it out as nonsense, maybe even turn it back on you. You don’t always know when, how or even if the Megyn moment will happen; Kelly’s political sensibility and choice of subjects are generally in keeping with that of the network at large.
But you always have to be ready for it, no matter who you are. Neither Karl Rove nor Dick Cheney have been spared their Megyn moments, nor will the growing field of 2016 presidential aspirants, who can look forward to two years of interrogation on “The Kelly File.” The Megyn moment has upended the popular notion of how a Fox News star is supposed to behave, and led to the spectacle of a Fox anchor winning praise from the very elites whose disdain Fox has always welcomed. In the process, Kelly’s program has not just given America’s top-rated news channel its biggest new hit in 13 years; it has demonstrated an appeal to the younger and (slightly) more ideologically diverse demographic Fox needs as it seeks to claim even more territory on the American journo-political landscape.
“Obama has contradicted himself on that because he has declared war on ISIS, and said not just that we are going to contain it, but that we’re going to destroy it.”
The emerging geopolitical threats over the last year, including the rise of the Islamic State and Russia’s regional aggression, have created “a lot of danger out there,” says the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Mike Rogers: Intelligence Community Was Ready to Respond to North Korea Hack Attack, Didnt Get Decision from ObamaPosted: December 21, 2014
“The problem here was not the fact that we didn’t have the capability to do something nearly in immediate time, we just didn’t get a decision from the president of the United States.”
Ryan Lovelace writes: Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the intelligence community is ready to respond to the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment by hackers that had the support of North Korea. “Our intelligence services, the folks who would be responsible for at least the first wave of trying to make sure they don’t have the capability to do this again, were ready, they have the capability, they were ready to go,” Rogers said on Fox News Sunday….(read more)
More from the talking-head shows, from The Corner. Rubio was on the defensive for most of the interview (who wouldn’t be, under the hot lights with interviewer Chris Wallace?) and for good reason: Rubio was a leading proponent of comprehensive immigration reform, until he flamed out in the polls, and is now trying to reinvent his message. Here’s some of Andrew Johnson‘s summary of Rubio’s Fox News Sunday interview:
“We’re not debating what to do — we’re debating how to do it. I’m just telling you we will never have the votes necessary to pass in one bill all of those things — it just won’t happen.”
Though the political class hasn’t caught up with this yet, Americans are rightly skeptical of any public policy package with the word “comprehensive” on it. It’s kryptonite. Don’t open that package. Send it back.
Some of Rubio’s more interesting comments, not included here (I just watched the broadcast of Rubio’s Fox News Sunday interview a moment ago) was not about immigration, but in defense of characterizing Hillary Clinton as a “20th Century candidate“. Chris Wallace noted that some see it as a veiled reference to Hillary’s advanced age. Rubio responded that you can be 40 years old, and be a candidate of the 20th Century. Rubio launched into a fairly typical monologue outlining an entrepreneurial alternative to Hillary’s statism. Some of it was good, not defensive, occasionally colorful and distracting. Here’s a money quote:
“We are going through the equivalent of an industrial revolution every five years.”
True? Not true? Either way, it’s a campaigner’s flourish. Not unlike something an ascendant Newt Gingrich or Bill Clinton would say when they wanted to change the subject with futuristic-sounding language. Read the rest of this entry »
“It’s the exact same language every time.”
For Truth Revolt, Trey Sanchez reports: The Wall Street Journal‘s Kimberley Strassel suggested on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace that President Obama has a “scandal manual” in his top drawer as a go-to guide on how to respond to the latest scandal because as it turns out, the administration responds the same way every time.
In an edited video clip, President Obama and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney are shown across the latest three scandals — the IRS targeting conservatives, the AP phone records collection, and now the VA secret waiting lists — saying they first heard about them through the media just like everybody else. Read the rest of this entry »
On Fox News Sunday, Representative Trey Gowdy R-SC, the newly appointed chair of the Houses Benghazi select committee, accused Democrats of having “selective amnesia” when it came to fundraising off of tragedies, arguing they had no problem raising funds from everything from Hurricane Katrina to Sandy Hook.
Not the most original insight, but a funny reminder about an unavoidable media reality: the conservative movement faces a lose-lose situation whether they’re getting along or not.
From this morning’s Fox News Sunday:
“If they’re harmonious, the media says, ’stultifying, monochrome, oppressive, no diversity. Then when they argue with each other, they say, ”Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war’ — it’s perfect nonsense.”
Best Excuse to Avoid Being Sworn in, Give Testimony: Lois Lerner’s Lawyer Whines to Darrell Issa ‘My Client is Facing Threats’Posted: March 3, 2014
“Ms. Lerner has been the subject of numerous threats on her life and safety, and on the life and safety of her family,” her lawyer William Taylor III wrote to Issa on Wednesday morning in a letter obtained by POLITICO…
“Oh, yes, well, that changes everything, definitely. You’re right. She doesn’t have to obey the same laws the rest of us do. Lois? You can go home, it’s okay, you don’t have to testify.”
Lois Lerner, the official involved in the IRS‘s targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups, will testify before Congress on Wednesday, according to House oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa.
“We believe that evidence that we’ve gathered causes her, in her best interest, to be someone who should testify.”
Lerner had previously invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer questions from members of Congress about her role in the IRS scandal.
Noah Rothman reports: Conservative columnist George Will appeared on Fox News Sunday where he was asked to respond to President Barack Obama’s attribution of most severe weather to the effects of climate change…
“When a politician, on a subject implicating science,” he continued, “says, ‘the debate is over,’ you may be sure of two things; the debate is raging and he’s losing it.”
Will insisted that the repeated refrain from climate change activists, that the “debate is over” surrounding anthropogenic global warming, is an admission that the debate is not only ongoing but that those activists are losing…
George Will: “There’s Nothing Better for Conservatism Than Periodic Examples of Untrammeled Liberalism”Posted: January 6, 2014
Oh, there’s nothing better for American conservatism than periodic examples of untrammeled liberalism. Lyndon Johnson after 1964 had huge majorities in Congress, had his way. Republicans won five of the next six and seven of the next nine presidential elections. Let him have his way in New York City, and let people see what happens. There are more than 130 contracts with public employees’ unions that’ve been held in abeyance until Mayor Bloomberg got out of there, because they assumed that de Blasio and his compliant, not to say supine city council, will go along with anything they ask for. I give him three years and people will be begging for a return to something else.
After Dean predicted that the controversial law would be “running a lot more smoothly” by March, Scott Gottlieb of the American Enterprise Institute countered by pointing to enrollment data, which suggests an older, less healthy population is signing up for coverage, a dynamic many experts predict could put pressure on the health-insurance marketplace.
Andrew Johnson writes: Members of the House Intelligence Committee, including its chair, voiced bipartisan criticism of a recent New York Times investigation that asserted that al-Qaeda had nothing to do with last year’s attacks on a diplomatic facility in Benghazi.
Representatives Mike Rogers (R., Mich.), the committee’s chair, and Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) took to Fox News Sunday to contest its claims. Rogers called the piece “just not accurate,” while Schiff said he didn’t “think it’s complete.” Both indicated that their intelligence has found pre-planning and aspirations of an attack for al-Qaeda and its affiliates, such as Ansar al-Sharia.
Rogers also pointed to the curious timing of the Times piece as well as a recent 60 Minutes feature on Susan Rice. “I don’t want to speculate on why they might do it, but I can tell you that the information that’s being presented in a way that we heard before and, through the investigation, have been able to determine is not accurate in its portrayal,” he said.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Will marvelously said, “[T]he new biggest American entitlement is the entitlement to go through life without being offended”
“…it’s a political disaster. But the geniuses, the economists — if you hear Ezekiel Emanuel say on the “Fox News Sunday” this was designed — you had to get people out of the individual insurance market, generally people of some means, you put them in the exchanges, they overpay and you use the subsidy. This was not an accident. What they never understood is how disastrous it would be politically. But economically, that’s the way they make it work…”
A curious moment happened on Fox News Sunday. Chris Wallace told Karl Rove that a number of Republicans in Congress had sent him opposition research on Ted Cruz once Fox announced Cruz would be on.
Rove responded. He said this was all happening because Cruz and Mike Lee had not worked out strategy in the regular Senate Republican Conference lunches on Thursdays. Rove said that was what was supposed to happen. Except that for a year now, Senate Republicans have routinely leaked the proceedings of those meetings to the New York Times and Washington Post in ways designed to harm Cruz, Lee, and others who side with them. Read the rest of this entry »
A conservative’s challenge to the so-called mainstream media: Where is the feeding frenzy on the Libya story?Posted: October 31, 2012
Timely LA Times Op-Ed by Jonah Goldberg
October 30, 2012
Benghazi–No Mere October Surprise
If you want to understand why conservatives have lost faith in the so-called mainstream media, you need to ponder the question: Where is the Benghazi feeding frenzy?
Unlike some of my colleagues on the right, I don’t think there’s a conspiracy at work. Rather, I think journalists tend to act on their instincts (some even brag about this; you could look it up). And, collectively, the mainstream media’s instincts run liberal, making groupthink inevitable.
In 2000, a Democratic operative orchestrated an “October surprise” attack on George W. Bush, revealing that 24 years earlier, he’d been arrested for drunk driving. The media went into a feeding frenzy. “Is all the 24-hour coverage of Bush’s 24-year-old DUI arrest the product of a liberal media almost drunk on the idea of sinking him, or is it a legitimate, indeed unavoidable news story?” asked Howard Kurtz in a segment for his CNN show “Reliable Sources.” The consensus among the guests: It wasn’t a legitimate news story. But the media kept going with it.
One could go on and on. In September 2004, former CBS titan Dan Rather gambled his entire career on a story about Bush’s service in the National Guard. His instincts were so powerful, he didn’t thoroughly check the documents he relied on, which were forgeries. In 2008, the media feeding frenzy over John McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, was so ludicrous it belonged in a Tom Wolfe novel. Over the last couple of years, the mainstream media has generally treated Occupy Wall Street as idealistic, the “tea parties” as racist and terrifying.
To be sure, there’ve been conservative feeding frenzies: about Barack Obama’s pastor, John Kerry’s embellishments of his war record, etc. But the mainstream media usually has tasked itself with the duty of debunking and dispelling such “hysteria.”
Last week, Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin reported that sources on the ground in Libya say they pleaded for support during the attack on the Benghazi consulate that led to the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. They were allegedly told twice to “stand down.” Worse, there are suggestions that there were significant military resources available to counterattack, but requests for help were denied.
After David Axelrod’s repeated assurances this morning on Fox News Sunday that “there isn’t anybody on this planet” who feels a greater sense of responsibility for our diplomats than this President, Chris Wallace asked how soon after the Benghazi attacks the President actually met with his national security team.
Wallace followed up on Axelrod’s non-answer by asking whether the President managed to squeeze in a meeting with the National Security Council before jetting off to Las Vegas for a campaign rally. Given Axelrod’s inability to produce a straightforward answer to the questions, it’s pretty clear the answer is “no.”
Amusing in this exchange is Axelrod’s contention that “anybody” would have said what the administration and Ambassador Rice said after the attack.
- David Axelrod In Tense Libya Segment With Chris Wallace: Romney ‘Working Hard To Exploit This Issue’ (mediaite.com)
- David Axelrod Chucks Hillary and State Department Under the Benghazi Bus (thegatewaypundit.com)
- Axelrod: W.H. unaware of Libya security requests (oddonion.com)
- David Axelrod Defends Obama Administration in Heated Discussion on Libya Attack (foxnewsinsider.com)
- Axelrod says W.H. unaware of Libya security requests (politico.com)