AreYouLiberal.Com
19Jun/12Off

Bloomberg News enters MakeUpCrapistan: “I’M MAKING THIS UP;” Update: Bloomberg responds, editor regrets “unfortunate shorthand”

Scroll down for update…

At RightOnline in Las Vegas this weekend, those of us in the “Just A Blogger” club hammered away at the MSM journalistic elites and their self-serving double standards.

Fantastic keynote speaker Sarah Palin mocked the inhabitants of MakeUpCrap-istan who disparage investigative bloggers while manufacturing the news themselves to fit their agendas.

Super-blogger Sooper Mexican skewered MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell yesterday and we in the #JustABlogger club have been having a field day with the unapologetic media fable-tellers and the Rip Van Kurtzes of the journo world.

Meanwhile, “real reporters” are on the job in other outlets…doing the apparent quote-manufacturing that #JustABlogger won’t do.

Thanks to one of my eagle-eyed readers for tipping me off to this eye-raising editorial note in a Bloomberg News story on Mexican president Felipe Calderon and the G-20 summit (also Google cached here), which I tweeted earlier this afternoon:

The editorial comment about “MAKING THIS UP” was scrubbed, but the quote remains in the story:

Picked up by The Blaze and The Right Scoop.

But hey, we’re…just bloggers.

***

UPDATE June 20 9:42am

Just received the following email from Ty Trippet, Bloomberg spokesman:

I read your post related to our article about the G-20 and Mexican President Felipe Calderon that cites Marcus Wallenberg saying that Calderon’s legacy would be a positive investment climate marked by a commitment to free trade and minimal government interference in the economy.

We have issued a correction on our website this morning to remove the extraneous editor’s note:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-19/calderon-fetes-g-20-as-sun-sets-on-mexican-ruling-party-s-power.html

And here is some additional language that explains further what happened and how we dealt with it as soon as we could. Thank you for your attention to this.

“The story was published with an editor’s note to the reporter that he was rewriting the paragraph and was meant for the reporter to check its accuracy. While the paragraph is accurate and we stand by the reporting, the editor’s choice of words was unfortunate shorthand. As soon as we were aware this happened, we issued a correction to show that the extraneous language was removed. We take transparency and accuracy very seriously and appreciate the opportunity to improve our internal editing practices.”

19Jun/12Off

Rand Paul: He Might Endorse Romney, But He Doesn’t Endorse His Foreign Policy

Sen. Rand Paul at National Review with
encouraging words
for the libertarians and non-interventionists
on Mitt Romney's recent pronouncements on presidential warmaking
power:

Anyone who believes President Obama is less aggressive
internationally than his predecessors is mistaken.

I do not yet know if I will find a Romney presidency more
acceptable on foreign policy. But I do know that I must oppose the
most recent statements made by Mitt Romney in which he says he, as
president, could take us to war unilaterally with Iran, without any
approval from Congress. His exact words were:

I can assure you if I’m president, the Iranians will
have no question but that I will be willing to take military action
if necessary to prevent them from becoming a nuclear threat to the
world. I don’t believe at this stage, therefore, if I’m president
that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization
for military force. The president has that capacity
now.

This is a misreading of the role of the president and Congress
in declaring war. 

The Constitution clearly states that it is Congress that has the
power to declare war, not the president. The War Powers Act also
clearly states that U.S. forces are to engage in hostilities only
if the circumstances are “pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2)
specific statutory authorization or (3) a national emergency
created by attack upon the United States, its territories or
possessions, or its armed forces.”

Absent these criteria, the president has no authority to declare
war.

Even if the president believes he has such authority, the War
Powers Act goes on to require the president to seek congressional
approval within 60 days of conflict.

No president is above the law or above the Constitution....

I will hold accountable and oppose any actions from any
president, Republican or Democrat, if he declares war without
congressional consent.

Good on Sen. Paul. Even in cold political calculation mode, it
shows he still knows the Ron Paul non-interventionist base is
important to his political future, which it is.

I blogged on the controversies surrounding Rand Paul's Romney
endorsement
here
and
here
. I discuss Rand Paul's role in his father's movement in my
new book
Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He
Inspired
,
and in the
excerpt from it in the July issue of

Reason
.


19Jun/12Off

What Happens Next in Avina v. United States?

Earlier today we showed you the brief submitted to the Ninth
Circuit Court of Appeals by the Obama administration
for Avina v. United States, the lawsuit spawned by a
wrong-door raid in which DEA agents terrified a family of four. In
that post, I compared
the DOJ's brief
to the
ruling from the Ninth Circuit
. As part of that comparison, I
accused the DOJ of white-washing the events that happened on
January 20, 2007, when DEA agents conducted their early morning
raid on the Avinas' trailer. 

(The Avinas claim that the agents swore at the family's 11- and
14-year-old daughters, yanked one of them off her bed, and put a
gun to her head while handcuffing her. The DOJ's brief, meanwhile,
says that the DEA agents swore sparingly and only at the parents;
and omits the use of a firearm in restraining the 11-year-old.)

My white-washing remark promoted a response from Stephen Nellis,
a business journalist in Santa Barbara and a Reason reader. Nellis
emailed me after the second post went up with a critique of my
claim and a preview of what he thinks will happen next:  

You ask, "If neither of the daughters testified about
the officers’ profanity, why is it in the Ninth Circuit’s
Ruling? And why did the Obama administration omit from its own
brief that an officer aimed a gun at the 11-year-old's
head?"

The reason is procedural. Appeals courts aren't finders of fact
and aren't the courts that will decided whether the DEA
actually held a gun to a little girl's head.

The Avinas lost on the motion for summary judgment that the US
filed, and then the Avinas appealed. Because there has been no
legal finding of fact or stipulation to facts by both parties
-- and indeed the facts are hotly in dispute -- the appeals
court is required to use the facts submitted by the Avinas to
decide whether the issue merits a full trial. From the
decision:

"Because this case comes to us on summary judgment in favor of
the United States, we must view the record in the light most
favorable to the Avinas, who are the non-moving parties. Brown
v. City of Los Angeles, 521 F.3d 1238, 1240 (9th Cir. 2008)
(per curiam). Many of the key facts that we will recite here
are disputed, including the specific nature of the officers’
actions toward the minor plaintiffs."

So, to answer the questions you posed more directly: -If
neither of the daughters testified about the officers’
profanity, why is it in the Ninth Circuit’s Ruling?

Because it was submitted as part of the record by the
Avinas' attorneys. The parents could have testified something
along the lines of "When they went into BS's room, I heard
them screaming, 'Get on the fucking ground!'" There are three
volumes of case record that aren't available electronically,
so I can't check this. But if it's in the 9th Circuit's
ruling, that means that the Avinas' side submitted it in their
version of the record, whether in testimony or a
sworn declaration.

-"And why did the Obama administration omit from its own brief
that an officer aimed a gun at the 11-year-old's head?"

We can infer that it's because the Obama administration disputes
this fact, just as it disputes whether profanity was used
toward the girls.

The administration hasn't yet had a formal chance to dispute the
facts in trial with its own evidence. (It goes without saying
that the administration had hoped it would not have to --
that's why they wanted this to go away at the earliest
possible moment with a summary judgement.)

What the 9th Circuit was asked to decide was whether there's a
big enough gap between the Avinas' version of the facts and
the Obama administration's version of the facts to merit a
trial. In the case of the parents, they upheld the lower
court's ruling: No matter which set of facts you choose, from
the Avinas or from the government, the DEA's conduct was
(infuriatingly, in my view) within the applicable law.

But in the case of the children, there's enough discrepancy
between the two sides that it should go to trial and be sorted
once and for all. What the 9th Circuit is really saying here
is "We don't know what happened here, but if true, the Avina
facts, which we are obligated to consider as true, would be
outside of the law. We believe there should be a trial to find
out what really happened." The message is that holding a gun
against an 11-year-old's head would not be OK, if that is
indeed what happened.

While I really appreciate Reason reporting on this case -- to
my knowledge, it's the only national media that has yet done
so -- I don't know that it's entirely fair journalism to
accuse the Obama lawyers of white washing the facts. There's a
dispute about the facts, and the Obama administration gave its
side. The appeals court decided that the discrepancy is big
enough that it needs a trial. To call the Obama
administration's answer a white wash is to accept the
Avinas facts without a trial. In any case, thanks for putting
this one on the radar. The truth will come out at trial.

While I included the Ninth Circuit's disclaimer in my first
post, I'll concede to Nellis his point about white-washing. I wrote
it because I believe the Avinas' narrative. After all, it was just
last month that federal agents
took a 12-year-old girl out of her bed and a 2-year-old out of his
crib while conducting a raid
 and marched the oldest
one around her parents' house at gunpoint. 

But there's another reason to weigh the Avinas' claim more
heavily. The Ninth Circuit doesn't do fact-finding, yet the Obama
administration's brief is full of fact claims. The brief says that
the officers did not use profanity with the little girls, and that
the officers "assisted" the youngest one out of her bed. Which is
to say, it rebuts the Avinas' narrative room by room, restrained
family member by family member. Except for one important
moment: The Obama administration's brief makes zero mention of
whether an officer aimed a gun at the youngest daugher's head while
another agent cuffed her. It doesn't elaborate on the claim,
veryify it, or deny it. So, perhaps the question I should have
asked above is, Why did the administration clarify/rebut every
moment of the Avinas' narrative except the most heinous
allegation

Nellis offers an answer for this: "It goes without saying that
the administration had hoped it would not have to—that's why
they wanted this to go away at the earliest possible moment
with a summary judgement."

If that's the case, I don't blame them. It's election season,
and we're talking about putting two teenage girls on the stand to
talk about how federal agents in paramilitary gear swore at them,
handcuffed them, and pointed guns in their faces when they were
children.  

As Nellis says, the truth will out at trial, assuming the case
goes to trial: The Obama administration has 45 days from the date
of the Ninth Circuit's ruling to determine if it'll continue
defending the case. 


19Jun/12Off

Tuesday Night Acoustic: Mike Dawes, ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’

Where are all these amazingly talented acoustic guitar finger-pickers coming from? Mike Dawes is the latest, but definitely not the least. Check out his impressive right hand harmonic technique in this tune.


19Jun/12Off

According to Union, Raising Wages Attacks Workers’ Rights

“Collective bargaining rights are under attack—again,” warns the SEIU. The union claims employees face a “federal attack on your rights at work.” How? From a bill that would let employers pay union members higher wages. Union rates are not just minimum wages. They also set maximum wages. Employers may not pay union members more than the union rate without the union’s permission. Most unions, however, reject individual raises. They prefer, in Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa’s words, that...

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19Jun/12Off

New *Obama* campaign button makes him look like hit and run victim…

No, really:

If Mitt Romney put out a button like that about Barack Obama, there would be torchlight demonstrations outside Romney’s main campaign office within twenty-four hours. It is in fact, so bad a button that I hope that the person who came up with this one for the Obama campaign got promoted…

(Via @cprater)

Moe Lane (crossposted)

*Short for ‘costume play.’  Sort of like reenacting Civil War battles, only for movies and books and stuff.

19Jun/12Off

Duly Noted – Clout and Contempt

    The use, overuse and neglect of power. Arguably, a Great Power is one that, while it acts rationally, can afford to consider the local consequences of her move and mulls only thereafter the reaction of the world. The word “afford” is the critical term of the attempt to formulate a rule.   Disregarding [...]

19Jun/12Off

Down the Rabbit Hole

Any bets on exactly when our President loses it in public?

 

Barack Obama is in real trouble. Last week it was his “The private sector is doing fine…” comment. Then, a few days later in Ohio, he once again “re-framed” his already failed [...]

19Jun/12Off

It’s On: Holder tries to play Issa on Fast and Furious, will be subject of contempt vote tomorrow

Republican members of the House Oversight and Senate Judiciary Committees have been turning up the heat on Attorney General Eric Holder over his obstructive and misleading testimony about Fast and Furious, the operation in which the ATF coerced American gun dealers into selling firearms to Mexican cartels, and then allowed them to “walk” across our southern border (all without a whisper to the Mexican government).

After being threatened with a contempt of Congress vote (scheduled for Wednesday, June 20), Holder made a last-ditch attempt to avert what he has repeatedly referred to as a “constitutional crisis,” requesting a meeting with Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to “discuss [the Department of] Justice’s knowledge of the controversial ‘gun walking’ tactics used in Fast and Furious, including information about whistleblowers.”  Issa agreed to the meeting, but informed Holder that nothing less than full disclosure – including the handover of all documents related to the program, its cover-up, and the action taken against ATF whistleblowers – would be acceptable.

That meeting took place at 5:00 this evening, and lasted all of 20 minutes.  It turns out that Holder was trying once again to play the House Oversight Committee – a fact that should surprise nobody, as the attorney general has approached the entire Fast and Furious oversight effort with  the same arrogance we’ve come to expect from him and the rest of the Obama administration.

Instead of providing the documents that Issa had specifically requested, Holder arrived on Capitol Hill with nothing but an offer to brief Issa on the missing docs (all 240,000 of them). Of course, this is already being portrayed by both the administration and the media as a major effort to meet the GOP halfway on this issue (i.e., “hey, come on, he met with them!”).  The Hill quotes Holder as saying, I think the ball’s in their court.  They rejected what I thought was an extraordinary offer on our part.”  However, the fact is that Holder is the one who requested the meeting.  Issa simply requested the documents, which still have not been turned over.

Immediately after the meeting ended, Issa tweeted confirmation that the contempt vote would go forward as promised due to Holder’s continued stonewalling.

 

19Jun/12Off

Darrell Issa: Holder not complying, contempt vote still on tomorrow

**Written by Doug Powers

Last Monday, the House Oversight Committee scheduled a contempt of Congress vote against Eric Holder unless he complied with all 22 parts of a congressional subpoena that Darrell Issa served him last October.

Today, Issa met with Holder, and from what we can gather from the Tweet below, if Holder handed over to Issa anything related to Fast & Furious, it was only a DVD with a picture of Vin Diesel on it:

More:

Issa’s committee is looking for documents dating from February to December 2011 on how the Justice Department handled the Fast and Furious case.

Holder says he made Issa an “extraordinary” offer that includes documents, a briefing on those documents and answers to questions Issa and his committee might have.

“The ball is in their court,” Holder said. “They rejected what I think is an extraordinary offer.”

The contempt vote is still scheduled for tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Slightly different subject: There seems to be another leak Holder might want to look into. Or maybe not… whatever.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

19Jun/12Off

The Undead Hosni Mubarak

Rumors have been flying about Hosni Mubarak's current state; the latest CNN update suggests he may still be alive, if not ambulatory: Military Official Disputes Report of Mubarak's Clinical Death.

[Updated at 6:09 p.m. ET] Conflicting reports emerged late Tuesday over whether the 84-year-old former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, had died.

The state-run Middle East News Agency, citing medical sources, said he was declared clinically dead shortly after arriving at a military hospital in Cairo, where he was taken after suffering a stroke and cardiac arrest earlier in the day.

But Gen. Mamdouh Shahin, a member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, told CNN, "He is not clinically dead as reported, but his health is deteriorating and he is in critical condition."


19Jun/12Off

Missile Defense: Why It Matters for America’s Future Security

Ambassador Robert Joseph, former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, recently published an important article in The Washington Times entitled “Obama Chooses Vulnerability.” As the U.S.commemorated the 10th anniversary since its withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, Ambassador Joseph shares unique insight into lessons learned regarding arms control. A ballistic missile launched from anywhere in the world can reach the U.S. in 33 minutes,...

Click the title to read the full post.

19Jun/12Off

Ron Paul: This is Why We Fight

Ron Paul, still a congressman until January, reminds many of his
supporters why he'll be missed, talking about war talk regarding
Syria on the floor of Congress.

"Whether or not we attack yet another country, occupying it and
setting up a new regime sets up a serious constitutional question.
From where does the president get such authority?...Sadly the
people don't object. Once again we are about to engage in military
action and at the same time irresponsibly reactivating the Cold War
with Russia...Would we tolerate Russia in Mexico demanding a
humanitarian solution to the violence on the U.S/Mexican
border?....

"It's time the United States tried a policy of diplomacy seeking
peace, trade and friendship....it's time to bring our troops home
and establish a non-interventionist foreign policy which is the
only road to peace and prosperity....This week I'm introducing
legislation to prohibit the administration absent a declaration of
war by Congress from supporting directly or indirectly any military
or paramilitary operations in Syria. I hope my colleagues will join
me in this effort."

 

My new book
Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He
Inspired
.


19Jun/12Off

Mitt Romney: ‘Only Beth Myers and I know who is being vetted’

Have you been following all the reports about whom Mitt Romney is considering for his running mate?

There have been press reports that the list includes:

  • Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty
  • Ohio Senator Rob Portman
  • Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan
  • Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
  • New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
  • Florida Senator Marco Rubio
  • New Hampshire Kelly Ayotte
  • Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels
  • Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell
  • South Dakota Senator John Thune
  • Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush

And every once in a while there are reports that certain candiates are not being vetted. For example this morning, Jonathan Karl of ABC News reported that Senator Marco Rubio was not being vetted.

Don’t read too much into it, but after all the speculation surrounding the ABC news “scoop” about the campaign’s VP vetting process and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney told Sean Hannity that only he and Beth Myers know who is being vetted. Here’s an excerpt of this evening’s Mitt Romney interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News:

Hannity: “What did you make of the ABC News report this morning that said Marco Rubio was not being vetted but Governor Tim Pawlenty was being vetted? Any comment on that story?”

Mitt Romney: “I get a kick out of some of the speculation that goes on. I’m not going to comment on the process of course. But I can tell you this: only Beth Myers and I know who is being vetted.”

Hannity: “Does that mean Ann Romney doesn’t know?”

Romney: “Even Ann doesn’t know. We talk about the possible people that I might select. But in terms of actually who is being vetted, that is something only two people know. And Beth Myers doesn’t talk.”

Hannity:“Is there a shortlist?”

Romney: “There are a number of people who are being vetted and that is obviously the group we are considering most seriously.”
(Fox News’ “Hannity,” 6/19/12)

Perhaps all the speculation is the result of the fact that picking a running mate is often described as a nominee’s first presidential act, a window into his mind and personality. Whatever the reasons, take heed, only two people know who is on the list.

UPDATE: Mitt Romney made it very clear:

“There are only two people in this country who know who are being vetted and who are not, and that’s Beth Myers and myself, ” he told reporters, referring to the close aide in charge of his vice presidential search. “I know Beth well. She doesn’t talk to anybody. The story was entirely false. Marco Rubio is being thoroughly vetted as part of our process.”

You can watch a video of Romney’s clarification here.

19Jun/12Off

Two Cheers for House Energy Bill

Often when policymakers introduce legislation in Washington, the title of the bill doesn’t always correspond with what the bill actually does. This is not one of those times. U.S. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R–CA) recently introduced the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act, which would greatly improve access to America’s resources, bringing jobs and much needed economic activity along with it. The legislation combines seven different bills that would open areas to oil and gas exploration,...

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19Jun/12Off

Rep. Jim Jordan: Don’t Tinker With Obamacare, Repeal the Whole Law

Days before the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on the constitutionality of Obamacare, liberals in Congress are laying the groundwork to preserve some of the law’s badly flawed provisions that happen to poll well with voters. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said conservatives should focus on another goal: repealing all of Obamacare. Recent reports indicate that provisions addressing pre-existing conditions, coverage for dependents up to age 26 and the...

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