The Morning Flap: February 22, 2013
Sequestration from Wall Street Journal
These are my news headlines for February 21st through February 22nd:
- With Axelrod At NBC News, The Marriage Of Media And Politics Becomes Complete – What’s more, Team Obama has declared it has no intention of dismantling its campaign apparatus post re-election. Put Axelrod in the catbird seat at a news outlet and the “narrative” continues. Combine that with Team Obama’s masterful manipulation of journalists, its command of social media, and an ugly picture emerges of a press indistinguishable from the political establishment.This has happened in banana republics, but never in a Western democracy. Already it’s making old-school journalists who value news gathering over politics, such as the New York Times’ Roger Cohen, ABC’s Ann Compton and the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, uncomfortable. The one thing that will stop it is a press that won’t cooperate. So where is that press?
- Budget hawks question Pentagon’s doomsday scenarios – But perhaps the biggest example of the Washington Monument maneuver is coming from the Defense Department, where it goes by another name. Over many decades of defense budget battles, the Pentagon has often used a tactic known as a “gold watch.” It means to answer a budget cut proposal by selecting for elimination a program so important and valued — a gold watch — that Pentagon chiefs know political leaders will restore funding rather than go through with the cut.So now, with sequestration approaching, the Pentagon has announced that the possibility of budget cuts has forced the Navy to delay deployment of the carrier USS Harry S. Truman to the Persian Gulf. With tensions with Iran as high as they’ve ever been, that would leave the U.S. with just one carrier, instead of the preferred two, in that deeply troubled region.
- What Unites Obama’s Coalition — and What Could Divide It – Overall, the survey put Obama’s approval rating at 51 percent — almost exactly replicating his share of the vote last November. For all of his key groups, his approval ratings today remain close to his vote shares against Republican Mitt Romney. The survey put his approval among African-Americans at 91 percent (compared to his vote of 93 percent in November), among Hispanics at 68 percent (compared to 71 percent in November), college-educated white women at 48 percent (compared to 46 percent), and adults ages 18 to 29 at 57 percent (compared to 60 percent). Considering that several percent of those in each group described themselves as undecided on Obama’s performance, those numbers suggest almost no change from his support in the election.
- Can Democrats Mess With Texas in 2016? – Can Democrats Mess With Texas in 2016? #tcot
- Noonan: Government by Freakout – The president’s sequester strategy is like Howard Beale in “Network”: “Woe is us. . . . And woe is us! We’re in a lot of trouble!”It is always cliffs, ceilings and looming catastrophes with Barack Obama. It is always government by freakout.
That’s what’s happening now with the daily sequester warnings. Seven hundred thousand children will be dropped from Head Start. Six hundred thousand women and children will be dropped from aid programs. Meat won’t be inspected. Seven thousand TSA workers will be laid off, customs workers too, and air traffic controllers. Lines at airports will be impossible. The Navy will slow down the building of an aircraft carrier. Troop readiness will be disrupted, weapons programs slowed or stalled, civilian contractors stiffed, uniformed first responders cut back. Our nuclear deterrent will be indefinitely suspended. Ha, made that one up, but give them time.Mr. Obama has finally hit on his own version of national unity: Everyone get scared together.
- Is President Obama overplaying sequestration hand? – President Barack Obama’s greatest adversary in the latest budget battle isn’t the Republican leadership in Congress — it’s his confidence in his own ability to force a win.He has been so certain of his campaign skills that he didn’t open a line of communication with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell until Thursday, a week before the spending ax hits. And when they did finally hear from Obama, the calls were perfunctory, with no request to step up negotiations or invitations to the White House.
- Why Obama and Rove Should Sit Down and Keep Quiet
- Fewer Americans Getting Health Insurance From Employer – Fewer Americans reported having employer-based health insurance in 2012 than did in 2008, 2009, and 2010, but at 44.5% it is unchanged from 2011. At the same time, more Americans continue to report having a government-based health plan — Medicare, Medicaid, or military or veterans’ benefits — with the 25.6% who did so in 2012 up from 23.4% in 2008.
- H.R. 6684: Spending Reduction Act of 2012 – Legislative Digest – GOP.gov – RT @robertcostaNRO Text: the GOP’s sequester replacement, which was passed in Dec. 2012
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-02-21 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-02-21 #tcot
- Mark Levin schools Charles Krauthammer on why it’s not “honorable” for governors to expand Medicaid » The Right Scoop – – RT @trscoop: Mark Levin schools Charles Krauthammer on why it’s not “honorable” for governors to expand Medicaid
- A Tax By Another Name – Writing in the New York Times yesterday, Yuval Levin made the case for means-testing Social Security and Medicare. As you’d expect from Yuval the case is well made and elegantly thought-through. It’s also, if I may respectfully say so, misguided. Partly as a consequence of the refusal to make consumption take its fair share of the tax load, the US already taxes income on a pretty progressive basis (even more so, I suspect, if, just for the sake of argument, you excluded the very richest from the equation—highly taxed wage income generally makes up a lower percentage of their total take). Means-testing these two programs would only tighten the screws still further.
- Capitol Alert: Kristin Olsen to move to smaller office after failed GOP move – Kristin Olsen to move to smaller office after failed GOP move
- Charles Krauthammer: Immigration — the lesser of two evils – The president suggested he would hold off introducing his own immigration bill as long as bipartisan Senate negotiations were proceeding apace — until his own immigration bill mysteriously leaked precisely as bipartisan Senate negotiations were proceeding apace.A naked political maneuver and a blunt warning to Republicans: Finish that immigration deal in Congress, or I’ll propose something I know you can’t accept — and flog the issue mercilessly next year to win back the House.
- The 60th vote: Republican Richard Shelby to vote for cloture on Hagel; Update: Deb Fischer too? « Hot Air – Looks like Chuck Hagel is the next Sec Defense. Let the sequestration begin:
- 6 Questions for the Immigration Reformers – From border security to H1-B visas, much needs to be answered in the looming immigration debate.
- Obama reaches out to Boehner, McConnell as sequester cuts loom – The Hill – Obama symbolism over substance: #tcot
- DIGITAL 50: The Hottest People In Online Politics – Business Insider – DIGITAL 50: The Hottest People In Online Politics – Business Insider #tcot
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Dentist Acquitted and Wins $7.7 Million Judgment in New York Medicaid Fraud Case – Dentist Acquitted and Wins $7.7 Million Judgment in New York Medicaid Fraud Case
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Chicago’s Dental Health Safety Net on Verge of Collapse? – Chicago’s Dental Health Safety Net on Verge of Collapse?
- Ed Markey: Dred Scott = Citizen’s United – Flap’s Blog – Ed Markey: Dred Scott = Citizen’s United #tcot
- ‘The Great Sequester Panic’ – ‘The Great Sequester Panic’ #tcot
- The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors – NYTimes.com – The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors #tcot
- Smoking cessation in old age: Less heart attacks and strokes within five years – Smoking cessation in old age: Less heart attacks and strokes within five years #tcot
- Study disputes long-term medical savings from bariatric surgery – latimes.com – Study disputes long-term medical savings from bariatric surgery #tcot
- Harry Reid says he’ll run for re-election in 2016; won’t comment on Sandoval as opponent – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the capital press corps at the Nevada Legislature Wednesday night that he will seek re-election in 2016.The news conference came after he gave a speech to state lawmakers, like Reid does every legislative session.When asked if he would run for re-election, Reid said, “Sure, why not?”
When asked if he thought Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval would run against him, Reid said, “Oh, I don’t know.”
When asked if he could beat Sandoval, Reid said, “Hey, I don’t get involved in fights I don’t have to.”
When reminded that he was a boxer in his youth, Reid replied, “But I’m not stupid.”
- 15 GOP senators call for Hagel to withdraw – POLITICO.com – RT @politico: 15 GOP senators call for Hagel to withdraw:
Day By Day March 14, 2012 – My Kung Fu is StrongChris, it has been very quiet on the name-calling, hypocrisy-laden LEFT after the Limbaugh-Fluke flap, no?
The White House has drawn back and notice that President Obama’s political guru, David Axelrod cancelled an appearance on the Bill Maher HBO show.
Feeling pressure in the wake of the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke controversy, Bill Maher recently said he could say disgusting things about Sarah Palin and other women because he’s on HBO and doesn’t have sponsors.
Apparently the White House doesn’t completely agree, for according to Politico, David Axelrod, one of Obama’s right-hand men, has cancelled an upcoming appearance on Maher’s Real Time:
David Axelrod will not be appearing as a guest on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” despite reports last week that he was scheduled to do the show in the next few weeks.
“He’s not scheduled to go on at this time,” said Ben LaBolt, the press secretary for President Obama’s reelection campaign.
Day By Day June 1, 2011 – RootsI prefer the American Founders as well. Chris, one wonders why President Obama and David Axelrod prefer the divisive politics of separation?
Oh Yeah! I know, it wins for them.
Well, maybe just in 2008….
The Day By Day Archive
Sarah Palin Watch: The Anatomy of an Orchestrated “Grassroots” Smear CampaignBackup of an advertisement claiming that Sarah Palin is an anti-American radical.
Dr. Rusty Shackleford of My Pet Jawa dissects the anatomy of an organized grassroots effort to spread false information about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
Rusty’s post: Hope, Change, & Lies: Orchestrated “Grassroots” Smear Campaigns & the People that Run Them is a MUST read this morning.
- Evidence suggests that a YouTube video with false claims about Palin was uploaded and promoted by members of a professional PR firm.
- The family that runs the PR firm has extensive ties to the Democratic Party, the netroots, and are staunch Obama supporters.
- Evidence suggests that the firm engaged in a concerted effort to distribute the video in such a way that it would appear to have gone viral on its own. Yet this effort took place on company time.
- Evidence suggests that these distribution efforts included actions by at least one employee of the firm who is unconnected with the family running the company.
- The voice-over artist used in this supposedly amateur video is a professional.
- This same voice-over artist has worked extensively with David Axelrod’s firm, which has a history of engaging in phony grassroots efforts, otherwise known as “astroturfing.”
- David Axelrod is Barack Obama’s chief media strategist.
- The same voice-over artist has worked directly for the Barack Obama campaign.
Here is the You Tube voice over artist (with links to David Axelroad and hence the Barack Obama campaign) comparison.Audio of YouTube video compared to official Obama campaign ad suggests that YouTube video was professionally made and possibly linked to Obama camp.
The piece by Rusty takes some time to peruse but well worth the time to explore the inner workings of media in the internet age which is not what it seems.
Michelle Malkin, now, has more on the apparent cover-up.
Now, hereâ€™s the juicy part. Within an hour of publication of the Jawa
Reportâ€™s investigation, â€œeswinnerâ€ deleted the smear video that he had
uploaded several times on September 11. Hereâ€™s a screenshot of the cached copy:
Let me underline that: At some point between approx. 12 midnight – 2am
Eastern, â€œeswinnerâ€ logged into his account and tried to erase all
traces of the deceitful, Palin-bashing ad.
ACE has more about why this story is important and why the MSM most probably will NOT run with it:
1) It’s calculatedly dishonest to attempt to scam the public with videos by “concerned citizens” which are in fact professional electioneering communications put out at the behest of a supposedly new-politics politician. People trust average “neutral” and “independent” citizens more than someone known to be an interested party. It was a scandal when it was revealed that stockbrokers were pimping their own stocks on day-trader sites, pretending to be just average investors with hot tips. Same deal here.
2) Such ads don’t get fact-checked, as they’re supposedly from regular schnooks. No one fact-checks a regular schnook. So Axelrod and Obama can spread lies about Palin, completely refuted and debunked 11 days before the ad was posted, and not worry about media busy-bodies calling foul.
The plan in this case was to tap into the massive traffic of the Daily Kos and have each reader send the video, under the radar, to ten friends, and have them send it to ten friends, etc. The post in question was written by someone who just happens to share a name with a Winner & Associates employee. YouTube ads are big business — and this one was so stinking of outdated lies it had to be done under the table, in the shadows. Where no one would take much notice of it; certainly not the media’s fact-checkers. But, if successful, it would go viral and a huge number of people would end up seeing it.
And no one would know where this ad came from.
The plan didn’t quite work — the lies being pushed were already utterly rubbished, and there were new, exciting smears the netroots were more interested in. But it didn’t fail for lack of trying.
3) This is just the tip of the iceberg. David Axelrod is known as “the Master of Astroturfing,” and this is just his sloppiest and most brazen effort (thusfar detected). You know what also doesn’t get fact checked? The tens of thousands of coordinated comments smearing McCain and Palin posted every day on media and blog threads, many of which are being written by “concerned Christian conservative commenters” who are in fact agents of David Axelrod and the DNC — either directly, as in on-the-payroll sockpuppets, or indirectly, as in big internet groups determined to do “the dirty stuff Obama can’t do himsef.”
Obama can’t cast doubt on Palin’s fitness as a mother without risking electoral debacle.
But his legions of busy, busy, busy internet sockpuppets can. He gets the benefit of the smear without having to accept any of the responsibility for it. (Emphasis Flap’s)
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