Phineas blogged about this developing scandal yesterday involving the ‘alleged’ master’s thesis plagiarism of Montana Senator John Walsh (D), but the Senator’s biggest issue going forward may not be in the allegations themselves but in his controversial attempts at excusing them away:
Sen. John Walsh said his unattributed use of others’ work in his master’s thesis was not plagiarism but “a few citations that were unintentionally left out of a term paper” that he blamed in part on post-Iraq war trauma.
The apparent plagiarism first reported by The New York Times on Wednesday was the second potentially damaging issue raised this year involving the Montana Democrat’s 33-year military career, which has been a cornerstone of his campaign to keep the seat he was appointed to in February when Max Baucus resigned to become U.S. ambassador to China.
National Democrats said Wednesday they remained “100 percent behind Sen. Walsh” in his campaign against Republican Rep. Steve Daines. But even before the plagiarism revelations, top Democratic strategists saw Walsh’s campaign as an uphill pull, never counting on it as key to holding their Senate majority.
Walsh dismissed the notion that the allegations will harm his campaign. He also chafed at the suggestion that he deliberately presented other scholars’ work as his own in his 2007 thesis to earn a Master of Strategic Studies degree at the U.S. Army War College.
“I admit that I made a mistake,” he said. “My record will be defined by (Walsh’s service in) the National Guard, not by a few citations that were unintentionally left out in a term paper.”
Walsh said that when he wrote the thesis, he had post-traumatic stress disorder from his service in Iraq, was on medication and was dealing with the stress of a fellow veteran’s recent suicide.
“I don’t want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor,” the senator said. “My head was not in a place very conducive to a classroom and an academic environment.”
You know what? No. Blaming this on PTSD is just wrong on so many levels and is, frankly, an insult to the our veterans who have experienced it. Check this graphic from the New York Times – which, surprisingly enough, broke this story, and decide for yourself:
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 24, 2014
As to what impact this may have on Walsh’s election battle, it’s hard to say. As Phineas noted yesterday, plagiarism hasn’t hurt VP Biden’s political career and other notable politicos (like Sen. Rand Paul) have been caught in similar scandals, but this one involves military service, and there is that little matter of honor, as Army War College grad/colonel Kurt Schlichter notes:
I do NOT want these allegations against Sen Walsh to be true. Make no mistake, I support his opponent. But I want him to retain his honor.
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) July 24, 2014
**Posted by Phineas
Well, this is embarrassing. The Democratic nominee for the seat once held by Max Baucus (D – Train Wreck), who is now Ambassador to China, has been called out by no less than that arch-conservative rag The New York Times for plagiarizing his Army War College master’s thesis:
Democrats were thrilled when John Walsh of Montana was appointed to the United States Senate in February. A decorated veteran of the Iraq war and former adjutant general of his state’s National Guard, Mr. Walsh offered the Democratic Party something it frequently lacks: a seasoned military man.
On the campaign trail this year, Mr. Walsh, 53, has made his military service a main selling point. Still wearing his hair close-cropped, he notes he was targeted for killing by Iraqi militants and says his time in uniform informs his views on a range of issues.
But one of the highest-profile credentials of Mr. Walsh’s 33-year military career appears to have been improperly attained. An examination of the final paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree from the United States Army War College indicates the senator appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors’ works, with no attribution.
Mr. Walsh completed the paper, what the War College calls a “strategy research project,” to earn his degree in 2007, when he was 46. The sources of the material he presents as his own include academic papers, policy journal essays and books that are almost all available online.
Read the rest; it’s pretty damning stuff, as in wholesale cutting-and-pasting from publicly available think-tank reports. For example:
Mr. Walsh writes: “Democracy promoters need to engage as much as possible in a dialogue with a wide cross section of influential elites: mainstream academics, journalists, moderate Islamists, and members of the professional associations who play a political role in some Arab countries, rather than only the narrow world of westernized democracy and human rights advocates.”
The same exact sentence appears on the sixth page of a 2002 Carnegie paper written by four scholars at the research institute. In all, Mr. Walsh’s recommendations section runs to more than 800 words, nearly all of it taken verbatim from the Carnegie paper, without any footnote or reference to it.
As we used to say in school, “bus-TED!”
Naturally, the Democrats will immediately call on Senator Walsh to withdraw from the race, if not resign, so… Wait. I’m sorry, I’m mixing that up with what the Democrats would do if a Republican were the miscreant. In Walsh’s case, he fits right in with the party’s leaders.
Walsh is fighting to keep this seat for the Democrats against Republican challenger Rep. Steve Daines. Daines has been doing well in the polls, and this scandal isn’t likely to help Senator Walsh, but this is no time to get comfortable. You’ll find Steve Daines’ web site here. If you can, send him some money.
Because every seat counts.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
The far left Daily Kos-led Netroots Nation conference was held this past weekend and, not to be outdone by the other extremist speakers who would get their chance at the mic after him, NC NAACP’s Rev. William “Moral Monday” Barber made sure to remind the Democrat party faithful in his opening keynote of what he (and they) perceive are the ‘real’ reasons why Republicans pass laws like Voter ID and refuse to budge on President Obama’s agenda:
At the Netroots Nation conference over the weekend, Barber, who is director of the North Carolina NAACP said Republicans are blocking Obama because ‘they don’t like little black girls having pajama parties in the WH’ [source]
Not shocking at all that Barber’s deliberately hateful, racially-charged rhetoric was welcomed with open arms and wild applause at the conference considering how he’s captivated activist liberals here in North Carolina who are sick over their party losing power in 2010 and 2012 at the state level after over a century of Democrat domination. It’s still a bit of a surprise, however, to see how Democrats who normally scream about the separation of church and state so openly embrace Barber’s pathetic attempts at essentially saying Jesus was a liberal by way of continuing to promote socialism through spiritualism. Via a Daily Kos report on his speech:
Rev. Barber had a rather funny moment in a very serious speech. He told his liberal friends that he does not understand why many of them do not like the Bible. He stated that the core of liberal values are codified in the text of the Bible.
“It is extreme and immoral to suppress the right to vote,” Reverend Barber said. “It is extreme and immoral to deny Medicaid for millions of poor people especially people who have been elected to office and then insurance simply because they’ve been elected. It is extreme and immoral to raise taxes on the working poor and cutting earned income taxes, and to raise taxes on the poor and the middle class in order to cut taxes for the wealthy. It is extreme and immoral to use power to cut off people’s water in Detroit. … It is extreme and immoral to end unemployment for those who have lost jobs for no fault of their own. It is extreme and immoral to re-segregate our schools and underfund our public schools. It is extreme and immoral for people who came from immigrants to now to have a mean amnesia and cry out against immigrants and the rights of children. It is mean, it is immoral, it is extreme to kick hardworking people when they are down. That’s not just bad policy. It’s against the common good and a disregard for human rights. … In fact, this kind of philosophy rooted in the policies of immoral deconstruction, if you look at them carefully, they are historically inaccurate, they are constitutionally inconsistent, they are morally indefensible, and they are economically insane.”
Rev. Barber ended his speech as if we were in church. He asked the Netroots attendees to allow him three minutes of church. And church was to be had for those three to five minutes that ended with a completely engaged and electrified audience.
Evidently, the Democrats at NN 14 were no different than the ones here in North Carolina. On one hand saying “no!!!!!!” to “religion in government” but on the other hand becoming completely comfortable using a controversial left-wing pastor to justify his/their calls for ‘social justice through the power of government’ by suggesting belief in big government not only is the answer, but that it also makes you a ‘real Christian.’ This duplicitous behavior is not unlike the left’s national calls for a kinder, gentler “New Tone” and “NO HATE” while simultaneously characterizing your political opposition “racists/misogynists.” I wish these dum dums would make up their bleeping minds.
(Hat tip: Carolina Plott Hound)
The Politico has published a piece written by Weekly Standard’s Daniel Harper detailing some of the (predictable) attacks the Clinton machine waged against him in response to his writing of a book critical to both Hillary and Bill Clinton:
When I started to write Clinton, Inc: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine, I knew the reaction to expect. I was well aware that the former (and perhaps future) first family and its massive retinue of loyalty enforcers, professional defamers and assorted gadflies would rue my intent to examine the real Clintons—especially in my search for the real Chelsea Clinton, who until now has been a media-protected nonperson despite her aggressive public activities on her family’s behalf and despite raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars from her role as former first daughter.
But even if I hadn’t known it, many, many people in Washington, on the left and right, popped up to warn me of what to expect from the Clinton PR team. Other authors—legitimate ones with serious pedigrees—who’d written about the Clintons said they were threatened and verbally attacked. Of course, nearly everyone in Washington has seen the much-vaunted Clinton PR machine in action. It’s very predictable. Here’s how it works:
1) Media intimidation tactics: Following their usual method of operation, the first thing Team Clinton would do is attempt a media blackout. A producer with CNN said I’d never be able to get any airtime on her show because the Clintons punish networks that give space to their perceived enemies. So far, even claims in my book that were well sourced with on-the-record quotes—such as Bill Clinton offering counsel to John McCain in how to defeat Barack Obama in 2008—have been all but ignored by the mainstream media.
2) Defame and attack: There would be repeated efforts to turn me into a kook or right-wing hit man. Though they haven’t yet gone so far to label me a “crazed stalker” like they did with Monica Lewinsky, the reliable Clinton aide Nick Merrill has repeatedly deployed a classic Clinton spin line on my work—before it was even on sale, mind you, and presumably he hadn’t yet read it. “It’s sad to see Daniel Halper join the discredited and disgraced ranks” of other authors supposedly out to get them at all costs, he emailed the Huffington Post. Sadly, I received no credit from the Clintons or from Merrill for the praise of both Bill (that he’s a “political genius) and Hillary (that she’s “intensely likable”) in various parts of the book. Merrill also claimed I was just out “to make a buck.” Which I take it means that Bill and Hillary Clinton donated all the proceeds of their millions in book deals to charity?
Since it’s inevitable (in my view) that La Clinton is going to run again, I’d encourage you to buy Halper’s book for a refresher course … in case you need it … on who the Clintons are, what to expect in the coming months, etc. Also, Michael Crowley wrote an illuminating piece on the Clintons at the left-leaning New Republic back in 2007 that sheds some serious light on the devious Clinton war room in action. There’s a reason they typically get favorable coverage, folks, and it’s not always because the media leans left.
**Posted by Phineas
Muslims in France have been rioting, including attacking synagogues, in the wake of Israel’s retaliation against Hamas for months of attacks against Israeli civilians. Faced with growing antisemitic civil disorder, the French government naturally… condemned Israel:
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called Wednesday for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas to end violence in the Gaza Strip which Palestinian sources say have left nearly 600 Palestinians dead.
Close to 30 Israelis, almost all of them soldiers, have been killed as Israel battles to stop Hamas rocket fire, thwart attack tunnels and weaken the Islamist group’s ability to launch attacks from the Strip.
“In Israel and in Gaza, the situation is very hard,” Fabius said as he arrived for a meeting of European Union foreign ministers.
“Nothing justifies continued attacks and massacres which do nothing but only claim more victims and stoke tensions, hatred,” he said.
“France will act forcefully to demand an immediate ceasefire,” he added
Odd, but I must have missed the Foreign Minister’s demands for an immediate ceasefire when Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians, when three teens were kidnapped and murdered, and when rockets were fired at a nuclear reactor. And surely he condemned in the loudest terms Hamas’ use of women and children as human shields, hoping for casualties in order to get that all-important propaganda coup.
France: Leading the way in caving in since 1940.
PS: Yes, I know a Palestinian teen was murdered by Israeli thugs in retaliation for the killing of the three Jewish boys. Here’s the difference: the Israeli killers were arrested by Israel and will face trial for their crime. Palestinians celebrated the murderers of the three teenagers as heroes. Who is the civilized one, and who is the barbarian? You make the call.
via Jihad Watch
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
The Washington Examiner reports that, unsurprisingly, Democrat obstructionist Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) is demanding the House Oversight committee stop the “public harassment of an agency head” – IRS Commissioner John Koskinen:
The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform panel is objecting to a plan to call the Internal Revenue Service commissioner to testify for a third time in a matter of weeks, calling it “public harassment of an agency head.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., sent a letter Monday to Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., objecting to a decision to call Commissioner John Koskinen to testify at a hearing on Wednesday. It would be the third time Koskinen appeared before the panel in the past month, Cummings noted.
“Requiring Commissioner Koskinen to testify again this week not only takes him away from the day-to-day duties of operating an agency with 90,000 employees, but it also diverts our Committee from conducting responsible oversight on many key areas that traditionally have been part of our jurisdiction,” Cummings said in the letter.
Because how dare Congress demand answers!?
In reality, we know exactly why Cummings wants this inconvenient scandal involving a gross violation of the public’s trust, not to mention numerous violations of federal law, to magically go away. And not just because it could potentially implicate Cummings himself, but also because it’s an embarrassment to this White House at a crucial time during a critical election year. Can’t have any pesky facts be made public about the blatant abuses of power at the IRS, now can we?
White House press secretary Josh Earnest angered a lot of journalists at today’s press briefing over his comments regarding the anonymous sources of a story he was questioned on. Via The Hill:
Complaints from White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Monday about anonymous news sources prompted a testy exchange with reporters who noted that administration officials regularly demand anonymity.
Earnest was asked about a Washington Post report charging that the administration ignored predictions last year from the Department of Homeland Security about the surge of unaccompanied minors who have flooded across the border in recent months.
ut the spokesman looked to challenge the report by arguing it was “based entirely on anonymous sources.” Earnest also offered a broader critique on the use of anonymous sourcing in a bid to challenge the credibility of the story.
“In the course of reporting, I think it’s important, based on my own personal view, for those kinds of quotes and those kinds of stories to be given greater weight than just anonymous sources,” Earnest said. “So, what that means is, if you have anonymous sources at the White House who are telling you something, and you’re gonna say to them — that anonymous source — ‘Look, I’m willing to give your side of the story a little less weight right now, because you’re telling me this anonymously.’ “
That prompted complaints from reporters who noted that the White House routinely insists on anonymity when unveiling new efforts.
“Would you guys commit then, when you have situations like today’s call, which is people specifically picked by the White House to roll out a policy of the White House, would you commit to have those people speak on the record?” asked Associated Press White House correspondent Julie Pace. “Because there doesn’t seem to be a reason to put them on background.”
“What I will commit to is a case-by-case evaluation of the background or the ground rules of each of these kinds of calls and a commitment to an open dialogue with you about the ground rules that will serve your interests and the White House interests the best,” Earnest said.
Make sure to click on the link above from The Hill to read how some Washington Post journos responded on Twitter to a particularly ridiculous criticism Earnest leveled at them about not sending anyone to the briefing to “defend themselves” on their border story published today. It goes without saying that the write-up wasn’t exactly flattering to the administration, and for that – of course – journalists must be punished. It’s the Chicago-on-the-Potomac way.
As always with this White House, it’s do as I say – not as I do. “Transparency” you can believe in, and all that …