Team Hillary to the NYT: Stop writing ‘negative’ stories about La Clinton

Hillary Clinton speaks in Gastonia, NC - 5/2/08. Photo taken by ST.

Hillary Clinton speaks in Gastonia, NC – 5/2/08. Photo taken by ST.

The Washington Free Beacon has an exclusive report on a ‘secret meeting’ between senior members of Team Clinton and the New York Times in which the Clintonistas told the Times to “back off” (via):

Some of Hillary Clinton’s closest aides blasted the New York Times for what they said was unfair coverage of the former first lady during a recent secret meeting with the paper’s Washington bureau, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

Sources said the meeting included Clinton advisers Philippe Reines and Huma Abedin, as well as Times Washington bureau chief Carolyn Ryan and national political reporter Amy Chozick, who has been on the Clinton beat for the paper.

During the closed-door gathering, Clinton aides reportedly griped about the paper’s coverage of the potential 2016 candidate, arguing that Clinton has left public office and should not be subjected to harsh scrutiny, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

Neither the Times nor the Clinton camp would discuss on the record specifics. However, sources familiar with the meeting describe it as an attempt to brush back and even intimidate the staff of the Times. The sometimes fraught relationship between Clinton and the press has been well documented.

“We are not going to comment,” said a Times spokesperson when contacted by the Free Beacon.

Reines and another spokesperson for Clinton did not respond to requests for comment.

Newsbusters’ Tim Graham astutely points out:

Scott Whitlock also noted a puffy Chozick front-pager on how the Clintons would seek to reclaim “populist” (i.e. ultraliberal) ground on income inequality, so it’s not like the Clintons have a lot of complaining to do. But part of the Clintons maintaining their “inevitable” grip on the Democratic nomination clearly means keeping their partisan press operatives in line.

Absolutely.  It’s not like the New York Times treat La Clinton like they would your average Republican politico, and even “negative” stories (by the loosest of definitions) are far fairer on HillaryCo than anything you’d see about her opposition … unless the opposition’s name was Barack Obama, of course.

This is, as Graham noted, just a way for Hillary and her operatives to try and make sure her typical media allies don’t stray too far off course in the coming months as she gears up for a likely presidential announcement. It’s  all part of the massive Clinton media-machine, which will try and break reporters who don’t fall in lockstep with her PR agenda, and which will reward those who regurgitate the Approved Talking Points™.  

If you still had any doubts at this point as to whether or not she would run for President, this report should give you your answer: Yes.

CNN notices that Obama has become “toxic” to some Democrat Senators

Hagan repeal Obamacare

Tea Party member Judy Carter pickets Sen. Hagan’s office in Greensboro against Obamacare – February 2011. Photo by The G’boro Tea Party Examiner’s Matt Maggio.

CNN asks one of the more amusing questions of the day about our celebrity President: Is Obama toxic to Democrats facing tough re-elections?  The answer is, of course, yes:

When it comes to the 2014 midterm elections, Harry Reid and Mark Begich don’t appear to be on the same page.

Reid, the Senate majority leader and Democrat from Nevada, says “Barack Obama is personally a very popular guy.”

Asked by CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash if he would encourage some of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats up for re-election this November to invite the President to appear with them, Reid said “Yes. And they will.”

But Begich, the Democrat from red-state Alaska who faces a challenging bid for second term in the Senate, feels differently.

“I’m not really interested in campaigning” with Obama if the President came to Alaska, he said.

“If he wants to come up there and learn about Alaska, bring it on. I’ll drag him around, I’ll show him what he ever he wants to see, but I want to show him and convince him some of his policies are not the right direction. I don’t need him campaigning for me. I need him to change some of his policies,” Begich told Bash and CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper soon after Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

“We’ve had our differences,” added Begich, in describing his relationship with Obama.

It was a similar story from Sen. Mark Udall. The Colorado Democrat is also up for re-election, but his seat isn’t considered that vulnerable as of now.

In an interview with Bash, Udall refused to say whether he’d like some help on the campaign trail if the President comes to Colorado, a purple state that Obama won in both the 2008 and 2012.

“We’ll see what the President’s schedule is, what my schedule is. But Coloradans are going to re-elect me based on my record, not the President’s record,” Udall said.

[…]

Democratic Sens. Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana both have made news in the recent months by not appearing with Obama when he’s held an event in their state.

Both face challenging re-election campaigns in GOP friendly states.

Hagan, who I wrote about  yesterday, may have the toughest uphill fight of them all  – what with her unfailing support of Obamacare and her consistent pro-choice record.  Will be interesting to see if the President or even the VP visit NC again in the coming months to try and “help” her out.

Stay tuned!

Related: Via National Journal – Obama’s State Approval Ratings Spell Trouble for Senate Democrats

Photo of the Day: The “Frozen Tundra” that is Lambeau Field

Snowy football

Brrrrrrr!

Fox News sports commentator Erin Andrews tweeted out this photo yesterday of conditions on the ground at Lambeau Field:


Here’s the gameday forecast. One word: BRUTAL.

49ers vs. Packers – Sunday, 4:40 P.M., FOX
FORECAST: Brutally cold temperatures, partly cloudy to mostly clear. Blustery and breezy.
Winds: Northwest 10-20 mph possible gust of 25 to 30 mph
Kickoff: -4 wind chill: -23
Half Time: -6 wind chill: -28
Second Half: -10 wind chill: -35

Conditions are so bad that it’s causing some to suggest that the game should be postponed. Thoughts?

BTW, here’s the playoff schedule. 2 games today, and 2 tomorrow. The Panthers will play the highest remaining seed from this weekend’s games. Read more about their various playoff scenarios here.

Federal govt creating “Behavioral Insights Team” to help “influence” your behavior

Another “shaking my head” moment (hat tip):

The federal government is hiring what it calls a “Behavioral Insights Team” that will look for ways to subtly influence people’s behavior, according to a document describing the program obtained by FoxNews.com. Critics warn there could be unintended consequences to such policies, while supporters say the team could make government and society more efficient.

While the program is still in its early stages, the document shows the White House is already working on such projects with almost a dozen federal departments and agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture.

“Behavioral sciences can be used to help design public policies that work better, cost less, and help people to achieve their goals,” reads the government document describing the program, which goes on to call for applicants to apply for positions on the team.

The document was emailed by Maya Shankar, a White House senior adviser on social and behavioral sciences, to a university professor with the request that it be distributed to people interested in joining the team. The idea is that the team would “experiment” with various techniques, with the goal of tweaking behavior so people do everything from saving more for retirement to saving more in energy costs.

The document praises subtle policies to change behavior that have already been implemented in England, which already has a “Behavioral Insights Team.” One British policy concerns how to get late tax filers to pay up.

“Sending letters to late taxpayers that indicated a social norm — i.e., that ‘9 out of 10 people in Britain paid their taxes on time’ — resulted in a 15 percent increase in response rates over a three-month period, rolling out to £30 million of extra annual revenue,” the document reads.

Another policy aimed to convince people to install attic insulation to conserve energy.

“Offering an attic-clearance service (at full cost) to people led to a five-fold increase in their subsequent adoption of attic-insulation.”

Dontcha feel sooo much better now? Nudge Squad to the rescue!  I’ve a better idea: How about an official citizen “nudge squad” to “nudge” govt bureaucracy out of our lives? Oh yeah, we’ve got that: It’s called … the PEOPLE.  Get busy nudgin’, y’all!

Audacity of Nope

”Behavioral Insights Team”? I think I’ll pass …

Around the Web: Headlines You Might Have Missed

Extra extra

”Read all about it!”

The deadly tornado in Oklahoma and the various scandals that comprise Obama’s “Scandalpalooza” have understandably been the MSM’s main focus this week so I wanted to link up to some interesting stories you might have missed as a result of that in the meantime.  Please feel free to use this as an open thread.

—— Journolist Part Deux? The Washington Free Beacon reports that MSM journalists and Human Rights Watch group caught trashing Israel in a secret Facebook group. I know, shocking, right?

—– One Doctor’s View: Well, I suspect this is more than just Dr. Charles Willey’s point of view on ObamaCare but all the same it’s worth reading. Excerpt:

Unfortunately, the greatest barrier to this goal is government intervention into my professional judgment, my office management and my patient care. This has been increasingly true long before enactment of the onerous Affordable Care Act (ACA), but it’s especially true now.

ObamaCare is being increasingly recognized as a “train wreck.” Trust me: it is demoralizing doctors, distracting providers toward bureaucracy and away from patient care. It is disrupting quality and access, and damaging health.

Let’s hope Dr. Willey isn’t the IRS’ next target …

—– And speaking of doctors make sure you read this amazing story – via USA Today – about how University of Michigan doctors were able to use a 3-D printer to create a life-saving implant for a baby suffering from a rare lung disorder.  When medical researchers aren’t pushing the use of embryonic stem cells, they do incredible work.  This is awesome!

—– On the flip side of that, read an insider’s sobering view into China’s one-child policy. Warning: It’s even more brutal than you think.  Please pray for the women of China and their future unborn children, and make sure to ask a NOW/NARAL/Planned Parenthood “feminist” next time you talk to one when was the last time they spoke out against this horrific practice.

—– The human impact of Monday’s deadly tornado in Moore, OK has been devastating on many levels, but please don’t forget in the midst of such tragedies that there are pets who hope to be reunited with their owners.  News Channel 4 in Oklahoma has pictures of pets who were found in the aftermath of the tornado who I’m sure desperately want to be back in the loving homes they came from.  Please pass the link along to everyone you know in hopes they can help get cats and dogs returned to their “moms and dads.”   And make sure tokeep this link of resources from Dana Loesch on how to help tornado victims and the town of Moore in rebuilding efforts in  handy and also pass it along to family and friends.  The President, btw, is expected to visit Oklahoma on Sunday.

—— In which the NYT defends Fox News & slams Obama over leakgate. Yes, this happened.

—– The gruesome headline says it all: Suspected Muslim terrorists hack man to death on busy London street. Per Twitter, many Londoners are out on the streets protesting as I write this.  The murdered man is believed to be a British soldier, and the “motivation” for the perps is allegedly because of the war in Afghanistan. And moral relativists saying we should “listen” to the sick, twisted killers are out in full force.  Sigh.

—– Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, President Obama’s nominee for Transportation Secretary, had a ‘smooth’ confirmation hearing today before a Senate panel.  Foxx, an Obama crony, was praised by both NC Senators (Burr-R and Hagan-D) and is expected to be easily confirmed by the full Senate in a few weeks once he is approved by today’s Senate committee.

—- Disgraced NY politico Anthony Weiner announced his entry (pun-intended) in into the NYC mayoral race officially today. What with equally-disgraced former SC governor-turned-Congressman Mark Sanford winning his special election earlier this month, could this be the year for “redeeming” politicos who have fallen from grace?

—- Last but not least, NJ Gov. Christie put on his tourism cap today by encouraging tourists to start visiting his state again this summer as “boardwalks are opening.” Many of Jerseys boardwalks were destroyed during Hurricane Sandy. Many of us have strong political disagreements with Christie, but we can all agree that it’s great to see New Jersey get back on its feet again.  Oh, and best of luck with the weight loss, Governor.

FYI – Headlines You Might Have Missed This Week

It’s impossible for Phineas and I to write about everything we want to cover, considering work and personal responsibilities. Here’s a round-up of some headlines from this week you may have missed.

—– NYT: Hackers in China Attacked The Times for Last 4 Months – Really? Only for the last four months? I would have guessed for the last 60 years or so ….

—– Twitchy: Snort: Senators reportedly in ‘shock’ over Hagel’s ineptitude, bumbling – Not a good day for Chuck Hagel yesterday.

—–Charlotte Observer: Gov. McCrory should butt out – The Charlotte Observer’s full scale war on new GOP Governor (and former Mayor of Charlotte) Pat McCrory continues. Their columnists, some of their regular writers, and their editorial page have been hammering him since before he even took office, because he has the nerve to challenge the status quo and ruffle delicate liberal feathers at a time when the state unemployment rate is in the top five worst in the country. This territory is new for The Observer, considering our history of Democrat Governors the Observer has routinely failed to critically scrutinize until AFTER they’ve left office. Republican Governors, rare indeed in this state, are apparently an exception to the paper’s unwritten rule. ‘Natch.

—– AP: Alabama standoff continues as official says child held hostage in bunker cries for parents – Please keep this little boy and his family in your prayers.

—– USA Today: Geraldo Rivera ‘contemplating’ Senate run
Sigh. Say it ain’t so.

—– NBC: Boy Scouts close to ending ban on gay members, leaders – This news is meeting with mixed reviews. Liberal types are hailing the Boy Scouts as “turning a corner” on “equality” when in actuality a lot of this has to do more so with donations drying up from people and corporations being bullied by the Liberal Gay Gestapo ™ rather than a “principled” move, and the Boy Scouts were running out of options. Also, could the timing be worse for this announcement, considering back in October the revelations of the so-called “Perversion Files” the Boy Scouts kept for decades on allegations of sexual abuse against young boys by Scout Leaders – information they kept from law enforcement and parents? Time Magazine reported at the time:

A law firm that represented a former Boy Scout who had been the victim of child sexual abuse on Thursday released a large online volume containing more than 1,200 files on Scoutmasters and other volunteers accused of pedophilia or sexual abuse. The files span some 20 years, from 1965 to 1985, and are part of a record compiled by the Boy Scouts of America with the intention of keeping abusers out of scouting and away from vulnerable youth. The full record is believed to date back as far as the mid-1920s and may involve as many as 100,000 children.

If even 25% of the allegations are incidents that actually happened, is there any wonder why the Scouts had this policy in place for as long as they did? Most gays are not abusers, but it would appear that abusers were targeting young boys in the Boy Scouts in alarming numbers. I report, leaving political correctness by the roadside, and you decide.

Oh, and speaking of child sexual abuse, how many parents are comfortable having their kids go to LA Unified School District schools these days? The outrageous dereliction of duty there on the part of school administrators is staggering.

—– The immigration reform battle heats up. Senators Rubio, McCain, David Vitter, and even the President himself are in the spotlight this week as the warring factions gear up for a prolonged fight. Déjà vu and all that.

—– Gabby Giffords was the star of the show at this week’s gun violence hearings. She paints a sympathetic picture considering the horrific attempt on her life that has forever changed her, but as I’ve said before, this is a debate that deserves careful and thoughtful consideration and debate of all options, not emotion-based proposed policy “solutions” that will do more harm than good.

—– Last but not least, Mark Steyn on the Beyonce inauguration lip sync “controversy”:

Whether Beyoncé was lip-syncing to the band or the band were lip-syncing to Beyoncé is like one of those red pill / blue pill choices from “The Matrix.” Was President Obama lip-syncing to the Founders, rooting his inaugural address in the earliest expressions of American identity? (“The patriots of 1776 … gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.”) Or maybe the Founders were lip-syncing to him as he appropriated the vision of the first generation of Americans and yoked it (“preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action”) to a statist pitch they would have found utterly repugnant.

Zing.

Please feel free to use this as an open thread. TGIF!!

Happy New Year from the ST blog!

Here’s wishing you and yours a very safe, healthy, and happy New Year’s eve and day. Let’s make 2013 count!

Of course, it’s already “next year” in other parts of the world. Enjoy the fireworks seen earlier in Australia. :)

Helpful tips: First and foremost, you should designate a driver if you know you’re going to drink the night away. But in the event you don’t have a DD or neglect to designate one, keep this information in mind: Although it isn’t being offered nationally, some AAA clubs are offering Tow-to-Go or Tipsy Tow service tonight for those who shouldn’t be driving. If you’re interested in learning more info for yourself or a loved one, click here. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a list of sober/safe ride options as well. Please make sure to keep this information handy as it could save a life.

Be well!

Prayers for former President George H.W. Bush

Worrisome news via the Associated Press:

HOUSTON – Former President George H.W. Bush is being treated in the intensive care unit at a Houston hospital after suffering “a series of setbacks,” including a stubborn fever, his spokesman said.

In a brief email Wednesday, Jim McGrath, Bush’s spokesman in Houston, said the 88-year-old former leader had been admitted Sunday to the ICU at Methodist Hospital. McGrath said Bush, the oldest living former U.S. president, was alert and talking to medical staff.

He said doctors are cautiously optimistic about Bush’s treatment and that the former president “remains in guarded condition.” He said Bush was surrounded by family.

Early Thursday, McGrath told The Associated Press he had no new information on Bush’s condition and that he would release another statement “when events warrant it.”

Bush has been hospitalized since Nov. 23, when he was admitted for a lingering cough related to bronchitis after having been in and out of the hospital for complications related to the illness.

A fever that kept Bush in the hospital over Christmas had gotten worse and doctors had put him on a liquids-only diet Wednesday following “a series of setbacks.”

“It’s an elevated fever, so it’s actually gone up in the last day or two,” McGrath said. “It’s a stubborn fever that won’t go away.”

But he said the cough that initially brought Bush to the hospital had improved.

Please keep “41”, who is 88 years old and an American hero and – of course – beloved father to our 43rd President, in your thoughts and prayers for a speedy, full recovery.

Blog housekeeping notes

FYI, I have had to temporarily disable Ajax comment editor for the site because some glitch in the plug-in is causing commenters to see error messages when they try to post a comment. I wasn’t seeing it when I was logged into the blog but when I logged out of the blog I did see it.

Once I find out what the solution is – if there is one – I’ll re-enable it as it is one of the more popular plug-ins at the site. It may be that a plug-in update will have to be done by the plug-in developer before the plug-in can be used again.

Please let me know in the meantime if any of you are still having the issue with error messages popping up in your comments.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Romney wows 7,000+ strong Asheville crowd, gets the support of Rev. Billy Graham

Just a little bit ago, I got done livetweeting the Romney / Ryan rally held earlier this evening in Asheville, NC (also known as Liberalville, NC to yours truly).  Media reports had indoors being over 7,000 and there was jumbotron outside for the overflow crowd (I don’t know the numbers but I did see pictures of people standing outside to watch it).

Romney hit on some good themes, hammered the administration’s response and blame game tactics on the Benghazi terrorist attack, promoted states rights and his economic plan, once again pledged to repeal ObamaCare and joked about how he enjoyed last week’s debate very much. :)

My only objection to the rally was when Speaker Boehner spoke and announced he was wearing “Carolina blue” for the Tarheel state. Grrr. ;)

Not only was the rally a success, if the attendance numbers and crowd reaction were any indication, but Romney got a big boost today from visiting the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Rev. Franklin Graham at the elder Graham’s home in nearby Montreat:

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Mitt Romney asked the Rev. Billy Graham for his prayers Thursday and the ailing evangelist came through by praying with the Republican presidential candidate and offering his support.

The 30-minute meeting between the world-renowned Christian leader and Romney could provide the former governor with a major boost among evangelical Christians skeptical of supporting the first Mormon nominated for president.

Graham, 93, and Romney prayed at the end of their previously unannounced meeting held at Graham’s estate in Montreat, which is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains 18 miles east of Asheville. Graham’s son, Franklin Graham, joined the meeting. It was the first time that Romney had met the elder Graham, but he first met Franklin Graham in 2006.

[…]

During Thursday’s meeting, campaign aides said that Graham told Romney that he considered his father, George Romney, a friend. He also recalled that he held his first crusade in Grand Rapids Michigan in 1947 — the same year that the former governor was born.

The meeting was closed to reporters, but photographers and television producers were permitted to record its final moments. As they entered, Romney appeared to be discussing the death of his father, George Romney.

[…]

Graham then asked Romney what he could do to help.

“Prayer is the most helpful thing you can do for me,” Romney said. “And what you’re planning, what your son has shown me is going to be very very helpful. And I appreciate that. Its going to be terrific.”

Graham, Franklin Graham and Romney then prayed and as the meeting ended, campaign aides said that Graham told Romney: “I’ll do all I can to help you. And you can quote me on that.”

Amen to that, Rev. Graham!  A photo from their meeting:

Romney and the Grahams

Mitt Romney meets with the Rev. Billy Graham and son Franklin Graham at the Graham home in Montreat, N.C. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

I’m starting to get a good feeling about Romney and NC – not making any predictions, but I feel the tide is turning …

As always, stay tuned!