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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 08:39 AM
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Martin Bashir Resigns From MSNBC

Source: Huffington Post

Martin Bashir Resigns From MSNBC

Jack Mirkinson

The Huffington PostDec 04, 2013

Martin Bashir has resigned from MSNBC, he announced in an email posted by Mediaite on Wednesday.

Bashir had been under fire for weeks after making highly incendiary comments about Sarah Palin.

Bashir's email read:

After making an on-air apology, I asked for permission to take some additional time out around the Thanksgiving holiday.

Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the President of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation. It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments.

Read more: http://www.huffpost.com/us/entry/4385884

Scott Walker Aide Fired Over (Racist) Tweets

Source: Politico

By KATIE GLUECK | 12/3/13 5:34 PM EST Updated: 12/4/13 12:36 AM EST

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s re-election campaign has fired its deputy finance director over incendiary tweets.

Aide Taylor Palmisano was let go from the Republican campaign in light of several inflammatory tweets she wrote several years ago concerning illegal immigrants. The story was first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s watchdog column, and confirmed by POLITICO.

“I will choke that illegal mex cleaning in the library. Stop banging (expletive) chairs around and turn off your Walkman,” read one tweet, according to the report. Her Twitter account is no longer active.

“Taylor Palmisano has been immediately removed from her position with the Friends of Scott Walker campaign,” said spokesman Jonathan Wetzel in a statement. “Both the Governor, and the campaign, condemn these insulting remarks which do not reflect our views in any way.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/12/scott-walker-aide-fired-100611.html

Sorry for the Politico link.

Clearly Obama's Fault...

Took this at the local community college I am teaching at:

U.S. Justices Decline to Hear Another Obamacare Challenge (Liberty University)

Source: Reuters

U.S. justices decline to hear another Obamacare challenge

By Lawrence Hurley

Mon Dec 2, 2013 10:03am EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a broad new legal challenge to President Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare law.

The court rejected a petition filed by Liberty University, a Christian college in Virginia, which had raised various objections to the law, including to the key provision that requires individuals to obtain health insurance.

The justices upheld the constitutionality of a the individual mandate in a 5-4 ruling in June 2012.

Last week, the court agreed to hear two new cases in which employers have made religious objections to regulations implemented under Obamacare that require employers to provide health insurance that includes contraception for women. The case will be heard this term and decided by the end of June.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE9B10II20131202

U.S. Manufacturing Grows at Fastest in 2 1/2 Years

Source: Associated Press


WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing grew in November at the fastest pace in 2 ½ years, as factories ramped up production, stepped up hiring and received orders at a healthy clip.

The Institute for Supply Management says its index of manufacturing activity rose in November to 57.3. That's the up from 56.4 in October and the highest since April 2011. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

A measure of hiring rose to its highest level in nearly 18 months.

Manufacturing activity has now expanded for six straight months after hitting a rough patch in the spring. But the survey conflicts with measures of factory activity, making it difficult to discern clear trends.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/us-manufacturing-grows-fastest-2-½-years

TOM TOMORROW: After Newtown

DAILY KOS LINK: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/12/02/1258502/-After-Newtown?detail=hide

Support independent cartooning: join Sparky's List ( http://thismodernworld.com/archives/7020 )— and be sure to visit Emporium of Fun ( http://www.topatoco.com/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=TO&Category_Code=TMW ), for all some of your holiday shopping needs!

'Pepper Spray Cop' to Be Questioned by Civilian Complaints Board: Judge

Source: New York Daily News

'Pepper spray cop' to be questioned by civilian complaints board: judge

Anthony Bologna, the NYPD Deputy Inspector who pepper sprayed Occupy Wall Street protesters, has lost his court bid to avoid being questioned by the Civilian Complaint Review Board about the 2011 incident.


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013, 12:24 PM

Anthony Bologna, the NYPD Deputy Inspector who pepper sprayed Occupy Wall Street protesters, has lost his court bid to avoid being questioned by the Civilian Complaint Review Board about the incident.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Joan Lobis said the 467 complaints filed with the board after the September 2011 incident "constituted use of excessive force" and that could be construed as a crime.

Since the Manhattan DA's office decided last April that it would not pursue criminal charges against Bologna, the judge said, no court has officially cleared him and thus the CCRB investigation can proceed.

- snip -

The incident at East 12 St. and University Place triggered an investigation by the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau, which concluded that Bologna acted "outside department guidelines."

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/pepper-spray-questioned-civilian-board-judge-article-1.1531027

Paul Krugman: The Whole Horrors-of-Obamacare Meme Will Be Gone in Weeks, Not Months


Paul Krugman - New York Times Blog
November 26, 2013, 2:42 pm

The Obamacare Worm Turns

I suggested yesterday that we’re probably heading for a turning point in the health reform discussion. Conservatives are operating on the assumption that it’s an irredeemable disaster that they can ride all the way to 2016; but the facts on the ground are getting better by the day, and Obamacare will turn into a Benghazi-type affair where Republicans are screaming about a scandal nobody else cares about.

And it’s already starting to happen.

White House officials are sounding increasingly upbeat. They could be deluded or spinning; but after what happened two months ago one suspects that the last thing they want is to inflate expectations unduly.

Meanwhile, media coverage is shifting fast. It’s still mostly trying for equivalence — each positive story of people being helped matched by a negative story of people hurt. But the stories don’t actually match up at all.

- snip -

I don’t know about you, but these don’t sound to me like equivalent stories.

At this rate, the whole horrors-of-Obamacare meme will be gone in weeks, not months. But the GOP echo chamber won’t be able to let it go.


Breaking: Lara Logan Taking Leave Of Absence From '60 Minutes' After Debunked Benghazi Report

Source: Huffington Post / Talking Points Memo

TOM KLUDT – NOVEMBER 26, 2013, 1:44 PM EST659
Weeks after she was forced to retract her "60 Minutes" report on the attack in Benghazi, Libya, Lara Logan and producer Max McClellan will be taking a leave of absence from the CBS News staple.

The Huffington Post's Michael Calderone broke the news. (SEE BELOW)

Logan was forced to admit that the report was a "mistake" after a British security contractor's account of the attack was discredited.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/lara-logan-taking-leave-of-absence-from-60-minutes


Michael Calderone

CBS News' Lara Logan Taking Leave Of Absence Over Discredited '60 Minutes' Benghazi Report

Posted: 11/26/2013 1:48 pm EST

NEW YORK -- Jeff Fager, chairman of CBS News and executive producer of '"60 Minutes," informed staff Tuesday that Lara Logan and her producer, Max McClellan, would be taking a leave of absence following an internal report on the newsmagazine's discredited Oct. 27 Benghazi report.

Fager's memo and findings of an internal review, both obtained by The Huffington Post, are below.

This story is developing

By now most of you have received the report from Al Ortiz about the problems with the 60 Minutes story on Benghazi.

There is a lot to learn from this mistake for the entire organization. We have rebuilt CBS News in a way that has dramatically improved our reporting abilities. Ironically 60 Minutes, which has been a model for those changes, fell short by broadcasting a now discredited account of an important story, and did not take full advantage of the reporting abilities of CBS News that might have prevented it from happening.

As a result, I have asked Lara Logan, who has distinguished herself and has put herself in harm’s way many times in the course of covering stories for us, to take a leave of absence, which she has agreed to do. I have asked the same of producer Max McClellan, who also has a distinguished career at CBS News.

As Executive Producer, I am responsible for what gets on the air. I pride myself in catching almost everything, but this deception got through and it shouldn’t have.

When faced with a such an error, we must use it as an opportunity to make our broadcast even stronger. We are making adjustments at 60 Minutes to reduce the chances of it happening again.

There is a lot of pride at CBS News. Every broadcast is working hard to live up to the high standard set at CBS News for excellence in reporting. This was a regrettable mistake. But there are many fine professionals at 60 Minutes who produce some of the very best of broadcast journalism, covering the important and interesting stories of our times, and they will continue to do so each and every Sunday.

Jeff Fage
Chairman, CBS News
Executive Producer, 60 Minutes


My review found that the Benghazi story aired by 60 Minutes on October 27 was deficient in several respects:

--From the start, Lara Logan and her producing team were looking for a different angle to the story of the Benghazi attack. They believed they found it in the story of Dylan Davies, written under the pseudonym, “Morgan Jones”. It purported to be the first western eyewitness account of the attack. But Logan’s report went to air without 60 Minutes knowing what Davies had told the FBI and the State Department about his own activities and location on the night of the attack.

--The fact that the FBI and the State Department had information that differed from the account Davies gave to 60 Minutes was knowable before the piece aired. But the wider reporting resources of CBS News were not employed in an effort to confirm his account. It’s possible that reporters and producers with better access to inside FBI sources could have found out that Davies had given varying and conflicting accounts of his story.

--Members of the 60 Minutes reporting team conducted interviews with Davies and other individuals in his book, including the doctor who received and treated Ambassador Stevens at the Benghazi hospital. They went to Davies’ employer Blue Mountain, the State Department, the FBI (which had interviewed Davies), and other government agencies to ask about their investigations into the attack. Logan and producer Max McClellan told me they found no reason to doubt Davies’ account and found no holes in his story. But the team did not sufficiently vet Davies’ account of his own actions and whereabouts that night.

--Davies told 60 Minutes that he had lied to his own employer that night about his location, telling Blue Mountain that he was staying at his villa, as his superior ordered him to do, but telling 60 Minutes that he then defied that order and went to the compound. This crucial point – his admission that he had not told his employer the truth about his own actions – should have been a red flag in the editorial vetting process.

--After the story aired, the Washington Post reported the existence of a so-called “incident report” that had been prepared by Davies for Blue Mountain in which he reportedly said he spent most of the night at his villa, and had not gone to the hospital or the mission compound. Reached by phone, Davies told the 60 Minutes team that he had not written the incident report, disavowed any knowledge of it, and insisted that the account he gave 60 Minutes was word for word what he had told the FBI. Based on that information and the strong conviction expressed by the team about their story, Jeff Fager defended the story and the reporting to the press.

--On November 7, the New York Times informed Fager that the FBI’s version of Davies’ story differed from what he had told 60 Minutes. Within hours, CBS News was able to confirm that in the FBI’s account of their interview, Davies was not at the hospital or the mission compound the night of the attack. 60 Minutes announced that a correction would be made, that the broadcast had been misled, and that it was a mistake to include Davies in the story. Later a State Department source also told CBS News that Davies had stayed at his villa that night and had not witnessed the attack.

--Questions have been raised about the recent pictures from the compound which were displayed at the end of the report, including a picture of Ambassador Stevens’ schedule for the day after the attack. Video taken by the producer-cameraman whom the 60 Minutes team sent to the Benghazi compound last month clearly shows that the pictures of the Technical Operations Center were authentic, including the picture of the schedule in the debris.

--Questions have also been raised about the role of Al Qaeda in the attack since Logan declared in the report that Al Qaeda fighters had carried it out. Al Qaeda’s role is the subject of much disagreement and debate. While Logan had multiple sources and good reasons to have confidence in them, her assertions that Al Qaeda carried out the attack and controlled the hospital were not adequately attributed in her report.

--In October of 2012, one month before starting work on the Benghazi story, Logan made a speech in which she took a strong public position arguing that the US Government was misrepresenting the threat from Al Qaeda, and urging actions that the US should take in response to the Benghazi attack. From a CBS News Standards perspective, there is a conflict in taking a public position on the government’s handling of Benghazi and Al Qaeda, while continuing to report on the story.

--The book, written by Davies and a co-author, was published by Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, part of the CBS Corporation. 60 Minutes erred in not disclosing that connection in the segment.

Al Ortiz
Executive Director of Standards and Practices
CBS News

Eric Boehlert ‏@EricBoehlert 3m
after CBS's National Guard controversy, outside panel issued 234-page report. For Benghazi, CBS issues an 11-paragraph summary of review

Study: More Than 11,000 Children Killed in Syrian War

Source: CBS News

Study: More than 11,000 children killed in Syrian war

November 24, 2013, 10:37 PM ET

Syria's bloody civil war has claimed the lives of more than 11,000 children, the vast majority killed by bombs or shells in their own neighborhoods, according to a report released Sunday.

The report, Stolen Futures: The Hidden Toll of Child Casualties in Syria, was released by the Oxford Research Group, an independent think tank based in Britain. It used figures provided by Syrian civil society groups that have been recording casualties.

The study found that from the start of the conflict in March 2011 through the month of August 2013, a total of 11,420 children age 17 or under had been killed, out of 113,735 civilians and combatants.

Of the child deaths, boys outnumbered girls more than 2 to 1 overall. The highest number of child deaths occurred in the governorate of Aleppo, where 2,223 were reported killed.

"What is most disturbing about the findings of this report is not only the sheer numbers of children killed in this conflict, but the way they are being killed," said co-author Hana Salama. "Bombed in their homes, in their communities, during day-to-day activities such as waiting in bread lines or attending school; shot by bullets in crossfire, targeted by snipers, summarily executed, even gassed and tortured."

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/study-more-than-11000-children-killed-in-syrian-war
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