AP US History back to admitting that America is, in fact, exceptional.

Judging from the sheer amount of whining going on later in this Newsweek article, this decision by The College Board (the company that does the AP tests) sounds like a reasonably big deal: “The company behind Advanced Placement courses for U.S. high school students will release a revision to the standards for AP U.S. history on Thursday morning, after significant pushback from conservatives who claimed the redesigned course framework, released last year, painted American history in too negative a light.”  All in all, the people who do the AP tests probably shouldn’t have picked this particular decade to emphasize collective national guilt over heroic American historical figures and treat ‘American exceptionalism’ as an unfortunate social disease, given that the people who would be most upset about it are already up in arms over Common Core. You end up with pushback from the people who dislike your take on American history, and some of the aforementioned Common Core protesters (the ones who can connect the dots). Continue reading AP US History back to admitting that America is, in fact, exceptional.

Tweet of the Day, …Good Heavens. The AP Published THAT Picture Of Hillary? edition.

Does the AP want Hillary Clinton to lose?

I mean, yes, she’s a horrible candidate and everything – but it’s not like the Democrats have anyone better to run. It’s Hillary or nobody: and I’m legitimately bemused that the AP would still run a picture that I’d hesitate to run. If for no other reason than it looks too good to be anything except a Photoshop job.

Via Twitchy.

The latest AP/GfK poll *should* alarm Democrats.

Some rather good news via RCP, in the form of the latest AP/GfK poll. Short version: polling adults*, there’s a +1 GOP advantage on who poll respondents want to run Congress (37/36); the same poll had it 39/32 the other way in January.  And there’s an intensity gap, as well…

In the new poll, registered voters who are most strongly interested in politics favored the Republicans by 14 percentage points, 51 percent to 37 percent. In January, this group was about evenly split, with 42 percent preferring Democrats and 45 percent the Republicans.

That’s not the only positive sign in the poll for the Republicans.

Favorable views of the GOP have improved, with 38 percent overall now saying they hold a favorable impression of the Party. Republicans’ positive view of their own party has increased from 57 percent in January to 72 percent now.

Continue reading The latest AP/GfK poll *should* alarm Democrats.

Why @BarackObama will cheerfully ignore the AP’s photo complaints.

This would be the complaint in question:

Manifestly undemocratic […] is the way Mr. Obama’s administration — in hypocritical defiance of the principles of openness and transparency he campaigned on — has systematically tried to bypass the media by releasing a sanitized visual record of his activities through official photographs and videos, at the expense of independent journalistic access.

The White House-based press corps was prohibited from photographing Mr. Obama on his first day at work in January 2009. Instead, a set of carefully vetted images was released. Since then the press has been allowed to photograph him alone in the Oval Office only twice: in 2009 and in 2010, both times when he was speaking on the phone. Pictures of him at work with his staff in the Oval Office — activities to which previous administrations routinely granted access — have never been allowed.

The Associated Press wants the same kind of access from this administration for its photographers that they enjoyed under previous administrations.  And the Obama administration will not give it to them.  Why?  For the simplest of reasons: what’s in it for the Obama administration? Continue reading Why @BarackObama will cheerfully ignore the AP’s photo complaints.

The New York Times sub rosa declares for the Obama administration in DoJ/AP dispute.

Or am I supposed to pretend that the fig lead of an ‘Op-Ed’ applies in this situation?

As former Justice Department officials who served in the three administrations preceding President Obama’s, we are worried that the criticism of the decision to subpoena telephone toll records of A.P. journalists in an important leak investigation sends the wrong message to the government officials who are responsible for our national security.

Personally, I give the NYT +1 for sticking to its status as a Democratic house organ, in the veritable teeth of opposition by pretty much everybody else in its ostensible profession; alas, I have to give them -10 for tacitly backing off of its official position from a week ago – and -100 for having to resort to Jamie Gorelick.  I mean, not to poison the well or anything, here – but I’d check twice if Jamie Gorelick told me that the sky was blue.  And then assume that she was right for entirely the wrong reasons.

So, yeah, I guess that I’m poisoning the well.  But I’m right, dammit.

Moe Lane

PS: If the NYT wishes to smile and deny, they’re welcome to repeat their prior opposition to the DoJ’s targeting of the AP.  They won’t – the Op-Ed is a lot more palatable to their commenters than the original editorial was, it seems – but they’re welcome to.

Eugene Robinson… points out troublesome behavior from Obama towards the press.

You know, Eugene Robinson, I can’t help but notice that… you are upset at the current administration’s policies on leaks.

The Obama administration has no business rummaging through journalists’ phone records, perusing their e-mails and tracking their movements in an attempt to keep them from gathering news. This heavy-handed business isn’t chilling, it’s just plain cold.

And that this situation you are now describing… is a troublesome one.

The unwarranted snooping, which was revealed last week, would be troubling enough if it were an isolated incident. But it is part of a pattern that threatens to redefine investigative reporting as criminal behavior.

And, indeed, this observation that you have now taken up – that we have been seeing this sort of thing from the Obama administration for some time – is… very much on topic.  Yes.


Thank you for pointing this out.  And thank you for noting that prior administrations have shown more restraint in dealing with journalists.

Moe Lane

(Via Instapundit.  Oh, my, yes: via Instapundit.)

QotD, The Huffington Post (!) Takes Media Matters To The Woodshed edition.

This is how you tell Lefty groups that have made it to the media from Lefty groups who have not: see which ones are upset that the Department of Justice secretly subpoenaed two months’ worth of Associated Press phone records.The Huffington Post is an example of the former; Media Matters for America is a good example of the latter.  And the former is now taking the latter to task.  Now, HuffPo is still Lefty, so you know that there’s still going to be some gratuitous stuff in there, but here’s a good bit.

If you’d like the press to listen to your urgings, you are probably not going to get that to happen while taking the position that it’s OK for the government to snoop through the phone records of reporters and editors. To the perspective of those reporters and editors who were subject to the DoJ’s probe, and to the journalists who take the AP’s side in this matter, you guys are just dicks for putting out these talking points.

Excuse the language.  Not much else to say, otherwise, except to note HuffPo later notes that if Media Matters is going to be in a cleft stick if a Republican President ever does this.  This is probably incorrect: after all, Media Matters’ corporate masters are indifferent to consistency.  God knows that an objective look at the group’s success rate reveals that said masters are also indifferent to effectiveness…

Continue reading QotD, The Huffington Post (!) Takes Media Matters To The Woodshed edition.

Eric Holder may have an *exquisitely* painful day today over at House Judiciary.

I know, I know: you are wounded unto death about such a thing occurring. Wounded unto death.

Attorney General Eric Holder will testify before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday, where Republicans say they’ll grill him about the Justice Department’s secret review of Associated Press phone records and the IRS targeting of conservative groups for extra tax scrutiny, among other issues.

The oversight hearing had already been scheduled for 1 p.m. on May 15. But Republicans now plan to use the time to address the two issues that came to light this week.

The real question is, though: will it just be the Republicans piling on? Possibly not: the National Journal is kind of hinting* that maybe Democrats on Judiciary will be wanting to put some distance between them and the Obama administration’s exciting new game Wheel of Scandal. The AP thing would be the place for House Democrats to do it, too. Of the (current) Big Three scandals going on right now (Benghazi, IRS, AP): the narrative on Benghazi is locked down among Democrats. No way are any of them going to admit that the White House deliberately lied about the origins of that attack because they were in the middle of a Presidential election. The IRS issue is kind of problematical: the Democratic progressive base simply seems intellectually incapable of understanding why it looks horrifically bad when the IRS confesses that they targeted the administration’s political enemies. Best not to push that one too far… but the AP? Yeah, that’s reasonably safe. Particularly since the House passed a federal shield bill in 2009 that would have protected all those fine, upstanding journalists. So, yeah, they’re on the side of the angels on that one. Continue reading Eric Holder may have an *exquisitely* painful day today over at House Judiciary.

Jon Stewart, meet IRS-derived meltdown. Meltdown, Jon Stewart.

This particular event surpasses even Stewart’s hysterical reaction to Scott Brown winning the MA-SEN special election.

Now never mind for a moment that Stewart has a somewhat, ah, slanted opinion about Benghazi; also put to one side for the moment his obligatory smacks at the right wing. The point is this: Barry, you are [expletive deleted]. Jon Stewart ain’t going to carry the President’s water on this one – which means that it’s REALLY bad – so Barack Obama might as well start to process of determining who to fire. I think that it’s going to take at least a Cabinet member being burned to cauterize this one…

So, the Department of Justice secretly subpoenaed the Associated Press.

I cannot possibly see how this could end badly for the Obama administration.

I somehow suspect that the AP isn’t going to get all shirty for once about this quote:

Rules published by the Justice Department require that subpoenas of records of news organizations must be personally approved by the attorney general, but it was not known if that happened in this case. The letter notifying AP that its phone records had been obtained through subpoenas was sent Friday by Ronald Machen, the U.S. attorney in Washington.

William Miller, a spokesman for Machen, said Monday that in general the U.S. attorney follows “all applicable laws, federal regulations and Department of Justice policies when issuing subpoenas for phone records of media organizations.” But he would not address questions about the specifics of the AP records. “We do not comment on ongoing criminal investigations,” Miller said in an email.

The Justice Department lays out strict rules for efforts to get phone records from news organizations. A subpoena can be considered only after “all reasonable attempts” have been made to get the same information from other sources, the rules say. It was unclear what other steps, in total, the Justice Department might have taken to get information in the case.

…I think that when TS Eliot said that April was the cruelest month he hadn’t really taken into account politicians like Barack Obama.  Because right now May is downright sucking for the Democratic party.

Moe Lane