Posts Tagged ‘matters

21
Jul
13

Rise and Shine

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Karen Grigsby Bates: As soon as he made his remarks on race Friday, President Obama found himself part of intense conversation around the nation. In dozens of cities across the country Saturday, protesters held coordinated rallies and vigils over the not-guilty verdict in the shooting death of an unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. Many African Americans insist that understanding the context for black distress over the Zimmerman verdict is key to honest discussions about race.

“You know we’re not looked upon as the people who fought for this country; we’re looked upon as the burden of this country,” he says. White Americans, Narcisse says, probably didn’t get the president’s story of being followed while shopping because it isn’t part of their experience, as it is his.

“That’s what you gotta think about,” he says. “When you walk into a store, do they follow you around? Have you ever had that happen to you?” In Atlanta, Emory University professor Tyrone Forman likes that Obama encouraged white Americans to consider what might happen if the situation were reversed. What, Forman asks, if Trayvon Martin had been Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg — who also wears hoodies, just as Trayvon did the night he was killed? “We can imagine a very different scenario would have transpired that evening in Sanford, Florida,” Forman said. “And I think it’s that context that President Obama was alluding to, and trying to open a conversation about.”

More here

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Danari Hankerson, 5, of York, turns around to face a singer singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at a vigil for Trayvon Martin on Saturday outside the York County Judicial Center

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Diya Cruz, left, marches from Frank Ogawa Plaza to the Fruitvale BART station with other protesters after a rally in Oakland, Calif.

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Gene Demby: President Obama’s surprise remarks Friday afternoon about the Trayvon Martin case, racial profiling and race more broadly was almost certainly his most extensive remarks about the role race plays in American life — and the role it has played in his own — since his presidency began. For Obama, discussing race has been especially treacherous. When he weighed in on the case last year — “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon” — his comments were viewed by many as an attempt to humanize Trayvon and empathize with his family, while many other people felt he was attempting to put his thumb on the scale in the case. (His comments came before George Zimmerman had been charged.)

But that’s perhaps what made the president’s surprise remarks in the White House briefing room so fascinating. “You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son,” he said. “Another way of saying that is, Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.” The president tried to contextualize the reaction that so many African-Americans had to the trial and the issue of racial profiling by talking about his own experiences.

It’s not clear just yet what prompted the president to revisit the verdict, but his statements came just days after Attorney General Eric Holder sharply critiqued stand your ground self-defense laws like the ones in Florida. In his comments, Holder got pretty personal as well. The week since the verdict has seen countless black men recount and lament being treated with suspicion as they moved through the world. Now, remarkably, the president of the United States and the nation’s top law enforcement official add their voices to that chorus.

More here

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Scott Neuman: Hundreds of people across the country attended “Justice For Trayvon” rallies calling for civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the wake of his acquittal a week ago in the fatal shooting of black teen Trayvon Martin. The Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network organized the events following last Saturday’s verdict in Sanford, Fla., in which six jurors accepted Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense during a scuffle with Martin in February 2012.

Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, attended the event in New York, where Sharpton called on those gathered to create a new, peaceful movement for change, reports NPR’s Dan Bobkoff. “Not only do I vow to you to do what i can for Trayvon Martin, I promise you I will work hard for your children too because it’s important,” Fulton told the crowd.

Meanwhile, Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, spoke at similar rally in Miami. “I’d like the world to know that Trayvon was my son. He was a loved child. He did nothing wrong and we’re not going to let them persecute him he way that they have,” Martin said.

More here

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David Maraniss: The first black president speaks out first as a black American

Trayvon Martin, the president said, could have been him 35 years ago. That would have been Barack Obama at age 17, then known as Barry and living in Honolulu. He had a bushy Afro. Hoodies were not in style then, or often needed in balmy Hawaii. His customary hangout outfit was flip-flops, called “slippers” on the island, shell bracelet, OP shorts and a tee.

Imagine if Barry Obama had been shot and killed, unarmed, during a confrontation with a self-deputized neighborhood watch enforcer, perhaps in some exclusive development on the far side of Diamond Head after leaving home to get shave ice. The news reports would have painted a complicated picture of the young victim, a variation on how Martin was portrayed decades later in Florida:

Lives with his grandparents; father not around, mother somewhere overseas. Pretty good student, sometimes distracted. Likes to play pickup hoops and smoke pot. Hangs out with buddies who call themselves the Choom Gang. Depending on who is providing the physical description, he could seem unprepossessing or intimidating, easygoing or brooding. And black.

More here

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AP

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Ian Millhisher: The fact that Perez emerged as Obama’s most controversial cabinet appointment reflects a very significant bias in our confirmation process. Secretary Perez has two Ivy League degrees, including a law degree with honors from Harvard Law School. The market salary for an attorney in private practice with an honors Harvard JD is $160,000 a year — and that’s in their very first year after graduation. Perez, as an experienced attorney with years of senior-level government service, obviously could command substantially more money. At any point in his career — from the day he graduated from Harvard through today — Perez could have left public service and chosen a career that would have made him very rich very quickly. He never once took this path. Instead, Secretary Perez spent his entire career in public service — as a law clerk to a federal judge, as a prosecutor in the same Civil Rights Division he would go on to lead, as an adviser to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) on civil rights, and in various high-level civil rights and labor policy jobs at the state and federal level. When his law school classmates were plotting how to convert their six-figure associate salaries into seven-figure partnerships, Perez put white supremacists in prison.

It’s unlikely that conservatives opposed his nomination simply because he chose public service over wealth, however. What really drove this opposition was the way he conducted himself throughout his career. Secretary Perez pushed basic labor protections such as a minimum wagefor domestic workers when he served on the Montgomery County City Council, an effort that ultimately succeeded after he left the council. He promised to “throw the book” at employers who withheld pay from immigrant workers. He saved a key prong of federal fair housing law from an attempt to neuter it in the Supreme Court, and he used that very aspect of the law to collect hundreds of millions of dollars from major banks that charged minority homeowners more than whites seeking a mortgage. He also reinvigorated the Civil Right’s Division’s historic commitment to protecting voting rights after the Bush Administration largely shunned that role. Indeed, Perezled the push against voter ID, a common method used by conservatives to shift the electorate rightward, in Texas and South Carolina.

More here

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Josh Israel: In his first gubernatorial debate against Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinellii II (R) admitted Saturday that his extreme anti-LGBT views have not changed. While reaffirming his extreme earlier comments about what he termed “the personal challenge of homosexuality,” he suggested that he would create an economically positive environment that would help LGBT Virginians.

 McAuliffe repeatedly attacked Cuccinelli throughout the Virginia Bar Association debate in Hot Springs, VA for his record of demonizing science, women’s health, and LGBT people. Twice, McAuliffe noted that Cuccinelli had called LGBT Virginians “soulless” and “self-destructive” and that his attempts to rescind non-discrimination protections have hurt Virginia’s business climate. Cuccinelli consistently ignored the attacks until moderator Judy Woodruff asked him directly about his previous comments. Cuccinelli responded briefly, saying, “My personal beliefs about the personal challenges of homosexuality haven’t changed.”

More here

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One of the most heartbreaking images I’ve seen

A tear ran down five-year-old Jacob Charley’s face while holding a “Black Life Matters” sign as thousands gathered to take part in a prayer vigil and rally in honor of Trayvon Martin in front of the Richard Russell Federal Building, Atlanta, July 20

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Rebecca Leber: On Saturday, 100 cities held rallies organized by the National Action Network for Trayvon Martin, where large crowds demanded a federal civil rights investigation into the fatal shooting of the unarmed teen. “Trayvon could have been anyone’s child,” Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, said at a rally in Miami. “That’s the message that’s being sent to the world.” Celebrities, lawmakers, and religious leaders also joined the rallies on Saturday.

More here

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Craig Bailey

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Wayne T. Price: Dr. Biju Matthews, a Titusville-based cardiologist, believes the Affordable Care Act is going to create a new wave of medical consumers armed with something they haven’t had before — health insurance. And many of those newly insured, Matthews said, are not going to have primary care physicians, nor are they going to want to go to a hospital emergency room for run-of-the-mill medical care, like cuts, colds or sore throats.

That’s why Matthews and his medical partner, Dr. Naresh Mody, opened Chiron Urgent Care earlier this month, next to their cardiology practice on North Washington Avenue in Titusville. “It’s definitely a good service,” Matthews said, “and it’s already picked up within two or three weeks. We’re seeing a lot more than we expected in our initial pro forma.” With just months to go before the individual mandates from the Affordable Care Act kick in, walk-in clinics like Chiron Urgent Care are seen as one of the medical niches with the potential for rapid growth.

More here

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First Lady Michelle Obama greets children during her visit to the Naval Air Station Oceana Summer Camp in Virginia Beach, Va., July 21, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

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Science!

Tara Culp-Ressler: California’s teen birth rate has plummeted to the lowest level that it’s been in the past 20 years, according to new data from the state’s health department. The state’s rate now stands at 28 births for every 1,000 teenage girls — a 60 percent drop since 1991, when the rate peaked at 70.9 births for every 1,000 girls.

Public health experts directly attribute this success to state laws that require California’s public schools to offer comprehensive sex ed classes with scientifically accurate information about birth control. State officials also credited family planning programs that provide community-based resources to teens. “We do believe that our programs are behind these numbers,” Karen Ramstrom, the chief of the program standards branch at the California Department of Public Health’s maternal child and adolescent health division, told the Los Angeles Times.

More here

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden walk from the Oval Office to the motorcade on the South Lawn driveway, July 21, 2010. They traveled to the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., to sign the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Nancy Giles: When Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, in Sanford, Fla., last year, my nephew Julius was living with me, and I worried about him all the time. Julius is 23, bright, well-spoken, funny, never been in trouble, and wears a baseball cap and a hooded sweat shirt, like a lot of young people his age. He worked days and weekends, and when he went out at night to meet his friends, we had the regular drill: Do you have your ID? Is your cell phone charged? Do you have one of my business cards? What’s with the pants? Is that sweatshirt warm enough?

He knew what I meant, and would shake his head and make some adjustments. And I’d watch him and blink — and see his little boy face singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in his sweet, little kid voice. I was relieved that there were no “Stand Your Ground” laws in New York and New Jersey, but still worried that Julius might be stopped and frisked by the NYPD — not because he’d done anything, but because (according to the language of “Stop and Frisk”) he could be stopped if the police had a “reasonable suspicion” of . . . something.

More here

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President Barack Obama shakes hands with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after signing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., July 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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First Lady Michelle Obama colors props for a theater production with children during a visit to the Naval Air Station Oceana Summer Camp in Virginia Beach, Va., July 21, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden ride in the motorcade from the White House to the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., July 21, 2010, to sign the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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12
Dec
11

evening all

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President Barack Obama, accompanied by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and Vice President Joe Biden, salutes as he departs the White House en route to Arlington National Cemetery, Dec. 12, 2011. The President and Prime Minister participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. An interpreter, center, walks with the group. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Don’t miss our good friend Tien’s brilliant post at The People’s View – here

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Eugene Robinson: I guess I was wrong. I thought Republicans surely would have come to their senses by now. Instead, they seem to be rushing deeper into madness.

With less than a month to go before the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney, the candidate shown by polls to have the best chance of defeating President Obama, evidently remains unacceptable to most of his party. He has spent the summer and fall playing second fiddle to a series of unconvincing “front-runners” who fade into the shadows once their shortcomings become obvious.

The latest is Newt Gingrich, a man with more baggage than Louis Vuitton – and the taste for fine jewelry of Louis XIV, judging by his Tiffany’s bill. Be honest: Is there anybody out there who believes Gingrich would make it through a general-election campaign against Obama without self-destructing? I didn’t think so.

Full article here

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Media Matters – thanks Linda

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Wow:

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Steve Benen: What’s worse than Fox News’ attempts at reporting? Fox News’ attempts to convey information through images.

Media Matters’ Zachary Pleat highlights this doozy from the Republican news network today, which intends to show the fluctuations in the unemployment rate over 2011 to date.

…. the truly amazing this about the image is that it (a) shows no change between 9% unemployment and 8.6% unemployment; and (b) tells viewers that 8.6% unemployment is higher than 8.8% unemployment.

….. There’s a very good reason Fox News viewers are so confused, so often, about so much.

Full post here

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Washington Post: Michelle Obama now holds part of a world record.

The first lady announced in an email Monday that her October bid to break the record for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period succeeded. Mrs. Obama says 300,265 people participated, shattering the old record.

In order to achieve her goal, Mrs. Obama led about 400 elementary and middle-school students from Washington in jumping jacks on the South Lawn of the White House. Other jumping jacks events were held around the world on Oct. 11.

The effort was organized by National Geographic Kids magazine in support of the first lady’s Let’s Move! initiative to promote physical fitness and healthy eating for children.

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CBS: Republican presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich – who has acknowledged marital infidelity in the past – pledged in a written statement to an Iowa social conservative group to “uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others.”

More here

:lol:

04
Oct
11

this is a shock: the right wing hates the first lady.

MediaMatters: The axe-grinding good-government poseurs at Judicial Watch are in a twist over First Lady Michelle Obama’s June trip to Africa, calling it “a nice taxpayer-funded ‘working’ vacation.” According to documents they obtained via FOIA requests (and their own “calculations”), the trip cost taxpayers $425,000 in travel and food expenses. Their “report” has already been picked up by Drudge, and it’s being flogged by the dimmer corners of the right-wing media.

….. First, it’s ridiculous to criticize the First Lady for the travel costs of an official trip to Africa. She’s the First Lady; if she travels anywhere, it’s going to be funded with public money. She can’t exactly fly stand-by on Southwest.

Second, the South Africa safari was paid for with the Obama’s private funds. What’s more, in taking her daughters on safari in Africa, Mrs. Obama was following in the footsteps of her predecessor. (Read here about Laura Bush and her daughters’ safari in Africa)

(A quick peek at Judicial Watch’s press release archive doesn’t turn up any outraged denunciations of Laura Bush’s safari-going ways.)

…. to say that the trip “was as much an opportunity for the Obama family and friends to go on a safari as it was a trip intended to advance the administration’s agenda in Africa” is absurd. The six-day trip was dominated by official events and meetings with world leaders…..

…. Judicial Watch doesn’t really explain how a meeting with Nelson Mandela constitutes “tourism.” Also, the other events Judicial Watch considers “tourism” – visits to museums and historical landmarks – are standard fare for visiting dignitaries. Laura Bush, during the same Africa trip noted above, toured museums and memorials dedicated to victims of apartheid and genocide…..

Full post here

Soweto, June 22

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ABC:  ….. The White House says a number of assertions made by conservative government watchdog Judicial Watch are in error:

The group calculated that the use of the C-32A aircraft cost taxpayers $424,142 (34.8 flight hours x $12,188 per hour).

“The number stated is misconstrued and out of context,” says a senior White House official. “The hourly rate is not the marginal cost of operating the plane – it is an accounting figure that prices in a number of fixed costs from maintaining the Air Force fleet for this kind of plane over a year. For example, it includes estimated replacement parts, depreciation, repairs, and costs that would have been incurred regardless of this flight.”

Judicial Watch says that Sasha and Malia Obama are listed as “Senior Staff.” Not true, says the White House.

“The Obama daughters were not listed as Senior Staff – that only designates the area of the plane where they were seated,” says the official. “The Air Force categorizes the passengers by compartment on the plane.”

…. The senior White House official says that private safari “was designated as a private event and paid for personally.”…. “It was an official trip with a 5-7 official events each day,” the official says.

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FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA’S VISIT TO SOUTH AFRICA AND BOTSWANA

TUESDAY, JUNE 21 – PRETORIA & JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

Mrs. Obama began her day by traveling to Pretoria where she met with President Zuma’s wife, Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma …..  she then attended a reception with South African leaders organized by the U.S. Embassy … She then visited the Nelson Mandela Foundation, meeting with Graca Machel, Former First Lady of Mozambique, and wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela. She also met with former President Mandela, before touring the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22 – JOHANNESBURG & CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Mrs. Obama visited Regina Mundi Church in Soweto, where she delivered the keynote address to a U.S.-sponsored Young African Women Leaders Forum. She then visited the Hector Pieterson Memorial, honoring the twelve year-old boy who protested apartheid and was shot and killed by apartheid government police. In the afternoon, Mrs Obama attended two sessions of a forum of Young African Women Leaders. Mrs. Obama completed her visit to Johannesburg by leading the final group of forum participants in a community service project.

THURSDAY, JUNE 23 – CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Mrs. Obama began her day in Cape Town by thanking United States Consulate employees and their families. She then visited Robben Island – where former President Mandela was held for 18 of the 27 years he was imprisoned. She then delivered remarks and took questions from students at the University of Cape Town. She then visited the Cape Town Soccer Stadium where she met with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and organizations dedicated to combating HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

FRIDAY, JUNE 24 – CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA & GABORONE, BOTSWANA

Mrs. Obama visited the Botswana Baylor Children’s Clinic Center of Excellence’s Teen Club that was assembled to teach leadership among teens and encourage young people to teach others about HIV/AIDS. Mrs. Obama joined Teen Club members in a service project. She then had a meeting with President Ian Khama.

SATURDAY, JUNE 25 – GABORONE, BOTSWANA

Mrs. Obama began her day by thanking U.S. Embassy employees and their families. Following this event, Mrs. Obama and her family departed for private family safari events.

SUNDAY, JUNE 26 – GABORONE, BOTSWANA

Mrs. Obama and her family left Botswana to return to the United States.

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But this trip was okay:

Laura Bush in Cape Town, South Africa, July 12, 2005

July 2005: After a safari weekend, Laura Bush stepped out of a dusty SUV with her twin daughters on Monday to serve as a goodwill ambassador in Africa for President Bush.

The first lady’s whirl through South Africa, Tanzania and Rwanda this week comes on the heels of a Scotland summit where British Prime Minister Tony Blair made alleviating Africa’s mass suffering the top agenda item for Bush and leaders of other wealthy countries.

Mrs. Bush and her 23-year-old daughters, Barbara and Jenna, spent the weekend at the Madikwe Game Reserve on the South African-Botswana border….

The first lady’s staff asked photographers to refrain from shooting the twins as they boarded the plane in Gaborone, Botswana, for the flight to Cape Town, on grounds that they were not part of the official delegation.

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In 2010 Judicial Watch released its list of ‘Washington’s ten Most Corrupt Politicians’ – the list included President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel, Jesse Jackson, Jr, Barney Frank, Barbara Boxer and Maxine Waters.

It didn’t, for example, include Darrell Issa.

:roll:

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What can we conclude from all of this?

Well, two things:

(1) Laura Bush is a Republican and she’s white.

(2) Michelle Obama is a Democrat and she’s black.

That’s all, really.

23
Aug
11

‘cbs’ mark knoller whitewashes bush from 2009 deficit’

MediaMatters: CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller whitewashed former President Bush’s role in creating $1.2 trillion in deficit for the 2009 fiscal year, instead blaming President Obama for every penny of debt increase since “the day Mr. Obama took office.” But the Congressional Budget Office had already projected $1.2 trillion in deficit before Obama took office, based entirely on Bush’s actions and economic conditions…..

Full post here

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Steve Benen: CBS News went to some effort yesterday to promote (Knoller’s) piece … “National debt has increased $4 trillion under Obama” … That’s a shame; the piece is woefully devoid of context and meaningful details.

… The piece doesn’t mention, for example, that the debt increase “on President Obama’s watch” includes a $1.3 trillion deficit that was sitting on his desk the day he took office, left there by Bush/Cheney.

Knoller tells readers that the White House “blames policies inherited from his predecessor’s administration for the soaring debt,” but doesn’t tell readers whether the White House’s claims are true or false – Knoller just passes them along without any scrutiny or context.

In this case, when the White House blames policies Obama inherited, the White House happens to be telling the truth (see post for graphs)….

…  Knoller’s piece doesn’t provide any of this information. It’s a bit of a mess.

Full post here

More at TPM

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Thanks ChristiMtl and Ladyhawke

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You can contact Knoller on Twitter here

08
Jul
11

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