Bellweather, CIA-ing Trouble, And C-BS Loses (And So Do We) *Open Thread*


It’s official now. The election everyone is referring to as a “bellweather” for the upcoming 2014 election in Florida has concluded. This county, which voted for Obama TWICE, chose Republican David Jolly over his Democratic opponent, Alex “We need immigrants to clean our hotels and mow our lawns” Sink. It was a closely contested election, to be sure, with the National parties involved, lots of money being spent, and some heavy hitters weighing in.

It didn’t take long for the Democratic spin machine to get going in this loss, of course. In the following video. Rep. – Elect David Jolly speaks with Megyn Kelly following his election, and the spin being put out by the Democrats, followed by some analysis of this win:

In case you can’t watch the video, one of the salient points is that the Democrats outspent the Republicans 4 – 1 in tv ads. FOUR TO ONE. That is pretty big, not to mention Bill Clinton going and stumping for her. So you can see why everyone is seeing this as a “bellweather” election. From everything I have heard today, this is a 50-50 county, so this is a big deal.

Another big deal is the news that the CIA appears to have been spying on the Senate, particularly the Senate Intelligence Committee chaired by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Feinstein, as you might imagine, is none too thrilled about this. Here are some of the particulars from the Washington Post:

A behind-the-scenes battle between the CIA and Congress erupted in public Tuesday as the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee accused the agency of breaking laws and breaching constitutional principles in an alleged effort to undermine the panel’s multi-year investigation of a controversial interrogation program.

Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) accused the CIA of ­secretly removing documents, searching computers used by the committee and attempting to intimidate congressional investigators by requesting an FBI inquiry of their conduct — charges that CIA Director John Brennan disputed within hours of her appearance on the Senate floor.

Feinstein described the escalating conflict as a “defining moment” for Congress’s role in overseeing the nation’s intelligence agencies and cited “grave concerns” that the CIA had “violated the separation-of-powers principles embodied in the United States Constitution.” […] (Click here to read the rest.)

This is a STAGGERING claim by Sen. Feinstein. Naturally, CIA Director Brennan denied the charge.

That is far from the end of it, however. This issue reaches all the way to the White House, as The Hill reports:

The White House did its best to steer clear of the storm on Tuesday, but Obama could soon be forced to take sides.


Attorney General Eric Holder must decide how to handle conflicting complaints from Feinstein and the CIA.

Feinstein on Tuesday charged the agency may have violated the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and an executive order prohibiting domestic searches and surveillance by searching computers that contained records of the committee’s internal deliberations.

The CIA’s acting general counsel has filed a countervailing report with the Justice Department accusing Intelligence Committee staff of removing a classified document from the agency without permission. Feinstein cited the general counsel’s complaint in her floor speech.

If Obama sides with Feinstein, Republicans could accuse him of undermining the intelligence community. […]

Whooey, this is going to be something to watch! Personally, if the CIA broke the law, it should be held to account regardless of political persuasion. I am not alone in that belief (The Hill):

[…]“It is very disturbing and we need a thorough and complete investigation, and I’m trying to figure out who would be doing it because there’s allegations of bias on both sides,” he said.

McCain, a longtime critic of enhanced interrogation tactics such as waterboarding, said, “We may need some kind of independent investigation.”

Graham, McCain’s ally, said if the spying allegations are true, “heads should roll at the CIA.” […](Click here to read the rest.)

Absolutely. The lawlessness that seems to be the hallmark of this Administration must be stopped, especially if the CIA, of all organizations, is engaging in this kind of spying on US Senators. That is wrong on a HOST of levels. I reckon we’ll see how this gets played out over time. One thing we know for sure, little happens quickly when it comes to politics.

And finally, I must address the departure of one of the very few true investigative journalists in this country, Sharyl Attkisson, from CBS News. As a reminder, Attkisson is responsible for bringing us “Fast and Furious, “Solyndra,” and about the only MSM reporter to focus on Benghazi. After two decades, Attkisson was finally able to get out of her contract from CBS News, citing their “liberal bias.” Judging from this Brent Bozell piece, I would say that it was how that bias was used to squelch her reporting. From Townhall:

[…] Attkisson had every reason to want out of her contract. According to the Tyndall Report, in 2007, she was the 18th most-used reporter in major network nightly news, with 160 minutes on the evening newscast. In 2008, she held steady at 18th, with 145 minutes, and in 2009, she was 19th, with 152 minutes. She hasn’t landed in the top 20 since … Barack Obama scandals bubbled up, and she started covering them.

In 2013, Tyndall found Attkisson was granted only 54 minutes on the “CBS Evening News,” a third of her previous average, and 78th among network news reporters. “She was obviously being sidelined,” says Tyndall.

She is planning a new book for HarperCollins (a Rupert Murdoch company) with the depressing title “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington.” The record speaks for itself. This was a woman trying to report news — big, big news — but because it might reflect badly on Obama, first the journalism was stifled, and then the journalist was smeared.

Attkisson’s reports on Benghazi were routinely left for the CBS News website. We found she wasn’t allowed to air a Benghazi report for a five-month-plus period between Nov. 23, 2012, and May 8, 2013. After one May story, her next report on the issue didn’t come until Sept. 16, 2013 — almost four months later. CBS also ignored Attkisson’s scoop at that time on Secretary of State John Kerry’s refusal to let the Benghazi survivors testify before Congress. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

One can hardly blame Attkisson for wanting out of her contract. Clearly, she was being stifled. Good for her for standing up for herself, but bad for us as we are losing one of the few true journalists left in this country. We can only hope she is snapped up by another outlet and fast. We need people like her to keep an eye on the machinations of our government, that’s for sure.

I shudder to think what we would NOT know had it not been for Attkisson’s digging and what will now be able to sleep through the cracks, or get swept under the rug. Our republic will be the worse for not having someone like Attkisson watching the government closely…

That’s it for me. This is an Open Thread. Feel free to talk about whatever is on your minds today, whether any of the above, other news, or some story that serves as a relief from the news of the day.


30 Responses to “Bellweather, CIA-ing Trouble, And C-BS Loses (And So Do We) *Open Thread*”

  1. foxyladi14 Says:

    New York fire.

  2. helenk3 Says:

    it is ok for the NSA to spy on us but not the CIA to spy on her.
    from what I understand congressional staffers took items from a secure place to an unsecure place in violation of agreement with the CIA. Since congress seems to have a lot of diarrhea of the mouth and too much is being leaked which has caused harm I can see the CIA’s point.
    From what I understand the congressional investigation started in 2009 and is still on going. that is a lot of time

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Well, the CIA is not supposed to be operating inside the country. That’s a big no-no. And to hack computers belonging to the Senate Intelligence Committee is really pushing the envelope.

      I think most people would agree that the NSA has gone way too far, and the CIA does not need to follow suit. 🙂

      No doubt, too many people blathering on in the Congress and from the White House, as the post I had up yesterday highlights. But that would be an FBI matter, not a CIA matter.

    • justine Says:

      I think you’re entirely right, Helen: The government should not be spying on its citizens or on the committees of the legislative branch.

  3. helenk3 Says:

    this one paragraph sums up CBS and Sheryl Attkinson

    But the CBS elites needed to address the growing outrage over this news censorship, so they began the whisper campaign against her. When Dylan Byers of Politico reported struggles inside CBS last May over stories on Benghazi, he wrote “CBS News executives see Attkisson wading dangerously close to advocacy on the issue.”

    It’s somehow never “dangerously close to advocacy” when Steve Kroft of that supposed CBS hardball show “60 Minutes” has offered a dozen tongue-bath interviews to the president. It’s not a sign of advocacy when CBS hires Oprah Winfrey’s best friend Gayle King to host their morning show despite (because of?) her close relationship with the Obamas. King attended a 2009 private inauguration party for their “closest friends and allies.” Mrs. Obama just extended her Hawaii vacation into January 2014 in a “girls getaway” with Oprah and her best buddy the CBS “News” employee.

    Gayle King coming and Sharyl Attkisson going tell you everything you need to know about the direction of CBS.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Yes, Bozell summed it up very well abt CBS and Attkisson.

      And just to be clear for everyone, the above paragraphs are from the Bozell article referenced in the post above from Townhall:

    • Katherine B. Says:

      Helen’s last sentence says it all. “Gayle King coming and Sharyl Attkisson going…”

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        Just to be clear, that was Brent Bozzell from the article, not Helen. Those were his concluding paragraphs.

        • Katherine B. Says:

          Ah well, in that case, Helen was brilliant for quoting him.

          • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

            Indeed. 🙂

            And just to be clear, I am not trying to harsh anyone’s buzz here, but when quoting content written by someone else online, it is critical to attribute it properly (quotation marks and link) lest there be any confusion, or even possible legal action. Trust me, it can be an issue even with quotation marks and link. That is why I was making clear that it came from the Bozzell article I referenced in my post and from which I quoted.

  4. helenk3 Says:

    if this is the level of competence working in the white house, we are in trouble

  5. helenk3 Says:

    whats $120 billion between friends

  6. helenk3 Says:

    bratty teen goes home.

  7. helenk3 Says:

    but but aren’t the phones free????

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      WTH is wrong with this man?? Seriously!! If it is supposed to be AFFORDABLE, then why in the world would people have to give up things that have become basic amenities? I mean, really – even basic cable costs SOMETHING, and these days, that’s abt the only way to watch tv and/or get news. Maybe that’s what he’s afraid of – people will know how crappy this law is as long as they have contact with the outside world…

    • justine Says:

      Supposedly the USA is a free country. In a free country, I decide what I spend my income on. In Obummer’s America, he decides what I spend my income on. I believe in a free USA; Obummer, obviously, doesn’t. [Perhaps his reliance on grandparents and government instead of himself and his parents has seeped into his brain, as explanation for his thinking. His comment “you didn’t build that” is probably true, for Obummer.]

  8. helenk3 Says:

    some good news

  9. helenk3 Says:

    just wondering, since backtrack has been in the whitehouse have there been any weeks when he was not fundraising or on vacation?

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      You forgot attacking Republicans and blaming them for everything wrong with the country, but yeah, I think you pretty much summed it up! 🙂

  10. helenk3 Says:

    this is not good

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      No, it really is not. It is astonishing how many of these agencies got a big ol’ F on this.

      So, um, is THIS what Obama meant by “transparency”??

  11. helenk3 Says:

    backtrack’s foreign policy not too popular

    this is one angry lady

  12. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    The good Representative from South Carolina, Trey Gowdy, was on FIRE on the House floor today as he discussed the ENFORCE Act, and the major flip-flops of then-Senator Obama to now-President Obama:

  13. helenk3 Says:

    groundwork being done to charge lois lerner.
    this is one lady I really do want behind bars for a long time

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      You aren’t only kidding. She certainly deserves it. I hope she is compelled to testify – if I recall correctly, a judge (federal?) needs to rule she indeed did waive her Fifth Amendment rights.

      Regardless, you said it – she needs to do some time…

    • foxyladi14 Says:

      I hope she goes to jail. 🙂

  14. helenk3 Says:

    Jan Brewer announced she will not run for governor again.

    maybe a Scott Walker – Jan Brewer ticket?

    both have executive experience, both have turned their states around fiscally.
    Jan Brewer has experience with protecting the border. neither has the DC taint
    Neither would make a difference in the number of congressional seats

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