Thursday Reads: Media Clutches Pearls, Takes to Fainting Couch, and Calls for Smelling Salts

 couch smelling saltsGood Morning!!

I can’t figure out if the corporate media wants to stop Hillary Clinton from running for president or if they desperately want her to run so they can figuratively flog her with a cat-o-nine-tails and then put her in stocks in front of the Capital building.

The story about Hillary using a private email domain when she was Secretary of State has reached the point of ridiculousness, but the media can’t help themselves–they are and yet the coverage continues to get more heated by the hour. The Hillary haters in the media see blood in the water and they’re circling in hopes of getting their teeth into her.

Sorry for the tortured metaphors, but seriously, what does the media want from this woman?

Check out this story from The Hill reporting on remarks by House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah. (Chaffetz and former Chairman Darrell Issa have been the leaders of the “investigations” of the Bengazi, IRS, and Fast and Furious non-scandals.)

Asked on “Fox and Friends” whether Clinton’s exclusive use of a personal email address during her time as secretary of State raised national security concerns, Chaffetz said, “It does beg the question: Were there any sort of classified pieces of information that were flowing through her personal email account?”

“Which is something you can’t do and something yesterday Gen. Petraeus had to plead guilty to, or was going out in a deal, dealing with his personal email and interaction with somebody who didn’t have a classification,” Chaffetz added….

Petraeus reached a plea deal, the Justice Department announced Tuesday, over charges he failed to turn over for archiving small record books kept while commanding U.S. forces in Afghanistan, instead providing them and their classified information to his mistress, Paula Broadwell, who wrote a biography of the Army general.

Seriously?

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Tuesday, “we have no indication that Secretary Clinton used her personal email account for anything but unclassified purposes,” adding that Clinton used secure phone calls, aides or took other steps to send sensitive messages and has turned over some emails for archiving.

But the Committee will investigate anyway, and yesterday, according to the WaPo, the “Select Committee on Benghazi”

subpoenaed all communications of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton related to Libya and to the State Department for other individuals who have information pertinent to the investigation,” according to a statement by committee spokesman Jamal Ware. “The Committee also has issued preservation letters to internet firms informing them of their legal obligation to protect all relevant documents.”

Back to The Hill article (emphasis added):

Earlier this week, Chaffetz said his committee would join the House Select Committee on Benghazi to further explore Clinton’s use of personal emails. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chairman of that committee, said Clinton might have to testify several times before the panel, even into 2016.

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Chaffetz himself lists a personal gmail address on his “official House card,” according to ABC News, but Chaffetz says that’s different. According to the Hill, when he was asked about the comparison between his use of email and Clinton’s, Chaffetz said, “Well that’s like comparing apples to a boat.”

Read more about the House efforts to bring Hillary down at Bloomberg Politics: House Oversight Committee to ‘Explore’ Clinton’s E-Mail Use, Chairman Says.

At New York Magazine, Frank Rich is deeply concerned.

Do the Democrats Need a Backup Plan for 2016?

Are Clinton’s email shenanigans a federal offense? Probably not. But we still don’t know the whole story, and it seems to be thickening by the minute — notably with a new report from the AP that she was protecting her email by cycling it through her own private email server out of Chappaqua. But the more important question is why the Clintons, who more than anyone in American politics understand the high risks of perceived improprieties, have left Hillary’s campaign so vulnerable even before it is officially out of the gate.

Why in God’s name did they change the name of the Clinton Foundation to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation? That gives Hillary full ownership of a stream of potential conflict-of-interest revelations that have been emerging ever since, notably in the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Politico: that the foundation solicited funds from at least 60 corporations that were lobbying the State Department during her tenure as Secretary of State; that the foundation quietly resumed soliciting donations from foreign governments once she left the State Department; that an Obama Administration ethics framework established to monitor potential conflicts of interest between Bill Clinton’s lucrative foreign speech engagements and State on Hillary’s watch was less-than-exacting.

And one imagines this is only the beginning. At the Post, a lead reporter on the Clinton story is Rosalind S. Helderman, whom some may recall was the dogged investigative journalist whose forensic journalism helped expose the pay-for-play scandal that brought down Bob McDonnell, the former Virginia Governor, and his wife Maureen.

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You can check out Rich’s links for more background. Both the Post and the NYT are really pushing this story, but the Post seems even more worked up than the Times. Rich points out that Democrats really don’t have any legitimate alternatives to Clinton. Who are they going to run instead? Martin O’Malley? Jim Webb? Give me a break. And sorry, Emo-Progs,, Elizabeth Warren is not running.

At least one Joe Biden backer sees this new “scandal” as a golden opportunity, according to the Washington Post.

Top Biden backer: Hillary Clinton will ‘die by 1,000 cuts’ on e-mail story.

Dick Harpootlian, a former Democratic Party chairman in South Carolina, home to an early and important presidential primary, said recent reports about Clinton’s use of private e-mail to conduct government business and her family’s charitable foundation accepting donations from foreign governments while she was secretary of state could be damaging to her likely 2016 presidential campaign.

“There’s always another shoe to drop with Hillary,” Harpootlian said in an interview Wednesday. “Do we nominate her not knowing what’s in those e-mails?… If the e-mails were just her and her family and friends canoodling about fashion and what they’re going to do next week, that’s one thing. But the fact that she’s already turned e-mails to the Benghazi committee because she was doing official business on it means she’s going to die by 1,000 cuts on this one.”

He wishes.

Harpootlian — who has been an active and outspoken booster of a Biden 2016 candidacy — said the foundation donations and e-mail stories have sparked chatter among South Carolina politicos about drafting other candidates into the Democratic primary. Referencing Biden specifically, he said, “I’ll tell you this: He ain’t got no e-mail problems. He ain’t got no foundation problems. What you see with Joe is what you get. There’s nothing hidden there.”

Harpootlian added, “The chatter down here is, ‘Is this the best we can do?’ Certainly everyone wants to give a woman a chance to lead this country, but is [Clinton] the woman? There are plenty of other women who would be competitive, whether it’s Elizabeth Warren or Amy Klobuchar or Kirsten Gillibrand.”

Sorry, Dick, those women aren’t running and they wouldn’t be any more competitive than your pal Joe Biden–who has his own past scandals to worry about.

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The Wall Street Journal says “some Democrats” are “troubled” about the new Hillary “scandals.” Yes, I’m sure they are. Sometimes I think there are more Clinton-haters among Democrats than Republicans. WSJ reports:

Some Democrats are uneasy about the reports involving Hillary Clinton ’s use of a private email account during her time as secretary of state and her foundation’s fundraising practices, calling on her to break her silence and personally address the two controversies.

Some party figures say the recent disclosures show a need for Democratic rivals to step forward and challenge Mrs. Clinton for a nomination that has long seemed to be hers for the asking.

At least one of these “uneasy” Democrats was willing to use his name.

Don Paulson, chairman of the Muscatine County Democrats in Iowa, said he was disturbed by the Clinton Foundation’s practice of accepting donations from foreign governments at a time when Mrs. Clinton was preparing a campaign for the White House. He saw that as one reason why the party should vet her and other candidates in a competitive primary, rather than allow her to coast to the nomination without a real fight. “It’s a healthier thing all around if there’s competition,” he said.

I’m sure Muscatine County Chairman is a Very Important Job, so we’d better being paying close attention to Mr. Paulson. Or not.

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The WSJ admits that “Mrs. Clinton’s email arrangement…was legal while she served as the nation’s top diplomat,” but never mind that. It’s still so “troubling” and it makes people so “uneasy.” They do include the names of two more disapproving Democrats:

Tad Devine, a Democratic strategist who has worked on six presidential campaigns, said of the email account: “She needs to explain why she did what she did. I do think it’s a real issue, and I think it’s an issue that has to get dealt with on a serious level.”

“I don’t think it’s something a junior staffer can put out a statement and expect the thing to go away,” he said.

Kim Weaver, chairman of the O’Brien County Democrats in Iowa, which holds the nation’s first presidential contest, said: “The questions need to be answered.” She added she would like to hear whether the personal email system Mrs. Clinton used carried adequate security protections. “If it’s no big deal, why not just come out and say what it is.”

It seems that Iowa Democrats are particularly upset.

But will any of this matter to voters in November of 2016? Brendan Nyhan of the NYT blog The Upshot doesn’t think so. He notes that most Americans aren’t thinking about the 2016 presidential campaign yet, and when they do, attitudes toward toward the “email furor” will likely break down along partisan lines.

Of course that won’t stop his newspaper from running story after story about it on their front page while they ignore the potential loss of health insurance for 8,000,000 Americans along with other important world events.

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One more from Business Insider:

Former State Department officials explain why the Clinton email ‘scandal’ is ridiculous.

According to the State Department, Hillary Clinton’s use of a personalized email address during her time as secretary of state was no secret.

“The State Department has long had access to a wide array of Secretary Clinton’s records — including emails between her and Department officials with state.gov accounts,” State Department Deputy Spokesperon Marie Harf said in an email to Business Insider….

Business Insider reached out to Clinton’s representatives. They put us in touch with two former State Department officials who argued that Clinton was careful to use the address in a manner that went above and beyond regulatory requirements and ensured her communications were preserved.

The former officials, who requested anonymity to freely discuss Clinton’s emails and State Department policy, echoed the notion the former secretary’s personalized email address was not kept secret. They said she used it to communicate with over 100 department staffers, other officials, and lawmakers on Capitol Hill….

Clinton’s spokesman Nick Merrill issued a statement in response to the article wherein he argued Clinton corresponded with people on their government account whenever she conducted official business….”Like Secretaries of State before her, she used her own email account when engaging with any Department officials. For government business, she emailed them on their Department accounts, with every expectation they would be retained,” Merrill said.

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Guess what? John Kerry is the first Secretary of State to use a government email account! Colin Power also used a private account during the Bush Administration.

The two former officials said efficiency was one reason Clinton set up her own address. At the time, State Department policy would not have allowed her to have multiple email addresses on her Blackberry. Because of this, the officials said, she opted to have one address for both personal and governmental communications. They echoed Merrill’s statement and said Clinton took care to correspond with other State officials exclusively on their governmental addresses. The officials said this meant all of her emails and those sent to her were immediately preserved on government servers.

According to the two officials, regulations discouraged the use of personal email but did not prohibit it. Merrill also argued that Clinton’s use of private email was not against the rules.

“Both the letter and spirit of the rules permitted State Department officials to use non-government email, as long as appropriate records were preserved,” he said.

So far, Hillary herself has only responded on Twitter:

 

So . . . . there are lots of important stories out there today. Which ones are you following?

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44 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Media Clutches Pearls, Takes to Fainting Couch, and Calls for Smelling Salts”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    No better “sport” out there than having Hillary Clinton to “kick around” Say anything, hope it sticks, than march out the Hillary haters to “analize” it to death.

    Why is no one taking a look at Jeb’s neocon advisers resurrected from his brother’s nefarious trip into mideast wars that have spawned ISIS and leaving Bibi to invite us into another conflagration where no one wins again?

    You would think the press would be more concerned when the name”Wolfowitz” pops up but you would be wrong.

    • bostonboomer says:

      And Hillary hasn’t even said she’s running yet. Jeb Bush also used a private e-mail account when he was governor of FL, BTW.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Jeb’s private email was also on a private server. And then there were the 3 private email accounts used by GWB, Dick Cheney and members of the GWB admin. 2 of those email accounts were on private servers registered to the Bush 43 campaign. The other was registered to the RNC.

  2. Fannie says:

    I’m following the emails from the public servants from Ferguson that have harmed that community for years, and years, and years. That damage was felt clear across our country.

    I think this is a coverup for the MAN who gave a speech and should be brought up for treason.
    This on the very day the GOP voted NOT to fund Homeland SECURITY. Nobody was worried about that, except the democrats, who finally passed it.

    The republicans are so fucking weird.

  3. SophieCT says:

    The left wing media is worse than the right wing media on this one. Really.

    • bostonboomer says:

      What left-wing media? You certainly can’t be referring to the Wa Po or the NYT, which both supported Bush’s wars and have attacked the Clintons for decades.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch recommends disbanding Ferguson PD.

    The public interest, in terms of both finances and public safety, suggests that dumping its police department would be the wisest course for Ferguson — and indeed, for most of the nearly five dozen other police departments in St. Louis County. As the president’s task force noted Monday, “small forces often lack the resources for training and equipment accessible to larger departments.”

    Too many of them in St. Louis County do what the Justice Department found Ferguson to be doing: writing traffic tickets, 90 percent of them to black motorists, to raise revenue for the city.

    Federal investigators found a paper trail laying out in stark detail the blatant, relentless pressure that city officials put on police and municipal court personnel to generate income.
    The DOJ found racist emails on the city’s computer system. It found that when Ferguson police dogs were released on someone, 100 percent of the time that someone was black. It found overuse of Tasers and abuse of the mentally ill. It found that officers sometimes competed to see who could write the most citations for a single traffic stop.

  5. janicen says:

    I believe the NYT is pushing this story as click bait for it’s online version. After the initial story which generated thousands of comments because the trolls flame any Clinton story, the NYT actually followed up the next day with a story about the comments in the original story! That was the give-away to me. It’s just click bait. They know that the right wing machine will swarm any story about Hillary Clinton, and that improves their online “circulation”. Such is the state of our media.

    • NW Luna says:

      Agree. If they were really interested in a fair presentation, they a) wouldn’t have run the “story” in the first place, or b) would have apologized and prominently corrected the missing info on the law which Hillary didn’t break.

  6. ANonOMouse says:

    I thought Lawrence O’Donnell was going to have a stroke last night over the Hillary email issue. He and Jennifer Granholm really went at it. He called her a Hillary partisan. And I thought WTF are you Lawrence?????? On the show before Lawrence, Rachel Maddow defended Hillary and basically pointed out it was much ado about nothing. WHICH IT IS!!!!!!

    Didn’t we all know this was going to happen? The Committee that’s been investigating Benghazi for 2 years has known that Hillary had this account. They’ve been given 55k pages of emails with her email address on it, so it’s no surprise to them. Yet, the oversight Committee Chairman, Darrell Issa, whose history includes “arrests for weapons charges and auto theft, suspicions of arson, and accusations of intimidation with a gun” acts as if this is a new revelation?

    Obviously their are powerful people gunning for Hillary (again) and we’re on the leading edge of what looks to be an all out assault against her. We’d better put on our fighting gear ladies because this is going to be a long one.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Darrell Issa was removed from the chairmanship. Now his buddy Jason Chaffetz is in charge. See links early in my post.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Ooppps, forgot about that. Still, it was Issa who has tormented her since May 2013 and it was Issa who created Benghazi hysteria. He’s one of those characters that I just love to hate.

    • janicen says:

      From what I’ve read, Hillary had a separate email account for her personal business like planning her daughter’s wedding, etc. Imagine the hysteria if she had used the State Dept. email for personal purposes. This is a big pile of bullshit wrapped up in “if Hillary did it, it must be wrong…”.

    • Fannie says:

      I saw that too Mouse, and thought the same thing and more, asshole. It’s the media jumping to conclusions, and freaking out because they want her to come to them, and answer to them. I loved it when she decided to tweet it in the middle of night! I particularly liked it when she called him out for saying “what does have to hide”……….what the fuck she released 55,000 pages. My blood ran cold listening to him. He’ll be another fucker like Lindsey Graham and Dr. Carson:

      There are elements of schizophrenia with these busy bodies in the media over Hillary. Oh, how they screach……..the screachies, that what they are.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Fannie…….O’Donnell upset me so badly I had to turn off the TV. I could not listen to him. And did you notice that he was visibly ANGRY!!! Was he one of the Hillary haters from 2008? I don’t remember

    • SophieCT says:

      I detest Lawrence O’Donnell more than even Morning Joe. One thing he does that grates on my nerves is try to do this equivalency thing with Hillary and Obama. If there is even the slightest negative news to report on Obama, he never fails to mention a dissimilar but equivalent misstep of Hillary’s. If he is forced to report something positive about Hillary, he makes sure to tack on some positive (though irrelevant) item about Obama. It’s like a pathology with him.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Arkansas horror story: Republican lawmaker gave up adopted 6-year-old to man who then raped her

    An Arkansas Republican state representative is facing serious scrutiny after he apparently “rehomed” his adopted daughters to a household where one of the girls, age 6, was raped by the father. Furthermore, Rep. Justin Harris is accused of continuing to take state funds intended for the girls’ care even after his family had given them away….

    The situation has reopened scrutiny of the Harris family’s Christian daycare center, Growing God’s Kingdom Preschool. The pre-kindergarten has run afoul of authorities in the past for taking state and federal subsidies intended for non-religious institutions. Now, as some in Arkansas are pointing out, Harris is making headlines for trying to eliminate government benefits to immigrants, benefits that his preschool heavily relies on.

    It appears, the Times said, that Harris and his wife Marsha took in two little girls in September of 2012. The girls were sisters and in foster care because a male relative had sexually abused the older girl and left her traumatized.

    The Harrises formally adopted the girls six months later in March, 2013. By October of 2013, something had gone seriously wrong in the home. The Harrises — who had three older biological sons — handed off the two girls to Eric and Stacey Francis, essentially abandoning them.

    Court documents say that the older of the two girls was raped by Eric Francis in January of 2014, when his wife was out of state. Francis confessed to the sexual assault and is currently serving a 40-year sentence.

    The Francis family — who had three older adopted children — gave the two girls up to a third family, and it was in that household that Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) finally found the girls in 2014 and learned that Francis had sexually abused the older girl.

  8. Fannie says:

    OMG, I got a letter and a photo from my Cousin Barack Obama, acknowledging our family genealogy. I sent it to him months ago. It is beautiful. OMG! What a lovely family. Michele is a vision of loveliness, and their girls are getting so big. I adore this this man. OMG.

    • janicen says:

      Wow! Pretty cool!

      • bostonboomer says:

        Double-wow. I didn’t know you were related to the prez, Fannie.

      • Fannie says:

        Yesterday it was the Mormons coming at the door, today it was Fed Ex (not post office) knocking on my door, I suppose tomorrow might be the secret service.

        It’s official, embossed white house letterhead, and his signature on letter, and both their signatures on the 8×10 photo. He was very appreciative. Really nice to add to my collection of photo’s from my family history. What was great inserting my evidence that connected us, and letting him know that the Free State of Jones, has a release date of 11 Mar 2016.

        Our families cross over in the Carolina’s – his went to Kansas, our to Mississippi.

  9. joanelle says:

    Some of us were witness to what her own party did to her when Pelosi stopped polling the States and handed the nomination to O. Did they actually believe that Hill would easily ‘get her turn’ when O exited?