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Friday, January 27, 2012

Reuters Hit Piece On Marco Rubio Requires FIVE Corrections!

Reuters Hit Piece On Marco Rubio Requires FIVE Corrections!

By Dell Hill

An absolutely stunning miscarriage of journalistic ethics and integrity on display right here, folks!

I seldom read Reuters news, and this is one of the primary reasons why.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Worst News Story of 2012?

This Reuters hit piece on Marco Rubio–nowadays, when I talk about Rubio, I have to stop and think whether it’s Marco or Ricky–is an early contender for the title.  Reuters’ theme is that Rubio criticizes extravagant federal spending and deficits, but has had financial problems himself.  The article is basically one false statement after another, leavened with quotes from Democratic strategists.  At the Daily Caller, Matt Lewis deconstructs it:

By my count, there were at least 7 errors or exaggerations:

1. “Rubio also voted against Sonia Sotomayor, Obama’s Supreme Court nominee who is of Puerto Rican descent…”
(Rubio wasn’t even in the senate then.)

2. “He soon had [his house] appraised for $735,000 and took out a second mortgage for $135,000.”
(Rubio did not take out a second mortgage.  He took out a home equity line, which is a line of credit secured by the value of the home.)

3. “In 2008, despite earning a declared $400,000 – including his $300,000 salary from the Miami law firm Broad and Cassel – Rubio failed to make a payment on his home for several months”
(Rubio never failed to make payments on his mortgage on his home. He did miss a payment on a second house that he co-owns in Tallahassee because of miscommunication with the bank and the other owner; but it was remedied immediately and was not caused by any financial problems.)

4. “During the same period he did not make payments on a $100,000-plus student loan from his days at the University of Miami, the disclosures said.”
(As far as I can tell, this is simply untrue. He has never missed a payment on his student loans.)

5. “He frequently had used his party credit card for personal use, and later reimbursed the party for about $16,000.”
(Rubio paid American Express directly. The party never paid any expenses, and therefore there was no need to reimburse them.)

6. “Before joining the Senate last year, he was caught up in an Internal Revenue Service investigation of the Florida Republican Party’s use of party-issued credit cards.”
(Rubio’s office tells me they have never been contacted about an IRS investigation.)

7. “Rubio owes far more on his $384,000 Miami home than it is worth, and at times has had difficulty paying his mortgage”
(Senator Rubio has never missed a payment on his Miami home.)

A Daily Caller reader added another one: “Isn’t Reuters statement about Health Care Law wrong too?  Passed in 2010.  Rubio took office 2011.”  That’s right; Reuters wrote that Rubio voted against Obamacare, but, as with Sotomayer’s nomination, he wasn’t in the Senate yet.

This kind of journalistic incompetence is stunning.  How can any reporter–here, David Adams of Reuters–write that Rubio voted a certain way, without even checking to make sure he was in office at the time?  And where did the false idea come from in the first place?
Reuters, to its great humiliation, has now issued five corrections.  Is that a record?

Removes words “and at times has had difficulty paying his mortgage,” paragraph 7; removes “he did not make payments on a $100,000-plus student loan” and instead states “he did not pay down the balance of a $100,000-plus student loan,” paragraph 10; removes “he was caught up in an Internal Revenue Service Investigation” and instead states “his name surfaced in an Internal Revenue Service investigation,” paragraph 12; removes “voted against Sonia Sotomayor, Obama’s Supreme Court nominee” and instead states “opposed President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor,” paragraph 41; removes “voted against Obama’s healthcare overhaul” and instead states “opposed Obama’s healthcare overhaul,” paragraph 41)

The year is young, but this debacle will be a finalist when the time comes to recognize the year’s most inept news story.  This is, of course, battlefield preparation.  Reporters know that Rubio is going to be a major player on the national scene, so they are doing what they can to protect their party by taking him down a peg.”

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Virginia Voters Have Only Mitt Romney or Ron Paul - No Gingrich, No Santorum (and no write-ins!)

Virginia Voters Have Only Mitt Romney or Ron Paul - No Gingrich, No Santorum (and no write-ins!)

Virginia “Mess” Continues

By Dell Hill & Guest Blogger, Richard Falknor @Blue Ridge Forum

With the March 6th Republican primary in Virginia just over a month away, voters appear to have just TWO choices - Mitt Romney or Ron Paul.  Our man on the scene in the First State, Richard Falknor, has an update, and it’s not pretty.

VA GOP Primary Mess Continues: Still Limited to Mitt v. Ron

The last hope for Virginia conservatives to vote for one of their own in the  March 6, 2012 presidential primary lies in the timely passage of state senator Frank W. Wagner’s SB 510 allowing write-in voting in that election.

By conservative, we mean those who believe the next president should be committed to the long march toward downsizing government and curtailing the administrative state, strengthening our Judeo-Christian culture, and maintaining a strong defense.

The bill is an emergency measure (see article IV, section 13 in foregoing link) requiring four-fifths approval in both chambers and the governor’s assent if it to take effect before the March 6 presidential primary.

Today we learned from the Virginia Beach Republican’s staff that a hearing on his bill is slated for next Tuesday, January 31, at 4 PM before the full Privileges and Elections panel.

No, we cannot find a companion emergency bill in the House of Delegates.

We are, moreover, surprised — given the intensity of feeling about the restricted choice in the GOP Virginia presidential primary — that this Wagner bill has no co-patrons.

While the chances of its enactment for this presidential primary are remote, what is the message our grass-roots voters send if we do not get behind SB 510 in some strength at next Tuesday’s hearing?

Just another victory for the RPV Machine? We can hear the Party sachems now: “The base is all hat and no cattle. Ignore them.

See our posts on the Virginia GOP primary here, here,  here, here and here.

Dell’s Bottom Line:

We haven’t heard the last of this most embarrassing situation...Not by a long shot.

Virginia will elect 49 National Delegates and 14 Alternates. Each of Virginia's 11 Congressional Districts will elect between 4 and 7 National Delegates and one Alternate. The remaining Delegates and 3 Alternates will be elected at the State Convention.  Another 18 National Delegates are Party Leaders and Elected Officials who are "automatic" delegates by virtue of their offices (e.g., Governor, Democratic National Committee member).  More commonly referred to as “Super Delegates”.

Virginia’s Governor, Bob McDonnell, has publicly endorsed Mitt Romney and the state government doesn’t really seem to care that their state’s primary is rapidly turning into a total disgrace for all concerned.

This could turn out to be a devastating blow to Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum’s chances to win the nomination, assuming both are still candidates on Super Tuesday.  On the other hand, it could turn out to be a great day for Mitt Romney.

What an Ugly Mess!

Mitt & Newt Forced To ‘Amend’ Financial Disclosure Docs

Mitt & Newt Forced To ‘Amend’ Financial Disclosure Docs

Mitt Forgets $3 Million In Swiss Bank Account...

Newt Forgets To Report $252,500 In Earnings...

By Dell Hill

How do you forget $3 Million dollars stuffed away in a Swiss bank account?  That’s the question that Mitt Romney will be asked to justify, as ABC News reports.

Mitt Romney's campaign is amending the financial disclosure form he filed in 2011 to acknowledge that a Romney trust earned interest income from a Swiss bank account, a detail that had been missing from the report.

"An amendment is being filed to address this minor discrepancy," a campaign official told ABC News in an email Thursday in response to questions about the apparent omission.

"The inescapable fact is that by releasing over 600 pages of information regarding his finances, Mitt Romney is clearly coming down on the side of disclosure," said Andrea Saul, a campaign spokeswoman, in a subsequent statement.  "Any document with this level of complexity and detail is bound to have a few trivial inadvertent issues.  We are in the process of putting together some minor technical amendments, which will not alter the overall picture of Gov. and Mrs. Romney's finances as disclosed in August."

The discovery that the Romneys had $3 million in an account with the Swiss bank UBS came only after the Republican presidential candidate released his tax returns for 2010 on Tuesday.  The campaign had maintained that it was not necessary to disclose the Swiss account because Romney's money manager, Brad Malt, had shuttered it in early 2010.

Several Republican election lawyers told ABC News Thursday that the account still needed to be disclosed because a Romney trust earned about $1,700 in income on the account during 2010.  The campaign's decision to amend the forms was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

At the same time, questions from ABC News about undisclosed income that appeared on Newt Gingrich's tax return have led Gingrich to announce that he, too, will be amending his financial disclosure report.  Gingrich's returns showed he received $252,500 in wages from Gingrich Holdings Inc. in 2010, but those wages do not appear anywhere on his presidential disclosure report.

"An internal account review found the need to amend the reporting," said a Gingrich campaign official.  "It was done immediately."

Romney also decided to amend the report from his 2007 run for president, a decision first reported by the New York Times.  That form identified a UBS money market account, but did not clarify that it was held by his wife's trust.  UBS has branches in the United States, so it would not have been readily apparent that the account was in Switzerland.  

Read the entire report by clicking right here.

Issa Demands Assistant U.S. Attorney General Michael Morrissey’s Testimony On Fast & Furious Investigation

Issa Demands Assistant U.S. Attorney General Michael Morrissey’s Testimony On Fast & Furious Investigation

J. Patrick Cunningham Lawyered Up - Pled 5th Amendment Right Against Self Incrimination - And Then Quits The DOJ.

By Dell Hill via Hot Air

J. Patrick Cunningham Refused To Testify & Then Quit The DOJ.

Darrell Issa - Picking Them Off One At A Time.

Like the Energizer Bunny, Darrell Issa just keeps going and going and going.  Tina Korbe brings us up to date on Fast & Furious.
“Undaunted — and perhaps even spurred on — by recent charged developments, Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, today demanded that the Department of Justice make a key federal prosecutor available to testify before his Committee as a part of its investigation into the lethal gun-running program Operation Fast and Furious.

Last week, the chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona, J. Patrick Cunningham, pled his fifth amendment right to not testify against himself and refused to offer any information other than his name and title to Issa’s Committee.

Cunningham’s decision to cast himself on the Constitution for help stunned congressional investigators and was itself an indictment on the integrity of the Department of Justice.  As Ed (Morrissey) wrote at the time, “One point is pretty clear, though.  Officials at the DoJ involved in this operation are fearing criminal prosecution, which means that this scandal just went prime time.”

Since then, we’ve learned that Cunningham will leave his post at the Department of Justice this Friday for a private-sector job.  That’s as it should be.  Cunningham’s decision — while perfectly “correct” in a constitutional sense — nevertheless limited Congress’ ability to arrive at answers to questions about Fast and Furious.  Given Congress’ responsibility to oversee DOJ operations and the DOJ’s responsibility to cooperate with Congress, a DOJ official who cannot cooperate for fear of self-incrimination should no longer be a part of the DOJ.

Meantime, Issa and his investigators apparently think they can acquire at least some of the information Cunningham could have provided from one of the U.S. attorneys under his supervision.

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Michael Morrissey played an “integral part” in Fast and Furious and has information not available from other sources, Issa says.  In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Chairman Issa demanded the DOJ release Morrissey to testify. The Washington Times reports:

“Since August, the department has identified Patrick Cunningham as the best person in the U.S. Attorney’s Office to provide information about Fast and Furious to the committee,” Mr. Issa wrote.  “The department has refused to make Michael Morrissey and Emory Hurley, both Assistant United States Attorneys supervised by Mr. Cunningham, available to speak with the committee, citing a policy of not making ‘line attorneys’ available for congressional scrutiny.
Mr. Morrissey, however, was Mr. Hurley’s direct supervisor, and an integral part of Fast and Furious,” Mr. Issa wrote.  “Importantly, both Morrissey and Hurley are unique in their possession of key factual knowledge about Fast and Furious not readily available from any other source.”
Mr. Hurley was the lead prosecutor in the Fast and Furious operation.  In August, he was reassigned from the criminal division to a civil division post.

Whether Morrissey will, in fact, testify — and whether he can fill the gaps left by Cunningham’s decision to plead the Fifth — remains to be seen.  Next Tuesday, though, Holder himself will again testify before the House Committee.  He hasn’t taken responsibility for the scandal up to this point — and there’s no reason to think he’ll do so now, but the House Committee can at least again seek answers from the clearly either corrupt or incompetent head of the DOJ.”

Dell’s Bottom Line:

Fearing criminal prosecution, the first DOJ lawyer involved in the fast and furious scandal lawyered up, stood on his 5th Amendment Right against self-incrimination and then waltzed out the door.

It will be interesting to see 1) if Attorney General Eric Holder will even allow Michael Morrissey to testify, and - if he does - 2) will Michael Morrissey go the 5th Amendment route as well?  The guess here is that he will.

Issa, meanwhile, seems unfazed as he picks off these big shot attorneys one at a time.  He knows that at some point, one of them will open up and testify.  When that happens, the fur will really fly.

Second Amendment Support Still Very Strong

Second Amendment Support Still Very Strong

“85 per cent of respondents believe that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution means that individuals have the right to keep and bear arms, while only seven per cent openly disagree with this view.” - Angus-Reid Survey

By Dell Hill

Hat Tip - Insty

Interesting poll results here from the folks at Angus-Reid.

(01/25/12) -

Americans Certify Second Amendment, Divided Over Gun Laws

A majority of respondents endorse the “shall-issue” prerogative to deal with the question of concealed carry.

Most people in the United States agree on the meaning of the Second Amendment, and half endorse the “shall-issue” prerogative to carry concealed weapons in public, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,009 American adults, 85 per cent of respondents believe that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution means that individuals have the right to keep and bear arms, while only seven per cent openly disagree with this view.

The interpretation of the Second Amendment is similar across party lines and among both gun owners and people who do not possess a firearm.

Americans are split when assessing existing federal regulations related to firearm ownership, with 44 per cent saying they are satisfied with these guidelines, and 44 per cent voicing dissatisfaction.

Republicans (52%), Independents (47%) and gun owners (54%) are more likely to say they are satisfied with the status quo, while Democrats (46%) and those who do not own a gun (47%) are more likely to be dissatisfied.”

Reid the entire survey report by clicking here.

Dell’s Bottom Line:

You’ve probably heard the news.  The sale of firearms - especially weapons designed for home and self-protection - has skyrocketed over the past couple of years.  This past Christmas showed a marked increase in the purchase of weapons such at the pictured Ruger LC-9, semi-automatic pistol.  And thousands of women are actively involved in the ownership, training and use of such weapons.

This blog strongly supports the Second Amendment Right to keep and bear arms.  However, I also encourage you to do so responsibly.  Seek out professional training and get to ‘know’ your firearm...and then practice, practice, practice.

Just knowing that you’re a firearms enthusiast will instantly drop you and your property far down the list for potential criminals.

Remember:  “When seconds count, the police are just 20 minutes away”.

Rosie On The Rocks - Oprah’s ‘Star’ Ratings Lower Than whale Poop

Rosie On The Rocks

Oprah’s ‘Star’ Ratings Lower Than whale Poop

By Guest Blogger, Abraxas

Rosie O'Donnell's talk show is tanking.

She started out with a measly 500,000 viewers (half what a successful talk show needs to keep from being cancelled) but even that small number has now collapsed to an embarrassing 200,000.  And the ratings are still falling.

Her boss, Oprah Winfrey, is frantic.  OWN, already in serious financial straits, was desperately counting on the income from Rosie's "successful" show.  Unfortunately, that hasn't happened; the audience is leaving in droves and the advertisers are refusing to come on board.  The studio, clearly panicked, is doing everything it can to reverse the slide.  They've eliminated the mic stand, the "Johnny Carson-style curtain" Rosie stood in front of for her monologues, and phased out the game show element.  Last but not least, they've changed the blue interview chairs.  Yet the numbers are still plummeting.

Dang!  Who knew a bitter, hate-filled, foul-mouthed, unpatriotic wench wouldn't attract viewers?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

‘Gabby’ Giffords Says “Goodbye To Congress”

‘Gabby’ Giffords Says “Goodbye To Congress”

By Dell Hill

An emotional farewell to Congress today from Arizona Democrat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Sadly, Giffords’ Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson, Ariz., has at times been politicized, falsely linked with a rise in “violent” partisan rhetoric. Today, though, Giffords reminded her congressional peers that the tragedy she suffered was and still is an invitation to greater trust in each other.

“Amid all that was lost on Jan. 8, there was also hope and faith,” Giffords wrote in her resignation letter.  “Hope and faith that even as we are set back by tragedy or profound disagreement, in the end, we come together as Americans to set a course toward greatness.”

(AP): Highlights from this morning’s session, including tributes from Eric Cantor and Nancy Pelosi, as well as Giffords formally tendering her resignation to House Speaker, John Boehner, via Fox News.

Gifford’s colleagues in the House paid her the tribute of unanimously passing a border security bill she introduced with fellow Arizonan Rep. Jeff Flake, a Republican.  The bill — the last on which Giffords will vote — would give the Homeland Security Department greater ability to go after planes suspected of smuggling drugs from Mexico to the United States.

Dell’s Bottom Line:

The recovery of “Gabby” Giffords has been nothing short of miraculous.  I vividly recall posting the headlines that fateful January morning - the earliest of which had declared her dead.  I’m pleased that it wasn’t so.  And I’m further pleased that she has made such a remarkable recovery.  Our thoughts and prayers have been answered....yet again.