Does anyone remember anybody in the establishment press speculating over who might hold Cabinet positions during a second Bush 43 term in the fall of 2004 without qualifying it with "if Bush is reelected"? Neither do I.

But at the Politico on Thursday, the closest Josh Ragin got in an item found at the web site's "The Cable" section speculating on whether John Kerry or Susan Rice is better positioned to be Obama's nominee to be "America's next top diplomat" (i.e., Secretary of State) was quoting a Republican Senate aide who merely referred to the possible fireworks "if it's the beginning of a second Obama term." That doesn't even qualify as a qualifier either, because a victorious Obama might attempt to confirm a new nominee to replace Hillary Clinton during a lame-duck session. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):


On Saturday's Fox News Watch, as the panel discussed the media's lack of attention to revelations that the Obama administration knew that the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya was a pre-planned terrorist attack in spite of dismissing the event as a protest that got out of hand, left-leaning FNC analyst Kirsten Powers declared that the media have had a "really disturbing lack of curiosity" about the episode, adding that they "should be holding" the Obama administration's "feet to the fire in a a serious way."


ABC's Good Morning America hasn't once reported on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's claim on the September 16, 2012 edition of This Week that the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya was "a spontaneous - not a pre-meditated - response to what had transpired in Cairo." Even worse, the morning show hasn't reported on the subsequent developments on the consulate attack over the past 12 days that cast doubt on Ambassador Rice's statement.

NBC's Today show also hasn't covered Rice's talking points on the attack, after she appeared on Meet the Press on the same day as her This Week appearance. News reader Natalie Morales merely reported on September 19 that "the White House says there is currently no evidence that last week's deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya was planned and pre-meditated. Officials say it appears that the violence was sparked by that anti-Islam film made in the U.S." Two days later, Morales gave an update on how "the White House is now classifying the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya as a terrorist attack....But intelligence officials now believe it was a planned attack in the guise of a protest."

Both of those programs provided voluminous coverage of Romney's "47%" tape, but have no time to scrutinize the Obama administration's public statements about an incident that claimed the life of an American ambassador?


There is clearly no embarrassment threshold at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press.

In a dispatch today, an unbylined AP report headlined "Romney: Benghazi a 'Terrorist Attack'" seems to act as if this is some kind of revelation to the GOP nominee even though everyone except Obama administration insiders desperately trying to bring life to the corpse formerly known as the Arab Spring have been saying that for well over a week. It gets much worse than that in the report's third paragraph:


ABC’s Barbara Walters will do most anything to score a big interview. Now, she’s been forced to apologize for trying to help a former aide to Syrian President Bashar Assad land a job or get into college in America in exchange for her Assad interview last December. Sheherazad Jaafari was a press aide to Assad and daughter of Bashar Jafaari, the Syrian ambassador to the United Nations. Last October, UN Ambassdador Susan Rice and the U.S. delegation to the UN walked out on a Jafaari speech.

Walters said in a statement issued Tuesday she rejected Jaafari's later request for a job at ABC News, saying it was a conflict of interest. But she said she contacted people on Jaafari's behalf and "I regret that." London’s Daily Telegraph acquired some of the friendly e-mails of Walters, like this one to Jafaari:


Michael Scheuer, a former counter-terrorism analyst for the CIA, scolded CNN's Christine Romans Thursday for letting her support for the current President show.

Toward the end of a lengthy interview on "American Morning" about the situation in Libya, Romans took issue with her guest saying America is "nearly bankrupt" leading Scheuer to respond, "You're just carrying the water for Mr. Obama" (video follows with transcript and commentary):


Rachel Maddow's self-proclaimed "obsessive" devotion to the truth again proves fickle.

As an example of what she sees as the resurgence of wedge issues, Maddow said this on her MSNBC show last night --

The culture war era conspiracy theories about black helicopters and a one-world government secretly pursued by America's elites, that stuff is back from the culture war eras too. The new Republican head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee convened the first hearing of that committee this week. What's the topic? Get the US out of the UN!

To back up Maddow's hypercaffeinated claim (she tends to talk in italics), an article titled "House Republicans' next target: the United Nations" from Foreign Policy magazine was shown on the screen. Awkwardly absent from the actual article was any mention of what Maddow claimed.


How does earnest MSNBC polemicist Rachel Maddow expect anyone to take her seriously when she doubts al Qaeda still threatens American lives?

It took Susan Rice, US ambassador to the United Nations for the most leftward presidency since LBJ, to remind Maddow that al Qaeda's deadly intent is not "hypothetical."

Preceding Rice's appearance on Maddow's show Dec. 2 was this observation from Maddow about the Bush Doctrine, as enunciated by Bush at West Point in June 2002 (first of three segments of embedded video) --

MADDOW:  The Bush Doctrine was probably the single most radical thing about the Bush presidency because it dropped the requirement that the United States actually be threatened before we'd start a war with someone, instead saying that if we just thought we might be threatened some time in the future, that would be justification enough for us now to start a war. It is a really radical concept if you think about it, not only about war, but about us, about America. And it may have survived the Bush presidency.

The unholy alliance between the White House and ABC's George Stephanopoulos goes beyond mere conference calls with President Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

The executive producer of "This Week" is married to newly-confirmed United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice.

Such was reported by Commentary magazine's Jennifer Rubin Thursday:


The dog ate my transcript.  

That's roughly what Susan Rice's response to a pointed question from Laura Ingraham amounted to. Give credit to Rice, Obama senior foreign policy advisor, for appearing on Ingraham's "Just In" FNC show today and taking on the host in a freewheeling conversation.   But she and her candidate are really going to have to learn to do better than the feeble dodge she offered.

The subject was the recent phone conversation between Obama and Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari.  ABC's Jake Tapper reports that after the call, Obama claimed that Zebari "did not express" any concern about the Dem candidate's plan to withdraw U.S. troops.  But Zebari told the Washington Post "that he had some frank talk for the candidate: 'The foreign minister said ‘my message’ to Mr. Obama ‘was very clear...Really, we are making progress. I hope any actions you will take will not endanger this progress.’"

That led to this exchange between Ingraham and Rice.

View video here.


The big story this morning is President Bush's remarks to the Israeli Knesset invoking the example of Hitler to warn against the appeasement of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In the opening segment, from Mika Brzezinski [subbing as host for Joe Scarborough this week] to Willie Geist to Pat Buchanan to Mike Barnicle to David Shuster, nary a word in defense of Bush was heard, with Shuster twice referring to Bush's remarks as "grotesque." The only slight straying from Bush-bashing orthodoxy was Barnicle's observation that when he first heard of the remarks, he took them as aimed at Jimmy Carter, not Barack Obama.

A show purporting to have any semblance of balance would surely have a defender, if not of Bush, then at least of John McCain [who has reacted approvingly to Bush's comments] as a subsequent guest on today's show. Well, here's the guest lineup that Mika announced:
  • Bill Richardson--Obama endorser
  • Joe Biden--who has called Bush's remarks "bull----"
  • Susan Rice--Obama foreign policy advisor
  • Jonathan Alter--liberal pundit and occasional Olbermann sidekick