Will Anyone Important Talk to the Press Knowing the Government is Listening In?

Big Brother

There is a need to take the right courses of action when it comes to national security. Protecting the lives of Americans is arguably the most important job of the government and should definitely take a priority over nearly every impediment. However, there was a wisdom written into the Constitution that is so solid, so relevant today and for the foreseeable future that it must not be trampled upon for any reason including being pushed aside by the shield of national security.

A free press is comprised of two components. On one side, journalists have a responsibility to report what they find and to inform the population about what’s going on in the world. This seems to be the focus of the outrage currently being tossed at the Justice Department over the phone records they grabbed.

“It’s too early to know if we’ll take legal action but I can tell you we are positively displeased and we do feel that our constitutional rights have been violated,” said AP CEO Gary Pruitt.

The rights and privacy of the journalists have been trampled upon and this is a serious issue, but it’s the lesser of the two evils that have been perpetrated.

The other component of a free press is the source. The people who are willing to talk to the press about what is going on in our world are a necessary part of a free press and the fact that they have been exposed to the government is much more damaging than anything done to the journalists themselves.

“Officials that would normally talk to us and people we talk to in the normal course of news-gathering are already saying to us that they’re a little reluctant to talk to us,” Pruitt said. “They fear that they will be monitored by the government.”

This is a big problem. It means that the truth is going to be held. It means that sources with important information are going to be reluctant to tell anyone for fear that they are going to be exposed. Nobody likes to be secretly monitored and the DoJ has shown that they’re going to go after those who leak information. The press, for their part, have done a pretty good job at releasing information at the appropriate time. They’ve been responsible in most cases; the leak that led to this investigation in the first place was done in response to a leak in which the story was held until after an operation was complete.

If you had access to information that could lead to a hot story, particularly one that would be considered “dirt” against the US government, would you be willing to tell anyone? Could you trust that your anonymity would be maintained? No. The sources are already drying up. The truth is being suppressed. Anyone who believes that this wasn’t the intention is not paying attention to the trends.

This happened at the right time for the wrong reasons. It was released at a time when there’s so much happening in the news against the current administration from Benghazi to the IRS conservative targeting that there’s no reason to believe this wasn’t planned. They wanted to be caught. They wanted it to happen right now. This is such a clear case of spinning, but few seem willing to see it. This isn’t a black eye on the DoJ or the administration. This is a warning to those who would consider leaking the truth that they’re not safe, they’re being monitored, and they will be dealt with harshly.

This is a threat. Unfortunately, it worked.

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Flashback to June 2012: “The private sector is doing fine.” ~ POTUS

Obama Chair

The tune in Washington changes quickly depending on the needs. When there was an election around the corner, the problems of this country weren’t as bad as everyone seemed to think according to President Barack Obama. This video is from June 8, 2012. It seems that today, we aren’t sharing the same sentiment.

Of course, it’s probably the Republicans’ fault, right?

NBC’s Deceptive Editing is a Scar on Journalists

It has been widely covered already so there’s no need to rehash it too much other than to say this: what NBC has done and continues to do is bad for journalism and bad for the American people who rely on news channels to grasp what’s happening in our world.

This is nothing short of a political agenda being pushed with zero transparency or a willingness to report the news rather than manipulate it for their own goals. Fox News has done some manipulative things with the news. They all have. NBC is just much better at it and much more willing than other networks to warp the news to their liking. Check out the video from Hannity:

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Obama Closes Office Tasked with Closing Gitmo

Gitmo

Guantanamo Bay isn’t going to be closed down any time soon. The 2008 campaign promise that played a major role in helping the President win his first election is officially going to remain unfulfilled as the office created to close the military detention center has itself been shut down. The administration reassigned Daniel Fried, the special envoy for closing the prison. He will not be replaced.

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Jesse Jackson Jr’s Replacement May Be a Friend of the NRA

Debbie Halvorson

It’s hard to imagine that a white female former congresswoman who received an A-rating from the NRA could win the seat vacated by Jesse Jackson Jr in a Chicagoland district where 54% of the voters are Africa-American, but that appears very possible as with less than a month before the February 26th special election.

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US, China Conduct Simultaneous Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense Tests

Ballistic Missile

It’s surely just a coincidence, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting that both the United States and China conducted anti-ballistic missile defense tests on Sunday. Both were reported as successful.

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Dear Hillary: It Makes a Difference

Clinton What Difference Does it Make

It makes a huge difference, Madam.

When Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson attempted to find out why the American people were misled about the cause of the Benghazi attacks and why our response was nil at the time that it was happening, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went on the defensive. You know when someone starts a statement with the words, “With all respect…” that there will be no respect given in the words to follow. Clinton showed disrespect to the Senator, the congress, the American people, and most importantly the families of the victims when she launched into her tirade.

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There are More Unemployed Americans than there are People in Australia

Unemployment

The country is facing the greatest economic challenge of its history. It isn’t just the continuously-punted fiscal cliff that keeps getting kicked down the road that has economists concerned. It’s the terrible state of unemployment in the country and the programs that are pushing us towards low-end, part-time employment as a “solution”. A thriving America can not be sustained on limited job opportunities.

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Obama vs Romney: The Tale of the Twitter Tape

Twitter Logo

Depending on who you ask, social media may play a huge role in the outcome of the presidential election or it may be an insignificant venue through which supporters declare their allegiance but do not get swayed by others. Mitt Romney is hoping it’s the latter based upon how he fairs on Twitter versus President Obama.

Then again, the study below by Mashable and PeekAnalytics does give some hope to the GOP hopeful. On the surface, the numbers are tremendously on the President’s side, but digging deeper reveals that Romney isn’t as bad off as some may think.

Here’s the graphic.

Obama vs Romney Twitter

(Hat Tip: Chicago Toyota)

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Google and the Candidates: How Super Tuesday Looked through the Search Giant’s Eyes

Google Logo LargeIt’s been well known that search engines and social media sites have the ability to help predict the outcome of national and world events. A deep look into the trends can help to shed light on what will soon come to pass. It’s far from exact but has been shown to be fairly accurate.

The results of the GOP primaries on Super Tuesday were accurately predicted by Google in most cases. By tracking the buzz, the results matched pretty well. Despite Mitt Romney “winning” Super Tuesday in delegate count, it’s clear that he was not given a full victory do to losses in places that a front runner should be winning at this stage in the process.

Rick Santorum, who had the most searches done on Google in the days leading up to Super Tuesday, was considered by many to be the real winner by not losing as much as he could have. It’s semantics, but the data visualization below that Google did is still compelling.

Click to enlarge.

Google and the GOP