Friday, May 15, 2015
Good morning! In the news today: George Stephanopoulos gave at least $75,000 – we don’t know, the number keeps rising – to the Clinton Foundation and failed to disclose it; companies that lobbied State were more likely to donate to the Foundation; Obama Camp David meeting a bust; he and Warren have a history of antagonism; all six Marines likely dead in Nepal crash; and – uh oh – the Amtrak train engineer is described as a “quiet and unassuming” man.
Have a great weekend.
Stephanopoulos gave $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation . . . ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos got deeper in hot water Thursday with his network, which revised upward to $75,000 the amount of money he contributed to the Clinton Foundation without full disclosure to the network or viewers — while he was covering Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and foundation controversies. Stephanopoulos apologized Thursday and said he should have revealed the contributions, which were initially reported at $50,000. Fox News
This is a huge breach of journalistic ethics. The most junior cub reporter knows not to do this kind of thing. There is simply no way Stephanopoulos can recover his credibility, and he has to go. ABC decided to hire a hard-edged political operative to front its news organization, and now it’s getting exactly what it deserves.
Stephanopoulos destroys his carefully built credibility . . . The donation corrodes much of the journalistic credibility Stephanopoulos has labored so carefully to build since joining ABC News as a correspondent and analyst in December 1996. Stephanopoulos critics were many at the time of his appointment, predicting his crack-up even before he completed his first assignment. The Los Angeles Times’ Howard Rosenberg spoke for many when he prophesied that Stephanopoulos would not be able to “shed his intense loyalty for Clinton in his new role.” Politico
Out as GOP debate monitor . . . ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos will not moderate a Republican presidential debate next winter, part of the fallout after revelations that the network’s top political anchor contributed $75,000 over a three-year period to the Clinton Foundation. Associated Press
Obama’s liberal certitudes . . . MSNBC host Joe Scarborough Thursday morning put his finger squarely on the most astonishing and dismaying thing about this president, which is that he is fully vested in the prosaic, anti-intellectual liberal trope that conservative thinking isn’t actually thinking at all. White House Dossier
Democrats get the Alinsky treatment, and they don’t like it . . . Faced with opposition from within their own ranks, President Obama and the White House are ladling out some of the same nasty invective they routinely slather on Republicans, and all of a sudden Democrats are getting all sensitive and everything. White House Dossier
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Obama Camp David meeting a bust . . . Arab leaders who went to Camp David seeking a written security agreement with the United States are going home without one. President Barack Obama, who invited the Gulf allies to the presidential retreat in the hopes of getting more support for his opening to Iran, made only limited headway. Politico
Voters: White House incompetent . . . Majorities of voters feel the country is still in recession, think terrorists are living in their hometown and rate the Obama White House handling of the government as incompetent. Fox News
Warren has irked Obama before . . . When President Barack Obama huffed that Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator and established liberal star, was a “politician like everybody else” he revealed a rift that predates the current hostilities between the two Democrats over trade. Though occasional allies, Warren has been aggravating the Obama administration since her pre-Senate days when she chaired an oversight panel charged with being a watchdog over the massive federal bank bailout. Associated Press
Obama’s trade bill is back on track as enough Senate Democrats agreed to back fast track trade legislation to get it past the 60-vote threshold needed to begin debate.
Man nabbed for flying drone near White House . . . The U.S. Secret Service apprehended a man who was flying a small drone Thursday afternoon in a park outside the White House, a violation of federal aviation rules. The White House was briefly on lockdown. The device didn’t go over the White House fence. Associated Press
All six Marines likely dead in Nepal chopper crash . . . Nepalese rescuers on Friday found three bodies near the wreckage of a U.S. Marine helicopter that disappeared earlier this week while on a relief mission in the earthquake-hit Himalayan nation, and officials said it was unlikely there were any survivors from the crash. Fox News
Donations linked to State Dept. lobbying . . . Major U.S. companies that lobbied the State Department during Hillary Clinton’s tenure were much more likely to donate to the Clinton Foundation than corporations that were not attempting to influence the agency. Washington Examiner
“Hillary Clinton sold her soul” . . . A day after Bill Clinton feted donors and dignitaries at an extravagant Moroccan feast under a warm Marrakech night sky, a group of local Sahrawi Arabs gathered for tea in a far more humble setting here to share their outrage that Clinton’s family foundation had accepted millions of dollars from a company owned by a government accused of repressing their people. Politico
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Gowdy: State slow-walking docs . . . The chairman of the House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, said Thursday that he can’t set a date for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton to testify before his panel because the State Department has been slow in producing needed documents. Associated Press
Fifty six percent want Benghazi problem to continue . . . A majority of voters wants Congress to continue to investigate the Obama administration’s handling of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans. They also assign some appreciable blame to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for what happened there, according to a new Fox News poll. Fox News
Rubio, immigration, and leadership . . . After immigration reform passed the Senate, Rubio could have continued his crusade and worked to ensure that the House passed something as well. Instead, he decided to change the subject. Yahoo News
Court case could dog Walker’s campaign . . . The Supreme Court may take up a case that involved allegations by the prosecutors that the governor illegally coordinated his campaign fundraising efforts with groups such as the Club for Growth during his 2011 recall election. Washington Examiner
Some male lawmakers won’t be alone with female staffers . . . As women work to make inroads in the congressional boys club, some female staffers face a huge impediment to moving up: They’re not allowed to spend one-on-one time with their male bosses. Female aides reported that they have been barred from staffing their male bosses at evening events, driving alone with their congressman or senator, or even sitting down one-on-one in his office for fear that others would get the wrong impression. National Journal
Dems hammer GOP as “xenophobic” . . . House Democratic leaders on Thursday ripped Republicans as “xenophobic” for the GOP’s effort to prevent illegal immigrants from serving in the armed forces. The Hill
More civility from the Left.
Bolton says he’s not running . . . I like John Bolton and agree with many things he says. I’d just be concerned he might, you know, invade too many countries. White House Dossier
Pakistan tries to finish off Taliban . . . Pakistani troops on Friday began a “massive” offensive to try to push the Taliban from their last major stronghold in the mountainous northwestern region of North Waziristan, moving in from north and south, officials and residents said. Reuters
Meet “the Michele Bachmann of Israel” . . . She has been called the Michele Bachmann of Israeli politics, a nod to their shared far-right ideology and striking appearance. For Justice Minister Eyelet Shaked, a former computer engineer, the main thing is “to strengthen the Jewish identity” of Israel, “to have a democratic, Jewish, strong state.” New York Times
Train sped up before crash . . . The Amtrak train that crashed Tuesday sped up from 70 mph to more than 100 mph in less than a minute before derailing, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday. Washington Post
Portrait of the engineer emerges . . . A University of Missouri graduate with a business degree, he has been an engineer for more than four years after working with Amtrak as a conductor, according to his LinkedIn page. While in college, he worked in a Target store. Bostian, who hails from Memphis, Tennessee, was described as quiet and unassuming by people who crossed his path in Forest Hills, a middle-class section of Queens where he resides. Reuters
Missouri House speaker resigns amid sexting scandal . . . Missouri House Speaker John Diehl said Thursday that he is resigning from the Legislature after acknowledging that he exchanged sexually suggestive text messages with a college student serving as a Capitol intern. Associated Press
BB King, RIP . . . B.B. King, whose scorching guitar licks and heartfelt vocals made him the idol of generations of musicians and fans while earning him the nickname King of the Blues, died late Thursday at home in Las Vegas. He was 89. Associated Press
White House Dossier
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