Tag: AP

Obama Labor Dept. To AP: We’ll Turn Over Our Secret Email Addresses… For A Million Bucks

The U.S. Government Asked The AP For $1 Million For Secret Email Addresses – The Atlantic

The Associated Press filed Freedom of Information Act requests for the secret email addresses of appointed administration employees, and a Labor Department spokesman came back with an offer: you can have the emails if you give us a million bucks.


The AP tried to get the alternate addresses – being used by a variety government officials “to prevent their inboxes from being overwhelmed with unwanted messages” – after an Environmental Protection Agency administrator disclosed using separate email accounts for work last year. But the government was hesitant because, as spokespeople for Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services insisted, the accounts are necessary for government officials to do their jobs efficiently. After the AP filed the FOIA requests, they were met with this:

The Labor Department initially asked the AP to pay just over $1.03 million when the AP asked for email addresses of political appointees there. It said it needed pull 2,236 computer backup tapes from its archives and pay 50 people to pore over old records. Those costs included three weeks to identify tapes and ship them to a vendor, and pay each person $2,500 for nearly a month’s work.

Asking for that kind of money based on a FOIA request is, of course, against the law, something the Labor Department admitted in later emails with the AP. They eventually handed over the email accounts sought by the AP, who are on rocky terms with the administration right now, to say the least. And Health and Human Services, after initially refusing to hand over the secret accounts for Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, eventually obliged, giving the AP all three of her accounts while requesting they don’t disclose her private one:

The AP decided to publish the secret address for Sebelius – KGS2(at)hhs.gov – over the government’s objections because the secretary is a high-ranking civil servant who oversees not only major agencies like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services but also the implementation of Obama’s signature health care law. Her public email address is Kathleen.Sebelius(at)hhs.gov.

So much for that. The AP called out 10 other branches of government, which are apparently working on a response to the email request: the EPA, the Pentagon, as well as Veterans Affairs, Transportation, the Treasury, Justice, Housing and Urban Development, Homeland, Commerce, and Agriculture.

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*VIDEO* AP Phone Records Scandal: Entire House Judiciary Committee Hearing – 05/15/13

…………………….Click on image above to watch video.



*LIVE STREAMING* AP Phone Records Scandal: House Judiciary Committee On DOJ Oversight Hearing – 05/15/13 (1:15 PM ET)


Click HERE to watch the entire hearing on video.


…………………….Click on image above to watch stream.


AP ‘Facts Checks’ Romney With Zero Facts

AP ‘Facts Checks’ Romney With Zero Facts – Sweetness & Light

From the increasingly brazen liars at the Associated Press:

FACT CHECK: Romney misstates facts on attacks

By KASIE HUNT | Thursday Sept 13, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) – The gunfire at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, had barely ceased when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney seriously mischaracterized what had happened in a statement accusing President Barack Obama of “disgraceful” handling of violence there and at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

You will note that this article does not cite a single fact that was misstated. But this is what passes for fact checking from today’s journalists.

“The Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks,” Romney said in a statement first emailed to reporters at 10:09 p.m. Eastern time, under the condition it not be published until midnight.

In fact, neither a statement by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo earlier in the day nor a later statement from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton offered sympathy for attackers.

This is simply a lie. Both offered sympathy for the attackers’ point of view:

The statement from the Cairo Embassy had condemned anti-Muslim religious incitement before the embassy walls were breached. In her statement, issued minutes before Romney’s, Clinton had offered the administration’s first response to the violence in Libya, explicitly condemning the attack there and confirming the death of a State Department official.

“I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today,” Clinton said in a written statement received by The Associated Press at 10:08 p.m…

Again, look at Hillary’s tweets above. Her tweets above are dated 10:54 and 10:55 pm. So Mrs. Clinton was still deploring free speech even after she had condemned the attacks.

Early Tuesday morning, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo got word that demonstrators, angry about an anti-Islamic film produced in the U.S., were gathering in the streets. It issued a safety warning to Americans: Stay out of the streets.

So the embassy knew that attacks were possible and even imminent. So why weren’t they better prepared?

As the situation became increasingly tense- but while the crowd was still peaceful – the U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued a statement condemning what it called “religious incitement” as it worked to calm the tensions.

“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions,” the embassy said at 6:18 a.m. EDT, shortly after noon Cairo time.

And this is what as known as appeasement. Which is what Mr. Romney was criticizing.

That’s the statement that Romney referred to as the administration’s “first response.” By Wednesday morning, the Republican nominee was at a podium in Jacksonville, Fla., saying that statement “appeared to be an apology for American principles.”…

But the embassy’s condemnation of religious incitement hardly amounted to an apology.

That’s right. It was worse than apology. It condemned Americans’ right to free speech.

Romney also said Wednesday that the Cairo Embassy “put out a statement after their grounds had been breached. Protesters were inside the grounds. They reiterated that statement after the breach.”

Not quite. Almost five hours after the Cairo Embassy issued its statement – at about 11:15 a.m. EDT – Associated Press images show protesters atop the Cairo Embassy’s walls. At about 11:33 a.m. EDT, the American flag there had come down.

The embassy did use its Twitter account to say, at about 8 p.m. EDT, that “this morning’s condemnation… still stands.” The tweet was later deleted.

So Romney was factually correct. Again. And the AP is misleading its readers. Again.

The Obama administration later backed away from the embassy’s statement entirely. “That statement was not coordinated with Washington. It was taken down,” a senior administration official said…

Then how come the Secretary Of State tweeted almost exactly the same thing?

Just minutes before Obama appeared in the Rose Garden [Wednesday morning], Romney spoke to reporters at a hastily arranged news conference at his Jacksonville campaign office, walking to the podium at about 10:15 a.m. What was supposed to be a small rally was abruptly turned into a statement of condolence for the deaths in Libya – and a doubling down on the previous night’s criticism of Obama.

Romney was pressed about whether he would have made his Tuesday night statement if he’d had complete information about the situation in Benghazi.

“I’m not going to take hypotheticals about what would have been known what and so forth,” Romney said. “I – we responded last night to the events that happened in Egypt.”

But his statement had referenced both countries, referring to “attacks on our diplomatic missions.”…

What a contortion from the AP. It is clear that Mr. Romney was talking about the press release issued by the US embassy in Cairo. Why is the AP trying to muddy the waters? (That is a rhetorical question.)

One Republican official advising Romney’s campaign on foreign policy and national security issues painted a picture of a Romney campaign more focused on ensuring Romney’s evening statement made it into morning news stories than on waiting for details about what had happened.

This official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering Romney’s campaign, said that as word of violence spread, campaign aides late Tuesday watched tweets coming out of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo that were criticizing the filmmaker rather than condemning the attackers, and saw an opportunity to criticize Obama.

It wasn’t until Wednesday morning, when the U.S. confirmed the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, that Romney’s team recognized the severity of the situation – and that, the night before, it had opened itself up to criticism for politicizing a diplomatic crisis.

Notice that these last three paragraphs are based on an anonymous Republican official who could not wait to tell the AP what opportunistic and craven creatures the Romney campaign is. That is, if this source even exists outside the imagination of the AP.

But whatever it is, it is not a fact. And it has nothing to do with a ‘fact check’ in any sense of the phrase.

But our news media has perverted ‘fact check’ to mean ‘a truly brazen collection of lies that we hope to foist on the low information voter.’

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

Poll-Cooking With AP: Obama Approval At 60% – With 46-29 Dem-GOP Split

Poll-Cooking With AP: Obama Approval At 60% – With 46-29 Dem-GOP Split – News Busters

The chefs in the kitchens at AP-GfK, a joint effort of the Associated Press and GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, have been working overtime cooking up a scrumptious dish for fans of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

After tasting the output this morning, the AP’s Liz Sidoti and Jennifer Agiesta could hardly contain their glee (also saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):

President Barack Obama’s approval rating has hit its highest point in two years – 60 percent – and more than half of Americans now say he deserves to be re-elected, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll taken after U.S. forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

In March, the same poll had the president’s approval rating at 53%. The graphic which follows, obtained from the the poll’s “topline” at AP-GfK’s web site, reveal that the AP pair enjoy feasting on empty calories:


The graphic demonstrates that even March’s 53% Obama approval rating was cooked, as its Democrat-Republican-Independent mix of 45-33-4 is wildly at odds with more comprehensive polls, like this one from January at Gallup showing a 45-44 Democrat-Republican split.

In May, AP-GfK doubled down on the filler. The 46% Democrat, 29% Republican, and 4% independent sample makeup alone is responsible for at least five points of the 7% “bounce” from March. The increase from 17% in March to 20% in May in the “Don’t Know” component, a group which would seem to be more likely impressed by the most recent news reports they may have seen or heard than others, could explain the other two points. If so, May’s cooked poll, adjusted for the change in recipe ingredients, would show no bounce.

The latest poll’s sample is so laughably distorted that Sidoti and Agiesta should be ashamed of themselves as journalists for taking its results seriously. Instead, they’ve reacted like over-candied kids. Their report, to coin a phrase, spikes the football, and even tries to create a sense of further momentum:

In worrisome signs for Republicans, the president’s standing improved not just on foreign policy but also on the economy, and independent Americans – a key voting bloc in the November 2012 presidential election – caused the overall uptick in support by sliding back to Obama after fleeing for much of the past two years.

Comfortable majorities of the public now call Obama a strong leader who will keep America safe. Nearly three-fourths – 73 percent – also now say they are confident that Obama can effectively handle terrorist threats. And he improved his standing on Afghanistan, Iraq and the United States’ relationships with other countries.

…Overall, Obama’s approval rating is up slightly from 53 percent in March and a 47 percent low point following last fall’s midterm congressional elections, in which Republicans won control of the House and gained seats in the Senate. It was 64 percent in May 2009, just months after he was sworn into office.

Also, 53 percent now say he deserves to be re-elected; 43 percent say he should be fired, making it the first time in an AP-GfK poll that more people say he should get a second term than not.

It seems likely that a party-ID makeup in the neighborhood of January’s, which is still a bit distorted compared to Gallup’s 45-44 split, would have returned a May presidential approval result of about 50%.

The sad thing is that the AP surely knows that folks like yours truly and others will see through the poll’s outrageous distortion. It seems pretty obvious that they don’t care. What’s appears to be far more important to the self-described Essential Global News Network is convincing the relatively less-informed who will see or hear the fantabulous 60% headline and won’t look any further that the President is hugely popular, that his popularity is growing, and that they might as well get used to having Barack Obama in charge until January 20, 2017 – while of course betting that most readers and viewers will never see the dirty work done in the kitchen that brought about the phony results.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story