Thursday, February 26, 2015

DRC Spring Conference

DRC Spring Conference will be held on April 17 &18 in Syracuse. 

You may REGISTER for the conference and MAKE PAYMENT for the conference on line at

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

David Corn: Bill O'Reilly Has Yet To Refute A Single Fact In My Story

As Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly continues to fight off allegations that he fabricated details of his reporting during the Falklands War, David Corn told HuffPost Live on Wednesday that O'Reilly "still has yet to refute a single fact" in his and Daniel Schulman's original Mother Jones' report on O'Reilly's Falklands claims.

Corn told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehranithat he can understand why O'Reilly wants to have the final word in the controversy, but the Fox News host still hasn't addressed the discrepancies pointed out in Mother Jones, specifically O'Reilly's claims that he reported from a "war zone" and his characterization of the Buenos Aires protest as a "massacre."

"O'Reilly can't back that up," Corn said. "It's pretty lightweight to say you were in a war zone because you covered a protest."

Corn also weighed on another "apparent whopper" reported by Media Matters Tuesdayalleging that O'Reilly lied about hearing a gunshot from the suicide of George de Mohrenschildt, a man involved in the John F. Kennedy assassination investigation:

It seems to be a pretty strong case that Bill O'Reilly was in Dallas ... when this fellow [Mohrenschildt] committed suicide in Florida. Yet, in his book Killing Kennedy, there's a very, very dramatic scene when O'Reilly's trying to track this guy down ... [and O'Reilly] was on his doorstep, about to talk to him, and BOOM, a shot rings out and the guy commits suicide, with O'Reilly just about to get the big story out of him.

Corn called these latest allegations a "serious matter" and noted that when asked to give comment about the Media Matters piece, Fox and O'Reilly declined.

O'Reilly Also Lied About Witnessing Nuns' Execution in El Salvador, Report Claims

Yet more allegations have emerged against embattled Fox News host Bill O'Reilly following claims he embellished his war reporting experiences in Argentina during the 1982 Falklands war and lied about witnessing a suicide in Florida

According to information collected by liberal watchdog group Media Matters, O'Reilly may also have fabricated a story about witnessing the execution of four nuns during El Salvador's civil war in 1980.

O'Reilly has claimed he has "seen guys gun down nuns in El Salvador" and "was in El Salvador and I saw nuns get shot in the back of the head" during his time as a CBS correspondent. The incident that O'Reilly appears to be referring to is the well-documented execution of four churchwomen by the Salvadoran national guard in December 1980. After this event, experts say that there were no priests or nuns killed in the country for more than eight years.

But in his book The No Spin Zone, the host writes that he did not begin covering the civil war in El Salvador until "a few weeks" after he began as a CBS News correspondent in 1981 -- the year after the execution took place. 

"Before I went to El Salvador in 1981, I talked with some experienced Latin American experts, people who had seen the brutal wars down there for themselves," O'Reilly said on "The O'Reilly Factor" in February 2002. "I had never been in a war zone before, so I wanted some prep."

Read more:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The underlying racism in Gov. Scott Walker questioning whether or not President Obama is a Christian

his past weekend, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a conservative darling and potential Republican nominee for president, waded into deeply troubling waters when he refused to state whether or not he believed President Obama is a Christian.
“I don’t know,” Walker said in an interview at the JW Marriott hotel in Washington, where he was attending the winter meeting of the National Governors Association.

Told that Obama has frequently spoken publicly about his Christian faith, Walker maintained that he was not aware of the president’s religion.

“I’ve actually never talked about it or I haven’t read about that,” Walker said, his voice calm and firm. “I’ve never asked him that,” he added.

The thing is, you'd be hard pressed to find a recent president who has spoken more frequently about his faith than President Obama.

Now six years into his presidency, 10 years into his national prominence, and 11 years after his autobiography, Dreams from my Father was released, in which he details his Christian faith explicitly, it's preposterous at this point in the game for anyone as public as Walker to deny ever, one single time, hearing that President Obama is a Christian.

Use some reverse logic for a moment: If the President of the United States is not a Christian, what is he?

Read more:

In a major blow to Gov. Chris Christie that complicates his 2016 ambitions, a New Jersey judge ruled that he violated state law when he declined to make the full payment into the state’s pension system for public employees last year and ordered him to find a way to f

Monday, February 23, 2015

Eric Engberg Fires Back At Bill O'Reilly On HuffPost Live Over Falklands Controversy: 'He's Completely Nutty'

Former CBS News correspondent Eric Engberg fired back at Bill O'Reilly on Monday, telling HuffPost Live the Fox News host was "dishonest" and "irresponsible" in recounting his story that he reported in a "war zone"during the Falklands War in 1982.

Engberg, who worked alongside O'Reilly in Argentina, called O'Reilly "completely nutty," and asserted to host Marc Lamont Hill that O'Reilly lied when he told Howard Kurtz on Sunday that he was "out there pretty much by myself, because other CBS News correspondents were hiding in the hotel.” 

Engberg was one of these "other CBS News correspondents," and refuted O'Reilly's account.

"There were five correspondents working that story for CBS. Four of them had been on that remote site for weeks because the Argentine government would not allow us to go to the Falkland islands," he said.

Read more:

Sunday, February 22, 2015

DNC previews 2016 attack lines

On Bush: “For Jeb it has always been, and it always will be, about what is best for him and those at the top,” Wasserman Schultz said.

She added later: ”When his brother was president, Jeb backed his plan to privatize Social Security, and in recent years he cashed in on Wall Street as Americans were hit by the financial crisis. Let’s face it, Jeb Bush is the heir to George Bush’s economic record and Mitt Romney’s corporate record.”

On New Jersey Gov Chris Christie: “Here is some blunt straight talk that he won’t like. His administration has been modeled on his true leadership style: Dysfunctional, incompetent and tainted by investigations and scandals," she said. 

On Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal: “Bobby Jindal is another GOP governor who has consistently put rigid partisanship and personal ambition ahead of what’s good for his state. Under his watch, Louisiana is facing a massive budget shortfall that he refuses to do anything about. No wonder polls show he is one of the least popular governors in the country," she said. 

On Texas Gov. Rick Perry: “Rick Perry’s biggest liability isn’t his pathetic 2012 run or even the felony indictment hanging over his head, it is that in his 14 years as governor, two Texases emerged — One for the wealthy allies and special interests that he never fails to help out, and one for the working families and very poor who have to suffer the consequences of his policies," she said. 

On Cruz: “Ted Cruz has essentially been the de facto leader of the Republican Party for more than a year now. And look how that’s turned out. Cruz is the embodiment of what is wrong with the Republican Party:  Nothing but opposition and obstruction when it comes to helping middle class families," she said. 

On Rubio: “Marco Rubio has shown that he’s not a leader with fresh ideas. He’s a follower with a tired Republican playbook…going so far as to run away from him own immigration plan when the party put the slightest bit of pressure on him," she said. 

On Paul: “Who is this guy? Amidst the contradictory positions he takes to pander to whatever audience he is speaking to at the moment, his policies are way outside the mainstream…He is not a new type of Republican, it’s that every day he is something new," she said. 

Jeb Bush’s Brainless Trust

WASHINGTON — I had been keeping an open mind on Jeb Bush.

I mean, sure, as Florida governor, he helped his brother snatch the 2000 election. And that led to two decade-long botched wars that cost tens of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. The nation will be dealing for a long time with struggling veterans and the loss of American prestige. Not to mention that W. let Wall Street gamble away the economy, which is only now finally creeping back.

But, all that aside, shouldn’t John Ellis Bush have the right to make the case that he is his own man?

In his foreign policy speech in Chicago on Wednesday, Jeb was dismissive toward those who want to know where he stands in relation to his father and brother. “In fact,” he said, mockingly, “this is a great, fascinating thing in the political world for some reason.”

Read more:

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Mother Jones Urges Bill O'Reilly To Apologize For 'Violent' Remark After Falklands War Claims Scrutinized

NEW YORK -- Mother Jones has called on Fox News host Bill O'Reilly to apologize for the "violent tone" of his response to the magazine challenging his recollection of covering the Falklands War. 

In a Friday letter to Fox News executive vice president Bill Shine and a network spokeswoman, Mother Jones co-editors Clara Jeffery and Monika Bauerlein said they "welcome criticism," but that O'Reilly's suggestion that Washington editor David Corn deserves "'to be in the kill zone' crosses a line."

"Like everyone in media today, we are concerned about the safety of our staff," they wrote. "We'd have hoped that statements with this kind of violent tone would not come from a fellow media professional." 

Mother Jones urged O'Reilly to apologize on air Friday night, but according to a transcript released that afternoon, the Fox News host did not and continued taking aim at the report, which he decried as "a political hit job." In a brief Friday afternoon statement, O'Reilly described "kill zone" as "simply a slang expression."

O'Reilly called Corn "a liar" and "despicable guttersnipe" the previous night after Mother Jones reported that the Fox News host has a "Brian Williams problem," a reference to the embattled NBC News anchor, whose claim he came under rocket-propelled grenade fire in Iraq proved false.

Read more:

Friday, February 20, 2015

Rudy: An Investigative Biography

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's recent accusation that President Obama does not love America prompted a scathing takedown of the Republican politician's ideas about "love" from one of the journalists who knows him best.

Journalist Wayne Barrett, a former reporter and editor of The Village Voice and the author of "Rudy: An Investigative Biography," left no embarrassing stone unturned in his epic takedown published by the New York Daily News.

Turning Giuliani's words against him, Barrett reviewed the ex-mayor's spotted history with women, his consulting gigs for dictatorships, and his evasion of military service.

Take a peek at the op-ed:

Ask Regina Peruggi, the second cousin he grew up with and married, who was "offended" when Rudy later engineered an annulment from the priest who was his best man on the grounds, strangely enough, that she was his cousin. Or ask Donna Hanover, the mother of his two children, who found out he wanted a separation when he left Gracie Mansion one morning and announced it at a televised press conference. ...

Rudy may have forgotten the half-dozen deferments he won ducking the Vietnam War, even getting the federal judge he was clerking for to write a letter creating a special exemption for him. And remember Bernie Kerik? He's the Giulaini police commissioner, business partner and sidekick whose nomination as homeland security secretary narrowly preceded indictments. He then did his national service in prison.

Read the whole thing at the New York Daily News.

These Are the Questions Bill O'Reilly Won't Answer

On Thursday, Mother Jones published an articleby Daniel Schulman and me that documented how Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has mischaracterized his wartime reporting experience. Most notably, he has more than once said that during his short stint as a CBS correspondent in the 1980s, he was in the "war zone" during the Falklands war between the United Kingdom and Argentina in 1982. He even once told the story of heroically rescuing his cameraman in this "war zone" while being chased by army soldiers. Yet according to O'Reilly's former CBS colleagues in Argentina and other journalists there during the war, no American journalist reached the war zone in the Falkland Islands and other territories iin the southern Atlantic Ocean during this conflict. O'Reilly and his colleagues covered the war from Buenos Aires, which was 1200 miles from the fighting.

Read more:

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Likely presidential candidate Jeb Bush delivered a nervous, uncertain speech on national security Wednesday, full of errors and confusion.

Seeking to differentiate himself from his father and brother, both former presidents, the former governor of Florida asserted, “I am my own man.”

But the man who emerged on stage at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs did not sound well-versed in foreign policy.

Bush’s clunky, rushed delivery paled in comparison to the hazy facts in the speech and vague answers he gave during a Q&A session following his remarks.

Speaking of the extremist group based in Nigeria that has killed thousands of civilians, Bush referred to Boko Haram as “Beau-coup Haram.” Bush also referred to Iraq when he meant to refer to Iran.

Further, Bush misrepresented the strength of ISIS, saying it has some 200,000 men, which is far greater than the U.S. intelligence community’s estimates. Last week National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen pegged the fighting strength of ISIS at between 20,000 and 31,500. 

Read more at:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hillary Clinton trounces Chris Christie in New Jersey Poll

Chris Christie may be the Garden State’s blunt-talking favorite son, but if a presidential contest were held today in New Jersey between the governor and Democrat Hillary Clinton, she would trounce him, a new poll finds.

Read more:

Monday, February 16, 2015

News Clip

Senate Republicans have been warned by their counsel David Lewis not to “do anything stupid,” like talking to the FBI or other investigators without a lawyer present. “He said, ‘If someone knocks on your door, you don’t have to talk to them,'” a GOP senator told Ken Lovett.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Republican States Consider Increasing Taxes for the Poor and Cutting Them for the Affluent

A number of Republican-led states are considering tax changes that in many cases would have the effect of cutting taxes on the rich and raising them on the poor.

Conservatives are known for hating taxes but particularly hate income taxes, which they say have a greater dampening effect on growth. Of the 10 or so Republican governors who have proposed tax increases, nearly all have called for increases in consumption taxes, which hit the poor and middle class harder than the rich.

Favorite targets for the new taxes include gas, e-cigarettes, and goods and services in general. Gov. Paul R. LePage of Maine, who wants to start taxing movie tickets and haircuts, is also proposing a tax break for the lowest-income families to relieve some of the pressure.

Read more at:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Hillary Clinton thinks Europe 'too wimpy' with Putin, London mayor says

Washington (CNN)Hillary Clinton is worried that European governments are being "too wimpy" in dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin, London's mayor Boris Johnson said Friday.

Johnson, on a trade mission to the United States, said that he was struck by the former secretary of state's insistence that Europe must do more to stand up to the Russian leader over Ukraine.

"One thing in particular she really wanted to get across -- that was she thought the Europeans were being too wimpy in dealing with Putin," Johnson said, at a Politico Playbook Breakfast event in Washington.

Stressing he was not quoting Clinton word for word, two days after meeting her in New York, Johnson said that he was impressed by the likely Democratic presidential candidate's "brilliant mastery" of foreign policy.

Read more:

Friday, February 13, 2015

House Begins Passing Series of Deficit-Hiking Tax Cuts

WASHINGTON -- One of the few bipartisan goals that President Barack Obama and Republicans agree on is comprehensive reform of the tax system, but Democrats cried foul Friday as GOP leaders in the House began passing permanent tax cuts that opponents believe would make that reform harder.

The House voted 272 to 142 to make permanent a number of temporary provisions that are aimed at helping businesses earning up to $2 million. The main cut, which would add $77 billion to deficits over 10 years, allows businesses to immediately write off new equipment purchases up to $500,000. Temporary versions of the measure have been passed about a dozen times before, generally as economic stimulus measures. 

Since it's popular and it's been passed so many times before, Republicans argued, the policy should be made permanent.

Read more:

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Philadelphia To Host 2016 Democratic National Convention

Democrats will host the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, CNN reported Thursday.

Leading up to the decision, Philadelphia was one of three cities -- including New York and Columbus, Ohio -- vying for the opportunity to host.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the DNC, announced in a Thursday statement that the committee had signed a final contract with Philadelphia earlier that morning.

Read more:

DRC Spring Conference will be held on April 17 &18 in Syracuse.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sen. John Defrancisco will almost double his base salary with his pension when he double dips this year.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - New York State Sen. John Defrancisco, R-Syracuse, will almost double his base salary with his pension when he double dips this year, according to the final calculation from Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office.

DeFrancisco took advantage of a loophole for certain elected officials when he filed papers to "retire" Dec. 31, then return to his same job as a state senator on Jan. 1.

He will be paid $72,672 a year from the state pension fund, a DiNapoli spokeswoman said.

That is in addition to his base salary of $79,500. DeFrancisco is also paid a stipend, nicknamed a "lulu," of $34,000 a year for serving as chairman of the Senate finance committee.

In 2014, he made $113,500 with lulus and another $10,508 for travel expenses.

If you plug his new salary and pension into last year's list of top legislators' pay, DeFrancisco would now rank third in the state with a total of $186,172.

Read more:

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Job Openings Jump To Highest Levels Since 2001

"Help wanted" signs are popping up everywhere: There were more than 5 million jobs available in the U.S. at the end of 2014, the highest number since early 2001, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Tuesday.

job openings

The number of jobs available has jumped from a low of about 2 million in the depths of the Great Recession to highs not seen since the go-go days of the dot-com boom. 

That's the good news. The bad news is that there were still nearly 9 million people looking for jobs in December -- 9 million people competing for 5 million jobs. Do the math, Archimedes.

Read more:

Monday, February 9, 2015

New Jeb Bush Hire Called Women 'Sluts' On Twitter

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's political action committee has drawn the ire of Democrats over a new staffer's history of offensive remarks on Twitter.

Between 2009 and 2011, Ethan Czahor, co-founder of and now chief technology officer of Right to Rise PAC, made a series of inflammatory comments about "sluts" and gay men at the gym, among others. He took to Twitter on Monday to say that he had "deleted some old jokes i made years ago that i no longer find funny or appropriate. #learning #maturing."

"Governor Bush believes the comments were inappropriate," a spokeswoman for Bush told BuzzFeed. "They have been deleted at our request. Ethan is a great talent in the tech world and we are very excited to have him on board the Right to Rise PAC."

Read more at:

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Dems Paint Jeb Bush As Romney 2.0

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney opposed the government's rescue of U.S. automakers. So did Jeb Bush.

Both worked in finance and backed the Wall Street bailout. Both are advocates of tax cuts that Democrats contend only benefit the wealthy and big business.

While the first actual votes of the next presidential campaign may be a year away, Democrats already are drawing such comparisons between the former Florida governor and the GOP's 2012 White House nominee — and they don't consider them flattering.

Democrats are unwilling to let Bush define himself as a reformer who aims to close the gap between the rich and poor, so they are trying to paint him as this campaign's Romney. The ex-Massachusetts governor struggled in 2012 against criticism related to his work in private equity and his portrayal by President Barack Obama's allies as a cold-hearted plutocrat.

"We don't need to try to show that Jeb is like Romney. He pretty much is Romney," said Eddie Vale, vice president of American Bridge 21st Century, a liberal group set up to conduct opposition research on Republicans. "When it comes to any ideas or policies, he's the same as Romney."

Read more:

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Official or not, Hillary Clinton builds a massive 2016 team-in-waiting

Hillary Rodham Clinton, who won’t yet say whether she is running for president, is assembling a massive campaign team-in-waiting that outstrips anything on a Republican side that remains factionalized and focused on knocking off one another.

At this point, without so much as an announcement, she has settled on — at the least — a campaign chairman, a campaign manager, a chief strategist and lead pollster, another pollster, a lead media adviser, a communication director, a deputy communications director, a focus group director and a communications strategist.

She is also closing in on a New York City campaign headquarters and a date to make all of this official.

Some senior staff are signing on without nailing down the usual conditions of a new job, such as a salary or starting date. Recruitment is being led by White House senior adviser John Podesta and manager-designate Robby Mook, with Clinton making many of the final decisions herself.

Read more at:

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The three finalists trying to woo Democrats for their 2016 National Convention — New York City, Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio — are doing their best to make a good final impression on DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.).

Chris Christie Is Now Waging 23 Court Battles to Keep State Documents Secret

On his first day as governor of New Jersey, Republican Chris Christie promised "a new era of accountability and transparency." But five years later, local reporters and watchdog groups accuse Christie's administration of making unprecedented efforts to keep public records a secret.

Stonewalled by the Christie administration, media outlets have been forced to sue to obtain even routinely disclosed information, such as payroll data. Rather than release documents connected to the George Washington Bridge scandal, pay-to-play allegations, possible ethics violations, and the out-of-state jaunts Christie has made while weighing a run for president, Christie's office and several state agencies have waged costly court battles. As the 2016 presidential primary race draws closer, and Christie considers jumping in, his administration is fighting 23 different open-records requests in court.

"The track record is abysmal," says Jennifer Borg, general counsel for the North Jersey Media Group. Her organization, which publishes theRecord, has sued the state for public documents a half-dozen times since Christie took office. When a judge determines that the state withheld records illegally—which happens frequently—her group wins legal fees. As of September 2014, Christie's administration had paid $441,000 to North Jersey Media Group and other media outlets for records. And that doesn't count the cost of government lawyers' time.

Read more at:

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Jeb Bush Smoked Marijuana And Was A Bully In High School, Say Former Classmates

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush smoked marijuana while in high school, a personal use of the drug that stands in contrast to his later political stance on the plant.

The Globe also spoke to some of Bush's former classmates, who recalled a "physically imposing" young man who was seen as intimidating by some and a bully by others. Tibbetts recalled a story to the newspaper of an occasion during their boarding school days when he and Bush taunted a smaller student who lived in their dorm by sewing his pajama bottoms so that the student couldn't put them on. 

Bush told the Globe he didn't remember the incident or any other bullying, and was surprised that some of his former classmates viewed him that way. “I don’t believe that is true,” Bush said, adding that it was more than 40 years ago and not possible for him to remember.

It isn't the first time that allegations of bullying have surfaced about Bush's high school years. Another classmate of Bush's told Vanity Fair in 2001 that he remembered Bush as a bully as well, and that there was "a kind of arrogance"about him during his time at Andover.

Read more at:

Clinton maintains big lead in new Iowa Poll

DES MOINES, Iowa — Hillary Rodham Clinton continues to lead the potential field of Democratic presidential candidates in Iowa, capturing a wide majority of support and enjoying sky-high approval ratings among likely caucusgoers.

The results of the latest Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Iowa Poll underscore Clinton's dominance a year ahead of Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses and the inability so far of any other potential candidate to crack her aura of inevitability.

Clinton, the former U.S. secretary of state and a fixture in national Democratic politics for more than 20 years, is the first choice for 56 percent of poll respondents. That's 40 points ahead of the next potential contender, liberal populist Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who is the top choice for 16 percent.

Whoever ultimately gets into the race will look to make themselves the most credible choice alongside Clinton, said Iowa-based Democratic strategist Jeff Link.

Read more at:

Saturday, January 31, 2015

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie falling out of a chair

Never before seen footage shows the New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie falling out of a chair last June during a visit to the WIP Morning Show.

Bernie Sanders Shows How Reagan Helped Destroy The Middle Class

WASHINGTON -- President Ronald Reagan remains a venerated figure in American politics, even as folks on the left have been taking a more critical look at his economic legacy in recent years.

So perhaps it's not a surprise that Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders would not think well of the Gipper. But when Sanders took to the Senate floor Thursday evening to offer a broad vision for how to do something to help the declining middle class, he offered a stunning chart that showed just how poorly most Americans have fared during economic recoveries since the advent of Reaganomics.

The chart starts by showing that in the decades after World War II, the bottom 90 percent of the country captured most of the growth in income during rebounds from tough times. But then came the Reagan era, and what George H. W. Bush once dubbed "voodoo economics." After Reagan implemented his policies, the top 10 percent grabbed nearly 80 percent of the growth in incomes coming out of the oil crises of the late '70s. 

"Whoa! What happens in 1982?" Sanders said, noting the dramatic reversal in his diagram. "Well, Ronald Reagan is president, and the good news is we are into trickle-down economics."