Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Rooting out the Islamist terrorists in Oz

Australia launches anti-terror raids over plot to kill

Andrew Colvin: The operation was about "police disrupting potential for violence against the community"

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Australian police have carried out major anti-terror raids triggered by a call from a senior Islamic State militant for "demonstration killings", Prime Minister Tony Abbott says.
The raids, involving at least 800 heavily-armed officers, took place in Brisbane and Sydney.
Fifteen people were arrested and one person charged with "serious terrorism-related offences", police said.
Police say the anti-terror operation was the largest in Australian history.
Addressing a press conference, Mr Abbott said "direct exhortations were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL (Islamic State) to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country".
"So this is not just suspicion, this is intent and that's why the police and security agencies decided to act in the way they have."
Reports in the Australian media said a plot involved beheading a random member of the public after draping them in an Islamic State flag.
'Random attacks'
The raids began early on Thursday, with officers executing 25 search warrants across 12 Sydney suburbs.
Terror suspect under arrest in Sydney (18 September 2014)Police say that at least 15 people were arrested in the early morning raids
Police move in against terror suspects in Sydney (18 September 2014) More than 800 heavily armed officers raided properties in Sydney and Brisbane
They followed investigations into a Sydney-based group "alleged to have the intent to carry out random attacks on individuals" in Australia, the Australia Federal Police said in a statement.
"The police activity today was about preventing this group at the earliest possible opportunity and ensuring their plans did not come to fruition," Acting AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin said.
Raids in Brisbane were not "directly linked" to the Sydney operation but related to a raid last week on an Islamic centre that led to two men being charged with terrorism offences, he said.
Last week, Australia raised its terror threat level to high amid concerns of the growing number of Australians "working with, connected to or inspired by" Islamist groups.
Terror suspect under arrest in Sydney (18 September 2014)The arrests have been described as Australia's biggest anti-terrorism operation
Police and other law enforcement agencies cordon off a street as forensic experts collect evidence inside a house in the Guildford area of Sydney  (18 September 2014)Police and other law enforcement agencies cordon off a street as forensic experts collect evidence inside a house in the Guildford area of Sydney
Terror suspect under arrest in Sydney (18 September 2014)Police in Sydney said that the arrests followed the execution of a number of search warrants across the city's north-west suburbs early on Wednesday
A police officer searches a house in Mount Gravatt, Brisbane (18 September 2014)Police also carried out raids in Brisbane
Officials say dozens of Australians have gone to fight in the Middle East for jihadist groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (also known as the al-Nusra Front).
At least 60 Australians are believed to be fighting with jihadist groups in Syria and northern Iraq, and 15 Australians have been killed so far in these conflicts, including two suicide bombers.
About 100 more Australians are thought to be actively supporting these groups, police say.
Officials are worried about the impact of both returning fighters and supporters of these groups on domestic security.
It is the first time Australia's threat level has moved from medium to high - the second-highest rank - since the system was introduced in 2003.
"Medium" means an attack could occur. "High" means an attack is likely and "extreme" means an attack is imminent or has occurred.
Australia has also recently committed troops to the fight against Islamic State.
Mr Abbott, who has been spending a week in an indigenous area in northern Australia, is heading back south to see off departing troops.

Respiratory virus raging across country probably spread by illegal immigrants (who were never tested and shipped all over immediately).


Dr. Jane Orient, Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, reported that the government has been “real tight-lipped” about the mysterious respiratory illness that has struck children in the United States, expressed concern that the illegal immigrant minors from Central America could be the source, and argued that the government should devote more resources to border security to combat the spread of disease on Wednesday’s “Laura Ingraham Show.” 

When asked whether illegal immigrant children who have been sent to various locations around the country could be the cause of the virus, she responded “Yes, they could be. We don’t know for sure the government is being real tight-lipped about this, and it only takes one infected child to infect the whole classroom.”
Orient added “we don’t know where it’s coming from...are there immigrants from Central America, where this disease has allegedly been prevalent before? Should we be [looking at] the virus to see whether it’s like what’s been found in some of these countries that are just sending waves of children across our border and they haven’t been quarantined long enough to make sure they’re not sick?”
She also spoke about the risks posed by drug resistant tuberculosis, saying “virtually all of the cases of drug resistant TB that have been discovered in the United States are in foreign born individuals, and the vast majority of any type of TB is in a person who was born in a foreign country. It is a public health nightmare to just have one of these cases in your community because the person needs to be quarantined...and you could catch TB on a bus, there is no question about that.”
In addition, Dr. Orient about the contagiousness of and potential for weaponizing the Ebola virus, reporting “the CDC, on its website, still says you can't get it through the air, however, they're putting out more directives of a Canadian public health services saying ‘well, maybe you can get it through the air.’ This type of air transmission has occurred in animals who had no contact except through the air. And Even so, it’s very, very contagious, it only takes between 5 and 10 virus particles to infect a person. You don't have to have cuts...there are receptors for the viruses in [people’s] normal skin." And “it's extremely transmissible that's why people who like the idea of killing off 90% of population say it would be an ideal agent for accomplishing that. There have been attempts to weaponize it...but you don't really need an ICBM warhead to transmit this, you just some infected people coming across your border."  She further stressed that the government should devote more resources to securing the border to prevent the spread of disease.

Academia: the storm troopers of the tyrannical left.

Public university requires students to submit sexual history or face disciplinary action

This is what the regime and Democrats call a secure border


The Tucson Sector Border Patrol has arrested seven illegal immigrants in the last two weeks for sex crimes; all seven had been deported from the United states before they returned.
Rape, aggravated sexual abuse of a child, and soliciting or engaging in child prostitution were the prior charges against three of the men, who came from Mexico. Two of the men, who hailed from Guatemala, had convictions for lewd and lascivious acts with children under 14.
Other charges the men were convicted of included assault, battery, voluntary manslaughter, aggravated domestic violence, kidnapping, and great bodily injury using a deadly weapon. They will be processed for prosecution and removal.

David Gregory is right the media is lazy but I would add also fearful of this regime

David Gregory hits media 'laziness'

David Gregory, the ousted moderator of NBC's "Meet The Press," thinks Washington's political media are too lazy to go against the "narrative."
Moderating a panel at the No Labels's National Strategic Agenda meeting on Wednesday, Gregory said journalists often fail to report on anything that fights the set narrative in Washington media.
“[I]n Washington political journalism the narrative gets set, and it gets set early and built on. And things that fight the narrative get harder to report out, I think, often because of laziness in media,” Gregory said. “I think that the media…has gotten very attached to the idea that Washington is so dysfunctional and that the country is so frustrated with it. There is a self-fulfilling part of that.”
“I think sometimes it’s an oversimplication to talk about the speed of the news cycle," Gregory said. "That’s a part of the problem, but what it is is the attachment to narrative."
It was Gregory’s first public event after his unceremonious departure as host of NBC’s “Meet the Press” last month. Gregory was replaced by Chuck Todd, the NBC News political director and White House correspondent, after months of bad press and ratings declines. Neither Gregory nor the panelists directly addressed his departure from NBC, though Jane Harman, president of the Wilson Center, saluted his “extraordinary career, which will continue.”
Panelists at the event included Harman, USAID Adminitrator Rajiv Shah, CNN's Gloria Borger, former Gov. Jon Huntsman and Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), many of whom joined Gregory in chiding the media for their role in perpetuating the idea that Washington can’t work.

An Israel hating faux Holocaust survivor and a faux Indian Elizabeth Warren

Now why would a sitting Senator be on the same stage as a fake Holocaust survivor? Because Warren's base is anti Israel and don't much care for Jews anyway.

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On September 16, 2014 
Like Hedy EpsteinEva Steiner Moseley is another fake Holocaust survivor who uses phony claims of being a Holocaust survivor to attack Israel and support terrorists.
Eva Moseley is even more fake than Hedy Epstein because she and her family moved to New York in 1939. Moseley is a more honest fraud because she describes her fake Holocaust survivor routine as her ‘schtick’.
In a shockingly unguarded moment, she wrote the following email to her comrades at the Peace Commission: “I can do my “I escaped from Nazi Vienna and am unhappy with what Israel does” schtick, if you think that would help.”
Eva Steiner Moseley debuted her fake Holocaust survivor schtick again at an appearance by Elizabeth Warren.

“Eva Moseley, I’m not a student, I’m not an alumnae, but was in faculty life. I was also a Holocaust refugee and I’m extremely concerned that Jews don’t do to another people what was done to them,” said the activist.
“I think that’s fair,” Senator Warren responded.
“You recently said that you believe that Israel has the right to self-defense,” the activist continued. “Do you also believe that the Palestinians have a right to self-defense?”
“Of course. So, and the answer is yes. The direction we ought to be moving is not toward more war. The direction we need to be moving, as I said, I believe we need to move to a two-state solution where both peoples can be secure and safe within their own borders. So, I’m there,” responded the senator from Massachusetts.
Now in all fairness to Warren, she probably wasn’t doing a very good job of parsing Eva Moseley’s doubletalk.
The right of “Palestinians” to self-defense is code for terrorism. Warren was probably also caught off guard by a woman claiming to be a Holocaust survivor and she quickly pivots to the safe ground of “I’m for peace” without really realizing what is going on.
The insanity continued.
“You specifically apologized for Israeli actions attacking schools and hospitals and you’re going on the congressional Israel trip which we all know is like AIPAC alignment, is what that is. So as a progressive, as someone who wanted you to come be a progressive, how can you say what you’re putting forward on Israel is progressive?” the woman asked.
“You know, look, you can do whatever characterization you want of it, but listen only to my words. I didn’t apologize for anyone. I made clear what my view is. I don’t want to see anyone kill more people,” Warren said.
NECN asked if it’s wrong for people to feel Warren is favoring Israel.
“You know, it’s – I think that peace favors both peoples and that’s what we really need,” Warren said, adding, “Nut I always want to be clear about this. The parties themselves are the ones that will have to negotiate this – it is not up to America to impose it.”
It does seem like Warren is semi-randomly tossing out talking points that she had picked up earlier for an issue that she doesn’t really understand.

More knocks to Michelle's food tyranny

Study Finds Michelle O’s Healthy Food Program ELITIST, SEXIST and SHAMES Working Mothers

Fracking and the losers who hate it.

New York’s Anti-Science Party

Just last week, Gov. Cuomo vowed yet again not to make an “emotional decision” on fracking, insisting he’d “do it on the science and not the politics.”
Well, science has spoken. All that’s now standing in the way of the jobs and industry that would help revive our upstate is Cuomo’s unscientific opposition.
Two new landmark studies, one from the US Department of Energy, confirm what we’ve contended all along: The process of extracting natural gas by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is safe.
The 18-month DOE report found no evidence that chemicals released during fracking move upward to contaminate drinking water. Instead, they remain some 5,000 feet below the surface water supplies.
This was confirmed by a separate study published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Here Ohio State, Duke, Stanford and Dartmouth researchers found that any water contamination stemmed “from well-integrity problems such as poor casing or cementing.”
In other words, poor construction, which can be remedied.
Neither of these studies is particularly revolutionary.
Indeed, their findings mostly confirm prior research that led the Obama administration to embrace fracking as an environmentally safe way to expand America’s energy production, create jobs for the American people and make us less dependent on foreign energy.
Meanwhile, New York remains shut out, even as our fracking neighbors prosper. The question is, will Gov. Cuomo move forward — or maintain the place of New York Democrats as the party of science denial?

So it wasn't racism that got her in handcuffs but sex in public

‘Django Unchained’ actress’ alleged public sex pictures leak

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New photos obtained by TMZ show the “Django Unchained” actress who recentlyaccused the LAPD of racism straddling her boyfriend inside their car — depicting a much different scene than the innocent kissing they claimed was taking place.
The pictures were snapped last Thursday outside the CBS lot in Studio City and appear to show Daniele Watts, who is African-American, and her boyfriend, Brian James Lucas, who is white, doing a lot more than making out before cops arrived.
Watts — who played a dolled-up slave in the 2012 Quentin Tarantino film — can be seen in the pictures mounting her boyfriend’s lap and also grabbing the car’s roof to steady herself.
The actress called police racist last week after they handcuffed and detained her when she refused to give them her ID. She claimed that she and her boyfriend were just making out. But it turns out the police had gotten calls about the couple having sex in public.
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Daniele Watts in “Django Unchained” and crying while interacting with a police officerPhoto: Columbia / YouTube
An eyewitness who spotted the couple from a nearby office said he could see Lucas’ feet propped up on the curb as Watts was on top of him, with her shirt pulled up and her breasts exposed, according to TMZ.
When one of the workers decided enough was enough and went down to put an end to their intimacy, the couple ignored the requests and continued.
Another person from the nearby office called cops.
LAPD officers arrived and questioned the couple about what was going on in the car. When they asked Watts for her ID and she refused, they handcuffed and detained her under suspicion of prostitution.

Syria: the miseries of revolution

Syria conflict: Dozens killed in strikes on Talbiseh

Almost 50 people have been killed by Syrian government air strikes in an opposition-held town, activists say.
Six children were among those who died as Talbiseh, in Homs province, was bombarded for two days, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
A dozen rebel fighters were also killed, the UK-based group added.
Meanwhile, at least 15 children have died in another opposition-held area of Syria, reportedly after being given contaminated measles vaccinations.
The main opposition alliance, the National Coalition, has launched an investigation and halted the vaccination programme it was organising in the northern province of Idlib.
'Terrifying massacre'
The air strikes of Talbiseh reportedly began on Monday and continued into Tuesday. State media said the army had targeted a meeting of "terrorists".
The death toll from the bombardment was expected to rise because bodies were still being pulled out of the rubble and dozens of people, including children, were critically injured, the Observatory said.
"Residents woke up from the massacre [on Monday] only to witness another terrifying massacre," a local activist group wrote on Facebook.
The post said Talbiseh was "filled with civilians and displaced who cannot find bread to eat, chased by the shelling of regime forces".
Videos purportedly of the aftermath showed a man weeping as he clutched the body of his baby son, as well as people praying over the bodies of a mother and her five children.
Talbiseh is on the country's main north-south motorway about 10km (6 miles) north of the city of Homs, which had been a centre of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
Rebel forces abandoned their last stronghold in the centre of Homs in May after more than a year of siege and bombardment.
The government now controls most of Damascus, along with the motorway from the capital through to Homs and the western Mediterranean coast. Rebels control much of the north and east.
'Security breach'
It is not known what caused the children's deaths in eight opposition-held towns in Idlib province, but parents accused opposition health authorities of not storing the vaccines properly or using out-of-date medication.
Opposition officials denied the allegations of negligence, saying the vaccines had come from the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), via the Turkish government.
They said the same batch had been used successfully to vaccinate 60,000 children in recent days and claimed a preliminary investigation pointed to a "security breach by vandals likely connected to the regime".
The conflict in Syria and the resultant breakdown in state institutions have meant that diseases such as measles and polio have been spreading.
More than 191,000 people have been killed and nine million displaced from their homes since the uprising began in 2011.
US President Barack Obama is currently trying to build a global coalition to combat the rise of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS), which has seized control of dozens of cities and towns in northern and eastern Syria, as well as large swathes of neighbouring Iraq.
On Tuesday, IS released a video warning the US that its members stood ready to fight if Mr Obama sent ground troops to Iraq, which his top general has said might happen.
The 52-second video, entitled Flames of War, shows militants blowing up tanks, as well as wounded US soldiers and others about to be killed.

Central planning never understands human nature in their race to utopia

Missouri, Alabama schools drop Michelle O’s lunch program

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – New federal school food regulations promoted by First Lady Michelle Obama are becoming a massive headache for many schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program.

dumplunchAnd many, like Missouri’s Notre Dame Regional and Saxony Lutheran high schools, are taking matters into their own hands.
Those schools and numerous others across the country are ditching the federal regulations and the funding that comes with them to save their cafeteria programs, which have experienced a nose-dive in sales and skyrocketing waste since the new rules were implemented in 2012.
At Notre Dame, school officials turned to the professionals at My Daddy’s Cheesecake, Papa John’s, Tractors Classic American Grill and Chick-fil-A to bring in nutritious and tasty meals students enjoy for “restaurant Wednesdays,” reports.
Notre Dame’s lunch participation had dropped to about half of its 565 students and 65 faculty members under the federal guidelines, but jumped drastically to about 75 percent once officials did away with the tight restrictions on calories, fat, sodium,  whole grains, and numerous other aspects of school meals.
RELATED: Michelle O’s snack rules end special ed students’ coffee cart
“The biggest change is that you don’t have to be so strict with your menus. You don’t have to keep track of all the sodium and calories,” Notre Dame food service director Joan Dunning told
“You can go back to a little more home cooking and not have to analyze it all to death, and by doing that can make it a little more tasty. You can put a little more butter or margarine in the vegetables,” she said, which means students are “not throwing it in the trash like they did before.”
Saxony Lutheran is also offering Chick-fil-A for lunch on Tuesdays and breakfast on Fridays, as well as chicken wings on Thursdays. By discarding the federal regulations, the district can now also offer chips, snack crackers, protein bars, muffins, cereal and Pop Tarts, many of which were banned until this year, the news site reports.
“We want to make sure we’re serving a well-rounded, healthy, balanced meal,” Saxony principal Mark Ruark told “We don’t think the current federal guidelines give kids enough calories to sustain (them), especially those in extracurricular activities.”
“Kids will not eat what doesn’t taste good,” he said.
That’s the same conclusion parents and school officials in Alabama are coming to.
At Cleburne County Schools, where lunch participation dropped by 29 percent under Michelle O’s rules, Maria Gilbert said her children will no longer eat school food. Her 11th grader says it’s “nasty” and has opted to bring microwave food from home, at least until the school removed the appliance from the cafeteria. Gilbert said she’s often forced to find a quick meal for her famished kids after school, reports.

“The drive-through at McDonald’s is always full after school as Gilbert and other parents stop to feed their hungry children on the way home, she said,” according to the news site.
“Many of the student athletes need four times more calories than an average school lunch provides and therefore are bringing their lunch,” superintendent Claire Dryden told the Annison Star.
The district’s lunch sales have plummeted from 106,362 meals served in 2012-13 to 75,610 last year because of the federal lunch mandates, she said.
Statewide, lunch sales went from 131.9 million meals in 2011-12 to 127.1 million last year – a decrease of 4.8 million meals, the news site reports.
In Ohio, it’s the same story.
“We are seeing a trend where meal counts are going down just because students aren’t accepting all the changes that are taking place,” Ohio School Nutrition Association member Jeni Lange told ABC.
“There are fewer students eating.”
Experts at the National School Lunch Association estimate 1 million fewer students eat lunch at school than when the regulations went into effect in 2012.
A National School Nutrition Association survey also found food waste is up in 81.2 percent of schools nationwide, and a study by Cornell and Bringham Young universities estimates the waste at $4 million per day. Students in Los Angeles schools alone are throwing away $100,000 in food per day, ABC reports.
“I have to think that across the country, it has to be a staggering amount of food going to waste and I think there are people out there who could really use that food,” said Gene Kirchner, superintendent of  Fort Thomas Independent Schools near Cincinnati, another district that dropped out of the National School Lunch Program.
In one Vermont school district, officials devised a plan to “repurpose” their lunch waste as feed for about 3,000 hogs at a local pig farm. In Medina, Ohio, volunteer parent Marcie Henning is taking advantage of the massive waste in her district to feed the homeless and less fortunate.
“Operation Lunch” lunch was launched two years ago, when the new lunch rules were implemented and waste went through the roof, and has so far provided 35,000 items, including 1,314 fruit cups and 841 oranges and tangerines, to those who can’t afford a “healthy” lunch, ABC reports.
“Students donate nutritious food to those who need it so it won’t go in the trash,” Henning told ABC.

Biden's anti Jewish slur...he'll be forgiven because he's a Democrat

Jewish group brands Biden's Shylock comment 'offensive'

Vice President Joe Biden drew fire from a prominent Jewish group on Tuesday after he described unscrupulous bankers who prey on servicemen and servicewomen deployed overseas as “Shylocks” — a term frequently condemned as an anti-Semitic caricature.
“Shylock represents the medieval stereotype about Jews and remains an offensive characterization to this day. The Vice President should have been more careful,” Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman said.
Shylock, the villain in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” is a Jewish moneylender who mercilessly demands a “pound of flesh” from the merchant who defaults on a loan. Whether the 16th-century play is anti-Semitic or reflects the anti-Semitism of the time is a subject of frequent, bitter debate, but the term Shylock is offensive enough that Florida stripped it from state law back in 2009. (Not everyone has gotten that memo).
“When someone as friendly to the Jewish community and open and tolerant an individual as is Vice President Joe Biden, uses the term 'Shylocked’ to describe unscrupulous moneylenders dealing with service men and women, we see once again how deeply embedded this stereotype about Jews is in society,” Foxman said.
Biden’s slip came in a speech to the Legal Services Corporation, which provides lawyers to Americans who could not afford them otherwise. In his remarks, the vice president described the experience of his son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, who was deployed for one year in Iraq.
“People would come to him and talk about what was happening to them at home in terms of foreclosures, in terms of bad loans that were being  I mean, these Shylocks who took advantage of these women and men while overseas,” Biden said.
The vice president's office did not return a request for comment.
It’s hardly the first time that the vice president has raised eyebrows with comments that supporters describe as candor unvarnished by slick politicking and that critics sometimes refer to as “if that were anyone else…”
In 2010, he greeted the signing of Obamacare into law as “a big f---ing deal.” In 2007, he apologized after describing the future president as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” A year earlier, he exalted the fast-growing Indian-American community in his home state of Delaware but said, “You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."
On Tuesday, the vice president offered up a series of candid insights in the wide-ranging speech, at one point saying he was proud of his children but joking that he wished one of them were a Republican eager to make money “so that when they put me in a home, there'll be a window with a view.”
At another point, Biden seemed to acknowledge his reputation for off-the-cuff remarks that veer into gaffe territory.
“No one ever doubts that I mean what I say,” he said to laughter from the audience. “The problem is I sometimes say all that I mean.”

Objectivity is not required of Democrat/leftist media types. Jay Carney fulfilling his role as Obama propagandist.

Will Carney ever be critical of Obama or the Democrats? 

Obama Alum Jay Carney on New CNN Gig: I'm Still "Loyal to One Side"

5:00 AM PST 09/17/2014 by Marisa Guthrie 
AP Images
Jay Carney

The longtime press secretary-turned-commentator opens up about staying partisan while also asserting "I'm also my own person and I’m going to express my views"

A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
After more than three years as President Obama's press secretary, Jay Carney, 49, joined CNN on Sept. 10. Personally recruited by CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker, whom Carney met during the 1990s when wife Claire Shipman was White House correspondent for NBC News, Carney says he's not thinking about a long-term TV career. Rather, the former Time magazine D.C. bureau chief is keeping his options open while sparring with the likes of John McCain.
So you're not positioning yourself as nonpartisan?
I am who I am. I deeply believed in what I did and what he has done as president. And I don't walk away from that at all. There is no nirvana, but CNN's mission is news-focused. They are not actively pursuing a niche in one political camp or the other. I believe in the president, believe in the rightness of his policies. I'm also my own person, and I'm going to express my views. But it would be disingenuous to suddenly pretend that I wasn't loyal to one side.
Why did you choose CNN?
They're down the middle. They're not partisan. And I think that's good. You don't have that dynamic where people are choosing what they want to hear based on their own personal politics.
Do you want to get back into politics?
I had the privilege of the best run ever. It's hard to predict the future, but it's not something I'm thinking about now.
And no aspirations to be George Stephanopoulos or James Carville?
(Laughs.) Those two guys are so unique, you can't pattern yourself after them. I'm busy exploring a bunch of things. Being a commentator on TV is part of it. I'm not thinking long-term about a TV career.
Your first CNN appearance featured a rather testy exchange about the administration's strategy in a rapidly deteriorating Iraq with Sen. John McCain.
I was totally fine on the exchange. I disagree with him. He was a fierce advocate for the invasion, a fierce advocate for expanding our forces there, a fierce advocate for keeping them there. In 2008, he said he could easily envision American troops on the ground in Iraq for 100 years. The president ran as someone who disagrees with that -- and beat John McCain doing it, pretty soundly. And then he won re-election maintaining that position. The fact is the United States government was actively trying to negotiate with the Iraqi government on a status of forces agreement that would have allowed for residual forces to remain in Iraq. [The Iraqi government] refused to meet the terms of that agreement. And it would have been the height of irresponsibility to leave U.S. men and women in uniform on the ground there without the kind of protections you need from a status of forces agreement. That's just a fact. But that's Senator McCain and that’s fine.
Any thoughts on CNN’s strengths and weaknesses?
They’re at their best when they do what they’re most known for -- solid news reporting and solid news commentary. I'm looking forward to being part of that.
What is being unfairly covered about the administration?
There are a lot of great reporters out there who are doing a good job. They’re tough and smart and they follow the story. But you get these crescendos; things are bad, [the president's] numbers are bad. There's a tendency to chase that ball down the field together. And this is true regardless of which party is in the White House. I used to do it as a reporter so I’m not assigning blame or saying it’s partisan. I think you go through these cycles, and the White House is in one of those cycles. It's a challenging time.
The Washington press corps is often accused of grandstanding during the televised briefings …
It's mostly a first-row phenomenon with the television correspondents. If you look at the on-the-record briefings that are not televised, the tenor and tone is very different. The questions are often more substantive and serious. I'm not casting aspersions. I'm noting a pretty objective fact.
What was the worst question you were asked as press secretary?
There was one guy, Les Kinsolving [of WorldNetDaily], who asked about bestiality. There was a lot of ridiculousness over the president's birth certificate that was fueled by [DonaldTrump. A lot of reporters jumped on that knowing it was ridiculous.
That must have been frustrating.
It’s part of the deal. I loved it. I didn’t have a single bad day.
In terms of my job. There were terrible days — [the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.] was the worst day imaginable. It was unimaginably sad. I just mean in terms of being [at the White House] and having the privilege of being there. The rareness of it, the specialness of it. Every day was great.