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Ear to the Ground

What the Benghazi Emails Reveal, Rove Blames Obama for Scandals, and More

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Posted on May 16, 2013

Acting the Part: A day after accepting acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Steven Miller’s resignation over a scandal involving his agency, President Obama has tapped his replacement. On Thursday, the president said he would appoint Danny Werfel, the current controller of the Office of Management and Budget, as acting commissioner. Werfel, who also worked at the OMB when George W. Bush was president, has helped get the sequester implemented. (Read more)

Mail Drop: Late Wednesday, the White House released a trove of 100 emails detailing how it came up with its talking points describing the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in September. The Week has highlighted five key things we learned from the emails: First, the talking points began with the CIA; second, the CIA was also the agency that steered the administration toward the incorrect pre-attack protest detail; third, the State Department had major concerns over them; fourth, the White House changed more than one word to the talking points; and, finally, former CIA Director David Petraeus objected to the talking points. Of course, as The Week noted, there’s so much material that came from the email dump that “if you had strong opinions about the Benghazi debacle and its aftermath already, you can probably find something in the 100 pages to support your beliefs.” (Read more)

Ignoring History: Trying to keep the controversies surrounding the Obama administration front and center in the media, GOP strategist and former Bush administration adviser Karl Rove is blaming a “disengaged and distant” President Obama for the multitude of scandals that has rocked the White House. He said Obama bears some responsibility for them; the president has said he had no knowledge of the scandals before they broke. “It’s also a little bit appalling,” Rove said, specifically singling out the Justice Department’s snooping on The Associated Press’ phone records. “I can’t imagine that the attorney general and the Department of Justice would not have given the Office of General Counsel inside the White House a heads-up they were about ready to take this very broad step of asking for the phone records of 100 journalists and editors at the AP. I just can’t believe that that would happen.” Because the Bush administration never had to deal with any scandals of its own, right Karl? (Read more)

Back in the Game? It’s looking more and more likely that Anthony Weiner will toss his hat in the New York City mayoral race. NBC 4 New York reports that the disgraced ex-congressman was filming a “campaign-style video” on the stoop of his childhood home in Brooklyn on Thursday. The home, located in the Park Slope neighborhood, is where Weiner announced his mayoral bid in 2005, and where the Democrat said months later that he was dropping out the same race, according to the station. Weiner has been mulling a political comeback less than two years after he resigned from Congress over a sexting scandal. (Read more)

Tweet of the Day: In order to promote its 37th attempt at repealing Obamacare, Republicans asked Twitter users to describe President Obama’s signature health care law in three words. What they probably weren’t expecting is that the White House would co-opt the GOP hashtag #ObamaCareinThreeWords. Here’s one of the several tweets that came from the White House’s official Twitter account in response:

Video of the Day: Good news men! It sounds like televangelist Pat Robertson, known for his outspoken conservative viewpoints on politics, religion and social issues, is totally cool with you cheating on your wife. On Wednesday’s episode of “The 700 Club,” Robertson delivered some absurd advice to a woman asking how to forgive her husband for cheating on her. “Here’s the secret,” he said. “Stop talking the cheating. He cheated on you, well, he’s a man.” Robertson added that “like it or not, males have a tendency to wander a little bit.” Ten Commandments? What Ten Commandments?



—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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