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ROBERT TRACINSKI: Dear Media: How Not to Screw Up the Next Ferguson.

I hate to say, “I told you so.” No, really, I hate it. The city of Ferguson, Missouri, is in flames yet again as angry mobs—largely composed of outside agitators—vent their rage against “the system” after a grand jury refused to indict a white police officer for shooting a young black man. All of that destruction could have been prevented if the media knew its own business and didn’t need constant reminders from people like me about how to report on the use of deadly force.

Specifically, I warned them about Zimmerman Amnesia, the dogged failure to learn from the media’s mistakes in reporting previous cases. . . .

The early reports were very clear that Michael Brown was a good, kind-hearted young man bound for college, that the shooting was totally unprovoked, that he was shot multiple times in the back, that he was executed in cold blood. Then the evidence, as it emerged, knocked down each of these claims one by one.

Cases involving the use of force tend to be messy, and getting at the facts is difficult. It requires a lot of sorting of competing claims, cross-examination and confrontation of witnesses, and a thorough review of the physical evidence, which often refutes the eyewitness testimony.

Two things: (1) They don’t want to do the work; and (2) They don’t mind peddling falsehoods so long as those falsehoods inflame the right people.

ONLY THE BEGINNING: Due process win: Swarthmore college settles lawsuit with accused student.

Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania has settled a lawsuit brought by a student accused of sexual assault, admitting the school acted unfairly in charging the student.

In April 2011, a student identified as John Doe shared a kiss and at a later date “consensual physical encounters” with another student identified as Jane Doe, according to the lawsuit filed earlier this year. On May 1, 2011, Jane came to John’s dorm room and initiated consensual sex. The lawsuit alleges Jane admitted she initiated the encounter.

But 19 months later, Jane reported the kiss and initial physical encounters to Swarthmore, saying she had been coerced. After a two-month investigation, the school closed the matter without bringing charges against John.

A few months later, in April 2013, two other students, according to the lawsuit, filed complaints with the Department of Education. These complaints had nothing to do with John Doe.

These complaints caused Swarthmore’s president to announce a “zero tolerance” policy for sexual assault. Just a few weeks later, John Doe’s case was re-opened.

Within a month, John alleges, the school re-opened the case, fast-tracked a hearing and found him guilty of sexual misconduct for an incident that happened two years earlier and had already been investigated and closed. John appealed.

On July 12, 2013, the Department of Education announced it would investigate Swarthmore based on the Title IX complaints unrelated to John. Four days later, according to John’s lawsuit, his appeal was denied.

In early 2014, John filed a lawsuit against Swarthmore alleging multiple violations of its own policies and denying him due process. . . .

Colleges and universities, anxious to be removed from the Department of Education’s list of Title IX investigations, are being incentivized to punish students rather than fairly investigate reports of campus sexual assault. It is terrible that John Doe lost months of his life battling this lawsuit that he could have spent getting an education — a potential detriment to his future earnings potential. His case should serve as a reminder for other colleges that if they treat accused students as guilty until proven innocent and deny them due process in kangaroo courts, they will be sued.

I hope it cost them plenty. And if I were a plaintiff’s attorney in a college town, I’d run “HAVE YOU BEEN FALSELY ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT?” ads in the college newspaper on a regular basis.

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

OBAMA’S PRESS CONFERENCE A REMINDER: Oh, This Is Why Republicans Won.

President Obama is a singularly ungracious and non-self-reflective person. In his press conference today he refused yet again to acknowledge reality. . . .

If ever there was a display justifying more robust congressional stewardship of national security, this was it.

In Hillaryland, you wonder what they make of this. Will they be forced to defend a clueless president still unmoved by voters’ resounding anti-Obama message? The more antagonistic he becomes toward the majorities in both houses, the more dangerous it will become for Hillary Clinton to remain aligned with him and his policies. She cannot run and win offering a third Obama term.

All in all it did not bode well for the next two years, but it does provide an attractive target for Republicans to run against in 2016. (We can’t take this anymore!) It also suggests that the voters were right to hamstring him and send minders to keep things from getting far worse internationally and more lawless at home. It was, most of all, a reminder of why he is unpopular.

Yeah, he’s kind of a self-centered jerk when you get right down to it.

UPDATE: More:

Before the election, Obama said his policies were on the ballot. Which policies? And why won’t he acknowledge that those policies were rejected? Because he was bullshitting when he said the polities were on the ballot? If his people had won, he’d have claimed we endorsed those policies, that he had a mandate. So when the reverse happens, how can he evade the reverse meaning?

Well, he’s expecting the press to cover for him, but they seem to be starting to lose patience.

ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader emails:

Obama is the political equivalent of Captain Queeg in the film “The Caine Mutiny” … and we all know how that turned out. Soon he will be looking for strawberries stolen from the WH Kitchen and fidgeting with marbles in the Oval Office.

Yeah, I’m a little worried about how his emotional state will turn out.

REMINDER: Still on sale for $1.99 on Kindle: Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: The Way to the White House. Just sayin’ . . . .

CAR WARS: Uber and Cabbies in a D.C. Death Match.

As it has become clear that their friendly neighborhood taxi commissioner will not be able to shut down services such as Uber and Lyft, taxi drivers have increasingly adopted a new tactic: blocking traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue. They staged another slowdown today as the D.C. Council prepared to take a final vote on a bill that would legitimize and regulate Uber-like services.

Much venom has been spilled toward the taxi drivers on my Facebook feed. But here’s what I want to know: What the heck is the point?

The Teamsters union organized hundreds of cabbies to drive around the Wilson Building today while the D.C. Council was expected to vote. But the city council already knows how taxi drivers feel. The problem is, there are more Uber riders than taxi drivers, and those folks also feel pretty strongly. I’ve seen it suggested that this is a show of force to remind the council that it is risking the large sums that taxi interests routinely contribute to campaigns. That’s the sort of reminder I’d think would be better delivered over drinks, in the form of an unsigned check.

Meanwhile, this campaign has been 100 percent successful in alienating folks who might have been sympathetic before they started asserting their civil rights to shut down a major artery in the name of protecting their cozy monopoly. It seems like this is all cost, no benefit.

. . . At least to the taxi drivers. On the other hand, for the Teamsters, it’s important to show that you’re Doing Something in the face of an enormous threat to your income. And using their vehicles to interfere with traffic is what the Teamsters know how to do. This may not get the taxi drivers what they want. But it might well buy the union some loyalty from its members. When you’re fighting a lost cause, the important thing is to be seen fighting.

Leaders are more interested in leaders’ positions than in followers’ well-being.

REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

SPENGLER: Why Europe Is Irrational About Israel. “The flowering of Jewish national life in Israel makes the Europeans crazy. It is not simply envy: it is a terrible reminder of the vanity of European national aspirations over the centuries, of the continent’s ultimate failure as a civilization. . . . Europeans cannot live with their past. They cannot live with their present, and do not plan to have a future, for they do not bear enough children to forestall demographic ruin at the hundred-year horizon. With its high fertility, national spirit, religiosity and unabashed national self-assertion, Israel reminds the Europeans of everything that they are not. Much worse: it reminds them of what they once desired to become. The idea of Israel as well as the fact of Israel are equally intolerable to them.”

JUST A REMINDER, I WAS CALLING FOR ACTION ON SECRET SERVICE MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS BACK IN 2002: White House Intruder Got Farther Than First Reported, Official Says. “A man who jumped the White House fence this month made it far deeper into the president’s home than previously disclosed, overpowering a female Secret Service agent inside the North Portico entrance and running through the East Room before he was tackled, according to a congressional official familiar with the details of the incident. The man, Omar J. Gonzalez, was finally stopped as he tried to enter the Green Room, the official said. Earlier, Secret Service officials had said Mr. Gonzalez, 42, had only made it steps inside the North Portico after running through the front door.”

ASHE SCHOW: Ray Rice video shows what Debbie Wasserman Schultz was trivializing.

Last Wednesday, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., accused Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker of giving women “the back of his hand,” which critics claimed trivialized domestic abuse victims.

Wasserman Schultz was, of course, using the strong language to criticize Walker’s policies, but the release Monday of new footage (warning: graphic content) that purports to show Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée in the face is a reminder of why her comments were so offensive.

After the comment about Walker, Wasserman Schultz said that “Republican Tea Party extremists” are “grabbing [women] by the hair and pulling us back.”

The footage of the Rice incident purports to show the NFL star punch his wife in the face, drag her out of the elevator and drop her on the floor of the hallway outside.

That is what attacking a woman looks like, not policies Wasserman Schultz disagrees with.

Yep. Though to be fair, if you look at the video, she strikes him once before they get on the elevator, and then appears to be swinging at him when he hits her on the elevator. I’m surprised no one’s mentioning that.

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

REMINDER: Data Refute Campus “Rape Culture” Claims.

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Political Enemies.

REMINDER: Don’t forget about Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea.

REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

PROF. PHILIP HAMBURGER: The SEC And The Cascade Of Evasions. “The SEC clearly hopes to use administrative proceedings to evade the constitutional right to jury. When discussing the recent trial losses suffered by the SEC, Ceresney defended its evasion by talking about the SEC as if it were a victim of unfortunate circumstances in court — circumstances that ordinarily are called juries. . . . But the juries have a point. The SEC, in reality, is acting as a prosecutor. Notwithstanding the pretense of “civil penalties” — a strange oxymoron — the SEC candidly proclaims on its website that ‘the SEC is a law enforcement agency.’ Indeed, its proceedings are government enforcement actions that seek to punish or correct, and they thus are criminal in nature. No surprise, then, that juries expect more than a civil burden of proof. Rather than a problem, this is a reminder of why juries are valuable.”

They’re only valuable if you want to protect individual freedom and government accountability. That’s not the SEC’s priority. And as Hamburger notes, it’s not just the SEC: “The ever widening evasion of constitutional rights is worrisome. Administrative agencies, such as the SEC, enforce important laws, but this is no justification for their evasion of rights — let alone the cascading evasions that threaten to make judges and juries nearly irrelevant. At one point or another, the judges will have to face up to the expanding evasions, and the longer they wait, the more difficult their task will be.”

A READER EMAILS: “It might be time for a reminder that many of the folks protesting the shooting in Ferguson, MO are likely of the opinion that only the police and members of the military should have the right to carry guns.” Good point!

Meanwhile, I saw this on Facebook yesterday:

biggovernment

UPDATE: And by reader request, there’s this.

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REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

REMINDER: BULL CONNOR WAS A MEMBER OF THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE. Dems paying black staffers 30% less than white ones. “If you’re a person of color hoping to get hired by a political campaign, here’s the ugly truth: You’ll probably get paid less than your white counterparts, if you’re even hired at all. . . . For example, African-American staffers on Democratic campaigns were paid 70 cents for each dollar their white counterparts made. For Hispanic staffers in Democratic campaigns, the figure was 68 cents on the dollar.”

REMINDER: Hillary Clinton Pushed Obama to Keep Troops in Iraq.

THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: The U.S. Just Sent Thousands of Draft Notices to Men Born from ’93 to ’97—1893 to 1897.

Alternate headline: John Scalzi, call your office!

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

REMEMBER, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY TALKED THIS GUY INTO RUNNING AGAIN: Thad Cochran Gets Lost In Capitol. “Cochran didn’t seem to realize he was in the wrong place until someone in the room asked him if he was planning to join the Democrats for lunch.”

Reminder: If I recall correctly, Mark Foley, whose text-message scandal was the tipping point for the GOP in 2006, didn’t want to run for another term and was talked into it by Karl Rove.

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Having the IRS Audit His Enemies. I guess it was less a joke than one of those “dog whistles” we’re always hearing about.

BECKET ADAMS: A brief and painful reminder that Washington is filled with flippant and incompetent halfwits.

As the situation in Iraq grow increasingly volatile, and the Obama administration’s response increasingly vague, critics have voiced frustration at what they perceive to be a lack of leadership in the White House.

Yes, Iraq is imploding, threatened by a well-armed and highly motivated terrorist organization, and the White House’s critics are upset.

And this is on top of the president’s terribly unpopular decision to trade five Taliban leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (who may or may not have deserted his post in 2009 to join the Taliban), the growing scandal involving the Department of Veterans Affairs and, of course, the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

Each of these events involves several dead Americans, some in the line of duty, some waiting for medical attention and some waiting for reinforcements that would never come. Very little has been done to find and punish those responsible for these events.

So along comes Tommy Vietor, he of the “dude, that was two years ago” fame, to inform the unwashed masses on Friday that their anger is very much misplaced and that they’re croaking on about nothing.

It’s hard to imagine that this White House could be unserious about things.

obama_speech_writer_jon_favreau_hillary_cutout_2008

REMINDER: Operation Choke Point deliberately targets businesses administration doesn’t like. “Operation Choke Point, a credit card fraud task force run by the Justice Department, was created to ‘choke out’ businesses the Obama administration finds objectionable, according to a congressional committee report obtained by The Washington Times. The administration is knowingly targeting these businesses, despite the fact they are legitimate, says a staff report released by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.”

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REMINDER: Ayn Rand Was Not A Defender Of The Rich. “Ayn Rand, the famous novelist and free market advocate, is often caricatured as a defender of the rich or big business. But, as Steve Horwitz explains at the Bleeding Heart Libertarian blog, there are more wealthy villains in her books than wealthy heroes. And many of her heroes – including John Galt, whom Rand portrayed as the person best exemplifying her philosophy – are not particularly wealthy. Ultimately, Rand’s work praises producers, not wealthy people as such.”

In today’s America, as in that of Rand’s books, the two sets are increasingly distinct.

IN USA TODAY, TAXPROF PAUL CARON ON THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE IRS SCANDAL: The media ignore IRS scandal: We need to get to the bottom of it by giving Lois Lerner full immunity in exchange for her testimony.

Related: The IRS scandal for dummies.

Now with the warrant of Caron’s column I add my usual reminder. Nixon’s efforts to misuse the IRS were futile. They went nowhere. Nixon and his henchmen desired the IRS to “screw” their political opponents, but their efforts were a pathetic failure.

Nixon henchman Jack Caulfield astutely complained that the IRS was a “monstrous bureaucracy…dominated and controlled by Democrats.” As we have come to see, Caulfield was on to something. By contrast with Nixon’s failures to misuse the IRS, the IRS have very effectively “screwed” Obama’s political opponents, and we have yet to learn what the president knew and when he knew it.

Indeed. Though it’s possible that the IRS is so politicized that its employees needed no explicit instructions to go after Obama’s enemies. Arguing against that, however, is the White House’s stonewalling.

FIGHTING BOKO HARAM ON TWITTER: Operation Pouty Face. And just a reminder of the link that Ed Driscoll put below.  When it counted, Hillary’s State Department Refused to Brand Boko Haram as Terrorists.

VIDEO: CNN BOSS JEFF ZUCKER SHOCKED BY STAFFER’S FEARFUL QUESTION:

Zucker was sucker-punched at a CNN town hall meeting last month when a staffer offered a brutally honest critique during a Q&A with Anderson Cooper.

“How do we stop managers . . . from being afraid of you?” asked brave Atlanta-based producer James Curry in a question read by Cooper at the session in New York seen by all bureaus. “It seems that everyone is on pins and needles whenever you give guidance . . . The bottom line is managers seem to fear you and act very strange when you’re around.”

When you’ve lost fellow Time-Warner-CNN employee Joe Klein and the Boston Globe, perhaps it might be time to end the joyless monomania of the Zucker current approach.

Plus there’s plenty of karma involved, considering that ordinarily, CNN loves audience plants armed with sucker punch questions.

A timely reminder from The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol about how and why Ronald Reagan was one of America’s greatest presidents and the most successful conservative political figure of the 20th Century. Hint: It wasn’t because he told a good yarn and it wasn’t because he and Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill got together at night and shared a few bipartisan laughs.

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REMINDER: PRIDE IS A DEADLY SIN. Michael Bloomberg Is Sure That He’s Going To Heaven.

WELL, WHAT BOOKS HAVEN’T THEY COOKED? Is Obama Cooking the Census Books for Obamacare?

For several months now, whenever the topic of enrollment in the Affordable Care Act came up, I’ve been saying that it was too soon to tell its ultimate effects. We don’t know how many people have paid for their new insurance policies, or how many of those who bought policies were previously uninsured. For that, I said, we will have to wait for Census Bureau data, which offer the best assessment of the insurance status of the whole population. Other surveys are available, but the samples are smaller, so they’re not as good; the census is the gold standard. Unfortunately, as I invariably noted, these data won’t be available until 2015.

I stand corrected: These data won’t be available at all. Ever.

No, I’m not kidding. I wish I was. The New York Times reports that the Barack Obama administration has changed the survey so that we cannot directly compare the numbers on the uninsured over time.

If the numbers were good, we’d know about it.

Reminder: Obama moved Census control to the White House early in his first term.

A TAX DAY REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

PAY “GAP” REMINDER: Men vastly overrepresented in dangerous jobs, workplace deaths.

IT’S NICE THAT THEY APOLOGIZED, BUT WHAT KIND OF PERSON THINKS THAT’S OKAY TO BEGIN WITH? ABC Apologizes for Story That Connected Mozilla CEO to Hateful Westboro Baptist.

Reminder: Fred Phelps was a Democrat.

WELL, THAT WOULD EXPLAIN WHY HE’S BEEN WORKING SO HARD TO DERAIL THE INVESTIGATION: Darrell Issa says emails suggest Elijah Cummings prompted IRS targeting of True the Vote.

UPDATE: The Hill: Lerner mentioned Organizing for Action job. Note the presence of Holly Paz on the email chain.

Also, a reminder: The House can jail Lerner itself for contempt, even if Eric Holder won’t do anything. Though I’d be surprised if that happened.

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

REMINDER: Kathleen Sebelius lied about not extending the Obamacare enrollment deadline past March 31. And she did it less than two weeks ago. There’s video at the link.

REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “Joked” About Targeting His Enemies With Tax Audits.

RUNNING ON EMPTY: UK Shale Struggles A Reminder Of Why America Succeeded.

America remains the sole state to capitalize on its shale oil and gas resources, and difficulties in countries like the UK and China remind us that the shale revolution was more than just the result of applying the dual techniques of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well drilling to underground hydrocarbon reservoirs. Rather, the US energy revolution was the product of a mature oil and gas drilling industry, replete with robust supply chains. The boom depended on a unique set of mineral rights that provided landowners with a financial incentive to invite drillers on to their land, on a deep pool of capital, and on a variety of small wildcatting firms willing to take on the risk of drilling exploratory wells. . . .

This isn’t to say that shale can’t be tapped elsewhere, just that it’s going to be a more difficult process than many world leaders not named Obama might like. But the race to produce even a pale imitation of America’s experience is more important to European energy security now than ever, given the situation in Ukraine. Europe sources nearly a third of its natural gas from Russia, and that’s a lever Brussels is keen to rid itself of as it maneuvers against Moscow. Lawmakers in Washington have made the case that American LNG could help on that front, but so too could the continent’s significant domestic supply of shale gas. The Crimean crisis may be the strongest incentive yet for Europe to frack.

Frack now, or regret it later. By the way, I recommend Gregory Zuckerman’s The Frackers on this. I interviewed him here.

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OVERSOLD: The Facebook and Instagram Gun Speech Ban Issue:

Facebook has released their statement on the effort by anti-gun groups to ban speech & photos by gun owners. The other side is going to declare a win because they are recognized by Facebook for their efforts. In reality, the only impact is that if a post gets “reported” as being any kind of regulated product (not just firearms) for sale, the poster will be reminded that they should follow applicable laws.

That’s it. Facebook will pop up a message reminding you that you should follow the law if you post a gun for sale and someone complains to them about it. They won’t ban the speech. They won’t ban the images. They won’t even ban promotions of guns for sale at all.

The only speech-related restriction is that they say they will interpret phrases like “no background check required” as being a possible tip off that the seller may be willing to help others evade the law. They don’t require that private sellers agree to run a background check, just that they don’t make “no background check” a selling point of their firearm.

Under these rules, NRA can still do their gun contests, and local Friends committees can still promote the guns they’ll be giving away to FNRA dinner attendees. You can even still post that you’re going to sell a gun privately. The only thing is that Facebook can tell anyone who complains about the posts that they sent a reminder to follow the law.

If the anti-gunners had truly gotten what they wanted – a ban on firearm images or promotions of any kind – we would have completely pulled our personal and community Facebook accounts and no longer visited the site. I suspect that many of the millions of gun owners on the site would have done the same, and that’s not something Facebook can afford. It is, at best, a pyrrhic victory for the other side.

Related: The PR War Between The Anti-Gun Groups.

Moms Demand Illegal Mayors, or whatever the two merged groups are called these days, are declaring total victory in the Facebook/Instagram policy statement that any reported post featuring an offer to sell any regulated product privately will generate a reminder to sellers that they shouldn’t violate the law.

But the Brady Campaign swiftly sent out a letter to their supporters highlighting that the anti-gun groups didn’t get anything they demanded at all, and this is not in any way a victory. The thing is, the Brady Campaign is right on this, at least coming from a gun banner’s perspective.

Ouch.

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REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

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STEPHEN L. CARTER: Climate-Change Skeptics Have a Right to Free Speech, Too. “I am old-fashioned enough to believe that the cure for bad speech is good speech. Yes, it’s a cliche. But it’s also a useful reminder. Nobody is forced to enter public debate. Once you’re there, it’s rough and tumble. Unfair attacks are as common as dew and sunshine, and everybody’s reputation takes a beating. That’s the price of freedom.”

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies.

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FORD’S ALUMINUM TRUCKS: What are they really made of? “I’m telling you all of this because I kind of wanted it to be true, for there to be a scandal at the auto show for a change, and also as a reminder to not trust everything you read. Except this.”

GANGSTER GOVERNMENT: Geithner Threatened S&P After U.S. Downgrade. “An executive with Standard & Poor’s parent company said in a new legal filing that former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned him that the credit rating firm would be ‘looked at very carefully’ following its decision in 2011 to downgrade the credit rating of the United States.”

Reminder: In 2009, Barack Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies.

A MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY REMINDER: Bull Connor Was A Member Of The Democratic National Committee.

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Having The IRS Audit His Enemies.

PUSHBACK: ‘Completely false’: Sources on ground in Benghazi challenge NYT report.

Fifteen months after the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, the narrative of the attack continues to be shaped, and reshaped, by politicians and the press.

But a New York Times report published over the weekend has angered sources who were on the ground that night. Those sources, who continue to face threats of losing their jobs, sharply challenged the Times’ findings that there was no involvement from Al Qaeda or any other international terror group and that an anti-Islam film played a role in inciting the initial wave of attacks.

“It was a coordinated attack. It is completely false to say anything else. … It is completely a lie,” one witness to the attack told Fox News.

The controversial Times report has stirred a community that normally remains out of sight and wrestles with how to reveal the truth, without revealing classified information.

Fox News has learned that the attack on the consulate started with fighters assembling to conduct an assault.

“Guys were coming into the compound, moving left, moving right…and using IMT (individual movement techniques). … That’s not a spontaneous attack,” one special operator said.

“One guy was shooting, one guy was running. There are guys watching the gates. … The bosses on the ground were pointing, commanding and coordinating — that is a direct action planned attack.”

The community of operators in Libya that night and since includes the CIA, FBI, U.S. military, U.S. State Department and contractors working for the United States in a number of capacities. According to multiple sources on the ground that night, all the intelligence personnel in Benghazi before the attack and there now understand Al Qaeda is a significant threat in Libya.

They’ve been sitting on these guys hard to keep them quiet. Not sure it’ll work forever.

UPDATE: “More curious to me is Obama media’s sudden Benghazi push after a year+ of silence. It’s like they want to avoid something else.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reminder: Hillary Clinton lied about Benghazi while standing in front of the victims’ caskets.

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Having His Enemies Audited By The IRS.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: All My Exes Live in Texts: Why the Social Media Generation Never Really Breaks Up. “There’s the ex who ‘likes’ everything you post. The ex who appears in automated birthday reminders. The ex who appears in your OkCupid matches. The ex whose musical taste you heed on Spotify. The ex whose new girlfriend sent a friend request. . . . There was also a time, I am told, when staying in touch was difficult. Exes were characters from a foreclosed past, symbols from former and forgone lives. Now they are part of the permanent present.” Well, I dunno. I always tended to stay in touch with ex-girlfriends. Helen and I probably would never have dated if it weren’t for one of them who put us together.

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IRS: Audits of ObamaCare Critics Just a Coincidence. Uh huh.

Reminder: In 2009, President Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies. See, after you do that sort of thing, the “coincidence” explanation is less believable. . . .

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WELL, NOW, THIS SEEMS LIKE A BIG STORY: Census ‘faked’ 2012 election jobs report.

In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.

The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.

And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.

Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy.

And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee — that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.

“He’s not the only one,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous for now but is willing to talk with the Labor Department and Congress if asked.

The Census employee caught faking the results is Julius Buckmon, according to confidential Census documents obtained by The Post. Buckmon told me in an interview this past weekend that he was told to make up information by higher-ups at Census.

So with this and the IRS intimidation of the opposition, the asterisk on Obama’s re-election gets bigger. . . .

UPDATE: Reminder: Obama Moved Census Control To White House Early In First Term.

REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies.

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REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

REMINDER: Senate Dems Supported Obamacare Rule Leading to Cancelled Insurance. “In September 2010, Senate Republicans brought a resolution to the floor to block implementation of the grandfather rule, warning that it would result in canceled policies and violate President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it…. On a party line vote, Democrats killed the resolution, which could come back to haunt vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year. Senate Democrats like Mary Landrieu, Jeanne Shaheen, Mark Pryor, Kay Hagan and Mark Begich – all of whom voted against stopping the rule from going into effect and have since supported delaying parts of Obamacare.”

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REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies.

REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies.

JAMES TARANTO: Let’s Get Cynical: Why should we trust the government–especially now?

“An old friend who has been active in politics for more than 30 years tells me he’s giving up,” claims Robert Reich in a Puffington Host post: ” ‘I can’t stomach what’s going on in Washington anymore,’ he says. ‘The hell with all of them. I have better things to do with my life.’ ”

Reich is a proven fabulist, so one has to assume any story he tells is a tall tale. But we’re interested in the supposed moral of the parable of Reich’s Disgusted Imaginary Friend: “My friend is falling exactly into the trap that the extreme right wants all of us to fall into–such disgust and cynicism that we all give up on politics.” The “Tea Bag Republicans,” as the homophobic Reich calls them, “want to sow even greater cynicism about the capacity of government to do much of anything.”

In reality, nobody is more disgusted or cynical about government than Tea Party activists themselves–and they have much to be cynical about. The Washington Examiner reports that TeaParty.net “has finally received its tax-exempt status after a three-year delay” caused by the repurposing of the Internal Revenue Service into a political operation aimed at suppressing opposition to Barack Obama’s re-election campaign . . . .

Ronald Reagan was the last president who had a basic skepticism of Big Government, but Barack Obama may end up having done more than any of his predecessors to promote that feeling among the public.

Reminder: In 2009, President Obama “joked” about having the IRS audit his enemies.

UPDATE: IRS Officials Counseled White House on Contraception Mandate: Sent confidential taxpayer info, redaction indicates.

IRS SCANDAL UPDATE: Investor’s Business Daily: Ben Carson’s IRS Audit Can’t Possibly Be Coincidence.

This is not a coincidence, any more than awakening with a severed horse’s head in your bed after being made “an offer you can’t refuse” is.

Someone — either within the IRS bureaucracy or above it — saw what Carson did, didn’t like it, and decided to make him pay. The American people must know who it was.

And there are two other crucial points to the victimization of this man who personifies the American Dream.

First, when a government is as big as ours has become, outrageous abuse from the soldiers of its financing machinery is inevitable, especially within a governmental climate that encourages it.

Second, there is no excuse for a president who’s been in office for more than four years failing to ensure that such outrages couldn’t happen.

Whether or not Obama instigated IRS abuse for political objectives, he is responsible for a culture within the bureaucracy that tolerated and even encouraged it.

Reminder: In 2009, Obama “joked” about having the IRS audit his enemies.

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IRS AGENTS USED TO BE FEARED BUT RESPECTED. NOW THEY’RE LOOKING LESS RESPECTABLE: Dr. Ben Carson: I had my first encounter with the IRS after challenging Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast.

Reminder: In 2009, President Obama “joked” about having the IRS audit his enemies.

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JUST A REMINDER THAT THE IRS’S TEA-PARTY TARGETING also went after individuals by name.

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REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies.

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