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Monday, November 9, 2015

Marco Rubio and "Messy" Group Speak at The New York Times and The Washington Post



In case you didn't notice, we witnessed a horrifying development this past week, evidencing the decline of an objective American press. We're talking about "Group Speak."

On Friday, November 6, 2015, New York Magazine published an article entitled (my emphasis in red) "A Guide to Marco Rubio’s Messy Personal Finances" by Margaret Hartmann, which told us of the "controversy surrounding Rubio's financial background." Concerning Rubio's credit card statements, Hartmann's article declared:

"The pressure grew so intense that Rubio promised to release records from his time in Florida’s House of Representatives 'in the next few weeks.' A Rubio campaign aide claimed, 'our plan has always been to release these,' but that's dubious since journalists have been trying to obtain the files for a decade."

"Dubious"? Rubio released 22 months of credit card statements on Saturday, one day after the publication of Hartmann's article.

Among other things, Hartmann, who was a press intern at Senator Hillary Clinton's  New York office in 2005, also said of Rubio in her article:

"He liquidated most of his retirement savings last year, though financial experts say that's usually a very bad idea."

The "experts" say that's usually a bad idea? In fact, that would depend upon the yield on your retirement savings fund, the rate of interest you are paying to borrow money, and the level of your anticipated future income. I am a business adviser to several leading life science companies (chairman of the board of one of them), and a decade ago, after weighing the risks, I also decided to liquidate my retirement savings fund in order to pursue a lifelong goal of establishing my own company, which has proven successful and gratifying.

But notwithstanding Rubio's release of his credit card statements, the press was not finished with the "scandal" - not by a long shot.

Do you remember past reporting of The New York Times concerning Marco Rubio's purchase of a fishing boat, repayment of student loans, and receipt of traffic tickets, which even Jon Stewart ridiculed? And do you recall how I told you one week ago that we should expect more of the same from the Times as regards Rubio, who stands too good a chance of beating Hillary in November 2016? Well, on Saturday, November 7, 2015, in a Times article entitled (my emphasis in red) "Marco Rubio’s Use of Party Credit Card Reinforces a Picture of Messy Finances," Jeremy W. Peters, Steve Eder and Jeremy Merrill also sought to impugn Rubio's finances, based upon the credit card statements. They acknowledged that there was nothing illegal in anything Rubio had done, and they didn't claim that he had failed to repay personal expenses charged to his Republican Party credit card. However, the authors of this article did inform us of several personal payments charged to the card (my emphasis in red):

"There were more than two dozen visits to La Carreta, a chain of Cuban diners, sometimes for amounts under $10. There were several hundred dollars in purchases at bookstores, one listed on the statements as a family bookstore and the others from trips to a Barnes & Noble in South Miami. He spent $25 at a CVS about a half-mile from his home in West Miami. There were also purchases at a Publix grocery store in Miami.

. . . .

Other charges from the newly released records that the campaign identified as personal included $599.45 for visits to a Honda dealership near Mr. Rubio’s West Miami home; $180 for a children’s activity center; and $715.28 to a Sym’s discount clothing store in New York City."

Rubio spent $25 at a CVS using his party credit card? Shame on you, Marco! Rubio bought clothes from Sym's using his party credit card? I can only hope that the clothes were not selected from the Bargain Basement, which might have landed him in deep trouble with Joan Rivers's "Fashion Police," if she was still alive.

But wait, there's more. On Saturday, November 7, 2015, The Washington Post also ran a lead story entitled (my emphasis in red) "Inside Marco Rubio’s messy American Express statements" by Manuel Roig-Franzia, Sean Sullivan and Tom Hamburger, which told us:

"The Florida Ethics Commission investigated Rubio’s credit card spending and dismissed a citizen complaint against him. According to an internal audit commissioned by the Florida GOP, Rubio repaid the state party for six airline tickets, costing $2,417, that he had double-billed to the party and the state government. The audit report states that Rubio was able to provide proof that other charges the auditor questioned were for business purposes, but it does not provide specifics.

The Florida GOP’s policy manual prohibited using the card for personal reasons, according to the audit. But some Florida GOP officials have publicly stated that such expenses were acceptable, as long as the cardholder paid for them personally."

Oh my goodness! What a horror story! The WaPo article fobserved:

"Rubio’s handling of the card gained renewed attention this past week after attacks by his 2016 presidential rival Donald Trump, who accused the Florida senator of being a 'disaster' with his card and living beyond his means."

Or stated otherwise, how dare this parvenu, the son of Cuban immigrants and who did not receive a $1 million dollar loan from his father to start his own real estate business, struggle on his own to achieve what many would regard as the American dream?

A "scandal" here? It sounds almost as serious as Mitt Romney's "dog on the roof of the car" affair. Moreover, any unseemliness does not even approach the stench emanating from Obama's purchase of his Chicago mansion or Hillary having to return $114,000 of White House "china, flatware, rugs, televisions, sofas and other gifts."

But if there is something rotten here, it is to be found in the titles of the New York Magazine, New York Times and Washington Post articles, all of which refer to Rubio's finances as "messy." A coincidence? I don't think so. A case of great minds think alike? Not a chance. I think The New York Times and The Washington Post have more than a bit of soul searching to do here, particularly if they wish to preserve any vestige of past reputations for objectivity.

2 comments:

  1. Almost as bad as the 'revelation' of Sarah Netanyahu's 'Bottlegate' in which the Israeli press reported that the Netanyahu's 'pocketed' $5000-$6000 USD from deposits of empty glass wine bottles ;-)
    An empty glass wine bottle in Israel fetches just 30 Agurot at the local supermarket...that's 0.3 NIS or about 8 cents. That would mean that the Netanyahu's would have to go through 75,000 bottles!! (excluding those that weren't returned or broken). Was I the only one who did the math?
    Bottom line: When the Left go scavenging for dirt, they'll always come up with something, even when there's nothing!

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  2. next challenge for JG: how many times will "narrow issue" come to describe the JCPOA with Iran:

    (from Bloomberg news): "...split between the two leaders is on the “narrow issue” of the nuclear agreement with Iran, Obama said as he met with Netanyahu ..."

    just surprised you noticed the groupthink on Rubio.
    it has been very noticeable since that mosque at Ground Zero story.

    and, since Odem is a settlement in Israel, will just call them dems from now on.

    was looking for political asylum today...

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