Monday, October 15, 2012

Cruising the web

Apparently, Hillary Clinton doesn't like having the White House blame the State Department for the phony story that the attack on the Benghazi consulate was due to the video. So she's throwing Susan Rice's abysmal performance on the Sunday shows back in the court of the White House, rather than the State Department.
The State Department's insistence it never bought the story - expressed by the White House and Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations - that a crude anti-Islam film made in California triggered the attack gives ammunition against Obama both to the Romney campaign and congressional Republicans.
State Department sources have said that Clinton has never forgotten that Rice, who served in her husband Bill's administration, was an early supporter of Obama. Rice has ambitions to take over from Clinton if Obama is re-elected but the Benghazi debacle could scupper her chances.
In a briefing on Tuesday, State Department officials said 'others' in the executive branch concluded initially that the attack was part of a protest against the film, which ridiculed the Prophet Muhammad. That was never the State Department's conclusion, reporters were told.
Of course, Hillary was talking about the video in the days after the attack so it's going to be hard to totally separate herself from the story. And the State department still has a lot of questions to answer about the Department's denials of requests for additional security in the face of increased attacks on foreigners in the area. But I'm sure she's more interested in preserving her reputation than in propping up Obama's.

Both campaigns are telling the Debate Commission to rein in Candy Crowley's intention to ask follow-up questions during the townhall debate tomorrow.

Jonathan Turley writes of the disturbing trend that seems to be sweeping across the western world, including the U.S., of seeking to ban speech that offends someone somewhere.

Joe Biden's prescription for foreign policy: "Don't worry; be happy."

Debunking the claim that about a fifth of Ohio voters have already voted and that they've voted overwhelmingly for Obama.

A well-earned rant on supposed racism.

Cheers to Scott Brown for talking about the real reason why college costs are going up.

Here in one graph is the comparison of what has happened in the past four years of the total number of people employed compared to those on disability, Medicaid, and getting Food Stamps.

Even Martha Raddatz was somewhat surprised that Joe Biden treated the debate as a campaign event rather than a debate.

President Obama has a very cavalier attitude toward the Constitution. Expect more legal challenges to his executive actions.

So in a +9 Democratic advantage in the newest ABC/Washington Post poll, Obama is up by only 3 points. Do they really think that there will be a higher percentage of Democrats showing up this year than the +7 advantage in 2008? And somehow the electorate has become more Democratic since their poll two weeks ago when it was a +3 advantage? Come on.

Michael Barone thinks that Obama and Biden are running campaigns that would have been fine in the 1980s but don't fit our times today.

Chuck Shumer has absolutely no interest in any sort of tax reform except for just raising taxes.

Mark Steyn rightly ridicules the Obama campaign's enthusiasm for protecting Sesame Street compared to their lack of zeal in protecting our ambassador in Benghazi. Campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said that the only reason the Benghazi attacks have become the political top is because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Really? An American ambassador is murdered, the administration misleads the American people for over a week, and we're seeing revelations that the diplomats in Libya were worried about security and the State Department turned down those requests and this isn't a legitimate issue?
Obviously, Miss Cutter is right: A healthy mature democracy should spend its quadrennial election on critical issues like the Republican Party's war on puppets rather than attempting to "politicize" the debate by dragging in stuff like foreign policy, national security, the economy and other obscure peripheral subjects. But, alas, it was her boss who chose to "politicize" a security fiasco and national humiliation in Benghazi. At 8.30 p.m., when Ambassador Stevens strolled outside the gate and bid his Turkish guest good night, the streets were calm and quiet. At 9.40 p.m., an armed assault on the compound began, well-planned and executed by men not only armed with mortars but capable of firing them to lethal purpose – a rare combination among the excitable mobs of the Middle East. There was no demonstration against an Islamophobic movie that just got a little out of hand. Indeed, there was no movie protest at all. Instead, a U.S. consulate was destroyed and four of its personnel were murdered in one of the most sophisticated military attacks ever launched at a diplomatic facility.
This was confirmed by testimony to Congress a few days ago, although you could have read as much in my column of four weeks ago. Nevertheless, for most of those four weeks, the President of the United States, the Secretary of State, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and others have persistently attributed the Benghazi debacle to an obscure YouTube video – even though they knew that the two events had nothing to do with each other by no later than the crack of dawn Eastern time on Sept. 12, by which point the consulate's survivors had landed safely in Tripoli.
To "politicize" means "to give a political character to." It is a reductive term, capturing the peculiarly shrunken horizons of politics: "Gee, they nuked Israel. D'you think that will hurt us in Florida?" So media outlets fret that Benghazi could be "bad" for Obama – by which they mean he might be hitting the six-figure lecture circuit four years ahead of schedule. But for Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, it's real bad. They're dead, over, gonesville. Given that Obama and Secretary Clinton refer to Stevens pneumatically as "Chris," as if they've known him since third grade, why would they dishonor the sacrifice of their close personal friend by peddling an utterly false narrative as to why he died? You want "politicization"? Secretary Clinton linked the YouTube video to the murder of her colleagues even as the four caskets lay alongside her at Andrews Air Force Base – even though she had known for days that it had nothing to do with it. It's weird enough that politicians now give campaign speeches to returning coffins. But to conscript your "friend's" corpse as a straight man for some third-rate electoral opportunism is surely as shriveled and worthless as "politicization" gets....Let's pause right there, and "politicize" a little more. Liberals are always going on about the evils of "outsourcing" and "offshoring" – selfish vulture capitalists like Mitt Romney shipping jobs to cheap labor overseas just to save a few bucks. How unpatriotic can you get! So now the United States government is outsourcing embassy security to cheap Welshmen who, in turn, outsource it to cheaper Libyans. Diplomatic facilities are U.S. sovereign territory – no different de jure from Fifth Avenue or Mount Rushmore. So defending them is one of the core responsibilities of the state. But that's the funny thing about Big Government: the bigger it gets, the more of life it swallows up, the worse it gets at those very few things it's supposed to be doing. So, on the first anniversary of 9/11 in a post-revolutionary city in which Western diplomats had been steadily targeted over the previous six months, the government of the supposedly most powerful nation on Earth entrusted its security to Abdulaziz Majbari, 29, and his pal, who report to some bloke back in Carmarthen, Wales.
In the days before the attack, Joe Biden had been peddling his Obama campaign slogan that: "Bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive." The first successful terrorist attack on U.S. sovereign territory since 9/11, and on the very anniversary and by al-Qaida-linked killers, was not helpful to the Obama team. And so the nature of the event had to be "politicized": Look, over there – an Islamophobic movie! "Greater love hath no man than this," quoth the President at Chris Stevens' coffin, "that a man lay down his life for his friends." Smaller love hath no man than Obama's, than to lay down his "friend" for a couple of points in Ohio.
Forget Obama Girl. She's so 2008. This year it's time to Get Fiscal with Paul Ryan Girl.