Wednesday, October 31, 2012

All Hallows Eve

Happy Halloween!

Per previous posts, I'm not handing out candy this year for the first time in ... probably since we were married 15 years ago. Steve has shooting tonight and I can't control two dogs and open the door at the same time and I'm not putting the dogs out for that long. Last year we only got about 8 trick-or-treaters so it's just not worth it.

I'm thinking of going downstairs and watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! and Ghost Hunters. Then maybe read. I haven't done a whole lot of that.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Current Events - October 31, 2012

6 Days

More Electronic Voting Machines Changing Romney Votes to Obama: We Looked Into It and Here’s What a Vendor Told Us

Last week, TheBlaze brought you a story from a North Carolina voting precinct using electronic voting machines that was already experiencing issues where votes for GOP candidate Mitt Romney were being changed to Democratic candidate Barack Obama. Now, it’s allegedly happening again, this time in both Kansas and Ohio — and we talked to a vendor supporting the machines about the issue.

Nancy from Topeka, Kan., who asked that her last name not be used for reasons pertaining to her husband’s work, told TheBlaze she fears if voters aren’t double checking their selections, they’ll be “robbed of their vote.”

Nancy explained that while her husband was casting a vote for Romney, the touchscreen highlighted Obama.

“He played around with the field a little and realized that in order to vote for Romney, his finger had to be exactly on the mark,” Nancy wrote in an email. She said “the invisible Obama field came down about 1/4 [of an inch]” into what should technically have been the Romney area. In a phone interview with TheBlaze, she explained further that her husband said he felt the area on the touchscreen that could be pushed to vote for Obama was larger than that for Romney.

Nancy and her husband called the Kansas Secretary of State to report the problem and were informed that it was most likely a calibration issue.

“My concern is, is this intentional?” Nancy said. Posing this question to the Secretary of State’s office, Nancy told us they said it is unlikely that voter fraud would be occurring in Kansas, as it’s not a highly contested state.

The Marion Star also reported Wednesday that Ohio resident Joan Stevens experienced a similar case. She alerted a board of elections member at the voting location about the problem, who then called in the vendor providing support for the machines to check for calibration issues.

Sophia Rogers, director of the Marion County Board of Elections, told TheBlaze the Marion Star “got it wrong.” She said when techs came out to review the machine, they found everything was calibrated correctly.

The Marion Star reported Rogers saying the machine seemed to have been working fine for her and other voters as well. Still, the local newspaper did note Stevens saying that board of elections member Jackie Smith mentioned to her that the machine had been experiencing issues all day. Smith did not issue a comment to the Marion Star.

Regardless if there was issue or not, the fact remains that direct-recording electronic voting machines can experience calibration issues. It’s something that happens every election, and when voters come across a machine not recording their vote correctly, they should report it.

Politicians Lambaste Obama Admin After Libya Attack Suspect Transferred to Tunisia Where U.S. Officials Can’t Interrogate Him

The Tunisian man arrested over the deadly terror attack in Benghazi that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens, his aid Sean Smith, and two Navy SEALs dead has now been identified through facial recognition software as having been present at the U.S. diplomatic outpost during the siege, senior U.S. intelligence officials told Fox News Tuesday. The only problem is that Ali Ani al Harzi, who was detained at a Turkish airport in the days following the attack for travelling with false documents, has now been transferred to Tunisia, where U.S. interrogators are unable to reach him.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, frustrated by the incident, blames the Obama administration for U.S. officials being unable to access the Tunisian militant, who may have ties to al Qaeda.

“This individual in the hands of Tunisians is a classic example of what happens when you have lack of policy for detention for interrogations,” the Georgia Republican said.

“Once the president in January of 2009 signed the executive order, saying we are going to shut down Guantanamo … there are no policies in place to take possession and interrogate him in a way to gain valuable information.”
Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton agrees. During an interview with Greta Van Susteren on Tuesday, the longtime statesman joined Sen. Lindsey Graham in calling for a potential suspension of aid to Tunisia unless the country grants the U.S. access to Harzi.
“I don’t know what the total supply of foreign aid going into Tunisia is now, but I would be looking at substantial reduction if they don’t start cooperating, beginning tomorrow,” Bolton told Van Susteren.

NewsMax adds that, earlier in the broadcast, Graham said that he was “stunned to hear the Tunisians are denying us access to question this man [Harzi]” and that he is currently questioning officials at the Tunisian Embassy in Washington.
Meanwhile, Fox reports that The State Department has thus far not offered a comment on why access to Harzi is being obstructed by Tunisian authorities.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oh. Oh my.

Two hours of The Voice last night and tonight. Time for bed.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Current Events - October 30, 2012

7 Days

MSNBC Ridicules Romney for Collecting Food and Supplies for Sandy Victims
This one is really hard to believe, even for the most biased so-called "news network" in the nation.
MSNBC on Tuesday totally trashed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for collecting food and supplies at a storm relief rally in Ohio to be sent to victims of Hurricane Sandy (video follows with transcript and commentary):

After introducing his Obama-supporting guests Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Lehigh professor James Peterson, host Martin Bashir played a clip of the President speaking at the Red Cross headquarters in Washington Tuesday.

When the clip concluded, Bashir said, “Mayor Reed, so the Red Cross knows what it’s doing. Did he, did you detect perhaps a subtle dig there on Mr. Romney who spent today going against the guidelines established by the Red Cross and holding a campaign rally in Ohio that was dressed up like a charity drive collecting food and other supplies when the Red Cross expressly asked people not to do that?”

Imagine that. A presidential candidate who gives millions of dollars a year to charity does a storm relief event in Ohio, and an MSNBC anchor is disgusted by it because the Red Cross would prefer people donating cash.

Yet according
to the Washington Post:
'The stop was billed as a “storm relief” event, and attendees were asked to bring non-perishable foods and other items for those affected by the storm. Long white tables to one side of the cavernous James S. Trent Arena were piled high with flashlights, batteries, diapers, toothbrushes, mini-deodorants, fleece blankets, cereal, toilet paper and canned goods.
 Two large TV screens at the front of the venue bore the logo of the American Red Cross and the message: “Sandy: Support the Relief Effort. Text ’REDCROSS’ to 90999 to make a $10 donation.”

So besides the food and supplies that Ohioans generously donated, two large television screens asked participants to send money to the Red Cross.

But this didn’t make Bashir happy. Ditto his Obama-supporting guests.

I think that this is just another moment where you see the clear striking difference between a president who has a heart for the American people and someone who simply wants to be president of the United States,” said Mayor Reed.

“Indeed,” replied Bashir who then asked for Peterson’s input.

“I would agree,” echoed Peterson. “It’s compassion that shows through in times like these. It’s humanity that shows through in times like these, and it just seems clear that the President, in addition to stepping up and doing what he does as Commander-in-Chief, demonstrates compassion in these remarks and in his approach to this kind of serious disaster.”

“All we’ve seen from Romney and from his surrogates is all kinds of politicizing and misdirection,” Peterson continued, “and I think the American people in this sort of disastrous moment can really see in bold relief the differences between President Obama and former Governor Romney.”

So having a storm relief event with tables “piled high with flashlights, batteries, diapers, toothbrushes, mini-deodorants, fleece blankets, cereal, toilet paper and canned goods” along with two large television screens calling for donations to the Red Cross demonstrates a lack of compassion on MSNBC.

Yet the network didn’t end there.

About a half hour later, Bashir brought GQ’s Ana Marie Cox on to trash Romney’s event.

“I found that sort of fake, relief rally, whatever it is, to be pretty offensive, and also wrong-headed,” said Cox. She actually called Romney “craven” for doing it.

I’m not kidding.

This was followed by MSNBC contributor Karen Finney saying, “As a former governor, I would think that he would know that what the Red Cross needs in times like this is money and blood.”

Yes, that’s why there were two large television screens asking for people to donate to the Red Cross.

I guess the geniuses at MSNBC so blinded by their desire to get Obama re-elected didn’t notice that, nor did they recognize that they were spitting on all the people in Ohio that turned out for this event to give of themselves to their fellow Americans in need.

Shame on Bashir and all those involved in this despicable couple of segments.

National tragedies like this are when we're all supposed to come together as a nation.

It's apparent that's not possible for these shills.

*****Update: Karen Finney has asked that I supply the fuller transcript of her discussion with Bashir on this subject:
ANA MARIE COX: I found that sort of fake relief rally, whatever it is, to be pretty offensive and also wrong-headed. You know, the Red Cross is put in this awkward position of saying, you know, “We don't need canned goods, thank you very much, Mr. 1950s. You know, like we need money, we need people to donate blood.” And I think that sort of is Mitt Romney sort of writ small as it were, right? Like to not only do something so craven, but to do it in a way that's not even helpful on a small scale.
MARTIN BASHIR: So Ana Marie, was it purely a photo opportunity? Was it purely for the sake of having people walk past him, hand him cans, and be on television?
COX: Well, it almost has to be seeing as how the thing he was doing was not something that the Red Cross actually needed. And so it almost has to be purely for politics purely as a photo-op. I mean, that’s his entire campaign, purely a photo-op really.
BASHIR: Karen, you wanted to add something to that.
KAREN FINNEY: Well, I was just going to say, you know, Martin, the thing is like when you have a platform or an opportunity to communicate a message particularly in a time like this, I think it's incumbent on you to make sure that you’re communicating what is the most effective, helpful thing. And as a former governor, I would think that he would know that what the Red Cross needs in times like this is money and blood. Of course, it is human nature to want to help your fellow American that’s in trouble and to think “Oh, I'll buy food or I’ll buy clothes.” But again, as we’ve been doing here on MSNBC and I hope other networks are doing, sort of helping, being a part of helping direct people to websites where they can donate or find out exactly what's needed. I mean, that really should be the role. If they wanted to do something helpful, that would actually be the thing they could have been doing that would be helpful.

Please recall what the Post reported concerning this matter: "Two large TV screens at the front of the venue bore the logo of the American Red Cross and the message: 'Sandy: Support the Relief Effort. Text ’REDCROSS’ to 90999 to make a $10 donation.'"

As such, Romney did exactly what Finney et al claimed he should have, but they still ridiculed him for it.

Beyond this, the Red Cross website has a section called "Smart Giving Tips for Disasters." It does indeed address giving cash first, but doesn't prohibit other kinds of donations.

There a lot of ways to help in this situation, and if people were giving food, clothes, or supplies that they had taken from their homes to help in this situation - maybe because that's all they have! - mocking it is disgraceful.

*****Update II: It turns out MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell ridiculed Romney's storm relief rally hours before Bashir. Insanity surely runs rampant at this network.

Obama Fail: Tells People Without Power to Go to Internet for Help
When President Barack Obama urged Americans under siege from Hurricane Sandy to stay inside and keep watch on for the latest, he left out something pretty important — where to turn if the electricity goes out. 
Despite the heightened expectation of widespread power and cable television failures, everyone from the president to local newscasters seem to expect the public to rely entirely on the Internet and their TVs for vital news and instructions. 
None of the major cable or local news channels put emergency phone numbers or key radio station frequencies on their screens. The only phone-related instructions on the homepage of is how to get monthly disaster-prep text messages. The Federal Emergency Management Agency told the public via Twitter to use texts and social media outlets to stay informed.  
TV and radio are still the primary methods of getting information about Hurricane Sandy to the public, but social media are increasingly important to those efforts, FEMA chief Craig Fugate said Monday.
From Breitbart:
Telephone landlines and battery-powered radios have always been important sources of information during natural and man-made disasters.  
The biggest failure here is that the most vulnerable storm victims, the elderly, are all asking themselves, "What's a social media?"

Monday, October 29, 2012

But I have to go watch The Voice

Current Events - October 29, 2012

8 Days


Report: Labor Dept. Considers Delaying Release of Final Jobs Report Until After Election

The U.S. Labor Department on Monday announced that it is considering delaying the release of Friday’s October employment report, citing Hurricane Sandy as its chief reason, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“We will assess the situation when the weather emergency is over and notify the press and public of any changes at that time,” said Gary Steinberg, spokesman for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Keep in mind, this is the final jobs report before the election.

“Labor is scheduled to release the employment report on Friday, third quarter employment costs on
Wednesday and weekly jobless claims on Thursday,” the Journal report notes.

As of this writing, it’s also being reported that the U.S. Census Bureau is considering delaying this week’s construction spending and factory orders reports.

Final Thought — If the Labor Department decides to delay the final pre-election jobs report, consider the following:
However, to be fair, and as the Wall Street Journal notes, the delay (if there is one) could be more the result of Washington power outages and transportation disruptions than a lack of data.

UPDATE –A spokesman for the Labor Department tells Buzzfeed in a statement that they are doing everything they can to have the numbers out by Friday:
The employees at the Bureau of Labor Statistics are working hard to ensure the timely release of employment data on Friday, November 2.
It is our intention that Friday will be business as usual regarding the October Employment Situation Report.

'Politics of insult' alive and well despite Obama's 2008 lament

Four years ago, then-candidate Barack Obama decried what he described as "the politics of insult."
"You don't deserve a bunch of name-calling," he told a Virginia crowd in the summer of 2008. "You don't deserve a bunch of mudslinging."
But lately, there have been more than a few insults flying on the 2012 campaign trail. Whether it's with cute turns of phrase like "Romnesia" or more serious invective, the president's campaign has gotten increasingly aggressive over the last few weeks in its denunciation of Mitt Romney.
The tone likely reflects the polls, which have been tightening ever since the Republican nominee's opening debate performance. Whatever the reason, it's evident that the "politics of insult" have not faded.
The following were overheard on the 2012 campaign trail:
The president took a rip at Romney after a recent interview with Rolling Stone. In the article, published over the weekend, writer and historian Douglas Brinkley said that editor Eric Bates told the president that when he asked his six-year-old daughter if she wanted to say anything to Obama, she said: "Tell him: You can do it."
According to the piece, Obama then said: "Kids have good instincts. ... They look at the other guy and say, 'Well, that's a bullsh--ter, I can tell.'"
Obama later explained in an interview with a Denver reporter that the comment came during a "casual conversation" after the formal interview ended. The president appeared to defend the sentiment, though, saying people know that he means what he says.
"The basic point I've been talking about in this campaign -- people know what I mean," he said.
First came "Big Bird," then "binders full of women." But another favorite quip of late on the Obama campaign trail has been "Romnesia." It's the campaign-invented term for the condition that makes the Republican nominee allegedly forget or ignore his past positions. And the delivery of that punch-line has become increasingly involved.
"In the closing moments of the election, Governor Romney is hoping you, too, will come down with a severe case of Romnesia," Obama told a Cleveland crowd last Thursday. "So I'm here to tell you, Cleveland, if you start feeling a temperature, if you're eyes are getting a little blurry and your hearing is getting a little muffled, if you're feeling a little weak, you need to know that whatever the symptoms are, don't worry, Obamacare covers preexisting conditions. We can fix you up."
"Romney Hood"
At an Aug. 6 campaign stop, the president added a new zinger to his repertoire. He said Romney's tax policies were like "Robin Hood in reverse." He had a name for it - "Romney Hood."
Romney, though, returned the insult. In an interview with Fox News, Romney said that if he were to coin a term "it would be 'Obamaloney.'"
A felon?
In a July conference call responding to a Boston Globe piece that questioned when Romney actually left his old private equity company, Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter raised some serious claims against the GOP nominee.
She said he was either "misrepresenting" his position at Bain Capital in filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission, "which is a felony," or he was misrepresenting his position to the American people.
While the Romney called the comment over the line -- with Republicans saying Cutter had effectively called the Republican nominee a potential felon -- Cutter said that wasn't what she was going for. Her advice for Republicans was to quit "whining."
Tied to a woman's death?
An August ad from Priorities USA, the biggest Obama-supporting super PAC, made waves when it featured a former GST Steel employee talking about how his wife died of cancer after he lost his job and benefits -- when Bain Capitol closed down the factory.
"I do not think Mitt Romney realizes what he's done to anyone, and furthermore, I do not think Mitt Romney is concerned," Joe Soptic said in the ad.
The suggestion that the Republican nominee was tied to Soptic's wife's death drew outrage from Republicans. But Priorities USA co-founder Bill Burton defended the ad, and said it wasn't trying to blame Romney for her death.
Another, prior, ad about the demise of GST Steel featured Joe Soptic again, and other ex-employees, bashing Romney and Bain Capital for making money off their plant and then allegedly leaving it behind.
They compared Bain -- and by extension, Romney -- to a mythical monster.
"It was like a vampire, it came in and sucked the life out of us," former steelworker Jack Cobb said in the video.
Charges of being dishonest were hardly uncommon this year, during the Republican primary and later in the presidential race.
After the first presidential debate, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said on CNN that Romney put out "lie after lie after lie" to look good. The Democratic National Committee's Brad Woodhouse was quoted in The Wall Street Journal saying people "have pointed out what a liar Mitt Romney is."
Obama adviser David Axelrod, in a conference call after the first debate, used the more Dickensian term, "artful dodger," to describe the challenging candidate.
While Romney's campaign complains that Obama has made the race about small things, the Obama campaign for its part has similar gripes against team Romney.
Over the weekend, after the Romney campaign mocked Vice President Biden for mistakenly referring to former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine as "Tom Kaine," Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith retorted, "Once again, Mitt Romney's campaign is showing their focus on the big things -- like one letter in Tim Kaine's name."

Read more:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oh that's good, very good

I did not get a whole lot accomplished today. I wound up helping Steve again at the gun range for about four hours. Then I took a nap. I'm doing clothes laundry now. We'll watch The Walking Dead in about a half hour.

I finished MR PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE last night. It was quirky. Next up ... I'm not sure yet. I have a few books from the library. I'm not sure what I'm in the mood for but I am missing my historical mysteries. I should get back to THE TWELVE. Yeah, that's probably the answer.

Tomorrow, back at it. I'll be training the temp again with the goal of getting her flying solo by the end of the week. I have The Voice to watch tomorrow and Tuesday. I realized yesterday that I won't be able to hand out Halloween candy because Halloween is on Wednesday and Steve won't be here to help with the dogs because of his shooting that night. No way can I open the door without someone holding them and the boys will not accept being put outside all evening. Not a big deal. Last year we didn't get very many -- less than 10 if I remember right. There are so many places doing activities for kids anymore that going door-to-door is in the past. I hadn't really bought candy yet anyway.

Otherwise ... just getting through the week. :)

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Current Events - October 29, 2012

9 Days

Romney-Ryan Reportedly Using Campaign Bus to Aid Hurricane Sandy Relief

The Romney campaign is reportedly using at least one of its campaign buses to provide supplies and relief for those who are likely to be hit by Hurricane Sandy in the coming days.

Having canceled campaign events in the area, Romney spokespeople are saying the bus will be used to transport donations of basic supplies to those in need.

“Bring donations to VA Victory offices. Romney bus will deliver them to those affected by #Sandy. #RomneyRyan2012,” Curt Cashour, Romney’s Virginia communications director, tweeted.

ABC’s Emily Friedman added: “Romney campaign will load storm relief supplies into Romney bus in Arlington Va today an will collect supplies at all VA victory offices.”

Conservative-leaning sites are describing the move as a “true example of leadership,” though the more politically cynical could interpret the move as a shrewd campaign strategy to shake off Romney’s “elitist” image.

Twitchy, which helped publicize the story by aggregating tweets on the subject, concluded: “Kudos, Team Romney, for stepping up immediately to try to aid those in harm’s way.”

President Obama has also promised to help those affected by the storm, saying the federal government will not get “bogged down” by “rules” and “red tape” in providing local officials everything they need to manage the crisis.

Retired Lt. Col.: My Sources Say Obama Was in the Room Watching Benghazi Attack Happen

Retired Army Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer said Saturday he has sources saying President Barack Obama was in the room at the White House watching the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya unfold.

Two unarmed U.S. drones were dispatched to the consulate and recorded the final hours of the attack, which killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

“This was in the middle of the business day in Washington, so everybody at the White House, CIA, Pentagon, everybody was watching this go down,” Shaffer said on Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine.” “According to my sources, yes, [Obama] was one of those in the White House Situation Room in real-time watching this.”

Shaffer said the question now is what precisely Obama did or didn’t do in the moments he saw the attack unfolding. The CIA reportedly made three urgent requests for military backup that were each denied.

“He, only he, could issue a directive to Secretary of Defense Panetta to do something. That’s the only place it could be done,” Shaffer said.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said last week the military did not intervene because they did not have enough information about what was happening on the ground.

Col. David Hunt, a Fox News military analyst, said the military could have had jets in the air within 20 minutes and forces on the ground within two hours.

“The issue is always political with the White House, but the secretary of defense gives the order, has to be approved by the White House, they wouldn’t pull the trigger, and it’s disgraceful,” Hunt said. “We’ve got guys dead.”

Obama's September 11 Phone Call

What was President Obama doing Tuesday evening, September 11, while Americans were under assault in Benghazi? Which of his national security team did he meet with, whom did he speak with, what directives did he issue? So far, the White House won't say.
But we do know one thing the president found time to do that evening: He placed a call to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in order to defuse a controversy about President Obama's refusal to meet with Netanyahu two weeks later at the U.N. General Assembly, and, according to the White House announcement that evening, spent an hour on the phone with him:
By Lynn Sweet on September 11, 2012 8:18 PM |
President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed Iran and other issues in a hour-long phone call on Tuesday night, the White House announced--along with a statement that Netanyahu, contrary to news reports, never asked for a meeting with the president. The White House briefed on the call between the two leaders as tensions with Iran are growing--talk of an Israeli pre-emptive strike on Iran nuclear facilities is escalating--and stories about Obama snubbing Netanyahu--now denied--present a political problem to a president who is wooing the Jewish vote. In a statement issued Tuesday evening, the White House said, "President Obama spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu for an hour tonight as a part of their ongoing consultations. The two leaders discussed the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program, and our close cooperation on Iran and other security issues...
While Americans were under assault in Benghazi, the president found time for a non-urgent, politically useful, hour-long call to Prime Minister Netanyahu. And his senior national staff had to find time to arrange the call, brief the president for the call, monitor it, and provide an immediate read-out to the media. I suspect Prime Minister Netanyahu, of all people, would have understood the need to postpone or shorten the phone call if he were told that Americans were under attack as the president chatted. But for President Obama, a politically useful telephone call—and the ability to have his aides rush out and tell the media about that phone call—came first.

So here are a few more questions for the White House: While President Obama was on the phone for an hour, did his national security advisor Tom Donilon or any other aide interrupt the call or slip him a piece of paper to inform him about what was happening in Benghazi? Or was President Obama out of the loop for at least an hour as events unfolded and decisions were made? On the other hand, national security staff were obviously with the president during and immediately after the phone call—otherwise how could they have put out their statement right away? Surely his aides told the president about what was happening in Benghazi. Was there then no discussion of what was or what wasn't being done to help, pursuant to the president's first directive that everything possible be done? 

Ten Questions for the White House

The president was, it appears, in the White House from the time the attack on the consulate in Benghazi began, at around 2:40 pm ET, until the end of combat at the annex, sometime after 9 p.m. ET. So it should be possible to answer these simple questions as to what the president did that afternoon and evening, and when he did it, simply by consulting White House meeting and phone records, and asking the president for his recollections.

1.) To whom did the president give the first of his "three very clear directives"—that is, "make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to?"
2.) How did he transmit this directive to the military and other agencies?
3.) During the time when Americans were under attack, did the president convene a formal or informal meeting of his national security council? Did the president go to the situation room?
4.) During this time, with which members of the national security team did the president speak directly?
5.) Did Obama speak by phone or teleconference with the combatant commanders who would have sent assistance to the men under attack?
6.) Did he speak with CIA director David Petraeus?
7.) Was the president made aware of the repeated requests for assistance from the men under attack? When and by whom?

8.) Did he issue any directives in response to these requests?
9.) Did the president refuse to authorize an armed drone strike on the attackers?
10.) Did the president refuse to authorize a AC-130 or MC-130 to enter Libyan airspace during the attack?
THE WEEKLY STANDARD has asked the White House these questions, and awaits a response.

The Incredible Shrinking President
‘We’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video,” said Hillary Clinton. No, not the person who made the video saying that voting for Barack Obama is like losing your virginity to a really cool guy. I’ll get to that in a moment. But Secretary Clinton was talking about the fellow who made the supposedly Islamophobic video that supposedly set off the sacking of the Benghazi consulate. And, indeed, she did “have that person arrested.” By happy coincidence, his bail hearing has been set for three days after the election, by which time he will have served his purpose. These two videos — the Islamophobic one and the Obamosexual one — bookend the remarkable but wholly deserved collapse of the president’s reelection campaign.

You’ll recall that a near-month-long attempt to blame an obscure YouTube video for the murder of four Americans and the destruction of U.S. sovereign territory climaxed in the vice-presidential debate with Joe Biden’s bald assertion that the administration had been going on the best intelligence it had at the time. By then, it had been confirmed that there never had been any protest against the video, and that the Obama line that Benghazi had been a spontaneous movie review that just got a little out of hand was utterly false. The only remaining question was whether the administration had knowingly lied or was merely innocently stupid. The innocent-stupidity line became harder to maintain this week after Fox News obtained State Department e-mails revealing that shortly after 4 p.m. Eastern, less than a half hour after the assault in Benghazi began, the White House situation room knew the exact nature of it.

We also learned that, in those first moments of the attack, a request for military back-up was made by U.S. staff on the ground but was denied by Washington. It had planes and special forces less than 500 miles away in southern Italy — or about the same distance as Washington to Boston. They could have been there in less than two hours. Yet the commander-in-chief declined to give the order. So Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods fought all night against overwhelming odds, and died on a rooftop in a benighted jihadist hellhole while Obama retired early to rest up before his big Vegas campaign stop. “Within minutes of the first bullet being fired the White House knew these heroes would be slaughtered if immediate air support was denied,” said Ty Woods’s father, Charles. “In less than an hour, the perimeters could have been secured and American lives could have been saved. After seven hours fighting numerically superior forces, my son’s life was sacrificed because of the White House’s decision.”

Why would Obama and Biden do such a thing? Because to launch a military operation against an al-Qaeda affiliate on the anniversary of 9/11 would have exposed the hollowness of their boast through convention week and the days thereafter — that Osama was dead and al-Qaeda was finished. And so Ty Woods, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, and Chris Stevens were left to die, and a decision taken to blame an entirely irrelevant video and, as Secretary Clinton threatened, “have that person arrested.” And, in the weeks that followed, the government of the United States lied to its own citizens as thoroughly and energetically as any totalitarian state, complete with the midnight knock on the door from not-so-secret policemen sent to haul the designated fall-guy into custody.

This goes far beyond the instinctive secretiveness to which even democratic governments are prone. The Obama administration created a wholly fictional story line, and devoted its full resources to maintaining it. I understand why Mitt Romney chose not to pursue this line of argument in the final debate. The voters who will determine this election are those who voted for Obama four years ago and this time round either switch to the other fellow or sit on their hands. In electoral terms, it’s probably prudent of Mitt not to rub their faces in their 2008 votes. Nevertheless, when the president and other prominent officials stand by as four Americans die and then abuse their sacrifice as contemptuously as this administration did, decency requires that they be voted out of office as an act of urgent political hygiene.

At the photo-op staged for the returning caskets, Obama et al. seem to have been too focused on their campaign needs to observe even the minimal courtesies. Charles Woods says that at the ceremony Joe Biden strolled over to him and by way of condolence said in a “loud and boisterous” voice, “Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?” One assumes charitably that the vice president is acknowledging in his own inept and blundering way the remarkable courage of a man called upon to die for his country on some worthless sod halfway across the planet. But the near-parodic locker-room coarseness is grotesque both in its inaptness and in its lack of basic human feeling for a bereaved family forced to grieve in public and as crowd-scene extras to the political bigshot. Just about the only formal responsibility a vice president has is to attend funerals without embarrassing his country. And this preening buffoon of pseudo-blue-collar faux-machismo couldn’t even manage that.

But a funny thing happened over the next six weeks: Obama’s own cue balls shriveled. Biden had offered up a deft campaign slogan encompassing both domestic and foreign policy: “Osama’s dead and General Motors is alive.” But, as the al-Qaeda connections to Benghazi dribbled out leak by leak, the “Osama’s dead” became a problematic boast and, left to stand alone, the General Motors line was even less credible. Avoiding the economy and foreign affairs, Obama fell back on Big Bird, and binders, and bayonets, just to name the “B”s in his bonnet. At the second presidential debate, he name-checked Planned Parenthood, the General Motors of the American abortion industry, half a dozen times, desperate to preserve his so-called gender gap. Yet oddly enough, the more furiously Obama and Biden have waved their binders and talked up Sandra Fluke, the more his supposed lead among women has withered away. So now he needs to enthuse the young, who turned out in such numbers for him last time. Hence, the official campaign video (plagiarized from Vladimir Putin of all people) explaining that voting for Obama is like having sex. The saddest thing about that claim is that, for liberals, it may well be true.

Both videos — the one faking Obamagasm and the one faking a Benghazi pretext — exemplify the wretched shrinkage that befalls those unable to conceive of anything except in the most self-servingly political terms. 

Both, in different ways, exemplify why Obama and Biden are unfit for office. One video testifies to a horrible murderous lie at the heart of a head of state’s most solemn responsibility, the other to the glib shallow narcissism of a pop-culture presidency, right down to the numbing relentless peer pressure: C’mon, all the cool kids are doing it; why be the last hold-out?

If voting for Obama is like the first time you have sex, it’s very difficult to lose your virginity twice. A flailing, pitiful campaign has now adopted Queen Victoria’s supposed wedding advice to her daughter: “Lie back and think of England.” Lie back and think of America. And then get up and get dressed. Who wants to sleep with a $16 trillion broke loser twice?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ecscape attempt fail

Mostly a peaceful Saturday. I walked the dogs this morning, then did some Saturday chores, then settled in my office reading some news and posting to FB. Then a call from Steve needing help out at the gun range. He went out to Roundup to pick up another roll of belting that they're going to use at the range for some cover on one of the ranges. This one was bigger. 7 tons. I went with him out to his parents to pick up a loader/tractor to see if that could help get this thing off the trailer. Long story and two hours later ... nope. Will have to go out again tomorrow. Bah.

It's rather nippy out. No precipitation but cloudy and cold. More of the same tomorrow.

I don't think there's anything on TV tonight. I'd like to do some reading.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Current Events - October 27, 2012

10 Days

Reagan Defense Official: If Obama Really Gave the Order to Secure Libya Personnel, ‘There’s a Paper Trail’

 A former Department of Defense official said Friday that if President Barack Obama really gave an order to secure U.S. personnel when the consulate in Libya came under assault, there will a paper trail to prove it.
Francis “Bing” West, who served as an assistant secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan, told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren that the president’s explanation about his actions when the U.S. mission in Benghazi was attacked should be easily verifiable.

“President Obama today said that he gave an order to everyone while the attack was going on to do everything they could to secure the personnel,” West said. “Now that’s really big because that means that those who were turning down [former Navy SEAL] Ty Woods when he was asking for the help were going against the orders of the president of the United States.”

Woods was one of four Americans killed in the Libya assault. Obama on Friday wouldn’t answer directly whether pleas for help on the ground were denied during the attack, telling KUSA-TV, “the minute I found out what was happening, I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to.”

“A chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff doesn’t take an order from the president when he says ‘do everything’ and not put that in writing and send it out to the chain of command,” West said. “If that actually happened the way President Obama today said it happened, there’s a paper trail and I think people reasonably enough can say, ‘well can we see the order?’ because hundreds of others supposedly saw this order.”

“But if there is no order then people have to ask some very basic questions, ‘what the heck happened?’” he said.

Obama’s Inaction in Benghazi Cannot Stand – Our Nation Must Come to A Moment of Reckoning

by Buck Sexton
The moment the White House learned the consulate was under assault, the cabinet should have been assembled in the situation room, calling in reinforcements. AC-130 Spectre Gunships, F-16 fighter planes, and Special Operations troops should have been given the green light and told to respond to any hostiles in Benghazi with all necessary force.

This would likely have resulted in Libyan militia casualties, perhaps many of them. It would have looked bad on television for the Obama administration. It would have inflamed the Islamists in the Muslim world who view American presence — even in a country liberated by U.S. action — as an instigation to jihad.

But it was without question the decision that should have been made.

If the political optics in any way dictated the outcome in Libya — if the Obama administration chose to stand down because they would rather let Americans fight for themselves than drop bombs on Libyan terrorists — our entire nation must come to a moment of reckoning. This cannot stand.

Obama stoops, doesn’t conquer
By Charles Krauthammer

”L’etat, c’est moi.”
— Louis XIV

“This nation. Me.”
— Barack Obama,
third presidential debate

Okay, okay. I’ll give you the context. Obama was talking about “when Tunisians began to protest, this nation, me, my administration, stood with them.” Still. How many democratic leaders (de Gaulle excluded) would place the word “me” in such regal proximity to the word “nation”?

Obama would have made a very good Bourbon. He’s certainly not a very good debater. He showed it again Monday night.

Obama lost. His tone was petty and small. Arguing about Iran’s nuclear program, he actually said to Mitt Romney, “While we were coordinating an international coalition to make sure these sanctions were effective, you were still invested in a Chinese state oil company that was doing business with the Iranian oil sector.” You can’t get smaller than that. You’d expect this in a city council race. But only from the challenger. The sitting councilman would find such an ad hominem beneath him.

That spirit led Obama into a major unforced error. When Romney made a perfectly reasonable case to rebuild a shrinking Navy, Obama condescended: “You mentioned . . . that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed.”

Such that naval vessels are as obsolete as horse cavalry?

Liberal pundits got a great guffaw out of this, but the underlying argument is quite stupid. As if the ships being retired are dinghies, skipjacks and three-masted schooners. As if an entire branch of the armed forces — the principal projector of American power abroad — is itself some kind of anachronism.

“We have these things called aircraft carriers,” continued the schoolmaster, “where planes land on them.”

This is Obama’s case for fewer vessels? Does he think carriers patrol alone? He doesn’t know that for every one carrier, 10 times as many ships sail in a phalanx of escorts?

Obama may blithely dismiss the need for more ships, but the Navy wants at least 310 and the latest Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel report says that defending America’s vital interests requires 346 ships (vs. 287 today). Does anyone doubt that if we continue as we are headed, down to fewer than 230, the casualty will be entire carrier battle groups, precisely the kind of high-tech force multipliers that Obama pretends our national security requires?

Romney, for his part, showed himself to be fluent enough in foreign policy, although I could have done with a little less Mali (two references) and a lot less “tumult” (five).

But he did have the moment of the night when he took after Obama’s post-inauguration world apology tour. Obama, falling back on his base, flailingly countered that “every fact checker and every reporter”says otherwise.

Oh yeah? What about Obama declaring that America had “dictated” to other nations?

“Mr. President,” said Romney, “America has not dictated to other nations. We have freed other nations from dictators.”

Obama, rattled, went off into a fog, beginning with “if we’re going to talk about trips that we’ve taken,” followed by a rambling travelogue of a 2008 visit to Israel. As if this is about trip-taking, rather than about defending — vs. denigrating — the honor of the United States while on foreign soil. Americans may care little about Syria and nothing about Mali. But they don’t like presidents going abroad confirming the calumnies of tin-pot dictators.

The rest of Romney’s debate performance was far more passive. He refused the obvious chance to pulverize Obama on Libya. I would’ve taken a baseball bat to Obama’s second-debate claim that no one in his administration, including him, had misled the country on Benghazi. (The misleading is beyond dispute. The only question is whether it was intentional, i.e., deliberate deceit, or unintentional, i.e., scandalous incompetence.) Romney, however, calculated differently: Act presidential. Better use the night to assume a reassuring, non-contentious demeanor.

Romney’s entire strategy in both the second and third debates was to reinforce the status he achieved in debate No. 1 as a plausible alternative president. He therefore went bipartisan, accommodating, above the fray and, above all, nonthreatening.

That’s what Reagan did with Carter in their 1980 debate. If your opponent’s record is dismal and the country quite prepared to toss him out — but not unless you pass the threshold test — what do you do?

Romney chose to do a Reagan: Don’t quarrel. Speak softly. Meet the threshold.

We’ll soon know whether steady-as-she-goes was the right choice.

This I Like:

Obama ad -- using kids. Lower than low:

Pro-Obama Ad Has Children Singing About an America Where ‘Sick People Just Die’ & ‘Oil Fills the Sea’

Imagine an America
Where strip mines are fun and free
Where gays can be fixed
And sick people just die
And oil fills the sea

We don’t have to pay for freeways!
Our schools are good enough
Give us endless wars
On foreign shores
And lots of Chinese stuff

We’re the children of the future
American through and through
But something happened to our country
And we’re kinda blaming you

We haven’t killed all the polar bears
But it’s not for lack of trying
The Earth is cracked
Big Bird is sacked
And the atmosphere is frying

Congress went home early
They did their best we know
You can’t cut spending
With elections pending
Unless it’s welfare dough

We’re the children of the future
American through and through
But something happened to our country
And we’re kinda blaming you

Find a park that is still open
And take a breath of poison air
They foreclosed your place
To build a weapon in space
But you can write off your au pair

It’s a little awkward to tell you
But you left us holding the bag
When we look around
The place is all dumbed down
And the long term’s kind of a drag

We’re the children of the future
American through and through
But something happened to our country
And yeah, we’re blaming you

You did your best
You failed the test

Mom and Dad
We’re blaming you

Friday, October 26, 2012

TGIF and then some

Uff da, glad it's Friday. Making really good progress with training the temp at work and maybe she'll be able to go solo by the end of next week. I had a good walk with the boys through the neighborhood on leashes. We're having taco salad for dinner. And maybe I'll get a chance to read WSJ and my book.

Have a great Friday!

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Current Events - October 26, 2012

11 Days

Obama Refuses to Answer ‘Repeated Questions on Whether Requests for Help in Benghazi Were Denied’

President Barack Obama reportedly refused to provide a direct answer to repeated questions on whether requests for help in Benghazi were denied as the attack was underway during an interview with 9News in Denver on Friday.

Kyle Clark, a reporter with 9News, asked the president about the requests for help and whether or not it was fair to make Americans wait for answers on Benghazi until after the election.

“The election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened,” Obama said. “Nobody wants to find out more what happened than I do.”

The president went on to say he wants to “gather all the facts” and find out “exactly what happened” and bring justice to the terrorists who attacked the U.S. mission in Libya.

We Asked Security Experts to Help Explain the Libya Debacle — Here’s What They Said: ‘We Are Being Used’

As TheBlaze attempts to piece together the details of the Benghazi attack that left four American civil servants, including a U.S. ambassador dead, the mainstream media has been reticent. While the details appear confusing at first blush, the story as it is unfolding is relatively straight-forward.
(Related: Libya: The REAL October Surprise)
On the eleventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks, a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi — an extremely volatile town in Libya — was breached by al Qaeda and pro-al Qaeda militants. These rebels stormed the consulate, ultimately killing four. The Obama administration’s hair-trigger response was to blame a low-budget YouTube video critical of Islam as the catalyst for the terror attacks, however, emails have surfaced proving that the administration was informed no more than two hours following the attack that a pro-al Qaeda group — Ansar al-Sharia — was claiming credit for the carnage.
What’s more, it is now believed that via a predator drone hovering over the outpost in Benghazi, along with cameras on the ground, were providing a live feed of the events as they unfolded directly into the White House Situation Room. Add to this speculation that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did in fact heed requests by the Benghazi-based envoy to provide additional security amid mounting tensions in the region, but that her motion went unanswered by the administration.
At the end of the day, President Obama along with Sec. of State Clinton, General David Petreaus, National Intelligence Director James Clapper and others did not provide our diplomatic outpost with additional security and, for as difficult as this is to absorb, may have watched as a raging mob of Qaeda militants brought four Americans to their demise.

Experts Weigh in on Libya: We Are Being Used
Credit: Getty Images
TheBlaze took time to speak with Middle East experts about the attacks to piece together what they believe may actually be going on. Interviewed was former CIA officer Clare Lopez, decorated intelligence officer Stephen Coughlin, Andrew McCarthy who served as chief prosecutor of the Blind Sheik and scholar Daniel Pipes, founder of the Middle East Forum.
The Obama administration, according to Lopez, armed Libyan rebels — who we now know are al Qaeda– with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), surface to air missiles and other weapons to oust Muammar Gadhafi and forces loyal to his regime. In 2011, these rebel forces were successful in their goal, ultimately killing Gadhafi and dragging his body savagely through the streets of Libya. As reported in my previous article explainingthereasoning behind this:
The al-Qaeda rebels allegedly sought to oust Gadhafi because ironically, he had been cooperating with the U.S. to snuff out their presence in Libya. However, the Muslim Brotherhood, which had been coordinating with the U.S., offered its assistance in dealing with other insurgents in the region in exchange for help in crushing the Gadhafi — and likely Mubarak — regime.
Now some, like Lopez, believe Ambassador Stevens may have been a “pointman,” or “official liaison” in this weapons-running scheme and that he worked directly with Abdulhakim Belhadj, who serves as “emir” or commander of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). Through Belhadj, it is also believed that Stevens helped supply weapons for rebels (al Qaeda) in Libya and later to Syria via Turkey.
It remains a mystery as to why Ambassador Stevens and three other U.S. civil servants were killed by the very rebels they appear to have been helping, but theories abound, including that the U.S. has outlived its usefulness in Libya or that al Qaeda simply wanted revenge for America having recently killed its number-two in command in a recent drone attack.
Lopez said she has never seen a situation where a U.S. facility is under attack and no administration officials send help. As to why this would have happened, Lopez remains unsure, but it is possible officials including Petreaus, Clapper, and Clinton, not to mention the president, did not believe what they were seeing unfold before their very eyes.
“Maybe they did not know people were actually dying,” Lopez told TheBlaze.
Coughlin, meanwhile understands how deep certain ideologies can run and noted how even
Experts Weigh in on Libya: We Are Being Used
Credit: AP

members of the State Department likely clung to the belief that the attacks were indeed catalyzed by the YouTube video. Still, he affirmed that the administration did know with whom it was dealing despite wanting to portray them as democracy-seekers.
“The rebels we were helping were known al Qaeda operatives,” Coughlin told TheBlaze in an exclusive interview. “Of course we were training them. I think it’s possible that the ambassador was working with al Qaeda and didn’t even know he was.” Coughlin added that his thoughts were “purely speculative.”
“Within weeks of Gadhafi going we had al Qaeda flag flying in Benghazi.” He also pointed out that LIFG — Belhadj’s guerilla group — along with al Qaeda were the “largest group of fighters we engaged in Iraq.”
“They are laughing [at us]…They had no intention of being our friends. We were used and are still being used.”
Recall that the Muslim Brotherhood objective is to take down their enemies by our own (America’s) hands.
Coughlin also stressed the importance and role of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a 56-member Islamic-state body, as key to understand the Muslim Brotherhood and its objective. TheBlaze will soon be profiling the OIC and its significance across the Maghreb.
Daniel Pipes, scholar and founder of the Middle East Forum agrees that we should treat and view all Islamists an equal threat, but that an unofficial U.S. policy adopted in 1992 attempts to differentiate violent from “non-violent” Islamists, the latter of whom America would aid. Of course, the term “non-violent Islamist” is an oxymoron given the fact that they believe in jihad.
If in fact the U.S. was arming al Qaeda militants in Libya, Pipes said it would be “a shocking piece of news if true” and noted that it would also be a “major breach” of U.S. policy that has, until now, been embraced by both Democrats and Republicans.
Experts Weigh in on Libya: We Are Being Used
Photo source:
Pipes also explained the widely held reasoning among elected officials that it is better to have “elected Islamists than dictators” in power. While the Mideast scholar and author is not fully convinced that the U.S. was arming violent militants in Libya, he did cede that the mere thought of America helping al Qaeda is “clearly wrongheaded” and would be shocking.
If Stevens was the point person, Pipes, like so many of us, question why the militants he was aiding would do him harm. After all, it has been well established that Stevens had great sympathy for the Libyan people. “So much is murky here.”
“There is an argument against this whole interpretation [gun-running],” Pipes said. “Stevens was their main ally.” As we delved into the potential reasons for consulate attack and the administrations response, Pipes ceded that the White House may not have expected al Qaeda would attack if we were in fact helping the militant group in Libya.
But sometimes the simplest answer is the correct one, and “incompetence must not be ruled out as a cause.”
Andrew McCarthy, chief prosecutor of the Blind Sheik (yes, that Blind Sheik) sees the problem in Libya as having been caused by foreign policy decision makers and “gurus” on both sides of the political aisle. With regard to Syria, especially, “no one wants is to get U.S. troops involved” so it is possible that gun-running may have been the way to go about it covertly.
“Congress will have to dig into this but it’s possible that that was going on,” McCarthy ceded in an interview with TheBlaze. He also noted that the U.S. has been aiding and abetting the Muslim Brotherhood.
Touching on what Pipes said regarding the unofficial U.S. policy on aiding non-violent Islamists, McCarthy, author of the book, “Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad,” believes the idea of non-violence among jihadists is misguided and that such a policy ”could never work in the first place.”
He also affirmed that America is indeed arming al Qaeda affiliates
“Think about it a different way,” McCarthy began. “They are not turning on us — they hate us to begin with… They are capable of waging a war against the U.S. while also doing so against Assad, Mubarak and now in Libya.”
“They’ve [Muslim Brotherhood] been doing it for upwards of a quarter century. They wouldn’t be in power if it wasn’t for Obamas unlawful war against Gadhafi. We’ve already armed them. No reason for them to think that if they attack an American installation we’d stop working with them in Syria.” And given the history, McCarthy is likely correct. He cites a “mental disconnect” among lawmakers who believe that cooperating with Turkey is not akin to cooperating with the “bad guys.” The forthright author called this mindset “moronic” given that Turkey has aided and abetted a number of terrorists.
At the end of the day McCarthy stresses how important it is for Americans to truly familiarize
Experts Weigh in on Libya: We Are Being Used
Muslim Brotherhood leader and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (Photo source: AFP/GettyImages)
themselves with the region and players involved across the Middle East and North Africa. “It’s part of why I wrote my book,” he explained.
“If there wasn’t some ideological empathy [in the region] for al Qaeda, you couldnt fill the void [in Libya] in first place. Gadhafi kept al Qaeda in check.” McCarthy then castigated the president for his hypocrisy in calling Gadahfi a ruthless dictator with American blood on his hands after the administration gave him diplomatic cover and worked with with the Libyan dictator because he gave up his nuclear program.
“Obama said he [Gadhafi] was a key counterterrorism ally — there was truth to that.”
McCarthy, who was featured on TheBlaze documentary “Rumors of War III,” suggested that we aided al Qaeda militants against Gadhafi because the State Department believed that people in Eastern Libya who fled to Iraq to fight against the U.S. saw America as a force merely propping up the Gadhafi regime. If America showed that it wasn’t, they would, goes the logic, stop working against us in Iraq. “They would love us to death,” quipped McCarthy.
During the interview, McCarthy and I also discussed the parallels between the U.S. aiding the Mujaheddin and a young Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan under then-President Jimmy Carter and the apparent gun-running scheme in Libya today. In both cases, America sought to arm what it then considered the lesser of two evils. History revealed, however, that it came at a very hight price. And frighteningly, it appears to be repeating itself.