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Democrats Start Asking Questions About Benghazi (Updated)

Friday, September 28th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Is the Democratic dam about to burst? Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), in most times one of the Obama administration’s staunches allies in Congress, is now seeking answers as to what happened in the administration in the hours and days after the attack that left four Americans dead.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., circulated a bipartisan letter addressed to Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides, asking for an “accounting of the attacks against U.S. missions in Egypt, Libya and Yemen,” according to a copy obtained by The Washington Examiner.

The lawmakers are also demanding to know whether the administration had any advance warnings of the Libyan attack and, if so, whether it had shared that information with U.S. personnel on the ground.

The letter marks the first time congressional Democrats have so directly expressed their dissatisfaction with the administration’s response to inquiries about the attacks, which resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others and raised questions about U.S. security throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa.

A Kerry aide confirmed that the committee intended to enlist the support of Republicans and Democrats and said the letter would likely be sent Friday. Another aide told The Examiner that the panel’s 10 Democrats and nine Republicans plan to sign it.

It’s not clear yet whether Kerry et al are serious about getting answers or are moving just enough to give themselves some cover. But the fact that they’re moving at all is significant. If Benghazi-gate gets truly bipartisan, it can quickly become a cancer on the Obama presidency.

Update: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s letter demands answers — by November 13.

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Sununu: ‘Lazy and Detached’ Obama Set Stage for Ambassador’s Murder

Friday, September 28th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

Romney campaign surrogate and former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu (R) blasted President Obama as too “lazy and detached” to sit through presidential briefings, and charged that Ambassador Chris Stevens paid the ultimate price for that laziness.

“Look, one of the key responsibilities of a president is to keep up with the intelligence data that’s coming in and what’s going on around the world. This president has skipped about 60 percent of his personal contact Presidential Daily briefings, the PDB. That document that he skims on his iPad is a summary,” Sununu said last night on Fox.

He said that the key to briefing is meeting face-to-face with experts and following up on the summary information.

“This president thinks he’s so smart, he doesn’t have to go through that! He thinks he doesn’t need to put the extra work in for going through that process. That’s why I say he’s lazy and detached. And unfortunately, Ambassador Stevens suffered the consequences of us not providing adequate security there,” Sununu said.

The former White House chief of staff under President George H.W. Bush said “an administration as a whole is responsible for what happens on its watch, unless he wants to tell us that the buck doesn’t stop there.”

“This president has, in my opinion, failed to maintain respect for the United States in that part of the world. And respect is one of the great assets you have in trying to protect your diplomats around the world,” he said.

He said that the administration’s denial of the Benghazi attack being a 9/11 terrorist attack was incompetence, lying, and cover-up.

“I think it’s all three. I think it’s incompetence. I think it is a fact that they have policies there that don’t work,” Sununu said. “I think it’s lying. He goes to the U.N. and says video, video, video, video after his own people, before he went to the U.N., had begun to acknowledge that it was a terrorist attacks. That to me is just disingenuous.”

“And frankly what is puzzling is what they could possibly have thought they would gain by going through this. I think that just reinforces the incompetent component.”

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Arizona Congressional Candidate Tapped to Give Weekly GOP Address

Friday, September 28th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is rolling out the first congressional candidate this season to deliver the weekly Republican address Saturday morning.

“.@VernonBParker is an independent thinker who is committed to listening to the people of #AZ09 and restoring the American Dream #4jobs,” Boehner tweeted in announcing the candidate’s special role.

“Thankful for Speaker @JohnBoehner giving me the opportunity to give this Saturday’s Republican address. We’re restoring America’s promise!” Parker tweeted back.

Parker, who came from a poor background but eventually got a law degree from Georgetown, was a special assistant to President George H.W. Bush. He was then assistant of agriculture for civil rights in the Bush administration and the first African-American mayor of Paradise City, Ariz.

Parker first ran for Congress unsuccessfully in 2010. He faces Arizona state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D) this fall, who would be the first openly bisexual member of Congress if elected.

“Vernon Parker is a good man who served honorably in my administration,” Bush said in his endorsement. “Vernon is a leader who demonstrates conservative values, love for country, and commitment to excellence in all that he has done.”

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US Listened as Benghazi Attackers Bragged to Al Qaeda

Friday, September 28th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Fresh from breaking the story that the US knew that the Benghazi consulate sacking was a terrorist attack within 24 hours, Eli Lake explains how US intelligence arrived at that conclusion. US intel was monitoring communications between terrorist groups in Libya and al Qaeda.

In the communications, members of Ansar al-Sharia (AAS) bragged about their successful attack against the American consulate and the U.S. ambassador, according to three U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast anonymously because they were not authorized to talk to the press.

At this stage there is no consensus inside the U.S. intelligence community that AQIM planned the attack, but the communications are more evidence that the attack was no spontaneous reaction to an Internet video, as the Obama administration had said for the first nine days after the attack.

Ambassador Susan Rice and Secretary of State Clinton had no excuse for spinning the attack as spontaneous. Even the Library of Congress was aware of the terrorist threat in Libya.

Elements of the U.S. intelligence community were well aware of the threat Al Qaeda posed in eastern Libya before the 9/11 anniversary. In August, the Library of Congress at the direction of a U.S. government research organization that focuses on counterterrorism concluded that Al Qaeda was well on its way to resurgence inside post-Muammar Gaddafi Libya. The unclassified report commissioned by the Combatting Terrorism Technical Support Office’s Irregular Warfare Support Program said Al Qaeda’s senior leadership “in Pakistan dispatched trusted senior operatives as emissaries and leaders who could supervise building a network. Al-Qaeda has established a core network in Libya, but it remains clandestine and refrains from using the al-Qaeda name.”

President Obama does have one excuse available to him: He had been skipping his Presidential Daily Briefings in the days and weeks leading up to the attacks. He wasn’t doing his job.

As for the Obama team’s motives in engineering a cover-up in plain sight, two strike me as plausible at the moment. The first relates to the preceding paragraph and the perception that the president wasn’t engaged in the daily process of protecting the country. Having authorized the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, perhaps Obama thought he could avoid foreign policy during the campaign and therefore paid little attention to the intel briefings while paying more attention to the campaign. The second relates to the attack’s possible authorship. The similarity between the Sept 8 threat to the Cairo embassy and the sacking in Benghazi hint that both attacks were pre-planned by the same people. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood are already implicated in the trouble in Cairo. If it turns out that the attacks were connected, then it’s difficult to get past the disturbing implications: The new Egypt has committed an act of war on the United States. The president would be obligated to respond to that in some way. He would also be obligated to acknowledge that his Cairo speech failed and his overall Middle East policy is up in smoke.

Update: Lookie here.

 

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Obama Campaign Finds New Way to Divide Families

Friday, September 28th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Today the Obama campaign launched an effort to get grandkids to lie to their grandparents. It’s in the form an e-card titled “Get Grandma’s Back” that the Obama campaign wants grandkids to send to their retired elders.

The Obama campaign alleges that Mitt Romney’s tax cut plan would raise taxes on retirement benefits. It’s every bit as factual as the administration’s recent claim that the assault on the US consulate in Benghazi was a “spontaneous” protest, not a terrorist attack. ObamaCare has already raided Medicare for over $700 billion, and it has already raised taxes on the middle class despite Barack Obama’s promise not to do that. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who should have been fired for violating the Hatch Act, has been stonewalling Congress about the Medicare cuts. Where’s the e-card for all that? Where’s the condolences e-card for the all the jobs that ObamaCare has killed or aborted?

A more honest card would have the president apologizing to today’s 20somethings and their future children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren for running up the national debt so fast that it has reached an unsustainable $16 trillion. You can’t send an e-card to someone who hasn’t been born yet, but you can saddle them with debt they’ll have to pay off in the form of taxes.

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Now Up on the PJ Media Homepage

Friday, September 28th, 2012 - by Ed Driscoll

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The Future Really Won’t Belong to Those Who Slander the Prophet of Islam. Because Obama Will Jail Them.

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Barack Obama, sword of Islamic justice.

The producer of the controversial anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims” has been arrested for violating terms of his probation and is set for an appearance this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, is scheduled for an initial appearance before Judge Christina Snyder, who sentenced him in June 2010 following a bank fraud conviction.

Investigators have not yet provided details about how Nakoula allegedly violated probation, but it seems clear that his involvement in the “Innocence of Muslim” production is central to the government’s new charge.

Nakoula (seen above) was sentenced to 21 months in prison to be followed by six months in a halfway house. Upon completion of the custodial term, he was placed on probation for five years.

Included in his probation terms were prohibitions on his use of the Internet, unless he secured prior approval from his probation officer. Additionally, he was not to “use, for any purpose or in any manner, any name other than his/her true legal name or names without the prior written approval of the Probation Officer.”

Wanna bet if this guy was, say, tweeting articles from Talking Points Memo, the feds would not have descended on him — twice?

Muslims keep trying to get this idiotic movie, which had nothing to do with the terrorists attacks on our embassies, taken off YouTube. The Obama administration leaned on Google to help out, but Google said the film doesn’t violate any of its standards. So much to the administration’s shagrin, the movie stayed up on the net.

But who’s to say the feds can’t arrest Nakoula and get him to take the movie down? Then they’ll let him go. That’s where this is going.

Obama sings himself to sleep with “My Sharia-more.”

Go ahead, America. Re-elect him.

 

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Quotes of the Day (Updated)

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

According to El Fagr, they are calling for the immediate release of the Islamic jihadis who are imprisonment and in detention centers in the U.S. including Guantanamo Bay: “The group, which consists of many members from al-Qaeda, called [especially] for the quick release of the jihadi [mujahid] sheikh, Omar Abdul Rahman [the "Blind Sheikh"], whom they described as a scholar and jihadi who sacrificed his life for the Egyptian Umma, who was ignored by the Mubarak regime, and [President] Morsi is refusing to intervene on his behalf and release him, despite promising that he would. The Islamic Group has threatened to burn the U.S. Embassy in Cairo with those in it, and taking hostage those who remain [alive], unless the Blind Sheikh is immediately released.”

PJ Tatler, September 10, 2012

CAIRO, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Egyptian protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo on Tuesday and pulled down the American flag during a protest over what they said was a film being produced in the United States that insulted Prophet Mohammad, witnesses said.

In place of the U.S. flag, the protesters tried to raise a black flag with the words “There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger”, a Reuters reporter said.

Once the U.S. flag was hauled down, protesters tore it up, with some showing off small pieces to television cameras. Then others burned remains.

Reuters, Sept 11, 2012

“There’s no question, as we’ve seen in the past with things like ‘The Satanic Verses,’ with the cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, there have been such things that have sparked outrage and anger and this has been the proximate cause of what we’ve seen,” Rice said.

“What happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, prompted by the video,” Rice said.

Sept 16, 2012

The U.S. Government has for the first time issued a public list of Guantanamo prisoners cleared for release or transfer, but who remain at the island prison because of difficulties finding a country willing to take them or because of concerns about sending them to their home countries.

The list (posted here) was filed in a series of federal court cases Friday morning and includes the names and serial numbers of 55 detainees. That’s almost exactly one-third of the 167 men currently imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.

Politico, Sept 21, 2012

Holding up a cartoon-like drawing of a bomb with a fuse, Netanyahu literally drew a red line just below a label reading “final stage” to a bomb, in which it was 90 percent along the path of having sufficient weapons-grade material.

“A red line should be drawn right here, before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb, before Iran gets to a point where it is a few months or a few weeks away from amassing enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon,” he said.

“Each day that point is getting closer, and that is why I speak today with such a sense of urgency and that is why everyone should have a sense of urgency.”

Reuters, Sept 27, 2012

I told folks I’m just supposed to be eye candy here for you guys,” Mr. Obama quipped about the fact that he was the only man on the couch with Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, the First Lady, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd.

Update: The producer of the controversial anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims” has been arrested for violating terms of his probation and is set for an appearance this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, is scheduled for an initial appearance before Judge Christina Snyder, who sentenced him in June 2010 following a bank fraud conviction.

Investigators have not yet provided details about how Nakoula allegedly violated probation, but it seems clear that his involvement in the “Innocence of Muslim” production is central to the government’s new charge.

 

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Quantifying the ‘Contrarian’ Narcissism of the 3rd Party Voter

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Yesterday, Conor Friedersdorf, a staff writer at The Atlantic and protege of Andrew Sullivan, offered an explanation for why he chose to spend months blasting Mitt Romney as more evil than Barack Obama but will still vote for Gary Johnson instead. He titled the piece “Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama“:

Tell certain liberals and progressives that you can’t bring yourself to vote for a candidate who opposes gay rights, or who doesn’t believe in Darwinian evolution, and they’ll nod along. Say that you’d never vote for a politician caught using the ‘n’-word, even if you agreed with him on more policy issues than his opponent, and the vast majority of left-leaning Americans would understand. But these same people cannot conceive of how anyone can discern Mitt Romney’s flaws, which I’ve chronicled in the course of the campaign, and still not vote for Obama.

Don’t they see that Obama’s transgressions are worse than any I’ve mentioned?

I don’t see how anyone who confronts Obama’s record with clear eyes can enthusiastically support him. I do understand how they might concluded that he is the lesser of two evils, and back him reluctantly, but I’d have thought more people on the left would regard a sustained assault on civil liberties and the ongoing, needless killing of innocent kids as deal-breakers.

Nope.

Emphases added. In the first three paragraphs Friedersdorf references himself five times — all without need.

How much more does Friedersdorf talk about himself as he lays out the case that the death of 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki (in the drone strike that killed his Jihadi father) morally disqualifies Obama from a second term in office? The 1798-word piece contains 35 variations of I. Among the most narcissistic passages:

If I vote, it will be for Johnson. What about the assertion that Romney will be even worse than Obama has been on these issues? It is quite possible, though not nearly as inevitable as Democrats seem to think. It isn’t as though they accurately predicted the abysmal behavior of Obama during his first term, after all. And how do you get worse than having set a precedent for the extrajudicial assassination of American citizens? By actually carrying out such a killing? Obama did that too. Would Romney? I honestly don’t know. I can imagine he’d kill more Americans without trial and in secret, or that he wouldn’t kill any. I can imagine that he’d kill more innocent Pakistani kids or fewer. His rhetoric suggests he would be worse. I agree with that. Then again, Romney revels in bellicosity; Obama soothes with rhetoric and kills people in secret.

One should also note that in his explanation for why not to vote for Obama the only killings that Friedersdorf mentions as a concern to him are those done by America to defend itself. So little surprise that he never gets around to the question of which candidate will do a better job protecting American lives.

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Sen. Blunt Not Happy About Cold War Tests on His Constituents

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

Missouri’s Republican senator is asking the secretary of the Army to investigate reports that the military may have conducted secret Cold War-experiments on his unsuspecting constituents.

A St. Louis TV station reported this week that zinc cadmium sulfide was sprayed on thousands of residents, with the greatest concentration on a low-income housing complex, but the reporters were not able to substantiate whether the Army added a radioactive element to the compound.

“I am deeply troubled in light of recent reports that the U.S. Army may have been involved in exposing thousands of unsuspecting Missourians to a chemical called zinc cadmium sulfide during the Cold War. I’m particularly concerned by allegations that these tests of zinc cadmium sulfide throughout the 1950s and 1960s might have contained a radioactive component that went undisclosed in initial reports,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) wrote to Army Secretary John McHugh today.

“The idea that thousands of Missourians were unwillingly exposed to harmful materials in order to determine their health effects is absolutely shocking. It should come as no surprise that these individuals and their families are demanding answers of government officials.”

Blunt asked McHugh to dig back decades into the records and turn over answers regarding which areas were subjected to the spraying and about the health effects of exposure.

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Libyan Leader Pays Tribute to U.S. Ambassador in UN Speech

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

Libya’s de facto head of state gave an eloquent tribute to the America’s slain ambassador in his address to the United Nations General Assembly today.

Mohamed Yousef El-Magariaf, president of the General National Congress of Libya, paid tribute to Chris Stevens as the “conscience of the world” who came to Libya’s side in its revolution and aftermath.

El-Magariaf called Stevens “a voice of reason and conscience, a man of love, a messenger of friendship who came to Libya following the outbreak of our freedom revolution, one who touched the people’s feelings, who traveled from Tripoli to the western mountains and back and all across Libya.”

“Chris Stevens spoke with everyone in Arabic, always smiled, and showed care. This human diplomat has found his place in the consciousness of the Libyan people. It was a day of sadness throughout Libya when he was assassinated along with his three aides,” he said. “We would like to express our deepest condolences to the American people for this grave loss. It was a loss for Libya as it was a loss for the United States of America.”

“We stress to the United States, its government and its people that this catastrophe will only increase our solidarity to entrench the hopes and objectives in which Ambassador Chris Stevens believed,” El-Magariaf said. “We shall defeat the plots of the backward terrorists that do not represent Libya, who not represent Islam. Islam is a religion of tolerance, peace and love, just as President Obama said from this rostrum two days ago. Our future is a future that will be chartered by people like Chris Stevens, not by people like his killers.”

He said that the Libyan government is determined to bring the killers to justice and provide ample security for diplomatic missions.

“This painful event in no way expresses the feelings of the Libyan people as people of moderation, hospitality and gratitude. Perhaps the large demonstrations condemning this perfidious crime in the city of Benghazi and other Libyan cities is best proof of the true feelings of the Libyan people and their full rejection of all forms of violence and extremism,” El-Magariaf said.

“Libya shall never be home to extremist groups. We shall always be a peaceful Muslim country, one of moderation.”

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GDP Plunge Makes a Recession More Likely

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Rick Moran

Writing at AEI, James Pethokoukis looks at the downward revision of the GDP number from 1.7% to 1.3% and worries that “U.S. economic growth is dangerously slow.”

I’ve frequently written about research from the Fed which finds that since 1947, when two-quarter annualized real GDP growth falls below 2%, recession follows within a year 48% of the time. And when year-over-year real GDP growth falls below 2%, recession follows within a year 70% of the time.

Citigroup has also taken a shot at determining the stall speed: “Specifically, when U.S. growth has cut below 1½ percent on a rolling four-quarter basis, it has tended to fall by nearly 3 percentage points over the following four quarters, and the economy has typically entered recession.

Bottom line: Growth the past two quarters has averaged about 1.6%. Not only does this mean the economy is growing more slowly than last year’s 1.8%, it is also slow enough to signal about a 50% chance of a recession within a year. And the third quarter also looks weak.

The anemic, three-year-old U.S. recovery is already running out of steam. And if it does, it may be several more years before we see unemployment below 8%.

Can Obama blame a second recession on Bush? Sure he can and probably will. The startling lack of good economic news recently — even the dismal housing numbers which have been trumpeted as proof that housing is “recovering” — don’t appear to be having much effect on the race. It seems that voters have either made up their minds that Obama is mostly blameless for the lousy economy or simply believe that Romney is an unacceptable alternative.

The Obama campaign has been relentless in defining Romney as a combination Scrooge and Babbitt. Romney has not done enough to push back against this characterization, although he has just released what appears to be a very effective ad where, for the first time, he talks directly into the camera about his concern for the poor and middle class.

But where Romney must make his mark is in the first debate next week. He won’t get a second chance.

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Obama Super PAC Accepts $1 Million from Convicted Felon

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

The convicted felon is billionaire George Soros. In its report on Soros’ latest donation to the left, the New York Times does not mention his sordid past. So we will.

The billionaire George Soros is committing $1 million to Priorities USA Action, the “super PAC” supporting President Obama, two people with knowledge of the decision said Thursday, a significant donation that could help spur further contributions to the group in the closing weeks of the election.

A longtime political adviser to Mr. Soros, Michael Vachon, made the announcement at a luncheon on Thursday hosted by the Democracy Alliance, a group of liberal donors who have already invested heavily in building grassroots organizations and research institutes. Mr. Soros will also give an additional $500,000 to two super PACs backing congressional Democrats. Other donors at the lunch were expected to commit between at least $10 million more to Democratic super PACs, suggesting that many — like Mr. Soros — had overcome their aversion to the purely advertising-oriented super PACs.

Soros is a convicted felon as a result of an insider trading case successfully brought against him in France. The New York Times is aware of that conviction and the fact that it still stands, since the Times reported on Soros’ unsuccessful attempt to get the conviction struck down in 2011.

George Soros is not a political philanthropist. He’s an investor and he’s a currency manipulator. What does he intend to get out of his investment in re-electing Barack Obama, along with the millions he pours into groups like Media Matters and the Center for American Progress?

Whatever he wants, isn’t President Obama on the hook now to explain why, after his campaign called Mitt Romney a felon without any evidence at all, his super PAC is happy to haul in a million bucks from an actual felon?

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Vote for Me – I am the One Giving You the Free Phone

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Michelle Horstman

 

This week in Ohio, a lively Obama supporter was protesting outside of a Romney event. In her persuasive way, she was explaining why a vote for Obama is a vote for free phones!

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The only problem here is that the phones do not come from Obama and the phones are not free. As usual, Obama takes personal credit for the phone on the sign-up website where it is officially described as the “Obama Phone” and it is explained that no taxpayer money was used:

Some people claim that the government is using taxpayer’s money to run this program, however, the claim is false. Universal Service Fund (USF) which is administers by Federal Communication Commission along the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC), pays for the Lifeline phone assistance program.

The truth of the matter is the funds come from every bill paying phone user in the USA. Take a look at your phone bills, both land and cell. See the line on the bill called “Universal Fund” or “Universal Service”? That is what is actually paying for the “free” phones. I am personally paying $7.64 per month for someone’s free phone. Therefore, I think I have earned her vote, not Obama.

 

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It’s Time for Romney to Lead on Iran

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s despicable verbal assault on the U.S. and Israel at the United Nations this week is an occasion for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to praise the State Department’s September 21 decision to remove the terror tag placed on Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK). It’s also an opportunity for the candidate to identify regime change in Tehran as a top priority of his administration.

In June, I took to the pages of Haaretz to recommend that the then presumptive Republican nominee for President of the United States embrace the Iranian opposition organization and support calls for democratic change in Iran.

I was promptly attacked by The American Conservative for offering “the worst campaign advice in history.” On September 21, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did what Daniel Larison said Romney “would be out of his mind” to do and removed the MEK from the terror list. Apparently even Barack Obama didn’t buy the argument made by Larison that the U.S. should capitulate to the Iranian regime to avoid the perception of hostility.

One wonders if the editors at The American Conservative have any additional bad advice for the Republican nominee. How does that saying go? “With friends like these…”

The failure to delist Iran’s primary expatriate dissident organization might have pleased the isolationists at The American Conservative but doing so would have triggered the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington to make good on their promise to correct the list by removing the group on October 1.

The removal of MEK from the terror roster was necessary to ensure U.S. security interests and to provide a check on the Islamic Republic’s violent rhetoric aimed at Israel. The removal was also a victory for those concerned with the rule of law and the protection of civil liberties.

With Mr. Obama’s foreign policy in free fall in the wake of what is widely regarded as an al Qaeda attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya and growing anti-American protests across the Muslim world, Romney would be wise to follow the charge of prominent conservative lawmakers and former administration officials and identify regime change in Iran as a goal of his presidency.

To date, Romney’s foreign policy has been hawkish but not always coherent and he will not win the presidency without convincing Americans that he has what it takes to manage the world’s most active state-sponsor of terrorism and the greatest threat to regional peace and security.

In less than a week, the nominees for each party will take the stage for the first in a series of debates that will touch on global security matters. Romney can demonstrate leadership by breaking with his predecessors and rejecting the false dichotomy of political engagement or military confrontation with Iran’s clerical rulers.

The goal of regime change in Tehran can be accomplished by backing Iran’s organized political opposition. Regime change from within poses the most significant challenge to the country’s autocratic rule.

The massive disinformation campaign against the group notwithstanding, no group poses a greater threat to the regime in terms of its ability to mobilize support in the expatriate community. Nor has any organization been more valuable in terms of providing intelligence related to Iran’s emerging nuclear program. Research undertaken on the group suggests their positions to be consistent with democratic principles and their removal from the list is the clearest indication to date that the failed policy of engagement with Tehran is over.

MEK’s delisting in the midst of a contested presidential election presents an unusual opportunity for the Republican candidate to offer a bipartisan commendation to the president for his decision to unchain the resistance. But, he must also demonstrate leadership by sharpening the distinction with the sitting president, embracing calls for democratic change, and articulating a bold new policy toward the regime in Iran.

With just weeks before Americans choose their next Commander-in-Chief, Romney can take advice from his paleoconservative friends at The American Conservative or he can signal that under his watch the U.S. will take an active role in shaping a more peaceful and stable Middle East.

If he chooses the former, Republicans will spend the next four years looking for someone who can do the latter.

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Washington DC’s ‘Nonpartisan’ Board of Elections and Ethics Tweets Liberal Attack on Republican Senator, Then Deletes It

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Here’s where the tweet was, screen captured because they were sure to delete it. And they have.

The link, before a government official deleted the publicly owned tweet, went to a typically mendacious attack by the leftwing Talking Points Memo blog.

Lots of questions arise from this simple tweet.

Are workers at the Washington DC Board of Elections and Ethics not busy enough at work, that they have time to troll for leftist blogs?

Should the workers at the Washington DC Board of Elections and Ethics weigh in on and takes sides in elections in Massachusetts?

Is the DC Board of Elections and Ethics fair, or is it partisan? Given that it is a board of elections (and ethics), that question may be the most important.

Somebody needs to get fired, but I’ll be surprised if that happens.

Update: I called up the DC Board of Elections and Ethics. I asked for and was directed to the public relations department. I asked about the tweet and a very courteous and professional woman told me that the twitter account had been “compromised” and that the tweet had been taken down. I asked if she was saying that the Board’s feed had been hacked, and she replied “As I said, the account was compromised, and the passwords have been changed.”

I didn’t get the chance to ask if anyone had been or would be fired over the incident. The PR staffer went quickly off the line.

h/t Dana Loesch

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[VIDEO] Obama Supporter: Murdered US Ambassador ‘Probably Had It Coming’

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

The first part of the video is a tedious debate with an Obama supporter over tax policy. Facts just bounce off the man’s forehead. But stick around to hear this proud Democrat and supporter of the president tell the world that our murdered (and possibly raped, according to some early reports) “probably had it coming.”

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I have a hard time seeing the man in that video as a fellow American. He’s the type that would sell you out to terrorists and give away our freedom of speech at the first sign of Islamist ire.

h/t Ace

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Jay Carney Lies About Benghazi Again

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Today, aboard Air Force One, Obama spokesman Jay Carney authored another fable in the tales of bad Arabian nights.

Every step of the way, the information that we have provided to you and the general public about the attack in Benghazi has based on the best intelligence we have and the assessments of our intelligence community,” he said, noting that Mitt Romney and Republicans are trying to turn this into a partisan issue, while president is focused on finding those responsible and ensuring security at embassies and other overseas installations.

Not a word of that is true. The US government was warned ahead of time and knew that the Benghazi attack was terrorism within 24 hours. Likely, within 24 minutes. The president is so focused on finding those responsible that he campaigns constantly, goes on The View, and he won’t even call the attack what it was, and the FBI has not even gotten into the consulate compound yet.

More than two weeks after four Americans — including the U.S. ambassador to Libya — were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, FBI agents have not yet been granted access to investigate in the eastern Libyan city, and the crime scene has not been secured, sources said.

“They’ve gotten as far as Tripoli now, but they’ve never gotten to Benghazi,” CNN National Security Analyst Fran Townsend said Wednesday, citing senior law enforcement officials.

Last Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters that an FBI team had reached Libya earlier in the week.

So there’s yet another lie in this whole sordid episode.

Obama shouldn’t have sent the FBI to do a Marine’s job.

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Obama’s Benghazi Fiasco is Romney’s Opportunity

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

By now it’s obvious to everyone who has been paying attention that the Obama administration orchestrated a cover-up after the attacks on the US in Cairo and Benghazi. Unfortunately, too few have been paying attention. It’s a frustrating truth, that any article or post about the NFL referee lockout tends to get more attention than any post or article about Benghazi, despite the fact that the lockout only cost one football team a game, while the Benghazi attack cost four Americans their lives and continues to cost America its standing in the world. President Obama does himself a world of good with short attention span voters by weighing in on the NFL mess, and so far has done himself no harm by disingenuously blaming the terrorist attack on an amateur film. It’s shocking and says nothing good about the state of the nation, but it’s where we are.

The media is slowly turning up the pressure, reporting holes in the administration’s narrative, but not fast enough. The story is not breaking through. I guarantee that at this moment, more Americans know about the end of the NFL lockout than know that their government has been spreading disinformation about terror attacks on US soil.

I only see three ways that this story breaks out fast enough to impact the election, as it should. Those who would argue that politics stop at the water’s edge have no standing here: The administration injected politics the moment the decision was made to create fables about the attacks. Benghazi is both a national security story and a political story, as it should be.

The first way that this story could break out is of the victims’ families speak out. They haven’t yet and the media aren’t likely to report that with any great intensity, though. The second way it could break out is if Congress starts demanding answers. That is happening but so far, though, only Republicans have shown much interest. Democrats have mostly gone to ground on it, keeping the issue a partisan one for the most part. Democrats don’t want to be seen challenging their president on what was supposed to be a strength — foreign policy.

Mitt Romney has an opportunity here, though. He has campaign appearances over the next few days to hammer two themes: Obama is failing on the economy and Obama is being dishonest about his foreign policy failure. He also has the debate next week to start framing the issue at a time when Americans’ attention really gets focused on the election.

The media will pounce and accuse Romney of playing partisan politics with foreign policy or speaking out of turn, as they did when he first spoke up about the attacks the night they happened. That should not deter Romney from going on the attack, though. The next few days and the debate itself are too large an opportunity and there is no longer any time to lose. Romney has two solid and easily detailed narratives to tell, and both get at this president’s priorities and his personal honesty. If done effectively, attacking the president’s priorities and his honesty chip away at the voting public’s opinion of Obama’s character.

Romney and Paul Ryan need to ask Obama and Biden, directly and pointedly, in campaign appearances about both the economy and the Benghazi cover-up. They need to call Benghazi a cover-up. They need to highlight the story that Ambassador Susan Rice told, that the attack was a “spontaneous” reaction to a movie. They need to call on President Obama to directly explain his team’s inconsistency to the American people. They need to become advocates for the American people in getting answers from our president on both the terrorist attacks on our country and the stalled economy.

If Obama responds, that’s a story that the media has to report. If he doesn’t, Romney and Ryan should keep pushing. Keep Obama on the defensive and keep challenging him directly.

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Overheard in the Faculty Lounge

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Helen Smith

So I’m eating breakfast in a faculty lounge in California and I hear an angry female faculty member loudly discussing politics with her male counterpart. As I eat my cantaloupe, I am treated to the following tidbits: Karl Rove and others like him are funneling money to the Republicans (I sure hope so!), Romney finally said how he really feels about the 47%, (that condescending a**hole!), why can’t Ross Douthat at the New York Times be more like David Brooks (who thinks just like a Democrat but calls himself a Republican)) and how does this Douthat have the gall to write a book on religion –he doesn’t know a thing (because he is–gasp! a conservative). And seriously, does Douthat need their permission to write such a book?

The angry voices and condescension toward anything or anyone who did not toe the line of the New York Times or the academic “elite” was staggering. These two faculty members had the critical thinking skills of a couple of gnats and no ability to understand anything outside their worldview. I thought higher education was supposed to teach critical thinking skills. Wishful thinking on my part. Perhaps these people should get out of their faculty club bubble every once in a while and talk to people who are different from them and maybe even try listening. What a novel concept!

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Change! Durable Good Orders Drop ‘Worst Since Recession’

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

How’s that Recovery Summer Fall Winter Spring Summer doing?

New durable goods orders in August fell by the most since the recession and a separate reading on the broader U.S. economy came in much weaker than expected. But weekly jobless claims sank to a two-month low, in a hopeful sign for the labor market.

So it’s hopeful now that people keep giving up looking for a job?

New orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods in August fell by the most in 3 1/2 years, pointing to a sharp slowdown in factory activity even as a gauge of planned business spending rebounded.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday durable goods orders dived 13.2 percent, the largest drop since January 2009, when the economy was in the throes of a recession. Orders for July were revised down to show a 3.3 percent increase instead of the previously reported 4.1 percent gain.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected orders for durable goods — items from toasters to aircraft that are meant to last at least three years — to fall 5 percent.

Reuters needs to find some new economists to poll. Its usual suspects keep getting blindsided by the obvious weaknesses in the economy.

Those weaknesses are: High energy costs, thanks in part to the Obama EPA’s stringent coal regulations and thanks in part to volatility in the Middle East. The first is Obama’s policy, which he could reverse but will not, the second has a lot to do with this president’s inattention to his job. High energy costs lead to slowed economic activity. The second major weakness is ObamaCare, which a majority of small business owners cite as the main drag on their businesses. Small business is the engine of the US economy and job growth. Put the brakes on them and you get very little movement in the unemployment picture.

In other words, Barack Obama is hurting the already weak economy with his policies. Reuters’ clueless economists just don’t seem to get it.

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[VIDEO] ‘Obama Wages War on Coal’

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Finally. A new Romney campaign ad highlights Barack Obama’s threat to bankrupt the coal industry.

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Shouldn’t someone in the mainstream media ask the president how his threatened war on coal is going? Shouldn’t he be asked if energy prices have gotten high enough to satisfy him yet?

The war on coal won’t dissuade the president’s free cell phone brigades from supporting him, but it could move the needle among other voters. Obama’s coal policies have already cost hundreds of miners in Ohio their jobs.

Attacking the coal industry has broader effects on the US economy. Coal is mined in about a dozen states and provides about one-third of our nation’s electricity. Reducing the supply of coal leads to higher energy prices. The United States is also by far the world’s largest producer of coal. Obama’s attack on coal is an attack on the entire economy.

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[VIDEO] Obama Voter Says Vote for Obama Because He Gives Out Free Cell Phones

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

The truth is, she’s right, at least about the U.S. government giving away cell phones. We’re going broke as a nation, yet picking up the tab for millions of Americans’ cell phone bills. As of 2011, the program cost $1.6 billion per year and under Obama, use of the program has risen sharply.

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Mitt Romney was right; such a person is not going to be persuaded to support him with a tax cut program. He could try to buy her vote by paying her DirecTV bill, but he would fail because, in the lady’s words, he “sucks.”

That charming lass is not alone in seeing Obama as the Great Dispenser of Free (Taxpayer Funded) Crap. Remember Peggy Joseph?

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These two can outvote you.

How many more millions are there out there just like them?

Update: According to this story, 13 million of these “free” cell phones are out there now. More than half a million in Illinois alone. That’s enough votes to determine the outcome of a presidential election.

h/t Drudge

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Pelosi Predicts 25-Seat Gain Dems Need to Take House; ‘I’d Like to Have 35′

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the selection of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee was a turning point in helping her party gain the 25 seats it needs in November to re-take the lower chamber.

“August 11th, mark that date on your calendar, when Ryan was chosen, that made a very big difference, because Medicare, Medicare, Medicare, the three most important issues in the campaign, in alphabetical order, that issue was clarified, focus was on it, and we could not lose the debate about Medicare, because if we do, forget Democrats, forget Republicans, Medicare is gone,” Pelosi told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow last night. “We’ll be back to a time before Lyndon Johnson. We will be putting seniors at the mercy of the insurance companies by giving them a voucher, but not a guarantee.”

“We’re very excited about it. But I wish that it were not a race about Medicare, because the fact is, Medicare is on the ballot,” she continued. “My name is on the ballot, the president’s name is on the ballot, many people’s names are on the ballot. And if we do not win the House, and of course if the president doesn’t win, but we feel pretty good about the president’s winning, that would be very much at risk.”

Pelosi expressed confidence that President Obama will draw more people to the polls to help Democrats rebound from their midterm losses.

She predicted picking up “about 20 seats” in Texas, California, New York, Illinois, Maryland, Washington state, and Arizona.

“Then we go where the president is, Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, states like that, to take us, oh, I want to go beyond 25,” Pelosi said. “I’d like to have 35.”

“Some states have blue patches that we want to win back. There are 66 districts that are held by Republicans that were won by President Obama and about a third of those were also won by John Kerry,” she said. “And so, we think there’s real opportunity.”

“Onward to victory, don’t agonize, organize,” Pelosi said. “Drive for 25.”

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Fox Re-Confirms that the Administration Knew the Benghazi Attack was Terrorism Within 24 Hours (Updated)

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Fox’s story marks the second confirmation that the US knew what the Benghazi attack was within 24 hours. Eli Lake confirmed the same yesterday.

U.S. intelligence officials knew within 24 hours of the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya that it was a terrorist attack and suspected Al Qaeda-tied elements were involved, sources told Fox News — though it took the administration a week to acknowledge it.

The account conflicts with claims on the Sunday after the attack by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice that the administration believed the strike was a “spontaneous” event triggered by protests in Egypt over an anti-Islam film.

Two senior U.S. officials said the Obama administration internally labeled the attack terrorism from the first day in order to unlock and mobilize certain resources to respond, and that officials were looking for one specific suspect.

In addition, sources confirm that FBI agents have not yet arrived in Benghazi in the aftermath of the attack. Four Americans including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens were killed in the assault.

The president himself needs to conduct a press conference and explain his administration’s actions and multiple conflicting statements. Nothing less than an explanation from Obama himself will do at this point. His own credibility is on the line, and the campaign of misdirection has ruined Secretary of State Clinton’s and Ambassador Rice’s credibility.

Neither Rice nor Clinton can credibly claim that they were acting on bad information from subordinates. Their subordinates, according to both Eli Lake and Fox, were treating the attack as terrorism, and even hunting a specific suspect, while Rice, Clinton, and Jay Carney continued to blame the YouTube video. Obama blamed that video again in his UN address and even now refuses to call the attack an act of terrorism.

Obama’s Justice Department went as far as to stage a midnight knock raid to publicly show off and humiliate the filmmaker that they were blaming for causing the violence. By the time of that raid, the administration had been aware that Benghazi was a terrorist attack for three days. Who ordered that raid? What did the president know about it, and when did he know it?

Is Barack Obama just in denial that his personal charm has failed to end the war as he expected, or is he waging a misinformation campaign for political reasons? The American people have a right to know, and we have a right to hear from the president himself on this.

Update: John Nolte has posted video proof that President Obama himself knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack on Sept. 12. Yet he refuses to call it a terrorist attack now, and his administration waged a disinfo campaign to dub it a “spontaneous protest.”

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Barney Frank, Pot-Law Buster

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) may be leaving Congress at the end of this term, but he’s not giving up his push to legalize pot.

Frank is so passionate about legalization that he admits he shares ground with Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).

“Ron and I are in great agreement on this. We’re in great agreement on not banning gambling,” Frank said yesterday on CNN. “He and I — we differ on the economic situation, because I think economics inevitably involves other people.”

The congressman said he doesn’t smoke pot, though.

“I smoke a cigar or two a day. I did have a brownie once and it made me sleepy. But, you know, I don’t gamble either,” he said.

Frank said he’s motivated by personal freedom, but wants to “free up government resources to do things that that I think are important in improving the quality of life without having to raise taxes.”

“At the federal level, that means cutting military spending. At the state level, it means not spending as much as we do on prisons,” he said. “…One of the best things we can do to reduce state expenditures is to stop going after people who use marijuana.”

Frank used the analogy of Prohibition. “Instead of being a drain our resources, we could tax it, like everything else and it would be a contribution,” he said.

“If you look at the arrests for marijuana: Disproportionately, they come from people in minority groups and there are a lot of highly educated and upper income white kids who smoke it. They’re much less likely to get arrested,” he said. “…So, it adds a degree of social disorganization and cost and it’s an impingement on personal freedom.”

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Dems Flummoxed by Mystery GOP Block on Murray Bill

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

Senate Democrats are trying to suss out the identity of a mystery Republican who blocked a cost-of-living adjustment veterans bill just before the upper chamber recessed.

“This is stunning,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chairwoman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. “Particularly because we still don’t have any indication why someone would block a cost-of-living adjustment for veterans and their surviving spouses, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet.”

The bill was cleared by all Senate Democrats but was blocked by at least one Senate Republican who has not come forward to claim responsibility.

Senate GOPs killed a veterans jobs bill before recess, though, with some contending that the usually bipartisan veterans issue was being used as a campaign-friendly victory lap by Democrats. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) raised a point of order against that bill that wasn’t overcome by a three-fifths waiver.

The veterans jobs bill was a priority of President Obama and was sponsored by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who is in a tough re-election fight right against challenger Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.).

The COLA rate in Murray’s bill would match the annual increase provided to Social Security recipients and is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index.

“My hope is that whichever senator has decided to hold up this bill will at least come forward to own up to it,” Murray said today. “That way we can move forward to overcome their oppositions and get our veterans the support they need.”

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Now We Can Gripe About the Real Refs

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

The NFL and the referees union have come to an agreement that ends the lockout and puts the real refs on the field tonight. The agreement also takes the fired Lingerie Football ref out of the NFL.

The National Football League’s regular referees will return to the field Thursday night after reaching a tentative labor deal that kicked replacement officials to the curb, ending a major source of frustration and embarrassment for fans, players and the league.

“Never thought I would be excited for the refs to come back to work but it’s about time,” Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Cribbs tweeted Thursday. “It was definitely necessary!”

The eight-year-deal — the longest ever for officials, according to the NFL — gives the union referees a pay raise and keeps their pension program in place for five years.

It ends a lockout that began before the league’s preseason, leading to a series of gaffes that climaxed in a furor over a botched call that allowed the Seattle Seahawks to walk away with a victory in Monday night’s nationally televised game. The league acknowledged Tuesday that the Green Bay Packers should have won, but allowed the result of the game to stand.

Tonight’s game has the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Cleveland Browns. Hate to say it, but that sounds like a yawner. They’re rivals thanks to being in the same division and the Ravens having once been the Browns, but the Ravens should win by at least 10.

Now that the lockout is over, maybe President Obama will find time to meet with world leaders. I know: NATO should start a fantasy league. That should get Obama’s interest going.

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WaPo Publishes Incomplete Timeline of Obama Administration’s Libya Lies

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Four Pinocchios for Obama one day, and a timeline of the Obama administration’s Libya misdirection the next. What has gotten into Glenn Kessler?

For political reasons, it certainly was in the White House’s interests to not portray the attack as a terrorist incident, especially one that took place on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Instead the administration kept the focus on what was ultimately a red herring — anger in the Arab world over anti-Muslim video posted on You Tube. With key phrases and message discipline, the administration was able to conflate an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Egypt — which apparently was prompted by the video — with the deadly assault in Benghazi.

Actually, the fact-checker is wrong here. Terrorists demanding the release of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman threatened the Cairo embassy on Sept 8. We posted an English translation of that threat on Sept 10. The jihadist threat to burn the US embassy in Cairo to the ground turned out to be very similar to what the jihadists in Benghazi actually did to the consulate there. That similarity points to a possible connection between the attacks.

Officials were also able to dismiss pointed questions by referring to an ongoing investigation.

Ultimately, when the head of the National Counterterrorism Center was asked pointblank on Capitol Hill whether it was a an act of terror — and he agreed — the administration talking points began to shift. (Tough news reporting — as well as statements by Libya’s president — also played a role.) Yet President Obama himself resisted using the “t” word, even as late as Tuesday, while keeping the focus on the video in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly.

On Wednesday, however, White House spokesman Jay Carney acknowledged also that Obama himself believes the attack was terrorism — and so more than two weeks after the attack the Rubicon finally was crossed.

The timeline includes US Ambassador Susan Rice’s series of lies about the attack, and Secretary of State Clinton’s whopper as well.

— Clinton, transfer of remains ceremony, Sept. 14

“I have seen that report, and the story is absolutely wrong. We were not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent.  That report is false.”

If the Tatler had the Cairo warning, the administration had it. And the Libyans have said that the administration had been warned three days in advance. Ambassador Stevens’ journal included information that he felt threatened and was on an al Qaeda hit list.

No one in the administration has any credibility left on this issue, and because of this cascade of misdirection, on the broader war on terrorism. They lied about the big story — whether the attack was terrorism or not — and they lied about the little details.

— Susan E. Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Sept. 16

“We had a substantial security presence with our personnel and the consulate in Benghazi. Tragically, two of the four Americans who were killed were there providing security. That was their function. And indeed, there were many other colleagues who were doing the same with them.”

Nope. Security at Benghazi was virtually non-existent. The ambassador was in a position to know the truth.

Ambassador Rice, it now appears, simply made up a version of what happened in Benghazi that was based on no actual facts at all.

“There’s no question, as we’ve seen in the past with things like ‘The Satanic Verses,’ with the cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, there have been such things that have sparked outrage and anger and this has been the proximate cause of what we’ve seen,” Rice said.

“What happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, prompted by the video,” Rice said.

There’s no question, now, that none of that description is true. There was no demonstration. The movie had nothing to do with the murder of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans. We now know that the US government was aware that the attack was terrorism within 24 hours.

The question is, why the lies?

One possible motivation for the administration to paint over the possible connection between the Cairo and Benghazi attacks, is the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s role in the Cairo attack. The Brotherhood was initially supportive of the “demonstration” and Egyptian President Morsi lent his personal support in the early going. The US embassy even caught the Brotherhood tweeting peace in English while exhorting the “demonstrators” in Arabic. If, it turns out, the Egyptian government had anything to do with the attack in Cairo, the probability that it had something to do with the attack in Benghazi as well has to be looked into. Our government might prefer to lie about that, though, than acknowledge that the new Egypt has perpetrated an act of war on the United States, on the anniversary of 9-11.

Not only would the entire Arab Spring idea finally and deservedly unravel, but the administration would then have a major foreign policy crisis very much of its own making on its hands. The similarity between how Jimmy Carter lost Iran, and how Barack Obama would have lost Egypt, would be impossible to ignore.

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Now Up on the PJ Media Homepage

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Ed Driscoll

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[VIDEO] From Within the Cluster of People Attacking Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Spokesman

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 - by Banafsheh Zand

He’s being called a murderer…then chants of “terrorist”…they’re calling him a “bastard.” “Get lost and go back into your hotel…What are you doing in New York you sick criminal?”

“Yeah, you scared sh*t run away and go stand next to the police.”

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See the first video here.

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Austerity Backlash Threatens European Stability

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 - by Rick Moran

Riots in Greece, huge demonstrations in Spain and Portugal — the peace bought by the European Central Bank announcement earlier this month that they would buy unlimited quantities of debt from troubled euro economies appears to be broken as political instability now threatens to undo efforts to address the debt crisis.

New York Times:

On Tuesday in Spain, tens of thousands of demonstrators besieged Parliament to protest austerity measures planned by Mr. Rajoy. Last week, more than half a million people marched in cities across Portugal to protest an increase in social security contributions, and a million marched in Barcelona calling for Catalan independence.

In Athens, trade unions called a nationwide strike Wednesday to contest billions of dollars in new salary and pension cuts being discussed by the government and its international creditors. It was the first such walkout since a conservative coalition led by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras came to power in June.

Samaras has his hands full negotiating a $15 billion austerity plan with his socialist coalition allies. The package is absolutely essential because the IMF, ECB, and EU government is currently in Athens examining the government’s efforts to get their budget deficit under control. At stake — a $40 billion tranche that Greece needs to stay afloat. Without it, they will be unable to pay their debt and will probably be forced to leave the euro.

Spain has different problems. It would be political poison if Rajoy were forced to go hat in hand to the IMF asking for assistance.

Mr. Rajoy has been trying for months to convince investors that Spain can handle its own problems and that it will not need a bailout that would force Madrid to cede some authority over its fiscal affairs to its lenders, and is set to introduce new cutbacks to meet budgetary goals. Those will include restrictions on early retirement and various measures to streamline regulations and fight unemployment, he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

But it is Greece where the real danger lurks for social unrest that would lead to political instability:

The proposed cuts in Greece have ignited new anger here, with many talking openly of increased impoverishment as the nation grapples with a third round of austerity measures in three years. The demonstrations here were peaceful throughout the morning, as civil servants, teachers, medical personnel, bank employees and lawyers made their way to the city center. A police spokeswoman put the turnout at 35,000 to 40,000 people — modest by Greek standards.

But violence broke out shortly after 1 p.m., as a group of protesters wearing black face masks hurled gasoline bombs at police officers on Vasilissis Sofias, a wide avenue abutting the Parliament building, sending bursts of flame and black smoke into the air. Firebombs were also thrown at the Finance Ministry and into the lush National Gardens next to Parliament. Crowds scattered inside Athens’s central Syntagma Square when similarly clad youths destroyed a tent and set part of it on fire.

After a relatively stable few weeks, European stock markets plunged. Germany’s DAX index lost 2%. The Spanish stock market dropped nearly 4% and 10-year bonds inched toward the dangerous 6% range.

Just when Democrats are slapping each other on the back congratulating themselves on the coming Obama victory, a sharp reminder is given them that world events could easily trip up the president’s efforts at re-election and throw the race to Romney.

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Winner of ‘Romney Winning 301 Electoral Votes Projected by Polling Data’ – Photo Caption Contest

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 - by Myra Adams

Seriously folks, someone had to help me off the floor because I was laughing so hard after reading all these submissions to our latest PJ Tatler – Photo Caption Contest.  If you missed it, click here for a guaranteed good time.

As expected, I received numerous emails and calls from friends “who side with the enemy,” accusing me of drinking, doing drugs, fantasizing, gone wacko and this one:

 I would forward your map on to Chuck Todd, who is a leading expert on the polling….but it would be an embarrassment to me…and in like…to you. What is scary is that you actually believe this stuff (kind word) you produce.   (Name withheld – next to a smiley face which proves he still loves me!)

But who cares what they say, we had fun didn’t we?

To determine the winner, I consulted a friend who is a “world famous spin doctor to the 1%” (my friends have bizarre skill sets) and since he was too busy being a “world famous spin doctor to the 1%,” ignored my immediate pleas for help and I was forced to judge alone.

So here are the results of the Me, Myself and I expert panel of judges.

 Pauline Kael still doesn’t know anyone who voted for Romney.  Submitted by Chris Henderson

(Google the Pauline Kael reference to Nixon if you don’t understand)

 “Darn it. I just can’t be defeated, or Romney will spend the next four years blaming me for the economy.   Submitted by gagblue

 I was blue until I red this map.  Submitted by Raoul Magneto

 A bitter clinging to guns & religion.  Submitted by RockThisTown

 Obama quakes in Mideast cause landslide in US.  Submitted by cfbleachers

 Caption: Axelrod to Obama: ” We’re skewed!”   Submitted by Visforvoter

 And the two GRAND PRIZE WINNERS (because it was impossible to pick just one) are:

His march Forward is blocked by a Red Sea, try and part this one oh chosen one.  Submitted by Independent Thinker (IT)

 “Plouffe, the magic’s draggin’ !”   Submitted by cfbleachers  (A contest regular with amazing talent.)

Thanks to all who played along and we look forward to hearing from you next time a photo or image is worthy of a Tatler Photo Caption Contest.

 

 

 

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Texas-Mexico Border Crossing Shut Down, Suspicious Device Discovered

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Interesting.

(Reuters) – Authorities in Eagle Pass, Texas, have closed one of the city’s two border crossings to Mexico due to “safety concerns,” the Customs and Border Protection agency said on Wednesday.

The agency said local authorities closed Bridge II linking the city to Piedras Negras, Mexico, to traffic in the morning citing safety concerns, which local news media said were prompted by the discovery of a “suspicious device.”

Eagle Pass is not one of the principal hubs for trade or visitors over the 2,000-mile (3,200-km) U.S. Mexico border.

True. That hub is mainly Hidalgo County, about which we’ve reported before. Things are not as tranquil as reported there. We’ll have more to report from that county before long.

It’s not widely known outside the Rio Grande Valley, but a “suspicious device” was discovered in Starr County, Texas back in August. It was an improvised explosive device. It was discovered on a ranch through which illegal aliens often slip into the United States.

If illegal aliens and coyotes can slip through there, so can the type of people who tend to play around with IEDs.

There’s no word yet on the nature of today’s suspicious device in Eagle Pass.

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King Abdullah on Daily Show: ‘Terribly Insulted,’ but ‘Refused to Watch’ Video

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

President Obama may have carved out time for The View in his trip to New York, but Jordan’s King Abdullah II found time on his United Nations trip to guest on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.

After host Jon Stewart quipped that Obama was very busy with strategic meetings with “Whoopi Goldbergstan,” Abdullah said he’d heard this — but hadn’t heard grumbling from other world leaders that Obama wasn’t sticking around to sit down with them.

“I mean, I think everybody’s there preparing for their speeches and inside meetings with other leaders. That wasn’t an issue, no,” he said.

The monarch commented on the crux of Obama’s UN speech, the anti-Muhammad video trailer.

“Obviously, I’m a direct descendent of the prophet so I’m — I’m — I’m terribly insulted by the video. And I refused to watch it because obviously, the whole point of the video was to create this reaction that unfortunately happened,” Abdullah said.

“But at the same time, I’m completely against that type of reaction. I mean, you know, you do not take innocent lives into your own hands. So, unfortunately, the person that was behind this got away with exactly what he was trying to do, and we have this chaos throughout the Middle East as a result.”

“Unfortunately, there’s a lot of people in our part of the world that are just waiting for an excuse to leap on to this,” the king continued. “So there’s — there’s — there are different elements that are just trying to feed off of each other, extremists on either side that sort of in a way sort of live off each other.”

It wasn’t the first time King Abdullah has done American TV – though he was limited in this role by his lack of a SAG card:

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