October 12, 2012

This looks like a reasonable solution that has the benefit of respecting our federalist traditions, while stabilizing Medicare.

International Liberty

This election season has seen lots of talk (and demagoguery) about whether investors, entrepreneurs, and small business owners should be hit with class-warfare tax policy.

And there’s also been lots of sturm and drang about the best way of averting bankruptcy for Medicare, which is the federal government’s health care program for the elderly.

But there’s been surprisingly little discussion so far about the issue of Medicaid, which is the federal government’s health program for poor people.

I’m not prone to optimism, but I can’t help but wonder if this is because even statists grudgingly accept that the program needs to be reformed.

If so, the right approach is block-granting the program back to the states. Here’s some of what Paul Howard and Russell Sykes had to say about the issue in the Wall Street Journal.

Medicaid, America’s safety-net program for more than 62 million low-income uninsured…

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OfA shocked -SHOCKED!!- to find vote fraud going on in its offices

October 11, 2012

Following up on this story, I guess O’Keefe’s videos exposing corrupt behavior in ACORN and Planned Parenthood offices have made the DNC/Obama campaign (1) a little… sensitive to pain:

The Democratic National Committee has terminated the employment of Houston, Texas, Organizing For America Regional Field Director Stephanie Caballero after she was caught on camera calling voter fraud “cool” and “so funny” while advising a presumably-liberal voter how to vote twice.

In a comment to the liberal Talking Points Memo, DNC spokeswoman Melanie Roussell accused James O’Keefe and Project Veritas of selectively editing their videos – but admitted that what Caballero did on his tape was wrong and she’s now been fired.

They obviously haven’t learned the whole lesson, though. You never, ever accuse O’Keefe and Project Veritas of selective editing, because then they release the whole video and, well, the pain gets worse.

Not that I have much sympathy for them. None at all, in fact.

Via Moe Lane, who notes that this is apparently the first in a series of videos.

Footnote:
(1) But I repeat myself.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Romney gains on Obama… in California??

October 11, 2012

Closing the gap eight points, post-debate. That sound you hear is panic buttons being hit in Chicago and the White House:

The effects of President Barack Obama’s falter in the first debate with Mitt Romney are not just being felt in battleground states, according to KPIX-TV CBS 5′s latest tracking poll of California which shows Romney slicing eight points off Obama’s lead.

Obama had led by 22 points in the CBS 5 tracking poll released four weeks ago. Obama now leads by only 14 points, an 8-point improvement for Romney. At the same time, the poll found U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s support for her re-election bid remained largely unchanged, month-on-month, suggesting that the erosion in Democratic support is not across-the-board, but contained to Obama. Unclear is whether the Obama erosion is fleeting or long-lasting.

The poll data released Wednesday showed Obama 53%, Romney 39%, in California. Obama carried the Golden State by 24 points in 2008, so the poll found Obama is now running 10 points weaker than he ran 4 years ago. Among Independents, Obama led by 14 in September, but now trails by 9 in October, a 23-point right turn among the most coveted voters. One explanation, based on the poll data: The number of Romney supporters who said they were voting “for Mitt Romney” as opposed to “against Barack Obama” is way up, month over month.

In other words, there’s almost no way Romney wins California –this state will be one of the last pockets of resistance when all else fails for the Democrats– but the trend is most definitely not Obama’s friend. If Romney is showing traction in here in La-La Land, then Team Hopenchange have to be wondering what’s happening in genuine battleground states in the West, such as Nevada  or Colorado. And if Romney surge lasts or, especially, accelerates after the next debates, Obama might find himself having to defend his grip on the Golden State, diverting money and time needed elsewhere.

Good Lord. We might actually be treated as something other than an ATM. I think I need smelling salts…

I’ll note that Survey USA doesn’t provide partisan breakdowns, but anything other than a large D and I factions with a small R component wouldn’t make much sense, which means the swing in the Independent vote explains his gains. What I’d really like to see is The One’s numbers among Democrats: while the core liberal elites and the “47 percenters” in the Bay Area and Los Angeles won’t go Republican, with the state’s miserable unemployment numbers and lousy business environment, there may be a fair number of working-class and small entrepreneur Democrats willing to jump ship for a candidate who knows how jobs are created. Without seeing the breakdowns, however, that’s just a guess.

Other items to note: Sadly, Diane Feinstein’s “Opponent? What opponent?” strategy appears to be working, as Elizabeth Emken is getting almost no traction beyond the Republican base. This is a very expensive state for advertising and, without the free media time a debate would provide Emken, Feinstein can afford to ignore her. In fact, she’s smart to. Why give the opponent any opening? Still, it’s a shame. Feinstein is an aging mediocrity who in no way deserves reelection, while Emken has solid policy ideas.

Regarding California’s ballot propositions, it looks like Prop 34, to eliminate the death penalty, is going down to defeat. Once again, the public is showing it wants the law enforced and for the worst criminals to get what they deserve, but the left-wing elites do all they can to block executions, hoping to hold out until we eventually give in.

Fat chance.

And it looks like momentum is shifting against Prop 37, a loopy, anti-scientific measure to require labeling on some genetically modified foods but not all. Like measures meant to “fight global warming,” this looks like a response to a problem that doesn’t exist; I’ve yet to see any solid evidence that genetically modified foods are harmful. What it will do, though, is increase sales costs, which will of course be passed on to the consumer, as well new income opportunities for trial lawyers.

Ever notice it’s the little guy who gets hit hardest by liberal measures we’re told are meant to help us? Hmmm…

PS: Hey, California! Romney-Ryan 2012.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama campaign staff caught abetting double voting. UPDATE: correction

October 10, 2012

Oh, my. James O’Keefe of ACORN and Planned Parenthood fame strikes again:

James O’Keefe has done it again — this time capturing video of a paid Obama Organizing for America director in Houston, Texas, assisting a double-voting scheme directed toward Florida. In the video, an undercover Obama “volunteer”  tells Organizing for America’s Stephanie Caballero that she wanted to vote twice to help reelect President Obama.

The undercover “volunteer” tells Caballero, “I’m going to vote by ballot and then I have mine here too.”

After the volunteer tells Caballero her plan, Caballero volunteers to help the double voter get the forms to request an absentee ballot in Florida. “I’ll print that out and you just have to mail it back,” Caballero says.

The undercover “volunteer” says, “I don’t want to get in any trouble, but like I said, if no one’s gonna know.”

The paid Obama Organizing for America director’s response: [Laughter] “Oh my God this is so funny! It’s cool though!”

(…)

Later, when the plan to vote twice is put into effect, Caballero coyly and laughingly asks: “Are you going to do what I think you are going to do?” — namely vote twice. When the volunteer says, “Well, if no one is going to know.” Caballero then prints out and gives the forms to the volunteer to vote twice.

Be sure to click through for the video.

The article’s author, former DOJ attorney J. Christian Adams, points out the far, far left connections of Ms. Caballero and asks a pertinent question, one posed by O’Keefe himself in the video: What proof is there that this is just, as OfA will inevitably claim, an “isolated incident?”

That’s why we need a large turnout on Election Day — we have to get past the margin of theft, something the Left is all too willing to engage in.

CORRECTION: Thanks to Legal Insurrection, I’ve discovered OfA is not technically the Obama campaign itself, but an arm of the DNC formed by Obama. As Professor Jacobson points out, this is likely a distinction without a difference, but I want to be accurate. And with the DNC out of cash, one wonders if OfA can afford all those extra ballots…

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Benghazi Consulate Massacre: the White House lied, there was no anti-video protest

October 10, 2012

For nearly two weeks after the murder of four Americans in an attack on our consulate in Benghazi, the White House, our Ambassador to the United Nations, and the Secretary of State repeatedly claimed, with variations, that the massacre arose from a protest against an anti-Islamic video that either got out of control or was infiltrated by extremists. That culminated in the President, himself, making that claim by inference in a speech in front of the United Nations. When the story started  falling apart, they claimed they were operating on the “best information” they had at the time, were “still investigating,” and, by implication, trying to blame their intelligence services and professional staff.

That sound you hear in the background? That’s the State Department senior staff throwing Secretary Clinton and the White House under the bus:

Prior to the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi late in the evening on Sept. 11, there was no protest outside the compound, a senior State Department official confirmed today, contradicting initial administration statements suggesting that the attack was an opportunistic reaction to unrest caused by an anti-Islam video.

In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, two senior State Department officials gave a detailed accounting of the events that lead to the death of Amb. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. The officials said that prior to the massive attack on the Benghazi compound by dozens of militants carrying heavy weaponry, there was no unrest outside the walls of the compound and no protest that anyone inside the compound was aware of.

In fact, Stevens hosted a series of meetings on the compound throughout the day, ending with a meeting with a Turkish diplomat that began at 7:30 in the evening, and all was quiet in the area.

“The ambassador walked guests out at 8:30 or so; there was nobody on the street. Then at 9:40 they saw on the security cameras that there were armed men invading the compound,” a senior State Department official said. “Everything is calm at 8:30 pm, there is nothing unusual. There had been nothing unusual during the day outside.”

(Emphases added, and read it all)

Keep in mind that the government knew this was a terrorist attack within 24 hours of the event happening, but there was still some question, thanks to administration dissembling, about whether a protest was used as a cover by al Qaeda-allied groups.

Now we know the truth, no thanks to our elected officials or those whom they appoint.

We were lied to, repeatedly and, there’s no doubt, deliberately. Our ambassador was raped and murdered. Three other Americans died as well. We knew that night an attack was underway, though the president still went to bed. Within a day, they had confirmed it was a terrorist attack and knew at least some of the instigators.

And yet for nearly two weeks, President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, Ambassador Rice, and their mouthpieces all lied to us, insisting it was a protest over some obscure video. They even had the maker rousted by the cops, sacrificing his right to free speech to maintain their lie.

Now, we all know politicians lie. It’s in the nature of the job, even required by it at times. But there’s a difference between spinning a story or lying for the good of national security, on the one hand, and insisting black is white on the other, telling a pathetic lie just to cover your incompetent arse. The latter is absolutely unacceptable and destroys any credibility the liars may still have had. And the only reason to do it was to protect the bunglers whose decisions lead to this mess, including the President of the United States, who had been loudly and obviously prematurely claiming al Qaeda was “on its heels.” . Such a “bump in the road” might be bad for reelection chances, don’t you know?

Congressman Issa is holding hearings this morning in DC on this fiasco. Let’s hope that these bring out not only the truth, but force the resignations of Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice, both of whom have disgraced their offices.

As for President Obama, there’s no need for resignation. A crushing, humiliating defeat in November will suffice as reward for his deadly incompetence.

RELATED: an incriminating chronology.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Quote of the Day: “You’ve got to be kidding” edition

October 9, 2012

America’s top issue

In the wake of President Obama’s shellacking at the hands of Governor Romney in last week’s debate, the Obama campaign has sought to show Americans that they are focused like a laser on the issue we all deeply care about.

What is that issue, you ask? A $16 trillion-dollar national debt that growing by the hour? A trillion-dollar budget deficits that show no sign of ending? A resurgent al Qaeda?  Chinese aggression in East Asia? A failing war in Afghanistan and the potential loss of all we gained by our sacrifices in Iraq? Scandals in the Departments of Justice and State that have cost human lives?

Don’t be silly, silly!  The President and his campaign are fighting for what truly matters: Big Bird.

“I will say it doesn’t change the fact that there’s only one candidate in this race who is going to continue to fight for Big Bird and Elmo, and he is riding on this plane,” [campaign spokeswoman] Psaki continued.

Psaki reminded reporters again of the campaign’s “love for Big Bird and Elmo,” then defended the concept of the ad.

“This election is about serious issues,” she noted. “That’s what the President talks about every day.  That’s what his focus is on every day.”

It’s been said that the moment the McCain campaign lost the election in 2008 was when he made himself look ridiculous by suspending his campaign and heading for Washington during the September fiscal crisis. While this isn’t nearly as dramatic, people may just look back on the decision to make Big Bird a major talking point as the moment Obama lost 2012.

(And how Psaki could say that without choking with embarrassment or the reporters laughing in derision, I have no idea.)

UPDATE: Yep. This may be the moment they lost it. When even Chris “Tingles” Matthew says this is a Mickey Mouse issue…

UPDATE II: My friend Michael Ledeen compares this to Jimmy Carter and his killer rabbit.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Benghazi Consulate Massacre: Embassy told by State, “Stop pestering us!”

October 9, 2012

Oh, this just gets better and better. Not only did State pull security teams (note: plural) from Libya over a period of months, but, according to an interview of LTC Wood by CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson (1), State finally told them to quit asking, and don’t you dare go to the Department of Defense:

ATTKISSON: Do you feel like there was a disconnect between what you saw on the ground and what the State Dept. folks thought was going on in Libya?

WOOD: There was certainly no disconnect in our transfer of information to them. They were getting the information on the situation on the ground. We sent it up through State Dept. cables and I sent it up to the military side on the D.O.D. side. So, there was awareness of what the situation in Libya was about.

ATTKISSON: How did you get the word that your team would not be allowed to stay?

WOOD: We knew that was coming through the cables and the draft cables that were going back and forth. The requests were being modified to say ‘don’t even request for D.O.D. support’.

ATTKISSON: So State Dept. was telling the folks on the ground in Libya ‘don’t continue to ask for this help’?

WOOD: Correct.

The Right Scoop has the whole interview. Be sure to watch it.

This is a bureaucratic snafu of monumental proportions, one that eventually cost lives. It looks like the knowledge of the people on the scene was disregarded in favor of a small-footprint, diplomatically-correct approach of relying on local security. And no one in the higher reaches of the bureaucracy and the political appointees above them wanted to hear any dissent.

The hearings at the House Oversight Committee tomorrow should be quite a show.

via Ace

RELATED: Did Libyan tribal politics leave the consulate without adequate protection? It seems two local militia leaders were upset we were backing a candidate they didn’t like for prime minister, so they threatened to pick up their guns and go home:

The brinksmanship is detailed in a cable approved by Ambassador Chris Stevens and sent on the day he died in the attack, the worst assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission since the 1979 hostage crisis in Iran. The dispatch, which was marked “sensitive” but not “classified,” contained a number of other updates on the chaotic situation on the ground in post-Gaddafi Libya.

The cable, reviewed by The Daily Beast, recounts how the two militia leaders, Wissam bin Ahmed and Muhammad al-Gharabi, accused the United States of supporting Mahmoud Jibril, the head of the Libyan transitional government, to be the country’s first elected prime minister. Jibril’s centrist National Forces Alliance won the popular vote in Libyan elections in July, but he lost the prime minister vote in the country’s Parliament on Sept. 12 by 94 to 92. Had he won, bin Ahmed and al-Gharabi warned they “would not continue to guarantee security in Benghazi, a critical function they asserted they were currently providing,” the cable reads. The man who beat Jibril, Mustafa Abushagur, lost a vote of no-confidence Sunday, throwing Libyan politics back into further uncertainty.

The threat from the militias underscores the dangers of relying on local Libyan forces for security in the run-up to the 9/11 military-style assault.  The U.S. consulate in Benghazi employed a militia called the “February 17 Martyrs Brigade” for security of the four-building compound. In addition, there were five Americans serving as diplomatic security and a group of former special operations forces that acted as a quick reaction force on the day of the 9/11 attack. Members of the militias led by bin-Ahmed and al-Gharabi overlapped with the February 17 militia, the cable says.

This underscores the folly of not listening to our people in Libya, who knew the fractious, fragile state of politics there, and instead insisting on sticking to the preconceived notion of relying on Libyan militias. As this cable and the rest of the article by Eli lake shows, the plan had serious flaws, to say the least.

Flaws that got Americans killed.

Footnote:
(1) Between this and her work on Operation Fast and Furious, Attkisson is rapidly becoming one of my favorite MSM reporters.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


October 8, 2012

Statist, Alinskyite Obama; statist, Alinskyite Hillary. There really isn’t much of a difference.

International Liberty

Every so often, I come across some statement by President Obama that is either jaw-droppingly misguided or unintentionally revealing, and I place it in my is-this-the-worst-thing-he-ever-said file.

His “spread the wealth” comment to Joe the Plumber is the most famous example, but that was before I started this blog. Previous entries on my list include.

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Benghazi Consulate Massacre: US Ambassador asked for Special Forces, State said “no”

October 8, 2012

I know he said it in the context of Operation Fast and Furious, but Congressman Darrell Issa’s description of that fiasco as “felony stupid” applies just as much to this fiasco:

Lt. Col. Andy Wood, the former head of a Special Forces “Site Security Team,” said in a pair of interviews that the embassy staff, including slain Amb. Chris Stevens, had wanted his group of 16 special operations soldiers to stay in Libya.

“[The] first choice was for us to stay,” Wood told ABC News. “That would have been the choice of the embassy people in Tripoli.”

Wood told CBS News that when he found out his team was being removed in August, he felt, “like we were being asked to play the piano with two fingers. There was concern amongst the entire embassy staff.”

“We felt we needed more, not less,” Wood added.

The former security officer said embassy staffers approached him to express concerns about their safety, but said the State Department instructed diplomatic workers “to do with less.”

(Emphasis added)

I can understand that. After all, the security situation in Libya couldn’t be any more volatile than, say, Ottawa or Tokyo, right?

And you have to love State’s “response:”

“The SST was enlisted to support the re-opening of Embassy Tripoli, to help ensure we had the security necessary as our diplomatic presence grew. They were based in Tripoli and operated almost exclusively there. When their rotation in Libya ended, Diplomatic Security Special Agents were deployed and maintained a constant level of security capability. So their departure had no impact whatsoever on the total number of fully trained American security personnel in Libya generally, or in Benghazi specifically,” said the State Department in the statement.

The withdrawal of Special Forces had “no impact whatsoever?” As in “made no difference?” Really?

No impact.

State’s statement also says that LTC Wood was only stationed in Tripoli, implying that his team’s continued presence would have made no difference in Benghazi. Right. They’re trying to tell us that a Lieutenant Colonel in the Special Forces, if tasked to assess security in another city couldn’t quickly figure out the risks and needs? It just begs the question, why wasn’t Wood told to assess Benghazi, where there was an American consulate in a known al Qaeda recruiting ground?

And let’s not forget: Benghazi was not just a human disaster, but also an intelligence train wreck, too, as important documents and secrets were left unsecured. (And who knows how many lives will be lost as al Qaeda learns who was helping us?) Issa’s House Oversight Committee will be holding hearings on Benghazi this week. Given the number of whistle-blowers apparently eager to talk and high-ranking political appointees desperate to blame anyone but themselves, it should be an interesting day.

RELATED: Cover up? Revolt of the intelligence Professionals.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Mitt Romney pays his own way… and tips well, too!

October 6, 2012

After a campaign stop in Florida, Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, had a craving for Cuban food, so they stopped for takeout at La Teresita in St. Petersburg (1). The staff didn’t want to let them pay, but the Romneys wouldn’t hear of it:

Mitt Romney is believed to have amassed a fortune of more than $200million from his career as a private equity boss.

So he can certainly afford to pay for his own takeout food as he travels around America on the campaign trail.

And when the Republican presidential candidate visited a Cuban diner in Florida yesterday, he insisted on being treated like an average customer.

(…)

During the unscheduled visit, the couple picked up some pastries and a serving of soup.

The restaurant staff refused to allow the multi-millionaire to pay for his order – but Mr Romney eventually prevailed, leaving a $40 tip.

Contrast that with a certain other candidate who, um… “forgot” to pay.

Good move all around on the Romney’s part: not only does he have to woo Cuban-Americans to win Florida’s electoral votes, not only do they see that the multi-millionaire pays like anyone else, but Cuban food is also good. I love Cubano sandwiches. Throw in some fried plantains and lemonade and I’m one happy blogger.

And, of course, no candidate can go without posing with babies:

(Courtesy Daily Mail)

Awww….

via Blue Crab Boulevard

Footnote:
(1) The article says St. Petersburg, but the Web says Tampa. Judging from the photos, I think I have the right web site…

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


When you’ve lost the New Yorker

October 5, 2012

This has gotta hurt:

Clint Eastwood wins. Again.

via Power Line.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Mexico arrests two in Arizona Border Patrol killing

October 4, 2012

No word on whether any weapons were recovered or, if there were, if they’ve been tied to Fast and Furious, but it’s nice to see some suspects brought in quickly:

Mexican troops have arrested two suspects in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent and the wounding of a second officer in Arizona, Mexican security officials said on Wednesday. [T]he two suspects were detained in a Mexican military operation in the city of Agua Prieta, in Mexico’s northern Sonora state, a few miles from the spot where Nicholas Ivie was shot dead early on Tuesday while responding to a tripped ground sensor, a Mexican Army officer, who declined to be named.

Ivie was among three agents who were patrolling on foot about five miles north of the international border when gunfire erupted. A second agent was also wounded while the third, a woman, was unharmed.  

The agents had been patrolling in an area near the border town of Naco, well-known as a corridor for smuggling, and the Cochise County Sheriff’s department has said that tracks were found heading south after the shooting.

Ivie was a 30-year-old father of two, he had been an agent for four years.

A Mexican police official in Naco, across the border from the Arizona town of the same name, confirmed the arrests, which occurred in the early hours of Wednesday.

(Link added)

US officials have had no comment on the arrests. If I were a cynic, I might think that’s because they’re desperately looking for an OF&F connection they can bury.

But we all know I’m not a cynic, right?

Meanwhile, thanks and congratulations to the Mexican Army for quick work. It will be interesting to see what stories these suspects have to tell.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) “Out of Time”

October 4, 2012

Last night’s debate between Governor Romney and President Obama provides almost endless material for the Romney campaign and its allies, as well as many, many moments the President and his team wish they could forget — and make voters forget.

Here’s one of the first results, from the American Future Fund:

That’ll leave a mark.

RELATED: My blog-buddy ST has a great post on the debate. I think she was pleased; I could see her smile from across the country.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


New OPSEC ad: “Bumps in the Road?”`

October 3, 2012

OPSEC comprises a group of former Special Forces and intelligence personnel who have criticized President Obama before for revealing classified information in pursuit of his reelection. They’ve come out with a new ad in the Virginia market smacking the president for his “bumps in the road” description of the deaths of Americans in Benghazi:

It’s a smart ad buy; Virginia is both a swing state and heavily military. I doubt many there will appreciate the comparison of the president’s victory laps for the killing of bin Laden on the one hand, and his dismissal of military deaths as “bumps in the road” on the other.

OPSEC has a web site for donations. If you feel that this is an important message to get out to other battleground states, consider sending them a few bucks.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


October 3, 2012

It’s amazing how willing, even desperate, statists are to put money into programs that are shown not to work, because they cannot conceive of any “solution” that does not originate with government.

International Liberty

There have been lots of studies showing that there’s no benefit to job training programs. People who sign up with these government schemes are not more likely to either get jobs or to earn more money.

Heck, even the New York Times was forced to acknowledge that these programs are a costly failure.

To really understand how these programs operate, John Stossel put together an investigative mission. The results excerpted below would be funny, other than the fact that taxpayers are getting ripped off and people are getting lured into lives of dependency.

“There are no jobs!” That is what people told me outside a government “jobs center” in New York City. …I sent four researchers around the area. They quickly found 40 job openings. Twenty-four were entry-level positions. One restaurant owner told me he would hire 12 people if workers would just apply. It made me wonder what my government…

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Benghazi consulate massacre: State Dept. turned down repeated requests for more security

October 2, 2012

“You have adequate security.”

Dear God, it’s as if they were asking for a hit:

“Based on information provided to the Committee by individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya, the attack that claimed the ambassador’s life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and subcommittee chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, wrote Clinton today. They dismissed out-of-hand the suggestion that the attack ever could have been regarded as a spontaneous protest gone awry.

“In addition, multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the Committee that, prior to the September 11 attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi,” Issa and Chaffetz added (my emphasis). “The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington.”

Emphasis added.

It won’t surprise anyone to learn that, per the AP,  there are multiple whistleblowers anxious to talk to the committee, so frustrated are they that no one would listen to them in spite of repeated warnings about the dangers in Libya, including the ambassador’s own misgivings.

But there’s something else in the AP article — a little refresher of what Madame Secretary herself said about the Benghazi attack a week after it happened:

Clinton discussed security on Sept. 18, when asked whether measures were appropriate.

“Let me assure you that our security in Benghazi included a unit of host government security forces, as well as a local guard force of the kind that we rely on in many places around the world,” she said.

“In addition to the security outside the compound, we relied on a wall and a robust security presence inside the compound,” she said. “And with all of our missions overseas, in advance of September 11th, as is done every year, we did an evaluation on threat streams.”

Clinton also said the Office of the Director of National Intelligence “has said we had no actionable intelligence that an attack on our post in Benghazi was planned or imminent.”

Oh, no. Nothing at all. Really:

—Just weeks before the attacks, the unarmed Libyan guards at the consulate, employed by British contractor Blue Mountain Group, were warned by family members to quit their jobs because there were rumors of an impending attack.

—In April, a gun battle erupted about two miles from the consulate between an unidentified armed group and forces loyal to the transitional government.

—In June, a posting on a Facebook page mentioned Stevens’ early morning runs around Tripoli along with members of his security detail. The page contained a threat against Stevens and a stock photo of him. Stevens stopped the runs for about a week, but then resumed.

And that’s just a short list. Among other “non-actionable intelligence” (including a formal warning) was a bomb blast that blew a hole in the compound wall so large that a platoon could charge through. But, you know, Hillary is on top of things, so you know they did all that a reasonable person would do.

In Libya. In Benghazi. In the local heart of al Qaeda recruiting. Where warnings and even attacks had already taken place. And it was the anniversary of September 11th.

The committee has hearings scheduled for October 10th. To say they should be interesting is the understatement of the year.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


One Border Patrol agent killed, another wounded in Arizona border shooting

October 2, 2012

One agent was shot dead, another wounded, and a third escaped unharmed while on horseback patrol in southeast Arizona:

Two U.S. Border Patrol agents were shot, one fatally, Tuesday morning in an area in south Arizona known as a major drug-smuggling corridor, authorities said.

The identities of the agents were not immediately released, but the shooting occurred at the Brian Terry Station near Naco, Ariz., which is just south of Tucson. The station was named after an agent who was killed in the line of duty in December 2010. The area is considered a remote part of the state and sources tell Fox News that the shooting occurred at 1:50 a.m. local time and about 8 miles from the border.

The agents who were shot were on patrol with a third agent, who was not harmed, according to George McCubbin, president of the National Border Patrol Council, a union representing about 17,000 border patrol agents. The agents were on horseback at the time of the shooting.

McCubbin said he had no further information regarding the shooting.

The shooting occurred after an alarm was triggered on one of the many sensors along the border and the three agents went to investigate, said Cochise County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Carol Capas.

Public Service Announcement: According to the President of the United States and the Director of Homeland Security, the Mexican border is more secure than ever. Nothing to see here, move along…

The FBI and local sheriffs are conducting a joint investigation –on horseback, because the terrain is so rugged– but, let’s be honest. The maggots who did this are either back in Mexico or halfway to New York by now.

There’s no word on who did this or why, or whether the weapons used were courtesy of the Department of Justice, but this incident serves as a reminder of just how dangerous our southern border has become, particularly in Arizona; Naco isn’t all that far from Douglas, near where rancher Robert Krentz and his dog were gunned down.

Tomorrow night is the first of three debates between President Obama and Governor Romney, and the focus is on “domestic issues.” Border security would be a good topic for the Governor to raise; when Phoenix becomes the kidnapping capital and Americans are warned against entering sovereign American territory and residents have to live in fear of possibly-armed people crossing their land, I’d call that a “domestic issue.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#FastAndFurious: The Legacy Media can take lessons from Spanish-language Univision

October 1, 2012

Fast and Furious got results, all right.

With notable exceptions, such as CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson, the mainstream media has done a horrid job covering the deadly scandal of Operation Fast and Furious, the “gunwalking” operation in which the US Government allowed thousands of weapons to fall into the hands of vicious Mexican drug cartels. These weapons killed not only two US federal agents and but –as far as we know and with more sure to come–  hundreds of Mexican citizens. It’s a scandal of epic proportions, but not all that well known to many Americans because of the media’s desperate attempts to convince us that what is really important are Mitt Romney’s tax returns.

Enter Univision, which had already raised impressed eyebrows with its hard questions to Obama over immigration. On its Aqui y Ahora show last night, Univision aired a one-hour investigative documentary on Fast and Furious, “Rapido y Furioso,” that blew the lid off this fiasco and showed clearly its human cost:

On January 30, 2010, a commando of at least 20 hit men parked themselves outside a birthday party of high school and college students in Villas de Salvarcar, Ciudad Juarez. Near midnight, the assassins, later identified as hired guns for the Mexican cartel La Linea, broke into a one-story house and opened fire on a gathering of nearly 60 teenagers. Outside, lookouts gunned down a screaming neighbor and several students who had managed to escape. Fourteen young men and women were killed, and 12 more were wounded before the hit men finally fled.

Indirectly, the United States government played a role in the massacre by supplying some of the firearms used by the cartel murderers. Three of the high caliber weapons fired that night in Villas de Salvarcar were linked to a gun tracing operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), according to a Mexican army document obtained exclusively by Univision News.

Univision News identified a total of 57 more previously unreported firearms that were bought by straw purchasers monitored by ATF during Operation Fast and Furious, and then recovered in Mexico in sites related to murders, kidnappings, and at least one other massacre.

Read it all, there’s oh so much more. The ABC link also has a video excerpt with subtitles, the documentary’s first ten minutes.

At PJ Media, Bob Owens notes that the documentary shows that DoJ officials knew the weapons would only be recovered at crime scenes –after people had been killed– and just brushed it off as having to “break a few eggs.”

I wonder how the families of the victims feel about that?

Owens also highlights the information Aqui y Ahora presented on other possible gunwalking operations:

Operation Castaway, run with the same bloody-minded approach as Operation Fast and Furious, provided more than 1,000 guns to cartels via the Tampa ATF. Those guns leaked out across Honduras, Colombia, and Venezuela, according to the U.S. veteran who smuggled some of the weapons, Hugh Crumpler [6]:

“When the ATF stopped me, they told me the guns were going to cartels,” Hugh Crumpler, a Vietnam veteran turned arms trafficker, told Univision News. “The ATF knew before I knew and had been following me for a considerable length of time. They could not have followed me for two months like they said they did, and not know the guns were going somewhere, and not want for that to be happening.”

Univision also uncovered evidence of weapons being smuggled from Texas: two gun-smuggling programs similar to Fast and Furious are rumored to have put thousands of additional weapons in the cartels’ hands in operations larger than Fast and Furious. U.S. Senator John Cornyn has repeatedly pressed the Obama administration for information about the documented trail of weapons coming from two Texas ATF areas of operations. The Department of Justice has denied the existence of such programs, despite the physical evidence of guns recovered suggesting otherwise. While the Univision report focused on guns the DOJ ran to Mexican cartels, there is enough evidence to suggest other Obama administration-sanctioned gun-walking plots arming domestic criminal gangs, such as the so-called Gangwalker plot [7] in Indiana, which supplied Chicago street gangs, and similar rumored operations in California, North Carolina, northern Florida, and elsewhere, which provided weapons to gangs in U.S. cities. Nor has the Univision report focused on weapons that have found their way to cartels via the State Department [8] or the Department of Defense.

Echoing the thoughts of an Arizona sheriff, we have to ask, how does this not make complicit officials from the president down to the field agents “accessories before the fact?” In fact, let’s be blunt: supplying these weapons to armed gangs attempting to take over territory from the Mexican federal and state governments could easily be called an act of war. We already have hundreds of casualties!

Operation Fast and Furious is an absolutely monstrous scandal, the kind we’d dismiss as bad television, if we didn’t know it was real. People need to go to jail over this, and if the Mexicans care to file for extradition, I’d be happy to oblige.

Meanwhile, Univision and its reporters are once again to be congratulated and commended for refusing to be fawning sycophants and for committing real journalism.

RELATED: Earlier posts on Operation Fast and Furious.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


October 1, 2012

Anyone voting for Obama in the face of a record like this must have been hitting the Hopium pipe, hard.

blogs4mitt

Please send this to any and all of your Obama supporting acquaintances and feel free to use it on your website.   The graph represents the labor participation rate for the past 10 years.  As you can see, when Obama took office 65.7% of adults were working.  Today, that number has decreased to 63.5%.

(Click for Bigger) Chart by Ycharts

Put another way, about 4 million fewer people are working today than when Obama took office.  And as you can also see, since Obama’s “recovery” began there are even fewer people working then in the worst of the recession he inherited.

The unemployment rate is defined as people looking for work divided by the number of people actually working.  The one and only reason unemployment has “dropped” from the recession high is that far fewer people are looking for work today.

Obama inherited a bad economy.  No one is arguing…

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October 1, 2012

As determined by a computer model, while observational data appears to show something different. Surprise, surprise. Be sure to read the whole article.

Watts Up With That?

From the University of British Columbia , a fish story inspired by a model:

Fish getting smaller as the oceans warm: UBC research

Changes in ocean and climate systems could lead to smaller fish, according to a new study led by fisheries scientists at the University of British Columbia.

The study, published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, provides the first-ever global projection of the potential reduction in the maximum size of fish in a warmer and less-oxygenated ocean.

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