I was not able to watch the Benghazi hearings due to work, so I only caught a few minutes of the highlights on the network evening news. The following thoughts are my quick take on the subject based on the little bit I have read and seen about the hearings and from following the story since September 11, 2012:
As bad as the initial reaction to the attack itself was (stand down order, failure to act?), much of that could be attributed to mistake, miscalculation, and other forms of incompetence. Maybe they didn't really know exactly what was happening, they didn't think there was time to get help there, or they thought the risk was too great to the rescuers. I am not saying I agree with those excuses, but it could at least be argued that they made bad decisions that cost lives, not that they intentionally wanted people to die.
The coverup, however, was so calculated and deliberate, that it troubles me the most. Those engaging in the coverup (including the "blame the video" assertion) disrespected the memory of those killed, assumed (correctly) the complicity of the American media and said with each preposterous lie, that the American people are dupes. While much of what was done before the deaths could be attributed to negligence or poor judgment, that done afterward -- the coverup -- appears to have been done with political calculation above all.
There are dozens of important issues to be covered in tonight's presidential debate on foreign policy. In addition to questions about Iran and Afghanistan and China, we will almost certainly hear more about the 9/11 attack in Benghazi. Here are a few points I hope are made about the president's handling of the attack:
1. The President was obviously determined to blame the attack in Benghazi on a spontaneous demonstration against a video. The most likely reason is that to admit it was a terrorist attack would disrupt the narrative that bin Laden is dead and the terrorists are "on the run" or "on their heels." It is very telling that the president recently removed those phrases from his stump speech.
2. In addition to how wrong it was to intentionally mislead the public about the nature of the attack, there is a big problem with all the apologies, even if the attack had been a spontaneous reaction to a video. The President of the United States apologized to the world -- in a speech to the UN -- for a video created by a private citizen. By apologizing over and over again for a video the government had no role in, he is, in effect, apologizing for the freedom our country provides all its citizens to the free speech that allowed such a video to me made.
3. One thing most in the media have not covered is that the President of the United States reported the video to YouTube and that the creator of the video was picked up by law enforcement in the middle of the night. I'd like to know what other videos the White House has reported to YouTube. What kind of message does that send to the world?
4. I hope we see the President asked about his "bump in the road" and "not optimal" references to the four Americans killed in the Benghazi attack.
For me, the President's handling of the Benghazi attack comes down to lies and apologies -- neither of which should be the basis for America's foreign policy. This is just one small issue in the big foreign policy scheme of things, but in many ways it is a fitting example.
Update (October 23): On the CBS News tonight they did a segment on the Benghazi emails that
were just released. The emails they showed made it very clear that the
White House Situation Room and several others in the administration
received emails in real time alerting them of the situation on the
ground in Benghazi as it unfolded and in the first couple hours they had a very good idea about what was happening.
They also showed a clip from 60 Minutes that was from an interview shortly after the attack in which Obama said it did look like it was probably more than a mob action, different than the situation in Egypt, and that it looked likely that Americans were targeted from the start. You can see the text of the CBS report and video of the 60 Minutes clip here. They didn't say much about all the apologizing he did for weeks over the video, though.
I've been exchanging emails all night with friends, sharing our thoughts on tonight's presidential debate in Denver or -- as I've come to refer to it -- the Denver Smackdown. There were tons of observations, jokes, and predictions flying around, but my overall, quickie takeaway is that Romney ruled.
My favorite thing about tonight was that Governor Romney not only took the fight to President Obama, but he seemed to genuinely enjoy doing so. He had that fire in his eyes that it takes to win. But as assertive, even aggressive, as he was, he was still likeable. My husband watched and noted how polite the two were to each other. I had not really noticed because I was so caught up in, and somewhat surprised by, the fact that Romney came out swinging and never let up. But he was right about the politeness. Romney struck the perfect balance. He came across as a gentleman. He was forceful without being a bully. He was assertive of his territory (the time clock), without being rude. Romney was pitch perfect tonight. Just perfect.
And as perfect as Romney was, Obama was that bad. I already had a feeling this election would be a lot like Reagan - Carter. Obama has been behaving like a man in deep trouble. His surrogates have called Romney a felon, accused him of killing a woman with cancer, and even of dissing his garbageman. This isn't a "Morning in America" campaign. This is the smell of desperation in the morning.
This debate served to expose the cracks that were already there. Obama cannot defend his record and Romney did not allow him to change the subject. Obama supporters on Twitter ,and even on MSNBC, expressed their deep disappointment in their guy. One look at Chris Matthews told us the thrill is gone. The tingles and thrills have turned to terror and chills.
There is a long way to go. There may be several October surprises to come -- gaffes, more "secret" tapes, maybe even world events that intervene? Romney will go into the final two debates with sky high expectations and it will be hard to top tonight's performance, but I don't think he will need to top it. He has set the narrative. He has identified the failures of the past four years. He has shown the country who Mitt Romney is and what he is made of. And judging from the early reactions, America is really liking Mitt Romney tonight.
Update: Thanks to @thomgough for finding this great version of the B.B.King classic: My friend Adam had my favorite video for the night though saying the following was POTUS' theme song for the election and tonight's debate:
On this 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, I will be remembering those lost in the attacks on that day, as well as those lost since then in other areas of the world to keep us safe. Here is a link to my previous 9/11 posts and below are two of my favorite quotes from September 2001.
"The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve."
- President George W. Bush, September 11, 2001 Address to the Nation
"The people who did this to us are monsters; the people who cheered them have hate-sickened minds. One reason they can cheer is that they know we would never do to them what their heroes did to us, even though we could, a thousand times worse. They know that when we hunt down the monsters, we will try hard not to harm the innocent. Those are the handcuffs we willingly wear, because for all our flaws, we are a decent people." -- Dave Barry
Here is a quick list of some of the things I loved about the convention overall:
#1 Reminded America success is good, criticizing success is bad (crazy even)
#2 Pointed out that Democrats don't "get" the way business works
#3 Showcased smart conservative women
#4 Lots of talk about school choice, the American Dream, striving for excellence
#5 Great examples of Romney's faith in action
#6 Ann Romney
#7 Did I mention Ann Romney?
I love that the convention didn't just pay paid lip service to conservative issues and policies (school choice, genius of free enterprise system, American exceptionalism, etc.) throughout the week, but put forward so many concrete examples. I loved that it was pointed out so many times how ridiculous it is that 4 years later, Obama is still blaming Bush.
Romney hit the ball out of the park tonight. I especially loved that he embraced what he did at Bain, telling the other side of the story -- how jobs were created His speech and the speeches of those telling us all the stories we'd never heard before painted a portrait of a man we are only now really getting to know. I liked what I saw and I think most of those watching tonight probably did, too.
I have read quite a few stories about Brett Kimberlin over the past couple days, and still don't quite understand why he is not in prison. The stories of the bombings he is responsible for a generation ago are horrific, but the accounts of the brand of political terrorism he is engaging in today are just as chilling.
I won't retell the stories here that Patterico, Liberty Chick, Aaron Walker, Stacy McCain and others have already told in vivid detail about the harassment they have received and are continuing to receive at the hands of Brett Kimberlin and some of his friends. You should read their first hand accounts. (I'd never before heard anything about the type of harassment/terrorism called "swatting" until I read Patterico's post). As you will find, the abuse they have received has been going on for some time. Andrew Breitbart warned about Kimberlin.
Lee Stranahan proposed that today be "Everybody Blog about Brett Kimberlin" Day and Michelle Malkin has done an amazing job rallying the blogosphere in a "free speech blogburst" to call attention to the activity of Kimberlin and others and to help raise money to help those who have been targeted by Kimberlin & Co. Michelle has the mother of all blog roundups here, along with lots of background information and updates. Here is some background reading and some ways you can help from her post:
Immediate action items to help Aaron are here.
Ali Akbar of the National Bloggers Club has stepped up to the plate and set up a donation page to help support the bloggers targeted by Kimberlin. Please help here if you can. If you prefer PayPal, click here.
As is often the case, the right blogosphere has managed to make (to borrow a phrase from a Sara Evans song that I'll bet no one else knows but me) "something magic out of something frightening." The situation remains frightening, but the power we can muster when we all stand together, as one, against something that can only be described as evil is magical. If you don't blog, you can take a stand as well by posting the links above (and from Michelle's site) on your Facebook page, tweeting and retweeting them and contributing money. When I last checked, Michelle had over 100 blog posts listed in her roundup. I don't know if the mainstream media has picked this story up yet, but if they haven't they've certainly had to go out of their way to ignore it.
Please keep the bloggers Kimberlin & Co. are terrorizing in your prayers and do what you can to help spread the word.
Between the job I started 17 months ago and family time, it is difficult to do much blogging. But when I saw this amazing work by Duane Lester I had to link it up and make sure as many bloggers as possible saw it. Duane had his work at All American Blogger taken and published in a local paper without permission and with no attribution. Unfortunately, this happens too often with blog posts being used by other blogs, newspapers and even on radio and television, without permission or attribution.
What makes Duane's story different is that he did something about it. Read his blog post about the experience from start to finish, including the legal advice he got and what he did from there, ending in a tense in person showdown that was captured on video. You don't want to miss this and every blogger should bookmark this one for future reference. Read Duane's blog post, then watch the video:
“The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.” – President George W. Bush, September 11, 2001 Address to the Nation
Here is a link my post from the five year anniversary of 9/11.
Last night I was shocked to learn that Joshua Goldberg passed away. For those not fortunate enough to know him, Thomas Lifson wrote the following at American Thinker:
Joshua Goldberg, son of Lucianne, brother of Jonah, and husband of Chantal, died long before his time, following injuries resulting from a fall. Although he was less well-known than his mother and brother, Josh quietly edited the sites Lucianne.com, BlogsLucianneLoves, and The Connection, working mostly behind the scenes. That was his way. Following 911, Josh was one of those New Yorkers who put on his work boots and walked miles to the WTC site to help go through the rubble looking for survivors and victims' bodies. That was the kind of man he was, quietly doing the right thing, and never seeking public credit for it.
Unfortunately I never met Joshua in person, but rather knew him through emails we exchanged. Even through email, his kindness and warmth was evident. I came to know Joshua first years ago through his mother, Lucianne. When I commented on a brilliant piece Jonah wrote saying to her "you must be so proud," she responded that she was very proud of both of her sons. She has many reasons to be. Joshua's family and friends know all those reasons (some of which Thomas Lifson wrote), but millions of people who read Lucianne.com, Blogs Lucianne Loves and The Connection have been touched by Joshua as well without even knowing it.
My thoughts and prayers are with Lucianne and the rest of Joshua's family today.
Thanks for indulging me the BaBa WaWa reference. I don't know why, but for some reason that is the first thing that came to my mind when trying to come up with a post title. SNL flashbacks.
Tonight Barbara Walters' Most Fascinating Person of the Year for 2010 was General David Petraeus. Good for Walters for choosing such a deserving honoree. She had really nice things to say about Petraeus, but the segment itself was bit bizarre because of what was omitted. First, and foremost, unless I just completely missed it, I don't think the name George W. Bush was uttered.
She pointed out that President Obama turned to him to lead the effort in Afghanistan. But no mention of Bush's decision to go with the Petraeus doctrine and the flack he took for it. No mention of the Left's despicable "Betray Us" campaign. I am glad she acknowledged his accomplishments. It is just a shame that could only take place when he was serving a Democrat President.
I owe Kevin Aylward a couple hundred or so posts at Wizbang. It has been so long since I've done any political blogging. I've been doing some sneak peek posts about Sarah Palin's Alaska reality show at Big Hollywood, but other than that have been pretty quiet online. I've not even found much time for Twitter lately. And since I have yet to even put my Christmas tree up, I don't see me finding much time anytime soon.
My next update will be more about what I am doing, rather than what I am not doing (as this one is).
I've had no time to blog lately, but decided to belatedly post a link to my sweet potato post from last year. This year I have it pretty easy. I am only fixing a ham, a salad and sweet potato casserole because my mom and sister are doing the rest. Happy Thanksgiving!
Who do you most want to hear concede tonight? My top votes are:
1) Bob "Who're You?" Etheridge (I work for his opponent Renee Ellmers who could use your vote today!)
2) Alan Grayson
3) Harry Reid
There are so many more though -- Mike McIntyre, Charlie Crist, Barney Frank, Patty Murray, etc. Who is on your list?
From Jennifer Rubin:
If he intends to base his last two years on vilifying Republicans, he may succeed — in solidifying the not-Obama, center-right coalition.
Bill Clinton ran circles around the GOP Congress following the 1994 midterm debacle because he was more amiable, flexible, and adroit than his opponents. Whatever his faults, Clinton didn’t hate our guts. He loved being president, and he loved being praised by his fellow citizens. Obama suffers us — first in silence and now in public. And flexibility has really not been his strong suit. In short, Democrats long for a repeat of post-1994, but they lack the Bill Clinton part of the equation. (Frankly, they also lack the Newt Gingrich villain figure. Whatever their shortcomings, the current GOP leadership generally avoids personal displays of grandiosity and lacks a compulsion to say whatever ludicrously daft thought pops into their heads.)
So for those Democrats licking their chops at the prospect of an Obama-GOP face-off, they might want to reconsider. Isn’t it just as likely Obama will make the Republicans look better than the other way around? He’s sure done that during the midterm campaign.
Read it all.
Even though I often disagree with him, I am a huge fan of Juan Williams. I like him so much that I went to see him at a Civitas function in Raleigh a few years ago and invited my good friend, blogger Betsy Newmark to come since I knew she was a fan of Williams' work as well. After listening to him speak at length about his book, Enough, and after talking to him after the event, I went away with enormous affection for him and, as hokey as it sounds, hope for the future. Williams was open to considering different ideas and to changing his opinions when presented with new facts. My hope was that his influence, through his book and television appearances, would reach millions and cause many to question the politically correct narratives they have been fed over the years, just as Williams had.
I have been so consumed by the election that I have not written anything about NPR's firing of Juan Williams and regrettably don't really have time to do the topic justice, but I did not want to go without at least jotting down some words of support for a man I deeply respect, and some words of outrage for NPR. Firing him was bad enough, the ridiculous explanation for it was outrageous (NPR should be embarrassed. The psychitrist comment in the video was completely out of line.)
Betsy Newmark took the necessary time to do the issue justice, so please go read her blog post at Betsy's Page. She looked at the entire transcript. It is difficult to imagine that NPR could have done the same and come to the conclusion they did. Read Juan Williams' piece at Fox News to get his side of the story.
I had a great time talking to Gay Patriot Bruce Carroll on his Blog Talk Radio show tonight. Adam Baldwin was up first and he was really interesting and super smart so even if you don't want to listen to me, listen to Bruce and Adam.
I've been really busy working on Renee's campaign lately. So busy, that I did not even take time to post a link to some columns I had posted this week. One was a piece at Townhall on conservative women that I've been writing for weeks and finally finished up over the weekend. The next was a review of the film Fire from the Heartland which ran at Big Hollywood. Then yesterday my review (and celebration of) the return of the series Dexter for its fifth season was posted at Big Hollywood. Please go take a look at them.
After listening to my ten-year-old daughter talk about how she was going to die having to wait all summer for the premiere of season 4 of Chuck, I almost forgot all about the date until seeing an ad a couple of days ago. I told my daughter that the premiere was this Monday and she squealed at the top of her lungs and jumped up and down over and over again. I did too, but just on the inside. Chuck is great fun, not only because it includes one of the hottest conservative men on earth, Adam Baldwin, but because the show has it all – action, comedy, drama – and a great ensemble cast. For all the reasons to be sure to catch the new season tonight on NBC, see my Ode to Chuck. I have not watched any of the previews of the season opener, but you can see them here. I did notice on a tv promo that Chuck cut his hair over the summer. That may be a big deal. I haven’t decided yet. I’ll definitely be watching my daughter’s reaction to Chuck’s new “do.” And I’ll enjoy watching her face light up. The squeals, however, I could do without.
Hilarious new NRA ad:
Jim Hoft's headline says it best: Pathetic Cut-&-Runner Takes Credit For Victory.
There are times I think Obama has to "get it" by now. He has to realize that the ony way he is going to save his miserable political future is to find some humility and admit that his policies have failed. He has to realize that it would go a long way to restoring some confidence in him and would help his approval ratings if he would just admit that the economy is in the crapper and it is largely due to the failure of the policies he has enacted. Maybe he will admit it is at least partially due to those policies? Or maybe that at the very least, his policies have not improved things as he promised?
Anyone waiting to see that side of Obama -- the side that would make him appear honest and human and in touch with reality -- might just be waiting forever. More proof was there last night that, as John McCain put it, such behavior is just not in his DNA. By failing to credit George Bush with success in Iraq, or to acknowledge his own vote against the surge which achieved such success, he just showed me he is still just about as arrogant, dishonest and insecure as a politician could be. (And yes, a person can be arrogant and insecure at the same time.)
It was not a huge surprise that he would not admit he was wrong about Iraq. Jim Hanson described what the consequences of Obama's preferred course of action in Iraq would have been:
He should man up and admit that he was wrong about every single thing he said about the Iraq War while he was in the Senate and he should thank President Bush for being resolute enough to ignore him, Hillary, Reid, Pelosi and the rest of the cut and run chorus. If we had followed the advice of then Sen. Obama, we would have lost the war and al Qaeda and the Iranians would be carving it up between them.
Will Obama's arrogance and unwillingness to admit the reality everyone else (except evidently MSNBC talk show hosts) can see with their own two eyes, be his undoing? I think maybe it already has been.
Full disclosure: I have been working for Renee Ellmers for Congress since May. I have gotten to know Renee really well and the more I know about her, the more I like her. She is the real deal. Renee is running against Bob Etheridge in congressional district NC-2. Etheridge is famous most recently for his hit YouTube video, but he has been on my radar for years because NC-2 is my home district. He has voted for higher taxes and bigger government for years, but over the past two years has really gone all out for the Obama agenda voting for the spendulus, cap and tax, Obamacare and just about anything else Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama have proposed. He has voted with Pelosi 97% of the time.
This year is the best opportunity we have had to defeat Bob Etheridge and get a common sense conservative elected to this seat. But Etheridge has faced little opposition during his 14 years in the Congress and has built up a million dollar war chest which he will be spending soon on television ads. This seat is winnable, but Renee needs money to be competitive. Today the campaign is doing an "End the Stranglehold" moneybomb. Please contribute what you can. This is a great way to make a difference and turn a blue seat red. Please pass this along to your friends. Tweet it. Share on Facebook. And if you are a blogger, grab a graphic to support the campaign. Thank you.
Crossposted at Wizbangblog.com.
If you missed the story, it is titled, “True Stories of Bloggers that Feed on Partisan Cash,” and here is the part that is most at issue:
“It’s standard operating procedure” to pay bloggers for favorable coverage, says one Republican campaign operative. A GOP blogger-for-hire estimates that “at least half the bloggers that are out there” on the Republican side “are getting remuneration in some way beyond ad sales.”
On those two statements, I call bullshit. I don’t know who the anonymous “Republican campaign operative” and “GOP blogger-for-hire” are but I’ve been blogging since 2004 and I know many, many bloggers. I know some of them fairly well and I can confidently say there is no way that 50 percent of bloggers are getting paid (especially beyond ad sales) to blog. Maybe I move in different circles, but in the world of conservative political blogging that I live in, that is not the case.
Here is what I can tell you about what I’ve seen of bloggers since I started blogging in April of 2004. I can tell you about bloggers who work all day at a job to pay their bills and then come home and stay up to the wee hours to blog and get paid nothing for it. I can tell you about bloggers who pay out of their own funds for servers and blog design and to go to events they want to cover. They often go without other things, and sometimes anger their spouses by spending that money, to be able to blog. I can tell you about bloggers who would love to make enough money blogging to quit their day jobs and devote all their time to their blogs, but have not found a way to make it happen.
I think bloggers should be getting paid. Not by a candidate to say what they want them to say without disclosing a relationship, but I do think they should be getting paid for their work and I have been involved in discussions with other bloggers about some ways that might come about.
I have at times made money blogging by getting a percentage of ad revenue, but since I was part of a group blog most of the time I rarely paid any attention to what ads were even running and it never influenced my blogging. I have been paid by several publications over the years to write columns. I have been paid by a couple of candidates to work on their campaigns over the past few years, but I rarely blog during the same time I am working on a campaign (mainly because I don’t have enough time) and when I do I go out of my way to disclose my association with the candidate and campaign, like I did this week.
Read Melissa Clothier’s post on the Daily Caller piece at Liberty Pundits. She says much of what I would have said if I had not already read her saying it better. I worked on the same RNC project that Melissa cites (we actually became good friends while working together on it) and am on the same tech listserv she mentions. We did not get paid for it, but were happy to do it to give the RNC better insight into the blogging community.
I am not going to defend Dan Riehl point by point since he has already defended himself better than I ever could, but will say that anyone who knows Dan has to know he says what he wants to say. And does so forcefully (and sometimes quite crudely).
I’ve never taken money, in the form of blog ads or otherwise, to blog about a campaign or issue. I have been asked by people working for campaigns to blog about certain stories and have done it free of charge because they are things I would have blogged about anyway. As a consultant to campaigns I have asked bloggers to write about the candidates I’ve worked for. I have asked frequently, in fact. And I will continue to ask and to attempt to persuade them with my arguments for the candidate, rather than cash.
When the news about Tucker Carlson’s blog project came out I was surprised because I’d never heard his name associated with blogging. Maybe he thinks over half of us are getting paid to say what others want us to say. Maybe if he knew a few more bloggers he, or Jonathan Strong who wrote the piece, could have asked a few of them and found out whether or not 50 percent were getting paid to blog. I read at Dan Riehl’s blog that Strong graduated from college in 2006 and has worked as a congressional staffer and lives in Arlington. Maybe he doesn’t know that most bloggers don’t live in the DC area. Or even in California. I’d be glad to introduce him to a few dozen who won’t make a dime.
I don’t doubt that there are bloggers who have sold their credibility for money from rich candidates who are too stupid to realize that if they are worth electing there are people who will write about them for free. I don’t doubt that there are consultants who are evil and crooked as well. But the majority of bloggers are not getting rich, and are not selling their reputations to the highest bidder. The fact that Daily Caller would publish such accusations with what appears to be little investigation or corroboration, tells me more about their credibility than that of the vast majority of conservative bloggers.
There was another story in the same news cycle yesterday about Philly requiring bloggers to purchase a $300 business permit. For most bloggers, including most conservative bloggers, that would not only wipe out any money they made blogging, but would put them in negative territory. Bottom line is if you want to get rich blogging, you’d do better to follow the Tucker Carlson model than the Dan Riehl one.
Update: When I wrote about hearing about Tucker Carlson's blog project, I was referring to back before the Daily Caller was launched, when I first heard anything about the project. Before that when I heard Tucker Carlson's name I thought of MSNBC, not blogging. And the Daily Caller isn't a blog -- it is an online magazine -- although Jim Treacher is there and he is a great blogger. Some other good bloggers write for DC, too. It's just too bad they weren't assigned to this story.
Crossposted at Wizbangblog.com.
I have been so busy working for Renee Ellmers' campaign that I have not blogged much lately, but had to come back to let you all know that Renee has been nominated for the Ten Buck Fridays moneybomb. Please go vote for Renee! Ask all your Facebook friends and Twitter followers to do the same.
If you don't already know what an incredible candidate Renee is, go read more about her at ReneeforCongress.com.
My friend, blogger Katy Benningfield, is fearless. She was the only
conservative in attendance at a march opposing the Arizona immigation
law in Raleigh this week. She even wore a pro Arizona t-shirt she got
at the Right Online conference
There were many great moments from the Right Online conference. Unfortunately the video of all the speeches has not yet been uploaded and posted online, but I will post links here when it is.
Michele Bachmann's speech was one of the best. It is long, but it is good. I especially liked her "solution" to the financial crisis we are in today. It starts around the 31 min. mark.
Update: My favorite speech from the conference was from Ann McElhinney. It actually is one of my favorite speeches of all time. Listen to it all. You'll thank me.
Don't miss the excellent post on the JournoListas by Trevor Loudon at Noisy Room. Here's an excerpt. Be sure to read it all. Bookmark this one.
This post looks at 106 reported “Journolistas” to look for connections or common threads.
Of the known “Jounolistas” and organizations listed below, many can be linked back to two interrelated groups Democratic Socialists of America, the U.S.’s largest Marxist-based organization and the D.S.A.’s “brain,” the Washington DC-based, far left “think tank,” the Institute for Policy Studies.
Between them, D.S.A. and the I.P.S. dominate or influence several organizations affiliated to JournoList, including:
*Economic Policy Institute - Led by D.S.A. member Larry Mishel and I.P.S. affiliate Jeff Faux and several D.S.A. affiliated board members. This organization has contributed at least three officials to the Obama Administration, including Obama economic adviser and ‘Journolista’ Jared Bernstein.
*Center for American Progress – Several staff and officials are affiliated with D.S.A. and the I.P.S. Writing of the Center’s relationship to the Obama Administration, former Weather Underground terrorist leader and Progressives for Obama supporter Mark Rudd said “There’s a whole govt. in waiting that Podesta has at the Center for American Progress. They’re mostly progressives, I’m told…”
This is one of the funniest things I've read in a long time. From Alexa Shrugged:
"Another thing we can do for jobs is make toys of me, especially for the holidays. Little dolls. Me. Like maybe little action dolls. Me in an army uniform, air force uniform, and me in my suit. They can make toys of me and my vehicle, especially for the holidays and Christmas for the kids. That's something that would create jobs. So you see I think out of the box like that. It's not something a typical person would bring up. That's something that could happen, that makes sense. It's not a joke."
Now, before you laugh (and I'm assuming the reporter was laughing and that's why Greene said, "It's not a joke.") is that any crazier than current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi saying that sending checks to the unemployed is one of the fastest ways to create jobs?
She's right. One is just about as crazy as the other, but the visual you get in your head with Alvin Greene's idea is much more amusing. If crazy ideas that will just keep us in the same crummy current job situation can be amusing, that is.
Much of my early blogging was about the war in Iraq -- the war itself, the media coverage of the war and the treatment of our troops. Listening to the words of Senator Barack Obama talking at General Petraeus in flashbacks today was almost unbearable. It is hard to reconcile that the man who ignored, downplayed and outright denied the successes our troops were achieving is now their commander-in-chief. Senator Obama spoke about what a failure the surge was when there was evidence it was succeeding. He continued to deny that success until the point that to do so would have made him a laughing stock.
I read that the people at MoveOn,org who had created the General Betray Us ads have now quietly scrubbed them from the site. Wow. What courage. I can't say anything else about that right now because I might have to get really ugly about. Instead go read something I wrote a few years ago about the Petraeus Effect. I feel pretty much the same way today as I did when I wrote that
God bless General Petraeus. I can't imagine any reason to want to walk into the situation he is now in, but it is no doubt his love for country and for his brothers in arms. Please say a prayer for him. He is going to need all of them he can get.
Update: More from Greyhawk.
I was shocked and saddened, as I am sure all Hugh Slatery's readers were, to hear the news of his passing. My prayers are with his family and friends, especially his wife and three children.
It is strange knowing people only through contact online, through emails and comments and blog posts. When I saw Hugh's picture in Kevin's post it took my breath away. He looks exactly like I would have imagined, only much more handsome. I found myself crying off and on yesterday -- first for Hugh's family and their loss, then over regret that I didn't know more about Hugh while he was with us and that I didn't take more time to let him know how much I admired his work.
Looking at that picture, it really saddened me to think that last night was the first time I ever saw his face. In some ways it was the first time I really saw his work, too. I had known him first as a frequent commenter beginning when I blogged at Polipundit and then later as a blogger here at Wizbang. I had enjoyed his comments which were not only intelligent, but also witty and supportive, and later his blogging. Seeing all his blog posts in one collection put everything into new perspective. As I read back through his archive I had a new appreciation for the incredible insight he had. I was already a fan, but I didn't fully realize how much quality work he had produced. I am not quite up to reading back through his comments since those back and forth discussions between the "regulars" are much more personal and I am just not quite ready to go there yet.
I apologize for using so many "I's" here, but knowing Hugh primarily through his writing I knew less about him and more about what his writing meant to me. His observations always made me think. Sometimes they made me smile or laugh out loud. Sometimes the things he pointed out ticked me off and made me want to pick up a sign and go to a tea party. He was a kind and brilliant man and he is already missed.
If you did not read Hugh regularly, take a look at his archive of work. Here are a couple of excerpts from Hugh's posts:
In the 2006 midterm Democrats picked up control of the Senate and the House. One of the lesser known facts about that change of control, from a national viewpoint, is that the change in control of the Senate came down to a difference of 2,847 votes out of a total of 61.2 million cast nationally. And of the fourteen closest races that "settled control of the House of Representatives" (according to Karl Rove) 27,022 votes out of a total of 81 million in all House races made the difference for Democrats. Fund worries that we are forgetting the lessons of the 2000 election recount debacle. That take is a little too kind in my view. I'm concerned that the other side is resolutely determined to steal it right this time.
The Tea Party movement has been all over this issue from its beginning but Governor Christie may be the first big league politician to actually wrestle the problem to the ground. Think about that data for a moment. Government employees in New Jersey enjoy health benefit plans that are 41% more expensive than Fortune 500 private sector plans. Why do public sector employees that create no wealth whatsoever enjoy such riches in excess of a private sector that pays all of the taxes from their own wealth creation? What the Tea Party movement advanced in general last Spring is being brought home by Christie in a manner that makes it personal. And therein is the substance of a winning campaign strategy if only some conservative/libertarian will show the courage to push a policy on a national level that surprisingly is being birthed in New Jersey. Conservatives would be wise to heed Christie's most prescient comment that "subtlety is not going to win this fight,"
Sestak acknowledged in an interview in February that he was offered a position by an unnamed White House official - a potential violation of federal law - but has not offered any specifics on conversation. Republicans are trying to use the issue against Sestak in the November Senate race.
"It's interesting. I was asked a question about something that happened months earlier, and I felt that I should answer it honestly, and that's all I had to say about it." Sestak said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "Anybody else has to decide on what they will say upon their role. That's their responsibility."
Yet Sestak confirmed to NBC's David Gregory that the incident did take place.
"I was offered a job, and I answered that," Sestak said. "Anything that goes beyond that is for others to talk about."
Considering the job offer might have possibly been a violation of federal law, or at the very least, the type of political maneuvering that many voters deplore, Sestak's refusal to provide more information about the offer is troubling. He says, "Anybody else has to decide on what they will say upon their role. That's their responsibility....I was offered a job. Anything that goes beyond that is for others to talk about." Is this the same position he will take as a Senator?
If someone were to offer Senator Sestak a bribe, would he just turn them down and leave it up to them to turn themselves in? Or would he let the proper authorities, and the voters, know what was going on, to serve as a strong deterrent for such behavior? Even if Sestak did not want to raise the issue of the White House job offer, now that it is out in the open doesn't he have some responsibility to provide additional details? It appears he doesn't think so. After all, he said, "That's their responsibility." Well, at least with that statement he is clear with the voters about where he stands on the issue of responsibility.
at Wizbang and Riehl World View.
In my early days of blogging and column writing one of my most frequent topics was the war in Iraq. I was appalled by much of the media coverage and the fact that many Democrats were willing to not only ignore the good work being done in the field by our troops, but to go so far as to smear them in an attempt to gain political advantage. It should not be surprising that the story surrounding the primary in NC District 7 struck a nerve with me. The latest news from the losers in that primary race is disappointing to say the least.
Politico headline says, “GOP Split Clouds McIntyre Race:”
Two unsuccessful Republican candidates in North Carolina have turned their guns on the primary election winner, endangering the party’s hopes of defeating longtime Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) in November.
GOP voters in the 7th District on May 4 nominated Ilario Pantano, a charismatic Iraq warveteran with a personal story many find compelling and a past encounter with military justice that gives others concern.
Among the latter is Will Breazeale, the second-place finisher and 2008 nominee against McIntyre, who told POLITICO on Wednesday he would do what he can to keep Pantano from winning the seat. He said the third-place finsher, Randy Crow, would join him at a news conference Tuesday in Wilmington, N.C., to discuss their plans.
“We’re going to work against him,” Breazeale — also an Iraq veteran — said. “If the Republicans don’t like it, they can kick me out.”
Breazeale says he has a moral obligation to oppose the nominee because of his actions in Iraq. “It takes a military man like me to explain to civilians how bad that is.” Here is how Breazeale “explained” it following his primary defeat:
Buyers remorse is a tough pill to swallow. I cannot help but think that perhaps many who voted for Ilario Pantano are now realizing their nominee's claim to fame is the execution of two unarmed Iraqis? In turn, they are already attempting to set up a scapegoat (me) in order to justify his inevitable, massive failure in November.
Breazeale argues that Democrat incumbent McIntyre will use the issue against Pantano in the general election. If McIntyre is stupid enough to go that route I predict the tactic will be every bit as effective as it has been for Breazeale, and might even ensure the first Republican in 140 years takes the seat.
When Ace of Spades wrote about Pantano’s primary win last week the first comment to his blog post was, “What are the odds his Dem challenger outright calls him a murderer anyway, even though he was cleared?” The response from another commenter was, “If it happens, I think the campaign will effectively end, since the D will have just ended his chances of victory and indeed his political career.” They accurately predicted the tactic, but got the party wrong, although the accusations do sound a lot like those of one Democrat – Rep. John Murtha, who declared the Marines in Haditha guilty before all the evidence was in. Several years ago Pantano commented on Murtha’s charges in the Washington Post.
Breazeale has announced he will be calling a press conference next week to continue this attack on Pantano. He is currently reaching out to various media outlets (most recently The Daily Beast), but I can’t help but wonder if he might regret doing so if some of his own past is dredged up in the process. That would not only embarrass Breazeale, but it would continue to take attention away from the choice voters have to make in November.
Now that Will Breazeale and Randy Crow have lost, the focus of the race should be on the differences between Pantano and McIntyre rather than grandstanding by those no longer in the running. Pantano has pointed out that in spite of voting with Republicans on some issues, McIntyre’s vote is for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House. I expect to hear Pantano cite that and many other differences frequently over the next six months.
For those concerned about the charges against Pantano, as Jammie Wearing Fool points out, “Pantano's history is out there for all to see and he isn't hiding anything. A simple Google search will tell you everything you need to know.”
Beginning in 2005, Blackfive’s Matt Burden followed Pantano’s case in a seven part series of blog posts ending with news that the murder charges were dropped. Burden wrote, “I know Marines who commanded Pantano…every single one of them support Pantano. Every. Single. One. The ones that I know would follow Pantano to hell and back.” Burden enthusiastically endorsed Pantano in February.
The Politico headline cited in the beginning of this post is incorrect. The Republican party is not split. Pantano’s two opponents lost and instead of honoring the wishes of the voters of NC’s 7th congressional district, and the overwhelming victory they handed Pantano with 69 percent of the vote, the men are desperately trying to stay in the game. To do so they may attempt to split the party, but that is not going to happen.
Iliano Pantano is a strong candidate. He is young and energetic, as well as media savvy and a wonderful speaker. Most important, he appears ready to do the work necessary to win the race. His “100 Days of Work” videos remind me of Charles Kuralt’s On the Road reports – in both production and entertainment value. (In the first video his barber talks with Pantano in a down home southern drawl about Mr. Smith going to Washington and “filly-bustering.”)
Read Matt Burden’s Blackfive posts regarding the charges against Pantano – all of which have been dropped. Read Pantano’s book, Warlord. Go to Pantano’s website and watch some of his 100 days videos and read his blog posts. While there watch his interview with Jon Stewart about the book. Then decide whether or not he is a candidate you might want to support.
Pantano recently posted the following note to supporters about his strategy going forward,
“We have much to do, but let’s do it softly, and with honor and dignity. We are not looking for fights nor do we need to be disrespectful. Imagine a U-boat, that has just fired torpedoes and now moves quietly underwater to a new attack position. Don't ever confuse kindness, and civility with a lack of steely resolve. So get out there and smile. Kill them with kindness. These times are too critical and this race too important to succumb to emotion or foolish rancor. We will win by our rigorous faith and our discipline.”
If you would like to help Pantano prevail in November and be the first Republican to win the NC 7th district seat in 140 years you can visit his website and contribute to his campaign. If you are short on cash or live far from his district, his campaign has suggested ten ways you can help him from the comfort of your own home.
Update: In the middle of the night when I wrote this post I misspelled Ilario Pantano's name in the post title. I have corrected the mistake and apologize for that and any other mistakes I might find.
Crossposted at Wizbang.
Maybe it is because liberals have not yet figured out a way to blame Dick Cheney for it -- I don't know why, but for whatever reason the flooding in Tennessee has not gotten as much media attention as it deserves. If you have seen the heartbreaking pictures from Nashville you know the people there need help. Noel Sheppard and Michelle Malkin have posted links to organizations providing relief to the flood victims in Tennessee, including a telethon airing tonight on WSMV-TV featuring Vince Gill, Keith Urban and others. Follow the links to help if you can and please keep the people of Tennessee in your prayers.Crossposted at Wizbang.
If you've been to a tea party you already know there are Independent tea partiers, and Democrat tea partiers, and yes, even black tea partiers (despite what you might have heard). People like Keith Olbermann, Jeanine Garofalo, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, are saying tea partiers are all white racists. They are obviously woefully ignorant of the facts, explaining the black Americans in attendance at the tea parties by calling them names like Uncle Tom. They need to watch this video.
I love watching Celebrity Apprentice, partially because Donald Trump is so entertaining (in a train wreck kind of way), but if he tries to take credit for Trace Adkins' success one more time I am gonna scream. Evidently The Donald does not realize how ignorant it makes him sound every time he tries to claim credit for the popularity of Trace Adkins. He has done it numerous times. In the Celebrity Apprentice finale when Trace Adkins sang his song, "You're Gonna Miss This," Trump claimed credit for the song going to #1. Tonight when Adkins showed up as part of a country music artist task, Trump made another reference to himself as the reason Adkins is such a big country music star.
I realize that there are many people who don't follow country music who didn't know Adkins before Apprentice, and were introduced to him and his music through the show. But for goodness sakes, Adkins has a been a huge country star for quite a few years. Believe it or not, his huge hit Honkey Tonk, Badonka Donk had nothing to do with The Donald and there were a whole lot of people singing that song who didn't follow country music or watch Apprentice. Speaking of reaching a non-country audience, Adkins has been appearing on Bill Maher's show since way back when Maher was on ABC. Sorry Donald, but you probably owe as much to Trace Adkins for him introducing his fans to Apprentice as you do for introducing him to your fans.
UPDATE: Spoiler Alert!! Don't read further unless you have watched the episode.
A few thoughts about tonight's board room... Donald Trump fired project manager Goldberg. Last week he fired Selena because she didn't do enough and didn't have enough fire. He could have fired the project manager, Holly, who clearly targeted the wrong consumers (moms) and did not focus on the endurance aspect of the product as they had been instructed. Instead he fired the person who had the least to do with the task. Tonight he could have fired Brett, who did the most on the task. I don't think he should have done that because Brett did a really good job. His only limitation was the singer who refused to be made over to much extent. He could have fired Curtis, who said he was managing time for the task. Curtis did not manage time well, spending the majority of the photo shoot time sitting in traffic with the singer's wardrobe. If Brett had more time to focus on styling the singer for the shoot he might have gotten him to try more new things. Instead they were rushed to do the majority of the shoot in about 20 minutes. Instead he fired Goldberg, saying he should not have volunteered to be project manager since he was not the one with knowledge of the task. I just thought it was interesting to see how different the criteria for firing was this week from last week. I think it all comes down to who Trump wants to fire. It is his show and that is part of what does make it so interesting. You never really know who is safe and who isn't. I guess that is one of the reasons I never miss an episode.
Blogger Bookworm has already experienced ObamaCare indoctrination through her middle school age child.
My daughter’s history teacher, when pressed by her students about Sunday’s health care vote, couldn’t keep her mouth shut. (Keeping her mouth shut would have involved saying, “This is a history class, not a politics class. You should ask your parents these questions.”) Instead, she blithely opined that “all civilized societies have universal health care.”
Fortunately, despite years in the public school system, my daughter is still amenable to logic. In the face of her teacher’s certitude, I challenged my daughter with a few facts and asked a few questions.
Follow the link to read the conversation Bookworm had with her daughter. More from Kim Priestap.
Michelle Malkin has a good rundown of today's schedule including the estimated timing of the GOP's Motion to Recommit. Sister Toldjah has more commentary. According to all the reports I am seeing, the Democrats have the votes they need. If they don't then they are going to look especially foolish since they have led everyone in the press to believe they do. Of course that was the strategy though -- create the illusion, then the reality will follow. Of course that reality required more than an illusion. Lots of threats, arm twisting and pay offs were necessary. The Chicago Way.
If the bill does pass expect the media to declare it the fix all for all that has ailed Obama and the Democrats in Congress. Expect their rehabilitation efforts to have some effect, which may or may not be short lived. The media will not remind voters of all that made Obamacare unpopular, and many of the negative ramifications of the policies will not be felt for a while, but candidates will be reminding voters -- from now til November.