There’s a lot to talk about as we begin this week.
First and foremost, I wanted to note that Word Press found something I wrote in my EPA post to be unpublishable. Try it with the first sentence, nothing. Take out the first sentence and it published. But that was discovered after a long session of trying to figure out if it was a computer problems, internet problem … etc. Here’s hoping this publishes.
Saw an article that said Hillary was looking for a slogan for her run for the presidency. I have a great one: “No more Clintons”. I’d apply the same slogan to the Bush campaign: “No more Bushes”. And Romney … etc. I’m becoming convinced we could leave the office vacant and probably do better. Especially when you consider those who want the job.
If you’re wondering what I thought of the John Kerry/James Taylor attempt at diplomacy last week, I thought is was pathetic and embarrassing. It was like the diplomatic equivalent of the ObamaCare website rollout.
I am thoroughly enjoying the left’s melt-down over the success of Clint Eastwood’s film “American Sniper”. Here’s a typical bit:
But Academy members seem to be paying attention to the criticism that Eastwood and star/producer Bradley Cooper shouldn’t be celebrating a man who wrote that killing hundreds of Iraqis was “fun.”
“He seems like he may be a sociopath,” one Academy member told TheWrap, adding he had not yet seen the film but had read the article, which is being passed around.
“He seems to be a sociopath, uh, but I haven’t seen the film yet …I did read an article however”.
And that made it into the critique of the film because it used a word that apparently found favor with the author – “sociopath”. Because this academy member knows all about sniper operations and how they’re used in warfare and somehow soundly concludes that the guy must be a sociopath. Gee, I wonder what he thinks about, oh, I don’t know, regular infantry guys in the Army and Marine Corps? Would it be too much of a stretch to think he might hold the same thoughts about them?
And the Yahoo who ate Detroit, Michael Moore, felt it necessary to “weigh” in:
Michael Moore, an Oscar voter and former Academy governor from the Documentary Branch, tweeted an anti-sniper comment on Sunday — “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards … Snipers aren’t heroes … ” — but said it wasn’t about “American Sniper.”
Of course its not about “American Sniper” … just a gratuitous out-of-the-blue cowardly shot. What pisses Moore and the other off is you people out in flyover land are making “American Sniper” a box-office success.
And by the way, Michael … why are all the Oscar nominees white?
Yeah, that’s right … that’s the latest Hollywood scandal to rock Tinsel-town these days. Apparently it’s not the perfection of your craft that’s important but the mix of skin color. I wonder if anyone would have said anything if there were no whites nominated? My guess is, “no”.
Finally to Jane Fonda – sorry what you did wasn’t a “huge, huge mistake” anymore than what John Kerry did was a mistake. It was a carefully thought out and pursued strategy that has made you wildly unpopular and despised by a very respected community – veterans. So trying to rewrite history isn’t going to work:
“It hurts me and it will to my grave that I made a huge, huge mistake that made a lot of people think I was against the soldiers. … This famous person goes and does something that looks like I’m against the troops, which wasn’t true, but it looked that way, and I’m a convenient target. So I understand.”
No, you don’t understand … you apparently don’t understand at all. You were against the troops and made it known by your actions. But like much of the left, after a despicable and reprehensible act you think all you have to do is give some sort of apology and all is right with the world. Uh, no.
Short one today (Hagel is gone … meh, no surprise), but so indicative of the leftists we’re most familiar with – in this case Hillary Clinton:
While speaking at a swanky event Friday night in New York City, Hillary Clinton speculated about the immigration status of the people serving food and beverages at the gala.
“This is about people’s lives, people, I would venture to guess, who served us tonight.”
Ah, the “little people.” The people there to serve her highness and her ilk (and to fall in line and vote properly, of course). Can’t have a plantation without a few slaves.
What do you say about something like that? Amazingly disconnected. Absurdly condescending. And, of course, a slap in the face of all those who played by the rules and did it within the law.
But she wants to be your chief law enforcer if you’ll just vote for her.
Please savor the irony of them sticking their heads in the sand to demonstrate their own ignorance, while thinking they are supporting the leftist climate agenda.
Next, Hillary Clinton apparently has worn out her welcome in Iowa, and there continue to be questions about her health.
Oh, sorry, wrong picture. Let me try again.
Yeah, this whole “Hillary is inevitable” thing probably has a sell-by date of about February 1, 2016. Or sooner.
Finally, a feminist sets a world record for demonstrating her own insecurities, all because of this shirt.
Included in this spectacular effort: envy of other women’s bodies, intelligence envy, sexual self-doubt, actual accomplishment envy, imaginary bad motives in her critics, pleasure at causing pain in others, and neediness for attention.
Most notable results of this harpy’s bloviating: 1. The guy in question cried during an apology, making this bint look like a bully and 2. the shirt is sold out. So trying to shame one guy into not wearing it causes a whole bunch of other guys to wear it just to piss off feminists. In other words, about the same results that leftist collectivism usually obtains.
Hope you’ve all had a great weekend.
*** Update 17 Nov 2014 10:30 AM ***
This week, Bruce, Michael, and Dale talk about Ukraine, the Bundy case in Nevada, and the increasing arbitrariness of the Federal government.
The podcast can be found on Stitcher here. Please remember the feed may take a couple of hours to update after this is first posted.
As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Stitcher. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here.
And coming to a presidential race near you soon:
“Hillary’s Hit List: The Clintons keep a favor file of saints and sinners, according to this excerpt from ‘HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton,'” out Feb. 11 from Crown, by POLITICO’s Jonathan Allen and The Hill’s Amie Parnes: “There was a special circle of Clinton hell reserved for people who had endorsed Obama or stayed on the fence after Bill and Hillary had raised money for them, appointed them to a political post or written a recommendation to ice their kid’s application to an elite school. On one early draft of the hit list [a post-campaign spreadsheet], each Democratic member of Congress was assigned a numerical grade from 1 to 7, with the most helpful to Hillary earning 1s and the most treacherous drawing 7s. The set of 7s included Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), as well as Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Baron Hill (D-Ind.) and Rob Andrews (D-N.J.). …
“For Hillary, … the spreadsheet was a necessity of modern political warfare, an improvement on what old-school politicians called a “favor file.” It meant that when asks rolled in, she and Bill would have at their fingertips all the information needed to make a quick decision-including extenuating, mitigating and amplifying factors-so that friends could be rewarded and enemies punished.”
Now, Bill and Hill aren’t the first to do this nor will they be the last, but they certainly are an indicator of how awful our politics have become. It is a patronage system which has little at all to do with duty, service or honor and a lot to do with grabbing power and exercising it for the benefit of the politician and the politician’s cronies. The money, time and effort that typically goes into keeping up with this sort of thing is rather interesting in and of itself. Another indicator of the pettiness of politicians and their desire for retributive “justice”.
Of course money is no longer a problem to the former Governor and First Lady of Arkansas. Bill, who wrote off his underwear for tax purposes is now a multi-millionaire. Who says politics doesn’t pay off? And, so is his wife. So they’ve had both the time and money to put together an organization which will be pretty formidable in 2016.
As for the enemies on the Democratic side, well, it will be interesting to see how that plays out, won’t it? Especially if the “enemies” are situated in a strategic area that Hill needs and isn’t doing that well in. Bet that “numerical grade” goes up a bit in situations like that, huh? Bill Clinton is Mr. Pragmatism himself. Hill, yeah, not so much I think – not when it comes to “enemies”.
Anyway, I got a chuckle out of the list. Kerry just can’t win can he?
Camille Paglia is someone I disagree with at times but have always found to be, for the most part, refreshingly honest. I like to read her thoughts on current affairs (don’t really care much about the cultural side of it all) and this week, in an interview in Salon, she answered a couple of questions that I think are worth discussing.
Two words: Anthony Weiner. Your thoughts?
Two words: pathetic dork. How sickeningly debased our politics have become that this jabbering cartoon weasel could be taken seriously for a second as a candidate for mayor of New York. But beyond that, I have been amazed by the almost total absence of psychological critique in news analyses of the silly Weiner saga. For heaven’s sake, Weiner is no randy stud with a sophisticated sex life that we need to respect. The compulsion to exhibit and boast about one’s penis is embarrassingly infantile — the obvious residue of some squalid family psychodrama in childhood that is now being replayed in public.
I assumed at first that Huma Abedin stayed married to Weiner out of noble concern for her unborn child, who deserved a father. But her subsequent behavior as Weiner’s defender and enabler has made me lose respect for her. The Weiners should be permanently bundled off to the luxe Elba of Oscar de la Renta’s villa in the Dominican Republic. I’m sure that Hillary (Huma’s capo) can arrange that.
Her first point is the most important – how debased have our politics have become? Look at the circus we deal with on a seeming daily basis. Look at the people we attract. And consider the fact that Anthony Weiner actually figured he had a legitimate shot at being elected.
Look at this idiot mayor in San Diego. He just can’t imagine why he should shuffle off the stage. There are any number of others that need to take the hint as well.
It’s not just a problem on the left. It is a problem on both sides of the isle. As we have said many times here, we are extraordinarily ill served by our political class today… at all levels and from both parties. And it is we who we have to blame for that problem. The fact that Weiner was indeed taken seriously until his latest nonsense was revealed is the point. Elliot Spitzer is another example. The fact that neither demonstrated any character or integrity previously should tell us we don’t need them anywhere near public office. Yet somehow they get signals that they have a chance at a second try. What those signals are I haven’t a clue, but whatever they are, we need to quit sending them pronto.
Any hopes, fears or predictions for the presidential elections in 2016?
As a registered Democrat, I am praying for a credible presidential candidate to emerge from the younger tier of politicians in their late 40s. A governor with executive experience would be ideal. It’s time to put my baby-boom generation out to pasture! We’ve had our day and managed to muck up a hell of a lot. It remains baffling how anyone would think that Hillary Clinton (born the same year as me) is our party’s best chance. She has more sooty baggage than a 90-car freight train. And what exactly has she ever accomplished — beyond bullishly covering for her philandering husband? She’s certainly busy, busy and ever on the move — with the tunnel-vision workaholism of someone trying to blot out uncomfortable private thoughts.
I for one think it was a very big deal that our ambassador was murdered in Benghazi. In saying “I take responsibility” for it as secretary of state, Hillary should have resigned immediately. The weak response by the Obama administration to that tragedy has given a huge opening to Republicans in the next presidential election. The impression has been amply given that Benghazi was treated as a public relations matter to massage rather than as the major and outrageous attack on the U.S. that it was.
Throughout history, ambassadors have always been symbolic incarnations of the sovereignty of their nations and the dignity of their leaders. It’s even a key motif in “King Lear.” As far as I’m concerned, Hillary disqualified herself for the presidency in that fist-pounding moment at a congressional hearing when she said, “What difference does it make what we knew and when we knew it, Senator?” Democrats have got to shake off the Clinton albatross and find new blood. The escalating instability not just in Egypt but throughout the Mideast is very ominous. There is a clash of cultures brewing in the world that may take a century or more to resolve — and there is no guarantee that the secular West will win.
She nails Hillary and Benghazi on the head. I couldn’t agree any more with her assessment of that particular situation and the response from Clinton and the administration.
Note too that Paglia’s candidate isn’t another senator. She too has had enough of that brand of clueless fools that have no executive experience (although Clinton can claim exec experience with the Dept. of State, as far as I’m concerned she made a dog’s breakfast of her time there). Hopefully the rest of the country is just as tired of it as Paglia is.
[Guest posting at Hot Air today:]
In its usual inept and ham-fisted way, the Obama administration has chosen to address the scandals surrounding it by waving them away as “phony” – conspiracies dreamed up and pursued by political enemies. The president recently did that in his long-winded, laborious and incredibly boring re-hash of his failed economic policies. The “phony” conspiracies are “distractions” from the “real problem”, a problem he has yet to address satisfactorily during his term in office.
The “phony” scandals include Benghazi, the IRS targeting of political groups on the right and others. All were initially acknowledged by the administration and the president as serious breaches of public trust. They’ve since, however, transformed into conspiracies generated by their enemies.
But there’s one voice asking what was “phony” about her son’t death in Benghazi?
Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith, who was slain in the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack, lashed out on “Your World” on the Fox News Channel about that terminology.
President Obama has never revealed what, if anything, he was doing while workers at the Benghazi embassy were urgently requesting support, nor has the administration explained why no forces were sent to protect the embassy. The administration also denied the attack was a terrorist incident, claiming it was a spontaneous protest against an obscure YouTube trailer for a film that may or may not exist.
To make matters worse, she was essentially lied to while standing on the ramp watching the body of her son being offloaded from an AirForce transport plane in Dover, DE. Speaking of Obama, she said:
“I don’t believe him anymore,” Smith said. “He’s wrong. My son is dead. How could that be phony?”
According to Smith, she has been given no answers about what happened that night. She said the administration told her she “didn’t need to know.”
“When I was there at the ceremony of the welcoming of the caskets, both Obama and Hillary and Biden and all of the other ones, all promised me they would get back to me to tell me what happened,” Smith said. “I begged them. Please, I must know what happened with my son. How come this happened? They all promised me they would get back to me. You know, not one of them, not one of them ever got back to me in any way shape or form — not by a letter, not by anything other than I got a memo stating that I didn’t need to know because I was not part of the immediate family.”
No answers, no contact and no closure. She’s lost all faith in the credibility of those who promised her answers, and rightfully so. And then, as if to deliver a final slap to her face, an arrogant president waves away the death of 4 men, including her son, as a “phony scandal”.
She, however, has no intention of leaving the questions the administration is avoiding like the plague unanswered:
Smith made one last plea to the Obama administration explaining her desire for answers.
“How can I tell you?” Smith added. “I mean, it is wrong. It is not phony. It is not fake. My son is dead, and why is he dead? All I am waiting for even to this day is just someone to get back to me and tell me what happened. Why did Hillary do as she did? Why was there no security there when there was supposed to be? Who was the general that called back the troops when they were going to help?”
Is it really too much to ask the President of the United States to be forthcoming about why you son died in the service of his country? Apparently so.
Meanwhile in Kabul, the administration is on track to see what happened in Benghazi happen there as again very lax security has been cited by an internal investigation that the Washington Times obtained under the Freedom of Information Act as a risk to the safety of embassy personnel.
U.S. diplomatic facilities in Afghanistan have serious security lapses that pose “unnecessary risk to staff,” including poor emergency preparedness and inadequate protections that might allow classified materials to fall into the hands of attacking enemies, according to an internal report that raises fresh questions about the State Department’s commitment to safety in the aftermath of the Benghazi tragedy.
Another “phony” scandal in the making.
Seriously. After spending 8 years holding Bush responsible for everything from 9/11 (it was an “inside job”) to a Pelosi’s hangnail, we now have the left settling on “it’s Hillary’s fault”?
Truman’s “buck” stops at the State Department now?
The point, of course, as any good commander in the military knows, is that everything that happens or doesn’t happen while you are in command is your responsibility.
“I take responsibility,” Clinton said during a visit to Peru. “I’m in charge of the State Department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. The president and the vice president wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They’re the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision.”
Hillary, for political reasons, is trying to fall on Obama’s sword for him. Someone has to take the blame (and Bush is unavailable for this one) so Obama can once again seem faultless. He does no wrong, you know. And besides, he has a debate tonight and he wants someone to point his finger at when the subject is inevitably brought up. Now he has her.
Jumped? Or pushed?
This episode illustrates how spot on Eastwood’s empty chair metaphor really is. John McCain, the stopped clock that is right twice a day, actually gets this one right:
“The security of Americans serving our nation everywhere in the world is ultimately the job of the commander-in-chief. The buck stops there.”
Of course the left first tried to blame it on the GOP claiming they’d cut millions from State’s security budget.
Here’s the bottom line on that line of attack: If you have a security contingent of Marines in the Embassy at Barbados, but not Tripoli or Benghanzi, your problem isn’t “funding”. It’s resource allocation and politics.
Secondly, when something like this happens, you don’t act like a politician, you act like a leader. IF you’re a leader.
This past weekend we were treated to the spectacle of David Axlerod avoiding answering Chris Wallace’s direct question about whether or not Obama met with his national security advosors and State in the aftermath of the murder of the US ambassador in Libya.
We all knew the answer before Wallace finished the question. And Axlerod’s non-answer answer confirmed it.
Hell no, he was late for a political fund raiser in Las Vegas, and besides, these are just “bumps in the road”.
While Clinton’s attempt will seem courageous and loyal to some, it is pure, calculated politics. Hillary knows that by 2016 this will be well behind here and, actually, an advantage, since she’ll have stepped up into the leadership void and acted like a leader. Obama? Not so much.
And make no mistake, as the state of the world and our foreign policy have announced loudly this past month – we are indeed suffering from a leadership void.
The empty chair we now have must be filled. We, nor the world, can afford 4 more years of it remaining empty.
There are any number of indicators that point out that perhaps the left is both dispirited and disappointed with Obama. That may translate into low turnout in 2012. And while many will argue his campaign money machine will overcome that, we’ve seen examples where money was lavished on campaigns but the results of elections were less than expected.
Take the recent Wisconsin recall election for example. Unions and outside liberal interests pumped in more than $35 million dollars to opposed 6 Republican Senators. The goal, despite the spine the left is now trying to establish, was to oust enough to take back the majority in the Senate and block Governor Walker’s agenda. The result was the recall of 2 and allowing the GOP to keep their Senate majority. The $35 million spent on these 6 elections was almost double the $19 million spent on all 115 recent Wisconsin legislative elections and just a couple million short of the governor’s election total.
What that indicates is an inability, in a reliably liberal state and despite the money spent, to motivate enough voters to go to the polls and turn out the Republican. We’re repeatedly told that polls indicate Republicans are exceedingly unpopular, but the only poll that counts – this time in Wisconsin – doesn’t bear that out.
If the union machine can’t reliably turn out voters in a mostly liberal state for an election like this, what does that portend for Obama?
Gov. Scott Walker faces a recall election soon and polls are claiming it will be close. Maybe. But here’s a little clinker for the left. It appears his “agenda” is working and doing what it is supposed to do.
Indicator two: Talk of a primary opponent for Obama. I’m not sure it will happen, but it does indicate deep dissatisfaction with the incumbent. The Daily Beast reports this anecdote:
At a New York political event last week, Republican and Democratic office-holders were all bemoaning President Obama’s handling of the debt-ceiling crisis when someone said, “Hillary would have been a better president.”
“Every single person nodded, including the Republicans,” reported one observer.
The entire point of the article was to highlight the 18 million Hillary supporters saying “I told you so”. They weren’t particularly enthusiastic about voting for Obama last election. How enthusiastic will they be in 2012?
Indicator three: Town Hall meetings. In 2010 they were the venue in which the Tea Party’s anger was vented. And we saw a wave election follow. This year, indications are that the Town Halls may be dominated by dispirited and complaining liberals, if what Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) experienced becomes common.
On Tuesday night, McCollum’s fellow Democrats packed a music recital hall at St. Catherine University to give the six-term congresswoman an earful about their disappointment with Obama and his economic and military policies.
The crowd of about 150 was largely friendly and civil, but they were passionate about their opposition to the conservative policies flowing from the Republican-controlled Congress and what they consider an all-too-conciliatory White House.
John from St. Paul wanted to know why Obama has moved to the right. "Whose side is he on?" he asked. "What are progressives telling him?"
Just what Democratic members of Congress want to have to do, defend an increasingly unpopular president’s record. Just ask the GOP how well that works. What one can expect to see is an attempt by many Democrats to distance themselves from Obama if they feel he is a liability come election time. Oh, and a little clue as to the major issue in this next election (as if anyone paying attention really needs a clue) came out during the question and answer session:
While liberals dominated the question-and-answer session, a woman who identified herself as a fiscal conservative received a warm ovation when she told the congresswoman, "You’ve got to look for ways to live within your means."
She bottom-lined it for them. Now liberals in Congress have got to find a way to do what the woman said while trying to save their favorite welfare programs.
These indicators, all preliminary at this point, give a picture of an incumbent president in trouble. His base is dissatisfied and dispirited. Even in an election which the left raised to national prominence and spent lavishly on, they were unsuccessful in accomplishing their goal. The 18 million Hillary supporters who loyally pulled the lever for him last time aren’t at all happy with him and may not show up to vote for him this time around. And liberals in general are expressing their dissatisfaction with his performance.
Worst of all, Barack Obama has to actually run on a record for the first time in his life. And that record is certainly nothing to brag about. 2012 should be a very interesting election season.
I swear I think politicians are like geese – they wake up in a new world everyday and are both irony impaired and have no concept of hypocrisy.
Remember Senator Clinton in 2007?
[Mrs.] Clinton, D-N.Y., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has since May requested a briefing from Pentagon officials as to whether they have undertaken any serious planning for a future withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
On Thursday she received a response from the Pentagon that she told ABC News was “outrageous and offensive.”
The letter from Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman did not mince words. “Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies,” he wrote.
“I deeply resent the administration’s continuing effort to impugn the patriotism of those of us who are asking hard questions,” Clinton told ABC News.
The other day, at a press conference in Jamaica, it was she who was being asked the hard questions. Her response?
QUESTION: […] We’ve entered a situation in Libya that looks increasingly quagmire-like. And it’s starting to create a political headache for the Administration with Republican leaders arguing that the actions were inappropriate in the sense that they circumvented congressional approval for them. What is the – your vision for the endgame, a medium-term plan for U.S. involvement in Libya? And what do you make of House Speaker Boehner’s remarks?
SECRETARY CLINTON: […] I have to take issue with your underlying premise. I think that there is very clear progress being made in the organization and the operational ability of the opposition, the Transitional National Council, the military efforts on the ground. I don’t think there’s any doubt in anyone’s mind that Qadhafi and the people around him have their backs against the wall. The kind of support that we saw forthcoming for the Libyan opposition at the recent Libyan Contact Group meeting in Abu Dhabi was very heartening. Money is flowing, other support is available.
So I know we live in a hyper-information-centric world right now, and March seems like it’s a decade ago, but by my calendar, it’s only months. And in those months, we have seen an international coalition come together unprecedented between not only NATO, but Arab nations, the Arab League, and the United Nations. This is something that I don’t think anyone could have predicted, but it is a very strong signal as to what the world expects to have happen, and I say with all respect that the Congress is certainly free to raise any questions or objections, and I’m sure I will hear that tomorrow when I testify.
But the bottom line is, whose side are you on? Are you on Qadhafi’s side or are you on the side of the aspirations of the Libyan people and the international coalition that has been created to support them? For the Obama Administration, the answer to that question is very easy.
The irony? She’s questioning those who oppose her point of view’s patriotism. The hypocrisy? She’s essentially saying “you’re either with us, or against us” – something she roundly condemned in her previous life.
Oh, and of course as she rejects underlying premises, let me do my fair share. I reject the premise that says if you oppose the illegal war in Libya it is because you are “pro-Qadhafi”. But of course any thinking person should know it’s a false premise to begin with.
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