Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cairo, Again

Instapundit is linking this picture of the streets of Cairo during today's protest over the Morsi government...

Meanwhile Obama is at the other end of the African continent right now--a good example of his Egypt strategy that seems to include staying just close enough to the issue to take some credit but just far enough away not to get any blame. 

So as the world awaits the outcome of these protests Obama will either be....right alongside everyone else, reading about it in the paper. That is, if things go to worms.  If things go right, ie, the Egyptian people peaceably force another election thereby reducing the Muslim Brotherhood's power and prestige and giving the Arab Spring a true glimmer of hope, well, he will be right there, front and center saying that he predicted this all along and it came about due to his policies, which will include praise for Hillary2016! for carrying them out.  C'mon, you know it's gonna happen. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Aviation Update

More on the TWA 800 story, which continues to get press in the aviation sector.  Here's Popular Mechanics, who effectively debunked the 9/11 conspiracy theories, providing three reasons to doubt any conspiracy here:
All the holes near the wing, where the fuel tank that exploded was located, were low-velocity impacts. About 95 percent of the airplane was reconstructed, and the missing parts were too small to hide bomb or missile damage. To fake these lab results would require a cadre of engineers at Boeing, as well as the NTSB to be in on the conspiracy or be willing to sit quietly as their tests were rigged. Either way, there is a slew of outside voices involved with the tests that could contradict the government's story.
Hmm, well a couple of the 'whistleblowers' are forensic pathologists. Were any metallic objects found in the bodies that would suggest explosive material?  And speaking of the wings, where are they? We have a mock-up of the fuselage but no wings. What kind of damage did they sustain? Obviously, according to the official theory they remained attached to the fuselage (even after the CWT explosion ripped the nose off) to facilitate the 'zoom climb' to explain away the streaks people had seen.
To be fair, many conspiracy theorists have used the existing radar data to back up their own ideas of what brought the airplane down—especially the behavior of some boats and radar anomalies from one of the radar sites that registered objects in the area moving at high speeds, then vanishing. (These were judged to be phantom returns from building reflections.) None of these radar returns show anything in the air intersecting the path of the airliner, or any vessel behaving in an overtly suspicious way.
OK, but the whistleblowers' data shows that the NTSB track was at least a mile off. Why?
The investigators studied it all: the chemistry of the fuel, how the fuel/air vapor could ignite, how the flames could move through the wing after bursting from the tank. They established two independent models to simulate the pressure differences inside the wing, a key part of how the fiery fluid would spread. The Safety Board contracted the University of Nevada to analyze the properties of jet fuel vapor. The team ran hundreds of simulations, brought in Boeing engineers to assess the damage of the airliner's remains, and solicited the opinion of an explosives dynamics expert at the California Institute of Technology. There were flight tests done at the same temperature and conditions as TWA Flight 800 and full-scale fuel tank explosion tests conducted in England.
... In the end, NTSB found that TWA Flight 800 would not have perished without a flammable fuel/air mix in its central wing tank, but investigators were never sure what sparked the explosion in the first place—the closest they got was "a short circuit outside of the CWT that allowed excessive voltage to enter it through electrical wiring associated with the fuel quantity indication system."
In other words, there really was no probable cause because they never figured out exactly what sparked the initial explosion, which got the airlines off the hook for expensive follow-ups while having certain political benefits.  All in all a disappointing effort from PM because they shined no new light on causation.  We're left back at square one- why?

Meanwhile, some may be wondering how many official closed cases the NTSB has re-opened in the past per new information/requests: it's more than some might guess. Take this one, which appears to show a case of crony bias:
In 2006, the NTSB reopened a case involving a 1967 Piedmont Airlines Boeing 727 and a Cessna 310 near Hendersonville, N.C., at the urging of amateur historian Paul Houle.
Houle believed the NTSB mistakenly blamed the Cessna pilot because the agency's lead investigator was the brother of Piedmont vice president Zeke Saunders. US Airways, which had merged with Piedmont, opposed the reopening. In 2007, following a 14-month investigation, the NTSB declined to change its findings because its review indicated that the Cessna pilot had flown off course.
What new data caused them to re-open that case just so they could re-shut it?  Former member Peter Goelz was quoted on this 800 group's petition:
"They disagree with our analysis of the radar data and they have new eyewitnesses," he said. "Fine, but neither one is sufficient to reopen the investigation."
So what new data and witnesses did Mr. Houle have? And another question for the media is how many times have groups petitioned to reopen cases and were denied.


This is an update, so all the aviation news doesn't have to be morbid conspiracies.  Here's something you don't see everyday...

For some reason this reminds me of a scene (NSFW) from the old John Candy movie "Who's Harry Crumb".

The oddest part of the story is that Southwest Airlines is saying it's not a story
"He was simply taking the equipment to their office for their standard upkeep and standard maintenance," Mainz tells Today in the Sky. "So nothing out of the ordinary. It (the stair car) had all the proper plates and tags they need to do so. He certainly was not going to get pizza."
This after the story appeared on the Today Show and a NY Port Authority rep was ready to call out the posse or the NSA and find the offender.  You just can't make this stuff up. Or maybe you can!

Fit to Print

Here's the Weekly Standard, noticing that the press had a shot at president Obama on the plane today and didn't ask one question about the scandals, Snowden, Syria, etc:
President Obama stopped by the press cabin on Air Force One, as the presidential plane made its way to South Africa. While there, the press had a chance to ask the president about major issues concerning Americans: the scandals, the controversial Supreme Court decisions, immigration, and many others. Instead, the press asked about Obama's Africa legacy (or lack thereof), China's relationship with Africa, the commitment of U.S. companies to Africa, and whether he'll visit the ailing Nelson Mandela.
Shortly after those puffballs cleared the cabin the press secretary, Jay Baghdad Carney, had a regular 'gaggle' with reporters and began as follows (emphasis added):
MR. CARNEY: You probably don’t have any other questions since you just spoke to the President, but Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor, joins me today and we are here to take your questions as we make our way to South Africa.
Yep, that's all anyone reporter could possibly ever ask the president these days. 

Indeed, other than a legitimate question about the immigration bill, one about HBCUs and one asking why Obama didn't take a delegation of black leaders along with him like Clinton did, here are some of the other "questions" they peppered him with:

>  Nice notepad.

>   Can you say anything about where Sasha was yesterday? Is she okay? Because we noticed she wasn’t at the events?

>   Was that really the President’s long-lost friend from Spain at the dinner last night?

>   Did the President sing?


Monday, June 24, 2013

How Many...

..degrees F does the president think he can reduce the Earth's temperature with the new EPA initiatives he will be rolling out tomorrow?  That's the question.  We deserve a hard number!


Consider this post a meeting!   The president  basically said today that the debate is over--the Earth is warming and we must stop it.   He mentioned the US temperatures of 2012--warmest on record--a record that goes back about 120 years.  Undeniable.  But it wasn't in the top five across the globe. 

He mentioned a recent heat wave in Alaska without mentioning a record cold winter up there.  He did not mention an usually cold spring in many parts of America.  Or in the UK--coldest spring in over 50 years.  He talked about the polar ice cap at its smallest size without mentioning that it came back to almost normal size by late winter and is near normal now.      

He tried to directly compare the soot/smog pollution/acid rain problem of the 60s and 70s with CO2 "pollution", ie, a natural substance, saying that all the doomsayers were wrong about correcting acid rain.  Well yeah, some folks pushed back on those regs but he created another strawman by comparing it to carbon pollution across the entire globe.  Prices will go up if there's no alternative method to deliver energy.  And if energy suddenly becomes more expensive there will be no economic recovery.  That's not a slogan, that's a 'fact'.  

MORE  6/25/13

Here's the speech.  It's a long one--and good--he's one of the best ever at delivering them.   Couldn't help but notice the irony of him talking about the evil emissions from cars, trucks and power plants as commercial aircraft kept loudly buzzing overhead distracting him.

He also said the "seas will keep rising".  Do I need to remind anyone?   

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Snow on the Run

On to Russia.   Will Putey Poot grab him and hold him for a reset card on Syria or let him pass through on his way to Venezuela via communist Cuba?   We will see.

Meanwhile, the story continues to produce a litter of cats and dogs, living together in mass chaos.   Here's Valerie and Joe Plame writing in the Guardian about the massive national security complex, something with which I agree with them.

At the same time they can't resist bashing their old nemesis Cheney for referring to Snowden as a traitor and how nauseating that is for them--the same couple who bashed Cheney for allegedly releasing information on a secret spy.  So when Plame's national security secret was released that was bad and may have caused people in the field to get dead or enemies to gain secrets, terrible breach of the law.  Now it's all about the public's right to know (yet not one mention of Obama in their piece).  Guffaw.

MORE  6/23/13

A good source of info.   Sorry folks, my jury is still out on this whole thing.  No doubt Snowden committed a crime by busting his clearance, but he might be a whistleblower.  Yes, he gave up unrelated info on NSA spying on Hong Kong and China--within their legal purview--but this info was likely spilled to provide some leverage to get out of town without being extradited (Hong Kong has "questions" for US on this, etc).

But when you lie down with dogs you get their fleas.  If he's going to use communist China, crony Russia, Wikileaks, communist Cuba and Marxist Venezuela to facilitate his freedom to leak more about America, that's a problem.  

TRUTH  6/23/13

The reason NSA, Bush, Obama and most of Congress and Mark Thiessen say we need this program is because it's basically the only tool left in the war on terror that can prevent an attack.  As Thiessen says, we don't interrogate anymore (Army Field Manual--they can remain silent) so there's little else to do but spy on communications.   But it's clear to any rational observer that the spying (even gathering metadata) violates the spirit of the 4th Amendment even if the SCOTUS says otherwise.

Obama sees this huge conundrum, keeps it quiet, then when busted says "we need to have a national debate".  Aside from the fact that such a debate should have been before his election, yes, let's have one.   Here are the choices--do we the people want to 'go it alone' as Thiessen says and react to the next attack instead of trying to prevent it, or do we the people want to give up some freedom and trust the government to do the right thing?   It's not a simple construct.

The president/CinC has the constitutional responsibility to uphold the 4th Amendment but he also has the responsibility to protect the American public from attacks both foreign and domestic.  If he tosses this program aside and another 9/11 scale event occurs we the people will largely blame him for 'not keeping us safe' or 'connecting the dots'.  And yes, some of the same people bashing him now over Snowden will be the ones protesting the loudest.

Maybe we should ask the question--why are we fighting?  What's the GWoT really about?  In my view it's about a clash of cultures between a secular and democratic west, largely rooted in free markets (such that they are) against a fundamentalist, repressive, orderly religious society that doesn't like the excesses and corruption they see from the west and believe they are on a mission from Allah to stop it, even if it means using the most banal and barbaric tactics.  Both sides present their respective rule of law: the West's secular courts system versus the fundamentalists' Sha'ria system.

The non-religious totalitarian societies have tacitly glommed on to the fundamentalist because they have a common enemy in the west.  Wikileaks is an example--they could care less what kind of communications are coming out of Russia or China or any other Marxist enclave.  This latter axis is totalitarian in nature, with ruling bodies handing down judgments instead of citizens (yes, in a perfect Wikileaks world a panel of experts would decide everything and/or it would be based on mob rule, the kind of 'peoples democracy' they envision).  A world run by Sha'ria would be like Iran--a group of Mullahs behind the scenes dictating everything.

So if we're to win this 'war' we have to win over hearts and minds to the western way.  Bush started the democracy kick to do just that.  He felt that people were inherently all the same and wanted the same things, and that democracies were less likely to invade their neighbors, start wars or sponsor terrorists.   The Arab Spring is sort of a continuation of that theme despite it's current ugly appearance.  It's likely the Obama folks feel that despite the rise of groups like HAMAS, the Muslim Brotherhood or enemy combatants like Ansar al-Sharia or al-Nusra, in the end the people will see the light and depose these strong horses in favor of more moderate secular democracies once they get a taste of self-rule. At least we can hope that's why they are pushing it.  At any rate the jury is still out on that concept.  What other way is there to export our values? 

But in doing so we must maintain our own values and precepts.  The worst thing in the world is the superpower telling everyone how to behave and pointing to American values when we're busy trashing them on a daily basis.  Obama said he wanted to close GITMO and reign in the Bush-era spying and secrecy but he's now been exposed as a fraud on that account, which damages the reputation of the West.  The theory that we're just BS'ing to raid their lands, take their oil and resources and make them loyal customers to our commercial products just gets more legs.   

So, do we the people want to deconstruct the spying network and fly this freebird alone, or do we want to talk democracy and freedom but chase down people like Snowden and others for exposing the security apparatus, making ourselves look like rank hypocrites?   Can any politician weather the storm after a mass-casualty attack by saying, "well folks, freedom isn't free"?   Are we as a society mature and patriotic enough to agree with that powerful statement while cleaning up the rubble of a destroyed city and burying our dead?   Or does that notion go counter to the very reason we have a Commander-in-Chief in the first place--to protect us from enemies--and besides, Google and the supermarket track everything we do anyway?    I just don't know the 100 percent correct answer.        

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hillary's Dream

Here's Ms. What Difference Does it Make Anyway talking about how a female president would send the right message:
In a video of a private Clinton speech posted to YouTube on Friday, Clinton told a Canadian audience that she hoped the U.S. would elect a woman to the White House because it would send "exactly the right historical signal" to men, women and children. She said women in politics need to "dare to compete" and the nation needs to "take that leap of faith."
How magnanimous of her to consider a president Condi Rice or Sarah Palin as good for America and the world.

Friday, June 21, 2013

No Shame

The president, during his nomination of James Comey to FBI Director:
“Jim understands that in time of crisis, we aren’t judged solely by how many plots we disrupt or how many criminals we bring to justice; we’re also judged by our commitment to the Constitution that we’ve sworn to defend and to the values and civil liberties that we’ve pledged to protect,” Obama said.
"We"?  Let's see, IRS, AP, Rosen, drones over US cities, and he says this. Unreal. It really is about "punishing enemies" for him, apparently. Will the press and punditry even notice?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Aviation Update

Jack Cashill is tickled.  After all these years skeptics of the official story about TWA flight 800 are getting some respectable press (as opposed to the usual wacko bird treatment) based on the coming out of six former investigators who worked the case but don't believe the official finding.  

Cashill isn't alone, a blizzard of stories on almost every network and newspaper have provided an interesting glimpse into the mindset of America on the story (or at least the mindset of those bothering to comment)--and there appear to be a lot of skeptics. 

While some are happy to see the 'truth' come to light I'm still a skeptic on everything.  It's entirely possible that a spark in the center wing tank caused the explosion and crash.  Certainly a long shot chance, but sometimes stuff happens.

The reason I've discounted the official story stems from several questions that have never really been answered to my satisfaction, including stuff that doesn't belong in a typical air crash investigation. Even now, with all the new coverage, the press doesn't know enough to ask about them when speaking to former NTSB officials like Jim Hall or the former FBI lead investigator James Kallstrom.  So I'll put mine down in a short list:

1.  Why was the CIA involved in producing the 'zoom-climb' video?   How involved were the spy agencies in this crash and why were they involved in a domestic aviation crash investigation?  Did they prepare any reports about their involvement and if so, are those reports available?

2.  Where did the traces of PETN and RDX on the airplane come from if not a dog training exercise in St. Louis weeks before the crash?    

3.  Did the autopsies of the victims show any strange metallic fragments or anything unusual?  Have those reports been released?

4.  Was there a home video taken of the event or not?  If so, was it shown on MSNBC, then confiscated by the FBI? 

5.  If Iran or Iraq were somehow linked to the crash via a terrorist act, what would Clinton have done?  Were any contingencies planned?   

It will be interesting to see what comes of this new revelation.  Let's see if the media goes after these six or treats them with respect.  Maybe this will put this whole thing to bed once and for all, answering the above questions.  Surely the families of the victims hope this will be the last of it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Journalist Lost

The tragic end to reporter Michael Hastings has been a story today. Most are linking him to a book he wrote about his fiance being killed in Iraq or more notably, the Rolling Stone piece he did that resulted in the canning of General McChrystal.  He made a lot of enemies

But one email exchange he had with a State Department employee stands out to me:
Thanks for getting back to me.
No, you read my email correctly—I found your statement to CNN offensive. From my perspective, the scandal here is that the State Department had such inadequate security procedures in place that four Americans were killed. And then the Ambassador’s diary—and who knows what else—was left behind for anyone to pick up. Thankfully, it was CNN—and not Al Qaeda or some other militia—that found it and was able to return it to the family. That CNN used portions of the material in the diary they found at the scene—material that appears to contradict the official version of events that State/WH has been putting out—is completely in line with practices of good journalism.
As they say, read the whole thing because it's important for context. You might also want to review the issue they were discussing--Ambassador Stevens' diary, found by CNN in the Benghazi rubble days after the incident.  State was mad because they reported on some of the contents after agreeing not to, but only after the Rice Sunday shows blamed the video/mob and Hillary lied about not knowing about the diary contents.  Hastings certainly had them pegged back then.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Getting It

"It" being the bottom line (mind out of the gutter).   There are a couple of stories out there rife with narrative manipulation that deserve some IRS-like Tea Party scrutiny, so here goes.

Story one, immigration.  Law-abiding, tax-paying citizens are getting the daily shaft in this country.  They have to follow the laws and rules or they lose their jobs or are thrown in jail.  But there's a huge class of others who break the law daily, not just by their mere presence in the country, but in how they collect their wages, pay taxes, insure their vehicles and other basic things expected of good citizens. 

The law abiding citizens are made to feel guilty about this.  Through no fault other than raising their voices against this inequity they are called names that begin with x, r, and b (when not being told that America is a land of immigrants as if the INS has never existed).  Some folks in government even have had to endure a mob coming to their home to demand that illegal activities be made legal.  Outrage and coverage are limited.

And now the law abiding folks are being fed a rasher called amnesty legalization and told that if they don't swallow it the Democrats will have control of America power levers forever.  Maybe they deserve it. 

Rush Limbaugh spoke out on this today, playing the role of Sarah Palin in bashing some of the big money men like Sheldon Adelson and gasp, the Koch Brothers for applying pressure on this..
"All of the Republican major donors want this bill," he said. "I'll give you some names. The Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson. I mean, they want the bill, because they want the influx of new labor. They want it. They're not concerned with how anybody's gonna vote down the line. As long as these guys can stay aligned with whoever is running government, they're in fat city."
That's called 'speaking truth to power', folks.  It's dangerous, even for him.  It probably helped take out Palin.  But the "it" here--the bottom line--is this:  if there were only 100,000 illegal aliens in the country would congress be bending over backwards to legalize them?  This isn't about legalization, it's about money and power just like everything else.  Even for the Catholic church.   


On the NSA spygate story, good news.  Obama has decided to hold a huge press conference and let everyone, including bloggers, ask questions. He's going to limit his replies to 3 minutes or less and go on as long as necessary until everyone's question is answered.  It's all about his "national debate" on the matter and a showcase of his administration's unprecedented transparency.

Actually no, I made that up.  His real plan to get back control of the issue is to use his golden voice to bash Bush/Cheney, mainly Cheney, while giving limited syrupy interviews to selected journalists, ie, same old same old. Part of the effort is to get the military and law enforcement types out to remind us how scary the terrorists still are despite Biden cackling that Bin Laden was dead and GM was alive, right before his boss announced that AQ was on the run and it's safe to draw down the GWoT and retreat (negotiate) from the war zone in Afghanistan, all while calling Benghazi a reaction to a hateful video. 

Today, officials from the NSA and FBI testified about the 50 or so plots the program has thwarted. That's good, but that's not the actual debate. The debate is HOW MUCH LIBERTY we want to sacrifice for this security effort.   Surely we could ramp up the program and eliminate almost all attack possibilities, just like we could physically disarm the population and decrease gun violence to near zero.  The bottom line is this:  were the 50 plots worth it based on the loss of liberty suffered?  That's the real debate. And the one nobody will be having anytime soon.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hack Outrage

Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News discusses her hacked computers...

That must have been a painful interview for those other CBS reporters to weather, having to sit there and listen without being able to accuse their fellow employee of bringing it all on herself for doing the job. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all. 

Seeing as how this is a political blog there has to be some Father's Day politics, so here goes..

Now, this is a good message--we need more involved fathers.  Part of the break down of America can be traced to moms and dads cutting and running when times get tough, leaving the kids to suffer.   Of course there are some political pitfalls to such a wholesome message.

One, why does Obama hate step-fathers?   Well, his own.  He NEVER mentions Lolo Soetoro, who came into his life when the future lead-from-behind-decider-guy was two and remained married to his 'single mother' until little O was a young teenager living with his grandparents in Hawaii (soon to visit his communist mentor Frank Davis).   Seems the president could put in a good word for step-dads, who step in and take over fatherhood duties for kids they didn't father.  There are a lot of good ones out there amongst the bad ones.  Since he acts as if his step father never existed Soetoro must have been a bad one, but why lie by omission about his own family? 
Two, is it really kosher to say we need dads anymore?  If Obama believes in gay marriage then he believes it's perfectly OK for a kid not to have a father figure in their lives at all.  Two mommies are good enough.  Or is he using the old logic that gays can't be parents because they can't procreate? 

Oh well, it's a mystery, just like who hacked into Sharyl Attkisson's CBS computer, or who might be arrested or fired for leaking about Yemen, or how the vaunted FBI Director doesn't even know who's in charge of the IRS targeting investigation, or where any of these scandals have gone.  Or why cold chicken tastes so good but cold steak doesn't.   Anyway, have a great day, all.    

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Lap Dog Update

Here's a screen shot off ABC News' front page this morning:

So these are the political stories ABC News wants you to care about next week:  G8 (Syria red line),  gun control (using the Sandy victims), a Senate special election in Massachusetts, Gang of Eight (amnesty for illegals), House passing a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks, and whatever comes out of the Supreme Court.

That's it.  That's all ABC News thinks you should care about.

Not a CBS journalist having her computer rifled through by someone.  Nope, not something you'll care about.

Not the Director of the FBI telling a congressman he knows practically nothing about the FBI investigation of the IRS Tea Party targeting, including whether FBI agents were dispatched to some of the groups WHILE THEY WERE WAITING for an answer about their applications.   Just some rogue agents, perhaps. 

Not any updates about who leaked national security information about Yemen and Iran, which led to phone lines of the AP being trolled without notification.  Are there any indictments or firings coming?   Oh right, it's an ongoing investigation so nobody can comment.

Not the James Rosen story and why he was called a "flight risk" by Eric Holder, who apparently is doing a "heckuva job" or something.   And nothing on why the FBI Director (who knows nothing about the IRS investigation) appeared to contradict himself during House questioning about this last week.  Not important, he's leaving anyway.

Ed Snowden and his revelations?  So last week.

Not the story about bad behavior in the State Dept during Hillary's term, including allegations of an ambassador hooking up with hookers and kids and a possible cover-up.

Even the strange story about the lack of full-time IGs in the O administration doesn't garner any curiosity from the political desk at ABC.  

So congrats, guys.  By showing yourself to be interested in only stories the administration wants to push next week you've grabbed the top spot as the biggest water-carrier.  A great accomplishment, up against stalwarts NBC and CNN.  Be sure to use your extensive radio news network to pump up these stories and push the new narrative at the top and bottom of every hour.  Maybe someone will pat you on the head.  Or give Diane Sawyer another exclusive.

MORE  6/15/13

Although they are aghast at any mention of bias, notice the ties between ABC News and high level people in this administration.  ABC has generally been more favorable to the White House than even CNN of late. Just saying.  

NOW THAT...  6/16/13 some top notch snark.  

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Reluctant Decider Guy

So O finally convinced himself to arm the Islamists trying to take over Syria.  Yesterday's explanation:  WMD use crossed the red line.

Today's version?   He was forced into it, reluctantly.  And the decision was made before the red line was even crossed, weeks ago (even though technically the red line was crossed back in April or earlier).

But this is too good.  The two house organs of the White House are telling us that the Decider Guy didn't really decide, he was pressured (just like in Libya):
So when Mr. Obama agreed this week for the first time to send small arms and ammunition to Syrian rebel forces, he had to be almost dragged into the decision at a time when critics, some advisers and even Bill Clinton were pressing for more action. Coming so late into the conflict, Mr. Obama expressed no confidence it would change the outcome, but privately expressed hope it might buy time to bring about a negotiated settlement.
What leadership.  Does he have a skirt?   Fight Syrian men, fight--you'll surely lose but a negotiated settlement may be yours!  Hey, and if it all goes to worms, blame it on the advisors and McCain.
Mr. Obama left it to a deputy national security adviser, Benjamin J. Rhodes, to declare Thursday evening that the president’s “red line” on chemical weapons had been crossed and that support to the opposition would be increased. At the time, Mr. Obama was addressing a gay pride event in the East Room.
Good Lord. The world must be coming to an end. This is apparently what it looks like in the beginning.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Presumed Guilty

Now that Rep Peter King seems to think Glenn Greenwald should be arrested for being a reporter, here's a question for him:

Does he want James Rosen arrested and prosectued under the Espionage Act for helping a State Dept employee leak about North Korea?   Just a wild guess--he doesn't.  Actually the story says he doesn't.  

He may or may not care about the AP reporters who published leaks about the Yemeni spy in 2012, a story that emerged on the fateful Friday May 10th after a year in mothballs, got some life, then disappeared again behind a wall of fresh scandals.  But back when that broke he wasn't calling for any reporters to be arrested, just the leakers.

Criminy, people need to chill.  The Snowden story is so weird that Tom Clancy might call it silly and cliche.  A pole dancer girlfriend?  Really?  Shouldn't we suspect a Russian honey trap or something?   We need to understand exactly what in the devil is going on before rational judgments can be made.  Is the administration doing something illegal?  That would make Snowden more a whistleblower.  King's reaction by itself is at least some proof that he felt he couldn't trust revealing information to a congressional committee or federal IG.  

Or, is Snowden indeed a traitor who fled to a communist protectorate to leak about vital US secrets in order to get back at America in some kind of weird-ass Ron Paul revenge scheme?  Let's wait and see before declaring someone guilty and committing them to a rhetorical guillotine without trial.  After all, rights are part of what this whole mess is supposed to be about.  King and others should never take them lightly.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Santa Monica Killer

Just another mass killing, right?   That's sorta what I thought after seeing the reports on Friday.  It's a sad testament to our times.   It didn't even click that president Obama had arrived in Santa Monica that day for a fundraiser after trying to speak without a teleprompter or notes up in San Jose. 

With all the other stuff going on over the weekend it kind of slipped away from the top headlines.  Then Sunday morning CNN released his name:  John Zawahri.   Wha?

Zawahri?  That's how some people spell the last name of Al Qaeda Numero Uno Ayman al-Zawahiri.  It's how Guy Taylor at the Washington Times spelled it in his expose on Benghazi this morning (emphasis added):
Investigators have given significant attention to a video message circulated on Sept. 10 in which al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri called for attacks on Americans in Libya to avenge the killing of a senior al Qaeda operative by U.S. drone strike in Pakistan last year. Some analysts have argued the Zawahri video proves al Qaeda’s involvement because it surely would have trickled digitally down to AQIM operatives during the hours prior to the attack.
So, wow?  Shouldn't the media be explaining away such a similarity?  They certainly would be if his name were John bin Ladin.  

Not to say there's any connection with international terrorism whatsoever.  Thanks to the dearth of information we don't even know his religion or whether he's an American citizen.  Reports are that the elder Zawahri was of Lebanese descent, that's it so far.  The son's alleged actions sound mostly nutcake, partly jihad. But most media stories in similar events tell us a little more than his name.   Authorities have said they think this had nothing to do with 'international terrorism', which doesn't rule out domestic terrorism inspired by certain things.  Maybe he's a Tea Partier mad about guns, for instance.  Just sayin.  

We have heard he was 'ready for battle', carrying an AR-15 and 1300 rounds.  Check that, 1800 rounds.  CNN hinted at an obvious question--how did anyone in such a gun-regulated state like California get their hands on such dangerous-looking weapons and all that ammo?  Were they his, or did he steal them?    The police say he had/has mental issues, but as we know California doesn't sell to people with such issues.  They even take away lawful firearms from such people, even if the gun owner isn't the one with the problem.

Reporters have been rhetorically asking about motive while on the air--sketchy reports are discussed about him being mad about his parents' divorce, but that may have occurred a number of years ago after they first came to America in the 90s.  Jihad is of course a motive, but it would be irresponsible to speculate without any facts, which the media aren't providing or even making up.

Normally in such instances we find out a lot of information about the shooter, what motivated him, his background, triggers, baby pictures, comments from neighbors and friends, etc.  ABC News has now announced his full name: John Samir Zawahri.  We will see if questions are asked and answered before the NSA, IRS, Immigration and Zimmerman stories completely take over the news cycle.

MORE  6/10/13

Still only trickles of info on this event (a mass shooting pulled off by a guy named Zawahri in the vicinity of the president, which investigators said did not appear to be a school shooting). Here's the London Daily Mail (emphasis added):
Meadows added that the suspect had recently shaved his head and grown a beard. It remains unclear if the 23-year-old admitted himself or if he was involuntary placed in the hospital. Also unclear are the exact circumstances of his treatment and the circumstances of his release. Officials do not believe Zawahri had any terrorist affiliations, domestic or international.
Jihadists tend to grow their beards before a martyrdom attack, so there's that. But we have been assured it was not related to terrorism in any way feasible.  And they keep suggesting he was a mental case so let's go back to the gun nut angle then--how did he get the weapons?  How about his private life?  Was he a citizen?  Did he have a girlfriend or was this just another 20-something loser with no girlfriend taking his sexual inadequacies out on the world?  How about a shrink?

Did he say anything during the attack?  Yell anything anti-government?  And why did he let the carjacked woman go and not kill her after trying to kill the blond lady who was driving by, along with shooting at other random people?  According to the woman he made her get out and place his bag of ammo in the car, then drive him to the college, while he occasionally fired at passersby while they were stopped at red lights.  After she let him out she claims to have driven a short distance then stopped and started running, saying her car was riddled with bullets.  Why was her car riddled with bullets?  Did he shoot at it after letting her go?

Nothing about this makes much sense. Surely the press has some basic curiosity because this sounds for all intents and purposes like it could have been an attempt on the president gone wrong.


The LA Times has a story today suggesting a brutal father who tormented the mother after their divorce in the late 90s.  In it there are suggestions that one of the two kids, John or Chris, was "a crazy kid".  It's unclear because the Times says that it was John who lived with the dad while Chris lived with the mother, which would make him the crazy one because the a neighbor of the mom made the comment.  

Maybe that was a typo.  Let's assume it was.  So, they've established there was a lot of trouble in the family and there may have been a motive to kill the father because he was a brutalizing monster, but we know of nothing since the late 90s or perhaps around 2000 on that front.  The police say they had contact with John in 2006 as a juvenile, but the details are not clear.

None of which completely explains why the son would want to kill innocent people in the neighborhood, other than perhaps he was messed up from years of turmoil.  The Newtown shooter had come from a broken home and was described as 'quiet'.  His computer might shine more light on these questions along with why he chose Friday to execute his premeditated plot.  It would also be informative to learn where in Lebanon they came from, what religion they practice and whether they are citizens or not.   But evidently wanting to know those things makes a person a bigot.        

MORE  6/11/13

So let's recap--we have a guy with a name similar to AQ Number One going on a shooting spree 10 minutes from where the president was set to attend a fundraiser and the media completely ignores the obvious, leaving people to grope around on the web looking for info.  Searchers will find out he was an Arab Christian not from today's LA Times article, but from blogs like Debbie Schlussel's, weathering a fairly racist rant in the process.

Yeah, the government might reply by saying "we told you there were no links to terrorism" but the same people also told us that Major Hasan's rampage was workplace violence and try guys like Carlos Bledsoe for capital murder instead of terrorism for killing a soldier in jihad.  Officials need to understand that they have a public trust, not just a cool government job with lots of power.   Media members are also bound to tell us the truth, not something sugar-coated to curry favor with those same government sources so they can get a cool book deal one day. 

Of course none of the above completely solves the case.  Let's see what they find on his computer; what his friends or acquaintances say; and where he got all that ammo and who may have known about it.  

Sunday, June 09, 2013

The Fabric of the Nation...

...appears to be unraveling before our very eyes.

This Edward Snowden thing has turned blue to red and red to blue.  On the NSA thing we've got Lindsay Graham siding with the likes of David Axelrod while Elijah Cummings sides more with Rand Paul; on Syria we have John McCain agreeing with Susan Rice and Samantha Power about Responsibility to Protect, while Obama doesn't want direct involvement; many Democrats are siding with the Tea Party on the IRS thing while Obama true believers are left to bizarrely defend the very Bush policies they claimed made them vote for the One in the first place. Many Bush-era neocons are now misremembering their once rabid support for programs like TSP.

Meanwhile the president himself has been put in the position of almost prosecuting himself for the outing of a program he said the country shouldn't have and he would eliminate.  Er Sir, about that liberty versus security debate you think we should have--it's over, you won, twice, by coming down against secret spying.

Giants Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and company are probably lying about their role in the spy backdoor thing since they are compelled to cooperate.  That leaves Glenn Beck to praise Glenn Greenwald.  On the IRS, people have always hated and feared them, now they can't be trusted.   

Wait, sorry, I'm losing track of all the scandals.

OK, back to Snowden. China now appears to hold custody of a guy who dumped US secrets about possible spying on them via the PRISM program and other drag-the-net routines while we have been complaining about Chinese hackers attacking internet companies.  This as Obama said he was going to "pivot to the Pacific" in the second term, well the Chinese just hoisted a big F you sign, with a capital F.   The Russians have launched nuke subs into their southern waters again.  Picture Kevin Bacon saying all is well.   

But wait, could all of these scandals simply be an elaborate "look, squirrel" setup designed to allow Congress to slip immigration reform under the radar while nobody is watching?  All of them have magically appeared on the horizon since the three people testified over Benghazi and it began to hit the fan on Friday May 10th.   Benghazi is the only one the administration calls a side show and has declared over, despite lingering questions (like where was the president that night).

Of course for that to be true we'd have to establish a connection between Eric Holder, whose department sent the letter to AP on that fateful Friday just as Benghazi was beginning to blow up (and the Paid Liar had a special private meeting with 14 select news orgs), the same day the IRS planted a question to allow that scandal to break out (which was likely coordinated between the IRS and some in the White House), and Snowden, who was purportedly in the process of arranging for a liberal newspaper to take his story, to be written by a liberal advocate journalist.  Even the James Rosen email spying revelation seemed to come out of the blue, released after erroneously being held for years---right as all this Shiite was going down.

Maybe, just maybe Mickey Kaus is right.  Maybe the biggest things going on are Benghazi and immigration and somebody doesn't want anyone focusing on them anymore.   This will be proven soon, if true.  If so, expect more outrageous, shocking stories to blast out as the bill crawls through the Senate to the House.   Personally I'm not convinced, sounds too elaborate with a very large circle of knowledge, but stranger things...

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Obama Phone Surveillance..Why?

So many questions in so many areas.  Let's start with...


Barack Obama doesn't just think James Rosen and the AP are threats, he wants to know about everyone!  And he's using the cloak of national security to find out who we're all talking to so he can put it in the big database and do something sinister with it, especially to the tea baggers. Or to distract from the IRS scandal he knew was coming.

Well, maybe.  He's that arrogant.  But it's a pretty big leap into the risk/reward pool.   


Two-pronged, and lots to go around.  Yes, the BushCheneyBurton regime started this program, so it's hypocritical to simply point to Obama.  But never in their wildest dreams would they have been able to get away with a dragnet of the entire nation.  They had it down to known terrorist numbers overseas and the numbers calling them from here and vice-versa.

On the flip side Obama campaigned against this kind of stuff, as did many in his party.   Now he wears the biggest surveillance hat and it's all OK because the evil Bush is no longer doing it.   Oddly, we've been told the Global War on Terror is almost won and AQ is on the run, so this seems a bit overreaching.  Which begs a question that will be addressed below.

But perhaps the biggest hypocrites reside in the American mainstream media, who once again got scooped on a big story in the Obama era by a foreign newspaper, using an American journalist no less.  These same intrepid reporters won Pulitzer Prizes for exposing a smaller, less intrusive program during the Bush era, but now they hang out in the tall grass, playing water squirter with Obama in the presidential backyard when not attacking Fox News for asking any mildly tough questions.


Why would 1) a FISA judge authorize a dragnet this massive and 2) how does this relate to Boston?   We don't know how far back this extends but the most recent warrant started after the Marathon bombings.  What are they afraid of?  It sounds pretty big.  There have been some very bizarre stories coming out of the Boston area and Florida since the attack, such as seven suspicious Muslim students found near the reservoir that provides most of Boston's water, including a recent incident where padlocked gates were cut;  a small unmarked plane circling endlessly near Quincy, Mass, which the FAA and FBI refused to explain.  The plane looks like a standard Cessna 182 but it has a small apparatus on the bottom, presumably to collect something.

There's also the extremely weird case of Tamarlan Tsarnaev's friend killed in Florida by an FBI agent during a supposed interrogation session.

All of this, presumably including the phone warrant, have occurred since the Marathon bombing.  If there is a bigger follow-up plot in the works would the release of these details speed it along?   Or are they trying to spook whoever's spooking them by allowing this to be released? 


The explanation given is that they are trying to troll to see who called someone known.  Perhaps it was someone in the Tsarnaev network or something else, but since they are only taking metadata and not actual voice what do they do when they get a 'hit'?   Do they go back to the NSA vault and ask to hear all the transmissions of a certain subscriber who called terrorist X?   How does the data get handled?   Can someone in the FBI ask for a history on John Boehner, who he secretly suspects is in cahoots with domestic hillbillies to overthrow America, thereby getting all his political communications, or any sidebars, like calls to a potential mistress or bookies?  Who oversees that process to make sure the info is targeted and not abused?

As to Verizon, well we now know it's all of them, which was a no-brainer.
The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.
National Security America, in other words (and yes, they see this and know who I am, hello guys).

So what's the bottom line? Well, since we've been told that terrorism isn't a big threat anymore, which justifies our retreat from Afghanistan and Iraq and our ambivalence about Muslim Brotherhood governments taking over Arabia or entities crossing red lines in Syria, this must be another domestic scandal, just another flim-flam to gather info on Tea Partiers and Fox News reporters under the cover of security.   Right?

REMAIN CALM!   6/7/13 

NBC is reporting a 'whoops' moment in the anals of PRISM history: one instance in 2009, analysts entered a phone number into agency computers and “put one digit wrong,” and mined a large volume of information about Americans with no connection to terror.
Yes, probably those working at Fox News and the Limbaugh show.
The judges “were really upset about this,” said the former official. As a result, Attorney General Eric Holder pledged to the judges that the intelligence agencies would take steps to correct the problem as a condition of renewing the NSA’s surveillance program.
This really sounds like an NBC/Isikoff leak, doesn't it? Those judges were PISSED, baby! And Eric Holder, that modern Moses of truth and justice, destroyed the ill-gotten gains and promised never to do it again. It's the liberal version of the Ashcroft hospital drama, this time with 'Ashcroft' playing the bad guy role, but one who is able to redeem himself and save the 4th Amendment and the nation.

Except that a few months later he judge-shopped amongst those same pissed off judges and found one who could be convinced that James Rosen might be an enemy sympathizer and flight risk.  So give us a break.

Meanwhile the preezy somehow managed to get the teleprompter going to tell us that he's not listening to our phone calls, just tracking every fricken number we call, but hey--chill.  That's the trade-off between liberty and security.  Funny he scored points with that meme to win the 2008 election, but now it's different.  Go ahead and blame Bush.

And by the way, don't think after all of this they don't have voice calls recorded in some big hard drive somewhere. Yes, apparently they have to get a warrant for something sinister to dive deeper (or convince a judge that a major reporter is a terrorist) but when they get one it appears to be open season--they are looking at cat jpegs you sent three years ago.

Here's the thing. Somehow, some way we need the ability to preempt these crazy Muslims from Boston-bombing the entire country, or worse.  I'm making jokes here, but it's certainly dead serious and Obama's message about drawing the balance is a vexing problem.  Yes, too bad he never brought it up when it mattered, like before the election(s), but it's a conversation the country should have.

Is letting the government track all phone logs tolerable?  Or is it--as when Bush explained his TSP program--only palatable when they are watching known numbers from terrorists overseas calling numbers in America or vice versa?

Clearly that's not expansive enough, though, because both terrorists could be in the country. To me a dragnet of all numbers called isn't the same as listening to calls, reading emails, tracking Google searches or opening snail mail.  The phone company already has the call log info and they don't require security clearances for employees preparing your monthly bill.  If that data is just vacuumed up and stored until a warrant is issued I would be partially OK with it.  Or I would have, until the past month and all the latest revelations about the IRS, AP and Fox.  They are going to have to find a better way, or we as a people are going to have to understand that massive losses of innocent Americans may be a price to pay to maintain the America our forefathers founded.   No politician will ever have that conversation, though. 

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Scandal Update

Let's see...

On the James Rosen-subpoena-did-Holder-lie scandal, has it ever been established whether DoJ actually informed News Corp?  It sounds like they were initially notified of an investigation about phone taps back in 2010 but not that Rosen's emails were being scrutinized.  News Corp's former lawyer says he would have remembered such a thing, but doesn't remember such a thing.   The link points out a possible leverage play between Fox and the DoJ based on the UK phone hacking case that was going on at the time.  Interesting, as in maybe they felt they had a freebie with Rosen.  Since O'Reilly's head still hasn't exploded and Rosen seems to be partially in hiding, hmmm.  Not that it would justify such a thing but it would illustrate classic Chicago hardball politics in play.  

On the AP email harvesting scandal, where are they in terms of finding a suspect(s) after trolling all that email?  Are they close to an arrest?   Tom Donillon has 'resigned' as NSA and Rice will take over, not that there's any connection, just sayin.  Can executive privilege be retro-active?  Can Rice refuse to answer questions in her new position based on EP even about old events?  Speaking of AQ, will the White House release any additional documents captured in the UBL raid other than the selective seventeen that helped support the notion that AQ was on the run?   

On the Benghazi scandal, where was the president after about 8pm Washington time during the night of 9/11?  What did he and Hillary discuss during the 10pm phone call Obama placed to her, after which State issued a press release mentioning the Mohammed video clip?   Did the administration try to call a consulate a mission to avoid the legal responsibility of security that was denied by Hillary's autopen? 

On the IRS scandal, did the White House coordinate with those in IRS/Treasury on the phony-baloney question at the conference that got the story out?  If so, did they purposely time it to hit the media on the same day the Benghazi story was blowing up in the press--the same day Carney called a special background briefing for 14 select media friends?   Was Jake Tapper present in the meeting of the 14 journos on Friday?  He received a the leak the following day containing an actual email that was used to pretend the GOP Congress were lying about their characterization of the talking points emails, which were later released and showed that State and WH indeed both wanted things removed but the narrative had already been changed by the Paid Liar to 'case closed, they lied.  If the White House was involved in helping time the IRS story, why isn't that bad?    

Meanwhile Obama's answer to all of this is to bring a gun to a knife fight.  The announcements about Comey for FBI, Power for UN Ambassador and Rice for NSA are classic fingers in the eye.  This from the most transparent post-racial uniter in history.

Monday, June 03, 2013

IRS and Rosen Scandals and the Mid-Terms

Even if nothing comes of the IRS or James Rosen/AP snooping scandals; even if Holder keeps his job and nobody is fired in the bureaucracy, there may still be a political silver lining for the Republicans:  removing the target on the Tea Party.

Conspiracies aside (such as the RINOs were in cahoots with the president to use the IRS to destroy their common enemy) it's going to be very hard for the administration to go on the wapath against the Tea Party from here through 2014.  Any time they get the urge to call them 'tea baggers' (as Obama did in May of 2010, right when the targeting started), or 'terrorists' (as Biden did in 2011 before a debt ceiling vote), or accuse them of trying to destroy democracy or spread racism (the spitting incident during the Obamacare vote) they'll have to pause and consider how that might sound in the aftermath of IRS-gate.  Republicans will be sitting on the ready to say "see, there they go again, we better check the IRS to see who got audited".   That's a pretty good card to have. 

Look, everyone knows Obama is going nowhere.  There's no appetite in the national press to get rid of their Nobel Prize-winning trailblazing hero, one, because they don't want to be called racists by their elite friends and two, because they are hoping for the same change.  It seems half of them are married to administration insiders anyway.  So that's already becoming a dead end.  The GOP may have to take what they can get but that's a pretty decent get.


If anyone needs confirmation of the above theory that none of these scandals are going anywhere watch the White House daily press briefing today.  The only controversial item broached was trying to get Jay Carney to respond to Issa calling him a liar.  One Holder question, no followups. Pure milquetoast.  Even Fox News is hard to figure, sending in Wendell Goler to ask puffy non-sensical questions, as if they are afraid.  Why not send Rosen in there, guns blazing, while he's got some political capital?    

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Same Guy...

...could have been president.

John McCain, secret Syrian agent.   The guy to McCain's right is allegedly Mohammed Nour, who kidnapped Shiite pilgrims.  McCain's office said, hey he didn't know, but he knows the good guys from the bad guys.  Does anyone get a warm fuzzy as to what his presidential judgment would have looked like?  

Call it Exhibit A of why it was so hard to pull the lever for this guy in 2008.  The necessity of making that choice is the actual Obama administration, Exhibit B, although at least he's kept America out of the Syrian conflict--for now at least (unless a big distraction is needed should one the scandals spin out of control).  

Syria is not Iraq.  They don't have a long history of targeting Americans or attacking their neighbors.  They're allied with Iran, making things complex.  They actually worked with us in the GWoT (just like Libya) in detaining some pretty bad guys. Case in point, after we stabbed Assad in the back by backing the rebels he released the infamous 'red headed terrorist', the guy who long ago formulated the kind of local jihad we are now seeing across the globe such as in Boston.  Gaddafi's weapons ended up in the hands of jihadists, too.  

Therefore most Americans are wary of US involvement in Syria despite any WMD bluster.  After what happened in Iraq they probably wouldn't be persuaded even if some of Hussein's chemical weapons turn up on the streets of Damascus, crossing the red line.   They also notice that some of the major rebel players are aligned with the same barbarians who ran planes into the Trade Center in 2001.  John McCain apparently sees them as brave freedom fighters in the mold of Patrick Henry, dancing in the streets during the Cedar Revolution.  There were flags being raised in that one, but no black flags of jihad were seen.     

The late Christopher Hitchens' brother has a piece today about western blowback, accusing Britain of helping to ignite the region so they can help save it, something the west has been doing a long time by choosing sides between tinpots and terrorists.  But perhaps there's a much higher nuance.

Perhaps, as Saddam Hussein himself suggested, the grand strategy is really to keep the Arabs, Persians and South Asians fighting amongst themselves. It certainly was the US strategy during the Iran-Iraq war.  A weakened and divided Arabia/Persia can't organize into a coalition and truly wipe Israel off the map or put a stranglehold on worldwide oil currency.

Or maybe it's less than that.  Maybe our current fearless leaders think that by helping jihadists in Libya, Egypt, and Syria they will repay them with positive blowback in the future despite what happened after we helped defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan or after our Balkans intervention.

It seems people here in the states understand the reality of a very complex region where the enemies are often undefined.  McCain doesn't appear to be one of them.


Are these guys trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?  You don't go on TV and call Jay Carney a 'paid liar', fer chrissakes.  Yes, pretty much EVERYBODY in DC is a paid liar, going all the way to the top, but it's not something you say when they are on the ropes, giving them a lifeline to change the subject.   Cripes.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Same Guy

The same prez who expresses "complete confidence" in his Attorney General despite the snooping on Fox News and AP during national security leak investigations is now being heralded by people like Rachel Maddow for his probable nomination of James Comey, a Republican and lefty folk hero for his hospital standoff over reauthorizing the Terrorist Surveillance Program during the Bush years, which was itself a secret national security program.

In other words, will a newly appointed Comey dig into anything and speak truth to power again?  Or stand up to the POTUS again, threatening to resign if this and such isn't terminated?   

Maddow also thinks Obama nominating "another Republican" to his administration is a big deal.  She marvels at how the Democrats "dont' mind" such a thing.   Not so fast.   Let's see, Bob Gates was part of the Iraq Study Group, which recommended that Bush should remove troops from Iraq, not surge.  Gates was part of the old GOP cabal of Skowcroft and Baker who didn't like Cheney and were critical of many administration decisions.

Chuck Hagel?  LOL, as they say.  He was against the Iraq war and publicly stood up to Bush.  Ray LaHood was a fellow Illinoisan and friend of Rahm Emanuel who never met an earmark he didn't like and has been a dependable advocate for pricey things like high speed rail.  And Jon Huntsman?  Well, part of his portfolio was favoring cap and trade, gay marriage and the DREAM Act.  That's the kind of Republican a Democrat can really support, and many of them did.  Imagine a Democrat opposed to abortion, favoring the Iraq war and against comprehensive immigration reform.  You'll have to imagine it because there aren't any prominent real-world examples.     

That's not to mention the appointment of people like general Shinseki, a liberal hero who complained about Bush, or the high profile use of Colin Powell as an informal advisor and public advocate, who talked smack about his own party while supporting one of the most liberal presidents ever elected and the same guy who was tangentially involved in the Libby/Plame affair.  Powell's former chief of staff Larry Wilkerson is one of the most vocal Bush haters on planet Earth.  So that's Maddow's definition of bi-partisan--anyone the left can use to poke the GOP, mainly Bush-Cheney, in the eye. 

The real test would be whether Maddow or her Democratic colleagues would support the appointment of a fellow Harvard grad and law professor as the Attorney General to replace Eric Holder.   Say someone like Ted Cruz.  What are the odds, Rachel?