Sunday, February 02, 2014
Doobie Bowl Sunday
As to the politics, Bill O'Rilly has secured his almost-traditional pre-game Obama interview, of which he's been chest-thumping about for a week or more (along with tempering some of his normal rightward leaning views in the advent of meeting the prez). Ho-hum. It's hard to believe he'll ask anything truly controversial.
That said, he'll almost certainly ask tougher questions that any mainstream advocacy-journalist. He asked 'the folks' to send him some suggestions because one will be used in the interview, so here are some hypothetical submissions..
1. Where were you on the night of the Benghazi attack? Were you in regular contact with the Situation Room? Did you issue any stand-down orders? How and when did you realize the attack was over, and where were you at the time? Why was the mention of "AQ" and "terrorist" removed from the original CIA talking points by unknown State and White House staff? Did you approve this?
2. Have you seen the Seymour Hersh story and the report from a weapons inspector suggesting the Syrian rebels actually fired the chemical weapons that almost triggered a bombing raid on that country? If you are not familiar with these stories/reports, why not?
3. Sticking with Syria, Bashar Assad is not delivering the chemicals to the port in a timely fashion, as promised by the agreement. If he continues to stall what is the remedy? Is the bombing threat being made through back channels or directly to the Assad government? Is Russia involved and helping?
4. Similar question on Iran, what happens if we find them cheating before or after the 6 month preliminary disarmament negotiations? Will new red lines be issued or does that pretty much mean bomb, bomb, bomb?
5. If Karzai doesn't sign the BSA before leaving office will we definitely be pulling out all troops from Afghanistan? By the way, when you say we are 'ending the war', will the enemy consider it a victory if everyone leaves and there's no BSA? What happens if they allow AQ trainees back into the country or another attack is launched from commanders operating there?
6. Have you changed your mind on presidential executive powers since your comments in 2008? If so, do you owe the previous president an apology?
7. Is Anas al-Liby, who was rendered from Libya last year, being interrogated anymore? He seems to have lawyered up, with a report saying the Libyan government is paying his attorney fees. Did we get anything useful out of him on possible pending attacks before he was read rights?
8. On the IRS targeting story, you expressed outrage upon learning of the event in the news but later called it a "phony scandal". How did your half-brother Malik get 501 c4 status so quickly for his Barack H Obama foundation--even having it made retroactive? Do you not see that as a form of favoritism? Is the impression left that the IRS was used as a political attack dog something that concerns you?
9. On a similar theme, why was your uncle Omar and aunt Zentuini allowed to remain in the country after both being ordered deported? Were you aware of either case in advance? Do you agree with the outcomes, and if so, do you believe there should essentially be open borders in the United States to the point of getting here means staying, and eventually citizenship? Does it concern you that people following the legal pathway to citizenship are left looking like chumps when those ordered deported are given asylum or in the event of a general amnesty passed by Congress?
10. Which corporations do you think need their 'asses kicked' these days? Looking back, do you consider that rhetoric as helpful or do you regret using it?
11. How in the world does a website cost over a half-billion dollars? Did you know the costs were running that high before rollout? How did the website pass Initial Operating Capability tests? Who signed off on these tests, assuming they occurred? Are the contractors being paid more to fix something they should have delivered on October 1 or is it included in their agreements with the government?
12. What do you think of the TSA whistleblower whose story is out this week, saying that TSA agents were indeed laughing and abusing the naked scanners at airports? Surely stories like that in combination with the NSA snooping leaves many people guessing about their own government. How do you combat the negative impression left by such programs? Should someone apologize?
13. You recently pointed out that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have been falling for the last 8 years, which would include the Bush administration. Actually, the level of carbon increase was fairly stable during the two Bush presidencies, suggesting the decline may not be due to new EPA rulemaking alone. Do you think this leveling off/decline of US emissions is related to the observed flat trend in global temperatures since 1998? Do you think it's useful for people like the former Vice President to be running around spouting falsehoods about climate? Doesn't that undermine efforts to persuade the people?
14. Why won't you approve the Keystone Pipeline project? Does it trouble you that the shale oil is being moved in unit oil trains that might not be safer and definitely produce more greenhouse gases than transport through a pipeline? Doesn't Keystone fit well with your "all of the above" energy strategy laid out during the State of the Union?
15. Is there a war on women, and if so, who are the combatants? Is Sarah Palin a target or a combatant? Is it acceptable for Democrats to use a term like 'war' when discussing their political opponents when Palin was blamed for encouraging the Gabby Giffords shooting based on her use of 'target'?
16. Pete Carroll is being called a "9/11 Truther" by some due to a reported incident where a retired US Army general visited his clubhouse and he reportedly asked if Bush blew the towers. Whether that's true or not, as president you would have access to all the secrets of the government, right? It's tempting to ask you to once and for all confirm such things here, but it's understandable if you can't. It would also be nice to clear up the UFO conspiracies and maybe the TWA 800 crash, which some former investigators recently asked your NTSB to take another look at.
However there is something you can answer. Allegedly Coach Carroll asked the general about the 9/11 attack during a discussion about Iraq. You are famously on record as calling the Iraq war 'dumb', so here's the question-- what would you have done about Saddam if he were still around when you took office in 2008? Would you have continued the sanctions and no-fly zones indefinitely? Or do you think Middle-East peace would be possible with his regime still in power, as in, do you think he could have been brought to the table to honestly broker a peace treaty amongst Iran, Syria, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Russia?
Thank you sir.
Hate to say "I told you so" (so here it comes) but the team with better defense usually wins the big games. In Seattle's case they were the number one defense to boot. Also, they were severely misunderestimated, which is often a formula for victory. Russell Wilson wasn't the team, the team was the team.
As to BO vs BO, or O'Reilly vs O'bama, score one for the first prevaricator. He turned every question around as a slam on Fox News, as if nobody in the country cares about the scandals he's already proclaimed as 'phony'. Even BO couldn't effectively cut off BHO's filibustering, allowing him to run down the clock and limit any dents in the presidential armor. Of course BO had to worry about his career and Fox's future access so he couldn't go for the jugular so to speak, but he could have pressed the president as to what he means by holding people accountable when nobody has even been demoted or placed into less-demanding jobs. The other questions largely backfired on BO because he can't challenge the person who was there on scene and who holds all the power. So as predicted, yawn.
Finally, this was tweeted out from HQ prior to the game....
A few initial questions come to mind. One, why is the president looking up? Is he trying to throw it to some guy in the stands? Two, where is NATO field?