Tuesday, April 29, 2014

All Wee-Wee'd up again...

This is only making news on liberal blogs, Twitchy and Breitbart and a few other places for some reason, but the Prez really bristled over a question asked by Ed Henry of Fox during his final presser in the Philippines yesterday.  The question?  Simple, describe the Obama Doctrine (on foreign policy).  Who could forget the last person criticized for not being able to describe a presidential foreign policy doctrine.   

Of course the lefties are crowing that he chewed Henry up for breakfast, or made tofu out of him, or turned him into a rice cake--however the analogies go on the port side.  You be the judge... 



That clip did not include Henry's question to the Filipino president, which was actually tougher.  You can see it here by forwarding to 40:50.  It was about the killing of journalists in his country, which he answered rather calmly.

On the contrary Obama was, as Twitchy put it, rhetorically 'stomping his foot', bashing Fox, Bush and anyone not in agreement with his doctrine (on the right, because the left agrees with it), whatever that might be.  As is usual with Obama replies, there was an answer in there somewhere, it was just hard to pin down aside from the jab at Henry for daring ask the question, which was clear.

The biggest strawman was the notion that those opposed to to his rather timid foreign policy want war.  Hmm, at last check nobody forced him to draw a red line in Syria or threaten the various consequences over Ukraine; not John McCain, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh or Tweedle Dum.  It was he, trying to act tough while telegraphing a reluctance to back it up.   This is called smart 21st Century power.

At one point he stated that some of his critics haven't 'learned the lesson of the last decade', which seems odd.  What exactly is the lesson?   Is he saying Iraq would now be thriving now under Saddam, with Israel far better off still having him tied with Arafat/Fatah at the hip?  Surely he doesn't think Bush should have invaded Pakistan, since it's obvious his Afghanistan surge will not defeat the Taliban, while our leaving threatens to return the region back to 2001.

Was bombing Libya after Daffy gave up his nuke program (thanks to seeing Saddam crawling out of a spider hole) an example of smart power?  What would Ben Rhodes say?   Was the reset button with Russia a smart move, all things considered?  Ed Snowden?  Trusting the Russians to get our astronauts to the ISS?  How about trusting the Iranians?  Abbas?  Was it Bush's blunder that the Indians are ticked off at America moreso than during the Bush years?   Do tell, Mr. President.

In a way his long wandering snippy answer to a pretty basic question IS the answer.  The doctrine appears to be confusion, ambiguity, and mish-mosh, with rear view mirror thinking while leading from behind, all while criticizing anyone not smart enough to see the genius.  He's not going to be dumb and start a war, unless his bombing likely won't start a war.  It's not hard to see how this might confuse certain foreigners, wondering what has happened to the most powerful nation on Earth and the biggest force for good the world has ever known.

C

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Steyer Contradicts Administration on Keystone

Tom Steyer, a Democratic version of the Koch Brothers, told Bill Maher the following on the Keystone pipeline after a question from Maher:
That's a good thing, right, postponing that indefinitely? Did you have something to do with that?
TOM STEYER: No. I think the president made a decision that he wanted to get all the information before he made a decision. There is no route right now through Nebraska because the way that they defined the route has been ruled by a judge to be illegal. So it's being appealed to the Nebraska Supreme Court. And so realistically the president said, 'I can't approve a route that doesn't exist. I'm going to wait until it exists, when all of the information is in and then I'll make a considered opinion when the time comes.' I thought it was a very natural thing for the president to do.
The problem with that statement is that the White House denies they made any decision at all on Keystone; that it was John Kerry's State Department that delayed it:



Yet Carney is contradicting reports from February that said Obama himself would decide on Keystone in a few months. So when talking to governors back then it was Obama's call; when talking to the press after the decision has been made it was Kerry's call.  When explaining the delay now it's not about politics, when explaining the delay back in 2012 it was about politics.  Does anyone in the press believe this crap? 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

CNN headlines finally find Bundy

After 45 days of almost nothing but MH370 headlines--including a 'breaking news' version the other day over a piece of random sheet metal floating off the coast of Australia--the Communist News Network has finally found the Bundy ranch story..
Racist comments from Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy – who earlier this month appeared to win a highly publicized standoff against federal authorities over his two-decade long illegal grazing of cattle on public land – are giving Democrats a new weapon to attack some top Republicans who earlier came to Bundy's defense.
To be fair, CNN did sorta cover the story when the BLM special agents had their dogs and guns staring down the various men, women, and children, but as more an afterthought. None of the other networks covered the ranch story when it was breaking, now every network is headlining Bundy's racism.  Dog bites man.

As to Bundy, evidently he was crudely trying to make a point about Johnson's Great Welfare Society and its effects on the black community, ie, single mother homes/babies out of wedlock, crime, unemployment, etc. Personally I don't care if he's a racist.  Hell, Harry Reid had to apologize for his 'racist remarks' about Obama.  Any support I had for Bundy wasn't personal, it was because there was an overreaction.  I had the same feeling when Elian Gonzales was ripped out of that Miami home by federal agents carrying automatic weapons and sent safely back to Castro so he could be used as a propaganda tool.

Nothing Bundy says about race changes the fact that federal agents were removing his cattle and threatening him with weapons over a past due bill.  They weren't doing it because he wasn't politically correct.  It's almost as if some liberals are saying, 'see, he deserved to be gunned down by a BLM sniper because he's a racist!"  Meanwhile Al Sharpton has a show on NBC and gets to hobnob with the President while owing over a million in back taxes.  Yes, the same guy who has made many a racist remark in his time.

But OK, the left/media has their story now. They'll try to connect Bundy to every GOP politician from here through the midterms, probably using his comments about race as some kind of litmus test in the debates, or maybe even trying to tie supporters to Ted Bundy.  After all, they are terrorists.

MORE  4/26/14

It's tempting to kneejerk a reply to Dana Milbank's WaPo hit piece on the Bundy ranch racist fallout.  But isn't it true, to some degree?  There are racists out there and they do tend to associate themselves with conservatism. Those on the right would do well to stand back and take a look at some of their bedfellows without the emotion of the Bundy cause. 

Yeah, one can easily point to the left and criticize their bad behavior in the same area, such as embracing people like Bill Ayers, Mumia Abu Jamal and other known radicals, or Pelosi kissing up to the Occupy Wall St movement (who unlike the Tea Party contains some actual domestic terrorists).

But for the conservative movement to advance within a biased climate of left wing media and the low information attention spans they try to manipulate, conservative leaders need to acknowledge racism and some of the other nuttiness that occasionally gets lumped with the right in general.   No, it's not fair--the current president hobnobbed with an actual domestic terrorist and the media yawned, which would not have happened had McCain been associated with a figure in the Sovereign Citizens movement.  But it is what it is. 

Remaining silent will simply further the disinformation and allow the left to smear the entire movement.  Speaking out will give conservative leaders the credibility to point out bad behavior of the same stripe on the other side, knowing the media will not.    

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Stowaway Story, con't

Information is trickling in.  CNN is reporting..
..he was trying to get to Somalia to see his mother, a law enforcement official told CNN on Tuesday.
No wonder they didn't want to provide more information.  Of course there's no threat because the FBI has already dropped off the investigation, convinced there was no threat despite the unbelievable story and ties to Somalia.  They may be correct, but one has to wonder where he learned the trick. 

Anyway, the central unanswered question continues to be survivability.  Those in the know say he couldn't have survived with limited oxygen and temperatures near -80 Fahrenheit (correction to the earlier post, they were using Fahrenheit not Celsius, which most high altitude weather charts use.  -80F is plausible).  But is it really that cold where the rider was stashed?  Here's a picture of the underbelly of a Boeing 767, notice the main gear cavities:


It folds into the underbelly, not the wing.  So our Somali stowaway was likely stashed in a small compartment basically under the passenger cabin and beside the baggage compartment, where animals are often transported.  Residual heat would surely be present in such a confined area and with heat from the main gear tires as they retract into the bay. 

Further speculation should probably include a realistic estimation of what the internal temperature of the area was where he was riding. It surely wasn't -80F.   


But even if the temp was not Antarctic-like his survival still seems shaky considering the three plus hours at altitudes above 30,000 feet in an unpressurized chamber.  Experts on CNN told us that kind of condition would have killed the passengers on MH370 in minutes--in a warmer cabin.   The rider says he passed out, which makes sense, but his unfrozen raggedy andy body would have had no defense against tumbling down into the gear apparatus as soon as the plane made a left bank. Lying on the gear it would seem plausible to think he would have been ejected downward as the gear was lowered on final approach. But he didn't fall out.  So did he belt himself onto a pole or other structure before passing out? 

Or did he actually find some way to enter the baggage compartment when nobody was looking?  Is that maybe why it took him an hour to exit the plane?   Would the authorities cover that up for some reason?  Or did Allah actually perform a miracle?   Whatever the case, the fact he wasn't cited--at least for trespassing--is perhaps the biggest mystery of all. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Aviation Update

Of course the big news today is not Syria possibly crossing the red line..again...after a negotiated settlement (and Carney effectively saying 'big deal').  No, the BIG story is the 16 year old kid who embarrassed the San Jose, California airport authority/security by hoping the fence and stowing away on a Hawaiian Airlines wheel well and surviving the flight to Maui.  Allegedly..
The teen, who hasn't been named, is believed to have jumped a fence at the San Jose Airport and settled into the Hawaiian Airlines jetliner's unpressurized wheel-well, unnoticed by airport security.
Authorities said the teen told them that he passed out after the Maui-bound plane took off, and somehow survived, despite freezing temperatures and a lack of oxygen -- a feat that has experts puzzled.
Crew members found him wandering the tarmac in Maui without identification. He was taken into custody and examined by a doctor who found no injuries. At this time, the teen isn't facing federal charges, Simon said.
First, not sure why they wouldn't at least pretend to charge him to discourage copycat activity. They could back down later. Second, guys like Captain John Nance are rightfully scratching their heads because everyone assumed that if a body is exposed to limited oxygen and temperatures below zero for hours on end they should be dead.  Is this one of those things we thought we knew, but didn't?  Maybe the kid didn't die because he didn't know he was supposed to die.

Third, maybe it's not as cold in the wheel well of a commercial jet once the gear retracts as people think. We keep hearing -40, -60....one report even said temperatures of -80 at 39,000 feet (which is bordering on Day After Tomorrow lunacy) but simple logic would say the inner part of the sealed wing does not get nearly that cold, especially after the heated tires retract up into that slot. Still, the limited oxygen combined with say temperatures below zero F (conservative estimate) should make it hard for a body to survive.

Fourth, the media has told everyone over and over that the passengers on MH370 would have died within a few minutes after the flight reached 39,000 ft with cabin pressure removed. Maybe that's not true.

Fifth, maybe this story is complete poppycock.  But if it is, how did the kid get to Hawaii?

 _____

The stowaway kid story is interesting, but it comes just as two other somewhat strange aviation events have happened over the last several days.  Taken apart they are not much, taken as a whole maybe something else.  On Friday one made national news:
"Why did it take so long? What was the real holdup here? What were they really looking for?" asked Jace Booher, according to CNN affiliate KDVR. A law enforcement official told CNN that a bomb threat found written on a note prompted the security screening after the plane landed at Denver International Airport.
Just a day earlier a Southwest jet destined for Indianapolis made an emergency landing in a similar fashion:
An Indianapolis airport spokesman says a Southwest Airlines flight has safely made an emergency landing after the airline received some kind of threat. Spokesman Carlo Bertolini says Southwest Flight 362 requested the emergency landing and landed without incident Wednesday afternoon at Indianapolis International Airport.
The flight with 138 passengers and a crew of five aboard originated in Baltimore and was headed to Indianapolis already. The emergency landing means the flight was met with emergency vehicles.
There seems to be no follow up report on the actual threat.  The aircraft was checked, including all the baggage, as if they might have also been looking for a bomb.  Apparently two false alarms, two days apart.  

But these stories come on the heels of a weird release of a video this past Wednesday showing dancing jihadists in Yemen parading around out in the open threatening America, including their elusive AQAP supreme leader Al-Wuhayshi.   Keep in mind this group isn't like the Syrian or Iraqi branches of AQ that Obama doesn't seem to care about, this is the aviation branch of AQ, home of bombmaker al-Asiri, whom we have been targeting viciously over the past few days.  For all anyone knows these domestic stories have been dry runs.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

What's Not in the Clinton Document Dumps

Another round of documents oozed out of the Clinton Library last night, openly admitted as a 'document dump' by the WaPo.  Thing is, there's not much there there.

Most of the stuff that has emerged so far in the several dumps has been in the nothingburger category, or even positive for the Clintons.  Yeah, it's interesting to hear Clinton staffers worried and mused about how the press might see this or that, and granted, this was funny:
Among a long list of interview ideas, Caputo suggested Clinton do a "television magazine" show and offered Maria Shriver as interviewer. She said the segment should show Clinton "doing it all" - working on health care, picking out flowers for state dinner and include b-roll of "you attending one of Chelsea's soccer games or making a run to the local supermarket."
Who wouldn't want to see Hillary going to Wal Mart to pick up some generic cereal and a pair of mom jeans for Bill?  And why Arnold's wife would have been considered a go-to friendly source who would have accommodated such a ruse is left to conspiracy theorists.  But this is all known--every administration tries to finagle the press and public for image.  Sometimes the press obliges, sometimes they don't.  Usually based on R and D.

But what hasn't been seen, or reported on at least, are any bombshell documents/emails pertaining to the biggest story that emerged from the 90s--growing Islamic terrorism.  For a president who claimed to have 'done more than anyone' to kill bin Laden and destroy AQ there seems to be a dearth of emails being released on the subject.  Nothing also on staffer thoughts about Saddam Hussein, who was bombed regularly, or TWA800, which Clinton told historian Taylor Branch some months later that it could have been done by Iran because 'they want war'.

Will there be any emails released about how the coverage of the 1993 WTC bombing might have been affected by the ATF's raid on the Branch Davidian compound one day later and how that might have taken media coverage (and a spotlight on Clinton's response to finding the perps) away from a focus on international terrorism over to more comfortable domestic issue?  Oklahoma City was mentioned, but only insofar as Gore contributing a piece to Clinton's 1996 State of the Union address, not about how sleazebag Dick Morris might have influenced Clinton to blame it on Rush Limbaugh. Nothing about the disputed notion of Clinton being offered UBL by the Sudan in 1996.

Speaking of Sudan, how about some emails about whether the bombing of the pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum in 1998, sold to the public by implicating Saddam's scientists as in cahoots with bin Laden to produce VX nerve gas, would play in the media to possibly distract from Lewinskygate.   

Or will all the good stuff remain classified to protect national security?  Maybe somebody could pay Sandy Berger to make another trip to the Archives with some baggy socks. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Aviation Update

Drudge is pointing to this Daily Mail story with angst..
A new photo of a mysterious flying object over Kansas has been revealed. It appears to be the same aircraft as one that was snapped soaring over Texas last month. The exact identify of the aircraft remains a mystery, but rumours abound that it could be a secret jet.
Here's the Daily Mail photo:




Now, here's a few photos of a United States B2 bomber:





Seems pretty close to me.  The wingspan on today's photo doesn't look like the one the Daily Mail claims is the secret aircraft.  B2 bombers are stationed at Whiteman AFB near Knob Knoster, MO, so seeing one in Kansas would hardly be shocking.

MORE  4/20/14

Some have said it appears the picture up top shows a smooth trailing edge to the flying V, as opposed to the B2 which is jagged.   That's apparent when looking closely at blowups of the pic.  Part of the uncertainty is the high altitude at which this plane is flying along with the camera zoom needed to capture it.  The contrails line up with the B2's engine position, the wingspan appears similar, the region is close to the B2's home base.  But if the trailing edge is indeed smooth (and this isn't an illusion created by atmospheric conditions or photography effects) then obviously it could be a new model.

The next question would be, whose new model?   

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Cure for the Lost "News" Conference

Today's impromptu presser held by the president in the White House briefing room was yet another complete joke.  These are not 'news' conferences, they are staged campaign events.

Does the media have no shame?  Why would they so easily acquiesce to being treated like children with this ridiculous idea of pre-selecting reporters chosen to ask the King a question?  This tactic was around under Bush as well, so it's not purely just sucking up to the cool guy.

Whatever the reason, the American people are worse off for it.

Just imagine if President Transparent pulled such a thing after a 9/11 type attack or something else horrible, ie, he comes out to the podium, reads a statement, then asks 5 hand-picked reporters for questions to which he filibusters his answers for 5 minutes each, essentially saying nothing.  Few would accept such a thing.  But the press accepts it now like baby food coming in.

They claim to be mad about access, saying media photographers have been banned from far too many events in favor of the propaganda department.   Well, if they had a collective set of balls they would team up and hijack the next presidential presser to make a protest statement.  Imagine the prez coming out and reading the card calling out the first questioner only to have the entire press corpse begin yelling questions at the same time, ignoring an agitated Carney as he stands there like a school marm pointing his finger!   

What would happen?  Would the Big Guy get mad and storm out?  That would look bad.  Would he try to demand they stay on the protocol and refuse to answer?  That would look opaque.  Would he begin demeaning the press?  That would appear arrogant and insolent.   Or would he become frustrated but eventually start answering the questions one by one like a regular public servant at a regular press conference?   Why not try it and find out? 

But they won't, of course.  They are too afraid of being called rude.  Or racist.  Or losing their book deal or cocktail party status in "This Town".  So, the result is the White House admitting that the toughest interview they faced in 2012 was from a comedian.  They also had some tough ones from local TV reporters with nothing to lose, but nothing hard from the so-called pros.  And as a result, the American people did not get straight answers. 

Even Bill O'Reilly was relatively tepid in his scheduled Super Bowl interview but he did manage to get the president to say that not a "smidgen" of corruption occurred in the IRS targeting scandal, which at the time was an ongoing FBI investigation--which they routinely never comment on.   So it boggles the mind as to why the White House reporters wouldn't pursue an even tougher strategy in pursuit of straight answers.  Certainly ALL of them can't be partisan hacks.  Right? 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hey CNN, Stick to the Plane

Don't accuse CNN of ignoring other stories, like domestic terrorism, while saturating their airwaves with MH370 breaking news.  Case in point, their go-to lefty terror expert Peter Bergen beclowns himself by backing junk science:
According to a count by the New America Foundation, right wing extremists have killed 34 people in the United States for political reasons since 9/11. (The total includes the latest shootings in Kansas, which are being classified as a hate crime). "Since 9/11 extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies...have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda's ideology."
By contrast, terrorists motivated by al Qaeda's ideology have killed 23 people in the United States since 9/11. (Although a variety of left wing militants and environmental extremists have carried out violent attacks for political reasons against property and individuals since 9/11, none have been linked to a lethal attack, according to research by the New America Foundation.)
Bold and shocking!  Right wing terrorists lead the pack, lefty crazies haven't killed anyone, so nothing to worry about.  Those damned tea baggers need to be stopped!

But here at Fore Left we believe in science and data.  So let's not, as the president might say, jump to any conclusions.  The New America Foundation think tank, which provided the study via Bergen, and features CNN's Fareed Zakaria and Google's Eric Schmidt as board members, should be a red flag right off the bat.  But OK, how did they come to their numbers?  Well, here's how they explain in the 'methodology' section:
The dataset also includes individuals inspired by right wing, left wing, and other non-Jihadist political ideologies, who have been indicted for terrorism related crimes. The data on non-Jihadist extremists is less developed than the data on Jihadist extremists but where available it is included to provide a comparison across ideologies. The dataset relies mainly upon court documents, wire service reports, and local news reports as sources.
In other words, the grad students involved based a lot of their conclusions on selected stories from the mainstream media.  Maybe even stories by CNN's Fareed Zakaria or Peter Bergen!  Not very scientific.  

If you really insist on seeing some actual data to be sure they're putting this out as propaganda to help Obama defeat the Tea Party in November, look at their list of attacks and you'll see it right there, in black and white, what they consider a "right wing" attacker--confirmed left wing kook Joseph Stack, who flew his plane into the IRS building in Austin, TX, killing a federal worker.   The guy who quoted Marx in his manifesto.

If you absolutely insist on seeing their list of left wing attackers, good luck.  It's not easily findable on the site.  But somehow, as explained in the CNN story, they couldn't find a single example of a left wing attack that killed someone.

Such as, oh, the Obama supporter professor in Huntsville, Alabama who killed three of her colleagues at a board meeting rampage.  Not listed.  

That's just two, there are many more, especially if one considers the mass shootings in Colorado, Washington Navy Ship Yard, and Newtown, CT, as part of the body count, since all of those perpetrators leaned further left than right if they leaned any direction.  Or, we could just say all of the attacks since 9/11 have been pulled off by nuts, including the jihadists, but many serious jihadist attacks that could have killed hundreds or more were stopped.  But that doesn't fit the narrative.

And that's not to say there aren't far right wingers who cross the rubicon into violence...they most certainly exist and the government and the public should not pretend otherwise.  But researchers and so-called experts should also not pretend when it comes to reality or when making such incendiary charges.  Bergen's long been a lefty hack, but Steve Coll of the NAF should be ashamed.  CNN should be most ashamed since they published it.  They need to focus back on the open Indian Ocean, a porpoise may pop up for a breaking news update.

Funny though, even the biased New America Foundation included Major Hasan's rampage at Ft. Hood as as example of Islamic jihad terrorism, unlike the Obama administration.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Update Update

Latest update on MH370, scrawled across the top of CNN's web page...

 

Is it really breaking news that a sub went down, then came back up?


They may be onto something with the cellphone data, again, another piece of information that should have been available within days of the event.  Also more proof Malaysia was completely BS'ing the region and world about the search area for days after the disappearance because if they knew Hadid's cellphone pinged a tower near Penang there was no way the airplane could have been off the coast of Vietnam in the South China Sea.

Yes, CNN is living and dying on this coverage and it's been discussed and even joked about.  Certainly it sure beats reporting on Obama scandals or inconvenient news, or possible regional wars, all of which can be a real headache.  Besides, few go to CNN to read bad news about Obama anyway, so it's not a ratings play for them.   It almost seems like they are paying Malaysia to drag this out.  But that would be a conspiracy theory. 

What's more frightening is that the Blood Moon is only hours away.   Yet that is not the top story. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Carney Should Know

Jay Carney is the defender of all things Obama, including the president's disingenuous "war on women" featuring "income inequality" as it's main plank.  The prez keeps referring to the 77 cents on a dollar figure, the comparison of female to male income in the country, to hammer Republicans, ie, they don't want to close this unfair gap between the sexes.

This despite Politifact calling it "mostly false" in 2012 and one of his own staffers recently apologizing for using it.

But leave it to the press to try to maintain the general image of the happy, income balanced Carney home while inadvertently giving away a key underpinning of the bogus 77 cents figure:  women tend to work less than men..
Shipman works part-time now for ABC News, something she’s done for five years, which has given her more flexibility to write and hang out with her children. Flexibility, she says, is what most working mothers really want.
So,  as Jay Carney stands at the podium lecturing and hectoring the GOP for being unfair to the womynz his own family life provides an example of why he's full of macaca.

That's completely aside from the general inappropriateness of ABC allowing Mrs Carney to continue working for their network while her husband represents the head of the Democratic Party, but such is not breaking news.   

?!   4/11/14

The phantom pinkie in the picture accompanying this post.  Also, who doesn't notice the Soviet pictures on the wall of the Carney domicile.  Likely on purpose to get a rise out of the conspiracy minded conservatives or just because they were cool?  

Aviation Update

Just a note on MH370 and "new information", which should surprise no one..
Malaysian sources told CNN that Flight 370's pilot, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, was the last person on the jet to speak to air-traffic controllers, telling them "Good night, Malaysian three-seven-zero."
Of course that's a 180 degree contradiction of information provided just a few weeks ago, again, information that should have been confirm-able during the first 48 hours.  Why are they doing this?

Sofrep had a post a few weeks ago filled with details and rational thinking. It still looks good to me. Author's theory--Captain and FO took the plane west to hold it hostage for the release of the politician who was jailed.  This was not a Muslim terrorist thing because the pilot was likely an atheist:
I think Shah then placed the plane in a circling turn out over the water 200-300 miles out and made his demands known to the Malaysian authorities: Vacate the verdict against Ibrahim or I will dive this plane into the water. If successful, Shah might have planned to return to Kuala Lumpur, or to land in Australia and ask for political asylum, hoping the circumstance mitigated him being charged with air piracy and hijacking.
Shah would have left himself enough time and fuel to get back to one of these destinations safely. Let us assume the Malaysian authorities, relieved that they were not dealing with a real terrorist, called Shah’s bluff or made promises Shah did not believe would be carried out. The deadline would have been before sunrise so the passengers would not realize they were still over water and not China. Shah and his co-pilot probably discussed this possibility.
..that, or the Malaysians shot it down. But kidnapping sounds like the most rational theory yet based on all the moves made and the crazy actions of the Malaysian government.  Also, a ditching might explain why debris has yet to be found, under a theory concurrent with the ping locations on a southeast arc towards Australia, suggesting Shah was heading for Australia for asylum but ran out of fuel.  

Monday, April 07, 2014

Sy? Sy who?

One might think that NPR's favorite reporter, the guy who exposed My Lai and helped to uncover abuses at Abu Ghraib--would get more respect from his lefty colleagues and acolytes when releasing another insider story. But the cone of silence is still down regarding his allegations around Bashar Assad and the in WMDs:
“We knew there were some in the Turkish government,” Hersh quoted a former senior US intelligence official, who has access to current intelligence, as saying. The American official believed “they could get [Syrian President Bashar al-]Assad’s nuts in a vice by dabbling with a sarin attack inside Syria – and forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat.”
Sounds rather extraordinary!   Where is 60 Minutes?  MSNBC?  

They are all pulling a Simon and Garfunkel.  But not everyone is silent. A Turk journalist asked the State Dept spokeswoman about Hersh's allegation today, which she airily brushed aside..

 

Did you see how she professionally smiled while dismissing the crack about the red line?  State has opted for a non-confrontational female happy face media strategy these days.  You almost expect them to serve warm cookies at these briefings.  As to Hersh, maybe some of his fellow reporters think he's gone over the edge, which is why none of them followed up.  Who knows.  Or maybe they just consider him a useful idiot, loony now but available for ressurrection one day as the esteemed Pulitzer winning investigative journalist if he lives long enough to see a potential Republican elected in 2016.

Speaking of the White House, they were asked about Hersh's column, which they replied it was erroneous because it didn't line up with their earlier consensus and it came from anonymous sources.   Obviously not the anonymous sources they like to use.

Oh, and one more thing. Hersh also has an opinion on Benghazi:
The veteran journalist also suggested the attack on a U.S. consulate and CIA mission in Benghazi, Libya in 2012, which killed four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya, is linked to the infighting over Syria.
He suggested the CIA organized the shipment of weapons stockpiles from Benghazi to the Syrian opposition. Citing a “highly classified annex” of a report by the Senate committee that investigated the Benghazi attack, he said the document referred to “a secret agreement” reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdo─čan administrations.
“By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for bringing arms from Gadhafi’s arsenals into Syria,” reportedly read the document.
No wonder the left wants nothing to do with this 'bombshell'.

MORE  4/8/14

Walid Shoebat has been saying some of this same stuff for awhile, but of course he's not a respected, award-winning investigative reporter.   And if you read to the end of the link you'll find some interesting tidbits on Congressman Rogers, who leads this so-called investigation into Benghazi.  He's retiring from Congress at years end, so it's tempting to think that any Benghazi black operations were well-known before the crap hit the fan, and by members on both sides.

So maybe the Dems are right--maybe this is just dog and pony political theater, but not to hammer Hillary, but to protect crony future job opportunities.  One might think the left-leaning media would take a shine to such a story, well, other than the Iran-Contra type allegations regarding Obama.  Good thing they nabbed the filmmaker. 

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Selective Memory or Utter Stupidity?

The title statement is all one can glean from watching this clip of Nancy Pelosi talking to Candy it was an act of terror Mitt! Crowley about the soon to be declassified Senate report on CIA 'torture'..


Here's the same Nancy Pelosi, according to various CIA entities, when briefed about 'the program' back in 2002:
Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.
"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.
Crowley is good at reminding people of facts--why didn't she remind Ms Pelosi of the above bolded item during her interview? Pelosi had just praised the CIA so she would have been forced to call certain past members of that same organization "liars" (again), which if nothing else would have been compelling TV. 

MH370 and Conspiracies

Fareed Zakaria has a post today for CNN basically making fun of the Hoi Polloi for generating conspiracy theories, specifically about the lost Malaysian jet. He quotes a book on the subject of conspiracies by none other than Cass Sunstein of the Obama administration, explaining why so many people don't believe what they are told:
A key condition that helps fuel conspiracy theories is a lack of information. When information is scarce, conspiracies abound. And we don't actually know a lot of things about what happened to that plane.
Now, the trend is heightened where there is distrust of politics, politicians, and people in authority. One can see that in somewhat opaque political systems like Malaysia and China. But one can also see that in the United States, a country famously distrustful of its government.
Yes, he could have added examples such as "if you like your health care you can keep your health care, period", but did not.

It's clear the people of this country, like many others, understand that politicians sometimes lie--or in the least misdirect the public--for a variety of reasons.  Some are noble, some self-serving (although most liars probably think their lies are noble).  The question here is what point is Zakaria trying to make with this piece?

He ends the post by saying most events are the sum of bad luck, mistakes or chance--which is true--but he could said that in 2 paragraphs.  He mentioned something else earlier in the piece:
Group-think also takes over. When the people who are affected or interested tend to gather, talk to one and other, and communicate in isolation, their convictions tend to get hardened. So, if everyone you talk to – and listen to and watch – believes that President Obama is hiding his birth certificate, you get even more sure about this secret plot over time.
Not sure Karl Popper wrote anything on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, but maybe that's where Zakaria was trying to go in the above, dragging birthers and the Obama-haters into the mud.  He could have devoted a paragraph to 9/11 truthers, including many Democrats who when polled suggested that yes, Bush knew more than he was telling because he wanted Iraq's oil, etc.  Somehow liberal conspiracies are never treated quite the same as conservative ones.  

Not to say Zakaria isn't a knowledgeable guy--this essay on the Middle East is probably why he was once called by Bush to a meeting at the White House in late 2001 to discuss an approach to the region in the post 9/11 world:
Mr. Zakaria said he felt participating was appropriate because his views, as a columnist for Newsweek, were public, although he has never divulged his involvement to his readers.
“My column is an analytical column,” he said, adding that he gives advice to policy makers and elected officials: “If a senator calls me up and asks me what should we do in Iraq, I’m happy to talk to him.”
But he's talking about conspiracies here.  The bold above might beg the question--what did he advise president Bush to do on Iraq?  He was certainly no lover of Saddam Hussein's regime.  And he didn't mention his participation to readers.  And the meeting's conclusions were included in a white paper used within government in regards to dealing with US policy towards the region going forward (something Zakaria claims he didn't know at the time).  Such illustrates precisely why there are conspiracy theories.

As to MH370, I've not posited a theory as to what I think happened to it on this blog so far.  I simply don't know.  There's not enough evidence, and what we do have is contradictory. 

I do have a partial theory about the Malaysian government--I think they' been trying to run out of clock on the Black Box pingers by providing misleading information and a trickling of information that should have been available only days after the disappearance,  because they'd just as soon never see the plane found.  A plausible reason is a finding that the plane was either hijacked due to poor security or one of the pilots went mad, neither very palatable for the chamber of commerce types or the government lawyers, not that they were actually involved.  

But such a theory is simply pure speculation.  There are no verifiable facts they are engaged in a conspiracy.  As Zakaria says, it could be explained by sheer incompetence.  The reason I've been critical of the TWA800 investigation is because the public has been privy to many more facts and data about that tragedy, allowing individuals to reasonably draw their own conclusions.  Believing MH370 is on the ground in Pakistan or was shot down near Diego Garcia (as some theories suggest) requires believing that the UK is running interference by having the Inmarsat company generate phony satellite data that ran everyone far away down in the Indian Ocean so the powers that be could clean up the mess somewhere else.  It's interesting speculation, it's probably happened before in the history of governments, but has no basis in fact at this point.

MORE  4/6/14

The CNN story mentioned above regarding supposed new radar data showing the plane skirting the coast of Indonesia while turning south is just another example of the idiocy that leads to conspiracy theories.  This data should have been available within 24-48 hours at the most.  Here's another source:
After reviewing radar data provided by neighbouring countries, investigators have now found that the jetliner curved north of Indonesia before turning south toward the southern Indian Ocean, CNN quoted a Malaysian official as saying.
Funny, they say it flew around the outskirts of Indonesia to 'avoid radar' but they learned this by examining the radar.  So when did Malaysia have this data?  Because if they had it early then the question is raised--again--as to why they allowed countries to search areas where they knew the plane wasn't.  Again making it seem like they don't want this plane to ever be found, or at least not found until everyone more or less forgets about it.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Various

Two major stories yesterday, one superseded by the other.  The Morell Benghazi testimony was set to makes some news, at least on Fox and some AM stations, but once again a Benghazi story about the "talking points" was trumped by a bigger story, this time at Fort Hood.

Just a word on the shooting.  Early reporting indicated multiple shooters, as happens in almost every such event, but later updates clearly pegged Lopez as the proverbial "lone nut".  It was reported he killed himself, and jihadists don't normally kill themselves unless the act will take a whole bunch of innocents with them.  But the early explanation of this self-induced demise was a little perplexing:
He was eventually confronted by a military police officer in a parking lot. He put his hands up but then pulled a gun from under his jacket. “She [the officer] engaged,” Milley said, and then the soldier put the gun to his head and shot himself.
The word 'engaged' was ambiguous as it wasn't at all clear whether she fired.  In the midst of an active shooter it would make little sense for an MP, with gun drawn, to stand there idly and let Lopez go from raised hands to grabbing his weapon and firing, even at himself.  But today that record was corrected:
He declined to identify the MP or the chaplain, but said the military police officer was within 20 feet of Lopez when he put up his hands, and then reached for his gun. "She engaged him with small arms fire at which time the shooter fire a self inflicted gunshot wound," he said. "She did fire her weapon," Milley said at another point.
Which makes more sense.

But it also leaves hanging as to whether she hit him or not.  Not sure it would make a difference since it still looks like Lopez was a lone nut either way, but it might say something about motive and intent.  It certainly might say something about the heroism of the MP's actions.  It does not appear the military is trying to hide anything but they could have reported that she had fired last night. 

___________________

As to the Benghazi story, for some people the only possible scandal left is whether the administration tried to cover up AQ involvement in a terrorist attack a few weeks after the Democrats told America that bin Laden was dead and AQ was on the run. Sharyl Attkisson is writing on her own now (still like a journalist) and provides some testimony highlights. This stood out:
“I did not take al Qaeda from the talking points,” Morell said. When asked who did, he answered, “The group of officers from our office of Congressional affairs and our office of public affairs.” Previously, government officials had vehemently denied that any public affairs officials made any edits to the talking points.
Morell did acknowledge personally removing the word “Islamic” from the phrase “Islamic extremists” in the talking points and says he did it for two reasons: so as not to further inflame passions in the Islamic world and because “what other kind of extremists are there in Libya?”
There you go--the text was changed by a 'congressional' and 'public' affairs squad, no doubt based on pressure from State cough Hillary.  Since these people were technically "CIA", they can say the CIA changed their own talking points.  Technically we're no closer to who made any ultimate calls. 

Attkisson also mentions the curious power of Morell over Petraeus, the former who seemed to be calling the shots on the talking points.  That does sound weird.  As if the general was compromised or something.  Anyway, it appears that the Democrats have dodged another bullet on this event.  The more they dodge, the longer they survive.  Unlike female investigative reporters at CBS News, for instance. 

MORE  4/3/14

Fortunately the two excellent female investigative reporters for Fox News haven't been run off their own airwaves for aggressive fact-finding.  This story by Catherine Herridge is a must-read synopsis of Morell's testimony, including the BLOCKBUSTER admission that yes, AQ was involved in the attack and they knew it almost right away.

Morell claims that because their sources were classified they couldn't publicly release it, which doesn't sqaure with some other testimony, but the bigger question is why the administration--knowing this about AQ--allowed Susan Rice and Jay Carney to weave their fables about the protest.  And that, my friends, is where the scandal lies, if there is a scandal here.  

But again, just like Jon Karl's exclusive on the talking points was eclipsed by the IRS targeting story, the Fort Hood shooting has eclipsed what should have been a big story here.  As Herridge points out, Morells' testimony completely shoots down the New York Times story from a few months ago stating that AQ had no part in the attack. 


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Utopia by the Numbers

Utopia as in Obamacare, at least that's what it seemed like from listening to the bubbly Jay Carney describe the sign-up numbers on the O-Care deadline yesterday.  He was go giddy he even messed up the numbers.  But the media seems to be buying it.   If not outright celebrating.

Carney's talking point was that the 6 million sign-ups were unexpected based on the website problems and therefore must reflect the popularity of the awesome program.

But hold on.   The baby bird media might buy such a thing but average humans should be skeptical.  Do a bunch of people signing up for a program right before the deadline actually mean it's popular, or does it simply mean there was a deadline?  After all, if surges of activity before government deadlines are now an indication of popularity then paying taxes to the IRS via the Post Office must be a hugely popular!

The GOP should be addressing this as a "no duh" moment.  Of course there was a surge--it's THE LAW.  Obama was recently out warning people they may GET FINED for not applying.  The hugely popular IRS is involved, who may TAKE MONEY FROM YOU if you don't 'get covered'.  So what do the numbers mean?   They could mean the program is popular, but they just as easily may mean there are a lot of people are law-abiding Americans who take deadlines seriously.  After all, wouldn't more have signed up earlier if it was so awesome?  As the WH said, there were many ways to sign up apart from the website. 

No, the only metric to gauge popularity right now is the polling data, which does not back up Carney's fantasy.  ABC reporter Jonathan Karl started down that road in the press briefing yesterday but he didn't go far enough.  The GOP should take it the rest of the way.  After all, the administration claims to be science-friendly--they should be made to show how such a contention is verifiable.   

YES,  BUT  4/1/14

As predicted by some the administration just came in with just a smidgen over 7 million sign-ups, which triggered one of the biggest end-zone dances ever seen on the 25 yard line.  The question "how many actually paid?" was not answered by Carney today--heck, he didn't even refer reporters to HHS/Sebelius for a non-answer, just saying "we'll provide it later".  Perhaps on the evening before Memorial Day weekend.

Speaking of sports, Obama welcomed the evil Boston Red Sox (evil because they beat the Cardinals, that's all) to the White House for a World Series congratulation ceremony and made yet another sports gaffe, this time botching the pronunciation of Mike Napoli's last name.  When added to the self-proclaimed "baseball lover" and White Sox fan's description of Comiskey Park as "Kamensky Field"--then not being able to name a single favorite White Sock--it surely appears the president is a pretend baseball fan.

Hey, there's nothing wrong with not being a baseball fan--he would share it with millions, but it appears he simply can't bring himself to admit it publicly.  Maybe it's out of fear of being called an outsider from Kenya, etc.  But ask yourself which is worse, a guy who stands up and says "I'm not the biggest baseball fan but I love basketball" or a guy who calls himself a baseball lover then calls his favorite team's ballpark "Komensky Field"?   And yes it's relevant, because it reflects character and an ability to flim-flam for a cause.