Saturday, May 31, 2014

Side Tracks

The power of nature is incredible..

The impact of the eruption of Mount Sangeang Api in Indonesia is being felt in air traffic patterns.  It you'd like to see why commercial jets avoid volcanic ash clouds check out this video on "Speedbird 9". 
As to other possible far-reaching effects, Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines exploded after erupting in 1991, sending ash and or ejecta high nto the Stratosphere. The resulting sulfuric acid droplets caused a reflective haze that caused a temporary reduction in global temperatures (along with occasional reddish sunsets for about a year thereafter). A volcanologist would obviously be able to explain it much better.  Just wondering if this eruption was factored into the climate change models.

Speaking of nature, the experts are out with their annual hurricane projection, calling for a lower than normal season due to El Nino.  Which is based on an El Nino forming.  

With that, here's some New Age nature-y mood music featuring an electric harp player...

You can see a live version of the "Down to the Moon" album here

Friday, May 30, 2014

Who is the Enemy?

Barack Obama has said that Bashar Assad's 'days are numbered'.  He set a red line on his using WMDs, even threatening to bomb Syria after they moved and used them.  Ask the administration and they will continue to say our goal is to get rid of that murdering, WMD-using regime, and that we support the rebels. 

So how do we rationalize this?
The suicide attacker in the bombing depicted in this online video was an American jihadi, radical Islamists claiming responsibility for the blast have said
Was this Florida guy a hero for joining up with the rebels and taking out an Assad checkpoint?  Or was he our enemy, being part of AQ, even if fighting on our side?  This new foreign policy is confusing.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Obama says things about the Military, slays Strawmen

Today the President gave a speech in front of a bunch of West Point cadets.  But he was really addressing his enemies, ie, the Tea Party and most Republicans.   He warned they should not believe their lying eyes because America has never been so strong in the world. 

The speech was probably more confusing than the Isla Vista shooter's diatribe, bouncing around from one policy position to another with the requisite number of if's and's and but's covering all bases. But in a nutshell:
Bush sucked.  I'm not Bush, or even George Washington, who was an isolationist--I'm a success because I won't commit troops to war for flimsy things like Bush, who was dumb and sucked.  I will never turn our back from a fight unless there's a chance of civilian casualties, in which I'll employ our smart power of coalitions, partners, diplomacy, butterflies, warm cookies and KFC regular recipe buckets.  But wait!  As to those climate change deniers, we shall fight those bastards on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender! 
When in trouble, pivot to the old standby.  Meanwhile in the real world, a group of chemical weapons inspectors were attacked yesterday on their way to visit a possible chlorine gas attack near Damascus, Syria..
An international team sent to investigate allegations that chlorine gas had been used as a weapon in Syria’s civil war came under attack on Tuesday, forcing it to abort its mission to reach a village where numerous such attacks have been reported.
Chlorine attack?  Didn't we have a smart power deal with Putey Poot?   Apparently the 160,000 dead Syrians, largely civilians, must be the reason we didn't send any troops.  And maybe that's why the Prez dressed down a female White House reporter for daring to ask whether we've got any troops in Qatar training the Syrian rebels, who will one day end up fighting or converting to AQ as soon as Assad's number is up.  But not core AQ.      

In other news, Thailand remains under martial law and the State Dept warned all Americans to leave peaceful, liberated Libya for some reason.  But fear not, unlike all those Republicans screaming for him to send troops to Libya and Thailand, Obama will not, because he's George Washington.  Besides, our real battle is against Joseph Kony, and the fight continues until it's over.  

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Why Trey Gowdy

This clip is an example of why Gowdy was chosen to lead the select committee..

And why some people fear it. 

For instance, the administration constantly refers to the vaunted "Accountability Review Board", led by Admiral Mullen and Ambassador Pickering (as in, they aren't liberal hacks), to deflect from any further questions to make their case that the case has been closed.  Gowdy basically tears open that whole narrative in less than 10 minutes.  

Hollywood Spree Killer

Yet another senseless loss of life thanks to another young underdeveloped male spree killer.

The perpetrator, Elliot Rodger, is the son of filmmaker Peter Rodger.  The elder Rodger is being linked to the "Hunger Games" series but he also recently made a film about God, going around the world challenging people to tell him the meaning of God, playing some moral equivalency games between Bush 43 and the 9/11 bombers, then later telling humanist Eldon Taylor in an interview:
We are primitive organisms on a big rock in a scary vacuum, driven by fear and desperately trying to find something to hold onto.
The son expressed a similar, albeit more grisly view in the bizarre evidence springing forth about his background.  The stuff on YouTube and in his writings is certainly chilling beyond belief, but there's almost a weird quality about it that reads more like a screenplay for the next slasher movie on the Chiller channel.  Most of the manifestos written by crazy people tend to be rambling streams of consciousness, often poorly written without attention to grammar, but his stuff doesn't read that way. He also hit on some hot button issues, inadvertently perhaps, or not.

For instance, readers of his manifesto will not doubt come away hearing what they want in certain areas. Those opposed to violent movies and video games will point to his blaming high-speed internet and an XBox for taking away his social life, which made him an empty shell.  Obviously the gamers won't like that.  That he used the internet not for good, but as a tool to research and plan his crime will disappoint internet freedom advocates but provide fodder for those who think the net is too open.  He even used the term "War on Women" in his manifesto, capitalizing it, as if a reality play off the political meme of the same name, maybe a sarcastic message.  

His description of the police 'welfare check' intervention and how he nervously fooled them reads like a how-to for future interventions in some kind of half-hearted advocacy for a bigger police state.  In other words, "whew, had they just searched my room and found the guns and manuscripts it would have been ov er" kind of thing, which some will use to advocate for searches of people suspected of being violent.  Others will see a rational-thinking person smart enough to fool the police and certainly smart enough to fool the gun dealers without a police record or history of mental illness. 

He also made it a point to stress that his day of retribution would not just be guns and ammo, but knives and hammers and other sharp weapons, and even automobiles used as weapons, almost as if answering the gun control advocates before they started.  A kind of "evil will be done, regardless" sentiment. 

In his 'attack plan', which reads more like a blog post, he mentions his intention to avoid responsibility at the end by not only killing himself with two handguns, but swallowing a bunch of Vicoden and Xanax along with an ample amount of 'hard liquor' to dull the pain.   So he was either prescribed such pills or getting them somewhere.  In other words, therapy won't work.    

Don't know what it is, but something seems weird about this event. It could just be the harsh spectacle of the cold, calculating, confused and twisted mind of a young delayed adolescent living in a privileged bubble with a destabilized family life (divorce, step mother, etc) with a propensity for violence enabled by the entertainment field in which his father made a living.  The TV shrinks will no doubt have it figured out soon.

Maybe the strangeness comes from the fact he's the educated son of a filmmaker so his writing is different than other crazed killers.  But it brings up the biggest question of all--are people sometimes just overtaken by evil alone?  Does calling them 'mentally ill' make everyone else feel better?  Along those lines, are evil people who don't believe in God nor a final judgment more likely to go out in a blaze of violence if they have no fear of eternal damnation? 

MORE  5/26/14

A few more items to ponder.   Having read most of the 'manifesto', which was more a life history/personal eulogy, it's clear this kid was giving off warning signs all along.  It's likely he suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which prevented him from feeling empathy for anyone else but himself, which caused him to externalize his failures and fears on other people instead of himself.  This seems to be a trait more seen with males than females.  His visions of grandeur eventually consumed his biography and allowed him to justify in his mind the death and horror he was going to produce.   Interestingly, he fought with himself over it in the narrative, 'hoping' to avoid it.  But his hopes were centered around getting instantly rich, which is why he became a compulsive lottery player.

His family did try to intercede.  In fairness, nobody really thinks their own flesh and blood could be capable of doing such horrible things.  But he was taken to several therapists/life coaches/counselors/psychologists and psychiatrists, without much effect.   As he fooled the police a few weeks before the massacre, he likely fooled the shrinks in the same manner.

Reading the biography is like a form of torture itself, but it's interesting to note what he DID NOT mention.  He didn't mention anything about external events in the country causing him any grief.  Nothing was mentioned about 9/11 to any significance, despite his mother and step-mother coming from Islamic countries and despite him traveling to both countries several times.  This could be an indication of the self-centered bubble he was living in, whether created by his family or himself.   He mentioned almost nothing of politics other than an offhand quote about the cool kids not understanding his politics.  As Powerline and others have pointed out, he 'liked' former Air America/MSNBC host Cenk Ugyur on his Facebook page.  But I'm reluctant to assign a political motive or cast aspersions on liberals/Democrats based on the actions of a crazed person who was all about himself.

Another odd thing is his lack of any mention of the hereafter.  As he was building up towards his 'Day of Retribution' he offhandedly mentioned his fear of death, but never made any comments on what he might experience in that realm.  Perhaps he dismissed any thinking about an afterlife to rationalize his act but it's clear from his story he was not brought up to have any religious beliefs whatsoever.  Unless he was leaving that chapter out on purpose.  He certainly didn't express any fear of 'retribution' in hereafter, which is similar to Islamic suicide bombers rationalizing that Allah would favor them for killing innocents, even rewarding them with heavenly sex.  Many are what can be called losers with women, which is no doubt part of the appeal (along with giving them an excuse for their earthly failures).  

He made no connection to that kind of sexual justice in any worlds beyond, but it's an interesting parallel nonetheless.  Surely his mother and stepmother had some opinion of Islam and passed it along during his upbringing, whether good or bad, especially after 9/11 and the Iraq war, but such is speculation.  Many Islamic fundamentalist males have a similar mindset when it comes to the power of women, which led early leaders of the faith to invent burkas and other rules that reduced sex appeal, so who knows what he was exposed to as to that philosophy.  It certainly appears he committed the act out of selfishness and not religion.

Finally, the gun control thing.  On the surface it does seem strange that such a nut could buy three handguns.  The facts say he was in control of his madness when it counted, such as buying the weapons and dealing with the police welfare check, and that's what makes this such a vexing problem.  Nobody, not the NRA or Sarah Palin or Ted Nugent or the late Charlton Heston would be in favor of his maniac getting access to guns, but the 'solution' might be worse than the problem, ie. having government psychiatric doctors determining who gets to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights and who doesn't.   So here we are.     



Thursday, May 22, 2014

More Benghazi Memos

For 'case closed' we sure are getting a lot of new information.

Now we find out that at 911pm eastern time on 9/11/12 the administration, without any outside confirmation from intelligence agencies or State officials in theater, blamed the "Innocence of Muslims" video clip for the Benghazi attack.  They even mentioned the video in their condolence letter dated Sept 12 to the family of Sean Smith the next day... 
Another State Department document, this one labeled “sensitive but unclassified” and dated Sept. 12, also refers both to the video and to a group linked to al Qaeda in explaining the cause of the attack. “At least 20 armed extremists, members of Ansar al-Sharia, set fire to the Principal’s office, allegedly retaliating for videos posted on the internet of a film deemed insulting to Islam,” the memo reads, providing an early State Department summary of what happened.
Bizarrely, the White House is using this formerly undisclosed email to make their case that they thought it was the video all along, ie, this proves they didn't invent it.  Well yes, unless it proves they exploited it to deflect from what actually happened.  Nobody thinks the video wasn't at least responsible for some of the Cairo protests, and eventually other cities.  But the Obama folks want it both ways--they want us to believe they blamed the terrorist attack (cue Candy Crowley) on the video.  That way both bases are covered.

But what they don't want people to think is that it was a 'pre-planned' attack with 'foreign fighters', which came from the president of the Libyan Congress on the same day Rice blitzed the Sunday shows with the video explanation. After all, a pre-planned attack with foreign fighters makes it sound less like some hooligans walking around who got ticked off by something in Cairo and grabbed their RPGs and mortars. 

A pre-planned attack with foreign fighters also goes a little close to the whole "free the Blind Shiekh" thing, which was being pursued by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt leading up to the event.  The brother of the leader of AQ was behind the initial Cairo protest, which turned into a riot after a local Salafist leader used the video to rile up the protesters.  One of the terrorist militias in eastern Libya that was fingered in one of the previous attacks on the mission is called the Omar Abdel Rahman Brigades (video here). CNN knows all this--they initially reported it--but have since lost their notes, along with any notes about the Stevens diary

A pre-planned attack with foreign fighters also looks a little like retribution for the killing of Core AQ Number Two Abu Yahya al-Liby.  AQ Number One had just urged the faithful to take revenge, announced publicly early on 9/11.  In Cairo the protesters were shouting "Obama, Obama we are all Osama".  They were shouting it at Obama, not Bacile.

So an administration that usually treads carefully when it comes to laying blame for terror acts, preferring to let law enforcement come to conclusions first, was good with blaming an American Coptic Christian filmmaker before the attack was even over despite countervailing evidence and a lack of overall knowledge of the situation.  One can only presume such a reaction was an attempt to get out ahead of the 'pre-planned attack with foreign fighters' reality to redirect blame away from Obama (as the Rhodes instructions tried to do) knowing it was a political vulnerability after what had just been said at the convention. So the Democrats are right in the sense that this IS all about politics--and it still is--all ginned up by the Democrats. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Inequality of Racial Slurs

The story of the New Hampshire police commissioner who called the President of the United States the "n word" is getting major attention.  The old white racist initially refused to apologize, then today--following an appeal by Mitt Romney--submitted his resignation. This made big headline news at
Last Thursday, Copeland, 82, sat with his arms crossed at a packed town meeting while a crowd of angry residents in the predominantly white town called for his resignation. Copeland acknowledged in an email to his fellow police commissioners that he used the racial slur to describe Obama.
So he resigned.  The idiot got what he deserved.  But what about this idiot:
Brooks got into a heated dispute over race relations with a Hispanic business owner at Tuesday’s meeting, and lashed out at other commissioners, referring to Caucasian member as “the man in the sheet.”
Similar situation.   She made racist comments at a council meeting then refused to apologize.  But calling a fellow council member a Klansman was not all she said:
Pablo Pereya with the Hispanic Republic Alliance was at the meeting to discuss something else, but took the opportunity to speak up when he heard this debate. “I see you guys smirking and laughing, like I’m not a minority,” Pereya said, addressing the commissioners.
“I know what it’s like to be a minority. I grew up in Memphis, and I can tell you being a Hispanic in Memphis is definitely the minority of the minority.”
Commissioner Brooks fired back at Pereya, saying the struggles of Hispanics and African Americans are not the same in this country. “Don’t ever let that come out of your mouth again, because you know what? That only hurts your case,” she told Pereya. “Don’t compare the two. They’re not comparable.
Emphasis added throughout to point out that Ms Brooks, a black lady, inferred that a Hispanic citizen was somehow not an authentic minority because his ancestors weren't slaves. Then she told him to basically never to consider himself a minority again as long as she's around.  And this woman has power. 

Wow. But there's even more. A local conservative black talk radio host criticized the remarks. Later, he was a guest on a TV show discussing community blight and said the following.  The local NAACP called for him to be fired or resign.  So they defend her then ask him to quit. Later they gave a press conference to defend Ms Brooks and the black radio talk show host showed up asking why he should be fired. One of the guys running the presser was overheard saying this at the podium...
I would like to know why WREG has not released the audio of one of the leaders saying “we can’t let this NEGRO take over the press conference.” I find that the most offensive. Way to not tell the whole story WREG shame on the station. And many people wonder why news media cannot be trusted.
Notice the above is a comment to the story.  Even the local TV news stations would not publish the "negro" comment.  It was pretty clear when played over the air this morning.  There's really no need to make this stuff up--it's Memphis.

But what happens in Memphis apparently stays in Memphis.  The idiot old white racist in New Hampshire calls the President the N word during a public meeting, Romney gets involved, he has to resign, and CNN and other mainstream outlets blare the headline. Idiot black politician makes racist comment at a Memphis public meeting, she refuses to apologize, NAACP compares politician to Malcolm X, and the national media is nowhere to be found.   Meanwhile Ms Brooks continues her campaign to win a seat as Juvenile County Court Clerk.


Somebody needs to sick Michelle Obama on the Shelby County Commission...
And that’s really my challenge to all of you today. As you go forth, when you encounter folks who still hold the old prejudices because they’ve only been around folks like themselves, when you meet folks who think they know all the answers because they’ve never heard any other viewpoints, it’s up to you to help them see things differently . . .
Will she weigh in here? Maybe pigs will fly.  But we're still waiting on the president to decide whether the Abramson firing was part of the war on women, the war on income inequality, or just cause because it's the New York Times.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Targeting the Hate and Denial, 2014

Yeah, it's not man bites dog..

Just another day in the non-Fox media.  But it's like a sport pointing things out.  For instance, is there any guess as to the identity of these brave patriots standing up to the Republicans haters and deniers?  Gasp--Michelle Obama, Bill Nye the science guy, and Eric Holder.  Conservatives--do you really think these same people will cover any Obama scandal fairly? 

Not to be outdone, a sub-link within the article pointed to more commencement wisdom from the likes of Puff-Daddy, Tiger Woods' ex, and Joe Biden.  They also liked astronaut Rick Mastracchio's speech, so much so they placed at the very end  of page 2 in their report.  Later in the morning their scrolling top page banner headline invited visitors to watch Maddy Albright's commencement speech, live.  And a video on their page showed clips of ABC's (and former Clinton guy) George Stephanpoulis' address.

Not available for review: Condi Rice and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.  These women of color were denied speaking engagements (and in Ali's case, an honorary degree) at prestigious universities due to hounding from the tolerant and diverse left on their campuses, including some professors.

Ali, an atheist, uses more than a hashtag to describe the embedded discrimination against women in some Islamic countries, having lived it herself, but apparently too graphically for some on the left.  And Rice is, well, a Nazi or something.  Neither woman will officially be called victims of the war on woman and neither can claim discrimination due to race. They are simply graduates of the unprotected class of the United States of America in 2014.

But perhaps the oddest duck of the season is former New York Times editor Jill Abramson.  She was also to receive an honorary degree from Brandeis, but backed out after the brouhaha.   All she did was claim pay discrimination at the Times--right up Obama's rhetorical alley--but wound up being fired and called a bitch and worse by the whisper campaigners.  So a liberal Jewish woman may now find herself out of the protected class because she dared to speak out against the house organ of liberalism.  If it had been Fox News she'd have received a ticker tape parade down Madison Avenue and bold coverage on ABC News.


Wow, ABC outdid themselves.  Underneath a headline feature on Karl Rove calling for Hillary to 'cough up' her medical records--but without repeating Bill Clinton's admission that Hillary was on the shelf for 6 months recovering from a severe concussion that the State Dept made sound like a little bump on the head (in a story written by a person named "Dukakis"), they went for broke:
Although the scientists concede that there are exceptions, “the really well-to-do have lost a little of their moral character,” psychologist Dacher Keltner, coauthor of a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said in a telephone interview.
Keltner, who led the research along with fellow psychologist Paul K. Piff, said his inbox has been jammed with feedback, mostly from working class citizens who say “it’s about time” someone paid attention to this problem. “People are just feeling there’s an imbalance in our culture,” he said.
They actually pass this advocacy off as 'news'?   That it happens to blend in nicely with the administration's mid-term political strategy is of course totally coincidental.  But someone should ask ABC what we should do with those unethical scoundrels George Soros, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet.  Wait what?  They are the good rich?  Never mind.  Onward with pitchforks to the Koch Brothers' house!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Side Tracks

Here's George Strait singing about flim-flams, like climate change...

Seriously, the man is a legend. These guys did a pretty job in tribute..

The Climate is Changing, the Climate is Changing!

Here's the President (notice the green background), bizarrely telling a meteorologist that he wants to make sure his grandchildren get to enjoy a 'beautiful day', as if beautiful days will be wiped out by climate change:

The Climatologist-in-chief also infers that somehow climate change, which has been around since before the Creator created mankind and our unalienable rights, has only just now begun to happen. 

Presumably he means man-made climate change, but he didn't specifically blame mankind for ALL of it, probably preferring to let the moronic 'climate change' buzz phrase play to the many rubes who'll buy the premise that the climate has never changed as it has lately, totally proven by 120 years of observed data and recent extreme weather events which are the worst ever (at least over 120 years), but themselves not individually traceable to climate change, yet all caused by climate change.

Not surprisingly, none of the eight meteorologists asked him how many degrees C he believes we can cool the Earth by putting in more massive eyesores and solar panels across America alone, or how soon that might happen; or what might happen to the Islamist countries or places like Venezuela and Russia when their oil is no longer a hot commodity. Most just nodded their heads and thanked him for the privilege of being a mouthpiece.  Of course that's probably why they were picked.

Meanwhile, this guy wasn't invited to the ceremonies...

But that's probably because...
We don't have time for a meeting of the flat-Earth society," Obama said. "Sticking your head in the sand might make you feel safer, but it's not going to protect you from the coming storm." Earlier in his remarks,
Obama said the "overwhelming judgement of science, of chemistry, of physics, and millions of measurements" put "to rest" questions about pollution affecting the environment. "The planet is warming. Human activity is contributing to it," Obama said.
Notice via bold the Prez very carefully said "contributing to it" not "causing it".   He knows that the precise amount of human contribution is still unsettled science (and a large part of the problem in selling it to the masses), so even the climatologist-in-chief wanted some wiggle room on that--and who can blame him?  Lawyers are good at saying things without really saying them. 

The fact is, scientific knowledge is always advancing.  Theories are always being refined with new knowledge, such whether coffee or eggs are healthy or not.  But such an admission in the climate debate is inconvenient.  We only have 500 days left to act or LAX goes underwater and other horrible things.  We must act, act, act, act now, or else!!!  

In the old days an intrepid journalist might have looked at such a thing and asked, "why all the politics of fear"?  What is the real goal here?   But in our new world that debate is also over. Such a line of questioning is indicative of flat earth thinking and likely racist, and belongs only on disgraced hack outlets like Faux News.  

Friday, May 16, 2014

35 Million? Chicken Feed!

The NY Times is outraged over GM...
Saying that safety practices at General Motors were “broken,” federal regulators on Friday imposed the biggest punishment they could on the automaker and condemned it over its failure to promptly report a defect that G.M. has linked to 13 deaths. G.M. will pay a $35 million penalty — the maximum allowed and the largest ever imposed on an automaker — and will be required to make wide-ranging changes to its safety practices that will be supervised by the government, another first for an automaker. “What G.M. did was break the law,” Anthony Foxx, the secretary of transportation, said at a news conference.
Wait, 35 million is the maximum allowed? Really? Because a few years ago, shortly after GM finished closing selected dealerships on instructions from corporate in Washington, Toyota was negotiating a settlement with the owners of GM:
Toyota (TM) on Wednesday reached a $1.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, ending a criminal investigation into issues that caused inadvertent acceleration of certain vehicles.
...the deal, which marks the largest penalty ever imposed by the government on a car manufacturer, also includes independent monitoring of Toyota’s safety practices and deferred prosecution for three years on a wire fraud charge.
Emphasis added because damn, somebody is lying.  And c'mon, any idiot blogger could surmise that GM knew about the problem for years, probably during the Bush years as well, but they chose to reveal the issue and settle until they had emerged from bankruptcy and severed ties with the government, leaving the old GM as the responsible party.  All concurrent with GM choosing a female CEO to soften the corporate image knowing tough times may be coming. 

Don't even ask where the mainstream media is on this.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Something for the Select Committee

Ask Hillary about the diary.

Ambassador Stevens's diary.  He had a seven page bound diary with him at the mission, which was found by a CNN reporter on September 14th, on the same day the CIA talking points were getting massaged by State and WH political/media peeps, and two days before the infamous Susan Rice TV blitz.  The diary contained a reference to the ambassador being on an "AQ hit list' or something similar.

Why is the diary important?  Because if Stevens was indeed on an AQ hit list then later killed by the extremists during an attack on the anniversary of 9/11 it works to dilute the idea that the mission was simply overrun by random protesters pissed off at a movie trailer as portrayed by the administration.   It also opens the question as to why the mission wasn't fortified beforehand.

So who knew about this beforehand?   It certainly appears the State Dept knew.  From these pages back in 2013:
CNN said on its website that it notified the Stevens family "within hours" that it had the journal. The Stevens family then reached out to the State Department, which arranged a telephone conference call between members of the family and CNN.
In that call, the family asked the news organization to return the journal and to not publish or broadcast any of its contents, according to a Stevens family member and State Department officials. Family members and State Department officials said CNN agreed during the Sept. 14 conference call to hold off on using the diary until the family had a chance to review its contents.
No, it doesn't say "Hillary knew", but one might think such a development would have been passed to the top cat pretty quickly. So if Madam Secretary knew about a diary on the 14th, why did she tell ABC News this on the 20th:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said today there is "no information" the American ambassador killed in a brazen attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya was on an al Qaeda hit list. Clinton said she had "no reason to believe that there's any basis for that," apparently referring to a report by CNN in which an unnamed source "familiar with Ambassador [Christopher] Stevens' thinking" said that the ambassador believed he was on such a list.
Admittedly, those are weasel words from a lawyer. But to the average person it comes off as a big fat lie.

That denial set off a very weird chain of events.  CNN had reported on the hit list the day before without mentioning the diary, as per the agreement.  So they knew Hillary knew.  This prompted Cooper to take the unprecedented step of defying the White House and announcing on his show the next day that yes dammit, Stevens did say he was on a hit list and we had the diary to prove it.
“This was not broadcasting gossip from the pages of someone’s diary. This was not reporting salacious details of someone’s private life. This was reporting information that could impact the national security of the United States and the safety of U.S. installations in other countries… We think you need to know what happened to U.S. personnel in Benghazi.”
This betrayal led to some hard feelings in the nutroots and the State Dept., prompting Hillary's goon Phillipe Reines to blast Cooper and CNN for bad journalism, which led the late Michael Hastings to blast Reines/State for media intimidation, which led Reines to email Hastings to "F off and have a nice life". Except he didn't abbreviate using just the F.  About a year later Hastings died in a car crash big coincidence just saying.

This stuff is a little complicated and doesn't fit on a short sound bite, which means it's probably going nowhere. But in summary, here's what appears to have happened:

1.  Hillary likely was aware of Stevens' concerns well beforehand.  She almost certainly knew he had said he was on AQ hit list on the 14th when the diary came to State's attention.  Yet on the 16th she allowed Susan Rice to go on five networks and downplay any ties to a coordinated, organized, pre-planned terrorist attack.  Why? 

2.  After the Sunday shows Anderson Cooper decided the public needed to know a little more (or he just had a scoop he couldn't stand to keep under wraps) and reported on the hit list by confirming it with a few of Stevens' colleagues back in Tripoli.  This almost surely raised concerns in certain quarters because it acted to undermine the new narrative just rolled out by Rice.  Apparently State thought CNN was just going to cover up the information due to 'privacy'. 

3.  On the 20th Hillary responded to a question about the hit list by fibbing and claiming she had no information about such a thing.  In other words, Anderson Cooper is making stuff up.  

4.  Steamed because they were being knee-capped, Cooper and CNN reported on the 21st that yes he did say this because they found the diary and read it.  So there Hillary--it's your fault we broke our agreement. 

5.  This set off some ballistics in State, where Hillary aide Reines accused CNN of low-ball journalism for reporting a legitimate news story that Romney may be able to use (paraphrasing). 

6.  This was followed by Michael Hastings, of Rolling Stone/McChrystal fame, lambasting Reines for media mistreatment, which earned him an email F bomb in reply.

Epilogue:   Reines later moved on from State to Beacon Global Strategies, which eventually hired CIA second honcho Mike Morrell, who recently testified that he changed the talking points and favored a view by Langley analysts that the attack stemmed from an out of control protest, despite most of his 'ground truth' reports from Libya telling him otherwise.  

Sounds like a fairly big story but almost nobody in the press--including CNN--followed up during the months going forward. McCain danced around it a bit during the January hearings, but questions still remain such as when Hillary knew and why the arrangement was made to suppress information.  So, how about some sunshine on the matter.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Into Africa

First of all, happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there.  Not sure they celebrate the day in Nigeria, but if so it's got to be even more gut-wrenching under the circumstances, something we in America can't exactly relate to.  Other than 9/11 and the few domestic attacks we've had over the years most can't relate to a religious terrorist group kidnapping girls from a school to sell them off to thugs or worse.  If asked on the street who would do such a thing in America, many might say Christians or the GOP. 

But none of this should be a particularly stunning outrage because by now everyone should understand the enemy.  But to understand an enemy one must first understand there is an enemy. 

Liberal politicians in America have tried their hardest over the last two decades to pretend these kinds of things aren't so important, which allows them to focus on domestic agendas or social justice.  Terrorism is the result of global poverty, ie, white greed or western meddling, therefore the help should go to the perpetrators themselves...
Similarly, in his book Who killed Daniel Pearl? Bernard-Henri Levi admits that the presence of Jihadists was “an open secret” for the intellectuals, humanists and journalists who covered the Balkan wars and that it was a secret they took care to keep from the public.
Why? Because they urged Western intervention and if the public knew the truth it would object to enhancing the Jihadists power and agenda. Indeed, I suspect that Clarke along with the rest of the Clinton administration similarly believed that their anti-terrorist strategy would not withstand public scrutiny.
Bush changed the paradigm, but Obama changed it back---terrorism is best handled as a law enforcement action--like Benghazi, to be handled by a bunch of guys in white shirts and thin black ties.  And now, hashtags. 

Speaking of Benghazi, the Dems say it's outrageous to consider any further discovery over that phony scandal, despite many questions and emails still remaining.  The modern truth-loving left has declared another debate over, time for the flat-earthers to move on and shut up.  

Which is strange, considering that former committee chair and soon to be ex-congressman Mike Rogers is a curious character in all of this.  Doesn't Nancy Pelosi want to know more about why he was running an investigation that had a tangential tie to his wife?   Wouldn't her colleagues like to know whether Boehner actually knows more about what was going on than advertised or whether he might be stringing his Tea Party caucus members along with perhaps the final goal of a public failure?  Sound outrageous?  Yeah, so was this. So why wouldn't the left be stoked?  Maybe it's because they know we would find out Benghazi was an example of repeating past failures of the Balkans.

Meanwhile, there are no hashtags for the fallen Americans of Benghazi or Algeria (the forgotten attack). And there won't be, because they were mainly white guys involved in the military industrial complex/national security apparatus/Big oil and gas.  The president doesn't personally take up those causes because there's no political upside to it.  Black schoolgirls in poverty-ridden Nigeria make for much better posters, even if they might perhaps inadvertently remind certain pinheads about the barbarity we still face, or inadvertently become fodder for increasing the ole military industrial complex.

But maybe the hashtags will do some good in the long run.  Maybe they will remind the youngsters of exactly who the real terrorists are and what they want.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Terrorism Update

It's terrible that scores of mostly Christian girls have been abducted by Islamic crackpots in Nigeria.  That's what head-choppers do--remember Beslan?  These are the same 'extremists' who attacked a mall in Nairobi last year and killed scores of innocents.  They attacked a church early in the year but drew little outrage from political corners here.  

Now we're all supposed to be outraged.  The First Lady is holding a sign with a hashtag, looking glum.  But wasn't it also terrible when the Islamic government in Sudan allowed the killing, raping and violation of human rights of non-Arabs in Darfur.  By the way, where is George Clooney on this now?   Were there White House hashtags on Darfur? 

Those with keen memories may remember when 3 Americans were killed by elements of AQIM in Algeria last year for the crime of working at a gas plant.  Of course it was tragic when 4 Americans were killed in an attack in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11 but wanting anything more on that story now qualifies a person as a conspiracy loon following a phony scandal.  Maybe Obama will come on his broadcast Saturday holding a sign with hashtag phony scandal. 

What about the past actions of Joseph Kony?  Horrible.  Definitely.  

So all of the above brings up a question-- exactly what is Obama's policy on terrorism anymore?  What triggers a response and what triggers silence or even cover-ups or outrage?  

Well, he's sent troops to Africa--not to officially search and destroy AQ--but to look for Kony.  We have a drone base or two there, but they seem to be pretty quiet.  Now the Obama folks are prepared to send help of some description to find these girls, this after the Clinton State Department once resisted calling the terrorists terrorists.   The killers of 7 Americans in northern Africa remain at large but they are being pursued by FBI gumshoes, not troops. 

Meanwhile, AQ factions are fighting and committing atrocities in Syria and Iraq but that's a no go zone.  Other terrorists are holing up in Yemen and are shot at by drones every other week.  We're apparently bugging out of Afghanistan at the end of the year, although it's hard to know because any press reports from the front lines of the GWoT are rare.  Reports of discussions with the Taliban come up every now and then.

So what are we doing?   Is the plan to aimlessly fire at moles when they pop up, as long as the moles are isolated and may not cause collateral problems, or is there an overall strategy in play?  We've been told the prez is one of the smartest men to ever hold office, so maybe it's just hard for mortals to understand.  It certainly looks like the overarching strategy is ruled more by politics than anything else, but that would surely be a racist thought.  

Monday, May 05, 2014

What if all of it was Pre-Planned?

The administration's talking points on the Benghazi talking points--and Benghazi in general--is that a video sparked a riot in Cairo that sparked a complex terrorist attack in Libya.  Although the attack's genesis was later untied from the protests (because there wasn't one), their excuse was they were only operating off the best intelligence assessments given them by the CIA, who changed stuff just because.

The Rhodes memo then came out, via a court order, which showed without doubt that the admin talking heads were instructed to blame the outrage in the Muslim world on the hateful video, not on Obama's policies.  The new pushback is that Benghazi is just a wild GOP conspiracy theory and a waste of taxpayer money and Congress' time.

But here's another wild conspiracy theory--what if the protests in Cairo, which sparked protests all over the Muslim world, were themselves pre-planned and timed for 9/11 just like the terrorist attack in Benghazi?  What if the protests were being organized by a brother of AQ's leader in an effort to get a terrorist released from US prison?  What if the video was just fuel thrown on a fire that was already set to burn?  And what if the administration knew that ahead of time?  In other words, it was all about US policy. 

That would pretty much blow their entire defense for Benghazi.   Maybe the Democrats are afraid that may come out.


As Benghazi gets stirred back up there will be some diversions and hatchet jobs.  A couple of strange stories have already showed up.  One is a video of Eric Holder passive-aggressively warning big bankers that they are not "too big to jail".    Hmm, apparently populism rules when the going gets tough?  The video is almost an accidental comedy, with Holder's blank look starting into the camera while threatening businesses.  This the same guy in contempt of Congress.  He is even personally following some of these cases, as if to say they are super double serious.  Anyway, this lines up well with Obama's mid-term initiative about paycheck unfairness and gender unfairness.  It's sort of a formal Occupy Wall street.  We will be hearing a lot more about this.      

Another story popping up is a hit piece on Lara Logan, formerly of 60 Minutes, by the New York Magazine.  Lara Logan of Benghazi fail fame.  And what a coincidence!   So a courageous female reporter who Ed Bradley once said had "tits and balls" is now a victim of the war on women.  Next perhaps Media Matters will run a story from anonymous sources purporting that Sharyl Attkisson used to wear a pointy hood when not chasing down Karl Rove for the latest scoop.  

The Democratic Party can always count on their big media friends to circle the wagons in times of crisis.  Tomorrow there will be a big presidential push on climate change.  The climate has been changing here in Memphis-- 12 of the last 15 months have been below normal.  Apparently that's either due to dirty coal trains or Lara Logan--guess we'll find out tomorrow.

More staged events designed to give the legacy elites something to fill their headlines with other than Benghazi is a good bet going forward.  What?  They are already covering it?  Well yes--most of the reports now are focusing on how the investigation is like totally partisan, dude!  It's also a good time for a big AQ operative take-down somewhere.  Which would actually be a good diversionary tactic.  Maybe they can take out the guys who killed our forgotten civilians in Algeria.   Oh wait, they were only petroleum workers helping to create global warming, plus it's BP's fault.


Breitbart has a story about David Rhodes, president of CBS News, addressing an audience on 9/12/12 and saying..
"Our government thinks that there's a really good chance this was not just a spontaneous mob reaction to what some thought was an offensive film, but actually a coordinated effort timed to the 9/11 anniversary".
That's a pretty big wow, since Rhodes is admitting something (coming from government sources) on 9/12 that it would take the administration weeks to finally grudgingly admit, sorta kinda, after spending weeks blaming everything on the video.

Not only that, but his 60 Minutes franchise had interviewed the prez for a 60 Minutes feature that very same day, which was set to play the following Sunday evening.  During the interview Obama really didn't blame the video or protests specifically, matter of fact he was pretty vague as to whether it was a terrorist attack or not.  Steve Kroft picked up on that, asking why he'd gone to great lengths to not mention terrorism. Obama did not disagree with Kroft's assertion, he replied that it was too early to tell.

Then CBS clipped out that part of the interview for their Sunday broadcast--the same day Rice was on all the networks talking about the video being the 'best available' intelligence.  Amazing how that best intelligence changed from when Rhodes was told about it Wednesday to what Rice passed along Sunday, after several iterations of talking points and memo-passing.

Of course everything culminated with Candy Crowley's famous Obama assist in the second debate during a discussion about that very same thing--Obama's use of an "act of terror" as opposed to saying terrorism--or the very same question Kroft posed to the prez that CBS snipped into oblivion.  Romney made the grave grammar mistake of suggesting that Obama did not say "act of terror" when he did, which as Kroft pointed out was a complete dodge when he said it, but it was too late.  Had Romney simply said "you never called it a terrorist attack" he might have won the election. 

Anyway, with the election wrapped up CBS finally laid out the full transcript a few days before election day so they couldn't be called complete hacks and Mitt couldn't push back anymore.  So it certainly appears that Rhodes' fear that Romney might score some political points off the attack based on pointing out Obama's feckless foreign policy, which is what he told the audience there on 9/12, was turned into direct action.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

White House Correspondent's Dinner

From 1988...

Reagan's last.  He tossed out a few pot shots at Democrats--Dukasis and Carter--but it wasn't over the top.  The bulk of his jokes were self-deprecating and not designed to further any political ends.  Check out the last few minutes for a glimpse into how things should be between the press and the president..

MORE 5/4/14

Obama's performance last night was fine, considering he delivered a normal political stump speech. He got a jab at just about every political foe and would-be 2016 prospect except Jeb.  But the funniest thing he said was probably this...
On a serious note, tonight reminds us that we are lucky to live in a country where reporters can give a head of state a hard time on a daily basis. And once a year give him or her the chance at least to return the favor. We also know that not every journalist or photographer or crew member is so fortunate.
Nice to see he's thankful for Fox News. 

Friday, May 02, 2014

Not Reasonable, Dude

The kiddie crew that represents (or formerly represented) Obama-Kerry has certainly been rattled by the Rhodes document discovery.   Here's State spokeslady Marie Harf to AP's Matt Lee today:

So, the State Department, via their spokesperson, believes that many Republicans and even a few journalists like Jake Tapper and Sharyl Attkisson are 'not reasonable' people.   Sounds a little desperate.   Perhaps they are actually now afraid that Boehner's elevation of the issue will force the rest of the reluctant media into covering Benghazi now, which was a master stroke, if so.   
And that brings us back to Matt Lee.  He's never been one to ask many questions on Benghazi, sitting silent for months while Fox reporters peppered the various State spokesperons with probing questions.  Oddly enough he was mentioned in the same document dump with Rhodes for corresponding privately with former spokeslady Victoria "F 'em" Nuland about a UK Independent story that said the administration had 2 days of warning about the attack.  Fox picked up on that report, but it was almost certainly not true, and Lee was only pointing it out.

In watching him for a long time he doesn't appear the type to put on a show for the cameras while hiding his official secret Karl Marx decoder ring in the background.  His questioning today was certainly not as snarky and dogmatic as usual, so maybe he felt compelled to tiptoe into the deep end and ask some questions to remove the egg.  Or maybe he's just a good reporter.  With these mainstreamers it's never a sure thing...

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Why Talking Points?

Re the Rhodes revelation, it's basically a Captain Renault moment.  Sharyl Attkisson was run out of CBS for trying to connect a dot that tied the "CIA" talking points to someone in the White House--the someone  who briefed Rice. But answers bring more questions. 

For instance, feel free to ask Jay Carney why the memo was heavily redacted the first time it was sent to the Congress--redacted because according to Jay Carney it didn't pertain to Benghazi, even though it mentioned Benghazi.  Feel free to ask why it was classified after the fact.  Or why the White House later sent an un-redacted version of this formerly classified unrelated document to conservative nutcake Larry Klayman in response to his specific FOIA demanding documents pertaining to.....Benghazi.   Ed Henry from Fox News asked, and was told he was involved in a vast right wing conspiracy or something. 

If there's a conspiracy it's probably centered around why they released the damn thing now after not releasing it for so long.  The easy answer is that it was to protect Hillary by getting it out of the way now instead of 2016. Since State handled the request it's tempting to go there but rumor has it Kerry wants to run for president, too.  So just sayin.

Of course if either of the above are true that might mean the White House was knee-capped by someone in State.  Watching Carney overreact to the few tough questions he's getting is a tell--clearly he's flustered by this coming back up by the way he's furiously generating counter-attacks on the GOP like a wind-up toy.  His comical pushback now is that the Rhodes memo addressed the big ball of turbulence known as protests across the Muslim world while ignoring that little F5 tornado hidden in the middle of it at Benghazi, the same tornado Susan Rice was sent on 5 Sunday shows to explain.   

That dog is not hunting in conservative circles, but it shouldn't hunt anywhere.  First off, somebody should ask Carney why they picked one scenario over the other as 'the best intelligence available', a scenario that just happened to comport with Obama's political goals, while ignoring the other 'best evidence' coming from people on the ground--and the president of Libya--who were saying it wasn't about a protest or video at all.  The biggest lie is their choice of narratives as representing the best intelligence when it clearly didn't.

Maybe somebody could also ask Carney why they needed any damn talking points in the first place.  Why didn't they get someone to come on TV familiar enough with the attack to explain it straightforwardly instead of sticking to a pre-approved script?  Someone like oh, the Secretary of State?  Or Prez Man himself. Oh, right, the SoS doesn't like Sunday shows.  Using that excuse should be grounds for having your ass banned from any future positions of leadership.  In the real world at least. 

Meanwhile the media circus flails while bigger questions remain unanswered.  Why did State deny the extra security to their ambassador?  Has that ever truly been answered?  He said he was on an AQ 'hit list'. What was CIA doing in the 'annex' other than looking for shoulder-fired missiles?  No, we will not be told for decades, but did it have anything to do with Mohammed Zawahiri?   He was the one CNN pegged as starting the Cairo protests in an effort to get the Blind Sheikh released.  Interesting that Cairo threw out the Brotherhood a year or so later, putting both Morsi and Mohammed back in jail and straining relations with the US.

Why was Stevens in Benghazi on 9/11 talking to a Turkish diplomat with a light detail?  Researching a John LeCarre storyline for a future book?   Or were the findings of this group relevant?  Questions not asked.

A reporter did bother asking Carney what the administration knows about the attack now, ie, who do they think perpetrated it and how close are they to bringing anyone to justice, which Carney again deferred to Justice because "it's an ongoing investigation".

So after all this time we still don't know very much except that the administration tried to spin a narrative to protect something, likely politics due to the election, unless it was something worse.  And we don't know who did it or when they might be caught.  And any questions about it are shut up, Fox News, racist loon and 'dude, it was like two years ago'.