Sunday, November 13, 2011

Quick Hits - November 13, 2011

I'll try to write more later on the GOP Presidential Primary debate in South Carolina last night which was on Foreign Policy and National Security.  CBS News and National Journal hosted the debate.  Here's one wrap of the debate

During the debate, CBS News anchor, Scott Pelley, seemed to think that he was part of the debate, confronting and arguing with the candidates over their answers.  Despite the fact that he, as moderator, should not be part of the debate or the story, much like a major league umpire, he, to paraphrase Rick Perry, 'stepped in it' when he challenged Newt Gingrich over the decision to use a drone attack to kill an American citizen active in al Qaeda.

CBS News, the home of Edward R Murrow, the hard left Walter Cronkite, the hard left Dan Rather of 'Fake, but Accurate' fame, hard left Katie Couric, and now (see the pattern?) Scott Pelley is a far cry from being one of the most respected names in news.  At least Cronkite hid his bias prior to 1968 - but since then, CBS News remains the network that actively promoted fraudulent documents to make political hit on a standing President in order to derail his reelection effort. 

Against this background, there are two additional quick hit notes to is over the epic fail of the structure of the debate.  CBS News scheduled a 90 minute debate - but for most of the country only aired the first 60 minutes.  For those, they were asked to view the last 30 minutes online....which didn't work.

The second was the post debate attack against CBS leveled by the Michelle Bachmann campaign which accused CBS of planning a biased debate, keeping the questions to her at a minimum citing a CBS News email as evidence.  As CBS pushed backed, the Bachmann campaign walked the accusations back a little while expressing regret over the language they used towards CBS Political Director John Dickerson.

The New York Times has on the front page this morning a hit piece going after candidate Mitt Romney.  They are, no surprise, already carrying water for the Obama Administration and the DNC in their article that says that 'his brand of capitalism had unintended human costs and some messy financial consequences.'  Specifically, they say Mitt made his money from buying companies, laying off large numbers of employees, and then turning a profit with those companies.

Lost on the New York Times is the story about crony capitalism and an Administration that is rewarding campaign backers and bundlers with green grants and loans funded by US taxpayers.  They aren't reporting this, but Big Government is.

The effects of the IAEA report on Iran's nuclear program which expresses that Iran is not only actively working on nuclear weapons and their delivery systems, but very very close to having a functional system continue to reverberate.  Claudia Rosett, writing for PJ Media, highlights that one of the biggest reasons we are in this crisis today is with the failed tenure of Nobel Peace Prize recipient Mohamed El Baradei as the head of the IAEA from 1997 to 2009.  She asks, What should we do with his Peace Prize since his failures contributed to the leading state sponsor of terrorism getting nuclear weapons?

All of which ought to be mortally embarrassing to ElBaradei, who, together with the IAEA that he ran, collected a Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for “their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way.” Even in 2005, this was a farce. In the face of alarming signs that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons, ElBaradei down-played information he evidently had, leading to an official farewell in 2009, in which he visited Iran and –speaking from Iran — stressed that the IAEA had “no concrete proof that there is an ongoing weapons program in Iran,” and reassured Iran’s rulers that the IAEA did not view their missile program as “nuclear-related.” He added that in his post-IAEA capacity as a private citizen, he hoped to return often to Iran: “I would be very happy to come here as many times as I can.”

Iran remains focused on heading down the final stretch of developing their nuclear weapons and see's 'no purpose in making concessions' on their program.  They go so far as to accuse the current IAEA of losing its objectivity and becoming a tool of the West since it is no longer headed by someone who supported Iran's programs and was a tool (fool) for Iran.

The challenges in Europe remain as dangerous as before even with the changes in government in both Greece and Italy.  The Weekly Standard highlights the effects of the Eurocrisis to American's with their story, 'We Are All Europeans Now'.
We are all Europeans now - More important, Americans increasingly see Europe as the canary in the coalmine—the fate of America if its politicians can’t agree on a plan to stop the nation’s descent into insolvency. “We don’t want to become Greece” is a chant increasingly heard from pundits, much easier to understand than complicated statistics about debt-to-GDP ratios. But so long as Democrats refuse meaningful cuts in entitlement programs, and Republicans hold out against increases in tax rates, Greece is what we are about to become. Unless, of course, we use our one advantage—the ability to print money to reduce the value of outstanding debts—in which case inflation is in our future.
The economic disaster that is the Eurozone is headed to the US in more ways than one.  MFEurocrisis.  There will be other significant economic hits on the US as our exports to Europe will decrease because of the austerity measures and their effects.  Then there is the collective effect of numerous Eurozone banks failing when Greece and Italy do default - and the collateral damage these will have on the US.

Big Peace's World View for 13 November 2011 includes reports that tribes in Libya are clashing with each other near Tripoli as they fight for power in post-Qaddafi Libya.  While one tyrant is gone, I fear another more violent will follow.

Wrapping up, the Washington Post is reporting that Ford's Theater, the location of the assassination of President Lincoln in April 1865, has banned the sale of the NY Times bestseller, "Killing Lincoln" written by Bill O'Reilly and historian Martin Dugard.  As justification they cite 'historical inaccuracies' and a 'lack of documentation, footnotes, and attributions'.  One has to wonder how much of this is based on the fact that this isn't a peer reviewed academic tome or that their dislike / disapproval of one of the authors (Bill O'Reilly) factored in the decision based on some of the comments.

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