Monday, October 22, 2012

QH Weekend Edition - October 20 & 21, 2012

With the third and final Presidential debate taking place on Monday with its focus on foreign policy issues, and the Election two weeks from Tuesday, polls and Libya continued to dominate the news cycle this weekend.

With Libya, what is most striking is that in the weeks since the terrorist attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, far more questions are being created / asked - than are being answered.  This seems counter-intuitive.  With the passage of time, expectations would be that things would become more clear as opposed to muddier than ever.

One of the aspects that is fueling more questions continues to be the incredibly dysfunctional and self-serving actions of the Administration.  A massive car bomb explodes in central Beirut, killing the senior Lebanese intelligence official who is well known for his anti-Syrian stances, in addition to 7 others, and injuring nearly 80, and the Obama Administration knows within an hour that this was a terrorist strike.  But despite real-time contact between the State Department in DC and staff at the US Consulate in Benghazi, despite the fact that an unmanned Predator drone was over the US mission - and directly observed the final hours of the protracted attack, the Obama Administration has been caught within their own damage control efforts, lies, and misrepresentations made with the intent to protect the Administration in the midst of a very close election.

Thus we have a serious of contradictions and issues that fuel even more questions - and provide a real insight into the leadership and priorities of the Administration of President Barack Obama.

One of the lessons that history should have taught those in power is that it is not the crime - it's the cover-up that will trip one up.  Well, most of the time.  It seems that having large elements of the mainstream press on one's side, or in one's pocket, provides some additional support - as they place ideological loyalty before their ethical and professional responsibilities as members of the Fourth Estate.

Candy Crowley, the CNN journalist who moderated the Presidential debate earlier this week, clearly did her bit to provide support to the Obama campaign and Administration by inserting herself into the debate to send one message to the 65 million debate viewers, only to correct herself minutes after the end of the debate in front of a few hundred thousand viewers.

Sunday night, Fox News ran an extremely well done special report hosted by their anchor Brett Baier on the 9/11/12 terror attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi.

The report, video above, highlights the deteriorating conditions in Benghazi in the wake of the Libyan revolution, and in particular the rise of Islamic extremism as noted by Ambassador Chris Stevens.  The morning he would be killed, the Ambassador sent another multi-page cable to Washington DC requesting additional security and noting that the perception of Libya being promoted by the Administration was not matching the reality he was seeing.  The flag flying over a number of Libyan government buildings was not the flag of Libya, but the black flag of al-Qaeda.  Yet, security personnel were being pulled out of the country - even as Ambassador Stevens was getting death threats.

On the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack, a mob demonstrates during the afternoon (local time) outside the US Embassy in Cairo - protesting the US, and carrying the black flag of al-Qaeda.  Ultimately, this mob will enter the Embassy grounds, desecrate the US flag, and replace that flag with the flag of al-Qaeda.  After some time, they will leave the Embassy grounds.  Hours after this, a large and heavily armed group in Benghazi attack the US Consulate grounds - killing diplomat Sean Smith and Ambassador Stevens. A number of other Americans are able to escape the Consulate compound and, under heavy fire, escape to an Annex facility about a mile distant.  While at this facility, they are attacked again where two more Americans, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both security personnel and former SEALS, are killed, with another seriously wounded.

The real common element between the storming of the US Embassy in Cairo and the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi was the linkage of these attacks to Islamic extremists, the influence of al-Qaeda (the black flag of al-Qaeda as a symbol), and the need of the Obama Administration to spin these (and the other Embassy demonstrations / stormings in Tunisia and Yemen) for its political gain and protection.

It's interesting how selectively the Obama Administration embraced the 'Arab Spring'.  In Libya, the Administration moved to give the green light to embark on military missions and operations to assist those opposed to the Qaddafi regime overthrow the longtime Libyan dictator.  In Egypt, the Administration moved quickly to throw Egyptian President Mubarak under the bus, even though they knew from the start that the main groups leading the demonstrations were the Islamic extremists of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists.

But when the Iranian people took to the streets in the summer of 2009 in massive protests against the Islamic extremist government that rigged the election results, Obama was silent.  Obama focuses his wrath and contempt towards Israel as opposed to the corrupt and pro-terrorist rule of Palestinian Authority head Abbas (or their partner, the terror group Hamas).  Finally, in Syria, over the last 20 months as Bashir al-Assad murdered nearly 40,000 of his own people, the Administration has fully embraced not leading from behind, but standing quietly in the shadows.

We're being told that the Arab Spring is a good thing - but in Tunisia and Egypt, hard core Islamic extremist fundamentalist groups have taken political power....but that's 'democracy'.  In Libya, so-called moderates were elected, but in the eastern part of the country, Islamic extremists assert real physical control - as seen in Benghazi.  In Libya, the Grand Mufti (Islamic religious head) is now asking the Libyan government to remove all references to democracy and religious freedom from textbooks used throughout the country - promoting the only acceptable law / government is Islam and Sharia.

The newly elected head of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood political party, this weekend, announced that the ultimate goal of his party is to 'institute Islamic Sharia law' in Egypt.

In Iraq, the conditions are deteriorating significantly as al-Qaeda in Iraq is actively rebuilding and reconstituting itself in the wake of the Obama decision to be able to tell his hard left base, 'I ended the war in Iraq as promised.'  It is further threatened by more intervention by Iran to subvert the new Iraqi government.

Islamic extremists are also making major gains in Yemen, under the guise of the 'Arab Spring' - and in Afghanistan, a reconstituted and invigorated Taliban is taking advantage of the President's preference to abandon that battlefield.  Pakistan is also taking advantage of the fecklessness of the current Administration and moving more towards embracing Islamic extremism and fundamentalism.

Our President spikes the football over the death of Bin Laden, while leaking classified information that weakens us and permits Pakistan to 'convict' a Doctor who played a major role in locating the terror leader to life in prison for his assistance to us.  Up until the middle of last week, a standard stump speech line of the President is that 'Bin Laden is dead and al-Qaeda is on the run'.

Killing Bin Laden did not end the war that Islamic fundamentalist extremists are waging against Western Civilization....and we've nearly lost all of the gains made between October 2001 and January 2009 in the past 46 months.  This is the legacy and record of the Obama Administration when it comes to foreign policy.

But in order to hide these failures - failures of policy and agenda - we've been told that an obscure You Tube video posted online late June and viewed by less than 10,000 people by September 11, 2012, was the reason why on that day, mobs took to the streets in Cairo to protest the US.  Was the reason why on that day, a large heavily armed group of men attacked US diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, knowing that the US Ambassador was there (and not in the capital of Tripoli), and sought to murder him and as many other Americans they could.

The effort of the Administration to lie to the American people for the political expediency of Barack Obama is also part of a pattern.  We have seen this same pattern of lies with regards to the DoJ - Fast & Furious, New Black Panther Party, Immigration.  With regards to the Department of Energy - Solyndra and 'green energy'.  With regards to the Department of Labor - cooking the books regarding unemployment.  With regards to the Department of Homeland Security - 'The system worked' when only technical construction failures of the bombs prevented Islamic extremists from downing a passenger or immolating Times Square.

We even have this with regards to the Defense Department - which refuses to classify the terror attack by a 'Soldier of Islam', Major Nidal Hassan, at Fort Hood, Texas which killed 13 and wounded 29 as a terror attack.  They are calling this a case of 'workplace violence' - which denies the victims of the attack of benefits they are owed by this government.

None of this raises questions about the President and his Administration?  They whinge on about the GOP / Romney 'war on women' yet express no concerns or condemnations over the misogynistic practices of Islamic Sharia law?

The President's record when it comes to foreign policy is every bit as feckless, incompetent, and failing as his record with domestic policy and the economy.

The New York Times is reporting this weekend that the US and Iran have apparently agreed for the first time for one on one negotiations over Iran's nuclear program - a program that they define as entirely peaceful while large elements of it remain under military command and hidden from international inspectors.  The report is that the Obama Administration has reached out to the Iranian leadership using the Swiss as intermediaries (the US has not had formal diplomatic relations with Iran since the Islamic Republic seized the US Embassy in 1979 - holding 52 hostage for 444 days).

Almost immediately, and very quietly, the NY Times has been scrubbing its story as the WH denies the report - and Israel expressed concern that the US was kept from them as well as Iran using talks to as cover to 'advance their nuclear weapons development program'.

Once again - we insult our friends and provide undeserved attention and recognition to our enemies.

The United Nations, always happy to take billions from the US to fund it's corruption and anti-US initiatives, has announced that they will be dispatching official election monitors to polling stations across the United States to look for voter suppression efforts at the polls by conservative groups.
United Nations-affiliated election monitors from Europe and central Asia will be at polling places around the U.S. looking for voter suppression activities by conservative groups, a concern raised by civil rights groups during a meeting this week. The intervention has drawn criticism from a prominent conservative-leaning group combating election fraud.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a United Nations partner on democratization and human rights projects, will deploy 44 observers around the county on Election Day to monitor an array of activities, including potential disputes at polling places.

Liberal-leaning civil rights groups met with representatives from the OSCE this week to raise their fears about what they say are systematic efforts to suppress minority voters likely to vote for President Obama.
The UN didn't even bother to send election monitors to observe the 'election' of Venezuela's Marxist strongman, Hugo Chavez, but they are sending monitors to the US to investigate 'voter suppression'?  Well, not only is the UN investigating us for possible acts of conservative voter suppression (yeah, to the UN, the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation is not an issue - they see it as the DoJ does), but they are also warning the American people to not elect Mitt Romney on November 6th....

Is Spock wearing a goatee in this universe?  Or maybe the better question is - why are we sending billions to an irrelevant, corrupt, and dysfunctional organization?

Sunday morning, NBC News / Wall Street Journal released the preliminaries of a poll that was conducted entirely after the 2nd Presidential debate - showing the candidates are tied nationally among likely voters at 47%.  They are using this as a evidence of a 'too close to call' race where Barack Obama has apparently stopped the momentum surge that Mitt Romney obtained after the first Presidential debate.

Is this race really that tight?  Let's look through the internals - and in particular the sample since NBC / WSJ has consistently oversampled Democrats and undersampled Republicans / Republican enthusiasm this entire cycle.

Unsurprisingly, when we get to question QF4a, the self-identification of the respondents by political party, we see some issues.  In pure party self-identification - this poll is based on D32 / R26 / I43 - a D+6 oversample.  But this poll raises even more questions than a D+6 raw sample.

In 2008, the national GOP turnout was 28% - in a year that the GOP was unmotivated and unenthusiastic.  During the 2010 midterms, when the GOP was far more motivated and enthusiastic, the party turnout was 35%.

Are we to expect that today - the GOP is even less motivated and enthusiastic than it was in 2008?  That it would turn out 2 point less today than in 2008?  There is plenty of evidence that shows that the GOP today is nearly as motivated and enthusiastic today as it was in 2010.  But this 'touted' poll has the GOP representation 9 points behind 2010's level.

Once again we have a poll that doesn't pass the 'smell test'.

Remember Sandra Fluke?  The 'poster woman' for the HHS contraception mandate because it is the role and responsibility of government to use taxpayer funds to pay her contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization products and services?  She's on the campaign stump for Barack Obama - highlighting the so-called war on women (no, not this one - - -

- - - but the one that denies women taxpayer funded birth control pills and abortions)  in an effort to gin up votes for Barack Obama.

Sandra Fluke was in the battleground state of Nevada - one of the Obama 'firewall' states to speak at a campaign event in Reno...

... where she garnered a huge crowd of 10 people.  [Did that include the press or not?]  The local paper, the Reno Gazette-Journal wrote a 500 word article highlighting the campaign stop - repeating the canard that Fluke testified before a Congressional committee, and reminding all that Rush Limbaugh called her a 'slut' because she wants the government to give her free birth control pills because she can't afford $9 / month.  And with all this - 10 people came.

The Obama campaign has reported that it has raised nearly $918 million dollars for this election cycle - and highlighting that the majority of these contributions have come from small (under $200) donors.  Like in 2008, the evidence is clear and compelling that the Obama campaign machine is knowingly and willingly accepting tens (hundreds?) of millions in illegal campaign donations - largely from foreign donors.

I've covered how the Obama campaign machine declines to use any standard or best practice eCommerce fraud prevention methods when it comes to their online campaign donations - but fully implements all of these when it comes to the sale of campaign merchandise from their websites.

On the latter, the campaign wishes to prevent fraud and maximize their profits from the sale of their merchandise.  On the former, they wish to maximize their campaign contributions - and federal election law / restrictions be damned...
The Obama re-election campaign has accepted at least one foreign donation in violation of the law — and does nothing to check on the provenance of millions of dollars in other contributions, a watchdog group alleges.

Chris Walker, a British citizen who lives outside London, told The Post he was able to make two $5 donations to President Obama’s campaign this month through its Web site while a similar attempt to give Mitt Romney cash was rejected. It is illegal to knowingly solicit or accept money from foreign citizens.

Walker said he used his actual street address in England but entered Arkansas as his state with the Schenectady, NY, ZIP code of 12345.

“When I did Romney’s, the payment got rejected on the grounds that the address on the card did not match the address that I entered,” he said. “Romney’s Web site wanted the code from the back of card. Barack Obama’s didn’t.”
Think this is just an isolated incident?  I don't.  So why isn't it being addressed by the FEC?

Wrapping up this weekend's post - I bring to you an example of journalistic failure from across the pond.

London's Daily Mail had a story on Saturday mocking Congressman John Lewis from Georgia - and a parody video of the Congressman dancing 'Gangnam Style'...

The article originally listed the 'embarrassing' Congressman as a Republican who represented Georgia's 5th District.  Unfortunately for the Daily Mail, John Lewis, is not only a Democrat, but one of the most liberal Democrats in Congress.

The Daily Mail has now rewritten the article, softening the mocking of Congressman Lewis, correctly identifying him as a Democrat, and done so without a single reference or editors note of the rewrite / correction being made.

Who do the editors of the Daily Mail think they are?  Part of the Obama Campaign?

This Day in History

October 20th -

1827 - The Battle of Narvarino sets Greece towards ending 400 years of Ottoman domination as a combined fleet of British, French, and Russian ships wins a decisive victory over a Turkish / Egyptian fleet trying to stop Greek nationalist uprisings.  The defeat was such that the Ottoman Turks began to evacuate Greece in early 1828, and Greece regained its independence in 1832.

1935 - Mao Zedong and 4,000 surviving communist troops arrive in China's Senshi province, ending their Long March retreat from Nationalist forces.

1944 - General Douglas MacArthur wades ashore on Leyte in the Philippines, fulfilling his promise made in 1942 when he evacuated from Corregidor, to return to the Philippines.  The US invasion of the Philippines of Leyte started the road back to liberate the Philippines from Japanese control.  The Battle of Leyte Gulf - the naval action between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the US Navy - is the largest naval battle in history.

1947 - The House Un-American Activities Committee opens its investigation into communist infiltration in the American movie industry. Chaired by Congressman Parnell Thomas, the subsequent hearings focused on identifying political subversives among Hollywood actors and actresses, writers, and directors.

1973 - Under orders of President Richard Nixon, the Special Prosecutor appointed to investigate Watergate, the Attorney General, and Assistant Attorney General are fired in what becomes known as the Saturday Night Massacre.  Rather than halt the investigation, it would press forward, ultimately to the point where, under the immediate risk of impeachment, President Nixon resigns from office in August 1974.

1973 - The iconic Sydney Opera House opens after 15 years of construction.

2011 - Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi is captured by rebel forces and executed.

October 21

1797 - The USS Constitution, a 44 gun frigate, is launched.  One of the first 6 ships authorized by Congress to be the United States Navy, the Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship in the world.  She is docked at the Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown, Massachusetts.

1805 - A British fleet under the command of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson decisively defeats a larger combined fleet of French and Spanish ships off Cape Trafalgar, Spain.  The victory solidified British domination of the seas - and prevented Napoleon Bonaparte's plans to invade Britain.  At the height of the battle, Nelson was struck by a sniper's musket ball and mortally wounded.  He died just as the battle was won.

1967 - One hundred thousand anti-war protesters march on the Pentagon in one of the largest anti-Vietnam War demonstrations to take place in the US to that point.

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