Sunday, September 30, 2012

US Security Lapses in Benghazi Were Gigantic & Massive

Ambassador Stevens had confided in his diary/journal [I kept one when I was an FSO myself] that his security was lacking in Libya. Or this WaPo article downplays that aspect.
Days before the ambassador arrived from the embassy in Tripoli, a Libyan security official had warned an American diplomat that foreigners should keep a low profile in Benghazi because of growing threats. Other Westerners had fled the city, and the British had closed their consulate. Despite the security inadequacies and the warning, Stevens traveled to Benghazi to meet openly with local leaders. Eager to establish a robust diplomatic presence in the cradle of the rebellion against Moammar Gaddafi, the ousted autocratic leader, U.S. officials appear to have overlooked the stark signs that militancy was on the rise. This account of Stevens’s last days and the attack, which includes new details about security at the compound and the ambassador’s movements, was assembled from more than a dozen interviews with American officials, prominent Libyans and others familiar with the case. Most agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity. The attack marked the first violent death of a serving ambassador in a generation and has become a thorn in President Obama’s reelection bid. It also raised the prospect that a country Washington assumed would become a staunch ally as it recovered from its short civil war could turn into a haven for fundamentalists.
The background for the pre-planned attack had been building for months and everyone except the blyth and clueless Americans had ramped up security or packed up and left.
Security in eastern Libya deteriorated sharply in recent months. A string of attacks, some linked to fundamentalist groups, made clear that Westerners were no longer safe. The International Committee of the Red Cross suspended operations and evacuated staff in the east after an attack June 12 on its compound in the port city of Misrata. In Benghazi, convoys transporting the U.N. country chief and the British ambassador were attacked in April and June, respectively. The British government shut down its consulate soon afterward. The U.S. outpost had a close call of its own June 6, when a small roadside bomb detonated outside the walls, causing no injuries or significant damage. But the Americans stayed put. Geoff Porter, a risk and security analyst who specializes in North Africa, said the sudden and stark shift from “predictable violence to terrorism” in the east over the summer was unmistakable. “The U.S. intelligence apparatus must have had a sense the environment was shifting,” he said. But if Stevens was deeply worried about deteriorating security, as CNN has reported he wrote in an entry in his journal, he kept quiet, said the Libyan friend who was with him the day before the attack. “We didn’t talk about attacks,” the friend said. “He would have never come on the anniversary of September 11th if he had had any concerns.” Three days before the attack, a U.S. official in Benghazi met with security leaders to ask them about the threat level, a senior Libyan official in the east said on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. The American did not disclose the ambassador’s visit. “They told him, ‘Look, if there’s going to be any foreign presence [in the city], it better be discreet,’ ” the Libyan official said.
Despite his grave concerns about his security, Stevens allowed himself to make a conquering tour of Benghazi like a returning hero----which probably energized the already angry Al Qaeda allies who were incensed at the drone killing of AQ's number two in Pakistan---Al-Libi, who had participated in the planning of 9/11. And if the attacks on the Consulate and the safe house a mile away weren't pre-planned, as US Amb Rice and Hillary in a SenFornRelCte briefing insisted, then why was the covert "safe house" accurately mortared within moments of the evacuation of the US personnel from the Consulate?
The assault on the compound was launched from three directions around 9 p.m., the Libyan official said. Guards and members of militias friendly to the United States who responded to try to repel the attackers were shot in the legs, the official said, suggesting the gunmen had been instructed not to shoot to kill. Sean Smith, 34, an information management officer, died during that phase of the attack and Stevens, 52, was trapped and mortally injured. A group of Americans managed to escape to a second compound about a mile away, according to the Libyan official and others with knowledge of the attack. The site was used by U.S. diplomatic and intelligence personnel, according to people briefed on the attack. Soon after the evacuated Americans arrived there, the second location came under attack, according to the Libyan official and a Libyan fighter who assisted in the evacuation. The fighter — a member of the militia known as the February 17th Brigade, which was friendly toward the Americans — received a call from a counterpart in Tripoli. He said the Americans at the second compound needed help and told him to get in touch with a man named Paul. When the militia leader got the American on the phone, Paul told him not to send his men. “Listen, my men have orders to shoot on sight, and the situation in the safe house is under control,” Peter told the militia leader, according to the account by the Libyan official. In a lengthy firefight at the second compound, two former Navy SEALs who had been deployed to Benghazi as security contractors were killed. Hours later, the Americans who survived managed to get to the airport and flee the city. This week, the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli evacuated nonessential embassy staff, citing security risks. The Benghazi compound was an empty, burned-out husk.
The First Clown or rather Clown-in-Chief left out all of the above in his address to the UNGA. Instead, he blamed it all on a 10-min. trailer that was in itself unwatchable. And no Islamic Terrorists were mentioned by Bozo Obungler either... Even JFK must be spinning in his grave...!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

PA poll shows Mitt on heels on Barry

VSS has done two recent polls on the Pennsylvania electorate and found results far from the preposterous pro-Dem margins in NYT & Washington Post polls [agitprop].
A pair of recent presidential polls by Voter Survey Service find an extremely close race in Pennsylvania, with President Obama leading Mitt Romney by just 48% to 47% and 47% to 45%. Pennsylvania hasn't voted Republican for president since 1988, and the closest margin since then was in 2004, when John Kerry, the haughty, French-looking Massachusetts Democrat who by the way served in Vietnam, beat George W. Bush by just 2.5%. If Pennsylvania is as close as VSS suggests, Obama will have a hard time winning re-election. A New York Times poll finds Obama leading Ohio by 53% to 43%. Ohio has voted for the presidential winner in every election of the past half-century, and Obama carried it by 4.6% in 2008. If he wins by 10 points, he ought to be re-elected in a landslide. Can both these polls be right? Probably not. There's no reason to think Ohio and Pennsylvania have wildly diverged in their politics since 2010, when Republicans won big in both states. If Ohio has moved back toward the Democrats, Pennsylvania almost certainly has too. If Obama is a prohibitive favorite in Ohio, it's vanishingly unlikely that Pennsylvania is in play--and vice versa. So what's going on here? "There appears to be a bimodal distribution of the polls," writes The Weekly Standard's Jay Cost. "All told, we see a statistically significant relationship between Obama's margin and the Democratic advantage in partisan identification. . . . They are not converging around a single point. Instead, some (notably Rasmussen, Purple Strategies, Survey USA, and Mason-Dixon) see Obama ahead by just 1 to 3 points in the key swing states, while others (notably the Washington Post, Fox News, PPP, and NBC News/Marist) see an Obama lead that ranges between 4 and 8 points. And the difference looks to be built around how many Democrats are included in the polling samples." Sure enough, in the Times poll, 35% of Ohio participants said they were Democrats, to just 26% Republicans. That's a difference of 9 points, wider than the 8-point gap in party ID that exit pollsters found in 2008. The Times poll also has Obama leading in Florida, 53% to 44%, and Pennsylvania, 54% to 42%. The party ID gap is 9 points in Florida and 11 points in Pennsylvania, up from 3 points and 7 points, respectively, in 2008. As VSS notes in the blog post defending its Pennsylvania poll, most other Keystone State surveys are closer to the Times poll than to its own. The Philadelphia Inquirer recently found Obama leading by 11%, and Muhlenberg College by 9%. Here's VSS's explanation:
First, our ratio of interviews conducted with Republicans and Democrats in our recent polls (49D-43R) gives Democrats a 6-point advantage based on the fact that Democrats outnumber Republicans in actual registration. . . . Second, our ratio of younger to older voters reflects turnout that is likely to be slightly higher with older voters given the lack of enthusiasm from younger voters. . . . Third, recent polls showing a double-digit lead for Obama are not believable, and are probably using the 2008 voter turnout as the basis of their survey model. It is simply unrealistic to think Obama can or will win the Keystone State by the same double-digit margin he won by four years ago when you consider that most state and national polls continue to show most voters unhappy with the direction of the country after two straight years of unemployment at 8% or higher. Cost agrees: "If it comes down to whether or not this will be a repeat of 2008 . . . then my money is on no."
There are other demographic peculiarities in some of these polls as well. At the Daily Caller, Brandon Gaylord of looks at the Marist poll of five swing states (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio and Virginia) and finds that it is expecting a large drop-off in evangelical voters in four of them, and a large increase in voters making under $50,000 and decrease in those making over $100,000 in all five. (Higher-income voters tend to be more Republican). Gaylord's explanation: "I think the problem is that pollsters are so focused with ensuring that Democratic-leaning groups--especially minorities--are fairly represented in their polls that they're failing to ensure that Republican-leaning groups are also fairly represented in their polls."
The Mighty Wurlitzer of the Dimmo-crat-controlled media heaps ridicule and scorn to anyone who attempts to "unskew" the Media sampling. The sheep over at Fox News like the eponomously-ironic Shepherd Smith try to grovel and lie on their backs like spaniels to get invites to the best cocktail parties, where they are secretly reviled anyway. Here's more and includingly Ohio and the rest of the USA: makes a related point, noting that not only was minority turnout way up in 2008, but white turnout was down:
Every voter turnout rate by race (relative to eligible population) was up versus 2004 except the white vote according to Pew Research. . . . Blacks were up +4.9%, Hispanics were up +2.7%, Asians were up +2.4%. But the percentage of White voters who showed up at the polls relative to who was eligible dropped -1.1% . . . This has nothing to do with minorities making up more or less of the electorate. This is simply saying from 2004 to 2008 White voter registration (which actually dropped 104k) and actual turnout of White voters (which increased 500k) did not keep up with voting age White population increases.
Within this drop of White voter turnout, over 3x as many men as women comprised those voters staying home in the election. This happened for any number of reasons ranging from a disinterested national party to a disorganized Presidential campaign to a demoralized voting block [sic]–all are true. But the bottom line is one of the advantages Barack Obama enjoyed in 2008 was that a meaningful percentage of white voters simply stayed home in 2008.
There's no guarantee that won't happen again, and some in the media seem to be seizing on the polls showing huge Obama leads precisely in order to demoralize Republicans. Which is not to say that skepticism about the polls would justify Republican complacency. Obama doesn't need a 10-point margin in Ohio to win re-election. He won quite comfortably in 2008 with a considerably narrower margin.

Friday, September 28, 2012

"It's Just Mitt" by Politico

POLITICO has an article by Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin & Jim VandeHei that appears reasonably fair and balanced in its analysis:
It isn’t the chair or the ho-hum convention. Or the leaked video. Or Stuart Stevens. Or the improving economy. Or media bias. Or distorted polls. Or the message. Or Mormonism. It’s Mitt. With Republicans everywhere wondering what has happened to the Mitt Romney campaign, people who know the candidate personally and professionally offer a simple explanation: It’s the candidate himself. Slowly and reluctantly, Republicans who love and work for Romney are concluding that for all his gifts as a leader, businessman and role model, he’s just not a good political candidate in this era. It kills his admirers to say it because they know him to be a far more generous and approachable man than people realize — far from the caricature of him being awkward or distant — and they feel certain he would be a very good president. “Lousy candidate; highly qualified to be president,” said a top Romney official. “The candidate suit fits him unnaturally. He is naturally an executive.” Romney himself has been a tough self-critic, telling “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley he has only himself to blame for missteps such as the secret video of him writing off 47 percent of Americans as ungovernable and out of reach to him politically. “[T]hat’s not the campaign. That was me, right?” He made a similar remark when questions were raised about his campaign during the primaries, telling reporters: “The candidate sometimes makes some mistakes, and so I’m trying to do better and work harder.” That comment captures precisely why his closest confidants think he is a much better, bigger and more qualified man than often comes through on the trail. He treats his staff with respect, works hard on his weaknesses and does all of it because he possesses supreme confidence in his capacity to lead effectively. “He’s a great leader, but he’s not a great politician,” said a top member of Romney’s organization. “As much as we complain about politicians, we like a good politician. He doesn’t have the hand-on-the-shoulder thing. He’s not quick-witted. He’s an analytical, data-driven businessperson.” And that’s the problem: His résumé and his personal style seem ill-suited for the moment. He’s a son of privilege who made hundreds of millions in private equity who is running in the first election since the 2008 economic meltdown — a meltdown many blame on rich, Wall Street tycoons. And he’s a socially stiff relic of a pre-ironic America, who struggles with improvisation and personal connections when the constant lens of the Web demands both. Others have overcome innate political limitations on the way to the White House, including George H.W. Bush and Richard Nixon. But for Romney to do so, his advisers know they have 40 days to make his fundamental strength — a track record of high professional achievement — erase concerns about his weaknesses as a political performer.
Of course, the POLITICO piece barely mentions the specimen of human garbage and lies that Mitt must run again, except to say the First Clown is a far more approachable and personable campaigner----if you're an ignorant POS like the average Dimmo-rat.
The weaknesses are bad enough. But it’s worse for Romney: These flaws have left him struggling to defend himself against and rebut the relentless Obama campaign attack — an attack designed to overcome the weaknesses in the incumbent’s own record by rendering his opponent an unacceptable alternative.
While the First A-Hole goes to New York to a fundraiser by Jay-Z and Beyonce & refuses to meet with Netanyahu [or any other world leaders for that matter] at the UNGA, Mitt fumbles and flails as his own stainless steel image as a CEO who just can't relate to the common man makes him wrong-footed in a number of common-touch contexts.
[I]t’s important to step back and consider the broad-brush images that voters who aren’t following the race that closely are receiving courtesy of President Barack Obama’s assault and Romney’s own missteps. This shows up every time pollsters press respondents on their concerns with Romney: “too rich for too long” or “too rich to care” come up repeatedly. This stuff isn’t complicated, said one former Republican governor. “You can be rich and win Ohio, but you can’t be rich and out of touch and win Ohio,” said the governor.
His plutocrat ways are suited in a boardroom with other CEOs or prospective clients, but his genius as a businessman doesn't endear him to the man in the street.
[M]any of the folks who are despairing about Romney would actually love what he would do in office. Romney’s metric-obsessed transition team is fleshing out a “200-day plan” (100 days wasn’t enough time to pass a bunch of big bills) aimed at goosing the recovery and creating jobs by bringing corporate cash off the sidelines in the United States and attracting investment from abroad. The weapons would include tax and regulatory policy and what one aide called a “very aggressive” series of executive orders, many already on the drawing board. Two of Romney’s friends told POLITICO he would be eager to sign a bipartisan grand bargain in the first four months in office to calm markets and ease partisan tensions. Because of Obama’s own limitations, Republicans think Romney can overcome his — though they are clear-eyed that things look bleak in the swing states today and much worse than they did three short weeks ago. “These states seem to all be moving in the same direction, and they’re all states we need to win,” said one of Washington’s best-connected Republicans. “This could get away from us in a hurry.”
The list of Mitt's inability to project his real talents and genuine humanity----much more real than the phony former"community organizer" spouting marxist happy horsesh*t to stupid half-wits who want to get into his "stash"----hurts him because the First Phony has a crew of mafiosi criminals directing his campaign from Chicago. They were smart enough to ditch the loathsome Debbie Blabbermouth-Shulz, now they want the country to ditch Mitt. In this effort, they are being subtlety helped by...., Mitt..!
POLITICO has talked to dozens of Republicans about this topic, many working on the campaign or raising massive amounts of money to support it. Few would talk on the record to discuss their candid appraisals of Romney. “You have to know the room, and he doesn’t know the room,” said a top Republican in D.C. who has donated to Romney and wants him to win. “He’s missing the normal-guy gene.” That’s self-evident: Just look at his painful references to athletics as “sport,” or his call Tuesday for experienced referees to return to “the NFL playing fields.” It’s just not how factory workers in Toledo, Ohio, talk. Or bet. In a preview of the presidential debates in the September issue of The Atlantic, James Fallows described why Romney’s offer of a $10,000 bet with Texas Gov. Rick Perry reinforced the worst caricature of him. “If Romney had said ‘a million bucks,’” Fallows explained, “it would obviously have been hyperbolic; if he had said ‘a hundred bucks,’ it would have been a serious sum but comprehensible. Romney had instinctively found exactly the wrong number.”
The writers go on to extol Mitt in almost extravagant terms as being the perfect man to heal this country's bleeding economic sores and bind up its wounds, but utterly unable to even get to third base on relating to the man on the street, and more importantly, the woman who falls for the BS and blandishments of Barry Soetero as if she has smoked too much "choom"...
Romney’s inherent challenge isn’t merely that he can’t be one of the guys. Voters seem hungry for raw competence. They will suffer a bad or tough bedside manner if they trust Romney as a capable leader who can make things better. But Romney’s friends say he lacks a gut instinct for how audiences will hear what he says. So much of his life has been spent talking to small slices of Americana — CEOs, investors, fellow Mormons.
The writers rub in the superficiality and brain-death of the average voter vis-a-vis getting past the ridiculous free cell phones and other gimmicks of the First Fraud:
Campaign officials, in the end, think likability is the least of his issues. The much bigger one is this sense that Romney is not comfortable in his skin, at least the conservative, no-compromise skin he had to put on to win the nomination. His past willingness to change or shade his views for apparent political advantage resulted, over time, in one of his biggest political vulnerabilities. One close confidant said Romney sees the process like buying a company from a reluctant seller: Just do and say what you need to do to get the deal done, and then when it’s done, do what you know actually needs to be done to make the company a success. It is hard to overestimate how much confidence Romney and many around him have that he can lead once he has the power to lead. This do-and-say-what-it-takes tendency is reflected in his constantly changing message. His campaign was premised on a disciplined focus on jobs. But he has rarely stuck to it, to the dismay of advisers who have urged a relentless focus on exactly what he would do to create jobs, like Rick Santorum did during the primaries with his plan to revive U.S. factories.
After the writers go into detail on the good deeds and convention film that would give him a humanity that he refuses to allow in campaign ads, they give damning quotes from other GOP candidates and ex-candidates.
Newt Gingrich, in an interview with POLITICO, said that if Romney had stuck to big, clear ideas, the packaging wouldn’t be as much of an issue. “Gov. Romney’s challenge in the very first debate is to communicate decisively what he would do,” Gingrich said. “But I do think there’s this permanent consultant tendency to be clever and to have gimmicks, and they don’t work. … So people spend lots of time on biography and lots of time trying to make somebody acceptable. What makes somebody acceptable is the belief that they will improve your life. … I think they need a much more policy-oriented campaign. … Let’s make his policies necessary, and then he becomes acceptable, and not worry too much about him personally.”
Rare is the moment where Romney sings the praises of the working stiff, the cop on the beat, the waitress pulling a double shift. In military terms, he seems to be under the impression that the American electorate is filled with colonels, not privates and corporals. Mike Huckabee famously suggested to Jay Leno that Romney reminds people of “the guy who laid you off.” But talk to the same friends who cringe at some of these public moments and they describe a man who goes out of his way to help friends or neighbors or people in need brought to his attention by his church. The campaign’s official blog picked up a column highlighting the good deeds of Romney that he never discusses, including how he flew himself and Bain employees to New York in 1984 to lead the search for a missing girl — a search that ultimately found her.But it’s Romney who has swatted away ideas he should offer a fuller view of his life.
Politics is a "necessary evil" in Mitt's mind, say the authors...
Romney refers frequently and unabashedly to his late father, George, a former Michigan governor and secretary of Housing and Urban Development who lost the Republican presidential nomination to Nixon in 1968. In interviews, Romney even throws in verbatim recitations of his dad’s business precepts. The tributes are touching but make friends wonder how much of the son’s quest is based on family honor or expectations, rather than the internal fire that animates most winning politicians. Most of his advisers say this just isn’t so. They contend he wants it for all the right reasons: He believes, based on his work at Bain, the Olympics and as governor, that he can honestly do the right thing for the right reasons if he just finds a way to navigate the necessary evils of politics and conservative litmus tests to get there.
I myself hope that Mitt can get to the Oval Office, if not by his personality, then in order to eradicate the bad works of his predecessor...

Gramsci Exults from the Grave---Bibi "outed" by marxist News Organizations.

AP & Reuters displayed their rampant anti-Semitic sentiments in the link above---soooo clever-----showing Netanyahu giving a left-handed Nazi salute to the peanut gallery at the UNGA...! They had dozens of photos of Bibi giving the speech and both these marxist "news" organizations chose this single moment. I wonder how many of the illiterate commie zombies at AP & Reuters have ever even heard of Gramsci, whose philosophy they ape like mongrel morons.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New adjusted GDP for August Depressingly Grim

AP has the latest ADJUSTED rates for August GDP and they are grim. The revision for the GDP is downward by a lot and durable goods, a real indicator of recession/depression since it shows a buildup of inventory leading to further layoffs, went down by over 13%.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits plunged 26,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 359,000, a hopeful sign for the job market. It's the lowest level of weekly applications in nine weeks. The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average, a less volatile measure, declined 4,500 to 374,000. That's the first drop in six weeks. Weekly unemployment applications are a measure of the pace of layoffs. When they consistently fall below 375,000, it typically indicates that hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate. The weekly figures can be volatile, causing most economists to focus on the four-week average. Other recent data have shown that layoffs have fallen to the lowest level in a decade. But hiring hasn't picked up enough to quickly lower the unemployment rate. U.S. employers added only 96,000 jobs last month, below the 141,000 in July and much lower than the average 226,000 added in the first three months of the year. The unemployment rate dropped in August to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent, but only because the number of people working or looking for work fell.
Please notice the words "plunged" and the "seasonably adjusted" number which can hide a multitude of BS ambiguities, fodder for the ginormous multi-tentacled lamestream media octopus. The 23 million who lost their jobs and aren't even looking after falling off the welfare rolls are ignored by the loathsome parasites in the press & electronic MSM monstrosities.

Recent NYT, WaPo Polls Biased Towards Obama?

Donald Douglas has an interesting take on recent polls. Below are my two bits on the subject:
It was [not widely] publicized that a strong rumor abound that immediately after Axelrod, Obama's thuggish capo in the Chicago Mafiosi crew doubling as Barack's campaign coordinators, found out that Gallup was showing sluggish numbers after the DNC indicating almost zero bounce, made a phone call reminding Gallup that a lawsuit was pending against them supported by Holder's thuggish DoJ, indicating that Gallup used a faulty "methodology" in arriving at its conclusions. Left unsaid, according to this rumor [in either the DCaller or the DBeast of two-plus weeks ago], was the corollary that, no post-DNC bounce---accelerated prosecution of the lawsuit. This is a "conspiracy" theory that I might consider hanging my hat on. Also, this fits in with the theory that the skewed pro-Dem numbers now appearing through disproportionate "sampling" of Dems, might be starter-fuel tinder for post-election lawsuits such as Kerry waged in Ohio after losing by 55k votes---this after "exit polls" showed strong pro-Kerry numbers in almost all precincts so counted
When I was getting my Masters in Poli Sci at UMichigan, I did my thesis on Political Anthropology and my thesis Prof [a recent arrival from the Princeton faculty] made me inspect half-a-dozen ideologies at the time to framework my paper. It was like a short course in the theology I had to study in the Jesuit seminary I attended for several years before deciding that chastity was too heavy a burden. I was at UMich on a Fellowship, so I also majored in Modern European History, a more interesting subject in the end---I did write and finish my thesis on the Revolutions of 1848 successfully.

Spain About to Devolve into Three Different Countries?

The FT has a provocative piece about Spain and the possibility, though remote, that snap elections called by Arturo Mas, PM of sub-state Catalonia, may wreak additional havoc on the already beleaguered national polity and unity of Spain itself. Bear in mind that Catalonia [Gothland] and the Basques [the only non-IE speaking group in Europe except the Saami [Lapps] represent two outlying castes who have not intermarried much with the ascendant Castilian and Aragon elites from the sixteenth century under Philip II. Franco's brutal centralist and fascist state heightened the sense of isolation of these two outliers.
The economic crisis has mercilessly exposed the financial incontinence of some of these baronial fiefs, such as Valencia, controlled by the ruling Partido Popular of Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s prime minister. Catalonia, amounting to one-fifth of Spain’s economic output, is also heavily in debt. The mainstream nationalist Catalan government led by Artur Mas was elected to secure the same rights as the Basques, who collect their own taxes. Mr Rajoy, whose centre-right PP seems to want to use the crisis to recentralise Spain, rejected this last week. A majority of Catalans feels Madrid takes too much of local income to redistribute elsewhere. The clamour for independence has become mainstream. Sentiment turned when the constitutional court in Madrid – acting on a petition from Mr Rajoy’s PP – struck down democratically approved enhancements to Catalan home rule. This is not just about money. But austerity is politically toxic and intrinsically centrifugal. Nor is this, as some observers argue, a textbook example of how EU integration dissolves national cohesion in less than homogeneous states. The most proximate cause of Spain’s identity politics is Franco’s ruthless attempt to expunge Basque and Catalan identity. EU membership, by contrast, spread wealth throughout all of Spain, albeit unevenly, for the first time in history – and devolution was part of the reason. But that model appears to have run its course, and Mr Rajoy and Mr Mas have backed themselves into irreconcilable corners. Is there a way out? Felipe González, former Socialist prime minister and emblematic (if tarnished) figure of the democratic transition, last week said the constitution needed to be recast into a more federalist mould. King Juan Carlos, whose image has also been diminished by controversy, last week recalled the spirit of that transition, tacitly invoking the national pacts that made democracy possible. A feasible way forward would be to combine these ideas: a new all-party pact, including Basques and Catalans, to confront the economic emergency and reform the constitution along more federal lines. But federalism is about trying to spread prosperity and iron out regional inequity. It is not clear all actors in the present drama understand this.
On a personal note, I have just finished re-reading Orwell's stunning Homage to Catalonia, a personal gift from Christopher Hitchens thirty years ago, with his personal photograph of the Falcon Hotel in Barcelona, capital of Catalonia, taken in the early '70s. Food for thought.

Madonna?, Obama?, What's The Difference?

James Taranto of the WSJ has a hilarious send-up of the ridiculous terpsichorean twittette from my alma mater, the University of Michigan:
Madonna--the mononymous musician, not the martyr's mom--delivered an odd and perhaps backhanded endorsement of President Obama Monday night. Fox News describes it: "Madonna, 54, . . . stripped down to her bra to reveal 'Obama' stenciled in big letters on her back, before promising (or warning?): 'When Obama is in the White House for a second term I'll take it all off.' " Here is an opportunity for Mitt Romney to make a Pascal's Wager-like appeal to independent voters. You may be uncertain as to whether Romney will be a good president, but what you stake is finite, whereas the alternative is the infinity of the infinitely horrible. Three minutes of the Madonna monologue--and before clicking, please be aware that parts of it are unsuitable for children, workers in offices, and everyone with qualmish stomachs--are available on YouTube on what we assume is a bootleg video. Madonna gives an incoherent disquisition on freedom, in which she likens Obama to Lincoln and Martin Luther King, both of whom "they killed . . . as they do." The oddest bit, though, is when she declares: "We have a black Muslim in the White House! Now that's some amazing s--t." It is true that Obama is black, and it is at least arguable that that is "some amazing s--t." But as Fox notes--and as media organizations have been repeating for years with such insistence that one almost wonders if there may be some doubt about the matter: "President Obama is not a Muslim."
There's much much more at the link...!

As Usual, White House & State Lied to American People

3 US Intelligence Agencies knew that Al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks on the US Consulate/Embassy Annex & its safe house FOURTEEN [14!] hours after the attacks occurred. The murders of the US Ambassador and three employees are blood on Al Qaeda's hands. Thus saith The Daily Beast, the usually pro-Obama channel for news to the American people. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice could not be reached for comment.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pakistan Slowly Destroys Itself from Within...

The NYT has a hilarious story for those who savor sick humor.
The show went on until last Friday, when a mob set the Nishat on fire. Although it happened on “Love of the Prophet Day,” a state-sanctioned holiday devoted to protesting an anti-Muslim video made in the United States, the attack was the latest episode in a long-running pattern of self-destruction. The Nishat fire shows just how much mob violence and misgovernment have damaged Pakistan. The attack wasn’t about American influence or anti-Muslim videos. Small numbers of Pakistanis are wrecking their country’s values and traditions. At the theater in 2010 I met Masih ul Hasan, who had been working there for 46 years. He led me from the ticket booth to a tiny office, where he pored over handwritten ledger books as he told of the theater’s constant adaptation. The Nishat drew thousands to see films made in India, Pakistan and Hollywood — “Terminator 2,” Mr. Hasan’s favorite, played for 16 weeks. Pakistan’s Urdu-language movies were popular for a time; Bollywood movies were banned because of conflict with India, but later returned. The cinema stayed closed for days in December 2009 after a bomb exploded down the street but reopened in the new year for “Avatar,” which drew huge crowds for five weeks before the theater closed because of more violence. By the time of my visit the Nishat was busy again, with moviegoers’ motorcycles parked on the sidewalk, and street vendors waiting for the movie to end. The theater was temporarily closed again last week when the mob broke through its gates. Neighborhood residents told me that rioters, including teenagers, stole soft drinks from the snack bar before starting the fire. The roof and a wall collapsed, leaving only the blackened Art Deco facade. As several Karachi theaters burned, The Express Tribune of Pakistan quoted a teenager declaring, “The United States doesn’t know who they have messed with.”
Yeah, I guess so...
What the protesters really oppose, though they may not realize it, is the nature of their own country. Pakistan is a cultural crossroads with many languages and religious sects, and the Nishat’s eclectic screenings mirrored the nation. Cultural diversity, like alcohol, quietly persists, but it is being driven underground by intolerant brands of Islam. And the recent protests have severely damaged the freedom of expression for which earlier generations fought. Pakistan’s history is one long struggle to speak out. Both India and Pakistan won independence thanks to decades of speech and expression that were offensive to the men in power. British viceroys and soldiers tried in vain to stop their nonviolent protests. Since 1947, Pakistanis have been ruled by military dictators four times. Except for one who died in office, those strongmen never surrendered until Pakistanis spoke out so fiercely that the army stepped aside. Given this history, it’s no surprise that many Pakistanis are admirably frank about their country’s problems and speak with scorn about their government’s failings. This is as true of Islamists as it is of liberals. Members of every political group, including Islamists, recall times when their leaders were unjustly imprisoned for what they said. Their imprisonment was part of another, more oppressive, strand of Pakistani history. Dictators threatened their critics with death. The government branded an entire Muslim sect, Ahmadis, heretical and decreed the death penalty for blasphemy. Today, real or imagined blasphemy is punished by the state, by mobs or by a government that plays to the mob, as happened last Friday.
The final act may be approaching for any hopeful denouement to this tragedy.
Criticism opens the way for improvement — but it requires the freedom to speak. The protesters had every reason to be angry about the portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad in a cheap American video. But when they burned the Nishat cinema, they were burning a part of themselves.
And disgracing themselves in the eyes of the rest of the world.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

His Imperious Majesty Himself Roger Goodell sat in the negotiations last weekend trying to bring an end to the referee strike to no avail. The Players' Association came out afterwords with this thinly-veiled insult to the owners:
It is lost on us as to how you allow a Commissioner to cavalierly issue suspensions and fines in the name of player health and safety yet permit the wholesale removal of the officials that you trained and entrusted to maintain that very health and safety. It has been reported that the two sides are apart by approximately $60,000 per team. We note that your Commissioner has fined an individual player as much in the name of "safety." Your actions are looking more and more like simple greed. As players, we see this game as more than the "product" you reference at times. You cannot simply switch to a group of cheaper officials and fulfill your legal, moral, and duty obligations to us and our fans. You need to end the lockout and bring back the officials immediately.[37]
While the poorly-paid refs are paid less than $200K per season, the starting salary for the players is roughly half-a-million simoleons during the same amount of time, albeit the HUGE amount of time the players have to spend getting in shape for and gearing up to the exacting demands and flesh, bone, blood and brains is overwhelmingly greater than the refs have to put out. Still, the idea that the refs get the crumbs off the table when it is their decades, in many cases, of experience which prevent the game from becoming the shambles it has devolved to in three short weeks----perhaps it is a premium greedy owners and a pompous Commissioner can overlook.

Obama Skips Face-to-Face Meetings with Chiefs of State at UN

The First Coward is passing up meetings customary with prominent US allies at the General Assembly for this year. Turns out he can't be bothered with mere Chiefs of State when he's got a debate on domestic policy coming up against Mitt. This gutless, spineless degenerate named Owebama simply has higher priorities than Planet Earth. Most of the silly little lapdogs like Brian Williams and house-bitch Diane Sawyer yapped obediently, but to give him credit, Scott Pelley at CBS did mention that the First Kennel-Minder was the first POTUS in twenty years not to meet with COS's during the UNGA. That would make BJ Clinton the previous one to neglect what can be a tiresome chore.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Susan Rice & Hillary's Corps of Loyal L-words.

Susan Rice is a lying POS, as everyone in the literate world knows, even if they deny it to your face Here are some of the horrendous losses suffered by the CIA & NSA & DIA, among other intelligence agencies:
The attack has raised questions about the adequacy of security preparations at the two American compounds in Benghazi: the American mission, the main diplomatic facility where Mr. Stevens and another American diplomat died of smoke inhalation after an initial attack, and an annex a half-mile away that encompassed four buildings inside a low-walled compound. From among these buildings, the C.I.A. personnel carried out their secret missions. The New York Times agreed to withhold locations and details of these operations at the request of Obama administration officials, who said that disclosing such information could jeopardize future sensitive government activities and put at risk American personnel working in dangerous settings. In Benghazi, both compounds were temporary homes in a volatile city teeming with militants, and they were never intended to become permanent diplomatic missions with appropriate security features built into them. Neither was heavily guarded, and the annex was never intended to be a “safe house,” as initial accounts suggested. Two of the mission’s guards — Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. Doherty, former members of the Navy SEALs — were killed just outside the villa’s front gate. A mortar round struck the roof of the building where the Americans had scrambled for cover. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced last week the creation of a review board to examine the attacks. The board is to be led by a veteran diplomat and former undersecretary of state, Thomas R. Pickering.
I know Tom Pickering well from traveling with him to Sana'a overland via Taif through Saudi Arabia and a slim arm of The Empty Quarter, or Rub'a Khali, when we were at the Saudi Embassy way back when. Tom will take his instructions and his time to complete the investigation well after the US election takes place. He knows which side his bread is buttered...
The F.B.I. has sent investigators — many from its New York field office — to Benghazi, but they have been hampered by the city’s tenuous security environment and the fact that they arrived more than a day after the attack occurred, according to senior American officials. Complicating the investigation, the officials said, is that many of the Americans who were evacuated from Benghazi after the attack are now scattered across Europe and the United States. It is also unclear, one of the officials said, whether there was much forensic evidence that could be extracted from the scene of the attacks.
It's obvious, although the New York Times is too dense or dishonest to admit it, that the US intelligence and security services had been infiltrated. The media will keep this on the down-low during the campaign to protect The First Dunce as he fumbles and makes a mess in foreign policy.
Investigators and intelligence officials are now focusing on the possibility that the attackers were members of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or at least were in communication with the group during the four hours that elapsed between the initial attack at the mission and the second one at the mission’s annex. Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who heads the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program on Sunday that there was “a high degree of probability that it is an Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda-affiliated group that had a very specific target in mind, and that was to attack the consulate and cause as much harm, chaos and death as possible.” Foreign diplomats say that under security circumstances like those now in Libya, it is generally standard procedure to have a “safe house” in the vicinity of a main diplomatic facility that can be easily defended and evacuated. “Normally, you try to keep the location of such a safe house secret, but in Benghazi right now, I think this was next to impossible,” Col. Wolfgang Pusztai, who until early August was Austria’s defense attaché to Libya and visited the country every month, wrote in an e-mail. “There are not too many foreigners hanging around, and it is quite easy to track them.”
From now until the election, you will see Hillary and her loyal corps of lesbians, or is it Corps of Loyal Lesbians, protect that WIDE LOAD sign hanging over her backside. Huma in the meantime is sending everything over to Adel Al-Jubair in the Embassy across from the Watergate. Google it if you don't know Adel's name by now.
The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin regularly eviscerates the one-term fraud and scofflaw Owebama in her blog and column. Here's a dandy:
President Obama has had an evolving line of excuses to explain why the economy is still so awful. Let’s see if we can follow the logic. 1. You are better off than you were four years ago. 2. Even if you are not better off than you were four years ago, things are getting better. 3. Even if things are not getting better, it’s President George W. Bush’s fault. 4. Even if it isn’t Bush’s fault, it’s the “head winds” that are at fault. 5. Even if it’s not the head winds’ fault, it’s the inside-the-Beltway tone that is to blame. 6. Even if you can’t blame the tone, it’s the Gang of Six’s fault for screwing up the grand bargain that made Obama up the ante on taxes after the House speaker thought that we had a deal. 7. Even if it’s not the Gang of Six’s fault, it’s the Republicans’ fault. 8. Even if it’s not the Republicans’ fault, it’s the 24-7 media coverage that is to blame. 9. Even if media are not to blame, change is hard and comes only from the outside. 10. Even if change comes only from the outside, you have to elect Obama. In short, nothing is ever Obama's fault. The euro or Congress or Bush is always in the way. But here’s the thing: Something is always happening. The good presidents succeed anyway. (President Ronald Reagan never whined that he was dealt “a bad hand.”) Obama’s disdain for making things happen from the “inside” is just taking excuse-mongering to a whole new level. Because, of course, if we expect presidents to actually help improve things, then he hasn’t done his job very well. Moreover, he’s suggesting that the job is impossible for him unless he is dealt a superb hand, the world is prosperous, the Democrats control Congress and media are even more compliant than they already are.
Jennifer has this weak cowardly loser's number:
Once is a bad day, but twice in a row should worry Democrats. President Obama followed his gaffe-ridden Univision interview with an outing on Sunday on “60 Minutes” that is destined to wind up in a series of Mitt Romney ads. There was this on the recent developments in the Middle East, including the death of four Americans: Obama has used “bump in the road” before, in reference to unemployment, which was the inspiration for one of Romney’s best ads. Obama’s “bumps” seems to be what other people would call “failure.” The “bumps” include four dead Americans and a disastrous loss of intelligence. (The New York Times reports: “The attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans has dealt the Central Intelligence Agency a major setback in its intelligence-gathering efforts at a time of increasing instability in the North African nation.” One official is quoted as saying, “It’s a catastrophic intelligence loss. We got our eyes poked out.”) Had Romney said such a preposterous and grossly insensitive thing as Obama did, there would be calls for him to quit the race; alas, when Obama does it’s not even front-page news for most of the mainstream media. But that may not have been Obama’s worst moment in the interview. There was this exchange: STEVE KROFT: “You don’t feel any pressure from Prime Minister Netanyahu in the middle of a campaign to try and get you to change your policy and draw a line in the sand? You don’t feel any pressure?” OBAMA: “When it comes to our national security decisions — any pressure that I feel is simply to do what’s right for the American people. And I am going to block out — any noise that’s out there.” Calling Netanyahu’s concern about an existential threat “noise” is another in a long string of insults, snubs and gaffes about Israel. This remark immediately raised red flags in the foreign press.The Iranians were happy, though. A reader sends me a report that at least one country is delighted. From the Iranian official TV outlet: “US President Barack Obama says Israel’s call for drawing red line over Iran’s nuclear energy program is just ‘noise’ he tries to ignore.” Well, the Iranians got that one right. And just to rub it in, Obama knocked Israel down a peg, saying it was only “one of our closest allies in the region.” Really? Is Egypt the other? The level of disdain he holds for Israel runneth over. It is not surprising that the Romney campaign and other Republicans leaped on Obama’s stupidity. Liz Cheney tweeted, “Terrorists kill 4 Americans, says it’s ‘bumps in the road.” Israeli concerns about Iranian nukes ‘noise.’ Shameful.” There were other miscues as well, that if not for the two big blunders, would be stories unto themselves. On his biggest regret, Obama again confessed to being impotent in Washington: “I’m the first one to confess that — the spirit that I brought to Washington, that I wanted to see instituted, where we weren’t constantly — in - in a political slugfest but were focused more on problem solving that, you know, I haven’t fully accomplished that. Haven’t even come close in some cases. And, you know, if you ask me what’s my biggest disappointment, is that we haven’t changed the tone in Washington as much as I would have liked.” Or gotten a budget deal, or gotten unemployment below 8 percent, or . . . you get the point. From Obama’s perspective, he’s responsible but never really all that much. (“Oh, I think that, you know, as president I bear responsibility for everything, to some degree, and one of the things I’ve realized over the last two years is that that only happens if I’m enlisting the American people much more aggressively than I did the first two years.”) Was the problem really that he didn’t give enough speeches or go on enough road trips bashing Congress? But wait. There is more. At a time when the Congressional Budget Office tells us that 6 million Americans will feel the tax bite from Obamacare, Obama proclaimed, “I haven’t raised taxes.” Well, even he would admit he wants to raise taxes. There were so many eye-popping comments, CBS had to put some things on line. There was this remark about Obama’s ads, which his advisers have defended as honorable and true: Do we see sometimes us going overboard in our campaign, mistakes that are made, areas where there’s no doubt that somebody could dispute how we are presenting things, that happens in politics . . . Stuff happens. He’s just a bystander, you see. All in all, it was the sort of interview performance that makes you wonder if Obama has been practicing for the debates at all, and if so, if anyone has the nerve to tell him his answers are ludicrous. The media will surely not treat Obama’s “60 Minutes” answers as noteworthy, let alone as evidence of his vulnerability, especially on foreign policy. And maybe that is a good thing for Mitt Romney. It is the media’s protective cocoon that contributes to Obama’s massive ego and overconfidence. It is also what comes from doing fluff magazine and TV appearances rather than getting accustomed to rigorous news interviews. The debates should be very interesting.
Can't wait to see those ads of Mitt that will enrage the Media Matters, oops, Mutters, folks. For a preview of how badly the suddenly vulnerable left has become, read the comments which follow Alinsky's maxims religiously. It's the only religion besides BIG BROTHER these laid-off government workers have...!!!

Fauxcahontas Illegally Practiced Law From Her Harvard Wigwam [aka Law School Office]

Fauxcahontas Warren is not and apparently never was licensed to the Bar in MA. She was in NJ, but mysteriously resigned her law license there on SEPTEMBER 11, 2012...!!! And practicing under the name Elizabeth Warren, Faucahontas raked in $212,000 in representing Travelers Ins., in a huge case in NYC. She is showing again why she is a fraud and not fit for public office. In this, Faux cahontas resembles most of the scofflaws and womanizers in Dimmo-rat offices across the country.

CNN Pushes Back In Fight With State Department; Clinton Spokesman Tells Reporter To 'F--k- Off'

HRClinton's State Department is flailing desperately to avoid manifesting more incredible malfeasance in the 9/11 fiascos in Egypt & Libya. The ensuing firestorm in 20+ US embassies overseas was as much because of backstage AQ & other terrorist groups as a "movie" less than 15 minutes long that had been on YouTube since June. And "coincidentally" was "discovered" by certain "imams" only a week before the 9/11 anniversary. The foolish stupidity of the various intelligence agencies, including the vaunted CIA and DIA, that neglected to warn the various embassies that there was a high-level probability of problems on 9/11/12 adds to the general incompetence of the State Dept. security, which are all ex-law enforcement and highly-trained. As an Arabist FSO, I knew many RSO's who were fine fellows to knock back a few with, but their security skills didn't match their ability to make wassail...! Read the Original Article at HuffingtonPost

Belicheck punches a-hole ref

Bill Belicheck is totally in the right to punch a substitute ref after his Patriots lost to the Ravens, 31-30 on a last-second FG. The officiating ranged from bad to awful and seemed to favor the Ravens by a 3-1 ratio when mistakes were made. Bill will get a big fine for this, but the greedy POS commissioner and the a-hole owners he shills for will pay in the long run for underpaying their regular refs. Having taught at FIU Ryder Business school, I am aware that the downfall of a preposterously profitable enterprise like the National Football League could ensue if the nickel-and-diming of the field referees results in close games going the other way. That's what happened in Baltimore and I hope Kraft reimburses Bill for his momentary loss of composure. UPDATE Here's the ridiculous call on the final play of the Packer/Seahawk game which is convincing me to avoid the NFL on TV until the league gets a Commissioner who understands the basic framework of human nature. This greedy pompous ass has got to go. Where is Pete Rozelle or even Tagliabue when you really need them?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Long-Time Investigation of African Tribes

Khoe-San are subsets of a tribal configuration that split off from the rest of the human genome more or less 100kya and/or as late as 35 thousand years ago. Hit the link above for some complex stuff on this radical discovery. Khoe-San are the two tribes who used to be called Bushmen living in the god-forsaken Kalahari desert between Namibia & South Africa. Here is the abstract:
The history of click-speaking Khoe-San, and African populations in general, remains poorly understood. We genotyped ∼2.3 million SNPs in 220 southern Africans and found that the Khoe-San diverged from other populations ≥100,000 years ago, but structure within the Khoe-San dated back to about 35,000 years ago. Genetic variation in various sub-Saharan populations did not localize the origin of modern humans to a single geographic region within Africa; instead, it indicated a history of admixture and stratification. We found evidence of adaptation targeting muscle function and immune response, potential adaptive introgression of UV-light protection, and selection predating modern human diversification involving skeletal and neurological development. These new findings illustrate the importance of African genomic diversity in understanding human evolutionary history.
UPDATE Here's an article in The Financial Times to explain rather poorly what this is and means.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Master

One of the best movies I've seen this decade, century, millennium...! The wonderful luscious cinematography, the incredible low-key score are both wonderful backgrounds to Hoffmann & Phoenix playing off each other as well as any two actors I've ever seen [maybe Falstaff & the young Henry V?]. Phoenix is cringeworthy in the highest sense of inspiring fear and awe when he starts to mix his potent cocktails of paint thinner and engine fluids that so entrance Hoffmann, whose Lancaster Dodd is the ultimate con artist until [spoiler alert] he interrupts his Waldorf disquisition with "pig fuck!" to a skeptic. Who later gets his butt kicked by Freddie Quell, aka Joaquin... The higher and lower ranges of con artistry are explored with a surgeon's special micro-eyeglasses and Paul Thomas Anderson's amazing scalpel. Hoffmann and Phoenix's acting is such that you can read Lancaster Dodd's high-pitched chicanery and Freddie Quell's caged-animal cunning in their faces. There is so much artistry abounding in this film that I give it a high five...stars, that is!
"The Religion of Peace" once again showed its raw underbelly to the world as violent ignorant savages went on the warpath across two continents [three if you count France & Germany].
PAKISTAN Fifteen people were killed as tens of thousands protested against the film around the country after the government encouraged peaceful protests and declared a national holiday - "Love for the Prophet Day." Demonstrations turned violent in several Pakistani cities. Among those killed was a driver for a Pakistani television station, who died after police opened fire on rioters torching a cinema in the northwest city of Peshawar during a protest. Clashes between police and thousands of stone-throwing protesters also occurred in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad, the Pakistani capital. --- AFGHANISTAN About 900 people have gathered for a protest against the film in the capital, Kabul, chanting "death to America" and burning an effigy of President Barack Obama and an American flag. A few hundred demonstrators also protested inside a mosque in the eastern city of Ghazni. The protests were peaceful. --- IRAN Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lashed out at the West over the film. Speaking during a military parade in Tehran, he said: "in return for (allowing) the ugliest insults to the divine messenger, they - the West - raise the slogan of respect for freedom of speech." He said this explanation was "clearly a deception." --- INDONESIA The United States closed its diplomatic missions across Indonesia due to continuing demonstrations over the anti-Islam film. Small and mostly orderly protests were held outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta and in the cities of Surabaya and Medan, along with a couple other smaller towns. No violence was reported. In addition to the embassy in Jakarta and consulate offices in Surabaya, Medan and Bali, the American mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations also was shut. --- IRAQ About 3,000 people, mostly followers of Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim groups, protested against the film and caricatures in the southern city of Basra. Demonstrators carried Iraqi flags and posters of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, chanting "death to America" and "no to America." They burnt Israeli and American flags. One of the organizers, Qassim al-Moussawi, told AP that people gathered "to express our anger and resentment on the offenses made against our prophet." --- SRI LANKA About 2,000 Muslims burned effigies of President Barack Obama and American flags at a protest after Friday prayers in the capital, Colombo, demanding that the United States ban the film. --- BANGLADESH Over 2,000 people marched through the streets of the capital, Dhaka, to protest the film. They burned a makeshift coffin draped in an American flag, and an effigy of Obama. --- LEBANON Thousands gathered in the Bekaa valley for the latest in a series of protest rallies organized by the Shiite militant group Hezbollah. Protesters carried the yellow Hezbollah flag. --- KASHMIR Police enforced a daylong curfew in parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir's main city, Srinagar, and chased away protesters opposing the anti-Islam film. Authorities in the region also temporarily blocked mobile phone and Internet services to prevent viewing the film clips. --- GERMANY Several hundred people gathered in the city of Freiburg in southwest of Germany to protest the film. Some carried banners saying: "The dignity of the Prophet Muhammad is our dignity." Police banned inflammatory slogans. The Interior Ministry postponed a poster campaign aimed at countering radical Islam among young people due to tensions caused by the online video insulting Islam. Posters for the campaign - in German, Turkish and Arabic - were meant to go on display in German cities with large immigrant populations on Friday, but are being withheld because of the changed security situation. Germany is home to an estimated 4 million Muslims. --- PHILIPPINES A law professor defied a ban by Philippine university officials and has shown students the film's 14-minute trailer. Constitutional law professor Harry Roque of the University of the Philippines said the film was "trash and nothing but trash" and will not convince people Islam is evil.
Ho Hum.... At least Obama acknowledged that the US is not responsible for these countries' citizens who are killed in their own
HRClinton's briefing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was supposedly to deal with highly classified materials on the attack on the Benghazi Consulate. Instead, she and other high Administration officials stonewalled the Senators:
Several high-level GOP senators emerged from Thursday afternoon's classified briefing with top administration officials incensed that Obama team had offered them no new information and answered none of their questions about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the death of four Americans. "That was the most useless, worthless briefing that I have attended in a long time. Believe me, there is more written in every major and minor publication in America about what happened." said Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Bob Corker (R-TN), emerging from the all-senators briefing that included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Adm. Sandy Winnefeld. "It was like a one-hour filibuster with absolutely not one single bit of new information being brought forth... very disappointing." Corker said that the briefing was so poorly received by senators that it would spur Congress to push for more independent investigations about the causes of the attack, the perpetrators, the security at the consulate, and the personal security of Amb. Chris Stevens, who died in the attack. "[The briefing], if anything, built far greater distrust about what's happening than just answering questions. It was pretty unbelievable," said Corker. "In every event, when a serious question was asked, the answer was, ‘It's under investigation.' If I were them I would not have come to the Hill ... I think it is going to cause folks to push for something different, because it was received so poorly." Senate Armed Services Committee ranking Republican John McCain (R-AZ) agreed and said the briefing was indicative of the administration's pattern of not sharing information with Congress about important national security matters. He also said the administration is maintaining its argument that the Benghazi attack was the result of militants taking advantage of protests spurred by an anti-Islam video on the Internet.
Dozens of neighbors of the Consulate who were alarmed by the outbreak of heavy weapons fire maintain steadfastly that there was NO demonstration at all. Just a sudden attack with extremely deadly weapons wielded by almost 100 men who arrived in Jeeps and other vehicles. The Obama Administration is still maintaining that there was a demonstration hijacked by some terrorists and that the attack had nothing to do with the 9/11 anniversary or with revenge for the drone attack in Pakistan that killed the Libyan who was Number Two in Al-Qaeda, al-Libi.
"I learned nothing in that briefing that I hadn't seen or read in the media," said McCain. "They still are blaming the video and they have a fundamental misunderstanding. It's not the video; it's the Islamists that are pushing this video throughout the world to inflame passions on the part of people of the Muslim faith." McCain highlighted recent statements from administration officials acknowledging that the Benghazi incident was a "terrorist attack" and said that while he didn't know exactly how long it had been pre-planned, there was mounting evidence that significant planning did go into the assault. "It's very likely that there is a terrorist organization, affiliated with al Qaeda, that at least had some role in this attack, which had mortars, heavy equipment, and rocket propelled grenades -- not exactly a spontaneous demonstration," McCain said, citing open source information, not the briefing, which was classified. Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Marco Rubio (R-FL) was also critical of the briefing, and said that the situation in Benghazi was materially different from protests last week in Egypt, Yemen, Sudan, and other places, where protesters cited the video directly. "The only demonstrations in Libya have been anti-terrorist demonstrations. Compare Libya to the other countries -- in Libya, there aren't anti-American protests going on there," Rubio said. "We heard on Sunday that this was all the result of a YouTube video; now it's clear that's not the case. [The administration is] not accurately assessing what happened in Libya, and that's not helping anyone." Democratic senators emerging from the briefing declined to speak with reporters. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said earlier Thursday, "It is self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack," but maintained that there was no specific intelligence pointing to planning by the attackers in advance.
Of course, the Libyans maintain that they passed intelligence three days prior of some sort of terrorist attack they discovered about the anniversary of 9/11. This administration insists on lying to the American people because they know that the press and media will not hold them accountable. Brian Williams and Diane Sawyer of the NBC/ABC are part of the many DNC outlets obscuring and ignoring any malfeasance by the Obama crew. At least Scott Pelley at CBS does bring up the absence of a demonstration and the evidence for a large terrorist operation as being responsible for the Benghazi attacks.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gallup has a new poll out today with Romney and Obama exactly tied. Last night Taranto had a hilarious column about Romney losing again about the idiotic left-wing media---which is to say 95% of the tabloids like the NYT, the alphabet legacy networks like CNN, ABCBSNBC & the moronic mags that profess to be smarter than you and me. Every time a hidden tape feloniously records Romney in FL or Obama makes some sort of big breakthrough like getting Osama, the crackheads in the MSM will trumpet that Romney is now dead meat. The dead meat is still in the Oval Office and has to be evicted in November.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Black Gold and Black Veils

Saudi Arabia has retreated back to its default position. The Wahhabi fanaticism that spawned the Kingdom, or rather served as the vehicle for King "Ibn Saud" or rather King Abdul-Aziz bin Saud, to unite the Hejaz and the Nejd and ultimately most of Yemen [Abha/Taif] and the desolate Nafud desert into one polity in 1929,

Karen House has written a book about this shrinkage after a brief "aperatura" to modern modes of activity. I was lucky to have lived in Saudi at the US Embassy as Political Military and later Political Officer for Internal Affairs during this "opening" from the late '60s until the 1979 Twin Shocks of the Mecca Mosque takeover and the Fall of the Shah of Iran. After that, the Saudi Royal Family decided that the better part of valor is discretion, and slowly closed like the giant clams one finds on the Red Sea bottom while scuba diving.

Of course, it was never "open for business" in the classical sense nor is it a hermit Kingdom like North Korea today. But with the death of King Fahd, the much more conservative King Abdullah has ceded to prevailing winds and allowed the country . Ms. House has a particular beef about how women are being kept in virtual purdah because of the Counter-Reformation slowly engulfing Saudi society. In Saudi Arabia, religious intolerance may be a feature, not a bug:
Saudi theocratic totalitarianism begins within the family. Ms. House offers vivid descriptions of the oppression and frustration faced by Saudi women. The Wahhabis' view is that, after kindergarten, the two sexes should never meet except in the home. Such limits have a devastating effect on the freedom of Saudi women to work or even to take a walk in their own neighborhoods.

In 2002, in an incident of startling cruelty, the Saudi religious police prevented more than a dozen girls from fleeing their flaming school building in Mecca, thus condemning them to burn to death because, while trying to escape the fire, their abayas and veils didn't fully cover them. The outrage that followed this incident led to certain reforms, but they have been insufficient to help most women get a better education or a job.

It is true that, in 2012, Saudi women were allowed to compete in the Olympics for the first time, and a few can now sell lingerie in department stores. But they are still denied the freedom to drive a car, a restriction that has led some brave Saudi women, Ms. House tells us, to stage "drive-ins" or test authority "by getting behind the wheel of a car and posting videos of their defiance on YouTube." These are small protests, she concedes, but they are telling: Clashes over the role of women in Saudi society serve as "a proxy war between modernizers and conservatives over what sort of Saudi Arabia both sexes will inhabit and over the role and relevance of the omnipresent religious establishment in Saudi society."

In defense of Saudi society, if it is a defense, the family unit is often much more grounded in Wahhabi tradition than the liberalizing segment of the Royal Family ever gave them credit for. Even when separate girl's schools were inaugurated in the '60's due to Prince Fahd's Minister of the Interior & Prince Sultan's Minister of Education efforts, the buses carrying the girls to school were stoned. They blacked out the windows of all the buses so the stonings ceased, but still.....

Ms. House shifts over to the international POV but then quickly reverts to the future of Saudi Arabia:
On the geopolitical front, Saudi Arabia cooperates to a substantial degree with the United States on its counterterrorism efforts, but the royal family hasn't challenged the Wahhabi management of the country's schools. It is the schools, Ms. House reminds us, that provide the doctrinal and emotional underpinnings for its young men—often unemployed and impressionable—to turn to jihad.

On the brighter side, Ms. House takes us to two promising venues where one can see a glimmering of what Saudi Arabian institutions might become if we are all very lucky: the campus of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (in the town of Thuwal) and the constructed suburban city, often called "Little America," that serves as the headquarters of Saudi Aramco, the national oil company. Each place can be seen, Ms. House says, as an "innovative and international island in the largely stagnant Saudi sea." Saudi men and women work together, attend classes together, and learn to use advanced technology.

We can always hope, but the chances of reform at the moment seem limited. In June, Crown Prince Naif died, and his replacement at the top of the royal family's governing structure was taken by his brother, Prince Salman, an ultraconservative supporter of the Wahhabis. In the new interior minister, Prince Ahmed, and the new intelligence chief, Prince Bandar, there is little that is hopeful either. The Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia states that neither man "has shown any interest in human rights or political change in Saudi Arabia."

Woolsey, who writes the review, is not very knowledgeable about the Saudis, given that he has made only one trip and that in the '70s when I was still there. I visited frequently in the eighties and nineties and have met Prince Salman and Prince Bandar on more than one occasion [as well as King Abdullah] and unless they have changed, I doubt they have been really as conservative-leaning as he & House intimate.
On the geopolitical front, Saudi Arabia cooperates to a substantial degree with the United States on its counterterrorism efforts, but the royal family hasn't challenged the Wahhabi management of the country's schools. It is the schools, Ms. House reminds us, that provide the doctrinal and emotional underpinnings for its young men—often unemployed and impressionable—to turn to jihad.

On the brighter side, Ms. House takes us to two promising venues where one can see a glimmering of what Saudi Arabian institutions might become if we are all very lucky: the campus of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (in the town of Thuwal) and the constructed suburban city, often called "Little America," that serves as the headquarters of Saudi Aramco, the national oil company. Each place can be seen, Ms. House says, as an "innovative and international island in the largely stagnant Saudi sea." Saudi men and women work together, attend classes together, and learn to use advanced technology.

We can always hope, but the chances of reform at the moment seem limited. In June, Crown Prince Naif died, and his replacement at the top of the royal family's governing structure was taken by his brother, Prince Salman, an ultraconservative supporter of the Wahhabis. In the new interior minister, Prince Ahmed, and the new intelligence chief, Prince Bandar, there is little that is hopeful either. The Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia states that neither man "has shown any interest in human rights or political change in Saudi Arabia."

Of course, they may have changed over the decades. Prince Ahmed, whom I also met on one occasion, certainly has not. He and his brother Crown Prince Naif, made a fearsome duo at the Ministry of the Interior. Woolsey ends on an optimistic note for the USA, given that fracking is releasing vast amounts of natural gas hitherto unexplainable to the markets----indicating that the old "Black Gold" of the Middle East may not be necessary to our economy in the near future. Here's his send-off:
Ms. House observes that, for decades, the rulers of Saudi Arabia have used their oil revenues to swell the public sector, hand out government largess and keep Saudi citizens dependent on the royal family. "Control trumps economic competitiveness," she notes. Is such an arrangement sustainable? The low price and ever wider availability of natural gas—the result of the hydro-fracturing of gas shale—could transform the world's energy sector, especially if cars are modified to drive on liquid fuels derived from natural gas. In such a scenario, the stultified, oppressive country that Ms. House portrays so well may find itself enduring a painful and chaotic transformation beyond the control of even its most stern leaders.

The Royal Family may crumple like crushed paper if the current dependency ceases, and the USA is the only country with giant amounts of "shale gas" being made available, and this over the strident noisy ignorance of the leftist goons in our Hollyweird celebritard universe. So the day of reckoning may still be far off for the feckless otiose Royal Family, though when it comes, it will not be pretty.

Railway Car Rolls by Self from NY into Canada---Sits Unnoticed for 11 Hours!!!

Security at the US/Canadian border is certainly not in a state of high alert...!!! This story is hilarious, or would be if potential terrorists don't spot how porous the northern border of our two friendly countries happens to be...

Charlie Hebdo in France Ridicules Prophet

Charlie Hebdo is better than any US satirical publication, as is Le Canard Enchaine. America's obsession with not insulting any foreign race, religion or belief renders it oblivious of the First Amendment, which the First Idiot now in office pretends doesn't exist.

UPDATE France is shutting down 20 embassies because of Charlie Hebdo. France is more democratic than the US, not having "hate crimes" in its legal repertoire to persecute Free Speech. This POTUS wants to burn the Constitution anyway.

Mormon or Muslim: What's the Difference?

Bret Stephans has an interesting answer. Mormons don't kill those who insult their religion. As a former FSO Arabist, I know the major difference----not that Muslims do, of course they do because most are uneducated savages living in squalor both moral and physical. The major difference is that Mormons don't live in a dozen countries sitting on large deposits of oil and natural gas.


And sadly, Dorothy Rabinowitz should be perhaps sent out to pasture. Maybe it's just me, but her writing style reeks of the salon rather than the saloon, which is where most of the wordslingers hang out nowadays. Doubtless, she'd say it's beneath her dignity, but unlike the white-gloved Peggy Noonan, also an old-timey type, she utterly plods through her editorial junkets, as if she's paddling upstream.

Owebama Talks of Redistribution---not just to Joe The Plumber

The Presstitutes in the electronic & print media are obediently following their masters---though by now they're well-trained---in prolonging an off-the-cuff set of remarks at a closed Romney fund-raiser here in Boca in order to divert attention away from the First Bungler's failed foreign policy. When McClatchy, usually one of Obungler's dependable sock puppets, starts treating Libya as a monumental cock-up by the USA, then ATTENTION MUST BE DIVERTED by all means possible. And Obama pulled out Hillary Rodham C to lie through her rotten teeth to squash any subsequent inquiries by the Presstitute horde lest any stragglers not get the word.

Can't wake up the sleeping SHEEPLE with disturbing facts when four-month old off-the-cuff remarks might insult their intelligence by sleight of hand and deception. With the help of a corrupt crooked collection of media clowns, the First Liar has seen it work time and again. Why stop now?

By the way, you can tell the tape was made from behind a bar by a probable drunk Demonrat recruited and paid for by David Brock to keep a hopeless Fu*k-Up in office. I imagine the dreamily weird Stuart Stevens or his idealistic boss Mitt has put the kabosh on dirty tricks, which is the only game the Demonrats have.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Four Month Old Video "Surfaces" on Romney; MIddle East Ignored

The Secular-Jew York Times has another diversionary tactic to pry the attention of Obama's failed foreign policy away from the Middle East. Here's shocking excerpts from Mitt's private talk....
Mr. Romney describes how his campaign would not try to appeal to “47 percent of the people” who will vote for Mr. Obama “no matter what.” They are, he says, “dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them.”

He says those people “pay no income tax,” and “so our message of low taxes doesn’t connect.” Mr. Romney adds: “My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

The comments were much more stark than Mr. Romney’s usual remarks, though he typically talks in public about supporters of Mr. Obama’s wanting big government to take care of their problems. He often accuses Mr. Obama and his supporters of wanting to bring a European-style socialism to the United States. In the video clips, Mr. Romney says his campaign is concentrating on the “5 to 10 percent in the center” whom he described as “thoughtful” voters.

as well as this quote.....
...the most striking part of the video is Mr. Romney’s characterization of nearly half of the country. His assessment of the “47 percent” echoes a line of conservative thinking that is championed by his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin. Mr. Ryan has long argued that nearly half of the people in America are either “dependent” or “reliant” on the federal government.

The "striking part of the video" is precisely because Romney tells the truth about the 47% bloodsuckers on the USG teat. And they're all Democrats.

And the Middle East elephant in the room is left behind as if nothing happened on 9/11 when the Bitch Hillary let the security down in about thirty embassies.

Monday, September 17, 2012

UN Amb Rice Eager to Lie for the Sake of Her Country

Susan Rice is taking a bullet for Hillary Clinton by reasserting one more time that a diplomat is a person sent to lie for the sake of his/her country. She may even be one of Hillary's "GalPals" salted around the State Dept, the ones she takes along with her on flights in Air Force O.2 according to some ret'd Air Force One personnel. Who do you believe in the following AP story?
A deadly assault on a U.S. consulate in Libya was a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday, even as Libya's president insisted the attackers spent months preparing and carefully choosing their date - the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

My money's on the Libyan interim President. Fish lie from the top down, just like this rotten corrupt administration. And when confronted by too much reality, like Debbie Wasserman-Schulz, Ms. Rice doubled down:
Ms. Rice told "Fox News Sunday" that the protests weren't an "expression of hostility in the broadest sense to the U.S. or its policies," but rather were a reaction to the video negatively depicting the Muslim faith. She said that it was difficult to "project the trajectory" of how the reaction of protesters around the region would develop.

Mr. Rogers, the GOP lawmaker, said on Fox he thought the protests were a reaction to U.S. policy in the region. He said there are many people living in the Mideast who are unclear what the overall American policy toward the region is.

President Barack Obama's handling of the turmoil could affect his political standing in the U.S. as he seeks re-election in November.

In appearances on several Sunday talk shows, Ms. Rice described Mr. Obama as "incredibly calm, incredibly steady, and incredibly measured" through the crisis. She said his leadership has "ensured that in Egypt, in Yemen, in Tunisia, in Libya, and many other parts of the world, that leaders have come out and made very plain that there's no excuse for this violence."

She dismissed suggestions that the U.S. has become less effective or popular in the region. "We're not impotent," she said in response to a question on "This Week." "We're not even less popular."

Her nose should be about six feet long now and still growing. One can be sure it was not the Obungler's "incredibly calm, incredibly steady, and incredibly measured" leadership that brought about the "no excuse" response. They want to keep away from this gawky jug-eared repulsive crook-in-chief as much as possible.

Read more of Ms. Rice's "gangnam style" contortions and get a good chuckle at a senior US official making a total fool of herself. Obama must have shown her the moves.

Bad Answers to Questions I have been Asking Myself.

POLITICO is a pro-Obama series of in the main mostly gibberish about how bad Romney is and how Obama is necessary to keep us on the path to social/communist nirvana. But I do trust JIm VandeHei. Here's my comment to their piece I linked to above about why and how the Romney Campaign is being suborned by a lunatic who has Romney's ear, and evidently his mind, wrapped around the weirdo Stuart Stevens' finger:
I keep wondering why I am seeing lousy ads for Romney that are bland & at the same time describe Obama's shortcomings without a peep about specifics on the Romney agenda. VandeHei is a reliable reporter, even insightful, while Mike Allen is a shameless hack for Obama. Yes, Stuart Stevens sounds like a hopeless choice to lead Mitt's campaign, but if that's true, it might forebode what a stilted stunted administration Romney might lead. And why choose Ryan, only to muzzle him?

Obama is a hopeless eff-up as POTUS. And Biden is a joke. Our economy is swirling in the toilet and Obama is watching his imbecilic Middle East policies crumble into dust....along with any credibility he has left.

If Romney can't beat this epic fail, it isn't because of a loon like Stevens, harmful though he has proven to be in his maestro mode. Romney deserves to lose for making so many wrong choices in his campaign set-up. This isn't another venture capital firm, or a rescue firm. The country needs to be rescued from Obama and we have a rigid, stainless steel, wooden candidate instead of a real candidate to oppose the fraud-in-chief.

McCain had a team that also struggled to keep the tiller from uncharted waters, but now I wish the Murphy guy who was Romney's advisor for the MA governor's race had won out. Stevens had better have a rabbit in his hat, or even better, pull it out at the right moment. Or maybe Israel can attack Iran and send oil and gas prices through the roof in time to make Obama finally sink. Otherwise, the Republic is finished and we all might as well learn how to sing the Internationale...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Obama as "Sandman"

Hodges is a forensic profiler who at the link does a study of BHO. Sample:
Obama then goes on to talk about his own absentee father.

“Obama compares two types of fathers, the involved father who builds solid-rock foundations in his kids and the absent father who builds weak foundations for his children, foundations ‘made of sand,’” writes Hodges. “Yet Obama, by omitting the second part of the biblical parable, shows that he simply cannot bring himself to say the words ‘sand foundation.’ Why? For him, that phrase hits too close to home.”

Obama continues: “I know what it means to have an absent father.”

“His words strongly suggest that the parable could be titled ‘How Obama Sr. built Obama Jr.,’” writes Hodges. “He was unconsciously pressured to tell us about that absent father, the foolish builder who left him with a worrisome foundation. Obama makes repeated scathing references to absent fathers – selfish, unavailable, irresponsible, immature, and destructive. He underscores lost boys who have no father to show them how to be a man. He then describes how such absent fathers produce sons with ‘behavioral problems’ which mirror their own. In short, Obama tells us that he is the sandman son of a sandman father, a father who failed to build a solid foundation of character in him but instead left him with nothing but sand inside. Obama in essence warns America that he would be like his father, lacking in integrity and prone to bad behavior which undermined the community. This according to the role model rule Obama so carefully establishes.”

Hodges continues: “Between the lines Obama has verified that an extremely painful trauma constantly lives inside of him. It doesn’t take much to reopen such a wound – ‘a hole’ in himself created by his absent father. That’s exactly what Obama later labeled it, ‘a hole,’ an emptiness within his inner self. Right off he has revealed the motivations that have controlled him his entire life. At the same time, he remains consciously in denial about his personal pain."

Yes, it's a little "shrinkish," but the author is a renowned dude:
He has identified killers by studying ransom notes, emails, letters and police interviews to spot secret confessions. He decoded O.J. Simpson’s “suicide note” to confirm he had committed a double murder. He deciphered the JonBenet ransom note to identify the child’s killer. He studied statements by Joran van der Sloot and Deepak Kalpoe to tie them to the slaying of Natalee Holloway. He showed how Casey Anthony secretly confessed to killing her daughter in 200 letters written to a jail mate. He even decoded Bill Clinton’s Lewinsky confession-apology on TV, revealing the awful pain which led to Clinton’s self-sabotaging behavior. Hodges employs a unique psycholinguistic technique he calls “ThoughtPrint Decoding” to “read between the lines” of people’s statements – called “the cutting-edge of forensic science” by expert investigators.

Hodges examines Obama’s entire life story from his controversial and mysterious birth, to his Muslim childhood, to his earliest indoctrination by radical left-wing activists and finally to his historic ascension to the White House.

“Wherever we look, Obama demonstrates another major boundary violation – more disruption of America’s foundation,” explains Hodges. “His inaugural address again foreshadows the specific boundary he will attack next – in another caution to America. Here he repeatedly insisted on the preeminence of the rule of law and the Constitution, ‘Our Founding Fathers … drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man. … Those ideals still light the world.’”

It sounds good – on the surface. But that’s not what Obama meant, suggests Hodges. He meant exactly the opposite and was telegraphing, in Obama code, that he would follow a path that is the opposite of was the Founders had in mind.

“Of course, Obama himself remains in denial about the full extent of his intentionally destructive motivations, but we can be sure he is consciously aware of significant deception,” says Hodges. “There is a famous phrase therapists use that applies here; we employ it to describe unconsciously intentional motives and actions: ‘accidentally on purpose.’”

Hodges contends Obama’s mind is secretly a master at describing such motives.

I wish he would do the same with Romney to explain why he seems made of stainless steel & yet appears "wooden."

The World Laughs at Clueless US in Denial

Al Jazeera & The Australian are not alone in wondering why the US, led by a feckless POTUS & a hapless SecState are denying Al Qaeda attacked & killed Ambassador Stevens in Libya. Like the lapdogs they are, the tabloids like NYT & network floozies are doing the same. But here's the Australian:
A cursory consideration of the events that are still taking place makes clear these were not acts of spontaneous rage about an amateur internet movie. They were premeditated. In Egypt, the mob was led by Muhammad al-Zawahiri, the brother of al-Qa'ida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The US's first official response to the assault on its embassy in Cairo came in the form of an embassy Twitter feed apologising to Muslims for the film.

The day before the attacks, al-Qa'ida released a video of Ayman al-Zawahiri in which he called for his co-religionists to attack the US in retribution for the killing in June of his second-in-command Abu Al Yahya al-Libi by a US drone in Pakistan. Zawahiri asked for the strongest act of retribution to be carried out in Libya.

As for the attack in Libya, it apparently came as no surprise to some US officials on the ground. In an online posting the night before he was killed, US Foreign Service information officer Sean Smith warned of the impending strike. Smith wrote, "Assuming we don't die tonight. We saw one of our 'police' that guard the compound taking pictures."

The co-ordinated, premeditated nature of the attack was self-evident. The assailants were armed with rocket-propelled grenades and machineguns. They knew the location of the secret safe house to which the US consular officials fled. They laid ambush to a marine force sent to rescue the 37 Americans hiding at the safe house. Yet Clinton and Dempsey could not fathom why the attack occurred.

Like Dempsey, the US media was swift to focus the blame for the attacks on the film.

By Wednesday afternoon the media shifted the focus of discussion on the still ongoing attacks from the film to an all-out assault on Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for his temerity in attacking as "disgraceful" the administration's initial apologetic response to the attacks on the embassies.

Couldn't have said it better myself. Here's more about the imaginary world that US foreign policy elites inhabit:
Until September 11, 2001, the US foreign policy elite was of the opinion that the chief threat to US national security was the fact the US was a "hyperpower". That is, the chief threat to the US was the US itself.

After September 11, the US decided the main threat to the US was "terror". The perpetrators of terrorism were rarely mentioned, and when they were they were belittled as "marginal forces".

Then president George W. Bush imagined a world where the actual enemies of the US were marginal forces in Islam. He then determined - based on nothing - that the masses of the Muslim world from Gaza to Iraq to Afghanistan and beyond were simply Jeffersonian democrats living under the jackboot.

If freed from tyranny, they would become liberal democrats nearly indistinguishable from regular Americans.

With President Barack Obama's inauguration, the imaginary world inhabited by the American foreign policy elite shifted again. Obama and his advisers agree that jihadist Islam is the predominant force in the Muslim world. But in their imaginary world, jihadist Islam is a good thing for America.

Hence, Turkish Prime Minister Recip Erdogan is Obama's closest confidante in the Middle East despite his transformation of Turkey from a pro-Western secular republic into a pro-Iranian Islamic republic in which secularists are jailed without trial for years.

Hence Israel - the first target of jihadist Islam's bid for global supremacy - is a strategic burden rather than an ally to the US.

Hence the US abandoned its most stalwart ally in the Arab world, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, and supported the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to power in the most strategically vital state in the Arab world.

Hence it supported a Libyan rebel force penetrated by al-Qa'ida.

Hence it is setting the stage for the reinstitution of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

It is impossible to know the thoughts that crossed Stevens's mind as he lay dying in Benghazi. But what is clear enough is that as long as imagination reigns supreme, freedom will be imperiled.

Failure of imagination led to two World Wars in the last century. Will America's feckless elites lead to its disappearance as a positive force or even defensive bulwark in this new millennium?

Not with the leadership of the current president & a Romney presidency will have trouble figuring out what to do as well.