Archive for the ‘Election 2012’ Category
After reading this part of this article, it’s clear that Mitt Romney shouldn’t be the GOP presidential nominee:
He said Mr. Obama and Clinton would have America “walk back from red lines…lead from behind…[carry] a small stick.” He ticked through the world’s hotspots: Libya, Iraq, Ukraine, Iran. “Terrorists are not on the run,” he said. In a “post-Obama era,” he argued, the next president will need to use economic and diplomatic strength to shape events around the world and “make the world safer for freedom.”
Mitt’s right that President Obama’s red lines are seen by President Putin as being more of a rose color than red. Mitt’s wrong that diplomacy is what’s needed to shape world events, especially with terrorists and Putin.
What’s needed with President Putin is a combination of supplying Ukraine with arms to defend themselves against President Putin’s expansionism and the US announcing plans that they’re building a natural gas pipeline to Ukraine. Couple those things with hitting reset on Hillary’s reset button. That isn’t done with a cheesy-looking red button. It’s done by putting US missiles in Poland, Romania and throughout the Baltic States. That doesn’t mean going to war with Russia. It simply means confronting Putin’s expansionist initiatives. Better yet, it means acting proactively to prevent Russia from attempting to expand its influence.
President Putin is acting like a superpower. The West’s mistake is in treating Putin’s Russia like they’re a superpower. They aren’t. They never will be. Their economy can’t produce the wealth they need to compete with an economic and military superpower.
This paragraph highlights what went wrong with Mitt’s 2012 campaign:
On the third principle, he said, “We’re an abundant nation. We have the resources” to lift people out of poverty. He didn’t say precisely how he would accomplish that without increasing the size of the government, but he argued that Mr. Obama’s policies have not worked. “They work for a campaign, but they don’t get the job done,” he said. Only conservative principles like a focus on family formation and education, he added, would “end the scourge of poverty in this great land.”
That’s exceptionally timid. Just blast it out there. Capitalism is the only economic system that lifts families out of grinding poverty. Mitt’s biggest personal weakness is that he’s an apologetic capitalist. What he needs is a lesson like this from Milton Friedman:
Republicans need a candidate who a) isn’t bashful about being a capitalist, b) loves explaining the virtues of capitalism vs. the tyranny of collectivism and c) highlights the times where capitalism has improved people’s lives.
In 2015-16, that means highlighting how Obama’s EPA has hurt the coal, the natural gas and oil industries and how private citizens and local governments have made life significantly better for people. Highlight how North Dakota’s state policies have helped the Bakken lead a fossil fuel comeback that led to cheap gas prices. The GOP presidential nominee needs to remind people of the Democrats that said we “can’t drill our way to cheap gas prices.’
Mitt won’t make that case. That’s why he’s wrong.
Technorati: Mitt Romney, National Security, Terrorists, Vladimir Putin, Reset Button, Russia, Baltic States, Election 2012, The Bakken, Gas Prices, Pipelines, Republicans, RNC Winter Meetings, Election 2016
In 2007-08, then-Sen. Obama campaigned as America’s first post-partisan presidential candidate. In 2004, he said he envisioned a nation not composed of red states and blue states. He envisioned a return to the US becoming the United States. President Obama lied to us. Here’s what we got instead:
Matt Lewis nailed it in this article:
[The Keystone XL Pipeline]project has been mired in controversy and delay for years. But it actually has supporters on both sides of the aisle, including labor unions on the left and free-market conservatives on the right. It’s largely just liberal environmentalists who are pressuring Democrats to hold things up.
That’s more proof that President Obama earned the title of being the “Most-Partisan President” in US history. He’s done more to stand in the way of progress than Jimmy Carter could’ve done in 4 presidential terms.
Here’s the part that Lewis especially got right:
Obama has the ability to rhetorically present both sides of every issue. But he also has a habit of ultimately coming down on the left side. He’s a liberal at heart. But there’s more to it than that. Obama fans are loathe to admit it, but the president can be a divider, and an obstructionist.
It’s foolish to think that President Obama plays things straight down the middle. That isn’t him. He’s a hardline leftist who hates compromise. We’ve seen, in fact, through his delaying the employer mandate and his executive actions on immigration that he’s mostly an autocrat. He isn’t a statesman or a diplomat. He’s a hardline leftist autocrat at heart.
But Obama’s own State Department produced an environmental impact statement long ago green-lighting the project. “The central finding in the draft environmental impact statement,” The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza told NPR’s Terry Gross last year, “was, if you don’t build Keystone, the Canadians will sell this stuff anyway, they’ll build pipelines to their east coast, to their west coast, and they’ll send it to the Gulf of Mexico via rail, and by the way, sending oil by rail releases a whole lot more greenhouse gas emissions than putting it in a pipeline.”
I knew that President Obama’s initial explanation for delaying the Keystone XL Pipeline project was dishonest. Pundits at the time said it was just to get past the 2012 election without upsetting the environmental activist wing of the Democratic Party. I immediately said that he wasn’t worried about upsetting the environmental activists in the Democratic Party. I said that he did it because he’s an environmental activist at heart.
President Obama has given us ample proof that he’s the “Most-Partisan President” in US history. It’s up to us to believe what our eyes have seen.
In 2012, the DFL campaigned on the promises of taxing “the rich” to pay for “middle class property tax relief” and to increase funding on education. By April of 2013, then-Speaker Thissen issued this statement. Here’s the heart of that statement:
The House DFL Education Budget invests in what works: fully funding all-day, every day kindergarten and investing $50 million in early learning childhood scholarships. All-day K and early childhood education are proven tools to improve test scores, close the achievement gap, and prepare students for future academic success. The House DFL Education Budget also increases the basic funding formula for K-12 schools by four percent over the biennium, an increase of over $315 million, or $209 per pupil. The school shift payback will be included in the House Taxes bill.
“The House DFL education plan will boost our economy for generations to come,” said Representative Paul Marquart (DFL–Dilworth), Chair of the House Education Finance Committee. “Building the world’s best workforce will bring jobs, new innovation and economic growth, but to get there we have to invest in efforts and strategies with a proven record of success, set benchmarks, and help our schools succeed while also holding them accountable.”
The House DFL Education Budget also contains a new strategy to close the revenue equity gap and reduce property taxes. The bill enhances the equity formula guaranteeing all districts at least $300 per student of equity and referendum revenue, and raises and indexes operating referendum levy equalization factors to reduce property taxes.
Notice how Rep. Thissen’s statement predicted that the DFL’s “education budget” would “reduce property taxes.” Thissen’s prediction was spin, a DFL specialty. I wrote this post to highlight how the St. Cloud School Board raised property taxes:
St. Cloud school district has imposed its largest tax levy increase in six years for 2015. The district’s property-tax levy will increase by $3.3 million, or 14.75 percent, to nearly $26 million. The school board voted unanimously Thursday night to approve the 2015 levy.
District officials say the increase is needed to pay for a spate of improvements to facilities.
I wrote this post to highlight the Princeton School Board raised property taxes:
The Princeton School Board, in a split vote on Dec. 16, increased the school district tax levy by 25.16 percent for taxes payable 2015 to fund the 2015-16 school year.
This was a departure from the board’s originally proposed 33.87 percent hike. The total levy will be a little more than $6.091 million, a $300,000 increase over this year’s levy. The original proposal would have increased the levy $724,000.
Taxing the rich didn’t provide middle class property tax relief. It just raised taxes on “the rich.”
Check back later today to learn more about how the DFL lies on other issues.
In 2012, the Republican Party of Minnesota (RPM) accused the DFL of ignoring Minnesota state campaign finance laws when it filed a complaint with the Campaign Finance Disclosure Board. Here’s part of the Board’s Findings of Fact:
Lit Happens is a political media consulting company based in Minneapolis, MN operating as a sole proprietorship of Vic Thorstenson. Lit Happens was retained by the Senate Caucus Party Unit to design, produce, and distribute communications advocating the elections of Vicki Jensen, Alan Oberloh, and Tom Saxhaug.
The Pivot Group, Inc. (Pivot) is a political media consulting company based in Arlington, VA. Pivot was retained by the Senate Caucus Party Unit to design, produce, and distribute communications advocating for the elections of Jim Carlson, Kevin Dahle, Kent Eken, Melisa Franzen, Laurie McKendry, and Matt Schmit.
Compass Media Group, Inc. (Compass) is a political media consulting company based in Chicago, IL. Compass was retained by the Senate Caucus Party Unit to design, produce, and distribute communications advocating for the election of Greg Clausen, Alice Johnson, Susan Kent, and Lyle Koenen or the defeat of their opponents.
The reason why this is important is because these expenditures weren’t attributed to the “Senate Caucus Party Unit.” The disclaimer on the mailers said that they were paid for by “the DFL Central Committee Party Unit.” Here’s what happened:
Lit Happens either took photos during the candidate’s door knocking event with the Senate Caucus Party Unit or when the candidate was in St. Paul on other business. In each case, someone acting on behalf of the Senate Caucus Party Unit contacted the candidate or a representative of the candidate to arrange for the candidate to be at a location where Vic Thorstenson would take the photographs. The candidates followed all direction, if any, provided by the photographer.
In other words, DFL Senate candidates worked with the Senate Caucus Party Unit on mailers sent out by the “DFL Central Committee Party Unit” and paid for by the “Senate Caucus Party Unit.” This information is important, too:
In the cases of those candidates about whom literature pieces were prepared by Compass and Pivot, Senate Caucus Party Unit campaign staff contacted the candidates or the candidates’ campaign managers or other representatives to arrange schedules for the photo shoots with the photographers. Each candidate agreed to a schedule involving multiple locations for the photo shoots and arrived at the specified starting location at the scheduled time.
In connection with the photo shoots taken by Compass and Pivot, the candidates were asked to bring wardrobe changes so that different looks could be obtained in different settings. Each candidate who was asked to bring wardrobe changes did so. All candidates followed the photographers’ directions regarding wardrobe changes and other matters relating to the photo shoots and fully participated in the photo shoots.
That’s what’s known as coordination and it’s illegal under state and federal election laws. Coordination between candidates and state party units or independent expenditure groups is prohibited. Of the 13 candidates that coordinated their activities with the DFL Central Committee Party Unit and/or the Senate Caucus Party Unit, 11 were elected. That gave the DFL a majority in the Senate.
In short, the DFL paid a $100,000 fine in exchange for their Senate majority. I’m betting that Alida Messinger, Mark Dayton and Tom Bakk think that that was a wise investment. Thanks to the DFL’s lawlessness, they passed a horrific budget that benefitted the DFL’s special interest allies in the Twin Cities but did little or nothing to help the regular folks in outstate Minnesota.
I’m betting that the DFL’s ends-justify-the-means attitude towards elections won’t play well in 2016. The DFL’s willingness to do whatever it takes to acquire and maintain power isn’t an attractive attribute.
Joe Lisbon’s LTE is typical progressive chanting points stuff. Lisbon apparently put little thought into his LTE because it’s reciting the same stuff for the gazillionth time. Here’s the opening of his LTE:
Republican opposition to Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, has become an embarrassment for the GOP, and conservatives seeking political advantage need to fire up their donor base for fundraising.
Thsi is of the same tone as saying this is a political witch hunt, that there’s been a gazillion investigations into Benghazi, that there’s nothing new to learn. If they kept it pithy, they’d say it’s time to move onto something the American people cared about.
First, the “Republican base” is fired up and then some. It’s been fired up for over a year. Poll after poll shows how the GOP is on the right side of the enthusiasm gap. That’s why professional political predictors like Charlie Cook, Michael Barone and Larry Sabato think Republicans will have another strong election cycle.
Right after the 2012 elections, Nancy Pelosi started talking about retaking the majority in the House. From time to time, you’d hear those mumblings resurface. Then came the IRS scandal, the DOJ spying on reporters scandal and the VA Hospital scandal. That’s in addition to the Benghazi scandal.
If you’re going to write an LTE, you shouldn’t put this BS in it:
The GOP says there is a coverup of internal discussions of whether to call the attack “terror” or “terrorism” because the White House did not want to admit al-Qaida was behind the attack. Except, of course, nobody has shown al-Qaida was behind it, nor have they claimed credit.
There’a huge problem with that statement. Within the first 24 hours of the start of the attack, the Libyan president said that Ansar al-Shariah, an affialiate of al-Qa’ida, had taken credit for the precision terrorist attack.
Forgive me but the Libyan president is definitely a somebody.
Gen. Robert Lovell testified that it was clear it was a terrorist attack:
Lovell said that as intelligence was streaming into command, it became “quickly evident” to AFRICOM that terrorists, namely Ansar al-Sharia, were behind the attack.
“What we did know quite early on was that this was a hostile action,” he said. “This was no demonstration gone terribly awry.”
In other words, the spin coming from Jay Carney and Susan Rice was BS from the earliest moments of the attack.
This Republican kangaroo court’s purpose is just to make misleading or false political headlines about Clinton and Obama. I doubt there is a Fox News Channel viewer who even recalls that Benghazi occurred in the wake of Cairo. There were eight demonstrations on the same day at other U.S. embassies, 40 worldwide in major cities — which, at one point, were thought to be about an Internet video.
As someone who watches Fox News, I know that the military should’ve been put on high alert on 9/10 Egyptian time because the Blind Sheikh’s son announced that he was going to attempt to take the Cairo embassy staff hostage, then barter those hostages to get his father, the planner of the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, released.
Not only do Fox News viewers know about the other demonstrations but they know that there never were any protests outside the Benghazi compound. We know that because of Gen. Lovell’s testimony and Greg Hicks’ dramatic testimony. This statement is disgusting but predictable:
No one inside the Fox bubble cares about the millions spent on the 54 repeal votes on Obamacare, or the millions spent on closing down the government, or that Mitt Romney on the day of the attack was grandstanding about Benghazi for political advantage before he had the facts of what happened.
Mitt Romney’s statement, the one which he’s accused of grandstanding about, was a reaction to the administration’s statement:
“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims, as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”
Jay Carney repeatedly took to the podium, saying that intelligence was still coming in. Later, Carney said that the administration’s story changed as that intel came in. Apparently, Mr. Lisbon doesn’t think the administration was grandstanding when it issued a statement about the video within an hour of the start of the Cairo protests.
We know that President Obama thought this wasn’t a big deal because he never went to the White House Situation Room that night. We don’t know whether he received hourly updates as the terrorist attack continued. That isn’t to say he didn’t. It’s just that we don’t have proof of President Obama receiving updates.
Lisbon is a political hack who does what he’s told. This closing paragraph is proof of that:
At this point, anyone who is flogging this as a scandal has BDDS, Benghazi Delusional Derangement Syndrome. The only way to keep these shenanigans from happening is to vote Republicans out of office.
Shame on Mr. Lisbon for reading the Democrats’ chanting points rather than thinking for himself.
Kirsten Powers column is devastating to Democrats attempting to paint the Republicans’ investigation into the Benghazi terrorist attack:
“Diversion, subterfuge, Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi. …Why aren’t we talking about something else?” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi complained last week.
Here’s why: An e-mail has surfaced from a deputy national security adviser to Susan Rice on how to characterize the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on Sunday news programs. He advised Rice, then ambassador to the U.N., that her primary goal was to “underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.” The e-mail was redacted when the most-transparent-administration-in-history provided Benghazi documents to Congress earlier, but was found through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Democrats have criticized the Benghazi investigation because it’s been a disaster from start to finish. There isn’t a part of this story that casts President Obama or Hillary Clinton in a positive light.
First, the State Department looks terrible because they ignored Ambassador Christopher Stevens’ repeated requests for additional security in Benghazi. This wasn’t a systemic failure, as the Accountability Review Board’s report said. This disaster happened because Hillary Clinton’s leadership was missing throughout this disaster.
Next, the Obama administration’s national security team looks terrible because they didn’t pre-position the military so they could’ve responded to terrorist attacks, which they knew were imminent.
Third, the Obama administration’s political team looks terrible because Ben Rhodes’ email highlights the fact that their first priority was hiding the disaster. Their first priority wasn’t to admit that theirajor mistake got 4 American patriots needlessly murdered.
Fourth, the “most-transparent-administration-in-history” kept lying for weeks after the initial pre-planned terrorist attack.
Democrats are furious that the House will hold a vote to create a select committee to investigate the administration’s response to the attack in Libya that left four Americans dead. They know this won’t end well.
That’s the understatement of the year.
Last week, Fox News’ Bret Baier asked former national security spokesman Tommy Vietor how the administration came up with its video tale. Vietor replied that there were “guys quoted in newspapers saying (the video is why) they were there.” So much for operating on the best intelligence.
D-u-u-u-d-e, that’s too much BS. That flimsy story shouldn’t be believed.
White House officials brought this House investigation on themselves. They could have avoided it by simply telling the truth. Unfortunately, that was too much to ask.
Dishonest people deserve to be investigated when their actions get people killed.
Technorati: House Select Committee, Investigations, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, President Obama, Tommy Vietor, Susan Rice, Accountability, National Security, Benghazi Terrorist Attack, Accountability Review Board, Democrats, Election 2012, Election 2016
In this short 95-second video, Brit Hume utterly demolishes Jane Harman’s attempt to explain away the Benghazi talking points from Ben Rhodes:
Here’s the transcript of Hume’s exchange with Harman:
HARMAN: I would call that an intelligence failure. And, by the way, this was an intelligence failure. But it wasn’t a conspiracy. And there aren’t aliens in Area 51 and Vince Foster wasn’t murdered. And it’s time to move on and focus on the real problems in Libya and other problems that affect the —
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You’re right, there wasn’t a conspiracy in the United States to mount the Benghazi attack. The question — that’s not the question. The question was whether in the aftermath of the attack, when the administration sent its U.N. ambassador out to explain it to everybody, and she did so falsely, that there wasn’t a conspiracy to create the false talking points that she used?
I’m not talking about the CIA talking points. I’m talking about the talking points used on that program that day which were monumentally misleading and were — and have since been shown to be false and based on no intelligence of any consequence that we know of.
HARMAN: All right. And my answer to that is no, there wasn’t a conspiracy. They didn’t turn out to be accurate.
HUME: Well, how did it happen? Well, how did it happen?
HARMAN: I think that people made at the time their best guess at the facts.
HUME: Wait a minute. But where did the idea that the video had anything to do with Benghazi come from?
HARMAN: Where did it come from?
HARMAN: I think it came from people who weren’t sure about it.
HUME: Well, can you identify anybody? Can you identify any CIA information? Can you identify any source?
WALLACE: Ben Rhodes talked about the video or the movie five times in this memo. Only five times.
HARMAN: I — my view is, having been around at the time, that this not deliberately misleading. It turned out to be wrong but it was not deliberately misleading.
Harman looks foolish in this exchange because she’s spinning the administration’s chanting points. Responding to Hume’s question of how the anti-Islam video became part of Ambassador Rice’s, Harman said “I think that people made at the time their best guess at the facts.”
That’s stunning. Harman essentially admitted that the administration was making this stuff up. Harman essentially admitted that they weren’t relying on hardcopy intel from Libya from US intelligence assets stationed in Libya.
There’s more to this than just not telling the truth that Sunday morning after the terrorist attack that killed 4 American patriots. It’s that the story was used repeatedly by President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Jay Carney in a variety of settings.
Harman’s saying that this was just a case of people making “at the time their best guess at the facts” isn’t sufficient. The reality is that this administration, if they can be believed, repeatedly relied on people making “at the time their best guess at the facts.”
Saying that’s an implausable explanation is understatement.
With Benghazi, there isn’t a clever twist like in the movies. What happened in the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Benghazi is that the administration lied through its teeth so it didn’t look utterly incompetent heading into the final stretch of the campaign.
Finally, Brig. Gen. Lovell testified this week that he watched events unfold in real time and that there wasn’t a protest about an anti-Islamic video. Compare that with the fact that hours after the attack, Hillary issued a statement blaming the anti-Islamic video starting a protest that suddenly turned violent.
If I’m forced to choose which person to trust, I’ll trust the chief intelligence officer for Africom over the politically-motivated Secretary of State 100% of the time.
Bret Baier’s interview with Tommy Vietor, the former spokesman for the NSA, is feisty but it’s more informative than feisty. Here’s a brief clip of the interview:
This sentence jumps off the page:
VIETOR: He told Tom Donnilon and his joint chiefs and his SecDef to begin moving all military assets into the region.
This is significant because of what was happening throughout northern Africa, which Andy McCarthy highlights beautifully in this article:
As we have covered here before (see, e.g., here), the release and return to Egypt of the Blind Sheik, Omar Abdel Rahman (whom I prosecuted in the Nineties), has been a cause célèbre in Egypt for many years. On September 10, 2012, the day before rioting at the U.S. embassy in Cairo, an Egyptian weekly, El Fagr, reported that several jihadist organizations, including the Blind Sheik’s group (Gamaat al-Islamia, or the Islamic Group) and al-Qaeda emir Ayman al-Zawahiri’s group (Egyptian Islamic Jihad), were threatening to burn the American embassy in Cairo to the ground. The promised action against the embassy was an effort to extort the release of Abdel Rahman and other jihadists jailed by the United States.
Apparently, the administration didn’t take the Blind Sheikh’s son’s threat seriously. That’s apparent because, according to Mr. Vietor, more than 24 hours later, President Obama still hadn’t moved military assets into the region.
That’s incredible for multiple reasons. First, it’s the anniversary of 9/11. That alone is reason to preposition troops and put them on high alert. Second, the Blind Sheikh’s sone threatened to raid the Cairo embassy and take hostages in an attempt to free his terrorist father. Third, the riots at the Cairo Embassy happened as predicted, with the hostage-taking the only thing that didn’t happen. Fourth, the distance between Cairo and Benghazi is only 400 miles by air. A flight that distance takes less than an hour in the Navy’s and Air Force’s fastest jets.
This begs a totally new set of questions that haven’t been asked yet.
First, why didn’t President Obama and Secretary Clinton take threats seriously enough to preposition troops in the eastern Mediterranean Sea? Second, why didn’t President Obama order military assets be moved into the Mediterranean when the Cairo attacks happened as predicted? They started 4 hours before the initial attack on Benghazi. Third, why didn’t President Obama head to the Situation Room the minute the first reports of the Cairo riots happened? According to Mr. Vietor, President Obama never went to the Situation Room.
President Obama and his administration spent an entire convention bragging about what a great national security president he was. Vice President Biden said that “bin Laden is dead and Detroit is alive.” Then-Sen. Kerry said “Ask Osama bin Laden if he’s better off now than he was 4 years ago.”
The reality is that President Obama, Secretary of Defense Panetta and Secretary Clinton didn’t position military assets in the Mediterranean. Thanks to their inaction and inattentiveness, 4 American patriots were murdered by an emboldened group of terrorists. Those terrorists still haven’t been brought to justice.
It’s time we got a real commander-in-chief who worries more about Las Vegas fundraisers than he worried about 4 American patriots who were murdered.
Technorati: Tommy Vietor, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, Situation Room, Cairo Protests, Benghazi Terrorist Attack, Christopher Stevens, Blind Sheikh, 9/11, John Kerry, Joe Biden, Bret Baier, Fundraiser, Election 2012
This morning on At Issue With Tom Hauser, Mr. Hauser raised the question about the DFL getting fined $100,000 for coordinating campaign activities between the candidates and DFL campaign committees. Hauser pointed out that “the DFL paid the fine without admitting wrongdoing.” (That’s fine. They don’t have to admit it. Everyone knows what they did was illegal.)
For his part, Andy Brehm nailed it by saying that this is Campaign 101, that everyone who’s ever been involved in a campaign knows that it’s illegal for candidates to coordinate their efforts with outside expenditure organizations, PACs or with a party’s campaign committee.
When it was Ember Reichgott-Junge’s turn, she said that “campaign finance laws are too complicated” before launching into the rules governing independent expenditure organizations, superPACs and other special interest efforts.
Saying it was a wimpy, insulting answer is understatement. While there’s many rules and regulations about reporting requirements, transparency requirements and other considerations, that’s irrelevant to this discussion. The only thing that’s relevant to this discussion is that DFL campaign committees knowingly violated campaign finance law by coordinating advertising with a dozen DFL state senatorial campaigns.
What’s also insulting about Reichgott-Junge’s statement is that it played into the ruling that the DFL campaign committees didn’t admit to wrongdoing. Like I wrote earlier, they didn’t need to. What they did has been illegal since Watergate. Reichgott-Junge knows this. She’s run for election. She can draw on her own experience.
She knows that the DFL was willing to do anything, legal or illegal, to have a DFL governor and DFL majorities in the House and Senate. They’re perfectly happy paying this fine. That’s a tiny price for ramming the entire DFL special interest wish list down Minnesota’s throats.
Does anyone think Tom Bakk lost sleep over this? Is it more likely that he laughed when he heard the ruling?
From the start, the Obama administration insisted that the Benghazi talking points that UN Ambassador Susan Rice relied on were written almost exclusively by the CIA. According to this article, that story was pure fiction. What’s more is that the White House and the State Department knew it was fiction:
State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland raised specific objections to this paragraph drafted by the CIA in its earlier versions of the talking points:
“The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al-Qa’ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya. These noted that, since April, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador’s convoy. We cannot rule out the individuals has previously surveilled the U.S. facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks.”
In an email to officials at the White House and the intelligence agencies, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland took issue with including that information because it “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either? Concerned …”
In other words, Victoria Nuland knew that the initial talking points from the “IC” included references to al-Qa’ida and the “five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi.” Ms. Nuland knew that those references were damaging to the State Department and this administration. That’s why she insisted that that information be deleted from the talking points.
Ms. Nuland was right. Members of Congress likely would’ve used the information to expose President Obama and Hillary Clinton for being inattentive about terrorism in general and Benghazi in specific.
It’s difficult to say that President Obama and Hillary Clinton paid attention to terrorism when they’re defending their decision to cut security forces in the aftermath of the previous terrorist attacks in Benghazi. It’s especially difficult to defend their decisions in light of the multiple frantic requests for more security troops.
These paragraphs are particularly disturbing:
In an email dated 9/14/12 at 9:34 p.m. — three days after the attack and two days before Ambassador Rice appeared on the Sunday shows, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes wrote an email saying the State Department’s concerns needed to be addressed.
“We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don’t want to undermine the FBI investigation. We thus will work through the talking points tomorrow morning at the Deputies Committee meeting.”
“The State Department’s concerns need to be addressed” is just a fancy way of saying the talking points must be rewritten to eliminate the information that makes this administration look bad.
Finally, this speaks for itself:
ABC News has obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the CIA to the final version distributed to Congress and to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice before she appeared on five talk shows the Sunday after that attack.
It isn’t accurate to say that the talking points weren’t “the best analysis of the IC” as Jay Carney and Hillary Clinton insisted. The talking points were the product of a massive State Department rewrite.