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This morning, Rick Leventhal tweeted “BREAKING: law enf source: Hillary Clinton just left 9/11 ceremony w/medical episode, appeared to faint on way into van, helped by security” This isn’t a tweet from someone from the fever swamps. This report is from an accomplished correspondent who has covered everything from hurricanes to wars to campaign events.

If ever there was a morning when a politician would want to raise their public profile, this morning is it. That’s why it’s curious that Hillary is nowhere to be found, not even on Twitter. It’s more than a little justified to question whether Hillary’s health will prevent her from serving a full term at the level that’s required of presidents. At this point, it’s reasonable to question the Team Clinton doctors’ statements that she’s in good health.

If ever there was a person whose word shouldn’t be trusted, it’s Hillary’s. There’s no reason to think that Team Hillary’s medical team hasn’t been corrupted to the point that they’d say whatever she’d want them to say. The MSM is protecting her so it’s up to the RNC and, especially, the Trump campaign to make this a campaign issue. Clearly, Mrs. Clinton’s health is questionable. If ever there was a position that required a person in top physical and mental shape, it’s that of president of the United States, aka POTUS.

Fox News has now posted video of Leventhal’s report of Mrs. Clinton’s fainting spell:

The Democratic presidential nominee appeared to faint on her way into her van and had to be helped by her security, the source said. She was “clearly having some type of medical episode.” After more than an hour of radio silence, Clinton’s campaign issued a statement saying the former Secretary of State “felt overheated.”

“Secretary Clinton attended the September 11th Commemoration Ceremony for just an hour and thirty minutes this morning to pay her respects and greet some of the families of the fallen,” Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said. “During the ceremony, she felt overheated so departed to go to her daughter’s apartment, and is feeling much better.” But a witness told Fox News that Clinton stumbled off the curb, her “knees buckled” and she lost a shoe as she was helped into a van during her “unexpected early departure.”

Here’s the video of Leventhal’s report:

UPDATE II: Watch this video. That doesn’t look like Mrs. Clinton was overheated. It confirms she fainted.

It isn’t surprising that Donald Trump is an unhinged anti-war liberal with a passion for conspiracy theories. That’s been obvious for months. Saturday night, however, Trump the 9/11 Truther, made his first appearance on a debate stage. As a result of what Mr. Trump said, Medea Benjamin praised Mr. Trump, saying “It felt surreal to hear Donald Trump, the leading Republican contender for President, saying what we at CODEPINK have been shouting to the winds for 14 years now: that Bush and his cronies lied about WMDs, that the Iraq war was catastrophic, and that Bush never ‘kept us safe’ because 9/11 happened on his watch.”

This is a time for choosing for the so-called Republicans who support Trump. These Republicans can’t pretend that they’re patriots. They can’t pretend that they care about protecting the nation from terrorist attacks. They can’t tell us that they support Mr. Trump because they hate political correctness. They can’t even hide behind the fallacy that they support Mr. Trump because “he gets things done.”

The indisputable truth is that the thing bigger than Mr. Trump’s ego is the paranoia that fuels his truther beliefs. Here’s something Mr. Trump said that isn’t getting talked about enough:

TRUMP: How did he keep us safe when the World Trade Center — the World — excuse me. I lost hundreds of friends. The World Trade Center came down during the reign of George Bush. He kept us safe? That is not safe. That is not safe, Marco. That is not safe.
RUBIO: The World Trade Center came down because Bill Clinton didn’t kill Osama bin Laden when he had the chance to kill him. (APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: And George Bush– by the way, George Bush had the chance, also, and he didn’t listen to the advice of his CIA.

Mr. Trump couldn’t know that President Bush got information from the CIA on bin Laden, much less know whether President Bush refused to act on that intelligence. We know that it’s impossible for Mr. Trump to know this because that’s the type of intelligence that would get an SAP classification. We know that because of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Trump’s supporters need to ask themselves whether they’re supporting him because they thought he was a patriot who would change this nation’s direction or did they support Mr. Trump because they thought he was a liberal anti-war activist that’s praised by far left organizations like Code Pink? Five minutes into this video, Carl Higbie, a former Navy Seal, insists that ISIS will be gone within 2 years:

HIGBIE: I think we see ISIS gone within 2 years. We put 250,000 boots on the ground. I know people that that’s not a popular comment but we do what’s necessary. We set the threshold. We say ‘if you do this, we’ll do this’. You follow through.

Apparently, Mr. Higbie isn’t well-informed. All he has to do is watch this video to be better informed:

Mr. Higbie can forget about a Trump administration that will put 250,000 boots on the ground to defeat ISIS. Trump has repeatedly said that he’d farm US national security out to Putin. Trump said repeatedly that he wants Putin to take out ISIS. Though you can’t trust anything Mr. Trump says from one day to the next, there’s no question that he’s repeatedly said that he wants Putin to do our dirty work with regards to ISIS.

Anyone that supports a presidential candidate that sounds like an anti-war CODE PINK activist one minute, then says he’d get Vladimir Putin to take out ISIS isn’t thinking straight.

The legitimate question that the conservative blogosphere and the Twitterverse is asking is whether Trump will be hurt by skipping the GOP debate on Fox. While that’s a totally legitimate question, it isn’t the right question this time. The right question is why we’re putting up with this adolescent’s snotty attitude. Why would anyone think that Mr. Trump would listen to anyone? Further, how is Mr. Trump different on health care than the narcissist currently living in the White House?

It’s clear that Mr. Trump isn’t a conservative. At this point, that isn’t debatable so let’s move past that. I wrote this article Tuesday afternoon to highlight Mr. Trump’s recent statement to CBS News that he favors universal health care and that “the government” would pay for it. Here is Mr. Trump’s statement on why he won’t participate in Thursday night’s debate:

That’s his official statement. Here’s why he jumped ship:

  1. Mr. Trump isn’t a good debater. He’s much better on the stump when he can talk about how great he is or the YUGE leads he has in the latest gazillion polls.
  2. Mr. Trump will be pursued by the other networks.
  3. Mr. Trump prefers playing the victim card rather than answering tough questions.

The truth is that Mr. Trump’s temperament disqualifies him from getting serious consideration to be the next president of the United States. Frankly, it isn’t a stretch to watch Mr. Trump’s behavior and question whether he’s mentally stable enough to handle the pressures of being the leader of the free world.

Personally, the question for me isn’t whether his supporters will continue supporting him. My question is whether Mr. Trump’s supporters are as unstable as he is. At this point, I’m betting that the answer to that question is yes. They are as nutty as Mr. Trump is.

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When Ted Cruz didn’t criticize Donald Trump early in the campaign, conservatives, including myself, criticized him. Clearly, he had a well-thought out plan that he’s started implementing this past week. When he started talking about Donald Trump’s New York values, he must’ve known that Trump would attack viciously. When Trump invoked 9/11 during Thursday night’s debate, Sen. Cruz politely applauded the heroism of 9/11 first responders, firefighters and police officers.

Charles Krauthammer said that that was a low point for Cruz. It’s easy to conclude that if you’re looking at it from a debate-only maneuver. The truth is that Sen. Cruz baited Trump into this fight. The truth is that it’s a fight Trump can’t win. I don’t know that Cruz will win. Trump is hitting him hard, too. Still, Sen. Cruz is giving better than he’s getting. Catherine Frazier, Sen. Cruz’s campaign spokesperson, hinted that there’s plenty more criticism heading in Trump’s direction:

“The question is, do we want our future leadership to look like that of New York City’s?” she said. “Where the government mandates how much soda you can drink, where it is illegal to protect yourself with a firearm, and where its elected officials say that people who value unborn life aren’t welcome?”

“Or do we want our next president to embrace the values that get government our of the way, that reward hard work, that champion faith, family, and individual liberties?” Frazier continued. “There is no doubt that America wants more of the latter.”

Sen. Cruz’s ad, titled “Donald Trump on New York values – in his own words” uses Trump’s statements against him:

Cruz and Trump have engaged in a scripted dance where each pretends to like the other. With the Iowa Caucuses 2 weeks away, both men are throwing uppercuts, not jabs. Until now, Trump has gotten away with being a New York liberal. Saturday on Twitter, TriciaNC attacked Trump this way:

Good Grief! You even supported Democrat Charlie Crist over @MarcoRubio http://patriotupdate.com/donald-trumps-donations-to-democrats/ … tcot

Later, she chimed in with this shot:

You became so #prolife that you donated to Right To Life groups instead of PP and NARAL, right? Oops, your bad

Rick Tyler, the senior communications advisor to Sen. Cruz’s Jobs Growth and Freedom PAC, threw this shot at Trump:

In 2008, the Real Donald Trump gave $50,000 to the New York State Democratic Party #NYValues
Rick Tyler ?@rickwtyler The Real Donald Trump gave $41,000 to liberal Democrat Eliot Spitzer #NYValues

It’s official. The floodgates have opened. Mr. Trump had better get used to a steady barrage of specific criticisms of how he’s supported liberal politicians from Hillary Clinton to perverted former Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Glenn Beck jumped into the fight with this tweet:

Amanda Carpenter jumped into the fight with this tweet:

Amanda Carpenter Who supported the big bank bailouts? Trump. Trump. Trump. Not Cruz

Trump’s thin skin won’t let him continue taking this pounding without responding. If people couple his thin skin with his financial support for Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation and his vote for President Obama in 2008, it isn’t difficult to see Mr. Trump taking a sustained pounding. Lots of things can happen in the next 2 weeks.

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During the second segment of last night’s All Star Panel of Special Report, George Will made some news about Scott Walker. First, it’s important to preface Mr. Will’s information by saying he said, as he always does, that his wife works for Gov. Walker’s campaign. Second, A.B. Stoddard preceded Mr. Will’s opinions by saying she thought Gov. Walker was all but finished.

With that out of the way, Mr. Will said “Beyond that, because I’m sleeping with the campaign, I might as well give inside information. They have polls showing the following: among those in Iowa who have voted in the last caucus — these are actually people who don’t just talk to pollsters — he is ahead of Trump and with those real Republicans who’ve been to the last 2 Iowa caucuses, he’s in the lead.”

That doesn’t mean Gov. Walker will win the Iowa Caucuses. It doesn’t mean that Gov. Walker is leading outright, either. As Charles Krauthammer pointed out moments later, we don’t know if Trump will bring out a new batch of activists to the caucuses. That’s a distinct possibility, though it isn’t a certainty for Trump, either.

Still, the Iowa Caucuses aren’t like other presidential nominating events. Often times, these caucuses are held in people’s homes or at the local fire station or public school. Each of the caucus-goers has the potential to be called on to defend their upcoming vote. Theoretically speaking, if there’s a pair of caucus-goers who like Lindsey Graham, that might not meet the threshold of that precinct. That’s when those caucus-goers have the option to support another candidate.

Theoretically speaking again, if there’s a pair of caucus-goers who support Gov. Huckabee but there aren’t enough Huckabee supporters to meet the threshold, those 4 caucus-goers might support Gov. Walker. It’s possible that those 4 ‘second-choice’ supporters of Gov. Walker might tip things in Gov. Walker’s favor, helping him win the most delegates from that precinct.

That’s why it’s important to be people’s second choice if they’re supporting lower tier candidates initially. Those ‘second-choice’ voters might be the margin of victory in lots of precincts.

But I digress.

It’s quite possible that the Trump effect isn’t that big as the national polls suggest. I’m not disputing whether Trump is supported by lots of people. It’s apparent that he is. Still, national polls of adults that finally screen 350-375 likely GOP voters nationwide aren’t great predictors of electoral success. It’s one thing to show up at a Trump rally. It’s another thing to volunteer for Trump as a precinct captain, then organize call operations for Trump.

Gov. Walker’s GOTV operation knows this. They’ve been at his side for 3 elections in the last 4 years. Gov. Walker’s supporters will turn out.

That’s why I’m skeptical of Mr. Trump’s staying power.

A former supervisor of mine occasionally sends out videos or pictures to a group of friends. I’m fortunate to be part of that group. The videos and pictures are frequently about principles that this great nation was founded on. Sometimes, they’re about mocking trendy things that tear at the fabric of this great nation. This video doesn’t fit neatly into either of those categories. It fits into a category all its own:

This video fits into the category of ‘When America was great, America was good, too.’ In the course of my lifetime, I’ve seen a handful of people that I consider great Americans. Ronald Reagan sits atop that group. He isn’t alone. He’s joined by Billy Graham, Bob Hope, Red Skelton and John Wayne.

These men shared a compelling set of traits that’s in short supply these days. That set of traits are humility, modesty and a willingness to work together. It’s important to note that these heroes didn’t tolerate big egos or mean-spiritedness.

That’s why America was good when it was a great and prospering nation.

In a startling event, President Obama said that the US had eliminated Afghanistan as a source of terrorism:

In addition to his Alice-in-Wonderland declaration, President Obama said that US combat missions have finished. This is additional proof that the fastest way to end a war is to lose it. Regardless of President Obama’s sunny talk, the reality is that the terrorists have adapted. They haven’t given up the mission of creating a worldwide caliphate. They’ve just moved their training and planning bases from Afghanistan to another location.

In the days after 9/11, someone stated publicly that 9/11 was the day that terrorists had declared war on the United States. Rudy Giuliani corrected the person, saying that the terrorists had been at war with us for years, possibly decades, and that 9/11 was just the day that we joined that fight.

Similarly, the terrorists’ threat hasn’t ended just because President Obama held a press conference saying that the terrorists no longer posed a threat. The terrorists have a say in the matter, too. In fact, they’ll have a bigger say in the matter than President Obama will have.

That isn’t meant as disrespectful. It’s just that President Obama leaves office in 2 years. At that point, he won’t play the role of principle decision maker. That said, many of the terrorists will still be around 3 years from now. They’ll still have a say in the matter.

President Obama’s statements are either proof that he’s exceptionally arrogant or they’re proof that he’s buried his head in the sand on this issue. That isn’t good. We need a commander-in-chief who is tuned into reality. We need a commander-in-chief who isn’t afraid to see what he sees.

Right now, we don’t have that type of commander-in-chief.

Dianne Feinstein’s op-ed is a tortured attempt to rationalize the Democrats’ last attempt to throw mud at President Bush. It’s time to expose Sen. Feinstein’s tortured logic.

In the wake of 9/11, we were desperate to bring those responsible for the brutal attacks to justice. But even that urgency did not justify torture. The United States must be held to a higher standard than our enemies, yet some of our actions did not clear that bar.

When people’s lives are at stake, every tactic must be on the table. Protecting people’s lives must always be a higher priority than living up to an imaginary international standard for polite societies. What Sen. Feinstein and the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee just said is that protecting people is less important than living up to an imaginary international image.

Thank God the president’s oath doesn’t give him that luxury. His oath is to protect the United States. Period.

Thankfully, Ralph Peters’ op-ed sets Sen. Feinstein and the Democrats serving on the Senate Intelligence Committee straight:

As for those supposedly horrendous actions taken by CIA personnel to convince blood-encrusted terrorists that cooperation might be the wisest course, they may have been harsh, but the times and our enemies were and are immeasurably harsher. But torture? What the Islamic State and its ilk do to their captives is torture. They shrink from nothing. We shrink from the thought of a terrorist gasping for breath.

Harsh interrogation techniques don’t equal torture. Any nation that’s squeamish about making life a living hell for terrorists won’t live a peaceful existence. Democrats insist that ‘we’re better than that.’ Here’s a question for Sen. Feinstein and her fellow Democrats: What’s better than protecting American lives?

Here’s how Col. Peters took Sen. Feinstein and the Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats to the woodshed:

Senator Feinstein and her supporters argue that the American people have a “right to know,” but they don’t know the American people. Living too long in a bubble with fellow members of the cultural elite, they have no sense of how the average American feels about terrorists who fly passenger aircraft into skyscrapers or who gleefully behead innocent captives in video clips.

Far from being mortified by water-boarding or sleep deprivation (for working Americans sleep deprivation is a normal state of affairs from holding down two jobs and multiple shifts to feed their families during the Reign of Obama), the folks I know back home in the Pennsylvania coal towns would skin terrorists alive then get out the salt shaker. My people weren’t upset by water-boarding. They were upset—infuriated—by the collapse of the Twin Towers and the deaths of 3,000 Americans.

The Pennsylvanians Col. Peters described in his op-ed are clear-thinking people living in the real world. These Pennsylvanians have their priorities straight. As I said earlier, protecting people’s lives must always be America’s highest priority. Sen. Feinstein and the other Democrats serving on the Intelligence Committee apparently think that we’re living in a peaceful world. When barbarians with a seventh century mindset attacked the United States, they gave the United States permission to be more barbaric than the terrorists were. (Think fighting fire with fire or all’s fair in love and war.)

It’s time for the Democrats to recognize that the barbarians haven’t stopped thinking barbaric thoughts. They’ve changed tactics but they’re still just as barbaric as al-Qa’ida was. That’s just the cold, hard truth.

This transcript from Sunday’s Fox News Sundays shows how Chris Wallace caught Xavier Becerra’s spin. Here’s a perfect example of that:

WALLACE: Congressman Becerra, you have been talking about the committee as a kangaroo court, your words. First of all, how do you know that before it even begins meeting? And do you really believe that all the questions about Benghazi have been answered?

HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS CHAIRMAN XAVIER BECERRA, D-CALIF.: Well, what leads us to believe it could be a kangaroo court or a smokescreen from having to deal with the real issues Americans want to deal with like job creation and so forth, is that we’ve done these investigations some seven times, five of the investigations coming out of five of the House Republican committees.

Rep. Becerra’s logic is that the Select Committee on Benghazi is a kangaroo court because Republicans won’t change the subject to the topics Democrats prefer talking about. Wallace called Becerra and the Democrats out for this spin because Democrats want people to be prejudiced against the committee before the committee has met.

This exchange is telling:

WALLACE: Let me ask you a question and maybe you can answer it for me. Where was the president? And what did he do the night of the attack?

BECERRA: I believe the president was at the White House and he was in communication with some of the folks with his administration in and around time of the attacks.

Becerra insisted earlier that we knew everything we needed to know because there’d been in his words, 7 different investigations. Clearly, those investigations weren’t proficient because the best Becerra could do when asked about President Obama’s actions during the terrorist attack was say what he believed, not what he knew. That’s rather instructive. Compare Becerra’s answer with Chairman Gowdy’s reply:

WALLACE: Do you — do you know, Congressman Gowdy, where the president was and what he was doing during the seven hours of the attack?

GOWDY: No, sir, I do not. Nor do I know what communication if any he had with Secretary of State Clinton, nor can I tell you why we were still in Benghazi despite the fact that there was an escalation in violence in the months leading up, nor do I know whether or not the president called any of our allies in the region and said, can you get any assets to Benghazi? We’re under attack. I have more questions than answers despite the fact that committees of Congress have looked at this attack for 19 months now.

Chairman Gowdy’s honest response highlights the important things we still don’t know about the Obama administration’s decisions. Still, no exchange caught Rep. Becerra than this one:

WALLACE: Wait. Wait. You keep pointing to that. We didn’t find out. and they have subpoenaed all the State Department documents — excuse me, sir — they had subpoenaed all the State Department documents, and it took until last week for the administration finally to release the Ben Rhodes e-mail in which two days before Susan Rice appeared on this show, he was suggesting that she’d say that it was because of the video, not because of a policy failure.

BECERRA: You got juiced (ph). You know that that email shows nothing new. It simply — WALLACE: I don’t agree with that. I think it shows something dramatically new. It shows that despite what the White House — it shows despite what the White House has been saying for the last year and a half, it shows that inside the White House, they were telling Susan Rice what to say.

That’s what I’d call a classic slapdown. Saying that the email didn’t showing anything new is Democrat spin. Saying that the email showed “something dramatically new” is the truth. This ‘closing argument’ by Chairman Gowdy must’ve stung, too:

GOWDY: Yes, which is exactly why I said I will never and have never sent out any fund-raising literature trying to raise money in the grief and tragedy of four dead Americans. I have asked my colleagues to follow suit.

But my friends and colleague Tommy Cotton from Arkansas did a magnificent job on the House floor of pointing out the duplicity and hypocrisy of Democrats all of a sudden concluding that certain things are above politics. They raise money on Sandy Hook. They raise money on Katrina. They raise money on Iraq and Afghanistan.

So, for me, I will not raise money on Benghazi just like I never raised money using crime victims when I was a prosecutor and I’ve asked my colleagues to follow suit. But it would be helpful, it would be helpful if our colleagues on other side of the aisle did not have selective amnesia when it comes to what’s appropriate to raise money off of and what is not.

After watching that closing argument, I’m reminded of G. Gordon Liddy’s comment that he “wouldn’t fight a battle of wits with an unarmed man.” Clearly, Becerra was outmatched against Chairman Gowdy.

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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.

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