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This article is proof that Hillary Clinton is worried that her incompetence on foreign policy and national security matters will cost her the White House:

In recent weeks, as the standoff over Ukraine escalated, Hillary Clinton did something that she never did as secretary of State: She put considerable distance between herself and the president she served loyally for four years. While Barack Obama cautiously warned Vladimir Putin to back off his claims on Ukraine, Clinton rolled out a rhetorical cannon, comparing the Russian president’s moves to the seizure of territory by Adolf Hitler that set off World War II. Her comments were so harsh and controversial that she was forced to walk them back a bit, saying, “I’m not making a comparison, certainly, but I am recommending that we perhaps can learn from this tactic that has been used before.”

Clinton’s remarks appeared to be an indication of two things. One, she’s concerned enough about shoring up her reputation for toughness that she may indeed be thinking about running for president in 2016. Clinton offered up, in other words, a rare and enticing hint about the question that everyone in the politics game is asking these days. Undoubtedly she knows that the effort she led as secretary of State in 2009, an attempted “reset” of relations with Russia that included a new arms treaty, now looks naive in the face of Putin’s repudiation of Obama over Ukraine and his lack of cooperation on other issues, such as resolution of the Syrian civil war. Two, Clinton could be worried that by the time the next presidential season rolls around, what was once seen as one of Obama’s stronger points—foreign policy—could easily become a liability to whomever is seeking the Democratic nomination.

Hillary’s tough-as-nails image is just that — an image. It doesn’t have anything to do with reality. She played the fool on the world stage by handing Russia the now-infamous Reset Button:

She’s the one that announced the United States was reneging on its commitment to their allies in Poland and the Czech Republic. There’s no doubt that President Obama agreed with these policies. Still, there’s little doubt that Hillary thought these were the right decisions at the time.

Hillary is nothing if not a shrewd politician. She isn’t hesitating in throwing President Obama under the bus for being a pacifist. It’s apparent she thinks she has to look tough on the international stage. The best thing that Republican presidential candidates can do is question Hillary’s competence, highlighting her appeasement-first attitude with regards to Benghazi, her dovishness towards Iran and her naivete towards Putin’s Russia.

For all her supposed foreign policy expertise, she’s been wrong on almost as many national security issues as John Kerry, which is frightening considering he’s been making national security mistakes for almost 30 years.

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Just when President Obama, Vice President Biden, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton thought it couldn’t get worse, it did. This article provides the salt for these clowns’ open wounds:

First, Sarah Palin. In 2008, the Alaskan conservative warned that Putin was on the prowl. Quote: “After the Russian army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of moral indecision and equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.”

Wow. Mrs Palin not only got the country that Putin would threaten right, she also predicted the reason behind it. Obama’s “indecision and equivalence” over Iran, Egypt and, most importantly, Syria, has probably encouraged Putin to believe that there would be next-to-no Western response to an attack on Ukraine.

This was highly predictable. It’s only surprising to the children at Foggy Bottom and in the West Wing. They either didn’t see this coming or they didn’t care. History won’t award a gold star to any of these fools for their decisions prior to Russia’s invading Crimea. (A dunce’s cap for each is the better fit.)

Unfortunately for the Feckless Foursome, the humiliation doesn’t (and shouldn’t) stop there:

Second, Mitt Romney. Romney’s foreign policy approach was broadly mocked in 2012. The country was keen to withdraw from overseas conflict in the wake of Iraq and Afghanistan and Mitt’s vague neo-conservatism seemed out of step with the public mood. Sometimes, said the critics, it came off as something that his advisers were coaching him to say; a nod and a hint to AIPAC rather than a strongly held belief. Rachel Maddow concluded, “It’s not just that Romney is uninformed; it’s that he hasn’t figured out how to fake it.”

Romney confirmed the sceptics’ worst fears when he described Russia as America’s “number one geopolitical foe.” Barack Obama lashed out with some adolescent sass: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because. The Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”

Actually, people who lived through the 80′s are praying that we’d that type of leadership back. That was when Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John-Paul II brought down the Soviet Empire. That was when Jeane Kirkpatrick and Lech Walesa contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The Feckless Foursome didn’t notice or didn’t care that Putin still thinks that the collapse of the Soviet Union was “the collapse of the century“:

Mr Putin therefore went out of his way to extol the virtues of democracy and talk up Russia’s potential for foreign investment. He lamented, however, the collapse of the USSR in 1991, calling it “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe”.

That’s quite the contrast in sobriety. The Feckless Foursome insisted that Russia was a friend that didn’t have expansionist goals, despite Putin’s expansionist rhetoric. While Rachel Maddow was making herself look stupid, Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin said unpopular things that turned out to be 100% right.

Finally, I’d love asking Mrs. Clinton how that reset button thingy is working out lately.

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David Ignatius’s latest article is one of the most blatantly partisan and intellectually dishonest articles I’ve read about Benghazi. Here’s one of Mr. Ignatius’s most ridiculous claims:

Driving the Republican jihad was a claim, first reported in October 2012 by Fox News, that CIA personnel had wanted to respond more quickly to the Benghazi attack but were ordered to “stand down,” perhaps by political higher-ups. Although this claim was promptly rebutted by CIA officials, it was repeated by Fox at least 85 times, according to a review by the liberal advocacy group Media Matters. This barrage fueled Republican charges that the Democrats were engaging in a cover-up.

What’s wrong with that paragraph is that the charge wasn’t refuted. It was substantiated by Gregory Hicks’ testimony:

Here’s the transcript of the relevant portion of Mr. Hicks’ testimony:

REP. CHAFFETZ: How did the personnel react to being told to stand down?
MR. HICKS: They were furious. I can only say…well, I will quote Lt. Col. Gibson, who said “This is the first time in my career where a diplomat had more balls than someone in the military.

First, let’s question Mr. Ignatius’s methodology. Why would people think that the CIA would know about AFRICOM’s decision? AFRICOM is part of the military, not part of the CIA. Second, Ignatius’ article totally ignores Mr. Hicks’ testimony. Is Mr. Ignatius willing to call Mr. Hick and Lt. Col. Gibson liars or just mistaken?

If I’m given the option of trusting someone on the ground in Libya who talked with Ambassador Stevens or trusting Media Matters, that isn’t a difficult decision. Media Matters are paid liars. That’s what they do. Unfortunately, that isn’t the only questionable statement from Mr. Ignatius’ article:

The Obama administration’s supposed cover-up on Benghazi became a crusade for leading Republicans. A low point came when Issa’s Committee on Oversight and Reform issued a report last September questioning “the independence and integrity of the review” by the Mullen-Pickering group. These were extraordinary charges to make against a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former ambassador to six countries — especially since Issa didn’t present any conclusive evidence to back up his allegations.

The ARB report wasn’t an investigation. It didn’t talk to any State Department personnel on the ground that night in Benghazi. They didn’t talk with Greg Hicks. They didn’t talk with Hillary Clinton or or Leon Panetta. The report’s chief conclusion was that there was a system failure or, as Charles Krauthammer put it, the State Department building failed Christopher Stevens that night.

That isn’t an investigative report. That’s a whitewashing. Why didn’t the ARB affix blame on Mr. Panetta for not pre-positioning military forces to respond to hot spots in northern Africa? Why didn’t the ARB affix blame on Mrs. Clinton for going AWOL while the terrorist attack was raging? Had the ARB done either of those things, it would’ve been a credible report. Had they done both of those things, it would’ve rocked Washington.

Therein lies the problem. Pickering is a diplomat trained in downplaying things. The last thing a diplomat wants to do is ruffle people’s feathers. The ARB report was predictably flawed before it started. What was needed was someone who didn’t mind ruffling feathers, someone who wouldn’t hesitate in asking tough questions and including tough criticism of leaders when they didn’t act to rescue the American patriots who were needlessly assassinated that night in Benghazi.

Finally, there’s this BS:

Perhaps the silliest aspect of the Benghazi affair was the focus on the errant “talking points” prepared for Congress, which cited incorrect intelligence about “spontaneous demonstrations” in Benghazi that wasn’t corrected by the CIA until a week after the points were delivered on Sunday talk shows by Susan Rice, then U.N. ambassador. Rice is still under a cloud because she repeated the CIA’s “points” prepared at Congress’ insistence.

Calling them CIA talking points is wrong. The original document drafted by the CIA was accurate. It wasn’t until Victoria Nuland got involved that the document changed dramatically:

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 …”

It’s clear that Nuland’s first concern was political. She wasn’t worried about the accuracy of the CIA’s initial document.

Greg Hicks’ testimony dalt with a) things Amb. Stevens told him directly before being assassinated and b) things Lt. Col. Gibson told him directly. Ms. Nuland’s part in the administration’s cover-up dealt with ‘sanitizing’ Gen. Petraeus’ document outlining what happened that night in Benghazi. That’s quite a stark contrast.

That’s why I’ll passionately argue that Mr. Ignatius’ article isn’t a serious refutation of what happened in Benghaz. The first hint that this was a hit piece came early when Ignatius talked about the “Republicans’ jihad”. That alone speaks volumes about Ignatius’ motivation.

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On Thursday, Sen. Feinstein tried selling the spin that Hillary wasn’t responsible for not preventing the Benghazi terrorist attack:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., noted that the bipartisan report released this week on the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks in Libya did not mention Clinton even once.

“I regret that the ‘Additional Views’ of the report adopted solely by six members of the Republican minority unfairly criticizes Secretary Clinton,” Feinstein said in a statement. “I want the record to be clear: I condemn any effort to use this report for political purposes.

Nothing in the bipartisan report, Feinstein said, assigned any blame for the attacks to Clinton, who was secretary of State at the time.

“Ultimately… the final responsibility for security at diplomatic facilities lies with the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,” said the “Additional Views” approved only by Republicans. “We believe there should be a full examination of her role in these events, including on the night of the attacks.”

Technically, Sen. Feinstein is right. There’s nothing in the report that blames Hillary for not taking actions that might’ve prevented the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2012. There should be plenty in the report criticizing Hillary for not acting on urgent requests from Christopher Stevens, the assassinated US ambassador to Libya. As usual, the All-Star Panel didn’t pull punches:

Andrew Napolitano nailed it when he said that “This report raises more questions than it answers.” He later opined that “the people who were responsible for this were the ones who did the investigating.” Charles Krauthammer ridiculed Sen. Feinstein, saying “the weakness of the Senate report is that it blames buildings. It blames the State Department. It blames the CIA. It blames the military, these bureaucracies. In the end, it doesn’t blame anybody. No human is held accountable.”

Let’s turn this around on Sen. Feinstein. Let’s use her logic against her. If Hillary wasn’t responsible for protecting Christopher Stevens, then Rumsfeld wasn’t responsible for Abu Ghraib and President Bush wasn’t responsible for waterboarding KSM.

Using Sen. Feinstein’s logic, Langley (the building) caused KSM’s waterboarding and the Pentagon (the building itself) was responsible for Abu Ghraib.

This paragraph is exceptionally telling:

“Our responsibility throughout this review was to focus on the intelligence,” Feinstein said. “The report finds the attacks were preventable, based on extensive intelligence reporting on terrorist activity in Eastern Libya and given known security shortfalls at the U.S. Mission.”

That’s a different way of saying that their committee would do a rehash of the Accountability Review Board’s report. In the real world, where people attempt to connect the terrorists’ dots, people would ask a) who’s responsible for embassy and consulate security, b) what procedures were in place to make sure urgent requests got the Secretary of State’s attention, c) why military assets weren’t pre-positioned and placed on alert to respond to crises and d) why President Obama and Hillary Clinton were nowhere to be found during the terrorist attacks.

Sen. Feinstein accused Republicans of using the report to hurt Hillary Clinton politically. The reality is that Hillary Clinton’s decisions hurt Hillary politically. I’d further argue that political figures should take a political hit for making terrible decisions that got American patriots needlessly murdered.

Returning to reality, let’s admit that Hillary a) ran in 2008 on the claim that she was the only candidate prepared to properly handle a 3:00 am phone call, b) didn’t take action to prevent the needless assassinations of American patriots and c) took the Secretary of State’s job to check off the ‘national security box’ for when she runs for president in 2016.

Finally, let’s admit that, based on what she’s done, Hillary was a mediocre Secretary of State.

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Catherine Herridge’s reporting in this video is the smoking gun that the Left’s apologists say doesn’t exist:

Here’s part of Herridge’s article:

Several Al Qaeda members emerged as “leaders of the pack” in last year’s Benghazi attack, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Fox News following release of a bipartisan report blowing apart claims the assault was the work of local extremists with no formal terrorist connections.

The former Guantanamo detainee Sufian bin Qumu, first identified by Fox’s Bret Baier as a suspect 16 months ago, at the very least helped lay the groundwork for the operation.

“Certainly Qumu was involved in planning in this…he is a member of a group that is affiliated with Al Qaeda so in my mind that makes him Al Qaeda,” said Chambliss, R-Ga.

According to the timeline that’s been put together from the House Armed Services Committee testimony, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama knew that Benghazi was a terrorist attack within fifteen minutes of the start of the attack. The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report said that there were direct ties to a former Gitmo detainee who was part of al-Qa’ida’s network. That’s proof that President Obama and Hillary Clinton lied about the origin of the attack. We know this because Hillary accused an obscure filmmaker of triggering the terrorist attack in Benghazi.

This information from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report doesn’t help the administration either:

It concludes that the Benghazi attackers came from two official Al Qaeda affiliates, bin Qumu’s Ansar al-Sharia, and a fourth group, the Jamal network, whose leader is connected to the Al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan.

“Individuals affiliated with terrorist groups including AQIM, Ansar al-Sharia, AQAP and the Mohammad Jamal Network participated in the September 11, 2012 attacks,” the report said.

That doesn’t leave the administration any wiggle room on whether this was a professionally coordinated terrorist attack. This information mocks the State Department’s spin that “core al-Qa’ida” wasn’t involved in planning the Benghazi assassination of Ambassador Christopher Stevens. People in New York, at the Pentagon and across the country don’t care whether “core al-Qa’ida” planned Stevens’ assassination. They’re just worried that Detroit is bankrupt and al-Qa’ida is alive and well in north Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and southwest Asia.

People are worried that the terrorists are gaining more sanctuaries where they can plan and train for their next major terrorist attack. People don’t care whether the State Department’s narrative is spin. They care about whether their families are safe. Based on what we’ve seen happening during this administration’s time in office, people have a right to be worried that another terrorist attack is right around the corner.

The Obama/Hillary/Panetta national security team has been close to worthless. They killed bin Laden, the leader of a psychotic movement. Then they let that movement grow and flourish. Al-Qa’ida in Iraq had been demolished. Their training bases in Afghanistan had been demolished. Then President Obama and Secretary Clinton abandoned Iraq to appease their nutjob anti-war supporters. Now al-Qa’ida is alive and well in north Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and southwest Asia.

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If you want to read an article that’s filled with political vindictiveness and terrible writing, I’d recommend this article from the AP’s Laurie Kellman. Here’s Ms. Kellman’s opening
sentenceparagraph:

A month after emerging from a government shutdown at the top of their game, many Democrats in Congress newly worried about the party’s re-election prospects are for the first time distancing themselves from President Barack Obama after the disastrous rollout of his health care overhaul.

For people keeping score at home, that opening sentence is 45 words long. Run-on sentences of that length don’t help people focus their attention. English instructors frequently recommend that writers keep sentences to 18 words or less. Here’s how that paragraph would’ve looked had I written it:

After winning the government shutdown, congressional Democrats are worried about their re-election prospects. Now Democrats are distancing themselves from President Obama after the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov.

Thank God for ‘professional’ writers. Seriously, what person would be interested in the rest of the article after Ms. Kellman’s opening? It gets worse because Ms. Kellman transitions from unprofessional writer to professional political hack:

Cummings, the White House’s biggest defender in a Republican-controlled committee whose agenda is waging war against the administration over the attack in Benghazi, the IRS scandal, a gun-tracking operation and now health care, said he still thinks Obama is operating with integrity.

Chairman Issa’s agenda thus far has been to highlight this administration’s dishonesty and incompetence. When President Obama and Secretary Clinton ignored Christopher Stevens’ frequent impassioned pleas for more security, they ignored him. As a direct result of their passivity, Ambassador Stevens and 3 other American patriots were executed in Benghazi.

That isn’t “waging war against the administration.” That’s investigating a tragic incident that didn’t need to happen. Investigating the IRS’ targeting of conservative organizations isn’t “waging war against the administration.” It’s investigating the abuse of power that’s happened all too frequently with this imperial administration. It’s a legitimate investigation because abuses of power of this scope can’t be tolerated. Period.

Let’s not be naive. There are political consequences for these foolish decisions. Congress is questioning President Obama’s integrity because he isn’t a man of integrity. The American people have noticed. As a result, President Obama’s approval ratings have dropped dramatically.

Hillary Clinton’s integrity hasn’t dropped…yet. She left Washington, DC before Greg Hicks’ riveting testimony about what happened that night in Benghazi. There will be a political price to be paid for her passivity and terrible decisionmaking. How high of a price she’ll pay isn’t knowable at this time. Suffice it to say it might be a steep price.

Republican members of Chairman Issa’s committee haven’t editorialized. They’ve asked professional, probing questions. That’s what they’re supposed to do. Their job is to investigate, not to be the administration’s stenographers.

If President Obama’s administration hadn’t made this many major mistakes, Chairman Issa’s committee wouldn’t have been justified in investigating this many things. Because they made this many egregious mistakes, Chairman Issa was obligated to investigate.

If that constitutes an attack in Ms. Kellman’s mind, then it’s safe to say she’s a stenographer, not a reporter.

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Last night, Clinton consigliere Lanny Davis threw President Obama under the proverbial Clinton bus during his interview with Megyn Kelly. I was astonished that he made this statement at the outset of the interview:

LANNY DAVIS: Well first, I hate the idea that we’re blaming Barack Obama when other people like myself and members of Congress have supported for years this national health care idea. I think we all let the American people down by not thinking through how complicated trying to revolutionize the health care system would be and I think we have to fess up that we messed up and maybe hit the reset button and start to take another look at a more incremental approach that brings Republicans over so this isn’t a partisan issue anymore.

Part of Davis’ statement indicates that he wants Democrats to not get hurt in the 2014 midterm elections. Part of him is willing to accept partial responsibility for approving of the Affordable Care Act. That said, there’s no doubt that the Clintons have a purpose in sending Lanny Davis into this situation.

Their purpose is to get rid of the Affordable Care Act before Hillary’s campaign. The last thing she wants to do is deal with this disaster. By getting out in front of things, she can look more moderate while casting President Obama as a hard-line ideologue. Watch the entire interview here:

The entire interview lasts 5 minutes so it’s well worth your while.

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Glenn Reynolds’ latest USA Today column is delightful reading, starting with the opening paragraphs:

There are two Americas, all right. There’s one that works, where new and creative things happen, where mistakes are corrected, and where excellence is rewarded. Then there’s Washington, where everything is pretty much the opposite. That has been particularly evident over the past week or so. One America can launch rockets. The other America can’t even launch a website.

In Washington, it’s been stalemate, impasse, and theater the kind of place where a government shutdown leads park rangers to complain, “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.” Well, yes. The politics don’t work, the websites don’t work, even for the people who manage to log on, and the government shutdown informs us that most of government is “non-essential.” Instead of correcting mistakes or rewarding excellence, it’s mostly finger-pointing, blame-shifting, and excuse-making.

Simply put, DC is where incompetence and cruelty (see shutting down the World War II Memorial) aren’t criticized. The heartland is where wealth and jobs are created without a sneering politician criticizing companies for making too much money.

President Obama has taken political nastiness and incompetence to unprecedented levels. His economic policies are a total disaster because they’re contrary to the rules of time-tested rules of capitalism. Three part-time jobs are created for every full-time job that’s created. Still, the administration insists that we’re on the right path.

Americans know better.

Russia laughs at us. Syria blows us off. Al-Qa’ida in Libya and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt attack our embassies and consulates with little fear of reprisal.

In short, we’re the global joke.

Politicians don’t care about that; like two-year-olds in an ice cream parlor, all they want is more. But the rest of us should think long and hard about how many resources we should allow politicians to control, given their track record lately. Because Washington is clearly a world that doesn’t work.

Ronald Reagan spoke to this way back in the 1980s. Here’s what he said:

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.

Lois Lerner violated TEA Party activists’ First Amendment rights. Instead of getting prosecuted, she got a cushy retirement pension. Hillary Clinton ignored Christopher Stevens’ repeated requests for more security forces. As a result, 4 American patriots needlessly died. Now she’s gearing up for another run at the White House.

Where’s the Democrats’ outrage over these disgusting incidents? Lois Lerner didn’t hesitate in using the full force of the US government on people simply wanting to exercise their First Amendment rights. Hillary was nowhere to be found prior to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2012. Christopher Stevens repeatedly told the State Department hierarchy that terrorists were pouring into Benghazi and that the compound wasn’t safe. Please beef up security, he urged.

Instead of listening to him, Hillary chose to proceed as if Benghazi was as safe as downtown St. Cloud on a Wednesday afternoon. During the 2008 campaign, Hillary ran an ad questioning Barack Obama’s qualifications if a call came in from overseas at 3 am. Clearly, 4 years into his administration, he wasn’t prepared to deal with a crisis. Apparently, Hillary wasn’t prepared for that type of crisis either.

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With big fights on the budget looming, a group of GOP senators are pushing an ill-advised ‘defund Obamacare’ strategy. It isn’t a matter of whether Republicans will fight against implementation of the PPACA. It’s a matter of whether they’ll pick smart fights they have a chance of winning. Ed Morrissey makes the case against defunding the PPACA in this post:

Once again, the White House has chosen businesses over consumers and workers, in large part driven by the economic implications of the law it champions. So far, the White House refuses to budge on the individual mandate, even though the exchanges won’t be able to verify income levels to prevent fraudulent subsidy requests, nor secure the personal data needed for submission in the exchanges, putting consumers at risk for identity theft.

The administration doesn’t have much choice in this fight. If they cave on the individual mandate, they’ll be admitting that implementation of the PPACA is a slow-motion trainwreck happening in plain sight. There’s a time-tested political axiom that says, roughly, that ‘when your opponent is falling apart, it’s best to get out of the way and let them self-destruct.’

Ed’s right on with this opinion:

Democrats are simply not going to agree to separate ObamaCare funding from the rest of the budget, nor do they need to do so in the Senate. They have the votes to pass a budget or a CR without Rubio or any of the rest of the Republicans, since filibusters cannot apply to budgetary bills according to Senate rules. Rubio’s remarks are aimed more at the House, and both he and Cruz want to draw a line in the sand that will lead to a shutdown when Senate Democrats refuse to adopt any bills defunding ObamaCare.

I’ve agreed with the smarter approach from Day One. Apparently, Mitch McConnell is already there:

Americans should not be forced into the exchanges, and certainly not without these assurances. If you rush to go forward without adequate safeguards in place, any theft of personal information from constituents will be the result of your rush to implement a law to meet the agency’s political needs and not the operational needs of the people it is supposed to serve.

The data hub is a nightmare-waiting-to-happen. Republicans should push this as the reason why the individual mandate should be delayed. Here’s more on why that’s a potent argument:

After Obama unilaterally postponed enforcing the statutory deadline for the employer mandate, Republicans have argued that the individual mandate should also be delayed. The Washington Post‘s Jennifer Rubin reported on McConnell’s demand to the CMS administrator for a delay, based on the inability of the selected contractor to ensure data security in the exchanges on time for the ACA’s October 1 rollout. “[J]ust last year,” McConnell wrote, “it was disclosed that more than 120,000 enrollees in the federal Thrift Savings Plan had their personal information, including Social Security numbers, stolen from your contractor’s computers in 2011.”

This is a potent argument, especially considering how worried people are about identity theft. Couple that with the IRS leaking confidential documents to political allies and it’s a political nightmare for Democrats waiting to happen.

There’s another benefit to delaying the PPACA. It keeps the issue alive through the mid-term election and into the presidential election cycle. That’s important because, though it’s called Obamacare, it’s really Hillary’s plan in many respects. Let’s remember that then-Candidate Obama criticized her for proposing the employer and individual mandates:

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama expressed opposition to a mandate requiring all Americans to buy health care insurance. In a Feb. 28, 2008, interview on the Ellen DeGeneres show, Obama sought to distinguish himself from then-candidate Hillary Clinton by saying, “Both of us want to provide health care to all Americans. There’s a slight difference, and her plan is a good one. But, she mandates that everybody buy health care.

“She’d have the government force every individual to buy insurance and I don’t have such a mandate because I don’t think the problem is that people don’t want health insurance, it’s that they can’t afford it,” Obama said. “So, I focus more on lowering costs. This is a modest difference. But, it’s one that she’s tried to elevate, arguing that because I don’t force people to buy health care that I’m not insuring everybody. Well, if things were that easy, I could mandate everybody to buy a house, and that would solve the problem of homelessness. It doesn’t.”

Causing Hillary to defend the individual mandate would be fun to watch. In a very real sense, she’s got a Romney-sized problem in defending herself on the PPACA. Delaying the PPACA’s implementation keeps the issue on the table for people who aren’t well-equipped to defend it. As a conservative, that’s a position I want to operate from.

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This article shows that congressional Democrats aren’t interested in getting to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi. They’re more interested in protecting their political flanks than finding out why this administration was caught flat-footed with Benghazi:

Retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering has agreed to be deposed by Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) Oversight panel on June 3 after being threatened with a subpoena. Democrats say they’re wary of a trap, and want to be able to counter what they say is Issa’s habit of leaking “cherry-picked” portions of witnesses’ testimonies to the press.

“If it’s true to form, if it’s a closed deposition, his staff [will] cherry pick content and leak it once again to the press that’s only too willing to print it,” panel member Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) told The Hill. “It might be grossly inaccurate. In fact, it may be the opposite of what’s being asserted. But by the time somebody gets around to reporting that, if they ever do, the damage is done.”

That’s rich. The Democrats are complaining that the press isn’t giving them a fair shake. That isn’t the full extent of the Democrats’ PR tactics:

Democrats say Pickering and his co-author, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen, should be able to defend their report in a public hearing. Pickering could not be reached for comment.

“House Republicans have politicized this investigation from the beginning, and they have recklessly accused Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen of being complicit in a cover-up,” said the panel’s ranking member, Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). “It is time for the Chairman to honor his commitment to hold a hearing to allow these officials to respond to these reckless accusations, instead of imposing new conditions to keep them from testifying. Members of Congress and the American people should hear directly from these officials, in public, and the Chairman’s efforts to keep them behind closed doors undermines the Committee’s credibility and does a disservice to the truth.”

Trey Gowdy explains why the committee is deposing witnesses:

The goal of a deposition, oversight panel member Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) told The Hill, is to get “the full facts.”

“It’s hard to unlock the mysteries in five-minute increments in a committee hearing,” Gowdy said. “So if you want to find out what happened and who he interviewed, what questions he asked, why he didn’t interview certain people, you need to do it in a deposition.”

These investigations aren’t a witch hunt. They’re part of a real investigation, complete with initial questions that establish a base of facts, followed by the rarest of things in Washington, DC: thoughtful followup questions. That’s what happened during a bygone era when investigations went where the facts took them. That’s what happened when investigations found the truth and let the political chips fall where they may.

Speaking of political chips falling where they may, this speaks directly to that:

Democrats say Issa’s real target is Clinton, the presumptive Democratic front-runner for the 2016 presidential election.

It’s possible Hillary will suffer political consequences as a result of her mismanagement. Had she made the right decisions, she wouldn’t be getting criticized for making a string of stunningly foolish decisions about the security forces in Benghazi.

It’s time to detonate the ‘Republicans are politicizing Benghazi’ storyline. Foolish decisions were made. American patriots died as a direct result of Hillary Clinton’s shoddy decisionmaking. Hillary lied when she told the diplomats’ families that a video caused the terrorist attack was done to protect a president during a political campaign.

If Hillary gets tarnished because Republicans ask intelligent questions about what happened in Benghazi, then it’ll be because Hillary made foolish decisions. It isn’t because Republicans politicized the Benghazi terrorist attack.

Finally, there’s this:

Democrats say they should have been given a chance to interview Mark Thompson, the State Department’s acting deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism, ahead of the May 8 hearing. They say his Republican attorney, Joseph diGenova, shielded him from Democrats.

Issa strongly denied interfering during the hearing.

“Mr. Thompson, is it your decision who you talk to?” he asked. “And did any of my people ever tell you not to talk to the Democratic minority?”

“No,” Thompson answered.

The Democrats’ accusations are essentially empty. They’ve had the right to access witnesses and ask questions. It isn’t Chairman Issa’s fault that these whistleblowers’ testimony is making the administration look bad.