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Changing the Benghazi Talking Points

How they were changed to obscure the truth   

by Stephen F. Hayes    Obama Benghazi Gate

Even as the White House strove last week to move beyond questions about the Benghazi attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2012, fresh evidence emerged that senior Obama administration officials knowingly misled the country about what had happened in the days following the assaults. The Weekly Standard has obtained a timeline briefed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence detailing the heavy substantive revisions made to the CIA’s talking points, just six weeks before the 2012 presidential election, and additional information about why the changes were made and by whom. [Read more...]

The Electoral College — The Last Round

by Gordon S. Jones  vote-button-1

My last column on the Electoral College prompted a number of thoughtful responses, so I would like to deal with those, and then make some general points in (qualified) support of the Electoral College itself.

One reader produced polling results demonstrating that support for the elimination of the EC and its replacement with a direct popular election of the president runs between 70 and 80 percent in every state in the country.

With opposition like that, it is quite astonishing that the EC can survive. Surely it must have some things going for it. I shall try to explain what those are as I go along. [Read more...]

More on Electoral College “Reform”

by Gordon S. Joneselectoralcollege

Now that a Virginia state senator has dropped plans to re-work his state’s method of allocating votes in the Electoral College, let’s consider some other proposals for “improving” this venerable, if somewhat creaky, institution.

One, called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, comes out of California, home to many nutty ideas, though this particular one has been endorsed by some conservatives as well, including Utah’s always interesting state senator Howard Stephenson. In brief, the Compact would require the Electors of each compacting state to cast their ballot in the Electoral College for the winner of the national popular vote majority. [Read more...]

[Movie review] Lincoln: A President Engaged in a Great Civil War

“The genius of ‘Lincoln,’ finally, lies in its vision of politics as a noble, sometimes clumsy dialectic of the exalted and the mundane. Our habit of argument, someone said recently, is a mark of our liberty.”

by A. O. SCOTT

It is something of a paradox that American movies — a great democratic art form, if ever there was one — have not done a very good job of representing American democracy. Make-believe movie presidents are usually square-jawed action heroes, stoical Solons or ineffectual eggheads, blander and more generically appealing than their complicated real-life counterparts, who tend to be treated deferentially or ignored entirely unless they are named Richard Nixon.

The legislative process — the linchpin of our system of checks and balances — is often treated with lofty contempt masquerading as populist indignation, an attitude typified by the aw-shucks anti-politics of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Hollywood dreams of consensus, of happy endings and box office unity, but democratic government can present an interminable tale of gridlock, compromise and division. The squalor and vigor, the glory and corruption of the Republic in action have all too rarely made it onto the big screen. [Read more...]

Mandates, Taxes, Spending Cuts and Crazy Talk

by George Landrith

After a long, tough campaign, Barack Obama won reelection by a slim 51% to 49%. Now Obama is claiming a broad mandate to increasing taxes and demands that Congress yield to his view that there must be a higher tax burden for the wealthiest Americans.

Obama is correct that he made tax increases an issue during his reelection campaign. But so did the Congressmen who comprise the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. GOP Congressmen won reelection opposing tax rate increases on any Americans. [Read more...]

Monday Morning

“Obama’s campaign doesn’t seem president-sized. It is small and sad and lost, driven by formidable will and zero joy.”

by Peggy Noonan

November 5, 2012

We begin with the three words everyone writing about the election must say: Nobody knows anything. Everyone’s guessing. I spent Sunday morning in Washington with journalists and political hands, one of whom said she feels it’s Obama, the rest of whom said they don’t know. I think it’s Romney. I think he’s stealing in “like a thief with good tools,” in Walker Percy’s old words. While everyone is looking at the polls and the storm, Romney’s slipping into the presidency. He’s quietly rising, and he’s been rising for a while. [Read more...]

Going out on a limb: Romney beats Obama, handily

Romney 315, Obama 223

by Michael Barone

November 2, 2012

Fundamentals usually prevail in American elections. That’s bad news for Barack Obama. True, Americans want to think well of their presidents and many think it would be bad if Americans were perceived as rejecting the first black president.

But it’s also true that most voters oppose Obama’s major policies and consider unsatisfactory the very sluggish economic recovery — Friday’s jobs report showed an unemployment uptick.

Also, both national and target state polls show that independents, voters who don’t identify themselves as Democrats or Republicans, break for Romney. [Read more...]

Reagan’s announcement for the presidency, and a challenge that we “keep our rendezvous with destiny.”

“A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us, pleading for us to keep our rendezvous with destiny; that we will uphold the principles of self-reliance, self-discipline, morality, and—above all—responsible liberty for every individual that we will become that shining city on a hill. I believe that you and I together can keep this rendezvous with destiny.”

by Scott L. Vanatter

Ronald Reagan formally announced his presidential candidacy with an address which was nationally televised on November 13, 1979. He began by relating that he saw “our country [as] a living, breathing presence, unimpressed by what others say is impossible, proud of its own success, generous, yes and naïve, sometimes wrong, never mean and always impatient to provide a better life for its people in a framework of a basic fairness and freedom. . . .”

Reagan stated prime solution to economic the nation’s economic problems, “The key to restoring the health of the economy lies in cutting taxes.”

After telling why this works, he taught the nation what the Federal government should and should not do. “The 10th article of the Bill of Rights is explicit in pointing out that the federal government should do only those things specifically called for in the Constitution. All others shall remain with the states or the people. We haven’t been observing that 10th article of late. The federal government has taken on functions it was never intended to perform and which it does not perform well.” [Read more...]

Obama and Benghazi-gate

by George Landrith

The most recently revealed State Department e-mails regarding the attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi show that President Barack Obama has not been shooting straight with America. Whatever national security errors were made in the months and weeks leading up to the Benghazi attack, engaging in a cover up always makes things worse.

We now know that an e-mail was sent from American embassy personnel in Libya to hundreds of officials in the Obama Administration only minutes after the attack began. This e-mail’s subject line was “US Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack” and stated that “approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well. Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four [embassy] personnel are in the compound safe haven.” [Read more...]

If Obama Loses, Part II

Part II, Job Prospects?

by Scott L. Vanatter

In part one, I discussed whether racial recriminations or even riots will follow an Obama loss. Short answers, respectively, probably yes, and probably not. American has indeed progressed. Well . . . except certain liberal commentators.

Here in part two, after reviewing a bit of his history and current predicament, I discuss what Obama will do if he loses in November. In part three, I will delve into whether he will run for president again and if so, when?

Barack Obama made history when he was elected the first black man as president of the United States. It was a perfect moment in U.S. history, a perfect storm of a unique set of events, circumstances, and personalities. All combined to set up Obama to essentially coast to an easy victory. “Don’t worry,” he famously said a few weeks prior to winning, “We got this.” Obama is nothing if not confident.

[Read more...]

Obama: “If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.”

Obama Stewart OptimalYou got that right, Mr. President, you might even say it is damn inconvenient.

by George Landrith

President Barack Obama, during an interview on the Comedy Central’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart responded to a question about his inaccurate and even misleading communications after the Benghazi attack, by saying: “If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.” Not optimal? Really? Let’s review a few other things that are “not optimal.” [Read more...]

Debate analysis from around the web

Unequal Time: 

If you want more time to get your message out in debates, it’s good to be a Democrat. According to the CNN debate clock, President Obama spoke at greater length than Mitt Romney during both debates, as did Vice President Biden during his debate with Paul Ryan. In the first debate, Obama spoke for 3 minutes, 14 seconds more than Romney — which means he got 8 percent more talking time than Romney. In last night’s debate, Obama spoke for 4 minutes and 18 seconds longer than Romney, giving him 11 percent more talking time. During the vice presidential debate, the gap wasn’t as wide: Biden spoke for 1 minute, 22 seconds more than Ryan. Still, that gave Biden 3 percent more speaking time than Ryan. [Read more...]

Romney won the second debate

by Dick Morris

By scoring big on the economy, gas prices, and Libya, Romney continued his victorious string of debate wins. He looked more presidential than Obama did and showed himself to be an articulate, capable, attractive, compassionate leader with sound ideas.

Obama came over as boorish and Biden-esque. He did not learn from his Vice President’s mistakes. [Read more...]

The most divisive President: A presidency wasted

by Victor Davis HansonDivisive President Obama

The Obama narrative is that he inherited the worst mess in memory and has been stymied ever since by a partisan Congress — while everything from new ATM technology to the Japanese tsunami conspired against him. But how true are those claims?

Barack Obama entered office with an approval rating of over 70 percent. John McCain’s campaign had been anemic and almost at times seemed as if it was designed to lose nobly to the nation’s first African-American presidential nominee. [Read more...]

Economy, Debates Reveal Obama, Biden Haven’t Got What It Takes

by Peter MoriciMorici

This election should be about the economy — the recovery is too slow and Americans are hurting. The performances of President Obama and Vice President Biden in the debates on the campaign trail tell us why. Both say endlessly that they inherited a huge mess, but Americans have seen challenges like these before — and with better leaders, they licked those more quickly.

When Mr. Obama took office, financial markets were in turmoil. Unemployment peaked at 10% in October 2009. [Read more...]

Denying the Libya Scandal

by Andrew C. McCarthy

The desultory vice-presidential debate underscored that, even if there were not a thousand other reasons for denying President Obama a second term, the Libya scandal alone would be reason enough to remove him.

By the time the ineffable Joe Biden took center stage Thursday night, Obama operatives had already erected a façade of mendacity around the jihadist murder of our ambassador to Libya and three other U.S. officials. The vice president promptly exploited the debate forum to trumpet a bald-faced lie: He denied the administration’s well-established refusal to provide adequate security for the diplomatic team. Just as outrageously, he insisted that the intelligence community, not the election-minded White House, was the source of the specious claim that an obscure, unwatched video about Islam’s prophet — a video whose top global publicists are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — spontaneously sparked the Benghazi massacre. [Read more...]

Who’s ‘Politicizing’ Benghazi? Team Obama, that’s who!

by Mark SteynBenghazi Cover-up

‘The entire reason that this has become the political topic it is is because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.”

Thus, Stephanie Cutter, President Obama’s deputy campaign manager, speaking on CNN about an armed attack on the 9/11 anniversary that left a U.S. consulate a smoking ruin and killed four diplomatic staff, including the first American ambassador to be murdered in a third of a century. To discuss this event is apparently to “politicize” it and to distract from the real issues the American people are concerned about. For example, Obama spokesperson Jen Psaki, speaking on board Air Force One on Thursday: “There’s only one candidate in this race who is going to continue to fight for Big Bird and Elmo, and he is riding on this plane.” [Read more...]

The Scandalous Obama Benghazi Cover-up

by George LandrithObama Benghazi Gate

It has now been over a month since the al Qaeda terrorist attack on America’s consulate in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the assassination of four American diplomats, including the American ambassador, Chris Stevens.

It may be true that in the first few hours after the attack, it was unclear precisely what had happened, why it happened, or who did it. But within only hours — not days — the basic facts were clearly obvious, and well known and understood. It was a well-organized and planned terrorist attack. There was no movie. There was no protest — spontaneous or otherwise. [Read more...]

Biden’s Debate Deceptions

During the debate, Paints on FireVice President made history by surpassing Al Gore for bad, boorish, and rude behavior. He laughed uncontrollably, signed, groaned, and laughed some more and engaged in generally childish antics throughout the debate. Biden’s rude and unprofessional behavior overshadowed the substance of what he said.

But as bizarre and unbalanced as his behavior was during the debate, the substance of what he actually said was perhaps the most troubling. Here are a short list of several of the most obviously false things that Biden said:

1.  Afghanistan and Iraq:  Biden accused Rep. Paul Ryan of putting two wars on the “credit card” and then bragged that he voted against both of them because he understood America could not afford them. “I was there, I voted against them,” Biden said. “I said, no, we can’t afford that.” But the truth is Sen. Biden voted for the Afghanistan resolution on Sept. 14, 2001 the Iraq resolution on October 11, 2002. It takes some brass to tell whoppers like this one! [Read more...]

Obama’s Weak Economy: Five Reasons

by Scott L. VanatterAn Incomplete

What kind of economy did Obama inherit? Brit Hume put it this way:

“A central premise of the Obama campaign is that he inherited an economy in free fall, pulled it back from the brink and set it on the right path. But consider this. The economy fell into recession more than a year before Mr. Obama took office. By the time he was inaugurated the worst of it was over, the economy was still shrinking, but the steepest decline had occurred in the final quarter of the year 2008. It shrank less in the first quarter of 2009 and by June of ‘09 it began to grow again marking the official end of the recession. Mind you, this occurred before almost any of the massive stimulus spending Mr. Obama has signed into law had taken affect. ‘Yes,’ you might say, but in terms of job losses the worst was still to come when Mr. Obama came in.’ But that’s not so either. More than half the 8.7 million jobs lost as a result of the recession had been lost by inauguration day.” 

 How weak is Obama’s economic recovery? [Read more...]