The use of the deadly attack on the embassy in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in the deaths of four Americans as a political tool has frankly astonished me since the foreign policy naif Mitt Romney had the bad taste to broach it the very evening that it happened. For that reason, I see a kind of lukewarm vindication of the Obama Administration’s public statements regarding the matter in the NYT’s in-depth study on it, which draws two meaningful conclusions: that al-Qaeda was not involved in the attack and that it did stem in part from the widespread protests over a rather dumb bigoted little video, just as was stated by current NSA Susan Rice.
It has long seemed to me that the Benghazi affair as initiated by the Romney folks was a matter of using President Obama’s perceived strength (as having authorized the successful raid that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden) against him. The failure on the Romney side began with the claim that a statement attempting to ameliorate matters from the Cairo embassy was a sign that the Obama Administration actually sided with radical Islam, but this blew up into a claim that the administration was actually somehow derelict in defending the Libyan embassy from attack from several others on the Republican side, including Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa. The use of the Benghazi tragedy as an indictment of the Obama Administration spans a number of criticisms that conservatives have had with the Commander-in-Chief—that he is Muslim or more sympathetic to radical Islam, that he isn’t a real leader, or that he wants America to fail.
It’s pretty much always been bullshit. Senators McCain and Graham did the best job of giving the game away when they failed to attend a briefing on the matter, opting instead to hang their faces in front of a camera pointing fingers. Rep. Issa, supposedly a kind of watchdog, has fluffed the matter at intervals, but is mostly of the school of investigation that insists that if he doesn’t hear what he thinks he ought, there is surely a cover-up afoot.
On Sunday, “Meet the Press” host David Gregory asked Issa to respond to The Times story, which was published online Saturday. The story also said the Benghazi attacks were “fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”
“We have seen no evidence that the video was widely seen in Benghazi,” Issa said Sunday. “People from this administration … have said under oath there was no evidence of any reaction to a video.
“What we know, David, is the initial reports did not name this video as the prime cause,” he added.
Is that so? (No, it is not. And being a very concerned person, he might perhaps have looked at more than a few media accounts, no?) He’s also said that if a group alleges it has some connection with al-Qaeda, then that is good enough for him, which must be very validating to jihadi-come-lately groups who can at least claim to know somebody who knows somebody.
I’m afraid until Fox News gives the high sign, the idea that there was something more than usually rotten in Benghazi will be as certain a thing as the unbearable whiteness of Santa Claus in some quarters.
What I do want to point out, though, is that there is a sobering side to this in that the militants who made this attack came from the people the US supported in the overthrow of Qaddafi. I think there is an analogy that could be preemptively applied to involvement in Syria, for example. If anyone has the ear of, say, Sen McCain, they might want to try to explain it to him. I sort of hope President Obama has figured it out, but I’ve no real idea. Something about good intentions.
I know I’m coming a bit late to the party regarding commenting on the Ted Cruz coloring book, but I think it’s in part because it isn’t really…that weird to me? To explain, when I was six (!), I was a recruit to the Kiss Army, because they were not just a band, but an obviously swag-generating operation. I saw the Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park tv movie, and decided I was going to grow up and marry Ace Frehley. I had the Colorforms. I had some trading cards. What other bands had Colorforms and trading cards? None. So who was the number one favorite of headbanging first-graders? Exactly. You have to give it up for a band that merchandises for the milk and cookie crowd, although, I admit, by Animalize my tastes had just about matured out of them.
So it goes, right?
But that leads me to the question—who is US Senator Ted Cruz to The Future for? I figure the upper age for kids who actually color is what—ten? So the kids coloring Senator Ted today would be more concerned with entering high school than voting booths when 2016 rolls around.
I know. It could just be kind of a hipster-fun thing to have a political coloring book, and I might be overthinking this a little, but I don’t doubt that Cruz probably does have his sights on the White House (probably in 2016,* too) and that although he says he had no involvement with the creation of the coloring book, it definitely has the fingerprints of some “friends of Ted” (note the “Ten Commandments” branch on that tree). Am I being goofy if I think this is aimed at planting a seed with “Generation Joshua” (some of whom are definitely in the process of being softened up for the TX GOP politicians of the future)? That way, if 2016 doesn’t fly, maybe 2020? 2024?
(*I know I have claimed not to be interested in talking about 2016 yet. “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” and all that.)
You know what? I’ll even spot Rep. Trey Radel (FL-R) his weak, borrowed from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, excuse that he only did cocaine because he was such a drunk, because sure. It’s not like the sting that busted him was perpetrated because he already had a history of purchasing coke (it was), and in any event, I can’t talk about what drunk people might get up to. I am only an indifferent drunk myself. I do know I can’t afford $250 bucks worth of blow if I had that much to spend on bourbon. That is some fucking stupid drunkonomics. But maybe being wasted on microbrews made him wonder if he shouldn’t maybe be doing lines, just like I interrupt a wine binge with espressos (I do no such thing). Sure. That’s logical. (By which I mean “NOT”.)
What isn’t logical is being well aware that people acquire substances to help them through the bitter pain of their day to day existence and get dependent on them, and then thinking that it would be A-OK to penalize the poor for their propensity to self-medicate against the horror of a crappy reality by piss-testing people to qualify for their benefits.
Do I think Rep. Radel was maybe in the midst of getting high his ownself when he thought this would be a nifty exercise to spring on the poor? Yeah. I think so. Do I think he thought he was fundamentally different from some wasted SOB who couldn’t catch a job because he himself had a good one in Congress, and therefore, he was morally better than that other kind of substance-user? Yes, indeed. I think he believes he is morally and substantively different from some person who might use drugs, but does not have money.
In other words, he is a real prick. Now, there is drug and alcohol rehab, but I do not know that there is any successful “being a real prick” rehab. But he could use that kind. He surely could.
The picture above is of Baloo, Leo and ShereKhan, a lion, bear and tiger all living together at the Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Locust Grove, GA and they are BFFs!! The reason this is a “rescue” ask is that their sanctuary is having to raise money to build a higher fence to conform to new federal regulations and, since they are 501(c)(3), they don’t have bags of money laying around. if they can’t raise the funds the shelter will have to close and the animals dispersed to smaller shelters. So Baloo, Leo and ShereKhan would likely have to be separated which would be devastating for them as they have been together since they were cubs 12 years ago. More about their back story here.
I have done some research on Noah’s Ark and they are a legit organization dedicated to rescuing wild animals who have been mistreated, usually by idjits who think they’d make good pets, and the staff just tries to give them a good place to live out their lives. I know times are tough for all of us but if you can help there’s a donate button here. Thanks!
I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with the product heating instructions your company provides on Qrunch Quinoa Burgers packaging and to beg you to alter it immediately. I attempted to enjoy a Qrunch Quinoa Burger for lunch a short while ago, and to describe the ensuing mess as a clusterfuck would be a disservice to both clusters and fucks.
When I first retrieved my package of Qrunch Quinoa Burgers from the freezer and consulted the instructions, I was very happy to see that it was possible to heat the patties in a toaster because I dislike the texture of microwaved food and was in too much of a hurry to use a skillet:
It never occurred to me that the photo of the toasted Qrunch Quinoa Burgers that illustrates your instructions was misleading. But it’s a filthy lie, employing as it does a half-scale replica of an actual toaster to lull overly credulous consumers into thinking they can safely toast their patties.
See how the patties in the picture extend well above the top of the toaster slot? In reality, Qrunch Quinoa Burgers disappear into the slot completely, coming to rest about an inch BELOW the top of the slot—even before the toast-lowering lever is engaged.
No matter, I thought, watching my patty disappear into the bowels of my toaster. I’ll just unplug the toaster after the toasting operation is complete, use a fork to retrieve my patty, and before you can say “Jack Robinson,” I’ll be enjoying my Qrunch Quinoa Burger.
Alas, I was entirely too optimistic! Here is what happened when I tried to retrieve my patty:
And then it got even worse, with the patty completely disintegrating in response to my frantic attempts to extract it from the toaster. Finally I had to turn the toaster over onto its side to leverage gravity. The result was an eviscerated patty adulterated by random toaster shakings. Worse yet, IT WAS STILL COLD, even though I’d followed the instructions and run two cycles:
I’m not blaming you for the fact that it has clearly been too long since I’ve cleaned my toaster. I’m not even expecting an apology or recompense. I’m just begging you, in the name of corporate good citizenship, to change the heating instructions copy on your packages and spare other consumers the pain, disillusionment and toaster wreckage I’ve suffered today.
You can either remove the toaster suggestion completely or alter it to alert consumers that they’ll need to use a special miniature Qrunch Quinoa Burger toaster and THREE heating cycles. I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Tuesday he’s working on legislation that would give the president the green light to attack Iran if negotiations over the country’s alleged nuclear weapons program stall.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told NBC News on Wednesday that his administration will never develop nuclear weapons and that he has full authority to make a deal with the West on the disputed atomic program.
In Rouhani’s first interview with a U.S. news outlet since his election, he also spoke to NBC News National and International correspondent/anchor Ann Curry about his initial interactions with President Obama, who sent him a letter of congratulations and raised “some issues.”
“From my point of view, the tone of the letter was positive and constructive,” Rouhani said.
All we are saying, Lindsey, is give diplomacy a chance.
Also somewhat related Harry Reid blew off a little steam:
We should be facing the reality of climate change. Look what happened in Colorado. I talked to Senator Bennet yesterday. He said the floods were “Biblical.” In one part of Colorado, it rained 12 inches in 2 hours. I cannot imagine that. Fires all over the West. Climate change is here. I met with the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh. They do not know what they are going to do with the rise of the sea which is taking place. In that country there is no high ground. It is that way all over the world. The Marshall Islands–a thousand islands make up the Marshall Islands–55,000 people live there. These islands are being washed away with the new waves they have never seen before.
Climate change is here. We are doing nothing about it. They are spending all of our time, the American taxpayers’ time, trying to repeal a law that has been in effect for 4 years.
Speaking as someone who’s been witnessing these “Biblical” floods from the literal sidelines*, all I can say is “No shit, Sherlock.”
Our government is so very, very dysfunctional and there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do about it.
It looks like The Donald is being The Sued over a kind of “get-rich eventually” program that he was kindly enough calling a school. Trump is of the opinion that this suit against him is politically motivated, because…hm. He could be a somebody. He could be a contender. Instead of a bum, which is what everyone who notices that he is a bum makes of him on teh internets. But let’s hear what he has to say:
Oh. Wait. What does his spokesperson have to say?
“The attorney general has been angry because he felt that Mr. Trump and his various companies should have done much more for him in terms of fundraising,” Cohen said. “This entire investigation is politically motivated and it is a tremendous waste of taxpayers’ money.”
State Board of Elections records show Trump has spent more than $136,000 on New York campaigns since 2010. He contributed $12,500 to Schneiderman in October 2010, when Schneiderman was running for attorney general, records show. An outspoken conservative, Trump himself flirted with a presidential run last year.
“Donald Trump will not sit back and be extorted by anyone, including the attorney general,” Cohen said.
I am astonished that wealthy people in America donate to campaigns ever, or are concerned that their money bought them influence. Why do they even bother? It’s nonsense, is what it is. Clearly, extortion is that thing of when, you thought you bought protection, but oh no, You “bought” people who bring legal cases against things you might have done that were illegal like it was their job. Huh. Maybe attorney generals are not good investments if you are running a “get rich eventually” scheme.” Also not a good investment? The word “University”. Don’t bother copyrighting that one, you shan’t use it legally.
What I’m saying is, once (as in not) and future (as in not) Presidential Candidate Donald Trump is kind of a grifter. As in duh. But I bet he is still popular with the sort who likes his kind of…
Oh what the fuck—remember Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous? (It was MTV Cribs for ‘80’s celebrities.) That’s all of his appeal. Otherwise seriously. Ask him about anything. Besides whether any politician is a legit citizen. And let the derp ensue. (Not that I think he won’t be faux elevated in the press again, because I do—which is why I point out his “duh”.)
You know who I’ve been seeing everywhere on the liberal blogs, lately? Markwayne Mullin. Now that the congress critters have returned to their districts, it’s always National Geographic-style fun to see them operating in their own habitats, but M-Squared is really giving great value for the attention. So far, he’s done climate science denial:
(May I direct Rep. Mullin to Ken Burn’s rather good take on the Dust Bowl—entirely worth anyone’s time, not least of all that of a representative from the great state of Oklahoma, where the wind does indeed come sweeping down the plains, all right.)
I had to run out at lunch time because there was nothing to eat in the house (well, nothing we wanted to eat), and I had a hankering for this Middle Eastern restaurant that puts some sort of addictive agent in the tabouli that makes you crave it fortnightly. My teenage daughter is flopping around the house for another month until school starts, and having never developed a tabouli addiction, she thinks a certain crappy sandwich from a crappy chain co-located with the local fuel emporium is haute cuisine and demands it weekly.
In an effort to accommodate her while also securing my tabouli fix—all within the space of half an hour so I could return home to conduct business—I hatched a plan: I would phone in my take-out order at the Middle Eastern joint, visit the drive-through ATM at the bank to obtain cash for my daughter, drop her off at the sandwich/gas station with cash so she could place her order and pay for it, swing by and pick up my lunch, then retrieve my daughter and go home to eat.
Well, of course they would be repaving the drive-through lanes at the bank, so we couldn’t just swoop through for the cash. I parked and walked up to the wall-mounted ATM outside the bank, probably for the first time in years.
There were three people ahead of me in line. We all waited a polite distance from the elderly lady who was actually at the ATM. The poor thing was clearly flummoxed by the sorcery required to get the machine to dispense money. I’m guessing she usually deals with the tellers in the drive-through bank with their quaint pneumatic tubes but was unable to access their services due to the repaving.
She inserted her card and tried to operate the touch screen from the keypad. She retrieved her card and reinserted it. She made bewildered noises and tapped her foot and randomly pressed buttons, each time ejecting and reinserting the card. Those of us in queue were willing to help, I think, but there’s an etiquette involved in ATM interactions among strangers, so we couldn’t just walk up to the secret screen, could we? I would have totally helped if she’d asked.
Tick-tock-tick-tock. Finally, I decided, awfuckit, I’d just go into the gas station/sandwich counter with the kid, pay for her damn lunch with my debit card and then go to the Middle Eastern place and pay for my tabouli with my card. So off we went. Luckily, there were only two people ahead of us at the sandwich counter. But when the woman right before us prepared to give her order, my heart sank as I saw her consult a clutch of sticky-notes affixed to separate piles of bills.
She was apparently ordering lunch for several people in her office, inspired by a combo coupon. There was much confusion around which items were actually eligible for the discount, and as she questioned the sandwich maker about it, I stifled the urge to offer to buy lunch for her entire goddamn office if she’d just make a fucking coherent fucking order already. Fuck!
When that crisis passed and the sandwiches were being assembled, the focus turned to individual preferences for sandwich toppings – preferences that struck us as insanely precise. For example, on one sandwich, mayonnaise was to be applied only to the side of the bread that was not touching cheese. On another six-inch sandwich, mustard was to be included only on a three-inch segment since two coworkers were splitting that one.
Once these instructions were carried out in precise detail and each sandwich was bagged, each had to be rung up and paid for separately, with change from every order deposited in separate compartments of the woman’s cavernous purse. In one case, a hefty percentage of the total price was to be paid in pennies, and she came up short, so she had to put that one on her personal credit card. I bet the orderer is STILL catching hell for it.
Finally, we ordered our one puny sandwich, paid and got the hell out of there. I joked to my daughter to look for the old lady at the ATM as we passed to see if she was still trying to extract money. She wasn’t at the ATM, but she was at the cash register of the Middle Eastern place, trying to figure out what to order. While we waited behind her to get our take-out, she asked the man behind the counter to explain what “kofta” is, expound on the ingredients in falafel and enlighten her on the mysteries of the rotating gyro log. Ultimately, she decided to take a menu and leave without ordering anything.
Outwardly, I was polite and impassive, but inwardly, I was seething with rage and impatience. Then I realized how stupid that was. I recalled a funny paragraph from “Cloud Atlas” from a character who experiences a forced exile from his past life:
“We—by whom I mean anyone over sixty—commit two offenses just by existing. One is Lack of Velocity. We drive too slowly, walk too slowly, talk too slowly. The world will do business with dictators, perverts, and drug barons of all stripes, but being slowed down it cannot abide. Our second offence is being Everyman’s memento mori. The world can only get comfy in shiny-eyed denial if we are out of sight.”
I was in a hurry, but that was my problem, not anyone else’s. The sandwich lady probably drew the short straw to place that asshole order for her office, was ordered to do so by an oppressive dick of a boss or was kind enough to take on such an obnoxious and thankless task out of the goodness of her heart.
The old lady at the ATM and House of Tabouli was just trying to figure things out. There’s no law requiring her to do so on my timetable. From now on, I’m just going to chill the fuck out about it. I hope.
*Yes, I know that translates into Rage Against the Automatic Teller Machine Machine. Work with me here.
This is a clip from an interview with Juror B37 from the Zimmerman trial who was given a pretty soft interview by Anderson Cooper. She has a book deal lined up to discuss a variety of things, like, I guess, how she made up her mind before the trial, and how she thinks that peaceful demonstrations that actually got a trial to come about were “riots”, how this trial was certainly not about race (Heavens!)and a whole lot of other odd foolishness compelling details.
In America, one can sometimes be assured of getting a jury of one’s peers.
I think it’s interesting that she referred to the defendant in the trial as “George” throughout the interview and that she wholly believed the testimony of a man who did not testify. I will look forward to seeing her story on the remainders table at the 99Cent Store.
No doubt about it: falling off a horse is as easy as falling off a horse. And no amount of fake Amerindian Juju can save you. In yesterday’s scene from the new Lone Ranger film, Johnny Depp played iron-jawed sidekick Tonto wearing pancake make-up, black leather chaps and a stuffed crow on top of his head…but none of that was enough to coax love and mercy from the skittish pinto he was navigating through the Western Plains.
This was the first news story I heard today. I didn’t find out until 5 PM that the Deppster not only survived the fall and the hoof-dance, but courageously appeared on Letterman later in the day (wearing a tasteful wardrobe selectton from the 80s’ TV series “Maude”) to review the miraculous circumstances of his surprisingly non-tragic undemise.
God bless and vaya con Dios, Johnny D. You were the best Hunter S. Thompson since the real one. I’m hoping against hope that the new Silver Bullet Express completely erases my memory of the last Lone Ranger movie from 1981…except for the part where Christopher Lloyd was his arch-foe Butch Cavendish.
“In this audio obtained by XXX media outlet at this private event” is a phrase heard often enough that you’d think politicians would have wised up by now, but “wised up” is not a phrase often associated with the breed. And so it was that Bill Clinton appeared at famed diplomatic scholar John McCain’s Institute For International Shit-Stirring and opined that Obama risked “looking like a wuss” on Syria, which country is a hot mess to the naked eye, but these men of celebrated discretion can descry that Syria is begging for a little intervention! To blazes with Barack’s cautious approach, which must be poll-driven! Onward, ever onward, arm those rebels and ignore those polls, the two old mavericks agreed. Because there’s nothing worse than being shown up by history as a fool.
Former Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton had no comment on the matter, just a long sigh. Update: Uh-oh.
As usual, whether it’s warmongering or attention whoring, McCain’s always the first out of the box! Obama may as well stay home: President McCain has already told the American People. Make with the weaponry, and full speed ahead!
It’s true: this clip has everything—a blind kid with bionic eyes, banana bikes and roller blades. All that, plus a whole world of visual freedom that ‘s usually denied the optically-challenged…and the ultra-advanced concept of navigating sonically by emitting bat-like clicking sounds, and then listening for the return echoes that perfectly describe the shape and distance of reflecting walls.
The young man in this video was quite a celebrity ten years ago when he pioneered several of the world’s most sophisticated new techniques for living productively with a severe blind disability. In the end, the cancer that originally blinded him returned and killed him.Of course, if you or a family member have ever been stricken with cancer, you already know that the Big C is a persistant cuss with an uncanny knack for survival. In contrast, human beings like Ben have an uncanny knack for mostly outliving their cancers until they and God can agree that it’s finally time to die. For Ben, that was age 16…after a short but dramatically successful life of cheating his disability and proving the basic human urge to Live Well and Transcend Momentary Obstacles will get you up just about any tree not even a banana bike can climb. Bravo, Ben! Here’s hoping you can see the streets of Heaven, and that they shine a peaceful, golden light.
TRAITORHEROGOATWORSHIP! The contents of Amy Goodman’s vacuum bag to anyone who can’t guess the civil libertastic subject of this encomium at the charnel house formerly known as the comments section of Talking Points Memo:
It IS what it is; but clearly, most of the posters on this site are more invested in defending their team than being moved by Truth. So they shoot the messenger… it’s like crucifying The Christ, all over again.
(I admit to loving how obnoxious this woman is: to another woman who suggested not letting this scandal keep us home in November: “You’d be more amusing as a cheerleader if you wore pom poms on your breasts and bounced around.” Superciliousness, implacable belief in her own infallibility, allegiance to No Mere Human, reminds me of something..P….PU….what could it be? It’s so familiar…sounds like PURE? PURE something? PURE-MA!)
Did you hear the one about the technical assistant for the CIA who leaked government documents to his favorite libertarian before holing up in a luxury hotel in Hong Kong, and stuffs pillows under his door because he thinks that will foil eavesdropping?
Meet Ed Snowden, a 29-year-old making 200 grand a year to work for Booz-Allen, who had a pretty cushy life in Hawaii before blowing the whistle on practices he thought needed airing, and flying to a city he deemed up to his standards for freedom, within that two-systems-one-country-that-country-being-China sort of thing.
I was at work on a post about the extreme ugliness being displayed all over the internet the past few days, which may yet appear with its attendant Blingee, but of course Mr. Snowden and Glennzilla had to step on my Blingee with their big scoop. Thanks, fellas! Really, reopening and examining the Patriot Act seems like an excellent idea to me, even if the messenger(s) come with shipping containers full of baggage, but Glenn, as an expat and a lawyer, don’t you think you should have informed your idealistic young source that Hong Kong and the U.S. have an extradition treaty? Whoops. What, weren’t the hotels in Taiwan good enough?
**Update: Of course he’s a Ron Paul supporter! What else would he be? (Title edited to reflect author’s slow realization that maybe she WANTS search engines to find this post. Doh!)