“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!
Really this is one of those stories where you don’t know whether to laugh or cry ROTFLMAO.
According to Joshua Green at Bloomberg BusinessWeek, heading into the Michigan primary, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, who at that point still had some sort of chance in the race, hatched a plot to combine forces and run Romney off the road:
As Mitt Romney struggled in the weeks leading up to the Michigan primary, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum nearly agreed to form a joint “Unity Ticket” to consolidate conservative support and topple Romney. “We were close,” former Representative Bob Walker, a Gingrich ally, says. “Everybody thought there was an opportunity.” “It would have sent shock waves through the establishment and the Romney campaign,” says John Brabender, Santorum’s chief strategist.
“Oh noes” we are supposed to say in retrospect! Such a stupendous charismatic pair as Serial Adulterer Newt and Colossal Dick* Santorum could totally have upset OBamz apple cart and WHERE WOULD WE ALL BE TODAY!!
Well, we know it didn’t happen and Romney pulled out a squeaker win in Michigan. The coalition collapsed and, as much as anything, from the stupendous weight of their own egos.
But the negotiations collapsed in acrimony because Gingrich and Santorum could not agree on who would get to be president. “In the end,” Gingrich says, “it was just too hard to negotiate.”
And the rest of us were denied the spectacle of a truly great clown show of a campaign, surpassing even that of Grandpa Grumps and Klondike Barbie. If only.
*Thanks to Charlie Pierce for the oh-so-apt moniker.
Today I thought it might be instructive to introduce one Todd Kincannon, Esq., one of the Republican Party’s bright young things waiting in the wings. Young Guns, I think they call themselves, as they noisily racket around trying to reinvent the GOP for the eleventy-eleventh time.
By my reckoning the GOP change-meisters have managed—by hook or by crook—to drag the party into the 20th century and appear to be hell-bent on emerging into a solidly 1950’s mindset. What next?
It is true that as far as flippant jackassery goes, Sen. McCain’s Tweet implying that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a simian astronaut probably isn’t as purely awful as his improvised song parody, “Bomb, Bomb Iran”, but it is up there, even drawing criticism from fellow Republican, MI Rep. Justin Amash, who Tweeted in return: “Maybe you should wisen up & not make racist jokes.”
We interrupt your regularly scheduled blogging to report that FauxNews has dropped Klondike Barbie’s contract! Yes, she has become too whiny, resentful and uninteresting even for Fox viewers!
What will she do now? Well, according to a source *close to Palin* “She remains focused on broadening her message of common-sense conservatism across the country and will be expanding her voice in the national discussion.”
*scuse me just a jiff* *SNORT, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! wipes eyes, sighs*
That is all. You may now return to your regularly scheduled blogging.
Rachel Maddow showed part of this clip last night from a 2007 Democratic presidential candidate debate. Candidates Biden and Richardson respond to a YouTube question on gun control from a Ted Nugent wannabe who fondly strokes his assault weapon, referring to it as his “baby” and asking how the candidates will help him protect his “baby.” Watch:
Richardson attempts a boilerplate response that won’t unduly alarm gun-fondlers. Biden questions the mental health of anyone who would refer to an assault weapon as his “baby.” I’m glad Biden is heading up the gun control taskforce.
I suppose if there’s one silver lining to come from Susan Rice’s decision to withdraw her name from the running for Hillary Clinton’s replacement as Secretary of State, it’s that Sen. John McCain has to stop his tantrum regarding her. (Oh, but how long before the next tantrum commences?) I suppose I can see where people are coming from if they feel a little ripped off that she didn’t get further in the process because it just feels like giving in to the angry old GOP bastards, and who wants to give them an inch? On the other hand, I lean towards this being her decision to make, and getting out before it gets uglier (as McCain was threatening) is very sensible.
But where does the White House go from here regarding SoS Search? I know the current narrative is the next at-bat goes to Sen. John Kerry, because that’s who the Old Boys’ Club deems acceptable, and also they want a crack at slipping Scott Brown back into the Senate. Me, I don’t see why Obama doesn’t consider Samatha Power. (Well, actually I kind of do. I must be part troll that I’d be looking forward to “Shit-show 2: Power Boogaloo”, because if the GOP wanted to shit-stir regarding Power, well, I guess they would. But I’m a blogger and that’s blog-fodder. I’m capricious like that.)
But regarding the idea that Sen. Kerry accepting a role as SoS necessarily means losing that seat, I’m not convinced. The people of the Commonwealth have seen Brown’s act, and it’s not like there isn’t anyone who could run against him. I rather like the idea of Barney Frank in the Senate (we should be so lucky!). Although more than a few people on Twitter have mentioned Rep. Ed Markey, who I also rather like.
It’s starting to really shape up that the criticism of the Obama Administration regarding the attack on the consulate at Benghazi is a lot of outrage about….the Obama Administration even existing. I was astonished that then-Republican candidate for the presidency, Mitt Romney, chose to opportunistically seize on the deaths of four Americans because it was the sort of flail a losing campaign with a candidate who neither seemed to know or care to understand much about foreign policy might launch. Astonished that no one called it off—not astonished that it occured. The point being—I could remember exactly that sort of fail-flail occuring with a candidate who attempted to grandstand on an issue—the economy, which was not his known strong point, in exactly the same point in his campaign;
The candidate was Senator John McCain, and the event was the nonsensical suspension of his campaign and the further subsequent flail of calling together a group of his peers to try and hash out a plan. From then Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s version of the events:
It was brilliant political theater that was about to degenerate into farce. Skipping protocol, the president turned to McCain to offer him a chance to respond: “I think it’s fair that I give you the chance to speak next.”
But McCain demurred. “I’ll wait my turn,” he said. It was an incredible moment, in every sense. This was supposed to be McCain’s meeting—he’d called it, not the president, who had simply accommodated the Republican candidate’s wishes. Now it looked as if McCain had no plan at all—his idea had been to suspend his campaign and summon us all to this meeting. It was not a strategy, it was a political gambit, and the Democrats had matched it with one of their own.
Finally, raising his voice over the din, Obama said loudly, “I’d like to hear what Senator McCain has to say, since we haven’t heard from him yet.”
The room went silent and all eyes shifted to McCain, who sat quietly in his chair, holding a single note card. He glanced at it quickly and proceeded to make a few general points. He said that many members had legitimate concerns and that I had begun to head in the right direction on executive pay and oversight. He mentioned that Boehner was trying to move his caucus the best he could and that we ought to give him the space to do that. He added he had confidence the consensus could be reached quickly.
As he spoke, I could see Obama chuckling.
McCain had nothing, then, and got called on it, just like Mitt Romney had nothing when, during the second debate, he stepped into the trap (“Please proceed, Governor”) that invited the moderator to actually perform an act of journalism and check the factual record, acknowledging that Obama from day one did consider the Benghazi assault an act of terror.
How is it then, that right after Mitt Romney’s notable shellacking in the election, that Senator John McCain decides to jump on the Benghazi bandwagon with both feet, so eager to publically smear Obama that he calls a potential nominee for Hillary Clinton’s replacement as Secretary of State “none too bright” whilst he is literally blowing off a briefing to potentially get the kind of answers that he was seeking?
How does one shriveled human actually contain so much bitterness? I don’t even know. In his wake, the wingnuts who were in mid-flock are caught spouting gibberish by journalists who smell a rat.
This leaves me with the happy thought, espoused by Booman, that just like this was a non-story, maybe this means John McCain is finally persona non grata. I, too, have longed for the time when McCain inserted his platinum card to draw from the old Bank of American Trust, and finds it declined (hell, he should get a bill with penalties for being well and truly overdrawn). But I treat this non-story as a bloggable event in much the way a doctor is interested in symptoms—“He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.” I’d like to see the symptoms abate—and yet, I am watchful in the event that the screamers on the right will try to actually get their “Watergate-style” hearings—facts be damned! They see the ghosts.
They need them. Or they would have to face the idea that maybe, just maybe, the Obama Administration’s greatest success is in not really being fuck-ups.
One of the names that has floated to the top of the Potential Hillary Replacement List has been that of Susan Rice currently serving as the US Ambassador to the United Nations. Getting wind of that, John McCain had one of his signature “McCain hissy fits” on Fox News, today, vowing to do everything in his considerable senatorial power to block any such nomination:
Susan Rice should have known better and if she didn’t know better, she’s not qualified. I will do everything in my power to block her from being the United States secretary of state.
She has proven that she either doesn’t understand or is not willing to accept evidence on its face.
This all started when McCain appeared on Face the Nation, a week after the attack, along with Rice and the president of the Libyan National Assembly. At some point, the Libyan guest shared his opinion that everyone knew the attack was led by al Qaeda. According to McCain, Rice should then have based her comments more on the Libyan gentleman’s surmise rather than the talking points provided by the CIA, at the time, which McCain deemed “irrelevant.”
According to the Washington Post, those CIA talking points affirmed what Rice said on the Sunday shows that week. When pressed on that point, McCain, as he sometimes does when his dander’s up, became slightly incoherent:
Because it was four dead Americans. She told the American people on every major newscast in America. If a select committee, if appointed, clears her of any wrongdoing — besides not being very bright, because it was obvious this was not a, quote ‘flash mob.’ There was no demonstration.
On Face the Nation, for example, she carefully told Bob Schieffer that she couldn’t yet offer any “definitive conclusions,” but that “based on the best information we have to date” it appeared that there had been a spontaneous protest in Benghazi “as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where [...] there was a violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video.”
She then immediately added: “But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent.” When Schieffer pressed her on whether the attack had been preplanned, or whether al-Qaeda was involved, she said directly that we simply didn’t know yet.
They [Congress] have every right to investigate Benghazi, which might very well have been handled poorly in some respects and which might have been a case of poor anticipation of an attack that should have been expected. But Rice’s conduct was fine. She very carefully, and very professionally, passed along what was, at the time, the considered judgment of the intelligence community. Some of it was wrong, but there was no coverup. There was just new information and new analysis over time, which is exactly what you’d expect following an incident like this.
Evidently, McCain hates to lose any opportunity to yell al Qaeda in a packed theater. Plus, he now gets to bang a drum for “Water-gate-type” hearings in the hope, I guess, that Obama will go hide under the bed or be forced to resign over a terrorist attack that he didn’t see coming in his Magic 8 Ball.
Let’s not forget that this is the same guy who figured it was a great idea to have Sarah Palin one (crotchety-old-man-with-anger-management-issues) heartbeat away from the Oval Office.
War’s over, Buddy. Republicans lost. Have a beer . . .
Despite the slack-jawed pose above, Daisy Mayhem is a highly intelligent animal. It’s just that when she sees reflected light on the wall (or, FSM forbid, a laser pointer beam), her brain shrivels to the size of a lentil, and all she can think to do is stare and then pounce.
I’m off to vote for President Obama in a few minutes; today is the first day of early voting in Florida. I’m kind of out in the boonies, and our early voting polling place is a library surrounded by cow pastures. It’s usually not very crowded, but it was jam-packed on Election Day in 2008.
From what I read on Mememorandum, it looks like some folks are starting to entertain the possibility that President Obama will win the election via the Electoral College and lose the popular vote. In a way, that would be poetic justice, and we could spend days here swapping recipes featuring bitter wingnut tears. But it’s not the outcome I want to see.
I hope President Obama crushes Romney like a rotten walnut—and not just because I don’t want to see us return to a policy of shoveling goodies to plutocrats in hopes that a few crumbs will fall off their table for the rest of us. I hope Mr. Obama wins big because Romney is the most shameless liar to ever credibly aspire to the presidency, at least in my lifetime.
That a champion prevaricator and spinning weathercock like Romney is even within striking distance is a shameful indictment of the state of our national politics and media. I entertained similar notions when Bush won in 2004 after it was clear he’d hoodwinked us into a war on false pretenses, but there was a “let’s not change Horsemen in mid-apocalypse” vibe back then.
“General Powell, you disappoint us and you have harmed your legacy even further by defending what is clearly the most feckless foreign policy in my lifetime.”
Thus spaketh the Emperor Walnuts, depicted above standing a heartbeat away from noted foreign policy expert Winkerbelle Von Putinspotter.
Curiously, at that very instant, thousands of miles away, in a luxury Dallas condo, another scion of a more accomplished father woke up from a nap, choked up a pretzel, and called, “Laura, git me a Q-tip er somethin—there’s fire ants in mah ears!”
You can’t wander far online right now without encountering fistpumping jubilation among rightwingers that four diplomats were killed and three wounded in Benghazi last month—just in time for their October Surprise!
... in the Jimmy Carter election, the fact that we have hostages in Iran, I mean, that was all we talked about. And we had the two helicopters crash in the desert, I mean that’s—that was—that was the focus, and so him solving that made all the difference in the world. I’m afraid today if you said, “We got Iran to agree to stand down a nuclear weapon,” they’d go hold on. It’s really a, but…by the way, if something of that nature presents itself, I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity.
YAY! Something of that nature happened! Dead Americans! Opportunity!
Mitt Romney shared a remarkable story at a campaign rally in Iowa today, his voice wavering and cracking slightly as he described the tragic death of a former Navy SEAL he’d met years earlier. The young man was from Massachusetts; he died in Benghazi during the September 11 terrorist attack against the American consulate that claimed the life of US Ambassador Chris Stevens. Here is Mitt’s stirring and moving tribute:
Romney was visibly emotional during the story, and the video of the speech was repeated throughout the day on network and cable news.
But one of Glen Doherty’s best friends remembered Doherty’s impression of this meeting much differently.
Ellefsen said Doherty recalled meeting Mitt Romney years ago, but the account was much different from what the Presidential candidate retold in Iowa.
According to Ellefsen, Romney introduced himself to Doherty four separate times during the gathering.
“He said it was very comical,” Ellefsen said, “Mitt Romney approached him ultimately four times, using this private gathering as a political venture to further his image. He kept introducing himself as Mitt Romney, a political figure. The same introduction, the same opening line. Glen believed it to be very insincere and stale.”
Ellefsen said Doherty remembered Romney as robotic.
“He said it was pathetic and comical to have the same person come up to you within only a half hour, have this person reintroduce himself to you, having absolutely no idea whatsoever that he just did this 20 minutes ago, and did not even recognize Glen’s face.”
The mother of Glen Doherty, a Navy SEAL who was one of four Americans killed in the Sept. 11 attack in Libya, told a Boston TV station that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney shouldn’t politicize her son’s death.
“I don’t trust Romney,” she said. “He shouldn’t make my son’s death part of his political agenda. It’s wrong to use these brave young men, who wanted freedom for all, to degrade Obama.”
ThinkProgress catches Romney surrogate Rudy “A Noun and a Verb, and 9/11” Giuliani being just a tad too candid from the safe confines of Fox News.
BILL HEMMER (HOST): David Axelrod made the claim Mitt Romney is doing his best to exploit this. Is there argument to be made there? How was this handled on?
GIULIANI: He should be, he should be exploiting it. I mean, there is real chance, there is a cover-up here. They’re trying to run out the clock. Hillary Clinton appoints a commission that will investigate. They will not report until next January or February.
The appropriate course of action would naturally be to come to conclusions before bothering to conduct any investigation, following the lead of Darrell Issa.
Meanwhile, Fox Nation has apparently outsourced its content provision to Babelfish:*
In the third-from-the-bottom paragraph in the Washington Post’s article — the 17th paragraph — on its new poll out this morning, showing President Obama leading, 49 percent to 46 percent, among likely voters:
Partisan identification fluctuates from poll to poll as basic orientations shift and with the sampling variability that accompanies each randomly selected sample of voters. In the current poll, Democrats outnumber Republicans by nine percentage points among likely voters; the previous three Post-ABC polls had three-, six- and five-percentage-point edges for Democrats. The presidential contest would now be neck and neck nationally with any of these margins.
Back in ‘08, gun and ammo wholesalers cunningly spread the meme that if elected president, dusky peacenik/wannabe murderous dictator for life Barack Obama would be comin’ fer yer guns, so BETTER STOCK UP RIGHT AWAY. As things panned out, although it provided a handy additional stimulus to the American economy, that didn’t happen.
Gamechanging alleged hottie wunderkind prospective VP Paul Ryan hasn’t exactly set anybody’s hair on fire except his and Mitt’s handlers and spinners so far. With a few days to go to the first presidential debate, and a few more to the VP one, Ryan’s currently damping down widespread expectations among the borg that he’s gonna ZING! Joe Biden into a quivering blob of hairplug-studded jelly:
GOP vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan said Sunday he’s not counting on gaffes from Vice President Joe Biden when they debate on October 11.
“I don’t think he will. You know he doesn’t do that in debates. The gaffes - he’s kind of legendary for this - that’s not in these kind of situations,” Ryan said on “Fox News Sunday.” “He’s a very disciplined person when he speaks in these kinds of situations. He doesn’t produce gaffes in these moments. Those are when he’s off the cuff.”
As for his own debate preparation, Ryan said he’s not worrying about coming up with creative lines - he’s just going to be himself.
“I’m not really a line guy. I’m more of a gut guy,” Ryan said. “I believe in what I believe. I do what I do. And I really believe in the policies we’re providing, that we’re pursuing. And at the end of the day, I’m just going to go in there and be me.”
Ryan has been preparing with former Solicitor General Ted Olson, who is playing the part of Biden in mock debates.
Ryan said Biden has excellent debate skills, so his plan is not to try to rattle Biden, but to simply lay out the Romney-Ryan vision for America.
Nevertheless, during this tense run-up to the debates, if any tactic can be identified in the Rich Bastard/Granny Starver 2012 campaign at the moment, as Bette observes, it looks like they’ve decided they need to go hell for leather for the crucial outdoorsperson demographic to clinch this thing, so this last week Ryan decided it’s time to fulfil his early promise and basically steal Palin’s favorite lines:
“I might add that in small towns we don’t quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren’t,” she said.