Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Last Call

Mitt Romney just blew it.  He's done, folks.

Mitt Romney reiterated on Wednesday his claim that President Obama’s “first response” to an attack on a diplomatic compound in Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens was to “sympathize” with Stevens’s attackers.

In a press conference delivered minutes after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the attacks, Romney expanded on his initial statement, accusing Obama of apologizing to Islamic militants.

“We join together in the condemnation of attacks on the American embassies and the loss of American life and join in sympathy for these people,”Romney said. “It’s also important for me — just as it was for the White House, last night by the way — to say that the statements were inappropriate, and in my view a disgraceful statement on the part of our administration to apologize for American values.”

It was the second time in just over 12 hours that Romney had suggested the White House sided with rioters and militants. Romney’s initial statement came late Tuesday, after news had broke that an American officer had been killed in Libya, but before the State Department had confirmed Stevens was among the dead. It inaccurately suggested that the U.S. embassy in Cairo, which also came under attack, had issued a statement condemning an anti-Muslim film online that had sparked the riots as its “first response” to the violence. In fact, the embassy and multiple press reports assert that the statement came before the protests and was intended to head off a confrontation.

To recap, Romney doubled down on his awful, completely political attacks blaming the embassy staff and the President for the deaths in Libya.  Then he smirked and walked away.

Done, folks.  Mitt's toast.  Gonna put this in the Future Stupidity files, but this is Romney's "The fundamentals of this economy are strong" moment when the Dow lost 350.  I think he's lost it for good.

Big Bad Bibi Baby

Josh Marshall notes that Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to, at this point, get Mitt Romney elected.  Josh is worried that we're in an "any means necessary" situation, too.

We have a high-octane tussle tonight between the White House and the Netanyahu government in Israel. It started with a Netanyahu speech suggesting that the US had lost its “moral right” to block an Israeli attack on Iran by failing to put red lines beyond which Iran couldn’t go.

That was followed by a leak from Netanyahu’s team claiming that Netanyahu had requested a meeting with Obama when he travels to the UN — only to be refused. The White House scrambled tonight putting out a flat denial of that claim. In essence, the White House called the Israelis liars.

As I mentioned a moment ago in an impromptu editorial meeting, this has obvious political implications for the US election. But I don’t think the intensity of the engagement is mainly about politics. It’s about policy.

Netanyahu desperately wants an attack on Iran. The White House desperately wants to avoid war. The stakes are quite, quite high

I agree, but as Bernard Finel points out at the Juice:

The notion that Israel will launch a unilateral attack on Iran is almost surely a bluff. It is not clear how they would do it, and no analysis I’ve seen suggests that can launch an effective attack by themselves. Natanyahu may be reckless, but Israel is, in the end, a democracy, and there are checks and balances as well as various civil-military constraints on action.

So while the Obama team may not be eager to get into a pissing match with Natanyahu over Iran in the weeks before the election, there isn’t any “reason to fear” that this situation will transform the election. If anything, Obama’s steady foreign policy hand would be a plus when compared to the desperate rants we’re likely to get from the Romney camp.

Israel would have hit Iran long ago if they honestly believed they had no choice.  What Bibi is trying to do is force that no choice scenario, and he's doing so in such a way that he's influencing the US election.  There should be a massive backlash from Congress.   Sadly, it's one bought and paid for, both parties, by AIPAC.  No backlash is coming.

Now Bibi is trying to bully his way to a Romney victory and a green light to hit Iran.  Given the insanity of the GOP and Romney's utter failure in foreign policy credibility, that's a guarantee should Obama lose.

Yet another reason why you need to get out and vote Obama in November, as if you needed another one.

Dirty Pool, Old Man

Now, I know Rahm Emanuel is on the wrong side of this Chicago teachers' strike and all, but there is no call for something like this, folks.



Chicago Teachers Union Strikes Go Too Far
[Image: @DanielStrauss4]



At long last sir, have you no decency?

A Liar By Any Other Name Is Paul Ryan

The Immoral Minority ran a spectacular piece calling Paul Ryan out on his lies.  Because he tells outright and absolute lies here, people.  Notice his eyes don't give a tell.  He doesn't swallow hard, lose his concentration or bat an eye.

The man is a gifted liar, but a liar in any case.

RYAN: No, no — I have to correct on you this, Norah. I voted for a mechanism that says the sequester will occur if we don’t cut $1.2 trillion in government. … We can get into this nomenclature; I voted for the Budget Control Act. But the Obama Administration proposed $478 billion in defense cuts. We don’t agree with that, our budget rejected that, and then on top of that is another $500 billion in defense cuts in the sequester. 

O’DONNELL: Right. A trillion dollars in defense spending, and you voted for it! 

RYAN: No, Norah. I voted for the Budget Control Act.

He tries to shuffle the math (badly) and call it by another name, but when the facts don't add up to what he is saying, he simply pretends Nora O'Donnell doesn't understand the truth.  He tells her she is mistaken, though she is the one presenting provable truths and he is backpedaling and failing.

Please check out the whole thing here.

St. Louis Mayor Tries For DNC 2016

If St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has his way, the next Democratic National Conventionwill be in his city.
Slay, a Democrat in heavily-Democratic St. Louis, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ( that his administration continues to explore making a bid for the 2016 convention.
St. Louis was a finalist for the 2012 presidential nominating convention but lost out to Charlotte, N.C.

A girl can hope.  If so I'll be there covering the entire thing, safety be damned.  Because I can promise you, there will be brawls and shots fired if they allow this to go down in my neck of the woods.

Still, it would be awesome times infinity if it works.

[Zandar's Note:]  Considering St. Louis is basically halfway between where I am in Cincy and where Bon is in Springfield, we'll both be there if that's on.  Count on it.

Read more here:

Egypt Me Out Of An Embassy

This might be a problem.

Angry protesters climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday and tore down the American flag, apparently in protest of a film thought to insult the Prophet Mohammed.

A volley of warning shots were fired as a large crowd gathered around the compound, said CNN producer Mohammed Fahmy, who was on the scene, though it is not clear who fired the shots.

Egyptian police and army personnel have since formed defensive lines around the facility in an effort to prevent the demonstrators from advancing farther, but not before the protesters affixed their standard atop the embassy.

The black flag, which hangs atop a ladder inside the compound, is adorned with white characters that read, "There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger," an emblem often used in al Qaeda propaganda.

Egypt still is far from stable.  The Morsi government still has to deal with the military council there, and the longer the instability lasts, the worse things are going to get.  I'm hoping that the US can help Egypt find the path to actual freedom, but considering we can't really do that for ourselves, I'm not sure what right we have to interfere, or that we even should.

So what happens now? Either way, I feel better with President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton at the helm here, far more than I am with the GOP.

The problem is, a repeat of this is now going on today in Benghazi, Libya.

A US state department official was killed and at least one other American was wounded when militiamen stormed the US consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

It is believed the protest was held over a US-produced film that is said to be insulting to the Prophet Muhammad.

Armed men raided the compound with grenades before setting it on fire.

On Tuesday, protesters against the film breached the walls of the US embassy in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

In the attack in Benghazi, unidentified armed men stormed the grounds, shooting at buildings and throwing handmade bombs into the compound. 

One of the dead is now reported to be the US Ambassador, Chris Stephens.

The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other embassy staff were killed in a rocket attack on Tuesday in the Libyan city of Benghazi, a Libyan official said.

It was not clear if the ambassador was in his car or the Libyan consulate when the attack occurred.

"The Libyan ambassador and three staff members were killed when gunmen fired rockets at them," the official in Benghazi told Reuters.

This is all getting a bit insane now.

Well, That's One Person Who Can Vote In Pennsylvania

Jim Cramer may be a doofus and is utterly clueless on the economy and markets, but I wouldn't wish Pennsylvania's Voter ID on anyone, even Jim Cramer and his family.  It's so awful, it was keeping his dad from being able to get an ID to vote.

Pennsylvania's voter ID law will no longer be a problem for the father of CNBC host Jim Cramer. Cramer tweeted that his father, a veteran, lacked the specific form of photo identification that would allow him to voter in November under Pennsylvania's voter ID law. Cramer now says that Pennsylvania authorities contacted him and assured him they'll make sure his dad can vote.

I'm glad for Cramer's father, because everyone deserves the right to vote as an American citizen.  But as Ryan J. Reilly points out:

That's one down, hundreds of thousands of registered voters who lack state-issued identification to go.

And so it goes.


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