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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Looks like Barry got a bad case of Nixonitis

The tip off:

Carney... "Benghazi...that happened a long time ago."

It's funny and simply must be a coincidence, but every time there is a scandal, and there are many, nobody knows anything. Yet it habitually seems once the scandal is committed, the one who stands to gain the most from the potential outcome and be cast in a favorable light is Barry.

Just how concerned was Barry over Benghazi? The very next day the lowlife was at a fundraiser in of all places Las Vegas! Goes to show you where is priorities are. Say what you will about Bush but that never would have happened under his watch and you can take that to the bank. 

Having "Stedman" investigate the IRS scandal is like having Al Capone investigate the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre.

Obama engulfed by triple scandal crisis: White House faces fury over Benghazi cover-up, tax probes on right wing groups and spying on reporters' phone calls

Press secretary Jay Carney insists the White House had no knowledge of the IRS's admitted plan to subject right-wing groups to closer scrutiny.

Carney also says the administration was unaware of the Justice Department's seizure of Associated Press phone records until 'yesterday'.

The administration continues to spin Benghazi, telling reporters that 'politicization' and comparisons with Richard Nixon are Republicans' fault.

Asked what action Obama will take on the IRS scandal, Carney responded only, 'We'll see'
One-THIRD of committees in the House of Representatives are now investigating the Obama administration.

Criminal investigation is launched into the AP phone records, with Attorney General Eric Holder recusing himself from the probe.

The White House struggled to deflect a barrage of questions today as it scrambled to contain three growing scandals lapping at Obama's door.

The usually unflappable Obama press secretary Jay Carney faced a torrid grilling in his daily briefing and could only claim the White House was ignorant - or blame Republicans for the deep water the Obama administration has found itself in.

The swell of criticism over the administration's actions following the 2012 terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya has reached a new crescendo. 

Tight-lipped: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney tried to deflect tough questions today during a torrid briefing with reporters demanding answers

Under siege: Obama and his administration are under siege on three fronts and struggling to contain the damage 

Under siege: Carney faces grilling on IRS and AP scandals 

And at that same moment, news has emerged that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative non-profit groups for extra scrutiny. 

Thirdly, the Justice Department secretly obtained the phone records of Associated Press reporters in an effort to trace a leak of classified information. 

'Is there a siege mentality back there in the West Wing?' one reporter asked Tuesday. Carney's reply 'absolutely not' – drawing eye rolls among cameramen and reporters in the White House briefing room.

Carney maintained his line that the Benghazi question is politically motivated and fueled by House Speaker John Boehner, whom he accused of being 'obsessed' with the topic. The episode, he said Tuesday, is little more than a 'clear political circus.'

Carney bristled at a question about whether it was fair to draw comparisons between the administration's responses and those during the Richard Nixon presidency, bemoaning 'the rapid politicization of everything'.

'I can tell you that the people who make those kinds of comparisons need to check their history,' Carney insisted, "because, you know, what we have here with one issue – Benghazi – is so clearly, as we're learning more and more, a political sideshow. A deliberate effort to politicize a tragedy."

'If you look at the facts, and I think Benghazi is instructive on this, the real issue is that four Americans died,' he said.

The comment is reminiscent of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's testimony before a congressional panel that it didn't matter whether the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other U.S. personnel were caused by a terror attack or a spontaneous protest. 

'What difference, at this point, does it make?' Clinton famously asked.

The DOJ, led by Attorney General Eric Holder, is under immense pressure following revelations that it secretly collected logs of phone calls made to, and by, AP reporters 

President Barack Obama has said those responsible for any improper scrutiny of conservative groups' tax status would be held 'fully accountable.' The current and former heads of the IRS were informed last May that tea-party groups had been targeted. Senator Marco Rubio has called for the removal of Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller, pictured

The Benghazi political melee had its beginnings in the Obama administration's tale, after the bloodbath in Libya, that an unplanned demonstration over an anti-Islam YouTube video had sparked the consulate's destruction. 

Both Obama and Clinton referred to the video in public comments during the week following the attack, and UN Ambassador Susan Rice blamed it for the attack five separate times on Sunday talk shows.

The truth, that the attack was a terrorist assault carried out by extremists including those from the al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al-Sharia, emerged much later. More recently came evidence that a talking points memo prepared by the CIA for members of Congress went through a dozen edits, including some directed by the State Department, which removed all references to terrorism. 

'[W]e do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa'ida participated in the attack,' the CIA wrote, in a line that was later removed. Despite the CIA's certainty, Jay Carney claimed repeatedly on Friday that the final, sanitized talking points reflected the best knowledge of the intelligence community – 'what the CIA thought it knew.'

But the IRS and AP tempests brought a refrain from Carney, which he cited in some form more than a half-dozen times during his 50-minute press availability, that the White House knew nothing at all and therefore wouldn't comment.

'I cannot, and he [Obama] cannot comment specifically on an ongoing criminal investigation,' he would say repeatedly. 'It would be wholly inappropriate.'

Yet as one journalist pointed out to the chagrined press secretary, Obama made repeated public comments about the shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed in 2011 in a case that sparked hostile race-based controversy.

And the president inserted himself into the story of Henry Louis Gates, a Harvard professor who was allegedly targeted by police because of his race, and arrested for attempting to break into his own house. 

'The police acted stupidly,' Obama told his global audience, prompting a much-discussed 'beer summit' – brokered by the president and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House – between Gates and the arresting officer. 

Holder: 'Very serious leak' prompted AP records case 

Cover-up: Carney reiterated Obama's insistence that Republican fury over the deaths in Benghazi is 'politically-motivated' and that there's no merit in claims there was a deliberate attempt to mislead the country in the hours after the attack days before the last election 



THE SCANDAL: Documents show that in the midst of a re-election campaign, administration officials in the State Department had a hand in editing a set of CIA talking points about the 2012 terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The first draft from the CIA named the al-Qaeda-linked group Ansar al-Sharia as bearing some responsibility, but the final version contained no references to Islamic terrorism.

THE WHITE HOUSE LINE: Jay Carney has said the White House's only role consisted of editing a single word for clarity, and that the 'intelligence community' was solely responsible.

THE KEY QUESTION: Obama must explain how much influence his political appointees had in the editing process. Did the CIA merely hold the pen while his key advisers dictated the edits?

Associated Press phone records

THE SCANDAL: Journalists are upset that the Department of Justice went to a judge to secretly obtain the office, home and mobile phone records of Associated Press journalists in at least three cities. Justice says it was trying to learn who leaked information to the AP about a classified CIA operation in Yemen which foiled a terror plot involving bombing a U.S.-bound jetliner. 

THE WHITE HOUSE LINE: The administration insists that the White House was completely out of the loop, even as Attorney General Eric Holder - an Obama appointee - knew what was going on, and that the president himself found out only on Monday. Carney says that while Obama believes reporters should have 'unfettered' access to information, the government has the right to temper their First Amendment protections by protecting classified information. Carney also says that since the leaker may have been an administration official, it's appropriate for the White House to be on the outside looking in.

THE KEY QUESTION: Obama must tell the press how it is that he was outside the circle of people who knew about what the Attorney General is calling one of the most serious criminal cases he has ever seen. Obama receives daily classified intelligence briefings. If he was truly ignorant of the DOJ's investigation, he should explain why that's a good thing.

IRS targeting of tea party groups and other conservative non-profits

THE SCANDAL: The Internal Revenue Service has admitted running a longstanding program that targeted right-wing groups - including those aligned with the politically successful tea party - for extra scrutiny, through delay tactics and intrusive mandatory questionnaires, when the organizations applied for tax-exempt status through the federal government. Some of those inquisitions involved demands for donor lists and the names of groups' volunteers. The Washington Post has reported that senior IRS officials in Washington, D.C. knew about the program. And a draft of portions of a report from the IRS's internal Office of Inspector General lays out a timeline showing who knew what, and when.

THE WHITE HOUSE LINE: Carney says the White House was completely unaware of the program, learned about it less than a month ago, and was taken completely by surprise. Obama has said he was outraged but cautioned that all the facts are not yet known, and that since the report has not been finalized, it's inappropriate for the administration to comment or to assume that anyone in the government has done anything wrong.

THE KEY QUESTION: The president needs to convince the press that senior IRS officials in Washington who were informed about the politically partisan program never told the Treasury Secretary or anyone in the White House, and that they kept it from Obama's political team during his re-election campaign. The administration also must provide an explanation for its inaction, despite the IRS's quick admissions and apology. Senator, Marco Rubio - partially to bolster his credentials among conservatives who don't like his immigration reform proposals - is openly calling for the top tax collectors' heads to roll.

Carney's professed ignorance on Tuesday covered both new administration headaches. 

He first insisted that no White House personnel were notified about the IRS's intense focus on challenging the tax-exempt status applications of conservative organizations. 

Moments later, he made a similar promise about the Justice Department investigation that prompted subpoenas for reporters' phone records – including the calls made and received on journalists' mobile phones, their home landlines, and at least one line in the House of Representatives press gallery.

The AP reported in May 2012 on the CIA's disruption of an al-Qaeda plot in the Gulf state of Yemen, which aimed to blow up a commercial aircraft bound for the United States. That operation was classified, and the Justice Department sought to determine who provided the information to reporters.

Only weeks before, the Obama administration – in mid-re-election swing – had assured the American public that no such attack had been planned or set into motion.

'I have been a prosecutor since 1976,' Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday, 'and I have to say that this is among – if not the most serious, it is among the top two or three most serious leaks that I have ever seen.'

The entire case, Carney said, was 'handled by the Justice Department independently.'

Ignorance: Carney repeatedly said the White House was not aware of either the IRS 'harassment' of the Tea Party and conservatives or the DoJ wiretapping the AP 

Playing for time: Carney went on to claim that reporting of the growing 'scandals' was inaccurate, telling journalists to wait for the investigations to finish before making conclusions 

'We have no knowledge' of the matter, he told reporters. 'We are not involved in the White House with any decisions made about ongoing investigations.'

'It would be wholly inappropriate for me to have answers to those questions,' he added, 'and I don't have them.'

Obama himself, he said, found out about the Associated Press-related subpoenas yesterday while watching TV.

Carney reminded reporters that the president 'believes that the press, as a rule, needs to have the ability to pursue investigative journalism,' referring to that freedom as 'unfettered.' 

But the government, he added, must balance that 'unfettered' access with the need to protect classified information.

'There is a balance that has to be struck here,' Carney said, prompting one journalist to ask him how that balance could be compatible with an 'unfettered' press corps.

'The president understands that a reporter needs to be shielded,' he intoned. But with respect to the DOJ obtaining reporters' phone records, he said: 'I can tell you that I am not aware of anyone here knowing about it.'

'I am certainly not aware of, and am confident that, no one here was involved with this,' Carney continued, referring further questions to the Justice Department in a moment which may soon be interpreted as a shifting of blame.

Politico reported Tuesday that AP reporters themselves were furious.

'People are pretty mad — mad that government has not taken what we do seriously,' one reporter told the inside-the-beltway broadsheet.

'When the news broke yesterday … people were outraged and disgusted. No one was yelling and screaming, but it was like, 'Are you kidding me!?'

Obama surrogate Jay Carney claimed the president doesn't insert himself into active criminal cases like the Justice Department's probe of Associated Press reporters. But he weighed in repeatedly when the self-styled neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman (L) was charged with second-degree murder for killing the unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin (R) in Florida

The president (R) also inserted himself into the 2009 controversy created when Police Sergeant James Crowley (2nd R) of Cambridge, Massachusetts arrested Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. (2nd L), holding a so-called 'beer summit' at the White House that also included Vice President Joe Biden (L). 'The police acted stupidly,' Obama said, after what was presumed to be a racially-motivated arrest of Gates 

Politico also reported Tuesday that 'roughly one-third of House committees are engaged in investigating some aspect of the Obama administration.'

Holder, who leads the Justice Department as the nation's highest-ranking law enforcement official, was having his own press conference across town at the same moment Carney held his announcing a criminal probe into the phone-records scandal, and also making clear that it was his deputy who had approved the plan to spy on reporters' phone records.

Similarly, despite the IRS's apparent admissions that it targeted right-wing groups – including some that identified with the once politically powerful Tea Party – for extra scrutiny, Carney crouched behind Obama's hedging on Monday and said the White House was in the dark.

And he, like Obama, suggested that the reporting to date might not be true.

Carney questioned aloud 'if the actions [of the IRS] were inadvertent, or not,' and said that 'at this point, we have to wait for the action of an independent investigator ... before we can jump to conclusions about what happened.'

No shortage of hands raised on Tuesday as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney took questions - mostly from his regular journalist-inquisitors - during his daily news briefing at the White House. Reporters were most persistent on the Justice Department's seizure of two months of phone records from the Associated Press, in pursuit of the source of leaks of classified information

The president 'made it clear,' Carney argued without conceding any facts, 'that if the reports about the activity of IRS personnel proved to be true, he would find them outrageous.'

Even the details the IRS has confirmed, Carney suggested, were not yet settled. Obama, he said, 'had no tolerance for the targeting of specific groups,' and referred to them as 'conservative groups, if the reporting is true about this.'

Carney acknowledged the media reports about 'a deliberate targeting of groups, inappropriately,' but said action from the administration would only be expected 'if it, in fact, took place.'

Citing Obama's public comments about his 'outrage' over the IRS's reported partisan activity, one reporter asked what might be 'the consequences of his outrage.'

'We'll see,' Carney responded.

A full bank of TV cameras focused on Jay Carney as he defended the Obama administration against a hail of media attacks over a trio of scandals

But 'instead of rushing to conclusions or perpetrating consequences,' he insisted, the media must wait for the conclusions of a report from the IRS Office of Inspector General.

While the president, he said, 'is concerned about every report he hears about this,' Carney refused to commit the administration to a change in leadership at the IRS, even if the reports so far are proven true.

He did, however, answer 'yes' to a reporter's request that he state 'categorically' that no one in the White House knew about, or was involved with, targeting Tea Party groups ''We learn everything we know about this from your reports,' Carney insisted.

Yet amid new reporting from the Washington Post that senior IRS officials in Washington knew about the anti-conservative program in 2011, before the president's re-election date, Carney punted a question about whether or not the White House should have been informed.

'Notification is appropriate and routine' only after the IG report is published, he insisted, adding that 'there was no knowledge here' before media outlets broke the story.

Ultimately, Carney gave himself a breather by taking questions from reporters representing news outlets in Pakistan and Turkey, despite reporters' interest in Benghazi, the IRS and the Associated Press.

He had lengthy prepared statements addressing both questions and read aloud from them.

And, perhaps for the first time in the Obama administration's history with the press, audible sighs were heard among reporters in the packed briefing room.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

RNC Benghazi Ad That Never Ran

By Ed Kilbane

Another bone headed decision by the RNC. This ad was dead on!

(If video won't load click post title)

Video 28

Apparently mister nice guy Mitt did not want it aired. Strange when you consider the Joe Soptic ad which portrayed him as a murderer.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

What would Nixon do?

Probably the same thing Barry and his cohorts are trying to pull off.

It was all about the "despicable video" according to Hillary. Rice couldn't blame the video enough on the Sunday talk shows. Now not one word about it. It has become what Kryptonite is to superman. The guy in jail who shot the video is being held on what charge? If we're going to take this approach why is the guy who made Lost In Translation not in jail? 

The catalyst?

My money is on this guy.

 I surprised they didn't call it work place violence. After all, Chris Stevens was working at the Benghazi embassy.
The sad truth about this whole episode was getting Barry reelected and damage control for Hillary's 2016 run. But it just may blow up in their face.

Benghazi e-mails show clash between State Department, CIA

New details from administration e-mails about last year's attacks on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, demonstrate that an intense bureaucratic clash took place between the State Department and the CIA over which agency would get to tell the story of how the tragedy unfolded. 

That clash played out in the development of administration talking points that have been at the center of the controversy over the handling of the incident, according to the e-mails that came to light Friday. 

Over the five days between the attacks and the now-infamous Sunday show appearance by U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice, senior officials from the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department argued over how much information to disclose about the assault in which four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed.

That internal debate and the changes it produced in the Obama administration's immediate account of the attack have revived Benghazi as a political issue in Washington six months after the presidential election in which it played a prominent role. Friday's revelations — ABC News published 12 versions of the talking points — produced the latest round of Benghazi post-mortems in the eight months since the attacks. Senior administration officials said in a briefing for reporters that none of Obama's political advisers were involved in discussions around the original talking points, only national security staff officials.

According to various drafts of the talking points, shaped before the final editing by the White House and other agencies, State Department officials raised concerns that the CIA-drafted version could be used by members of Congress to criticize diplomatic security preparedness in Benghazi.

One U.S. intelligence official familiar with the talking points' drafting said: "The changes don't reflect a turf battle. They were attempts to find the appropriate level of detail for unclassified, preliminary talking points that could be used by members of Congress to address a fluid situation." 

One version of the talking points, drafted by the CIA, noted that unknown gunmen had carried out at least five recent attacks in and around Benghazi against "foreign interests." The final version, however, did not include those warnings after Victoria Nuland, the State Department's chief spokesperson at the time, protested in e-mails to White House national security staff and other agencies involved in editing the talking points.

CIA officials said in the weeks after the Benghazi attack that Ansar al-Sharia, a group affiliated with al-Qaeda, was not mentioned in the final talking points because the information was classified — even though the early versions made public this week showed that the agency initially intended to name the group. 

During the 2012 presidential campaign, Republican nominee Mitt Romney accused thwe White House of downplaying the attackers' links to Ansar al-Sharia for political reasons given Obama's campaign argument that he had severely weakened the terrorist group.

Reports about the e-mails surfaced two days after three State Department officials appeared before Congress on Wednesday and criticized administration actions before, during and after the September assaults. 

The most memorable testimony came from Gregory B. Hicks, who was deputy ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli at the time of the attack. Hicks and the others questioned why the Benghazi facility had not been made more secure before the attack and why the Pentagon did not send air or ground support once the attack began. Hicks also testified that he was criticized for raising the questions and was effectively demoted as a result — allegations that the State Department denied. 

On Thursday, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) called on the White House to make public e-mails and other information about the talking points that are among tens of thousands of pages of documents the administration turned over to lawmakers months ago. White House officials continue to assert that they have provided all the information congressional leaders have asked for. 

White House officials have said previously they made only one change to the CIA-drafted talking points, changing U.S. "consulate" to "diplomatic post" in the final version.

But White House officials were directly involved in developing the talking points through discussions with the CIA, the State Department, the FBI, the Justice Department, and elements of the Pentagon.

Behind the scenes, as a then-close presidential campaign entered its final stretch, State Department officials found themselves at a disadvantage in debating the CIA, whose deputy director, Mike Morrell, took charge of organizing days of internal agency discussions into a coherent set of talking points for members of Congress.

For one, State Department officials could not disclose that one of the two U.S. sites attacked in Benghazi was run by the CIA because of its secret designation.

CIA operations in the area included disarming militias, including ones affiliated with Islamist extremist groups, several months after the U.S. military role in toppling Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi. Virtually every U.S. official assigned to Benghazi was based in the CIA annex — where the agency, not the State Department, was in charge of security.

The State Department was also chiefly responsible, along with the White House, for describing the events surrounding the deadly attacks publicly.

In addition to the State Department, the FBI and the Justice Department also objected to the CIA's inclusion of Ansar al-Sharia in the talking points because it could have harmed the nascent investigation, senior administration officials said Friday.

In a statement, Jen Psaki, the State Department's chief spokesperson, said Friday that the department first reviewed the talking points on the evening of Sept. 14, two days before Rice delivered them on a series of talk shows. She said Nuland raised two concerns. "First that the points went further in assigning responsibility than preliminary assessments suggested and there was concern about preserving the integrity of the investigation," Psaki said. "Second, that the points were inconsistent with the public language the administration had used to date — meaning members of Congress would be providing more guidance to the public than the administration."

In November, both Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. and former CIA director David H. Petraeus briefed the intelligence committees about the talking points. After that testimony, DNI spokesman Shawn Turner told reporters that the intelligence community was solely responsible for "substantive" changes in the talking points. 

A bipartisan report on Benghazi released by the Senate homeland security committee in December said that a senior CIA analyst had advocated including the al-Qaeda reference. 

But Clapper, CIA, FBI and State Department counterterrorism officials told the committee that "changes characterizing the attacks as 'demonstrations' and removing references to al-Qaeda or its affiliates were made within the CIA and the" intelligence community.

"They also testified," the Senate report said, "that no changes were made for political reasons, that there was no attempt to mislead the American people about what happened in Benghazi and that the only change made by the White House was to change a reference of 'consulate' to 'mission.' "

Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who has been traveling outside the country this week, said Friday that Benghazi was a "tragedy. But I hate to see it turned into a pure, prolonged, political process that really doesn't tell us anything new about the facts."


Friday, May 10, 2013

Priorities At The Top

On a tip from Ed Kilbane

When an Army soldier, or Marine is killed in the line of duty, his family eventually gets a flag and a note conveying sympathy and respect from the United States Government. When a Black pro basketball player announces he is a queer, he immediately gets a personal phone call from the President congratulating him for his courage. 

Am I missing something? 


Thursday, May 9, 2013

America was founded by geniuses but over 200 years later is now loaded with idiots.

1. If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

 2. If you have to get your parents permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

 3. If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check or check out a library book, but not to vote… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. 

 4. If the government wants to ban stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines with more than ten rounds, but gives 20 F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. 

 5. If in our largest city, you can buy "two" 16-ounce sodas, but not a 24-ounce soda because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

 6. If an 80-year-old woman and 3 yr old child can be stripped searched by the TSA, but a woman in a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. 

 7. If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. 

 8. If a seven year old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher is cute, but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

 9. If children are forcibly removed from parents who discipline them with spankings while children of addicts are left in filth and drug infested homes… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. 

 10. If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government intrusion, while not working is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing, and free cell phones… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

 11. If you pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest big screen TV while your neighbor buys iPhones, TVs and new cars, and the government forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. 

 12. If being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you more safe according to the government… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.