Thursday, October 18, 2012

Romney was over the top. He was inappropriate.

by Josh Feldman | 10:51 pm, October 18th, 2012
The media has a habit of over analyzing (click here) everything that happens over the course of a political campaign, much in the same way your grade school English teacher over analyzed every single book you read in class. Sometimes a red wall is just a red wall, and sometimes a joke is just a joke. Well, not for the folks over at MSNBC. Lawrence O’DonnellKrystal Ball, and Jonathan Capehart did just that when they analyzed the comedic speeches delivered tonight by President Obama and Mitt Romney....

What validated my point of view is when Johnathan Capehart stated he was uncomfortable and tweeted same and watched his Twitter feed light up. 

It was bad.

I found the President to be far more light-hearted in his performance which is what is appropriate for the audience. Self-deprecating statements is the humor everyone was looking for. Humble. Approachable. Not back stabbing.

The real question about "The Last Word" host is whether or not Taggart Romney will take him up on his challenge to punch the one man that actually was calling Tagg's father a liar.

President Obama dined with white, religious people this evening.

Mitt Romney should have felt very comfortable.

There are 23.9 percent Catholics in the USA.

"Catholic Online" points to the fact Caucasians are a minority in USA cities. You would never know that tonight.

The Associated Press was reporting the attacks were masked by the film protests.

Published September 13, 2012 / Associated Press

Heavily armed militants (click here) used a protest of an anti-Islam film as a cover and may have had help from inside Libyan security in their deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate, a senior Libyan official said Thursday.

As Libya announced the first four arrests, the clearest picture yet emerged of a two-pronged assault with militants screaming "God is great!" as they scaled the consulate's outer walls and descended on the compound's main building.
The rampage killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

Eastern Libya's deputy interior minister, Wanis el-Sharef, said a mob first stormed the consulate Tuesday night and then, hours later, raided a safe house in the compound just as U.S. and Libyan security arrived to evacuate the staff. That suggested, el-Sharef said, that infiltrators within the security forces may have tipped off the militants to the safe house's location.

The attacks were suspected to have been timed to coincide with the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist strike in the United States, el-Sharef added, with the militants using the film protest by Libyan civilians to mask their action....

There was no misinformation except what was misstated in the press and by the Romney camp surrounding this attack. Secretary Clinton had it correct from the beginning. It was picked up and reported correctly by the AP. If the Romney Camp wants to exaggerate the press reports for their own purpose that is their strategy. They are trying to discredit the President and his administration for the election. That is Romney's methodology. He hasn't got a case against President Obama so he has to make things up.

The security company for this consulate would have been dispatched by the Regional Security Officers. It was probably a very routine assignment for them to hire private contractors for small contingencies. The one chosen was more than likely immediately available with qualifications to meet the requirements of State Department policy. I think the security personnel were qualified, they put their lives on the line, they died protecting the Ambassador, they miss judged the danger. It happens sometimes. There is no crimes or misdirection of policy by the State Department.

Ansar al-Shariah is a militia of Salafists formed during the Libyan Civil War.

The Benghazi Consulate was secured by a private contractor from Great Britain.
The Blue Mountain Group (click here) are security professionals, many from Special Forces backgrounds, sharing and utilising experiences gained from working in the varied arenas that we supply to.
We consistently demonstrate a systematic understanding of our clients requirements and are proud of our ability to deliver cost effective and professional services aligned to many complex and diverse objectives....

...Security practices at the diplomatic compound, (click here) where Blue Mountain guards patrolled with flashlights and batons instead of guns, have come under U.S. government scrutiny in the wake of the September 11 attack that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Federal contract data shows that the Benghazi security contract, worth up to $783,284, was listed as a 'miscellaneous' award, not as part of the large master State Department contract that covers protection for overseas embassies....

The Ansar al-Shariah militia is supposed to have grown out of the "February 17 Brigade," a group of Salafists proud of their work in Sirte. The Ansar al-Shariah militia was probably a spin off of the most extreme of the Salafist group.

Abu Khattala was virtually unknown to the intelligence community until this attack on the USA Consulate in Benghazi. He is the groups leader and admits to being at the compound during the attacks.

...But Mr. Abu Khattala’s exact role, (click here) or how much of the leadership he shared with others, is not yet clear. His leadership would not rule out participation or encouragement by militants connected to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, an Algerian Islamic insurgency that adopted the name of Bin Laden’s group a few years ago to bolster its image, but has so far avoided attacks on Western interests.
Like the other leaders of the brigade or fighters seen in the attack, Mr. Abu Khattala remains at large and has not yet been questioned.
The authorities in Tripoli do not yet command an effective army or police force, and members of the recently elected Parliament have acknowledged with frustration that their government’s limited power has shackled their ability to pursue the attackers....
But, that limited power was known to the USA and that is why they hired a British private contractor to secure their people.

...“Ansar al-Shariah is not only a shadowy group, it’s also quite factionalized,” the official said. “There isn’t necessarily one overall military commander of the group.”...

Exactly. They are very loosely organized. I would seek out their Holy Man for information to their identity and their purpose. They could be connected to the religious group of Salafists destroying other holy sites in Libya. 

The entire Libyan Revolution was loosely organized. They were successful though once the killing of the citizens stopped in Benghazi. To understand these men might be the same type of fear witnessed in post invasion Iraq. Extremists with the idea having infidels in their land would give power back to people who were known to kill them. The Libyan Rebels were very much supported by others in the region with the same type of views. They almost didn't want foreign soldiers in their presence. They sacrificed their lives to achieve victory in their Holy War, I doubt they would allow any detail to purity remain among them after their victory.

...Mr. Abu Khattala fought Colonel Qaddafi along with the rest of the Libyan opposition and the current leaders of the big militias in eastern Libya. But as those groups lined up behind the transitional government and the democratic process, Mr. Abu Khattala and a small core of like-minded Islamists formed Ansar al-Shariah, which now includes 100 to 200 fighters. Its name means “supporters of Islamic law,” and it opposes electoral democracy as a substitute....
These were unknown people going about their lives until they were faced with Gaddafi's death machines in Benghazi. They were trained, they have no exposure to international dynamics, they would not understand the presence of an American Consulate if their lives depended on it. They probably never knew a television or radio in their lives.

The bottom line here is the private security company which was being well paid didn't have an adequate understanding of the brevity of their jobs, and if they did they didn't perform intelligence to understand the threats to the USA diplomats.

I still don't believe all the details are known. We have to wait for the State Department to finish their investigation. This attack was not al Qaeda. I apologize to the families, but, the men were killed by hapless people in fear of the difference that existed between them.

Romney expected to lose Massachusetts in historic numbers.

By Esmé E. Deprez on October 18, 2012

...Recent voter surveys show (click here) Romney trailing President Barack Obama in the state by 14 to 33 percentage points. The largest margin of defeat for any presidential candidate in his home state was Herbert Hoover, who lost Iowa by almost 18 points in 1932. Republican Romney also would be the first one-time governor to lose his home state since Adlai Stevenson in Illinois in 1956, and before that Al Smith of New York in 1928....

...“We’ve had enough bad actors in Washington,” said Steven Tolman, president of AFL-CIO’s Massachusetts chapter and a former state Senate colleague of Brown’s. The union endorsed Brown in his 2008 re-election bid to the state Senate and now supports Warren. “He says he stands with working people -- what has he stood with us on?”...

Tis a shame, Brown traded his union card for a Wall Street dividend.

Governor Romney wants to know what President Obama's next four years will look like.

What a strange question.

HBO Documentary Films: Ethel - Trailer

Like, huh?

In this Jan. 22, 1983 file photo, ex-CIA agent Edwin Wilson, center, leaves federal court after a day of jury selection accompanied by U.S. Marshals in Houston. Edwin P. Wilson, a former CIA operative who was branded a traitor and convicted of shipping arms to Libya but whose conviction was later overturned after he served 22 years in prison, has died, Sept. 10, 2012. He was 84. (AP Photo/File)
Wilson actually existed above the law. This is after J. Edgar Hoover died at the age of 77. 
...Wilson was eventually indicted (click here) by the Department of Justice. However, he had moved to Libya and Moammar Gaddafi refused to extradite him. Wilson feared for his safety and the prosecutors knew this and in 1982 they sent Ernest Keiser to convince him that he would be safe in the Dominican Republic. Wilson flew to the Caribbean but upon arrival was arrested and flown to New York....
You wonder how this all happened. Wilson had no conscience. Self appointed vigilante to kill and eliminate dissidents.

Webster. He was the director of the FBI during these years. He is a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Group today. Webster never lifted a finger to know what was going on here? 

William H. Webster (click here)
February 23, 1978 - May 25, 1987

There were five directors of the CIA during those same years, but, Webster was at the FBI the entire time.

 James R. Schlesinger
2 Feb 1973 — 2 Jul 1973

William E. Colby
4 Sep 1973 — 30 Jan 1976

George H. W. Bush
30 Jan 1976 — 20 Jan 1977

Adm. Stansfield Turner, USN (Ret.)
9 Mar 1977 — 20 Jan 1981

The Honorable William J. Casey
28 Jan 1981 — 29 Jan 1987

No one knew Webster was carrying on his own weapons empire with Libya?  Why not?
SEATTLE (AP) -- Edwin Wilson (click here) set up front companies abroad for the CIA, made millions in the arms trade and entertained generals and congressmen at his sprawling Virginia farm.
His high-powered, jet-setting life in the 1970s and early 1980s followed a career in the CIA. But it came crashing down when he was branded a traitor and convicted in 1983 for shipping 20 tons of C-4 plastic explosives to Libya.
After two decades in prison, Wilson finally got the conviction overturned, convincing a judge that he had continued to work informally for the agency....
The Lockerbie bombing occurred on Wednesday, 21 December 1988. 20 tonnes of C-4 plastic explosives. What did Wilson think he was going to do, hijack the world?
Flight 103 - Lockerbie, Scotland
An analysis by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and DERA forensic teams of the fine carbon deposits on AVE4041 and AVN7511 indicated that a chemical explosion had occurred; that a 12-ounce (340 g) to 16-ounce (450 g) charge of plastic explosive had been used; and that the device had exploded 8 inches (200 mm) from the left side of the container....

Ya know, there are people with very long memories in the Mideast. One has to wonder.

North Carolina starts voting today and have accommodations for the elderly and handicapped.

Voter with Disability Describes Importance of Casting a Vote (click here)

Updated: Thu 7:56 PM, Sep 27, 2012
Voter Mary Garber (click here) has lived for 17 years with muscular dystrophy and that has made things more difficult for her, including voting.
“It is getting worse, where now I use a walker and for long distances, a wheelchair,” said Garber.
Muscular dystrophy has not stopped Garber from voting. She hopes other people with disabilities know about options they have, like curbside voting or using special equipment....
Add to her disability any requirement in the country for Voter ID and there are people left out of their right to vote.

I'd like to hear Romney's son apologize for violence against President Obama.

Ms. Longoria has aleady apologized for this mistake by the demands of a Pro-Immigrant group. FOX has recognized the apology but they television commentators are still hammering away at her. If it comes to apologies, there are plenty that need to be registered in this campaign. The President's 20th Anniversary and now Romney's son is taking about violence against the President. As per usual, FOX is not fair and balance.

By | Thursday, October 18, 2012
The former Desperate Housewives star (click here) became alarmed after spotting a series of strange messages popping up on her social networking account on Thursday (18Oct12).
She asked her followers, "Is anyone else's Twitter bugging out? There are things in my timeline I didn't retweet today. Hmmm? Standby, trying to fix!"
Her fans suggested she may have been the victim of a hacker, and she replied, "I think so!... I knew it!" before looking into changing her log-in details.
Rockers Garbage, Rita Ora and Kristen Bell have also been targeted by internet pranksters in recent weeks.
Evidently, it was Tagg Romney with these hostile issues? He should be banned from the next and last debate. Who needs to worry about this while the debate is going on. This is outrageous.

I've heard him speaking at rallies and he tends to be rather out of control. I think it is a security issue. 

I didn't know the names of the children of Mitt Romney. I didn't make a study of it, nor did I think family would present as an issue, but, evidently if he is going to make a spectacle of himself, then it should be known.

It is the Republicans that haven't encouraged trade. Still yet another lie by the Romney Camp.

Congress Ends 5-Year Standoff on Trade Deals in Rare Accord (click here)

Obama's day: Free trade bill signings (click here)

What does anyone expect? This is the year graduation arrives for the Class of 2008 global economic collapse.

The debt these young people are facing are NOT their fault. They graduated High School, were accepted to college with hopes of a good life while the economic calamity of 2008 played out.

Their parents were losing everything. I am quite confident if a study was conducted of this college graduating class there would be demographics to match the trauma of 2008 and its aftermath. This is ANOTHER symptom of the Bush economic policies.

And to think Romney stated they should be asking their parents for loans is hideous. The man is completely disconnected from any American reality, any understanding of the Middle Class and certainly no compassion for anyone except the wealthy, of which he is indulgent.

October 18, 2012

It's the latest snapshot (click here) of the growing burden of student debt and it's another discouraging one: Two-thirds of the national college class of 2011 finished school with loan debt, and those who borrowed walked off the graduation stage owing on average $26,600 — up about 5 percent from the class before.
The latest figures are calculated in a report out Thursday by the California-based Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) and likely underestimate the problem in some ways because they don't include most graduates of for-profit colleges, who typically borrow more than their counterparts elsewhere....
Now, if there is any reason for Congress to profoundly seek intervention over college debt this is the reason. These young adults are our nation's brain trust and their well being today and in the future demands attention. They are VICTIMS of the Republican elite, especially the political elite which panders to wealth and Wall Street without regret.

You'll get no argument from me that colleges need to contain their spending and lower their costs to their students, but, several dynamics played out there. Most colleges also took a huge hit of their endowments with the 2008 economic collapse. Even Harvard stopped construction when their endowment diminished in vitality. The colleges reacted by increasing tuition at a time when no parent or student could afford it and the support these students normally receive no longer existed.

There is also one aspect that seriously worried me when the economic collapse finally ballooned into everyone's reality in 2008 and that was the demand Bush's administration placed on Foundations to increase their spending to at least 5% of their value. When late 2008 hit that meant they lost monies both in their portfolios and the increased demands by the federal government to increase their spending. That has a direct relation to monies available to colleges and universities. The entire disaster to our educational system needs to be examined with policy change to stabilize REASONABLE costs to students and their families. 

If President Obama hadn't increased support to students during his administration the reality is we would have far less graduates this year. I can't say enough about this President. He upheld our nation's infrastructure during these years without sacrificing our values or survival as a nation. I can only imagine what his meetings are like. I am confident his Cabinet gets no breaks in action.

This violence is the ongoing reality of northwest Swat Valley, Pakistan.

By Anwarullah Khan on October 18, 2012
KHAR, Pakistan (AP) — One of the two Taliban militants (click here) suspected of attacking a teenage girl activist was detained by the Pakistani military in 2009 but subsequently released, intelligence officials said Thursday.
Malala Yousufzai, 14, was shot and critically wounded on Oct. 9 as she headed home from school in the northwest Swat Valley. The Taliban said they targeted Malala, a fierce advocate for girls' education, because she promoted "Western thinking" and was critical of the militant group.
The military detained Attaullah during the army's 2009 offensive in Swat because of suspected ties with the Pakistani Taliban, which had established effective control over the valley at the time, said two intelligence officials. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media....
The Taliban are a militia, not an ethnicity. The powerhold they have in Pakistan continually causes sovereignty issues of a nuclear country. A country with illegal nuclear capacity to begin with. Pakistan is not one of the five nuclear countries and it has a past tainted with promoting nuclear technology with rogue countries. 
That said, the people of the Swat Valley do not consent to the Taliban so much as survive them. I don't know what is worse in their lives, the floods or the Taliban and a Pakistan government unable to stop this militia within their borders.
February 15, 2009

MINGORA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Islamist fighters (click here) called a 10-day cease-fire from February 15 in Pakistan's northwestern Swat Valley, where peace talks were under way that could restore Islamic Shari'a as the main system of law in the region.
Militants seeking to impose the strict form of Islamic law have also destroyed more than 200 girls schools in the mountainous valley, once a popular tourist destination, just 130 kilometers northwest of Islamabad.
Last year in a bid to pacify the valley the authorities released Maulana Sufi Mohammad, a radical cleric who led a revolt in Swat in the 1990s, but the fighting continued and forced tens of thousands of people to flee....

Unlikely bedfellows.

Iran and Turkey Join Syria Peace Envoy in Call for Truce (click here)

Judith Miller has no right to critique anyone when it comes to influence.

Americans (click here) got to watch two debates last night -- the debate before and after CNN's Candy Crowley's ill-considered intervention as moderator-in-chief.... 

Ms. Miller is representative to the commitment of FOX News to provide cover and distraction for the GOP. There is a reason why Miller wasn't the moderator for the Town Hall. Judith Miller has found propaganda more important than journalism if you ask me. Of course no one does, so here it is. Perhaps she will remember how she thrust the New York Times into the middle of controversy on many an occasion. 

Oh, yes there was the entire Plame outing, but, the fact she waxed in favor of Bush's war in Iraq is the most stunning of her LEANINGS.

  • By Franklin Foer 

  • Published May 21, 2005

  • ...For the past year, (click here) the Times has done much to correct that coverage, publishing a series of stories calling Chalabi’s credibility into question. But never once in the course of its coverage—or in any public comments from its editors—did the Times acknowledge Chalabi’s central role in some of its biggest scoops, scoops that not only garnered attention but that the administration specifically cited to buttress its case for war.

    The longer the Times remained silent on Chalabi’s importance to Judith Miller’s reporting, the louder critics howled. In February, in the New York Review of Books, Michael Massing held up Miller as evidence of the press’s “submissiveness” in covering the war. For more than a year, Slate’s Jack Shafer has demanded the paper come clean....

    Miller belongs at FOX, all considering. She is probably grateful for a career at all at this point. Perhaps Ms. Miller needs to take example of a far more interesting Chris Wallace and his more vital role in pursuing the CANDIDATES rather than distracting them in gossip about peers.

    She is at least far prettier than her boss to deliver nonsense to the electorate. I suppose that is a selling point.

    On his best day, Murdoch looks like The Joker. Get serious, Judith, if you want to have a career at all rather than just a paycheck.

    The Gallup Poll is a rolling average and does not include post Debate Two.

    ...The data in the survey is a rolling seven-day average (click here) through Oct. 16 and therefore does not reflect data from after Tuesday's town hall presidential debate....

    What does that mean? 

    It means the poll picks up the entire time since Debate One as a daily average. It makes sense. After Debate One all the Republicans that lost enthusiasm found their MoJo. That is all that is. 

    The Gallup Poll is revealing compared to President Obama's approval rating which has increased in that same time period.

    So, while Republicans are getting out of their chairs to vote this election that one poll does not reveal an overall change in the campaign balance. Not that it isn't important, but, polls when averaged, especially this one, shows a sincere change in interest in Mr. Romney and that was important to let the Obama campaign know they needed to take the effect of the debates seriously. 

    The Gallup Poll is important but it has to be put into context of the campaign and the events surrounding the campaign. It shows what worked and what didn't. Basically. The race is still on.