Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 16, 2012

Clinton's Excuse: 'Fog of War' to Blame for Misinformation from Susan Rice on Libya
by Daniel Halper
October 15, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the reason the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, gave misinformation to the American people is because of the "fog of war." According to the notes of Wendell Goler of Fox News, here's what Clinton had to say:

On Rice ‘grew out of a protest’ assertions: “the fog of war. The confusion you get in any type of combat situation. Remember this was an attack that went on for hours…there had to be a lot of sorting out…everyone said here’s what we know subject to change.”

Clinton's excuse for Rice is because the U.N. ambassador went on five Sunday talk shows and said in several different ways that the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya "grew out of a protest" outside the American consulate there.

That is not at all what happened. Apparently the fog of war was too thick for Rice to accurately say what happened there. In fact, the State Department now says there was no protest at all outside the consulate there.

Instead, the attack that killed the American ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans was the direct result of a planned and coordinated al Qaeda terrorist attack that was aimed at coinciding with the anniversary of the greatest al Qaeda attack again America in history, 9/11.

The attack took place five days before Rice went on those shows and made those false assertions. But only now is the fog beginning to clear.

Clinton also said today that "the buck stops with her," according to CNN.

Read more: http://goo.gl/r4WqM

The Wizard of Obama - The president didn't just lose a debate. He lost an entire image of genius and control.
by William McGurn
October 15, 2012

After President Reagan's listless performance in the first presidential debate of 1984 raised speculation that he was too old for the job, the Gipper took command in the second debate. Of his opponent Walter Mondale, Reagan famously said that he wouldn't try to score political points by exploiting his opponent's youth and inexperience.

Perhaps Barack Obama can likewise reassert himself in Tuesday evening's town hall in Long Island. But his problem is this: In Denver he didn't just lose a debate—he lost the carefully cultivated illusion of a larger-than-life figure who was Lincoln and FDR and Moses all wrapped in one.

Mostly this image was the making of his own immodesty, starting the night he clinched the 2008 Democratic nomination. Mr. Obama might have simply declared victory and congratulated Hillary Clinton on a valiant fight. Instead it became the backdrop for one of his more infamous egoisms. History, he said, would look back at his victory as the moment "the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

This was no aberration. A man who interviewed for a job on the campaign was told by Mr. Obama: "I think that I'm a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I'll tell you right now that I'm gonna think I'm a better political director than my political director."

Everything about his campaign fed that idea. The Styrofoam Greek columns at the Democratic convention when he was nominated. The faux presidential seal with its own Latin motto. And before the campaign, the two books he authored about—himself.

The press, far from exhibiting any skepticism about this immodesty, bowed before it. Leave aside the NBC reporter who conceded it was hard to remain objective in the face of all the "infectious" energy emanating from Mr. Obama's quest for the White House. Or the New York Times commentator who knew Mr. Obama was meant to be president by the crease in his pants leg. Or the historian who told radio host Don Imus that Mr. Obama's IQ was "off the charts"—but when asked what it was could only answer that he was probably "the smartest guy ever to become president."

An editor at Politico (and veteran of the Washington Post) put it this way: "I have witnessed the phenomenon several times. Some reporters need to go through detox, to cure their swooning over Obama's political skill."

None of this abated after Mr. Obama was elected. He arrived in Washington for his inauguration in a train to provoke comparisons to Lincoln. Soon he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for—well, it's still not exactly clear what he was awarded it for. He affected unworthiness, but it is more telling that he didn't decline it.

In short, Mr. Obama was the man who declared that he would change the thinking of the Muslim world by the mere fact of his election, restore science to its rightful place, and win what he called the "necessary war" in Afghanistan.

And then came this month's debate in Denver.

That night, the American people watched "the smartest guy in the room" struggle to put together a simple declarative sentence, and then ask the moderator to move onto another topic after Mitt Romney had given a strong statement about jobs and growth and tax revenues.

Some 67 million Americans were watching on TV. What they saw was the scene from the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy's dog pulls back the curtain to reveal there is no wizard at all, just a man from the Midwest who pumped himself up into something far beyond his mortal self—and got the whole of Oz to believe it.

Read more: http://goo.gl/R1qei

Reforming the Leviathan state
by Jerry Shenk
October 16, 2012

If the excesses of political Washington are to be corrected, the leviathan state contained and good governance restored, the temptations of officeholders to place personal interest over public service and the competing claims of special interests must be eliminated.

Pay-to-play has become routine in government, however, most who complain about big money in the political process cite only a need to ban it, while overlooking the systemic governmental schemes which attract it.

There will always be money in politics, but political and financial self-interests can be erased by guaranteeing transparency and removing incentives to offer or solicit votes, cash and favors. America doesn't need term limits. Abolishing legislative pensions, limiting the perks of office and eliminating officeholders' waivers to US law would yield similar results.

The massive United States Code, a consolidation of the laws of the United States, is embedded with deals for special interests, politically-favored groups and constituencies. The maddeningly complex, thoroughly-corrupt US Tax Code counts thousands of pages of loopholes, credits and favors for friends, political supporters and generous special interests.

Taxation is meant to raise government revenue, laws and regulations to serve the common public interest, not to attract campaign contributions, repay political favors or bribe voters with their own money. American laws, regulations and taxes, immoral legacies of political, social and economic engineering run amok, are exploited by incumbents to extract campaign funds and votes from the interests affected or likely to be affected by them.

Congress -- all legislatures -- must write bills in standard, readable English and prohibit voting on any bill which has not been posted online in searchable format for a week or more. At a minimum, legislators must provide proof of having read all bills upon which they vote. Preferably, all bills should be read aloud to a quorum in each house, and legislators absent from the reading denied a vote. Obamacare's 2700 pages wouldn't have survived a reading, much less have passed either house.

Legislative rules should be changed to allow members to force up-or-down recorded votes on sweetheart deals embedded in bills. That won't eliminate deal-making in Congress, but it will slow down the process, open more details for public scrutiny and disclose special interests.

To further discourage deal-making, no bill should incorporate matters involving more than one section of the United States Code. Omnibus legislation allows bill sponsors to overcome the competing interests of legislators to pass bills, individual elements of which would not succeed on their merits: e.g., including food stamps with farm subsidies attracts the votes of urban legislators for the Farm Bill.

Congress should abolish earmarks, many of which have been secured for campaign contributors.

The federal revenue system should use a simpler, flatter tax code which, while removing loopholes, subsidies and credits, lowers rates across the board and increases the percentage of Americans paying their fair share of income taxes. A simpler code would reduce the cost of tax compliance for businesses and families, while removing incentives for special interests to lobby Congress and underwrite campaigns.

One of government's greatest perversions occurs in the cozy relationship of politicians and labor unions. Big Labor, especially its public employee union component, is, by far, the most powerful, most generous lobby in America. Allowing labor bargaining units to fund the politicians who authorize their pay and benefits is legalized bribery. To eliminate this corruption, America should prohibit public employee union money in politics or, preferably, reinstate the FDR-inspired pre-1960s prohibition of public employees' unions.

If legislators are made accountable to the same laws and regulations governing other citizens, their pensions cancelled, the legislative process cleansed, the tax code simplified, labor bribery outlawed, and former federal officeholders prohibited from lobbying on behalf of third parties, America can begin to break the nexus of campaign contributions and government spending, purge most "dirty" money from government and return public service to Washington.

Then, rather than adding to it, a government of honorable public servants, undistracted by special interest cash, will have time and incentive to correct the mess already existing in the United States Code.

Read more: http://goo.gl/tPVKR

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