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Archive for September 26th, 2012

GM agrees with Obama.

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Yet, Obama still refuses to call it a terrorist attack publicly.

From NYTimes:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday suggested there was a link between the Al Qaeda franchise in North Africa and the attack at the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the American ambassador and three others. She was the highest-ranking Obama administration official to publicly make the connection, and her comments intensified what is becoming a fiercely partisan fight over whether the attack could have been prevented.

Mrs. Clinton did not offer any new evidence of an Al Qaeda link, and officials later said the question would be officially settled only after the F.B.I. completed a criminal inquiry, which could take months. But they said they had not ruled out the involvement of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb — an affiliate of the international terrorist group with origins in Algeria — in an attack the administration initially described as a spontaneous protest turned violent.

Her remarks added to the administration’s evolving and at times muddled explanation of what happened on the evening of Sept. 11 and into the next morning. Republicans in Congress have accused President Obama of playing down possible terrorist involvement in the midst of a re-election campaign in which killing Osama bin Laden and crippling Al Qaeda are cited as major achievements.

Mrs. Clinton made her remarks at a special United Nations meeting on the political and security crisis in the parts of North Africa known as the Maghreb and the Sahel, particularly in northern Mali, which has been overrun by Islamic extremists since a military coup helped lead to the division of that country this year. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has long operated in the region, she said, and was now exploiting a haven in Mali to export extremism and terrorist violence to neighbors like Libya.

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Giethner is tied deep into the bank bailout scheme along with Eric Holder.

From FT.com:

Tim Geithner, the US Treasury secretary, acted to shield Citigroup’s bondholders and management from accountability at the height of the financial crisis while taxpayers were left on the hook, a former US bank regulator has alleged.

Sheila Bair, who served as chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp during the crisis and its aftermath, levelled fresh attacks at Mr Geithner, the Obama administration, fellow financial regulators and bankers such as Vikram Pandit, Citi’s chief executive, in a new book that has laid bare policy disagreements of the past few years.

Ms Bair claims that Mr Geithner was relentless in his advocacy for Citi, both in its attempts to buy faltering lenders and when it came to applying restrictions tied to its various rescue packages by the government. “Tim seemed to view his job as protecting Citigroup from me, when he should have been worried about protecting the taxpayers from Citi,” Ms Bair wrote of Mr Geithner, who she nicknamed the “bail-outer in chief” of the 2008 crisis.

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Why didn’t Obama say this during his UN speech? Oh, that’s right Muslim appeasement is more important that the truth.

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Though he has so far declined to use the word, the White House confirmed that President Obama does believe the attack against four Americans in Libya was an act of terrorism.

“It is the president’s view that it was a terrorist attack,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters en route to Ohio on Wednesday.

The attacks cost four American diplomats their lives, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. The initial administration position was that they were sparked by an anti-Islam video uploaded onto YouTube and disseminated across the Middle East.

But Obama administration officials were slow to acknowledge the growing evidence of a connection to terrorism. Seven days after the September 11th attack, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center finally acknowledged before Congress that the administration believed there was a link to terrorism.

And the Daily Beast’s Eli Lake reported Wednesday that intelligence officials suspected almost immediately that an Al-Qaeda affiliate may have played a key role

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If Obama is breathing, he’s lying. I also should point out the fact-checker didn’t get a lot of his numbers correct either. Was it an attempt to hide the real amount of money Obama has spent over the last 4 years?

From WaPo:

“Over the last four years, the deficit has gone up, but 90 percent of that is as a consequence of two wars that weren’t paid for, as a consequence of tax cuts that weren’t paid for, a prescription drug plan that was not paid for, and then the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Now we took some emergency actions, but that accounts for about 10 percent of this increase in the deficit, and we have actually seen the federal government grow at a slower pace than at any time since Dwight Eisenhower, in fact, substantially lower than the federal government grew under either Ronald Reagan or George Bush.”

“Taxes are lower on families than they’ve been probably in the last 50 years. So I haven’t raised taxes.”

— President Obama, interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” recorded on Sept. 12, 2012, and aired on Sept. 23

The 2009 fiscal year is especially hard because that budget year is so much of an amalgam of Bush and Obama policies; we essentially split the cost of the Troubled Asset Relief Program between the two of them. Since this is not intended to be exact, but illustrative, we have rounded numbers and percentages:

2009:

Economic/technical differences: $570 billion (46 percent)

Bush policies: $330 billion (27 percent)

Obama policies: $325 billion (27 percent)

Did the factchecker forget about Obama’s $350 billion TARP bailout? Where is Obama’s $787 billion stimulus? Where’s the $410 billion omnibus bill? The deficit for 2009 was $1.4 trillion. Glenn’s numbers are off by a trillion.

2010:

Economic/technical: $815 billion (51 percent)

Bush: $225 billion (14 percent)

Obama: $565 billion (35 percent)

Where’s the laughable $900 billion ObamaCare cost which is closer to $2.6 trillion? Where’s the rest of the money that added up to another trillion dollar deficit?

2011:

Economic/technical: $720 billion (46 percent)

Bush: $160 billion (10 percent)

Obama: $685 billion (44 percent)

Where’s the rest of the money that adds up to a $1.4 trillion dollar deficit Glenn?

Clearly, a huge part of the deficit problem — about half — stems from the recession and forecasting errors. But Obama’s policies represent a big chunk as well. (We would welcome suggestions for fine-tuning these numbers.)

Now one could argue, as Obama’s defenders do, that his policies to combat the recession were intended to be temporary. But he has also supported permanently extending the Bush tax cuts for Americans making less than $250,000, which by itself will shrink federal revenues for years to come. That means these are no longer Bush’s tax cuts, but Obama’s.

Moreover, an important part of Obama’s legacy — the health-care law — has not even taken full effect yet. The CBO calculated virtually no impact on the deficit in the first 10 years after enactment, but all bets are off after that.

Finally, Obama claims that “we have actually seen the federal government grow at a slower pace than at any time since Dwight Eisenhower.” We regret to say that the president is repeating a widely debunked column that appeared on MarketWatch earlier this year. We devotedthreecolumns to the column’s faulty logic, and FactCheck.org and the Associated Press also said it was bunk. (PolitiFact said it was “half true.”)

Not to get too deep in the weeds again, but the claim is based on treating 2009 (as we said, an amalgam of Bush and Obama policies) as actually Bush’s year, and then ignoring Obama’s proposed spending increases in the future. Such calculations help to dramatically shrink the growth of spending under Obama relative to other presidents.

The Pinocchio Test

We are not trying to make excuses for the fiscal excesses of the Bush administration — and Congress — in the last decade. But at some point, a president has to take ownership of his own actions.

Obama certainly inherited an economic mess, and that accounts for a large part of the deficit. But Obama pushed for spending increases and tax cuts that also have contributed in important ways to the nation’s fiscal deterioration. He certainly could argue that these were necessary and important steps to take, but he can’t blithely suggest that 90 percent of the current deficit “is as a consequence” of his predecessor’s policies — and not his own.

Four Pinocchios

 

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Obama is an ACORN goon despite his numerous attempts to claim otherwise. He was an attorney for ACORN. He worked on Project Vote with ACORN and so did his DOJ. He put an ACORN goon in charge of HUD. His campaign has given $$$ to ACORN. This video is just more evidence against the liar we all know Obama to be.

From Beltway Confidential:

The Washington Examiner recently obtained a lengthy video of presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards in interviews seeking ACORN’s endorsement in 2007. The one portion of this full video to be released previously treats of Obama’s extensive ties to the now-defunct organization.

During the interview, Obama reminded the group that he believed in ACORN’s mission and been a loyal partner with the organization his entire career.

“I came out of an organizing grassroots background, that’s what I did three and a half years before I went to law school. That’s the reason I moved to Chicago, is to organize.” Obama stated. “This is something that I know personally.”

Obama continued to talk about the values of ACORN, reminding them that he was “trained” in the values of grassroots organizing while he was a community organizer.

“[T]hat’s been my bias throughout my career, that’s what I’ve always stood for and that’s what I’ve always believed in,” he said.

The president also reminded the group that ACORN was “smack dab in the middle” of “Project Vote,” a 1993 voter registration drive he ran in Illinois before he went to law school.

“I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on the issues you care about my entire career even before I was an elected official,” he said.

Obama continued, “Once I was elected there wasn’t a campaign that ACORN worked on down in Springfield that I wasn’t right there with you and since I’ve been in the United States Senate, I’ve always been a partner with ACORN as well.”

Watch the video>>>

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The lie continues to unravel. Team Obama is in full cover-your-ass mode because they are responsible for not providing adequate protection for the embassy and the embassy staff.

From the Daily Beast:

Within 24 hours of the 9-11 anniversary attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, U.S. intelligence agencies had strong indications al Qaeda–affiliated operatives were behind the attack, and had even pinpointed the location of one of those attackers. Three separate U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said the early information was enough to show that the attack was planned and the work of al Qaeda affiliates operating in Eastern Libya.

Nonetheless, it took until late last week for the White House and the administration to formally acknowledge that the Benghazi assault was a terrorist attack. On Sunday, Obama adviser Robert Gibbs explained the evolving narrative as a function of new information coming in quickly on the attacks. “We learned more information every single day about what happened,” Gibbs said on Fox News. “Nobody wants to get to the bottom of this faster than we do.”

The intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast did so anonymously because they weren’t authorized to speak to the press. They said U.S. intelligence agencies developed leads on four of the participants of the attacks within 24 hours of the fire fight that took place mainly at an annex near the Benghazi consulate. For one of those individuals, the U.S. agencies were able to find his location after his use of social media. “We had two kinds of intelligence on one guy,” this official said. “We believe we had enough to target him.”

Another U.S. intelligence official said, “There was very good information on this in the first 24 hours. These guys have a return address. There are camps of people and a wide variety of things we could do.” A spokesman for the National Security Council declined to comment for the story. But another U.S. intelligence official said, “I can’t get into specific numbers but soon after the attack we had a pretty good bead on some individuals involved in the attack.”

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We won’t release any information that will hurt you or me.

We all know what happens with Hillary and documents. They tend to disappear (see White Water scandal). These cables will not be released anytime soon and probably not until after the November election. Even then, I suspect Obama will cry executive privilege to hide the truth (see Fast & Furious) from the voters.

From The Hill:

Two Republican members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday demanding to see diplomatic cables sent from Libya prior to the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

“While we appreciate your participation in the briefing to the U.S. Senate last week, we are extremely concerned about conflicting reports over the events leading up to the attacks,” wrote Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). “Specifically, we are concerned over the apparent lack of security preparations made despite a demonstrable increase in risks to U.S. officials and facilities in Benghazi in the period leading up to the attacks.”

The letter goes on to request “all communications between the U.S. Mission to Libya and the State Department relevant to the security situation in Benghazi in the period leading up to the attacks, including, but not limited to, cables sent from Ambassador Stevens.”

Republicans have raised concerns about potential lax security at the consulate in Benghazi, which was not guarded by Marines when it came under assault on Sept. 11 despite previous attacks against U.S. and other western targets. Stevens’s diary, found at the scene by a CNN reporter several days after his death, also appears to raise concerns over the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi and rising levels of Islamist extremism.

The White House has said that the attack was sparked by anger over an amateur anti-Islam film posted to YouTube, while many Republicans including chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Mike Rogers (Mich.) have suggested the attack may have been a pre-planned, terrorist action and questioned the security arrangements made for U.S. personnel in Libya.

Not just Republicans but also the President of Libya and intelligence sources. The White House has flip-flopped by calling the attack “spontaneous” then calling it a “terrorist attack.” Obama mouthpiece, Robert Gibbs, said the White House did not “intentionally mislead” on the embassy attack. The embassy and the US ambassador did not have adequate protection despite receiving warnings about the potential attack and Ambassador Stevens’ security concerns. Of course everyone knows the Obama administration isn’t telling the truth about the embassy attack.

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Obama constantly tells his weak-minded followers how he ended the Iraq War. The agreement for US troop withdrawal was actually signed by President Bush. All Obama did was follow the Bush agreement.

From Foreign Policy:

Has Obama fulfilled his most famous national security campaign commitment from 2008: to end the Iraq war “more responsibly” than he says we began it? According to this excerpt from Michael Gordon’s new book on Iraq, the answer may well turn out to be no.

Gordon is considered by many to be the best reporter on the Iraq war and his long-awaited book is likely to shed new light particularly on the last half-decade of U.S. involvement. The excerpt in Sunday’s New York Times covers the Obama administration’s failed effort to negotiate terms for the long-planned-for stay-behind military force. The Obama administration is understandably reluctant to talk about these efforts much, and nowadays when the president mentions Iraq he makes it sound like he never considered anything other than withdrawing all but a handful of U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. However, if that was what the president secretly intended all along, it was not what the administration was officially pursuing for the first several years when it tried, unsuccessfully, to negotiate a new Status of Forces Agreement. 

I raised questions about some of these developments as they unfolded (see herehere, andhere) and now Gordon’s reporting is pulling back the veil to answer some of those questions.

The picture is not very pretty. Gordon documents:

  • A president unable to engage in effective personal diplomacy at crunch time because he had failed to invest in the hard work of retail diplomacy along the way. This is a problem that extends well past Iraq, as another blockbuster New York Times story makes clear. As an unnamed U.S. diplomat told the NYT: “He’s not good with personal relationships; that’s not what interests him...But in the Middle East, those relationships are essential. The lack of them deprives D.C. of the ability to influence leadership decisions.”
  • A team whose wild over-confidence contributed to the failure to react in a timely manner to an unraveling situation. In one of the most devastating items in the piece, Gordon quotes Vice President Biden: “I’ll bet you my vice presidency Maliki will extend the SOFA,” he added, referring to the Status of Forces Agreement the Obama administration hoped to negotiate.”
  • A team paralyzed by infighting and poisonous civil-military relations. Gordon reports that Thomas Donilon, Obama’s national security advisor, criticized Admiral Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for presenting military advice that ran counter to what the White House wanted to hear.

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Just more liberal media bias to defend the feckless Obama.

From WaPo:

Let it not be said that columnists don’t have clout.Take, for example, Washington Post op-ed columnist Marc Thiessen’s Sept. 10 piecesaying President Obama has failed to attend his daily intelligence briefing “more than half the time.”

Thiessen’s column was based on numbers from the Government Accountability Institute, which he described as a “new conservative investigative research organization.” (It’s now being called a “nonpartisan” research group.)

The GAI was founded by Peter Schweizer, an author who consulted for the George W. Bush White House’s speechwriting operation. (Thiessen and Schweizer also founded a business calledOval Office Writers in 2009.)

Schweizer, the only person listed on the GAI Web site as being on the GAI “team,” usedPolitico’s White House calendar — as opposed to the skimpy official White House schedule — to calculate Obama’s briefing attendance.

Who at the White House gives this calendar to Obama and why would they leave out something as important as the intelligence briefings?

Our colleague Glenn KesslerThe Washington Post’s Fact Checker, debunked the GAI analysis as meaningless, given that different presidents have different ways of getting briefed on intelligence matters — some prefer just to read the Presidential Daily Brief, some prefer just meeting with their national security adviser, and so on. He gave the claim three Pinocchios (out of a possible four). Thiessen disagrees.

Glenn Kessler has been debunked on many of his Pinocchios and seems to have a problem fact-checking Obama.

Then Karl Rove’s Operation Crossroads super PAC picked up on the analysis when it blistered Obama in an ad for his supposed inattentiveness to foreign policy and cited Thiessen’s Post column.

Next thing you know, as Kessler points out to us, the White House schedule started looking a little different. On Sept. 14 (four days after Thiessen’s column) and every workday since, through Monday, it listed Obama — and sometimes Vice President Biden — as being briefed.

Obama gets called out and all of a sudden the intelligence briefings start showing up on his daily calendar. How convenient wouldn’t you say?

Asked about that recent uptick in Obama’s “attendance, ” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said Tuesday afternoon: “As we’ve said countless times, the president reads the PDB every day and most days he’s in D.C. has an Oval [Office] session.” Vietor added that the scheduling had “nothing to do” with Thiessen’s column.

Well, okay.

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