Tag Archives: Benghazi

The Elephant Who Cried “Scandal!”

21 May
That's supposed to be MY White House!

That’s supposed to be MY White House!

Poor President Obama. If you looked at the headlines or the Congressional calendar last week, it was his worst week ever, as his administration was bogged down in scandal after scandal. Or was it?

First, there was the ongoing attempt to politicize the attacks on the US Consulate in Benghazi. (Dick Cheney Wannabe) Rep. Darrell Issa (R – Nastyville) held more pointless hearings to get exactly the same information. There was some understandable confusion right after the attacks. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice repeated some partially incorrect CIA talking points to the media. The White House and State Department have been very forthcoming with all the information Congress demands. There are some real security lessons to learn, but the GOP would rather try to smear the very popular Hillary Clinton and attack the President. ABC’s Jon Karl screamed scandal as he revealed “new” White House emails. The only problem? They were old, incomplete emails — provided to Karl by Republicans.

Next, the mess at the IRS. A branch office (in Cincinnati) used the term “Tea Party” to analyze tax exempt applications for “social welfare” agencies. “Political targeting!” cried the GOP. Well, maybe. But since the dreadful Citizens United decision, the number of organizations trying to get such status has gone from under 700 to over 2400 a year. Republicans have slashed the IRS budget and refused to craft legislation that would give the agency guidelines for implementing Citizens United. One office made a poor decision, but NO APPLICANT WAS REFUSED THE STATUS — except for one liberal organization. It must be a scandal, though! (Curiously, although the record clearly shows that the White House learned about the problem about a month ago, long after the practice was stopped and an internal investigation launched, at least one person DID know about it way back in July — Rep. Darrell Issa.)

Finally, the Justice Department demanded hundreds of phone records from the AP. This is actually disappointing, fitting into the pattern of domestic spying and privacy infringements that have been part of the Holder DoJ for years. From drones to wiretaps, it’s a blemish on Obama’s potential legacy. Oh, but so far his administration, however foolishly, IS FOLLOWING THE LAW. A law shoved down Congress by a Republican president (Remember good old W?  If you want someone to blame for this law, then blame W, trampling rights as he lied his way into Iraq.). Oh, and the GOP actually likes spying on the press, so never mind, no real pressure here.

Bad news for the GOP: all their screaming and hearings aren’t getting much traction. Sure, the Sunday talk shows (aka the McCain hour–always a pleasure trip into insanity) and the newspaper headlines are parroting their points in the name of “objectivity.” The real impact though? Not so much.

A new Gallup shows the President’s favorables at 53-45, up 11 points from March. GOP ratings for the same period? Down 13, to the lowest since 1992. Maybe Republicans in Congress should focus on creating jobs and actually passing some bills for a change. Clearly, their obstructionist ways along with their “Get off my lawn” ranting is not working.

Hero of the Week Award: November 30, Thomas Ricks

30 Nov

Hero of the Week

It is a real pleasure to celebrate a journalist who stands up for truth and integrity in the media. Thomas Ricks is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and expert on defense issues. He has written a number of books on military history and strategy; as he tours with his most recent book, many news programs have asked him on to comment about the attack on the Benghazi consulate.

Earlier this week he appeared on FAUX news and was asked about the attacks on U.N. ambassador Susan Rice for her comments about Benghazi right after it happened. He replied, “I think that Benghazi generally was hyped by this network especially.” The stunned anchor asked him how he could consider four deaths hype, and got a strong reply.

How many security contractors died in Iraq, do you know? … No, nobody does, because nobody cared. We know that several hundred died, but there was never an official count done, of security contractors dead in Iraq. So when I see this focus on what was essentially a small fire fight, I think number one, I’ve covered a lot of fire fights, it’s impossible to figure out what happens in them sometimes. And second, I think that the emphasis on Benghazi has been extremely political partly because Fox was operating as a wing of the Republican party.

With that last line, the anchor suddenly thanked and dismissed Ricks, less than halfway into the interview’s allotted time. Poor old sad old Fox doesn’t like to hear the truth. What’s more, their VP in charge of news, Michael Clemente, immediately told the Hollywood Reporter that Ricks apologized for his comments. Not so fast! says Ricks.

Clemente is making it up, and it is sloppy of Hollywood Reporter to not ask him for specifics (what exactly am I alleged to have said?) and also to seek a response from me. Why is Fox doing this? Because their MO is that when the facts aren’t on their side, they attack the person.

Nothing could be more true. Thanks for standing up for truth and calling out media bias, Mr. Ricks.

Honorable mention goes to progressive talk radio host Stephanie Miller for admitting and correcting her own error. Wanting to raise money for the needy over the holidays, Miller partnered with an organization for her listeners to donate to. Sadly, she didn’t do her research and chose the homophobic horrors at the Salvation Army. When her listeners called her on the mistake, she quickly fixed it. She devoted a segment of her show to describe the SA’s bigotry, cancelled the partnership, and set up a more progressive donation site for the rest of the season. More than that, she matched the $1500 already given with a donation to the Trevor Project out of her own pocket. Nicely done!

Bigot of the Week Award: November 16, Mitt Romney (again?!?)

16 Nov

Bigot of the Week

Just like the legendary bad penny (okay, BILLIONS of bad pennies), poor old sad old Mitt just won’t go away. Losing the election wasn’t enough; he had to earn BWA just one more time before he (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE) fades away forever. Romneybot 13.2 held a conference call with donors and fundraisers this week — he’s still most comfortable talking to money rather than people, after all. Of course one topic that came up is why he managed to lose so badly.

(HINT to Mitt — You should have noted that you are a barely human, out-of-touch elitist with serious racist, and misogynist overtones who subscribes to homophobic agendas and supports a platform that makes David Duke wince. But of course you didn’t.)

Why did he lose, according to him? Sluts and lazy kids and brown people (especially illegal ones), because Obama gave ’em stuff.

With regards to the young people, for instance, forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift. Free contraceptives were very big with young college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. […] You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity, I mean, this is huge. Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus. But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.

So much for disavowing his infamous 47% comments and tacking toward the center. This is as close to the real Romney as we will ever see…and it sure ain’t pretty.

Dishonorable mention this week goes to Megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress of Texas. Why don’t we let him show you why with this lovely quote:

I want you to hear me tonight, I am not saying that President Obama is the Antichrist, I am not saying that at all. One reason I know he’s not the Antichrist is the Antichrist is going to have much higher poll numbers when he comes. President Obama is not the Antichrist. But what I am saying is this: the course he is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist.

Hmmm — care and compassion for all or elitist oppression. How would Jesus vote? Seems like our Rev. Jeffress is a wee bit confused about his scripture.

Sadly, another dishonorable mention goes to the Grumpy Old Man, yelling “get off my lawn,” John McCain, who rather than attending a committee meeting called his own press conference to kvetch about what was going on in the meeting that he missed. Benghazi, schmengazi — where’s my barcalounger?

Hero of the Week Award: October 12, Barbara Doherty

12 Oct

Hero of the Week

It takes great courage and conviction to stand up to the misbehavior of a major national figure. It takes great strength to rise above personal tragedy to stand up for what is right. This week TSM is proud to honor a woman who did both, thus earning her HWA.

Barbara Doherty’s son Glen was a Navy SEAL, one of four Americans killed in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. She and her family were understandably proud of his service and grieving his loss. They issued a brief statement for the press and then tried to find a private space for their grief. Enter Mitt Romney.

Not content with his outright lies and opportunism on the day of the attacks, Mitt decided to exploit Glen Doherty’s death all over again. The Romneybot met the SEAL at a Christmas party. After Doherty’s death, the soulless candidate started dropping his name in campaign speeches in a “heroes I have known” sort of speech. Barbara Doherty would have none of it and demanded that Mendacious Mitt stop using her son to attack the President he was proud to serve.

I don’t trust Romney. He shouldn’t make my son’s death part of his political agenda. It’s wrong to use these brave young men, who wanted freedom for all, to degrade Obama.

Bravo, Ms. Doherty! Thank you for standing up to power and demanding justice. Even better, the story has a happy ending. Apparently the Romney campaign had a shame circuit installed in their candidate (after the debate…) He has agreed not to refer to Glen Doherty in any future campaign activities. Score one for human decency.

Hero of the Week Award: September 14, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

14 Sep

Hero of the Week

This week’s tragic events in Benghazi, Libya once again demonstrated the kind of powerful leadership we have in the Obama administration. With exceedingly difficult and painful news to deliver, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a strong, passionate statement to the press after it was learned that Ambassador Chris Stevens and three aides were killed. She struck the perfect balance of respect for the dead, determination for justice, and a call for clear heads to prevail in the face of confusing and tragic events. She and the President avoided the opportunity for political grandstanding in a tough election year, focusing instead on providing the kind of leadership and clear foreign policy our country needs.

This is an attack that should shock the conscience of people of all faiths around the world. We condemn in the strongest terms this senseless act of violence, and we send our prayers to the families, friends, and colleagues of those we’ve lost. […] Today, many Americans are asking – indeed, I asked myself – how could this happen? How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated and, at times, how confounding the world can be.But we must be clear-eyed, even in our grief. This was an attack by a small and savage group – not the people or Government of Libya.

It was the kind of statement that serves as a model and should be used to teach public speaking and diplomacy. How good was it? Sen. John McCain (R – Angry Lawn), hardly a fan of anyone named Clinton or Obama, had this to say:

Just watched an excellent and moving statement by Sec. Clinton — just the right message and tone.

Here is wishing Secretary of State Clinton a very speedy recovery from her blood clots and our best wishes for a Happy New Year!

 

What has the world come to when I agree with Sen. McCain. You can watch the whole statement on YouTube.

Honorable mention this week goes to Australian football player Jake Ball who became one of the rare public sports figures to come out as gay. Despite his reservations and fear of being removed from the team, he decided that someone needed to be the first. To his pleasant surprise, his team has been very supportive and the macho homophobic language in the locker room has reduced to zero.

Mitt Romney: Exploiting Death For Political Gain

12 Sep

I’m Mitt Romney, and I approved this exploitative lie…for now.

I am disgusted and revolted by Romney’s behavior in the wake of the loss of four lives in Benghazi, Libya. U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed by a terrorist attack on the consulate in Benghazi. This attack, like a protest yesterday in Cairo, was apparently prompted by a YouTube video defaming the prophet Mohammed — a video made by infamous Quran burner and homophobic activist Terry Jones. State Department officials responded to the Cairo protests condemning violence and religious intolerance.

Romney, in typical form, dived in without the facts. Showing no presidential character whatsoever, he politicized the deaths of four Americans in a baseless attack on the President.

I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.

Bad form! Bad form Mr. Romney. Have you no decency? Have you no respect for the families of those that have died? Your pathological narcissism knows no bounds! Even John Boehner avoided making a political statement over these tragic deaths. What does that say about how vile your behavior is?

Of course, your statement is also blatantly false, but your allergy to the truth is by now legendary. As a candidate, you have held half a dozen positions on Libya, a near record even for your dissembling campaign. Oh, the famous Romney shuffle: jump the gun, avoid the facts, blame the President, change your position, hold a press conference, find a flunky to issue a rebuttal to yourself, avoid the facts, blame the President. Dancing like that every day, it’s amazing you can still find time to put your feet in your mouth.

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