Hey, it’s Rhode Island. You never know what to expect. But my Mom’s rhododendrons are on a second bloom, with bees.
George McGovern, the South Dakota Democrat who ran for president in 1972 as a staunch opponent of the Vietnam War and a strong advocate of economic equality, died early Sunday in Sioux Falls. He was 90.In the fall of 1972, I was only 10, but even as a[...]
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As the presidential candidates prepare for their third and final debate on Monday, recent polling suggests Mitt Romney has cut into President Barack Obama's sizable lead on foreign policy issues. But if his demagoguery on China (where he apparently still profits from his portfolio of Bain investments) and Libya (where he accused the president of "empathizing" with the attackers) has fueled that uptick, Romney's laughably long list of foreign policy flip-fops, flubs and follies may come back to bite him. As it turns out, the man who got a "Four Pinocchio" rating for his repeated claims that Obama apologizes for America has a lot to apologize for.
Romney Opposed U.S. Strikes Against Bin Laden in Pakistan. In December, Romney brushed off Chuck Todd's suggestion that Obama deserved credit for ordering the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden:
"I think in a setting like this one where Osama bin Laden was identified to be hiding in Pakistan, that it was entirely appropriate for this president to move in and to take him out," Romney replied, later adding that "In a similar circumstance, I think other presidents and other candidates, like myself, would do exactly the same thing."As it turns out, not so much. Throughout 2007 and 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama declared, "we must make it clear that if Pakistan cannot or will not act, we will take out high-level terrorist targets like bin Laden if we have them in our sights." Like President Bush and John McCain, Romney opposed unilateral American action to kill the Al Qaeda chieftain and his henchmen:
"I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours... I don't think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort..."There is a war being waged by terrorists of different types and nature across the world," Romney said. "We want, as a civilized world, to participate with other nations in this civilized effort to help those nations reject the extreme with them."Of course, Romney's confusion about whether or not to respect Pakistani sovereignty may have something to do with his past reversals about whether or not killing Osama Bin Laden even mattered. After insisting in late April 2007 that "It's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person," Romney, under fire from the right, reversed course just three days later and declared of Bin Laden, "He's going to pay, and he will die." (That also explains his ridiculous comment five years ago that "I want to double Guantanamo," and his plans now to revive the Bush administration's regime of detainee torture.)
Romney's comical past on Afghanistan and lack of policy specifics on its present largely explain why the GOP nominee was so noticeably silent on the topic at the Republican National Convention.
(Continue reading below the fold.)
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As Think Progress noted this weekend, Mitt Romney's attacks on the Obama administration's response to the attack on our embassy in Libya are falling apart as more and more information comes out about just what happened and who had what information when, but never mind that over at Fox. They're still going to beat this dead horse for Willard as we saw Mike Huckabee do during his show this Saturday.
Mitt Romney has recently made the administration?s response to the attacks in Libya a centerpiece of his campaign. Romney and his campaign allege that the Obama administration ?covered-up? the facts about the attacks for their political benefit. Romney?s core message is that: 1. The attacks were linked to al Qaeda, and 2. The attacks had nothing to do with an anti-Muslim video on YouTube. Here?s an excerpt from Romney?s major foreign policy address on October 8:
The attack on our Consulate in Benghazi on September 11th, 2012 was likely the work of forces affiliated with those that attacked our homeland on September 11th, 2001. This latest assault cannot be blamed on a reprehensible video insulting Islam, despite the Administration?s attempts to convince us of that for so long.
A new report this morning from the LA Times casts serious doubt on Romney?s claims:
The assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi last month appears to have been an opportunistic attack rather than a long-planned operation, and intelligence agencies have found no evidence that it was ordered by Al Qaeda, according to U.S. officials and witnesses interviewed in Libya.
?[I]n in Benghazi, witnesses said members of the group that raided the U.S. mission specifically mentioned the video, which denigrated the prophet Muhammad.
The LA Times bolsters earlier reports by the New York Times and Reuters. (The involvement of al Qaeda is a complex issue and the attack, if not ordered by al Qaeda, may have involved individuals sympathetic to or loosely affiliated with the group.)
A peice in the Washington Post by David Ignatius reveals that the adminstration?s initial statements citing the role of the video were based on talking points provided by the CIA:
The Romney campaign may have misfired with its suggestion that statements by President Obama and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice about the Benghazi attack last month weren?t supported by intelligence, according to documents provided by a senior U.S. intelligence official.
?Talking points? prepared by the CIA on Sept. 15, the same day that Rice taped three television appearances, support her description of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate as a reaction to Arab anger about an anti-Muslim video prepared in the United States. According to the CIA account, ?The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex.?
The article by David Ignatuis came out well before Mike Huckabee's show went on the air Saturday, but they chose to completely ignore it. Expect more of the same over at Fox in the upcoming weeks where they'll continue attack the Obama administration over this made up controversy right up to election day and then we'll never hear another word about it from them after that.
In the mean time, we're also treated to follow ups like this one where HuckaJesus brought on Bush spokespuppet Dana Perino to weigh in on whether the Obama administration is being honest with the public about the attack. After coming to the podium to carry water for the Bush administration, I guess she knows a thing or two about lying to the public. Why anyone thinks she's got anything worth adding to this debate is beyond me, but it's upside down world at Fox, so this is what they put on the air -- Dana Perino -- the supposed bastion of journalistic integrity when it comes to administrations telling the public the truth. Lord help us.
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There?s more! You?ll find a collection of previously published Who Am I teaser images in our Who Am I Gallery. How many can you identify? Occasional Planet?s ?Who Am I? features people who have made important contributions to liberal thought, progressive politics, human rights, enlightened education, and ?small-d? democratic principles?both in the US and internationally. [...]Related posts:
Our foreign policy debate makes no sense. At last week’s town hall, the only foreign policy question, on the attack in Libya, devolved into a dispute over how long it took President Obama called it terrorism. That isn’t even the sixth most important question about Libya, let alone the rest of the world. Obama’s semantic [...]
Another election is upon us, where in we choose who is to head the country. The overall outcome is generally the same. We live in a hierarchical system where those in charge have as there primary concern to maintain this hierarchy and keep those at the[...]
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Wow, it's good to be a Republican, at least when it comes to your paycheck, although admittedly, it comes for the price of selling your soul:
Ten Romney for President staffers received bonuses ? as much as $37,500 ? in September, according to Federal Election Commission filings released today.
Romney political director Rich Beeson scored the largest amount, taking in a combined $75,000 in two payments on August 31, after the Republican National Convention, and September 13.
According to an spokesperson, the money was paid out of the campaign's account for the primaries, and are "win bonuses as part of people's employee agreements."
Win bonuses? That's a little premature. This isn't the first time that the Romney campaign has sent out big bonus checks to staffers. Last quarter, they gave out over $100,000 in bonuses as well. Ironically, while they're doling out those big checks (which is simply not done on the Democratic side--typically, consultants will get a commission of the ad buys), the Romney campaign isn't getting the donations the Obama campaign is getting
President Barack Obama?s re-election committee again raised more money than Republican nominee Mitt Romney last month, though the challenger and his allies -- including super-political action committees -- entered October with more combined money to spend.
Romney, the Republican National Committee and super-PACs Restore Our Future and American Crossroads began the final full month of the 2012 campaign with $178 million to spend, compared with $111 million for Obama, the Democratic National Committee and the super-PAC Priorities USA Action, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. The DNC?s coffer included $10.5 million it borrowed.
Even so, Obama had direct control over more money than Romney entering October, with the president?s campaign having $99.3 million on hand compared with a bank account balance of $63.1 million for the former Massachusetts governor. That means spending decisions on most of the money on Romney?s side of the leger falls to officials with the Republican National Committee and the super-PACS supporting him.
Do you think the donors wonder about these big paychecks going to staffers instead of towards furthering the campaign? Does that decision to pay unusually high bonuses countermand that Romney theme of a smart businessman who can fix the economy?
"An exemplar of modern American liberalism... most known for his outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War."