That didn’t take long (see post below):
Let Obama and Frieden Do Their Jobs
Now I have to excuse myself to wipe the coffee from my lower face.
That didn’t take long (see post below):
Let Obama and Frieden Do Their Jobs
Now I have to excuse myself to wipe the coffee from my lower face.
Since viewership of Tass-TV has fallen below Animal Planet’s, we’d like to help our brothers and sisters in the media by rescuing their lonely voices from obscurity.
Besides, they’re beginning to make sense (imminent unemployment has that effect).
MATTHEWS: So we don’t need a tsar?
[Dr. Anthony] FAUSI: I don’t think so. We have good coordination from the White House, from the National Security Council.
MATTHEWS: My concern is that this reminds me of the rollout for healthcare. The lack of a clear-cut personage, that the president could say, this person is in charge. When he was asked who was in charge of the rollout for health care, he said well it’s the person who is COO of the CAA of the HHS — someone he apparently never even met, that’s a problem.
Comparing the CDC to Healthcare.gov is a low blow, even for you, Chris.
MADDOW: Now that he’s out and working for a global strategy firm that’s essentially the Hillary Clinton campaign in exile, now he’s flying the same exact anti-Obama flag that the hawkish Clinton wing of the party has been flying all year trying to position themselves for the next stage in their own political careers by stepping on President Obama’s neck.
On that, Maddow sounds exactly Rush Limbaugh, who suggested last week that Panetta’s book marks a pivot away from the past (Obama) and toward the future (?), Hillary.
Joe Scarborough and the “Morning Joe” panel react to Alison Lundergan Grimes’ “ridiculous” answer to her voting history.
“That is so ridiculous,” Scarborough said. “And yet she told everybody she voted for Hillary Clinton. So why did you violate your ‘constitutional right’ then?”
I don’t watch news on the TV, but I can’t imagine Fox News being this tough on Democrats. As I say, losing one’s job can have that effect.
PS: C’mon MSNBC, it helps if you try:
A well-placed source tells me MSNBC will be announcing major programming changes sometime in the next month, including the cancellation of Ronan Farrow‘s afternoon program, Ronan Farrow Daily.
Mr. Farrow’s program — which now averages around just 50,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demo — has never performed well despite the hype that originally preceded it last February before its first airing. In the third quarter of this year, the show is down 51 percent from what occupied its 1:00 PM EST time slot a year ago (Andrea Mitchell Reports).
[I]n February of this year, Griffin gives Farrow — who hadn’t even hosted a community access show before — his own program. The plan was to bring in a younger audience, so why not put him at 1:00 p.m. ET when just a shade over zero of Millennials are actually watching TV?
Griffin also placed Chris Hayes — who hosted a wonky, deep-dive-into-policy weekend morning program (Up with Chris Hayes) — into the most important timeslot on any network: 8:00 p.m. weeknights. Put politics and ideology aside and go back to the Lombardi quote on scorekeeping: The awkward Hayes has trouble breaking 100 in the demo lately, and this is during an election year with Senate control in the balance. For context, Bill O’Reilly did 556 on the last show he hosted. Anderson Cooper on CNN: 282. Hayes: 104. The following night (Thursday, October 9), Hayes dropped to a 75.
Whether an even-lower-rated host (Ed Schultz, for example, who is getting beat anywhere from 5-to-1 to 9-to-1 by Fox in the demo at 5:00 PM) is also a cancellation candidate isn’t known right now. What is clear is the score these days: According to Bill Carter of the New York Times in a damning piece over the weekend, “In the first quarter of 2009, MSNBC averaged 392,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic for its weeknight lineup. In the third quarter of this year, the number is down to 125,000.”
Maybe MSNBC should hire Al Gore to facilitate a sale. ISIS-TV is looking to make a buy.
Someone didn’t get the memo:
Earlier today, Alex Griswold told you about Wendy Davis doubling down on her campaign-imploding “Look at the cripple” ad. Or tripling down, or quadrupling down, or however many times it’s been at this point. She told Andrea Mitchell that the ad was “fair.” Oh, and Abbott is “working to kick that ladder down.” Well said, Wendy.
But believe it or not, Mitchell said something even dumber. At about the 1:00 mark in the above video, she emitted this brainfart:
“Could you have gone after what you see as his hypocrisy by pointing out what he did in that rape case, what he did in these other cases, without the stark image of the empty wheelchair, which seemed to be trying to point people towards his own supposed disability?”
I confess, I am posting this only because I love the title in the British newspaper.
Barack Obama romped to the presidency of the United States in 2008 on a tidal wave of ‘hope and change’. Back then, the financial crisis was raging and US troops were still engaged in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, but a fresh-faced Mr Obama brimmed with confidence.
He predicted that future generations would look back on his election and see the moment “when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal…when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.”
Six years later, Mr Obama is weary and greyed and finds his job approval ratings stuck in the low-40s. This October is the 17th consecutive month in which polls show that a majority of Americans disapprove of his leadership.
With November’s mid-term elections less than a month away, even fellow Democrats won’t be seen dead with the man who once transformed their party’s fortunes. Apart from some closed-door fundraisers, Mr Obama is all but invisible on the campaign trail.
BTL readers were never sucked into the charisma of the New Messiah at all, so we know where things went wrong. They went wrong when reality asserted herself, as she always does. Did ObamaCare kill the love affair, or was it the IRS scandal? Benghazi? The crappy economy, 11.4% black unemployment, ISIS, the almost unimaginable arrogance of the President himself? Or was it ennui with his posturing? Are we casting about for a new heartthrob? Elvis has left the building.
I don’t know, and don’t much care. Any time you have a youth movement – and the Obama phenomenon was clearly a youth movement – you have incompetence and you also have fantasy objectives. We got off lucky. Russian communism under Lenin was a youth movement as was the Hitler Movement in Germany a couple decades later. The real question is whether or not we’ve bothered to grow up. I doubt it.
Wait, is that a symptom?
CNN host Erin Burnett asks guest Dr. Alexander van Tulleken whether the government is holding a secret stash of the experimental Ebola medicine Z-Mapp to be used “if Obama had Ebola,” and whether or not the medicine could have saved the life of Ebola patient Michael [sic] Eric Duncan. Van Tulleken “doesn’t think they’re holding any” of the medicine “in reserve for [Obama] or anyone else.”
Sorry, Erin, but you just set dumb broads back at least six decades. Everybody knows Obama could just cure himself. Besides, we sent all our Z-Mapp to Africa—and when I say “we” and “our”, I mean in the royal sense. I didn’t invent anything. (Except BTL.com—you’re welcome!)
See if any of this sounds familiar:
Americans should be braced for a long battle against the brutal terrorist group Islamic State that will test U.S. resolve — and the leadership of the commander in chief, says Leon Panetta, who headed the CIA and then the Pentagon as Al Qaeda was weakened and Osama bin Laden killed.
“I think we’re looking at kind of a 30-year war,” he says, one that will have to extend beyond Islamic State to include emerging threats in Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere.
In his first interview about his new book, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace, Panetta argues that decisions made by President Obama over the past three years have made that battle more difficult — an explosive assessment by a respected policymaker of the president he served.
Even before it’s published Tuesday by Penguin Press, the 512-page book has provoked rebukes at the State Department and by Vice President Biden. But Panetta says he was determined to write a book that was “honest,” including his high regard for the president on some fronts and his deep concern about his leadership on others.
In an interview at his home with Capital Download, USA TODAY’s video newsmaker series, Panetta says Obama erred:
• By not pushing the Iraqi government harder to allow a residual U.S. force to remain when troops withdrew in 2011, a deal he says could have been negotiated with more effort. That “created a vacuum in terms of the ability of that country to better protect itself, and it’s out of that vacuum that ISIS began to breed.” Islamic State also is known as ISIS and ISIL.
• By rejecting the advice of top aides — including Panetta and then-secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton — to begin arming Syrian rebels in 2012. If the U.S. had done so, “I do think we would be in a better position to kind of know whether or not there is some moderate element in the rebel forces that are confronting (Syrian President Bashar) Assad.”
• By warning Assad not to use chemical weapons against his own people, then failing to act when that “red line” was crossed in 2013. Before ordering airstrikes, Obama said he wanted to seek congressional authorization, which predictably didn’t happen.
The reversal cost the United States credibility then and is complicating efforts to enlist international allies now to join a coalition against the Islamic State, Panetta says. “There’s a little question mark to, is the United States going to stick this out? Is the United States going to be there when we need them?”
Showing leadership in the fight against ISIS is an opportunity “to repair the damage,” he says. He says it’s also a chance for Obama to get a fresh start after having “lost his way.”
Panetta’s behind-the-scenes account of events during Obama’s first term, including the internal debate over helping Syrian rebels, is consistent with those in memoirs published this year by Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates, whom Panetta succeeded as Defense secretary.
Keep in mind that this guy was head of CIA, head of defense, and likes Obama. And he still sounds like BTL. So I’m taking a victory lap. It would have been better to have been wrong about this dufus, but second best is being right and mocking all the liberals who still refuse to face reality.
The interesting stuff starts at 41 seconds. Listen to what Steve Wynn has to say about Obama.
BTL, how long have we been saying this?
Another way to say this is that the Obama foreign policy is absolutely lame, worthless… nay dangerous.
Picking on Chris Matthews is like bullying a special needs student: reprehensible and condemnable.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: It was a great speech. I thought it was a case in which the president of the United States didn’t just speak at the U.N. but to the U.N. He was talking to the members of the U.N. Some was good politics making the connection with his grandmother coming from 100 miles away from Nairobi.
Is that the “white grandmother” or the other one? Anyway, Matthews loves every Obama speech, including “gimme a bacon cheeseburger with gravy fries.”
He went after Israel, too. There was a little punch in the nose of Netanyahu saying the status quo is not sustainable. Everybody knows Netanyahu’s game is to play for tie. Pushing off, coming up with excuses, demanding the Arabs declare Israel the Jewish state. Every technique to avoid a two-state solution. And he said there has to be a two-state solution.
Did he just blame Israel? After Hamass’s war crimes this summer, he just blamed Israel? The nerve of that Bibi demanding Arabs acknowledge Israel as the Jewish state. What a tool. (Matthews, not Netanyahu.)
We’re a better country than we were ten years ago. I wish more people would think about that.
We are? How? I can’t think of a single way. The debt’s massively bigger, the economy incomparably worse, race relations in the toilet, Islamofascism on the march, and Matthews own network, MSNBC, trailing every network but the Macrame Channel in the ratings.
You think about these guys sitting around all day planning revolution and killing people and cutting their heads off.
What are they doing for the world? I thought it was a pretty strong statement. I think most people in the world today really want to be educated.
Why do they want to be suicide bombers? What a hopeless career move. To be blunt about it. I’m going to kill myself.
You ask that now, Chris? Did you eat paint chips as a child? “Coming up next on Hardball, Pet Rocks: fad or forever?” What a complete nincompoop.
And he still wasn’t done:
MATTHEWS: Unfortunately, there’s a parallel with the african-american kid in north Philly situation. You grow up in a situation where there no more blue collar the only deal being offered to you is the drug dealer. We have our problems.
We do, Chris, but the African-American kids in North Philly (or Chicago, or Detroit, or LA, etc.) are homicide killers. And too often (as in almost always), they’re victims are other African-American kids. Another trait that makes us not better than we were ten years ago.
So, sorry for hazing the harebrained host of Hardball. I’ll do some community service to make up for it.
Now, don’t tell me, let me guess: you’re back to being an independent, straight-shot, call-‘em-as-you-see-‘em journalist, right?
SEN. JOHN McCAIN: I think it was a very weak argument. And by the way, I’m astounded that Mr. Carney should say that the Free Syrian Army is now stronger. In fact, they have been —
JAY CARNEY: Well, that’s not that I said, Senator. If I could, sir, what I said is, if we know a great deal more now about the makeup of the opposition. —
McCAIN: Come on, Jay, we knew all about them then. You just didn’t choose to know. I was there in Syria. We we knew about them. Come on, you guys were the ones — your boss was the one when the entire national security team wanted to arm and train them that he turned them down, Mr. Carney after —
CARNEY: Well, Senator —
McCAIN: The fact is —
CARNEY: I think we have to agree to disagree on this.
McCAIN: No, facts are stubborn things, Mr. Carney, and that is his entire national security team, including the Secretary of State said he want to arm and train and equip these people and he made the unilateral decision to turn them down. The fact he didn’t a residual force in Iraq, overruled all of his military advisers, is the reason why we’re facing ISIS today.
So the facts are stubborn things in history and people ought to know them. And now the president is saying basically that we are going to take certain actions, which I would favor, but to say that America is safer, and that the situation is very much like Yemen and Somalia shows me that the president really doesn’t have a grasp for how serious the threat of ISIS is.
CARNEY: Well, again, Senator, we’re going to have to agree to disagree. And I think on the question of the residual force, there was another player in that which was the Iraqi government. A, and B, it was the fulfillment of the previous administration’s withdrawal plan. And it was also the fulfillment of the president’s promise to withdraw from Iraq and not maintain a true presence, in perpetuity, which is pretty consistent with what the American people wanted and believed it was the right approach.
McCAIN: Mr. Carney, you are again saying facts that are patently false. The fact is because [Senator] Lindsey Graham, [former Senator] Joe Lieberman and I, we were in Baghdad, they wanted a residual force. The president has never made a statement during that or after that he wanted a residual force left behind. The Iraqis were ready to go. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the number cascaded down to 3,500. That was not sufficient to do anything but to defend themselves. And you in your role as a spokesperson bragged about the fact that the last American combat troop had left Iraq. If we had left a residual force the situation would not be what it is today. And there would be a lot more —
CARNEY: Senator, I can posit for great respect for you we can disagree on that.
McCAIN: You can’t.
CARNEY: Sir —
McCAIN: You don’t have the facts, Mr. Carney, that’s the problem.
CARNEY: Senator, I understand that that you present the facts that you believe are true based on the arguments that you have made for a long time, sir, that we should leave troops in Iraq for perpetuity. And that is not what this president believes. Obviously, he was elected president to fulfill what he believes is right for our country and right for our national security.
McCAIN: It is a bad decision.
CARNEY: I certainly understand where we are today.
McCAIN: It is not a matter of disagreement; it is a matter of facts, and you have yours wrong and you have distorted it.
COOPER: Jay, do you believe, does the president believe at all, if a residual force had been left on the ground in Iraq, that we would not be in this situation now?
CARNEY: Anderson, I think it is a mis — basically a whitewash of history to suggest that there was not — were not periods of enormous chaos and fighting and bloodshed in Iraq when there were tens of thousands of troops, of American troops on the ground. That is a fact. And it was true in 2004, it was true in 2007. And it was true even when we had the highest number of U.S. troops on the ground.
We cannot — the United States of America ask our military to be a permanent occupying force in a country like Iraq. We have to get to a situation where we can help build up and assist an Iraqi security force, where we can put pressure on Iraqi political leaders to form an inclusive government, which they have taken steps to do, as was noted earlier. And then we can provide the kind of military support that we’re providing, an action that we’re taking against a threat like ISIS as appropriate.
But the alternative of leaving a permanent, massive U.S. force on the ground in Iraq, not for 10 years, not for 20 years, but in perpetuity, is simply not sustainable financially; it is not consistent with what the American people think we should do.
MCCAIN: Again, Mr. Carney misstates the facts. We had it won, thanks to the surge. It was won. The victory was there. All we needed was a force behind to provide support, not to engage in combat, but to supply support, logistics, intelligence. And by the way, the Koran War, we left troops behind. Bosnia, we left troops behind. Not to fight but be a stabilizing force. And Mr. Carney neglects the fact that thanks to David Petraeus, and Ryan Crocker, who by the way, are very strong on this issue, that we won the conflict, and then by pulling the rug out and setting a date for withdrawal and bragging about it —
CARNEY: Excuse me, sir, but I think you have forgotten that the date for withdrawal was —
MCCAIN: I think you have forgotten — no, the date for withdrawal. They always contemplated an additional date behind it. And you can ask Condoleezza Rice, or George W. Bush.
CARNEY: Absolutely, and so did we, and we–
MCCAIN: So that is absolutely false too. And we didn’t need to go through the Iraqi parliament. All you had to do was have an agreement. And we were there on the ground.
COOPER: Senator McCain, let me ask you about in terms of what you heard tonight, do you believe the U.S. can fight an effective counter- terrorism strategy, which is what the president is calling this fight against ISIS, without U.S. military personnel on the ground? In harm’s way?
MCCAIN: We — this is another falsehood the president is purveying. We already have boots on the ground, well over 1,000. We need more. But we don’t need them like the 82nd Airborne sent in direct — to do — into direct combat.
We need to have additional support there, and we need to help the — the Iraqi army rebuild its capabilities. But we don’t have to have a ground combat invasion of the type we had before. But, the fact that they didn’t leave — we were not there before is a direct result we are paying a very heavy price for. And it doesn’t mean in perpetuity, but it does mean to keep the situation stable, which we could have done.
COOPER: Senator McCain, the president also said that we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland. Americans who hear those words might wonder, if that is really the case, then why do we need to take action against ISIS? To that you say what?
MCCAIN: I say that today, we had a hearing, and there was testimony from the counterterrorism people and the Department of Homeland Security. There is Twitter traffic right now and FaceBook traffic, where they are urging attacks on the United States of America. And there is a great concern that our southern border and our northern border is porous and that they will be coming across.
So is there a specific, direct threat? No, but is there any doubt to what their goal is? Mr. Baghdadi, the day he left our prison in Iraq, Camp Bucca, said “see you in New York.”
COOPER: And in terms of, as you said, you have been in Syria, you met with Syrian moderate opposition a while back, do you believe there are enough on the ground right now in Iraq who actually have military capabilities that can actually stand up and fight against ISIS, against the Assad regime?
MCCAIN: I do, but it is going to be very tough, and it is going to be a heck of a lot tougher, despite what Mr. Carney said, than it would have been two years ago when it was recommended by his entire national security team.
How many times did he call Carney a liar? He called Obama one once or twice, but Carney got more than I can count. Delicious.
You were a lousy candidate, Senator, and who knows what kind of president you would have made. But as grump old man, you’re peerless.
We’ve all been made aware of the social science research which claims that conservatives are stuck in rigid ways of thinking, always support authority, blah, blah, blah, whereas liberals are oh-so-open-minded, right?.
Those of us who are conservative, but reside in very liberal parts of the country, know this to be nonsense. Just attend a single cook-out in Cambridge, MA and see if you can express yourself when the conversation turns to: Obama, Health Care, Bush, Israel, the economy, school choice, conservatives, the Tea Party, Christians, Muslims, hate speech, etc. You can compliment the host on the food, though.
Anyway, now there is research that highlights the obvious:
Conservatives are conservative because they’re authoritarian and resistant to new ideas. Everyone knows that, right? There’s a bunch of social-science research that even proves it. If only conservatives were more open and less dogmatically attached to their tribe and their traditions, the world would be a much better place.
A lot of smart people endorse some version of this story. And yes, research surveys show that conservatives do express a much stronger affinity for obedience, authority and in-group loyalty than do liberals.
But there’s a question those surveys can’t answer: How does what people say translate into what people actually do? Jonathan Haidt, one of my favorite social scientists, studies morality by presenting people with scenarios and asking whether what happened was wrong. Conservatives and liberals give strikingly different answers, with extreme liberals claiming to place virtually no value at all on things like group loyalty or sexual purity.
One of Haidt’s most memorable questions involves a man who has sex with a frozen chicken, then cooks the chicken and eats it for dinner. Is this wrong? he asks. Philosophy-class enlightenment values pretty much give one answer: No one was harmed, so it can’t be wrong. And yet: I’m willing to bet that most of the folks who say that it’s A-OK would still be weirded out if they found out this is what their spouse had prepared for a special anniversary feast. Or that this is how a co-worker spends every Monday night.
In the ultra-liberal enclave I grew up in, the liberals were at least as fiercely tribal as any small-town Republican, though to be sure, the targets were different. Many of them knew no more about the nuts and bolts of evolution and other hot-button issues than your average creationist; they believed it on authority. And when it threatened to conflict with some sacred value, such as their beliefs about gender differences, many found evolutionary principles as easy to ignore as those creationists did. It is clearly true that liberals profess a moral code that excludes concerns about loyalty, honor, purity and obedience — but over the millennia, man has professed many ideals that are mostly honored in the breach.
Apparently, I’m not the only one who had questions about the prevalence of conformity on both sides of the political spectrum:
The way I saw it, this slavish obedience to authority and tradition on the part of conservatives was the true source of the culture war between liberals and conservatives over foreign war, abortion, same-sex marriage, gun control, and racial inequality. They way I saw it, conservatives clung to old, near-sighted ways of thinking and fell in line with the dictates of the “man in charge.” If only conservatives would think for themselves — like liberals do — the war would be over and we could get on with life, governance, and progress. Or so I thought.
Then, in 2012, I went on a cycling trip around Cuba.
Jeremy Frimer, the author of the piece, noticed that socialists seemed unable to tolerate even mild questioning of Che Guevara’s eminently questionable legacy. Frimer is a researcher at the University of Winnipeg, and he decided to investigate. What he found is that liberals are actually very comfortable with authority and obedience — as long as the authorities are liberals (“should you obey an environmentalist?”). And that conservatives then became much less willing to go along with “the man in charge.”
Frimer argues that conservatives tend to support authority because they think authority is conservative; liberals tend to oppose it for the same reason. Liberal or conservative, it seems, we’re all still human under the skin.
Here’s a question: Can the average liberal bumbling through Harvard Square even understand the nuance here?
What you you say, guys? Do we need some good old-fashioned candlelight vigils for all the folks who’ve had their heads chopped off? Maybe a nice big candlelight vigil in DC? We can all sing Kumbayah or We Shall Overcome or some other suitable bit of drivel.
A JV team, eh? Obama, you are such a dolt.
President Obama was given detailed and specific intelligence about the rise of the Islamic State as part of his daily briefing for at least a year before the group seized large swaths of territory over the summer, a former Pentagon official told Fox News.
The official — who asked not to be identified because the President’s Daily Brief is considered the most authoritative, classified intelligence community product analyzing sensitive international events for the president — said the data was strong and “granular” in detail.
The source said a policymaker “could not come away with any other impression: This is getting bad.”
Obama, unlike his predecessors who traditionally had the document briefed to them, is known to personally read the daily brief. The former Pentagon official, who has knowledge of the process, said Obama generally was not known to come back to the intelligence community with further requests for information based on the daily report.
I honestly blame the well-to-do, arrogant, political Left in our country for giving us such an inept President as this one. Do you know that the current leftist strategy for dealing with this is? They have simply stuck their heads in the sand. They have stopped following the news. They plead ignorance. Obama is clearly stupid, but not all of his minions are. And they bear responsibility for this unfolding worldwide chaos.