Posts Tagged ‘Benghazi’

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THE TRUTHS AND SPIN OF BENGHAZI…and of OUR EMEREGING WORLD

December 29, 2013

Reconstruction of the 2012 attack on the US Embassy shows neither the Republicans nor the Democrats had it right when explaining Benghazi.

Benghazi was NOT infiltrated by Al Qaida nor did the Obama Administration cover up evidence of Al Qaida role as the Republican Angry Old Birds claimed…although a NON Al Qaida Abu Khattala was NOT recognized by the Obama Administration as the severe threat he was.

Nor, as Susan Rice first explained, was the attack a response solely to the You-Tube video.  Spontaneous street demonstrations to that video were indeed a factor, however.  Those already planning an attack capitalized on the opportunity when it presented itself; and then arsonists and looters took advantage of the situation and destroyed the Embassy and killed the Ambassador.

In reality there are bits of truth and misinformation in both positions; along with a whole lot of hyperbole, and positioning for domestic POLITICAL gain and for Press ratings.

Now that the Official report reconstructing the event has been completed, do you think the politicians have learned anything?  In reality, as usual, misunderstanding and posturing had only one winner – the Press-and that was short-term.  Where should the accountability be focused?

This is not just about Benghazi.  It seems regard for Reality, Truth and moving towards improvements based on lessons learned as been lost in our world today.   For instance……

  • An immense and sometimes invasive digital security system initiated in response to 9-11 by a Republican-led government has become “proof” of incompetence and failure of the Democratic-led government that followed.  Where should the accountability be focused?
  • A healthcare revolution in the US, approved by the majority of US Congressional leaders,  becomes yet another political issue with little regard to the benefits to US citizens, because the error-ridden on-line registration system (and of course, the disobeying of the law within by some insurance providers) has emerged as Proof that the Democrats were wrong in suggesting our citizens needed better health care and Republicans were right in opposing the same. Where should the accountability be focused?
  • A data breach at Target that has harmed millions is emerging as a Democratic issue of why the government has not protected us from companies like Target. Some Democrats think the government has not done enough to protect us as citizens.  Where should the accountability be focused?
  • UPS/Fedex are being blamed for an unhappy Christmas because retailers in hopes of saving their over-projected holiday sales, promised to get last-minute on-line gift purchases to their destination in time for Christmas…apparently with no regard to how organizations tasked with that mission were going to accomplish it.  Consumers bought in; disaster occurred.  Where should the accountability be focused?

 When will we learn our world is not black and white?  And when will we accept that the 20th century is not the 21st century – that indeed, our world has changed?  How much are we politicizing or looking for someone to blame simply because we do not anticipate or recognize consequences of the digital world in which we live today? 

No, I am not saying digital is evil.  I am just pointing out –one more time- that we need to address the TOTAL impact of the digital age in which we live.  Old thinking, old systems are not the answer.  We need to say goodbye to the 20th century; make an about-face to the future and acknowledge the WORLD has changed around us.  None of us can predict based on our “experience” what consequences will follow any action today.  But it is increasing clear that we need to acknowledge the digital world is here and has brought with it new good and bad consequences.

We should not expect to reap the benefits without learning to minimize the negative consequences.   

And since this is not about who can find the most “dirt” on the other, or raise the most funds, or use gerrymandering to get the most votes, perhaps a little more listening to one another and collaboration among people with differing views might just pay-back for all of us as we move forward in a new age that bears little resemblance to the century we have left behind.

 

 

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ONCE AGAIN….

November 9, 2013

 

Is our reliance on Twentieth Century knowledge and expertise raising its ugly head in the status of our economy?

 

It seems the gloomy forecasts for jobs growth simply are not meshing with reality.

 

Adjustments to the “New Jobs” figures from forecast to actual pushed August to 238,000 and September to 163,000.  Expectations for October for 120,000 new jobs due to impact of government shutdown for sixteen days and the no-budget actually came in at 204,000.

 

Meanwhile, all the skepticism, nay-saying and long faces did indeed influence job SEEKERS and those looking for a job dropped about one/tenth of a percent. 

 

Perhaps the best news buried at the end of a STRIB article this morning was that October increases were across low and high-paying sectors including manufacturing, health care, retail and professional services such as engineering and computer design, while 53,000 of the total increases came from the Hospitality Industry – signaling that use of restaurants and hotels is increasing – or in other words, people are spending a little.

 

I am sure as you read this you are asking how any of this makes sense – they must be mistaken – because surely, if that was all happening, you would have heard it on the news.  Trust me, no you would not have, as it does not fit the Press messaging spins.

 

As each month passes, I become more convinced that whether it is a Republican or a Democrat forecasting, measuring, commenting or planning a strategy, they are all applying OLD RULES…rules that served them well through the Twentieth Century….until they didn’t; and our economy collapsed.

 

Add to that the fact that politics like we have not seen of late has trumped this whole crisis from beginning to end.

 

Out of embarrassment and cover-up, as it all collapsed, the Repos blamed Obama loud and long…even though the collapse occurred on a Republican President’s watch before Obama was even elected or inaugurated.  

 

That is a fact, not a spin.  Summer/Fall of 2008 the President of the United States was George W. Bush, setting up a situation that would be comical if it were not such a tragedy; and makes a  statement of how easily public opinion is manipulated.

 

 But think about it…the Obama campaign, its messaging and its promises were based on what we now know to be a  MYTH.  We were not a healthy robust country heading out into the world ready to conquer all as the Republican SPIN led us to believe…we were tettering on the brink of disaster.  And yet, how often have you heard the Press say….Obama promised when he ran for President to do such and so…and so far he has failed.

 

I’m just saying…look in the mirror and ask yourself if you can remember:  What plans and promises did you have in place in the summer of 2008 and how many of them did not happen because of the impact of a government and economic meltdown you did not know was already happening?!!!

 

Add to that, politics – not the good of the people, nor the good of the country -has trumped this whole crisis from beginning to end.  The Republicans fell hard in 2008.  A war veteran and man respected by both political parties did not become President of the United States.  Add a little flavoring called “Obama is not a WHITE BABY BOOMER “.   A crumbling, outdated political party made a grave mistake and welcomed the Tea Party into their ranks…and the rest is history.  Unfortunately, we are all paying the price.

 

As the disaster rolls out, we learn those eight years from 2000-2008 pushed the Economic Bubble one step too far, all collapsed, and an ECONOMIC RESET was well underway.  We experienced the greatest downturn since 1929 and economists projected an 8-10 year recoveryNOT a quick bounce back in 2-3 years like we often experienced during the 1940-2000 “Boom”.

 

Sobering news and not what Obama’s campaign messaging had promised.  That’s a fact. 

 

And yet, it is five years later – well ahead of schedule.  The national debt has been cut in half; we are out of one war, almost exiting another; we are well ahead of rebuilding jobs, but not at the top yet; and we went through Healthcare Reform and are now beginning to implement it.

 

I believe had Obama actually been as dysfunctional and non-performing as the Republicans say he has been, the Republicans would not be in the mess they are in as a party.  Tradition says the party that elects a non-performing leader is the one that should be in disarray.   Ask yourself HONESTLY which party is crumbling?    The Republicans are collapsing in a mess because of their OWN internal problems; and like any cornered wild animal, they are in a panic and have only their dislike of Obama to unite them and hold on to.

 

Hubris?  Race?  Embarrassment?  Bad Decisions starting with Pallen as VP?  At this point, I really don’t care.  The damage they have done to themselves may be irreparable and so be it. I am much more concerned about what they have done to the rest of us.

 

CASE IN POINT:  The Republican Talking Points over Obamacare.

 

Am I the only one that noticed that as the Press interviews Republican after Republican on any issue, but certainly about the online registration problems with Healthcare and now insurance cancellation “crisis”, the comments NEVER VARY from one Republican to another….string them all together and it sounds like an old LP record with a scratch….repeating the last phrase of a lyric, over and over and over and over again.  That is not ‘opinion” folks, that is called brainwashing and control of members  and should be taken with a grain of salt.

 

As for the Insurance Cancellation Wave?  See my OCTOBER 21 BLOG entitled PRESS POSTURING.

 

Yesterday you may think, as did the Press, that there was an Obama “Gotcha”.  He apologized and took the blame for telling people that if they liked their insurance they could keep it. 

 

For all but 1% of the nation, that is absolutely true. 

 

He was able to promise it applied to that 1% as well, because he KNEW those short-term one year bridge policies had been grandfathered in to protect the buyer  and were not going to be impacted….AS LONG AS those insurance companies issuing them obeyed the rules.  NO NEW CUSTOMERS could be issued a policy.    Since the policies are one year policies, not automatically renewable, he should have been safe, right?  Well, he was wrong, because he trusted Insurance CORPORATIONS to adhere to the contract they had with the government.

 

Unfortunately, they did not.  When they could not keep enrollment UP to a level they were making their substantial profits, they continued to add NEW people.  Instead of a gradual phase-out, the insurance companies maintained that 1%  against the law.  And the rest is history.  Unsuspecting individuals have gotten a surprise as the policies are now being cancelled because the issuing insurance companies cannot maintain the profit.   It really has nothing to do with Obama not telling the truth.  He told the truth as the law was written.

 

And the Press went wild…not just on Talk News Channels but on main networks as well.  The lead headline on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams positioned that Obama “admitted” what he said was not true.

 

In fact, the fact that you could keep your existing policy was NOT an “Obama Lie” but the result of corporations issuing policies and disregarding the LAW.

 

So yesterday a gleeful Press proclaimed “GOTCHA” and Obama “apologized”.

 

 But I listened carefully.  He said as President, he took responsibility for the problem.  That is not the same as I made a mistake.  So for me, yesterday he, one more time, showed what a classy guy he was.  He chose not to publically point the finger at the insurance companies.  He took responsibility for believing that the insurance companies would adhere to the law.

 

Just as we are learning that what we believed about George W. Bush was inaccurate, and that in fact, he divorced himself from the Neo-Cons in his second term, I believe we will all eventually come to see a “truth”  that is different from the spin happening today on Obamacare.

 

…Just as I was encouraged to hear yesterday, that in the case of Benghazi, we are already learning that the FACTS the Republicans were using to declare needs for investigations into Obama/Clinton incompetence were based on a TOTAL FABRICATION!  LOL.

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MESSAGE TO MIKE LEE, R-Utah re IMMIGRATION

June 17, 2013

Your charge that (the Immigration Reform Bill) “grants broad new power to the same executive branch that today is mired in scandal for incompetence and abuse of power” needs a little editing at the very least so let’s look at the current status of all those scandals and mismanagement:

BENGHAZI INCIDENT ITSELF: 

So far, the only emerging suggestion for improvement is better security.  No one doubts that it was asked for prior to the night of violence, but let’s talk about who bears responsibility for denying the Administration’s request for funding to do that? I think it was the REPUBLICANS.  Maybe you should examine why that was.

BENGHAZI TALKING POINTS:

So we can’t find a concrete issue there  that is wholly owned by the Administration, so let’s switch to a five minute update on Meet the Press from a person sitting in for the Obama Administration reading talking points not prepared by her.  First you all chose to try to crucify her- knowing full well she was not involved; and now  enough evidence has been forthcoming to show that both Republican and Democratic members of the Obama Administration were involved in making decisions to capture a point in time in the talking points that was no longer accurate by the Sunday viewing of Meet the Press.  Once the facts were on the table in written proof, the noise on this faded….except for “Benghazi is a scandaland we are not through with this yet” When might you think it will be over?  It’s been weeks since you all have raged on this topic….you must still be looking for WHAT the scandal is that has upset you so.

THE IRS SCANDAL

I admit, it made my stomach drop when I first heard this.  Just as you all planned, the IRS is easy to be fearful of and therefore suspicious of,  I guess.  But once we learned the hyped “scandal” originated not with Obama, but with a conservative Republican employee just trying to do his job who sent the first file (that coincidently just happened to be a Tea Party organization) to IRS legal in Washington for further clarification on whether their actions were explicitly within the law. 

Unfortunately, legal counsel for all IRS resides in Washington so what a bonus to the scandal mongers.  This poor guy just trying to do his job the best he could had just created the perfect opportunity for the rest of you to cry scandal; why, the direction came from “Washington”!  Did you check the facts or did you all manipulate this on purpose to play on the average US citizen’s mistrust of all of you in Washington?

And now we even know what Washington told him…NOT to search for more of these, but if you do see more, let us know.

Back in Cincinnati, this poor little guy just trying to do his job the best he could amidst the flood of requests for non-profit status and with the absence of adequate number of  IRS employees to assist, made himself a list of buzz words to help him recognize cases that IRS legal wanted flagged for further review.  I call that conscientious; you call it a scandal.

I think the scandal occurred long before and  when the clerk ran a search expecting to quickly identify and process the few more that may be waiting in the stacks surrounding him, it surfaced.  His search uncovered a deluge – totally by accident- of political activists trying to skirt the law and requesting non- profit status . Too bad, so sad; they were all Republican-based.

Now whose fault was that again?  I simply cannot, try as I may, make the connection to Barack Obama.

THE “INVASIVE SPYING on CITIZENS by NSA” SCANDAL

We’ve looked at this backwards and forwards; in and out and upside down in the last days since this came to the surface. Oh yes, you mean the one the Bush Administration put in place after they were stopped from  actually eves-dropping  and wiretapping  at will without a court order?

Yes indeed, the one that Obama opposed at the time; still opposed when he ran for President in 2008, and slowly learned through 2009, that it was not as simple as he thought to get rid of ?   The one his staff (including those that were Republican carry-overs) convinced him he had to leave in place?  Oh yes, the one he said as this scandal broke he would WELCOME further debate on to find a better way? 

Ah yes, the one that has Congressional Oversight (and was just renewed by Congress)as well as Judicial Control?

That posturing does not even deserve my time. Look in the mirror for the guilty.

MISCELLANEOUS

And then we have the Press Scandal issue. Because it is the press, it seems there has been an unwillingness to share facts, or maybe the facts aren’t there- I don’t know, so for argument’s sake, let’s leave that one on the table until we know something concrete. 

That will give you more time to keep searching.  You thought Benghazi would be the strategy to pen in Hillary, but that did not work; now we have new issues…..not unique to Hillary… of bad moral behavior of her secret service guys.  They made the news, but aren’t exactly NEW news, so I am not sure that did the trick to turn the tide. 

Really guys, it needs to be something more subtle…Hillary survived 8 years of you the first time around; she has survived 4 years of you this time around…you are not going to be the influencing difference in whether she runs or not.  I know, if she runs, you lose.  But have you ever thought shouting scandal from the rooftops over the ants on the dinner table may be enough in itself to ensure you are not qualified as a party to take up residence in the White House?

BACK TO IMMIGRATION REFORM

All that aside, Immigration reform is needed for the country, for the immigrants and certainly for the Republican Party.  What about your lack of support in the last election do you not understand?.  Oh yes, got it.  That was before you started the scandal campaign that is working so well.

I’m thinking you all would be better served spending time looking in the mirror, identifying weaknesses, and misconnects with the American people. So far, looking for the Elmer Gantry in your midst that can “save” your party with soap box rhetoric is not working. 

And there is no doubt you all are not Shakespeare, so continuing to make “Much Ado About Nothing” is not the answer to moving the country forward.

 

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THE DECIDING DEBATE…or just more blather?

October 22, 2012

For weeks we have heard the debates don’t matter. Opps…poll numbers started shifting during the first three, and now this final debate is the MOST IMPORTANT thing of the campaign. Who knows what the truth is? All I really know is that we should expect posturing and not truthful thought-out responses.
Yesterday I started a blog that outlined what I would like to hear discussed in the last debate tonight. No, Benghazi was not on the list…contrary to neo-con manipulation of Romney’s impression, Benghazi’s greatest importance was the unexpected loss of American lives-especially one who may have emerged as a knowledgeable and informed leader in 21st century foreign policy-someone who understands the Middle East; someone that could have helped the United States make needed transitions from “War is the Answer” to peaceful co-existence. And, its second most important role was as a demonstration for the American people of just how complex-even murky-an incident like this is. Such an incident calls for patience and level heads, no finger pointing until everyone has the facts, and no posturing for political advantage…especially from a neophyte whose total foreign policy is wrapped up in a father born in Mexico for religious reasons, and time spent as a missionary in France – a country that was then just emerging from post-WWII recovery! While I applaud Romney for his time and compassion, I do not think he emerged a qualified 21st century diplomat based on that experience! And frankly, I shudder to think his neo-con advisors are the very same men and women that manipulated Bush and tricked the world into the wrongful war in Iraq!
But I digress. What I was in the midst of outlining yesterday was my own questions/issues I hope to hear discussed tonight.
• Japan is about to take China’s place as the US largest creditor. What do you see as positive/negative impacts, if  any, on the United States?
• With China’s low profit margins on production of goods, combined with extremely low worker wages, what do you see as impact in the US, of as the Chinese “Boom” recedes? Will there be economic consequences from the many US companies with facilities there? Are the US corporate investments in China significant enough that a collapse there would impact us domestically?
NOTE: This morning STRIB had article in Business Insider Page 1 raising similar question of what will happen as US Corporations ramp up there, expecting China to replace slow markets in the US and Europe.
• What impact to US do you see as the Chinese population growth controls (one child; preferably male) starts impacting the Chinese economy?
I’ve read that traditionally, this male head of family takes on responsibility of support for parents AND parents of spouse. That support of three families on low wages seems challenging; as does the question of whom do these favored sons marry with so few Chinese women in their generation?
The Strib OPINION PAGE added significant “food for thought” this morning by pointing out that the most serious security challenges confronting the US –which come from the Mideast and South Asia- are “so complex and fluid” it is hard to provide clear answers…so at best we can expect posturing by Romney and over-simplification by Obama.
Uggh.
Before the debate, take the time to check out the article “What to hope for tonight at the debate”. The questions raised about the Arab Spring, Syria, Iran, will make your head spin, but every one of them is valid and raises significant issues…just reviewing the questions makes one realize how daunting the situation is.
The author’s last paragraph says it all.
Whatever the weaknesses of Obama on these issues, I’ve heard no clear alternatives from Romney and no recognition of the global changes of the last decade. I hope Schieffer will press both candidates for real, not canned answers. But my expectations aren’t high.
Amen to that….by now, most of you know, my biggest issue with Romney is that he is NOT prepared or even cognizant that we do not live today in a world in which his experience and success in a past century will make any difference. If he does not understand the implications and relationships in the world today, he will not be effective; nor will he be able to lead us successfully into the future. I say again, tomorrow is NOT more of the same. The world has changed.