CONTENTS: HB 537; Right to Work; Shoot civilians?; BO unbound; A nation of takers; Floods of regulations; NK test #3; Kerry unfit; Women in combat; Panetta opens door; Allen West- bad idea; Hillary’s mideast; BUDGETS – Rushbo, Boehm x2; GUNs – BO losing; Sheriffs rally; Girls want an AR- 15; National ban; UN arms treaty; Benghazi bombed Hillary; Hillary puke-fest; Hanson – a difference; Gillispie – Hill’s evasions; Taranto – differences; Hillary failed; Gillespie – loving “hating Breitbart” Announcements
“During his fourth year in office, an average of 86% of Democrats and 10% of Republicans approved of the job Barack Obama did as president. That 76-percentage-point gap ties George W. Bush’s fourth year as the most polarized years in Gallup records”
Jeffrey Jones, Gallup
“This is flat-out bullsh*t! What did she do to save anybody? Can anyone cite a single thing? She didn’t do anything to save anybody!” Limbaugh said, challenging her claim that she did everything in her power to help Ambassador Stevens. “The ‘difference’ is that you were lying through your teeth about it, Mrs. Clinton, and you knew it!”
“It was the Swift Boaters who charged Kerry with accepting Purple Hearts that were not honestly earned. Part of those charges center around the reality that despite receiving three of them, he never spent any time in a hospital.” http://frontpagemag.com/2012/arnold-ahlert/why-kerry-remains-unfit-for-command/
1890: Nellie Bly completed her 72-day around-the-world trip, beating the fictional Phineas Fogg by a week.
1915: Alexander Graham Bell made a call from New York to San Francisco, inaugurating a transcontinental telephone service.
1937: The Guiding Light debuted on radio; it later moves to TV, becoming the longest-running drama ever broadcast.
1959: American Airlines inaugurated transcontinental jet flights with the Boeing 707, the first successful commercial jet airliner.
1961: President John F. Kennedy held the first live televised presidential news conference. (Bennett & Cribb, 2010)
West Chester TEA Party: Metcalf’s HB 357
Rep Metcalf has introduced
H.B. 357 (as in .357 magnum) and the summary of it is
“An Act providing that any Federal law which attempts to register, restrict or ban a firearm or to limit the size of a magazine of a firearm in this Commonwealth shall be unenforceable in this Commonwealth; and imposing penalties.”
The full text is not yet available, but you can follow the bill’s progress from here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2013&sind=0&body=H&type=B&BN=0357 Obviously, it sets up as a challenge based on 10th Amendment powers.
You can watch Metcalfe’s speech (1 minute video highlight) here: http://youtu.be/c7hgr1JkGxQ
Please contact your representative and tell him to support HB 357. If you don’t know your reps, you can find them easily from here:
West Chester TEA Party: Right to Work
“Metcalfe, Lawmakers Declare Zero-Cost Right to Work Package
the Key to Unlocking Economic Expansion and Job Growth
HARRISBURG – State House members, leaders from organizations across the Commonwealth and several negatively impacted individuals committed to ending the practice of compulsory unionism joined State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) to officially reintroduce the Pennsylvania Open Workforce Initiative for the 2013-14 legislative session.
“Whether the economic objective is reining in astronomical state employee pension costs, liquor privatization or expanding school choice, evidence across the nation proves that the most critical and essential step for economic growth is to break the government-sanctioned grip of compulsory unionism by making Pennsylvania America’s 25th Right to Work state,” said Metcalfe. “Best of all, the total taxpayer cost of restoring the Right to Work in Pennsylvania is absolutely ZERO.
“Designed to protect the individual freedoms of Pennsylvania’s working citizens and energize the economy by ending the practice of compulsory unionism, specific legislation and bill sponsors for the Pennsylvania Open Workforce Initiative are as follows:
House Bill 50, the Freedom of Employment Act sponsored by Metcalfe, would make employment no longer conditional upon union membership or paying dues to a union.
House Bill 51, sponsored by Representative Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean), would prohibit labor unions from collecting compulsory union dues from non-union public school employees.
House Bill 52, sponsored by Representative Fred Keller (R-Union/Snyder), would prohibit labor organizations from collecting compulsory union dues from non-union state employees.
House Bill 53, sponsored by Representative Jim Cox (R-Berks),would prohibit labor organizations from collecting compulsory union dues from non-union local government employees.
House Bill 54, sponsored by Representative Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Schuylkill), would prohibit private-sector employment from being conditional upon membership or non-membership in a labor organization. Compulsory dues would be prohibited for non-union members.
House Bill 250, sponsored by Representative Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland), would give public employees the freedom to opt out of their union membership at any time during their contract. Current law only allows employees to terminate their union membership 15 days prior to the expiration of the contract.
During the past decade, private-sector employee compensation grew 12 percent in America’s Right to Work states as compared to only 3 percent in forced unionism states, such as Pennsylvania.
“No hard-working Pennsylvania taxpayer should be forced into union membership or to pay union dues in exchange for the fundamental Right to Work,” said Metcalfe. “The framers of our Constitution never intended for our government to become an enforcer for unions or a collector of forced union dues at taxpayer expense.”
Please contact your representative and tell him/her to support these bills. If you don’t know your reps, you can find them easily from here:
TEA Party: Obama – “Will you fire on American civilians?”
(Prison Planet) – 2009 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Jim Garrow shockingly claims he was told by a top military veteran that the Obama administration’s ‘litmus test’ for new military leaders is whether or not they will obey an order to fire on U.S. citizens.
“. . . Garrow’s claim is even more explosive given that the country is in the throes of a national debate about gun control, with gun rights advocates keen to insist that the founders put the second amendment in the Constitution primarily as a defense against government tyranny. It also follows reports on Sunday that General James Mattis, head of the United States Central Command, ‘is being told to vacate his office several months earlier than planned.’ Concerns over US troops being given orders to fire on American citizens in the event of mass gun confiscation first arose in 1995 when hundreds of Marines at 29 Palms, California were given a survey as part of an academic project by Navy Lieutenant Commander Ernest Guy Cunningham which asked the Marines if they would, ‘Fire upon U.S. citizens who refuse or resist confiscation of firearms banned by the United States government. . .’
Charles Krauthammer, WaPo: “Obama unbound”
“The media herd is stunned to discover that Barack Obama is a man of the left. After 699 teleprompted presidential speeches, the commentariat was apparently still oblivious. Until Monday’s inaugural address, that is.
“Where has everyone been these four years? The only surprise is that Obama chose his second inaugural, generally an occasion for “malice toward none” ecumenism, to unveil so uncompromising a left-liberal manifesto.
“But the substance was no surprise. . .”
Also: Jonah Goldberg, NRO: Hillary Clinton’s Dodgy Testimony
“Her lying, while outrageous, is incidental to the real offense.
“A lot of people in Washington apparently forgot how good Hillary Clinton is at not telling the truth.
“Wednesday, in her testimony before the Senate and, later, the House, Clinton brilliantly fudged, dodged, and filibustered. Of course, she’s a pro. Clinton was slow-walking depositions, lawyering up, and shifting blame when many of her questioners were still civilians down on the farm.
“Aided by a ridiculous format, she outfoxed most of the Republicans with ease.
“Meanwhile, the Democrats, almost uniformly, seemed singularly interested in celebrating Mrs. Clinton as a global diva . . .”
Nicholas Eberstadt, WSJ: “Yes, Mr. President, We Are a Nation of Takers”
“In President Obama’s second inaugural address, he not only outlined an ambitious agenda for his second term but also seemed intent on shutting down debate about the social-welfare state and its impact on American life.
“‘The commitments we make to each other—through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security—these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us,’ Mr. Obama said. ‘They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.’ In other words, the president is tired of listening to critics of America’s entitlement programs, and as far as he is concerned, the discussion is now over.
“It is not over—and won’t be anytime soon, because the country’s social-welfare spending is generating severe and mounting hazards for the nation. These hazards are not only fiscal but moral.
“A growing body of empirical evidence points to increasing dependency on state largess. . .”
Adam White, Weekly Standard: Obama’s Regulatory Rampage
“Fasten your seatbelts, because the courts and Congress won’t be able to slow it down much
“Despite all of the White House speechwriters’ labors on the Inaugural and State of the Union Addresses, their attempt to define the tone of the president’s second term is unlikely to improve upon the president’s own words, a year ago: “Where Congress is not willing to act, we’re going to go ahead and do it ourselves.” It would be “nice” to work with Congress, he conceded, but he and his regulators were ready to act unilaterally.
That threat echoed the White House press secretary’s own warning, just weeks earlier, that although Congress ought to act to improve the economy, the president “can also act independently—or, rather, administratively, and exercise his executive authority to benefit the American people in other ways. And he will continue to do that.” The White House called this the “We Can’t Wait” initiative.
Today, looking ahead at Barack Obama’s second term, many of his supporters still can’t wait. The New Republic’s Timothy Noah is among them. “With the election over,” he wrote last month, “the president can now take bolder action on a host of issues that don’t require cooperation—or even input—from Congress.” True, “some of these actions might be controversial,” but “that concern matters less now that Obama has faced voters for the last time.”
Noah needn’t fret. In his second term, the president will have every incentive to pursue an agenda predominantly, perhaps even exclusively, through unilateral executive branch action. Some call this the “regulatory cliff”; others, a regulatory “flood” or “tsunami” (as Sen. Rob Portman, the Wall Street Journal, and the Chamber of Commerce have put it). Call it what you will, but for the next four years, the Obama administration will govern primarily through the regulatory agencies. And Congress and the courts, having tied their own hands, can do little to stop it. . .”
Julian Ryall, UK Telegraph: “North Korea to carry out third nuclear test ‘aimed at US’”
It only takes one EMP now to produce mass starvation in our cities and much of our countryside. . . Fortschen, William R. (2009) One Second After. New York: Tom Doherty Associates.
“Defying a resolution issued by the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday that condemned Pyongyang for test-firing a missile in December and tightened existing sanctions on the regime, North Korea’s National Defence Commission said the new nuclear test would be part of its action against the “sworn enemy of the Korean people”.
North Korea also vowed to push ahead with launches of more long-range rockets.
“We do not hide that a variety of satellites and long-range rockets which will be launched by the DPRK one after another and a nuclear test of higher level which will be carried out by it in the upcoming all-out action, a new phase of the anti-US struggle that has lasted century after century, will target against the US, the sworn enemy of the Korean people,” the commission said.
“Settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words, as it regards jungle law as the rule of its survival.”
LEADS . . .
Front Page: “Why Kerry Remains Unfit for Command”
“. . . Many Americans are aware of John Kerry’s infamous abuse of his fellow soldiers during the “Winter Soldier Investigations,” when he appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971 as a representative of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) and made the following statement:
“They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.
“Kerry contended that these atrocities were committed ‘on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.’
“Yet there were even more damnable parts of Kerry’s testimony that have remained largely under the radar. Like every good progressive, Kerry promoted the leftist worldview of a racist America, no better than the enemy we were fighting. “We saw that many people in this country had a one-sided idea of who was kept free by our flag, as blacks provided the highest percentage of casualties. We saw Vietnam ravaged equally by American bombs as well as by search and destroy missions, as well as by Vietcong terrorism, and yet we listened while this country tried to blame all of the havoc on the Viet Cong,” he stated. Furthermore, Kerry embraced a defeatism proven colossally wrong years later by President Ronald Reagan, claiming, ‘We cannot fight communism all over the world, and I think we should have learned that lesson by now.’”
Caroline May, Daily Caller: Women in Combat. . . a Congressional Decision?
“. . . Inhofe said in a statement that he spoke with Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter Wednesday and expects Panetta to go forward with expanded opportunities for women in the armed services, but that he believes there will be some limits.
“‘I do not believe this will be a broad opening of combat roles for women, because as the 2012 report indicated, there are ‘serious practical barriers which must be resolved so that the department can maximize the safety and privacy of all military members while maintaining military readiness,’ he explained.”
Bridget Johnson, PJM: Panetta Opening Combat Roles to Women
“. . . Today’s news that departing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will open front-line combat positions to women elicited joy from lawmakers on Capitol Hill who have been arguing that women deserve the opportunity to serve in all capacities on the 21st century battlefield.
“The Joint Chiefs of Staff have recommended overturning a Clinton-era rule that bans women from serving in smaller ground combat units.
“‘This is an historic step for equality and for recognizing the role women have, and will continue to play, in the defense of our nation,’ said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chairwoman of the Veterans Affairs Committee. “From the streets of Iraqi cities to rural villages in Afghanistan, time and again women have proven capable of serving honorably and bravely. In fact, it’s important to remember that in recent wars that lacked any true front lines, thousands of women already spent their days in combat situations serving side-by-side with their fellow male service members.”
“The military branches will have until 2016 to seek exceptions if they have reason to believe some jobs should still be closed to women. Implementation of all special forces and front-line positions is not expected to happen immediately.
“‘I respect and support Secretary Panetta’s decision to lift the ban on women serving in combat. The fact is that American women are already serving in harm’s way today all over the world and in every branch of our armed forces. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice, and our nation owes them a deep debt of gratitude,’ said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), ranking member on the Armed Services Committee. . .”
David Martosko, Daily Caller: “Allen West: Putting women in combat a ‘misconceived’ liberal policy”
“Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will announce Thursday that gender will no longer be a barrier to female members of the military who want to serve in combat units. And former Florida congressman Allen West is not impressed.
“Panetta is expected to leave his job in February. His order will reportedly call for branches of the armed services to determine if opening the military’s most dangerous jobs to women is feasible, and then to report back to the Pentagon by mid-May.. .”
Michael Kelly, Business Insider: Hillary, Susan, & Samantha’s Excellent Adventure (1/23/2013)
Lavrov noted that the unrest across the Middle East could play into the hands of radical militants.
“‘This will be a time bomb for decades ahead,’ he said.”
Also: Michael Kelly, Business Insider:” The Dark Side of The Arab Spring Is Increasingly Apparent” (1/23/2013)
And: Michael Kelly, Business Insider: “How US Ambassador Chris Stevens May Have Been Linked To Jihadist Rebels In Syria” (10/19/2012)
“The gravy train is going to end. They’re in for a huge shock and surprise. The low-information people are going to be stunned into reality at some point. There’s no avoiding it. Now, hopefully we can hasten this with future elections. I know that looks bleak. But at some point, everything Obama believes in is gonna go down the tubes, because it always has. Call it whatever you want: Liberalism, progressivism. It is all built on a foundation of lies. The people who espouse it can’t be honest about it.
“The people who believe in it cannot tell you what their real plans are. That’s why the Democrats have not done a budget. The reason, the sole reason Democrats have not done a budget is to hide their true intentions. There have been some other reasons. Not doing a budget allows them to accomplish more of what they want, because they’re doing it on the sly. You know, they’re doing it in the dark, under the cover of darkness, and they’re doing it crisis to crisis to crisis to crisis. But it’s dishonest. It’s like Reagan said about the Soviet Union. They’re gonna implode of their own immorality. And he was right. . .”
Eric Boehm, PA Independent: “Turnpike chief got new $40K vehicle one week before tolls increased again”
“HARRISBURG – Next time you stop to pay a toll on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, remember how those dollars are being spent.
Following on the heels of an audit report revealing that the Turnpike Commission purchased new vehicles for the members of the five member panel that governs the agency, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday that commission chairman William Lieberman got a brand new Jeep Cherokee last month at a cost of about $40,000.
He was given the new car exactly nine days before the turnpike increased tolls on motorists for the fifth consecutive year. . .”
Eric Boehm, PA Independent: “PA lawmaker says dump corrupt judicial elections”
“HARRISBURG – As one state Supreme Court justice prepares to face a jury on corruption charges, lawmakers are looking for a way to end judicial elections.
Legislators want to scrap Pennsylvania’s practice of electing judges to the state’s highest courts because they say the system opens the door to corruption and conflicts of interest stemming from the millions of dollars in campaign contributions for those elections.
Instead, a newly created commission would identify a short list of judicial candidates to fill vacancies in the state Supreme Court, Superior Court and Commonwealth Court. The governor would chose from that list.
Lower court judges in municipal courts and the state Court of Common Pleas would continue to be elected. All judges would continue to face retention votes after 10 years on the bench.
State Sen. Anthony Williams, D-Philadelphia, the lead sponsor of the bill, said the merit selection proposal was intended to ensure the integrity of the bench.
Dan Spencer, Red State: “Obama losing his gun control campaign”
“New polling from Washington Post-ABC News and Pew find that President Obama’s campaign to repress the Second Amendment right ‘keep and bear arms’ is faltering.
“On January 22, 2013, Pew released polling results that found the public followed news about Obama’s gun control proposals closely and the reaction is mixed. Only 39 percent think Obama’s proposals are about right, while 31 percent think the proposals go too far. Or, as Politico put it, “39 percent back Obama gun plan.”
“Of course there is the usual partisan divide. A 57 percent majority of Republicans say the proposals go too far, and 25 percent say they are about right. A 55 percent majority of Democrats (55%) say the proposals s are about right, and 10 percent say they go too far. Independents are more evenly divided — 36 percent say the proposals are about right, while 33 percent say they go too far.
“There is also a gender divide with Men more likely than women to say Obama’s gun control proposals go too far — 36 percent vs. 26 percent.
“It is important to note that despite the “modest” up tick after Newtown, support for gun control remains lower than before Obama took office. In April 2008, 58 percent said it was more important to control gun ownership, while 37 percent prioritized protecting gun rights. In a poll released January 14, 2013 Pew found that 51 percent say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 45 percent say it is more important to protect gun rights.
“The new Washington Post-ABC News poll, released today, finds that support for Obama’s gun control package is lower than it was for some of the same steps polled in an ABC/Post poll earlier this month, before Obama’s repressive gun control package was announced. . .”
From Matt Drudge (1/25/13)
DEMS MOVE TO BAN HANDGUNS, RIFLES
SET SIGHTS ON 150 WEAPONS, NATIONAL REGISTRY...
Feinstein opens press conferences with prayer...
'I believe gun lobby is no match for cross lobby'...
Senator got special permission to display guns in DC...
Biden: It's Safety, Not Control...
Number of Sheriffs Refusing to Enforce New Laws Snowballs...
Gregory Gwyn-Williams, CNS: Sheriffs’ Rally
“. . . In New Mexico, 30 of the state’s 33 county sheriffs . . . 28 of the 29 sheriff’s in Utah . . . A host of Oregon sheriffs have said that they will not comply . . .
For a list of sheriffs who are standing up against new gun regulations, please click here
Bigelow & Blankenship, NRO: “Why Young Women Want AR-15s”
“Sorry, President Obama. As young women, we prefer an AR-15 “assault” rifle with a 30-round magazine for self-defense.
“In fact, we wouldn’t want to be stuck at home without one. In the wake of mass murders like Sandy Hook and the horrific rapes and murders of thousands of women each year, pepper spray, mace, or five-round handheld pistols aren’t going to cut it.
“So what’s a girl to do? When choosing our tool for home defense, we want the best — in accuracy, handling, and aesthetics. The best choice by all three criteria is — hands down — the AR-15. . .”
Emily Miller, Washington Times: “National ‘assault weapon’ ban coming Thursday”
“The California Democrat intends to expand on the ban that expired in 2004, by including handguns and shotguns, in addition to rifles. She would decrease from two to one the number of cosmetic features on a gun to have it be considered an “assault weapon.” This means that if a gun has just one item like a pistol grip or bayonet lug, then it is illegal. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law the same ban in New York last week.
Furthermore, instead of grandfathering in current firearms, she would create a national gun registry for the government to track lawful gun owners. Magazines would again be limited to 10 rounds.
The Clinton-era bill was not renewed by Congress after the Federal Bureau of Investigation and law enforcement agencies reported that it was ineffective in reducing crime.
President Obama said that a top priority is to get “an assault weapons ban that is meaningful” passed this year.
“A summary of Mrs. Feinstein’s legislation is below. . .”
George Russell, Fox: “Does UN arms trade treaty figure in Obama administration’s gun control plans?”
“One day after President Barack Obama won re-election, his Administration agreed to a new round of international negotiations to revive a United Nations-sponsored treaty regulating the international sale of conventional arms, which critics fear could affect the Constitutionally protected right of U.S. citizens to purchase and bear firearms.
Now, in the wake of the Newtown school massacre and the President’s January 16 promise to “put everything I’ve got” into a sweeping new series of gun control initiatives, the fate of that treaty, which enters a “final” round of negotiations this March, may loom as more important than ever, according to critics, some of whom argue that the U.S. should never have entered the talks in the first place. . .”
Aaron Klein, KleinonLine: “MEDIA IGNORE HILLARY’S BOMBSHELL BENGHAZI CLAIM. Secretary insists she did not know about gun-running at U.S. mission”
“JERUSALEM — During the Benghazi hearings yesterday, outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed she did not know whether the U.S. special mission attacked on Sept. 11 was involved in gun running efforts.
“The remarks were perhaps the most important and telling of the entire hearing since they address activities that could have been taking place at the U.S. mission, possibly explaining the motive behind the jihadist attacks.
“Yet Clinton’s comment [sic] were largely unreported by the U.S. news media. . .”
Also – Aaron Klein: RAND PAUL: OBAMA IN GUNS-TO-JIHADISTS COVER-UP?
“Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., raised questions during a radio interview today about whether the Obama administration was smuggling guns to jihadist rebels in a possible “international Fast and Furious” that the White House has tried to cover up.
“Speaking on ‘Aaron Klein Investigative Radio’ on New York’s WABC Radio, Paul said the guns scheme could help explain the reason for the coordinated attacks against the U.S. special mission and CIA annex in Benghazi last September.
“Stated Paul: ‘There is also some concern about whether or not Libyan arms are being ferried through Turkey into Syrian rebels and whether or not that had something to do with the cover-up that came out of the administration when the administration was saying that, ‘Oh, this attack in Benghazi had something to do with a film.’”
Limbaugh: “Hillary Puke Fest”
Jeff Duncan said that she misspoke under oath . . . Bill did the same thing . . . charge her!
“RUSH: Okay, folks, time to get to the audio sound bites. There are too many good ones and I gotta get to some. But I do want to point something out to you. Mrs. Clinton today in her testimony this morning before the Senate committee… Get this, now. Mrs. Clinton said that she has always said the Benghazi attacked was caused by “militants,” and that simply isn’t true. Mrs. Clinton for weeks went out and blamed the video. She blamed protests. She did not blame Al-Qaeda. She said today that she always blamed Al-Qaeda, that she always said that it wasn’t a protest, that it was terrorism.
Folks, it simply is not true.
But then again, we should not be surprised when a Clinton lies under oath.
You see, it all depends on what the definition of “is” is. But she did say that. She cut an ad, a TV ad with Obama that ran in Pakistan blaming the video, blaming this filmmaker. The first hour and a half today at the Senate committee hearing, there wasn’t even a question about the video. Not one question about the video! They blamed all of that on the video for weeks, and there wasn’t one question about it. That’s what I mean about the ruling class circling the wagons. . .”
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “What Difference?”
“Secretary Clinton did not mean to show indifference, but her rhetorical question was one of the low points in her long career, one that might pass without too much fanfare at the moment but will reverberate a lot in the future.
“Yet today’s testimony in some sense does not matter, given that Ms. Clinton is probably going to run in 2016 for president, and has enjoyed a protective media veneer over her long career — shed only once in 2008 when opposing Barack Obama.
“Although she has shown moments of teary emotion (cf. the 2008 campaign), had problems with recollections about past events (cf. under fire in Bosnia), and offered scenarios that seemed improbable (cf. subpoenaed documents mysteriously appearing belatedly in a White House anteroom), her testimony today will be seen, as the Washington Post described it, as ‘an uncharacteristic display of emotion for Clinton, who is usually collected and reserved in public.’ Despite Hillarycare, Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate, the cattle-futures mess, the circumstances surrounding the 2000 Clinton pardons, ‘suspension of disbelief,’ etc., Ms. Clinton, for not fully explained reasons, remains mostly beyond audit and censure, a fact she has come to appreciate. . .”
Nick Gillespie, Reason: “3 Incredibly Outrageous Evasions by Hillary Clinton about Benghazi”
“The scene reminded me of nothing so much as Oliver North’s appearance before a joint Congressional committee investigating Iran-Contra back in the 1980s. Not because of anything Clinton said but the way that she carried herself and the ease with which she wrapped herself in the flag and tragedy to obscure the simple fact that she wasn’t going to answer anything. North famously showed up to testify in a military uniform that had nothing to do with his day job of subverting the U.S. Constitution from the basement of the Reagan White House. Clinton couldn’t repeat that fashion statement but she was able to pound the table and choke up at all the right moments to evade serious discussion not simply of major screw-ups, but major screw-ups that will go unaccounted for.
“Three major evasions from her appearances yesterday include . . .”
James Taranto, WSJ: ‘What Difference Does It Make?’
“. . . Johnson pressed her about the administration’s conflicting explanations for the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed the ambassador and three other Americans. “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans,” said the secretary snappishly to the senator. “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.”
So it’s “our job to figure out what happened” but it doesn’t make a difference what happened? Huh? What would we do without rhetorical questions? We suppose we’d answer them, as Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin does:
The answer to her question is clear. An administration that sought, for political purposes, to give the American people the idea that al-Qaeda had been “decimated” and was effectively out of commission had a clear motive during a presidential campaign to mislead the public about Benghazi. The fact that questions are still unanswered about this crime and that Clinton and President Obama seem more interested in burying this story along with the four Americans that died is an outrage that won’t be forgotten.
Especially if she runs for president in 2016. As we watched this exchange, it occurred to us that Mrs. Clinton was back in a familiar role, and an ironic one for someone who is supposed to be a feminist icon. Once again, she was helping the most powerful man in the world dodge accountability for scandalous behavior. . .”
Ron Johnson, USAToday: “Secretary Hillary Clinton, you failed”
“During her Senate testimony, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that approximately 25 Americans who were on the ground or who witnessed the terrorist attack in Benghazi were immediately evacuated. Secretary Clinton also revealed that neither she, nor her senior people, debriefed or spoke with those people immediately after the attack, or for months afterward, to understand what happened. She stated that she didn’t want to be later accused of playing politics.
“When I questioned her about the misinformation disseminated for days by the administration, most notably by Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice on Sunday news programs five days after the attack, she asked, ‘What difference does it make?’ . . .”
Bridget Johnson, PJM: Thrust and Parry
“. . . McCain, a new member on the Foreign Relations Committee this Congress, was one of the tougher questioners of Clinton in the first hearing of the day.
“The answers, frankly, that you’ve given this morning are not satisfactory to me,” he said.
“You knew Chris Stevens very well. I knew him very well. I knew him on July 7th when I went to Libya to observe the elections. And at that time, on July 7th, he expressed to me his deep and grave concerns about security, particularly in Benghazi. And he continued to communicate with the State Department, and I don’t know who else was privy to those cables, of his deep concern about the security there and the need for additional assistance.”
Clinton brushed off McCain multitude of questions about who knew what when, why things weren’t included in the investigation, and why the administration is still withholding information as a “disagreement.”
“I understand your very, very strong feelings. You knew Chris. You were a friend of Chris,” she said in reference to the slain ambassador. “You were one of the staunchest supporters of the efforts to dislodge Gadhafi and try to give the Libyan people a chance. And we just have a disagreement.”
Clinton also became noticeably enraged when Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) questioned her about how “we were misled that there were supposedly protests and that something sprang out of that, an assault sprang out of that.”
“The American people could have known that within days, and they didn’t know that,” Johnson said.
“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans,” Clinton responded, her voice rising and hands clenched into fists. “Whether because of a protest, or whether because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans. What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened, and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator.”
“…It is from my perspective, less important today looking backwards as to why these militants decided they did it, than to find them and bring them to justice, and then maybe we’ll figure out what was going on in the meantime.”
There were some new members on each of the panels thanks to the scandal carrying over from the 112th Congress to the 113th. And on the Senate side, one of those was Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
“I’m glad that you’re accepting responsibility. I think that ultimately with your leaving, you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11,” Paul said. “And I really mean that. Had I been president at the time, and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post. I think it’s inexcusable.”
Nick Gillespie, Reason: “Loving ‘Hating Breitbart’”
“A powerful post-partisan message from a documentary about an infamous right-winger
“The late online impresario Andrew Breitbart (1969–2012) was firmly on the right side of the political spectrum. But a new documentary about his life, Hating Breitbart, transcends his politics and instead captures the tectonic shift he helped bring about from the legacy media to newer forms of distributed news-gathering and opinion-making.
“This move from conventional gatekeepers and authorities (think The New York Times, official spokespeople, and established broadcast and cable news channels) to endlessly proliferating tastemakers and outlets (think Instapundit, Gawker, and Breitbart’s own suite of “Big” sites) doesn’t break along conventional ideological lines. It’s more attitudinal, more punk in the best sense of the word. . .”
Diabetic foot ulcer ….
The ad recycles: If you have a bleeding wound on the sole of your foot and have diabetes, call . . . Can we enroll the average urban “taker”?