Monday, October 29, 2012

Question for Obama: Campaign or Govern in Advance of Hurricane Sandy?

Campaigning is all he has been doing for four years!

Here's the Reuters headline that says it all:

Hurricane forces Obama to balance governing, campaigning

This is remarkable because the same news media has largely ignored Obama's indifference to governing, even in times of crisis. Did the media ding Obama for taking off for Las Vegas to hold a fundraiser the day after our Ambassador in Libya and three other American heroes were killed? Nope.. they jumped all over Mitt Romney claiming he politicized the tragedy.

Obama has done little but campaign and raise money since he took office. He's held more fundraisers than meetings with his intelligence staff since the campaign began. Overall, more fundraisers than all five previous presidents combined.

In the recent past tornadoes have devastated towns like Joplin, Missouri and Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Obama's reponse has been indifferent at best. But this is an election year and remembering Rahm Emanuel's adage that you "let no crisis go to waste" it's no surprise that with an election a week away he suddenly is seen to take an active interest as a storm approaches.

Hurricane Sandy may be Obama's October Surprise. Not only does it give Obama the opportunity to play at Commander in Chief in times of crisis but news of the storm will drive campaign coverage off the front page and newscasts making it harder for Romney to get his message out in this critical week!

Eyes on Ohio: Obama Still Has Slight Edge.... BUT!

With a week to go Romney is pulling out all the stops in the Buckeye state!

Last Thursday I put up my latest Electoral College map. Since then, new polls have been coming in at a frenetic pace for Ohio which remains the key battleground. Here are the latest:
Visit Real Clear Politics for the latest Ohio polls.
I highlighted the polls in which Romney was ahead or tied. Note that in the most recent polls only Rasmussen has a slight lead for Romney. Can Romney pull a rabbit out of a hat in the last week? Hard to do in Ohio where early voting has been underway for weeks. Voter fraud benefiting Democrats is always a worry in close elections and especially so in Ohio where you don't have to prove you are eligible to vote, only claim you are to register. One report of busloads of Somalis who don't speak English and have no valid proof of citizenship being driven to the polls by Democrats in Columbus raise the spectre of massive vote fraud which could sway a close election.

Despite these challenges Romney is working overtime in Ohio to bring the Buckeye state over the line on election day. If he fails to do so, the election map dictates that not only must he hold states like Colorado in which he has a very narrow lead (also susceptible to fraud and the Democrat machine) but also take a state like Wisconsin where Obama holds a slightly larger lead.

As I did in my electoral map post from last week, I want to caution readers to consider the investment Obama has made in campaign offices and field staff in key states. This chart shows the disparity between Romney and Obama in field offices staffed with paid workers coordinating trips for voters to early voting and possibly assisting in voter fraud as this report from Virginia implicating the son of a Democrat congressman indicates.

The bottom line: The election remains too close to call but with a slight advantage to Obama. It will be up to Romney to wring the last few votes from Ohio and other key states in this final week. If he succeeds, he wins!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Compare the Obama of 2008 with the President in 2012

Obama as a candidate in 2008 was much more presidential than the President running for re-election in 2012!

A new ad juxtaposes the difference between the two Obama's:

Obama 2008: "You don't deserve a bunch of name calling. You don't deserve a bunch of mudslinging. You won't get that from my campaign!" My how times have changed!
Romney is SO much more presidential!

Speaker Boehner Writes Letter to Obama Demanding Answers on Libya

Obama has ignored the news media and the American people. And while he will likely ignore this letter as well, the Speaker puts him on notice of his responsibility!

From the office of House Speaker John Boehner:

America demands answers. If we had a Commander in Chief instead of a blamer in chief we wouldn't have to ask!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Obama Still with SLIGHT Lead in Electoral College Map

12 days to go and it's time to up the ground game in Ohio!

Would you like the good news or the bad news first? I guess it all depends on who you want to win. OK, the good news for Romney is that North Carolina is totally gone for Obama. States like Florida and Virginia appear to be moving into the Romney column with most polls taken in those states (click the individual links for all states in this post) giving Romney the lead. And in New Hampshire, most polls show Romney ahead. In Colorado, it's pretty tight with two polls favoring Obama and three favoring Romney. I give Romney the nod in all five of these states.  There is even a poll with Romney leading in one of Maine's congressional districts (#2). In Maine, they split their electoral college vote. If you win the Congressional District, you win one electoral college vote.

In all the remaining swing states (pictured in light blue) Obama has a lead in most polls. Based on that data, I created the following map:

Visit Real Clear Politics and make your own Electoral College map.
Ohio may decide the race. Three recent polls show the race tied in the Buckeye State but five give Obama a lead ranging from 1-5 points. If Romney is able to pull Ohio over the line with his ground game in the next 12 days he can win. But Obama is working overtime to make sure that doesn't happen. Any Ohio conservative who fails to vote for Romney deserves to be horsewhipped!

If Romney fails to win Ohio things get more complicated. He would have to pick up Wisconsin in which Obama leads all recent polls by a mostly narrow margin or get both Iowa and Nevada. In Iowa, Obama and Romney are tied in one poll; Romney ahead in one and Obama ahead in two. Nevada has Obama ahead in all four recent polls and it's a tougher state to win with the big union influence in Las Vegas.

Cautionary Note:

In 2008 and again in 2010 we saw how Democrats overcame slight Republican leads in certain races with an overwhelming groundgame. Sadly, the GOP does not appear to have learned that lesson as the following chart comparing Obama field offices to Romney offices in key states:

Full size image here. More at Daily Beast.
We may find in the final week that an anti-Obama bandwagon effect kicks into gear and many of these swing states go solid for Romney. But counting on that to happen may be a recipe for disappointment. Don't trust your gut feeling about this election. There is just too much at stake! Drag your friends, family and associates to the polls!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

HUGE CROWD for Romney in Colorado

Talk about voter enthusiasm!

Here's the video report from a Denver television station of the massive rally in Colorado on Tuesday where thousands were turned away as there was no more room in the Red Rocks Coliseum. I guess it's no surprise that Real Clear Politics average of polls has Romney in the lead!

Events are moving fast and all to Romney's advantage!

State Dept. Emails Prove White House KNEW Libya Was a Terrorist Attack As it Happened

Nothing to do with an Internet video. So, once again, WHY did the Obama Administration spend two weeks blaming a video and refusing to recognize this as a terrorist attack on September 11th?

Sharyl Attkisson broke the story on CBS news with the following brief report. PDF of the emails is here.
SHARYL ATTKISSON (voice-over): The e-mails contain the earliest descriptions so far of what happened at Benghazi the night of the attack. At 4:05 p.m. Eastern time on September 11, an alert from the State Department operations center was issued to a number of government and intelligence agencies - included were the White House Situation Room, the office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the FBI: 'U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi under attack. Approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well. Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four chief of mission personnel are in the compound safe haven.'

The Big Three network morning news shows gave the story a few seconds at most. Contrast that with the 88 minutes they spent in one week rehashing Romney's "47%" comment.
Of course the obvious reason for the paucity of coverage is that this latest revelation is damning to the Obama Administration coverup of their blatant attempt to point the finger of blame for the attacks away from their negligence of the security needs of our diplomatic personnel and their desire to avoid tarnishing Obama's political claim that Al Queda was on the run. Another email in the same batch was sent with the heading "Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack." Ansar is an Al Queda affiliation group.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney responded to the news by saying that "There were emails about all sorts of information that was becoming available in the aftermath of the attack." OK, if you have conflicting sources of information what are they? These are not ordinary emails which someone might read the next day. They are near real time bulletins of an ongoing security crisis. Alarm bells surely were ringing all over the government as indicated by the wide distribution of these emails to the top levels of our national security apparatus. Not once in this story have we seen or heard of ANY source which contradicts that this was a terrorist attack and one with links to Al Queda.
Yet, five days after the attack, claiming that it was based on intelligence reports UN Ambassador Susan Rice acting as the sole Administration spokesperson appeared on five Sunday news shows and said some variation of her words here from Meet the Press:
SUSAN RICE: "The best information that we have available to us today our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of-- of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video. What we think then transpired in Benghazi is that opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. They came with heavy weapons which unfortunately are readily available in post revolutionary Libya. And it escalated into a much more violent episode. Obviously, that’s-- that’s our best judgment now."
That's a highly detailed and specific response. Just one problem. Not one word of it is true. WHY? Again, who told her to say these things and to repeat them over and over? It's unfortunate that this story didn't break prior to the last presidential debate. It might have forced Obama to actually answer this and other questions.

Meanwhile, to his stump speech on the campaign trail Obama has returned to suggesting that Al Queda is on the run. Really? Running to fill the void Obama left in our security perhaps. Obama also said "There’s no more serious issue on a presidential campaign than trust. Trust matters." This coming from the man who, along with his Administration, hasn't been telling the truth about what happened in Libya!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Obama Failed to Get the Knock out Punch in Foreign Policy Debate

The cheap insults Obama directed at Romney will further erode his support. The momentum stays with Mitt!

Things are not going well for the Obama campaign. Monday's debate on foreign policy was perhaps Obama's last chance to change the dynamic of the race which has favored Romney since the first debate in which Romney effectively neutered the hundreds of millions Obama spent on negative ads trying to paint Romney as unfit to be President.

At the end of the debate Obama hugged First Lady Michelle. The expression on Obama's face says it all:

Did Obama whisper: "Start packing honey," as he hugs Michelle
and appears to sense the grim reality that his re-election is slipping away!
Last night, Obama went on the attack again. He diminished himself and his office with his demeanor and tactics. National Journal‘s Beth Reinhard described it this way: “At the risk of appearing unstatesmanlike, he verged into snark and sarcasm.”

Obama's attacks were petty, personal insults that made him look small next to Romney who rose above it all and appeared calm, cool, collected, civil and competent. Two examples: First, Obama criticized Romney's foreign policy: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years." Ouch! When Romney criticized Obama's cuts to the U.S. Navy Obama snarked again: “We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go under water, nuclear submarines."

Is that the kind of bitter partisan attitude we expect from a Commander in Chief?

In a third instance Obama distorted Romney's view on whether Russia or Al Queda is the bigger foe. Romney responded: "attacking me is not an agenda. Attacking me is not talking about how we're going to deal with the challenges that exist in the Middle East."

Snap polls taken immediately after the debate may have given Obama the win but dig deeper and the troubling signs for the Obama campaign are all too apparent. In the PPP poll which gave Obama a slight edge Independents were asked whether the debate made them more or less likely to vote for Obama or Romney: Obama 32 more/48 less. Romney 47 more/35 less. That exact flip is more bad news and shows that Independents, who have largely abandoned Obama are unlikely to come back after last night. Even more telling was the CNN poll in which respondents were roughly split on the Commander in Chief question: "Can Obama handle job of Cmdr. in Chief? Yes: 63%. Can Romney? Yes: 60%."

The biggest win of the evening for Romney is that he passed the "Commander in Chief test". Even Chuck Todd, the MSNBC doyenne of the media left establishment declared that Obama's attempt to "disqualify Mitt Romney" has failed and now the burden is on Obama to prove he's up to the job. That's not the best position for an incumbent president to be in two weeks before the election.

Students of political history are reminded of another close election when a Republican challenger broke into a commanding lead following the debates:

Is history about to repeat itself?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Problem for Obama: Bin Laden May be Dead but Al Queda is Very Much Alive

Libya attack and Middle East violence undermines Obama's big national security success story!

A couple of Obama loving lawyers put up this billboard in Defiance Ohio:


The sentiment mirrors that found in bumpers stickers found at Obama rallies and web sites. Both Obama and Biden use the line about bin Laden dead at practically every campaign stop.

So, is it any wonder that when radicals overran our embassies throughout the Muslim world a few weeks back the chant was "Obama, Obama, we are ALL Osama?"

But even more to the point, Obama attempted to use the death of bin Laden as proof he was a tough guy on national security at the same time his foreign policy was the exact opposite. And this fact was highlighted in the blood with the deaths of our Ambassador in Libya and three other Americans after their repeated requests for more security was denied on the grounds of what the State Departments regional security chief described as "political" concerns.

Worse still, the Obama Administration KNEW Al Queda was on the rise in Africa before the attacks. The Washington Post reports on "a series of secret meetings in recent months to examine the threat posed by al-Qaeda’s franchise in North Africa." In that report the U.S. General with responsibilities in Africa describes a situation in which we “missed an opportunity to deal with AQIM [Al Queda in Africa] when they were weak.”

What we've learned from the debacle in Libya is that the hands of our security personnel were tied by their masters in Washington. That situation does not appear to be exclusively a problem in Libya but throughout the region where Obama's apologies to Muslims were supposed to be the springboard to changing the dynamic in the Muslim world. The dynamic has changed. Al Queda sensed Obama's weakness and is exploiting it.

To paraphrase Obama's mentor Reverend Wright: Obama's chickens are coming home to roost!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Was Obama More Interested in an Al Queda Campaign Slogan Than the Safety of Americans?

The question is whether the mounting attacks were reported to Obama and who and why were the requests for more security ignored?

A letter [PDF] to President Obama:

Oversight Committee Asks President About White House Role in Misguided Libya ‘Normalization’ Effort

October 19, 2012
WASHINGTON –Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and National Security Subcommittee Chairman Jason Chaffetz today sent President Obama a letter and 166 pages of documents related to security threats and the process of ‘normalization’ in Libya. The letter requests that the White House respond to questions about its role in the controversial decision to have the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya pursue a course of ‘normalization’ that was intended to help create the perception of success in Libya and contrast it to U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Excerpts of the letter from Chairman Issa and Rep. Chaffetz:

Information supplied to the committee by senior officials demonstrates that not only did the administration repeatedly reject requests for increased security despite escalating violence, but it also systematically decreased existing security to dangerous and ineffective levels. We have been told repeatedly that the administration did this to effectuate a policy of ‘normalization’ in Libya after the conclusion of its civil war. These actions not only resulted in extreme vulnerability, but also undermined Ambassador Stevens and the diplomatic mission.”

“Multiple warnings about security threats were contained in Ambassador Stevens’ own words in multiple cables sent to Washington, D.C., and were manifested by two prior bombings of the Benghazi compound and an assassination attempt on the British ambassador. For this administration to assume that terrorists were not involved in the 9/11 anniversary attack would have required a willing suspension of disbelief.”

“The American people deserve nothing less than a full explanation from this administration about these events, including why the repeated warnings about a worsening security situation appear to have been ignored by this administration. Americans also deserve a complete explanation about your administration’s decision to accelerate a normalized presence in Libya at what now appears to be at the cost of endangering American lives. These critical foreign policy decisions are not made by low or mid-level career officials – they are typically made through a structured and well-reasoned process that includes the National Security Council at the White House.”
Here are the documents [PDF].
FROM ABC NEWS: One of the key conversations in the documents begins on February 11, at 5:29 pm, when Shawn Crowley, a foreign service officer at the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, writes: “Apologies for being a broken record, but beginning tomorrow Benghazi will be down to two agents…We have no drivers and new local guard contract employees have no experience driving armored vehicles…”
A March 2012 memo (mistakenly cited as 2011) from the Research & Information Support Center titled “Progress Elusive in Libya,” based on open-source reporting, states that in late December 2011 “reports indicated that al-Qa’ida leadership in Pakistan had sent ‘experienced jihadists to Libya to build a new base of operations in the country. Between May and December 2011, one of these jihadists had recruited 200 fighters in the eastern part of the country.
Pay attention to that last sentence. Al Queda had recruited 200 fighters. Meanwhile, up until Wednesday of this week Obama claimed "Al Queda is on the run." Well, perhaps he is right about that. Al Queda is on the run to attack through the gap we have left in our own security. It's now clear that Obama cared more about politics and a campaign slogan than he did about security for Americans!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Just HOW DUMB are Obama Voters?

This bunch of college students at Ohio University never even heard of the attacks in Libya. They probably don't even know where Libya is!

Want a good reason to cut funding for college education? Here's a good one...

And these nimrods are allowed to vote? What do you bet their liberal college professors have brainwashed them with every lie about Mitt Romney but they don't even know about one of the biggest issues in this campaign!

MUST SEE: Romney's Hilarious Al Smith Dinner Roast

Who would have thought Mitt Romney could do GOOD comedy!

If you haven't seen Mitt's full speech to the annual Al Smith Dinner in New York Wednesday evening, it's a MUST SEE!

The more voters get to see the REAL Mitt Romney; competent, caring, experienced and FUNNY, the more they like him. No wonder he's suddenly capturing women voters!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Another Biden Blunder: Who Knows Someone Who Has Served in "Iraq and Iran?"

He said it TWICE! [video] And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid raised his hand.

In a not unrelated video, Obama supporters claim Obama won Tuesday's debate when interviewed BEFORE the event! They even cited specifics that never happened.

Do I need to add more here. No. The facts speak for themselves!

Two More Obama Backed Green Energy Firms Go Bankrupt This Week alone

The total is 19 and counting with billions in taxpayer funds that could have gone to create jobs now down the green rathole!

First this week there was A123 Systems, the battery manufacturer which Obama hailed as " leading the way to a brighter future." They declared bankruptcy after receiving $279 million in taxpayer help.
Now Satconn Technology.

Here's the list of bankrupt and faltering firms that are getting taxpayer help:
    1. Evergreen Solar ($24 million)*
    2. SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
    3. Solyndra ($535 million)*
    4. Beacon Power ($69 million)*
    5. AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million)
    6. Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
    7. SunPower ($1.5 billion)
    8. First Solar ($1.46 billion)
    9. Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
    10. EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
    11. Amonix ($5.9 million)
    12. National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million)
    13. Fisker Automotive ($528 million)
    14. Abound Solar ($374 million)*
    15. A123 Systems ($279 million)*
    16. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million)
    17. Johnson Controls ($299 million)
    18. Schneider Electric ($86 million)
    19. Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
    20. ECOtality ($126.2 million)
    21. Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
    22. Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
    23. Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
    24. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
    25. Range Fuels ($80 million)*
    26. Thompson River Power ($6.4 million)*
    27. Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
    28. LSP Energy ($2.1 billion)*
    29. UniSolar ($100 million)*
    30. Azure Dynamics ($120 million)*
    31. GreenVolts ($500,000)
    32. Vestas ($50 million)
    33. LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($150 million)
    34. Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
    35. Navistar ($10 million)
    36. Satcon ($3 million)*
Thousands of "green jobs" lost but not to worry. The big money campaign contributors to Obama who raked in the first waves of taxpayer cash got their share up front. The only "green" is coming from the money to Obama's campaign and the payoffs to his contributors.

full size image here.

Another Obama Blunder: Deaths of Ambassador and Four Americans in Libya "Not Optimal"

Earlier he called the tragedy and anti-American violence "bumps in the road"

Plus, new ad traces Obama Administration incompetence and shifting strategy on Libya attacks!

In New York for ANOTHER fluff interview, this time the Daily Show (no meetings with foreign leaders at the UN), President Obama stepped in it again on the Libya attacks:
Jon Stewart: “Is part of the investigation helping the communication between these divisions? Not just what happened in Benghazi, but what happened within. Because I would say, even you would admit, it was not the optimal response, at least to the American people, as far as all of us being on the same page."

POTUS: "Here’s what I’ll say. If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal. We’re going to fix it. All of it. And what happens, during the course of a presidency, is that the government is a big operation and any given time something screws up. And you make sure that you find out what’s broken and you fix it.
A "screw up" that you need to fix? You bet. We still don't know if the mounting threats and urgent requests for more security were raised in intelligence briefings, the majority of which Obama skipped.  We still don't know who told Ambassador Rice to spread the falsehood that a video was to blame for a "spontaneous" demonstration that led to the Libya attack.

In the wake of Tuesday's presidential debate where Obama claimed he named the Libya attack terrorism from the start the question again arises why the cover up? American Crossroads traces the shifting Obama stories in this excellent ad:

Voters are unlikely to get the answers to what happened and why before the election. They'll have to make up their own minds as to the reason why that is. To many, the answer is clear!

Hard Hitting New Ad: Dump the "Spring Break" President and Put the Adults Back in Charge

After the vicious negative campaign run by Obama it's no surprise that there's going to be some payback!

Here's an ad from the PAC Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama. It's pretty hard hitting and is sure to fire up the Republican base! It's basically a montage of all the fluff from the last four years as Obama partied and played on our dime.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Foiled Al Queda Bombing in New York Proves Obama Wrong that "Al Queda is on it's heels"

Can it be that Obama's use of bin Laden's death in campaign appearances is inspiring MORE terrorist activity?

In multiple campaign appearances President Obama has chortled some variation of "bin Laden is dead and Al Queda is on it's heels." This continued even after the attack in Libya left our Ambassador and three other Americans dead. The rhetoric changed on Wednesday following the presidential debate where Obama made misleading claims about the Benghazi incident as an act of terror (see below). However, even on Wednesday Obama dragged bin Laden's body into his speeches but dropped the reference to Al Queda.

We also learned Wednesday of a foiled plot by a young man from Bangladesh who admitted he was an admirer of Osama bin Laden and came here to establish an al Queda terrorist cell and "wage jihad" with a truck bomb in New York City.
During a July 5 phone call to an FBI informant, Nafis said he came here to wage "jihad," according to the criminal complaint. He told the informant he admired "Sheik 'O'" and read a magazine he referred to as "I," apparently referring to Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda magazine Inspire. He also said he was in contact with another person in the United States and a "brother" in Bangladesh. In subsequent recorded calls during the next 10 days, some of them with an undercover FBI agent, Nafis said he "had contacts with al-Qaeda members overseas who could assist the group," according to the criminal complaint. In late July, Nafis met another undercover agent in Central Park and said he "wished to launch a terrorist attack against the United States."
So, as we have seen in the attack in Libya and the foiled plot in New York not only is Al Queda alive and well but the question should be asked whether Obama's repeated use of bin Laden's death as a campaign slogan might actually be putting American lives in danger!

Mittmentum Unchecked by Stronger Obama Debate Performance

Despite his best efforts to paint Romney as unsuitable and hide from his own record, the reality of the last four years keeps catching up with Obama!

One note before I hit the main topic. Why hold a Town Hall style debate with undecided voters in the bluest of blue states like New York where even the undecideds are likely to have more liberal views than the rest of the country? Why not have it in Ohio or another swing state like the first presidential debate in Colorado?

O.K. now that I got that out of my system. Obama clearly had a better night on Tuesday. Several snap polls gave Obama a slight edge overall but dig down in the CNN poll and Romney had an 18 point advantage on who would do a better job handling the economy. Similar strong advantage on the issues of taxes and the deficit.

Most debate watchers were expecting a more aggressive Obama and he really stepped up on this one. There were several fiery exchanges between Romney and Obama. And in each, once the fact checkers get to work they'll see that Romney was more honest than Obama.

Obama Lies About Energy

Two examples are the subject of drilling permits for oil and gas exploration and the attack in Libya. On the first, Obama was asked a question about what impact the policies of his Administration have on high gas prices and he totally ducked the question. Romney confronted him:

ROMNEY: But that's not what you've done in the last four years. That's the problem. In the last four years, you cut permits and licenses on federal land and federal waters in half.

OBAMA: Not true, Governor Romney.

ROMNEY: So how much did you cut ?

OBAMA: Not true.

ROMNEY: How much did you cut them by, then?

OBAMA: Governor, we have actually produced more oil —

ROMNEY: No, no. How much did you cut licenses and permits on federal land and federal waters?
First, from the government's own statistics, energy production on federal lands is down dramatically:


Second, permits for energy production on federal land are also down dramatically (1, 2). It's part of a war on carbon based energy launched shortly after Obama came to office and has continued using every power of government.

Obama Lies About Libya

On Libya, a questioner asked Obama why the "State Department refused extra security for our embassy in Benghazi, Libya, prior to the attacks that killed four Americans. Who was it that denied enhanced security and why?" Obama dodged the question giving a speech instead on how tough he is on terrorists and how Romney attempted to politicize the attack in Libya. Romney wasn't having that and said:
ROMNEY:...There were other issues associated with this — with this tragedy. There were many days that passed before we knew whether this was a spontaneous demonstration, or actually whether it was a terrorist attack.

And there was no demonstration involved. It was a terrorist attack and it took a long time for that to be told to the American people. Whether there was some misleading, or instead whether we just didn't know what happened, you have to ask yourself why didn't we know five days later when the ambassador to the United Nations went on TV to say that this was a demonstration. How could we have not known? But I find more troubling than this, that on — on the day following the assassination of the United States ambassador, the first time that's happened since 1979, when — when we have four Americans killed there, when apparently we didn't know what happened, that the president, the day after that happened, flies to Las Vegas for a political fund-raiser, then the next day to Colorado for another event, other political event. ... The president's policies throughout the Middle East began with an apology tour and — and — and pursue a strategy of leading from behind, and this strategy is unraveling before our very eyes.
Even those not paying close attention to the Obama Administrations excuses for the Libya attack that left our Ambassador and three other Americans dead must have been confused when Obama suddenly claimed that he had labeled it terrorism from the first. But in the debate on Tuesday Obama insisted just that:

OBAMA: The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people in the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we're going to hunt down those who committed this crime.

And then a few days later, I was there greeting the caskets coming into Andrews Air Force Base and grieving with the families.

And the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the Secretary of State, our U.N. Ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we've lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. That's not what we do. That's not what I do as president, that's not what I do as Commander in Chief.
ROMNEY: I — I think interesting the president just said something which — which is that on the day after the attack he went into the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror.

OBAMA: That's what I said.

ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror.
It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you're saying?

OBAMA: Please proceed governor.

ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.

OBAMA: Get the transcript.
Well guess what? We did get the transcript and on the day after the attacks Obama delivered a long rambling statement that was mostly general in nature and only mentioned terrorism once and in context with remarks directly connected to the original September 11, 2001 attack.

And who can forget that in repeated interviews during the two weeks following the attacks Obama refused to call the Libya attack terrorism and persisted in suggesting that the video might be to blame? I expect we'll soon see some web ads making this point crystal clear.

Even Candy Crowley, who came to Obama's defens later admitted that Romney had a point.

Obama's claim Tuesday raises the question: if he really believed this was an act of terror why did he persist in repeated statements linking the attack to the video? Obama's claim raises this question in a way that even the Obama aligned media will now have trouble ignoring.

Romney: "The president has tried, but his policies haven't worked."

One of Romney's best statements came after a man who voted for Obama in 2008 asked Obama "What have you done or accomplished to earn my vote in 2012?" Romney responded:

ROMNEY:... I think you know that these last four years haven't been so good as the president just described and that you don't feel like your confident that the next four years are going to be much better either.

I can tell you that if you were to elect President Obama, you know what you're going to get. You're going to get a repeat of the last four years. We just can't afford four more years like the last four years.

He said that by now we'd have unemployment at 5.4 percent. The difference between where it is and 5.4 percent is 9 million Americans without work.

I wasn't the one that said 5.4 percent. This was the president's plan. Didn't get there.

He said he would have by now put forward a plan to reform Medicare and Social Security, because he pointed out they're on the road to bankruptcy. He would reform them. He'd get that done. He hasn't even made a proposal on either one.

He said in his first year he'd put out an immigration plan that would deal with our immigration challenges. Didn't even file it.

This is a president who has not been able to do what he said he'd do. He said that he'd cut in half the deficit. He hasn't done that either. In fact, he doubled it. He said that by now middle-income families would have a reduction in their health insurance premiums by $2,500 a year. It's gone up by $2,500 a year. And if Obamacare is passed, or implemented — it's already been passed — if it's implemented fully, it'll be another $2,500 on top.

The middle class is getting crushed under the policies of a president who has not understood what it takes to get the economy working again. He keeps saying, "Look, I've created 5 million jobs." That's after losing 5 million jobs. The entire record is such that the unemployment has not been reduced in this country. The unemployment, the number of people who are still looking for work, is still 23 million Americans.

There are more people in poverty, one out of six people in poverty.

How about food stamps? When he took office, 32 million people were on food stamps. Today, 47 million people are on food stamps. How about the growth of the economy? It's growing more slowly this year than last year, and more slowly last year than the year before.

The president wants to do well. I understand. But the policies he's put in place from Obamacare to Dodd-Frank to his tax policies to his regulatory policies, these policies combined have not let this economy take off and grow like it could have.

You might say, "Well, you got an example of one that worked better?" Yeah, in the Reagan recession where unemployment hit 10.8 percent, between that period — the end of that recession and the equivalent of time to today, Ronald Reagan's recovery created twice as many jobs as this president's recovery. Five million jobs doesn't even keep up with our population growth. And the only reason the unemployment rate seems a little lower today is because of all the people that have dropped out of the workforce.

The president has tried, but his policies haven't worked. He's great as a — as a — as a speaker and describing his plans and his vision. That's wonderful, except we have a record to look at. And that record shows he just hasn't been able to cut the deficit, to put in place reforms for Medicare and Social Security to preserve them, to get us the rising incomes we need. Median income is down $4,300 a family and 23 million Americans out of work. That's what this election is about. It's about who can get the middle class in this country a bright and prosperous future and assure our kids the kind of hope and optimism they deserve.
The Bottom Line

 Despite the fact that Obama once again had more time in the debate than Romney (a total of 10% more... Affirmative Action?) his performance was not exceptional enough to overcome the huge advantage Romney gained from the first debate. Once again, Romney standing on the same stage with the President made Obama look small by comparison. Romney was calm, cool, collected, competent and commanding. In every way appearing as presidential or more so than Obama who can't escape the ghost of his own dismal record!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Senators McCain, Ayotte and Graham Have "Lost Confidence" in Obama National Security Team Post Libya Attack

A damning summation of the Benghazi attack and scandal!

October 15, 2012

Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today released the following statement on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments this evening regarding the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012:

“We have just learned that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has claimed full responsibility for any failure to secure our people and our Consulate in Benghazi prior to the attack of September 11, 2012. This is a laudable gesture, especially when the White House is trying to avoid any responsibility whatsoever.

“However, we must remember that the events of September 11 were preceded by an escalating pattern of attacks this year in Benghazi, including a bomb that was thrown into our Consulate in April, another explosive device that was detonated outside of our Consulate in June, and an assassination attempt on the British Ambassador. If the President was truly not aware of this rising threat level in Benghazi, then we have lost confidence in his national security team, whose responsibility it is to keep the President informed. But if the President was aware of these earlier attacks in Benghazi prior to the events of September 11, 2012, then he bears full responsibility for any security failures that occurred. The security of Americans serving our nation everywhere in the world is ultimately the job of the Commander-in-Chief. The buck stops there.

“Furthermore, there is the separate issue of the insistence by members of the Administration, including the President himself, that the attack in Benghazi was the result of a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a hateful video, long after it had become clear that the real cause was a terrorist attack. The President also bears responsibility for this portrayal of the attack, and we continue to believe that the American people deserve to know why the Administration acted as it did.”
I would just add to the above that we STILL do not know who told Ambassador Rice to repeat the false statement about the attack being related to a protest over that silly video. And we still don't know whether some of the information that might have raised the alarm earlier was part of the intelligence briefings that President Obama routinely skipped!

P.S. More hints of a possible October surprise with leaks that Obama has ordered the military to be ready to strike. More leaks which endanger the mission and possibly even American lives!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ohio Editorial: Politics and Incompetence to Blame for "Preventable" Attack in Libya

This would not have happened if Bush were President!

President Bush put national security above politics. If only the same could be said for Obama. The attack in Libya that left our Ambassador and three other Americans was preventable according to this editorial from the Columbus Dispatch:
President Barack Obama’s administration was more concerned about projecting the image of improving stability in Libya, to bolster his re-election chances, than it was about ensuring the security of Americans on the ground there.

The fact of a successful terrorist attack against the U.S. on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — a day, above all others, when security for American officials in volatile countries should be at its utmost — is demoralizing and infuriating.

After months of concern by diplomats in Libya about the country’s deteriorating security, Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three embassy employees were murdered by heavily armed and organized terrorists. The possibility the government could have prevented their deaths by responding to their pleas for greater security is devastating

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb, who helps oversee diplomatic security, acknowledged in the hearing that she had told security officials at the U.S. Embassy in the capital city of Tripoli not to bother asking for more security help after the assignment of a supplemental security team ended in August.

Security officer Eric A. Nordstrom told Congress members he took Lamb’s refusal to mean “there was going to be too much political cost.”

In March and July, Nordstrom cabled his superiors in the State Department asking for more security at Benghazi, which had much less protection than the embassy in Tripoli. He got no reply.

His further comment at Wednesday’s hearing is damning: “The takeaway from that, for me and my staff: It was abundantly clear we were not going to get resources until the aftermath of an incident. And the question that we would ask is, again, ‘How thin does the ice have to get before someone falls through?’ ”

That ice broke at 9:40 p.m. on Sept. 11, when a cadre of men stormed the consulate compound. They fired guns, threw grenades and set buildings on fire.

What followed in the ensuing weeks is an astounding display either of incompetence or dishonesty, as Obama administration officials gave constantly shifting accounts of what happened.
Even as military and intelligence officials flatly stated the obvious as early as Sept. 13 —that the attack was a planned terrorist operation — the statements of those closest to the president, including Press Secretary Jay Carney, vacillated. On Sept. 18, Carney said, “Our belief ... is it was the video that caused the unrest in Cairo... and that precipitated some of the unrest in Benghazi and elsewhere.”

By Sept. 20, finally, Carney was declaring, “It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.”

What is equally evident is that, despite repeated concerns by diplomats working in Libya, the administration shortchanged security. And when the worst happened, it wasn’t willing to tell the truth to the American people.

And as of Wednesday, administration officials continued to insist that the consulate had adequate security.
It is no surprise to many of us that the Obama Administration is corrupted by political concerns above all else. But add to that the sheer incompetence and clear dishonesty they currently display in regard to this matter and it spells a damning conclusion that Obama and his crowd are unfit for office. What happened in Libya could also happen here but with greater loss of life. The very safety of the American people depends on removing Obama from office this November!

Friday, October 12, 2012

White House Throwing Hillary Clinton Under the Bush Over Lack of Security in Libya

You don't mess with Hillary if you know what's good for you!

Vice President Joe Biden stepped in it during Thursday's debate with Paul Ryan when he said that the Administration was unaware of requests for security from our diplomatic personnel in Libya.  The problem is that it's well documented that there were multiple requests for more security in Libya.The response from the White House was to suggest that it's not their job to know or act on these requests. It's the State Department's job. Quite true, but pointing the finger at Hillary Clinton, who as Secretary of State is responsible, may not be smart.

Hillary very carefully avoided being the mouthpiece for the Administration in the wake of the attacks. She allowed U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, a relatively minor official, to go out and spout the Administration lie that an Internet video was to blame.

But Hillary isn't going to take the fall for this scandal. Her State Department has already put out the line that the faulty intelligence which claimed the video was to blame didn't come from them. Will she now find a way to leak the real source of this faulty intelligence, or finger those in the White House who may have made used political calculations to engineer the cover up?

Those who remember the Clinton Administration will recall that you don't mess with Hillary. Especially considering the way she was treated by Obama's campaign in 2008 it's very unlikely that she will fall on the sword to save Obama now. It's more likely that if there is a smoking gun hidden in Obama White House over this Libya mess Hillary will find a way to leak it.

Romney might worry about an October surprise from Obama. But there may be one from Hillary that will sink Obama!

Mittmentum! Big Swing to Romney in Key States

But don't measure the drapes yet. Obama still has tricks up his sleeve!

Since the first Romney/Obama debate the trend favoring Mitt Romney has continued unabated. It's unlikely that Joe Biden's boorish performance did much more than stop the bleeding. Below are national Romney vs. Obama polls at Real Clear Politics. Every one since the debate shows Romney with a lead or a tie.

What's happening the national polls is also reflected in the polls for individual states where Obama's leads have been evaporating. In the past week a significant number of states have shifted from lean Obama to toss up as the map from Real Clear Politics demonstrates. Obama still has a narrow lead in some states but even that is within the margin of error.

Bad News for Obama: Less Blue, more pink, red and gray!

Next Debate Key

Obama's allies in the "news" media were caught off guard by his weak performance in the first debate. Expect them to rally to their man in the second no matter how he performs. Even a draw will be considered an Obama win. Will that stop the Mittmentum? Who knows.

Also, keep in mind that despite Obama's claim that Romney would outspend him, it's Obama outspending Romney in key states. The idea that the opposite was true was nothing more than an Obama con job to scare donors into donating more. Still, this spending advantage, somewhat neutralized in the first debate is still a factor.

Beware also the October surprise. Military action in Libya is one possibility. Bombing a few innocent Libyans isn't a concern to a President who has used drone strikes to take out the entire family of a terrorist including women and children.

While most Americans want retribution for the deaths of our Ambassador, we also want answers on who was to blame for the failure to protect our diplomats and why a video was falsely blamed for the attack. Expect Romney to make that point in an upcoming debate.

Hey Biden: Unemployment, Lies over Libya and Iran Are No Laughing Matter

Miss the debate? Here's Biden's laugh track:

A commenter on the debate put it this way:
The left thinks what happened in Libya is funny ?
The left thinks 23 million Americans out of work is funny ?
The left thinks the future of entitlements is funny ?
The left thinks not passing a budget is funny ?
The left thinks lying to the American public is funny ?
The left thinks our careless spending and debt is funny ?
The left thinks more tax on you and your business is funny ?
The left thinks the EPA killing jobs is funny ?
Joe Biden thinks it’s funny…
..but most Americans don’t think it’s funny !
Four years of economic and foreign policy failure is no laughing matter. Unless of course you're an old gasbag named Joe!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Biden Bombs in Debate with Cranky Codger Behavior!

Is this the kind of dignified, respectful tone that Independent voters and women say they want?

Stunning is the first word that came to mind when I watched the first half of the Ryan/Biden debate. In all the years I have been watching debates I have never seen such a negative, over the top performance like the one Vice President Joe Biden exhibited tonight.

He was sneering, angry, rude, disruptive, disrespectful and condescending. The stereotype of a cranky old codger.  How will this play with younger voters, women and Independent voters?

He laughed when Ryan discussed sanctions on Iran? To behave in such a way when an issue of war and peace is discussed is beyond the pale.

Contrast that with Ryan who was civil, calm, cool, collected and competent.

Did Biden take the debate seriously?

Can you believe Biden took six days off to practice and this is the best he could do?

Half way through Biden calmed down. His Xanax finally kicked in but the impression of an arrogant, dismissive man was made. All the things Obama said were wrong with our politics were on display in his Vice President's performance tonight!

Initial reactions from Twitchy and Politico confirm my view.

I will update as news and analysis trickles in.

Mother of Diplomat Slain in Libya has Harsh Words for Obama: "The things they are telling me are outright lies!"

She doesn't buy the "video to blame" excuse and she no longer believes Obama or others who said "trust me" we'll tell you why and how your son died!

It's a sad story. A mother's grief for her only son, Sean Smith, who died along with our Ambassador Chris Stevens and two other American heroes in the attack on our consulate in Benghazi. Sadder still that this grieving mother weeks after the attack cannot get an honest answer from Obama, Biden, Hillary Clinton who said "trust me" I'll get back in touch when we know more. They never did.

Mother of Sean Smith: "Just tell me the truth...
The things they are telling me are outright lies ...I don't trust you anymore!"

SMITH: That's a funny subject. I begged them to tell me what was -- what happened. I said I want to know all the details, all of the details no matter what it is, and I'll make up my own mind on it. And everyone of them, all the big shots over there told me that -- they promised me, they promised me that they would tell me what happened. As soon as they figure it out. No one, not one person has ever, ever gotten back to me other than media people and the gaming people. ...

SMITH: You'll love this. Obama told me. Hillary promised me. Joe Biden -- Joe Biden is a pressure. He was a real sweetheart. But he also told -- they all told me that -- they promised me. And I told them please, tell me what happened. Just tell me what happened.

COOPER: So you're still waiting to hear from somebody about what happened to your son? About what they know? Or even what they don't know.

SMITH: Right. Right. Officially yes. I told them, please don't give me any baloney that comes through with this political stuff. I don't want political stuff. You can keep your political, just tell me the truth. What happened. And I still don't know. In fact, today I just heard something more that he died of smoke inhalation.

COOPER: So you don't even know the cause of death?

SMITH: I don't even know if that's true or not. No, I don't. I don't know where. I look at TV and I see bloody hand prints on walls, thinking, my God, is that my son's? I don't know if he was shot. I don't know -- I don't know. They haven't told me anything. They are still studying it. And the things that they are telling me are just outright lies. That Susan Rice, what -- she talked to me personally and she said, she said, this is the way it was. It was -- it was because of this film that came out.

COOPER: So she told you personally that she thought it was a result of that video of the protest?

SMITH: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. In fact all of them did. All of them did. Leon Panetta actually took my face in his hands like this and he said, trust me. I will tell you what happened. And so far, he's told me nothing. Nothing at all. And I want to know.

COOPER: It's important for you to know all the details no matter how horrible.

COOPER: Or no matter how tough they are to hear.

SMITH: Exactly. I told him, if it's such a secret thing, fine, take me in another room, whisper in my ear what happened so that I know, and we'll go from there. But no. No, they -- you know, they treat me like -- at first I was so proud because they were treating me so nice when I went to that reception. They all came up to me and talked to me and everything. I cried on Obama's shoulder. And he -- then he'd kind of looked off into the distance. So that was worthless to me. I want to know, for God's sakes. Or for Allah's sake or whoever's sake is there.

COOPER: You deserve -- you deserve answers.

SMITH: I think so. I believe I do. I believe it. It's my son. I had him for the first -- I told Obama personally, I said, look, I had him for his first 17 years and then he went into the service, then you got him. And -- I won't say it the way I said it. But I said you screwed up, you didn't do a good job, I lost my son. And they said, we'll get back to you. We -- I promise, I promise you. I will get back to you.
At the hearings on Capitol Hill this week we learned that political considerations were dominant over the needs for additional security of our consulate in Benghazi. Following the attack which left four Americans dead political considerations led to the promotion of the Big Lie that an Internet video was to blame for the attack. And now a full fledged coverup to hide the truth from the American people and from families who lost loved ones.

Obama Lied. AMERICANS Died!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Family of Dead Seal Team Six Member Speaks Out in New Ad

Obama spiking the football, leaks of classified information and absurd rules of engagement put our military and even their family members at risk!

In San Francisco on Monday, Obama spiked the football again: "al Qaeda is on its heels and Osama bin Laden is no more." It's as if the attack in Libya never even happened. But bragging about bin Laden's death has had it's cost in lives too. Here's one family for which it's personal:

When Obama uses the killing of Obama in the context of a political campaign, he's open to criticism with this kind of ad. He owes this family and all Americans an apology. But sadly, he only apologizes to America's enemies!

Obama Administration Lies on Libya Exposed in Congressional Hearing

Now the Administration points to vague "intelligence" for phony story that You Tube video was to blame for American deaths in Libya!

Remember how this all started? In the days after the attacks in Benghazi that left our Ambassador, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans dead the drumbeat from the Administration was that it could all be blamed on a You Tube video which inspired the protest that went bad. On Sunday, September 16, speaking on behalf of the Administration U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice went on all five Sunday shows and repeated this claim in nearly identical wording.

Here's the cut from Meet the Press with David Gregory:

GREGORY: Well, let’s talk-- talk about-- well, you talked about this as spontaneous. Can you say definitively that the attacks on-- on our consulate in Libya that killed ambassador Stevens and others there security personnel, that was spontaneous, was it a planned attack? Was there a terrorist element to it?

MS. RICE: Well, let us-- let me tell you the-- the best information we have at present. First of all, there’s an FBI investigation which is ongoing. And we look to that investigation to give us the definitive word as to what transpired. But putting together the best information that we have available to us today our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of-- of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video. What we think then transpired in Benghazi is that opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. They came with heavy weapons which unfortunately are readily available in post revolutionary Libya. And it escalated into a much more violent episode. Obviously, that’s-- that’s our best judgment now. We’ll await the results of the investigation. And the president has been very clear--we’ll work with the Libyan authorities to bring those responsible to justice.

GREGORY: Was there a failure here that this administration is responsible for, whether it’s an intelligence failure, a failure to see this coming, or a failure to adequately protect U.S. embassies and installations from a spontaneous kind of reaction like this?

MS. RICE: David, I don’t think so. First of all we had no actionable intelligence to suggest that-- that any attack on our facility in Benghazi was imminent.
That's a very specific and detailed statement. The problem is that no one has come forward to tell us where that information came from. Ambassador Rice works for the Secretary of State and her office is part of the State Department. Yet on Tuesday night a high level official at the State Depart denied that they believed a protest over the video was a factor in the attack. “That was not our conclusion,” the official said.

This latest statement is a direct counter to  an earlier statement by the State Department spokeswoman: "I would simply say that ... the comments that Ambassador Rice made accurately reflect our government's initial assessment."

On Tuesday White House Spokesman Jay Carney was asked about these contradictory claims. His response: "what we said at the time was that the intelligence community assessed that the attack began spontaneously following protests earlier that day at our embassy in Cairo, ok?"

Obama on Letterman: Deaths in Libya Caused by Film

The closest thing to a serious question President Obama has faced on this issue came on his September 18th appearance on David Letterman. In that appearance Letterman asked him directly about the murder of our Ambassador [video]:
OBAMA: "Here's what happened. You had a video that was released by somebody who lives here, sort of a  shadowy character who is an extrememly offensive making fun of the Prophet Mohammed. This caused great offence in the Muslim world. Extremists and terrorists used this as an excuse to attack a variety of our embassies including the consulate in Libya."
Hearings Expose Obama Admin Incompetence and Coverup

Worse than the coverup was the negligence to security needs in Libya. Testimony and documents presented to a House investigating committee highlighted that multiple requests to retain security personnel were rejected by the State Department which actually withdrew Security in the run up to the attack. One security manager accused the Administration of wanting to keep security in Libya "artificially low."

The hearing also disclosed unclassified documents (PDF) of State Department officials requesting additional continued security support. Those requests were denied. One security offical at today's hearings understood that the reason these requests were denied was "because there would be too much political cost." Politics ahead of American lives? No wonder there is a cover up.

No "actionable intelligence" prior to attack? Obama Admin Ignores this bombing weeks before.
Also presented in the hearings was the photo above indicating bomb damage from an earlier attack on the diplomatic compound. Despite numerous similar incidents the Obama Administration claims that there was "no actionable intelligence" or advance warning before the attacks.

In the months following the original September 11th 2001 attacks questions about intelligence failures were front page news for months. Congressional hearings were followed by the 9/11 Commission with it's voluminous report.

Yet in the wake of this attack, few reporters seem interested in getting to the facts as to where this faulty intelligence came from and how it was disseminated in the Obama Administration without question even though it was immediately obvious that no protest such as the one in Cairo had occurred in Benghazi.

Douglas Ernst writing at the Washington Times describes the coverup:
The Obama administration's strategy to contain the growing Libya scandal now appears to hinge on the State Department's ability to play a shell game with timelines, contractors, subcontractors, unclassified documents and semantics as it pertains to the ambassador's requests for extra security.
Will we get answers to these questions before the election?

American Crossroads has a new web video highlighting the issue:

It will be up to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to highlight the Obama Administration's incompetence in the wake of these attacks and demand answers to end the cover up. President Obama criticized Romney for shooting first and aiming later for his statement following the attacks but Obama has not come clean about what happened and how. The American people deserve to know the truth before they vote!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Obama's Big Bird Campaign Shows He Has No Ideas to Help America

How far we have come from the days of hope and change!

From Obama's acceptance speech in Denver in 2008: "If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things."

What could be smaller than Obama running a campaign based on Sesame Street's Big Bird while millions of Americans remain out of work?


Dems Panic as Romney Post Debate Surge Grows

But don't measure the drapes in the Oval Office just yet. Beware Obama's October Surprise!

Writing today, Tuesday, nearly a week after Romney's big debate win there is much reason for optimism among Republicans. Not only did Romney have the biggest debate win in polling history with a whopping 72% of those polled by Gallup saying he won, but overall national polling match ups between Romney and Obama have swung in Romney's favor enough to put him ahead for the first time, in the Real Clear Politics average of national polls.
And in one new swing state poll after another Romney is either leading or the advantage to Obama is within the margin of error. As an indicator of how serious the situation is for Obama his margin over Romney in Pennsylvania, which Obama won in 2008 by over 10 points, is 2 or 3 points in Pennsylvania polls taken since the debate. If Pennsylvania goes to Romney with it's 20 Electoral College votes, the game is over! Even if Obama were to win Ohio (which is tied), with it's 18 EVs.

Also, pay close attention to states like:
  •  Michigan (16 EV) post debate polls Obama up by 3. He won in 2008 by 16 points.
  • Wisconsin (10 EV) post debate poll Obama up by 2.  Won in 2008 by 13 points.
  • Iowa (6 EV) post debate poll Obama up by 2 . Won by 9 points in 2008.
  • Colorado (9 EV) post debate polls give Romney the lead by half a point. Obama won in 2008 by 8 points.
  • Florida (29 EV) post debate polls give Romney a 2-3 point lead. Obama won by 2 points in 2008.
I'm not going to make any big prediction about changes in the Electoral College tallies until we see how deep Romney's  current surge goes and how long it lasts. But it may be telling to note that the change has caused some severe heartburn among Democrats.

Obama Campaign Meltdown?

When Democrat columnist Andrew Sullivan writes a column for the Daily Best titled "Did Obama Just Throw the Entire Election Away" you know there is trouble. Sullivan writes:
I'm trying to see a silver lining. But when a president self-immolates on live TV, and his opponent shines with lies and smiles, and a record number of people watch, it's hard to see how a president and his party recover.
Ignore that bit about Romney lies. After four years of Obama lying (Internet video to blame for Ambassador's death in Libya?) his ever more bitter supporters wouldn't know the difference.

Another report from Chuck Todd at MSNBC indicates that the Obama Campaign may be shaking things up with some new direction at the top. With a nation that continues to suffer extreme economic distress and an Obama campaign talking about Big Bird that would seem like a good idea.

Analyst Sean Trende wonders if any turnaround is possible for a campaign that has defied gravity for far too long. In the end, many voters want to be with a winner. Obama had the advantage of the bandwagon effect in 2008. If, after the debates, Obama loses that advantage he's finished.

But beware an October surprise from a President and party who have shown they are willing to say or do anything to hold on to power. While Obama may have lied about the incompetence of his Administration that led to the murderous attacks in Libya, that won't stop him from staging a military strike timed to his advantage in the election. It won't matter to him whether those he orders to be killed were guilty.

Blowing the Cover on the Obama-Libya Cover Up

Obama Administration REDUCED security in Libya despite multiple requests from those on the ground, including Ambassador Stevens!

The cover up is done. There was no protest against that silly film that led to the attacks that killed Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans. It was a terrorist attack from the get go. And worse than the Obama Administration lying about the cause, was their neglect of multiple warnings and their insistence that security actually be reduced prior to the attacks.

Lt. Col. Andrew Wood was one of the men in charge of security for U.S. diplomats in Libya. His story will be told in hearings on Capitol Hill, but in this interview with Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News we get a preview:

ATTKISSON: When you found out the last two teams were being pulled from Libya, what was your feeling about that?  
WOOD: I felt like we were being asked to play the piano with two fingers. There was concern amongst the entire embassy staff. I had people coming asking me that as well.  
ATTKISSON: What were they saying?   
WOOD: I didn't feel good about it. They asked if we were safe. They asked if - what was going to happen, and I could only answer that what we were being told was they're working on it. They'll get us more, but I never saw that.  
ATTKISSON: Ambassador Stevens wanted continued or enhanced security?  
WOOD: Yes.  
ATTKISSON: The Regional Security Officer wanted enhanced or continued security?  
WOOD: Yes.  
ATTKISSON: You wanted enhanced or continued security?  
WOOD: Yes.  
ATTKISSON: Was a consensus on the ground?  
WOOD: For enhanced or continued security that we had known, that we had come to live with and work with there, for the environment we had. We felt we needed more, not less. 
ATTKISSON: So all the experts on the ground are telling headquarters at the State Department, we need this and the answer kept coming back as?  
WOOD: “You've got to do with less.” For what reasons, I don't know.
Imagine for a moment if a Republican were in the White House and something like this had happened. The media drumbeat demanding answers would be unrelenting. But since it's Obama, mostly this gets a yawn. It will be up to Romney to elevate this matter on the national stage so the American people can decide whether to hold the Obama Adminstratin accountable for their incompetence. Time is short!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Romney Foreign Policy Speech Lays Out Clear Contrast with Obama

Finally, Romney has addressed the elephant in the room!

It's understandable that after four years of Obama failing to lead on restoring the economy and the clear failure of his economic policy that that issue would be front and center during the campaign. Yet, during these nearly four years another lurking policy failure is waiting in the wings and the consequence of this failure is measured in the loss of American lives, respect and leadership around the world.

In less than four years Obama has undermined our alliances that have been painstakingly erected since World War II and proved such a success in deterring another great war while dealing with smaller conflicts and preventing their spread. With the murder of our Ambassador and three other Americans in Libya and attacks on our embassies throughout the Muslim world the consequences of Obama's policy of appeasement, apology and weakness have become evident.

It's entirely fitting that we discuss these issues in the context of the presidential election and it's past time that Romney brought them up. He did so today in a speech at the Virginia Military Institute. Text of the full speech is here. I have excerpted most of it below:
ROMNEY: Of all the VMI graduates, none is more distinguished than George Marshall—the Chief of Staff of the Army who became Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, who helped to vanquish fascism and then planned Europe’s rescue from despair. His commitment to peace was born of his direct knowledge of the awful costs and consequences of war.

General Marshall once said, “The only way human beings can win a war is to prevent it.” Those words were true in his time—and they still echo in ours.
The attacks on America last month should not be seen as random acts. They are expressions of a larger struggle that is playing out across the broader Middle East—a region that is now in the midst of the most profound upheaval in a century. And the fault lines of this struggle can be seen clearly in Benghazi itself.

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. No, as the Administration has finally conceded, these attacks were the deliberate work of terrorists who use violence to impose their dark ideology on others, especially women and girls; who are fighting to control much of the Middle East today; and who seek to wage perpetual war on the West.

We saw all of this in Benghazi last month—but we also saw something else, something hopeful. After the attack on our Consulate, tens of thousands of Libyans, most of them young people, held a massive protest in Benghazi against the very extremists who murdered our people. They waved signs that read, “The Ambassador was Libya’s friend” and “Libya is sorry.” They chanted “No to militias.” They marched, unarmed, to the terrorist compound. Then they burned it to the ground. As one Libyan woman said, “We are not going to go from darkness to darkness.”

This is the struggle that is now shaking the entire Middle East to its foundation. It is the struggle of millions and millions of people—men and women, young and old, Muslims, Christians and non-believers—all of whom have had enough of the darkness. It is a struggle for the dignity that comes with freedom, and opportunity, and the right to live under laws of our own making. It is a struggle that has unfolded under green banners in the streets of Iran, in the public squares of Tunisia and Egypt and Yemen, and in the fights for liberty in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Libya, and now Syria. In short, it is a struggle between liberty and tyranny, justice and oppression, hope and despair.

We have seen this struggle before. It would be familiar to George Marshall. In his time, in the ashes of world war, another critical part of the world was torn between democracy and despotism. Fortunately, we had leaders of courage and vision, both Republicans and Democrats, who knew that America had to support friends who shared our values, and prevent today’s crises from becoming tomorrow’s conflicts.

Statesmen like Marshall rallied our nation to rise to its responsibilities as the leader of the free world. We helped our friends to build and sustain free societies and free markets. We defended our friends, and ourselves, from our common enemies. We led. And though the path was long and uncertain, the thought of war in Europe is as inconceivable today as it seemed inevitable in the last century.

This is what makes America exceptional: It is not just the character of our country—it is the record of our accomplishments. America has a proud history of strong, confident, principled global leadership—a history that has been written by patriots of both parties. That is America at its best. And it is the standard by which we measure every President, as well as anyone who wishes to be President. Unfortunately, this President’s policies have not been equal to our best examples of world leadership. And nowhere is this more evident than in the Middle East.

I want to be very clear: The blame for the murder of our people in Libya, and the attacks on our embassies in so many other countries, lies solely with those who carried them out—no one else. But it is the responsibility of our President to use America’s great power to shape history—not to lead from behind, leaving our destiny at the mercy of events. Unfortunately, that is exactly where we find ourselves in the Middle East under President Obama.

The relationship between the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Israel, our closest ally in the region, has suffered great strains. The President explicitly stated that his goal was to put “daylight” between the United States and Israel. And he has succeeded. This is a dangerous situation that has set back the hope of peace in the Middle East and emboldened our mutual adversaries, especially Iran.

Iran today has never been closer to a nuclear weapons capability. It has never posed a greater danger to our friends, our allies, and to us. And it has never acted less deterred by America, as was made clear last year when Iranian agents plotted to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador in our nation’s capital. And yet, when millions of Iranians took to the streets in June of 2009, when they demanded freedom from a cruel regime that threatens the world, when they cried out, “Are you with us, or are you with them?”—the American President was silent.

Across the greater Middle East, as the joy born from the downfall of dictators has given way to the painstaking work of building capable security forces, and growing economies, and developing democratic institutions, the President has failed to offer the tangible support that our partners want and need.

In Iraq, the costly gains made by our troops are being eroded by rising violence, a resurgent Al-Qaeda, the weakening of democracy in Baghdad, and the rising influence of Iran. And yet, America’s ability to influence events for the better in Iraq has been undermined by the abrupt withdrawal of our entire troop presence. The President tried—and failed—to secure a responsible and gradual drawdown that would have better secured our gains.

The President has failed to lead in Syria, where more than 30,000 men, women, and children have been massacred by the Assad regime over the past 20 months. Violent extremists are flowing into the fight. Our ally Turkey has been attacked. And the conflict threatens stability in the region.

America can take pride in the blows that our military and intelligence professionals have inflicted on Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, including the killing of Osama bin Laden. These are real achievements won at a high cost. But Al-Qaeda remains a strong force in Yemen and Somalia, in Libya and other parts of North Africa, in Iraq, and now in Syria. And other extremists have gained ground across the region. Drones and the modern instruments of war are important tools in our fight, but they are no substitute for a national security strategy for the Middle East.

The President is fond of saying that “The tide of war is receding.” And I want to believe him as much as anyone. But when we look at the Middle East today—with Iran closer than ever to nuclear weapons capability, with the conflict in Syria threatening to destabilize the region, with violent extremists on the march, and with an American Ambassador and three others dead likely at the hands of Al-Qaeda affiliates— it is clear that the risk of conflict in the region is higher now than when the President took office.

I know the President hopes for a safer, freer, and a more prosperous Middle East allied with the United States. I share this hope. But hope is not a strategy. We cannot support our friends and defeat our enemies in the Middle East when our words are not backed up by deeds, when our defense spending is being arbitrarily and deeply cut, when we have no trade agenda to speak of, and the perception of our strategy is not one of partnership, but of passivity.

The greater tragedy of it all is that we are missing an historic opportunity to win new friends who share our values in the Middle East—friends who are fighting for their own futures against the very same violent extremists, and evil tyrants, and angry mobs who seek to harm us. Unfortunately, so many of these people who could be our friends feel that our President is indifferent to their quest for freedom and dignity. As one Syrian woman put it, “We will not forget that you forgot about us.”

It is time to change course in the Middle East. That course should be organized around these bedrock principles: America must have confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose and resolve in our might. No friend of America will question our commitment to support them… no enemy that attacks America will question our resolve to defeat them… and no one anywhere, friend or foe, will doubt America’s capability to back up our words.

I will put the leaders of Iran on notice that the United States and our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. I will not hesitate to impose new sanctions on Iran, and will tighten the sanctions we currently have. I will restore the permanent presence of aircraft carrier task forces in both the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf region—and work with Israel to increase our military assistance and coordination. For the sake of peace, we must make clear to Iran through actions—not just words—that their nuclear pursuit will not be tolerated.

I will reaffirm our historic ties to Israel and our abiding commitment to its security—the world must never see any daylight between our two nations.

I will deepen our critical cooperation with our partners in the Gulf.

And I will roll back President Obama’s deep and arbitrary cuts to our national defense that would devastate our military. I will make the critical defense investments that we need to remain secure. The decisions we make today will determine our ability to protect America tomorrow. The first purpose of a strong military is to prevent war.

The size of our Navy is at levels not seen since 1916. I will restore our Navy to the size needed to fulfill our missions by building 15 ships per year, including three submarines. I will implement effective missile defenses to protect against threats. And on this, there will be no flexibility with Vladimir Putin. And I will call on our NATO allies to keep the greatest military alliance in history strong by honoring their commitment to each devote 2 percent of their GDP to security spending. Today, only 3 of the 28 NATO nations meet this benchmark.

I will make further reforms to our foreign assistance to create incentives for good governance, free enterprise, and greater trade, in the Middle East and beyond. I will organize all assistance efforts in the greater Middle East under one official with responsibility and accountability to prioritize efforts and produce results. I will rally our friends and allies to match our generosity with theirs. And I will make it clear to the recipients of our aid that, in return for our material support, they must meet the responsibilities of every decent modern government—to respect the rights of all of their citizens, including women and minorities… to ensure space for civil society, a free media, political parties, and an independent judiciary… and to abide by their international commitments to protect our diplomats and our property.

I will champion free trade and restore it as a critical element of our strategy, both in the Middle East and across the world. The President has not signed one new free trade agreement in the past four years. I will reverse that failure. I will work with nations around the world that are committed to the principles of free enterprise, expanding existing relationships and establishing new ones.

I will support friends across the Middle East who share our values, but need help defending them and their sovereignty against our common enemies.

In Libya, I will support the Libyan people’s efforts to forge a lasting government that represents all of them, and I will vigorously pursue the terrorists who attacked our consulate in Benghazi and killed Americans.  
 In Egypt, I will use our influence—including clear conditions on our aid—to urge the new government to represent all Egyptians, to build democratic institutions, and to maintain its peace treaty with Israel. And we must persuade our friends and allies to place similar stipulations on their aid.

In Syria, I will work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters, and fighter jets. Iran is sending arms to Assad because they know his downfall would be a strategic defeat for them. We should be working no less vigorously with our international partners to support the many Syrians who would deliver that defeat to Iran—rather than sitting on the sidelines. It is essential that we develop influence with those forces in Syria that will one day lead a country that sits at the heart of the Middle East.

And in Afghanistan, I will pursue a real and successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014. President Obama would have you believe that anyone who disagrees with his decisions in Afghanistan is arguing for endless war. But the route to more war – and to potential attacks here at home – is a politically timed retreat that abandons the Afghan people to the same extremists who ravaged their country and used it to launch the attacks of 9/11. I will evaluate conditions on the ground and weigh the best advice of our military commanders. And I will affirm that my duty is not to my political prospects, but to the security of the nation.

Finally, I will recommit America to the goal of a democratic, prosperous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the Jewish state of Israel. On this vital issue, the President has failed, and what should be a negotiation process has devolved into a series of heated disputes at the United Nations. In this old conflict, as in every challenge we face in the Middle East, only a new President will bring the chance to begin anew.

There is a longing for American leadership in the Middle East—and it is not unique to that region. It is broadly felt by America’s friends and allies in other parts of the world as well— in Europe, where Putin’s Russia casts a long shadow over young democracies, and where our oldest allies have been told we are “pivoting” away from them … in Asia and across the Pacific, where China’s recent assertiveness is sending chills through the region … and here in our own hemisphere, where our neighbors in Latin America want to resist the failed ideology of Hugo Chavez and the Castro brothers and deepen ties with the United States on trade, energy, and security. But in all of these places, just as in the Middle East, the question is asked: “Where does America stand?”

I know many Americans are asking a different question: “Why us?” I know many Americans are asking whether our country today—with our ailing economy, and our massive debt, and after 11 years at war—is still capable of leading.

I believe that if America does not lead, others will—others who do not share our interests and our values—and the world will grow darker, for our friends and for us. America’s security and the cause of freedom cannot afford four more years like the last four years. I am running for President because I believe the leader of the free world has a duty, to our citizens, and to our friends everywhere, to use America’s great influence—wisely, with solemnity and without false pride, but also firmly and actively—to shape events in ways that secure our interests, further our values, prevent conflict, and make the world better—not perfect, but better.

Our friends and allies across the globe do not want less American leadership. They want more—more of our moral support, more of our security cooperation, more of our trade, and more of our assistance in building free societies and thriving economies. So many people across the world still look to America as the best hope of humankind. So many people still have faith in America. We must show them that we still have faith in ourselves—that we have the will and the wisdom to revive our stagnant economy, to roll back our unsustainable debt, to reform our government, to reverse the catastrophic cuts now threatening our national defense, to renew the sources of our great power, and to lead the course of human events.

Sir Winston Churchill once said of George Marshall: “He … always fought victoriously against defeatism, discouragement, and disillusion.” That is the role our friends want America to play again. And it is the role we must play.

The 21st century can and must be an American century. It began with terror, war, and economic calamity. It is our duty to steer it onto the path of freedom, peace, and prosperity.

The torch America carries is one of decency and hope. It is not America’s torch alone. But it is America’s duty – and honor – to hold it high enough that all the world can see its light.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.
There you have it. The most comprehensive, coherent expression of what America's foreign and national security policy SHOULD be. But most of all, Romney points out that it takes a President who is willing to lead!
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