October 20, 2012

NYT and AP at Odds (For Now) on Whether Obama Admin Is ‘Nearing a Diplomatic Breakthrough’ With Iran

Seventeen days before Election Day and 45 months after Barack Obama’s inauguration following a presidential campaign during which he expressed his eagerness to meet enemy leaders “without preconditions” (Obama responded “yes” to a 2008 presidential debate question containing those words), the New York Times is reporting that the U.S. and Iran “have agreed in principle for the first time to one-on-one negotiations,” despite the fact that the White House has “denied that a final agreement (to negotiate) had been reached,” and despite a reactive AP report (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) claiming that while “The White House says it is prepared to talk one-on-one … there’s no agreement now to meet.”

Despite the supposed certainty of the Times’s headline (“U.S. Officials Say Iran Has Agreed to Nuclear Talks”), the paper’s Helene Cooper and Mark Landler report that “American officials said they were uncertain whether Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had signed off on the effort.” If Khamenei isn’t on board, it doesn’t matter what anybody else, including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, says or does. Three years ago, two AP reporters covering the government’s crackdown on dissidents noted Khamenei’s “virtually limitless authority,” i.e., he’s the country’s behind-the-scenes dictator. In a piece that’s supposed to be about a supposedly important international development, Cooper and Landler predictably blow through quite a bit of ink and bandwidth trying to paint this development as a problem for Obama’s GOP opponent Mitt Romney (bolds are mine):
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IBD on Obama’s Sub-Optimal Callousness

An Investor’s Business Daily editorial rips the President the way the rest of the press would if a Republican or Conservative said what President Obama said to John Stewart (bolds are mine):

Obama: 4 Dead Americans in Libya ‘not optimal’

The president reveals a disturbing callousness toward our war dead on yet another talk show.

During the second presidential debate President Obama told challenger Mitt Romney that he found suggestions that he and his administration were covering up the truth about the terrorist attack on Benghazi for political reasons “offensive.” He said he was the one who had to greet the coffins when they came home.

Then they deserve more honor, respect and protection than they were given by their president in remarks made on yet another TV talk show. Appearing on “The Daily Show” Comedy Central, Obama told host Jon Stewart that the killing of our Libyan ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans was “not optimal.”

Speaking of the administration’s response to the assault, which, except for an oblique reference to “terrorist attacks” in the Rose Garden, with no specific reference to Benghazi, consisted of spending two weeks blaming a little-seen Internet movie trailer, Stewart said, “I would say and 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.”

This is the president who once described the Fort Hood massacre by a chanting Islamist as “workplace violence, ” who refuses to admit the war on terror is ongoing. This is the president who referred to the rolling Islamist violence in the Middle East, including the deaths of two former Navy SEALs employed as private security in Benghazi, as “bumps in the road.”

… The CIA station chief in Libya reported to Washington within 24 hours of last month’s deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate that there was evidence it was carried out by militants, not a spontaneous mob upset about an American-made video ridiculing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, U.S. officials have told the Associated Press.

It was not an “optimal” response to this terrorist attack to have U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice go on five Sunday news shows on Sept. 16 to say, “We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.” They were lying.

All the president’s weenie words have been part of a callous and calculated plan to lie to the American people, put the truth in a can and kick that can down the road past the Nov. 6 election. Barack Obama’s presidency is the one not “optimal” and should end that day.

The trouble is, if he indeed loses, Obama’s presidency won’t end until January 20, 2013. Don’t be surprised if Obama’s final weeks make the outgoing Clinton administration’s inexcusable pardons, White House thefts and vandalism, and uncalled-for Executive Orders look like a, well, tea party.

NewsBusted (101912)

Filed under: NewsBusted — Tom @ 8:07 am

Here we go, with Jody Miller returning:

TOPICS:
– Mitt Romney
– President Obama
– Presidential Election
– Michelle Obama
– Paul Ryan Photos
– Religious Affiliation
– The Afterlife
– L.A. Airport Arrest
– New York City Air Quality

Best Line: “First Lady Michelle Obama said she rarely ventures into the West Wing to give policy advice to the President. She said it’s easier just to phone him on the golf course.”

Ohio: The (Electoral) Heart of It All

As in 2004, the presidential election revolves around Ohio.

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This column went up at PJ Media on Thursday.

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In an October 12 entry at the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog, Philip Klein showed readers a map containing a prospective electoral vote outcome for this year’s presidential race between incumbent Democrat Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney which would result in a 269-269 tie.

As I see it, that map, which shows Romney taking every important swing state save one, represents where things really stood that day and where they remained as of when this column was submitted on Monday. If there’s an exception, it’s that it shows Obama winning Ohio.

Klein accurately explains that Romney would more than likely have the upper hand if the Electoral College ends up in a tie:

Under the U.S. Constitution … the presidential race is turned over to the House of Representatives (assuming no unexpected defections when the electors formally vote in December).

And here’s the twist: Each state would get just one vote, based on what the majority of its own delegation decides. A candidate would thus need 26 votes to win.

… By our estimates, Romney should have at least 26 states safely …

While it’s nice that Republicans will, barring a congressional sea change almost no one except Nancy Pelosi is predicting, control a majority of the state delegations in the House in January 2013, Klein’s parenthetical is far more than theoretical.

Just one “faithless elector” withholding his or her vote, or voting for someone other than the person to whom he or she is pledged, would prevent the tie just described. The operative word appears to be “would,” not “could.” Faithless, accidental (I’m not kidding), or withheld electoral votes have occurred in eight of the past 14 presidential elections and as recently as 2004. Those gambits have apparently stood either unchallenged or were not successfully challenged.

This year, in a potentially catastrophic development, Ron Paul loyalists in Nevada and Texas have threatened in advance that they might withhold their votes if Mitt Romney carries their states. A Paul-supporting Iowa elector who promised she would do the same has resigned and been replaced.

There is also the far from small possibility that an Electoral College tie could occur while President Obama receives more popular votes. The best-case scenario if that transpires is that Romney would have to endure at least two years of being cast as “illegitimate” by the left and the press. There are potentially many other very unpleasant and dangerous worst-case scenarios.

All of this explains why Mitt Romney must win Ohio if he wishes to become our 45th president.

I believe, despite Rasmussen’s October 11 estimate of a slight Obama edge, that Romney is barely ahead in the Buckeye State, and that his lead is on track to grow in the remaining weeks of the campaign for a variety of reasons. A few of them include his stellar October 3 debate performance paired with Obama’s virtual no-show; the administration’s lethal security laxness in Benghazi, Libya followed by the administration’s now thoroughly exposed dishonesty about the true cause and circumstances surrounding the murders of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans there; and Obama’s war on coal, where closed coal mines and the Obama campaign’s lying attacks on miners’ credibility appear to have moved the southern and eastern portions of the state from reliably Democratic to perhaps 50-50.

That Romney has the momentum in Ohio is undeniable. The crowds at recent Romney and Ryan appearances have been so large that even chief Obama boot-licker Steve Peoples and his bosses at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, appear to have decided for the sake of whatever remains of their credibility to report them instead of lying about them. A Friday Columbus Dispatch editorial ruthlessly ripped the Obama administration’s handling of the entire Benghazi debacle. It also appears that more voters are figuring out that the Buckeye State has economically outperformed most of the rest of the nation not because of the “Obama saved the auto industry” myth, but because of the fiscally conservative, mostly growth-oriented policies pursued by GOP Governor John Kasich since he took office in January 2011. Before that, and though much improvement is still needed, Ohio was a pathetic economic laggard.

That the Obama campaign has become very concerned about Ohio is equally undeniable. Team Obama is sending two of the left’s allegedly brightest stars, ARIFPOTUS (Accused Rapist and Impeached Former President of the United States) Bill Clinton and Bruce Springsteen, who originally ”said he wouldn’t campaign for Obama” earlier this year, into the state for a joint appearance on October 18.

Springsteen’s official web site quotes Obama campaign apparatchik Jim Messina as follows: “Bruce Springsteen’s values echo what the President and Vice President stand for: hard work, fairness, integrity.” Exactly how Messina or “The Boss” can reconcile those alleged positive traits with 100-plus rounds of golf, unprecedented cronyism, and enough lies to keep Michael Ramirez at Investor’s Business Daily busy presenting ten each day between now and Election Day if he so chooses — leaving plenty still unnamed — is a complete mystery.

I find it quite interesting that the campaign finds the values of the president to be in harmony, so to speak, with those of a multimillionaire member of the 1 percent who still saw fit to give his unequivocal support to the anachronistic anarchists of the Occupy movement. It reminds us at a very useful time that Obama and many fellow party members also supported Occupy, and have never retracted their support.

Though he appears well-situated to prevail, there can be no letup by Team Romney in the Buckeye State between now and when the polls close at 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. Though he appears well-situated to prevail, there can be no letup by Team Romney in the Buckeye State between now and when the polls close at 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. Ohio truly is the heart of it all this time around.

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (102012)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: Pro-life activist encourages witnessing in difficult situations

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Arlington, Virginia:

Oct 19, 2012 / 04:24 am

Witnessing to the Catholic faith can be done in a variety of ways, depending on the situation, but they all must be founded on authenticity, love and prayer, pro-life advocate Jeanne Monahan said in a talk for Theology on Tap.

Building on an idea proposed by Pope John Paul II, Monahan explained that Catholics “don’t have to manipulate God’s plan,” lying and cajoling people into accepting it.

“Because when it’s taught in its authenticity, it’s inherently attractive,” she said. “It’s inherently beautiful, and people want to live it.”

“And so all we need to do, essentially, is to learn it and to live it ourselves,” she stated.

Monahan, who was recently elected as interim president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, spoke on Oct. 15 before a gathering of young adults for Theology on Tap in Arlington, Va.

Drawing on the examples of holy men and women, along with her own experiences working for the federal government and as the current director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, she discussed different approaches to witnessing to the faith in a hostile environment.

“My own personal experiences are that most hostile environments with regard to the Church have to do with the Church’s teachings on marriage and family and sexuality,” Monahan said.

These environments are often unfriendly “because people are uncomfortable with those teachings, which can be highly, highly misunderstood,” she explained.

While she acknowledged that it can be tempting to keep quiet or even go along with a lie under the pressure of a challenging situation, she stressed that “we’re called to speak the truth,” in a loving and authentic manner and “it’s a disservice to the people around us when we don’t.”

“How this is going to be lived out in different scenarios is a matter of sensitive discernment,” Monahan said, emphasizing that there “is no cookie cutter approach” because each situation and set of individuals is unique.

And while Catholics must always be loving, this is sometimes expressed in tough love and other times in more gentle love, sometimes through words and other times through actions, she said.

It is important to keep in mind that the goal “is not necessarily to win the fight” but “to win souls” through acts of love, she noted. …

Go here for the rest of the story.