November 1, 2012

Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the State Department Leave U.S. Foreign Policy in Shambles

Unfathomable betrayal in Libya, relayed by Frank Gaffney in the Washington Times:

… Reportedly, Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens chose on Sept. 11 to be in Benghazi, even though he had expressed growing concern that it and the rest of Libya were becoming increasingly dangerous. He had a firsthand appreciation of just how dangerous since he had, for more than a year, helped arm, finance and otherwise support Libya’s most aggressive Islamist elements in the interest of achieving the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi.

What was important enough to prompt our top diplomat in Libya to make such a dangerous foray? It seems the ambassador felt compelled to meet with the Turkish consul general that evening for the purpose of damage-limitation following the compromise of the secret weapons pipeline Mr. Stevens was then running to Syria. By some accounts, the Russians, Iranians and others had discovered that he was covertly providing automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades and even shoulder-fired, man-portable anti-aircraft missiles to “the opposition” there, including known jihadists associated with the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda.

The revelation that Mr. Obama was presiding over an operation involving gunrunning to our enemies — including weapons virtually certain to be turned against us, later if not sooner — could have been fatal to his re-election bid. Consider that a serious U.S. military response to the violence in Benghazi would provide ample evidence of the fatuousness and mendacity of the administration’s Arab Spring and “lead-from-behind” in Libya narratives. Toss in, too, Mr. Obama’s refusal to act to save American lives, and you have a perfect storm for a president.

Throw in the rest of the Middle East, via James Lewis at American Thinker:

For the last four years, the Obama policy has been to offer aid and comfort violent Islamic radicals in the delusional belief that their loyalty can be bought. We therefore betrayed Hosni Mubarak, our 30-year ally in Egypt, so that the Muslim Brotherhood led by Muhammed Morsi could take over. Obama indeed demanded publicly that Mubarak resign, for reasons that never made any sense at all. Egypt went into a political and economic tailspin, and the Muslim Brotherhood were elected. The Muslim radicals have now purged the only other viable political force, the army and police, to protect their monopoly on power. We have colluded in that betrayal.

In Libya, we betrayed Moammar Gaddafi, who had surrendered his nuclear program to the Bush administration. In Afghanistan, we betrayed the central government set up by the Bush administration and negotiated with the fanatical war sect of the Taliban to take over. The Taliban entered our history when they gave safe haven to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda in the years before 9/11/01 to plan, train, equip, and implement the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. The Taliban are our fanatical theological enemy, as shown by their sadistic attempt to assassinate 14-year-old women’s rights advocate Malala Yousuf.
Afghanistan has many thousands of Malalas we will never hear about.

Our consistent policy of betrayal of moderate Muslims in favor of radical Islamofascists goes hand-in-hand with our appeasement of the Iranian Khomeinist regime, which is the most America-hating Shiite regime, now facing competition from America-hating Sunni regimes in Egypt and elsewhere. It also fits our cooperation with Turkey’s “neo-Ottoman” regime, which has also purged the Turkish army and police to remove modern-minded Turks from power. Egypt and Iran will soon have nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles.

The Middle East, and the world, is a more dangerous place now than it was four years ago, thanks to Barack Hussein Obama — mmm, mmm, mmm — his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the career diplomats at the State Department.

As Big Three Nets’ Evening News Shows Ignore Benghazi, Their Audience Decline Continues

Earlier today, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell accurately noted that the Big Three TV news networks are “as guilty in … (the Benghazi) cover-up as is the administration.” He did so based on the fact that “For the sixth night in a row, ABC World News, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News refused to give one single second of coverage to a Fox News report that the Obama Administration denied help to those attacked and killed by terrorists at the US consulate in Benghazi on September 11.”

Not that it mitigates the legitimacy of Mr. Bozell’s outrage, but one can take some comfort in the fact that fewer people are tuning in to the three nightly news broadcasts than were doing so a year ago, and that their ratings in the 25-54 demographic in the past five weeks are down by almost 20 percent from the same five-week period during the 2008 presidential cycle. A table containing individual results from the past two weeks and the average results from the past five is after the jump (a previous NewsBusters post on the first three weeks is here).


ADP: 158K Private Sector Jobs Added; New Methodology Reduces Previously Reported Figure

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:25 am

(Main page; Press release)

Here’s ADP’s graph for private-sector job growth during the past 13 months:


ADP’s new partnership with Moody’s and the new methodology resulting from it has resulted in sharply lower numbers for several more recent months. Despite the size of the December 2011 figure, the report says that the figures above are seasonally adjusted.

What the graph shows is that after a promising winter, private-sector job growth has fallen sharply to a monthly average of less than 120,000 since March. Considering the size of the gap between current and full employment, that is not at all impressive.

Initial Unemployment Claims: 363K SA, Down From Last Week’s Upwardly Revised 372K; NSA Claims Down 8% Year-Over-Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:54 am

From the Department of Labor:


In the week ending October 27, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 363,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 372,000. The 4-week moving average was 367,250, a decrease of 1,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 368,750.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 339,750 in the week ending October 27, a decrease of 5,476 from the previous week. There were 369,647 initial claims in the comparable week in 2011.

Basically, it’s the same-old same-old.

Last week’s figure was, as usual, revised up by 3,000.

The prediction in Business Insider’s email was for 369K, which is barely above where it will be next week after the usual upward revision.

The seasonal adjustment factors for this week and the same week last year are virtually identical (92.9 vs. 93.6).

Despite the excitement from a few weeks ago, when California was late in submitting tens of thousands of claims, the weekly claims figure is in what would be called a “trading range” if it were a stock of mid-360s to low-370s.

None of this represents anything which should convince anyone that meaningful improvement is taking place.

Positivity: North Dakota bishop stands by pastoral letter on election

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 8:19 am

From Bismarck, North Dakota:

Oct 31, 2012 / 04:05 am

Bishop David D. Kagan of Bismarck defended his letter on the election which was read this weekend at parishes in North Dakota, against demands by a state senator that it be withdrawn or changed.

“It’s with a properly formed conscience, which we regularly nourish with prayer, the sacraments, and continued study, that we can…set a good example, which ultimately isn’t about you or me,” Bishop Kagan told CNA Oct. 30.

The example we set, he emphasized, presents Christ to other people.

Bishop Kagan is the ordinary of Bismarck, and is serving as the apostolic administrator of Fargo while the see is vacant.

As part of his role, Bishop Kagan issued the letter asking parishioners “to vote as a Catholic citizen with a properly formed Catholic conscience.”

Bishop Kagan wrote that the teachings of the Church are “the means for us to properly form our consciences so that we seek always what is true and good.”

He went on to say that intrinsically evil actions, such as abortion and euthanasia, “must always be rejected and opposed,” and that issues that do not directly affect the life and dignity of people are secondary to these.

Though Bishop Kagan “will not tell you how to vote,” he wrote that “I ask you to vote for the candidates who represent you as Catholic citizens. Please do not vote for the candidate who is most likeable.”

Responding to an advance copy of the letter, however, state senator Tim Mathern asserted in an Oct. 23 statement that the obligation to “follow your conscience” is in conflict with the obligation of Catholics to form their conscience according to Church teaching, and that Bishop Kagan’s teaching “short circuits conscience formation.”

Mathern’s statement also characterized Bishop Kagan’s letter as “a request on voting for or against a specific person or party,” thus risking the Church’s non-profit status.

Though no candidates or parties are mentioned by name in the letter, Mathern believes Bishop Kagan’s plea not to vote for the “most likeable” candidate is too particular.

“North Dakotans who have been exposed to political coverage or advertisements this election season can readily identify the candidate who is considered the ‘most likeable,’” he said. “Repeatedly, newspaper reports use this designation for one candidate, as do ads against her candidacy.”

Bishop Kagan responded to CNA, however, that he wrote the letter out of concern for the souls of the Catholic faithful under his charge.

“There isn’t a circumstance that can ever justify you or me checking our faith at the door, and then going in and doing something that is contrary to what we say we believe.”

“It does a great disservice to other Catholics, and to those who are not Catholic, if we create one of those artificial divisions between what I believe as a Catholic and what I do as a Catholic.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (110112)

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

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