Clinton: “I Take Responsiblity” For Benghazi. Political Arena Editor Comments

UPDATE – Clinton now says that the blame lies in “The Fog of War“. The circumstances and reasons below show that to be just plain false. In the comments below several US Senators are calling foul as well.

Political Arena Editor:

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Dan Rather gets it spot on. Here is why. When we look at the decisions down the line:

1 – The decision to not use Marines or Blackwater private mercenaries (who the administration shuns) for security and use locals (who sold them out) was a political decision not a security one.

2 – The building did not meet the minimum standards for physical security for an embassy was a political decision, because there are standard procedures that the State Department follows for the kinds of physical security all our embassies and consulates have and it takes a political decision to over ride them. Our building was penetrated by Al-Qaeda in 10 minutes and our sensitive documents were taken because the staff had no time to destroy them.

3 – The embassy was not fortified for the anniversary of 9/11. It should have been, In fact when the people on the ground asked for more security repeatedly the answer was no, when it was a no brainer that more security was needed. Our State Department Security is not capable of this level of incompetence so a political decision is almost certainly responsible.

4 – Embassy staff requested more security both physical and muscle and the answer was to have some security taken away, but the remaining security did have their danger pay increased as the Administration was aware that they were in more danger. Their efforts to get more security been going on for months so the odds of the problem being a mere security oversight is near impossible.

5 – The use of embassy funds to buy Chevy Volts. Would anyone like to argue that this was not a political decision?

6. Sending Ambassador Susan Rice out on the Sunday Shows to lie about the nature of the attack four days after the attack when people already knew better was a political decision certainly hand picked by the White House.

Romney Pays 57.9% in Charity Contributions & Taxes

Almost 60% of his income goes to charity and government. Democrats went on for weeks that they wanted to see the returns with some of them accusing him of being a tax cheat and a felon…. well there you go.

Washington Examiner:

With President Obama expected to use his second-chance debate this week to portray Mitt Romney as an uncaring rich guy, a new analysis of the GOP candidate’s wealth shows that the millionaire was so generous that he kept just 42 percent of his income.

Obama’s team has mocked the 14.1 percent tax rate that Romney is in as shirking his responsibility. But Charlottesville, Va.-based Marotta Wealth Management, which pens a widely-followed research blog, found that when Romney’s tax burden and charitable gifts are included, he paid out 57.9 percent of his income.

“Giving $2.3 million to charity certainly should not be the basis of any criticism,” said David Marotta. “It is money the Romney’s did not keep for themselves, so I am counting it with the money lost to taxes.”

His basic math for Romney’s 2011 return: $18.6 million in income minus $10.8 million in taxes and charity results in a net of $7.8 million, 42.1 percent of gross. Ditto for 2010, said Marotta.

Federal News Service Edits Debate Trascript to Help Biden….and Gets Caught…

…by Breitbart News:

Yes, Virginia, there is something fishy about media coverage of the debates, but it’s deeper than you think. As was reported here on Friday, the New York Times elided Paul Ryan’s terrific line “And we will not blame others for the next four years” in their “complete” transcript of the vice-presidential debate.

Guess who else cut the line out of their transcript? National Public Radio (NPR).  And here’s where it gets truly nefarious; the New York Times, NPR, the Chicago Sun Times and other news outlets used the same news source for the transcript: the Federal News Service (FNS). How many media outlets did the FNS use to mislead readers around the nation?

The Federal News Service was bought in 2010 by the Dolan Company, which published business journals, court and commercial newspapers and other publications, and then bought FNS, which, among other things, publishes transcripts of events like the debates.

Would a supposedly reputable company like FNS try to twist the truth in order to help one political party? You decide.

The CEO of the Dolan Company is James P. Dolan. Here is a list of his political contributions for 2009- 2010.

2009:

$10,000 for the Follow the North Star Fund, a Minnesota Democratic PAC

$2400 for Tim Walz for Congress. Walz is a Democrat.

2010:

$10,000 Follow the North Star Fund

$5000 Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party

$2400 Friends for Harry Reid

$1400 Tim Walz for Congress

$1000 Klobachar for Minnesota. Klobachar is a Democrat.

$1000 Giffords for Congress. Giffords is a Democrat.

When Dolan bought FNS in 2010, he uttered these deathless words:

“Fed News plays an important role in public affairs, reporting exactly what was said, rather than official transcripts that often show only what was supposed to have been said.”

Why is it hard to believe him now?

UPDATE: The Federal news Service has corrected itself, but few of the outlets have, including the New York Times. The damage has been done.

79% say all Americans should pay income taxes

Fox News:

A large majority of likely voters believes all Americans should pay some federal income tax — even if it is as little as one percent of what they make.

Seventy-nine percent say everyone should pay something, according to a Fox News poll released Thursday.  That includes 85 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of independents and 71 percent of Democrats.

According to the IRS, last year approximately 41 percent of tax filers did not pay federal income tax.  The Tax Policy Center estimates that will increase to 46 percent this year.

Most voters (73 percent) are at least somewhat familiar with the widely-broadcast videotape of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney talking about “47 percent of Americans” and the number of people paying no federal income tax.  Romney also talks about his concern that the country is becoming an entitlement society and that many are too dependent on government.  Journalists and pundits speculated the tape would damage Romney’s campaign.  Yet a 63-percent majority thinks the substance of Romney’s comment about dependence on government is mostly (36 percent) or somewhat true (27 percent).

Three out of four voters believes the “average American” is at least somewhat dependent on government (76 percent), while less than a third says they personally are (31 percent).

The poll also shows nearly half of voters — 46 percent — think the federal government is “trying to do too much” these days.  That’s more than twice as many as say it’s doing “too little” (22 percent).  Just over a quarter says the government is doing “about the right amount” (28 percent).

White House Aide Involved in ‘Fast and Furious’ Suddenly’ Transferred to Iraq; Issa Threatens Subpoena

Related: Obama Administration Illegally Fires ATF “Fast & Furious” Whistleblower – LINK

CNS News:

Kevin O’Reilly, a member of the White House National Security Staff who regularly communicated about Operation Fast and Furious with the Arizona-based ATF agent responsible for running the operation that allowed guns to flow to Mexican drug cartels, was suddenly transferred out of the White House and into Iraq in July 2011.

The transfer took place shortly after the ATF agent had testified in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the White House had provided the committee with a series of emails that O’Reilly and the agent had exchanged while Fast and Furious was underway.

Since then, the White House has declined to allow O’Reilly to be interviewed either by the committee or by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who conducted the administration’s internal investigation of Fast and Furious. The White House also refused to give the inspector general access to internal White House communications relating to Fast and Furious.

Under Fast and Furious, the ATF and the Justice Department deliberately allowed known straw purchasers for Mexican drug cartels to buy about 2,000 guns at U.S. gun stores. In December 2010, two of these guns were found at the scene of the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Many more of the guns were found at crime scenes in Mexico.

In Sept. 20 testimony before the Oversight Committee, Horowitz said that the White House’s refusal to let O’Reilly speak and to provide the IG’s office with access to relevant internal White House communications “made it impossible” to “pursue that aspect of the case.”

In a letter they sent to O’Reilly’s attorney last Thursday, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa and Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, warned that Issa would subpoena O’Reilly if he did not agree to testify.

“We have been trying to arrange to speak with your client, Kevin O’Reilly, for nearly a year now,” Issa and Grassley wrote. “Earlier this year, you agreed to make O’Reilly available for an interview if the White House authorized his participation. The White House, where O’Reilly worked during the pendency of Operation Fast and Furious, refused to make him available, citing ‘an insufficient basis to support the request.”

“If O’Reilly chooses to continue to make himself unavailable, Chairman Issa will have no further alternative but to use compulsory process to require his testimony before the committee,” they wrote.

Continue reading HERE.

Obama’s War on Domestic Energy Jobs Continues: The Great Alaska Shut Out

Remember that Obama’s Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, testified to Congress under oath that gas should be $8.00 a gallon.

While Obama had instituted an illegal offshore drilling ban he was giving billions in low cost loans to Brazil (PetroBraz) to drill in water far deeper than we were in the Gulf. Of course, George Soros, the biggest money man for Democratic Party interests, is a large stock owner in PetroBraz…. but we all know that Chicago style politicians never engage in such behavior don’t we?

Wall Street Journal:

President Obama is campaigning as a champion of the oil and gas boom he’s had nothing to do with, and even as his regulators try to stifle it. The latest example is the Interior Department’s little-noticed August decision to close off from drilling nearly half of the 23.5 million acre National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

The area is called the National Petroleum Reserve because in 1976 Congress designated it as a strategic oil and natural gas stockpile to meet the “energy needs of the nation.” Alaska favors exploration in nearly the entire reserve. The feds had been reviewing four potential development plans, and the state of Alaska had strongly objected to the most restrictive of the four. Sure enough, that was the plan Interior chose.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says his plan “will help the industry bring energy safely to market from this remote location, while also protecting wildlife and subsistence rights of Alaska Natives.” He added that the proposal will expand “safe and responsible oil and gas development, and builds on our efforts to help companies develop the infrastructure that’s needed to bring supplies online.”

The problem is almost no one in the energy industry and few in Alaska agree with him. In an August 22 letter to Mr. Salazar, the entire Alaska delegation in Congress—Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski and Representative Don Young—call it “the largest wholesale land withdrawal and blocking of access to an energy resource by the federal government in decades.” This decision, they add, “will cause serious harm to the economy and energy security of the United States, as well as to the state of Alaska.” Mr. Begich is a Democrat.

The letter also says the ruling “will significantly limit options for a pipeline” through the reserve. This pipeline has long been sought to transport oil and gas from the Chukchi Sea, the North Slope and future Arctic drilling. Mr. Salazar insists that a pipeline could still be built, but given the Obama Administration’s decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline, Alaskans are right to be skeptical.

Alaskans also worry that the National Petroleum Reserve will become the same political football as the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, or ANWR, which Washington has barred from drilling because of dubious environmental objections. The greens now want Congress to rename the energy reserve the “Western Arctic Reserve” to give the false impression that it is a fragile wildlife area. Some parts of the area are environmentally sensitive, but those 1.5 million acres (around Teshekpuk Lake) had already been set aside. Most of the other 11.5 million acres are almost indistinguishable from acreage owned by the state that is being drilled safely nearby.

The feds and Alaskan officials disagree about how much oil and natural gas is in the petroleum reserve. Some early federal estimates put the range between six and 15 billion barrels of oil, but in its latest survey the Bureau of Land Management projects closer to one billion. State officials and industry experts put the figure much higher based on the earlier surveys and improved drilling techniques.

The truth is no one knows. Prudhoe Bay turned out to be much more productive than originally believed, but surely the best strategy is to allow private drillers to risk their own money to find out. The oil and gas industry isn’t in the business of drilling dry holes on purpose.

The Interior power play couldn’t come at a worse time for Alaska, whose economy and government are heavily reliant on oil jobs and revenues. As recently as the 1980s, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline carried some 2.2 million barrels of oil a day from the North Slope to the port of Valdez. Yet as the once-rich fields of Prudhoe Bay and the Kuparuk River have declined, oil flow has dropped to one-third of that volume. North Dakota recently passed Alaska as the second highest oil-producing state behind Texas.

The problem isn’t that Alaska is running out of oil but that federal rules are preventing the state from developing those resources. No matter what Mr. Obama says now, in a second term his great Alaska energy shutout will continue.

Household income drops to 16 year low (but look who got rich)

What’s wrong with that picture? All the stimulus, regulations, bailouts and other spending in the name of the poor and who gets rich?  Washington D.C. Tops List of Richest Cities.

Via Shadowstats:

household income shadowstats• Real Median Household Income Collapses to 16-Year Low;
• 2011 Income Below Levels of Late-1960s, Early-1970s
• Income Variance Hits Record High, Suggestive of Greater Financial and Economic Crises Ahead

 

Illinois Raises Business Taxes: Jimmy Johns Corporation Leaves the State

Wealth goes where it is treated well. It should be the first rule of economics. When a bunch of radicalized leftists in Illinois demonize you for daring to start a good business and create jobs why stay?

jimmy johns

News Gazette:

CHAMPAIGN – The founder of Jimmy John’s said he has applied for Florida residency and may recommend that his corporate headquarters move out-of-state as a result of the Illinois tax increases enacted last week.

Jimmy John Liautaud told The News-Gazette on Tuesday that he is angry about the moves, which boosted the individual income tax from 3 percent to 5 percent and the corporate income tax from 7.3 percent to 9.5 percent.

“All they do is stick it to us,” he said, adding that the Legislature and governor showed “a clear lack of understanding.”

“I could absorb this and adapt, but it doesn’t feel good in my soul to make it happen,” Liautaud said.

Jimmy John’s, which has its corporate headquarters on Fox Drive in Champaign, has more than 1,000 sandwich shops nationwide, many of them franchise operations.

Champaign has been its corporate base, but Liautaud said it will not necessarily continue that way.

Liautaud said he has been contacted by “multiple pro-business states” that made him feel “wanted and important.”

“I enjoy being courted and the process,” he said.

Once he collects information on alternative sites, he will present it to the company’s board of directors and ask the board to decide.

As for himself, “my family and I are out of here,” he said.

Elizabeth Warren freaks when questioned about union members forced to campaign for her (video)

Union members are told that they will be fined if they do not campaign for Massachusetts Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren. All she has is this class envy nonsense she spews all while the big money interests and far left academics are the ones that are funding her.

Star Trek’s Gary Graham Endorses Romney

Gary Graham
Gary Graham in Star Trek

More and more Hollywood Celebs including “A Listers” like Gary Graham are coming out for Mitt Romney.

Perhaps this is because Hollywood box office receipts are in decline and the reason for it is obvious – movie tickets are bough with discretionary income. A long double dip recession impacts Hollywood in a big way and the numbers speak for themselves.

Gary Graham at Big Hollywood:

Barack Obama has governed so far left that even some of my lefty friends in Tinseltown are throwing flags-on-the-play. Gone is the excited buzz from four years ago. Democrats talk only about their disgust and hatred for Romney, or Limbaugh or Hannity … or Bush. But oddly, unless it’s to brag about “their guy got bin Laden” … not a word about the Prez. And if Obama is mentioned at all, it’s in muted tones and short, general references. These days a patina of vague embarrassment colors liberal obstinancy in Hollywood.

I don’t know why they’re surprised – all he’s ever espoused has been neo-socialist rhetoric, anti-imperialism, and Saul-Alinsky-esque diatribes attacking capitalism, traditional American values and supply-side economics. So, nearly four years since taking office, why are so many of them shocked that he actually governed as the ultra-left radical he always swore he was?

As a former lefty myself, I’m familiar with the left’s propensity to court reality with no real intention to marry.

I, for one, believed Obama. That’s why I never supported him. As an ardent student of history, I’ve seen the ravages that socialism has inflicted upon the world. Hundreds of millions of lives lost needlessly and untold human suffering. The arrogance to think that it wasn’t the system to blame … that socialism could work if the right people were in charge, with the right leadership; then the unwieldy, overstuffed, non-aeronautic abomination could actually fly … and that all it took was good intentions, vague dreams of Utopian hopes and dreams to lift it off … and the physics of economics be damned. It’s beyond comprehension.

So, predictably, President Obama’s policies … all of them … have failed completely. On every score, they fail to do as promised. Rather than uplift and unite, they depress and divide. Rather than stimulate the economy, they slide us deeper into debt, stagnant economic growth and development and slip us deeper into recession. Rather than build up our image globally and foster love and appreciation, they alienate our allies and embolden our enemies and make us not only hated, but disrespected.

At the Emmys recently, host Jimmy Kimmel sniped, “Yeah who here is voting for Romney?” Expecting a groan and a laugh … he was mildly shocked to hear the positive response. It sounded like a third of the people present were cheering. Cheering – for a Republican challenger. At a Hollywood event!

Continue reading HERE.

British Meteorological Office: No Global Warming for 16 Years

The significance of this admission from them cannot be understated. The British Met is the academic epicenter of global warming alarmism. They work closely with the University of East Anglia and other ClimateGate hoaxers like Michael Mann at the disgraced Penn State University.

UK Daily Mail:

Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released… and here is the chart to prove it

  • The figures reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012 there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures
  • This means that the ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996

By David Rose

The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week.

The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.

This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.

global temperature changes

The new data, compiled from more than 3,000 measuring points on land and sea, was issued  quietly on the internet, without any media fanfare, and, until today, it has not been reported.

This stands in sharp contrast  to the release of the previous  figures six months ago, which went only to the end of 2010 – a very warm year.

Ending the data then means it is possible to show a slight warming trend since 1997, but 2011 and the first eight months of 2012 were much cooler, and thus this trend is erased.

Obama Administration Illegally Fires ATF “Fast & Furious” Whistleblower

….in a Denny’s parking lot.

You just can’t make this stuff up folks… Lawsuit sure to come….

RELATED: White House Aide Involved in ‘Fast and Furious’ Suddenly’ Transferred to Iraq – LINK

Kate Pavlich:

Special Agent Vince Cefalu has worked for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms for more than 25 years. On top of successfully placing dozens of hard criminals behind bars throughout his career, Cefalu has received promotions and consistently positive evaluations. When he started raising his voice about ATF corruption and illegal wiretapping in 2005, things changed.  Tuesday evening, Cefalu was asked to meet Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco Field Division Joseph Riehl at a Denny’s Restaurant near Lake Tahoe. When he arrived, he was served termination papers in the parking lot. Classy move. The exchange was secretly recorded by a confidential source. David Codrea has more:

The video, shaky at times from being handheld, and with color imbalance streaking happening inadvertently in the uploading to YouTube, was recorded by a confidential source and shows Cefalu approached by two ATF management representatives including Joseph M. Riehl, Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco Field Division, which encompasses Northern California and Nevada field offices.

Riehl, seen talking to Cefalu through his Jeep window and reportedly telling him he couldn’t leave because he had to sign papers, had been criticized on the CUATF forum, and Gun Rights Examiner is attempting to track down audit reports to determine what an independent assessment reveals about the allegations there. But the bottom line is, an employee with over 25 years of service who has been a leading spokesman for whistleblowers was unceremoniously canned in a public parking lot by senior division management.

Cefalu was placed on administrative leave a year and a half ago after speaking out about Operation Fast and Furious. In 2009, he launched the website CleanUpATF.org in order for agents within ATF to blow the whistle on corrupt behavior anonymously due to the agency’s history of retaliation against those who “jump their chain of command.” His website is where bloggers and news reporters first saw allegations of gunwalking. The site is heavily monitored by the Department of Justice.

In the February 2012 issue of Townhall Magazine, Cefalu detailed the ATF corruption leading up to Fast and Furious and his retaliation case coming from inside the bureau that led to his firing this week.

Continue reading HERE.