Posts Tagged ‘State Of Affairs’

Can the Media Protect Hillary Clinton from Latest State Department Scandal?

by Roger Aronoff on Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

This is article 328 of 454 in the topic Government Corruption

Hillary Clinton’s approval rating has fallen 12 points in the wake of the Benghazi scandal, especially since some Americans still hold her responsible for the inadequate security in Libya during the September 11, 2012 attack. Now, additional scandals, which may have been covered up by the State Department under Hillary’s watch, could further threaten her approval rating. These scandals, if given enough traction by the media, could possibly jeopardize Hillary’s chances to run for president. It is therefore in the media’s best interest to keep their beloved political candidate away from controversy, and distance the department’s cover-up from her leadership.

Two news accounts do so. CBS News’ groundbreaking story mentions Hillary only once. NBC News’ story mentions Hillary only once, as well.

“CBS News’ John Miller reports that according to an internal State Department Inspector General’s memo, several recent investigations were influenced, manipulated, or simply called off,” reports CBS news. “The memo obtained by CBS News cited eight specific examples” (emphasis added).

So, the State Department, under Hillary Clinton, may have covered up eight different investigations—if not more. These investigations include allegations of prostitution, pedophilia by an ambassador, sexual assault, and drug purchases.

CBS’s reporting is based on a State Department memo issued in October of last year. A draft report for the Inspector General’s office was issued on December 4, 2012. The final report, issued in March 2013, omitted references to the cover-ups, according to the New York Post. The Post aimed its article, “Hillary’s sorry state of affairs,” straight at Secretary Clinton’s leadership.

“The draft report, marked ‘Sensitive But Unclassified,’ cites several examples of undue influence ‘from the top floor of the department, raising serious concerns about the quality and integrity’ of investigations,” reports the Post. “That statement was removed from the final report issued March 15.”

Bloomberg reports that Hillary’s approval rating was at an all-time high in December, at 70 percent. Would it have remained as high had the Inspector General’s report come out with the eight cited cases? It is unlikely.

“Since leaving the state department, Clinton has mostly kept a low profile, other than delivering a few public speeches and releasing a video in March in which for the first time she announced support for same-sex marriage,” reported John McCormick for Bloomberg News. “Even so, she’s done just enough in the political arena to keep potential donors and supporters intrigued by the historic potential of backing a candidate who could become the first woman president.”

According to the recent Bloomberg poll, “47 percent said they disapprove of how Clinton handled the situation in Benghazi, while roughly a third—34 percent—said they approve.” Bloomberg credits Benghazi as the reason Clinton’s favorability dropped 12 percentage points since last December.

It could have been more, as the recent leak by former State Department investigator Aurelia Fedenisn demonstrates.

The scandal reaches up to Hillary’s right-hand man Patrick Kennedy, at the very least, and involves her own guards.

NBC News opted not to identify the ambassador who has been accused of soliciting minors and prostitutes. “Top State Department officials directed investigators to ‘cease the investigation’ into the ambassador’s conduct, according to the memo,” reports NBC News. However, the New York Post identifies the ambassador as Howard Gutman, ambassador to Belgium.

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Mother of Slain Benghazi Official: Questions Not Being Answered

by Doug Powers on Sunday, April 7th, 2013

This is article 293 of 454 in the topic Government Corruption

The words of Pat Smith, mother of Sean Smith, a State Department employee killed in Libya, offer sad testimony to the state of affairs about Benghazi and the pathetic Obama administration CYA over everything leading up to, during and after the attack, and it deserves to be heard.

Audio from the Sean Hannity radio show, via Mediaite and Weasel Zippers:

On Friday, Sean Hannity brought Pat Smith, mother of the late Sean Smith, on his radio program. The 34-year-old information management officer was one of four Americans murdered in the Benghazi embassy attack on September 11, 2012.

In the chilling interview, a distraught Ms. Smith, in tears, pleaded for answers and spoke of the efforts to silence her.

Ms. Smith first relayed how her son, prior to the attack, requested additional security in advance and warned the State Department:

This poor woman, like any of us would if it were a member of our families, just wants answers, and she’s not getting them. I’m not sure she ever will. This thing runs deep and wide.

When Smith says “they” want her to shut up and “they” aren’t necessarily part of the Obama administration, “they” are more than likely those who really want Hillary as the next president and don’t want it screwed up by some woman seeking answers regarding her son’s murder.

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From Slavery to Freedom

by Daniel Greenfield on Monday, March 25th, 2013

This is article 945 of 1231 in the topic International

As another Passover begins, the echoes of “Once we were slaves and now we are free” and “Next year in Jerusalem” resound briefly and then fade into the background noise of everyday life. We can board a plane tomorrow and fly off to Jerusalem. Some of us are already there now. But will that make us free?

Since Egypt we have become slaves again, lived under the rule of iron-fisted tyrants and forgotten what the very idea of freedom means. And that will likely happen again and again until the age ends. What is this freedom that we gained with the fall of a Pharaoh and the last sight of his pyramids and armies?

Freedom like slavery, is as much a state of mind as a state of being. It is possible to be legally free, yet to have no freedom of action whatsoever. And it is possible to be legally a slave and yet to be free in defiance of those restrictions. External coercion alone does not make a man free or slave, it is the degradation of mind that makes a man a slave.

What is a slave? A slave is complicit in his own oppression. His slavery has become his natural state and he looks to his master, not to free him, but to command him. Had the Jews of Egypt merely been restrained by physical coercion, it would have been enough to directly and immediately smash the power of the Egyptian state. But their slavery was mental. They moaned not at the fact of slavery, but at the extremity of it. When their taskmasters complained to Pharaoh, it was not of slavery, but of not being given the straw with which to build the bricks.

The worst slavery is of the most insidious kind. It leaves the slave able to think and act, but not as a free man. It leaves him with cunning, but not courage. He is able to use force, but only to bring other slaves into line. And most hideously, this state of affairs seems moral and natural to him. This is his freedom.

The true slave has come to love big brother, to worship at the foot of the system that oppresses him. It is this twisted love that must be torn out of him. It is this idolatry of the whip before which he kneels, this panting to know who his superior and who his inferiors are, this love of a vast order that allows him to be lost in its wonders, to gaze in awe at the empire of tomorrow which builds its own tombs today, that must be broken. These are his gods and he must kill them within himself to be free.

The Exodus is not the story of the emergence of free men who were enslaved, but the slow painful process by which slaves became a nation of free men, a long troubled journey which has not yet ended. That is why we celebrate Passover, not as an event of the past, but as of a road that we still travel, a long journey from slavery to freedom.

Having escaped from Pharaoh, they built a glittering calf, and having left the desert behind, they sought out a king.

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The Closing of the Liberal Mind

by Daniel Greenfield on Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

This is article 148 of 194 in the topic Liberalism

Suppose that you are a Soviet agent in the 1950s. Your cover is that of an insurance salesman. Of your two “jobs”, the Soviet agent part is more important, but you need to be a good insurance salesman to maintain your cover.

Being a good insurance salesman doesn’t clash with being a good Communist, because your job selling life insurance allows you to pursue your real job. And you cannot conflate the two jobs. You can’t sell insurance to your KGB bosses or pitch Communism to your insurance prospects. If you do that, then worlds will collide.

But if Communism is on the way up, then you can stop selling insurance and tell everyone who walks into your office that Communism is their best insurance. You are no longer a Communist who sells insurance. You are just a Communist running an insurance agent’s office.

This state of affairs has applications beyond Communism and life insurance.

Suppose you are a liberal in the 1950s. You don’t support some gang of reds goosestepping their way across the country and rounding up people into gulags. Nor do you want any of the revolutions that some of the radicals hanging around outside NYU sometimes recite poems about.

You believe that the best pathway to a liberal society is through liberal institutions. You disdain the Marxists with their rigid party orthodoxy for closing off their minds to open inquiry and healthy debate.

As a journalist, a professor, a scientist or a lawyer, you believe that maintaining liberal institutions will liberalize society. That a free press will invariably spread liberal ideas, that scientific inquiry and open debate will teach people to be more open-minded and that protecting everyone’s rights will end a society of privileged tiers.

The society that you are working toward may be a one-party state, or a multiparty state where all the parties are of the left, but you still believe that will come about through a liberalized society where the vast majority will be educated and shaped into recognizing the truth.

And you believe that values such as objectivity and scientific truth, and institutions that are open, will bring people to recognize that truth in the long-term, even if you have to accept defeats from these values in the short-term.

Accordingly, as a journalist you will report both sides of the story, even if your bias does spill out in the framing of it, and even if the other side’s view becomes popular enough to temporarily threaten a program that you want to see carried out, calculating that maintaining trust in the institution of journalism will allow you to reach more people in the long-term.

As a professor, you will teach views that you disagree with even if some students may be influenced by them, because the legitimacy of academia as a place of open inquiry is more important in the long-term to the success of your ideas.

As a scientist, you will challenge wrong theories that may advance your views in the short-term, but threaten the integrity of science in the long-term. As a lawyer you will defend people you disagree with to maintain an open system that allows you the freedom to dissent.

It’s not always like this. There’s plenty of bias and favoritism in the mix.

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‘For all its issues and faults, California is the closest thing that the U.S. has to European-style social democracy…’

by Donald Douglas on Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

A mind-boggling blog post and comment thread at the communist academic blog, Crooked Timber, “Open up your Golden Gate“:

I think it’s important to situate “California is ungovernable”–which has *never* been true in any recognizable sense–in the broader political discussion about American political life. For all its issues and faults, California is the closest thing that the U.S. has to European-style social democracy. It has strong state-provided social services, such as a very robust state OSHA program, relatively pro-worker wage-and-hour laws, and a massively successful (if declining) public university system–which provides far more to state public life than in other states with premier universities, such as Massachusetts, where such are privatized. It has politically active unions like the CTA and CNA on the winning side. It has strong environmental protections and lots of public lands and public trusts. It has a broadly politically empowered populus in its major cities; and so forth.

This isn’t to say that California is perfect, by any means. But it is to say that reiterating the discourses without situating them in those broader conversations often tends to legitimize a discourse that implies that social democracy is “ungovernable” and neoliberalism is a neutral, invisibile, natural state of affairs.

This state’s bankrupt, but for these idiot commies, it’s like heaven on earth.

Meanwhile, “Prop. 30 Won’t Quench California’s Big Government Thirst.”

The Democrats own it now, as if they hadn’t already. The state’s going down. Ten percent unemployment still after almost four years, and listen to these shitbag progressives sing the praises of the bankrupt blue state morass. We’re about as close as you’ll get to a European social democracy, alright. Take your pick: Greece, Spain. Shoot, Italy, the San Bernardino of Europe, came close to dragging down the entire European project all by itself itself. No matter, let’s raise taxes. Yeah, that’ll work. Forward! To growth and prosperity!

Wake me up from this nightmare. This country is populated with chess-thumping pinhead progressives who haven’t got a freakin’ clue.

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Video message: TSA Opt-out & film campaign

by Douglas J. Hagmann on Saturday, November 10th, 2012

This is article 60 of 70 in the topic Travel/Transportation

Most people with even the slightest grasp of history know that Hitler exterminated over 11 million people during his tyrannical reign. Over half of the dead were Jews, while the others included Christians, Christian leaders, homosexuals, and those considered to be political dissidents viewed as a threat to his agenda of tyranny and the implementation of his “New World Order.”

Although no one of reasonable sensibilities question the staggering number of people exterminated, few appear to comprehend the methods in which this wholesale extermination was accomplished. After all, just how does a government manage to kill over 11 million people with little resistance, considering that less than 10 percent of Germany’s population actually “worked or campaigned to bring about Hitler’s change?” What were the other 90% doing?

The answers can quickly be found in a short, 96-page book titled How Do You Kill 11 Million People? Why the Truth Matters More Than You Think written by Andy Andrews. For some, it will serve as a refresher for the tactics of the era. For others, it should serve as a loud, clamoring alarm alerting the citizens of America to the present events taking place right before our eyes. Although I am not a book reviewer nor do I have any stake in the book, I do have a stake in my own freedom and that of my family. For this reason, I believe this is required reading for every American who claims to care about the state of affairs in America today.

A pertinent warning

Sadly, it is because so many people have only a fleeting and tenuous understanding of history that they fail to see the historical context of such warnings and the time in which we live. Perhaps the events of this past week will serve to wake up some, while the slumbering majority, entranced by the latest incarnations of their personal entertainment devices, will undoubtedly double down in their mocking of the message and marginalization of the messengers. Most will see the issue as a political one, when it is actually bigger than political party labels and the fictitious right-left paradigm.

Getting back to the point of my message, the mechanisms that served the Nazis well in the 1930s and 1940s have already been implemented and are currently being refined in the United States. The singular agenda of all branches of government, whose members number far less than the population of our vast country they are supposed to serve, has met with little resistance as they push forward their agenda. Shades of Germany in the 30s and 40s.

But don’t look to the mainstream talking heads on the radio and television airwaves to step out of their comfort zones or put down their carefully worded scripts to point this out. Even in the wake of an election that further galvanized the political and social divide, they will continue to distract the masses with political theater as we are being conditioned and controlled. Instead of falling into political lockstep that will ultimately lead to our bondage, I call on everyone to wake up and resist this incremental rending of our liberties – while we still can.

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Muslim Violence is Our New Law

by Daniel Greenfield on Sunday, September 30th, 2012

This is article 102 of 117 in the topic Muslims/Koran

Over two centuries ago a group of British colonists huddling amid the forests and rivers of a new continent decided what they could and could not say by killing enough soldiers and mercenaries that the people who had been in charge of their speech decided they should try their luck somewhere where the regulating was easier.

This state of affairs in which the country that those colonists formed became and remains one of the very few places in the world, even among Western democracies, where freedom of speech is absolute, came about through stirring speeches, deeply felt debates, classical ideas and a passionate political culture– but most of all it came about because large numbers of people were willing to kill over it.

Currently large numbers of people are willing to kill over the idea that Islam is the supreme religion, that Mohammed is a deity whom all mankind should respect and that the infidels living in the suburban sprawl of a thoroughly explored continent should accept that or die. Our government calls those people a tiny minority of extremists. Our unofficial name for them is, “Muslims.”

Laws are decided by many things, but sweep away all the lawbooks, the pleas from tearful mothers, the timed publicity campaigns, the novel legal theories and the greedy bureaucrats expanding their turf, and under the table you will find a gun. The first and final law is still the law of force. The law begins with the power to impose its will on others. It ends with the enforcement of that power.

Law either has force behind it or it does not, and if it has no force behind it then it is an optional thing that is subject to custom. And every now and then the law is challenged, not with novel legal theories or with petitions, but with force, and it either responds with force or submits to a new law. That is what we call revolution.

Islam has made laws that it expects all of mankind to abide by. These laws are not backed by novel legal theories or by petitions, though its practitioners are willing to offer both, they are backed by the naked practice of force. And the imposition of these laws can only be defended against by force.

We are no longer led by revolutionary believers in the freedom of man, but by revolutionary believers in the submission of man to the higher principles that make their utopian sandcastles possible. They cannot honestly draw a red line on freedom, not when they have crossed it so many times themselves for their own agendas. They believe in a variety of rights, but all of those rights involve imposing their ideas and beliefs on others, and that is something they have in common with the Muslim lawyers waving guns and black flags over our burning embassies. They might contemplate killing and dying for gay marriage or the right to put tobacco warnings on cigarettes, but not for the pure idea that anyone should be able to say anything that they want without regard to ideological alliances.

The lawyers who run all our national affairs have chosen to respond to the Islamic legal briefs of bombs and bullets with the equivocation with which they meet all difficult questions.

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JUDGING BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA’S PRESIDENCY A FAILURE

by Stephen Levine on Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

This is article 707 of 1002 in the topic Obama

There are those who have read my previous blogs and have taken exception to the manner in which I have characterized President Obama and urged his ouster – along with his democrat fellow travelers — from office. So I have decided to take another approach. Looking at what he observed in his Inaugural Address and checking our present state of affairs. For those who want to read his words in full context, the link below directs you to the White House copy of his Address.

If a man is to be judged by his words, let us recall  significant passages in Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address …

Acknowledging the state of affairs upon his inauguration …

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many — and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

Fail: We are well into the end stages of Obama’s presidency and he has never stopped blaming his predecessor for handing him an untenable position. While this might have been true for the first two years of his presidency, Obama had the privilege of immediately taking corrective actions to improve both our domestic and foreign agendas – controlling both the House of Representatives and the Senate – along with the Presidential veto. He appears to have squandered this opportunity for corrective action, preferring to concentrate on achieving his party’s forty year dream – a single payer healthcare system which would insure the party’s perpetual power and the ability to influence the personal life of every American citizen. Where other issues were concerned, Obama continued the Bush-era policies on a bolder scale; thus reaffirming the correctness of many of Bush’s positions which were roundly condemned by the democrats.

Putting forth Obama’s vision for his Administration …

The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift. And we will act, not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We’ll restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do.

Fail: President Obama used so-called “stimulus” funds, mostly borrowed from foreign sovereign sources, to channel money to government entities to secure the positions, wages and benefits of unionized government workers; enlarging the size of government rather than adapting to a new budgetary reality of downsizing and austerity.

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A Nation in Crisis (But the Solutions Are There)

by Herman Cain on Monday, August 6th, 2012

This is article 77 of 104 in the topic Preserving America

It’s in my nature to be cheerful and optimistic, and I am optimistic about the future of the United States. But it’s not in my nature to be delusional, and no nation can realize the vision of its most optimistic people if it doesn’t face up to the serious problems confronting it.

A good leader understands and acknowledges when a nation faces serious problems – and offers real solutions to those problems.

Unfortunately, the United States now faces a shockingly large number of big, serious problems and does not have the leadership in place that knows how to fix them – nor is our current leadership even willing to do so. Consequently, as we choose new leadership in this year’s elections, we must be clear about the problems we face and the solutions that are necessary to deal with them. One could argue that we face hundreds of problems, but I believe we will turn the country in the right direction if we focus on the right problems and get them fixed – and they are these:

Economic Stall. Just because we are not technically in a recession doesn’t mean you can call our economic state of affairs a “recovery.” When the growth of our gross domestic product is sputtering along at a pathetic 1.5 percent, we are not recovering. The Obama Administration was pretty excited last week when the new jobs report showed an uptick of 164,000, but it shouldn’t have been. That’s barely more than the number of people entering the work force, and the last two months the figure was about half that. This is why unemployment remains at a historically high 8.3 percent.

The jobs are not there. Why? Not only is the administration committed to anti-business policies today – particularly with the imminent tax increases associated with ObamaCare – but the uncertainty over any number of future policies is killing job growth because businesses are unwilling to make big commitments. They have no idea what’s coming even in the near term.

The solution to this is to make economic growth the nation’s priority, and to eliminate all economic policies that inhibit it. More on that below.

National Security Weakness. If the coming defense sequester happens, we will see $500 billion automatically chopped from the defense budget. And shockingly, that only builds on existing policies of national security weakness. We are already reducing the size of our Naval fleet. We are already seeing rising tension in the Middle East. Unfriendly nations like Russia and Iran have no fear of challenging the United States. Allies like Great Britain and Poland cannot count on us for support, or even to keep commitments we have already made. Israel has no confidence the U.S. will have its back if it becomes necessary to use military force to defend itself.

The solution to this is to prioritize federal budgeting (but then we would need a budget in the first place . . . more on that below) to fulfill the crucial constitutional duty of protecting national security, and to practice clarity in foreign policy so we treat our friends as friends and we let our foes understand that they should fear confronting us.

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The Ball is in Our Court

by Daniel Greenfield on Thursday, June 28th, 2012

This is article 100 of 184 in the topic US Constitution

As the day of judgment approaches, half the country sits waiting for a small group of men and women to decide how many of our civil rights we get to keep. After two flawed decisions that draw not from the Constitution, but from policy and opinion, we wait hopefully for a third opinion that will set us free.

Today the Supreme Court is slightly tilted in our favor, which is to say that it has a few members who believe that the Constitution is more than blotting paper for their opinions, and that individuals and states have rights, rather than just being troublesome cogs in the mighty machine of the national policy apparatus bent on tackling one growing crisis or another.

How long will that tenuous state of affairs endure? Who knows. In the meantime we are caught between an omnipotent executive who believes that he is above the law, an unelected court which includes two of his appointees, one of them his lawyer, and a Congress which does little except spend gargantuan amounts of money. And our best bet is the court, because it is the hardest to bribe and some of its members believe in the law, rather than in the almighty policy ends that justify all means.

When the highest official in the land decided to sell the American people into slavery to insurance companies to get his landmark legislation passed, we took to the streets to protest, we changed the composition of Congress, and here we are waiting for the Supreme Court to decide that maybe we aren’t the property of the Executive Branch, warm bodies to be traded at the slave market of policy to get a bill passed.

147 years after the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, we are back to debating slavery. But it’s not a debate that began today. Everyone who pays taxes can calculate how much time they spend working for their masters in Washington, D.C. How much of their income the serfs are obligated to send home to the barons in the white palaces who will decide how much of it to hand out to their friends and how much of it to use on the endless expenses of government.

Around the same time as the evils of racial slavery were being fought, the building blocks of economic slavery were being hammered together with the Revenue Act of 1861, the first Federal income tax and the first attack on the Constitution, that concluded with the Sixteenth Amendment. One hundred years before the election that brought Obama to power, the Democratic platform called for an income tax, “to the end that wealth may bear its proportionate share of the burdens of the Federal Government”.

The burden has grown vastly since then. It has grown out of all proportion. And to achieve its goals, the government began selling off its assets. Its chief assets are us.

The ObamaCare Mandate is a fairly simple trade between health insurance companies, which largely owe their existence to government tinkering with the health care market, and its government patron. In exchange for giving the government what it wants, the government gives them what they want, us.

Supporters of the Mandate have been legitimately confused by all the protests.

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