Friday, May 30, 2014


[ See my earlier post  below, "Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has Secretive Meeting at White House with President Obama" 5/29/30 about yesterday's not-so-secret Clinton-Obama lunch ]


After the events May 29th and 30th, 2014, both the responsible right-wing press and GOP congressional investigators need to focus part of their Benghazi inquiries or at least a few of their queries on what was said about Benghazi during former Secretary of State Clinton's and President Obama’s not-so-well-kept secret lunch at the White House Thursday.

A key Benghazi portion of Hillary Clinton's soon to be released memoir was given a strategic pre-release to Politico, also sometime this past Thursday. According to some normally pro-Hillary sources, a 34-page chapter entitled “Benghazi: Under Attack.” from her soon-to-be-released book, “Hard Choices,” is Hillary Clinton’s most complete account of the 9/11/12 attack on the U.S. Special Mission (sometimes referred to as "embassy" or "consulate") in Benghazi to date (See e.g., “Exclusive: Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi chapter” by Maggie Haberman, 5/30/14, Politico [];  see also “Hillary Clinton: I won’t play politics with Benghazi” by Anne Gearan & Philip Rucker, 5/30/14, Washington Post []). That particular chapter was a portion of her book that apparently had been released to Politico.

Ken Thomas of the Associated Press gives this take on the early-released portions of Clinton’s book: “Clinton takes responsibility for the loss of life in the attack but writes that there have been ‘a regrettable amount of misinformation, speculation and flat-out deceit’ by some in politics and the media. ***   ‘I will not be a part of a political slugfest on the backs of dead Americans. It's just plain wrong, and it's unworthy of our great country,’ Clinton writes. ‘Those who insist on politicizing the tragedy will have to do so without me.’ ***  Clinton's account of the Benghazi attack is one of the most anticipated sections of her forthcoming book, which will be released June 10 and will describe her four years at the State Department....” ( See “Report: Hillary Clinton defends response to Benghazi” by Ken Thomas, 5/30/14, Associated Press []).

The post in Politico did not publish the entire chapter but quoted heavily from it. Reports indicate that sources close to Mrs. Clinton confirmed that Politicos’s report of the  contents of the chapter are accurate. According to Maggie Haberman’s account in the Politico post cited above, Hillary Clinton says, “...the details of the Benghazi attacks have been clouded ‘in part because of continuing turmoil in Libya. And despite the best efforts of officials from across our government … there will never be perfect clarity on everything that happened. … But that should not be confused with a lack of effort to discover the truth or to share it with the American people.’...”

In addition to the apparent release of the “...Benghazi..” chapter of Hillary Clinton’s book, the Washington Post article made particular note that, “Democratic political operatives, Clinton supporters and foreign policy experts met Friday to coordinate strategy for discussing the Benghazi attacks as Clinton begins the rollout of her book. Longtime Clinton message manager Philippe Reines spoke to the group, which gathered for a “much broader focus on national security, because it has bubbled up as an issue,” according to a participant in the meeting. The participant spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the closed-door session.”

Thus, with the selective release of the main Benghazi part of Secretary Clinton’s book together with the coordinated gathering of Clinton supporters to go over Benghazi talking points today, it is virtually impossible that these matters were not discussed between Mrs. Clinton and President Obama at their lunch yesterday. It was no accident that the unscheduled lunch happened so close in time to the selective rollout of Hillary Clinton’s cleaned-up written version of her Benghazi recollections. It would test credulity for anybody to claim that nothing about Benghazi and what Hillary had written about it, and how that was to be discussed by her supporters, had been discussed over Hillary’s and the President’s luncheon courses.

[THIS POST UPDATED 5/31/14  3:49 AM EDT]

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has Secretive Meeting at White House with President Obama


“Unscheduled” Lunch at the White House on Thursday might have remained a “Secret” but for Tweet by People Magazine’s Sandra Sobieraj Westfall  —   Tweet removed after three minutes, only to be re-posted after lunch was “confirmed” by WH  


There have been several reports of HRC’s WH lunch with POTUS earlier today. According to the Huffington Post, “The lunch was not on the president's public schedule, and had not been acknowledged in any way by the White House.... *** The White House later confirmed the meeting to Roll Call's Steven T. Dennis, the print pool reporter for the day....” ( See “Obama & Hillary Clinton's Lunch Was A Secret Until People Magazine Spilled The Beans” by Mollie Reilly, 5/29/14, Huffington Post []).

A White House official said, "The President enjoyed an informal, private lunch with Secretary Clinton at the White House this afternoon...." However, the official did not offer details on what was discussed at the lunch. Huffpost’s coverage added that a complaint was filed with the president’s Press Secretary Jay Carney over the lack of White House transparency regarding the meeting.

Bloomberg News reported all of it this way: “Hillary Rodham Clinton dropped by the White House today for a private lunch with her former boss, President Barack Obama. ***  The meeting wasn’t on the president’s public schedule and wasn’t announced by the White House. The administration only confirmed the meeting after it was indirectly disclosed in a Tweet by People magazine, which had an interview with the potential 2016 presidential candidate about her new book “Hard Choices” today. ***  The two enjoyed an informal meal, according to a statement released by the White House, which would not release additional details....” (See “Hillary Clinton Slips Into White House for Private Lunch” by Lisa Lerer, Bloomberg News []).

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sure looks like this was a pretty bad week for Grimm !

Grimm's Campaign Manager Bill Cortese  “...leaves the team...”

Are the wheels coming off Grimm’s attempts to win re-election in the face of the well-documented 20-count federal indictment that hangs over him  ---  and nothing but more bad atmospherics all around him as time goes by

Early this week, this is how the NY Daily News’ Washington  reporter Dan Friedman opened his report on the Federal Case against Michael Grimm: “Rep. Michael Grimm calls the case against him a ‘political witch-hunt.’ If that’s true, it looks like a well-documented one. ***  Evidence against Grimm includes texts and emails between Grimm and cooperating witnesses, three years of Grimm’s financial disclosure reports in Congress and tax returns by a former Grimm business partner linked to the Gambino crime family. *** ... Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Capozzolo said the government is turning over more than 7,000 documents and 8,000 emails supporting the charges against Grimm....”  (See “Grimm's Texts, Emails, Financial Disclosures Among Prosecutors' Evidence” by Dan Friedman, 5/20/14, NY Daily News/ Mouth of the Potomac []).

Grimm’s coverage in the Daily News and elsewhere didn’t get any better as the week progressed.

A day after that,  the Daily News reported that, for some unexplained reason, Congressman Michael Grimm maintained some aspects of his under-cover alter-ego long after he had been elected to and had been serving in Congress ( See “Rep. Michael Grimm kept cell phone registered to FBI alter ego 'Mikey Suits' after joining Congress...”  By John Marzulli & Dan Friedman, 5/21/14, NY Daily News []). According to the News report, “Federal documents show Grimm kept a cell phone registered to ‘Michael Garibaldi of Centurian Consulting’ as recently as 2012, when prosecutors sought court order to track his calls....” So far, neither Grimm, his spokesman or his lawyer have responded to questions about why he used the alias more than six years after leaving the FBI — and for at least two years after entering the U.S. House in January 2011. That story had enough legs to continue into the next day, and none of the coverage of the story indicated that anybody has articulated or even suggested a rational or legitimate reason for Grimm to have maintained the active cell phone account of his undercover persona, “Mikey Suits Garibaldi,” after ceasing his undercover assignment many, many years ago, leaving the FBI and beginning his career as a U.S. Congressman (See also “Representative Michael Grimm Just Couldn’t Let Mikey Suits Go” by Caroline Bankoff, 5/22/14, New York Magazine/ Intelligencer []).

Then anybody who wanted to see what an evasive congressman looks like on TV didn’t need to go any further than the video of a “newscaster” named Charlie LeDuff trying to pin down Congressman Grimm for an interview, or at least a comment or two (See “LeDuff: Six degrees of Representative Michael Grimm” by Charlie LeDuff, 5/22/14, My Fox Detroit/ The Americans [] [with video link]). Whether or not this stuff goes viral, it certainly looks bad, bad, bad for Grimm’s campaign going forward.

And earlier today (Friday), there was one of the first indications that the wheels might be coming off of the Grimm campaign completely. The Staten Island Advance reported that “GOP Rep. Michael Grimm's campaign manager has left the team. ***   Guy Molinari, a top advisor to Grimm, on Friday night said that Bill Cortese left the campaign "a few days ago...." (See “GOP Rep. Michael Grimm loses campaign manager” by Tom Wrobleski, 5/23/14, SI Advance/ []).  In response to this news, Guy Molinari is reported to have said that the departure of Cortese after a "couple of months" on the team was not a sign of a campaign in trouble.

On top of all that, the same Wrobleski article in the Advance reported that “The news [about the departure of Grimm’s campaign manager] came the same day as an announcement that the House Ethics Committee had formed an investigative subcommittee to probe Grimm the wake of his 20-count indictment on federal tax evasion and other charges. Friday evening the TV news reported that the U.S. Justice Department asked the Congress to hold any internal investigation of Congressman Grimm in abeyance until after the Justice Department’s prosecution of the Brooklyn and Staten Island Congressman has been completed; and the congressional leadership readily announced that it will hold it up pending completion of the prosecution.

Even if the wheels haven’t come off the Grimm campaign completely yet, at this moment they are very wobbly, indeed.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Kassar’s Observations about Memorial Day 2014 — An example of Deconstruction and Deracination

A long time ago Memorial Day was kidnapped and reprogrammed so that we forget its original purpose  —   Remembrance of the Civil War Dead and the Civil War itself

The evidence just keeps mounting that people like Jerry Kassar and his so-called Conservative Party have nothing to do with conservatism at all  —   he and his ilk are no more than the faux right wing of a vast liberal establishment that wants to obliterate an America that practices its traditional values. Kassar’s “Common Sense” column this week is another pile of such evidence (See “COMMON SENSE: The Gold Star pin” by Jerry Kassar, 5/20/14, Home Reporter/ Spectator []).  Anybody who might have been moved, influenced or informed by Kassar’s column about a few contemporary or recent Memorial Day observances is completely deracinated   —   they don’t know their history; and as a result, they have a false consciousness of the society around them and how it got that way.

Kassar starts out by giving a little history lesson about the “Gold Star Pin,” something that began in 1947, giving a little footnote to the WW II “Gold Star Mothers.” Then there is the BIG LIE in Kassar’s column for this week: “The pin itself is small but distinctive. If you encounter an individual wearing the star, you will notice it. In all likelihood if you attend the Kings County Memorial Day Parade you will see more than a few. ***  I hope all will respect and honor those families wearing the pin. Memorial Day is truly about these families.”  With one feel-good phrase, "Memorial Day is truly about these families," Kassar is flushing a huge piece of our national history and national consciousness down the drain. But he didn’t stop there.

Kassar then turned his telescope wrong-way-round and looked at a local MIA-flag ceremony, largely conducted at the behest of – and as a PR move by  –  his Brooklyn Conservative Party, as if it should be a major aspect of a real American’s Memorial Day.  It isn’t, and it needn’t be; Memorial Day is so much bigger than that.

In any case, the underlying premise of the MIA-flag ceremony as conducted by Kassar’s Conservatives does not ring soundly on any note.  His/ Their message vis a vis our MIAs is that “We Shall Never Forget.” My riposte to that vague and hollow remark is very simple —   “Why should anybody believe you ?   You clearly have forgotten so much already.”

For the purpose of this post, I’ll focus on what Kassar seems to have forgotten about Memorial Day as it traditionally has been celebrated in America. Memorial Day originated in several locales during and shortly after the American Civil War. Initially, “nationally” celebrated on May 30th as “Decoration Day” after 1868, the holiday for decorating graves evolved into a more widely-celebrated event. Even though Memorial Day parades and celebrations eventually became commonplace, the holiday was not universally embraced at its inception  –  inasmuch as the “Decoration Day” was initially intended to honor Union dead during their service in the Grand Army of the Republic. Even now, some formerly Confederate states retain days for separately honoring Confederate soldiers that died in the conflict.

Over time, acceptance of Memorial Day, as a single holiday, broadened until it became the principal national day of remembrance. In 1882, the term "Memorial Day" first came into use, however it was not widely accepted until after World War II. The holiday remained focused on the Civil War until just after World War I, when it was expanded to include those Americans who had fallen in all the country’s conflicts. With this expansion, many of the Southern states that had refused to take part prior to the era of the World Wars began to observe the day.

Memorial Day should be kept in its proper historical prospective.  The special status of the Civil War dead must remain paramount on this national holiday.  America’s bloodiest war  —  The Civil War  —   was a war that this nation waged against itself for reasons that are convoluted and controversial even to this day.  Whatever it was that fueled and started the Civil War, there were more “war dead” from that war than all of Americas’s other conflicts combined (it also remains as the single largest producer of military casualties in our history). The lingering results of that war are still a great festering national sore that might yet destroy this country. Unless Americans learn as much as they can about their greatest internal upheaval, they will never be able to deal with all of the residue, effluence  and effluvium of that conflict, some of which still afflicts this nation to its core.

People like Kassar, who look and only see the hoopla of those waving flags for the fallen of recent wars, hurt true American conservatives who urge their fellow citizens to take a look with a longer view of their holidays and their history.

I’m sure there will be more to say about all of this when Kassar gives us his views about The Fourth of July.

Friday, May 16, 2014

If Hillary Rodham Clinton wants to be President of the United States, there must be full disclosure of all relevant medical records

Full Disclosure of Hillary Clinton’s 2012 illness(es), including a fall, a concussion, a blood clot and a 4-day hospitalization; and in 2013, her six month recovery to get over a very serious condition is a VERY BIG  DEAL   

KARL ROVE STILL SAYS  —   Hillary Clinton suffered  “a serious health episode” in 2012 and needs to be more forthcoming about it  —  Rove originally had mentioned Hillary Clinton’s public appearances wearing thick glasses indicated  a “traumatic brain injury” 

BILL CLINTON RESPONDS  —   Says “there's nothing to” Karl Rove’s claims, but then added that his wife Hillary's concussion “required six months of very serious work to get over....  It’s something she never low-balled with the American people, never tried to pretend it didn’t happen.” 


There is no dispute that Secretary of State Clinton was hospitalized for a “blood clot” which was discovered after a fall that caused “a concussion,” followed by her appearances in public wearing therapeutic eyeglasses with very thick lenses  —   There is a dispute as to the period of Mrs, Clinton’s disability and the time required for her recovery

Karl Rove is still asserting that it is apparent Hillary Clinton suffered "a serious health episode" in 2012; and that if Clinton runs for president in 2016, "she is going to have to be forthcoming" about the details of where, how and when it happened (See “Rove on Hillary Clinton: ‘Of course she doesn’t have brain damage’” by Karen Tumulty, 5/13/14, Washington Post []). That article goes on to state that was Karl Rove’s position that Hillary Clinton “didn't feign illness" when she failed to show up for early congressional hearings concerning Benghazi (an absence that some other conservative commentators called Clinton’s "Benghazi flu."  It had been reported that Rove recently made remarks raising the former Secretary of State’s health when he spoke at a conference in Los Angeles on Thursday May 8th.   Rove made special mention of contemporary reports that Clinton had suffered a blood clot after a fall in December 2012. Rove also made these a rhetorical points: “Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that.”

Tumulty’s Washington Post article pointed out that earlier news reports had indicated that Secretary Clinton was hospitalized for three days, not 30; and that the Secretary of State was admitted to New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center for a blood clot that developed after a fall from dehydration related to a stomach virus, according to Clinton aides and hospital officials. The New York Times gave a detailed report on the “blood clot” when Mrs. Clinton was released from  New York-Presbyterian/Columbia hospital (See “Clinton Out of Hospital After Treatment for Clot” by Denise Grady & Mark Landler, 1/2/13
[]).  According to this Times report, “Mrs. Clinton, 65, was admitted to NewYork-Presbyterian /Columbia hospital on Sunday after a scan discovered the blood clot. The scan was part of her follow-up care for a concussion she sustained more than two weeks earlier, when she fainted and fell, striking her head. According to the State Department, the fainting was caused by dehydration, brought on by a stomach virus. The concussion was diagnosed on Dec. 13, though the fall had occurred earlier that week. ***  The clot was potentially serious, blocking a vein that drains blood from the brain....”


According to the UK’s Daily Mail, former President Bill Clinton brought out on Wednesday that it took former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton “six months of very serious work” in the first half of 2013 to recover from a fainting spell in December 2012 that resulted in a  concussion and blood clot. The former president also said that her long recovery was “something she never low-balled....” However, the information asserted by Bill Clinton during his Wednesday interview contradicts prior State Department's PR statements made immediately after the conclusion of Hillary's treatment in January 2013. It was on Clinton's first day back in the office on January 7th that State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. “...[J]udging by the woman we saw this morning and the workload that she’s got she seems to be fully recovered....” ( See “Bill Clinton reveals it took Hillary 'six months of very serious work to get over' her concussion after accident - so why did State Department claim that she 'fully recovered' a month later” by Francesca Chambers, 5/15/14, Mail Online []).

Former President Clinton’s remarks on behalf of his wife received similar treatment from other news organizations, including ABC News and The Daily Caller (See “Hillary Clinton Took 6 Months to ‘Get Over’ Concussion, Bill Says of Timeline” by Mary Bruce & Dana Hughes, 5/14/14, ABC News / The Note []; “Hillary Clinton took 6 months to get over ‘terrible concussion’ but she’s totally fine, Bill Clinton swears” by Eric Owens, 5/15/14, Daily Caller []). Both ABC News and The Daily Caller detailed how Mr. Clinton’s comments contradicted the earlier statements by the State Department.


This is how the NY Times put it when Mrs. Clinton was released from the hospital: “The news of her release was the first welcome sign in a troubling month that grounded Mrs. Clinton — preventing her from answering questions in Congress about the State Department’s handling of the lethal attack on an American mission in Libya or being present when President Obama announced Senator John Kerry as his choice for her successor when she steps down as secretary of state....” ( See “Clinton Out of Hospital After Treatment for Clot” by Denise Grady and Mark Landler, 1/2/13, NY Times []). This article by “NY Timesmen” Brady and Landler goes to great lengths in providing the full context of  Secretary of State Clinton’s physical condition, the current diagnosis and the possible causes of her [ up to that time] month-long affliction, and her prognosis going forward. (Note: For related information, also see the detailed “Time Line” provided in the ABC News article cited above).

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bay Ridge Blogger and Political Activist Jamie Kemmerer Reported to be Ready to Run Against Marty Golden

Worst news possible for State Senator Golden  —  anti-corruption Democrat activist ready to go at Golden’s Achilles’ Heal  —   “pay to play” donations from special interests and other corrupt practices

According to the local Brooklyn blogger-reporter Ned Berke, “Political activist and executive director of the Bay Ridge Democrats, Jamie Kemmerer, will formally announce his bid to represent the 22nd District in the State Senate on Monday, challenging 12-year Republican incumbent Marty Golden for his seat.... ( See “Confirmed: Democrat Jamie Kemmerer To Challenge State Senator Marty Golden” by Ned Berke, 5/9/14, Sheepshead Bites []; the same post by Ned Berke also appeared in the Bensonhurst Bean []).

Mr. Berke’s report was a specific confirmation of what had been earlier reported by Nick Powell on a city-wide blog,  City & State (See “SEN. GOLDEN MAY HAVE A CHALLENGER, by Nick Powell, 5/8/14, City & State []). Nick Powell clearly thinks that once it heats up, this will be a very hot race; here’s what Powell thinks some of it going to be about: “Kemmerer made some waves in February after accusing Golden of “money laundering” by spending large amounts of campaign contributions at his brother’s catering hall in Bay Ridge. It is safe to say there could be more barbs thrown on both sides should Kemmerer make his candidacy official.”


In December 2013, Mr. Kemmerer did a post about the Moreland Commission’s preliminary report on corrupt practices among our state representatives ( See “Statement on Moreland Commission Preliminary Report ....” by Jamie Kemmerer, 12/3/13, []). In that post, Kemmerer noted that: “Yesterday the Moreland Commission released it's preliminary report on public corruption in New York. The commission has indicated that it has "discovered criminality", but that the real crime is that much of the corruption they have discovered is completely legal. The commission notes in the preliminary report: ‘What we can describe, though, is deplorable conduct, some of it perfectly legal yet profoundly wrong; some of it potentially illegal — and, indeed, this Commission will make appropriate criminal referrals at such time as it deems appropriate....’ ***   “.... We are pleased to hear that an overwhelming majority of the Moreland commissioners has reached the same conclusion that the majority of New Yorkers have already reached, that a Fair Elections system that gets big money out of our political process is the only way to end the systemic corruption."

An earlier post by Jamie Kammerer specifically tied the kind of “legal corruption” described by the Moreland Commissioners to State Senator Golden ( See “The Golden Egg Is Not For You –
How Money In Politics Drives Politicians To Do Strange Things In Far Away Places” by Jamie Kemmerer, 10/8/13, []). That blog posting by Kemmerer started out like this: “If you haven’t heard or seen the coverage, State Senator Marty Golden is involved in another corruption scandal. The current scandal goes like this [lists several bullet points about how real estate developers turned hundreds of thousands in donations to NYS Senator Golden into multi-millions in Golden-supported tax breaks]”   A Bay Ridge Democrat leader has specifically said that more of the same can be expected during  – and even as an essential part of –  Kemmerer’s campaign for the state senate seat now held by Golden.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Is Jerry Kassar running on empty ?

Another column by the Brooklyn Conservative Party Chairman shows that there is no conservative "there"  –  there

Where to begin, where to begin....  Just take a look at this week’s “Common Sense” column in The Home Reporter  —  what an immature hodge-podge lodge of incompletely stated premises and weakly implied policy conclusions (See “Common Sense: Protecting jobs” by Jerry Kassar, 5/6/14, Home Reporter/ Spectator []).

The title and the first item in Kassar’s column deals with legislative efforts aimed at “Protecting Jobs” –  in the horse carriage industry  –  now, there’s a worthy conservative crusade (So it goes in the world of Marty Golden hackdom ! ). Whether one agrees with Mayor deBlasio’s war on carriage horses, or not, this is a matter properly open to local debate and subject to local control.  However, in the name of saving 300 jobs in the so-called “horse carriage industry,” Kassar, an obviously lost and benighted conservative, is supportive of legislative efforts in Albany to take the issue away from NYC municipal control and make it a matter of state law.  I especially liked how Kassar seems to be endorsing this: “The second bill, introduced by Democratic Assemblymember Gary Pretlow of Mount Vernon, essentially provides the industry with state protections which would significantly reduce the city’s ability to effect any changes.”  Brilliant ! What a conservative !

Next up is Kassar’s testimonial to his boss’s proposal to spend more of our money on a growing “security state”....  Specifically, Kassar is touting “ legislation that allows for a number of new speed cameras to be operated during school hours around some schools in the city. The Golden amendment would require that any ticket revenue be used strictly for public safety. That could mean more cops and equipment to keep us safe.”  Hmm, more cameras, more revenue, more cops and equipment to keep us safe....; I’m sure it will all work out just like that.

Kassar’s rant against proposed NYC  IDs apparently is inconsistent with conservative security and voter ID proposals across the country. Other than a few vague mentions concerning giving services to “illegals” and/or  how the proposed IDs might be used by terrorists, Kassar doesn’t explain how the NYC ID proposals are different from those advanced by conservative Republicans across the country.

Lastly, can anybody make out what Kassar is talking about when it comes to “The NYPD ... hashtag #myNYPD...” and the blame being on “...the public... not... the NYPD” ?  Kassar is no clearer with his criticisms of and/or compliments to Police Commissioner Bratton.

Taken as a whole, Kassar’s outlook lately has been notably not very conservative. His most recent column shows that as far a conservatism is concerned, it’s now fair to observe that Kassar is running on empty.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Even though Hillary Clinton indicates that she is SATISFIED that she knows what happened at Benghazi — House of Representatives votes to empanel Select Committee

Democrats still confused and undecided as to how to respond to Select Committee, and whether to participate in the process going forward to continue the investigation of the 9/11/12 anniversary terrorist attack and American tragedy

Did Hillary Clinton actually say that she is ABSOLUTELY SATISFIED that she knows what happened at Benghazi ?  Of course, that’s from the very same person who had said, “What difference does it make....”

The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to establish a select committee on Benghazi by a vote of 232-186 to approve the select committee. The vote breakdown was 225 Republicans and 7 Democrats in favor of the measure, with 186 Democrats voting against.

As a result of the vote, the House is formally launching a comprehensive investigation aimed at answering lingering and contentious questions about what happened before, during and after the terror attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. All prior House hearings had been held by individual committees, like Darrell Issa’s Government Oversight Committee with limited authority, purview and staff, complicated and limiting procedures, and a full plate of other matters to deal with.

The disclosure of the Rhodes email/memo pursuant to an outside FOIL request and subsequent litigation by Judicial Watch was the principal impetus of House Speaker Boehner’s decision to empanel a select committee to investigate Benghazi.


“During a Q&A session held at the Ford Foundation in New York City, ABC News' Robin Roberts asked former secretary of state Hillary Clinton about the Benghazi attacks: ‘Were you satisfied with the answers and are you content with what you know what happened?’ ” Nodding her head “yes,” Hillary Clinton’s verbal answer was an enthusiastic  “ABSOLUTELY !” (See “Hillary Clinton: No reason for Benghazi investigation to continue” by Jaime Fuller, 5/7/14, Washington Post [][with videolink to ABC interview by Robin Roberts]).

Maggie Haberman writing in Politico puts it a little differently; “Hillary Clinton said Wednesday she is “absolutely” confident that questions about the Benghazi terror attacks have been answered as a congressional select committee was formed for another probe into what happened....” ( See “Hillary Clinton: Benghazi questions answered” by Maggie Haberman, 5/7/14, Politico []).

Hillary Clinton’s response to Robin Roberts on the Benghazi issue included the following remarks: “...  Of course, there are a lot of reasons why — despite all the hearings (and) all the information that’s been provided — some choose not to be satisfied,” Clinton said. “That’s their choice and I do not believe there is any reason for it to continue in this way. But they get to call the shots in this Congress.”

CNN’s Don Lemon has on-air meltdown over imagined “Dog Whistle” slight to FLOTUS Michelle Obama by conservative commentator

Lemon blew up at Will Cain of  “The Blaze,” who had decried society’s “ outrage on television” and “ hashtag activism on Twitter...” 

It ended up with Cain claiming that  —   “I have been painted in an unfair and inaccurate light....  The only person that invoked [Michelle Obama] today was Don Lemon, not me.”

“CNN anchor Don Lemon lost his cool  on Thursday when he thought a guest on Ashleigh Banfield's “Legal View” criticized Michelle Obama for doing ‘cheap hashtag activism’ when she joined the #BringBackOurGirls movement on social media on Wednesday....” (See “CNN's Don Lemon Explodes at The Blaze's Will Cain Over Michelle Obama ‘Cheap Activism’ Comments...” by Greg Gillman, 5/8/14, The Wrap – Covering Hollywood [][with video link to CNN of incident]).  According to Mr. Gillman’s article, a panel that included Don Lemon and Will Cain on the CNN cable news program “Legal View” with Ashleigh Banfield was actually discussing a new Vanity Fair article by Monica Lewinsky when Mr. Cain called the infamous presidential mistress “a cheap punchline” in the media and then went on to discuss his larger frustration with how the public reacts to issues like the Lewinsky article and the abduction of the school girls in Nigeria. (Read more at  “CNN Anchor Flips Out, Rashly Accuses Conservative Guest of 'Dog Whistle' Insult” by Matt Hadro, 5/8/14, NewsBusters [].)

Late Thursday morning, a shouting match ensued on CNN after Cain, who is a conservative commentator for “The Blaze,” merged the Lewinsky story with that of the hundreds of girls kidnapped in Nigeria when he said that in the current environment, Americans were guilty of cheap outrage on TV and cheap hashtag activism on Twitter, adding that the U.S. government should “make its policy outside of Twitter.”

Lemon really was set off when Cain made this remark in response to another panelist on the show: “I'm telling you that putting a tweet up with a hashtag on it, you didn't do your duty today....”  To which Lemon reacted with this line: “That's disgusting to say about over 200 girls.... What do you expect the first lady to do?”

Lemon continued going at Cain with lines like these:  “What have you done? What did you do for those girls? What did you do personally for them? If you're so outraged by it, what have you done? Besides sit here on television and criticized other people's efforts, if you're so concerned about it, what have you done? ***  That's disgusting to say about over 200 girls.... What do you expect the first lady to do?”

Cain, pushed back with this:  “I said society had gotten cheap.... We do cheap outrage on television, we do cheap hashtag activism on Twitter … Every single person, Don! It's a meme. I didn't say anything about the first lady! You did!”

After that Lemon wouldn't let it go and went on —   "... I just think what he said was a dog whistle for to say, – oh, putting up –  you're talking about the First Lady. Don't get on television on CNN and...   I'm not stupid and I've been on television with you before and I know your game. That's what you're talking about...."

For a CNN panel like they were on together yesterday, maybe Cain was being too clever; maybe Lemon was being too sensitive;  maybe both.....


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

True Blue Democrats trying to build “Blue Wall” around Obama and Clinton over Benghazi

Main Stream Media continues not to “Get It” about Benghazi  —  Republicans are after Obama and Clinton, not because they “politicized” the post-Benghazi talking points; it’s because they LIED about Benghazi from the get-go

The Benghazi lies undermine Obama’s claim of legitimacy in the 2012 election; and equally important, any claim that Hillary Clinton might make in 2016 that she can be trusted by the American people or that she did a good job as Obama’s Secretary of State through 2012

Even as news percolates over certain redacted Benghazi e-mails that were recently turned over to Judicial Watch, some of which apparently containing details being held back by the White House because those details  involve “executive deliberation,” the hub-bub in the House is whether Democrat members will participate or boycott the recently announced “Select Committee” on Benghazi.

At Waterloo, Napoleon’s soldiers largely wore blue uniforms as they arrayed their units to fend off the attacks by the Wellington-led forces that were attempting to finally neutralize their beleaguered leader. In much the same way, most true-blue Democrats at all levels are fighting any further inquiries into all of the questions swirling around what happened in and around Benghazi on 9/11/12, and what was done about Benghazi at the White House and the State Department that night and ever since. Specifically, they are digging-in to oppose any efforts by House Speaker John Boehner to establish a Select House Committee on Benghazi to be headed by Trey Goudy (R-SC).

One of the Democrats’ early obstructive tactics is House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s  demand for equal Democrat representation on the select committee as a condition of their “bi-partisan” participation in the process, even though they are clearly the minority party in the House of Representatives  (See “Democrats request equal representation on Benghazi committee” by Bradley Klapper, 5/6/14, PBS News Hour/ AP []).  At around the same time the “Number Two Democrat” in congress, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, announced "We will urge members to vote 'no' on it...." (See “House Democrats to oppose Benghazi select committee” by Susan Davis, 5/5/14, USA Today []).

Needless to say, it would have been predictable that there would be some Democrat pushback on House Speaker Boehner’s announcement that he was finally going to get behind the formation of a House Select Committee on all the Benghazi related issues. However, when there was a call for a boycott by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., during an interview on "Fox News Sunday," —  "I think it's a colossal waste of time," said Schiff, also a member of the intelligence panel. "I don't think it makes sense, really, for Democrats to participate...."  —  Republicans were quick to engage on that gambit.  Long Island Republican Peter King was quick to pushback on Democrat Schiff’s pushback:  "If Democrats boycott this committee, refuse to take part, the American people are going to conclude, and I think quite rightly, that they feel [Democrats collectively] have something to hide...."  (See “GOP Rep. King blasts Dem rep’s ‘arrogant’ call to boycott Benghazi probe” by Fox News, 5/4/14 [

Thus the battle lines are drawn with Republicans saying that at the time of the Benghazi attacks on 9/11/12 the White House primarily was most interested in protecting Obama in the final weeks of his re-election campaign; the Obama Administration was lax in the run-up to the 9/11/12 attacks on the “Benghazi Mission,” in spite of ample warnings of extreme danger; and following the attacks that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including a U.S. Ambassador, several high level officials (possibly including President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) misled the nation. Furthermore, several Republicans in the House Leadership have accused the administration of stonewalling congressional investigations and investigators ever since. Most recently, GOP congressmen are pointing to emails written by administration officials in the days immediately after the attack, but released to Judicial Watch only last week  ---  these e-mails differ from what had earlier been turned over pursuant to House of Representative subpoenas..

For its part the Obama administration has denied and continues to deny any wrongdoing. It’s closely aligned allies, the Democrats in Congress, also say that no evidence suggests officials did anything but try to provide the public with the best information available. For the most part the Democrats in the Congress and in the Obama Administration have presented a united front accusing Republicans of trying to generate a scandal to drum up political support, and to target former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the clear front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.


This is what the MSM wants everybody to take away from the current state of the Benghazi “tragedy” ( I’m comfortable using the word “scandal,” but most in the MSM aren’t there yet): “What happened in Benghazi, Libya, was a tragedy -- not a scandal. And no amount of Republican witch hunting or wishful thinking will make it otherwise. ***  Now a new e-mail "reveals" what was already plainly known, that the White House participated in crafting talking points in the aftermath of attacks in Libya and around the globe. Republicans claim the White House "politicized" the talking points. The irony, of course, is that Republicans have been desperate to politicize Benghazi from day one.... ***   The facts on Benghazi simply do not undercut the Obama administration, but that won't stop Republicans from digging for mud..” (See e.g., “A guide to GOP's Benghazi obsession” by Sally Kohn, 5/6/14, CNN Opinion []).

Other progressive pundits would take the diversion in another direction, something like this: “...[T]he new select committee is more an effort to gain control over “internal party bickering” marring efforts to probe Benghazi than anything else (parroting Democrat Congressman Elijah Cummings). ***  Now, in order to believe that the failure to turn up the latest emails is a sign investigators were not “getting the job done,” you have to also believe that the new emails actually amount to evidence of serious wrong-doing. But... there’s not much that’s new or serious there. The real story here may be that GOP investigators are not “getting the job done” because thus far, it is not clear that there is any job to get done. ***  Of course, if the real goal is keeping the base enraged for six more months, right through election day, then the new select committee will probably get it done just fine....” ( See “Morning Plum: The real reason for that new GOP Benghazi probe” by Greg Sergent, 5/6/14, Washington Post/ The Plum Line []).

Others weave a more complex argument that Benghazi-mania afflicts the GOP because it feels so good bash the Democrats with something whose explanations are not readily understood and are easily rejected by most doctrinaire Republicans. For example David Korn said, “The latest outbreak of Benghazi-mania on the right shows the virus is only growing more resistant to reason.” (See “Why There Is No Cure for the GOP's Benghazi Fever” by David Korn, 5/2/14, Mother Jones []).  Among many other detailed nuances, Korn concluded by writing this: “For Obama's political foes, the Benghazi narrative—that is, their reality-challenged version of it—offers too much benefit to be abandoned. It serves three fundamental desires of the right. The get-Obama crusaders have long wanted to show that the president is just another weak-on-defense Democrat, to demonstrate that he is not a real American worthy of being president, and to uncover an explosive scandal that eviscerates Obama's presidency and provides cause for impeachment. Benghazi, in their feverish minds, has had the potential to do all of this. It is a candy store for many conservatives—no matter that the bins are empty. They will not—cannot—let it go. Nor can they simply focus on the real issues of what went wrong that dreadful night and what must be done to prevent another such disaster. They are love-sick for Benghazi. And for that, there is no cure.”

What Kohn, Sergent and Korn are all saying is that the only thing that is involved in the continued investigation of Benghazi is more political spin on the same old story by the Republicans in the House. What terrifies the Left is that there is much more involved.

Everybody knows what the GOP controlled House of Representatives is trying to prove  —   that both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knowingly LIED to the American people about Benghazi in advance of the 2012 election.  Furthermore, Republicans are trying to show that from the outset both the President and the Secretary of State used the full power and resources of the White House and State Department, along with various other Executive Branch departments, to orchestrate a cover-up of all negative aspects surrounding the occurrence(s) in and around Benghazi on September 11th, 2012.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Does the “Ben Rhodes Memo” prove that the White House was orchestrating the Benghazi cover-up from the beginning ? — YEAH ! PRETTY MUCH IT DOES....

“Four Americans lost their lives in Benghazi, and this White House has gone to extraordinary lengths to mislead, obstruct, and obscure what actually took place....”  U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner

“...[I]t is now abundantly clear that senior White House staff were directly involved in coordinating the messaging in response to the Benghazi attacks and were actively working to tie the reason to the infamous Internet video, which they knew from the CIA and others was demonstrably false. In short, the administration, specifically the White House, lied about a matter with direct bearing on U.S. national security in order to influence an electoral outcome."  —  Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Va.)

For a moment, however brief it was, even the New York Times had to sound like a Rupert Murdoch rag when it came to describing a memo used for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s prep for her “Benghazi appearances” on the Sunday morning news shows: “WASHINGTON — A newly released email shows that White House officials sought to shape the way Susan E. Rice, then the ambassador to the United Nations, discussed the Middle East chaos that was the context for the attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012....  ( See “Email Suggests White House Strategy on Benghazi” by Michael D. Shear, 4/30/14, NY [] [A version of this article appears in print on May 1, 2014, on page A8 of the New York edition of the Times with the same headline as the post]).

The NY Times article/post cited above, went on to state: “The email dated Sept. 14, 2012, from Benjamin J. Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser, to Ms. Rice was obtained by the conservative group Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request. The subject of the email was: ‘PREP CALL with Susan.’ ***  That email was sent ahead of Ms. Rice’s appearance on several Sunday morning news talk programs three days after the attacks that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including J. Christopher Stevens, the ambassador to Libya.... ***   Earlier emails had documented the concern among White House and other administration officials about talking points produced by the Central Intelligence Agency about the Benghazi incident. The email sent by Mr. Rhodes and released on Wednesday had not been part of the previous batch of documents [earlier provided to Congress in connection with their hearings on Benghazi] .”

However, Mr. Shear, the Timesman who wrote the article, also devoted several paragraphs of his article in the Times to the first iteration of the White House’s explanation as to why the Rhodes memo had not been provided earlier: “Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, dismissed the new email as irrelevant, saying that the subject of the advice from Mr. Rhodes in the email was not about Benghazi, but rather about the protests that were taking place across the Middle East at the time. *** ‘This document, as I said, was explicitly not about Benghazi but about the general dynamic in the Arab, or in the Muslim world, at the time,’ Mr. Carney told reporters. ‘This was part of our effort to explain our views, both as a matter of policy and as a matter of what was happening on the ground with regards to the protests that were underway around the region.’ ***   Mr. Carney said the email from Mr. Rhodes was not included with the prior batch of documents because it was not directly about the Benghazi attack....”

At least one national observer at the Washington Post has pointed out that  “The White House damage control on the latest batch of Benghazi emails is not going well. The White House’s belated release of the documents at the very least show[s] it has been actively evading legitimate congressional requests for relevant information....” (See “The worst excuse ever: The Rhodes memo debacle” by Jennifer Rubin, 5/1/14, Washington Post []). After giving a full report with a detailed time line concerning the actions and statements by the Obama Administration following the 9/11/12 attack on the “U.S. Mission” in Benghazi, resulting in the death of a U.S. Ambassador and three other Americans, Ms. Rubin concludes that  —  Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes is quite unlikely to be the sole author of a narrative like this. As deputy national security adviser, he certainly would have either gotten the word top-down from higher White House authority; or at very least, he would have conferred with his superiors before using the memo to prep the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.,  Susan Rice, so that she would go out on five national news broadcasts to sell the bogus explanation for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi.

Clearly, congressional inquiries into the White House’s involvement in all things Benghazi aren’t going to end with the turnover of the Rhodes memo  —   in fact, the release of the un-redacted Rhodes memo is just the beginning of a new series of inquiries into the who, what, where and why involving the White House staff during the Benghazi attacks as they were occurring; and the early and later statements, and releases of information by the Administration about the attacks and related matters.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Is Congressman Grimm really toast ? If so, WHAT KIND OF TOAST ?

Brooklyn’s Most Quoted  Republican Consultant says “GRIMM IS TOAST” 

Is Grimm “TOAST” as a fully supported GOP candidate, or “TOAST” as a Congressman, or BOTH

In the middle of the week, Staten Island’s leading political reporter Tom Wrobleski did a bit of “Point – Couner-point” between Democrat consultant Hank Scheinkopf and Republican consultant Jerry O’Brien. One of the oddities of the debate is that it was Scheinkopf, the Democrat, who was the one trying to sell the notion that Michael Grimm might readily survive the 20-count indictment and sweep to a re-election victory in his November election contest with Dominick Recchia (See “As GOP Rep. Michael Grimm looks to shore up Washington support, experts differ over impact of indictment” by Tom Wrobleski, 4/30/14, SI Advance [;|]). For his part, Mr. O’Brien was unequivocal  —   "It pretty much kills [Grimm]....  I think the tide has turned. This was a close race for him before the indictment. It's almost an impossible one now," O'Brien said.

Many Republicans in Brooklyn, most important being those residing in Grimm’s district, agree with Mr. O’Brien.

Based upon the formal notice of the upcoming Brooklyn GOP Executive Committee Meeting sent out by the Secretary of the Brooklyn GOP  [DATE:  Monday, May 5, 2014  ***  TIME:   7:00 PM *** PLACE:  Republican County H.Q.  (7620 17th Avenue)], the whole Grimm matter will be fully aired. Some advisers to Brooklyn GOP Chairman Craig Eaton have argued that he needs to get in front of this by formally declaring his  >>> NON-SUPPORT <<< for Congressman Grimm going forward in 2014; and pressing for some methodology to substitute another candidate on the GOP line. A key Republican consultant doesn’t think that Eaton is there yet; and at least one wag who recently had discussed the matter with that consultant opined that  —  “Eaton never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity."

In any case, tomorrow’s Brooklyn GOP Executive Committee meeting will go a long way toward seeing whether GRIMM IS TOAST EVEN INSIDE THE GOP.

Arguments are also being made that Grimm is "TOAST" on a national and/or historical scale (See "Worst Week in Washington *** A weekly award honoring inhabitants of Planet Beltway *** Who had the worst week in Washington? Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.)." by By 5/2/14, Washington Post []). In giving Congressman Grimm this tongue-in-cheek "award,"  Chris Cillizza gave this as his testimonial to the congressman  —   "... for turning your congressional career into a future FBI case study, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something."