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Tom Price, a Republican congressman from Georgia, will not run for the U.S. Senate next year. Price told the Marietta Daily Journal that his “assessment at this point is the House is the battleground for politics in this country right now” and he will seek sixth term for his metro Atlanta House seat.
David Gelernter is professor of computer science at Yale and the author, most recently, of America-Lite: How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture (and Ushered in the Obamacrats). He wrote “Why do we live in America-Lite?” for us, briefly summarizing the themes of the book.
Professor Gelernter returned to expand on the themes of his book in “What keeps this failed president above water?” and in “Don’t say we didn’t warn you (or dammit, wake up!).” Today he turns to the subject of Benghazi:
Obviously President Obama and Hillary Clinton are on trial—not before a court, but in the minds of thoughtful people everywhere. It appears (given the limited evidence we have so far) that they were grossly negligent before Benghazi, criminally incompetent that night of the attack, and then that they aided and abetted a conspiracy to lie about the murders—all for the obvious political reasons and because Obama and Clinton (and nearly all their leftist friends) believe that Americans are stone-stupid. But the real trial deals with other suspects.
It is the Democratic Party that’s on trial today; and to a lesser extent, America’s mainstream media. For Democrats (and especially Democratic senators) it is put-up-or-shut-up time: are they Democrats or Americans first? Obviously their first instinct was to defend the Democratic administration. Republicans would have done the same. But starting with the Hayes story on the Rice propaganda points (and the neo-Soviet process that turned them from truth to lies), and then the Issa hearing Wednesday (and a recent ABC news piece focusing again on the phonied-up talking points), no honest observer can fail to suspect this administration of doing unspeakable things. It is Congress’s duty to find out the truth.
How would Republicans act if a GOP administration were under this sort of cloud? We know exactly how. It was the radically partisan Edward Kennedy who proposed that a senate select committee investigate Watergate—but in February 1973, the Senate voted unanimously to create that committee. Republican Senator Howard Baker was vice chairman, and asked the key question: ”What did the president know and when did he know it?” Which Democratic senator will ask that question today, now that the issue isn’t breaking-and-entering but lying about four murders, including the murder of an American ambassador? Which cabinet member will be Eliot Richardson and resign rather than continuing to be part of a coverup? Will John Kerry rise to the challenge?
Of course Watergate was a shot-in-the-arm for the American left, which has run US culture (run it into the ground) ever since the Cultural Revolution that turned the country upside down during the post-World War II generation. Will the bottomless arrogance and incompetence of the Obama administration—and the rising tide of Benghazigate—energize American conservatives the same way? Probably. But today we are investigating four brutal murders that were intended precisely as an act of war against the United States; and the Democratic party is on trial for its life. The rest is small potatoes next to that.
Rand Paul: “When I took Hillary Rodham Clinton to task in January for the mishandling of security in Benghazi, Libya…”
Steve Hayes takes a detailed look at the scenario that led to the scrubbing of the CIA’s Benghazi talking points to delete terrorism references and focus on the “non-event” video. Hayes’ rendition is consistent with what we’ve been saying for some time now — the State Department pushed for the talking points to be changed to cover up its pre-Benghazi malfeasance and the White House concurred, presumably to help re-elect Obama.
The CIA sent out the original, valid talking points on Friday evening to top Obama administration officials. Forty-five minutes after receiving them, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland expressed concerns about their contents, particularly the likelihood that members of Congress would criticize the State Department for “not paying attention to Agency warnings.”
The quick response by a Clinton functionary shows that Clinton and her top advisers had planned ahead and were prepared to push for a revisionist story.
CIA officials responded with a new draft, stripped of all references to Ansar al Sharia. But this wasn’t enough for Hillary Clinton’s team. Thus, Nuland responded with an email stating that the changes do not “resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership.” (emphasis added)
Team Obama’s high-level national security adviser Ben Rhodes must have recognized that the State Department’s goal of avoiding congressional criticism was consistent with Obama’s political goals. Thus, he told those in the email group that Nuland had raised valid concerns. He added that the issues would be resolved at a meeting of the National Security Council’s Deputies Committee the following morning. The Deputies Committee consists of high-ranking officials at the agencies with responsibility for national security—including State, Defense, and the CIA—as well as senior White House national security staffers.
The State Department representative at the meeting was Jake Sullivan, deputy chief of staff to Hillary Clinton. As we have said, it is virtually inconceivable that Clinton was out of this loop.
The outcome of the meeting was that Sullivan, Rhodes, and Mike Morrell, deputy director of the CIA, edited the talking points. The bogus talking points used by Susan Rice were the product of that scrubbing.
Morrell’s involvement apparently is the basis for claims by Jay Carney that the CIA “redrafted” the talking points. But, as Hayes points out, the CIA would not have edited its finalized talking points of its own volition. Moreover, Hayes reports that CIA director David Petraeus promptly expressed unhappiness about the scrubbed talking points in an email to his legislative director. He complained (internally only) that the talking points had been stripped of much of the content his agency had provided.
The talking points were changed from accurate to inaccurate because (1) the State Department’s “building leadership” pushed for the changes in order to avoid criticism for its failure to respond to warnings about the situation in Libya and (2) it suited Team Obama’s political purposes to accede to the changes. Unless Clinton has compromising photos of President Obama, it’s that simple.
At a White House press briefing on May 1, Barack Obama spokesman Jay Carney attempted to frame new reporting on the Benghazi attacks as old news by noting that the attacks had taken place “a long time ago.”
Just ten days have passed since he uttered that infelicitous phrase. But it feels like a long time ago.
“The Internal Revenue Service inappropriately flagged conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election…”
Norm Ornstein has become so frustrated with the national dialogue that he has started shouting at the TV. His rants are, to be sure, quite erudite:
On May 10, 1963, Tony LaRussa made his major league debut at the age of 18. Playing for the Kansas City Athletics, LaRussa appeared as a pinch-runner for Chuck Essegian.
Pinch-running would be LaRussa’s role for the next three months. It wasn’t until August 15 that he recorded his first plate appearance, after coming on as a “caddy” for Jerry Lumpe in a rout of the A’s by Detroit. He flied out against Hank Aguirre.
LaRussa experienced very little success as a player. His lifetime batting average, over the course of 132 games and 176 at bats in six seasons, was .199. His OPS was .491. He never hit a home run.
Even Mario Mendoza, for whom the Mendoza Line – baseball measure of batting futility — is named, managed to hit .215 for his career.
But LaRussa went on to become one of baseball’s all-time great managers. In 33 years, his teams won 2726 games, which ranks third on the all-time list.
His teams made it to the World Series six times, winning three. They won their division 13 times.
LaRussa was a true innovator. For example, he is credited (correctly, I think) with developing the now-standard formula for using the modern “closer” – the relief pitcher who appears late in close games.
For many years, the bullpen ace was expected to pitch up to three innings (more on rare occasions). He could enter the game at any crucial junction of a close contest, and frequently did so in the midst of an inning. Indeed, the reliever trudging in from the bullpen with men on base (warm-up jacket over his shoulder) was one of the signature sights of baseball when I was growing up.
The bullpen ace would often enter the game with the score tied. Sometimes he might even enter if his team was a run behind.
Under La Russa’s formula, much of this was relegated to baseball lore. With very few exceptions, his ace reliever – starting, I believe with Dennis Eckslerly in Oakland — entered the game only under a precise set of circumstances. His team had to be ahead, but by three runs or less. There couldn’t be runners on base; indeed, it had to be the beginning of an inning. And almost always that inning was what would be the final one, if the reliever could hold the lead.
Does this formula make sense? It never did to me. For example, a top reliever seems more valuable pitching, say, the ninth inning of a tie game than pitching the ninth inning of a game his team leads by three runs. And a reliever’s value seems highest when he is bailing out a pitcher who loaded the bases with, say, one out.
It also seems desirable to preserve the flexibility to bring in a bullpen ace in the eighth inning with a one run lead. Or to stay with a strong, effective starter or “set up” reliever for the ninth inning, rather than bringing on the closer.
Bill James identified and modeled the effectiveness of all the approaches to using relief pitchers (including not having relief specialists at all) that have been used in the last 100 years, or so, of baseball history. As I recall, he found that the approach used several iterations ago is superior to what I’m calling the LaRussa formula.
Yet as far as I can tell, use of the LaRussa formula is essentially universal. Why? Maybe other studies have contradicted James’ findings. Maybe considerations such as promoting relieve longevity and/or attracting free agent relief pitchers to one’s team militate in favor of the status quo approach.
But I suspect that the desire to avoid being second-guessed is a major factor. The more that managers can make their job formulaic, the fewer tough judgment calls they must make. And the fewer judgment calls they make, the less criticism they are likely to receive.
But I’m pretty confident this wasn’t La Russa’s reason for using his approach. He has always struck me as a fearless innovator. It’s those who mimic him whose courage I question.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
So day eight of the Gosnell Trial deliberations begin. It seems he’s charged with performing 24 late term abortions and then getting carried away and killing one of the Mom’s as well. He’s also charged with delivering late-term babies alive and severing their spinal cords over a toilet.
Meanwhile over in Cleveland we’ve been treated to what can only be described as an appalling spectacle. Three women were abducted as teen-agers. They have been found after a decade of sexual slavery. During this period of torment, the alleged kidnapper, Ariel Castro, is said to have stored the three women in a dungeon in the basement. He spent much of the decade raping them repeatedly, and then did gruesome things to the resulting offspring as well. ABC News describes to us just what makes Ariel Castro such an alleged sick puppy.
Inside the dungeon-like basement of alleged kidnapper Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man reportedly raped his three victims for a decade, caused one woman to abort five pregnancies by punching her in the gut, and required a second victim to deliver his baby in a plastic kiddie pool. The women, individually abducted a decade ago, were kept bound by chains in the home’s cellar until their “spirits were broken” and they were allowed access to the rest of the house, a police official told ABC News.
Ron Fournier, writing at National Journal on the growing Benghazi scandal:
The Internal Revenue Service is apologizing for inappropriately flagging conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.
Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS unit that oversees tax-exempt groups, said organizations that included the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their applications for tax-exempt status were singled out for additional reviews.
Lerner said the practice, initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati, was wrong and she apologized while speaking at a conference in Washington.
Of cooooourse it was “low-level workers” who will never be named or held accountable.
Kudos to the Tea Party activists who first blew the whistle and to Mark Levin and the Landmark Legal Foundation, who pushed back against the Bully Brigade.
Yes, it’s about damned time.
Earlier this month, I reported on President Obama’s campaign bully brigade — and I noted the IRS intimidation of Tea Party groups across the country.
The Landmark Legal Foundation is not taking it lying down.
Today, conservative talk radio giant and movement warrior Mark Levin’s group requested an immediate investigation “into possible misconduct by the Internal Revenue Service’s Exempt Organization (EO) Division that calls into question the integrity of federal tax administration and IRS programs.” Specifically, the letter cites the feds’ information demands that went “far beyond the appropriate level of inquiry regarding the religious, charitable and/or educational activities of a tax exempt entity. The inquiries are not relevant to these permitted activities. Inquiries extend to organizational policy positions and priorities, personal and political affiliations, and associations of staff, board members and even family members of staff and board members.”
…inquiries about personal associations and political viewpoints are not only inappropriate, but impinge upon constitutionally-protected freedoms of speech and association.
Although the Internal Revenue Code has limited the tax exemption subsidy ofSOI(c)(3) organizations to groups that do not participate in political activity, the Service must still tread lightly when dealing with fundamental constitutional rights. Inquiring about the positions a prospective organization adopts on various policy issues serves no valid purpose if the organization does not engage in political activity. Such inquiries appear to be designed only to intimidate the applicants. As it has been upheld repeatedly by the Supreme Court, the government cannot regulate political speech with laws that chill permissible speech. Finally, reports that Tea Party-related organizations are being singled out for the IRS’s intrusive inquires raises serious questions about the propriety of the personnel involved in the evaluation of tax
Landmark Legal Foundation respectfully requests an immediate and thorough investigation to determine whether IRS employees are acting improperly in the evaluation of exempt status applications. This investigation also must determine whether the relevant IRS employees are acting at the direction of politically motivated superiors.
The full document is right here.
I repeat: It is no small exaggeration to conclude that Team Obama’s dead aim is to chill conservative speech and criminalize conservative dissent. All Americans for prosperity must push back with one voice: No, you can’t.
This American Crossroads video does a good job of laying out, in a simple and understated way, the basic facts of the Benghazi cover-up, in light of Wednesday’s hearing. If you have friends who haven’t been following Benghazi and don’t know what the fuss is about, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to email it to them:
Whether the Benghazi lies make a difference depends in part on whether you intend to run for president on a platform that includes an allegedly successful term as Secretary of State, and a prominent role in an administration that claimed to have put al Qaeda out of business. So it isn’t hard to see why Hillary would like for the rest of us to move on, as the Democrats like to put it.
Michael Ramirez, however, doesn’t think it will be easy for Hillary to leave the Benghazi scandal behind: