Tag Archives: ambassador

Tuesday Evenings News Roundup

News Roundup

Angelina Jolie

Well, there’s been plenty of news lately.

Benghazi continues to dominate the news. Here’s what we know. A group of terrorists attacked a poorly defended United States Embassy in Benghazi. Four Americans were killed, including Ambassador Stevens. The Sunday following the Benghazi attack, Ambassador Susan Rice went on the Sunday talk shows and recited talking points that were given to her by the intelligence community. The talking points included some erroneous information which suggested that there was a protest or demonstration prior to the attack and that this protest was fueled by an anti-Muslim video. There was no protest. This has been clearly stated. Several eyewitnesses who were interviewed stated that there was no protest prior to the attack on the Benghazi compound. The multiple emails that crafted the talking points have been revealed to the public. Neither President Obama nor Secretary Clinton had anything to do with crafting the talking points. Secondly, and most importantly, was the security at the Benghazi compound. Why was security so bad? That question has been answered. What is clear is that the official report clearly points to the State Department for dropping the ball.

The IRS story which broke on Monday has really gained even more traction today. It’s an outrage! Yet, when you look at the story, I’m not sure what the outrage is all about. Yes, the IRS did target conservative groups but those groups still got their tax-exempt status. Maybe the process was onerous and overly burdensome but they were not denied that status. Should the IRS single out conservative or liberal groups? Of course not. The bottom line, as far as I can tell, is although those groups were singled out, they still got fair treatment. (An inspector general’s report has already been compiled.)

I would like to spend a little bit of time talking about an op-ed that Angelina Jolie wrote in the New York Times. The Academy award-winning actress talked about a bilateral mastectomy that she had because she had a defective gene which makes her more prone to breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Her mother died of cancer. Ms. Jolie does not state what kind of cancer her mother had. She goes into great detail about BRCA1. She is incredibly knowledgeable. All the facts that she presented, as far as I know, are correct. She was at incredibly high risk for developing breast cancer and also at high risk for developing ovarian cancer. What she didn’t reveal, but which is clear from the article, is that she had knowledgeable physicians and surgeons. She was able to discuss her gene mutation and get thoughtful answers from her physicians. She then made a thoughtful, informed decision. I applaud Angelina Jolie for standing up and discussing her healthcare and her healthcare problems. The one thing that is clear is that she was able to afford whatever procedures she wanted to undertake. That’s a luxury than many women cannot afford. In my opinion, her op-ed points to two things that all women need: accurate, reliable information and affordable healthcare. Then all women can make informed decisions.

The national deficit is going to be $200 billion less than previously projected.

Mark Sanford will be sworn in as Congressman to the great state of South Carolina on Wednesday.

Seriously, did Dick Cheney, former vice president, actually have the nerve to say that the Obama administration missed repeated warnings about Benghazi? Really? Should I ask? Did he and President Bush miss repeated warnings about…

Minnesota passes same-sex marriage.

Here’s a nice nugget on Benghazi – For fiscal 2013, the GOP-controlled House proposed spending $1.934 billion for the State Department’s Worldwide Security Protection program — well below the $2.15 billion requested by the Obama administration. House Republicans cut the administration’s request for embassy security funding by $128 million in fiscal 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012. (Negotiations with the Democrat-controlled Senate restored about $88 million of the administration’s request.) Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Republicans’ proposed cuts to her department would be “detrimental to America’s national security” — a charge Republicans rejected.

John Kerry to State

I know that many progressives are disappointed in President Obama for nominating Senator John Kerry for Secretary of State. Kerry is fine. There is nothing wrong with John Kerry. He is a solid progressive. There were better choices, but probably no one who has done more for Obama. It was Kerry who picked Obama for the 2004 convention floor speech.

One of the great theories that has been floating around Washington is that the GOP decided to attack Susan Rice when she was thought to be the leading candidate for Secretary of State. They attacked Ambassador Rice so that Obama would then nominate John Kerry. They reason that they wanted Kerry was so that Scott Brown could run in the special election for Kerry’s seat. Scott Brown, as you’ll recall, ran for Ted Kennedy’s old seat and won, but he had a little problem winning re-election because of Elizabeth Warren. Look, all of this maybe true. I just don’t think that Scott Brown is the man that he was 24 months ago. I don’t think that progressives will look at him as a decent alternative to a real progressive. I’m thinking Caroline Kennedy is looking better and better.

Lions, Tigers and Benghazi, Oh My

The evolution of this Benghazi story has been pretty remarkable. From the very beginning of the story, I commented on several things. First of all, I said it was an incredible tragedy. Secondly, I wasn’t entirely clear on why our ambassador was in a place that was deemed so hostile. Thirdly, I commented that it didn’t make much sense that an obscure video would have set off this kind of violence.

Since very early in this story, Republicans have held up Benghazi as an example of Democratic weakness. Democrats just cannot keep this country safe. As a matter fact, Democrats do not understand terrorism and they never have. For two and a half months, we’ve heard this almost every day. The fact that the president has taken out top terrorist leaders means nothing. The fact that the president put the resources and his personal reputation/presidency on the line in order to take out Osama bin Laden doesn’t count. Instead, Republicans have decided to draw a line in the sand (pun intended) in Benghazi. Continue reading Lions, Tigers and Benghazi, Oh My