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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 11/02/2012

Morning Bits

More inconvenient facts on Benghazi. Two Foreign policy writers report “we found [in the Consulate] . . . several ash-strewn documents beneath rubble in the looted Tactical Operations Center, one of the four main buildings of the partially destroyed compound. Some of the documents — such as an email from [slain Ambassador Christopher] Stevens to his political officer in Benghazi and a flight itinerary sent to Sean Smith, a U.S. diplomat slain in the attack — are clearly marked as State Department correspondence. Others are unsigned printouts of messages to local and national Libyan authorities. The two unsigned draft letters are both dated Sept. 11 and express strong fears about the security situation at the compound on what would turn out to be a tragic day.”

Upending his competency argument: Recollect President Obama’s horrid record on disasters before Hurricane Sandy: “When Nashville suffered horrific flooding in 2010, where was Obama? Nowhere to be found. He certainly didn’t visit, and didn’t do much to urge the rest of the country to come to Nashville’s aid. Where was Obama when Hurricane Isaac devastated several parishes in Louisiana? Unfortunately, making racial issues out of hurricane response is a favorite pastime of the President’s . . . and despite his earlier standard of the imperative of ‘waiving the Stafford Act,’ he still refuses to waive the Stafford Act for Isaac victims. When the BP oil spill happened, even James Carville blasted Obama’s apparent lack of interest or energy in responding, and Obama was quickly at loggerheads with Gov. Bobby Jindal, and he proceeded to defy even Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu by putting a moratorium and then still slow-walking permits on new Gulf drilling .” And then there was Benghazi. Read the whole thing.

More worrisome questions. “First, if the extra security was not being provided, why not wave off the ambassador’s visit? How was it decided that the known security failures were not significant enough to warrant that step? . . . The more we learn, the less we understand — partly because much evidence was left behind and is emerging only piece by piece all over the region, and partly because the Obama administration has obscured the facts. But it is important, even after the election and even if all the relevant Obama officials are gone, to put all the pieces together and learn what happened — so that the State and Defense Departments and CIA can put together better rescue plans.”

Awkward when the president is hawking votes in the Rust Belt. “Even if Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Obama endorsement holds little sway over undecided voters in swing states — as some pundits and media types have already argued on Twitter — environmentalists see the endorsement as a crucial turning point in the climate change discussion. . . . ‘This is [a] big moment,’ author and environmentalist Bill McKibben told BuzzFeed. ‘The president will be swept into office in part because people expect him to do something about climate change. Let’s see if he builds the Keystone pipeline now.’”

Embarrassing. “Democrats have defended the $716 billion in Medicare savings in the health care law by arguing that seniors would not be affected because the only spending cuts would be in future payments made to Medicare providers — there would be no cuts whatsoever to actual Medicare benefits. But in 2005, then Sens. Joe Biden and Barack Obama had an entirely different view of spending reductions to Medicare providers.”

Troublesome. “More than 30 million households could be hit with the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) if Congress doesn’t take action after the election, adding another pressure point to talks on the ‘fiscal cliff.’”

Untimely. Obama reminds everyone how much he loves welfare. “For two decades, Democrats running for the White House have observed a basic rule: when discussing welfare, do so only in the context of ‘welfare reform.’ That’s why it was so striking to see President Barack Obama’s campaign depart from that tradition and use the W-word Wednesday without any reference to reining in or overhauling such programs. In fact, the Obama camp seemed to be boasting about welfare’s success in buffeting the impact of the country’s recent economic downturn.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 11/02/2012

 
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