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Friday, August 19, 2016

Wounded and covered in dust, Omran Daqneesh sits dazed in the back of an ambulance having just been pulled from the rubble of his home. Doctors with the Syrian American Medical Society who treated the boy revealed his name, and that he is five years old. The photos and video of Omran, which have gone viral across the world, were taken on Wednesday night in the besieged rebel-held eastern suburbs of Aleppo. Doctors say Omran was discharged from the M10 hospital. Video taken by the Aleppo Media Center showed the moment Omran was rescued along with three other small children from the rubble of a house after an air strike, by volunteers from Syria's Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets. read more


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Steve Benen, Maddow Blog, When Donald Trump shares one of his many conspiracy theories – including his recent assertion that President Obama and Hillary Clinton are the original "founders" of ISIS – Americans aren't the only folks who notice. Just this weekend, Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, publicly endorsed Mr. Trump's remarks: "This is an American presidential candidate. This was spoken on behalf of the Republican Party. He has data and documents." The United States' military strategy against the Islamic State depends on mobilizing local actors to lead the fight on the ground. Imagine how much harder that is when people have been led to believe that President Obama created the group. Or think of the added danger to American troops in Iraq, where Shiite militant groups who are fighting the Islamic State remain deeply wary of the United States military. Far-right nonsense has a global reach in the 21st century. And with that reach comes consequences. read more


Monday, August 15, 2016

Donald Trump sees himself as a winner. Success is his brand. His most famous book is about coming out ahead in negotiations. He prides himself on his business acumen and ability to manage organizations as a chief executive officer. So it's curious that his presidential campaign doesn't seem to have any strategy to win at all. It's not at all clear where his campaign money is going, since it doesn't appear to be spent on field, staff or advertising: Open Secrets uses FEC data to report that, at the end of June, the Trump campaign had $20m on hand. According to the latest Trump reports, they raised an additional $80 million in July and, early in August, had $37m on hand. If you do the math, that means Trump spent $63m in July. He didn't spend it on TV advertising. How did Trump spend the money? read more


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Mitt Romney was excoriated during the 2012 presidential campaign for paying $4.9 million in federal income tax, or an average of just 14 percent of his adjusted gross income, in the two years for which he released returns. No one should be surprised, though, if Donald J. Trump has paid far less -- perhaps even zero federal income tax in some years. Indeed, that's the expectation of numerous real estate and tax professionals I've interviewed in recent weeks. Even with hundreds of millions in gross revenue from his vast real estate empire, "it's both possible and legal that Donald Trump would pay little or no income tax," said Len Green, an accountant and chairman of the Green Group, a tax and accounting advisory firm. That's because Trump, as a prominent and active developer, can take advantage of some of the most generous tax breaks in the federal tax code to reduce his reported income to near zero, or even report a loss. read more


Friday, August 05, 2016

Michael J. Morrell: During a 33-year career at the Central Intelligence Agency, I served presidents of both parties -- three Republicans and three Democrats. I was at President George W. Bush's side when we were attacked on Sept. 11; as deputy director of the agency, I was with President Obama when we killed Osama bin Laden in 2011. In my 40 years of voting, as a government official, I have always been silent about my preference for president. No longer. On Nov. 8, I will vote for Hillary Clinton. Between now and then, I will do everything I can to ensure that she is elected as our 45th president. Two strongly held beliefs have brought me to this decision. First, Clinton is highly qualified to be commander in chief. I trust she will deliver on the most important duty of a president -- keeping our nation safe. Second, Donald J. Trump is not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security. read more


Comments

#12

I finally get while you're so apoplectic about Obama's "outrageous" executive overreach/illegal actions. You've been following a strict, by-the-book standard of written law without a nanosecond's recognition of the complete ineptness of Congress and it's unwillingness to do anything perceived to assist Obama, even though in most instances they wish he'd go further. The very fact that the GOP hasn't made this a front and center rebuke of Obama or an actual legal case they could have made leads me to conclude this is nothing but politics, not because they really oppose him, but because politically they can't give him credit for even what they agree with.

I'm never going to deny a White House the ability to make these types of calls because when they don't work out to our advantage, the people and political machine don't blame the law, they blame the President. Accountability begins and usually ends in the White House. Was killing Bin Laden against the strict rule of law? Probably, but no one was ever going to bring Obama up on charges, were they?

Because the Iran Deal was approved by Congress, the Administration should be able to fulfil the conditions within it. You act as though the conditions of the law should supercede a better relationship between our two countries without regard for the decades of mistrust between our countries? The thrust for the law wasn't mean't to thwart a nascent improvement in relations with Iran after decades of strict geopolitical opposition and brinksmanship. Again, it's one thing if a bi-partisan majority of Congress stands opposed to a particular policy for a specific reason. But when a party practices obstinance as a foundational principle, the world doesn't stop and presidents have to act and react.

On the point, you're right, but in reality, the nation has to move even when Congress is bent on standing still. Scream at Congress to uphold the law because Obama is doing what he sees that he must because the GOP Congress doesn't want to have it's fingerprints on anything connected to his name.

Fair questions and relevant. Trump won't release his taxes for the same reason Hillary won't release her speeches; they would expose the truth.

Apples and oranges. People actually HEARD Hillary's Wall Street speeches and there are no gag orders denying these people the opportunity of reporting exactly what she said. It's nearly impossible that every single person in attendance backs her candidacy, just like someone posted the video of Romney making his behind-closed-door comments. If there was something incendiary in her words, it would have already come out and have been tied around her neck.

The false equivalency between Trump and Hillary has reached hysterical proportions. One candidate has multiple business bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits from jilted business partners wanting their contracted payments for services delivered, and has become a persona non grata borrower with nearly every single major US-based bank. He has never spent one single day serving as an elected or appointed official of government at any level and daily articulates his ignorance of the history, roles, and functions of government and expresses dismissal and disdain for the actual business of governing.

The second candidate has been subjected to repeated politically-based investigations for over the last 20 years, was elected a US Senator by one of the most populous states in this nation, and served as US Secretary of State. Not only has she played roles in the federal government, she has also served as First Lady. While it's certainly germane to discuss her mistakes in both stances and specific judgments, to ignore her positive accomplishments as though they don't exist is both myopic and anti-intellectual.

It's fair to state that people don't want her to become POTUS, but to equate both candidates as equally poor choices one must ignore the stark differences in their paths toward each's nomination and how each comports themselves as the inevitable one-of-two choices that will become the 45th President of these United States, regardless of your laments to the contrary.

#20

No, it's based on the public information I posted above #15-#17. None of it came from the government, it came from foreign news sources at the time Benghazi was still happening.

09/11/12 at 18:30 EDT from the Guardian:

Protests in Cairo and Benghazi over American film

Egyptian protesters, largely ultraconservative Islamists, climbed the walls of the US embassy in Cairo on Tuesday, made their way into the courtyard and brought down the flag, replacing it with a black flag with an Islamic inscription to protest a film attacking Islam's prophet, Muhammad.

Hours later, armed men in eastern Libya also stormed the US consulate there and set it on fire as anger spread.


18:30 EDT is the same as 2:30am in Benghazi. Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were still alive when this story was posted and would be for another 1:45 minutes until around 5:15am Benghazi local time.

SO, how did Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton get international news outlets to forward their "lies about the video" while the Benghazi attacks were still going on?

Morrel is right because he's telling the truth. The above timestamp proves it.

One more link first posted on 09/11/12 at 18:30 EDT from the Guardian:

Protests in Cairo and Benghazi over American film

Egyptian protesters, largely ultraconservative Islamists, climbed the walls of the US embassy in Cairo on Tuesday, made their way into the courtyard and brought down the flag, replacing it with a black flag with an Islamic inscription to protest a film attacking Islam's prophet, Muhammad.

Hours later, armed men in eastern Libya also stormed the US consulate there and set it on fire as anger spread.

Hundreds of protesters marched to the embassy in central Cairo, gathering outside its walls and chanting against the movie, which was reportedly produced in the United States.

"Say it, don't fear: their ambassador must leave," the crowd chanted.

Dozens of protesters then scaled the embassy walls, took down the flag from a pole in the courtyard and brought it back to the crowd outside. The crowd tried to burn it, but failing that, tore it apart. The protesters on the wall then raised on the flagpole a black flag with the Muslim declaration of faith on it: "There is no god but God and Muhammad is his prophet." The flag, similar to the banner used by al-Qaida, is commonly used by ultraconservatives around the region.

None of these sources is a US-based multi-media, and each one is from 09/12 - 09/14 2012. There WERE people protesting the video and there WERE terrorists from the local militias that used the cover of the initial protests to attack our consulate and then over 6 hours later snipe and mortar our CIA annex about a mile away from the consulate.

Only those who've never actually researched the events or read the copious chronologies and stories published days and weeks later quoting Abu Khattala, the chief militia leader, stating that the genesis of the protest/attacks were indeed in response to the video would ever state that Benghazi wasn't a response to the mysterious translation of the video trailer that made it's way in the Islamic world's consciousness the previous weekend.

Spread of Protests Sparked by Anti-Muslim Video

Protests sparked by an obscure American-made video, posted on the Internet and intended to provoke Muslims, have spread beyond the Middle East and North Africa.

It would be remarkable for Benghazi to be unrelated to all the other protests by Muslims over the film trailer documented in detail within the above link. And for the record, none of this has anything to do with absolving Hillary or Obama and everything to do with my own focus on 09/12/2012 to try and understand what actually happened by seeking sources outside of the US because I already saw what direction our media was taking in the heat of a presidential election battle.

Jebus folks, I posted and reposted then-contemporary reporting that showed from 9/12/2012 the entire global community (including the NYT from their Benghazi-based reporter who actually spoke with the people during the protesting/attacking of our consulate) except for most of the US major media all reported that the video begat the demonstrations that took place all over the world that week including the breaching of our Egyptian embassy on the same day.

Read it for yourselves at the following links:

YouTube Video Sparks Riots In Benghazi, Libya, Leads To U.S. Embassy Workers' Deaths

Unidentified armed men stormed the grounds overnight amid uproar among Muslims over a film produced in the US said to insult the Prophet Muhammad. A demonstration in Cairo (earlier in the day) saw protesters breach the US embassy and tear down the US flag, which was flying at half-mast to mark the 9/11/01 attacks.

Ali Farag, engineer, Benghazi: I live very close to the consulate. I heard some shooting and soon afterwards I saw people running away from the embassy. I am very sad about what happened. We liked the ambassador very much; he was here to help us.

It's a very bad film and I understand if people want to protest, but there's no need to kill. We must also understand that the authorities in the US can't do anything to stop individuals creating such films.

Most people here are against these kind of attacks. There were protests going on today - my son was there. They were not against the film, but against the violent reaction to it. I am very worried about these hard-line religious groups whose ideas are quite different from the majority of the population.

I spent four years working with Mrs. Clinton when she was secretary of state, most often in the White House Situation Room. In these critically important meetings, I found her to be prepared, detail-oriented, thoughtful, inquisitive and willing to change her mind if presented with a compelling argument.

I also saw the secretary's commitment to our nation's security; her belief that America is an exceptional nation that must lead in the world for the country to remain secure and prosperous; her understanding that diplomacy can be effective only if the country is perceived as willing and able to use force if necessary; and, most important, her capacity to make the most difficult decision of all -- whether to put young American women and men in harm's way.

Mrs. Clinton was an early advocate of the raid that brought Bin Laden to justice, in opposition to some of her most important colleagues on the National Security Council. During the early debates about how we should respond to the Syrian civil war, she was a strong proponent of a more aggressive approach, one that might have prevented the Islamic State from gaining a foothold in Syria.

I never saw her bring politics into the Situation Room. In fact, I saw the opposite. When some wanted to delay the Bin Laden raid by one day because the White House Correspondents Dinner might be disrupted, she said, "Screw the White House Correspondents Dinner."


There's plenty more at the link. While I'm still ambivalent about what the future President Clinton's foreign policy might be, I have far more faith in her already proven judgments - both good and bad - than I do about whatever the narcissistic, impetuous, Trump might decide to do over the objections of his own advisers.

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