Ted Rall compared U.S. soldiers to suicide bombers; mocked widows of terror victims; profited from Pat Tillman’s death; assumed the voice of Iraqi soldiers talking about killing American soldiers; made leftist political hay out of the Nick Berg beheading; lied about lefty blogger vitriol; and sued a guy for making him appear to be a “rude, petty, self-absorbed writer/cartoonist” (which is what he is). He’s also unfunny — except for the time he called me a “generic warblogger,” which was pretty funny. I guess what I’m saying is, he’s the perfect cartoonist for the L.A. Times . Now Rall is (as best as I can discern) mocking an anti-SWATting bill in his typically unfunny and pointless manner : I don’t get the point, to be honest. Unless the point is that Ted Rall is worried about being outlawed.
Because they’ve been so effective up to this point? Via PJM: The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee wants President Obama to appoint a Gitmo czar to get the detainees who have been cleared for transfer out of the prison. Forty-six dangerous detainees have been flagged for indefinite detention. Eighty-six of the current detainees
Read the original:
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Combover): Hey, You Know What We Need? Another Czar…
The liberal Democrat political media complex purports to believe that the GOP is “playing politics with Benghazi.” But in truth, Benghazi was politicized by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton during the 2012 election, when, as we now know, they willfully and knowingly fabricated a falsehood about the genesis of the terrorist attack there. Indeed, that’s the upshot of yesterday’s stunning congressional hearing. Career public servant Greg Hicks revealed that, during a 2 am phone call on the night of the attack (Sept. 11, 2012), he personally briefed Hillary Clinton. Hicks said he told the Secretary of State that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was under terrorist attack. “The only report that our mission made through every channel was that this was an attack,” Hicks said. Yet, Clinton, Obama, United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, and other administration spokesmen all insisted that the attack resulted not from al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists, but rather from a spontaneous uprising of angry Libyan Muslims, who supposedly were reacting to some anti-Islam video produced in the United States. That was a lie — a deliberate, bald-faced lie. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why Clinton, Obama and Rice were lying. They were in the midst of a presidential campaign, which they rightly feared might be lost if the public learned of their dereliction of duty in Libya. (Of course, they needn’t have worried, because Mitt Romney sadly and inexplicably refused to press his advantage , but that’s another story for another time.) Yet, ironically, congressional Republicans now stand accused of “playing politics” because they are trying to uncover a politically inconvenient truth. “What difference at this point does it make?” yelled a flailing and histrionic Hillary Clinton during a January 23, 2013, congressional hearing on Benghazi. “What difference at this point does it make,” indeed, when your destiny is the White House and nothing — absolutely nothing, not even a national security fiasco and four dead Americans — must stand in your way. That may sound harsh, but it’s also the inescapable truth behind Hillary’s otherwise seemingly bizarre congressional testimony earlier this year. So, yes, there are political games being played here, but they’re not being played by the GOP. The political games are being played by liberal Democrats committed to protecting Hillary from embarrassment and defeat.
Who’s Politicizing Benghazi?
It was as close an election as one might expect in Venezuela. Nicolas Maduro, his predecessor’s hand-picked candidate, edged out the popular Henrique Capriles, definitely no friend of the late Simon Bolivar wannabe, Hugo Chavez. No one questioned the strong voter turnout that produced 14.9 million ballots cast, but the published mere 267,000 vote margin of victory by Maduro certainly has aroused passion — not that anyone is surprised at passion in Venezuelan politics. The late Hugo Chavez would have loved the large international presss coverage, which included strong representation from all those countries around the world that have benefited economically and politically from the Chavez years. As one British wag put it, “I never knew so many Persians could speak Spanish.” The Caracas crowds entertained the visiting media with post-election protests by the Capriles stalwarts, who stormed through the main streets banging pots and shouting slogans. The Maduro crowds used fireworks as an effective counter to the other side’s singing and shouting. It was quite a “party”; seven people reportedly died from the violence and dozens were injured. Initially the Capriles team demanded a recount but changed their mind and are now planning a full-scale legal challenge in court. An American documentary filmmaker, Timothy Tracy, was arrested and charged with paying right-wing youth groups to stage post-election riots. This was a surprise because Tracy had succeeded in becoming very friendly with pro-Chavez student and youth group members before the election in order to get their point of view. Nicolas Maduro apparently finally has quieted down after the initial rants at what he characterized as “U.S. intelligence intervention” He suggested in impromptu radio and television appearances that Capriles’ supporters did not want a democracy but rather a Nazi-like civil war. He referred to this opposition to him and the election as “fascistic” and stated, “I will use a hard hand against fascism.” At this point Venezuela is living day-to-day in fear of a full scale crackdown on any demonstration the Maduro government chooses to characterize as dissidence. So far there has been no particular movement by the military to participate, though the promise to “keep within the barracks” can fall apart at any time, depending on which side wants to take a chance on unleashing this always available “third force.” There has been a formal pledge of allegiance by some of the principal unit commanders to their new commander-in-chief. This was touted as an indication that the Army will be loyal to the new government of Maduro. The matter, though, is more complicated than that. The Army controls the economy through its administration of all petroleum port facilities, and that is not about to change even as competition grows for leverage within the new civilian government. The balance of political power is ultimately in the hands of the armed forces. More particularly there are others within the old Chavista group with the strong military credentials that Nicolas Maduro lacks. Maduro will have to look out for the political allies of Diosado Cabello, the man who for two years was a jailmate of Hugo Chavez after an original failed military coup. Later when Chavez did succeed in becoming president, Cabello became his chief of staff and eventually vice president. There are others within the Chavista movement who have power on their own. General Henry Rangel Silva, who had been named in the foreign press as a principal contact in the drug trade with the Colombian guerrilla group FARC, remains a prominent figure. He is a former defense minister and just last year ran successfully for the governorship of Trujillo state. Maduro considers Rangel as safely ensconced in his governorship, but he is one of many ready to jump in if the old Chavista system appears to be breaking down. Meanwhile Henrique Capriles was barely defeated in an election for president that supposedly was going to be an easy win for Chavez’s personally designated heir. Young and vigorous, Capriles clearly intends to keep the battle alive for Venezuela’s future. President Maduro, in turn, has done everything he can to continue the special arrangement with Cuba that Hugo Chavez created with the Castro brothers. Among other technical assistance programs, this has included the provision of thousands of Cuban clinics, medical personnel and doctors offering health care to Venezuela’s poor, urban and rural. Cuba has been well compensated for its help by Caracas, which has supplied free, or at substantially reduced prices, all the Havana government’s petroleum needs. That has been a multi-billion dollar deal for Cuba and an essential social service for Venezuela. If Maduro is replaced, no matter how it occurs, the existing social and technical assistance relationship with Cuba will have to be either maintained or replaced. Capriles knows this in spite of his pre-election claims that he would bring an end “to all subsidized activities.” The many phases of Cuban involvement in Venezuela are so extensive they would be very difficult to replace — and Washington knows this full well as well. What it would or could do about it is another issue.
As I write this, there is a press conference happening. Deval Patrick says there were no unexploded devices, and the number of injured exceeds 150. Other than that, the press conference is uninformative. The boy who was killed was waiting to hug his dad at the finish line . That raid on a Revere apartment I mentioned last night apparently related to the Saudi national who had been detained . However: UPDATE: @ frantownsend reports Saudi individual questioned after #Bostonmarathon bomb blasts is very cooperative; not a suspect at this point — NewsBreaker (@NewsBreaker) April 16, 2013 Also, what we had heard about ball bearings yesterday was (like many other reports) apparently wrong: CNN’s Townsend also reports does not appear any ball bearings have been found-device was placed in a trash can creating shrapnel injuries — PCNN (@PCNN) April 16, 2013 The best (and hardest) thing to do is just not jump to conclusions, about anything.
See the article here:
Boston Bombings: Open Thread