Sec. Of State Hillary Clinton Stuns Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson

Note to Senator Ron Johnson–the role of the United States government is not to continue the narrative of the Republican Party.

It is worth your time to watch Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismantle Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson.  With no hesitation Clinton takes an exception to Johnson’s pointed inquiry into the State Department’s initial report that the attack had been mounted spontaneously as a reaction to an anti-Islam YouTube video.

“Honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this, but the fact is people were trying their best in real-time to get to the best information.”

No one has ever accused Johnson of being over-prepared with facts.  With what seems to me to have been nothing more than a series of talking points prepared by FAUX News the conservative senator makes a fool of himself on national television.

It would seem to me that at such a critical hearing the opposition might comport themselves with a higher calling rather than the usual ‘gotcha’ politics that seems to be their natural default.  It was a blunder of huge proportions when the electorate allowed Johnson to use his money to buy a senate seat.  Today we see that money can buy an election, but not the intelligence to govern.

Impact Of Arab Spring Makes For Best Sunday Newspaper Read

The Arab Spring, and the impact it is having on the parts of Northern Africa makes for a fascinating read in the Sunday newspaper.

As the uprising closed in around him, the Libyan dictator Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi warned that if he fell, chaos and holy war would overtake North Africa. “Bin Laden’s people would come to impose ransoms by land and sea,” he told reporters. “We will go back to the time of Redbeard, of pirates, of Ottomans imposing ransoms on boats.”

In a sense, both the hostage crisis in Algeria and the battle raging in Mali are consequences of the fall of Colonel Qaddafi in 2011. Like other strongmen in the region, Colonel Qaddafi had mostly kept in check his country’s various ethnic and tribal factions, either by brutally suppressing them or by co-opting them to fight for his government. He acted as a lid, keeping volatile elements repressed. Once that lid was removed, and the borders that had been enforced by powerful governments became more porous, there was greater freedom for various groups — whether rebels, jihadists or criminals — to join up and make common cause.       

In Mali, for instance, there are the Tuaregs, a nomadic people ethnically distinct both from Arabs, who make up the nations to the north, and the Africans who inhabit southern Mali and control the national government. They fought for Colonel Qaddafi in Libya, then streamed back across the border after his fall, banding together with Islamist groups to form a far more formidable fighting force. They brought with them heavy weapons and a new determination to overthrow the Malian government, which they had battled off and on for decades in a largely secular struggle for greater autonomy.

Even the Algeria gas field attack — which took place near the Libyan border, and may have involved Libyan fighters — reflects the chaos that has prevailed in Libya for the past two years.

Yet Colonel Qaddafi’s fall was only the tipping point, some analysts say, in a region where chaos has been on the rise for years, and men who fight under the banner of jihad have built up enormous reserves of cash through smuggling and other criminal activities. If the rhetoric of the Islamic militants now fighting across North Africa is about holy war, the reality is often closer to a battle among competing gangsters in a region where government authority has long been paper-thin.

Video: President Obama Stands Up For UN Ambassador Susan Rice

Republicans first and foremost need to get a grip on a tough fact.

Though they thought they could win an election built on anger and hate, the fact is they could not.   President Obama was re-elected and Democrats gained seats in the U.S. Senate.  An African-American was not only elected in this nation, but was re-elected.  It was not a fluke.  It is a political reality.

To continue to rip away and snarl at every turn may be what some of the conservative base wants to hear, but it will not serve public policy creation, or a better understanding of the issues that we confront as a nation.  I would argue it only continually marginalizes a political party that has lost the popular vote in five of the past six presidential elections.

Now the Republicans think they can go after our female UN Ambassador Susan Rice.

Well, think again.

In a tough and  politically honest moment President Barack Obama correctly dismissed the attacks on United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice by Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham regarding her
statements about the Sept. 11  attacks on the consulate in Benghazi.

There has been a concerted attempt by conservative Republicans to use the attack in Libya for partisan politics, and it reeks!

It failed when the GOP used the deaths of Americans during the election, and it is as unseemly and dreadful now in the wake of the impressive re-election of President Obama.

“If Senator McCain and Senator Graham want to go after someone, they should go after me,” Obama said during his press conference at the White House.

In addition Obama said that the calls for a “Watergate-style” investigation into the situation would not stop him from considering nominating Rice to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. If he decides that Rice is the best choice to be secretary of state, Obama said, “I will nominate her.”

“I don’t think there’s any debate in this country that when you have our Americans killed that’s a problem,” Obama said. “They won’t get any debate from me on that. But when they go after the U.N. ambassador, apparently because they think she’s an easy target, then they’ve got a problem with me.”

CIA Documents Supported Susan Rice’s Description Of Benghazi Attacks

This is the must read newspaper column of the day.

If you are like me two things are taking place concerning the issue of the attack in Benghazi.

First, you are interested in the story and following the details are they emerge, understanding the consequences for the region in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

But second, you are sickened by the partisan spin and hectoring that Republicans are taking at this time by turning the death of an ambassador into a mere campaign plank aimed at trying to elect Mitt Romney.

Today one of the nation’s most intrepid reporters aces a column that deserve everyone’s attention.   That would also mean those partisan hacks on the other side of the aisle who only wish to use the tragedy in Benghazi for their political ends.

I post a small segment here but urge the entire column be read, and if you work for the Romney campaign, heeded.

The Romney campaign may have misfired with its suggestion that statements by President Obama and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice about the Benghazi attack last month weren’t supported by intelligence, according to documents provided by a senior U.S. intelligence official. ‘Talking points’ prepared by the CIA on Sept. 15, the same day that Rice taped three television appearances, support her description of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate as a reaction to Arab anger about an anti-Muslim video prepared in the United States.

According to the CIA account, ‘The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.’

Peggy Noonan Compares Mitt Romney To Richard Nixon Following Libya Crisis

Oh, snap!

Her stature as a reasonable conservative makes her judgment of Romney’s behavior
in recent days quite significant. After the verbal equivalent of rolling her
eyes at Romney’s unsteady and unwise reaction to the crisis in Egypt and Libya,
Ms. Noonan said this in a Wall Street Journal video: “Romney
looked WEAK today
.… At one point, he had a certain slight grimace on his

face when he was taking tough questions from the reporters. And I thought, ‘He
looks like Richard Nixon.’ ”

Mitt Romney Failed ‘The 3:00 A.M. Phone Call’ Test–Not Fit To Be Commander-In-Chief

It has been a devastating day for the Mitt Romney campaign.  There seems to be a real crisis atmosphere just below the surface among Romney staffers concerning the slumping poll numbers in key states, and the inability for the larger themes of the anti-Obama message to take hold.

Following a political convention speech that failed to mention Afghanistan, comes a most perplexing and troubling political blunder that has everyone noticing Mitt Romney does not have the bona fides to be sitting in the Oval Office.

President Obama is making it very clear that there needs to be a reasonable and sound person making the decisions for the nation, not a shoot-from-the-hip guy with nice hair but no substance or moral guiding principles.

Mitt Romney has his cash stashed in off-shore accounts, and seems unable to buy any common sense about the way to conduct a campaign that many Republicans keeps claiming should be an easy election to win.

Might it be that President Obama is a much stronger leader, with a deeper connection among the electorate than GOPers ever dreamed?  Or did the GOP start believing their own press releases months ago, and just thought 2012 was ‘their year’?

Mitt Romney is proving with his clumsy efforts the wilderness years for the Republicans are not over.

What should gall everyone–including conservatives–is how Mitt Romney tried to undermine the President of the United States at a time of crisis on the other side of the globe–that very well will impact our foreign policy.

How can anyone think Romney has what it takes to sit in the Oval Office as Commander-In-Chief?

In response to Mitt Romney’s criticism of the Obama administration for its handling of recent violence in Egypt and Libya, President Obama told CBS News on Wednesday that Romney “seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later.”  

“There’s a broader lesson to be learned here,” Mr. Obama told “60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft. “And I think — you know, Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later. And as president, one of the things I’ve learned is you can’t do that. That, you know, it’s important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts. And that you’ve thought through the ramifications before you make ’em.” 

Asked if Romney’s attacks were irresponsible, the president replied, “I’ll let the American people judge that.”

Mitt Romney Used Partisan Politics During International Events In Middle East

This is one of those events that separates the men from the boys.  The boys who look too big when trying to still wear their daddies suits.

Mitt Romney is about to face the withering spotlight for his display of overly partisan politics at a time when the United States and its diplomatic community were coming under attack in the Middle East.  What happened over the past roughly 18 hours from Mitt Romney is truly mind-numbing.

If there was talk about Romney’s poll numbers slumping, and his political themes being stuck in neutral before last night, there will now only be talk of a candidate who is not ready for prime time.  What took place is nothing but a desperate attempt for a losing political operation.

Mitt Romney is nothing but a political opportunist.  He has an instinct for saying the wrong thing, at the wrong time.  He is not sound enough to be president.

I know that Mitt Romney the Mormon Bishop, and one-time president of the Boston Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wants to sit in the Oval Office so to further whatever ends his faith calls him to do…but what took place last night was just not the actions of a serious-minded politician.

Which is why I seriously question the real motive of why Romney wants to sit in the Oval Office.  Thanks to the following we all will have less to worry about concerning his electability.

 …..on the anniversary of 9/11 — one of the most over-the-top and (it turns out) incorrect attacks of the general-election campaign . Last night after 10:00 pm ET, Romney released a statement on the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya. After saying he was “outraged” by these attacks and the death of an American consulate worker, Romney said, “It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.” Yet after learning every piece of new information about those attacks, the Romney statement looks worse and worse — and simply off-key. First, Romney was referring to a statement that the U.S. embassy in Egypt issued condemning the “efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” But that embassy statement, which the White House has distanced itself from, was in reference to an anti-Islam movie and anti-Islam pastor Terry Jones, and it came out BEFORE the embassy attacks began. Then this morning, we learned that the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and others died in one of the attacks.

Why didn’t the Romney campaign wait until it had all the facts? On his overseas trip in the summer, Romney was so careful not to criticize Obama while on foreign soil. But how much time do you give an administration to work through a diplomatic and international crisis before trying to score immediate political points? You’d expect the Sarah Palins of the world to quickly pounce on something like this, and she predictably did. But a presidential nominee running for the highest office in the land? After the facts have come out, last night’s Romney statement only feeds the narrative that his campaign is desperate.

Wisconsin 2nd Congressional District Democratic Primary Debate Tonight

Let’s hope Mark Pocan has some idea tonight about why Libya matters when it comes to the Arab Spring.  Pocan is political to be sure, but I am not confident he has the larger views required to be an informed and engaged member of Congress.

The debate will begin at 7 p.m. in the Plenary Room of Grainger Hall, 975 University Ave., at the UW-Madison School of Business. The event is open to the public, though seating is limited.

WISC-TV will air the debate on Sunday, Aug. 12, at 10 A.M. and on WISC-TV’s sister channel, TVW, the same day at 7 P.M.