President Obama made a fairly short statement from the briefing room about the explosions at today's Boston Marathon.
We still do not know who did this or why. And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But make no mistake -- we will get to the bottom of this. And we will find out who did this; we'll find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.
Today is a holiday in Massachusetts -- Patriots’ Day. It’s a day that celebrates the free and fiercely independent spirit that this great American city of Boston has reflected from the earliest days of our nation. And it’s a day that draws the world to Boston’s streets in a spirit of friendly competition.
Boston is a tough and resilient town. So are its people. I'm supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city. And as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way. You should anticipate that as we get more information, our teams will provide you briefings. We're still in the investigation stage at this point. But I just want to reiterate we will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this horrific tragedy.
Oh, my. The whack jobs really are off the leash lately, aren't they? A little drunk tweeting? I guarantee you this: Nothing Rohrabacher (famous war-loving chickenhawk) says will ever be bad enough to ban him from the Sunday talk shows -- because that's just how they roll!
The Kookville Express and its happy, wild-eyed conductor, Dana Rohrabacher, has shifted routes in yet another attempt for a cheap two-fer ticket: to derail President Barack Obama's second term and sabotage Hillary Clinton's potential future White House run.
First, the Costa Mesa Republican declared (without possessing any supportive facts) that the events of Benghazi were "worse" than the felony-rich Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon in 1974.
That absurd comparison didn't go far except with faithful Kookville passengers.
Stymied, Rohrabacher changed strategies.
Benghazi is apparently no longer worse than Watergate.
Now, he is trying to take sly advantage of massive, pre-Oscar publicity for Argo, Ben Affleck's film.
Rohrabacher claims Benghazi is like President Jimmy Carter's failed 1980 helicopter attempt to rescue American captives in Iran.
"Maybe Prez thought failed rescue = no re-election, like Carter in 1980," the congressman theorized on Twitter late Tuesday night.
In other words, according to Rohrabacher's mental machinations, Obama knowingly allowed Stevens to be murdered so that he could win re-election.
Face The Nation had an interesting "power panel round table" where bipartisanship ruled the day and all the parties involved could agree on one thing for sure: President Obama is being a real meanie to Republicans. Bob Woodward, Dee Dee Myers, Peggy Noonan and Condoleezza Rice all made the same vapid points to Bob Schieffer. See, all this obstructionism by the Republicans ever since Obama moved into the Oval Office has never been about them. It's all about the mean and nasty Obama is not being sensitive to their needs. Here's how Beltway sage Bob Woodward framed the last four years:
Woodward: ...governing is a collaboration between the White House and the Congress and let's face it, it's a collaboration that is not working. It is broken and the President has not found a way to close the deal with the leaders of the Republicans and quite frankly, with his own party.
I remember Katharine Graham, the publisher of the Washington Post, used to always say 'it's hard to not like someone who says they like you.' You talk to senators and congressmen, as you know, and they feel Barack Obama doesn't like them or is at least indifferent to them. And so you have all of these conflicts in negotiations and they end... Look, the President has the upper hand now and will for some time, but you know in any... Condi Rice knows so well, any any negotiation you need to leave the opponent with their dignity and the president is going out and sticking his finger in their eye.
Has any analysis by a politico who's supposed to have been following this day to day been more bombastically wrong of our current political situation? My God, I know Obama is about to start his second term with higher popularity rates than anyone else in the Beltway, but this is the best narrative Villagers could come up with?
The only thing that makes sense is that they are trying to force Obama to cut Social Security and Medicare.
Schieffer goes farther and says Obama doesn't even like the process of governing or 'getting his hands dirty', which is a quiet way to frame him as just being detached and lazy. Dee Dee Myers chimes in:
He's a politician who doesn't love politics---right, I mean I'm not sure if he even likes the art of politics and that's a problem. He hasn't built the kinds of relationships that sustained other politicans in tough times...
At this point, Myers takes a moment to pay homage to Woodward:
You have to let the other guys leave the table saying they got something for their side, because they're going to give up something big if it's going to be an important deal. I think this White House has not done this as successfully as they need to 'cause you end up with Versailles...
How can Obama negotiate in good faith with a party that has been fractured by their own extremism? Speaker John Boehner is constantly forced to withdraw from negotiations because the tea party refuses to be a grown up caucus. But this is left unmentioned. It's all Obama's fault, dontchaknow?
Bob then turns to Peggy Noonan, (who should probably be given a breathalyzer before she goes on any TV panel) to really get a grip on what's happening in Washington.
Noonan: Hmmmm....well, it's true on the Hill speakers and such don't quite control their conferences and caucuses as they have, but what's different for the last few weeks say, since the President was re-elected is that he's playing it in a way differently than previous presidents. Previous presidents get a win, whether it's close or not, and then they try to sort of put their arms around everybody and summon them in. We're essentially a 50-50 country still. Instead of 'let's all be together,' he's been very sharply definitively 'us guys' vs. 'you guys' by going at the Republicans on the Hill. By speaking in a way that is very...sour about why Republicans take the stands they take, he, I think... it's a new way to play it, a tough way to play it and dicey way to play it.
Do you remember George Bush rallying the Democrats after he won? I don't. He did say he now had new political capital that he was going to spend and spend it big time. He stuck a fork in the eyes of Democrats on the Hill by trying to destroy Social Security. But why bring up real facts?
I also recall that after Bush won re-election in 2004, all the Villagers were heralding in the idea that America is a center-right nation while pimping Fox News' all red map of the United States. This circle jerk meme of Obama's mean behavior swept all the other networks, including CBS.
When Republicans act like meanies, they are thought to be tough negotiators and skilled politicians, when President Obama become tough, he's really just aloof and politically lazy and mean to the poor, misunderstood Republicans, just trying to get along. I'm not shocked the teabaggers threaten to blow up the debt ceiling; because they won't be blamed by the Villagers. I can see it now, Obama was mean to them so he deserved whatever the GOP do to him.
On Thursday's The Factor, Bill O'Reilly was livid that President Obama wants to legislate gun control after the Sandy Hook tragedy and refuses to negotiate over the debt ceiling hostage taking by Republicans. So instead of calling him arrogant or 'uppity,' he substituted 'cocky' instead.
O'Reilly: Have you noticed a subtle change in the president's demeanor? he was always a cocky guy, but now he's got an edge to him. He's almost dismissive of opposing points of view. Here's an example on the gun control issue where the president will have a very hard time with the House...
BillO played a clip of VP Biden saying the Obama will use executive orders .
"The president is going to act. Executive orders, executive action, can be taken," Biden told reporters before meetings with groups representing survivors of mass shootings. "We haven't decided what this is yet, but we're compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and all the rest of the Cabinet members."
To O'Reilly, if a president enacts an executive order then he must be cocky! In his world, he thinks it violates the constitution,but later in the show a UCLA professor explains to Bill that all presidents have used executive orders. Hell, George Bush issued a slew of them throughout his eight years. Here's a complete list of all of them. However, no matter what they are, they are only justified in Bill O's world if a Republican president does it.
O'Reilly: So what Mr. Biden is saying is that the president is willing to use an executive order on a constitutional issue like guns. Very dicey.
If Bush used an EO on gun control, Bill-O would say that he did it because he felt he was compelled to. End of story. But then O'Reilly flipped the 'cocky' part of Obama and adeptly transitioned into how the people that want to pass gun control only are doing it because they hate America. or, in BillO's words
A driving philosophy behind this is that America is a bad country....
President Obama believes that America is a flawed country and it is his duty to correct those flaws.
See, Obama the cocky hates America and it's his duty to correct those flaws that we here at FOX News make you believe there really aren't any. We're perfect, without flaw, God fearing and righteous. Heck, if we do happen to blow up a few countries along the way I'm sure the folks will be virtuous and forgive em.
As the days tick by in Obama's second term, Bill-O is going to lose it more and more. I don't see how he makes it through without taking a lot of time off. If not, I imagine that he'll blame Obama for fluoridation and other such things. But for now he'll stick to the basics of dog-whistle politics.
General Jack D. Rippe: Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?' I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids."
General Jack D. Ripper: Mandrake, do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk... ice cream. Ice cream, Mandrake, children's ice cream.
General Jack D. Ripper: Nineteen hundred and forty-six. 1946, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard-core Commie works. Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Uh, Jack, Jack, listen... tell me, tell me, Jack. When did you first... become... well, develop this theory?
General Jack D. Ripper: [somewhat embarassed] Well, I, uh... I... I... first became aware of it, Mandrake, during the physical act of love.
It's the Republican way. Whenever they fail, they always blame it on the other side. So it is with Speaker (maybe Former Speaker?) John Boehner, who is now refusing to engage in any one-on-one negotiations with President Obama ever again, no way, no how, he's done forever.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is signaling that at least one thing will change about his leadership during the 113th Congress: he’s telling Republicans he is done with private, one-on-one negotiations with President Obama.
During both 2011 and 2012, the Speaker spent weeks shuttling between the Capitol and the White House for meetings with the president in the hopes of striking a grand bargain on the deficit.
Those efforts ended in failure, leaving Boehner feeling burned by Obama and, at times, isolated within his conference.
In closed-door meetings since leaving the “fiscal cliff” talks two weeks ago, lawmakers and aides say the Speaker has indicated he is abandoning that approach for good and will return fully to the normal legislative process in 2013 — seeking to pass bills through the House that can then be adopted, amended or reconciled by the Senate.
"He is recommitting himself and the House to what we've done, which is working through regular order and letting the House work its will,” an aide to the Speaker told The Hill.
Personally, I think this is a good thing, but it is funny that Boehner announces it like somehow President Obama made him take that crappy Plan B bill to the floor, or that President Obama somehow twisted his arm into putting the Senate compromise bill out for a clean vote.
I guess President Obama also forced him to walk away from the table when they were just short of a deal. Twice.
In some ways, this bodes well for the debt ceiling vote. If Boehner stays true to his promise, he'll put a clean bill out and let the House debate and vote on it, with no negotiating, which is what the President has said needs to happen.
Or maybe Eric Cantor will oust him. Either way, he looks like the petulant fool that he is.
President Obama held a brief presser today to express his grief and shock over the Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
THE PRESIDENT: This afternoon, I spoke with Governor Malloy and FBI Director Mueller. I offered Governor Malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation, and made it clear he will have every single resource that he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families.We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news I react not as a President, but as anybody else would -- as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do. The majority of those who died today were children -- beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers -- men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams. So our hearts are broken today -- for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost. Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early, and there are no words that will ease their pain. As a country, we have been through this too many times.
Whether it’s an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago -- these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics. This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter and we’ll tell them that we love them, and we’ll remind each other how deeply we love one another.
But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight. And they need all of us right now. In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans. And I will do everything in my power as President to help.Because while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need -- to remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories but also in ours.
May God bless the memory of the victims and, in the words of Scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.
The President was quite emotional and teared up a couple of times. Does this mean he'll take swift action? We can only hope so, but I didn't expect a rapid reaction on the heels of the politicization of the Benghazi tragedy by Conservatives.
More news is flowing in and we'll update you along the way.
On Fox & Friends this morning, Steve Doocy lamented that a surveillance video of what happened in Benghazi on September 11 will probably not be released until after the election. But that was no impediment for him and his co-hosts to adjudge President Obama guilty of allowing Americans to die in the attack on the consulate there.
Interestingly, the comments today very much echoed those of Fox News’ Peter Johnson, Jr. who “asked” last week whether Obama had deliberately allowed Americans to die for political purposes. Since then, Gabriel Sherman, in New York Magazine, has suggested that Johnson was acting as a surrogate for Fox chief Roger Ailes. The fact that such similar sentiments re-emerged today – still without evidence to support them – gives further credence to that theory.
Today’s accusations were based around a report that requests for help made by Americans under siege at Benghazi had not been granted. Clayton Morris acknowledged that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta had said, “That zone seemed too hot to send in additional forces.” But Morris quickly cast doubt on that based on vague speculation:
There’s others who say it wasn’t hot and by simply allowing a helicopter gunship that had laser locked on these targets could have actually intervened and stopped this brutal slaying that was unfolding there.
Who those “others” were, Morris didn’t bother to say.
According to host Alisyn Camerota, the CIA “categorically denies that any request for backup was denied.” But everybody immediately ignored that. Even as she spoke a banner on the screen blared, ‘WHY DID THEY ALLOW HIM TO DIE?”
Steve Doocy said, “Apparently, there was a guy on the embassy roof who had a laser pointer and he was painting where the mortars were coming from and they were on the radio and they were begging, 'Please send us a gunship.' It never came.”
Camerota said, “It’s hard to know what happened… We need names.”
But why wait for names and hard information when it’s less than two weeks before a tight election? Clayton Morris pointed his finger directly at Obama:
Michael Scheuer on the show yesterday says, “Look, the buck stops with the president. This sort of thing goes up the chain of command and it would be odd or almost impossible for it not to enter the White House.”
What Morris didn’t tell the “we report, you decide” network’s viewers is that Scheuer is hardly a voice of credibility. He has longed for a terrorist attack to “save America,” characterized President Obama as a racist and suggested that Civil War might be justified. Or maybe that’s what passes for credibility on Fox these days.
Fox also aired a bizarre clip of the father of one of the slain SEALs directing comments to President Obama: “For your benefit I would want you to turn your life around and head the other direction so that blessings can continue to flow into your life. I want the best for you and that means you need to stand up, admit your fault and then change the direction of your life. I love this country of ours.”
Although I’m sure everyone’s heart goes out to that father, he didn’t have any direct information about what happened or what President Obama knew or did, either. But it’s a safe bet that clip will be played repeatedly on Fox.
The summation for the prosecution was left to Doocy. He didn’t need any more information to render a verdict:
It’s been six weeks. There are tapes that exist of exactly what went down. I believe the people who say that we asked for backup and it never came and it was denied. Somebody – look, the White House has thrown the intelligence community under the bus. They’ve tried the same with the Pentagon. I believe those guys.
Two days ago, Geraldo Rivera ripped the Curvy Couch Crew over the politicization of the tragedy at Benghazi. He also revealed the names of three like-minded Republican Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee who think hearings should wait until after the election. But that piece of information was excluded from evidence today and Rivera’s objections overruled in Fox’s kangaroo court.
How many of us have heard the old adage that it's actions, not words, that matter. I concur with that assessment generally. However, when it comes to presidential politics, it doesn't hold as fast and tight. The bully pulpit is a powerful tool to convey political agenda, ideology and action in any presidential term, and while a president isn't a king (sorry teaBirchers, he's not) who can enact whatever policy he likes, he certainly can explain and promote his beliefs to millions of Americans at any given time.
Obama over his first four years has frustrated his liberal base because he was just as likely to mention Ronald Reagan in glowing terms as much as he would Teddy Roosevelt or FDR. And he never laid out a consistent progressive agenda to the American people during his first years in the White House. (No matter what FOX News said.) But on FOX News shortly after the inauguration, Charles Krauthammer was the only one to come on after the speech and praise it honestly. Most conservatives complained that the president was being mean to Republicans yet again, but not Charles:
I thought it was an amazing speech — historically very important,” Krauthammer said. ”Not memorable — there’s not a line here that will ever be repeated, but I think very important historically because this was really Obama unbound. And I think what’s most interesting is that Obama basically is declaring the end of Reaganism in this speech.
I was pretty astonished by his response when I watched this, because for the most part, Charles has been one of the leaders of the Sour Patch Kids who live off being deficit scolds. Obama's victory is forcing many conservatives to come to grips with certain realities (maybe America isn't a center right country?) and Charles is trying to understand what it means for Republicans in the future. I may disagree with his notion of what 'Big Government' is and means, but his analysis on the whole is fairly accurate.
Funny, how many pundits that criticized Obama for not extending a loving hand to Republicans never mentioned George Bush's second inauguration speech. It dealt almost entirely with his bombastic and aggressive foreign policy beliefs.
We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.
Bush did promote his "ownership society" theories, but freedom was the central tenet of his speech after the 9/11 tragedy. He also talked a little about equality, but shrouded it in Republican orthodoxy. Unfortunately for us, his beliefs helped destroy the global financial economies. There was nary a word about Democrats and Republicans working together to cure the ills of our land. I guess he's been deleted from conscious thought by the Villagers in which we are to compare past and future presidents.
In Obama's second inauguration--he surprised many liberals by making the case for some of the strongest beliefs the left holds dear like equality; including marriage, voter rights, climate change and exalting the safety net programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law—for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.
We do not believe that in this country freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us at any time may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us. (Applause.) They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great. (Applause.)
In your face Roger Ailes, Mitt Romney, Rupert Murdoch, Karl Rove and the entire Conservative movment. So Obama is off to a good start at least in terms of rhetoric. And yes, rhetoric from the top is an important ingredient for baking a very progressive pie. He is the leader of the Democratic party. However, if Obama does not continue to use the bully pulpit promoting Liberal ideas and falls back into being a deficit scold then all will be lost.