…than there are coming to Obama rallies.
More random thoughts:
I watched the veep debate last week and thought, "Wow. I should start hoarding Fixodent." Then I thought, "Now we know what happened to the "uncle in the attic" that Barry used to talk about in '08. He made him Vice President." Then I thought, "Thanks, Martha, from all women everywhere, for standing up to VPOTUS Interruptus and keeping the debate civil. Awesome job."
And now, to catch us all up to the news of the minute: Hillary Clinton Takes Responsibility for the Security in Benghazi.
What I like about this headline is that it came after the most full and complete account of what the State Department knew about what went on in Benghazi on the night of 9/11/12. Read it and weep. It is quite detailed, as you can see, and much of it was known quickly, as there were live feeds from the security camera to Washington, D.C. offices of the State Department. Everyone knew from the very beginning that there was no protest. Everyone could see from the very beginning that this was a planned and well-coordinated attack on a particularly vulnerable outpost, and frankly, it's obvious that the attackers knew the ambassador was there.
What surprises me, and what has surprised me from the beginning, is that there was almost no one at the consulate itself. If the Ambassador hadn't been there with his security team, Sean Smith appears to be the only person there. Nowhere does anyone now or in previous coverage actually mention a consul. There's a "quick reaction" security team at an annex 2 kilometers away: how odd. What's that all about? My guess is that it was the real security team guarding the real prize, the "sensitive" work at the annex, so "quick reaction team" is misleading. The consulate wasn't doing anything but providing cover for an intelligence operation that employed a couple dozen people.
Aside: one of the parlor games that provides constant entertainment for Republicans is the abject hypocrisy of the media and the Left. Think, for a moment, about the hue and cry over the exposure of Val Plame. I remember it well…the special prosecutors… the jail time for journalists who bravely wouldn't give up their sources… the endless grand juries, until someone finally said something inconsistent in his testimony in one of his many interviews and could be prosecuted for that, while the actual blabbermouth (*cough* Armitage!) who gave her name out but never was prosecuted. Now, here, apparently, someone spilled the beans big time and actual people died and were seriously injured and a big intelligence operation was destroyed. Special prosecutor, anyone? [crickets.] End aside.
So now, belatedly, Hillary gets behind a microphone, in Peru of all places, and says she's responsible. For the security, that is. The "video" narrative: that's someone else. And she does this the night before Bill sends me an email saying I'm about to miss my chance to give money to the Obama campaign and join in the fight to beat the Lyingest Liar of All Time, Mitt Romney.
Does anyone else get the impression that this administration/campaign is in complete dissaray? If nothing else, the Steph Cutter Wig-o-meter is signalling that they are all over the map trying to contain this:
Yesterday, the O Campaign unveiled two innovative social/commercial media gimmicks that are bound to win voters hearts. First, the O-merica tee shirt design that's a play on the American flag, except that the red stripes look like streaks of dried blood. Nice!
The second is the "For All" campaign, as in "With liberty and justice for all." Pledge of allegiance, get it?
The campaign is asking supporters to snap a picture of their pose on Instagram and tweet to submit using one of the suggested hashtags: #forall, #obama2012, #campaigntrail, #opendoors2012, #dnc2012, or just tweet the president’s account @BarackObama.
This was the first picture (Jim Messina's original- yeah, I thought it was a joke, too):
Yes, that's Jim Messina, but he reminds nearly everyone of somebody else (hint: "It places the lotion in the basket") or someone else ("I have a lost puppy in my windowless panel van. Want to see it?") Immediately, one tweeter said, "HELP! We need a photoshop!" and these were born within the hour:
And more side-splitting creepiness at the DC Trawler, including the picture that was tweeted out by Ace of Spades who said, "I SWEAR, I DID NOT PHOTOSHOP THIS":
"Our kids <3": really unfortunate juxtaposed to the Jim Messina pics. And just really unfortunate full stop.
Just think: if the Benghazi consulate had had this "lock and key" security, Chris Stevens, et al. might be alive today.
Speaking of which, it appears that the "no bullets" rule was expanded for Libya to include the "no Marines" subhead.
Who was guarding the consulate? Well, on the perimeter, between 4 and 8 Libyans, several of whom were "armed insurgents" a few short months ago, who then became the new government's 'regular' army. But don't worry: to match their lack of training, they were given guns that lacked bullets (there seems to be a recurring theme in the Sesame Street Foreign Policy: Ron Paul, call your office.)
Things are moving fast: no sooner did Victoria 'Toria' Nuland adamantly deny the hiring of a British security firm, than the State Department denied the denial. As we say inside the Beltway, never believe a rumor until it is officially denied.
And, for those of you who were planning a little Club Med getaway in that region, some travel advisories- and be sure to scroll down and see the list of attacks that have taken place in just the last few months, and the number that occurred in Benghazi, and in particular those that targeted American interests.
I've always been big on the Communion of Saints. When I was Episcopalian, it was my gateway drug, so to speak, to a particular understanding of Christian spirituality. I never got the whole "when they're dead, that's it" theology of other Protestant denoms. If I ask someone to pray for me who is here, alive on this earth, then I can ask someone who's alive in the non-temporal sense. This is basic.
But Protestants generally balk at the whole "Patron Saint" stuff, the statues, the feast days, etc. that Catholics love, love, love. Yeah, some customary rituals fall strictly under the category of superstition, but it's never wrong to ask your favorite saint to intercede for you, any more than it's wrong to ask a friend to pray for you. And you just never know when that saint will come through for you.
Let me tell you about my favorite "little" saint. Everyone loves the biggies: St. Patrick, who is NOT the patron of beer or anything alcohol-related (unless the Irish are alcohol-related, which you can make a case for) and St. Valentine. Even non-Christians celebrate their feast days, usually by sinning. Catholics in various parts of the world have stronger or lesser devotions to Thérèse of Lisieux, St. Joseph (who has 2 feast days), St. Lucy, St. Nicholas (natch), and the various representations of the Blessed Virgin, among many others.
One day I was procrastinating and became intrigued by the lengthy list of saints and their patronage on this website. I think I wrote about this before: my daughter lost her wallet when she left it on top of the car she was filling at a gas station and heard it fly off the roof on a stretch of highway. She went to search the area and somehow lost her keys to the car in that search. The spare set had gone missing some time before (both teenagers adamantly denied losing them). Her father went to help her search for them in the blazing summer heat and I stayed home fooling around. So I run across St. Zita, a scullery maid of Medieval vintage, who gave away her employer's food but it was always miraculously replenished when she was about to get in trouble. For whatever reason, she is the Patron Saint of Lost Keys, also of Housework. This I thought was a nifty coincidence, but was nudged conscience-wise to do some housework so that I would have something to show for myself when my undoubtedly cranky husband returned from searching the tall grass off MoPac. I scanned the area, and decided to polish the kitchen chairs for the first time in a couple of years. I lifted the cushion off the first chair and THERE WAS THE SPARE SET OF KEYS.
I spent much of the day yesterday agonizing over my lost wallet. My husband and I both looked for it, and he's a much better finder than I am. As I went to bed, I recalled St. Zita and remembered that the several rather valuable things that I had recovered after invoking her (yeah, like the small but valuable gold crucifix that dropped of my necklace in the middle of the road on a mile long walk…) and I paid a mental visit to her. This morning my wallet was in my chair, my husband having found it after I went to bed.
St. Zita, thank you.
[And she's incorrupt, although it depends on what your definition of incorrupt is. In any case, she's in good shape for someone who died 750 years ago.]
…when you just want to hunker down like a permanent Punxatawny Phil and not even peek out of your burrow until news of the parousia has come over the wireless.
I lost my wallet sometime between Saturday evening and Sunday at dawn.
I stupidly said, "Sure, delete my files: I have backups on my desktop and Time Machine" when the guys at the Apple store said that the only way to get my App Store App up and running on the new used laptop was to "reinstall."
My son told me about a horrifying workplace accident at his work last week. Young man, brand-new hire, from a half-way house, had all of his fingers (not his thumbs) crushed in one of the machines. It is clearly a case of bad/non-existent supervision: kid was trained on modern machines, the machine he was set to work on WITHOUT SUPERVISION was ca. 1949. They (management) waited to transport him to an emergency room for an hour and fifteen minutes, doubtless while they were trying to figure out how to evade the workman's comp investigation.
And did I mention that I find I live in a country where our Ambassador to the U.N. can say
"Well, we obviously did have a strong security presence. And, unfortunately, two of the four Americans who died in Benghazi were there to provide security. But it wasn't sufficient in the circumstances to prevent the overrun of the consulate"
in response to this question,
"And the last question, terror cells in Benghazi had carried out five attacks since April, including one at the same consulate, a bombing at the same consulate in June. Should U.S. security have been tighter at that consulate given the history of terror activity in Benghazi?"
Oh, but they had "lock and key" security.
The events of the last week have left me absolutely stunned. In talking this over with a friend last night, we shared the principle anxiety: that a very large percentage of Americans now will have no sense of America's exceptionalism, thanks in large part to a press that is completely in the tank for Obama and liberals. I read a FaceBook post today from Abe Greenwald at Commentary saying, "If you're just a news consumer, and not in the political-ideas business, I have no idea how you'd get to the truth of current events." And most Americans are just news consumers. They passively receive the news that NATO and American troops are being assassinated by Afghani turncoats. No comment, nothing to suggest that there may be something terribly wrong with that scenario. Embassies in flames across the Middle East? Oh. As a passive consumer, I wouldn't find out that Marines guarding the embassy in Cairo had no live ammunition. I wouldn't know that the attack in Benghazi was planned, coordinated, in the dead of night. I wouldn't know that even the Libyan government knew that we, the U.S., had intelligence about the impending attack, and yet left the consulate defenseless, even allowing the ambassador to go there. But now it's a crime scene for the FBI, who can't get into the country, something I, as a passive consumer, don't know either.
But, I do know, as a passive news consumer, that Michelle has a stunning sense of style. Exhibit A, courtesy that hard news organization that is next on BO's interview line-up, right after Letterman, US Magazine:
Under the circumstances, we must find our laughs where we can. There is just something so…so… yin-yang about this picture.
Plus, I lost my wallet.