Just Because the Mainstream Press Isn’t Telling You About It, Doesn’t Mean You Shouldn’t Know About It: News You Can Use for August 21

The optics of this are horrible.

The optics of this are beyond horrible. And the media is finally starting to call President Obama on what appears to be a detachment from his actual job.

Stories of the Day

“It isn’t very hard to pretend to be president: Obama did it for five years or so. But now, he can’t be bothered. He leaves his allies with no ammunition with which to defend him, thereby showing, one might argue, even more contempt for them than for his enemies. There is an adage, Hell hath no fury like a liberal scorned. If that is true, Obama is in for a long two years. UPDATE: This is the lead story on the U.K.’s formerly pro-Obama Daily Mail:

Obama golfs


“President Barack Obama teed off again on Thursday, just 24 hours after pictures of his wide grin on the golf course drew condemnation in the wake of the beheading of American photojournalist James Foley. ‘Admit it,’ a White House pool reporter emailed the press corps. ‘You all made small-dollar bets that POTUS would be playing golf today. And … you would be right!’ ‘We are at the Farm Neck Golf Club at 1:13 pm. and POTUS is hitting the links again.’ The president drew fire Wednesday after reacting to Foley’s on-camera slaying for just five minutes, and then gripping his driver. He had told a global audience minutes earlier that ‘when people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.’ Then he was seen laughing with friends and fist-bumping them during a five-hour round at Farm Neck on Martha’s Vineyard.” Playing golf AGAIN: Obama tees off just 24 hours after being criticized for hitting the course within minutes of solemnly pledging justice for beheaded journalist James Foley

“Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney strongly criticized President Barack Obama on Wednesday night for going golfing immediately after delivering a statement on the beheading of American journalist James Foley. “Every day we find new evidence that he’d rather be on the golf course than he would be dealing with a crisis that’s developing rapidly in the Middle East,” Cheney declared during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity. Earlier in the day, Obama took a break from his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard to give an angry and emotional speech condemning the jihadist group ISIS and praising Foley’s career as a photojournalist. Among other things, Obama called ISIS a “cancer” in the world. According to a White House pool report, Obama then went to Farm Neck Golf Club with former Miami Heat player Alonzo Mourning and others. Cheney, a Republican and one of Obama’s fiercest critics, said Obama should have instead decided to end his vacation and engage the situation. “I noticed the reaction of David Cameron, the British prime minister, when he found out that the individual who apparently did the beheading was speaking with a British accent. He wanted to immediately leave his vacation,” Cheney said. ‘Of course, our president headed to the golf course as soon as he made his relatively, I thought, ineffective statement.’” CHENEY: Obama Would ‘Rather Be On The Golf Course’ Than The Situation Room

“Kristol said, “Its really pathetic, I feel sick really as an American, to have an American get killed, brutal murdered”  and have the president just go out and “look angry.” “I saw that line he said so childishly, really, ‘ISIL has no ideology that’s worthwhile.’ People like this ultimately fail. The Nazis also failed, but they killed 6 million Jews and tens of millions of other people along the way.” “I guess he thinks that’s enough, and now he’s playing golf up on Martha’s Vineyard. David Cameron, the prime minister of England, has much less of a connection, the murderer might be English, and he came home at least as a gesture of respect,” he said.” KRISTOL: OBAMA’S ‘CHILDISH’ ‘PATHETIC’ RESPONSE TO ISIS MADE ME ‘SICK AS AN AMERICAN’

“Barack Obama’s statement on the beheading of James Foley got mixed reviews yesterday, but perhaps tellingly not on MSNBC’s Hardball. Neither Chris Matthews nor Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman appeared too impressed with the anodyne reference to “justice” in the context of the videotaped beheading of an American journalist, but Matthews sounded positively offended by Obama’s vague statement. Let’s just say that Matthews wasn’t feeling any tingles as he demanded that Obama take action rather than allow terrorists to attack Americans with “impunity!” (via Newsbusters). [Snip] Matthews isn’t the only one worried that Obama isn’t taking this seriously. His former deputy director at the CIA, Mike Morell, tells CBS that the White House is greatly underestimating the necessity of direct action and commitment needed to end the ISIS threat. [Snip] Morell also rebuked the White House for leaking the rescue effort. The Obama administration seems ill prepared to deal with this in every conceivable way.” Obama not grasping the seriousness of the Foley murder, says … Chris Matthews?

“I don’t know if something is medically or psychologically wrong with President Obama; whether it’s simply stress or if, God forbid, he has some sort of addiction that is causing him to look like an aging skeleton.  But for some reason this supposedly “charismatic” leader and “great orator” keeps crawling out from his party down private life to address the American people with an apathetic monotone voice and lackadaisical gaze.  He consistently avoids direct eye contact with the camera in the same way a guilty child avoids his parent’s glare. The only time we see him animated and excited is when he’s brimming with hatred at the “right”  that’s when his eyes turn dark and he shoots daggers…exposing an intense anger. It’s disturbing to see an American president more animated and angry over his failed gun legislation than the gruesome beheading of an American citizen perpetrated by a group that his own defense secretary called, “The most brutal, barbaric forces we’ve ever seen…” Is Obama’s Detached Demeanor a National Security Risk?

“When it comes to combatting ISIS, the Obama administration has precious few successes to talk about. So today it touted a failure:

U.S. Special Operations forces staged an unsuccessful operation this summer to rescue photojournalist James Foley and other Americans being held in Syria by Islamic State militants, according to senior Obama administration officials.

The attempt, involving several dozen U.S. commandos, one of whom was injured in a fierce firefight with the militants, was the first known U.S. ground operation in Syria since the country’s descent into civil war. It came after at least six European hostages freed by the militants last spring had been debriefed by U.S. intelligence.

This information comes right after the beheading of ISIS hostage Jim Foley. Obviously, Team Obama wants to show the American public that it did what it could to save Foley, and it should be commended for the attempt. But public relations aside, was it wise for the administration to make this announcement? That’s not clear.” TEAM OBAMA REVEALS THAT IT TRIED TO RESCUE FOLEY

Emphasis mine. “So, why release this information at all? Some suggest that President Barack Obama’s administration has a political incentive to publicize details of the failed raid in the wake of Foley’s death. Operationally, it makes little sense to reveal American Special Forces tactics, particularly in a case in which those tactics were foiled. Some unnamed Pentagon officials agree. “Two Defense Department officials, who spoke separately on the condition of anonymity because of the operation’s delicate nature, expressed anger at the administration for revealing the mission,” The New York Times reported. “One of the officials said the aborted raid had alerted the militants to the Americans’ desire and willingness to try to rescue the hostages, and, in the aftermath, had probably forced the captors to tighten their security.” According to a National Security Council statement, the administration was simply trying to get ahead of reporters who were going to reveal the details of the raid with or without government collaboration. The administration, the NSC claims, would have preferred to have been able to keep this failed mission a secret indefinitely.” Decision to release details of failed raid to free James Foley backfires on White House

“Thursday morning, Shaffer appeared on WMAL radio in Washington, D.C., to discuss the ISIS execution of American journalist James Foley earlier this week. He told me and co-host Brian Wilson that the recently revealed rescue attempt led by Special Forces earlier this summer failed because President Obama was slow to give the go-ahead:

I’m hearing from my friends in the Pentagon, they are giving him every single option way ahead of time. And let me give you a little secret here: The reason that raid into Syria failed to get Foley and those guys was because the president drug his feet. He waited too long, the intel got stale, and by the time we actually gave the “go” word it failed because we just didn’t react quick enough.” Retired Intel Officer: Foley Rescue Attempt Failed Because Obama ‘Dragged His Feet’

As if the above stories weren’t enough, now there’s this… “The Government Accounting Office has concluded that the Obama Defense Department violated section 8111 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act when it transferred five detainees at Guantanamo Bay to Qatar without providing at least 30 days notice to certain congressional committees. Section 8111 prohibits the Defense Department from using appropriated funds to transfer any individuals detained at Gitmo unless the Secretary of Defense provides such notification. The GAO also found that, by using its appropriations in a manner specifically prohibited by law, DOD violated the Antideficiency Act, as well. The prisoner transfer occurred in May of this year as part of the deal in which the Taliban released Bowe Bergdahl. Naturally, the Defense Department used congressionally appropriated funds to effectuate the transfer. In doing so, says the GAO, it violated the unambiguous terms of section 8111 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act. Section 8111 prohibits the use of “funds appropriated or otherwise made available” in the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014, to transfer any individual detained at Guantanamo Bay to the custody or control of a foreign entity “except in accordance with section 1035 of the [FY 2014 NDAA].” GAO: OBAMA ADMINISTRATION VIOLATED LAW IN RELEASING GITMO DETAINEES TO QATAR IN BERGDAHL DEAL

Big Government

“Contempt for government cannot be hermetically sealed; it seeps into everything. Which is why cupcake regulations have foreign-policy consequences. Americans, inundated with evidence that government is becoming dumber and more presumptuous, think it cannot be trusted to decipher foreign problems and apply force intelligently. The collapse of confidence in government is not primarily because many conspicuous leaders are conspicuously dimwitted, although when Joe Biden refers to “the nation of Africa,” or Harry Reid disparages the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision as rendered by “five white men” (who included Clarence Thomas), Americans understand that their increasingly ludicrous government lacks adult supervision. What they might not understand is that Reids and Bidens come with government so bereft of restraint and so disoriented by delusions of grandeur that it gives fighting knives to police and grief to purveyors of non-compliant cupcakes.” Fed Up with Cupcake Cops: Americans are inundated with evidence that the State is becoming dumber and more presumptuous.

Bill Clinton

So much for being just like us regular folks. “Bill Clinton enjoys a Gurkha cigar, “the Rolls Royce of the cigar industry.” He “loves the Gurkhas,” Gurkha chief executive officer Kaizad Hansotia, maker of the HMR cigar, which stands for His Majesty’s Reserve. It is, according to Hansotia, “the world’s most expensive cigar.” One box is $25,000 — and the price will rise next year to $30,000. “The cigars are close to $1,000 each,” says the cigar boss to Bloomberg.”  Bill Clinton Now Enjoys $1,000 Cigars

The Border

“Former CIA covert operations officer Mike Baker said that he believes there is “a lot of communication” between ISIS and Mexican drug cartels given past efforts by al Qaeda to do likewise on Thursday’s “Laura Ingraham Show.” “We’ve had good intel over the years about al Qaeda, about their efforts to coordinate with, as an example, Mexican cartels…in an effort to try to exploit our southern border” he reported, adding that a terrorist group like ISIS “absolutely” knows about the lack of security on the border. Baker stated he believes there is ‘a lot of communication” between ISIS and drug cartels. And “the cartels are a business … if there’s a revenue stream they can exploit, then they will, and the extremists understand that.’” FORMER CIA OFFICER: ‘A LOT OF COMMUNICATION’ BETWEEN ISIS, MEXICAN CARTELS


“The news for the White House seems all bad. The Chicago Cubs, down 20 games in the National League Central Division standings, stand a better chance of winning the World Series than Nancy Pelosi has of returning as speaker of the House. Harry Reid has a considerably better chance of keeping control of the Senate, but polling averages today show voters in Arkansas, Iowa, North Carolina, Montana, Louisiana, South Dakota and West Virginia inclined to send Republicans to take seats now held by Democrats. Sen. Mitch McConnell only needs six of those seven races to go his way and he can move into Mr. Reid’s office. (Mr. McConnell is ahead in his own race as well). [Snip] Nothing is certain in politics, and Republicans have a well-known gift for retreat and blowing a lead, but the choice of tested candidates like Mr. Sullivan is reassuring to the party. If Mr. Obama wants to keep the Senate in his party’s hands, he should put down his driver and putter and think about how to strengthen the economy and make the world quit laughing at us.” The Obama tee party: A weak president hurts everyone, including the Democrats

Just great. “Sean Haugh, a 53-year-old Libertarian Party nominee in North Carolina, is imperiling Republican Thom Tillis’s chance to defeat incumbent Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) in North Carolina’s Senate race, according to anew poll from Public Policy Polling. Hagan leads Tillis by four points, 42% to 38%, with Haugh capturing 8% of the vote in the poll of 867 likely voters conducted between August 14 and 17. The lead is just outside of the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3.4%. The poll found Haugh supporters would pick Tillis over Hagan by a 61-19 margin. In a two-way race without Haugh, Hagan’s lead over Tillis drops to one point, 43% to 42%, a statistical dead heat. With Haugh out of the race, Tillis adds four points, Hagan adds one, and undecided increases by three. Unfortunately for Tillis, Haugh will be on the ballot in November, making his battle to victory more difficult. The seat is widely considered a must-win for Republicans if they hope to take control of the Senate. Haugh, a pizza deliveryman by day, is a five-time unsuccessful candidate for other offices with virtually no money or campaign infrastructure.” LIBERTARIAN PIZZA DELIVERYMAN IMPERILS REPUBLICAN CHANCES IN NORTH CAROLINA

Will the Republicans be smart enough to take advantage of this? “The in-depth polling on immigration released by Kellyanne Conway finds little support for Obama’s unilateral amnesty scheme and significant backing for more consistent enforcement. But as important as the law-and-order findings are, what I found most interesting was the depth of support for what Senator Jeff Sessions has described as a “humble and honest populism.” His push for a Republican approach to immigration that would “speak directly to the real and legitimate concerns of millions of hurting Americans whose wages have declined and whose job prospects have grown only bleaker” would appear to have political potential. As Conway’s memo on the poll findings put it, “Immigration is an issue unto itself AND as part of an overall economic message.” [Snip] The flip side is that a more populist GOP immigration message would put the Democrats on the defensive, helping paint them – accurately – as the real party of oligarchy. Obama, after all, is the one consulting with his corporate cronies on ways to hold down Americans’ wages through immigration. Democrats are the ones seeking to import more foreign workers for the Silicon Valley wage-fixing cartel, even as tech firms lay off Americans. Democrats are the ones trying to make sure Michael Bloomberg’s country club doesn’t have to raise wages (“who takes care of the greens and the fairways in your golf course?”). This necessary project of reversing the commonly held stereotypes about the parties is not helped when Paul Ryan says we need even more immigration because someday there might be a labor shortage, or Karl Rove says he doesn’t want his son to have to soil his hands with manual labor, or Haley Barbour justifies mass worker importation because “Colonel Sanders needs these guys.” A sober, ethnically neutral, wage-focused agenda of lower immigration is needed to help the GOP become a party that speaks to people who commute by bus rather than private jet. Conway’s polling shows its enormous appeal. It remains only for the party’s grandees to get the message.” ‘A Humble and Honest Populism’ Would Be a Winner

“Allowing the GOP to be cast as old and white is capitulation to a Manhattan-Beltway media elite meme, and denies the basic truth of the American Founding, stated in the Declaration and restated by Lincoln at Gettysburg. When the GOP takes the Senate in November, it ought to fashion an immigration law and border security overhaul –one fashioned from new, younger voices, armed with new, younger ideas on how to balance security and openness– built around border security and an expansive welcome to those who are already here who are not bad actors. The GOP is actually alive with young voices and ideas on these subjects, and has to escape the media vise that wants to cast it as the party of old white guys. But that is post-November planning which, while urgently needed to be underway privately right now just as judicial confirmation planning needs to be underway right now, has to take a backseat to the politics of right now. [Snip] Does anyone really believe that Al Franken is up to these times?  To these threats?  Or that non-Governor Dayton is superior to GOP nominee Jeff Johnson?  Franken was, is, and remains a joke.  Casting a vote for him is dishonorable, a rejection of America’s role in the world. Seriously, Franken is unserious.  That he has been “quiet” through his six years is an admission that Franken had nothing to say to begin with.  An empty suit. A cipher. A not-very-funny stand-up comic.  Minnesota, and the country, deserves better. Minnesota is a “light blue” state, but it is very winnable.  It elected a great American in Norm Coleman to the Senate in 2002 only to see the seat stolen from him in 2008.  The state elected a fine man and tremendous governor in Tim Pawlenty only to turn the statehouse over to a marginally coherent “legacy” candidate who has always won because of the name he inherited not the ideas he has proposed and pursued –which are, well, just nuts. Minnesota needs top get serious, like the times. [Snip] The fall is upon us and the need for the country to rally to the idea that it doesn’t have to sink into President Obama-led eclipse.  It take energy, money and especially resolve at every level.  I think I see that forming up, and just in time.” Minnesota and 2014

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“No one knows, certainly not Mr. Obama. So why, then, say the shooting was “heartbreaking”? It was, if Mike Brown was killed for no reason; it was most certainly not, if he was a thug who attacked a police officer. While he didn’t say the teenager could have been his son, or that police had acted stupidly, he also did not tell those in Ferguson to stand down, to just stop. While he didn’t call the moment “teachable,” he also didn’t say that the rule of law supersedes all, that everyone should step back, stop the violence, and look to the courts to resolve the matter. And there’s a simple reason: Mr. Obama will never “let a good crisis go to waste.” Americans are being beheaded in Iraq, the Middle East is on fire, Vladimir Putin is one-upping the president left and right. The president needs an issue, something divisive, something that fits his strategy of pitting American against American, class against class, and as always, race against race. This is Mr. Obama’s darkest hour. And he’s on the golf course on Martha’s Vineyard, playing the whitest of sports — golf — hoping the whole thing explodes. He just might get his wish.” Obama wants Ferguson to explode

“Those of us who admit that we were not there, and do not know what happened when Michael Brown was shot by a policeman in Ferguson, Mo., seem to be in the minority. We all know what has happened since then — and it has been a complete disgrace by politicians, the media, and mobs of rioters and looters. Despite all the people who act as if they know exactly what happened, nevertheless, when the full facts come out, that can change everything. This is why we have courts of law, instead of relying on the media or mobs. But politics is undermining law. [Snip] Among the other unthinking phrases repeated endlessly is, “He shot an unarmed man.” When does anyone know that someone is unarmed? Unless you frisk him, you don’t know — until, of course, after you have shot him. The only time I ever pointed a firearm at a human being, I had no idea whether he was armed or unarmed. To this day I don’t know whether he was armed or unarmed. Fortunately for both of us, he froze in his tracks. Was I supposed to wait until I made sure he had a gun before I used a gun? Is this some kind of sporting contest? Some critics object when someone with a gun shoots someone who only has a knife. Do those critics know that you are just as dead when you are killed with a knife as you are when you are killed by a gun? If we can’t be bothered to stop and think, instead of repeating pat phrases, don’t expect to live under the rule of law. Do you prefer the rule of the media and/or the mob?”  The Media and the Mob: Those who admit they don’t know exactly what happened in Ferguson seem to be in the minority.

Our Military

I had no idea. Read the whole thing! “It is for this and many other reasons that Julie Oligschlaeger offers her own plea regarding the culture of drugging veterans into oblivion and the need for change now. “Put it in the hands of people who care,” she said. “Take it away from the politicians.” Lieutenant Colonel Bart Billings, a retired Army psychologist, has long championed the use of alternative, non-drug therapies to heal veterans’ mental scars. He blames military psychiatrists for being in bed with pharmaceutical companies, creating a situation where a reported 90 percent of U.S. troops in combat zones have been on some form of psychiatric drug, while on battlefields 180-day supplies of deadly drugs such as Seroquel were being passed around like candy.” Courage Betrayed  Hat tip: Linda Rizzo, Palo Verde Republican Women member

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