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The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson writes about the Republican obsession with Benghazi and its "witch hunt" attempt to smear Hillary Clinton:
The only coherent purpose I can discern in all of this is to sully Clinton’s record as secretary of state in case she runs for president in 2016. [...]

Did Clinton’s State Department fail to provide adequate security for the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi? In retrospect, obviously so. But the three diplomats who testified at the hearing gave no evidence that this failure sprang from anything other than the need to use limited resources as efficiently as possible.

House Republicans who voted to cut funding for State Department security should understand that their philosophy — small government is always better — has consequences. Bureaucrats have to make judgment calls. Sometimes they will be wrong.

David Rothkopf at CNN chimes in:
Rep. Darrell Issa must be ruing his bad luck. The hearing he carefully orchestrated to pick at the scab of Benghazi was stepped on by the verdict in the Jodi Arias murder trial and by the story of three women held captive and brutalized for a decade in Cleveland. He was out-sensationalized and out-tawdried this week despite his own best efforts and those of his committee colleagues and staff members. [...] Nothing spoken of in the hearing suggested a cover-up by a Cabinet secretary, who instantly took personal responsibility for the attacks and swiftly appointed an independent commission led by two of the most distinguished, nonpartisan career civil servants in recent American history to investigate them. To say otherwise is more than a reach. It's an effort by the Republican Party to damage the person most likely to be the next Democratic presidential candidate.

In the calculus of Washington today, Clinton is a bigger and more valuable target even than her former boss, the president.

Peter Fenn adds:
Benghazi was a tragedy, a terrible tragedy and because of it a light should be shone on what more can be done to protect those who serve America overseas. What our country does not deserve is a political show trial designed to vilify Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama. What we don't need is a crass partisan effort to influence the 2016 presidential campaign.

Unlike the 1980s Iran-Contra scandal, there are no questions of illegal acts, no secret funds, no shredding of documents and no efforts to directly circumvent a law passed by Congress. People may forget that 14  administration officials were indicted and 11 convicted as a result of the arms-for-hostages scandal.

Instead, what we have after eight months of investigation, 11 congressional hearings before five committees, 20 staff briefings and 25,000 pages of documents is exactly what we started with: a tragic situation with lessons to be learned, but not a grand conspiracy. It is sad that Rep. Darrell Issa has decided not to conduct a series of hearings to help solve the problems that out diplomats face every day but rather to engage in a partisan, political witch hunt for a conspiracy and cover-up that doesn't exist.

Head below the fold for more analysis of the day's top stories.

Scott Lilly at US News:

Certainly mistakes were made and careful examination of this tragedy will help identify the corrective actions necessary to make life safer for our diplomatic corps. But the partisan circus that has erupted around the death of these four brave men undercuts such efforts. It does a disservice to our diplomats and to our country.
The New York Times editorial board provides its take:
The hearing did not prove anything like an administration cover-up or other hysterical allegations of crimes equal to Watergate that some Republicans, such as Representative Steve King and Senator Lindsey Graham, have alleged. Republicans have held numerous hearings and briefings on Benghazi and are threatening to hold even more. It is a level of interest they did not show during George W. Bush’s administration when there were 64 attacks on American diplomatic targets or in the years they spent cutting back diplomatic security budgets.

The real scandal is that serious follow-up on security in Libya is going unaddressed. Congress needs to make sure that State Department budgets for personnel and security improvements are sufficient and that security reforms are put in place as soon as possible.

The Senate should move quickly to confirm the ambassador, Deborah Jones, whose hearing was Tuesday.

Stephen Stromberg:
[I]f their obsession with Benghazi is partly an attempt to render [Clinton] incapable of winning the general election in 2016, the affair won’t do it for them. Or even get close. [...] Clinton... continues to be one of the most-scrutinized people on earth, and, following her time as secretary of state, her reputation remains strong. Even after the attention the right has paid to Benghazi — including demanding she testify to Congress — her approval numbers remain in the 60s. If she runs for president, of course, they wouldn’t stay there. Any residual support among Republicans who have compared her favorably to President Obama will dry up. But that would have happened with or without Benghazi.
Switching topics, former White House deputy chief of staff Nancy-Ann DeParle writes about the successes of health insurance reform :
Critics say the law is complex. They are right. When Obama first took office, 51 million Americans were uninsured, premiums had more than doubled in the preceding decade, and insurers could deny coverage to those who needed it most. If easy solutions existed, someone would have found them long ago.

The ACA tackles these problems. It provides near-universal coverage by requiring everyone who can afford coverage to have it; expanding Medicaid for the poorest and subsidizing those who are low-income or whose employers do not provide coverage; and creating online “health insurance marketplaces” where consumers and small businesses can shop for private plans competing on price and quality.

Kenneth Thomas, meanwhile, points out that young adults should love the law:
As House Republicans prepare to vote on repealing Obamacare for the umpteenth time, it is important to remember that the Affordable Care Act is working precisely as designed. Last year, 12.8 million Americans received health insurance premium rebates because their insurance company didn't spend enough on actual health care costs (80 percent of premiums in the individual market, 85 percent in the large group market). Children cannot be denied health insurance due to pre-existing conditions, a feature that expands to adults next year.

But the biggest indicator of success is the rapidly falling rate at which young adults aged 19-25, who can now stay on their parents' insurance policies, are uninsured. Via Joan McCarter at Daily Kos, the Commonwealth Fund released the results of its biennial health insurance survey. Although the news wasn't all good, the report shows just how much the Affordable Care Act has worked for young adults.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Krugman also has a good column today (28+ / 0-)

    which you can read here.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:02:44 AM PDT

    •  Krugman has a way of ignoring things he doesn't (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shoeless, Pariah Dog, retLT

      like.

      When it comes to bonds, inflation matters, and, contrarty to what he says, there are real signs of inflation that will affect bond prices if they continue.

      Early warning signs:

      FOOD!
      Food may be a minor expense for the well-to-do, but it's a big deal for those of us who are, ummm, less than that.  A trip to the grocery store is  a recurring invitation for sticker shock.

      GAS!
      Yup, we poor folk who can't buy Teslas still need gas to get around.  I just bought a few gallons for $4.22, and an improving economy will only make that worse.

      Whatever the CPI may say, increases in basics lead to increases in other prices, and that, my friends, is inflation.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:53:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I love it when people talk about how cheap (7+ / 0-)

        electric cars are.  "You can get one for under $40,000!"  As if most of us could afford that.  I've never owned a new car.  I can buy a lot of gas for what I'd make in a car payment.  It's a shame because I would prefer to drive a vehicle that is less damaging to the environment than my 1997 Crown Vic.

        “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

        by musiclady on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:00:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think electric cars (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Porterhouse, True North

          will be worth it until either they charge really fast, and/or we have charging stations like we have gas stations now.

        •  Short sighted view IMO (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          milton333, TerryDarc

          They cost $40,000 however you won't be paying $50-$100 every time you fill up.  Calculate that out over 200,000 miles and the initial upfront cost of buying that electric car seems pretty damn reasonable.

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:54:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes and No (0+ / 0-)

            As someone who has to finance a car, the car payment on a new electric vehicle (over 5 years) costs far more per month than what I pay for gas and insurance for my paid off vehicle.  I hope to purchase a more gas efficient used vehicle in the next year or two and I will have to finance that.  I don't plan on spending over $15K though and I'll be taking money out of my 403b to do that unless I can get close to zero percent interest on a loan.

            “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

            by musiclady on Fri May 10, 2013 at 09:41:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Apples to oranges comparison (0+ / 0-)

              Compare what it will cost to finance a normal new car plus insurance, plus gas, plus maintenance.

              Now compare it to what it will cost to finance an EV vehicle, plus what it will cost to run it, maintenance etc.

              For example, I drive about 25,000 miles a year for work and so on.  That's about $300 a month in gas a month.  I pay .07/kwh in electricity and will soon have solar panels on my roof which will bring the cost down even more.  I go to service my car 5x a year.  Each time I pay between $150-$500 depending on whether or not I get just an oil change or a full tune up.  That's for oil changes, filters, spark plus, and so on.  All expenses which with a Tesla for example I would not have.  

              When all is said and done, I'm paying roughly $400 MORE a month for my car between gas and services than I would with an EV.  

              Now using the Tesla as an example, just because I love the Tesla.  To finance the 60 kWh car priced at $71,070 after taxes and stuff minus $15% down which comes mostly from rebates for 6 years, it would cost me $916 a month.  If I was to buy a standard gas car which gets 27 mpg and finance $25,000 at the same rate and term it would cost me $379 a month.  Add the $400 and you get $779 a month.  So for $137 more a month I get a Tesla which is a luxury EV as opposed to a pretty run of the mill new car.  

              It's still a bit pricey to buy that Tesla but the point was to show you that the actual monthly cost is really not that bad when compared to a typical new car.  Now obviously if I were to compare it to a compact or economy car or a used car the Tesla would be much more expensive but conversely if I was to compare it to a Lexus or any other comparable luxury car then the Tesla would likely come out ahead for monthly costs.  

              The same comparison can be made when comparing the Volt.  Once you factor in the costs of gas into the equation, that Volt will likely cost about the same or less per month than if you bought a typical gas vehicle and provided you didn't have to use gas with the Volt and only used it for short distances.

              Personally I like the EV's and not the hybrids or the duals like the Volt.  The Tesla is still too pricey for me and most everyone for that matter but if they offer a vehicle in the $40,000-$50,000 price range in the future, then it's a different story.  Once we change the way we think of cost of the vehicle and factor in costs of service and gas all of a sudden that $40,000 car is about as expensive if not cheaper per month than even the $15,000 gas vehicle you're looking to buy in the future.

              This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

              by DisNoir36 on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:29:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Right (0+ / 0-)

                But you are talking about two scenarios that I cannot consider.  I currently pay less than $100 a month for insurance and less than $200 a month in gas and I have no car payment.  I also don't pay for service as my husband works in an auto shop.  He does the maintenance and service and gets parts at cost.  A $400 or $500 a month car payment without even considering the cost of running a vehicle exceeds what I am now paying.  And I'm talking about a payment on a vehicle much cheaper than a Tesla.  I don't have 15% to put down on an expensive vehicle.  I will end up buying something 4 or 5 years old at CarMax and financing it for 3 years as I will retire in 3 years and I don't want to make car payments upon retirement.  My income will drop by about 50%!   I may consider a hybrid, though right now I wouldn't really benefit from one as I mostly do highway driving.  Upon retirement, we hope to move to city where driving a hybrid makes more sense.  My concern is that I don't know how long the battery lasts in one of those.  I drive my cars until they die.  My current car has 245K miles and it runs like a charm!  I don't want to have to replace a $6-8K battery in a hybrid if I don't have to!

                “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

                by musiclady on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:31:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well for you it doesn't work (0+ / 0-)

                  At least not right now and maybe not ever.  EV's and hybrids are way to expensive for you, to be frank and the prices probably won't come down fast enough for you to consider one even in 3 years when you retire.  

                  I would just run the car you do have until it does die.  If you're moving to a city, public transportation may be a better option than a hybrid anyway.  

                  Your needs are quite different than mine.  I drive alot and I won't be retiring any time soon and if the GOP have their way, at all.  My car is 8 years old and it already has 200,000 miles on it.  I anticipate having to buy a new car in the next 3-5 years.  I'll likely have to finance it.  My considerations are vastly different than yours it seems.  

                   

                  This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

                  by DisNoir36 on Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:03:58 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's sort of the plan (0+ / 0-)

                    We are looking at homes in a city where we can walk most places.  I watched my mother lose the use of her legs from just sitting for hours in front of the tv.  That's not what I want for my golden years.  I love to walk and the areas we are looking at would allow me to do that.  I will still own a car as we are do-it-yourselfers who like to garden and do home improvement (we are looking at Victorian homes) so we need to be able to haul stuff.  I also like to drive to New England when I can so I'm thinking that a small SUV will best suit my needs--something like a Subaru or a Ford Escape.  We've had incredible luck with our Fords and my husband swears that they are easy to repair and maintain.

                    “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

                    by musiclady on Sat May 11, 2013 at 06:34:52 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Food is a climate change, water issue (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Involuntary Exile, myboo

        not an inflation issue that comes from fed policies

        •  Food is absolutely an inflation issue. (0+ / 0-)

          Doesn't matter what drives it. When costs go up, prices go up. When prices go up, costs go up.

          The real return on a bond is a function of it's real rate of return, and real rate of return incorporations inflation.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:14:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  not where I live (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peterfallow

        gas has been around $3.20 to $3.25 where I live.  Maybe you could also consider public transportation when you need to get around.  
        You offer no evidence of food price inflation other than your own self serving "sticker shock!" comment, but there are ways of addressing that as well, if it really exists where you live.
        Of course these things might require some lifestyle changes, but you seem to have a ton of free time to engage in nothing but critical stone throwing.
        Offering constructive solutions and acting on them?  Not so much, at all.

        •  Well, that was a tacky and pointless reply. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac, DSPS owl

          Not quite HR-able, but near miss.

          •  Why would you consider that HR'able. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annetteboardman

            I found the comment  to be a bit trollish, and misleading.

            As for gas prices, they are falling, and the Texas intermediate price is somewhere in the mid nineties and on a slight downward trend.

            Food prices are seasonal, and anecdotal evidence of sticker shock is not evidence of price inflation - just because where I live Bell Peppers are up 100% from March means nothing other than the weather in the May producing areas was colder than normal during April.

            And as for inflation, a little inflation is a good thing. With historic lows on interest rates and inflation, you have a situation where tax revenues stagnate, house prices stagnate.

            While rampant inflation as in 1980 -83 15% p.a is bad for the economy, inflation in the 2 to 3 % range is normal, and nothing to be afraid of.

          •  It was tacky, but long way from HR-able. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Batya the Toon

            Nobody should ever be HR'd for expressing their opinion in something that approaches a civilized manner.

            Red rabbit's response is definitely tiresome -- a version of "oh yeah?", but there's nothing really wrong with that.

            Thank you, however, for coming to my defense.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:23:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I'm jealous. (0+ / 0-)

          I wish it were that cheap here.

          I hope you're right about gas going down, but I don't see how that can last.

          If the economy actually improves (as opposed to making investors a little wealthier), I expect fuel prices to rise because of increasing demand on a global basis.  North America, Europe, and Japan aren't the only big players any more.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:21:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know where you live (0+ / 0-)

            but in CT where we have some of the highest gas prices in the US our gas is at $3.65-$3.85 and they have been falling not going up.

            This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

            by DisNoir36 on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:57:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  glad to see link to Scott Lilly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vatexia

    who is a friend.  For years he was a top staffer to David Obey on House Appropriations, and he is as knowledgeable about politics and government as anyone I know.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:03:58 AM PDT

  •  You missed the big news yesterday. (33+ / 0-)

    Harry Reid threatened to maybe get upset enough to sort of possibly think of something that might include talks about starting to begin thinking about reforming the fillibuster.

    (But the last three words are just supposition.)

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:05:19 AM PDT

  •  Traitorous busterds attacking the (14+ / 0-)

    Commander in Chief in the middle of a war. And I haven't heard anybody bring up Reagan's 250 blowed up Marines.

    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

    by PowWowPollock on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:05:24 AM PDT

    •  God, how many did Bush kill? (10+ / 0-)

      Not to mention all the civilians.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:07:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pictorially - The Iraq Body Count Project (0+ / 0-)

        Iraq Body Count IMG_8836 (10).JPG

        Each red flag represented American war dead and each white flag was a large number of Iraqi dead as a result of Bush's viciousness and stupidity.

        What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

        by TerryDarc on Fri May 10, 2013 at 11:13:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  54 Attacks on diplomatic targets under Bush (7+ / 0-)

      that killed 13 Americans... but which resulted in only 3 hearings on US embassy security.

      I heard that last night on the Daily Show.

      Waiting on Jonathan Karl of ABC and Jake Tapper to report that...

      •  I was curious about (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Greenfinches, snazzzybird

        the number of hearings.  Frankly, I don't know that there should be any.  Each incident should have a non-partisan commission to review all the details - what went right, what went wrong.  From that you should take back lessons - such as perhaps we shouldn't cut funding for embassy security so low.  And then you adjust and move on.

        "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

        by newfie on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:54:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I found this list (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PorridgeGun

        All under Bush, yet I don't recall anyone getting their BVDs in a wrinkle over any of them.

        January 22, 2002. Calcutta, India. Gunmen associated with Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami attack the U.S. Consulate. Five people are killed.

        June 14, 2002. Karachi, Pakistan. Suicide bomber connected with al-Qaida attacks the U.S. Consulate, killing 12 and injuring 51.

        October 12, 2002. Denpasar, Indonesia. U.S. diplomatic offices bombed as part of a string of “Bali Bombings.” No fatalities.

        February 28, 2003. Islamabad, Pakistan. Several gunmen fire upon the U.S. Embassy. Two people are killed.

        May 12, 2003. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Armed al-Qaida terrorists storm the diplomatic compound killing 36 people including nine Americans. The assailants committed suicide by detonating a truck bomb.

        July 30, 2004. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. A suicide bomber from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan attacks the U.S. Embassy, killing two people.

        December 6, 2004. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Al-Qaida terrorists storm the U.S. Consulate and occupy the perimeter wall. Nine people are killed.

        March 2, 2006. Karachi, Pakistan again. Suicide bomber attacks the U.S. Consulate killing four people, including U.S. diplomat David Foy who was directly targeted by the attackers. (I wonder if Lindsey Graham or Fox News would even recognize the name “David Foy.”This is the third Karachi terrorist attack in four years on what’s considered American soil.)

        September 12, 2006. Damascus, Syria. Four armed gunmen shouting “Allahu akbar” storm the U.S. Embassy using grenades, automatic weapons, a car bomb and a truck bomb. Four people are killed, 13 are wounded.

        January 12, 2007. Athens, Greece. Members of a Greek terrorist group called the Revolutionary Struggle fire a rocket-propelled grenade at the U.S. Embassy. No fatalities.

        March 18, 2008. Sana’a, Yemen. Members of the al-Qaida-linked Islamic Jihad of Yemen fire a mortar at the U.S. Embassy. The shot misses the embassy, but hits nearby school killing two.

        July 9, 2008. Istanbul, Turkey. Four armed terrorists attack the U.S. Consulate. Six people are killed.

        September 17, 2008. Sana’a, Yemen.Terrorists dressed as military officials attack the U.S. Embassy with an arsenal of weapons including RPGs and detonate two car bombs. Sixteen people are killed, including an American student and her husband (they had been married for three weeks when the attack occurred). This is the second attack on this embassy in seven months.

        Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

        by Pariah Dog on Fri May 10, 2013 at 09:27:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's actually far deeper in the traitorous acts (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indie17, Greenfinches

      The rep are enabling the enemy by this sideshow... All of our operational readiness and reaction to a real time crisis at our embassies is now public fodder for the terrorist to see...

      They have done more harm than a silly statement on news shows...

      Takin it to the Streets! time to GOTV

      by totallynext on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:28:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Goopers whined on and on about 'When is the (6+ / 0-)

    senate going to pass a budget'.....Then it passed one...and guess what?

    http://www.politico.com/...

  •  But…but… (5+ / 0-)

    …it's the cover-up! That's what's making Benghazi so bad! It's the cover-up! Benghazi is bad! It will force Obama to resign! This is why American will elect Red Cruz overvHillary Clinton!

    /Leaves Wing News Bubble

    Union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com.

    by DemSign on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:07:18 AM PDT

  •  McCarthyism (11+ / 0-)

    Benghazi has been nothing but a far-fetched fiasco cooked up by the RNC and GOP lawmakers eager to find anything that would demean and embarrass their political opponents. This is all about politics, first about trying desperately to defeat President Obama last year and now to club Hillary Clinton to death before she can crush whatever laughable Republican lightweight the party throws up against her in 2016. The entire affair is a scandal and a waste of taxpayer resources that the right wing claims to cherish so dearly. I thought this country was beyond McCarthyism.  -  progressive

    •  The national welfare, safety and everything else (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybersaur, indie17, snazzzybird, RadGal70

      is secondary to the TP/GOP's fix on politics. Personally, I cannot identify one tadpole of a "statesperson" among the lot. They are scam artists essentially; selling a bad product by any means they can cook up regardless of consequences to fools that fall for it and suffer.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:30:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Okay GOP....piss or get off the pot...What are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KibbutzAmiad, maizenblue

    your specifics?

    •  Hope she retools her campaign and message. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aaraujo, cybersaur, snazzzybird

      She needs to get rid of the idiots that Bill carried on his shoulders. He could do that because he was a natural pol, she can't.

      She also needs to dump the Boomer messaging, though I assume that was Mark Penn's doing.

      She needs to come across like a Dem Reagan, basically -- An elder party statesperson talking about Dem values, how they made the country better and can go it again, "america is great but could be greater," etc.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:24:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I so hope so, the Pres is our only backstop (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aaraujo

      against the crazy...

  •  My wife and I are currently paying out the nose (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vatexia

    for healthcare insurance or whatever it is called.

    It is in POST-TAX dollars, about $6000 a year.  My employed killed healthcare last July.

    can we get some sort of assistance with this?

    Ins manages to take my last dollars. Either we have ins and but nothing else, or we coast and get things we need (glasses, dental care - dental insurance is not worth the effort it takes to write the check for the premium - that sort of stuff).

    Just wondering.  

    •  We use to pay $24,000 a year for 3 pp with (0+ / 0-)

      no real illness history except the usual husband on lipitor.....I know you are struggling but I would love that dea!

      •  I'm healthy and never go to the doctor (0+ / 0-)

        its just money out the window really.

        Perhaps I need a lot less access.

        And this is already a $5000 deductible or something like that. We'd be better off just going to the doc and paying the up front fee.

        I HATE knowing that healthcare is really just a scam.

  •  The healthcare law has been amazing (13+ / 0-)

    for 19-25 year olds. I graduated when I was 22 and just 3 weeks ago started a full time job with benefits. If it hadn't been for the healthcare law I wouldn't have had coverage for 3 years.

    Additionally, I can stay on my parents plan despite the fact that I am offered benefits through work. That means I can save more money until I turn 26.

    I think we all acknowledge that the law isn't perfect, but there are some awesome aspects to it.

    •  many good aspects (4+ / 0-)

      insurers can't deny coverage for preexisting conditions, can't dump you when you get sick, have to use most of the premiums they collect for actual medical care coverage, millions more qualify for Medicaid, and the list goes on.
      No public option sucks, but anyone who thinks that the country as a whole was better off before the ACA is simply ignorant of the law or lying.  
      And anyone who says it should be repealed is in favor of throwing women, children and the working poor back to the wolves of the old insurance market.  Which means no coverage at all.  

  •  Benghazi...I get it now! (32+ / 0-)

    Twenty 6 year olds died in Newtown and the GOP shrugs--we don't need any new gun laws. It's just Democrats playing politics!

    Four men die in Benghazi and we get 8 months of investigation, 11 congressional hearings, 20 staff briefings and 25K pages of documents. No politics here, no sir.

    I get it now, if onlly the Newtown first graders and their teachers had been on a field trip to Benghazi then their deaths would be important enough to warrant hearings and change laws.

    It's the Central Limit Theorem, Stupid!

    by smartdemmg on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:14:53 AM PDT

  •  Scream "Benghazi" = Stupid. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jds1978, Texnance

    Wonder what we could accomplish with the media access this horseshit wastes.

  •  The real much more interesting (17+ / 0-)

    story is not about Clinton but about how the political thug Issa can pull this stunt so often without killing his own political career. That is the real question here as it is symptomatic of the brutishness of American politics as a whole.

    •  High time for an investigation into (6+ / 0-)

      his history of car theft.

      Wheels and heels.

    •  The System is working properly (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bush Bites, stevej, tobendaro, Nannyberry

      if shitheels, con artists, batshit crazy motherfuckers, and child molesters can slither into power while good decnet people are marginalized or successfully corrupted by the system. They were nice when we elected them, then they through us under the bus. A very, very, very common tale.

      So the system has to be scrapped and good luck with that: the System's known by the more descriptive term "Gravy Train" and it ain't slowing down to help fucking commoners.

      Not without a real fight.

    •  Peel away the scab for a lot of those TP/GOP thugs (0+ / 0-)

      as well as generally lax ethics under the dome and you get a strong whiff of corruption. Think about this a bit after looking at the "political intelligence" story that is emerging. Background is here:

      "SEC subpoenas firm, individuals in a case of leaked information":

      The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued subpoenas to a firm and individuals in connection with the leak last month of a federal funding decision that appeared to cause a surge in stock trading of several major health companies.
      "Ways investors gain ‘political intelligence’ facing public scrutiny":
      With their boss playing a busy role in the push to overhaul the country’s immigration laws, staffers for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) still have found time to talk with an unlikely interest group: Wall Street analysts.
      Oh, it is just fine and dandy!
      “Our office’s policy is to be as transparent and open as possible when people ask us questions about issues we’re working on,” said Alex Conant, a spokesman for Rubio. “Our staff have had dozens of meetings and calls in recent weeks with dozens of individuals and groups to discuss immigration reform. We welcome people’s input, and work hard to answer questions about the legislation.”
      So, try calling up a Congresscritter's staff, particularly one representing a geographic district far from where you vote, for a backgrounder on the inside scoop about pending legislation that would profit you. (Clue: You cannot even send them a webmail on their official site unless your zip+4 matches their district.)

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:47:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There never has been (10+ / 0-)

    reciprocity for "off the table" and there never will be. Dems can't be bothered to push back on egregious lawbreaking and war crimes, as keeping the wheels spinning is more important than a circus, even if the charges are true. The GOP, on the other hand, has no problems whatsoever with tying down the governing of the country over pipe dreams.

    So when we push back by bringing up past issues, we're shouting down the memory hole and it looks like whinging. To be honest, I don't really know what the solution to this is other than continue with the long term task of encouraging the GOP to implode until it is literally a regional rump party of frustrated billionaires and racists.

    As Benghazi is going to continue to be a rallying cry, unless something worse happens for them to salivate over, regardless of no "there" there, I'm thinking the best response I'm going to have to its flogging is to respond "You are one desperate son of a bitch. Go fuck yourself."

    And I'm such a gentile, pastoral type, its not even likely that I would say it. So there you go.

    I have taken a full year of Law and Government Class and have determined that government and politics are my left ass cheek.-my 18 year old daughter

    by left rev on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:22:05 AM PDT

  •  You know, (12+ / 0-)

    at this point, Benghazi is simply replacing "the birth certificate" as a bone to the right, anything to derail discussion of actual critical issues.

    Living wage jobs.  Student debt.  Lack of access to healthcare.  

    We are DYING out here and the tools and traitors that are allegedly representing us are fiddling and discussing utter nonsense.  Enough.  More than enough.  Working people need a Manhattan project to repair our shattered communities and families and this is the shit they serve?  

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:25:21 AM PDT

  •  What is Hillary Hiding? (7+ / 0-)

    Clearly the White House can not investigate this themselves.

    A special prosecutor is required to look into every aspect of every thing that HRC ever did.  They also need to investigate the things she "did not do" that she may be guilty of.  Her past has never been vetted or put under the microscope.

    /snark

    Seriously, is that their goal?

  •  If Hillary wins in 2016 and in 2020, the GOP will (9+ / 0-)

    have lost the popular vote for president in 7 of the previous 8 presidential elections.  By 2024, no voting age person between the ages of 18 and 50 will have known a GOP president other than George W(arCriminal) Bush in office for the prior 32 years.  

    With her unique draw as the first female president she will coattail the democratic party into a generational majority in the House and Senate, and she will appoint the replacement court successors for Scalia and possibly Thomas.   In addition probably 2 other justices.  

    The GOP can do the math.  They are terrified of her.

    •  They are. And with good reason. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      S F Hippie, snazzzybird

      Her career features any number of positives for a wide swath of voters.  

      Since Reagan, the GOP has no such record.

    •  She's too old to serve two terms. She'll (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      se portland, Juliann

      groom a VP (and we have a deep bench, unlike the Republicans) to take her place for 2020.

      "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand." ~ Atticus Finch, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

      by SottoVoce on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:49:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  She'd be the same age as Reagan (4+ / 0-)

        If she was healthy and her approval rating was good, I think she would run for re-election.

        I do think she will look at her VP selection as the next Dem nominee though.

      •  I don't know. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Remediator, tobendaro, se portland, myboo

        It really depends on genetics. Certainly, some people remain sharp into their late 70s.

        True, it's a busy job, but if she has a lot of good people around her, she can just make the big decisions.

        God knows, with all she's seen of how the White House works, she probably has some ideas on how the job can be streamlined.

        "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

        by Bush Bites on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:53:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd go with that, too. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          snazzzybird

          Voters didn't seem to mind Reagan's age.  He had celebrity status despite it.  The same might work for HClinton.

          She has been dismissed all along by the GOP.  They didn't like her husband and they don't like her.  They're being mean to her now because it probably infuriates them that she's positioned to win.

          Evidently they think Benghazi will shame her into not running.   I'm not seeing it.  

      •  She'd be 74 (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        myboo, DSPS owl, FogCityJohn

        starting her 2nd term.

        My gosh, with the folks I know, that is not even old these days.

        Personally, I'd rather have a more progressive candidate, and one who will focus on solving income inequality.  But I will certainly support Hillary if she runs and wins the nomination.

        Watch this video of an 86 year old woman.  Only 43 seconds.

        http://www.youtube.com/...

        •  My parents were still riding their (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          indie17

          mountain bikes every day at 76 and 74.  Dad golfed, mom did yoga.  

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:30:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Being President has to be one of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          indie17

          the most demanding, grueling, exhausting jobs in the world.  Look at the way our presidents age before our very eyes.  I don't think it can be compared with other walks of life.  It's true, many many people are sharp and vigorous beyond age 78 (which is what she'd be in her last year in office), but they don't have the same kind of stresses a US President has.  I think, if she decides to run, one term will be enough.

          "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand." ~ Atticus Finch, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

          by SottoVoce on Fri May 10, 2013 at 10:30:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  From your words to god's ears! nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  The media seems to have learned so much (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird

    since Bush was President.

    No, dear children, let's not make a political show out of this tragedy.

    Nice sentiment, actually, but I'll bet it's forgotten in the next Republican administration.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:47:06 AM PDT

    •  Al Hunt: Issa is going to screw this up..he screws (0+ / 0-)

      up everything......(paraphrased)

      •  I have little doubt. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skillet

        There is hay to be made on Benghazi, but not a lot.

        That's the problem for Republicans (and pretty much every politician on the American scene): They don't know when to stop.

        Sometimes you have to be happy to score a few points and then step back.  Trying to pump up  a tragedy into something bigger than it is tends to make you look crass, unprincipled, and, in the case of something like this, unpatriotic.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:56:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  GOP cuts and austerity may cause the next tragedy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro
  •  I'm just waiting for the batshit crazy Right (0+ / 0-)

    wingers to start in on the conspiracy theories that Obama carefully orchestrated the entire Jodi Arias murder trial, AND the Cleveland kidnapping tragedy, going back years and years ago, all in order to have them reach conclusion exactly during the days of Issa's Waste of Time Theater production.  There's really no other explanation for poor Darrell's rotten luck.  That Obama.  He's a slippery one.

  •  Benghazi, Which is Worse: Absurd Allegations or (9+ / 0-)

    insipid Rebuttals?

    God I hate that!  When allegations are SO f'ing stupid that they literally beg for a blow-you-out-of-the-water reply and, instead, receive a supine, milk toast rejoinder.  I'll look up the entire inquisition on C-Span to educate myself.

    I am talking about the absurd allegation that fighter aircraft could have been there in two hours and, even dumber, would have been useful.

    Lets deal with least important issue first: time to deploy.

     Regarding Hicks claim that a couple of fighters could have arrived in time ("2 hours"). Get Real!! I was deployed to Aviano many times and flew sorties as well as "sat alert" there, and other airbases. Nowadays, post cold war, there are few if any USAF alert facilities anywhere in the world. An alert facility has dedicated pilots and aircraft that are fully fueled, armed and capable of taking of in minutes. The missions are pre-planned...not "what if" missions.  However, the expensive network of alert facilities that existed during the Cold War no longer exists.  NO more Alpha or Zulu facilities (I "sat" both and scrambled from Zulu). Alerts exist where a specific OPlan or contingency exists. So, absent a plan, NO fighters were just waiting to take off in Aviano. That is NOT how it works. Even if there happened to be Falcons deployed to Aviano AB for training purposes at that time by sheer coincidence, they would not be prepared for takeoff (possible not even refueled..safety concern) and certainly not armed for a (any) combat mission (obvious reasons).  After a normal flying day, the maintenance specialists do their thing in order to be ready for the next flight schedule. They repair "broken" jets and do scheduled work. BTW, even on a combat mission, fighters don't carry ALL their weapons, all the time. Live munitions are uploaded only when targets are assigned and weapons specifically tasked. Those standard conventional loads "SCLs" are tailored specfically for the mission, its not like "I'll take what you got".  

    Executing a combat mission to a target 1000 miles away is a task with several moving parts. Another HUGE part of the puzzle is the availability of tankers. Not much use launching a couple (minimum) $50 million jets and then watching them flame out over the Med before they hit the target. Both pre-strike and post-strike refueling is necessary. Carrying all that armament uses more fuel than a "slick" jet. Once again, no worldwide umbrella of tanker coverage. Unless stationed there, a deployment would be necessary to get them in place. And no, before you ask, the US Navy tanker aircraft would have been NO use to Falcons. USAF uses "boom and receptacle system", USN uses "probe and drogue" system. They are incompatible. Different missions, different requirements.

    So, WRONG. Combat aircraft could not have responded in two hours or as long as possibly 8 hours.

    BTW, Hicks alleges he spoke with a "defense attache" in Tripoli who told him that "2 hours " was a reasonable expectation. That is also crap. Those attaches must have gone through a inter-service command school during which he/she would have been teamed with AF officers and studied, if not planned, a mock operation.  The "2 hour" story was a complete fabrication.

    Now, the more incredible absurdity of Hicks' allegation.  "Fighters overhead would have slowed down the attacks".

    Complete BS from an incompetent boob. Tasking combat aircraft to engage the forces attacking a diplomatic station in an urban area would have been less than useless.  What is the target?  Should they bomb the compound and risk killing our people? Should they bomb/strafe attackers around the compound?  It was after  midnight and there was no ability to ID targets visually nor was there any assistance from a ground based asset (with target designators). Even if it wasn't dark, the mortars being used could have been anywhere within a 3000 meter radius.  So, should they attempt to sanitize several square miles of terrain?

    Air Forces used to support friendlies in contact is called Close Air Support,  repeat...CLOSE.  Unless there is effective coordination, everybody dies.

    Hicks' also claimed that merely flying overhead would have been better than nothing. Not really.

    Can you imagine a worse ending to an already horrible episode than adding a burning F-16(with classified gear) and a missing/captured pilot to the image of a burned out consulate?

    I can just imagine the Republican/Noonan talking points there...."lack of competent planning".

    Who the hell preps these people prior to hearings?  Fire those bastards!

    “You would make a ship sail against the winds and currents by lighting a bonfire under her decks? I have no time for such nonsense.”

    “Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.”

    by frenchy339 on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:15:13 AM PDT

    •  Give it up frenchy339, most of those people (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snazzzybird, myboo

      and in particular that strange hyper "military" TP/GOP crowd have not one clue about how such things really work. At best they have watched a few "good movies" and taken a few VIP tours of military facilities.

      There is no concept of the communication and coordination to get all those moving parts doing what is required—most could not plan their way out of a wet paper bag on such a thing because they really have no concept. I think that is increasingly a public problem going far beyond military things. I am increasingly just pissed off by slipshod, pull-it-out-your-ass execution of both private and public projects. Hell, engineering seems to be a problem for our society now.

      For example at one time, before GOP wrecking crews went to work, VDOT managed to pull off major repairs and even construction causing bare ripples in Beltway and I-66 traffic. We just went through years of traffic snarls exhibiting absurd levels of lack of planning and coordination to the point detour signs pointed to dead ends caused by another project. I'm increasingly convinced we've eaten our seed corn on just such planning and engineering as I watch projects here that remind me of second world country projects I laughed at years ago.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:04:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Frenchy, you should post this as a diary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rja

      Then we could link to it on Facebook.  Maybe educate a few people who are of reasonable intelligence but right now are only hearing the right-wing nonsense that "the fighters could have saved the day and could've been there in 2 hours".  

      George W. Bush: Commit war crimes, then paint pictures. Reverse of how the other fellow did it. — billmon

      by snazzzybird on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:01:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Either House Republicans don't remember (9+ / 0-)

    that they cut State Department security, or they do remember, and just pretend that they don't remember. I don't know which is worse.

    The problem with political jokes is they get elected.

    by shoeless on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:24:44 AM PDT

  •  This should be on a t-shirt (4+ / 0-)

    "House Republicans cut funding for State Department security.  They're responsible for the deaths of those four Americans."

    GODS!  How many times does this point have to be reiterated?

    But the righty-whiteys don't care.  They live in a bubble carefully insulated from reality.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:32:59 AM PDT

  •  Nancy-Ann DeParle is spinning (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, wonmug

    Baucuscare is complex because Wellpoint wrote a law intended designed to fail.

    The idea that there weren't simple healthcare solutions -- as opposed to politically remunerative solutions - is false.

    The bill could have (1) eliminated the age restriction on Medicare so it applied to all; (2) dictated as an entitlement that Congress appropriate sufficient funds to support that; (3) created a financial transaction tax to fund it, eliminating the Medicare portion of the payroll tax and lowering the payroll tax; (4) eliminated deductibles and co-pays in Medicare; (5) created a uniform way for pricing medical services.

    But nooooo.  Moneyed interests count more than the people in Congress in both parties.

    DeParle is putting lipstick on one of those mythical beasts made from parts of other animals.  It is complex because it is intended to fail.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:37:11 AM PDT

  •  Looking for Benghazi (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indie17

    Just now on CNN.com. Gotta scroll way down.

    Libertarianism is something that most people grow out of, not unlike, say, hay fever or asthma. Bob Johnson

    by randallt on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:41:23 AM PDT

  •  Re: Benghazi and Eugene Robinson (0+ / 0-)

    so now the GOP is taking Karl Rove and George W. Bush Doctrine one step further and engaging in pre-emptive campaigning.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:03:05 AM PDT

  •  Sexual assault in the Pentagon's back yard and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    myboo, DSPS owl

    an interesting little request, noted in Petula Dvorak's column today, with respect to the Air Force's  sexual assault prevention chief:

    Defense Department officials asked the Arlington commonwealth’s attorney, Theo Stamos, to just turn it over to them. Don’t bother with your little county court stuff. Why don’t you just let us handle our boy over here at the Pentagon?
    That was a bit unusual
    “Obviously, being where we are in Arlington, we have to prosecute members of the military routinely,” Stamos said. But this was the first time in her two decades as a prosecutor that the military asked for a case, and she was surprised by the request.
    Some real accountability in the upper ranks would indeed be nice to get the message across this is not just a "big frat-house joke" as Dvorak notes they seem to view the problem.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:18:29 AM PDT

  •  When you cut government down to the size where (0+ / 0-)

    it can be drowned in a bathtub, apparently there are going to be drowning victims!  So Republicans small government obsession and loyalty to Grover Norquist have some splaining to do!

    Let never raise taxes ever!!

    Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

    Not even for foreign security!

    Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

    Whoa wait a minute!?!?

    Someone needed that?!?!?!

    It's Hillary's fault!!!

    Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

    Nothing the god of biomechanics wouldn't let you in heaven for

    by Greatwyrm on Fri May 10, 2013 at 10:11:48 AM PDT

  •  Re. Mr. Fenn many officials were implicated. (0+ / 0-)

    ''Unlike the 1980s Iran-Contra scandal, there are no questions of illegal acts, no secret funds, no shredding of documents and no efforts to directly circumvent a law passed by Congress. People may forget that 14  administration officials were indicted and 11 convicted as a result of the arms-for-hostages scandal.''

    That would include Fox contributor Oliver North who hasn't exactly stayed mum whenever he's invited to discuss his expertise. I wonder how many of their viewers are old enough to remember him and his televised hearing so many years ago.

    I was riveted to CSPAN for days on that one. So far they haven't dragged out G.Gordon Liddy, or Scooter Libby but I'm sure they'd like to do it.

  •  distraction (0+ / 0-)

    Everybody is very clear on the anti-Hillary aspect of these hearings, but why isn't anyone pointing out that by holding these hearings and the Boston bomber hearings the Republicans are very easily erasing West, Texas, and Dhaka, Bangladesh, from the the front pages.
    Yell "Benghazi" and "Boston" loud enough and it hides the sound of homicide by unregulated capitalism.

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