Patterico's Pontifications

10/22/2012

Topics for Tonight’s Foreign Policy Debate

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:44 am

Here are four topics Mitt Romney ought to be bringing up tonight. Some are more obvious than others:

  • Benghazi — Even with the obvious topics, Romney needs to be aware of the counterarguments, as he learned in the last debate. Just as Romney should have seen the “act of terror” defense coming last time, he needs to be aware of the aid and comfort the L.A. Times gave to Obama with a story titled No evidence found of Al Qaeda role in Libya attack. Romney needs to be familiar with the obvious responses and be able to put them into articulate soundbites.
  • Fast and Furious — The Very Fair and Neutral Candy Crowley didn’t think this scandal should be brought up in response to a question about firearms. The Very Fair and Neutral Bob Schieffer will probably not see this as a foreign policy story. But it is. A Univision story that you all hopefully watched revealed the extent of the violence against Mexican citizens caused by this depraved policy, and Mexico is upset. Romney needs to hit this hard, and ask if we would have walked guns into, say, Canada.
  • Afghanistan — We have a problem: our boys are not getting the support they need in Afghanistan to keep soldiers from being killed — or, perhaps, from being brought home. I’d like to hear Romney ask Obama if he is pulling C17s away from the duty of bringing soldiers home in order to haul around gear for Obama’s presidential campaign, as has been rumored.

I’ll open a new thread specifically for debate commentary this evening when I get home. In the meantime, discuss.

136 Responses to “Topics for Tonight’s Foreign Policy Debate”

  1. They are thoroughly useless, no mention of that Khattalah character btw;

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/21/truth-behind-the-benghazi-attack.html

    narciso (ee31f1)

  2. ____________________________________________

    I’m copying and pasting this from the “Obama Campaign Provably Accepts Foreign Donation” thread, because the phony-baloney of liberals (which includes the guy now in the White House) is unrepentant, ludicrous, sickening and brazen.

    So, what we have here is the standard wingnut ignorance of the distinction between incomplete accusations
    Comment by Geek, Esq. — 10/22/2012 @ 5:47 am

    Have you ever personally adjusted an AVS system? I have, for a company I once worked for a few years ago. The AVS system that was integrated with their order-entry software originally had been configured to not accept transactions from non-US addresses. But when the business wanted to use the credit cards of certain customers residing in foreign countries (there were some customers in Europe, a few in Canada, a handful in South America, and perhaps a dozen in Asia), the settings were changed to begin accepting them. Until then, such transactions would be refused.

    At the very least, it’s a relatively simple procedure to modify the AVS system in order to ban transactions from accounts located in foreign locations.

    dailycaller.com, October 21, 2012:

    A soon to be released report from the conservative Government Accountability Institute shows that President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has increasingly collected more electronic donations from non-existent ZIP codes throughout the 2012 campaign cycle. From February through June this year the GAI findings reported that the Obama campaign collected $175,816.26 in electronic donations from non-existent ZIP codes. One month later, the campaign raised $411,369.55 through such donations and $197,464.59 in August.

    By the end of September, the Obama campaign raked in $2,199,204.38 – thanks to donations from non-existent ZIP codes.

    “A robust anti-fraud address verification system (AVS) would require an accurate zip code to process a credit card transaction,” the report reads. “The presence of large sums of donations without such basic address information suggests that some campaigns are using looser security settings than others.”

    GAI said an AVS system “compares the numerical portion of the address a donor enters to the numerical information on file with the credit card company for the card.”

    “For example, most pay-at-the-pump gas stations require customers to enter their zip code,” GAI added. “Enter the wrong zip code or none at all, the transaction is denied.”

    GAI said that when a political campaign uses such an AVS system, it’s “invisible to outsiders.”

    “This makes it impossible to definitively know whether campaigns are using the AVS,” GAI wrote. “Complicating the issue is the fact that the AVS system has multiple settings that allow a campaign to loosen the system to accept more donations with suspect addresses or zip codes, or tighten it to block any donation that lacks a correctly entered address or zip code.”

    Mark (d703a0)

  3. I would like for one of these douchebags to make a robust commitment to expanding trade, to where they can claim a mandate for doing so.

    happyfeet (d558af)

  4. Not just Bengazi, but hit Obama on the war in Libya and ignoring Congress. This might come off as too “liberal” for the Republicans, but it needs to be raised.

    Obama also needs to be brought to account for the presidential “kill list.” Again, it might be perceived as too liberal for some Republicans, but it’s an olive branch to legitimate anti-war types.

    egd (d580cc)

  5. I would caution about #4 … don’t ask a question you don’t already know the answer to …

    the other 3 are fair game as there are facts to be asserted …

    the danger with Obama is that even when you have the facts in your favor he may lie and get the backing of the moderator …

    JeffC (488234)

  6. Instead of shaking hands, Romney should bow when they go out on stage.

    JD (8a1df4)

  7. As always, there will need to be plenty of fire extinguishers on hand for the straw men Obama will erect and ignite.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  8. I would like to hear why Obama seems so chummy with Latin American leftists. Hugging Chavez, supporting Honduras’ ousted wannabe dictator, happily greeting Daniel Ortega, and supporting all the Chavezistas popping up all over South America.

    Doesn’t the President understand that centrally-planned Socialist economies always fail?

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  9. When did you ever get that impression from him, Kevin?

    narciso (ee31f1)

  10. Good point, Kevin. I would like to know why he sided with the wannabe dictator over the Honduran people. And why he continually insults Great Britain. And Israel.

    JD (318f81)

  11. My guess is CBS will allow Benghazi talk, since it’s out there anyway, but quash the others. Schieffer will cover for Obama.

    Patricia (e1d89d)

  12. Not just Bengazi, but hit Obama on the war in Libya and ignoring Congress. This might come off as too “liberal” for the Republicans, but it needs to be raised.

    How is defying the Constitution “liberal” in the modern sense (“leftist”)?

    Rob Crawford (c55962)

  13. Crap — poorly worded/skipped words: “How is anger at defying the Constitution “liberal”?”

    Rob Crawford (c55962)

  14. Mr. President: In 2008 you declared that “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided.” Yet your own State Department has said that it’s an issue for negotiation. In July of this year, your press secretary was unable to name Israel’s capital city. And in September language identifying Israel’s capital was removed from the DNC Platform, then added back in despite clearly not receiving the necessary 2/3rds vote. Mr. President, please settle this issue once and for all: What is the capital of Israel?

    aunursa (7014a8)

  15. Romney needs to be familiar with the obvious responses and be able to put them into articulate soundbites.

    And he can’t rely on his briefers, or whatever he just happens to pick up reading the news. He has to study this, and understand it himself.

    Sammy Finkelman (b4888e)

  16. Rob- I can’t answer for egd, but there, at the time of the Libya strikes, several conservatives arguing that because conservatives are against the War Powers Act, we shouldn’t complain about Obama ignoring Congress re: Libya.

    Because the WPA is unconstitutional itself, or something.

    MayBee (4901b0)

  17. The President will be trying to avoid Fast & Furious, while making immigration as big an issue as possible tonight. Why?

    Hispanic citizens are breaking for Romney, just in the last week, based on economics, and only 3% of them view immigration as their most important issue. Hispanic men have moved from 47-47 to 54-41 in the last week, and Hispanic women moved 10 points towards Romney and away from the President. This is disaster for Mr Ethnic.

    More details on my blog: Hispanics break towards Romney

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  18. 2. “when a political campaign uses such an AVS system it’s “invisible to outsiders.”

    “This makes it impossible to definitively know whether campaigns are using the AVS,”

    All you have to do attempt to contribute $1 (or whatever is the minimum amount that the system is set up to accept) from a nonexistent zip code, and you’ll find out if it is using it or not.

    You could try a couple of variations – maybe the system declines non-existent Zip codes but not non-matching ones, although perhaps there’s only one system that’s commercially available, e.g. it either requires a match to the billing address or won’t be disturbed even by a non-existent Zip code.

    This is not the equivalent of David Duke’s organization. If it is important to you to find out, you can risk giving them $1 or $2.

    Sammy Finkelman (b4888e)

  19. 7.As always, there will need to be plenty of fire extinguishers on hand for the straw men Obama will erect and ignite.

    Comment by daleyrocks — 10/22/2012 @ 8:20 am

    That will likely be Barry Oh!’s strategy, daleyrocks. There is nothing good that can be said about his Hillary’s foreign policy. His only chance is, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bulls**t”.

    nk (875f57)

  20. This debate could be the toughest one for Romney. Cause for concern-Romney’s campaign features warhawks like Dan Senor and John Bolton. It’s past time for America to come home. Obama is a naive imbecile on the international stage, but there is no support for more war. NONE. Rattle the sword all you like, but Congress and the people will not go along with deployments to Libya nor Syria nor Iran.

    In Iraq we are getting out because their government wants to lock up American GIs for doing their jobs.Remarkably we have done very little good for the one group of people who gladly embraced America with no reservations, the Kurds. Afghanistan is a failed state run by a heroin cartel. In both cases we are dealing with loony Islamic governments affiliating themselves with Iran. Exactly what are Romney and Ryan talking about when they talk about “strength”? There is nothing else to be accomplished in either.

    Get the sense that for the myriad failings of Obama Romney at least rhetorically is unduly bellicose. And that will not play well with voters. Obama will at some point tonight ask what Romney would’ve done differently and imply Romney’s answer is a bigger and more expensive war machine. I really hope Romney has thought this through.

    Bugg (234f77)

  21. Afghanistan is touchy. Real touchy. We lost too many lives there for too little. The question of tying ourselves to Pakistan, the father of the Taliban, even touchier. Both will be walking on coals on this, but Romney more gingerly because it was Bush who did it. I believe both will evade the issue.

    nk (875f57)

  22. you know what else cap’n prissypants and food stamps galore might could discuss amongst themselves?

    that keystone pipeline dealio

    That’s a right proper foreign policy concern right there I think

    happyfeet (d558af)

  23. Romney has been strong in the debates. Just keep it up. He’s turned around a difficult campaign, and I think he’s going to win.

    I agree with nk that Afghanistan is a difficult, painful subject.

    Dustin (73fead)

  24. “His only chance is, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bulls**t”.”

    nk – I expect Obamarrhea to be flowing freely across the stage.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  25. Maybe I’m being overly optimistic, but despite his own leftward orientation Bob Scheiffer as moderator may surprise us. He can get real cranky sometimes and at his age he’s seen a lot, and doesn’t have much to prove other than that he was once a decent journalist of the old school. I doubt he’s ever seen (or wants to see) a campaign as small and uninspiring and incompetent and spin-filled as this 2012 Obama group has put on.

    I may be the only person in the Chicago metro area warching the debate (Monday Night Bears game)

    elissa (3ce65a)

  26. The Corner offered a great question for Obama:
    What exactly did you mean, Mr. President, when you told Russia’s then-president Dmitri Medvedev that you would have “more flexibility” to negotiate on missile defense and other issues (and asking Russian President Vladimir Putin to give you “more space” [until]) after you are reelected?

    aunursa (7014a8)

  27. Heh, elissa!

    BTW, who’s broadcasting it? CNN, the last time, put Fox on a ten second delay.

    nk (875f57)

  28. afghanistan is a nat geo kind of thing i think not a for reals thing real people what live in our sad listless and above all jobless little country actually care much about anymore… It’s just kinda fallen off the radar like meg whitman and skinny girl cocktails and npr stories on high gas prices

    happyfeet (d558af)

  29. 12.How is defying the Constitution “liberal” in the modern sense (“leftist”)?

    Comment by Rob Crawford — 10/22/2012 @ 9:19 am

    Have you not noticed? The “free speech for me but not for thee” crowd has been into the selective application of rules for quite a while.

    Roe v. Wade? Stare decisis!

    Bill of Rights? Old. Wordy. Written by white men. Impossible to decipher, best forgotten.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  30. I may be the only person in the Chicago metro area warching the debate (Monday Night Bears game)

    Comment by elissa — 10/22/2012 @ 10:17 am

    When the debate starts, I plan to put the Giants-Cardinals Game 7 on MUTE and listen to the debate on the radio. My wife will have to check online to see how her Bears are doing.

    aunursa (7014a8)

  31. I like skinny cocktail girls, happyfeet. (Look, not touch.)

    nk (875f57)

  32. “I may be the only person in the Chicago metro area warching the debate (Monday Night Bears game)”

    elissa – One on the TV, the other on the computer. The internet is for more than just pron! Who knew?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  33. Rubio and Peter King were all over the Benghazi strategy this AM. WH wanted to sell Arab Spring and ME policy as successful, green shoots of democracy having taken hold.

    So Benghazi, alliances with MB and Taliban, total failure of Iran initiatives highlited by accession to direct negotiation, destabilized ME as either the goal or only possible outcome of appeasement, use any aid funds as carrot, danger of Egypt subduing Lybia, Turkey takeover of Syria, yada, yada.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  34. Comment by Kevin M — 10/22/2012 @ 9:34 am

    That does not bode well for O/B in NV, CO, or even NM.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  35. “…It’s past time for America to come home…”

    Bugg, we’ll come home when it is safe to do so.
    Until then, a forward presence is much more cost-effective (see the period between WW-1 & WW-2 for what happens when America retreats to Fortress America).

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  36. Ask him why relations with Canada, of all nations, are at the lowest point since the War of 1812.

    SPQR (768505)

  37. I guarantee you either Obama or Scheiffer try and saddle Romney with a defense of his foreign policy vis-a-vis the term “Bush Doctrine.” Obama still thinks bashing Bush is a winner. If Romney answers incorrectly on what Bush doctrine is, they hammer him for that too.

    Hawkins (1fc204)

  38. •Fast and Furious – The Very Fair and Neutral Candy Crowley didn’t think this scandal should be brought up in response to a question about firearms

    She wanted an answer to the question about the 1994 law. She aasked why did he change his mind. Romney said

    ROMNEY: ….it was a mutually agreed- upon piece of legislation. That’s what we need more of, Candy. What we have right now in Washington is a place that’s gridlocked.

    CROWLEY: So I could — if you could get people to agree to it, you would be for it?

    ROMNEY: We have —

    OBAMA: Candy?

    ROMNEY: — we haven’t had the leadership in Washington to work on a bipartisan basis. I was able to do that in my state and bring these two together.

    CROWLEY: Quickly, Mr. President.

    OBAMA: The — first of all, I think Governor Romney was for an assault weapons ban before he was against it. And he said that the reason he changed his mind was, in part, because he was seeking the endorsement of the National Rifle Association. So that’s on the record.

    Now the queestion had really been asked to President Obama:

    during the Democratic National Convention in 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. What has your administration done or planned to do to limit the availability of assault weapons

    Obama just filibustered. he said:

    A), we have to enforce the laws we’ve already got, make sure that we’re keeping guns out of the hands of criminals..

    And he never got around to B, althouygh it seems to be that B is:

    …make sure that young people have opportunity; that our schools are working; that if there’s violence on the streets, that working with faith groups and law enforcement, we can catch it before it gets out of control.

    In other words: New laws might be part of a strategy, but there’s alot of other things to do.
    He’s not going to try very hard for any new laws.

    Although he didn’t backtrack:

    what I’m trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence. Because frankly, in my home town of Chicago, there’s an awful lot of violence and they’re not using AK-47s. They’re using cheap hand guns.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  39. I’m wondering if the GAO also investigated to see whether the cities matched with the zip codes. Could one have simply made up a zip code to go with a city that is not within that zip code?

    Kaitian (4e478c)

  40. A), we have to enforce the laws we’ve already got,

    and that falls to who, specifically?
    Why, Mr. President, are you not enforcing the laws we already have, while at the same time, creating new programs that are beyond the scope of those laws, resulting in the deaths of Americans, and the nationals of foreign countries, as you put “assault weapons” in the hands of known criminals.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  41. Cool, the International Man of Parody got a job as a Chinese link-spammer.

    SPQR (768505)

  42. BTW, who’s broadcasting it? CNN, the last time, put Fox on a ten second delay.

    Comment by nk — 10/22/2012

    The debate will be on the major over the air networks.

    the Bears / Lions game is on ESPN.

    Dustin (73fead)

  43. AD-RtR/OS, don’t forget that Operation Fast&Furious was about creating faux smuggled weapons data to justify further gun control laws.

    SPQR (768505)

  44. 37. Comment by Hawkins — 10/22/2012 @ 11:46 am

    I guarantee you either Obama or Scheiffer try and saddle Romney with a defense of his foreign policy vis-a-vis the term “Bush Doctrine.”

    No, that term was a particular hobby horse of ABC News’ Charlie Gibson. He defined it (the Bush doctrine, not hobbyhorse) for the Presidential candidates in the New Hampshire debates on Saturday night January 5, 2008, but not for Sarah Palin later that year.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  45. Outcome same as the last. Flash polls slight win for BootBlack. Sit and ruminate, walkover for Willard, the only student participating.

    For all intents and purposes Willard has it won, of the tossups only MI, MN and OR in real doubt.

    Romany around 320, looking for a mandate.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  46. Reggie LoveRomany around 320, looking for a mandate.

    Gary – FTFY

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  47. Romney by the way, didn’t have any idea really what Fast and Furious was. He was confused on this subject. It seems all he knew was a talking point.

    ROMNEY:….The — the greatest failure we’ve had with regards to — to gun violence in some respects is what — what is known as Fast and Furious. Which was a program under this administration, and how it worked exactly I think we don’t know precisely,

    He doesn’t know! Actually we do know – cerftainly better than this:

    where thousands of automatic, and AK-47 type weapons were — were given to people that ultimately gave them to — to drug lords.

    No. No guns were given to anybody. Straw buyers were being allowed to purchase them. Any BATF agents that wanted to interfere were being told to stop, because this was an ongoing investigation.

    I don’t know that every one of those guns, or even most of them, went into Mexico.

    We only know that a federal agent was killed by one of thsoe guns. We don’t know who else might have been killed or wounded by one of those guns.

    They used those weapons against — against their own citizens and killed Americans with them.

    I don’t know that only drug lords or orimarily drug lords got those guns. Perhaops straw buyers acting for drug lords were not being interfered with.

    And this was a — this was a program of the government. For what purpose it was put in place, I can’t imagine.

    I can imagine. To make some ATF agents rich (or upper middle class) from bribes. That’s why it also happened during the Bush administration, although the program on paper made a little bit more sense then, and also got stopped after some time. But now there was a new admninistration in charge. New bosses.

    I really can’t imagine anything that makes sense at a higher, political, level.

    A coverup by the political level could be explained by the idea that some people involved in this were also involved in helping along something else of more interest to ATTORNEY GENERAL Eric Holder.

    But it’s one of the great tragedies related to violence in our society which has occurred during this administration. Which I think the American people would like to understand fully, it’s been investigated to a degree, but — but the administration has carried out executive privilege to prevent all of the information from coming out.

    Mitt Romney has no idea what he’s talking about, even though there is something really here to talk about. The word for this is: confused and ignorant.

    The executive privilege has to do with why wrong information was given to Congressional committees, saying that no gun walking program ever existed, and then not corrected after they most definitely knew that wasa false.

    I’d like to understand who it was that did this, what the idea was behind it, why it led to the violence, thousands of guns going to Mexican drug lords.

    Obama appeals to the moderator to help him out:

    OBAMA: Candy?

    She reminds Romney that wasn’t the original question:

    CROWLEY: Governor, Governor, if I could, the question was about these assault weapons that once were once banned and are no longer banned.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  48. daleyrocks – gary gulrud’s #46 is a subtle attempt to gain the Gypsy vote for the Governor …

    Alasdair (4ab712)

  49. Comment by gary gulrud — 10/22/2012 @ 12:07 pm

    Willard has it won, of the tossups only MI, MN and OR in real doubt.

    If those states are the tossups, Romney’s the favorite. All 3 were carried by Kerry and Gore. Minnesota was even carried by Dukakis in 1988. And Mondale and Carter (but maybe things have changed there since the days of Mondale)

    Romany around 320, looking for a mandate.

    Still, he can hurt or help himself a lot tonight.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  50. Comment by SPQR — 10/22/2012 @ 11:59 am

    Operation Fast&Furious was about creating faux smuggled weapons data to justify further gun control laws.

    My own feeling is that this was about corrupt law enforcement people.

    That’s why it straddled two administrations.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  51. That’s why it straddled two administrations.

    Not really. Sting operations aren’t necessarily the problem. Doling out firearms in another country without consulting their government or trying to track those weapons is a major distinction between administrations. That’s where the body count comes from, in my opinion. The Obama gun walking was reckless in the extreme.

    My own feeling is that this was about corrupt law enforcement people.

    It’s not always a conspiracy. We aren’t living in a 1980s crime drama. This was under the radar evidence creation to promote gun control.

    Dustin (73fead)

  52. Romany around 320, looking for a mandate.

    Republicans don’t get a mandate.

    If Romney wins by 10 then Romney will have to govern over an increasingly bitterly divided nation and reach across the aisle to govern effectively.

    If Obama wins by 2 it will be a clear mandate from the voters that he has the support of the populace and a repudiation of Republican obstructionism.

    egd (d580cc)

  53. Romney by the way, didn’t have any idea really what Fast and Furious was. He was confused on this subject. It seems all he knew was a talking point.

    Good Gawd.

    Mitt Romney has no idea what he’s talking about, even though there is something really here to talk about. The word for this is: confused and ignorant.

    Sammy never ceases to amaze.

    JD (318f81)

  54. My own feeling is that this was about corrupt law enforcement people.

    That’s why it straddled two administrations.

    Are you being purposefully obtuse, or lying?

    JD (318f81)

  55. “Which was a program under this administration, and how it worked exactly I think we don’t know precisely,”

    Sammy – Your overactive imagination is showing again. The IG report made it clear that not all witnesses were made available for them to interview, it did not make it clear who authorized the program and executive privilege is still being claimed by the White House.

    If you can clear up the unanswered questions, please enlighten us and Chairman Issa.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  56. I think Sammy is related to Stephanie Cutter.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  57. Sammy, revealing the fact you are ready, willing, and able to be f***ed in the head by this administration does nothing to cloud the fact they deliberately ran guns to Mexico.

    K?

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  58. Something no prior administration did. Outside of mitigating factors like raiding into New Mexico.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  59. 1. Comment by narciso — 10/22/2012 @ 7:53 am

    They

    You mean the people at Newsweek?

    are thoroughly useless, no mention of that Khattalah character btw;

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/21/truth-behind-the-benghazi-attack.html

    As usual, Newsweek helps along coverups, and sometimes draws your attention to neglected parts of the coverup.

    I don’t know how this works, even through a change of owners. Probably Newsweek’s lawyers.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  60. Well I was referring to the LA Times, the New York Times, and my McClatchy for one.

    narciso (ee31f1)

  61. 56. Yes we don’t know who authorized the program, but the real question is who came up with the original idea.

    They are hiding all of this.

    I just don’t think the motives were, or could have been, political. It looks much more like corruption. Drug lords can corrupt BATF agenets but they probably can’t corrupt an Attorney General or a President. They haven’t got enough money for that, and also people like that know they can’t hide it, and they have much better, safer, opportunitoes for corruption.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  62. I think Patterico’s list is excellent, although I don’t expect to hear much about 2-4 (even if Romney brings them up). The only thing I’d add is a question about the Arab Spring and especially Obama’s support for the overthrow of Egypt’s Mubarak, only to be replaced by the radical Muslim Brotherhood. How’s that working out?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  63. 52. Corruption also went on in the 1980s. And the corrupt people at DOJ and elsewhere blamed the CIA.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  64. Alasdair – I understand that gypsy vote can be very fickle.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  65. How is the Muslim Brotherhood working out? Well, just fine apparently.

    – Sharia Law is on its way. Check.

    -Another female journalist is sexually assaulted by a mob of Egyptian males. No one is arrested. Check.

    And so it goes… Is anyone surprised?

    Dana (292dcf)

  66. I hope to hear more about Obama’s rumored one-on-one talks with Iran.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  67. I would like to contrast Patterico’s smart list with the NYT advice to Romney for tonight:

    -GO EASY ON BENGHAZI
    …you blew an opportunity to cast doubt on Obama’s record as the scourge of terrorists. Your problem was not the argument over when the president identified the attack as an act of terror. Your real mistake was playing political gotcha with a national tragedy. You turned a fair question into a cheap shot, and you got your comeuppance.

    -SAY SOMETHING NICE ABOUT THE PALESTINIANS
    Why not tip your hat to the moderate modernizers like Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad, the president and prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, who have struggled, despite the intransigence of Israel and the intransigents in their own ranks, to tamp down the violence and build the rudiments of a state? It might not maximize your Jewish support in Florida, but it would enhance your credibility as a peacemaker, currently nonexistent.

    -EXTEND A HAND TO MOHAMED MORSI
    He may be a product of the Muslim Brotherhood, but he is Egypt’s first democratically elected president, and he’s torn between the forces of virulent Islamism and tolerant secularism.

    -CONCEDE THAT THE WAR IN IRAQ WAS A MISTAKE
    You have a case to make that Obama quit Iraq badly (and that he risks doing the same in Afghanistan). But you lack standing to make that case. You endorsed the war, and one of your main foreign policy mentors, Dan Senor, was complicit in the worst failures of the occupation. Admitting that you were wrong is not easy.

    There’s more at the link, but you can see there is a world of difference between the left and the right with regard to the debate. I really feel like I’m living on a different planet than Keller.

    Dana (292dcf)

  68. Yes we don’t know who authorized the program

    We basically do. Obama has asserted Executive Privileged. This wasn’t a corrupt sheriff in the boondocks authorizing this program. It was senior leadership in the White House.

    I just don’t think the motives were, or could have been, political.

    Why would you think that, Sammy?

    This war is being waged with guns purchased not here but in the United States… more than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States, many from gun shops that lay in our shared border. So we have responsibilities as well. -Obama 2009.

    We already know that the issue of guns in Mexico was of political benefit to the guy who was making political speeches about the problem.

    Dustin (73fead)

  69. The Obama administration claim that 90 percent of guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States was always a brazen lie.

    SPQR (768505)

  70. “That’s why it straddled two administrations.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman — 10/22/2012 @ 12:34 pm

    It didn’t. Now you are repeating long discredited Obama administration propaganda, Sammy.

    SPQR (768505)

  71. True, SPQR.

    I guess I should have disclaimed Obama’s comment, but I assume most folks who pay attention know by now that he’s dishonest.

    Anyway, Sammy is ignoring that Obama has already made political hay of American guns reaching Mexico when he says the motives of Obama’s administration sending American guns to Mexico couldn’t have been political.

    This was the Obama administration’s argument for gun control. They had to ramp up the program to cause enough insecurity and panic to sustain gun control.

    It was absolutely ruthless, and it was predictable that many would die.

    Dustin (73fead)

  72. Oh, I am quite certain the Romney campaign does not look to Bill Keller for talking points. But it’s an interesting list, and I would bet some of it will show up in Obama’s statements or in questions directed to Mitt, so he better be prepared to deal with it.

    elissa (3ce65a)

  73. Also, I’ve seen this morning that several members of the Democrat spinning machine have used the words, “cowboy”, “cowboy justice” and “chest thumping” foreign policy in interviews the past few days. So the talking points are set and Booooosh the warmonger will be at the debate tonight. Keller’s op-ed is just more reinforcement of that.

    elissa (3ce65a)

  74. Call me crazy but I expect Schieffer to be closer to Lehrer than the ladies.

    F&F coverage will probably have to be Romany being creative.

    But I really don’t think coot will let Down Low skate on Benghazi.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  75. Dustin, Sammy is in space. There was no legitimate law enforcement purpose for the way that OF&F was run. Absolutely none. Once the straw purchase was made, the buyer was prosecutable. With no way to track the firearms once smuggled, there was no evidentiary value in allowing the firearms to leave the US.

    The Obama administration coerced border gun stores to make sales that the gun stores themselves found suspicious and reported to ATF.

    SPQR (768505)

  76. SF: 72.“That’s why it straddled two administrations.”

    Comment by SPQR — 10/22/2012 @ 1:44 pm

    It didn’t. Now you are repeating long discredited Obama administration propaganda, Sammy.

    Obama administration propaganda is that it was teh same program. Started by the Bush Adminsitration it was stopped by Holder. Not true. It was stopped by Mulasey.

    Then something similar was started again.

    But there was nothing good about the earlier incarnations!

    It was not something professional.

    It was not something justified.

    It was the same thing, AND THAT ASPECT OF OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PROPAGANDA IS CORRECT.

    In fact actually this happened a few times, and not just in Phoenix. It was all the same thing and it straddled two administrations. And even Issa will say it’s the same thing. (although Issa went a little bit too far)
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/06/25/issa-acknowledges-fast-and-furious-whistleblower-once-proposed-gunwalking/

    Here we have ATF bureacrats defending thmeslves and claiming no gun walking existed:

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/a-different-take-on-fast-furious/

    It also was gun walking.

    Just not as obvious flawed.

    It didn’t. Now you are repeating long discredited Obama administration propaganda, Sammy.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  77. 77. The mask slips, “Here I am, lord”.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  78. ==the Bears / Lions game is on ESPN.
    Comment by Dustin — 10/22/2012 @ 11:59 am ==

    The Bears-Lions game will also be on broadcast TV. In the Chicago market I know it’s WCIU channel 26.

    elissa (3ce65a)

  79. 80. Cards/Giants is also posed to be a draw.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  80. “It also was gun walking.

    Just not as obvious flawed.”

    Sammy – So you are saying it was the same thing but different. That makes it a different program, right?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  81. The Bears-Lions game will also be on broadcast TV. In the Chicago market I know it’s WCIU channel 26.

    Comment by elissa — 10/22/2012

    That should come in handy for nk and the other Chicago area commenters!

    I’ll already have voted for Romney (to be honest, it’s mostly meant as a vote against Obama) before the debate begins. Texas early voting began today, and I’m on my way now.

    I’ve been waiting a long time for this vote.

    Dustin (73fead)

  82. One tracked the guns, or at least tried to with RFID’s and the cooperation of the Mexican govt, and one didn’t

    narciso (ee31f1)

  83. Sammy, bolding bulls*** doesn’t improve the stink.

    I’ve tried to be fair. I’ve withheld judgement.

    Until now. You’re horses***, Sammy.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  84. Hey, guys ! Apart from the differences, it was *exactly* the same ! Give Sammy a break !

    Alasdair (4ab712)

  85. It was the same thing, AND THAT ASPECT OF OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PROPAGANDA IS CORRECT.

    Lie

    JD (8a1df4)

  86. The significant differences in design concept of the programs were insignificant.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  87. gray galrude #76 – I have to ask … for how long were you a paid employee of the Grauniad ? (Manchester Guardian newspaper, for you ex-colonials – the industry standard for inaccuracy in reporting – so much so that they regularly printed their own name incorrectly – hence “The Grauniad” – and what they did with factual accuracy has not *quite* been reached yet by the LAT/NYT/WaPo axis of bias) …

    The Governor is a Mormon, not a Romany !

    Unless you are Caryn Elaine Johnson (*), you should realise that there are certain characteristics of LDS folk which don’t quite match Romany tradition – like consumption of ethanol …

    (*) (aka Whoopi Goldberg)

    Alasdair (4ab712)

  88. It was the same thing, AND THAT ASPECT OF OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PROPAGANDA IS CORRECT.

    No number of all caps makes that true, Sammy. I’m not a defender of the ATF of any administration, but the Wide Receiver operation was conducted with coordination with Mexican LE, had a rudimentary attempt at tracking the guns (with RFID tags) and was terminated when it failed to produce legitimate results. Those are differences.

    SPQR (768505)

  89. Sammy,

    Obama’s Fast & Furious involved gun walking. Bush’s Operation Wide Receiver involved gun tracing. Big difference.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  90. http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/fox-news-sunday-chris-wallace/2012/10/21/senators-dick-durbin-lindsey-graham-debate-us-foreign-policy-middle-east#p//v/1916307906001

    HUME: And those CIA talking points … [Sept 15]

    (CROSSTALK)

    HUME: Those CIA talking points are almost inexplicable, in light of the fact that the State Department knew in real time what was happening and had to have known that there was no protests such us those that were spoken of in those CIA talking points. That that whole thing was inconsistent with what the State Department knew, so the CIA can put out all the talking points it wants, but, an official at the State Department, (inaudible) ambassador was in the position to know better, and I suspect she did.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  91. Sammy,

    Here’s a comparison of the difference between gun walking and gun tracing, if you don’t want to click on the link:

    [Bush’s] Wide Receiver actually involved not gun-walking but controlled delivery. Unlike gun-walking, which seems (for good reason) to have been unheard of until [Obama’s] Fast & Furious, controlled delivery is a very common law enforcement tactic. Basically, the agents know the bad guys have negotiated a deal to acquire some commodity that is either illegal itself (e.g., heroin, child porn) or illegal for them to have/use (e.g., guns, corporate secrets). The agents allow the transfer to happen under circumstances where they are in control — i.e., they are on the scene conducting surveillance of the transfer, and sometimes even participating undercover in the transfer. As soon as the transfer takes place, they can descend on the suspects, make arrests, and seize the commodity in question — all of which makes for powerful evidence of guilt.

    Senator Schumer’s drawing of an equivalence between “tracing” in a controlled-delivery situation and “tracing” in Fast & Furious is laughable. In a controlled delivery firearms case, guns are traced in the sense that agents closely and physically follow them — they don’t just note the serial numbers or other identifying markers. The agents are thus able to trace the precise path of the guns from, say, American dealers to straw purchasers to Mexican buyers.

    To the contrary, Fast & Furious involved uncontrolled deliveries — of thousands of weapons. It was an utterly heedless program in which the feds allowed these guns to be sold to straw purchasers — often leaning on reluctant gun dealers to make the sales. The straw purchasers were not followed by close physical surveillance; they were freely permitted to bulk transfer the guns to, among others, Mexican drug gangs and other violent criminals — with no agents on hand to swoop in, make arrests, and grab the firearms. The inevitable result of this was that the guns have been used (and will continue to be used) in many crimes, including the murder of Brian Terry, a U.S. border patrol agent.

    In sum, the Fast & Furious idea of “trace” is that, after violent crimes occur in Mexico, we can trace any guns the Mexican police are lucky enough to seize back to the sales to U.S. straw purchasers … who should never have been allowed to transfer them (or even buy them) in the first place. That is not law enforcement; that is abetting a criminal rampage.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  92. Sammy Finkleman, are you feeling alright? You have become increasingly confusing in your comments these days… is everything okay?

    It’s such a critical difference, Sammy, that Operation Wide Receiver was done with the full knowledge and compliance of Mexico’s government, whereas Fast & Furious was done without their knowledge…walking guns into another country without their full knowledge and agreement.

    Dana (292dcf)

  93. Just bop along to the next point, Sammah

    JD (8a1df4)

  94. After Benghazi Attack, Talk Lagged Behind Intelligence – New York Times front page Oct. 22, 2012:

    Ms. Rice, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, has said that the judgments she offered on the five talk shows on Sept. 16 came from talking points prepared by the C.I.A., which reckoned that the attack that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans had resulted from a spontaneous mob that was angry about an anti-Islamic video that had set off protests elsewhere. That assessment, described to Ms. Rice in briefings the day before her television appearances, was based on intercepted communications, informants’ tips and Libyan press reports, officials said.

    Sooper sekrit intelligenece, in other words.

    Later that Sunday, though, American intelligence analysts were already sifting through new field reports that seemed to contradict the initial assessment. It would be several days, however, before the intelligence agencies changed their formal assessment based on those new reports, and informed administration officials about the change. Intelligence officials say such a lag is typical of the ever-changing process of piecing together shards of information into a coherent picture fit for officials’ public statements.

    What about the original field reports from September 11th!

    But the thing is: There really was an intelligence blunder of the first magnitude.

    And Obama is not acting like there was.

    At least that’s the view that casts Obama in a good light.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  95. Good boy, Sammah. Sooper sekrit BS intelligence.

    JD (8a1df4)

  96. Sammy, give it a freakin’ rest.

    There was.

    No.

    Intelligence.

    Failure.

    Just an operational one.

    For which the Obama admin must pay.

    Keep lying, planet Finkelman.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  97. The CIA, and sentient beings within the Dept of State, knew what happened on 9/11/12 was an organized attack sans mob, and they knew it on 9/12/12.
    But, the PC-corpse residing within the West-Wing was dead-set on finding a scape-goat that would not involve indicting their entire ME policy of appeasement, and surrender-through-weakness.
    They kept hammering on the video which at least was linked to the mob-action in Cairo, but was completely absent from any discussion of the why’s and wherefor’s of Benghazi.
    They kept hammering that dead-horse for days and days, even after Amb. Rices embarrassing of herself on the Sunday talkers.

    There is damn little in the past 45-months that casts Obama in a “good light”.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  98. Eyewitnesses to Benghazi…..
    http://world.time.com/2012/10/21/the-other-911-libyan-guards-recount-what-happened-in-benghazi/

    H/Y- Hot Air

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  99. I’m curious: Do you think focusing narrowly on questions (1,3,4) in this post will actually garner Romney more votes? Will it win over any undecideds? He has no practical hands-on experience in these matters, so will he just take the hit of being a know-it-all without knowing anything first hand? He might be giving red meat to the critics.

    And, as far as the low-informed public goes, does F&F, Afghanistan, Campaign Donations and Benghazi even register with them? Do they care and will it make any difference?

    Romney’s base is secure and whether he wins or loses tonight, isn’t going to push anyone over to the other side, but will overreaching on his part push to the other side undecideds who are waiting for the conclusion of all debates before making their decision?

    Dana (292dcf)

  100. I don’t understand how those could be classified as an over-reach. They are legitimate criticisms of known failures.

    JD (8a1df4)

  101. I understand that, JD – however, the other side has a very different perspective. Facts are just that but we know that obfuscating, stonewalling, etc. is the name of the game.

    What I’m asking is will getting in the weeds with details help Romney win over the undecideds?

    Would it be better to focus on a bigger picture of America as still the safest and strongest nation in the world, the place where everyone from everywhere still wants to come to, strongest defense system, and most importantly, freest nation in the world. A broader, more general reminder of who we were, who we are, and who we can be as far as our relationships with the world go.

    What do undecideds want to hear to bring them over to this side? I know *we* want to hear Patterico’s questions addressed because we know the lies we’re being fed. Is it the same with those not fully committed to anyone yet – do they really care about the particulars or generalities?

    Dana (292dcf)

  102. I see what you are saying.

    Can’t he give them both? :-)

    JD (8a1df4)

  103. Comment by Dana — 10/22/2012 @ 1:32 pm

    In other words, NYT is saying, “Don’t bring up anything that will damage Obeyme, let your best points pass by, surrender so the One can win.”

    I think that about sums up the NYT’s position.

    peedoffamerican (ee1de0)

  104. Well, I just got back from my polling station and I’ve never seen it so crowded. The clerk said he hadn’t either. I live in pretty conservative precinct. Enthusiasm appears to be much, much higher than it was in 2008.

    Dustin (73fead)

  105. There is a stunning and painful article over at NRO http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/331125/first-aid-living-bing-west

    Why were the American armed forces at a base just over 400 miles away in Italy not ordered to assist in the 7 hours it took the attackers to defeat the Benghazi consulate forces? 7 hours. Jesus H. Christ.

    An F-18 team at cruising speed would have taken just over 40 minutes to get to Benghazi and strafe the attackers and missile and bomb the entire slum into rubble. Helicopter gunships with mid air refueling capacity would have taken 2 1/2 hours to get there.

    Fred Z (b8d9d1)

  106. the Benghazi thing clearly flusters food stamp, I think cause of how it’s so not fair that everybody acts like he’s responsible

    Plus people forget how that happened right before he had to go to Vegas and he needed a good night’s sleep cause you know how Vegas is you never get to bed early there

    happyfeet (5e7e1c)

  107. I live in Obama kneepad land. I voted absentee. Word is the Florida ballot should take 1/2 hour to read and fill-in. It is six big pages both sides and a dozen constitutional amendments. Lots of Presidential candidates, including Roseanne Barr/Cindy Sheehan.
    I note that Ann Althouse has a post on the Benghazi outrage and highlights “But the most sever failure has gone unnoticed: namely, a failure to aid the living.
    Wonder how many other bleeding hearts are pissed about the situation. What do Lovey, sleeepy and sillyman think? I note lots of media bs spin that Benghazi is just a tempest in a teapot.
    Of course the brain dead editorial board at the New Yorker Magazine endorsed choom and was quite critical of Romley. What else should I expect?

    Calypso Louis Farrakhan (e799d8)

  108. Is Ann still undecided? If so I hope tonight helps her have an epiphany to where she’s not all up in the air about all this politics stuff

    happyfeet (5e7e1c)

  109. 111. She’s one fickle woman with a big law prof salary. Few weeks ago upset about the racial overtones of showing a black woman happy with her obamaphone. I get a kick out of some of Urkel’s defenders there. Too lazy to see what the fever swamps are saying, other than Mormons are evil, etc.
    I just saw the cretinous charles johnson at lgf says the wall street journal backs up the Obama administration on Benghazi. Used to think he was great for exposing Rather crap. Knew he had falling out with Pamela Geller but I lost interest in his revised views of liberals.

    Calypso Louis Farrakhan (e799d8)

  110. Sammy,

    I don’t agree with many of your conclusions but you are doing better with formatting, and I appreciate that.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  111. Ann Althouse’s political opinions mystify me. Basically, she seems to enjoy being unpredictable.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  112. I agree, DRJ. :)

    Patricia (e1d89d)

  113. She’s smart and pretty she should be on cable

    happyfeet (5e7e1c)

  114. Well not CNN or MSNBC, so that would leave only Fox.

    narciso (ee31f1)

  115. I must give Althouse and Meade kudos on their coverage of the union protests in Madison against the Governor during the recall nonsense. The Mainstream media was mostly awol. Perhaps it was Pulitzer prize worthy. Still, I wouldnt surprised if her self-ordained cruel neutrality defied logic and she had continued sympathy for the historic Obama.

    calypso louis farrakhan (a80db9)

  116. “Ann Althouse’s political opinions mystify me. Basically, she seems to enjoy being unpredictable.”

    DRJ – The water in Madison may finally be getting to her.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  117. Soundly defeating America’s first black president after one lackluster term will be super historic I think. Or if he gets reelected that would also be super historic.

    We really can’t miss.

    happyfeet (5e7e1c)

  118. boys of October
    one hides behind Clinton’s skirt
    One Man left standing

    Colonel Haiku (f6c71d)

  119. surely not Safer
    but who would you rather have
    it’s old rheumy eyes

    Colonel Haiku (f6c71d)

  120. Directors of DIA, CIA and NSA need to come before Congress, come-to-Jesus and come clean.

    Colonel Haiku (f6c71d)

  121. 114.Ann Althouse’s political opinions mystify me. Basically, she seems to enjoy being unpredictable.

    Comment by DRJ — 10/22/2012 @ 4:35 pm

    Leaving aside my disdain for academic lawyers, I consider Ann Althouse to be a lying, hypocritical, vacuous [something I should not call a lady].

    nk (875f57)

  122. iowahawkblog Tonight’s debate moderated by CBS anchor Bob Schieffer, or as his audience calls him, “that sexy young man.”

    Colonel Haiku (f6c71d)

  123. I like Schiefer. This may be the endcap of his career and he may try hard to do a proud job.

    nk (875f57)

  124. Calypso, if Charles Johnson is endorsing that narrative, it only reinforces my confidence that it is BS.

    SPQR (914509)

  125. JD–I’m wishing both good play and good luck for the Cardinals tonight. Don’t you sort of wonder how Albert Pujols will be spending the evening–besides trying to convince himself that it “wasn’t about the money”?

    elissa (3ce65a)

  126. and Go Giants!

    Colonel Haiku (f6c71d)

  127. iowahawkblog Stephanie Cutter currenty polishing lifeless doll eyes for post debate interviews

    Colonel Haiku (f6c71d)

  128. I greatly enjoy Althouse’s blogging and her comment section. Something about her project there refuses to take itself seriously.

    I think the unpredictability can be pretty forced. It can make her seem sillier than she probably is.

    anyway, she has a pretty good comment section. You almost can tell which comment sections have useful discussions by the way they attract these incredibly dedicated trolls.

    Dustin (73fead)

  129. I hope someone asks how many billions Obama intends to give Egypt’s Brotherhood islamist government.

    SPQR (914509)

  130. It’s tough, Col.– One of these two great teams and their fans are going to be severely disappointed tonight. My gut tells me it’s the Giants who are going to be crying in their beer, but it’s been a great tournament so far. May the best team win.

    elissa (3ce65a)

  131. 132. Comment by SPQR — 10/22/2012 @ 5:40 pm

    I hope someone asks how many billions Obama intends to give Egypt’s Brotherhood islamist government.

    What about dealing with the Salafists – the worst of the worst – themselves?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/23/opinion/roger-cohen-working-with-the-muslim-brotherhood.html

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  132. 132. Comment by SPQR — 10/22/2012 @ 5:40 pm

    I hope someone asks how many billions Obama intends to give Egypt’s Brotherhood islamist government.

    What about dealing with the Salafists – the worst of the worst – themselves?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/23/opinion/roger-cohen-working-with-the-muslim-brotherhood.html

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  133. 132. Comment by SPQR — 10/22/2012 @ 5:40 pm

    I hope someone asks how many billions Obama intends to give Egypt’s Brotherhood islamist government.

    What about dealing with the Salafists – the worst of the worst – themselves?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/23/opinion/roger-cohen-working-with-the-muslim-brotherhood.html

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)


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