International Politics

Comment from  Is this the kind of foreign policy we are willing to accept.  Remember, soon after Obama took office in 2009, he promptly flew down to Venezuela to give a bro hug to Hugo Chavez and gladly accept a signed copy of Chavez’s book?  UNREAL!  Now, concerning the events in Benghazi, it is clear that the C.I.A. knew all along that it was a terrorist attack and not a flash-mob.  Then we must explain the words of the president, his U.N. ambassador and his secretary of state — all endlessly repeated with supporting theatrics.  Basically, the Obama administration knew it could count on a friendly media that is loath to expose anything that might undermine its preferred foreign policy narrative.  After Benghazi, the administration is confident of ‘running out the clock’ until the election, stonewalling legislative inquiries and sequestering those few media outlets actually trying to probe the Libya story.

Full-Article below from the

Bottom line first: Ever since the Benghazi attack, President Obama and his advisers have lied through their teeth to avoid awakening the slumbering American electorate. They have been assisted throughout by a media establishment intent on supporting the president’s re-election while maintaining its usual charade of objectivity — the great oxymoron of our time.

My career encompassed that oxymoron as well as an even earlier one, military intelligence. So I watched in amazement as only the Fox News Channel seemed intent on unraveling an extraordinarily thin cover story. A flash-mob that got out of hand over a provocative YouTube video? But with mortars and automatic weapons, a coordinated assault that killed an American ambassador and three bodyguards? I felt like Carrie Mathison, the Claire Danes character in the Showtime series “Homeland,” constantly asking “Are you serious?” Yet President Obama, from the Rose Garden to the United Nations rostrum, kept repeating the flash-mob story until the second cover story was trotted out: Our intelligence community was working diligently to uncover the truth and go after attackers — a thrilling re-run of “Osama and the Seals,” coming soon to a theater near you!

But this week I received subtle warnings from old friends still in that beleaguered intelligence community. They expressed great irritation with Fox News, undoubtedly because of political motivations. But they were most offended by the idea that the spooks had done nothing. They suggested that the attack on Benghazi was like Mogadishu, the epic Somali battle that left a hundred American Rangers killed or wounded. They warned darkly of some “push-back” against the version of events gradually emerging from determined Fox reporters like Catherine Herridge.

Well, today that push-back surfaced as The New York Times and other papers reported background briefings from un-named C.I.A. officials. As Eric Schmitt wrote, “Thursday’s briefing for reporters was intended to refute reports, including one by Fox News last Friday, that the C.I.A.’s chain of command had blocked the officers on the ground from responding to the mission’s calls for help.” The New York Times account was not a headline — appearing on page 4. Neither its reporter not those anonymous C.I.A. officials used the word “inoperative,” as the Nixon White House used to do when Watergate cover stories were unraveling.

Yet in Benghazi-gate as well as Watergate, earlier lies were shed as smoothly as snakeskins. So the C.I.A. knew all along that it was a terrorist attack and not a flash-mob? Okay, then how do you explain the words of the president, his U.N. ambassador and his secretary of state — all endlessly repeated with supporting theatrics? If high officials from the Pentagon, the State Department and the West Wing knew the truth — that this was actually 9/11.2 — then how do you explain either of the administration’s mutually inconsistent cover stories? And why was the U.S. four-star general responsible for North Africa suddenly and mysteriously relieved of command after Benghazi?

Actually, you cannot explain any of these things unless you also account for the hear-see-report-no-evil approach of the media establishment. The Obama administration knew it could count on a friendly media that is loath to expose anything that might undermine its preferred foreign policy narrative. After Benghazi, the administration was understandably confident of running out the clock until the election, stonewalling legislative inquiries and sequestering those few media outlets actually trying to probe the Libya story.
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“2016: Obama’s America,” an anti-Obama doc, is a surprise hit at the box office this weekend. The documentary – which makes no pretense at objectivity – digs into what the filmmakers perceive as the President’s suspicious past and takes a scary look into what they think the future holds if he is re-elected. The film racked in an astonishing $6.3 million at the box office this weekend, which is bad news for the Democrats.

Where it is making the big bucks and getting the big crowds are in the Red States, of course, playing to an anti-Obama crowd, where it has made this astonishing box office take, placing it 8th in box office takeaccording to Box Office Mojo.

At number one at the box office is “The Expendables 2” earning 13.5 million this weekend. (The total gross for the film is 52.3 million.) To get some perspective, “Expendables” cost 100 million to make. The budget for “Obama’s America” is unlisted but we’re betting from the film’s production values it was a pittance. And number two is “The Bourne Legacy,” with 9.3 million for the weekend, with 85.5 million gross since it opened.

As the election becomes more and more heated and Americans grow more polarized over the election and the presidency of Barack Obama, the movie could sway opinions. The film is based on Dinesh D’Souza’s book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.” Mr. D’Souza directed the film with John Sullivan, who also wrote the screenplay and also serves as narrator. In the controversial film, they raise suspicions about the president’s past, including dredging up Obama’s previous relationships with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, activist Bill Ayers and Edward Said, a Palestinian scholar and supporter, who is deceased since 2003, and was once a professor of Obama’s at Columbia.

This is old stuff that was brought up in the last election but may be new to some Red State voters who are more sympathetic to the message. The filmmakers also pose scary possibilities of what President Obama’s reelection could mean to the country. One of the ominous warnings is what could happen as a result of what they say is the President’s inaction against stopping Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

The unexpectedly big box office numbers for “2016” is no doubt spurred by the upcoming Republican Convention, which will begin Tuesday in Tampa, Fla.

Yikes, this is a bit unsettling.  I am curious as to our real risk exposure.

“The U.S. economic recovery faces significant risks, including from the European sovereign debt crisis and uncertain U.S. fiscal policy, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said in testimony prepared for a congressional hearing on Thursday.Still, the Fed chairman stopped short of signaling Fed action to combat these risks, other than to say that the Fed remained ‘prepared to take action’ to protect the U.S. economy and financial system if stresses on the financial system escalate.” – WSJ.COM

A  court in the Netherlands has upheld a new law to ban foreign tourists from cannabis cafes, the BBC reports. The ban is due to start in three southern provinces next month, and go nationwide by the end of the year.

Amsterdam, perhaps the most popular spot for tourists seeking marijuana, will be subject to the new law by next year.

The Netherlands is known for a liberal drug policy, especially when it comes to so-called “soft” drugs like marijuana. The law is aimed at foreigners who have come to see the country as a soft drugs paradise and to tackle a rise in crime related to the drug trade, Reuters reported. It also aims to stop people from coming to the Netherlands to buy drugs and then taking them back to their home countries to re-sell.

Only locals, whether Dutch or foreign residents, will be allowed to join a coffee shop. A pass would allow Dutch citizens to legally buy cannabis.

Coffee shop owners are protesting the move, saying they shouldn’t be forced to discriminate between tourists and non-tourists. Certainly, the ban on foreigners will be bad for business. How it impacts tourism remains to be seen.



“The first outside audit of Apple’s supply chain found excessive working hours and health and safety issues at its largest manufacturer, piling more pressure on the technology giant to end workers’ rights violations in China.

The investigation of manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry, which is known as Foxconn, was conducted by the Fair Labor Association, a group Apple joined in January. It was based, in part, on surveys of 35,500 workers building products like iPods and iPhones at three Foxconn facilities in Shenzhen and Chengdu.”

This is just sad.  I can’t believe that Google is stooping to these lows.  I have deleted all copies of Chrome from my machines and will probably start to phase out my gmail address.  If Google is spying on people through third party browsers, just imagine what they are doing with their own software.

“Regulators in the U.S. and European Union are investigating Google for  bypassing the privacy settings of millions of users of Apple’s Safari Web browser. Google stopped the practice last month after being contacted by The Wall Street Journal.

The investigations—which span U.S. federal and state agencies, as well as a pan-European effort led by France—could embroil Google in years of legal battles and result in hefty fines for privacy violations. The Journal in February reported that Google was using special computer code to install tiny tracking files, or ‘cookies,’ on some people’s computers, iPhones and iPads, even if the devices were set to block this kind of tracking.” – WSJ



“Authorities investigating the importation of low-cost foreign pharmaceuticals into the U.S. have identified a supply chain that may have allowed fake cancer drugs to reach U.S. clinics, according to investigators and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Federal officials are examining the business dealings of two Canadian businessmen who have long histories in the Internet pharmacy trade that delivers discounted prescription drugs from overseas to U.S. citizens, the documents and interviews reveal.”

Can someone please cue up the Blame Canada song from South Park?