Posted: June 28, 2016 Filed under: morning reads, U.S. Politics | Tags: Benghazi, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Natalie McGarry
My mom just called me to find out why MSNBC is hyping the Republicans’ Benghazi! report. I’m not watching; but I guess we can just assume that the so-called “liberal” cable channel is going to continue rooting against Hillary even if it means electing a completely unqualified, ignorant racist who hates the media and wants to take away press freedoms. Ugh.
Even The New York Times admits the report contains nothing new, even though they fail to note until way down in the story that the “committee report” released today comes only from the Republican members. They didn’t even let their Democratic colleagues read it. The Democrats on the committee released their report yesterday. Here’s a quick read on what’s in the report.
Vice News: Two years and $7 million later, the Benghazi report is finally out.
After two years and $7 million, Republicans on the House Benghazi Committee have released their long-awaited report on the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi — a report that concludes then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not directly at fault for the events that led to the death of four American citizens.
The report did slam the Obama administration for its handling of the aftermath of the attacks, citing a combination of bureaucratic inefficiency, personal error and willful ignorance of intelligence for the bungled response. But the committee’s findings do not directly indict Clinton for the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, or found that she willfully ignored calls for security, charges that Republicans have continuously leveled at her.
In fact, the report barely focuses on Clinton at all, but rather reveals a more comprehensive timeline of events based on interviews with eyewitnesses and senior intelligence officials.
Among the revelations in the Committee’s 800-page report is that the CIA missed real-time intelligence about the situation on the ground that led the agency to bungle its response to the violent protests that led to the deaths of Americans at the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi. The government then misled the public about what had happened in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.
“It is not clear what additional intelligence would have satisfied either [State Department aide Patrick] Kennedy or the Secretary in understanding the Benghazi mission compound was at risk — short of an attack,” the report says.
There’s not much new in that article either, but you can check it out for yourself.
Protesters wave Mexican flags and signs on the road leading into Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen, Scotland, June 25, 2016. (Reuters Photo)
Some pundits have assumed that terrorist attacks would help Donald Trump in his sad run for the presidency. It doesn’t look that way so far. The Washington Post reports: Donald Trump’s big, bold response to terrorism is a big bust with Americans.
Hillary Clinton has reestablished her advantage over Donald Trump on dealing with terrorism following the candidates’ very different reactions to the nation’s largest-ever mass shooting in Orlando, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
By a 50-to-39 percent margin, more say they trust Clinton than Trump to handle terrorism — similar to her 54-40 edge in March but wider than her narrow three-point edge in May after Trump became the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee….
The latest shift stands in stark contrast to political impact of the last major terrorist attacks that colored U.S. politics. After the Paris and San Bernardino attacks in late 2015, Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims entering the U.S. received wide support among fellow Republicans, and it helped bolster his support heading into the GOP nomination contest.
The latest poll numbers, of course, show how the larger electorate feels about Trump’s handling of foreign policy and terrorism — not just GOP voters. And it’s yet another bad sign for Trump’s presidential aspirations come November.
Clinton isn’t the only Democrat to get a boost. President Obama’s approval for handling terrorism went from 45 percent in June to 50 percent this month, ending a stretch of underwater ratings (more disapproval than approval) since early 2015. After the Paris attacks, Obama’s approval mark on the issue dropped to a record-low 40 percent.
Read the details and check out the charts at the WaPo.
Trump has finally started sending out fundraising emails, and apparently he isn’t aware that he can’t accept donations from foreign nationals. He sent emails to Scottish MP’s last week asking them to donate. One recipient wrote a response.
The Scotsman: Natalie McGarry publicly rebuffs Donald Trump fundraising plea.
Independent Scottish MP Natalie McGarry
McGarry, who is the MP for Glasgow East, wrote a sharp reply to the Presidential hopeful’s son, and shared her response with her 15,000 Twitter followers.
In her letter she wrote: “Quite why you think it appropriate to write emails to UK parliamentarians with a begging bowl for your father’s repugnant campaign is completely beyond me.
“Given his rhetoric on migrants, refugees and immigration, it seems quite extraordinary that he would be asking foreign nationals for money; especially people who view his dangerous divisiveness with horror.
“The US elections are a matter for the American people, but I do send my warm hope that they reject your father fundamentally at the ballot box.”
She added: “The thought of his reactionary type of politics and apparent ignorance of world affairs having access to a seat at the world table is both surreal, and terrifying.
“The above is a long way to say No, and do not contact me again.”
Josh Marshall on the way things are going for Trump: “How Does It Feel To Be Losing So Badly?”
There’s a campaign dynamic now coming into view which under other circumstances might only be a matter of trash talk or taunt. In this unique campaign cycle, it will likely be a driving issue. Put simply, as Donald Trump’s poll numbers continue to fall – or more likely become more anchored in a position with him clearly behind – he is himself being lowered onto his own personal kryptonite: Loserdom.
One charge, one taunt, one attack will rile and unhinge Donald Trump more than any other. That he’s a loser. At the moment, the facts leave little question on this point.
In the Trumpian world of pure alpha dominance no failure or state of existence is more total, hopeless, unmanning or unbearable. He is now living there, in public, each day, for all to see, even helpfully enumerated on most days in new poll numbers. A brittle narcissistic ego, coddled for decades by armies of yes men and a generally fawning business and tabloid press, won’t hold up well under that kind of strain.
Losing is always hard. Few of us have ever been candidates for public office. But we all know this from our own lives. But it is uniquely hard for Trump’s campaign because the campaign’s entire premise is “winning” and on a slightly less literal level on what I’ve called dominance politics. Losing is hard for any campaign both emotionally for all involved but also because losing is demoralizing and can trigger a self-perpetuating cycle. But most campaign’s have issue agendas, goals that provide an emotional and aspirational ballast to the effort. You may be losing but that doesn’t invalidate what you believe or the substance of your proposed policies. That’s not true for Trump because “winning” isn’t just the goal it’s the raison d’etre and premise of the whole effort. A candidacy based on “winning” which is in fact losing and perhaps losing badly isn’t just on the ropes; it begins to look ridiculous.
Read the rest at the link.
From New York Magazine, a sad story about another sad sack: The Sanders Campaign Tried to Rig Caucus Tiebreakers With Double-Sided Coins.
The Democratic primary wasn’t rigged — despite the best efforts of Bernie Sanders’s staffers in Nevada. On Monday, CBS News published a postmortem on the Vermont senator’s campaign, which includes this anecdote about how Sanders’s Silver State director Joan Kato prepared her team for caucus day:
At one point shortly before the caucuses, she instructed staff to buy double-sided coins — in case coin-flips were needed to decide any of the caucuses in the event of a tie, according to staffers.
All that yelling about Hillary being “corrupt” was just projection.
And how are things going for Hillary? Great! Here’s Ruby Cramer on Clinton’s joint appearance with Elizabeth Warren in Cincinnati yesterday: Elizabeth Warren Finally Opens Her Arms To Hillary Clinton. Cramer notes that two years ago when these two famous women campaigned on the same stage in Massachusetts for then candidate for Governor Martha Coakley, Warren “barely mentioned Clinton.” But now it’s different between them.
Two years later, the 2016 election has forged a vastly different Clinton–Warren alliance.
Here on Monday, beneath the painted dome of the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, they emerged for their first joint appearance, unveiling a powerful new partnership aimed at Donald Trump, with none of the old distance and unease.
The pair arrived together, Clinton leading the way onto a circular platform in the middle of the hall. Around the stage, 2,600 crowded into the historic atrium. Warren threw out both hands, palms to the ceiling, as if in awe of the scene around her.
Clinton motioned Warren toward the podium, then stood near the back of the stage and took a breath. “Woo!” she mouthed. Over the sound of the crowd, Warren leaned into the microphone with the same surprised look: “Whoa!” she said. Thank you!”
“I’m here today because I’m with her. Yes, her!”
Later, as Clinton spoke, Warren stood to the side and listened intently, reacting to each line along with the voters below. To a mention of infrastructure investment, Warren nodded fiercely and let out a “yes!” To a promise of student loan relief, she jumped up and down on her toes. To a dig at corporations, she pumped her fist in the air. And when the candidate led the crowd into one of her favorite lines — about playing the “woman’s card” — Warren chanted along on cue: “Deal me in!”
More than most of the campaign’s surrogates on the trail, Warren took the stage for Clinton with a distinct mission, taking a high-energy and unapologetic approach to the job of attack dog, with a speech that complemented Clinton’s, not simply introduced it.
Well you probably saw the speech–if you didn’t please be sure to watch it. And read much more about it at the Buzzfeed link.
Bernie Sanders could have done what Warren has done. He probably could have been another good attack dog against Trump. But he chose a different path, and now it’s too late. I really hope he doesn’t campaign for Hillary, and I couldn’t care less if he endorses her. His followers have mostly jumped on her bandwagon, and those who are still wallowing in self-pity won’t be needed. I dread the thought of Bernie campaigning at this point, because I’m convinced he would only find underhanded ways to damage her. I just hope he continues to fade from public view.
What stories are you following today? Please share your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a terrific Tuesday!