Friday night doc dump….Benghazi
It’s become a tradition for both D-words and R-words to hide behind this maneuver, especially since all the press and news orgs have closed up shop for the day. AP received the timeline of events from the PENTAGON, and their response, two months after the incident in Libya. What a mess! It took them 19 hours to respond which begs another question; Why weren’t they better prepared?
Why so long? The Pentagon claims that the situation was “murky,” that they didn’t understand whether a hostage situation might develop, and also claimed not to have been aware of any specific threats. That would be news to anyone following the Benghazi story in some depth. Ambassador Chris Stevens warned repeatedly of threats to the Benghazi mission for months, requesting more security. On the day of the attack, three hours before it began and roughly five hours before Stevens was killed, the Benghazi consulate alerted State that radical Islamist terrorists had begun “gathering weapons and gathering steam,” plus a note that their security team of Libyan militia had taken pictures inside the compound for no apparent reason earlier that day.
We’re “leading from behind” in Mali. War plans leaked on Friday (anyone see a pattern here?) Another “splendid little war” the French are involving us in to bolster their shadow government, just as they did in Libya to preserve their oil interests. Gaddafi was going to nationalize the Libyan oil industry and the French oil interests were not pleased. Via Meadia
Something must be done in Mali. Open sanctuaries for aggressive jihadis cannot be tolerated. But what’s the strategy? In Libya there’s an argument to be made that even though the United States ‘led from behind’ we were nevertheless used by French oil interests among others to increase French prestige and power in the neighborhood. The French are very good at getting other people to do their dirty jobs for them. Mali is part of France’s ghost empire in Africa; there’s a case to be made for remaining well in the rear and not even leading.
More broadly, where is our policy heading in Africa? Have we started playing whack-a-mole with terror groups across the Sahara? And, if we manage to whack the moles on the head in Mali, where do they pop up next? And what’s our fallback plan if the first push doesn’t work?
Via Meadia hopes the wizards in the State Department and National Security Council have thought these issues through more thoroughly than they did when we rushed into Libya. The ‘victory’ in Libya helped make the Mali war necessary; what new wars will another ‘victory’ in Mali bring?
Business has responded to Obama’s re-election and policies, which we wrote about yesterday, not only laying off people but, moving production to more business friendly countries. Those who believe government creates jobs are in for a huge rude awakening. All the talk about hiring new teachers, firemen and police is one of the biggest frauds in this government’s lexicon. All those are local hires and have zero to do with Obama or his Dept. of Education or any other government entity. So, with the tax base even more depleted in various localities, good luck with that hiring. It won’t happen unless local taxes rise.
The report also includes a state-by-state breakdown of pension funding gaps, including estimates of how much each household would need to pay in tax increases to close the gap.
The list includes a few surprises: California comes in sixth at $1,900 per household, while New Jersey, Ohio, Wyoming, Oregon and New York households would all be on the hook for more than $2,000. New York’s $17 billion shortfall is particularly bad; taxpayers would have to pay an additional $2,250 per household, for 30 years, to make up the difference.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the list, states like Idaho, Arizona, West Virginia, Utah, Arkansas, and finally Indiana would require more modest increases of $800 per household or less. Indiana is in particularly good shape, with a per household shortfall of only $329.
When looking at the list, it’s hard to miss how the costs seem to break down according to the red-blue political divide. This raises an interesting conundrum: The states that require the biggest tax hikes are those where taxes are already highest. If this isn’t a powerful argument against the blue model, we’re not sure what is.
Absorbing all the costs of Obamacare, pensions and benefits, bailouts and regulations will fall on the middleclass businessperson and consumer. How’s that for redistribution of wealth?
Update…. Happy 237th to the US Marines
- Krauthammer on Petraeus: Now That There’s a Sex Scandal Benghazi Will Become Hottest Story Around (newsbusters.org)
- Diplomats still in Benghazi say they had long questioned U.S. reliance on local militia (kansascity.com)
- Pentagon timeline shows military response to Libya (bostonherald.com)
- There’s A Reason Why All Of The Reports About Benghazi Are So Confusing (businessinsider.com)
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