The Widdershins

The morning after…

Posted on: January 13, 2016

Good Wednesday friends.  Many thanks to Chat for hosting our little SOTU retoxification party last evening.  Instead of wading into the SOTU minutia, I have a few other news items.SOTU

These are small things about big subjects.  Since the news media is all consumed with the gaseous emissions from the guy wearing the kangaroo scrotum toupee, the important things of keeping an electorate informed have given way to plot lines unworthy of the “Housewives of Colonoscopy Corners”.  I find that tiresome, I hope you do as well.



Remember the line, “Obamacare is a job killer.”  It is a line still getting more than its share of media space courtesy of reporters who have the intellectual curiosity of a narcoleptic doorstop.

A funny thing happened on the way to proving the job killing proclivities of Obamacare – it doesn’t.  Simply put, there is no evidence that Obamacare has affected employment patterns in any appreciable way.

Good news is just so passé — why bother?


Ted CruzTed Cruz

There has been a flurry of birthism chickens coming to roost upon the spindly shoulders of the Texas demagogue.  Noted constitutional expert Laurence Tribe actually taught Ted Cruz in school.  Professor Tribe knows Cruz for what he is:  A political opportunist and a legal charlatan.

Let’s dissect:  Cruz has always paid his chicken-lip service to an “originalist” interpretation of the Constitution.  Originalism is the current “en vogue” interpretative theory of conservatives since it is the shortest route to overturning progressive New Deal reforms.  Originalism didn’t even exist as a constitutional theory until the mid-1980s so it is essentially the “cargo pants theory” of constitutional interpretation.

In any event, Justices Moe, Larry, and Curly (Scalia, Thomas, and Alito) all subscribe to originalism.  Cruz has a matching tramp stamp to Scalia to prove his fealty.

The Framers inserted the words, “natural born citizen” as a Presidential requirement for a reason, but it was a strange qualifier.  Did it mean the indentured 3/5th citizens couldn’t qualify for President?  Did it mean the humans with the scary lady parts couldn’t qualify?  Did it mean only land owners could qualify?  Did it mean all of these?  No one knows since the question has never been addressed.

Cruz, having hatched in Canada with only an American mother, presents some unique questions.  In fact, prior to 1934, Cruz undoubtedly would not have been qualified to be President since it was only then that Congress provided a mother’s citizenship conferred citizenship upon her child.

As usual, Cruz is lying when he says, “It is settled law.”  It is not.


Iranian Nuclear DealNuclear Deal

Remember the Iran deal — the one representing just another excuse to overuse the words “existential threat”?  Its implementation is ahead of schedule.  Enriched uranium, 25,000 pounds of it, has been shipped out of Iran to Russia, never to return to Iran.

Iran is nearing completion of other requirements, including dismantling the requisite number of centrifuges, reconfiguring the Arak heavy water reactor (to close down the pathway via plutonium) and allowing for more intrusive inspections.  In addition, the Arak nuclear reactor core has been filled with concrete.  It doesn’t work very well that way.


Benghazi13 Hours

I’m really tired of Benghazi as a topic of conversation.  There have been seven investigations costing tens of millions of dollars and all coming to the same conclusion:  There was no wrongdoing.  There were areas of remediation where processes and procedures could be improved, but there was no wrongdoing.

With the opening of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi this topic is again going to percolate.  It is going to breathlessly play across Fox and talk radio as if it just occurred yesterday.  It will be as if the thousands of stories on Fox, the separate Fox-u-mentary, or the 2,456 print stories never existed.  And most of this rekindled interest will center on whether or not an order to “stand down” was given.

Here’s the truth behind the “stand down” order – none of the official investigations found any such order.  The Pentagon confirms this.  The State Department confirms this.  The issue continues to be central because it is politically potent and it fits into a narrative so important to the angry mobs listening to Fox and talk radio.

The argument for there being a “stand down” order hangs from one thin thread.  In the book written by the contract security survivors, they insist they were given an order to wait by a local CIA operative.  That non-sanctioned delay by the CIA operative was, in total, TOTAL, somewhere between fifteen and thirty minutes.

I can’t emphasize this enough – disrespecting the four Americans who died that day, impugning the reputations of countless Pentagon and State Department officials, and tens of millions of dollars in needless, duplicative investigations – were all predicated upon nothing more than a local CIA operative exercising operational control and six contract security cowboys disagreeing with his strategic decision to wait.

What’s more, that disagreement lasted only fifteen to thirty minutes.  These six men, perhaps to assuage their own consciences since they could have ignored the CIA operative fifteen minutes earlier, are now to be portrayed as Transformer level heroes.  Michael Bay, the director of 13 Hours, also directed all the Transformer movies, such is the historical significance of this movie.

Fox is going whole-hog on hyping this movie hoping the film can do what thousands of lazy news stories couldn’t – rewrite history.


What are you reading today?  Take this conversation in any direction you might like.



23 Responses to "The morning after…"

I’m waiting for the Benghazi video game and Benghazi Barbie, who bears a suspicious resemblance to you-know-who

@1, here’s a little thought experiment.

Quickest way to erase any mention of Benghazi from the current lexicon — is it:

A. Rupert gives Jerry Hall Fox News as a honeymoon present. Jerry immediately turns it into a geriatric/rock and roll/billionaire matchmaker site for wayward former supermodels.

B. Bernie Sanders is the Democratic nominee.

Most especially (b).

@3, ding, ding, ding, we have a winner.

Haha! Thanks for all the funnies! Kangaroo scrotum toupee! An awesome post, Prolix, thanks! I read that editorial @ wapo, and some of the comments. Very interesting. Hubs & I were talking about this, and we both remember being taught in elementary school that you had to be born in America to be prez and we remember hearing it talked about with other kids, as of course we had kids born in other countries at our schools. (we didn’t know the other stuff about parents, loyalties, etc)

That Michael Bay (ugh) movie looks ridiculous. I saw the trailer for it when we saw Star Wars.

@1, LOL!

@3,4, if Bernie (god forbid) ended up as the nominee, could we actually get Cruz as prez?!?

@7, Bernie can be beaten by any of the Republicans. The press hasn’t yet started unearthing some of the craziness he has supported in his younger days as an aspiring Socialist. I can see the ads — they write themselves — his father was a Russian immigrant — his mother was Polish — Bernie is the original Manchurian candidate.

From the 2014 Fox article:

They asked their CIA superiors to call for armed air support, which never came.

Where was that armed air support going to come from? I don’t recall the CIA having their own air force of fighter planes or armed helicopters…they may but I didn’t think so. I know they have some Gulfstreams that they used to fly prisoners out on-extraordinary rendition. I seem to recall the idea of jet fighters from the air base at Sigonella Italy being discussed. However, I think the issue there was the time involved to get the planes ready to go. I really wish someone would have asked these guys where that armed air support was coming from.

I swear I do not recall reading or seeing anything in the news about the fact that the Iranians had filled in the core of that reactor. Perhaps there was a 5 second mention between segments on Trump and Bernie-Ted and Rubio. (a play in one unnatural act)

@9, yes there is a base in Sigonella, Italy, but the F-16s most likely would have had to come from Aviano in northern Italy. Another issue was the tanker planes for refueling of the F-16s because their radius of operations is about 500 miles.

The thing that so angers me are these armchair generals on the Right, who have never been in the service, who have watched one too many Rambo films, and are motivated to slander the military, the government, the State Department, Democrats, and anyone else who fails to kowtow their fictions.

@11: Oh that’s right about Aviano! I forgot about that base. All I could remember was the NAS base in Sigonella. And in either case there’s prep time for the planes and pilots. I don’t believe we’re on that cold war footing anymore where the pilots are in standby-ready to go at a moment’s notice.

I agree completely about the armchair generals.

@12, absolutely, neither base had “tarmac readied” pilots and planes. What is frustrating is that was pointed out in the Mullen/Pickering report — the very first comprehensive report on the incident.

@11, I just used an air mileage calculator, and the distance between Aviano and Benghazi is a little over 1,000 miles.

@13 and 14: Sigh. The one consistent thing about Fox and the Republicans: never let the facts and truth get in the way of a good narrative.

@15, and for the rest of the news media, I take this line from today’s wisdom from the Rude Pundit:

[a] news media that thinks reporting facts is a demonstration of bias and thus has to engage in bulls**t balance.


A loan from Goldman Sachs helped Senator Ted Cruz pump more than $1 million into his successful Senate bid in Texas. But that loan was not disclosed in campaign finance reports.

@16: I’ve got to go over there and catch up before 2-3 a.m. because well, before my connectivity gets unconnected.

@17: Which financial firm does or did his wife work for?

Senate bid in Texas was made easier by a large loan from Goldman Sachs, where Mrs. Cruz works

Uh-huh…that’s what I thought.

@20, from the timelines in the googling search, it appears the Cruz campaign staff is pulling out all the stops to spin the story. This is the kind of slop pig farmers in Iowa won’t enjoy.

From the NYT’s article:

they also had big bills, including mortgage payments and full-time child care.

Right, because working class folks don’t have those “big bills”. Well they do, but they don’t have access to low-interest loans from Goldman Sachs. 👿

@21: No those pig farmers will be kinda angry about it. Those farmers probably have a good handle on financing things since they probably have to do a good deal of borrowing when it comes to the crop, the herd or whatever. This slick shite ain’t gonna fly.

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