I always wanted to go to Italy for the Spaghetti Harvest.
On Wednesday, a mere day before Yemen’s monthslong crisis collapsed into such chaos that rebels ran the president out of the country, and several days after US special forces had fled the country themselves, the White House did something it has been doing for some time: it publicly hailed the Obama administration’s “Yemen model” as a success in fighting terrorism.
The White House has been widely mocked for patting itself on the back for its Yemen strategy at a moment when swaths of the country are controlled by Shia Houthi rebels allied with deposed dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh, and when Saudi and Egyptian forces are threatening to invade and turn this into a regional war. But it’s no coincidence that the White House has been praising its “Yemen model” right up until the moment of the country’s near-total collapse. (And that chaos, by the way, is great news for the al-Qaeda affiliate that is based in southern Yemen.)
The Obama administration’s approach to Yemen has all along exemplified some of its worst foreign policy instincts in the Middle East: treating drone strikes and armed proxies as the solution for everything, finding short-term solutions to long-term problems, and refusing to deal seriously with the underlying issues that keep creating crises in the region.
But this model failed in Yemen — just as it has failed, and will continue to fail, in the rest of the Middle East.
There is a bunch more if you want to read it.
I can sum up the main problem with Obama’s foreign policy in one word: “Hubris”. That’s the main problem with his domestic policy too. His whole administration suffers from it.
I know you are shocked. “Obama has hubris? Whodathunkit?”
Modern “big government” liberalism (aka “Progressivism”) is based on the premise that everything can be controlled and manipulated to produce the desired outcome. Whenever it fails it is because they didn’t have enough information and/or enough power. So they demand more information and more power so they can try again.
Obama thinks he can control things. When he can’t, he blames everything but himself. It never occurs to him that his premise is flawed. So lather, rinse, repeat.
Yemen is like this whole other country and stuff. It’s small, which makes it a tempting target for manipulation and control. But control is an illusion and Obama is an idiot.
Frankly, we would have been better off with an isolationist POTUS running things. Obama has just made everything worse.
And Hillary helped.
I’m pretty sure this was prophesied in Revelations:
Madonna performed her new single “Ghosttown” at the iHeartRadio Music Awards, and slowed things down with a surprise acoustic set with another favorite blonde of ours: Taylor Swift. Taylor played guitar for the Queen of Pop while she sang … and it was glorious.
But aside from the fact that they make beautiful music together (hint hint, ladies — we collab?), they also make the perfect BFFs. They are two powerful ladies in the music biz, so it’s only natural. But their performance together at the iHeartRadio Music Awards is definitive proof Tadonna is undeniable.
They are not afraid to show their love for one another.
If Tay switched teams she took her horrible taste in lovers with her. Seriously though, Madonna is old enough to be her mom!
I can’t help but believe that this is somehow connected to what happened to poor Thomas yesterday:
He was attacked by an arcade game at Mountain Mike’s Pizza yesterday. Luckily, hard heads and thick skulls run in our family. Meanwhile, out in the wilderness of northern Indiana, my pre-K granddaughter just announced that the Easter Bunny isn’t real, he’s just a person in a costume making kids happy.
Last but not least, I turn 55 in a couple days.
I’m staying in my bunker until after Easter.
Taylor was chosen for #6 on Fortune’s World’s Greatest Leaders:
Taylor Swift didn’t become the highest-paid woman in the music business by accident. Pop’s savviest star has crossed swords with Spotify, embraced corporate sponsorship, and moved to secure dozens of trademarks (including phrases like “This sick beat”)—plus she has proved shrewder at honing a brand in the social media age than virtually any other person or company. And she’s done it without resorting to dumbed-down salacious gimmickry. (Swift, ahem, is arguably the anti–Miley Cyrus.) With 1989, the top-selling album in 2014, Swift’s efforts to ensure she gets paid for her music could have a huge ripple effect on the way artists are compensated in an era of free streaming.
She was also the highest ranked woman on the list.
I know what you’re thinking. I have mad respect for Taylor Swift but this is over-the-top. She shouldn’t have been ranked any higher than the mid-teens.
Guess who didn’t make the list:
This makes me happy….
You can’t make this shit up:
Starting weeks before Islamic militants attacked the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, longtime Clinton family confidante Sidney Blumenthal supplied intelligence to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gathered by a secret network that included a former CIA clandestine service officer, according to hacked emails from Blumenthal’s account.
The emails, which were posted on the internet in 2013, also show that Blumenthal and another close Clinton associate discussed contracting with a retired Army special operations commander to put operatives on the ground near the Libya-Tunisia border while Libya’s civil war raged in 2011.
Blumenthal’s emails to Clinton, which were directed to her private email account, include at least a dozen detailed reports on events on the deteriorating political and security climate in Libya as well as events in other nations. They came to light after a hacker broke into Blumenthal’s account and have taken on new significance in light of the disclosure that she conducted State Department and personal business exclusively over an email server that she controlled and kept secret from State Department officials and which only recently was discovered by congressional investigators.
The contents of the memos, which have recently become the subject of speculation in the right-wing media, raise new questions about how Clinton used her private email account and whether she tapped into an undisclosed back channel for information on Libya’s crisis and other foreign policy matters.
Blumenthal, a New Yorker staff writer in the 1990s, became a top aide to President Bill Clinton and worked closely with Hillary Clinton during the fallout from the Whitewater investigation into the Clinton family. She tried to hire him when she joined President Obama’s cabinet in 2009, but White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel reportedly nixed the idea on the grounds Blumenthal was a divisive figure whose attacks on Obama during the Democratic primary had poisoned his relationship with the new administration.
It’s unclear who tasked Blumenthal, known for his fierce loyalty to the Clintons, with preparing detailed intelligence briefs. It’s also not known who was paying him, or where the operation got its money. The memos were marked “confidential” and relied in many cases on “sensitive” sources in the Libyan opposition and Western intelligence and security services. Other reports focused on Egypt, Germany, and Turkey.
Indeed, though they were sent under Blumenthal’s name, the reports appear to have been gathered and prepared by Tyler Drumheller, a former chief of the CIA’s clandestine service in Europe who left the agency in 2005. Since then, he has established a consulting firm called Tyler Drumheller, LLC. He has also been affiliated with a firm called DMC Worldwide, which he co-founded with Washington, D.C., attorney Danny Murray and former general counsel to the U.S. Capitol Police John Caulfield. DMC Worldwide’s now-defunct website describes it at as offering “innovative security and intelligence solutions to global risks in a changing world.”
Reached for comment, a State Department public affairs official who would only speak on background declined to address questions about Blumenthal’s relationship to Clinton, whether she was aware of the intelligence network, and who if anyone was paying Blumenthal. Asked about the Tunisia-Libya mission, the official replied, “There was a trip with the secretary in October of 2011, but there was also a congressional delegation in April, 2011. There were media reports about both of these at the time.” Neither trip involved travelling via Tunis.
There is a whole bunch more and you really should read it. As for who was paying for it, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Clinton Global Initiative was involved.
This is unprecedented.
But wait! There’s more!
“After seeking and receiving a two week extension from the Committee, Secretary Clinton failed to provide a single new document to the subpoena issued by the Committee and refused to provide her private server to the Inspector General for the State Department or any other independent arbiter for analysis.
“We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server. While it is not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department.
I used to laugh at all the conspiracy theories involving the Clintons. I told myself I was too smart to believe any of that paranoid tin foil crap.
Maybe I wasn’t as smart as I thought.
Here’s Chuck Todd:
Todd: Well, and this is the pattern of Hillary Clinton, something I brought up last week. The pattern of her political career is when she is front and center, the polarizing view of Hillary Clinton comes into focus. And when she is off the front pages and is sort of a player but on the sidelines, like when she was a Senator or when she was Secretary of State, her numbers go up. And as a presidential candidate, and when she’s at the center, you know, I think all of a sudden, there is, and she might blame that press, that the press has old habits die hard, they only cover her like she’s a Clinton from the 90s, and so it doesn’t matter. But all of a sudden, I think this is such a big challenge in the email story, is not the email story itself, it’s the idea that it creates the ‘oh, there they go again, this is the 90s all over again.’ And if Clinton fatigue, which is already a disease in the press corps, actually becomes a problem with the voting public, and these polls, maybe this is the first time that it’s becoming a problem that is doom for her.
Hewitt: It is a rumbling drum in the background. Now the Blumenthal story is different. I thought until today, actually earlier this week when I began to get wind of this, that Blumenthal would send her emails and she would write him back, and it was the kind of thing where you had a former aide, a hanger-on, and you stay in touch with everyone. No. He’s running a private intelligence operation on the Libyan-Tunisian border through former CIA operatives. Chuck Todd, if W. had done that, or actually, Condi Rice or Colin Powell would be the appropriate analogy…
Hewitt: …people would be tearing their hair out.
Todd: And yet I have to say nothing involving Sid Blumenthal surprises me. Zero. And I agree. I think this, I saw this Gawker stuff. You know, you’ve got, it’s Gawker and all this stuff, but I’ve learned over the years, nothing involving Sid Blumenthal is surprising. And you know, for some reason, they’ve had, he’s blindly loyal to them, and I think the Clintons have always had a blind spot with him, because he skirts the rules.
Hewitt: Yeah, this is going to…
Todd: He’s, you know, he likes to leak stuff. He likes being described, I think, as a practice of the dark arts in politics.
Hewitt: Well, Murray Chotiner…
Todd: And this goes right into his pattern of practicing dark arts. And in this case, instead of politics, it’s world diplomacy.
Todd: I agree it’s, if proven, and I think more of us are looking into this, I think it just, it only, all it does is no one thing will take her down. It’s the accumulation of bits like this that then feed the narrative of oh, do you want ten more years of what you didn’t like about the Clintons.
Hewitt: You know, Richard Nixon had Murray Chotiner. Reagan had Lyn Nofziger. Lee Atwater was George Herbert Walker Bush’s guy.
Hewitt: But Sid Blumenthal is known as Sid Vicious for a reason, and none of those people, to my knowledge, ran a foreign private intelligence operation, because it raises, Chuck Todd, and this would go…
Todd: Well, I don’t know about Nixon. Don’t forget ol’ G. Gordon. But when he was around…
Hewitt: Well, he was domestically, domestically. But here’s what it raises. If they’ve got a private server and a private citizen collecting private intel, it is highly likely it’s compromised going into the Secretary of State’s server. I mean, it’s just going to raise all sorts of fun. If there was on the right someone with the chops of some of the famous investigative reporters for the New Yorker, this would be keeping them up all night.
Todd: I think, and look, I think all things Sid are going to become a big part of our, I think this is going to get a lot of attention. And I don’t think it’s a right, left, right, center. And you know, this is going to be, I think, the more explosive part of the first time she testifies on Benghazi. I mean, I think the Blumenthal stuff is going to be the stickiest wicket for her.
Chuck Todd isn’t a RWNJ, he’s one of the top guns at NBC and hosts Meet The Press.
As Artie Johnson used to say, “Verrrrrry interesting.”