Daily Archives: Nov. 12, 2012

Petraeus scandal at CIA shouldn’t diminish military record

The shocking resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus over a sex scandal shouldn’t diminish his remarkable military record, including how he used his time in charge of the U.S. Army’s Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth to craft the counterinsurgency strategy that later helped turn around the Iraq War. President Bush gave him command of U.S. forces in Iraq in 2007, and “Petraeus’ new counterinsurgency approach got American soldiers out of their massive bases in Iraq and into Iraqi neighborhoods,” noted CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen. He predicted that “historians will likely judge David Petraeus to be the most effective American military commander since Eisenhower.” But the timing of the resignation – after President Obama’s re-election, but before Petraeus was due to testify to Congress on the Benghazi attack – is fueling suspicions that the Petraeus affair is about more than an affair. Among the questions, noted Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin: “Why was the White House and/or congressional members charged with national-security oversight not alerted before the election?” And “why did Petraeus, when briefing Congress on Sept. 14, purportedly push the bogus cover story on Benghazi (i.e., it was about a spontaneous demonstration over the anti-Muslim video) when his agency had information within two hours that it was a terrorist attack?”

Kobach claim about ballot photos is goofy

Secretary of State Kris Kobach has long peddled phony claims of voter fraud. But his latest push to make it illegal to take a picture of your election ballot is just goofy. Kobach said that, historically, ballot photos have been used by voters as evidence to show someone how they voted in return for payment or favors. Seriously? Where is that happening now? The reason some people take pictures of their ballots and post them on Facebook or Twitter is that they are proud of voting – an act that Kobach has been bent on making harder to do.

Tangled web aimed at concealing political spending

A California court case shows how hard it is to find out who bankrolls political activity. California law prohibits anonymous spending on ballot measures, so a state commission sued to find out who gave $11 million to a group opposing an initiative to increase taxes on the wealthy and supporting an anti-union measure. It turns out the money came from an Arizona group. And where did it get that money? From the Center to Protect Patient Rights, which is run by Sean Noble, an associate of the Koch brothers. But this group got the money from another group, Americans for Job Security. The commission has yet to find out where this group got the money. “If you’re keeping score at home,” Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson wrote, “that’s four levels of concealment.”

Dubious, bogus and utterly phony headlines

The following satirical headlines come from borowitzreport.com and theonion.com:
Nation Spends $2.5 Billion on Nothing
Nation’s Women Wake Up Relieved to Find Selves Still in 2012
Boehner’s 48 Hours of Pretending to Work With Obama Set New Record
Heavily Armed Karl Rove Spotted at Top of Electoral College Clock Tower
Republicans Consider Welcoming People Who Believe in Math and Science