Monday, October 22, 2012

Teaching Monkeys to Juggle (aka The Associated Press Wisdom)

The Associated Press thinks we should be looking for five (5) things at this last debate on foreign policy.  I think the Associated Press is delusional.

1.  THE TIEBREAKER: Romney ran away with the first. Obama edged him in the second. Stakes are high for their third and final showdown. Does that mean a repeat of last week's ornery tone? Or will the gravity of the issues , war, terrorism, world leadership , inspire more dignified discourse?
First of all, President Obama didn't win the second debate.  The polls have shown a continuous gain by Romney following the second debate.  They wonder whether the discourse will be more...dignified.  Gosh, I hope not.  Obama's foreign policy has been a disaster in just about every Middle East country.  His flagrant attempt to dismantle our nuclear superiority by waging an effort to reduce our armaments by 80% unilaterally showed the mentality of a unicorn believing lightweight of such naivete that it would be hard to find an aging hippy with such fervor.  He refused to stand behind the people of Iran when they challenged their government's theocratic tyranny.  And the list goes on and on. 

If Romney can't and doesn't find "red meat" to chew on during this debate, it would be a shame.
2.   REMATCH ON LIBYA: It sparked one of the hottest exchanges of the second debate. And there's more to it than when Obama called the consulate attack an "act of terror." Expect to hear about failed security, intelligence lapses and the Obama administration's shifting account of what happened in Libya. After Obama's parry last week, Romney gets another try.
Exactly.  The Associated Press gets this one correct.  However, they left off the part where Candy Crowley played second chair in Obama's effort to mislead (pun intended) us all.  The real question on Libya is whether Bob Schieffer will be as accommodating and play an active part in Obama's defense.  I don't think he's spry enough to do so.
3.   ROMNEY'S TEST: The former governor and businessman has limited foreign experience. He took hits for comments that ruffled British and Palestinian leaders last summer, and for hastening to criticize the administration's response even as chaotic events were unfolding in Libya and Egypt. This debate is the prime moment for Romney to display the knowledge and judgment to lead on the world stage.
This is typical Associated Press agenda driven bias.  Romney ruffled feathers at the Summer Olympics, but his criticism was on the money.  It came from experience, having run an Olympic game personally.  The press (AP well included) was quick to jump on him in an effort to damage his campaign, not for the substance of his comments, but under the guise of "good manners."  As we saw ourselves, throughout the next week, his comments were accurate.  Venues were virtually empty at some of the premier events.  The largest hired security company of the Games, didn't have enough personnel  to cover all contingencies. 

Concerning Palestinian leaders...who the hell cares if they were offended.  Romney did something Obama should be doing (taking a position).  Romney was very clear that he found Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel.  If you ask a State Department representative or a current White House representative whether that is the case, they will give you a political answer (which is no answer at all).  They are vague, non-committal and highly aloof. 

Finally, Romney's comments on Libya were criticized simply because Obama, and his campaign staff wanted them criticized.  The sycophantic press followed suit.  The most important thing to take away from Romney's quick response to Libya is this.  HE WAS FREAKING RIGHT!!!!
4.  ON DEFENSE: Obama must defend four years of foreign policy. Expect Romney to accuse the president of weakening America's world leadership by mishandling Iran's nuclear ambitions, the pullout from Afghanistan, the Syrian conflict and the U.S. relationship with Israel. Can Obama rebut that criticism and focus on ending the Iraq War and killing Osama bin Laden?
I just love the way the AP puts Iraq in the win column for Obama.  They left out the part where as soon as our presence was not as prevalent, Russia came in and negotiated an arms deal with Iraq (surely tied to oil purchase) in the Billions and now hold influence on Iraq's foreign policy.  This was made possible by the quick, and unthinking removal of our troops.
5.  A NEW MEME? First Big Bird. Then "binders full of women." Watch Twitter to see whether another phrase catches fire while the debaters are still onstage.
I'm at a loss.  Presumably, the Associated Press hires real journalists with, at least, a smidgen of intelligence and ability.  This talking point nonsense has no effect on the election, other than to blow up in the face of the one flinging it.  The "binders" issue was a joke.  Just about every media outlet across the country put out a story on this non-story at the direction of the White House.  It did nothing to stop Romney's momentum.  The Big Bird issue was so bad that fellow Democrats asked that it be deep sixed.   This fifth point shows the AP to have applied importance to the efforts.  Of course, they were involved.


There have been a significant number of leaks of classified information to the media that could only have come from the White House.  The most recent was this past week in reference to negotiations with Iran.  The article by the New York Times was then edited.  The White House was scrambling to deny the "rumors."  In short, they know they have released classified information previously, and the Republicans scored big political points when explaining to the public.  Even Democrats were dismayed at the lack of scruples in regard to classified information.  The NYT thought they were giving Obama a trump card for tonight's debate.  Instead, they showed one of his arrogant weaknesses.

It has been showed that Obama routinely blew off his morning security briefings.  He didn't attend over half of them despite the growing unrest around the world.  It is merely a symptom of his detachment on many of the important issues facing this country and others. 

Obama has a disturbing quality of bowing to foreign leaders.  While he may view this as a diplomatic exercise, most of us here in the States see it as appeasement and weak.   Attach this item to Obama's caught on tape moment in Seoul at the nuclear summit stating that "after the election he'll have more flexibility" and you have to wonder at his foreign policy motives.

Over the last four years, our president has treated some of our long time allies with contempt.  He has treated such questionable organizations (Muslim Brotherhood) with appeasement and, more dangerously, indifference.  He has skirted around the Constitution and Congress in presenting a Presidential Finding to arm Libya.  He does all this while allowing foreign parties to donate to his election fund without hassle.

Oh..and China.  The Associated Press seems to have forgotten about that huge country in the Far East that manipulates its currency and overstates its GNP, sneers at intellectualy property rights, and enjoys a lopsided export/import policy towards the US.

But, the one thing to look for in tonight's foreign policy debate will have nothing to do with the topic.  It will be something very obscure and of little importance.  It will be a mispronunciation of some leader's name at some place like the Mauritius Islands.   Romney will mispronounce some leader's name during the debate in an afterthought, and that will be every media outlet's focus on the morrow.  Bank it.

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