From the mixed-up files of Ms. Hillary

Although it has had to file a Freedom of Information Act to get it done, Judicial Watch has succeeded in extracting a portion of Benghazi-related emails from the State Department. Judicial Watch had sought “Any and all records concerning, regarding, or related to notes, updates, or reports created in response to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S, Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. This request includes but is not limited to, notes, taken by then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or employees of the Office of the Secretary of State during the attack and its immediate aftermath.” The focus is accordingly on the Office of the Secretary of State.

Judicial Watch has posted its own account of the email messages turned over by the State Department. It has also posted the State Department’s response to the FOIA request here. Judicial Watch observes: “The documents make no reference to a spontaneous demonstration or Internet video, except in an official statement issued by Hillary Clinton.”

Andrew McCarthy also provides a tour through the email traffic in the NR/Corner post “Hillary Clinton’s top aides knew from first minutes that Benghazi was a terrorist attack, emails show.” Here is Andy’s opening paragraph:

From the very first moments of the terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aides were advised that the compound was under a terrorist attack. In fact, less than two hours into the attack, they were told that the al-Qaeda affiliate in Libya, Ansar al-Sharia, had claimed responsibility.

There is more than one reason why Ms. Hillary has sought to stigmatize interest in the nature of the Benghazi attack as a morbid curiosity, but you’d have to be a fool to buy any of them.

Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll titles this one LET ME GIVE YOU SOME ADVICE…She writes:

I don’t care if you are a sane person who understands that there are two, and only two, “genders,” or more accurately, “sexes” (M & F), or if you are convinced that there are dozens of genders or none at all. It is – more or less – a free country except on college campuses, and you can believe what you want.

But if you are looking for advice on any particular topic, let me give you the benefit of some wisdom gleaned from my many decades upon this wacky planet.

If you want short, practical solutions to a problem at hand, ask a man.

If you want to just vent, or be listened to without even coming close to solving the problem, consult with a woman. In fact, there is substantial research claiming that that is precisely what women want when they ask a man about, say, a vexing issue at work. They just want him to listen; they do not want him to “solve” it. Further, it will even make the woman angry at the man if he tries to solve it. Talk about sandbagging someone!

So a woman (let’s call her Gwynivere, since I’ve never known anyone by that name), will complain to her girlfriend, Lucille, that Judy at work is sabotaging her, taking credit for her work, and possibly even using her coffee cup in the break room.

Lucille will make good eye contact, listen intently and pat her hand and together they will discuss all the times they have been upset by coworkers. There may be tears; there may be hugs; there will almost certainly be chocolate, possibly cocoa or herbal tea, and the ladies will feel much better.

Later that evening, Gwynivere might mention to her husband, Ralph, for the four- or six-hundredth time that she does not like Judy at work who is sabotaging her, taking credit for her work, and Ralph will sigh, look up for a nanosecond from online poker or ESPN and say, “As I see it, you can either confront Judy, or document your complaints and go to a manager, or you can quit.”

There. Several different paths, each with different consequences. But, of course, Gwyn did not want ideas that would force her to act. She wanted sympathy. Ralph has made that mistake once again (doh!) and is mystified by her frosty reaction to his suggestions for certain activities later in the evening.

Obviously, there are exceptions to the general gender breakdown on this. No Mars-Venus paradigm is perfect. My women friends tend to be engineers, veterinarians, I.T. People, lawyers, data-driven, gun-totin’ broads. While I love far-ranging conversation with all types of ladies, even the more touchy-feely among us, I do not enjoy beating any horse, but particularly a dead horse. Is that, by the way, not a thoroughly repulsive metaphor? I prize logic; love quick, practical solutions, and moving on in a sprightly manner.

And so, when my friend Angela (an engineer), who is a spectacular person though not a cook, asked me how long tuna salad would keep, I told her for sure 4 or 5 days with proper refrigeration. Now, as it happened, The Paranoid Texan was also on the patio when this conversation took place and he said, “Tuna salad will keep until it is gone.” No slave to variety, the Paranoid Texan will fix a giant vat of tuna salad which includes hard-boiled eggs, and there’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner for many days. Many.

This segued – as it naturally would while drinking – into a discussion of the proper way to fold contour (fitted) sheets. I said there was actually a Utube video of the proper way to fold a contour sheet and that long before Utube, my mother had attempted to show me how dozens of times to no avail. I further asserted that, unless the NSA is going to include linen closet inspection along with their electronic snooping (it’s just a matter of time…), that just balling the damn thing up and stuffing it into the closet is good enough for me.

Once again, The Paranoid Texan offered the male viewpoint: “What folding? You take it out of the dryer and put it back on the bed.” I said, “But I have several sets of sheets and I like to rotate them.” And the PT, who is every bit as sensitive as he is paranoid said, “That’s just stupid. You use one set till they wear out and get another set on Amazon.”

It’s hard to argue with logic like that even when sober. When Mr. Ammo Grrrll came out on the patio to bring out more bourbon, I informed him of the New Sheet Plan going forward and he said, “We have more than one set of sheets?”

Punch Back Twice as Hard

Our pals at the Energy and Environment Legal Institute issued the following press release today, which I post here in full:

For Immediate Release:
February 26, 2015

Craig Richardson

Following Rep. Grijalva Inspiration, E&E Legal Files FOIA Request with the University of Delaware Seeking Records Relating to the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal), in conjunction with the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FMELC) and the Caesar Rodney Institute (CRI), filed a Delaware Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA) with the University of Delaware related to Dr. John Byrne, Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy and Distinguished Professor of Energy and Climate Policy.

Specifically, the FOIA request seeks documents describing the University of Delaware’s policy or policies relating to disclosure applying to Dr. Byrne; records in the University’s possession relating to outside funding, grants, or other contributions made to support Dr. John Byrne’s work at or relating to the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy; records involving Dr. Byrne’s outside funding, including consulting fees, promotional considerations, speaking fees, honoraria, travel expenses, salary and other compensation or monies given to Dr. Byrne which did not originate with the University itself; financial disclosure forms in which Dr. Byrne lists the University of Delaware or the State of Delaware as his affiliation; and records reflecting Dr. Byrne’s total annual compensation for each year at the University of Delaware.

Those who have followed recent news reports may notice that this FOIA request was inspired by and even replicated the request that U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) made to seven universities, including Delaware. In his letters, Congressman Grijalva notes that the “disclosure of a few key pieces of information will establish the impartiality of climate research and policy recommendations published in your institute’s name…[C]onflicts should be clear to stakeholders, including policymakers who use scientific information to make decisions.” Although the University responding to Rep. Grijalva is discretionary, processing FOIA requests from Delaware citizens is not.

“We certainly appreciate Congressman Grijalva’s rhetoric about the importance of disclosure and transparency,” said Chris Horner, E&E Legal Senior Legal Fellow and the attorney who filed the FOIA request on behalf of the three organizations. “His insistence that the Constitution compels him to demand these records — citing to no authority for why the universities should provide them — so moved us that we followed in his footsteps, if in our case by proceeding under Delaware law.”

It is possible that Representative Grijalva assumes that congressional letterhead carries authority to insist such demands be satisfied. Regardless, E&E Legal, FME Law and CRI appreciate the Congressman’s enthusiasm that the University dedicate itself to producing such records.

The groups far more narrowly tailor the period of time covered by their request, otherwise modeled after Rep. Grijalva’s nearly verbatim (also changing of course the party whose records are involved, which we are confident is not material to whether records should be released). The requesters look forward to the University of Delaware taking to heart Rep. Grijalva’s embrace of transparency, and satisfying this request made pursuant to Delaware’s statute which implements the legislature’s determination that, for institutions including the University, “it is vital that citizens have easy access to public records in order that the society remain free and democratic”. FOIA § 10001.

“We have followed Rep. Grijalva’s footsteps for our request, if under actual statutory making our request, unlike the Congressman’s, not discretionary. UDel has provided records in the past to Greenpeace, and we are confident that the State of Delaware will comply with this request,” concludes Horner.

Heh.  By the way, learning some fun things about Rep. Grijalva, and his lead “investigator” for this witch hunt, Vic Edgerton, who turns out to be a former Green Party candidate for local office in Connecticut, because, he said at the time, he needed to shine a light on issues Democrats ignore.  Edgerton also previously worked for Keith Ellison, and Dennis Kucinich.  He clearly knows how to pick leading statesmen.

Stay tuned.  More to come.

Murdered By a Dreamer: Do Black Lives Matter?

Jamiel Shaw, Jr. was murdered by an illegal alien–a “dreamer”–the day after the dreamer was released from jail after a trivially short sentence for assault with a deadly weapon, and left to roam the streets rather than being deported. There have been many such stories; Jamiel Shaw’s story only came to light because his father, Jamiel Shaw, Sr., was called to testify before an Oversight Subcommittee hearing. His heartbreaking testimony illustrates the human cost of our government’s failure to enforce the immigration laws:

Author, Blogger, Philosopher Avijit Roy Murdered by Jihadists

Avijit Roy, a native of Bangladesh, was an engineer by training, an atheist, the proprietor of a web site, and the author of a number of books. Recently, he has lived in the United States, but has been threatened with death by radical Muslims because of his religious and social views. His wife, Rafida Ahmed Bonna, was raised as a Muslim but supported Roy’s work as an atheist.


Earlier today, they were in Dhaka, Bangladesh for a book fair that featured two of Roy’s books. While walking back from the book fair between 8:30 and 9:00 p.m., they were attacked by men wielding cleavers. While they have not been caught, no one doubts that they were Muslims following through on the threats that had been made against Roy. They hacked both Roy and Bonna savagely. Roy died shortly thereafter in a hospital. Bonna survived; among other injuries, the attackers reportedly hacked off the fingers on her left hand.

Just another day in the jihad.

Is MSNBC Giving Up on the Hard Left?

Chronically low ratings have led to a major shakeup at MSNBC. The network announced a week ago that it is canceling the shows hosted by Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid. Variety now reports that those programs will be replaced by a two-hour show called “MSNBC Live With Thomas Roberts.” Variety says:

Beset by significant ratings declines, MSNBC has been emphasizing reports on breaking news, rather than the issues-based discussion for which Farrow and Reid have been known.

Meanwhile, Al Sharpton may also be on the way out:

The Rev. Al Sharpton may soon be booted from his weeknight television host role on Politics Nation and relegated to the pile of less-watched weekend fare, one source within MSNBC’s ranks said, citing the need for the cable provider to bolster sagging audience numbers.

Company President Phil Griffin said that the outlet’s Republican-bashing days are pretty much over — and that as part of the image overhaul, it’s now being surmised that Mr. Sharpton’s show may move from its prime 6 p.m. Monday-through-Friday slot….

MSNBC’s Republican-bashing days are over? I’ll believe it when I see it.

“Going left was a brilliant strategy while it lasted and made hundreds of millions of dollars for Comcast,” one MSNBC source told the Daily Beast. “But it doesn’t work anymore. The goal is to move away from left-wing TV.”

So, why doesn’t the far-left strategy work anymore? Are liberals disillusioned with the Obama administration? Are the old lefties dying off? Are younger liberals realizing that the Republicans were right after all? Or did viewers just get tired of the endless stream of bile and vituperation emanating from MSNBC?

I don’t know, but, as another observer put it, “Everybody in the [company] food chain, from top to bottom, understands that the [Keith] Olbermann era is over.” That can only be a good thing.

The SecState who couldn’t shoot straight

Secretary of State John Kerry testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday. In response to a question posed by Rep. Gerald Connolly, Kerry cast doubt on the adverse judgment rendered by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the deal in process with Iran. As described by the AP, the terms of the coming deal will put Iran on a glide path to the acquisition of nuclear weapons over a period of years.

Kerry’s response to Connolly did not defend the wisdom of the coming deal on the merits. Kerry’s response did assert that the interim deal has frozen Iran’s nuclear program. Not true.

Rather, Kerry offered a strictly ad hominem response to Netanyahu’s criticism of the coming deal (C-SPAN video below). “The prime minister was profoundly forward-leaning and outspoken about the importance of invading Iraq,” Kerry said. Netanyahu, he added, “may have a judgment that just may not be correct here.”

Iran, however, has been the focus of Netanyahu’s concerns over something like the past 20 years, and his judgment on that score has been amply vindicated. The New York Times reviews Netanyahu’s 2002 testimony in this article today by Robert Mackey. Mackey notes that Netanyahu linked his support for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein with the possibility of inspiring the implosion of the ruling theocracy in neighboring Iran and puts this quote in that context: “It’s not a question of whether Iraq’s regime should be taken out but when should it be taken out; it’s not a question of whether you’d like to see a regime change in Iran but how to achieve it[.]”

If we’re speaking to the credibility of the man, however, John Kerry is probably not the guy to be advancing such an argument. In 2002, when the authorization for the use of military force to depose Saddam Hussein was debated in Congress, Benjamin Netanyahu was not even in office. He was a private citizen. Netanyahu testified to the House Foreign Affairs Committee as a private Israeli citizen.

John Kerry held office as a United States Senator in 2002. Kerry voted in favor of the authorization of the use of military force against Iraq on October 11, 2002, on the basis of the same kind of intelligence Netanyahu relied on for his testimony. Kerry’s ad hominem critique of Netanyahu applies even more so to Kerry himself than to Netanyahu.

By his own purported lights, Kerry’s views should not be taken seriously. He may be right about that, but not because he supported the Iraq war (before he opposed it, of course).

In his dystopian comedy Sleeper, Woody Allen inserted a joke about the devastation that took place “when a man named Albert Shanker got hold of a nuclear warhead.” Shanker was only the politically incorrect leader of a militant teachers’ union.

Now we are to acquiesce in, and facilitate the acquisition of, nuclear weapons by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The mullahs have been at war with the United States since 1979, have a lot of American blood on their hands, and continue to proclaim that the United States is the Great Satan. Who in his right mind, with the best interests of the United States at heart, thinks that relenting in our opposition to the mullahs’ acquisition of nuclear weapons is a good idea?

John Kerry’s testimony betrays the depraved soul of the Obama administration. These people will say anything in a bad cause. Despite its bad faith and misplaced logic, Kerry’s critique of Netanyahu before Congress yesterday warrants the closest consideration.

UPDATE: I have added a link or two and slightly revised this since I originally posted it. As for the terms of the coming deal anticipated in the AP article, Lee Smith provides a brief but useful tour in “Iran as partner.”