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October 22, 2014

Facts: They’re Just My Opinion

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A few months ago a listener to my radio show delivered a fresh new conspiracy/scandal. He was certain that President Obama had orchestrated the Sandy Hook school shooting to help get himself re-elected.

Really.

When I pointed out to the caller that the president had been reelected more than a month before the shooting, he responded, “That’s just your opinion.”

So, now actual historical events are JUST MY OPINION because they don’t fit into the narrative that Obama wants to take your guns so badly he’ll send a Manchurian nut-job to shoot up a school.

OK, so this guy may be some backwoods birther with an Internet connection, but I don’t see much different coming out of Washington, D.C., where the fever to bring down the president eclipses everything else — like jobs, the economy, education, the environment or foreign policy.

The last several weeks have been Scandalpalooza, with “Benghazigate” as the silver bullet to take down the half-wolf, half-president. I suppose I’d be more upset about it if it weren’t such an awesomely spectacular display of Republican hypocrisy.

In 2011, House Republicans cut the funding requested by the administration for embassy security by $128 million. In 2012, they cut $331 million from the State Department’s request for funds. Then-Secretary Hillary Clinton warned them that the cuts would be “detrimental to America’s national security.” And she’s the one who was derelict in her duty?

The selectivity of Republican memory is practically a super power. Former Vice President Dick Cheney said, “I think (Benghazi is) one of the worst incidents, frankly, that I can recall in my career.”

Apparently when they replaced his heart, he wasn’t getting enough oxygen to his brain.

Sixty people were killed in 13 embassy attacks on his watch — two of the deadliest in the same year and both in Yemen. Oh, and there was that morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

When polling was done by Public Policy Polling last week, 41 percent of Republicans thought Benghazi was the “biggest political scandal in American history.”

Why? Because they heard that from Sen. James “Worse than Watergate” Inhofe. Actually, the middle name of the Iowa senator is Mountain — short for Mountain of Fake Outrage. Where is the outrage about the doctored emails released by Republicans in an effort to distort what actually happened?

Crickets.

“Of the 41 percent of Republicans who consider Benghazi to be the worst political scandal in American history, 39 percent are unaware that Benghazi is located in Libya,” according to a UPI story about the poll. “Ten percent said it’s in Egypt, 9 percent in Iran, 6 percent in Cuba, 5 percent in Syria, 4 percent in Iraq, and 1 percent each in North Korea and Liberia, with 4 percent unwilling to venture a guess.”

Again, the stupid is strong.

“We’re mad as hell, completely clueless, and we’re not going to take it anymore!”

Absent from the poll was the popularity of Mr. Ben Ghazi.

Finally a fresh scandal: the IRS targeting that popular social welfare movement called the tea party in its effort to be tax-exempt. Never mind the only group ultimately denied nonprofit status was a Democratic one.

Environmental and gay and lesbian support groups have been dealing with this kind of IRS foot-dragging for years. The IRS went after the nonprofit status of a church in 2004 because of an anti-war sermon. The Bush administration’s IRS went after the NAACP at the urging of Republican congressmen.

Good grief. The IRS should be scrutinizing 501(c)(4) applicants. They don’t have to disclose their donor lists, which is why they are supposed to be working in an educational capacity, not a political one. Too many have simply become camouflage for donors trying to achieve political ends without having their names attached — or paying taxes.

There are scandals worth spending time on. The First Amendment issue with DOJ plumbers seizing Associated Press phone records is chilling. Protection for reporters has been in decline ever since Wikileaks published government documents. More people have been prosecuted under the Espionage Act by Obama than by all other presidents combined. THAT is something worth our outrage.

The military’s record of sexual assaults is brutal. Who could have seen that coming? In 2004, the Pentagon’s “Moral Waiver Study” was released. Under Donald Rumsfeld, with lagging recruitment, the Army and Marines began issuing waivers to allow felons convicted of rape and sexual assault to sign up. A private, convicted of rape, was waived and redeployed. If you lower the bar for people to get in, can you really be surprised when standards are not taken seriously? Rape is a hate crime. It should be treated as such — and never morally waived.

I know. For all of us in the reality-based world, these are facts. For everyone else, they’re just my opinion.

[This article is cross-posted at The Anchorage Daily News]

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One Response to “Facts: They’re Just My Opinion”
  1. Billy says:

    You failed to tell the truth about cutting embassy funding. As an example you failed to say that additional funding in FY 2012 from Overseas Contingency Operations funds amounting to $236 million for Worldwide Security Protection and $33 million for Embassy Security, Construction and Maintenance. As a result, total funds for Worldwide Security Protection for FY 2012 are estimated to be $94 million higher than in FY 2011, while Embassy Security, Construction and Maintenance is estimated to be $61 million less than FY 2011. Together, there is a net increase. Also, you fail to say how embassy funding effected Benghazi. The State Department rep said under oath to Congress that Benghazi security was NOT effected by funding. Mrs. Clinton was responsible for security there and security was not effected by funding. Just as sure as you are responsible for saying numbers that distort reality.

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