Saturday Night Republican Debate On Foreign Policy

Tonight at 8:00 p.m ET CBS News (with partner National Journal) will broadcast a Republican debate from Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The topic is foreign policy.

So low has foreign policy fallen as an issue in this election that CBS will only broadcast the debate for an hour and a half. To see the entire debate viewers will have to go elsewhere (CBS.com or National Journal).

Foreign policy is an important test for president, or at least it used to be. Indeed, there is a foreign policy expert (and domestic policy expert) who catches the eyes of Americans these days. Republican/conservative HotAir notes that she is the key to the keystone state (among other states). Her name is…:

Thursday, Quinnipiac released a series of “swing state” polls that showed how much danger Barack Obama faced in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, even with the Republican Party fighting through its primary season.  Obama has lost the independents he assiduously courted in 2008, and the voters that at one time were called Reagan Democrats are fleeing the ticket.

So what could bring them back? A little change in the bottom of the ticket. [snip]

The swing is significant in both models when adding Hillary to the ticket. Survey USA explains one reason why: [snip]

Don’t forget that Obama added Joe Biden to the ticket in the first place to help in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, as well as to fill a foreign-policy gap that got highlighted in the Russian invasion of Georgia just before the conventions in 2008. [snip]

It’s not just a gender gap, either.  An Obama/Hillary ticket, rather than one including Biden, wins back two age demographics over a Romney/Gingrich ticket: 50-64YOs go from 43/47 to 49/45, and seniors go from 43/49 to 47/46.  There is a narrow shift among both black (76/18 to 82/14) and white (43/47 to 46/45) voters as well.  There is even a shift among self-identified Tea Party supporters, from 18/76 to 24/69.”

Interesting huh? Completely unsurprising too. We won’t support any ticket that includes Obama the treacherous boob.

HotAir has a little more that brings a smile:

“Even with the tickets as shown, Republicans have not yet united behind a candidate, and the numbers for Obama as an incumbent in a state with an overwhelming Democratic registration advantage are not impressive.  Also, the sheer novelty of replacing a sitting VP on a re-elect ticket (it hasn’t been done since FDR booted Henry Wallace in 1944 to distance himself from Wallace’s shift towards neo-Stalinism) could damage Obama everywhere else by making him look weak and desperate.

But those caveats don’t erase the impact that a running-mate switch might have in traditional Democratic interior states for an incumbent with no other real story to tell.  While these changes don’t look overwhelming, they would be enough to push Pennsylvania back into the Democratic column in a close election.  And if it came down to rescuing Pennsylvania with no appreciable downside of a Biden retirement, Democrats might want to draft Hillary to rescue Pennsylvania — and perhaps a few other faltering Democratic strongholds as well, like Michigan.”

A draft for the top of the ticket is a good idea. But NObama forever and in every circumstance.

Aside from Hillary, there are some issues to watch for tonight. Will Fast and Furious be mentioned as a peripheral foreign policy issue. Whoever mentions it first tonight gets a gold star from us.

CBC news, in preparation for tonight’s debate prepared a poll on foreign policy. Tonight it is time for the Republican candidates to weigh in on foreign policy – Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China (maybe a smart candidate can work in Solyndra to China policy), Mexico, Iran, etc.

For all that, the reason many will watch tonight’s debate is to see if Perry has another brain freeze and to see if Herman Cain is able to navigate foreign policy without his own stumbles and mumbles. The battle between well versed but organizationally bereft Newt Gingrich and Willard Mitt Romney might also be an attraction.

On to the debate.

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65 thoughts on “Saturday Night Republican Debate On Foreign Policy

  1. Cain gets first question on Iran and nuclear weapons.

    Cain: Assist the opposition movement in Iran. Our enemy is the Iran regime not the people of Iran. Put sanctions on Iran.

    Question: Military assistance?

    Cain: No to military assistance but use Aegis capability to prevent Iran military adventure.

    Romney: Obama failed to speak out and help the Iran dissidents. Obama also gave Russia what they wanted without demanding anything. We must have a credible threat of military action.

    Question: Is it worth going to war?

    Romney: It’s worth putting on sanctions. Military action is a last resort but Iran must not get nuclear weapons. Obama has failed on this.

    Question: Is war or non-war the answer?

    Newt: Romney/Cain gave better answers than Obama has. Take out their scientists. A strategic program to break the regime. In the end military action is to be considered.

    Paul: No to war. Only if national security is threatened and Congress declares war. This is a lot like the drum beating over Iraq.

    Question: Appraisal of Afghanistan?

    Perry: This country can sanction Iran central bank right now. As to Afghanistan the mission must be completed there. No timetable because it helps the enemy. Irresponsible leadership.

    Question: What’s your appraisal though?

    Perry: We are making progress there. Must train Afghani forces. Take the war to the terrorists using it as a base (and Pakistan).

    Question: Do you have endless stamina on Afghanistan?

    Santorum: Victory is making Taliban no longer a force that threatens. BTW, I have worked on Iran for years. I was opposed by Bush. More sanctions and support for opposition won’t work. We should work with Israel to take out nuclear capability.

  2. Question: Did the 30,000 surge troops strategy work?

    Bachmann: Yes but military wanted 40,000 troops. Obama dithered.

    Question: Spike in casualties?

    Huntsman: Lack of security will continue to plague us. On Afghanistan I say it is time to come home. We’ve uprooted the Taliban and killed bin Laden. America’s future is to prepare for economic reality. No nation building in Afghanistan. We need some forces there but not 100,000.

    Question: A smaller footprint in Afghanistan? Negotiate with Taliban?

    Romney: No negotiations with terrorists. Obama is bringing troops home contrary to military advice. End of 2014 is the time to get out of Afghanistan.

    Question: How to get out without negotiating with Taliban?

    Newt: Pakistan is the refuge for Taliban. This requires a much larger strategic discussion.

    Question: Pakistan, friend or foe?

    Cain: We don’t know. Bin Laden was in Pakistan. Karzai said in a war with America Afghanistan would side with Pakistan. Must reevaluate Pakistan relationship. What commitments will Pakistan make that they are friend (or foe)? Will Pakistan agree to regional cooperation beneficial to everyone.

    Question: Why is Pakistan playing a double game?

    Perry: The issue of foreign aid must be evaluated. We must send a clear message to everyone. I would start foreign aid at zero dollars then after evaluation we would consider sending dollars. Pakistan is sending clear messages that they do not deserve our foreign aid. They have been doing this for years – the military the secret service. No dollars.

    Question: What is happening in Pakistan? Are there benefits to a relationship with Pakistan?

    Bachmann: Pakistan is playing a double game. I would not eliminate foreign aid to Pakistan. They have nuclear weapons. This is a very dangerous time. Iran works through proxies like Hamas. The target is Israel.

    Question: Foreign aid budgets start at zero?

    Newt: Perry is right. Start at zero. Bin Laden hid for 6 years in a military city. Start at zero and sometimes stay there.

    Question: Egypt foreign aid?

    Newt: Arab Spring might become an anti-Christian movement. We need to evaluate all foreign aid.

    Question: What about a missing nuclear weapon from Pakistan?

    Santorum: I disagree with what has been said. Pakistan must be a friend. We must talk to them as friends.

    BREAK

  3. Question: Evaluate Romney’s abilities? Can he think outside the box?

    Newt: Won’t do it. Let’s discuss Barack Obama. Compared to Obama, Romney is a big improvement.

    Question: How would you think outside the box?

    Newt: Take on the U.N. Oppose Obama on U.N. Rebuild the navy. Obama is shrinking the navy.

    Question: How will you know when to overrule the generals on military policy?

    Cain: Surround yourself with the best people. The commander in chief makes the final decision.

    Question: When to overrule your advisers?

    Santorum: Hire those who agree with your agenda.

    Question: What is your key agenda items?

    Santorum: No nukes for Iran. Covert activity is necessary.

    Question: No department of energy [this leads to a humorous back and forth with Perry doing well]?

    Perry: I am the commander in chief of national guard for ten years now. I have dealt with generals and advisors on the military side. I feel comfortable in dealing with national defense.

  4. Question: Torture always wrong?

    Cain: Follow the procedures established by military. I do not like torture but will trust military leaders.

    Question: Water torture is torture?

    Cain: It is an enhanced interrogation technique. I do not see it as torture.

    Bachmann: I would use waterboarding. Obama allows the ACLU to run the CIA. Terrorists captured on the battlefield have no American prisons to be sent to.

    Paul: Torture is illegal by our laws and international laws. Waterboarding is torture. It is also immoral and impractical. It is unAmerican.

    Huntsman: I have two sons in the Navy. This country has values and a name brand. We should not torture. Waterboarding is torture.

    Question? Killing American citizens by presidential order?

    Romney: Anyone bearing arms for a foreign entity against America is a fair target. We must have this be an American century. Obama does not think America is exceptional. Obama believes in his personal affects not American exceptional ism.

    Newt: He is not a terrorist suspect. He was found guilty by a military panel. He was a military combatant. Criminal defense is inside the United States. Outside the United States that is an act of war.

    Question: Are we in a financial war with China?

    Perry: I don’t believe the next century belongs to China as many say. Like Reagan I say the Chinese Communist government will fall into the ash heap of history. Fighting a cyber war is the next great war.

    Question: A Chinese cold war?

    Romney: China wants trade. They want access to our markets. They must understand they must play by the rules. They can’t steal our intellectual property nor manipulate their currency. We can’t continue to sit back like Obama has.

    Question: How to affect China?

    Romney: State openly they are currency manipulators then go to the WTO. We already have a trade war.

    Question: Reaction?

    Huntsman: Can’t go to WTO on currency issues. We must not have a trade war with China. There is a generational transition in China. Engage with young Chinese.

    BREAK

  5. Question: Increase military expenditures?

    Bachmann: Procurement can be reformed.

    APOLOGIES – both the National Journal and the CBS links are very choppy and hard to follow.

    There have been questions regarding what military programs to cancel and the Arab League suspension of Syria. Follow up questions are on military action against Syria. Ron Paul is against all interventions thus far mentioned.

    Romney and Newt approve of covert activity against Syria and Iran.

    Both senators of South Carolina are introduced. Graham asks about Obama executive order against waterboarding and Gitmo. This seems like a rerun of questions previously answered. Cain again supports waterboarding as an enhanced technique.

  6. Perry is talking about his military service. He supports “torture” to save lives.

    Bachmann is now taking on Ron Paul. She says nice things about Obama killing Bin Laden and Awlaki.

    CBS AND NATIONAL JOURNAL BUNGLED. Their webstream is impossible to follow. DeMint asked a question but it is impossible to tell what it was.

    In either case the first broadcast part was the one what will be view.

  7. DeMint’s question was what programs would you cut?

    Bachmann: I would look at LBJ’s Great Society. China does not have food stamps. They don’t have the welfare state. Get rid of the LBJ programs.

    Question: Would you attack Pakistan areas where terrorists attack American forces?

    Cain: We need to evaluate our relationships with Pakistan and Afghanistan. We need more information.

    Question: What is unclear?

    Cain: Obama approved the surge then pulled them back. We need to have a clear mission and clear idea of what victory is.

    Romney: Pakistan does not have a strong political center. It is almost a failed state. ISI, military, political structure, fundamentalists control Pakistan. Use drones.

    Question: Pakistan is moving nukes in trucks. How would you respond if these weapons are lost or stolen?

    Santorum: Work with military and ISI to secure the weapons.

    Question: Deploy special forces to secure these nukes?

    Santorum: Depends on the circumstances.

    Newt: This is an example of the Church committee mess. We have no good intelligence sources.

    Question: Europe debt crisis. How to prevent this from becoming American crisis?

    Huntsman: I’ve negotiated with Pakistanis. I would send in Seal Team Six. In Europe, they are an important trading partner. We will lose jobs. We must find new markets. The debt crisis will spread.

    Question: Same question.

    Perry: The French and the Germans have the resources to deal with this crisis. The Euro was to challenge the dollar.

    END.

  8. This foreign policy debate was good for Perry. He got a chance to do “cowboy” in an area Americans like tough guys. Cain also did well by not stumbling and mumbling. His first answer was very good but from then on it was downhill with repeated variations of “good advisers” and “evaluate”.

    Newt did well but that’s because he always suggests everything be evaluated from the ground up. That is sensible advice but it wears rather thin.

    Romney was his usually perfect self but there is that automaton factor that fails to get him the acceptance he needs.

    Santorum by now must be getting on the nerves of every Republican. Ricky seems to believe that if he tells everyone he has been working on an issue for years, unbeknownst to the world, that somehow gets him credibility. Bachmann has a related problem in that she repeats that she is the one that will stand tough while everyone else wimps out. They both might be right but it is increasingly grating to hear.

    Huntsman’s surprise answer about sending in Seal Team Six to Pakistan was a bit too slick because it somehow sounded like he was trying to take Perry’s cowboy hat from him.

    Ron Paul must be commended just for daring to speak the way he does on issue after issue to Republican audiences.

    The first hour of the debate was good. The second on-line half hour was a mess not just on the transmission issue but also because bringing in Graham and Demint added nothing but gimmickry to the proceedings.

  9. http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/283050/big-loser-night-cbs-marc-thiessen

    If there was a loser on the debate stage tonight, it was CBS. First, they scheduled their debate on a Saturday night between two major football games. Then they decide to only broadcast the first hour of their 90-minute debate. Then their Internet feed failed for the final 30 minutes. This was CBS’s first and only debate — and it showed.

    Scott Pelley was a terrible moderator. He treated the men who might be the next commander in chief like schoolchildren, cutting them off in mid-sentence, lecturing them to answer his questions. He even lectured Newt Gingrich on policy, telling him that killing “terrorist suspects” is “not the rule of law.” Big mistake. Newt smacked him down, explaining that we are at war and in war we are allowed to kill the enemy without a court order.

  10. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/12/cars-burned-and-jewish-neighborhood-attacked-in-new-york-hate-crime/?test=latestnews#ixzz1dWlz4G6p

    Cars have been torched, anti-Semitic graffiti scrawled on sidewalks and “KKK” tagged on a van in an attack on a heavily Jewish neighborhood in New York, on the anniversary of an infamous Nazi attack on Europe’s Jews.

    The rampage took place in the early hours of Friday morning in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, a neighborhood which is home to a significant-sized group of Holocaust survivors, myFOXny.com reported.

    The NYPD Hate Crimes unit has joined investigations into the attacks, which coincides with a brutal Nazi anniversary. Kristallnacht — or “The Night of Broken Glass” — refers to a series of attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria, when homes and businesses were ransacked and burned in a coordinated action.

    The New York attack left several cars — including a luxury BMW SUV — destroyed and park benches covered with swastikas.

    “The burning of cars and vandalism of benches in Midwood this morning represents a truly hateful act of prejudice,” Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said.

    Councilman David Greenfield offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shocking incident.

    Manhattan Borough president Scott Stringer issued a statement saying, “This despicable action was clearly taken to coincide with the anniversary of Kristallnacht, and its anti-Semitic message is unmistakable. But it was not just an act of violence against the Jewish community; it was an assault on human decency.”

  11. Over at NO QUARTER they are turning in to Newtbots and loving them some “smartest man in the room” stuff. Didn’t we hear how SMART BO was back in 2008? They are awed by how Newt could wipe the floor with BO in a debate. Excuse me, but didn’t Hillary do that with ol “I agree with what Hillary said” back in 2008? Did it matter? The media was so in love with the “young” exciting Obama. Newt will look like an old, stoggy, fat, boring guy. And that’s before we even dare to think about Newt’s history or character.

    Don’t you imagine that Axelrod has volumes of research on Newt to use if he’s the nominee?

  12. I am not sure the debates are worth the time and effort, when the deck is so stacked. Last time, we did not weed out the candidate that could not perform as Commander and Chief. In fact the media told us he really could perform as Commander and Chief, and made him the winner of some of those debates, even though he cannot function without a teleprompter.

    So why should the same corrupt group of media pros be watched and listened to now. I guess they have changed?????

  13. Thanks admin for the running commentary from last night’s debate.. better reading you than watching the boring ping-pong match…
    _______________

    admin
    November 12th, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Weathermen having a great time using the Occupying dupes. Funny though, the many still encouraging and defending the protest won’t go near it with a 10 ft poll. They are too busy giving orders from on high…behind their computer screens.

  14. The First Lady of The World is traveling with BO making sure his hoof in mouth disease does not spoil her tunure and undo her steady hand as SOS. What if he breaks out into campaign mode and sings that old depression song as he begs for money “Brother Can You Spare a Dime”?

    Public Schedule
    Washington, DC

    November 13, 2011

    SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON
    Secretary Clinton accompanies President Obama during his participation in APEC USA 2011 Leaders Week, in Honolulu, Hawaii (ET – 5 hours). Click here for more information

  15. admin
    November 12th, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    ——————–

    admin,

    My beloved grandmother used to ask the same question every time something as horrid as this would take place, and quite often on the anniversary of Kristallnacht: “When will they hating us?”

    I guess the answer is never.

  16. should have read: “When will they stop hating us?”

    As you can see, I am very upset by this news. If this neighborhood is filled with holocaust survivors, then it is filled with seniors who have suffered enough.

  17. JanH
    November 13th, 2011 at 11:12 am

    should have read: “When will they stop hating us?”

    As you can see, I am very upset by this news. If this neighborhood is filled with holocaust survivors, then it is filled with seniors who have suffered enough.
    ___________

    They know how to hurt without lifting a finger. I can imagine reliving the “terror” is still relived nightly in their dreams.

    I have to ask, where is the outrage coming from the WH over this? Is the WH concerned only with protecting Muslim sensitivities?…

    Do tune in to the new reality series…

    TLC premieres ‘All-American Muslim’ reality TV show-

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/story/2011-11-13/american-muslim-tv-show-tlc/51170778/1
    ____________

    A quick clip of the show came over the air this week. A woman wearing a veil announcing she is on the show… and in her words: “will be educating the collective, ignorant Americans to what she is all about and said, if that doesn’t work, get out of the way before I kick your ass!” [paraphrased]

  18. Well he really is a little shit.

    Obama: America’s ‘Been A Little Bit Lazy’…

    http://tv.breitbart.com/obama-americas-been-a-little-bit-lazy/

    …………………

    just keep on insulting us then.

    “We’ve been a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted — ‘Well, people would want to come here’ — and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new businesses into America.”

  19. “We’ve been a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted — ‘Well, people would want to come here’ — and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new businesses into America.”
    _____________

    Is that the Royal “we”? Doesn’t include US, then…

  20. OT…but my thoughts and prayers go out to this brave woman’s family et al…

    Evelyn Lauder, who created breast cancer’s pink ribbon, dies at 75

    Evelyn Lauder, who created the iconic pink ribbon for breast cancer, died Saturday at 75.

    New York (CNN) — Evelyn Lauder, a member of the Estee Lauder cosmetic company who helped create the pink ribbon symbol for breast cancer awareness, died Saturday in New York City.

    She was 75.

    Lauder died from complications of ovarian cancer at her home with her family by her side, the company said.

    The Vienna, Austria, native fled Nazi-occupied Europe with her parents, eventually settling in New York City.

    As a college freshman, she was introduced to the man she would marry, Leonard A. Lauder, the son of Estee and Joseph Lauder, who co-founded the cosmetics company.

    Lauder joined the family business and rose to be senior corporate vice president and head of fragrance development worldwide.

    Perhaps best known as an advocate for women’s health, Lauder helped to create the pink ribbon, the now ubiquitous symbol for breast cancer awareness.

    She is survived by her husband, two sons and five grandchildren.

    “My mother carried the torch of our company heritage and the values that were passed to her by my grandmother, Mrs. Estee Lauder,” her son, William Lauder, said in a statement.

    “My mother and father were life partners as well as business partners. They nurtured the culture and growth of the Estee Lauder companies, and as we grew, my mother was our creative compass and pillar of strength. Together my family and the company celebrate the beautiful person she was.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/13/us/evelyn-lauder-obit/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

  21. You rarely hear of stories like this being pushed by the media…

    Gaza PA Farmers Learn Export Expertise from Israel

    While rockets are fired by Gaza terrorists, PA farmers in the region are being taught by Israel how to export something better.

    By Chana Ya’ar
    11/13/2011

    While Hamas and allied terrorists continue to fire rockets and mortars at Jewish communities in the western Negev, Palestinian Authority Arab farmers in Gaza are being taught by Israelis how to export something better and more peaceful.

    Despite all provocation, Israel has continued “business as usual” and this month held its training programs in fresh produce export expertise to prepare Gaza farmers for the new season that starts in another week or two.

    Following the finalization of the trade process from Gaza to various European markets, a continuing education program for the region’s Palestinian Authority agriculturalists was held last Tuesday at the offices of the Coordination and Liaison Administration for Gaza.

    Representatives of the Coordinator of the Government Activities in the Territories (CoGAT) also announced that starting next month, a pilot program of furniture export from Gaza to Europe would also begin.

    “This conference is part of the ongoing daily cooperation between the Coordination and Liaison Administration for Gaza and the Palestinians in the agricultural sector,” said the IDF Spokesperson.

    During the past year, PA farmers in Gaza exported more than 399 tons of strawberries, 10 million carnations, 6.5 tons of cherry tomatoes and 6 million tons of red, green and yellow bell peppers to European markets.

    Quartet Adviser Tim Williams also attended the conference.

    One of the items on the agenda was teaching Gaza farmers to avoid the severe infestation of the red palm weevil, which destroyed crops last year. The pest managed to enter the region via the illegal tunnel network used by the Hamas terrorists to ferry people, weapons and contraband between Egypt and Gaza.

    “Though the existence of these illegal tunnels served as the catalyst for the infestation, the CLA assisted the farmers in Gaza whose crops had been damaged,” the IDF Spokesperson pointed out.

    “It is Hamas who is our mortal enemy, not the people of Gaza,” said Mark Regev, spokesman for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. “They have made it clear they consider every man, woman and child in Israel a legitimate target,” he told Arutz Sheva in a telephone interview Sunday afternoon.

    “The Hamas agenda is separate from the people of Gaza, who we consider to be victims as well,” Regev said.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/149694

  22. Sarkozy sends letter to Netanyahu

    November 13, 2011

    (JTA) — French President Nicolas Sarkozy has sent a letter to Benjamin Netanyahu offering close cooperation with Israel on Iran sanctions.

    The letter sent over the weekend via France’s ambassador to Israel, Christophe Bigot, comes less than a week after revelations that Sarkozy called the Israeli prime minister a “liar” and said that he “cannot stand him” during a private conversation with President Obama.

    The letter was uncharacteristically signed in Sarkozy’s own handwriting using the words “with friendship,” the Israeli daily Yediot Acharonot reported. It is believed that Sarkozy is trying to minimize the damage over the reported exchange between him and Obama earlier this month at the G-20 summit.

    Sarkozy, responding to the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog’s report on Iran’s nuclear program, condemns Iran and promises to call for harsher sanctions against Iran.

    The French newspaper LeFigaro reported over the weekend that Sarkozy could come to Israel in January to clarify his statements, according to Ynet. While Sarkozy reportedly has agreed to the visit in a conversation with his former envoy to the Middle East, Valerie Hoffenberg, it has not officially been confirmed.

    http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/11/13/3090264/sarkozy-sends-letter-to-netanyahu

  23. JanH,

    Israel: Obama cannot be trusted.

    Israel cannot confide in Hillary Clinton either because that would put Hillary in the untenable position of secreting information away from the Executive branch. The Obama Hopium guzzlers would accuse her of “treason”. Sarkozy must know that sanctions will not be enough even as he sent his letter to Netanyahu.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/8886543/Israel-refuses-to-tell-US-its-Iran-intentions.html

    Israel refuses to tell US its Iran intentions

    Israel has refused to reassure President Barack Obama that it would warn him in advance of any pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear capabilities, raising fears that it may be planning a go-it-alone attack as early as next summer.

    The US leader was rebuffed last month when he demanded private guarantees that no strike would go ahead without White House notification, suggesting Israel no longer plans to “seek Washington’s permission”, sources said. The disclosure, made by insiders briefed on a top-secret meeting between America’s most senior defence chief and Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s hawkish prime minister, comes amid concerns that Iran’s continuing progress towards nuclear weapons capability means the Jewish state has all but lost hope for a diplomatic solution.

    On Tuesday, UN weapons inspectors released their most damning report to date into Iran’s nuclear activities, saying for the first time that the Islamic republic appeared to be building a nuclear weapon. It was with that grave possiblity in mind that Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, flew into Israel last month on what was ostensibly a routine trip.

    Officially, his brief was restricted to the Middle East peace process, but the most important part of his mission was a private meeting with Mr Netanyahu and the defence minister, Ehud Barak. Once all but a handful of trusted staff had left the room, Mr Panetta conveyed an urgent message from Barack Obama. The president, Mr Panetta said, wanted an unshakable guarantee that Israel would not carry out a unilateral military strike against Iran’s nuclear installations without first seeking Washington’s clearance.

    The two Israelis were notably evasive in their response, according to sources both in Israel and the United States.

    “They did not suggest that military action was being planned or was imminent, but neither did they give any assurances that Israel would first seek Washington’s permission, or even inform the White House in advance that a mission was underway,” one said.

    Alarmed by Mr Netanyahu’s noncommittal response, Mr Obama reportedly ordered the US intelligence services to step up monitoring of Israel to glean clues of its intentions. [snip]

    If Israel is to attack Iran, many in the country believe time is running out. Last week’s report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) highlighted Iran’s apparent determination to build a nuclear warhead, but did not indicate how long it might take.

    Some in Israel, however, believe it is very close.

    “It is my personal opinion that, if the Iranian regime decides to do so, it can produce a nuclear explosive device within a year, plus or minus a few months,” said Ephraim Asculai, a former IAEA official and leading Israeli expert on Iran’s nuclear programme.

    Not everyone agrees. [snip]

    According to western intelligence assessments, Tehran is preparing to move the bulk of its nuclear production to a plant beneath a mountain near the holy city of Qom that would be far harder to hit from the air. [snip]

    Mr Obama’s willingness to take on Iran militarily is openly questioned in Israel. And while many Israelis do not believe Iran has any intention of actually firing a nuclear missile at them, the the key question is whether their prime minister is one of them.

    In Mr Netanyahu’s eyes, Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is another “Hitler” whose aim is to complete what the Holocaust failed to do by wiping out the Jewish race.

    “People outside Israel don’t understand how profound memories of the Holocaust are, and how they affect future policy making,” said Mr Bergman, the military analyst. “At the end of the day, this policy of ‘never again’ would dictate Israel’s behaviour when intelligence comes through that Iran has come close to a bomb.”

  24. “Alarmed by Mr Netanyahu’s noncommittal response, Mr Obama reportedly ordered the US intelligence services to step up monitoring of Israel to glean clues of its intentions.”

    ——————

    Well good luck with that, obama. Not going to happen with Israel’s superior intelligence system.

    It’s about time Israel stopped trusting that no-name fake potus.

    Canada is starting to feel the same way.

  25. “According to western intelligence assessments, Tehran is preparing to move the bulk of its nuclear production to a plant beneath a mountain near the holy city of Qom that would be far harder to hit from the air.”
    *******
    That is interesting. The Iranian’s have been excavating under that mountain for at least ten years….sounds like they are nearly finished with the facility. The current nuclear sites are “hardened” and probably can’t be destroyed by bombing. The new facility will be totally immune, even to nuclear weapons. Maybe the Israeli military is thinking about the “closing window” and willing to at least try to disrupt the nuclear development temporally.

  26. Israel must take out the nucler facilities, as least the ones close to become weaponized, asap as Obama will reluctantly re-supply Israel with arms becuse of election concerns. Based on Bill’s comments, neither he nor Hillary like Netanyahu, but I have to assume Hillary will put personal animosity aside for the greater security of Israel.

  27. That is interesting. The Iranian’s have been excavating under that mountain for at least ten years….sounds like they are nearly finished with the facility. The current nuclear sites are “hardened” and probably can’t be destroyed by bombing. The new facility will be totally immune, even to nuclear weapons. Maybe the Israeli military is thinking about the “closing window” and willing to at least try to disrupt the nuclear development temporally.
    ______________

    If there is a single entrance/egress under the mountain which I expect there is… an unfortunate rockslide would seal both openings with no problem at all, except for those trapped within maybe(?)

  28. The email conservatives are circulating to Republicans about Newt Gingrich:

    Fellow Conservatives I urge all of to take a hard look at the real Newt Gingrich. Take 10 minutes of your time to read this email and pass it around as we can’t afford another faux president.

    *The Newt Gingrich Files: Does he know where he stands?*

    *MUST KNOW QUOTES*

    • Gingrich: “There Are Parts Of The DREAM Act That Are Actually Quite Useful.” (“Newt And Callista Gingrich On Al Punto With Jorge Ramos,” Newt.org, 10/13/10)

    • In A 2007 Interview With PBS, Gingrich Came Out In Favor Of A Cap And Trade System, Saying “It’s Something I Would Strongly Support.” (PBS’ “Frontline,” 4/24/07)

    • Gingrich Is In Favor Of Offering Illegal Immigrants Who Have Lived In The U.S. For A Long Period A Path To Citizenship. “Recognizing there are millions of immigrants who have been here a short time, who have no roots here, and they probably should go home,’ Gingrich said. ‘On the other hand, you have someone who came here at 3 years of age and now they’re 19… I suspect we’re going to want to find some way to enable them to move toward legality, if not citizenship.’” (Scott Powers, “Gingrich: Some Illegal Immigrants Can Stay,” Orlando Sentinel, 9/14/11)

    • Gingrich Admitted That Climate Change Evidence Is Sufficient And Steps Need To Be Taken Immediately. ““My message, I think, is that the evidence is sufficient, and we should move towards the most effective possible steps to reduce carbon-loading in the atmosphere,’ Gingrich said.” (Aaron Blake, “Kerry, Gingrich Joust Over Global Warming,” The Hill, 4/10/07)

    • Gingrich: “I Don’t Think Right-Wing Social Engineering Is Any More Desirable Than Left-Wing Social Engineering.” (Speaking of Paul Ryan’s plan) (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 5/15/11)

    • Gingrich In September 2008, On TARP: “I Said This Morning If I Had Been In The Congress, I Would Have Hated It, It Makes Me Very Angry, But I Would Have Voted Yes.” …

    • Fortune: “Gingrich Favors National [Healthcare] Legislation Similar To The Law That Romney Pushed Through In Massachusetts.” “[Gingrich] favors national [healthcare] legislation similar to the law that Romney pushed through in Massachusetts, forcing individuals to buy health insurance just as they are required to purchase auto insurance—though providing some government assistance to those who can’t afford it.” (Nina Easton, “The New Newt Thing,” Fortune Magazine, 2/5/07)

  29. and so it begins……………

    Some Democrats refuse to back Obama

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/68266.html

    Joe Manchin, independent Bernie Sanders and John Barrow aren’t committed to Obama.

    Sen. Joe Lieberman was treated like an outcast back in 2008 when he broke from the Senate Democratic Caucus and openly opposed Barack Obama’s bid for the White House.

    Asked last week if he’d back Obama in 2012, the Connecticut independent said, “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

    This time around, there may be more Liebermans.

    A number of moderate Democrats like Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar and liberals like Sen. Bernie Sanders are declining to give their unqualified support for the president, saying they’re either too focused on their own races or are calling on the White House to cater to their agendas before they will offer an endorsement. Some up for reelection in red states or in swing districts fear that even showing up on stage with Obama will give their opponents an image to seize upon — much as Democrats did in 2008 when they repeatedly flashed shots of Sen. John McCain hugging President George W. Bush.

    So as the president faces the dual challenges of energizing his base while wooing moderates, some Democrats in Congress are keeping their distance, with the president’s approval rating hovering in the mid-40s — and even lower in states like West Virginia, where moderate Sen. Joe Manchin is up for reelection.

    “I’m supporting the state of West Virginia and the people of West Virginia,” the freshman Democrat said, when asked if he backed the president’s reelection bid.

    Informed that West Virginia won’t be on the ballot next year, Manchin chuckled and said: “You don’t know that. You know something I don’t know?”

    In the House, moderate Democrats have a tough calculation to make, a product of the volatile political landscape and a still-undefined presidential race. No matter how low the president’s approval ratings get, they tend to be higher than congressional Republicans. Some Democrats in the House will wait and see whom Obama is running against before they decide whom they’ll be running against — the president or his opponent.

    With one year until voters decide their fate, many vulnerable Democrats are dancing around the issue of supporting the president.

    Of more than a dozen congressional offices POLITICO contacted in the moderate Blue Dog Caucus, only a handful were willing to comment on whether they supported Obama’s reelection bid.

    Others, including Reps. Tim Holden and Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, Ben Chandler of Kentucky, Jim Costa of California, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Jim Matheson of Utah, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina and Michael Michaud of Maine, declined repeated requests for comment on whether they will stump for the president or even support him in 2012.

    Some are keeping their distance.

    On a recent presidential trip to Pittsburgh to talk about jobs, Altmire was there to greet the president at the airport but didn’t stay for his visit.

    When asked whether he intended to stump for the president next year, Cuellar, who represents a border area in Texas said, “No, I’m going to be concentrating on [winning] the Democratic majority.”

    When asked whether he would back the president’s reelection bid, Cuellar said he was focused on his home state, instead.

    “I’m going to be supporting the state Democratic Party ticket.”

    A spokesman for Rep. John Barrow, a moderate Georgia Democrat, said, “We haven’t even thought about that yet” when asked if his boss would back Obama.

    “John is focused on his own reelection, which is quite competitive at this point,” the spokesman said.

    Obama also faces some skepticism from liberals in Congress who have grown tired of his efforts to seek compromise with the GOP through three years of legislative battles on Capitol Hill.

    Sanders, the independent from Vermont who is revered on the left for his staunchly liberal views, initially refused to say in an interview whether he would back the president in 2012.

    Instead, he turned serious and said he hoped that “the president never forgets who elected him to the White House. It was not Wall Street, although they contributed. It was not the big money interests. It was working families, lower-income people and the middle class.”

    He urged Obama to not cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, demand higher taxes from the rich and “stop reaching negotiated agreements with Republicans that are extremely weak and disadvantageous to ordinary people.”

    read on page 2

    …………………………………………………………………………….

    This could get interesting.

  30. mop: Altmire was there to greet the president at the airport but didn’t stay for his visit.
    ————
    Jason Altmire finally did come to realize his error, but only after he voted to nominate O. I think HRC led his district by phenomenal multiples of 10.
    ########
    There is a facebook ‘draft Chris Carney’ movement afloat. (House, PA District 10 … to oust newcomer Marino (R) who is voting as Carney should have for the district). Chris was one of the more polite Democrats during the primary, but has never acknowledged anything and voted in a “Yes sir” manner for everything Obama.
    #############
    Has anyone here come up against shenanigans involving a blackout policy called ‘exclusivity’ available from FCC? Cable providers must adhere to the provision if it is invoked. It reared it’s ugly head here several years ago thus eliminating my favorite TV station from NYC completely. It was replaced with a local station WOLF-TV which airs paid programming most of the day, but does allow FOX prime time hits, NASCAR, etc. So far I appear to be the only one in the area who cares to speak out against it. Last week another Chicago-like station invoked another ‘right’ and it is now impossible for me to watch Judge Judy at 4 PM. FCC and WYOU think I should be just as happy to watch Judge Judy at 5 PM on their channel. Well, I’m not. And the upshot of it is that I no longer watch anything WYOU, including their early morning TV feed of CBS’s Up To The Minute. (There is also ABC’s World News Now on at that time, but that news is a joke I rarely tune in to.) And although I am in mourning for what one station can to to others as well as to the general public, I am getting more sleep!

  31. Cart Blanche Authorization for the purchase of training people to innovate:

    WASHINGTON – The White House will announce Monday the release of up to $1 billion to hire and train health care workers as part of its “We Can’t Wait” program. The funding will be given to doctors, government organizations and groups involved with Medicare and Medicaid, The Washington Post reported, for experimenting with ways to deliver effective health care and expand the related workforce while reducing the cost of doing so. “This will open the inbox for many innovators and organizations that have an idea to bring to the table,” Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services official Don Berwick told the Post. “We’re seeking innovators, organizations and leaders that have an idea to bring into further testing.” More than 300,000 health care jobs were added in the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts growth of 3.2 million health jobs by 2018 despite a shortage of doctors being forecast.”We have a wealth of good ideas in health care, but the big challenge is spread,” Berwick said. “This will be seed money to get innovation to go further. This is venture capital to grow good ideas to scale.” Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation boss Richard Gilfillan said, “In many ways, the health care system in the future will be different from the health care system today. We’re saying, let’s find the best people to do these jobs and broaden the workforce.”
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/11/14/1b-for-health-care-jobs-under-white-house-plan-to-be-unveiled/

    No Congressional approval needed.

  32. BREAKING – SCOTUS agrees to hear appeals over Obama’s healthcare law

    ………………………………..

    Big deal, they’ll do what the puppets tell them to do.

  33. From jtjames’ link:

    Ms Clinton will start work today on the NBC Nightly News series ‘Making a Difference’ and wants to donate all of her earnings to charity. She has been raising her profile and spoke at more than 400 town halls to support her mother’s presidential run, reported the New York Times.

    What a great find! Thanks, jtj.

  34. Isn’t it amazinging. The corrupt Democrats thought that they would get the Clinton’s by fraudulently stealing the primary and they would fade into the sunset. Look at it today. The president can’t get one Dax thing through congress and

    1. Bill has a book out telling everyone how he would do it.
    2. Hill is probably the most successful Secretary we have every had.
    3. and their Daughter is going to have great exposure on TV.

    The Clinton’s are more prominent than ever. The one fading is O.

  35. …the biggest nightmare…

    http://www.nationalmemo.com/article/obama-campaign-chief-meets-quietly-clinton-harlem

    Obama campaign chief meets quietly with Clinton in Harlem

    President Obama’s top political operatives — including campaign chief adviser David Axelrod — traveled from Chicago and Washington to the headquarters of the William Jefferson Clinton foundation in Harlem last Wednesday afternoon for a meeting with the former president and two of his top aides. The topic? How to re-elect the current president — including some very specific advice from Clinton, according to sources present.

    The Nov. 9 meeting, which went on for more than two hours, also included Clinton counselor Douglas Band and Justin Cooper, a senior adviser whose multiple responsibilities have included work on the former president’s memoir and last two books. Their guests were former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, who is serving as Obama’s 2012 campaign manager; Patrick Gaspard, executive director of the Democratic National Committee who until recently oversaw political affairs in the White House; and Obama’s lead pollster Joel Benenson, who played the same role in the 2008 campaign.

    “We were the ones who reached out for the conversation,” said one of the participants from the Obama campaign, who confirmed the details. “We did so to lay out the landscape for the [former] president as we see it, but our particular interest was to receive his insights, and we were fortunate enough to benefit from them.” The same source said that they hope and expect to engage regularly with Clinton.

    As the meeting began, the Obama aides laid out their sense of the political landscape, their polling data on attitudes among voters in the Democratic base and independents who might be truly undecided, the shaping of their message and their campaign’s organizational structure across the country. They also frankly discussed findings from voter focus groups that the campaign has conducted in recent months. Much of the presentation dealt with battleground states such as North Carolina, Virginia, Nevada, and Arizona, where Obama prevailed four years ago but faces more difficult odds next year.

    Having absorbed all this information, Clinton peppered the Obama operatives with dozens of probing questions and specific suggestions, not only concerning their strategy and message but how to handle the leading Republican candidates, too. Economic conditions and how to address them dominated the discussion. What most interested the Obama team were Clinton’s insights on heartland voting blocs that remain in the political middle: not the Republican-leaning independents who always end up voting for the GOP nominee, but the truly uncommitted who largely ended up supporting Obama in 2008.

    While Axelrod arrived with no particular “ask” beyond Clinton’s advice, the meeting ended with the Obama group telling the former president something he may already have surmised: They want him actively involved in the re-election campaign and expect to engage him regularly in the months ahead.

    *************************************************

    they want Bill … Hill…to camp for O… my biggest fear…they will…

  36. I have to get me one of them there money trees that the Obama administration possesses. My funds would be unlimited!

  37. Axelcrud has big cajones showing up at Bill Clinton’s office. Hey, if Bill Clinton wants to help maintain the thief in office, then it’s his perogative, but I know one thing. My positive view of him will diminish to a point of no return which is on par with my current view of the Democratic party. It’s his reputation at stake. Nobama forever!

  38. S, all the advice in the world from Bill Clinton won’t help. Obama snubbed the white working class and now the white working class is snubbing him. Bill could give Obama all the best advice in the world but you can’t teach an old boob new tricks.

  39. …yes, O is hopeless…but why must Bill…and Hill…further tarnish themselves by association with the boob…especially if he loses…

    the thought of Bill and Hill out there singing O’s praises and pitching for him goes right to the edge…

  40. He urged Obama to not cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, demand higher taxes from the rich and “stop reaching negotiated agreements with Republicans that are extremely weak and disadvantageous to ordinary people.”

    ===============

    Heh. I bet Bill Clinton told him the same thing.

  41. Per RCP 45.3% approve 50% disapprove with a -4.7 spread. I think the health care ruling will be a big plus for him as well.

  42. Book: Rahm Emanuel Dumped Tons Of Freddie Mac Stock Days Before It Collapsed

    Zeke Miller
    November 14, 2011

    Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is the latest lawmaker to get caught up in allegations of insider trading while a member of Congress.

    Then-Rep. Emanuel reportedly sold up to $250,000 in Freddie Mac stock on February 21, 2003 days before it dropped by 10 percent — and weeks before it was publicly revealed that the entity was under criminal investigation for inflating earnings. The allegations are revealed in Peter Schwiezer’s new book “Throw Them All Out,” which will hit bookshelves tomorrow.

    Emanuel served on the board of the Government-backed lender before his election to Congress in 2003, and later held a seat on the House Financial Services’ Committee’s Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government-Sponsored Enterprises — the very committee charged with regulating the Freddie Mac.

    While by no means illegal; lawmakers are exempted from the insider trading laws they impose on private traders. But the timing of the trades is certainly suspect, especially given Emanuel’s service on the board during the time period for with the federal government was investigating the actions of Freddie Mac executives.

    Emanue’s office did not return a request for comment on the allegations.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/book-rahm-emanuel-dumped-tons-of-freddie-mac-stock-days-before-it-collapsed-2011-11

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