Monday, October 29, 2012

The Parallel Universe of Intrade

Intrade continues to be a parallel universe where President Obama is a shoo-in for reelection, largely resembling Nate Silver's fanciful 538 column in the New York Times. (I last wrote about Intrade on Oct. 26.)

For those who don't follow Intrade, it is a predictions market, i.e. a gambling site, where bettors can wager on the outcomes of various events including elections. The price of a contract represents what market participants believe is going to happen. A contract sells on a scale of 0 (i.e. event won't happen) through 100 (i.e. event will happen). 

The Mitt Romney to win the presidency contract is now selling at 38 (and the linked Obama to win contract is selling at 62), which seems quite ridiculous to anyone who has been following the polls. Romney hit the mid-40s after he did well in the debates against President Obama. Before the debates Romney had fallen as low as 21.

Of greater interest are the prices for contracts as to which crucial battleground states Romney and Obama will win.

These are the current prices for those state-level presidential races (prices in parentheses are as of Oct. 26):

CO 51.6 for R (roughly tied around 50)
FL 72.8 for R (72 for R)
IN 92.8 for R (93 for R)
IA 64.1 for O (65 for O)
MI 86.3 for O (87 for O)
MO 95 for R (95 for R)
NV 82.2 for O (80 for O)
NH 60 for O (57 for O)
NC 75 for R (79 for R)
OH 57.6 for O (63 for O)
VA 52.3 for R (52 for R)
WI 75.8 for O (75 for O)

As I wrote on Oct. 26, perhaps this mixed outlook on battleground states is making bettors give the win to Obama. I think they'll be proven wrong in the end.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Matthew Vadum's work is cited in 48 books (so far)

I've been keeping a running tab of the books that reference my work and/or quote me.

Authors on the right, such as John Fund, Phyllis Schafly, Michael Reagan, David Horowitz, and Michelle Malkin rely on my research and commentary.

Authors on the left, such as Arianna Huffington, Thomas Frank, and Center for American Progress visiting fellow Shirley Sagawa, have also given my work a vote of confidence by relying on it.

Here is the list as of October 28, 2012:

* asterisk indicates New York Times bestseller

In reverse chronological order (sorted by year):

48) The Maclean's Book of Lists, Rogers Publishing, 2012, page citation unknown.

47) Judge Me By The People Who Surround Me: The Obama Challenge, by Barbara Bluefield, Outskirts Press, 2012, page citations unknown 

46) Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right, by Thomas Frank, Macmillan, 2012, page citations unknown 

45) Who's Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Riskby John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky, Encounter Books, 2012, page citations unknown

44) Shadowbosses: Government Unions Control America and Rob Taxpayers Blindby Mallory Factor and Elizabeth Factor, Center Street, 2012, page citations unknown

43) No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom, by Phyllis Schafly and George Neumayr, Regnery Publishing, 2012, page citations unknown

42) The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdownby Richard L. Hasen, Yale University Press, forthcoming: expected publication summer 2012, page citations unknown

*41) Cowards: What Politicians, Radicals, and the Media Refuse to Say, by Glenn Beck, Threshold Editions/Mercury Radio Arts, 2012, at least 3 citations

40) The New Leviathan: How the Left-Wing Money-Machine Shapes American Politics and Threatens America's Future, by David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin, Crown Forum, 2012, 278n4

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Chris Stevens’ Last Words

My article from the October 26, 2012, issue of Front Page Magazine:

Chris Stevens’ Last Words

By Matthew Vadum

Obama administration emails leaked to news organizations about last month’s terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, paint a shocking picture of the administration’s incompetence and callousness.

During the military-style assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, four American officials died, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. On the day of the attack, a few hours before he was raped and murdered by adherents of the so-called religion of peace, Stevens wrote in an email that a local Libyan commander in Benghazi “expressed growing frustration with police and security forces (who were too weak to keep the country secure) …”

It was a sad, prescient understatement.

For two weeks after the attack the Obama administration said over and over and over again that the incident in Benghazi was inspired by a low-quality anti-Islam video on YouTube. Eventually the administration acknowledged it was a terrorist attack.

But those who have been following the disturbing developments in Libya with an open mind know the Obama administration has been lying about what happened there from the start.

The most charitable conclusion one can draw is that during the attack the Obama White House froze under pressure, unable or unwilling to act, as the president geared up for a fundraising event in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada.

The less charitable, but more likely conclusion, is that the White House made a conscious, calculated decision to let American officials perish overseas, fully expecting the incurious pro-Obama media to ignore what really happened.

We now know that U.S. officials monitored an audio feed of the Benghazi attack in real time, as CBS News reported. During the attack, U.S. forces were in place in nearby Sicily, an hour or so away, but the order to fly to Benghazi in an attempt to rescue the besieged staff at the consulate never came.

That order was never issued by President Obama, probably because he knew it would reveal his policy of appeasement towards Islamic totalitarians to be in shambles as the Middle East and North Africa fell into the hands of America’s enemies.

Former CIA officer Clare M. Lopez, now a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy, said Stevens knew al-Qaeda was targeting him but he lacked adequate security.

The Benghazi saga is a massive scandal, Lopez told Glenn Beck. “It’s huge, first of all, because we’ve got four dead Americans,” she said. “That’s the worst part of it all and nobody went to their assistance.”

Intelligence chief James Clapper, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and David Petraeus all know what really happened in Benghazi, Lopez opined.

“This has to be brought out. This has to be made known to the public. That this is going on and that our administration was not only working with the bad guys, was working with al-Qaeda linked militias and jihadis to overthrow [President Bashar Hafez] Assad in Syria, but that they let our mission go down. They let our ambassador and others die. In real time, watching it happen, and they didn’t do anything about it,” Lopez said.

Obama White House Knew Al-Qaeda Ally Hit Benghazi

My article from the October 25, 2012, issue of Front Page Magazine:

Obama White House Knew Al-Qaeda Ally Hit Benghazi

By Matthew Vadum

Two hours after last month’s deadly assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, the Obama White House knew the operation had been orchestrated by Muslim terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda, new evidence demonstrates.

But that grim information failed to deter President Obama, who has consistently been more interested in golfing than in attending security briefings, from hopping onto Air Force One on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 and jetting off to Las Vegas for a campaign fundraiser.

U.S. officials reportedly monitored an audio feed of the Benghazi attack in real time, CBS News reports. FBI and State Department officials have also reviewed security camera footage recovered from the site. During the attack, U.S. forces were in place in nearby Sicily but the order to fly to Benghazi in an attempt to rescue the besieged staff at the consulate never came.

For a fortnight the Obama administration strenuously maintained the fiction that the incident in Benghazi, a terrorist stronghold, was a spontaneous popular uprising somehow inspired by an Ed Wood-quality anti-Islam video on YouTube that hardly anyone watched. Eventually the administration was forced to admit that what happened in that Libyan city was carried out by Islamic terrorists.
Leaked State Department emails dated Sept. 11, 2012, that were published yesterday show that U.S. officials knew soon after the attack that Ansar al-Sharia, a Libyan terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda, had claimed responsibility for killing four American officials including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.

The emails were sent to various national security platforms representing as many as 400 U.S. national security, military, and diplomatic officials almost as the attack was underway and concluding. Fox News reports that those platforms included the White House Situation Room, the Pentagon, the FBI, and the Director of National Intelligence.

The electronic missives were time-stamped in Eastern time and often bore the subheading SBU, which stands for “Sensitive But Unclassified.”

The initial email stamped 4:05 p.m. contains the subject line: “U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack (SBU).”

“The Regional Security Officer reports the diplomatic mission is under attack,” read the email. “Embassy Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well. 

Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four COM personnel are in the compound safe haven. The 17th of February militia is providing security support … The operations Center will provide updates as available.”

A second email stamped 4:54 p.m. contains “Update 1: U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi (SBU)” as a subject line.

“Embassy Tripoli reports the firing at the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi has stopped and the compound has been cleared. A response team is on site attempting to locate COM personnel.”

A third email stamped 6:07 p.m. features a subject line reading “Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack (SBU).”

“Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli,” it indicates.

The three emails appear to complement early reports by the British newspaper, the Independent. That media outlet reported soon after the attack that the Obama administration had “credible” evidence that Islamist assaults were planned on U.S. missions in Libya and Egypt a full two days before they happened. The paper also reported that the administration made no effort to protect U.S. government personnel.

Authorities in Tunisia announced yesterday that they had arrested a 28-year-old Tunisian jihadist, Ali Ani al-Harzi, in connection with the Benghazi attack. Another suspect, a militant known only by his first name, Hazem, blew himself up in Cairo during a firefight with police. The man had reportedly returned from a recent trip to Libya and had a cache of weapons.

Meanwhile, with every passing day more evidence surfaces that the Obama administration isn’t serious about combating Islamism. The fact that the administration itself is a hotbed of Islamist activity could have something to do with it.’s Big Peace website reported yesterday that operatives from the Muslim Brotherhood have penetrated the Central Intelligence Agency. In July the CIA hosted a two-day training program called “Countering Violent Extremism Workshop for the National Capitol Region.”

Sessions at the seminar held at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, were conducted by officials from the CIA, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Homeland Security, alongside suspected Muslim Brotherhood operatives.

As Frontpage Magazine was nearly alone in reporting, FBI agents are no longer allowed to treat individuals associated with terrorist groups as potential threats to the nation. A recent report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism found that “scores” of known radical Islamists met with senior Obama administration officials during hundreds of visits to the White House.

And the profoundly unethical Los Angeles Times continues to withhold potentially vital information about Obama’s relationship with former Palestine Liberation Organization spokesman Rashid Khalidi, who now spends his days poisoning the minds of Columbia University students. The newspaper has a videotape under lock and key of Obama’s remarks at a 2003 banquet honoring the ex-terrorist, presumably because the contents of the recording would harm the president’s chances of reelection.

As Frontpage Magazine was first to report yesterday, the recently named chairman of the Department of State’s investigation of the Benghazi atrocities is an apologist for Islamic terrorism who has a cozy relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

The chairman, former Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, participated in a panel discussion Tuesday night in Washington, D.C. on “what role the faith community can play in fighting Islamophobia.” American Association for Muslim Advancement executive director Daisy Khan, and her husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, were also on the panel. Khan and Rauf have been prime movers behind the proposal to build a mosque near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.

Pickering has ties to the pro-Iran Islamist front group known as the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). NIAC lost an important defamation case in federal court last month in which it unsuccessfully argued the group was not a tool of the Iranian government.

While the president has focused on other things, Islamism has been on the march. Fundamentalist Muslim regimes are popping up all over North Africa and the Middle East. Once a stalwart U.S. and Israeli ally, Egypt is now in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood and appears poised to transform itself into another Iran after Obama abandoned the now-deposed president Hosni Mubarak.

Communism too is on the march on Obama’s watch: Venezuela and other Latin American countries have been tilting to port while the president apologizes for past U.S. foreign policy and bows and scrapes before kings and tinpot dictators alike.

Obama looks more and more like President Jimmy Carter every day. During the malaise of the Carter years, Iran went from being a reliable U.S. ally to a totalitarian theocracy after Carter betrayed the Shah. Nicaragua fell to Communists and the Soviets rolled their tanks into Afghanistan and installed their own puppet president there.

And at about this point in 1980, Carter was also struggling in his reelection bid.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Obama’s Benghazi Investigator: An Iran Sympathizer

My October 24, 2012, article from Front Page Magazine:

Obama’s Benghazi Investigator: An Iran Sympathizer

By Matthew Vadum

The freshly appointed chairman of a federal investigation into the Benghazi massacre is an apologist for Islamic terrorism who has a cozy relationship with Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

And to add insult to injury, at press time Tuesday evening the chairman of this new State Department panel, former Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, was poised to participate in a panel discussion at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on “what role the faith community can play in fighting Islamophobia.”

The news comes on the heels of a new report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism that found that “scores” of known radical Islamists met with senior Obama administration officials during hundreds of visits to the White House.

Pickering’s appointment as probe chairman was announced in the Federal Register on October 4. The State Department “Accountability Review Board” headed by Pickering is tasked with examining the circumstances surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012 deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith, and security personnel Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The problem is that Pickering has ties to the pro-Iran Islamist front group known as the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). NIAC lost an important defamation case in federal court last month in which it unsuccessfully argued the group was not a tool of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Pickering is a member of the advisory board of NIAC. He was Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from May 1997 through the end of 2000, according to a 2009 report titled “Rise of the Iran Lobby,” by Clare M. Lopez of the Center for Security Policy. He’s also vice chairman of international consultancy, Hills & Co., and co-chairman of the board of directors of the International Crisis Group (whose executive committee includes George Soros).

“Ambassador Pickering’s positions on Iran include calls for bilateral talks without preconditions and a plan for a multinational uranium enrichment consortium in Iran,” Lopez writes. “Iran has proposed a similar plan to the UN Security Council. Ambassador Pickering advocates a process leading to mutual diplomatic relations between Iran and the United States.”

“U.S. national security policy is being successfully targeted by Jihadist entities hostile to American interests,” she writes. One of these groups, NIAC, is involved in “a de facto partnership” with its better known but more notorious jihadist ally “the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other organizations serving as mouthpieces for the mullahs’ party line.”

This network “includes well-known American diplomats, congressional representatives, figures from academia and the think tank world.” NIAC and its predecessor group, the American-Iranian Council, have long “functioned openly as apologists for the Iranian regime.”

CAIR is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood and was named by the Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007 and 2008 Holy Land Foundation trials.

The panel discussion featured Pickering, Arab American Institute president James J. Zogby, American Association for Muslim Advancement executive director Daisy Khan, and her husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, chairman of the Cordoba Initiative.

Khan and Rauf are prime movers behind the proposal to build a mosque near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.

Khan is known for her over-the-top attacks on those who question the wisdom of building a Muslim holy site so close to the place where nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in an Islamist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Asked in 2010 if America was “Islamophobic,” Khan replied that “It’s not even Islamophobia, it’s beyond Islamophobia — it’s hate of Muslims,” she said.

Of course use of the word “Islamophobia” is a tool of intimidation, calculated to silence the so-called Islamophobe.

If one fears Islamist ideology as an irredentist, imperialist, totalitarian force, one is rational. “Phobia” implies that one who fears or is skeptical of the intentions of Muslims is mentally unbalanced. The term is used the same way American leftists use the word “racist” to shut down debate.

While two George Soros-funded nonprofits, the Center for American Progress and Media Matters for America, are working overtime to try to convince Americans that this make-believe mental illness of Islamophobia is a threat to American democracy and pluralism, the embattled Obama administration has been in damage control mode for weeks as the president’s foreign policy aimed at appeasing totalitarian Islamic theocrats collapses. The administration has been sucking up to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a 57-state (56 sovereign states and the Palestinian Authority) group that considers itself the Caliphate reborn.

Americans’ civil rights and political correctness are weapons of infiltration used by our Islamofascist enemies. Just like our Soviet Communist enemies during the Cold War, Islamists are using Americans’ goodness and their sense of fair play, including an aversion to being accused of racial stereotyping, against America.

Hard data do not support claims that Islamophobia exists in the United States.

As Jonathan S. Tobin wrote in Commentary last year: “the notion of a rising wave of hatred against Muslims is unsupported by any statistical research.”

“When you consider that Muslims claim to have about the same number of adherents in this country as Jews and that anti-Jewish crimes have always far outnumbered those committed against Muslims, the media hysteria about Islamophobia is exposed as a big lie. But even if there are fewer Muslims here than their groups claim, the conclusion is unchanged.”

And there is credible evidence that Obama, who told the UN last month that “the future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” is sympathetic to Islamists’ increasingly vocal demands for Saudi-style anti-blasphemy laws.

So, apparently, is Ambassador Pickering, which makes him unfit to head any probe of what happened last month in Benghazi, Libya.

Weird Obama and Romney Numbers on Intrade

I follow Intrade, the predictions market, pretty closely during election season. It's far from perfect but it is interesting and often gets things right.

It is a gambling site where bettors can wager on the outcomes of various events including elections. The price of a contract represents what market participants believe is going to happen. A contract sells on a scale of 0 (i.e. event won't happen) through 100 (i.e. event will happen). 

Right now the numbers are quite strange but on closer examination they seem slightly less strange.

The Mitt Romney to win the presidency contract was in the mid 40s until a few days ago after he did well in the debates against President Obama and began to rise in the polls. Before the debates Romney had fallen as low as 21.

Now Romney is down to 36 and the price of the Obama to win contract is at 64.

Assuming wealthy Obama supporters aren't manipulating prices, prices for contracts as to which crucial battleground states Romney and Obama will win are split down the middle.

These are the current prices for those state-level presidential races:

CO roughly tied around 50
FL 72 for R
IN 93 for R
IA 65 for O
MI 87 for O
MO 95 for R
NV 80 for O
NH 57 for O
NC 79 for R
OH 63 for O
VA 52 for R
WI 75 for O

Perhaps this mixed outlook on battleground states is making bettors give the win to Obama. I think they'll be proven wrong in the end.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sherrod Brown's ACORN Video Disappears Just In Time For The Election

As published by's Big Government website today:

Sherrod Brown's ACORN Video Disappears Just In Time For The Election

By Matthew Vadum

When you’re America’s most liberal senator locked in a tight race with a conservative challenger, it’s always a good thing when a damning YouTube that shows you praising organized crime disappears.
Hard-left Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) appears in a 2008 video praising the gangster group known by the acronym ACORN. In the video dated May 12, 2008, called “ACORN Grassroots Democracy Campaign,” Brown praises the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now to the heavens:
I’ve met with ACORN lots of times in Ohio. They’re a terrific grassroots organization that is working to connect politics with working families and low-income people and there’s no higher calling than that as more low-income people are going to vote this year and help to change the direction of our country. […]
Because ACORN is so articulate and so outspoken in advocating for low income people they bring an awful of people into politics to the voting booths who wouldn’t come otherwise.
I had accessed the video on July 22, 2010 while I was working on the manuscript for my exposé of ACORN, Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Ripping Off and Terrorizing American Taxpayers, but now the 9-minute clip is locked. The video may only be viewed with the permission of the YouTube account holder. Visit the web address for the video and this message appears: “This video is private. Sorry about that.”  I saved the video and uploaded it here.

Brown’s connection to ACORN has a special significance for Ohioans.
That’s because ACORN settled a racketeering lawsuit in Ohio out of court and agreed to leave the state. In the settlement with the Buckeye Institute’s 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, ACORN agreed to “cease all Ohio activity” and surrender its state business licenses.
Brown’s Republican opponent is Josh Mandel. Real Clear Politics currently rates the race a “Toss Up.”
Brown, who frequently compares his political antagonists to Adolph Hitler, was ranked most liberal U.S. senator by National Journal in 2009 and 2010 (after Barack Obama left the Senate). He had been a longtime champion of the innately corrupt ACORN, once America’s largest Saul Alinsky-inspired leftist group.
But when the undercover videos shot by James O’Keefe III and Hannah Giles surfaced at in 2009, Brown ran away from ACORN as fast as he could. Video after video graphically confirmed ACORN’s willingness to facilitate child prostitution, sex trafficking, mortgage fraud, tax evasion, and other crimes.
When legislation came before the Senate to ban all federal funding of the ACORN empire of activism consisting of 370-plus affiliated organizations, Brown relented to public pressure and supported the ban. Last year I revealed in Subversion Inc. that at least $79 million in taxpayer-funded federal grants had been funneled to ACORN and affiliates since 1994.
Brown voted in favor of blocking taxpayer funding of ACORN, breaking with other so-called progressives such as Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) (The recorded vote number 275 on S.Amdt. 2355 to H.R. 3288 took place on Sept. 14, 2009.)
Other politicians, including Sen. Robert P. Casey (D-Penn.), Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-Md.), and Congressman Brad Miller (D-N.C.), also praise ACORN in the video. Political strategist and CNN commentator Paul Begala appears in the video, speaking at length. Congressmen Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) make silent cameo appearances in the video.
Although ACORN Inc., the shell corporation that controlled the entire ACORN network, filed for bankruptcy on Election Day 2010, ACORN lives on in the form of more than two dozen separate organizations that share the same radical, anti-American objectives.
Its fraud-prone get-out-the-vote unit, Project Vote, remains in business. President Obama worked for Project Vote in Chicago in 1992, and he subsequently lectured and trained ACORN operatives.
At least 54 individuals employed by or associated with ACORN have been convicted of voter fraud. Voter fraud, sometimes called electoral fraud or election fraud, is a blanket term used by lawyers that encompasses a host of election-related improprieties including fraudulent voting, double-voting, voter registration fraud, perjury, forgery, counterfeiting, impersonation, intimidation, and identity fraud.
ACORN itself was convicted of a kind of voter fraud last year in Nevada. ACORN/Project Vote senior official Amy Adele Busefink, was also convicted in the massive conspiracy.
Despite this, Busefink remains employed at Project Vote, which is involved in a get-out-the-vote drive for the approaching election. Busefink had appealed her conviction, arguing that the Nevada law forbidding cash bonuses for voter registration was unconstitutional.
On October 4 of this year, the Supreme Court of Nevada rejected her appeal, upholding both her conviction and the electoral integrity law she challenged.
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Friday, October 19, 2012

Candy Crowley’s Benghazi Lifeline to Obama

My article from the October 17, 2012, issue of Front Page Magazine:

Candy Crowley’s Benghazi Lifeline to Obama

By Matthew Vadum

In an outrage destined for the history books, the moderator of last night’s hotly contested presidential debate uttered an untruth about President Obama’s deadly bungling in Libya after Obama overtly asked her on live television to support his dishonest version of it.

It was truly unprecedented and could only have happened in the Age of Obama.

During the town hall-format debate with an audience of undecided voters, Crowley provided an assist to Obama to help him perpetuate his administration’s ongoing cover-up about the murder of four Americans –including the U.S. ambassador— at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, this past Sept. 11. Reports indicate that Ambassador Chris Stevens and other officials were provided inadequate security in a particularly hostile part of Libya.

Hours before the debate, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, sent to Lima, Peru, by Obama’s campaign to make her inaccessible, said it was her responsibility to provide security for America’s diplomatic personnel. But that was as close to a mea culpa as Clinton was willing to come.

“In the wake of an attack like this, in the fog of war, there’s always going to be confusion,” she said. That fog can be especially difficult to navigate when both the White House and Foggy Bottom are run by mendacity-loving Saul Alinsky-worshipers, but I digress.

During the debate, GOP candidate Mitt Romney stated –correctly— that “it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.” Romney’s supporters have been saying for weeks that Obama didn’t want to label the assault on the U.S. mission a terrorist attack because to do so would be an admission that the administration’s foreign policy was in flames.

After Romney’s statement, Obama interjected, “Get the transcript,” like an eager contestant asking for a lifeline on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”

At that cue, Crowley cut off Romney, claiming that Obama had in fact called the attack an “act of terror” around the time it took place. Buoyed by Crowley’s compliance, Obama boasted, “Can you say that a little louder, Candy?”

“He did call it an act of terror,” she said of the president. “It did as well take — it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea of there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You [Romney] are correct about that.”

Crowley, it should be noted, is a more polite, more personable version of Martha Raddatz, the pretended moderator who tag-teamed Paul Ryan with smilin’ Joe Biden last week. This makes Crowley more dangerous than Raddatz, who was arguably more obnoxious than outright opinionated in her conduct during the vice presidential debate.

Crowley also happens to be wrong.

In the White House’s Rose Garden on Sept. 12, Obama suggested that an anti-Islam video had provoked the attack. He then offered a throw-away line, making a general statement that “no acts of terror would shake the resolve of this great nation.” Obama said what happened in Benghazi was “a terrible act” and promised that “justice will be done.” At no time did he say the events in Benghazi were instigated by terrorists.

Over the following two weeks, the Obama administration continued to resist calling the events in Benghazi a terrorist attack. On five different Sunday morning TV talk shows, Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said the attack in that Libyan city stemmed from violent protests related to a “heinous and offensive” video.

On Sept. 25, Obama again refused to label the attack an act of terrorism during a softball appearance on TV’s “The View,” saying that an investigation was still ongoing. He said the same thing later the same day during an address at the United Nations, blaming the violence in Libya on the video and making the much-ridiculed assertion that “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

After the debate, an unapologetic Crowley jovially admitted on CNN that Romney was correct but blamed her victim, the former Massachusetts governor, for the sin of linguistic imprecision.
Well, you know, again, I’d heard the president’s speech at the time. I sort of re-read a lot of stuff about Libya because I knew we’d probably get a Libya question, so I kind of wanted to be up on it. So we knew that the president had, had said, you know, these acts of terrors [sic] won’t stand or whatever the whole quote was and I think actually, you know, because, right after that I did turn around and say but you are totally correct, that they spent two weeks telling us that this was about a tape and that there was a, you know, this riot right outside the Benghazi consulate, which there wasn’t. So he was right in the main but I just think he picked the wrong word.
No, Candy, Romney didn’t pick the wrong word. The Commission on Presidential Debates picked the wrong moderator.

But the damage, which may or may not be long-lasting, is now done and the debate is finished. Just another day in the mainstream media.

Former New Hampshire governor and Romney surrogate John Sununu excoriated Crowley on the Fox News Channel. “Candy Crowley had no business doing a real-time, if you will, fact check, because she was wrong,” he said. Crowley aided President Obama who “was absolutely deliberate in his dishonesty on this issue of whether it was terrorism.”

The Obama administration’s failure to provide security in Benghazi, an act that led to the death of four Americans, is “unconscionable,” Sununu said.

Commentator Charles Krauthammer skewered Obama for being “completely at sea,” and not even trying to answer the question about consulate security. Obama acted offended at suggestions he would mislead the American people, Krauthammer said, even though he put his U.N. ambassador on television to lie to the public about what transpired in Benghazi.

Romney missed “a huge opening” to pound Obama over consulate security, Krauthammer opined. Of course if there was a genuine opportunity Romney missed, it’s because he was too busy defending himself after Crowley effectively called him a liar.

Despite the standoff on Benghazi, Romney acquitted himself well.

He repeated his winning phrase, “trickle down government,” to refer to Obama’s unshakable belief that all will be well if government continues to grow in size and scope.

He explained that it was important to bringing tax rates down because it makes it easier for small businesses to hire new employees and he hit Obama over the weak economy and skyrocketing growth in dependency on government.

“We don’t have to live like this,” Romney said.

Yesterday’s debate, which took place at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., came after the Oct. 3 presidential debate in which Romney gave Obama the thrashing of his political career. It also came after Vice President Joe Biden’s unprecedented 85 interruptions of GOP challenger Paul Ryan in the Oct. 11 vice presidential debate.

On Fox News Channel pollster Frank Luntz’s focus group of maybe 20 now-undecided voters who voted for Obama in 2008 was harshly critical of Obama.

In a moment of candor that slipped past network censors, one man said Obama’s been “bullshitting” the public. The focus group members agreed and even seemed angry at the president, blaming him for mismanaging the economy and praising Romney’s experience creating jobs in the private sector.

In a development that ought to make left-wingers’ heads explode, even the focus group on ultra-liberal MSNBC swung for Romney.

Meanwhile, Obama has been getting a steady stream of bad news lately on the polling front.
A devastating Gallup poll released yesterday showed that Romney had the support of an impressive 50 percent of likely voters compared to Obama’s 46 percent. The poll consisted of responses from a large sample, in this case of 2,723 likely voters, all interviewed after Obama was annihilated by Romney in the Oct. 3 debate in Denver.

Even the staid statisticians at Gallup acknowledge that even though “debates are rarely transformative events in presidential elections,” Obama “has lost ground with voters since the start of the month, most likely reflecting his poorly reviewed performance in the first presidential debate.”
In recent months maybe, just maybe, the polls weren’t necessarily wrong. Perhaps they reflected voter ambivalence. Americans were open to the possibility of firing Obama but they weren’t yet sold on Romney.

When the endless parade of progressive pundits argued in the last few months that Obama was such an inspirational figure that mundane issues like national security and the economy no longer mattered to voters, it turns out they were projecting, not commenting.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Joe Biden Unhinged

My article from the October 12, 2012, issue of Front Page Magazine:

Joe Biden Unhinged

By Matthew Vadum

As I observed the words and demeanor of Vice President Joe Biden all throughout last night’s debate, a line from Hamlet kept running through my mind.

“That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain,” William Shakespeare wrote. How better to sum up the most unctuous, disingenuous vice president in this writer’s lifetime?

The radical left-wing Delawarean showed the same loathsome traits that he displayed during his debate with Sarah Palin four years ago. But this time, because he wasn’t facing a woman he wasn’t walking on eggshells, terrified of offending female voters. This allowed his worst characteristics to rise to the surface, unburdened by natural inhibitions.

While his opponent, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), was relatively relaxed, Biden was everyone’s obnoxious, overbearing, opinionated relative who makes up for the weakness of his arguments by making them loudly.  As conservative comedian Brian Sack tweeted, the debate was “Too Chill Boy vs. Obnoxious Grandaddy.”

Throughout the debate Biden made no attempt to conceal his contempt for Ryan. It is hard to say if Biden showed greater disdain for his adversary than President Obama showed for Mitt Romney in the Colorado conversation last week.

Some observers, buoyed by impossibly high expectations, were destined to be disappointed unless Ryan landed a devastating knockout. Ryan did well but such a punch never came. A knockout always seemed unlikely because Biden is so well known for exaggerating, telling tall tales, and saying downright absurd things.

“The vice president knows sometimes the words don’t come out of your mouth the right way,” Ryan said.

Even though Ryan clearly seemed to be feeling the pressure, he wasn’t cowed by Biden. He taunted the vice president, noting that Biden is “under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground” after Romney pulverized Obama during the debate last week.

Ryan lamented that “hope and change” had been replaced by “attack, blame, and defame.”
“President Obama had his chance,” Ryan said. “He made his choices.”

Ryan rejected the fundamental transformation of America sought by Obama. “We will not try to replace our founding principles,” Ryan said. “We will reapply our founding principles.” Although much younger than Biden, Ryan was the only adult sitting at the table.

One thing is for sure: both Obama and Biden are hardcore haters whose self-esteem exceeds their actual abilities.

Last night the senescent Biden resented being taken on by the sometimes brash, young, handsome, genuinely brilliant lawmaker from Wisconsin.

Never before was so much pricey dental porcelain displayed on live television as the unstatesmanlike Biden, chuckled, mocked, and guffawed his way through the 90-minute encounter. His constant, obnoxious interruptions were tolerated by the moderator, left-wing journalist Martha Raddatz, who frequently challenged Ryan, demanding specifics from the challenger. Raddatz asked little of Biden.

Barely a word of truth escaped the vice president’s lips.

Biden threw the intelligence community under the bus in order to support the Obama administration’s ongoing coverup of the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. From the start the administration portrayed the assault as a spontaneous uprising sparked by anger over an anti-Islam video. For two weeks officials tried to pretend that terrorists weren’t involved.
In the debate Biden said intelligence agencies failed to do their jobs and fed the White House bad information.

The administration didn’t initially know the attack was instigated by terrorists and hadn’t received requests from officials for additional security, Biden said, lying on both counts. Evidence now establishes that the administration learned about the attack before it happened. There is also proof that the late Ambassador Chris Stevens, believing he was marked for death by terrorists, pleaded with the administration to provide additional security. Each day brings new revelations of administration malfeasance in the sorry affair.

Biden dramatically swore to find the killers. “We will track you to the gates of Hell,” he vowed.
Ryan countered that what happened in Benghazi was proof of the “unravelling” of Obama’s foreign policy of weakness and appeasement. Obama has refused to admit that the Islamic world hasn’t abandoned its hostility to the U.S. That would conflict with his messianic narrative in which diverse peoples across the planet are united and inspired by the president.

Romney’s controversial criticism of the Obama administration’s condemnation of an anti-Muslim video nobody saw and that apparently played no role in the Benghazi attack was admirable, Ryan explained.
“It’s never too early to speak up for our values,” Ryan said.

The best Biden could do was to note that left-wing journalists agreed that Romney should have kept his mouth shut. Romney’s criticism of Obama’s apology for the video was “panned by the media all around the world.”

Predictably, the Vice President made a number of characteristically ridiculous assertions.

Biden said that Syria was five times larger than Libya. As Newt Gingrich tweeted, Biden was “absurdly” and “totally” wrong. Libya, a huge North African country, is 679,362 square miles compared to Syria which is merely 71,500 square miles in size.

Biden condemned super PACs as “abominations” even though the Obama-Biden team uses them enthusiastically. Priorities USA Action super PAC unleashed the Joe Soptic ad, probably the most dishonest –and certainly the most vicious – presidential campaign ad since Lyndon Johnson’s apocalyptic “Daisy” ad in 1964 painted Barry Goldwater as a budding Dr. Strangelove.

The ad features Soptic explaining directly to the camera how his wife died after Bain Capital, the firm Romney once ran, bought the steel company he worked for and dissolved it. Soptic blames Romney for the loss of his health insurance and subsequent death of his wife.

The Soptic ad was funded by the super PAC’s donors. Among those donors are the alleged comedian Bill Maher and the Service Employees International Union.

Biden invoked class warfare too many times to count and blamed Republicans for the nation’s ballooning debt levels. He said Democrats had saved Medicare by cutting $700-odd billion from the program, a lie Ryan nailed him on. Democrats “got caught with their hands in the cookie jar,” taking the $700 billion and using it to fund Obamacare, Ryan said. If the cuts aren’t reversed Medicare patients will have a much harder time getting seen by doctors.

It wasn’t so much a debate as an argument between a mature person and a toddler.

Clint Eastwood seems to understand what a nonentity Biden is.

During his surprise appearance at the Republican convention in Florida, Eastwood seemed to share my frame of mind about the Cheshire Cat temporarily residing in the U.S. Naval Observatory.

In his extemporaneous riff before an empty chair representing the empty suit that is Barack Obama, Eastwood said, “You’re getting as bad as Biden. Of course we all know Biden is the intellect of the Democratic Party. Just kind of a grin with a body behind it.”

The more Joe Biden smiles, the more voters realize he’s not the man the media built him up to be.

Romney Surges

My article from the October 10, 2012, issue of Front Page Magazine:

Romney Surges

By Matthew Vadum

What a difference a week makes.

Before Republican candidate Mitt Romney gave President Obama a historic shellacking in the first presidential debate of the season last Wednesday, some prominent GOP operatives were reportedly close to striking the colors in the battle against Obama.

It was just a few days ago more than a few GOP-leaning pundits were claiming Republican power brokers were on the verge of abandoning Romney in order to salvage the party’s effort to capture the Senate.

But now even Obama idolator Andrew Sullivan, who previously called the president “the Democrats’ Reagan,” and wrote an article titled “Why Are Obama’s Critics So Dumb?” has fallen into a deep pit of despair.

Romney “is kicking the president’s ass,” Sullivan wrote earlier this week. New polls show that “[o]n every single issue, Obama has instantly plummeted into near-oblivion.”

Sullivan wrote that he had “never seen a candidate this late in the game, so far ahead, just throw in the towel in (sic) the way Obama did last week.” The president, he opined, has been “too arrogant to take a core campaign responsibility seriously. Too arrogant to give his supporters what they deserve.”
Sullivan is hardly alone in his bitter disillusionment.

Other signs portend electoral disaster for Barack Hussein Obama, who, incredibly, reportedly left the debate stage believing he had cleaned Romney’s clock.

For the first time, Romney has taken the lead in the much-watched Real Clear Politics poll average, scoring 48.0 percent to Obama’s 47.3 percent at press time Tuesday night.

According to Scott Rasmussen, the most accurate pollster in the 2008 race, as of yesterday Romney was ahead of Obama by 49 percent to 47 percent in the critically important 11 swing states won by President Obama four years ago and considered to be competitive in the 2012 contest.

Representing 146 of the 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory, those states are Colorado (9), Florida (29), Iowa (6), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), North Carolina (15), Ohio (18), Pennsylvania (20), Virginia (13), and Wisconsin (10).

Not surprisingly, Romney also appears to be leading in states that in recent decades have backed Republican presidential candidates. Those states, worth 172 electoral votes, are: Alaska (3), Arizona (11), Arkansas (6), Georgia (16), Idaho (4), Indiana (11), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (8), Mississippi (6), Montana (3), Nebraska (5), North Dakota (3), South Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (9), Tennessee (11), Texas (38), Utah (6), West Virginia (5), and Wyoming (3).

If Romney wins the 11 swing states identified by Rasmussen and the traditionally Republican states, this brings the former Massachusetts governor’s Electoral College total to 318 votes and he will be sworn in as the 45th president of these United States on January 20.

Of course a lot could happen between today and Election Day but it’s safe to say that with the debate last week Obama’s media-created aura of invincibility evaporated.

The voters’ overwhelming belief that the country is on the wrong track, coupled with the president’s mediocre approval ratings, have long suggested that the American electorate has been open to the possibility of new national leadership.

But it took a televised 90-minute debate to sell voters on Romney — assuming that is indeed what is underway in the nation.

Meanwhile, the Obama campaign keeps “losing” the news cycle.

Every day brings new revelations of official incompetence in connection with last month’s attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. There is credible evidence that the Obama campaign has been illegally accepting contributions from abroad. (Only donations from U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents are allowed.) Reports indicate that the Obama campaign is engaged in an eleventh hour campaign management shakeup.

Across America there is anecdotal evidence that Obama supporters believe their candidate is losing as Romney-Ryan bumper stickers and yard signs are defaced. The bettors at the Intrade predictions website put Romney’s likelihood of unseating Obama at 38 percent last night, dramatically up from 21 percent before the debate.

The bad news for Obama goes on and on and on.

All the president’s campaign can do is strike out at straw men and fictional characters, hoping to distract the public from Obama’s failed policies.

In August we heard endlessly about the Republicans’ “war on women” and how expensive birth control supposedly was. In September we heard endlessly about the Romney “47 percent” video, which, even though it showed the candidate matter-of-factly discussing strategy, was twisted into supposed proof that the Republican candidate was an unfeeling monster.

Now in October, it’s Big Bird. Over and over and over again.

In the debate Romney slammed useless government spending on public broadcasting.  He said “I love Big Bird,” referring to the large yellow bird character from TV’s “Sesame Street” show, adding that taxpayers shouldn’t be borrowing money from China to pay for its on-screen exploits.

As Obama himself mockingly raised the Big Bird comment in speeches, his campaign started running a bizarre, politically tone-deaf TV ad, that suggested Romney’s priorities were out of wack.
In what could have passed for an ad parody on “Saturday Night Live,” the ad showed images of über-embezzler Bernie Madoff and corporate crooks.

Then in a jab at Romney a narrator says ominously, “And the evil genius who towered over them?” as Big Bird appears.

“You have to scratch your head when the president spends the last week talking about saving Big Bird,” Romney said during a campaign stop in Iowa yesterday. “I actually think we need to have a president who talks about saving the American people and saving good jobs.”

If the latest polls are to be believed, the American people are beginning to agree.

Leftists Gone Wild Against Obama

My October 5, 2012, article from Front Page Magazine:

Leftists Gone Wild Against Obama

By Matthew Vadum

Following Wednesday’s historic presidential face-off in Colorado, supporters of America’s failed president have already begun their journey through the Five Stages of Grief.

It’s a necessary part of healing.

After Republican Mitt Romney gave Barack Obama the most savage beat-down of his political career during the presidential debate in Denver, Obama-worshippers are understandably despondent. 

Incidentally, it was quite possibly the only beat-down the coddled radical who is unaccustomed to being challenged by anyone has ever experienced.

Most Obama idolators will eventually recover but those who don’t may turn on Obama. Many TV talking heads, like the ones discussed below, are already turning on Obama. That’s what happens when one’s god falls short and reveals himself to be merely human. Look at what happened to Daniel Dravot in Rudyard Kipling’s novella, The Man Who Would Be King.

People don’t like learning that their messiah is no messiah.

According to the Kübler-Ross model, there is denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Even though most Obama zealots are in the denial or anger phases they remain outwardly consistent, clinging to their religious belief that America is an irretrievably racist nation. In a sense, they believe that Obama is too good for rotten old America.

On debate night as the Left saw Obama going down in flames, MSNBC blabbermouth Ed Schultz could not accept that the great prophet of hope and change was weighted down by his record of failure and hopelessly outgunned by Romney. When in doubt, it’s about race:
“It was just very frustrating to watch a guy [i.e. Romney] lie to the American people and not be counter-punched because we’re afraid he’s going to be called an angry black man. When I see the president, I don’t see a black man. I see a president who has inherited an untenable position and turned it around to a great positive to where we are right now. He has brought it down to 8 percent unemployment without any help from the Republicans.”
Of course Obama helped to cause the massive spike in unemployment that he is now supposedly helping to ameliorate, but that’s a discussion for another day.

The same night one of the Left’s most televised pseudo-intellectuals, academic fussbudget Michael Eric Dyson, suggested that the real Obama would have skewered Romney. But the real Obama was nowhere to be seen as the president allegedly held back during the debate.
“Lest we forget this, lest we pretend that that doesn’t make a difference, the specter hanging over his neck that, ‘I can’t come off as too vigorous because then it looks like I’m being an angry black man.’ And because of the angry black man phenomenon, Mitt Romney is able to be a vigorously engaged man who’s able to play to his strength.”
Bill Maher, who gave $1 million to a pro-Obama super PAC, posted a distress call on Twitter in mid-debate, writing, “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Obama looks like he DOES need a teleprompter.”

Alas, Maher showed minutes later that, like so many other left-wingers, he too remained in denial. Although “Romney won the debate, Obama had the facts on his side,” he tweeted. It’s so sad when people who don’t grasp economics have to reckon with reality. Painful, really. They need our understanding and support.

Former Vice President Al Gore blamed the high altitude of the debate forum. On his Current TV network, Gore said that “Obama arrived in Denver at 2 p.m. today – just a few hours before the debate started. Romney did his debate prep in Denver. When you go to 5,000 feet, and you only have a few hours to adjust – I don’t know.”

Self-described “communist” Van Jones did his best to cover for his former boss. “I think he took Romney too lightly. I think he did not expect Romney to be able to throw that kind of heat,” he said. “Romney was able to ‘out-Obama’ Obama. On the connection piece, on the authenticity piece, on the being able to tell the story.”

After the debate, the logorrheic Chris Matthews skipped to the bargaining stage in which the patient argues that an approaching trauma can somehow be postponed. On MSNBC he apoplectically critiqued Obama:
“There’s a hot debate going on in this country and you know where it’s being held? Here on this network is where we’re having this debate. We have our knives out, we go after the people on the facts, what was he doing tonight?! He went in there disarmed, he was like, ‘oh wait, an hour and a half, I think I can get through this thing and I don’t even look at this guy.’ Whereas Romney — I love the split-screen — staring at Obama, addressing him like prey. He did it just right. ‘I’m coming at an incumbent. I got to beat him. You’ve got to beat the champ and I’m going to beat him tonight. And I don’t care what this guy, the moderator, whatever he thinks he is because I’m going to ignore him.’ What was Romney doing? He was winning.”
If somehow Obama fights harder, redoubles his efforts, watches and learns from the skilled debaters on MSNBC, he’ll be able to turn it around, an exasperated Matthews said. If not, he’s toast. “If he does five more of these nights, forget it,” said Matthews.

Former faux conservative Andrew Sullivan seemed unhappy as he live-tweeted the debate. “How is Obama’s closing statement so fucking sad, confused and lame? He choked. He lost. He may even have lost the election tonight.”

At 10:31 p.m. he tweeted,
“Look: you know how much I love the guy, and you know how much of a high information viewer I am, and I can see the logic of some of Obama’s meandering, weak, professorial arguments. But this was a disaster for the president for the key people he needs to reach, and his effete, wonkish lectures may have jolted a lot of independents into giving Romney a second look.”
Romney commanded the stage. “This was Romney the salesman,” Sullivan wrote. “And my gut tells me he sold a few voters on a change tonight. It’s beyond depressing. But it’s true.”

Strangely, Michael Moore seems to have the healthiest perspective of the bunch. Five weeks ago he accepted that Obama was doomed:
“I think people should start to practice the words ‘President Romney.’ To assume that the other side are just a bunch of ignoramuses who are supported by people who believe that Adam and Eve rode on dinosaurs 6,000 years ago is to completely misjudge the opposition.”
Michigan’s answer to Leni Riefenstahl (but without the cinematography skills), offered merely perfunctory criticism of the debate process on Wednesday. “Fire all debate consultants now,” he limply tweeted, giving some the impression he still cared. “This is what happens when [you] pick John Kerry as your debate coach.”

Most Jimmy Carter supporters from 1980 have reached the acceptance stage but many Al Gore supporters from 2000 have never moved on. Poor things. For many, it can be a long, painful process.

Let the healing begin.