Between Bush and Romney, Bush is the better man.
That’s saying something all on its own, but it makes me wonder – has all this fuss about ‘apologies’ got more to do with Bush than it does with Obama? Aside from appallingly low favorability numbers for Bush when he left, is it this notion of apologizing that has the right in an uproar?
Given that Obama hasn’t done a lot of apologizing and that Bush did, is it more a matter of ‘no MORE apologies’ than ‘no apology’?
I think there are some on the right that really believed that in Bush, they had an Islamophobe like themselves, and that was one bit of muck that Bush – to his credit – didn’t want to stick to him. In Romney, is the rabid right wing hoping they’ve found their man?
In addition to the ‘apology’ claim, there’s some fussing on the right about Obama’s comments on Egypt, particularly Egypt’s status. There are attempts to paint it as a ‘gaffe’ or some other sort of mistake but I see it as anything but.
With one well thought out sentence in a Telemundo interview, where Obama stated that Egypt was not an ally but not necessarily an enemy, Obama got the new Egyptian president to take seriously what it meant to NOT be a US ally. Before the end of Rachel Maddow’s show on the 12th [6pm PST], President Morsi had cleared out the protesters from in front of the embassy. Followed up with a stern phone call, Obama got the job done. Without war or the threat of war. That’s diplomacy.
Perhaps the right is conflating diplomacy with apology, but I doubt the rest of the world sees it that way.
Shorter Question Everything
• Rep. Charlie Rangel was on MSNBC’s Jansing and Co responding to yet another Romney attack on the President, even as our country is facing attacks. “When I start listening to how ridiculous their remarks get, and Romney’s response to Iran and Libya, I think that they’re becoming a threat to our national security. We just cannot afford that type of incompetency.”
• The White House on Friday said a report stating the president failed to act on knowledge of a potential attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya was “absolutely wrong.” White House press secretary Jay Carney said there was “no actionable intelligence” ahead of the attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. “There was no intelligence that could in any way have been acted on to prevent these attacks,” he said. “The report was false.”
Right Wing Extremism
First up from the God Machine this week is a report on the Values Voter Summit, the nation’s largest annual gathering for the religious right movement, which began yesterday in D.C. Despite the truly nutty organizers and guest list, the VVS welcomed a lengthy list of notable Republican speakers, including Paul Ryan and a video address from Mitt Romney.
Of particular interest, though, was a man who calls himself Kamal Saleem. The title he gave himself is “former terrorist.”
He had all kinds of unique insights to share, but I found this one especially interesting. According to Saleem, whose real name is Khodor Shami, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is currently working with Islamic countries and the United Nations to “subjugate American people to be arrested and put to jail and their churches and synagogues shut down.” All of this, he said, will happen early next year — March, at the latest.
Values Voter Summit attendees, instead of turning to one another and asking, “What on earth is this strange man talking about?” actually cheered Saleem’s bizarre conspiracy theories.
As Rachel noted on the show last night, this is the same right-wing activist who says President Obama is secretly praying Islamic prayers when it looks like he’s pledging allegiance to the American flag; insists Americans will be “wearing rag heads” is immigration reform is approved; and argues that the Roe v. Wade precedent leads to “Sharia law.”
Right Wing Watch added, “We have been covering the absurd, bizarre and paranoid rantings of phony ex-terrorist Kamal Saleem as he emerged on the Religious Right scene, and today he had his biggest platform yet at the Values Voter Summit, where he was preceded by Ohio congressman Jim Jordan and a video message by Mitt Romney.”
Joining this fake former terrorist on the guest list is the Republican presidential nominee, the Republican vice presidential nominee, two sitting Republican governors, two sitting Republican U.S. senators, and six sitting Republican U.S. House members, including the House Majority Leader.
I hope I’m not the only one who finds this rather disconcerting.
• Steve Klein’s anti-Muslim crusade: This is exactly what Klein has been hoping for. The Vietnam veteran, who says Muslims have “no choice but to hunt Jews and Christians down, torture us and murder us,” has been pushing Coptic Christians to join his anti-Muslim crusade for years. A hard-line Christian nationalist who conducts paramilitary trainings with Christian groups across the country, he believes that Copts have a divine destiny to “save” America from the twin evils of secularism and Islam.
• Sarah Palin Claims Innocence of Muslims Video Doesn’t Really Exist: The problem for Palin is that the video does exist. It isn’t a phantom video at all. In fact,
you can watch it right here [link removed]. Of course, the video can’t exist because it appears that the people behind the video are extremist right wing Christians, just like Palin herself. This little bit of information has to be overlooked by Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, and Fox News, because how can they blame Obama for this when part of their own base was responsible for the video?
• The man behind the incendiary film, Innocence of Muslims, has a criminal record that includes a narcotics conviction. According to a source close to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was arrested by the L.A. Country Sheriff’s Department on March 27, 1997 and charged with intent to manufacture methamphetamine. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Nov. 3, 1997 to one year in county jail and three years probation. The D.A.’s office said he violated probation on April 8, 2002, and was re-sentenced to another year in county jail.
• Top birther Corsi cooks up another childish claim – that Obama is gay. Now, there’s nothing at all wrong with being gay, of course, but the rationale – such as it is – for this claim is even more idiotic than the birther claim. These people. Ugh.
Wrong Way Romney
• “I think the challenge that I’ll have in the debate is that the president tends to, how shall I say it, to say things that aren’t true,” Romney said. In the same interview with George Stephanopoulos, Romney defined middle income as $200,000 to $250,000 a year and less.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Is $100,000 middle income?
MITT ROMNEY: No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less
• Mitt doesn’t realize that the median income is actually less than Rafalca’s yearly tax break
• The Top Five Reasons Why Mitt Romney Won’t Release More Tax Returns
• Mitt Romney has never been very specific about what he would do as president to “fix” things. He just says he’d fix this and he’d fix that. The “how” is vague. Instead of specifics, we get emotion: God. Apparently, Romney will fix America’s problems by not taking “God out of the public square.” That’s what he’s telling folks in Virginia.
• Mitt Romney’s campaign told a leading anti-pornography group that the Republican nominee will pursue and prosecute pornography if elected president.
• GOP kills welfare to work requirements: Workforce Investment Improvement Act — would allow states to lump moneys from state-federal employment and training programs, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, into a single fund. But by doing so, it could essentially nullify federal eligibility requirements for those programs, according to the Congressional Research Service, the nonpartisan analysis arm of Congress which reviewed the bill.
• A Wisconsin judge on Friday struck down nearly all of the state law championed by Gov. Scott Walker that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most public workers. Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled that the law violates both the state and U.S. Constitution and is null and void.
• Two F-16 fighter aircraft intercepted a civilian aircraft that flew into a temporarily restricted area about 12:30 p.m. Thursday near Denver, Colorado, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said. President Barack Obama was in the Denver area on Thursday, and flight areas are generally restricted in areas when he visits.
• The cauldron of Israeli politics has been swirling of late with the notion that Defense Minister Ehud Barak has put his chips (both for the future and with respect to Iran) on Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu has put his on Mitt Romney. And as the Prime Minister increasingly works to unseat President Obama, opposition leaders have started to ask who Bibi is more intent on ousting, Ahmadinejad or Obama? Now comes word that Netanyahu will give an exclusive interview this weekend to Meet The Press, which gives you your answer. Netanyahu is tripling down on a Romney presidency and will do whatever he can to make it happen.
• The United States and more than two dozen allies are gearing up for the largest naval exercise ever in the Middle East focused on countering the threat of anti-ship mines. A wary Iran says it will be watching closely.
• On Sean Hannity’s show last night, Hannity tried to pretend he knew a little something about foreign policy, and Sen. John McCain, R.-Ariz., set him straight. “It was you and people on Fox that said in Libya, ‘We didn’t know who they were and let’s not help these people,’” McCain said. “They had an election and they elected moderates. They rejected Islamists. And yes, there are al-Qaida factors and there are extremists in Libya today, but the Libyan people are friends of ours, and they support us, and they support democracy. So you were wrong about — so you were wrong about Libya.”