Mitt Uses 9/11 As Excuse for Not Stating Afghan Policy

You’d think that a speech to the National Guard Association on 9/11 would  be the perfect occasion for Mitt to tell us what he’d do in Afghanistan.

But instead, Mitt said he wasn’t going to tell us because it was 9/11 — “I would normally speak to a gathering like this about the differences between my and my opponent’s plans for military and for our national security.  There is a time and place for that, but this day is not that.”

Mitt has consistently criticized President Obama on Afghanistan without telling us what he’d do differently.  He can play the 9/11 card to avoid the issue today, but how does he think he’s going to get through three debates without having to put up or shut up about the President and Afghanistan?

What a pathetic little soggy Mitten he is.

Mitt is kind of stuck here.  If he moves explicitly to Obama’s right and says he intends to stay beyond 2014, he takes a very unpopular position and doesn’t position himself to pick up moderate/swing voters.  Americans want to get out of Afghanistan even sooner, like yesterday.  But he can’t move to Obama’s left and say he’d leave Afghanistan faster because then the hawks in the GOP would freak.  He’d have McCain and Bolton and Liz Cheney and Butters (Lindsey Graham) pecking at him every night on Fox.  Jon Huntsman wanted to get out of Afghanistan sooner than Obama, and we all saw how well he did in the primaries.

Quote of the Day

“The world tells Israel wait, there is still time.  And I say, wait for what?  Wait until when?  Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

One of the things we should remember today is that neither the Clinton Administration nor the early Bush Administration took Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda seriously enough.  The saddest thing about 9/11 is that it could have and should have been prevented.

Another Bad Guy Gone

On the eve of the 11th anniversary of 9/11, the President isn’t just out there making patriotic speeches, he’s making us safer, protecting us from another day of horror.

The Defense Ministry in Yemen is reporting that Al Qaeda’s No. #2 leader there, Saeed al-Shihri, has been killed in a drone strike.  This is a major blow to the terrorists because Yemen is now Al Qaeda’s most significant hub.

As Joe Biden would say, this is a BFD.

We have an excellent commander in chief — we need to keep him.

You Can’t Get Much Sicker Than This

At the Republican Conference meeting following the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision, Mike Pence (R-IN) compared the decision to 9/11.

That kind of says it all about the GOP and where their heads are right now.

Since Keith is off the air, I will take it upon myself to name Mike Pence “today’s worst person in the world.”

Does Obama Envy Hollande?

When President Obama met with French President Francois Hollande, and Hollande stuck to his guns about withdrawing from Afghanistan at the end of this year, I wonder if at some point, Obama said, “I wish we could too.”  He had to at least been thinking it.

The Americans who give their lives or get wounded in Afghanistan between now and the end of 2014 are engaged in an exercise in futility.  The President knows this, and it has to eat at him.  The only worthwhile missions are drone strikes and special forces raids in places like Pakistan and Yemen and Somalia, wherever Al Qaeda is still active.

After 9/11, the GOP faulted Bill Clinton for dealing with terrorism as a law enforcement issue.  But we’ve gone too far in the other direction of treating it as a nation-building issue, requiring an enormous footprint.  The proper approach is to treat it as an intelligence/special ops issue.

How Can We Call Pakistan an Ally?

Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA locate bin Laden before the raid that killed him, has been convicted of high treason and sentenced to a 33-year prison term!

If Pakistan were our ally and wanted to help us find bin Laden wouldn’t this guy have gotten a medal and a parade?  Of course, if Pakistan were our ally, bin Laden wouldn’t have been able to live for years in one of their military bastions.

This is the “ally” who has kept our supply routes into Afghanistan closed for the last six months and has been demanding a formal apology (as opposed to the expression of regret they’ve received) for the accidental death of some Pakistani border troops, plus a fee of $5,000 per truck (up from $250 a truck) for using their roads.

Since 9/11, we have given Pakistan $20 billion in aid.  We need to cut our budget?  Start there.

Mitt, A Noun, A Verb, and 9/11

From “Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani Still Not Ready for Prime Time,” Dan Collins, HuPo:

Mitt Romney rolled out Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday in a bid to inoculate himself from Democratic suggestions that he is too weak to have whacked Osama bin Laden. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee and Old 9/11 visited a firehouse in lower Manhattan to mark the first anniversary of the terror chief’s death.

It was not the stuff of legends. Looking at the two men standing together, it became clear how completely the Giuliani magic had vanished. The former mayor wore a suit and looked as if he had been stuffed by a taxidermist for the occasion. Romney, in his white shirt and tie, looked positively casual and loose by comparison.

When you hit a point where you make Mitt Romney look cool, you know your day is over.

Everything seemed to be knee-deep in irony. At a time when the Romney camp was attacking President Obama for politicizing bin Laden’s demise, Mitt himself was hanging out with Rudy, who was always front and center when the Republicans needed someone — someone other than Dick Cheney — to suggest that whenever the Democrats win, so do the terrorists.

But the magic is gone — Rudy accompanied Mitt to a Greenwich Village firehouse that had taken a heavy hit in 9/11 fatalities. The terror-fighting duo brought pizza for the firefighters — a photo-0p that flopped when one of the well-cordoned-off photographers hung around long enough to get some pictures of Romney and Giuliani dumping their pizza boxes on an aide, who presumably actually took the food into the waiting blaze battlers.

Looking at the two men standing there together, you had to remember that four years ago, Rudy was for a while the front-runner for the presidential nomination, while Mitt ran back with the pack. But today Romney is the all-but-official Republican nominee. Rudy is a second-tier talking head on cable news shows who is no longer taken seriously by the media, the other Republicans, or most of the public.

Romney didn’t even give Giuliani the starring role in his day. He also visited with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who appeared to be the subject of far more intense romancing. Bloomberg has dropped hints that he might consider endorsing in the presidential race, and the Romney camp was clearly much more interested in that possibility than in trotting out Rudy Giuliani.

If things get any worse for Giuliani, the next Republican presidential nominee will stick him with carrying the pizza.

Pro-life Bombs? Really?

Now there’s an oxymoron for you.  Bombing for life.

Yesterday evening a bomb exploded at a Planned Parenthood office in Wisconsin.  The FBI is investigating.

These sick people are our own version of radical Islamic terrorists.  They are violent extremists, who don’t really care about “life,” only about imposing their ideology on the rest of us by force and intimidation.  They are no better than the bastards who took over the planes on 9/11.  They are using the same tactics the Taliban is using this very minute in Afghanistan.

I worry about threats like Iran and Al Qaeda, but I also worry about a country where your life is at risk if you go get a prescription for birth control pills.

This is a war on American women, and I’d love to do a drone strike on the nut jobs who did this.

What Part of “E Pluribus Unum” Doesn’t Mitt Understand?

As you’ve probably noticed by now, I find Mitt annoying, very annoying.

He’s done it again, telling a radio interviewer in Alabama that the South “is a bit of an away game.”

How can someone with this attitude be running for president of all the United States?  You can’t consider parts of the country “away,” we’re all one people.  They’re all home games.  If spending some time in Alabama and Mississippi is so alien to him, what’s a summit with Putin going to be like? 

There’s something too constricted and limited about his comfort zone that I believe disqualifies him from leading us.  He can’t identify with vast swathes of Americans based on how much they earn or where they live.  He doesn’t move easily in the wider world.

On December 7, 1941, no American thought Pearl Harbor was a bit of an away game.  It was felt as an attack on Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, every city and town in America.

Ok, Mitt doesn’t remember Pearl Harbor.  But he remembers 9/11 and Katrina.  After 9/11 the school children of Louisiana raised money for a new fire truck for New York City.  That truck, the Spirit of Louisiana, escorted by fire trucks in each state it passed through, at one point 100 trucks in Mississippi, arrived in New York in December 2001, after a stop at the White House.

In 2005, after Katrina, the Spirit of Louisiana went back to New Orleans, leading a convoy of 15 NYFD trucks and 400 firefighters.

Somehow, Mitt doesn’t get this, what school children get, what firefighters who don’t have law and business degrees from Harvard get.

And his use of “a bit of” reminded me so much of Poppy Bush asking for “just a splash” more coffee in a diner.  It didn’t go well for Poppy in ’92.