- Barack Obama on Benghazi: ‘If four Americans get killed, it’s not OPTIMAL’: Obama’s extraordinary response to security fiasco after Benghazi massacre– President Barack Obama, during an interview to be shown on Comedy Central, has responded to a question about his administration’s confused communication after the Benghazi attack, by saying: ‘If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.’Obama was speaking to Jon Stewart of The Daily Show for a programme to be broadcast tonight.Stewart, a liberal whose young audience is full of potential voters prized by the Obama campaign, asked the president about his handling of the aftermath of the Benghazi attack.Ambassador Chris Stevens, diplomat Sean Smith and security men and former U.S. Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were killed by terrorists on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 – an attack that the White House initially blamed on a spontaneous protest about an anti-Islam movie made in California.
Stewart asked: ‘Is part of the investigation helping the communication between these divisions? ‘Not just what happened in Benghazi, but what happened within.
‘Because I would say, even you would admit, it was not the optimal response, at least to the American people, as far as all of us being on the same page.’
Obama responded: ‘Here’s what I’ll say. If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.’
He continued: ‘We’re going to fix it. All of it. And what happens, during the course of a presidency, is that the government is a big operation and any given time something screws up.
‘And you make sure that you find out what’s broken and you fix it.
‘Whatever else I have done throughout the course of my presidency the one thing that I’ve been absolutely clear about is that America’s security comes, and the American people need to know exactly how I make decisions when it comes to war, peace, security, and protecting Americans.
‘And they will continue to get that over the next four years of my presidency.’
The word ‘optimal’ was first used by Stewart in the question. But Obama’s use of it in a sound bite that could be used to portray him as somewhat casual about the deaths, lit up conservatives on twitter after it was first reported in a White House pool report by Mike Memoli of the ‘Los AngelesTimes’.
Obama’s slip could help Mitt Romney recover from an awkward moment in the presidential debate in Long Island, New York on Tuesday when he challenged Obama over whether he had initially characterised the Benghazi attack as terrorism.
- ‘Hating Breitbart’ to open this weekend– After a protracted battle with Hollywood censors over the politically-motivated “R” rating imposed on it by ex-Democrat Senator Chris Dodd’s MPAA that delayed its release, the long-awaited documentary film, “Hating Breitbart” opens at a limited number of movie theaters this weekend. The film chronicles the life and very strange times of crusading arch-conservative activist, web journalist, and new media promoter Andrew Breitbart who died suddenly and unexpectedly this past spring at the age of 43. DC area screenings will initially take place exclusively at the Regal Cinema in Ballston Commons Mall in Arlington.Like Dinesh D’Souza’s runaway documentary hit, “2016,” the Breitbart documentary will begin its rollout in limited release, gradually opening greater numbers of theaters on successive weekends. The limited release idea, as with the D’Souza film on the background of Barack Obama, is meant to thwart the usual preplanned barrage of negative reviews typically prepared in advance by left-wing critics who have yet to actually see the film in pre-screenings. Such coordinated attacks are routinely deployed to torpedo opening weekend box office receipts of newly released conservative films.
- The Great Gaffe at Hofstra – – Krauthammer– Fight night at Hofstra. The two boxers, confined within a ring of spectators —circling, feinting, taunting, staring each other down — come several times, by my reckoning, no more than one provocation away from actual fisticuffs, of the kind that on occasion so delightfully break out in the Taiwanese parliament. Think of it: The Secret Service storming the ring, pinning Mitt Romney to the canvas as Candy Crowley administers the ten count.The actual outcome was somewhat more pedestrian. President Obama gained a narrow victory on points, as borne out by several flash polls. The margin was small, paling in comparison to Romney’s 52-point victory in the first debate.At Hofstra, Obama emerged from his previous coma to score enough jabs to outweigh Romney’s haymaker, his dazzling takedown of the Obama record when answering a disappointed 2008 Obama voter.That one answer might account for the fact that in two early flash polls Romney beat Obama on the economy by 18 points in one poll, 31 in the other. That being the overriding issue, the debate is likely to have minimal effect on the dynamics of the race.
- Obama spinning toward a loss– President Obama is losing. So says the latest Gallup poll, and so do those swelling numbers in key states like Wisconsin, Florida, Virginia and Ohio.Democrats say wait, he won the second debate. They are holding their breath, hoping polls next week will show that this week’s debate brought the herky-jerk of the campaign back full swing, with Obama back to his September lead in the swing states and poised to win. But with two weeks to go, a sudden surge in voter support for a president as unpopular as this one, in an economy this weak, is simply hard to believe. Conservatives like Karl Rove note that this late in October, no candidate with support higher than 50 percent (see Mitt Romney: Gallup) has ever gone on to lose.Perhaps Obama lost the presidency weeks ago, on Oct. 3, when he sleepwalked and scribbled through the first debate and helped make Romney a new candidate overnight. It was Obama’s night to finish Romney off; behind in the polls, even Romney likely woke up that morning thinking it was over. But Obama underestimated the task, the challenger and the electorate — all in 90 minutes. So a win this week was critical but perhaps not decisive. There is no obvious reason for Obama’s performance to reverse the course of the campaign and blunt Romney now. And though there is one final debate next week, a back-and-forth on national security and foreign policy isn’t likely to make the sale for anyone who still cannot make up his or her mind.Romney is arguing Obama has still failed to articulate a reason, plan or purpose for a second term. He is correct. But Obama has indeed, late in the game, come up with a more forceful defense of his first term, and an argument about the economy growing from the middle out instead of the top down.
- Obama on Benghazi attack: ‘When four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal’– President Obama vowed Thursday to fix any problems that contributed to the deaths of four American foreign service personnel during last month’s attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, saying that “when four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.”Obama’s comments, referring to the Sept. 11 terror attack, came during an interview with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central. The interview, first reported in a White House media pool report, airs Thursday night.Stewart asked Obama whether the investigation would address communication problems that contributed to confusion about the circumstances of the attack in Benghazi.”Because I would say, even you would admit, it was not the optimal response, at least to the American people, as far as all of us being on the same page,” Stewart said.
“Here’s what I’ll say. When four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal. We’re going to fix it. All of it,” Obama replied.
“The government is a big operation and any given time something screws up. And you make sure that you find out what’s broken and you fix it.
“Whatever else I have done throughout the course of my presidency, the one thing that I’ve been absolutely clear about is that America’s security comes first, and the American people need to know exactly how I make decisions when it comes to war, peace, security, and protecting Americans. And they will continue to get that over the next four years of my presidency.”
Since the attack, Republicans have accused the Obama administration of hiding key details such as how and why the attack started. The GOP has also questioned whether a failure to address security concerns at the consulate contributed its vulnerability.
- GOP Points to Early Vote Gains in Ohio– They got smoked in the early voting game in 2008, but this time around Republicans are closing the gap with Democrats.Most observers here expect the early vote to tilt toward President Barack Obama, as it did in 2008. The Obama campaign has worked overtime to get their supporters to vote early and successfully sued the Ohio secretary of state to keep early voting locations open through the weekend preceding Election Day.Since early and absentee voting began on October 2, more than 1.4 million Ohio voters have voted or requested an absentee ballot. Almost a third of Ohio voted early in 2008, and Democrats expect that number to be even higher in 2012.But Republicans have polished their early vote operation since 2008.
Four years ago, Democrats made up about 42% of the early and absentee vote while Republicans made up 22% — a dismal 20-point deficit that contributed to Sen. John McCain’s defeat in Ohio.
Through Wednesday, however, the margin has narrowed: Democrats account for 36% of the early and absentee vote while Republicans make up for 29%.
Republicans are outperforming their voter registration in several of the state’s biggest counties.
- LAPD probing Manson family link to 12 unsolved homicides– The Los Angeles Police Department disclosed Thursday that it has open investigations on a dozen unsolved homicides that occurred near places where the Manson family operated during its slew of murders four decades ago.The Police Department made the revelation amid a legal battle to obtain hours of audio tapes recorded in 1969 between Charles Manson follower Charles “Tex” Watson and his attorney. The LAPD has said detectives believe tapes could shed more light on the activities of Manson’s group.Watson has been fighting to limit the LAPD’s access to the tapes. This month, a federal judge in Texas granted an emergency order preventing the police from executing a search warrant at an office where the tapes are kept.
- 12 Unsolved Murders Possibly Linked to Manson– The LAPD on Thursday announced it has open investigations on a dozen unsolved homicides near known Manson Family hangouts around Los Angeles.The revelation came amid a legal battle to obtain hours of audio tape recordings between former Charles Manson follower and convicted murderer Charles “Tex” Watson and his lawyer.”We have an obligation to the families of these victims,” Cmdr. Andy Smith told NBC4. “Our detectives need to listen to these tapes. The tapes might help with solving these murders.”News of the open investigation was first reported by the Los Angeles Times Thursday and confirmed to NBC4 by LAPD officials. Smith told the Times the 12 murders they are investigating “are similar to some of the Manson killings.”
Manson and his followers shot to infamy in 1969 after the murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others at a Benedict Canyon home in the hills above Los Angeles. That rampage was followed the next night by the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in their Los Feliz home.
The unheard recordings sought by the LAPD were made more than four decades ago, after Watson’s arrest for his role in the Tate-LaBianca slayings.
- CIA found militant links a day after Libya attack– he CIA station chief in Libya reported to Washington within 24 hours of last month’s deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate that there was evidence it was carried out by militants, not a spontaneous mob upset about an American-made video ridiculing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, U.S. officials have told The Associated Press.It is unclear who, if anyone, saw the cable outside the CIA at that point and how high up in the agency the information went. The Obama administration maintained publicly for a week that the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was a result of the mobs that staged less-deadly protests across the Muslim world around the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on the U.S.Those statements have become highly charged political fodder as the presidential election approaches. A Republican-led House committee questioned State Department officials for hours about what GOP lawmakers said was lax security at the consulate, given the growth of extremist Islamic militants in North Africa.
- Obama under pressure to spell out his agenda for a second term– President Obama is taking heat from his Republican rivals and some members of his own party for being vague about his agenda for a second term.On Thursday, Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan told a crowd at a campaign event in Florida that Obama “is not telling you what his second-term plan would be.”“He’s not saying that he is offering anything new,” the Wisconsin lawmaker said during a town hall. “All he is offering is four more years of the same.”Republicans are using the critique to parry Democratic attacks against Romney’s tax-reform plan, but they aren’t the only ones questioning what Obama’s priorities would be on Day One of term two.
“What would make my heart leap is to see him offer a forward-looking speech that encompasses all the things that he’s been talking about in little bits into a big thematic package, and one, big, second-term-agenda speech,” said Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons.
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-18 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-18
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-18 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-18 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-18 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-18
- Poll shows Romney leading in blue Pennsylvania | WashingtonExaminer.com – Poll shows Romney leading in blue Pennsylvania | #tcot
- Poll Watch: Romney Takes the Lead in the Electoral College for First Time – Poll Watch: Romney Takes the Lead in the Electoral College for First Time #tcot
- Poll shows Romney leading in blue Pennsylvania– A new poll shows Republican Mitt Romney leading in Pennsylvania, a state that Republicans had all but written off just weeks ago but which is now listed as a toss up by the Real Clear Politics website.Susquehanna Polling and Research provided The Washington Examiner with a poll it conducted for state party officials that shows Romney with a 49 percent to 45 percent lead over President Obama.It’s the first poll to show Romney leading among likely voters in the Keystone State.”The polling is very clear that the race is certainly up for grabs and Republicans have a tendency to never believe it,” Susquehanna President James Lee told The Examiner.
- Must-see: Special preview of ‘Hating Breitbart’ to stream at Big Hollywood tonight | Twitchy – RT @michellemalkin Must-see: Special preview of @HatingBreitbart to stream at Big Hollywood tonight ==> #tcot
- Election 2012 Likely Voters Trial Heat: Obama vs. Romney – Gallup Presidential Tracking Poll: Romney now leading Obama 52% Vs. 45% – 7 point lead . #tcot
- Welfare spending jumps 32% in four years– Welfare spending has grown substantially over the past four years, reaching $746 billion in 2011 — or more than Social Security, basic defense spending or any other single chunk of the federal government — according to a new memo by the Congressional Research Service.The steady rise in welfare spending, which covers more than 80 programs primarily designed to help low-income Americans, got a big boost from the 2009 stimulus and has grown, albeit somewhat more slowly, in 2010 and 2011. One reason is that more people are qualifying in the weak economy, but the federal government also has broadened eligibility so that more people qualify for programs.Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, who requested the Congressional Research Service report, said it underscores a fundamental shift in welfare, moving away from a Band-Aid and toward a more permanent crutch.
- Heller leads comfortably in two new polls – The Hill’s Ballot Box – NV-Senate RT @thehill: .@DeanHeller leads comfortably in two new polls (by @cam_joseph) #tcot
- Trooth.Com – The David Nicholls DDS Interview Part Three – Flap’s Blog – – The David Nicholls DDS Interview Part Three #tcot
- The Morning Flap: October 18, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: October 18, 2012 #tcot