Quotes of the day

posted at 8:31 pm on June 7, 2014 by Allahpundit

House Republicans will investigate President Barack Obama’s deal to exchange five Taliban prisoners for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan promised Virginia GOP members on the eve of their state convention Friday.

“I’m part of the IRS investigation,” Ryan said at an after-dinner speech, reports Politico. “We’ve got the Benghazi investigation, the Veterans Affairs investigation, and we’re going to do an investigation about this troop transfer with the Taliban. So we’ve got a lot on our plate.”

***

No one buys the White House line on this, not even the Senate. The White House says they had to do this illegal thing – skipping the obligation to inform the Senate a month ago – because the terrorists said they’d kill the hostage. That’s not a description of a post-war prisoner swap at all. It’s one or the other. Americans aren’t angry about this deal because of the way the Afghan war is ending – they are angry because they see a president willing to illegally circumvent Congress to release five bad guys and put lives at risk in an attempt to keep a campaign promise. Even Democrats in the Senate agree. Talk about a messaging breakdown.

***

Rice hadn’t just fueled suspicions that the White House had oversold the Bergdahl deal — she had once again made herself part of the story and rekindled smoldering embers of resentment over her Benghazi role. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of Rice’s main antagonists during the Benghazi furor last fall, has now called for her resignation, saying “I can’t believe anything she tells me.”

The media has been quick to amplify the criticism. On Wednesday, FOX News White House reporter Ed Henry described a new “credibility problem for the Administration, in which Susan Rice was again pushing a false narrative.” On MSNBC’s Morning Joe the same day, co-host Mika Brzezinski marveled, “Why would Susan Rice be sent out, Susan Rice, be sent out repeatedly to say he served honorably and really push that as one the fundamental reasons behind this swap?” And with typical nuance, FOX’s Bill O’Reilly declared Rice “a moron.”

***

The former administration official said the uproar over Rice is due in part to the politicization of senior posts in government like the national security advisor that were traditionally minimally political.

“What that results in is you now have a national security advisor going on shows carrying the president’s political water,” the ex-official said. “That’s fraught with peril because usually national security officials will get a lot of latitude on national security matters but when they start to politicize it all bets are off and you open yourself up to a lot of criticism.”

***

[T]he White House’s political chops in this fiasco look about as sharp as Dom DeLuise’s forehead. That’s kind of weird when you consider that his foreign-policy shop is largely run by political hacks — as Kim Strassel notes in her excellent column from yesterday. “Obama’s Kissingers,” as Strassel calls them, should be better at the politics than the foreign policy, given their resumes. But it turns out they stink at both. When you run foreign policy like a domestic political operation, it turns out that both the policy and the politics can blow up on you. I think this is because over the long haul foreign policy doesn’t work like domestic politics. You can have the best political hacks in the world, but if you give them a job they’re not suited for, it will actually make things worse. If you want to see what I mean, ask your mechanic to do your prostate surgery…

This White House went a different way. They sent Susan Rice — Susan Rice! — out on the Sunday shows to beclown herself again. This woman was going to be secretary of state until she went out on the Sunday shows and read Ben Rhodes’s talking points verbatim. Apparently that’s sort of her thing. She reads what the hacks above — or below — give her. It’s like she’s the Ron Burgundy of foreign policy. But you’d think this time around she’d go over with her staff exactly what they know — and don’t know. You’d think she’d be like Roy Scheider in Jaws 2 telling the town council, “As God is my witness, I’m not going through that Hell again.” Instead she’s like Mikey from the Life cereal commercials and the White House political hacks are like the other kids. “Give these talking points to Susie, she’ll say anything.”

And now, to cover their mistakes, these guys are complaining anonymously to Chuck Todd that Bergdahl is being “swiftboated” by his former comrades. My friend Iowahawk called this one perfectly. Seriously, what’s the point of putting the hacks in charge if they can’t even hack right?

***

In fact, while the Taliban stuck to its demands (freedom for the Taliban Five), the Obama administration abandoned all of its preconditions. Originally, the State Department said it would only talk to the Taliban on three conditions: if it laid down its arms, agreed to abide by the Afghan constitution, and renounced al Qaeda. The Taliban repeatedly and openly rejected these demands, and so the State Department abandoned them. As the New York Times reported, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “first signaled the opening for talks by recasting the administration’s longstanding preconditions” as “necessary outcomes” in 2011.

Three years later, the Taliban has still shown no willingness to agree to any of these three preconditions-turned-outcomes. And releasing the Taliban Five will not help matters…

It is easy to see why the Taliban is confident in its ability to negotiate with Washington. The group secured the release of prominent leaders in U.S. custody under the terms it demanded. There is no good reason for Americans to be similarly confident in the Obama administration’s ability to negotiate with the Taliban.

***

Thursday on Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File” Sen Marco Rubio (R-FL) told host Megyn Kelly that if the story Fox News’ James Rosen broke today that U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had converted to Islam during his captivity and even declared himself a warrior for Islam, he was directly lied to by the White House.

Rubio said, “Let me say the substance of this report that you reported, I’ve asked questions that are specifically on point and the answers I got directly contradict or dispute what you have been reporting this evening. So clearly, if this happens to be true, we’ve got a serious problem with the Administration that’s misleading members of congress because the question i asked was on point with what you’re reporting here tonight.”…

***

Some Democrats are already unhappy. “It comes to us with some surprise and dismay that the transfers went ahead with no consultation, totally not following law,” Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday.

Then, after a Wednesday briefing in which the administration tried to sell lawmakers on the wisdom of the deal, other Democrats emerged with doubts undiminished. “That did not sell me at all,” said Sen. Joe Manchin. “I still have concerns,” said Sen. Mark Pryor. And Sen. Mark Begich — like Pryor facing a tough re-election battle this year — said some of his concerns had been allayed, but “there are still some questions.”…

Having relied on the U.S. obligation to take care of its troops as an explanation for the Bergdahl case, Democrats might have a difficult time falling in line the next time if there’s no American to be saved.

***

According to multiple reliable sources, on Air Force One during President Barack Obama’s recent Asia trip, he spent some time talking with his traveling press corps about his approach to foreign policy. He was defensive and, by one account, “fuming.” He felt that the criticism of his approach was unfair. He had clear ideas about how to manage America’s global interests. In his own words, they centered on a single concept: “Don’t do stupid shit.”

Announcing the red line in Syria? Definitely stupid shit; he didn’t have to say anything and shouldn’t have if he didn’t mean to follow through. Letting it be crossed 12 times before acting? Stupid shit. Announcing a plan to take moderate action and then withdrawing it afterward? Also stupid. Announcing support for Syrian moderates and not giving it in a timely or adequate fashion? Same. Entering Libya without a long-term plan and letting it fall into chaos immediately after the U.S. departure? Given all we know from every other intervention the United States has ever been involved with overseas, ditto. Overly focusing on core al Qaeda as terrorist franchises spread around the world as never before? More of same, mainly because it involved willful self-delusion and valuing a political message over the ground truth. Being so indecisive on Egypt that the United States had two policies at once — one in the State Department and one in the White House? Appointing ambassadors without the credentials to do the job only because they donated money? Taunting Russian President Vladimir Putin into action with laughable sanctions? Yes, yes, yes. In each case, not only should we have known better, but there were actually people in the administration who did know better and were ignored.

***

What happens when the world’s greatest spin doctor commits malpractice — on himself?…

From the Veterans Administration scandal to the jaw-dropping events surrounding the swap of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the man with the most remarkable intuitive grasp of how to preserve and enhance his own image the world has ever seen has now tarnished it almost beyond recognition…

You can only spin for so long before you start spinning yourself. Spin and spin and spin and soon you have a whirlwind to reap.

***

Debate all you want over what motivated the White House to do the Bergdahl swap. What’s beyond debate is that politics drove its rollout, and that there was nobody with enough seriousness or clout in the White House to stop it.

It was a political desire to sweep the Veterans Administration scandal off the front pages that put President Obama in the Rose Garden with Sgt. Bergdahl’s parents—when Secretary of State John Kerry, or even a press release, would have given distance. It was a political desire to claim a foreign-policy victory that saw Ms. Rice again peddling a phony story, this time about how Sgt. Bergdahl had served with “honor and distinction”—when senior officials had to know that was questionable. Who failed to warn the president that Sgt. Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers would surely speak out? Who failed to walk him through the ABCs of the statute he signed requiring Congressional notification, or warn him of the bipartisan fury his cold shoulder would inspire?

Most remarkable is that despite the endless loop of foreign-policy fiascoes, this White House seems oblivious of the need for institutional change. It has had its share of experienced hands ( Bob Gates, Leon Panetta ) come and go, but shows no evidence it learned from them. In Obama world, there is only politics. And so the world will continue to burn.

***

***

Beckel said that the White House had to have known some of the information about how Bergdahl was a deserter and found it “so incomprehensible” that the White House held the “tone-deaf” Rose Garden ceremony with all this knowledge. He surmised they have to have “smoked a bunch of dope” to actually think this all would be a good idea.

Greg Gutfeld, however, found it amusing Beckel was so shocked at how “such a competent White House” could get stuck up in all this, but Beckel said this just “adds to their incompetence.”



Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 4 5 6

http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/06/05/psychologist-worries-irrational-erratic-behavior-may-seriously-indicate-obama-is-not-sane-123361

workingclass artist on June 8, 2014 at 7:49 AM

I mentioned that yesterday. The poor woman is going to be audited.

crankyoldlady on June 8, 2014 at 7:51 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WZW4groJro&feature=kp

workingclass artist on June 8, 2014 at 6:59 AM

That made me unhappy as few things can.

Axe on June 8, 2014 at 7:53 AM

AZCoyote on June 8, 2014 at 7:34 AM

.
I was unaware of that question from a reporter, and Obama’s subsequent response.
That’s kind of a big “WOW” moment.
.
Absolutely excellent quote from Barry Goldwater. Thanks for posting that.

listens2glenn on June 8, 2014 at 7:51 AM

Agreed.

Hitler created his own state religion re-wrote German cultural history…as did Mussolini…and created his own moral code and shoved it down the throats of the citizenry.

Mao repeated the strategy during the cultural revolution…with kids brainwashed to turn in their own parents etc. as enemies of the state to be re-educated…

Ongoing in NK where loyalty to the supreme “Father Figure” undermines family unit cohesion.

workingclass artist on June 8, 2014 at 7:56 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WZW4groJro&feature=kp

workingclass artist on June 8, 2014 at 6:59 AM

That made me unhappy as few things can.

Axe on June 8, 2014 at 7:53 AM

I couldn’t resist…

*snicker*

Have another cup of Joe…maybe some pie with it?

Good Mornin’ Axe…from Texas.

workingclass artist on June 8, 2014 at 7:58 AM

http://observers.france24.com/content/20140404-central-america-children-border-arizona

workingclass artist on June 8, 2014 at 7:45 AM

.
This is a valid grounds/basis (as far as I’m concerned) for the U.S. to invade Mexico.

It’s also a valid argument against hedonistic/pleasure/recreational drug USERS, here in the U.S.

HEY, ALL YOU RECREATIONAL DRUG HEDONISTS ! . . . . . Look at what your “EVIL HABIT” dollars are doing, south-of-the-border.

listens2glenn on June 8, 2014 at 8:13 AM

Good Mornin’ Axe…from Texas.

workingclass artist on June 8, 2014 at 7:58 AM

G’ morning. :)

It wasn’t the intro, anyway. I actually own that toy, a three-foot Eagle spaceship. And it occurred to me that I’d never seen the show. So I skipped over to the first episode and started watching.

. . . took about thirty seconds and deepened over three minutes. The unhappiness. But then I thought, “dude, its not a requirement,” turned it off, and made a chicken sandwich.

I’m slowly recovering.

Pie would be good. :)

This comment seems unusually and not entirely appropriately detailed so I’ll stop here.

Axe on June 8, 2014 at 8:17 AM

If the feds don’t secure the border then the states should. Why aren’t they? They have shown no interest in doing so and that disturbs me.

crankyoldlady on June 8, 2014 at 8:17 AM

G’ morning. :)

It wasn’t the intro, anyway. I actually own that toy, a three-foot Eagle spaceship. And it occurred to me that I’d never seen the show. So I skipped over to the first episode and started watching.

. . . took about thirty seconds and deepened over three minutes. The unhappiness. But then I thought, “dude, its not a requirement,” turned it off, and made a chicken sandwich.

I’m slowly recovering.

Pie would be good. :)

This comment seems unusually and not entirely appropriately detailed so I’ll stop here.

Axe on June 8, 2014 at 8:17 AM

Pie is always good.

I sympathize…This was the British answer to the void of sci-fi TV/Film dominated by Trek and 2001. I mean Dr. Who is a whole nother animal…

Hard to believe but Star Wars happened just a couple years later and then there’s Alien…which juiced the genre.

Alien (Ridely Scott) is when the Brits began to make a real and imaginative foothold in the genre…imho…

The Original Alien series is superb…imho

workingclass artist on June 8, 2014 at 8:29 AM

If the feds don’t secure the border then the states should. Why aren’t they? They have shown no interest in doing so and that disturbs me.

crankyoldlady on June 8, 2014 at 8:17 AM

Because being sued in Federal Court by your own government is lengthy and expensive?

Many states do what they can…but the Constitution clearly makes this a federal responsibility.

Texas has been battling the federales over the Border since W was in office…W was poaching our best Texas trained agents and sending them to other states.

The problem is that Obama is exploiting the situation…for political reasons because the democrats are losing the ideological ground based on the deplorable results of their stupid policies and incompetence.

In short…They are loading up the voting polls cause it’s all they got.

workingclass artist on June 8, 2014 at 8:36 AM

If the feds don’t secure the border then the states should. Why aren’t they? They have shown no interest in doing so and that disturbs me.

crankyoldlady on June 8, 2014 at 8:17 AM

Another problemo is this…

Ever wonder why Texans aren’t at the table when discussing Border Security issues?

The longest stretch of our Southern Border is along Texas and the Rio Grande River.

A fence/wall only works strategically in some areas….because Geography…Treaties…and Congressional Legislation which protects the Rio Grande as a historic river (Like the Mississippi)

Gov. Perry said recently that any serious border security program would likely involve a 21st century Monroe Doctrine applied to our southern neighbors and extending our security to Mexico’s Guatemala border.

That is the coming reality…And Americans need to wake up to it.

workingclass artist on June 8, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Blessed Sabbath, Patriots! And, Trolls.

Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.

– Ronald Reagan

My take: The War Against Christianity: “Having Done All, to Stand”

kingsjester on June 8, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Gov. Perry said recently that any serious border security program would likely involve a 21st century Monroe Doctrine applied to our southern neighbors and extending our security to Mexico’s Guatemala border.

That is the coming reality…And Americans need to wake up to it.

workingclass artist on June 8, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Excuses. I won’t vote for anybody who doesn’t follow the laws.

crankyoldlady on June 8, 2014 at 9:11 AM

http://observers.france24.com/content/20140404-central-america-children-border-arizona

workingclass artist on June 8, 2014 at 7:45 AM

My perennials and rose bushes are being decimated, eaten to the ground, by the rabbits this year, so I decided to set out a trap and relocate a few of the varmints. This morning, I caught a little baby bunny. I couldn’t help myself. I let it go. I told hubby what I did and he said, you should go down and work at the border. Doh!

They are sending children for a reason.

Fallon on June 8, 2014 at 9:57 AM

extending our security to Mexico’s Guatemala border.

That is the coming reality…And Americans need to wake up to it.

workingclass artist on June 8, 2014 at 8:43 AM

We’ve already given Mexico billions of dollars to strengthen their southern border.

And undoubtedly, every dollar of our money was used for the purposes for which it was given, because we all know how reliable and trustworthy the Mexicans are. LOL.

AZCoyote on June 8, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Fallon, I have two words — rabbit stew.

Tinker on June 8, 2014 at 12:09 PM

“I want to get off this planet and into space as fast as humanly possible.”

ajacksonian on June 8, 2014 at 4:57 AM

yet another nice bit…ty
I hope your very young…
I went to draw for TRW in 1981.. I was 21..
biax drives and cable wraps for satellites. (TDRESS,SLSAT,LSAT)
so I have been designing space bits for
as long as some of you are old…
my last bits went on the MSL Rover.. Curiosity
Oscar and you sound like a Jules Vern novel..
wonderful plans…now try and pull it off..
its one thing to say I want to go to the moon
and harvest a million pounds of green cheese..
its a whole different time schedule and cost amount to
invent, design, test , a vehicle to do it..
were talking Trillions of dollars..
(MSL was just over 3 Billion dollars)
so.. if your young… as in very young…
you might last long enough to see the start of your dream..
it really hasn’t moved at a faster pace in my 30+ years at it..
we are struggling now for a rocket and a vehicle
just to get off this rock..
sorry for the glum report..

going2mars on June 8, 2014 at 1:53 PM

“Gases are captured to be sorted and used for what they do best, and water vapor and oxygen means not having to drag that stuff up out of a steep gravity well.”

yes, sounds nice, and they are working on it..
but no mass system currently exists to separate Oxygen on a scale
large enough to support a base…
remember Mars is 95.3% carbon dioxide
2.7% nitrogen
1.6% argon..
here are links on the gases separator topic..

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20040161229.pdf

http://isru.nasa.gov/CarbonDioxideOxygen.html

http://www.google.com/patents/US7815713

going2mars on June 8, 2014 at 2:50 PM

http://observers.france24.com/content/20140404-central-america-children-border-arizona

workingclass artist on June 8, 2014 at 7:45 AM

My perennials and rose bushes are being decimated, eaten to the ground, by the rabbits this year, so I decided to set out a trap and relocate a few of the varmints. This morning, I caught a little baby bunny. I couldn’t help myself. I let it go. I told hubby what I did and he said, you should go down and work at the border. Doh!

They are sending children for a reason.

Fallon on June 8, 2014 at 9:57 AM

Likely…

workingclass artist on June 8, 2014 at 4:00 PM

I posted this on another thread, but I find it interesting that all the talk about increasing the minimum wage to $15 or higher at the same time as the invasion from our southern border. Raise the minimum wage and required benefits to a place where businesses won’t hire new people that are citizens and replace them with workers they can pay under the table for much less. It seems a little TOO convenient.

Tinker on June 8, 2014 at 4:03 PM

If you colonized the moon everything you use, eat and drink would have to be shipped in. If the shipments didn’t come, how long would you last without water.

crankyoldlady on June 8, 2014 at 4:44 PM

crankyoldlady on June 8, 2014 at 4:44 PM

afternoon COL..
they will recycle, filter, and reuse all fluids and O2…
foods isn’t currently looked at as a reusable…thank god..
so space farms are the talk now

http://www.space.com/25478-astronauts-space-lettuce-nasa-veggie-farm.html

the good part of doing the moon first is its close..
you could restock in a day or two..
you can prove and improve the methods used closer to home.
(if you used the rockets that launched the New Horizons Pluto mission, just over 8 hours)

http://www.universetoday.com/13562/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-to-the-moon/

I know groups are looking into ‘air drops’ also for supplies..

going2mars on June 8, 2014 at 5:11 PM

it didn’t like the Popular Mechanics link…. shrugs..?? sorry

going2mars on June 8, 2014 at 5:34 PM

I know groups are looking into ‘air drops’ also for supplies..

going2mars on June 8, 2014 at 5:11 PM

It’s fun to speculate about.

crankyoldlady on June 8, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Comment pages: 1 4 5 6