FORBIDDEN STORY: Yglesias sees a pattern!

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2015

Part 3—In truth, the pattern is there:
Is there any truth to President Clinton’s story?

We refer to the story he told this weekend on CNN. His story is a forbidden story, though he tells it every now and again.

According to President Clinton, a familiar pattern can be seen in the ongoing coverage of Candidate Clinton. This pattern involves the GOP and the mainstream press.

According to Clinton, here’s the scoop:

The GOP wants Candidate Clinton to be “as mangled up as possible” if she’s the nominee. Toward that end, they have promoted the alleged scandal known as emailgate.

“I have never seen so much expended on so little,” the former president said.

(For ourselves, we’ve seen more expended on less. But that’s a minor quibble.)

Does the GOP want Candidate Clinton to be “as mangled up as possible?” Of course they do! Does that help explain their focus on emails? That seems fairly obvious too.

That said, Bill Clinton said the press corps is playing a role in the pattern he described. In this passage, he told a brutal but obvious truth:
CLINTON (9/27/15): The other party doesn’t want to run against her, and if they do, they’d like her as mangled up as possible. And they know that if they leak things, say things, that that is catnip to the people who get bored talking about what’s your position on student loan relief or dealing with the shortage of mental health care or what to do with the epidemic of prescription drugs and heroin out in America, even in small towns of rural America. Or how are you going to get jobs into coal country, given how much they’ve lost in the last twenty years?

So that just happens. It always happens. We’re seeing history repeat itself.
Oof! In Bill Clinton’s telling, the press corps has run with the alleged email scandal for an unflattering reason:

According to Clinton, the mainstream press corps hates to talk about matters of substance! He said they find such discussions “boring”—boring beyond all belief!

Can Clinton’s statement really be true? Do the people at the top of our press corps really “get bored talking about what’s your position on student loan relief?”

Crackers! If you’ve watched these life forms down through the years, no statement could be more obvious! That said, the former president omitted one basic part of this story. It’s the part in which the establishment press corps has been involved in a twenty-year feud with both Clintons, a feud which spilled over into their fateful war against Candidate Gore.

For reasons which seem fairly obvious, Clinton omitted that part of the tale. For reasons which can't be excused, so have a succession of liberal journalists as they’ve refused to examine this syndrome down through the past twenty years.

Is there any merit to Bill Clinton’s tale? Is his story actually true? Are we “seeing history repeat itself” in the way he described?

Two weeks earlier, Matt Yglesias basically said the same thing! According to Yglesias, the current coverage of Candidates Clinton and Bush is very similar to the coverage of Candidates Bush and Gore back in Campaign 2000.

According to Yglesias, the tax proposal of Candidate Jeb Bush was getting soft-soap treatment in the press—almost precisely the same soft treatment George Bush’s tax proposal received all through Campaign 2000.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton was getting swamped by relentless scandal reporting. Similarly, Candidate Gore had been “mercilessly persecuted over a series of trivial exaggerations and now-forgotten pseudo-scandals” sixteen years before.

Yglesias said the current coverage echoes that of Campaign 2000. His headline asked a sensible question:

“Why is the media more interested in Hillary’s email than in Jeb’s profoundly dishonest tax pitch?”

The gent was asking a sensible question. He finished his piece like this:
YGLESIAS (9/14/15): Obviously, a person is free to believe that delivering a large tax cut to owners of corporate bonds will do more to boost social mobility than providing preschool to poor children, or that reducing the tax burden on people who inherit $10 million estates is more morally urgent than reducing global malnutrition. The point is simply that Bush is proposing a very significant financial commitment—one whose rollout to the public was fundamentally dishonest, featuring sins of both omission and commission. The details and underlying rationale of this program are worthy of at least as much scrutiny as State Department email protocols. The precedent from 15 years ago is not encouraging, but a lot has changed in the media landscape since then, so it's too early for total despair.
“The precedent from 15 years ago is not encouraging?”

Without any question, that’s true.

“A lot has changed in the media landscape since then?”

On balance, we think it’s silly to say that. But Yglesias’ overall aim was true—and at its heart, he was telling the same forbidden story Bill Clinton would later tell.

Tomorrow, we’ll return to Yglesias’ peculiar opening claim—his peculiar claim that Campaign 2000 was “the formative experience of [his] political life.”

We regard that claim as very peculiar. Tomorrow, we’ll ponder its strangeness again.

For today, we’ll merely note that Clinton and Yglesias are telling slightly different versions of the same important story. How forbidden is the story? So forbidden that Yglesias seems to have avoided telling it over the past fifteen years!

Whatever! Clinton and Yglesias are telling the same basic tale. In this widely-disappeared syndrome, the mainstream press corps keeps mangling Democratic front-runners with sets of pseudo-scandals. As they approach the Dems in these ways, they approach the policies of Republican front-runners with barrels of extremely soft soap.

Is there any truth to this story—to the story Bill Clinton told? Not if you read the New York Times, where Amy Chozick got busy, the very next day, mocking what Clinton had said.

She did so in a “news report” in Monday morning’s Times. As we read her “news report,” we thought we heard the clanking chains of The Ghost of Campaign Reports Past.

(Was that Kit Seelye we briefly saw? We thought we saw Seelye’s ghost!)

Bill Clinton’s story is loaded with merit, but it’s virtually never told. In truth, his story is a forbidden story. For the past sixteen years, members of the career liberal world have agreed that it mustn’t be told.

Do you remember when Ezra told it? He told it exactly once!

Tomorrow: The young man’s (accurate) tale

44 comments:

  1. Lena Dunham interview with HRC a competition between two smoke alarms.

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    1. Off topic as usual. Go away troll.

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    2. HRC's manic appearance with the mutant millennial is spot on topic. HRC was assured Dunham, would never ask her about her private server. That Willie believes the FBI is in cahoots with the GOP to have HRC "mangled up as possible" is pathetic. Willie s the one who is constantly contradicting his wife's talking points. Maybe he is in on the "far right" conspiracy" as well?

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    3. Crappy try to tie in by a crappy troll. Is Bozell paying you in bottlecaps?

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    4. Cicero won't rest until his side succeeds in destroying the country.

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    5. @AC/MA

      Sorry. That goal has already been fulfilled by the Obama Administration.

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    6. How many bottlecaps so far, troll?

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  2. “Why is the media more interested in Hillary’s email than in Jeb’s profoundly dishonest tax pitch?”


    Because the NY Times loves them some JEB(!). Harder questions please.

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  3. Despite all this, I will still be voting Republican.

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    1. There's still time to change your mind.

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  4. A textbook example of the media's Clinton rules from this morning's news on NPR - http://www.npr.org/2015/09/30/444660050/when-clinton-talks-about-email-controversy-shes-speaking-to-voters-and-investiga

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. NPR played a tape of Chuck Todd asking Hillary if her decision to use a private server was to make it more difficult for Congress to subpoena her e-mails or for Freedom of Information Act to be used for that purpose. She replied, "It's totally ridiculous. That never crossed my mind."

      This is not smooth lying. Nobody would believe her, not even her supporters. It's not ridiculous for someone in Hillary's position to want to avoid potential embarassment from having their e-mails made public. And, Hillary's subsequent behavior surely gave the appearance that she didn't want her e-mails to be made public.

      Even the liberal NPR took it for granted that her answer was false, and sought an explanation for her obvious falsehood.

      There are two possibilities:

      1. Hillary did something politically embarassing, or worse

      2. Hillary did nothing wrong. The scandal was ginned up by a conspiracy against her. The conspirators include not just the Right Wing, but also centrists and the Left Wing.

      Evidently Bob's choice is #2.

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    3. There is no logic to this hallucinatory vision from chuck Todd.

      In the first place, why would Secretary Clinton ever think her stupid day to day mundane trivial emails would ever be of interest to the point where they would be subpoenaed?

      Never in history has any cabinet member's routine day to day unsecured emails been subpoenaed.
      Name another cabinet member who has had their entire non-secure state.gov emails subpoenaed.

      Never happened before.

      Chuck Todd and the village idiots have concocted an imagined scenario where they have put themselves in the middle of the story. They are suspicious that they have somehow been cheated out of being able to read all of her personal emails.

      The second problem with Chuck Todd's logic is that almost email given to the Never Ending Benghazi Committee to Damage Hillary Clinton's Poll numbers, was already on the state.gov server and was given to the committee long before she printed out the hard copies and turned them in to the State Department.

      NPR has long since ceased to be a progressive voice in American politics. It was purged during the Bush W years.

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    4. How has having a private server enabled her to evade FOIA requests or subpoenas? She has provided more than she was asked for. In all the emails provided, there has been nothing embarrassing or wrong on her part. There is only a ginned up suggestion that her staff may have sent her info that was later considered classified (disputed by the State Dept) and some invasion of Huma Abedin's privacy. There is instead plenty of evidence that she has done nothing wrong. The evidence is that the emails are in the hands of those who have requested them. You cannot claim she has evaded anything when the fact that she has complied is so obvious.

      So, how then is her statement an obvious falsehood? And why would NPR's reaction be any proof she lied about anything? Terrible reasoning, David.

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    5. cicero's blowup dollSeptember 30, 2015 at 2:30 PM

      Dinky is the very last person to surmise what Hillary Clinton's supporters think or believe. Another house-of-cards collapses on the tribal Dinkster.

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    6. @2:28,

      In fact, the State Department has already said that there is no information in all the emails sent to the "Benghazi Committee Assembled to Drive Secretary Clinton's Poll Numbers Down" changes anything regarding our intelligence of what happened in Benghazi.

      And why would anyone expect it to?

      All of the classified important intelligence information she dealt with during that period was communicated through secure channels just like every other Secretary of State, and that stuff has already been turned over to Congress for the seven prior Benghazi investigations.

      That is what is so ridiculous about the bizarre village idiots "theory" - it is illogical.

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    7. "How has having a private server enabled her to evade FOIA requests or subpoenas?"

      It hasn't, of course. And only an idiot would suggest that a private server would be a potentially useful tool toward such a goal.

      Luckily there's no shortage of useful idiots in the press (and also commenting at this site... Hi, David in CA, Hi, cicero).

      There's no reason at all to imagine such a purpose, and it's quite telling that the douchebags who propound that theory are unable to take the next logical step from their own boneheaded assumption: If anyone expected -- sorry, PLANNED!!! -- to use a private server to avoid oversight, the next logical assumption is that they would most assuredly have the server data wiped. But we know for a fact that the server was not wiped for data.

      So, that's a conundrum for the "server conspiracy" crowd, yes, but then again, logical inconsistency is not something they have any problem with, amirite?

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    8. "...the next logical assumption is that they would most assuredly have the server data wiped. But we know for a fact that the server was not wiped for data."

      Hey, David in sunny California. Remember when you insisted that Secretary Clinton had her server "professionally wiped"?

      I do.

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    9. "professionally" was a mistake. But, the story that the server had been wiped came from Hillary's lawyer. E.g., Yahoo reported

      Clinton lawyer says her email server was wiped clean

      http://news.yahoo.com/clinton-lawyer-says-her-email-server-wiped-clean-192955516--election.html

      Should Hillary have been aware that e-mails could be embarassimg? I'm hardly a Presidential hopeful, but my company made me aware of the risk from e-mails made public. Even innocent e-mails could be misinterpreted and cause damage.

      BTW Mickey Kaus is a very smart political pundit and a Hillary supporter. He took it for granted that Hillary was trying to control the dissemination of her e-mails and approved of the action. His opinion is that those wascally Wepublicans were likely to abuse their Congressional power and use Hillary's e-mails for political mischief. If Hillary never gave this possibility a thought, she'd have to be dumb or naive, but she's actually smart and sophisticated.

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    10. Even a public figure like Clinton has the right to a private life. You are creeping me out by suggesting that she has to treat every communication she makes to anyone, even highly person ones, as if they might eventually become public. If she did occasionally ponder whether she would rather have a photo of her in nighties or long johns circulated on the internet, does that make her an evil person trying to avoid transparency. You make me sick!

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    11. "Should David in Cal be aware that his tribally-nonsensical and mendacious comments could be embarrassing? How would he know since his company, or his wife, or his daughter, or his son-in-law, or any of his other distance relatives ever warned him that his blathering comments could be cause for derision."

      FTFY - troll on

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    12. David,

      You tried to defend your accusation before with headlines.

      Believe it or not, but most of these headlines have been deliberately deceitful and provocative in order to put Secretary Clinton in the most negative light possible. I don't know if you've noticed. We kind of talk about it a lot here on this blog.

      The concept that the server was professionally was conjured out of thin air by the junior high school mentally challenged political press, not by Clinton's very able lawyer.

      When I asked you to defend your unfounded malicious accusation, you handed me a bunch of headlines. I asked you for sources with direct knowledge of what was done with the server, not recycled headlines of one incompetent news organization parroting another incompetent news organization.

      David Kendall never said the server was "wiped". That was the press's invention.

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    13. Last August (AP):

      In a letter sent last week to Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, attorney David Kendall said the server was transferred to the FBI on Aug. 12 by Platte River Networks, a Denver firm hired by Clinton to oversee the device. The Senate committee made Kendall's letter public on Wednesday. In exchanges with reporters earlier this week, Clinton said she was not aware if the data on her server was erased.

      Confirmation that the server was wiped clean came amid mounting confusion over how sensitive some of the Clinton emails were and how much of their contents should have been released. Clinton aides said at least two emails that might have triggered the federal inquiry were not marked secret at the time. But a Republican senator said Wednesday that U.S. inspector generals for the State Department and the intelligence community were told by some of the agency's freedom of information specialists that department lawyers released some Clinton materials to the public over their objections.

      Federal investigators, prompted by a request from the inspector general for the State Department, requested custody of the server to learn whether the data stored on it was secure. NBC News has reported that an FBI team is now examining the server. Forensics experts told The Associated Press this week that some emails and other data may still be extracted from servers even after they are supposedly expunged.

      Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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    14. Yup, mm. It's a never-ending parade of bullshit from these clowns, pretending never to have learned (hoping others don't remember) that they were called on their bullshit before.

      "But we know for a fact that the server was not wiped for data."

      Is a fact, as stated above. And as you point out, again, it is in no way in contradiction with Kendall's *actual* statement that the personal emails were all deleted.

      They thought they were deleted, because they pressed delete!!!

      Nope, those emails, some of them at least, are recoverable. Because the server was not wiped. Emails were merely "deleted."

      Again, logic -- that concept with which the trolls and determined liars seem to have no familiarity -- logic demands: If the plan was to use the private server to avoid subpoena (yes, it's a nutty plan, fit only for the rightwingnuts, who've ginned it up, but bear with me...) -- IF the plan was to use a private server to avoid subpoena, THEN the plan was to ACTUALLY WIPE the server.

      Clinton clearly had no such plan.

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    15. Anon 4:47Even a public figure like Clinton has the right to a private life. You are creeping me out by suggesting that she has to treat every communication she makes to anyone, even highly person ones, as if they might eventually become public.

      This problem was entirely caused by Hillary Clinton's decision to use her own server to conduct public business. This was one of many reasons that her decision to eschew the official government e-mail system was such a poor one.

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    16. David,

      Is it the medium or the message that is so critical and important to preserve?

      An aide to Ms. Rice said Tuesday that when she was secretary of state, Ms. Rice had a state.gov email address that she occasionally used, but not very often, and that she didn’t use a personal email address for any State Department business.
      **********

      So presumably Secretary Rice communicated the daily routine business in other ways, perhaps by phone etc.

      Are these alternative methods of communication also subject to FOIA? Were they recorded, transcribed, laminated and placed in a government file for all posterity? Presumably they should have been because she was just conducting State Department business just as Secretary Clinton was.

      As Governor Jerry Brown said - and then had his words twisted to alter his meaning -

      "The email thing, it has kind of a mystique to it," he said. "You know, an email is just an utterance in digital form. But it has some kind of dark energy that gets everybody excited […] it's almost like a vampire."

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    17. "This problem was entirely caused by Hillary Clinton's decision to use her own server to conduct public business."

      And so we return full circle to the beginning.

      What "problem" David?

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    18. His problem. He don't com-pree-hend so good.

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    19. mm -- Even liberal supporters of Hillary see problems and/or possible problems. I could reproduce a list and you could deny that they're problems. Waste of pixels to go through that again.

      One new bit of info: Hillary failed to follow White House guidance.

      White House Chief of Staff Valerie Jarrett admitted Wednesday that the White House had issued guidance to cabinet secretaries recommending they use government email for official business—guidance that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ultimately ignored.

      “Weren’t there guidelines from the White House to all cabinet secretaries to use government email?” MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell asked Jarrett at an event sponsored by the Aspen Institute.

      “Well, yes there were. Yeah, absolutely,” Jarrett said.

      “Obviously, we want to make sure we preserve all government records, so there was guidance given that government business should be done on government emails and that if you did use a private email it should be turned over,” Jarrett said.


      http://freebeacon.com/politics/valerie-jarrett-wh-issued-guidance-to-clinton-recommending-she-use-official-email/

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    20. I don't know one single liberal person who has any problem with what Clinton did. That's why her poll numbers are unchanged. (Don't bother telling us about the honesty question. That won't be on the ballot in 2016.)

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    21. and that if you did use a private email it should be turned over,” Jarrett said.

      And the email was turned over.

      That is why you are able to read thousands of more of her emails that were released by the State Department yesterday. You will learn fascinating things such as,



      >>Clinton typed the email to Abedin at 10:53 p.m. on a Sunday night in 2011, writing "I'm going to try to make calls ... but I can't get the ringer on." Abedin dutifully wrote back five minutes later to let her know that yes, she was indeed up – and "Monica will come turn ringer on." <<

      >>In a rare effusive email from Clinton, the Secretary of State showed a softer side in an email exchange with predecessor Madeleine Albright. Clinton sent an email to Albright in July of 2011 concerning her "great mtg" with the Turkish PNB chapter. "Thank you for your leadership and your friendship which mean the world to me! Happy Summer-- H." Albright responded later that day with a similarly warm message: "Welcome home and look forward to catching," she wrote in part. "Our friendship is unique. Love Madeleine."<<

      Honestly, do you consider this stuff Federal Records that have to be archived and preserved? Just wondering, cause I sure as shit don't believe it.


      ******************************************************
      a. E-mail messages are records when they meet the definition of records in the Federal Records Act. The definition states that documentary materials are Federal records when they:
      —are made or received by an agency under Federal law or in connection with public business; and
      —are preserved or are appropriate for preservation as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the Government, or because of the informational value of the data in them.
      b. The intention of this guidance is not to require the preservation of every E-mail message. Its purpose is to direct the preservation of those messages that contain information that is necessary to ensure that departmental policies, programs, and activities are adequately documented. E-mail message creators and recipients must decide whether a particular message is appropriate for preservation In making these decisions, all personnel should exercise the same judgment they use when determining whether to retain and file paper records.
      ********************************************

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  5. Republicans, incapable of governing and scared shitless of running against Secretary Clinton in 2016, cynically and callously play politics with the tragic death of an American Ambassador.

    **********************
    REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The question I think you really want to ask me is, how am I going to be different? What are you going to see differently?

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): I love how you asked my questions. But go ahead, that was one of my questions, go right ahead.

    MCCARTHY: I knew you'd want to ask it. What you're going to see is a conservative speaker, that takes a conservative Congress, that puts a strategy to fight and win. And let me give you one example. Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she's untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought and made that happen.

    HANNITY: I agree. That's something good, I give you credit for that, I give you credit for sequestration, I give you credit -- I'll give you credit where credit is due.
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    The committee’s leader, Republican Representative Trey Gowdy, has said that the committee’s report won’t be completed until (surprise, surprise) 2016, in the middle of the presidential race. In the rich history of Washington scandal mongering, we have seen few investigations more cynical and nihilistic than this one.

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    1. WASHINGTON— Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the Benghazi Select Committee, issued the following statement in response to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s admission about the Benghazi Committee’s true purpose:

      This stunning concession from Rep. McCarthy reveals the truth that Republicans never dared admit in public: the core Republican goal in establishing the Benghazi Committee was always to damage Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and never to conduct an even-handed search for the facts. It is shameful that Republicans have used this tragedy and the deaths of our fellow Americans for political gain. Republicans have blatantly abused their authority in Congress by spending more than $4.5 million in taxpayer funds to pay for a political campaign against Hillary Clinton.”

      Last night in an interview on FOX, McCarthy admitted:

      “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known that any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen.”

      114th Congress
      ******************

      Only one thing wrong with Rep. Elijah E. Cummings' statement, Republicans are incapable of shame or embarrassment.

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    2. Neither, apparently is the media. Notice all the hue and cry from McCarthy's admission? Neither did I.

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    3. Soapy and mm -- For all I know, it may be the case the primary goal of the Benghazi investigation was to hurt Hillary. But that's not what McCarthy said. Soapy quoted Rep. Cummings, who put words in McCarthy's mouth. McCarthy didn't say the purpose of the Benghazi investigation was to harm Hillary. He said it had that effect. And, he implied that it had that effect because of the way Hillary reponded in that investigation.

      When one wants to find out what some politician said, one should look at his/her words, not an interpretation offered by a political opponent.

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    4. David. You are such an insincere intellectually dishonest mendacious bastard.

      When one wants to find out what some politician is really up to, one should look at his deeds, not his spinning words.

      The Benghazi Special Committee Assembled to Drive Secretary Clinton's Poll Numbers Down, is now the longest sitting special committee in the history of Congress. Longer than Watergate, longer than Iran Contra.

      It has added not a scintilla of insight or understanding into the tragedy of Benghazi. It has devolved into an investigation of Secretary Clinton. Her daily day to day mundane routine emails have added nothing to the intelligence that they are supposed to be investigating, for the 8th time.

      There is little doubt, for instance, that Gowdy’s crew was behind the false “criminal referral” leak last summer that so badly embarrassed its enthusiastic recipients at the New York Times. The committee members spent hours (and taxpayer dollars) behind closed doors, grilling Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal not about Benghazi, a topic on which he had no personal knowledge, but about his work with Media Matters for America and American Bridge. Of approximately 550 questions posed to Blumenthal, less than two-dozen concerned the terrorist attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

      In fact, the pertinent questions that Boehner and Gowdy claimed to be exploring were already answered by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, chaired by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI, now retired). The HPSCI report concluded last November that there was no “stand-down” order, as Boehner once claimed, no intelligence failure, and no inappropriate conduct by any responsible officials before, during, or after the terrorist assault.

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    5. David,

      For this congressman to link petty political poll calculations with the solemn charge of this committee to investigate the attack resulting in the deaths of four American heroes is so fucking offensive it need not be explained. Except maybe to deliberately obtuse partisan republicans.

      Recall the famous words the RNC forced Donald Trump to recite,
      "I pledge allegiance to the Republican Party......"

      Fucking traitorous bastards.

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    6. Not only is David in Cal a blatant liar, he can't read.

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    7. Howler libs had no problem ignoring the actual words candidate Obama said about visiting 57 states and insisted he was merely saying that he "felt" as if he campaigned in that many states.

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