President Obama has been averaging 33 a year. Presidents Bush averaged 41 and 36; President Reagan, 47; Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, and Ford: in the 60’s, each — all just relentlessly “shredding the Constitution,” starting with George Washington, who issued 8. It’s so ridiculous — but welcome to today’s Republican Party. (Thanks, Tony Spina, for the list of all 44. I say: Impeach ’em all!)
And while we’re impeaching, here is the Associated Press report on the findings of a two-year Republican-led investigation House Intelligence Committee investigation into the tragedy at Benghazi:
WASHINGTON (AP) — A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees.
Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, intelligence about who carried it out and why was contradictory, the report found. That led Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to inaccurately assert that the attack had evolved from a protest, when in fact there had been no protest. But it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call, the committee found. The report did not conclude that Rice or any other government official acted in bad faith or intentionally misled the American people.
The House Intelligence Committee report was released with little fanfare on the Friday before Thanksgiving week. Many of its findings echo those of six previous investigations by various congressional committees and a State Department panel. The eighth Benghazi investigation is being carried out by a House Select Committee appointed in May. . . .
We should of course wait to hear what the eighth investigation turns up — if the Republicans could vote 52 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act surely they can conduct more than just 7 or 8 investigations into the death of four brave Americans who chose to serve their nation in a dangerous part of the world. But it’s worth noting that, in voting 52 times to repeal the ACA, they ignored the deaths of 45,000 Americans estimated to have been dying each year for lack of health insurance.
So it turns out — according to Republican investigators — there was absolutely no “there” there. And Al Gore never said he invented the Internet; he did nothing wrong at the Buddhist temple; he and Tipper really were the basis of characters in Erich Segal’s Love Story . . . John Kerry was a war hero who did not shoot himself to get a medal . . . the President was not born in Africa; kills, rather than pals around with, terrorists; the “IRS scandal” was not ordered by the White House (nor even much of a scandal, really) — and the Ebola death toll among American citizens is still zero. And that just begins to scratch the surface of bogality. (Bogality: n. the condition of an accusation’s being bogus.)
I say: impeach him anyway!
CARRY THE LIGHT
Michael Albert: “Carry the Light may be a wonderful charity and do great things, but the BBB at give.org, Charity Navigator at www.charitynavigator.org, and the American Institute of Philanthropy at search.freefind.com all have not heard of an organization named “Carry the Light.” Additionally I see no evidence of the infrastructure (e.g. web site, physical office address, names of officers, financial information) that I expect for a legitimate charity. Even the web site used to contribute is generic. I can’t even tell if contributions qualify for deduction from US taxes because it’s not stated anywhere. Are they listed under a different name? Are they so small that none of the charity review organizations analyze them? I’ve been burned before when I’ve given to organizations not given a clean bill of health by these national reviewers.”
Zach Brooks: “Do they report somewhere how much of the money they raise they use for actually providing lights to people? I ask because my local Crossfit box (nice, caring people who mean the very best) asked me to contribute to Barbells for Boobs, which ostensibly provides free mammograms to people that can’t afford them. Turns out they spend twice as much on their own salaries as programs and used less than 10% of the money they raised on programs for the years I was able to find any reporting. I hate (now) that I asked my friends to send this ‘charity’ money. So, I check now before I send money and it makes me nervous when I can’t find an organization on Charity Navigator.”
☞ Excellent questions. CARRY THE LIGHT is in early days, even though it builds on years of other good work (that I was introduced to, indirectly, through the Clinton Global Initiative). It will be a while before their 501c-3 application is approved and they have numbers to report to anyone. But having put up more than $100,000 myself toward this, and knowing the details pretty intimately, I feel comfortable asking folks to give $25 – or even more – as described. The first of this round of lights should reach the recipients, in Africa, by March.
Stay tuned – and don’t give unless and until you’re fully comfortable. You’re right to ask these questions.
Steve Bloomstein: “Loved your link to CARRY THE LIGHT TO THE WORLD. One of our funnest projects was solar electrifying our remote river valley in the early 2000s, when, with the substantial support of the German Embassy in Caracas and a local solar company, we installed solar panels in most of the remote valley homes where we work, including the school and church. This fit perfectly with our programs in rural education (our students can study at night) and family planning — because as the women laughingly say here, there is no better contraception than electricity: it gives their husbands something else to do (TV, radio, playing cards etc) when it turns dark!”
Glenn Hudson: “It’s not over yet. Apparently multi-billionaire Ronald Perelman doesn’t think so either — on 9/23 and 9/24 his company bought 151,158 shares and 52,999 shares, bring their total of SIGA shares owned to 13,309,995, or approximately 25% of the company. Do you think a billionaire like Ronald Perelman is going to let SIGA go bankrupt when their small pox drug still has over $200 million in cash still due from its current BARDA award and still has the potential for hundreds of millions more? I still believe this stock will be trading in double figures within a year from now!!!”
☞ I live in hope.
Quote of the Day
On Hollywood Squares, gay comedy writer Bruce Vilanch was asked: You are the most popular fruit in America. What are you? His answer: Humble. (The correct answer? Banana.)~.
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