The changing of the Benghazi Talking Points for Political Reasons was not Political according to CIA

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 5th, 2014

Week in Review

Susan Rice said it.  Hillary Clinton said it.  And President Obama said it.  Over and over again.  The attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was due to a YouTube video that incited a spontaneous protest that resulted with an attack on the mission with assault weapons and pre-sighted mortars.  Highly improbable but that’s what they said.  Over and over again.  It wasn’t a terrorist attack.  Because President Obama killed Osama bin Laden and won the War on Terror.  The 2012 campaign slogan was Osama bin Laden is dead.  General Motors is alive.  And al Qaeda is on the ropes.  On the run.  No longer a threat to the United States.  That’s why we had to reelect President Obama.  For he sure couldn’t point to any successes when it came to the economy.

Of course beefing up security in Benghazi would have harmed that narrative.  So while the British were pulling out of Benghazi because a resurgent al Qaeda was making it too dangerous the U.S. State Department denied Ambassador Steven’s request for additional security.  Because a resurgent al Qaeda was making it very dangerous in Benghazi.  But the American people didn’t hear that.  No.  All they heard was that Osama bin Laden is dead.  General Motors is alive.  And al Qaeda is on the ropes.  On the run.  No longer a threat to the United States.  Of course the murder of four Americans in Benghazi said otherwise (see Former CIA official: No politics in Benghazi memo by DONNA CASSATA, AP, posted 4/2/2014 on Yahoo! News).

The CIA’s former deputy director said Wednesday he deleted references to terrorism warnings from widely disputed talking points on the deadly 2012 Benghazi attack to avoid the spy agency’s gloating at the expense of the State Department…

Morell, a 33-year veteran of the agency who has served six Republican and Democratic presidents, insisted that politics had no bearing on the revisions to the talking points and said he was under no pressure to protect either President Barack Obama or then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton…

The White House, wrapped up in a fierce presidential campaign, made only minor editorial changes to the talking points, according to the onetime CIA official.

The intelligence community’s talking points, compiled for members of Congress, suggested the Sept. 11 attack stemmed from protests in Cairo and elsewhere over an anti-Islamic video rather than an assault by extremists.

Republicans have accused the Obama administration of trying to mislead the American people about an act of terrorism in the final weeks before the November election.

Morell deleted references to extremist threats linked to al-Qaida in versions of the talking points that were used by Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, in a series of Sunday talk show appearances. Morell said his actions were driven by the information provided by intelligence community analysts and the Defense Department.

The deleted references to terrorism in the talking points were not political?  His revisions to the talking points were not to protect either President Barack Obama or then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton?  Funny.  As that’s exactly what they did.  They protected President Obama and helped him win reelection.  And they protected Hillary Clinton.  Who is now the Democrat frontrunner for 2016.  Well, so far, at least.

The left is still trying to blame 9/11 (the first one in 2001) on President Bush and Condoleezza Rice.  For missing the signs that al Qaeda was a threat.  And that something big was coming.  Can you imagine the fury over Benghazi had it happened under President Bush’s watch?  While they were in a campaign season?  There would be no talking point revisions.  They would have lambasted President Bush and Condoleezza Rice.  The press would have torn into this story like a pack of hyenas tearing into a gazelle.  The media would have crapped all over the Bush administration.  But the Obama administration?  When the president, Hilary Clinton and Susan Rice all lied about a YouTube video?  Over and over again?  When the CIA revised the talking points so it didn’t sound like there was a problem with terrorism anymore?  All lies.  And a huge cover-up.  But we hear nothing but the sound of crickets from the media.

Sure, they can say it wasn’t political.  But the result of those revisions was very political.  It helped President Obama win reelection.  Because he had al Qaeda on the run.  Which he didn’t.  In fact, his foreign policy has made the world a more dangerous place.  For al Qaeda is resurgent everywhere.  In Egypt.  Libya.  Syria.  Iraq.  Afghanistan.  Yemen.  And elsewhere.  Oh, and Iran is working on a nuclear bomb.  And Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea to Russia.  Because he could.  This stuff is happening in part because people voted for President Obama believing the lie that al Qaeda was on the run.  When it wasn’t.  And because we reelected President Obama his failed foreign policy continues.  As the bad people of the world stand up and take notice.

The United States of America under President Obama is weak.  It may talk the talk but it sure doesn’t walk the walk.  So the bad guys are getting bolder.  Knowing the time is right to push the United States around.  For we are a sleeping bear that just can’t be wakened.  Apparently.


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U-3, U-6 and the Labor Force Participation Rate 2004 through February 2013

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 12th, 2013

History 101

During Obama’s First Term the U-3 and U-6 Unemployment Rates moved Further Apart

The latest employment data showed the official unemployment rate fell in February to 7.7% from 7.9% in January.  The Labor Department also reported the addition of 227,000 new jobs.  Proof, the economists say, that the economy is improving.  But when you dig deeper into the data you find otherwise.  For the economy may have added 227,000 new jobs but 296,000 jobs left the labor market.  And they didn’t count these people as unemployed.  So there was a net loss of jobs.  Despite the fall in the official unemployment rate.

We keep saying official unemployment rate for a reason.  For the government has six different unemployment rates.  The ‘official’ rate is what they call U-3.  Which doesn’t count a lot of people who can’t find full time work.  A more inclusive rate is the U-6 number (see Labor Force Participation Rate for an explanation of the U-3, U-6 and the labor force participation rate).  The U-6 rate counts pretty much everyone who can’t find a full-time job.  Including discouraged workers, the marginally attached and those working part-time because they can’t find a full-time job.  Before the Great Recession (during the George W. Bush administration) the U-3 and U-6 unemployment rates tracked closer together than they do now (during the Barack Obama administration).  As we can see in the following chart (see Data Retrieval: Labor Force Statistics (CPS) for data source).

Unemployment Rates U3 U6 2004-2013

During Bush’s second term U-3 was between 4% & 6%.  And U-6 was between 8% and 10%.  But during Obama’s first term U-3 shot above Bush’s U-6.  And Obama’s U-6 soared to twice Bush’s U-6.  Most of this was due to the subprime mortgage crisis.  And the resulting Great Recession.  But that doesn’t explain why the graphs moved further apart.  And why did they do this?  Was it because they were overstating U-6?  Were they understating U-3?  Or is there some other explanation?  It has to be something.  And it’s likely not good.

The Official Unemployment Rate has been Understated by at least 2.9 Points during the Obama Presidency

During President Bush’s second term there was on average a 4-point spread between U-3 and U-6.  During President Obama’s first term this point spread increased to 6.9.  A difference of 2.9 points.  Which if we subtract to U-6 or add to U-3 the graphs will move closer together.  So they track each other at the same distance apart from each other they did during Bush’s second term.  When you look at the labor participation factor and the lost jobs one can only assume we’re understating U-3.  And not overstating U-6.  So if we add 2.9 points to U-3 after December 2008 the graphs look like this.

Unemployment Rates U3 Adjusted U6 2004-2013

We can ignore the sharp rise in U-3 adjusted.  As the loss 2.9 points of the U-3 unemployment rate would not have been instantaneous once January 2009 hit.  But once we get to the new highs the graphs maintain the same distance from each other as they did during Bush’s second term.  Which means the official unemployment rate didn’t fall from approximately 10% to 8% during Obama’s first term.  It actually fell from 12.9% to 10.6%.  And that the current official unemployment rate is not 7.7%.  But 10.6%.  Which is, of course, 2.9 points higher.

So the official unemployment rate is higher than they report.  With the official unemployment being understated by at least 2.9 points.  And the economy is not improving like they say.  Anyone reading the jobs data can see this.  But the Obama administration and their friends in the media, as well as mainstream economists, all say everything is getting better.  Or they say it is just the new normal.  To provide some cover for their failed Keynesian economic policies.  Which failed to pull the economy out of the Great Depression.  They failed to pull the economy out of the stagflation of the Seventies.  And they are now failing to pull the economy out of the Great Recession.

The ‘New Normal’ under President Obama has been a Steadily Declining Labor Force Participation Rate

Keynesian economics calls for the government to have control of interest rates.  They keep interest rates artificially low.  To expand the money supply.  They also increase taxes.  And borrow money.  Just so they can spend.  A lot.  For Keynesian theory says when the economy falls into recession the government should spend.  Even if it requires running a deficit.  To generate economic activity.  But expanding the money supply only causes inflation.  And higher prices.  Which dampens economic activity.  Which is why we have never spent our way out of a recession.  And never will.

President Obama is a Keynesian.  His Keynesian policies have hindered, not helped, the economic recovery.  And his excessive regulations have further hindered the economic recovery.  He shut down the domestic oil industry on public lands.  His war on coal has laid off swaths of coal miners and others in the coal industry. His rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline has prevented the creation of thousands of new jobs.  His environmental regulations have increased the cost of doing business.  As has Obamacare.  Which has put a freeze on new hiring.  And pushed lot of full time people to part time.  Nothing this administration has done has helped the economy.  While most everything it has done has hurt the economy.  And we can see that when we look at the labor force participation rate.  When we graph it along with U-3 (the official rate not the adjusted rate) and U-6 (see Employment Situation Archived News Releases for data source).

Unemployment Rates U3 U6 Labor Participation Rate 2004-2013

And here we see what caused U-3 and U-6 to move further apart.  U-3 is understated because people are continually leaving the labor force.  Unable to find a job.  This is why we have a net loss of jobs even when they report a gain of 227,000 new jobs in February.  Or a gain in any other month.  This is why the economy hasn’t improved under President Obama.  Despite what the official unemployment rate is.  And despite all of the new jobs they’ve created.  Because the ‘new normal’ under President Obama has been a steadily declining labor force participation rate.  Meaning he is a job destroyer.  And the only reason why the unemployment rate falls is because these people disappear from the labor force and they just don’t count them anymore.  Sort of how the European employment picture improved after the plague.  So many people left the labor force by dying that it created a labor shortage.  And low unemployment.  The problem here is that these people didn’t die.  They’re still out there waiting to rejoin the labor force.  To hire into jobs that are just not there.  And it’s going to take a long, long time for the economy to absorb these people.  Meaning the economy won’t be getting better anytime soon.  Because it’s a lot worse than they’re reporting.


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President Bush spends $222,000 on Bathroom Renovation, President Obama adds $5.3 Trillion to the Federal Debt

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 20th, 2013

Week in Review

President Obama added approximately $5,294,450,000,000 to the federal debt in four years.  While President George W. Bush added $2,660,250,000,000 in eight years.  So President Obama is clearly outspending President Bush.  Even though the Interior Department under George W. Bush spent $222,000 to renovate a 100-square-foot bathroom (see Interior Department’s 2007 bathroom renovation cost $222,000 by Stephanie Condon posted 1/16/2013 on CBS News).

In 2007, the Interior Department wasn’t skimping on its own interior. The department spent $222,000 that year to renovate the bathroom in the interior secretary’s private office.

Under the direction of President George W. Bush’s Interior secretary, Dirk Kempthorne, the department made a number of lavish renovations to the 100-square-foot bathroom: New wall panels cost more than $1,500, while custom cabinetry was installed for $26,000. The bathroom was outfitted with a $689 faucet, a $65 vintage tissue holder and even a $3,500 refrigerator…

The Interior Department said the renovations — which were approved and contracted by the General Services Administration — were needed because of water leaks in the bathroom. The GSA told, “These renovations began in 2007, which predates the current leadership at both the GSA and the Department of Interior. Under the current leadership, we have greater oversight to ensure the responsible use of taxpayer dollars. The renovations were part of a larger restoration project at the historic facility.”

Did the GSA spokesperson say this with a straight face?  That they have greater oversight under the current leadership?  Right.  Pull the other one.

The near trillion-dollar stimulus package was going to explode all that shovel-ready work.  But it actually went to shore up public sector pension and health care plans.  Investments in clean renewable energy didn’t produce any new jobs of the future but instead repaid campaign bundlers.  The auto bailout didn’t help the auto companies become more competitive.  Which was their ultimate problem.  And why they couldn’t fund their pension and health care liabilities.

The bailout did not make GM or Chrysler more competitive.  It just injected cash into the UAW pension and health care plans.  And the only reason why they’re profitable now is because they aren’t paying any federal income taxes.  Their stock price has even fallen.  For as the government sells their GM stock they’re selling it at a loss.  So the taxpayer is collecting no taxes from GM.  And they are not going to get all their money back from the bailout.  And this is greater oversight to ensure the responsible use of taxpayer dollars?

Gee, I’d hate to see irresponsible oversight.


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