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The Sunday Political Brunch – Nov. 18, 2012

This week in politics!


(Providence, Rhode Island) – Normally in the week after a presidential election, everyone would still be talking about the fallout and would be handicapping the possible candidates for the next election. But, nothing stops the normal train of thought in Washington, D.C., faster than a political scandal, and that is just what has dominated the headlines for the past ten days.

Never Forget – I did a story this week talking about the focus of news coverage. Oftentimes in a scandal – particularly a political sex scandal – the coverage zeros on the salacious details of the misbehavior, and the real issue gets lost. Ask almost anyone today what the Clinton impeachment hearings were about and they will say Monica Lewinsky. Wrong! The impeachment was for President Clinton’s perjury in a federal lawsuit involving Paula Jones. In this case, General David Petraeus and the CIA were being examined for what they knew about the fatal terrorist attacks in Libya. The fact that Petraeus’s affair with biographer Paula Broadwell surfaced has now become the center of attention with a lot of the press. Many of us need to refocus more on Libya, and less on the affair.

Minute Rice – Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham promised they would block the nomination of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to be Secretary of State. Rice famously went on TV five days after the fatal Libyan attacks and proclaimed it was all about a protest over an anti-Islamic video, when in fact the administration knew by then it was a calculated terrorist attack, likely from Al-Qaeda. In his news conference this week, President Obama angrily blasted the senators for blocking Rice, as if such a promise has never been made before. Republicans will surely bring up how Democrats planned and succeeded in blocking Robert Bork and John Tower. They keep score in Washington, D.C., and Rice’s nomination – if it happens at all – may be short-lived.

Political Viability – It may seem an odd question at this point, but can David Petraeus survive this sex scandal and become a viable political candidate someday? Some had been touting him as a GOP presidential candidate down the road. He probably could sustain a comeback. The general public is hugely forgiving, as witnessed by the comebacks of Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich. On the other hand, John Edwards could probably never even run for dog catcher in North Carolina, given the circumstances of his affair. So, the jury is still out on Petraeus. The fact that he immediately admitted his indiscretion and resigned is likely in his favor. He certainly has the ego and the ambition and, at age 60, is young enough to resurface someday.

Double Trouble – The oddest duo to emerge in the Petraeus scandal is the Tampa twins, Jill Kelley and her sister, Natalie Khawam. Neither is linked to Petraeus romantically, but they were everywhere in military social circles, including with Petraeus and Gen. John Allen who is running the war in Afghanistan. Kelley became the caricature of the week. Because of all her military society work, she was made an “honorary” Ambassador at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa and an “honorary” Consul General to South Korea (why, we do not know). In any case, when the herd of reporters showed up outside her home this week, she called police in Tampa and in a desperate act of self-importance tried to invoke diplomatic immunity to keep the reporters at bay. It didn’t work!

Caught on Tape – You’d think after the secretly videotaped “47 percent" speech that wounded Mitt Romney during the campaign, he might choose his words more carefully. But this week he held a conference call with supporters and talked about all the “gifts” President Obama gave to certain voting constituencies, as the reason for the president’s reelection victory. Again, people recorded his call and it was leaked. Others in the GOP who aspire to higher office were mortified. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who may run for president said, “No, I think that’s absolutely wrong. We have got to stop dividing the American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent. We need to go after every single vote. And, secondly, we need to continue to show how our policies help every voter out there achieve the American Dream, which is to be in the middle class, which is to be able to give their children an opportunity to be able to get a great education. So, I absolutely reject that notion, that description. I think that’s absolutely wrong.” It looks like Campaign 2016 is now under way!

New England Shuffle – The opening of Secretary of State has recast the name of Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts as a possible nominee, given Susan Rice’s baggage, mentioned above. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who is termed-out and is a close friend of President Obama, is a possible pick for Attorney General or a federal judgeship. In neighboring Rhode Island, Sen. Jack Reed could be the next Secretary of Defense and independent Governor Lincoln Chafee, a close Obama ally, is also on the Cabinet short list. It’s possible all four men could be selected which would create a political scramble in Southern New England the likes of which has never been seen before. Talk about political musical chairs!

Full Circle – As I mentioned at the top, amidst all the scandal and other news, it’s important we don’t forget the four people who died in the Libyan attack. The are U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens; Sean Smith a 10-year State Department aide; Glen Doherty, a security guard and former Navy Seal; and security guard and former Navy Seal Tyrone Woods. The best way to honor them is to find out what really happened and fix it!

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Joe Sousa. November 23, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Archie Brown has several Books worth reading. Take the time to educate yourself.
Naome Lixes November 23, 2012 at 10:00 PM
I say again - what's the best part of the book you most favor? I'm all for education, why not demonstrate some of yours? I'm guessing "Communism is bad" may be one of your conclusions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRkWebP2Q0Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cn9WduykYpA&feature=relmfu I can also claim that "Finnegan's wake" is a great book. Not that I've read that, either.
Bill the 1st November 23, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Gore did not win Florida. I don't necessarily blame him for doing whatever it took to try to win it, but he didn't. Bush did condone torture. Bill Clinton did lie. Watergate happened. An Ambassador was killed in an act of terrorism. The sex lives of powerful men are just a side effect of power corrupting. That said, when you lie and chat and steal, eventually it catches up with you. In my opinion, the fact that it came up now is a result of Obama attempting to scapegoat.
Naome Lixes November 23, 2012 at 10:36 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1360090/Did-Al-Gore-win-after-all-US-newspapers-would-rather-not-say.html "Gore did not win Florida." Perhaps you mean to say, Gore was not declared the winner in Florida. "In my opinion, the fact that it came up now is a result of Obama attempting to scapegoat." Okay, so that's a supposition. No evidence to support it, to date. Lots of theories, to be sure - plenty of Talk Radio lather - but no evidence. "Again, in my opinion, it was expert distraction which (in part) helped Obama secure a second term and will help him escape from any taint from the death of the Ambassador." I would claim that this has been flogged for political points from a purely partisan position, and forced to a headline much as with Carter and the Iranian hostages. Compare this to the coverage given the Miami Herald story about vote manipulation in the Florida recount. The difference is stark. If a Democrat is in the crosshairs, pursuit is relentless. If it's a Republican, we put it behind us for "The good of the country." Which party launched this media offensive? Which party undid Carter with the same tactics? As I said before: Call it what it was then for Clinton, and now for Petraeus - much ado about nothing.
b kcaj November 23, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Naome-Please don't take offense to this, but attempting to debate with Joe Sousa is not much different than attempting to debate with a dyslexic chimpanzee. If you check Joe's educational background, you won't find any masters degrees in economics, Rhodes Scholarships, or Nobel Peace Prizes in his curriculum vitae. In Joe's view, changing the oil on diesel trucks in the army and engaging in loud outbursts at town council meetings are the only qualifications needed to be a so called expert in economics, government affairs, and world history.
Joe Bremen November 23, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Well this has devolved into nothingness nonsense. Have fun. geeze Just saying.
b kcaj November 24, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Jack-For the benefit of the readers, could you please give an estimate of how many times you have made the same comment similar to the one above. The minute anyone questions you or your partner in crime Joe Sousa, you take a hissy fit, start hurling the insults, and threaten to stop posting on the Patch (If only we were so lucky). As was suggested in another post, you might want to consider following in the footsteps of your hero and confidant Dan Gordon-the readers would greatly appreciate it.
b kcaj November 24, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Well said bigmanny, well said.
Joe Bremen November 24, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Not relevent to article, just part of the "gnivloving". Stalk someone else, last answer to you for a while also. Sorry to ruin your stalker enjoyment before the holidays. Not!! lol
b kcaj November 24, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Jack-Pay no attention to bigmanny-evidently he did not get the memo telling the world that you were the King of the Patch.
Leave RI November 24, 2012 at 03:22 AM
"How about the float chad idiocy".. even I thought that was for the National Enquirer..what about Hazel?? lest we forget http://www.flickr.com/photos/ellenjo/7213242510/
Bill the 1st November 24, 2012 at 03:39 AM
I meant exactly what I said. Gore did not win Florida. If he had, he would have been President. For better or worse, the election process is what it is. You may disagree with it when your guy loses, but that's how it is. As to my suposition, yes it is not based on any information you've seen. Just based on common knowledge though, the relationship was going on for a year.. The investigation into harassment started in May. The affair was made public the day after the election. The Lybia hearing was scheduled to start a few days later. You have bought into the distraction. Keep in mind that the investigation is into what led up to the death of an Ambassador. It was the Obama administration and the media who pushed that to the back and the affair to the front.
Joe Sousa. November 24, 2012 at 11:43 AM
One of the things that stick out in my mind is the Author seems to think Communism could work . The problem is in the people as Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolute. The people of Russia believed because things were so bad for them. It wasn't long before the new Government was shown to be as bad as the previous. Two classes evolved the haves, and the have knots . So much of this reminds me of what we see in America today. The Candy Man passing out the goods so people follow him. Running up debt with no way to pay it. The Russians invaded other countries in Europe and began to strip their wealth and resources. They left behind pouted cities broken and penniless. With no industry the USSR became insolvent. They had little to sell to foreign markets so their currency devalued. This also reminds me of America as our factories close leaving for foreign soils . History repeats itself when people don't have knowledge of it. The 50% that appose this move toward a Socialistic Government are the Informed . They see the writing on the wall. God Bless America and our Constitution.
Joe Sousa. November 24, 2012 at 12:01 PM
The Obama Deception HQ Full length version You Tube
Joe Sousa. November 24, 2012 at 12:28 PM
The media is the culprit when it comes to extremism . They come to a Tea Party rallies and find the most extreme person to show on the news. I have been to many rallies and the bulk of these people only want our country to succeed. Stop the spending of our children's future. $ 16TRILLION AND GROWING Stop the jobs from leaving our shores. NAFTA & WTO I never heard any one push Religion or Life style issues at these rallies. The media created these perceptions. The Tea Party embraces the Constitutions and Bill of Rights. 'All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness. ' We want America to stay free and prosperous for all Americans
Naome Lixes November 24, 2012 at 01:02 PM
"They come to a Tea Party rallies and find the most extreme person to show on the news. I have been to many rallies and the bulk of these people only want our country to succeed. Stop the spending of our children's future." So says the childless, middle-aged man that ran for Tiverton School committee on a platform of "ICFAT". Let's call the Tea party what it is - well-off older people that don't see the benefit of public services that THEY don't use. You're about your property taxes, Joe. You lot are the Moral Majority in a Tri-cornered hat. Nothing more. " What the Beltway media have failed to understand is that there are two Tea Parties: there's the "Astroturf Tea Party", the well-funded machine pushing a message of absolute rejection of all social spending; and then there's the grassroots Tea Party, the everyday conservatives who actually show up at rallies, who demand to see the president's birth certificate, and who oppose government spending while also demanding that no one touch their Medicare. Those folks are the voters, and Republicans know they must be fed. And those folks aren't opposed to the religious right, since they are, to a large extent, the same as the religious right." http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/feb/25/tea-party-movement-republicans
Govstench November 24, 2012 at 01:02 PM
The people voted for the entitlement check. Forget the issues - they want the money.
Joe Sousa. November 24, 2012 at 01:30 PM
I didn't run for School Committee Just shows how uninformed you are . The People I know who are involved are the ones I described. You buy the hype and post your links . The ignorant are easily fooled . History shows that.
Naome Lixes November 24, 2012 at 01:43 PM
"The ignorant are easily fooled ." I won't presume to lecture in your area of expertise, Jethro. "You buy the hype and post your links ." So, if a validated citation from an independent source disagrees with your "You're on your own" worldview - it's hype? Maybe, just maybe - the approach you advocate is bankrupt like the former CCCP. "I didn't run for School Committee Just shows how uninformed you are " Considering that the TCC lead town council focused on the largest line item - there's no doubt what you're about - gutting the schools. You know, for the "future of our children"?
Naome Lixes November 24, 2012 at 01:44 PM
You drawing Medicare, Stench? Who pays for that? Working at Raytheon/US Naval base? Who pays for that?
Naome Lixes November 24, 2012 at 01:45 PM
These outbursts are precisely why I got involved in the Patch, in the first place.
Naome Lixes November 24, 2012 at 01:45 PM
geeze = Geezer? That's a catchy signoff, Jack. Appropos, no less.
b kcaj November 24, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Thank goodness Joe Sousa did not run for school committee-he would have been trounced even more than he was trounced for town council. Here's some advice for you Joe-stick to banging nails-much better career choice for you rather than politician.
Mark Wyman November 24, 2012 at 04:55 PM
You should have Joe you could have gottn rid of those 12 do nothing teachers. Who were they by way I forgot who you said there names were. Oh thats right you couldn't name them they didn't exist just another lie.
Joe Sousa. November 25, 2012 at 08:25 PM
The Three Stooges Naome Lixes as Moe The Shill as Larry b kcaj as Curly Read their zany antics right here on patch. Comedy at it's best
Naome Lixes November 25, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Will you play Shemp, Joe? He's the Stooge that thought they were filming a documentary. He died before he learned that he WAS the joke...
Mark Wyman November 26, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Joe why do you keep dodging the question it's been over a year name the 12 do nothing teachers.
Joe Sousa. November 26, 2012 at 10:11 AM
That's up to the School Committee . They can seek change or continue to waste our money . Why should we pay for Union business on Company time ? Why do we allow the Bureaucracy to waste our money with do nothing jobs that have no value to our kids education ? Being part of the system Shill, I wouldn't expect you to answer. But you know of what I speak . Just play dumb and pay your dues .
Mark Wyman November 26, 2012 at 11:20 AM
Joe you are still dodging the question you said you knew of 12 do nothing teachers you raised the issue it is up to you to name the names. You have not answered because you can't because you made it up like most of your posts. Joe it's time to put up or shut up just admit it you lied.
b kcaj November 26, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Mr. Sousa-Here's some advice for you: Instead of banging your head against the wall here in Rhode Island with your right wing, extremist, teabagger views, why don't you move to some small hillbilly town in South Carolina, Florida, or Texas, where you would be welcomed with open arms. There are plenty of those redneck havens where everyone wears camouflage clothing 365 days per year, everyone carries a gun, and the average educational level is second grade dropout. Heck, they would probably make you mayor of one of those podunk towns without even having an election. It would be paradise for you! So what do you say Joe? Isn't it time for you to load up all your camo underoos and the Mrs. on the back of your "bikerhd1998" and hit the road for greener pastures? You'll be doing both yourself and the people of Rhode Island a favor.

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