Daily Archives: January 25, 2012

This is a job for… SEAL Team Six, the closest thing to superheroes that real life offers

They’re not the Justice League of America, or even the Avengers (although the name sometimes fits). They don’t wear colorful tights. But SEAL Team Six is the closest thing we’re likely to see in real life to a band of superheroes.

First bin Laden, now this:

KHARTOUM, Sudan — American Navy Seals swooped into Somalia early on Wednesday and rescued two aid workers, an American woman and a Danish man, after a shootout with Somali gunmen who had been holding them captive in a sweltering desert hide-out for months.

Under a cloak of darkness, the Seals parachuted in, stormed the hide-out, killed nine gunmen and then whisked the aid workers into waiting helicopters, Pentagon officials said. The Seals were from the same elite Navy commando unit — Seal Team Six — that secretly entered Pakistan to kill Osama Bin Laden in May, senior American officials said, though the rescue mission in Somalia was carried out by a different assault team within the unit…

I'm pretty sure this is NOT what SEAL Team Six looks like...

They just keep doing these amazing things that no one else seems able to do anymore, outside of the IDF and Mossad, and what have they done that seemed quasi-superhuman since the raid on Entebbe?

You know what else? We don’t know their identities. They could be named Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne, for all we know.

OK, I’ll stop with the riffing on the superhero thing. But I like that we don’t know who they are. It allows us to see them as an extensions of all of us, however unheroic most of us may be.

The fact that they’re out there, doing this stuff without any personal fame, makes us think that The Onion was wrong: Steve Jobs was NOT “The Last American Who Knew What the F___ He Was Doing.”

Very good to know.

Only one dark lining in this silver cloud: Ron Paul might get the notion that with these guys active, we can just do away with the rest of our military, and still be fine. And the idea could catch on…

Ghosts of SOTU speeches past

An outfit called Bankrupting America sent out this video last night before the State of the Union address. I didn’t get around to seeing it until today. As the release promises, “The video highlights 3 decades of State of the Union presidential promises on fiscal discipline.”

There’s also a fact sheet that goes with it.

I find being part of a long, ongoing tradition to be very reassuring, don’t you? See, it doesn’t matter whether they’re Democrats or Republicans — presidents are all pretty much alike. People don’t change. Makes us feel… solid,  grounded.

I would say, though, that one of those presidents actually did something about it: Bill Clinton. The video doesn’t mention that. But the fact sheet dismisses it this way: “Despite two years of on-budget surpluses, deficit spending in other years added to the debt.”

Oh, the video also assumes that the only way to reduce the deficit, and the debt, is by reducing spending. Raising taxes, and simply growing the economy to increase revenues, are not considered. In case you didn’t notice that.

Mitt defends media from Newt. So I guess it’s true: Romney IS a RINO

What other explanation could there be for siding with the godless news media against a fellow Republican. Oh, Mitt… I’m glad Spiro Agnew isn’t alive to see this…

Now you see, that was mockery — what I just did, in my headline and lede. The Politico item I’m about to quote is headlined, “Mitt Romney mocks Newt Gingrich’s attacks on media.” But what follows doesn’t support that. It’s more like “criticizes” or “corrects” or, perhaps most accurately, “takes exception to.” At least going by the words. Maybe he said them in a snarky way. Maybe I need to see the video…

In any case, here’s what he said:

“It’s very easy to talk down a moderator. The moderator asks a question and has to sit by and take whatever you send to them,” Romney said on Fox News. “And Speaker Gingrich has been wonderful at attacking the moderators and attacking the media. That’s always a very favorite response for the home crowd.”…

But the former Massachusetts suggested that being on the offense against the media doesn’t equate to the more important skill of being able to take on other rivals in the presidential field.

“It’s very different to have candidates go against candidates, and that’s something I’ll be doing against President [Barack] Obama if I get the chance to be our nominee, that this guy has been a failure for the American people, he has not gotten people back to work, internationally he shrunk the power of our military. He has to be a guy who we replace from the White House,” he said.

Graham or DeMint? Or, to put it another way, Reagan or Ron Paul? Whither goest the GOP in the world?

Charleston’s City Paper records another skirmish in the internecine battle between Republicans over America’s role in the world:

After the Republican presidential debate in Myrtle Beach last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Fox News, “I hope people in the country understand that we’re Ronald Reagan Republicans in South Carolina. We believe in peace through strength and we’re not isolationists.”

In an interview the next day, Graham’s fellow South Carolinian Sen. Jim DeMint said on Fox Business,”If we spread ourselves too thin around the world we’re not going to be able to defend the homeland, particularly with the level of debt that we have right now. It’s foolish for us to think that we can have military bases all over the world, spend billions of dollars when we’re going broke back home. It just isn’t going to happen.”

Austerity may be a bad word to Graham when it comes to Pentagon spending, but for DeMint it’s the very definition of conservatism. When Republicans like DeMint and his Senate ally Rand Paul say that Pentagon spending cuts must happen, Republicans like Graham and his Senate ally John McCain call such actions “isolationist.” When Paul was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010, McCain said he was worried about the “rise of isolationism” in the GOP. When Paul later led the charge against President Barack Obama’s military intervention in Libya, both Graham and McCain trotted out the isolationist label again…

I’m sure you don’t have to ask where I stand.

Translate, please: Is that some sort of threat?

So what do you think this other former speaker is saying about Newt Gingrich when she says, “There is something I know.”

Taegan Goddard over at Political Wire says, “It doesn’t seem like Pelosi is bluffing” when she says that.

But it seems to me it could be read two ways:

  1. She’s saying there’s a deep, dark secret, yet unknown except by her, that will do in Newt in a fall campaign.
  2. She’s simply emphasizing that, based on what is already widely known — especially among those who served with him — she knows that he won’t be president.

Which do you think it is? Or is it something else? Or nothing?

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney says he sure wishes he knew what that secret was. I’ll be he does.

And Gingrich’s reaction is pure Newt:

She lives in a San Francisco environment of very strange fantasies and very strange understandings of reality. I have no idea what’s in Nancy Pelosi’s head. If she knows something, I have a simple challenge: Spit it out.