Public Not Viewing Benghazi As A Scandal, Poll Shows

Public Policy Polling is out with the first new poll of public attitudes regarding the political firestorm surrounding the terrorist attack on U.S. diplomats in Benghazi last September and, so far, it doesn’t look like Republicans are winning this battle:

PPP’s newest national poll finds that Republicans aren’t getting much traction with their focus on Benghazi over the last week. Voters trust Hillary Clinton over Congressional Republicans on the issue of Benghazi by a 49/39 margin and Clinton’s +8 net favorability rating at 52/44 is identical to what it was on our last national poll in late March. Meanwhile Congressional Republicans remain very unpopular with a 36/57 favorability rating.

Voters think Congress should be more focused on other major issues right now rather than Benghazi. By a 56/38 margin they say passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill is more important than continuing to focus on Benghazi, and by a 52/43 spread they think passing a bill requiring background checks for all gun sales should be a higher priority.

While voters overall may think Congress’ focus should be elsewhere there’s no doubt about how mad Republicans are about Benghazi. 41% say they consider this to be the biggest political scandal in American history to only 43% who disagree with that sentiment. Only 10% of Democrats and 20% of independents share that feeling. Republicans think by a 74/19 margin than Benghazi is a worse political scandal than Watergate, by a 74/12 margin that it’s worse than Teapot Dome, and by a 70/20 margin that it’s worse than Iran Contra.

So basically what we’ve got is another “scandal” that is only a scandal if you are viewing it through a certain ideological lens, much like many of the “scandals” of the Clinton era. The main reason that this isn’t resonating with the public, I think, is that the GOP hasn’t been clear on exactly what was done wrong here. They’ve covered the low security at the Benghazi outpost, the fact that requests for additional security were ignored, the fact that no assets were sent into Benghazi while the attack was going on, and, now, they’re talking about the talking points and the changes made to them in the days after the attack. Leaving aside that they are fighting this battle on the foreign policy front, traditionally an area where voters tend to give Administration’s the benefit of the doubt, the GOP simply hasn’t made out a case for why this is anything other than a case of incompetence and error rather than one of wrongdoing. The story is staying alive at the moment thanks in no small part to the White House’s own ham-handed responses to questions about it, but I can’t see it having much staying power unless there’s some kind of smoking gun out there.

Of course, there’s also this factor:

One interesting thing about the voters who think Benghazi is the biggest political scandal in American history is that 39% of them don’t actually know where it is. 10% think it’s in Egypt, 9% in Iran, 6% in Cuba, 5% in Syria, 4% in Iraq, and 1% each in North Korea and Liberia with 4% not willing to venture a guess.

By contrast, I suspect that the public is going to view the IRS political targeting story much differently.

FILED UNDER: National Security, Public Opinion Polls, Quick Takes, Terrorism, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Jr says:

    No shock there.

    People lost interest in Benghazi prior to the election, why would they care 6 months later when they have given us no new or game-changing information.

  2. Mikey says:

    41% say they consider this to be the biggest political scandal in American history

    There are no words sufficient to describe that level of stupid.

  3. EddieInCA says:

    By contrast, I suspect that the public is going to view the IRS political targeting story much differently.

    Some mid-level staffers in Cincinnati went rogue, and were quickly discovered and told to stop. Several people responsible will probably be fired; most, if not all, from the Cincinnati office.

    And this is a scandal tied to Obama, how?

  4. EddieInCA says:

    While voters overall may think Congress’ focus should be elsewhere there’s no doubt about how mad Republicans are about Benghazi. 41% say they consider this to be the biggest political scandal in American history to only 43% who disagree with that sentiment.

    This is the party, Dr. Joyner, that you think you can change from the inside? Really?

    Too much of the GOP base is absolutely pathological, and I wonder at what point Dr. Joyner himself says “Enough” and follows the footsteps of Bruce Bartlett and other prominent Republicans saying “Stop it. Just Stop It.”

    Hell, even Bill Kristol told the GOP to knock it off on Benghazi this past weekend. When you’ve lost Bill Kristol, you pretty much don’t have much. Of course, Bill Kristol is nothing more than an effete, Jewish NYC RINO, not a real conservative from real “Murka”.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    One interesting thing about the voters who think Benghazi is the biggest political scandal in American history is that 39% of them don’t actually know where it is.

    I wonder how many of them actually know what the Teapot Dome scandal was about. For that matter, How many remembered it’s existence, what it was about, who were the central players, etc etc.

    For the record, I only remember it’s existence, none of the particulars. High school American history was 38 yrs ago. I certainly would not try to rank it.

  6. LaMont says:

    One interesting thing about the voters who think Benghazi is the biggest political scandal in American history is that 39% of them don’t actually know where it is.

    That statement, in a nutshell, is probably the most telling with regards to why republicans will not leave this non-issues alone. The fact that Hillary is (at least today) projected to dominate the current crop of potential GOP runners, if she decides to run herself, is probably the biggest reason the GOP will keep this alive (as long as the media allows them to). The fact that come 2016, uninformed voters will potentially look back at this and ask themselves, “what really did happen?” while Hillary was in the middle of all of it, is perhaps the most devastating thing any republican can hope for should the Democratic presidential ticket be Hillary/TBD! Of course scandal can be manufactured! Do any of you really believe the republicans believe their own crap regarding this? Whats most important is that a long standing “scandal”, say 4 years in the making, could leave many (or the uninformed) to believe that where theres smoke there is fire – the entire notion that something must’ve happened.

    I know this republican class today have gone absolutely nuts. But what is their incentive this time? It is hard to believe that it is simply because they think Obama and his administration is evil. Who cares, Obama isn’t running again! Even I’ll give republicans more credit than that. Every irrational thing the GOP has done to date has had a strategic and self-promoting purpose! Believe it or not – we ARE witnessing the 2016 campaign! It doesn’t matter that this story is outragous at the moment. The prhase “death panels” should tell you everything about how effective and unified consevratives are at pushing a narrative!

  7. Kevin K. says:

    It is so typical of Democrats that when something goes wrong from a National Security perspective the first question they ask is: Is a Democrat or Republican at the helm? That is what was done here. The Valerie Plame CIA scandal resulted in no death to anyone yet Democrats demanded and received a Special Prosecutor in Patrick Fizgerald who after 3 years of investigation was only able to locate a single person to prosecute, not for outing Plame but for false testimony unrelated.

    Nagging questions about the unheeded requests for more security and the scrubbing of references to terrorism are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many questions that need answering. And if Special Prosecutors are good enough for Republicans, they should be good enough for Democrats too.

  8. EddieInCA says:

    @Kevin K.:

    Nagging questions? Name one. Specifically name ONE QUESTION that hasn’t been answered.

    Scrubbing of references to terrorism? In talking point? Really? That’s the best you have?

    Here… let me answer that for you. SO EFFIN’ WHAT! What, SPECIFICALLY, does that matter? How would it have changed any of the actions which happened on the ground?

    C’mon, Kevin, impress me with your knowledge on the subject of Bengahzi.

  9. george says:

    @Mikey:

    There are no words sufficient to describe that level of stupid.

    I suppose not, though I’d like to suggest that this is one instance where the oft ill-used term “moron” actually fits.

  10. pylon says:

    The Valerie Plame CIA scandal resulted in no death to anyone

    Who knows? She was working on anti-proliferation.

    Not to mention that it was part of the whole process of getting into Iraq. Which as I recall cost a few lives.

  11. pylon says:

    And how many lives did the Benghazi “scandal” cost? Keeping in mind the supposed scandal is what happened after the attack, not before or during it.

  12. anjin-san says:

    @ Kevin K.

    You are shocked and outraged because they changed some talking points? Really?

    You need to get out more often.

  13. Caj says:

    The so called scadal over Benghazi lies only in the minds of Republicans! Reasonable, sensible people see it as a tragic incident where things did go wrong but no cover up was involved. It’s sheer pettiness from Republicans to try and get something on President Obama. They have been waiting for an opportunity from day one to try and smear this man. Such is their hatred and of him and the bitterness of losing to him twice.

  14. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Public Policy Polling is out with the first new poll of public attitudes regarding the political firestorm surrounding the terrorist attack on U.S. diplomats in Benghazi last September and, so far, it doesn’t look like Republicans are winning this battle”

    LMAO. DailyKOS/PPP?? Are you kidding me? WADR, I wouldn’t trust any DailyKOS/PPP poll at this point on anything, until they recover a shred of credibility after the Sanford polling fiasco. This is the polling outfit that had Sanford’s opponent up 10 a week before the election against a flawed, damaged candidate whose National Party had completely deserted him. DailyKOS/PPP even had the race even the day before the election. Sanford won by 10. DailyKOS/PPP look like fools.They completely missed the Wisconson elections for Gov 2 years ago as well. This polling outfit exists to push the Dem agenda, and their history is littered with some poll disasters as well as a few hits. Let’s call their recent historical accuracy no better that 50/50 at this point.

    DailyKOS/PPP has the same vested interest in Hillary that most of the Lib cranks that post on this site does: They do polls to prop her up and to calm the fears and anxiety of folks who think 2016 is “Hillary’s Turn”. As if she is “entitled” to the Presidency. I see lots of posts from Hillary’s advocates impugning the motives of people trying to understand why she would stand next to the coffin of a public servant and perpetuate a ruse about a video and an imaginary protest. Perhaps Hillary’s advocates should understand their own biases and let the chips fall as they may.

    Besides, 2016 is a LONG way out, and, assuming Hillary is the Dem candidate, she may be the one trying to explain away the ObamaCare train wreck to angry Americans who by 2016 may be ready to take their disgust out on the Dem party – Just like the country took its disgust out on the Reps in 2008 after Bush’s disasters. I would be more wary of how Hillary confronts the ObamaCare bomb that Obama leaves at her doorstep by the time he gets out of dodge in 2016. By then no poll from DailyKOS/PPP will save her.

  15. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Nagging questions about the unheeded requests for more security and the scrubbing of references to terrorism are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many questions that need answering. And if Special Prosecutors are good enough for Republicans, they should be good enough for Democrats too.”

    I wouldn’t worry too much about this DailyKOS/PPP Poll. They’ve haven’t been all that accurate lately – ie they were off 20% on a poll barely 2 weeks in the SC election when the Lib candidate had gazzilians to spend and the Rep candidate was a badly damaged former Gov who the National party and other Reps deserted. DailyKOS/PPP is an agenda pushing polling organization that is a MAJOR advocate for Hillary Clinton, and I would be cautious about anything they put out there until you get corroboration from other polling entities.

  16. KariQ says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    “LMAO. DailyKOS/PPP??”

    Is it time to unskew the polls again? Shall we wait for Rasmussen?

    PPP’s final poll was quite different than that poll you’re citing, and they said that Sanford had momentum going into the election because he nationalized the campaign and turned the focus away from his personal failings. In a special election, it’s always the candidate with momentum who wins. (It’s also true that polling a congressional district is much harder than polling nationally, but never mind that).

    PPP, by the way, was only 1 point off on the presidential election, so they aren’t a polling firm to dismiss lightly, unless you just don’t like what they’re saying and prefer to think that everyone actually agrees with you, in which case enjoy your fantasy world.

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I wonder how many of them actually know what the Teapot Dome scandal was about. For that matter, How many remembered it’s existence, what it was about, who were the central players, etc etc.

    This weekend I joked to a friend that Benghazi was a greater scandal than Watergate and Teapot Dome combined. They laughed and said “Teapot Dome? That’s going back a ways. … Isn’t it?” I consider this person reasonably well informed about history, far more so than the average individual, so I’d venture a guess that of the people who responded to this poll, only about 10% could put it in the right century, much less tell us what it was about.

  17. Kevin K. says:

    Gloria Borger has a pretty good piece at CNN that goes through some of the finer points of what went wrong with the the handeling of Benghazi. http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/13/opinion/borger-obama-benghazi-truth/index.html

  18. Kevin K. says:

    If one was into conspiracies, they might come to the conclusion that it was handled so poorly because Obama was worried about his re-election chanced. http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/benghazi.php

  19. Kevin K. says:

    Problem is that in order to truly get to the bottom of all this, we’ll need the CIA to testify openly. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/05/how-can-we-understand-benghazi-without-probing-the-cias-role/275781/

  20. Smooth Jazz says:

    “PPP’s final poll was quite different than that poll you’re citing”

    My prior post at 17:19 noted DailyKOS/PPP last poll showed the race tied the day before the election, meaning they got this one WRONG no matter how you try to spin it as Sanford won by 10 or whatever. They do that well in their WIS polls 2 years ago either as all their polls were well off. Nobody said anything about Rasmussen. We’re talking about DailyKOS/PPP and their most recent polling history. They were WAY OFF in SC. Deal with it.

  21. Dazedandconfused says:

    Issa uncorks a whopper.

    “The words that are being used carefully — like you just said, ‘act of terror’ — an ‘act of terror’ is different than a ‘terrorist attack.’ -Darrel Issa

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qpHO4yewTww

  22. KariQ says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    I missed where you referred to the final poll, apologies.

    As I said, though, one thing that often happens in smaller elections – special elections, primaries, and the like – is that the candidate with the momentum wins. They typically win far more convincingly than the polling shows as late deciders swing toward whoever has the momentum. This is how you should read any poll in an election of that type.

    A further note is that polling for a special election is very hard, and most pollsters get it wrong. If they do manage to get it right, it’s through luck rather than skill. So, frankly, I don’t hold that kind of miss against any pollster. Not PPP, not anyone. If they get the momentum right, that’s all you really need to see.

    The Rasmussen reference was a joke.

    However, when it comes to national polling, it’s a completely different ballgame. National polls don’t show the variety that local and state polling does. PPP’s has a good record in national polls, and there’s no reason to dismiss them lightly. I know it isn’t telling you what you want to hear, but that’s when it’s most important to pay attention to polls.

  23. anjin-san says:

    Hey,

    Kenny G., the guy who said the polls that showed Obama winning were “rigged”, is back to school us about polls.

    You Can’t Make This Stuff Up.

  24. steve s says:

    Nagging questions about the unheeded requests for more security…

    Basically every embassy gets multiple threats every day. The one in Baghdad gets literally two dozen or more a day, 24/7/365.

    and yet, take a gander at an interesting little nugget from Dana Milbank at the WaPo:

    House Republicans cut the administration’s request for embassy security funding by $128 million in fiscal 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012…
    __
    …Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Republicans’ proposed cuts to her department would be “detrimental to America’s national security” — a charge Republicans rejected..

    The republicans are scum and their followers are idiots.

  25. steve s says:

    The number of americans killed in embassy bombings under Ronald Reagan numbered in the hundreds. I think there were 3 bombings just in 1983 alone.

  26. al-Ameda says:

    41% think it’s the biggest political scandal in American History? That tells that there a lot of people in this country who either, (1) are off their medication, (2) in need of evaluation, or (3) have no idea where America is (which goes back to (1) and (2).

  27. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Kenny G., the guy who said the polls that showed Obama winning were “rigged”, is back to school us about polls. You Can’t Make This Stuff Up. ”

    First off, as I’ve said many times, I don’t like Kenny G all that much – except for his 1985 classic “Duotones”. Other than “Duotones”, I don’t like much of his stuff. I’m more into the heavy bass, contemporary sax players such as Najee, Gerald Albright, Nelson Rangell, and “Boney” James Oppenheim and silky voice songstresses such as Jane Monheit, Natalie Cole and Karrin Allyson.

    Second, Obama barely won. A few hundred thousand votes in a couple of states and he is on the lecture circuit.

    DailyKOS/PPP is a propaganda pollster that pushes the Lib agenda. Sometimes they do well, like the 2012 election, other times they are WAY off, like the recent election in SC1 and the 2011 elections in WI.

    I am waiting for them to poll the ObamaCaretrain wreck disaster heading to the 2014 election. They can only push their propaganda so far.

  28. matt bernius says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    Second, Obama barely won. A few hundred thousand votes in a couple of states and he is on the lecture circuit.

    Uh huh… It’s amazing to see you even talking about this considering your pre-election predictions of a *decisive Romney win* and the crap you talked about Nate Sliver and our own Steven Taylor. Do we need to start back linking to all the rude and looking back on it, flat out wrong crap you posted for weeks (before you disappeared to lick your wounds).

    BTW, for the record, in terms of popular AND electoral vote, Obama scored a far more decisive win that GW Bush did in his second election.

    But hey, since when did actual facts matter in any of your posts.

  29. matt bernius says:

    BTW, here’s a favorite from Smooth *prior* to the election:

    Lib Koolaid drinkers like Nate Silver, Nate Cohn and left of center bloggers at OTB can continue to point to DailyKOS pollster PPP, Wash Post/ABC with their bogus Dem 10%+ samples, and that weird RAND poll that shows Obama up 5 by interviewing the SAME respondents each time, as your saving grace. But comeuppance day is barely over a week away for all those who claimed Obama had this won that that long ago, and it will not be pretty if Romney wins by the margins the reputable National polls are suggesting as of today.

    (Emphasis mine – source: https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/a-race-in-minnesota/#comment-1634320 — BTW, this thread has some classic predictions a la Smove Jazz

    Extra points — check out Smove getting politely schooled when Steven Taylor decided to point out the glaring weaknesses with his “arguments…”
    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/when-even-unskewing-doesnt-help/

    Smooth’s response:

    Please spare your your patronizing and hectoring. […]

    If your polls that you claim are accurate turn out to be a hoax on election day, with Dems voting WAY less than anticipated, and Romney wins, I’ll be back to call you out for your hectoring, lectoring and being gullible. Then I’ll move on and leave you guys in peace.

    Of course, what Smooth never did was show up and publicly admit how Steven was completely correct in his analysis and Smooth was wrong in all of his prediction.

    Smooth Jazz: Portrait of a Bad Loser

  30. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Of course, what Smooth never did was show up and publicly admit how Steven was completely correct in his analysis and Smooth was wrong in all of his prediction.”

    Election results run in cycles, and 2012 was no different.Obama won in 2012 just like he won in 2012. In 2010, Obama and the Liberals were obliterated – and I was here at that time predicting that was going to happen because I saw the raw emotions and intensity of Repubs in 2010.This is barely a 50/50 country and Bush winning with 49% is not all that different than Obama winning with a little over 50% in 2012. I view the 2012 election as close to a tie.

    In 2012, I made clear I wasn’t going to post here all that much whichever way the elction turned out because this has become a Liberal site taken over by primarily Lib cranks. Dr Taylor is a Liberal and in 2012 he won. In 2010 Conservatives won. BFD. I haven’t come back and hardly post here anymore because this place has become DailyKOS II. So I made my feelings known on the 2012 election, just like I did in 2010 and moved on.

    In 2014, I’m starting to see the same dynamic that swamped the country in 2010 – Liberals being obliterated across the board as this ObamaCare train wreck cranks up. There are reports that the Liberal in SC was crushed by that tainted candidate Sanford because of ObamaCare.

    Though I don’t post here regularly anymore since I now consider this a Liberal site, I will be back every now and then to talk about how swell ObamaCare is going and how Liberals are going to sweep Congress in 2014 because of this scam that was foisted on the American people.

  31. matt bernius says:

    @Smooth Jazz:
    Wow… never have so many words been spent trying to justify one’s asshole behavior and empty predictions. Hats off to you sir.

  32. anjin-san says:

    @ Smooth Jazz

    Najee, Gerald Albright, Nelson Rangell, and “Boney” James Oppenheim and silky voice songstresses such as Jane Monheit, Natalie Cole and Karrin Allyson.

    Umm, Kenny?

    All of these folks are pleasant lightweights who make music for people who don’t really know jazz. It’s jazzy pop music. Nothing wrong with that, but there is no such thing as “smooth jazz.” It’s a marketing gimmick to let people that don’t know any better feel sophisticated.

    Personally, I love both pop music and jazz. But I know the difference between them. Clearly, you don’t.

  33. Merit Man says:

    @EddieInCA:

    It matters because an election was underway and the Administration, by removing thr reference to terrorism was protecting itself from the criticism that it was not protecting America.

    But that is just one of the nagging questions. Why did the SD fail to supply the Consulate with requested security upgrades? Who told rescue forces to stand down? It does make a difference why those men died if State failed to do the right thing.

  34. anjin-san says:

    @ Merit Man

    Obama said it was terrorism the next day. You are worked up about an utterly bogus issue. “They changed the talking points” is an argument that should not impress a reasonably bright 15 year old.

    As for the rest of it, I refer you to Robert Gates’ recent remarks on the subject. You know, the Robert Gates that was appointed as SecDef by GW Bush.

    Oh, and “requested security”? Why not go talk to the Republicans on the hill who started to cut the budget for that in 2010?

  35. anjin-san says:

    Obama won in 2012 just like he won in 2012.

    Ummmm.

  36. Xenos says:

    At no point in this article, nor any comment to it, does the word ‘crime’ appear. A cover-up where no crime took place is not any sort of crime. Just like a lie under oath about a non-material fact is not (supposed to be) considered perjury.

  37. Xenos says:

    @anjin-san:

    …there is no such thing as “smooth jazz.”

    Lionel Hampton was pretty damn smooth. Paul Desmond, too. Just saying.

  38. Stonetools says:

    I’ll believe the Republicans are serious about getting to the bottom of The Benghazii Affair when:

    1. They subpoena the CIA to come testify about why they were at this “diplomatic” post.
    2. They restore the funding for embassy security they removed from the budget in 2010 ( and publicly admit that was a mistake).
    3. They begin to investigate the problem of embassy deaths through terrorist acts starting with the thirteen who died in Lebanon during the time of Saint Ronald of Illinois (PBUT)

    IMO, the Administration has been in far too much of a defensive crouch about Benghazi. That might have been justified at the beginning, when they hoped that it would just dry up and blow away. But it’s plain that the Republicans are need going to let this thing die, so the Administration needs to be much more aggressive in pointing out the Republicans’s silence when embassies were attacked during Republican administrations, and other inconvenient facts. It’s time for the Democrats to cowboy up and start hitting back.

  39. john personna says:

    So the Republicans are playing to fans in their safe districts, writing off the national election, and looking to establish a permanent (but secure) minority. Got it.

  40. EddieInCA says:

    @Merit Man:

    It matters because an election was underway and the Administration, by removing thr reference to terrorism was protecting itself from the criticism that it was not protecting America.

    Wrong. Obama called it “an act of terror” the very next day. So your argument is that the “talking points” spoken by Susan Rice override the actual words of the President of the United States? Is that your argument?

    But that is just one of the nagging questions. Why did the SD fail to supply the Consulate with requested security upgrades?

    Perhaps because the GOP led congress cut the budget for security at embassies.

    The deaths last week of Stevens, Smith, Doherty, and Woods should remind all of us of the extreme risks and daily discomforts that are taken by a great many of the thousands of men and women who staff the more than 260 embassies, consulates, and missions we maintain in 180 separate countries. We should also recognize that our national security is as dependent on men like Christopher Stevens and the work they do in weaving together alliances and bringing stability to strife-torn regions of the world as by our investments in military hardware or our deployment of military personnel. It is a tough, often dirty business—it deserves our respect and appreciation.

    It also deserves resources. In each of the last two years, Congress has cut President Obama’s request for U.S. Foreign Service and U.S. Agency for International Development staffing levels despite repeated analysis by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, indicating that our embassies are critically understaffed.

    But even more inexcusable are the repeated and deep cuts made to embassy security and construction. Thousands of our diplomatic personnel are serving overseas in facilities that do not come close to meeting the minimal requirements for security established by the so-called Inman commission’s report on overseas diplomatic security to President Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state more than two decades ago.

    Nor is it likely to change anytime soon. In the 2011 continuing resolution, Congress, at the insistence of the House of Representatives, slashed the president’s request for embassy security and construction and forced another cut in fiscal year 2012. Altogether Congress has eliminated $296 million from embassy security and construction in the last two years with additional cuts in other State Department security accounts.

    Sequestration required under the Budget Control Act of 2011 will take more than $100 million more out of the program in 2013 if the current Congress does not overcome the impasse over budget cuts and tax revenues by yearend. Those cuts are largely the result of the draconian and unrealistically low budget caps placed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) on all discretionary spending, falling particularly hard on the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee with responsibility for embassy security.

    This is not the kind of treatment our dedicated government servants and men and women in uniform protecting them deserve.

    Who told rescue forces to stand down?

    Do you understand that two people were killed almost immediately? How do you now know this? Do you understand that there is no way possible to have gotten ANY rescue forces there in time to stop any of the deaths? If you don’t know that factually, you’re choosing to ignore the news and timeline that’s been out there for months.

    It does make a difference why those men died if State failed to do the right thing.

    That’s a might big “if”. And you, nor anyone else, has yet to mention what, if anything, could have stopped the deaths from occurring when they happened.

  41. @Smooth Jazz: I see that you didn’t use your absence from the site to study up on how to analyze polling.

    Welcome back.

    BTW, when you note “Dr Taylor is a Liberal and in 2012 he won. In 2010 Conservatives won. BFD.” you miss the point entirely (or, you underscore your own POV): my goal isn’t to win, it is to understand. I would far, far rather be correct and have my candidate lose than to be vociferously wrong and have my candidate win.

  42. matt bernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    when [Smooth Jazz] note “Dr Taylor is a Liberal and in 2012 he won. In 2010 Conservatives won. BFD.” [he] miss the point entirely

    Or rather it tells us much more about how Smooth Jazz see’s the world and how that filter tends to “cloud” his analysis.

  43. john personna says:

    By contrast, I suspect that the public is going to view the IRS political targeting story much differently.

    You know, I might take an outlier position on this. I’m less concerned than I was.

    If someone just said “hey, I wonder what happens when I search these keywords in the non-profit database” then they weren’t targeting political groups. They were sorting “non profit groups” for political keywords.

    Sure, you can say that they should have thought up some liberal-political keywords too, and that’s true … but I can’t think of any clunkers as obvious as “tea party.” “socialist?”

    Anyway, no “tea party” group was targeted that was not claiming itself non-political … kind of a contradiction in terms.

  44. stonetools says:

    @john personna:

    I think the Administration needs to “cowboy up” on the IRS issue as well. First, some context. The IRS has generally been used to target leftist, not right wing political groups at times.
    Secondly, the IRS should be targeting ALL 501(c)4 groups that don’t actually carry out a social welfare mission, rather than a political advocacy mission. I would like to see the IRS be far more aggressive about THAT.

  45. anjin-san says:

    @ Xenos

    Well, Desmond said he wanted to sound like a dry martini, which I always thought was a great way of looking at it. Half a century later, his work with Brubeck still sounds fresh, edgy. and sophisticated.

    Sure, actual jazz can be smooth. “Getz/Gilberto”, for example. Was anyone ever smoother than Johnny Hartman on the brilliant “John Coletrane & Johnny Hartman”?

    Personally, I like my jazz downtempo for the most part, I have no problem with slow and smooth, but it has to be actual jazz.

    “Smooth jazz” is jazzy pop music that is also informed by urban R&B. A high level of accessibility is baked into the genre for commercial reasons. It came into existence when pop, rock & roll and soul music kicked jazz to the curb in the 60’s. Artists still needed to make money. In this case though, they rarely take any chances, the point of the exercise is to sell records and get airplay. It’s basically background/mood music. What’s the point of jazz if you don’t take chances and break new ground?

    Listen to Morelenbaum 2/Sakamoto’s “Casa” – it endlessly rewards critical listening, and works brilliantly as background music. The project is a labor of love – they took Jobim, who has been done to death, and found a way to take a fresh and interesting look at his music. That’s part of what separates it from smooth jazz.

    Speaking of Hampton, check out this insane clip with Hamp, Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson, and Gene Krupa.

    Hollywood Hotel

  46. PJ says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    Second, Obama barely won. A few hundred thousand votes in a couple of states and he is on the lecture circuit.

    God, you’re stupid.

    Gore would have won the presidency in 2000 if he had gotten either 1 or 269 of Bush’s votes in 2000. Gore lost, despite getting about 543000 more votes nationally.

    Kerry would have won the presidency in 2004 if he had gotten 59301 of Bush’s votes in Ohio, and Bush would have lost the election despite receiving 3 million more votes nationally.

    And yet, I can’t recall you every bringing these things up. Might be because you’re one eyed and stupid. Who knows.

    And yes, Obama would have lost the election if Romney had gotten a few hundred thousands of Obama’s votes in four states, this despite winning more than 4.8 million more votes nationally.

    All these point to recent serious issues with electoral college vs the popular vote.

  47. PJ says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    My prior post at 17:19 noted DailyKOS/PPP last poll showed the race tied the day before the election, meaning they got this one WRONG no matter how you try to spin it as Sanford won by 10 or whatever. They do that well in their WIS polls 2 years ago either as all their polls were well off. Nobody said anything about Rasmussen. We’re talking about DailyKOS/PPP and their most recent polling history. They were WAY OFF in SC. Deal with it.

    God, you’re stupid. You want to judge a pollster based on a couple of polls? Google small sample size.

  48. legion says:

    Well snap my garters – it looks like the “smoking gun” email the wingnuts have been crowing over is actually a big ‘ol fakey fake.

    Whoever provided those quotes seemingly invented the notion that Rhodes wanted the concerns of the State Department specifically addressed….

    So whoever leaked the inaccurate information earlier this month did so in a way that made it appear that the White House – specifically Rhodes – was more interested in the State Department’s concerns, and more focused on the talking points, than the e-mail actually stated.

    Nobody’s said yet who the paste-up artist is, but I bet a dollar it’s one of Breitbart’s crowd…