The President's Weekly Address (will remain a fixture here):
... The transcript is here.
Character means doing the right thing when nobody is watching. -- David Petraeus, frequently
Someone is always watching. -- David Petraeus, occasional addendum
Those of you who appreciate irony may want to read "General David Petraeus's Rules for Living," which appears in this week's Newsweek under the byline of Paula Broadwell. See Fred Kaplan piece below. Thanks to Jeanne B. for the link. ...
... Here's Andrea Mitchell of NBC News breaking the news:
... Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy has the transcripts of Petraeus's full statement to the CIA staff & President Obama's remarks following Petraeus's resignation. ...
... Commenter "Wheels" on Crooks & Liars writes, "... expect Fox news to add a D next to his name when reporting on it." ...
... Seung Min Kim of Politico: "The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus came less than a week before he was scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. A spokesman for the committee said acting CIA Director Mike Morell would testify Thursday in place of Petraeus, who resigned Friday after admitting to an extramarital affair." ...
... Joe Coscarelli of New York magazine: "... he was scheduled to testify in front of the Intelligence Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives next Thursday. He won't now, and so the conspiracy theories have started already: 'This is only the latest in a string of groundshaking events demonstrating that the Obama administration hid information vital to the American people during the last days of the 2012 election cycle,' writes Ben Shapiro of Breitbart.com. 'Timing, everything suspicious. There has to be more to this story," tweeted all-seeing eye Rupert Murdoch.'" ...
... Fred Kaplan of Slate: "The woman with whom Gen. David Petraeus was having an affair is Paula Broadwell, the author of a recent hagiographic book about him, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus. It had long been rumored that something was going on between Petraeus and Broadwell. Her book, co-written with Vernon Loeb, is widely regarded as a valentine to the general. When she was embedded with him in Afghanistan, they went on frequent five-mile runs together. But Petraeus went on five-mile runs with many reporters, and few people who knew him took the rumors seriously. In his personal life, he's always been seen as a straight shooter, a square." Here's Broadwell's Webpage. (Update: it's gone now.) The blurb for her book, unfortunately titled All In, says, "... Broadwell was afforded extensive access to General Petraeus...." CW: I guess. Here's Broadwell on "The Daily Show":
... Stewart says, by way of intro, "The last time I recall a journalist embedded with a person at this level was with McCrystal, and it was Rolling Stone, and he got fired." CW: seems to be something of a pattern here. ...
... Michael Shear of the New York Times profiles Broadwell, who is married with children.
... CW: I am not too sure why someone has to quit his job because he's had/is having an affair with a reporter. Don't you just go the Appalachian Trail route (see Sanford, Mark) & say, "I had/am having an affair with a reporter. I've been a terrible disappointment to my wife, blah blah"? ...
... Update: ah, here's the rub. Richard Engel of NBC News: "The biographer for resigning CIA Director David Petraeus is under FBI investigation for improperly trying to access his email and possibly gaining access to classified information, law enforcement officials told NBC News on Friday." During that investigation, the FBI happened upon the affair. ...
... Devlin Barrett, et al., of the Wall Street Journal: "The computer-security investigation -- which raised questions about a potential compromise to national security -- points to one reason Mr. Petraeus and the White House decided he couldn't remain in the senior intelligence position."
Frank Rich writes a terrific -- and rather terrifying -- post mortem of the Romney campaign & the GOP's long turn in Fantasyland: "For all the hand-wringing about Washington's chronic dysfunction and lack of bipartisanship, it may be the wholesale denial of reality by the opposition and its fellow travelers that is the biggest obstacle to our country moving forward under a much-empowered Barack Obama in his second term. If truth can't command a mandate, no one can."
John Cassidy, Jane Mayer & Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker talk to Dorothy Wickenden about the election:
David Maraniss, in the Washington Post: "At various points during his first term, Obama convened evening round tables of historians at the White House. According to several in attendance, the discussions ranged widely, but the central question Obama pursued was what it would take to reach lasting greatness, beyond the color of his skin."
Daniel Klaidman of Newsweek: no, Barack Obama is not "just lucky." ...
... CW: one bit of luck: super-duper savvy business manager/efficiency expert Mitt Romney bought a costly "state of the art" GOTV computer system that had never been tested, that crashed multiple times on election day & that left some 30,000 Romney campaign volunteers with no idea of who had voted & who hadn't, or WTF they were supposed to do. I guess that explains why Romney volunteers were still calling me on election day, even though my husband & I are registered Democrats & we had both early-voted. ...
... By Contrast -- Ruby Kramer of BuzzFeed: "Obama for America made what [campaign manager Jim] Messina called an 'unparalleled' $100 million investment in technology.... Every night, Obama's analytics team would run the campaign 66,000 times on a computer simulation. 'And every morning we would come in and spend our money based on those simulations,' said Messina. Their models ultimately predicted Florida results within 0.2%, and 0.4% in Ohio. The only state they got wrong, noted Messina, was Colorado, 'where we got one more point than we thought we would.' The Obama campaign was able to do that, he said, because they turned away from mainstream polling from shops like Gallup, which he called 'wrong the entire election.' ..."
... CW: meanwhile, as Akhilleus noted in a comment .... Garrett Haake of NBC News: "From the moment Mitt Romney stepped off stage Tuesday night, having just delivered a brief concession speech he wrote only that evening, the massive infrastructure surrounding his campaign quickly began to disassemble itself. Aides taking cabs home late that night got rude awakenings when they found the credit cards linked to the campaign no longer worked. 'Fiscally conservative,' sighed one aide the next day."
David Firestone of the New York Times: the Romney camp's belief that Romney would win the election, despite polls consistently showing Obama ahead, "shows just how far Republican isolationism has spread. No external source can be trusted, particularly if it comes from the government and the news media (excluding Fox and other conservative sources). Unemployment reports are suspect, the Congressional Budget Office has an agenda, and pollsters with long and sterling records are actually in the tank for the Democrats." CW: Firestone left out the Congressional Research Service!
Dan Amira of New York suggests "Nine Jobs that Mitt Romney Would Be Perfect for." With illustrations.
Dana Milbank: "Before arriving at acceptance, Republicans must go through another stage of grief unique to political loss: an extended period of finger-pointing known as the recriminations phase."
Greg Sargent "asked Larry Norden, an attorney with the Brennan Center for Justice, which closely monitors voting problems and voter suppression, how some of the voting problems could be solved. Norden had quite a few concrete suggestions, none of which Republicans would like.
... Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post: don't forget -- lots of white guys voted for Obama, too. The Democratic party would be making a mistake to forget that. CW: particularly true in the Rust Belt.
Jake Heller of Newsweek details "Six Absurd Republican Excuses for Mitt Romney's Defeat." Heller counters, "In reality, the Republican Party ... lost because 71 percent of Latinos, 93 percent of black people, 73 percent of Asian Americans, and 55 percent of women voted against it. The party did not embrace policies that appeal to these demographic groups -- and lost. And that's the GOP's fault."
James Galbraith in Salon: "That the looming debt and deficit crisis is fake is something that, by now, even the most dim member of Congress must know. The combination of hysterical rhetoric, small armies of lobbyists and pundits, and the proliferation of billionaire-backed front groups with names like the 'Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget' is not a novelty in Washington.... Big Money has been gunning for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for decades -- since the beginning of Social Security in 1935." Galbraith, an economist, writes an excellent little essay explaining why the government should keep its hands off these programs.
New York Times Editors: "President Obama sounds as if he's ready to fight. Speaker John Boehner sounds like Mitt Romney."
Andy Borowitz: "House Speaker John Boehner today called for an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for the rich, thus ending a streak of pretending to work with President Obama that lasted forty-eight hours.... Speaking to reporters, Mr. Boehner downplayed the significance of his record-setting performance, saying merely, 'It just feels good being a dick again.'"
Ed Kilgore: despite what Very Serious People may tell you, Republican governors are not "pragmatic problem-solvers who know how to work across party lines to get things done." They're just as ideological & batty as Congressional Republicans.
Giant Lump of Coal. Axel Tonconogy of National Memo: "The day after the election, [Robert Murray,] the chairman and chief executive of the Ohio-based coal company fired 54 employees at American Coal and 102 at Utah American Energy, but not before reading a prayer and telling workers that 'the takers outvoted the producers.' Murray faulted Obama's 'war on coal,'" The Washington Post reported.... Given that no major changes took place in the days since Obama's re-election, there is little reason to believe Murray had any other cause for the layoffs besides partisan politics." The Washington Post story is here. CW: and CEOs can't understand why they're usually portrayed as evil, greedy sociopaths.
Lyle Denniston of ScotusBlog: "Acting three days after the nation's minority voters showed that they have increased and still growing power in U.S. elections, the Supreme Court agreed on Friday to rule on a challenge to Congress's power to protect those groups' rights at the polls." Via Greg Sargent. ...
... Adam Serwer of Mother Jones has more. "A cursory review of recent Republican shenanigans with voting rules should put the notion that the [Voting Rights Act] is obsolete entirely to bed. ...
... Adam Liptak of the New York Times has a good piece on the Court's decision to hear a case against the Voting Rights Act.
Norimitsu Onishi of the New York Times: "California's Democrats were poised on Friday to gain a two-thirds supermajority in the State Legislature, an achievement that would give them the power to raise taxes unilaterally and could potentially ease the gridlock in a state known for its fiscal chaos."
George Bennett & Christine Stapleton of the Palm Beach Post: "A Palm Beach County Circuit Court judge today denied U.S. Rep. Allen West's motion to impound ballots and voting machines from his apparent narrow loss to Democrat Patrick Murphy in the District 18 congressional race.... Judge David Crow said the West campaign's motion was 'premature' because official results have not yet been posted. Crow also said it is not the court's role to set elections procedures." CW: sticking with a tradition begun in 2000, they're still counting ballots in Palm Beach County. In Florida, we like to have hyphenated elections, as in "the 2012-2013 election."
CBS Chicago: "A former U.S. attorney representing embattled Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is negotiating a plea deal with the federal government, CBS 2 has learned.... The plea deal would end Jackson's 17-year career as a congressman...."
Guardian: "The BBC has been plunged into the deepest crisis in its history with the dramatic resignation of its director general, George Entwistle, after just 54 days in the job. Entwistle fell on his sword after being engulfed by a crisis that escalated following confirmation on Friday that the BBC had wrongly implicated Lord McAlpine, a former senior Tory politician, in a story about paedophilia. It was the second scandal to hit Newsnight in recent weeks."
New York Times: "The Army's preliminary hearing in the case against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in Kandahar Province this year, unfolded last week.... The attacks, which occurred on March 11 in a deeply poor rural region while most of the victims were asleep, were the deadliest war crime attributed to a single American soldier in the decade of war that has followed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001...."
Reuters: "Pentagon leaders knew of the September 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi an hour after it began, but were unable to mobilize reinforcements based in Europe in time to prevent the death of the U.S. ambassador, according to a timeline released on Friday."
Washington Post: "Federal agents arrested dozens of members of the white supremacist Aryan Brotherhood of Texas on Friday and charged them with murder, kidnapping, racketeering and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine. A 43-page federal indictment unsealed by the Justice Department names 34 members of the violent organized crime group who have been charged, including four of its senior leaders."
Reuters: "An Afghan villager and two of his sons, who survived a night-time shooting rampage in March, testified on Saturday that they saw only one U.S. soldier attacking their compound, backing the U.S. government's account. Military prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, accusing him of killing 16 villagers, mostly women and children, when he ventured out of his remote camp on two revenge-fueled forays over a five-hour period in March."
New York Times: "The board of Citigroup has awarded $6.65 million to Vikram S. Pandit after unexpectedly ousting the chief executive last month. Mr. Pandit will receive the money as part of an 'incentive' package for his work during 2012. He will also continue to collect his deferred cash and stock awards from the previous year, compensation that the bank currently valued at more than $8.8 million."
Reuters: "A Vatican court on Saturday found Claudio Sciarpelletti, a computer expert, guilty of obstruction of justice in the investigation of leaks of sensitive papal documents to the media by Pope Benedict's former butler. The same court which last month convicted Paolo Gabriele, the Pope's former butler, gave Sciarpelletti a two-month suspended sentence."