Time to End the Benghazi Witch Hunt, By Carol Giacomo – The New York Times

“After more than two years and over $7 million, the eighth investigation into the Benghazi attacks has finally issued its report, the culmination of a massive wasted effort that can only be seen as a Republican political vendetta against Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

In the end, as hard as it tried, the Republican-led congressional panel turned up no great bombshell, no new evidence of wrongdoing by Mrs. Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time of the 2012 attack, when Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.In essence, the panel came to the same conclusion that the previous seven investigations had reached: that while there were serious security gaps at the American consulate in Benghazi and at a separate annex run by the CIA, American forces could not have reached Benghazi in time to save the Americans. Mrs. Clinton had taken responsibility for the State Department’s handling of the incident within months of the tragedy.

By most reasonable measures, the probe was a failure for which the Republicans and the panel chairman, Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, should be publicly excoriated. But it was a political success in the cynical way that Kevin McCarthy, the House majority leader, predicted it would be.” ”

Source: Time to End the Benghazi Witch Hunt – The New York Times

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The G.O.P. Waits, and Waits, for Donald Trump to Grow Up, By NICOLLE WALLACE – The New York Times

 

The Republican Party is holding its breath for something that will never happen.

Source: The G.O.P. Waits, and Waits, for Donald Trump to Grow Up – The New York Times

Here is one of the more amazing comments from nyt comments:

fastfurious the new world 1 day ago

“I don’t want to hear about this from Nicolle Wallace.

Her job in the McCain campaign was be the groomer & hand-holder for Sarah Palin – get her up to speed as a credible vice-presidential candidate. If the book “Game Change” can be believed – she was irritated by the challenge but she did her best to pull it off.

What she did not do – go to John McCain & tell him “Palin isn’t qualified to be vice-president, not even close! & you need to find a reason to replace her – this is a tragedy waiting to happen if you’re elected.” She didn’t do it. I would have added to him “If you won’t replace her, I’m going to resign & start talking to the media about my experience with her & how hopelessly unqualified – & emotionally unstable – I think she is. She cannot be second in line to the presidency. It might destroy this country.”

When her country needed her to be a grownup & put her concerns for the country first instead of partisan politics – or her own career! – Nicolle Wallace completely failed us. She worked to hide Palin was a mess.

I don’t care what she thinks about Trump. Palin was every bit as bad & Wallace could have warned us about her long before the election. We needed the truth.

I don’t care what Wallace says now about anything. It’s too late.

She’s a hack. People are hard on McCain for picking Palin. Those who watch Wallace on ‘Morning Joe’ should hold her accountable for completely failing her country when we needed her to tell us
the truth.

Shame on her.”

461 Recommended

How Not to Deal With Climate Change, by  Michael Shellenberger – The New York Times

“Berkeley, Calif. — CALIFORNIA has a reputation as a leader in battling climate change, and so when Pacific Gas & Electric and environmental groups announced a plan last week to close the state’s last nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon, and replace much of the electricity it generates with power from renewable resources, the deal was widely applauded.It shouldn’t have been. If the proposal is approved by the state’s Public Utilities Commission, California’s carbon dioxide emissions will either increase or decline far less than if Diablo Canyon’s two reactors, which generated about 9 percent of the state’s electricity last year, remained in operation. If this deal goes through, California will become a model of how not to deal with climate change.

While Pacific Gas & Electric asserts Diablo Canyon would be replaced with other forms of clean, low-carbon power, nothing in the proposal would require the company to go that far. Instead, the plan, according to my organization’s calculations, would require the company only to invest in energy efficiency and renewables programs equivalent to about one-fifth of Diablo Canyon’s electricity output. Anything beyond that would be voluntary.” ”

Source: How Not to Deal With Climate Change – The New York Times

Here is an excellent comment from nyt comments that I support.
Publius
Bergen County, New Jersey 55 minutes ago

“Agree with this article. I used to be an anti-nuke, but the climate emergency takes precedence. We should at a minimum use all the carbon-free nuclear plants now in service and probably build more, at least to get us over our emissions hump over the coming century. Maybe then, if we have a better mousetrap to provide carbon free baseload electric generation, we can shut down the nukes.

Safety concerns over nuclear plants are legitimate, but do not trump the climate crisis. I am also influenced by the fact that apparently France and Japan have been doing something with their waste smarter than we are –leaving wast at operating plants, because of opposition to Yucca Mountain or other permanent repository. Opposition to Yucca is really just an anti-nuclear strategy of going after a vulnerable point in the nuclear production cycle.

Many environmentalists are constrained by their pre-standing policy and ideological opposition to nuclear energy. A more pragmatic outlook would recognize that nuclear energy, like all carbon-free sources, need to be called to duty to combat our greenhouse gas emissions. It’s all hands on deck and there is no single solution.”

Reply 28 Recommended

House Benghazi Report Finds No New Evidence of Wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — Ending one of the longest, costliest and most bitterly partisan congressional investigations in history, the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued its final report on Tuesday, finding no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton in the 2012 attacks in Libya that left four Americans dead.The 800-page report delivered a broad rebuke of the Defense Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department — and the officials who led them — for failing to grasp the acute security risks in Benghazi, and especially for maintaining outposts there that they could not protect.

The committee, led by Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, also harshly criticized an internal State Department investigation that it said had allowed officials like Mrs. Clinton, then the secretary of state, to effectively choose who would examine their actions. In addition, it included some new details and context about the night of the attacks on the American diplomatic compound and reiterated Republicans’ complaints that the Obama administration had sought to thwart the investigation by withholding witnesses and evidence.

The report, which included perhaps the most exhaustive chronology of the attacks to date, did not dispute that United States military forces stationed in Europe could not have reached Benghazi in time to rescue the personnel who died — a central finding of previous inquiries.”

Source: House Benghazi Report Finds No New Evidence of Wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton – The New York Times

Benghazi Panel Chief Nullifies a Key Republican Theory, Democrats Say – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House select committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, said on Tuesday that military reinforcements could not have reached the besieged diplomatic outpost in time to prevent the killings of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

The panel’s chairman, Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, told Fox News: “Whether or not they could have gotten there in time, I don’t think there’s any issue with respect to that. They couldn’t. The next question is: Why could you not? Why were you not positioned to do it?”Democrats seized on Mr. Gowdy’s admission, saying that it nullified one of the main Republican criticisms of how the Obama administration — including Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state at the time — handled the episode. Republicans have argued that the Pentagon was directed not to send reinforcements to back up the outnumbered security forces battling militants on the night of Sept. 11, 2012.

“Chairman Gowdy has finally admitted what we have all known for years,” the committee’s top-ranking Democrat, Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, said in a statement. “The central Republican allegation that the military was told to withhold assets that could have saved lives in Benghazi for political reasons was wrong.” ”

Source: Benghazi Panel Chief Nullifies a Key Republican Theory, Democrats Say – The New York Times

What a double tragedy. First, the horrible killing of our diplomats, then the egregious political witch hunt by Republicans, one of whom was caught admitting, it was all about hurting Hillary’s political capital. Shameful and embarrassing bullies.

Here is a comment from nyt comments on one of my favorite points.

Libby Rahl

Durham NC 23 hours ago

“Interesting that the article doesn’t discuss the committees investigation into whether congressional cuts to funding of the embassies contributed to their inability to defend our diplomats abroad. I’m sure they must have discussed that, right? I mean they drew conclusions about how everybody else’s behaviors might have led to this tragedy, no matter how tenuous their connection to actual embassy activities. It must be somewhere in those 800 pages, right??!!!”

 

Obama’s Death Sentence for Young Refugees, by Nicholas Kristof – The New York Times

“If I’m sent back, they will kill me,” says Cristóbal, who is staying temporarily at a shelter for unaccompanied migrant kids in Mexico. He says he was forced to work for the gang as a cocaine courier beginning at age 14 — a gun was held to his head, and he was told he would be shot if he declined. He finally quit and fled after he witnessed gang members murder two of his friends. Now the gang is looking for him, he says, and it already sent a hit team to his home.Yet he may well be sent back under a policy backed by Obama and Peña Nieto. I admire much about the Obama administration, including its fine words about refugees, but this policy is rank with deadly hypocrisy.

Source: Obama’s Death Sentence for Young Refugees – The New York Times

I really wanted to weigh in and disagree with Nicholas Kristof here, but the comments were closed. Luckily, and to my amazement, someone wrote a comment with my three main points, so I completely endorse the following comment:

Matthew Carnicelli

is a trusted commenter Brooklyn, New York 1 day ago

“Nick, I refuse to fault Obama here inasmuch as this is clearly one of those scenarios where a President is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

The furor over uncontrolled immigration is one of the factors driving the Presidential candidacy of an American fascist – and yet you see fit to blame Obama for not doing more.

The human rights situation in Mexico is a horror story as is, as drug cartels and criminal gangs wreak havoc across that nation, largely, if not exclusively, because our American appetite for narcotics is unacceptable to our moral elite. And yet you expect Mexico to do even more for us, by providing sanctuary to these children.

The reality is that we need a comprehensive economic and cultural strategy for the Americas if we ever hope to address this problem – and part this strategy must involve the decriminalization of narcotics. Another part of this strategy must involve real world grassroots economic development for Mexico and Central America, so that these governments have a prayer of dissuading their youth from choosing a life of crime and violence. There’s no reason but sheer corporate greed that these nations can’t be hubs of manufacturing for the Americas – with their workers being paid FAIR WAGES (not serf wages) for the work done.

Nick, what you propose is a band-aid – but what’s required is a greater vision, a truly American vision.”

At the Edge of Inside, by David Brooks – The New York Times

“In any organization there are some people who serve at the core. These insiders are in the rooms when the decisions are made. Hillary Clinton, for example, is now at the core of the Democratic Party.Then there are outsiders. They throw missiles from beyond the walls. They are untouched by internal loyalties and try to take over from without. Donald Trump is a Republican outsider.

But there’s also a third position in any organization: those who are at the edge of the inside. These people are within the organization, but they’re not subsumed by the group think. They work at the boundaries, bridges and entranceways. Senator Lindsey Graham, for example, is sometimes on the edge of the inside of the G.O.P.I borrow this concept from Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest who lives in Albuquerque. His point is that people who live at the edge of the inside have crucial roles to play. As he writes in his pamphlet “The Eight Core Principles,” when you live on the edge of any group, “you are free from its central seductions, but also free to hear its core message in very new and creative ways.” ”

Source: At the Edge of Inside – The New York Times

This article seems weirdly familiar. I’ve found myself in this limbo, helpful, useful position before, but I recall, it is lonely.

A Week for All Time Seal it. Not all Republicans support Trump’s facism. History will remember. But come November, will we? nytimes.com|By Timothy Egan

This is especially for the Bernie Bros who follow my clippings and rants.
Tim Egan: “They will remember, a century from now, who stood up to the tyrant Donald Trump and who found it expedient to throw out the most basic American values — the “Vichy Republicans,” as the historian Ken Burns called them in his Stanford commencement speech.

The shrug from Mitch McConnell, the twisted explanation of Paul Ryan, who said Trump is a racist and a xenophobe, but he’s ours — party before country. As well, the duck-and-hide Republicans, so quick to whip out their pocket copy of the Constitution, now nowhere to be seen when the foundation of that same document is under assault by the man carrying their banner.

They will remember, in classrooms and seminars, those who wrote Trump off as entertainment, a freak show and ratings spike, before he tried to muzzle a free press, and came for you — using a page from another tyrant, Vladimir Putin, admired by the homegrown monster.”

Seal it. Put it in a time capsule. Teach it. History will remember. But come November, will we?
nytimes.com|By Timothy Egan
xxx

Here is an amazing comment from NYT comments:

James Lee

Arlington, Texas June 17, 2016

“Although Ryan and McConnell would never admit it, the fate (or at least the soul) of their party might depend on a crushing defeat in November, not just at the presidential level, but even in the state elections. The GOP, through its relentless determination to crush the Democratic party by any means, foul or fair, has converted itself into a narrowly doctrinaire organization, in thrall to extremist elements calling themselves conservatives.

As long as those elements, exemplified by the conservative House caucus, remain in office, the party may prove unable to replace its mechanical hostility to the federal government and the social safety net with a more genuinely conservative outlook, as articulated in the writings of David Brooks and Ross Douthat. If Trump’s candidacy serves as a catalyst that, through defeat, galvanizes the Republican party to reform itself and its philosophy, then both the institution and the country will benefit.

The stark alternative features a scenario too chilling to contemplate. If economic difficulties, coupled perhaps with more more terrorist attacks, should so unsettle the electorate that Trump wins the White House, then the US might experience a time that would cause the staunchest liberal to pine for a return of the Bush years.

Even if my prediction exaggerates our peril, the reality would prove harmful enough. The republic would endure, but not without damage to its institutions.”

Getting Twitchy About Mr. Trump – The New York Times

“It’s a question fit for Donald Trump himself: Can Republicans fire this guy?Monday’s news that Mr. Trump’s campaign is turning over the couch cushions for cash and has built next to nothing in terms of a national organization was just the latest reason for Republicans to worry that they have a historic loser on their hands. Mr. Trump’s racist comments about the federal judge presiding over a lawsuit against Trump University, his congratulating himself on predicting the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., and his insinuating that the nation’s Muslims and President Obama were somehow involved in domestic terrorist plots have persuaded many Republicans that Mr. Trump will never fulfill their hopes of becoming a more judicious “presidential” candidate.

Fully 70 percent of registered voters now say they dislike Mr. Trump, including more than three-quarters of women and nearly 90 percent of nonwhite people, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll. Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has opened a double-digit lead in some national polls.”

Source: Getting Twitchy About Mr. Trump – The New York Times

The World’s Disappearing Sand – The New York Times

“MOST Westerners facing criminal charges in Cambodia would be thanking their lucky stars at finding themselves safe in another country. But Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson, who is half British and half Spanish, is pleading with the Phnom Penh government to allow him back to stand trial along with three Cambodian colleagues. They’ve been charged, essentially, with interfering with the harvesting of one of the 21st century’s most valuable resources: sand.

Believe it or not, we use more of this natural resource than any other except water and air. Sand is the thing modern cities are made of. Pretty much every apartment block, office tower and shopping mall from Beijing to Lagos, Nigeria, is made at least partly with concrete, which is basically just sand and gravel stuck together with cement. Every yard of asphalt road that connects all those buildings is also made with sand. So is every window in every one of those buildings.

Sand is the essential ingredient that makes modern life possible. And we are starting to run out.”

Source: The World’s Disappearing Sand – The New York Times

Not many comments yet on this article, but the few I reviewed are excellent, such as:

ando arike

Brooklyn, NY 2 hours ago

“Nearly a fifty years ago, MIT scientists released a computer-modeled study that was published, to great acclaim and controversy, as “Limits to Growth,” predicting a collapse of industrial civilization in the first half of the 21st century. The collapse would be caused, according to their forecast, by growth — in the economy, in population, in pollution, in consumption of finite resources. The depletion of sand described by Mr. Beiser here is yet another sign that those limits to growth have been reached — indeed, surpassed. Where is the leadership humanity needs to reverse our suicidal trajectory of growth, growth, growth? As the environmentalist Edward Abbey put it, “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” “