Bill Clinton loves watching fictional politicians get away with murder

Appearing on daytime television Tuesday, former President Bill Clinton talked about his appreciation of political thrillers like “House of Cards” and “Scandal” before lamenting that he didn’t have any Frank Underwood-style political murders under his belt.

“[T]he thing about ‘Scandal’ and ‘House of Cards’ that makes it fun to watch is that I can’t imagine that either a President Spacey or the president’s chief of staff on ‘Scandal’ could really get away with murder,” Clinton joked, when asked about the political shows.

“I wish I’d known about that when I was in office,” Clinton continued. “You know, think of all the opportunities I’ve missed … so little time … so many people had it coming. Crazy.”

We’ll just leave the rest up to the commenters…

How do your rebound from an electoral beating? Just insist that your way is still the best

President Obama’s chief of staff seemed strangely disconnected from the beating Democrats took on Tuesday, telling a reporter for the sympathetic MSNBC channel that everything will go smoothly for the new Republican majority in both houses of Congress — if the president can simply have his way.

Chief of Staff Denis McDonough didn’t elaborate on what he meant by it, but McDonough appeared vexed when MSNBC’s Chris Jansing asked him how Obama would characterize what the election results meant for American voters.

“They’re going to see Washington working better if this president has his way, and that’s what he’s going to do,” McDonough offered.

Jansing asked the obvious follow-up question: How?

“Well, we’re going to do it any number of ways.”

Pen and phone? Those are two.

Cartoon roundup

Tom Janssen, The Netherlands

Take that, President Obama. Your party got thumped, and it has an awful lot to do with you. The people of this country are fed up with all the muck the United States is mired in thanks to you and your liberal lackeys. As for you, GOP, here’s your chance. Don’t blow it because 2016 is just around the corner. And the voters are so hot around the collar that they probably won’t have cooled off by then unless change happens.

Arcadio Esquivel, La Prensa, Panama,
Paresh Nath, The Khaleej Times, UAE
karikatur für tribüne-machtkampf
Petar Pismestrovic, Kleine Zeitung, Austria
Bill Schorr, Cagle Cartoons
David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star
Milt Priggee,
Taylor Jones,
Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch
November 5, 2014
Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News
Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch
Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle
Cardow, The Ottawa Citizen
Daryl Cagle,
Daryl Cagle,
Daryl Cagle,
Larry Wright,
John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri
Taylor Jones,
November 7, 2014
Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News
Cam Cardow, Cagle Cartoons
Eric Allie,

Navy SEALs reminded to keep their mouths shut

Next week, Fox News plans to air a documentary revealing which member of Navy SEAL Team Six pulled the trigger and shot Osama bin Laden. The Navy isn’t happy about that.

From Fox News Insider:

The two-night presentation will feature an exclusive interview with the Navy SEAL who says he fired the shots that killed terrorist leader Usama Bin Laden. In the special, he describes the events leading up to and during the historical raid that took place on May 1st, 2011.

Revealing his identity and speaking out publicly for the first time, the Navy SEAL, also known as “The Shooter,” will share his story of training to be a member of America’s elite fighting force and explain his involvement in Operation Neptune Spear, the mission that killed Bin Laden.

The documentary will provide an extensive, first-hand account of the mission, including the unexpected crash of one of the helicopters that night and why SEAL Team 6 feared for their lives. It will also touch upon what was taking place inside the terrorist compound while President Obama and his cabinet watched from the White House.

Offering never before shared details, the presentation will include “The Shooter’s” experience in confronting Bin Laden, his description of the terrorist leader’s final moments as well as what happened when he took his last breath. Additionally, viewers will be offered a behind-the-scenes look at the secret ceremony where he donated the shirt he was wearing during the mission to the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York City.

The Navy took this opportunity to remind “SEALs and other special operators to stay out of the limelight.” Navy Times reported that Rear Adm. Brian Losey and Force Master Chief Michael Magaraci wrote a letter to Naval Special Warfare sailors addressing the issue:

“At Naval Special Warfare’s core is the SEAL ethos,” according to the letter, which was obtained by Navy Times. “A critical tenant of our ethos is ‘I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions.’ Our ethos is a life-long commitment and obligation, both in and out of the service. Violators of our ethos are neither teammates in good standing, nor teammates who represent Naval Special Warfare.”

The letter did not indicate if any Navy special operators had broken confidence, but it comes as media outlets are reporting that U.S. officials are considering prosecuting former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette for his failure to clear “No Easy Day,” his 2011 book about the Osama bin Laden raid, with the government prior to publication. Separately, Fox News is scheduled to broadcast an interview on Nov. 11 with a former SEAL who claims to be the one who shot bin Laden.

The letter from Losey and Magaraci makes clear that Naval Special Warfare Command will prosecute anyone who reveals classified information and puts other sailors and their families in danger.

“We will not abide willful or selfish disregard for our core values in return for public notoriety and financial gain, which only diminishes otherwise honorable service, courage and sacrifice,” the letter says. “Our credibility as a premier fighting force is forged in this sacrifice and has been accomplished with honor, as well as humility.”

Watch: Voter fraud made easy

In a new video, undercover filmmaker James O’Keefe reminds Americans how easy it is to commit voter fraud just ahead of Election Day.

According to the video, O’Keefe accessed a list of 700,000 “inactive” voters the Voting Integrity Project says are on the rolls in North Carolina to see how easy it would be to commit voter fraud by getting someone else’s ballot.

The answer: very easy.

“Some 20 times, nearly a busload, we were just a signature or two away from voting. Of course, we never signed anything, but we could have, and if we had, we could have voted and no one would have been the wiser,” O’Keefe relays in the video.

Cartoon roundup

Luojie, China Daily, China

I was working in the lab, late one night, when my eyes beheld an eerie sight. … Something evil’s lurking in the dark. You try to scream, but terror takes the sound before you make it. You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes. You’re paralyzed. … It’s astounding. Time is fleeting. Madness takes its toll. … Tell me who’s watching. Who’s watching me? I always feel like somebody’s watching me. And I have no privacy. … This is Halloween. Everybody make a scene.

Pavel Constantin, Romania
October 31, 2014
Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News
Eric Allie,
The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893
Cam Cardow, Cagle Cartoons
RJ Matson, Roll Call

The scatological protest for gender equality in the bathroom

A few students at San Diego State University think gender inequality has gotta go. Literally.

Student activists at SDSU staged an outdoor “shit-in” (we’ll let that sink in for a second) last week to draw attention to their belief in the need for greater gender inclusiveness inside restrooms across campus. They planted toilets — hopefully used only for visual effect — at an outdoor campus hub, pulled down their pants and remained seated on their dubious statement thrones for the duration of the event.

What grievance did they have? That the university’s already-progressive gender-inclusive policy on campus restrooms (there are reportedly at least 10 “gender-neutral” facilities at SDSU) be expanded to every building on campus. And they want the changes to be reflected on campus maps.

According to a story (with photos!) at Campus Reform, the protesters said “the goal was to update UO campus maps to show where the nearest two gender inclusive bathrooms are at any given location. They also hope to install a gender inclusive bathroom in every building on campus and make all single-stall facilities gender inclusive.”

Does this qualify as a First World problem?

Ralph Nader: Hillary Clinton ‘a menace to the United States of America’

Wikipedia Commons

In an interview with We Are Change’s Luke Rudowski, five-time failed presidential candidate Ralph Nader called potential 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton a “menace” to the nation because of her “corporatist” and “militarist” views.

“Well, Hillary [Clinton] is a corporatist and a militarist,” he said. “Do we want another corporatist and militarist? She thinks Obama is too weak. He doesn’t kill enough people overseas. So she’s a menace to the United States of America.”

“What we need is people — regardless of whether they are libertarians or not — that pull back on the empire and make Wall Street subordinate to Main Street. People have got to start thinking, doing their homework, become informed voters and not coronate another corporatist and militarist.”

Asked about potential GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Nader said that the lawmaker is too shifty on many of his views.

“He’s like his father Ron Paul,” Nader said. “He is against militarism, against the bloated military budget, against empire, and against these foreign military unconstitutional adventures — but Rand Paul is changing by the month as he wants the White House. He is beginning to say, ‘Well, what if we give more aid to Israel? The militarism there. Why don’t we keep this part of the military budget that has jobs in Kentucky.’

“So he is beginning to change. You can see him in just one year — he’s not going to go on the floor and filibuster again, the way he did courageously,” he continued. “That’s what blind ambition does. That’s what political power does. So what he ought to do is go back to his father, sit on his knee and become more like Ron Paul.”

Democrats continue to claim GOP worse than Ebola, terrorists

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” over the weekend, Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz insisted that Americans ought to be more afraid of the GOP than the Ebola virus or Islamic State terrorism.

CNN host Candy Crowley asked Schultz about a Democratic campaign ad attacking Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner as “too extreme for Colorado.”

“So we’ve heard this in previous elections, too extreme, too extreme their Tea Party, we can’t work with them,” Crowley said. “So, it seems that the Democrats’ overall message is: Yes, ISIS is scary. Yes, Ebola is scary. But Republicans are a lot scarier.”

“Well, that’s right,” Schultz replied, before discussing Gardner’s anti-abortion stance and GOP efforts to shrink the size of government.

What is going on with Truthy (the government-funded site that claims it no longer monitors conservative ‘social pollution’)?

Following an August report on the existence of Truthy, a strange university research project that uses computer algorithms to track Internet memes and Twitter trends, the FCC’s conservative representative began warning that the project amounted to an Orwellian attempt by the government to define and do something about the spread of misinformation.

Now Truthy has changed its focus, deleting the part of its site that formerly purported to track political themes in social media. Up until that time, the #tcot Twitter hashtag had reportedly been the most active of all the politically inclined Internet signifiers the project had been monitoring.

The Washington Free Beacon, which first reported on the existence of the Truthy project in late August, wrote Friday that Truthy hasn’t just deleted (from public view, anyway) the fruits of its political tracking, but that its researchers have also decided they won’t be talking to The Washington Free Beacon anymore.

From Friday’s report:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) project designed to track “misinformation” on Twitter has removed portions of its website that monitored political users, including conservatives who used the “tcot” hashtag.

… Screenshots taken by the Free Beacon in August show the site in its previous form, where it monitored hundreds of conservative Twitter users when they used #tcot. The site recorded the number of retweets, mentions, partisanship of the user, “sentiment,” and language of the tweets.

… The Free Beacon asked Truthy’s head researcher Filippo Menczer, a professor of Informatics and Computer Science at Indiana University, why these portions have been deleted. Menczer first said that is not the Truthy project website, and the changes were a result of updates that happen from “time to time.”

… The Free Beacon also asked Menczer why detecting “hate speech” was included in the original grant proposal, and how he defines the term. Menczer declined to offer his definition.

“You are referring to a sentence from the broader impact section of the abstract of the grant proposal submitted to NSF in 2010,” he said. “Taken out of its proper context, that sentence can be quite misleading. That passage refers to a proposed public and open web service to allow anyone to access information and visualizations about how memes propagate through social media.”

Menczer said the detecting hate speech line originates from when they were applying for the grant and the NSF asked the researchers to speculate potential uses for the project.

… After sending additional follow up questions as to why the site was only recently changed given that Menczer said the research was conducted four years ago, the university said that they will no longer be taking inquiries from the Free Beacon.

… “I also wanted to let you know that we will have no further comment to you on this project or the work of our faculty members in this area,” [Mark] Land [the Associate Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations at Indiana University] said.

If all that sounds convoluted, it is. There’s no way to know whether the government-funded researchers are still tracking the (conservative-dominated) political Internet for evidence of hate speech or “social pollution” — only that it has removed any evidence of such monitoring from its public Web pages.

It’s also interesting to note that researchers saw the value of pursuing online “hate speech” — speech it never bothers to define — as a decisive factor in enticing the government to award the project nearly $1 million in grant funds.

For much more, visit the story at The Washington Free Beacon.