Report: Obama Has Missed over Half His Second-Term Daily Intel Briefings

A new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report reveals that President Barack Obama has attended only 42.1% of his daily intelligence briefings (known officially as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB) in the 2,079 days of his presidency through September 29, 2014.

The GAI report also included a breakdown of Obama’s PDB attendance record between terms; he attended 42.4% of his PDBs in his first term and 41.3% in his second.

The GAI’s alarming findings come on the heels of Obama’s 60 Minutes comments on Sunday, wherein the president laid the blame for the Islamic State’s (ISIS) rapid rise squarely at the feet of his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

“I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” said Obama.

According to Daily Beast reporter Eli Lake, members of the Defense establishment were “flabbergasted” by Obama’s attempt to shift blame.

“Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting,” a former senior Pentagon official “who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq” told the Daily Beast.

On Monday, others in the intelligence community similarly blasted Obama and said he’s shown longstanding disinterest in receiving live, in-person PDBs that allow the Commander-in-Chief the chance for critical followup, feedback, questions, and the challenging of flawed intelligence assumptions.

“It’s pretty well-known that the president hasn’t taken in-person intelligence briefings with any regularity since the early days of 2009,” an Obama national security staffer told the Daily Mail on Monday. “He gets them in writing.”

The Obama security staffer said the president’s PDBs have contained detailed threat warnings about the Islamic State dating back to before the 2012 presidential election.

“Unless someone very senior has been shredding the president’s daily briefings and telling him that the dog ate them, highly accurate predictions about ISIL have been showing up in the Oval Office since before the 2012 election,” the Obama security staffer told the Daily Mail.

This is not the first time questions have been raised about Obama’s lack of engagement and interest in receiving in-person daily intelligence briefings. On September 10, 2012, the GAI released a similar report showing that Obama had attended less than half (43.8%) of his daily intelligence briefings up to that point. When Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen mentioned the GAI’s findings in his column, then-White House Press Secretary Jay Carney dubbed the findings “hilarious.” The very next day, U.S. Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens and three American staff members were murdered in Benghazi. As Breitbart News reported at the time, the White House’s very own presidential calendar revealed Obama had not received his daily intel briefing in the five consecutive days leading up to the Benghazi attacks.

Ultimately, as ABC News reported, the White House did not directly dispute the GAI’s numbers but instead said Obama prefers to read his PDB on his iPad instead of receiving the all-important live, in-person briefings.

Now, with ISIS controlling over 35,000 square miles of territory in its widening caliphate in Iraq and Syria, and with Obama pointing fingers at his own Director of National Intelligence James Clapper for the rise of ISIS, the question remains whether a 42% attendance record on daily intelligence briefings is good enough for most Americans.

CDC confirms first Ebola case diagnosed in US

The Centers for Disease Control sign is seen at its main facility in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Centers for Disease Control sign is seen at its main facility in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday confirmed the first case of Ebola has been diagnosed in the United States.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas officials said in a statement earlier Monday that an unnamed patient was being tested for Ebola and had been placed in “strict isolation” due to the patient’s symptoms and recent travel history.

At least 3,091 people have died from Ebola since the West African outbreak was first identified in Guinea six months ago.

This story is developing. Please check back for further updates.


This Man With Severe Cerebral Palsy Created Mind-Blowing Art Using Just A Typewriter

Last year, 22-time Emmy award-winning reporter John Stofflet posted this news video he created for KING-TV in 2004, featuring Paul Smith and his artistic talents.

See the full video to see more of Smith’s artworks and to learn more about his inspiring story go here. 

(this post was reblogged from quyfawkes)

Real homemade backpack flamethrower


Doug Ross @ Journal: RECOGNIZE ANY OF THESE? 25 Rules of Disinformation

Spotted at Cryptome, see if any of these ring a bell with our beloved Golfer-in-Chief.

These rules are generally used more directly by those at the leadership, key players, or planning level of the criminal conspiracy or conspiracy to cover up.

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.

2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the ‘How dare you!’ gambit.

3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method which works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such ‘arguable rumors’. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a ‘wild rumor’ from a ‘bunch of kids on the Internet’ which can have no basis in fact.

4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.

5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary ‘attack the messenger’ ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as ‘kooks’, ‘right-wing’, ‘liberal’, ‘left-wing’, ‘terrorists’, ‘conspiracy buffs’, ‘radicals’, ‘militia’, ‘racists’, ‘religious fanatics’, ‘sexual deviates’, and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.

6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism, reasoning — simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint.

7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could be taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.

8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough ‘jargon’ and ‘minutia’ to illustrate you are ‘one who knows’, and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.

9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues except with denials they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.

10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man — usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with - a kind of investment for the future should the matter not be so easily contained.) Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually then be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues — so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.

11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the ‘high road’ and ‘confess’ with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, ‘just isn’t so.’ Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later, and even publicly ‘call for an end to the nonsense’ because you have already ‘done the right thing.’ Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for ‘coming clean’ and ‘owning up’ to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.

12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to lose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.

13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards or with an apparent deductive logic which forbears any actual material fact.

14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best with issues qualifying for rule 10.

15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.

16. Vanish evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.

17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can ‘argue’ with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.

18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can’t do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how ‘sensitive they are to criticism.’

19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the ‘play dumb’ rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon.) In order to completely avoid discussing issues, it may be required that you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.

20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations — as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.

21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed and unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed. Usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim.

22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.

23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.

24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their character by release of blackmail information, or merely by destroying them financially, emotionally, or severely damaging their health.

25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.

The Worst Thing About ISIS | The Blog on Obama: White House Dossier

What’s the worst thing about ISIS?

It’s not ISIS. It’s Iran.

Obama’s use of the military against ISIS will preclude the already small possibility that he would use it against Iran.

While we should continue to try, it is unlikely Iran will abandon its decades-long effort to obtain nuclear weapons just because of sanctions. In fact, we’ve already rolled back sanctions while they “negotiate” and play for time to develop The Bomb.

Obama refuses to even allow the toughest sanctions he could.If Iran is to be prevented from going nuclear, someone will have to take care of this situation militarily.

A nuclear Iran is the biggest national security problem we face. It will endanger us, our children and – if we get that far in this increasingly perilous world – our children’s children. A nuclear Iran must be stopped at all costs.

The window for peaceful resolution of this matter is closing. Iran is refusing basic UN demands to stop enriching uranium. Obama has already guaranteed that Iran will be able to maintain a nuclear program of some type, which permits a permanent possibility that the country will militarize its nuclear materials.

The problem with ISIS is that this president, so reluctant to engage in war with these terrorists, will never simultaneously launch an attack on Iran. It’s just too much for him.

And that means the Israelis will do it, and it will be done poorly compared to how we would do it.

Obama is already trying got avoid a fight by further accommodating the mullahs, according to a Wall Street Journal column:

The latest Administration brainstorm is to abandon the longstanding demand that Iran dismantle its uranium-enriching centrifuges, of which it currently has installed about 10,000, with an additional 9,000 built. Under one Western proposal, Iran would merely be asked to disconnect some of the pipes connecting one centrifuge to the next. Another idea, according to the Associated Press, is to allow Iran to keep as many as 4,500 centrifuges, provided Iran agrees to enrich uranium at a lower rate.

Then there are Iran’s ballistic missiles, an essential component of its nuclear-weapons program. Security Council Resolution 1929 “decides that Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” Yet over the summer Mr. Khamenei called on his Revolutionary Guards to mass-produce ballistic missiles, and now the Administration is looking for an accommodation.

There has been little progress in talks with the Iranians, which were supposed to end by July, but now have been extended until the end of November. Meantime, do we really know how much closer they’ve gotten to a weapon?

I believe we will find out when they test one. Hopefully in the desert, and not in Tel Aviv.

Doug Ross @ Journal: OPEN BORDERS MEDICAL NEWS: Bubonic Plague and Tuberculosis Outbreak in U.S. Southwest

It’s not just an issue of terrorists wandering into the U.S., it’s a range of health hazards thought long ago conquered domestically.

Arizona fleas test positive for plague

It’s a word you don’t hear too often around Arizona: plague. But some fleas in northern Arizona have tested positive for plague and that has people on high alert.

Plague can be deadly to people and animals, but if found early on, it’s very treatable with antibiotics. That being said, residents of Coconino County should be looking out for fleas… Fleas with plague were discovered in prairie dog burrows northeast of Flagstaff in the Doney Park area.

Five babies in Texas test positive for TB after possible mass exposure

Five babies have tested positive for tuberculosis infection in El Paso after being at a hospital where hundreds of newborns may have been exposed to TB by a diseased worker at the facility, health officials said on Saturday.

The El Paso Department of Public Health also increased the number of people who may have been exposed to 858. It had said earlier this month that 706 babies and 43 employees were possibly exposed to the infected worker between September 2013 and August 2014.

And, by all means, let’s not inquire into the immigration status of the “infected worker”, because that would be profiling and nativist. Right, Jeb Bush? - SC State Trooper Shoots Unarmed Man - Officer Fired from Job

The video showing a shooting involving a state trooper and an unarmed man has been released to the public by police.

The video was taken from the dash camera installed inside 31-year-old Sean Groubert’s vehicle during an encounter in which Groubert shot 35-year-old Levar Jones on September 4th at a Circle K gas station on Broad River Road.

Department of Public Safety Director Leroy Smith fired Groubert on September 19th after observing the video and reviewing a report from the State Law Enforcement Division.

In the video, Groubert can be heard asking Jones for his license. As soon as Jones reaches inside his vehicle, though, Groubert begins firing his weapon, shouting “get on the ground, get on the ground.”

Jones, who was injured in the hip, stumbles away from the vehicle. He throws up his hands and can be heard asking Groubert “what did I do” and “what did I do sir?”

Groubert then tells Jones to put his hands behind his back. Ex-Officer Groubert was arrested Wednesday and charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. Bond was set at $75,000.

The charges were brought by the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s office, which reviewed the findings of an investigation into the incident conducted by the State Law Enforcement Division.

A warrant states that audio and visual recordings, as well as written statements, indicate the shooting was without justification.

In dismissing Groubert, Smith called the facts of the case “disturbing.” - New Iranian 5.56 mm rifle

Irans military has been looking to trade in the old ak 47 and heckler g3s with more modern rifles since 2001, the khiabar rifle was supposed to fill in the need for a new standard gun for Iranian infantrymen, but ultimately the plan was cancled due to the gun being too expensive and jamming.


This Is About As Good As Things Are Going To Get For The Middle Class – And It’s Not That Good

Depressed - Public Domain

The U.S. economy has had six full years to bounce back since the financial collapse of 2008, and it simply has not happened.  Median household income has declined substantially since then, total household wealth for middle class families is way down, the percentage of the population that is employed is still about where it was at the end of the last recession, and the number of Americans that are dependent on the government has absolutely exploded.  Even those that claim that the economy is “recovering” admit that we are not even close to where we used to be economically.  Many hope that someday we will eventually get back to that level, but the truth is that this is about as good as things are ever going to get for the middle class.  And we should enjoy this period of relative stability while we still can, because when the next great financial crisis strikes things are going to fall apart very rapidly.

The U.S. Census Bureau has just released some brand new numbers, and they are quite sobering.  For example, after accounting for inflation median household income in the United States has declined a total of 8 percent from where it was back in 2007.

That means that middle class families have significantly less purchasing power than they did just prior to the last major financial crisis.

And one research firm is projecting that it is going to take until 2019 for median household income to return to the level that we witnessed in 2007…

For everybody wondering why the economic recovery feels like a recession, here’s the answer: We’re still at least five years away from regaining everything lost during the 2007-2009 downturn.

Forecasting firm IHS Global Insight predicts that real median household income — perhaps the best proxy for middle-class living standards — won’t reach the prior peak from 2007 until 2019. Since the numbers are adjusted for inflation, that means the typical family will wait 12 years until their purchasing power is as strong as it was before the recession. That would be the longest period of stagnation, by far, since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Of course that projection assumes that the economy will continue to “recover”, which is a very questionable assumption at best.

Meanwhile, total household wealth has been declining for middle class families as well.

According to the New York Times, the “typical American household” is now worth 36 percent less than it was worth a decade ago.

That is a pretty substantial drop.  But you never hear our politicians (especially the Democrats) bring up numbers like that because they want us to feel good about things.

So why is all of this happening?

The biggest reason why the middle class is struggling so much is the lack of good jobs.


Assyrian Christians Take Up Arms Against Islamic State in Ravaged Iraqi Towns

For much of the alarming surge of the terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq, a great deal of attention on the resistance has remained on the Peshmerga, Kurdish fighters dedicated to keeping the Islamic State from expanding. Now, it is Assyrian Christians that are organizing similar militias to do their part in keeping the Islamist terrorists at bay.

The Agence France-Presse reports that Christian Assyrians in the village of Sharafiya are arming themselves and organizing forces in preparation for an attack from the Islamic State. Calling themselves the Dwekh Nawsha, which the AFP describes as “an Assyrian phrase conveying self-sacrifice,” they are believed to be one of the first to be an exclusively Christian group of soldiers.

Some, the AFP reports, are former officers in the Iraqi military. Others are civilians who require training, but all are committed to fighting the Islamic State. While the group notes it needs significantly larger amounts of weapons and better training, it claims to have already reached out to other groups, particularly in Lebanon, for support. It is believed that they total up to 2,000 at the moment, according to statistics provided by Iraq’s most prominent Christian political party, the Assyrian Democratic Movement.

Christians have been one of the Islamic State’s biggest targets, though it has also targeted for elimination all groups that do not adhere to their extremist version of Sunni Islam. While Christianity has thrived in Iraq since shortly after the establishment of the faith, some formerly Christian areas have been entirely emptied of their Christian populations. In Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, Islamic State jihadists destroyed Christian sites and forced all Christians to either convert and pay an infidel’s tax (jizya), leave the city, or accept execution. One woman forced to flee Mosul testified: “They told us, ‘Go away! This is not your land. Go to your Christian people and to your pastors. Let them feed you, shelter you, and give you homes.’”

It is estimated that 200,000 people have fled northern Iraq after repeated assaults against Christian and other minority villages by the terrorists of the Islamic State.


Ben Carson: Potential for Widespread Anarchy in America Within a Couple Years

Mr. President: Stop Using the Term “ISIL” | The Blog on Obama: White House Dossier

by Keith Koffler on September 27, 2014, 12:52 pm

Many of you may be confused by the alternate labels used for the Islamists rampaging through Iraq and Syria. Some call them ISIL, some call them ISIS, and some call them Islamic State.

Right now, they are calling themselves the Islamic State, after previously using the terms ISIS or ISIL.

Now, I don’t really care what they want to be called. I stand with Winston Churchill on this, who was famous for mispronouncing words in the languages of his antagonists, including, of course, France. He’d probably call them “ISIS” and pronounce it “Asses.”

But I do care what our president calls them. Because by using the term ISIL, he is legitimizing their claim to a broader region than they currently occupy.

ISIL stands for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. It’s what The Bloodthirsty Lunatics – or TBL, another potential option – used to call themselves.

This is the Levant:


What do you notice about it? What’s there??

By saying “ISIL,” Obama may as well be saying “The Islamic State of Iraq, Syria, and Israel.”

Now, I know he’s not getting along with Netanyahu, but …

Obama just loves to respect other cultures by referring to them as they would themselves. Pahkeestahn, he loves to say, while the rest of us provincials just call the place Pakistan, as in “pack your suitcase.”

But this group deserves no respect. That they used to call themselves ISIL should be of no importance to our president.

Obama should immediately begin referring to these people either as ISIS or “Islamic State.” Since they want to be called Islamic State, I would opt for ISIS. In fact, I do opt, on this website, for ISIS.

ISIS also originally referred to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in that it used for its last letter the “S” in the Arabic term for Levant, “al-Sham.” But ISIS has come to also mean “The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.”

That is what they are. Although the way Obama is prosecuting this war, ISIL may eventually become the truth.

‘Fox & Friends’ Is Most-Watched Hour in the Demo Friday - TVNewser


The 8amET hour of “Fox & Friends” was the most watched hour of any cable news show on Friday in the A25-54 demo. Averaging 367,000 viewers, the hour topped only the 7amET hour which averaged 364,000 viewers. As usual “The O’Reilly Factor” was the most watched among total viewers for the day, with 2.287 million.

Over on CNN, a daytime hour was also the most-watched on that network: the 5pmET edition of “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” drew 558,000 viewers, more than any other hour on CNN Friday. That hour was the second most-watched, after Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown at 9pmET.

Barack Obama’s birth certificate: Where is truth and clarity?