October 23, 2015

Hillary vs. the Benghazi Committee… and Weekend Reads



“I can’t tell how much I missed you. I have wept so much thinking of us that there are no tears left in me,†a South Korean woman named Ms. Lee cried upon finally being reunited with her husband after 65 years during which he was stranded in North Korea when the Korean war ended.


#pnut4prez: Benghazi Hearing Gives America A Headache

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao? Frost vs. Nixon? Tom vs. Jerry? No, it was Hillary vs. the Benghazi Committee! The most watched thing to ever be aired on C-SPAN happened yesterday when Hillary Clinton appeared in front of the Republican-led Benghazi committee in a grueling 11-hour back and forth. How did it go? It played out pretty much how you’d imagine. NYT called it a “shouting match,” while other news networks used a variations of boxing metaphors to describe the back and forth. Clinton stood her ground during the hearing, defending her actions surrounding the Libyan Embassy’s security and the subsequent deaths of four American officials, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, on September 11, 2012. While taking responsibility for the deaths that happened on her watch, she called allegations that she had in some way contributed to Stevens’ fate as “personally painful” and “deeply distressing.” She would not accept blame for the lapse in security, stating that matters of operational security were not within her purview at the State Department. To be expected, there was a lot of focus on Clinton’s emails and her private server. So what now? The committee has already spent $4.5 million and counting of taxpayer dollars, they are reeling from some embarrassing gaffes that suggest the whole thing is politically motivated and they have yet to land a solid blow on Hillary… still unclear how it will play out.

GOOD READ: “What 12,000 Emails Tell Us About Being Hillary Clinton” (via Politico) 



US Soldier Killed Trying To Free Hostages From ISIS

The US suffered its first fatality in Iraq in four years when a US soldier was killed in a raid to free hostages from an ISIS prison in northern Iraq. The joint US-Kurdish raid freed 70 people (they were expecting only 20). The US says that ISIS was planning a mass execution of the prisoners.

EU Struggles With Xenophobia Towards Refugees

The UN has accused the Czech government of routinely violating the rights of refugees crossing into the country to get to other, more hospitable, countries. Further north, German police arrested 13 people allegedly involved in a planned plot to attack a refugee center in Bavaria. As temperatures start to drop across Europe there is a real fear that the unresolved refugee crisis will only become more dangerous.

 Pnut’s Nutshell: Syrian Civil War

China Communists Ban Golf Club Memberships And Fun

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) just banned its 88 million members from joining golf clubs as part of an ongoing campaign to impose discipline on party members. The move is part of Xi Jinping’s crack down on corruption and extravagant displays of wealth by party members which have angered “the masses” during a time of slowing economic growth. CCP members are also discouraged from having extra-marital affairs.           

Keeping Our Eye On…

  • Swedish Sword Attack: A masked man killed two people with a sword at a school in the western town of Trollhattan. The suspect, who allegedly had links with far-right extremism, killed a teacher and a pupil before being shot by police.
  • Tech Shares Surge: Amazon and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, rose 11% and 9%, respectively, in the market after they posted strong third quarter profits. Microsoft shares also rose 7% due to solid growth in cloud-computing services. Loving the cloud.
  • Israel: An Israeli Jew was killed by an Israeli soldier after each one thought the other was an Arab attacker. This is at least the second time this month someone gets killed or gravely injured for being mistaken for an attacker.


Russia Goes To War With Harold And Kumar… And Loses

Russia’s ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko, tried his best to Twitter troll the US’ Middle East foreign policy by posting a happy-looking picture of actor Kal Penn in the film “Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay.” The embassy later apologized, stating to Mr. Penn, “It’s rather hard to spot a terrorist laughing.” The actor (who once worked at the White House) thanked the Ambassador for his apology and tweeted back a photo of the Soviet boxer, Ivan Drago, from “Rocky IV.”

Weekend Reads

  John Oliver Doesn’t Care About Donald Trump
Things John Oliver doesn’t care about: Donald Trump.
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