In the interest of tying up some loose ends, here are a few updates before the new year.
Remember how 2013 began with much ado over Al Gore’s unseemly $500 million sale of Current TV network to Al Jazeera, aka “the Muslim Brotherhood channel”? Even anything-for-a-buck Time Warner Cable saw fit to drop the Qatar-owned “news” organization from its package. Well, TWC this month announced that, yes, it will be bringing Al Jazeera America into 55 million American homes after all. “Financial terms weren’t disclosed,” USA Today reported.
Remember how, with a stroke of their pens, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey decreed that no battlefield mission or military role would be off-limits to women? Call it the Equal Rights Amendment by executive fiat. But hold on about “equal.” As Elaine Donnelly’s Center for Military Readiness has reported, “gender-norming” is the Pentagon’s idea of “equal.”
Starting in January 2014, for example, when it comes to physical fitness, eight pull-ups will earn a female Marine 100 points, but men will need 20 pull-ups for that perfect score. Combat fitness, too, institutionalizes different standards for men and women. For example, the “maneuver under fire” requirement for men is 3 minutes, 58 seconds, but women get 5 minutes, 59 seconds to complete it. No word on whether the enemy will also observe such “gender-norming.”
One 2013 mystery we carry into 2014 is what happened in Washington on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, while Americans were under fire in Benghazi, and why have so many Obama administration officials stonewalled and lied about it ever since? “What difference, at this point, does it make?” Hillary Clinton infamously erupted in January before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, when asked why the Obama administration blamed a video, not terrorists, for the attacks.
To date, the answer is none. The New York Times reported in July that former Secretary of State Clinton is receiving “about $200,000? per speech, amply augmenting the estimated $100 million Clinton Inc. has made in speaking fees since 2001 – and she doesn’t even mention Benghazi. (Sample pearls: “Leadership is a team sport.” “You can’t win if you don’t show up.” “A whisper can be louder than a shout.”)