The Al Smith Dinner: I Have To Give This One To Romney

Having watched the Al Smith dinner last night, I have to cast my vote with Mitt Romney as the better delivery and jokes though President Obama had some good material as well. You decide, but let’s put ideology to side and for once just focused on what matters: the jokes. While we are not selecting the comedian in chief, at least we have a common measure of success in a roast.

Below is President Obama’s remarks.

Of course, neither man wrote these jokes but, judging on the raw material, I am afraid that I have to give it solidly to Romney on this one. What do you think?

91 thoughts on “The Al Smith Dinner: I Have To Give This One To Romney

  1. Total Obama. He told more jokes on himself than on the other guy – sure sign of better sense of humor and overall better view of the world and his place in it.

  2. Watched it. I not think either was extremely funny but Romney’s mean spiritedness came through when he tried to roast Obama. Obama has a warm smile, and Romney is cold, cold.

  3. Yes, Obama. Easy for him to poke fun at himself. Romney was over-the-top with jabs against Obama. It made me uncomfortable. This was not designated a Roast!

  4. Mr. Turley, asking to put ideology aside here is next to impossible. I have seen your ability to do that, which is what brought me here. Your commenters, while often engaging, have dug in their heels. I agree w/ your take on this video clip. As Steve Martin said, “Comedy is not pretty.”

  5. Obama on delivery and warmth. Romney was cold and what affect there was was slightly off kilter. Jokes were good, but delivery is everything. Neither one is a professional comedian, so we did not get a professional delivery. My two favorite jokes were Obama’s line about middle names. Then there was the bit about him being criticized for being a celebrity in Europe had a great punch line–that Romney avoided that problem.

  6. nick, Not really….. I thought McCain was funnier than Obama in 2008, and I thought that Bush was funnier than Gore.

  7. Romney’s one good line was about being able to dress for the occasion in the same way he and Ann do when lounging around at home. One of the few, if only, times I’ve ever heard – or heard of – Romney being self-deprecating in any fashion, much less w/r/t his wealth.

  8. At this point, I find nothing about either of them amusing. As pols, the very last thing I’m interested in is their party repartee. I’m sure they’re both charming to some in that superficial way most politicians are and not so charming to others. If being able to tell a joke was a relevant job skill, Rodney Dangerfield would have been President, maybe even King.

  9. Prof Turley is totally correct on this. The only thing to judge is delivery and Romney’s delivery was great. Obama did fine too but was certainly bested by Romney’s sharper delivery. Both roasted themselves and each other, which is what they should do. Forget about this warmth stuff. Leave that up to Mr. Warmth himself – Don Rickles. I think Obama’s handicap was that he didn’t have a teleprompter to read from, instead of notes/index cards.

    Come on libs, it may hurt to admit it but the comedy delivery judgement goes to Mitt.

  10. I thought Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ronald Reagan were the most personable presidents, at least during my lifetime.

  11. Elaine, Romney took the opportunity to play the anti-abortion card and criticized Obama for the HHS mandate.

  12. people please remember that this was a charity event. Take it easy. Perceptions of victories and losses here are as important as Whoppi’s understanding of Mormons in the military.
    BTW, off subject, I like Dennis Miller’s obscure comment that only older baseball fans can appreciate: “Obama’s stance on terror is more contorted than Dick McCauliffes” His spelling was incorrect … it’s McAuliffe.

  13. “I told my son about the Separation of Powers and representative democracy. He told me about my wife and the Unitary Executive! I tell you, I get no respect!” – President Dangerfield (allegedly)

  14. Geeba geeba, What’s Romney’s stance on terror or anything today? I said today because it changes daily or maybe hourly.

  15. Absolutely agree that Romney’s lines were funnier. But in most likelihood, neither Romney nor Obama wrote their own material. The applause goes to the copywriters.

  16. You idealogues are shooting yourself in the foot. This post isn’t about issues, it’s about comedy, timing. delivery. Geez. Now, it’s not how you should elect a president but this is our culture. Pols going on late night talk shows, Comedy Central, The view, etc. It may not be the way it should be..but it’s the way it is. Both these guys are good in these venues. Obama is generally better. But, in this dinner event, Romney was better.

  17. nick, I watched the whole thing, and don’t agree. My husband said that Romney confirmed for him that he really is a bully.

  18. yeah nick, chill. you know how mean rich republicans are and how they bully people.

    dont you know Romney isnt funny and cant be funny as a rich uptight white man. I mean, look at the man, his magic underwear is on way to tight and he probably has Asbergers.

  19. In any case, when one of these two corporate-controlled clowns ascends to the imperial throne next year, the joke will surely be on us and the rest of the world. (Insert supreme deity here) help us.

  20. nick–They are both two-faced inveterate liars who would be right at home in a travelling snake-oil show from the 1800s and that is just plain fact and has nothing to do with ideology.

  21. Bron,

    I don’t enjoy watching the White House Correspondents’ Dinner or the Al Smith event where a bunch of rich media folk and other ultra wealthy people hobnob with politicians.

  22. I thought romney said one thing that was funny and that was the comment about Joe Biden. Obviously someone forgot to tell the great smirk that this was supposed to be jokes not a roast. He was hateful and condescending as usual. He sure enough tried to impress the Cardinal, trying to suck up Catholic votes. I wonder if anyone has told the Cardinal that Mormons think Catholism is an abomination. Yep… it’s in the book of Mormon. But then I’ve heard that many Catholics think Mormonism is a cult. I agree and for once people should educate themselves about Romney’s beliefs. The arrogant, holier than thou way he acts I suspect that he may think that his god has already awarded him his promised ‘godship’ and that planet earth is his first planet.

  23. Nick, you gotta relax, buddy.


    I love that Joe Biden is getting cracked on from both sides. I bet he’s totally laughing and having a good time about too.

  24. To Whom: Romney’s stance on terror is a couple of things:
    1) When he sees it happen in his admin, he will call it as it is and not make bad attempts to cover it up.
    2) Most of the terrorism he sees is Obamacare. Mr. Bowles, Clinton’s former Chief of Staff and hardly a Republican, states that Obamacare will suck every last elective dollar out of the budget (if the Senate will ever pass one). It is a behemoth of massive proportions and will ruin everything. That alone is terror enough … and we can easily avoid it. If Obama wants to keep this killer he isn’t my guy.

  25. Magginkat

    On a related note to your comment, Romney wen to Asheville, NC last week to see Billy Graham. The day before Romney arrived the Billy Graham website still had a page stating that Mormonism is a cult, along with Jehovah’s Witness, Islam, Scientology, Spiritualism, etc.(ie anything not Evangelicals) . The day he arrived all claims that Mormonism=cult disappeared while the others mentioned still hold cult status.

    For the record, I don’t have an opinion on the matter; I’m atheist. I live in the area and it was talked and written about.

  26. Elaine, Geeba says Obamacare is terrorism. I guess Romney will have to get rid of Romneycare to stop the terrorists

  27. Comedians that I’ve heard comment thought that Obama did the better job, both in content and delivery.

    Romney is, as one commenter noted, mean-spirited, and unable to engage in self-deprecating humor. Those attributes don’t make for good comedy … nor good PR, for that matter.

    PS: Go, Packers! 😉

  28. Perhaps an old misused phrase from a Daffy Duck Looney Tunes/Merry Melodies cartoon is appropriate to settle this comedic matter come Nov 7th. “He who laughs last …. laughs last.”

  29. IMO they both had a few genuine laugh lines. I agree with OS on the favorite joke, I thought the funniest line was O’s/middle name joke. It’s also not a roast, O spread the focus around and R was one note so that got old pretty quickly.

  30. My favorite was Colbert at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner … afterwards Colbert talked about how nice Bush was to his (Colbert’s) mother. It’s funny the things we remember.

    I bet it’s twice as funny reading these post than it was watching the event. I chuckle every time I read someone shaming posters for failing to agree with our host … or tut tutting them for failing to follow the host’s instructions or reinterpreting the host’s instructions and demanding compliance with that reinterpretation.

    Since I didn’t watch, I have no opinion which probably means I shouldn’t be posting at all … I’m sure someone has a rule about that somewhere.

  31. I watched Obama and Romney speak at the Al Smith dinner last night. What a Great system. The RNC and the DNC are goal oriented. They have differences, but the great common goal of both is the pooling of power and authority. I was assured of the legitimacy of this event when I saw Cardinal Dolan sitting between the two.

    “Among the 1,600 guests were representatives from two of New York’s major industries – media and Wall Street money. Spotted in the crowd were ABC television talk show host Katie Couric and Fox News executive Roger Ailes, as well as Steve Schwartzman, chief executive of private equity firm Blackstone Group, and Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan.” Huff po.

    Oh yes, Politics, Religion, Money, and Media got along Gloriously last nite. I was assured by the leaders of these bastions of Democracy that all is well with our Government.

    Of the People, For the People, By the People. …… “The people are doing so well…. I saw them all on TV last nite.” :o).

  32. I know I’m late to the party, but I wanted to comment on the two men’s performances. My wife thought Romney’s material directed at the President was funnier, though not well delivered. I thought the only two really funny things he said were his reference to being able to relax in the clothing he and Ann usually wear. Good line, well delivered. The other one was where he said sometimes he gets invited to these functions to be the designated driver. Other than that, I found his barbs both mean spirited and delivered with too straight a face to be taken as just humor. On the other hand, I found Mr Obama more self deprecating and far less nasty in his references to Mr. Romney. I liked his line about giving Chris Matthews a stroke after debate #1.


    When you consider all the similarities of O’romneyCare, one has to reconcile whether Obama is a severe conservative or Romney a Kenyan Muslim commie.

  33. The norm of The Al Smith Dinner is for the candidates to self deprecate, not to lance cheap shots at each other. Romney did that which is uncalled for. He also disrespected our President during the second debate which he lost. Had a Democrat Candidate done the same what Romney did, all Hell would have broken lose based on the neo-cons Christian values.

    This is a charity dinner to have fun not a political rally with cheap shots which Romney made it to be.

  34. My first thought when I saw the shindig, was that if the Cardinal went on a diet, it would make a big dent in the five million they were trying to raise.

    He clearly has never missed a meal in his life.

  35. Bruce. For an ignorant neo-con like you, interacting and disagreeing with people like you who are only allowed to repeat the talking points given by Faux News is having one’s head in the sand. LOL… Good job done, as expected.

  36. Off Topic:

    CIA documents supported Susan Rice’s description of Benghazi attacks
    By David Ignatius

    The Romney campaign may have misfired with its suggestion that statements by President Obama and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice about the Benghazi attack last month weren’t supported by intelligence, according to documents provided by a senior U.S. intelligence official.

    “Talking points” prepared by the CIA on Sept. 15, the same day that Rice taped three television appearances, support her description of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate as a reaction to Arab anger about an anti-Muslim video prepared in the United States. According to the CIA account, “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”

    The CIA document went on: “This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated.” This may sound like self-protective boilerplate, but it reflects the analysts’ genuine problem interpreting fragments of intercepted conversation, video surveillance and source reports.

    The senior intelligence official said the analysts’ judgment was based in part on monitoring of some of the Benghazi attackers, which showed they had been watching the Cairo protests live on television and talking about them before they assaulted the consulate.

  37. And in the same vein, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) compromised the identities of several Libyans working with the U.S. government. Issa’s document dump placed their lives in danger when he released reams of State Department communications Friday. The documents were not officially classified secret, but were considered, “highly sensitive,” and certainly were not for public consumption in unredacted form.

    The State Department had an assessment of at least part of the damage:

    “One of the cables released by Issa names a woman human rights activist who was leading a campaign against violence and was detained in Benghazi. She expressed fear for her safety to U.S. officials and criticized the Libyan government. […] Another cable names a Benghazi port manager who is working with the United States on an infrastructure project. […] One cable names a local militia commander dishing dirt on the inner workings of the Libyan Interior Ministry. Another cable names a militia commander who claims to control a senior official of the Libyan armed forces.”

    This is beyond irresponsible. To be hand wringing about security, and then deliberately putting some of our assets in danger of their lives is reprehensible. All to score a cheap political point. I hope we can get these people out before they end up dead. Issa is not the sharpest tool in the shed.

  38. ingorance is running up the national debt 5 trillion in 3 1/2 years. ingorance is beliving the embassy attack in Lybia was spontanious you brain surgeons

  39. @ Otteray Scribe…….. Shouldn’t the State Department have redacted the names prior to giving it to the House Oversight Committee. They don’t seem to have a problem redacting most other documents. Or, could they have change the documents security classification? If the State Department was worried about these people’s security…oh, wait…

  40. IA, all the members of the House Oversight committee have security clearances and are supposed to be fully briefed on security protocol. To date, they seem to have taken their oath of office seriously. Maybe that policy needs to be revisited. If anyone at the State Department wants my opinion, it is that Rep. Issa’s security clearance needs to be revoked, along with whoever else voted for the document dump.

    Technically, they are allowed access to such documents with the understanding they will be handled with care. Private Bradley Manning is in the brig right now for doing something close to the very same thing. Perhaps some jail food would be good for Mr. Issa and his gang.

  41. Elaine and Otteray, This is the second time The House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has done the stupid thing out of sheer arrogance with no regard for our security. Last week, he exposed CIA compound during the Benghazi hearings. His arrogance is darker than the Grecian formula he uses on his head and on his chest hair. The Republicans in fact are true Anti- Americans. They have tried their best in making America become weaker both domestically and internationally. If American is successful, then Obama wins by being a good President, the thought that would make them chew on their cyanide pills before Nov.6th. Their hatred towards President Obama is so ingrained that their actions show they take pride in being unpatriotic.

  42. I think Prof. Turley has a dog in this race. He’s writing about jokes at the Al Smith dinner and I don’t recall any blogs about a very big threat to democracy – voter suppression. I just read about another new low brought about by the Repubithugs. They are posting billboards in poor neighborhoods that “voter fraud is a felony with penalties of 3 1/2 years in jail and $10K fines. Add that to employers threatening their employees, destroyed voter registrations, and using Democratic call sheets to do phone banks for Rmoney. These people are scum.

    And I am so looking forward to Nick’s and Bron’s “apologies”.

  43. Finally Liberated From Facts, Mitt Romney the Pure Bull Artist Takes Flight
    By Matt Taibbi
    POSTED: October 19, 2012

    You know those Balsa wood airplanes – not the glider-types but the deluxe models, powered by rubber bands, with little propellers on the nose? I thought of those planes watching Mitt Romney debate Barack Obama the other night.

    Romney’s journey toward the presidency has been a marvel to behold. Dating back to his first political steps – his race against Ted Kennedy, followed by his assault on the Massachusetts governorship – Romney has been constantly twisting and contorting himself, exchanging position for position, trading pro-choice for anti-choice, flirting with pro-gay rhetoric before shifting swiftly the other way, pioneering state health care reform before bashing virtually the same plan designed on a national scale, claiming the center on everything from guns to global warming before careening right as a presidential candidate.

    Then, just within this year, the contortions took him all the way around again, in a corkscrewish motion, as he first careened as far right as he could stand to win the primary season, and then twisted some more to come all the way back to his version of the center to run as a kindler, gentler sort of centrist alternative to Obama. I was shocked to hear him say aloud in the second debate that the richest people would not have their tax burdens reduced, especially since he spent the entire primary season running as a supply-sider who would create growth by cutting taxes on capital gains, interest, dividends, and eliminating the estate tax, cuts that overwhelmingly favor the very rich.

    From the start of the first debate, Romney has almost seemed liberated, spouting line after line of breathless, ecstatic inventions – things that are, if not lies exactly, at the very least just simply made up out of thin air, and seemingly on the spot, too. The business about the $25,000 “bucket” of deductions which he prefaced, with seemingly half of America watching, with the phrase, “Let’s pick a number”: awesome. Then there was the jobs plan that creates 12 million jobs, another number seemingly plucked out of the ether: it turned out that when asked to justify the number, the Romney campaign cited three studies, none of which came anywhere near justifying claims of a 12 million-job increase. This is from Paul Krugman’s new column on the subject:

    “Just for the record, one study concluded that America might gain two million jobs if China stopped infringing on U.S. patents and other intellectual property; this would be nice, but Mr. Romney hasn’t proposed anything that would bring about that outcome. Another study suggested that growth in the energy sector might add three million jobs in the next few years — but these were predicted gains under current policy, that is, they would happen no matter who wins the election, not as a consequence of the Romney plan.

    “Finally, a third study examined the effects of the Romney tax plan and argued (implausibly, but that’s another issue) that it would lead to a large increase in the number of Americans who want to work. But how does that help cure a situation in which there are already millions more Americans seeking work than there are jobs available? It’s irrelevant to Mr. Romney’s claims.”

    That jobs line is when I thought of the Balsa wood plane. Romney has spent his whole political career being so careful: in all his previous races, he’s used his admittedly very quick mind and slick presentation skills to walk one political tightrope and rhetorical razor-edge after another, trying to run as a pseudo-conservative Republican in traditionally liberal Massachusetts, while in primary season this year, he tried his best to maintain a whiff of centrist cred as a national politician even as the immediate demands of the Republican primaries forced him to veer sharply right. The psychic energy it takes to internally manage all of those past contortions (and future calculations) while publicly walking a razor’s edge is no joke: it takes a special man to do it.

    But now Romney’s finally all the way to the endgame, and he’s just letting go. No more being careful, and weighing himself down on debate stages with painstakingly parsed positions (this was frequently the situation in the primaries, where Romney’s performances were always restrained and cautious, even when he “won”). Now there’s no more future to worry about and he’s just casting off from his moorings and being what he basically is at heart, which is a salesman and bullshit artist of the highest order.

  44. Elaine, Already made my pick, Dr. Jill Stein. Relax, I’m in NY and Obumer has it without me.

    Blouise, Colbert at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner – my favorite too. That was the first I heard of him and he just blew the doors down!

  45. Being NY born and bred I’ve always hated the concept of the Al Smith dinner as an homage to the Cardinal of the Diocese. Since many of NYC’s Cardinals have been involved in both war mongering, censorship and sexual repression, I find the deference given to this dinner by politicians, despite its purported charitable cause offensive. I can say though that it historically been about light hearted joking and to use it as a political forum is bad form.

  46. Swarthmore Mom-

    I thought that George W. Bush’s joke about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction was hilarious. Best practical joke ever.The Iraqis didn’t get it at all.

    Too bad Al Smith isn’t running for President.

  47. I wish an end to these events.

    They really have nothing to do with us, and the press pretending they do is ricidulous. Yes, Katie Couric and Roger Ailes: we get that it has something to do with *you.*

    Charity, my Aunt Fanny. What I’d like to see is people declining to attend and donating the cost of their plate, plus their (or rather, their company’s) costs to send them, to whatever charity this supports.

  48. Hussein was a PRESIDENT and an amateur jokester, like most pops. Romney was the con-man he always is: one slip and the fish is off the hook. So in that sense he wins.

    BTW, folks: Re-distribution can be seen another way also. Romney is for the continued re-distribution of produced value to the one percent. And this audience
    of one percenters were clear who of the two they shared values with. Their applause proved that. Do we have anything in common with the one percent???

    They did.

  49. Swarthmore Mom,

    Thank you deeply for the Obama “Romnesia” video.
    If I had any doubts then they disappeared after seeing that. He is a man, not a huckster like Romney.

  50. NickS,

    If we compare them in white tie and rolled up sleeves, my choice is clear.
    And “ideologue” is not a pejorative in my world, as it is in yours. Ayn Rand was a clear ideologue, so what do you have against them.

  51. Folks,

    Nobody commented Blouise’s comment.

    I thought that it was great in its clear characterization of “us”, and accurate too. Which fraction do you belong to? Of course, she did not mention the “best” category, which you feel you belong to—–heh?

    OS had the best one-liner. And ElaineM was the big surprise, delivering more bite than her usual message heavy comments. Cool.

  52. Bruce 1, October 20, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Just what campaign promises did Obama keep in the first four years?
    He promised to leave only 50,000 non-combat troops in Iraq. Not sure about the numbers but the combat deaths in Iraq are way down.

    He promised to escalate the war in Afghanistan. He did that.

    He promised to take the war to Pakistan. He did that.

    He promised to go after bin Laden. He claims he did that. (I think bin Laden was already dead for some time)

    He promised health care. He delivered a medical insurance for more.

    There may be more but the first three were reasons to not vote for him.

  53. vernonlee 1, October 20, 2012 at 4:12 am

    Charity, my Aunt Fanny. What I’d like to see is people declining to attend and donating the cost of their plate, plus their (or rather, their company’s) costs to send them, to whatever charity this supports.

    Expensive, fancy events like the Al Smith dinner shouldn’t be necessary but folks with a lot of money like white tie events for charity to prove how generous they are. Frequently, they get the big expensive party and there is little money left over for the charity.

    I would hope that every attendee would write a check that at least equals their price of admission and that every penny goes to Catholic Charities which does really good work for the poor.

  54. “Defeat Romney, Without Illusions about Obama
    Advice to progressives in swing states, vote for reelection”

    by Daniel Ellsberg

    “It’s not merely understandable, it’s entirely appropriate to be enraged at Barack Obama. As I am. He has often acted outrageously, not merely timidly or “disappointingly.” If impeachment were politically imaginable on constitutional grounds, he’s earned it (like George W. Bush, and many of his predecessors!) It is entirely human to want to punish him, not to “reward” him with another term or a vote that might be taken to express trust, hope or approval.

    But rage is not generally conducive to clear thinking. And it often gets worked out against innocent victims, as would be the case here domestically, if refusals to vote for him resulted in Romney’s taking key battleground states that decide the outcome of this election.

    To punish Obama in this particular way, on Election Day — by depriving him of votes in swing states and hence of office in favor of Romney and Ryan — would punish most of all the poor and marginal in society, and workers and middle class as well: not only in the U.S. but worldwide in terms of the economy (I believe the Republicans could still convert this recession to a Great Depression), the environment and climate change. It could well lead to war with Iran (which Obama has been creditably resisting, against pressure from within his own party). And it would spell, via Supreme Court appointments, the end of Roe v. Wade and of the occasional five to four decisions in favor of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    The reelection of Barack Obama, in itself, is not going to bring serious progressive change, end militarism and empire, or restore the Constitution and the rule of law. That’s for us and the rest of the people to bring about after this election and in the rest of our lives — through organizing, building movements and agitating.

    In the eight to twelve close-fought states — especially Florida, Ohio, and Virginia, but also Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin — for any progressive to encourage fellow progressives and others in those states to vote for a third-party candidate is, I would say, to be complicit in facilitating the election of Romney and Ryan, with all its consequences.

    To think of that as urging people in swing states to “vote their conscience” is, I believe, dangerously misleading advice. I would say to a progressive that if your conscience tells you on Election Day to vote for someone other than Obama in a battleground state, you need a second opinion. Your conscience is giving you bad counsel.

    I often quote a line by Thoreau that had great impact for me: “Cast your whole vote: not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence.” He was referring, in that essay, to civil disobedience, or as he titled it himself, “Resistance to Civil Authority.”

    It still means that to me. But this is a year when for people who think like me — and who, unlike me, live in battleground states — casting a strip of paper is also important. Using your whole influence this month to get others to do that, to best effect, is even more important.

    That means for progressives in the next couple of weeks — in addition to the rallies, demonstrations, petitions, lobbying (largely against policies or prospective policies of President Obama, including austerity budgeting next month), movement-building and civil disobedience that are needed all year round and every year — using one’s voice and one’s e-mails and op-eds and social media to encourage citizens in swing states to vote against a Romney victory by voting for the only real alternative, Barack Obama.”

  55. President Obama won hands-down with his smile, delivery & self-deprecating remarks. RMoney was so very much the bully, mean-spirited, hateful & condescending to the President. RMoney can’t poke fun at himself because he believes he is the fulfillment of the Mormon Prophesy and that he is Entitled — to everything!

  56. Otteray,

    John Kerry: Darrell Issa’s Release Of Raw Libya Cables ‘Irresponsible And Inexcusable’
    By Paige Lavender
    The Huffington Post
    Posted: 10/20/20

    Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) criticized House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R- Calif.) for releasing 166 pages of “sensitive but unclassified” State Department cables that contained the names of Libyans working within the United States.

    “This is irresponsible and inexcusable, and perhaps worst of all it was entirely avoidable,” Kerry said. “It is profoundly against America’s interests in a difficult region.”

    The Obama administration has also criticized Issa for leaking the documents, which relate to the September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and four others.

    Administration officials told Foreign Policy magazine the leak, along with Issa’s failure to redact the names of Libyan civilians and local leaders mentioned in the cables, could have “unintended consequences.”

    “This does damage to the individuals because they are named, danger to security cooperation because these are militias and groups that we work with and that is now well known, and danger to the investigation, because these people could help us down the road,” an administration official said.

  57. What’s funny is that we can be so distracted when we’re facing extinction. We must be the sorriest lifeform anywhere! We don’t even deserve to be alive the way we ignore every sign that things are going terribly out of control and we’d rather make money! Yeah, we’re a real riot – especially when it’s too hot grow food, or the electrical grid fails, or (fill in your favorite scenario of doom – because they’re probably all going to come true sooner than we think).

    Some presidential debates – they’re trying to outdo each other to keep polluting and ruining the environment. Good plan guys! Geez, which clown should we vote for? It’s so close!

    And don’t forget to vote! Like that will change anything for the better. There’s a good joke for you.

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