I’m stunned by the tragic death of Phil Hoffman. We went to high school together, but few of us had any idea he would become such a star.

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman in "Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman."  (Photo credit: New York Times)

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman in “Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.” (Photo credit: New York Times)

Lynn and I just heard the news of the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, apparently of a heroin overdose. We feel so sick and so sad. Grieving for him. Grieving for his family. And his friends. We are praying for each of them to find Christ’s comfort at this hour. Praying they experience what the Apostle Paul calls “the peace that passes all comprehension” in Philippians chapter four. When we were growing up in the same town in Upstate New York (Fairport), we all knew him simply as “Phil.” We were in the same graduating class of about 575. I remember seeing him in the Fairport High School senior year drama in “Death of a Salesman.” He played the lead, Willy Loman, and he was phenomenal. It was stunning how good. Phil had always been a class clown. I had no idea until then he could act at all much less so well. We all knew at that point that he could be a breakout, but did any of us in the Class of ’85 really know how huge a star he’d become? Indeed, after graduating from New York University, he became one of the most impressive and celebrated actors of our generation. Oscar award winner. Tony award winner. You name it, he won it. A few years ago I took Lynn to see Phil play Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman” – but this time on Broadway. He’d been amazing in high school, but he was, of course, even far more effective after years of training and experience — which made a sad and tragic play 1000 times sadder. I remember seeing him first in Scent of a Woman. Twister was fantastic. Hunger Games, too, and so many other of his films and TV shows. My favorite has to be Mission Impossible when Tom Cruise disguises himself as Phil Hoffman! I sat in the theater blown away. Suddenly, Cruise (the biggest box office star of our time) was gone. It was just Phil vs. Phil on the silver screen. Though we grew up in the same town and went to the same schools, I never knew him really. But I’ve prayed for him often, and for all the Raiders of ’85. I am heartbroken he struggled so much to find hope in this world and that he is gone so soon, and so tragically. Good bye, Phil. You will be deeply missed.


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

“Obama knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack before he went to bed to rest for a Las Vegas fundraiser”

Guest post by Investor’s Business Daily

Deceit: Newly declassified transcripts show top defense officials who briefed Obama on the day of the Benghazi attack described it as a terrorist attack and told the president so, yet he pushed a false narrative about a video.

Just as the new book by former Defense Secretary Bob Gates confirmed what many believed, that President Obama was a politically motivated commander-in-chief who had no faith in an Afghan surge he put 30,000 Americans in harm’s way to execute, transcripts of congressional testimony by military leaders confirm that President Obama knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack before he went to bed to rest for a Las Vegas fundraising trip.

Fox News reporter James Rosen examined 450 pages of declassified testimony given by senior Pentagon officials in closed-door hearings held last year by Congress. In those hearings, Gen. Carter Ham, who at the time headed Africom, the Defense Department combat command with jurisdiction over Libya, testified that he learned about the assault on the consulate compound within 15 minutes of its start, at 9:42 p.m. Libya time, from the Africom Command Center.

Ham said he immediately contacted Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey to say he was coming down the hall at the Pentagon to meet with him.

“I told him what I knew. We immediately walked upstairs to meet with Secretary Panetta,” Ham testified, adding “they had the basic information as they headed across for the meeting at the White House.”

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, an Iraq war veteran and Army reserve officer, asked 29-year Army veteran Ham what he told Panetta and Dempsey. “As a military person, I am concerned that someone in the military would be advising that this was a demonstration. I would hope that our military leadership would be advising that this was a terrorist attack,” Wenstrup said.

Ham responded that “there was some preliminary discussion about, you know, maybe there was a demonstration. But I think at the command, I personally and I think the command very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack” and that was the “nature of the conversation” Ham had with Panetta and Dempsey moments before their 30-minute meeting with President Obama.

This confirms Panetta’s testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee in February of last year that it was he who told the president “there was an apparent attack going on in Benghazi.”

“Secretary Panetta, do you believe that unequivocally at that time we knew that this was a terrorist attack?” asked Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.

“There was no question in my mind that this was a terrorist attack,” Panetta replied.

Despite a briefing by Dempsey and Panetta that it was a terrorist attack, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would trumpet the false narrative that four Americans were murdered due to an inflammatory video — something Obama would repeat six times before the U.N. General Assembly and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice would say on five Sunday talk shows five days after the terrorist attack.

It is a disgrace that the only person ever jailed for the Benghazi attack was the maker of that irrelevant video. The terrorists got away with it.

President Obama and Secretary Clinton were complicit in a lie designed to protect the president’s re-election chances a few months later and Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions in 2016.

What difference does it make? Well, the difference between the truth and a lie can mean saving or losing lives, or losing or winning an election, especially if the lie comes from the White House.


Read more at Investor’s Business Daily

Doug Ross @ Journal

Benghazi Whistleblowers: Obama Went to Sleep Refusing to Authorize Rescue; Commanders Relieved of Duty for Trying

The Right Scoop has the full interview of Benghazi whistleblower attorney Joe DiGenova. DiGenova appeared to confirm our worst suspicions regarding the unconscionable behavior of Barack Obama on the night of 9/11/2012.

…There is more to learn about Benghazi. Panetta has never told the full story.

Here’s an interesting question. Remember General Ham and what happened the night of the assault on the American embassy? We have reason to believe that things happened that night in the chain of command where people were relieved of their duties because they insisted that there be a military response. We’re working on trying to establish that with some news organizations but there’s very, very good evidence that people were actually relieved of command because they refused not to try and dispatch troops and some response.

And by the way, this notion that the administration has put out – it’s this little straw-man that [the] military couldn’t have landed in Libya, Greg Hicks has testified and so have some other military people that if there had only been a flyover, that would have dispersed these crowds because they remembered what the American military did its flyovers and its assaults.

There were planes in Croatia that could have been there by the time of the attack on the annex and no planes were ever sent. That was because the president of the United States refused to issue an order allowing for the dispersal of military into Libya because that was considered an act of war. The president, himself, who went to sleep, refused to issue some order.

You know, Panetta is not a bad man. He knows what went wrong that night. He’s never been properly questioned about this and pressed. And if he were he would admit all of this stuff.

In addition to Panetta, perhaps someone should subpoena Frau Jarrett?

Hat tips: BadBlue News and BB.

Doug Ross @ Journal

YEAH: I went there

I tried my hand at a short novel. It has nothing whatsoever to do with politics. It’s crime fiction. A friend of mine read it and said, “Really, really good: like reading an action movie.” Someone else likened it to a written comic book.

Both of those comments made me happy. I wrote the kind of book I would want to read.

At Amazon you can read the first part of the book for free. It’s a 99¢ download on Kindle. And while I’m not real good at math, I think the average movie ticket costs about 75 times that much.

*In all seriousness, if you do choose to read it (it’s a quick read, approximately 100 pages or so), please fire me an email and let me know what you think.

Doug Ross @ Journal