PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY NOV. 5, 2012) — Tomorrow, We The People go to the polls and pretend to elect the next president. The winner will pretend to govern us.

That’s the way of the ballot box exercise in these here Joonited Sticks of Americant. Big Money has made the individual vote irrelevant. The ridiculous Electoral College just piles on to that reality. Your vote is an open wound. Big Money and the Electoral College are the salt.

Your vote doesn’t count because no matter who wins tomorrow, Obama or Romney, the presidency will continue to be hostage to partisan politics of the worst kind. Even if some how that were not to be the case, on the basis of this campaign, there is no chance — absolutely none — that the next president will care to address the most serious threat to national security, which is, of course, the $16 trillion debt. Neither of these two will address the second most serious issue facing Americull: employer-provided health care. The ridiculous requirement that employers, and not national health, provide health coverage has stifled entrepreneurship and enterprise.

Debt is the poison that will kill this country. That fate became clear the moment the U.S. economy switched from an investment economy to a consumer economy (care to pinpoint it, anyone? THE PLANET would guesstimate the late 70s/early 80s). Aside from the huge moral evil of consumerism (the type of futility that makes Sisyphus look like Bill Gates), the problem with the way Americuss participated in consumerism guaranteed the predicament we are in today. “Consumers” didn’t indulge their needless acquisitions with their savings or earnings. They did it through debt. We haven’t looked back since.

Actually, the winner tomorrow will not be the person most deserving to be president. There are two people who would be equally good for that job: Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, and Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee. THE PLANET requests there you seriously think about casting a vote for either of these eminently qualified persons.

A vote for Johnson is a vote against federal tax collections, massive federal spending, and the federal debt. The Libertarian platform is loaded with solutions on crime and violence, the environment, the family budget, foreign policy, free speech, guns laws, health care, immigration, poverty and welfare, privacy, social security, taxes, and other issues. For more information, visit

For the record, we predict a win tomorrow by Barack Obama. Two late developments pushed this close race to his side:

(1) Frankenstorn — Obama handled the crisis so well that even New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who gave the keynote address at the Republican National Convention, gushed over the way Obama came through. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, bought some groceries and staged a photo op. Romney blew it big time.

(2) Benghazi — This seemed to be Romney’s best chance at plunging a foreign policy dagger into Obama’s heart. Now, the best Romney has done is cut himself shaving. It seems that the official response to the attack on the U.S. Consulate there came swiftly.

Here’s the story from the Associated Press. You may have missed it. This sealed a win for Obama:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Just days before the presidential election, U.S. officials are striking back at allegations they failed to respond quickly or efficiently against the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, detailing for the first time a broad CIA rescue effort.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Thursday that CIA security officers went to the aid of State Department staff less than 25 minutes after they got the first call for help from the consulate, which was less than a mile from a CIA annex. The detailed timeline provides the first in-depth look at how deeply the CIA was involved in the rescue attempt, and it comes amid persistent questions about whether the Obama administration responded as quickly and effectively as it could to the siege.

The attack on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 by what is now suspected to be a group of al-Qaida-linked militants killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Two of the four who were killed, ex-Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glenn Doherty, had been identified as State Departmentcontractors, but were actually CIA security officers who responded from the annex.

U.S. officials described the timeline in a clear effort to rebut recent news reports that said the CIA told its personnel to “stand down” rather than go to the consulate to help repel the attackers. Fox News reported that when CIA officers at the annex called higher-ups to tell them the consulate was under fire, they were twice told to “stand down.” The CIA publicly denied the report.

The intelligence officials told reporters Thursday that when the CIA annex received a call about the assault, about a half dozen members of a CIA security team tried to get heavy weapons and other assistance from the Libyans. But when the Libyans failed to respond, the security team, which routinely carries small arms, went ahead with the rescue attempt. At no point was the team told to wait, the officials said.

Instead, they said the often outmanned and outgunned team members made all the key decisions on the ground, with no second-guessing from senior officials monitoring the situation from afar.

The officials insisted on anonymity to discuss a CIA operation, as they routinely do. The anonymity was a condition of discussion even on a topic that has become highly politicized days before the presidential election.

The consulate attack has become a political issue in Washington, with Republicans questioning the security at the consulate, the intelligence on militant groups in North Africa and the Obama administration’s response in the days after the attack. Republicans also have questioned whether enough military and other support was requested and received. And presidential candidate Mitt Romney has used the attack as a sign of what he says is President Barack Obama’s weak leadership overseas.

Robert Gibbs, a senior Obama campaign adviser, said Friday on CBS’ “This Morning,” that it’s clear “the CIA was pivotal in responding to militants that were attacking the consulate in Benghazi, despite reports earlier that they had not been.”

In the first days after the attack, various administration officials linked the Benghazi incident to the simultaneous protests around the Muslim world over an American-made film that ridiculed Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Only later did they publicly attribute it to militants, possibly linked to al-Qaida, and acknowledged it was distinct from the film protests. The changing explanations have led to suspicions that the administration didn’t want to acknowledge a terror attack on U.S. personnel so close to the Nov. 6 election, a charge Obama has strongly denied.

On Thursday, intelligence officials said they had early information that the attackers had ties to al-Qaida-linked groups but did not make it public immediately because it was based on classified intelligence. And they said the early public comments about the attack and its genesis were cautious and limited, as they routinely are in such incidents.

They added that while intelligence officials indicated early on that extremists were involved in the assault, only later were officials able to confirm that the attack was not generated by a protest over the film.

The Associated Press has reported that the CIA station chief in Tripoli and a State Department official sent word to Washington during the attack citing eyewitnesses as saying it was not a film protest but the planned work of armed militants.

Sen. John McCain and other Republicans insist that if the Obama administration didn’t know enough about the attack to discuss it clearly in the days that followed, it should have. They also say the response to the attack has been too muted to send a deterrent message to terrorists.

The officials’ description Thursday of the attack provided details about a second CIA security team in Tripoli that quickly chartered a plane and flew to Benghazi but got stuck at the airport. By then, however, the first team had gotten the State Department staff out of the consulate and back to the CIA annex.

As the events were unfolding, the Pentagon began to move special operations forces from Europe to Sigonella Naval Air Station in Sicily. U.S. aircraft routinely fly in and out of Sigonella and there are also fighter jets based in Aviano, Italy. But while the U.S. military was at a heightened state of alert because of 9/11, there were no American forces poised and ready to move immediately into Benghazi when the attack began.

The Pentagon would not send forces or aircraft into Libya — a sovereign nation — without a request from the State Department and the knowledge or consent of the host country. And Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said the information coming in was too jumbled to risk U.S. troops.

According to the detailed timeline senior officials laid out Thursday, the first call to the CIA base came in at about 9:40 p.m., and less than 25 minutes later about the team headed to the consulate. En route they tried to get additional assistance, including some heavier weapons, but were unable to get much aid from the Libyan militias.

The team finally got to the consulate, which was engulfed in heavy diesel smoke and flames, and they went in to get the consulate staff out. By 11:30 p.m., all of the U.S. personnel, except Stevens, left and drove back to the annex, with some taking fire from militants along the way.

By that time, one of the Defense Department’s unarmed Predator drones had arrived to provide overhead surveillance.

At the CIA base, militants continued the attack, firing guns and rocket-propelled grenades. The Americans returned fire, and after about 90 minutes, or around 1 a.m., it subsided.

Around that time, the second CIA team, which numbered about six and included two military members, arrived at the airport, where they tried to figure out where Stevens was and get transportation and added security to find him.

Intelligence officials said that after several hours, the team was finally able to get Libyan vehicles and armed escorts, but by then had learned that the ambassador was probably dead and the security situation at the hospital was troublesome. The State Department has said a department computer expert, Sean Smith, also was killed.

The second CIA team headed to the annex, and arrived after 5 a.m., just before the base came under attack again.

According to officials, militants fired mortar rounds at the building, killing two of the security officers who were returning fire. The mortar attack lasted just 11 minutes.

And less than an hour later, a heavily armed Libyan military unit arrived and was able to take the U.S. personnel to the airport.

If you’re smart and you live in Masachusetts, you will sleep in on Tuesday. You will go to work if you have a job. You will watch soap operas. But whatever you do, don’t vote.

It’s a waste of your precious time.






  1. Ron Kitterman
    November 5, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    We definely need a shorter election cycles in this country. It’s amazing to me that when the information came to us (we the people ) by horseback and word of mouth the cycle was shorter, now that the information comes at us in nano seconds we need more time and money to decide who to vote for ….

  2. Giacometti
    November 5, 2012 at 12:46 am #

    Mitt could have responded to the Hurricane in a way which would have been much more helpful…open his wallet to the Red Cross.

    • Joe Blow
      November 5, 2012 at 5:53 am #

      How do you know he didn’t?

    • Teecha teecha
      November 6, 2012 at 9:31 am #

      Red Cross has been highly criticized for its response, or lack of. Ppl want clothing, food and water. Which mitt was collecting. People are not happy with how undos are being used.

    • Teecha teecha
      November 6, 2012 at 9:31 am #

      Red Cross has been highly criticized for its response, or lack of. Ppl want clothing, food and water. Which mitt was collecting. People are not happy with how undos are being used.

  3. FPR
    November 5, 2012 at 5:59 am #

    Hey Dan,

    I agree 1000%

    Your votes does Not count. The game is rigged and we lose.

    The two candidates are picked by big money and not by the people. Mitt Romney did not legitimately win anything. He lost to Ron Paul in State after State after State and wants you to forget all that.

    Ron beat him in his own State of Massachusetts. By a landslide I might add. The RNC refused to even seat Massachusetts delegates at the convention. They just chose to steal Ron’s votes and ignore him.

    To vote for “the lesser of two evils” is still evil. Show me who controls the money and I’ll show you who really governs. I care not for whom you cast your ballot. The man they put up as your leader is controlled by strings like a marionette.

    Get a President who thinks he is really for the people by the people — all they have to do is show him the Zapruder film and ask “any questions”.

  4. Still wondering
    November 5, 2012 at 6:09 am #

    When Dan is wrong, he is spectacularly wrong.

    • danvalenti
      November 5, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

      Do everything big and spectacular: That’s how we roll here on THE PLANET! What, exactly, am I wrong about. Would like to know.

  5. Wilson
    November 5, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    Well, there is no race for President in this state, but a vote against Warren will set back the collapse by a few years

    • danvalenti
      November 5, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

      Votes will count in the Warren-Brown race.

  6. chuck garivaltis
    November 5, 2012 at 8:14 am #


    Regarding your 4th paragraph I’d like to take a stab at the time we went from an investment economy to a consumer economy.

    It was 1965 – I think. I was having a coffee and a Pittsfield bank official approached me with an application for a credit card. He explained stores were being recruited to accept these credit cards for consumer purchases and the bank would send me a bill next month. Plastic credit cards did it. After this one need not carry cash and we were on our way to becomming a debt ridden consumer economy.

    • danvalenti
      November 5, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

      Many thanks. No question, the switch from cash to “plastic”was enormous. But even at that, I remember as recently as 1981, less than a year after moving back to the Berkshires, I applied for two credit cards, including Amex. I had started my own business, which by then was enjoying the first fruits of success. I was generating substantial income, was debt free, and even at that, I had to apply with paperwork that would have made the Germans proud. They really vetted me on my application for a business card. About a decade later, after “Greed is good,” I remember every major credit card would have a booth on campus during September “welcome back” days, GIVING “free” credit cards away to students — including the inevitable frisbees and T-shirts.

  7. Jonathan Melle
    November 5, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    Willard Mitt Romney is a flip-flopper who is for the rich guy. Please vote for Barack Obama in 2012.

  8. Third Party
    November 5, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    If you vote for either D or R, then you really are throwing your vote away. The D’s think they own Massachusetts and so don’t deign to pay attention to us. The R’s think they can’t win and don’t bother to try. It’s nice to be taken for granted.

    The only way to break these two parties of their stranglehold is to vote third party. Yes, the D’s and R’s have spent billions but none of that money forces you to vote for either of them.

    Throw the bums out.

    • danvalenti
      November 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

      Now you are a man or woman that gets the point of my hyperbolic comment: Don’t vote. The only “best” vote (there can only be one) will be for a Third Party.

  9. Pat
    November 5, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    Disagree with you Dan that Romney could have done more during Hurricane Sandy. What could he possibly have done? He was not the President. He stopped campaigning. He said all the right things. I heard Romney urge people to donate to Red Cross and he said that he had donated as well. Obama did nothing but pose for some pictures with hurricane victims and sign into effect the proper paperwork giving help to the victims. People are on the television everyday saying they don’t know where the help is because they aren’t seeing it. Mayor Bloomberg has generators and supplies that were going to be for the marathon just sitting around gathering dust when they could have been used for hurricane victims.

    Many people are not impressed with the way the hurricane aftermath has been handled despite what Chris Christie thinks and Obama really didn’t do anything above and beyond to help the victims. Just not getting why so many people were apparently so impressed.

    • Teecha teecha
      November 6, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      Agreed pat

      • Teecha teecha
        November 6, 2012 at 9:33 am #

        Of course Christie is going to dry hump Obamas leg. He wants exposure and relief funding for his state. Rightfully so.

  10. tito
    November 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    Obama will win, as will Warren. What is the latest on Shawshank redemption wardens secretary and contract gate.

    • danvalenti
      November 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

      The latest is that there HAS been an official complaint filed with the State Ethics Commission on the rotten and inept proceedings. There’s a ray of hope.

  11. GMHeller
    November 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    Mr. Valenti,

    The AP report you cite is filled with glaring omissions and misinformation.
    It’s a whitewash of events, put out there plainly for the purpose of protecting the Obama White House and the decisions made by our brave Commander-in-Chief that night.
    The overriding questions that the article fails to address are: What exactly did Obama know that night; When did he know it; and What specific orders did Obama actually give?

    Regarding your other lament:
    “If you’re smart and you live in Masachusetts, you will sleep in on Tuesday. You will go to work if you have a job. You will watch soap operas. But whatever you do, don’t vote.
    It’s a waste of your precious time.”

    That’s the kind of bile that arises when an otherwise intelligent person lives far too long under one-party rule and feels utterly powerless to affect any sort of change: Soviet Russia comes to mind, but you are of course talking about The People’s Republic of Massachusetts under Liberal Democrat one-party rule.
    Not a good attitude to have in any case.
    Try this alternative view:
    This voter will absolutely, positively be voting tomorrow — here in Northern Virginia, my winter home.
    As you no doubt are aware, VA is a ‘swing state’ in the current Presidential sweepstakes, a hotly-contested prize.
    A few votes here either way CAN and WILL make a difference, so much so that the result may even affect the national outcome.
    You better believe I’ll be voting — for Mitt Romney!

  12. Scott
    November 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    Voting does matter we just need to get more involved if we really want to change things. Taking the money out of it is the first step. I like that a corporation as a person question is on the ballot this year. That’s a step in a positive direction.

    You won’t make a lot of fans in your Benghazi coverage but I believe it’s pretty accurate. What motive would the CIA and president Obama have in letting these men die? Especially the guys close to the action these people are family I believe they did everything they could and came in guns blazing. People die it’s crappy and those closest to them need to vent and mourn. Plus American lives are a small price to pay for justification and retaliation watch to see what happens next.

    YES on 1
    YES on 2
    YES on 3

    Obama is not the lesser of the two evils he just may be the Antichrist!

    • danvalenti
      November 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

      Thanks. We never look to “make friends” in our coverage. We merely wish to present the truth. The Republicans made politics over the Benghazi issue. The Dems responded poorly. The facts, though, show the CIA was in there ASAP.

      • Scott
        November 5, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

        I worked with a guy once who said “if I wan’t a friend I’ll buy a F’n dog”. It’s a good quality Dan.

        I’m in agreement on the issue it’s basically what I posted in another blog. It takes three seconds to google it and either come to the conclusion you have or let emotion take over.

  13. ShirleyKnutz
    November 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    One conspiracy theory has that our state dept was running guns from Libya to Syria through the ambassador. Although I don’t believe this it is hard to decide what really was happening when we don’t get information.

    • Scott
      November 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

      My prognosis is based heavily on research I’ve done about military operations. I never took a stance that it was fair or right or even justified it’s just the way things are. History proves there’s usually ulterior motives when Americans are killed. Their lives may have been lost in vain but the opportunity they present won’t go unused.

  14. Scott
    November 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    Thanks Dan I’m gonna cast a vote for Gary Johnson.

    • danvalenti
      November 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

      A GREAT choice! He’s the most qualified of all the candidates and has the best platform.

    November 5, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    I also will be casting my vote for Mitt Romney. There might be a big surprise come Wednesday.

  16. Pittfield Pete
    November 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm #


    I have to call you out in this. You sound like a third base coach sending signals to the second base runner. Lulling the opposing team to think that all is safe and secure in all bases and that their vote tomorrow does not count. Encougage the crowd and opposing players with a distraction on first – ie vote for the third party . Meanwhile encouaging- a false sense of security, encouraging  viewing soap operas, and encouraging the idea that  peoples vote does not count in MA. . Meanwhile every Republican is encouaged to ‘get out and vote and are driven to polling stations, while the opposing infielders sleep.  Result – of the third base coach’s signals – A steal on ‘ third base’  with a player in position for a home run and a collection of electorial votes for Team Romney. Your coach’s signals seem a bit too obvious for any seasoned player. 

    For All – Get out and vote, whoever you vote for  it will count. It is too precious a right and too hard fought  a right to waste on soap operas and being ‘dupped’ that it won’t count. Until a viable third party candidate is available we only have two legimiate choices before us tomorrow. Get out and cast a vote tomorrow and don’t be lulled into a false distraction and action on first base. Looks like the coach on Third base needs new hand signals.  Dan, I am sure you would agree that the right to vote is too precious a right to not exercise. I would even dare to say it will be a right you will be yourself exercising tomorrow without a second wasted on the distraction that ‘ it won’t count’ or conflict  with your soap opera schedule. Come on! are you really encouraging people to not exercise that right. Regardless of party affiliation, it just seems Un- American to encourage such. Even the Kapanskis believe in exercising such a right. 

    • danvalenti
      November 5, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

      You present and interesting analogy, MIGHTY ONE! Yes, you are correct. I shall choose to exercise that precious right. Appreciate the thoughts.

  17. Pat
    November 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    There is no question that Obama will win in Massachusetts. I would need smelling salts to revive me if he lost. We all know that the only requirement for voters in Massachusetts is that you have Democrat after your name.

    As for me, it’s all about JOBS. I’ll be voting for Romney because Obama has already shown that he doesn’t care about jobs. His second term would be all about helping illegal immigrants and expanding government control.

  18. Ole Jack
    November 6, 2012 at 7:45 am #

    Well, if the presidential election is a farce, we can at least vote Smitty out.