Saturday, May 30, 2009

Archie Bunker On Democrats...

Just a little something I ran across in my ramblings..

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dept. Of Justice forced To Drop Black Panther Voter Intimidation Case

You may remember this one, because it went viral, complete with a YouTube video. There was a blatant case of illegal voter intimidation that took place in Philadelphia in the last election involving three members of the New Black Panther Party that involved the use of nightsticks, military style uniforms and racial slurs to "make sure a black man wins this election."

The Obama Administration just overruled career DOJ prosecutors and forced the US Department of Justice to drop the well documented case against the Panthers:

Justice Department political appointees overruled career lawyers and ended a civil complaint accusing three members of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense of wielding a nightstick and intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place last Election Day, according to documents and interviews.

The incident - which gained national attention when it was captured on videotape and distributed on YouTube - had prompted the government to sue the men, saying they violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act by scaring would-be voters with the weapon, racial slurs and military-style uniforms.

Career lawyers pursued the case for months, including obtaining an affidavit from a prominent 1960s civil rights activist who witnessed the confrontation and described it as "the most blatant form of voter intimidation" that he had seen, even during the voting rights crisis in Mississippi a half-century ago.

The lawyers also had ascertained that one of the three men had gained access to the polling place by securing a credential as a Democratic poll watcher, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Washington Times.

The career Justice lawyers were on the verge of securing sanctions against the men earlier this month when their superiors ordered them to reverse course, according to interviews and documents. The court had already entered a default judgment against the men on April 20.

A Justice Department spokesman on Thursday confirmed that the agency had dropped the case, dismissing two of the men from the lawsuit with no penalty and winning an order against the third man that simply prohibits him from bringing a weapon to a polling place in future elections. {..}

To support its evidence, the government had secured an affidavit from Bartle Bull, a longtime civil rights activist and former aide to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign. Mr. Bull said in a sworn statement dated April 7 that he was serving in November as a credentialed poll watcher in Philadelphia when he saw the three uniformed Panthers confront and intimidate voters with a nightstick.

Inexplicably, the government did not enter the affidavit in the court case, according to the files.

"In my opinion, the men created an intimidating presence at the entrance to a poll," he declared. "In all my experience in politics, in civil rights litigation and in my efforts in the 1960s to secure the right to vote in Mississippi ... I have never encountered or heard of another instance in the United States where armed and uniformed men blocked the entrance to a polling location."

Mr. Bull said the "clear purpose" of what the Panthers were doing was to "intimidate voters with whom they did not agree." He also said he overheard one of the men tell a white poll watcher: "You are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker."

Now, riddle me this - do you think that if a group of white men had been standing in front of polling places armed with weaponry and throwing the n-word around things just might have turned out differently? Just maybe the case wouldn't have been dropped, and this would be front page headlines nationwide?

Draw your own conclusions, but I can see why the president Obama characterized concerns about Sonia Sotomayor's questionable statements and rulings as 'nonsense'.

He appears to subscribe to the belief that racism is strictly a whites only monopoly.

Turning The Screws: Obama Expands Arms Freeze On Israel

While President Obama has made a real career out of alienating our traditional allies, he appears to have a special place in his warped heart for Israel.

It started with top administration official snubbing Israel's Chief of Staff on a special trip here or to discuss Iran. and with special new Pentagon rules put in place by the Obama administration that that amount to a de facto cut in military aid to Israel.

It's continued with Secretary of State Clinton's insulting demands that Israel stop building homes for Jews who happen to live in Jewish communities like Jerusalem, Efrat, Gush Etzion, Ariel or other any other Jewish communities the Palestinians want to occupy, and with the Obama Administration's refusal to respect Israel declaration of Jerusalem as its undivided capitol, creating what amounts to almost outright hostility and intimidation of the sort one would expect from the UN rather than from America.

It's continuing with outright freezes and deliberately created bureaucratic delays on Israeli arms requests:

The Obama administration has blocked Israel's request for advanced U.S.-origin attack helicopters.

Government sources said the administration has held up Israel's request for the AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter. The sources said the request was undergoing an interagency review to determine whether additional Longbow helicopters would threaten Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.

"During the recent war, Israel made considerable use of the Longbow, and there were high civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip," a source close to the administration said.

The sources said Israel has sought to purchase up to six new AH-64Ds in an effort to bolster conventional and counter-insurgency capabilities. They said Israel wants to replenish its fleet after the loss of two Apache helicopters in the 2006 war with Hizbullah. {...}

Israel's Defense Ministry and air force have discussed procurement of additional Longbows with the U.S. firm Boeing. But the sources said the Longbow as well as other defense requests have been shelved by the administration amid its review of the potential use of American weapons platforms by Israel.

Interesting that Hezbollah gets mentioned. They're slated to take over Lebanon in the June 7th elections, and as I write this, Vice President Slo-Joe Biden just got back from Beirut, after promising that the Obama Administration will follow through on a major arms deal with Lebanon even if Hezbollah wins the election:

Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr says US Vice President Biden promised to provide Middle Eastern country with 42 fighter jets as well as helicopters, UAVs and tanks, regardless of election results.

US Vice President Joe Biden promised that Washington will provide the Lebanese army with 42 fighter jets, helicopters, UAVs and tanks, Arab media outlets reported on Saturday. {...}

The aid package is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of US dollars.

Biden wrapped up his seven-hour visit at Beirut airport Friday, standing before an array of military equipment, including tanks, armored personnel carriers and helicopters that he said are part of more than half a billion dollars in US military assistance to Lebanon since 2005.

"We believe it's crucial that you be able to do your mission to defend the state and citizens of Lebanon," Biden said, standing Murr.

"One army, one armed group, one police power, one capability to control your own country," he added.

Meanwhile Israel continues to be frozen out. And it's not just the Longbow:

The Obama administration has imposed obstacles on Israeli efforts to procure U.S.-origin fighter-jets.

Administration sources said the White House has drafted measures that could prevent Israel and other non-NATO allies from procuring U.S. fighter-jets, including the F-35. They said the administration would require that Israel obtain special permission from the Defense Department and State Department to acquire the Joint Strike Fighter.

The administration has also been resisting Israeli requests for technical data on the new F-15SE fighter-jet.

Under the proposals, the Pentagon would order modifications of JSF to provide the aircraft with nuclear strike capabilities. The sources said such a capability would provide the Pentagon with access to government budgets to maintain and develop the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

"Once JSF obtains nuclear strike capability, there becomes a problem with exports," the source said. "NATO countries would have less of a problem; non-NATO countries would need special exemptions."

The sources said Lockheed Martin would not be instructed to develop both nuclear- and non-nuclear models of the F-35 for the first stage of production. Israel has sought to become among the first export clients of JSF.

Over the last few months, the administration has rejected a series of Israeli requests regarding modifications of the F-35. They included Israeli electronic warfare systems and acquisition of U.S. software codes that would allow Israel to repair the aircraft's central computer. The U.S. refusal meant that the Israel Air Force would be forced to send the F-35 to the United States for any repairs, a process that could take months.

The sources said the State Department has been delaying Israeli requests for pre-export licenses required for an examination of the new generation F-15.

The sources said the administration has not approved the new F-15 for the Foreign Military Sales program. They said this could prevent Israel from using U.S. military aid to purchase the aircraft from Boeing.

"This is a legal issue," a source said. "The F-15SE might not qualify for FMS."

I might also mention that Israel contributed $22 million towards the research and development of the F-35 with the agreement that they would be able to evaluate the fighter and have the right to purchase it.

Here's what's going on. President Obama and his administration have not cut Israeli military aid outright, which might have political repercussions with what is still mostly pro-Israel Congress. Instead, what he's doing is placing unreasonable restrictions and delays on actually spending the money. And since 80% of Israel's US military aid is mandated to be spent in the US by federal law, more and more of the aid will simply become unusable.

Rest assured, Obama will continue to tighten the screws on Israel in an effort to appease the Muslim world, prevent Israel from dealing with Iran's nuclear weapons and force them to surrender to the Palestinians.

He is, after all, George Soros and Reverend Wright's protege and I hope every silly Leftard Jew who voted for him in spite of everything they were told about this president's history and associations is starting to come to terms with what they endorsed and how they were cynically manipulated.Some mistakes in judgment simply aren't forgivable or easily paved over.

As for Israel, they're going to have to come to terms with a foul betrayal by a long term ally and look to their own interests.

(hat tip, the Hashmonean

Phil Spector Guilty, Sentenced To 19 Years

Legendary record producer Phil Spector got sentenced today to 19 years to life for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, who was shot to death in Spector's Alhambra California mansion in 2003.

Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler gave him 15 to life for second-degree murder plus four years for personal use of a firearm. The original trial ended in a hung jury.

While there were no actual witnesses to what occurred, Spector had a long history of alcoholism and drug use, general creepiness and threatening people with firearms that undoubtedly contributed to the verdict.

Spector was the first real record producer to actually use production values creatively and come up with a unique sound of his own, dubbed 'the wall of sound.'

He'd do things like having three pianos playing in unison or double track vocal harmonies and drums, and unless I'm mistaken, he was the first person to use the swirly flanging effect on "The Big Hurt.". He's famous for a string of hits( many of which he wrote) with early '60's vocal groups like the Ronettes and Ike and Tina Turner among many others, and produced the Beatle's "Abbey Road" album.

He was a huge influence on contemporary music, but it all faded away and he was pretty much left to act out and play the 'do you know who I am ?' game to anyone who would bother to listen. In the end, I guess it was just another bit of Hollywood craziness that went terribly wrong.


Watcher's Council Results, 5/29/09

The Council has spoken! A complete rundown of the voting tallies is here.

The winning entry in the Council category this week was Bookworm Room with Does Brown v. Board of Education constitute the Supreme Court’s one free pass? , a fascinating post in which she wonders whether judicial activism may have had its one shining moment .

In second place we had a tie between Right Truth with Home grown terrorism and the media , a superb look at what's going on under our noses while the dinosaur media sleeps and The Provacateur for Deconstructing The Criminal Enterprise ACORN , an expose of what Obama's favorite 'community organizers' are really up to.

Also getting votes were The Razor for Death To Inclusiveness! , yours truly at JoshuaPundit for Jerusalem Day , Soccer Dad for Mr. obama and mr. netanyahu - the alternative version , and Wolf Howling for Obama Has The Left Going Nauseous .

In the Non-Council category, the runaway winner was my nominee , Melanie Phillips for A Wary Encounter , an excellent account of the Obama/ Netanyahu meeting and what it signifies.

In second place oddly enough was my second place choice, Der Spiegel Online for Hitler’s European Holocaust Helpers . This piece looks at the John Demjanjuk AKA `Ivan the Terrible ' concentration camp guard deportation and makes the very salient point that the Germans had a number of non-German helpers in the War Against the Jews, and unlike the Germans, most of them have never acknowledged their part in the Holocaust.

The truth is that in countries where there was a widespread, acceptable and historical Jew hatred among the population, many of the local residents actively approved of what the Nazis were doing and actively helped. For instance, at Babi Yar in the Ukraine, 34,ooo innocent men women and children were murdered in the largest mass killing of civilians in the war outside of Kiev by the Nazis with the aid of Ukrainian police, while the locals brought picnic lunches to watch the slaughter and cheered it on. And no, I'm not exaggerating in the least. It went so well that the Germans and their Ukrainian partners repeated the performance, and over 100,ooo Jews ultimately ended up being murdered there.

Kiev, by the way, was Demjanjuk's home town.

Given the times, Der Spiegel is to be congratulated for running this and reminding their fellow Europeans of a few things.

As always, congratulations not only to the winners but to the participants.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Will Obama Flout US Law To Fund Abbas And The Palestinians?

Mahmoud Abbas, the capo del tutti of Fatah is scheduled to be in DC today, meeting with President Obama on Middle East peace and -oh yes - that proposed $900 million aid package to the Palestinians pledged by the Obama Administration on our behalf that the Senate is now mulling over.

This is over and above the money they're already getting from us via UNRWA, USAid and the World Bank.

Aside from the dubious wisdom involved in shelling out well over a billion dollars in taxpayer funds to Abbas who is not even the legal president of the Palestinian Authority any longer, there's the slight problem that funding the Palestinian Authority openly flouts existing US law.

American law expressly prohibits funding of Palestinian buildings and projects that use any portion of their budgets to aid, promote, glorify or honor terrorists or terrorism. That's been an entrenched principle since Oslo. Yet Fatah and the Palestinian Authority have done exactly that with impunity for years, even under 'moderate' Mahmoud Abbas.

Samir Kuntar, the Lebanese child killer who was recently freed in a swap for the mutilated and tortured bodies of two Israelis kidnapped by Hezbollah was named an 'honorary Palestinian citizen' a mere two years ago while Abbas was in power. He was was publicly celebrated by ,Mahmoud Abbas,Israel's supposed peace partner, who referred to Kuntar as `heroic' and to his having won 'a big struggle.' The Palestinian media ran numerous programs touting him as a hero and role model.

Another Palestinian hero who's been honored as a role model and has had numerous US funded projects named after her is Dalal Mughrabi,who's remains were also part of the same swap that freed Kuntar.

She was the leader of what became known in Israel as the Coastal Massacre. On March 11, 1978, Mughrabi led a band of eleven terrorists who murdered several people in cold blood, including an American photographer, Gail Rubin. They then hijacked a bus filled with families going on an outing.

When the IDF unit managed to stop the bus, Mughrabi and her gang began shooting the helpless men, women and children at point-blank range and then firebombed the bus itself, turning it into a death trap. At least 35 were killed, including 13 children and a number of Americans.

In 2002, Fatah began building a girls' school in Hebron named after Mughrabi, funded by US money. When this came to light, the Palestinian Authority promised to change the name, but as soon as the school was completed, the name change was rescinded and the school is still named after Mughrabi as I write this.

She's also had a few streets and a number of other government institutions like summer camps named in her honor, and there have been a number of books, television and radio programs in the PA controlled media about her 'heroic martyrdom.' She's regarded by Palestinian Arabs as a role model.

Back in 2004, the US spent $400,000 of your tax money through USAid to construct the Salakh Khalaf soccer field.

Interesting fellow, Khalaf. He headed the Black September group that murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, and later tortured to death two American diplomats in the Sudan in 1973 on Arafat's orders, Cleo Allen Noel and George Curtis Moore.

Once that got out USAID publicly acknowledged the error and claimed they would demand that the name be changed. It never was.

Under existing US law and numerous precedents, the Palestinian Authority should have had its US funding yanked a long time ago.

But wait, there's more. On top of all this, the US is in the middle of a $350 million commitment to train, arm and fund a Fatah army. This effort is being directed by US general Keith Dayton, who's been working on this for two years. Apparently the last attempt which did so well in Gaza and resulted in Hamas obtaining millions of dollars in gently used ('only dropped once') American military equipment that it encouraged even more of an investment. Except this time, according to General Dayton the probable target isn't Hamas, but Israel.

Dayton, in a talk at the Washington Institute of Near East Policy talked about the three battalions of Fatah soldiers he's already trained and the plans for eight more.

And according to Dayton, unless the Israelis decide to commit national suicide by giving in to all of the Palestinian's demands, they could rebel...or in other words, they'll simply turn their weapons on Israel, something Abbas has eluded to a number of times .That's exactly what Abbas' old boss Yasir Arafat did before.

In other words, we're paying through the nose to build an army that could menace one of our allies in the hopes of creating a country...and one that, given the realities, will probably be ruled by Hamas as an Iranian proxy.

It's enough to make me want to vomit in disgust, frankly.

Michael Totten On The Future Of Iraq

Part II of Michale Totten's series on the future of Iraq is up, and it's a superb read.

Here's a link to Part 1, which was in Joshuas Army's must reads when it first came out.


(Hat tip to Lisa Benson)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Islamist 'Charity' Head Gets 65 Years

The Holy Land Foundation trial, one of the most important anti-Islamist cases in American jurisprudence is finally approaching endgame:

A founding member of what was once the nation's largest Muslim charity was sentenced to 65 years in prison Wednesday for funneling millions of dollars to the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Shukri Abu Baker, 50, of Garland, Texas, was the first of five members of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development to be sentenced. Mohammad El-Mezain, 55, was later sentenced to 180 months for one count of conspiracy to support a terrorist organization.

After a jury failed to reach a verdict in 2007, the men were convicted in a second trial last November on 108 charges stemming from allegations the charity sent more than $12 million to Hamas. It's illegal to give support to Hamas, which has been listed by the U.S. as a terror group since 1995 and is blamed for hundreds of suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians.

The charity leaders were convicted on charges ranging from supporting a terrorist organization to money laundering and tax fraud. The three men still to be sentenced —Ghassan Elashi, Mufid Abdulqader and Abdulrahman Odeh — were convicted of conspiracy

These criminal scum gave the usual defense - that they were just supporting 'social welfare programs'. not violence. It's absolute nonsense considering that there was no accounting or verification of where the funds actually went, and the money went to support a group that preaches genocide against Jews not only in Israel but worldwide...a little fact the squishy AP story linked to above leaves out.

As I've written before, I'm sorry these men are going to prison. These jihadis were involved in an organization trying to subvert our country's government and cheerfully raised money to murder women and kids.

It isn't going to happen but it would be far better to hang them as conspirators to murder and treason, followed by a pigskin burial as an example to those of like mind who might be tempted to emulate them.

Watcher's Council Nominations,5/27/09

The Watcher's Council is a group of some of the most incisive blogs in the`sphere. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one of their own and one from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.

COUNCIL NEWS: A high five to Ms. Bookworm and Hube for garnering a mention on Rush Limbaugh's show today!

So, let's see what we have this week....and do check out the Watcher's excellent take on a story bubbling under the blogosphere....that Chrysler dealerships targeted by the President's automotive task force for elimination or confiscation appear to be mainly either GOP donors or competition for dealerships that contributed to Democrats or are 'minority owned.'


Joshuapundit - Jerusalem Day - Israel celebrated יום ירושלים‎, Yom Yerushalayim or Jerusalem Day last week. It's a national holiday commemorating a modern miracle, the reunification of David's City in 1967. I have a few things to say about it, and perhaps an explanation of why it's such a red line and those stubborn, stiff necked Jews are so unwilling to acquiesce in its ever being divided again .

It's a side to the story you're unlikely to hear in the dinosaur media.

Right Truth - Home grown terrorism and the media - the Angry Left and the dinosaur media would have it that the whole Islamist terrorism thing is so, so overblown ( no pun intended). Debbie at Right Truth provides a few uncomfortable truths on the matter that shows that these folks are either living in denial or deliberately obscuring things.

The Razor - Death To Inclusiveness! - Scott begs to differ with Colin Powell's call for more GOP 'inclusiveness' at the expense of the principles that motivate the party's base.

The Glittering Eye - Living Within Your Means: California Edition - Dave comments on California inherent financial difficulties.

The Colossus of Rhodey - More Obama administration waffling on “torture” - Hube parses a particularly juicy bit of non-logic on the part of our current Attorney General, Eric Holder on the definition of what torture is and isn't.

This would be funny if people like Holder weren't in charge of things.

Wolf Howling - Obama Has The Left Going Nauseous - Ah, the cruel difference between candidate Obama riding on his pink unicorn and President Obama faced with the actual responsibilities of government! GW sympathizes with the Angry Left's disillusionment and attempts to cope.

Bookworm Room - Does Brown v. Board of Education constitute the Supreme Court’s one free pass? - The 'free pass' the scintillating Ms. Bookworm is talking about is one for judicial activism - as opposed to the libertarian approach of natural rewards or consequences.

In the example she mentions. it appears to me that she takes the position that rather than the activist decision itself ( if in fact it was an activist decision), it was the national attention focused on the situation by that decision that actually achieved the desired end. What do you think?

Soccer Dad - Mr. obama and mr. netanyahu - the alternative version - Soccer Dad scores with a fine comment on the Obama-Natanyahu summit's press coverage. I won't spoil it by commenting further.

The Provacateur -Deconstructing the Criminal Enterprise ACORN. - In Mike's submission this week, he examines in detail the mafia-like scam that ACORN has become. With the billions given to it by the Obama Administration, we can expect this to intensify..and voter fraud is just the tip of the iceberg, as Mike points out.


Submitted By: Right Truth - Planck’s Constant - The Pursuit of Happiness and Making Blacks Happier

Submitted By: The Razor - The Other McCain - The Road to Weimar America

Submitted By: Joshuapundit - Melanie Phillips - A Wary Encounter

Submitted By: The Glittering Eye - SCOTUSBlog - The Dynamic of the Nomination of Sonia Sotomayor

Submitted By: The Colossus of Rhodey - Spiegel Online - Hitler’s European Holocaust Helpers

Submitted By: Wolf Howling - Nial Ferguson @ NYT - Diminished Returns

Submitted By: Bookworm Room - PoliGazette - The Future Electoral Fortunes of the Democratic Party

Submitted By: Soccer Dad - Treppenwitz - 10 Lessons Israel Should Take From The Sri Lankan Victory Over Terror

Submitted By: The Provacateur - New Ledger - Obama: Let's Make Cars More Expensive

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

California Upholds Prop 8 Gay Marriage Ban

The California Supreme Court issued its decision today and voted 6-1 to uphold Proposition 8, a ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to ban same sex marriages that passed by a wide margin.

As part of the decision, the court also ruled that the 14-18,000 same sex couples who were legally married during the interval when such marriages were legal will continue to be recognized by the state.

This nonsense all started when the California Supreme Court arbitrarily overturned Proposition 22 by a 4 to 3 vote,a law restricting the use of the term 'marriage' to refer to the union of one man and one woman that was passed by a whopping majority of 61% of the voters back in 2000 to reinforce state law's pre-existing ban on same-sex marriage.

As I pointed out at the time, the justices themselves admitted that California's domestic partnership laws gave same sex couples the same rights and benefits a heterosexual married couple has, but they decided to overturn it anyway on an ipse dixit (legalese for 'because I said so') basis rather than existing precedent or anything actually in the state constitution.

Prop 8 to amend the constitution was approved by the voters for the ballot in record time and passed handily, and was promptly appealed to the state supreme court, which came out with the decision I figured they would.

The only argument that could reasonably be presented against it was that Prop 8 constituted a revision of the constitution which needs approval by the legislature rather than an amendment, which doesn't. It failed.

Giving a perfect example of how poorly the state is served by its elected officials, one of the people arguing in favor of overturning Prop 8 was California Attorney General Jerry Brown, who took an oath to defend the state's laws in court and legally and morally should have been advocating for the other side of the argument regardless of his personal opinion on the matter. It won't happen given the political realities, but he should be impeached.

As for the ruling itself it was not only legally correct but also humane. It would be cruel and capricious to punish those same sex couples who got legally married during the six month interval when it was legal by dissolving their unions just because some judges went off the reservation and tried to legislate from the bench.

Given the reaction of gay activists to Prop 8 and this decision, I guess we'll see if it ends here. I don't think it will.

Obama's Supreme Court Pick

"The courts are where policy is made...oh, heh heh, am I on tape? Just kidding..."

As I guessed, President Obama's first pick for the Supreme Court is Sonia Sotomayor.

As always with this president his personal political ambitions trump everything, even his Leftist ideology. But in this case, he gets it all. Not only is she a hard Left ideologue and a judicial activist but she's a twofer, female and Hispanic.

In spite of what the president had to say about Judge Sotomayor today,she would not the first Hispanic to serve on the Supreme Court. That distinction belongs to Justice Benjamin Cardozo, although since Cardozo was Jewish, perhaps racist bean counters wouldn't consider him a 'real Hispanic'....sort of the way many of them don't consider Clarence Thomas an authentic black.

Judge Sotomayor currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York City. She is reportedly a former member of La Raza, and may in fact still be a member of that organization.

She appears to be more than willing to let her personal opinions shade her decisions on the bench. As she said in a 2002 speech at Berkeley, she thinks its very appropriate for a judge to consider their “experiences as women and people of color” in trying cases, which she believes should “affect our decisions.”

Amnestia por todo, amigos? Si se puede!

In the same speech, she said,“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

During every case she's ever presided over involving discrimination, she's always ruled for the plaintiff. Well, all except this one, Ricci vs. DeStefano, a major reverse discrimination case now being heard by the Supreme Court. It concerns a suit by some New Haven Connecticut white firefighters who passed a mandatory promotional exam. Because there were no black firefighters who scored high enough to be promoted, the exam was tossed out, the white firefighters were denied their promotions and a number of black firefighters were promoted instead.

Judge Sotomayor attempted to summarily dismiss the case and toss it out of court, something that didn't sit well with the other members of the appellate panel that heard the case. As a matter of fact, she was formally reprimanded on the record by fellow Justice Jose Cabranes for her conduct during the trial, something that almost never happens publicly.

Will she get on the Court? President Obama has a a 59-40 majority in the Senate and can likely get her through if he wants it bad enough. That doesn't mean that Senators who see her record and views as somewhat questionable for a Supreme Court justice have no responsibility to subject her to the same fair minded, far reaching and introspective examinations SCOTUS candidates like Clarence Thomas, Robert Bork and Samuel Alito were given.

Transparency, remember?

UPDATE: Some more information on Judge Sotomayer's questionable, quirky decisions and flawed legal reasoning...

Monday, May 25, 2009

How Our State Department Promotes Radical islam In America

Not only does our government refuse to admit that we're in a war with Islamism, they actually promote it as official policy.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism has the facts on how the US State Department is working to promote Islamism in America, under the guise of 'Muslim outreach'.

With the United States battling Islamist extremists, making America's case to Muslims around the world has never been more of a priority for policymakers. Unfortunately, the State Department continues to take a counterproductive approach: serving as a veritable infomercial promoting Islamist organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) while giving the back of the hand to the very anti-jihadist Muslims that Washington should be cultivating. The latest example is a State Department booklet issued in March titled "Being Muslim in America."

Do a search on JoshuaPundit for any one of these organizations, and you will find that they are mainly wahabi and Muslim Brotherhood Islamist fronts, mostly Saudi funded. They are organs of the so-called 'stealth jihad' that seeks to radicalize American Muslims while pushing for sharia law and the ultimate Islamization of the country.

The booklet in question, entitled "Muslim In America" is designed for US Diplomatic personnel to hand out to Muslims overseas ostensibly to show that the US is a Muslim friendly country, sensitive to Muslim values. Instead, it touts the values of Islamists like the ones mentioned above:

Unfortunately, the substance of the booklet is so flawed that it could
undermine the struggle against this form of radicalism. It perpetuates the
mythology that American Muslims are united in the belief that law enforcement
and the public are willing to flout innocent Muslims' civil rights
post-September 11, describing American Muslim reactions to the attacks as

"A new, truly American Islam is emerging, shaped by American
freedoms, but also by the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks -- planned
and executed by non-Americans -- [which] raised suspicions among other Americans
whose immediate responses, racial profiling among them, triggered in return a
measure of Muslim-American alienation."


"Sadly, suspicions of this kind are not uncommon -- in the United
States or in other nations – during wartime or when outside attack is feared.
But 2008 is not 2002, when fears and suspicions were at their height. Context is
also important: Every significant immigrant group has in the United States
faced, and overcame, a degree of discrimination and resentment."

This is an extremely tendentious, even intellectually dishonest, description of September 11 and its aftermath. From reading it, one would have no idea that there have been numerous convictions and guilty pleas on
terrorism-related charges since September 11 that involved Muslims living in the United States, including terrorist plots to attack the military base at Ft. Dix, N.J., to create a terrorist training camp in Bly, Oregon and to attack U.S. military and Jewish targets in California.

Also omitted from the booklet is the fact that organizations like CAIR and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) were listed by the government as unindicted co-conspirators in the federal government's prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) -- in which the Justice Department won convictions of five former HLF officials for providing money to the terrorist organization Hamas. But from reading this passage in "Being Muslim in America," one would get the impression that public
concern about Islamist terror has no basis in reality and is merely the result of backward Americans' "discrimination and resentment."

One picture on page 15 of the booklet shows people marching under a CAIR banner and has a caption reading: "Muslims march to support volunteerism." The identical picture appeared at the top of CAIR's website when IPT News accessed it May 15.

In reality, CAIR was created as a front for Hamas and it has defended radical Islamists since 1994. See the IPT dossier on CAIR here.

CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad typifies this see-no-evil attitude toward jihadist terror. He has repeatedly defended the HLF. At a May 2003 forum at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, an audience member commented that the Justice Department has released reams of information showing that the HLF and another charity whose assets were frozen "have direct connections and in fact their leadership was the leadership of al Qaeda and Hamas." Awad replied: "I am sure if we…put under the microscope, every major civic or political organization in this country, including the Red Cross, you will see that some dollars went here and there in some country, but you don't shut down the entire operation of the Red Cross."

CAIR officials >dismissed the verdict of 12 jurors in HLF's Hamas-financing trial as "based more on fear-mongering than on the facts" and predicted it would be overturned on appeal.

Awad has steadfastly defended Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) supporter Sami Al-Arian, despite evidence that Al-Arian served on the PIJ governing board. Al-Arian is fighting a criminal contempt charge, triggered by his
refusal to testify before a federal grand jury investigating terror financing in Virginia despite a grant of immunity. He claims his 2006 plea agreement to conspiring to provide goods and services to the PIJ absolved him of any future testimony, be it voluntary or compelled by subpoena. The plea agreement itself contains no such language. U.S. District Judge James S. Moody blasted Al-Arian as a "master manipulator" at his sentencing in the PIJ support case, saying Al-Arian lied to the public about his PIJ support.

Yet, during an August 2008 forum on the contempt case, Awad argued it was motivated by bigotry against Muslims:

"And I believe he's being punished for this, belonging to a minority – Palestinian, Arab, Muslim in America is not like the best thing to be in America today. So he's being the victim of this malicious misunderstanding in this midst of increased Islamophobia in America."

The message being sent overseas, of course is that America is a willing host to the parasitical growth of Islamism - not the message that Muslims are welcome in America if they adhere to our norms. In a triumphalist honor-shame culture like Islam, that message is extremely dangerous and roughly equivalent to hanging a prominent sign in front of your house detailing the valuables inside and the hours the house is empty.

The book makes absolutely no mention of how moderate Muslims practice their faith while still abiding by our laws and traditions, and cites no organizations that embrace that viewpoint. Every example is one of the Muslim Brotherhood wahabi spinoffs cited above.

What this does, of course is to reinforce the message of weakness and appeasement coming out of the White House. I don't doubt that this message is being received by both our enemies and our friends quite clearly.

North Korea And Iran Tell Obama To Get Bent

Ahh, hope n''s just not working so well.

North Korea carried out a major nuclear test this morning at its Mount Mohyang test site, the site of North Korea's 2006 nuclear test.

Today's test showed a major progression in North Korea's nuclear capabilities. According to the seismic reports, the explosion created a 4.7 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale, which means that energy yield is 10 to 20 kilotons, essentially equivalent to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasts.

North Korea also test-fired three short-range, ground-to-air missiles later Monday from the same site where it launched a rocket last month that flew over Japan.

President Obama was quick to assume full responsibility for the launch and acknowledged that US non-reaction to North Korea's prior missile launch was a factor in today's nuclear test.

Okay, I may have made that last sentence up.

Here's what the president actually said:

President Barack Obama, in a statement, called the action a "matter of grave concern to all nations" and said North Korea was undermining stability in northeast Asia. "It will not find international acceptance unless it abandons its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery," he said.

Actually, I think the North Korean regime sees nukes as a definite path to international acceptance, at least in terms of getting what they want. It's gotten them pretty far up to now, and seeing who's in the White House, there's no reason for them to fear any significant consequences in continuing along the same path.

They've blatantly lied and played the West and especially the US for fools for quite some time now, and it's worked pretty well. And as their expertise and skill in creating nuclear weapons increases, they'll find even more ready customers to buy what they have to sell then they have already, and most of them are not going to be people we're comfortable with having nukes in their hands.

The chief irony in all this is that the current occupant of the White House has made so many pious noises about the dangers of nuclear proliferation,yet he ignores the very real danger posed by the emerging nuclear capabilities of Iran and North Korea. As a matter of fact, his chief efforts along this line have been in cutting funds for US missile defense to the bone against the advice of his own secretary of defense.

Almost on cue, Iran's Ahmadinejad decided to take a slap at Obama's uncleched fist and let him and the West know that he rejected the latest Western proposal to "freeze" its nuclear weapons development in exchange for no further sanctions. He also ruled out any talks on Iran's nuclear program with the US or the other major powers, saying that as far as he was concerned it was a dead issue:

Ahmadinejad proposed a debate with Obama at the United Nations in New York "regarding the roots of world problems" but he made clear Tehran would not bow to pressure on the nuclear issue.

"Our talks (with major powers) will only be in the framework of cooperation for managing global issues and nothing else. We have clearly announced this," Ahmadinejad said.

"The nuclear issue is a finished issue for us," he told a news conference. "From now on we will continue our path in the framework of the (U.N. nuclear watchdog) agency."

Ahmadinejad, of course is speaking for the Ayatollah Khamanei, who will continue to call the shots in Iran no matter who wins Iran's June 'election'.

I can't help but wonder if Kim Jong-Il and Ahmadinejad deliberately set this up between them,just for giggles.

In reality, aside from horsetrading nuclear and missile technology, Iran and North Korea have learned from each other's experience. The US, especially with Obama in the White House is unlikely to do anything meaningful to stop them from obtaining nuclear weapons, and will simply keep meaniongless diplo-speak initiatives churning until it's simply too late to do anything. Obama's meaningless statements about revisiting Iran's nuclear weapons program in six months or so after talking with Israel's Benyamin Netanyahu and hearing his concerns about an existential threat to an ally are a prime example.

When serious consequences arise from this, I have no doubt that the president will make suitable remarks in his signature baritone, while swinging his head back and forth like a metronome to scan his stereo teleprompters.

Looking At The Last Full Measure Of Devotion

What makes a man lay down his life for his country? Particularly a free man, in the prime of youth?

For lots of us,the long weekend with the family, the unofficial start to summer, the backyard barbecue and the roadtrip are what Memorial Day is all about. And that is more correct than we imagine...but for reasons I don't think most of us realize.

The Americans who gave their lives - what President Lincoln aptly referred to as `the last full measure of devotion' -did not do so for glory, for conquest, for some turgid political slogan or to enslave and tyrannize others.

They gave their lives to keep the country free, to protect and preserve the people and the nation they left behind.

They made the ultimate sacrifice so that the mainstream of the American public could be free to enjoy a backyard barbecue, a day with the family..or, to put it another way, ordinary day to day life in a free country. They voted with their lives, not for some utopia but to preserve the decent, everyday American life,liberty and pursuit of happiness they left behind. For others,if not for themselves.

There's a spot on a very well traveled freeway not too far from my home that I pass by frequently. It's a huge VA center and memorial cemetery, and it's clearly visible from the highway.

I've been inside before, and I've never once passed by without reflecting on the young men and women buried there. They had faith in something bigger than themselves, though many of them probably didn't articulate in quite that way. All of them wanted to live, but they were willing to die,if necessary so that the rest of us could.

That was their heartfelt gift to us, and we owe them our thanks.

Remember that when you're partaking of that divine draught of everyday liberty. And if you see some of the ones that made it home marching in parades to honor the ones that didn't, or simply run into a veteran in the course of the ordinary life that was their gift to us, let them know how much you appreciate it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Another of Obama's Scary Radical Judicial Picks

Like the idea of sharia and 'international law' taking precedence over our Constitution? Than you'll love President Obama's pick to be the State Department's legal adviser, representing the US in the UN and elsewhere to negotiate international agreements on things like legal issues, arms control and trade.

Harold Koh is the ex-dean of Yale Law School ( a scary thought in itself )and as Meghan Clyne reveals in this New York Post piece, these are the views of the jurist Obama has tapped for this sensitive post:

He's a fan of "transnational legal process," arguing that the distinctions between US and international law should vanish.

What would this look like in a practical sense? Well, California voters have overruled their courts, which had imposed same-sex marriage on the state. Koh would like to see such matters go up the chain through federal courts -- which, in turn, should look to the rest of the world. If Canada, the European Human Rights Commission and the United Nations all say gay marriage should be legal -- well, then, it should be legal in California too, regardless of what the state's voters and elected representatives might say.

He even believes judges should use this "logic" to strike down the death penalty, which is clearly permitted in the US Constitution.

The primacy of international legal "norms" applies even to treaties we reject. For example, Koh believes that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child -- a problematic document that we haven't ratified -- should dictate the age at which individual US states can execute criminals. Got that? On issues ranging from affirmative action to the interrogation of terrorists, what the rest of the world says, goes.

Including, apparently, the world of radical imams. A New York lawyer, Steven Stein, says that, in addressing the Yale Club of Greenwich in 2007, Koh claimed that "in an appropriate case, he didn't see any reason why sharia law would not be applied to govern a case in the United States." {...}

Koh has called America's focus on the War on Terror "obsessive." In 2004, he listed countries that flagrantly disregard international law -- "most prominently, North Korea, Iraq, and our own country, the United States of America," which he branded "the axis of disobedience."

He has also accused President George Bush of abusing international law to justify the invasion of Iraq, comparing his "advocacy of unfettered presidential power" to President Richard Nixon's. And that was the first Bush -- Koh was attacking the 1991 operation to liberate Kuwait, four days after fighting began in Operation Desert Storm.

Koh has also praised the Nicaraguan Sandinistas' use in the 1980s of the International Court of Justice to get Congress to stop funding the Contras. Imagine such international lawyering by rogue nations like Iran, Syria, North Korea and Venezuela today, and you can see the danger in Koh's theories.

Koh, a self-described "activist," would plainly promote his views aggressively once at State. He's not likely to feel limited by the letter of the law -- in 1994, he told The New Republic: "I'd rather have [former Supreme Court Justice Harry] Blackmun, who uses the wrong reasoning in Roe [v. Wade] to get the right results, and let other people figure out the right reasoning."

The Left has defended Koh, particularly in his denial that he advocates Sharia. Unfortunately, as Daniel Pipes reveals, he's simply lying.

Koh has already gotten through the Senate judiciary committeee by a 12-5 vote. he now faces a vote in the full Senate.

If Koh can get through the Senate Confirmation process, he's been touted as a probable Supreme Court nominee.

One more time - this is why elections matter.

Nominating someone with Koh's views gives us a clear picture of President Barack Obama's views, and I hope the people who claimed that he would somehow 'govern from the center' are taking careful notes.

(hat tip and a commendation to Joshua's Army member Louie Louie for sending this in)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pelosi Runs For Cover

Having smeared the CIA and changed her story at least three times, Speaker Pelosi is finally keeping her big mouth shut and hoping this all goes away.

It won't. The CIA operative who briefed her filed a report saying he did..standard operating procedure. Eventually, it will surface.

Oh,yesterday the House Democrats, in a straight party line vote declined a motion to formally investigate Pelosi's charges that the CIA lied to her and Congress repeatedly.

Most ethical Congress evah!

Hat tip Jim at Gateway

Watcher's Council Results, 5/22/09

The Council has spoken! A complete rundown of the voting tallies is here.

The winning entry in the Council category this week was my entry at JoshuaPundit, Land For Peace, American Style , in which I used some of the arguments and rhetoric used to sell Land for peace as a solution for Middle East peace in a somewhat different fashion. I particularly liked this one, and I'm honored and pleased that my fellow Council members did too. Thanks gang!

In second place was Wolf Howling with Candidate Obama versus President Obama In The War On Terror a masterful comparison of the two. I think Obama is channelling his old mentor Saul Alinsky and simply jettisoning anything and anybody he feels gets in the way of his power. And yes, that makes him especially dangerous.

Also getting votes were The Razor for The United States of California, The Glittering Eye with The Doomsday Industry , The Colossus of Rhodey with Another year comes to a close … , Soccer Dad with Two state confusion, The Provocateur for Honeymoon’s Over: Now Obama Faces Reality, and Right Truth for In the name of God

In the Non-Council category, the winner was Robert Averech at Seraphic Secret with The New-Old War Against the Jews

In second place, we had a tie between Sol Stern at the City Journal for Pedagogy of the Oppressor and Anne Bayefsky at National Review Online with Obama’s U.N. Mistake

As always, congratulations not only to the winners but to the participants.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Why Israel Will Hold On To The Yesha

We could subtitle this one as proof that the world belongs to stubborn people.

Today the Israeli government evacuated a tiny 'outpost' in the Binyamin section of the yesha(the Jewish part of Judea and Samaria, AKA the West Bank ) called Maoz Esther.

'Evacuating' in this context means that the IDF or the border police came in, removed the inhabitants and dismantled the buildings, in this case a few young people and seven tin and wood huts.

Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak made a point of telling some of his Labor Party colleagues that it wasn't a response to US pressure, just standard operating procedure...if you believe that,which I don't.

But that's not the end of the story, by any means.

Lo and behold. a few hours later, guess what happened? The residents returned with reinforcements and rebuilt Maoz Esther right back up again!

Just six hours after it was evacuated by security forces, the West Bank outpost of Maoz Ester was being rebuilt Thursday by dozens of settlers who returned to the site of their deconstructed homes.

MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union) also arrived at the scene and nailed a mezuzah to the wooden structure being raised by the settlers, explaining: "It's my duty as a legislator".

Dozens of youths working to rebuild the outpost said they would make sure Maoz Ester was expanded even further than it had been originally.

You see, these people are stubborn, and being stubborn they see no reason why Jews should be prohibited from living anywhere just because the Arabs are unwilling to have them around. This is their country and they mean to keep it,and if the government tears it down again in some token gesture of appeasement, they'll just rebuild it again.

They won't be easy to discourage or dislodge. Like I said, in this case the world belongs to the stubborn.

Jerusalem Day

Today is יום ירושלים‎, Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day in Israel.

It's a national holiday commemorating the reunification of David's City by the IDF during the Six Day War.

It's odd to reflect that it only happened by chance. The Israeli government had appealed to Jordan's King Hussein, who had illegally occupied the eastern part of the city in 1948 to stay out of the fighting.

Had he done so, Jerusalem would not have been reunited on that day. Instead Hussein listened to Egypt's dictator Gamel Abdul Nasser, who told him that the Israeli Air Force had been destroyed and that Egyptian troops were marching on Tel Aviv. Not wanting to miss out on the jihad against the Jews and the anticipated plunder, Hussein treacherously began shelling civilians in Israel and sent Jordan's Arab Legion into battle - where they were decisively defeated.

The battle for Jerusalem took place on Ammunition Hill, where the Jordanians had a military base. The Israelis didn't want to bomb it because of the risk of civilian casualties, so they stormed it with ground troops belonging to the Israeli 3rd company of the 66th Battalion, paratrooper's brigade. The battle took about 4 1/2 hours over rugged terrain with the Arab Legion firing down from the heights at the paratroopers, and 37 Israeli soldiers were killed in the battle in one of the bloodier battles of the war. Ten of the soldiers who fought at Ammunition Hill were given citations, and the site is a national memorial today.

It's also the site where the traditional Jerusalem Day Ceremony is held.

Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu, just back from Washington had a few things to say to mark the event:

"Jerusalem was always ours and will always be ours. It will never again be partitioned and divided," Netanyahu said at the official state ceremony marking Jerusalem Day and the reunification of the capital during the Six Day War 42 years ago.

"Only under Israeli sovereignty will united Jerusalem ensure the freedom of religion and freedom of access for the three religions to the holy places," he added.

As I mentioned yesterday, I think the rumors about Obama Administration officials promising half of Jerusalem to the Palestinians are a case of the Arabs hearing what they want to.

While President Obama might like the ideas, he's at least intelligent enough to understand that there's no way Netanyahu would agree to it, nor would the members of his coalition...or the Israeli public. it's a red line, and trying to force Israel to yield it up would pretty much be the end of any kind of harmonious relationship between the Obama administration and Israel, and end any leverage Obama might have on Netanyahu.Even Shimon Peres wouldn't acquiesce to it - although Tzipi Livni probably would, in a heartbeat.

The only way Obama could get Israel to give up Jerusalem would be to use US troops to try and conquer it, and while an attempt to do that is not totally out of the realm of possibility with this president and his pro-Arab appointees, I don't see it happening.

Why are the Jews so unwilling to let the Arabs have any control over Jerusalem? Maybe because they've seen how that works in the past.

After the Jordanians took over the Eastern part of Jerusalem in 1948, they killed or drove out every Jew who lived there - which is how it became, in that phrase so beloved by al-Reuters, the AP and the BBC, 'traditionally Arab East Jerusalem'.Many of the Palestinians who claim they've 'lived in Jerusalem for generations' are squatters who appropriated Jewish homes after the residents were killed or exiled.

The Jordanians demolished half of the Old City's fifty-eight synagogues, and the historic Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives was plundered for its tombstones, which were used as paving stones and building materials. Some of the synagogues were turned into public latrines. The area around the Western Wall, Judaism's most sacred site, was turned into a public dump.

Since Arafat took over, the Palestinians have made a point of defiling or destroying any Jewish Holy sites that are in the areas of Judea and Samaria (AKA the West bank) that they occupy, like the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron or Joseph's tomb.

And, oh yes..that was just another of those pesky Oslo requirements Arafat agreed to and never even bothered to look like he was fulfilling.

Any other country but Israel would have driven him and his friends over the borders and disposed of the problem once and for all. As a matter of fact, a lot of Arab countries like Jordan, Kuwait and Iraq did just that.

No, the Israelis are going to be hanging on to Jerusalem. It's theirs, no matter how much some of the thieves around them might want to steal it and desecrate it. The blood price was paid a long time ago.


Courage And Cowardice - Cheney Vs. Obama

Today the American people were treated to an unusual spectacle today..what amounted to dueling speeches on national security.

President Obama's speech today was obviously a response to ex- VP Dick Cheney's defense of the Bush Administration's tactics after 9/11, the controversy over the closing of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and his selective release of previously classified memos detailing the enhanced interrogation techniques used to gather intelligence from terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Muhammed after 9/11. It was also a naked attempt to throw some red meat at his leftist base without having to actually do anything concrete.

The whole framework of the speech involved harsh attacks on the Bush Administration, whom he bluntly accused of breaking the law and came within a hair of accusing of treason. And after all that, he hypocritically said that he rejected the idea of 'truth commissions' and trials and wanted to `move forward'.

His speech began with the same old time-tested lie he used during the campaign, claiming that he 'for the first time since 2002' was taking the fight to 'the extremists who attacked us on 9/11 in Afghanistan and Pakistan.'

I can't imagine who he imagines our warriors issued a decisive defeat to in Iraq if not al-Qaeda. And the news that the war if Afghanistan hasn't been fought until now would certainly be news to our warriors who have performed so valiantly there.

The president went on to claim credit for energizing 'a global non-proliferation regime to deny the world's most dangerous people access to the world's deadliest weapons.' That would be news to Iran and North Korea, and an argument could be made that President Obama's ineffectual policies have done a great deal to encourage the spread of those deadly weapons to dangerous people.

As a matter of fact, as I remember, the last real progress in getting nukes out of the hands of potential terrorists came when Qaddaffi voluntarily terminated Libya's nuclear weapons program right after US forces in Iraq tossed Saddam Hussein into prison, and Qaddaffi was worried about being next.

Oh, but wait - didn't that happen under the evil Bush and Cheney regime?

Obama's central premise in the speech was that the Bush Administration 'lost its way' and 'went off course' in its efforts to save the country from another terrorist assault and thus violated our moral values, US Law and the Constitution.

He then went on to justify his policies on closing Guantanamo, releasing selective bits of classified intelligence memos, transforming military tribunals into ACLU circuses, handcuffing the executive branch by introducing new oversight and 'transparency' to the State Secrets Act and of course, banning enhanced interrogation techniques - although as Dick Cheney pointed out, he took care to reserve those techniques for his own use, just in case his assessment of the Bush Administration's security policy is mistaken, his outreach to the Muslim world doesn't quite work out like he planned and bodies start falling in the street again.

It was a blatantly political speech and an exercise in hypocrisy designed to play to his leftist base and alienate conservatives even further. The president criticized politicians in Washington for constantly He "pointing fingers at one another," but that's exactly what most of his speech was about - pointing fingers at the Bush Administration. It was one of the most despicable exhibitions I've ever observed in politics, a speech suited to the campaign trail but beneath the dignity of a sitting president.

So what did ex Vice President Dick Cheney have to say to all that? His full response is here , delivered in a non-polished plain spoken way that somehow worked better and rang truer than a polished orator constantly swiveling his head to read his stereo teleprompters.

Here are a couple of juicy excerpts:

Cheney is essentially calling Obama's bluff.As far as he's concerned, America's moral values never were compromised in the least.

You want to close down Club Gitmo? what exactly are you planning on doing with these people, and the ones we might capture in the future?

Looking for a middle ground in fighting terrorism? There is none, and half-measures end up in you being half exposed.

You want to hurt the country's security by selectively releasing classified memos? Fine, since that damage is already done,release the whole memos, so the American people can see the intel we obtained using these techniques and judge for themselves whether we were effective or not. What was that about transparency again?

Cheney put the terms of the debate succinctly:

Well over seven years into the effort, one thing we know is that the enemy has spent most of this time on the defensive - and every attempt to strike inside the United States has failed.

So we're left to draw one of two conclusions - and here is the great dividing line in our current debate over national security. You can look at the facts and conclude that the comprehensive strategy has worked, and therefore needs to be continued as vigilantly as ever. Or you can look at the same set of facts and conclude that 9/11 was a one-off event - coordinated, devastating, but also unique and not sufficient to justify a sustained wartime effort. Whichever conclusion you arrive at, it will shape your entire view of the last seven years, and of the policies necessary to protect America for years to come.

That's exactly it, in a nutshell. If you believe that America's ultimately to blame for 9/11, if you believe in your heart that we're not at war and that messy incidents like the World Trade Center bombings are 'man made disturbances' and best solved as a law enforcement problem, you look at it one way.

If you think that America is a force for good, that we were attacked by a vicious enemy because of whom we are rather than anything we've done and that we're involved in an ongoing war in which we have been supremely lucky not to suffer further terrorist attacks on our soil, you look at it another.

Or to put it another way, on the one hand we have a president in constant campaign mode looking to pacify his base while essentially voting 'present' and blaming any messy problems on his predecessors.

On the other , we have an ex-politician with a lifetime of service behind him and no further political ambitions addressing what he sees as serious lapses in policy that endanger the country.

History and events will prove one of them right.