Monday, April 30, 2012

Egypt's Islamists And The Military Clash In Standoff

Things are heating up in Egypt, and not in a good way.

After the ruling military junta disqualified their candidates in the coming presidential election, the leaders of Egypt's Islamist dominated parliament demanded that the current junta picked cabinet step down in favor of a cabinet appointed by the parliament.

Things heated up with street protests after Friday's sermons at th emosques to the point where one of th e4protesters was killed outside of Egypt's Ministry of Defense. Others were injured as supporters of the army clashed in street fights with the Islamists.

In response,Parliament Speaker Saad el-Katatni of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party announced that parliament was suspending sessions for a week to protest the ruling military junta's failure to dismiss the present cabinet and allow the Islamists to pick a new one of their choosing.

"It is my responsibility as speaker of the People's Assembly (parliament) to safeguard the chamber's dignity and that of its members. There must be a solution to this crisis," el-Katatni told lawmakers before he adjourned parliament until May 6.

There's a subtext to this that bears looking at. The Islamists and salafist al-Nour party, who are the majority in parliament maneuvered things so that they dominated the 100 member committee charge with writing Egypt's new constitution.

In response, the military junta had a court disqualify the committee and enter 'negotiations' about appointing a new committee more to the junta's liking.

In response, the Islamists rejected the military's economic program, which included badly needed loans from places like the IMF. This could lead to an early decision by the junta to let the Isalmists form a temporary civilian government until elections in June.

Another interesting sidelight is the salafist Al-Nour Party, the second largest in parliament behind the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom And Justice Party.

While al-Nour is allied with Freedom and Justice, the alliance is not without its friction. Al-Nour could be classified as being to the right of the Muslim Brotherhood, especially when it comes to Islam and sharia. Many of them are worried about being absorbed into the Brotherhood, especially since their leader Hazem Abu Ismail was disqualified from running for president by the junta and have now endorsed former Muslim Brotherhood member Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh for the presidency rather than the Brotherhhood's official candidate, Mohammed Mursi.

It remains to be seen whether Fotouh will get enough votes to split the Islamist/Salafist vote and allow the election of former Arab League head Amr Moussa, a presidential candidate more to the ruling junta's liking.

Navy SEALs Slam Obama For Using Them As 'Ammunition' In Political Ad Taking Credit For Bin-Laden hit

Yes, they're not at all pleased.

A serving SEAL Team member said: ‘Obama wasn’t in the field, at risk, carrying a gun. As president, at every turn he should be thanking the guys who put their lives on the line to do this. He does so in his official speeches because he speechwriters are smart.

‘But the more he tries to take the credit for it, the more the ground operators are saying, “Come on, man!” It really didn’t matter who was president. At the end of the day, they were going to go.’

Chris Kyle, a former SEAL sniper with 160 confirmed and another 95 unconfirmed kills to his credit, said: ‘The operation itself was great and the nation felt immense pride. It was great that we did it.

‘But bin Laden was just a figurehead. The war on terror continues. Taking him out didn’t really change anything as far as the war on terror is concerned and using it as a political attack is a cheap shot.

‘In years to come there is going to be information that will come out that Obama was not the man who made the call. He can say he did and the people who really know what happened are inside the Pentagon, are in the military and the military isn’t allowed to speak out against the commander- in-chief so his secret is safe.’ {...}

Senior military figures have said that Admiral William McRaven, a former SEAL who was then head of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) made the decision to take bin Laden out. Tactical decisions were delegated even further down the chain of command.

Mr Kyle added: ‘He's trying to say that Romney wouldn't have made the same call? Anyone who is patriotic to this country would have made that exact call, Democrat or Republican. Obama is taking more credit than he is due but it's going to get him some pretty good mileage.’

A former intelligence official who was serving in the US government when bin Laden was killed said that the Obama administration knew about the al-Qaeda leader’s whereabouts in October 2010 but delayed taking action and risked letting him escape.

‘In the end, Obama was forced to make a decision and do it. He knew that if he didn’t do it the political risks in not taking action were huge. Mitt Romney would have made the call but he would have made it earlier – as would George W. Bush.’

Brandon Webb, a former SEAL who spent 13 years on active duty and served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said: ‘Bush should get partial credit for putting the system in place.

Clint Bruce, who gave up the chance of an NFL career to serve as a SEAL officer before retiring as a lieutenant after nine years, said: ‘We were extremely surprised and discouraged by the publicity because it compromises the ability of those guys to operate.

‘It’s a waste of time to speculate about who would and wouldn’t have made that decision. It was a symphony of opportunity and intelligence that allowed this administration to give the green light. We want to acknowledge that they made that decision.

‘Politicians should let the public know where they stand on national security but not in the play-by-play, detailed way that has been done recently. The intricacies of national security should not become part of stump speeches.’

Note that this appeared in a British paper.I doubt you'll see it in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post or on the alphabet networks.

Arianna Huffington: Obama's Bin Laden Ad "Despicable"

It's not often I agree with Arianna Huffington, but this is one of those times.

In an interview with CBS News, the founder and editor-in-chief of the very Left leaning Huffington Post called the Obama campaign's decision to tout the assassination of Osama bin Laden in a campaign ad "despicable."

"I don't think there should be an ad about that," Huffington said Monday on "CBS This Morning." "I think it's one thing to celebrate the fact that they did such a great job (with television specials). All that is perfectly legitimate. But to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do."

She added, "It's the same thing Hillary Clinton did with the 3 a.m. call. 'You're not ready to be commander-in-chief.' It's also what makes politicians and political leaders act irrationally when it comes to matters of war because they're so afraid to be called wimps, that they make decisions, which are incredible destructive for the country. I'm sure the president would not have escalated in Afghanistan if he was not as concerned, as Democrats are, that Republicans are going to use not escalating against him in a campaign."

Or as I put it in these pages, this president doubled down simply to avoid looking like an idiot after all his chest pounding about Afghanistan being 'the good war that Bush took his eye off of' during the campaign.

Host Gayle King, for obvious reasons tried to carry President Obama's water for him. "So in a campaign, aren't you supposed to tout your accomplishments of what you've done," Gayle King asked.

Huffington wasn't caught out in the least. "That's not what the ad does. What the ad does is questions. ... (The ad) quotes a snippet from Romney and uses that to imply that Romney would not has been as decisive. It quotes a snippet from Romney and uses that to imply that Romney would not has been as decisive. There's no way to know whether Romney would have been as decisive. To actually speculate that he wouldn't be is, to me, not the way to run a campaign, on either side."

Credit where credit is due...

Yassou, Arianna!

Obama Bypasses Another Congressional Hold, Gifts 'Palestinians' Another $192M

Obama and Abbas

As you'll remember, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton overuled a congressional hold on an aid package to the 'Palestinians' to send $147 million of your tax dollars to Fatah and Hamas.

President Obama, not to be outdone, just released an additional $192 million to them, claiming U.S. security required greasing his friend Mahmoud Abbas' pockets:

President Barack Obama has signed a waiver to remove curbs on funding to the Palestinian Authority, declaring the aid to be “important to the security interests of the United States.”

A $192 million aid package was frozen by the US Congress after the Palestinians moved to gain statehood at the United Nations last September.

But in a memo sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, published by the White House, the president said it was appropriate to release funds to the authority, which administers the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In signing the waiver, Obama instructed Clinton to inform Congress of the move, on the grounds that “waiving such prohibition is important to the national security interests of the United States.”

Congress didn't just freeze those funds because the 'Palestinians' abrogated Oslo and the Road Map by trying to do an end run around direct negotiations. They did it because the 'Palestinian Authority' is now allied with Hamas,
a terrorist organization that is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in a unity government agreement. That apparently makes no difference to President Obama and Secretary Clinton in their haste to appease the Muslim Brotherhood:

The AFP news agency quoted White House spokesman Tommy Vietor as saying the $192 million aid package would be devoted to “ensuring the continued viability of the moderate PA government under the leadership of [Palestinian Authority] President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.”

Vietor added that the PA had fulfilled its major obligations, such as recognizing Israel’s right to exist, renouncing violence and accepting the Road Map for Peace.

Since when?

Hamas not only is openly genocidal in its charter, not just for Israelis but Jews worldwide. They have never recognized Israel's right to exist, or any of the agreements between Israel and the 'Palestinian Authority'.

And as for the PA, they have verbally recognized Israel's right to exist, in English, but Fatah, who runs the Palestinian Authority never has. They have never renounced violence. In fact, they celebrate and honor its practitioners in their mosques, schools and media, pay salaries to terrorists convicted of murdering civilians in Israeli jails and have never implemented their part of the Road Map.

This president is borrowing over $250 million we don't have to give it to terrorists so that they can devote more of their own money to fighting the War Against the Jews.

Something Well Worth Hearing, A Voice From The Past

On April 19th, 1951, 61 years ago, General Douglas MacArthur gave a speech in Congress after being relieved of command in Korea by President Truman and ending a career of over half a century as one of America's most successful and dedicated military leaders.

Aside from his military record, he had been raised in Asia as the son of a military family, was revered in the Philippines and had not only defeated the Japanese in the Pacific but had gone on to serve as the military governor of Japan who helped write its constitution. He turned Japan into a democracy, laid the groundwork for their future prosperity and did it all while commanding their respect and admiration.

Ignore the pomposity that surfaces in places in the speech's delivery, and some of the more dated and specific references. Instead, listen closely to what he had to say about the Pacific as America's redoubt and about the strategy involved in the necessity of keeping America able to fight on two fronts, something the Obama Administration has already admitted it's willing to forgo.

Especially, listen to what General MacArthur had to say about war, victory, peace and appeasement. You'll easily see exactly what's wrong with the way we've been waging the war that started during the Clinton era and continues to our present day.

You'll want to hear all of me on that.

Romney And Obama Have Narrow Margins To Victory On The Electoral Map

It's far too early to be making any predictions on the coming Obama/Romney matchup...unless you're Chris Cilizza at the WAPO and have a deadline and an editor breathing down your neck. Then you might come up with a piece with the title "Mitt Romney’s road to presidency this fall looks narrow on electoral map" :

It’s no secret that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has a narrow path to win the presidency this fall. Nowhere is that reality more apparent than when examining the electoral map on which Romney and President Obama will battle in November.

A detailed analysis of Romney’s various paths to the 270 electoral votes he would need to claim the presidency suggests he has a ceiling of somewhere right around 290 electoral votes.

The truth of the matter is that both candidates are pretty much neck and neck, a large part of the country isn't even paying attention to the campaign yet, Mitt Romney has yet to choose a running mate and there have been no debates, assuming President Obama chooses to participate, which he very well might not. So a 'detailed analysis' is an impossibility at this point.

But just for giggles, let's look at both candidates and the electoral college matchup in the race for 270 votes.

Barack Obama starts out not only with the advantage of being able to campaign and fund raise on the taxpayer's dime, but with all but guaranteed victories in several populous blue states like California, New York and Illinois for a total of 104 electoral votes. Actually, these are really huge margins in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area.He's also pretty certain to take the rest of the West Coast (Washington and Oregon plus Hawaii for another 23 votes), most of New England and the Northeast (Another 51 votes including Rhode Island, Vermont Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, DC, Delaware and New Jersey). That totals up to 178 votes.

Mitt Romney will almost certainly take solid red states in the South (Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, South Carolina and Tennessee) for 65 votes, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia for 24 votes, and the Red states in the Heartland (Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas,Nebraska, The Dakotas, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana ) for another 78 votes, and Alaska a total of 170 votes.

After that, we start speculating as things are far too close to call at this point.

Looking at the numbers, it's fairly likely that Barack Obama could carry New Mexico (5 votes) because of it's high Hispanic demographic, Minnesota(10 votes), which normally goes Democrat.Colorado (9 votes) could go either way. It's also fairly likely that Mitt Romney will take the deep Red state of Arizona (11 votes) and that Missouri(10 votes) and North Carolina (15 votes) will also return to the Republican column this year.

Assuming it breaks down this way ( a big assumption but not unlikely)you have Obama with 202 votes and Romney with 206.

Almost everything else is in play.Romney is personally popular in Michigan(16 votes) and New Hampshire,(4 votes) where the depressed Obama economy is also an issue. He will also likely win Nevada (6 votes) because of the Mormon vote and the nation's highest unemployment. Virginia,(13 votes) like Colorado has become more and more purple as the overflow of government dependent workers from DC populates Northern Virginia. The Old Dominion could be the one southern state where the Democrats are able to hang on, depending on the relative turnout of the northern and southern part of the state.Iowa (6 votes) went Blue last time and could very well do so again.

That brings us to the key swing states - Wisconsin (10 votes), Florida ( 29 votes), Ohio(18 votes), and Pennsylvania(20 votes). That's where I chiefly think this election is going to be won and lost.

If the Democrats win in Virginia, Iowa and Colorado, Obama's total will be 230 votes.To win, he will have to take three of the above four states and can afford to lose Florida as th eone he doesn't carry. If Virginia goes Republican, he will have to win two of the above states, plus Florida.If Obama wins in Michigan and Virginia, he only need any two of the above four states.

If Mitt Romney comes in having lost Virginia and Colorado but having won in Michigan, he will have 228 votes, 232 if he wins in New Hampshire as well. He'd need only Florida and one other of the key swing states to win. Without Michigan, Virginia or Colorado,he'd need Florida plus any two of the remaining key battleground states to win.

I cite these figures just to show you that both candidates have similar margins of victory at this point.

Some other factors worth noting that actually might give Romney something of an advantage:

  • Rob Portman, the popular Republican governor of Ohio and Senator Marco Rubio,very popular in his home state of Florida are both on Romney's short list as a choice for running mate.

  • Pennsylvania has been an historically Democrat state, and the chances are Obama will win there. However,the depressed Obama economy will be a factor and anything can happen

  • A signpost as to what will happen in Wisconsin will be the June recall elections. So far, Republican Governor Scott Walker is still ahead in the polls and the millions of dollars spent by the public employee unions had an inconclusive effect on Republicans in the State Senate, although it did cut down the GOP majority. Should Walker prevail, that could be a sign Wisconsin will be voting GOP come November.

  • Stay tuned..

    Sunday, April 29, 2012

    New Attacks On Church Leaves 16 Nigerian Christians Dead

    Nigeria's Muslim sect Boko Haram attacked church services Bayero University's campus in the northern part of the country today.

    Small soda cans filled with explosives and smoke bombs were hurled into the church to drive the worshipers outside, where gunmen lay in ambush. Hundreds were injured, and at least 16 people are known to have died.

    The university is in the predominantly Muslim north of the country.

    Boko Haram is a jihadist group who is waging war on Nigeria's federal government.They want all Muslim prisoners held by the government to be released and for sharia law to be imposed on all of Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa.Boko Haram has been responsible for over 450 killings this year alone, mostly Christians and government officials.A Christmas Day suicide bombing of a Catholic church in Madalla near Nigeria's capital killed at least 44 people.In January, a coordinated assault on government buildings and other sites in Kano took at least 185 lives.

    In a separate attack earlier in the week, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing at the offices of the influential newspaper ThisDay in Nigeria’s capital Abuja and an attack on an office the publication shared with others in the city of Kaduna. Seven people died. Boko Haram stated that this is going to be part of an ongoing campaign against newspapers and journalists who 'defame Islam' or write articles criticizing the movement:

    Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan has called on Nigerians to join forces against terrorism as he visited the Abuja offices of the newspaper This Day that were destroyed in a bomb attack this week.

    During his visit Saturday, Mr. Jonathan said the country is pouring every possible resource to fight the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, which has claimed responsibility for the blast. The president did not rule out the possibility of negotiating with the group.

    “You see when you have a terror situation, you also look at the global best practice all over the world. Most countries passed through that, just like in war situations, you may dialogue [or] you may not dialogue, depending on the circumstances. But we will exploit every means possible.''

    President Jonathan said that a terror attack on any part of Nigeria is an attack on all Nigerians and the world.

    The owner of the newspaper, Nduka Obaigbena, said the attack was an assault on free speech, which, he said, must be defended.

    “As I have said before, what is not worth dying for is not worth living for. We will defend free speech; we will defend the constitution. We will publish the truth. No matter what, we will never surrender.''

    Nigeria has the misfortune to be located on what have aptly been called Islam's bloody borders. The North of the country is primarily Muslim, the rest is Christian and animist. As the eighth largest oil exporter in the world Nigeria represents a rich prize for the jihadis if they can take it over, as well as a strong base in West Africa.

    The TSA And Jeffrey Goldberg's Mother-In-Law 'Proof Al-Qaeda Has Won'

    Lefty columnist Jeffrey Goldberg is just a tad upset at the antics of the TSA with his 79-year-old mother-in-law:

    Okay, I now have definitive proof that al Qaeda has actually won. It hasn't achieved the dissolution of the United States, or succeeded in murdering millions of Americans, or re-established the Caliphate, but it has caused our government to debase itself in the name of security. To wit:

    My mother-in-law was traveling home to Rhode Island from Washington Reagan airport this past Tuesday night when, passing through the TSA naked-porno machine, she triggered an alarm.

    A bit of background before I continue: My mother-in-law, though youthful in outlook and an all-around very attractive person, is also 79-years-old, 4'11" if she's lucky, and weighs about 110 pounds. She was in Washington to visit her grandchildren, and to lobby the Rhode Island congressional delegation as part of the American Library Association's National Library Legislative Day. She is not a threatening person, in appearance or demeanor. I don't know this for sure, but I think she was probably carrying a library tote bag of some sort -- or perhaps it was an NPR tote bag -- as she approached the security checkpoint. A general rule: terrorists don't carry tote bags.

    She entered the machine and struck the humiliating pose one is forced to strike -- hands up, as in an armed robbery -- and then walked out, when she was asked by a TSA agent, in a voice loud enough for several people to hear, "Are you wearing a sanitary napkin?"

    Remember, she's 79.

    My mother-in-law answered, "No. Why do you ask?"

    The TSA agent responded: "Well, are you wearing anything else down there?"

    Yes, "down there."

    She said no, at which point, the friend with whom she was traveling, also a not-young volunteer library advocate, came over and asked if there was a problem.

    The TSA agent said, again, in full voice, "There's an anomaly in the crotch area."

    Goldberg, as usual, gets it only half right.

    It's not our government debasing itself in the name of security, but in the name of Islamism.

    Our government is absolutely committed to the principle that Islamism and the likes of CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood front groups must be pandered to, no matter what. And in their view, it's far better to spend billions of dollars on scanners supplied by a George Soros owned company that don't work all that well, on a new class of government employees, and on wasting millions of man hours at the airports rather than engaging in some common sense profiling and screening.

    The Qu'rannic term for this is jirzya, a monetary tribute paid by infidels to Muslims for the privilege of letting them live. To make it even more bizarre, an Islamist group is now receiving your tax dollars to train TSA screeners on why they should be devoting extra care in looking at a 79-year-old grandmother or reducing a four-year-old autistic child to tears rather than devoting extra time to travelers coming from Muslim countries identified as havens for Islamist terrorists.

    You simply couldn't make this stuff up.

    Friday, April 27, 2012

    In The Event Of War, J Street 'Won't Necessarily Support Israel'

    Today in Boston's Jewish Advocate, a letter surfaced regarding a briefing given by three Jewish organizations about what their positions would be in the event of hostilities involving Israel (h/t, Carl):

    At this week’s meeting of the JCRC Council, three organizations briefed the council on their organization’s Iran policy. I was shocked to hear J Street’s regional director say that in the event that war broke out involving Israel, J Street would not necessarily support the Jewish state.

    Incredulous, I asked her to clarify that I had heard correctly. Indeed, she reiterated proudly that J Street would not necessarily support Israel in a conflict, but would weigh the circumstances. So if, heaven forbid, war breaks out, the wise sages of J Street (and supposed military experts) will decide whether or not Israel merits our support. And this is an organization which claims to be "pro-Israel"! With friends like that, who needs enemies?

    While there is a plurality of views in our community on many issues, there is a broad consensus that if attacked, we put our differences to one side and stand by the people of Israel unambiguously. J Street has put itself beyond that consensus.

    It's one thing to question the likelihood of success of military action against Iran - and we certainly hope and pray that sanctions and diplomacy will work - but quite something else to say that if a conflict breaks out, we would not unambiguously stand with Israel.

    Shame on them, but at least the pro-Israel community understands where they stand. In Israel's hour of need, J Street cannot be counted on.



    It isn't exactly news that J-Street, contrary to their slogan is not exactly pro-Israel. Or that their funding comes from questionable sources.

    But at least they're clear about their agenda, and anyone whom suggests that their perspective is of value and that they need to be included in a 'big tent' of Jewish opinion on Israel is out of his tree.

    As Carl suggests, the important thing to remember is that to the Obama Administration, the sort of people whom are part of J-Street ( like DNC head Debbie Wasserman-Schultz) are the Jewish community in the U.S. And Israel can probably depend on the Obama Administration if push comes to shove about as much as they can depend on J-Street.

    Which is to say, not at all.

    Update: The Real Romney Quote, In Context Obama Used In His Bogus Campaign Ad

    I reported earlier on a disgraceful ad the Obama Campaign is running suggesting that Mitt Romney would not have ordered Osama bin-Laden's assassination.

    I realized instantly that the quote used in the ad was an out-of-context snippet, but I didn't realize how bad it was until Matt Lewis at Townhall outed it, as part of some reporting by the late Dean Barnet, back in 2007. The ad used this snippet, "It's not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person."

    Here's the whole thing:

    Our own Matt Lewis, showing the innate industriousness that sets Townhall contributors apart, contacted the Romney campaign and got the full text of the interview. Surprise, surprise- turns out the AP did miss some context. The exchange between Romney and reporter Liz Sidoti went as follows:

    LIZ SIDOTI: "Why haven't we caught bin Laden in your opinion?"

    GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY: "I think, I wouldn't want to over-concentrate on Bin Laden. He's one of many, many people who are involved in this global Jihadist effort. He's by no means the only leader. It's a very diverse group – Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood and of course different names throughout the world. It's not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person. It is worth fashioning and executing an effective strategy to defeat global, violent Jihad and I have a plan for doing that."

    In other words, Governor Romney suggested that a lot more strategic effort was needed to defeat the global jihad rather than just wasting time and money chasing one man. Here's a bit more:

    SIDOTI: "But would the world be safer if bin laden were caught?"

    GOVERNOR ROMNEY: "Yes, but by a small percentage increase – a very insignificant increase in safety by virtue of replacing bin Laden with someone else. Zarqawi – we celebrated the killing of Zarqawi, but he was quickly replaced. Global Jihad is not an effort that is being populated by a handful or even a football stadium full of people. It is – it involves millions of people and is going to require a far more comprehensive strategy than a targeted approach for bin laden or a few of his associates."

    SIDOTI: "Do you fault the administration for not catching him though? I mean, they've had quite a few years going after him."

    GOVERNOR ROMNEY: "There are many things that have not been done perfectly in any conduct of war. In the Second World War, we paratroopered in our troops further than they were supposed to be from the beaches. We landed in places on the beaches that weren't anticipated. Do I fault Eisenhower? No, he won. And I'm nowhere near as consumed with bin Laden as I am concerned about global Jihadist efforts."

    I'll conclude with another quote, this time from President Barack Obama in a CBS interview right after our Navy SEALS assassinated Osama bin-Laden: "You know, we don't trot out this stuff as trophies. Americans and people around the world are glad that he's gone. But we don't need to spike the football."

    Our Prevaricator-in-chief in action... lying, disgraceful, and shameless.

    Congress Prepares Contempt Citation Against AG Holder Over Fast And Furious

    Now here's some good news to take into the weekend!

    House Republicans investigating the Fast and Furious scandal plan to pursue a contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder, senior congressional aides told CBS News.

    The resolution will accuse Holder and his Justice Department of obstructing the congressional probe into the allegations that the government let thousands of weapons fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

    The citation would attempt to force Holder to turn over tens of thousands of pages documents related to the probe, which has entered its second year.

    Needless to say, the usual suspects at quite upset at this:

    The top Democrat on the panel slammed Issa's move as part of "an election-year witch hunt against the Obama administration."

    "Leaking a draft contempt citation that members of our committee have never seen suggests that you are more interested in perpetuating your partisan political feud in the press than in obtaining any specific substantive information relating to the committee's investigation," said Rep. Elijah Cummings, referring to a report in the Los Angeles Times, which first reporting the plan.

    Considering how Representative Cummings has continuously tried to stymie the investigation and turn it into a referendum on gun control, I think we can take his comments for the little they're worth.

    The Oversight Committee's contempt resolution would have to almost certainly come to a full House vote. Passing it would probably be a foregone conclusion considering the current makeup of the House and the ongoing lies, obstructions and misstatements coming out of the Department of Justice since the Fast and Furious scandal, which involved deliberate sales of guns to Mexican drug cartels by the Department of Justice became known. While Holder and the Justice Department have supplied a large number of pages of the documentation demanded in congressional subpoenas, congressional investigators accuse the Justice Department of supplying the documents selectively and highly redacted, and that tens of thousands of pages of internal documents requested by the congressional subpoenas have been deliberately left out.

    Once a contempt resolution passes, Congress could seek enforcement through federal courts if the Department of Justice still refuses to comply.

    This is going to get good.

    Obama Campaign's Latest Claim - 'Romney Wouldn't Have Ordered Bin-Laden Hit'

    The Obama Campaign is using - wait for it - Bill Clinton in an ad bragging about President Obama's 'decisive call' to assassinate Osama bin-Laden in Pakistan, and pairing that with an edited, out of context clip of Governor Romney saying that it 'doesn't make sense to spend billions of dollars chasing one man.'

    This is so rich, so lacking in decency and honor on so many levels that it begs to be addressed.

    To begin with, the use of ex-President Clinton to lay it on thick about being a decisive commander-in-chief borders on parody. This was the president who had three golden opportunities to get Osama bin-Laden prior to 9/11 and punted on all of them.On one occasion, authorities in the Sudan actually had OBL in custody and wanted to hand him over to the United States - only to have the offer refused by the Clinton Administration.

    This was the president whose justice department actually built a wall between various U.S. intelligence agencies to prevent them from sharing intel on al-Qaeda and bin-Laden with a March, 1995 memo written by Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick. This was the president who used to simply disappear for hours and was unable to be located by even his closest aides, and who did something unprecedented - losing the credit card with the codes for the 'football' that activates America's nuclear arsenal.

    What would President Clinton know about being a commander-in-chief or about decisive decisions?

    Next, let's look at President Obama's 'gutsy call' in some detail.

    TIME magazine, hardly a media outlet unfriendly to this president managed to get hold of an interesting memo from then CIA chief Leon Panetta that shows that President Obama actually outsourced the decision to Admiral William McRaven, commander of Special Operations:

    Received phone call from Tom Donilon who stated that the President made a decision with regard to AC1 [Abbottabad Compound 1]. The decision is to proceed with the assault.

    The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven’s hands. The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out. Those instructions were conveyed to Admiral McRaven at approximately 10:45 am.

    Note the parts I've emphasized. The memo's quite clear- the “timing, operational decision making and control” are all up to Admiral McRaven. This wasn't a decisive commander-in-chief making a decision and taking the entire weight of it on his shoulders. This was a hollow man passing the buck to Admiral McRaven to make the decision..and setting up the admiral to be the fall guy if anything had gone wrong.

    And then there's this - any other risks that arise are “to be brought back to the President for his consideration.” This was President Obama’s way of creating running room for himself if things went bad. He could then say that there were additional risks he hadn't been informed of, that his military leaders didn't tell him about.And under the bus would go Admiral McRaven. Gutsy!

    Finally, let's look at what Mitt Romney is actually saying as opposed to what this singularly dishonest ad is implying. The actual quote by Romney is that he didn't see the sense of spending billions of dollars chasing one man, not that he wouldn't have ordered the raid on bin-Laden's compound once he was found.

    But leaving that aside, let's take a good look at what assassinating Osama bin-Laden actually cost us and decide whether the price justified taking out a terrorist who definitely deserved death, but was essentially marginalized when we killed him.

    Those of you whom read this site regularly know I've already analyzed the what the bin-Laden assassination cost us cost in some detail:

    Like it or not, because this president made a decision to double down in Afghanistan to justify his campaign rhetoric about ' the good war', thousands of U.S. troops and NATO personnel are dependent on supplies that come through the Pakistani port of Karachi and overland through the Torkhum Pass. By assassinating bin-Laden, we exposed the Pakistanis, again, as a major aider and abettor of Islamic fascism and terrorism. Their honor/shame mentality kicked in and rather than express regret that they had been caught sheltering a mass murderer, they went into hysterics about the violation of their sovereignty and shut down the Torkhum Pass for several days. Because the stopped supply trucks were sitting ducks, the Taliban manged to destroy a number of them. Not only that, but we lost a painstakingly created network of Pakistani informers, almost all of whom are still in jail in Pakistan on charges of treason.

    We lost one of our helicopters in the bin-Laden operation, a Blackhawk. Now, these normally cost about $20 million or so, but this one cost a great deal more, because it had been highly modified with top secret stealth technology that brought its cost up to more like $60 million. Even worse, the SEAL's were unable to completely destroy it, and the angry Pakistanis gleefully gave it to the Chinese to examine at their leisure. The Russians and the Iranians almost certainly got a look as well. The potential loss of technology is in the millions, not to mention our unfortunate but at this point necessary relationship with Pakistan, which has worsened considerably and is unlikely to recover for some time if at all. Not a good position to be in since they still control not only our major supply line but the  easiest route of egress out of Afghanistan if we chose to leave and had to do it quickly.

    By taking out Osama bin-Laden, we resolved a long time argument between bin-Laden and  his chief lieutenant Ayman Zawahiri in Zawahiri's favor. Bin-Laden wanted to keep al-Qaeda anchored primarily in Afghanistan and Pakistan where he was comfortable. Zawahiri, looking at developments in his native Egypt and elsewhere like the 'Arab Spring' , the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and President Obama's already announced retreat from the region was pushing to relocate al-Qaeda back to the Middle East and the roiling Arab world. Now that Osama bin-Laden is out of the picture, Zawahiri, a former Muslim Brotherhood leader is now in charge of al-Qaeda and the organization has re-established itself in the Arab world, just as Zawahari wished.

    We can already see increased al-Qaeda presence in both the Egyptian Sinai and Libya, as well as in Iraq where the Maliki government's marginalization of the Sunnis has given al-Qaeda new life.

    Moreover, should Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist governments take over in Egypt and Libya as seems likely, Ayman Zawahiri, al-Qaeda and its affiliates like Takfir-wal Higra can count on a haven to train and recruit, with Libya's oil wealth and Egypt's population and rabid Islamism to draw on. Small wonder a number of my sources are adamant that bin-Laden was deliberately ratted out by Zawahiri.

     The SEALs were under orders not to bring bin-Laden back for interrogation, thus eliminating one of the chief possible benefits of the raid. It's decision on the President's part  I'm startled more people haven't questioned. President Obama has often said that we're at war with al-Qaeda. Wouldn't a nice chat with al-Qaeda's leader under the influence of scopolomine be an invaluable source of intel instead of  simply giving him a Muslim funeral and dropping his corpse off a ship?  Is it possible that the Obama Administration would rather not know  whom in the Muslim world was funding al-Qaeda, or more about Iran's complicity in the  9/11 attack?

    In terms of what it cost us financially and strategically, especially since we didn't bring him back for interrogation, assassinating  Osama bin-Laden was a decision that a prudent and knowledgeable person might have questioned.

    Unless, of course, you were a president facing re-election with a foreign policy record filled with debacles and missteps and needed something to point to as a 'success'. Then, it made perfect sense.

    UPDATE: The actual Romney quote used in the ad is here. When you read it in context, you'll see that the ad distorted it's meaning 180 opposite from what Governor Romney actually had to say on this topic.

    They will say and do simply anything...and if they can't find something, they'll just make it up.

    A Disillusioned Obama Shill Points Towards A Tough Time For Him In November

    Peggy Noonan is one of those people the Left loves to display.

    An ex-Reagan speechwriter, she moved to Manhattan and went native in a disgustingly short time, with all the prejudice and vitriol that implies.

    With the ascendency of Barack Obama, she became quite the media cheerleader for him in her WSJ columns..and why not? It's what all her friends in Manhattan were doing, and as one of the handful of token 'Republicans' hanging around, she was in demand as verification that this was what all of the Right People were thinking, unlike those bitter clingers in flyover country. And it got her a lot of face time on the alphabet networks as a 'Republican' talking head who could be relied on to pretty much agree with what the other Democrat talking heads were saying.

    Now, apparently, the worm has totally turned.

    Ms. Noonan's latest opus, entitled ` A Bush League President' is a flat out break with her previous Obama worship:

    Presidents command the airwaves, as they used to say. If they want to make something the focus of national discussion, they usually can, at least for a while. And this president is always out there, talking. But—and forgive me, because what I'm about to say is rude—has anyone noticed how boring he is? Plonking platitude after plonking platitude. To see Mr. Obama on the stump is to see a man at the podium who's constantly dribbling away the punch line. He looks pleasant but lacks joy; he's cool but lacks vigor. A lot of what he says could have been said by a president 12 or 20 years ago, little is anchored to the moment. As he makes his points he often seems distracted, as if he's holding a private conversation in his head, noticing crowd size, for instance, and wishing the front row would start fainting again, like they used to. {...}

    The old Washington gossip was that the Obama campaign was too confident, now it is that they are nervous. The second seems true if you go by their inability, months after it was clear Mitt Romney would be running against them, to find and fix on a clear line of attack. Months ago he was the out-of-touch corporate raider. Then he was a flip-flopping weasel. They momentarily shifted to right-wing extremist. This week he seems to be a Bushite billionaire.

    Will all this work? When you look at Romney you see a wealthy businessman, a Mormon of inherently moderate instinct, a person who is conservative in his personal sphere but who lives and hopes to rise in a world he well knows is not quite so tidy. He doesn't seem extreme.

    It's interesting that the Obama campaign isn't using what incumbent presidents always sooner or later use, either straight out or subliminally. And that is "You know me. I've been president for almost four years, you don't know that other guy. In a high-stakes world do you really want someone new?"

    You know why they're not using "You know me"? Because we know him, and it's not a plus.

    There is a growing air of incompetence around Mr. Obama's White House. It was seen again this week in Supreme Court arguments over the administration's challenge to Arizona's attempted crackdown on illegal immigration. As Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News wrote, the court seemed to be disagreeing with the administration's understanding of federal power: "Solicitor General Donald Verrilli . . . met resistance across ideological lines. . . . Even Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the court's only Hispanic and an Obama appointee, told Verrilli his argument is 'not selling very well.' " This follows last month's embarrassing showing over the constitutionality of parts of ObamaCare.

    All of this looks so bush league, so scattered. Add it to the General Services Administration, to Solyndra, to the other scandals, and you get a growing sense that no one's in charge, that the administration is paying attention to politics but not day-to-day governance. The two most public cabinet members are Eric Holder at Justice and Janet Napolitano at Homeland Security. He is overseeing the administration's Supreme Court cases. She is in charge of being unmoved by the daily stories of Transportation Security Administration incompetence and even cruelty at our airports. Those incidents and stories continue, but if you go to the Homeland Security website, there is no mention of them. It's as if they don't even exist.

    This is the same Peggy Noonan who three and a half years ago was writing paens to Obama's greatness. She called anyone who saw through his act a long time before she did an idiot...especially Governor Sarah Palin.

    She'd love you to forget that she was so caught up with being the one of the dinosaur media's favorite Republicans that she was willing to openly endorse an avowed socialist for the presidency, primarily because she and people like Kathleen Parker and David Brooks saw Sarah Palin and people who thought like her as idiots who embarrassed them at the smart, sophisticated parties they attended in Manhattan or Georgetown with their Lefty buddies.

    And now, three and a half years late, she's trying desperately to latch back on as an Obama critic!

    I wouldn't waste time on this trivial person except for one thing. If the Peggy Noonans of the world are jumping off Obama's ship this early, there's something going on and she smells it in the wind.

    It's a sign that even in deepest Manhattan, people are having doubts about President Obama and his re-election chances. If that weren't true, Peggy Noonan wouldn't have written something like this in a desperate attempt to regain a semblance of legitimacy.

    The Council Has Spoken! This Week's Watcher's Council Results

    The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week's Watcher's Council match up.

    A few days ago, Jews around the world memorialized the victims of the Holocaust on a day set aside as Yom Hashoah.

    This week's winner,Joshuapundit's Yom Hashoah - Reflections On The Holocaust is a look at how those people who came into contact with it tried to process it, what's been remembered, why many people would like to forget all about it and what that all means in today's context. Here's a slice:

    Today is Yom HaShoah, the day Israel and the rest of the Jewish world officially mourn the dead of the Holocaust.

    As the elderly witnesses gradually die off and it becomes less common to see people with numbers tattooed on their arms and a certain look in their eyes, remembrance is at a premium.

    Holocaust denial is a major industry today, and much of it is enthusiastically received ( and bankrolled) from the Islamic world, not only in the Middle East but at hundreds of mosques and madrassahs in the West, to the point where in Britain and elsewhere, educators avoid teaching about it so as not to make any waves or contradict what many Muslim youngsters are being taught at home or as part of their religious studies.

    In fact, the first official act of the Muslim Council of Britain after Tony Blair put it together as a voice for the UK's Muslims was to protest Holocaust Remembrance Day being observed.

    This is no accident. There are a lot of people who want what happened to the Jews of Europe forgotten and buried.

    In Crusade In Europe, his post-war memoir of WWII, Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower over seventy years ago foresaw a time when it would be convenient in certain circles to deny that the Holocaust happened, and he felt he had a moral responsibility to document it for all time:

    "I have never felt able to describe my emotional reactions when I first came face to face with indisputable evidence of Nazi brutality and every shred of human decency.Up to that time I had known about it only generally or through secondary sources.I am certain, however that I never at any time experienced an equal sense of shock.

    I visited every nook and cranny of that camp because I felt it my duty to be in a position to testify at first hand about these things in case there ever grew up at home the belief or assumption that 'the stories of Nazi brutality were just propaganda.' {...}

    I not only did so, but as soon as I returned to Patton's headquarters that evening I sent communications to both Washington and London urging the two governments to send instantly to Germany a random group of newspaper editors and representative groups from the national legislatures. I felt that the evidence should be immediately placed before the American and British publics in a fashion that would leave no room for cynical doubt."

    General Eisenhower also saw to it that the camps were filmed and that a number of witnesses were given tours of the camps..and not only from overseas. Eisenhower and a number of his commanders forced the local townspeople from the adjoining German towns to go through the camps where the populace claimed ignorance. Footage still exists of American soldiers forcing Germans into the camps to look at what had been if those Germans hadn't been living downwind from the smell of burning flesh for years. As if they hadn't heard the crying of children at the train stations in the dead of night, or seen their Jewish neighbors dragged away...

    In our non-Council category, the winner was Raymond Ibrahim with How the Media Whitewashes Muslim Persecution of Christians submitted by Joshuapundit, an excellent look at a topic the media won't touch with a ten foot pole.

    Here are this week’s full results. Only New Zeal was unable to vote this week, and only New Zeal was affected by the 2/3 vote penalty:

    Council Winners

    Non-Council Winners

    See you next week! And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter..'cause we're cool like that!

    Thursday, April 26, 2012

    The Battle Over Student Loans - A Great Indicator Of The Difference Between The Two Parties

    The latest dogfight in DC Land concerns student loans.

    Because of a previous 'accounting' ruse the Obama Administration used to free up funding for other programs it wanted, the rate on the over one trillion in outstanding student loans, now at 3.4 percent interest on subsidized Stafford student loans is set to double on July 1st.

    Needless to say, President Obama has been using this mess he created as a talking point to try and get younger voters to pull the lever for him in 2012 by blaming it on Republicans and not being exactly truthful about why the problem exists in the first place.

    The democrat plan for creating the funding needed to make this go away is exactly what you'd expect from them - raise taxes prohibitively on millions of the nation's small businesses:

    Senate Democrats and the White House are seeking a one-year freeze in the interest rate. The $6 billion cost would be offset by limiting a tax provision that allows some owners of so-called S-corporations to avoid paying Medicare payroll taxes on their earnings, Senator Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, told reporters yesterday.

    Harkin said the legislation would require the Medicare payroll tax on income of more than $250,000 a year earned at S-corporations with fewer than three shareholders.

    “This is a loophole that needs to be closed anyway,” he said. “So this is the right time to do it and for the right cause.”

    Note that the freeze is only a temporary one year band-aid while the tax on the millions of American small businesses organized as sub-chapter S corporations would be permanent - $9 billion over 10 years according to the CBO . And these small business, many of them family owned who plow these profits back into their businesses to fund growth and yes, new hires would be penalized for no other reason than being small, somewhat successful and a ready made target. Some 'loophole'!

    By the way..did you know Harkin was a well known war hero in Vietnam?

    The Republicans support maintaining current interest rates, but they have a different way of paying for it - taking the funds out of ObamaCare:

    In the latest political chess move, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, scheduled a House vote for Friday on legislation preventing the 3.4 percent interest rate on subsidized Stafford student loans from doubling as scheduled on July 1. In a bitter pill for Democrats, the measure's $5.9 billion cost would be paid for with cuts from President Barack Obama's health care overhaul bill.

    Boehner announced the vote in an abruptly called news conference Wednesday that followed days of pounding by Obama and congressional Democrats. It also came two days after the GOP's presumptive presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, tried defusing the issue by embracing the call for freezing interest rates, putting more pressure on congressional Republicans to back the effort or look isolated.

    "What Washington shouldn't be doing is exploiting the challenges that young Americans face for political gain," Boehner said. He also accused the president of "campaigning and trying to invent a fight where there isn't and never has been one."

    Congressional GOP aides said Republicans were working on the legislation for some time and unveiled their bill to try to prevent Obama from escalating the dispute. The aides spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss party strategy.

    Hours before Boehner spoke, Obama wrapped up a two-day trip to three college campuses in which he cast himself as the students' champion and Republicans as the ones standing in the way of resolving the problem.

    "How can we want to maintain tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans who don't need them and weren't even asking for them?" Obama said at the University of Iowa, mocking the GOP. "I don't need one. I needed help back when I was your age." [...]

    The House GOP bill would cut a $17 billion prevention and public health fund Obama's law created for immunization campaigns, research, screenings and wellness education. Republicans have dubbed it a "slush fund" and sought to cut it to finance a variety of projects, succeeding earlier this year to help pay for maintaining doctors' Medicare reimbursements.

    The back story here is what a large chunk of that slush fund is actually earmarked to be used for - President Obama's re-election efforts.

    Most of the pain from ObamCare kicks in well after the 2012 elections, when the president could care less since he won't be answerable to voters anymore. Except for one inconvenient part.

    Over 12 million seniors rely on the Medicare Advantage program for their healthcare needs, since it covers gaps in vanilla Medicare coverage.

    As you know, this president and his party paid for ObamaCare by essentially stealing half a trillion dollars from Medicare, including huge cuts in reimbursement rate for physicians who take Medicare Advantage that will essentially doom the program and force seniors back to vanilla Medicare.

    Unfortunately for the Obama Campaign, seniors are going to find out about this in October right before the election, when according to federal guidelines, seniors have to pick their Medicare program.

    Given that seniors vote in far higher percentages than most other groups, this does not bode well for the president's election prospects.

    So a cynical scam has been developed to shift just enough money out of an ill-defined ObamaCare slush fund to delay the whip coming down until after the election:

    It’s hard to imagine a bigger electoral disaster for a president than seniors in crucial states like Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio discovering that he’s taken away their beloved Medicare Advantage just weeks before an election.

    This political ticking time bomb could become the biggest “October Surprise” in US political history.

    But the administration’s devised a way to postpone the pain one more year, getting Obama past his last election; it plans to spend $8 billion to temporarily restore Medicare Advantage funds so that seniors in key markets don’t lose their trusted insurance program in the middle of Obama’s re-election bid.

    The money is to come from funds that Health and Human Services is allowed to use for “demonstration projects.” But to make it legal, HHS has to pretend that it’s doing an “experiment” to study the effect of this money on the insurance market.

    That is, to “study” what happens when the government doesn’t change anything but merely continues a program that’s been going on for years.

    Obama can temporarily prop up Medicare Advantage long enough to get re-elected by exploiting an obscure bit of federal law. Under a 1967 statute, the HHS secretary can spend money without specific approval by Congress on “experiments” directly aimed at “increasing the efficiency and economy of health services.”

    Past demonstration projects have studied new medical techniques or strategies aimed at improving care or reducing costs. The point is to find ways to lower the costs of Medicare by allowing medical technocrats to make efficient decisions without interference from vested interests.

    Now Obama means to turn it on its head — diverting the money to a blatantly nonexperimental purpose to serve his political needs.

    A Government Accounting Office report released this morning shows, quite starkly, that there simply is no experiment being conducted, just money being spent. Understandably, the GAO recommends that HHS cancel the project.

    Yes, the president is planning to divert some of the tax payer dollars in his ObamaCare slush fund into gaming seniors into picking their usual Medicare Advantage program, thinking nothing's changed...until it's too late.

    It's just another street game of three card monte to him, but it's life and death to millions of senior citizens, who don't deserve to be victimized.

    It's doubtful that Congress could thwart this by simply taking access to the funds away, because the Democrat majority in the Senate will see to it that it doesn't happen. But earmarking these funds for other purposes and hugely publicizing this with a House investigation to generate headlines and embarrass Democrats into going along would not only work but provide the GOP with another election issue to use against the president and his enablers.

    Yom Ha'atzmaut - Happy Birthday Israel!

    Today is the anniversary of a modern miracle, as Israel turns 64.

    The country is a veritable contradiction in terms.

    Israel is the only country whose creation was approved by the UN, and it's also the only country whose legitimacy is constantly attacked by the same body.Half of Israel’s population was created by Jews driven out of their ancient homes in the Arab world, yet it's the only country in history constantly called on to make concessions and give up territory to solve a refugee problem it had no part in causing.

    It's the only country in the Middle East where Jews and Arabs actually co-exist as equals under the law, yet it's demonized as practicing 'apartheid' by the very same people who would not suffer a Jew to live among them under any circumstances, let alone equality.

    It's a country in the Middle East that grew to maturity without the benefit of any oil wealth, yet it has by far the richest per capita income in the Middle East and the best standard of living, something that enrages its detractors to the point of madness.

    Attacked from it's birth by surrounding Arab nations that outnumber it by 500 to one, it has not only been victorious in its wars but magnanimous in its attempts at peace.

    In a region wracked by tribal, racial and religious conflicts, Israel remains a society where all religions have freedom of worship. In a region where Christians are becoming a memory, Israel is the only country where the Christian population is actually growing.

    In an age of global recession, Israel's economy is growing, as a major source of state of the art high tech with exciting new discoveries of mineral wealth that will expand its horizons and prosperity. It's a leader in computer software and hardware, biotech, irrigation and solar technology among others.

    In a region of dictatorships and curtailed liberties, Israel is a vibrant and fractious democracy.

    In a region of controlled and failing economies, little Israel leads the western world in new business start ups, and has more companies listed on the NASDAQ than any country except the United States.

    Singled out for threats and vilification like no other country, Israel literally has become the Jew among nations. Yet despite this adversity, the country is thriving. Nit a single anniversary of Israel's birth goes by without media pundits actively all but predicting its imminent demise, yet Israel has a birthrate per capita that is the highest in the Western world, a sign of how hopefully Israelis view the future.

    This kind of success is not without growing pains in a nation so young. Israelis tend to disagree and pick dogfights on even the most trivial matters among themselves, and its factionalism in politics and othe rmatters is the stuff of legend. Yet, the country as a whole knows exactly what they're fighting for and what they have to lose. And because of that, they're unified like few other nations when it counts.

    Unlike some other nations in the West, Israel already knows it has to fight to survive. Which is exactly why it will still be here sixty years from now and longer.

    As a passing note, take a look at the masthead on the above newspaper from the time of Israel's miraculous rebirth (click to enlarge), today known as the Jerusalem Post.The term 'Palestine' always referred to the Jewish homeland, even when the British held the mandate...until the Egyptian Yasir Arafat appropriated it.

    You might also look closely at the headline to see where the planes used by the Egyptians to bomb Tel Aviv less than 3 years after Auschwitz was liberated came from ...Spitfires provided by Britain.

    My friend Snoopy over at Simply Jews has a little love note for for the descendents of some of these UK based Jew haters over at al-Guardian that bears reading

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

    Supreme Court Seems Inclined To Uphold Most Of Arizona Immigration Law

    Live arguments continued today in the Supreme Court chambers on the Federal suit against Arizona's immigration law, SB 1070.

    Surprisingly, the majority of justices seem inclined to rule that most portions of the law are constitutional.

    There are four main parts to the law:

    • Requiring police to verify the immigration status of everyone they stop who they reasonably suspect may lack authorization to be in the U.S.

    • Authorizing police to arrest any foreign citizen they believe has committed a deportable offense.

    • Making it a crime for foreigners to fail to carry registration documents.

    • Making it a crime for illegal immigrants to seek or perform work.

    Each of those provisions involves a separate legal analysis, meaning that the Supreme Court could end up upholding some of the provisions but not others.

    Most of the justices appear to have no real problem with the first two parts,and even some of the court’s left leaning justices, though expressing concerns wondered whether Arizona could actually be prohibited from checking the immigration status of individuals within its borders, since this mirrors federal statutes. As questions to the Obama Administration's lawyer, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli indicated, he's not doing much of a job of making the case on those parts of the law.

    When even the Wise Latina, Justice Sonia Sotomayor ( who by the way, uses the term “illegal aliens,”) chides Verrilli for giving confusing answers and says his arguments 'aren't selling very well', you know the Obama Administration is in trouble on this one.

    The last two parts of the law are a bit more problematic, since they establish new state crimes. Requiring foreigners to carry paperwork is the less dicey of the two, since a peace officer could simply require someone whose status was in question to bring his paperwork at a later date, or simply perform an immigration status with the Federal government, something that's routinely done anyway in arrest situations and takes about ten minutes.

    The last part, making it a crime for an illegal alien to seek or perform work is one that might have trouble flying. In the immigration law of 1986, Congress specifically decriminalized this aspect, and most of the focus has been on penalizing employers.

    If even the first two parts of the law pass muster with the SCOTUS, it will be a major victory for the State of Arizona, since those constitute the heart of SB 1070.

    As a special added twist, Obama appointee Justice Elena Kagen had to recuse herself from this case since she worked on the original suit as Solicitor General prior to joining the Court.

    One thing to consider. Just as he did with the arguments on ObamaCare, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli has given a less than stellar performance. And just like ObamaCare, it's worth considering whether this was deliberate.

    The Scotus ruling is due in June. Imagine they uphold the key provisions of SB 1070.

    Senate Democrats led by Chuck Schumer have already threatened the Court that they will attempt to intervene legislatively if the Court doesn't 'rule right'.

    It's doubtful they have the votes to overturn a ruling, but if they go through the kabuki outrage anyway, it gives President Obama another nice, divisive issue to run on that obscures his idsmal record of incompetency, doesn't it?

    Mitt Romney: 'It's About The Economy And We're Not Stupid'

    Mitt Romney's victory speech in New Hampshire after sweeping the primaries last night.

    You'll want to watch the whole times he sounds like he's channeling Ronaldus Maximus, and it doesn't get any better than that.

    If he keeps on using these kind of arguments and hitting President Obama like this, you're going to see even the most distrustful Republicans on the Right get their groove back as the independents and Reagan Democrats jump on board.

    Soccer Dad's MidEast Media Sampler, 4/25/12

    Today's sampler and analysis of Mideast media content from my pal Soccer Dad:

    1) The road to Arab democracy?

    In The Islamist Road to Democracy Reuel Marc Gerecht argues:
    We can easily find truly disturbing commentary and actions by members of the Egyptian Brotherhood, or by the Tunisian Rachid Ghannouchi, the intellectual guru behind the ruling Nahda Party. But we can just as easily find words and deeds that ought to make us consider the possibility that these men are neither Ernest Röhm and his fascist Brownshirts nor even religious versions of secular autocrats. Rather, they are cultural hybrids trying to figure out how to combine the best of the West (material progress and the absence of brutality in daily life) without betraying their faith and pride.v We know that in Iran, under theocracy, once die-hard members of the revolutionary elite have become proponents of evermore liberal democracy. Fundamentalists became fundamentalist critics. The Islamic Republic's controlled elections created a powerful appetite for real ones.
    In Arab lands, militant Muslims who once espoused violent revolution now back representative government. They do so, in part, because they know how powerful the appeal of democracy is among the faithful. They also do so, as Iraq's Shiite clerics have made clear, because they are certain that free Muslims voting can't do worse than the Westernized dictators before them. Democracy is thus a means to keep Muslims more religious whereas theocracy actually secularizes society.

    Gerecht even explains Turkey's - which would seem to be a counterexample to his thesis - growing radicalism as a response to previous liberal governments that persecuted its minorities.

    Barry Rubin, though, in The Iraq model: as good at it gets writes:

    Of the greatest importance is the fact that Islamist elements have been defeated (in the Sunni case) or held at bay (in the Shia case). Things can certainly get worse but some stability seems to have been achieved at this time.
    Another key factor is that Iraq is acting more “normally” as a state by minding its own business. It is not subverting neighbors or trying to take over the Middle East. Iraq also has decent relations with the West. This is a country that is trying to deal with its own problems. And if there is factionalism and corruption, at least it appears to be clear that no force can monopolize power and establish a repressive dictatorship.
    Call it chaotic pluralism as an alternative to Islamist dictatorship. And, yes, that appears to be the best that can be expected in those countries not still dominated by traditionalist monarchies. It is certainly preferable to the “Turkish model.” Yet I don’t expect many people in the West to appreciate that point.

    Neither Gerecht nor Rubin is discussing a short term political horizon, but just what is the preferable first step on the long road to democracy.

    2) Black gold blues

    The Iranian oil industry suffered a cyberattack. In Facing Cyberattack, Iranian Officials Disconnect Some Oil Terminals From Internet, Thomas Erdbrink of the New York Times reports:
    Iranian officials said the virus attack, which began in earnest on Sunday afternoon, had not affected oil production or exports, because the industry is still primarily mechanical and does not rely on the Internet. Officials said they were disconnecting the oil terminals and possibly some other installations in an effort to combat the virus.
    “Fortunately our international oil selling division has not been affected,” said a high-level manager at the Oil Ministry who asked not to be mentioned for security reasons. “There is no panic, but this shows we have shortcomings in our security systems.”
    There were some reports that the virus had forced widespread Internet shutdowns. “The ministry has disconnected all oil facilities, operations and even oil rigs from the Internet to prevent this virus from spreading,” said another Oil Ministry official who asked to remain anonymous, because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the attack. “Everybody at the ministry is working overtime to prevent this.” His assertion about the extent of the shutdowns could not be independently verified.

    3) Settlements > Hamas?

    In Israel Retroactively Legalizes 3 West Bank Settlements, new New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren reports:
    But while antisettlement advocates saw it as a significant shift in policy that could undermine the prospects for a two-state solution — and the United States and other foreign governments immediately raised concerns about the move — a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argued that it was simply a matter of resolving technical problems such as improper permits and mistakenly building on the wrong hill.
    “One can be critical of the Israeli settlement policy, that’s everybody’s right, but you can’t tell me that the Israeli government has built new settlements, and you can’t tell me this is legalizing unauthorized outposts,” said the Netanyahu spokesman, Mark Regev. “These decisions are procedural or technical. They don’t change anything whatsoever on the ground.”
    To support her reporting, Rudoren gets two statements from two anti-settlement Israeli organizations, one the Palestinian Authority (“Netanyahu has pushed things to a dead end yet again.” ) and a disapproving statement from the State Department.

    Contrast that with Unity Deal Brings Risks for Abbas and Israel, by Ethan Bronner from two months ago.
    President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority embraced reconciliation with the Islamist movement Hamas on Monday, agreeing to head a unity government to prepare for elections in the West Bank and Gaza.
    His move was welcomed cautiously by a broad range of Palestinians who are fed up with the brutal split at the heart of their national movement. It promised to upend Israeli-Palestinian relations, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning Mr. Abbas that he could have peace with Israel or unity with Hamas, but not both.
    Bronner only cites the government of Israel as opposing the deal. The State Department dismissed the unity deal as an "internal matter."

    Now these unity deals don't ever seem to work out. However, the differing treatment of these two stories illustrates a disturbing dynamic. "Settlements" are automatically designated an obstacle to peace. Any Palestinian objections to existing or potential settlements are taken at face value - by the media, even by the American government - though it isn't at all clear that the Oslo Accords forbid them.

    However, a Fatah-Hamas deal demonstrates a blatant rejection of the premise of the peace process - that the PLO would reject terror. No NGO's who have reporters' attention object to this. The State Department yawns.

    In the end the Palestinian Authority's objections and actions are what drives the peace process, not the documents they signed with Israel. As long as Palestinian obstructionism continues to be tolerated and rewarded, there will be no peace.

    Watcher's Council Nominations - Earth Day Edition


    Welcome to the Watcher's Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the 'sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday.

    Holy Gaea! Another Earth Day has come and gone. This cartoon (merci pour le lagniappe, Gerard) makes the salient point that the entire global warming,Gaea worshiping nonsense is merely the Left's version of the worst excesses of the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages - with the antics of Pope Gore and today's scams like carbon trading and Solyndra in place of the sale of indulgences, benefices and paid for dispensations for the well heeled making it a perfect parallel.

    Talk to any of these True Believers and disagree with what amounts to their religion and many of them would happily burn you at the stake as a heretic in a nanosecond if they weren't worried about increasing their personal carbon footprints! Besides, it's a lot more lucrative for them to simply tax you into oblivion and use the money for their much more deserving selves and their personal pet projects.

    On another subject, this week's contest is dedicated to Levon, who just made the passage. Rest in peace, dear soul.

    Council News:

    This week, Ask Marion, Crime Victim's Media Report and Pirate's Cove took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status with some great posts.

    You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

    Simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won't be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category, and return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week.

    It's a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

    So, let's see what we have this week....

    Council Submissions

    Honorable Mentions

    Non-Council Submissions

    Enjoy! And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter..'cause we're cool like that!