Wednesday, August 31, 2011

UPDATE: Obama Folds, Will Speak To Congress The Next Night After The GOP Debate

The president's blatant political gambit to overshadow the September 7th GOP debates by broadcasting another of his pedantic speeches in a live joint session of Congress on the same night at the same time ended in utter failure when Speaker John Boehner and Senator Jim DeMint refused to cave in and simply rejected President Obama's request to address the joint session on the night of Sept. 7th, inviting him to speak the next night instead.

Boehner was at least polite about it , saying that Sept. 8th would be better "so we can ensure there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might detract from your remarks."

The White House finally caved because there was no choice but didn't return the courtesy. Predictably, they tried to spin this as proof the Republicans could care less about jobs. Get a load of this nonsense:

“Today, the President asked to address the Congress about the need for urgent action on the economic situation facing the American people as soon as Congress returned from recess. Both Houses will be back in session after their August recess on Wednesday, September 7th, so that was the date that was requested. We consulted with the Speaker about that date before the letter was released, but he determined Thursday would work better. The President is focused on the urgent need to create jobs and grow our economy, so he welcomes the opportunity to address a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, September 8th and challenge our nation's leaders to start focusing 100% of their attention on doing whatever they can to help the American people."

I had to laugh at that. Where was the urgency before King Putt went on his plutocrat-style vacay to Martha's Vineyard?

Nevertheless, a number of the president's media shills tried to push that narrative, accusing the Republicans of being uncaring about the issue of jobs - and failed miserably.

The GOP debate has been scheduled for a long time. Obama obviously chose the date and the airtime deliberately as political warfare. Just as a coincidence, it's also Rick Perry's first outing in a debate. And it's suddenly the GOP who are using the issue of jobs as a partisan politics?

It was perfectly reasonable for the GOP to counteract this obvious strategy in the way they did.

And besides...who wants to listen to 90 minutes of outright lies, platitudes, blame and class warfare nonsense coming from this president via three overworked teleprompters?

Government doesn't 'create' jobs anyway. They merely contribute to a climate of economic growth by a policy of lower taxes and regulation, something you know this president hasn't a clue about and would never endorse anyway even if he did.

Most people would rather listen to serious people actually talking about solutions to what the Democrats have done to our economy since they took control of Congress in 2006 than another lame rehash of failed 'ideas' from President Obama. Boehner actually did the president a favor by saving him from the embarrassment of getting wiped out in the ratings.

And speaking of ratings, as an added bonus, those of you who want to avoid the president's lame gibberish entirely and are sports fans have the opportunity to watch the New Orleans Saints take on the Green Bay Packers in their season opener on September 8th. Game time is 8:30PM Eastern.

I'd be surprised if the game's ratings didn't eclipse the president's.

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Obama's Planned Joint Address To Congress Falls Victim To 'Logistical Impediments'

President Obama, fresh from his expensive vacay at Martha's Vineyard has his speech on jobs all ready, and requested a televised joint session of Congress to announce it.

Being that government doesn't really 'create' jobs and the president remains adamantly opposed to creating the economic climate that does, this was likely going to be another exercise in platitudes, blame and evasion fed to the president through a trio of overworked, non-union teleprompters.

But President Obama obviously had another purpose in mind entirely, because he scheduled the speech to air at the same time as the next major GOP debate also scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. on September 7th at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California...and coincidentally, Rick Perry's debut on national TV.

How 'bout that?

NBC, who is hosting the debate has already said they won't postpone or change the schedule, and President Obama was unwilling to change the date of his speech, which gives you an idea that its real purpose was political warfare, not a policy announcement.

But Speaker John Boehner pretty much nipped this in the bud by simply rejecting President Obama's request to address the joint session on the night of Sept. 7th and invited him to speak the next night instead.

I love the genteel way Boehner put this to King Putt.

In his letter to Obama, Boehner simply said Sept. 8th would be better "so we can ensure there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might detract from your remarks."


I must admit, it would have been interesting to see how the ratings of the two events compared, but that might have ended up as an embarrassment for the president. This way is probably better.

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California To Pass Law To Eliminate Babysitters

California, where the inmates are now running the asylum in all branches of government now has a new law pending that will effectively curtail the hiring of babysitters. And no, I'm not kidding.

Under California Assembly Bill 889, babysitters will be reclassified as “domestic employees" along with nannies and caregivers. The bill will make "domestic employers" (AKA parents) legally obligated to pay at least minimum wage to any sitter over the age of 18 (unless it is a family member), provide a substitute caregiver every two hours to cover rest and meal breaks, provide workers' compensation coverage, overtime pay, and a meticulously calculated timecard/paycheck that includes all payroll deductions and taxes.

Failure to do so opens the employer to lawsuits and action by the California Labor Department,(CLD) The California Employment Development Department( EDD), the California State Board of Equalization including cumulative penalties, attorneys' fees, and legal costs.

The bill has already passed the Assembly and is a cinch to pass the state Senate with blanket support from the Democrats that control both houses of the Legislature – and without the support of a single Republican member. Barring something unforeseen happening, AB 889 will soon be on its way to Governor Jerry Brown's desk for his signature.

This bill won't affect the rich elites,who already have their nannies in place on or off the books.And it won't affect the poor or illegal aliens, who will simply ignore it because they likely have a teen-age relative or grandma to watch the kids and have nothing to lose if they get sued anyway. Who it's aimed at is a typical middle class couple who wants to hire a babysitter so they can enjoy a night out and have enough resources to make a juicy target for predatory lawyers and Big Government. After enough of them get hit so that the word gets around, they'll either have to pay a lot more to deal with agencies that do the paperwork for them at a much higher price (and will have workers that are another target for unionization) or simply do without that dinner and a movie. Or they'll hire babysitters who are under the age of 18 or to illegal aliens who are not eager to go to the authorities, turning normally law-abiding people into criminals with all that entails.

So this bill actually cuts tax revenues and doesn't even ultimately benefit labor, whom it was designed to pander to.

In DC-land, sensible people control at least one third of government. In California, even that meager protection doesn't exist, which is why businesses and its more productive citizens who can are leaving the state in droves.

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Watcher's Council Nominations - Technical Difficulties Edition

(Here's Eric Clapton's sweet version, and Leadbelly's original recording, just for contrast)

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.

This week's contest is dedicated to those determined members who dealt with flooding and power outages and still pumped out this week's fine nominations. Them, and Glenn Beck.Can't leave him out.

Council News:

This week, Monkey In The Middle , The Mellow Jihadi, Maggie's Notebook and Capitalist Preservation took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status.

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 the ‘Contact Me’ page at Joshuapundit and post 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 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 goodies we have up 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!

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Hilarious! What Has Israel Done For Peace Anyway?

A funny skit from Honest Reporting with a nod towards Month Python..pretty good!

Cheerfully swiped from my pal Carl at Israel Matzav..

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Rick Perry Channels Sarah Palin On Foreign Policy

Texas Governor Rick Perry made a decent speech today to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in San Antonio, with a lot to say about avoiding foreign interventions without clear goals.

“I do not believe that America should fall subject to a foreign policy of military adventurism. We should only risk shedding American blood and spending American treasure when our vital interests are threatened and we should always look to build coalitions among the nations to protect the mutual interests of freedom loving people,” Perry told thousands of veterans today.

“It’s not our interest to go it alone. We respect our allies, and we must always seek to engage them in military missions. At the same time, we must be willing to act when it is time to act. We cannot concede the moral authority of our nation to multi-lateral debating societies, and when our interests are threatened American soldiers should be led by American commanders.”

“A president should never send our sons and daughters into war without a plan to win and the resources to make that possible,” Perry said. “It’s a dangerous world that we live in today. Our enemies often don’t wear uniforms or swear allegiance to a particular flag but instead to an ideology of hatred. As the 10th anniversary of the attacks of 911 approach, we must renew our commitment to taking the fight to the enemy wherever they are before they strike at home.”

Yes, a decent speech. In fact, I thought so before, when I heard almost exactly the same thing from Governor Sarah Palin.....almost four months ago, practically word for word in some places, in a speech she gave at Colorado Christian College.

I'm glad to see that Rick Perry's listening and picking up a few pointers.

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And Now, From The Bunker Headquarters Of The DNC..

A particularly good 'Untergang' parody...warning, NSFW language.

Hat tip, Ace of Spades HQ

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Just as I Predicted,,,

Yes I certainly called this one.

In contrast to the Americans in Red states like Texas, Kentucky Mississippi and Tennessee, the folks in the Blue states hit by Irene are going to get all the FEMA aid they need.

Election's coming up, you know. And President Obama needs all the votes he can buy.

Eric Cantor is making some noise about linking FEMA aid to budget cuts, which is downright silly and just hands President Obama a teeball to hit.

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The Real Arab Spring

From my pal Ya'akov at Dry Bones, of course...via Liberty's Spirit.

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A Sign Of Things To Come: Libyan Rebels Won't Extradite Lockerbie Bomber

Goodness, a billion American dollars spent to support a rebellion hardly buys you anything these days.

The Libyan rebel government has refused outright to deport our old friend Abdel-Baset al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland which murdered 270 people, most of them Americans.

There was a formal request from US Senators Chuck Schumer( D NY) and others to hold al-Megrahi accountable and allow his extradition. "A new Libya can send a strong statement to the world by declaring it will no longer be a haven for this convicted terrorist," he said.

The Libyan response? Go pound sand, ferrenghi.

The transitional government's justice minister, Mohammed al-Alagi, said in Tripoli that the request by American senators had "no meaning" because Mr. Megrahi had already been tried and convicted.

"We will not hand over any Libyan citizen," he was quoted as saying. Obviously they're confident that this isn't going to affect their getting that nice package of western aid they want in the least.

As you'll remember, the British government freed al-Megrahi as part of a corrupt deal to gain access to Libyan oil contracts. al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer, was imprisoned in 2001 for life but served less than 8 years before he was released because he was supposedly dying of cancer and a doctor's report paid for by the Libyan government said he had three months to live at most. That was over two years ago, and it's worth remembering that the Obama Administration signed off on the deal.

al-Megrahi is a national hero in Libya. When he returned from Scotland after his premature release, he returned to a tumultuous welcome at the airport and was greeted by Khaddaffi himself, who awarded al-Megrahi a handsome pension and a nice villa in an upscale neighborhood of Tripoli. There's no way they're going to turn him over just for murdering a few infidels.

This was no doubt intended as a nice little message to the West . We may have bought and paid for their revolution, but it means nothing in the grand scheme of things. Once the inevitable struggle for power ends, the change is going to consist of a different set of rulers, who will likely be worst than Khaddaffi was from our point of view, no matter what our expectations. As the locals say, man supposes, Allah disposes.

We will eventually learn that the Muslim world has an entirely different set of values than the West. Eventually.

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Seven Injured In Tel Aviv Terrorist Attack

The peace process continues as seven people were injured by a 'Palestinian' man from Nablus ( Shechem) who hijacked a taxi and then rammed it into a Border police security checkpoint outside the Tel Aviv nightclub Haoman 17 at about 1:30 AM local time. He then exited the vehicle and began stabbing people, shouting “Allahu Akbar!”

The club was packed with around 1,000 high school students at a party.One of those hurt in the attack was seriously injured, two were moderately injured and the rest were lightly injured.

Because of the police checkpoint, which was placed there as security for the event, casualties were far less than they otherwise might have been. My guess is that the attacker wasn't counting on the checkpoint being there, but was planning to get inside the club. When he saw the checkpoint, he likely realized he wasn't getting in to the club so he decided to ram it and take out whomever he could.

The attacker was taken into custody. After his trial in an Israeli civilian court, he'll get a jail sentence, which means that the 'Palestinian Authority' will pay his family a nice salary out of your tax dollars while he's locked up.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hypocrisy In Action - Obama And The Hurricane of Hype

Much is being made of President Obama for cutting short his highly expensive vacation on Martha's Vineyard to 'take command' during Hurricane Irene's nudge of the East Coast.

Based on some of what I'm seeing from his allies in the press, they'd like to see him get the Medal of Honor for simply doing what is normally part of a president's job description.

As various news outlets mentioned, it was the president's political advisers who suggested that it would be prudent for him to cut short his five star stay at the Vineyard ( which already wasn't polling well in a country wracked by recession and unemployment) to be in DC to deal with Hurricane Irene. With the rain promising poor weather for golf and boating, the president obviously thought it best to comply and turn yet another crisis into an opportunity.

Unfortunately, Irene didn't exactly live up to expectations. Most New Yorkers simply laughed at Mayor Bloomberg's shrill orders to evacuate, with even the denizens of some nursing homes and residents of low lying areas like Coney Island and Rockaway telling the mayor 'faggeddaboudit'.

Residents of Florida and the Carolinas who had actually lived through real hurricanes giggled a the dinosaur media's earnest reports of deadly 35 MPH winds, and the Atlantic City casinos announced business as usual come Monday.

In the end Irene was classified a s category 1 'hurricane' one step above a garden variety tropical storm. It amounted to a heavy rainstorm, minor damage in some harbor areas, some flooding, some power outages and yes, a few deaths, most of them caused by falling trees or tree limbs, fallen live wires or by traffic accidents linked to things like traffic signals going dead because of the power outages.

Not nothing, but hardly the apocalypse.

President Obama was indeed present, although after a careful look I can't find any mention of his actually doing anything besides making a few statements in that hopey-changey baritone of his. But before we start passing out medals, let's take a look back to see how how President Obama has dealt with similar emergencies in the past.

For instance, shortly after President Obama was elected, there was a major ice storm in Kentucky in 2009 that took out the power, blocked roads and cost the lives of 54 people, many of them children and senior citizens. At least a million Americans were without power or heat in the dead of winter, and President Obama and FEMA were nowhere to be found for over a week, after a number of fatalities had occurred. I particularly remember that during this period, the president was mainly concerned with his Superbowl party in his toasty warm office. How about 'Obama dozed and the people froze' for a slogan?

Then there were the horrendous Nashville floods of May 2010 that left whole parts of the city underwater, led to a number of deaths when people were trapped by the rising waters and caused well over a billion dollars in damages. Not only was President Obama nowhere to be found, he didn't even feel that disaster merited a mention.

In September of 2010, Tropical Storm Hermine tore through North Texas, leaving eight dead, over 200 homes destroyed and thousands of citizens without water or electricity. Governor Rick Perry made a formal request to the president to declare North Texas a disaster area and get FEMA involved.President Obama simply denied his request, which meant Texas got no FEMA aid whatsoever.

And then of course, there was the Gulf Oil Spill, and the almost farcical delay of the Obama Administration to do anything about it for weeks. When even a Democrat-for-life like James Carville starts screeching at you on national TV to get off your behind and do something, you know there's a problem.

Actually, to be fair, the president did do something. After delaying any response at all for weeks, he finally ordered the shut down of dredging protective sand berms designed to keep the oil off the coasts after Governor Jindall got tired of waiting for authorization and went ahead and authorized dredging the sand berms on his own to try and protect Louisiana's coastline and fishing industry. And there was a lot of behind the scenes action. I'm still wondering what ultimately happened to that $20 billion dollar escrow account 'controlled by a third party' that the president extorted out of BP.

Now, all this leads us to another question....why is the president so anxious to appear to be 'in command' of Hurricane Irene after essentially ignoring all these other disasters?

There's a one word answer - politics.

President Obama, like the fictional Mayor Joe Quimby of Simpson's fame has an aide whispering in his ear 'elections are coming up.' And that makes all the difference.It's what he cares about, his entire frame of reference.

Another difference worth noting is that the four incidents I mentioned involved Red states - Kentucky, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama - all states the president is fairly unpopular in and has little or no chance of ever carrying.

Now Irene, which affected those eastern seaboard Blue states like New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut and carried in 2008 and states he needs to carry again to have any chance of winning. And they're also a rich source of donations for Obama's re-election campaign. Rest assured that those Blue states will get all of the president's attention and the FEMA aid they need.

So much for this president being the president of all the people.

It's one thing to disagree with someone's politics. It's quite another to find his actions and his sense of himself despicable on almost a daily basis.

-Selah -

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A Hero When Others Stood Aside - Lyndon Baines Johnson

There's a great deal that's been written about Lyndon Baines Johnson, our 36th president whose birthday, August 27th just passed. One thing that hasn't been written about much is a uniquely heroic act he performed as a freshman congressman.

In 1938, the situation for Europe's Jews was becoming desperate, and even those who had an inkling of what was to come had few options, since the world by and large wasn't interested in granting them the visas that would save their lives and the British had already closed off legal Jewish emigration to Palestine.

Lyndon Johnson, then a freshman congressman found out about the plight of an Austrian Jewish musician named Erich Leinsdorf who was due to be sent back to Nazi-dominated Austria and likely certain death and pulled strings to get him a resident visa to stay in the US.

Johnson, a member of the Christadelphians, came from a long line of Christian Zionists.

Realizing that there were thousands of Jews trapped in Europe, Johnson put together a plot with his long time friend Jim Novy, Jack Baumel, chief engineer of the Texas Railroad Commission, and Jesse Kellam, head of the Texas National Youth Authority(NYA) to rescue the stranded Jews. They called it 'Operation Texas' and it was kept a secret for years.

What they did was to issue false passports to Jewish refugees for Latin American countries, get them visas to come into the United States and then record them as members of the NYA. This was strictly against both US law and Texas State law, and had the future president and his friends been caught, they would likely have been facing heavy fines and jail time and Johnson would have lost his seat in Congress. They didn't hesitate for a second, and Operation Texas saved hundreds of Jews who would other wise have been murdered by the Nazis.They refused to turn their backs on the Jews when it would not only have been easy, but even prudent in terms of their personal situations.

Just one month after succeeding John F Kennedy as president, lyndon Johnson attended the December 1963 dedication of the Agudas Achim Synagogue in Austin. Novy opened the ceremony by saying to Johnson, “We can’t thank him enough for all those Jews he got out of Germany during the days of Hitler.”

The First Lady later described the day, saying: “Person after person plucked at my sleeve and said, ‘I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for him. He helped me get out.’” Lady Bird elaborated, “Jews had been woven into the warp and woof of all [Lyndon's] years.”

(Hat tip Zeb G.)

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Libyan Rebels New Commander In Tripoli Is An Al-Qaeda Fighter

To vandalize an old Who song, meet the new boss...worse than the old boss.

As Rodrigo Veleda reveals, quoting from Le Parisien, Abdelhakim Belhaj, Tripoli's new military governor and a key figure in Libya's National Transitional Council, the rebel coalition is also a leader of the al-Qaeda affiliate Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.

The Arabs certainly know whom he is, even if NATO and the Obama Administration remain clueless. Islamists and al-Qaeda loyalists are pervasive and well represented in the groups comprising the National Transitional Council.

Khaddaffi was a cockroach, but he had evolved into a tame, relatively harmless cockroach who only soiled his own nest. The new species that will be be ruling Libya are likely to be a much deadlier species.

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One Absolutely Gutsy Jew

Boy would I like to know whom this was, so I could give him proper credit. Here he takes on a bunch of anti-Israel goons at Harvard Square and makes them look as stupid and hypocritical as they are...and their only response is to rev up the slogans to try and drown him out. Well done, sir.

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Soccer Dad's Mideast Media Sampler 8/26/11‏

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

1) The One Sided Ceasefire

On Wednesday, the Washington Post's Joel Greenberg reported:
A tenuous cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip was punctured Wednesday by a deadly Israeli airstrike that triggered rocket and mortar fire at Israel.
The airstrike killed one, Ismail Asmar, a leader of Islamic Jihad.

What ceasefire did Israel puncture?

According to Ha'aretz this past Monday:

Israel and the Hamas-rulers of the Gaza Strip have agreed to a cease-fire after five days of cross-border violence, officials said on Monday, after a previously reported truce was not implemented Sunday night.

Later the article reports:

A Hamas official said Sunday that the Gaza-rulers planned on enforcing a cease-fire on Sunday evening at 9 P.M., however 12 rockets have been fired from Gaza toward Israel since then.
Israeli diplomatic sources said earlier Monday that Israel has no desire for an escalation on its southern border, and that the Hamas decision to undertake a cease-fire is a unilateral step which Israel is examining its implementation.
Two things to note here:
a) Despite the ceasefire, 12 rockets were fired from Gaza.
b) Despite the claim in the first paragraph that Israel had agreed to a ceasefire, Israel apparently never agreed to one.

On Monday, the AP reported, Gaza rocket fire persists despite truce, drawing Israeli airstrike in retaliation, which begs the question what truce was in place if the rocket fire persisted.

Yesterday the AP reported:
The factions had called a cease-fire late Sunday, but it dissolved almost immediately in a volley of rocket fire from Gaza on southern Israel and retaliatory Israeli airstrikes in which some two dozen Palestinians and one Israeli were killed. The violence began with a militant attack that killed eight Israelis on the Egyptian border.
Again the report is only that "the factions" had declared a ceasefire, not Israel, and that a "volley of rocket fire" violated the ceasefire "almost immediately."

So the ceasefire that Israel "punctured" the other day was one that Israel had not accepted and wasn't even observed by the side that declared it! Apparently Hamas can declare a ceasefire and the media can then declare one was in place. (Yes there had a stop to the rocket fire from Gaza at the time Israel killed Asmar, but it doesn't appear that Israel had formally agreed to anything.)

CAMERA made similar observations about the AFP.

2) When their actions match their words (or silence) pay attention

In March, after the killing of the Fogel family the New York Times took care to report, Abbas Condemns Killing of Jewish Family. The article goes into great detail and even suggests that Israel was cynical for even bringing up the topic of official Palestinian incitement. There was, however, no similar report in the New York Times, last week after terrorists infiltrated Israel and killing Israeli civilians. That would be because, as Palestinian Media Watch observed,
The heads of the Palestinian Authority, President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, have not condemned the series of terror attacks in Southern Israel along the Egyptian border last week.
I guess the reason the Times reported on Abbas's condemnation is because it really was news!

However PMW, noted something that recently WAS in the official Palestinian media:
The Palestinian Authority is telling its people that peace with Israel is not a goal. Instead, the PA says that all of Israel is "Palestine," and that no compromise is acceptable because this principle is "the only red line." This message was expressed by the regular cartoonist, Muhammad Sabaaneh, in the official PA daily.
So the Palestinian leadership doesn't usually condemn terror and produces propaganda that his hostile to Israel's existence. Is it any surprise when the IDF's spokesperson tweets?
The start to Israel's wknd: 1 more rocket hits southern #Israel, totally 5 in only a few hours. Please RT.

3) What follows a dictatorship?

In a tweet from Israel, Rep. Allen West observed:

History has evidenced that it is easy to depose a dictator, but radical islamic entities always find a way to exploit chaotic situations.
In a similar vein David Pryce-Jones writes about the "Arab spring" and Libya specifically:

The educated, the young, have shown themselves willing to demand something better, hence the Arab Spring. What might look like a protest against injustice and lack of opportunity is taking place in settings without a real political alternative to the discredited tyranny. This results in the anarchy of sects and tribes and ethnicities struggling to keep their identities afloat and even on top in a free-for-all.
A report from Libya tells us:

About two dozen bodies — some with their hands bound by plastic ties and with bullet wounds to the head — lay scattered on grassy lots in an area where Gadhafi sympathizers had camped out for months.
The identities of the dead were unclear, but they were in all likelihood activists who had set up an impromptu tent city in solidarity with Gadhafi in defiance of the NATO bombing campaign.
Apparently the rebels didn't heed the editors of the New York Times:
The main rebel leadership group has struggled to secure areas under its control. It must make clear that reprisals against surrendering Qaddafi loyalists will not be tolerated.

4) Followup

Yesterday, I cited a post from David Bernstein about Sarah Lean Winston. The video he was critiquing was from two years ago, not about the Arab spring, as I had written. Thanks to Lynn for the correction.

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Howdy Y'all.

Just a note to let you know that I'm aware of the coding and formatting problems that are affecting how the page looks, and I'm working on getting them resolved...

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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, carved eternally in the akahshic records of cyberspace.

It's been a rough week in the Middle East for Israel, and this week's winner, Right Truth's superb Israel In The Crosshairs focused not only on the ongoing attacks on Israel's people but the obscene hypocrisy in how the media is reporting it. Here's a slice:

This headline from the Jawa Report, "Israel 'Ignites' Violence By Defending Itself", seems to sum up the media's spin on the latest attacks on Israel and Israel's response. USA Today reports that 'militants in the Hamas-ruled Gaza strip' (isn't that redundant) bombarded southern Israel with rockets and mortars Sunday and Israel hit back with an airstrike. Actually Israel hit back more than once and rounded up 50 Hamas activists in the West Bank.

New York Times via HonestReporting (emphasis mine):

Israel blamed The Popular Resistance Committees for Thursday’s attack and killed its top commanders in an airstrike later that day, igniting cross-border exchanges after months of relative quiet under an informal cease-fire with Hamas.

"Relative quiet," of course, meaning Israel looked the other way as Palestinian militants lobbed hundreds of rockets into Israeli territory. (Jawa Report)

Some might excuse the media reporting on Israel and blame it on lack of knowledge or lack of understanding of the situation. But the truth is their bias is purposeful and it is all about placing blame on Israel and not on those terrorists who are actually guilty.

Barry Rubin, who has studied the Middle East professionally for 35 years, has a PhD in Middle East history, says:

... let me make it perfectly clear: Glenn Beck, who is holding several rallies in Israel this week, has a better grasp of Middle East politics than most Western experts, not to mention Western leaders.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Victor Davis Hanson with Obama's Paradoxes submitted by Joshuapundit, an examination of them many contradictions between what the Obama Administration claims it wants and what it actually does.Very much worth the detour, as most of Dr. Hanson's pieces are.

Here are this week’s full results:

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!

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mrs. No Mo'


James Bond spoof courtesy of Chris Muir at Day By Day, of course!

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An Exercise For Those Who Believe In Spreading The Wealth Around And Taxing 'The Rich'

I realize that there are people who agree with President Obama that the answer to our current economic malaise involves higher taxes and better economic distribution of the wealth for 'social justice.'

This, after all, has always been the basic message of the Left.

I invite those of you whom feel this why to participate in a little exercise with me to see how committed you are to those beliefs:

If you're a student, I'm sure you know what your GPA (grade point average) is. But you also know that all you really need is a "D" to pass your courses. So if your GPA is any bigger than 2.0, you really are sitting on excess GPA you don't really need, and there are other students who need higher GPAs than the ones they have to be able to pass their courses. Therefore, the fair thing to do is to take some of the excess GPA you don't need and pass it out to the needy, so everyone has an equal GPA.

Own an I-phone or other, pricy high end personal communication device? Pay extra for a plan with unlimited talk and text? Let's face it, a phone is a phone, and you can get along just fine on a cheap Go-phone without all that fancy bling. After all, some people can't afford cell phones at all, and others struggle along with marginal phones and limited minutes, which is unfair. Therefore, we're going to insure equality by having you turn in your high end phone. In exchange, the government will issue everyone with a basic phone and there will be one government mandated plan that will ration minutes equally. It's only fair.

Do you live in an air-conditioned home or work in an air-conditioned office? And what about your car? Here, we have an opportunity to not only insure social justice but lower your carbon footprint. I'm sure you'd agree to putting special devices in your air-conditioner that rations the amount of time you can have it on. With that in place, the government can use the savings to provide an equal amount of rationed air-conditioning to those who currently lack it. And we can do the same thing with furnaces and central heating in the winter. Gaea triumphs!

I could go on in this vein for quite some time and come up with lots of other examples.

You don't agree with these progressive ideas? What are you, some kind of Right Wing Tea Party moron?

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Israel's Arab MK's Lobby African Nations To Support Unilateral 'Palestinian' Statehood In UN

Nothing like taking advantage of democracy to stab your own government in the back, is there?

Some of the Arab members of Israel's parliament, the Knesset, are doing there very best to undermine the Israeli government's position on a unilateral 'Palestinian' declaration of statehood via the UN.

Knesset members Ibrahim Sarsur and Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al), and MK Hanna Swaid (Hadash) met on Thursday with a dozen delegates from African countries, urging them to lobby their own governments to support the 'Palestinian' UN gambit, in direct opposition to the Israeli government's official stance.

Tibi, who also met with the South African Ambassador in private, said that Thursday's meeting represented only the first steps vis-à-vis foreign delegates: "We are motivated by our convictions. That is the position we present in the Knesset and to foreign diplomats."

One of the characteristics of a representative democracy is that the majority rules,and that the country's leadership uses that mandate to put forth a unified position on foreign policy.

In essence, the position these Arab MK's are pushing amounts to creating their own foreign policy, and one that's hostile to the very government they took an oath to serve.

Not only that, but they're advocating support for the 'Palestinians' breaking the treaties both they and Israel signed as part of the Oslo Accords and the Road Map,treaties for which Israel gave up significant strategic concessions.

In America, members of congress would be sanctioned for this behavior at the least and removed at worst. The Israeli government would be fully justified in removing these members' Knesset immunity to prosecution, taking away their state subsidies and labeling them openly as the hostile fifth columnists they are.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Glenn Beck Stood With Israel Today

Today was the day of Glenn Beck's 'Restoring Courage' event in Jerusalem and from all accounts, it was a uniquely moving occasion, ending in a rally on the southern side of the Old City.There were about 1000 people in attendance, mostly Americans who’d come to Jerusalem at Beck’s urging but also a number of Israelis, including a fair proportion of Orthodox Jews.

The audience also included a number of listening parties worldwide, including China and South America.

A great many people demonize Glenn Beck, and just by coincidence, a lot of them are the same people who demonize and denigrate Israel....and America. Funny how that works, isn't it?

It's no small coincidence either that a number of them are Left wing, secular Jews.Along with people like Pastor John Hagee and Sarah Palin, Beck has been vilified as an anti-Semite by many in this crowd, something that would be almost incomprehensible if I didn't have an innate understanding of the breed.

At times like this I remind myself that the Torah teaches us that a large number of Jews refused to leave Egypt and walk with Moses into freedom, rejecting their own divine redemption.

As for me..well, I know who may friends are, who my allies are. I'll stand with the Becks, Palins and Hagees of this world.We may have a few philosophical differences, but they're minor compared to what we share in common.

Beck's full remarks are here, and I recommend you read them in full, but here are a few highlights:

Today, the world needs courage more than ever.

We need it because whether you live here in Jerusalem, or in London, or in Athens, or in Washington, D.C., you know – we all know — the world is changing, the world is burning, and whatever we have known… whatever we’ve thought would never change… whatever we’ve grown to think is solid and strong and durable … is under siege.

You don’t have to be a prophet to know that things are not going well in the world. The threats are mounting. Darkness is falling.

Far too many politicians are willing to look away. The shape shifters are at work. They have turned day into night, good into evil. They have changed the very meaning of words.

In New York, the so-called leaders of the world talk about abuses of human rights. But what they will do is abuse the very meaning of the phrase “human rights.”

“Human rights,” they say. But who will they focus on? Libya? Syria? North Korea? No.

They will condemn Israel. Tiny Israel. Democratic Israel. Free Israel. Israel, which values life above all other things.

Israel, as usual, is the exception. {...}

When the Fogel family was killed in their sleep the world barely took note. The grand councils of earth condemn Israel. Across the border, Syria slaughters its own citizens. The grand councils are silent. It’s no wonder children light their streets on fire.

These international councils, these panels of so-called diplomats, condemn Israel not because they believe Israel needs to be corrected. They do so because it is convenient.

Everyone does it. In some countries, it’s a crime not to.

The diplomats are afraid, and so they submit. They surrender to falsehood. The truth matters not. To the keepers of conventional wisdom, a sacrifice of the truth is a small price to pay. What difference does it make if we beat up on little Israel? These are the actions of the fearful and cowards.

But I stand here to tell you this: Fear is the pathway to surrender. And to overcome fear, we must have courage.{...}

My Israeli friends, I have a message: You must not lose hope. You must not lose confidence. You must have courage.

And you must draw courage from the knowledge that you were led to this land by God. And in the affairs of mankind, God is not a stranger to the children of Abraham.

He promised that Israel would rise again. For two thousand years the Jewish people held on to this promise. We have seen the promise fulfilled.

Israel, we have witnessed the dawn of your redemption.

We live in an age of man-made, technological miracles. But these are the days of divine miracles.

Not by the hand of any man, whether his name is Balfour or Truman, does Israel exist. Israel is here because the God of Abraham keeps His covenants.{...}

For the first half of my life I did very little. I was the stereotypical American that believed two oceans would forever shelter me.

As a radio and TV commentator, my job was little more than pointing out the problems. And I did. I saw what I thought were obvious things, and I made obvious observations.

I saw the interviews of Osama bin Laden, and so in 1999, I said he will attack New York again. He did.

I saw the unreal expectations of ordinary Americans in 2006, and so I said – there will be a crash in the housing market. It can’t keep going up. And it crashed.

I saw the global financial markets ready to seize up in 2007… I saw the coming unrest and riots in Europe in 2008.

It didn’t take a prophet to see these things – all you had to do was recognize that evil exists and evil was going unopposed.

And so this year, when I saw Tunisia’s and Egypt’s rulers crack and fall and the world called it the Arab Spring, I said: Where could this be going? And behind these revolutions was a familiar force, a force that will place those nations under a new pharaoh. And that force, I said, would come up to the borders of Israel. And so it has.{...}

Everything we know about human rights and civilization came from this place. Whether you live by 613 commandments or 10 or just one golden rule, they all came from here. This throne of the Lord.

When the world turns its back on Israel and the Jewish people, the world turns its back on the source of all human rights. Without the Jewish people, humanity would not know that every individual life has dignity, that every life is sacred, that God names every star and knows every soul. That was God’s message to Abraham and Moses. It is the message of the Jewish people to the world, and by their very existence they teach it to us.

Today I propose a new path. I propose a path led by you – the individual, linked in arms with other individuals. A path where governments and so-called human rights organizations get out of the way and people come together to solve our problems. As God intended. {...}

You see evil rear its head in our time. You see the signs again. The swastikas are on display in the street marches. This week they’re holding up signs in Cairo that say: We’re building the gas chambers. They dress their children in suicide belts. They are given the choice, and they choose death.

Let us have the courage to choose life. No more incitement. No more threats. No more terror. No more talk of genocide. No more hate. No fear. No more lies.

We can read their signs, listen to their speeches. So we know that they say what they mean and mean what they say.

Well: So do we.

And I know we will be victorious. Because while their conviction is rooted in hate, our conviction is rooted in love. And love always wins.

When Naomi and her daughters in law lost their husbands, Naomi knew that their future would be far brighter if they went back to their families, to start over. But her daughter in law Ruth would have none of it. She said,

“Entreat me not to leave thee,
or to return from following after thee:
for whither thou goest, I will go;
and where thou lodgest, I will lodge:
thy people shall be my people,
and thy God my God:
Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried.”

And so I say that if the world decides it must know who will stand with Israel, who will stand with the Jewish people, so they know exactly who to condemn, who to target, let them know this.

Condemn me. Target me. I will stand with Israel. I will stand with the Jewish people. And if they want to round us up again, I will proudly raise my hand and say “Take me first.” {...}

Evil is counting on us to do nothing. Evil is counting on us to be afraid. But evil has misjudged us.

Evil has misjudged us as it has misjudged the Jewish people. The last line of a Jewish prayer is…

Adonai li, v’lo ira
God is with me, I fear not.

Those two lines have been uttered for centuries. Through crusades. Through progroms. Through the gas chambers. At the hands of butchers.

In every generation, they rise up to kill Jews. And in every generation, the answer is the same.

LO IRA. I fear not.

I will wait for someone else to rise no more. This time, we are the ones who say – LO IRA. {...}

You were born for a time such as this. Begin by declaring that this is why you were placed on this earth. It doesn’t matter how you’ve spent your years on this planet. What matters is what you do now from here.

I cannot promise you safety, prosperity or comfort.

But I can promise you this. One day, your children and grandchildren will ask you: “What did you do when the world was on the edge again? What did you say when the West, Israel and the Jews were blamed again?”

You will look them in the eye and say: I had courage. And on the 24th of Av, I committed to stand with courage… to walk… to march… arm in arm… behind God’s pillar of fire.

Adonai li v’Lo Ira.

God is with me, I fear not.

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Lawsuit Accuses Iran Of Complicity in 9/11 Attacks

There's an interesting federal lawsuit that's been filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan by family members of the victims of 9/11.

It alleges that Iran had foreknowledge of the attacks, materially assisted al-Qaeda and the 9/11 hijackers and was complicit in the attacks.

This is by no means new material. Even the 9/11 commission said in its report that there was "strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of Al Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers." There's more than just strong evidence that Iran allowed members of al-Qaeda into Iran after we invaded their stronghold in Afghanistan, which is how so many of them got to Iraq so easily via Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran.

The 9/11 commission urged further investigation at the time, but neither the Bush Administration or the Obama Administration has seen fit to follow up.

Representing eight law firms from across the United States, the attorneys and their team of investigators have turned up some convincing evidence, including the testimony of two defectors from the Islamic regime's intelligence service as well as from members of the 9/11 commission and US intelligence agents and terrorism experts

The attorneys in the case claim to have taken sworn testimony former Iranian intelligence operatives describing the direct participation of top government officials of Iran in the planning of, and preparation for, the 9/11 attacks. These witnesses also describe the roles of top Iranian officials in assisting al Qaeda leadership and operatives to escape from Afghanistan after the U.S.-led invasion in the wake of 9/11.Iran then provided safe haven and support for these al Qaeda members inside Iran.

"There is an I-Spy aspect to all this," Dennis Pantazis, a partner at Wiggins Childs said. "But the information the defectors provided is direct and their documentation is direct."

"The big picture in a case like this is knowledge," he said. "We can't change history and we can't prosecute anyone, all we can do with a civil suit is reveal truth and knowledge."

According to the filing, Iran facilitated travel for the al-Qaeda members by directing border guards not to impede their ingress into Iran or to stamp their passports. If that's true ( and it likely is) Iran had foreknowledge of the attacks. And given that Iran has been in a state of war with America since 1979, it would hardly be out of character.

Another piece of the puzzle is our old friend, the late and unlamented Imad Mugniyeh.

Mugniyeh was one of the superstars of jihad. He was a Lebanese Shi'ite who started his career as a member of Yasser Arafat's Force 17 back when the PLO was trying to put together its own little reichlet there, and later became a founding member of Hezbollah.

He masterminded the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut that killed 63 people and the truck-bomb attacks in Beirut that took the lives of 242 U.S. Marines and 58 French troops and personally tortured to death CIA agent William Buckley, recording the proceeds on video and sending it to the CIA HQ in Langley. He also made the FBI's most wanted list for ordering the murder of US Navy diver Robert Stethem during the June 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847.

Mugniyeh later joined al Qaeda as one of Osama bin-Laden's chiefs of operations while maintaining his connections with Hezbollah, the Palestinians and Iran, and was unique in that he was a trusted link between all the parties.

According to the lawsuit, Mugniyeh was the direct liaison between al-Qaeda and Iran,something that's entirely plausible given that he performed the same role in other operations like the Karina-A arms shipment the Israelis hijacked, which involved Iranian arms sent to Arafat via Hezbollah with a Palestinian crew.

There were already some tentative links to Mughniyeh by the 9/11 Commission, which cited evidence that "a senior Hezbollah operative visited Saudi Arabia to coordinate activities there" and that this senior Hezbollah operative and his associate were on the same flights as several of the future hijackers who were traveling to and from Iran between October 2000 and February 2001.

The lawsuit says it has what it describes as 'compelling evidence' in the testimony of the Iranian defectors that the senior Hezbollah operative described was Imad Mughniyeh.

Iran is not bothering to mount a defense and neither are the Iranian officials named in the suit. The plan will likely be to get a judgment and then pursue Iranian assets overseas in foreign courts that honor US judgments.

What other fall out happens from this will likely depend on how compelling a case the plaintiffs make. Establishing Iranian complicity in the 9/11 attacks will likely lead to a resurgence of the question some of us have been asking for a long time - exactly why did we go after Saddam Hussein and ignore the real threat in Iran?

As I told you a long time ago, it was about the Saudis.

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