Thursday, February 18, 2010

Political Digest for February 18, 2010

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

CNN poll: 52% say Obama doesn't deserve reelection in 2012
Excerpt: 52 percent of Americans said President Barack Obama doesn't deserve reelection in 2012, according to a new poll. 44 percent of all Americans said they would vote to reelect the president in two and a half years, less than the slight majority who said they would prefer to elect someone else.

Republicans furious about timing of Bayh’s retirement announcement
Better than Illinois. The Senate President announced his retirement AFTER he won the primary, and the committee made his son the nominee. Since it was a black, heavily Democrat district in Cook County, there was no Republican. Thus he was able to pass on his seat without the voters, Democrat or Republican, getting a say. Excerpt: Republicans are livid about the timing of Sen. Evan Bayh’s (D-Ind.) retirement announcement. They have at least four candidates in the upcoming primary while the Indiana Democratic Party will get to decide its nominee. Indiana required nominating petitions to be filed by noon Tuesday. Bayh announced Monday he would not seek reelection, giving would-be candidates less than 24 hours to get on the ballot. Republicans have four candidates who made the deadline and a fifth whose signatures are being validated. Democrats had no serious successor in position, given that Bayh had already his filed his nominating petitions and had $13 million in bank. Because no Democrat was able to gather the 4,500 nominating signatures — 500 from each congressional district — the party’s executive committee will meet in the next six weeks to decide on a nominee. Cafe owner Tamyra d'Ippolito (D), who was preparing to challenge Bayh in the primary, scrambled Tuesday to submit the required signatures, but she failed to meet the benchmark, according to officials.

Nightmare election cycle developing for Democratic campaign boss Menendez
Excerpt: Sen. Robert Menendez has seen Democratic election hopes take a dramatic downturn from when he began his tenure as the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). Menendez started the 2010 cycle amid talk of Democrats adding to their majority. Now it looks as though he could lose what advantage his party enjoys. But even after Democrats lost the Massachusetts special election and suffered some grim retirement and recruitment news, Menendez (D-N.J.) remains largely unscathed. Even privately, Democrats have declined to judge the leadership of the DSCC so early in the cycle. “People have been very, very reluctant to be critical,” said Jennifer Duffy of The Cook Political Report. “That doesn’t mean they won’t eventually.”

The danger of political prognostication
Excerpt: Every day in this space we seek to look into the political future -- sometimes successfully and sometimes not. (Hopefully more the former than the latter!) New polling out of CNN/Opinion Research Corporation highlights the difficulty in doing just that. One year ago -- almost to the day -- President Barack Obama had a sky-high 67 percent approval rating and a minuscule 29 percent disapproval score. Today Obama's approval numbers stands at 49 percent -- a loss of 18 points -- while his disapproval is 50 percent, a gain of 21 points. In that year, Obama has gone from a transformational figure leading large majorities in the House and Senate to pass a progressive agenda to an embattled leader trying to salvage his domestic agenda amid a series of surprising electoral setbacks and a spate of recent retirements. Put simply: Politics is an unpredictable enterprise. Change is the only constant. And so, while history and the national political environment are clearly tilted in Republicans favor, the CNN numbers are a reminder that much can and will change in the 259 days between today and Nov. 2.

With Dems sinking, GOP better come up with a plan
Excerpt: The political numbers tell a grim story. In five decades of closely following American politics, I have never seen the Democratic Party in worse shape. Democrats trail in polls in 11 of the 18 Democratic-held Senate seats up this fall and lead in polls in none of the 18 Republican-held seats. Republicans currently lead Democrats in most generic polls — which party’s candidate will you support for the House of Representatives? — even though Democrats have almost always held the lead since Gallup began asking the question in 1950. Incumbents usually lead in individual House race polls. But polls have shown Democratic incumbents trailing Republican challengers in Arkansas, Indiana, Massachusetts and North Dakota. Of course opinion can change, and the balance of enthusiasm, which currently favors Republicans, could shift. But if the election were held today, the numbers tell me that Democrats would fare worse than they have in any election since 1946

Speaker Pelosi bets the House on success of $787 billion stimulus
Excerpt: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has issued 260 statements on the stimulus package over the past year in an effort to win a debate that could be the key to retaining the Democrats’ majority in the House. With climate change legislation considered dead and healthcare reform on the ropes, Pelosi has not let up in making the case that the stimulus bill has averted an economic meltdown since it was signed into law one year ago on Wednesday. The Speaker’s emphasis on the stimulus exceeds healthcare reform and climate change, her flagship issue. Her office has issued 146 written statements on health reform and 138 on energy over the last 12 months, according to a review by The Hill. Pelosi jumps at every opportunity to tout the effects of the stimulus. Earlier this month when the unemployment rate dipped to 9.7 percent, Pelosi compared the January 2010 figures with those of last January, when the country was shedding about 750,000 jobs.

Paterson to launch aggressive reelection effort, to dismay of Dems
Excerpt: New York Gov. David Paterson (D) will officially launch his reelection campaign this weekend, in a move that defies even the president's suggestion that he step aside and allow another Democrat to run for his post. The governor will begin his run for office rather aggressively, with four events that will take him from Rochester on Saturday to Manhattan by Sunday afternoon, according to the schedule released by Paterson's office late Tuesday. But Paterson's decision to enter the race is sure to arrive to the dismay of many within his own party. A handful of Democrats — including President Barack Obama — have reportedly implored the governor to cede the party's nomination to more popular candidates, including New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

Pay-go gets passed, then it gets bypassed
Can’t be allowed to interfere with vote buying! Excerpt: The ink is barely dry on the pay-as-you-go law, and Democrats are seeking to bypass it to enact parts of their job-creation agenda. Democratic leaders said extensions of unemployment insurance and COBRA healthcare benefits should be emergency spending that isn’t subject to the pay-as-you-go statute, which requires new non-discretionary spending to be offset with spending cuts or tax increases. With current extensions of unemployment and COBRA benefits set to expire at the end of the month and the jobless rate still near 10 percent, Democratic lawmakers want to pass the extensions quickly, without having to find offsets for the costs. This year, facing record deficits and a debt that has exceeded $12 trillion, Democrats touted the new pay-go requirements as a necessary step to get spending under wraps. President Barack Obama signed the pay-go bill into law on Feb. 12 and Democrats are ready to waive those requirements to help get the economy going.

What’s the matter with Massachusetts?
Excerpt: Two violent cases. Two district attorneys who went on to bigger things — one Martha Coakley, to become Massachusetts attorney general and then to an unsuccessful run, as a Democrat, for the U.S. Senate seat once occupied by Ted Kennedy; the other DA Bill Delahunt, since 1996 a Democratic congressman from Massachusetts. There were many reasons Coakley lost that Senate race — among them a case from 2005 when, as Middlesex County district attorney, she delayed in prosecuting a policeman who was alleged to have sodomized his 23-month-old niece with a hot object, probably a curling iron. It was left to Coakley’s successor to prosecute, and the man is now serving two life terms. Rumors, never proven, abounded that the ex-cop’s father had political ties to Coakley. Now comes the astonishing case of Amy Bishop, who last week shot six colleagues during a faculty meeting at the University of Alabama-Huntsville — three died. In 1986, when the Harvard Ph.D. was 19 and living in her family home in Braintree, Mass., she shot to death her 18-year-old brother, Seth Bishop. The Norfolk County DA, the aforementioned Delahunt — then in the middle of his almost 20-year term as DA — didn’t press charges.

Sovereign Debt: Greece and California
Excerpt: U.S. debt is a problem, but not a crisis. If worse comes to worse, the Treasury (with the help of Congress) could prevail on the Federal Reserve to buy its debt at prices more favorable than those demanded by foreign creditors. If not sterilized, thus neutralizing the impact of the purchases on the money supply, the Fed would be monetizing the debt and a pickup in inflation would be the likely outcome. Indeed, that is what people mean when they refer to “inflating your way out of debt.” A developing country that cannot issue debt in its own currency, but must issue it in another currency, say U.S. dollars, must earn the dollars necessary to service and redeem the debt through foreign trade (or perhaps temporarily through foreign borrowing to roll the debt over). It does not have the luxury of borrowing from its own central bank to service and redeem the debt. Since Greece is one of 16 members of the Euro zone, its position is very much like a state in the United States. The European Central Bank is its central bank, but Greece cannot force it to monetize its debt. Likewise, California shares its central bank with 49 other states and cannot force it to buy and monetize its debt. Just as Greece has to earn the Euros it needs, so must California earn the dollars it needs. Of course, none of this comes as a surprise. Countries knew they were giving up monetary independence when they joined the Euro-zone and that monetary policy would be determined by a central bank serving all its members collectively rather than individually. Consequently, these countries cannot indefinitely delay paying the piper – a positive outcome. For individual states, maintaining a balanced budget is likely just as constructive. Of course, California is a larger percentage of the dollar zone than Greece is of the Euro-zone and is more likely, eventually, to be treated as too big to fail, not by its central bank, but by its federal government. Since the dollar zone has been around a long time and states (except Texas) don’t have the option of dropping out, California will likely have less leverage with its federal government than Greece has with the European Community. So far, the Europeans have been gathering to decide how to help even before Greece has asked for any help. That’s pretty responsive, if you ask me.

Warming's uncertain science
Excerpt: The Climategate scandal is a textbook case of professional malfeasance that should give Congress reason to pause before agreeing to a binding international agreement that would hamstring the world economy in order to prevent the climate from changing. Climategate was a series of leaked e-mails last year from the Climatic Research Unit at Britain's University of East Anglia, arguably the world's most prominent research center promoting the idea that humans are causing catastrophic global warming. To say the least, these e-mails show scientists behaving badly. The scientists whose e-mails were disclosed attempted to suppress or alter inconvenient data, destroyed raw data so that others are unable to analyze it, used tricks to change reported outcomes, conspired to avoid legally required disclosure of taxpayer-funded data, and attempted to suppress dissent by undermining the peer review process. To make matters even worse, Climategate researchers threatened to seek the firing of editors at scientific journals that published findings that raised doubts about the urgency of the climate crisis. While the e-mails do not disprove that humans are causing potentially catastrophic global warming, the importance of this particular data set and the critical role this cabal of scientists has played in shaping public perception of global warming cannot be understated

Exodus From Climate Change Bandwagon Begins en Masse
Excerpt: BP America, Conoco Phillips, and Caterpillar (among others) have announced their intentions to quit the Climate Action Partnership, a group whose mission is to “call on the federal government to enact legislation requiring significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”

Rep. Ryan's Economic Road Map Is a Good Start
Excerpt: With over $9 trillion in federal budget deficits expected over the next 10 years, lots of people in Washington are talking about the gap between taxes and spending. Rep. Paul Ryan is unusual in that he's proposed to do something about it. Ryan, the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, released last month an updated version of "A Roadmap for America's Future." The Roadmap proposes radical changes in entitlement programs and our tax code, with the intent of making the federal budget sustainable while encouraging economic growth. The plan is not perfect, but it contains a lot of excellent components and is a good starting point for discussions on fiscal reform. It would put a brake on runaway entitlement spending; reform provisions of our tax code that discourage capital investment and foster runaway health care costs; and significantly reduce marginal tax rates. The plan's key drawback is that it takes far too long -- over 40 years -- to bring the federal budget deficit to a sustainable level under 2% of GDP.

High-Speed Rail Burns Money Fast
Excerpt: President Barack Obama was correct last week when he said, “There is no reason why other countries can build high-speed rail lines and we can’t.”
We can do what other countries have done to build high-speed rail. And like those other countries, we would lose huge piles of money doing it. Obama made the statement while announcing $1.2 billion in government funding for a high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando, part of $8 billion in federal money being doled out for various passenger rail projects around the country. He said such projects could be an “economic engine.” Nowhere in the world does high-speed rail make a profit. The director of high-speed rail at the International Union of Railways in Paris last year told The New York Times [NYT] only two high-speed rail lines - in France and Japan - manage to break even. Transportation expert Wendell Cox noted in a September 2009 Budget & Tax News article, “Rail promoters have never produced financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting standards to show any high-speed rail systems are profitable. Invariably, services are provided by government-owned railways or other large companies that do not report fully allocated costs and revenues for high-speed rail.

Obama's cronies thrive at intersection of K and Wall
Excerpt: Amid President Obama's saber rattling at Wall Street's "army of lobbyists," and his lieutenants' vilification of these hired guns, it's easy to forget that the administration is talking about actual people, who have faces, and names -- names like Gephardt, Breaux and Podesta. Similarly to his imaginary war against health care "special interests" last year, the president portrays his push for financial regulation as a battle against intransigent Wall Street lobbyists. And as with health care "reform," we can expect that any financial "reform" to pass both chambers will have the stamp of approval of the industry's biggest players -- in part because the big guys' lobbyists are the president's friends, donors and former employees. The president chastised Wall Street lobbyists last month as he unveiled a general framework of financial regulations: "I welcome constructive input from folks in the financial sector. But what we've seen so far, in recent weeks, is an army of industry lobbyists from Wall Street descending on Capitol Hill to try and block basic and common-sense rules of the road that would protect our economy and the American people." Obama finished with some pugnacious rhetoric to rally the troops: "So if these folks want a fight, it's a fight I'm ready to have." But who are "these folks" who Obama neglected to name? If he had, it might have poked a hole in the populist image he is painting. Wall Street's "army of lobbyists" includes former Obama administration officials, many of his donors, former Democratic lawmakers, former top staff of the current key Capitol Hill Democrats, and the Democratic super-lobbyists who have ready access to this White House. The industry's main Washington lobby is the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, run by Chairman Thomas Nides, a Democratic revolving-door veteran. Nides gave the maximum to Obama in both the 2008 primary and general election, plus $2,000 to Obama's Senate campaign, and in recent elections he gave $2,000 to Joe Biden and $5,000 to now-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Can the free market be saved without Rand?
Excerpt: It’s been a year since Stephen Moore’s article, “Atlas Shrugged: from Fiction to Fact in 52 Years,”seemed to ignite an explosion of interest in Ayn Rand. Sales of this prescient novel tripled; two Rand biographies have been selling like hotcakes; and references to her in the media have skyrocketed. Yet, some free-market defenders continue to repudiate her and her ideas, as they have for decades. It used to be conservatives such as William F. Buckley of National Review trashing “Atlas Shrugged;” now the critics include libertarians, such as Heather Wilhelm of the Illinois Public Policy Institute, who penned “Is Ayn Rand Bad for the Market?”.. But in their rush to distance themselves from Rand, they succumb to a deadly philosophic trap. It results from their anxious desire to apologize for the individualistic, self-interested motives that actually drive free markets. This anxiety prompts them to defend capitalism on the opposite premise: that capitalism is good only because it is “other-directed”—i.e., that it grants certain groups, such as the poor, opportunities to acquire wealth and power. Over the decades, this has led such apologists to launch unpersuasive and futile crusades, such as “compassionate conservatism” and “bleeding-heart libertarianism,” which are not defenses of capitalism, but embodiments of its opposite. For example, conservatives and some libertarians plunged headlong into the moral and logical pitfalls of collectivism when, led by “compassionate conservative” Republican president George W. Bush, they created Medicare Part D, then the biggest-ever addition to welfare entitlements.

Washington Subsidies Can’t Save Nuclear Power
Turns out there was a catch. Why am I not shocked. Excerpt: Facing new polling showing that 52% of the American people believe that he does not deserve a second term in office, President Barack Obama attempted to reach out to conservatives yesterday by promising $8.33 billion in federal loan guarantees for a pair of nuclear reactors in Georgia. The President told an enthusiastic audience of union officials in Lanham, MD: “Those who have long advocated for nuclear power — including many Republicans — have to recognize that we will not achieve a big boost in nuclear capacity unless we also create a system of incentives to make clean energy profitable.” In other words, as newspapers across the country have noted this morning, President Obama’s nuclear loan guarantee announcement is really nothing more than a transparently cynical attempt to revive his moribund cap-and-trade/energy tax proposals currently languishing in the Senate. In reality, the $8.3 billion announced yesterday is actually just a first down payment on the $18.5 billion in loan guarantees that were authorized under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. While the administration should be applauded for following the law, loan guarantees are not enough to recreate a robust nuclear industry in the United States. Indeed, an expansion of the program could do much more to stifle the industry’s growth than to help it. And expanding the nuclear loan guarantee program is exactly the approach the Obama administration plans to pursue. Their 2011 budget provides an additional $36 billion in loan guarantee authority to nuclear energy projects. When added to the $18.5 billion previously authorized under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the American taxpayer will now be subsidizing $54.5 billion in loans to the nuclear industry. But just as conservatives do not support subsidies for wind, solar or biomass energies, conservatives should not support subsidies for nuclear power, either. Heritage Research Fellow Jack Spencer explains:

Just Say No to the Health-Care Summit
Excerpt: Republicans are dithering over whether to accept President Obama's invitation to a Feb. 25 health-care summit. The White House says the health bills passed with Democratic support—the Pelosi and Reid bills—will be the basis for talks. Republicans should just say no to a summit based on these bills. These bills reduce American freedom. Forcing people to buy insurance and empowering government to dictate what your doctor does—key elements of these bills—need to be off the table. There can be no negotiation between coercion and freedom.

Senator Evan Bayh's departure sparks debate about partisanship in Congress Sen. Excerpt: Evan Bayh's surprise decision not to seek reelection touched off a debate Tuesday among strategists and scholars about whether the Indiana senator's depiction of the "brain dead" politics and hyper-partisanship of Congress is accurate or overblown -- and, if accurate, whether walking away was the right decision.

A Profile in Arrogance
And keep our honor clean. Excerpt: Congressman John “Jack” Murtha, who died last week at the age of 77, represented western Pennsylvania’s Twelfth District in the House for 35 years. But Murtha’s impressive longevity belies his more dubious political legacy. The narrative of Murtha’s legislative career was punctuated on virtually every line by self-absorption, self-interest, secret dealings, and an ugly brand of political hackery that placed Murtha’s own lust for power above the welfare of his country. A logical place to begin an examination of Murtha’s career would be the early 1980s, when the Congressman was named as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the so-called “Abscam” (a contraction of “Abdul scam”) corruption probe of several U.S. legislators. That inquiry was conducted between 1978 and 1980 – not by right-wing enemies of Murtha and his fellow Democrats, but by President Jimmy Carter’s Justice Department. Initially, the FBI established a phony investment firm called “Abdul Enterprises” in New York City and invented a fictitious Middle Eastern sheikh, “Yasser Habib.” Bureau agents, posing as “Habib” and his attendants, offered bribes to Murtha and several other members of the House and Senate in exchange for their pledge to provide political favors to the “sheikh.” Specifically, the legislators were asked to help “Habib” purchase asylum in the United States and transfer his financial assets out of his native country. In exchange for their assistance, the Congressmen were offered handsome financial rewards. Murtha, for his part, rejected a blatant $50,000 bribe but not the influence buying tactics. Murtha unambiguously left open the possibility that he might be willing to “do business” with the “sheikh” and his retinue at some point in the future. A 54-minute FBI videotape shows Murtha, then a member of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, telling the FBI undercover agents: “You know, you made an offer. It might be that I might change my mind someday.”

The Meaning of Marjah
Interesting reading. Excerpt: On Feb. 13, some 6,000 U.S. Marines, soldiers and Afghan National Army (ANA) troops launched a sustained assault on the town of Marjah in Helmand province. Until this latest offensive, the U.S. and NATO effort in Afghanistan had been constrained by other considerations, most notably Iraq. Western forces viewed the Afghan conflict as a matter of holding the line or pursuing targets of opportunity. But now, armed with larger forces and a new strategy, the war — the real war — has begun. The most recent offensive — dubbed Operation Moshtarak (“Moshtarak” is Dari for “together”) — is the largest joint U.S.-NATO-Afghan operation in history. It also is the first major offensive conducted by the first units deployed as part of the surge of 30,000 troops promised by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Afghan army raises flag on embattled Taliban town
Taliban uses women and children as human shields
We tell the enemy we are going to do everything possible to avoid civilian causalities. The enemy subscribes to a twisted religion that makes all human life expendable to their cause, and celebrates death. What did we expect? Hamas does the same. Excerpt: Insurgents are increasingly using civilians as human shields — firing at Afghan troops from inside or next to compounds where women and children appear to have been ordered to stand on a roof or in a window, said Gen. Mohiudin Ghori, the brigade commander for Afghan troops in Marjah.

U.S. general: 2 Iraqi election chiefs linked to Iran
Excerpt: The Iraqi official in charge of a commission that blocked more than 300 politicians from running in next month's elections is working closely with Iran's Quds Force, prompting the top U.S. general in Iraq to voice concerns about Tehran's meddling in Iraq's fragile democracy. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, in a speech, accused Ali Faisal al-Lami, the executive director of the Accountability and Justice Commission along with Ahmad Chalabi, the panel's chairman, of being "clearly influenced by Iran."

War game reveals U.S. lacks cyber-crisis skills
Isn’t it wonderful we tell our enemies about our weaknesses in our press? Excerpt: Scene: The White House Situation Room. Event: A massive cyber attack has turned the cellphones and computers of tens of millions of Americans into weapons to shut down the Internet. A cascading series of events then knocks out power for most of the East Coast amid hurricanes and a heat wave. Is the assault on cellphones an armed attack? In a crisis, what power does the government have to order phone and Internet carriers to allow monitoring of their networks? What level of privacy can Americans expect?

The Other Stupid Things John Brennan Said
So if someone you love is killed by a Gitmo Alumni, remember BO and Company thinks it’s “not that bad.” Excerpt: It's bad enough that John Brennan, President Obama's national security deputy, thinks Gitmo jihadi recidivism is "not that bad." But in his talk last week with Islamic law students at New York University, Brennan made even more reckless comments about our counterterrorism programs while pandering to one of the worst Muslim grievance-mongers and sharia peddlers in America. During the question-and-answer session, Brennan welcomed a question from Omar Shahin. He identified himself as the head of the "North American Imams Federation." What he didn't mention was his role as the chief ringleader of the infamous flying imams. You remember them: They were the six Muslim clerics whose suspicious behavior -- provocatively shouting "Allahu Akbar!" before boarding the plane, fanning out in the cabin before take-off, refusing to sit in their assigned seats, requesting seat-belt extenders, which they placed on the floor -- led to their removal by a U.S. Airways crew in 2006.

(A Military) Second to none?
Cutting the airborne laser degrades our superiority
Excerpt: For years, presidents of both parties have pledged to ensure that America fields a military second to none. A successful test last week of a truly transformative technology affords President Obama an opportunity to help make that pledge a reality. Unless Mr. Obama swiftly orders the Pentagon to change course on the remarkable Airborne Laser Testbed (ALTB) program, however, his legacy on defense preparedness will be one of empty rhetoric and increased danger for our country. The Airborne Laser program is a direct descendant of Ronald Reagan's visionary Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), with its exploration of various means of intercepting and destroying ballistic missiles - including lasers and other "directed energy" techniques. Given the state of the art at the time, critics scoffed at the idea that these exotic, speed-of-light weapons could ever be made to work. The late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy exemplified this view when he dismissively dubbed the SDI program "Star Wars." Today, however, it is the critics who look ridiculously shortsighted. Thanks to two decades of intensive research and development and an investment of roughly $5 billion, America's aerospace industry has achieved an extraordinary feat of science and engineering. It has successfully married a Boeing 747 airframe with three chemical lasers: a low-power system used for tracking a missile early in its flight; a second low-energy laser that measures and calculates adjustments needed to compensate for atmospheric conditions; and a third, megawatt-class high-energy laser that uses the others' data to destroy the missile by using heat to induce structural failure.

Assailant in Street Attack in Turkey Ordered Released
Excerpt: An Istanbul court has ordered the release of a jailed Turk who publicly threatened and held a knife to the throat of a Christian he attacked six months ago. In a ruling on Wednesday (Feb. 10), the Kadikoy Seventh Court of First Instance convicted Yasin Karasu, 24, of making death threats and mounting an armed attack against Ismail Aydin. Shouting to attract passersby as he held a knife to Aydin’s throat on Aug. 3, Karasu had denounced the Christian as a “missionary dog” who had betrayed Turkey by leaving Islam and evangelizing others. The crime is punishable by four years in prison, but Justice Tahsin Dogan ruled that Karasu should be released unconditionally, without serving the remainder of his sentence.

British Islamic supremacist Anjem Chaudary: Freedom and democracy must be destroyed and replaced with obedience to Allah
Excerpt: One thing you can say about Chaudary: he is honest, where some of his slicker coreligionists who share his goals dissemble about them. "British Islamist Anjem Choudary: Freedom and Democracy Are Idols That Must Be Destroyed and Replaced with Obedience to Allah," from MEMRITV….

Publication that erased evidence of Obama envoy's support for jihad terrorist now claims it was all a mistake
Excerpt: Rashad Hussain defended jihad terror leader Sami Al-Arian in the jihad-enabling Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. But when Hussain was appointed Obama's special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, suddenly the evidence of his defense of Al-Arian went down the memory hole. But there was no cover-up! It was all a mistake, you see: according to the Washington Report now, Laila Al-Arian actually said the words that were attributed to Rashad Hussain. But this doesn't make sense, since the article was altered just to remove the quotes, not to change the name of the person quoted. Also, the author of the original story contradicts the Washington Report's explanation.

'EU aid funds PA incitement'
Excerpt: A British taxpayer watchdog group unveiled two reports on Monday detailing the role of European foreign aid in the transmission of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic narratives in Palestinian Authority schools and media in Jerusalem. The reports, “Palestinian Hate Education Since Annapolis” and “Funding Hate Education,” detail what the Taxpayers’ Alliance refers to as a campaign of “demonizing Israel” largely funded by European taxpayers, a policy it says diminishes long-term hopes for peace. The Taxpayers’ Alliance said it has taken up the issue of incitement against Israel in the Palestinian territories because it believes there must be greater scrutiny of aid programs for the PA, so that taxpayer money from the UK and the EU no longer funds programs that harm the peace process and the national interests of British and EU citizens.

Islamic and Leftist Allies Defend Iran’s Human Rights Record at U.N. Gathering
Excerpt: As the U.N. Human Rights Council scrutinized Iran’s domestic rights record on Monday, Western nations raised concerns about abuses including executions, torture and mass arrests, while Tehran’s Islamic and leftist allies lined up to defend and praise the regime.

Wife of airline liquid bomb plotter 'prayed he would achieve highest level of martyrdom'
Didn’t get the memo. Excerpt: The wife of the extremist who led the plot to kill hundreds of jet passengers prayed he would achieve the highest level of Islamic martyrdom, a court heard today. Cossor Ali, 28, wrote in her diary how she was desperate for Abdullah Ahmed Ali to kill himself for his cause, it is alleged. She even wrote of her hopes to be pregnant with a son by the time her husband was dead, jurors heard.

Quotes from the Patriot Post
Which administration? "I am very optimistic about -- about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration." --Joe Biden

"Greatest achievement" equals mistake? "I don't think the [Iraq] war was worth it, in the sense that we paid a horrible price, not only in loss of life, the way the war was mishandled from the outset, but we took our eye off the ball, putting us in a much different and more dangerous position in Afghanistan." --Joe Biden

"We have no choice but to eliminate the threat. [Saddam Hussein] is a guy who is an extreme danger to the world." Joe Biden in 2002.

"[Obama] said, you know, I'm for clean coal, then he says it in speeches, but he doesn't say it in here, and he doesn't say it in the minds of my own people, and he's beginning to be not believable to me." --Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)

"If global warming gets any worse I'm going to have to buy a snowmobile." --political analyst Rich Galen

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