Saturday, May 7, 2011

Political Digest for May 7, 2011

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.

For those who want further information about the topics covered in this blog, I recommend the following sites. I will add to this as I find additional good sources.

My new book: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
Is in production and will soon be available. All royalties will go to a charity to help wounded veterans, not to me. Watch this space.

First the tears, now the anger: Pakistanis burn U.S. flags as backlash over Bin Laden's death grows
I’m as outraged and offended by Muslims burning the US Flag as Muslims are over some American burning the Qur’an. So if I go nuts and slaughter the nearest Muslim, who is entirely innocent but handy, it will not be my fault, right, but the fault of those flag-burning Muslims for provoking me and not being sensitive to my feelings, the Americaophobic bastards! And if the innocent-murdering bin Laden who Obama assured us (rightly) had slaughtered many more Muslims than kuffer doesn’t represent Islam, why are so many Muslims weeping for him? He must have represented them. ~Bob. Excerpt: These were the angry scenes across Pakistan today as Muslims staged protests against the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. Hundreds of people marched through Multan, burning U.S. flags and waving placards as they warned the terrorist's death could produce many more radical figures to take his place. It comes after crowds of weeping mourners were pictured offering funeral prayers for the Al Qaeda mastermind widely blamed for thousands of deaths at 9/11.

When Will the SEALs Kill George W. Bush?
Sarah Palin inciting violence again? Nah, just some liberal radio guy. Perfectly acceptable. Nothing to see here. ~Bob. Excerpt: If any American with a patriotic pulse listened to the Mike Malloy radio show, they would have been shocked on Monday night when Malloy outrageously suggested that Navy SEALs should have shot former president George W. Bush, and not Osama bin Laden.

Thanks George?
Since Bush’s terror policies on waterboarding and invading Afghanistan led to the elimination and disposal of Osama bin Laden, and since captured materials suggest he was planning terror attacks for the September 11 in NYC, LA, DC and/or Chicago, there are Bush haters whose loved one may live out the year thanks to George Bush. But they won’t know it and would rather die than acknowledge it.

A Most Justified Jubilation: Why there should not be any moral qualms about celebrating bin Laden’s demise
Excerpt: Similar sentiments have been heard from other religious and community leaders, on editorial pages and in the blogosphere and across social-networking sites. Even for those who do choose to celebrate, there may be twinges of uncertainty and ambivalence at the prospect of rejoicing in someone’s death. There is a reason, after all, that such celebration is not a common occurrence. Not in American culture, at least. Of course there is a culture in which the celebration of death is not only common, but paramount: the culture of suicidal mass murder that is the very core of Osama bin Laden’s ideology.

If Supermarkets Were Like Public Schools
Excerpt: Teachers unions and their political allies argue that market forces can't supply quality education. According to them, only our existing system—politicized and monopolistic—will do the trick. Yet Americans would find that approach ludicrous if applied to other vital goods or services. Suppose that groceries were supplied in the same way as K-12 education. Residents of each county would pay taxes on their properties. Nearly half of those tax revenues would then be spent by government officials to build and operate supermarkets. Each family would be assigned to a particular supermarket according to its home address. And each family would get its weekly allotment of groceries—"for free"—from its neighborhood public supermarket. No family would be permitted to get groceries from a public supermarket outside of its district. Fortunately, though, thanks to a Supreme Court decision, families would be free to shop at private supermarkets that charge directly for the groceries they offer. Private-supermarket families, however, would receive no reductions in their property taxes. (I hold a special place in my heart for well executed satire: George)

Burlingame After Meeting With Obama: He Turned His Back On Me
Excerpt: Debra Burlingame, the sister of Chip Burlingame (pilot of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon) met with President Obama today, along with other families who were victims of 9/11. Burlingame said she confronted Obama about Attorney General Eric Holder prosecuting the men who interrogated KSM, which may have produced intelligence leading us to bin Laden. Burlingame describes the encounter with Obama: "As a former attorney I know you can't tell the Attorney General what to do, he said, 'No, I can't.' But I said 'we -- that shouldn't stop you from giving your opinion. We wouldn't be here today if they hadn't done their jobs. Can't you at least give them your opinion.' And he said 'no I won't,' and he turned around and walked away."

Treasury Suggests $2 Trillion Debt Cap Raise: sources
Excerpt: (Reuters) - The Treasury has told lawmakers a roughly $2 trillion rise in the legal limit on federal debt would be needed to ensure the government can keep borrowing through the 2012 presidential election, sources with knowledge of the discussions said. Obama administration officials have repeatedly said that it is up to Congress to decide by how much the $14.3 trillion debt limit should be raised. But when lawmakers asked how much of an increase would be needed to meet the government's obligations into early 2013, Treasury officials floated the $2 trillion working figure, Senate and administration sources told Reuters.

The Ethnic Cleansing of Norwegians
Excerpt: “Cultural enrichment” is still being promoted by governments, schools, and the media as a rainbow enhancement of our societies, as if it involved nothing more than quaint costumes and spicy food eaten from a stick. If we were to eschew euphemism, however, and decide to speak the truth about what is happening, we would describe the current devastation of our cultures as an invasion, for that is in fact what it is. When we hear the term “ethnic cleansing”, we normally think of the actions of the Serbs, and maybe occasionally the Croats, in the various states of the former Yugoslavia. And — if we’re especially vigilant and willing to peer through the MSM smokescreen — we might also consider the actions of the Bosniaks and the Kosovo Albanians. But ethnic cleansing is in fact occurring in major cities all across the Western world, as huge numbers of inassimilable immigrants — invaders — are imported. The new arrivals inexorably drive out the native inhabitants with their relentless antagonism and predatory criminal behavior. The difference between Pristina and Krajina on the one hand, and Rotterdam, London, and Oslo on the other, is that the treasonous political leadership of the latter is forcing ethnic cleansing upon its own people. (This is what is happening in LA. - Kate)

Charles Krauthammer: Evil Does Not Die of Natural Causes
Excerpt: The bin Laden operation is the perfect vindication of the war on terror. It was made possible precisely by the vast, warlike infrastructure that the Bush administration created post-9/11, a fierce regime of capture and interrogation, of dropped bombs and commando strikes. That regime, of course, followed the more conventional war that brought down the Taliban, scattered and decimated al-Qaeda and made bin Laden a fugitive.

CIA spied on bin Laden from safe house
Excerpt: The CIA maintained a safe house in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad for a small team of spies who conducted extensive surveillance over a period of months on the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. Special Operations forces this week, U.S. officials said. The secret CIA facility was used as a base of operations for one of the most delicate human intelligence gathering missions in recent CIA history, one that relied on Pakistani informants and other sources to help assemble a “pattern of life” portrait of the occupants and daily activities at the fortified compound where bin Laden was found, the officials said.

Worth Reading: Rich and me: How we fell out
Great Kass column about the Boss Daley (Jr.) years here in Chicago. Long but worth reading. This is the machine that produced and supports Obama. ~Bob. Excerpt: It also turned out that Daley's friends were making a fortune off the flood. I understood the mayor wanted a fall guy and that it wasn't going to be one of his people. But what I didn't understand is why Daley wouldn't make a call and find McTigue a job in the private sector afterward. That's what bothered me. McTigue wasn't at fault. He had a wife and kids. All Daley had to do was pick up the phone and do the right thing. The mayor told me he didn't owe McTigue a thing. I told him, respectfully, that he should make the call anyway, to show compassion, and so that city workers who knew the real story wouldn't think the mayor was a jerk. That's what your father would have done, I said.

Man sentenced to life for killing 5 family members
When they convert someone, don't they tell them that "Islam is a Religion of Peace"? And how is killing an unborn child "homicide? Isn't that, like, abortion? ~Bob. Excerpt: A man who was angry that his family would not go along with his conversion to Islam was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday in the slayings of his mother, pregnant wife, infant son and two nieces in a rampage last year on the South Side. James A. Larry, 33, of Madison, Wis., pleaded guilty last month to multiple counts of murder, attempted murder and the intentional homicide of an unborn child. ... "He was upset at his wife and their family — he felt disrespected that they would not join his religion," Assistant State's Attorney Jim McKay said. "It didn't matter if they were young or old, pregnant or not. He wanted them dead." The massacre began in the early morning hours April 14, at the family home in the 7400 block of
South Mozart Street
. Larry first shot his mother, Leona Larry, 57, as she slept on a sofa in the living room. He then went systematically through three first-floor bedrooms, fatally shooting his wife, Twanda Thompson, 19; his 7-month-old son, Jihad; his 3-year-old niece, Keleasha Larry; and his 16-year-old niece, Keyshai Fields, who was pregnant.

Fed informant passed delicate message to Blagojevich from Obama
Excerpt: John Harris testifies that on Nov. 10, 2008, lobbyist John Wyma called him with a message from President-Elect Obama's camp. Harris, of course, doesn't know that Wyma at this point had been secretly working with the feds for at least a month in the Blagojevich probe. Wyma, former congressional chief of staff to Blagojevich, was also close to Rahm Emanuel. "(Wyma) told me he had a message to deliver to me from Rahm Emanuel, who was trying to get a hold of the governor. And John Wyma was trying to get a hold of the governor, but they could not get through. I understood they knew each other well, Wyma was chief of staff," to Blagojevich Harris testified. It does not appear that the Wyma/Harris phone call happened on a wired line. The message Wyma passed along? "That the President-elect would be thankful and appreciative if the governor would appoint Valerie Jarrett to the Senate seat," Harris said. "I said I understood and I would deliver the message."

Attorney General Holder blasted for "creating public safety hazard"
Excerpt: At a House Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa confronted Attorney General Eric Holder on the DOJ’s Operation Fast and Furious, a highly controversial operation where federal authorities facilitated the purchase of assault weapons for drug cartels and chose not to interdict them before being transported to Mexico. While Attorney General Holder was unwilling to provide answer about who at the Department of Justice authorized, knew about, and even whether he still defended Operation Fast and Furious, three new documents provide information that Attorney General Holder did not address in response to questions posed by Rep. Issa. Following a second day of Capitol Hill hearings in which he professed little or no knowledge about the controversial Project Gunrunner or Operation Fast and Furious, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms called for the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder. "For the second day in a row, Attorney General Holder has stated on the record that he didn't know about one of the most egregious government scandals in memory," said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb.

Next step after bin Laden.... Reboot our Middle East strategy by M. Zuhdi Jasser
Excerpt: The operation this week that culminated in the long-overdue death of Osama bin Laden has opened a window of opportunity for the United States. While any remaining import of bin Laden to the strategic operation of al-Qaeda is debatable, his position as the global face of terror is undeniable. Our nation's resolve in bringing him to justice delivers an unmistakable message that America will stay the course against our enemies wherever they may hide. Our nation needs to awaken to the fact that the bin Ladens of the world are byproducts of the primary ideological threat - militant Islamism, the violent offshoot of the construct of political Islam or 'the Islamic state." It is based in a deeper mindset of the supremacy of Islamic law, shariah, in government. It is the gasoline to the fire of Islamist extremism. Islamism cannot be defeated by bullets or the valor of our SEAL teams. It will only be defeated in an open war of ideas where we pit western principles of universal equality and liberty under God against political Islam and Islamist interpretations of shariah. As British Prime Minister David Cameron recently noted, we must not only remove the militants, we must drain the pool in which they swim. That pool is their ideology.

At Ground Zero, Obama quietly completes a circle
Better headline: Obama spikes ball thanks to Bush policies. ~Bob. Excerpt: Nearly 10 years ago, on Sept. 14, 2001, another president, George W. Bush, came to Ground Zero bulky and workmanlike in a windbreaker and boots, stood on a heap of smoking debris with his arm around the shoulders of a firefighter and shouted through a bullhorn. To the armies of volunteers in the wreckage who couldn’t hear him, he blared, “I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people — the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!” Obama’s visit was a bookend to that event. But it was a far different affair, and a somewhat tricky one, given that the White House seemed anxious to find the right tone and to avoid the appearance of taking a “victory lap.”

Criticism of Obama dominates first GOP presidential debate
From this group, I’d take Pawlenty first, Cain second, Johnson third. Santorum and Paul would be electoral disasters. ~Bob. Excerpt: The stage in South Carolina on Thursday was absent most of the top-tier contenders for next year's Republican presidential nomination, but the first debate of the 2012 primary season still managed to produce a handful of lively moments amidst the volleys directed at President Obama. Five likely GOP contenders met Thursday evening, with the biggest name on the stage being former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. He was joined by former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and talk radio host Herman Cain.

The All-New Failure of the New Economics: Unemployment rates and other useless measurements
Excerpt: If you've been pinning your job-search hopes on the conventional wisdom that employment gains follow an economic recovery, you have a problem right now. The so-called Great Recession has been over for almost two years, but unemployment remains about where it was before the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) declared that the recovery had begun. In June 2009, the month the NBER has pinpointed as the end of the recession, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' unemployment rate stood at 9.5 percent. In early 2011, the unemployment rate was 9 percent. To put this feeble recovery into perspective: Just eight months after the job-loss peak in the 1948 recession, which saw unemployment increase by 5.2 percentage points, all of those jobs had been replaced. Less than a year after the trough of the 1958 recession, the economy had reversed an unemployment spike of more than four percentage points. In 1981–82, job growth more than erased a 3.1 percentage point increase in unemployment within 11 months, leaving the rate lower than it was before the recession.

Complex but important: CBO: The Underfunding of State and Local Pension Plans
Excerpt: The recent financial crisis and economic recession have left many states and localities with extraordinary budgetary difficulties for the next few years, but structural shortfalls in their pension plans pose a problem that is likely to endure for much longer. This issue brief discusses alternative approaches to assessing the size of those shortfalls and the implications of those approaches for funding decisions: By any measure, nearly all state and local pension plans are underfunded, which means that the value of the plans' assets is less than their accrued pension liabilities for current workers and retirees. There are two leading approaches for valuing assets and liabilities, and the reported amount of underfunding varies significantly depending on which one is used.

California Dreamin’: Why is Jerry Brown so eager to increase electricity rates when his state’s economy is in the dumps?
Excerpt: California leads the nation in a number of ignominious categories. Its budget deficit of $26 billion is nearly twice as large as that of the next state (Texas).
It ranks second in unemployment at 12 percent, behind only Nevada. Unemployment is so pervasive that six of the 14 metropolitan areas in the U.S. with the highest rates of unemployment are in California. Given those facts, why are California’s leaders hell-bent on making the state’s electricity costs — already among the nation’s highest — go even higher?

The Increasing Progressivity of U.S. Taxes
Excerpt: Recent discussions of tax reform and tax expenditures mistakenly assume that static tax expenditure estimates predict that $402.9 billion of added revenue could be raised from 2010 to 2014 by taxing capital gains and dividends at the same rate as ordinary income. On the contrary, such a policy would surely reduce federal tax revenue by greatly reducing the reported amount of capital gains and dividends, says Alan Reynolds, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. Average individual income tax rates fell most dramatically for the bottom 80 percent of taxpayers from 1979 to 2007, with the bottom 40 percent now receiving more in refundable tax credits than is paid in taxes. The highest marginal tax rate fell from 70 percent to 15-35 percent on investment income and from nearly 40 percent on capital gains in 1976-1977 to 15 percent after 2003. Revenues from the individual income tax nonetheless remained close to 8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) whenever the economy was doing well, regardless of top tax rates, and overall revenues remained close to 18 percent of GDP. The dramatic tax cuts for the bottom 80 percent were made possible by greatly improved incentives to report and pay taxes on the highest incomes in recent years, particularly on realized capital gains, taxable interest and dividends. To put that process into reverse, by moving back toward the higher tax rates of the past, would clearly reduce the amount of capital gains, dividends and other income reported by the top 1 percent. Unfortunately, it would probably also reduce the share of taxes paid by the top 1 percent, says Reynolds

Muslim bus drivers refuse to let guide dogs on board
Excerpt: Blind passengers are being ordered off buses or refused taxi rides because Muslim drivers or passengers object to their 'unclean' guide dogs. One pensioner, a cancer sufferer, told how had twice been confronted by drivers and asked to get off the bus because of his guide dog, and had also faced hostility at a hospital and in a supermarket over the animal. The problem to carry guide dogs on religious grounds has become so widespread that the matter was raised in the House of Lords last week, prompting transport minister Norman Baker to warn that a religious objection was not a reason to eject a passenger with a well-behaved guide dog.

Apology over 'offensive' puppy police advert after Muslim complaints
Excerpt: A police force has apologised to Islamic leaders for the "offensive" postcard advertising a new non-emergency telephone number, which shows a six-month-old trainee police dog named Rebel. The German shepherd puppy has proved hugely popular with the public, hundreds of who have logged on to the force's website to read his online training diary. But some Muslims in the Dundee area have reportedly been upset by the image because they consider dogs to be "ritually unclean", while shopkeepers have refused to display the advert. Tayside Police have admitted they should have consulted their 'diversity' officers before issuing the cards, but critics argued their apology was unnecessary.

Pakistan’s Bin Laden Scapegoat
Excerpt: To allay both domestic and international anger and dismay over the presence of Osama bin Laden in a military cantonment town close to the capital, senior Pakistani officials have told The Daily Beast they recognize that an important head has to roll and soon. They say the most likely candidate to be the fall guy is Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the director general of the country’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate. (…)  “It could ease a lot of pressure,” Masood says. It would also help rehabilitate the army’s and the ISI’s badly tarnished image. Under Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. who assumed the military’s top position in late 2008 from the autocratic Pervez Musharraf, the army has made a public-relations comeback. Under Musharraf, the military was seen as meddlesome and oppressive force. Kayani pulled it back from direct involvement in government and politics. Pakistanis were also impressed by the humanitarian work the military carried out last year in rescuing victims of the devastating floods. Now those good works have largely been forgotten as a result of the bin Laden fiasco.

Jay Carney is floundering under pressure, say Washington insiders
Excerpt: There is increasing concern in Washington that Jay Carney, the new White House Press Secretary, isn’t up to the job. Even when faced with an innocuous question that requires only that he trot out the official line, he looks completely stunned, as if the questioner is Bob Woodward asking him about Deep Throat. He gathers himself, embarks on a stuttering reply, pauses for what seems like an eternity, then starts gabbling, tripping over his words, rephrasing what he’s just said, then looking plaintively back at the questioner as if to say, “How did I do? Was that okay? Or would you like me to try again?” “I think he’s doing very badly,” says a political contact based in Washington. “And I’ve heard others say that he’s really struggling.” 9I could do better—but I’m not available. Sorry, BO. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: All of these narratives--apart from the disadvantage, in some instances, of being untrue--share a common defect. They assume that the SEALs are in the dock as accused murderers, and need to be seen as acting in self-defense. This is ridiculous. The SEALs may have acted in "national self defense," the doctrine that Eric Holder articulated to the Senate Judiciary Committee. But in the immediate context of the raid on bin Laden's compound, the SEALs were not defending themselves. They were on the attack, as they needed to be to carry out their orders. Whether bin Laden was shooting at them, reaching for a gun, clothed or naked, or in the same room with a weapon is irrelevant. The SEALs went into Pakistan to kill bin Laden, and succeeded brilliantly. The administration needs to forget about self-defense and stand behind the orders it gave the military.

Jim Treacher: The next time you make a pizza joke about Herman Cain, ask yourself whether Obama ever even delivered one. (Or could make one. Or run a business that sold them for a profit. ~Bob.)

In Praise of Flanders, Right-wing Intellectuals and Theodore Dalrymple
Excerpt: We are so in thrall to the Wilfred-Owen/Oh-What-A-Lovely-War/Journey’s-End interpretation of the Great War that we have edited out of our national memory anything that might look like a justification for having joined it. We may not remember the episode, but the Flemish do; they remember, too, the money which the United States poured into the reconstruction. Leuven’s library was rebuilt after the war, its stones carved with the names of the hundreds of American institutes of higher education which contributed.

Ahmadinejad allies charged with sorcery
Excerpt: Close allies of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being "magicians" and invoking djinns (spirits). (Two reasons to stop laughing: first, is the Iranians take this seriously, and if found guilty, those arrested could be hanged or stoned to death. Second, like many during the inquisition, the charges may be religious, but the motive and objective are purely political. Besides, if they were really witches, they’d use their powers to escape. Ron P. Did anyone tell them BO used sorcery to get OBL? ~Bob.)

Finnish Professor: Drop Crisis States
Excerpt: Professor of Economics Vesa Kanniainen of the University of Helsinki says that eurozone crisis economies should be allowed to go into debt restructuring. Kanniainen adds that Greece and Portugal should be dropped from the common currency.

Paris: French Police Arrest Tunisian Migrants, Influx Grows
Excerpt: French police arrested 138 Tunisian migrants on Wednesday, clearing out an illegal squat in Paris as unease deepened in France over an influx sparked by the upheaval in North Africa. About 250 riot police were deployed to evict the squatters, most of them Tunisians who entered Europe a couple of months ago via Lampedusa, a tiny Italian island that is one of the closest points for people fleeing North Africa. (Let’s send them Janet N. to help out. ~Bob.)

VIDEO: South of France: Illegal Tunisians Attack French Police
Excerpt: The French have been mostly successful in keeping the Tunisians on the Italian side of the border, but some of the “youths” have slipped through the cordon into the South of France.

Athens: Greece Powerless to Quickly Expel Illegal Migrants: Minister
Excerpt: Greece's police minister on Thursday called for new detention centers to be built as the country is powerless to expel undocumented migrants seeking to cross into other European countries. "Without detention centres in various parts of the country...we cannot solve the problem," Citizen's Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis told parliament. "Nobody can arrest a migrant, whether they be illegal or legal, and throw them out. International rules do not allow it, the laws do not allow it, our country's constitution does not allow it," the minister said. (Belay my suggestion above. Sounds like Janet N. has already advised them on border security. ~Bob.)

Progress? Now Even Egypt's Religious Establishment Hates America
Excerpt: This is the kind of serious development that everyone better pay close attention to if they want to understand what’s going on in the Middle East and how the West doesn’t get it. The Grand Shaykh of al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, gave an interview to al-Jazira. Al-Azhar is the most important religious center in the Sunni Muslim world. Up until now, its leadership has been controlled by the Egyptian government, which meant the government of President Husni Mubarak until earlier this year. That regime was a dictatorship. It appointed the head of al-Azhar and the mufti of Egypt. It controlled mosque sermons and which preachers went on television. Consequently, it limited their extremism and, knowing their careers were at stake, the clerics complied. They weren’t real moderate but, for example, wouldn’t think of passionately attacking the United States or calling for the abrogation of the peace treaty with Israel. (Americans will eventually “get it” about the Muslim Brotherhood., But there will be a price in American blood to educate them. ~Bob.)

House GOP Throws Down the Gauntlet on Energy
Excerpt: It’s a battle that’s been a long time coming. We’ve watched for at least the last year while the President and his enablers have essentially shut down various elements of domestic energy production, first through a moratorium and then through a permitorium. And judging by reader responses here there has also been a palpable sense of frustration with Congress and their seeming inability break this impasse. The time may finally be at hand when you won’t have to wait any longer. Yesterday Hot Air was invited to sit in on a call with Congressmen Doc Hastings (chairman of the Natural Resources Committee) and Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam. The subject of the discussion was three bills being brought to the floor which may, if we can muster the support required, finally break the log jam.

European Union in Major U-Turn as it Says National Border Controls could be Introduced
Excerpt: The European Union's executive has proposed allowing the reintroduction of national border controls in exceptional circumstances, even though the development of a ‘borderless’ continent had long been hailed as a prime EU achievement. The EU Commission made the proposal today after France and Italy insisted on action to revamp the so-called Schengen system, which allows for unfettered travel across many European borders for citizens, but also for illegal immigrants. EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said that ‘it may also be necessary to foresee the temporary reintroduction of limited internal border controls under very exceptional circumstances’.

Srdja Trifkovic on Osama bin Laden
Excerpt: The WaPo analysts [of the 1980s] were concerned that the United States had no coherent plan about what to do with the mujahideen once the Soviets were gone from Afghanistan. Considering that it was the 1980s, the correspondents had a remarkably good grasp of what motivated the jihad fighters, and why they would destabilize the region and endanger the security of the United States after the Russians left. I hate to say it, but The Washington Post was right. Our foreign policy experts and national security professionals were feckless about Islam back then, and they are feckless about Islam today.

Nearly Half of Detroiters Can't Read. Cause Apparently a Mystery.
Excerpt: A study funded by 10 major foundations reported yesterday that 47 percent of Detroiters are functionally illiterate–unable to read a bus schedule, fill out a resume, or make sense of the directions on an aspirin bottle. (Since Detroit has been Democrat-run for as long as most folks can remember, one would think it would be a paradise. ~Bob.)

Wall Street Journal: If you can't beat Wikileaks, replace them
Excerpt: Love it or hate it, Wikileaks has become part of the international conversation and continues to make headlines on a regular basis, even in sources that tend to disapprove of founder Julian Assange. Given that there’s clearly a market and an appetite for hush-hush whistleblowing goodness, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the Wall Street Journal is going to take the concept mainstream by launching a competing site of their own. The Wall Street Journal has launched its own WikiLeaks-inspired whistleblowers’ site, SafeHouse. (Can’t beat them? Send SEAL Team Six. ~Bob.)

Cop's rape comment sparks wave of 'SlutWalks'
I agree with them. But think they should start with the capitals of Muslim countries where blaming rape on the victims is government and religious policy. BTW, I’ve read that “slut” was originally a useful word meaning something like “kitchen help,” but the help being often taken advantage of or abused by the lords of the manor, it pejorated. ~Bob. Excerpt: An international series of protests known as SlutWalks, sparked by a Toronto police officer's flippant comment that women should avoid dressing like "sluts" to avoid being raped or victimized, is taking root in the United States. Some women and men who protest dress in nothing more remarkable than jeans and T-shirts, while others wear provocative or revealing outfits to bring attention to "slut-shaming," or shaming women for being sexual, and the treatment of sexual assault victims. "It was taking the blame off the rapist and on the victim," said Nicole Sullivan, 21, a student at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and an organizer of the SlutWalk planned Saturday in that city. "So we are using these efforts to reclaim the word 'slut.'"

New York Times Tried to Revive the "Crazy Vet" Meme
Excerpt: One of the most enduring themes of the Viet Nam era was that of the badly damaged Vietnam vet who came home and created mayhem – all because of his experiences and training. It was a myth that died hard only because the war was so unpopular and so many people wanted to believe it. BG Burkett in his book Stolen Valor, completely takes all the underlying premises that supported that myth apart with facts and statistics. I don’t have time to relate them all but I cannot recommend that book highly enough. That said, this article by Luke Mogelson in the New York Times Magazine (via PJ Tatler) entitled “The Beast In The Heart Of Every Fighting Man” is a travesty. It’s subhead gives you a clue why:

Orrin Hatch: 'We're going to win' against National Labor Relations Board in South Carolina
What? Businessmen instead of the government should make economic decisions about their companies. Shameful. If they don’t like it, let them move overseas! ~Bob. Excerpt: Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican, expressed confidence that Republicans will win the fight against the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) power grab in South Carolina. “We’re going to win that one,” Hatch told The Daily Caller, referring to the NLRB’s recent charge against The Boeing Company for plans to open a non-union factory in the southern state.

UK: Judge Tells Immigrant Drug Dealer on Benefits: 'Learn English, Get a Job and Stop Smoking Cannabis'
Excerpt: A judge gave an immigrant drug dealer a verbal dressing-down by telling him to 'get a job, learn English and stop smoking cannabis'. Pakistani-born Mohammed Ramzan, 32, had been spending £20 a day on cannabis, paid for by his benefits from the taxpayer.
After admitting three drug possession counts following police raids on his home in Derby, he faced a verbal tirade from a Crown Court judge. As he was handed a suspended jail term at Derby Crown Court, Judge Andrew Hamilton told Ramzan, who had spoken in court through an interpreter: 'It's about time you learnt to speak English.

Mark Steyn Reacts to bin Laden Killing: 'This is strong horse/weak horse all in one.'
Excerpt: “I think this is strong horse-weak horse all in one. If you want highly trained, superbly equipped warriors on a precise, targeted mission, to go in and do what they’re supposed to do, then this is a brilliant operation,” Steyn said. “I think when you look at everything surrounding it, including the reaction in Washington, and the facts on the ground in Abbottabad, then I think it’s, we’re deep in weak horse territory, in part because our so-called ally feels it can in effect, de facto officially shelter Osama bin Laden, his three wives, and his 13 children – as the Senator said on your show the other day. And they know, the Pakistanis know they will pay no price for it. That’s real weak horse stuff. That’s serious weak horse stuff.”

Judge Files Complaint Against German Chancellor Angela Merkel over Bin Laden Comments
And you thought we were too PC! ~Bob. Excerpt: A Hamburg judge has filed a criminal complaint against Chancellor Angela Merkel for "endorsing a crime" after she stated she was "glad" that Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces. Meanwhile a new poll reveals that a majority of Germans do not see the terrorist's death as a reason to celebrate.

In Raid on bin Laden, Little-Known 'National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency' Played Vital Role
Excerpt: President Obama’s first brush with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency was ignominious. Out for lunch in May 2009, at a Five Guys burger franchise in Washington, the new president started to shake the hands of other customers, TV cameras in tow. Then he turned to men with government ID badges. “So, what do you do?” Obama asked. “I work at NGA, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency,” one said. “Outstanding. How long have you been doing that?” the president wondered. “Six years.” Obama then asked: “So, explain to me exactly what this National Geospatial--” His voice trailed off. “Uh, we work with, uh, satellite imagery.” Obama: “Sounds like good work.” The response is obscured by the audio. Suffice it to say: Obama knows what the NGA does today. (“Say, could we use that to turn out the union vote in key districts?” ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Al-Qaeda offered the first confirmation of the death of its leader today, saying in a statement posted to a jihadist Internet forum that the group will continue to target Americans and America's allies, and that bin Laden's blood, "will not be wasted"

It’s Just Lipstick on a Pig, Mr. President
Excerpt: Despite the good news this week about Osama bin Laden’s demise, all is not rosy for President Barack Obama — at least in the eyes of the American people. The approval of his handling of the economy hit an all-time low with only 34 percent of Americans giving him a thumbs up, according to a CBS/New York Times poll. Looking for a reason why? According to the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report, unemployment rose from 8.8 percent to 9 percent in April. And though the U.S. economy added 244,000 jobs, beating expectations, the bad news is that when the bar for success is set so low, even increasing unemployment and decent job growth can seem like a silver lining on a dark and stormy cloud.

Repressing Women is Sharia's raison d'etre
Excerpt: Al-Qaeda's harsh and anti-democratic version of Islam was irrelevant in the Arab spring earlier this year, when tumult against oppressive regimes rocked Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Bahrain and Kuwait. Women took to the streets. In Egypt the unemployment rate for young women is almost 60 per cent. They have a huge stake in reform. But when a steering committee of 10 prominent Egyptians was set up to fill the vacuum left by the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, women were conspicuously absent. Not just sexual inequality, but sexual repression, is a structural problem in the Muslim world. Millions of young men cannot have a girlfriend and are unable to find a wife because they are unable to find a job.

Class Action Lawyers Go After Social Networks
Excerpt: Class action lawyers have found a new set of targets: social networking sites. As Overlawyered reports, class action lawsuits were recently filed against both Facebook and Twitter.

There's no Shortage of Mommy-Lawsuits
Excerpt: With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we took the liberty of rounding up some of our favorite mom-themed lawsuits. Does mother always know best? We'll leave that up to you.

Frivolous lawsuits drain state of employment
excerpt: Bad lawsuits cost good jobs. One way to create jobs in the Bay Area would be for our Legislature and governor to pass legal reform laws — especially stopping vexatious litigants who wipe out jobs by repeatedly filing frivolous lawsuits against our small business owners. Vexatious litigants target small businesses where the cost of a legal defense exceeds the cost to settle. Many businesses simply decide their best choice is to settle out of court .

If Our 'Food Stamp Recovery' Persists, Obama Will Lose Big
Excerpt: I have noticed something unsettling in my own life lately: I know a lot of people who are on food stamps or some kind of extraordinary government assistance. The count right now stands around 10 people, which is a lot for a small town denizen such as myself. That is a personal reminder of a very serious, yet rarely discussed economic, social, and indeed political problem: the fact that better than one out of seven Americans today requires government help to put food on the table. The following graph is only for the hale and hearty: (None of them are cheating, of course. ~Bob.)

After bin Laden: Is the War on Terror Winding Down?
Excerpt: Studying the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Beirut in 1983 (after a suicide bombing killed 241 U.S. service members) and from Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1991 (after 19 U.S. soldiers died in a firefight), he concluded that the United States was a “paper tiger.” Based on such anecdotal evidence, the cloistered bin Laden launched his war against the United States. He failed to understand that Beirut and Mogadishu represented a peacekeeping and a humanitarian mission, respectively, with limited national interests at stake. Nor did he anticipate the national rage that an attack on the homeland of the magnitude of 9/11 would provoke, or that the U.S. response would be to invade Afghanistan, topple his benefactors, the Taliban, and send al-Qaida scurrying across the mountains. He likewise misjudged the effectiveness of the armed drone strikes that across 10 years and two U.S. administrations continued to reach into supposed sanctuaries in Pakistan and methodically shrink bin Laden’s circle of friends and trusted lieutenants. SEAL Team Six delivered the final lesson about America’s long memory and will to fight. (The author, James Kitfield, clearly believes the “War on Terror” is over. He implies that we “won,” though he never quite says so, and that we should now retreat from the world and crawl back into our shell. “Arab Spring” has shown a better way, he says. Perhaps he should talk to Laura Logan about that. The war isn’t won and it isn’t over. We aren’t at war with a single man, or a single group, not a nation-state, or even a collection of nation-states. The reason terrorism is still used is because it still works. We exact no penalties against the societies that use and support it as a political weapon. If Achmed or Johnnie blows himself up taking 50 random bystanders with him, there is no price to be paid by Achmed’s or Johnnie’s family, neighborhood, town, or nation. If there is no societal cost, they get to use the terror weapon cheaply. Eventually, we in the West will understand this, and begin to apply “costs” to terror-supporters. When the cost of blowing up 50 at random is a village of 500 or 1000, it will stop very quickly because the societal cost is “too high” for the terror-supporting societies to bear. The reality is we can’t stop every terrorist; we can’t identify every one of them in advance. Yet, every terrorist needs to eat, buy supplies, live somewhere, go to religious services, make human contact with others—live in a society, in other words. That society CAN stop him; they know him, they can withdraw their support, they can ostracize his ideas, they can deny him comfort and, in extremis, physically prevent him from acting against the whole society’s interests. But they will only do so if the societal cost is so high they’re unwilling to pay it. But, but, that’s barbaric. Yes, it is, but that’s who we’re fighting: barbarians. Civilized societies don’t allow terrorists to roam free. Civilized societies have police and militaries specifically to prevent the potential barbarians within their domain from running loose (war fighting takes far less than a majority of a military’s time). There are as many screwballs in the West as there are in other places, so why weren’t we blowing ourselves up long before this started? Because our societies won’t tolerate it. No, we don’t offer classes on avoiding terrorism, but the message is all around us. I don’t recall anyone ever teaching me specifically not to become a cannibal, either, but, again, the message is all around us. When being a terrorist “goes out of fashion”—because the social cost is too high to pay—the society as a whole becomes terror free and polices itself to remain that way. And, until we can learn this lesson and apply it as needed until it takes, this war will go on. Ron P)

The Fog of Fog
No, It’s the “Fog of Obama.” ~Bob. Excerpt: The official White House account of Osama bin Laden's demise has seen more slapdash cosmetic surgery over the past week than your average "Real Housewives" reality-show star. President Obama's allies attribute the bungled "narrative" (their word, not mine) to the "Fog of War." But each passing day -- and each new set of hapless revisions -- shows that what really ails the administration is the Fog of Fog. Errors happen. Miscommunications happen. Confusing the name of which of bin Laden's myriad sons died (Hamza, not Khalid), for example, is no biggie. But the hourly revamping of key details of Sunday's raid suggests something far beyond the usual realm of situational uncertainty that accompanies any military operation.

NPR Hires Firm to Lobby for its Taxpayer Funding
Your tax dollars at work. ~Bob. Excerpt: It will remain unclear how much NPR is paying for these lobbying services until second quarter lobbying forms are filed. But before NPR hired the firm to represent it on funding issues, the network spent $131,666 in 2011’s first quarter on an in-house lobbyist.

In South Carolina Debate, Candidates Focus on Foreign Policy
Excerpt: But while Pawlenty was seen as the only A-list candidate in the debate, Cain ended the night with the title of “winner,” confirmed by a focus group put together by Frank Luntz which was aired on Fox News’ “Hannity” after the debate. The focus group participants were in near universal agreement that Cain stole the show.

Obama's 'Gangster Politics'
Excerpt: The president is about to order companies that do business with the federal government to disclose their political donations. President Obama has officially kicked off his 2012 re-election campaign, and don't Republicans know it. The president is expected any day now to sign an executive order that routs 70 years of efforts to get politics out of official federal business. Under the order, all companies (and their officers) would be required to list their political donations as a condition to bidding for government contracts. Companies can bid and lose out for the sin of donating to Republicans. Or they can protect their livelihoods by halting donations to the GOP altogether—which is the White House's real aim. Think of it as "not-pay to play." (No, think of it as “The Chicago Way.” ~Bob.)

A "Muslim-American woman" spreads misinformation about Islam at Fox News
Excerpt: Saima Sheikh is media communications leader for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The Ahmadiyya, of course, are considered heretics by mainstream Muslims for their belief in "the Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani." Saima Sheikh doesn't mention this all-important fact here, but instead gives the impression to unwary and uninformed non-Muslims that some eminent Muslim authority has declared violent jihad un-Islamic. In reality, it is in part for that declaration that Ahmadis are being ferociously persecuted today in Pakistan and Indonesia, and the governing authorities do not even consider them to be true Muslims.

Terrorist Group Setting Up Operations Near Border
There will be a price in blood for open borders. ~Bob. Excerpt: A terrorist organization whose home base is in the Middle East has established another home base across the border in Mexico. "They are recognized by many experts as the 'A' team of Muslim terrorist organizations," a former U.S. intelligence agent told 10News. The former agent, referring to Shi'a Muslim terrorist group Hezbollah, added, "They certainly have had successes in big-ticket bombings."

Obama adviser: American freedom, equality are just ‘myths’
Typical Obot. ~Bob. Excerpt: President Obama’s faith adviser, Eboo Patel, blasted what he called the “myths” of America – describing them as beliefs that the country is “a land of freedom and equality and justice.” Patel explained how he used the “faith-based movement” to channel his rage at America “in a direction far more compassionate and far more merciful.” Patel, a Muslim activist from Chicago, further implied that had he grown up in the 1960s, he may have joined the Weather Underground terrorist group led by William Ayers.

MAS Official: Bin Laden a "Visionary"
If there is real “Islamophobia,” it is people like her who create it. ~Bob. Excerpt: A leader of a major American Muslim organization, the Muslim American Society (MAS), is arguing that there "was nothing wrong with" Osama bin Laden's dream of creating a renewed Caliphate. Khalilah Sabra's comments are the most recent and worrisome from the group, which has a long history of defending alleged terrorists. Sabra, the director of the North Carolina branch of MAS' Freedom Foundation, made the statement in a sometimes disjointed article entitled "Agreeing to Disagree About the Death of Osama Bin Laden" that was released Wednesday under the MAS logo. The statement aligns more with a period of Sabra's life in the late 1980s, when she traveled to Afghanistan with bin Laden's predecessor, Abdullah Azzam, to provide aid to the mujahideen fighting the Soviet Union. Her statement doesn't defend bin Laden's terror attack on 9/11. But it does laud his vision of an Islamic state and his desire to "liberate" the Afghani people.

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