Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Political Digest december 30, 2009

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.

Justice transfers Panthers pursuer out of D.C. office
Have to protect the black thugs who intimidated white voters who might not be for Obama. Anyone who thinks the Obama administration is going to protect freedom needs to read this. Freedom to vote the wrong way isn’t a freedom they will protect. This one story tells you all you need to know about Barack Obama. Excerpt: The veteran Justice Department voting rights section chief who recommended going forward on a civil complaint against members of the New Black Panther Party after they disrupted a Pennsylvania polling place in last year's elections has been removed from his post and transferred to the U.S. attorney's office in South Carolina. Justice Department officials confirmed Monday that Christopher Coates, who signed off on the complaint's filing in federal court in Philadelphia in January accusing the party and three of its members of civil rights violations, would begin his new assignment next month. The complaint, which accused party members of intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place while wearing black berets, black combat boots, black dress shirts and black jackets with military-style markings, and wielding a nightstick, was later dismissed by Obama administration political appointees at the Justice Department. The incident gained national attention when it was captured on videotape and distributed on YouTube. The dismissal resulted in outrage by some Republican members of Congress and in a formal investigation by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which subpoenaed Mr. Coates and J. Christian Adams, the lead attorney in the case, to testify on why the complaint was dismissed. The commission also is seeking documents to explain why the charges were dropped just as a federal judge was about to approve sanctions.

How Obama hides bad news
The Friday news Dump. The Truth

About Spain's Green Economy and What It's Done to Their Country
Excerpt: Today on Beck, Spanish Professor Gabriel Calzada-Alvarez was on to discuss the truth about the economic perils of a "green strategy" for a country. Barack Obama has been praising Spain on this very subject recently, but you don't hear the full truth. Professor Calzada did a green-study and presented some eye-opening statistics. Some statistics which the United States would be wise to make note of.

Obama Promises Skyrocketing Energy Costs
Great. This promise he’ll keep.

Obama vs. Obama on the Stimulus

Gibbs Passes On One Last Chance to Make Health Care Negotiations Transparent
Excerpt: On This Week this morning, I noted to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs that there was some deal-making that went on as the health care reform legislation hit the House and especially the Senate -- the kind of deal-making that was one of the reasons that President Obama, then Senator Obama, pledged on the campaign trail that "we'll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so the people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents and who is making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies." PolitiFact labeled that a broken promise but in the spirit of the Christmas season, I was more generous, noting that there remains one more step in the negotiation process, and in fact last week President Obama told PBS about this final reconciliation between the House bill and the Senate bill, "We hope to have a whole bunch of folks over here in the West Wing, and I'll be rolling up my sleeves and spending some time before the full Congress even gets into session, because the American people need this now." So, with that in mind, I asked Gibbs, will the president open up the doors for this final negotiation? He's in charge of it. It's going to be taking place at the West Wing. The President will have Democratic leaders from the House and Senate negotiating this House and Senate bill. Will he commit to opening up that process to C-SPAN cameras so we can see how this happens? (Short answer: don’t be stupid—that was to get votes from the rubes.)

Obama’s broken promises
The reliably left St. Pete Times lists nine broken Obama promises, 50 stalled, 76 kept and 20 compromised. Doesn’t list the “not a penny more in taxes for people making under $250k” promise, though the $1 a pack cigarette tax hits the poor hardest.

David Asper: Learn a lesson from Israel on airport security
Excerpt: If someone is alone, paid for their ticket with cash, comes from a place known for its extremism and looks nervous, I'm good with an extraction to the extent that they've made it to the departure gate. If after further examination its discovered that this prototypical terrorist doesn't have a bomb or other weapon then I'll be happy to see him enjoy the in flight movie. The Israelis have got airport security down to a science because necessity forced it. Maybe North America and Europe need to go back to the drawing board and take a few lessons in this regard.

Leftist Blogs Take Glee in Pope Attack
These leftists may be pacifist towards Iran and North Korea, but they can be tough on old, frail, unarmed religious leaders. Never turn your back on a left-wing pacifist—he’ll run up the Jolly Roger and have at you! Excerpt: The Daily Kos’s “Late Afternoon/Early Evening Open Thread,” for example, featured this posting at 8:10 PM Eastern Time: “Having just about enough of this male dominance bull---t, one bold Italian woman ran up and knocked down the Pope and a Cardinal!” The woman, Susanna Maiolo, 25, was actually Swiss-Italian, and while the Pontiff himself came out of the episode unhurt and able to complete his celebration of Midnight Mass, 87-year-old French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray was left with broken bones requiring hip replacement surgery. The comments that soon appeared on blogs known to be critical of the social teachings of the Catholic Church were so harsh that even fellow bloggers of similar ideological bent were outraged. In a Dec. 26 a Daily Kos article entitled “Anti-Catholicism,” a “former Republican” Catholic woman and “forester/biologist” from the Deep South wrote, “I logged onto and read about the Pope getting knocked over by a mentally disturbed woman.” While several people pointed out the Pope’s age and how this could have easily resulted in a broken hip, many more rejoiced in the event.” One blogger’s “attack on Catholicism and Catholics was met with near universal approval within the HuffingtonPost community.”

States in play: An early look at 2011 redistricting
Why state legislative and governor races control Washington. Excerpt: The gainers are, not surprisingly, primarily in the South and Southwest, the regions that have been growing fastest for much of the past two decades. Among the eight states -- Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington -- Republicans control the governorship and both houses of the state legislature in five. Control in Nevada is split, while Arizona and Washington use independent commissions to draw their lines, taking their legislatures and governors out of play. The losers -- again, not surprisingly -- come from the Northeast and the industrial Midwest (a.k.a. the Rust Belt). In five of the 10 states -- Ohio, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania -- the parties split control of the governorships and legislatures, while in Illinois, Massachusetts and New York, Democrats control the state government. Iowa and New Jersey use independent redistricting commissions. Governor's races next year in six states are absolutely critical to both parties' hopes for redistricting. These states are large in population and, depending on the party affiliation of the governor, could see major shifts to one side or the other in the line-drawing process. Republicans' major opportunities lie in the heart of the Rust Belt, in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In Michigan, Republicans are heavily favored to win the open-seat governor's race and already control the state Senate. The large Democratic majority in the state House, however (66 Democrats, 43 Republicans) virtually ensures that the GOP won't have sole control over the line-drawing.

Under the new electoral map, Bush could have won in 2004 without Ohio
Excerpt: But considering that many Obama states remain winnable for Republicans (for example, Colorado, Virginia, and Nevada), it's worth looking back to 2004, a much closer and more ideologically charged election contest. For that year, the swing is five electoral votes -- added to George W. Bush's 286, and subracted to John Kerry's 252 (not counting his faithless elector). On the new map, the 2004 election ends with 291 for Bush, 247 for Kerry. The bottom line: On this new map, if John Kerry had won everything he got in real life, plus Ohio's newly reduced number of electors (18) he still would have lost the election with 265 electoral votes. The projected map barely changes anything in terms of net electoral votes, but it crosses a critical threshold for Democratic presidential candidates in the next three elections.

Settlement reached in Nevada governor's divorce
(During my five terms in the Massachusetts senate, I never had an affair with a Playboy model, though a couple of former girlfriends—who read this blog—could certainly have qualified. There were, however, a couple of enraged ferrets.) Excerpt: The 65-year-old governor filed for divorce in May 2008. He cited incompatibility with his wife of 23 years, and in one court document compared her to an "enraged ferret." Dawn Gibbons, 55, accused her husband of infidelity and of using her to foster his political ambitions. She accused her husband of having affairs with a Playboy model and the estranged wife of a Reno doctor.

Suicide bomber kills at least 30 amid Shiite observances in Karachi, Pakistan
Islam being a “Religion of Peace”—just ask BO—this outrage must have been done by, say, out-of-control Methodists. Seriously, it isn’t western “Islamophobes” who destroy the reputation of Islam; it is the endless daily stories reporting endless murders in the name of God by Muslims—more often than not of fellow Muslims who believe a tad differently. For those who have not read much about Islam, Shi'a Muslims believe that Ali, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, was the rightful successor to Muhammad. Sunnis believe that Abu Bakr was Muhammad’s rightful successor. They have been killing each other over this since the 7th century. Yes, Catholics and Protestants have had a go at each other many times, but they seem to have gotten over it, even in Northern Ireland. When millions of Muslims of all sects stand up and assert that murder in the name of God is blasphemy and renounce the claim by the Jihadists, based on the Qur’an and the Hadiths that Islam should rule the world by force if necessary, then Islam will be accepted as a true “Religion of Peace.” It is Murdering Muslims that drag Islam in the mud, not those speaking against murder, the subjugation of women, child marriage and the tyranny of Shari’a law.

Over Detroit Skies
An account from a passenger. These are the innocent strangers, including children, who Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to murder in the name of God. Worth reading.

CAIR: Fort Hood Co-Conspirator
Excerpt: With the FBI cutting off ties to the Council on American-Islamic Relations and now subpoenaing some 12,000 internal CAIR documents under temporary restraining order as part of the bureau’s ongoing criminal investigation of CAIR, the terrorist front group is suddenly cooperating with the FBI — or at least making a show of it. Suddenly CAIR, an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator, is acting like a good citizen. Suddenly it’s concerned about young Muslim-American men going on jihad. Suddenly it’s concerned about “certain” passages of the Quran inspiring jihadists. It’s all too little, too late. Thanks to CAIR, 42 brave American soldiers were gunned down by an Islamic nut in Texas. That’s right, thanks to CAIR. How so? For starters, it was the intimidating and ruthless CAIR that almost single-handedly created a climate of fear of reporting any suspicious anti-American behavior on the part of Muslim soldiers like Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, accused of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.

Lying to Ourselves
Excerpt: On Christmas Day, an Islamist fanatic tried to blow up an airplane whose passengers were mostly Christians. And we helped. Our government gets no thanks for preventing a tragedy. Only the bomber's ineptitude preserved the lives of nearly 300 innocents. How did we help Umar Abdulmutallab, a wealthy Muslim university graduate who decided that Allah wanted him to slaughter Christians on their most joyous holiday? By continuing to lie to ourselves. Although willing -- at last -- to briefly use the word "terror," yesterday President Obama still refused to make a connection between the action, the date and Islam. Was it just a ticketing accident that led to a bombing attempt on Christmas? Was it all about blackout dates and frequent-flyer miles? It wasn't. You know it. And I know it. But our government refuses to know it. Despite vast databases crammed with evidence, our leaders -- of both parties -- still refuse to connect Islamist terrorism with Islam. Our insistence that "Islam's a religion of peace" would have been cold comfort to the family members of those passengers had the bomb detonated as planned. Abdulmutallab's own father warned our diplomats that his son had been infected by Islamist extremism. Our diplomats did nothing. Why? Because (despite a series of embassy bombings) the State Department dreads linking terrorism to Islam. Contrast our political correctness with Abdulmutallab's choice of Christmas for his intended massacre. Our troops stand down on Muslim holidays. A captive terrorist merely has to claim that a soldier dog-eared a Koran, and it's courts-martial all around. We proclaim that the terrorists "don't represent Islam." OK, whom do they represent? The Franciscans? We don't get to decide what's Islam and what isn't. Muslims do. And far too many of them approve of violent jihad.

Two al Qaeda leaders behind terror plot were released from Gitmo
(They were released by the Bush administration, bowing to leftwing/international pressure. It will only get worse. It’s like we released all the SS Nazi prisoners from POW camps in 1943, because they didn’t get lawyers. Excerpt: Two of the four leaders allegedly behind the al Qaeda plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines passenger jet over Detroit were released by the U.S. from the Guantanamo prison in November, 2007, according to American officials and Department of Defense documents. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the Northwest bombing in a Monday statement that vowed more attacks on Americans. American officials agreed to send the two terrorists from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia where they entered into an "art therapy rehabilitation program" and were set free, according to U.S. and Saudi officials. Guantanamo prisoner #333, Muhamad Attik al-Harbi, and prisoner #372, Said Ali Shari, were sent to Saudi Arabia on Nov. 9, 2007, according to the Defense Department log of detainees who were released from American custody. Al-Harbi has since changed his name to Muhamad al-Awfi.

Obama ignores Flight 253 jihadist's ties to Al-Qaeda and Fort Hood imam, calls him "isolated extremist"
Gee, if all these “isolated extremists” ever get together and, say, develop an ideology, it could get scary!

The lesson some people get from this is….
….that we must step up our efforts against racism and profiling! Better 300 people, including young children, die than someone be offended. I’d be okay with this if only adult PC types died because of PC. But the PC folks who banned DDT weren’t among the millions of children who died from Malaria. Which is too bad, but the innocent always pay.

This is What the Muslim World Does to Its Children
The beauty of diversity—bloody children.

Iran’s Resurgent Revolution
Excerpt: On December 19, one of the Iranian government’s most prominent critics, Grand Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri, passed away. His demise may yet portend the beginning of the end for Iran’s oppressive regime. The regime may have been relieved that this independent source of religious authority and popularity among the people would no longer be around, but the Shiite holiday of Ashura fell on the seventh day following his death. The rallies mourning Montazeri combined with the Ashura celebration, creating a storm of anti-regime activity that only brutal suppression can contain. Ayatollah Montazeri was a ferocious critic of the regime and advocate of ending clerical rule in government. Clerics, Montazeri believed, should serve as advisors to elected rulers. He wanted freedom of speech and assembly, and became particularly incensed in recent months over the fraudulent re-election of Ahmadinejad and widespread human rights abuses. His ardent opposition to the regime made him a hero among the people, despite his original role in bringing Ayatollah Khomeini to power and founding the Islamic Republic.

They still don't love us
Excerpt: If you thought America would quickly regain the world's love, admiration and -- most important -- it's willingness to follow the U.S. lead once Barack Obama came to power, the news is disappointing. A useful guide to what has transpired comes from Venezuela's president and his most peculiar sulfurometer. Hugo Chávez, it seems, can smell the Devil, especially when the Prince of Darkness takes up residence in the body of an American president. Watching Chávez's devil-spotting shows that efforts to turn America's foes into friends will, in many cases, prove utterly useless. There is an important lesson there for everyone, including the resident of the White House….. How is this possible? Wasn't Obama supposed to make the world love America again? Wasn't Bush the source of all of Washington's woes? The opinion of one man, especially the president of Venezuela, is not terribly important, but it helps illustrate the folly of believing that ``tone'' determines international behavior. Clearly, Chávez's problem is not one man. It never was. Chávez's anti-Americanism was not the result of his dislike for Bush. Some will say what matters is not the man but his policies. But even that does not tell the whole story. Some countries and politicians have goals and interests that conflict sharply with the United States. Regardless of how the man in the Oval Office speaks, regardless of how charming he is. And some nations and leaders will define themselves by their anti-Americanism. Still, the conciliatory tone from President Obama does serve a useful purpose. When Bush was president, it was easy to believe that people like Chávez or regimes such as Iran's acted the way they did because America spoke in tones they found offensive or overly confrontational. Now we know there was more.

Israel Calls ALL Ambassadors Home For Special Meeting in Jerusalem
Hummmm. Wonder if Israel decided they can’t wait any longer. Excerpt: This is the first time a conference for all of Israel’s Heads of Missions has been held. The idea is to facilitate direct dialogue with the country’s leaders, mutual updates on major diplomatic issues, and a discussion of action plans to deal with the challenges awaiting the State of Israel in the international arena in the coming year, including the Iranian threat.

Seven Things Wrong With The Anti-Terrorism Policies of the TSA
Excerpt: There are several fundamental problems with the way the United States Transportation Safety Administration combats terrorism. These have their roots in fighting the war for the freedom of mankind as a public relations problem. Too often we take a security theater approach, apparently in an effort to reassure the public that everything is fine and the system is working.

Sen. Dodd, D-Conn., slashed aviation security funding for pet constituency
Now that our attention is focused on airlinesecurity measures thanks to the failed airline attack on Christmas Day, it's worth mentioning that one senator took money away from aviation security to line the pockets of a constituency that supported his presidential campaign in a big way. Back in July, Senator Chris Dodd, D-Conn., proposed an amendment reducing aviation security appropriations by $4.5 million in favor of firefighter grants -- a notoriously inneffective program. In fact, the money was specifically "for screening operations and the amount for explosives detection systems." The amendment was also sponsored by Sen. Lieberman, D-Conn., and Sen. Carper, D-Del., but Dodd deserves to be singled out here because the firefighters union is a pet constituency of his. In 2007 he campaigned all through Iowa with the firefighters union. It was one of the few distinguishable features of Dodd's ill-fated presidential bid

Preventing the Next Terrorist Attack
I’ve long referred to the airport screenings as “the illusion of security.” I once forgot to take my pocket knife out before I flew (actually, I’ve lost 3 or 4 this way). I loaded it unknowingly with my pocket stuff into my back pack and it went through without a question. I believe I could get a bomb or gun on an airplane, with only a little technical help. Excerpt: Additional security measures reported in the aftermath of the Christmas bomber’s failed attempt to down a U.S. airline will amount to naught because they don’t address the central security failure. Keeping international passengers in their seats for the last hour of a flight will do nothing but create wet seat cushions, as those who need “to go,” including children, are prohibited access to the toilet. Any terrorist who sneaks an explosive on a plane will simply detonate it mid-flight or after takeoff. Limiting passengers to a single carry-on bag will have no effect. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had only one carry-on, and apparently strapped the explosive device to his leg. Will additional pat-downs work? Not if a terrorist hides the explosive in his underwear… Unfortunately, this president doesn’t seem interested in taking the war to the terrorists. He seems dedicated to the proposition that this is not a war at all, but a diplomatic problem first, a criminal justice problem second. That approach will work just as well as it did before 9/11.

Senate climate change fight looks as tough as healthcare reform
Excerpt: Senate Democrats will face a problem when they return in January every bit as tough as crafting the healthcare bill: Assembling a climate and energy package that can be shoehorned into the election-year calendar. Imposing limits on greenhouse gases is a White House and Democratic priority, but it’s stuck in line behind health care, Wall Street reform and jobs legislation. It’s also become increasingly apparent since the Copenhagen climate summit that the Senate will go forward in a dramatically different direction than the House, which approved its own climate bill last summer. Environmentalists familiar with Democratic plans say party leaders remain committed to bringing up a bill next year. They are looking to Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) effort to craft a compromise plan with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). (Another step towards complete government control of the economy and the “efficiency” of central planning, which always, always leads to the curtailment of individual rights in the name of the common good. See USSR, China, National Socialism.)

A Briton Is Executed in China, Britain Says
There was a time when this would have brought British gunboats and British Marines, but there would have been few Brits named Akmal then. Now they have too few of either to challenge a great power like China. Not that I have any sympathy for drug smugglers, if indeed he was one. Excerpt: The man, Akmal Shaikh, 53, was executed in the far western Chinese region of Xinjiang, where he had been convicted in 2008 of entering the country carrying a suitcase stuffed with heroin. It was not clear how the execution was carried out…. Mr. Shaikh was born in Pakistan and moved to Britain at age 11. Family members say he has a long history of mental problems and he had been duped into carrying the suitcase. He left for China in 2007, they said, hoping to start a career as a pop singer.

Feel the Need to Express Your Political Views? In China, that Will Get You Serious Jail Time.
The centrally-planned state cannot tolerate dissent. Excerpt: A Chinese court has sentenced a leading Chinese dissident to eleven years in prison. Liu Xiaobo was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power.” The human rights activist and academic was arrested after he co-authored a petition called Charter 08 that called for freedom of assembly, expression and religion in China. Human Rights Watch condemned Liu’s conviction, calling it a “travesty of justice.” Liu previously spent twenty-one months in prison for taking part in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Meanwhile, a top Chinese police official has ordered preemptive strikes against perceived threats to social order. In a speech published earlier today, Vice Minister of Public Security Yang Huanning said Chinese officials must step up efforts to curb the enemy by “predicting, preempting and discovering them.” He also urged Chinese police forces to “strike at hostile forces at home and abroad.”

Gee, my cat, too!

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