Saturday, February 13, 2010

Political Digest February 13, 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.

Due to the record piles of Global Warming in DC, or Climate Change as they started calling it when they discovered the globe wasn’t warming, the government has been shut down and Congress out of session. Has this had a negative impact on your life yet?

A letter I sent to Sen. Jim Webb

State Democrats show true colors in picking lieutenant governor candidate
Shouldn't the second-place finisher get the nod, regardless of race?,0,2351107.column
Can’t have too many dark-skinned fellows on the Democrat ticket, can we? Harry Reid wouldn’t like it. Excerpt: They would never, ever withhold the medal from you because you have black skin. They'd never say, "Oh, wait a minute, we have too many black athletes winning gold medals, let's find some Greek or a Korean or Indian or Irishman because they haven't won enough, so their ethnic groups will give us money." That would not only be wrong. It would be racism at its ugliest, racism for a price. Yet isn't that exactly what the Illinois Democratic Party is doing to Art Turner in the backroom politicking for Illinois lieutenant governor? Turner is a man of vast experience, with 30 years in the Legislature. He's an independent Democrat who broke into politics by defeating the machine. So he has the experience to actually serve as the governor if something happened to Pat Quinn. But Turner came in second to the hapless pawnbroker, Scott Lee Cohen. Now that the pawnbroker has withdrawn, Illinois Democrats are worried about Turner. They're busy floating other names to be haggled over by Democratic leaders to fill the lieutenant governor's spot on the ticket.

Climate Gotterdammerung
Excerpt: Dissenters who pointed out these and other flaws in the IPCC consensus were demonized as deniers and ignored by the media, but they are now vindicated. (The American media are still averting their gaze, though the British press — even the left-wing Guardian and the Independent — is turning on the climate campaigners with deserved vengeance.) The IPCC is mumbling about non-specific reforms and changes in the process shaping its next massive climate report, due out in three or four years. The IPCC should emulate a typical feature of American government commissions and include a minority report from dissenters or scientists with a different emphasis. But the next IPCC report may not matter much: With the collapse of the Kyoto-Copenhagen process and the likely rejection of cap-and-trade in Congress, climate mania may have run its course.

Climategate: Plausibility and the blogosphere
Excerpt: Mr. Ravetz is an environmental consultant and professor of philosophy of science best known for his books challenging the assumptions of scientific objectivity, discussing the science wars and post-normal science.—We can begin to see what went seriously wrong when we examine what the leading practitioners of this ‘evangelical science’ of global warming (thanks to Angela Wilkinson) took to be the plain and urgent truth in their case. This was not merely that there are signs of exceptional disturbance in the ecosphere due to human influence, nor even that the climate might well be changing more rapidly now than for a very long time. Rather, they propounded, as a proven fact, Anthropogenic Carbon-based Global Warming. There is little room for uncertainty in this thesis; it effectively needs hockey-stick behaviour in all indicators of global temperature, so that it is all due to industrialisation. Its iconic image is the steadily rising graph of CO2 concentrations over the past fifty years at the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii (with the implicit assumption that CO2 had always previously been at or below that starting level). Since CO2 has long been known to be a greenhouse gas, with scientific theories quantifying its effects, the scientific case for this dangerous trend could seem to be overwhelmingly simple, direct, and conclusive. Even now, the catalogue of unscientific practices revealed in the mainstream media is very small in comparison to what is available on the blogosphere. Details of shoddy science and dirty tricks abound. By the end, the committed inner core were confessing to each other that global temperatures were falling, but it was far too late to change course. The final stage of corruption, cover-up, had taken hold. For the core scientists and the leaders of the scientific communities, as well as for nearly all the liberal media, ‘the debate was over’. Denying Climate Change received the same stigma as denying the Holocaust. Even the trenchant criticisms of the most egregious errors in the IPCC reports were kept ‘confidential’. And then came the e-mails.

Insecurity and Change Commission
Is there no end to the idiocy? Excerpt: Never mind Madoff, SEC gumshoes are on the climate beat. Mary Schapiro never uttered the word "Madoff" a year ago, in her first public speech as Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Now Ms. Schapiro is once again forcing investors to ask whether she understands her mission. On Wednesday Ms. Schapiro and two Democratic colleagues on the SEC overruled the two Republicans and issued guidance to public companies about disclosing the risks of global warming. You read that correctly. The agency that spent more than a decade ignoring evidence of Bernard Madoff's $50 billion fraud; the agency that spent even longer constructing a credit-ratings oligopoly that still threatens investors; the agency that in 2004 encouraged Wall Street firms to increase leverage and then failed to monitor them—this agency now has spare time to meditate on climate science. Ms. Schapiro took pains to note yesterday that the SEC is simply telling companies how to disclose information that could be material. "We are not opining on whether the world's climate is changing, at what pace it might be changing, or due to what causes. Nothing that the commission does today should be construed as weighing in on those topics," she said. Right. And it is pure coincidence that Ms. Schapiro works for a President seeking to limit carbon emissions administratively, as his cap-and-tax bill dies in the Senate. If this was an order from the White House or House Speaker's office, Ms. Schapiro may have had little leverage to push back, as Congress ponders whether financial reform will leave her jurisdiction intact.

House GOP document: We won showdown with President Obama
Excerpt: House Republicans won their televised debate with President Barack Obama last month, according to a GOP document distributed to lawmakers on Thursday. The document, obtained by The Hill, notes that Obama’s job approval ratings have dipped since the Jan. 29 meeting while Republican numbers have soared. Obama traveled to Baltimore to attend the House Republican retreat and engaged in testy exchanges with several members. Many political observers said Obama came away victorious. But Republican leaders are disputing that conventional wisdom, citing recent polls that indicate that they won the battle. In a Thursday afternoon conference call with rank-and-file House GOP lawmakers, leaders shared a list of survey data taken before and after the retreat.

Tauzin stepping down as head of PhRMA
I think he’s actually a Democrat. His support for the Pharma industry, both in Congress and later as the industry’s $2M-a-year association executive has cost Medicare and consumers billions of dollars over the last decade. Want to know why healthcare is so expensive? Tauzin is one of the reasons. Excerpt: Former Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) is stepping down as the head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Tauzin, 66, has been a major player on healthcare reform during the 111th Congress. He worked closely with the White House to strike a deal where the industry agreed to policy changes that would help pay for an overhaul of the nation's healthcare system. The pact limited these changes to $80 billion over 10 years. Some believe that the White House, as part of the deal, promised not to pursue drug reimportation legislation, which has long been opposed by PhRMA. But the White House and drug industry officials disputed those claims. Tauzin, a cancer survivor who makes $2 million a year, is leaving PhRMA voluntarily and will remain with the group until June 30 to help pick a successor, according to PhRMA. The search for Tauzin's replacement will be led by the PhRMA Board's Nominations and Compensation Committee, the group said.

Rep. Patrick Kennedy will not seek reelection
Another liberal reads the tea leaves, decides that leaving may keep the seat in Dem hands. Excerpt: Kennedy's time in Congress was decidedly uneven. He was rumored to be planning a Senate bid in 2000 but decided against running. He was tasked with chairing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in that same cycle with expectations within the party that they would seize back control of the House. It didn't happen. After his stint at the DCCC, Kennedy took on a far less high-profile role in Congress -- emerging only infrequently and not always in the best light. In the spring of 2006 Kennedy crashed his car into a police barricade near Capitol Hill; he entered rehab for addiction and depression days later. Over the summer, Kennedy admitted himself to a rehabilitation facility again. Patrick Kennedy's retirement means that for the first time in nearly five decades there will not be a member of the Kennedy family in Congress. His father, who served Massachusetts in the Senate for more than four decades, died on August 25. Kennedy's seat, which includes the northeastern reaches of the state, is strongly Democratic. President Barack Obama won the seat by 32 points in 2008 while Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) carried it by 26 points in 2004.

Reid nixes filibuster reform effort
Think ahead to being in the minority in 2013. Excerpt: Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday dismissed an effort by some Democrats to eliminate the filibuster, saying the chamber's procedures were designed to prevent the majority party from unilaterally changing the rules. Minutes before a pair of colleagues formally unveiled their proposal to eliminate filibusters, Reid told reporters he adhered to the long-standing Senate rule that only a two-thirds majority could change the chamber's rules. This high hurdle -- established decades ago in an effort to prevent a party with a simple majority from ruling the chamber with an iron fist -- would require eight Republicans to join the 59 members of the Democratic caucus to alter the rules, something Reid said is not going to happen.

House Republican retirements provide counter-conventional wisdom
Excerpt: A rapid-fire trio of Republican retirements -- Reps. Steve Buyer (Ind.), Vern Ehlers (Mich.) and Lincoln Diaz-Balart (Fla.) -- in the last two weeks have raised questions about whether the conventional wisdom that Democrats, facing a difficult political environment nationally, would head for the political hills. Republicans now have 19 open seats to defend while Democrats have 14 vacancies, including that of Rep. Patrick Kennedy (R.I.) who announced his retirement late last night. As we have said before, not all retirements are created equal, however, and -- judging by presidential performance in the open seat districts -- Democrats have at least nine endangered seats while Republicans carry (at most) five seats where the two national parties will spend money. While the two party leaders fight over what the current retirements mean, the real question is how much higher the number will go and where they will come from. In the 2008 cycle, there were 35 total retirements with 29 of them coming on the Republican side. The 2006 cycle had 33 open seats (12 Democratic, 21 Republican); in 2004 there were 34 retirements (15 Democratic, 19 Republican). That means that in the last three elections there were an average of 34 retirements with 23 of them coming on the Republican side and 11 for Democrats. If recent history holds then, only a few more retirements are in the offing -- great news for Democrats. Of course, there was a period of elections from 1992 to 1996 that saw 65, 48 and 49 members retire, respectively. Given the turbulence of the coming midterm election and the fact that Democratic retirements have been kept very low in the last few cycles, it's reasonable to expect the total number of retirements to go to 40 or even higher.

Harry Reid's jobs strategy a puzzle
Excerpt: Harry Reid has never been the most talkative or introspective of politicians, so interpreting his behavior and predicting what he'll do next has long been a popular, and difficult, Capitol parlor game. Thursday was particuarly puzzling for Reid-watchers. Did the Senate have a bipartisan deal on a jobs bill, or not? Depends on what time during the day you asked the question. First Max Baucus and Charles Grassley rolled out a compromise package, followed quickly by statements of praise from key Republicans and even the White House. And then, within a matter of hours, Reid calmly knocked down the whole house of cards, dismissing a bill that many Senators thought he'd already signed off on. So is Reid playing offense? "Senate Democrats scrapped a bipartisan jobs bill in favor of one they say is leaner and focused solely on putting Americans back to work, and they're all but daring Republicans to vote against it," the Associated Press reports. Or is the Nevadan just sowing confusion? "Reid led colleagues and the White House to believe he supported a bipartisan jobs bill -- only to scuttle the plan as soon as it was released Thursday over concerns it could be used to batter Democratic incumbents, according to Senate sources," Politico writes. Reid's move, according to the New York Times, "caught some lawmakers by surprise and threatened to undermine Republican support for the proposal even as members of Congress and the White House sought ways of working together across party lines after months of deep partisan division."

The Super-Sized Boondoggle
Surprise! Excerpt: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that the Stimulus II plan -- reportedly with an $85 billion price tag -- was a "really nice piece of legislation." You'll have to take his word for it since no one outside the Democratic leadership and K Street had seen an actual bill as of Tuesday afternoon. Few will read the whole thing before casting their hasty votes. And once again, we'll only be informed of the last-minute sweeteners, Cash for Cloture handouts and backroom deals after the ink of the president's signature is dry, says columnist Michelle Malkin. Reportedly: Public-sector unions are pushing hard to include their precious card-check plan, which would allow Big Labor bosses to sabotage workers' rights to a federally supervised private-ballot election. Democrats plan to stuff a reauthorization of the Patriot Act into the bill to make it harder for Republicans to oppose it. It will also include a $20 billion bailout for the beleaguered federal Highway Trust Fund, which has been raided for years to pay for bike paths, beautification programs and other pet projects, while its core targets -- basic roads and bridges -- have deteriorated. Democrats will throw in some small-business tax breaks and a temporary payroll tax holiday gimmick, supported by some Republicans, for companies that hire unemployed workers. What we do know for sure: The $154 billion Stimulus II passed in the House on a party-line vote in December is crammed to the gills with special-interest spending. Half of the money would go to government bureaucracies already overflowing with Stimulus I money. Nearly $30 billion would go to protect public-sector union employees in state governments.

Exclusive: We’re the Best
Excerpt: A few months ago, the Language Arts teacher in the next classroom asked the following question for a writing assignment: “Is the United States the best country in the world?” Only about 25 percent of our students thought so. We used to teach that to schoolchildren, but now they grow up hearing more about slavery and killing Indians than the ideals spelled out in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution with its Bill of Rights. It’s those documents that make us the best. We will remain so as long as we abide by them. I asked the 75 percent who said the United States wasn’t the best, which country they thought was better. Although nobody could name one, they were certain it couldn’t possibly be us. For months I’ve been wondering why. There are several possible reasons, and most originated in the 1960s. My generation of baby boomers – the one most famous for rebelling against their parents generation as all generations do – never grew up. If it had, it would have realized that utopia is only a dream – that humans are imperfect and always will be this side of the grave.

Immigrant Swipes Identity Of Deputy
Excerpt: An illegal immigrant was arrested after he stole the identity of a Maricopa County sheriff's deputy to get a job, sheriff's investigators said. Loebardo Estrada-Robles, 41, was taken into custody Wednesday evening by sheriff's deputies. The victim tipped off detectives from the sheriff's Employer Sanctions Unit that he had received a notice from the U.S. Social Security Administration claiming that he owed $2,354 for employment at two separate construction companies in the Valley that he had never worked for.

Rotten to the AmeriCorps
Excerpt: Among the most wasteful of the spending increases hidden in President Obama's 2011 budget proposal is his plan to create an army of government-funded community organizers at the shocking price of $1.4 billion. While the economy reels and many taxpayers are looking for ways to trim their personal spending, the president is demanding a whopping 59 percent boost for the Corporation for National and Community Service and its best-known program, AmeriCorps. It's time to pull the plug on both. The spirit of volunteerism has never been in short supply in America, and there is no need for a federal community service agency to steer efforts better handled in the private sector. Youth who enlist in AmeriCorps receive education grants, living allowances, student-loan repayment, child care and other financial benefits. The average annual cost to taxpayers is $10,752 for each of these so-called volunteers. Doling out more than a billion dollars in taxpayer funds to pay "volunteers" is contrary to the very meaning of the word.

Requiem for a Corruptocrat
It’s hard to forgive a Marine doing this to brother Marines. Exzcerpt: In May 2006, during an MSNBC TV show appearance that Marines and their families will never forget or forgive, Murtha accused U.S. troops of wantonly killing some two dozen civilians, including children, in the terrorist stronghold of Haditha, Iraq. Bellowed Murtha: "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood." Murtha publicly indicted the Marines before military investigations had been completed. His remarks opened military-bashing floodgates around the world. In the wake of Murtha's reckless blabbing, MSNBC executioner Keith Olbermann accused the Haditha Marines of "willful targeted brutality." The Nation magazine claimed that "members of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment perpetrated a massacre." The New York Times dubbed Haditha the "defining atrocity" of the Iraq war. International papers piled on with Vietnam-era "My Lai" allusions. Murtha cold-bloodedly sat back and enjoyed the ride while the Marines were left twisting in the wind. By 2008, seven of the Marines charged in the incident had been exonerated or had charges against them dropped. Lt. Andrew Grayson was acquitted. Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum, Capt. Lucas McConnell, Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt, Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz and Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani all had their cases dismissed. Sgt. Frank Wuterich, the last of the Marines facing charges, awaits a long, dragged-out trial this year. Murtha, the so-called "military advocate," went to his deathbed refusing to apologize or retract the attacks on the Haditha Marines (several of whom unsuccessfully sued him for libel to restore their honor). Decent people would call this intransigent treachery. Murtha's friends apparently consider it great patriotism.

The Fallacy of "Fairness": Part IV by Thomas Sowell
From a better Marine. Excerpt: Whatever the innate capacity of any race, class or other group, what pays off in the real world are developed capabilities, and these have never been the same-- or even close to being the same-- for individuals or groups. All the leading brands of beer in the United States were created by people of German ancestry and so is the leading beer in China, not to mention breweries created by Germans in Australia, Argentina and elsewhere. Germans were producing beer in the days of the Roman Empire. This does not mean that beer brewing skill is genetic but it also does not mean that this skill-- or any other skill-- is randomly distributed among peoples, so that a failure to have equal "representation" of groups in a given institutions can be presumed to be due to discrimination by that institution. Fairness as equal treatment does not produce fairness as equal outcomes. The confusion between the two meanings of the same word has created enormous mischief, much of it at the expense of lagging groups, who have been distracted from the things that would enable them to catch up. And whole societies have been kept in a turmoil pursing a will o' the wisp in the name of "fairness."

Barack (not George) wants to track you by use of your cell phone
Excerpt: Well, now Obama is president and, as we have become accustomed, The One who vowed Americans would no longer be subjected to wiretapping is all for a program to track the location of American citizens by way of their cell phones. Tomorrow, the Third Circuit federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in a case that could establish new standards for locating wireless devices… and, therefore, the people who are holding them.

Tim Pawlenty offers a stinging critique of GOP
Excerpt: In the upcoming issue of Esquire magazine, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) offers a harsh rebuke of his own party's actions in recent years, arguing that the GOP "blew it" when they had the chance to govern the country. "The marketplace measurement in politics is something called an election," said Pawlenty in a lengthy interview appearing in the magazine's March issue. "And in 2006 and 2008, the marketplace was telling the Republicans 'We prefer the products and services of your competitors.'" Pawlenty, who is retiring this fall after his second term as governor of Minnesota to explore a run for president, ascribed the electoral defeats of Republicans in recent elections to "a whole bunch of corruption and personal scandals that weren't compatible with the principles it claimed to stand for." "We got fired for a reason," he added. (You can read the full transcript of Tpaw's interview with Esquire here.) Pawlenty's critique of his own party is one of the first attempts by a likely 2012 Republican presidential candidate to gain distance from the personalities and policies of the Bush Administration.

Angela Merkel dashes Greek hopes of rescue bid
Excerpt: Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, mounted stiff resistance tonight to any swift bailout of Greece, as a rift opened up between European capitals over how best to tackle the risks posed to the euro. Despite a show of Franco-German unity on the crisis and the first statement from EU leaders pledging to safeguard the currency’s stability, hopes on the markets of a German-led rescue plan to shore up Greece’s critical public finances were dashed by Merkel, who repeatedly emphasised that Athens would need to put its own house in order and brushed aside all questions of financial support.

Guess Germany made it’s choice, if you read this previous post

Willful Blindness: MSM Ignores Republican Half of the Story on Healthcare Reform Efforts
Excerpt: The most infuriating thing about our mainstream media is the utter ignorance of their so-called “journalists.” When little miss anchorwoman, Katie Couric, interviewed the president last Sunday on his sudden, desperate invitation to Republicans for ideas on healthcare reform, he told her this. I want to look at the Republican ideas that are out there. And I want to be very specific. ‘How do you guys want to lower costs? How do you guys intend to reform the insurance markets so people with preexisting conditions, for example, can get health care?’ Ms. Couric was so ignorant of the past year-long healthcare debacle that she offered no challenge whatsoever to this latest whopper by President Obama. If she had known the issues — which is the job for which she is supposedly paid $14 million a year, or $300,000 per week — then she would have immediately challenged the president with the fact that very specific ideas from Republicans have been on the table – in writing – since early last summer. Over and over again, the president and his “people” go unchallenged on every whopper they tell. Either our MSM is a bunch of ignorant boobs, or they are, once again, indulging their penchant for left-wing ideology. Whatever the case, their coverage of the president on his healthcare-reform shenanigans has been nothing short of disgraceful.

Your “Stimulus” Dollars Buying iPods for Parents in Florida
Can’t figure out why people are angry?

A Thank You to our Military

Senate Jobs Bill Contains Patriot Act Extension
The Senate may vote on a second temporary extension of several controversial counterterrorism authorities as part of the jobs bill unveiled Thursday. The draft bill carries language that would extend until Dec. 31 three expiring provisions of the antiterrorism law known as the Patriot Act. The three provisions were set to expire at the end of 2009. But neither House nor Senate Democratic leaders evinced any appetite for tackling a substantive rewrite of the law last year. In December, Congress cleared a short-term reauthorization until Feb. 28, as part of the fiscal 2010 Defense appropriations bill.

Gingrich on Iran
Excerpt: Gingrich worries that America’s Iran policy is stuck in an appeasement mindset. “It’s like the 1930s,” he says. “The Iranian regime is dedicated to creating a second Holocaust, in terms of wanting to annihilate Israel. For 31 years, it has been trying to tell us through every method they know — through terrorism, killing Americans, and developing nuclear weapons — that they are trying to defeat us. Yet, while the regime is explicitly dedicated to the destruction of Israel, and the defeat of the United States, there remains an absolute refusal in the Western world to be honest about it. At what point do we decide that what we need is a calm and methodological regime-change policy — which doesn’t have to mean war? Why is it so hard for us to see this as a ruthless regime? I think our allies would probably breathe a sigh of relief if we showed courage and determination, particularly if we did it in a steady and non-violent manner.” The U.S., Gingrich adds, should pledge to “aid every ally inside and outside Iran working to replace the regime — with the minimum of violence necessary but with an absolute commitment to replace the regime. No more negotiating, no more talking. We got the message. We know what you want, and it is unacceptable to us.”

The President Must Stop Voting “Present” on Iran
Excerpt: Yesterday in Tehran’s Azadi Square, hundreds of thousands of Iranians turned out to listen to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech marking the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. Ahmadinejad did not disappoint the adoring crowd, defiantly announcing that Iran had become a “nuclear state,” adding: “The Iranian nation is brave enough that if one day we wanted to create an atomic bomb, we would announce it publicly and would create it.” But the Iranian nation is not nearly as unified behind the current regime as yesterday’s production was meant to show. The supporters in Azadi Square had actually been bussed in by the regime from around the country. For weeks before the anniversary, the government had arrested students, photographers and journalists in an effort to disrupt the Green Movement which had successfully organized mass opposition demonstrations last year following Ahmadinejad’s fraudulent reelection. The government also slowed Internet service and shut down some social networking services to disrupt opposition communications. But even that wasn’t enough. When the Green Movement did manage to stage smaller counter-demonstrations, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Basij militia fired tear gas and beat them with clubs until the crowds dispersed.

The Case For Striking Iran Grows --By Former UN Ambassador John Bolton
Excerpt: Iran's Islamic Revolution had a busy week preceding its 31st birthday yesterday. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on Sunday that Iran would enrich uranium to 19.75% purity for Tehran's research reactor. Yesterday he claimed to have done just that, making Iran "a nuclear state." Earlier, Tehran boasted of making advances in radar-evading drone aircraft. Its ambassador to Moscow said that Russia promised imminent delivery of S-300 air-defense systems that could preclude Israel from attacking Iran's nuclear program. And to intimidate protesters, the regime disrupted communications networks, made widespread arrests, and executed dissidents. Antiregime demonstrations yesterday were met with force. Unfortunately, President Obama is not affording these provocations the seriousness they deserve. On Feb. 9, he struck pre-emptively in the White House pressroom by saying that the Iran nuclear issue was well in hand despite what National Security Adviser James Jones earlier this week called Iran's "puzzling defiance." Advocating a "regime of sanctions" against Iran, Mr. Obama stressed that his purpose was to "indicate to them how isolated they are from the international community as a whole."

Airport Body Scanners Violate the Teachings of Islam, says Muslim group
Since Islam is a religion of peace, no problem. Just scan everyone else. Or they could walk. Excerpt: A group of Muslim scholars says it supports airline safety, but it is "deeply concerned" about the use of airport scanners that show nude images of the human body. “The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) emphasizes that a general and public use of such scanners is against the teachings of Islam, natural law and all religions and cultures that stand for decency and modesty,” the group said in a Feb. 10 statement posted at Islam Online. "It is a violation of clear Islamic teachings that men or women be seen naked by other men and women," FCNA explained. The group noted that Islam emphasizes modesty, considering it part of the faith. "The Qur'an has commanded the believers, both men and women, to cover their private parts" and to be modest in their dress.

Obama will help select location of Khalid Sheik Mohammed terrorism trial
I’m guessing a solidly red state where what the public thinks won’t matter. Excerpt: President Obama is planning to insert himself into the debate about where to try the accused mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, three administration officials said Thursday, signaling a recognition that the administration had mishandled the process and triggered a political backlash.

Iraqi, US forces kill 10 during clash with Hezbollah Brigades near the Iranian border
Excerpt: Ten people have been reported killed after Iraqi and US forces clashed with an Iranian-backed Shia terror group in a southern Iraqi province on the border with Iran.
The battle began after US and Iraqi forces conducted a raid against the Hezbollah Brigades in the village of Duwayjat, north of the city of Amarah in Maysan province. Fighters from the Iranian-backed Hezbollah Brigades waited in ambush for the joint US and Iraqi force to enter the village.

Three-year-old girl cries on Egyptian TV as she is forced to recite violent Qur'an passage
Learning about the “religion of Peace” at an early age. Touching. Excerpt: Host: This is Surat Al-Taubah. I opened the Koran at a random page. We will start at the top of the page. Come on, read. This is page 189. Toddler: "Fight them. Allah will torture them at your hands, and will bring disgrace upon them and will grant you victory..." Host: Allah will grant you victory...

From a Marine Vietnam vet
I found something interesting in Lesson Eighteen of The Al Qaeda Manual. It’s by the book for terrorists to claim torture or mistreatment.

The Al Qaeda Manual
The attached manual was located by the Manchester (England) Metropolitan Police during a search of an al Qaeda member's home. The manual was found in a computer file
described as "the military series" related to the "Declaration of Jihad." The manual was translated into English...

Lesson Eighteen
1. At the beginning of the trial, once more the brothers must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by State Security [investigators] before the judge.
2. Complain [to the court] of mistreatment while in prison.
3. Make arrangements for the brother's defense with the attorney, whether he was retained by the brother's family or court-appointed.
4. The brother has to do his best to know the names of the state security officers, who participated in his torture and mention their names to the judge.
[These names may be obtained from brothers who had to deal with those officers in previous cases.]

Americas Freedom - Tea Party Speech
Great speech by an 11-year-old. I’d vote for her over a lot of adults I know.

“Who Dat?” Joke
Okay, everyone is always telling Boudreaux and Thibodeaux jokes implying that Cajuns aren't smart. But anybody who would build a city 10 feet below sea level in a Hurricane zone and fill it with Democrats is a damn genius!

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