Saturday, February 20, 2010

Political Digest February 20, 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.

The Mount Vernon Statement
Go here to sign the statement of conservative principles.

The U.S. Political Establishment Has Failed
America is on the verge of something unprecedented in history: the peaceful, constitutional replacement of our country's entire political establishment. This is what lies behind the decisions of so many elected officials, at every level, to step aside rather than fight for reelection. And it explains how the Tea Party movement can exert so much political leverage without nominating its own candidates or even without formally choosing its own leaders. Most of the time, we Americans don't pay much attention to politics. We focus all of our energy on our jobs, our families, and our faith. We work hard, play by the rules, and wish only to be left alone. We love our country, consider ourselves blessed to be living here, and ask little from the men and women we elect except to keep from screwing things up. But in just the last decade, Americans were shocked by two catastrophes we hadn't imagined our political establishment would allow to happen. The first was 9-11, when nineteen terrorists successfully attacked our homeland, and by doing so revealed that for years, al-Qaeda and its allies had been waging holy war against us. The second was the 2008 financial crash, which revealed that our economy is a house of cards built on a pile of debt so high we cannot possibly repay it. Republicans blame Democrats, and Democrats blame Republicans. To ordinary, non-political Americans -- who grasp intuitively, and correctly, that both parties share responsibility for these two catastrophes -- these politicians seem like children who've turned a party into a food fight. And what do parents do when a children's party gets out of control? They turn off the music, turn out the lights, and send everyone home, including those few who weren't behaving badly and just got caught up in the melee.

Can the system be fixed?
Back when I was a state senator in Massachusetts—during, I think, the Garfield Administration—it was a pretty good job. I had a parking space in Boston. I had a title, so better looking women would date me. (Yes I realize how shallow that was—damn, I miss it!) The joke was that you got to work indoors and there was no heavy lifting. It would be a great job, the senators said, if only you didn’t have to vote. (That’s how you made folks angry at you!)

The legislators said it was more fun being a legislator in the old days. I’ll bet today I could say the same to the members of what we called, ironically, “the Great and General Court of Massachusetts.”

After my fourth term, I realized I was frustrated and burned out, and decided not to run again in 1982, despite an over-whelming victory in 1980 when I defeated the Democrat candidate 2.5 to 1 in his hometown and better in the other communities, carrying every precinct in my district, where Democrats had a 4-1 edge over my party. I held a seat I had made pretty safe by hard work since my initial 9-vote upset.

At the time I said I was frustrated. You spend 95% of your time on trivia, or in getting yourself re-elected. I estimated I went to 400 functions a year. I counted one weekend, Friday night through Sunday night, where I showed up at 17 functions and held district office hours Saturday morning.

And the most I ever spent running for the state senate was $19,000 in 1974, of which $4,000 went to the caterers for two functions and the rest to bumper stickers and ads. Now you can’t get elected to the school board in a small town with that kind of cash.

US Representatives and Senators spend about three and a half days a week in Washington. About half the time they are on the phone raising money. The people who give it in big chucks are usually not disinterested patriots. The other half they are maneuvering to make themselves or their party look good and the opposition look bad, or trying to pass spending bills to buy votes. If they don’t do this, a challenger beats them. Compromise or bi-partisanship is like handing the other team the ball in the Superbowl—they will score against you.

I’m going to work on a piece on reforms that I think would help, but that have almost no chance of being adopted. No one is fighting for them—or likely to. Most folks involved in lobbying the Congresscritters are fighting for their particular special interest (we ALL belong to some special interests), or a particular issue, like guns or abortion. There is almost no lobby for real reform. And the “reform” lobbies that exist usually want to tilt the playing field towards the liberal or conservative side, not fix government.

Schumer says no Republicans have committed to jobs bill
What happened to the bi-partisan bill with tax cuts? Excerpt: Democrats have yet to secure any Republican support for a $15 billion jobs bill, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Thursday. “I don’t think anyone has committed to voting for the package, but there are a number of people who say they are interested in looking at it,” said Schumer, the third-ranking member of Senate Democratic leadership.

Obama and the 'savvy' bankers
No wonder Wall Street supports BO—hard to describe them as “conservative.” They make risky bets. If they win, they win. If not, we lose. Excerpt: In an interview, the US president described the Goldman Sachs CEO as 'savvy'. So how did he and his crew use their wisdom? Last week, when President Obama was asked about the $9m dollar bonus for Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, he described Blankfein as a savvy businessman, adding that Americans don't begrudge people being rewarded for success. While the White House later qualified Obama's comment about Blankfein and his fellow bank executives, it's worth examining more closely some of the ways in which Blankfein and the Goldman gang were "savvy". Perhaps the Goldman gang's best claim to savvy was in buying up hundreds of billions of dollars of mortgages and packaging them into mortgage backed securities, and more complex derivative instruments, and selling them all over the world. Blankfein and Goldman earned tens of billions of dollars on these deals. The great trick was that many of the loans put into these securities were issued by banks filling in phony information so that borrowers could get loans that they would not be able to repay. But this was not Goldman's concern. They made money on the packaging and the selling of the securities. In fact, Goldman actually recognised that many of these loans would go bad. So they went to the insurance giant AIG and got them to issue credit default swaps against many of the securities it had created. In effect they were betting that their own securities were garbage. Now that is savvy. (It says something else about the highly paid executives at AIG.) Goldman doesn't just confine its savvy to the US economy; it shares it with the rest of the world as well. According to the New York Times it worked closely with the Greek government over the last decade to help it conceal its budget deficit. The trick was to construct complex financial arrangements that appeared on the books as "swaps", even though they were in fact loans. Greece was adding billions of dollars to its debt, and thanks to the ingenuity of the Goldman crew, no one knew about it until now. (Had this still in my in-box—not sure if I already posted it. Apologies if you’ve seen it twice.)

The AGW Smoking Gun
Excerpt: A key component of the scientific argument for anthropogenic global warming (AGW) has been disproven. The results are hiding in plain sight in peer-reviewed journals. Politicians and scientists still cling to the same hypothesis: Increased emission of CO2 into the atmosphere (by humans) is causing the Earth to warm at such a rate that it threatens our survival. The reality of our global temperatures, the failure of these catastrophic predictions to materialize, and the IPCC scandals all continue to cast serious doubt on that hypothesis. The only rebuttal given by AGW proponents is that the scandals of the IPCC don't negate the science (i.e., unscrupulous behavior by a few don't negate the rock-solid science), so it seems that the only way to disprove the AGW hypothesis is to address problems with the science. Climate science is very complex, and AGW proponents dismiss the scientific arguments unless the data are contained in journal papers that are "peer-reviewed." Three peer-reviewed journal contain data contradicting the AGW hypothesis. But before the journal papers are reviewed, here is a little background on the science.

Socialist books in the White House library? Yep -- since 1963
I posted this report yesterday. Turns out the books have been there since the Kennedy-Johnson era. Given the Mao Christmas Tree ornament, it was believable. Excerpt: In this era of blog wildfires, one fast-moving flame can be quenched before it scorches the facts. First lady Michelle Obama did not stock the White House library with socialist books. The controversy erupted after a conservative radio host and blogger from North Dakota took the White House tour on Wednesday and spotted two suspicious volumes on the shelves. Rob Port, 29, who hosts a political call-in show in his home state, was surprised to come across "The American Socialist Movement, 1897-1912" and "The Socialist Party of America." He snapped a photo and posted it on Under the headline: "Photo Evidence: Michelle Obama Keeps Socialist Books in the White House Library," Port wrote that the White House tour guide said the library was stocked with books picked out by Michelle Obama. "Being a bit of a bibliophile," he wrote on the blog, "I started to peruse some of the books on the shelves...and lookie, lookie what I found."

The Fix: House Races
Excerpt: Political prognosticator Charlie Cook moved the ratings on more than two dozen races in Republicans' favor Thursday and wrote that Democrats "would have to bend the current trajectory of the cycle to hold onto their House majority." Of the 60 seats now in Cook's most competitive categories -- either "leaning" toward one party or "toss ups" -- a whopping 54 are held by Democrats while just six are Republican held. Cook sees five Democratic seats -- Arkansas' 1st and 2nd, Louisiana's 3rd, Kansas's 3rd and Tennessee's 6th -- already leaning Republican while just a single GOP seat (Delaware's at-large district) leans toward Democrats. (Worth noting: fellow political handicapper Stu Rothenberg sees 35 Democratic seats in real jeopardy and just four Republican districts.) The continued expansion of the House playing field is good news for Republicans as it gives them more margin for error as they seek to find the 40 seats that would deliver them the majority this fall. Still, it remains to be seen whether House Republicans can raise enough money to run real campaigns in all of these districts -- although some veterans of the 1994 wave election that put Republicans in the House majority argue that with a strong enough national wind money becomes secondary. Time will tell.

Disaster Relief
Concern on the left. Excerpt: When I studied the results of my national surveys of public opinion one week before the Massachusetts special election, I felt a wave of panic--a strangely familiar feeling. The results showed that the public’s hope had given way to disillusionment; that Democrats had come to embody political gridlock and big spending; that conservatives were energized and Democrats demoralized; that the country was in revolt against elites. It was beginning to look like, gulp, 1994 all over again. During that last electoral debacle, I was conducting surveys for President Bill Clinton, asking some of the same questions and getting the same answers. After one survey in May 1994, I wrote President Clinton, “The administration, the Democrats in Congress and the party face a disaster in November unless we move urgently to change the mood of the country.” Even then, I couldn’t imagine that Democrats would exacerbate the disaster, ending their decades of hegemony in the House.

Obama's federal government can weatherize your home for only $57,362 each
This is cheap. Wait until you see what healthcare costs with federal bureaucrats involved. Excerpt: Who could forget the $5 billion in Obama administration stimulus money that was going to rapidly create nearly 90,000 green jobs across the country in these tough economic times and make so many thousands of homes all snuggy and warm and energy-efficient these very snowy days? Well, a new report due out this morning will show the $5-billion program is so riddled with drafts that so far it's weatherized only about 9,000 homes. Based on the initial Obama-Biden program promise that it would create 87,000 new jobs its first year, that would be about 10 jobs for each home weatherized so far. Makes for pretty crowded doorways. ABC News reports that the General Accountability Office will declare today that the Energy Department has fallen woefully behind -- about 98.5% behind -- the 593,000 homes it initially predicted would be weatherized in the Recovery Act's very first, very chilly year…..The Energy Department is run by Steven Chu, like President Obama a Nobel Prize winner. You'll never guess what the federal government blames for the lack of significant progress. RED tape. Not duct tape. Not weatherstripping. But that infamous RED tape. In the form of, well, forms. It seems that the Pelosi-Reid stimulus plan that was so quickly cobbled together and.......was supposed to immediately pump so much money into the sagging economy last year included an 80-year-old legal provision requiring all federally funded projects to pay a prevailing wage to workers. But what's a prevailing wage for weatherization, you ask? Who knows?

The Quiet Energy Revolution
Excerpt: How ironic that during the ‘drill, baby, drill’ demonstrations as gasoline prices spiked in 2007 and 2008, a silent revolution with natural gas was already underway that will make those concerns largely irrelevant. The 20th century was the century of oil. Wars were fought over it, and the outcomes of the century’s biggest conflicts hinged on the stuff. In World War I, for instance, Churchill’s conversion of the British Navy to oil gave the crown’s ships supremacy over German vessels. In World War II, when the Nazis and Japanese each failed to secure supplies of oil, they were doomed. Later, President Ronald Reagan, CIA Director William Casey, and America’s Middle Eastern partners manipulated global oil production to bankrupt the Soviet Union and win the Cold War. In the first half of the century, oil policy served as the catalyst for military victory. In the second half, oil helped propel the greatest economic expansion in the history of the world, and liberated mankind from the tyranny of immobility. All hail oil! But not too much, because the 21st century won’t be defined by oil. It is more likely to be defined by a different fossil fuel: natural gas. Suddenly, the mammoth shale formations in Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, North Dakota, and elsewhere have the potential to produce abundant amounts of gas for decades to come. Two monumental shifts in the world of energy are underway right now: one technological, the other financial. They will change the way we power our lives (especially our cars), provide a real measure of energy security, and help curb greenhouse gas emissions. Neither shift has anything to do with the turn to a green renewable energy economy promised by President Obama. Physics ensures that will never happen, no matter how much wishful thinking (and government subsidy) is applied. Sorry, greens, carbon-based energy will continue to dominate our energy future, not windmills or solar panels. The first profound shift was made possible by a little-noticed technological breakthrough in the last three years that has changed the way we extract natural gas. Engineers now make use of two important innovations. One is horizontal, or directional, drilling, which permits wells to move laterally beneath the surface instead of going straight down. This technology minimizes the number of holes that have to be drilled, leaving a smaller surface footprint and accessing a larger area. The other technology is hydraulic fracturing, used to extract gas trapped in porous shale rock. In this process, also known as fracking, water and chemicals are pumped at tremendous pressure into shale rock formations to push gas into pockets for easier recovery.

Economy Contracts, Government Expands
The Statists are winning their campaign for the collectivization of America. Excerpt: Is Detroit’s economic plight a bellwether for the nation? “Detroitification,” a phrase coined by my colleague, Jack McHugh, is defined as the hollowing out of the private economy to prop up unsustainable (and often unresponsive) government establishments. Is this an apt description of Washington’s policies? The comparison seems unavoidable with the federal government spending at a frenetic pace and racking up record debt, while adding to the numbers and cost of government employment. According to USA Today, during the period of the current recession, “The number of federal workers earning six-figure salaries has exploded.” While Americans struggle with unemployment, falling wages, failing businesses and housing foreclosures, federal employees are flourishing on the taxpayer dole. Josh Barro, senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute, refers to this trend as "Two Americas." One example from USA Today: “When the recession started, the Transportation Department had only one person earning a salary of $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees had salaries above $170,000.” In just one federal agency, the top echelon bureaucrats have padded their generous government packages to the tune of $287,300,000. So much for shared sacrifice.

ClimateGater Jones' Stunning Global Warming Revelations Ignored
Excerpt: The absolutely stunning global warming revelations this weekend by the man in the middle of the ClimateGate scandal have gone almost completely ignored by America's press. As NewsBusters reported Saturday, Phil Jones, the head of the British Climatic Research Unit at the heart of ClimateGate, told the BBC: the recent warming trend that began in 1975 is not at all different than two other planetary warming phases since 1850; there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995, and; it is possible the Medieval Warm Period was indeed a global phenomenon thereby making the temperatures seen in the latter part of the 20th century by no means unprecedented. Jones also admitted that he and his fellow scientists manipulated figures to hide a decline in crucial tree-ring data thereby questioning the validity of the entire global warming theory. Despite the seriousness of these revelations, much as what happened when the ClimateGate scandal first broke, with the exception of Fox News -- and a lone report by CNN -- America's media have almost totally boycotted this amazing story:

The Twilight of the Global Warming Vampire
Excerpt: If the junk science of Global Warming aka Climate Change were a monster, it would be Dracula. Global Warming is difficult to kill. It is a seductive term that can make the wildest dreams of any Socialist come true. There is no tax or power grab that could not be mandated by the invisible threat of Global Warming. Until a few months ago, western society resembled a beautiful woman with her neck bare and ready to be sucked dry by the Global Warming vampire.

The Winter of Global Warming
Excerpt: The alarmists also have taken to scolding skeptics who have pointed to this year's record snowfalls as dimwits who do not know the difference between weather and climate. This is choice -- after all the years during which the global-warming believers pointed to every warm season, low-snowfall report and storm as proof that the "tipping point" was near. They've done this to themselves. In announcing that all scientists supported the IPCC, they claimed a mantle of scientific infallibility. Their actions and attitudes did not reflect the sort of behavior you would expect from people who truly believe that the planet is in peril. The high-profile global-warming partisans focused on ridiculing nonbelievers, rather than persuading them. They hopped onto private planes to be seen at confabs, where nothing real got done. Biggies like Gore would refuse to debate -- even as they argued that Mother Earth's condition was near critical. The worst part is that these loudmouths have drowned out the voices of scientists -- including those who believe global warming is largely caused by man -- who have been ready to engage in the complexities of climate science. In their hubris, they decided that they, and only they, would save the planet. But their egos got in the way.

Left-Wing Prof Shoots 6 in Alabama
See, if a right-winger shoots someone, it’s because all right-wingers are nuts. If a left-winger—say Lee Harvey Oswald with ties to Communist Cuba and Russia—shoots someone, it’s because “of the climate of hate created by the right wing.” So regardless, if it ain’t global warming, it’s the right wing and Bush at fault in the media. A fatal shooting at the University of Alabama in Huntsville has opened a 24-year-old can of worms in Massachusetts, forcing law enforcement there to reopen the investigation of an earlier incident involving the same perpetrator. Amy Bishop, a 44-year-old Harvard-educated neurobiology professor at the university, pulled out a 9mm for which she had no carry permit at last Friday's faculty meeting and opened fire, killing three of her colleagues and seriously wounding three others. When the gun jammed, the "courageous" remaining five professors managed to shove Bishop out of the room and barricade the door, possibly putting other staff or students at risk. Bishop's murderous rampage would most likely have been avoided had the 1986 shooting of her younger brother been investigated thoroughly. In December of that year, 18-year-old Seth Bishop died when he was shot in the chest by his sister. She then held up an automotive repair shop, claiming that she had had a fight with her husband and needed a getaway car before he came after her. A shop employee who spent a few moments on the other end of Bishop's shotgun is now saying that the police spoke to him briefly at the time of Bishop's arrest but never returned to question him further. Then-district attorney William Delahunt, now a Democrat congressman, ruled the shooting an accident. Delahunt is presently traveling in the Middle East and has refused to provide a statement. Coincidentally, at the time of the shooting, Bishop's mother was a member of the police personnel board.

Good site for Second Amendment news and info.

3 Shot During Robbery At Vacant Fulton Home
In IL or WI, the electricians would have likely died, as it would have been illegal for the second guy to be armed to defend himself. Excerpt: Police said two electricians were lured to a vacant house in south Fulton County and shot Thursday afternoon. The incident happened just after noon Thursday on Surrey Trail in Atlanta. Fulton County police told CBS Atlanta that a man called two electricians from two different companies to the home. When the first electrician arrived, the suspects robbed him, then shot him in the leg. Police say a short time later, the second electrician arrived. "The second electrician to arrive on the scene did not know the first electrician was in trouble,” said Fulton County Police Cpl. Kay Lester. The suspects then shot the second electrician in the leg. That's when the electrician pulled out a gun and shot the suspect in the head, according to investigators. The alleged robber was taken to the hospital in critical condition. “I’m just glad that the electrician had a weapon. He retaliated against him so they wouldn’t think about doing it again to no one else," said May Youmans, who saw all the police commotion.

It's All the Tea Party's Fault
Called this one yesterday, but it wasn’t hard. Everything is the fault of global warming, Bush or the Tea Parties. Excerpt: This nutball had deadly grudges that transcended partisan lines. But within minutes of the story breaking, a furious left-wing blogger at the popular Daily Kos website -- where countless Democratic leaders have guest-posted -- fumed: "Teabagger terrorist attack on IRS building." The article immediately cast blame on the anti-tax Tea Party movement: "After months of threats on the United States government, and government institutions, the Anti-Government forces known as the teabaggers have struck with their first 911 (sic) inspired terrorist attack." At the eponymous mega-website of Arianna Huffington, a 2,000-plus comment thread was filled with allusions to "teabaggers":

Lautenberg diagnosed with cancer
Excerpt: Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) has been diagnosed with stomach cancer, his office announced Friday. The New Jersey Democrat was hospitalized last week with a bleeding ulcer. Doctors have now determined it was caused by B-cell lymphoma. Lautenberg's office released a statement from his oncologist on Friday predicting he'd make a complete recovery and would be back to work soon.

Sestak alleges WH offered him a job to drop Senate bid
The Chicago way. Excerpt: The lawmaker challenging Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania's Democratic primary claims the Obama administration pushed him to get out of the contest, even dangling the possibility of a plum job in return. Rep. Joe Sestak has been running hard for several months to oust Specter, who has had the support of President Obama and much of the Democratic establishment since he left the Republican Party and helped give his new party a temporary supermajority in the Senate. The White House's backing of Specter has long been clear, but did the administration actually go so far as to offer Sestak a job?

Pick an Excuse, Any Excuse,_any_excuse
Excerpt: Remember that great scene from the Oscar-robbed classic "The Blues Brothers"? Jake and Elwood (John Belushi and Dan Akroyd) are finally cornered by Jake's former fiancée (Carrie Fisher). Jake left her at the altar with 300 guests and the best Romanian caterers in the state waiting. "You betrayed me!" she exclaims. "No I didn't. Honest," Jake explains. "I ran out of gas. I, I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! Locusts! IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!" This is pretty much how Democrats sound these days. None of their problems are their fault.

Ungovernable? Nonsense.
Excerpt: It turned out that the country's problems were not problems of structure but of leadership. Reagan and Clinton had it. Carter didn't. Under a president with extensive executive experience, good political skills and an ideological compass in tune with the public, the country was indeed governable. It's 2010 and the first-year agenda of a popular and promising young president has gone down in flames. Barack Obama's two signature initiatives -- cap-and-trade and health care reform -- lie in ruins. Desperate to explain away this scandalous state of affairs, liberal apologists haul out the old reliable from the Carter years: "America the Ungovernable." So declared Newsweek. "Is America Ungovernable?" coyly asked The New Republic.

Tolerating Violence Against Jews on Campus
Excerpt: In a country where multiculturalism has a reverent following and criticism of protected minorities has essentially been criminalized as “hate speech,” it is more than ironic that on some Canadian campuses radical students have taken it upon themselves to target one group, Jewish students, with a hatred that is nominally forbidden for any others. And with a recent incident that took place at the beginning of February, York University in particular, has now revealed a troubling pattern of tolerating physical and emotional assaults by pro-Palestinian radicals against Jewish students and others who dare to demonstrate any support for Israel or question the tactics of Islamists in their efforts to destroy the Jewish state. At a February 1st event, Hasbara Fellowships at York University, with the permission of the University, had set up a table to inform interested students about Hezbollah-kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit as part of Hasbara’s ongoing campaign called “Free Palestinians from Hamas.” Typically, York’s outspoken and volatile pro-Palestinian students were less than willing to let such benign sentiments be aired, and, according to Hasbara’s co-president, Tyler Golden, demonstrated their displeasure by surrounding the table in an angry mob of some 50 activists, spewing forth anti-Semitic and anti-Israel slurs at the Jewish students. “At around 4 o’clock,” said Golden, “several known anti-Israel faces on campus came to start questioning us and debate with us . . . Security has asked us, when we come across this type of situation, to call them, which we did. We also videotape so they can see the faces and hear the voices of the people that do it. A few students who were surrounding us were upset that there were cameras in their faces, so they started yelling and screaming. As they were trying to push the cameras out of the way, they actually hit two of our students.” Muslim student groups have consistently attempted to disrupt the speeches of guests whose view are considered “unacceptable” because they might cause discomfort or “intimidation” for students unwilling to face the reality of radical Islam and unable to see any villain in the Middle East except Israel.

In a doomsday cyber attack scenario, answers are unsettling,0,803757,full.story
Not to worry. President Wobbly will reason with them. Excerpt: What if a crippling attack struck the country's digital infrastructure? Experts including current and former officials tackle the question. The results show that the peril is real and growing. Reporting from Washington - The crisis began when college basketball fans downloaded a free March Madness application to their smart phones. The app hid spyware that stole passwords, intercepted e-mails and created havoc. Soon 60 million cellphones were dead. The Internet crashed, finance and commerce collapsed, and most of the nation's electric grid went dark. White House aides discussed putting the Army in American cities. That, spiced up with bombs and hurricanes, formed the doomsday scenario when 10 former White House advisors and other top officials joined forces Tuesday in a rare public cyber war game designed to highlight the potential vulnerability of the nation's digital infrastructure to crippling attack. The results were hardly reassuring. "We're in uncharted territory here," was the most common refrain during a three-hour simulated crisis meeting of the National Security Council, the crux of the Cyber Shockwave exercise.

War in Iraq will be called 'Operation New Dawn' to reflect reduced U.S. role
Excerpt: The Obama administration has decided to give the war in Iraq a new name -- "Operation New Dawn" -- to reflect the reduced role U.S. troops will play in securing the country this year as troop levels fall, according to a memo from Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. Since U.S. forces charged across the Kuwaiti border toward Baghdad in 2003, the war has been known as Operation Iraqi Freedom. The new name is scheduled to take effect in September, when U.S. troop levels are supposed to drop to about 50,000. The change is intended to send a message that the U.S. military's combat role in Iraq is rapidly drawing to a close. In the Feb. 17 memo, Gates wrote to Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander for the region, that the name change seeks to "recognize our evolving relationship with the Government of Iraq." (I assume in 2011, per President Wobbly’s timetable, Afghanistan will be renamed, “Operation Beat Feet.”)

Army Investigates Alleged Attempt by Soldiers to Poison Food At Fort Jackson,2933,586721,00.html
See in the Marines, the chow tastes so bad we’d have noticed the improvement and reported it. Excerpt: Five suspects, detained in December, were part of an Arabic translation program called "09 Lima" and use Arabic as their first language, two sources told Fox News. Another military source said they were Muslim. It wasn't clear whether they were still being held. (Alert BO to make another “isolated incident—nothing to do with Islam” statement if needed.)

Fort Jackson cover-up?
Excerpt: I spoke with a source knowledgeable about the Army’s anti-terrorism training and the progress of the Fort Jackson investigation. He makes several key points. First, while Army spokesman Chris Gray pronounced that “there is no credible information to support the allegations” in the poisoning case, this is bellied by the fact that five individuals were arrested. So my source asks, “If that’s true, then this was a miscarriage of justice!” Second, had the Fort Jackson incident come to light before release of the Fort Hood review, it would have been very difficult to give such short shrift to the jihadist motivation of Major Nadal Hasan. Nor would it be possible for the arrest of five Muslim individuals accused of poisoning fellow soldiers to have gone unnoticed at the “highest levels” of the Department of Defense. The only rational conclusion is that the Army worked furiously to keep the Fort Jackson incident under the media radar and to proceed with the Fort Hood whitewash. He says bluntly, “I think the DOD culpability and involvement at the highest levels is much more direct. I’m told they were directly keeping a lid on this to prevent derailing what they were doing with the Fort Hood report.” The source predicts that the Army will continue its “nothing to see here, move along” reaction to the Fort Jackson incident.

Islam is Not for Amateurs
Excerpt: I have the greatest job in the world; I am a teacher, and am proud to belong to this honorable profession. For more than 20 years I have been driven to educate young people and encourage them to discover the world and to confront ignorance with knowledge. An incident that occurred recently in a local high school disturbs me enough to bring it to the attention of other educators and the public. An individual was invited to give a presentation on Islam at a school in a suburb of Buffalo, New York. This man was asked by the school’s history department to offer clarification on practices and tenets of the faith that are thought, by some, to be misunderstood. It was hoped the lecture would provide greater understanding, and in doing so, diffuse what has come to be called “Islamophobia.” The PowerPoint presentation focused on the Koran’s Five Pillars, how a Muslim prays, the presenter’s trip to Mecca, and his beard and attire. Before long, however, the presentation deteriorated into a diatribe against U.S. foreign policy and support for Israel and an apologist's sentiment that appeared to justify the September 11th terrorist attacks and exonerate those who perpetrated them.

'See-No-Islam' Strategy Disgraces Fallen Soldier
Excerpt: Remember last June when President Obama traveled to Saudi Arabia because, as he put it, "It was very important to come to the place where Islam began and seek his majesty's counsel"? I argued at the time, gagging, that rather than visiting "the place where Islam began," the president of the United States should have gone to the place where Islam had just ended the life of a U.S. soldier. I refer to the U.S. Army-Navy recruiting center in Little Rock, Ark., where on June 1, Muslim convert Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad fatally shot Pvt. William Long, 23, and wounded Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, 18. The two soldiers had been standing outside having a smoke. As usual, the president didn't take my advice, or even my further suggestion that he turn the attack into an opportunity to declare in a major address that the 21st-century era of jihad was over. Instead, he journeyed to lands where jihad is a sacred institution, and in Cairo made another speech entirely, boosting and even preaching on behalf of Islam. His only comment was to call the attack, belatedly, "a senseless act of violence."

Terrorism: Al-Qaeda warns of 'dozens' of in-flight bombs
Who says BO doesn’t create jobs? Think of the lawyers we’ll need to represent those who fail, and the grave diggers for the innocents the successful murder. Excerpt: Sanaa, 18 Feb. (AKI) - Al-Qaeda has prepared "dozens" more bombs like the one used by the young Nigerian accused of trying to blow up an airliner in the United States on 25 December last year. The claim was allegedly made by the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula terror cell in a message posted in its online magazine 'al-Malamih'. "We have dozens of sophisticated explosive devices which are similar to that used by the Nigerian,Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on the Christmas Day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit," said the message in 'al-Malamih'. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said in December it had provided Abdulmutallab with the explosive device he allegedly used to try to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 with nearly 300 people aboard.

1 comment:

  1. The "attack" at York University didn't happen. Security video has been released showing there were no assults. Hasbara made it up.