Saturday, March 6, 2010

Political Digest for March 6, 2010

Giannoulias fails to end bank controversy,0,1924594.column
With a family bank that lends to mobsters about to be dumped on the taxpayers and Treasurer of a bankrupt state, Giannoulias is the kind of political embarrassment Illinois voters love to elect. He’ll be better soap opera entertainment than Blago and Burris combined. I bet he wins. Excerpt: On this media day, Giannoulias, the Illinois state treasurer and current Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in November, had a job to do: Put to rest nagging questions about the bank and loans he approved for some earthy types, including Michael "Jaws" Giorango, the convicted Outfit bookie and protector of a national prostitution circuit. He did address the issues. But he didn't exactly put them to rest. He failed. If anything, he may have made things worse by offering answers that only supporters would characterize, optimistically, as "evolving." So reporters will keep pecking, as they should, and so will his opponent, Republican Mark Kirk. And if Broadway Bank fails as even Giannoulias now expects, his could be a political death by a thousand pecks. With the Tribune's editorial board, Giannoulias was asked how his relationship with Giorango developed, and at what point did he learn that Giorango, whom he described as a "colorful character," had a criminal background. "I learned of it primarily when I was running for the office of state treasurer (in 2006)," Giannoulias said. "I mean, I don't remember the exact date, whether it was during the primary or during the general. I think it was during the primary." He was promptly reminded that on April 27, 2006, during his campaign for treasurer, he told Tribune reporters that he had discussed Giorango's criminal past with him. The discussion took place as Giannoulias worked on millions of dollars' worth of bank loans for Giorango. It was years before Giannoulias' entry into politics.

Bunning had a point,0,3364308.story
What the voters really want is more government spending, lower taxes and less government debt. (Or spending that benefits them and taxes someone else.) Excerpt: Finally, Democrats and Republicans in Washington have found common ground: They're all miffed at Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning. Under pressure, Bunning relented late Tuesday on his one-man crusade to block a $10 billion Senate bill that extends unemployment benefits and stalls some big cuts in Medicare payments to doctors, among other things. He gave just about everybody fits in Washington and caused some anguish around the country for the people who were affected. He is known as an irascible guy. He gave a one-finger salute the other day to a TV producer who tried to question him. He's retiring because leaders in his own party pushed him to get out. His blockade made Republicans look callous and fed the image that they're the party of "no." Except, Bunning had a very good point: Congress won't pay for what it spends. Bunning said he supported extending unemployment benefits and other parts of the bill — but he wanted the House and Senate to find a source for that money. "If we can't find $10 billion to pay for something we all support, we will never pay for anything on the floor of the U.S. Senate," he said Monday. Bunning said the $10 billion could come from economic stimulus funds. He may often be an unreasonable, guy, but that was hardly an unreasonable request. Remember how Democrats congratulated themselves earlier this year for instituting pay-as-you-go rules? The idea is that money won't be appropriated unless there is tax revenue to cover it or other spending is cut. "Congress can only spend a dollar if it saves a dollar elsewhere," President Barack Obama proclaimed. But here Congress was spending $10 billion without saving a dime elsewhere. The bill was classified as emergency spending and exempted from pay-as-you-go rules. Congress wouldn't even agree to draw this money from the $787 billion approved for stimulus spending. This was just go-go-go-and-no-pay.

Anti-U.S. views eyed in Pentagon attack
Three pages and the Post doesn’t mention that he was a “9/11 Truther” like Van Jones, Obama’s ex-green Jobs czar. See, if it’s a right-wing nut with a gun, it’s terrorism. If it’s a left wing nut or a Muslim, it’s an “isolated incident.” Got it? Well Done to the guards. He was well-armed and had the advantage of surprise, and they killed him while sustaining only minor wounds.

Pentagon shooter apparently doubted 9/11 facts in Web posting,0,4234658.story
Credit the LA Times for reporting the facts, which has become rare enough in the Leftstream Media to be notable. Excerpt: In an Internet posting, a user named JPatrickBedell wrote that he was determined to see justice for the 1991 death of Marine Col. James Sabow in Orange County, which was ruled a suicide but has long been the source of coverup theories. The writer said the case would be a step toward revealing the truth behind the 9/11 "demolitions." The same posting railed against the government's enforcement of marijuana laws and included links to the author's 2006 court case in Orange County for cultivating marijuana and resisting a police officer.

Democratic leaders working to win over abortion opponents for health-care reform
They’ll do it the old fashioned Chicago way—muscle and lies. Excerpt: As President Obama makes his final plea for a health-care overhaul, Democratic leaders in Congress are embarking on a delicate strategy to win over abortion opponents, a gambit that could determine whether the legislation becomes law. The effort depends on convincing as many as a dozen antiabortion Democrats in the House that abortion language in the Senate bill is more stringent than initially portrayed. But Democratic leaders must be careful that they don't drive away abortion rights supporters who are increasingly concerned that the measure would prove severely restrictive. "It's going to be a heavy lift, because people on both sides don't like" the language, said Kristen Day, director of Democrats for Life of America, an antiabortion group that otherwise supports health-care reform. "It's a difficult situation right now." Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), the head of the antiabortion contingent, has repeatedly reaffirmed his opposition to the Senate terms, saying that House leaders have all but given up on his vote. "Some people are saying we have to vote for the Senate bill. That ain't going to happen," he said in an interview this week.

Obama promises to pursue a public option later
Why politicians don’t compromise—because a compromise only lasts until the next bill filing deadline, when the other side is back with a bill to get the rest of the loaf. Excerpt: Raul Grivalja, co-chair of the Progressive Caucus, made some waves the other day by suggesting he was leaning against voting for the health-care reform bill. I've stopped covering daily statements like that one, as it's too difficult to figure out whether they mean "I don't want to vote for this bill" or "I want something in exchange for voting for this bill." A statement just released by the Grivalja press office makes this look like a case of the latter: “The meeting with President Obama today was productive and necessary, and I was glad to hear him speak frankly about where we stand on health care legislation. He said the public option – a well-known and long-standing progressive priority – lacks enough Senate support to be included in the final package. However, he personally committed to pursue a public option after passage of the current bill.

Congress Declares War on Health Savings Accounts
Excerpt: While Congress has been debating health reform, employers have been creating new consumer-driven health care plans. In fact, CDHC plans are the only type of health insurance that has been shown to reliably change patient and doctor behavior in ways that lower costs and improve the quality of care, says Ronald E. Bachman, FSA, MAAA, is President and CEO of Healthcare Visions, Inc. and a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis. More than half of employers now offer consumer-driven options, including Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). In 2010, nearly 18 million people will be enrolled, says Bachman. Federal legislation can stop progress in its tracks, however. For example, the health care bill passed by the Senate (December 23, 2009) does not directly outlaw HSA-eligible plans, but it restricts HSA options in insidious ways that will delay, deny, defeat and ultimately kill them, says Bachman:

McCain calls for new ‘Gang of 14’ to stop Obama push on healthcare
The Republicans should promise the Democrats that when they get the majority, they will use reconciliation—which Biden once called a “naked power grab””—to pass every item on their agenda. Excerpt: GOP senator tells Democratic centrists he was there for them when Republicans tried to force judges through in 2005. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is seeking bipartisan support to block Senate Democrats from using special parliamentary tactics to pass healthcare reform. The Democratic strategy of using reconciliation to pass changes to the healthcare bill is reminiscent of Republican attempts to force President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees through with a simple majority vote, McCain said Thursday. He implored centrist Democrats to think about the consequences. He even invoked President Barack Obama’s own words to make his case. And McCain reminded Democrats that he was a member of the bipartisan Gang of 14, which stopped Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) from using the so-called nuclear option in 2005. It's time for a similar gang, he said. So far, he’s had no takers. “Back a few years ago when the Republican side was in the majority and there was a movement toward the ‘nuclear option’ … I stood up as a member of the majority and said we should not erode the 60-vote majority rule that has prevailed here in the Senate for many years,” McCain said Thursday evening.

Onward, He Said, Regardless,_he_said,_regardless
Excerpt: So the yearlong production, set to close after Massachusetts' devastatingly negative Jan. 19 review, saw the curtain raised one last time. Obamacare lives.
After 34 speeches, three sharp electoral rebukes (Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts) and a seven-hour seminar, the president announced Wednesday his determination to make one last push to pass his health care reform. The final act was carefully choreographed. The rollout began a week earlier with a couple of shows of bipartisanship: a Feb. 25 Blair House "summit" with Republicans, followed five days later with a few concessions tossed the Republicans' way. Show is the operative noun. Among the few Republican suggestions President Obama pretended to incorporate was tort reform. What did he suggest to address the plague of defensive medicine that a Massachusetts Medical Society study showed leads to about 25 percent of doctor referrals, tests and procedures being done for no medical reason? A few ridiculously insignificant demonstration projects amounting to one-half of one-hundredth of 1 percent of the cost of Obama's health care bill. As for the Blair House seminar, its theatrical quality was obvious even before it began. The Democrats had already decided to go for a purely partisan bill. Obama signaled precisely that intent at the end of the summit show -- then dramatically spelled it out just six days later in his 35th health care speech: He is going for the party-line vote.

Obama advisers set to recommend military tribunals for alleged 9/11 plotters
Getting the message from an electorate that has twice as many self-described conservatives as liberals. Excerpt: President Obama's advisers are nearing a recommendation that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, be prosecuted in a military tribunal, administration officials said, a step that would reverse Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s plan to try him in civilian court in New York City. The president's advisers feel increasingly hemmed in by bipartisan opposition to a federal trial in New York and demands, mainly from Republicans, that Mohammed and his accused co-conspirators remain under military jurisdiction, officials said. While Obama has favored trying some terrorism suspects in civilian courts as a symbol of U.S. commitment to the rule of law, critics have said military tribunals are the appropriate venue for those accused of attacking the United States. If Obama accepts the likely recommendation of his advisers, the White House may be able to secure from Congress the funding and legal authority it needs to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and replace it with a facility within the United States. The administration has failed to meet a self-imposed one-year deadline to close Guantanamo.

Closing Gitmo—is it “Retarded”?
Using the R word now has almost reached the level of using the N word. But the word pejorated because of the condition, not the word itself. The ARC advocates for citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities. ARC is an acronym for Association of Retarded Citizens—I have a framed certificate someplace from the Northern Worcester County Association of Retarded Citizens for the work I did on their behalf as a senator. Retarded was a reform in its day—folks with these challenges used to be called “Feeble Minded,” and before that reform, idiots or morons. Feeble Minded is now not associated with these people much, so like idiot and moron, you could probably use it as an insult without drawing a rebuke from the ARC and Sarah Palin.

In the same vein, Negro, once preferred by blacks, is not out, despite the the United Negro College Fund. “Colored People” is out despite the NAACP, but “People of Color” is very in. Go figure. Makes for lots of I’m-more-PC-than-you gotcha games, by people on all sides.

The problem is not Gitmo, a perfectly useful prison, but that Gitmo has become a symbol to bash the USA by enemies who want us to release all these members of the “tiny minority of extremists” so they can go back to killing us and destroying our economy and freedoms. Even George W. Bush was pressured into releasing terrorists, 20% of whom are back at the old trade, US-funded Saudi painting therapy having—surprise—not worked all that well. Since not even President Wobbly dares to let them all go, they will have to be stashed someplace, presumably in the Illinois prison the Feds are buying from Obama’s broke home state. Then it will become known as “Gitmo North” or some handy appellation that America haters at home and abroad can use to bash us. Anyone who doesn’t think so is feeble minded.

New York Gone Wild
What’s the big deal? About what you’d expect from a solidly Democrat run state. Excerpt: Once a source of national leaders of both political parties, New York state has descended into a bizarre, riveting spectacle of corruption and political debasement, with its governor facing calls to resign as well as new charges of accepting illicit perks and lying under oath, the dean of its congressional delegation giving up his gavel over corruption charges and another House member announcing he won’t run again amid allegations of sexual harassment. And that was just yesterday. The latest, dizzying episodes of political disgrace in New York follow a half-decade of disaster during which three top state politicians were forced out amid allegations of everything from large-scale theft to small-scale sexual indiscretions. And while Republican leaders have drawn their share of blame (and indictments), New York is now effectively a one-party state. Its current scandals attach themselves to the dominant Democrats, and the riveting soap opera is feeding a narrative of corruption that threatens to deepen the party’s national woes and distract from the White House’s attempt to refocus the country on health care.

Delahunt retirement ends a bad week for Democrats
Excerpt: Massachusetts Rep. Bill Delahunt's retirement late Thursday night was the latest in a series of difficult blows for House Democrats this week. Delahunt's 10th district is not exactly Republican territory -- President Obama carried it with 55 percent in 2008 -- but Sen. Scott Brown (R) did carry it in his special election win in January as did Mitt Romney in the 2002 governor's race. In a vacuum Delahunt's retirement would be a cause for concern but not exactly a problem for House Democratic strategists. But, politics doesn't exists in a vacuum and Delahunt's retirement comes in the same week that Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) stepped down from the Ways and Means Committee following the his admonishment at the hands of the House Ethics Committee and Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) announced his retirement after a single term amid an ethics investigation of his own. (That's not even to mention the problems of New York Gov. David Paterson -- what is it with Democratic elected officials in New York? -- and the talk that, after announcing his retirement last week, he may be forced to resign.) The cumulative effect? A diminishing and/or tarnishing of the Democratic brand -- the last thing the party, which is in the midst of trying to pass an unpopular health care bill, needs heading into the November midterm elections. The last week goes to show yet another way that politics is like sports. When the momentum is with you -- as it was for Democrats in 2006 and 2008 -- every break seems to go your way, every ball that hits the rim rolls in. When momentum is working against you, every break is a bad one.

Bring Back the Robber Barons
There's a big difference between entrepreneurs who make a fortune in the market, and those who do so by gaming the government.
Excerpt: "Robber baron" became a term of derision to generations of American students after many earnest teachers made them read Matthew Josephson's long tome of the same name about the men whose enterprise drove the American industrial age from 1861 to 1901. Josephson's cast of pillaging villains was comprehensive: Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Morgan, Astor, Jay Gould, James J. Hill. His table of contents alone shaped impressions of those times: "Carnegie as 'business pirate'.'' "Henry Frick, baron of coke." "Terrorism in Oil." "The sack of California." I say, bring 'em back, and the sooner the better. What we need, a lot more than a $1,000 tax credit, are industries no one has thought of before. We need vision, vitality and commercial moxie. This government is draining it away. The antidote to Josephson's book is a small classic by Hillsdale College historian Burton W. Folsom called "The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America" (Young America's Foundation). Prof. Folsom's core insight is to divide the men of that age into market entrepreneurs and political entrepreneurs. Market entrepreneurs like Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and Hill built businesses on product and price. Hill was the railroad magnate who finished his transcontinental line without a public land grant. Rockefeller took on and beat the world's dominant oil power at the time, Russia. Rockefeller innovated his way to energy primacy for the U.S. Political entrepreneurs, by contrast, made money back then by gaming the political system. Steamship builder Robert Fulton acquired a 30-year monopoly on Hudson River steamship traffic from, no surprise, the New York legislature. Cornelius Vanderbilt, with the slogan "New Jersey must be free," broke Fulton's government-granted monopoly.

So, How’s That Pivot to Jobs Going?
Excerpt: At one of President Obama’s many jobs summits, Fred Lampropoulos told The New York Times that businesses were uncertain about investment because “there’s such an aggressive legislative agenda that businesspeople don’t really know what they ought to do.” That uncertainty, he added, “is really what’s holding back the jobs.” Dan DiMicco, CEO of steelmaker Nucor Corp, told the Wall Street Journal: “Companies large and small are saying, ‘I am not going to do anything until these things — health care, climate legislation — go away or are resolved.’” Porta-King CEO Steve Schulte told USA Today his company is not investing because “proposals in Congress to tackle climate change and overhaul health care would raise costs.” The New York Post’s Charles Gasparino reported on the 600 companies stock analyst Peter Sidoti covers: “‘There hasn’t been one bankruptcy,’ he tells me. How did they survive the recession? By cutting costs and hoarding cash, not expanding their business and hiring more people, even as the economy now is starting to recover. During other recoveries, Sidoti says, firms like these would be hiring workers in droves as demand picks up for goods and services. This time around, they’re not — because ‘they don’t know what their costs are going to be.’” National Federation of Independent Business chief economist Bill Dunkelberg writes: “The horizon is filled with cost unknowns, from healthcare to cap and trade to yawning deficits and the need to come to grips with them, from paid family and medical leave to card check, from expiration of the Bush tax cuts to state decisions about their finances. Washington cannot expect small business owners, facing difficult economic circumstances anyway, to commit themselves to investing in new employees or equipment and vehicles without acknowledging and revealing the policy-inspired costs that will be imposed on them. It is all about uncertainty and confidence.”

Crime, punishment and Climategate
Excerpt: Al Gore and his Climategate colleagues in the academy and the press are like the North Carolina police officers and prosecutors who put an honest man behind bars. Almost all of them began with open minds and the best intentions. At some point they honestly concluded that the Earth was in great peril. They began viewing evidence through this lens, accentuating data that bolstered their view, discounting findings at odds with the “truth.” As their investment in the idea of global warming increased—their careers, good names and sense of themselves—their minds closed. Dissension, debate and doubt became too dangerous. Members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change trumpeted faulty data, climate scientists stifled legitimate inquiry and influential journalists likened those who questioned global warming to Holocaust deniers in the name of truth. In a recent column, James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal found it “amusing” that the New Yorker’s Elizabeth Kolbert had rejected the seriousness of the Climategate scandal in a recent podcast. “She sounds extremely defensive,” Taranto wrote, “as if she feels personally threatened by questions about global-warmist doctrine.” Of course she does. Kolbert has written numerous articles and a celebrated book, “Field Notes On a Catastrophe,” detailing the threat of global warming. Her investment in it is immense. It cannot be easy for her to even entertain the possibility that she—so smart, so accomplished—might have been duped, even a little bit. This is not how journalism or science is supposed to work, but it is how human thought has always functioned.

Hurricane Katrina victims to sue oil companies over global warming
But the Climatenazis now say one event doesn’t prove anything! Excerpt: Victims of Hurricane Katrina are seeking to sue carbon gas-emitting multinationals for helping fuel global warming and boosting the 2005 storm.

Good Climate Change video

Chile Earthquake May Have Shortened Days on Earth
I blame George Bush. Excerpt: The massive 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile may have changed the entire Earth's rotation and shortened the length of days on our planet, a NASA scientist said Monday. The quake, the seventh strongest earthquake in recorded history, hit Chile Saturday and should have shortened the length of an Earth day by 1.26 milliseconds, according to research scientist Richard Gross at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Germany Wants Greece To Sell Off Its Islands In Return For Cash
Excerpt: What does Germany lack? Great Mediterranean beaches. Perhaps that’s the motivation behind a German MPs suggestion that Greece sell some of its islands for cash before asking for freebie European handouts. (Say, maybe we could sell drilling rights in ANWR and off shore and use the money for Healthcare Reform?)

"Innovation" Isn't Enough to Fix Entitlements
Excerpt: Last month, I attended the Conservative Political Action Conference, where I spent a lot of time talking about entitlement reform. Entitlement costs, especially those related to health care, are exploding: over the next 25 years, federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid is expected to nearly double from about 5.3% of GDP to 10%, and will continue rising thereafter. I kept repeating one message. Any discussion of restraining federal taxation and maintaining the current size of government -- let alone shrinking it -- must start with entitlement reform that controls costs. And that means making hard choices, like raising retirement ages and cutting benefits. During the conference, I had a radio host ask me a revealing question, which I think demonstrates why many activists have failed to grasp the centrality of the entitlement issue. He noted that private businesses respond to rising costs by innovating, or figuring out how to produce an equally good product by using fewer resources. Can't we apply that approach to Social Security and Medicare? The answer, unfortunately, is "no" for Social Security and "only partly" for Medicare. Because of the nature of entitlement programs, innovation and efficiency improvements can only play a limited role in controlling their costs. Let's start with Social Security, where innovation is essentially useless. It's hard to imagine a simpler government program than Social Security, which involves taking money from some people and sending it to other people. No amount of innovation will allow the government to send out a $1,000 check at a cost below $1,000.

NPR’s government geography ‘expert’ thinks New Jersey is the same size as Texas
You’d laugh at these people if they weren’t trying to ruin our economy with their cockamamie theories. Excerpt: Ms. FERRIGNO: I think I’ll go back 20 years, and in the last 20 years, I would say at least 20,000 square kilometers of ice has been lost, and that’s comparable to an area somewhere between the state of Texas and the state of Alaska.. (NJ is about 22,000 Km, Texas is 695,000 Km, Alaska is 1.7M Km.)

The Rise and Fall of a Female Captain Bligh,8599,1969602-1,00.html
Equality at last. “Don’t ask, don’t yell”? Excerpt: A Navy admiral stripped Graf of her command of the Japan-based guided missile cruiser U.S.S. Cowpens in January. The just-released IG report concludes that Graf "repeatedly verbally abused her crew and committed assault" and accuses her of using her position as commander of the Cowpens "for personal gain." But old Navy hands tell TIME that those charges, substantiated in the IG report, came about because of the poisonous atmosphere she created aboard her ship. Lockerbie Bomber Getting Better
Excerpt: While the Democrats push to socialize the American medical system, there is relevant news abroad. When the Scottish government released Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi -- a.k.a. the Lockerbie bomber -- last year, it was because he ostensibly had only three months to live. Megrahi blew up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. "But six months later," reports London's Daily Mail, "al-Megrahi is still living -- and doing it in the lap of luxury." Though cancer had set in while he was under the British socialized health system, apparently, the treatment Megrahi has received since returning from Libya has put the cancer into remission. According to the Daily Mail, "the British cancer specialist who gave the three-month prognosis was forced to defend his prediction. He insisted that Megrahi remained gravely ill and was not expected to live much longer." That reminds us of another British comedy, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," in which a collector of dead bodies makes his rounds during The Plague, calling, "Bring out your dead." A second man carries a supposedly dead elderly man to the cart, only to have the old man protest, "I'm not dead ... I'm getting better." After arguing over whether he's really dead ("he will be soon, he's very ill," says the second man), they club the poor sap over the head and toss him onto the cart anyway. That's pretty close to the way the British system actually works. The Lockerbie bomber, after continuing "treatment" under that system, should now be resting comfortably in a British morgue, not running around Scot free. The Patriot Post

3 held in alleged anti-gay BB shooting in S.F.
Didn’t get the “Islam is a religion of peace” memo. If the left keeps pushing multiculturalism and the introduction of Shari’a law (all cultures are equally valid) then can expect the Muslims to bring violence against women and Gays here in every greater magnitude. Notice how often its some guy named Mohammad? Isn’t that demeaning to the Prophet? Excerpt: Three cousins from Hayward have been charged in San Francisco with a hate crime and assault for allegedly firing a BB rifle at the face of a man they believed was gay, an attack the men videotaped, authorities said Wednesday. Mohammad Habibzada, Shafiq Hashemi and Sayed Bassam, all 24, are scheduled to be arraigned today in San Francisco Superior Court. They are free on $50,000 bond apiece. The victim of Friday's attack was walking on the 3200 block of 16th Street near Guerrero Street about 10 p.m. when a car pulled up and someone inside opened fire with a BB rifle, police said. The man was hit in the face but refused medical treatment, said Lt. Lyn Tomioka, spokeswoman for the Police Department. He reported the shooting to police, who pulled over a car that matched the assailants' vehicle a short distance away and arrested the three Hayward men. Investigators believe the assailants chose the victim because he appeared to be gay. When the men were pulled over, police found a video camera that was used to film the shooting, investigators said.

Divorced Before Puberty
Third—sdame grade as my granddaughter. Excerpt: It’s hard to imagine that there have been many younger divorcĂ©es — or braver ones — than a pint-size third grader named Nujood Ali. Nujood, a Yemeni girl, and it’s no coincidence that Yemen abounds both in child brides and in terrorists (and now, thanks to Nujood, children who have been divorced). Societies that repress women tend to be prone to violence. For Nujood, the nightmare began at age 10 when her family told her that she would be marrying a deliveryman in his 30s. Although Nujood’s mother was unhappy, she did not protest. “In our country it’s the men who give the orders, and the women who follow them,” Nujood writes in a powerful new autobiography just published in the United States this week, “I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced.” Her new husband forced her to drop out of school (she was in the second grade) because a married woman shouldn’t be a student. At her wedding, Nujood sat in the corner, her face swollen from crying. Nujood’s father asked the husband not to touch her until a year after she had had her first menstrual period. But as soon as they were married, she writes, her husband forced himself on her. He soon began to beat her as well, the memoir says, and her new mother-in-law offered no sympathy. “Hit her even harder,” the mother-in-law would tell her son.

Credit Where Credit Isn't Due
Excerpt: "Victory has a thousand fathers," John F. Kennedy reportedly said, "but defeat is an orphan." By that standard, George W. Bush has won the Iraq war.
Last month, Vice President Joe Biden proclaimed on CNN's "Larry King Live" that the peaceful transition to democracy and the (partial) withdrawal of U.S. forces "could be one of the great achievements of this administration." Initially, I ignored Biden's comment because, well, he's Joe Biden. As critical as I may be of the Obama administration, holding it accountable for Biden's mouth seems grotesquely unfair. But then White House spokesman Robert Gibbs defended the vice president, suggesting that it was Obama who put Iraq "back together" and worked out bringing American troops home. More on that in a moment….. Still, when the Obama administration starts taking credit for success in Iraq, you know things have changed for the better. Now, of course, it is a grotesque distortion of logic and even political decency for the White House to be taking credit for victory in Iraq. Obama wouldn't be president today if he hadn't opposed the war. His opposition is what best distinguished him from Hillary Clinton in the primaries. Obama also opposed Bush's surge, which turned Iraq around. He and Biden both claimed that it would actually make things worse. "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence," then-Sen. Obama declared in January 2007. "In fact, I think it will do the reverse."

Son of Hamas top dog: Moderate Islam does not exist
Excerpt: Hannity: We keep hearing about that there is a distinction, the difference between radical Islam and mainstream Islam Mosab Hassan Yousef: This is a big mistake. Comparing between moderate Muslims and fanatics. This is not how we compare it. All Muslims to me are the same. At the end of the day they believe in the god of the koran and they believe that this koran is from that god. Hannity: You're saying that most Muslims think that jihad is where they need to go. Mosab Hassan Yousef: It's not their choice. If they believe that the koran is from the word of god…..Hannity: So let me ask this again. So when people talk about moderate Islam, you're saying it doesn't exist? Mosab Hassan Yousef: It doesn't exist.

4 Guilty in Plot Against GIs in Germany
Didn’t get the memo. Excerpt: Two German converts to Islam and two Turks were found guilty Thursday of plotting a thwarted attack that a judge said could have killed large numbers of U.S. soldiers and civilians in "a terrible bloodbath." The two Turkish citizens and two Germans received reduced sentences ranging between five to 12 years due to their willingness to detail in wide-reaching confessions how they were recruited, trained and convinced to carry out the attack by the radical Islamic Jihad Union.

A Short Spelling Lesson.....

The last four letters in American.........I Can

The last four letters in Republican.......I Can

The last four letters in Democrats........Rats

End of Lesson!

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