Friday, March 19, 2010

Political Digest March 19, 2010

Political Digest for March 19, 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.

Health care reform in Washington meets the Chicago Way,0,4939258.column
From Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass, a long-time Obama watcher. Excerpt: "These congressmen are starting to understand what it's like in Chicago, with the Chicago guys running the White House. They (the Democrats) have to know they're the fall guys," Laski said. "Otherwise, why would they so desperate to keep their fingerprints off the health care thing.”

Stupak: It’s been ‘a living hell’
Statists are always intolerant of opposition and diversity of thought. Since they know what’s best for you, you must be evil, stupid or both to oppose them. At least they are not sending opponents to the camps. Yet. Excerpt: Leading a revolt against President Barack Obama’s healthcare legislation over abortion has been a “living hell” for Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.). The telephone lines in his Washington and district offices have been “jammed” and he’s gotten more than 1,500 faxes and countless e-mails — most of which he says don’t come from his constituents. The fight has taken a toll on his wife, who has disconnected the phone in their home to avoid harassment. “All the phones are unplugged at our house — tired of the obscene calls and threats. She won’t watch TV,” Stupak said during an hourlong interview with The Hill in his Rayburn office. “People saying they’re going to spit on you and all this. That’s just not fun.” Stupak has become a nationally known figure because of his demands for tough language in healthcare legislation to prevent any federal subsidies from being used for abortion services.

CBO: Health package costs $940 billion; Hoyer eyes Sunday vote
Wish they would say that the score is for the SIX years of spending envisioned in the bill, that if it were for the full ten years it would be $X. This bill has as much chance of cutting the deficit as I do of being elected pope. Democrats are lauding a CBO report that found their healthcare package will cut the deficit by $130 billion. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer hailed the figures from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office during a meeting with a group of reporters on Thursday morning and said the House would vote on Sunday. He said House Democrats had crafted a bill that would amount to the largest deficit reduction package in more than 15 years. “We think the numbers are now pretty well set from CBO,” Hoyer said. “We think it will post the largest deficit reduction of any bill that we’ve adopted in the Congress since 1993.”

To Repeat: Doctors Could Hang It Up
Health Overhaul: We were harshly criticized last September for an IBD/TIPP Poll that showed 45% of doctors would consider leaving medicine if a health care takeover passed. A new poll has vindicated our findings. Our questionnaire went out Aug. 28 to some 25,600 doctors nationwide. Of that substantial sample, we got 1,476 responses. One hundred of those were retired, leaving 1,376. At the time, virtually no one had stopped to ask doctors how they felt about the medical takeover being discussed in Congress. We thought it was vital to ask them, since any overhaul would rise or fall on its implementation by doctors themselves. To say we were stunned with the results is an understatement. Of the physicians queried, 45% said they'd consider closing their practice or retiring early if the overhaul then being considered were enacted. Also, 65% said they opposed the government's attempts at taking over the health care system. Just 33% supported it.

Nearly One-Third of Doctors Could Leave Medicine if Health-Care Reform Bill Passes, According to Survey Reported in New England Journal of Medicine
Excerpt: Nearly one-third of all practicing physicians may leave the medical profession if President Obama signs current versions of health-care reform legislation into law, according to a survey published in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The survey, which was conducted by the Medicus Firm, a leading physician search and consulting firm based in Atlanta and Dallas, found that a majority of physicians said health-care reform would cause the quality of American medical care to “deteriorate” and it could be the “final straw” that sends a sizeable number of doctors out of medicine. More than 29 percent (29.2) percent of the nearly 1,200 doctors who responded to the survey said they would quit the profession or retire early if health reform legislation becomes law. If a public option were included in the legislation, as several liberal Senators have indicated they would like, the number would jump to 45.7 percent.

'Nobody Wants to Vote for the Senate bill'
Democrats are ignoring their own polls.
Excerpt: The Democratic spin explaining why polls show the public opposed to their health care bill is that voters actually like the individual pieces of the bill but have been turned off by the messy process. Yesterday, Joel Benenson, a pollster for the Democratic National Committee, reported the results of his own survey done for the Service Employees International Union. It claims the difficulty liberals are having in selling health-care reform "centers squarely on perceptions of a breakdown in the legislative process, exemplified by deal-cutting and special deals for the constituents of key swing Senators." But it appears that Democrats are ignoring their own findings. Last week, President Obama backed away from his earlier demand that lawmakers' special deals be stripped out of the bill. Then there's Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who yesterday endorsed a parliamentary maneuver under which the House would "deem" the Senate's health care bill approved without the House voting on it. Ms. Pelosi actually told reporters: "Nobody wants to vote for the Senate bill." Her scheme to allow House members to escape political responsibility even drew the ire of the Washington Post editorial page, which has strongly backed health care reform: "What is intended as a final sprint threatens to turn into something unseemly and, more important, contrary to Democrats' promises of transparency and time for deliberation." In ramming through an unpopular 2,700-page health care bill using brute force tactics, Democrats are in danger of passing what amounts to the longest suicide note in history. Their own pollsters are telling them the public has rebelled against their tactics. So their response is to press their foot down even harder on the gas pedal. We'll see how that works out for them.

Rep. Kucinich to vote yes on healthcare bill, giving needed boost to Democrats
This is just PR to make it appear the bill has momentum. No one with two working brain cells expected Dennis the Far Left Menace to vote against a bill expanding government. Excerpt: Maverick liberal Rep. Dennis Kucinich announced Wednesday he will vote in favor of healthcare reform, handing Democrats a crucial vote. The Ohio lawmaker and perennial left-wing presidential candidate made the announcement at a Wednesday morning press conference two days after President Barack Obama personally lobbied him during a flight to Ohio on Air Force One to switch his vote.

The impudent tyranny of Sen. Harry Reid
Older post, but worth noting as this get’s shoved down our throats. Excerpt: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada is proving once again the maxim that darkness hates the light. Buried in his massive amendment to the Senate version of Obamacare is Reid’s anti-democratic poison pill designed to prevent any future Congress from repealing the central feature of this monstrous legislation. Beginning on page 1,000 of the measure, Section 3403 reads in part: “… it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection.” In other words, if President Barack Obama signs this measure into law, no future Senate or House will be able to change a single word of Section 3403, regardless whether future Americans or their representatives in Congress wish otherwise. Note that the subsection at issue here concerns the regulatory power of the Independent Medicare Advisory Board (IMAB) to “reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending.” That is precisely the kind of open-ended grant of regulatory power that effectively establishes the IMAB as the ultimate arbiter of the cost, quality and quantity of health care to be made available to the American people. And Reid wants the decisions of this group of unelected federal bureaucrats to be untouchable for all time.

The Failure of RomneyCare
And Romney’s the Conservative hope for 2012? Excerpt: The former Massachusetts governor enacted something very similar to the Obama health plan. It isn't working well. Former Massachusetts governor and likely 2012 presidential aspirant Mitt Romney has been on the wrong side of the defining political battle of our time. Mr. Romney claimed earlier this month on "Fox News Sunday" that the Massachusetts health reform plan he signed into law in 2006 is "the ultimate conservative plan." But there are many similarities between it and the ObamaCare loathed by conservative voters. Both have an individual mandate requiring most residents to have health insurance or pay a penalty. Most businesses are required to participate or pay a fine. Both rely on government-designed purchasing exchanges that also provide a platform to control private health insurance. Many of the uninsured are covered through Medicaid expansion and others receive subsidies for highly-prescriptive policies. And the apparatus requires a plethora of new government boards and agencies. While it's true that the liberal Massachusetts legislature did turn Mr. Romney's plan to the left, his claims that his plan is "entirely different" will not stand up to the intense scrutiny of a presidential campaign, especially a primary challenge. Mr. Romney needs to be more honest about his Massachusetts experiment and its failings. Mr. Romney insisted in a recent interview on "Fox News Sunday" that "our plan is working well," and he defended his state's right to create its own plan. He also said in his book "No Apology" that because of the plan everyone in Massachusetts now has access to "portable, affordable health insurance." Not exactly. While Massachusetts' uninsured rate has dropped to around 3%, 68% of the newly insured since 2006 receive coverage that is heavily or completely subsidized by taxpayers. While Mr. Romney insisted that everyone should pay something for coverage, that is not the way his plan has turned out. More than half of the 408,000 newly insured residents pay nothing, according to a February 2010 report by the Massachusetts Health Connector, the state's insurance exchange. Another 140,000 remained uninsured in 2008 and were either assessed a penalty or exempted from the individual mandate because the state deemed they couldn't afford the premiums. Mr. Romney's promise that getting everyone covered would force costs down also is far from being realized. One third of state residents polled by Harvard researchers in a study published in "Health Affairs" in 2008 said that their health costs had gone up as a result of the 2006 reforms. A typical family of four today faces total annual health costs of nearly $13,788, the highest in the country. Per capita spending is 27% higher than the national average. The state's stubbornly high health costs are partly the result of intrusive government regulations that stifle competition in the insurance market and strict mandates on what services insurance must cover. A 2008 study by the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy found that the state's most expensive insurance mandates cost patients more than $1 billion between July 2004 and July 2005. The Massachusetts health reform law left all of them in place.

Obamacare Increases Unemployment, Insurance Premiums, Deficit And Debt
Do you think supporters really believe that a massive new government program will reduce the deficit? They can’t be that stupid. Excerpt: President Barack Obama and congressional leaders claim that the Senate health bill, which will likely face a vote in the House by the end of the week, will decrease the deficit and bend the cost curve related to health care spending. However, recent analysis by The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis (CDA) shows that this is far from true. Instead, the bill’s mandates and numerous new taxes will have tumultuous effects. Passing Obamacare will come at the expense of the American people as it would grow the federal debt, increase premiums, and stifle economic growth. The Senate bill would have disastrous effects on the economy and federal spending.

Governors rise up against federal takeover of health care
Dems’ job-killing government takeover of health care dumps costs onto states, millions into bankrupt Medicaid
Excerpt: As Democrats in Washington continue plotting and scheming behind closed doors, desperately trying to force their job-killing government takeover of health care down Americans’ throats, governors across America are rising up – and, like the American people – are demanding that out-of-touch Democrats scrap their massive health care proposal. Governors have noted time and time again – for more than a year – that the Democrats’ government takeover of health care will kill American jobs and shift billions in unfunded mandates onto the states. For months, a state rebellion against ObamaCare has been brewing: measures have been introduced in at least 36 state legislatures, similar to the proposal just signed into law by Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia, providing that no individual may be compelled to purchase health insurance. Governor Mitch Daniels (R-IN), in a letter to the Congressional delegation of Indiana, noted how the unfunded mandates would affect his state:

Premiums would rise under Obama plan
By: Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press
There are conservatives who think Obama is stupid, and actually believes what he says. I think not. Too many examples of him saying things that were clearly untrue just to impress the audience of the moment. Excerpt: Buyers, beware: President Barack Obama says his health care overhaul will lower premiums by double digits, but check the fine print. Premiums are likely to keep going up even if the health care bill passes, experts say. If cost controls work as advertised, annual increases would level off with time. But don't look for a rollback. Instead, the main reason premiums would be more affordable is that new government tax credits would help millions of people who can't afford the cost now. Listening to Obama pitch his plan, you might not realize that's how it works. Visiting a Cleveland suburb this week, the president described how individuals and small businesses will be able to buy coverage in a new kind of health insurance marketplace, gaining the same strength in numbers that federal employees have. "You'll be able to buy in, or a small business will be able to buy into this pool," Obama said. "And that will lower rates, it's estimated, by up to 14 to 20 percent over what you're currently getting. That's money out of pocket." And that's not all. Obama asked his audience for a show of hands from people with employer-provided coverage, what most Americans have. "Your employer, it's estimated, would see premiums fall by as much as 3,000 percent," said the president, "which means they could give you a raise." A White House press spokesman later said the president misspoke; he had meant to say annual premiums would drop by $3,000. It could be a long wait.

Walgreens: no new Medicaid patients as of April 16
The collapse of our great healthcare system is starting. Excerpt: Effective April 16, Walgreens drugstores across the state won't take any new Medicaid patients, saying that filling their prescriptions is a money-losing proposition — the latest development in an ongoing dispute over Medicaid reimbursement. The company, which operates 121 stores in the state, will continue filling Medicaid prescriptions for current patients. In a news release, Walgreens said its decision to not take new Medicaid patients stemmed from a "continued reduction in reimbursement" under the state's Medicaid program, which reimburses it at less than the break-even point for 95 percent of brand-name medications dispensed to Medicaid patents. Walgreens follows Bartell Drugs, which stopped taking new Medicaid patients last month at all 57 of its stores in Washington, though it still fills Medicaid prescriptions for existing customers at all but 15 of those stores.

Judge won't dismiss medical marijuana case under Obama made me do it defense.
Excerpt: James Stacy, the Vista medical marijuana dispensary owner facing federal drug charges, has lost an intriguing bid to have the charges against him thrown out.
Stacy had argued that President Obama, when he was Candidate Obama, had basically said he wouldn't prosecute medical marijuana providers who were complying with state law, and that Stacy had relied on that -- and later statements by Attorney General Eric Holder -- to launch his business. He also said the prosecution violated the Tenth Amendment because it "commandeered" local law enforcement to enforce federal policy. The intriguing arguments received some attention after first being reported by San Diego CityBeat in December.

Tax Fairness Reaches A Tipping Point
The fiscal collapse is coming. Excerpt: The latest data show a record number of people with no tax obligation. We also have the highest-earning nontaxpayers ever. With more riding the wagon and fewer pulling, it should soon break down. A record number of the 142 million tax returns filed in 2008 resulted in no taxes owed, according to the Tax Foundation's analysis of the latest IRS data. About 51.6 million returns, or 36.3%, were filed by those whose deductions, exemptions and tax credits wiped out any federal income-tax obligation. These aren't people who have overpaid their taxes or had so much withheld from their paychecks that they'll get refunds. Those people owe taxes and merely provided the government with a zero interest loan until accounts are settled. These are people who pay no taxes at all. There's been a 59% increase in the number of nonpayers since 2000, growing from 32.6 million in 2000 to 51.6 million in 2008. In the same period, the total tax filers grew by only 10%. Not only are fewer people paying any taxes, but also the income levels for these nonpayers have steadily risen. A family of four earning more than $50,000 can have no income tax liability after taking the standard deduction and the child tax credit. According to the Tax Foundation, "The major elements of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 boosted the maximum income for nonpayers to more than $56,700" — the highest ever. The government has continually expanded the value of benefits such as the earned income tax credit to the point where you get a check from Uncle Sam even if you paid no taxes during the year. That's what made it so laughable when the administration claimed it was cutting taxes for most Americans when nearly 40% pay no taxes to start with. These are in essence welfare checks.

Another Look at Climate Sensitivity
OK, a quick pop quiz. The average temperature of the planet is about 14°C (57°F). If the earth had no atmosphere, and if it were a blackbody at the same distance from the sun, how much cooler would it be than at present?
a) 33°C (59°F) cooler
b) 20°C (36°F) cooler
c) 8° C (15°F) cooler
The answer may come as a surprise. If the earth were a blackbody at its present distance from the sun, it would be only 8°C cooler than it is now. That is to say, the net gain from our entire complete system, including clouds, surface albedo, aerosols, evaporation losses, and all the rest, is only 8°C above blackbody no-atmosphere conditions.

Gloomy Obama would rather be a victim than leader
People are noticing how little President Obama seems to enjoy his job.
The president's two main emotions on display are regret and indignation. He's either lecturing about the problems facing the country in a slightly patronizing tone or expressing his disgust with someone who won't take his lesson to heart. A standard Obama rally goes something like this: A mild joke at the expense of some dignitary present (Congressman Hornswaggle can't bowl to save his life), a sad story tweaked bordering on bathos (Suzy Creamcheese and her 15 foster children and five shelter dogs are being forced out of their home), the identification of her tormentor (rapacious banks), and finally a promise to seek justice for the afflicted despite the political cost to himself ("It may not be good politics, but it's the right thing to do."). Rather than being energized by trying to solve problems at a level of maximal achievable good, Obama and his team speak to the American people with the enthusiasm of an Army bereavement officer. It is their sad duty to inform you that they must overhaul the health care system. As Washington Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt wrote, Obama needs to show the American people "he's happy we hired him" and to ditch the "lugubriousness." Part of the funereal vibe may arise from Obama's self-regarding nature. He never absorbed a crucial bit of wisdom: You can take your job seriously without taking yourself seriously.

Obama nominee’s sympathy for sexual sadists
In the left’s view, everyone is a victim and not responsible, except productive members of society who earn a good living and must be punished. Excerpt: President Obama’s judicial nominees are getting more dangerous with each White House announcement. If you don’t believe us, consider one judge’s opinion that the “sexual sadism” of a multiple rapist-murderer was “clearly a mitigating factor” that argued against executing the murderer and perhaps even against convicting him in the first place. Or that a type of Megan’s Law sex-offender registry should be overturned because it “stigmatizes nondangerous registrants.” Even a child-porn convict should serve a sentence less than half as long as official guidelines suggest if his mental and emotional condition is fragile.

Capitol Hill cops decry bullying staff members
Don’t you peasants know who I am? Excerpt: U.S. Capitol Police officers say they need more backing from their leaders to stop congressional staffers who insist on bypassing metal detectors when entering the Capitol with lawmakers. Several officers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The Hill that without a written directive of the policy, they’re left to face bullying staffers and intimidating lawmakers who have been known to file complaints against the officers. The staffers have accused them of discourteous treatment after being stopped and directed to the magnetometers. The officers say the directive must come from either Capitol Police Chief Phillip Morse or the House Sergeant at Arms Bill Livingood and must outline the screening protocol. That would give officers a reference point when lawmakers attempt to have their staff bypass security screening points leading into the Capitol. “I don’t mind doing the job — just give me the tools to do it,” said one officer, who asked that his name not be used. Last week The Hill reported that Capitol Police have violated security protocol by not stopping and screening every staffer through metal detectors when he or she has entered the Capitol, according to Livingood’s testimony before a House panel.

“JihadJane” said to have confessed
Where do I go to sign up to be on the firing squad? Excerpt: The Montgomery County woman who calls herself "JihadJane" has confessed to the FBI about her alleged role in a plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist, according to two people close to the investigation. Colleen LaRose confessed to FBI agents shortly after her October arrest at Philadelphia International Airport, where she had just arrived from London, said the two sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants
Comment from a Marine buddy: Well, we just had the former Congressman Charlie Wilson die, the guy who did all kinds of behind the scenes stuff to help the mujahedin kick the Russians out of Afghanistan, and now maybe we have his successor. It seems that maybe this federal employee diverted funds from a program to better our military's understanding of Afghan culture to operatives who hunted down and killed terrorists and their leaders. The Times writes this up as kind of a scandal, and Furlong may be in real trouble over it. Of course, one might just argue that spending money to take out terrorists is actually more effective than spending money on cross-cultural programs that may possibly help our military take out terrorists, but such logic doesn't play well at the Times or for a lot of our elected leaders.' Interesting note is that the Times had employed in the past some of the same people supposedly on Furlong's payroll in their attempts to find a kidnapped reporter. Apparently it was OK for them to spend money on operatives to accomplish the mission important to them, but not OK for others to follow suit in any way. Personally I hope that if Furlong is found to have actually done this, he gets a note of caution in his file, and one hell of a celebratory dinner. –Del

Excerpt: Under the cover of a benign government information-gathering program, a Defense Department official set up a network of private contractors in Afghanistan and Pakistan to help track and kill suspected militants, according to military officials and businessmen in Afghanistan and the United States. The official, Michael D. Furlong, hired contractors from private security companies that employed former C.I.A. and Special Forces operatives. The contractors, in turn, gathered intelligence on the whereabouts of suspected militants and the location of insurgent camps, and the information was then sent to military units and intelligence officials for possible lethal action in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the officials said. While it has been widely reported that the C.I.A. and the military are attacking operatives of Al Qaeda and others through unmanned, remote-controlled drone strikes, some American officials say they became troubled that Mr. Furlong seemed to be running an off-the-books spy operation. The officials say they are not sure who condoned and supervised his work. It is generally considered illegal for the military to hire contractors to act as covert spies. Officials said Mr. Furlong’s secret network might have been improperly financed by diverting money from a program designed to merely gather information about the region.

Jihadism: The Grassroots Paradox
Wonder why so many Muslims never got the “Islam is a Religion of peace” memo? Excerpt: Last week, rumors that Adam Gadahn had been arrested in Karachi, Pakistan, quickly swept through the global media. When the dust settled, it turned out that the rumors were incorrect; the person arrested was not the American-born al Qaeda spokesman. The excitement generated by the rumors overshadowed a message from Gadahn that the al Qaeda media arm as Sahab had released on March 7, the same day as the reported arrest. While many of the messages from al Qaeda figures that as Sahab has released over the past several years have been repetitive and quite unremarkable, after watching Gadahn’s March 7 message, we believe that it is a message too interesting to ignore. In the message, which was titled “A Call to Arms,” Gadahn starts by telling jihadists to strike targets that are close to them. He repeats the al Qaeda doctrinal position that jihad is a personal, religiously mandated duty for every able-bodied Muslim. He then tells his audience that “it is for you, like your heroic Mujahid brother Nidal Hasan, to decide how, when and where you discharge this duty. But whatever you do, don’t wait for tomorrow to do what can be done today, and don’t wait for others to do what you can do yourself.” As the message progresses, Gadahn’s praise of Fort Hood shooter Hasan continues. Gadahn lifts up Hasan as an example for other Muslims to emulate: “the Mujahid brother Nidal Hasan is a pioneer, a trailblazer and a role-model who has opened a door, lit a path and shown the way forward for every Muslim who finds himself among the unbelievers and yearns to discharge his duty to Allah.” He adds that Hasan was the “ideal role model” for Muslims serving in the armed forces of Western countries and of their Muslim allies. Gadahn’s message is clearly intended to encourage more jihadists to emulate Hasan and conduct lone wolf terrorist attacks. Regarding the planning of such attacks, Gadahn praises Hasan for being a careful planner and for not engaging in a hasty, reckless or poorly planned operation. He states that Hasan clearly learned from the mistakes of others and did not repeat them. Although Gadahn does not specify particular plots in which he believes mistakes were made by grassroots jihadists, he is undoubtedly referring to cases such as the May 2009 arrest of a group of grassroots jihadists in White Plains, N.Y., who came to the attention of authorities when they sought help from a man who turned out to be an FBI informant. Gadahn praises Hasan for practicing careful operational security by keeping his plans to himself and for not discussing them over the phone or Internet. He also notes that Hasan did not make the mistake of confiding in a person who might have been an FBI informant, as several other plotters have done. Gadahn also says Hasan “didn’t unnecessarily raise his security profile or waste money better spent on the operation itself by traveling abroad to acquire skills and instructions which could easily be acquired at home, or indeed, deduced by using one’s own powers of logic and reasoning.” When discussing methods lone wolf jihadists can use to conduct their attacks, Gadahn notes that while Hasan used firearms in his assault at Fort Hood, jihadists are “no longer limited to bullets and bombs” when it comes to weapons. “As the blessed operations of September 11th showed, a little imagination and planning and a minimal budget can turn almost anything into a deadly, effective and convenient weapon which can take the enemy by surprise and deprive him of sleep for years on end.” Gadahn then turns his attention to targeting. He counsels lone wolf jihadists to follow a three-pronged target selection process. They should choose a target with which they are well acquainted, a target that is feasible to hit and a target that, when struck, will have a major impact. He notes that Hasan’s choice of Fort Hood fit all three criteria, but that jihadists should not think that military bases are the only high-value targets in the United States or other Western countries. “On the contrary,” Gadahn insists, “there are countless other strategic places, institutions and installations which, by striking, the Muslim can do major damage.”

Attackers kill 12 in latest Nigeria fighting;_ylt=AsaUx7NcRbxws2mrfKxIWNNv24cA;_ylu=X3oDMTM4a3ZncGpwBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwMzE3L2FmX25pZ2VyaWFfdmlvbGVuY2UEY2NvZGUDbW9zdHBvcHVsYXIEY3BvcwM1BHBvcwM1BHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3RvcmllcwRzbGsDMTJjaHJpc3RpYW52
Didn’t get the memo. Excerpt: attackers killed 12 people Wednesday morning in a small Christian village in central Nigeria, officials said, cutting out most of the victims' tongues in the latest violence in a region where religious fighting already has killed hundreds this year. The attack almost mirrored the tactics used by those who carried out similar massacres in Christian villages last week when more than 200 people were slaughtered. Under the cover of darkness and a driving rain, raiders with machetes entered the village of Byie early Wednesday, setting fire to homes and firing gunshots into the air to drive frightened villagers into the night, witness Linus Vwi said.

The Führer Cult: Germans Cringe at Hitler's Popularity in Pakistan,1518,683966,00.html
Could it be because he killed Jews? Excerpt: Pakistan is the opposite of Germany. The mountains are in the north, the sea is in the south, the economic problems are in the west and the east is doing well. It's not hard for a German living in Pakistan to get used to these differences, but one contrast is hard to stomach: Most people like Hitler.

Turkey threatens to expel 100,000 Armenians over 'genocide' row
You claim we harmed the Armenians? Ha! We will punish….the Armenians! Excerpt: Turkey has threatened to expel 100,000 Armenians from the country in response to the US branding the First World War killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as "genocide".

Pakistani court charges 5 Americans with terrorism
Life in a Pakistani prison will give them time to reflect on how much better Islamic countries are than the US. Excerpt: A Pakistani court charged five young Americans on Wednesday with planning terrorist attacks in the South Asian country and conspiring to wage war against nations allied with Pakistan, their defense lawyer said. The men — all Muslims from the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia — pleaded not guilty to a total of five charges, the most severe of which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, defense lawyer Hasan Dastagir told The Associated Press.

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