Sunday, March 13, 2011

Political Digest for March 14, 2011

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.

For those who want further information about the topics covered in this blog, I recommend the following sites. I will add to this as I find additional good sources.

Boycott Wisconsin!
We took the Granddaughter to the Chicago St. Pat's Day parade Saturday, which is why there was no Sunday digest. This being Chicago, a hotbed of political corruption and fiscal fantasy, the unions were well represented.

One union group was led by a large "Boycott Wisconsin" banner. And most of the walkers carried signs that read, "We Support Wisconsin Workers."

So let's say their boycott of Wisconsin is wildly successful and many Wisconsin businesses decline or fail. Of course, failed Wisconsin businesses have to lay off Wisconsin workers. Then those workers and businesses pay less tax dollars to the state of Wisconsin. Then the state government, lacking the Fed's authority to print money, has to lay off more state union members. So feeling good about boycotting Wisconsin means fewer jobs for the Wisconsin workers they say they support. Proves you don't need to function at even a reasonable cognitive level to belong to a union. No wonder Illinois, home of magical political thinking--is the refuge of choice for Democrat legislators shirking their sworn duties.

The disaster in Japan
We have all been memorized by the disaster that has struck Japan. I'll be sending a check to a relief agency like most blog readers. It has been so well and completely covered in the media that I didn't feel linking to stories you are flooded with was useful. I will link to on-going stories about the political impact that you may miss otherwise.

US did not deliver coolant to Japan nuclear reactor
If Hillary said it, I believe it. She probably delivered it herself, dodging sniper fire to do so. ~Bob. Excerpt: The U.S. military did not provide any coolant for a Japanese nuclear plant affected by a massive earthquake on Friday, U.S. officials said. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier had said that U.S. Air Force "assets" had delivered "some really important coolant" to a Japanese nuclear power plant.

Nuclear meltdown: race to save reactors in Japan
Excerpt: Meltdown occurred according to Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (...) Nuclear reactor coolant systems are running on batteries, and the coolant has reached the boiling point. Extremely critical situation currently at several earthquake affected nuclear reactors. Officials are concerned that a Three Mile Island 1979 meltdown could happen here. (Scary situation. This story has links to both Reuters coverage and to a press release from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. I urge everyone to read the coverage at both links. Be aware that almost all coverage in the MSM is going to include statements from the Union of Concerned Scientists, Greenpeace, and other anti-nuclear activists labeled as “science” rather than politics. I further urge readers to see the comments following this article at WUWT, especially the comment at 7:33PM PST on 11 March by Stas Peterson. Peterson is clearly aware of the difference in designs for various types of reactors. By the way, WUWT DID win the Bloggie award as Best Science blog for 2010. Ron P.)

Japanese Government Confirms Meltdown disaster means that European countries like France will continue to provide clean, less expensive nuclear-generated electricity to their people, while we depend on dirty coal, expensive imported oil and tax-subsidized windmills. ~Bob. Excerpt: Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) said March 12 that the explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi No. 1 nuclear plant could only have been caused by a meltdown of the reactor core, Japanese daily Nikkei reported. This statement seemed somewhat at odds with Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano’s comments earlier March 12, in which he said “the walls of the building containing the reactor were destroyed, meaning that the metal container encasing the reactor did not explode.” NISA’s statement is significant because it is the government agency that reports to the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy within the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. NISA works in conjunction with the Atomic Energy Commission. Its role is to provide oversight to the industry and is responsible for signing off construction of new plants, among other things. It has been criticized for approving nuclear plants on geological fault lines and for an alleged conflict of interest in regulating the nuclear sector. It was NISA that issued the order for the opening of the valve to release pressure — and thus allegedly some radiation — from the Fukushima power plant.

Is The U.S. Prepared For Its Own Disasters?
Excerpt: [G]overnments exist to provide for defense against enemies, secure domestic tranquility, and respond to overwhelming disasters such as this one. "Mission creep" of government not only drains treasuries and diminishes private sector vitality, it detracts from these central missions so that when war or disaster strikes, there are far fewer resources left in the national bank with which to absorb the blow. Keeping government focused and effective means preserving the ability to respond when it is absolutely necessary to have the government take the lead.

U.S. military has no place in Libya
Excerpt: Is what's happening in Libya worth the life of one American soldier?
No. The bloody Libyan civil war between rebels and forces loyal to dictator Moammar Gadhafi is not worth the life of a single American soldier. Nor is all that oil underneath all that sand. Liberals, conservatives, libertarians, Republicans and Democrats can tell you that. The loved ones of U.S. military personnel also can tell you. America already is fighting two wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan. We're overtaxed with war. Former President George Bush said America would find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and I was one of those who mistakenly believed him. But the weapons of mass destruction weren't found, were they? (A good Kass column I agree with, except that Democrats were looking at the same CIA intel Bush was and were also saying there were WMDs in Iraq--which the media put down the memory hole in service to their liberal masters. See below~Bob.)

In Search of Monsters
Saddam was ten times the monster Qaddafi (Gaddafi, Gadhafi?) is, and the left wishes he were back in power, gassing Kurds, his sons torturing losing athletes and ordering school girls up to be raped. John Kerry is urging that we attack Libya--he's an Iraq hawk? ~Bob. Excerpt: The Iraq war hawks urging intervention in Libya are confident that there’s no way Libya could ever be another Iraq. Of course, they never thought Iraq would be Iraq, either. All President Obama needs to do, Paul Wolfowitz asserts, is man up, arm the Libyan rebels, support setting up a no-fly zone and wait for instant democracy. It’s a cakewalk. Didn’t we arm the rebels in Afghanistan in the ’80s? And didn’t many become Taliban and end up turning our own weapons on us? And didn’t one mujahadeen from Saudi Arabia, Osama bin Laden, go on to lead Al Qaeda? So that worked out well.

Poll confirms America's entitlement culture--even among Tea Partiers.
Excerpt: The anti-government “throw-the-bums-out” crowds have had their chance to speak out on how to curtail the deficit and what to do with those hated entitlements that are the antithesis of the America they pine for. A recent WSJ/NBC News poll provided a glimpse of just how dependent on big government entitlements Americans have become–even among the Tea Party. Not that this should be a surprise to anyone watching the slow shift of the American mindset from citizen, to consumer, to ward of the State over the past century. According to the Wall Street Journal who co-sponsored the poll, “Americans across all age groups and ideologies said by large margins that it was ‘unacceptable’ to make significant cuts in entitlement programs in order to reduce the federal deficit.” No wonder President Obama in his State of the Union speech only paid lip service to Social Security and Medicare reform, mentioning each by name only once in over 7,000 words of text. He knows what Americans are really about as summed up in the old adage: “It all depends on whose ox is being gored.” And the poll exposes a potentially discrediting hypocrisy within the Tea Party movement who claim to be for smaller government and a return to a libertarian Nirvana. Consider: by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, self-described Tea Partiers declared significant cuts to Social Security “unacceptable.”

PA TV glorified terrorist who killed 3 in 2002 terror attack in the town of Itamar
Didn't get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: A Palestinian Authority video TV tribute to "Martyrs" three weeks ago included the terrorist who killed three Israelis in a 2002 terror attack in the West Bank town of Itamar. Itamar was the scene of Friday's terror attack, in which Ruth and Udi Fogel and their three children were murdered.

West Bank family murdered in their sleep: Palestinians celebrate
No cartoon slanders Islam like celebrating the murders of children in the name of Allah. ~Bob. Excerpt: The shocking attack occurred around 1 am as the terrorist entered the family home and murdered three children aged 11, 3, and a baby girl along with their parents. The victims were apparently sleeping as the killer came in......Gaza residents from the southern city of Rafah hit the streets Saturday to celebrate the terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Itamar where five family members were murdered in their sleep, including three children. Residents handed out candy and sweets, one resident saying the joy "is a natural response to the harm settlers inflict on the Palestinian residents in the West Bank." (Cutting the throats of sleeping children is more than bad enough. But having people hand out candy on the street to celebrate such actions is actually even more telling. --Del)

IDF Chief of Staff: We will not rest until we lay our hands on the murderers
Excerpt: The IDF and Israel Police have been undertaking widespread searches in and around the Itamar community since one or more terrorists murdered five members of a resident family in their home. On Friday night (Mar. 11), at approximately 22:00, the terrorists broke into the community, located southeast of Nablus, entering the family’s home and stabbing its sleeping members to death. The family’s two parents were killed along with three of their children. The family’s 12-year-old daughter managed to help her six-year-old and two-year-old brothers escape, after which they called for help.

Photos of the Murdered Children
Not for the squeamish, or the holders of multicultural fantasies. ~Bob.

Rick Santorum: Sharia 'is evil'
Excerpt: Rick Santorum on Friday asserted that Sharia law has no place in America. “Jihadism is evil and we need to say what it is,” he said at the Strafford County Lincoln-Reagan dinner, remarks that show how the former Pennsylvania senator continues to establish himself as the candidate most-aligned with the Republican Party’s conservative base. “We need to define it and say what it is. And it is evil. Sharia law is incompatible with American jurisprudence and our Constitution.” Santorum, invoking New York Rep. Peter King’s hearing this week on the alleged radicalization of American Muslims, said that the “vast majority” of Muslims don’t want to it either. “They left because of Sharia law,” he said, referring to why he believes Muslim immigrants left their home countries to come to the United States.

Excerpt: Well, here’s the plot of my book, all uncovered at the Department of Homeland Security over the last month: a Palestinian Muslim employee runs a multi-million dollar money-laundering ring WHILE he is an intelligence analyst for the largest Homeland Security agency, ICE. And his boss, the ICE Director of Intelligence, can’t say anything about it because he is apparently a co-conspirator with this Muslim in submitting phony expenses to ICE for reimbursement, and is subject to blackmail. The money, stolen from American taxpayers who paid it to fund this country’s national security, is probably going to fund Islamic terrorism and is definitely going to a multi-million dollar Palestinian money-laundering ring and its bank accounts in Jordan. The Muslim ICE official has a US-government-issued diplomatic passport, which he misuses for eight personal trips to Jordan to see the Muslim brothers. Oh, and here’s the kicker: the Muslim will only do about two years or less in prison because, hey, now that he’s been caught, he’s “cooperating.” That’s incredible, especially when you consider that it’s likely the money went to fund terrorism or other illicit Palestinian activities.

Driver in Bus Crash an Illegal Immigrant
Excerpt: The Department of Public Safety has identified the driver involved in a crash with a school bus in west Phoenix. 20-year-old Jonathan Carillo-Rubio was driving a stolen pick-up truck and was westbound on Interstate 10 at the stack interchange when he collided with a school bus with 28 elementary-school-age children Thursday afternoon, according to DPS. After the collision, Carillo-Rubio allegedly tried to drive away but the vehicle became disabled at the
35th Avenue
off-ramp. DPS and Phoenix police eventually arrested Carillo-Rubio. State police say Carillo-Rubio is an illegal immigrant and has entered the U.S. a number of times working as a human smuggler. (In Sanctuary City Phoenix Arizona. --DH)

Memorial Page for Victims of Illegal Aliens

It Was The Worst of The Times
Dr. Willis Eschenbach has written a long but incredibly well reasoned piece. It is well worth reading. The excerpt is from about halfway through the piece. For any who have forgotten who Tim DeChristopher is, think back to 2008 when the Bureau of Land Management auctioned off oil and gas exploration rights for many parcels of government land in Utah. DeChristopher was convicted of bidding on and winning $1.8 million worth of leases he had no intention—or means—of paying for. His “defense” was he was “doing it for the good of the planet.” He was recently found guilty by a jury and is awaiting sentencing. There are all sorts of federal laws that have been broken, and this definitely qualifies as a major crime—a felony. He will likely spend some time visiting the less-than-luxurious accommodations at the Graybar Hotel for his efforts. --Ron P. Excerpt: You see, if a scientist thinks it is ethical to break the laws of civil society in the name of saving the planet, I have absolutely no confidence that the same man will not break the laws of honest, transparent, ethical science in the name of saving the planet. As we have seen, sadly, this more than a theoretical threat. When this occurs in science, it is called “noble cause corruption”. It occurs when a scientist thinks that their cause (saving the world from Thermageddon) is so important and so noble that it transcends plebeian concerns. Their cause is much more critical and vital and important than, you know, mundane boring things like transparency, and scientific integrity, and archiving data that may not agree with your hypothesis, and revealing adverse results. For scientists like that, those are petty scientific concerns, things that only apply to people who are not engaged on a mission from Gaia. This noble cause corruption, amply personified by Michael Mann, Phil Jones, Gene Wahl, Caspar Amman, Gavin Schmidt, James Hansen, Stephen Schneider, Lonnie Thompson, and far too many other leading lights of AGW orthodoxy, has been the root cause of the mistrust of the public in climate science.

Dead Men Risen: Rupert Thorneloe, the hero who spoke out
Excerpt: The first battalion commander to be killed in action since 1982 was critical of the equipment and strategy in Afghanistan, but was determined to lead his men by example. Toby Harnden reveals the truth behind Lt Col Rupert Thorneloe’s death and the system that failed him.

Inside London's Seediest VIP Club: A Sickening and Degrading Experience Enjoyed By Royals and Celebrities
Excerpt: The time is 11.30pm, it’s a cold weekday evening in London’s Soho and down a litter-strewn alleyway, a fashionable crowd has gathered on the pavement outside an anonymous-looking wooden door. The outfits being showcased are achingly fashionable. The super-thin girls wear barely-there dresses which clearly cost the earth. Each has painted her lips in what appears to be the same shade of scarlet. The men are foppish, well-spoken and clad in designer suits. They eye the girls with the detached insouciance only the privileged can carry off. Welcome to The Box, London’s hottest new nightspot, favoured by royals and A-listers alike. Conservatively billed as a ‘theatre of varieties’, The Box, in truth, offers the cheapest of thrills for the most expensive of tastes.

State Senator Who Voted Against Gay Marriage Has A 'Gay Lover' Who Helped 'Funnel $1Million' In Bribes
Excerpt: A Democratic state senator who voted against gay marriage used his gay 'lover' to launder millions of dollars in bribes, police said today. Carl Kruger, who voted against a gay marriage bill in New York last year, has been charged along with Assemblyman William Boyland and Anthony Seminerio - who is now dead - of accepting bribes to lobby state government for money and lucrative favours. It is also alleged Mr Kruger's gynaecologist 'boy-friend' Michael Turano used shell-companies to help hide bribe money that funded Mr Kruger's lavish lifestyle which included a luxury Bentley car and a multi-million dollar waterfront mansion formerly owned by a mob boss.

Dayton Police Lower Testing Scores Because Not Enough African Americans Pass
Excerpt: The Dayton Police Department is lowering its testing standards for recruits. It's a move required by the U.S. Department of Justice after it says not enough African-Americans passed the exam. Dayton is in desperate need of officers to replace dozens of retirees. The hiring process was postponed for months because the D.O.J. rejected the original scores provided by the Dayton Civil Service Board, which administers the test. Under the previous requirements, candidates had to get a 66% on part one of the exam and a 72% on part two. The D.O.J. approved new scoring policy only requires potential police officers to get a 58% and a 63%. That's the equivalent of an ‘F’ and a ‘D’.

American Professor Kidnapped in Mexican Border City
Excerpt: Armed men kidnapped an American university professor while she was visiting her mother in the violent Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, the state prosecutor's office said Saturday. The American was identified as Veronica Perez Rodriguez, an archeologist at Northern Arizona University. A source at the Chihuahua state prosecutor's office said she was visiting her mother in Ciudad Juarez Friday afternoon "and the moment she left her family's house she was intercepted by armed men and deprived of her liberty."

LAPD limits impounding of unlicensed drivers' cars,0,7690525.story
Under criticism that it was unfairly targeting undocumented immigrants, the Los Angeles Police Department on Friday announced changes to its rules for impounding cars of unlicensed drivers at sobriety checkpoints. Previously, LAPD officers at such checkpoints followed stringent protocols that called for them to impound a car whenever the driver was found not to have a valid license, regardless of whether the driver had been drinking.

New report shows even clean energy projects are dying in regulatory nightmares
Excerpt: The report by TeleNomic Research, titled “Project Denied: The Potential Economic Impact of Permitting Challenges Facing Proposed Energy Projects,” was conducted by Steve Pociask, president of the American Consumer Institute, and Joseph Fuhr, economics professor at Widener University and senior fellow at the American Consumer Institute. “The fact that we ended up having more renewable projects than coal was probably the biggest surprise in the entire study,” said Bill Kovacs, U.S. Chamber senior vice president of Environment, Technology and Regulatory Affairs. “But it shouldn’t be,” Kovacs told The Daily Caller, adding that they decided to do the report during the height of the recession when the focus was on “shovel-ready projects.” “We were starting to see more and more coal and gas, but we were also starting to see renewable projects too,” Kovacs said of projects caught up in red tape. “We sent a stinging letter to the Hill on the stimulus program, saying that unless Congress enacts legislation to address this problem, even green jobs will struggle.” One specific project Kovacs mentioned is Sunrise Power, a renewable power plant in California that waited on a permit from 1980 to February 2011. (Beancounters don’t care whose beans they are counting, they only care that they have the power to say “NO!”(think of your favorite payroll clerk or accountant at your workplace.) That’s what makes them beancounters. They love to say NO, and they don’t have to tell you how to solve the problem. On the other hand, if you’re up for a promotion, though you may have failed to achieve your objective, IF your paperwork is perfect…. Ron P.)

I-74 - Ind. Republicans Spoof on Fleebagging Democrats in Satire Song
Too funny. "Bring them home, to the place they belong...." ~Bob.

Unions Threaten Business
Excerpt: The undersigned groups would like your company to publicly oppose Governor Walker’s efforts to virtually eliminate collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin. While we appreciate that you may need some time to consider this request, we ask for your response by March 17. In the event that you do not respond to this request by that date, we will assume that you stand with Governor Walker and against the teachers, nurses, police officers, fire fighters, and other dedicated public employees who serve our communities. In the event that you cannot support this effort to save collective bargaining, please be advised that the undersigned will publicly and formally boycott the goods and services provided by your company. However, if you join us, we will do everything in our power to publicly celebrate your partnership in the fight to preserve the right of public employees to be heard at the bargaining table. (Gee, and some people suggest if unions get Card Check, they will threaten and intimidate workers to sign up. Wonder why? ~Bob.)

Saturday Afternoon at the Recall Petition ‘Drive Through’ in Wisconsin
Excerpt: Unlike the self-serving public sector union protesters and their hard left allies, the good people of Wisconsin did not storm the district offices of their wayward senators nor did they email death threats in a morally bankrupt attempt to subvert the democratic process through intimidation. Across the state, the beleaguered taxpayers began grassroots recall campaigns against all eight Democratic senators who had served the requisite year in office required by law. Not to be outdone by the legitimate recall efforts of the people, the Democrats (who deny any involvement) countered with a well-organized campaign of their own. The MacIver News Service obtained an advertisement posted on a Washington, D.C.-area website which was recruiting activists to serve as “field organizers” for recall campaigns against Republican senators in eight Wisconsin districts. This central planning brand of astroturf seems particularly well-suited for the dietary needs of their sacred cows in the public sector unions. On Saturday afternoon I had the privilege of assisting the “Recall Wirch” petition effort at a “drive through” location in Kenosha. Having heard first-hand accounts of well-organized union obstruction at a number of sites the previous weekend, I was prepared for the worst. Upon arriving at the vacant gas station which served as our site, I was relieved that everything looked calm and orderly.

Big Payday for Some Hill Staffers
Budget crisis? What budget crisis? ~Bob. Excerpt: Departing members of the House of Representatives awarded millions of dollars in extra pay to aides as they closed down their offices, according to lawmakers' spending records. The 96 lawmakers paid their employees $6.7 million, or 31%, more in the fourth quarter of 2010 than they did, on average, in the first three quarters of the year. That's about twice as much as the 16% increase awarded by lawmakers who returned to the 112th Congress, according to LegiStorm, an organization that tracks congressional salaries. The disparity suggests retiring or defeated members used remaining funds in their official expenses budgets to boost salaries for staffers before they left Washington, cash that might otherwise have been returned to the U.S. Treasury. Lawmakers interviewed for this article say aides work hard for smaller salaries than they could earn elsewhere, and that modest bonuses are one way of offering a reward. Some said they wanted to help employees as they look for new jobs. Because most of the departing members were Democrats, fourth-quarter salary increases in 2010 for Democratic staffers were the largest in the decade LegiStorm has been gathering such data.

Excerpt: Some scary videos on how the new Mafia is infiltrating the U.S.

Rallies spread across Florida as session begins
Excerpt: Thousands of activists rolled out Tuesday from Tallahassee through South Florida — some to protest deep spending cuts promised by Republican leaders and others to urge them on — as the Florida Legislature opened its 2011 session. Hundreds of union members and liberal activists – one organizer estimated 750, another said 1,300 – demonstrated in Fort Lauderdale and 200 to 300 gathered in West Palm Beach. Many wore yellow, black or blue t-shirts – depending on which public-employee union they supported. In Fort Lauderdale, they were met by about 100 counter- demonstrators recruited by the tea party. Many carried large American flags and yellow "Don't Tread on Me" flags popular in the tea party movement. Fueling the confrontation: The state's nearly $4 billion budget deficit, which Republican Gov. Rick Scott and GOP legislative leaders have vowed to overcome with sweeping spending cuts expected to target everything from public schools to public employee pensions and healthcare.

Iran Attacks
Just because we are choosing to do nothing doesn't mean the other players are making the same choice.  --Ron P. Excerpt: The Iranian regime is attacking on all fronts, thrilled at the downfall of the hated Mubarak, and buoyed by the paralysis of the West. The failure to support democratic revolutions in the Middle East has convinced the mullahs in Tehran that they have no effective opposition, and they are trying to run up the score as fast as they can, on both regional and domestic playing fields. Last Tuesday, lots of would-be demonstrators turned out in the streets of many Iranian cities, only to find themselves outnumbered by security thugs, both the usual collection of Revolutionary Guards, Basiji, plaincothesmen and women, Lebanese Hezbollah (increasingly an adjunct of the Quds Force) and the new ranks of very young boys from religious schools who are paid the significant amount of $50 for beating up anyone who walks down the street. This is the Chinese method: overwhelm your opponents, arrest lots of people, prevent demonstrators from gathering in significant numbers by striking first in the streets that lead to the big squares, jam communications so that the demonstrators don’t know which streets are safe, and block automobile traffic at all crucial intersections. And if some foreign journalist dares to report the truth, just throw him out. It worked well on Tuesday, International Women’s Day, and the regime rubbed it in by focusing their attacks and arrests on women, who hold a special terror for the misogynists who rule the Islamic Republic.

Soldier, loyal dog, make final journey together

In the tank for terror. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Daily Caller has acquired the talking points that the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a group with deep ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, supplied to its supporters as an aid in attacking the Muslim radicalization hearing New York Republican Rep. Peter King held Thursday. Save for Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s incoherent ramblings on Thursday, Democrats’ statements and testimony against King’s hearing, whether intentionally or unintentionally, largely mirrored MPAC’s talking points. MPAC recommended that its supporters accuse King of “pure political posturing,” and told them to say, “these hearings appear little more than a political circus with Rep. King as the ringleader.” MPAC also recommended supporters say that the “hearings hurt our national security” because of their “narrow scope.” Finally, it said supporters should say that the hearings were unnecessary because “active” partnerships between law enforcement and the American Muslim community already exist.

David Cameron tells Iran: If you boycott Olympics we won't miss you
Well, that would spoil the stone throwing event, where they lead the world. ~Bob.

Author links man arrested in Quincy to the subject of her book on Oklahoma City bombing
Excerpt: Jayna Davis, author of the 2004 book “Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing,” said she asked a Quincy police detective if Hussain Al-Hussaini, the man police arrested, had a tattoo of an anchor with a snake wrapped around it. He did. Police sent her a photo of him. “His age, his name, the picture, the mug shot – that’s him,” Davis told The Patriot Ledger via telephone after speaking with police. She said the anchor-and-snake tattoo was common among members of a branch of the Iraqi army under Saddam Hussein. An FBI spokesman in Boston, Greg Comcowich, said Thursday night that a man named Hussain Al-Hussaini was “thoroughly investigated” in connection with the Oklahoma City bombing and “was found to not have any role whatsoever in the attack on the Murrah Federal Building in 1995.” Comcowich said the Hussain Al-Hussaini the FBI investigated had been seen with bomber Timothy McVeigh before the April 19, 1995, bombing, which killed 168 people. “The investigation was closed and the FBI has no further interest in that individual,” he said.

The Big Story With John Gibson
Excerpt: GIBSON: Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that our government was warned that Islamic terrorists were planning attacks on American federal buildings around the time of the Oklahoma City bombing. The Clinton administration even stepped up security around such buildings.

Egypt releases two Sadat murder convicts: state TV
Excerpt: Egypt's new military rulers have ordered the release of two Islamist prisoners jailed over the 1981 assassination of president Anwar Sadat, state TV reported on Friday. Cousins Tareq and Abbud al-Zomor, members of Egypt's Islamic Jihad, were convicted in 1981 for their involvement in Sadat's murder but were never released after their sentences expired. Former interior minister Habib al-Adly had used discretionary powers granted by the emergency law to overrule several judicial release orders.

Hope they didn't profile him. Better an A-bomb in NY that non-PC in DC. ~Bob. Excerpt: A Pakistani national has been arrested and charged with a scheme to illegally export nuclear-related materials to his home country from the United States, the US Justice Department said on Wednesday. Nadeem Akhtar, 45, who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, a Washington suburb, was indicted for conspiring with others to illegally export restricted goods and technology to a Pakistani nuclear power plant and a Pakistani research commission. With an unidentified co-defendant, the alleged scheme began late in 2005 and lasted until March of last year, officials said. Most of the illegal exports took place between 2005 and 2008.

Vietnam: The Motorbike Economy
Excerpt: No one in Vietnam is "marching" to the future. "There's nowhere to walk here," explained a waitress in a Saigon restaurant. "The sidewalks are covered with motorbikes." Saigon has been described as a city of nine million people and 30 million motorbikes. That's an understatement. It is an infinity of motorbikes. Imagine an entire city population riding atop a 100cc Honda or Yamaha. It's impossible to imagine unless you see it. One is engulfed by motorbikes seconds away from Ho Chi Minh City airport (HCMC is the city's official name, and though busts and portraits of Uncle Ho abound in public buildings, I never heard anyone in Saigon call it Ho Chi Minh City). Saigon sprawls, like Los Angeles, and virtually every street, from end to end, from morning into the night, is filled with someone on a bike, often with baby sitting in front, holding the handlebars, faces wrapped in large pollution masks, going somewhere, at 35 mph. There are cars and trucks, but they look like whales surrounded by schools of fast fish. Welcome to Vietnam, the motorbike economy—adept, efficient, always in forward gear.

DOJ Tells U.S. Soldiers: Go Bother Someone Else!
Excerpt: The Department of Justice has launched a new website to rehabilitate its damaged reputation among uniformed servicemembers. Good luck, because servicemembers have figured out that this administration is not their friend, particularly in protecting their right to vote. It is an effort to put more “lipstick on the military voting pig.” If you serve in the military, don’t waste your time looking for help through the website. The DOJ doesn’t want to hear from you. (They're too busy helping convicted felons get their voting rights back, because convicted felons will probably vote for Democrats, but military personnel by and large vote for Republicans. --MasterGuns)

VIDEO: MSNBC's Ratigan: Left Afraid to Criticize Obama Because He's A Liberal Black
Excerpt: DYLAN RATIGAN: "There's a bigger issue here because the political machine has been immobilized because it is a liberal black Democratic president who is in charge that the left by my opinion does not want to criticize even though he is exhibiting behavior that were it to be a right-wing older white man, the left would be holding vigils." (Hoisted by their own petard. - Kate)

Nurse stole drugs from patient before surgery
Excerpt: "This is the first one in my experience that the guy is actually on the table, needing 500 and he gets 150. That's probably what makes this more egregious in my book," said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. The patient went to Abbott Northwestern Hospital on Nov. 8, 2010. Hospital staff told the patient he would have medication provided so that he wouldn't feel pain during the surgery. The complaint states Casareto told the patient, "you're gonna have to man up here and take some of the pain because we can't give you a lot of medication, you're going straight into surgery." As the surgery started, the patient described the pain he was feeling as a nine on a scale of one to 10. He told officers he had never experienced such pain, and it was "enough to just about bring him off the table," according to the complaint. (Druggies don't care who they hurt. ~Bob.)

Revolutions Per Minute
Excerpt: Like other regimes in the region, such as that of Libya’s Mu’amar Gaddafi, the regime in Tehran is notorious for brutality and suppressing the rights of its people. Per capita, Iran executes more citizens annually than any other nation in the world. And let’s not even get in to the regime’s treatment of women. Ever since the fraudulent reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009, Iranian citizens have mounted a growing opposition to the regime. And despite violent efforts to suppress the will of protestors, the Iranian people are demonstrating patience and resolve in their quest to overthrow their dictators. And that puts the United States in a unique position. Having an effective strategy to support the Iranian people in their efforts to take their country back can accomplish several important feats at the same time. (…) Iran’s opposition looks very different than the opposition within Egypt. While Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak was nothing short of a militaristic dictator, he was secular, promoted a long-term stalemate with Israel, and was not radicalized in comparison with one of Egypt’s best known opposition groups, the Muslim Brotherhood. In Iran, the regime constitutes the nation’s most extreme religious element. Many of Iran’s most respected ayatollahs are serving life sentences of house arrest (or worse) for correctly stating that the regime’s ideology is a radical and politicized deviation from traditional Shiite faith. Within Iran, it is the opposition that is predominantly secular and seeks to return a scarred Iran to its rightful place in the community of nations.

Obama’s Curious Claims on Oil Production
Excerpt: But record setting production would certainly be good news, wouldn’t it? Sadly, it seems that the President was basing his claims on some recent comments by Ken Salazar. While they sound great on paper, Ken was talking about the total number of oil rigs in the gulf, not the total amount of oil being produced. Jack Gerard of the American Petroleum Institute attempts to straighten out the math for the Oil Analyst in Chief.

Next Panel Must Hear Activists by Abdur-Rahman Muhammad
While watching yesterday's hearing on Capitol Hill on the radicalization of American Muslims, I could not help being moved by the painful testimony of Melvin Bledsoe. His son, Carlos Bledsoe (Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad), is the young man who murdered one person and wounded another at an army recruitment center in Arkansas after coming under the influence radical Islamic ideology. Bledsoe's testimony itself was enough to warrant the calling of such a hearing, despite the hysterical cries predictably heard from the CAIR, MAS, MPAC and ISNAs of the world and their friends in the left-leaning political class. Listening to Mr. Bledsoe describe how he began to lose his son to the pernicious doctrine which sanctions cold blooded murder as an act of religion, my thoughts went back to the sad faces of my own parents as I began my own dark excursion into radical Islam. While there were no dogs in our home to throw out, as in the case of Carlos Bledsoe, nevertheless I will never forget the look of pain and chagrin on their faces as I impertinently informed them that I would no longer accept or give birthday gifts (as I saw it, a pagan practice) nor would I be coming home for the holidays. No, these festivities were the vestiges of the pre-Islamic life that I was now leaving behind; I would have none of it. The result of my taking this hard-line approach to Islam is to now find myself a middle-aged man with many, many nieces, nephews, and cousins who are strangers to me. I have missed all of the most important episodes in their lives, such as marriages, funerals, and family reunions. Simply put, I lost the best years of my youth to a radical brand of Islam, years that that I will never get back.

China's military buildup could push U.S. out of Asia
Excerpt: Just this past week, the Chinese government announced an increase of nearly 13 percent in its defense budget over the previous year. Officially, the defense budget stands at slightly more than $91 billion -- a sum now second in the world only to what the United States spends on its military. This is only the "official," declared budget. China's real expenditures for military affairs are far greater, with jets and ships it buys from Russia, its research and development programs, and its strategic weapons all "off the books." Moreover, if one factors in the vast difference in what it costs to field and pay for the average member of the Chinese military versus those same costs for an American serviceman or woman, the "price-adjusted" Chinese military budget may approach $300 billion. While this figure is at best an estimate and still clearly smaller than what the United States spends on defense, America's edge in spending does not necessarily translate into clear military pre-eminence in Asia.

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