Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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Didn't want this dash of color (below) from Christmas Eve to be lost amid crumpled wrapping paper. It comes out of what you might call an exit interview in the NYT with the outgoing Sunni speaker of the Iraqi parliament, the explosive Mahmoud al-Mashhadani:

Mr. Mashhadani had particularly harsh words for the United States’ performance in Iraq. He had not previously been known as a strong critic [more on that below], but on Wednesday, Mr. Mashhadani described American troops as “hateful occupation forces” who were “destroying everything in Iraq.”

“They handed us a ruined state,” he said, blaming the American occupation for the subsequent sectarian violence that Iraq has only recently begun to emerge from.

The former speaker added, however, that the status of forces agreement...

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Here's what it was like just a few short weeks ago in Gaza when tens of thousands of--gosh--Palestinian civilians turned out to celebrate 21 years of Hamas with an open-air opera in which an actor portraying IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, a Hamas captive since 2006, is humiliated to the thrill of the throng.

It's quite simple, really: Israel strikes back at jihad, finally, and the world takes sides. So far, the sides looks like this: On Israel's side in its strike against jihad are the US and Australia (here); against Israel's strike on jihad are, well, just about everyone else, from France to Iran, from Russia to the UN, from Iraq (hat tip Andrew Bostom) to Afghanistan.  

Hey--aren't Iraq and Afghanistan, after all that American blood and billions spent "democratizing" them, supposed to be allies in the "war on terror"? And isn't Hamas a terror organization?...

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When I saw this story in the Washington Post--"Little Blue Pills [Viagra] Among the Way US Wins Friends in Afghanistan"--I thought of this story' in the New York Times--"The Bride Price (photo above)." Then I felt sick.

Why? Viagra, the Post reports, has become a currency of choice between the CIA and old Afghan chieftains "with younger wives," as the Post puts it, delicately and matter of fact at the same time. The CIA gets information; the Afghans get Viagra. And the "younger wives"--often little girls such as the one above? This is not something the US government should be aiding and abetting.

The transactions work like so, according to the Washington...

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An update on this story from Ben Smith at Politico:

Toussie pardon cancelled President Bush pulled the plug on the pardon of a mortgage scammer, which I noted with surprise yesterday, and whose outraged victims the New York papers quoted today. Isaac Toussie's pardon was among those listed in a press release yesterday. But the White House just issued the following statement: "Yesterday the President forwarded to the Pardon Attorney a Master Warrant of Clemency including 19 requests for pardons with direction that he execute and deliver grants of clemency to the named individuals. "With respect to the case of Mr. Isaac R. Toussie, the Counsel to the President reviewed the application and believed, based on the information known to him at the time, that it was a meritorious application. He so advised...

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The Pardonner-in-Chief is coasting into Christmas having pardoned 19 Americans--not including Sgt. Evan Vela, Border Agents Ramos and Campeon, or Jonathan Pollard--who, by the way, has  entered his 24th year of a life sentence for one count of passing classified information to an ally--Israel, in this case. This is a crime, Pollard's website points out, for which the median sentence is 2 to 4 years.

Instead, President Bush saw fit to bestow mercy on a group including a convicted methamphetamine dealer, a cocaine distributor, two marijuana suppliers, a deceased man, an immigration law-breaker and--in mid subprime mortgage meltdown --Isaac Toussie, a genuine "predatory lender."

The New York Daily News reports:

President George W. Bush pardoned a Brooklyn real estate developer accused of scamming hundreds of poor, minority homebuyers - and whose father donated $28,500 to the Republican Party this year.

...

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Media wires are buzzing over conflicting reports on whether Russia will be (has been) supplying Iran with advanced surface-to-air missiles, a move, AP reports, "the US says could threaten American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan."

From the AP:

Both the U.S. and Israel have strongly opposed the sale, saying that supplying such an advanced anti-aircraft system to Iran would shift the military balance of power in the Middle East. It also would make any strike at Iran's first nuclear power plant — which Russia is helping to build — more difficult.

More difficult? According to the last line of the same story, it would actually make such a strike impossible:

The sale of S-300 missiles, said the military intelligence official, presents a decision point for Israel, since once the anti-aircraft system is in place it could deter any strike.

US response?

"We have...

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We've all heard about Couch Potatoes. Get ready for SOFA Dhimmis.

What is SOFA? The Status of Forces Agreement the United States has signed with Iraq providing the legal framework for our continued presence in Iraq.

And boy, is that a framework. Here's a sample from this week's column--not exactly holiday fare, but extremely timely given that this humiliating treaty kicks in January 1. In other words, next week.

And what did we agree to? From Article 4, Paragraph 3:

"It is the duty of the United States Forces to respect the laws, customs and traditions of Iraq...."

From the column:

What's up with that? This is the neither the first nor the last time in this agreement that the "laws, customs and traditions" of Iraq are declared "the duty" of Americans in Iraq to "respect." For example, Article 3 also declares: "While conducting military...

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From The Scotsman:

THE maker of the shoes thrown by an Iraqi journalist at George Bush has reported an influx of orders from around the world in the wake of the incident.

Ramazan Baydan, the owner of the Istanbul-based Baydan Shoe Co, which claims to make the shoes, has recruited an extra 100 staff to meet orders for 300,000 pairs of Model 271. He said that about 120,000 orders had come from Iraq, but many had been placed in Britain and the United States. It is understood that a UK firm has even offered to act as a European distributor for the footwear, which retail in Turkey for about £28 a pair. So popular is the shoe that Mr Baydan has said he is renaming it from its rather anonymous title to the "Bush" shoe. However, Muntazer al-Zaidi's brother, Durgham,...

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If you read  this week's column, "Pardon Sgt. Evan Vela, Mr. President," and wish to do something to help, here are a few things that I pulled off Evan's website, including defense fund information:

HOW CAN YOU HELP SGT. EVAN VELA Write a Presidential Pardon Letter Directions for the letter: · Address your letter President Bush · Please state in your letter that it is in reference to Sgt. Evan Vela, who is Prisoner Reg No. 84486 confined at the Army Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. · State what you think of Evan’s situation, how you may know him and/or heard of his story. · Request to Pardon Evan. Explain your feelings on why Evan should be pardon. · Please add anything you would...

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Don't know about you, but a story like this gives me the quease in light of a story like this.

 

Not being one who likes to split the difference, I approach the outrage on the Right over Sunday's New York Times massive takeout on the complicity of the Bush administration in the subprime mortgage meltdown in an unfamiliar, possibly seasonal spirit of compromise.

In a fragment of a nutshell, the NYT argues that George W. Bush's determination to expand low-income (read: minority) home ownership as a means of expanding the "ownership society" (along with, so he and the allegedly brilliant Karl Rove believed, the Republican Party) was the agent of our economy's destruction. Bush supporters and NYT opponents, ranging from White House press secretary Dana Perino to Noel Shephard at News Busters, highlight glaring NYT omissions of Democratic hands at the helm of disaster, ranging from the Carter and Clinton White Houses to Democrats in the Senate. Shephard presents the nub of the crisis thus: 

Nor...

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Barack Obama's post-election Change.gov website is extremely creepy.gov.

Michelle Malkin reveals how a political, email-address collecting Obama vehicle gained the dot-gov designation reserved for government organizations and programs. Hint: the GSA chief "determined that it is in the best interest of the Federal Government to register the subject domain name.”

Oh, good.

 

A shrewd observer writes in to the editor of the Washington Post (who slaps the writer with a tag of felonious grammar abuse):

Appreciating Who[sic]? Naturally. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. There were two lengthy obituaries of show business people on Dec. 13. One was an actor from the 1940s and '50s who was big -- I mean big! The other was a 1950s soft-porn pinup girl. Naturally, you had an "appreciation" in Style of the pinup girl, Bettie Page. There was nothing more about Van Johnson, the star. To paraphrase, there is no way to underestimate The Post's taste.

-- John Fay

 

I appreciate Fay's sentiment, and am glad to see he was moved to write in. Of course, it's not just a matter of taste operating here in the Post's choice of whoM to showcase. A soft-porn pin-up girl ("50s Cheesecake Pinup Icon Revered as Queen of Retro-Kitsch") fits into the Post's postmodern day sensibility; a clean-cut, attractive, masculine (white) man ("Versatile Actor Van Johnson; Dubbed `Voiceless...

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This is a photo of Iraqi policemen dancing with what looks like an American gal soldier in celebration of the Iraqi parliament's approval last month of the Status of Force Agreement (SOFA) with the United States. Here is a close analysis by Chris Weigant of that same SOFA. I haven't been all the way through it yet, but from what I can tell, it sure looks as though the US has signed off on about the most disgraceful piece of paper in our history. That explains why the Iraqis are so happy. But the American? More to come.

Here is a NYT page that links to a PDF of the SOFA Security Agreement so you can the whole 18 pages yourself.



This week's column:

It's that time again, and I don't just mean Christmastime. We're now entering the final phase of an outgoing administration. And during this phase, George W. Bush, mere mortal but still president, has the practically supernatural ability to grant pardons. This endows him with the power of life over death, of clemency over conviction. For one month more, President Bush will be able to right wrongs, show mercy and restore faith. For one month more, he will have the opportunity to pardon Sgt. Evan Vela, now serving 10 years in a military prison for what a court martial called "murder" but what I, along with many, many Americans, call war. I first heard about Sgt. Vela last spring in an e-mail from his father, Curtis Carnahan....

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I just finished writing this week's syndicated column urging President Bush to pardon Sgt. Evan Vela (above), a 25-year-old Ranger-trained sniper now serving TEN YEARS for unpremeditated "murder" on the Iraqi battlefield. (My April column on Vela here. More info here.) I consider Vela to be the proverbial  lamb sacrificed to the cause of "the surge" and the Sunni "awakening"--not to mention the blood-curdling desire for retribution against Americans on the part of the Orwellianly designated Iraqi Human Rights Minister, Wijdan Mikhail Salim.

Salim attended Evan Vela's trial back in February where she told Time magazine (February 8, 2008): "I want to be sure that any American soldier who wrongs an Iraqi will go on trial, [Vela] killed an Iraqi man, an unarmd man. He must be punished." She also told the New York Times on July 12, 2006 that "a government commission had been formed to study the possibility of scrapping a law that granted American troops immunity from Iraqi prosecution." Such attitudes are why I am so concerned about the SOFA agreement with Iraq, which, as far I can tell, still appears to be vague on such matters.

...

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Photo: Eric Holder with Gov. Blago at a 2004 press conference.

This is getting ridiculous.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Before Eric Holder was President-elect Barack Obama's choice to be attorney general, he was Gov. Blagojevich's pick to sort out a mess involving Illinois' long-dormant casino license.

Blagojevich and Holder appeared together at a March 24, 2004, news conference to announce Holder's role as "special investigator to the Illinois Gaming Board" -- a post that was to pay Holder and his Washington, D.C. law firm up to $300,000. Holder, however, omitted that event from his 47-page response to a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire made public this week -- an oversight he plans to correct after a Chicago Sun-Times inquiry,...

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For a long time, I thought that trends of capitulation indicated that Islamic prayer rugs were the next must-have item for the well-outfitted white-flag-waver in the coming surrender of the West. I was wrong. First, get a gag.

From the Washington Post's "The Fix" blog by Chris Cillizza:

As the Republican National Committee continues its attempt to tie disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich to President-elect Barack Obama, more high-profile GOPers are rebelling...

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And what do we have here--a quaint Yuletide celebration from the Old Country? Does "T IS MIJN KRUIS BLIJF ERAF" mean "Ho, ho, ho" in Flemish? Not exactly. 

My friend Paul Belien writes in to explain what's with up the Santa Clauses (above), who are standing outside Antwerp City Hall wearing traditional Flemish and Dutch garb:

Muslims have objected to the cross on his mitre and the Antwerp city authorities decreed that the Saint, while visiting Antwerp schools to hand out sweets, had to remove the cross from the mitre. Yesterday evening, the Vlaams Belang demonstrated in front of the Antwerp city hall with ten Santas, bearing the slogan: "'t Is  mijn kruis, blijf eraf."

Which means, Paul writes: Keep off my cross (literally: It is my cross. Keep off it).

How do you say "No Cross, No Sweets" in Flemish?

...

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From today's Obama presser:

Q Thank you, Mr. President-elect.

First of all, given the situation here in Illinois, do you favor or oppose a special election to fill your vacancy? And secondly you told us, at your first press conference, after the election, that you were going to take a very hands-off approach to filling that spot.

Over the weekend, the Tribune reported that Rahm Emanuel, your incoming chief of staff, had presented a list of potential names that --

PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA: John, John, let me just cut you off, because I don't want you to waste your question.

Always thinking about others.

OBAMA: As I indicated yesterday, we've done a full review of this. The facts are going to be released next week.

What a coincidence--Christmas...

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My radio pal John Batchelor writes at his blog:

The choicest tip I heard last night Sunday 14 was from Natasha Korecki of the Chicago Sun-Times, who reports that defense attorneys all over Chicago are getting calls from "victims" of Blago pay-for-play schemes over the years.  The victims are worried they are on the tapes and want to move before the FBI shows up at the door. For years. Back to '04 and '03, I asked. Sure, she said.

Connect dots. If Obama's seat is worth millions to Blago today, what was it worth in 2003-2004 when it was emptying with the retirement of Republican Peter Fitzgerald?  And how did Blago parley that empty seat back then into...

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NR's Byron York wonders what the rush to whisk Blago offstage is all about--and notices that the people doing all the rushing are all longtime Obama allies. Byron writes:

There’s no doubt the problems in Illinois are serious. But a closer look at events suggests that some key state officials, all of them close allies of Barack Obama, are actively fostering a sense of crisis and, in the case of Madigan, actually taking steps to make the crisis worse — while citing the worsening crisis as the reason Blagojevich must go immediately.

Those close allies would be: state attorney general Lisa Madigan, state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and state comptroller Daniel W. Hynes.

Bottom line:

And now, all three are playing critical roles in the effort to push the scandal — and the governor — offstage. And there’s one more player: Standing behind Madigan at her news conference Friday was Abner...

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What a creep John McCain is. From CNS News:

Sen. John McCain, in his first Sunday talk show interview since the election, told ABC's "This Week" that he wouldn’t support his former running mate Sarah Palin if she runs for president in 2012.   Can Palin count on McCain's support, George Stephanopoulos asked McCain. "Oh, no," he replied.   "Listen, I have the greatest appreciation for Governor Palin and her family, and it was a great joy to know them. She invigorated our campaign. She was just down in Georgia and invigorated their (Sen. Richard Shelby’s senatorial) campaign. But I can't say something like that," McCain responded to Stephanopoulos.   "We've got some great other young governors. I think you're going to see the governors assume a greater leadership role in our Republican Party. Pawlenty, Huntsman...   Stephanopoulos pressed McCain, asking why Palin couldn't count on his support. "She was the...

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I love reading Refugee Resettlement Watch but not for its deeply disturbing   subject--the stories that stem from our government's resettlement in this country of refugee populations  deeply hostile or culturally unsuited to the Western way of life. What I love reading are Ann Corcoran's common sense reactions to the insanity. Take today's entry on the introduction of Muslim prayer rooms in Minnesota's Mall of America. Ann writes:

"The accommodation continues as the Muslim population reaches higher levels in states such as Minnesota.  Here is a report (Hat tip: Janet) that tells us that a special prayer room has been set up at the Mall of America.  Will footbaths be next? "BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – On the day Muslims around the world began to   celebrate Eid al-Adha, Fatuma Mohamed was at the Mall of America (MOA), far away from where she would normally say her prayers....

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Terrence Jeffrey writes:

Bill Kristol, the often insightful, ever-influential editor of The Weekly Standard, used his column in The New York Times this week to offer some advice to conservatives who advocate small government: Cut it out.

The essence of Kristol's argument is that small government is not popular, therefore advocating it is not a smart strategy for a political faction seeking power in a representative government.

Jeffrey explains everything that's wrong with that reasoning here.

Funny how many conservatives are telling other conservatives to "cut it out."

A US Army Captain and Sergeant could face life in prison for an incident in which they are accused of slapping Afghan detainees and firing a gun into the dirt to frighten them.  

Details here. 

As a nation, we have lost our mind. Which doesn't bode well for winning much of anything. In fact, I don't think we're mentally fit to project power, period. Meanwhile, back on the ground, we are hanging our very best out to dry, as usual.

 



Van Johnson, who died yesterday at age 92, and Elizabeth Taylor starred together in "The Last Time I Saw Paris" (above), a movie I much admire not so much for its soap opera plot but for its evocation of postwar Paris. Not having lived it myself, I can't exactly vouch for it, but the mood the movie evokes is ebullient, bittersweet and transporting. Another striking movie Johnson contributed much to is "Battleground," a chronological precursor to "Paris" that tracks an American fighting squad across Northern Europe into the Battle of the Bulge. Again, an evocatively transporting  picture--and one my Dad, a veteran of those same campaigns across Northern Europe, whose bout of pneumonia took him off the front line just before the beginning of the German offensive that ended at Bastogne, much appreciated for its success in capturing that time and place (as opposed to "Saving Private...

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In the spirit of continuing  inquiry, a friend writes in with some common sense from the Northeast Intelligence Network blog, excerpted below:

Perhaps it is no coincidence that this article is being published on December 7th, 2008, the 67th anniversary of the attack on America by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on this day in 1941. Barack Hussein OBAMA contends that he was born in Hawaii, a claim that despite countless erroneous media reports and reckless, poorly researched postings on numerous Internet Blogs to the contrary, has yet to be proven by Barack Hussein OBAMA or anyone else named as co-defendants. Of the three aforementioned lawsuits, two raise questions about his actual location of birth (Berg, Keyes), while the third (Donofrio) focuses on his citizenship status. (While this...

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A: I don't know. Maybe nothing. It's supposed to be a picture of Barack Obama's short-form birth certificate and it comes from FactCheck.org, and I can't for the life of me figure out why, given the controversy over this documentation, FactCheck.org chose to shoot it on the bias. But I post it nonetheless after an (unhappy) reader of today's column wrote in to say:

You claim that the released Obama birth certificate has had its number redacted. This is not true. Some photos blacked out the number but many others did NOT. Here is a link to photos which show the number.



...

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Speaking of birthdays, Powerline's Scott Johnson reminds us it's Frank Sinatra's birthday today.

Happy Medley to us.

 

This week's column asks a simple question: "Where Were You Born, Obama?"

That's a question Barack Obama can answer quickly, easily and definitively simply by authorizing Hawaii to release his long-form birth certificate. Why doesn't do so ASAP?

My column doesn't speculate on the myriad theories of birthplace, potential adoptive status, parenthood, etc., that are floating around, unfettered, untethered by definitive information Obama has chosen not to provide. In fact. "Where were you born?" is only one question the release of the long form birth certificate would lay to rest. In fact, a  better title might be, "What Does the Long Form Say?"

 



...at Prez-elect Obama's first post-Blago press conference?

Pathetically--especially considering the cheat sheet provided below.

Here is the relevant stretch of transcript:

MR. OBAMA: OK, with that, let me open it up to some questions. Let me start with Jackie, Jackie Calmes (ph). QUESTION: Senator -- President-elect... MR. OBAMA: It's OK.

(And magnanimous, too!)

QUESTION: ... given the -- in your statement, when you addressed the controversy over Governor Blagojevich, you did not repeat what your spokesman said yesterday about having him -- that he should resign. Why did you not?

(This is the FIRST question out of the box. Oh, brother.)

...

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Very, very helpfully for the curiosity-challenged MSM, Politico has posted seven questions the media should ask President-elect Obama at today's scheduled press conference.

1 – “Did you communicate directly or indirectly with Blagojevich about picking your replacement in the U.S. Senate?” ...

2 – “Why didn’t you or someone on your team correct your close adviser David Axelrod when he said you had spoken to Blagojevich about picking your replacement?” ... 3. “When did you learn the investigation involved Blagojevich’s alleged efforts to ‘sell’ your Senate seat, or of the governor’s impending arrest?” Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said it was not until Tuesday that Obama learned the details...

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From the Chicago Tribune interview with Barack Obama, December 9, 2008:

Asked if he would support the extension of the fence between the U.S. and Mexican border, Obama deferred to his nominee for the Homeland Security Department, Janet Napolitano.

That's leadership for you.

From the Los Angeles Times, November 23, 2008:

Napolitano has not been a backer of the border fence currently under construction: "You show me a 50-foot wall, and I'll show you a 51-foot ladder," she has said.

Of course, the Other One wouldn't have built the fence, either. Cold comfort.

...

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[Chuck E Cheese]

From the Wall Street Journal:

In Brookfield, Wis., no restaurant has triggered more calls to the police department since last year than Chuck E. Cheese's.

Officers have been called to break up 12 fights, some of them physical, at the child-oriented pizza parlor since January 2007. The biggest melee broke out in April, when an uninvited adult disrupted a child's birthday party. Seven officers arrived and found as many as 40 people knocking over chairs and yelling in front of the restaurant's music stage, where a robotic singing chicken and the chain's namesake mouse perform.

Chuck E. Cheese's bills itself as a place "where a kid can be a kid." But to law-enforcement officials across the country, it has a more particular distinction: the scene of a surprising amount of disorderly conduct and battery...

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In the Politico story (mentioned below) that introduces what might be called the Whitewater Effect, Martin and Smith bring up Gov. Blago's 2002 gubernatorial campaign:

Meanwhile, the [Blago] case is likely to turn reporters into students of Illinois political history just as the Clinton presidency produced a generation of reporters and opposition researchers obsessed with turning over the rocks of Arkansas politics. In 2002, when Blagojevich left the U.S. House (opening up a seat for Emanuel), Obama joined other black Chicago Democrats – including his one-time rival Bobby Rush and state Senate mentor Emil Jones –in supporting Roland Burris, an African-American former Illinois Comptroller and state Attorney General. In a further effort to put distance between Obama and the governor,...

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Last week's mini-revolt notwithstanding, the real story coming out of the Windy City today is not that Gov. Blago, having been charged with epic amounts of cartoonishly crude bribery, makes Don Corleone sound like Little Lord Fauntleroy. As Roger Kimball points out:

The real news was that BARACK OBAMA HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT [emphasis in the original].

To be sure, there is no complaint against the president-elect. But in the same spirit of imagining that John McCain had been "palling around with a terrorist," Kimball writes:

Here’s a little thought experiment with which to while away an idle moment. What if John McCain had won the election, and what if the governor of Arizona were not Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, but some Republican pol? And what if the governor had just been arrested on the slate of corruption charges facing Rod Blagojevich? And let’s...

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Photo: In happier days...

From ABC News:

The FBI affadavit said Blagojevich had been told by an adviser "the president-elect can get Rod Blagojevich's wife on paid corporate boards in exchange for naming the president-elect's pick to the Senate."

 



The police state defined:

Peter Mailer, a pub owner in England, has been arrested for a "racially aggravated public order offense" for displaying clippings, political cartoons and other items, all mainly from newspapers (like the Daily Mail frontpage  above), on the wall of the Black Bull Hotel pub in Warkworth, Northumberland. The arrest came after an off-duty policeman on holiday lodged a complaint with what may chillingly refer to as "authorities." The "publican," as such landlords are Dickensically known, also happens to be an "active supporter" of the British National Party--a perfectly legal political party, to be sure--but whether this figured into his harassment, or perhaps even caused it is unclear from the news stories. Now out on bail, Mailer will learn on December 23 whether the Crown Prosecution Service will charge him. 

Gates of Vienna has the details here.

...

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BHO, of course, is Barack Hussein Obama. NBC is Natural Born Citizen--shorthand for the Constitutional requirement that presidents be one.

With the Supreme Court deciding not to hear the NBC challenge that came  before it, we now, as Thomas Lifson writes at American Thinker, "are about to swear in a new President without checking actual birth certificate--something many jobs require." 

It just doesn't feel right.

Lifson continues:

This issue has been successfully kookified, labeled as unworthy of attention. This started out normally, with the mainstream media ignoring the issue, or treating it as tin-foil hat material.  Then it got eerie as even conservative talk radio ignored it. Finally,  new-media, solid conservatives like Michelle Malkin  and David Horowitz  dismissed...

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Photo: Lars Hedegaard interviewed by Swedish Radio

As Western obeisance to Islam deepens, dhimmitude--or, as Islam now  begins to exert control over the rap world, I should say, DimE-2d--increasingly seems to be our lot.

But there is resistance.

There are stalwarts clanging bells and ringing alarms in a yeoman effort to preserve liberty in the West--an effort, it should be understood, that is complicated and obstructed at least as much by the cultural relativism that afflicts Western elites as by the expansion of Islam.

One such stalwart is Lars Hedegaard of Denmark, who, on the occasion of the publication of a new book, illustrated...

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Photo: Joe, now Vice President-Elect Biden and Neil, now Lord Kinnock of Bedwelty

The Washington Post Letter to the Editor section today calls this letter (below) "The Fleeting Price of Dishonesty"; I call it a gem:

To the Editor:

When I taught freshman composition, I used then-Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) as an example of the ramifications of plagiarism: After all, he dropped out of the 1988 presidential race when it was revealed that he used, without attribution, parts of a speech by Neil Kinnock, then head of Britain's Labor Party. How ironic, then, that the Dec. 1 news story "Survey Finds Growing Deceit Among Teens," discussing academic cheating, was placed next to an article about the vice president-elect ["Biden Taps Advisers For Key Positions"]. Clearly, as the article about cheating quoted the president of an ethics institute as saying, "Adults are not taking this very seriously."...

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In a word, NO.

But that is exactly what we American taxpayers are doing via the government's no-strings $85 billion bailout of AIG. As the diligent and crucial reporting of Jeffrey Imm reveals, AIG sells sharia-compliant finance products through its sharia mutual trusts and its AIG Takaful division, which sells sharia-based insurance. Such financial products both promote and institutionalize the supremacist and repressive tenets of Islamic law, which are wholly at odds with Western notions of individual liberty and equality before the law.

As Jeffrey recounts: 

In October 2008, I wrote how the U.S. government gave an $85 billion loan to AIG, without demanding divestment of its business ventures reselling Sharia mutual trusts and its AIG Takaful division selling Sharia-based insurance.

In November 2008, I wrote about how the U.S. government purchased $40 billion in AIG stock, making you as a taxpayer, an owner of a company promoting Sharia through such businesses.

...

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I really wasn't going to do anything other than shut down my trusty laptop tonight, but I decided to see if anything was up on Atlas about the Obama birth certficate fiasco.

And I found this absolutely, utterly stomach-turning report from Refugee Resettlement Watch.

"One of Five Suspected Somali Suicide Bombers Laid to Rest" ... IN MINNESOTA.

BURNSVILLE, Minn. (FOX 9)—One...

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They say the price of oil could fall as low as $25/barrel.

Hmmm.

OPEC bailout, anyone?

 



...I am watching in "Invasion of the Body-Snatcher"-type horror as Republicans and even conservatives express not-so-muted to lavish praise for Hillary Clinton, assorted Clinton retreads and Scowcroftian noncon types  including Robert Gates and Gen. James Jones as they are gathered into the new Obama administration.

I think this strange rapture on the Right over what is being touted as a "centrist" Obama cabinet is evidence of the deep confusion over the political spectrum itself that has resulted from eight Bush White House years of liberalism: ever-expanding government, still-open borders, nation-building galore, PC policies against "extremism,"  and of course this latest, extremely dislocating and most shameful rush to socialize the US economy.

If this is Republican governance (which it isn't), then Hillary et al are indeed indeed centrist (which they aren't).  I just pulled down my semi-fabled box (crate) of Clinton books from the attic and, as a reality check, read a bracing section from the late, lamented Barbara Olson's Hillary book, Hell to Pay, after which I can indeed confirm that this new "centrist" Statesgal of ours is the same old Alinksy acolyte who tried to bring us socialized medicine--not so farfetched now, eh?--radicalize the world through children's  "rights," and make a lot of funny money back in Arkansas. 

...

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Notwithstanding this ("President-elect Barack Obama yesterday introduced a war cabinet that is more diverse than that any other president in recent history..." recent history? never mind), it's still, it's always payback time.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus delivered a letter Tuesday to Obama’s transition office recommending a slate of 14 Hispanics for the remaining eight Cabinet slots.

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) says it will be "national disgrace" if Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich doesn't fill Barack Obama's vacated...

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First Peter Baker of the New York Times, as reported by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post. Now,Campbell Brown of CNN (via NewsBusters):

On Monday’s “No Bias, No Bull” program, CNN’s Campbell Brown lashed out at President-Elect Barack Obama for his flippant response to a reporter’s question: “Mr. President-Elect, reporters, we hope, are going to ask you a lot of annoying questions over the next four years. Get used to it. That is the job of the media, to hold you accountable. But this isn’t just about the media. It’s about the American people, many of whom voted for you because of what you said during the campaign, and they have a right to know which of those things you meant and which you didn’t. Apparently, as you made clear today, you didn't mean what you said about Hillary Clinton. So, what...

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