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  #61  
Old 08-18-2009, 03:19 PM
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Exclamation Obama Retreat Will Not Help Elderly

Obama Retreat Will Not Help Elderly
The fundamental equation that means worse and worse medical care for our seniors remains exactly as it was.





President Obama’s retreat from his previous insistence on establishing a government owned insurance company to compete with private health insurers will do nothing at all to mitigate the massive rationing in medical care to the elderly his legislation will force. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, in a rare moment of profundity, said that government alternative to private health insurance is “not the essential element” of the administration’s health care overhaul. How right she is.

The fundamental equation that means worse and worse medical care for our seniors remains exactly as it was before the public option was abandoned: Fifty million new patients to be treated and no extra doctors or nurses to care for them. The result will be precisely the same whether or not there is a public option — massive rationing of medical services to the elderly.

The legislation still plans to achieve 40% of its savings from cuts in Medicare, slicing reimbursement rates to doctors and hospitals encouraging them shortchange their elderly patients as a matter of economic necessity and shrinking further the population of doctors. The standards and protocols of the newly established Federal Health Board are just as likely to direct the denial of care to seniors for such surgeries as hip and knee replacements and even coronary artery bypass as before the Obama retreat.

The deletion of the public insurance option is a good step. It reduces the likelihood of “socialized medicine” dominated by a single payer. But it does nothing to alter the basic equation of supply and demand which will doom medical care for the elderly.

The good news is that Obama is now in retreat. His defeat on the ground during the August recess is now obvious and he is being forced to scale back. The bad news is that some Republicans — like Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming, and Senators Olympia Snow and Susan Collins of Maine — may now endorse the bill without the public insurance provision.
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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  #62  
Old 08-19-2009, 02:30 PM
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Exclamation "Obama's State Department Submits to Islam"

"Obama's State Department Submits to Islam"

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/...nt_submit.html
http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/027270.php#respond


Why does the State Department consider it necessary to do this? Do they really believe that these kinds of programs will somehow mitigate the force of the jihad against the United States?

"Obama's State Department Submits to Islam," by Pamela Geller in The American Thinker, August 18:

Here is but the latest act of submission to Islam by your State Department. A State Department cable has just been sent out with this announcement:

The Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) has assembled a range of innovative and traditional tools to support Posts' outreach activities during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Here, in contrast, is the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The State Department's Ramadan programs are wide-ranging. "On August 10," the cable continues, "America.gov will publish a ‘Multicultural Ramadan' feature. American Muslims trace their ancestry to more than 80 countries and the feature will highlight the richness of these various cultural traditionsthrough the lens of Ramadan and Eid. Content will include essays by young Muslims who are part of Eboo Patel's Interfaith Youth Core (IYC). Contact: Alexandra Abboud (AbboudAM@state.gov)."

There's more! The Bureau of International Information Programs "will publish three articles for Ramadan 2009 addressing the concept of an Islam in America 'brand'; advocacy (civic and political) of the Muslim American community; and community innovation/community building. The writer will contact Muslim American experts in each of these fields. These articles will be available on America.gov in English, Arabic, and Persian."

The main publication is Being Muslim In America: "Conceived as IIP's flagship print publication on the rich and varied experiences of the nation's growing Muslim population, this lavishly illustrated new book links the Muslim-American experience to those of other American racial, religious, and immigrant groups as they moved into the American ‘mainstream.'"

Can you imagine every Embassy and consulate putting up a Menorah and having some Rabbis as speakers via a webcast?

Can you imagine if we had the Stations of the Cross put on the walls of all of our embassies, consulates, and other posts, as well as the many Department of State buildings across the country, including C Street?

Why aren't priests, pastors, etc. invited during Christmas to give blessings or talk about Christianity in the United States?

Can you imagine if the Buddha were revered and we had some monks coming to do a meditation session with all of the officers of each embassy, consulate, etc.?

Can we get printed and distributed Hare Krishna posters for all of our posts, so as to reach massive audiences?

I mean, put it in reverse and see how crazy it is. Absolutely nuts.

Perhaps this is an initiative of President Barack Obama's newly created Office for Outreach to the Ummah at State. In June Obama had the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, at the White House. Ihsanoglu urged Obama to appoint a U.S. ambassador to the Islamic world - and Obama immediately created a new State Department Office for Muslim Outreach, with a Muslim woman, Farah Pandith, serving as the new U.S. Special Representative for Muslim Outreach. In keeping with Obama's U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project, a charter of dhimmitude, we are to be conditioned to respect Muslim immigrants and accept their culture.

Obama appears to be more than comfortable with this deal with the devil as he abets the institution of an Islamo-Christian ethic, which would destroy the very foundation of this great country. Never mind that Muslims persecute Christians in every country they finally dominate. That is of no importance.

Why is this immense effort necessary? We act as if we were a slave of the Muslim world. This sickness of licking the boots of an ideology that wants to destroy us is incomprehensible.

Burt Prelutsky said it best:
"What is wrong with our leaders? Are they worried that they won't be invited to those cool Ramadan parties? The Islamists have been actively at war with us for 30 years and generally at war with western civilization for well over a thousand years, and still we pay lip service to these people in a way we never did with Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan or the Soviet Union. Is it because the Muslims commit sadism and murder in the name of religion and not country? If anything, I would think that would make their evil acts all the more contemptible."
It does.
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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  #63  
Old 08-19-2009, 03:44 PM
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Arrow It's all a Death Panel

It's all a Death Panel
The truth about ObamaCare





WASHINGTON is all atwit ter about "death panels": President Obama derides the idea that his health-care reform calls for them; the Senate is stripping "end of life" counseling language from its bill -- and last Friday the voice of the liberal establishment, The New York Times, ran a Page One story "rebutting" the rumor that ObamaCare would create such boards to decide when to pull the plug on elderly patients.

But all those protests miss the fundamental truth of the "death panel" charge.

Even without a federal board voting on whom to kill, ObamaCare will ration care extensively, leading to the same result. This follows inevitably from central features of the president's plan.

Specifically, his decisions to (1) pay for reform with vast cuts in the Medicare budget and (2) grant insurance coverage to 50 million new people, vastly boosting demand without increasing the supply of doctors, nurses or other care providers.

Whether or not he admits it even to himself, Obama's talk of cutting "inefficiencies" and reducing costs translates to less care, of lower quality, for the elderly. Every existing national health system finds ways to deny state-of-the-art medications and necessary surgical procedures to countless patients, and ObamaCare has the nascent mechanisms to do the same. With the limited options that Obama's vision would leave them, many will find that "end of life counseling" necessary and even welcome.
"Reform" would cut care to the elderly in several ways:

* Slash hundreds of billions from Medicare spending, largely by lowering reimbursement rates to doctors and hospitals for patient care.

If a hospital gets less money for each MRI, it will do fewer of them. If a surgeon gets paid less for a heart bypass on a Medicare patient, he'll perform them more rarely. These facts of the marketplace are not only inevitable consequences of Obama's cuts but are also its intended consequence. Without them, his savings will prove illusory.

* Expanding the patient load by extending full coverage to 50 million Americans (including such "Americans" as illegal immigrants) without boosting the supply of care will force rationing decisions on harried and overworked doctors and hospitals.

People with insurance use a lot more health-care resources -- so today's facilities and personnel will have to cope with the increased workload. Busy surgeons will have to decide who would benefit most from their treatment -- de facto rationing. The elderly will, inevitably, be the losers.

* The Federal Health Board, established by this legislation, will be charged with collecting data on various forms of treatment for different conditions to assess which are the most effective and efficient. While the bills don't force providers to obey the board's "guidance," its recommendations will still wind up setting the standards and protocols for care systemwide.

We've already seen Medicare and Medicaid lead a similar race to the bottom with their formularies and other regulations. With Washington dictating what every policy must cover and regulating all rates, insurers and providers will all have to follow the FHB's advice on limiting care to the elderly -- a de facto rationing system.

* In assessing whether to allow certain treatments to a given patient, medical professionals will be encouraged to apply the Quality-Adjusted Remaining Years system. Under QARY, decision-makers seek to "amortize" the cost of treatment over the remaining "quality years of life" likely for that patient.

Imagine a hip replacement costing $100,000 and the 75-year-old who needs it, a diabetic with a heart condition deemed to have just three "quality" years left. That works out to $33,333 a year -- too steep! Surgery disallowed! (Unless of course, the patient has political connections . . . )

Younger, healthier patients would still get the surgery, of course. The QARY system simply aims to deny health care to the oldest and most infirm, "scientifically" condemning them to infirmity, pain and earlier death than would otherwise be their fate.

In short, ObamaCare doesn't need to set up "death panels" to make retail decisions about ending the lives of individual patients. The whole "reform" scheme is one giant death panel in its own right.
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  #64  
Old 08-19-2009, 04:04 PM
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Exclamation Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s State Department Legal Advisor, Harold Koh

Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s State Department Legal Advisor, Harold Koh, supports enforcement of Islamic Shari’a law in the United States.

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  #65  
Old 08-20-2009, 02:15 PM
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Default "Obama reaches out to Islamist parties in Pakistan"

"Obama reaches out to Islamist parties in Pakistan"
"As a general proposition, democracy in Pakistan is fragile enough now that negotiating with people that some on the democratic side of the Pakistani spectrum would think themselves are terrorists strikes me as fairly risky."

That's an understatement, Mr. Bolton.

"Obama reaches out to Islamist parties in Pakistan," by Adam Entous for Reuters, August 19:

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) U.S. President Barack Obama has started reaching out to some of Pakistan's most fervent Islamist and anti-American parties, including one that helped give rise to the Taliban, trying to improve Washington's image in the nuclear-armed state.
Obama's special envoy, Richard Holbrooke, is initiating dialogue between the United States and religious parties previous administrations had largely shunned, both sides said.

"The purpose is to broaden the base of American relations in Pakistan beyond the relatively narrow circle of leaders Washington has previously dealt with," explained Vali Nasr, senior adviser to Holbrooke.

John Bolton, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Bush presidency, questioned Holbrooke's timing for trying to engage Taliban sympathizers on the eve of elections in neighboring Afghanistan, where U.S. forces are battling the hardline Islamic group.

"As a general proposition, democracy in Pakistan is fragile enough now that negotiating with people that some on the democratic side of the Pakistani spectrum would think themselves are terrorists strikes me as fairly risky," Bolton said.

"What we ought to be doing is making sure that our ties with the military are strong because the gravest risk is radical penetration of the military."
Meanwhile, predictably enough, this outreach has only made the jihadists more demanding:
At one of this week's sessions, Liaqat Baloch, a top member of the religious, right-wing Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) party, told Holbrooke he welcomed the new administration's public change in tone toward Muslims around the world.
But Baloch said he was disturbed to see "no change in practice" in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where Obama has stepped up military operations against the Taliban on both sides of the border.

Holbrooke invited Jamaat-e-Islami, whom some U.S. officials compare to the banned Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, to visit the heavily guarded American embassy compound in Islamabad, seeking to dispel long-running rumors that thousands of U.S. Marines would be based there.

"NEW ERA"

Holbrooke rejected the party's complaints about a Western "assault" on Islam, saying "that could not be further from the truth" with Obama, who has roots in the religion, now in the White House.

Fazl-ur-Rehman, whose Jamiat-e-ulema-e-Islam party was active in rousing support for the Taliban in 1990s, also got an audience with Holbrooke and his team.

Rehman denies al Qaeda's responsibility for the September 11, 2001, attacks, and once warned that if U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan, no American in Pakistan would be safe.
In more recent years, however, Rehman's relationship with the Taliban has grown uneasy, and he has publicly supported negotiations between the U.S.-backed government in Kabul and the Islamist group.

"His hands aren't exactly clean," Lisa Curtis of the Heritage Foundation said of Rehman. "He is associated with the Taliban."...
What a surprise!
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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  #66  
Old 08-20-2009, 02:39 PM
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Arrow Video of Slain Palestinian Militant Encouraging "Beheading" of Americans

Video of Slain Palestinian Militant Encouraging "Beheading" of Americans

The NEFA Foundation has obtained and translated video footage of a sermon by the late Shaykh Abu al-Nour al-Maqdisi (a.k.a. Abdellatif Moussa), spiritual leader of the Palestinian militant faction "Jund Ansar Allah." During his speech, al-Maqdisi condemned the United States for "flaunting [its] power and making accusations of terrorism" and ordered his followers, "those who are infidels, they shall receive beheadings. When you attack them, do it ferociously-so it is the reward of the hereafter, or continued sacrifice, until the conflict ends." He also praised "this new righteous movement; this new righteous movement led by the likes of Mullah Mohammed Omar, Shaykh Usama Bin Laden, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Shaykh Abu Musab al-Zarqawi... This group of patient and faithful mujahideen will teach them that the believer would rather take a willing strike by the sword on his neck-a willing strike by the sword on his neck-than a whip wielded in humiliation."

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  #67  
Old 08-20-2009, 02:59 PM
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Lightbulb Whose Medical Decisions?

Whose Medical Decisions?
Your life and death, and that of your loved ones, is as personal as it gets.




There was a time when rushing a thousand-page bill through Congress so fast that no one has time to read it would have provoked public outrage. But now, this has been attempted twice in the first 6 months of a new administration.

The fact that they got away with it before, with the "stimulus" bill, may have led them to believe that they could get away with it again.

But the first bill simply spent hundreds of billions of dollars. The current "health care" bill threatens to take life-and-death decisions out of the hands of individuals and their doctors, transferring those decisions to Washington bureaucrats.

People are taking that personally— as they should. Your life and death, and that of your loved ones, is as personal as it gets.

The mainstream media are again circling the wagons to protect Barack Obama, but this time it may not work. One of those front-page editorials disguised as a news article in the New York Times begins: "The stubborn yet false rumor that President Obama's health care proposals would create government-sponsored 'death panels' to decide which patients were worthy of living seemed to arise from nowhere in recent weeks."

Nowhere? Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel is "Special Advisor for Health Policy" for the Obama administration. That's nowhere? He is also co-author of an article on Americans' "over-utilization" of medical care in the June 18, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Is that nowhere?

Dr. Emanuel's article points out that Americans do not visit doctors or go into hospitals more than people in other industrialized countries. In fact we go to both places less often than people do in those other countries, which include countries with government-controlled medical care.

As the article points out, "It is more costly care, rather than high volume, that accounts for higher expenditures in the United States."

There are more Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) devices per capita in the United States, more coronary bypass operations and Americans use more new pharmaceutical drugs created within the past 5 years.

Americans also have more of what the article calls "amenities" with their medical care.

"Hospital rooms in the United States offer more privacy, comfort and auxiliary services than do hospital rooms in most other countries."
In other words, it is not quantity but quality that is different— and more expensive— about American medical care. This is what Dr. Emanuel's "over-utilization" consists of.

At one time, it would have been none of Dr. Emanuel's business if your physician prescribed the latest medications for you, rather than the cheaper and obsolete medications they replaced. It would have been none of his business if you preferred to have a nice hospital room with "amenities" rather than being in an unsanitary ward with inadequate nursing care, as under the National Health Service in Britain.

The involvement of government gives Dr. Emanuel the leverage to condemn other Americans' choices— and a larger involvement of government will give him the power to force both doctors and patients to change their choices.

As for a "death panel," no politician would ever use that phrase when trying to get a piece of legislation passed. "End of life" care under the "guidance" of "some independent group" sounds so much nicer— and these are the terms President Obama used in an interview with the New York Times back on April 14th.

He said, "the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out there." He added: "It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. That is why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance."

But when you select people like Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel to give "independent" guidance, you have already chosen a policy through your choice of advisors, who simply provide political cover. The net result can be exactly the same as if those providing that guidance were openly called "death panels."

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


Last edited by Paparock; 08-20-2009 at 03:03 PM..
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  #68  
Old 08-20-2009, 03:07 PM
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Lightbulb The Fannie Mae Health System

The Fannie Mae Health System
Will Americans recognize the new swindle for what it is?





President Obama's "public option" health care plan has been temporarily shelved — or, at least, that's what his spokespeople would have us believe. Kathleen Sibelius, secretary of health and human services, said on Aug. 16 that a public option wasn't an "essential option" in revamping the health care system. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) is now pushing a new idea: the insurance co-op. "A co-op has some appeal because it is a nonprofit alternative," Conrad says. "At the same time, not government run or government controlled."

What exactly are co-ops? There are several different definitions. Some co-ops involve private ownership of an insurer; the insurer is operated on a nonprofit basis. Individuals can then buy insurance from the co-op. Another co-op option would be the Ace Hardware model, in which insurers pool their resources and sell to individuals on a for-profit basis.

That isn't what Conrad is talking about, however. According to the Associated Press, "Conrad said $6 billion would be needed — in loans and grants to help doctors, hospitals, businesses and other groups form nonprofit cooperative networks." This isn't a privately-held nonprofit, and it's not a privately-held for-profit. It's a government-subsidized business that will be indirectly responsible for administering government policy.
The health care co-ops are Fannie Mae.

In 1938, the government established the Federal Home Mortgage Association — Fannie Mae — in an attempt to boost mortgage lending. In an effort to get Fannie Mae's liabilities off the government books, however, the government spun off Fannie Mae to private shareholders. Meanwhile, the government continued to pull lending standards strings and offer subsidies. The result? The horrific mortgage policy that led to the current mortgage meltdown.

The most wonderful thing about the Fannie Mae spinoff, of course, was that when the real estate sector imploded, the federal government could blame the private market. They could blame "predatory lenders" and "credit derivative swaps" and "secondary mortgage markets." They could ignore their own role in the development of the mortgage crisis, citing the fact that Fannie Mae was privately owned.

Obama is a quick study.

Obama's "public option" plan was a grand attempt to sweep away all private opposition by making it more affordable for private businesses to dump all their employees on the taxpayer.

His new "co-op" plan follows the Fannie Mae model for undermining public confidence in private health care. It allows the government to subsidize "co-ops" while promoting government care standards —subsidies and standards that will no doubt be overly generous in order to draw new clients.

At the same time, Obama's plan will continue to promote requirements that private insurers cover all applicants, no matter how sick, no matter how bad their pre-existing conditions. Insurers who currently do not make payments to stage 4 cancer patients applying for care will now need to make those payments. Healthy insurance beneficiaries will bear the brunt in increased deductibles. Higher cost and worse care will result for private health care clients.

Even worse, the "co-op" myth will provide Obama the cover he seeks to utterly swamp the private system. When private insurer care drops in quality — a drop necessitated by new regulations — Obama will declare their care insufficient. More and more Americans will opt for the new "co-ops," just as more and more Americans opted for Fannie Mae mortgages.

And sooner or later, when "co-ops" go bankrupt, government will step in to save the day with total nationalization.

President Obama is a determined man. And he is determined to have single-payer, nationalized health care by hook or by crook. The "public option" was by hook. The "co-op" plan is by crook. There's only one question left: Will Americans recognize this new swindle for what it is?
Ben Shapiro, 25, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School.
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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  #69  
Old 08-21-2009, 02:22 PM
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Exclamation The Incredibly Shrinking War on Terror

The Incredibly Shrinking War on Terror
Barack Obama and James Zogby agree: we need not concern ourselves with most of the world’s America-hating jihadists.


http://www.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=36016


It is fitting that any president, especially the first (real) black president, celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as the Obama Justice Department did last month. The selection of an Arab as a prime speaker seems curious for many reasons, not least because Arabs are classified as “white.” Eric Holder’s choice of James Zogby, a longtime apologist for Palestinian terrorism and dedicated foe of effective homeland security measures, to address the gathering seems to signal a deeper reality at the core of the Obama administration: its ever-shrinking conception of the War on Terror.

Jim Zogby, the brother of pollster John Zogby, co-founder of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and founder of the Arab American Institute (AAI), is the most visible spokesman of the Arab-American community. Zogby is “white,” not black; Christian, not Muslim; Lebanese, not Palestinian; and, like all who get invited to address such gatherings, elite, not dispossessed. Yet he spoke as though the suffering of 200 years of slavery had been bred into his DNA. He talked of Arab-Americans marching and staging sit-ins for civil rights, being denied a separate ethnic identity in white America, and balkanizing after viewing “the TV series ‘Roots,’” which “crystallized this broader cultural change.”

Big Brother and the Holder Company

He soon got to the heart of his speech: casting himself and his ethnicity as victims of a repressive, right-wing intelligence establishment. Beginning in the 1970s, “law enforcement agencies not only did not help; they were a problem…From FOIA discoveries, we have learned the extent of harassment—from Operation Boulder in the Nixon era, and the broad surveillance of Palestinian student organizations in the 70’s and 80’s.”

Operation Boulder imposed the grand burden of a five-day waiting period for Arab immigrants seeking to obtain a visa while the FBI and other federal agencies ran a background check – the same waiting period President Clinton instituted for law-abiding American citizens before purchasing a handgun. As one anti-Nixon coordinator recorded, “In the two months following the Palestinian assault against Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic games in September 1972, 78 Arabs were deported from the United States. Hundreds, perhaps thousands more, were interrogated, photographed, and finger-printed by FBI and INS agents.” Although the FBI surveilled some Arab organizations during this time, particularly those with close ties to foreign activists, this was not a part of Operation Boulder, which ended with a whimper in 1975.

Yet stories of persecution need a narrative of redemption. Zogby extended that hosanna to the Democratic Party, and to Eric Holder, in particular. “I say Jesse Jackson helped us knock on the door, Ron Brown opened it, and Bill Clinton welcomed us in and sat us at the table,” he said. “When, in the 1990’s, we experienced problems with widespread subjective airport profiling…it was Al Gore, Janet Reno, Eric Holder and Bill Lan Lee who brought us in for a series of meetings that helped us work through and resolve many of these critical issues.” He added, “If it had not been for the advances we made during the 1990’s…I do not think we would have been able to withstand the challenges we faced in the aftermath of 9/11.”

Mr. Zogby is being modest; without the access he gained to Eric Holder and others in the Clinton administration, it is conceivable there may have been no 9/11. In the mid-90s, Vice President Al Gore drew up a series of recommendations for airline safety, which, though too modest to prevent the hijackings, were never implemented. The 9/11 Commission explained Clinton and Gore no longer required airlines to screen passengers’ carry-on luggage, as they had before 1997, “[p]rimarily because of concern regarding potential discrimination.” Zogby, the AADC, and CAIR stoked those fears during the Clinton administration and, with others, made Governor Bush concerned over “secret evidence” in 2000. Post-9/11, Zogby became a founding member of the FBI’s Arab American Advisory Committee. Presumably, this continues to be part of his repartee with Holder and co.

…As candidate Obama promised it would be nearly two years ago. In December 2007, the then-freshman senator told AAI he opposed “racial profiling,” adding, “when I'm president, the rights of every American will be fully respected and protected.” September 10th, here we come.

Mr. Zogby and his organizations continue to clamor against “spying” on Muslim groups, despite the large number of Muslim Student Association members implicated in terrorism. But then both he and his representatives have a long history of whitewashing terrorists. He stated that Abdurrahman Alamoudi – who attended a conference with al-Qaeda, professed his support of Hamas and Hezbollah, and was convicted of illegally accepting Libyan funds – was a victim of “McCarthyism.” Similarly, then-ADC President Hussein Ibish dismissed the charges against Sami al-Arian (who also was eventually found guilty) as a “very, very ugly post-9/11 McCarthyism.” Perhaps the most astounding obfuscation came from of Zogby’s AADC co-founder, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, D-SD, who told Al-Manar TV, “the Arabs who were involved in 9/11 cooperated with the Zionists, actually. It was a cooperation.”

Neither Abourezk nor Zogby have any trouble with Americans who seek to cooperate with Palestinian terrorists. Zogby has written against “criminalizing attempts to send money to Hezbollah or support it.” Defending Hezbollah and Hamas is an ongoing effort of AADC. As DiscoverTheNetworks notes:

In 1994, then-ADC President Hamzi Moghrabi said, “I will not call [Hamas] a terrorist organization. I mean, I know many people in Hamas. They are very respectable…I don’t believe Hamas, as an organization, is a violent organization.” Two years later, his successor, Hala Maksoud, defended Hamas’ partner in Mideastern terrorism, Hezbollah. “I find it shocking,” Maksoud said, “that [one] would include Hezbollah in…[an] inventory of Middle East ‘terrorist’ groups.” In 2000, new ADC President Hussein Ibish characterized Hezbollah as “a disciplined and responsible liberation force.”

The Incredibly Shrinking War on Terror

Zogby’s invitation seems emblematic of Obama’s narrowing focus in the War on Terror: it seems to include only those elements of the jihadist movement that will not pretend to negotiate with him. The president’s real zeal is expressed in zinging Israel. Obama also foreshadowed this in his 2007 AAI speech, where he stated, “we also have to do more to bring a measure of stability in the broader Middle East. Our neglect of the Middle East peace process has fueled despair and extremism.”

Thus, the president has strong-armed Benjamin Netanyahu into accepting, in principle, a Palestinian state, although Bibi has voiced concerns about increasing violence, and a more prominent role for Fatah (the “peaceful” Palestinians) in it. Obama State Department appointee Rosa Brooks has likewise excused Hamas, writing in the L.A. Timesthis January that the terrorist army “is weak, and its weapons – terrorism, homemade rockets – are the weapons of the weak.” These weapons “have killed only a handful of Israelis.” She contrasted this with Palestinian casualties, adding, “Arab and Islamic anger over Palestine continues to fuel anti-Western and anti-U.S. terrorism around the globe.” But Brooks came up with a solution: “Only the U.S. – Israel's primary supporter and main financial sponsor – can push it to make the hard choices necessary for its own long-term security, as well as the region’s.” Brooks is right that the future of the United States and Israel are intertwined, but for the wrong reason. David Horowitz has rightly stated, “Israel is the canary in the mine. What happens to this small, vulnerable nation will eventually happen to America itself.” But for the Obama administration, Israel is the aggressor, not the victim.

As we know, Obama’s War on Terror does not encompass the war in Iraq, which he assures the nation we will exit Iraq in August 2011, come hajj or high water. Tehran, too, gets a pass for attacking our troops across the border. Obama offered muted criticismas Iranian secret police brutalized and arrested 2,500 democratic protesters of the nation’s rigged election and has had nothing to say about their show trials late last month. In fact, he still wants to meet with Iran’s leaders, and hand them a “civilian” nuclear reactor. He has intensified negotiations with Syria’s Basher al-Assad, though he extended sanctions for one more year. Damascus all but escorted foreign jihadists to the Iraqi battlefield. Syria is a consumer of North Korean technology, believed to have received weapons technology and aid in constructing the now-decimated al-Kibar nuclear reactor from the DPRK. (There are also the small matters of its support for Hezbollah and Hamas, and its continual undermining of the Cedar Revolution.)

The Obama administration’s battle horizon does not even include all elements of the Taliban, whose foot soldiers are currently killing U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. The president has expressed interest in negotiating with the “moderate” Taliban – an entreaty Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf logically dismissed as “illogical.”

Even al-Qaeda agents caught on-the-ground in certain nations may be in a legal gray area. Obama personally told the New York Times in March, “There could be situation…where, let’s say that we have a well-known al-Qaeda operative that doesn’t surface very often, appears in a third country with whom we don’t have an extradition relationship or would not be willing to prosecute, but we think is a very dangerous person.” Obama’s rock hard decision? “I think we still have to think about how do we deal with that kind of scenario.” In the War on Terror, he’s still voting “present.”

A Kinder, Gentler John Kerry

In the NYT interview, Obama even voiced concerns about the hypothetical al-Qaeda operative’s “habeas corpus” rights – although officials later rushed to clarify he intended to extend these only to Guantanamo Bay detainees. Americans voted last November for a candidate who would track down al-Qaeda operatives into the farthest reaches of “Pawk-ee-stawn” and bomb their bases with or without Islamabad’s permission. They got a warmed over version of John Kerry, who viewed the war as “primarily a law enforcement and intelligence operation.” By contrast, Obama eschews law enforcement and coercion. He has faith his boundless personal warmth and innate goodness can charm and pacify the heads of terrorist states. If he could find any.
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Old 08-22-2009, 04:22 AM
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Arrow Obama to raise 10-year deficit to $9 trillion

Obama to raise 10-year deficit to $9 trillion



WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration will raise its 10-year budget deficit projection to approximately $9 trillion from $7.108 trillion in a report next week, a senior administration official told Reuters on Friday.

The higher deficit figure, based on updated economic data, brings the White House budget office into line with outside estimates and gives further fuel to President Barack Obama's opponents, who say his spending plans are too expensive in light of budget shortfalls.

The White House took heat for sticking with its $7.108 trillion forecast earlier this year after the Congressional Budget Office forecast that deficits between 2010 and 2019 would total $9.1 trillion.

"The new forecasts are based on new data that reflect how severe the economic downturn was in the late fall of last year and the winter of this year," said the administration official, who is familiar with the budget mid-session review that is slated to be released next week.

"Our budget projections are now in line with the spring and summer projections that the Congressional Budget Office put out."

The White House budget office will also lower its deficit forecast for this fiscal year, which ends September 30, to $1.58 trillion from $1.84 trillion next week after removing $250 billion set aside for bank bailouts.

Record-breaking deficits have raised concerns about America's ability to finance its debt and whether the United States can maintain its top-tier AAA credit rating.

Read the rest here> http://www.reuters.com/article/newsO...57K4XE20090821
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:57 PM
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Lightbulb John Podhoretz:

John Podhoretz:
The Turn Against Israel

http://israelinsider.ning.com/forum/topics/john-podhoretz-the-turn


Barack Obama began the first week of June with a series of interviews on the eve of his journey to Cairo to deliver his address to the “Muslim world.” In all of them, he spoke of the Israeli-Palestinian situation and the central importance of resolving it as part of his aim of beginning anew with the Arab and Muslim nations that have grown so disenchanted with the United States. To National Public Radio, the President made a point of invoking the ties that bind America to Israel and the “special relationship” between the two nations before asserting that part of being a good friend is being honest. And I think there have been times where we are not as honest as we should be about the fact that the current direction, the current trajectory, in the region is profoundly negative, not only for Israeli interests but also U.S. interests. And that’s part of a new dialogue that I’d like to see encouraged in the region.

The President is, of course, entirely right about how “profoundly negative” the “current direction, the current trajectory, in the region” is for American and Israeli interests. A theocratic regime committed in word and spirit to Israel’s destruction is relentlessly marching ahead with the development of nuclear weaponry. The conclusion of its march poses not only a threat to Israel’s existence but portends a Persian Gulf arms race with implications that ought to terrify everyone. This is precisely the kind of “new dialogue” Israel and the United States should be pursuing in the Middle East—honesty about the trajectory of Iran.

But, of course, honest discourse about Iran was not the fearless truth Barack Obama wished to bestow upon Israel or the Muslim world.
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:00 PM
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Exclamation Falling for the Great Lie

Falling for the Great Lie
How long can America keep its head above water in this ocean of debt?


http://www.frontpagemag.com/readArti...px?ARTID=35993


Speaking about foreign holders of American treasuries, the noted financial expert Peter Schiff said this in a speech at the Ludwig von Mises Institute:

“We're not going to pay the Chinese back their money. It's impossible. We can't. We can't possibly.”

Schiff's point was that America is not good for its debts. Sadly, he is right. Having incurred more than $65 trillion in obligations of various kinds, the federal government finds itself in an insurmountable fiscal hole. To give a sense of size, this amount is more than the annual economic output of the whole world and four times America's Gross Domestic Product. It would be impossible to manage this even if our leaders suddenly came to their senses and began to behave responsibly. There is little chance of that, however. The larger our debt, the more eager they are to spend more.

Despite our leaders' efforts to conceal the level of indebtedness, its reality cannot be evaded. The steady weakening of the dollar is one evidence of that. In recent months financial experts have even been discussing the unthinkable: The possibility that the American government may default. The well-known writer Niall Ferguson suggested this possibility in an interview with Vanity Fair in January of this year. Around the same time The Washington Post ran an article under the headline We're Borrowing Like Mad. Can the U.S. Pay It Back? This was at the time when the notion of a trillion dollar budget deficit seemed insane. Needless to say, the deficit will end up being close to $2 trillion at the end of this fiscal year.

In March, Market Watch reported that the spreads on credit-default swaps for U.S. government debt were growing at a rapid pace. What this means is that the markets are growing increasingly concerned about the possibility of the United States failing to meet its obligations.

The question is how did America get into this position. What brought this country – once a citadel of financial stability – to such dire straits? The answer will become apparent when we look at the composition of America's debt burden.

The federal government's obligations consist of two main components. The smaller of the two is the one that is reported on more often. It is referred to as “public debt,” or “national debt,” or “sovereign debt.” This is the debt that the government has incurred as a consequence of its budget deficits over the years. It currently stands at $11.6 trillion, which is about 85 percent of GDP.

The public debt, however, only represents a relatively small portion of the government's total debt. The rest is primarily made up of obligation connected with three large entitlement programs – Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. It is estimated that together their combined claims amount to roughly $55 trillion more than what the government will collect in designated taxes.

At this point Medicare and Social security do not yet represent a net budgetary expense, because revenues (FICA taxes) exceed what is paid being out in benefits. To put it differently, these programs are currently running surpluses; this situation, however, will not last indefinitely. The social security surplus will end around 2018. The negative gap will then widen rapidly with each successive year.

Contrary to what many people believe, the surpluses have not been kept in some special vaults in Washington. The money has been “invested” in government bonds and the government then promptly spent the cash. In other words, the so-called Social Security Trust Fund basically contains treasury IOUs. The $55 trillion question is: How will the government raise the cash once the surpluses come to an end?

There are two ways in which this can be done: by raising taxes or by borrowing. Neither seems like a good option under the circumstances. Taxes are already perceived to be high; bringing them much higher would be politically unpopular if not impossible. Furthermore, raising taxes would hamper growth, which would in turn decrease the tax base and thus defeat the purpose of the increase in the first place. As far as borrowing is concerned, it is almost certain that investors would refuse to finance additional debt given their concerns about its present levels. With no place to go, it is likely the federal government will do what governments usually do when caught in this situation: it will “meet” its obligations by printing money.

This, of course, is an easy way out, but it debases the currency and produces inflation. And since America's huge debt load is far beyond the government's ability to pay off with honest money, the level of inflation is likely going to be very high. It would actually appear that the government has already embarked on this path. There are even those who fear that the United States may eventually experience hyperinflation. Discussing the Federal Reserve's recent purchasing spree of government bonds, Joshua Zumbrun wrote this in Forbes last week:

“That purchase of government debt looked particularly ominous. Creating new money to buy government debt is the sort of strategy that's known to destroy economies – just ask Zimbabwe, which suffered so much hyperinflation that it destroyed its currency.”

Whatever its exact level, high inflation will likely arrive before the end of the entitlements surplus era. Concerned about the government's over-indebtedness and its ability to meet its obligations, bond investors will start pulling out well before social security surpluses turn into deficits. Unwilling and unable to control spending, the government will have no choice but to print. The soaring inflation that will follow will have a devastating effect on the already fragile financial system and will inevitably lead to economic breakdown. This will in turn set off centrifugal forces in a troubled and divided society.

America's impending travails are thus ultimately tied to fiscal mismanagement, particularly in the area of entitlements. It is as ironic as it is instructive that entitlements seek to confer the kinds of benefits the Founding Fathers thought the federal government should have no business of pursing. It was with this in mind that they drafted a constitution that sought to prevent the federal government from getting involved in those areas. They made it very clear that federal functions were to be few and limited, confined primarily to protecting the life, liberty and property of Americans. Ensuring people's well-being through the provision of retirement income, healthcare and other such goods was not to be the government's job.

It is to our detriment that we have betrayed both our founding principles and the Constitution. We have done this because we fallen for that greatest of lies, which is that government is capable of providing for citizens' material and social needs. Attractive as this idea may sound, it is impossible to accomplish in practice.

To many this will come as a surprise. Brainwashed by years of public education, many believe that ensuring the population's material welfare is precisely what good government is all about. But no government has ever been able to pull this off. We only need to look at what happened when it tried to do it in America. Take Social Security, for instance. In late 2006, the incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi proudly proclaimed:

“We will guarantee a dignified retirement, and we will begin by fighting any attempt to privatize Social Security.”

Those naive enough to rely on the government's “guarantee” of a “dignified” retirement are bound to be bitterly disappointed. When an aspiring reporter wants to file yet another tale of a cat-food eating retiree, he can always find someone by searching among those for whom Social Security is the only source of income. With many receiving less than $8,000 per year, it usually does not take long to find a protagonist for the sad story.

But if the only thing the government did was to fail to deliver on its promises, the situation would not be so dire. Unfortunately, it also did something else in the process – it has bankrupted this nation by saddling it with debts and obligations we cannot fulfill. This outcome is unsurprising. The old maxim is as valid now as it has always been. Government does not solve problems; it only makes them worse. Given the ambitious scope of entitlements, it was only to be expected that federal involvement would eventually create difficulties on an insurmountable scale.

The Founding Fathers knew of which they spoke. We have disregarded their advice and trampled on that prescient document they left behind as the law of this land. For that there will be a steep price to pay.
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  #73  
Old 08-24-2009, 03:15 PM
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Arrow Religious Left Panics over Obamacare Troubles

For the Religious Left, socialized medicine has long been almost the moral equivalent of the Second Coming. So increasing political turbulence for Obamacare is creating panic and fear among the true believers. Must we wait still longer, they now imploring wonder, with sadness and rage. (For a report about that call, click here).

Emphasize the rage. Sojourners activist Jim Wallis has issued a virtual public imprecatory pray for Sarah Palin’s political destruction after her comments on Obamacare’s “death panels.” And a United Methodist lobbyist is denouncing Obamacare’s opponents as racists. Meanwhile, the President himself appeared on an August 19 Religious Left conference call, to rally true believers to our “core ethical and moral obligation.”

After Palin speculated that Obamacare could degenerate into “death panels” deciding who merits further medical exertion, Wallis responded with outrage and a very specific plea for Palin’s political demise. “Please don’t invoke your ‘Christian faith’ anymore and embarrass the people of God even further,” he fumed. “May your efforts to scare Americans during this important debate fail. May your political future also fail, and may your star fall as fast as it rose just a few months ago — because we now know who you really are.”

A righteous Psalmist of the Old Testament could not have inveighed against Palin with any greater fury or precision. Wallis is often likened by his Religious Left admirers to a prophet. But prophets and Pslamists called their audiences back to worship of God, not worship of Big Government. Palin’s sin, in Wallis’ eyes, is that she will not bend the knee to the alter of The Welfare State, which has been the object of Wallis’ fervor for over 40 years.

For good measure, and in supposed prophetic tradition, Wallis further denounced Palin as a “demagogue in the worst tradition of those who knowingly distort and deceive for their own political purposes” and who “prey” upon the weak and vulnerable. “Politics for people like you is really all about you, your fame and power, and your taste of it during the last election has revealed what kind of politician you truly are.”

In partial vindication for Palin, a U.S. Senate version of Obamacare apparently will delete any reference to providing end-if-life counseling that critics worried could become coercive, especially with elderly patients. But the “death panels” concern seemed to apply to a broader apprehension about government run health care, when government bureaucrats, with finite resources and infinite authority, inevitably would have to decide who merits further care and who does not.

For the statist mindset to which Wallis and the Religious Left passionately subscribe, government is simply a cornucopia of gifts and services, benignly bestowed, as an extension of, or even substitute for, God’s grace. But governments, unlike the private sector against whose “greed” the Religious Left perpetually warns, have coercive powers through taxation and law enforcement.

The corruptions and compulsions of a private insurance company, or medical practice, can be magnified ten thousand times by the federal government. Competing private firms could hardly orchestrate “death panels.” But can a national government? History of course declares that governments have often done far worse.

Understanding the moral limits of state power is foreign to the Religious Left, which imagines that expanding government welfare is always moral, and its critics, always sinister. In the conference call for Religious Left activists that Wallis convened for the President, Obama warned of “some folks out there bearing false witness,” of “divisive and deceptive attacks,” of “extraordinary lies,” and “fabrications.”


Accelerating the angry rhetoric about Obamacare’s critics was chief United Methodist lobbyist Jim Winkler, whose United Methodist Board of Church and Society is part of the Religious Left coalition for Obamacare. With typical perception, Winkler discerned that “Racism and fear is at the core of the anger” against government health care. Winkler helpfully recalled that after Obama’s election America suffered a “spate” of racial outrages, including “cross burnings, black figures hanged from nooses, schoolchildren chanting ‘assassinate Obama,’ and racial epithets scrawled on homes and cars.”

In Winkler’s mind, the U.S. is a stewing cauldron that, at best, resembles the Mississippi Delta post-Reconstruction. “Numerous assassination threats have been issued against members of Congress,” Winkler darkly revealed. “Gun-toting people have shown up at town hall meetings. There is talk of armed revolution in the air.” As to the opponents of Obamacare, the United Methodist lobbyist surmised that the “consistent, inaccurate use of ‘socialism’ to describe health-care reform is a code word for racism.” Generously, Winkler admitted that racism was not the only explanation for opposition to Obamacare: “incredibly rich insurance companies are wary of any changes that might affect their bottom lines.”

Describing the reaction to his support for Obamacare from his own purported church constituency, Winkler complained of a constant stream of “virulent, nasty” and “incredibly sinful, ignorant statements from persons who claim to be United Methodists.” He denounced the “ugly rage demonstrated by many in our denomination and at town hall meetings” as “preposterous.” From dealing with recalcitrant, sputtering and ungrammatical United Methodists who do not share Winkler’s agenda, he knows “what it’s like to face people who have worked themselves up into a frenzy, who cannot control their emotions, who have lost all reason and sense of proportion.”

Resorting to Wallis’ imprecatory tone against Palin, Winkler quoted Isaiah about the unrepentant: “But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Wow, that’s violent language coming from a virtual pacifist. But evidently the vial of God’s judgment will be poured down upon all them with the temerity to question government run health care. For those, like Wallis and Winkler, who equate God’s Kingdom with Big Government, the punishment evidently cannot be soon enough.

Mark D. Tooley is president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy.
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  #74  
Old 08-25-2009, 12:55 PM
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Arrow Obama's Plan to Desecrate 9/11





Why 9/11? Why not any other of 364 possible days? "Obama's Plan to Desecrate 9/11," by Matthew Vadum in the American Spectator, August 24:

The Obama White House is behind a cynical, coldly calculated political effort to erase the meaning of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks from the American psyche and convert Sept. 11 into a day of leftist celebration and statist idolatry.

This effort to reshape the American psyche has nothing to do with healing the nation and everything to do with easing the nation along in the ongoing radical transformation of America that President Obama promised during last year's election campaign. The president signed into law a measure in April that designated Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service, but it's not likely many lawmakers thought this meant that day was going to be turned into a celebration of ethanol, carbon emission controls, and radical community organizing.

The administration's plans were outlined in an Aug. 11 White House-sponsored teleconference call run by Obama ally Lennox Yearwood, president of the Hip Hop Caucus, and Liv Havstad, the group's senior vice president of strategic partnerships and programs.

Yearwood, who uses the honorific "Reverend" before his name, has been in the news in recent years, usually for getting arrested. After Democrats took back Congress, the rowdy activist was handcuffed outside a congressional hearing in September 2007 when Gen. David Petraeus was to testify. Yearwood told the "Democracy Now" radio program that he wanted to attend the hearing to hear Petraeus give his report. "I knew that when officers lie, soldiers die," he said.

On the Aug. 11 call, Yearwood and other leaders kept saying repeatedly that they wanted 9/11 to be used for something "positive," "forward-leaning," and "productive," said a source with knowledge of the teleconference.

The plan is to turn a "day of fear" that helps Republicans into a day of activism called the National Day of Service that helps the left. In other words, nihilistic liberals are planning to drain 9/11 of all meaning.

"They think it needs to be taken back from the right," said the source. "They're taking that day and they're breaking it because it gives Republicans an advantage. To them, that day is a fearful day."

A coalition including the unsavory left-wing pressure group Color of Change and about 60 far-left, environmentalist, labor, and corporate shakedown groups participated in the call. Groups on the call included: ACORN, AFL-CIO, Apollo Alliance, Community Action Partnership, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, 80 Million Strong for Young American Jobs, Friends of the Earth, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Mobilize.org, National Black Police Association, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, National Council of Negro Women, National Wildlife Federation, RainbowPUSH Coalition, Urban League, and Young Democrats of America.

Color of Change is the extremist racial grievance group that isn't happy that TV's Glenn Beck did several news packages on Van Jones, the self-described "communist" and "rowdy black nationalist" who became the president's green jobs czar after jumping on the environmentalist bandwagon. The White House may be behind a push to destroy Beck by convincing advertisers to stop buying time on his show. Jones was also on the board of the Apollo Alliance, a hard-left environmentalist group that is now running large chunks of the Obama administration. The group has acknowledged that it dictated parts of the February stimulus bill to Congress.

With the help of the Obama administration, the coalition is launching a public relations campaign under the radar of the mainstream media -- which remains almost uniformly terrified of criticizing the nation's first black president -- to try to change 9/11 from a day of reflection and remembrance to a day of activism, food banks, and community gardens.

"The organizing term is to 'go dark.' You don't tell the press, don't tell people you think will tell the press," said the source.

Of course, the annual commemoration of the 2001 terrorist attacks belongs to the entire nation, but President Obama and the activist left don't see it that way. They view the nationwide remembrance of the murder of 3,000 Americans by Islamic totalitarians as an obstacle to winning over the hearts and minds of the American people.

"When you criticize them, they are prepared to say, 'Did you want 9/11 to be another day of selling mattresses, like Presidents Day?" the source said. "They are truly trying to change the American mindset."

They view Sept. 11 as a "Republican" day because it focuses the public on supposedly "Republican" issues like patriotism, national security, and terrorism. According to liberals, 9/11 was long ago hijacked by Republicans and their enablers and unfairly used to bludgeon helpless Democrats at election time.

MSNBC's foremost left-wing bloviator, Keith Olbermann, summed up this ugly perspective the week after the Republican Party convention last year:
But 9/11 has become a brand name. A Republican campaign slogan. Propaganda of the lowest form. 9/11 has become 9/11 with a trademark logo. "9/11 TM" has sustained a president who long ago should have been dismissed, or impeached. It has kept him and his gang of financial and constitutional crooks in office without -- literally -- any visible means of support. "9/11 TM" has made possible the greatest sleight-of-hand in our nation's history.

On Aug. 4, the White House offered a glimpse into its plans to desecrate 9/11 for political advantage. Jones appeared in a largely ignored 33-minute video posted on the official blog of the White House to discuss the administration's plan to flush 9/11 down the memory hole just as it has tried to do by rechristening the Global War on Terror the "Overseas Contingency Operations."

Of this National Day of Service, Jones says little except that it will be a great opportunity "for people to connect, to find other people in your peer group who are also passionate about repowering America but also greening up America and cleaning up America."

On the same day, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, and Department of Energy Under Secretary Kristina Johnson and activists held a low-key press conference. At it, Yearwood said the National Day of Service will be "the first milestone" of a larger effort called Green the Block that is attempting to convince Americans that the utopian fantasy of a so-called green economy is possible without turning the U.S. into a Third World country.

"From policy creation to community implementation, the Green the Block campaign wants to see access and opportunity created for all Americans, to build prosperity and a healthier planet for future generations," Yearwood said.

At no time does anyone explain why this National Day of Service has to be held -- of all the 365 days in a year -- on Sept. 11.

And of course, there is nothing to be fearful about. The war on terror is over!
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The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

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Old 08-25-2009, 01:59 PM
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Arrow Obama’s Human Rights Disaster


Elliott Abrams exposes a policy of failure.

By: Jamie Glazov
http://www.frontpagemag.com/readArti...px?ARTID=36042


Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was a deputy national security adviser in the Bush administration.

FP: Elliott Abrams, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

I would like to talk to you today about America's human rights policy under Obama.

What is Obama’s human rights policy exactly? The recent visit to the U.S. of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was kind of illuminating in this context, yes?

Abrams: It seems clear to me that the Obama Administration has no human rights policy. That is, while in some inchoate sense they would like respect for human rights to grow around the world, as all Americans would, they have no actual policy to achieve that goal-- and they subordinate it to all their other policy goals.

In the Middle East, for example, they have decided to go for an Israeli-Palestinian deal at all costs. That means our relations with Egypt (and Saudi Arabia, Syria, etc.) are all about Israeli-Palestinian matters, not about Egypt itself as a country. Human rights and democracy in Egypt become a small issue, a side issue.

The Mubarak visit was illuminating, as was the President's choice of Cairo to give his speech a few months ago, for Obama pretty much forgot about freedom. He did not utter the word (or words like democracy, human rights, free elections) sitting there next to Mubarak at the White House. Democracy activists in Egypt have been abandoned.

Clinton's remarks about China are another example. Mitchell's visits to Syria are yet another: dead silence about human rights, smiles at dictators. That's the norm.

FP: What are the consequences of thislack of a human rights policy?

Abrams: There are four major ones.

First, we have a foreign policy that does not reflect the greatest ideals and principles of America. America was not founded to improve health care or housing; it was founded for freedom. The "shining city on a hill" was not supposed to be a model for urban planning or social policy, it was supposed to be a model of liberty and self-government.

Second, we let down the people fighting for human rights and for democracy and who look to America for help. The help can be moral or verbal rather than material support, but when we refuse to give them even that we abandon them to dictators who seek to suppress them. What message could Egyptians have taken, for example, from the Mubarak visit to Washington when the President didn't even say the word freedom or democracy or human rights?

Third, we weaken the cause of human rights globally. That cause always has enemies who seek to rule in place of the people, and they are sometimes restrained or defeated by people fighting for freedom-- sometimes with American support. When that support dries up, the oppressors are more likely to win.

And fourth, our own freedom is safer in a world of democracies, so by abandoning the cause we actually help create a world where America is less safe.

FP: What is the Obama administration afraid of when it comes to speaking about freedom and democracy? Is there the leftist seed here that America should apologize to the world rather than teach it anything?

Abrams: I think there are two explanations for Obama policy. The first is that they associate the freedom agenda and the promotion of democracy with President Bush, so they reject it. The desire to dissociate from a previous Administration is understandable, but not when it comes to human rights. Promotion of human rights was also Carter policy and Clinton policy, in some ways, so what they are actually abandoning is decades of foreign policy consensus.

The second explanation is the one you suggest, left-wing politics. These apology tours suggest a view that America has been a source for trouble, violence, oppression and not an inspiration for freedom. It's a version of the old MccGovernite view that we are a bad country and the more we do in the world the worse off everyone will be. Reagan won in 1980 in part because he did not believe that, and the American people don't believe it; they believe we are the greatest influence for good on the face of the earth. And they are right.

FP: What is it that Obama just doesn’t understand? And why doesn’t he understand it? Is it an ignorance and inexperience? Or is it also just a destructive ideology? Or both?

Abrams: I think it's mostly ideology, the long-time view of the left wing of the Democratic Party, which he represents. It is impossible for him and his advisers, it appears, to imagine that the more powerful and active in the world America is, the better off we and the world will be. American power remains today what it was in the Second World War and the Cold War: the greatest force for freedom in the world. They seem to have a hard time with that notion.

Hillary Clinton recently espoused a view of human rights that we really haven't heard since it was a Soviet argument during the Cold War: that we need a "broad" definition of human rights that doesn't just focus on freedom of speech, or freedom of the press, or free elections, or religious freedom, but includes better housing or the right to a job. That is pure ideology, and it means the AID approach to human rights takes over: we press dictatorships to build more schools, but we don't press them to allow freedom of thought in those schools. We build roads and forget about free elections.

But there is also an element of incompetence here. I'm not sure Obama or Jim Jones or Hillary Clinton fully realizes they have more or less destroyed the effectiveness of the democracy directorate at the NSC and the democracy bureau at State. I imagine none of them issued an order saying "destroy that place." It has happened because they have paid no attention and have allowed real ideologues to seize pieces of the turf and undermine the work that used to be done in those offices-- going back to Carter days in the 1970s. Human rights activists around the world don't really know where to turn in the US Government these days to get a friendly ear and some help.

FP: A recent piece in the Washington Post noted that the only country in the world with which the U.S. has worse relations since Obama took office is Israel. Why do you think this is? Would it be fair to say that there is a strain of anti-Semitism in the Obama administration? A black pastor recently reflected on this issue. Your thoughts?


Abrams: I don't think anti-Semitism has anything to do with it at all, and some of the key people promoting Obama's policy are Jews. No, that isn't the explanation. I think it is partly ideology, once again: the old Leftist view that Israel is the source of the world's troubles and is an aggressive, militarized state. Support for Israel in the Democratic Party and among liberals and leftists is far lower than it is among Republicans and conservatives.

The Right is simply more pro-Israel than the Left. Obama also seems to believe that the Arab position regarding Israel is the result of bad conduct on Israel's part, and will change if that conduct (such as settlement activity) stops. But in truth the real problem isn't any particular conduct by Israel, it is the fact that most Arabs have yet to make peace with the idea that Israel exists, and has a right to exist forever, as a Jewish state in the middle of the Middle East.

The President also seems to think that distancing the US from Israel will gain us points with Muslims around the world. That's an ignoble position-- abandoning an ally in the hope that some other people will smile at us more. It will also not work.

A final part of it I attribute to the accident of who are some of the personalities involved. Rahm Emanuel seems to think he knows Israel very well, and that the way to treat that country and its democratically-elected government is the way he treats all opponents in politics: by attacking and attacking. I have little doubt he urged the President to pick a fight with Prime Minister Netanyahu early and publicly, which the President then did. And George Mitchell seems to be clinging to the view he expressed in the Mitchell report of 2001, that "settlement expansion" is an absolutely critical issue in moving toward peace in the Middle East.

FP: Overall, what would you say is the best human rights policy for the U.S. to pursue? Why? What President, in your estimation, pursued an admirable and effective human rights policy and should be held up as an example?

Abrams: Look, the United States Government is not an NGO and we must always balance the many interests we have: economic and financial, commercial, military and security, human rights and the expansion of freedom. There will be many cases where we cannot do what we'd like and where realpolitik must govern our behavior; for example, I don't know anyone who's in favor of invading China to free Tibet. But that's a good example: what President Bush did do was to meet repeatedly with the Dalai Lama, including at the White House, to show exactly what his real views were, and make sure we had programs in place to help Tibetans.

Two presidents pursued human rights policies that were serious and effective, Reagan and George W. Bush. They understood that American support for human rights activists is a moral imperative for us and also makes the world safer for us. Under Reagan the huge roll-back of military governments and dictatorships began, from Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil to Central America, from Taiwan to the Philippines to South Korea. President Bush met repeatedly with human rights activists and freedom fighters from all over the world, to give them encouragement and protection and to advance their cause. Under both these presidents, we had active NSC and State Department offices pushing the regional, geographic offices to do more for human rights.

What you need is a clear instruction from the very top that the President cares about this and demands action and results. It has to be clear that the President sees the support for human rights as critical to his Administration and indeed his view of American and the world. And you need political appointees in the key jobs who also believe it and will act on it all the time, seeing it as central to their jobs and not some annoying addition to their "real" responsibilities. In all this, the Obama Administration is failing- and failing very badly.

FP: Elliott Abrams, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

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Old 08-25-2009, 02:46 PM
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Arrow

Here is a perspective from the Canada Free Press
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/13687


The Apollo Alliance and Democrat Party Talking Points
By Bob Beers

A point completely ignored by all the major networks outside of Fox is the hiring criteria imposed by the Obama Administration. In order to work for Barrack Hussein Obama you have to be a true believer in the Socialist Utopia. Consider a few of the names the Obama Administration has placed into power:

Attorney General Eric Holder- Obama’s legal advisor in the Senate. A confirmed leftist absolutely opposed to the death penalty.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton- Nothing more need be said here except that having Mrs. Clinton out of the country for most of the time is an inspired move by Obama. Hillary is far too interested in power herself.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Maria Sotomayor- Her most famous quote of “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” exposes her personal bigotry. She is also an active member of La Raza.

Green Jobs czar Van Jones- Jones, a black radical, was arrested and jailed for violence during the Rodney King riots. In prison he adopted the Karl Marx philosophy and remains committed to turning the US into a communist nation. He has refined his agenda, using the environmentalist movement and the so-called “green” push in legislation to further his goals.

Many express surprise, even amazement that Obama would not only appoint an admitted communist, but one with a felony on their record to a cabinet level position. I don’t find it surprising at all. Beginning with his early association with the Weather Underground and moving on to over two decades of tutelage at the feet of Jeremiah Wright, a man who screamed “God damn America” from the pulpit, it isn’t a surprise at all that when put into the ultimate position of power Barrack Hussein Obama would begin implementing the plans his communist brethren had for this country since the fifties.

Glen Beck gave a white board demonstration about an organization called The Apollo Alliance. He finished by asking his audience to talk him out of the “crazy Tree”. Sorry Glen, can’t do it. The more you explore the associations, especially with a backroom understanding of how politics works in America, you aren’t crazy. I wish you were.

The Democrat Party, along with all of its assorted splinter groups has functioned as one vast communal organism for at least the last fifty to sixty years. There are hints of this organization going back to the days of Stalin’s reign in the Soviet Union.

In order to go anywhere within the Democrat Party, you have to be willing to toe the party line, especially when it comes to social issues. There is a tiny bit of leeway on fiscal policy, hence the Blue Dogs in the party, but there is no room whatsoever on the social side. Witness Lieberman’s expulsion for his traitorous vote on the war. I saw this control in person during my tenure in the Nevada Legislature. Rosemary Womack, a fellow freshman in the Assembly, ran afoul of her party because she felt certain bills would harm her constituents’ quality of life. She voted against her party’s line and for that sin was expelled. Take that circumstance and multiply it exponentially and you have what goes on in Washington on a daily basis. Absolute control over the party members is the aim of the Democrat leadership. Is it impossible to extrapolate that aim to include the American people?

Obama has appointed literally dozens of “Czars” to coordinate the various boards involved in the Apollo Alliance. What is alarming is that these Czars are “outside of the Constitution and the authority of Congress.” (Congressman Jack Kingston-R-GA). Unlike cabinet secretaries, these Czars have no congressional confirmation process to go through. They report directly to the President. Obama has full authority to set their salaries and job descriptions. Which one of these people was involved in the posting of a death threat on the door of the father who confronted John Dingle about the healthcare bill. I watched the confrontation. Dingle tried to push the questions aside and later accused this man of being part of a conspiracy. Pot calling the kettle…because there is no public forum or even a mild examination of their records, the Czars face no public opposition to their placement into power. If we examine those judges and secretaries GOP administrations attempted to appoint and the fanatical opposition they received, we begin to wonder if the left even knows what a true radical is.

Is it any wonder that a true grassroots uprising by a broad spectrum of American citizens over Obama’s dismantling of their rights is called a conspiracy by the left? They live in conspiracy. Obama’s Czars are simply yet another means to an end. The real danger to America is that it is becoming an ever-accelerating end. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, John Dingle and many others in the Democrat leadership have expressed, not a desire, but a need to establish this takeover of the American way of life.

The Apollo Alliance, on its surface is simply an envelop overseeing the development of “green” technologies. An examination of how Obama is dealing with this legislatively is another thing altogether. The Cap and Trade legislation, if passed, would make it impossible for any current petroleum-based business to continue. Those who could not afford the enormous expense to change over to approved “green” technologies would be forced into bankruptcy, shut down, or…this is the sneaky bit…purchased by the government as part of the Van Jones stimulus Package. Remember, The Obama Administration has gone as far as issuing open threats against any and all who oppose one of his policies. There are even white House operated site where neighbors can report neighbors for sedition. Right now a concerted effort (yes, a left-wing conspiracy) is being undertaken to financially destroy the upstart Fox Network. When it goes, there will be no media opposition to the communist cause.

The Financial Sector, Healthcare, Transportation, food production and now Power. Can anyone say “King” Obama?
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:26 PM
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Exclamation Command Decision

Command Decision
Obama's fateful test on Afghanistan.





On May 27, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson had telephone conversations about Vietnam with McGeorge Bundy, his national security adviser, and Sen. Richard Russell, chairman of the Armed Services Committee. First, to Bundy, he said: "It just worries the hell out of me. I don't see what we can ever hope to get out of there. ... I don't think that we can fight them 10,000 miles away from home and ever get anywhere. ... I don't think it's worth fighting for, and I don't think we can get out. It's just the biggest damn mess I ever saw. ... What the hell is Vietnam worth to me? ... What is it worth to this country?"

In a second, 20-minute conversation that day with his friend Sen. Russell, he said: "I've got lots of trouble. What do you think about this Vietnam thing?" Russell responded: "It's the damn worst mess I ever saw. ... I'd get out. ... It isn't important a damn bit."

Late in the conversation, President Johnson worried: "The Republicans are going to make a political issue out of it. ... Nixon, Rockefeller and Goldwater all (are) saying let's move (and) let's go into the North. ... They'd impeach a president ... that would run out. Wouldn't they?"

Johnson went on to speak of a sergeant who was a father of six. He ''works for me over there at the house,'' Johnson told Sen. Russell. Then Johnson said: ''Thinking about sending (him) in there ... and what the hell we're going to get out of his doing it? It just makes the chills run up my back.'' LBJ concluded the conversation by saying, "I haven't the nerve to do it, but I don't see any other way out of it." (To listen to those heartbreaking taped conversations, go to http://www.hpol.org/lbj/vietnam.)

As of that spring day in 1964, a total of 201 Americans had been killed in Vietnam since 1956, according to the official records. A few months later, the Gulf of Tonkin resolution was passed by Congress, and the great escalation of our troop levels started. By the time we finally lost the war and brought our boys home, another 57,992 American troops were killed.

Of course, in 1964, only the president knew he was taping his phone conversations. Publicly, Johnson said that it was a war we had to fight and win and that we would win it. Now, of course, we know that he believed we couldn't win even before he sent the first of those 57,992 American boys over there to die. And that he did it because he didn't have, in his words, "the nerve" to follow his best judgment because he wouldn't risk his own political danger, perhaps impeachment.

As painful as it is to consider the consequences of Johnson's decisions, he was, for all his faults, no monster.

And even the finest, ethical leaders often find the pressures of politics powerfully encroaching on their best policy judgments. (For example, in order to win, Franklin Roosevelt ran publicly on a peace ticket in 1940, though he privately believed American interests required us to get into World War II.)

Today President Barack Obama is on the cusp of a fateful policy decision. He has argued consistently that the war in Afghanistan is necessary to deny al-Qaida a base of terrorist operations and to stop the Taliban insurrection from destabilizing nuclear Pakistan. But serious doubts are being raised by many policy experts and an emerging majority of the American and British publics as to whether we have a strategy and the materiel to succeed. Even the optimists believe that a successful counterinsurgency in Afghanistan (and needed as much in Pakistan) will require several years of sustained commitment, with substantially more men and materiel and a shrewder strategy (probably requiring modern nation building of a traditional tribal society).

To have a reasonable chance at success, President Obama will have to sustain the effort for years, which will require him to be at least as determined and stubborn on behalf of this war as former President George W. Bush was in fighting the Iraq war — whatever one thought of Bush's policy wisdom. It may be a lonely struggle at times for the president because his strongest supporters (the Democratic Party, particularly its progressive/liberal wing) are not by philosophy or recent history natural supporters of military action; their support will be based largely on party instincts. The war's natural supporters — the hawkish right and center of the Republican Party — inevitably will have at least their enthusiasm ameliorated by their party instincts.

Thus, President Obama has a hard decision to make. Because things are going worse than expected in Afghanistan, it will take longer and require more sacrifice of American blood and treasure to succeed (if we can succeed even then) than was believed to be the case last year. Moreover, political support for the president is likely to be uneven at best.

So in this already politically difficult summer of 2009, President Obama must bring a higher level of intellectual integrity and moral courage to his go/no-go war decision than Lyndon Johnson was capable of 45 years ago. Notwithstanding his prior and current commitment to prosecute the war in Afghanistan — and notwithstanding the ambiguous political effect of his decision — he owes it to both himself and the many young service members who soon may be shipping out to make a new, cold calculation of whether he believes that he has a reasonable chance of successfully leading us in this new stage of the war. I don't envy him his job at the moment.

Tony Blankley is the editorial page editor of The Washington Times.
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Old 08-28-2009, 01:49 PM
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Arrow Raymond Ibrahim on Al-Jazeera, discussing zakat and jihad

Raymond Ibrahim on Al-Jazeera, discussing zakat and jihad




Our good friend and former Jihad Watch writer Raymond Ibrahim appears on Al-Jazeera in these two clips, discussing how Islamic charitable contributions often end up in the hands of Islamic jihadists.
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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Old 08-28-2009, 02:04 PM
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Arrow Obama's counterterror strategy: Release jihadists, investigate CIA

Obama's counterterror strategy: Release jihadists, investigate CIA
Yet another Which-Side-Is-Obama-On Alert: "Release the Terrorist, Investigate the CIA," by Andy McCarthy at The Corner, August 27:
The Wall Street Jounral [sic] has a terrific editorial this morning on how valuable the CIA interrogation program was in uncovering life-saving intelligence. My favorite paragraph was this one, which gets into the terrorist the mainstream press doesn't want to talk about, Binyam Mohammed (see my column on him, here):
The most revealing portion of the IG report documents the program's results. The CIA's "detention and interrogation of terrorists has provided intelligence that has enabled the identification and apprehension of other terrorists and warned of terrorist plots planned for the United States and around the world." That included the identification of Jose Padilla and Binyam Muhammed, who planned to detonate a dirty bomb, and the arrest of previously unknown members of an al Qaeda cell in Karachi, Pakistan, designated to pilot an aircraft attack in the U.S. The information also made the CIA aware of plots to attack the U.S. consulate in Karachi, hijack aircraft to fly into Heathrow, loosen track spikes to derail a U.S. train, blow up U.S. gas stations, fly an airplane into a California building, and cut the lines of suspension bridges in New York.
Though the Journal does not get into it, Binyam Mohammed was released outright by the Obama administration in February. He is now living freely in England. That's our new counterterrorism approach: Release the terrorist who planned mass-murder attacks against U.S. cities but investigate the CIA agents who prevented mass-murder attacks against U.S. cities....
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:28 PM
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Exclamation Counterterrorism in Obama's Washington

Counterterrorism in Obama's Washington



Barack Obama's assistant for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, John O. Brennan, conveniently outlined the administration's present and future policy mistakes in a speech on August 6, "A New Approach for Safeguarding Americans."

John O. Brennan, Barack Obama's assistant for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.

To start with, his address to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, has an unusual tenor. "Sycophantic" is the word that springs to mind, as Brennan ninety times in five thousand words invokes either "President Obama," "he," "his," or "the president."

Disturbingly, Brennan ascribes virtually every thought or policy in his speech to the wisdom of the One. This cringe-inducing lecture reminds one of a North Korean functionary paying homage to the Dear Leader.

Specifics are no better. Most fundamentally, Brennan calls for appeasing terrorists: "Even as we condemn and oppose the illegitimate tactics used by terrorists, we need to acknowledge and address the legitimate needs and grievances of ordinary people those terrorists claim to represent." Which legitimate needs and grievances, one wonders, does he think Al-Qaeda represents?

Brennan carefully delineates a two-fold threat, one being "Al-Qaida and its allies" and the other "violent extremism." But the former, self-evidently, is a subset of the latter. This elementary mistake undermines his entire analysis.

He also rejects any connection between "violent extremism" and Islam: "Using the legitimate term jihad, which means to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal, risks giving these murderers the religious legitimacy they desperately seek but in no way deserve. Worse, it risks reinforcing the idea that the United States is somehow at war with Islam itself."

This passage regurgitates a theory of radical Islam that, according to Lt. Colonel Joseph C. Myers of the U.S. Air Command and Staff College, "is part of a strategic disinformation and denial and deception campaign" developed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Discredited in 2007 by Robert Spencer, the theory distinguishes between good jihad and bad jihad and denies any connection between Islam and terrorism.

It's a deeply deceptive interpretation intended to confuse non-Muslims and win time for Islamists. The George W. Bush administration, for all its mistakes, did not succumb to this ruse. But Brennan informs us that his boss now bases U.S. policy on it.

The speech contains disquieting signs of ineptitude. We learn that Obama considers nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists to be "the most immediate and extreme threat to global security." Fine. But how does he respond? With three feeble and nearly irrelevant steps: "leading the effort for a stronger global nonproliferation regime, launching an international effort to secure the world's vulnerable nuclear material …, and hosting a global nuclear summit."

Nor can Brennan think straight. One example, requiring a lengthy quote.

"Poverty does not cause violence and terrorism. Lack of education does not cause terrorism. But just as there is no excuse for the wanton slaughter of innocents, there is no denying that when children have no hope for an education, when young people have no hope for a job and feel disconnected from the modern world, when governments fail to provide for the basic needs of their people, then people become more susceptible to ideologies of violence and death."

Summary: Poverty and a lack of education do not cause terrorism, but a lack of education and a job make people more susceptible to the ideas leading to terrorism. What is the distinction? Woe on us when the White House accepts illogic as analysis.

Further, let's focus on the statement, "when governments fail to provide for the basic needs of their people, then people become more susceptible to ideologies of violence and death," for it contains two stunning errors. First, it assumes the socialist fiction that governments provide basic needs. No. Other than in a few commodity-rich states, governments protect and offer legal structures, while the market provides.

Second, every study on the subject finds no connection between personal stress (poverty, lack of education, unemployment) and attraction to radical Islam. If anything, massive transfers of wealth to the Middle East since 1970 contributed to the rise of radical Islam. The administration is basing its policy on a falsehood.

Where, as they say, is the adult supervision? Implementation of the inept policies outlined by Brennan spells danger for Americans, American interests, and American allies. The bitter consequences of these mistakes soon enough will become apparent.
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The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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