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WEDNESDAY,  JUNE 2,  2010

ARE YOU BELIEVING THIS?  ARE YOU REALLY BELIEVING IT?  – AT 8:32 P.M.:  The dense John Kerry is stirring up a storm by some comments he made in defense of...Russia.  We await Kerry's comments in defense of the United States:

Foreign policy experts contacted by HUMAN EVENTS sharply criticized Sen. John Kerry’s recent assertion that the United States could trust Russia to tighten sanctions on Iran because “Russia is in a different position today than it was under Bush.”

“This is all happy talk,” said Robert Kagan, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in an interview. “We think we know what Russia needs and doesn't need, and from that we extrapolate that they must be sincerely cooperating, because we think it's in their interest. This is a solipsistic discussion we are having with ourselves.”

During a press breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor last week, I asked Sen. Kerry (D.-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, why he felt the Obama Administration should trust Russia regarding UN sanctions against Iran and its nuclear program when Moscow had not delivered on similar promises in the past.

Specifically, I cited a column in the Washington Post by Kagan which noted that “the Russians have not said or done anything in the past few months that they didn’t do or say during the Bush years.” Russia has most recently agreed “for the fourth time in five years to another vacuous UN Security Council Resolution.”...

...“I think Russia is in a very different position today from when it was during the course of the Bush years,” Kerry replied. “They were riding pretty high on their energy income and their economic resurgence. That’s turned on them to a large measure. They’ve got some serious challenges and they know it.

COMMENT:  Oh please.  This is such garbage.  It's the old "they don't have the resources" argument that precedes every international tragedy.  Look, Nazi Germany didn't have the resources.  The Japanese certainly didn't have the resources.  The North Koreans didn't have the resources.  And the jihadist terror groups today often don't have great resources.

And talking about challenges:  The Soviet Union in World War II was essentially a third-world country.  It couldn't even feed its own people.  Yet, it made mincemeat of the German armies. 

Economic challenges are often in the eye of the beholder.  If a nation is willing to allocate a good chunk of its economy to military forces, it can do terrible damage, even though the store shelves are bare. 

Kerry should stick to what he knows, although I'm hard pressed to say what that is.

June 2, 2010     Permalink

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SOME COMMON SENSE ON GAZA – AT 7:59 P.M. ET:  We don't normally praise Vice President Biden here, but we always give credit where it's due.  Interviewed by Charlie Rose, Biden made some common-sense remarks about the Israeli raid that put to shame all the international hypocrisy we're hearing. 

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday defended Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip and its decision to intercept the pro-Palestinian flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to the coastal territory, though he did not go so far as to defend the Israel Navy raid that killed nine people two days earlier.

In an interview with Charlie Rose, Biden pointed out that Israel had given pro-Palestinian activists the option of unloading their cargo at the Ashdod port, and offered to bring it to the Gaza Strip on their behalf.

"They've said, 'Here you go. You're in the Mediterranean. This ship -- if you divert slightly north you can unload it and we'll get the stuff into Gaza,'", he said. "So what's the big deal here? What's the big deal of insisting it go straight to Gaza? Well, it's legitimate for Israel to say, 'I don't know what's on that ship. These guys are dropping… 3,000 rockets on my people.'"

Works for me.

"As we put pressure, and the world put pressure on Israel to let material go into Gaza to help those people who are suffering, the ordinary Palestinians there, what happened? Hamas would confiscate it, put it in a warehouse [and] sell it."

Gee, I'm glad someone said it.  But notice that the person who said it isn't named Obama.

June 2, 2010    Permalink

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MADNESS – AT 7:43 P.M. ET:  Los Angeles County goes nuts over the Arizona immigration law, but not over illegal immigrants.  From the L.A. Times:

By a 3-2 vote the board moves to suspend county-funded travel to the state, possibly terminate contracts with Arizona-based companies, and divest the county pension fund of Arizona state and municipal bonds. Residents attending the meeting spoke out on both sides of the issue.

After heated debate, Los Angeles County supervisors voted 3 to 2 Tuesday to boycott Arizona in response to the passage of its controversial illegal immigration law, a decision that came the same day the Los Angeles Unified School District condemned the law.

"This law simply goes too far," said Supervisor Gloria Molina, the primary sponsor of the county boycott. "A lot of people have pointed out that I am sworn as an L.A. County supervisor to uphold the Constitution. All I can say is that I believe that Arizona's law is unconstitutional."

In fact, the Arizona law was carefully crafted to uphold Constitutional provisions.

This is pure politics.  The very people behind the boycott have shown a notable lack of zeal in tackling the serious issue of illegal immigration.  And I'd imagine (speculation here) that their attitude toward crime in general could use some sprucing up.

Among the speakers against the boycott were family members of Jamiel Shaw II, a 17-year-old football player who was recruited by Stanford and Rutgers before he was shot to death in 2008. Pedro Espinoza, a member of the 18th Street gang who was in the U.S. illegally, has been charged with murder in the case. He had been released from jail a day before the shooting after serving time for another offense.

"I was coming here thinking what can I say to touch their hearts? But you don't have one," Tommie Shaw, Shaw's grandmother, told the supervisors.

No, but they have little calculators to figure up the votes they might gain by supporting this absurd boycott. 

Also, L.A. school officials are now being urged to teach about the Arizona law in a laughingly historical context:

The issue would, in essence, be dealt with in a manner similar to broadly accepted episodes of racial and cultural intolerance and abridgements of rights, such as the Jim Crow laws and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, said district spokesman Robert Alaniz.

Crazy.  I wasn't aware that the African-Americans affected by Jim Crow or the Japanese-Americans interned during World War II had broken any laws.  Illegal immigrants, are, by definition, lawbreakers.  There is no question that Hispanic-Americans still suffer discrimination and ridicule, but there are intelligent and respectful ways to deal with that ugliness without dragging these citizens down to the level of lawbreakers.

By the way, check out the picture in the linked L.A. Timnes story.  Isn't that woman wearing the traditional scarf associated with Arab radicalism?  I get the feeling this is just one part of a larger, disturbing movement.

June 2, 2010     Permalink

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BOY, IS THIS EVER CHILLING – AT 10:30 A.M. ET:  Under the radar, there's an assault on free speech in America, but, as usual, it comes dressed as a noble effort.  From Andrew Malcolm's great Top of the Ticket blog at the L.A. Times:

...a year ago the new Democrat administration of Barack Obama launched a major internal study intended to design a major government rescue plan for the nation's financially-troubled information media, primarily newspapers.

That strident sound you hear are the alarms going off in minds and offices across the country: Government helping the press? Which press? How help? In return for what?..

...The Federal Trade Commission has just released a major staff study of modern American media titled "Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism." And....

...silly you thought the private business of journalism was doing that by itself in its own stumbling ways without the help of the Washington branch of the Chicago Democratic political machine.

And...

...this FTC study is rated R for anyone who thinks the federal government, the object of copious news coverage itself, has no business deciding which sectors of the private media business survive and thrive through its support, subsidies and encouragement with things like tax incentives.

Yet that's what this Obama administration paper is suggesting as another of the ex-community organizer's galactic reform plans.

Would you believe: major changes to the copyright law, including government licensing provisions; government pilot programs to investigate potential new media business models, antitrust changes to allow media companies to unite on imposing online pay walls, establish a journalism division of AmeriCorps with government underwriting the training of young journalists, tax incentives per news employee, increased funding of public broadcasting, a 5% tax on consumer electronics and/or assessments on users of public airwaves.

Oh dear, oh dear.  You know just where this is going.  Who needs a free press when government is there to shape things? 

And how about this gem, from The Hill:

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is being urged to monitor "hate speech" on talk radio and cable broadcast networks.

A coalition of more than 30 organizations argue in a letter to the FCC that the Internet has made it harder for the public to separate the facts from bigotry masquerading as news.

The groups also charge that syndicated radio and cable television programs "masquerading as news" use hate as a profit model.

"As traditional media have become less diverse and less competitive, they have also grown less responsible and less responsive to the communities that they are supposed to serve," the organizations wrote to the FCC. "In this same atmosphere hate speech thrives, as hate has developed as a profit-model for syndicated radio and cable television program masquerading as 'news.'"

The organizations, which include Free Press, the Center for Media Justice, the Benton Foundation and Media Alliance, also argue that the anonymity of the Web gives ammunition to those that would spread hate.

COMMENT:  And you know where this is going, too.  Can you guess who this is aimed at?  Does the name "Fox" come to mind?  Does "Limbaugh" come to mind?

How do you define "hate speech"?  To the people behind this letter, hate speech is anything they don't agree with, and "bigotry" is what the other side practices.

June 2, 2010     Permalink

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AND THE PHONY BEAT GOES ON – AT 9:37 A.M. ET:  The hypocrisy over Israel's raid on a "relief" ship at sea continues unabated.  The pain, the agony.  And, of course, the usual suspects on the left, like The New York Times editorial board, is going right along with it, the better to be invited to the right parties.

But Les Gelb, former head of the Council on Foreign Relations, is joining a counter-chorus that is trying to set the record straight:

Israel had every right under international law to stop and board ships bound for the Gaza war zone late Sunday. Only knee-jerk left-wingers and the usual legion of poseurs around the world would dispute this. And it is pretty clear that this "humanitarian" flotilla headed for Gaza aimed to provoke a confrontation with Israel...

...The Israeli commandos who stormed the ship, where fighting erupted, badly mishandled the situation. But theirs was a mistake in pursuit of a legal goal, not a war crime. And as for calls for international investigations, they represent the usual hypocritical nonsense that will go nowhere. Except for those who routinely fool themselves about the judiciousness and effectiveness of action by the United Nations or the European Union, everyone understands their "investigations" will amount to nothing.

And...

As for what the planners of this "humanitarian" flotilla had in mind, just listen to what the leaders of this enterprise have been saying. Greta Berlin, a leader of the pro-Palestinian Free Gaza Movement, told The New York Times that the Israeli claim that the people aboard the ship intended violence was preposterous. She argued that it was inconceivable that the civilian passengers on board would have been "waiting up to fire on the Israeli military, with all its might." By that keen logic, no Palestinian ever would have fired upon a militarily superior Israeli. We seem to know otherwise.

Or listen to Huwaida Arraf, one of the Free Gaza Movement leaders. She said on Sunday before the incident that the boats would steam forward to Gaza "until they either disable our boats or jump on board." How on earth did she expect that strategy would not lead to violence?

But weren't these just "peace activists"?  You know, the kind of "peace activists" we had during the Vietnam War, who were for peace as long as the Communists won. 

And, of course, there is the outrage.

Well, where was all that international outrage and demand for explanations and retribution when the North Koreans sunk a South Korean ship? Where was it when the Gazans attacked Israel? Where, when Afghan men flogged their women for not wearing veils? Where, when Saudi Arabia funds terrorists around the world? This international outrage is highly selective, isn't it? The one consolation is that the international community, such as it has become, doesn't get anything of value done.

And a proposal:

Which puts matters in the American lap, as usual. There is a reasonable solution to this terrible dilemma: The Gazan people are in need of food and medicine, and Israel must protect itself against Gazan terrorists. President Obama should propose this simple arrangement: First, those wishing to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza agree to land aircraft, dock ships, and use land checkpoints all reasonably designated by Israel for inspection of contents. Second, Israel agrees to inspect cargoes within two to three days, and allow all humanitarian goods to proceed to Gaza immediately.

Seems reasonable to me.  The Israelis should accept this immediately.  Then they put the ball in the nutbags' court.

June 2, 2010    Permalink

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THE ONE GOOD THING TO COME OUT OF THE SPILL – AT 9:18 A.M. ET:  One voice, above all others, has been rational and wise in handling the Gulf oil spill, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.

Written off by some after a disastrous national appearance when he responded to President Obama's State of the Union message on behalf of the Republican Party, Jindal has been trying to find a voice to equal the competence he's shown as Louisiana's governor.   He's found it.  From Fox:

PORT FOURCHON, La. — In the gathering frustration over failures to stop the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has emerged as one of the staunchest critics of the response by the federal government and BP PLC.

Nearly every day, the Republican policy wonk pulls on his brown cowboy boots and traipses across a newly oiled shore, or takes a boat through fouled waters. Along the way, he often lambastes BP's and the federal government's efforts as "too little, too late" for communities scrambling to protect their fragile wetlands from encroaching crude—comments that have drawn sharp criticism from the White House and some Democratic lawmakers.

Louisiana has jurisdiction over its coastline, but none in the federal waters of the Gulf.

Mr. Jindal accuses the federal government of poorly coordinating cleanup efforts between its agencies and BP, leading to delays in cleaning oiled beaches and marshes, laying protective boom and delivering resources to critical areas.

Pledging that Louisiana will "take matters into our own hands" if the Obama administration doesn't speed up its pace, he has begun coastal patrols for oil and relays new sightings to the Coast Guard and BP. He dispatched the Louisiana National Guard and state personnel to build shore barriers, lay sandbags and monitor the shores.

COMMENT:  Jindal has often been talked about as a potential national candidate, although the talk died down after his failed national speech.  Now he's coming back, and could easily be a vice presidential candidate, or more.  The son of Indian immigrants, he would be the first non-white on a GOP ticket, taking a bit of the racial wind out of Obama's sails.

The national press, of course, is not emphasizing Jindal's critical role, but his constant activity, and sharp attacks on the White House, are being noticed.  Watch him carefully, if you can find the coverage.

June 2, 2010    Permalink

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SPEAKING OF INCOMPETENCE – AT 8:21 A.M. ET:  Obama's, that is.  Dick Morris points out that Obama's incompetence, especially in handling the oil spill, is now laid bare before us, and is even cutting into his approval ratings among Democrats.  From The Hill:

America is watching the president alternate between wringing his hands in helplessness and pointing his finger in blame when he should be solving the most pressing environmental problem America has faced in the past 50 years. We are watching generations of environmental protection swept away as marshes, fisheries, vacation spots, recreational beaches, wetlands, hatcheries and sanctuaries fall prey to the oil spill invasion. And, all the while, the president acts like a spectator, interrupting his basketball games only to excoriate BP for its failure to contain the spill.

Well said.  In the minds of the Obamans, the oil spill isn't a tragedy, but an opportunity to impose their radical energy agenda. 

The political fallout from the oil spill will, indeed, spill across party and ideological lines. The environmentalists of America cannot take heart from a president so obviously ignorant about how to protect our shores and so obstinately arrogant that he refuses to inform himself and take any responsibility.

All of this explains why the oil spill is seeping into his ratings among Democrats, dragging him down to levels we have not seen since Bush during the pit of the Iraq war. Conservatives may dislike Obama because he is a leftist. But liberals are coming to dislike him because he is not a competent progressive.

And...

Meanwhile, the nation watches nervously as the same policies Obama has brought to our nation are failing badly and publicly in Europe.

And...

And the truth begins to dawn on all of us: Obama has no more idea how to work his way out of the economic mess into which his policies have plunged us than he does about how to clean up the oil spill that is destroying our southern coastline.

Both the financial crisis and the oil come ever closer to our shores — one from the east and the other from the south — and, between them, they loom as a testament to the incompetence of our government and of its president.

This is pretty strong stuff, but I'm afraid it's true.  We have elected a lemon, and we don't have a manufacturer's guarantee:

America is getting the point that its president doesn’t have a clue...

...It is Jimmy Carter all over again.

COMMENT:  We must ask whether the president is resigned to being a one-term leader, and is already fading out.  If he loses badly in the midterms, his legislative program will die, and he will still be a net negative in the polls. 

Barack Obama is good at one thing – running for office.  That may still sustain him, but the Church of the Heavenly Barack seems to be losing parishioners, and its divinity school has fewer and fewer students. 

Now, what kind of a messiah is that?

June 2, 2010      Permalink

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EYES ON OBAMA – AT 7:54 A.M. ET:  We are supposedly entering the summer doldrums, when thoughts of politics give way to barbecues and the price of baseball players.  But, alas, just when we thought it was safe to turn off the computer, reality intervenes.

In fact, I've never seen such intense political activity in a midterm year, nor as much anticipation for a midterm election.  Clearly, many voters believe this will be the most important midterm election in their lifetime, and I think they are right.

At stake are not merely the temporary policies of a president, but the whole direction of the country.  It's now generally accepted, by those with a dose of honesty, that Barack Obama is the most radical president we've ever had.  His harsher critics, me among them, believe that he lied his way into office by posing as a moderate, but that every instinct within him tugs to the left, and beyond.  He doesn't much like his country or its people, and has little use for its founding documents.  He wants to change us in ways we never chose. 

It's also becoming clear, to all but Obama's most fanatical defenders, that the president of the United States is monumentally incompetent.  He's never run anything but a small office, he cannot seem to understand that policies must not simply be thought about, but must be executed, and that all actions have consequences.  He also seems bored with the job, seemingly believing that the heavy lifting should be done by someone else.  His poll numbers reflect gradual but insistent public disillusionment.

But he is not finished.  An equally incompetent press, heavily staffed with Obama disciples, still protects him, and his standing within his own party is bolstered by a desperate fear of alienating the African-American vote, without which Democrats cannot win a national election.  In addition, Obama is blessed with a Republican Party that historically has nominated, for the presidency, the next guy in line.  Reagan was an anomaly, his nomination deeply upsetting to a large chunk of the staid party establishment. 

Opinion trends are running in our favor, but trends can quickly reverse.  The presidency is an office with enormous political reserve.  Presidents can pull things out of hats, and can command instant media attention.

The battle is beginning, not ending.  We have five months to a decisive midterm election which will be critical to determining whether Obama's vision, or ours, rules the future.

June 2,  2010     Permalink

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TUESDAY,  JUNE 1,  2010

ANOTHER STERLING HOLDER SUCCESS – AT 7:31 P.M. ET:  As Eric Holder goes into action against BP, and against Arizona, but refuses to utter the words "Islamic extremism," we learn of another of his major successes.  Breathtaking, from the Los Angeles Times:

The Justice Department is not ready to provide a coordinated response to an attack by a weapon of mass destruction, the agency's inspector general said in a report out Tuesday.

In the event of an attack by nuclear, biological, chemical or other mass-casualty weapons, the Justice Department is assigned the responsibility for coordinating federal law enforcement activities and for ensuring public safety and security if the incident overwhelms state and local law enforcement, the report says. The review found that "the department is not prepared to fulfill its role."

"The use of a weapon of mass destruction poses a potential threat to the United States," said DOJ Inspector General Glenn Fine in a statement. "It is critical that the department address the deficiencies identified in our report so that it would be better prepared to respond if such an attack occurs."

And...

This is the latest in a series of reports criticizing the government for inadequate planning for WMD attacks. In January, a bipartisan commission gave the Obama administration and Congress an "F" for its preparation for a biological attack.

But, under affirmative action, they still can graduate.

Look, the Obama crowd just isn't into national defense.  This is the most left-wing group ever to populate the federal government and it's in Washington to change the country, not defend the imperialist, capitalist ruling classes. 

June 1, 2010     Permalink

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IS THIS SERIOUS? – AT 6:53 P.M. ET:  Eric Holder goes into action.  That's the first piece of bad news.  The second piece of bad news is what he's doing.  From AP:

NEW ORLEANS – BP's stock plummeted and took much of the market down with it Tuesday as the federal government announced criminal and civil investigations into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and BP engineers tried to recover from a failed attempt to stop the gusher with an effort that will initially make the leak worse.

Attorney General Eric Holder, who was visiting the Gulf to survey the fragile coastline and meet with state and federal prosecutors, would not specify the companies or individuals that might be targeted in the probes into the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

"We will closely examine the actions of those involved in the spill. If we find evidence of illegal behavior, we will be extremely forceful in our response," Holder said in New Orleans.

COMMENT:  Hey, look Eric, don't you think your priorities are a little mixed up?  There's plenty of time for probes and lawsuits.  Right now the idea is to plug that leak.  Distracting BP, and wrecking it financially, will not help that cause.  It will hurt it. 

This is pure showmanship.  "Look at us, we're suing!"  At the same time, President Obama is showing his usual lack of urgency. 

The crisis worsens.  There's only a chance that the next methods to be tried will work.  We have a national emergency.  The Obama administration has called out...the lawyers.

June 1, 2010      Permalink

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GALLUP HAS BAD NEWS FOR DEMS – AT 6:26 P.M. ET:  If Republicans can keep this trend going, they may actually win.  From RealClearPolitics:

Gallup's generic polling shows the number of voters saying that they would vote for Republicans rising three points from last week, while the number saying they will vote for Democrats dropped four points. The 49%-43% lead for the Republicans is the largest that the pollster has ever recorded for the party. Moreover, Democratic enthusiasm for voting this fall fell a point, while enthusiasm among Republicans stayed about fifteen points higher. This indicates an even wider lead for Republicans once Gallup imposes a likely voter screen this fall.

There are any number of reasons for this: the public's perception of Obama's response to the oil spill, the shaky stock market performance last week, continued concern about the economy and spending. The bottom line is that, despite what is perceived as an underperformance for the Republicans in PA-12 a couple of weeks ago, there are still plenty of Democrats in trouble for this November.

COMMENT:  We have to keep them in trouble.  The election is still five months away.  Right now the GOP is depending on poor performance by the Democrats to lift them to victory, and President Obama seems to be cooperating on that. 

But the GOP, still nominally the minority party, must fight as if it's 15 points behind.

June 1, 2010     Permalink

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HISTORIC SPLIT – AT 6:21 P.M. ET:  Al and Tipper Gore have announced a separation after 40 years of marriage.

This is positive proof of manmade cooling.  The scientific debate is over.

June 1,  2010     Permalink

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THEY'LL STAND BY THEIR STORY, YOU CAN BE SURE OF THAT – AT 10:07 A.M. ET:  Bush-bashing is an employment requirement in much of the press.  Sometimes, though, things go a bit awry.  From The American Thinker:

The ABC News report on the rainout of President Obama's planned Memorial Day speech in Illinois noted that Obama had been criticized for not staying in Washington to go to Arlington National Cemetery. But ABC provided a ready excuse, subtitling its report "Obama Not First to Skip Arlington on Memorial Day" and asserting that George W. Bush "did not attend in 2001 or 2002."

ABC was flat-out wrong about 2001, and highly misleading about 2002.

Memorial Day 2001. On May 28, 2001, George W. Bush not only went to Arlington National Cemetery and gave a remarkably eloquent speech after laying a wreath there; he had multiple Memorial Day events before and after.

How does a news organization get something like that wrong?

Memorial Day 2002. On May 27, 2002, Bush did not go to Arlington National Cemetery because he was in Europe, attending week-long meetings with foreign leaders.

On that Memorial Day, he attended a Memorial Day Service at a church in Sainte Mere-Eglise, France, where he offered some remarks. Then he commemorated Memorial Day at the Normandy American Cemetery, where 9,000 Americans are buried, and spoke eloquently again:

"We have gathered on this quiet corner of France as the sun rises on Memorial Day in the United States of America. This is a day our country has set apart to remember what was gained in our wars, and all that was lost.

"Our wars have won for us every hour we live in freedom. Our wars have taken from us the men and women we honor today, and every hour of the lifetimes they had hoped to live."

It is simply incredible that a major news organization will go on the air with those errors.  Now let's see if anything is done.

June 1, 2010     Permalink

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WHAT?  YOU MEAN MANY AMERICANS DON'T AGREE WITH THE ELITES?  WHO ARE THESE ILLITERATE PEOPLE? – AT 9:15 A.M. ET:   From The Wall Street Journal:

During the health-care summit earlier this year, Vice President Joe Biden was roundly mocked for saying, "I don't know what the American people think." He was, however, showing a refreshing modesty. Especially when compared with those who believe the American people don't know what they think—or cannot possibly mean what they say when they tell us what they do think.

Gallup provoked some of this reaction when it released new data early last month on American attitudes toward abortion. Asked to rate various behaviors and social policies (e.g., embryonic stem-cell research, adultery, the death penalty) as either "morally wrong" or "morally acceptable," 50% called abortion wrong, as against only 38% who said it was acceptable. Even more contentious was the finding, for the second year in a row, that slightly more Americans consider themselves "pro-life" than "pro-choice" (47% to 45%).

What's Nancy Pelosi to do?

And yet, it is also true that most Americans want abortion kept legal, at least under certain circumstances.

The alleged contradiction between the moral and legal is often cited as evidence that Americans are fundamentally confused on abortion. But maybe Americans are not quite as confused as some think. Surely it does not violate logic for Americans to regard abortion as an evil, while also regarding it, in certain circumstances, as a necessary evil, or the lesser of two evils.

Ah, those Americans.  You mean those flyover people can actually think matters through?  What will this do to all those Ivy League degrees?

Some object to the term pro-life on the grounds that it gives the anti-abortion movement an unfair advantage. Accordingly, a number of news organizations no longer use pro-life or pro-choice, the latest being National Public Radio. The thought here is that the word pro-life is fooling people.

National Public Radio would worry that Americans have doubts about abortion.  That's their thing.

Now, if this were 1973, that might be an argument. But isn't it just a wee condescending to suggest, after more than a generation of contentious moral and political debate, that the American people really haven't figured out what pro-life and pro-choice mean?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Overall, Gallup's findings about Americans and abortion reflect less a political prescription than a sensibility. Apart from talk radio or the religious media, however, it's a sensibility almost entirely lacking in our news and entertainment world. So the next time you watch the pro-life community dismissed as a fringe element, ask yourself: Who's really out of touch with the American people here?

COMMENT:  Great piece, well worth reading.  And I love the last paragraph.  Having been in the news and entertainment worlds, I can attest to the accuracy of what's being said.  Never before have those planets been as far removed from the American people as they are today.

June 1, 2010     Permalink

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MIDEAST UPDATE – AT 8:53 A.M. ET:  The usual ritual dance is underway at the UN and in the capitals of the European Union, condemning Israel before any facts are known.  The U.S. reaction has actually been reasonably decent.  From The Politico:

A delicate diplomatic maneuver by President Barack Obama to smooth frayed relations with Israel without alienating America’s Arab allies may have been blown out of the water Monday morning by Israel’s botched attempt to enforce the Gaza blockade – and by the lack of condemnation from Washington that followed it.

For while much about the incident remains unclear, a day of carefully parsed statements from the White House and State Department left at least one irrefutable aftershock: With much of the world expressing fury over the raid, the contrast with Washington’s muted response could not have been more striking.

“The situation is that they’re so isolated right now that it’s not only that we’re the only ones who will stick up for them,” said an American official. “We’re the only ones who believe them – and what they’re saying is true.”

COMMENT:  That, of course, is the point.  The video of the incident at sea clearly shows "peace activists" attacking an Israeli party seeking to board a "relief" vessel heading for Gaza, part of a larger "humanitarian" convoy.

It wasn't a relief vessel and the convoy had no humanitarian goals.  If it really wanted to deliver supplies and food to Gaza, it could have followed protocol and docked at the Israeli port of Ashkelon, where the cargo could have been checked for weapons and contraband, and sent through to Gaza.

But these "peace groups" are anything but.  They are organized by radical Islamists and their Western Marxist allies.  They are no friends of peace, and are militantly anti-American. 

One of the problems here, once again, is the poor quality of much of journalism.  Individuals and groups, if they are part of the international left, are permitted to identify themselves as "peace activists" or "human rights activists" without so much as a question from "journalists," who should know better.  This is a journalistic failure that became institutionalized during the Vietnam War, when we permitted the term "anti-war movement" to flourish without asking who was behind it, and the true nature of its goals.  To this day, those questions remain unasked by the biggest names in news reporting.

June 1, 2010      Permalink

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SOMEONE TELL PRESIDENT CALDERON – AT 8:38 A.M. ET:  The Mexican president had no hesitation about coming to the U.S. recently and lecturing us.  Maybe we should point out a bit of bother in his own backyard.  From the Washington Examiner:

A leftist guerrilla movement responsible for many kidnappings and attacks inside Mexico is secretly receiving funding from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, U.S. and Mexican intelligence officials told The Washington Examiner.

The group, called the Ejercito Popular Revolucionario (EPR), is "a terrorist organization bent on destabilizing Mexico. ... Splinters of the group are also adding to the problem," said a Mexican official who requested anonymity. The group, which announced its existence in 1996, claimed responsibility for the 2007 bombings of the Mexican government's Pemex oil pipelines, along with several other bombing attempts of a bank and Sears department stores in cities throughout Mexico.

"Chavez has been funding groups like these in Mexico and throughout Latin America," said a U.S. official with knowledge of the group and its operations. "These groups are nothing more than terrorist organizations and members have connected to other narco-trafficking organizations in Mexico, creating a very dangerous matrix."

Funding from drug cartels and leftist governments like the one in Caracas has enabled the group to mount a significant threat to Mexico and to become a concern for the United States, officials said.

COMMENT:  We wonder whether President Obama, who stood right next to Calderon when the latter lectured Arizona recently, will even bring this up.  Or maybe our delightfully multicultural president will tell us how he understands the "legitimate grievances" that led to this new threat.

There appears little to prevent members of these terror groups from infiltrating into the United States across our southern border.  They could escalate the threat to this country to something way beyond illegal immigrants working in meatpacking plants.

June 1, 2010     Permalink

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HE'LL NEVER GET THE CORNER OFFICE – AT 8:21 A.M. ET:  We're always happy to report a victory.  From Fox:

WASHINGTON -- Al Qaeda announced Monday that its No. 3 official, Mustafa al-Yazid, had been killed along with members of his family -- perhaps one of the most severe blows to the terror movement since the U.S. campaign against Al Qaeda began. A senior U.S. official told Fox News that al-Yazid died in a U.S. missile strike...

...The statement did not give an exact date for al-Yazid's death, but it was dated by the Islamic calendar month of "Jemadi al-Akhar," which falls in May.

A U.S. official in Washington said word had been "spreading in extremist circles" of his death in Pakistan's tribal areas in the past two weeks and the U.S. government had confirmed the reports.

His death is a major blow to Al Qaeda, which in December "lost both its internal and external operations chiefs," the official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

And...

In the early 1980s, al-Yazid served three years in an Egyptian prison for purported links to the group responsible for the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. After his release, al-Yazid turned up in Afghanistan, where, according to Al Qaeda's propaganda wing Al-Sabah, he became a founding member of the terrorist group.

COMMENT:  We await expressions of grief by the ACLU. 

It's a victory, but one of many that will have to be won in what clearly will be a very long struggle.

June 1, 2010     Permalink

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