Maybe you should rephrase that, Madame Secretary?

August 31, 2010

When a majority of those surveyed believe that “socialist” is an accurate description of President Obama, saying that opponents of his health-care program need to be reeducated is perhaps not the best choice of words:

In an interview before the latest Kaiser results were released, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told ABC News that the sustained opposition to the Democrats’ health care reform efforts has mainly been a function of “misinformation.”

“Unfortunately there still is a great deal of confusion about what is in [the reform law] and what isn’t,” Sebelius told ABC News Radio on Monday.

With several vulnerable House Democrats now touting their votes against the bill, and Republicans running on repeal of the law, Sebelius said “misinformation given on a 24/7 basis” has led to the enduring opposition nearly six months after the lengthy debate ended in Congress.

“We have a lot of reeducation to do,” Sebelius said.

Get it? Opposition can’t be based on a principled objection to a statist takeover of the health-care system, the insertion of federal bureaucrats into the most intimate decisions about one’s medical care, or the tremendous economic costs this “reform” imposes. Nope, it’s got to be “misinformation” fed to gullible rubes, who need “reeducating.”

Presumably again and again until they get it right.

I assume Secretary Sebelius is unaware of the disturbing associations “reeducation” brings to mind, such as the reeducation camps in Soviet Russia, Maoist China (especially during the Cultural Revolution), and Vietnam, to name just a few totalitarian hell-holes. Now, obviously she didn’t mean “put them all in camps and subject them to reprogramming as in Clockwork Orange,” but the choice of words is unfortunate and culturally clueless.

It’s also revealing, because it shows once again the arrogance and condescension toward the common people that lays behind the progressive-statist mindset: “Government experts know what’s best for you, Citizen peasant, so trust us and let us tell you why you’re wrong to oppose us.”

Come November 2nd, 2010, Secretary Sebelius and her colleagues will be the ones getting a real -and needed- reeducation.

COMPARISON: If you find yourself reminded of the votes a few years ago over the proposed EU constitution and the attempts to force nations that rejected it to vote again until they approved it, you’re not having hallucinations. The statist attitudes of our (Social) Democratic leaders and the European Union governing classes really are that alike.

(via Reason)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Darn those intolerant conservatives!

August 31, 2010

Excerpt of the day from Bill Kristol:

So evangelical Christian Sarah Palin spent Friday night with (mostly) observant Jews, along with various Christians, including some Amish. Then on Saturday she spoke at a rally hosted by a Mormon who went out of his way in his remarks to refer to the important role of “churches, synagogues and mosques” in American life.

Early Monday morning, as it happened, I received an e-mail from (Catholic convert) Newt Gingrich from Rome, asking for contact information for a (Jewish) scholar whose book on certain (not very religious) enlightenment thinkers he was reading.

Can’t you just feel the seething wingnut bigotry and neanderthal hatred? I’m sure Keith Olbermann is readying a trenchant special comment declaring… well, someone… the Worst Person in the World, even now.

(Crossposted to Sister Toldjah)


They’re still trying to kill us

August 30, 2010

I’m not sure what to make of this story, other than TSA is a bunch of boobs:

Two men taken off a Chicago-to-Amsterdam United Airlines flight in the Netherlands have been charged by Dutch police with “preparation of a terrorist attack,” U.S. law enforcement officials tell ABC News.

U.S. officials said the two appeared to be travelling with what were termed “mock bombs” in their luggage. “This was almost certainly a dry run, a test,” said one senior law enforcement official.

A spokesman for the Dutch public prosecutor, Ernst Koelman, confirmed the two men were arrested this morning and said “the investigation is ongoing.” He said the arrests were made “at the request of American authorities.”

The two were allowed to board the flight at O’Hare airport last night despite security concerns surrounding one of them, the officials said.

The men were identified as Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al Soofi, of Detroit, MI, and Hezem al Murisi, the officials said. A neighbor of al Soofi told ABC News he is from Yemen.

Airport security screeners in Birmingham, Alabama first stopped al Soofi and referred him to additional screening because of what officials said was his “bulky clothing.”

In addition, officials said, al Soofi was found to be carrying $7,000 in cash and a check of his luggage found a cell phone taped to a Pepto-Bismol bottle, three cell phones taped together, several watches taped together, a box cutter and three large knives. Officials said there was no indication of explosives and he and his luggage were cleared for the flight from Birmingham to Chicago O’Hare.

So, what did they need to actually stop him? An autographed photo of Osama bin Laden and travel brochures for Waziristan?

This sure sounds like another terrorist dry run, which happens more often than most people think. And it’s a healthy reminder that there is still an enemy out there seeking to get to Paradise over our corpses. But, what were they doing sending the suspicious goods one direction, while taking themselves to Amsterdam? Was the whole point to see what they could get on board, and Amsterdam was their route back to whomever they report to?  If so, part one succeeded gloriously, and TSA again makes us ask “Why on Earth are we paying you guys?”

I’ve long argued that we make a mistake by concentrating on the tools and not the people, but this Keystone Cop episode make me wonder if profiling* would do any good, given the boneheads we apparently have “guarding” our security.

*(Oooh! I used the “p-word.” That must mean I’m a racist Islamophobic hater… or something. I shall have myself reported for sensitivity training, immediately.)

LINKS: More from Hot Air.

UPDATE 8/31/2010: Dry run unlikely? Perhaps, though the bundled items still make me very suspicious, and saying the pair was allowed to continue to Amsterdam for “investigative purposes” sounds like after-the-fact CYA.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Just how corrupt is the Congressional Black Caucus?

August 30, 2010

First Charlie Rangel, then Maxine Waters, and now Eddie Bernice Johnson:

Longtime Dallas congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson has awarded thousands of dollars in college scholarships to four relatives and a top aide’s two children since 2005, using foundation funds set aside for black lawmakers’ causes.

The recipients were ineligible under anti-nepotism rules of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, which provided the money. And all of the awards violated a foundation requirement that scholarship winners live or study in a caucus member’s district.

Johnson, a Democrat, denied any favoritism when asked about the scholarships last week. Two days later, she acknowledged in a statement released by her office that she had violated the rules but said she had done so “unknowingly” and would work with the foundation to “rectify the financial situation.”

Initially, she said, “I recognized the names when I saw them. And I knew that they had a need just like any other kid that would apply for one.” Had there been more “very worthy applicants in my district,” she added, “then I probably wouldn’t have given it” to the relatives.

Uh-huh. Sure. We’re to believe a Representative who’s been in office for almost 20 years, chaired the CBC, and sat on the board of this foundation didn’t know that giving money to her grandkids and the children of her aide -none of whom lived in the district- violated the rules? That there were no children from poor families in her district who were better qualified? None?

I bet she promised to respect her constituents in the morning, too.

I’ll grant that corruption is a bipartisan problem (Remember Duke Cunningham?), but it does seem the CBC has more than its fair share. (Let’s not forget a former member, William ‘Icebox” Jefferson)

The problem has nothing to do with their ethnicity, of course, and everything to do with a sense of entitlement born of being in DC far too long, in which “public service” becomes “the public serves me.” Combine control over money with a sense of “I make the rules, so I can break them,” and this is what you get: a politician who thinks of herself as a modern day aristocrat, not a public servant.

Corruption, I think, is also more a problem with modern social liberalism, with its emphasis on government solutions by concentrating money and its distribution in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats, creating temptation. Again, “If the money is mine to distribute, what does it hurt if a little of it goes to help my own?” Nothing, except for gutting the belief that anyone else outside of the well-connected few has a fair shot at it. To the extent that CBC members are almost all social liberals (at least) and statists, it shouldn’t be surprising that these problems keep showing up among its members.

The solution, of course, is to replace oligarchs like Johnson, Rangel, and Waters with genuine representatives who will treat public money as a public trust, not a private piggy bank. And, while I’ve been opposed to term limits for legislators in principle, this is another in a long series of incidents that’s slowly changing my mind: if the problem is caused in part by being in Washington too long, then perhaps we should limit how long a person can stay there.

LINKS: More from Hot Air. Moe Lane points out that Congresswoman Johnson not only diverted money to her own family, but helped create her own district. An oligarch, indeed. Her opponent in November is the Reverend Stephen Broden. Perhaps we can all help clean up Congress by sending a little money his way.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The real deal

August 29, 2010

To wash away any bad tastes left by yesterday’s post of the President’s address on Iraq, let me offer this palate cleanser: the Republican response, presented by US Senate nominee Marco Rubio of Florida:

Now that is how one addresses the nation. Unless something goes very wrong, he’ll be Florida’s next US Senator, and I predict we’ll all be grateful for that.


Obama: “Iraq was all about me”

August 28, 2010

The Narcissist in Chief President uses his weekly address to comment on the official end of combat operations in Iraq:

(Transcript)

No mention of the victories won by our forces there, either during the initial liberation or in the hard-fought guerrilla war that culminated in the 2007-08 “surge.” No admission that he, himself, was wrong when in 2007 he described Iraq as a total failure even while the results of the surge were becoming manifest. And certainly no thanks to the man who provided the needed political will to see the surge take place at all: George W. Bush.

Instead we get yet another focus on Obama by Obama, as he takes credit for ending a war that was largely over by the time he took office, and a paean to our forces which mostly treats them as victims because it focuses on their sacrifices and the hurts they’ve suffered, but makes no mention of victories won and the good they’ve done. Promising educational benefits and especially an improved Veteran’s Administration is a good thing (Lord knows, VA services are often scandalous), but would it have killed him to admit their overthrow of Saddam Hussein put an end to a living Hell? Or that crushing Al Qaeda in Iraq in 2007-08 made Iraq and indeed the world a better place?

Or simply that they won?

Eh, who am I kidding? “Victory” is a dead word in the Leftist lexicon, unless it’s over conservatives. Instead, “victim” is their touchstone.

LINKS: More from Ed Morrissey, who, like me, worries that Obama may pull the rest of our forces out way too soon; Iraq will need an American shield to protect it from its ravenous neighbors for many years to come, while it develops its own forces and, just as important, the habits of democracy.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


And now, the Friday funnies

August 27, 2010

The latest NewsBusted, with Jodi Miller:


Klavan on the Culture: Does Islam Suck?

August 27, 2010

Rueful satire and reflections on the Ground Zero Mosque from PJTV‘s Andrew Klavan:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Elitism + Cluelessness = NRSC

August 27, 2010

I’ve often accused the Obama Administration of being filled with the politically tone-deaf, but the National Republican Senatorial Committee is giving them stiff competition:

Sean Cairncross, the general counsel of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is headed to Alaska at the request of Sen. Lisa Murkowski  (R) to help provide guidance to the GOP incumbent who finds herself trailing attorney Joe Miller (R) by roughly 1,600 votes.

Cairncross will spend several days on the ground in Alaska as Murkowski and her campaign prepare for the counting of as many as 16,000 absentee ballots — a process expected to start next Tuesday and continue through early September.

Committee sources insisted that too much should not be read into Cairncross’ presence in Alaska — only that the NRSC is an incumbent-retention committee and, as such, provides assistance when Senators ask for it.

As evidence that the committee is not putting all of its chips on Murkowski, a GOP source tells the Fix that Rob Jesmer, the bespectacled executive director of the NRSC, spoke by phone with a top Miller aide yesterday — making clear that if he wins the election the committee will support him wholeheartedly.

How nice: “Oh, if you still happen to win, Mr. Miller (you peasant), we’ll deign to help you. Until then, we’re going to do all we can to help our incumbent sister keep the seat Daddy gave her.”

You would think, after the flack the NRSC took for interfering in Florida’s primary, they’d remember the lesson. (Just how did that Crist endorsement work out for you guys, eh?) Senator Cornyn, head of the NRSC, even promised to not spend money in contested primaries. So…what? Cairncross isn’t  being paid?

For a supposedly smart bunch, the NRSC is like the guy who goes to the doctor complaining that it hurts whenever he hits himself in the head with a hammer: too dumb to realize he should stop doing it. They’re completely misreading the mood of the electorate and spitting in the faces the voters – who want to vote for conservative Republican candidates, not kinda-sorta squishes who are all too happy to bolt the party.

There’s a huge anti-Beltway elitist, anti-incumbent wave sweeping the electorate, and it’s showing up in election after election and poll after poll. People are angry at Washington telling them what they must do; the rejection of  ObamaCare is just one example. It’s largely aimed at the Democrats for the insane way they’ve governed since 2009, showing little but contempt for ordinary citizens, and they’re going to get punished for it harshly in November. But stupid stuff like sending a top lawyer to fight for the incumbent who’s been rejected by the locals tells the voters that the national Republicans are little different from the Democrats. That’ll help bring in the donations.

Is this really smart,  Senator Cornyn? It may not be a big deal in reality, but just how do you think this will look to the average grassroots voter? Ooops. And how long will it take you to scrape the egg off your face again after Murkowski loses in the absentees and then says “thanks for all the help” by bolting to the Libertarian Party?

No wonder they call the Republicans the “party of stupid.”

LINKS: More at Hot Air, Conservatives for Palin, and Obi’s Sister.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Abusing the Constitution: health care and the case of the Commerce Clause

August 26, 2010

While we rightly agree to abide by the decisions of the Supreme Court as the final arbiter of what is and isn’t constitutional (barring changes via amendment), that doesn’t mean all its decisions are correct, or that its errors are without consequence. Among the more famous errors of the Court, consider Dred Scott v Sandford, which upheld fugitive slave laws; Plessy v Ferguson, which upheld segregation in state law; Buck v Bell, which upheld state laws mandating forced sterilizations; Korematsu v United States, which permitted the forced internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII; and the recent Kelo v City of New London, which made a mockery of the 5th Amendment’s takings clause.

So, it should come as no surprise that another bad Court decision, Wickard v Filburn, is at the heart of the Federal government’s vast expansion of its power via an upside-down interpretation of the Commerce Clause. In the following short video essay, Reason.TV looks at the Commerce Clause, the expansion of federal power its abuse enabled, and frames it via interviews with two legal scholars: Erwin Chereminsky, Dean of the UC Irvine Law School and an advocate of the “living Constitution,” and John Eastman, Professor of Law at Chapman University and a constitutional originalist. I think you’ll find it worth the ten minutes:

I think for anyone who understands that the Constitution is a document intended to limit the Federal government’s powers, Chereminsky’s arguments are almost frightening. (Side note: Professor Eastman ran for the Republican nomination for state attorney general in the last election; I voted for him and I’m sorry he didn’t win.)

This debate isn’t just academic, as the video points out: rather, it is of immediate urgency as  Congressional Democrats and the Obama Administration try to justify their statist health care plan and its individual mandate under the Commerce Clause. It also shows why Wickard, the foundation of Congress’ metamorphosis into Leviathan, needs overturning, whether through the Court in upcoming cases, or via a constitutional amendment that refines the meaning of the Commerce Clause.

If limited government is to have any meaning at all, this hole the Left has exploited must be plugged.

LINKS: More from Hot Air. Justice Scalia criticizes the theory of the living Constitution.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


“No! I was never a Democrat! I deny you, Obama!!”

August 25, 2010

Quote of the day:

In less than two years we’ve gone from the idea that Republicans may never be a force in national elections again to Democrats turning on their leadership in order to save their own seats.

Devil


A social security system that works

August 25, 2010

I’ve long advocated  privatizing Social Security, our nation’s public pensions system. The current set up, while supposedly a trust fund, is really just a piggy bank that lawmakers of both parties have raided time and again over the decades to pay for their grandiose programs while promising to pay it back later.  The fact is, the system is broke. It’s just a giant Ponzi scheme in which current workers are paying retirees in the expectation that future workers will pay the current workers when they themselves retire.

The hash that government has made of Social Security should be reason enough alone to take the money out of the politicians’ hands. But there are also positive reasons, too: rather than depending on the labor of others to pay for retirement at a rate determined by a distant bureaucrat, a worker builds up his own funds that he can use as he wishes, even leaving it to his children to augment their nest-eggs, and it treats citizens as responsible adults rather than infantilizing them.

We also have an empirical example of a private social security system that has worked, and worked well, for decades:

Unlike the United States and most European nations, Chile does not face a long-term Social Security crisis. This is because lawmakers shifted to a system of personal accounts almost 30 years ago. As a result, Chile’s economy is much stronger, the financial system is healthy, workers are better off, and taxpayers are protected. It also turns out that a system of personal accounts has a positive impact on the labor supply of older workers. Instead of getting lured into retirement by a punitive tax-and-transfer government system, they remain active to reap the rewards of a system that rewards them (rather than tax collectors) for continued work.

Seeing the problems of our own system, the even worse ones facing European public pension systems, and then contrasting them with the private Chilean system should make the choice to transition to a private Social Security system easy. But, when Bush tried even a moderate reform in 2005, the statist Democrats and their big donor groups fought it tooth and nail, and won.

Our system is only going to get worse as our population ages, requiring a huge tax burden on current and future workers to pay the benefits of those in the system or soon to enter it. A transition to a private pension system will be hard, but it will be even harder in the future. Unfortunately, with the (Social) Democrats in charge, we’ll have to wait until at least 2013 before any meaningful reforms can be made.


Video: Pork is bipartisan

August 25, 2010

The latest winner of Reason.TV‘s “Porker of the Month” Award is Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY). Wonder why?

Conservation or nepotism? Since 2007 Rogers has been promoting a bill which would provide federal grants to overseas wildlife protection for lions and cheetahs. Surprise! Rogers’ daughter is the grants administrator for the Namibia-based Cheetah Conservation Fund, and has been since—you guessed it—2007.

Here’s the video:

Good job, Hal. Glad to know the public treasury is your own private family-aid program.

Sadly, Roger’s Democratic opponent, Jim Holbert, is an advocate of single-payer health care, so that rules out voting for him to get rid of Porky Hal, who looks likely to win, anyway. Maybe next time a credible Republican candidate who treats public money as a trust and not his own private property will give Jim a run for his our money in a primary.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Wednesday morning laughs

August 25, 2010

The latest NewsBusted, with Jodi Miller:


The price of Obamanomics: ObamaCare division

August 24, 2010

In an earlier post, I had described the deliberate sacrifice of 23,000 jobs in the Gulf region as a necessary part of President Obama’s economic amateurism: unfamiliar with how business operates in the real world, he was willing to eliminate the livelihoods of thousands in the magical belief that they would all come back as soon as he allowed drilling to resume.

Now we’re seeing the same processes and consequences in other sectors, as insurance and other companies begin mass layoffs thanks to our shiny new health-care reform law:

  • Assurant health cutting jobs ahead of health reform implementation: “Milwaukee-based Insurer Assurant Inc. is cutting its workforce in various locations around America ahead of health care reform implementation.”
  • NC’s largest health insurer to cut jobs: “Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will contract with Dallas-based Sourcecorp for some data entry work… The company wants to cut its total operating costs by 20 percent, or $200 million, by 2014. That’s when much of the federal health care law takes effect.”
  • WakeMed begins $87M cost-cutting effort: “Wake County’s largest hospital system plans to slash annual operating costs by as much as $87 million as it makes changes recommended by an outside consulting firm… efforts likely will include eliminating jobs in some departments… The hospital also may phase out some services where it’s not the market leader, such as providing chemotherapy and other cancer treatment.”
  • Houston Employers chop 17,000 jobs in area: “Finance and health care companies are holding back on hiring because of uncertainties about recent federal regulations, he said. The moratorium on deep-water drilling has also caused energy companies to be more cautious about domestic expansion.”

Be sure to check out Doug Ross’ post for the rest of the cheery news. Regardless of Obama’s smooth assurances that health care reform would bend the cost-curve down and save the country money, this is the reality: thousands of people are going to lose their jobs because businesses will have to adjust to the new expenses imposed by ObamaCare. And it won’t be just job losses: companies will also raise the premiums charged consumers or get out of the health-insurance business altogether.

The real world is going to make us pay for the progressives’ fantasies, so let’s make them pay in November.

RELATED: And speaking of reality messing up a fun fantasy, here’s one for all the college students who helped make history by voting for Obama: Congratulations, your school may have to discontinue your student insurance. You’re welcome.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The shamelessness of Barney Frank

August 24, 2010

Remember when the financial crisis hit and the Democrats, especially Barney Frank, said they couldn’t be held responsible for the poison mortgages that triggered the whole mess? It was the Republicans’ fault, especially that evil and stupid George W. Bush, but never the Democrats. Never, in spite of passing Community Redevelopment Act in the late 70s that was later used, under Bill Clinton and his Housing Secretary, Andrew Cuomo, to force banks into easy-lending policies to home-buyers who weren’t otherwise qualified. The Democrats had no responsibility, according to Frank and others, even though they then pressed for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to guarantee these bad mortgages, buy them up, and sell them as (lousy) bundled securities on the open market and thus poisoning the financial system. The Democrats had no responsibility, even though they blocked three different Republican attempts to reform the two agencies after 2000. Instead, the Democrats, lead by Frank and Senator Chris Dodd (D-Countrywide), defended Fannie and Freddie tooth and claw and even cried racism at any attempt to tighten up lending requirements.

An educational video:

All this lead directly to the September, 2008, financial crisis, but none of it was the Democrats’ responsibility, according to Barney Frank.

That was then, this is now:

For years, Frank was a staunch supporter of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant government housing agencies that played such an enormous role in the financial meltdown that thrust the economy into the Great Recession. But in a recent CNBC interview, Frank told me that he was ready to say goodbye to Fannie and Freddie.

“I hope by next year we’ll have abolished Fannie and Freddie,” he said. Remarkable. And he went on to say that “it was a great mistake to push lower-income people into housing they couldn’t afford and couldn’t really handle once they had it.” He then added, “I had been too sanguine about Fannie and Freddie.”

When I asked Frank about a long-term phase-out plan that would shrink Fannie and Freddie portfolios and mortgage-purchase limits, and merge the agencies into the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for a separate low-income program that would get government out of middle-income housing subsidies, he replied: “Larry, that, I think, is exactly what we should be doing.”

This is like the guy who was warned not to drink and drive killing someone in an accident and then saying “I made a mistake in judgment.” It in no way relieves our imaginary drunk driver nor Barney Frank of the responsibility for the tremendous harm they’ve done. With a beautifully impersonal “it was a mistake,” he hides the fact that he, himself, was one of the powers making that mistake and turning it critical.

And this fat, incompetent clown wants more power? He expects to be reelected? “Shameless” does not begin to describe this slug.

Please, if this November does see a Republican wave, let Bawney Fwank be one of the ones drowned in it.

You can help make this so by donating to his opponent, Sean Bielat.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Adventures in government incompetence, L.A. County edition

August 24, 2010

It takes a special kind of genius to burn $50,000,000 in a failed effort to save $13,000,000:

After spending more than $154 million for a system of locking turnstiles and electronic payment cards for the county transit system, officials are discovering that at least a third of the money may have been wasted because they can’t use the new devices as planned.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority placed the locking turnstiles at subway and light-rail stations to stop fare scofflaws and end what had previously been an honor-based system.

Installed under a $46 million contract, the turnstiles were predicted to save $13 a million a year in lost revenue and reduced fare inspector costs.

But the turnstiles can’t be configured to lock until Metro fully converts to a new electronic Transit Access Pass system – and that is proving nearly impossible.

The stalled effort has raised questions from critics about whether the turnstile contract has turned into a costly boondoggle.

“Raised questions?” I should think pitchforks and torches are in order. The subway itself was a grandiose and monstrous waste of money, do we have to keep throwing ever more into its tunnels?

(via Mayor Sam’s Sister City)


Imam Rauf: building bridges to where, exactly? -UPDATED

August 23, 2010

Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam at the center of the controversy over the mosque proposed for Ground Zero in New York City, has claimed he is a man of moderation, a bridge-builder between Islam and America, between Muslims and Americans of other faiths. He wants to show that Islam and the Muslims can be a part of America’s democratic society.

Praising Ayatollah Khomeini and Iran’s theocratic fascist dictatorship is a funny way to do that, however. Soon after the fraudulent Iranian elections of 2009, he wrote, as reported by Michael Ledeen:

He proclaimed that calm had returned to Iran, and that the “official” results–Ahmadinejad in a landslide–were correct.  Indeed, the whole system, according to Imam Rauf, is admirable:

  • The Iranian Revolution of 1979 was in part to depose the shah, who had come to power in 1953 after a CIA-sponsored coup overthrew democratically-elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossaddeq. And in part it was an opportunity to craft an Islamic state with a legitimate ruler according to Shia political theory.
  • After the revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took the Shiite concept of the Rightly Guided Imam and created the idea of Vilayet-i-faqih, which means the rule of the jurisprudent. This institutionalizes the Islamic rule of law. The Council of Guardians serves to ensure these principles.


(…)

  • (Obama’s) administration understands that what is going on now in Iran is an attempt by the Iranian people to live up to their own ideals. Just as American democracy developed over many years, the United States recognizes that this election is part of the process of an evolving democracy in Iran.


That’s pure appeasement of Iranian tyranny.

So, then, just where does this bridge Imam Rauf wants to build lead?

UPDATE: From the horse’s… mouth. Tell me again this guy is a moderate? On what scale?

As Jim Geraghty puts it:

…to suggest that the indirect effects of a U.S. sanctions regime is remotely morally comparable to al-Qaeda’s deliberate mass murder – much less to suggest that they are morally worse - is to eviscerate one’s claim to be moderate, pro-American, or sensible. He says it is a “difficult subject to discuss with Western audiences.” Does he ever wonder why?


The price of Obamanomics

August 23, 2010

It’s measured in lost jobs – 23,000 of them, in this case:

Senior Obama administration officials concluded the federal moratorium on deepwater oil drilling would cost roughly 23,000 jobs, but went ahead with the ban because they didn’t trust the industry’s safety equipment and the government’s own inspection process, according to previously undisclosed documents.

Critics of the moratorium, including Gulf Coast political figures and oil-industry leaders, have said it is crippling the region’s economy, and some have called on the administration to make public its economic analysis. A federal judge who in June threw out an earlier six-month moratorium faulted the administration for playing down the economic effects.

After his action, administration officials considered alternatives and weighed the economic costs, the newly released documents show. The Justice Department filed them in a New Orleans court this week, in response to the latest round of litigation over the moratorium.

Spanning more than 27,000 pages, they provide an unusually detailed look at the debate about how to respond to legal and political opposition to the moratorium.

They show the new top regulator or offshore oil exploration, Michael Bromwich, told Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that a six-month deepwater-drilling halt would result in “lost direct employment” affecting approximately 9,450 workers and “lost jobs from indirect and induced effects” affecting about 13,797 more. The July 10 memo cited an analysis by Mr. Bromwich’s agency that assumed direct employment on affected rigs would “resume normally once the rigs resume operations.”

If the administration assumed those jobs would start up again after a moratorium ended… Well, they’re smoking the good stuff. The companies that own the drilling platforms aren’t going to sit around losing money while waiting for Bromwich, Salazar (who should be impeached), and Obama to one day, maybe, reopen drilling in the Gulf. In fact, they’re already leaving, and you can bet more are headed for the door.

In reality, those jobs are either lost or soon will be. A competent administration, one that grounded itself in reality rather than wishful thinking, would have realized that platform owners would follow their economic interests and go where they’re allowed to do business. This isn’t even economics; it’s just common sense, something that seems to be in short supply at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Meanwhile, 23,000 Gulf residents are losing their livelihoods thanks to a stupid, panic-born, and deliberate decision by the Obama Administration.

What do you want to bet they’ll remember this come November?

LINKS: More at Hot Air.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama to Qaddafi: “Please, may we have our terrorist back?”

August 22, 2010

Scotland (with at least the tacit approval of London, Gordon Brown’s denials notwithstanding) released convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi, ostensibly on compassionate grounds and let him return to Libya. At the time, it was claimed, he had just six months to live.

A year later, he’s doing fine, living in a luxury villa in Tripoli.

And, a year after “compassionate grounds” turned out to be a heartless joke played on the relatives of those who died in Megrahi’s act of mass murder, the Obama Administration is asking Libya to -pretty please!- send Megrahi back to a Scottish jail:

The Obama administration asked Friday that the only person convicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 be returned to a Scottish prison.

John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, told reporters accompanying the vacationing leader that the U.S. has “expressed our strong conviction” to Scottish officials that Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi … should not remain free. The comments came on the first anniversary of Al-Megrahi’s release.

Brennan criticized what he termed the “unfortunate and inappropriate and wrong decision,” and added: “We’ve expressed our strong conviction that Al-Begrahi (sic) should serve out the remainder – the entirety – of his sentence in a Scottish prison.”

Oh, yeah. I’m sure Libyan dictator “Daffy” Qaddafi will get right on it.

Just as soon as he’s done laughing at us.

Smart power” strikes again.

(via American Thinker)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

The Obama administration asked Friday that the only person convicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 be returned to a Scottish prison.John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, told reporters accompanying the vacationing leader that the U.S. has “expressed our strong conviction” to Scottish officials that Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi (AHB’-dehl BAH’-seht AH’-lee ahl-meh-GRAH’-hee) should not remain free. The comments came on the first anniversary of Al-Megrahi’s release.

Brennan criticized what he termed the “unfortunate and inappropriate and wrong decision,” and added: “We’ve expressed our strong conviction that Al-Begrahi should serve out the remainder – the entirety – of his sentence in a Scottish prison.”


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