Looks like I was right

January 26, 2011

A commenter took me to task for saying that it was likely that the suicide bombers who struck Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport a few days ago were Muslims bent on jihad.

I hate to say “I told you so,” but…

Moscow airport bomb: suicide bombers were part of squad trained in Pakistan

The two suicide bombers who carried out the Moscow attack were thought to be part of a suicide squad trained in Pakistan’s al-Qaeda strongholds sent to the capital to target the city’s transport system.

(…)

A newspaper close to Russia’s FSB security service published what it claimed was a warning to Moscow police issued in December that said there was credible intelligence that a suicide squad made up of three women and one man from Chechnya was headed to Moscow.

The memo said the team had spent time in Pakistan and Iran and that one of the women had a relative with a flat in Moscow that might be used as a bomb making factory. Another group of five Islamist militants trained in Pakistan was also expected to cross into Russia soon, it added.

An al-Qaeda linked website said that the group Islamic Caucasus Emirate, led by the rebe Doku Umarov, was poised to claim it had staged the attack. It said that Russia’s harsh military measures against independence activists in the Caucasus had provoked the attack. It said: “You disbelievers are the firewood of Hell. You will enter it.”

As the article relates, the dress of the attackers and methodology for the attack fits with prior operations launched by Umarov. While it’s in the realm of imagination that this was some sort of false flag operation by Russia’s FSB* or another intelligence service for Machiavellian purposes, I think it about as likely as the sun rising in the West.

No. This was an act of terrorism launched by Muslims waging jihad fi sabil Allah, and innocents died because of it.

*There have been accusations that the FSB was behind a 1999 apartment bombing that was used by then-PM Putin to justify resuming the war in Chechnya. The FSB denied this, but there’s been no solid proof either way.


Cutting through Obama’s education nonsense

January 26, 2011

I didn’t watch the State of the Union address last night. I rarely do, as the event has become little more than a partisan “Speech from the Throne” in which presidents lay out their agenda and play for applause lines. I’d much rather they save the joint sessions for occasions of genuine national importance and go back to the tradition of sending a written report to Congress and be done with it.

Anyway, President Obama apparently gave a lot of time (In a 62-minute speech. Talk about a windbag!) to education, stating the usual platitudes and recommending the customary statist patent remedies of –guess what?– more spending. Oh, what a surprise.

Leave it to Michelle Malkin to marshal the facts to blow away the fog created by Obama hucksterism on behalf of a failing public school system and the unions that feed on it. First, she recounts all the federal money that’s been flushed down that drain so far:

Our government already spends more per capita on education than any other of the 34 wealthiest countries in the world except for Switzerland, according to recent analysis of data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Overall inflation-adjusted K-12 spending has tripled over the past 40 years, the Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy points out. Yet American test scores and graduation rates are stagnant. One in 10 high schools is a dropout factory. And our students’ performance in one of the most prestigious global math competitions has been so abysmal that the U.S. simply withdrew altogether.

Obama’s fiscal year 2011 budget already represents “one of the largest increases” in federal education spending history, and hikes total discretionary spending to nearly $51 billion. Toss in another $35 billion for mandatory Pell grants. And add another $4 billion for the illusory “Race to the Top” charade to improve academic standards.

Then there’s the $10 billion for the Education Jobs Fund signed into law last August — a naked payoff to the public teachers union, which also includes $50 million for the Striving Readers comprehensive literacy development and education program; $82 million for Student Aid Administration; and $10.7 million for the Ready to Teach program.

Oh, and don’t forget the $100 billion in federal stimulus funding for school programs and initiatives administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

As he extols the virtues of “innovation” and “accountability,” the last thing Obama wants you to think about is the actual results of these profligate federal ed binges…

You’ll have to click through for the accountability portion of this Sherman’s march through educational waste, but don’t miss it. It will leave you angry at pouring so much money into the federal Department of Education for so little in return and wondering why on Earth we should spend more.

Count me among those who think the DoEd should be severely pared back or abolished and that control over education should be returned as much as possible to the state and local levels, where educators will be accountable directly to voters. And, while we’re at it, lets ramp up a voucher system and encourage charter schools to improve competition, breaking the government and union monopoly over K-12 education. I’m happy to say that, for once, California is leading the way in a good direction, toward empowering parents. And in New Orleans, a report from Reason.TV shows how a free-market voucher system is improving what was once one of the nation’s worst school systems.

If President Obama had truly been interested in improving education (his record suggests he’s not), then these suggestions would have been in the mix. But, no matter how closely you go through his 7,000 words, you won’t find them.

I guess instead of “for the children,” it’s “for the government and the unions.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) is a disgrace

January 26, 2011

In the past she’s been a shameless race-baiter and a conspiracy monger, and now she’s revealed to the nation, her district, and her caucus just how dumb she is:

Behind closed doors, California Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez has proposed removing Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords from the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) until she recovers from injuries sustained after being shot in the head on Jan. 8 in Tucson, The Daily Caller has learned.

The proposal sparked an outrage, according to those in the room — including from those in Sanchez’s own party.

“It’s not appropriate,” Texas Democratic Rep. Silvestre Reyes told The Daily Caller, adding that there was outrage among some members in the room when Sanchez made the suggestion. “It’s bad for morale during her recovery period.”

Reyes and Rep. Adam Smith of Washington put up most of the fight against Sanchez, and helped squash the idea.

Politicians and pundits like to talk about the “optics” of a situation, how it will look to the public. You can imagine what went through the Democratic leadership’s minds when nitwit Sanchez suggested this: “Sure let’s kick to the curb the most sympathetic member of our caucus, just after she’s taken a bullet to the brain. That’ll play well on TV and talk radio!”

Then there’s the legislative side of this nonsensical idea: the Republicans hold a seven-seat majority on HASC.  Giffords’ vote wouldn’t be decisive without several Republican defections, so replacing her is meaningless. Sanchez’s staff tried to pass this off as making sure Giffords’ interests were represented, but that can be done by other members of the committee (such as Sanchez, since she cares so deeply) without putting the boot to a colleague who’s already been through so much. (And Reyes has a good point. Morale in rehab counts for a lot, and learning that the work she enjoyed so much is being taken away from her, however temporarily, wouldn’t help.)

Really, I don’t see how Sanchez benefits from this proposal, so I’ll have to put it down to congenital stupidity. She may not be the worst member of California’s 54-seat delegation (There’s stiff competition for that honor), but she’s definitely in the bottom five.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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