Monday, September 24, 2012

Obama’s Army

Honestly, the American press has become the propaganda machine of the Democrat party. They are like the press in the former Soviet Union and former Nazi Germany. They always report and support the Democrat party line whether or not it is true. - Reggie

Who needs elections when we have the mainstream media?

You are probably eager to vote on Nov. 6. You have followed the news closely, watched the ads, listened to the conventions, and waited for the debates. If you are like most people, you are worried about the direction of the country, and for good reason. Calling the current economic situation a “recovery” is an insult. The government has failed to address important matters such as taxes, spending, and debt. American embassies across the Muslim world are under siege. The situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating, Putin just ejected USAID from Russia, and China and Japan are hurtling towards conflict. The candidates agree: This election is a choice between two futures. You get to say which path you would prefer in a little over a month.

Just kidding! The election is over, and Mitt Romney lost. He’s toast; his goose is cooked; put a fork in him he’s done; he’s yesterday’s news. Disagree? That’s too bad. The American media have made up their minds. And on this they are certain: Barack Obama is a lock for reelection. They may not be sure when Romney lost exactly—was it his trip to England, Israel, and Poland? Was it the Clint Eastwood speech at the RNC? Was it Romney’s response to the attacks on our embassies in Benghazi and Cairo? Was it his leaked remarks on government dependency? The exact date doesn’t matter. What matters is that the chorus has spoken. The politburo has decided. A consensus has been reached. Romney will lose, and the only question is by how much. The voters might as well stay at home.

The conceited arrogance with which our most sophisticated and well-schooled editors, writers, and journalists voice this conclusion makes it that much more annoying. Their eagerness to judge Romney a failure is not only premature but also erodes whatever credibility they had left. Indeed, the ridiculous manner in which the political press has covered the 2012 campaign suggests that “bias” is no longer a suitable description of the character of the media establishment. “Partisan toadies” may be a better one. “Obama’s army” is another.

Here is where the campaign actually stands. The Real Clear Politics average of polls has President Obama in the lead with 48 percent of the vote, and Mitt Romney close behind with 45 percent. That is a tight race, with less than seven weeks before Election Day. The fundamentals, moreover, seem not to have changed much at all, despite hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising. Americans remain disappointed in Obama’s job performance while liking him personally, but recent history and Romney’s personal and political nebulousness make them reluctant to embrace the challenger.

The final outcome of the election will depend on several factors that cannot be anticipated: How the candidates perform in the debates; unpredictable events such as the financial crisis in Europe or war in East Asia or the Middle East; and the extent to which Obama’s base shows up to vote. The election is a jump ball. As Joe Biden might say, literally no one on this planet knows the future. Political forecasting, like astrology and reading entrails, is a junk science. Historical “laws” hold true until the day they are exposed as false.

Does anyone doubt that if it were Romney rather than Obama who led by three points, the creed recited daily on MSNBC would stress the inexact nature of polling and the overwhelming power of conservative millionaires and billionaires? Imagine for a moment that a Republican was president: What would appear on the front pages and at the top of the network news broadcasts? There would be stories on long-term unemployment, stagnant wagesbrutalized net worth, and credit downgrades. There would be stories on last weekend’s brazen attack on our base in Afghanistan, which led to the deaths of two Marines and the loss of eight Harrier jets. The White House would be slammed for its changing and evasive explanation of the murder of a U.S. ambassador and his security officers.

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When You Appease Tyrants, They Just Hate You Even More

Ion Mihai Pacepa
The State Department contends that the assassination of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the three American officials who defended him was an unplanned, spur-of-the-moment reaction to a low-budget film called Innocence of Muslims. That is nothing more than a fairytale lullaby designed to put American outrage to sleep. The only reaction to this fantasy seems to have been among the Muslim terrorist leaders, who understand it as a go-ahead to attack our embassies all around the world with impunity. Our embassy in Pakistan is now under siege. Thousands of other “angry” Muslims are now screaming “Death to America” and burning American flags in front of our embassies in Egypt, Indonesia, Sudan, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Yemen, Germany, and Great Britain, to mention just a few.

During the years I spent at the top of the Soviet bloc intelligence community I unfortunately came to know many tyrants quite well, and I learned for a fact that they despise appeasers. In April 1978, President Jimmy Carter hailed Romania’s communist tyrant Nicolae Ceausescu as a “great national and international leader.” I was standing next to the two of them at the White House, and I could hardly believe my ears. A few hours later, I was in the car with Ceausescu, driving away from the White House. He took a bottle of alcohol and splashed it all over his face, in reaction to having been affectionately kissed by the U.S. president in the Oval Office. “Peanut-head,” Ceausescu muttered in disgust.

Three months later, President Carter signed my request for political asylum, and I told him who Ceausescu really was, and how he had reacted to that kiss at the White House. On the memorable day of July 19, 1979, however, I watched the TV news with disbelief, as President Carter did it again. He affectionately kissed Leonid Brezhnev on both cheeks during their first encounter in Vienna.

Brezhnev also despised appeasers, as I also knew for a fact. Five months after the infamous Carter-Brezhnev kiss, a KGB terrorist squad assassinated Hafizullah Amin, the American-educated prime minister of Afghanistan, and replaced him with a Soviet puppet. Then the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, and President Carter feebly protested by boycotting the Olympic Games in Moscow. This new sign of American weakness gave rise to the Taliban regime and Osama bin Laden’s terrorism.

In the 1990s, the U.S. government virtually ignored bin Laden’s first assault on the World Trade Center, the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, and the attack on the USS Cole. During that same period, we entrusted our national security and foreign policy tasks into the hands of the United Nations — which responded on May 3, 2001, by ejecting the United States from its Human Rights Commission.

We had barely set foot in the 21st century, when bin Laden’s terrorists unleashed a relentless war against our country, with the disastrous terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Soon after that, North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), expelled the inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (AEIA), and let loose a venomous anti-American campaign. “Let’s exterminate our sworn enemy U.S. imperialists!” reads a slogan inside North Korean jet cockpits, sailors’ cabins, and army guard posts.

When Ronald Reagan became president, the U.S. was being treated with contempt by most petty tyrants around the world. The Soviet Union was on the march in Angola, Vietnam, Cuba, Ethiopia, Syria, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, and, of course, Afghanistan. President Reagan reversed all these trends by calling the tyrants and their tyrannies by their real names, and treating them as such. Remember his “Evil Empire”? The Soviet press agency TASS said those words demonstrated that Reagan was a “bellicose, lunatic anti-Communist.” But it was precisely that “lunatic anti-Communist” who won the 44-year Cold War and returned America to greatness.

Unfortunately, in 1993 we got another wishy-washy president, who reinstated Carter’s policy of appeasing Communist tyrants. On April 22, 2000, during a Holy Week, between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, President Bill Clinton’s marshals forcibly seized and returned to Communist Cuba a six-year-old boy who had miraculously escaped alive from a boat that had sunk with his mother, who had been trying to free her only child from Castro’s tyranny.

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Why is the Race Close?

President Obama’s re-election hopes should be growing dimmer by the hour.

His domestic policy has caused unprecedented suffering: high unemployment, gas prices that have doubled, and record numbers on food stamps and disability.

His foreign policy has emboldened our enemies. Our embassies are under attack and Iran’s genocidal leaders are closer to acquiring nuclear weapons.

And yet it is a tight race. How can that be?

Perhaps the polls are wrong. But it’s more likely that decades of media propaganda and public school indoctrination, as well as growing dependency on government, are taking their toll. (emphasis Republic Heritage)

Conservative pundits complain that poll samples are skewed in favor of Democrats. When polls conducted just prior to elections are compared with the actual election results, they are frequently found to have overestimated Democrats’ strength. And there are many other potential sources of error in polls. Most polls are conducted via landline telephones despite the fact that more and more people use cellphones exclusively. Some people also believe that conservatives are less likely to participate in polls.

But even polls conducted by Fox News and the Wall Street Journal show President Obama ahead. If we give Romney a 3-point handicap, then the race is dead even.

The media influences how people perceive the issues and candidates, which is why responsible news organizations should strive to be accurate and fair. The fact that most reporters and editors are left-of-center is not necessarily a problem. But it is a problem that many reporters and editors have bought into the idea that since perfect objectivity is unattainable there is no point in trying to be objective. Some of these journalists end up becoming full-fledged propagandists.

The media’s role as propagandist is evidenced in several ways. News stories freely mix opinion with fact. Interviews are conducted not to gather information but to prove points. Investigations are conducted not to uncover news but to create it. Instead of acknowledging the need for independent media watchdogs, members of the media appoint themselves to “fact check” the candidates. For example, the fact-checking website is owned and operated by the anti-Republican Tampa Bay Times and its staff includes a number of reporters.

Many voters see through the propaganda. They use the Internet to compare what different news sources are saying. They dig deeper into stories. They seek out independent commentary. But many others trust the major news outlets. They don’t feel they have the time or skills needed to perform their own research.

Likewise, public schools help shape what children and their parents think about key issues. They indoctrinate children by emphasizing teamwork to the detriment and even exclusion of individualism. There was a time when most Americans understood that a society that encouraged individual initiative and self-reliance was both freer and more prosperous. That lesson has been largely unlearned.

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The Ghosts of Jimmy Carter

One of the more piquant details in the tale of Mitt Romney's damning "47 percent" video is that it was unearthed online by James Earl Carter IV, a grandson and namesake of the 39th president. The self-described "oppo researcher [and] political junkie" told NBC News that he tracked down the person who recorded Romney's remarks at a May fundraiser, then put him in touch with Mother Jones, the left-wing magazine that publicized the video last Monday. Carter's "research assistance" was credited in a terse endnote, but the reaction from his grandfather was more effusive: "James," the former president emailed, "This is extraordinary. Congratulations! Papa."

The younger Carter wasn't coy about why he facilitated the leak. "I'm a partisan Democrat," he said. "My motivation is to help Democrats get elected."

But it was also personal. According to NBC, he wanted to retaliate against Romney's "frequent attacks on the presidency of his grandfather" -- particularly the suggestion that Barack Obama's faltering foreign policy is Carteresque in its irresolution. "It gets under my skin -- mostly the weakness on the foreign policy stuff," the grandson said. "I just think it's ridiculous. I don't like criticism of my family."

Well, who does? You can't fault the guy for wanting to defend his grandfather's reputation, but Jimmy Carter's reputation as a foreign-policy schlemiel can hardly be blamed on the Romney campaign. Americans came to that conclusion more than 30 years ago, having watched the world grow more dangerous -- and America's enemies more brazen -- during Carter's feckless years as steward of US national security.

"There was strong evidence that voters … wanted a tougher American foreign policy," reported The New York Times on November 5, 1980, the morning after Ronald Reagan crushed Carter's reelection bid in a 44-state landslide. By a nearly 2-to-1 ratio, voters surveyed in exit polls "said they wanted this country to be more forceful in dealing with the Soviet Union, 'even if it increased the risk of war.'"

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Democrat Columnist: The Media "Taking Marching Orders From Obama Administration"

Palin to Romney-Ryan: 'Go Rogue'

Below is the entire post from The Weekly Standard discussing remarks made by Sarah Palin.
- Reggie

"America desperately needs to have a 'come to Jesus' moment..."

In a statement to THE WEEKLY STANDARD, former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin offers some advice for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, this year's Republican ticket for president and vice president, respectively.

"With so much at stake in this election, both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan should 'go rogue' and not hold back from telling the American people the true state of our economy and national security," says Palin. "They need to continue to find ways to break through the filter of the liberal media to communicate their message of reform."

Palin also suggests that Romney and Ryan can be responsible for an epiphany on this country's fiscal standing. "America desperately needs to have a 'come to Jesus' moment in discussing our big dysfunctional, disconnected, and debt-ridden federal government," says Palin.

"It is nothing short of appalling that President Obama couldn't even remember how much our national debt is during his interview with David Letterman the other night. Even my 10-year-old daughter knows that it's $16 trillion, and unlike Obama, she's not responsible for adding trillions to it. Obama casually told America that we don't have to worry about our debt in the 'short term.' Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan need to ask him how long that 'short term' will last."

Palin adds that Romney and Ryan are being "counted on" to get this right.

"At the founding of our country, a great American patriot wrote, 'If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace,'" says Palin. "Obama's motto seems to be, 'Let the good times roll in my day. The kids can deal with the catastrophic bankruptcy in theirs.' That's no way for the leader of a great nation to behave, and I hope Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney continue to call him out on it. Generations of American children are counting on them."

Sarah Palin

Mute Button

New Romney ad

Did Two MSNBCers Smear Romney with Deceptive Editing?

YouTube description: Megyn Kelly fingers David Corn and Lawrence O'Donnell for airing a deceptively edited video clip.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

2016: Obama's America - Full Movie

A friend sent me the link for this earlier today. This is the complete film. I have no idea who posted it or how they got it. Also, be prepared for YouTube to pull it. Until then, watch it. - Reggie

UPDATE - September 24th: The video has been removed from YouTube.

The Price of Liberty, Part 6: Revival

This is the answer, America. We must return to the God of our Founding Fathers with repentance, prayer and fasting if we truly desire to save our nation from the catastrophe ahead.

While listening to the Glenn Beck radio show podcast one day this past week, Beck said Texas Pastor John Hagee is calling Christians to 40 days of prayer for America from September 28th to November 6th. Click here for details.

Are you serious about saving America? Like Sarah Palin said, "America desperately needs to have a ‘come to Jesus’ moment in discussing our big dysfunctional, disconnected, and debt-ridden federal government." America, it's past time for all of us to come to Jesus. - Reggie

Michael Youssef
This is the sixth and final post in my blog series, titled: The Price of Liberty. If you’re just now starting the series, you can begin with the first post here.

During the middle of the nineteenth century, spiritual conditions in the United States deteriorated considerably. Conditions were quite different then because the nation had moved away from its early days of godliness. Moreover, people became obsessed with making money, and as they prospered they turned their backs on God.

Then a man named Jeremiah Lanphier began a prayer meeting in the upper room of the Dutch Reformed Church in the Manhattan section of New York City. After advertising the prayer meeting in the city papers, only six people showed up—out of a population of nearly one million. The following week, 14 people came. The next week 23 people made their way to the prayer meeting. These diligent, earnest people decided to meet daily. Soon they filled the Dutch Reformed Church, the John Street Methodist Church, and numerous buildings in downtown New York. Before long, a landslide of prayer began.

People were converted at the rate of 10,000 a week in New York City, and the movement spread rapidly throughout New England. Church bells would bring people together to pray at 8:00 in the morning, at 12 noon, and at 6:00 in the evening. The revival raced up the Hudson River and down the Mohawk River. Within a year, more than one million people were converted.

The prayer revival even crossed the Atlantic. It broke out in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England. It even traveled to the southern part of India and other parts of the world. The effect of this prayer revival was felt for 40 years! The revival began in a movement of prayer and was sustained by a movement of prayer. It lasted for a generation, but at the turn of the century the nation again needed an awakening.

Special prayer meetings began at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago; at the Keswick Convention in England; in the Nilgiri Hills of India; in Melbourne, Australia; and at Wonsan, Korea. All around the world people were united in prayer for God to send a new awakening. In 1905, God answered these prayers, just as He had earlier. Some interesting statistics that resulted from the meetings are:

· Twenty-five percent of the students at Yale University were enrolled in prayer meetings and Bible studies

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No More Apologies

Jacob Mc hangama
A bold, unapologetic defense of free speech would help in the fight against terror.

How should a liberal democracy react to violent outrage over private citizens’ purported denigration of Islam? That question has preoccupied Western governments since Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa calling for the killing of Salman Rushdie, the British author of The Satanic Verses, in 1989. The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten’s publication of cartoons depicting Mohammed in 2005 reignited the issue, and the recent anti-American riots in Muslim-majority countries are but the latest example of this recurring phenomenon.

In general, the responses from Western governments have combined condemnations of violence with expressions of sympathy for Muslims and understanding of their sensitivity. In many cases, governments have distanced themselves from, or outright condemned, those who have crossed the invisible lines that spark protests by people who often have not read or seen the putatively offensive material. And while Western governments always condemn violence as indefensible, they nonetheless frequently blame those who have offended alongside the perpetrators of violence. When Western governments invoke freedom of expression, it is sometimes mentioned hesitantly, almost as a peculiar and regrettable feature of liberal democracy that ties the hands of otherwise sympathetic officials.

The Obama administration explicitly blamed the crude amateur film The Innocence of Muslims for sparking the riots and embassy attacks. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the film as “disgusting and reprehensible” and decried the denigration of religion. U.N. ambassador Susan Rice explicitly linked The Satanic Verses, the Mohammed cartoons, and The Innocence of Muslims, claiming that they had “sparked outrage and anger, and this has been the proximate cause of what we’ve seen last week.” The White House admitted to pressuring Google (which owns YouTube) to remove the film from the Internet.

Let’s look back to 1989 and the Rushdie affair. While Britain’s Conservative government expelled all Iranian diplomats following the fatwa against Rushdie and protected his physical safety, it felt no need to defend his right to free speech, as detailed by British author Kenan Malik in his 2009 book From Fatwa to Jihad. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher stated that “we have known in our own religion people doing things which are deeply offensive to some of us. . . . We feel it very much. And that is what has happened to Islam.” As pressure mounted on the British government, Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe expressed “deep sympathy with the Muslims over the publication of the book” and “promised to explore the possibility of taking necessary steps under British law to resolve the problem created by the publication of the book.”

Much criticism has been leveled at the apologetic tone of the press release condemning “abuse of freedom of expression” that the U.S. embassy in Cairo issued shortly before a Salafist mob attacked it. But that statement is not much different from a press release that the U.S. embassy in Islamabad issued during the Rushdie affair. The embassy assured Pakistanis “that the U.S. government in no way associates itself with any activity that is in any sense offensive or insulting to Islam or any other religion.” No defense of First Amendment freedoms was forthcoming from President George H. W. Bush or Secretary of State James Baker.

When the “cartoon crisis” exploded in 2005, the Department of State said, “We all fully recognize and respect freedom of the press and expression, but it must be coupled with press responsibility. Inciting religious or ethnic hatreds in this manner is not acceptable.” This was an extraordinary statement, because incitement to religious or ethnic hatred is prohibited under international human-rights conventions and punishable in most European countries. Accordingly, the U.S. position could be interpreted as supporting the demands of Muslim governments that the editors of Jyllands-Posten be subject to criminal sanctions based on speech that in the U.S. would clearly be protected by the First Amendment, and that (as the Danish public prosecutor later determined) did not even meet the threshold required for charging the newspaper under Denmark’s hate-speech laws.

On February 3, 2006, a State Department spokesman modified the government’s position, stating that “while we certainly don’t agree with, support, or in some cases, we condemn the views that are aired in public that are published in media organizations around the world, we, at the same time, defend the right of those individuals to express their views,” and that “freedom of expression is at the core of our democracy and it is something that we have shed blood and treasure around the world to defend and we will continue to do so.” President George W. Bush tried to bridge the gap between these two widely differing official responses by saying, “We believe in a free press. . . . We also recognize that with freedom comes responsibilities.”

Consistent with its apologetic line in the Rushdie affair, the U.K. condemned the Danish cartoons. In the words of Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, “There is freedom of speech, we all respect that. . . . But there is not any obligation to insult or to be gratuitously inflammatory. I believe that the re-publication of these cartoons has been unnecessary. It has been insensitive. It has been disrespectful and it has been wrong.” While the Danish government stood firm on freedom of expression at home, it gradually softened its stance abroad as the foreign reactions intensified. In January 2006, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen commented on the apology issued by Jyllands-Posten. While he highlighted the central value of freedom of expression, he went on to say: “I am deeply distressed by the fact that these drawings by many Muslims have been seen as a defamation of the Prophet Mohammed and Islam as a religion. I hope that the apology of the independent newspaper Jyllands-Posten will contribute to comfort those that have been hurt.”

The timid and defensive response of leading Western governments contrasts with that of Muslim governments and religious leaders. In addition to Iran’s recently renewed call for Rushdie’s murder, several Muslim governments have demanded the prosecution of the editor responsible for publishing the Mohammed cartoons and the director of The Innocence of Muslims, as well as apologies from Denmark and the U.S. In 1999, member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation initiated a decade-long campaign at the U.N. to prohibit defamation of religion, a campaign that centered on alleged offenses against Islam and ignored those against other religions. It is clear that a large part of the protests in Muslim countries should be attributed to agitation by governments and religious organizations that have exploited religious feelings for their own purposes.

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And there is this...

Jonah Goldberg: Free Speech Isn’t the Problem (the dysfunctions and inadequacies of the Arab and Muslim world are)

A Duplicitous Administration

I believe Obama will release the Blind Sheikh, whether or not he is re-elected President but he will wait until after the election. He grew up in Indonesia and has said the most beautiful sound he has ever heard is the call to Muslim prayer. He is pro-Islam, an anti-Semite as well as anti-America. Case closed. - Reggie

Andrew McCarthy
After Libya and more, we can hardly trust Obama on the Blind Sheikh.

If they lie, you can’t trust them. That’s a fairly straightforward rule. It is certainly the one that trial lawyers bank on.

It is not a hard and fast rule. A person may shade the truth for various reasons: vanity, personal allegiances, financial incentives, etc. Usually, once you figure out the relevant motivation, you can sort out on what matters he is probably credible and what he is prone to lie about. Sometimes, though, the story is so unbelievable, so insulting to the intelligence, that a rational juror knows it is best to discount all of the testimony — or, worse, to conclude that the truth is likely the opposite of the witness’s desperate version.

Of course, all the world’s a stage, not a courtroom. I am reminded of this when, as now, I happen to have a book out (Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy) that speaks to events currently roiling the world. I am reminded, that is, that I am no longer a trial lawyer making arguments to a jury. Now I am a writer who makes his arguments to the public and, at book-publication times like these, through the prism of the mainstream media. So it was that, in a few interviews this week, I have been asked about two currently raging symptoms of “Spring Fever,” the Libya attacks and the Blind Sheikh.

Today’s journalists do not resemble jurors. The interviews proceed in a now-familiar pattern. We go through the events of last week’s atrocity in Libya, where U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were murdered in Benghazi. Again and again, Obama-administration officials insisted that the killings were the result of spontaneous rioting over an obscure movie casting Islam’s prophet in an unflattering light — a movie from months ago, a movie virtually no one knew about, much less saw, a production so cockamamie that calling it a “movie” fails the straight-face test.

As the administration well knew, this was a coordinated jihadist attack led by al-Qaeda-affiliated forces, clearly well-trained and equipped with sophisticated weapons. One of the participants was a former Gitmo prisoner, detained there for years because it was patent that, given the chance, he’d go back to the jihad. There appears to have been forewarning about likely trouble on the 9/11 anniversary.

Did anyone really need in-depth intelligence to recognize these dangers? Part of the reason the United States struck up an alliance with Qaddafi’s despicable regime was his intelligence cooperation: Per capita, Libya sent more jihadists to Iraq to fight against American troops than any other country. The only difference between then and now is that, with Obama having toppled Qaddafi in a war the U.S. launched without provocation and on the side of al-Qaeda, the rabidly anti-American Islamists of Benghazi now have access to high-powered weaponry previously unavailable to them. A movie? Before the president ever got to his unseemly Vegas fundraiser, with the nation still mourning its dead, it was pluperfectly obvious that we’d been subjected to a terrorist strike that had nothing to do with a moronic movie.

Yet our U.N. ambassador, Susan Rice, repeated the farcical Obama-admnistration line with a straight face. It was insulting, and even reporters for whom Obama can do no wrong could not take it seriously. In some of my interviews there has been nervous laughter — not over the situation, which is so deadly serious, but over the administration’s line, which has been ludicrous.

But then we get to the Blind Sheikh. I prosecuted Omar Abdel Rahman back in my former trial-lawyer life. He is less than 20 years into his life sentence for terrorism convictions. During his time in prison, he nevertheless managed to issue the fatwa Osama bin Laden credited as the required sharia green-light for the 9/11 attacks. So I have been asked often this week about reports that he may be transferred to his native Egypt. There, as Spring Fever demonstrates, the populace is overwhelmingly adherent to the supremacist Islam that dominates the Middle East. There, his war against America makes him a hero, and he would be welcomed, triumphantly, as such.

Could that possibly happen? “You bet it could,” I’ve told my interlocutors, “it could and it will.” Watch for the frightening weeks between Election Day and Inauguration Day, when, no matter who wins the election, Barack Obama will retain all the awesome power of the presidency without any of the accountability of an impending election.

“But wait,” I’m admonished. “They’ve denied it. The Justice Department has denied it. So has the State Department, and at least one member of the National Security Council. How much clearer can they be?”

I don’t know. How much clearer could they have been about Libya?

The Obama administration is the witness whose testimony a jury would discount out of hand. We trust jurors to decide important questions because they bring to the task the common sense of the community. After Libya, the sensible person says, “Never again.” The sensible person does not even see the point of asking Obama officials for information.

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Bowing to the Mob

Mark Steyn
Government-funded film critics do grotesque damage to freedom of speech.

I see the Obama campaign has redesigned the American flag, and very attractive it is too. Replacing the 50 stars of a federal republic is the single “O” logo symbolizing the great gaping maw of spendaholic centralization. And where the stripes used to be are a handful of red daubs, eerily mimicking the bloody finger streaks left on the pillars of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi as its staff were dragged out by a mob of savages to be tortured and killed. What better symbol could one have of American foreign policy? Who says the slick hollow vapid marketing of the Obama campaign doesn’t occasionally intersect with reality?

On the latter point, after a week and a half of peddling an utterly false narrative of what happened in Libya, the United States government is apparently beginning to discern that there are limits to what even Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Susan Rice can say with a straight face. The official line — that the slaughter of American officials was some sort of improvised movie review that got a little out of hand — is now in the process of modification to something bearing a less patently absurd relationship to what actually happened. That should not make any more forgivable the grotesque damage that the administration has done to the bedrock principle of civilized society: freedom of speech.

The more that U.S.-government officials talk about the so-called film Innocence of Muslims (which is actually merely a YouTube trailer) the more they confirm the mob’s belief that works of “art” are the proper responsibility of government. Obama and Clinton are currently starring as the Siskel & Ebert of Pakistani TV, giving two thumbs down to Innocence of Muslims in hopes that it will dissuade local moviegoers from giving two heads off to consular officials. “The United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video,” says Hillary Clinton. “We absolutely reject its content, and message.” “We reject the efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others,” adds Barack Obama. There follows the official State Department seal of the U.S. embassy in Islamabad.

Fellow government-funded film critics call Innocence of Muslims “hateful and offensive” (Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations) and “reprehensible and disgusting” (Jay Carney, White House press secretary). General Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and senior Pentagon adviser to Variety, has taken to telephoning personally those few movie fans who claim to enjoy the film. He called up Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who apparently thinks Innocence of Muslims is the perfect date movie, to tell him the official position of the United States military is they’d be grateful if he could ease up on the five-star reviews.

Obama and Clinton’s two-on-the-aisle act cost $70,000 of taxpayers’ money. That may not sound much in the $16 trillion–dollar sinkhole of Washington, but it’s a pretty big ad buy in Islamabad, and an improper use of public monies. If government functionaries want to do movie reviews, they should have a PBS fundraiser, offering a “Barack & Hill at the Movies” logo-ed burqa for pledges of over $100, and a complimentary clitoridectomy for pledges over $500. I fought a long battle for freedom of expression north of the border when the Canadian Islamic Congress attempted to criminalize my writing, and I’m proud to say I played a modest role in getting Parliament to strike down a shameful law and restore a semblance of free speech to a country that should never have lost it. So I know a little about how the Western world is shuffling into a psychological bondage of its own making, and it’s no small thing when the First Amendment gets swallowed up by the vacuum of American foreign policy.

What other entertainments have senior U.S. officials reviewed lately? Last year Hillary Clinton went to see the Broadway musical Book of Mormon. “We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others”? The Book of Mormon’s big showstopper is “Hasa Diga Eebowai” which apparently translates as “F*** you, God.” The U.S. secretary of state stood and cheered.

Why does Secretary Clinton regard “F*** you, God” as a fun toe-tapper for all the family but “F*** you, Allah” as “disgusting and reprehensible”? The obvious answer is that, if you sing the latter, you’ll find a far more motivated crowd waiting for you at the stage door. So the “leader of the free world” and “the most powerful man in the world” (to revive two cobwebbed phrases nobody seems to apply to the president of the United States anymore) is telling the planet that the way to ensure your beliefs command his “respect” is to be willing to burn and bomb and kill. You Mormons need to get with the program.

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The Collapse of the Obama Strategy Against Radical Islamists

Newt Gingrich
The real meaning of the violence of the last week across the Muslim world is the bankruptcy and collapse of the Obama strategy which began with his speech in Cairo. President Obama had a deep conviction that pandering to Islamic sympathies, identifying with the virtues of Islam and parroting phrases that sounded good would lead to a deeper acceptance of the United States by Muslims.

While reaching out to “mainstream Muslims,” the Obama strategy would wage selective war against designated enemies. The Obama administration decided to ignore concerns of sovereignty and to kill terrorists with stepped up drone attacks.

It apparently did not occur to the Obama team that the enemy could and would react.

The killing of the American ambassador to Libya was apparently a direct retaliation for the American killing in Pakistan of a Libyan senior al Qaeda commander. The Obama administration has desperately sought to spin all the violence as caused by one hostile anti-Muslim movie.

Once again Obama and the elite media blame America for the hostility of others. In their ideology it is much safer for America to be the bad guys. Then we can excuse the violence, the attack on embassies, the burning of the American flag, the destruction of American businesses and American schools. In the Obama-elite media worldview that is all somehow the result of American provocation.

“If only some American hadn’t made a bad movie, everything would be ok,” is the view the Obama administration and the elite media has exuded.

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Senator Rubio on Foreign Aid to Libya, Egypt and Pakistan

Florida Senator Marco Rubio's floor speech from a few days ago.

From Utah, with Love

George Will
SALT LAKE CITY — A specter is haunting the Congressional Black Caucus, the specter of integration. It is discomforting enough that the now 43-member CBC has included a Republican since 2011, when Florida’s Allen West became the first Republican to join the CBC since 1997. South Carolina’s Tim Scott, an African-American, also came to Congress in 2011 but declined to join.

And soon a second might move in. There goes the neighborhood.

Mia Love, 37, is running against incumbent Democrat Jim Matheson, 52, in a district created when the 2010 census gave a fourth representative to this booming state — imagine Utah’s growth if the federal government did not own 58 percent of the land.

Love is black but not African-American. She was born in Brooklyn in 1975 to Haitian immigrants who arrived with $10. On her father’s wages as a janitor and a factory worker and her mother’s as a housekeeper, she got through the University of Hartford. In Connecticut, she met her husband — he is a Mormon, as she now is and 62 percent of Utahans are.

Fourteen years ago, they moved to this state, where blacks were about 1 percent of the population before Love arrived and had three children. In 2009, she was elected mayor of Saratoga Springs, a suburb of 18,000 that grew 1,700 percent between its incorporation in 1997 and the housing crash in 2008, after which Mayor Love governed like this: When constituents said they needed a library, she found $10,000 and suggested volunteers do the rest: “I intended to see if they really wanted a library.” They have one.

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Mia Love, mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah

Revealed: Mitt Romney’s tax returns

Mitt Romney’s campaign released his 2011 tax information this afternoon, as well as a notarized letter from PriceWaterhouseCoopers attesting to Romney’s tax rates from 1990-2009, and I must say: Well played, Romney campaign. Well played, indeed. The Democrats have been making a federal case of Romney’s supposed “tax secrecy,” with countless ads and speeches and the voice in Harry Reid’s head making Romney out to be a greedy, tax-evading corporate mastermind of epic proportions, but the Romney camp just let them huff and puff until they wore themselves out, and now they’re releasing the information on their terms. I’m sure the Democrats will find some stupid, populist way to continue to criticize Romney over this, but… BAZINGA:

Regarding the newly-filed 2011 Tax Return:

-In 2011, the Romneys paid $1,935,708 in taxes on $13,696,951 in mostly investment income.

-The Romneys’ effective tax rate for 2011 was 14.1%.

-The Romneys donated $4,020,772 to charity in 2011, amounting to nearly 30% of their income.

-The Romneys claimed a deduction for $2.25 million of those charitable contributions. …

Regarding the PWC letter covering the Romneys’ tax filings over 20 years, from 1990 – 2009:

-In each year during the entire 20-year period, the Romneys owed both state and federal income taxes.

-Over the entire 20-year period, the average annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20%.

-Over the entire 20-year period, the lowest annual effective federal personal tax rate was 13.66%.

-Over the entire 20-year period, the Romneys gave to charity an average of 13.45% of their adjusted gross income.

-Over the entire 20-year period, the total federal and state taxes owed plus the total charitable donations deducted represented 38.49% of total AGI.

During the 20-year period covered by the PWC letter, Gov. and Mrs. Romney paid 100 percent of the taxes that they owed.

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ELIZABETH WARREN vs SCOTT BROWN Massachusetts Senate Debate

This debate took place a few days ago. I haven't watched it yet but I understand Senator Brown brought up the hypocrisy of Warren's claim of minority status as a Native American. Good stuff. - Reggie

And there is this...

National Review: Brown vs. Warren

Friday, September 21, 2012

IG: White House ‘Made it Impossible’ to Pursue Lead in Fast and Furious Probe

( – The White House’s refusal to release communications related to the Fast and Furious gun-walking program and the refusal of a White House official to be interviewed about the matter “made it impossible” for the inspector general (IG) of the Justice Department to “pursue that aspect of the case,” the IG, Michael Horowitz, testified.

He added that the sought-after White House interview and communications constituted “a lead we wanted to follow.”

At the hearing of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee on Thursday, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.) asked Horowitz, “Do you think the White House’s refusal to share these documents limited the scope of your investigation? Would this committee be well served in pursuing an investigation into that avenue?”

Horowitz answered, “As we noted in the report, we did not get internal communications from the White House and Mr. O’Reilly’s unwillingness to speak to us made it impossible for us to pursue that aspect of the case. Certainly we sought to pursue every lead we could. From our standpoint, it was a lead we wanted to follow.”

The report, A Review of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious and Related Matters, was released yesterday by the office of the inspector general.

Mr. O’Reilly is Kevin O’Reilly and when Fast and Furious was in operation he was a member of President Barack Obama’s National Security Staff.

The IG report states, “We also sought to interview Kevin O’Reilly, an official with the White House National Security Staff, about communications he had in 2010 with Special Agent in Charge William Newell that included information about Operation Fast and Furious. O’Reilly declined through his personal counsel our request for an interview.”

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And there is this...

PJ Media: DOJ Inspector General Report Proves Dems Misled Public On ‘Wide Receiver’

Why Dinesh D’Souza is Right about the Source of Obama’s Rage

There is a school of thought, ably represented by First Things editor R.R. Reno, that blames the leftward drift in American higher education for Barack Obama’s resentment of the United States, rather than his Third World upbringing. The estimable Dr. Reno, who is a friend and former colleague, called D’Souza’s film 2016 “misguided” in a recent post on the FT blog:

I was and remain unconvinced by the argument that Obama’s anti-colonialist father explains his governing mentality. By my reckoning, the emerging postmodern liberalism of Columbia University circa 1982 (where I was for a semester as a visiting student) explains Obama pretty well.

Not only do we not need to go to Kenya to find the sources of Obama’s worldview (the Ivy League will do just fine), but in fact the very realistic and at times cold-blooded sentiments of post-colonial Africans who wrested their futures out of the hands of their European masters cuts against the magical thinking that characterizes the sort of liberalism that the Obama White House represents.

Rusty’s got a point — I got a B.A. from Columbia a few years earlier at a time when you could read one book by Marx and one by Freud (as the joke went) and pass any course in the college. But D’Souza has a better point. My own reading has a minor difference with D’Souza’s (the key figure in Obama’s mind is his anthropologist mother rather than is absent Kenyan father), but we are on the same page: Obama is an alien intrusion into American political life, a Third-World anthropologist profiling us. D’Souza may not be not as smart as Rusty Reno (few people are) but he has an advantage: he grew up in the Third World and knows what it means to actually be there.

What’s the difference between growing up in the Third World, and taking an Ivy League course in neocolonial studies? It’s about the same as the difference between sex education, and sex. I’m an unabashed globalizer and modernizer (I wrote a book warning that the extinction of most of the world’s cultures was inevitable), but some awful things happen en route to modernity. I’ve spent a lot of time in poor countries of the Global South as an economist and banker, and there have been moments when I wished I was a Communist. One sees heart-wrenching poverty and humiliation, and there are days when it would do the heart good to put some people up against a wall.

I saw a three-year old girl caring for her one-year-old sister while her parents tried to sell chewing gum at a traffic light in Lima.

I saw a thousand elderly people gathered in an impromptu flea market in the dead of winter, selling pathetic pieces of used clothing for the price of a meal, a few hundred yards from the Kremlin.

I saw garbage pickers living atop toxic rubbish in half a dozen countries.

It’s one thing to read about this kind misery; it’s another to see it first-hand and frequently; and it’s still another thing to grow up with it. There are any number of good and decent people I know who hate the West for the misery it occasioned (although they know perfectly well that the local ruling class is more predatory than the worst Western colonialist). Some of them are friends and colleagues at Asia Times Online. Their point of view is understandable. The difference between them and President Obama is that they do not lie about what they believe.

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Equality or Independence?

All joking aside, America faces a serious choice this November.

Major news organizations are busy this week high-fiving each other over what they've convinced themselves is the death of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. Watching MSNBC these days is like watching the autopsy of a murder victim, conducted by the murderers themselves. Their unseemly jubilation is inspired by a "secret" four-month-old video of Romney discussing the 47 percent of Americans -- myself among them -- who do not pay federal income tax. If I hit the Powerball, I'll try to make good with the Treasury Department, but the fact that I don't make $5 million a year like Chris Matthews is certainly not Mitt Romney's fault. Nor do I blame Matthews, who has real talent of the kind that usually involves wearing a fright wig, a red nose and big floppy shoes.

Despite my lack of resentment, I'm told I should be offended by Romney's remarks about myself and my fellow 47-percenters. Bill Kristol called the Republican candidate's comments "arrogant and stupid." Kristol once worked for Dan Quayle. Insert punch line here.

All joking aside, however, and without regard for the media's self-congratulatory celebration of Romney's troubles, there is a serious question involved: Are the economically less fortunate entitled to constant flattery, lest our self-esteem be damaged? Should we think of ourselves as victims, deserving not only tax exemptions, but also benefits which others are taxed to provide for us? Or is it possible that with a new attitude -- and a different set of policies in Washington -- some of us in the 47 percent might by our own efforts escape the embarrassment of penury and achieve some measure of economic success?

Is it crazy to believe that? Then I might qualify for disability, although Conservative Derangement Syndrome is not among the disorders listed in the DSM-IV. But all joking aside...

My poverty is entirely my own fault. Before I got into the journalism racket, I had a perfectly good job as a forklift driver, and if I'd stuck with that, who knows? I might have been warehouse manager by now. Yet I convinced myself that a suit-and-tie job was more prestigious and more lucrative, which it might actually have been. But then Al Gore invented the Internet, the bottom fell out of the newspaper business, and nowadays all journalists are compelled to scrape for nickels and dimes in the blogosphere, even Harvard graduates like Bill Kristol (magna cum laude, 1973) and Matthew Yglesias (magna cum laude, 2003). The latter is a liberal who no doubt heartily shares Kristol's disdain for their fellow Harvardian, the "arrogant and stupid" Romney (J.D., MBA, 1975). In the 21st century, it sometimes seems, political discourse is conducted entirely among Ivy League alumni, usually on Twitter. Yglesias this week honored his Twitter devotees with a philosophical treatise: "The concept of 'redistribution' falsely implies that the existence of property is prior to the existence of the state. #mythofownership."

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And there is this...

S.E. Cupp: Romney only said what Obama always says: That Democrats are victims

The Fallacy of Redistribution

Thomas Sowell
The recently discovered tape on which Barack Obama said back in 1998 that he believes in redistribution is not really news. He said the same thing to Joe the Plumber four years ago. But the surfacing of this tape may serve a useful purpose if it gets people to thinking about what the consequences of redistribution are.

Those who talk glibly about redistribution often act as if people are just inert objects that can be placed here and there, like pieces on a chess board, to carry out some grand design. But if human beings have their own responses to government policies, then we cannot blithely assume that government policies will have the effect intended.

The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty. The communist nations were a classic example, but by no means the only example.

In theory, confiscating the wealth of the more successful people ought to make the rest of the society more prosperous. But when the Soviet Union confiscated the wealth of successful farmers, food became scarce. As many people died of starvation under Stalin in the 1930s as died in Hitler's Holocaust in the 1940s.

How can that be? It is not complicated. You can only confiscate the wealth that exists at a given moment. You cannot confiscate future wealth -- and that future wealth is less likely to be produced when people see that it is going to be confiscated. Farmers in the Soviet Union cut back on how much time and effort they invested in growing their crops, when they realized that the government was going to take a big part of the harvest. They slaughtered and ate young farm animals that they would normally keep tending and feeding while raising them to maturity.

People in industry are not inert objects either. Moreover, unlike farmers, industrialists are not tied to the land in a particular country.

Russian aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky could take his expertise to America and produce his planes and helicopters thousands of miles away from his native land. Financiers are even less tied down, especially today, when vast sums of money can be dispatched electronically to any part of the world.

If confiscatory policies can produce counterproductive repercussions in a dictatorship, they are even harder to carry out in a democracy. A dictatorship can suddenly swoop down and grab whatever it wants. But a democracy must first have public discussions and debates. Those who are targeted for confiscation can see the handwriting on the wall, and act accordingly.

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Redistribution II

RNC ad

The Redistributor-in-Chief

Jeffrey Lord
Constitutional rights, free speech, religion, jobs, poverty, and everything else are up for grabs.

"I actually believe in redistribution."
-- Barack Obama, Loyola University, 1998

Shall we play a game?

Which of these things doesn't belong?

Health care.
Gas Prices.

Answer? They all belong.

They all belong to the redistributionist World of Obama.

Let's work our way through these items one by one for a glimpse of what Obama's re-distributionism has in fact meant.

  • Coal: Alpha Coal Company announced this week that they are shutting down 8 mines and cutting 1,200 employees. CEO Kevin Crutchfield says this is necessary in part because of "a regulatory environment that's aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal."

  • Health Care: Welch Allyn, the medical device firm, announced the other day that "it will reduce its workforce by 10 percent over the next three years in reaction to the 2.3 percent medical device tax slated to begin in January 2013 in accordance with the Affordable Care Act." This from a report at Health Finance News.

  • Jobs: The unemployment rate for August was 8.1%. The 43rd month in a row the unemployment rate was over 8%. Some 368,000 Americans stopped looking for work altogether.

  • Religion: Asked if the Obama Justice Department would "never entertain" or "advance" any kind of proposal that would "criminalize speech" against any religion, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Thomas Perez refused to answer.

  • Movies: Local authorities swoop down on alleged Innocence of Muslims filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, escorting him from his home after midnight, to meet with federal officers. The Obama White House, the State Department, and the UN Ambassador all blame Nakoula's video for causing the violence in dozens of countries around the world. The filmmaker goes into hiding.

  • Gas Prices: Gas prices skyrocket, eleven cents in one day last Friday.

  • Poverty: The nation's poverty rate has increased to 15.1% from 14.3%. While fresh statistics are due next month, the rate is expected to increase. This increase, said CBS News, represents "the largest number of Americans in poverty in the 52 years since such estimates have been published by the U.S. Census Bureau." The Median Household Income of Americans has decreased.

So again. What was it that Mr. Obama said on that tape?

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