Let me tell you why I am even considering the issue. Last week, Ben Bernanke, before Congress, said that the Federal Reserve was going to start taking some liquidity out of the system. First, they were going to stop the Fed’s 1.25 trillion dollar mortgage buying spree. This will send interest rates higher. Secondly, the Fed chairman said that he hoped to accomplish his goals without triggering inflation. The reaction to that was higher Treasury yields and a stronger dollar.
Rio Tinto, the Australian mining company, shamed itself by firing its top iron salesman to China along with three former Chinese colleagues moments after they were convicted by a Chinese court for bribery. Whether or not the men were guilty begs the question. The Chinese court system, long known, for being kangaroo like, did not disappoint in the severity of the punishment. Here’s what bothers me. Within hours of the men being sentenced, Tom Albanese, chief executive of the Anglo-Australian miner, said the case would not jeopardize relations with China, the group’s biggest customer. No kidding. Anything to keep the orders flowing.
The same media that hyperventilates about civility whenever Democrats or Barack Obama are mistreated, show no similar concern when Republicans are on the receiving end even at the very same time. Compare the media outrage at claims that John Lewis was spit and the inattention at the recorded beating up by union men of a Black Republican, Kenneth Gladney, while handing out flyers at a Tea Party. It took place after Barack Obama’s men personally urged their followers to punch back twice as hard. No one noted that the violence followed such incitement. Moreover, it took the police months to arrest anybody and then they were charged with mere misdemeanor.
The ongoing refusal to take Jihadists at their word is reaching absurd levels. Thus, NYT editors recommend that Putin pay more attention to what they deem “root causes” of the latest Jihadist attack, i.e., “the underlying inequities that feed militancy, including poverty, joblessness and official corruption.” That ignores mountains of research demonstrating that poverty has nothing to do with terror. Jihadist goals do. Writing from Pakistan Syed Saleem Shahzad spells them out:
Obama is in trouble, among other reasons, because there are thousands of voices out there dumping on the health bill, and we hear by and large only one voice defending it. Where is the cabinet? The VP? The elected Democrats who truely believe in it? I do not recall a more one-sided debate since I heard one hand clapping.
Who among us doesn’t want to discover the eternal Fountain of Youth? Politicians, and their constituents alike, are no different. For some, it may be akin to finding a pot of gold, for others, a fad diet, steamy sex, or perhaps, Botox, cosmetic surgery or a trendy spa.
We don’t yet know the whole story behind the two female suicide bombers who killed 38 people in Moscow and injured scores of others. Although their affiliation is unclear, the working assumption is that the bombers were tied to the Chechen rebel movement in the North Caucasus.
US media seem to be missing a Big Piece of the post-election picture in Iraq, perhaps, as noted yesterday, because it is taking place in Iran. Asia Times, The Guardian, The Independent, the Irish Times have all noted, at the very least, the intriguing news, missed here as far as I can tell, that last week, Iraqi PM Maliki, in second place after the vote count with 89 setas to Allawi’s 91, sent emissaries to garner support for a ruling parliamentary coalition (153 seats) to Tehran, where they met with A-jad, and to Qom, where they met with Moqtada al-Sadr. But didn’t Maliki leave Shiite politics behind him, or something? Isn’t the Allawi “victory” — by two seats — an indicator that “secular” Iraq is here to stay? (Right.) Some would laugh, almost, but maybe we should just say time will tell.
Even as the Obama Administration continues treating Israel like a violent rogue regime for threatening to build apartments in its own capital city, the real bad guys continue committing murder and mayhem worldwide with seeming impunity.
In the latest episode, two female suicide-murderers blew themselves up about 45 minutes apart in Moscow, killing 38 innocent people and injuring dozens more, Associated Press reported Monday.
In typical al-Qaida style, the attacks, which are being blamed on Islamists (for a change,) were timed to result in maximum carnage — coming at rush hour in two busy subway stations, AP reports.
“The blasts come six years after Islamic separatists from the southern Russian region carried out a pair of deadly Moscow subway strikes and raised concerns that the war has once again come to the capital…” according to the AP report.
Militants in the Caucasus have declared they intend to create an Islamic state, very much like Hamas seeks to do in all of Israel, beginning in Gaza. And like Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Chechen militants “receive moral and financial support from al-Qaida,” according to the story.
Hundreds have been killed and/or wounded in similar attacks in Russia over the past several years, according to the report, but these deadly, random mass murders — along with the continued firing of rockets into Israel by Palestinians and the recent formal naming of a public square for a Palestinian terrorist — aren’t nearly as interesting to the media or the world as housing construction in Israel, it seems.
Russian police have reportedly killed several Islamic militant leaders in the North Caucasus recently, but since I didn’t notice the same type of banner headlines such a thing in Israel would certainly have elicited, I can only figure this is another example of the deeply entrenched double-standard at work when it comes to Israel and Islamist-related reportage.
The story notes that al-Qaida-affiliated Web sites have been flooded with congratulatory comments about the latest mass murders. One site opened a special page to “receive congratulations” for the Chechen rebels who “started the dark tunnel attacks in the apostate countries,” according to the story.
But it’s Israel that “has been under fire internationally since last winter’s Gaza war,” to end years of rocket attacks. And things have only gotten worse with the recent ill-timed announcement that new apartments are planned in Jerusalem.
“Relations with the U.S. administration has reached such a low point, said an editorial in Israel’s daily Haaretz, that Washington has demanded written Israeli commitments, since ‘the spoken word has no meaning,’” according to the story.
Never mind that no one in authority seems to notice the glaring hypocrisy in the totally universally accepted notion that any Palestinian state must be Jew-free though the idea of an Arab or Muslim-free Israel is racist and unacceptable.
I understand the White House is demanding Israel offer some kind of concession as a show of good faith.
I wish someone would compile a timeline and a list of all the good faith concessions Israel has made in the past 60 years in exchange for promises ignored, and compare it to one of concessions made by the Arabs, of which there has been nothing tangible ever.
I also don’t understand how the non-Muslim world, even while suffering attacks by a shared enemy, fails to recognize that this is happening. Why hasn’t the natural the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend inclination kicked in here?
Is it some kind of anti-Semitism-induced blindness that prevents these nations from clearly differentiating the good guys from the bad guys? Or is it simply proof that terrorism works?
But, at least I know I’m not the only person who’s noticed the through-the-looking-glass quality of this situation.
Columnist Burt Prelutsky wrote recently, that “Surely something must be terribly wrong with a man who seems to be far more concerned with a Jew building a house in Israel than with Muslims building a nuclear bomb in Iran.”
The process of getting older brings with it a number of challenges for all of us. If you are thirty or younger and you think these will not apply to you, think again …they will come before you know it. Be prepared.
Islamic terrorists are mass killers who slaughter in the name of their faith. And like mass killers of other stripes, Muslim terrorists operate in the dark shadows, and then usually carry out their barbaric acts in small confined places where innocent civilians (wearing suits and jeans, not military uniforms) gather—subways, airplanes, office towers, and schools.
Having failed to either charm or bribe Iran to negotiate and having similarly failed to entice Russia and China to support serious sanctions, the Obama administration hoped to appease disgusted Arab states with an Israeli sacrificial lamb. The “smart” diplomats forgot that Russia may also wish to join the game. Having pocketed all the concessions it could from the US, it wants to extract some from the Arab states. Obama may be able to deliver Israel; Putin may be able to deliver Ahmadinejad or at the very least biting sanctions in addition to Israel. Having negotiated nuclear parity with America, Putin is aiming at strategic parity in the Middle East. Now how about them apples?! Note the message Russia sent to the conference of Arab states:
Max Boot, who has taken the lead in defending Gen. Petraeus against the meaning of the general’s own Senate testimony, has responded to a lengthy post I wrote parsing this testimony and related material without addressing any argument I actually made. Boot prefers to address one that he invented: namely, that I claim that Petraeus learned, or, rather, “imbibed” his Arabist, anti-Israel attitudes from Stephen Walt.
The American Spectator reports that Gen. David Petraeus has “poured cold water” on the controversy caused by reports, later corroborated by testimony he submitted to the US Senate Armed Services Committee, that he views the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as driving unrest in the Centcom region, which includes Iraq and Afghanistan (and all that that implies for the security of our troops). After first dwelling on a detail of minor importance (that he didn’t ask the White House to extend Centcom’s jurisdiction to include Israel and the Palestinian Authority), he turned to the crux of the matter, his Senate testimony.
Recent Russians opinion polls reveal that the American frantic efforts to appease Russia failed miserably. Not only does Putin do his best to sabotage US foreign policy goals but more and more Russians dislike and dismiss the West in general and Obama’s America. So much for reset buttons and “smart” diplomacy. The ever useful Johnson’s Russia List includes this eye opening article from the March 26, issue of Vremya Novostei by Natalia Rozhkova:
Since they have now succeeded in turning America into a beggar state via Obamacare, Democrats have settled on a particularly pernicious strategy. They know that their health care “reform” is hated by most of the American people. They also know that the people will likely fire many of them in November. So, they have decided that the best defense is a good offense: attack those who oppose Obamacare.
A friend just returned from a curling contest in Creston, British Columbia, and informed me that I live only two hours from the Canadian border. News to me. Ditto for curling contestants being allowed to drink during play, which makes the game pretty much like bowling. That’s the kind of small stuff I don’t care about because my knowledge goes to The Deep Things.
During the presidential campaign the American people were divided between those who argued that the real Barack Obama is the one revealed in his autobiography and those who maintained that the real Obama was the man who gave centrist sounding campaign speeches. Those angry with George W. Bush and those perceiving themselves as non whites were the most anxious to believe the latter. Jews and Indians proved particularly vulnerable to this appeal. Leftists and Muslims knew a good thing when they saw one though Arab and Iranian opponents of the current Iranian regime have since changed their mind.
…Victory: Fortune, ’tis said, favors the bold: When all is said and done, the turning point on health care may have been — ironically enough — President Obama’s decision not merely to attend the GOP’s January retreat, but to ask for cameras to be allowed in. As good as the Republicans looked (it was hard for them to be seen as the “Party of No”), Obama looked better. Whether Americans knew all the facts and assertions being traded back and forth, the president seemed in command of the discussion. He didn’t appear afraid to stand up to criticism (he declared how much he was “enjoying” the debate). He didn’t even flinch when he was called on the lack of transparency in the broader health care process. Ironically, that event itself went quite aways to undercutting the lack-of-transparency argument. He also didn’t appear as an empty suit that couldn’t perform without his Teleprompter (though he used it in his introductory remarks).
No, indeed. Obama stands up only to allies. He reminds on of Herod of whom Caesar remarked that he would rather be Herod’s pig than Herod’s son! Countries would rather be Obama’s enemies than his allies and the Chinese understand that only too well. XINUA reports: China says Google issue will not affect China-U.S. ties;
How many readers of The New York Times know about the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995? This law, calling for the relocation of the United States Embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, asserted that Jerusalem was to remain an undivided city and official capital of the state of Israel. It was adopted by the Senate 93-5 and by the House 374-37. Although it has never been implemented by our country, whose executive branch considers it an infringement by Congress on its authority to conduct foreign policy, it has also never been repealed and remains in place representing the overwhelming majority of members of both Houses and their constituents. This is significant in light of the recent brouhaha concerning the so called “settlements” in Jerusalem. Israel has no confusion over the status of its indivisible capital and therefore, doesn’t need to ask American permission to build housing for its citizens there. America should have no confusion either given the wording of the 1995 Law and the fact that though dormant, it still remains intact. This piece of old news has been omitted in accounts of American expectations of Israel’s ten-month moratorium on building in west bank settlements.
Americans are making it plain that they’re disappointed with the quality of their public servants. Most Americans today, according to one poll, would throw all members of Congress out of office. And the president’s poll numbers have been in the proverbial tank for months.
My husband and I spent last week at the book festival in Charlottesville, Virginia. When I found out that John Yoo was scheduled to speak at the UVA Law school, we decided to attend the afternoon session organized by the Federalist and Jefferson societies. As could be expected, the usual Hippie protesters were there. A white-haired man and a grey-haired held placards condemning the wars in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Few students joined them. Most stood on the opposite side of the street reading the signs. As the time of the talk grew near, organized groups entered the hall ready to do battle.
To listen to those sent to do Barack Obama’s dirty work, solving the Israeli/Palestinian conflict would appease America’s enemies and evicting Jews from lands held at one time by Jordan would bring peace to the Middle East. A poll conducted by Frank Luntz for The Israel Project shows that Americans disagree with both premises. 80% of Americans believe that if they lost the Israeli/Palestinian wedge issue, America’s enemies would merely look for a new one as they did following the Vietnam War. Indeed, that war was replaced by the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as a the rallying point for America’s leftist/Islamist enemies.
In the course of our history as a nation, we’ve have 44 presidents. Some of them have been brilliant; some have been not-so-swift. Some have been effective chief executives; some couldn’t manage their way out of a paper bag. Some have been intellectuals. Some have been populists. And some have been the common man.
Hillary Clinton received a warm welcome and standing ovations this morning from nearly 7500 AIPAC delegates–or citizen lobbyists–from across the U.S. as she delivered a highly anticipated speech that heavily addressed last week’s diplomatic flap between the Obama and Netanyahu administrations.
Yesterday Congress passed a health care reform bill that none of its members read. It doesn’t apply to legislators and their families. It required bribing representatives who seemed to waver by exempting constituents and special interests. It is not funded, but it does pass on a trillion-plus debt load to the various states when the country is the midst of recession. It will not affect how insurance companies do business, but it might force increase political campaign contributions to congressional advocates of change we can believe in.
As I watch with unease the US explosive trade deficits with China and its effects on the American-Chinese balance of economic, strategic and moral power, I cannot but remember that this is part of the “proud” legacy of the Clinton administration decision to stop treating China as the Communists dictatorship it is and start treating it as a NORMAL state by granting it permanent status of a most favorite nation which Albright renamed “normal” status. The change freed China from a yearly review of its human rights record and enabled China to join the WTO.
With the passage of so-called health care reform, the United States of America that we have known will eventually cease to exist. This legislation begins the end of an America with emphasis on the individual and the beginning of an America with emphasis on the government. The transformation will eventually kill the American spirit and America’s greatness forever. Anyone who thinks the new law is only about health care does not understand the ramifications. Now that a former community organizer has succeeded in the start of reorganizing the way of life of the once most free country on earth, anything is possible.
Your taxes will go up. The level of your medical care will go down. The time that you will have to wait for care will go up, and the national growth rate will slow significantly. All of these maladies we can plant at the doorstep of Obamacare and you heard it here. We will not have to wait until November to issue our protest at the ballot box. We can start screaming now. Let’s start with this simple fact. In a time when the United States budget deficit stands at 1.4 to 1.7 trillion dollars depending on who you believe, the Congress of the United States just passed another multi-trillion dollar entitlement insuring the liberals dreams of a cradle to grave government subsidy. Huzzah!