Wednesday, 11 February 2009
THE TERRORIST "VICTIM"
From the UK's Daily Telegraph:
Female FBI officer 'tortured Mumbai terror
attacks suspect with sex'
A female FBI officer tortured a suspect in the
Mumbai terrorist attacks by performing a sex act on him during interrogation, it
has been claimed.
Fahim Ansari is accused of helping to plan the
attacks in which 173 people were killed in November.
His lawyer, Ejaz Naqvi, has filed legal papers
with Mumbai magistrate's court, claiming the "white woman" removed all his
clothes and showed him pornographic films.
In the papers, he claims that three foreigners,
including the woman, sexually abused him, causing him "severe itching and
wounds" on his body, including his genitals.
Mr Ansari, a devout Muslim, claims this amounts to
torture because it is against his religion, The Sun newspaper has
A court in the Indian city ordered medical checks
on "wounds on his private parts and all over his body."
Mr Ansari was arrested with five other suspects
Police have said that he is a trained member of
Lashkar-e-Taiba, the terrorist organisation responsible for the Mumbai attacks.
He was detained in February last year in
connection with an attack on a police camp in Rampur that left seven
paramilitaries and one civilian dead.
Police have said Mr Ansari had hand-drawn maps of
key Mumbai landmarks, some of which were hit in the attacks that started on 26
Do you like ansari's perfectly absurd circus performance?
What we are dealing with is people who, instead of celebrating the legal
rights they have in countries like the UK, or India, or the USA, exploit them to
make insane claims like this --- always with the purpose of ending such rights
and replacing them with shari'a law.
This is what we are fighting. This is why we
NO, NOT THERE! THE UDDER! THE UDDER!
Thirsty for some cow piss?
If you are, you'll particularly enjoy this story, which comes to us from
India. If you aren't, you probably won't.
Here is the story, straight from the Times of London:
BIPARTISANSHIP IN THE OBAMA ERA
From Connie Hair at www.humanevents.com
Out of Stimulus Conference Negotiations
Republicans have caught the
Democrats in a midnight stimulus power play that seeks to cut Republican
conferees out of the House-Senate negotiations to resolve a final version of the
Obama stimulus package. Staff members from the offices of House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) met last night
to put together the stimulus conference report.
They intend to attempt
to shove this $1.3 trillion spending bill through in the dead of the night
without Republican input so floor action can take place in both chambers on
I spoke with House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence
(R-Ind.) moments ago about this latest version of Democratic bipartisanship.
Pence told me, I think the American people deserve to know that legislation
that would comprise an amount equal to the entire discretionary budget of the
United States of America is being crafted without a single House Republican in
Republicans reportedly were in the late-night conference. But -- at least from
the Senate -- the official Republican conferees were excluded. HUMAN
EVENTS has received e-mail confirmations from the staffs of both Sens. Charles
Grassley (R-Ia) and John Thune (R-SD) saying that they had no participation in
From other Senate sources, we understand
that the RINOs were there: one senior staff source told us that the most
likely suspects were Sens. Arlen Specter (RINO-Pa) and Susan Collins (RINO-Me)
whose staffs may have been there.
HUMAN EVENTS has attempted to verify
that report with repeated e-mails and phone calls to Specters and Collinss
staffs. We have been unable to get a response so far.
We will continue to update this report as information becomes
From Mr. Obama's own web site:
End the Practice of Writing
Legislation Behind Closed Doors: As president, Barack Obama will
restore the American people's trust in their government by making government
more open and transparent. Obama will work to reform congressional rules to
require all legislative sessions, including committee mark-ups and conference
committees, to be conducted in public. By making these practices public, the
American people will be able to hold their leaders accountable for wasteful
spending and lawmakers won't be able to slip favors for lobbyists into bills at
the last minute.
THE REPUBLICAN 'MODERATES'
About the 3,692nd time I've read that the three Republican senators signing
onto the Stealfromus Package are "moderates", I thought I'd check and see how
moderate they actually are.
So I went to www.vote-smart.org, an
invaluable site for getting factual information about our politicians, and
checked the most recent ratings given to these three by the American
Conservative Union (long-time conservative group) and the Americans for
Democratic Action (long-time liberal group).
Here they are:
ACU RATING ADA
Yep, they're "moderates" all right.
I would love to compare that to the voting
records of "moderate" Democrats. Maybe media would like to supply us a
list to see where they fall too.
The point, of course, is that these
"moderates" are probably the three most liberal Republican senators that
exist. To our wonderful "neutral" media, however, this equates to
But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs
if you call them biased.
ORAL R. OBAMA?
When I was a kid I used to love watching Oral Roberts on Sunday
Morning. Not for his message about Jesus (being Jewish, that didn't ring
my chimes). But for the segment when he healed the sick.
Somewhere within his show, people would come out of the audience with a
variety of disabilities that could be faked. They would profess their love
of, and faith in, Jesus. Roberts would then lay his hands on them and
scream "HEAL! HEAL!". Amazingly, every one of them was then
He healed more deafness, arthritis, limps, etc. than I can remember. He
never healed a scar, or regrew a leg or normalized a physical deformity of any
kind - the stuff that you couldn't fake.
But it was great fun watching him. (I watched professional wrestling
then too, pretty much for the same reason).
This brings me to Barack Obama's performance in Florida yesterday. He's
busy making a rousing speech about how dire our need is for the
stealfromus...er, stimulus package, to an enthusiastic, supportive crowd.
And suddenly there is this "homeless woman" who is handed a microphone and sobs
that she and her family live in their car and they need their own kitchen and
Mr. Obama comes down from the stage, asks her name, and tells her that "we'll
do everything we can", as the crowd applauds and cheers - just like they
applauded and cheered when Oral Roberts "healed" the infirm.
Here, from www.finkelblog.com
, is Mark Finkelstein's take on this bizarre incident, complete
with video. Mark was astute enough to notice, and point out the woman mouthing
"I love you Barack", as the President kisses this poor (but
strangely well dressed and groomed) homeless woman. (You can see the video by clicking
Note: As they cheered, Wall Street took a complete nosedive on the
specifics laid out by Timothy Geithner, our new Secretary of the Treasury, whom
Mr. Obama gratingly refers to as "MY" Secretary of the Treasury (the Dow dropped
almost 400 points).
He ain't yours, Barack. He's ours. You're the one who inflicted him on
THE HOMELESS PLANT
Here's a shocker for you: That "homeless woman"
Barack Obama promised to help, the one who immediately got a home (why....he's not a President, he's a
Saint, that's what he is!), was a plant.
And her homelessness had nothing to do with the current financial
Michelle Malkin has the story - one that we somehow didn't see in this
Update: Henrietta Hughes gets a house
Ask at an Obama revival meeting and ye shall
Henrietta Hughes was offered a home by Chene
Thompson, wife of State Representative Nick Thompson, who heard the homeless
womans pleas for help to President Obama before a local and national
The house is in LaBelle, the first home [Chene]
Thompson bought after law school. She told Hughes, Just give me the
opportunity to help you.
Hughes broke down in front of thousands when she
told the president that she and her son have been homeless for more than a
year. They are living in a pickup truck.
Obama hugged her after she asked her question
and said his staff would help. A staffer later gave her a card to the head of
the housing authority and she was told he would help
Reader Erik E. has questions. Careful, Erik. You
are committing sacrilege. Dissent is unpatriotic. And cruel.
You know you cannot just enter an Obama town
hall meeting. They give out tickets in advance. Who gets the tickets? People
who stand in line and wait. Who tells people when and where Obama will appear
next? Certainly not the Secret Service who has to protect
this man. Not the MSM, who are too busy telling us how great he is without
asking any critical questions.
Sooooo how does a 61 year-old homeless woman
whos living in a pickup truck with her son JUST HAPPEN to get a ticket so she
can VERY PUBLICALLY ask Prez. Obama for a HOUSE? Anyone? Who pushes her up on
stage? Shes right at the front of the crowd. Did she just happen to get a
Now, within moments of this happening, its
trumpeted all over the news. AND, surprise, surprise, the wife of State
Representative Nick Thompson, Chene Thompson JUST HAPPENS to have a spare
house worth $150,000 lying around, so she GIVES it to this unemployed,
homeless, living-in-a-truck woman. Theyve been homeless for more than a
year, which coincidentally, predates the current housing and banking crisis
by quite a while. How did they learn about the Obama Town Hall and Tent
Revival? Were homeless people simply rounded up? Did someone pre-canvas the
area in search of great, tear-jerking stories? Of all the people in the
audience, SHES one of the ones Obama chooses to ask a question?
BTW-the taxes which will be charged on this
free house will bankrupt the poor woman. Taxes are levied based on the
homes assessed value, not on the basis of it being a free gift.
On a second, double-snort, the last guy who gets
to ask a question JUST HAPPENS to be a 19-year-old kid of Hispanic descent
whos going to Edison State College (free tuition perhaps for in-state
students?) and has worked at McDonalds for FOUR AND A HALF YEARS. By my math,
he started working there when he was 14! Florida child-labor law infraction,
anyone? Now, having worked at McDs several times in my past I can say that
they DO offer health care plans. You have to PAY for it, just like everyone
else in the country does. Its OPTIONAL. Its not a God-given
Do the Thompsons get to claim this as a
charitable tax deduction against their (probably) considerable 2009 income?
How many houses do they own?
Is there anyone left in the media who will ask
these questions? Ever?
Silence! Do not question Dear
So tell me; if this logic was so basic, and the information so easy to
come by, how come it wasn't on the Today show or in my New York Times this
Never mind. We both know why, don't we?
MORE MADOFF THIEVERY
Madoff's wife pulled out $15 million before his
BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The wife of Bernard
Madoff withdrew more than $15 million from an account linked to the accused
swindler in the days before his arrest, Massachusetts authorities said on
Wednesday, adding a new layer of intrigue into the probe of the purported $50
Ruth Madoff pulled $10 million on December 10, the
day before her husband was arrested and charged with running a global investment
fraud, and $5.5 million on November 25, according to Massachusetts Secretary of
State William Galvin.
Galvin did not file any charges against Ruth
Madoff. The disclosure of her withdrawals came in reports produced by Cohmad
Securities, a firm co-owned by Bernard Madoff that had funneled millions of
dollars from its clients to Madoff.
Bernard Madoff, 70, is the only person charged so
far in the alleged scam that has hit banks, charities, wealthy investors and
Madoff told authorities he acted alone in
confessing to the fraud, prosecutors have said.
Legal experts, however, have said they are
skeptical that such a massive fraud could have been pulled off by one
Federal prosecutors, the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission, various state authorities and a court-appointed trustee
liquidating the Madoff firm are all investigating.
Lawyers for the Madoffs could not immediately be
reached for comment on Wednesday.
Why isn't ruth madoff in jail? Why isn't the brother, peter
madoff in jail? Why aren't the sons, mark and andrew, in
jail? Every one of them worked with him.
And WHY ISN'T BERNARD MADOFF IN JAIL?
THE CABLE NEWS RATINGS
Here, straight from Neilsen, and www.drudgereport.com where I just saw
them, are the latest ratings for prime-time news stations.
See if you notice a bit of a trend:
TUES NITE, FEB 11, 2009
FOXNEWS HANNITY 2,658,000
FOXNEWS BECK 2,370,000
FOXNEWS SHEP 2,190,000
FOXNEWS GRETA 1,847,000
MSNBC OLBERMANN 1,485,000
CNN COOPER 1,286,000
MSNBC MADDOW 1,240,000
No wonder Democrats are pushing "the fairness
doctrine" (which, in reality, is the exact opposite.). As with talk radio, when there is an
actual competition between liberal and conservative, their side can't compete. So their answer is
to eliminate the competition.
One other thing. I notice that O'Reilly has about 2 1/2 times the
viewership as keith olbermann. They both have huge egos.......but
evidently O'Reilly has a lot more to be egotistical about. Like 2,000,000
THE END OF OFFSHORE DRILLING?
One of the few bright spots in our situation is that the cost of oil has
dropped so low.
No one realistically expects it to stay here for the long haul. But it
gives us a respite from the onerously higher prices we saw just a matter of
months ago, and buys time for us to develop the desperately needed offshore
oil resources that..........
......wait a minute. This is now the Obama administration. There
may not be any offshore oil resources.
The San Francisco Chronicle has the details:
White House puts coastal drilling plans on
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
(02-11) 04:00 PST Washington
President Obama is shelving a plan announced in
the final days of the Bush presidency to open much of the U.S. coast to oil and
gas drilling, including 130 million acres off California's shores from Mendocino
to San Diego.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar put the plan on
hold Tuesday while his agency conducts a 180-day review. But Salazar's critical
comments about the proposal made clear that the new administration will rewrite
it if not completely scrap it.
"It opened the possibility of oil and gas leases
along the entire Eastern seaboard, portions of offshore California and the far
eastern Gulf of Mexico with almost no consultation from states, industry or
community input," Salazar said at a news conference in Washington. "In my view,
it was a headlong rush of the worst kind."
He said his agency will hold four public meetings
over the next few months - one in Alaska, one on the West Coast, one on the East
Coast and one near the Gulf Coast - to hear from governors, local officials,
industry groups and environmentalists about the plan.
Salazar steered clear of the bigger question:
Whether Obama will seek to renew the 3-decade-old presidential moratorium on
drilling off most of the East and West coasts, which Bush lifted in July amid
soaring gas prices.
He echoed comments made by Obama last year that
the administration would be open to more offshore drilling but only as part of a
broader policy focused on producing more renewable energy from wind, solar and
Seat at the table
"For those of you from the oil and gas industry
... I pledge to you that you will have a seat at the table," Salazar said. "We
need your expertise and your resources as we move forward. But as President
Obama has said and as I believe ... a drill-only energy approach, onshore and
offshore, is not enough."
Salazar also ordered his agency to finalize rules
to speed the development of offshore renewable energy, such as offshore wind
turbines, tidal and wave energy and other emerging technologies, which he said
the Bush administration had delayed.
Bush had sought to seize on a lapse in the
congressional drilling ban last year to craft a new five-year oil-lease sale
program, which it announced Jan. 16, the last business day of the Bush
presidency. The outgoing Republican administration was daring the new president
to reject the plan.
The Bush rules would have opened most of the U.S.
coastline to exploration, from the Gulf of Maine to the Chesapeake Bay and the
Outer Banks of North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico, as well as areas of
Alaska's Bristol Bay and the Arctic Ocean.
Effect on California
In California, the plan would have allowed
drilling on 44 million acres of federal waters off Humboldt and Mendocino
counties, and 89 million acres off San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los
Angeles and San Diego counties. One of the leases would have required special
drilling equipment to reach oil beneath the Santa Barbara Ecological
California officials praised the Obama
administration for slowing down the process.
"I'm pleased the department will base its future
leasing decisions on the strongest, most objective science available instead of
campaign slogans, especially in areas that have previously been off-limits to
drilling for decades," said Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, an opponent of
Oil industry setback
Oil industry officials were disappointed by
Salazar's announcement, saying it was a major setback to efforts to tap what the
Interior Department's Minerals Management Services estimates is 18 billion
barrels of oil and 76 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the areas of the
Outer Continental Shelf that remain off limits.
Barry Russell, president of the Independent
Petroleum Association of America said, "This unnecessary delay will hold America
back, at the precise moment when we need to move forward the most."
Environmental groups applauded the decision, but
they plan to keep pressuring Salazar, fearing that the Interior Department could
still allow drilling in sensitive areas, especially Bristol Bay, a key
"We hope the secretary will apply the same
principles of acting in the public interest to other offshore decisions,
including those that are so critical to Alaskan communities in Bristol Bay and
the offshore areas of the Arctic region," said William Meadows, president of the
Enjoy the window of lower oil prices, folks. It won't forever.
And when prices go back up, we will be even more dependent on foreign oil - in
places like Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela which absolutely hate our guts -
than we were before.
Thank you Secretary Salazar. Thank you President Obama. Great
idea. That'll do wonders for the economy you profess to be
THE OCTUPLET WOMAN: DECENCY AND SHAME
I had a bit of trouble titling this blog. I started with "the octuplet
lady", but nadya suleman is no lady. I went to "the octuplet
woman", but she does not display the behavior of a grownup. I thought
about "the octuplet woman-child" but that suggests she is a woman with the
mental capacity of a child when she clearly has an adult level of
intelligence. So I reverted back to "woman" as the best that I could come
Jeff Jacoby has a typically
intelligent, analytical column today about her. In part, Jeff
It is easy to assert that Suleman's Beverly
Hills fertility clinic should have refused her grotesque demand to be
implanted with six embryos (two split and became twins), but it isn't clear
that a court would have upheld such a refusal. The American Society of
Reproductive Medicine recommends transferring no more
than two fertilized embryos to a woman of Suleman's age, but when a patient
insists on more, the physicians' hands may be tied. "Doctors' attorneys are
advising them, `You have to do it,'" ASRM spokesman Sean Tipton tells Time magazine. "The courts have made clear that decisions about what to do with
embryos are in the hands of patients, not in the hands of
Last summer the California Supreme Court
that a fertility specialist may not refuse, on religious grounds, to
inseminate a lesbian. What would the law say if Suleman's doctors had refused
to impregnate a woman who already had six young children but no husband?
Discrimination on the basis of marital status is illegal in California,
It may seem reasonable to argue that women are
not designed to bear litters. Or that society should not have to absorb the
costs of indulging an unemployed woman's obsession for a "huge" family. Or
that it is wrong to purposely bring 14 fatherless children into the
Those are all sensible opinions, and a sensible
public policy would reflect them. But in the name of autonomy, privacy, and
adult self-esteem, our public policies regarding families and reproduction
have grown increasingly unmoored from good sense. From the campaign for
homosexual marriage to the routine insemination of single women to the
legality of abortion on demand, notions that would once have been thought
outlandish have steadily been normalized.
Would that further industrial-scale pregnancies
like Suleman's could be headed off with a new law or stepped-up regulation.
But can law and regulation fill the void left when longstanding taboos and
morals are cast aside? When society decides that families and child-rearing
can be improvised at will, who gets to say what's
Jeff makes a lot of good points. But I can't abide his conclusion.
The problem here is not law. suleman's existence, however grotesque
(yes, I borrowed that line from A Few Good Men), is legal -- and should
be. It should be in the sense that I agree with every individual legal
decision that enables her to be this grotesque.
The problem is decency and shame.
Want a parallel? How many people do you know who at one time or another found a way to
collect unemployment benefits they probably were not entitled to? Or to collect health
insurance for a regular checkup by inventing "a pain" somewhere on
their body in order to claim a specific physical problem that just happens
to be covered? There are two examples, and we both can name many, many
But would you end unemployment because some people game the system? Would you make
health care insurance illegal? Of course not. We understand that whenever
a law or procedure of some kind is put in place for good, beneficial,
necessary reasons, there will be people looking for, and finding, angles they
can use to exploit it.
Again, the problem is decency and shame.
nadya suleman apparently has neither. So she
is playing taxpayers for suckers in a lot of ways, not just
the 14 children she has brought into this world for we, the taxpayers, to subsidize.
It turns out that, years ago, she had a spinal "injury" (sorry, I am very suspicious
here) that causes her not to be able to work, and she has collected $165,000
on it. So far.
A spinal injury so bad she can't work, but not bad enough to stop her from proactively seeking
out a pregnancy and carrying multiple children in her body. If you like fraud, try
that one on for size.
And, since two of her children (so far) are autistic, and she can't pay for their
needs, who do you suppose is footing the bill?
Then there are those Angelina Jolie lips -- that she says are natural. Yeah, ok,
and so are Dolly Parton's boobs. Who do you suppose paid for that? I
don't know for 100% sure, but I can guess.
The point is that it isn't the law that has to change. It is the shame
and decency level of people like nadya suleman.
Sadly, I don't know that we will solve this problem any time
soon. Or ever.
BARNEY FUDD ON INCENTIVES
From Noel Sheppard of www.newsbusters.org:
Barney Frank: Bonuses to
Financial Executives Are Bribes
Capitalism Derangement Syndrome was on full display during
Wednesday's House Financial Services Committee hearing when Chairman Barney
Frank (D-Mass.) accused the financial industry executives present of needing to
be bribed with bonuses to do their jobs.
That's right: a bonus is now the equivalent of a
bribe as far as Frank is concerned.
Given the beating capitalism and the free market
have been getting from the press on a daily basis since the financial crisis
began in September, it seems a metaphysical certitude that Frank's rant to the
CEO's of America's leading financial institutions will get a lot of play in the
next 24 hours:
BARNEY FRANK: Let me ask you, on the incentive,
and I'm glad to see that you're not, many of you are not taking
bonuses. But I have to say this: if you believe in bonuses, then is that
something bad? I mean, I guess, you've gotten bonuses over time. If in good
times you were told you weren't going to get a bonus, what part of your job
would you not do? I mean, if you weren't getting a bonus, would you like leave
early on Wednesday? Or would you take longer lunches? Would you bypass a
certain class of investors? I guess that's, you say, and somebody said,
well, your incentive comes in shares that align your interests with that
of the company's. Here's one of the problems: why in the world do some of the
most highly-paid talented people who have jobs that are fun. Let's be clear,
not always fun, this is not amusement park time. Why do you need to be
bribed to have your interests aligned with the people who are paying your
salary? And this is part of the problem. I know it's a problem at the
lower end who get bonuses and that's been built into their compensation. But
at your level, again, why do you need bonuses? Can't we just give you a good
salary, or give yourselves a good salary, you're in charge of that -- and do
the job? This notion that you need some special incentive to do the right
thing troubles people.
Actually, Senator, that's exactly what incentives
are for: to encourage people to do the right thing. It's called positive
reinforcement, or in more simple terms "a carrot."
That Frank and his media minions don't understand
this is the problem, for every business owner, manager, and executive in America
knows that incentives do indeed work AT EVERY level of any successful
Will press outlets address that side of the
equation when they report Frank's comments, or just applaud his Capitalism
Getting a bonus for poor work is ridiculous.
Getting a huge bonus for poor, or just adequate work is even more
Getting a bonus because the company has done well and there is extra money to
distribute, or especially, because individual employees have performed very well, is
But to Barney Fudd, it's a bribe. This, from his vast experience outside of politics,
where, as we all know, bribes are unheard of.
I wonder if Mr.
Fudd accepts the countless perks that are
available to him as a house member. Or does he
disdain them as "bribes", refuse them all, and condemn the
house members who do accept them?
In case you're wondering what specific perks I'm talking about, here is a
partial list from www.kiplinger.com:
A base lawmakers' salary, for instance, is now
$165,200 (a little higher for House and Senate leaders). There is a cheap but
excellent federal health care plan and life insurance. Plus free outpatient
care from military hospitals. There is an inflation-adjusted pension plan
that's almost three times as generous as the typical private sector pension,
and there's a special thrift-savings accounts, a kind of 401(k) plan, that
comes a one-to-one match up to 5% of a member's salary.
On top of that, they're given a sizable budget
of $2 million to $4 million a year for office administration and staff
expenses. There is a furniture expense account, subsidized mass mailings to
constituents (known as the franking privilege) and free income tax-return
preparation assistance. In addition to all that, members also receive a
special tax deduction for maintaining a second residence, and yet more, there
are the numerous foreign trips (spouses included) often to exotic places
hosted by nonprofit groups. House members, but not senators, can also keep
frequent flier miles they rack up on official travel and use them for personal
What's more, members have exclusive use of the
Congressional Research Service to do their legwork. There is free use of
broadcast taping studios, free reserved parking at the office and at
Washington-area airports and a free member-only gym and pool, expedited
passport services and of course the well-appointed and subsidized members'
Do you have any doubt that Barney Fudd accepts these "bribes"?
What a complete jerk this guy is. And what jerks the people who keep
re-electing him are.
D- FENCE! D- FENSE! D- FENCE!
charles rangel (D-NY) is a corrupt man, who has cheated on his taxes, cheated
on the rental income from properties in and out of the US and cheated on
leasing a subsidized apartment he has no legal right to.
That is before we get to his string of increasingly vile and
irrational comments and actions in the house of representatives.
So how is is possible that this serial tax cheat
and borderline lunatic remains the chairman of the House Ways
and Means Committee?
D- fence, that's how. You have that D- after your name and you are
home free. It doesn't matter what you do or what you are or what
you say. You skate.
Here is the latest example, via excerpts from an Associated
Press article in today's New York Times. (This being the
Times, instead of a featured story, it is buried on page A29):
Democrats Reject Move to Strip
Rangel of Chairmanship
WASHINGTON (AP) House Democrats voted down an
attempt on Tuesday to remove Representative Charles B. Rangel of
New York as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee during a continuing ethics
The House ethics committee also voted Tuesday to
reauthorize a subcommittee of three Democrats and three Republicans to
investigate Mr. Rangel, a Democrat who has served in Congress for nearly 40
years. The investigation began last year at Mr. Rangels request, but the
subcommittee needed reauthorization because a new Congress was sworn in last
The ethics committee, formally the Committee on
Standards of Official Conduct, is looking at Mr. Rangels failure to pay taxes
on about $75,000 in rental income from a beach house he owns in the Dominican
Republic and his use of four rent-stabilized apartments in Harlem, including one
for a campaign office. Also under scrutiny are letters Mr. Rangel wrote on
Congressional stationery looking to find donors for the Charles B. Rangel Center
for Public Service at the City College of New York.
The resolution to remove Mr. Rangel as chairman
said he has dishonored himself and brought discredit to the House. With no
public debate, the House voted 242 to 157 to table the resolution, effectively
There you have it. A cheat, and a fraud, who has become more and more
irrational in his words and the bills he proposes (one example is his bill to
reinstate the draft, which he wasted the house's time with, and then voted
against along with everyone else). But Democrats will not remove him from
chairing the tax-writing committee, let alone the house
And don't expect to hear one disparaging word about it from President Obama
Look at it this way: Mr. Obama is just making good on his promise
of transparency in government. Isn't this about as transparent as it
There has been a lot of reporting on the very close election in Israel
between the currently ruling Kadima Party (Tzipi Livni is its candidate) and the
Likkud Party (Benjamin Netanyahu).
The results right now show Kadima very slightly in the lead. But a
lot of votes, including a lot of military votes, are yet to be factored
This has not stopped some news venues in the USA from reporting the results
from a position of ignorance about how Israel's system works.
With this in mind, here is a piece by Scott Johnson, of www.powerlineblog.com, which includes a
very accurate assessment of how things are playing out in Israel:
February 11, 2009 Posted by Scott at 7:02 AM
Dan Diker is a foreign policy analyst with the
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He writes from Jerusalem on Israel's
Perhaps Power Line can help CNN radio get its
arms around Israeli politics. I heard a report last night that indicated they
may need some assistance. ( (I overheard CNN while commenting from Jerusalem
on northwest Florida's talk radio station 1330 AM
WEBY.) CNN reported at 4:30
p.m. Central time that If Tzippy Livni's Kadima Party ends up taking the
greatest number of mandates she will likely be Israel's next Prime Minister,
and CNN emphasized, "the first woman since Golda Meir to take the post." Well,
it may sound like good "top of the hour" headline news, but its simply
inaccurate and misleading.
Israel boasts -- many say suffers from -- a
parliamentary political system that is based on ruling coalitions. Therefore,
enthusiasm over Kadima Party's 28 seats is out of place. It means simply that
approximately 23 percent of the Israeli electorate voted Kadima/ Livni, while
77 percent did not.
The real headline news of yesterday's elections
is the remarkable revival of conservative Likud Party led by Israel's version
of a card carrying "Republican," Benjamin Netanyahu. The Likud in leading with
its security first and freer market economic policies, has managed to climb
out of the deep dark hole of its near fatal 12 seats in the current Knesset to
27-- and perhaps as many as 29 seats by the final tally that will include
The other political note from to take down is
the landslide victory for Israel's political right bloc that has skyrocketed
from 50 to 64 seats and maybe as many as 66 in tomorrow's final tally. That
nearly 30 percent growth is a statement by the Israel public that Israel wants
a Prime Minister -- in all likelihood Mr. Netanyahu -- who will protect
Israel's vital interests such as defensible borders in the West Bank and a
United Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty even if those positions do not
endear him to the Palestinians, some in Europe, and the US State Department.
The Israeli public's nod to the conservative
Likud and the right of center bloc is an expression of the Israeli public's
sense of confidence and national self respect that were severely undermined by
the "concessions for terror" policies of the Sharon and Olmert
Based on what I am seeing, it is likely (by no means certain) that Benjamin
Netanyahu will squeak in as Israel's Prime Minister.
He can only do so by gaining the support of Avigdor Lieberman's
Beiteinu Party, which most people think of as being to the right of Likkud
- but which Kadima is desperately trying to recruit also. The Labor party,
which came in #4 in these elections, is almost certain to align with Kadima.
Personally, I'm rooting for Mr. Netanyahu. He understands better than
Livni, or her predecessor Ehud Olmert, that you cannot make peace with
Palestinian Arabs by giving them things. They take what you give and make