Saturday, 30 January 2010

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S IRAN DEADLINE

Ken Berwitz

 

Here are the first three paragraphs of the New York Times lead editorial this morning.  I have provided a link for you to read the rest, but this is all I have the stomach to post:

 

Iran, After the Deadline

 

Published: January 29, 2010

 

Iran has again proved to be a master at playing for time. Six months after a new diplomatic overture from Washington and its partners, Tehran has shown no interest in resolving the dispute over its nuclear program. It is time for President Obama and other leaders to ratchet up the pressure with tougher sanctions.

 

Mr. Obama, who offered a new relationship with Iran, gave its government until the end of 2009 to come to the table. In his State of the Union address this week, he warned Irans leaders that they face growing consequences if they continue to ignore their obligations.

 

Four years after the United Nations Security Council first demanded that Iran stop enriching uranium (usable for nuclear fuel or a bomb), Tehran has thousands of centrifuges spinning. Washington plans to soon circulate a new sanctions resolution the fourth in four years.

 

Lets think about this:

 

-Iran has proven itself a master at playing for time?  What did they do?  Something supersedingly clever?  Or did they just do the same thing they always do:  lie to our faces?

 

This doesnt make Iran a master at anything.  It makes the leaders of our country and the rest of the west look like a bunch of doofuses who cant figure out that a liar lies.

 

-Its time for President Obama and other leaders to implement tougher sanctions?  That inherently suggests that the sanctions they already have implemented are tough, but just not tough enough.  What basis is there for making such a claim?  Have sanctions stopped Iran for even one second from doing a thing?

 

-Yes, Mr. Obama set a deadline of the end of 2009.  Irans leadership ignored Mr. Obama, thus indicating their assumption that he was a feckless windbag and his deadline wouldnt mean a thing or cost them a penny.  They were right.

 

-Iran goes on its merry way developing nuclear weapons it fully intends to use on Israel (ahmadinejad and the mullahs could not be clearer about this).  And our answer, after three sanctions resolutions didnt do a thing to stop this is.a fourth sanction resolution.

 

Tell me:  what happens if/when Israel, which a) does not want to be vaporized and b) cannot possibly assume the rest of the world will do anything meaningful about those centrifuges, attacks them?  How many sanctions will we see then?  How many condemnations?

 

And dont doubt that the USA, under President Obama, will hesitate to be one of the countries joining in the fun.

 

The 2012 election cannot come fast enough.

Zeke ... ... One strategy for Israel is to attack Iranian OIL WELLS with dirty bombs (even non-nuclear conventional bombs encased with radioactive 'dirty cases'). The radioactivity will make the oil regions deadly to any workers there ... .... ... without oil, Iran is just another windbag.... ... ... ... While it is assumed by all that Israel has 100-200 atomic bombs, it is possible that Israel has developed THERMONUCLEAR bombs -- H-Bombs. These are 100 times as destructive.... ... This is a highly dangerous situation, and the world is doing nothing beyond hand-wringing. It's Nazi Germany remilitarizing the Rhineland again. (01/30/10)


BUSH OFFICIALS CLEARED (ARE MEDIA EVEN NOTICING?)

Ken Berwitz

Here's an interesting tidbit that was released late yesterday (keeping in mind that Saturday is when the fewest people will read it):

From Clarice Feldman at www.americanthinker.com:

January 30, 2010

 

Friday night news dump; Bybee, Yoo cleared by Justice Department

Clarice Feldman

 

Pilloried by the left for the "torture" memos they wrote while at the Department of Justice , it appears that the remaining grownup ( career lawyer David Margolis) at DoJ has cleared Bush appointee Judge Jay Bybee and Professor John Yoo of wrongdoing, per Michael Isikoff wiritng for Newsweek

An upcoming Justice Department report from its ethics-watchdog unit, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), clears the Bush administration lawyers who authored the "torture" memos of professional-misconduct allegations.

While the probe is sharply critical of the legal reasoning used to justify waterboarding and other "enhanced" interrogation techniques, NEWSWEEK has learned that a senior Justice official who did the final review of the report softened an earlier OPR finding. Previously, the report concluded that two key authors-Jay Bybee, now a federal appellate court judge, and John Yoo, now a law professor-violated their professional obligations as lawyers when they crafted a crucial 2002 memo approving the use of harsh tactics, say two Justice sources who asked for anonymity discussing an internal matter. But the reviewer, career veteran David Margolis, downgraded that assessment to say they showed "poor judgment," say the sources. (Under department rules, poor judgment does not constitute professional misconduct.) The shift is significant: the original finding would have triggered a referral to state bar associations for potential disciplinary action-which, in Bybee's case, could have led to an impeachment inquiry.

For all the outraged press Mr. Bybee and Mr. Yoo got when our wonderful "neutral" media were hot to prove what terrible waterboarding torture the Bush administration perpetrated on those poor sweet terrorists (who, after all, only wanted our culture decimated and replaced with shari'a law), it seems a shame that this information was released when relatively few people will read it.

What a (ahem) coincidence.....


TRYING TERRORISTS IN CIVIL COURT: A PREVIEW

Ken Berwitz
 
This column, by Michelle Malkin, is for anyone still under the incredibly naive delusion that it makes any sense to try terrorists in civil court rather than a military tribunal:
 

Lady Qaeda case chilling view of circus to come

Last Updated: 10:35 AM, January 29, 2010

Posted: 3:06 AM, January 29, 2010

Michelle Malkin

 

Imagine this nightmare courtroom scenario: Unhinged Jew-bashing, open mockery of American soldiers, juror intimidation and coldly calculated exploitation of US constitutional protections by a suspected al Qaeda defendant.

Well, there's no need to wait for the Gitmo terror trial circuses. New York City is already getting a glimpse of the future.

Jihadi scientist Aafia Siddiqui is on trial right now in a Manhattan federal court for the attempted murder and assault of US military personnel in Afghanistan's Ghazni province two years ago.

She's an accomplished Karachi, Pakistan-born scientist who studied microbiology at MIT and did graduate work in neurology at Brandeis University before disappearing in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Counterterrorism investigators connected Siddiqui and her estranged husband, anesthesiologist Dr. Mohammed Amjad Khan, to Saudi terror funders.

Siddiqui was identified as an al Qaeda operative, financier and fixer by no less than 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed during US interrogations.

Mohammed reportedly enlisted Siddiqui in a Baltimore-based plot to bomb gas stations, fuel tanks and bridges, and to poison water reservoirs in the greater Washington area.

Siddiqui was taken into custody in Ghazni in July 2008 after attempting to shoot US military interrogators and FBI agents.

Now, the savvy "terror mom" of three is pulling out all the stops to win a mistrial. Among her Cirque du Jihad antics:

* Demanding that jurors be genetically tested for a "Zionist or Israeli background" to ensure a fair and impartial jury of her Jew-hating peers.

* Ranting about 9/11 Israel conspiracies during voir dire.

* Screaming out loud during the testimony of US Army Capt. Robert Snyder, who was in the room in Ghazni when Siddiqui allegedly grabbed an M-4 rifle and proclaimed, "I hate Americans! Death to America!"

Siddiqui's defense team, funded in part by the Pakistani government, asserts that Lady al Qaeda is so mentally ga-ga that she should not have been allowed to take the witness stand.

The Crazy Jihadi tactic is in perfect sync with the al Qaeda training manual advising its operatives to claim victimhood status if on trial.

To make matters worse, the New York Post reported this week that an "unidentified man in a white headdress" mouthed an obscenity at the Siddiqui trial and cocked his finger like a gun at two jurors.

The jurors were let go; it remains unclear whether the thug in white headdress will be charged and what relation, if any, he has to Siddiqui.

Would you answer a jury summons knowing you could end up sitting in front of a jihadi sympathizer on the loose who is mentally painting a target on your forehead?

And would you trust the White House ringmasters and Justice Department terror-coddlers to protect you from harm?

These suspects belong in controlled military tribunals, not federal courtrooms that are being turned into al Qaeda p.r. platforms.

The O.J. Simpson spectacle of a smirking murder suspect, preening defense attorneys, a showboating judge and the judicial process run amok on cable TV 24/7 was bad enough.

The 1993 World Trade Center bombing trial, which gave Osama bin Laden's network a multimillion-dollar legal team, free translation services, race-baiting defense witnesses and access to information that was allegedly used by jihadists to evade surveillance, was even worse.

The specter of 10, 15, 20 Siddiqui-style courtroom carnivals -- at a cost of at least $1 billion to taxpayers -- threatens to throw our civilian court system into complete chaos. America can't afford to clown around with national security.

As Ms. Malkin points out, if you think this is bad wait until its khalid sheikh mohammed and his pals, or umar farouk abdulmutallab.

We will pay tens, maybe hundreds of millions of dollars to hold these hate-filled circuses, they will drag on for years.  They not only will provide international terrorism with a daily forum, but will almost certainly entail demands for the disclosure of evidence that will compromise our national security. 

If we dont want our national security compromised?  Well, we dont present the evidence and these murdering haters may well go free. 

And dont think for one second that it cant happen.  This is exactly how william ayers, the guy President Obama said was just an acquaintance from the neighborhood (an absolute lie to our faces one that our media knew damn well was a lie), went free after bombing targets in the USA and bragging about how proud he was of doing so.

Whose decision was it to give these subhuman scumbags civil trials?  Attorney General eric holder.

Who appointed eric holder and has not had a bad word to say about this insanity?  President Barack Obama.

The 2010 elections cannot come fast enough.  And that goes double for 2012.

Zeke ... ... ... Will be many times worse than O.J. ... ... ... A global jihad will finance the lawyers in our courts. ... ... ... The US has no shortage of hard left attorneys. ... ... ... Wait until they start CIVIL suits against our soldiers, the CIA, FBI . Imagine a jury in Detroit or Patterson, NJ (where they cheered in the streets on 9/11/01). (01/30/10)


THE REAL NANCY PELOSI

Ken Berwitz

Just how dishonest, and partisan is Nancy Pelosi?  How far will she go to further her political aims?

Based on this article by Marc Thiessen, writing for the Washington Post, and Time Magazine, via Streiff of www.redstate.com, the answer is:  to about the nth degree.

Read it and see for yourself:

Did Nancy Pelosi try to sabotage US efforts in Iraq?

Todays Washington Post carries an op-ed by Marc Thiessen, author of Courting Disaster, concerning Nancy Pelosis ever morphing story over what she knew about waterboarding. Before we go farther, in order to keep Media Matters or some other lefty from having an aneurysm let me stop and advise everyone that Courting Disaster is published by Regnery Publishing, a division of Eagle Publishing which is the [::ominous music] parent company of RedState. As a matter of full disclosure I have not read the book but would gratefully do so if they would send be a free copy]

Thiessen points to an incident in 2004 when Nancy Pelosi was House minority leader and intervened in a CIA operation she objected to. He rightfully points out that if she was able to stop one operation then her whole defense on the issue of not speaking up on the issue of waterboarding becomes viable only to the lobotomy-based community. I think, however, there is a bigger story here.

From the October 4, 2004 issue of TIME

PRESIDENT BUSH and interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi insisted last week that Iraq would go ahead with elections scheduled for January, despite continuing violence. But U.S. officials tell TIME that the Bush team ran into trouble with another plan involving those electionsa secret finding written several months ago proposing a covert CIA operation to aid candidates favored by Washington. A source says the idea was to help such candidateswhose opponents might be receiving covert backing from other countries, like Iranbut not necessarily to go so far as to rig the elections. But lawmakers from both parties raised questions about the idea when it was sent to Capitol Hill. In particular, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi came unglued [emphasis added] when she learned about what a source described as a plan for the CIA to put an operation in place to affect the outcome of the elections. Pelosi had strong words with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in a phone call about the issue.

To fully understand the context one has to consider the time. We invaded Iraq in March 2003 and the plan was predicated on the idea that we would topple Saddam and then swiftly replace him with another government. The CIA finding dates from the spring of 2004. At the same time, however, the Democrats were engaged in probably one of the most disgraceful presidential campaigns in modern US history, a campaign fittingly headed by one of the most disgraceful presidential candidates in modern US history. It was as clear then to the Democrats as it was in 2006 that an unstable Iraq and a constant drumbeat of American casualties was a quick road to electoral success. Funding Iraqi political parties who were friendly to the United States would ruin one of the memes developed by the Democrat which was that there were no viable US partners in Iraq. The presence of those parties would also have worked against the cancel the elections because Iraq is too violent talking point used by the Dems at this time.

The article goes on to point out that the spin from the Pelosi confidant, that the funds would have changed the outcome of the election, was not true. The CIA was only helping friendly parties achieve funding parity with parties funded by other regional actors. Even so, it is more than a little unclear to me why having a friendly party win the elections, which had not been held with this article was written, is a bad thing. I might be concerned that the CIA was simply not competent to ensure the funding remained secret but the thought of having our guys win shouldnt make any member of congress come unglued.

The other insight here is that the Bush Administration obviously consulted regularly with the Dem House leadership and actually responded to their objections. I dont know why they did this and it didnt work out well for them or the country.

I am a lot less concerned about Pelosis lack of candor and integrity on what she knew about waterboarding than I am with her intervening in a fairly mundane CIA operation for no other purpose than seemingly to ensure that Iraq was a political difficulty for Bush in 2004

I strongly urge you to click on the link to Marc Thiessen's op-ed piece.  Unless you already think the worst of Ms. Pelosi (as you should), it will open your eyes and drop your jaw, I promise. 

The two key questions here:  Did Nancy Pelosi lie to us?  Did she intentionally damage our efforts in Iraq for the purpose of retaining political talking points for her party in the 2004 elections?

Based on what I have read in these pieces, the answer to both is an emphatic yes. 

Now, grow old waiting for the rest of our wonderful "neutral" media to say or do a thing about it.


THE SAD STORY OF RIP TORN

Ken Berwitz

 

Rip Torn is a terrific actor, but a very, very bad drunk.

 

From the Associated Press:

 

SALISBURY, Conn. Actor Elmore "Rip" Torn has been charged with breaking into a Connecticut bank and carrying a loaded handgun while intoxicated.

 

State police say the 78-year-old Salisbury resident was arrested Friday night after police found him inside the Litchfield Bancorp with a loaded revolver.

 

The "Men in Black" actor has been taken into custody and booked on charges including burglary and possession of firearm without a permit. He is being held on $100,000 bond and is scheduled for a Monday appearance in Bantam Superior Court.

 

Last year, Torn was given probation in a Connecticut drunken driving case and granted permission to enter an alcohol education program. He also has two previous drunken driving arrests in New York.

 

A spokesman for Torn did not immediately return phone calls Saturday.

 

Im genuinely sorry to read that Mr. Torns drinking has gotten him into trouble again.  And, sad to say, it is not at all out of the question that this episode could net him jail time.

 

It is too bad that alcoholism is ravaging such a talented man (or anyone else, for that matter).  I hope that someday Rip Torn can overcome his demons.


GRAYSON'S LAMENT

Ken Berwitz

Poor Alan Grayson.  The freshman congressperson from Florida is having a major-league snit because Republicans are controlling Barack Obama and the political agenda.

No, I am not on drugs.  I didn't say this.  Grayson did.

Before you call the men in the white coats to take me to a detox/rehab center, read this, from Liz Blaine of www.newsrealblog.com and see for yourself:

Democrat Grayson Leaps From Reality on MSNBC, Says Obama Suffering From Stockholm Syndrome

2010 January 30

by Liz Blaine

Appearing on the Ed Schultz Show last night, Rep. Alan Grayson (D) displayed the turmoil and progressive dysfunction associated with failure to pass the leftist agenda. Erupting in cognitive confusion Grayson lept over the edge of reality as he reacted to President Obamas appearance before the House Republican Conference, declaring Obama and Democrats have been held hostage by Republicans this past year!

The White House has been so accepting of the Republicans, for so long, and the fact that they just wont vote for anything, that I was beginning to think the White House was suffering from the Stockholm syndrome. Their agendas been held hostage for a year now

Wow! A Republican stealth super minority, and the President bonding with his legislative captors? You cant make this stuff up.

It was the People, not Republicans, who voiced outrage at the willful reckless behavior conducted by Congress and the Obama administration. And the opposition to Obamas policies has been far more bipartisan than its support.

Until Scott Browns win in Massachusetts this month, the Democrats held a filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate and a 79 vote majority in the House of Representatives.  And they still do! Democrats are illegally permitting Paul Kirk to vote so they can pass their agenda. Acts such as this, late night backroom deals, pay-for-vote schemes, lack of transparency, and the use of Alinsky tactics to push their radical agenda have led voters to reject the Democrats rule in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

I dont know what virtual reality Graysons been living, but its obviously not the same as the rest of America.  Perhaps its not Obama whos suffering from psychological phenomena, but the Democrat Congress who need the reality check. Check out the video below to catch progressive dysfunction in action.

Hooboy.

As you can see, Mr. Grayson is of the impression that Republicans - with 40 seats out of 100 in the senate, 178 seats out of 435 in the house, and a Democratic President - are running the show.

So you can still call those guys in the white coats if you want.  But now I think you have a better idea of who may actually need their services.


THE OBAMA OLIVE BRANCH

 

 

Ken Berwitz

 

Has there been a thinner-skinned President in our lifetime than Barack Obama?

 

Stung by low approval ratings and criticism, even from some (not enough of) the media venues which usually fawn over him, Mr. Obama decided to go to a Republican gathering; presumably to offer them the olive branch of mutual respect and understanding going forward.

 

Well, here, courtesy of the following excerpts from a Reuters article, is how he did it.  The bold print is mine:

 

Obama meets with the opposition

Fri, Jan 29 2010

 

BALTIMORE (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Friday engaged in a rare face-to-face showdown with Republican critics and testily accused them of trying to block his policies while urging them to "join with me" in creating jobs.

The contentious 82-minute session showed the depth of the political divide that separates Democrats who control the U.S. Congress and Republicans who feel their ideas on the economy and healthcare are ignored.

That Obama agreed to not only address his opponents but take their questions live on cable television was a sign of how he is trying to dig out of his deepest political rut since taking office a year ago.

Facing his Republican critics two days after a State of the Union speech aimed at reconnecting with the public, Obama sought to counter his rivals' attempt to paint him as a big-spending liberal who only wants to expand government.

He accused Republicans of portraying his now-stalled healthcare reform effort as a "Bolshevik plot" and telling their constituents he is "doing all kinds of crazy stuff that's going to destroy America."

"I am not an ideologue," Obama insisted to his audience, prompting some murmuring of disagreement in the crowd. "I'm not."

Assailing Republicans for trying to obstruct him on everything from economic stimulus to healthcare, Obama suggested their political motive was to score points with voters in the November congressional elections.

"These are serious times and what's required of all of us is to do what's right for our country, even if it's not best for our politics," Obama said.

Lawmakers applauded Obama politely and gave him a respectful hearing, but they challenged his policies openly during a contentious question-and-answer session.

The president, known for his "No-drama Obama" demeanor, grew testier as the session wore on.

When Georgia congressman Tom Price charged that Obama had repeatedly accused Republicans of offering "no ideas and no solutions," Obama shot back, "I don't think I said that."

But Obama also appealed to Republicans to work to find common ground and show Americans their parties can move beyond partisan rancor that he has promised to end in Washington.

He cited a bank bailout tax, closing tax loopholes for firms that ship jobs overseas and a three-year spending freeze on some domestic programs for potential agreement.

"Join with me," he said. "Let's do this together, Republicans and Democrats."

Are you kidding?  This was supposed to be conciliatory?  Bipartisan?

 

Did President Obama really think he could arrogantly dismiss Republicans for a year, ignore virtually every thought they had on major legislation (while he, Pelosi and Reid were lying to the public that they were being included), and then get some kind of heros welcome because he deigned to favor them with his presence one time while the cameras were rolling, of course?

 

Should we be surprised?  This is what you get when you elect someone without qualifications for the Presidency.  And thats what we did.

 

Enjoy it, folks:  only three more years to go maybe even seven.

Zeke ... .... .... Barackovitch Obamaski is Bolshevik . ... .... .... Comrade at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue discloses this fact. ... .... .... (01/30/10)


THE STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH: REACTIONS

Ken Berwitz
 

So how did President Obamas state of the union address go?  

 

Here is an indication from Rasmussen research, via Ed Morrissey of www.hotair.com:

Post-SOTU poll shows disbelief among most voters on Obama claims

posted at 10:35 am on January 30, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Did Barack Obama sell Americans on his claims of progress in Wednesday nights State of the Union speech?  According to a Rasmussen poll released today, Obama didnt get a good, solid B-plus for honesty.  Only a fifth of respondents believed that Obama cut taxes for 95% of Americans, and even Democrats couldnt believe the two million jobs saved or created fantasy:

The president in the speech declared that his administration has cut taxes for 95% of Americans. He even chided Republicans for not applauding on that point. However, just 21% of voters nationwide believe that taxes have been cut for 95% of Americans. Most (53%) say it has not happened, and 26% are not sure. Other polling shows that nearly half the nations voters expect their own taxes to go up during the Obama years.

The president also asserted that after two years of recession, the economy is growing again. Just 35% of voters believe that statement is true, while 50% say it is false.

Obama claimed that steps taken by his team are responsible for putting two million people to work who would otherwise be unemployed. Just 27% of voters say that statement is true. Fifty-one percent (51%) say its false.

As for the claim about two million jobs, 46% of Democrats say its true, while 77% of Republicans say its not. As for those not affiliated with either major party, 24% say its true, and 59% say its false.

The saved or created Porkulus fable gets some interesting results in the internals.  Rasmussen mentions that only a plurality of Democrats believe that, and black voters by an even more anemic 38%, with 47% unsure.  The only demographic that has a majority belief in that claim is self-professed liberals, 58% to 18% disbelief.  In every age and income demographic, a majority or plurality reject that claim, including those who make less than $20K a year where many of the potential hires for new jobs would come.

The numbers get worse for Obama on whether he accomplished what he set out to do in his first year.  An overwhelming majority of 70% say no, including a plurality of Democrats (49%) and liberals (56%).

Overall, Obama is getting a good, solid F for achievements and honesty, but the SOTU speech did have one salutary effect: it momentarily increased the enthusiasm of Democrats.  Before his speech, only 50% of Democrats strongly approved of Obama; in the two polling cycles after SOTU for Rasmussens daily tracking poll, that number increased to 65%.  However, Rasmussen reports that the approval ratings of Republicans and independents didnt change at all, which may indicate that Obama has done little to appeal to the center with this effort.

If these data are correct, thats a pretty poor showing.

 

But shouldnt we have expected it? 

 

Why would we expect the country to believe, for example, that Mr. Obama and his administration are creating or saving millions of jobs when there are millions fewer jobs than when he took over? 

 

Even Black respondents, usually Mr. Obamas most loyal bloc, arent buying this BS, because Black people have been hit worse by unemployment than just about any other group.

 

I admit to being particularly amused by the fact that only one group buys his jobs fable:  self-professed liberals.   Does saying Im a liberal inherently detach people from reality?  Normally I would assume not but a response like this definitely tests that assumption.

 

In any event I expect a quick uptick in the polls for Mr. Obama based on this speech (an hour of standing ovations from the majority of the room) and the seemingly good GDP data that came out yesterday.  Well see a) if that actually occurs and b) if so, how long it lasts.


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