Thursday, 13 May 2010

CUTTING ANTI-TERRORISM FUNDS FOR NEW YORK CITY

Ken Berwitz

That title is not meant to be cute or clever.  It is real.

From an article by Maggie Haberman at politico.com:

President Obama arrives in lower Manhattan Thursday afternoon to thank the NYPD for its heroic in an attempted Times Square bomb but the photo-op may not go according to plan.

 

The Department of Homeland Security told congressional officials Wednesday that it's moving to make cuts in anti-terror funding to New York City, less than two weeks after cops helped thwart and attempted car bombing in Times Square an effort the White House has since pinned on the Pakistani Taliban.

 

The cuts, lawmakers were told, amount to about 25 percent for port security, and another 27 percent for transit security, according to several reports.

 

It "just makes no sense at all, particularly in light of recent events," Sen. Charles Schumer told cable station NY1's "Inside City Hall." "The worst nightmare we probably face is some kind nuclear device placed in a container in the ship in the harbor and exploding....we need all the help we can get."

 

Schumer criticized the cut, but didn't blast the president - saying Obama understands the need for the funds and blaming Washington bean-counters.

Maybe someone can advise the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, and/or her boss in the oval office, that New York City is a major - quite probably THE major - target in this country. Most terrorist attempts, successful or unsuccessful, take place in New York.

And this is where they are going to cut a quarter of the entire budget?  Are they out of their minds?

Note to New Yorkers - with a special shout-out to Chuck Schumer:  This is the guy you enthusiastically voted into office.  And, just weeks after the last attempt, he's ok with slashing funds needed to protect you from the subsequent attempts that are sure to come.

New Yorkers:  think long and hard about it. 

Sen. Schumer:  based on your inability to find anything wrong with the President on this, try thinking.  Not long and hard, just thinking at all.


PELOSI: BAD ECONOMIC NEWS IS GOOD ECONOMIC NEWS

Ken Berwitz

As I'm sure you've noticed, the Democratic leadership, led by the ever-partisan Nancy Pelosi, has spent the last few days crowing about how low taxes are - the lowest since 1950. 

They are trying to sell you on the premise that this is because the economic policies implemented by the Obama administration and its majority-Democratic congress have somehow saved the day and turned things completely around.

The problem?  Like just about everything else that comes from Mr. Obama and his people, that is a flat-out lie. 

Tom Blumer, who writes for www.newsbusters.org along with his own site, www.bizzyblog.com, has written an excellent blog which exposes this for the absolute BS that it is.  And, in the bargain, he also exposes the Associated Press as a willing participant in this BS.

Here is the beginning of Mr. Blumer's piece - and I urge you to read the rest using either of the two links I've provided above:

AP Won't Dare Compare: April Deficit Report Ignores Huge April '07 and '08 Surpluses, Covers Up Chilling Receipt Drops

 

By Tom Blumer (Bio | Archive)
Wed, 05/12/2010 - 21:50 ET

 

The comparison of the results contained in the April 2010 Monthly Treasury Statement released this afternoon to April of last year is bad enough. But if the American people knew that April 2010 came in about a quarter-trillion dollars worse than both 2007 and 2008 with almost 40% less in tax collections, most of them would be appalled. Many more than are already doing so would be questioning what in the heck this administration and Congress are up to.

 

That's why you probably won't see establishment media outlets like the Associated Press go back more than one year in their detailed comparisons, even though during the presidency of George W. Bush, writers like the AP's Martin Crutsinger and others frequently went back to fiscal 2000 and 2001 to remind readers of the surpluses that occurred during those fiscal years. The intent, of course, was to imply that things were just peachy keen under Bill Clinton until the eeeeevil Bush ruined everything. As noted later, that ain't so.

 

Here is the AP's Crutsinger on today's Treasury Statement, blissfully pretending, with the exception of one cryptic reference, that the two high-collection Bush years neeeeeeeever happened:

 

The federal budget deficit hit an all-time high for the month of April as government revenue fell sharply.

 

The Treasury Department said Wednesday the April deficit soared to $82.7 billion, the largest imbalance for that month on record. That was significantly higher than last year's April deficit of $20 billion and above the $30 billion deficit private economists had anticipated.

 

The government normally runs surpluses in April as millions of taxpayers file their income tax returns. However, income tax payments were down this April, reflecting the impact of the recession which has pushed millions of people out of work.

 

Total revenues for April were down 7.9 percent from a year ago, dipping to $245.3 billion.

 

... The trillion-dollar-plus deficits are being driven by the impact of the recession, which has cut government tax revenue while driving up spending.

 

Analysts estimate that roughly one-third of the increase in the deficits over the past two years came from lost revenue the result of fewer people working and lower corporate profits. Another third is from increased government spending that normally occurs in a downturn, such as higher payments for unemployment benefits and food stamps. The final third reflects the added government spending on the $787 billion stimulus bill and the $700 billion financial bailout.

 

Crutsinger mentioned "the past two years" in the last excerpted paragraph and had a golden opportunity to tell readers the degree of the difference between this year and 2008, but did not. When you see how big the difference is, you'll totally understand why:

 

USTmtsDeficits0407to0410

 

Since Crutsinger has already used up the word "sharp" to describe April 2010's collections decline vs. April 2009 of 7.9%, what adjective would he have employed to describe the 39.3% drop from April 2008, or the 22.6% decline in year-to-date receipts?

 

By far, the most troubling pair of numbers in what's presented above is April 2010's individual income tax collections ($107.3 billion) vs. April 2008 ($244.0) billion. That's a 56% drop. It's the most troubling because, as a BizzyBlog commenter pointed out earlier this evening, that April number includes two things besides withheld income taxes: "the 2009 tax settlement that occurs on April 15th for individuals" and "tax receipts from individuals ... (for) the first installment of 2010 estimated taxes." The commenter added that "Historically, individual estimated taxes are what drives the usual surplus months." I should also note that the e-mailer saw no mention in media reports of the estimated-tax component.

 

What this means is that as a group, quarterly tax-filers (largely entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and investors) had such a bad 2009 that during 2010 they will mostly be making low required quarterly payments (generally 25% of last year's liability each quarter). As a result, collections in June and September, which like April are usually months pretty flush, will more than likely also be weak.

As you can plainly see, the fact that less taxes have been collected is not for good reasons, it is for bad reasons - reasons that the Obama administration put us almost a trillion more dollars into debt to fix, but which have not been fixed at all. 

So, with the help of a complicit media (the AP ain't the only one, not by a long shot), Mr. Obama & Co. are trying to sell you on the idea that what's bad is good and what isn't working is working.  And, of course, if anything is bad, it is all President Bush's fault anyway.

George Orwell would have loved this. 


THE COLOR OF YOUR HIJAB

Ken Berwitz

Every now and again I check the web site www.islamqa.com to see what they're discussing.  Here is a very recent Q and A from that site:

Q:   Is it haraam (forbidden) for a woman to wear coloured clothes even if it fulfils the conditions of hijab? If it is haraam, then is there a hadeeth (teaching of Mohammed) or verse to prove that? What is meant by saying it should not be an adornment in itself?.

A:   Praise be to Allaah.  

 

The conditions of the hijab of the Muslim woman have already been explained in the answer to question no. 6991

It is not one of these conditions that it should be black. A woman may wear whatever she wants, so long as she does not wear a colour that is only for men , and she does not wear a garment that is an adornment in itself, i.e., decorated and adorned in such a way that it attracts the gaze of men, because of the general meaning of the verse (interpretation of the meaning): 

and not to show off their adornment

[al-Noor 24:31] 

This general meaning includes the outer garment, if it is decorated. Abu Dawood (565) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Do not prevent the female slaves of Allaah from attending the mosques of Allaah, but let them go out unadorned. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa al-Ghaleel, 515. 

It says in Awn al-Mabood: 

Unadorned means not wearing perfume they are commanded to go out like this and are forbidden to wear perfume lest they provoke mens desires with their perfume. That also includes other things which are forbidden because they provoke desire, such as beautiful clothing and visible and expensive adornment. 

What a woman must do if she appears before non-mahram men is to avoid clothes that are decorated and adorned, which attract the gaze of men. 

 

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daaimah (17/100): 

 

It is not permissible for a woman to go out in a decorated garment that attracts peoples gaze, because this is something that tempts men. 

 

It also says (17/108): 

 

The dress of the Muslim woman need not only be black. It is permissible for her to wear any colour of clothing so long as it covers her awrah, does not resemble mens clothing, and is not so tight as to show the shape of her limbs or so thin as to show what is beneath it, and does not provoke temptation. 

 

And it says (17/109): 

 

Wearing black for women is not a must. They may wear other colours that are worn only by women, do not attract attention and do not provoke desire.

 

Many women choose to wear black, not because it is obligatory, but because it is farthest removed from being an adornment. There are reports which indicate that the women of the Sahaabah used to wear black. Abu Dawood (4101) narrated that Umm Salamah said: When the words and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) [al-Noor 24:31 interpretation of the meaning] were revealed, the women of the Ansaar went out looking as if there were crows on their heads because of their garments. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood. 

 

The Standing Committee (17/110) said: This is to be understood as meaning that those clothes were black in colour.

 

And Allaah knows best.

Translation:  It took about 500 words, but the answer is......wear black.

Personally, I doubt the color of a hijab can be particularly enticing to men when, no matter what color it is, the only part of the actual woman they can see is through her eye slit.

I guess it's a cultural thing.

Zeke Dear Fatima .... .... You may wear any color you wish .... In fact, you can skip wearing the cloak, altogether .... .... Praise be Allaah .... .... ... ......Your Local Honor-Killing Committee ..... Loose-Heads-R-Us (05/13/10)


THE PELOSI VIEW OF IMMIGRATION

Ken Berwitz

Nancy Pelosi, yesterday:

Hopefully, we will be moving toward comprehensive immigration reform that secures our borders, enforces our laws, protects our workers, honors family unification and has a path to legalization--so that we have certainty in our country and respect for the contributions that newcomers bring to us

That sounds lovely.  Now let's see what's wrong with it:

-The term "comprehensive immigration reform" has become a Democratic blather word.  It means nothing.  If anyone tells you it has any meaning at all, ask them to define it.  Then watch them either recite their feelings about immigration or just squirm and change the subject;

-Ms. Pelosi is against every serious effort to secure our borders.  She does not support a fence.  She does not support armed forces patrolling the borders.  She does not support rounding up illegals and deporting them.  Saying you want something but being against anything that provides it means you are full of what a bull produces after lunch.  And that is what Ms. Pelosi is full of;

-You cannot protect our workers by allowing illegal aliens to take the jobs they could have had;

-Family unification sounds great.  So Ms. Pelosi is, of course, demanding that the illegals go back to their families, right?  Uh....no;

-A path to legalization?  Translation:  They cheated to get here, but the political party that ignores this and just lets them stay is bound to get their votes.  Now which party would that be?  Take a wild guess.

That's what is wrong with Ms. Pelosi's statement.

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


THE ILLEGAL ALIEN MINEFIELD

Ken Berwitz

President Obama has denounced Arizona's new, seriously tough legislation against illegal aliens (there are an estimated HALF MILLION of them in the state already).   And his sock puppet, Attorney General eric holder, appears ready to challenge it in court.

Ok, now we know what the Democratic hierarchy thinks of what Arizona did.  Now let's see what the voters think, via excerpts from an article by Margaret Talev, writing for the Sacramento Bee:

Poll: Majority of Americans back Arizona immigration law

Share

By Margaret Talev
Last Modified: Thursday, May. 13, 2010 - 6:23 am

WASHINGTON A strong majority of Americans support Arizona's controversial new immigration law and would back similar laws in their own states, a new McClatchy-Ipsos poll found.

Sixty-one percent of Americans and 64 percent of registered voters said they favored the law in a survey of 1,016 adults conducted May 6-9.

Strikingly, nearly half of Democrats like the law, under which local law enforcement officers are tasked with verifying people's immigration status if they suspect them of being in the country illegally. While the Democratic Party generally is regarded as more sympathetic to illegal immigrants' plights, 46 percent of Democrats said they favored the law for Arizona and 49 percent said they would favor its passage in their own states.

More than eight in 10 Republicans and 54 percent of independents favor the law.

In addition, about 69 percent of Americans said they wouldn't mind if police officers stopped them to ask for proof of their citizenship or their legal right to be in the country; about 29 percent would mind, considering it a violation of their rights; and about 3 percent were unsure.

A separate Pew Research Center poll on the Arizona law released Wednesday found similar sentiments.

Heading into this year's congressional elections, they also face an electorate that is sensitive to losing jobs or diverting services to undocumented laborers, because of the economic crisis.

I am virtually certain that a vast majority of Democrats in safe congressional districts will join the President and Attorney General in their denunciations of Arizona's legislation.  What have they got to lose?

And I am virtually certain that a great many Republicans not only will support the legislation, but will use it as a wedge issue to get re-elected.  What have they got to lose?

But what about the Democrats whose seats might be won or lost on this issue?  What do they do?  That, I have no certainty at all about.  

Until Arizona passed these laws, I expected that, barring a major unforseen event (a successful terrorist attack, for instance), ObamaCare would be the predominating issue of the 2010 campaign.  And it still may be.  But the administration's policy on illegal aliens could easily supplant it. 

This is a big, dangerous minefield for Democrats.  At one end they have a clear majority of voters in favor of cracking down hard on illegal aliens.  But at the other end they have many millions of Latino voters, most of whom vote Democrat and most of whom are likely to be against the crackdown. 

And that's before we get to Democrats' largest, most monolithic bloc:  Black voters.  If Republicans can successfully position the influx of illegal aliens as a reason for the unacceptably high rate of Black unemployment (currently at 16.5% - far more than the 9.9% national figure), the fallout could be monumental.

For political junkies like me (and you, since you read this blog)?  It will be a feast of intrigue and political maneuvering.

Let the games begin.

free` I read somewhere that the majority of legal immigrants also support the new law. (05/13/10)


IMMIGRATION REALITY

Ken Berwitz

A quick dose of reality for the people who have been talking straight out of their rears about what the Arizona law allows.  With thanks to the great Michael Ramirez of Investors Business Daily:

 


THE HOLDER IDIOCRACY

Ken Berwitz

You can't make this stuff up.

Here, excerpted from Stephan Dinan's article in the Washington Times, is the basis for Attorney General eric holder's criticism of Arizona's new anti-illegal alien legislation:

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who has been critical of Arizona's new immigration law, said Thursday he hasn't yet read the law and is going by what he's read in newspapers or seen on television.

Mr. Holder is conducting a review of the law, at President Obama's request, to see if the federal government should challenge it in court. He said he expects he will read the law by the time his staff briefs him on their conclusions.

"I've just expressed concerns on the basis of what I've heard about the law. But I'm not in a position to say at this point, not having read the law, not having had the chance to interact with people are doing the review, exactly what my position is," Mr. Holder told the House Judiciary Committee.

Un-frigging-believable.  holder is considering a challenge to the Arizona law in court - that's what he's been saying for a week - and he does not know what the law says because he hasn't bothered to read it.

Idiocracy at its finest.

What a disgrace this man is.

free` The media didn't bother to read the law and it didn't stop them from reporting on how bad the law is. We are living in a very strange time. (05/14/10)


A STORY THE TODAY SHOW WON'T BE DOING ANY FEATURES ON

Ken Berwitz

The Today Show loves to do stories about real and suspected infidelity - very especially when the subject is a Republican (Mark Foley, David Vitter, Larry Craig and Newt Gingrich, to name a few).

But here's one they won't be covering.  It comes to us from www.thehollywoodgossip.com (and can be found at numerous other sites as well):

Sources claim that Today host and NBC resident sexy beast Matt Lauer's affair has led to the imminent demise of his 11-year marriage to model Annette Roque.

The National Enquirer does not name the alleged Matt Lauer mistress, but says his marriage is ending and that he is in the market for his own NYC apartment.

"I heard he and Annette are breaking up. I was not shocked to hear that but it's very sad," Lauer's ex-wife Nancy Alspaugh tells the celebrity gossip magazine.

Annette Roque and Matt Lauer did file for divorce back in 2006 but later reconciled and have three young children together - Jack, 8, and Romy, 6 and Thijs, 2.

One divorced wife, a second one who he separated with years ago but somehow convinced to stick around, and now this.  Plus, at least one other web site, www.providingnews.com, is claiming that, maritally, Lauer appears to be a serial cheater.

This is the guy throwing stones at other people's infidelities?

That's like Shaquille O'Neal complaining that there are tall, Black basketball players in the NBA.


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