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The PJ Tatler

You Can’t Travel to Vegas on the Taxpayer’s Dime, Unless You’re the Obamas

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Optics, man. Optics.

First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha are visiting Las Vegas after stopping in South Dakota on a family trip. A spokeswoman for McCarran International Airport confirmed that the first lady was expected to arrive in Las Vegas Wednesday night.

Remember this?

The feud began in 2009, when Obama admonished corporations using federal bailout money: “You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer’s dime.” A year later, Obama warned families against gambling away college tuition: “You don’t blow a bunch of cash in Vegas when you’re trying to save for college.”

Via Drudge, who is having some fun at the Obamas’ expense.

The biggest loser, besides the taxpayer, is the guy Michelle left behind whining about “oil subsidies.” He lost his vote today. He’s looking likely to lose on his signature legislation after the Supreme Court grilled his lawyer this week. His budget went down today, 414-0. Rush’s advertisers are coming back. Where has Obama won lately? Well, other than his NCAA brackets anyway.

This is, what, the Obamas’ 17th vacation in a little over three years?

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Is All Criticism of Israel Antisemitic? Put Simply: Yes

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 - by Benjamin Kerstein

“But surely you believe,” they always ask you, “that you can criticize Israel without being antisemitic?” It is an obnoxious and patronizing question in and of itself, of course, in that it is obviously an admonition that all civilized, thinking people must answer “yes” or “of course” or “naturally.” It is important, however, because of its true answer, which is unequivocally, unquestionably, and objectively “no.”

Before the remonstrations on the “silencing of dissenting voices” and “attack on free speech” begin, it seems necessary to point out the reason for this: All criticism of Israel is antisemitic because of the specific historical moment in which we live. The circumstances in regard to Israel and the Jews in the world today render any non-antisemitic criticism of Israel impossible. And most ironically of all, it is entirely the fault of the antisemites.

Whether one wants to admit it or not, we are living in an age in which a global campaign exists for the sole and specific reason of legitimizing the destruction of Israel and the expulsion or annihilation of its Jewish population. Iran’s own president is straightforward about wiping Israel off the map. Islamists call for it every five minutes somewhere in the world. Western academics and activists regularly hint at it with such euphemisms as the “one-state solution” (an Arab state, in case you were wondering), and their constant apologetics on behalf of anti-Jewish terrorism.  And as the recent atrocities in Toulouse have shown us, the Jews of the Diaspora are not and will not be spared the bloody consequences.

As a result of this campaign – which is antisemitic by any definition – any and all criticism of Israel not only can be but must be antisemitic. It is either subjectively antisemitic, in that it consciously and intentionally furthers the goals of the campaign; or it is objectively antisemitic, in that it unconsciously and unintentionally does the same thing. The distinction, if there ever was one, between the two, is now meaningless. Either way, the result is the same: Those who seek to slaughter the Jews en masse are brought a step closer to their goal.

It may be, of course, that some criticism of Israel will be deemed necessary in spite of the consequences, and the need for a public hearing will overwhelm the need to prevent a victory of sorts for antisemitism. If so, however, those doing the criticism ought to be honest enough to acknowledge the objective consequences of doing so.

The Middle East conflict, David Ben-Gurion said a long time ago, and he was right, is not about the Jews and the Arabs, it is about the Jews and the world, a world that is overwhelmingly not Jewish, and thus bears certain responsibilities toward its Jewish minority. If and when the world finally accepts these responsibilities, criticism of Israel will be possible “without being antisemitic.” Until then, the moral imperative incumbent upon us all should be “work toward less antisemitism,” whatever is left said or unsaid along the way.

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Obama Fundraiser Spike Lee Finally Apologizes to Elderly Couple Terrorized by His Tweet

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Spike Lee must have seen the stories about the Florida couple fleeing to a hotel and then lawyering up:

Mr. Lee thought the McClain’s address belonged to George Zimmerman, the 28 year old man who fatally shot 17 year old Trayvon Martin last month (background here). In a tweet Mr. Lee wrote:

“I Deeply Apologize To The McClain Family For Retweeting Their Address.It Was A Mistake.Please Leave The McClain’s In Peace.Justice In Court.”

Overdue, but good. I’ve been pretty tough on Spike this week, and he deserved it and should pick up the tab for the McClain’s hotel and security, but I’ll say this: He has excellent taste in the soccer team he supports. Excellent.

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We Will Battle Obama With The Candidate We Have – Not The Candidate We Might Want (Updated with response from a senior Gingrich advisor)

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 - by Myra Adams

Hearing the news that conservative “rising star” Florida Senator Marco Rubio has endorsed Mitt Romney, one could now say his nomination is a “slam dunk.”

That phase, you may remember, was famously attributed to CIA Director George Tenet in 2002 as he assured President Bush about the evidence that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

Now, Mitt Romney’s presumed “slam dunk” nomination reminds me of another infamous phase from that same Iraq War era.

“You go to war with the army you have—not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.

That statement, uttered in 2004 by then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, was in response to a soldier’s complaints about equipment shortages.

So now it is time for a “teachable moment”.

Take Rumsfeld’s quote, revise it slightly, and apply it to Mitt Romney as the GOP 2012 nominee.

We will battle Obama with the candidate we have — not the candidate we might want or wish to have at a later time.

This statement should be the Republican Party mantra going forward.

For as Republicans, do we really have a choice?

Imagine a President Obama 2.0. His second-term sequel would be a disaster movie with the name “Unleashed.”

We only saw a glimpse of it this week with the Russian “open mike” incident and Obama is well aware that if re-elected, he will never have to face the voters again.

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Deep Thoughts, by a Daily Kossack

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 - by Stephen Green

Over at DailyKos, IgnoreAtYourPeril has written a touching poem I’d like to share with you. If you could drop your cynicism for a moment and open up your heart, I think you’ll get something meaningful out of his simple words. It’s called “Why I’m a Liberal,” and it goes like this:

I want to live in a society that cares,
And gives everyone a chance.
No lottery of birth, or fortune with heirs,
An equal opportunity to advance.

It shouldn’t matter that your are empty-handed,
You have the right to be healthy.
You should not be left sick and stranded,
And only get care if you’re wealthy.

Is it fair to work long without sleep
And bring home a tiny fraction
Of those at the top of the heap
And be a victim of the firm’s contraction.

There is no commerce without spenders,
No business without the nation’s roads
Without borrowers there are no lenders,
And your empire starves and implodes.

I don’t care if you are gay,
and married you want to be.
You should all be free to worship and pray,
And as a non-believer I should be free.

I am liberal because I belong,
to a society of many,
Working together we are strong,
Divided, the wealthy get our penny.

There’s a tear in the corner of my eye right now, and this isn’t the first time I’ve read it today. In fact, IgnoreAtYourPeril has inspired me to write a little something of my own. I call it, “Why I’m a Conservative,” and in the interest of space, I’m publishing it below the fold.

So take a moment to catch your breath, then click the “Next Page” link to see where my heart lies.

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Chairwoman to Obama: ‘Where’s Jerusalem? On Mars?’

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

The House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman went after a State Department release that noted an official’s travel to “Jerusalem and Israel,” and called on the Obama administration to publicly recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.

The Monday media note bore the headline “Acting Under Secretary Kathleen Stephens Travels to Algeria, Qatar, Jordan, Jerusalem, and Israel.” The next said she was traveling to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

“Where does the administration think Jerusalem is?” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said. “On Mars?”

The chairwoman noted that the administration has refused to budge in three years by not moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

“Now, the administration has gone even further,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “A mistake on a press release is understandable, but today the administration doubled down on its determination to treat Jerusalem as separate from Israel.”

“Legitimizing the myth that Jerusalem isn’t part of Israel undermines our ally Israel’s sovereign right to designate its own capital, and lends credibility to efforts by Palestinian leaders and extremists who continue to deny the connection of the Jewish people to their historic capital, Jerusalem,” she said.

“The administration needs to face reality, recognize publicly that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel, and fully enforce U.S. law by moving our embassy to Jerusalem.”

At yesterday’s press briefing, a reporter asked spokeswoman Victoria Nuland if it’s the State Department’s position that Jerusalem is not part of Israel.

“Well, you know that our position on Jerusalem has not changed,” Nuland responded. “The first Media Note was issued in error without appropriate clearances. We reissued the note to make clear that Under Secretary – Acting Under Secretary for R, Kathy Stephens, will be traveling to Algiers, Doha, Amman, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem. With regard to our Jerusalem policy, it’s a permanent status issue; it’s got to be resolved through negotiations between the parties.”

The reporter grilled her further about what the capital of Israel is.

“Our Embassy, as you know, is located in Tel Aviv,” Nuland said.

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Obama Gets Noisy About Gas Again (Updated)

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Today, President Obama called on Congress to end “subsidies” for the major oil producers. Speaking in the Rose Garden, the president said:

Right now, the biggest oil companies are raking in record profits –- profits that go up every time folks pull up into a gas station.  But on top of these record profits, oil companies are also getting billions a year — billions a year in taxpayer subsidies -– a subsidy that they’ve enjoyed year after year for the last century.

Think about that.  It’s like hitting the American people twice.  You’re already paying a premium at the pump right now.  And on top of that, Congress, up until this point, has thought it was a good idea to send billions of dollars more in tax dollars to the oil industry.

It’s not as if these companies can’t stand on their own.  Last year, the three biggest U.S. oil companies took home more than $80 billion in profits.  Exxon pocketed nearly $4.7 million every hour.  And when the price of oil goes up, prices at the pump go up, and so do these companies’ profits.  In fact, one analysis shows that every time gas goes up by a penny, these companies usually pocket another $200 million in quarterly profits.  Meanwhile, these companies pay a lower tax rate than most other companies on their investments, partly because we’re giving them billions in tax giveaways every year.

None of this is new. Like one of those dolls in an old cuckoo clock, President Obama periodically appears to smear someone somewhere in America who happens to be engaging in business and making a profit. Today’s speech was recycled from the one he delivered on March 1, for instance. Congress will ignore him, and he’ll be back in a few weeks to say the same thing again.

As for the “subsidies” he mentions, they are actually tax breaks, and they’re not unique to the oil companies. They’re the same tax breaks that other American corporations enjoy. The president is only targeting oil companies because they’re a convenient boogeyman, and because he’s getting hammered in the polls over his policies and the skyrocketing price of gas. If he gets his way, the oil companies will see their tax bills raised. They will pass that increase on to consumers — you. So Obama here is proposing to raise the price at the pump, not lower it.

The president used part of his camera time to inveigh against oil company profits, insisting that for every penny of price increase at the pump, oil companies make $200 million more money each quarter. But as usual, the devil is in the details. Is that per company, or spread out across the entire oil production industry? Based on logic and the way he worded it, Obama surely meant the latter, so the per company profit number is far smaller than he insinuated. This is a global industry he is talking about.

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Britain Waits For Obama to Comment Movingly and Eloquently on Gun Murders of White Tourists by Black Youth

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 - by Mike McNally

I don’t know what President Obama’s schedule is looking like for today, but I’m sure he’ll be making time to comment on the case of Shawn Tyson, the Florida teenager who was yesterday sentenced to life without parole for the cold-blooded murders of two young British men who were holidaying in the state.

I’m sure the president will want to share his thoughts on the tragedy, because he takes such a keen interest, in his capacity as bridge-builder-and-healer-in-chief, in inter-racial altercations – and in particular fatal shootings to which there’s an apparent racial element. And the racial element here is at least as much a factor as it was in the case of the Trayvon Martin shooting which has so exercised Mr. Obama, and probably more so.

Tyson was black, while his victims, James Cooper, 25, and James Kouzaris, 24, were white. The pair were gunned down after straying into Tyson’s predominantly black housing project, and while there’s no shortage of black-on-black shootings in such areas, it’s hard to imagine that two black men with no gang affiliation walking through the same neighbourhood would have been as likely to be targeted.

As reported in the Fox News story linked above, friends of Cooper and Kouzaris who spoke at the trial said they were “dissatisfied” with the lack of support or condolences from the United States government, and from President Obama in particular.

But I’m sure Mr. Obama will be swift to make amends, and will “insert himself” into this tragedy in a way that, according to the Washington Post, is “at once deeply personal and completely universal, and avidly avoids taking sides in a political fight”.

I’m expecting Mr. Obama to say that he can only imagine what the parents of Cooper and Kouzaris have had to go through since Tyson executed their sons, after making them beg for their lives, last April.

Perhaps he’ll even say that the two young men could have been, if not his own sons, then perhaps his younger brothers. They’re white, yes, but in every other respect they could have been his sons, or his brothers – and anyway, we’re all color blind these days when it comes to such matters aren’t we?

Or perhaps the president will take a more controversial line and, in the context of discussing the problem of gang-related violence in America’s black communities, deliver a compelling soundbite that will earn praise from America’s and the world’s media. Something like:  “If I had a son, he’d look like Shawn Tyson.”

I’m confident that Mr. Obama will want to comment on this case. Because if he didn’t, some observers might jump to the conclusion that the leader of the free world was little more than a shameless, race-baiting opportunist who was more interested in firing up one of his core constituencies head of November’s election than in seeing justice done.

And that would come as an awful disappointment to his many adoring fans here in Britain – none more adoring than Prime Minister Cameron himself.

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LA Times: Justifiable Homicide Originated with Stand Your Ground

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

LA Times published an article entitled “ ‘Stand your ground’ law upheld in Florida murder case”.

Greyston Garcia accosted a burglar, who swung a bag of stolen car stereos at Garcia’s head. Garcia swung back, holding a kitchen knife. The burglar died later, and Garcia was charged with second-degree murder. The charge may have been appropriate, because Garcia may have escalated the confrontation by his actions:

A neighbor had alerted Garcia in the early morning hours that two men were burglarizing vehicles in the neighborhood, including his truck. Garcia ran out and yelled at them to drop the radios, but Pedro Roteta ran with the loot, provoking a chase that ended with the fight. Garcia was arrested the day after the incident.

One of the reasons Chris Bird’s “The Concealed Handgun Manual” is so highly recommended is because he liberally peppers facts with stories of how defenders actually behaved. After reading the entire book, it’s clear that one of the easiest ways for a defender to run afoul of the law is to act like a cop.

In this case, Garcia chased the perpetrator, as opposed to self-defense training where we consistently tell people to stop shooting when the threat stops (e.g. attacker runs away). There are instances when continuing may be acceptable under Citizens Arrest, when a felony—like burglary—has been committed. But, to be on the safe side of the law, this may be more appropriate in violent crimes necessitating the use of self-defensive force, as opposed to property crimes like burglary.

Garcia claimed self-defense. According to LA Times, Garcia cited Florida’s Stand Your Ground (SYG) law. However, as noted in a previous article, pre-existing Florida statutes already delineated when the use of deadly force is acceptable in self-defense. In fact, this is what the judge referenced when dismissing the case.

So what we have here is an attempt by the Times to blur the lines between lawful self-defense and SYG, in order to make it seem that actions like Garcia’s had only become acceptable upon enactment of SYG. In reality, both Citizens Arrest and pre-existing statutes were sufficient to merit a dismissal:

Circuit Judge Beth Bloom threw out the murder charge this week, finding that Garcia’s “use of force was justified in order to defend himself from the victim’s actions.”

The Times can afford a legal researcher to determine all the above, so the question is: Does the Times intentionally mislead readers to promote an anti-rights agenda, or are they merely stupid and lazy?

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The Wheels Start to Come Off the Santorum and Gingrich Campaigns

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Sen. Marco Rubio and former President George H. W. Bush have now both endorsed Mitt Romney. While Mitt racks up major nominations, Rick Santorum shows signs of fading…in Pennsylvania. That would be his home state.

The poll of 505 registered Republican voters, conducted March 20-25 in conjunction with the Tribune-Review and other media outlets, shows Santorum clinging to a small lead over Romney, 30 percent to 28 percent, within the poll’s 4.2 percent margin of error.

That’s a big change from February, when Santorum, once a U.S. senator from Penn Hills, held a commanding 15-percentage-point lead over Romney in the poll.

Newt Gingrich has shaken up his campaign staff, which really means that he has laid many off, and he has drastically scaled back his already lean road game. You’re unlikely to win where you don’t even campaign. The man behind his super PAC, Sheldon Adelson, is hinting that the cash line may be about to go away.

Sheldon Adelson, who with wife Miri, has given more than $15 million to the Newt Gingrich Super PAC Winning Our Future, said Monday he believes Gingrich is “at the end of his line” regarding the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

There are three primary contests coming up on April 3, in Washington DC, Maryland and Wisconsin. Pennsylvania comes up on April 24, when it is among five states going to the polls that day. Even if Santorum wins there, it can and will be dismissed as home state advantage, while Romney is likely to will all four of the other states: CT, DE, NY, and RI. And Romney could win PA too; the logistics favor him there. The very fact that April 24 features five states favors Romney’s larger organization.

Gingrich is for all intents and purposes out of the race, he just hasn’t come to terms with that yet. Santorum must win his home state with some room to spare and pick off something meaningful on April 3 and April 24.

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Afrolantica, Part 12: Critical Race Theory’s Distortion of Trayvon Martin

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Part 1: A Guided Tour Through Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies

Part 2: A ‘Euphoria of Freedom’

Part 3: What Could it Mean to Be White?

Part 4: The Wages of Antisemitism

Part 5: Thomas Jefferson, A Symbol of American Racism

Part 6: Why Meritocracy Must Die

Part 7: Unemployment Creates Crack Dealers

Part 8: We Have a Right to Your Property

Part 9: The Birth of ‘Blackness’

Part 10: Apocalyptic Prophet of Racial War?

Part 11: The Brown-Skinned Joan of Arc

On page 52, Derrick Bell’s idol Chiara, the black martyr-goddess-alien prophet, continues delivering the Afrolantica Legacies, here blaming whites for the personal failings of a minority of black Americans’ embrace of cracker culture:

“But out of their frustration and despair, many of your people are turning to violence, though mostly against one another. And many more are doing violence to themselves.”

Recall that Bell blamed disappearing industrial jobs for inspiring inner city youth to sell crack. Here he identifies abstract feelings of “frustration and despair” as inspiring the nihilism of the gangbanger lifestyle and ghetto rap culture. To Bell, all black problems stem from the ongoing trauma of living in a white supremacist society. This foundational dogma of Critical Race Theory distorts believers’ ability to interpret reality. Every piece of new information must first go through the believer’s emotional conviction that a grand conspiracy (“The Man”) exists to protect racist white criminals and oppress innocent black males.

At The Huffington Post last night:

Newly released video of George Zimmerman at the Sanford Police Department the night he shot Trayvon Martin to death show the neighborhood watch volunteer without blood on his clothing or bruises on his face or head. His clean-shaven picture seems to contrast with the violent beating he told police he endured at the hands of Martin, 17, who Zimmerman said attacked him from behind.

The video, obtained by ABC News, appears inconsistent with Zimmerman’s recently leaked statement to police that he was in a death struggle with Martin before Zimmerman shot him in the chest in self-defense. Zimmerman told investigators that Martin jumped him from behind, punched him in the nose and pounded his head into a sidewalk, according to a police report first described by the Orlando Sentinal.

So was there a racist police conspiracy to deny justice to Trayvon?

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Former top US Imam urges “frenzied crowds” in Tunisia that female genital mutilation is “imposed by the Koran”

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 - by Patrick Poole

Reading an article this morning by ANSAmed, “Tunisia: Crossroads of fanatical preachers and jihadists“, on the influx of Muslim hate preachers since the fall of former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in last year’s “Arab Spring”, I noted the ending paragraph:

In a country that is debating its profile (Islamic or Arabic), the preachers find all too fertile soil in the absence of a response from the state, also urged by the leader of Ennahdha, Rashid Ghannouchi. Too many threats receive no response from the institutions: on Sunday a sheikh called Tunisians prepare to kill the Jews and on the same occasion a preacher wished the death (he later explained that he was speaking in political terms) of former premier Beji Caid Essebsi. And the air is still filled with the insane propositions of an Egyptian Wahhabi preacher, Wagdi Ghoneim, who came to Tunisia to say, before frenzied crowds, that female genital mutilation is not only imposed by the Koran, but are longed for because they are cosmetic surgery operations.

Hey, isn’t Wagdi Ghoneim the top US muslim cleric that fled the US in December 2004 rather than be deported? Why, yes, it is.

Here’s what Immigrations and Customs Enforcement had to say on his departure:

The government alleges that Ghoneim, who came to the U.S. in 2001 from Egypt, participated in fundraising activities around the country that could have helped terrorist organizations, said Bill Odencrantz, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement director of field legal operations.

Ghoneim has not been charged with terrorist activity, however. Instead, he was arrested at his Anaheim home Nov. 4 on suspicion of overstaying his religious-worker visa. He was charged with the immigration violation, Odencrantz said, “because it was the easiest charge to prove.”

“Frankly, our task is not to sit around and wait for people to blow up buildings,” Odencrantz said. “Our task is to look at situations and circumstances and take action against people.”

As the late Billy Mays would say, “but wait, there’s more!”

After the hearing, Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, criticized the government’s aggressive pursuit of the imam.

Ghoneim’s case is part of a disturbing trend, which Ayloush described as “the selective application of laws on Muslims, especially on minor violations; the targeting of Muslim travelers at airports; the revoking of visas of Muslim visitors coming to the United States.”

Maybe someone should tweet Hussam Ayloush and ask about his friend now? Or about Ghoneim’s leading a crowd at at CAIR co-sponsored event in a chorus of, “No the to Jews, descendants of the apes”?

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Democrats Unanimously Shoot Down Obama’s Budget… Offered by Republican

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

A GOP “Young Gun” who ousted a longtime Democratic incumbent in 2010 stole the show on the House floor last night by offering President Obama’s budget as an amendment to the Republicans’ budget plan.

It failed 414-0, with left and right uniting against the amendment even as Democrats’ lambasted Rep. Mick Mulvaney’s (R-S.C.) move as a “gimmick.”

“It occurred to me the President’s budget had not been offered as an amendment by the Democrat members of the House budget committee,” Mulvaney said on the House floor. “And that as we were getting information about which amendments were being offered here today on the floor as amendments to the overall GOP budget, it occurred to me again that the same oversight had taken place. Clearly, it must be oversight. Clearly, my colleagues meant to offer the president’s budget.”

“I thought I’d help my colleagues across the aisle out a little bit and offer the President’s budget. Which is exactly what this amendment is,” he continued. “The budget that the president offered and that is contained in this amendment never balances. It is a balanced approach to reach a never-balancing budget.”

It comes on the heels of Senate Republicans forcing a vote on Obama’s budget last year, which got zero “yea” votes.

Mulvaney’s amendment used Obama’s target numbers without specifics on how to get there, thus causing the mass Democratic exodus.

He dismissed charges that the move was a gimmick.

“It’s not a gimmick– unless what the president sent us is the same,” Mulvaney said. “We are voting on the president’s budget. I would encourage the Democrats to embrace this landmark Democrat document and support it.”

“Personally,” he added, “I will be voting against it.”

YouTube Preview Image

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Robert Zimmerman: ‘So much hate from the president.’

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

On a Florida TV station, George Zimmerman’s father speaks out:

YouTube Preview Image

Zimmerman appears in silhouette for an obvious reason: With a $10,000 bounty on his son’s head from the Black Panthers, it’s dangerous for him to show his face.

Update: A “Kill Zimmerman” twitter feed has appeared.

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Now Up on the PJ Media Homepage

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 - by Ed Driscoll

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New Video Shows George Zimmerman Shortly After the Trayvon Martin Shooting (Update: Did ABC Doctor the Video?)

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

It’s surveillance video inside the Sanford, FL police department. ABC News got ahold of it, here it is:

ABC says:

The surveillance video, which was obtained exclusively by ABC News, shows Zimmerman arriving in a police cruiser. As he exits the car, his hands are cuffed behind his back. Zimmerman is frisked and then led down a series of hallways, still cuffed.

Zimmerman, 28, is wearing a red and black fleece and his face and head are cleanly shaven. He appears well built, hardly the portly young man depicted in a 2005 mug shot that until a two days ago was the single image the media had of Zimmerman.

The most important question the video raises is, where are the wounds? Through his lawyer, Zimmerman has said that he suffered a broken nose and wounds on his head, one of which almost needed stitches. The video doesn’t show any of that. It’s possible that the broken nose only showed up in X-Rays later, but any laceration or cut close to requiring stitches would have been very evident.

To ABC again, for a partial explanation:

The initial police report noted that Zimmerman was bleeding from the back of the head and nose, and after medical attention it was decided that he was in good enough condition to travel in a police cruiser to the Sanford, Fla., police station for questioning.

His lawyer later insisted that Zimmerman’s nose had been broken in his scuffle with 17-year-old Martin.

In the video an officer is seen pausing to look at the back of Zimmerman’s head, but no abrasions or blood can be seen in the video and he did not check into the emergency room following the police questioning.

So that explains the lack of blood, sort of. Anyone who has had a cut that comes close to needing stitches though — and I have been in that position myself — knows just how bloody such a cut can get. You generally need a bandage to control the bleeding, and I don’t see one on Zimmerman.

So we have another twist: Did George Zimmerman suffer the wounds that he and the police reported that he suffered?

Update: Thanks to commenter Helen of Troy, here’s the Sanford police report. Here is the officer’s description of Zimmerman immediately after the shooting, and after the officer had disarmed Zimmerman. Click to enlarge.

Update: The Daily Caller takes a closer look.

“A police surveillance video taken the night that Trayvon Martin was shot dead shows no blood or bruises on George Zimmerman,” ABC News reporter Matt Gutman wrote, noting that Zimmerman told police “he shot Martin after he was punched in the nose, knocked down and had his head slammed into the ground.”

ABC News reported that Zimmerman appears uninjured in the video. But a still image from the video indicates what appears to be a vertical laceration or scar several inches long.

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The Hour of Power Approaches: Celebrate Human Achievement Hour!

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Ed Driscoll

Liberal pieties in the 1970s, aimed at children — “We’re gonna turn it on; we’re gonna bring you the power!”

Liberal pieties in the 21st century, aimed at turning us all into children — “We’re gonna turn it off, we’re gonna ban your power!” (And light bulbs, gas, shopping bags, proper hygiene, etc.)

Canada’s Ezra Levant says nuts to all that, in the feel good video of the week, posted above.

It may all be academic; Scientific America inadvertently tells its readers that there may soon be a ceasefire in the Goreball Worming moral equivalent of war, though as Doug Powers writes:

These “deadlines” come and go, and those who push them remind me of Robin Williams’ old bit about Colonel Gaddafi’s warning: “This is the line of death: Cross it and die! — Alright, cross this line and die… Okay, cross this line and die…”

Besides, who knows if they’re lying, as Scientific American sorta kinda admitted was OK when it came to being a warm-mongering advocate?

(Cross-posted at Ed Driscoll.com; thumbnail on Tatler homepage by Shuttertstock.com.)

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MSNBC Dowdifies George Zimmerman to Make Him Sound Racist

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Via Dan Riehl at Breitbart:

Here’s what MSNBC staff and NBC News published.

“This guy looks like he’s up to no good … he looks black,” Zimmerman told a police dispatcher from his car. His father has said that Zimmerman is Hispanic, grew up in a multiracial family, and is not racist.

The quote gives the impression Zimmerman was somehow equating the fact that Martin was black with his looking suspicious, or “up to no good.” Here is what MSNBC/NBC News left out thanks to a convenient ellipsis.

ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he’s up to no good, [begin ellipsis] or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.

911 DISPATCHER: Okay, is this guy, is he white, black, or Hispanic? [end ellipsis]

ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.

The ellipses change the entire meaning of the exchange and why Zimmerman thought the man he was might be “up to no good.”

That MSNBC story went up a with the mangled quote few hours ago. Since that time, they have changed it without mentioning the edit. It now reads:

“This guy looks like he’s up to no good,” Zimmerman said in a 911 call. Asked by a dispatcher if he was white, Hispanic or black, he replied, “He looks black.” Zimmerman’s father has said that his son is Hispanic, grew up in a multiracial family, and is not racist.

That second sentence is accurate, and extremely important. It isn’t Zimmerman who brings up race, it’s the dispatcher, and there is no ill intent involved. The dispatcher is simply asking an informational question, which may be part of a script or checklist. The original MSNBC story was a classic case of mainstream media Dowdification.



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Chamberlain Quote of the Day

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Claudia Rosett

Today, while the Supreme Court was hearing day 3 of arguments on the Affordable Healthcare Act, the East-West Institute was holding a conference in Washington on “Affordable World Security.” That unfortunate echo of name doesn’t mean one should write off the conference out of hand. But this thrifty crowd included, along with former CIA chief Michael Hayden, such personalities as Chas Freeman (the Israel-bashing Saudi-flacking former U.S. diplomat who praised the “overly cautious” behavior of China’s government in crushing the 1989 Tiananmen uprising), Oscar Arias Sanchez (peacenik Nobelist ex-president of Costa Rica, which freeloads off Western defense while priding itself on having constitutionally abolished its army), and Earth Policy Institute President Lester Brown (saving the world with wind and vegetarianism, Keystone Pipeline not wanted).

Out of the discussion floated a line from Washington Post reporter Dana Priest, included in the conference press release, that deserves a prize for Neville Chamberlain Quote of the Day:

“In a very politicized system,” Priest said, “cutting defense…can so easily be called ‘soft on defense.’”

Yep. It sure can.

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Vice President Biden Thanks ‘Dr. Pepper’

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Maybe he was thirsty.

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The professor’s actual name: Dr. Paper.

One heartbeat away…

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Poll: Race Relations at Bottom of Americans’ Worries

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

A new Gallup poll finds that Americans are still mostly worried about the economy while losing little sleep over race issues, illegal immigration or terrorism.

Even drug use ranked over terrorism in the poll that ranks whether respondents worry “a great deal” about 15 issues.

The economy is still the most troubling issue, remaining at a record-high 71 percent from last year. This is followed by gas prices at 65 percent and federal spending/budget deficit tied with healthcare at 60 percent.

When breaking down those worries by party, Democrats put the availability and affordability of healthcare at the top, while Republicans chose the deficit. Independents put the economy on top and were the least concerned of all groups about race relations.

The poll was conducted March 8-11, after Trayvon Martin was killed but before much of the media furor over his slaying began. Still, just 22 percent of Democrats and 16 percent of Republicans said they worry “a great deal” about race relations.

Twenty-eight percent of non-whites said they worried about race relations, while 13 percent of whites said they did. It was the lowest-ranking concern for each demographic.

Gallup concluded that “neither party shows majority concern for crime, drugs, the environment, terrorism, or race relations.”

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Baltimore is So Broke It’s Considering Selling or Leasing Some of its Landmarks

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

H. L. Mencken is once alleged to have described Baltimore, MD as looking like it was built on the ruins of a once-great medieval city. Driving into town from either north or south, along the JFX or in from I-95, it’s hard to argue with that. The rowhouses rolling up and down the hills remind of Dickensian London. The colonial-era and 19th century churches poking up here and there lend it a Gothic feel. The old sugar factory that occupies the Inner Harbor attests to the city’s manufacturing and seafaring eras. The big London Fog factory alongside the JFX is surely an ad agency or something else by now. Baltimore today is a city full of landmarks but little money, its population on the decline for decades. Even the Inner Harbor’s 1970s renaissance hasn’t brought residents back in. They just visit from Howard County or up north from Owings Mills. Like most decent-sized cities, people with enough money and sense know that it’s a city that’s fine to live near, but not in. The taxes and crime rates are just too high. The politics are insane. Parking is a hassle. The schools are a joke.

So what’s a city full of ghosts to do? Find a way to make money from some, I guess. So Baltimore is looking to make some cash in the present from the relics of its past.

News that Baltimore officials are considering selling or leasing as many as 16 of the city’s historic landmarks — including the iconic Shot Tower and the War Memorial Building — has sparked alarm and outrage among people who fear allowing them to fall into private hands could lead to the loss of a priceless historical legacy.

No one wants to see these magnificent architectural gems turned into fast-food emporiums or low-end strip malls. But if the city handles the matter carefully, at least some of them could be transferred in a way that ensures they will be well cared for and preserved for future generations.

As long as they don’t turn For McHenry into a Disneyland…

I have an idea for one of Baltimore’s more obscure landmarks. When I worked on the Laura Ingraham show, I lived north of the city so I took the MARC train from West Baltimore station down to Union Station in DC. It was a miserable ride at an ungodly early hour; I mostly catnapped. Across the street from that station is a crumbling old hulk of a building, stone and brick made dark with a century plus of smog and storms. It’s the American Ice Company building, Plant #2. That plant has been in disuse for long decades, so much so that there is a tree growing out of its tall smokestack. It fits Mencken’s medieval ruins description to a tee. But it’s on the National Register as a historic place. It ought to be either a museum or an upscale eatery with a glossy retro cigar bar, or both.

The American Ice Company is one of those companies that today, the government might try to bail out because of its political connections. It was part of Charles Morse’s “ice trust,” which would play a role in the Tammany Hall scandal of 1900 and the great stock panic of 1907. American Ice served a need, harvesting ice during the winters from Maine, and transporting that ice to other cities for families and businesses to use during the rest of the year. A bad ice harvest at the turn of the century — global warming? — prompted the development of ice making technology. Until about 1905, making ice wasn’t a mainstream capability. The American Ice Company then became a major ice manufacturer. So the ice harvesting enterprise gave way to the ice making enterprise. Because ice was such a hot commodity, it was open to corrupt deals and politics.

In that one plant, which is an eyesore now, a museum could tell the story of technological development, national political and financial scandals, unscrupulous stock speculators and empire builders, industrial anachronism, and just how far we’ve come in a hundred years. Making ice is so routine now that we never even think of it. Our fridges make it automatically and spit it out without us having to do anything more than pushing a glass against a lever.

There are problems with this idea of turning the old plant into something useful. Plant #2 is a busted up eyesore, with broken windows, boarded up gaps and probably structural issues. It’s not in a nice part of town. Baltimore is a bit of a checker board, with good and not so good neighborhoods patched side by side. Plant #2 is in one of the rough blocks. Being on the National Register is a blessing and a curse — the plant is protected, but there are limits on what any new owner could do with it. A museum of some sort might fly, but making it a slick, upscale eatery would be a harder sell. On the other hand, an upscale spot that also respects Baltimore’s history and keeps the plant mostly intact could help revitalize the neighborhood. It could make that West Baltimore station more than a blip on the MARC line.

I’d love to see it happen. It’s better than letting the thing rot.


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No Kidding: GOP “Politicizing” Trayvon Martin

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Christian Adams

This is what happens when the Obama campaign detects an imminent backfire – project your behavior onto your opponents.  Must be seen to be believed.

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Media Matters Sinks to New Low

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Sam Levine

According to DefendSmallBusiness.com:

Well-funded professional activists, led by the left-wing pressure group Media Matters, are waging a campaign across America to hurt small businesses like yours through strong-arm tactics and intimidation.

They don’t like Rush Limbaugh’s point of view, they resent his extraordinary popularity, and they are trying to silence him by punishing small businesses that advertise on his show!

They are actually trying to shut down businesses – tying up phone lines, crashing websites, bombarding Facebook pages or Twitter accounts, and preventing real customers from getting through.

Does Media Matters understand that companies who purchase advertising many times do not even know what shows will run their ads? The way it works is that a business will contact an advertising agency with information about their budget and what demographic and region they want to target. The ad agency will then take that information and specifically place the ad to appeal to that narrow audience. It’s not as if a company will call up Rush Limbaugh and ask him if they can advertise on his show. It does not generally work that way.

So it is very likely that some of the businesses that are getting harassed by Media Matters do not even know that they are advertising on Rush’s show. They might just have a product that they want to sell to the demographic that listens to Rush, thereby causing their ad agency to choose Rush’s show as an effective way to reach that demographic.

However, even if some of the companies chose to advertise on Rush’s show, is this really the road we want to go down in America? Should business owners have signs on their windows that state, “I am a Democrat and I do not advertise on conservative talk radio” or ” I am a Republican and I do not advertise with MSNBC.”

This is not the free market at work. This is intimidation and strong-arm tactics by a left-wing organization.

Usually the left hurts small businesses unintentionally, by enacting misguided legislation for sincere reasons. However, in this example, the left is intentionally and maliciously hurting small business owners.

President Obama, care to comment?

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The SEIU, Cold Cash and Brown Envelopes at the ObamaCare Protests

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Here’s the video evidence that the SEIU astroturfed its pro-ObamaCare protesters, courtesy Disrupt the Narrative. Listen as the ladies discuss cash and brown envelopes. Here’s Disrupt’s account:

As I approached the courthouse I saw a group of people departing, which appeared to be SEIU members. They were discussing what sounded like compensation for their brief shift on the sidewalk in front of the Courthouse. There are several mentions of $20 that was given to each of them in a brown envelope.

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Even with Jacksons in brown envelopes, the unions couldn’t match the voluntary patriots’ numbers.

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Audio: ObamaCare and RomneyCare Architect Jon Gruber Reacts to the SCOTUS Hearings

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Dr. Jon Gruber, professor of economics at MIT, played a central role in drafting both ObamaCare and the state level law that preceded it in Massachusetts, RomneyCare. He appeared on America’s Radio News today and, among other things, said that after three days of argument he is less sure now that the individual mandate will hold up. Click to play the segment.

Dr. Gruber is undoubtedly very intelligent, but there are holes in his arguments large enough to drive a truck through. I find it fascinating that Gruber insists that “all legal experts agree” that ObamaCare’s individual mandate is constitutional. More than half of the states’ attorneys general — 28 of them — are legal experts and they’re suing to block ObamaCare expressly on constitutional grounds. The case has attracted a record 130 amicus briefs weighing in on both sides of the issue. Who are these “legal experts” Dr. Gruber keeps referring to without naming? He claims that they are “neutral.” We deserve to know his definition of that word. As it stands, his argument is nothing more than a phony appeal to some unnamed authority.

Another takeaway from the interview is that Dr. Gruber acknowledges that ObamaCare can lead to further expansions of federal government power. He admits that there is no brake on federal power built into the law. His counter to the argument regarding funeral insurance amounts to “health care is different because we say so.” But health care is not fundamentally different than many markets in which people may not be active at the present but some day will be. If it is, it is because the federal law mandating care for those who cannot afford it has already distorted the market, as wage controls during World War II gave rise to employer-based health care in the first place. He also never acknowledges that the taxpayers are being forced to pay for health care twice under the ObamaCare law — once, in any taxes we pay that fund the doctors and hospitals that under federal law must provide care to people who cannot afford it, and then again in the mandate to purchase insurance.

It’s fascinating to hear the thinking of a statist from the statist himself. That is what this interview offers.

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Bill: Postmaster Shouldn’t Make More Than Geithner, Panetta

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

A trio of lawmakers introduced a bill that would cap the sky-high executive salaries at the struggling Postal Service at levels earned by the president’s Cabinet.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe received a base salary of $271,871 in 2011, and $384,229 including bonus compensation. Even as the USPS reported a $5.1 billion year-end loss in September, with plans to close some 200 post offices, all of the executives’ base salaries exceeded $200,000.

Reps. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.), Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) and Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) introduced the Postal Executive Accountability Act to scale back that pay.

“The postmaster general shouldn’t be making more money than a Cabinet secretary when the postal system is calling on Congress to help them stay solvent,” Noem said.

The bill not only kills executive bonuses in years when the USPS has to close any facility, but caps executive salaries at top Cabinet pay, which was $199,700 in FY2012.

That’s the level earned by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. President Obama makes $400,000 a year.

“While American families are struggling to get by and the jobs of thousands of postal employees across the country remain in jeopardy, including 700 employees in Buffalo, it’s absurd to think the Postmaster General and his top executives are making significantly more than Cabinet Secretaries,” Hochul said.

The bill has been referred to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

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Did Obama Fundraiser Spike Lee Violate Twitter Policies When He Retweeted that Elderly Couple’s Home Address?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Film Ladd lays out the case:

Twitter has seen fit to do nothing about this, even though this is a clear violation of its Terms of Service. The person who originally posted the erroneous information and got Spike Lee to retweet it, @maccapone, is also still on Twitter.

In case you missed it, here is the relevant Twitter rule:

You may not publish or post other people’s private and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, street address or Social Security/National Identity numbers, without their express authorization and permission.

Someone should let Twitter know that Spike Lee and Marcus Higgins have been breaking their rules.

The Obama fundraiser and hurricane conspiracy theorist who also directs films and commercials is not commenting on his errant tweet, and is not apologizing to the couple either. Meanwhile, the couple has been forced out of their home and into a hotel. Someone is going to have to pay for that, and for the anguish being caused them because Mr. Lee targeted them with his ill-advised misuse of twitter.

At this point, liberals in general would be well advised to stay off of Twitter. Mis-tweeting cost Rep. Anthony Weiner his seat in Congress, and it got Roland Martin suspended from his anchor job at CNN. Martin has since returned to the anchor desk and twitter, and shown again that tweeting before thinking is a bad idea.

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Is SCOTUS Gearing Up to Strike Down ObamaCare?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Day three of the Supremes’ hearing of the ObamaCare case featured severability — i.e., if you find the individual mandate unconstitutional, what does that do to the rest of the mammoth law? ObamaCare does not include a severability clause what would have allowed it to stand if any part of the law gets ruled out. The mandate is the lynchpin of the law’s attempt to achieve “affordability,” and without it, insurance companies are forced to disallow consideration of pre-existing conditions. People could sign up for insurance coverage only when they face a health crisis. Insurance companies could quickly go bankrupt, without being able to rely on the broadly healthy purchasing insurance that is used by people when they need it. But the mandate puts the government in the position of forcing Americans to engage in commerce as the price of remaining on the right side of the law.

Based on the arguments that came from the conservatives plus Justice Kennedy on the court today, the mandate could go down, taking the whole kit with it.

The court’s conservatives sounded as though they had determined for themselves that the 2,700-page measure must be declared unconstitutional.

“One way or another, Congress will have to revisit it in toto,” said Justice Antonin Scalia.

Agreeing, Justice Anthony Kennedy said it would be an “extreme proposition” to allow the various insurance regulations to stand after the mandate was struck down.

Meanwhile, the court’s liberal justices argued for restraint. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the court should do a “salvage job,” not undertake a “wrecking operation.” But she looked to be out-voted.

Perhaps that’s because salvaging the bad work of Congress isn’t the court’s job. The court is supposed to rule whether the law is constitutional or not and let the legislative and executive branches sort out the consequences. The Democratic Congress chose not to include severability.

After today’s arguments, and maybe as soon as this evening but before Friday, the justices will hold a preliminary vote on whether ObamaCare is constitutional. We will not know the outcome of that vote for some time, probably at least a couple of months. But glimpses of where the court is going may emerge, as the preliminary vote will sort the sides out, and the senior justices on both sides will either assign other justices to write the opinions for and against, or write them themselves. Right now it’s looking like a 5-4 to strike down the entire law, and I’m guessing that Chief Justice Roberts ends up writing the majority opinion and Associate Justice Ginsberg writes the dissent.

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Audio: Could Obama Face Impeachment for Aiding the Muslim Brotherhood Regime in Egypt?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

President Obama is currently weighing whether to send $1.3 billion in aid to the Egyptian government. The Egyptian military is currently in control, but the nation’s elections have put the Muslim Brotherhood on a course to take power. Egypt’s military, the direct recipient of the proposed American aid, would then probably find itself subordinate to a regime that will be hostile to the United States and to the West. The Muslim Brotherhood is anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Israel — it is the ideological fountainhead of terrorist groups like al Qaeda and Hizballah. Yet the administration said last week that its plan to send the aid will go forward, and that it will even waive standing American law to send that aid:

The Obama administration told Congress on Thursday it will waive democracy requirements to release up to $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt despite concerns that the country is backsliding on commitments it made to democratic governance and rule of law.

U.5 officials and lawmakers said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has determined that it was in the U.S. national interest to allow $1.3 billion in military assistance to flow. She also certified that Egypt is meeting its obligations to the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, which frees up an additional $200 million in economic aid, they said.

A senior State Department official said the decisions “reflect our overarching goal: to maintain our strategic partnership with an Egypt made stronger and more stable by a successful transition to democracy.”

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because congressional notifications are not complete. Clinton will sign the waiver on Friday, the official said.

U.S. officials had said last week that Clinton was poised to grant the waiver because she could not certify that Egypt was in full compliance with the democracy requirements of law.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, who wrote the legislation imposing conditions on the aid, said he was “disspointed” by the decision.

“I know Secretary Clinton wants the democratic transition in Egypt to succeed, but by waiving the conditions we send a contradictory message. The Egyptian military should be defending fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, not harassing and arresting those who are working for democracy,” the Vermont Democrat said in a statement.

Congressional concern over the aid is bipartisan. It is not limited to Congress.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International both wrote to Clinton asking her to hold Egypt to account.

Retired Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer appeared on America’s Radio News today with hosts Chris Salcedo and Lori Lundin to discuss the proposed aid. The decorated former US intelligence officer noted the many reasons Americans have to be concerned with the administration’s aid plan, and at the end of the interview, raises the prospect of impeaching the president for openly defying Congress:

03-28-12 TONY SHAFFER INTERVIEW by bryanp-2

SHAFFER: The hope is, the White House will back down on this. Legally, they are on very shaky ground on this.
SALCEDO: Well it’s a pretty high hurdle. Wouldn’t Congress have to unite to stop this from happening? An override of the president? Or is it that official — can they just send a letter to the president saying ‘We don’t think you should do this’?
SHAFFER: Well, they can cut off the money. They do have the power of the purse and we would like them to use it. That’s the thing that they may have to do here, is to say that within the law, if you do this, this is illegal. We have given you the money for X, if you use it for Y, you are now in violation. And frankly, I don’t want to say this is a soft issue, but this could be impeachable if he does something against Congress directly.

The administration does have some Republican cover — Sen. Lindsay Graham has said he supports the aid. But the issue is a very serious one, especially at a time when the American government has lost a staunch ally in Egypt, that country appears to be following the Islamic revolution path first blazed by the regime in Iran, and America faces a mounting and potentially catastrophic national debt.

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81-Year-Old Korean War Vet Fights Off Carjacker

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Howard Nemerov

Barney and Constance Trusewicz, married for 56 years, stopped for gasoline at a local service station. As Korean War vet Barney went to ask the attendant to activate the pump, “39-year-old Christopher Bowens had somewhere to go and he decided to carjack Constance and Barney.”

“It turns out Bowens just got out of prison in December and has as many priors as he does tattoos — numerous bank robberies, larcenies and stolen cars.”

Bowens jumped in the driver’s seat and ordered Constance to get out. Barney saw his wife being threatened and hustled over on his “bad knees” to confront Bowens. Barney reached in, turned off the car, and wrestled with Bowens, who had a knife. Holding onto the knife hand, Barney finally forced Bowens to leave.

Here’s why it’s a good idea for law-abiding senior citizens to go armed:

“He indicated that he targeted the elderly couple because of their age,” Lincoln Park Police Sergeant Joseph Lavis said in court. “He felt that they would offer little or no resistance.”

Bowens was arrested nearby and is back in jail. With this latest attack, he faces a life sentence. Looks like Bowens has “somewhere to go” after all.

Barney and Constance are safe and unharmed.

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House Dem’s Hoodie Gets Him the Boot

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

A Democrat was ejected from the House floor this morning after giving a statement on the Trayvon Martin case while wearing a hoodie.

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) pulled off his suit jacket to reveal the gray hoodie, then pulled the hood over his head while decrying racial profiling of young men wearing the garment as “hoodlums.”

Rush also donned sunglasses, even though Martin was shot by George Zimmerman on Feb. 26 after 7 p.m. — after the sun had gone down.

Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), who was presiding over the House, said that the attire violated the ban on hats on the floor of the chamber. The rule dates back to 1837 and has been protested by Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), known for her flamboyant toppers.

“The chair finds that the donning of a hood is not consistent with this rule,” Harper said after Rush left the floor. “Members need to remove their hoods or leave the floor.”

The hoodie speech comes less than a day after House Judiciary Committee Democrats welcomed Trayvon Martin’s parents to a standing-room-only briefing on the case.

(Photo courtesy of C-SPAN)

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Why the Young Should Hate ObamaCare, and Oppose the Man Who Signed It

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

During the second day of argument on the ObamaCare case, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito summed up what ObamaCare really is — a transference of money from the young to the less young:

JUSTICE ALITO: You can correct me if these figures are wrong, but it appears to me that the CBO has estimated that the average premium for a single insurance policy in the non-group market would be roughly $5,800 in — in 2016. Respondents — the economists have supported — the Respondents estimate that a young, healthy individual targeted by the mandate on average consumes about $854 in health services each year. So the mandate is forcing these people to provide a huge subsidy to the insurance companies for other purposes that the act wishes to serve, but isn’t — if those figures are right, isn’t it the case that what this mandate is really doing is not requiring the people who are subject to it to pay for the services that they are going to consume? It is requiring them to subsidize services that will be received by somebody else.

ObamaCare’s individual mandate forces young people who would normally use $854 per year for health care services, to instead pay $5,800 per year. Only in government mandates, would such a gross and unfair overpayment for services not rendered be accepted. If a business did something like this, its CEOs would go to jail — unless they’re Jon Corzine, anyway.

The mandate hits people who are, in Obama’s economy, among the most vulnerable. Unemployment among younger Americans is at its highest point since World War II. Obama’s policies have made it harder to get a job, harder to launch a company (we can thank ObamaCare specifically for that), and harder to keep a job. Despite Obama’s promise that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it” (setting aside the arrogance of that statement for now), employers are more likely to drop health care plans once ObamaCare goes into full effect in 2014. For those who entered the work force in 2008 and after, the economy just has not recovered at all and should they be lucky enough to land a job with benefits, those benefits are on a knife’s edge.

The ObamaCare individual mandate hits the young twice, by making jobs for them more scarce while also requiring the young to subsidize the health care of the old. That’s where that extra $4,946 is going.

Then factor in the massive debt burden that President Obama has placed on the young. His policies amount to a giant systemic transfer of wealth from today’s young and their offspring, to the current generations in middle and old age.

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Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica, Part 11: The Brown-Skinned Joan of Arc

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Part 1: A Guided Tour Through Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies

Part 2: A ‘Euphoria of Freedom’

Part 3: What Could it Mean to Be White?

Part 4: The Wages of Antisemitism

Part 5: Thomas Jefferson, A Symbol of American Racism

Part 6: Why Meritocracy Must Die

Part 7: Unemployment Creates Crack Dealers

Part 8: We Have a Right to Your Property

Part 9: The Birth of ‘Blackness’

Part 10: Apocalyptic Prophet of Racial War?

In Part II of Afrolantica Legacies, Critical Race Theory founder Derrick Bell presents the seven essays and parables corresponding with the seven tenets of his political faith. The first narrative, titled “Chiara’s Enlightenment” illustrates the first of Bell’s racial dogmas:

Bell’s story describes a fictional encounter between himself and an alien named Chiara from the planet Nevus. This fantastic visitor traveled across the galaxy to earth in order to assure Bell of his affirmative action ideas’ enlightenment.

This chapter showcases some of the most obvious contradictions in Bell’s political theology.

On page 43 Bell reveals his adherence to Marxist pseudo-feminism, a doctrine that rejects — contrary to Biology 101 — the significance of innate differences in the genders:

But if gender means nothing — and if sex differences are just another tool the bourgeoisie use to oppress the proletariat — then why does Bell repeat on page 46 his belief that “black women will ultimately save our people”?

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Progressive Caucus Budget Proposes $2.9 Trillion Spending Hike

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

We’ve got President Obama’s budget, which was one-upped in spending cuts by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget. That will come to the House floor tomorrow, but the length of time in which the budget would be balanced under the “Path to Prosperity” — 28 years — was one-upped yesterday by the Republican Study Committee budget, wherein House conservatives plan to balance it in five.

Now comes the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget plan: the “Budget for All.”

“This budget puts power back in the hands of the American people by creating jobs, making sure everyone pays a fair tax rate, taking away the need for corporate money in politics and putting justice at the forefront of our national conversation,” Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) said. “Working people are losing faith in the government’s ability to respond to their everyday problems and losing patience with Republican obstruction. This budget rebuilds the country they believe in, and I’m proud to support it.”

The budget increasing funding for numerous programs that the caucus says will create jobs by $2.9 trillion (including an infrastructure bank), and restores tax rates to Clinton-era levels (a “sensible share” for higher income earners). It makes no cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits.

It creates new tax brackets for millionaires and up, and calls for adoption of the “Buffett Rule.” Elections would be publicly funded to take corporate donations out of the system, and a new Making Work Pay tax credit would be available from 2013-2015.

“Anyone who thinks trillions of dollars in cuts and more corporate giveaways are what the country needs has been sleeping through the last two years,” Jackson said. “This budget responds to what the people want, what the economy requires and what the Progressive Caucus believes in. I look forward to a national discussion about what’s in this plan, and I’m excited to stand behind it.”

The caucus’ FY 2012 proposal was called “The People’s Budget.” The “Budget for All” builds off that.

“Paul Ryan was right about only one thing when he introduced the GOP’s budget,” CPC co-chairman Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said. “America has a choice between two futures. In the Republican vision for America, the Medicare guarantee is stripped from our parents and grandparents, Wall Street greed is rewarded while the middle class continues to shrink and more of our tax dollars are handed over to millionaires, billionaires and the corporate special interests who can afford an army of lobbyists.

“In the CPC’s vision for America, we all do better when we all do better. We reward work, not just wealth. We invest in our people and rebuild America, and we begin to show Washington what a government of, by, and for the people looks like. I think I know which future the American people will choose.”

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