The Bulgarian terror attack that took seven lives, including five Israelis, plus many injuries, is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, a high-ranking Israeli diplomat told PJ Media on background today. The diplomat pointed out this was the twelfth among recent attacks instigated by Iran. Fortunately, the others were prevented, but Israel authorities expect the number to increase in intensity and significance in the wake of the current Middle Eastern conflagrations, notably in Syria. They are deeply concerned because as good as intelligence work may be, it can never be perfect.
The diplomat’s warning jibes with the New York Times report today that Israel is also concerned about the whereabouts of Syria’s vast store of chemical weaponry (rumored to be among the world’s largest), especially that the weapons would fall into the hands of Hizbollah if Syria’s civil war continues to grow. Israel recommended a U.S. attack on the Syrian stores, but the U.S. apparently declined.
Amidst recent rumors that Condoleezza Rice may get Mitt Romney’s nod for the vice presidency, it’s worth acknowledging that Rice would be pretty much the most accomplished person in high elected office in our country in recent years, possibly ever. She is a Russian literature scholar, fluent in the language, and a classical pianist at a professional or near-professional level. (The thought of her debating Joe Biden has definite comic overtones.) Here she is playing Schumann’s Fantasiestucke, Op. 73 with cellist Kjell Stenberg just last May:
From the JPost:
Despite its poor record on human rights, Syria is on course to winning membership on the UN Human Rights Council, UN Watch reported on Thursday.
UN Watch, an NGO that monitors the international body’s activity, cited a draft resolution presented in Geneva in which the US opposed Syria’s candidacy for a Human Rights Council seat in 2014. The resolution, which is also supported by the European Union, said Damascus “fails to meet the standards” for Human Rights Council membership.
President Bashar Assad’s regime is, however, likely to get a spot on the 47-nation council “due to the prevalent system of fixed slates, whereby regional groups orchestrate uncontested elections, naming only as many candidates as allotted seats,” according to UN Watch.
Not even Orwell could have conceived that. No wonder the Israeli are a little miffed with the UNHRC:
Israel reiterated Friday that it would refuse cooperation with a a UN Human Rights Council fact finding mission to probe Israeli Wast Bank settlement activity and Jewish building in east Jerusalem.
The Geneva-based council appointed three international jurists to the mission on Friday, eliciting a rebuke from Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.
“The fact finding mission will find no cooperation in Israel and its members will not be allowed to enter Israel and the territories. Its existence embodies the inherent distortion that typifies the UNHRC treatment of Israel and the hijacking of the important human rights agenda by non democratic countries,” he said.
I spent an amusing Sunday evening watching the Dalai Lama being interviewed by Piers Morgan on CNN. (Yes, Piers is still on.) The more or less clueless Brit asked the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader which world leader he liked the most (of the many he met) and the DL said George W. Bush. He evidently thought Bush 43 a very nice guy. The astonished expression on Morgan’s face on hearing this was worth the price of admission. Also, worth the price were the Dalai Lama’s views on celibacy (his own). Other thing: he never saw a Richard Gere movie. But see it all for yourself…
No surprise that the Jewish religion made no appearance whatsoever among the faiths listed as possibilities on the new Gallup poll surveying the public’s beliefs about Barack Obama’s religion. After all the president hasn’t bothered to visit Israel since he took office, so what would be the point?
Of the folks polled, 34% said he was Christian, 11% Muslim and 44% didn’t know.
I’d put myself with a yet smaller group further down the poll list – the 8% who checked off a more definitive “none/no religion.”
As we know, the president claims to be Christian, but I don’t believe that any more than half the stuff in Dreams of My Father. I know a fellow agnostic when I see one, I’m embarrassed to say. (Call it “agno-dar.”)
The pretense that Obama is a Christian is just another lie among many. He almost never goes to church and, when he does, it’s mostly for political show. He’s following in the grand Clinton tradition there, but I imagine once in a while Bill wonders if there is a God. My suspicion about Obama is that he never does – except perhaps on election night.
Glenn Reynolds reminds us, “Don’t get cocky.” Also, it’s early. Very early. Nevertheless, Mitt Romney seems to be trending upwards, perhaps significantly, on Rasmussen’s closely watched Daily Presidential Tracking Poll. Today shows Mitt ahead 48% to 43% for the second day in a row.
Rasmussen tracks likely voters, making this paragraph especially interesting: Interest in the campaign is often a good indicator of turnout. Forty-three percent (43%) of Republican voters are following the campaign on a daily or nearly daily basis. Thirty-six percent (36%) of Democrats are doing the same, along with 32% of those not affiliated with either major party.
From the Times of Israel, via Der Spiegel:
The Palestinian terrorists who killed 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics were assisted by a German neo-Nazi, a German newsmagazine reported Sunday. The neo-Nazi, Willi Pohl, helped forge passports and ferried one of the Black September terror cell ringleaders around Germany in the weeks before the Olympic massacre.
Based on recently released files from Germany’s security service BfV, der Spiegel reported Sunday that Pohl had met with Saad Walli, an “Arab-looking man” who boasted of his contacts to the radical wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization, seven weeks before the massacre in September 1972. Saad Walli was the code name of Abu Daoud, one of the masterminds behind the attack.
The 2,000-page report, which the police of the city of Dortmund sent to the BfV and other national authorities, does not mention any efforts made by any of the contacted officials to apprehend Abu Daoud in the weeks prior to the massacre, the weekly reported.
In October 1972 Phol was arrested by the police and was found in possession of grenades, arms and ammunition. The weapons were thought to be held in keeping for Black September to be used in a retaliatory attack against German targets. He was sentenced to two years in prison.
Pohl, who today makes a living writing crime novels and has “credibly distanced himself from terrorism,” according to Der Spiegel, helped Abu Daoud in several ways. He helped him forge passports and other documents and drove him “across the country, where he met with Palestinians in several cities,” the magazine quotes Pohl as saying.
I wonder what Steven Spielberg — auteur, with Tony Kushner, of the unconsciously (on Spielberg’s part anyway) anti-Israeli film Munich — must be thinking now that links with the Holocaust have been drawn. As one who has been known to write crime novels myself, the mystery for me is why Spielberg, after Schindler’s List, would make such a film, as if the Israeli vengeance were in any way morally equivalent to the horrendous racist mass murder. I think the answer is Kushner. I doubt Steven, not really a news maven, had any idea of the extent of the playwright’s anti-Zionist animus.
Now that the links between Neo-Nazis and Palestinian terrorists are made manifest, will the director have the courage to disavow his own film? If he really wants to do something for Israel, he should.
Cross-posted at PJ Lifestyle.
Scary bad if you believe these three articles:
!. From the Telegraph – Debt crisis: tensions mount as Angela Merkel attacks French economy:
Mrs Merkel warned the policies of the new Socialist president could destroy the eurozone by bringing the sovereign debt crisis to France itself.
The bleak assessment came on the eve of an important weekend that will see elections in Greece and France and a key G20 meeting of world leaders in Mexico.
“Europe must discuss the growing differences in economic strength between France and Germany,” she said.
Tensions are running so high that Jean-Marc Ayrault, the French prime minister, was forced to deny that Paris had broken off the Franco-German partnership, following Berlin anger at a Franco-Italian summit in Rome on Thursday.
2. From Bloomberg Businessweek – Fitch Downgrades Egypt on Political Uncertainty as Vote Looms:
Egypt, which is still struggling with the aftermath of popular unrest that last year toppled President Hosni Mubarak, had its long-term foreign currency issuer default ratings downgraded by Fitch Ratings on the eve of a run-off vote to choose a new head of state.
“The downgrade and negative outlook reflect increased uncertainties surrounding the political transition following yesterday’s ruling by the Supreme Constitutional Court to annul parliamentary elections and dissolve parliament,” Richard Fox, head of Fitch’s Middle East and Africa sovereign ratings, said in an e-mailed statement today. The long-term foreign currency rating was cut to B+ from BB-. The outlook for this and the long-term local currency rating were negative, the company said.
How shock washes will hit the US if Greece drops euro: Bankers, governments and investors are preparing for Greece to stop using the euro as its currency, a move that could spread turmoil throughout the global financial system.
The worst case envisions governments defaulting on their debts, a run on European banks and a worldwide credit crunch reminiscent of the financial crisis in the fall of 2008.
A Greek election on Sunday will determine whether it happens. Syriza, a party opposed to the restrictions placed on Greece in exchange for a bailout from European neighbors, could do well.
If Syriza gains power and rejects the terms of the bailout, Greece could lose its lifeline, default on its debt and decide that it must print its own currency, the drachma, to stay afloat.
No one is sure how that would work because there is no mechanism in the European Union charter for a country’s leaving the euro. In the meantime, banks and investors have sketched out the ripple effects.
They think the path of a full-blown crisis would start in Greece, quickly move to the rest of Europe and then hit the U.S. Stocks and oil would plunge, the euro would sink against the U.S. dollar, and big banks would suffer losses on complex trades.
But wait – there’s more:
A Global Perfect Storm - Nouriel Roubini, Project Syndicate
How Spain Got Worse in Less Than a Week – Lisa Abend, Time
A Global Perfect storm begins: Dark, lowering financial and economic clouds are, it seems, rolling in from every direction: the eurozone, the United States, China, and elsewhere. Indeed, the global economy in 2013 could be a very difficult environment in which to find shelter.
That’s about the size of it. Be careful what you wish for, Mitt Romney.
In Dana Milbank’s torching this morning of Obama’s economy speech (“…the president gave Americans a falsehood wrapped in a fallacy”), the WaPo’s resident gadfly got it half right. He went astray when discussing the current political stalemate:
He’s right about the stalemate. But he’s [Obama's] absolutely wrong that November offers an opportunity to break it. No scenario shows either party with a chance of amassing a solid governing majority of the sort Obama had when he took office.
Oh, really? A Republican romp of the 2010 sort, putting Romney in the White House and the GOP dominating both houses of Congress isn’t beginning to seem like a distinct possibility?
But Millbank’s still worth reading this AM as further evidence liberals are pushing the panic button.
Democrats must be “runnin’ scared,” as the old political saying goes, reading today’s Rasmussen Poll showing Romney up in Wisconsin 47-44, a state Obama won by fourteen percentage points in 2008. That’s a, count ‘em, seventeen point swing and makes one wonder if all states might now be in play, even those thought to be in the blue Democratic bag. If the economy gets any worse, they may well be. And if it merely stays the dreadful same, things don’t look very good for Obama either. Despite the blather of Carville and Greenberg, Obama doesn’t need a rebooted campaign; he needs a rebooted economy. And, short of a miracle, it doesn’t look like he’s going to get it. In the short run, look for the mainstream media to ramp up their lies about the economy big time. Let’s hope the public doesn’t buy it. I don’t think they will.
Job creation, shmob creation! In harmony with Obama’s odd assertion that the “private sector is doing just fine,” the president’s new Acting U. S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank has virtually no private sector experience (just like the president himself!). The sole exception in Ms. Blank’s long career is a brief stint at a data collection firm after she graduated from college in 1979. She is, however, the author of a book – Challenging Inequality – from the University of California Press, Berkeley.
Ms… excuse me… Dr. Blank’s vitae is here.
As readers will recall, her predecessor had a recent problem at the wheel of a Lexus.
Who knows what really happened in the series of bizarre automobile accidents involving US Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, as reported by the LA Times today. But shouldn’t we be appalled that the US Commerce Sec’y is driving a foreign car – a Lexus of all things? Evidently, a Cadillac is not good enough for him, despite the taxpayers having bailed out General Motors for an astronomical amount they will never recover.
From the LAT:
Bryson was driving a Lexus in the 400 block of South San Gabriel Boulevard shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday, when he allegedly rear-ended a Buick as it was waiting for a train to pass, according to a statement released by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and the San Gabriel Police Department.
After briefly stopping to talk to the three men inside the Buick, Bryson left the location in the Lexus and then struck the Buick a second time, authorities said. The men followed Bryson’s car and called 911 to ask for police assistance.
Bryson continued to drive his Lexus into Rosemead, which is patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. There, he allegedly crashed into a second vehicle near the intersection of San Gabriel Boulevard and Hellman Avenue.
There authorities found him alone and unconscious behind the wheel of his car.
Fron Arutz Sheva:
The United States blocked Israel’s participation in the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s (GCTF) first meeting in Istanbul on Friday, despite Israel’s having one of the most extensive counterterrorism experiences in the world.
Israel was excluded from the meeting due to fierce objections by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a Washington-based source told Globes news.
According the State Department’s website, the GCTF, which was established in September 2011, aims at “strengthening the global counterterrorism (CT) architecture in a manner that complements and reinforces the CT work of existing multilateral bodies.”
Twenty-nine countries are participating in the GCTF, ten of which are Arab and/or Muslim countries.
Now explain this to me again. Benjamin Netanyahu is supposed to think Barack Obama has his back?
In a surprising announcement on today’s Hannity Show, Rand Paul has endorsed Mitt Romney even before his father has dropped out of the presidential race:
“Well, you know, my first choice had always been my father. … He is still my first pick,” Paul said, according to a rush transcript of the appearance. “But now that the nominating process is over, tonight, I am happy to announce I am supporting Governor Romney.”
“Over the past three and half years, President Obama has made government more and more of a presence in our lives, and Americans can’t afford four more years of the same failed policies,” Romney said. “As president, I will reform the federal government and make it smaller, simpler, and smarter. I am grateful for Sen. Paul’s support and look forward to working with him to get America back on the right track.”
Next question: what will Father Ron’s myriad devotees do? It’s obvious the son trusts Romney enough to throw in with him. Will they?
The crystal ball says… yes.
From the Travel section of the Torygraph:
The ban comes ahead of the peak season for travel – the month-long Saga Dawa festival began on Monday – and is likely to be seen as a response to growing unrest at Chinese rule.
Last month two Tibetans set fire to themselves outside Jokhang temple in Lhasa, a Buddhist shrine that receives thousands of visitors each day. Although at least 37 people have carried out similar protests since March last year, it was the first recorded self-immolation attempt in Lhasa, a popular destination for foreign tourists.
Several Beijing-based tour operators have since claimed that the Chinese National Tourist Office (CNTO) has told them to stop taking foreign visitors to Tibet indefinitely.
Just another reminder the China still is a fascist state.
Highly unlikely. But the Grande Nobeliste has shown himself a prize jerk and something of, well, not exactly a racist, more of a “countryist,” in his dopey defensive commentary about Estonia (apparently an economic success story). The president of that country has struck back on Twitter, with amusing bite. No word so far from cowardly Krugman. The Corner has the story:
It’s not quite Keynes v. Hayek, but Paul Krugman, no stranger to macroeconomic melees, has now set off a world leader, the president of Estonia. In a blog item this morning, Krugman criticized those who claim that Estonia is proof that austerity can work. He describes their situation as “a terrible — Depression-level — slump, followed by a significant but still incomplete recovery. Better than no recovery at all, obviously — but this is what passes for economic triumph?”
This afternoon, Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves took to Twitter to castigate Krugman for his criticisms:
There are more amusing Tweets from the Estonian president at the link.
A revealing post by Evelyn Gordon at Contentions tells us a lot about Palestinian priorities:
If you want to understand the real reason why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been unsolvable for decades, one fact suffices: Palestinian leaders and activists would rather deprive their entire population of fresh water than allow an Israeli company to land a contract.
And if that assertion seems far-fetched, just consider what befell UNICEF last week when it sought to move forward with plans to build a desalination plant in Gaza.
According to both the UN and the Palestinians themselves, Gaza has a desperate shortage of pure drinking water. An official report issued by the Palestinian Water Authority last year stated that 90 percent of Gaza’s water supply is polluted, posing a serious threat to the health of Palestinian residents. A report issued the previous year by the UN Environment Program put the figure at 95 percent. Thus, if ever a place was in desperate need of a desalination plant, it’s Gaza. So UNICEF decided to step into the breach.
The agency’s policy, as its spokeswoman subsequently explained in an effort to justify its behavior, is always to buy from Palestinians if a qualified Palestinian vendor exists. Unfortunately, Palestinian companies don’t make desalination plants. But a world leader in the field happens to sit conveniently just over the border from Gaza, so UNICEF innocently thought the best solution, in terms of quality and cost-effectiveness, would be to invite bids from Israeli firms.
At that point, all hell broke loose. Gaza’s elected Hamas government announced that no Israeli would be allowed to set foot in Gaza. The Palestinian Contractors Union condemned UNICEF, announced a boycott of the agency and warned fellow Palestinians against cooperating with Israeli bidders. Other Palestinian groups threatened to stage protests against UNICEF and shut down its offices.
Awaiting comment from Peter Beinart.
The American Freedom Alliance is sponsoring a conference at LA’s Intercontinental Hotel on June 10 and 11 featuring John Bolton, John Howard (former Prime Minister of Australia), Czech President Vaclav Klaus and many other distinguished speakers from around the world.
The subject: Global Governance vs National Security: Is It the West’s Next Great Ideological War?
The public is invited. Admission Day 1: $125.00 (include breakfast, lunch, refreshments and all conference materials), Day 2: $45.00 (special student discounts)
For more information and reservations, click on the American Freedom Alliance.
(If you come, look for me there. I will be moderating one of the panels. RS)
MORE ABOUT THE CONFERENCE FROM AFA DIRECTOR AVI DAVIS:
As we enter the second decade of the 21st Century, an epic struggle seems to be developing between the forces of global governance and American constitutional democracy. Transnationalists in the United Nations and the European Union, but more more importantly among America’s elites, are seeking to establish a “global rule of law” which would make American constitutional law subservient to a global authority.
This conference will ask political and intellectual leaders from North America, Europe, Israel and Australia to examine whether the forces of global governance are successfully challenging the very concept of national sovereignty in the U.S., Europe, and Israel. It will discuss the significance of the rise of transnational law at the U.S. Supreme Court and explore the role of the United Nations in fostering an assault on national sovereignty; It will review the agenda of human rights NGOs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch in attacking U.S. national security policies.
But most significantly, with the approaching U.S. Presidential election, the conference will address the one issue vital to the continuity of the American republic as an independent polity: How can a vigorous defense of sovereign self-government be mounted so that it becomes a central issue in our foreign policy debate?
The answers to these questions may well define the kind of country in which American citizens can expect to reside for the remainder of this century.
Join us in June in Southern California for an extraordinary opportunity to visit issues which have been disastrously underplayed in the media but which may have a direct bearing on the future of both the United States and the free world.
From the AP:
A new poll finds California voters are experiencing buyers’ remorse over a proposed $68 billion bullet train project, as the number of lawsuits against the rail system grows.
Fifty-five percent of voters want to see the high-speed rail bond issue that was approved in 2008 back on the ballot, and 59 percent say they would now vote against it, according to the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times survey (lat.ms/N9tTcm) published Saturday.
Since the $9 billion borrowing plan was passed, the projected cost of the bullet train between Los Angeles and San Francisco has roughly doubled, and it will now share track with slower commuter and freight trains in some areas, the Times said.
A majority of voters have turned against the ambitious undertaking just as Gov. Jerry Brown is pushing lawmakers to approve the start of construction in the Central Valley later this year.
Scott Walker? How about something useful like a Jerry Brown recall election? Oh, well, not happening. If you can’t get it, sing it, I always say.
Train? Chain? This one’s easy. We just need some new lyrics. Here’s the old standard in the classic Aretha version. Buzzsawmonkey, take it away….
An excellent overview by former CIA agent Charles Faddis is at AND Magazine – Who Lost Egypt? Many of you may know this already, but it’s worth reviewing the history of the Muslim Brotherhood, poised to take control of the most populous Arab nation, even if the Obama Administration doesn’t.
To understand the implications of that for the United States and the world, we would do well to remember a little history. The Brotherhood is an overtly religious, that is to say Islamic, party. In the West, a party which calls for prayer to be allowed in schools or for a Nativity scene to be permitted in front of the court house may be branded as being threatening and reactionary. That is not what we mean when we say that the Brotherhood is “religious”.
The Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by an Egyptian schoolteacher and admirer of Adolf Hitler, Hasan al-Banna. The group was created in accordance with Banna’s belief that Islam should be granted “hegemony” in all matters of life. The Brotherhood was dedicated to the destruction of all non-Islamic governments wherever they existed and to making Islamic sharia law the basis for all jurisprudence everywhere on the planet. It gave birth in a very literal sense to Hamas and Al Qaeda.
There’s more at the link.
Over at the Huffington Post, where Barack Obama normally walks on water when he’s not parting the Red Sea, one Eric Yaverbaum, a “best-selling author,” has declared the president a Master of Social Media:
In late May, the Obama campaign unveiled its latest innovation in the usage of social media: The Dashboard. The rollout was impressive and the tool itself was well-received. It is more proof, as if any more is needed, that Barack Obama is a master of the deployment of social media in political campaigns.
Err, maybe… though he seems to have had is problems with Twitter lately.
Score one for the WSJ this morning:
The United States of America has a black President whose chief law enforcement officer, Attorney General Eric Holder, is also black. They have a lot of political power. So how are they using it? Well, one way is to assert to black audiences that voter ID laws are really attempts to disenfranchise black Americans. And liberals think Donald Trump’s birther fantasies are offensive?
“In my travels across this country, I’ve heard a consistent drumbeat of concern from citizens, who—often for the first time in their lives—now have reason to believe that we are failing to live up to one of our nation’s most noble ideals,” Mr. Holder said Wednesday in a speech to the Council of Black Churches. Voter ID laws and white discrimination, he added, mean that “some of the achievements that defined the civil rights movement now hang in the balance.”
That’s right. The two most powerful men in America are black, two of the last three Secretaries of State were black, numerous corporate CEOs and other executives are black, and minorities of many races now win state-wide elections in states that belonged to the Confederacy, but the AG implies that Jim Crow is on the cusp of a comeback.
As the say – read the whole thing.
The US has already passed the stage of “demoralization.” Watch this and pass it on:
Not to be missed is the riveting read – The Yankee Comandante – in the current The New Yorker. Writer David Grann narrates the incredible life of William Alexander Morgan, an American who began as a volunteer for Castro’s revolution in the mountains of Cuba, became one of the two non-Cuban comandantes (the other was Che) and ended up having his head blown off by one of the dictator’s firing squads. But that’s not even the half of it. It’s worth spending an hour with this incredible story – part Ken Kesey, part Godfather II.
So how’s that old Arab Spring going? You remember — the “Facebook Revolution.” As I write, they’re counting the votes in Egypt’s presidential election, so by the time you read this the pecking order may have changed somewhat. But currently in first place is the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi, who in an inspiring stump speech before the students of Cairo University the other night told them, “Death in the name of Allah is our goal.”
In second place is the military’s man Ahmed Shafiq, Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister and a man who in a recent television interview said that “unfortunately the revolution succeeded.”
In third place is moderate Islamist Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, a 9/11 Truther endorsed by the terrorist organization al-Gama’a al-Islamiya. He’s a “moderate” because he thinks Egyptian Christians should be allowed to run for the presidency, although they shouldn’t be allowed to win.
As I said, this thrilling race is by no means over, and one would not rule out an eventual third-place finish by a rival beacon of progress such as Amr Moussa, the longtime Arab League flack and former Mubarak foreign minister. So what happened to all those candidates embodying the spirit of Egypt’s modern progressive democratic youth movement that all those Western media rubes were cooing over in Tahrir Square a year ago? How are they doing in Egypt’s first free presidential election?
You have 0 friends!
PS: I didn’t either.
One of the biggest unconscious (I’m assuming) howlers I have ever read is Bernie Quigley’s defense of Elizabeth Warren’s phony Indian identity at The Hill – Elizabeth Warren’s true American lineage. Quigley tries to justify Warren’s prevarications by comparing her lies to classical works of fiction. I had to read the article twice to be sure this wasn’t parody with its pompous references to Fenimore Cooper and the James brother, not to mention the Lone Ranger and Tonto. It read like a college freshman on steroids. Who are the editors at The Hill that they would publish this nonsense? Anyway, read it yourself for the laughs. Jonah Goldberg over at The Corner found it “touching” in its naiveté. giving Quigley an “A for Effort“. I understand what he means, but it’s a little scary. Is this how liberals actually think? I was one for decades and I hope I wasn’t that dysfunctional.
The Palace Guards over at MediaMatters are taking nasty swipes at me this morning — “Right-Wing Media’s Latest Embarrassment: Obama Lied About Birthplace to Get Ahead.“ I suppose that’s to be expected when Rush Limbaugh quotes your article (“The Mystery of the Kenyan Birth“) on his show.
What’s amusing is that the MM crew takes at face value the assertion by Obama’s agents that the “born in Kenya” statement at the top of Barack’s biography was just a 1991 mistake that for some reason went unnoticed until 2007, although numerous other entries in the same pamphlet had been updated. (The literary agency, Acton & Dystel, has explained that the “born in Kenya” line “was nothing more than a fact checking error.”)
Hello? Are you kidding? In my informal poll of several authors of numerous books in the last day or two, not a single one of them had ever heard of such a thing or could have imagined it. It certainly wasn’t remotely my experience, as the author of eleven books. We all remembered our first books and what close (almost obsessive) attention we paid to the publicity, whether from agents or publishers. The idea that we – or Obama of all people — would have missed our country of birth in the opening paragraph of some bio is risible.
Never mind. MM will believe what it wants to believe. But speaking of fact checking, I wouldn’t mind if they referred to us as PJ Media, not PJ Media as they did at the link. The name has been changed for several months. If they do, I promise to refer to them as MediaMatters, not MishMash.
As if it weren’t enough the Democratic Massachusetts senatorial candidate and Harvard Law prof Elizabeth Warren has been exposed for faking an evidently non-existent Cherokee background, it now appears Fauxcahontas plagiarized recipes she contributed to a “Native American”-based cookbook called, oh-so-cleverly, POW WOW CHOW.
Fortnuately for Warren, it’s doubtful she will be kicked out of Harvard for this. Even given the university’s supposedly high plagiarism standards, they have a solid history of finally being helpful to the plagiarists in their midsts. But no problem. The real question is how the Mass voters will respond to Fauxcahontas now Faux Julia Childs.
This calls for a chorus of “The Great Lobachevsky” by Tom Lehrer, a Harvard man when that meant something. What? You don’t know “The Great Lobachevsky”? Listen up. You’re in for a treat.
And now, Irving Berlin honors Elizabeth Warren…. featuring Mary Martin in “I Am Indian Too.”http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xmiw9
While reading Tim Stanley’s amusing take on the “Obama is a Kenyan according to his literary agent” revelation on Breitbart.com, it suddenly struck me – what is with these liberals and their phony identities? Aren’t they happy being what they are?
Poor Elizabeth Warren wasn’t happy with her Caucasian self and had to pretend to be Cherokee. And now we find that Obama let sleeping dogs lie about his having been “Born in Kenya” on his agent’s website from 1991 until 2007 (just in the nick of time before running for Pres. of the USA).
Now I’m no “birther,” not even close. But this stuff is creepier than actually being born in a foreign country. This is in the realm of serious weirdness.
It’s going to be fascinating to see how the mainstream media plays this, because, as Stanley points out, much of this would be uncovered by a simple Google search. Stanley wonders why they never asked these questions, but I assume he was being rhetorical.
But in case they want a question to ask , here’s a simple one for POTUS at the next White House press conference: Assuming you never read the false information in your agent’s press kit, why did she think you were born in Kenya in the first place?
We can go from there.
We have always branded Bill Clinton a liar, at least about sex, and probably other things. But the amazing scoop by Breitbart.com today makes Obama one up on Bill. In all likelihood, the president will say that he never saw the information from his literary agents claiming he was born in Kenya. But as the author of 11 books, I can say that in EVERY instance that I have been published, I have seen such material in advance. It could be that Obama is the exception, but that is highly unlikely.
In other words, we have in the White House a man willing to bend his national identity for profit. Pretty cool! (He’s supposed to be cool, isn’t he? Well that’s as cool as it gets.)
In a few minutes, I will be interviewing Jack Cashill. Some time ago, Mr. Cashill wrote for the American Thinker that Bill Ayers wrote or rewrote Dreams From My Father, the Obama “memoir” that is at issue here. It will be interesting to see what Mr. Cashill has to say on PJTV, because this new revelation from Breitbart adds great credence to his theory.
UPDATE: Interview with Jack Cashill
Boy, was I not surprised when I saw the headline CNN Hits Lowest Primetime Demo Rating at 9PM in 15 Years. Nor did I bat an eye when reading the explanation:
Unfortunately for CNN, “Piers Morgan Tonight” was the apparent victim of the busy night, drawing only 39,000 viewers 25-54 at 9 PM. To say those ratings are anomalous would be something of an understatement. That is the lowest 9 PM weekday demo rating for CNN since at least 1997. While the ratings were an outlier, it was a fairly normal edition of “PMT,” with Morgan hosting. Guests included Jane Lynch and “The man with the golden voice” Ted Williams.
You’d think CNN would get that many people channel-surfing looking for the Home Shopping Network or some such. Never mind. Most viewers have a modicum of taste and would normally flee from Piers Morgan. CNN execs ought to take a hard look at this bizarre interview of Jonah Goldberg by Morgan. The subject was supposed to be Goldberg’s new book. Instead, it comes off as a display of a cognitive dissonance on the part of the interviewer. Quite interesting viewing if you’re interested in the Psychopathology of Every Day Liberal Minds.
The following exchange was transcribed from the Sean Hannity radio show on which bestselling author Ed Klein, author of The Amateur: Barack Obama in The White House (Regnery), appeared shortly after 4pm eastern time yesterday. Klein spent almost an hour on the air being interviewed by Hannity. During the interview Klein named, for the first time, the person who the Rev. Jeremiah Wright said initiated the attempt to bribe Wright with $150,000 for his silence before the 2008 election.
Klein: Well what happened is that after ABC, Brian Ross, broadcast the videotapes of the Rev. Wright Goddamning America and slamming whites, slamming Jews, and America, he was contacted by one of Obama’s closest personal friends. A guy who travels on Obama’s plane, who plays basketball with him, who goes on vacations with him.
Hannity: And you name this guy for the first time today because you did not name him in the book.
Klein: I didn’t name him in the book but I can tell you who he is. His name is Dr. Eric Whitaker.
Hannity: Dr. Whitaker.
Klein: Dr. Whitaker is the vice president of the University of Chicago Medical Center, and he’s a member of Obama’s very tight inner circle. And he sent an email to a member of the Trinity United Church.
Hannity: By the way is this the same hospital Michelle worked at.
Klein: Exactly the same hospital that she worked at.
Hannity: And this is where she got that big raise after he became Senator.
Klein: She was making, what, 300-some-odd-thousand dollars?
Hannity: But it was a significant jump up, after he became Senator.
Klein: That’s right. And, you know, Chicago politics is one hand feeds the other, as you know. And Eric Whitaker, very close friend of the Obamas, sent an email to a member of the church saying that the Rev. Wright could get $150,000 if he would shut up and not criticize Obama anymore. Then after the Rev. Wright said no thank you, Obama himself paid a personal call on the Rev. Wright.
Hannity: When did this personal meeting take place, this face to face.
Klein: Just to put it in context, if you remember Obama made a big speech.
Hannity: In Pennsylvania, in Philly.
Klein: That’s right, saying, this is his famous race speech which took place on the 18th of March. About ten days later he made this secret meeting with the Rev. Wright, after he had already denounced him, and begged him to not speak any further. Now we know this is true not only because the Rev. Wright told me so, but because the Secret Service logs logged in this meeting. So we have confirmation that it actually took place.
Hannity: So they offered him – and this is all on the tapes that you have with Rev. Wright, Rev. Wright said this. So Rev. Wright, am I reading this correctly, is angry at Obama?
Klein: Rev. Wright is more than angry, he is absolutely fulminating. He feels that he’s been thrown under the bus by a man who he mentored for 23 or 24 years. You know we, all of us, complained about the fact that Obama sat in that church and listened to that hate speech for 20 years. But what we don’t realize is that even before he became a member of the church he was very close to the Rev. Wright who was like a second father to him. And who was his spiritual adviser, his political adviser. And, in fact, the Rev. Wright told me on tape that Obama came to him and said I need some spiritual advice, I don’t know exactly who I am. And the Rev. Wright said, and this is on tape, well we know your Islam background and you have that but what you need now is some coaching on Christianity. And I asked the Rev. Wright, did you convert him from being a Muslim to a Christian. And he said, well I don’t know if I can go that far, but I can tell you that I made it comfortable for him to accept Christianity without having to renounce his Islamic background.
Meanwhile…. back in high school… Mitt Romney gave someone a haircut.
Hannity: And this is all on tape.
Klein: This is all on tape.
Hannity: When can I play these tapes?
Klein: I’d be happy to give them to you.
Hannity: Can I have a copy of the whole 3 and a half hours?
Hannity: I’d love a copy of that and, believe me, we’re going to play them.
From a column by Yuval Porat in the WSJ:
Iran was placed on a continuum measuring the tendency of societies world-wide to foster liberal democracy. Remarkably, in comparison to 47 countries surveyed in the World Values Survey, Iranian society’s potential for liberal democracy was found to be higher than that of 23 others—including Arab countries such as Egypt, Morocco and Jordan, and Asian countries such as South Korea, India and Thailand. In comparison to 29 countries surveyed In the European Social Survey, Iran was found to have higher tendencies toward liberal democracy than Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia and Romania.
We also discovered an abnormally large gap between the societal potential for liberal democracy in Iran and the actual level of democracy in the country. In most countries there is a high correlation between the two. When such a gap exists, there is a strong tendency for the country’s level of democracy to adjust in accordance with the society’s potential.
I’m not a great believer in “social science” surveys, but this gives some corroboration to those of us who wanted to believe in the Green Movement.
Do not miss Andrew Ferguson’s droll and brilliant essay “The New Phrenology/How liberal psychopundits understand the conservative brain“ at the Weekly Standard. It begins:
We are entering the age of the psychopundit (we can thank the science writer Will Saletan for this excellent word). Thomas Edsall, for example, is a veteran political reporter widely admired by people who admire political reporters. He has become very excited by social science, as so many widely admired people have. Studies show—as a psychopundit would say—that Edsall is excited because social science has lately become a tool of Democrats who want to reassure themselves that Republicans are heartless and stupid. In embracing Science, the psychopundit believes he is moving from the spongy world of mere opinion to the firmer footing of fact. It is pleasing to him to discover that the two—his opinion and scientific fact—are identical.
Now go read it. You’ll feel better.