Several key Democratic Party professionals have told PJ Media that Vice President Joseph Biden has become intensely jealous of attention being paid presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. Thousands have turned up for Ryan’s speeches while only 600 appeared for Biden’s latest address.
“He’d be tearing his hair out, if he didn’t have to be so careful of the follicles,” said one Democratic professional, speaking under condition of anonymity similar to that given GOP professionals who spoke earlier about Ryan in a Politico article by Alexander Burns, Maggie Haberman, and Jonathan Martin. Biden is known for having had hair transplants while Ryan has a full head of his own.
“They’re sending Joe to secret anger management training. He’s been going berserk because he’s worried people think Ryan is more intelligent than he is,” said another Democrat, again speaking under anonymity and reminding PJ Media of Biden’s unimpressive college record where he ranked 506th of in a class of 688. The vice president has acknowledged plagiarizing while in law school, though he says it was “inadvertent.”
Consideration was being given, the Democrat added, to Biden’s having a “family emergency” in Argentina at the time of his scheduled debate with Ryan.
A third Democrat operative said party professionals were “extremely relieved” by the anonymously sourced Politico article alleging GOP pros thought Ryan a risky nominee. “That’s our best hope,” said the first Dem pro. “If Biden actually had to confront Ryan on substance, it could be a disaster. The vice president’s a bit of dim bulb, as everyone knows.”
As for Politico itself, that Democratic pro continued, “Some people think they’re sleazy because they rely so much on anonymous sources and innuendo, but they’re highly reliable for us when the chips are down. “
I hope they don’t – because she’s the gift that keeps on giving – but I strongly suspect the Democratic Party will either can or seriously curtail the activities of DNC Chair Deborah Wasserman-Schultz whose cringeworthy remarks increasingly make her seem like the lost younger sister of The Three Stooges. Here she is seemingly unable to comprehend a simple question from the normally Dem-friendly Wolf Blitzer. As the conversation goes along, Wolf himself seems stupefied. Who can blame him?
Thanks to Yoram Ettinger who reads Tom Friedman so the rest of us don’t have to. Personally, I’d rather watch the twelfth rerun of Desperate Housewives. Ettinger:
In January and June, 2000, on the eve of Bashar Assad’s ascension to power, Tom Friedman (T.F.) was charmed by Bashar Assad’s background: a British-trained ophthalmologist; married to a British citizen of Syrian origin; fluent in English and French; President of the Syrian Internet Association. He compared the eventual Butcher from Damascus, potentially, to Deng Xiaoping, who led China’s economic reforms, modernization and rapprochement with the USA. Swept by wishful-thinking, T.F. assumed that Bashar could liberalize Syria, attract international investors, normalize relations with Israel, end the Arab rejection of the Jewish State, thus demolishing the Iran-Syria axis and ending Iran’s involvement in Lebanon. The prerequisite for such an enterprising scenario was an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. However, as expected, Bashar chose to follow in the footsteps of his ruthless father, Hafiz Assad, slaughtering T.F.’s assumptions and Syria’s domestic opposition, irrespective of the Golan Heights, Israel’s policies or existence.
In August, 2006, T.F. told NPR Radio that Bashar Assad’s Syria was not a natural ally of Iran. He maintained that Syria could resume its traditional role as an ally of the pro-US Arab camp of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Thus, he rewrote Syria’s recent history, which has been consistently anti-US since 1946, as well as pro-Iran since 1979.
In June, 2009, T.F. stated that “for the first time, in a long time, [Middle East] forces for decency, democracy and pluralism have a little wind at their backs.” He identified a tailwind to pro-American elements, and a setback to Iran’s fortunes, in Lebanon, Iraq and Iran itself. According to T.F., “the diffusion of technology – the Internet, blogs, YouTube and text messaging via cellphones” – tilted the Middle East in favor of the US. He was determined not to allow the real Middle East to stand in the way of his vision of a Middle East consumed by globalization, modernity, democratization and the Internet. Unfortunately, the increasingly boiling seismic Arab Street from Morocco to the Persian Gulf has repudiated T.F.’s vision.
In February, 2011, T.F. determined that “the Muslim Brotherhood is not running the [anti-Mubarak] show…Any ideological group that tries to hijack these young people will lose…. This uprising feels post-ideological…. The emerging spokesman for this uprising is Wael Ghonim, a Google marketing executive.”
Enthralled by the Arab Spring delusion, T.F. concluded that the Egyptian Street “tried [radical] Nasserism, tried Islamism and is now trying democracy.” He was convinced that “the democracy movement came out of Tahrir Square like a tiger…. Anyone who tries to put the tiger back in the cage will get his head bitten off…. Witness one of the great triumphs of the human spirit….. The first pan-Arab movement that is focused on universal values….”
Amazing, isn’t it? And they pay Friedman for this stuff. I guess you could say T. F. is the P. T. Barnum of the pundit world, though not nearly as much fun. (Read the whole thing, by the way.)
h/t: Dan Friedman
Just in from the Romney campaign: Mitt Romney will announce his choice for Vice President in Norfolk, Virginia at 8:45am EST Saturday.
Location of announcement: USS Wisconsin. Nauticus Museum.
Has Fareed Zakaria channeled his inner Mike Barnicle?
Reading that Zakaria has been suspended indefinitely by CNN and for one month by Time for plagiarizing a recent New Yorker article (how dumb is that?) reminded me that the execrable Mike Barnicle still appears on The Morning Joe. From Wikipedia:
In 1998, Barnicle resigned from the Boston Globe amid allegations of fabrication and plagiarism. Barnicle’s October 8, 1995, column recounted the story of two sets of parents with cancer-stricken children. When one of the boys, a black child, died, the parents of the other boy, a white child who had begun to recover, sent the dead child’s parents a check for $10,000. When the Globe could not locate the people who had not been publicly identified, Barnicle insisted nonetheless that the story was true. He said he did not obtain the story from the parents but from a nurse, whom he declined to identify. Mrs. Patricia Shairs later contacted the Globe to indicate that the story Barnicle wrote was about her family, although she said some of the facts were incorrect.
The second column in question contained more than 80 lines of humorous observations dated August 2, 1998, about a third of which plagiarized observations from the 1997 book Brain Droppings by George Carlin. Although Barnicle said he had never read the book, the editor of the Globe issued a temporary suspension. WCVB-TV then aired a video clip of Barnicle recommending the book to viewers for upcoming summer reading, saying it had a “yuk on every page.” Globe editor called for his resignation but this was rescinded under fire from readers, advertisers and a group of media personalities. Instead the suspension period doubled.
Sorry, but to me, as a longtime professional writer and now CEO of a media company, plagiarism is a one-time offense. It’s villainous theft of intellectual property from your peers. Do it once, get caught and find another profession. (There are plenty.) Barnicle should not be appearing on The Morning Joe and I don’t want to read or another word from Fareed Zakaria ever.
And now for The Great Lobachevsky.
Remember those sanctions the administration is always telling us will bring Iran to its knees and force the mullahs to abandon their nuclear ambitions – yes, those same sanctions that always seem to have loopholes for the Russians, the Chinese, the Europeans, even for American and multi-national companies?
Well, Shurat HaDin – the Israel Law Center that has done yeoman work suing those who aid and abet terrorism – is now challenging one of those companies, global mobile satellite giant Inmarsat PLC, whose guidance systems service Iranian oil tankers and military vessels (!).
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, (real) human rights activist and Shurat HaDin’s founder, has submitted a letter to Inmarsat’s leadership citing a 2008 US Supreme Court ruling that those who support terror organizations are liable in US court for the murder an injuries they cause. Darshan-Leitner told the satellite company: “We will not tolerate Inmarsat’s – or any corporation’s – profiting from the blood of innocent people. Anything short of immediate and decisive action on our part would be akin to acceptance. It is a simple issue of justice: Inmarsat must uphold its legal obligations in compliance with US Treasury regulations and immediately cease its support for Iran.”
Little Syria – not Russia, China or the USA – is said by many to have the world’s biggest supply of chemical weapons. Where did they come from? Saddam?
We may know some day, but that’s not our immediate problem as Syria descends into chaos. A huge WMD stockpile could fall into the hands of terrorists.
Meanwhile, Assad’s minions said today that those weapons would not be used internally, but warned they would be unleashed if there was external aggression toward Syria.
The chemical stockpile is kept at the al-Safira base northwest of Damascus in the care of the president’s personal guard unit which takes orders from Bashar Assad and no one else. If the heads of that guard saw the regime suddenly collapse – as it was expected to do last Wednesday when assassins murdered the men closest to the president – the American official says, “It is impossible to predict how they will act or what use they will make of the weapons systems under their guard.”
“They may decide to sneak out of Syria to Lebanon and take with them the entire arsenal as insurance for their safety and future,” he suggested.
According to our military sources, the arsenal which could be spirited across to Lebanon contains a lot more than chemical weapons. It also includes Scud C and Scud D surface missles capable of delivering chemical warheads and also the Russian-made advanced Pantsyr-S1 (NATO codenamed SA-22 Greyhound) anti-air missiles, which have been guarding the chemical stocks.
Fortunately, as of now, at least according to the same Debka report (yes, yes, I’m aware of their erratic track record but still…), Assad has not decided to ship his supply to Hizbullah and Hassan Nasrallah has not even decided to receive them. He might not want to incur the wrath of the Turks, the Joradians, the Israelis and the Americans all at once.
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.