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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Friday, June 13, 2008


Haditha judge to rule on motion to dismiss
A military judge who has heard days of arguments over motions in the case against a Marine officer charged criminally after U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., publicly accused service members of being murderers abruptly has changed a hearing that had been scheduled for three days to one hour.

The confirmation comes from the Thomas More Law Center, which is defending Lt. Col Jeffrey Chessani.

3 in Ohio guilty of plot against US troops in Iraq
Yahoo! News
CLEVELAND - Three Ohio men were convicted Friday of plotting to recruit and train terrorists to kill American soldiers in Iraq, a case put together with help from a former soldier who posed as a radical bent on violence.

Judicial supremacy strikes in Oklahoma
The elected representatives in Oklahoma passed a law to stem the tide of illegal immigrants and, faster than you can say "judicial supremacy," a federal judge blocked its enforcement. The court suspended key sections of the law even before it was due to take effect on July 1.

The Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act was designed to prevent illegal immigrants from taking jobs from Americans and from evading taxes by working in the underground economy.

The Oklahoma law passed the State Legislature by overwhelming, bipartisan, veto-proof majorities (88-9 in the House, 41-1 in the Senate) and was signed by Democratic Gov. Brad Henry. Public opinion polls reported that the law enjoys 88 percent public approval, and it was recognized as a model for other states to copy.

Mugabe, al-Qaida links uncovered
LONDON -- British intelligence agents working for MI6 in Africa have established that President Robert Mugabe's top generals, who control Zimbabwe's Joint Operations Command, have met with two extremist terror groups linked to al-Qaida about plans for an "Islamic empire" in southern Africa in which Zimbabwe would play a crucial role,

Democrat voter drive investigated for fraud
Louisiana's top election official has launched an investigation into a voter registration drive by the Washington-based Voting is Power organization, which is sponsored by the Muslim American Society and was hired by Democrats, after registrars were "flooded" with fake forms, including a couple for a gentleman named George W. Bush.

Secretary of State Jay Dardenne said this week he already has met with Voting Is Power, which has a stated goal of signing up millions of Muslims to vote in U.S. elections, and the discussions were cordial.

He said he's seeking information about the company's methodology and information on why so many voter registration applications turned out to be incomplete, duplicates, or just plain fraudulent.

Obama anti-smear site: 'He was never a Muslim'
But contemporaries, records indicate candidate once 'quite religious in Islam'

Barack Obama: Today's Soylent Green
The Barack Obama campaign phenomenon increasingly resembles the 1973 science fiction movie "Soylent Green" more and more with each passing day.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Not Your Father's JFK
Sometimes you have to feel sorry for the “mainstream” media. In its pursuit of oversimplification, there are only so many heroes to choose from, particularly when it comes to liberal politicians. With the last lion of the Kennedy clan terminally ill and the next generations of the family proving inept at best, it’s time for a new Kennedy. Meet Barack Obama.

Terrorism Intelligence Report

Incident Foreshadows Future Attacks in Pakistan
By Fred Burton and Scott Stewart

In a June 10 press conference, Rehman Malik, the internal affairs advisor to Pakistan’s prime minister, reported that a suicide bombing plot had been thwarted when Pakistani authorities arrested nine individuals and seized four apparent vehicle-borne improvised explosives devices (VBIEDs) containing a total of over 1,100 kilograms of explosives.

Three of the VBIEDs were recovered by authorities on June 6. Of those, two vehicles contained 400 kilograms of explosives, while the third carried a 200-kilogram load, Malik said. On the same day, authorities advised that they were searching for a fourth VBIED, which appears to be the one they recovered June 9. According to Malik, it contained 180 kilograms of explosives.

The VBIED seizures follow the June 2 bombing of the Danish Embassy in Islamabad, which left eight people dead and many more wounded. In his press conference, Malik noted that three would-be suicide bombers were among those arrested. He also noted that the militants’ attack plans were “fully mature” and that the group was close to launching attacks with the VBIEDs at the time they were arrested.

Tactically, Malik’s assessment rings true, because militant groups do not make VBIEDs unless they intend to use them. Not only is the process expensive and labor-intensive, but it is far easier to cache and conceal bulk explosives than a fully assembled VBIED. Because VBIEDs are so easily discovered, one does not leave them sitting around; they are constructed and then quickly employed. Additionally, if an improvised explosive mixture is to be used as the main explosive charge in the device, many of these mixtures are unstable and tend to degrade over time. They are best used fresh.

With these facts in mind, it is understandable that the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad issued a Warden message after the June 6 seizure alerting U.S. citizens and advising them to maintain a low profile. The fact that the fourth device was seized on June 9 shows that the U.S. concern was justified.

There are several militant actors in Pakistan, ranging from foreign groups like al Qaeda, which claimed credit for the Danish Embassy attack, to domestic actors such as Baitullah Mehsud’s militant jihadist group, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

It is not yet clear whether the seizure of the four VBIEDs resulted from the investigation into the Danish Embassy bombing (and is therefore tied to the perpetrators of that attack), or whether the devices belonged to another actor. There is, however, some indication of their provenance based on their size. There are also several other interesting points that can be gleaned by turning a protective intelligence lens on the facts at hand.
Prior Warning

Like many other attacks, the strike against the Danish Embassy did not occur out of the blue. In early 2006, following the September 2005 publication of a series of cartoons satirizing the Prophet Mohammed, protests erupted in many parts of the Islamic world. While many Muslims protested the cartoons by boycotting Danish goods, others displayed their displeasure with violence. The Danish embassies in Beirut and Damascus were set on fire, and threats to Danes abounded in many countries. In August 2007, this outrage was inflamed again when a Swedish newspaper printed a controversial cartoon of the Prophet.

Things came to a boil again in early 2008 when Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders released a controversial film called Fitna, which harshly criticized Islam and used images of the Danish cartoons from 2005. Many Muslims were outraged by the film. Among those who reacted was Osama bin Laden, who in a March 19 statement threatened attacks against European countries. In fact, bin Laden even said the images were more provocative than killing Muslim civilians.

In the wake of these most recent threats, the Danes drew down their embassy staff in Islamabad. Recognizing that their embassy was not very secure, the Danes had many of their remaining Danish staff in Islamabad work out of hotels, which they believed were safer.

The Dutch reacted similarly and actually moved their embassy to an Islamabad hotel in mid-April. In response to the threat, security was also ramped up around European embassies, including Denmark’s, which continued to conduct many of its consular functions in its embassy building.
The Target

The Danish Embassy was located in an upscale residential neighborhood outside of Islamabad’s protected diplomatic enclave. In fact, the embassy is located not far from Luna Caprese, a restaurant that was bombed on March 15, or the Marriott hotel, which was targeted by a suicide bombing in January 2007. While its location outside the diplomatic enclave made the facility more vulnerable to attack, perhaps the most critical factors in the embassy’s vulnerability were its location in relation to the street and its construction.

The Danish Embassy is not only in a residential neighborhood — it also is a converted residence. As such, it was built accordingly and therefore not constructed of materials meant to withstand the force of an explosive attack. The vulnerability presented by this type of construction was compounded by the fact that the building was situated very close to the street. In a bombing attack, construction is important, but the only thing that truly provides protection from the effects of a very large VBIED is standoff — keeping the bomb away from the protected building. With newer U.S. Embassy buildings (such as the one in Islamabad), the structures are not only built to withstand a blast or rocket attack, but also located a significant distance from the embassy compound perimeter. This positioning is intended to ensure protection from any blast.

In contrast, the Danish Embassy in Islamabad only had a few feet separating the perimeter wall from the building itself. Due to the building’s construction and location, very little could have been done for its protection other than to close the street in front of it or at the very least attempt to control traffic. Many older embassies and consulates are situated in former residences or commercial buildings. As a result, in the realm of embassy security there is often tension between security officers, who want to shut down streets and provide standoff protection for their facilities, and the host government, which does not want further congestion in the typically crowded cities in which they are often located. In the case of the Danish Embassy in Islamabad, which was not located on a main thoroughfare, it appears that the Pakistanis did establish roadblocks to control access to the area, which contained many other potential terrorist targets.
The Attack

The vehicle used in the attack was a small, white Toyota or Suzuki. According to several media reports, the vehicle bore counterfeit Danish diplomatic license plates. The attack was caught on the Embassy’s CCTV system which, according to the Danish Security and Intelligence Service, reportedly shows the vehicle passing by the embassy, stopping and then reversing toward the building’s vehicle gate before detonating.

The location of the seat of the blast (which marks where the vehicle was when it exploded) in relation to the embassy building and gate appears to confirm this report. In fact, the brunt of the force of the explosion missed the embassy building and instead destroyed a section of the embassy’s perimeter wall adjacent to a parking lot. However, a U.N. building located across the street was not as lucky and experienced heavy damage from the explosion.

The fact that the bomber drove past his target would seem to indicate that he was poorly prepared for his mission — much to the good fortune of the Danes. Had he been able to detonate the device while on the street parallel to the embassy building, or had he been able to jump the curb and position the device directly against the perimeter wall, the damage to the embassy building would have been far worse, and the casualty count might have been higher.

The reports of the counterfeit Danish diplomatic license plates are also intriguing. While such plates likely helped the bomber get past the police checkpoints and onto the street where the embassy was located, the Danish Embassy is very small, and the guards there were undoubtedly familiar with all of the vehicles bearing Danish diplomatic tags. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that they would have allowed the vehicle to enter the embassy’s perimeter, enabling the bomber to detonate the device in very close proximity to the building.

The timing of the attack is also very interesting. That it was conducted at 1 p.m. on a business day clearly indicates that the attackers intended to cause maximum casualties. Their efforts were not intended as a symbolic gesture, as might be suggested by, for example, an attack undertaken on a Saturday or at 3 a.m. While these particular aggressors were obviously after blood, their brutal intentions may have had limits. The embassy’s visa section closes at noon, and it would appear that the attackers may have purposefully scheduled a later attack to minimize the casualties to Pakistani visa applicants. They also did not schedule the attack during the morning or afternoon rush, when there would be more people on the street.

While al Qaeda claimed the attack as a success, it killed mostly Pakistani Muslims and clearly did not create the type of “infidel” body count the planners would have hoped for — the only Danish citizen killed was born in Pakistan and held dual citizenship; the rest of the victims were also Pakistanis.
Recovered VBIEDs

Whoever assembled the four recently seized VBIEDs devoted a significant amount of resources to their creation. From the sheer size of the devices alone, it can be clearly extrapolated that they were intended to create significant carnage and damage. One simply does not make a 400-kilogram VBIED for symbolism. A 5-kilogram device can be used to make a symbolic point — a 400-kilogram device is immensely destructive. The simultaneous employment of two such devices detonated in one city in conjunction with two other 200-kilogram devices could create a terrorist spectacular.

The size of the devices also speaks to the intended targets. A would-be terrorist does not need a 400-kilogram device to go after a soft target. While a 5-kilogram IED can easily take out a U.S. fast-food franchise, a larger VBIED is needed to damage hardened targets with robust construction. A 400-kilogram device detonated at the same spot as the June 2 attack would likely have leveled the Danish Embassy. By way of reference, such a device would be larger than those used by Hezbollah in Argentina to bomb the Israeli Embassy in 1992 or the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina in 1994.

Some may contend that the Pakistani government has fabricated this threat and staged these arrests to create public reassurance while demonstrating its competence following the Danish Embassy bombing. Such a publicity stunt is unlikely in our opinion, especially considering the extensive amount of explosives uncovered. In fact, by making this information public and showcasing the large amount of explosives that the attackers were able to obtain, the Pakistani government is illustrating just the opposite point.

In effect, the Pakistanis have confirmed that an at-large organization inside their country possesses the ability to amass and employ nearly 1,200 kilograms of explosives. This news is not reassuring by any stretch of the imagination.

The recovered VBIEDs are evidence of both a serious and a costly effort. Even in Pakistan, 1,200 kilograms of explosives does not grow on trees. An organization willing to expend such effort, resources and time will not typically stop until they are destroyed or otherwise neutralized. They might make tactical changes based on lessons learned from failed operations, but they will continue to attack.

Pakistani militant groups are not shy about using explosives, but the majority of their devices — even suicide devices — are smaller. The size of the device and the fact that there were multiple devices involved would tend to point toward al Qaeda, which has a penchant for thinking big and has an operational history of conducting multiple, simultaneous attacks. In other words, these attacks appear to indicate that Pakistan’s jihadist chickens are coming home to roost.

The bombing of the Danish Embassy and the recovery of the four large VBIEDs demonstrate that al Qaeda has the capability to mount serious attacks in Pakistan. The fact that the last four devices were discovered before they could be employed illustrates that the Pakistani government has some intelligence coverage regarding those capabilities.

At this point, however, it appear that al Qaeda, the TTP and other militants can operate with a large degree of freedom and that the Pakistani government does not have the ability to consistently prevent them from planning and launching attacks. From the intent and effort displayed by al Qaeda in the last several days, we anticipate more attempted attacks in Islamabad — including attacks on hard targets — in the foreseeable future.

This means that foreigners with interests in Pakistan would be well advised to heed the June 6 Warden message, in spite of the recovery of the fourth VBIED. With militants’ targeting plans likely to continue, it would also be prudent to ratchet up surveillance detection efforts at potential target sites.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


“Speaking personally, I don’t want to remake America. I’m an immigrant, and one reason I came here is because most of the rest of the Western world remade itself along the lines Sen. Obama has in mind. This is pretty much the end of the line for me. If he remakes America, there’s nowhere for me to go—although presumably once he’s lowered sea levels around the planet there should be a few new atolls popping up here and there.”

—Mark Steyn

“[Obama is] desperately trying to cover up what seems to be the kind of old school Marxist radical liberal failed ideology.” —Mike Gallagher

“Obama isn’t going to change anything. Obama’s just going to do what liberals have done for eons: eliminate as much freedom and liberty as possible.”

—Rush Limbaugh


“Congress is spending us into a hole. We hear about the cost of earmarks and the Iraq war. But what about ‘entitlements’? That’s the government’s ironic term for programs that transfer money from people who earned it to people who didn’t. Entitlement? How can you be entitled to someone else’s money?”

—John Stossel


“Controlling the price of anything is very difficult and it can only be accomplished through the force of government, mostly by restricting supply. The U.S. Congress is a major player in oil supply restriction, and OPEC nations must be laughing all the way to the bank. Congress has banned energy exploration in 85 percent of our coastal waters. Ironically, China, in conjunction with Cuba, is drilling for oil nearer to our coastline than U.S. oil companies are permitted.” —Walter Williams

As The Beatles would say: "Let Us Be"

“Federal policies already make food and energy far more expensive than need be... Any new federal scheme to further regulate our energy production would simply make matters worse.”

—Ed Feulner

To help you understand the difference ......


Tuesday, June 10, 2008


“We should always remember that our strength still lies in our faith in the good sense of the American people. And that the climate in Washington is still opposed to those enduring values, those ‘permanent things’ that we’ve always believed in... Washington is a place of fads and one-week stories. It’s also a company town, and the company’s name is government, big government... In the discussion of federal spending, the time has come to put to rest the sob sister attempts to portray our desire to get government spending under control as a hard-hearted attack on the poor people of America.” —Ronald Reagan


“It wasn’t Bush, it wasn’t greedy corporations, or free trade, or history’s most over-predicted recession. It was not the oil companies, income inequality, or the excesses of cowboy capitalism. None of these things caused the unemployment rate to jump a half a percentage point in one month. Ask yourself a few questions: Why did unemployment surge at a time when unemployment compensation claims are historically low? More to the point, how could unemployment spike this much without a coinciding spike in corporate lay-offs? The answer to all of these questions is same: because very few people lost jobs last month. This huge jump in the size of the unemployed comes from new entrants to the economy—hundreds of thousands of them. In short, well over 600,000 people who were not job seekers in April became job seekers in May. And who starts looking for work at the end of Spring? That’s right—students. Hundreds of thousands of students are looking for work right now, and they’re not finding it. Congress is to blame. Last year Congressional Democrats (along with some Stockholm-Syndromed Republicans) passed the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, which started a phased hike of the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25. Free market economists warned them that this would increase unemployment—that rapid increases in unemployment compensation hit teens and minorities the hardest. But the class-warriors are running the people’s house now, and they would hear none of that, so they took to the floor, let loose the dogs of demagoguery, and saddled America’s pizza parlors, municipal swimming pools, house painting businesses and lawn mowing services with a huge cost increase. Now, we see the perfectly logical outcome of wage controls—rising unemployment among the most economically vulnerable.” —Jerry Bowyer

“[T]he government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”

—James Madison

The Country Has a Clear Choice

By Hugh Hewitt

The stark contrast between Barack Obama's soaring rhetoric and John McCain's serious reflections was on display last week when Obama clinched the Democratic nomination. Appearing before a triumphant crowd, Obama proclaimed that his campaign would mark "the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth." This jarring hubris with its combination of arrogance about his own abilities is contrasted with John McCain's sober, steady explanation that the war is going our way but that Obama's plan--if adopted--would have lost it a year ago.

The contrast is profound.

The country has a clear choice.

Houston Chronicle:
U.S., Mexico boost effort to stop flow of firearms to drug cartels

Washington Post:
Rep. Kucinich introduces Bush impeachment resolution

Damn. Where is that recession?

Risk of US downturn 'diminishes'

Is it just me, or .....

Does this seem like a bad idea?

Boston Globe:
US Urged to Build International Uranium Enrichment Plant in Iran
Compromise plan from MIT gaining new attention.

Our Government Screws Us Over Again. Friggin' Idiots!!

Groups Say They Will Sue Over Polar Bears, Drilling
Anchorage, Alaska (AP) - Two conservation groups plan to sue to protect polar bears from petroleum exploration and drilling off Alaska's coast.

The Center for Biological Diversity and Pacific Environment gave the federal government formal notice Monday that they will sue under the Endangered Species Act to protect the bears, which were listed as threatened last month by Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne.

I knew this would happen. Nary a doubt 'twas in my mind.

What? You mean striking deals with militants does not work?

News flash for Obama and all "far lefties":
Future of Pakistan’s Peace Deal with Taliban in Doubt
Peshawar, Pakistan
– Pakistan’s central government is scrapping a peace agreement with Taliban militants in the North West Frontier Province because of continuing violence.

College Displaying Crucifix in Rectum Got Millions in Tax Dollars
Federal taxpayers are subsidizing a college in New York whose art school is currently displaying religious symbols in a deliberately provocative way.


Chertoff Says Border Will Be Secure 3 Years After Bush Leaves
- Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff blames tightened security on the U.S.-Mexico border for increased violence there. He added that quelling the violence will require working with the Mexican government -- and millions of dollars from American taxpayers if Congress funds the Merida Initiative.

(Emphasis mine. - HH) That is a very large if.

This is why we have $4 a gallon gasoline ... and will go higher

Obama Unlikely to Support New Oil Drilling in U.S.
Since entering the Senate, Barack Obama has co-sponsored at least 100 pieces of legislation supported by environmentalists, including measures against further domestic oil drilling.

McCain's View on Expanded Oil Drilling Uncertain
Republican presidential candidate John McCain is "open to the possibility" of tapping America's domestic oil and gas reserves, but it is not clear from his voting record whether he would actively push to expand offshore oil recovery efforts.

California Voters to Decide on Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ – Where’s the Media?
The liberal media were quick to trumpet the California Supreme Court’s decision to allow same-sex “marriage” last month, but were virtually silent about the news that California residents will have the opportunity to overturn that decision come November.

U. S. Teens Firing Blanks?

Teen Sex Is Up? Blame Abstinence
"More teens are having sex and fewer are using condoms, a new study says. But whose fault is this setback in what had been an improving picture?"

Teen sex is supposedly up. Condom use is reported to be down. But teen pregnancy is down. So what gives? Anywho, it's very hard to get pregnant if you actually practice abstinence.

Besides, isn't the liberal solution to a "failed" program always to throw more money at it? Then how come government-funded abstinence-only sex education gets a 10th of the money that condom-based programs get?

A good liberal would say, "It's just not fair!"

Drivers Say U.S. Should Drill for Oil on Federal Lands

"Whatever it takes to get my gas prices lower, to tell you the truth,"


Gasoline prices at the pump have gone from around $2.30 a gallon to around $4.00 since they took over Congress.

Republicans Blame Democrats for 'A Nation of $4 Gasoline'
As of Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline stood at a record $4.00. The price has zoomed above $4.00 in a number of states.

"As a result of this dubious milestone, motorists will pay on average $1.67 more per gallon than they were when the 110th Congress began. This represents a 71 percent increase during Nancy Pelosi's speakership," said Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Republican Conference.

Putnam said on the Democrats' watch, "America has become a nation of $4 gasoline. This expensive milestone arrives two years removed from an endless stream of assurances by Democrat leaders that they had their hands on a 'commonsense plan' to lower gas prices," Putnam said Sunday in a news release.

Drill for U.S. oil

Putnam accused Democrat leaders of making "empty promises."

The American people, he added, want "real solutions that will invest in American resources, create American jobs, and lower prices for American consumers." That means tapping U.S. oil reserves.

House Republican leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) called it "insane" that the Democrat-led Congress is still refusing to allow increased production of American energy.

"Today marks another dubious day for this Do-Nothing Democratic Congress. On their watch, gas prices have soared to new heights, and by refusing to schedule a vote on a plan to increase American-made energy to help lower gas prices, congressional Democrats are complicit in this unprecedented surge in fuel costs," Boehner said on Sunday.

He called it "inexcusable" that Democrats won't take "meaningful action" to reduce gasoline prices, something that would help the entire economy, he said. Read more.

Democrats' Energy Plan Does Not Boost US Supply of Oil


Unmasking the Myths Behind the Fairness Doctrine

Rumblings from the "Hill" about re-instating "The Fairness Doctrine" is getting louder. For an update on the situation, go here.

Monday, June 09, 2008


Fox News/AP:
World Health Organization Admits Threat of Global AIDS Epidemic Is Over


Palm Beach Post:
Florida Charity Drops "Jesus'' From Its Name

Denver Post:
'Imagine No Religion' Billboard Erected in Denver

Drivers Say U.S. Should Drill for Oil on Federal Lands

Should the U.S. be allowed to tap into the billions of barrels of oil on federally protected lands? Some motorists say yes.

Republicans Blame Democrats for ‘A Nation of $4 Gasoline’

Republicans see “pain at the pump” as a key election issue and insist that domestic drilling is part of the solution.

Bush to Congress: Get Going on Domestic Oil Drilling

“The United States has an opportunity to help increase the supply of oil on the market,” thereby easing gasoline prices, the president said on Monday.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Predicts Terrorists Will Get Nukes

Iran’s supreme leader predicted last week that terrorists would acquire nuclear weapons and “take away security from all the tyrants of the world,” including the U.S.

Obama and the Convicted Felon

By Guy Benson
Chicago's sordid political machine churned out another felon last week. Ho hum. That's business as usual in the Windy City, unfortunately. As news bulletins blared the latest political casualty, Northsiders and Southsiders alike shrugged—seemingly inured to the steady stream of arrests, indictments and convictions that too often define what Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass aptly terms "The Chicago Way." This conviction, however, represents more than an average garden-variety corruption scandal. The demise of crooked businessman and political fixer Tony Rezko may very well end the political career of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Perhaps more significantly, it adds another name to the expanding roster of Sen. Barack Obama's disgraced friends, donors, and associates.

Prior to Wednesday's verdict, the national Obamedia paid scant attention to the relationship between their preferred candidate and Mr. Rezko, who was convicted on 16 of 24 federal counts. A jury found Obama's longtime friend and financier guilty of aiding and abetting bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering—all of which will likely contribute to a lengthy prison sentence. The federal convict and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee have known each other for the better part of two decades, with the former raising approximately $250,000 for the latter's various campaigns. After Rezko first offered Obama a job in the early 1990s, a friendship and political alliance was born; the two men shared dinners, joint outings with their wives, and a lucrative political network. Rezko served on Obama's financing committee during his 2004 campaign, helping to raise approximately $160,000 for the aspiring U.S. Senator. Shortly thereafter, dark clouds began to gather over Chateau Rezko.

By 2005, Rezko's shady business deals and alleged illegal activities had been widely reported in the .... Read on

Impasse on Spying Could Lead to Tighter Rules

WASHINGTON — With Congress at an impasse over the government’s spy powers, congressional and intelligence officials are bracing for the possibility that the government may have to revert to the old rules of terrorist surveillance, a scenario that some officials predict could leave worrisome gaps in intelligence.

Spanish hauliers on fuel strike

Tens of thousands of Spanish lorry drivers have begun an indefinite strike over the soaring price of diesel, which has risen by 20% this year.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Nation's Spending Totally Out of Whack

By Donald Lambro

Lawmakers, including many Republicans, voted to spend more than half-a-trillion dollars last month -- signaling what's in store for taxpayers if Democrats win additional seats in Congress this November. (Read more)

Bernanke Backs King Dollar

By Lawrence Kudlow
Fed chairman Ben Bernanke made big news Tuesday by singling out the weak foreign-exchange value of the U.S. dollar as the principal culprit in "the unwelcome rise in import prices and consumer price inflation."

Are you watching this, John McCain? (Read on)

Is This Our Future?

By Michael Reagan
Two Christian preachers were stopped from handing out Bible tracts by police officers because they were in a Muslim neighborhood in England.

According to British news reports, the preachers were told by a Muslim community support police officer in Birmingham that attempting to convert Muslims to Christianity is a hate crime.

They were warned that if they came back and were beaten up, it would be their fault, not that of the thugs who beat them. (Read more)


Holding the Key to Gas Prices
By George Will
WASHINGTON -- Rising in the Senate on May 13, Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat, explained: "I rise to discuss rising energy prices." The president was heading to Saudi Arabia to seek an increase in its oil production, and Schumer's gorge was rising.

Saudi Arabia, he said, "holds the key to reducing gasoline prices at home in the short term." Therefore arms sales to that kingdom should be blocked unless it "increases its oil production by one million barrels per day," which would cause the price of gasoline to fall "50 cents a gallon almost immediately."** (Read more)

Obama and McCain

By Thomas Sowell
Now that the two parties have finally selected their presidential candidates, it is time for a sober-- if not grim-- assessment of where we are. (Read more)

Crashing Canards

By Rich Tucker
n the last week, story after story informed us that our nation had passed a critical milestone because of the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama. And indeed, Americans have been taking great leaps forward.

But the crashing sound you may have heard wasn’t the shattering of a glass ceiling -- it was the sudden collapse of several liberal canards.

The first thing to go is the idea that liberals stand for democracy. Well, no.
(Read more)

Charity Should Begin with the Church

By Ken Connor
"You will always have the poor among you..." In those words Jesus stated a simple fact that has held true through the centuries. In every society, no matter how rich and bountiful, there have always been impoverished people. These people evoke our concern and sympathy. We want to help them, but how?

No society has ever overcome poverty. In the US today, the question of how to help the poor is particularly controversial, with two partisan sides struggling vigorously to....
(Read more)

Obama and his Labels

By Steve Chapman
I was just getting used to the idea that Barack Obama is an America-hating left-winger bent on socialism and surrender. Then along comes Ralph Nader, who says the problem with Obama is that he's an obedient steward of the status quo, doing the bidding of greedy corporations. Naderites, conservatives and many others agree he's a menace. They just can't agree on why.

Obama has said, in reference to his broad appeal, "I am like a Rorschach test" -- meaning that his admirers have a knack for seeing in him exactly what they want to find. But the inkblots work the other way, too: People who dislike him have detected a multitude of reasons to justify their animus. (Read more...)

Bingo attendance goes up in smoke

The oppression of smokers continues in our country. And some of the old smokers have decided they're not going get pushed around by the new politically correct anti-smoking laws. Apparently, they're so dedicated to having a smoke that they're willing to forego the one of the most popular rituals of the Golden Years: bingo night.

That's right, folks. Minnesota's bingo halls have experienced a 13-percent drop in attendance since the smoking ban went into affect last October. At one American Legion post, the usual bingo night crowd of 50 to 75 players has dwindled to around 30.

Now that bingo players have moved on, the charitable organizations that profit from the bingo proceeds are denied a significant source of revenue. Last year, the bingo game at a Mississippi Elks Lodge generated $23,000 that supported a shelter for abused women, a drug awareness program, and a camp for young cancer survivors. The bingo chairman at that lodge is convinced that they "wouldn't raise nearly that much if we banned smoking." It's the law of unintended consequences at work (as it so often is with liberal do-gooder laws).

But don't for a second believe that people have chosen the vice of smoking over the vice of innocent gambling. Hardly. Bingo crowds have merely moved on to other gambling venues where smoking is permitted. In the case of Minnesota, the American Legion bingo players of Fergus Falls have migrated to the casinos on Indian reservations or across the state line to Fargo, North Dakota, where veteran's organizations like American Legion posts are exempt from the state smoking ban.

Americans want their personal freedom, and they'll get it anyway they can – ban or no ban.

Genetic discrimination bill becomes law

Medical science moves at a breakneck pace these days. Almost every day there seems to be at least a small breakthrough that helps push the health care community toward a greater understanding of the inner workings of the human body.

Keeping up with the latest medical developments is a full-time job for me. So I was particularly impressed that our usually slow-footed government has actually already passed a landmark bill on genetic rights. This month, Pres. Bush signed into law the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which will protect Americans against health insurance or employment discrimination based on their genetic information.

Incredibly, the bill sailed through our nation's usually tedious and glacially paced legislation process. Sen. Ted Kennedy called this bill "the first major new civil rights bill of the new century." And he's right.

Genetic testing has become very prevalent and could lead to early, lifesaving therapies for a variety of diseases with hereditary links such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and Parkinson's disease. But since the results of genetic testing become part of your medical records, any predisposition to a given disease can be seen by would-be insurers and, in some cases, employers. The fear is that having a genetic predisposition toward a certain ailment could lead to denial of coverage by insurance companies, or employment discrimination.

As you know, I'm usually the first one to find fault with our government, especially when it comes to health care issues. But I am impressed that lawmakers recognized the need for an act like GINA, and that they moved so quickly to enact this law. After all, as much as I hound the government, I believe that profit-minded insurance companies are not to be trusted to do the right thing. At times, it seems as though insurance companies will stop at nothing to deny legitimate insurance claims.

The fact that, even in this incredibly partisan time in our history, GINA could be passed UNANIMOUSLY by Republicans and Democrats speaks volumes about the national distrust of the insurance industry. What's even more incredible is that the insurance companies have lobbies that wield enormous power inside the beltway, and still there was no opposition to this bill from the House, the Senate or the President.

When was the last time our government passed a proactive civil rights bill? I believe it was…. never. As they say, there's a first for everything.

- By William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.