Saturday, May 7, 2011

op ed review 5/8

Note: No OER next week, I’ll be very busy out of town. -gary


Osama Bin Laden was killed not by a drone strike, but up close during a firefight with U.S. troops. He was not living in a cave when he died, but in a million-dollar mansion with seven-foot walls just 40 miles from the Pakistani capital, where U.S. forces killed him Sunday. The U.S. had been monitoring the compound in Abbottabad for months...

President Obama took SIXTEEN HOURS to make up his mind about the Bin Laden mission.

“The president stunned officials when he told a national security meeting that he wanted more time to think - and disappeared out of the room. 'I'm not going to tell you what my decision is now - I'm going to go back and think about it some more,' said Obama.

Did Osama’s burial at sea “in strict conformance to Islamic requirements” include the traditional prayer for pardon and paradise, and the curse of Jews and Christians?

Editorial: It can be awkward when a dove tries to pass himself off as a war hero. From the tone of President Obama’s speech Sunday night, it’d be easy to conclude he was the one who came up with the idea that America should hunt down and kill Osama bin Laden.

After giving credit to President Obama for the successful strike, Barbara Walters giddily announced, "I would hate now to be a Republican candidate thinking of running." Liberal comedienne Joy Behar crowed, "… they should just skip the next election."

Why Bin Laden's Death May Benefit the Republicans in 2012

The debate over the use of harsh interrogation techniques during the Bush administration is being rekindled by the successful operation against Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, which was based on information about the courier extracted from detained terror suspects.

A new Rasmussen poll shows Chris Christie and Paul Ryan running first and second, respectively, among potential Republican presidential candidates. This is one of the first national surveys to include Ryan and Christie in its list of prospective candidates. Michele Bachmann also fares well in the poll, and Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney relatively so, but the poll does not provide much good news for Tim Pawlenty or Mitch Daniels.

A poll by Quinnipiac University shows a majority of the American people would never vote for two potential Republican presidential candidates --former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and businessman Donald Trump --but they remain much more open to other GOP hopefuls, including former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Canada's Conservatives stormed to a decisive victory in Monday's federal election, winning 54 percent of the seats in Parliament and securing a stable four-year term in power after vowing to focus on the economy.

A political battle is brewing over the Obama administration's National Labor Relations Board for its "attack" on right-to-work states. On Wednesday, 19 Republican senators wrote to President Obama, warning him that they will "vigorously oppose" two of his nominees to the National Labor Relations Board -- if Obama doesn't withdraw their names.

One in 7 Americans is now on food stamps.

The Obama administration has floated a plan that would tax automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive.

In an op-ed in Roll Call, Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA) explains why gas is $4/gallon and why the Obama administration intends to do nothing about it.

“Guantanamo detainees succeeded in convincing prison officials to no longer raise the American flag anywhere they could see it. Each morning on every U.S. military base around the world, the American flag is raised to a bugle. But in the interests of not offending the detainees, it was stopped at Guantanamo….”

Hezbollah may be working to establish a home base across the border in Mexico. A former U.S. intelligence agent told 10News, “They are recognized by many experts as the ‘A’ team of Muslim terrorist organizations,”

And Hamas on Monday deplored the killing of Osama bin Laden by US forces, "We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior.”

There’s bad news for Washington Democrats in a new KING5/SurveyUSA poll. Attorney General Rob McKenna, a likely GOP candidate for governor next year, is running ahead of potential Democratic rival Rep. Jay Inslee as well as Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich is rumored to be interested in moving out of Ohio to seek re-election to Congress from Washington State’s new 10th district. ??



Wes Pruden 5/6/11

“Can’t anybody here play this game?”

The president, revealing himself to be Barack Obungle, has done what nobody else could have done, not even the spectacularly hapless original New York Mets, who drove Casey Stengel to his famous cry of terminal frustration.

The White House converted a picture-perfect military operation into a public-relations disaster that will be cited as what not to do and how not to do it in flackery textbooks for a hundred years. Days after the raid on Osama bin Laden’s “mansion” they still can’t get the “fact pattern,” in the language of the White House, even close to straight.

Even that ubiquitous photograph of the president, the secretary of state and assorted minions bravely watching the operation in “real time” looks now to have been a “photo-op” taken after the fact. This is the scene that the goofy John Brennan, the president’s anti-terrorism chief, described as one of unbearable tension endured heroically by the magnificent minions. Hillary seemed to be clutching her throat, choking back terror as she watched the raid unfold, but now Leon Panetta, the chief of the CIA, reveals that 24 minutes of the 40-minute video were “blacked out” by some kind of electronic malfunction. Maybe she was only wishing she had ordered pepperoni with extra cheese when the president sent out for pizza.

What a roller coaster ride: Osama bin Laden engaged the SEALs in a firefight. Well, no, actually, it turns out he didn’t. But he did seize a woman, probably one of his wives, to use as a human shield. Uh, well, actually he didn’t do that, either. But he was armed, we know that for sure. Ummm, no, not really. OK, but we’re positive that woman was killed. Uh, not exactly. But we definitely, positively, absolutely know that Osama is dead. We have the photographs to prove it and the public can see them. Er, no, not quite. The president has them but you can’t see them. Everybody will just have to take his word for it.

That won’t happen, either. There was a time when everybody took a president’s word for everything. But nobody trusts the government on anything anymore. Lies have withered public patience. Too bad, Mr. President, but you’ll have to show us the death certificate. No reasonable man can doubt that Osama is dead, dead, dead, but we’re talking now about the Middle East.

You might think the president would have rehearsed his minions in a story, even if concocted, so everybody would tell it like it is. The White House finally shut up with the explanation that “the fact pattern” is still being evaluated. It’s only now dawning on the president that he has done everything possible to guarantee an enduring worldwide harangue over whether Osama is in fact dead, how he was killed, whether dumping the body in the sea was wise, whether how he died violated the decencies of international custom, and whether burial traditions of Shariah law were followed before Osama became the ultimate fish dinner.

Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard law professor and one of the most distinguished criminal lawyers in the land, says “burying his body at sea constituted the willful destruction of evidence.” The doubts that will be contrived by Muslim red-hots would have been prevented if Osama’s body had been subjected to the usual forensic testing, extensive examination of entrance and exit wounds, and paraffin testing for gunpowder residue. “Dead bodies,” he writes in an essay in the Wall Street Journal, “often talk more loudly, clearly and unambiguously than live witnesses.” He notes that when a Muslim or a Jew is murdered in the United States “religious considerations do not trump civil circumstances.”

But the real offense of the Washington wimpery is pushing a weakling’s canard against the military, asserting that the photograph can’t be shown because it would make Muslim terrorists cross at us. But surely the Army and the Navy can take care of themselves; soldiers, sailors and Marines aren’t Campfire Girls. Can anyone imagine FDR and his generals canceling D-Day because an invasion might infuriate the Germans? Or that a Muslim terrorist will now salute an American soldier in Afghanistan and put down his rifle and grenade launcher, telling him “we really appreciate your president’s keeping that ugly photograph to himself.”

Americans come from Mars, so the witticism goes, and Europeans are from Venus. But that doesn’t include this president and his bungling minions. They’re weepy refugees from Pluto.



"Who truly reviles America the hegemon? The world that Obama lived in and shaped him intellectually: the elite universities; his Hyde Park milieu (including his not-to-be-mentioned friends, William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn); the church he attended for two decades, ringing with sermons more virulently anti-American than anything heard in today's full-throated uprising of the Arab Street. It is the liberal elites who revile the American colossus and devoutly wish to see it cut down to size. Leading from behind -- diminishing America's global standing and assertiveness -- is a reaction to their view of America, not the world's. Other presidents take anti-Americanism as a given, rather than evidence of American malignancy, believing -- as do most Americans -- in the rightness of our cause and the nobility of our intentions. Obama thinks anti-Americanism is a verdict on America's fitness for leadership. I would suggest that 'leading from behind' is a verdict on Obama's fitness for leadership. Leading from behind is not leading. It is abdicating. It is also an oxymoron. Yet a sympathetic journalist, channeling an Obama adviser, elevates it to a doctrine. The president is no doubt flattered. The rest of us are merely stunned."

-Charles Krauthammer

"We are living in strange times indeed when it's not laughable to suggest that President Obama will be difficult to beat in 2012. Well, I'm not buying it, even considering any positive (but inevitably temporary) surge Obama may receive with Osama bin Laden's death. ... Provided Republicans don't forget they're in a fight for the survival of the nation and don't allow their stark policy differences with Obama to be diluted by failing to aggressively articulate their positions, 2012 will be the GOP's presidential election to lose."

-David Limbaugh

"The government that tracked bin Laden to a compound in distant Pakistan and took him out with an incredibly talented, trained and brave team of SEALs could surely secure our border, too. The difference is our political leaders took their constitutional duty to protect our country seriously when it came to finding bin Laden over there. They do not take it seriously when it comes to protecting our borders here."

-Terence Jeffrey

Here’s what Jeffrey means: “Border Patrol Officer Jesus Diaz was prosecuted and convicted of one count of excessive force and 5 counts of lying to Internal Affairs. The excessive force? He allegedly pulled on the handcuffs of his illegal alien drug smuggling prisoner (putting a strain in his shoulders)! He faces up to 35 years in prison and is currently being held in solitary confinement 23 hours per day.”



Why, that looks like a soviet flag being waved at a May Day rally in Louisville KY. “Elsewhere in the United States, AFL-CIO heavy Richard Trumka, began his remarks with: “Brothers and Sisters, May Day is our day!””

"They killed him not because there was a fire fight or something going on. They went there with the intention to kill him. That's an execution or an assassination, whatever you want to call it," Michael Moore told CNN.

This devastating then-and-now comparison from Nancy Pelosi, underscores the degree to which partisanship can ravage people’s fair-mindedness and, in the process, make them look like fools and hacks. Such things aren’t uncommon in politics—but what is rare is to see such intellectual dishonesty proven so conclusively.

For the Washington Post's Petula Dvorak the sight of American college kids celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden outside of the White House gates, on Sunday night, was "almost vulgar….my first reaction was a cringe."

The Huffington Post is quite "pro-choice" in orientation -- including Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards on its blogger list. But on Monday, they published psychologist Pamela Gerloff insisting on treating each life with dignity -- when that life was Osama bin Laden's. Celebrating his demise is neither "appropriate, nor advisable," says this Obama voter: "Celebrating" the killing of any member of our species--for example, by chanting USA! USA! and singing The Star Spangled Banner outside the White House or jubilantly demonstrating in the streets--is a violation of human dignity….”



Power struggle in Iran: Close allies of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being "magicians" and invoking spirits.

Sweden's Social Democrats argued on Monday for a review of Sweden's public holidays, arguing that the country's Muslim community should also be recognised. “Almost all of our public holidays…have a Christian religious connection. Sweden is today a multicultural society, and it is worth looking at how it can be done,"



How’s that global warming working out for you? The National Weather Service in Seattle said this April's average high temperature was the coldest since records began in the city.

The current high gas prices are part of a plan to get you out of your car. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, said in 2008, "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe."



PJ ORourke: “..lets tax government spending! The wildly ambitious career of President Obama shows that power is more valuable than money. Taxes, by their nature, are levied on things of value. If we want to close the budget gap, we should let the millionaires and billionaires have their tax breaks. Their private property fortunes are comparatively worthless. It’s that treasure beyond the dreams of avarice, public political power, which needs an excise. It’s easy to do. Like everything, power has a price. And the price is right there in the federal budget—$3.8 trillion in government spending for 2011. Tax it. The old “Bush tax cut” rate will suffice, 35 percent on high earners, or, in this case, 35 percent on high powers. What President Obama said about millionaires and billionaires will certainly hold true for congressmen, senators, and himself. “They want to give back to the country that’s done so much for them.” Thirty-five percent of $3.8 trillion is $1.3 trillion. That’s most of the deficit eliminated through one small alteration in the tax code. And there’s a further benefit to our nation. Now that all three branches of government and every federal agency, department, and bureau owe back taxes, the IRS can go audit itself.”

“While it took a little while for the Republican candidates attending tonight’s debate to get going, the sheer diversity on the panel guaranteed some spirited answers, paramount among them Rep. Ron Paul’s steadfast adherence to civil liberties, which somehow concluded with him supporting legalization of heroin to raucous applause– highlighting the thick tension between conservatives and libertarians on the GOP.”

“…in Massachusetts, Mitt Romney’s health care reforms were nearly identical to President Obama’s. Romney’s reforms increased the demand for health care but did nothing to expand the supply of physicians. In fact, by cracking down on insurance premiums, Massachusetts pushed insurers to reduce their payments to providers, making it less worthwhile for doctors to expand their practices. As a result, the average wait to get an appointment with a doctor in Massachusetts grew from 33 days to over 55 days.”

Pity the pharmaceutical industry. It cut deals with the White House on the new health care law, and now its Democratic "friends" want to litigate the industry out of the country. The real losers are American consumers, because almost everyone gets sick and needs drugs.



Top ten problems for liberals on OBL’s death:



Leno: The good news: Osama bin Laden is dead. The bad news: there is no bad news…Saddam Hussein is dead, and Osama bin Laden is dead. If you’re Moammar Gadhafi, living in exile is starting to sound really good…….They said bin Laden's wife tried to shield bin Laden with her body. And today Moammar Gadhafi said to his wife, "Hey honey, did you see what bin Laden's wife Susan did? It was pretty cool, don't you think honey?"……In a stunning flip-flop, the White House says it will not release the photo of bin Laden. Now we have to wait for Donald Trump to force them to release it…….They say bin Laden lived in his compound with nine women and 23 children. I’m surprised the guy didn’t shoot himself in the head……At the royal wedding, Kate Middleton wore a dress designed by Sarah Burton and Prince William wore something from the Sgt. Pepper collection……..For their honeymoon, the royal couple wants to go somewhere they can have complete privacy and no one in the country will give away their location. I think they’re going to Pakistan.



"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him."

-G. K. Chesterton

"It was self-serving politicians who convinced recent generations of Americans that we could all stand in a circle with our hands in each other's pockets and somehow get rich."

-Paul Harvey (1918-2009)

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