Wednesday, September 28, 2011

No Chemo - If Only Obama Could Be As Tough!

In her own words:"Hi there, dear family and friends-good news today-no chemo-I'm excited! Imagine that, cheering because I ONLY need radiation! We've come a long way, baby! L,L"

The final special test results rate my wife on the lower risk of the recurrence scale so no chemo therapy advised. She will begin radiation followed by anti-hormone treatment and will be around a long time to play with more grandchildren on the way.

A great beginning to what I hope and pray will be a good New Year for all.

Unlike the entire nation, which Obama has concluded is soft, she is strong.

If only Obama were as tough as she is. If only Obama had her charm, decency and beauty of spirit.

If only Obama had her strength and sound thinking.

Alas, unlike my wife ,Obama is soft in the head and his most recent comment is an indictment against him not the nation. (See 1 and 1a below.)
Two distinct ways to report Israel's announcement regarding building 1100 more homes in Jerusalem - The unbiased report by a Washington Post writer and then there is the 'hidden agenda' report by a New York Times reporter. The New York Times reporter is conflicted, when printing a story pertaining to Israel that entails limiting the report to facts. (See 2 and also see 4a and 4b below.)
North Carolina's Governor would like to suspend elections and then suggests she was just joking. Read what she said and decide for yourself. I believe she is the joke.(See 3 below.)

Then one of Obama's closest personal friends and advisers tells a 'brainwashed' black audience it is government's 'responsibility' to give them a job.

And you thought Obama wanted Americans to get off their asses? Obviously, according to Jarrett, they should wait till government gives them a job.

Government dependency is just what you expect of a nation turned soft. (See 3a below.)

The Department of Energy is rushing another 'shy of a trillion dollar' loan to a 'green company' run by Obama fund raisers and relatives of important politicos.

This article is too long to publish but more evidence of, at the very least, stupidity and a cover up by Obama's Justice Department. Hundreds have died because of Fast & Furious, including a young Border Patrol agent and former Marine. Yes, Solyndra is a huge scandal.....and deservedly so however, the mainstream media is ignoring F&F because it would represent one more nail in Obama's political coffin.

Wake up America. Your government is being hijacked and you, the tax payer, are being fleeced so Obama can win re-election by laundering money through questionable loans to companies run by his cronies and financed by The Energy Department. Where is the anger?(See 3b and 3c below.)
A good friend and memo reader e mailed Rabbi Belzer's LTE which I have reprinted below. I responded with my own LTE (not printed to date) so I printed my response in a previous memo. I am reprinting both so you now have the full picture. You decide. (See 4 below.)

Maybe the Rabbi can explain Hillary's flip flop when it comes to Obama's repeated view about building in Jerusalem versus the one she held when she was the Senator from New York currying favor with New York's Jewish voters?

Ironically, as Obama's lap dog Secretary of State, Hillary is now petitioning the Supreme Court to conclude the very vote she made, while a Senator, was an unconstitutional action.

Also, how can the learned Rabbi explain Herman Cain's popularity among 'racist' Republicans? (See 4a and 4b below.)
Another good friend, memo reader and bright portfolio manager sent this article suggesting, though Italy's debt situation was brought back from the brink, going forward, the probability of default still remains. A future Italian default could bring the Euro to its knees. (See 5 below.)

This is a very harsh and painful position but I believe correct Why? Because Obama's misdirected policies are pushing the recovery further out and making it more difficult to achieve. Watch this PJTV.Com video:"Courage to Fail: Is Time To Let the Economy Collapse So That It Can Finally Heal?

It sounds counter intuitive, but is failure the best thing for this economy? The Fed and the federal government are printing and spending money in an attempt to stimulate the economy, but to what effect? Could we be delaying the inevitable, and therefore making the economic difficulties more difficult?"
Obama says we are soft and Immelt's GE is about giving away the store. Immelt is also Obama's Job Czar. (See 6 below.)
A read on Kenndey's possible vote regarding 'Obamascare.' (See 7 below.)
Today, Obama reported we killed another key terrorist. I am all for killing terrorists but is not killing people with drones worse than water boarding? I do not hear a peep from the liberal press and media dolts but I am confident had GW acted accordingly he would have been crucified. Furthermore, how many innocents have been killed by drone mistakes? Again not a peep.

Is a nation that hunts down terrorists and kills them from the sky a more moral nation than one extracting critical intelligence by 'overboard' methods of interrogation? You decide. I already have and, in the process, found the media and press guilty of continued bias in their misguided support of the president they helped elect and slavishly wish to re-elect.
1)America the Soft
President Obama's national diagnosis.

On the matter of President Obama yesterday saying that Americans "had gotten a little soft," let us first say that it could not have been the President's intention to launch zillions of tweets referencing Jimmy Carter's "malaise" speech.

By now, we've become accustomed to trying to discern the political strategy behind Mr. Obama's policies and statements. We still don't see the political logic in proposing that a country teetering on the edge of a double-dip recession should welcome a $1 trillion increase in taxes. Now the incumbent is telling the country it's become "a little soft."

On the morning of Mr. Obama's remarks, his admirers at the New York Times editorialized that it is the Republicans' plan to "wind down the government's longstanding guarantee of health care to the elderly and the poor and incinerate the Democrats' new promise to cover the uninsured." And "stop virtually all regulation" . . .

Permit us to volunteer as the voice of moderation in this discussion.

We take the President's point about some competitive softness. We'll even concede the Times's point that government really does mean well whenever it outputs one more law, such as Dodd-Frank. Is it not possible, though, that if America's competitive instincts have softened, this has something to do with its compulsively intrusive, protective national government?

We noted here recently that an oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico required environmental sign-offs from the EPA, DOT, USDA, DOI, DOE and others. Might not this dull anyone's competitive edge?

Trade is the lifeblood of the competitive instinct, but the administration still won't finalize trade deals with those two economic giants, Colombia and Panama. What of the current competitive mindset of couples with taxable income over $250,000 whom the President describes as "millionaires"?

As the risk of being accused of wishing to incinerate the government, we suspect that if Mr. Obama backed off his ever-expanding embrace of the American economy—health-care, housing, energy—Americans would, as he put it, "get back on track."

1a)1a)We've Gone Soft: Morning Jolt
. . . with Jim Geraghty

Obama says we've gone soft. Yeah, you could make that case; after all, we elected him:

President Barack Obama on Thursday said the U.S. has lost some of its competitive edge and gotten a "little soft."

Mr. Obama, in an interview with WESH-TV in Orlando, said his administration has been tough on the country's trading partners and tried to strengthen U.S. manufacturing.

"This is a great great country that had gotten a little soft and we didn't have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades," Mr. Obama said in response to a question about the country's economic future. "We need to get back on track."

Er, rewind the tape. We didn't have the competitive edge we needed over the last couple of decades? Which ones? The 1980s, when the free world outlasted the socialist model and triumphed over the Soviet Union without firing a shot? The 1990s, when our economy integrated the technological breakthroughs of the Internet age and our economy grew to new dazzling heights? Or the last decade, where we responded to the most devastating attack in our nation's history, where our enemies unleashed mass death in our biggest cities, by toppling two brutal regimes, and we did it all with the unemployment rate between 4 and 6 percent?

Either way, I'm sure you're beside yourself with guilt at the thought that you've disappointed him. He said this, by the way, after a West Coast trip with fundraisers with the Hollywood crowd and shortly after inviting the 1985 Chicago Bears to the White House.

Jonah is similarly incredulous:

I wonder where America could have lost its competitive edge. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with a government that blows billions on green energy boondoggles while making it harder to drill for oil while trying to make electricity rates "skyrocket." It couldn't have to do with extending unemployment benefits to 99 weeks (and rising), or to bailouts. . . .

Seriously, in 2008 we elected a community organizer, state senator, college instructor first term senator over a guy who spent five years in a Vietnamese prison. And now he's lecturing us about how America's gone "soft"? Really?

2)FW: How The New York Times Twists The News......

In the Washington Post's Sept. 28 edition, Jerusalem correspondent Joel Greenberg, gets its fairly straight for a change in reporting plans in Israel to build 1,100 more housing units in East Jerusalem -- with the customary negative reactions from the Obama administration, the European Union and the Palestinians ("Israel building plan draws fresh rebukes -- Procedural step forward sparks criticism from U.S., others" page A7)

Here's how Greenberg's leads off his article: "Israel advanced plans Tuesday to build 1,100 homes in a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem...."

The same journalistic accolade, however, doesn't apply to the New York Times version, written by Jerusalem correspondent Isabel Kershner, who is more interested in flogging Israel than in reporting actual facts ("Israel Angers Palestinians With Plans For Housing" page A5).

Here's how Kershner leads off her article: "Israel announced plans on Tuesday for 1,100 new housing units in an area of South Jerusalem outside Israel's pre-1967 boundaries. The move reflects Israel's continued rejection of Palestinian demands for a halt in settlement construction as a condition for peace talks."

It's what Kershner fails to tell readers that makes her piece an unadulterated exercise in Israel bashing. Not once in her entire article does she mention that the additional housing is destined for a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem. In fact, you have to wait until the 10th paragraph to find any indication at all that she's referring to Gilo, but even then she doesn't describe the all-Jewish dermographics of this neighborhood.

So, Times readers don't have a clue that Gilo is populated by 40,000 Jews. Nor would they know that Gilo has 35 synagogues. As far as Kershner is concerned, the only important aspect worth reporting about Gilo is that its "an area outside Israel's pre-1967 boundaries." And building more homes there is just additional "settlement construction."

In sum, her message to readers is quite clear: Jews don't belong in Gilo; Jews don't belong in East or South Jerusalem. It's a Judenreid mentality for anything beyond the 1949 armistice line.

Thus, it doesn't occur to Kershner -- and thus to her readers -- that the Times has repeatedly trumpeted the outline of a peace deal as leaving Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem on the Palestinian side and Jewish neighborhoods in East or South Jerusalem on the Israeli side. That's what Ehud Barak offered in 2000-01 and Ehud Olmert in 2008 -- only to be rejected by the Palestinians. But the Times still keeps blessing this formula.

So what's all Kershner's commotion about more Jewish housing units for Gilo if Gilo will remain part of Israel anyway under any realistic two-state peace agreement -- as the Times itself concedes?

Kershner should be pursuing this question, but since it doesn't comport with her Israel-bashing agenda, she's not interested in the fact that she and the Times keep pretzling themselves about who really belongs in East Jerusalem. And for that matter, so do Obama and the Europeans.

What Kershner also fails to report -- and its's a critically important context for any understanding of a Jewish presence in East Jerusalem -- is that since 1967, when Isrrael wrested East Jerusalem from Jordanian occupation and unified Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Arab housing construction has far outpaced Jewish housing construction. Ditto for Arab population growth, compared with Jewish population growth in Israel's capital.

Arabs now constitute more than one third of Jerusalem's population. By 2020, their share of Jerusalem's population is expected to reach 40 percent and eventually parity with the Jewish population in the city by 2035 or 2040.

This means that Jersualem, far from being Judaized as Kershner implies, is actually being Arabized. While Obama and the EU demand a Jewish construction freeze in East Jerusalem, they're not demanding the same for Arab housing construction.

So shouldn't it occur to any inquisitive reporter to ask why the great powers on the intrnational stage single out only Jewish construction in Israel's capital as inimical to the peace process, but not Arab construction? Why put the squeeze on Jews, but not on Arabs -- and in Israel's capital yet?

But Kershner is not an inquisitive reporter. She just takes the news and twists it to fit her Israel-bashing agenda.

At the Times, real facts are not fit to print -- at least when they're about Israel.
3)Dem Governor suggests suspending elections
By Lee DeCovnick

When the mask slips and we can see the grotesque visage beneath, the tyrants' foul hatred of this Republic glowers at us.

Of course it made Drudge. The headline in already had tried to walk back the slipped mask. [North Carolina Governor Beverly] "Perdue jokes about suspending Congressional elections for two years."

Here is the full statement, it sure doesn't sound like a joke:

"You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things. I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It's a little bit more contentious now but it's not impossible to try to do what's right in this state. You want people who don't worry about the next election."

These were not the rambling words of a South American Marxist dictator, or a street tough Chicago ward heeler, or an ivory tower Social Culture and Humanities professor, but the Democratic Governor of one of the original 13 colonies. Actually Governor Perdue, most Americans really want their elected representatives to constantly worry about the next election and the decisions they are making on behalf of their constituents. To think otherwise is some twisted dictatorial fantasy.

During the Civil War elections were not suspended. During the worst of the "Long Depression" (the Panic of 1873 until 1879) no elections were suspended. And during the Great Depression, (1929 to 1939) no elections were suspended. Why now? What event has occurred that even warrants such obscene speculation? ObamaCare. The far left cannot have a new, and hopefully more conservative, Congress (House and Senate) repeal ObamaCare, as it is their not-so stealthy vehicle on which the far-left bases its hopes of destroying our Constitutional Republic.

Perdue's remarks were not a joke, this was not a mistake, and the mask was purposefully and deliberately allowed to slip. This is classic Alinsky; the forbidden idea enters the public discussion, the liberal experts and analysts seriously debate the horror as if it were a reasonable, the public becomes increasingly insensitive to the outrageous nature of the idea, more experts add their weight to the idea, and suddenly a horror becomes cutting edge, an acceptable option for the elites to foist on the masses.

What can you do about this? Call your Democratic Congressman and Senators and give them holy heck about even floating such an unconstitutional and perhaps treasonous plan. And treason it may be because suspending elections gives Aid and Comfort to the internal enemies of our nation who do not wish us to be a Constitutional Republic. Overreaction? No not at all: we are in a long war with malevolent forces in our land that want the destruction of our Constitutional Republic and want your silence and acquiescence. Call, write and blog about this outrage, let the networks, talk shows and local newspapers know that this is an attempt to cross a line that may not be crossed. We must demand their attention, so they will think hard about trying such a stunt again.

In World War II, American soldiers voted during the hellish fighting in the Pacific and while fighting on the European continent with Nazi panzers hiding a few hundred yards away on the other side of some forsaken frozen field. We must honor their lives and sacrifices by telling the current powers that be that such ideas are far beyond the bounds of our Constitution.

3a)Does Barack Obama Think America Needs Viagra? His “Malaise’ Moment Arrives
From "The Audacity of Hope" to Hopeless Audacity
By Erick Erickson

It’s not Barack Obama’s policies. It is not the economic uncertainty over regulations and taxes. It is not the National Labor Relations Board and Department of Labor pushing aggressively pro-union agendas that hamper competition.

No, according to Barack Obama, our nation has grown soft. That’s our problem. Jimmy Carter said America was in a “malaise.” This is Barack Obama’s “malaise” moment.

It can’t be about him. It cannot be about his polices. On the same day Joe Biden declares the economy belongs to Barack Obama, Obama passes the buck. This time it is directly to the American people and American businesses.

It’s not him, you see. It’s us.

“This is a great great country that had gotten a little soft and we didn’t have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades,” Mr. Obama said in response to a question about the country’s economic future. “We need to get back on track.”

We don’t have the competitive edge we once had because we have a President who spent two years deciding the government would grow the economy and the government would take over the auto industry and the government would take over the healthcare industry and the government would pick the winners and losers in the economy.

The American people and American business has not gone soft. They’ve gone out of business.

Barack Obama’s administration has been hostile to the financial industry, hostile to the oil and gas industry, hostile to the coal industry, hostile to the insurance industry, hostile to the service industry, hostile to pretty much every other sector of the economy that is neither part of the public sector nor wholly dependent on the public sector.

Consider Barack Obama’s regular speeches on the state of the economy.
Here is an excerpt from his speech on February 24, 2009, about his stimulus plan:

More than 90% of these jobs will be in the private sector – jobs rebuilding our roads and bridges; constructing wind turbines and solar panels; laying broadband and expanding mass transit.

Each of those “private sector” jobs would be wholly dependent on government money. The infrastructure jobs would be paid for by government infrastructure spending. The clean energy jobs would be paid for with government subsidies to companies like Solyndra. The laying broadband and mass transit would likewise be private sector jobs doing the bidding of government.

Consider his January 27, 2010, State of the Union address:

More than 90% of these jobs will be in the private sector – jobs rebuilding our roads and bridges; constructing wind turbines and solar panels; laying broadband and expanding mass transit.

All of these are government jobs or jobs wholly dependent on government for funding.

Consider his January 25, 2011, State of the Union:

We will put more Americans to work repairing crumbling roads and bridges. We will make sure this is fully paid for, attract private investment, and pick projects based on what’s best for the economy

Again, government dependent jobs.

Then there was the President’s “jobs” speech on September 8, 2011:

The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working. It will create more jobs for construction workers, more jobs for teachers, more jobs for veterans, and more jobs for long-term unemployed.

All of these jobs the President had in mind were jobs either within the public sector or wholly dependent on the public sector. They were not true private sector jobs where the entrepreneurs of the private sector went out and took a risk to get the reward of profit filling a need for the American consumer or business. Barack Obama has worked very hard to take risk out of the free market and, in fact, to punish risk takers who are successful. He has made entrepreneurs the villains. He’s made job creators the bad guys. He’s made the successful sinners and the Solyndras of the world the saints.

And what is the net result of all these speeches and policy proposals? As Mark Levin points out, the Democrats themselves in the Senate do not have the votes to pass the President’s jobs bill. The Senate Democrats reject President Obama’s plan.

Again, the American people have not gone soft. They’ve gone out of business thanks to Barack Obama and his failed economic policies. Even the Senate Democrats are starting to pay attention to a President who has gone from audacious hope to hopeless audacity.

3b)Politics:Obama’s Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett: The Point of Government Is to Give People a Livelihood so They Can Provide for Their Families."

3c)The Energy Department announced Wednesday that is has finalized a $737 million loan guarantee for a Nevada solar project.

The decision comes several weeks after a California-based solar manufacturer that received a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration in 2009 filed for bankruptcy and laid off 1,100 workers, setting off a firestorm in Washington.
The $737 million loan guarantee will help finance construction of the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, a 110-megawatt solar-power-generating facility in Nye County, Nev. The project is sponsored by Tonopah Solar, a subsidiary of California-based SolarReserve.

Nancy Pelosi's brother in law is the big beneficiary of the Crescent loan. He is the #2 investor in this project
4)Why most Jews don’t support GOP candidates

In a cynical effort to ingratiate Jewish voters, all the Republican presidential primary hopefuls — with the exception of Ron Paul — are engaged in slamming and undermining President Obama and his evenhanded courageous Israel policy and threatening to cut off necessary aid to the Palestinians and thus somehow change the ancient calculus that aligns American Jews with liberal social and economic policies — 78 percent of Jewish voters voted for Obama.

The calculus won’t change; most American Jews will not support far right-wing Republican candidates.

Republican candidates are falling over themselves to portray themselves as uber supporters of Israel, even advocating policies that are to the right of the Netanyahu government.

Republican members of the House have introduced legislation to support Israel’s annexation of the West Bank, a move contrary to both American and Israeli official policy and an absolute affront to international law and democratic rights.

American Jews are mostly sophisticated voters, surely passionate in their support of Israel’s vital interests, but mostly vote as almost all Americans do on a variety of domestic issues.

Israel is important to most Jews, but the posturing of the Republican presidential aspirants as supporters of far right-wing Israel policies is nothing short of embarrassing.


My response to Rabbi Belser whioch may not be published so here it is:

Rabbi Belzer mischaracterizes Conservatives who also support Israel. Our support of Israel is in keeping with our support of all democracies. His selective expressions are narrow and biased and fail to recognize the conduct of this president, not only with respect to Israel and its current leader, but his overall inept mishandling of most of his foreign policy initiatives.

There is nothing right wing about wanting our nation's fiscal matters balanced, there is nothing right wing about supporting a people who are willing to live side by side with neighbors who have attacked them in wars, slaughtered them through terrorism, and demanding Abbas accord Israelis the same rights Palestinians seek.

Netanyahu does not seek to annex the West bank. That is a Belzer ruse. Netanyahu has legitimate security issues and a moral obligation to protect his citizens. He is willing to discuss all issues with the Palestinians but the question is will Abbas be able to deliver on his commitments? Witness Egypt, Turkey etc. And what of Hamas, Hezballah and Iran?

More importantly, why will Abbas not negotiate? Because Western leaders know they can extract concessions from Israel and Palestinians have thus been encouraged to constantly raise the ante. Feed a bully and you increase his appetite.

And what of the U.N's attitude towards Israel. The peace organization which has been hijacked by the most radical of nations. Not a peep from the learned Rabbi.

It is a sad commentary that Rabbi Belzer, who served his congregation for twenty years, was dismissed because of his constant attacks on Israel and overboard and biased support of the Palestinian cause.

His recent LTE is clear evidence his Congregation had a legitimate point.

4a)Hillary's Turnabout on Jerusalem
By Thomas Lifson

In a stunning reversal, Hillary Clinton has done a 180 on her position on Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, contradicting the position she took when she was New York's junior senator, and needed Jewish votes.

Rick Richman writes in the New York Sun:

Secretary of State Clinton, in a sharp departure from her stance when she was a senator, is warning any American action, even symbolically, toward recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel must be avoided for the reason that it would jeopardize the peace process.

Her warnings were issued in a brief she has just filed with the Supreme Court - in which she is arguing that a law she voted for when she was Senator is unconstitutional because it could require the U.S. government to give to an American citizen born at Jerusalem papers showing the birthplace as Israel.

The law requiring the government to issue such documents on request passed the Senate unanimously at a time when Mrs. Clinton was a member. But Presidents Bush and Obama have taken the position that the law infringes on the president's prerogatives in respect of foreign policy. Mrs. Clinton is being sued by an American youngster, Menachem Zivotofsky, who was born at Jerusalem in 2002 to American parents who want his birthplace to be listed on his passport as Israel.

I can only assume that speculation about Secretary Clinton running for president is now irrelevant. This is a bombshell as far as pro-Israel voters are concerned.

4b)Obama’s Jew-free policy
Op-ed: US president abrogating the right of Jews to live wherever they want in Israel
By Giulio Meotti

By seeking to force Israel to cease building houses in Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, Barack Obama is legitimizing the Islamist zeal for the eviction of 300,000Jews who live in parts of Jerusalem that were illegally occupied by Jordan between 1948 and 1967.

Obama’s administration just blasted Israel for the new homes to be built in Gilo, a Jerusalem neighborhood where 40,000 Israelis live. For 19 horrible years, Jordanians and Palestinians controlled the neighborhoods now under Obama’s attack. Jews were summarily expelled. Property was seized. The historic synagogues of the walled enclave were gutted, trashed, some turned into makeshift barns.

Obama’s de-legitimization of Jerusalem’s post-1967 neighborhoods is nothing less than a renewed “Judenrein” (empty of Jews) policy. To decide, as a matter of policy, not to endorse the building of Jewish homes within existing Israeli areas is the abrogation of the right of Jews to live wherever they wish in Israel.

If Israel cannot build in Gilo without US approval, then it cannot build in Neveh Yaakov, Ramot Eshkol, French Hill, Pisgat Ze’ev and East Talpiot. Gilo is also a special symbol of the Israeli resistance during the Second Intifada, when Arab snipers fired at Jews from the village of Beit Jala. Gilo was turned into another Ireland. The Jewish residents began to evacuate. Fear, rage and worry dominated their minds. Belatedly, the Israeli government provided cement barriers and bullet-proof glass to protect the neighborhood’s residents.

Today, Gilo is a strategic neighborhood for the security of the entire State of Israel: Not building there means accepting a Palestinian belt around the capital of Israel, which could be in a state of siege. Gilo was the laboratory where Palestinian terrorists sought to discover whether they could force Jews into abandoning their homes. They failed. Now the US president is reviving this goal by “peaceful” means.

Return to Jewish ghettos?

Obama has also blasted Israel for new homes in Har Homa, another Jewish neighborhood on Jerusalem’s southern flanks, where in 1940 a group of Jews purchased 130 dunams of land. In 1948, the hill was rendered “Judenrein” by the Jordanians (Jews are still not permitted to live in Jordan).

Har Homa is a strategic impediment to Arab attempts to link up northern Bethlehem with Jerusalem. Har Homa is about a kilometer from the Palestinian Authority-controlled town of Bethlehem and the Old City of Jerusalem lies just 5.5 kilometers beyond. No wonder Palestinians are launching an attack on the new apartments.

Yet more surprising is Obama’s attack on any inch of land in Jewish neighborhoods built after 1967. In stark contrast to cities like Belfast, Beirut and Sarajevo, Jerusalem under Israeli control is a model of freedom and guaranteed rights for all.

Moreover, these neighborhoods, which house about one-third of Jerusalem’s population, also serve to protect the city. The neighborhood of Ramot serves as a buffer to the north; Mount Scopus, French Hill, Ramat Eshkol, and Sanhedria protect Jerusalem’s east.

In the 16th century, many Polish towns obtained the so called “privilegia de non tolerandis Judaeis”, cities in which the Jews were forbidden to live. Europe had the Jewish ghettos during the Middle Ages and the “zoning restrictions” for Jews in the Czarist Russia. Now, it’s Obama’s turn.

Giulio Meotti, a journalist with Il Foglio, is the author of the book A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism
5)European Economics Focus 1
Editors: Roger Bootle and Jonathan Loynes

• Italy’s recent austerity measures and ECB purchases of government bonds have brought Italy back from the brink. But we still think that Italy may eventually default, with huge repercussions for the euro-zone economy and financial markets.

• The recent rise in concern about Italy reflects the realisation by markets that growth prospects and the level of outstanding government debt are just as important for fiscally challenged economies as the size of budget deficits and near-term funding pressures.

• Accordingly, in order for Italy to be able to borrow from the markets at rates of interest which are not prohibitively expensive, it must demonstrate that it can reduce its debt from 119% of GDP in 2010 to perhaps 100% or less. So far, Italy has focused on implementing fiscal measures to reduce the budget deficit from 4.6% of GDP in 2010 to balance by 2013. But it is vital that the economy can embark on a long bout of solid growth if Italy is to avoid default.

• Unfortunately, the omens do not look good. Over the past three quarters, the economy has expanded by less than 0.2% per quarter on average. What’s more, deteriorating global growth prospects and falling business and consumer sentiment suggest Italy will soon fall into a new recession. We expect the economy to contract by around 1% or more in both 2012 and 2013.

• What’s more, there seems little hope that things will improve dramatically thereafter. Over the past decade, Italy’s productivity record has been atrocious and limited measures that have been taken to try and improve the position over recent years are unlikely to turn around the situation quickly. If Italy is to restore its competitiveness and boost its trend growth rate within the euro-zone, it will have
to go through a prolonged period of wage restraint or deflation and quickly implement far-reaching structural reforms. Given such a back drop, a long period of weak domestic demand seems likely.

• Accordingly, we would not be surprised if annual nominal GDP growth averaged just 1% or so over the next decade. If we are correct, it might take twenty years for Italy to get its debt to GDP ratio below 100% of GDP, even if the Government runs a balanced budget from 2013 and beyond, something which we doubt it will achieve.

• In all, Italy will eventually come under huge pressure to default. Given the likely disastrous consequences of this, European policymakers may try to support Italy by moving towards a fiscal union. But given that the northern European economies may baulk at effectively guaranteeing Italy’s debt – we think that the Italian debt crisis may eventually prompt the euro-zone’s demise.
6)China Venture Is Good for GE but Is It Good for U.S.?

During a factory tour in South Carolina, Jeffrey Immelt smiles and cuts me off after I ask another question about his new venture in China:

"I'm done," says the chief executive of General Electric. "This was reviewed by the Commerce Department and the Defense Department."

China's Planned Passenger Jet Will Compete With Boeing and Airbus
Other U.S. companies supplying the C919 through ventures with Chinese companies, and what they'll contribute:

If Mr. Immelt's response seems a bit edgy, it's probably because I raised a topic that has much of U.S. business on edge too: How to compete in China without giving away the store. And specific to General Electric: What's to keep GE's new avionics joint venture with China from transferring the best of U.S. technology abroad, empowering a new set of Chinese companies to challenge U.S. aircraft makers?

China watchers are anxious about this venture. Avionics— the "brains" guiding navigation, communications and other operations on an airplane—are at the pinnacle of American know-how, where the U.S. is still highly competitive. It's also technology the Chinese military covets.

GE says it has built protections into the venture, but the debate can get heated.

"To suggest that there are going to be firewalls that will stop this technology from going to the Chinese military is approaching laughable," says Rep. Randy Forbes (R., Va.), who sits on the House Armed Services Committee. "The fact that GE would say that is shocking."

You could substitute many industrial companies for GE in this equation, because over the last 30 years most have struck their own difficult bargains with China's many state-owned companies. China is the world's fastest-growing major market, and in return for access the country frequently demands technology or other know-how. China then absorbs that technology and uses it to battle global competitors, selling products that are often heavily subsidized by China.

That has happened in a range of industries, including autos, electronics and energy. Siemens now competes internationally against Chinese high-speed rail companies that sell products partly based on technology gleaned from an earlier joint venture with the German firm.

The U.S. has restrictions on the export of certain technology that could threaten U.S. security, but it appears less equipped, or less organized, to contend with this broader challenge: what to do about the threat to many business sectors posed by China's state-sponsored industrial juggernaut.

"We've been passive in deciding how to deal with China's aggressive industrial policies," says James Lewis, who worked on technology-transfer issues at the Commerce Department and is now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"U.S. companies are making the right decision from a business point of view, but it might not be the right decision for the country," Mr. Lewis adds.

"It's unclear whether anyone in the U.S. government took a look at the GE deal in terms of U.S. competitiveness—the future of the aviation industry 10 or 20 years out," says an executive who advises companies working in China. He worries that a heavily subsidized Chinese jet program, enhanced with U.S. avionics, could eventually clobber Boeing. "China has an incredible ability to distort markets, and we can't be reacting after the distortion has taken place."

Clyde Prestowitz, a former U.S. trade negotiator who writes on global economics and business, says China is violating World Trade Organization rules that prohibit making technology transfer a condition of market access. "In a normal market the avionics would be done for that plane in the U.S. and we'd sell it to China," he argues.

GE says it wasn't forced to give up its technology for market access. Instead, it sees this joint venture as a valuable piece of an existing global network of joint ventures and supplier relationships between the world's big aviation companies.

"Technology is the heart and soul of our company," says Rick Kennedy, a GE spokesman. "Why would we give away our future?"

In its China project, GE will develop a new generation of its avionics operating system with state-owned Aviation Industry Corp. of China, which supplies China's commercial and military aircraft industries. The business will be based in Shanghai and owned 50-50 by the two firms.

GE says its half of the work load will chiefly be handled out of GE facilities in Florida, Michigan and Britain. And it expects that capturing new business through the joint venture will both boost exports from its U.S. operations and add jobs.

The venture's first big customer: Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, which is developing the C919 passenger jet to compete with Airbus and Boeing. The joint venture will also sell its avionics to aircraft makers globally. GE's current operating system is already on the Boeing 787.

As for the Chinese military, GE says it has spent nearly three years developing a compliance program that it believes won't let the military near its technology. GE will run the compliance office and will vet all hiring. AVIC is forbidden from sharing information with its military business. And people who leave the venture must wait two years before they can take any Chinese military-related assignment.

Still, China is an authoritarian country with a weak legal system. It is difficult to imagine that any technology deemed worthwhile in the GE/AVIC venture wouldn't somehow find its way onto the next-generation Chinese jet fighter. GE says that its system is specific to commercial use, not military. And if there were evidence that information had gotten to the Chinese generals, the joint venture would be shut down.

Kathleen Palma, who handles trade compliance for GE Aviation, says GE determined that U.S. export licenses weren't required for the technology involved, but the company nonetheless briefed the Commerce Department and the Defense Technology Security Administration several times. She says the U.S. government appeared satisfied. A spokeswoman for DTSA said GE said it was "complying with all applicable laws." A spokesman for the Commerce Department referred questions back to GE.

GE has manufacturing operations elsewhere in China, and it isn't alone in giving a lift to China's commercial jet program. Other U.S. companies have a piece of the action, including Honeywell, Hamilton Sundstrand, Rockwell Collins, Eaton and Parker Aerospace. Airbus has manufacturing operations in China.

What is uncertain is whether these companies will remain part of China's aviation calculus once they are done being useful, and whether Chinese companies will supplant them. That transition has happened in other industries and is a mainstay of China's "indigenous innovation" industrial strategy, which is explicit about "metabolizing" foreign technology and making it China's own.

GE says that if it hadn't linked with AVIC in a joint venture a competitor would have, which is very likely. Mr. Immelt, the CEO, says he'll take responsibility if the venture goes wrong. "It's on me," he says. "It's on me."

But the reality is more complicated. When it comes to China and its ability to shake global industries, the ramifications of GE's decisions—and the decisions of many other American companies—are on everyone.
7)Kennedy and the Fate of ObamaCare
By Joseph Ashby

It's been one year, six months, and eight days since it happened. White-hot tempers have cooled. Dire predictions are rarer. Unlike many tumultuous situations, which in retrospect appear unworthy of our ire, the intensity that accompanied the passage of ObamaCare was well-suited to the size of the cause.

Throughout the Western world, government-run health care has served to catalyze a permanent leftist political climate. Unlike the relatively limited nature of our current welfare state (which is already bankrupting the nation), the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is designed to reach across all age demographics and into nearly every income bracket.

Because of its near-limitless reach, if fully implemented, ObamaCare will quickly become a political force surpassing even Social Security and Medicare. Once that happens, the only way to win elections will be to promise not to touch government health care. Every politician will have to accept and even endorse issues that are now championed only by the far left.

The morning after ObamaCare passed, the Los Angeles Times announced that the Democrats had won a 100-year war, but the war didn't end. Once the law passed, Americans began a two-pronged effort to sabotage the left's well-laid plan, and thereby rescue America from an ominous fate.

The success of the first prong, judicial action, will likely be determined by late next spring.

Earlier this week, the U.S. government failed to file a request for re-hearing of their case before the full panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Failure to file for the re-hearing likely means one of three things. The Obama team wanted no part of the unfriendly 11th Circuit, is willing to accept a version of ObamaCare without the insurance purchase mandate (a possibility Rush Limbaugh pointed out Wednesday), or believes it has a winning argument to take to the Supreme Court.

With four reliable liberals and four reliable constitutionalists on the Supreme Court, many consider the court's decision to rest with Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy's recent votes are both cause for hope and concern for those fighting ObamaCare.

For example, in the 2005 Kelo decision, Kennedy sided with the liberal wing of the court. The decision allowed a municipal government in Connecticut to seize private lands through eminent domain and hand the land over to other private interests. Kennedy wrote in a concurring opinion that as long as there was a proper "rational-basis test" which justified government taking the land, then the use of eminent domain was constitutional.

If Kennedy finds the health insurance mandate "rational" or a necessity to address health care costs, the unthinkable (but very possible) may occur: ObamaCare may get the SCOTUS stamp of constitutional approval.

Opponents of the president's health care law will find the Citizens United decision more encouraging, both because Kennedy fell on the side of the Constitution and because of its analogous similarity to ObamaCare. In both Citizens United (free speech) and the Affordable Care Act (right to property), the law in question gives the federal government such broad power that even dependable moderates like Kennedy cringe.

The most iconic moment of the Citizens United case came during oral arguments, when Chief Justice John Roberts questioned deputy solicitor general Malcolm Stewart on what types of speech the government could outlaw:

Roberts: If it's a 500-page book and at the end it says, "so vote for X," the government could ban that?

Stewart: If you have Citizens United or General Motors using general treasury funds to publish a book that at the outset, for instance, that Hillary Clinton's election would be a disaster for this --

Roberts: No, no. Take my hypothetical. It doesn't say at the outset. "Here is a..." whatever it is. "This is a discussion of the American political system." And at the end it says, "Vote for X."

Stewart: Yes, our position would be that the corporation could be required to use PAC funds rather than general treasury funds.

Roberts: And if they didn't you could ban it?

Stewart: If they didn't, we could prohibit the publication of the book using the corporate treasury funds.

Several months later, the Court heard a second oral argument on the same case. In the second round, then-Solicitor General (now Supreme Court justice) Elena Kagan was asked about the potential that the Federal Election Commission could ban books. Kagan responded that the FEC had the power to ban books, but has never and most likely would never use that power. A somewhat shocked Justice Antonin Scalia tersely responded, "We don't put our First Amendment rights in the hands of FEC bureaucrats."

After the oral arguments, Kennedy voted with the originalists on the court. The majority opinion, written by Kennedy, was laced with statements that suggested he was greatly affected by the back-and-forth over book-banning. "When Government seeks to use its full power," wrote Kennedy, "including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought."

When ObamaCare goes to the Supreme Court, the Scalias and Robertses of the bench will no doubt pin down the administration lawyers on the individual mandate.

If the government can force citizens to buy health insurance, what will stop the Congress from mandating the purchase of cars, homes, food, or any number of products or services? There is no good answer to that question because, if we must buy one product, there is no sufficiently definable limit on congressional power regarding our personal purchasing decisions. We can hope Justice Kennedy will be greatly affected by that argument as well.

But to depend on Anthony Kennedy is a little like a soldier who takes cover behind a sapling during a firefight -- the sapling may stop the bullet, or it may not. Which is why the second prong, the legislative repeal of ObamaCare, must continue.

Even if the Supreme Court declares the individual mandate unconstitutional, there is no guarantee that the justices will throw out the entire law. The American people would be left with the taxes, regulations, massive Medicaid expansion, and other harmful provisions of the health care law. If that is the case, the defeat of ObamaCare through the republican process is our only avenue. The 2012 elections will be our best shot (and maybe our only real chance) of stopping the law.

Obama and the wordsmiths at the White House think themselves quite clever dubbing ObamaCare "Obama cares." The truth is that Obama doesn't care. It's incumbent upon the rest of us to stop this destructive law before it's too late.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Beat Obama With His Own Words And Failed Policies!

Obama spent almost one trillion dollars buying shovels for projects that were not ready. Then he plopped another half trillion and sent it down the drain of a green company which went belly up and 1100 people were out on the street. Now he wants another half trillion to do the same thing he has already done and which did not work then and is not likely to work again.

Yet, he tells those who disagree they are not being American. To be American used to mean being somewhat frugal and it certainly meant not being stupid. America was not founded by the dumb nor made great by the dumb. I would rather suggest it was founded and made great by the exceptional, the brave and the good hearted.

This president gets testy when people do not snap to, when they do not put on their booties and jump over the rope he is using to hang himself.

Some young female Obama supporter on MSNBC recently acknowledged Obama was not ready for the job. She sought to use that to justify her belief that Gov. Christie should not run for the same reason. No one challenged her but I would have had I been there. First, I would have told her there is no job equal to being president but there are things that one can do to prepare themselves. They could have worked at a real job and gotten their hands dirty, they could have met a payroll and they could have run a large entity with an overseas component. They even could have served in the military and they could also have had some political experience.

But most important of all they need character. Truman was not qualified to become president but he was a pretty darn good one because he was decisive, had read history and had a world of self discipline except when some rag critic criticized the sounds emanating from his daughter, Margaret's lungs.

When you stack Obama's achievements against Truman's, Reagan, both Bushes, Romney, Perry and/or even Clinton's he pales by comparison. Even Carter and Johnson looked better on paper than Obama. Kennedy's record was mostly Camelot glitter but at least he did not need a teleprompter, he had a sense of humor and a charming elegant wife who spoke French.

Last week the head of Hewlett Packard was fired because the board felt he was not executing the way they wanted. I see a message there, what about you?
Christie gave a great speech last night and stood by his word that he is not running.
Down the road with Rubio maybe but not now.

If you heard what Christie had to say it was a 'right on the mark' speech. He said what needed saying and he did it in a serious and forceful manner and he sprinkled it with humor. If speeches give insight then Christie would be good for the nation but we know with Obama it takes more than speechifying.

Christie's address, however, provides a 'road map,' as it were, with meaningful and instructive sign posts among which are: be yourself, get rid of the handlers and tell the truth because the nation hungers for it and can relate. We are adults. Secondly, in order to do this you must be comfortable within your own skin.

I still see a Romney-Cain ticket as the best choice from among the field. They both have executive experience, Romney has political experience. They both seem to have no serious skeletons and/or character flaws in their closet and they have proven they can improve and learn from their campaign experiences. Cain on the ticket would send a message to those who claim Republicans are bigots they are better than their accusers and it might weaken even Obama's hold on the slave like minorities.

The best way to beat Obama still remains - beat him with his own words. Compare his past rhetoric with his current words and failed accomplishments. (See 1 below.)
Being a Conservative people always assume I am that way about everything and
they do not understand you can be a quilt work but proscribed by your fiscal conservatism.

An example is my view of 'gays' serving in the military. I am all for anyone who wishes to serve his country doing so assuming they meet the standards applicable to all. If they, or anyone violates the military code then they should be subject to its rules. I would add that I might look askance supplanting the salute with a curtsy.
My response to a local Rabbi whose LTE was published. My response may not be published so here it is:

Rabbi Belzer mischaracterizes Conservatives who also support Israel. Our support of Israel is in keeping with our support of all democracies. His selective expressions are narrow and biased and fail to recognize the conduct of this president, not only with respect to Israel and its current leader, but his overall inept mishandling of most of his foreign policy initiatives.

There is nothing right wing about wanting our nation's fiscal matters balanced, there is nothing right wing about supporting a people who are willing to live side by side with neighbors who have attacked them in wars, slaughtered them through terrorism, and demanding Abbas accord Israelis the same rights Palestinians seek.

Netanyahu does not seek to annex the West bank. That is a Belzer ruse. Netanyahu has legitimate security issues and a moral obligation to protect his citizens. He is willing to discuss all issues with the Palestinians but the question is will Abbas be able to deliver on his commitments? Witness Egypt, Turkey etc. And what of Hamas, Hezballah and Iran?

More importantly, why will Abbas not negotiate? Because Western leaders know they can extract concessions from Israel and Palestinians have thus been encouraged to constantly raise the ante. Feed a bully and you increase his appetite.

And what of the U.N's attitude towards Israel. The peace organization which has been hijacked by the most radical of nations. Not a peep from the learned Rabbi.

It is a sad commentary that Rabbi Belzer, who served his congregation for twenty years, was dismissed because of his constant attacks on Israel and overboard and biased support of the Palestinian cause.

His recent LTE is clear evidence his Congregation had a legitimate point.

As the Jewish New Year approaches I hope it will bring good health, happiness and peace to all peoples and that they will conduct themselves as world citizens and fore swear terror.

I am not naive enough to believe it will happen.
The new definition of liquidity:

Liquidity is when you look at your retirement funds and wet your pants.
This is the kind of anti-democratic lunatic Czars Obama appoints. Yes, we need less democracy and fighting for principles so fascists can take over and impose their progressivism. (See 2 below.)
Is what I fear and have suggested, getting closer to reality? I noted earlier it would not be out of the realm of conjecture for Obama to attack Iran if for no other reason than to regain political momentum under thelegitimate cover of relieving the world of Iran's nuclear threat. (See 3 and 3a below.)
Victor Davis Hanson concurs in what I have been writing about Obama's efforts to divide and most particularly between the races. Sad indeed. (See 4 below.)

One the eve of 5772, I again extend to you and your all the best wishes for a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.
1)Christie: US Fails to Live Up to 'Tradition of Exceptionalism’

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, in a much-anticipated speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, slammed President Barack Obama for being a “bystander in the Oval Office,” and said the gridlock in Washington is ineffective and embarrassing to the rest of the country.

Christie addressed domestic and international issues important to Americans, but did not do what many supporters had hoped — announce a bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

“We watch a president who once talked about the courage of his convictions, but still has yet found the courage to lead,” Christie said. “We watch a Congress at war with itself because they are unwilling to leave campaign style politics at the Capitol’s door.”

Christie warned that America's promise is being menaced from within, as a troubled U.S. economy, shaky leadership, and political gridlock diminish the nation's ability to solve its problems.

"At one time in our history, our greatness was a reflection of our country's innovation, our determination, our ingenuity," the Republican governor said in remarks during his speech Tuesday night.

"When there was a crisis at home, we put aside parochialism and put the greater public interest first. And in our system, we did it through strong presidential leadership," he said.

"Unfortunately, through our own domestic political conduct of late, we have failed to live up to our own tradition of exceptionalism. Today, our role and ability to affect change has been diminished because of our own problems and our inability to effectively deal with them," Christie added.

Christie talked at length about the importance of democracy, and of spreading democracy worldwide, of national security, and the nation's troubled economy.

“There is no better way to reinforce the likelihood that others in the world will opt for more open societies and economies than to demonstrate that our own system is working,” he said. “Without strong leadership at home, without our domestic house in order, we are taking ourselves out of the equation.”

On domestic issues, Christie hit recurring GOP themes of controlling rising costs of entitlements and creating jobs, saying Obama “insists we must tax and take and demonize those who have already achieved the American Dream."

“That may turn out to be a good re-election strategy, Mr. President, but is a demoralizing message for America,” Christie said. “There is, of course, a different choice.”

Christie's speech, given at the shrine to America's 40th president, comes on a three-day trip in which the governor is raising money for Republicans and networking with party rainmakers in several states.

It also took place as national figures are encouraging the firebrand governor to run for the 2012 Republican nomination.

Christie has said he's not running for president next year, but his speech marks another sign of his rising status within the national GOP and will keep his name on vice-presidential lists.

In his remarks, the governor warned that the United States will be able to sustain its global leadership place only with resources for defense and homeland security, but he questioned whether those funds will be available

The speech puts the governor on the same stage graced by other prominent conservatives such as former President George W. Bush, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly.

His speech, titled “Real American Exceptionalism,” is part of the library’s Perspectives in Leadership series, and has attracted widespread interest amid speculation that Christie is considering bowing to Republican donors' wishes and enter the GOP presidential contest.

Although some sources, including Christie's brother, Todd, say he won't run, others, including former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, say he is seriously considering changing his mind and running.

At the least, Christie may affect the party’s choice, said Ben Dworkin, director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University in Lawrenceville.

“He’s a major influence in his party and when the Republicans settle on a nominee, that person is going to have to go to Chris Christie and make sure he’s on board,” Dworkin said in an interview. “Every speech the governor gives ends up at some point with him offering his views on what his party should be doing and what the candidates for president should be doing.”

The first Republican elected governor in New Jersey since 1997 began a national round of speeches and fundraising Monday even as aides attempted to quash speculation that he’s reconsidering his decision to sit out the Republican primary.

The address at the Reagan Library gives Christie, who has urged Republican presidential candidates to take a harder line on entitlement spending and debt, an opportunity to expand his influence in national politics and shape the race, according to political observers.

Still, supporters were not letting it go. In a brief question-and-answer session after his speech, it was the number two question from supporter. Christie joked that he had expected the "are you running" question to be the first.

Again, after another audience member pressed Christie, he directed people to go to a website that compiled a video version of all his no answers back-to-back.

"Click on it, those are the answers," Christie said.

A few minutes later, another questioner pleaded with him to run.

"It's extraordinarily flattering but by the same token, that heartfelt message you gave me is not a reason for me to do it," Christie said. "That reason has to reside inside me."

He continued, "I take it in and I'm listening to every word of it and feeling it too. It’s a great great honor and I really appreciate it."
2)Too Much of a Good Thing
Why we need less democracy.
By Peter Orszag

In an 1814 letter to John Taylor, John Adams wrote that “there never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” That may read today like an overstatement, but it is certainly true that our democracy finds itself facing a deep challenge: During my recent stint in the Obama administration as director of the Office of Management and Budget, it was clear to me that the country’s political polarization was growing worse—harming Washington’s ability to do the basic, necessary work of governing. If you need confirmation of this, look no further than the recent debt-limit debacle, which clearly showed that we are becoming two nations governed by a single Congress—and that paralyzing gridlock is the result.

So what to do? To solve the serious problems facing our country, we need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic.
3)France: Iran faces high risk of military strike. Russia practices Iranian reprisal

UN Ambassador Gerard Araud warned Wednesday, Sept. 28 that Iran runs a high risk of a military strike if it continues on the path to nuclear proliferation. "Some countries won't accept the prospect of Tehran reaching the threshold of nuclear armament," he said. "Personally I am convinced that it would be a very complicated operation …with disastrous consequences in the region."

Ambassador Araud's comment confirmed reports from military sources in recent months that US and European sanctions against Iran had been ineffectual and the ayatollahs had no intention of slowing down on their drive for a nuclear weapon.
The French diplomat was not the only one to raise the alarm this week about regional war clouds circling over Iran.

Sept. 9-26, the Russian army, joined by Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, deployed 12,000 troops in a huge combined military exercise code-named Center-2011 which simulated an Iranian attack on Caspian oil fields operated by American firms in reprisal for a US strike against Iranian nuclear sites.

Russian intelligence postulated an instantaneous Iranian reprisal for this strike and based the war game staged by Russian-led Collective Rapid Force and the Collective Rapid Deployment Forces of the Central Asian Region –CSTO – on this assumption.

The forces taking part in the exercise were briefed for a two-stage scenario:

Stage One: An naval attack on the Caspian Sea coast coming from the south (Iran).
Stage Two: A large-scale air and ground attack from the south by 70 F-4 and F-5 fighter-bombers, namely, the bulk of Iran's air force, along with armored divisions, marine battalions and infantry brigades landing on the northern and eastern shores of the Caspian Sea.

The Russian briefing conjectured that the Iranian offensive would single out the Kazakh oil field at Mangustan on the Caspian coast, a field which Exxon Mobile is operating.

Moscow clearly attached the highest importance to the exercise and extreme credibility to the hypothetical scenario. Russian chief of staff Gen. Nikolai Makarov personally commanded the drills and on Monday, Sept. 26, President Dmitry Medvedev toured the field commands and units.

Tehran was not idle: Tuesday, the day before the war game ended, Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, commander of the Iranian Navy, stated that Iranian warships would be deployed "close to US territorial waters," since the Islamic Republic of Iran considers the US presence in the Persian Gulf "illegitimate and makes no sense."

After Tehran rejected a recent US request to establish a "red phone" link between the countries to avoid unwanted confrontation between their armed forces in the Gulf region, Ali Fadavi, Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Navy chief, commented enigmatically: "When we are in the Gulf of Mexico, we will establish direct contact with the United States."

A significant remark on the intentions of another nuclear rogue government came from Peter Hughes, the British Ambassador to North Korea, when he stopped over in Seoul on his way home from a three-year tenure in Pyongyang.

"I have had discussions with high-level officials, who have made clear to me their view that if Colonel Qaddafi had not given up his nuclear weapons, then NATO would not have attacked his country," he said.

The ambassador therefore held out little hope of the long-stalled US-South Korea talks with the North resumed lately getting anywhere on Pyongyang's denuclearization.

All these ominous events – pointed comments by French and British diplomats and the large-scale Russian-Central Asian war game – add up to widespread skepticism about any chance of halting Iran's race for a nuclear weapon or disarming North Korea.

3a)Report: Iranian Navy gets new cruise missiles

Tehran says its marine forces now possess domestically-developed cruise missiles with a range of 200km and dual offshore, onshore homing capabilities

Iran says it has started the large-scale production of a domestically-developed cruise missile designed for sea-based targets and capable of destroying warships.

Iranian Defense Minister General Ahmad Vahidi was quoted by the state-run news agency Fars on Wednesday, as saying that an unspecified number of "Qader" cruise missiles were delivered to the Revolutionary Guard's Navy.

The announcement was made in an official ceremony, also attended by Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari and Commander of the IRGC Naval Force Brigadier General Ali Fadavi.

Vahidi stressed that production of the missiles "showed that the Iranian Defense Industries are able to satiate the Iranian Armed Forces' missile needs."

The Iranians claim that the Qader cruise missiles have a range of 200km, can reportedly travel at low altitudes and are able to home-in on both offshore and onshore targets.

On Tuesday, Iran's Navy Chief Sayyari said that the Islamic Republic now possessed the ability to send its warships to the United States' Atlantic coast. Sayyari gave no details of when such a deployment could happen or the number or type of vessels to be used.

Also on Wednesday, Vahidi dismissed the need for Iran to establish a "military hotline" with the United States, and called on Washington to pull out its forces from the Persian Gulf, warning their continued presence may trigger a possible confrontation with Iran.

"They want to have a hotline so that in case of tension, we can settle it but we believe that if they are not deployed in the region, no tension will occur," Vahidi told Fars.

He also stressed that any US warships which seek to pass through the Persian Gulf's Strait of Hormuz must respond to the questions asked by the Iranian Navy, as "the Strait of Hormuz... are under the intelligence control and domination of our Navy."
4) Obama’s Racial Crisis
Our post-racial president has set race relations back decades.

By Victor Davis Hanson

In the current racial circus, the president of the United States, in addressing an assembly of upscale black professionals and political leaders, adopts the style of a Southern Baptist preacher of the 1960s. He alters his cadences and delivery to both berate and gin up the large audience — posing as a messianic figure who will “march” them out to speak truth to power. In response, the omnipresent Rep. Maxine Waters goes public yet again, to object that the president has no right to rally blacks in this way, when he does not adopt similar tones of admonishment with Jews and gays. (Should Obama try to emulate the way he thinks gays and Jews talk in his next address to them?)

Hope-and-change has now sunk into little more than a tawdry spectacle of racial spoils, as the president of the United States desperately cobbles together squabbling special-interest racial, ethnic, and gender groups in lieu of restoring the nation’s prosperity. Before the age of Obama, I don’t recall that some members of the Black Caucus were so ready to invite political opponents to “go straight to hell,” or to allege that they were veritable murderers eager to lynch blacks and restore slavery.

Unspoken, of course, is the truth that Obama’s statism, deficits, interferences in the private sector, and spread-the-wealth rhetoric have frightened business owners into stasis — and the resulting slowdown hurts blacks most of all. But in this fantasy world of racial spoils, Obama’s profligate spending and borrowing can be faulted only for not being profligate enough. To suggest any other diagnosis would be to call into question the entire federal racial industry of the last 50 years — and those who have benefited the most by administering it.

Instead, a new insidious racism is supposedly energizing opposition to Obama, most expressly on the part of the Tea Party. Generally beloved actor Morgan Freeman alleged just that: Racism, not stupid policies, is what is hurting Obama — and by extension blacks in general.

But does the charge that racism is the basis for Obama’s current unpopularity have any empirical foundation? Barack Obama, himself half white, and a graduate of prep school and Ivy League universities, defeated Hillary Clinton in part because of the help and money of white liberals. He could not have defeated John McCain without sizable white support. The white vote, incidentally, split far more evenly than did the black vote, which went overwhelmingly for Obama, at well over 90 percent.

When presidential approval polls dipped below 40 percent, was the treatment accorded Barack Obama less charitable than that accorded his predecessor, George W. Bush? Freeman, like nearly all those who now level charges of racism, was quiet when a novel, an award-winning documentary, and an op-ed in the Guardian all speculated about assassinating the president of the United States. So far Al Gore and Sen. John Glenn have not suggested that Obama is adopting Nazi or Brownshirt tactics, as they alleged of Bush.

In fact, some of the most savage takedowns of Barack Obama have started to appear on the pages of the New York Times and the Huffington Post, where he is alleged to be an incompetent and weak purveyor of liberal values. It is almost as if some of these progressives relish critiquing Obama, in assurance that their liberal bona fides guarantees that no one will charge them with racism.

Indeed, there is something curious in the liberal argument that Obama, once deified as the ideal megaphone for progressive agendas, is now to be faulted for the current unpopularity of liberalism, given that he remains a far more effective advocate than Jimmy Carter and a far more doctrinaire leftist than Bill Clinton. It is almost as if liberal scapegoating of Obama is an attempt to shift responsibility for progressive failure from the message onto the hapless messenger — an unfairness that a Freeman would never discuss.

At almost the same time as Freeman made his divisive charges, Herman Cain won the Florida straw poll, largely because of the presence of tea-partiers, who felt the entrepreneurial Cain was more conservative than either Perry or Romney, and perhaps more authentic as well. Cain, remember, unlike Obama, is a product of the Southern black experience. His accent and cadences are real and not the studied product of self-described tutorials from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. He knew racism in an era and place that were a world away from the 1970s Honolulu of Obama’s middle-class white upbringing. How can Herman Cain’s broad white support substantiate Freeman’s charges of a widely racist America, other than by resorting to some strange condescending notion of false consciousness: i.e., that a hapless Cain is being used by white capitalists in a way Barack Obama — the largest recipient of Wall Street cash in the history of presidential campaigns and the first general-election candidate since public campaign financing was instituted to renounce it — most surely is not?

To criticize Obama endangers the historical nexus between government entitlements and those who ensure them. So powerful and lucrative is this relationship that whites who question both its utility and its intent, and blacks who are vocal about its unintended destructiveness, are labeled respectively racists and Uncle Toms. Indeed, that paradox is at the heart of Obama’s racial crisis: It is his own orthodox leftist agenda that has stalled the recovery and decimated black America. Yet for those who are invested in a crumbling Great Society, the remedy of unleashing the private sector and downsizing government would be worse than the recessionary malady itself.

Charging racism has psychological components as well. For left-wing blacks, it serves as a sort of preemption. When Freeman charges Obama’s opponents with abject racism, they, not he, must prove that they are not racially obsessed — at least until the next slur triggers the confessional process all over again. Of course, no one is allowed to accuse Freeman of racial tribalism for suggesting that criticism of Obama is racially motivated. Yet he sees racial hope only when a person of his race is elected by a largely white electorate, and sees racism when that same person does not succeed in convincing that same electorate that he can ameliorate hard times.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Obama: The White Equivalent of Jekyll and Hyde!

One of my favorite authors and thinkers responds after Netanyahu's recent speech. (See 1 below.)

"Obamascare" is heading to the Supreme Court as his administration decides to skip Circuit Court appeal. Gutsy move. If 'Obamascare" is deemed legal it could propel Obama into second term or possibly the backlash could ruin his chances and cause a revolt nationwide as passage would further impact the nation's already deteriorating fiscal health.

Obama must be betting on Sottomayer not recusing herself or is fearful the full 11th Circuit Court might uphold an earlier decision. Obama's action has nothing to do with the health of the nation just pure political maneuvering. (See 2 below.)

Yesterday, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal about the IRS going after small business hiring practices. The IRS believes too many businesses classify employees as contract workers to avoid the governments amoebic bureaucratic rules, regulations and implied costs. (Section D11 of Journal)

Recently, Peter Schiff was interviewed and told of the miseries and legal costs he endured because he over hired, if you can believe that. In the financial sector the government has even more restrictive rules and red tape if you want to hire because you have to make sure you do not exceed certain human resource ratios.

Government has become a true threat because of the corruption and bad practices of some in the private sector. Government is strangling us in its zeal to correct errant behaviour it helped cause because many powerful politicians overlooked what was happening. Why? Because these corrupt politicians were benefiting from their own culpable behaviour., ie Barney and Chris, Rangel, staff members of the SEC, and the list is almost endless etc.

Madoff was a crook, as were many executives in the housing, banking and Wall Street sectors. The typical government's response is to pass legislation that makes everyone crooks. It's the 'gotcha' method of how to grow government. It is the slick tool used by those who believe government can protect us when in fact we wind up being victims of government's stifling rules and regulations. The more bureaucrats enforce restrictive and ambiguous legislation the more likely honest citizens are going to run afoul. Criminalizing behaviour is the fertilizer that helps government grow and feed progressive loony ideas.

And by the way, Democrats are prone to criminalize political action as well. That is why they call for an independent counsel at the drop of a hat. Liberals have an insatiable appetite for government to expand and any method of accomplishing this goal is deemed worthy .

Gerald Seib also points out a factor going for Obama in the forthcoming election. It is the color blue. As more Americans believe they have no future and are told by Obama they are being held down and/or being taken advantage of by other Americans the more votes he believes he will garner and/or solidify in already Democrat leaning and/or safe states. It is the politics of envy, race baiting ,divide and conquer one up manship, populism - yes, dishonesty.

But then there is that cliff to worry about.

Call it what you will Obama is engaged in the venomous act of a desperate snake oil politician for he is the consummate chameleon. (See 2a, 2b and 2c below.)
A public school teacher was arrested today at John F Kennedy International airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a compass, a slide-rule and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, Attorney General Eric Holder said he
believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement.
He was read his Miranda rights and offered a shovel ready job.
These two sites have a lot in common. The first exposes the abysmal ignorance of our youth generation which lacks knowledge of history and most particularly that of the '40's and '50's. The second video is about the hatred that still remains and will lead to the next world conflagration which will engulf the same ignorant youth displayed in the first video.

It is one thing not to know history. If onedoes there is a high probability you will live to repeat its mistakes. But it is an even bigger sin to know history and do nothing to avoid repeating it.

See: "180 Movie By The Way of the Master"

Dr. Salah Sultan: 'Every Zionist Who Enters Egypt.Should Be Killed'
Dennis Prager makes the point that Palestinians want peace but not with a Jewish state. Ironically most Jewish Israelis are not necessarily religious. I would venture to say most Arab Israelis are more religious.(See 3 below)
Figuring out Obama may be a 24/7 game for some but most already know who and what he is.

What Peter Wehner has discovered is that Obama is the black political equivalent of Jekyll and Hyde or the male equivalent of The Two Faces of Eve. (See 4 below.)
Is Ahmadinejad on his last leg? (See 5 below.)
America shrinks its navy, China expands its navy, and now Turkey plans on becoming a regional naval power.

Rest assured, if Obama is re-elected he will shrink the military. That's generally the Democrat fall back as they re-distribute Pentagon funds to the downtrodden little people! Helps to lock in votes because there are a lot more little people than military people. Then when Republicans return to office they rebuild the military skeleton they inherit. Happened with Carter, happened with Clinton and is happening with Obama. (See 6 below.)
I warned about the same thing several memos ago - don't let the media choose the Republican candidate. Then, Tom Sowell. (See 7 and 7a below)
1)Melanie Phillips:Some 1941 years ago, the Romans conquered the ancient Jewish kingdom of Judea by force and attempted to expunge all memory of the Jews' claim to the land by renaming the area Palestine. Two days ago, Mahmoud Abbas attempted to do the same thing by diplomatic force at the UN.

The whole thing was of course a grotesque charade, outdone in its surrealism only by the reaction of the western world. For the UK and US governments and others said that such a unilateral declaration of independence was a setback for peace and a Palestinian state, which could only be achieved through negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel.

Not so. Negotiations do not have to be re-started in order to achieve this. If Abbas really wanted a state of Palestine to live in peace alongside Israel, he could have said a handful of words in New York which would have ended the conflict there and then and brought such a state into actual being.

For all that is needed is for Abbas to say, in Arabic as well as English, that he accepts the right of Israel to exist as the nation state of the Jewish people, and that his own people will no longer wage war against it. If he were to say that, and to match those words by deeds to show he meant them - for example, by ending the incitement in the educational materials and media under his command to hatred and murder of Jews and Israelis - there would be peace and a state of Palestine.

But this will never happen. For the dominant assumption in the west, the assumption that underpins virtually every political utterance on the subject and every interview on the BBC and the reporting even in notionally pro-Israel papers such as the Times or Telegraph that a state of Palestine would end the Middle East conflict, is not only wholly mistaken but is to mis-state that conflict.

For peace to be achieved, the belligerent has to stop making war. The Arabs have made war on the Jews in their ancient homeland since Israel became a state and indeed for three decades before that. For a solution to be arrived at, it's necessary correctly to state the problem. The problem is not the absence of a state of Palestine. The problem is that the Arabs want to get rid of Israel.

For anyone paying attention to the actual words used, the evidence was there in Abbas's own speech. His people, he declared, had been suffering for 63 years. What happened 63 years ago? The state of Israel came into being. So what Abbas was saying was not that the absence of a state of Palestine was the problem. The problem for him was the very existence of the state of Israel.

He also said:

'...we agreed to establish the State of Palestine on only 22 per cent of the territory of historical Palestine - on all the Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel in 1967.'

But the West Bank and Gaza were not 22 per cent of historical; Palestine; they were far, far less. It was Israel that was established on a fraction of 'historical Palestine', having settled for that fraction as better than nothing at all. And if the Palestinians truly had accepted a state merely in the West Bank and Gaza, why then did they refuse the offer of precisely such a state on more than 90 per cent of that territory which was made to them in 2000 and 2008? Why does the very Palestinian logo on their flags and insignia show a map of this state of Palestine to which they aspire as having swallowed up Israel altogether?

In Ramallah on September 16, Abbas made his position even plainer. 'The Palestinian people', he stated, 'have been abused for 63 years, generation after generation, under occupation'.
No, it is the existence of Israel itself that is the problem which Abbas believes UN recognition of a state of Palestine would help resolve. It is Israel itself that Abbas wants to subsume into Palestine. In other words, as he himself has previously said, declaring UDI at the UN was a way of internationalising the conflict with Israel. UN recognition of a state of Palestine is therefore not a move towards peace but a signal for genocidal war.

The truly incredible bone-headedness (or worse) of the western response was encapsulated by a BBC Today programme interview on Friday morning with the UK's former ambassador to the UN, Sir Jeremy Greenstock. Sir Jeremy declared that a state of Palestine was 'not a threat to Israel', and that the Palestinians were 'desperate' to end the 'injustice' done to them and to restart negotiations.

Eh? What 'injustice'? The Palestinians are the ones waging war on Israel, not the other way round. What desperation, when they have repeatedly turned down the offer of a state? What keenness to re-start negotiations, when Israel repeatedly offers them negotiations and they repeatedly refuse?

Even worse, Sir Jeremy also said that what was much more important for Israel than a state of Palestine was not to imperil any further its relationship with other countries in the region such as Egypt, Turkey or Iran.

What?? Doesn't Sir Jeremy realise that the Palestinians are despised by every country in the region? Hasn't Sir Jeremy noticed that Turkey is now pursuing an Islamist agenda, with appalling implications not just for Israel but for the interests of the UK and the west, and that Egypt may well fall to the Islamists too? And as for Israel not upsetting Iran by its attitude to the Palestinians, hasn't Sir Jeremy Greenstock understood that Iran is threatening Israel with nuclear extinction because it is a Jewish state? On what planet is Sir Jeremy Greenstock living?

To anyone with a scintilla of knowledge of the nine-decade Arab and Islamic war against the Jews in the Middle East, Abbas's speech at the UN consisted of lie after lie after lie. He claimed that Israeli settlements in the West Bank were illegal and in breach of international law (untrue); he claimed that the settlements were in breach of the terms of negotiation (untrue; it is Abbas's own unilateral declaration which tears up successive bilateral treaties); he claimed that Israel was targeting Palestinian civilians in Gaza (untrue; Israeli attacks, which carefully avoid hitting civilians wherever possible, are only in defence of its civilians against Hamas attacks --with which Abbas has now publicly lined himself up, not least by hailing as 'martyrs' those in Gaza who murder Israelis).

As for his claim that the settlements were the reason there was no peace, this was demonstrably ridiculous. As Netanyahu said in his own fine speech at the UN:

'President Abbas ... said that the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the settlements. Well, that's odd. Our conflict has been raging for -- was raging for nearly half a century before there was a single Israeli settlement in the West Bank. So if what President Abbas is saying was true, then the -- I guess that the settlements he's talking about are Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa, Be'er Sheva. Maybe that's what he meant the other day when he said that Israel has been occupying Palestinian land for 63 years. He didn't say from 1967; he said from 1948. I hope somebody will bother to ask him this question because it illustrates a simple truth: The core of the conflict is not the settlements. The settlements are a result of the conflict.'

History records that, from the 1930s onwards, the Jews have never stood in the way of a Palestinian state if that would end the war of annihilation the Arabs have continuously waged against them. A Palestine state has been on repeated offer. The Arab response has always been to refuse and instead to attempt to destroy the Jews' presence in their own ancient homeland. As certain Palestinian spokesmen themselves have acknowledged, Palestinian identity was itself constructed purely to destroy Israel. The reason for the objection to a state of Palestine is that it would be used to bring about the final destruction of Israel as a Jewish state, an aspiration which Abbas never ceases to proclaim.

As Netanyahu said in his speech:

'We believe that the Palestinians should be neither the citizens of Israel nor its subjects. They should live in a free state of their own. But they should be ready, like us, for compromise. And we will know that they're ready for compromise and for peace when they start taking Israel's security requirements seriously and when they stop denying our historical connection to our ancient homeland.

I often hear them accuse Israel of Judaizing Jerusalem. That's like accusing America of Americanizing Washington, or the British of Anglicizing London. You know why we're called "Jews"? Because we come from Judea."'

What Israel should be stating explicitly and repeatedly is that it is the Jews who are the indigenous people of what are now Israel and the West Bank - and indeed beyond. Commentators often refer to Judea and Samaria as 'Biblical' names as if they can therefore be disregarded today. Not so. Judea and Samara were the true historical names for Israel and the West Bank, used in international treaties and official documents of the Palestine Mandate period, and throughout which land the Jews were given the legal right to settle. Only now as the west mimics the Arab attempt to airbrush the Jews out of their own history have these names become synonymous with Jewish extremism.

What really illustrates the west's moral bankruptcy over Israel and the Palestinians is that the day before the Abbas charade, the very same UN gave the stage to Iran's Ahmadinejad from where he spouted his murderous lies and hatred of the west, including his implication that 9/11 was a US conspiracy. This is the leader of a regime which executes teenagers for homosexuality and which is developing nuclear weapons to commit genocide against Israel and hold the western world hostage.

Yet far from expressing outrage at this use of the UN by such a man, far from drawing attention indeed to the utter suicidal madness of having the UN as a global policeman when its own Security Council is now chaired by Lebanon, a country in thrall to Iran through Hezbollah, the appearance of Ahmadinejad elicited barely a shrug by western media which instead worked themselves into a frenzy over Abbas and the 'plight' of the Palestinians.

Netanyahu again called it right. He said the world was menaced by a malignancy.

'That malignancy is militant Islam. It cloaks itself in the mantle of a great faith, yet it murders Jews, Christians and Muslims alike with unforgiving impartiality. On September 11th it killed thousands of Americans, and it left the twin towers in smouldering ruins. Last night I laid a wreath on the 9/11 memorial. It was deeply moving. But as I was going there, one thing echoed in my mind: the outrageous words of the president of Iran on this podium yesterday. He implied that 9/11 was an American conspiracy. Some of you left this hall. All of you should have.'

Netanyahu called the UN a 'theatre of the absurd' and the 'house of lies'. The western media mostly didn't bother to report that, just as they didn't bother to report much of his speech. What they are really waiting for is for the Palestinians to resume attacking Israelis as a sign of their 'desperation'. They won't report those attacks either. But they will report the Israelis' response and call that 'aggression'. That's the prospect over which the western media, sensing a final kill, are now slavering.
2)Obama Healthcare Law Cleared for US Supreme Court

The Obama administration Monday cleared the way for the Supreme Court to decide in its 2011-12 term the president's signature healthcare law that requires Americans to buy insurance or face a penalty.

A Justice Department spokeswoman said it decided against asking the full U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit to review the August ruling by a three-judge panel of the court that found the requirement unconstitutional.

The decision not to seek review by the full appeals court will likely speed up consideration of the matter by the high court in its 2011-12 term that begins next week. A ruling could come by late June, in the middle of the presidential campaign.

The Supreme Court has long been expected to have the final word on the legality of the individual mandate, a cornerstone of President Barack Obama's healthcare law. A big uncertainty has been over when the court would decide the issue.

The law's fate before the nine-member court, closely divided with a conservative majority and four liberals, could come down to two Republican appointees, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy, legal experts have said.

The law, adopted by Congress in 2010 after a bruising battle, is expected to be a major political issue in the 2012 elections as Obama seeks another four-year term. All the major Republican presidential candidates oppose it.

Obama, a Democrat, has championed the individual mandate as a major accomplishment of his presidency and as a way to try to slow soaring healthcare costs while expanding coverage to the more than 30 million Americans without it.

The 11th Circuit appeals court, based in Atlanta, ruled by a 2-1 vote last month in favor of 26 states and others who challenged the mandate for exceeding the power of Congress.

The Obama administration could have asked the full U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its decision. But that could have pushed back any Supreme Court ruling to its 2012-13 term.

The 2-1 ruling ruling conflicted with other appeals courts that have upheld the law or have rejected legal challenges, including a lawsuit by the state of Virginia which was dismissed on procedural grounds.

A U.S. appeals court based in Cincinnati ruled Congress had the power to adopt the individual mandate, which takes effect in 2014. The losing side in that case, the Thomas More Law Center, already appealed to the Supreme Court in July.

The administration has steadfastly maintained its belief that the law will survive judicial scrutiny and be upheld by the Supreme Court. The states that have challenged the law have argued it went beyond Congress' authority to require coverage.

According to experts in a story on Politico, the Supreme Court has several reasons to take up the case. It's a high-profile case with the request coming from the government; there have been split decisions between appeals courts, specificically, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the mandate, while the 11th Circuit ruled it unconstitutional and the 4th Circuit ruled it could not issue a decision until 2014.

A decision in the middel of the 2012 presidential campaign has huge risks for the president, with a ruling either way galavanizing both parties.

The Justice Department did not explain its decision to go straight to the high court, but the 11th Circuit has only five of 11 judges appointed by Democrats and one them has already ruled to strike down the mandate.

2a)As Federal Crime List Grows, Threshold of Guilt Declines

For centuries, a bedrock principle of criminal law has held that people must know they are doing something wrong before they can be found guilty. The concept is known as mens rea, Latin for a "guilty mind."

Addiotnal WSJ articles pertainng to explosion in Federal Offenses:
Animal Terrorism Law Sets Unusual Standard for Crime
Earlier in the Series: Federal Asset Seizures Rise, Netting Innocent With Guilty (Aug. 22)
Earlier in the Series: County Sheriff Enjoys Fruits of Forfeitures (Aug. 22)
Earlier in the Series: As Criminal Laws Proliferate, More Are Ensared (July 23)
Earlier in the Series: Many Failed Efforts to Count Nation's Federal Crimes (July 23)

This legal protection is now being eroded as the U.S. federal criminal code dramatically swells. In recent decades, Congress has repeatedly crafted laws that weaken or disregard the notion of criminal intent. Today not only are there thousands more criminal laws than before, but it is easier to fall afoul of them.

As a result, what once might have been considered simply a mistake is now sometimes punishable by jail time. When the police came to Wade Martin's home in Sitka, Alaska, in 2003, he says he had no idea why. Under an exemption to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, coastal Native Alaskans such as Mr. Martin are allowed to trap and hunt species that others can't. That included the 10 sea otters he had recently sold for $50 apiece.

Growth in Federal Criminal Sentences
See a breakdown of the rise in federal sentences by the type of offense.

Mr. Martin, 50 years old, readily admitted making the sale. "Then, they told me the buyer wasn't a native," he recalls.

The law requires that animals sold to non-Native Alaskans be converted into handicrafts. He knew the law, Mr. Martin said, and he had thought the buyer was Native Alaskan.

He pleaded guilty in 2008. The government didn't have to prove he knew his conduct was illegal, his lawyer told him. They merely had to show he had made the sale.

"I was thinking, damn, my life's over," Mr. Martin says.

Federal magistrate Judge John Roberts gave him two years' probation and a $1,000 fine. He told the trapper: "You're responsible for the actions that you take."

Mr. Martin now asks customers to prove their heritage and residency. "You get real smart after they come to your house and arrest you and make you feel like Charles Manson," he says.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Alaska didn't respond to requests for comment.

Back in 1790, the first federal criminal law passed by Congress listed fewer than 20 federal crimes. Today there are an estimated 4,500 crimes in federal statutes, plus thousands more embedded in federal regulations, many of which have been added to the penal code since the 1970s.

One controversial new law can hold animal-rights activists criminally responsible for protests that cause the target of their attention to be fearful, regardless of the protesters' intentions. Congress passed the law in 2006 with only about a half-dozen of the 535 members voting on it.

Under English common law principles, most U.S. criminal statutes traditionally required prosecutors not only to prove that defendants committed a bad act, but also that they also had bad intentions. In a theft, don't merely show that the accused took someone's property, but also show that he or she knew it belonged to someone else.

Over time, lawmakers have devised a sliding scale for different crimes. For instance, a "willful" violation is among the toughest to prove.

Requiring the government to prove a willful violation is "a big protection for all of us," says Andrew Weissmann, a New York attorney who for a time ran the Justice Department's criminal investigation of Enron Corp. Generally speaking in criminal law, he says, willful means "you have the specific intent to violate the law."

A lower threshold, attorneys say, involves proving that someone "knowingly" violated the law. It can be easier to fall afoul of the law under these terms.

In one case, Gary Hancock of Flagstaff, Ariz., was found guilty in 1999 of violating a federal law prohibiting people with a misdemeanor domestic violence record from gun ownership. At the time of his domestic-violence convictions in the early 1990s, the statute didn't exist—but later it was applied to him. He hadn't been told of the new law, and he still owned guns. Mr. Hancock was convicted and sentenced to five years' probation.

His lawyer, Jane McClellan, says prosecutors "did not have to prove he knew about the law. They only had to prove that he knew he had guns."

Upholding the conviction, a federal appellate court said that "the requirement of 'knowing' conduct refers to knowledge of possession, rather than knowledge of the legal consequences of possession."

In 1998, Dane A. Yirkovsky, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, man with an extensive criminal record, was back in school pursuing a high-school diploma and working as a drywall installer. While doing some remodeling work, Mr. Yirkovsky found a .22 caliber bullet underneath a carpet, according to court documents. He put it in a box in his room, the records show.

A few months later, local police found the bullet during a search of his apartment. State officials didn't charge him with wrongdoing, but federal officials contended that possessing even one bullet violated a federal law prohibiting felons from having firearms.

Mr. Yirkovsky pleaded guilty to having the bullet. He received a congressionally mandated 15-year prison sentence, which a federal appeals court upheld but called "an extreme penalty under the facts as presented to this court." Mr. Yirkovsky is due to be released in May 2013.

Changing laws mean it's easier for a mistake to be treated as a federal crime. Mr. Martin says he learned that firsthand.

Overall, more than 40% of nonviolent offenses created or amended during two recent Congresses—the 109th and the 111th, the latter of which ran through last year—had "weak" mens rea requirements at best, according to a study conducted by the conservative Heritage Foundation and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The study, one of the few to examine mens rea, was extended to include the most recent Congress at the request of The Wall Street Journal.

Earlier this year, Justice Antonin Scalia, in a dissent from a Supreme Court decision upholding a firearms-related conviction, wrote that Congress "puts forth an ever-increasing volume" of imprecise criminal laws and criticized lawmakers for passing too much "fuzzy, leave-the-details-to-be-sorted-out-by-the-courts" legislation.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle worry about the weakening of mens rea. "Over my six years in Congress there have been many times when in discussions with members of Congress I say, 'Look, I know you want to show people how serious you are about crime, but don't put anything on the books that doesn't require criminal intent,'" says Rep. Louie Gohmert, (R., Tex.) a former state judge who wants the federal system reworked.

In a 2009 Judiciary subcommittee hearing on the growth of federal criminal law, Rep. Bobby Scott (D., Va.)., said that mens rea had long served "an important role in protecting those who do not intend to commit wrongful or criminal acts from prosecution and conviction."

The growing number of federal laws with weakened mens rea safeguards is making the venerable legal principle that ignorance of the law is no defense a much riskier proposition for people. That principle made sense, says University of Virginia law professor Anne Coughlin, when there were fewer criminal laws, like murder, and most people could be expected to know them.

But when legislators "criminalize everything under the sun," Ms. Coughlin says, it's unrealistic to expect citizens to be fully informed about the penal code." With reduced intent requirements "suddenly it opens a whole lot of people to being potential violators."

F. James Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican and chairman of the House crime subcommittee, said he wants to clean up the definition of criminal intent as part of a broader revamp of the criminal-justice system. There are crimes scattered among 42 of the 51 titles of the federal code, with varying standards of criminal intent. Still others are set by court decisions.

"How the definition of mens rea is applied is going to be one of the more difficult areas to figure out a way to fix," he said.

When a humpback whale got tangled in his fishing-boat net in 2008, Robert Eldridge Jr., a commercial fisherman, says he had one overriding thought: free it. He freed the whale, although it swam away with 30 feet of his net still attached.

A few weeks later, he was charged with harassing an endangered species and a marine mammal. Under federal law, Mr. Eldridge was supposed to contact authorities who would send someone trained to rescue the animal. The law is designed to prevent unskilled people from accidentally injuring or killing a whale while trying to release it.

Mr. Eldridge says he was fully aware of the federal Marine Animal Disentanglement Hotline for summoning a rescuer. But "it didn't cross my mind to do anything but keep it alive. I thought I was doing the right thing," the Massachusetts fisherman said.

There were two federal observers aboard his boat that day, performing routine checks, who reported the incident, according to court documents. Mr. Eldridge's potential sentence was one year in jail and a $100,000 fine.

Mr. Eldridge, 42, pleaded guilty and has a misdemeanor on his record. He was fined $500 and ordered to write a warning letter to other fishermen to look out for whales.

"I'm just glad it's done," he said of the case.

Asked for comment, a Justice spokeswoman referred to Mr. Eldridge's guilty plea, in which he admitted knowing the procedure and having the hotline number posted on his boat at the time of the incident.

The erosion of mens rea is partly due to the "hit or miss" way American legislation gets written today, says Jay Apperson, a former Chief Counsel to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. Some lawmakers simply omit criminal-intent provisions when they draft legislation. "Lots of members don't think about it, not out of a malevolent motive," he says. "They just don't think about it."

Other times they do. In 1994, Congress rewrote part of the anti-money-laundering law that requires any cash transaction above $10,000 to be reported. The Supreme Court had just vacated a conviction, saying the "willful" provision required the government to show that someone knew he was violating the law when not reporting a transaction. In response, Congress took the "willful" provision out of the law.

An incident from 2002 illustrates the sometimes messy process of drafting legislation. That year, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which set new punishments for white-collar crime following the scandals at Enron, WorldCom and other companies. Several legal experts were about to testify on key provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley before a Senate subcommittee when the chairman called a break in the meeting. The reason: The senators needed to vote on the very provisions the panelists were there to discuss.

The hearing resumed two hours later, after the provisions were approved 97-0. The witnesses went on to testify about the dangers of weakening criminal-intent standards, as Sarbanes-Oxley did.

"That slapdash approach to drafting was pretty rife throughout the period," said Frank Bowman, a University of Missouri law-school professor who advised the Senate Judiciary Committee during the bill's creation.

Among other things, the new law made it easier for prosecutors to bring obstruction-of-justice cases related to destruction of evidence. Under earlier law, prosecutors had to show the defendant's destruction of evidence was impeding an active investigation. Sarbanes-Oxley broadened that, prohibiting the destruction of material that might be part of any future investigation.

One of the witnesses that day, former deputy attorney Gen. George Terwilliger, says that, "In retrospect, the hearing must have been about: Is what we just voted on a good idea?"

2b)Blue-State Math Is Boon to Obama, Target for GOP

Amid those dark political clouds overhead right now, President Barack Obama can console himself with this silver lining: The electoral map remains stacked in favor of him and his Democrats.

In a close presidential election—and there is every reason to believe that 2012's will be—that is an important and often overlooked fundamental. It will affect the strategic decisions both parties make as the campaign unfolds. Indeed, the shape of the electoral map already appears to be driving some moves this year, and offers signposts indicating which states will be pivotal next year.

President Obama can console himself with the fact that the electoral map remains stacked in favor of him and his Democrats. Jerry Seib explains why on The News Hub.
.The important thing to remember about a presidential election is that it isn't a contest to win the popular vote nationwide. It is a contest to win in a combination of states that will produce the 270 votes in the electoral college that give a candidate the majority there.

Therein lies the Democrats' built-in advantage. They happen to start with a bloc of reliably blue states that is larger, and much richer in electoral votes, than the reliably red bloc Republicans have on their side. If a Democratic presidential candidate merely hangs on to this trove of deep-blue states, he or she is a long way down the road to victory.

Specifically, there are 18 states plus the District of Columbia that have voted Democratic in all five presidential elections since 1992. Combined, they carry 242 electoral votes—90% of the votes needed for victory.

Republicans have a much smaller bloc of highly reliable electoral college votes. There are just 13 states that have gone red in each of the last five elections, and they deliver 102 electoral votes, less than half of the number needed.

Electoral Advantage

That means the key to victory for President Obama is holding this blue line. Doing so will be significantly harder this year, because he is running amid economic distress of a magnitude unseen in any of those five previous elections. But if he manages to hold his party's blue base, he would need to pick off only a few more less-friendly states.

The most likely additional states for the Democrats are the five—Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada and Ohio—that have gone Democratic in either three or four of the last five elections. If President Obama carries all of these light-blue states, while hanging on to all the deepest-blue states, he will have 281 electoral votes, 11 more than he needs.

And that, it should be noted, would be without having to win the giant swing state of Florida, or needing to hold on to the normally red states of Virginia and North Carolina that Mr. Obama won in 2008.

So the question for Republicans is pretty simple: Which of the deep-blue or blue-leaning states can they pick off? Know the answer to that question and you'll know where the 2012 action will be.

Indeed, the president faces problems in some of those deep-blue states, which suggests that the wall can be breached. "Recent history aside, Obama will have to work hard to keep the Democratic base intact in 2012," political analyst Rhodes Cook wrote in a recent newsletter examining the electoral map. "Not only does it include states on the two coasts, but also industrial battlegrounds such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin."

The president's job-approval rating was below 50% in both California and Pennsylvania in recent polls, for example.

Another state that jumps out as a particular trouble spot is Wisconsin. Republican Gov. Scott Walker won the governor's seat there in 2010, and his blunt confrontation with public-employee unions has energized conservatives—and aroused liberals. How that translates into presidential politics is crucial.

Among the light-blue states, Iowa and New Hampshire both offer GOP opportunities. But big Ohio, with 18 electoral votes, is the juiciest target for Republicans among the light-blue states. Notably, the president's job-approval rating in Ohio stood just below 50% in a summertime Quinnipiac University poll.

Even if the president keeps all of the dark-blue states and all of the other light-blue states, take Ohio out of his column and he comes up seven electoral votes short.

Where could he make up those votes? Here's a good guess: Colorado, a swing state Mr. Obama won in 2008 after it went Republican in three of the previous four elections. It just happens to have nine electoral votes. Take out Ohio and plug in Colorado, and the president just squeaks by.

It's easy to see how these electoral calculations already are playing out, by watching where Democrats are focusing their energies and where President Obama is spending his time. It's no coincidence that both Mr. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were in light-blue Ohio in the past week. On Tuesday, the president arrives in Colorado, trying to shore up his standing in that potentially crucial swing state.

2c)What Are Democrats Thinking?
By Christopher Chantrill

At this moment in the political cycle Republicans are wondering if they are about to demolish the Democrats. And the Democrats are waking up to the possibility that President Obama might be leading them off a cliff.

So what are Democrats thinking at this critical moment? Let's take a look at a couple of recent efforts as both Jared Bernstein and Paul Krugman dutifully toe the president's class warfare line.

Jared Bernstein at Huffington Post wants the election to be about the fundamentals: the "role and size of government," fairness, and supply-side, deregulatory economics. But there's a problem. Voters are tuning out Democrats, as Stan Greenberg wrote back in July. They agree with progressive ideas, apparently; they just don't trust Democrats to deliver. So Bernstein announces that he'll rail at special interests, talk about fairness, and insist that Republicans "wrecked the car in the 2000s" as his contribution to the fight for progressive values in 2012.

Somehow, I have a feeling that voters in 2012 are going to be interested in three different issues. How about: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs?

The inimitable Paul Krugman has picked up President Obama's tax-the-rich message. He writes that "wealthy Americans, many of whom pay remarkably little in taxes," should be paying more to reduce the long-term deficit. While middle-income Americans have seen their income go up by 21 percent in the last 30 years, "the top 100th of 1 percent of the income distribution, rose by 480 percent," he writes.

Krugman uses data from the Tax Policy Center to amplify Warren Buffet's argument, that

one-fourth of those with incomes of more than $1 million a year pay income and payroll tax of 12.6 percent of their income or less, putting their tax burden below that of many in the middle class.

Of course, it's possible that these rich tax scofflaws are trustafarians, like the late Ted Kennedy, living off tax-exempt income from municipal bonds, dodging in and out of the AMT. On the other hand, given that the IRS SOI stats(xls) says that the top 0.1 percent of tax returns paid 22.7 percent of income in 2008 in individual income tax, that means that one-fourth of the very rich must be paying a lot more than 22.7 percent if Krugman's one-fourth is paying only 12.6 percent or less. By the way, you had to have an income of $1.8 million to qualify for the top 0.1 percent in 2008.

Maybe what we should be doing, before we whack the trustafarians and the Kennedy family with higher taxes, is figure out how to lower the tax rates on the rest of the very rich. Maybe if we do that the poor dears would free up some cash to create a few jobs for the folks laid off from crony capitalist Solyndra.

You get the impression, from reading Dr. Krugman on tax-the-rich, that Republicans are merely the bribed apologists of the rich.

Would it surprise you to learn that the voters aren't quite so sure about that? John Steele Gordon reports that in the 2008 election,

Obama won the votes of 60 percent of those with a family income under $50,000 and 52 percent of those earning more than $200,000. McCain carried the middle class.

The rich, at 52 percent, voted for Obama only slightly under Obama's winning 53 percent of the popular vote. Why would that be? Why wouldn't they be voting their pocket-books for the party of the rich, the Republicans?

Nobody doubts why the poor vote for Democrats. They are voting for their benefits. They know that the Democratic Party is the party of the little guy and the traditionally marginalized.

Maybe the rich are just like the poor, and vote their pocket-books too. If you figure that your average Millionaire Next Door owning a couple of small businesses votes for the Republicans, then that leaves the crony capitalists, the green energy promoters, the high-level government administrators, the academic grant recipients, and the trustafarians all voting for the Democrats and bigger government. Otherwise you wouldn't get to 52 percent voting for Obama.

That makes the Democratic Party the party of the poor and the crony capitalist rich.

What does that make the Republican Party? It is at least the party of the middle class. We know that because John McCain won the middle class vote in the middle of an economic meltdown. The middle class stands for limited government and low tax rates, in part on the principle that it cramps the style of class warriors and crony capitalists. That's because the middle class is nothing if it does not aspire to a better life for itself and its children.

Here's an idea. The Republican Party is the party of all those who must have freedom, rich, poor, and everyone in between.

What do you think about that, Messrs. Bernstein and Krugman?

Christopher Chantrill is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.
3)The Palestinians Want Peace --- Just Not With a Jewish State
By Dennis Prager

About five years ago, I was invited by the Hoover Institution to lecture at Stanford University over the course of a week. Coincidentally, Israel's Independence Day fell during that week, so I was invited to speak at the celebration held by pro-Israel students. In my talk, I noted that the crux of the problem in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was that most Palestinians wanted Israel to cease to exist.

After my talk, a woman walked over to me and introduced herself as a peace activist. She told me that she could not agree with me because Palestinians, in her view, were quite willing to accept Israel's existence.

As it happened, about 50 feet behind the pro-Israel celebration was an anti-Israel demonstration led by Palestinian students. So I told the woman to go over and introduce herself to the Palestinian students as a peace activist — that way they would immediately trust her — and ask them if they were willing to acknowledge the right of the Jewish state of Israel to exist. I told her that I would bet her $5 that they would not answer in the affirmative.

She accepted the bet and walked over the Palestinian students.

After about 10 minutes, she returned.

"So," I asked her, "who won the bet?"

"I don't know," she responded.

"I don't understand," I replied. "Didn't they answer you?"

"They asked me, 'What do you mean?'" she answered.

I told her she owed me $5 but that I wouldn't collect.

Earlier this month in Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority, I interviewed Ghassan Khatib, director of government media for the Palestinian Authority and the spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. I asked him the same question: Do the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state?

He was more direct than the Palestinians students at Stanford.

His long answer amounted to: "No."

There is no Jewish people, he told me, so how could there be a Jewish country? The Palestinian position is that there is a religion called Judaism, but there is no such thing as a Jewish people. (Interestingly, the Jews are referred to belonging to a religion only once in the entire Hebrew Bible — in the Book of Esther, by the anti-Semite Haman.)

In other words, Palestinians — people in a national group that never existed by the name "Palestine" until well into the 20th century — deny the existence of the oldest continuous nation in the world, dating back over 3,000 years. Now, that's real chutzpah.

Indeed, the Palestinians deny that the Jews ever lived in Israel. That is why Yasser Arafat could not even admit that Jesus was a Jew; rather, according to Arafat, "Jesus was a Palestinian." To acknowledge that Jesus was a Jew would mean that Jews lived in Israel thousands of years ago, in a Jewish state, moreover — long before Muslims existed, long before Arabs moved there, and millennia before anyone called himself a Palestinian.

In the Palestinian president's speech to the United Nations last week, this denial of Jewish history was reaffirmed. Thus, in a speech about Israel and the Palestinians, he never once uttered the word "Jew" or "Jewish."

Here is an example of Abbas's Jew-free view of the history of Israel/Palestine:

"I come before you today from the Holy Land, the land of Palestine, the land of divine messages, ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the birthplace of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) …"

No mention of Jews. Apparently, only Christians (Does Abbas know that Jesus was a Jew?) and Muslims have lived in "the Holy Land." And for Abbas, the Holy Land is not Israel, it is Palestine. That it was the Jews who made that land Holy is a fact of history denied by the Palestinians.

Israel, in the Palestinian view, is an Israeli state, not a Jewish state.

As Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, wrote in The Washington Post this past Friday:

"Two Israeli peace proposals, in 2000 and 2008 … met virtually all of the Palestinians' demands for a sovereign state in the areas won by Israel in the 1967 war — in the West Bank, Gaza and even East Jerusalem. But Palestinian President Yasser Arafat rejected the first offer and Abbas ignored the second, for the very same reason their predecessors spurned the 1947 Partition Plan.

Each time, accepting a Palestinian State meant accepting the Jewish State, a concession the Palestinians were unwilling to make.

That is the issue. Not settlements. Not boundaries. The Palestinians, like most of their fellow Arabs and like many Muslims elsewhere, have never acknowledged that the Jews came home to Israel because they have never acknowledged that the Jews ever had a national home there. And they don't even acknowledge that the Jews are a people.

Do the Palestinians want peace? I have no doubt that they do. Just not with the Jewish state.
4) Obama’s Disquieting Heroic Fantasies
By Peter Wehner

At a speech before the Congressional Black Caucus this weekend, President Obama told the crowd, “I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain.” He also told the CBC to “take off your bedroom slippers” and “put on your marching shoes.” And he scolded them to “stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying.”

I have written before about Obama’s deep, almost desperate, need to portray himself as the opposite of what he is, to conceive of himself in a way that is at odds with reality. We have seen it in all sorts of areas, including claiming himself to be a voice of civility, portraying himself as a champion of bi-partisanship, lecturing others about profligate spending, and saying he is the only responsible “adult” in Washington. Now we see this habit in a new arena – this time, the president as Obama the Stoic, a man so committed to “pressing on” for the cause of social justice he just doesn’t have time to feel sorry for himself. Indeed, he has now decided to sermonize to others not to complain, not to grumble, and to “stop crying.”

This is akin to John Edwards hosting a weekend seminar on the importance of marital fidelity.

If there has been a president in my lifetime who has felt more sorry for himself – who has laid the blame for his failures on more people (George W. Bush, the Congressional GOP, the Tea Party, conservative talk radio hosts, millionaires and billionaires) and more things (ATMs, Japanese tsunamis, the Arab Spring, Fox News, Wall Street, et cetera) – I can’t think of who that might be. As the wheels on the Obama presidency come off, as his record of ineptness becomes more indisputable, Obama is becoming more intemperate, more aggrieved, more prickly, and more detached from reality.

What we are seeing is a president attempt to create, almost out of whole cloth, his own character, his own narrative, his own truth. That might work in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel; it works less well in an American presidential campaign.

To watch a young child indulge in heroic fantasies of himself can be charming. To watch a president indulge in heroic fantasies of himself is disquieting.
5)The end of Ahmadinejad. His cronies barred from election

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the driving force behind Iran's nuclear program and the most vocal of Israel's enemies, is on his last legs as president. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has stripped him of most of his powers and shut the door against his having any political future.

Iranian sources report Ahmadinejad's loyalists are deserting him in droves since he went to New York to deliver an address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 23. The Supreme Leader used his absence for the coup de grace: The removal of the president's loyalists from the list of 4,000 contenders running for seats in parliament (the Majlis) next March.

That was easily arranged: Khameini handed his orders to Ayatollah Mohammad Kani, head of the Assembly of Experts, which In the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for screening all contenders for office. He was told to disqualify all the president's associates. So, in the next Majlis, Ahmadinejad will be shorn of a loyal faction and any buddies sticking to him when his second presidential term runs out in May 2013 will be out of a job.

The Supreme Ruler degraded the president very publicly with one humiliation after another.

He waited for Ahmadinejad to go on the air in a US NBC interview on Sept. 13 to promise the release of Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, the two American hikers convicted of spying, before cutting him down by suspending their release until the Iranian president was being booed by protesters in New York for reneging on his promise.

Tehran's political, religious and military insiders were not surprised by his downfall. For some time he had been getting too big for his boots, accumulating more powers than any president before him and only getting away with it so long as he was Khamenei's fair-haired boy.

But then, the favorite, whose election in 2005 and reelection in 2009, Khamenei engineered at the cost of violent anti-government protests in Tehran, rewarded him with ingratitude. He increasingly flouted the master and in some cases began chipping away at his authority - until Khamenei had had enough and decided to reel him in.

At the last minute, he cancelled a live Ahmadinejad interview on Iran's second television network wide publicized for the eve of his departure to the United Nations.

The affronts followed him home to Tehran, where waiting for him were serious criminal charges linking his name to the disappearance of three billion dollars from Iranian banks. The name of the embezzler has not been released but sources in Tehran reveal him as Amir Mansour Arya, an entrepreneur who started a business five years ago with Ahmadinejad’s encouragement and whose fortune grew a thousand fold within a suspiciously short time.

Arya is accused of using his presidential connections to secure multi-billion dollar loans from Iranian banks and then spiriting large sums out of the country.

Ahmadinejad denies any complicity in the crime. He tried fighting back by threatening to publish within 15 days "dozens of names" of rivals he claims are guilty of financial crimes. The deadline came and went without publication.

Betting in Tehran is that the Supreme Leader will not actually sack Ahmadinejad but let him last out his term as yesterday's man, lame duck in political isolation.
Two frontrunners for future president most mentioned recently are two hardliners, Majils (legislature) Speaker, Ali Larijani, a former senior nuclear negotiator with the West, and ex-foreign minister Ali Akhbar Veliyati, who is a member of Khamenei's kitchen cabinet as senior adviser on international relations
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------6)Turkey introduces first self-produced warship

Turkish PM Erdogan inaugurates domestically produced 'Heybeliada'; says Turkey has 'taken its place among 10 countries that can design and construct warships'

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's aggressive rhetoric towards Israel seems to be gaining momentum and as tensions between Ankara and Jerusalem grow, the former introduced its first domestically produced warship.

According to the Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman, the "Heybeliada" was unveiled Tuesday in Istanbul's Naval Shipyard Command.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Prime Minister Erdogan said that "Turkey has taken its place among 10 countries that can design and construct warships."

The Heybeliada is classified as a patrol and anti-submarine warship. The Turkish Navy has been developing the vessel for the past three years, as part of the National Ship (MILGEM) project.

The Heybeliada has become operational amid Turkey's efforts to position itself as a greater power in the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey is in the midst of a dispute with the Greek Cypriot government over maritime resources in the region.

Turkey has said in the past that it seeks to boost its military presence in the region, to fend off what it perceives as Cyprus' "hogging" of gas rights, and what it claims is Israel's overreach in the East Mediterranean waters.

Turkey said its naval ships could escort Turkish energy exploration ships in the Mediterranean, raising the possibility of a naval confrontation. “We will try all channels of peace but we will also protect our country's interests until the end,” Erdogan said during the ceremony, commenting on the gas row.

Turkey has also stated that it may choose to dispatch warships to escort future Gaza-bound flotillas, in wake of the 2010 deadly raid on the Marmara, and Israel's refusal to apologize for the incident.

The flotilla raid, which left nine Turkish citizens dead, has propelled into a full-fledged diplomatic crisis between the once-close Israel and Turkey.

Today's Zaman also reported that Tuesday's ceremony also marked the first test-sail of the MILGEM project's second warship, "Buyukada."

The warships' prototype cost close to $260 million to develop.
7)Conservatives Mustn't Let Media Pick The Candidate

Leaving aside the televised, overly scripted, predictable and marginally useful "debates" now taking place between the Republican candidates for president, there are much more important discussions going on between conservatives and independents who are unified in their belief that for the good of the nation, Barack Obama must be defeated.

Those discussions — taking place across kitchen tables, in lunchrooms, or in neighborhood bars after a week of hard work — are trying to determine which path to follow in the approaching political fork in the road.

One of those paths will most likely lead to the defeat of Mr. Obama. The other could very well ensure his re-election.

It is critical for Republicans, conservatives, and independents to remember that from the 2008 GOP field, John McCain had the stamp of approval from the mainstream media.

In fact, the liberal media worked overtime to resurrect his then all but comatose campaign. Why?

That same liberal media told us that independents and a good number of Democrats just loved McCain.

Maybe some did, but exponentially more conservatives and Americans who cherish our vanishing traditional values could not stand him. So much so, they simply declined to vote.

That fact is one of the most purposefully underreported or flat-out ignored reasons why Mr. Obama won the White House in 2008.

Well over 2 million fewer people voted for the GOP ticket in 2008 compared to 2004. Did some of those votes go to Mr. Obama? For sure. Did many just stay home? Absolutely.

Again, a critically important fact when you stop to realize that Mr. Obama won North Carolina by only 14,000 votes. That he won Indiana by only 28,000 votes. Or that he won Florida by only 236,000 out of well over 8 million cast.

In creating the myth of the "Obama miracle" of 2008, the mainstream media went out of their way not to mention that hundreds of thousands of conservative and Republican voters were plain disgusted with McCain because he was anything but a conservative and could not bring themselves to vote for him.

To be sure, thanks in large part to the unprofessional and unethical cheerleading by most in the media, Mr. Obama did grow the Democrat vote total substantially from 2004.

But how many principled conservatives stayed home and why? That has to be part of an honest analysis of the Obama victory.

Flashback to 2011 and Republicans are being asked to choose between the liberal-media-approved Mitt Romney — who they insist will appeal to those independent and moderate Democrats in November of 2012 — or the more conservative, less-polished Rick Perry of Texas.

Anyone who has met Mitt Romney knows he is an incredibly decent person who loves his country.

That has never been in question. What is in question — is Romney the McCain of 2012? Shouldn't Republican primary voters really drill down deeper to understand why so many in the liberal media believe Mr. Romney — as they said about McCain in 2008 — will appeal to independents and Democrats?

While Governor Perry may not quite be ready for prime time — lack of real debate time and overcramming surely contributing — there is no doubt that he is the more conservative between himself and Mr. Romney.

In the future, he might do well to ignore hypothetical questions, ignore Mr. Romney, and simply speak to his vision for the nation.

No matter. For the moment, as the front-runners, Perry and Romney do represent that political fork in the road for GOP primary voters.

As such, if come election day, principled conservatives don't believe the GOP nominee speaks to their hopes and fears, there is no doubt a percentage will choose not to vote.

As we witnessed in 2008, nominees, numbers, and results matter.

MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and author of the forthcoming memoir entitled "Rolling Pennies in the Dark.

7a)Superman vs. Warm Body
By Thomas Sowell

One of the problems in trying to select a leader for any large organization or institution is the tendency to start out looking for Superman, passing up many good people who fail to meet that standard, and eventually ending up settling for a warm body.

Some Republicans seem to be longing for another Ronald Reagan. Good luck on that one, unless you are prepared to wait for several generations. Moreover, even Ronald Reagan himself did not always act like Ronald Reagan.

The current outbreak of "gotcha" attacks on Texas Governor Rick Perry show one of the other pitfalls for those who are trying to pick a national leader. The three big sound-bite issues used against him during the TV "debates" have involved Social Security, immigration and a vaccine against cervical cancer.

Where these three issues have been discussed at length, whether in a few media accounts or in Governor Perry's own more extended discussions in an interview on Sean Hannity's program, his position was far more reasonable than it appeared to be in either his opponents' sound bites or even in his own abbreviated accounts during the limited time available in the TV "debate" format.

On Social Security, Governor Perry was not only right to call it a "Ponzi scheme," but was also right to point out that this did not mean welshing on the government's obligation to continue paying retirees what they had been promised.

Even those of us who still disagree with particular decisions made by Governor Perry can see some of those decisions as simply the errors of a decent man who realized that he was faced not with a theory but with a situation.

For example, the ability to save young people from cervical cancer with a stroke of a pen was a temptation that any decent and humane individual would find hard to resist, even if Governor Perry himself now admits to second thoughts about how it was done.

Many of us can agree with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's contention that it should have been done differently. But it reflects no credit on her to have tried to scare people with claims about the dangers of vaccination. Such scares have already cost the lives of children who have died on both sides of the Atlantic from diseases that vaccination would have prevented.

The biggest mischaracterization of Governor Perry's position has been on immigration. The fact that he has more confidence in putting "boots on the ground" along the border, instead of relying on a fence that can be climbed over or tunneled under where there is no one around, is a logistical judgment, not a question of being against border control.

Texas Rangers have already been put along the border to guard the border where the federal government has failed to guard it. Former Senator Rick Santorum's sound-bite attempts to paint Governor Perry as soft on border control have apparently been politically successful, judging by polls. But his repeated interrupting of Perry's presentation of his case during the recent debate is the kind of cheap political trick that contributes nothing to public understanding and much to public misunderstanding.

Those of us who disagree with Governor Perry's decision to allow the children of illegal immigrants to attend the state colleges and universities, under the same terms as Texas citizens, need at least to understand what his options were. These were children who were here only because of their parents' decisions and who had graduated from a Texas high school.

Governor Perry saw the issue as whether these children should now be allowed to continue their education, and become self-supporting taxpayers, or whether Texas would be better off with a higher risk of those young people becoming dependents or worse. I still see Governor Perry's decision as an error, but the kind of error that a decent and humane individual would be tempted to make.

I have far more questions about those who would blow this error up into something that it is not. Error-free leaders don't exist -- and we don't want to end up settling for a warm body.

Ultimately, this is not about Governor Perry. It is about a process that can destroy any potential leader, even when the country needs a new leader with a character that the "gotcha" attackers demonstrate they do not have.