Friday, May 30, 2014

The Obama Administration Formally Recognizes The New Fatah-Hamas Government

Well, that didn't take long. The Obama Administration has now given official recognition and a White House invite to a terrorist entity :

A senior Palestinian Authority official reportedly announced that the US has invited the new Palestinian unity government's prime minister, Rami Hamdallah, to an official visit in Washington.

According to a report by Maariv on Friday, a Palestinian official stated that the invitation is a declaration of American recognition for the unity government. The report cited the official as saying, "The visit will take place in June, during which Hamdallah will meet with American president and visit the US Congress."

"The US administration has renounced its previous disapproval of the national unity government and will now support the new government," claimed the head of the Fatah reconciliation team, Azam al-Ahmad.

Washington has previously announced that it expects any Palestinian government to refrain from violence as well as recognize Israel and agreements.

Does that mean that the next time a missile from Gaza hits Israel, the White House will withdraw recognition? We know it doesn't. Nor does it mean that U.S. aid, military and otherwise to Hamas and Fatah is going to cease, no matter what Congress says.

President Obama actually signaled his approval of the Hamas - Fatah merger a month ago.This just makes it official.

What this president has essentially done is to choose sides in the conflict, and to break existing U.S. law regarding material support for terrorism while doing it.

And Israel? PM Netanyahu admitted today that he had imposed what Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon called a 'silent freeze' on all construction in Judea and Samaria in response to major pressure from the Obama Administration:

Netanyahu, who met Thursday night with mayors from 20 West Bank settlements, said the United States recently demanded that the Civil Administration not only refrain from issuing tenders for construction, but also freeze the activity of its planning committee altogether and not approve new projects that would later require tenders.[...]

"I don’t know of a formal policy to limit building. But when you look, de facto, what’s happening on the ground, yes, you feel there is a silent freeze in terms of planning and in terms of government construction,” Danon (Likud) said. “And that’s something that bothers me.”

"This “freeze” is being enforced everywhere — within and outside the so-called settlement blocs", he said. “If you don’t allow any planning, it will stop. You will have no [housing] units for youngsters in Ariel, in Maaleh Adumim. This is happening already.”

Danon said he wasn’t sure why the government would agree to quietly freeze settlement expansion, suggesting that pressure from the United States might be behind it. “Building in Judea and Samaria is a major issue among the Americans,” he said, using the Biblical names for the West Bank. “A lot of pressure is being put on us.”

Here's the thing about blackmail...once you give in to it,it never ends. And it's also true that anything like this someone threatens you with is something they're probably going to do to you anyway eventually,out of sheer hatred.

That's exactly what's going on here.

President Obama's goal was always to destroy the relationship between America and Israel before he leaves office, and he's made a fair degree of progress.It's a major part of his agenda, and no amount of groveling by Israel is going to change that.

It's time Israel said no, publicly.

Leaving The Building: Shinseki 'Resigns', Carney Runs For Cover

The Obama Administration typically saves document dumps, information that reflects badly on the regime and other controversial news for Friday afternoons DC time, in order to allow the traditional weekend lull in the news cycle to diffuse things a little.

Today, the president finally dropped the ax on VA head General Norman Shinseki, announcing that he had 'agreed to accept Shinseki's resignation' after agreeing with his VA secretary that Shinseki had become a “distraction.”

Actually, this was planned as a distraction to allow President Obama some cover ('Look, he's doing something about it') and provide even members of his own party with a convenient scapegoat for a scandal the White House was deeply,deeply involved in.

Sloan D. Gibson, the deputy secretary of veterans affairs, is taking over as acting secretary until a permanent replacement for Shinseki is found and confirmed by the Senate. In view of President Obama's constant efforts to cut back and derail VA benefits from the beginning of his presidency, the new nominee ought to be interesting.

President Obama said in his press conference that the VA’s initial review showed that “the misconduct has not been limited to a few VA facilities, but many across the country.” He said that was “totally unacceptable,” adding: “Last week I said that if we found misconduct, it would be punished, and I meant it.”

'Punished'???  This is going to be contained and stonewalled. In the Obama regime, no one is ever accountable for anything unless Our Dear Leader decides otherwise. You see, in response to a question, the president answered that he was going to leave it to the Justice Department and AG Eric Holder to determine “whether there’s been criminal wrongdoing” within the VA system. No one is going to be 'punished',except perhaps some low level apparatchnicks as needed, who like Shinseki can be sacrificed to take the fall.

Another White House figure who's leaving is the regime's own Baghdad Bob, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. President Obama referred to Carney as one of his closest advisers and friends at the White House, and gave him a nice huggie.

"In April, Jay came to me in the Oval Office and said that he was thinking of moving on, and I was not thrilled, to say the least," he said. "But Jay has had to wrestle with this decision for quite some time."

Actually, I think, unlike Shinseki, Lyin' Jay actually did resign. At this point, I think he was having trouble looking himself in the mirror every morning, and even his allies on the press corps shunned him like the hideous jackal he had become. That image will fade with him out of the spotlight and give him a chance after a few months to rehabilitate his image and get a gig as a talking head on MSNBC or one of the alphabet networks.

Carney's deputy Josh Earnest will take over the job as the president's press secretary. Some people will literally do anything for money.

A Few Words On 'Discrimination' And Freedom

(Credit: Big Earl's Restaurant)

Now here's a small item that caught my attention.

Apparently a gay couple stopped at a popular restaurant called Big Earl's Bait House and Country Store in Pittsburg Texas, a middling sized town in the corner of northeast Texas where the Lone Star State meets Oklahoma and Louisiana.

Their story is as follows; they stopped for breakfast,paid up and were told by their waitress not to return because 'we don't serve fags here.'

My, my.

Big Earl Cheney, who owns the restaurant has a somewhat different story. The waitress happens to be his daughter, and Cheney says her choice of words was her own.

“I don’t think I should have to discipline her. I think the parents of those children — or kids or being whatever they are — should discipline them or teach ‘em how to act in public. I don’t think it’s my place to discipline her.”

Cheney's story is that the couple were, shall we say, acting out in public.In other words, their being gay had nothing to do with it, but their behavior did.

“What I saw was one of them half way under the table with his legs stretched out into the other guy’s lap. And he kind of looked really possum eyed at me as they say it in East Texas, he kind of looked at me like ‘uh-oh’.”

“Homosexuality, Blacks, Hispanics — they all come in here — everybody comes in here to eat,” said Cheney. “I’ve served my country for over 20 years; I know what my freedoms are.”

He continued, “I’m not gonna have people coming in here with their butt showing; I’m not gonna have people coming in here naked; I’m not gonna have people coming in here having sex on the tables.”

Now, that is a rather different message than the one his daughter was sending with 'we don't serve fags here.' I'll leave it to the reader to decide which one applies.

The couple claims nothing inappropriate was going on. I can accept that at face value, but I also recognize that what's inappropriate might be very different for a gay couple in say, Austin than for an older, heterosexual restaurant owner in East Texas. I would also have to add that if the couple was just sitting there eating breakfast, one would have to wonder why anyone would single them out as gay. How would they tell? Were they wearing a sign?

Cheney has said he would refuse to admit the couple back into his restaurant. The gay couple maintains they were doing nothing wrong and were discriminated against.

As one of them said, “Nobody deserves to be treated disrespectfully at an establishment that just seconds ago accepted their money.”

Needless to say, the gay couple figured lawfare was the best response, but their attorney was unable to help out because of, in his words, local bigotry:

Gay Rights Attorney John Nechman says there really isn’t any legal recourse for Dewberry and his partner to take.

“We don't have protections in most parts of Texas for Gay and Lesbian people, other than in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and El Paso,” says Nechman. “There’s really no protections to go after someone because they’ve made a slur. Now if they made a slanderous statement, a libelous statement, where they claimed for example that the two were committing an act that they didn’t do, there would be legal action to take against them.”

Lawyers, of course, love the idea that people have a right to be insulted and to sue at the drop of a hat. It's called job security.As well as a plague on society.

But let's examine this from a different point of view.

Two people enter a restaurant. They're served. Something about their conduct during that transaction makes the owner of the business uncomfortable, and they're asked not to return, admittedly in non-PC language.

So there are two possibilities...either the couple's conduct was such that they were told not to ever come back, or the staff and owners don't like homosexuals.Actually, both take us to the same place.

Has anyone reading this ever been 86'd from a bar or restaurant because of their conduct? I have, once because I decked someone who was drinking and got aggressive with me that I later found out was the bar's manager and another time because the idiot I was with pinched and groped a waitress.

In both cases, a business decision was made by a privately owned establishment to forgo my future custom by the business in question. Paying money does not give you a license to behave how you please, especially if you're annoying the other patrons or the staff, and that is a decision only the business in question can make.Actually, many restaurants and bars would even tell heterosexual couples to cool it if they were being overly affectionate in public. There's a time and place for everything.

But what if the couple was 'doing nothing wrong' as they put it, and the restaurant in question is being discriminatory, and simply doesn't want homosexuals in their establishment?

Let's say that you own a restaurant and decide, for whatever reason, that everyone who comes in has to wear a tie. The Bel-Air hotel in Los Angeles demands a jacket and tie for all male patrons, and has some particularly gruesome specimens they force any man who comes in without them to put on if he wants to eat and drink there. Because of that, there are a number of people who simply avoid going there, especially in a casual town like Los Angeles.The hotel has made a business decision for a private facility they own to give up a certain amount of income to enforce this policy and ought to have a perfect right to do so.

What about clubs that refuse to admit people if they're wearing what could be construed as gang colors or gang attire, and clearly post those exclusions? That policy disproportionally affects blacks, but undoubtedly has an affect on safety. Are they being racist, or making a business decision that impacts on their possible liability for any injuries patrons might suffer?

Let's say you own a restaurant or bar and decide, for whatever reason, that you can't abide people with blond hair. Same thing. You are making a private decision to indulge your own bigotry at the cost of a fair amount of money, and possibly the hire of some excellent employees.

If Big Earl is telling the truth and he has no problem with homosexual customers provided they act in a manner he feels is appropriate for his restaurant, you can't call him a bigot,merely a business owner who had made a decision he is entirely entitled to make. If he's lying and doesn't want gays in his restaurant, the same thing applies. It is his establishment and his choice to make.

The gay couple likewise have a choice to make. If they feel they were insulted (and it seems they were) there are other places to have breakfast. And they can certainly tell their friends not to patronize Big Earl's as well.

That's how a free society ought to work.

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks' Watcher's Council Results

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week's Watcher's Council match up.

"If there is ever a fascist takeover in America, it will come not in the form of storm troopers kicking down doors but with lawyers and social workers saying. "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" - Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery..” - Sir Winston Churchill

"I have to tell you, you know, it's part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama's speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg." - MSNBC's Chris Matthews, in heat


In this weeks' winning entry Bookworm Room asks the question always bubbling under the surface for today's Progressives...Dear Democrats: If this administration can’t get socialism right, how will any administration, ever?

Of course, Bookworm answers that question in her own inimitable style. Here's a slice:

Going into the 2008 election, Democrats devoutly believed two things: First, they believed that socialism could be made to work. Second, they believed that Barack Obama has every quality necessary to effectuate American-style socialism.

Let’s examine both these beliefs a little further. First, let’s talk about the belief that socialism can be made to work. I’m sure all of you have had or seen this interaction: A person of ordinary common sense with some understanding of world history and current events, says to the ardent Progressive or Democrat (henceforth “DemProg”), “Socialism has never worked in any society in which its been tried.”

In the old days, the DemProg would point to Europe as an example of successful socialism, and then you’d have to explain to them that this success was due in significant part to the fact that America took care of most of Europe’s defense costs, leaving it with more money to expend on socialist welfare programs. Nowadays, of course, with Europe an economic basket case that’s scarily trending to Europe’s version of “conservativism” — i.e., hate-filled, race-based nationalism — Europe is gone as an example of socialism that works.

Back to that conversation between the sensible person and the DemProg: When the sensible person points out that socialism has always failed, both socially and economically, the DemProg always responds with some variation of “It just hasn’t been done right.” These variations range from noting that too many socialist revolutions have occurred in agrarian, not industrial, societies, so they couldn’t have the proper type of socialism that Marx envisioned (Russia, China, North Korea, etc.); to the problem with cults of personality (that would be North Korean socialism); to “it’s all America’s fault” (that’s Cuban socialism); it got taken over by right-wing fascists (both Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany, both of which explicitly billed themselves as socialist” movements); to “damaging vestiges of imperialism” (that’s would cover most African socialism).

ut in America, the DemProg says, if we could just elect the right politician, we wouldn’t have any of those problems. In a country with America’s vast wealth, strong infrastructure, industrial and commercial base, absence of powerful enemies, and constitutional check on personality cults, we would finally do socialism right.

To do socialism right, of course, one would need the right kind of president, and a Congress that he could bend to his will. In 2007/2008, we were promised that Obama would be these things and more. First off, we were promised that Obama had the intelligence to get the job done. Michael Beschloss, the highly respected presidential historian, in an interview with Don Imus, waxed rhapsodical about Obama:

Historian Michael Beschloss: Yeah. Even aside from the fact of electing the first African American President and whatever one’s partisan views this is a guy whose IQ is off the charts — I mean you cannot say that he is anything but a very serious and capable leader and — you know — You and I have talked about this for years …

Imus: Well. What is his IQ?

Historian Michael Beschloss: … our system doesn’t allow those people to become President, those people meaning people THAT smart and THAT capable

Imus: What is his IQ?

Historian Michael Beschloss: Pardon?

Imus: What is his IQ?

Historian Michael Beschloss: Uh. I would say it’s probably – he’s probably the smartest guy ever to become President.

Imus: That’s not what I asked you. I asked you what his IQ was.

Historian Michael Beschloss: You know that I don’t know and I’d have to find someone with more expertise …

Imus: You don’t know.

In fact, Michael, to this day, nobody knows what Obama’s IQ is, or even what his grades were.

Much more at the link

In our non-Council category, the winner was Allen West - Source reveals to me what really happened in Benghazi submitted by Nice Deb

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don't forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week's Watcher's Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in...don't you dare miss it. And don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..'cause we're cool like that!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

One State Jew State Two States Hey! A Real Solution For The Arab -Israeli Conflict

Jewish Home Party leader and Israeli economic minister Naftali Bennett has excited some ire over a recent editorial he published in the Wall Street Journal

In short, his proposal, which he calls the 'Stability Plan' contains these main elements:

1) Complete self-government for Palestinians living in Area A and B, with Israel getting rid of all checkpoints and the dismantling of Israel's security barrier.

2)Encouragement by Israel to get multinational corporations to invest in Palestinian areas by offering economic incentives such as insurance guarantees and tax breaks, as well as streamlining the export process for Palestinian manufacturers. Bennett calls for Israel, known as the "Startup Nation," to build a "Startup Region."

3) The part of Judea and Samaria known as Area C, where the overwhelming majority of the Population are Israeli Jews would be annexed by Israel, with the Arabs living in Area C to be given full citizenship.

Essentially, Bennett's 'Stability Plan' is a mixture of Israeli PM Netanyahu's often stated ideas on jump starting the Palestinian economy combined with a restatement of Caroline Glick's 'One State solution', with which I have my own reservations.

Taken at face value, Bennett's proposal isn't entirely wacky, merely very unrealistic. Oddly enough, he tells us why in the beginning part of the article, which deals with the merger of Fatah and the genocidal Hamas:

Hamas is a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel's destruction. The group has killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings and missile attacks. That is the organization's very mission: The Hamas charter calls for perpetual jihad against the Jewish State while forever rejecting peace negotiations or compromise. Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas.

Not just against Israel, by the way, but Jews world wide. And Hamas is already strategizing about creating a new front for launching terrorist attacks against Israel from the much closer platform of the Arab occupied areas of Judea and Samaria. Not, perhaps, a good time to be talking about tearing down Israel's highly successful security barrier!

Bennett also ignores that the Palestinian Authority has already pretty much rejected any idea of creating a 'start-up' region and real any economic cooperation. The PA already does its best to prevent Palestinian shops from carrying Israeli-produced goods and frequently confiscates them.

And if, as Bennett says, an Israeli government isn't going to negotiate with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas ( assuming Hamas would ever negotiate anything with a country who's existence it soesn't recognize), how exactly are all of these deals on trade and investment supposed to be worked out? Not to mention the illogic of strengthening the economy of someone who's an avowed enemy.

Another huge problem with both Glick (and Bennett's) scenario is the idea that Israel will swallow a poison pill consisting of Arabs living in Area C, a majority of whom have been radicalized and indoctrinated for two generations that violent terrorism is a great thing and killing Jews is a holy act. Making these people full citizens merely creates a larger,more indigestible Umm al-Fahm.

The very term 'Stability Plan' denotes the idea that rather then solving this impasse, it will just be allowed to continue. The Hamas/Fatah government isn't going to allow that to happen, and neither will the EU, the UN and quite possibly the Obama Administration.

One thing Bennett gets entirely right is the fact that the current status quo In Judea and Samaria is unsustainable. The Arabs whom identify themselves as Palestinians don't want an actual two state solution, and thanks to the Oslo Accords and the Wye Agreement, the areas under Arab sovereignty and Jewish sovereignty are so tangled and confused as to make any solution along those lines entirely unworkable.


A real solution is fairly simple, in my view. And it's based upon realizing that this is not about creating any kind of 'partnership' between Israel and people sworn to its destruction, but a divorce.

The Palestinian Authority has already declared that it's no longer bound by Oslo or the Road Map, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad never were. So there is certainly no reason for israel to be bound by agreements that are essentially no longer in force.

Some maps were meant to be redrawn.

I have seen the same solution to all this for almost fifteen years now. Israel needs to unilaterally delineate its borders, annex those areas and move any Jews on the Arab side to the Israeli side and move any Arab non-citizens to the Palestinian side, including almost a quarter million Arabs whom identify themselves as Palestinians in the Jerusalem area alone. The new map would be redrawn with the idea of contiguous borders, with outlying Arab cantons like Qalkilya, Bethlehem,  and parts of Tulkarem, Jenin,  Hebron and Tubas being annexed to the  Israeli area for the sake on that contiguity which  would almost certainly also consist of Area C and the Jordan Valley.

The Israeli government should make clear to whomever ruled 'Palestine' that while Israel was prepared for peaceful relations, any terrorism or violent attacks on Israeli territory would not only result  in disproportionate retaliation but the annexation by Israel of more Arab territory.

Any agreements between Israel and the new Arab state would be determined from scratch. No more free electricity, water or other amenities unless new agreements were made.

The advantages to this are self-evident. Because  the Clinton Administration and the Rabin government allowed Arafat to take over the Arab areas of Gaza, Judea  and Samaria, 'Palestine' was and is never going to be a democratic state living in peace next to Israel for a long time, if ever. The fact that the Palestinians would never accept it is moot, because they don't accept Israel period. But they would have the Jew free reichlet Abbas and Hamas have always wanted to determine their own destiny, and Israel's possession of the Jordan Valley and control of the airspace would eliminate most of the shipments of heavy weapons and insure a mostly demilitarized 'Palestine'.

Such a solution would also likely minimize the diplomatic feedback. Oh, it would certainly occur (after all, in much of the EU and UN anything short of a successful jihad against Israel is going to provoke that) but by and large the world is tired of Palestine, and the EU in particular have much more pressing problems to deal with.H having a 'Palestine' to point to point to would eventually make a lot of the international reaction fade away.after a short period of intense reaction to the level of say, Jammu and Kashmir.

This, by the way, is the way is how every single refugee crisis in history has been successfully solved, and exactly why the refugee crisis resulting from the 1948 attack against Israel has not been. As desirable as a one state solution might seem, I think that all things considered, this works a lot better.

Crossposted at Jews Down Under

Obama Sends Military Attack Group To Libya To Protect The Muslim Brotherhood

The Obama Administration has sent the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan to Libya, together with a strike force consisting of a number of Osprey gunships and 1,000 Marines on board.

The Administration is claiming it's a 'precautionary measure' in case our embassy in Tripoli needs to be evacuated (the State Department had already advised all Americans to leave the country) but since they can still use the airport if necessary, the explanation obviously lies elsewhere.

President Obama's intervention into Libya to protect Islamists from being attacked by Khaddaffi's Army in Benghazi turn the country into Somalia-on-the-Mediterranean. The quasi-Islamist government we put into place had no power over anything besides Tripoli,although they were certainly good at cashing the foreign aid checks they received courtesy of the American taxpayer.

Literally thousands of Libyans have died because President Obama's Libyan adventure, and al-Qaeda and various Islamist militias have now made it their home base.

In short, President Obama's 'help to the Libyan people', something he refused to submit to Congress for approval turned a relatively stable if abhorrent dictatorship into a lawless anarchy, a failed state on steroids.

And as I reported earlier,finally the Libyan military got fed up with it, just as they did in Egypt. Troops under the command of Gen. Khalifa Hifter have mounted what amounts to a coup, suspending parliament, and  a military assault against the various Islamist and al-Qaeda militias in a desperate attempt to try and stabilize the country. And he's been successful enough so that the President has decided to call out our marines to protect the Islamists, just as he did when Khaddaffi threatened them.

Don't be at all surprised if they intervene directly on the side of the Islamists agasint Hifter's forces.

Ever since our ill-advised adventure in Libya, the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton's State Department have tried to push the absurd fantasy that their actions had liberated Libya and allowed a democratic government to emerge. Instead, it became a terrorist swamp, to the point where now we have to order Americans to leave.

Just another instance of the Prevaricator -in-chief's total failure on foreign policy. It's an embarrassment to the United States that we continue to allow this to go on.

I'll allow the always witty Ya'acov at Dry Bones to have the last word...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Watcher's Council Nominations - Politics Of Division Edition


Graphic courtesy of Chris Muir at the one and only Day By Day...

Welcome to the Watcher's Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the 'sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

*The ever scintillating Bookworm Room was cited in a Forbes article on global warming.

*Debra Heine at Nice Deb has another great piece up at Breitbart, Democrats Propose Obama 'Like A Boss' Bumpersticker

*Rob Miller at Joshuapundit's latest piece up at the Times of Israel is Why Is The Israeli Media Not Reporting This Terrorist Attack?

This week, MidKnight Review, The Pirate's Cove, Maggie's Notebook and Right Truth earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won't be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor  by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council nominations for the week when they come out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It's a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let's see what we have this week....

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..'cause we're cool like that!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Deadly Incompetence: White House Leaks Identity of CIA head Of Station For Afghanistan

President Obama's Memorial Day trip to Afghanistan was a well-executed propaganda coup, especially with the VA scandal still in the news.

And then somebody screwed up. Someone at the White House accidentally leaked the name of the CIA station chief in Kabul, Afghanistan on a list of people the president was going to meet with to some 6,000 members of the press, and there's no telling whom it could have gone to from there.

This is dangerous not only for the individual involved, but for anyone he talks to, as this person's movements are are likely one of a number of others being monitored by al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Only NBC out of the three major alphabet networks even mentioned this story, although they found considerable air time to devote to stories on Michelle Obama's school lunch program.

And as you'll notice, the NBC reporter, Peter Alexander mentioned the leaking of part-time agent Valerie's Plame's identity by "Bush administration officials" and took care to equal the two.

Actually, there's not much of a comparison except in one major both cases, it's a felony. The Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 makes revealing the name of a covert CIA agent a crime.

In the Plame outing,the story became a major firestorm and made national headlines after the late columnist Robert Novak published a piece revealing that revealing that prominent Democrat Iraq War critic Joseph C. Wilson's wife Valerie Plame was a CIA employee. The dinosaur media were all over the story. A Special Counsel was appointed to investigate the leak, and charges of political retribution by the Bush White House over Wilson’s opinions on the Iraq War (and as it turned out later, his wholesale lies) were the story for months. Figures within the Bush administration including Karl Rove were targeted and investigated.

Eventually, Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff Scooter Libbey was charged, mostly because in the months between his first statements to the FBI and subsequent ones and his later testimony under oath some of his details weren't correlated and didn't match up. He became the Official Designated Victim,and got 30 months in federal prison, a fine of $250,000, and two years of supervised release, including 400 hours of community service. He was spared prison but remains a convicted felon because President Bush commuted only his 30-month prison sentence and left his conviction and the rest of his punishment intact.

And in the end, the person who gave Novak the leak was not a 'Bush Administration official' but Colin Powell's deputy Richard Armitage, who readily admitted that he was the source but claimed he didn’t know Plame was covert. He,of course, was never punished, most likely because it would have reflected on Colin Powell, who sat back, said nothing and let Libbey take the rap.

Now as bad as releasing Valerie Plame's name was, let's remember that she was essentially a clerical employee who worked in Washington DC, not in Kabul, one of the most dangerous posts in the world. Yet there's no media frenzy, no call to investigate Obama appointees in the White House, no calling for a special counsel, nothing.

It remains to be seen if members of Congress and the dinosaur media are going to go after this story, report indignantly about this latest example of the Obama White House's sheer incompetence and insist that whomever leaked this CIA station head's name be punished.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day - Love And Devotion

Today is Memorial Day.

For most of us, the long weekend with the family, the unofficial start to summer, maybe a church picnic or a parade, the backyard barbecue and the roadtrip are what Memorial Day is all about.

I think there's a kind of instinctive wisdom in that, believe or not.

When you read or hear about what America's warriors have endured you have to stop and think about what makes a free young man or woman in the prime of youth go in harm's way and lay down his life for his country. I don't think the reason is a lot of high sounding slogans or platitudes.

The Americans we celebrate today gave their lives - what President Lincoln aptly referred to at Gettysburg as `the last full measure of devotion'- to keep the country free, to protect and preserve the people and the nation they left behind.

They made that ultimate sacrifice so that the ones they left behind could be free to enjoy a backyard barbecue, a day with the family..or, to put it another way, ordinary day to day life in a free country. They voted with their lives, not for some utopia but to preserve the decent, everyday American life, the liberty and pursuit of happiness they left behind. For others, perhaps if not for themselves. All of them wanted to live that way, but they were willing to die if necessary so that the rest of us could do so.

That was their gift to us.

Cherish it, and be appropriately grateful.

Great In Uniform - Israel's Special Needs IDF Volunteers

An inside look at Israel's program for special needs volunteers for the IDF, in a country where every human life has importance and everyone's contribution is valued.

An IDF of my friends relayed to me a tale about one of Israel's elite units, where applicants endured rigorous physical testing to see if they qualified. One of the applicants drove himself to the point of physical exhaustion and passed out during the tests.

Instead of being a washout, the applicant who fainted was accepted. As the sergeant in charge told him, strength and stamina, we can build up. But the ruach (spirit) to continue past the breaking point is something that is much harder to find. By giving his all, that applicant proved to us he was worthy of being selected.

Forum: Are Blacks In America Entitled To Reparations for Slavery?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question:Are Blacks In America Entitled To Reparations for Slavery?

 Rhymes With Right: Are blacks in America entitled to reparations for slavery? That is an easy one. Not just no, but HELL NO!

Let me explain my answer, which is based upon two principles.

First, past reparations have been paid to those who were personally harmed by wrongdoing. My favorite example is the reparations paid to Japanese-Americans interned by FDR during WWII. When the US got around to making what were relatively nominal payments some 40 years later, those payments only went to surviving internees and not to their children and grandchildren. Thus the dear lady who lived next door to me when I was a child received a reparation check, but her children did not receive a check to compensate for their deceased father's internment -- nor did his widow receive any reparations on her late husband's behalf. Given that we are 150 years on from emancipation, there are no surviving slaves to be reparated.

Second is the question of who will pay and who will be paid. The reality is that this will be nothing but a race-based transfer payment that does not actually take from those responsible and give to those harmed. Consider Barack Obama as an example. His ancestors did not toil in bondage in this country -- he is the child of an African father and a white mother who is a descendant of slave owners -- and yet any reparations scheme would make him a beneficiary of the program despite being a descendant of the perpetrators of slavery rather than the victims of it. Similarly, my ancestors fall into two groups -- northern whites who fought in the Union army to eradicate slavery and immigrants who arrived in the decades that followed emancipation. In neither case am I the descendant of guilty parties -- on what basis should I be expected to make whole the descendants of those harmed merely because of the color of my skin?

In short, in 1865 the Union should have made good on the "40 acres and a mule" promises. Unfortunately, it did not -- and when the Slave-o-KKKrat Party regained control of the Southern states through violence and political chicanery, the promises of the post-Civil War amendments were frustrated for a century. But at this time, a century and a half later, the wrongs committed belong the category of historical sins to be lamented and learned from rather than personal harm for which victims are compensated.

 GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD: Nuremberg Tribunal defined crimes against humanity as "Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population . . . whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated" (Slanted words via moi)

Webster defines Reparation(s): To repair, to mend, to fix. … reparations means, on a human level (personal, cultural and political): To make amends for a wrong done; to recompense someone, or a group, for damages done to them. In attorney talk, the phrase would be: To Make Whole.

This does not necessarily take the form of money—there are, obviously, all sorts of problems with that. The form that it takes, according to Randall Robinson (who wrote the definitive book about reparations: The Debt, What America Owes To Blacks), is "needs based programs." Needs based programs are essentially an extension and enlargement of Affirmative Action.

Yet it often does come back to cash.

If it's finally agreed that the damage must be paid for somehow, then you have to ask: Who does the paying? Who, in modern America, should be found guilty and bear the burden of paying for the crime?

What is like gon be the determination of who should and who should not pay? Tax payers?

Also, you have to consider the Union soldiers that fought to ensure Confederacy died kicking and screaming.

Most cats who emigrated to America from the rest of the world struggled with immense hardship and poverty, and, in some cases, terrible discrimination. Lots of the immigrants to this country came here because they were victims of crimes elsewhere in the world, or suffered some intolerable form of oppression, poverty or class discrimination in their country of origin.

Should the descendants of all these groups of people, 99.9% of whom never had a slave-owner in the family or benefited from the profits made off the backs of slaves, be forced to pay for old crimes they never committed?

The victims of slavery died a long time ago. The perpetrators of the crime also died a long time ago. There is no one left alive in this country that was a direct victim of slavery, just as there is no one left alive who could be arrested and tried, or sued for this crime. The past is the past. Does the descendant, even one generation removed, of the victim of a crime, have a right to be compensated for the crime?

The GNP of black America is so large that it makes the African-American community the 10th most prosperous "nation" in the world. "American blacks on average enjoy per capita incomes in the range of twenty to fifty times that of blacks living in any of the African nations from which they were taken"

Since the passage of the Civil Rights Acts and the advent of the Great Society in 1965, trillions of dollars in transfer payments have been made to African-Americans in the form of welfare benefits and racial preferences (in contracts, job placements and educational admissions) - all under the rationale of redressing historic racial grievances. It is said that reparations are necessary to achieve a healing between African-Americans and other Americans.

If trillion dollar restitutions and a wholesale rewriting of American law (in order to accommodate racial preferences) for African-Americans is not enough to achieve a "healing," what will?

For all America's faults, African-Americans have an enormous stake in their country and its heritage. It is this heritage that is really under attack by the reparations movement. The reparations claim is one more assault on America, conducted by racial separatists and the political left. It is an attack not only on white Americans, but on all Americans -- especially African-Americans.

America's African-American citizens are the richest and most privileged black people alive -- a bounty that is a direct result of the heritage that is under assault. The American idea needs the support of its African-American citizens. But African-Americans also need the support of the American idea. For it is this idea that led to the principles and institutions that have set African-Americans - and all of us -- free.

 JoshuaPundit: Reparations should by rights be given to people whom actually suffered a loss as opposed to a greedy class of permanent victims. The Arabs whom identify themselves as Palestinians have used this same trick to get more aid than any other developing country in history.  Race pimps like Al Sharpton,  Toure' and Ta Nehesi Coates make their rent agitating for  people whom never victimized anyone to pay up to people whom were never victimized, and with no small degree of success.

Nevertheless, I'm for reparations under certain conditions, which I admit are very difficult, perhaps impossible. First of all, I'd want a binding agreement by a majority of America's blacks, their self-appointed leaders and especially by organizations like the NAACP,The Nation of Islam and Operation Push that this would end the complaints, the constant whining about 'white privilege' and address the issue once and for all, and that everyone would agree to abide by the results.

Second, I'd want an honest accounting.

We'd need to figure the actual value of black labor during slavery based on the wages of that time. We could certainly figure in pain and suffering for any actual losses due to things like lynchings and racial violence, like the draft riots in New York City in the 1860's.

 We'd need to subtract from that amount  the cost of the American Navy patrolling the seas after 1804 to abolish the importation of slaves. We would further need to subtract the costs of the Civil War, not only in terms of what the war cost the Union to fight but in terms of the economic value lost by the deaths and disabling of close to half a million Union soldiers. We would also have to figure in the economic value of the civilian deaths, and  value of the property damage and the cost of rebuilding in the South, where the war was mostly fought.

We would also have to weigh in actions for counter damages by Southern whites whose ancestors were disenfranchised whether they owned slaves or not  or whose civilian ancestors had property stolen or confiscated or were otherwise victimized during the reconstruction.

Of necessity, a honest accounting would involve the actual value of the freed slaves as well, since they were in fact legally acquired property that was confiscated by government action without compensation. This is actually no small matter. When Great Britain decided to outlaw slavery, they recognized this principle and compensated the owners of human property for their slaves at a rate fixed by the government.

As we move to more modern times, there's the cost of the War on Poverty, easily a trillion 1960's dollars. We'd also need to figure in the cost  of affirmative action policies in governmental hiring and special minority set asides and preferences in government contracts that played a significant role in creating the black middle class, but at significant cost to taxpayers.

We might also have to figure in counter suits by white and Asian businessmen who lost business or job applicants and college applicants whom  were denied jobs or places in universities they were fully qualified for because of race based preferences.

Regrettably, we should, if we're honest, come up with a formula to calculate the rightful black share of social welfare benefits paid out based on their percentage of the population and subtract any overage. Also, if we're being fair, we'd have to do the same thing with the costs associated with crime and the costs of the criminal justice system.

That would be an honest accounting. However, when the numbers were crunched, I have a feeling the agreement about abiding by the results wouldn't exactly be honored!

 The Razor: I recently had a DNA test done to help me with my genealogy work. Turns out I am a mixture of ethnicities that haven’t faired well through history. Slav gave us the word “slave” perhaps because central Europe was a battleground for just about every megalomaniac with an spear, axe or musket. Consequently they were massacred and enslaved by nearly everyone who ever stepped foot in Europe. Then there is my Irish ethnicity. They were subjugated by the Vikings, Normans and of course later the British who embarked on several hundred years of systematic cultural extermination which culminated in the famines of the 1840’s that lead to my great-great grandparents risking it all and escaping the island on a coffin ship, so named because so many Irish died during the Atlantic crossings. I’ve searched the manifests of these ships, and what stunned me is how entire families died during the voyages, their names crossed out with rarely a note.

Should I seek reparations from the United Kingdom for the horrors inflicted on my Irish ancestors? Should I pursue lawsuits against Russia, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Turkey, Austria, Hungary, Sweden, France, Italy (the descendant of the Roman Empire) and Mongolia (for what Genghis Khan inflicted on my Slavic ancestors)? To what purpose? Those who suffered during these conquests are long dead, and why should I be rewarded for their suffering? And what about the countless millions who died without leaving descendants? How do we pay them back?

Is it really fair to the current citizens of these countries, some of whom are much poorer than those of Irish or Slavic ancestry their supposed to compensate? Do we then only shakedown the wealthiest countries while ignoring the poorest such as Mongolia?

This leads to the topic I rarely hear mentioned in the discussion of African-American slavery: the culpability of Africans. While living in Tanzania, I lived among Tongwe people, a small tribe that lived along Lake Tanganyika. They used to live in the mountains to avoid slavers, mostly Arabs but also from the dominant and powerful African tribes of the east. There were no white slavers in East Africa. In west Africa the situation was similar. The white slave traders often bought their slaves from black slavers. Do we hit up the Nigerians, Ghanaians, and others to pay off the comparatively well-off African-Americans? If not, then why not? Is it about slavery or is it really about an easy payoff?

What about those whose ancestors fought to free the slaves? Do they then deserve a payoff from the African-Americans to show their gratitude for their ancestor’s risk and sacrifice?

The whole idea is ridiculous and is put forward by race-baiters whose real purpose is to divide ethnic groups for their own personal benefit. Perhaps they should be sued for compensation for the pain and suffering they’ve caused an entire generation of Americans.

The Glittering Eye : I posted on this subject earlier this week here. Here's the meat of my brief post:

In order to justify it, you’d need to come up with a good explanation for why a Korean immigrant who arrived in this country in 1990 should pay reparations to a Ghanan immigrant who arrived in this country in 1990.

Ask Marion : No… because it wouldn’t change anything! And I honestly believe that most Americans would say, pay it, if they thought it would!

Although not many, outside the recent Atlantic Essay of 15,000+ words by Ta-Nehisi Coates: The Case for Reparations that is getting the expected reaction, there are a few books including The Case for Black Reparations and Reparations: Pro and Con that have been written on this subject; an idea that has been incrementally floated with little follow-through or general interest, because in the end the argument is always thin. But The Atlantic essay has once again temporarily brought this subject to the forefront.

Coates doesn’t present much new, except for some historical anecdotes that add some detail to what we already knew about the sad history of slavery, segregation and discrimination in the United States (and around the world).

The Case for Reparations: ...the crime with which reparations activists charge the country implicates more than just a few towns or corporations. The crime indicts the American people themselves, at every level, and in nearly every configuration. A crime that implicates the entire American people deserves its hearing in the legislative body that represents them.

…. No one can know what would come out of such a debate. Perhaps no number can fully capture the multi-century plunder of black people in America. Perhaps the number is so large that it can’t be imagined, let alone calculated and dispensed. But I believe that wrestling publicly with these questions matters as much as—if not more than—the specific answers that might be produced. An America that asks what it owes its most vulnerable citizens is improved and humane. An America that looks away is ignoring not just the sins of the past but the sins of the present and the certain sins of the future. More important than any single check cut to any African American, the payment of reparations would represent America’s maturation out of the childhood myth of its innocence into a wisdom worthy of its founders.

And in the end, Coates never gives puts forth a plan as to who gets what and how, if we were really to entertain this idea seriously. It is just more of the usual pot stirring; adding fuel to the fire of division that is at an all time high, in recent history, since President Obama’s election instead of finally having put the division to rest, which is what many Americans had hoped for when they voted for Obama in 2008.

We now live in a country where millions have come here being lawbreakers as their first act and although I don’t have the exact figure probably nearly as many present day Americans didn’t have ancestors who owned slaves, condoned slavery or ever experienced segregation or true discrimination... or even lived in the U.S. at that time, as did. So, why should they pay reparations to people who were not slaves themselves and many of whom did not personally experience segregation either. Some would also make the argument that Americans have paid reparations in kind through Affirmative Action, school bussing programs, and other related attempts to help blacks move ahead.

My question is, “Where does it stop?” And would sending each black American a check change anything? I think not. Millions of Caucasians, Asians, and other Non-Black Americans wanted to end the cycle and prove that they weren’t, they aren’t, prejudice, so voted for Barack Hussein Obama without demanding that he be vetted and without many unanswered question about him being addressed. They bought the ‘hope and change’ hook, line and sinker because they wanted America to have a new start… a line to begin from after racism. It didn’t happen. Racism and race-baiting has been heightened on all sides and now we hear that Obama wasn’t really black enough anyway.

Hate and forgiveness come from knowledge and from within. Forgiveness is a choice, as is race baiting, and no check, no matter how large or how small, will change someone’s heart!!

The Independent Sentinel: No. They are entitled to all the rights and privileges of every other American. None of us were around during slavery and none of us are owed or owe anything.

The far-left mag Salon said if we paid reparations, we'd owe them $100 trillion for unpaid man hours. They of course think we should give reparations. Let them and their friends give then, nothing is stopping them.

Where would it end? Shouldn't we then do the same for Native-Americans? What about the Japanese who were put in containment camps during WWII? Then of course there are the people who come here illegally - many seem to think we owe them something also.

   Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it.

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

4 Murdered In Attack On Jewish Museum, Jews attacked outside Paris Synagogue

Just another day in Europe...

An Israeli couple, a French woman and a young Belgian man were murdered in a shooting attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels, Belgium on Saturday by an unidentified gunman who burst into the building with an automatic or semi-automatic rifle.

As you can see in the video, released by the Belgian authorities, the killer carried out his attack in a deliberate and seemingly well-planned manner.

Belgium has a Jewish community of about 40,000, half of whom live in Brussels. Like Paris and other European cities, Brussels has a large and restive Muslim population of about 300,000, over 25% of the city's population and just under half of Belgium's estimated 650,000 Muslim population. The districts of Brussels that have large Muslim populations have essentially become no-go areas like many banlieus in France with a considerable increase in crime, including an average of around 250 gang rapes a year since 2007. As the Muslim population has grown, there's been a large increase in the number of mosques and minarets, veiled women in public, and more Islamist organizations. Two seats on the Brussels City Council in two heavily Muslim neighborhoods of Brussels, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean and Anderlechtare, are held by Lhoucine Aït Jeddig and Redouane Ahrouch, both from the fledgling Islam Party, which seeks to impose sharia law on Belgium. In Antwerp, there is already a sharia court founded by the Islamist group Sharia4Belgium. Which is legally allowed to supersede secular Belgian law, on marriage, divorce, and child support issues.

The Belgian government issued the usual condemnations and has increased security for Jewish institutions in the country. This is not the first anti-semitic incident in Belgium, and given the current increase in the Muslim population, it will undoubtedly not be the last.

Just a few hours after the attack in Brussels, two Jewish men, brothers in their 20's were brutally beaten outside Chaare Tsion Synagogue in suburban Paris on Saturday night, probably after attending the Mincha prayer service. They were followed from the synagogue and beaten with metal pipes by a gang which then fled on bicycles and on foot. This sort of thing is becoming increasingly common in France, and is the reason behind a spike in the immigration of French Jews to Israel.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même.......

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks' Watcher's Council Results


Alea iacta est...the Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and we have the results  for this week's Watcher's Council match up.

"What did the President know and when did he know it?" - Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker (R-TN), 1974

"Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi — why aren’t we talking about something else?" - Rep. Nancy Pelosi, May 1, 2014

“Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. -Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov


Benghazi refuses to go away, it rots and festers like an open wound. Speaker of the House John Boener was finally forced to name a select committee to investigate it fully, and the Obama Regime's defenders lost no time in surfacing to spin the unspinnable and defend the indefensible. This week's winning entry, The Left's Forked Tongue Brigade Continues To Circle The Wagons On Benghazi over at Joshuapundit is my reaction. Here's a slice:

The Professional Left continues to try and disparage the Benghazi select committee investigations with all its might, and the Obama media are certainly doing their best to help by ignoring the actual facts as much as possible.The Forked Tongue Brigade is out in all their putrid glory.

Two old Leftist camp followers conveniently provide us with an overview of the sort of talking points being used to attack the committee in advance, so that its findings can be 'discredited' before they surface. Lets look at them, shall we?

Eleanor Clift is simply an old line, loudmouth Marxist whom the Daily Beast inherited from News-weak. She hasn't has an original thought in years, but pretty much parrots the usual talking points going around. However, when she does improvise, it's a real doozy. On PBS' The McLaughlin Group the other day, she actually managed to come up with one - That Ambassador Chris Stevens wasn't murdered in Benghazi..he, umm, died of smoke inhalation:

The fact that Chris Stevens may very well have been clinging to life when he was raped and beaten (we have no way of really knowing) and the violent way the other three Benghazi victims died doesn't seem to make an impact on Eleanor Clift. Using her logic, I suppose if someone sneaked into her penthouse digs, tied her up and put duct tape over the nose and mouth on her heavily botoxed face, we could say she wasn't murdered was, you know, respiratory failure.

After discussing her faux pas with the usual suspects and getting a fresh briefing on the proper talking points, Ms. Clift decided to double down today in the Daily Beast (I refuse to link to this garbage but I'm sure you can easily find it).

Now her story is that she was taken out of context (she wasn't) that it was the CIA's fault, and that it was Chris Steven' fault because he 'took risks he shouldn't have'.

Next, she puts out some cock and bull tale she's sourced to an unnamed 'ambassador' about the reason for the attack being an attempt to free prisoners being held at the CIA annex. Of course, that fable doesn't account for why the consulate was attacked, rather than just the annex. And even if that was remotely true, what about all the lies on 'it was the video'? And why the subsequent cover up?

After that it's time to play 'look at Reagan'. She cites an article written by a fellow Leftist shill that calls what happened in Beirut in the 1980's 'Reagan's Benghazi'. She relates how the Democrat majority House investigated and found 'very serious errors in judgment' and recommended additional security measures, but 'did not see it as an opportunity to score political points'.

Actually, there's a pretty good reason for that. The 'serious errors in judgment' had nothing to do with the president or anyone else in DC, but the judgment of the house committee that the commanders on the ground at a time before this kind of tactic was common should have somehow foreseen that some Hezbollah jihadi would drive a truck though the barriers and set off a suicide truck bomb.

And the reason the Democrats failed to 'score political points’? Well, that's another difference between Benghazi and Beirut, Ronaldus Maximus and Barack Obama. The Left didn't score political points because they couldn't. From Day One, President Reagan was completely cooperative with the investigation. He allowed Congress complete access to all information, and instead of lying and stonewalling, the Reagan Administration was an active partner in wanting to get to the bottom of what happened.

There were no lies for partisan political purposes, no documents hastily reclassified in an effort to hide them, no witnesses or survivors hidden away. And could anyone even remotely imagine President Reagan leaving our people to fight to the death for nine hours and doing nothing to save them because he was busy resting up for a fundraiser?

A different kind of president and a different kind of man entirely. Someone the Forked Tongue Brigade could never understand.

I'm taking the time to deconstruct this because trust me, you're going to hear this kind of horse manure again and again.

As a matter of fact, none other than the junior Senator from California, Barbara Boxer, came out with her version of White House talking points today on the always amusing Huffington Post.

Good old Senator Babs is no quiz kid as anyone familiar with her record knows, but she has at least a few IQ points on Eleanor Clift, and of course, much better staffers.

The senator starts out using the standard Democrat slogan for the select committee, calling it 'a political witch hunt'. She calls it that because 'the committee 'rejected House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's offer to have a fair panel with equal representation from Republicans and Democrats' and because a few Republicans are 'fundraising off this tragedy'.

I've already dealt with that previously, but it obviously bears repeating. The 'even split' San Fran Nan wanted is something she would have rejected outright when she was Speaker after she stopped cackling. Actually, no select committee in history has ever been set up in that manner. And does anyone recall how Democrats instantly sent out fundraisers after Sandy Hook, Katrina, Columbine,the Gabby Giffords shooting and every other tragedy you can imagine? Pot, meet kettle.

Much, much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Iowahawk with an absolutely hilarious piece, IowahawkIn New York, Scrappy Local Newspaper Struggles For Survival submitted by Joshuapundit. You are hereby warned not to drink coffee or other liquids near the keyoard while you read it.

Here are this week’s full results. Only TheIndependent Sentinel was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the usual by the 2/3 vote penalty:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don't forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week's Watcher's Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in...don't you dare miss it. And don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..'cause we're cool like that!