“What is a mere individual to do? Live as sane and decent a life as you can, love your family and friends and understand that everybody is in this together." 

 · Ron Smith

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Friday
Sep282012

Lowlife Harry Reid Should Resign

Mona Charen

Let's play Imagine an Alternative Universe . Suppose that Rep. Paul Ryan had said that Joe Biden had "sullied the religion that he and I share." How many days of the news cycle do you suppose would be dominated by the story? How many Democrats and members of the press would declare that this kind of religious provocation/bigotry rendered Mr. Ryan unfit for high office? Please submit your estimates to my inbox.

 Now back to the universe we inhabit. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, participating in a unilateral race to the bottom, said just that about Mitt Romney. Highlighting an Internet item, Reid said he agreed that Romney "sullied" the Mormon faith, and that, in Nevada, voters would "understand that he is not the face of Mormonism."

That is low, even by Harry Reid, "a little birdie told me Romney paid no taxes for 10 years," standards.

Consider the deviousness. By calling Romney a bad Mormon, Reid draws attention to Romney's (and Reid's) religion for the benefit of anti-Mormon bigots who may not have heard about Romney's faith. Reid doesn't fear such prejudices himself because a.) He was reelected to a six-year term in 2010, b.) He hails from Nevada, which boasts a large Mormon population, and c.) Religious prejudices rarely affect House or Senate races.

But really, saying someone "sullies" a religion? Republican senators should be demanding an apology at the very least, or calling for his resignation. Mr. Obama should be asked if he approves of this kind of character assassination.

It would be a disgraceful smear even if Mr. Romney were an ordinary politician. He has his faults, of course, but it happens that he has a truly unusual and admirable history of personally helping the less fortunate. His personal commitment to helping others would be exemplary in a clergyman. It's almost unheard of among politicians. We learned last week that Mr. Romney donated 29 percent of his income to charity in 2011, and that, over the course of the past 20 years, he has donated an average of 13.5 percent of his income -- well over the 10 percent tithe that many great faiths suggest.

How much does Mr. Reid donate? We don't know because he chooses to keep his tax returns private. We do know, however, that between 2000 and 2004, Mr. Obama donated about 1 percent to charity (he bumped it up to 5 percent in 2005 and to 22 percent last year).

"Lunch Bucket Joe" Biden -- champion of the middle class -- donated an average of $369 per year for the 10 years prior to 2008, or .03 percent of his income.

Not only has Romney been extremely charitable with his money, he has devoted his time to those (many in his church, some not) who were facing crises. He spent many hours with a 14-year-old cancer victim in the hospital. He saved a family of four from drowning when their boat capsized. When two teenagers in a Boston family were injured in a car accident, the entire Romney family showed up on Christmas Eve bearing large boxes of gifts, and a generous check for the parents. Romney also offered to pay for the boys' college educations when they recovered. He closed Bain's offices to search for the missing daughter of a colleague. These are but some of the many stories of personal generosity and remarkable kindness detailed in "The Real Romney" by Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, two Boston Globe reporters. Has Mr. Reid ever done anything comparable?

Since Sen. Reid has directed personal slanders against Romney, it's worth noting that Mr. Romney earned his fortune by working in the private sector. Mr. Reid too is a wealthy man, with an estimated net worth between $3 and $10 million. Yet as Betsy Woodruff documents in National Review, he has acquired all of it while serving in public office, and while earning a salary of $193,400 or less. "I did a very good job investing," he explained in 2010. If you believe that, Mr. Reid has a bridge to sell you. Really. In 2006, Reid earmarked $18 million to build a bridge across the Colorado River, between Laughlin, Nev. and Bullhead City, Ariz., a project, Woodruff reports, "that wasn't a priority for either state's transportation agency." Reid happened to own 160 acres of nearby land, whose value appreciated considerably after the project was approved.  

Something is sullied here, but it isn't Romney.

Courtesy of Jonathan Garthwaite @ Townhallo.com

Friday
Sep282012

CONSERVATIVE CARTOON OF THE DAY

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

 Lisa Benson

Courtesy of Jonathan Garthwaite @ Townhall.com

 

Wednesday
Sep262012

Who Is White House Visitor Hisham Altalib? 

Michelle Malkin

On Friday, March 30, 2012, Hisham Y. Altalib visited the White House. According to visitor logs, Altalib was received by Joshua DuBois, the director of President Obama's Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Four days later, White House officials welcomed a foreign delegation of the radical Sharia-enforcing Muslim Brotherhood from Egypt.

 

The White House meeting with overseas Muslim Brotherhood leaders was reported in April by a few mainstream journalists and questioned loudly by conservative media. But the White House confab in March with U.S.-based Altalib -- which appears to be a prep session with the global Muslim Brotherhood's American advance team -- has received no attention until now.

So, who is Hisham Yahya Altalib? What is his agenda?

And why exactly did the Obama administration conduct domestic "faith-based" outreach with this Muslim Brotherhood figure in Virginia, who just happens to be 1) tied to bloody jihad and 2) a major contributor to the left-wing Center for Constitutional Rights, the group of jihadi-sympathizing lawyers who helped spring suspected Benghazi terror plotter Abu Sufian bin Qumu from Gitmo?

Altalib is an Iraqi-born Muslim identified by the FBI as a Muslim Brotherhood operative before he moved to America in the 1970s to earn an advanced electrical engineering degree from Purdue University in Indiana. By his own account, Altalib "soon became active in Islamic work in North America, which continues to this day."

He was the "first full-time director of the Leadership Training Department of the Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada (MSA)" -- a longtime Muslim Brotherhood front group whose explicit goal is to "conquer" America through Islamic propagandizing.

Altalib is also a founding member of the SAAR Foundation and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). Last year, his online biography proudly notes, he was "awarded the ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) Community Service Award." The Saudi-subsidized ISNA is regarded as the primary U.S. umbrella group for Muslim Brotherhood fronts and was named specifically by the global MB godfathers as a key player in their "Grand Jihad" strategy of infiltration from within.

SAAR was founded in Herndon, Va., in 1983 as part of a radical Islamic charity front for Saudi financiers called the SAFA Group. The feds raided SAAR's offices in 2002 as part of Operation Green Quest. Investigators confiscated 500 boxes and seven trucks' worth of documents illuminating the network's terror ties to the Al Taqwa Bank (a Swiss-based Muslim bank suspected of funding the 9/11 plot) and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Altalib worked for one of Al Taqwa Bank's main owners, Youssef Nada. Altalib's more prominent Muslim Brotherhood partner, Jamal Barzinji (one of the champions of the Ground Zero mosque), also worked for Nada. FBI and Customs officials believe SAAR/SAFA laundered money for a plethora of violent Muslim terrorist groups, from Hamas and Hezbollah to al-Qaida and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Along with several other leaders of the "Ikhwan" (brothers), Altalib and Barzinji established the International Institute of Islamic Thought in Herndon, Va., in 1985. Global Muslim Brotherhood thug Yusuf al-Qaradawi -- the fire-breathing, fatwa-issuing Jew-hater and violent jihad proselytizer -- inspired IIIT's mission: the "Islamization of social sciences."

According to Steven Merley of the Hudson Institute's Center on Islam, Democracy, and the Future of the Muslim World, IIIT has 14 affiliated offices across the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, who put 1993 World Trade Center bombing mastermind Omar Abdel Rahman behind bars, notes that IIIT was a demonstrated unindicted co-conspirator in the feds' Holy Land Foundation terror financing case. IIIT supported convicted terror aides Sami Al-Arian and Abdel Rahman Alamoudi.

Altalib, Barzinji and IIIT were also all listed in funding statements from the Center for Constitutional Rights as major donors giving in the $25,000 to $49,000 range.

CCR is the umbrella group providing more than 500 pro bono lawyers to Gitmo detainees. They have regularly dismissed national security concerns about Gitmo recidivism as "irresponsible ... scare stories." That's exactly what they did after one of CCR's clients, Libyan terror leader Abu Sufian bin Qumu, was sprung in 2007.

Fast-forward five short years. Qumu is now the lead suspect in the 9/11/12 attack on our U.S. consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the murders of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, consular official Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs/private security contractors Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. In the wake of this month's terrorist attacks on our Egyptian embassy, Libyan consulate and Afghan air base, the jihad helpers at CCR are stone silent.

This administration's idea of domestic "faith-based outreach" is tea with Muslim Brotherhood community organizers who have embedded themselves in American life for four decades with the express intent of "eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within." Meanwhile, our commander in chief is squawking to the world about YouTube videos. The Ikhwan are laughing their bloodstained robes off.

Courtesy of Jonathan Garthwaite @ Townhall.com

 
Monday
Sep242012

THE GHOSTS OF JIMMY CARTER

Jeff Jacoby

One of the more piquant details in the tale of Mitt Romney's damning "47 percent" video is that it was unearthed online by James Earl Carter IV, a grandson and namesake of the 39th president. The self-described "oppo researcher [and] political junkie" told NBC News that he tracked down the person who recorded Romney's remarks at a May fundraiser, then put him in touch with Mother Jones, the left-wing magazine that publicized the video last Monday. Carter's "research assistance" was credited in a terse endnote, but the reaction from his grandfather was more effusive: "James," the former president emailed, "This is extraordinary. Congratulations! Papa."

The younger Carter wasn't coy about why he facilitated the leak. "I'm a partisan Democrat," he said. "My motivation is to help Democrats get elected."

But it was also personal. According to NBC, he wanted to retaliate against Romney's "frequent attacks on the presidency of his grandfather" -- particularly the suggestion that Barack Obama's faltering foreign policy is Carteresque in its irresolution. "It gets under my skin -- mostly the weakness on the foreign policy stuff," the grandson said. "I just think it's ridiculous. I don't like criticism of my family."

Well, who does? You can't fault the guy for wanting to defend his grandfather's reputation, but Jimmy Carter's reputation as a foreign-policy schlemiel can hardly be blamed on the Romney campaign. Americans came to that conclusion more than 30 years ago, having watched the world grow more dangerous -- and America's enemies more brazen -- during Carter's feckless years as steward of US national security.

"There was strong evidence that voters … wanted a tougher American foreign policy," reported The New York Times on November 5, 1980, the morning after Ronald Reagan crushed Carter's reelection bid in a 44-state landslide. By a nearly 2-to-1 ratio, voters surveyed in exit polls "said they wanted this country to be more forceful in dealing with the Soviet Union, 'even if it increased the risk of war.'"

In fact, Reagan's muscular, unapologetic approach to international relations -- "peace through strength" -- didn't increase the risk of war with the Soviets. It reduced it. Within a decade of his election, the Soviet empire -- as Reagan foretold -- would be relegated to the ash-heap of history.

Like all presidents, Reagan got many things wrong. But one thing he got very right was that American weakness is provocative. A foreign-policy blueprint that emphasizes the need for American constraint, deference, and apology -- what Obama's advisers today call "leading from behind" -- is a recipe for more global disorder, not less. Carter came to office scolding Americans for their "inordinate fear of communism;" he launched diplomatic relations with Fidel Castro's dictatorship and welcomed the takeover of Nicaragua by a Marxist junta. Only when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979 did Carter wake up to the dangers of appeasing communist totalitarianism. Moscow's naked aggression, he confessed, had made a "dramatic change in my opinion of what the Soviets' ultimate goals are."

Equally disastrous was Carter's reaction to the seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran following the Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic revolution. Bernard Lewis, the dean of Middle East historians, writes that Carter's meek response -- from his letter appealing to Khomeini "as a believer to a man of God" to his abandonment of the overthrown Shah, a longtime US ally -- helped convince dictators and fanatics across the Middle East "that it was safer and more profitable to be an enemy rather than a friend of the United States."

Is it fair to compare Obama's foreign policy to Carter's? The similarities were especially vivid after the murder of four US diplomats at the American consulate in Benghazi. Even more so when the administration insisted that the outbreak of anti-American violence by rampaging Islamists in nearly 30 countries was due solely to a YouTube video mocking Islam -- a video the White House bent over backward to condemn.

But Obama-Carter likenesses were being remarked on long before this latest evidence of what the appearance of US weakness leads to. Obama was still a presidential hopeful when liberal historian Sean Wilentz observed in 2008 that he "resembles Jimmy Carter more than he does any other Democratic president in living memory." Within weeks of Obama's inauguration, troubling parallels could already be detected. In January 2010, Foreign Policy magazine's cover story, "The Carter Syndrome," wondered whether the 44th president's foreign policy was beginning to collapse "into the incoherence and reversals" that had characterized No. 39's.

The Carter years are a warning of what can happen when the "Leader of the Free World" won't lead. It may irk his grandson to hear it, but Jimmy Carter's legacy is still too timely to ignore.

Courtesy of Jonathan Garthwaite @ Townhall.com