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  #121  
Old 10-04-2009, 04:53 PM
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Arrow On Afghanistan, US military puts Obama on the spot

On Afghanistan, US military puts Obama on the spot



WASHINGTON (AFP) – By openly declaring their views on the Afghan war, US military leaders have placed President Barack Obama in a bind as he faces a fraught decision over the troubled US-led mission.

Obama has refused to quickly approve a request from his commanders for a major troop build-up in Afghanistan, insisting first on a full vetting of the current strategy.

But while a war council takes place behind closed doors at the White House, top military officers have made no secret of their view that without a vast ground force, the Afghan mission could end in failure.

"They want to make sure people know what they asked for if things go wrong," Lawrence Korb, a former assistant secretary of defense, told AFP.
As a result, if Obama chooses to change course in Afghanistan or decline a request for large numbers of troops, he will be rejecting the advice of the US military, raising the political stakes.

Commentators on the left say the military ought to keep its advice private without trying to influence public debate, with New York Times columnist Frank Rich accusing the generals of an attempt to "try to lock him (Obama) in" on Afghanistan.

Korb said the top brass is keen to avoid a repeat of the run-up to the Iraq war under former president George W. Bush, when military leaders bowed to White House demands for a small invasion force -- with disastrous consequences.

Drawing on blood-soaked experience in Iraq, military commanders now fervently embrace counter-insurgency doctrine, which calls for large numbers of troops providing security and winning the trust of the local population.

Amid rising casualties and a spreading insurgency, skeptics in Congress and the White House have floated proposals to freeze or even reduce the 65,000-strong force.

But McChrystal and his superiors have dismissed such alternatives as half-measures.

"You can't hope to contain the fire by letting just half the building burn," McChrystal told Newsweek.

Top US military officer Admiral Mike Mullen and the head of the regional Central Command, General David Petraeus, have publicly endorsed the manpower-intensive strategy set out in a report by McChrystal.

The commander's stark assessment of the war, which was leaked, has set off a flurry of counter-leaks in US newspapers with unnamed officials in the White House voicing skepticism about esclating the American commitment.

The heated debate over war strategy mostly pits hawks on the right demanding Obama promptly endorse the commander's request for more troops against voices on the left who raise the specter of a quagmire akin to Vietnam.

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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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  #122  
Old 10-04-2009, 05:05 PM
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Exclamation U.S. co-sponsors anti-free speech resolution at the UN

U.S. co-sponsors anti-free speech resolution at the UN
Free speech death watch. The U.N. Human Rights Council approved the resolution, cosponsored by the U.S. and Egypt, yesterday.

It calls on states to condemn and criminalize "any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence." It also condemns "negative stereotyping of religions and racial groups," which is of course an oblique reference to accurate reporting about the jihad doctrine and Islamic supremacism-- which is always the focus of whining by the Organization of the Islamic Conference and other groups about negative "stereotyping" of Islam. They never say anything when people like Osama bin Laden and Khaled Sheikh Mohammed issue detailed Koranic expositions justifying violence and hatred; but when people like Geert Wilders and others report about such expositions, that's "negative stereotyping."

And the worst aspect of this and all such measures is that the "Incitement" and the "hatred" are in the eye of the beholder. The powerful can decide to silence the powerless by classifying their views as hate speech. The Founding Fathers tried to protect Americans from tyranny by protecting free speech. Now our free speech is threatened, and tyranny will take advantage of that. But we still have the First Amendment, right? Eugene Volokh, in an excellent analysis of the resolution, explains why it isn't that easy to dismiss this:

6. But why the fuss, some might ask, if we're protected by the First Amendment? First, if the U.S. backs a resolution that urges the suppression of some speech, presumably we are taking the view that all countries -- including the U.S. -- should adhere to this resolution. If we are constitutionally barred from adhering to it by our domestic constitution, then we're implicitly criticizing that constitution, and committing ourselves to do what we can to change it.

So to be consistent with our position here, the Administration would presumably have to take what steps it can to ensure that supposed "hate speech" that incites hostility will indeed be punished. It would presumably be committed to filing amicus briefs supporting changes in First Amendment law to allow such punishment, and in principle perhaps the appointment of Justices who would endorse such changes (or even the proposal of express constitutional amendments that would work such changes).
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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  #123  
Old 10-04-2009, 07:49 PM
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Arrow FRONTLINE Coming Soon Obama’s War PBS

FRONTLINE Coming Soon Obama’s War PBS

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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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  #124  
Old 10-04-2009, 08:03 PM
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Question A war of necessity turns out not so necessary




By: MICHAEL BARONE
Senior Political Analyst
October 4, 2009

“This is not a war of choice,” Barack Obama told the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Aug. 17. “This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting. This is fundamental to the defense of our people.”

But that was nearly seven weeks ago. Now it appears that Obama is about to ignore the advice of Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, whom he installed as commander in Afghanistan in May, after relieving his predecessor ahead of schedule. McChrystal, who came up as a Special Forces officer, is an expert in counterinsurgency. Not surprisingly, in his Aug. 30 report to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, he recommended a course that seems certain to require a substantial number of additional troops.

During the first three weeks of September, Obama held one meeting on the “war of necessity.” Then on Sept. 20, Obama appeared on five talk shows to push his health plan. The next day, Bob Woodward published a story in The Washington Post based on a copy of McChrystal’s report, which the newspaper later posted in redacted form. Woodward made it clear that McChrystal would request more troops. When questioners pressed him about the war, he said he was rethinking his Afghanistan strategy.
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  #125  
Old 10-05-2009, 03:00 PM
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Arrow Valerie Jarrett’s Ministry of Culture

Valerie Jarrett’s Ministry of Culture
The office of Obama’s alter ego holds a troubling “cultural policy” summit
Conservative journalists have exposed the Obama administration’s attempts to politicize the National Endowment for the Arts. Andrew Breitbart’s website has detailed two conference calls in August aimed at recruiting artists to shill for health care “reform” and environmental legislation. However, it has been overlooked that an NEA official and numerous employees in Valerie Jarrett’s office hosted an earlier meeting on May 12 to enroll “artists” in advancing its political agenda – andto get their input in shaping it. Both aspects are troubling, as the invited participants included several of Van Jones’s ideological fellow travelers, three people who claimed the CIA sells crack in minority neighborhoods, a Jewish lesbian who confessed to having “a little crush on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ,” representatives of the SEIU and the Tides Foundation, a publisher who dubbed 9/11 “a major piece of performance art conceived by” a jihadist with “an artist’s mind,” a director who wrote 9/11 was tied to Ronald Reagan’s withdrawal from UNESCO, and the “former International Spokeswoman for the Universal Zulu Nation.”

The evidence shows the heavy involvement of Valerie Jarrett’s office – and possibly Jarrett herself – the participants’ explicit understanding they were to promote Obama’s legislative agenda, and the administration’s acceptance of those whose beliefs are at least as radical as those of Van Jones.

Sweeping the NEA’s Politicization Under the Rug
The furor began when word leaked out then-National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) communications director Yosi Sergant invited Patrick Courrielche and 74 other artists to participate in an August 10th conference call supporting the United We Serve Program. Sergant invited his readers to “celebrate how the arts can be used for a positive change!” The call’s organizer, Michael Skolnick said (as administration officials listened in) that artists who had worked to elect Obama must continue “to support some of the president’s initiatives…to push the president and push his administration.” Sergant then emphasized, “I would encourage you to pick something, whether it’s health care, education, the environment….” (Read the full call transcript.)

However, it was one of Valerie Jarrett’s employees, Deputy Director of the Office of Public Engagement Buffy Wicks, who was most explicit about the call’s partisan goals. She told the participants, “we’re going to come at you with some specific asks here.” She did this because, “We’re actually running the government. We need your guys’s help to promote this.” Wicks asked her audience to “focus on the four main areas: One is health care. Obviously, that’s a big issue…Second was energy and environment.” Wicks hoped this would steer the public toward left-wing ideological and political organizations: “We wanted folks to connect…with federal agencies, with labor unions, progressive groups, face groups [faith groups, perhaps?], women’s groups, you name it.” She helpfully suggested, on the environment, “we can partner with the League of Conservation Voters or the Sierra Club and on those efforts and really funnel people’s energies that way.” She praised the adulatory Obama “Hope” poster and will.i.am’s propaganda video. Only the fourth “main area,” community renewal, encompassed “traditional service activities – you know, food shelters, homeless shelters.” (Oddly, Buffy mentioned only the fourth area in her YouTube message introducing USAService.org.)
Confronted with the transcript, NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman wrote the call “was not a means to promote any legislative agenda and any suggestions to that end are simply false.” But his protests don’t pass the smell test. Flush with $50 million from the stimulus bill, the NEA began doling out grants, awarding $2 million this year to 16 participants in the August 10th conference call or their affiliates. The organizations on the call responded to the “asks” as though they were invited to support a legislative agenda. Within 48 hours of the first conference call, 21 arts organizations endorsed ObamaCare. “Rock the Vote” initiated a “health care design contest” to pump the proposal.

The conference call included a representative of the L.A.-based PR firm Winner & Associates, a group not generally thought to be part of the “arts community.” His name is Bim Ayandele, who co-chaired Generation Obama before he helped establish Jarrett’s Office of Public Engagement. The day after the 8/10 call, Ayandele began tweeting in favor of the president’s health care plan and against the tea party protesters – during work hours. As Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com has pointed out, many other participants followed suit – on the same day as Ayandele.

On August 27, the OPE invited artists to yet another conference call, led by Kalpen Modi. Modi, who formerly acted under the stage name “Kal Penn,” is now associate director of the Office of Public Engagement under Valerie Jarrett. He announced the NEA and NEH had backed out of the call, so it was apparently an all-OPE event. The announcement of this meeting has subsequently disappeared from the web. Less is known of the call’s proceedings, but Lee Rosenbaum, one of its participants who supports the president’s agenda, admitted to being “creeped out” by being contacted to advance the administration’s goals.

After word of the calls leaked out, Obama’s counsel Greg Craig drafted a memo expressing “regrets” that“[s]ome comments made in the call” had been “misunderstood as seeking to inappropriately politicize activities of the NEA.” Sergant was demoted, then forced to resign for his part in the call, and no further action appears likely. However, the resignation ignores the greater role played by Buffy Wicks and other OPE officials, in the August calls and in the underreported May conference. The August calls followed upon a meeting between numerous White House officials (including Sergant and Wicks) and artists which could not be more clearly political, and who could not have been more radical.

Jarrett’s Office Deeply Involved in May 12th NEA/Radicals Conference
The Washington Post has reported that on May 12, White House officials were present in the Eisenhower Executing Office Building next door to the White House for what one of its participants described as “a White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery.” Some 60 artists were – in the words of one of the meeting’s organizers – “challenged to come up with promising and attractive ideas about how artists can work for the administration’s agenda.” The meeting was a reciprocal gesture, seeking the artists’s input on the Obama agenda and asking their help in promoting its legislative aims. (Lest anyone be accused of bias, the extensive summary of the meeting was reportedly written by Meghan McDermott of Global Action Project, an Obama ally.)

The May meeting included an NEA official (Mario Garcia Durham), two representatives of the first lady (Joseph Reinstein and Trooper Sanders), White House Arts Czar Kareem Dale (who reports to Valerie Jarrett), and three members of what was then known as the Office of Public Liason – now the Office of Public Engagement, headed by Valerie Jarrett: Buffy Wicks, her boss Tina Tchen, and Mike Strautmanis. Strautmanis had been a paralegal at Michelle Obama’s law firm. The New York Times calls him “Obama’s former chief counsel and de facto younger brother.”

The notes seem to suggest Valerie Jarrett was present at some point during the meeting, as well. The summary states: “Mike Strautmanis directed our attention to key people with whom to foster relationships: Kareem Dale, who was appointed to deal with the arts specifically; and Valerie Jarrett, a close confidante and advisor to the First Family, who connects directly to the Oval Office. He also introduced Yosi Sergant, who was instrumental in arranging the briefing. Yosi had just left the Office of Public Engagement to serve as Communications Director at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)…With Yosi and Anita Decker (Director of Government Affairs at the NEA) in place, he explained, people very close to the President are involved in the effort.” Kareem Dale was present and addressed the meeting twice; the summary notes do not record that Yosi Sergant was present – but he made clear to The Washington Post that he was. Was Valerie Jarrett also in attendance, even briefly? As head of OPE, so richly represented at the meeting, she was undoubtedly aware of its proceedings.

And that should give us pause.

You Scratch My Back….
The summary continues that Strautmanis “described two paths.” The first was “set pieces of work such as the healthcare debate, efforts to reduce energy costs and the commitment to community service. In these areas, the administration wants to bring people in informally to advise and offer perspectives and to receive updates on impact. The administration wants to know what’s missing or doesn’t make sense, and will reach out periodically as issues come up.” Second, he encouraged the group to think of “ways to communicate” this administration’s agenda “with people and how to motivate them culturally,” then to communicate directly with Kareem Dale.

Buffy Wicks followed and was, again, less coy. Wicks “asked briefing participants to think through how their networks and organizations can participate in areas such as the arts in education, healthcare and preventative care, energy and environment, or economic opportunity.” Tina Tchen added, “The administration wants to sustain energy from the election process and turn it toward the agenda.”

Curiously, the participants took this to mean they should advance a political agenda. Community organizer Sally Kohn likened the artists’ efforts to “a movement to create a climate for change, banging down that door.” In subsequent “breakout sessions,” the artists came up with ways to promote the Obama agenda. But the politicization is less troubling than those invited to do the thinking.

“I Have a Little Crush on Mahmoud Admadinejad”
Sally Kohn is Senior Campaign Strategist at the Center for Community Change and formerly worked at the Ford Foundation. The CCC is an Alinskyite “community organizing” pressure group founded by Heather and Paul Booth, former SDS radicals who founded the Midwest Academy. The Booths have ties to Industrial Areas Foundation, where Barack Obama got his community organizing training.

In September 2007, before his speech at Columbia University, Kohn wrote an entry at DailyKos entitled, “Why I Have a Little Crush on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.” She recognizes, “I’m a Jewish lesbian and he’d probably have me killed. But still, the guy speaks some blunt truths about the Bush Administration that make me swoon.” True, “There are certainly many things about Ahmadinejad that I abhor — locking up dissidents, executing of gay folks, denying the fact of the Holocaust, potentially adding another dangerous nuclear power to the world and, in general, stifling democracy. Even still, I can’t help but be turned on by his frank rhetoric calling out the horrors of the Bush Administration and, for that matter, generations of US foreign policy preceding.” She then details how the man who helped kill U.S. soldiers in Iraq “cares more about American troops than President Bush.”

Sadly, her views were the mainstream in this gathering addressed by NEA, OPE, and Michelle Obama’s office.

The Van Jones Caucus
Several of the invitees had ties to Valerie Jarrett’s prize recruit, Van Jones. Alli Chagi-Starr is Community Partnerships and Events Manager at Green For All, the group founded by Van Jones. She is also the Art and Events Director for Reclaim the Future at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, another of Jones’s organizations. Unfortunately, Jones may be her most moderate influence. Alli is a guest speaker for Medea Benjamin’s Global Exchange, an organization that takes credulous leftists on tours of repressive dictatorships like Cuba to demonstrate the glories of socialism. Starr is featured in chapter 10 of Code Pink’s book, Stop the Next War Now alongside Rep. Cynthia McKinney. She co-founded the Radical Performance Fest and “Art and Revolution,” a group of far-Left puppeteers. In 2000, she helped bring protesters to the violent anti-WTO demonstrations in Seattle organized by Benjamin.

Also invited were Caron Atlas and Ryan Friedrichs of an organization called State Voices. The list of “projects” on its website includes The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Van Jones’ group. Other projects include This Brave Nation, which honored Van Jones, and League of Young Voters (another conference attendee and Van Jones sycophant; see below). Others include the Adelante Alliance, which believes “increasing the Spanish-language skills of [Brooklyn-area] Mexican primary school age children” is a “key to affecting long-term social change”; the far-Left news organization Free Speech TV; ALLGO- Austin Latina/Latino Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Organization; and the Allied Media Conference, which works on the “cutting edge of social justice-based independent film, radio, print, web, Hip Hop, and youth-based organizing.” This year’s AMC confab featured a “video chat between the Palestine Education Project Indigenous Youth Delegation and partner organizations in Palestine,” discussed “techniques for lobbying policy-makers,” and allowed “[n]etworks of radical women and trans[-gender] people of color media makers” to “share skills and strategize.“


Some attendees went out of their way to protect Van Jones. Among them is Robert “Biko” Baker, Executive Director of the League of Young Voters. The LYV website currently asks its visitors to “Sign Our Petition to Support Van Jones,” which LYV apparently posted on a website called ILoveVanJones.com. Below that, it asks surfers to donate funds to its Maine chapter, so it can hire an organizer to support the state’s gay marriage initiative. Baker spoke at the Netroots Nation, where Valerie Jarrett praised Van Jones for his “creative ideas.” Like Jones, Baker is obsessed with race. He wrote, “Structural racism is embedded in America’s DNA” and insisted Henry Louis Gates was “being racially profiled.”

However, he is also ready to play political ball. The video announcing Baker’s elevation to the executive director features him giving a speech in which he says: “If we don’t, as young people – and I’m speaking to the young people in the room – if we don’t push the party, or progressives, to be progressive, are they gonna be progressive? And the only way that we can push people to be accountable is if we’re there on the first Tuesday in November pushin’ people to the polls.” This conference seems to have pushed Baker to get moving on health care “reform.” Afterwards, Baker informed his readers there are “approximately 52 million Americans who have no health coverage,” posted socialized medicine propaganda from Media Matters and Campus Progress, and commented on a clip of Bill Moyers’s appearance on Bill Maher’s program, writing that health care reform “will save us googabs of money.” The LYV also announced its “sister organization, the League of Young Voters Education Fund,” has “launched a hot new website for progressive community building.”

The LYV’s “extended family” of links to like-minded websites includes ColorOfChange.org (founded by Van Jones), Green for All, the Ella Baker Center, MoveOn.org, SEIU, Planned Parenthood, Campus Progress, and the Soros-funded America Votes. Its blogroll includes Mother Jones, Firedoglake, DailyKos, Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo, and MyDD.

CIA Crack Conspiracy Theorists
Others Jarrett’s office asked to help shape the administration’s agenda shared Van Jones’ conspiratorial outlook on the world. The OPE invited Judith F. Baca, who once noted some of her Los Angeles-area public murals “were about drug abuse, including the government-supported influx of drugs into the communities, including the Las Tres issue in Los Angeles, where three people were imprisoned for shooting a narcotics agent who was bringing narcotics into the community.” She described another mural as “an alternate history to the U.S., a sort of ‘pre-Howard Zinn Howard Zinn’ giant-scale monument.” She seemed truly honored that Buffy Wicks “mentioned our name. She knew us. She read the materials.”

Fellow Los Angelean John Malpeade (who founded the “Los Angeles Poverty Department”) went to Evo Morales’s Bolivia this July to perform Agents & Assets, a play that focuses on “CIA involvement in cocaine trafficking into the Los Angeles area in the 1980’s in order to support the Contra war in Nicaragua.” He once declared, “The hoarding of wealth and power, results in the gross inability of American society to efficiently allocate its abundant resources to generate social capital or well-being for its citizenry” and that calling America the “richest, greatest, country” on the planet “would be laughable, (and much of the world is laughing), if it weren’t so tragic.”

Others had more expansive conspiracy theories. Ian Inaba, Co-Executive Director, Citizen Engagement Lab, produced rapper Eminem’s videos “Mosh” and “White America.” As a blogger for the Guerrilla News Network (GNN), he eulogized Gary Webb, the man who popularized the false story of the government selling crack to inner city youth to finance the Iran-Contra scandal in a series of articles for the San Jose Mercury News. (GNN itself produces such films as Crack the CIA, a short film “about the CIA’s involvement in drug trafficking during Iran Contra.”) Inaba also produced the film American Blackout, featuring Cynthia McKinney’s claims of voting irregularities in 2000 and 2004 presidential elections (due to perfidy from the corporation Diebold). Its screening was hosted by the League of Young Voters and the SEIU. Inaba’s contributions can be found in the GNN book True Lies, which discusses everything from “the turning over of our democratic process to shady corporations, to the unanswered questions of 9/11.”


Far-Left Financiers
Also present were Michelle Miller, Manager of Popular Media Organizing at SEIU, the union headed byAndrew Stern, one of Barack Obama’s closest advisers. Michelle Coffey of the Tides Foundation was there, as well.
The meeting was “organized” by the Nathan Cummings Foundation. According to its profile at DiscoverTheNetworks.org,the foundation supports universal health care to “ameliorate the physical and psychological consequences of social and economic injustice” and seeks to finance “the roles that artists and cultural workers play in stimulating social change and championing economic justice in both traditional and non-traditional venues.” It had funded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Tides Foundation and ACORN, the ACLU, the Earth Island Institute, and dozens of leftist causes.

God as “The Erotic Feminine” and Free Vibrators
Denise Brown, Executive Director of the Leeway Foundation was there, as well. With the NEA’s long history of financing offensive “art,” this is a poor omen. Leeway gave $2,500 to the Rev. Beverly Dale, an ordained minister in the liberal Disciples of Christ denomination to promote her “ministry,” PassionWorks. The promotional literature for her one-woman show, “An Irreverent Journey from Eggbeaters to Vibrators,” claims “the very survival of the earth may be linked to our own individual spiritual and erotic well being and our ability to connect erotically with one another.” She describes herself as “outspoken advocate” for “peacemaking, worker rights, women’s concerns, race relations, civil rights for the sexual minority communities, and gender equity.” She also ponders, “could God be the erotic feminine?” An announcement on the Leeway Foundation’s blog invites those in the area where she was performing, at the University of Pennsylvania, to Come get a vibrator!!!!

Other Leeway grantees focused more directly on Buffy Wicks’s “asks.” In 2008, the Leeway Foundation gave $2,500 to Gage Johnston to produce a documentary explaining “how the food industry, the medical industry and the federal government often make matters worse for the sick by placing concerns of profit and reputations above concerns about health.” It has also financed a documentary “on the historical transgender sit-in that took place in 1965” and their continued “relevance to the movement for LGBT equality.” It has awarded $2,500 to craft a curriculum about “how screen-printing and print shops have been and continue to be used in movements for social change.” And it underwrote a bilingual broadcast on Spanish radio discussing “labor struggles.”

Reagan Caused 9/11?
Dudley Cocke of the Roadside Theater in Kentucky was impressed with the May 12th meeting, adding he had long worked, “with organizers with some training in the Saul Alinsky school – for example, the Industrial Areas Foundation.” Cocke shares their ideology.

As I wrote in my book 57 Varieties of Radical Causes, Teresa Heinz Kerry feted Cocke with the 2002 Heinz Award for Arts & Humanities. Of 9/11, Cocke wrote: “A lot of this hatred is based on an ignorance that allows the hater to perceive the United States only in monolithic terms, as a heartless materialist and imperialist state…It is my contention that U.S. arts policy, beginning with the Reagan administration, has played a surprising role helping to create this misperception.” Specifically, “The Reagan administration’s withdrawal from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1987 signaled to the international community that the U.S. no longer considered itself just one among many of the world’s cultures.” Cocke would have us believe al-Qaeda’s brand of Islamists – which forbids its adherents from enjoying any form of music whatever – hates the United States, not out of religious fanaticism nor even the shibboleths of “poverty and disease,” but based on artistic rejection.

Elsewhere, Cocke berated Reagan and other conservatives for daring to question the National Endowment for the Arts’ inalienable right to fund Robert Mapplethorpe and the “**** Christ.” Dismissing their objections, he mused, “Ironically, those attacks were led by our own homegrown religious fundamentalists.” Al-Qaeda, the Southern Baptists; what’s the difference?

Illegal Immigrants? Si! Military Recruiters? No!
The conference note-taker, Meghan McDermott, is Executive Director of Global Action Project, an NEA grant recipient also financed by the Ford and Rockefeller Brothers Foundations and George Soros’s Open Society Institute. This GAP produced the film Aliens vs. Predators – which is not a sci-fi film but an amateurish short protesting military recruitment of illegal aliens by promising college education. GAP prefers giving illegals in-state tuition rates.

The anti-military animus was shared by others at the May meeting. James Kass of Youth Speaks asked “if the NEA can support a program for young artists, creating pathways to college towards arts careers, and jobs for disconnected youth instead of enlistment. The military is fine if you have a choice, he said, but too many have had none.” Mario Garcia Durham replied, “now is the time to come forward with such ideas.”

An International Zulu Radical
Perhaps the most outrageous attendee was Rha Goddess, a female hip-hop artist who declares, “I use my art as a vehicle for liberation and social change.” Rha provided “rants” at a Code Pink rally in D.C. alongside Medea Benjamin, Cindy Sheehan, Ann Wright, Jodie Evans, Gael Murphy, and Phyllis Bennis. In fact, Rha appears to have been a fixture at Code Pink events. According to the bio on her book We Got Issues!, she co-founded the Sista II Sista Freedom School for Young Women of Color and is the “former International Spokeswoman for the Universal Zulu Nation.”

The Universal Zulu Nation’s beliefs are expressed in a rambling, disjointed manifesto. The “Amazulus” declare, “The Bible has been tampered with,” and “all history books that contain falsehoods should be destroyed.” They echo the Nation of Islam’s “white devils” theology: “To put one race over the other because you feel your one race is better than the other race) is wrong and when you do this, you indeed have become a race of Devils, causing destruction to everything that is life or truth on this planet so-called Earth or in the Universe.” Their doctrinal statement contains numerous references to “this planet so-called Earth,” and to “bloodsuckers” in “secret societies.” A representative example states:
We, Amazulu, feel that no one should be in secret societies, because secret societies are Bloodsuckers of the poor or less fortunate people. Secret Societies do not wish to give knowledge to all in the Human Family, but wish to control Humans with truth and falseness mixed together, to rule countries, nations, cities and towns. These Humans everyday are bringing about a New World Order, under their rule of evil (SATAN). The Humans of Secret Societies wish to erase the memory of God, The Creator, and want to put themselves as the Lord of The World. Demons are what they are.

Luckily, it has a plan of action against the demons: “if we are attacked by an aggressor or oppressor (one or many who wish to do harm (PAIN) against Us), Amazulu then we believe and are taught that we should fight in The Name of Allah, Jah, Jehovah, Eloahim, The Creator, The Most High Supreme One, God.”

Luckily, Rha has moved on. Her book contains a blurb from Eve Ensler. She and her co-author did a show at the Apollo just before the 2004 elections entitled “Vaginas Rock, Chicks Vote,” produced by Ensler, Jane Fonda, and Ensler’s V-Day organization. Her book was funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation and others, and written in collaboration with Code Pink, the League of Young Voters, the Omega Institute, the Empowerment Institute, the Prison Moratorium Project, and the Center for Civic Participation.

9/11 as “Performance Art”
The editor and co-founder of PAPER Publishing Co., Kim Hastreiter, wrote that during the meeting, “I kept thinking about how after September 11th, every artist I knew agreed that the horror we had witnessed was actually a major piece of performance art that could not possibly have been conceived by a lawyer or a politician, but more likely by a jihadist with a wild imagination and an artist’s mind.” During the “breakout sessions,” she and others offered to form a “Department of Alternative Thinking” to “formally integrate creative brain consultation (performed gratis as a national service) as a required aspect into every detail of governmental decision-making, whether about arts education, the economy, health care, energy and environmental policy, national security, the country’s infrastructure or international policy.”

Various Pressure Groups
Others at the meeting believed deeply in using the arts to push a left-wing agenda. William Cleveland, of the Center for the Study of Art & Community, wrote some time ago America is undergoing an “inexorable” change away from “such core issues as: the loss of the nuclear family, the changing roles of men and women, the definition of right and wrong, our relationship to the earth, the distribution of wealth, freedom of expression, the importance of cultural identity and much more… As the grip of hierarchy, patrimony, and monoculture slowly fades, there is both jubilation and fear. Conflict is inevitable.” He ended by encouraging artists to “Join with those who are advocating positions that are in our long term self-interest” on such “national issues” as “national health insurance, civil rights, immigration reform, education reform, AIDS and many others” and “REWRITE THE DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN CULTURE.” (Emphasis in original.)

Others were more generic leftists. Among them was Nick Behunin of the HOPE Campaign, which credits Shepherd Fairey, the artist behind the Obama “Hope” poster, as a key partner. So was Matthew Brady, Creative Director of the Global Inheritance, which wishes to use “the power of creativity to create and push for progressive social change while rejecting conflict.” Liz Manne of Work in Progress, formerly in charge of marketing for the Sundance Channel, worked with MoveOn.org’s “10 Weeks” campaign in 2004. Also present was Milly Hawk Daniel, Vice President for Communications, PolicyLink, which describes itself as “a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity.” Finally, Maria Teresa Petersen, Founding Executive Director, Voto Latino, was in attendance.

An Explicitly Partisan Agenda
According to Hastreiter, after the White House’s presentations, the group was “invited” to break into small sessions and “ideate” on what to do next. Their reaction show they believed they were to promote a politicized, left-wing agenda.

Michelle Miller of the SEIU was explicitly partisan in her discussion of artists and health care reform. She suggested she and her partners: “Create a counter narrative to the Luntz memo/Republican talking points designed to destroy health care reform. They can offer creative, humorous voices that can think outside of white papers or New York Times op-eds to communicate effectively about the importance of health care reform and diminish the increasing attacks on our movement for reform. For example, the satirical webisodes SEIU is producing with comedy writers with content from Lutz [sic.] memo.”

Sally Kohn’s panel focused on Immigration Reform. She lamented the failure of the 2007 amnesty bill but hoped, “Artists and cultural organizers can play a critical role this year on helping advance the legislation, as well as over the coming years helping bring the humanity and personal/family stories of the issue to light.”

This seems to put the lie to Greg Craig’s insistence the OPE meetings did not politicize the NEA and the arts community. This was a meeting of far-leftists, invited to help shape policy and encouraged to motivate their equally radical followers to support Barack Obama. How on “so-called planet earth” did government officials find this collection of conspiracy theorists, radical protesters, and “goddesses” an acceptable group of partners?

Buffy Wicks, OPE Radical
One answer may be the radicalism of at least one OPE member. Prior to overseeing the Obama campaign in Missouri, Buffy Wicks worked for W*A*R*N*: Wal-Mart Alliance for Reform Now, a project of United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). The Washington Post refers to Wicks as “an antiwar activist” who served as WARN’s “political director.” WARN was funded exclusively by UFCW, which Fortune notes declared “war” on Wal-Mart after the corporation resisted unionization and put many of that union’s closed-shops out of business. UFCW is, with SEIU and other unions, a member of the 6-million-member Change To Win Coalition. In October 2005, UFCW announced “an exciting new partnership” between its Wal-Mart campaign and “two of the largest grassroots organizations in the country – Jobs with Justice and ACORN.” Jobs with Justice is one of the key U.S. organizers of the World Social Forum. The history of WARN affiliate ACORN is well-known. Despite its corruption (or because of it), the UFCW funded ACORN, giving it, SEIU and other unions $10 million from 2005-2008. From WARN, Wicks became field director of Obama’s primary campaign in California and deputy field director in Texas (for which a Hufftington Post blogger called her “Buffy the Hillary Slayer”), then headed up his general election campaign in Missouri, where Obama narrowly lost.

Now she works for Valerie Jarrett.

More Convergence with Jarrett
Writer Jeff Chang, who was at the May 12th meeting, discussed the gathering with the arts community, saying he saw this as an opportunity to radically change society. “If we are to be talking about demonopolization and re-regulation” of the media, he said, a “discussion has to be happening at the FCC.” And such a discussion is underway at the FCC, headed by Diversity Czar Mark Lloyd, who was reportedly recruited by Valerie Jarrett.

Chang then talked about bringing this “cultural policy” to a schoolhouse near you. “If we are serious about arts education and the Artist Corps notion of putting artists to work in the schools,” he said, “then the Department of Education needs to be involved, not to mention state departments of education.” Coincidentally, at the May 12 meeting, William Cleveland asked Joseph Reinstein, Michelle Obama’s deputy social secretary, about such a convergence, and Reinstein assured him, “President Obama has asked for greater cohesion and collaboration between agency work and departments, such as the Department of State, Department of Education [and] the White House.”

This is shocking in a time when we see videos of schoolchildren singing the praises of Barack Hussein Obama to the strains of “Jesus Loves the Little Children.”

Why Were They Invited?
Who drew up the invitation list for the May meeting? Why did numerous officials connected to Valerie Jarrett – and perhaps Jarrett herself – invite this group of extremist radicals to help shape U.S. policy?

The Obama administration has dramatically increased funding for the NEA, then used its inside channel – Valerie Jarrett’s OPE and Michelle Obama’s office – to steer grant recipients toward promoting its legislative agenda. The three incidents prove the invaluable role Valerie Jarrett’s Office of Public Engagement played in this process and how comfortable that group, headed by Obama’s alter ego, is with Marxists, hatemongers, and the deranged Left. This is more troubling yet, as Jarrett has often said she and Barack Obama share “a kind of mind meld.” The president said Jarrett is “always very insistent on me trusting my instincts.” Now, Jarrett’s office appears to be the conduit of radical leftists into the White House.

Van Jones is no anomaly; he is a reflection of Jarrett and the Obamas’s most deeply held beliefs.
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Old 10-06-2009, 01:31 PM
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Arrow Obama's Gitmo blame game




Greg Craig, the top in-house lawyer for President Barack Obama, is getting the blame for botching the strategy to shut down Guantanamo Bay prison by January — so much so that he’s expected to leave the White House in short order.

But sources familiar with the process believe Craig is being set-up as the fall guy and say the blame for missing the deadline extends well beyond him.
Instead, it was a widespread breakdown on the political, legislative, policy and planning fronts that contributed to what is shaping up as one of Obama’s most high-profile setbacks, these people say.

The White House misread the congressional mood – as it found out abruptly in May, when the Senate voted 90-6 against funds for closing the base after Republicans stoked fears about bringing prisoners to the U.S. The House also went on record last week opposing bringing Gitmo detainees here.
The White House misread the public mood – as roughly half of Americans surveyed say they disagree with Obama’s approach. A strong element of NIMBY-ism permeates those results, as Americans say they don’t want the prisoners in their backyards.

But most of all Obama’s aides mistook that political consensus from the campaign trail for a deep commitment in Washington to do whatever it takes to close the prison.

“The administration came in reading there to be wide support for closing Guantanamo at home and abroad, and I think it misread that attitude,” said Matthew Waxman, a Columbia law professor who held Defense and State Department positions on detainee policy. “In general, they were right….but there was very little willingness to accept the costs and risks of getting it done.”

The White House declined to make Craig available for an interview, or discuss the Gitmo deliberations in detail, but several allies and even some critics scoffed at suggestions that Craig bears the main responsibility for the missteps.

“This clearly was a decision that had the full support of the entire national security team,” said Ken Gude, who tracks Guantanamo issues for the liberal Center for American Progress think tank. “It’s typical Washington that someone has their head on the chopping block, but it’s ridiculous that it’s Craig.”
“The implication that this was the brainchild of the White House counsel is not really credible,” said Elisa Massimino of Human Rights First.

When Obama signed a series of executive orders on Guantanamo during his second full day in office, what grabbed attention was not his promise to close the prison but his pledge to do it within one year.

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Old 10-06-2009, 01:45 PM
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Post PAPER: Obama furious at Gen. McChrystal speech on Afghanistan

White House angry at General Stanley McChrystal speech on Afghanistan



05 Oct 2009
The relationship between President Barack Obama and the commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan has been put under severe strain by Gen Stanley McChrystal's comments on strategy for the war.

According to sources close to the administration, Gen McChrystal shocked and angered presidential advisers with the bluntness of a speech given in London last week.

The next day he was summoned to an awkward 25-minute face-to-face meeting on board Air Force One on the tarmac in Copenhagen, where the president had arrived to tout Chicago's unsuccessful Olympic bid.

In an apparent rebuke to the commander, Robert Gates, the Defence Secretary, said: "It is imperative that all of us taking part in these deliberations, civilians and military alike, provide our best advice to the president, candidly but privately."

When asked on CNN about the commander's public lobbying for more troops, Gen Jim Jones, national security adviser, said:

“Ideally, it's better for military advice to come up through the chain of command.”

Asked if the president had told the general to tone down his remarks, he told CBS: "I wasn't there so I can't answer that question. But it was an opportunity for them to get to know each other a little bit better. I am sure they exchanged direct views."

An adviser to the administration said: "People aren't sure whether McChrystal is being naïve or an upstart. To my mind he doesn't seem ready for this Washington hard-ball and is just speaking his mind too plainly."

In London, Gen McChrystal, who heads the 68,000 US troops in Afghanistan as well as the 100,000 Nato forces, flatly rejected proposals to switch to a strategy more reliant on drone missile strikes and special forces operations against al-Qaeda.

He told the Institute of International and Strategic Studies that the formula, which is favoured by Vice-President Joe Biden, would lead to "Chaos-istan".

When asked whether he would support it, he said: "The short answer is: No."

He went on to say: "Waiting does not prolong a favorable outcome. This effort will not remain winnable indefinitely, and nor will public support."
The remarks have been seen by some in the Obama administration as a barbed reference to the slow pace of debate within the White House.
Gen McChrystal delivered a report on Afghanistan requested by the president on Aug 31, but Mr Obama held only his second "principals meeting" on the issue last week.

He will hold at least one more this week, but a decision on how far to follow Gen McChrystal's recommendation to send 40,000 more US troops will not be made for several weeks.

A military expert said: "They still have working relationship but all in all it's not great for now."

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Last edited by Paparock; 10-06-2009 at 03:36 PM..
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:14 PM
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Exclamation Muzzling ObamaCare Critics

Muzzling ObamaCare Critics
Obama and his allies are ready to shut down debate by any means necessary
by Floyd and Mary Beth Brown



Barack Obama and sneaky congressional leaders don’t want you to know what’s in ObamaCare. They have made it clear that they will hide all the details from you. When Sen. Jim Bunning offered an amendment that would have required that the language of the bill be made available to the American people 72 hours prior to a vote, Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee squashed it.

It’s becoming more apparent that Obama and his allies in Congress don’t want the American people to know or read or hear anything negative about ObamaCare. They are willing to shut down debate by any means necessary.

We believe they are laying the groundwork to enact ObamaCare in the dead of night, under the cover of darkness before any of us are any the wiser.

Michael Franc, writing for the Heritage Foundation’s blog, The Foundry, gives us the details: “During the Senate Finance Committee mark up of the Baucus health bill… Senator Bunning of Kentucky put forth an innovative amendment. This amendment stipulated that before voting on the measure in Committee, legislative language would have to be accessible to the public for 72 hours and that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) would need to publish an official tally of how much this bill will cost the American people and what the real impact will be on health costs.”

Franc continued: “The amendment failed 11-12 on nearly a party line vote. Senator Blanche Lincoln (AR) was the sole Democrat to support this attempt at transparency. The bottom line: when the committee completes its work on this re-make of one-sixth of our economy, Senators will have voted on a phantom – a bill that does not exist with costs that are unknowable until, that is, the unelected legislative draftsmen write the real bill in some back room on Capitol Hill.”

It’s bad enough when our federal legislators vote on bills they have not even bothered to read. But to actually start “negotiations” on 200 pages of notes and ideas on a bill that has not even been written? Then in the heights of arrogance, they squash an amendment that would require them to give you 72 hours to read what will likely be thousands of pages before they vote on it.

But what’s even worse, Obama is trying to muzzle, and intimidate, those who dare to speak out against ObamaCare.

Managed care provider Humana published a letter to its members warning them of potential drastic cuts to Medicare (specifically the Medicare Advantage program) under ObamaCare. It urged its members to contact Congress.

Specifically, Humana said; “if the proposed funding cut levels [in the current health care legislation] become law, millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare Advantage health plans so valuable.”

It was a very valid point to raise as such proposals are on the table, and it makes all the sense in the world to alert people to what is going on and motivate them to call their elected officials. But it didn’t take the long for our government to come down hard on Humana. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) initiated an investigation and sent an ominous gag-order to Humana:

“As we continue our research into this issue, we are instructing you to immediately discontinue all such mailings to beneficiaries and to remove any related materials directed to Medicare enrollees from your Web sites.”

And Sen. Max Baucus demanded that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launch an “investigation” against Humana as well, claiming the letter put forth “false information.” Baucus snidely asked, “Does the First Amendment include lies?”

Of course, there’s just one small problem with Baucus’ ranting accusation. Humana was voicing an opinion that was well grounded in fact. Bob Ellis with Dakotavoice.com wrote: “Even the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirms what the White House doesn’t want to get out, with CBO head Douglas Elmendorf telling the Senate this on Tuesday.”

If nothing else that has transpired up to this point has convinced you that ObamaCare must be rejected, these shenanigans should.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:46 PM
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Post Even the Far Left are mad at Obama

Even the Far Left are mad at Obama



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Old 10-07-2009, 02:59 PM
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Exclamation Obama cuts off funding for center documenting Iranian human rights violations

Obama cuts off funding for center documenting Iranian human rights violations

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2009/10/ob...iolations.html

http://corner.nationalreview.com/pos...mE4ZjkzMWIzMzg


Yet another Which-Side-Is-Obama-On Alert: "Obama Cuts Off Funding for Iranian Human-Rights Documentation," by Michael Rubin at The Corner, October 6:
I've got to say, even for the Obama administration, this is a real shocker.

The Clinton State Department has decided to cut off all funding for the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC), which was compiling lists of protestors imprisoned in this summer's unrest, as well as those who were killed in the crackdown.

IHRDC is what human-rights advocates should be: methodical, precise, and apolitical in their work. And yet, the Obama administration has, without explanation, cut off all federal funding to the group which has consistently fulfilled its mandate.

Anyone, across the political spectrum who has any interest in human rights in Iran keeps the IHRDC reports on their desks.
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Old 10-07-2009, 04:10 PM
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Lightbulb The $66 Trillion Question

The $66 Trillion Question
How will the government pay the staggering national debt?
by Vasko Kohlmayer


Reporting on the recent protest march in Washington, the AP interviewed Terri Hall, a participant, who said that she “felt compelled to become political” because of her concerns about government spending. Hall thinks that America’s deficits are out of control, which, in her view, is “putting the country at risk.”

Terri Hall is but one of millions of Americans awakening to the fact that their country is in serious fiscal trouble. What most have not yet grasped is just how dire the situation really is. To put it plainly, the US is bankrupt. This is no hyperbole, but a reflection of the fact that the federal government has contracted more obligations than it can possibly make good on.

The federal government’s overall indebtedness is essentially the sum of two figures. The first is the national debt, which currently stands at $11.9 trillion. The second is the amount of implicit obligations inherent in entitlement programs. These are conservatively estimated to be in the area of $55 trillion. This makes for the sum total of at least $66 trillion.

The federal government currently receives about $2 trillion in revenues – from individual income taxes, corporate taxes, tariffs, various fees, etc. – out of the economy whose size is roughly $14 trillion. Having accumulated a debt burden that exceeds its annual income by a factor of thirty, the federal government cannot conceivably meet its obligations.

There is a solution to this problem, and it’s actually quite simple. Since the national debt is the cumulative sum of annual federal deficits, to eliminate it the government would have to stop overspending and use surpluses to pay the debt down over time. In other words, the government would have to live within its means and not spend more than what it receives in revenues.

This, however, does not seem to be a realistic possibility. The federal government posted deficits in all but five of the last fifty years. Things have been getting worse in recent past when deficits climbed to record levels under President George W. Bush. Yet Bush’s deficits seem small when compared with those of President Obama. The deficit for the fiscal year that just ended last week broke all peacetime records both in absolute and relative numbers. At some $1.7 trillion, the current deficit nearly four times higher than even under Bush’s stewardship.

The president’s own team projects high deficits for the long term. This will, of course, add greatly to our national debt. So much so that, by the president’s own estimates, the national debt will exceed the critical level of 100 percent GDP in less than 24 months. Bear in mind that these kinds of estimates are almost always too optimistic. The reality will likely be worse.

So, how does the government plan to tackle the debt problem? The short answer is that it doesn’t. There is currently no government plan to get a handle on our vast and growing national debt. There is only a plan to grow it more, and dramatically so. The result is a shockingly irresponsible economic policy: The deeper the country fall’s into debt, the greater is the political leadership’s determination to borrow more.

Given the debt’s immense size and the fact that there is no political drive to bring it under control, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the US will be debt ridden for years to come. Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific, has compared our national debt to a Ponzi scheme similar to that of Bernard Madoff. Schiff is not the only one making this claim. Earlier this year,Nouriel Roubini, one of America’s leading financial experts, used the same metaphor when writing in Forbes. The title of his article was The United States of Ponzi. Wrote Roubini:
“A government that will issue trillions of dollars of new debt to pay for this severe recession and socialize private losses may risk becoming a Ponzi government if – in the medium term – it does not return to fiscal discipline and debt sustainability.”
Since this was written in March of this year, the government’s own projections make it abundantly clear that there is no plan to return to “fiscal discipline” or “debt sustainability.” The government borrows every time there is a new bill to pay. Then, when interest comes due, it borrows for that as well. Roubini’s fears have been fulfilled.

We are fast approaching the point when the debt burden will become so overwhelming that the government will have no choice but to repudiate it. Most observes think this will take the form of high inflation, which is really a default in disguise, since creditors get back only a portion of their original investment value. In an interview with Bloomberg earlier this year, legendary investor Marc Faber stated, “I am 100 percent sure that the U.S. will go into hyperinflation.” Given Faber’s long record of accurate economic forecasting, his statement should give us a pause.

As far as entitlements are concerned, the prospects of a responsible solution are equally bleak. To begin with, the $55 trillion figure we gave above is a conservative one. There are many who think that the amount of implicit obligations inherent in Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid is far higher. One of them is Richard Fisher, President of Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, who estimates that the number is well over $100 trillion. This is what Fisher said last month at the 55th Annual Meeting of the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce:

“Our fiscal predicament is compounded by the embedded unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare. By our calculation at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the present value of the unfunded debt of these two entitlement programs has reached $104 trillion, with $88.9 trillion of that due to Medicare alone.”

At more than seven times America’s GDP, these are truly mind-boggling figures. But even the lower-end estimates are gargantuan by any standard. Moreover, there is always a good chance that America’s entitlement liabilities will be further expanded by some misguided legislation. One such possibility is amnesty for illegal immigrants, which would pull millions of poor immigrants into the entitlement racket. Another is universal healthcare which, if passed, would effectively become the largest entitlement of all.

The only way to reduce the vast entitlement encumbrance is by cutting benefits. The possibility of that happening, however, is even more remote than that of deficit elimination. Entitlement reform is the third rail of American politics: Those who try achieve it, as George W. Bush did a few years ago, will be savaged politically.

The only thing politicians seem serious about when it comes to entitlements is hiding the impending disaster from the American public. This is why some years back they decided to take them off our national balance sheet. They disingenuously argued that entitlements do not represent hard obligations; they can be adjusted at will by legislation. This was cynicism of the worst sort, since every politician knows that the likelihood of passing such legislation is virtually nonexistent.

There exists no plausible scenario under which our federal government could meet its liabilities. Burdened with growing obligations it cannot fulfill, the government is dragging the country toward fiscal ruin. And no one in a position of power can answer the $66 trillion question: Where will America get all that money?
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The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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Old 10-07-2009, 04:33 PM
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Exclamation Ayers admits writing “Dreams From My Father”

Ayers admits writing “Dreams From My Father”
By James Simpson

Last Friday we posted an article on these pages asserting Bill Ayers’ authorship of President Barack Obama’s ‘Dreams From My Father,’ based on claims made by Obama biographer Christopher Andersen. It is possible that we have now gotten direct confirmation of this from Bill Ayers himself.

Anne Leary of Back Yard Conservative was passing through Washington, DC’s Reagan National Airport yesterday, and was surprised to come across Bill Ayers at Starbucks: “scruffy, thinning beard, dippy earring, and the wire rims, heading to order.”

She struck up a conversation with him and snapped the accompanying photo. (I interviewed Anne about it, and thank her for permission to run the photo she took.)

Ayers was in Washington, he told her, for a conference on education.
“That’s what I do, education,” he said. “You shouldn’t believe everything you hear about me… You know nothing about me.”

To which she responded, “I said, I know plenty–I’m from Chicago, a conservative blogger, and I’ll post this.”

I bet his heart skipped a beat on that one.

But he didn’t scowl, and didn’t run off as he has been known to do.
Instead, unprompted, he blurted out: “I wrote ‘Dreams From My Father…

Michelle asked me to.” Then he added “And if you can prove it we can split the royalties.”

Anne responded, “Stop pulling my leg!”

But he repeated insistently, “I wrote it, the wording was similar [to Ayers' other writing.]“

Anne responded, “I believe you probably heavily edited it.”
Ayers stated firmly, “I wrote it.”

via American Thinker: Ayers admits writing Dreams.
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:54 PM
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Exclamation Obama Declares War on Free Speech

Obama Declares War on Free Speech
by Robert Spencer




In Human Events today I discuss the latest bad news in the Obama Administration's ongoing quiet war against free speech:
The Obama Administration has now actually co-sponsored an anti-free speech resolution at the United Nations. Approved by the U.N. Human Rights Council last Friday, the resolution, cosponsored by the U.S. and Egypt, calls on states to condemn and criminalize "any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence."

What could be wrong with that? Plenty.

First of all, there's that little matter of the First Amendment, which preserves Americans' right to free speech and freedom of the press, which are obviously mutually inclusive. Any law that infringed on speech at all -- far less in such vague and sweeping terms -- would be unconstitutional.

"Incitement" and "hatred" are in the eye of the beholder -- or more precisely, in the eye of those who make such determinations. The powerful can decide to silence the powerless by classifying their views as "hate speech." The Founding Fathers knew that the freedom of speech was an essential safeguard against tyranny: the ability to dissent, freely and publicly and without fear of imprisonment or other reprisal, is a cornerstone of any genuine republic. If some ideas cannot be heard and are proscribed from above, the ones in control are tyrants, however benevolent they may be.

Now no less distinguished a personage than the President of the United States has given his imprimatur to this tyranny; the implications are grave. The resolution also condemns "negative stereotyping of religions and racial groups," which is of course an oblique reference to accurate reporting about the jihad doctrine and Islamic supremacism -- for that, not actual negative stereotyping or hateful language, is always the focus of whining by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and allied groups. They never say anything when people like Osama bin Laden and Khaled Sheikh Mohammed issue detailed Koranic expositions justifying violence and hatred; but when people like Geert Wilders and others report about such expositions, that's "negative stereotyping."

But we still have the First Amendment, right? Legal expert Eugene Volokh, in an excellent analysis of the resolution, explains why it isn't that easy to dismiss this. "If the U.S. backs a resolution that urges the suppression of some speech," he explains, "presumably we are taking the view that all countries -- including the U.S. -- should adhere to this resolution. If we are constitutionally barred from adhering to it by our domestic constitution, then we're implicitly criticizing that constitution, and committing ourselves to do what we can to change it." He adds that in order to be consistent, "the Administration would presumably have to take what steps it can to ensure that supposed 'hate speech' that incites hostility will indeed be punished. It would presumably be committed to filing amicus briefs supporting changes in First Amendment law to allow such punishment, and in principle perhaps the appointment of Justices who would endorse such changes (or even the proposal of express constitutional amendments that would work such changes)."

Last year the Secretary General of the OIC chief Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu issued a warning: "We sent a clear message to the West regarding the red lines that should not be crossed" regarding free speech about Islam and terrorism. And he reported success: "The official West and its public opinion are all now well-aware of the sensitivities of these issues. They have also started to look seriously into the question of freedom of expression from the perspective of its inherent responsibility, which should not be overlooked."

For the first time, an American President has bowed to the OIC's demands and taken cognizance of that "responsibility" -- after years in which George W. Bush resisted such initiatives at the UN.

In October 2008, I wrote this in Human Events about early signs that Barack Obama had no great love for the freedom of speech: "If candidate Obama is willing to have people arrested when they say things about him that he doesn't like, will President Obama have the vision or courage or understanding to stand up against the OIC when it demands restrictions on freedom of speech at precisely the same time that he wants to build bridges to the Islamic world and demonstrate his power to restore hope and bring change to old stalemated conflicts?"

The answer is in. The answer is no.
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:23 PM
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Arrow Decision Time on Afghanistan

Decision Time on Afghanistan
Will Obama accept General McChrystal’s strategy for victory?
by Jacob Laksin
If there were doubts about President Obama’s commitment to the war in Afghanistan, this week’s events have been nowhere near as clarifying as the White House may have hoped.

In a meeting with Congressional leaders earlier this week, the president firmly insisted that he would not approve a “dramatic reduction” of American forces. Nor would the U.S. mission change from pacifying the country to a more limited counterterrorist action aimed at the Taliban insurgency. At the same time, Obama signaled that he was not ready to side with his generals in the field, most notably NATO commander Stanley McChrystal, in supporting the buildup of 30,000 to 40,000 troops that they consider necessary for the success of the current mission.
The president, in short, is decidedly undecided.

Obama’s ambivalence reflects the growing rift within his own administration – and within the Democratic Party more broadly. Obama entered office with a professed commitment to the war in Afghanistan, reproaching the outgoing Bush administration for what he called its lack of “focus” on that crucial theater.

But the president’s early enthusiasm has not proved contagious. According to the Washington Post, senior White House officials are “building a case internally for a narrower counterterrorism strategy in Afghanistan that would maintain roughly the current troop level and rely on expedited training of Afghan troops, stepped-up Predator drone strikes against al-Qaeda operatives and support for Pakistan’s government in its fight against the Taliban.”

This curtailed strategy reportedly finds its most senior supporter in Vice President Joe Biden. Despite a dubious background in foreign policy strategizing – in 2007, the then-senator notoriously endorsed splitting Iraq along ethnic and religious lines, an idea that has not aged well – Biden has called on the president to scale back the military presence in Afghanistan. Instead of working to win civilian cooperation and providing protection against Taliban terrorists, Biden wants a less comprehensive campaign that would target the Taliban and stand up Afghan forces. This strategy has won Biden plaudits from disaffected Democrats, many of whom see Afghanistan as a lost cause. But it also has some highly significant detractors: the generals overseeing the Afghan campaign.

Chief among them is General McChrystal. In contrast to the backroom intrigue of Washington politics, there has never been any doubt about the general’s preferred strategy. In a compact counterinsurgency guide released this August, McChrystal wrote that the first priority of U.S. troops in Afghanistan – and the most crucial to defeating the Taliban insurgency – should be protecting Afghan civilians.

McChrystal’s guide serves as a trenchant rejoinder to the narrow-war theme gaining traction among Democrats. Anticipating the Biden strategy of search-and-destroy combat, McChrystal warned that victory in Afghanistan would not be achieved solely from superior firepower. “We will not win simply by killing insurgents,” the general wrote. Instead of conventional military tactics, McChrystal pushed for troops to conduct community meetings, local projects, and work programs that could win Afghans to their side and undermine the influence of the Taliban and affiliated jihadists. “Earn the support of the people and the war is won, regardless of how many militants are killed or captured,” McChrystal explained.

As a corollary, McChrystal noted that American troops would not stabilize the country merely by rushing Afghan troops into battle. A different kind of relationship was required, one in which American troops would not simply train Afghan forces, but also “partner” with them by living and training together and integrating their command structure.

If all this sounds familiar, it’s because it is a version of the “clear, hold and build” strategy that has worked such wonders in Iraq. It’s no surprise that the architect of that earlier strategy, General David Pertaeus, now the head of the U.S. Central Command, has tacitly offered his support for McChrystal’s plan, asserting that Afghanistan requires a “sustained and substantial commitment” – a subtle but unmistakable rebuff of the lighter footprint alternative.

Yet President Obama remains noncommittal. That was not always the case. It was as recently as August 2007, just prior to the Iraq troop surge, that a prominent Democratic politician was making a provocative appeal for the U.S. to abandon its limited counter-terror tactics in Afghanistan in favor of a broader campaign to secure the country. “We’ve got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there,” the politician declared. That politician, of course, was Barack Obama.

What has changed? The politics, for one thing. According to recent polls, Afghanistan is an unpopular war, with just 40 percent of the public backing the war effort. Another source of concern for the administration is the defection of fellow Democrats. John Kerry, the current chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, spoke for many in his party when he insisted this week that “it would be irresponsible” to send more troops to Afghanistan until it becomes clear “what is possible in Afghanistan.” (How this could be assessed unless commanders are given full resources to carry out their mission, including the required troops, Kerry did not bother to explain.)

Still, there are indications that the president is not yet willing to yield to the increasingly hostile political climate. In a speech earlier this week, he promised that “we are developing the capacity and the cooperation to deny a safe haven to any who threaten America and its allies.” That goal that would seem to have more in common with General McChrystal’s strategy than with Biden’s. Encouragingly, Obama also said that he continues to support McChrystal. “I’m the one who hired him,” he reportedly said. “I put him there to give me a frank assessment.”

The general has now delivered a strategy that he believes can turn the tide of a faltering military campaign. The president should have the courage to heed his counsel.
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:30 AM
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Arrow Saudi publisher: Obama's Nobel is good because he talked to Hamas

Saudi publisher: Obama's Nobel is good because he talked to Hamas

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2009/10/sa...-to-hamas.html

http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-10-09-voa14.cfm


And another Saudi papers is happy because Obama has taken "many extraordinary steps in trying to achieve a rapprochement with the Arab and Islamic world."

"Arab Reaction Overwhelmingly Positive to Obama Nobel Prize," by Edward Yeranian for the Voice of America, October 9 (thanks to News4U):
[...] Jamal Khashoggi, who is the editor and publisher of the influential Saudi daily Al-Watan noted that he believes Mr. Obama won the Peace prize for his overtures to the Arab and Islamic world, and especially for his June address at Cairo University.

" It is a good sign and it is very quick for a president to receive the Nobel Prize even though he didn't finish a whole year in his term," said Khashoggi. "But, his speech in Cairo was a very good blueprint for peace. He did not only address Israeli's interests as American presidents usually do, he addressed also Palestinians concerns and rights. Not only Palestinians ... he even talked to Hamas. That was really good. I was there in Cairo and I was very much impressed. It is a very good step. I just hope that Hamas and others in the Palestinian camp will realize that."

The popular, Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV broke into its regular news programming to make the announcement that President Obama had won the prize, noting that the President had taken "many extraordinary steps in trying to achieve a rapprochement with the Arab and Islamic world."
Click here and>Read it all.
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:10 AM
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Arrow White House Adviser Joins UK Interview with Anti-Democratic Hizb ut-Tahrir Group

White House Adviser Joins UK Interview with Anti-Democratic Hizb ut-Tahrir Group



U.S. President Obama’s adviser on Muslim affairs, Dalia Mogahed, was broadcast on a UK television show titled Muslimah Dilemma in an interview along with the anti-democratic supremacist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, where she stated that Sharia was associated with “gender justice ” or “justice for women.” In April 2009, Dalia Mogahed was appointed by President Obama to serve on the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership.
President Barack Obama's adviser on Muslim affairs, Dalia Mogahed


Dalia Mogahed joined the discussion on “What Muslim Women Want” along with UK Hizb ut-Tahrir’s national women’s officer Nazreen Nawaz.

According to a report by the Daily Telegraph, the program was “hosted by Ibtihal Bsis, a member of the extremist Hizb ut Tahrir party.”

The interview with White House Adviser Dalia Mogahed is being promoted by the Hizb ut-Tahrir web site and is on YouTube.
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:17 AM
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Arrow Taliban cannot be eliminated, Obama administration concludes

Taliban cannot be eliminated, Obama administration concludes



WASHINGTON — As it reviews its Afghanistan policy for the second time this year, the Obama administration has concluded that the Taliban cannot be eliminated as a political or military movement, regardless of how many combat forces are sent into battle.

The Taliban and the question of how the administration should regard the Islamist movement have assumed a central place in the policy deliberations under way at the White House, according to administration officials participating in the meetings.

Based on a stark assessment by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, and six hours of debate among the senior national security staff so far, the administration has established guidelines on its strategy to confront the group.

The goal, senior administration officials said Thursday, is to weaken the Taliban to the degree that it cannot challenge the Afghan government or re-establish the haven it provided for al-Qaida before the 2001 U.S. invasion. Those objectives appear largely consistent with McChrystal's strategy, which he says "cannot be focused on seizing terrain or destroying insurgent forces" but should center on persuading the population to support the government.

"The Taliban is a deeply rooted political movement in Afghanistan, so that requires a different approach than al-Qaida," said a senior administration official who has participated in the meetings but has not advocated a particular strategy.

Some inside the White House have cited Hezbollah, the armed Lebanese political movement, as an example of what the Taliban could become. Hezbollah is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government, but has political support within Lebanon and participates, sometimes through intimidation, in the political process.

Some White House advisers have noted that, while Hezbollah is a source of regional instability, it is not a threat to the United States. The administration official said the Hezbollah example has not been mentioned specifically to President Barack Obama and has been raised only informally outside the Situation Room meetings so far.

Obama identified al-Qaida as the chief target of his Afghan policy in March, when he announced he would dispatch an additional 21,000 U.S. troops to the region, and his advisers have emphasized during the policy review that the administration views al-Qaida and the Taliban as philosophically distinct organizations. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday that "there is clearly a difference between an entity that, through a global, transnational jihadist network, would seek to strike the U.S. homeland" and the Taliban.

"I think the Taliban are obviously exceedingly bad people that have done awful things," Gibbs said. "Their capability is somewhat different, though, on that continuum of transnational threats."
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:14 PM
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Post US Democrats: Obama Critics are 'Aligning with Terrorists'

US Democrats: Obama Critics are 'Aligning with Terrorists'
(CNN) — A Democratic National Committee spokesman said Friday the GOP has "thrown in its lot with the terrorists" in criticizing the president's Nobel Peace Prize award.

“The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists – the Taliban and Hamas this morning – in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize," DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse said in a statement.

Continue reading at>http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com...th-terrorists/
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:36 PM
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The only ones who have thrown in its lot with the terrorists, is the Obama administration. Thats why they gave him the Nobel Peace (My foot) Prize.

Prize: Is something you get as a reward for an action. Obama has not only not brought peace in his 9 months of Presidency, but things have all gotten worse, in the world!

Of the 250 candidates, was Obama really the most deserving? Or is this just a way to hit at George W Bush and his suporters by the Nobel "Peace" Prize committee?
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Old 10-10-2009, 04:32 PM
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Arrow Tax the Sick

Tax the Sick
Obama's new plan....
by Dick Morris


Faced with a need to scrounge for revenue to fund his plan for health care, President Barack Obama and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus have come up with a brilliant new idea: Tax the sick!

In a new amendment to the health care bill, they propose to limit the deductibility of medical expenses on income taxes.

Now, taxpayers may deduct any medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of their Adjusted Gross Income. Obama and Baucus want to raise that threshold to 10% as long as the taxpayer is under 65.

Eight million Americans are sick enough and poor enough that they have to pay more than 7.5% of their income in medical expenses. And it is these folks that the liberals Obama and Baucus plan to tax! Six million of them earn less than $75,000 a year!

For a family earning $75,000 a year and facing out-of-pocket medical bills of $7, 500, this proposal would cost them about $600 a year in extra taxes.

And let’s remember who it is that they are taxing. This proposal affects people whose incomes are so limited and whose medical costs are so high that they exceed 7.5% of their pre-tax income.

Their proposal literally hopes to raise $20 billion over ten years by taxing sick people.

The Democrats defend their proposal by saying that it would discourage health care spending. But nobody deliberately spends 7.5% of their income on medical costs unless they are pretty sick and needy.

Obama and Baucus have singled out the sickest among the middle class for this heinous tax. (The poor will not have to pay it because they are eligible for Medicaid). Originally, the Democrats continued their war on the elderly by proposing to tax everyone who spends more than the 7.5% threshold on medical costs. But they retreated when it became clear that six million elderly would be hit with the tax. Now they just sock it to eight million sic k, middle income Americans.

This tax, and their desire to cut Medicare and Medicaid by $500 billion, makes Obama and Baucus unlike any Democrats I have ever known.

Democrats, at least when I worked for Clinton, defended the elderly and the sick rather than cut the former and tax the latter.

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