Obama Could Alter Stance Of Federal Courts….And Worse

Posted on February 7, 2012, 4:30pm

These aren’t even the most dangerous appointments Obama could make. Justice Kennedy is retiring soon and Ginsberg is not far behind him. All it takes is one more appointment and the Supreme Court is a liberal one, with at least three Leftist judges.

AP – A second term for President Barack Obama would allow him to expand his replacement of Republican-appointed majorities with Democratic ones on the nation’s appeals courts, the final stop for almost all challenged federal court rulings.

Despite his slow start in nominating judges and Republican delays in Senate confirmations, Obama has still managed to alter the balance of power on four of the nation’s 13 circuit courts of appeals. Given a second term, Obama could have the chance to install Democratic majorities on several others.

Fourteen of the 25 appeals court judges nominated by Obama replaced Republican appointees.

The next president, whether it’s Obama or a Republican, also has a reasonable shot at transforming the majority on the Supreme Court, because three justices representing the closely divided court’s liberal and conservative wings, as well as its center, will turn 80 before the next presidential term ends.

The three justices are Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the leader of the court’s liberal wing, conservative Antonin Scalia, and Anthony Kennedy, who leans conservative but on some issues provides a decisive vote for the liberals.

The next high court opening would cause a titanic confirmation fight if it would allow a Republican president to cement conservative control of the court by replacing Ginsburg or if Obama could give Democratic appointees a working majority for the first time in decades by replacing Scalia or Kennedy.

The prospect of such dramatic change on the Supreme Court, along with the justices’ strikingly high-profile election-year docket could heighten the judiciary’s importance as an election issue, said Curt Levey, who heads the conservative Committee for Justice. The justices will hear arguments on Obama’s health care overhaul in March and Arizona’s immigration crackdown in April. The court also could soon decide whether to hear a Texas affirmative action case challenging the use of race as a factor in college admissions.

Even one new justice can produce dramatic change. Justice Samuel Alito replaced the more moderate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and shifted the outcome in cases on abortion, campaign finance and other key issues, even though both were appointed by Republicans.

Openings on the circuit courts of appeals get much less attention, but those courts have the last say in most legal disputes that are appealed in the federal system. Only about 80 cases make it to the Supreme Court every year.

There are still more Republicans than Democrats on the circuit appeals courts and on the entire federal bench. But if Obama merely filled existing vacancies, Democratic appointees would be the majority on the influential court of appeals in Washington, where four current Supreme Court justices once served, and the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Republicans also maintain their edge on the 10th Circuit in Denver only because two judgeships are empty.

Two other appeals courts on which Republicans have comfortable majorities could shift over the next four years. The Chicago-based 7th Circuit has four judges in their 70s who were chosen by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. In the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit, Judge Emilio Garza, a Republican appointee, will take senior status in August, a move that will open a seat while Garza takes a smaller caseload. Two Reagan picks in their 70s remain on the court.

Twelve Reagan appointees now in their 70s remain on circuit appeals courts or, in the case of Scalia and Kennedy, the Supreme Court.

Republican presidents, in recent decades, have been more aggressive than Democrats in filling those seats with younger, more like-minded lawyers.

Many nominees of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were in their early 40s, some even in their 30s, and with reputations as bold conservatives. By contrast, Obama has frustrated some liberal interest groups mainly by favoring older nominees over younger ones who might be the Democratic equivalents of some of the Reagan and Bush picks. Obama’s two youngest appeals court nominees, Goodwin Liu and Caitlin Halligan, were stymied by Republican filibusters in the Senate.

The average age of Obama-nominated appeals court judges is more than 55 years old, higher than any president’s going back to Jimmy Carter, according to the liberal interest group Alliance for Justice. The age of these judges matters in an era when presidents regularly look to the circuit appeals courts as the pool for Supreme Court candidates. Younger judges have a chance to develop a record that presidents can examine, yet still be young enough to be considered for the high court.

Alito and Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas all became appellate judges in their early 40s. Chief Justice John Roberts, a Republican appointee, and Justice Elena Kagan, a Democrat, would have been on the appeals court in Washington before their 40th birthdays had senators not blocked their confirmations. Roberts had to wait another decade before becoming an appeals court judge, while Kagan is the only justice who did not serve as an appellate judge.

Obama’s picks have yet to surprise anyone with their decisions, said Levey, head of the conservative interest group. “So Obama’s liberal critics can rest assured that if he’s re-elected, his transformation of the appeals courts will make a big difference in the law.”

Party labels do not always foretell a case’s outcome. During recent challenges to the Obama administration’s health care overhaul, Republican appeals court judges in Cincinnati and Washington cast deciding votes upholding the law, while a Democratic appointee in Atlanta voted to strike down the requirement that most people buy health insurance or pay a penalty.

Still, there is wide agreement that Obama picks have sharply altered the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which had been dominated by conservative, Republican appointees.

Obama could alter stance of federal appeals courts

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The New York Times Pretends The Ayatollah’s Not Such A Bad Guy

Posted on February 5, 2012, 8:35pm

The New York Times doesn’t lie. They filter. This is an example of the pretend world in which the Left lives.

Weekly Standard – On February 3, during a rare Friday prayer lecture at Tehran University, Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Iran would “support and help any nations, any groups fighting against the Zionist regime across the world, and we are not afraid of declaring this.” Khamenei continued, “The Zionist regime is a true cancer tumor on this region that should be cut off. And it definitely will be cut off.”

This threat by the most powerful man in the Iranian regime to eradicate the nation of Israel was televised and reported by many news outlets. The “cancer tumor” quotation was in the third paragraph, for example, of the Washington Post’s Saturday story.

The New York Times also covered Khamenei’s speech Saturday. But the paper–amazingly–chose not to quote the “cancer tumor” remark. Here’s how the Times reported Khamanei’s speech:

In Tehran, the speech by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made during Friday Prayer and broadcast live to the nation, came amid deepening American concern about a possible military strike on Iran’s nuclear enrichment sites by Israel, whose leaders delivered blunt new warnings on Thursday about what they called the need to stop Iran’s nuclear program. Israel considers a nuclear-armed Iran a threat to its existence.

Without being specific, Ayatollah Khamenei said that Iran “had its own tools” to respond to threats of war and would use them “if necessary,” the Mehr news agency reported.

Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the sanctions as “painful and crippling,” according to Iranian news agencies, acknowledging the effect of recent measures aimed at cutting off Iran’s Central Bank from the international financial system. But he also said the sanctions would ultimately benefit his country. “They will make us more self-reliant,” he said, according to a translation by Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency.

And you won’t learn just what Khamenei said in Sunday’s New York Times either.

So, if you read the news pages of the New York Times, you would know that Khamenei “would support militant groups opposing Israel,” which isn’t startling news. You wouldn’t know that the leader of this regime, speaking just after International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors had left Iran after an unsatisfactory visit regarding the regime’s nuclear weapons program, had threatened–no, promised–to destroy the state of Israel.

New York Times edits Khamenei

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More Jews Identify As Republicans

Posted on February 4, 2012, 12:00pm

Conservatives, especially religious ones, are the best friends Jews have. What has taken American Jews so long to figure this out?

Washington Examiner – Though still overwhelmingly Democratic, significantly more Jewish voters now identify as Republicans than did so before President Obama took office, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.

In 2008, Pew found that 72 percent of Jews identified as Democrats and just 20 percent as Republicans. In 2011, that shifted to 65 percent to 29 percent, marking a 16-point narrowing in the net margin. Part of that has to do with an overall move toward the Republican party in the past three years. But not all of it. Republican gains among Jews were the biggest among any religious group other than Mormons.

“For most religious groups and for the public as a whole, the trend toward the GOP has come from people who are increasingly likely to say they lean toward the Republican party,” the Forward quoted Greg Smith, a senior researcher at Pew, as saying. “Jewish voters are really the exception.That’s the one religious group we’ve analyzed where the shift toward the GOP is not among leaners, but rather among actual Republican identifiers.”

Obama’s hostile stance toward Israel is one posible reason for the erosion of support for Democrats among Jewish voters, and the issue was a major factor in Democrats losing a New York City Congressional seat last September.

But it’s unclear how much of a difference this will make in a presidential race. Generally, states with the biggest Jewish populations are overwhelmingly Democratic anyway (ex. Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Washington, DC). The vote could make a difference in Florida, but during the Republican primary just one percent of voters were Jewish, which was down from three percent in 2008.

Many Jews shifting toward GOP

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White House Is More Concerned With Israel Than Iran

Posted on February 4, 2012, 11:45am

Hey, by default the Left blames the Joooooz. But a bomb that hits NYC courtesy of the Iranians, not a worry. They’re entitled to their peaceful nuclear program.

Investors – Nuclear Terror: The administration claims economic sanctions are working in preventing Iran from making a nuclear weapon. Why, then, is Tehran apparently assembling a missile that can reach the U.S.? To carry TNT?

President Obama has described the waves of economic sanctions imposed on Islamofascist Iran as “the sort of pressure that will have a direct impact on the Iranian government.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last month claimed that “sanctions have been working,” making it “much more difficult for Iran to pursue its nuclear ambitions.”

Foundation for Defense of Democracies President Cliff May concedes that sanctions have done some good, but are far from enough. In a column last week, he noted Iran’s currency has lost half its value since December, inflation is officially over 20% and may really be twice that, and crude oil production is falling.

Plus, “Iran’s rulers have forfeited more than $60 billion in energy investment and $14 billion in annual oil sales,” with hundreds of billions of dollars in potential natural gas sales prevented.

Yet May adds that sanctions should be “just one weapon in an arsenal of policies aimed at weakening Iran’s fanatical rulers immediately and dislodging them eventually” — with material support of Iran’s grass-roots dissidents a vital ingredient absent from U.S. policy.

As the head of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Mohammad Nahavandian, told Reuters, “the sanctions have raised the cost of trade and economic transactions, but it has not managed to change Iran’s political behavior.”

And political behavior is the key point. These fanatic tyrants view material and economic pain differently than America and Europe. Obama’s insistence that intensified sanctions “will have a direct impact on the Iranian government” is sheer wishful thinking.

Secretary Clinton, what’s more, offers no evidence to back up her contention that sanctions are working beyond what she calls “technological problems that have made it slow down its timetable” on building a nuke — factors that likely have nothing to do with sanctions.

The proof is in the plutonium — or in this case, uranium. Moshe Yaalon, Israel’s vice prime minister, Thursday announced that a 6,000-mile-range missile being built in Iran, which suffered a suspicious explosion in November, was a prototype that could reach the U.S.

There is no point launching an ICBM at Washington if it’s a conventional weapon; clearly this is a nuclear vehicle. And does anyone with his head on straight really believe that any level of U.S.-imposed economic pain will convince a regime planning to nuke U.S. cities for Allah’s glory to cease its efforts?

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has apparently leaked to liberal reporters the administration’s fears that Israel will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities in the spring, spoiling Obama’s “successful” sanctions strategy. It seems that little short of a nuclear explosion can jar this president and his minions out of their naive stupor regarding the most serious threat facing the world.

White House – Israel more of a threat than Iran

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33% Of GOP Voters Want A New Candidate To Enter The Race

Posted on January 25, 2012, 7:20pm

We must keep those options open. The current field, minus Ron Paul, is more than qualified, but there are a few more out there who could stomp out the Socialist.

Rasmussen – While many pundits have taken to describing the race for the Republican nomination as a two-man competition, a third of all voters nationwide think it would be good for the GOP if someone else jumped into the fray.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 34% of Likely U.S. Voters think it would be good for Republicans if another candidate entered the race for the party’s presidential nomination. But nearly as many (31%) say it would be bad for the party, while 24% believe it would have no impact. Twelve percent (12%) are not sure.

33% of GOP voters want a new candidate to enter the race

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George Soros Wouldn’t Mind A Violent Class War

Posted by Fullcouch on January 25, 2012, 8:50am

“The key to avoiding cataclysm in 2012 is not to let the crises of 2011 go to waste.” – George Soros

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” – Rahm Emmanuel

“Cloward-Piven is a strategy for forcing political change through orchestrated crisis.
The strategy was first proposed in 1966 by Columbia University political scientists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven as a plan to bankrupt the welfare system and produce radical change. Sometimes known as the “crisis strategy” or the the “flood-the-rolls, bankrupt-the-cities strategy,” the Cloward-Piven approach called for swamping the welfare rolls with new applicants – more than the system could bear. It was hoped that the resulting economic collapse would lead to political turmoil and ultimately socialism.”

They don’t mention violence, but they don’t have a problem with it.

Daily Beast – You know George Soros. He’s the investor’s investor—the man who still holds the record for making more money in a single day’s trading than anyone. He pocketed $1 billion betting against the British pound on “Black Wednesday” in 1992, when sterling lost 20 percent of its value in less than 24 hours and crashed out of the European exchange-rate mechanism. No wonder Brits call him, with a mix of awe and annoyance, “the man who broke the Bank of England.”

Soros doesn’t make small bets on anything. Beyond the markets, he has plowed billions of dollars of his own money into promoting political freedom in Eastern Europe and other causes. He bet against the Bush White House, becoming a hate magnet for the right that persists to this day. So, as Soros and the world’s movers once again converge on Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum this week, what is one of the world’s highest-stakes economic gamblers betting on now?

He’s not. For the first time in his 60-year career, Soros, now 81, admits he is not sure what to do. “It’s very hard to know how you can be right, given the damage that was done during the boom years,” Soros says. He won’t discuss his portfolio, lest anyone think he’s talking things down to make a buck. But people who know him well say he advocates making long-term stock picks with solid companies, avoiding gold—“the ultimate bubble”—and, mainly, holding cash.

He’s not even doing the one thing that you would expect from a man who knows a crippled currency when he sees one: shorting the euro, and perhaps even the U.S. dollar, to hell. Quite the reverse. He backs the beleaguered euro, publicly urging European leaders to do whatever it takes to ensure its survival. “The euro must survive because the alternative—a breakup—would cause a meltdown that Europe, the world, can’t afford.” He has bought about $2 billion in European bonds, mainly Italian, from MF Global Holdings Ltd., the securities firm run by former Goldman Sachs head Jon Corzine that filed for bankruptcy protection last October.

Has the great short seller gone soft? Well, yes. Sitting in his 33rd-floor corner office high above Seventh Avenue in New York, preparing for his trip to Davos, he is more concerned with surviving than staying rich. “At times like these, survival is the most important thing,” he says, peering through his owlish glasses and brushing wisps of gray hair off his forehead. He doesn’t just mean it’s time to protect your assets. He means it’s time to stave off disaster. As he sees it, the world faces one of the most dangerous periods of modern history—a period of “evil.” Europe is confronting a descent into chaos and conflict. In America he predicts riots on the streets that will lead to a brutal clampdown that will dramatically curtail civil liberties. The global economic system could even collapse altogether.

“I am not here to cheer you up. The situation is about as serious and difficult as I’ve experienced in my career,” Soros tells Newsweek. “We are facing an extremely difficult time, comparable in many ways to the 1930s, the Great Depression. We are facing now a general retrenchment in the developed world, which threatens to put us in a decade of more stagnation, or worse. The best-case scenario is a deflationary environment. The worst-case scenario is a collapse of the financial system.”

Soros’s warning is based as much on his own extraordinary personal history as on his gut instinct for market booms and busts. “I did survive a personally much more threatening situation, so it is emotional, as well as rational,” he acknowledges. Soros was just 13 when Nazi soldiers invaded and occupied his native Hungary in March 1944. In only eight weeks, almost half a million Hungarian Jews were deported, many to Auschwitz. He saw bodies of Jews, and the Christians who helped them, swinging from lampposts, their skulls crushed. He survived, thanks to his father, Tivadar, who managed to secure false identities for his family. Later, he watched as Russian forces ousted the Nazis and a new totalitarian ideology, communism, replaced fascism. As life got tougher during the postwar Soviet occupation, Soros managed to emigrate, first to London, then to New York.

Soros draws on his past to argue that the global economic crisis is as significant, and unpredictable, as the end of communism. “The collapse of the Soviet system was a pretty extraordinary event, and we are currently experiencing something similar in the developed world, without fully realizing what’s happening.” To Soros, the spectacular debunking of the credo of efficient markets—the notion that markets are rational and can regulate themselves to avert disaster—“is comparable to the collapse of Marxism as a political system. The prevailing interpretation has turned out to be very misleading. It assumes perfect knowledge, which is very far removed from reality. We need to move from the Age of Reason to the Age of Fallibility in order to have a proper understanding of the problems.”

Understanding, he says, is key. “Unrestrained competition can drive people into actions that they would otherwise regret. The tragedy of our current situation is the unintended consequence of imperfect understanding. A lot of the evil in the world is actually not intentional. A lot of people in the financial system did a lot of damage without intending to.” Still, Soros believes the West is struggling to cope with the consequences of evil in the financial world just as former Eastern bloc countries struggled with it politically. Is he really saying that the financial whizzes behind our economic meltdown were not just wrong, but evil? “That’s correct.” Take that, Lloyd Blankfein, the Goldman Sachs boss who told The Sunday Times of London at the height of the financial crisis that bankers “do God’s work.”

To many, the idea of Soros lecturing the world on “evil” is, well, rich. Here, after all, is an investor who proved—and profited hugely from—the now much-derided notion that the market, or in his case a single investor, is more powerful than sovereign governments. He broke the Bank of England, destroyed the Conservative Party’s reputation for economic competence, and reduced the value of the pound in British consumers’ pockets by one fifth in a single day. Soros the currency speculator has been condemned as “unnecessary, unproductive, immoral.” Mahathir Mohamad, former prime minister of Malaysia, once called him “criminal” and “a moron.”

In the U.S., where the right still has not forgiven him for agitating against President George W. Bush and the “war on terror” after 9/11, which he described as “pernicious,” his prediction of riots on the streets—“it’s already started,” he says—will likely spark fresh criticism that Soros is a “far-left, radical bomb thrower,” as Bill O’Reilly once put it. Critics already allege he is stoking the fires by funding the Occupy movement through Adbusters, the Canadian provocateurs who sparked the movement. Not so, says Soros.

Soros’s fragrant personal life will also prompt many to pooh-pooh his moralizing. Last year, Adriana Ferreyr, his 28-year-old companion for many years, sued him in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan, alleging he reneged on two separate promises to buy her an apartment, causing her extreme emotional distress. Ferreyr, a former soap-opera star in Brazil, said Soros had given the apartment he had promised her to another girlfriend. She also claimed he assaulted her. Soros has dismissed Ferreyr’s claims as “frivolous and entirely without merit” and “riddled with false charges and obviously an attempt to extract money.”

Despite his baggage, the man who now views himself as a statesman-philanthropist is undeterred. Having profited from unregulated markets, he now wants to deliver us from them. Take Europe. He’s now convinced that “if you have a disorderly collapse of the euro, you have the danger of a revival of the political conflicts that have torn Europe apart over the centuries—an extreme form of nationalism, which manifests itself in xenophobia, the exclusion of foreigners and ethnic groups. In Hitler’s time, that was focused on the Jews. Today, you have that with the Gypsies, the Roma, which is a small minority, and also, of course, Muslim immigrants.”

It is “now more likely than not” that Greece will formally default in 2012, Soros will tell leaders in Davos this week. He will castigate European leaders who seem to know only how to “do enough to calm the situation, not to solve the problem.” If Germany’s Angela Merkel or France’s Nicolas Sarkozy nurses any lingering hopes of finding their salvation outside the continent, they are mistaken. “I took a recent trip to China, and China won’t come to Europe’s rescue,” Soros says. Despite all its woes, he nevertheless thinks the euro will—just barely—survive.

While Soros, whose new book, Financial Turmoil in Europe and the United States, will be published in early February, is currently focused on Europe, he’s quick to claim that economic and social divisions in the U.S. will deepen, too. He sympathizes with the Occupy movement, which articulates a widespread disillusionment with capitalism that he shares. People “have reason to be frustrated and angry” at the cost of rescuing the banking system, a cost largely borne by taxpayers rather than shareholders or bondholders.

Occupy Wall Street “is an inchoate, leaderless manifestation of protest,” but it will grow. It has “put on the agenda issues that the institutional left has failed to put on the agenda for a quarter of a century.” He reaches for analysis, produced by the political blog ThinkProgress.org, that shows how the Occupy movement has pushed issues of unemployment up the agenda of major news organizations, including MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News. It reveals that in one week in July of last year the word “debt” was mentioned more than 7,000 times on major U.S. TV news networks. By October, mentions of the word “debt” had dropped to 398 over the course of a week, while “occupy” was mentioned 1,278 times, “Wall Street” 2,378 times, and “jobs” 2,738 times. You can’t keep a financier away from his metrics.

As anger rises, riots on the streets of American cities are inevitable. “Yes, yes, yes,” he says, almost gleefully. The response to the unrest could be more damaging than the violence itself. “It will be an excuse for cracking down and using strong-arm tactics to maintain law and order, which, carried to an extreme, could bring about a repressive political system, a society where individual liberty is much more constrained, which would be a break with the tradition of the United States.”

In spite of his warnings of political turmoil in the U.S., he has no plans to engage in politics directly. “I would prefer not to be involved in party politics. It’s only because I felt that the Bush administration was misleading the country that I became involved. I was very hopeful of a new beginning with Obama, and I’ve been somewhat disappointed. I remain a supporter of the Democratic Party, but I’m fully aware of their shortcomings.” Soros believes Obama still has a chance of winning this year’s election. “Obama might surprise the public. The main issue facing the electorate is whether the rich should be taxed more. It shouldn’t be a difficult argument for Obama to make.”

If there is a glimmer of hope for the world in 2012, Soros believes it lies in emerging markets. The democratic-reform movement that has spread across the Middle East, the rise of democracy and economic growth in Africa, even reform in Russia may yet drag the world out of the mire. “While the developed world is in a deep crisis, the future for the developing world is very positive. The aspiration of people for an open society is very inspiring. You have people in Africa lining up for many hours when they are given an opportunity to vote. Dictators have been overthrown. It is very encouraging for freedom and growth.”

Soros insists the key to avoiding cataclysm in 2012 is not to let the crises of 2011 go to waste. “In the crisis period, the impossible becomes possible. The European Union could regain its luster. I’m hopeful that the United States, as a political entity, will pass a very severe test and actually strengthen the institution.” Nor has he quite given up hope that the central bankers and prime ministers gathering in Davos this week have got what it takes to rally round and prove him wrong. This time, being wrong would make him happy indeed.

Soros says to gear up for a violent class war

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Does The Iowa Electoral Fraud Scam Lead To The White House?

Posted by Fullcouch on January 25, 2012, 8:05am

This is a page right out of Chicago politics. There’s NO way this president walks out of the White House scandal free? But then again Mayor Richard Daley seems to be made of Teflon.

Investors – In a scandal reeking of electoral fraud, a Democrat-linked political hack was arrested Friday for identity theft in an apparent bid to defame and replace Iowa’s GOP secretary of state. How far up does this go?

Zachary Edwards, who served as President Obama’s Iowa “New Media Director,” and a campaign organizer in critical battleground states such as North Carolina and New Mexico during 2008’s elections, apparently has quite a range of uses to the Democratic Party.

One of those uses may include identity theft.

The 29-year-old’s arrest in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, for attempting to steal the identity of Matt Schultz, Iowa’s Republican secretary of state, points to dirty tricks as a potential element of the Democratic agenda for 2012. The big question is how far up it goes.

According to a criminal complaint released by the Iowa Department of Public Safety, “Edwards fraudulently used, or attempted to use, the identity of Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz and/or Schultz’s brother, Thomas Schultz, to obtain a benefit, in an alleged scheme to falsely implicate Secretary Schultz in perceived illegal or unethical behavior while in office.”

Edwards worked for a consulting and opposition research operation with close ties to the Democrats, called Link Strategies. The firm has since fired him and claimed that his acts were unauthorized deeds of a lone wolf acting on his own.

But if one were to scroll back to 2006, the only response to that is: Not so fast.

In 2006, the hardest of the hardcore Democratic operatives — including the secretive rich-man’s club known as The Democracy Alliance, and the loud crazies of MoveOn.org, both funded by socialist billionaire George Soros — founded a “527” political group called the “Secretary of State Project.”

The aim was to elect “progressive” secretaries of state in swing or battleground states so that when elections were tight, the decisive official in the secretary of state’s chair would presumably rule in Democrats’ favor. This worked like a charm in Minnesota, when the SOS Project managed to place Democrat Mark Ritchie in that office to rule in favor of Democrat Al Franken after hundreds of ballots were “found” in his close Senate race.

But it didn’t always work to plan. Iowa, which the Secretary of State Project lists as one of its most important battleground targets, saw its voters elect Schultz, a very conservative Republican, secretary of state in 2008.

Does the Iowa electoral fraud scam lead to the White House?

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Romney Gave A Ton To Charities Last Year

Posted by Fullcouch on January 24, 2012, 4:45pm

The mainstream media might conveniently ignore this one as well. Or, maybe they’ll acknowledge that Romney gave millions, but only out of guilt and obedience to the cult of Mormonism.

Daily Mail – I’m really struggling to work out what all the fuss is about over this one. It seems to me to be much ado about nothing. Breaking news: Mitt Romney is very rich. He also gave millions and millions of dollars to charity and to the taxman.
In the early hours of this morning, some 550 pages of Mitt Romney’s tax returns and a 2011 tax summary were released by his campaign. Just after dawn, there was a long campaign conference call for bleary-eyed reporters in which an accountant (who sounded exactly like you’d imagine Mitt Romney’s accountant would sound) went into details of Mitt millions in mind-numbing detail.
There was an air of grumpy efficency about the call, which was led by Ben Ginsberg, who was George W. Bush’s lawyer during the Florida election recount in 2000. At one point Ginsberg noted that 26 people from Chicago were listening into the proceedings, a reference to the Obama campaign headquarters.
So what were the headlines? He raked in about $42 million in 2010 and 2011. His effective tax rate was just below 14 percent, lower than that for many American taxpayers. He paid $6.2 million to the taxman and donated a staggering $7 million to charity, including $4.1 million to the Mormon church.
OK, so Mormons are supposed to tithe 10 percent of their income. But it’s to Romney’s immense credit that he promised to do this in his youth and followed through with that – to the tune of scores of millions (maybe hundreds of millions) of dollars throughout his life.
In fact, in those two years, he paid 16 percent of his income to charity, compared to, er, 2.6 percent by Newt Gingrich.
And what about President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the run-up to their 2008 campaign?
USA Today broke it down here. In 2007, the Obamas gave more than $240,000 to charity, about 5.7 percent of their income. The Bidens gave an average of $369 to charity a year for the decade before he moved to the Naval Observatory – about 0.3 percent of their income. Back in 1997, then veep Al Gore and his then wife Tipper gave $353.
Since becoming veep, Biden hasn’t become much more generous. In 2010, he gave $5,350, about 1.4 percent of income. That same year, Romney gave some $3 million. The national average is about three percent.
As far as we know, Romney scrupulously adhered to all US tax laws. No one has accused him of tax evasion.
What we hear is: Funds in the Cayman Islands! Swiss bank account!
So will all this hurt Romney politically? The Obama campaign and White House clearly thinks so. An Obama guest for tonight’s State of the Union will be Warren Buffett’s secretary, a crude nod to the familiar Democratic trope about the secretary being subject to higher tax rates than Buffett himself.
Much of the media also thinks so. Covering the story, CNN made repeated use of the term “the one percent” – a blatant assimilation of the cry from the Occupy Wall Street movement.
In Britain and much the rest of Europe, immense personal wealth often breeds resentment. In the United States, not so much. Certainly, Americans want economic fairness and equal opportuity. But belief in capitalism and the notion that by striving hard you too can become wealthy remain are enduring American traits.
Last week, Romney was stunningly inept in his handling of questions about his tax returns, humming and hawing, prevaricating, stonewalling and then finally, in defeat in South Carolina, agreeing to release documents.
Now he’s done what he should have done earlier (politically-speaking – he’s releasing returns much earlier than any other candidate previously in modern times) this is going to fade away as an issue for most voters.
Democrats will try to foment resentment about Romney’s wealth. And certainly some people will never want to vote for a fat cat rich guy. But if Obama strategists think they it can win a re-election battle on a platform of class warfare they’re very much mistaken.

Romney gave millions to charity last year

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Israel To Hamas – Dismantle Your Terrorist Infrastructure And We Will Negotiate

Posted by Fullcouch on January 24, 2012, 1:35pm

If the Palestinians renounced terrorism and asked Israel to negotiate on a Monday. By Tuesday, Israel would be seated at the table all ears. Thousands of Arabs live in Israel with no threat of harm. Can the same be said for a Jew living in Gaza?

Jerusalem Post – Israel will negotiate with a Palestinian unity government if Hamas agrees to Quartet conditions and dismantles its terror infrastructure, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in an interview with Israel Radio Tuesday.

“The continuation of the peace process is in the interest of Israel, the Palestinians and the world,” Barak said. “If Hamas adopts the Quartet’s conditions and dismantles its terror infrastructure, we will negotiate with them.”

Israeli and Palestinian representatives have met in Amman several times in recent weeks in an attempt to agree upon a negotiations framework in the context of guidelines laid down by the Middle East Quartet: the US, EU, UN and Russia.

The Quartet-set January 26 deadline for presenting proposals is not a “holy date,” Barak said, expressing hope that the Palestinians “will understand that it makes sense to continue” the talks further.

Emphasizing that Israel is preparing for all possible scenarios from successful negotiations to an outbreak of violence, Barak said, “We won’t bury our heads in the sand and we will not abandon Israel’s security interests.”

“We must be prepared to shake hands with our left hand and have our finger on the trigger with our right hand,” he added.

Responding to newly-imposed EU sanctions on Iran, Barak praised the new energy sector focused sanctions, but urged increased attention on Tehran’s central bank.

“We are seeing a big improvement in the sanctions, but it’s still not enough and we need to tighten sanctions more,” he said.

EU foreign ministers on Monday agreed upon a phased ban on Iranian oil imports and to freeze the assets of the Iranian central bank, among other measures.

The EU’s unprecedented effort to take Iran’s output of 2.6 million barrels of oil per day off international markets has already had an effect, pushing down Iran’s currency and causing a surge in the cost of basic goods for Iranians. Iran is the fifth largest oil exporter in the world.

But sanctions, Barak said, should be judged by their effect on Iranian behavior, not solely on their toughness. If the EU were to expand its central bank sanctions to the extent of its planned oil sanctions, he explained, it would have a powerful impact on Iran.

If Hamas halts terror, Israel will negotiate

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The Muslim Brotherhood. To Trust, Or Not To Trust? NOT To Trust.

Posted by Fullcouch on January 23, 2012, 3:45pm

The ostrich (and sympathy) brigade on the left seems to think that the Arab Spring will harvest a healthy, democratized, West and Israel-friendly crop. History, and the Muslim Brotherhood are telling us otherwise. But that’s the Left for you. Stage-one thinking is in progress; denial. Denial’s nothing but an Islamist river in Egypt.

Jack Kelly – Everything that was important to know about him was laid out in his memoir/manifesto: his virulent racism; his contempt for Christianity, democracy and all things Western; his murderous hatred of the Jews.

Adolf Hitler dictated “Mein Kampf” (“My Fight”) to Rudolph Hess while in Landsberg prison in 1923. After Hitler became chancellor (prime minister) in 1933, a second edition, published in English and French as well as German, sold more than a million copies.

Within a month of assuming office, Hitler began converting Germany into a dictatorship — just as he’d said he would in “Mein Kampf.”

He would seize land for lebensraum (living space) in the Slavic countries to the east, Russia especially, Hitler said in his manifesto. But when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French Premier Edouard Daladier met with Hitler in Munich in September 1938, they chose to believe the Sudetenland represented the end of his territorial ambitions. By sacrificing their ally Czechoslovakia, they hoped to secure “peace in our time.”

Chamberlain and Daladier chose to believe this because it would have been uncomfortable politically for them to acknowledge the truth. Liberals today delude themselves about the Muslim Brotherhood, for, I suppose, the same reason. But pretending a man-eating tiger is a pussycat doesn’t make it so.

The Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) was founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, an Egyptian schoolteacher. He sought a world wide caliphate governed by Islamic law (Sharia). “Allah is our objective,” says the Ikhwan’s motto. “The Prophet is our leader. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our greatest hope.”

Al Banna admired Hitler. He had “Mein Kampf” translated into Arabic. The Nazis subsidized the Muslim Brotherhood. The ranks of the SS Handjar Division were filled mostly by the Ikhwan.

The Muslim Brotherhood is today the world’s largest and best financed Islamist organization. It’s in 70 countries, including ours.

The Ikhwan’s goals haven’t changed, the current supreme leader said Dec. 29.

“The Brotherhood is getting closer to achieving its greatest goal as envisioned by its founder, Imam Hassan al-Banna,” said Dr. Muhammad Badi. “A government evolving into a rightly guided caliphate and mastership of the world.”

“Mein Kampf” is still, after the Koran, the Ikhwan’s favorite book. “This stuff we now see in the Islamic world looks like Nazism because it comes from the Nazis,” wrote journalist Claire Berlinski on her blog Ricochet.

In a 2009 sermon, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s leading jurist, said: “Thoughout history, Allah has imposed upon (the Jews) people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Adolf Hitler. … Oh Allah, count their numbers and kill them, down to the very last one.”

The Muslim Brotherhood supports terrorism against Israel, Americans, the Shiites in Iraq. But because it plans to get power the way Hitler did, many liberals view the Ikhwan as benign. President Barack Obama even chose Mr. Qaradawi to mediate peace talks with the Taliban.

In elections Jan. 8, the Muslim Brotherhood won the most seats in the lower house of the Egyptian parliament. Islamist parties won nearly two thirds of the seats. The new speaker they chose is a member of the Ikhwan.

Elections for the upper house begin in late January. The presidential elections are in June. If the Muslim Brotherhood wins control of the government, it eventually will try to impose Sharia and hold a referendum to abrogate the peace treaty with Israel.

The Ikhwan are likely also to dominate the new government in Libya, where the regime of secular dictator Moammar Gadhafi was felled by NATO bombs, and in Syria, should secular dictator Bashar al-Assad fall there.

Against all evidence, President Jimmy Carter in 1970 told himself the mullahs in Iran were moderate reformers. Against even more evidence, Mr. Obama regards the Muslim Brotherhood pretty much the same way. We’re paying still a heavy price for Mr. Carter’s egregious misjudgment. A greater miscalculation, with more profound consequences, looms.

The Muslim Brotherhood must not be trusted

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