While Hillary Clinton is off doing "valuable work" by holding meetings with assorted Pakistanis, Joe Biden is trying not to pass out during interviews, Pelosi and Reid are trying to shove ObamaCare down the American throat like a bad case of strep. On the bright side, if ObamaCare covers as many people as Obama's Stimulus plan did, I imagine it will cover about two dozen people somewhere in Vermont.
Back in Americaland though, more health care bills just means another civil war among the Democrats. Naturally the first target was Senator Joe Lieberman who was supposed to have been made an example of for actually trying to be a moderate and resisting the party radicals. Lieberman instead survived and even thrived.
Naturally the fun is just getting started. Ads are already being run targeting Lieberman... by both sides, with the conservative 60 Plus coalition warning of cuts in medicare and the nutroots damning Lieberman as what else but a shill for the insurance companies.
Of course using that same logic, Obama was a shill for Wall Street... but the double standards just keep on coming. But it's a lot of work nowadays, because Democrats have to begin selling Americans on the idea that the economy has recovered and the recession is over... despite all those lost jobs and the fact that nothing at all has recovered outside of Wall Street, where taxpayer money was fueled into the same dark maw that caused the problems in the first place.
Then there's health care reform, which Democrats have figured will be hard to sell, unless you can convince the American people that the economy is now good and the US government is rolling in extra dough. And if they can't do that by the 2010 elections, the veto proof majority is likely to be gone, and the Dems will be left with the kind of congress the GOP had post 2006, just enough power to take the blame, not enough to accomplish anything.
With Obama's numbers dropping, there's a stench of desperation coming off the Dems. A bad foul stench.
And MSNBC, the default network of the far left is running into trouble too, particularly with its newest, most hyped and most radical member. Rachel Maddow.
Most cable news ratings are going to show declines from their election year heyday last fall, but for MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show (which debuted in September, 2008) those year over year declines have made October, 2009 its lowest rated month ever in both average viewers and the cable news targeted adults 25-54 demo, down 54% and 65% respectively from October, 2008.
Which suggests that MSNBC may be going the way of Air America, at least in the case of Maddow, an Air America alum, who has served as a forum for the most radical of the nutroots. While MSNBC is crowing that it beat CNN, this is more of a reflection of how badly off CNN is, than any kind of win for MSNBC.
It's not hard to see why Obama is running scared. Cable News is going the way of Talk Radio. And its biggest success, Glen Beck, comes out of the radio market. But it's also not hard to see the rapid end of the CNN model, of network news in general, because what sells best is open propaganda, not between the lines bias. MSNBC's ratings are miserable, but they're still less miserable than CNN, whose only real hope for ratings is the burgeoning Anderson Cooper gay scandal.
The 2008 election probably marked the final break between the old model of news, and the new one, that emphasizes scandals and rants. As a guardian op ed points out, FOX has helped push CNN and MSNBC to openly embrace radicalism, dropping the facade of journalism.
This is an odd and patronising fear, though true at one level. Fox is certainly influencing CNN and MSNBC, but in a liberal, not conservative, direction. That is, to compete with Fox's ratings-rich combination of news and punditry, those networks have had to scramble to find leftwing counterparts to Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly.
This has been a boon for leftwing gabbers. MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow, all of whom dedicate themselves to railing against Republicans nightly, owe their careers in a way to Fox's success in carving out a large place for punditry in the cable media landscape. If anything, MSNBC is even more opinionated in a liberal direction than Fox is in a conservative one. Even the news anchors on MSNBC don't bother to conceal their anti-conservative hostilities anymore. David Shuster and Tamron Hall scoffed openly at Rush Limbaugh's NFL ownership bid.
CNN's Jack Cafferty, a grumpy liberal version of Bill O'Reilly, also owes his career to Fox, as does Rick Sanchez. CNN, which once prided itself on high-brow news presentation, feels it has to get into the opinion game too.
And when the bias is open, it becomes harder to claim that talk of liberal media is just a "right wing fantasy". Unintentionally FOX has helped make the liberal media come out of the closet.
On the one hand this kind of ugliness is now the default mode. On the other hand, there are no more rocks to hide behind. It was possible to argue that Dan Rather was just doing his job and not taking sides, but no one can even begin to make that same argument about Cafferty or Olbermann. And an open bare knuckle fight may be preferable to a thousand poisoned knives in the dark.
And that's what really bothers the Obama White House.
Meanwhile in worldchanging news, Hillary Clinton went to Pakistan where she had the solution to all of Pakistan's problems. Embrace Obama's Tax-Fu. (Via Gateway Pundit)
“The percentage of taxes on GDP (in Pakistan) is among the lowest in the world… We (the United States) tax everything that moves and doesn’t move, and that’s not what we see in Pakistan,” she said.
First of all you have to have a functioning country to be able to tax everything that moves. Second of all in a country where terrorists can make money off the black market, do you really want to push aggressive taxation that will expand the black market?
And then there was Hillary Clinton's hard core grasp of the major issues;
LAHORE: The leadership of Al Qaeda is in Pakistan, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday.
“I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn’t get them if they really wanted to,” she added. “Maybe that’s the case; maybe they’re not gettable. I don’t know... As far as we know, they are in Pakistan,” Clinton told senior Pakistani newspaper editors in Lahore,
Is anyone even briefing her anymore?
Clinton attempted a relaxed manner, with an aside about having a Pakistani roommate.
One wonders if she meant Huma Abedin whose parents were Pakistani.
At IsraPundit, Bill Levinson looks at how Green Jobs are Made in China
The New York Times (10/29, B6) reports, “A consortium of Chinese and American companies announced a joint venture on Thursday to build a 600-megawatt wind farm in West Texas, using turbines made in China. Construction of the $1.5 billion wind farm will be financed largely by Chinese banks, with the help of loan guarantees and cash grants from the United States government.”
Next I would like to take a little time out to address an article from Vdare, a site I do not link to, by Steve Sailer. You can find the text of the article here. I'm not in the habit of replying to everything that comes out of that burst sewage pipe, but since Michelle Malkin thought the article was buzzworthy, I've decided to address it.
It's easy enough to destroy it point by point, but since the article is a barely coherent hodgepodge of claims about Ashkenazi genes, Jewish media power, ancestor worship, Goldman Sachs, Israel... let's skip to the actual conclusion.
Steve Sailer concludes his "article" with the following claim:
Thus Jewish demonization of immigration reform patriots appears to have two motivations:
And this demonization is the single most important reason that America’s immigration disaster is still above criticism, long after it has become obvious that it is a disaster, and despite the fact that an overwhelming number of Americans are strongly opposed to it.
Really? One could almost imagine that the United States Chamber of Commerce (the organization so many bloggers are now rushing to defend) had not been pushing for more immigration and the legalization of illegal immigrants.
For the 111th Congress, the Chamber will:
* Continue to push for comprehensive immigration reform that: increases security; has an earned pathway to legalization for undocumented workers already contributing to our economy, provided that they are law-abiding and prepared to embrace the obligations and values of our society; creates a carefully monitored guest or essential worker program to fill the growing gaps in America's workforce recognizing that, in some cases, permanent immigrants will be needed to fill these gaps; and refrains from unduly burdening employers with worker verification systems that are underfunded or unworkable.
If you're confused by what any of that means, it means the Chamber of Commerce wants to legalize illegal aliens already in the US, increase temporary worker visas and increase the number of permanent immigrants.
Why does the Chamber of Commerce want that? Because it's about the money and about bringing in the cheap labor.
Really now, why do you think that prominent Republicans like Bush Sr, Bush Jr and McCain were such big fans of open borders and bringing in more immigrants. It didn't have a whole lot to do with Steve Sailer's Jewish conspiracy, and a whole lot to do with the fact that the needs of big business are not those that necessarily benefit America itself.
But unpleasant facts like that are not nearly as sexy as blaming the whole thing on the Jews.
Of course Steve Sailer might reply that the Jews run the Chamber of Commerce. But do Jews run the Catholic Church?
While Sailer appears to blame Jewish romanticism of immigration, such romanticism is hardly limited to Jewish immigrants, versus say Catholic, Irish, Italian and Latino immigrants in the late 19th and 20th centuries.
In fact the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has been a major force behind the push for legalizing illegal immigrants, who happen to be heavily Catholic.
A poll by the Migration and Refugee Services of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops found that 69 percent of Catholics supported legalizing illegal aliens.
That kind of percentages are far more likely to promote unrestricted immigration, rather than the all-powerful Jews of Sailer's mythology.
I don't blame the Catholic Church for promoting the immigration of more Catholics to America. I just wish they would limit that support to legal immigration only. Nevertheless the Church has the right to promote what it likes, as does every other group in America. It's possible to take issue with what they promote, but it is perfectly possible to criticize an organization's policies, without trafficking in conspiracy theories about entire ethnic groups or trying to level all the blame for an international problem on one particular group.
The fact of the matter is that immigrant groups who came to America within the last 125 years are going to be far more likely to see immigration positively, than those who have not. Additionally big business has always needed immigration as a source of cheap labor. Steve Sailer's article, "Norman Podhoretz’s Why Are Jews Liberal? Not Good Enough", detours from those basic facts to promote his agenda, which is to begin by claiming that the Jews have taken over the GOP and to conclude by essentially arguing that the Jews have taken over America, since as Lawerence Auster points out
To say that the Jews are the primary force that is suppressing the supposed immigration restrictionist sentiment of the overwhelming majority of Americans, to suggest that but for the Jews the non-Jewish majority would have ended America's mass Third-World immigration policy by now
... which as has been demonstrated is blatantly false.
The article's early mention of Joe Sobran props up Sailer's only real thesis that runs through the piece, that Jews have leveraged their power to make themselves above criticism. One wonders which universe Sailer is living in, because in my universe the average newspaper takes the side of terrorists over Israel, emphasizes the Jewishness of criminals and is willing to print outright smears about Judaism.
A lot of the American Far Right seems slow to learn the lessons that the European Far Right is learning... that maybe they have bigger problems to deal with than the Jews. But it's always easier to take the lazy Protocols of the Elders of Zion way out.
Continuing the roundup, Obama's Muslim advisor doesn't regret anything she said on a Hizb U Tahir program, only that she went on it. Which is the sort of thing that we would buy if we believed that she was either ignorant of Hizb U Tahir, something that itself would make her unqualified to advise Obama on Muslim issues. So either Dalia Mogahed is a liar and in bed with Islamists, or incompetent. Either way she should go.
But of course we know that Obama's people have a history of quietly making contact with Islamists and terrorists. Even before he crawled into the White House.
Vlad Tepes meanwhile cites the new face of Cambridge grads, forget stiff upper lip and tweed, think Burqas.
Cambridge University will allow female Muslim students to wear burkas at graduation ceremonies, it emerged yesterday.
By tradition, students are required to wear dark suits and white shirts under their graduation gowns.
Yesterday it said burkas could also be worn under mortar boards to graduation ceremonies, as well as during tutorials and lectures.
Membership of Cambridge’s Islamic Society suggests it has around 600 Muslim students.
At Boker Tov Boulder, First Amendment "NOT WITHSTANDING"
Readers will note that the Organization of the Islamic Conference has a membership of 57 states. When Candidate Obama alarmed some folks by claiming he had campaigned in 57 states, there was a hue and cry -- not about what he had said and what it might mean, but against those who had noticed.
Back in the dusty BtB archives, I once wondered aloud about the "other countries" in Obama's statement that "we can't ... expect that other countries are going to say OK." I wrote then that
I don't get it. What other countries? Does he mean we take our orders from the OIC?
I guess that's exactly what he meant.
At Fiery Spirited Zionist, Obama is working to redistribute some American wealth to those 57 Islamic states
The White House Friday highlighted a new multi-million-dollar technology fund for Muslim nations, following a pledge made by President Barack Obama in his landmark speech to the Islamic world.
The White House said the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) had issued a call for proposals for the fund, which will provide financing of between 25 and 150 million dollars for selected projects and funds.
Now what are the odds that the money will directly or indirectly benefit terrorists? Considering the Zakah money that most Muslim businesses provide, a sizable portion of which goes to Islamists or terrorists... we might as well just give it to the Taliban directly.
Oh wait... we already are.
Meanwhile the way is being paved with a spate of articles claiming that there really is no group called the Taliban, that it's a broad coalition, most of whom just want food and water. The same claim was also made about Al Queda.
For those with longer memories, the same claim was made about the Viet Cong, who we were assured were mostly not Communists and perfectly jolly fellows who would happily lay down their arms if we just gave them reason to trust us.
No less a personage than Martin Luther King himself delivered this kind of nonsense back in the 60's.
What of the National Liberation Front -- that strangely anonymous group we call VC or Communists? What must they think of us in America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of Diem which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the south? ... Surely we must see that the men we supported pressed them to their violence. Surely we must see that our own computerized plans of destruction simply dwarf their greatest acts.
How do they judge us when our officials know that their membership is less than twenty-five percent Communist and yet insist on giving them the blanket name? What must they be thinking when they know that we are aware of their control of major sections of Vietnam and yet we appear ready to allow national elections in which this highly organized political parallel government will have no part? They ask how we can speak of free elections when the Saigon press is censored and controlled by the military junta. And they are surely right to wonder what kind of new government we plan to help form without them -- the only party in real touch with the peasants. They question our political goals and they deny the reality of a peace settlement from which they will be excluded.
Well luckily Martin Luther King was absolutely right. We struck a peace settlement with the Viet Cong who were not all Communist and today Vietnam is a thriving utopia where its people have free elections and all are welcome to... oh wait. We struck a deal, the deal was worthless... and the nice folks that Benedict Arnold Jr told us are not at all Communists... went and created themselves a Communist dictatorship with no free elections.
Who knew? And who wants to bet that by the time Obama's people are done, they'll find some nice Taliban to negotiate with, force Karzai to cut a deal, and then take the helicopters from the embassy while beneath us the Taliban return to implement the glorious gender justice of Sharia law?
But gender justice in Islam is not completely a lost cause. Never fear.
At FaithFreedom, we have the story of a Muslim wife who tried to honor kill her husband.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A 37-year-old wife from New Brighton tried to slit her husband’s throat as he slept because he was not the devout Muslim she believed she married, and pressured her to eat pork and drink alcohol, authorities allege.
In a rambling, four-page handwritten confession, Rabia Sarwar laid out the “mental and emotional cruelty” that led to her trying to kill her husband, Susan Wagner High School teacher Sheikh Naseem, early yesterday morning, a law enforcement source said.
“I tried my best to cut his throat,” Ms. Sarwar admitted, according to court papers. Except Naseem woke up during the attempt, and took the knife from her, authorities said.
The way the law enforcement source describes it, Ms. Sarwar, who is Pakistani, told investigators that Naseem, who is half-Pakistani, had presented himself as a devout Muslim before the two had wed five months ago.
But after the marriage, she discovered more about him, she told investigators — before meeting her, he had only dated non-Muslims, and he considered Salman Rushdie to be one of his favorite authors.
Well clearly he had to die.
But the good news is that Rabia Sarwar represents a way forward for Muslim women to gain equal rights to kill men who aren't Muslim enough.
For centuries Muslim men have been able to kill Muslim women who they felt weren't Muslim enough. Now in a stirring tribute to Sharia's gender justice, perhaps Muslim women will enjoy the same rights to slit throats, throw acid and behead.
Between female suicide bombers and female honor killers, you can't deny the fact that Islam is doing its best to give Muslim women an equal role in carrying out the true teachings of Islam.
But you know aside from the homicidal stuff, the rest of the picture doesn't look good. See the following article at Reality Check
The 2009 report by the World Economic Forum has listed predominantly Islamic nations in the bottom of their annual Global Gender Gap (GGG) Index. This included such major nations as Pakistan (ranked 132 out of 134), Saudi Arabia (ranked 130 out of 134), Iran (ranked 128 out of 134), Egypt (ranked 126 out of 134), and Turkey (ranked 129 out 134). Yemen, which is 99 percent Islamic, was the bottom ranked nation as 134 on the Global Gender Gap Index. The only nation not predominantly Islamic in the bottom of the Global Gender Gap index was Benin.
In addition, the 2009 World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Index report does not include rankings on a number of significant and predominantly Islamic nations where women are oppressed. Somalia (population of nearly 10 million) was not included in the index. Endless numbers of reports of the stonings and Islamic supremacist abuses of women have been reported in Somalia in the past year, including the stoning to death of a 13 year old girl based on “Sharia law” in October 2008. Sudan (population of nearly 41 million) was also not included in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Index. Among other nations, Afghanistan (29 million) and Iraq (29 million) are also not included in this Global Gender Gap Index. With the index not reporting on these 109 million, the desperate fate of an estimated 50 plus million women are not included in this Global Gender Gap index report.
Even with these significant exclusions from the Global Gender Gap index report, the bottom 10 index nations (excluding Benin), which are all predominantly Islamic nations, represent a population of over half a billion individuals. These include Yemen (134 out of 134), Chad (133), Pakistan (132), Saudi Arabia (130), Turkey (129), Iran (128), Mali (127), Egypt (126), Qatar (125), Morocco (124). If women represent half of the population in these nations, then these bottom 10 predominantly Islamic nations demonstrate the ongoing oppression of an estimated 250 million women.
But there's good news. You don't have to go to Chad or Mali or Pakistan to enjoy Sharia law.
You can get it right here on Broadway.
The much-hyped, soon-to-open Breslin restaurant, situated in the 12-story Ace Hotel on Broadway and 29th, is giving members of the Masjid Ar-Rahman mosque across the street some agita. “Five times a day, there’s a hundred cabs on the street—the good news is you can always get a cab,” co-owner Ken Friedman told the Transom the other evening. He said some mosque visitors “object to seeing people drink alcohol.”
After the recent FergusStock, a festival during which famed British chef Fergus Henderson cooked whole pigs for a rapt crowd of New York chefs and foodies, Mr. Friedman said the mosque’s leaders called a meeting with the hotel. “They said, ‘Can you move the bar?’” he said. “And I laughed. And the guy said, ‘Oh, you think that’s funny?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, that is funny, that is really funny, because we’re not going to move the bar just because you discovered we’re serving booze.’ Can you name one restaurant in New York that doesn’t serve booze?”
Mr. Friedman and his partner, Spotted Pig chef April Bloomfield, did agree to nix plans for a dive bar in a townhouse next door, but as for the restaurant, “I said, ‘This is the United States of America and we’ll do whatever the fuck we want.’” He said the mosque had suggested it couldn’t control the behavior of “a few bad eggs”; i.e., “we could get a brick through our window.” Mr. Friedman said he made the police aware of this threat.
Enjoy your Sharia law. Now on Broadway.