With Alvin Greene indicted on obscenity charges, Rangel and Maxine Waters facing high profile ethics charges, this is not the best time ever to be a Democrat. Or so you would think.
Nevertheless when Rangel threw his party/fundraiser, every Democrat in New York, including Dem Senators Gillibrand and Schumer, came trooping in, along with scumbag in waiting, Andrew Cuomo. But that's what you get with the party of corruption.
Meanwhile Gillibrand, dumped her NRA endorsement so far overboard that it can't even be seen anymore. How far overboard? So far that she's gotten the nod from the Brady campaign. Did Gillibrand change her mind about gun control? No, because like all modern politicians she never had a mind to begin with. Gillibrand didn't care much whether she supports or opposes gun control, so long as it's the thing that helps get her elected. And what made her electable in her old district, made her hard to elect statewide. So bye bye NRA, hello Brady.
When asked about Rangel, Gilli responded with the expected mealymouthed gibberish
"You know, no. You know we are all really focused on what we are doing for New York right now, trying to turn the economy around. And last night was really about just celebrating a man's life of public service," she said.
Maybe her new nickname should be the Titanic after all.
Republican challenger Rick Lazio has responded by hammering Andrew Cuomo over the Rangel fundraiser with a series of ads
But beyond the deceptiveness, the subway scene points up Andrew Cuomo's deceptiveness, on a par his "off the record" smear campaign against Governor Patterson. This is a man who likes to do his dirty work from the shadows. And it shows.
Schumer, like Cuomo, has kept it off the books, refusing to even comment on it.
Meanwhile up over in DC, Obama is taking a break from his vacation, with a vacation. Because there's nothing like working hard at a vacation to make a man want another vacation. It might be better for everyone concerned if Obama just went on vacation permanently by resigning, but then he wouldn't enjoy all the benefits he does now. So instead here we go, with a whopping fifth vacation.
While many Americans are struggling to pay for a single vacation, the Obamas have blown more than the cost of most people's homes, on vacation after vacation after vacation.
There they go again. For the fifth time since July, the first family has set plans to board Air Force One for a frilly vacation, a 10-day return trip to exclusive Martha's Vineyard where they are expected to stay at the 28-acre oceanfront Blue Heron Farm that rents for up to $50,000 a week.
But first the Obamas will be traveling to the Gulf Coast of Florida for a mini-vacation as a way to encourage other vacationing Americans to head to the beaches that have been shunned by tourists worried about oil-slicked sands due to the Gulf oil spill. They are expected to travel to Florida this weekend, return to Washington for a few days then it's off to the Massachusetts island August 19.
So after being guilted into the great act of self-sacrifice, of going on vacation in the gulf area, they're keeping their focus on the usual haunts of the rich and famous.
Over in Scotland, First Minister Alex Salmond has refused to release the medical records of released Lockerbie terrorist Megrahi. Of course there's no reason to refuse to release them, unless they wouldn't show that Megrahi was on his deathbed.
"Please do not ascribe to the Scottish government economic or commercial motives for this decision when there is no evidence whatsoever for such a claim." Salmond said.
And of course refusing to release any information or answer any questions, helps insure there won't be any evidence. Doesn't it.
Mind you Salmond is well left of center, and his SNP party is in a coalition with the Green Party.
Ironically Salmond himself routinely made the false claim that the US had overthrown Saddam Hussein to get our hands on his oil. Now Salmond denounces Senator Menendez for "conspiracy theories" for suggesting that oil was the reason a terrorist was freed back to Libya. Salmond is a hypocrite for sneering at conspiracy theories, when he himself trafficked in them. Or of complaining that his government is being smeared, when he had no trouble smearing the United States government with his left wing accusations.
After Israel was accused of assassinating a top terrorist in Dubai, it was Alex Salmond who called for a review of trade relations with Israel. Mind you he did so with no actual evidence whatsoever, but clearly that didn't stop Salmond from causing a diplomatic incident-- in defense of a terrorist.
After the flotilla, Salmond launched more demands that Israel immediately end the blockade, and again made noises about trade relations. In 2005, Alex Salmond signed on to a petition calling for recognizing Hamas.
A group of British parliamentarians is calling for international engagement with the militant Hamas movement, after it helped free Alan Johnston in Gaza. Twenty MPs from all parties, including Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, signed the Commons motion a day after the BBC correspondent's release. It says Hamas's "pivotal role" in ending his kidnap shows it should join Palestinian reconciliation efforts.
It notes the correspondent himself "acknowledged the pivotal role played by Hamas in condemning the kidnapping and securing his release". The radical Islamist Hamas has been engaged in a bitter power struggle with its secular nationalist rival Fatah, led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
...and oh yes, Salmond has been passing large sums of government money to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The row over the SNP controlled Scottish Government’s £215,000 grant to the Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood front group, the Scottish Islamic Foundation, rumbles on.
It is now absolutely crystal clear that Alex Salmond’s administration is gifting of large sums of public money to a group that is the British franchise of Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood. They will use this money to promote to Scottish Muslims the ideology of that group. Only a lunatic would think the spread of that particular form of Islamism in Scotland would be anything but a disaster for all Scottish people, Muslim or not.
None of this should be too shocking, as Salmond himself was deep in the oil business. And to be in the oil business, you have to pander to Islamic terrorists. Pander to them hard. And how.
Tomorrow Alex Salmond, Scotland's First Minister, will be launching a new group called the Scottish Islamic Foundation. Like so much that he has done throughout his career, Salmond will be encouraging rather than diminishing separatism and division within our society.
For as a Centre for Social Cohesion briefing sent out last night reveals, the new organisation is riddled with connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organisation with an increasingly high-profile presence in the UK.
The Brotherhood's motto is:
"Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope."
The chief-executive of the Scottish Islamic Foundation is Osama Saeed who has previously worked for Salmond, and whose record of Islamic sectarianism is recounted in our press release.
I suppose Mr Salmond recognises a fellow-sectarian when he sees one.
What is perhaps most worrying is that in February of this year, the Scottish government appointed Saeed - as the representative of the about-to-launch Scottish Islamic Foundation - onto its 13-member working group looking into whether or not to renew the Trident nuclear weapons system.
Who would ever have thought that decisions over the future of Britain's nuclear capability would fall into hands the hands of men like these?
I could go on, but Senator Menendez should be well aware of just what Alex Salmond is and whom he really represents. It isn't Scotland. It's Islamic terrorism.
And now it's time for Ramadan. Ramadan is not all happy news this year. While Obama will give his Ramadan dinner speech, and will probably defend the Ground Zero Mosque, the law-abiding Chaouk crime family of Melbourne, Australia, had their patriarch assassinated.
It is a statement filled with fury: ''The weak, dirty dogs killed him on Ramadan.''
The Chaouk crime family says the assassination of patriarch Macchour in his Melbourne back yard yesterday will be avenged. ''His blood does not come cheap,'' a family spokesman said, ''especially in Ramadan.''
yes, the price of blood goes up every Ramadan. And who are the Chaouks?
The Chaouks have access to weapons and have strong links to Sydney's Lebanese crime gangs, sparking fears bloodshed could spread interstate.
The house where yesterday's shooting occurred in the western suburb of Brooklyn was the scene of the fatal police shooting of Mohamed Chaouk - Macchour's son - on April 5, 2005. Mohamed was shot dead by a Special Operations Group officer during a raid. The group was back at the house in full kit yesterday, securing the property.
Police have made it clear that yesterday's shooting was a targeted slaying, with the rival Lebanese clan the Haddaras certain to head their list of suspects.
Last month, dozens of armed police raided the home, arresting Macchour and his sons Omar, 18, and Waleed, 36.
The raid was one of three by members of the Santiago Taskforce in relation to a non-fatal shooting on June 6. On that night, Sam Haddara, 18, a student, was allegedly shot in the face while pulling over in his car in Altona North after he thought he was being followed.
Macchour and Waleed were released without charge pending further inquiries, while Omar was charged with five offences, some firearm-related.
There's more background goodness at the story, involving murder, heroin and other happy Ramadan type stuff.
But a summary--
This year, a coroner investigating the 2005 police shooting death of Mohamed Chaouk said the family had a "violent and unpredictable nature"
Much the same might be said of their religion.
But back in the United States, we've finally discovered when the media will call an Israeli Arab, an Israeli. After he's killed a bunch of people. That was the case with Elias Abuelazam, who stabbed a bunch of black men in different states. And the media of course kept calling him Israeli. And they helpfully spelled his last name, Abuelazam, rather than say Abu al-Azzam, which might have tipped people off.
The media spelled his mother's name as "Iyam al-Azzam", but spelling his name in an Arabic way might have been too much of a tell. al-Azzam is not exactly the first Israeli Arab serial killer. There was a much more notorious case inside Israel itself some years back, that the media naturally never thought worth reporting.
Meanwhile one of the more significant stories of the week may be new proof that Turkey has been using chemical weapons against Kurdish rebels. Since Turkey has launched attacks inside Iraq, it may have even done so inside Iraq as well.
Turkey has denied the claim with what is undeniable proof.
The Foreign Ministry official also said Turkey is active worldwide in working “for the prohibition of the development and use of chemical weapons.” He said senior Turkish diplomat Ahmet Üzümcü was recently elected as the director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the regulating body of the convention. “As you see, our purpose is to work for the eradication of such weapons,” the official said. “How can we possibly develop them and use them?”
Well clearly if a Turkish diplomat is in charge of trying to ban chemical weapons, Turkey couldn't possibly be using them. Just as the presence of Saudi Arabia on the UN Human Rights council proves the Saudis are big on human rights.
Meanwhile Peter Hitchens heads to Turkey to take a walk on the dark side. The very dark side.
Down a glum, dark back alley in Istanbul, I found a sinister sight. In a workshop two stern and bearded men were bent over sheets and patches of very black cloth, their sewing-machines whirring urgently.
I was plainly unwelcome and they objected to the very idea of being photographed. I quickly saw why. They were making dark robes and masks for women to wear. They looked to me as if they longed for the day when every woman in sight was clad in their workmanship.
Not far away is a gigantic Palestinian flag draped over the side of a building. Nearly opposite, a group of pale, intense men in turbans loiter on a street corner whispering into their mobile phones. Where am I? The flag suggests Gaza. The whispering men bring to mind Peshawar or some other Taliban zone.
Or am I in Saudi Arabia? For round the corner comes a phalanx of veiled women, under the vigilant eyes of a bossy man in a prayer cap. There are several grades of these women. First there are the wholly shrouded, their downcast eyes glimpsed through a slot, imprisoned in shapelessness. Most disturbing for me - because I have been to Iran - are those in chadors exactly like those commanded by the ayatollahs in Tehran. There is something particularly harsh about the inverted triangle through which their pale and sombre faces peer.
...coming soon to the EU.
This week I was nominated in the Watcher of Weasels Dog Days edition.
At real Americans Defend Israel, Obama's speedy election withdrawal agenda from Iraq hits another speed bump. A 10 year one.
At Winds of Jihad, Sheik Yer Mani has a rebuttal to Obama's Islamist platitudes.
Throughout most of American history, the Muslim world was perceived as remote, alien and belligerent. Perhaps the president was thinking about the Barbary Pirates and their role in the founding of the U.S. Navy, or Andrew Jackson’s dispatch of frigates against Muslim pirates in Sumatra in the 1830s. Maybe he was recalling Rutherford B. Hayes’ 1880 statement regarding Morocco on “the necessity, in accordance with the humane and enlightened spirit of the age, of putting an end to the persecutions, which have been so prevalent in that country, of persons of a faith other than the Moslem, and especially of the Hebrew residents of Morocco.” Or Grover Cleveland’s 1896 comment on the continuing massacre of Armenian Christians: “We have been afflicted by continued and not infrequent reports of the wanton destruction of homes and the bloody butchery of men, women and children, made martyrs to their profession of Christian faith. … It so mars the humane and enlightened civilization that belongs to the close of the nineteenth century that it seems hardly possible that the earnest demand of good people throughout the Christian world for its corrective treatment will remain unanswered.”
It also is customary in the United States to search for obscure contributions made by in-vogue minority groups as a feel-good way of promoting inclusion. One of the earliest Muslims to come to the United States was a 17th-century Egyptian named Norsereddin, who settled in the Catskills and was described by one chronicler as “haughty, morose, unprincipled, cruel and dissipated.” Spurned by the princess of an Indian tribe that had befriended him, he managed through a subterfuge to poison her. He was later run down by the betrayed Indians, who burned him alive. It is not the kind of tale that makes it into politically correct history books.
There's history here worth reading. And remembering.