CONTENTS: Mitt won; Mitt’s West Philly Adventure; Cruz forced runoff; Holder to train black pastors; Catholics say no; Florida Jews & BO; Dom Pileggi spends; The end of property tax?; School choice kit; Families like charter/cyber school; Pethokoukis – Banks too big; Hanson – 3 Obamas; Hanson – Rhine watch; Flame infects Iran computers; Spencer – How much did Muhammad exist?; Klein – Hamas tweets; Klein – McD offends Saudis; Special Ops & NKorea; Biden takes a break; Medical device tax; NC teen – gay marriage; Wisconsin TEA diary; Announcements
“Jo Ann Nardelli, a state committeewoman and founding president of the Blair County Federation of Democratic Women, has switched her political affiliation to the GOP, citing her Catholic faith and President Obama’s embrace of gay marriage as reasons…”
1739: Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto landed in Florida.
1806: In Kentucky, Andrew Jackson killed lawyer Charles Dickinson in a duel for allegedly insulting Jackson’s wife
1922: The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C
Daily Caller: Romney Clinched GOP Nomination
“…According to The Associated Press count, Romney surpassed the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination by winning at least 97 delegates in the Texas primary.
The former Massachusetts governor has reached the nomination milestone with a steady message of concern about the U.S. economy, a campaign organization that dwarfed those of his GOP foes and a fundraising operation second only to that of his Democratic opponent in the general election, President Barack Obama…”
Rush Limbaugh: Mitt’s Excellent Adventure in West Philly
“…Romney goes to this charter school in West Philadelphia. Local officials attending the event lectured him and insulted him. The Obama campaign organized so-called residents to protest across the street from the school where Romney was. They shouted at Romney, and they told him to get out of their neighborhood. Now, I want you to just try to imagine the outrage from our news media if the Romney campaign had organized whites to tell Obama to get out of their neighborhood. But there was no outrage. This story caused none. I mean even the Washington Post sounds amused. They think this was funny, what happened. But you see, apparently the Republicans are damned if they do and damned if they don’t…”
Also: Philip Rucker, WaPo: Hecklers mar Romney’s visit to inner-city charter school in Philadelphia
“…Kenny Gamble, who founded the West Philadelphia school last year, told Romney that his school’s top priority is improving the education of African Americans and closing the achievement gap between blacks and whites. Gamble, a legendary songwriter and founder of Philadelphia International Records, created and runs Universal Companies, a not-for-profit community development organization involved in education, real estate and social services….”
One of Mr. Gamble’s past adventures was advocating creation of a wall around West Philadelphia and granting preferential access to Muslims…jb
Alexis Levinson, Daily Caller: Ted Cruz Forced Runoff in Texas
“Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Solicitor General Ted Cruz will compete in a runoff for the open Texas U.S. Senate seat at the end of July, after neither won a majority in Tuesday’s primary election.
“Given the demographics of the state and the lack of a viable Democratic candidate, whoever wins the primary is widely expected to win the seat.
“A runoff was expected. Dewhurst was considered the frontrunner, with high name identification and deep pockets, but Cruz had enthusiasm on his side. The former attorney general is a conservative super star, drawing support from movement conservatives across the country…”
Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner: Holder to Train Black Pastors, “Campaign for Obama”
“Attorney General Eric Holder, the IRS, and the liberal lawyers at the ACLU will brief several hundred pastors in the African American community on how to participate in the presidential election — which the Congressional Black Caucus chair expects will help President Obama’s campaign.
“We will have representatives from nine denominations who actually pastor somewhere in the neighborhood of about 10 million people, and we’re going to first of all equip them with the information they need to know about what they can say and what they cannot say in the church that would violate their 501c3 status with the IRS,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., told MSNBC today.
“In fact, we’re going to have the IRS administrator there, we’re going to have the Attorney General Eric Holder there, we’re going to have the lawyers’ organization from around the country, the ACLU — all giving ministers guidance about what they can and cannot do,” he noted…”
Tad Cronn, Godfather: Catholics Prepare to Say No
“The Catholic Church last week sued the Obama Administration over President Obama’s decree that all employers must pay for health insurance that covers abortions, sterilizations and contraceptives, all of which violate Catholic moral teachings. The pope himself has spoken on the issue and pointed out the threat posed by Obama’s attempt to force Catholics to cooperate in ‘intrinsically evil practices.’
Despite the lawsuits whose 43 plaintiffs include the New York and Washington Archdioceses and the University of Notre Dame, President Obama indicated in campaign speeches last week that he plans to go ahead with enforcing his mandate, part of Obamacare, beginning in August.
“‘We don’t need another political fight about ending a woman’s right to choose, or getting rid of Planned Parenthood or taking away affordable birth control,’ Obama said. ‘We don’t need that. I want women to control their own health choices, just like I want my daughters to have the same economic opportunities as my sons. We’re not turning back the clock. We’re not going back there.’”
Joel Pollak, Big Peace: Rebellion – Jewish Congregations in FL
“President Barack Obama and his allies have made an unusual number of “official” visits to states that just happen to be critical to his re-election effort. Critics charge that these visits, already the subject of a complaint to the Government Accountability Office by the Republican National Committee, use taxpayer funds for what are essentially campaign purposes. In swing-state Florida, one of the few states in which Jewish voters are numerous enough to make a difference, the Obama administration and its surrogates have attempted to arrange appearances in Jewish congregations–and have been met with vociferous resistance by community activists….”
Also: Jeff Dunetz, Big Peace: More Jewish Rebellion?
Bob Guzzardi, Liberty Blog: Pileggi Spends Again
“Evan Weiner posted this article about the Soccer Stadium http://www.examiner.com/article/the-chester-pennsylvania-soccer-stadium-disaster and I posted the following crediting Chris Freind for his fine work in exposing BallardSpahr and John Estey and the other snakes. ( hat tip KeystoneReport www.keystonereport.com and Chris Lilik) see more about DRPA at Freindly Fire http://freindlyfirezone.com/home/item/138-drpa-same-old-story? and
http://freindlyfirezone.com/home/item/123-another-rendell-bailout-build-ships-with-no-buyers Unfortunately, Chris has had a lot to write about DRPA and you can find the articles with key word search DRPA.
“FYI: DRPA funds WHYY, along with millions from state government. WHYY is government media and we will read and hear little, and nothing like what Chris Freind writes about DRPA, at WHYY.
“Senate Republican Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi was the primary driver for the tax and cash subsidies – Pennsylvania’s General Assembly voted to force The Forgotten Taxpayer to spend $48,000,000 and another $10,000,000 from the Delaware River Port Authority (the revenues of this bridge authority were misdirected to politicized economic development for a favored few – Opportunistic and conflicted John Estey, BallardSpahr and Ed Rendell, http://blogs.phillymag.com/the_philly_post/2010/08/17/at-the-drpa-the-inmates-are-running-the-asylum/ in collusion with Republican Senate and House Leadership, are primarily responsible). Delaware County, itself, guaranteed $30 million in bonds without ever looking at Major League Soccer corporation’s books. Nice job Evan Weiner in laying this all out. The DelCo Times and conventional media are either clueless or complicit or, it seems, at one time and another, both. This taxpayer says “thank you.”
“Facing his first Republican primary challenger since taking office 10 years ago, state Sen. Dominic Pileggi prevailed over Roger Howard Tuesday to advance to November’s general election.
“The incumbent Pileggi, R-9, of Chester, easily captured the Delaware County portion of the district. At press time, he held a 7,687-1,784 lead, with about 76 percent of county machines reporting.
“The race was much closer in Chester County, where Howard hails. There, Pileggi held just a 2,756-2,450 lead at press time, with about 80 percent of precincts reporting…”
Tom Barnes, PghPostGazette: The End of Property Tax?
“HARRISBURG — Senior citizens and other homeowners on fixed incomes are enthusiastic about a proposal that would drastically reduce the burden of residential and commercial property taxes by eliminating the big slice that funds public schools.
“But there’s a serious political risk in House Bill 1776, nicknamed the ‘Property Tax Independence Act,’ sponsored by Rep. Jim Cox, R-Berks.
“Many of his colleagues worry about the higher state income tax and state sales tax that the bill calls for. It also would extend the sales tax to many goods and services that have always been exempt — even including taxing certain food and clothing purchases and nonprescription drugs…”
Commonwealth Foundation: School Choice Toolkit
“Children at Pennsylvania’s worst-performing schools are frequently subjected to acts of violence.
“In the worst 140+ schools alone, with some 80,000 children, students faced nearly 10,000 acts of violence in 2008-10, including robberies, rapes, riots, bomb threats and assaults. That’s a violent act every 17 minutes.
“In the bottom 5 percent of schools in the 2010-11 school year, only 32 percent of students were proficient in reading and 38 percent proficient in math on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA).
“The solution? School choice saves. View the Full School Choice Toolkit to find out how...”
Also: Priya Abraham, Why Families Like Charter and Cyber Schools
“Nine-year-old Ashley Matunis and her sister, 6-year-old Anna (pictured right), are typical girls who enjoy pizza and pretzels. They are also typical of the kind of students who attend cyber schools. They go to Pennsylvania’s largest such school, PA Cyber, which now educates more than 11,000 students across the state.
“As the girls’ mother Sarah Matunis notes, cyber school meets her daughters’ needs in a way regular schools cannot: Third-grader Ashley is learning quicker than average in math, and is now freely learning at the 4th-grade level. Anna was diagnosed with Type I diabetes before she turned 5, so cyber school allows her to keep up with school at home while her mother keeps tabs on her health. “We finally feel like our tax dollars are being used well,” she said.
“The Matunis girls are just two of some 90,000 students in Pennsylvania in charter schools, which include cyber schools. And the waiting list is 30,000 strong…”
James Pethokoukis, Weekly Standard: “Too Big for Comfort”
“America needs to break up its biggest banks, but not for reasons likely to give a tingle to Occupy Wall Street’s remnant rabble (or its Great Everywhere Spirit, Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts). This isn’t about some political exercise in election-year demonization. Bankers, as a class, aren’t villains. They’re not “banksters” grifting money from middle-income pockets. And they’re certainly not vampire squids on the collective face of humanity, as Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi has infamously described Goldman Sachs. And while it might be rhetorical overkill to say they’re “doing God’s work,” as Goldman boss Lloyd Blankfein has put it, bankers do fulfill a critical economic function. Bankers, not bureaucrats, are supposed to be the efficient allocators of capital in America’s market-based economy. They connect people who have spare dough to those who need a bit of spare dough, such as entrepreneurs looking to start a business or companies looking to grow one. We need lots of successful banks, and we need smart folks to run them.
“But America doesn’t need 20 banks with combined assets equal to nearly 90 percent of the U.S. economy, or five mega-banks—JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs—with combined assets equal to almost 60 percent of national output, three times what they were in the 1990s. That amount of complexity and financial concentration—which has grown worse since the passage of Dodd-Frank—is a current and continuing threat to the health of the U.S. economy…”
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “Two, Three, Many Obamas”
“As the campaign heats up, one problem is that we continue to meet lots of different Barack Obamas — to such a degree that we don’t know which, if any, is really president.
I think the president believes that private-equity firms harm the economy and that their CEOs are at best indifferent and sometimes unsympathetic to the struggle of average Americans. I say ‘I think’ because Obama has himself collected millions of dollars from such profit-driven firms, and uses their grandees to raise cash for his reelection. Cynical, hypocritical, or unaware? You decide.
“I think the president is in favor of publicly funded campaign financing but against super PACs; but again I say “I think” because Obama renounced the former and embraced the latter. Are Guantanamo, renditions, tribunals, and preventive detention constitutional necessities or threats to our security? Some of Obama’s personalities have said they are bad; others apparently believe them to be good.
“One Barack Obama crisscrosses the country warning us that a sinister elite has robbed from the common good and must atone for destroying the economy. Another Barry Obama hits the golf links in unapologetically aristocratic fashion and prefers Martha’s Vineyard for his vacation. So I am confused about the evil 1 percent. Obama 1 feels they have shorted the country and must now pay their fair share, while Obama 2 feels they are vital allies in helping the poor by attending his $40,000-a-plate campaign dinners…”
Victor Davis Hanson, PJM: Rhine Watch
Kehl, Germany — I’ve been making my way downstream the Rhine from Switzerland on the way to Amsterdam, leading a military history tour while observing and talking and listening to Germans and Swiss. I’ve come to a conclusion that those who speak German are sort of like red-staters (socialists though they may be) who view the rest of a failing Europe, or indeed the world at large, the way those in Texas look at California or a Wisconsin governor envisions the Illinois legislature.
The Germans now are in the impossible situation of being told they did something wrong by doing things mostly right. They retire too late and caused others to retire too early; they saved too much money so others had to borrow too much; they built too many things that others wanted; they acted too much like parents and so made others too much like children.
Right now the continent’s psychological problem is not that southern Europeans cannot pay the northerners back, but that they are often arguing that they should not have to pay them, as if those who lent are more to blame than those who borrowed. The Germans rightly know that if they were just to write off the debt, such magnanimity would only lead to the same disaster in another five years, as the southern Mediterraneans cited such largess as proof that the Germans were guilty all along of mercantilism and therefore finally evened up with their moral betters. For Germans, this serial blackmail is of course an impossible situation. Would you wish to be lectured by your poorer brother-in-law on why he should not have to pay your $1,000 loan back, as he critiqued your oh-so-conventional workaholic habits?
Again, it would be as if Californians would lecture Texans about why they must give the Golden State $16 billion to solve our current budget shortfall…”
Jim Finkle, Yahoo (Reuters): “Flame” Infects Iran’s Computers
“BOSTON (Reuters) – Security experts said on Monday a highly sophisticated computer virus is infecting computers in Iran and other Middle East countries and may have been deployed at least five years ago to engage in state-sponsored cyber espionage.
Evidence suggest that the virus, dubbed Flame, may have been built on behalf of the same nation or nations that commissioned the Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran’s nuclear program in 2010, according to Kaspersky Lab, the Russian cyber security software maker that took credit for discovering the infections.
Kaspersky researchers said they have yet to determine whether Flame had a specific mission like Stuxnet, and declined to say who they think built it…”
Robert Spencer, Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry into Islam’s Obscure Origins. Wilmington, ISI Books, 254 pages, about $17 from Barnes or Amazon on line. Now on the shelf at Barnes…
Carefully written and good reading but has a 12th grade or college level vocabulary … won’t have much impact until simplified or included in a “politically incorrect” paperback … many “fun” discoveries -“virgin” should be retranslated as “raisin” or “grape” although it’s less glorious to die for 72 raisins …
The earliest biographical material appeared 125 years after Muhammad’s reported death; one-third of the Qur’an was constructed from pre-Islamic Christian texts; Muslim scholars admit that countless deeds were fabricated; inscriptions on Islam’s Dome of the Rock likely refer to Jesus, and indications are that Arabian leaders fashioned Islam for political purposes. Brutality to Christians was part of Arabic tradition as early as 636.
“Did Muhammad exist? As a prophet of the Arabs who taught a vaguely defined monotheism, he may have existed. But beyond that, his life story is lost in the mists of legend…As the prophet of Islam, who received (or even claimed to receive) the perfect copy of the perfect eternal book from the supreme God, Muhammad almost certainly did not exist. There are too many gaps, too many silences, too many aspects of the historical record that simply do not accord, and cannot be made to accord, with the traditional account…” (p. 214) “…there is compelling reason to conclude that Muhammad the messenger of Allah came into existence only after the Arab empire was firmly entrenched and casting about for a political theology to anchor and unify it.” (p. 215)
The basic dilemma: Five billion people believe in Muhammad as if he did exist and that a billion people will be less interested than Spencer in asking “intellectually honest” questions. They will also worry less that “Jihadists die for a fiction.”
Aaron Klein, KleinonLine: Hamas Tweets
“JERUSALEM — One of the deadliest terrorist organizations in the world maintains an official Twitter account, which it has been using to spread propaganda against Israel while working, in its own words, to “evoke the spirit of Jihad.”
“The Al Qassam Brigades, the so-called military wing of Hamas, sends out numerous English language updates on its Twitter account, @AlqassamBrigade, with most of the tweets linking to the terror group’s official English website, www.qassam.ps.
“The profile of the Al Qassam Brigade Twitter account reads: “The official web site of Al Qassam Brigades in Palestine. Gaza, Palestine, www.qassam.ps.”
“The website, www.Qassam.ps, does not disguise its militant agenda. Its mission statement relates, “The Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades works to evoke the spirit of Jihad (resistance) amongst Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims.”
“The account has been used to tweet anti-Israel propaganda…”
Aaron Klein, KleinonLine: McDonalds Offended Muhammad, Saudis Upset
“According to a report appearing Sunday, May 27th on the Arabic news website, Kermalkom.com, the McDonald’s fast food restaurant “abused the Prophet Muhammad by placing his name at the base of a toy that is being distributed as part of the Happy Meal, a toy which steps on the name ‘Muhammad.’”
Raymond Ibrahim, Jewish Press: Saudi Outrage
“According to a report appearing Sunday, May 27th on the Arabic news website, Kermalkom.com, the McDonald’s fast food restaurant “abused the Prophet Muhammad by placing his name at the base of a toy that is being distributed as part of the Happy Meal, a toy which steps on the name ‘Muhammad.’” The toy consists of a blue superhero figurine (apparently a Power Ranger Samurai; click here for pictures). It stands on one leg, and, when the lever is pressed, it pounds on the base with the other leg. According to the Saudis, the designs that appear all around the base, where the figurine stomps its foot, is really the name ‘Muhammad’ written several times in circles…”
UK Telegraph: US Special Ops Parachute into North Korea
“Army Brigadier General Neil Tolley, commander of US special forces in South Korea, told a conference held in Florida last week that Pyongyang had built thousands of tunnels since the Korean war, The Diplomat reported.
“The entire tunnel infrastructure is hidden from our satellites,” Gen Tolley said. “So we send (South Korean) soldiers and US soldiers to the North to do special reconnaissance.”
“‘After 50 years, we still don’t know much about the capability and full extent” of the underground facilities,” he said, in comments reported by the National Defense Industrial Association’s magazine on its website.
“Gen Tolley said the commandos were sent in with minimal equipment to facilitate their movements and minimize the risk of detection by North Korean forces.
“‘At least four of the tunnels built by Pyongyang go under the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea, Tolley said.
“‘We don’t know how many we don’t know about,’ [sic!] he admitted.
“Among the facilities identified are 20 air fields that are partially underground, and thousands of artillery positions…”
David Martosko, Daily Caller: It Never Happened…
“Quotes indicating that U.S. special forces had made reconnaissance incursions into North Korea were fabricated, United States Forces Korea told a Voice of America journalist in a statement.
“U.S. Army Gen. Neil Tolley, commander of U.S. special operations on the Korean peninsula, was quoted in The Diplomat magazine as saying “we send ROK [Republic of Korea] soldiers and U.S. soldiers to the North to do special reconnaissance.”
“The Daily Caller reported on the apparent admission, which The Diplomat said came during a military industry conference in Tampa last week.
“But VOA bureau chief Steve Herman, tweeting from Seoul, quoted a statement from United States Forces Korea saying “quotes have been made up & attributed to” Brigadier Gen. Neil Tolley…”
Keith Koffler, WhiteHouseDossier: Biden Takes a Break
Maybe he heard about Hillary…
“Vice President Biden, who has been increasingly prone to gaffes and veering off message as of late, is taking the week off.
“Biden will be at home in Wilmington, Delaware for the rest of the week.
“He needs the rest.
“While always prone to saying the wrong thing, Biden in recent weeks has been on a roll.
“Most famously, he blurted out on Meet the Press that he favored gay marriage, forcing President Obama to hastily emerge with his own statement of support.
“But Biden has been the victim of many other self-inflicted wounds during the past several weeks, including calling Obama ‘President Clinton,’ calling Romney ‘President Romney,’ suggesting the Irish drink too much, crossing himself in front of a meeting of over 1,000 conservative rabbis, and paying a visit to Florida’s ‘Evergators,’ as he put it…”
WSJ: Medical Device Tax
“’Taxmageddon’ isn’t only about the half-trillion-dollar blow to the economy that arrives in 2013 on the end of the Bush-Obama tax rates. Several of the Affordable Care Act’s worst tax increases kick in too, such as the new excise tax on medical devices.
The 2.3% levy applies to the sale of everything from cardiac defibrillators to artificial joints to MRI scanners. The device tax is supposed to raise $28.5 billion from 2013 to 2022, and it is especially harmful because it applies to gross sales, not profits. Companies at make-or-break margins could be taxed out of existence, especially in an intensely competitive industry where four of five businesses are start-ups or midsized.
“Items such as MRI scanners, above, would be subject to the device tax.
“As even the liberal papoose Elizabeth Warren recently put it, the device tax ‘disproportionately impacts the small companies with the narrowest financial margins and the broadest innovative potential.’”
Breitbart Video: Teen’s Gay Marriage Tape Banned by YouTube
“The following video produced by sixteen-year-old Madeleine McAulay has been banned by YouTube because it did not meet their “community guidelines.” The video, which had garnered over 20,000 hits in only a week, was submitted to Breitbart News for consideration when it was first released. We are proud to host this video at Breitbart News and we invite everyone to Tweet it, Facebook it and embed it in their blogs. Not because we necessarily agree with Ms. McAulay, but because we believe, as our founder did, that our nation is stronger because of active and engaging debate of all ideas.”
Jenny Beth Martin, Big Government: Wisconsin – TEA Party Diary
“Joined by patriots from Seattle to Miami, Los Angles to Philadelphia, last Saturday I settled into home base Wisconsin for the next three weeks with Wisconsin State Coordinator Mike Hintze and TPP Support Staff Coordinator Linda Parker a team of volunteer
s coordinators. We began organizing our efforts for door-to-door neighborhood walks to talk to voters about the recall and its effect on representative democracy. We began in Milwaukee, Brookfield and New Berlin.
“Sunday, the first shift of volunteers flew into Milwaukee and Monday morning at 9:00 am we began our first round of door to door walking. On Monday and Tuesday, volunteers completed walking lists for Brookfield and New Berlin, we got our system down, and routines began to firm up. In the first three days, thirty out-of-state volunteers knocked on 1200 doors.
“By Wednesday afternoon…”
John Sexton, Big Journalism: First Snopes, Now PolitiFact
“PolitiFact, the fact-checking arm of the Tampa Bay Times, has really outdone itself with this check of a recent Crossroads GPS ad. Their 1,100 word fact check focuses in on just 14 words and still manages to completely confuse the issue. It winds up judging a completely true statement “False” based on nothing but the author’s intuition of the advertiser’s bad intentions.
“This certainly looks like an egregious example of political bias, but rather than assume the worst of the author, I emailed her and her editor to see if they would agree to explain themselves. After a back and forth with PolitiFact’s senior editor, which I’ll share below, my efforts led to the addition of an update which does absolutely nothing to address the problem. So, is this rampant bias or just incompetence? I’ll let you be the judge…”