CONTENTS: Oxygen for secession; Lots of ammo for DHS; GOP moves on?; Hagel redistrib wealth; Hagel pro-jihad; Mike Folmer news; Tape a Philly Cop; Ray Nagin indicted; Biden’s bragging; Stealth Hoodie; Dems want more $; Steyn – trillion dollar coins; Pay for a budget; Gun rallies; Sexual selection; Lott – guns & crime; Oncoming police state; Rand Paul to our rescue; Depravity Scale; MidEast –Hanson, Phillips, Geller, Algeria; Netanyahu; McCarthy – McCain; Announcements
“It seems impossible, but Barack Obama has taken the most powerful office on the planet and reduced it to the size of a patent clerk’s sinecure.”
“. . . the 7th circuit Court of Appeals says collective bargaining reforms passed by Governor Scott Walker will stand.” John Sexton
“In a ‘democracy’ in which 51% of the people may dispossess the other 49%, the motto is essential to the well being of the latter group. I have heard Obama supporters say that those who opposed their false messiah just have to accept his victory and whatever he may decide to do with their rights, their property, and their lives.”
“To this, my simple answer is ‘No.’” Cole Cleburne
“Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around the time of King’s birthday, January 15. The floating holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, though the act predated the establishment of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by 15 years.
“King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed on January 20, 1986. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.”
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Taylor Rose, WND: “Secession movement just needs ‘more oxygen’”
“A Southern heritage organization that has argued for an investigation of “injustices” committed by Union troops against the South during the Civil War now says the offhand dismissal by the White House of secession petitions filed by residents of all 50 states may actually help the movement.
“‘I think that this is going to rejuvenate and give it more life, and obviously we need to fan the flames and give it more oxygen,’ said Michael Hill, president of the League of the South, which has numerous chapters across the United States.
“The issue arose immediately after Barack Obama’s re-election in November. It got started with a petition on the White House website from Louisianans anxious to properly withdraw their state from the union.
“In just days, residents of all 50 states had launched such petitions, gathering hundreds of thousands of signatures.
“The petitions were ignored by the White House until just days ago, when Jon Carson, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, said no.
“‘As much as we value a healthy debate,’ he wrote, ‘we don’t let that debate tear us apart’”
Secession is a coming, global trend and, according to Greg Copley, Uncivilization: Urban Politics in a Time of Chaos, originates in urban areas where the inhabitants 1) forget their dependency on food, fuel, and babies from the suburbs and 2) develop social beliefs that nearly always oppose those in the country side. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Scranton and Harrisburg ruin the Commonwealth. New York, Boston, Washington, Baltimore, Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco ruin our Republic. More later . . .
Aaron Klein, WND: Homeland Security Hoards Ammo
“. . . While local authorities scramble to fulfill future ammunition needs by turning to the same suppliers from which private gun owners purchase their rounds, the Department of Homeland Security reportedly maintains a large stock of ammunition.
“Last March, DHS reportedly ordered 450 million rounds of .40 caliber ammunition, including hollow point bullets, from defense contractor ATK to be delivered over five years.
“Hollow-point tip bullets are rarely used in training exercises. They are among the deadliest bullets, with the ability to pass through barriers and expand for a bigger impact without the rest of the bullet warping.
“In April, Business Insider reported on an additional DHS request for 750 million more rounds for a total of at least 1.2 billion bullets. The 750 million is more than 10 times what U.S. troops used in a full year of Iraqi combat.
“It was not immediately clear how many bullets were delivered to DHS.
“In 2009, manufacturer Winchester posted an award to its site affirming it will deliver 200 million rounds to DHS over five years, serving as yet another order on top of others that may have already been partially fulfilled, as Business Insider noted. . .”
Erick Erickson, Red State: “The Allure of Moving On”
“. . . In fact, time and time again, the GOP has spent more time wanting to seem reasonable to the Washington press corps than actually do anything. They bluster, pound their chests, and then they cave. We can move on to the next fight if that makes you feel better, but you would be foolish to think the GOP will not cave again. They’ll say things like:
“We only have one House so there is only so much we can do;” and,
“We did get meaningful concessions, trust us;” and,
“We have to appear reasonable;” and,
“Spending will be cut over ten years while taxes go up tomorrow;” and,
“If we fight too hard, we’ll wind up getting a worse deal;” and,
“I know, let’s move on to the next fight. We’ll be on better ground on that fight.”
“The only fight the GOP extracted meaningful concessions from the Democrats on was the 2011 debt ceiling fight. And how did they do that? They refused to do a clean debt limit without something. They got more Democrats voting for a package that put the sequester into law, and it is now set to hit. The President had to give in. Ironically, now some want to get rid of sequester, the one major spending cut the GOP got the last time.
“Right now all the bluster in Washington is about the Democrats accusing the GOP of starving kids and killing old people. They know the GOP will cave. This maneuver X B.S. is exactly what they are hoping for. And then we can move to the next fight and watch the GOP cave again and again and again all in the name of looking like the reasonable party.
“Perhaps it is time to stop looking reasonable and start, metaphorically, shooting the hostages. . .”
LEADS . . .
Aaron Klein, KleinonLine: “Hagel pushes wealth redistribution to Third World. . .”
“Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for Defense Secretary, sits on the board of numerous globalist groups that promote major increases in U.S. government funding for the third world.
Hagel is a board member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition , a broad-based influential network of businesses, policy makers, national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic and community leaders pushing for more U.S. funding for diplomacy and third world development.
The group has released scores of reports with the theme of major increases in governmental funding to the developing world.
“One recent report entitled, Building a Better, Safer World, calls for the elevation of ‘global poverty’ with increased U.S. humanitarian assistance worldwide. . .”
Aaron Klein, KleinonLine: “Hagel funded group pushing talks with al-Qaida in Algeria. Seeks legitimacy for jihad organization behind current hostage crisis”
“TEL AVIV — Secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel sits in the small board of a peace fund that finances an international “crisis management” group that long has petitioned the Algerian government to cease “excessive” military activities against al-Qaida-linked jihadists, KleinOnline has learned.
“The organization in question, the International Crisis Group, specifically called on Algeria to grant legitimacy to the very al-Qaida-linked group reportedly behind the kidnapping of about 40 foreign hostages, including several Americans, at a natural-gas field in Algeria today.
“The ICG petitioned for the Islamist group to participate in the Algerian government.
Hagel serves on the board of The Ploughshares Fund, a George Soros financed fund that pushes for a nuclear free world. . .”
Senator Mike Folmer: News
“Voter’s Choice Act Reintroduced
“I have reintroduced my Voter’s Choice Act (Senate Bill 195), legislation to eliminate unfair hurdles obstructing ballot access for minor party and independent candidates by allowing them to collect the same number of signatures as is required of major party candidates in order to appear on the general election ballot.
“Senate Committee Assignments Announced
“Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa recently announced their respective caucus members for each of the 22 Senate Standing Committees for the 2013-2014 legislative session.
“I will serve as chair of the Senate Education Committee, along with Democratic chair Senator Andy Dinniman and vice-chair Senator Lloyd Smucker. Other members of the committee include Senators Browne, Corman, Greenleaf, Leach, Teplitz, Tomlinson, and Williams.
“My other committee assignments include Communications and Technology, now chaired by Senator Vulakovich; Inter-governmental Affairs; Labor and Industry (vice-chair); Rules & Executive Nominations; State Government; and Urban Affairs & Housing.
Click herefor a complete list of all committee assignments.
“Finance Committee Holds Hearing on Privatization of State Lottery
“The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Brubaker, held a public hearing on the potential privatization and future of the Pennsylvania Lottery. Testimony was offered by members of the Corbett Administration, officials from Camelot Global Services, a firm which operates Britain’s national lottery and is the sole bidder to privatize management of the Pennsylvania Lottery, and lottery officials.
“I have serious concerns about the privatization plan, as I believe some legislative action or involvement is needed. For more of my thoughts on this issue, click here.
“Audio, video, and testimony from the hearing can be found on here: www.senatorfolmer.com
Eric Boehm, PA Independent: “Philadelphia police detained man for filming them in public, suit claims”
According to the lawsuit, Christopher Montgomery v. City of Philadelphia, the plaintiff was arrested, imprisoned and had his property seized by Philadelphia police after he created a video and audio recording of the arrest of several individuals fighting in Center City on Jan. 23, 2011. Montgomery was not directly involved in the incident, according to the lawsuit, but he was arrested, held for 45 minutes and charged with disorderly conduct, for which he was eventually found not guilty.
The lawsuit was filed by the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, on behalf of Montgomery.
The lawsuit seeks public acknowledgment that the police violated Montgomery’s First Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights, financial settlement for damages awarded at trial and attorney’s fees.
Reggie Shuford, executive director of the Pennsylvania ACLU, said in a statement that the case is “the first in a series of lawsuits arguing that Philadelphia police officers routinely manufacture criminal charges to retaliate against individuals who observe or record police activity.”
Rick Jervis, USA Today: “Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin indicted”
“NEW ORLEANS – Ray Nagin, former New Orleans mayor and the public face of the battered city in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, has been indicted by a grand jury on 21 federal corruption charges.
“The indictment, released Friday, alleges Nagin awarded lucrative city contracts to
contractors in exchange for more than $200,000 in kickbacks and first-class trips to Hawaii, Jamaica and Las Vegas.
“Nagin, 56, served two four-year terms as mayor, from 2002 to 2010, and currently lives in Frisco, Tex., outside Dallas. If convicted on all charges, he faces more than 15 years in prison. Nagin becomes the first mayor in the city’s 295-year history to be indicted under federal corruption charges. . .”
Dave Boyer, Washington Times: “Biden’s claim of brush with gun massacre questioned”
“Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s claim that he heard the gunshots of a 2006 school massacre while playing golf is raising questions about his veracity or his memory.
“Mr. Biden told a meeting of mayors in Washington Thursday that he was about a quarter-mile away from an Amish schoolhouse on Oct. 2, 2006, when a gunman shot and killed five students and wounded five others.
“‘I happened to be literally — probably, it turned out, to be a quarter of a mile [away] at an outing when I heard gunshots in the woods,’ Mr. Biden recounted. ‘We didn’t know … we thought they were hunters.’
“But a search of maps of the area in Lancaster County, Pa., shows the nearest golf course to the site of the shooting, Moccasin Run Golf Club, is about five miles away. Rodney King, the golf pro at Moccasin Run, said Friday he was working at the course on the day of the shooting and never saw Mr. Biden, who was then a U.S. senator.
“‘I know he didn’t hear those gunshots,’ Mr. King said. ‘They were inside the school. Even if they were outside, he wouldn’t have heard them.’”
Jesse Emspak, Discovery: “Stealth Hoodie Hides Wearer from Drones”
“. . . Harvey has been looking at the effects of such surveillance on culture for some time. Last year he designed a kind of face makeup called CVDazzle to avert face-recognition software.
“In the spirit of fooling cameras – and messing with surveillance – Harvey has now come out in a set of hoodies and scarves that block thermal radiation from the infrared scanners drones use. Wearing the fabric would make that part of the body look black to a drone, so the image would appear like disembodied legs. He also designed a pouch for cell phones that shields them from trackers by blocking the radio signals the phone emits. For those airport X-ray machines, he has a shirt with a printed design that blocks the radiation from one’s heart. . .”
Lori Montgomery, WaPo: “Senate Democrats’ budget plan will reopen battle over taxes”
“Senate Democrats plan to draft a budget blueprint that calls for significantly higher taxes on the wealthy, oil and gas companies and corporations doing business overseas, reopening a battle over taxes Republicans had hoped to lay to rest with the “fiscal cliff.”
For nearly four years, Senate leaders have ducked their legal duty to craft a comprehensive budget framework. Now, however, Democrats see the budget process as “a great opportunity” to pursue additional tax increases — and to create a fast-track process to push them through the Senate, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“There’s going to have to be some spending cuts, and those will be negotiated,” Schumer, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, said in an interview after the show. “But doing a budget is the best way for us to get revenues.”
Mark Steyn, NRO: “Trillion-Dollar-Coin Fever”
“I was out of the country for a few days and news from this great republic reached me only fitfully. I have learned to be wary of foreign reporting of U.S. events, since America can come off sounding faintly deranged. Much of what reached me didn’t sound entirely plausible: Did the entire U.S. media really fall for the imaginary dead girlfriend of a star football player? Did the president of the United States really announce 23 executive orders by reading out the policy views of carefully pre-screened grade-schoolers (“I want everybody to be happy and safe”)? Clearly, these vicious rumors were merely planted in the foreign press to make the United States appear ridiculous.
“And indeed, upon my return, it seemed to be business as usual. ABC News revealed that in 2007 President Bush’s secretary of the interior — oh, come on, it’s on the citizenship test: ‘Name a secretary of the interior. Any secretary of the interior.’ Anyway, ABC revealed that Bush’s secretary of the interior spent 220,000 taxpayer dollars remodeling his (or her, as the case may be) office bathroom. Who knew the gig was really secretary of the interior design? I’ll bet the guy who made Saddam’s solid-gold toilets was delighted to get a new customer. But what can be done? If we changed the name to secretary of the exterior, he’d have blown a quarter-million on a new outhouse.
“Meanwhile, hot from the fiscal-cliff fiasco, the media are already eagerly anticipating the next in the series of monthly capitulations by Republicans, this time on the debt ceiling. While I was abroad, a Nobel Prize–winning economist, a Harvard professor of constitutional law, a prominent congressman, and various other American eminencies apparently had a sober and serious discussion on whether the United States Treasury could circumvent the debt constraints by minting a trillion-dollar platinum coin. Although Joe Weisenthal of Business Insider called the trillion-dollar coin “the most important fiscal policy debate you’ll ever see in your life,” most Democrat pundits appeared to favor the idea for the more straightforward joy it affords in sticking it to the House Republicans. No more tedious whining about spending from GOP congressmen. Next time Paul Ryan shows up in committee demanding to know about deficit-reduction plans, all the treasury secretary has to do is pull out a handful of trillion-dollar coins from down the back of the sofa and tell him to keep the change. . .”
Alexis Levinson, Daily Caller: “House GOP will vote to tie congressional member pay to passing a budget in debt deal”
“House Republicans will vote on a three-month extension of the debt ceiling coupled with a requirement that both chambers pass a budget or forego their salaries, a tactic meant to force Senate Democrats to pass a budget.
“Speaker of the House John Boehner announced the move at the House Republican caucus retreat Friday, according to remarks provided by his office.
“‘Before there is any long-term debt limit increase, a budget should be passed that cuts spending. The Democratic-controlled Senate has failed to pass a budget for four years. That is a shameful run that needs to end, this year,’ Boehner said. ‘We are going to pursue strategies that will obligate the Senate to finally join the House in confronting the government’s spending problem. The principle is simple: no budget, no pay.’”
Nick Carey, Reuters: “Rallies across U.S. assail Obama’s proposed gun curbs”
“(Reuters) – Pro-gun activists held “high noon” rallies across the United States on Saturday to defend the right to own firearms that they say is being threatened by President Barack Obama’s gun-control proposals.
“The U.S. debate over gun control erupted in mid-December after a man armed with an assault rifle killed 20 first-graders and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut – the deadliest of a string of U.S. shooting sprees last year.
“‘We are law-abiding citizens, business owners, military, and we are not going to be responsible for other people’s criminal actions,’ former Marine Damon Locke said to applause at a Florida rally he had helped organize.
“Some in the crowd of about 1,000 in Brooksville, about an hour north of Tampa, hoisted signs that said: ‘Stop the Gun Grabbers’ and ‘Gun control isn’t about guns, it’s about control. . .’
From Drudge Report, 1/20/13
Brody: Pop Shop
Four ideas come from evolutionists:
1) Your “religious sense” – that of conversing with God – is a heritable trait. One-third of us have it, one third do not, and another third does whatever the neighbors do. Kicking religion out of the public schools contradicts the instinctive needs of one-third of the pupils who will found their own religions while the middle third merges with the atheists and makes a new majority. Kicking religion out of the schools is stupid. It can be seen as “racist.”
2) Whether you are a starling or a barfly, “looking tough” gets you more dates, especially with women, married or not, who are ovulating. If hairy guns looked more powerful, we would put hair on them. Another pair of examples: the colors and definition of bird feathers reflect the bird’s health and attract partners. You can see this same process in your State liquor store. There are hundreds of names on similar bottles of wine, such as Fat Bastard, Stark Raving, Ménage à Trois, Normajean, and Be.Radiant. There are also signs advertising the difference between list and asking prices.
3) “Better safe than sorry” directs much of our lives. If you underestimate a danger, you die. Or you lose an election. “What might happen?” mobilizes anxiety; it can also found a new religion or revive an old one. And it can lead to social rituals such as gun regulations that have costs but not their intended result.
4) Adults are tools that serve children. True at conception when a new fetus takes control of its mother’s blood sugar. True still when our youngster connives use of the car or drinking parties for his or her friends. Children are precious. They are also tyrants. Small wonder that Dear Leader stands in their midst.
The contradiction in Dear Leader is that he supports abortion mills – especially those for blacks – but insists on spending money that belongs to our grandchildren. If DL were to be consistent instead of a showman, he would order consequences for drinking large sodas and make our kids skinnier but alive.
John Lott, WSJ: “The Facts about Assault Weapons and Crime”
“. . . Yes, the Bushmaster and the AK-47 are ‘military-style weapons.’ But the key word is ‘style’—they are similar to military guns in their cosmetics, not in the way they operate. The guns covered by the original were not the fully automatic machine guns used by the military, but semiautomatic versions of those guns.
“The civilian version of the Bushmaster uses essentially the same sorts of bullets as small game-hunting rifles, fires at the same rapidity (one bullet per pull of the trigger), and does the same damage. The civilian version of the AK-47 is similar, though it fires a much larger bullet—.30 inches in diameter, as opposed to the .223 inch rounds used by the Bushmaster. No self-respecting military in the world would use the civilian version of these guns.
“A common question is: ‘Why do people need a semiautomatic Bushmaster to go out and kill deer?’ The answer is simple: It is a hunting rifle. It has just been made to look like a military weapon.
“But the point isn’t to help hunters. Semiautomatic weapons also protect people and save lives. . .
Roger Kimball, PJM: “The police state, coming soon to a neighborhood near you”
“The philosopher Hannah Arendt once observed that it was arbitrariness, not necessarily severity, that distinguished totalitarian from law-abiding states. Stalin may have had his Gulags, Hitler his concentration camps, but the key to understanding the exercise of totalitarian power there and elsewhere lay in its capricious, unpredictable application, not its harshness. The operation of law is public, regular, knowable in advance. The eruption of the totalitarian impulse inserts a vertiginousness element of whim. That’s part of what makes it terrifying. In a free society governed by the rule of law, people know where they stand. In the normal course of affairs, most people will never directly experience the coercive power of the state. They are not subjected to harassment at the arbitrary direction of state officials. With the erosion of the habits of liberty, however, everything changes. Now the state tends to regard the people first of all not as its raison d’être but as a potential threat. The result is a sharp contraction of that latitude that free societies allow their citizens. . .”
Alex Pappas, DailyCaller: “Sources: Rand Paul to push legislation nullifying Obama’s executive actions on guns”
“Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul plans to introduce legislation in Congress soon nullifying the executive orders on guns announced by President Barack Obama on Wednesday, a source familiar with the plans confirmed to The Daily Caller.
“The Republican legislator plans to reveal his plans for legislation during an appearance on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News on Wednesday night, the source said.
“Obama on Wednesday announced during a White House ceremony that he plans to initiate 23 executive actions meant to curb gun violence in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., massacre last year. . .”
Replay – Michael Welner, MD: DepravityScale.org.: Help Wanted
Thanks, Bill Bennett . . .
“Judges and juries both across the United States and in other countries who decide that a crime is ‘depraved,’ ‘heinous,’ or ‘horrible’ can assign more severe sentences. Yet there is no standardized definition for such dramatic words that courts already use. And while we may all recognize that some crimes truly separate themselves from others, there is no standard, fair way to distinguish crimes that are the worst of the worst, or ‘evil.’
To minimize the arbitrariness of how courts determine the worst of crimes, and to eliminate bias in sentencing, the Depravity Scale research aims to establish societal standards of what makes a crime depraved, and to develop a standardized instrument based on specific characteristics of a crime that must be proven in order to merit more severe sentences.
This research will refine into the Depravity Standard, an objective measure based on forensic evidence. This instrument distinguishes not who is depraved but rather, what aspects of a given crime are depraved and the degree of a specific crime’s depravity. The research will enhance fairness in sentencing, given that it is race, gender and socio-economic blind.
“The research has already been guided by legal and scientific study. Now, a two-part survey has been developed to involve the general public in establishing societal standards of what makes a crime depraved. The first part enables the general public to shape the specific intents, actions, and attitudes that should be included as items of the Depravity Standard instrument, and the second involves the general public in refining the relative weight of these items. In both surveys, all members of the general public are urged to participate. . .”
RESEARCH instrument at https://depravityscale.org/depscale/survey.php
Victor Davis Hanson, PJM: “Our Old Grand Fantasies about Radical Islam”
“Most things that we read in the popular media about radical Islam are fantasies. They are promulgated in the mistaken belief that such dogmas will appease terrorists, or at least direct their ire elsewhere. But given the recent news — murdering in Algeria, war in Mali, the Syrian mess, and Libyan chaos — let us reexamine some of these more common heresies. Such a review is especially timely, given that Mr. Brennan believed that jihad is largely a personal quest for spiritual perfection; Mr. Kerry believed that Bashar Assad was a potentially moderating reformer; and Mr. Hagel believed that Iran was not worthy of sanctions, Hezbollah was not deserving of ostracism, and Israel is equally culpable for the Middle East mess. . .”
Melanie Phillips: “Unless we become as single-minded as the fanatics, we are all hostages now”
“. . . it is not just that the Algerians’ response in that hideously complex situation cannot be judged without understanding precisely what they thought the hostage-takers were about to do. It is also that the ruthless Algerian approach acknowledges a reality on the ground that the West seems incapable of grasping.
“The Algerians refuse to negotiate because they know that the Islamists’ position is simply non-negotiable.
“Unlike other hostage-takers, they usually have no interest in getting out alive; they intend to die as ‘martyrs’, and of course have no compunction about killing their captives.
“Moreover, the purpose of taking hostages is either to kill ‘infidels’ or to extract ransom money for them — which will merely finance more kidnappings and terrorist atrocities.
“Such terrorists thus regard with contempt all negotiation as a sign of weakness. . .”
Pamela Geller, WND: “Bloody jihad: Obama fiddles, Americans burn”
“The Algerian hostage crisis came to a bloody end Saturday when Special Forces stormedthe BP gas complex after the jihadists executed their non-Muslim POWs.At least 81 people have been killed, including two Americans. They were holding more than 600, but they released all the Muslims, saying ‘they did not want to hurt Muslims. Some locals were forced to recite parts of the Koran to prove they were Muslims.’
“The jihadists called their non-Muslim hostages ‘kuffar,’ an ugly word meaning unbelievers. One Muslim hostage said: ‘Us Algerians were rounded up separately and were treated with kindness. We were told that because we were Muslim we would not be killed, and it was only the Christians they were after. The Algerian hostages were then allowed to leave. … I saw many Brits killed. One Westerner trying to give first aid was blown up by the terrorists.’”
Paul Schemm & Anis Belghoul, AP: Algerian assault ends crisis, 19 hostages dead
“AIN AMENAS, Algeria (AP) — Algerian special forces stormed a natural gas complex in the middle of the Sahara desert on Saturday in a “final assault” that ended a four-day-old hostage crisis, according to the state news agency and two foreign governments. At least 19 hostages and 29 Islamist militants have been killed.
“The report, quoting a security source, didn’t say whether any hostages or militants remained alive, and it didn’t give the nationalities of the dead.
“It said the army was forced to intervene after a fire broke out in the plant and said the militants killed the hostages. It wasn’t immediately possible to verify who killed the captives. . .”
Harriet Sherwood, UK Guardian: “’Political coward’ Binyamin Netanyahu sees rift with Barack Obama widen”
“Already fractious relations between Binyamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama have been further strained in the runup to the president’s inauguration on Monday and the Israeli prime minister’s anticipated victory in Tuesday’s election.
“Netanyahu aides accused Obama of interfering in the Israeli election following publication of an article by Jeffrey Goldberg, which quoted the president as saying: “Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.” Obama, wrote Goldberg, viewed Netanyahu as a “political coward”.
“The Israeli president, Shimon Peres, who has voiced alarm at the rupture between the two leaders, was due to meet a delegation of US senators, led by Republican John McCain, in Jerusalem on Saturday night to discuss strengthening strategic relations between the two allies. . .”
Andrew McCarthy, NRO: “McCain’s Mideast Blunders”
And Hillary’s, Susan’s, and Samantha’s . . .
“Rally behind Bachmann”
“I wonder if the jihadists of eastern Libya are still “heroes” to John McCain. That’s what he called them — “my heroes” — after he changed on a dime from chummy Qaddafi tent guest to rabid Qaddafi scourge.
“See, the senator and his allies in the Obama-Clinton State Department had a brilliant notion: The reason the “rebels” of eastern Libya hated America so much had nothing to do with their totalitarian, incorrigibly anti-Western ideology. No, no: The problem was that we sided with Qaddafi, giving the dictator — at the insistence of, well, McCain and the State Department — foreign aid, military assistance, and international legitimacy. If we just threw Qaddafi under the bus, the rebels would surely become our grand democratic allies.
“This, of course, was a much more sophisticated theory than you’d get from lunatics like Michele Bachmann. Sit down for this, because I know it’s hard to believe anyone could spout such nutter stuff, but Bachmann actually opposed U.S. intervention in Libya. She claimed — stop cackling! — that many of McCain’s heroes might actually be jihadists ideologically hostile to the U.S. and linked to groups such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the terror enterprise’s North African franchise. She even thought — yeah, I know, crazy — that if Qaddafi were deposed, the heroes would get their hands on his arsenal, ship a lot of it to AQIM havens in places such as Mali and Algeria, and maybe even turn rebel strongholds such as Benghazi into death traps for Americans.
“Good thing we listened to McCain, no? . . .”
“Leftists love to talk about “diversity.” What they prefer to practice, however, is strict intellectual and moral conformity.” Roger Kimball