Ed Lasky’s op-ed in Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

November 14, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

A look at the abundance of influential people whose belief in trendy liberal ideas is strengthening our adversaries while weakening America.
American Thinker Blog

WaPo op-ed urges Obama not to run in 2012

November 13, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The first salvo is fired.
American Thinker Blog

New WaPo op-ed: Obama can save America — by declaring he won’t run in 2012

November 12, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 


It’s Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell, who were scorned as DINOs by many on the left for spending the last year crunching poll numbers and warning anyone who would listen that the party was headed for an unholy beating in November. Result: S&C 1, progressives 0. Now comes their new brainstorm: Yes, it’s quite possible [...]

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Thoughts upon turning to the New York Times op-ed page, 10 November 2010

November 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Does John Bolton really believe this stuff, or did John Yoo have to torture him to get him to say it? As long as Bolton remains under Yoo’s custody, I suppose we’ll never know.

In the meantime, perhaps Yoo can ask one of his constitutional scholar friends at Berkeley to explain how “plain meaning” of the Constitution (ratified in 1787) “requires no less” than that the Senate alter a proposed arms-control treaty to allow offensive use of nuclear weapons (first used in 1945).

Original intent, indeed.

The Monkey Cage

Very interesting op-ed by Egyptian in JPost

November 10, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

From the Jerusalem Post, written by Nabil Sharaf Eldin, an Egyptian journalist:

I have been haunted since early boyhood by an infatuation with Bilad al-Sham, or Greater Syria – the territories of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine.

For me, this fascination started with recognizing the voices of singers like Syrian Sabah Fakhry (born 1933) belonging to the al-Sham region.

I conjured up these images and feelings as I was boarding a plane heading for the “land of beauty,” dreaming of soirées in Aleppo, touring Damascus’s old marketplaces and hanging around its cafés.

Such daydreams were flashing through my imagination until the “blessed” plane landed in Syria, when all dreams faded away within half an hour at Damascus Airport.

I was quickly singled out by a security officer, who checked my passport. He reviewed a list, and asked me to stand aside until he had dealt with a “routine problem” that would not take time. Ten minutes later, a grim-faced officer in plainclothes came and told me to follow him….

An hour later, a fourth officer arrived, no less grimfaced than his predecessors. Addressing the would-be “ambassador of the devil,” he told me I was not welcome in Syria. It was “a sovereign decision,” according to him, and he said he was not obliged to give any explanation.

…Now, on board a plane heading to Cairo, I recalled all the opinion pieces and TV interviews in which I had been critical of the policies and remarks of some senior Syrian officials. That was the reason for what had happened! …I cannot help smiling in bitterness whenever I listen to Syrian officials parroting the Ba’ath Party’s famous slogan: “One Arab nation with a timeless message.” I have now become totally aware of what that one nation and timeless message stand for!

I THOUGHT about visiting Beirut and attending a concert by Lebanon’s iconic diva Fayrouz that was scheduled at the Al-Bayal hotel, and actually began to prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime event.

I phoned a Lebanese friend and fellow journalist.

He was terrified by my daring thought, and taken by surprise by my naivete – merely thinking about visiting Lebanon with my record of dire assaults on Hizbullah (I had once dubbed the powerful Shi’ite group a “war contractor” and a proxy for Iran’s regional aspirations).

I was even oblivious to the fact that Hizbullah men are in de facto control of Beirut Airport – another source of amazement for my colleague, who feared for my safety.

Although it was once a part of Egypt, I don’t even feel safe visiting Sudan, due to my verbal attacks on the regime of Omar Bashir, who insists on presiding over a collapsing state.

I am sure that Muammar Gaddafi’s Revolutionary Command Council will not deny me access to Libya.

Yet I am almost as certain I would never come out again, just like many others.

FAILING TO find a glimpse of hope across the greater Arab world, we must concede that Israel has become the only “safe haven” where one can be sure of his life and dignity. Yes, Israel, the state our demagogues continue to call “the alleged entity.”

Just like the Palestinian Helles family who fled Hamas “jihadists” in Gaza to Israel, I foresee a time when millions of Arabs might stand humbly in front of IDF soldiers, begging for protection.

So, I urge you, dear fellow Arab, to visit Israel.

The op-ed is interesting enough (and you should read the whole thing.) But what is more amazing is that this was not written for the Jerusalem Post - Eldin wrote and published this essay two weeks ago on his homepage on the International Quranic Center site, in Arabic, and other blogs picked it up.

Someone should gather the small but growing number of Arab writings that favorably compare Israel with the Arab world in one spot.

(h/t Elder of Lobby)

Elder of Ziyon

New Pelosi op-ed: I’m now ready to listen to Republican ideas

November 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 


In which Madam Speaker informs an electorate that just handed her the worst midterm beating in decades that the 111th Congress was actually pretty darned amazing. Among its amazing feats: “Restoring fiscal discipline” to government by passing pay-as-you-go rules, which were, of course, actually ignored when inconvenient and which helped bring us the second largest [...]

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In Advance of Foreign Trip, Obama Pens Op-Ed on Foreign Trade

November 6, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller reports: Published in this morning’s New York Times, and coordinated to his arrival in Mumbai this morning, President Obama pens an op-ed titled, “Exporting Our Way to Stability.” The message is one he will be pushing…

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Political Punch

Hot new lefty op-ed: Fellow Democrats, it’s time to purge the Blue Dogs

October 25, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 


An entertaining adjunct to Benjamin Sarlin’s Daily Beast post today listing five excuses parties start making when they know they’re headed for destruction at the polls. Number five on Sarlin’s list: “We Totally Wanted to Lose Anyway.” Take it away, Ari Berman. Margaret Johnson, a former party chairwoman in Polk County, N.C., helped elect Representative [...]

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Judd Gregg’s Halloween-Themed Op-Ed Spins Web Of Lies About Health Care Reform

October 25, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH)

Outgoing Republican Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) has penned a Halloween-themed editorial advancing some new myths about the Affordable Care Act, all the while implicitly conceding that Republicans will not be able to repeal the law. “Caught in a cobweb of false promises, the American people were fed a story about how health care reform would insure everyone, allow people to keep their own insurance policies and reduce health care spending while improving quality,” Gregg writes. “Sadly, these were fantasies masquerading as fact. The scary tale that follows needs no skeletons or vampires; statistics alone can frighten you.”

Some of Gregg’s ‘scary tale’ has already been debunked by Saturday’s very prescient New York Times editorial and, as it turns out, Gregg’s own TV appearances:

MYTH — HIGHER PREMIUMS: “President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats promised us that the new law would lower premiums. It has not. Premiums in 2011 will rise more than 12 percent for employer-sponsored coverage, according to a recent Hewitt Associates study.”

FACT: That Hewitt study actually found that the new consumer protections in the health care law are at most responsible for 1% to 2% of the 12% increase that’s due to health care inflation and adverse selection, a point Gregg conceded during an appearance on Fox Business last week.”Premiums went up by an average of 8 to 9 percent, it’s estimated that 1 to 2% of that is directly a result of the health care bill,” Gregg told Neil Cavuto.

MYTH — LOSS OF EXISTING COVERAGE: “We were promised that, if we liked our coverage, we could keep it. But we were misled. The Obama administration recently revealed that employees of nearly 70 percent of U.S. businesses, who get coverage through their job, may lose their current health care plan because of the new regulations.”

FACT: Insurers and self insured employers make policy adjustments all the time and over the last few years they’ve been slowly shifting the risks and costs of coverage to the individual. Regulations in the Affordable Care Act will discourage employers and insurers from stiffing beneficiaries with very high costs and insufficient benefits and shield consumers from drastic benefit cuts or cost shifts. If Republicans are successful in repealing these requirements, insurers and employers will be able to avoid abiding by the popular consumer protections, no matter how dramatically they cut benefits, raise co-pays, or lower employer contributions.

MYTH — MCDONALD’S DROPPING COVERAGE: “These workers may lose access to their current benefits because the government will prohibit their employers from offering a plan that is affordable and provides substantive benefits for working families.”

FACT: As the New York Times explained on Saturday, “The administration has granted some 30 waivers for one year (Rush Limbaugh promptly accused the administration of allowing these employers to “break the law”) and has signaled willingness to smooth out other bumps on the road toward full reform.” Republicans, however, are intent on criticizing the administration for addressing this problem.

MYTH — SENIORS AT RISK: “Even seniors are at risk. The Obama administration announced that nearly one million seniors will lose their current Medicare Advantage plans next year.”

FACT: CMS actually projects that 99.7% of seniors will continue to have access to a Medicare Advantage plan and that only a small number of fee-for-service plans will leave the market. This is because of a 2008 bipartisan bill that required issuers to establish provider networks, not the Affordable Care Act. The bill was vetoed by President Bush, but passed again the Senate with a two-thirds majority. Gregg did not support the legislation.

MYTH — INCREASES HEALTH COSTS: “Even the Obama administration’s own actuaries found that health care spending will increase under the new law, consuming an even larger share of our nation’s fragile economy. ”

FACT: This is not what “the Obama administration’s own actuaries found.” They concluded that beginning in 2014, as 30 million+ individuals begin receiving health care coverage and visiting doctors, health care expenditures will naturally increase. Costs will continue to grow higher than current law until around 2015, at which point the Medicare savings, the excise tax on so-called Cadillac health plans, and the Medicare payment board will cause costs to “decelerate.” Moreover, the actuaries predict that as a result of these savings, Medicare spending will decline $ 86.4 billion from previous projections due to reforms. “Specifically, average annual Medicare spending growth is anticipated to be 1.4 percentage points slower for 2012–19 than we projected in February 2010. By 2019, it is projected to grow 7.7 percent—0.9 percentage point more slowly than we projected in February 2010,” the report concludes.

MYTH — INCREASES THE DEBT: “The current pace of government expansion and federal spending is unaffordable and unsustainable. The national debt will double in five years and triple in 10 under the Democrats’ spending plans.”

FACT: The CBO estimates that the law will produce “$ 143 billion in net budgetary savings over the 2010-2019 period” and reported that repealing the law would increase the debt by that amount.

Significantly, Gregg does not call for repealing the law, as he has in months past. He merely writes, “It is my hope that the next Congress consists of members who will pass reforms that responsibly address our health care needs while improving the economy.” The language is part of an ongoing GOP campaign to temper expectations for repeal.

Wonk Room

Fatah newspaper op-ed complains about Hamas leader hugging Carter

October 24, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

The West generally regards Fatah as moderate political party, especially in comparison with Hamas. This meme permeates American and European coverage of the Middle East, as it is an easy shorthand way to explain things.

However, in Arabic, Fatah members and the pro-Fatah media often attack Hamas for being too accommodating with Israel!

We’ve documented this many times, with both Fatah leaders and others complaining about Hamas’ supposed moderation.

Today we see another example, in the pages of the adamantly anti-Hamas and pro-Fatah news site Palestine Press Agency.

Op-ed writer Ahmad Dahglas is disgusted by Khaled Meshal hugging Jimmy Carter in Damascus last week, saying that it shows that Hamas supports the idea of a Jewish state.

He blames Carter, as architect of Camp David, of supporting a Jewish state in Palestine, something that is obviously unacceptable to any self-respecting Arab. He calls Carter “the head of the snake that has poisoned the region” and his desire to see Israel exist makes him as bad as Herzl.

For Hamas leader Meshal to embrace Carter is akin to him hugging Menachem Begin or Theodor Herzl, according to this op-ed.

How moderate Fatah is!

Elder of Ziyon

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