Monday, August 16, 2010

Will Voters Fall for ‘Anti-Incumbent’ Fever?

By David Bozeman

With the mid-terms looming, here's hoping that voters don't fall for the crock that they are motivated by 'anti-incumbent' sentiment. Much to the chagrin of the mainstream media, it is liberalism, and the prospect of its resounding defeat, that will likely bring voters to the polls in massive numbers. Despite expectations for the first successful national elections since 2004, conservative Republicans cannot afford to play out the clock and must redouble their efforts in key races.

Marching to the chant of 'Throw Da Bums Out!' would cost incumbent Richard Burr of North Carolina his seat, and the Senate one of its most consistent foes of the Obama agenda—including Elena Kagan, illegal immigration policy and national security lapses. Granted, faulting the Obama Administration is the national rage, and we're talking Democrats, too, but Richard Burr (latest American Conservative Union ranking, 92%) does not waffle and he does not waver — or if so, only seldom. Elected to the House in '94, as part of the Gingrich Revolution, and to the Senate in '04, he was touted early on as a possible McCain running mate in '08. Low-key, soft-spoken but humorous and principled, Burr is an attractive public figure who, at only 55, holds potential for even greater influence and position. And the Democrats know it.

Get full story here.

Fraud Infiltrates BP’s Clean Up Efforts

By Rebekah Rast
Thankfully the Gulf oil leak has been plugged. And, like any other top news story, once the situation is somewhat resolved or becomes old news, the coverage is dropped.

The media should not be so quick to move on. There continues to be news coming out of this catastrophe in the Gulf — most of it is not good.

Life is still not back to normal for those affected by the disaster, and won’t be for a long time. Many fishermen are still out of work, oil rig workers aren’t allowed to work and most Americans are skeptical of any food coming out of the waters — greatly impacting the restaurant industry in the area.

To compensate those most impacted by the Gulf oil spill, BP has so far paid out $308 million to those whose livelihoods depend on the Gulf waters. Many fishermen have received compensation or have been hired by BP to help with clean up efforts. These honest, hard-working Americans are grateful for the help.

Whenever there is aid offered of any kind, especially when it’s money, there will always be those who try and manipulate the system. Many lives have been destroyed in the Gulf and even those whose livelihoods weren’t as disrupted as others want a handout and will go to whatever measure is needed to get it.
To receive the compensation BP is offering to these fishermen, all the fishermen had to do was show a valid fisherman’s license. Let the fraud begin.

Get full story here.

Foreclose Fannie and Freddie

By Bill Wilson
On Tuesday, the Obama Administration will be hosting a conference of real estate, banking, and mortgage industry leaders to begin to determine what to do with the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

These, you will recall, are the $5.5 trillion mortgage giants who, with the help of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Federal Reserve, facilitated the catastrophic housing bubble that has left the U.S. economy lost at sea.

Specifically, it was HUD that imposed so-called “affordable housing goals” on Fannie and Freddie, which rose from 30 percent in 1993 to 56 percent by 2008. Also, the FHA helped to weaken lending standards, expanding government-held loans with down payments of 3 percent or less from $7 billion 1991 to over $174 billion in 2007, $160 billion of which were held by the GSEs. The Federal Reserve provided the capital needed to fuel the bubble.

Get full story here.

Liberals (again) blame, in unison, global warming for local weather

They tell us that local weather is not climate, but never spare the opportunity to point to local phenomena as some kind of proof for global warming. Take the AP for instance: Blazing summer fits predictions
photo credit: Tom Scott
Floods, fires, melting ice and feverish heat: From smoke-choked Moscow to water-soaked Iowa and the High Arctic, the planet seems to be having a midsummer breakdown.

It's not just a portent of things to come, scientists say, but a sign of troubling climate change already under way.

The weather-related cataclysms of July and August fit patterns predicted by climate scientists, the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization says -- although those scientists always shy from tying individual disasters directly to global warming.
Fortunately for those scientists, they have the suck-up state-run MSM to do it for them. And in the spirit of Jounolist, the New York Times says essentially the same thing (via memeorandum): In Weather Chaos, a Case for Global Warming
The floods battered New England, then Nashville, then Arkansas, then Oklahoma — and were followed by a deluge in Pakistan that has upended the lives of 20 million people.
The summer’s heat waves baked the eastern United States, parts of Africa and eastern Asia, and above all Russia, which lost millions of acres of wheat and thousands of lives in a drought worse than any other in the historical record.
Seemingly disconnected, these far-flung disasters are reviving the question of whether global warming is causing more weather extremes.
The collective answer of the scientific community can be boiled down to a single word: probably.
“The climate is changing,” said Jay Lawrimore, chief of climate analysis at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. “Extreme events are occurring with greater frequency, and in many cases with greater intensity.”
He described excessive heat, in particular, as “consistent with our understanding of how the climate responds to increasing greenhouse gases.”
Ignored in both pieces is the cooler weather experienced in other places, such as Southern California. From Mercury News: Cool and foggy weather a headache for California farmers. "A wet spring and cool summer have delayed ripening one to three weeks -- and created nervous farmers, who see a shrinking window of time left to harvest..." This is the problem with focusing on local weather events. For every warm event cherry-picked by the state-run MSM for their agenda-driven stories, there are cool weather events to match. It's what is happening overall that matters, but since there has been a lack of warming, the globalclimate has become an inconvenient truth that is now being ignored. And as for this assertion that global warming is " consistent with our understanding of how the climate responds to increasing greenhouse gases," let's get one thing straight - greenhouse gases in the atmosphere comprise such a small percentage that climate change affects them, not the other way around. Bureaucrats like Lawrimore are either clueless or willfully ignorant to the fact that there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995. They also ignore the scientific fact that the Medieval Warm Paeriod (MWP) was significantly warmer than it is now, with Greenland being green and England growing vineyards that can't grow to this day because it's too cold, sans coal power plants and SUVs. Or that the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has been shown to have not changed in the last 150 years. Or that human activity is responsible for only about 3% of total CO2 emissions. And lets completely ignore ClimateGate that proved the man-made global warming theory was itself man-made, complete with scientific misconduct in fudging data, hiding the decline, etc.

As I have pointed out many times on this blog, it is a scientific fact that all known greenhouse gases comprise only about 2% of our atmosphere (the majority of our atmosphere is oxygen and nitrogen). Out of all the greenhouse gases, water vapor is more than 90% of that 2%, while CO2 is is only about 3.6% of that. Out of all the CO2, 96% is produced naturally (oceans, forrests, etc), while only 3.4% is man-made. So mankind is responsible for only 3.4% of CO2, which is only 3.6% ofgreenhouse gases, which are only 3% of our atmosphere. So 3.4% of 3.6% of 2% is... well - not much. (.002% of CO2 and 0.28% overall)

Just so you know what a small percentage of our atmosphere is comprised of CO2, the compound is measured in units of parts per million! So if you gather 1 million people and pick out 385 of them, you have jack squat of the whole, and that jack squat represents the CO2 proportion. 

CO2 is not a cause of global warming, but rather an effect of it. Temperatures rise first, CO2 follows after the fact. Obama made a promise when he came into office that scientific integrity will not be compromised by politics, and then proceeded to hide EPA numbers that countered global warming alarmist claims (Video: Obama's War On Science):

Men Who Make Less Than Their Partners Are More Likely To Cheat

For all the big earning wives out there, take note as a new study suggests that your husband is more likely to cheat on you than he would be if you made less money
For all the big earning wives out there, take note as a new study suggests that your husband is more likely to cheat on you than he would be if you made less money.
Men who are totally dependent on the income of their spouse were found to be up to five times more likely to have an affair with another woman than men who made the same as their wives.
The study was conducted by Cornell University graduate student Christin Munsch and when you think about it, it sure does make sense.

Some recent high profile cheating cases in Hollywood fit this bill to a T, as both Jesse James and Eric Benet both cheated on their much richer partners, Sandra Bullock and Halle Berry, respectively.

The study was performed over a six year period and looked at couples who have been together for at least a year.

One of the reasons given for why men tend to act this way is because they feel inadequate because the wife brings home more of the bacon than they do.

“Having multiple sexual partners may be an attempt to restore gender identity in response to these threats,” Munsch wrote. “In other words, for men, sex (outside their relationship) may be an attempt to compensate for feelings of inadequacy with respect to gender identity.”

Nadja Benaissa Is No Angel

August 16, 2010
Nadja Benaissa, a popular German singer has admitted to having HIV but not telling her sexual partners
Nadja Benaissa, a popular German singer has admitted to having HIV but not telling her sexual partners.
She reportedly knew of her status but continued having unprotected sex with men, a move that could end up landing her in jail.

At least one of the men that she had unprotected sex with has developed the HIV virus, but two others appear to have not contracted it.

The member of the German girl band No Angels faces charges of grievous bodily harm and could spend from six months to 10 years in prison.
Her trial is currently underway in Darmstadt, Germany.

France Urged To Repay The Billions Haiti Paid For Independence

sarkozy in haiti

A group of scholars and activists including Cornel West and Noam Chomsky are urging France to pay the billions of dollars of debt that Haiti paid them for Haitian independence. The UK Guardian reports :
The open letter to the French president says the debt, now worth more than €17bn (£14bn), would cover the rebuilding of the country after a devastating earthquake that killed more than 250,000 people seven months ago.
Its signatories – including Noam Chomsky, the American linguist, Naomi Klein, the Canadian author and activist, Cornel West, the African-American author and civil rights activist, and several renowned French philosophers – say that if France repays the money it would be a solution to the shortfall in international donations promised following the earthquake.

China Passes Japan - Now 2nd Largest Economy

China's economy out produced Japan's and became the world's 2nd largest in Q2.  China's Q2 GDP was $1.33 trillion versus Japan's $1.28 trillion.

Just 5 years ago China's GDP was half of Japan's. 

China passing Japan has been widely anticipated for some time.  But the actual event is still a milestone and shows the growing importance of China in world economic and political affairs.  It also shows The growing economic role the developing world in general is playing.

According to a New York Times article on China, many economic forecasters have China passing the U.S. and becoming the world's largest economy as early as 2030. 

USA vs. France at Madison Square Garden

August 16, 2010 – Kevin Burke
Kevin Durant Team USAYesterday afternoon, the World Basketball Festival hit the Big Apple as Team USA hosted France in a tune-up for the World Basketball Championships. I was fortunate enough to represent The Hoop Doctors at the event. The crowd outside of Madison Square Garden was excited about this sold out game. From people with tickets to those trying to buy them from guys trying to sell them on the Garden steps, people were clamoring to get inside. It was packed and judging from the random people I spoke with outside, they hope this team of non-superstars can still get it done . In fact, it’s looking like the entire tournament may be one of non-superstars as many other countries will be without their best player(s).

That energy was also apparent inside, as Frenchmen Tony Parker and Rony Turiaf (who are not playing for France this summer) were courtside in streetclothes to take in the action. Coach K decided to go with Rajon Rondo, Chauncey Billups, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Tyson Chandler to start the game, while the French squad boasted NBAer Boras Diaw in their starting lineup. The crowd was alive as the two teams were set to tip it off atThe Worlds Most Famous Arena. As the game began and the teams started trading baskets it sounded to me as if the crowd was split. It appeared as if just as many people were cheering for France as they were the U.S.  But, the Team USA player who seemed to receive the most love from the crowd every time he touched the ball was Rajon Rondo (who is beginning to over-use that fake behind the back pass now).

Rondo really impressed me with his play as he was able to get into the teeth of the defense at will. He was much quicker than anyone on the French roster and it showed. He was clearly the crowd favorite from where I was sitting. Even more so than Kevin Durant. The first quarter ended with both teams knotted up at 16. Then the second quarter began, which turned into a bit of a dunk contest. Rudy Gay and Kevin Durant put on a show for the U.S. The game didn’t necessarily get sloppy, but it definitely got the crowd going.

On a team that has five 21-year olds, 33-year old Chauncey Billups was named Player of the Game. He finished with 17 points, but Rudy Gay led all scorers with 19. Kevin Durant chipped in with 14 points while grabbing eight boards.

Just hours before the game, the team cut Jeff Green and JaVale McGee, and they will travel to Madrid today for games against Lithuania and Spain before heading to Athens to take on Greece. Then finally, they’ll head to Turkey for the tournament of 24 teams which begins on August 28.

This was an impressive win for the U.S. They held a 39-30 halftime lead before going on a 16-4 second half  run en route to a  86-55 runaway win. But I couldn’t quite tell if they were that good, or if France was that bad. I think it may have been a combination of the two although France was without probably their four best players: Tony Parker, Mickael Pietrus, Joakim Noah, and Roddy Beaubois. Either way, they ended up dominating this game and gives them some momentum before they take on Lithuania on August 21.

This was the first glance we’ve had at what will be very close to the final roster that will compete in Turkey. The team’s strengths are speed and pesky defense, while their weakness will no doubt be size down low. Let’s see if they can overcome that. Let’s also see if they can overcome the back-handed-compliment of a nickname they have received thus far: the “B-deem team.”
Here are the game highlights:

Tiger Woods’ lost year in golf Aug 16th, 2010 by Jim Buzinski.

To be up front, I am not a golf fan, but am aware of the sport and what the big stories are. So to see Tiger Woods finish 28th in the PGA is shocking as it shows how far he has fallen as a major threat in the sport. The big question is whether this is a one-year blip owing to his off-the-course strife or the sign of things to come.

Woods has been, at best, an average golfer this year. In his nine events, he finished in the Top 10 only twice, winning $872, 000. Contrast that with 2006, where he played only six events, but won four times and earned more than $5 million. Quite a dramatic fall for someone who everyone assumed would easily pass Jack Nicklaus as the all-time winners of majors.
Golf has conducted 10 majors since Woods’ dramatic win in the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines — Woods has not won any of them. Seven of the 10 have been won by players who had never won majors before, anonymous names to the casual and disinterested.
When Woods is out of contention, it’s hard for the casual fan to even be aware there is a tournament going on. I totally forgot that the final round of the PGA was going on, and that’s because it was not a media focus. So I missed a playoff and one player screwing up by taking a weird two-stroke penalty that cost him a shot to make the playoff. Some cute German guy few had heard of won it.

With ratings and ad revenue down this year, as much as Woods might need golf, golf needs him playing at a high level even more.

I would like to hear from golf fans whether Tiger 2010 is the model we will see from now on, or whether he will rebound.

SPORTS: Miami Heat's Udonis Haslem Busted For Drugs + NBA Baller Pushes Girlfriend Down Steps!

Two NBA players ran into some trouble this weekend. Find out what happened down in Miami with Heat champion Udonis Haslem and another baller's assault charge on his baby momma when you read on...

The Miami Heat have been a hot topic this summer after signing free agents Chris Bosh and LeBron James. Now one Heat star was busted for marijuana this weekend.
Forward Udonis Haslem was arrested yesterday afternoon after police searched his car and found marijuana. Florida Highway Patrol officers pulled the Heat player over for having tinted windows. Officers searched the car three times for drugs AND used drug dogs. The police didn't find the weed until the third time and found less than 20 grams.
They searched the car three times and didn't find anything till the last search? Something doesn't seem right...

Lance Stephenson, a 2nd round draft pick by the Indiana Pacers, was also arrested yesterday for pushing his girlfriend down the stairs. Police say it all went down around 5 AM.

His girlfriend/baby momma flew down 10 steps headfirst and was treated for head and neck injuries. The 19 year old NBA player was arrested for second-degree assault.

This isn't Stephenson's first time in trouble with the law. While in high school, he was arrested for sexually assaulting a 17 year old girl. He plead guilty to disorderly conduct. Stephenson is the all time leading scorer in New York State history.

Damn.  Definitely some serious issues going on here. Lets hope this young man gets some help...

L. A. Times uses value-added analysis to rate public school teachers

Public school students are graded and tested all the time. Schools are scored too — California rates them in an annual index.
Not so with teachers.
Nationally, the vast majority who seek tenure get it after a few years on the job, practically ensuring a position for life. After that, pay and job protections depend mostly on seniority, not performance.
That’s from The Los Angeles Times, which recently published a fascinating article about evaluating teachers (read it here). They used a statistical method known as “value-added analysis” to rate teacher effectiveness in Los Angeles public schools. They explained that, “Value-added analysis offers a rigorous approach. In essence, a student’s past performance on tests is used to project his or her future results. The difference between the prediction and the student’s actual performance after a year is the ‘value’ that the teacher added or subtracted.”
The Times obtained seven years of math and English test scores from the Los Angeles Unified School District and used the information to estimate the effectiveness of L.A. teachers — something the district could do but has not.[...]
Among the findings:
  • Highly effective teachers routinely propel students from below grade level to advanced in a single year. There is a substantial gap at year’s end between students whose teachers were in the top 10% in effectiveness and the bottom 10%. The fortunate students ranked 17 percentile points higher in English and 25 points higher in math.
  • Some students landed in the classrooms of the poorest-performing instructors year after year — a potentially devastating setback that the district could have avoided. Over the period analyzed, more than 8,000 students got such a math or English teacher at least twice in a row.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the best teachers were not concentrated in schools in the most affluent neighborhoods, nor were the weakest instructors bunched in poor areas. Rather, these teachers were scattered throughout the district. The quality of instruction typically varied far more within a school than between schools.
  • Although many parents fixate on picking the right school for their child, it matters far more which teacher the child gets. Teachers had three times as much influence on students’ academic development as the school they attend. Yet parents have no access to objective information about individual instructors, and they often have little say in which teacher their child gets.
  • Many of the factors commonly assumed to be important to teachers’ effectiveness were not. Although teachers are paid more for experience, education and training, none of this had much bearing on whether they improved their students’ performance.
I highly recommend reading the whole article. A question for teachers and administrators who read my blog: what do you think of value-added analysis, and using this as a tool to evaluate teachers? The article concedes that it should not be the sole method of evaluation, but suggests that it would be beneficial if it made up 30-50% of a teacher’s review.

Apparent suicide yesterday in a Boston jail of Philip Markoff

The apparent suicide yesterday in a Boston jail of Philip Markoff, accused in the “Craigslist killing” of a masseuse in an upscale hotel, comes at a time of increasing scrutiny on suicides in Massachusetts prisons and occurred just weeks after the federal immigration agency faulted Suffolk County jail officials on their failure to properly care for an immigrant detainee who died, the Boston Globe reports.

The death of an inmate who had been placed on suicide watch last year because of a previous attempt to kill himself is expected to raise questions about precautions taken by Suffolk County jail officials. They refused to release details of Markoff’s death or to say how frequently they were monitoring him, but they did say he was not on suicide watch at the time of his death. It was at least the third suicide at a Suffolk County jail since 2003, but a specialist in prison suicide prevention said that the jail system has historically had a fairly good record on suicides.

McChrystal to teach at Yale in fall 2010

Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal has been hired by Yale University to teach a graduate course on leadership.
McChrystal was ousted as commander in Afghanistan in July after derisive comments he and his staff made about their political bosses surfaced in an issue of Rolling Stone.

In a statement released Monday, Yale announced that McChrystal’s seminar would “examine how dramatic changes in globalization have increased the complexity of modern leadership.”The course will be offered in fall 2010 by Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where McChrystal has been appointed a senior fellow.

The former general said in an accompanying statement that he was excited to share his “experiences and insights as a career military officer.”Excerpt Read more at …

I Guess That Seals It: Hamas Backs Ground Zero Mosque Too!

After all, how can one possibly argue with terrorists who support building a mosque at the site of an Islamist terrorist attack?

A leader of the Hamas terror group yesterday jumped into the emotional debate on the plan to construct a mosque near Ground Zero -- insisting Muslims "have to build" it there.
"We have to build everywhere," said Mahmoud al-Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas and the organization's chief on the Gaza Strip.
"In every area we have, [as] Muslim[s], we have to pray, and this mosque is the only site of prayer," he said on "Aaron Klein Investigative Radio" on WABC.

"We have to build the mosque, as you are allowed to build the church and Israelis are building their holy places."

Hamas, he added, "is representing the vast majority of the Arabic and Islamic world -- especially the Islamic side."
Putting aside the issue of the right to build a mosque--which is actually not at issue--Hamas takes this issue to the point of being a religious imperative, that Muslims "have to build" it there.

That brings to mind an article that I quoted before in a previous post on this topic.
How a Mosque at Ground Zero is Viewed in the Arab-Muslim World
By Dr. Steven Carol
Arab-Muslim conquerors have a penchant for destroying other people’s religious shrines and many times building their own on the ruins. It was, and remains, Islam’s way of saying, ‘We have defeated you, we rule you, and our god–Allah– is greater than your god.’ As I have pointed out, with numerous examples, in my book: Middle East Rules of Thumb: Understanding the Complexities of the Middle East, this has been a long established historic practice.

Islam’s holiest shrine–the Kaaba, a cube-like building in Mecca–is an older pre-Islamic pagan Arab shrine. According to Islamic tradition the first building was constructed by Adam and rebuilt by Abraham (Ibrahim). The Black Stone, possibly a meteorite fragment, is a significant feature of the Kaaba. The Masjid al-Haram mosque was built around the Kaaba.

The Ibrahimi Mosque was constructed in Hebron, in 637 CE, over the second-most venerated Jewish holy site, the Cave of Machpelah–the Tomb of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The Dome of the Rock was built on the ruins of Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem, by the Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik, 687-691 CE. Al-Walid, son of al-Malik, erected the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the southern end of the Temple Mount and also over the Basilica of St. Mary of Justinian, in 712 CE.

By no means is this practice limited to venerated Jewish holy sites. The Grand Mosque of Damascus was put up over the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in 715 CE.

On October 18, 1009, the Muslim Fatimid caliph Abu ‘Ali Mansur Tariqu’l-Hakim destroyed, down to the bedrock, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, a Christian church venerated by most Christians as Golgotha, the Hill of Calvary, where tradition says that Jesus was crucified. Gravestones were also destroyed. Muslim forces tried to dig up all the graves and wipe out all traces of their existence. The site is now within the walled, Old City of Jerusalem.

This practice continued through the centuries and was applied not only to Jewish, Christian and Hindu sites but other faiths as well. Late in the 20th century, in Libya, on November 26, 1970, the Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Tripoli was converted into the Gamal Abdel Nasser Mosque.

Two 1,400 year-old statues of Buddha in the Bamiyan Valley of Afghanistan were blown up in March 2001. This came after a fatwa (a religious edict), ordered by the Taliban directed all Afghan “idols” be destroyed as being anti-Muslim. In the Central Asian republics no Buddhist temples remain.

While not a religious site, the World Trade Center stood as a symbol of Western commerce, industry and civilization. Then came the horrors of the destruction of those twin towers on September 11, 2001. No doubt many prayers were said there both during and after the calamitous collapse.

In May 2010, it was announced that near the ruins of buildings reduced to rubble in the name of Islam, an Islamic mosque would rise. This fits the historic pattern of Muslim construction near or atop the ruins of their enemies’ symbolic buildings as a mark of Islamic supremacy.

The land for the mosque has been bought for $4.85 million in unaccounted for cash. The estimated cost of the new building that will house the mosque is $100 million. It is to be funded by donations. Just who specifically, would be making these donations is one unanswered question? Once built, 1,000 to 2,000 Muslims are expected to pray at the mosque every Friday. The target date for the opening of this mosque is September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the attack on New York and Washington, D.C.

Furthermore, a second mosque seeks to build near ground zero. The Masjid Mosque has raised $8.5 million and is seeking an additional $2.5 million to begin construction. While it apparently has not settled on a final location, it has told donors it plans to build very close to where the World Trade Center once stood. In fact, the Masjid Mosque website states: “Insha’Allah we will raise the flag of La-Illaha-Illa-Allah in downtown Manhattan very soon!”

The World Trade Center was destroyed in the name of Islam. The perpetrators stated the people that were murdered were not innocent, which is blatantly false. The planned mosque will be just 600 feet from ground zero, at the site of the greatest Islamofascist achievement over infidels in hundreds of years. Thus, three questions can be raised. Are these mosques to honor the perpetrators of 9-11 rather than its victims? Is the mosque to indicate Islam’s triumph and supremacy? Finally, how will the establishment of these mosques be viewed in the Arab-Muslim world? [emphasis added]
Only one thing is certain: unlike Obama, we will not be seeing Hamas qualifying its support for building a mosque next to the ruins of the World Trade Center.

Kendrick Meek: super-duper Democrat

Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Fla. and former President Bill Clinton 

Kendrick Meek started his day at a press conference with former Florida governor and Senator Bob Graham. He’ll spend much of today traversing South Florida with Bill Clinton — at Pompey Park in Palm Beach County, then at the Signature Grand in Davie (Broward County) and winding up with an evening rally at the Gusman Center in Miami. Message to Florida Democrats: Kendrick Meek is on of you, only “Democratier…”

It seems like a counterintuitive strategy in a year when the media meme is “anti-incumbency,” and in a race where his opponent, Jeff Greene, is accusing Meek of being a dirty “Washington politician.” Meek’s answer seems to be, “hell yeah, I’m a Washington insider! Just listen to my Nancy Pelosi robo-call, peep the endorsement my campaign got from President Obama and watch me ride with my boy Big Bill!” Why so Democraty? Because Meek is looking past Greene, to August 25th, when he presumes he’ll be the Democratic nominee (perhaps a presumptuous presumption, given that Jeff Greene has a bazillion dollars to spend and strength in the condos…) and that’s when the real trouble begins.

Because whoever the Democratic nominee is will have to spend the next couple of months swiping Democratic votes from Charlie Crist, who according to Mason Dixon, is drawing 61 percent of his support from Democrats.

Meanwhile, while Meek is rallying with Bill Clinton, who used to be the Dems’ secret weapon with black voters, Greene will be rallying with … well … black voters … in Meek’s hometown of Liberty City.
Hey, it’s Florida.

Gates To Leave Pentagon

By fitsnews As America’s war effort in Afghanistan approaches a critical juncture, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is making plans to leave his post.

Gates will retire “by the end of 2011″ according to a magazine article published Monday.

“I think that by next year I’ll be in a position where, you know, we’re going to know whether the strategy is working in Afghanistan,” Gates told Foreign Policy magazine.  “We’ll have completed the surge. We’ll have done the assessment in December, and it seems like somewhere there in 2011 is a logical opportunity to hand off.”

Gates, who replaced Donald Rumsfeld in 2006, was the only Cabinet member from the administration of former President George W. Bush tapped to remain at his post by President Barack Obama.  Along with Gen. Stanley McChrystal – who was essentially relieved of command earlier this year – he was a staunch proponent of the “surge” strategy approved for Afghanistan a year ago.

Under this strategy, U.S. troop levels have increased dramatically – to more than 100,000 soldiers – although with at least 10,000 troops still en route to the battlefield it is way too early to determine if the “surge” has been successful.

Of course with additional deployments, casualties have been on the rise in Afghanistan.  In 2009, 317 U.S. soldiers were killed there – more than twice the number killed in 2008.  Through the first seven-and-a-half months of this year, another 280 U.S. soldiers have been killed.

WATCH LIVE: Trentonian Now with Tea Party member Darryl Brooks

Watch live as TrentonianNow talks with Daryl Brooks, president of the greater Trenton Tea Party chapter. Brooks is a community activist and former U.S. Senate candidate. Join us as we discuss the many issues facing Trenton and the capital region.