Thursday, November 30, 2006

Miami a third world country?

Nation: Absolutely, you cannot find the first class level of corruption, crime, poverty and horrendous governmental operations anywhere else in America. The places surrounding Miami are nice, the rich and famous play here. But at its core, its an area where people don't get happy if they have to go there. So this little argument between the Gov and Tancredo is amusing but it takes Time Magazine to put it all in perspective. Tancredo calls Miami "a third-world country"Denver Post, CO - Nov 28, 2006By Anne C. Mulkern. "You would never know you're in the United States of America," Tancredo said of Miami to the website WorldNetDaily ... Bush calls Tancredo's remark `naive'Miami Herald, FL - 23 hours agoBY LESLEY CLARK. That's the message Texas-born Florida Gov. Jeb Bush delivered Tuesday to fellow Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo of ... TIME.com: There's Trouble--Lots Of It--in Paradise -- Nov. 27 ... Restless locals call Miami a corrupt, exorbitant mess, and many are leaving.

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Keith Ellison and his sort of social contract.

Politics: He can bring the pap to a political debate.

Democratic Congressman-elect Keith Ellison, a long-time proponent of a minimum wage increase, said in a statement that no one who works full-time should make less than $11,000 a year. "In America, there is a sort of social contract that says if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead," Ellison said. "Raising the minimum wage makes sense."
Anyone can point out this social contract anywhere where it is guaranteed that if you work hard and play by the rules, everything will be clear sailing as a result? Working hard and following the rules only guarantees you have a better chance at a better life. You earn in this world, you are not given a damn thing because you think you deserved it by working hard. Only things set in stone are death and taxes. Ellison yapping about this sort of nonsense is why a segment in this country think the government should be their mommy and daddy to take of their needs.

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Judge orders FEMA to keep paying evacs rent money.

Nation: When I say FEMA to keep paying, I mean us taxpayers have to keep paying rent money. This has become another entitlement program with no end in sight. Regardless of the confusing FEMA letters, when does this end and how did evening appealing the decision become their constitutional rights being violated?

In the Washington case, Leon said FEMA mishandled the transition from a short-term housing program to a longer-term program this spring and summer. FEMA, criticized for responding too slowly to the storm, said in a statement Wednesday that it sent letters outlining the program changes, explaining why some people were ineligible and describing the appeals process. Leon, however, said those letters contained only program codes and agency jargon and did not explain anything. Some evacuees got multiple letters with conflicting information, he said, leaving families unable to understand why their aid was being cut. Until FEMA explains itself and allows victims to appeal, Leon said the government must keep making housing payments. "It is unfortunate, if not incredible, that FEMA and its counsel could not devise a sufficient notice system to spare these beleaguered evacuees the added burden of federal litigation to vindicate their constitutional rights," Leon wrote. In his ruling, Leon cited statements submitted by evacuees describing the ordeal. "The reasons I have been given for the termination are not what is in the documents and/or the reasons change each time I call," said Carmen Handy, an evacuee whose statement was cited. "Every time I call back, the person answering the call knows nothing about what the previous person told me." Leon's ruling came in a case brought in August by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which said more than 11,000 families would be affected. FEMA did not immediately have data on how much the ruling would cost and said it was considering its legal options. Spokesman Charles D. Jackson of the advocacy group said FEMA was trying to spread word about the ruling through the scattered communities of evacuees, some of whom were left homeless by FEMA's decisions. "Because the government didn't do their job, we're suffering," said Carolyn Stevens, a Katrina evacuee living in Houston. "We can't just get up and work," she added, snapping her fingers. "We need a place to stay while we're repairing our home because we're on a fixed income." Other evacuees sided with FEMA and said the program has been going on long enough. "It's really making them lazy. They need to get back to work," said Lela Logan, a New Orleans native who said she got a job and rebuilt her life in Houston."
FEMA screwed up by not being specific and not setting end dates for how long you can be on this program. It will never end and taxpayers will be paying for it for years.

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AP giving Al Sharpton some loving.

Nation: Regarding Sharpton taking the lead in the shooting of Sean Bell and getting access to Mayor Bloomberg comes this double take article.

The morning 23-year-old Sean Bell was shot to death by police, his grieving relatives did something that has become almost routine in such cases: They called the Rev. Al Sharpton. Within hours, the longtime civil rights activist had consoled relatives, held two news conferences, and begun organizing a community rally for the next day. Sharpton has long been a fixture on New York's left-wing scene, and has been especially vocal in his crusade against police brutality since the 1990s. But the Saturday shooting, which left Bell dead on his wedding day and wounded two other black men, is proving again how far Sharpton has come since the days he was routinely derided as a race-baiting, publicity-hungry opportunist. His rhetoric this week has been decidedly less harsh than in previous episodes, and he has been given unprecedented access to City Hall thanks to a mayor who is intent on not making the same mistakes of past administrations in dealing with racially divisive situations.
Wait, he is still a publicity-hungry opportunist, just listen to his radio show and his bits on the Tom Joyner show. The big reason why he is not race baiting is the make-up of the cops.
Sharpton again demanded answers from the police over the shooting, carried out by five officers who were white, Hispanic and black.
So the race baiting is a little iffy for him at this point. The shocking thing is that Sharpton could be the saner more reasonable around this case. As for Mayor Bloomberg and his immediate sucking up in this case, its going to haunt him in the end. The best thing for him to do was to call for investigation, talk with the family and be the mayor of NYC, not throw the cops under the bus in some sort of preemptive strike. Its going to come off as pandering.

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Jesse Jackson and others call for boycott of Seinfeld DVD.

Entertainment: Jesse use the spotlight for a really stupid call along the lines of NAACP trying to boycott Target.

Civil rights campaigner Rev Jesse Jackson has called for a boycott of the latest Seinfeld DVD box set in the wake of Michael Richard's racist rant at a comedy club on 17 November. Richards, 57, won three Emmy Awards for playing Cosmo Kramer in the hit series, which ran from 1990 until 1998. The seventh season of the hit series was released as a four-disc set in the US last week - just after Richards hit the headlines for racially abusing two African-American hecklers at Los Angeles club The Laugh Factory.
I don't think the boycott will be heard by many.
It seems that there really is no such thing as bad press -- even press generated by racist tirades. Sales of season seven of "Seinfeld" are up 75% over season six and 90% over season five -- after one week of sales, according to website DVD Empire. Meanwhile, DeepDiscountDVD.com reports a staggering 178% increase over season six. Sales are up despite Jesse Jackson calling for a boycott. Seasons five and six were released on the same day last year. TMZ's video of Michael Richards' hideous harangue was first seen on November 20 -- one day before season seven was released. Richards went on "The Late Show with David Letterman" that same night to apologize. To paraphrase Seinfeld ... is there anything wrong with that?

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

35,000 Ford workers to take buyout.

Bidness: Via the Detroit News.

Ford expects 35,000 to 36,000 of its hourly workers to leave the company. The number of workers who signed up is higher but the company expects a certain number to change their mind. Ford has approximately 75,000 hourly workers represented by the United Auto Workers. The company offered those workers a choice of eight buyout packages in an effort to cut its payroll costs and better align production capacity with market demand. Those packages ranged from a $35,000 early retirement offer that allowed workers to leave with full pension and retirement benefits to a $140,000 lump sum payment for workers who agreed to walk away and give up all benefits except for pension already accrued. Another program paid workers' college tuition for up to four years while giving them half their pay and health insurance. The take rate for that package was quite high, sources said. That is more good news for the company because, as with the lump sum payment, Ford will no longer be responsible for those workers' retirement benefits beyond any pension they have already earned. Ford announced an $18 billion financing deal Monday that will help cover the cost of the buyouts.

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Michigan governor proposes more taxes

Bidness: Considering that business wise Michigan's economy is a living hellhole, these new taxes are just what businesses need at this time.

Wednesday’s Senate hearing will begin a scramble by lame duck lawmakers to either forge a new business tax before their session ends Dec. 31, or punt the issue to the newly-elected Legislature next year. According to sources, Granholm’s tax proposal would: · Impose a 1.875% tax on profits · Impose a 0.125% tax on gross receipts and assets · Exempt commercial and industrial equipment from the statewide 24-mill personal property tax that helps pay for schools. The lost revenue would be recouped through the new business tax formula. · Increase the state tax on insurance company premiums, from the current 1% to 1.25%. · Result in no reduction in revenue for the state. Whether the plan flies in the lame duck session is problematic. Many Republicans and business groups insist that any new business tax result in a net tax cut. Among them is House Speaker Craig DeRoch, R-Novi. “I want a tax code we can advertise in California and Ohio as a reason to locate in Michigan,” DeRoche said. Tricia Kinley, tax policy analyst for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, said there is not enough time in the lame duck session to resolve an issue as complex as overhauling state business taxes. She said any new tax that doesn’t result in an overall tax cut “falls short in a very significant way.”
The tax on profit is slick, on the off-chance the economy in the state turns around, they are able to get more money from profits. Just disregard the fact the profit would have be used to expand/invest back into the business and hire more people. This is the democrat way towards business. They are there to fund unions and welfare projects.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Chicago officials kick out Baby Jesus for diversity.

Culture: Does it say something about how stupid Chicago officials who like a nanny city feel its residents are if they are going to a festival called "Christkindlmarket"

CHICAGO Nov 28, 2006 (AP)— A public Christmas festival is no place for the Christmas story, the city says. Officials have asked organizers of a downtown Christmas festival, the German Christkindlmarket, to reconsider using a movie studio as a sponsor because it is worried ads for its film "The Nativity Story" might offend non-Christians. New Line Cinema, which said it was dropped, had planned to play a loop of the new film on televisions at the event. The decision had both the studio and a prominent Christian group shaking their heads. "The last time I checked, the first six letters of Christmas still spell out Christ," said Paul Braoudakis, spokesman for the Barrington, Ill.-based Willow Creek Association, a group of more than 11,000 churches of various denominations. "It's tantamount to celebrating Lincoln's birthday without talking about Abraham Lincoln." He also said that there is a nativity scene in Daley Plaza and that some vendors at the festival sell items related to the nativity. The city does not want to appear to endorse one religion over another, said Cindy Gatziolis, a spokeswoman for the Mayor's Office of Special Events. She acknowledged there is a nativity scene, but also said there will be representations of other faiths, including a Jewish menorah, all put up by private groups. She stressed that the city did not order organizers to drop the studio as a sponsor. "Our guidance was that this very prominently placed advertisement would not only be insensitive to the many people of different faiths who come to enjoy the market for its food and unique gifts, but also it would be contrary to acceptable advertising standards suggested to the many festivals holding events on Daley Plaza," Jim Law, executive director of the office, said in a statement.
Yeah, a movie about Baby Jesus in this setting would be the last straw for visitors.

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14 French cops a day are being injured by "youths"

France: You have 14 cops here in America getting hurt a day, the mayor of whatever city would have called for the national guard to move in with heavy weapons.

PARIS (Reuters) - Stoned, beaten and insulted, their vehicles torched by crowds of hostile youths, French police say they face an urban guerrilla war when they enter the run-down neighborhoods that ring the major cities. "Our role is to guarantee the safety of people and property but the great difficulty today is that police are having problems ensuring their own safety," said Jerome Hanarte of the Alliance-Police Nationale union. Bedside television interviews with officers hospitalized after beatings in "les banlieues," or suburbs, support statistics showing a 6.7 percent jump in violent crime in the 12 months to August. Fourteen officers are hurt every day in the line of duty, unions estimate, and law and order is sure to feature prominently in next year's presidential election. The head of the French crime statistics body told Reuters the rise in attacks on police was partly due to Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy's 2002 decision to order police back into tough areas, to disrupt the black economy that fuels crime.

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Judge strikes down authority to designate groups as terrorists.

Terrorism: Yet another air head Clinton appointee. The Tamil Tigers is not a terrorist group anymore if you are keeping score at home.

A federal judge struck down President Bush's authority to designate groups as terrorists, saying his post-Sept. 11 executive order was unconstitutionally vague, according to a ruling released Tuesday. The Humanitarian Law Project had challenged Bush's order, which blocked all the assets of groups or individuals he named as "specially designated global terrorists" after the 2001 terrorist attacks. "This law gave the president unfettered authority to create blacklists," said David Cole, a lawyer for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Constitutional Rights that represented the group. "It was reminiscent of the McCarthy era." The case centered on two groups, the Liberation Tigers, which seeks a separate homeland for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka, and Partiya Karkeran Kurdistan, a political organization representing the interests of Kurds in Turkey. U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins enjoined the government from blocking the assets of the two groups. Both groups consider the Nov. 21 ruling a victory; both had been designated by the United States as foreign terrorist organizations. Cole said the judge's ruling does not invalidate the hundreds of other designated terrorist groups on the list but "calls them into question."
Tremendous, hopefully this gets overturned by a court with an ounce of common sense.

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Top 10 papers in the world on Romenesko

Media: Bunch of people wrote in about their top 10 papers to read and we get an amusing Guardian reference.

From MICHAEL GOLDFARB: Do you mean top ten newspapers produced by Americans? Or top ten papers read by Americans including online? If it's the latter than you should include Britain's The Guardian. It has an enormous daily online readership in America. It is British but probably more than any newspaper in our shared language has found the right pitch to reach the globalized American citizen. I know that its various forums are often filled up with West Coast posters responding to the paper before the Brits have even awakened.I think you should consider it. It's a pretty sad comment that a top ten worthy of the name doesn't really get past the obvious first five: NYT,WP, WSJ, LAT and USAT.The Guardian makes it easier to fill out a round ten. [Permalink]
The nicknames the left gives themselves to have an air of superiority are just so damn cute. How cute? This sort of cute. The Guardian is great for the humor factor of the comment sections and their commentisfree blog. Article wise, it is written from a left to far-left point of view. The right pitch is to just be as goofy at time as some of the leftist publications in America. But the main reason I touched on this is the "globalized American citizen" title. Hysterical.

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What? Abortion still carries a stigma to it?

Culture: I am shocked, you would think by now that having an abortion would be met with 100% approval with no regrets and looked upon as going to get a haircut. Why would people not treat killing babies so easy?

Ann Furedi, as head of the BPAS, undertook some research into attitudes to abortion and her end-conclusion was this: The idea of just drifting into unplanned motherhood is seen not to be a good thing and you could argue that among many groups of people in society abortion is seen as a more responsible response to being a victim of uncontrolled fertility. I generally have a lot of respect for Furedi, but there are points within her own research that, I think, undermine her conclusion and are also worth highlighting more assertively: mainly, that support for the right to abortion is incrementally dropping, from 62% in 2001 to 59% now. It sounds pretty small, but set in a context of conservative opinion mobilising against abortion globally, it's worth fighting nevertheless. Furedi posits that there's a lot of emphasis now on good parenting, and there was consequently more stigma attached to being a bad parent than there was to having an abortion. I don't agree with this at all - there is definitely a lot more emphasis on children "coming first", on stranger-danger, on mothers damaging their children by going out to work/not going out to work/eating too many Mars bars or whatever - but I don't think this really equates to a new premium being put on good parenting. It's more to do with scaremongering as a marketing tool - parents being one of the easiest constituencies among which to spread fear. The stigma on abortion is as bad as it's ever been. You never hear people talk about it, except in a context of shame.
Call me an old fashioned hardass, but I don't think abortion is going to be thought of other than a last resort that carries a lot of weight for the woman who has to go thru it. I can't see women except on the fringe of the debate looking at abortion with fondness.

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UK's minorities growing parallel legal systems

UK: All thanks to English law and multiculturalism.

Ethnic and religious courts are gaining ground in the UK. Will this lead to different justice for different people? Aydarus Yusuf has lived in the UK for the past 15 years, but he feels more bound by the traditional law of his country of birth - Somalia - than he does by the law of England and Wales. "Us Somalis, wherever we are in the world, we have our own law. It's not Islamic, it's not religious - it's just a cultural thing." The 29-year-old youth worker wants to ensure that other members of his community remain subject to the law of their ancestors too - he helps convene an unofficial Somali court, or "gar", in south-east London. Aydarus is not alone in this desire. A number of parallel legal universes have been quietly evolving among minority communities. As well as Somali customary law, Islamic and Jewish laws are being applied and enforced in parts of the UK. Islamic and Jewish law remains confined to civil matters. But the BBC's Law in Action programme has learned that the Somali court hears criminal cases too.
So how did this court come about? Some academic lawyers see these alternative legal systems as an inevitable - and welcome - consequence of multiculturalism. Dr Prakash Shah, of London's Queen Mary University, advocates this "legal pluralism". "Tribunals like the Somali court could be more effective than the formal legal system in maintaining social harmony." Former judge Gerald Butler QC says that while courts such as the Jewish Beth Din can work properly, it's essential that all of the involved parties "freely and voluntarily agree to the jurisdiction... and that they conduct their proceedings fairly and properly". He adds: "What they mustn't do - and this must never happen - is to stray into the field of criminal matters. That simply would never be acceptable."
A little late for that Mr. Butler.
The Beth Din is the most formally entrenched of these minority courts. The UK's main Beth Din is based in Finchley, north London. It oversees a wide range of cases including divorce settlements, contractual rows between traders and tenancy disputes. The court cannot force anyone to come within its jurisdiction. But once someone agrees to settle a dispute in the Beth Din, he or she is bound in English law to abide by the court's decision. This is because under English law people may devise their own way to settle a dispute before an agreed third party. Crucially, the legislation does not insist that settlements must be based on English law; all that matters is the outcome is reasonable and both parties agree to the process. And it's in this space that religious courts, applying the laws of another culture, are growing in the UK.
Of course this leads to Sharia law that is gaining ground.
There is already a network of Sharia councils in the UK. They are not recognised as courts but are seen as essential by those Muslims seeking advice and religious sanction in matters such as divorce. Ayesha Begum sought an Islamic divorce from the Muslim Law Shariah Council in west London. "I had obtained a divorce in the secular courts - but my husband refused to divorce me Islamically. In English law I was seen as a single woman but by Islamic law I was still married to him. "I'm a practising Muslim and I wanted to do the right things in the eyes of God. It was very important I obtained an Islamic divorce." But Cassandra Balchin, a convert to Islam and spokeswoman for the group Women Living Under Muslim Laws, is concerned about the growth of these minority legal systems. "Very often traditional forms of mediation can disadvantage vulnerable groups, such as women, within a community. "I'm concerned about how much choice the weaker party would have in submitting to the governance of these alternative forums."
That is the main reason why all of these ethnic/religious courts if won't be banned, must be tightly regulated by the government, it is too easy especially for recent immigrants to think your own special court is the only way to solve anything. Social pressures within the community make sure these courts and its orders are followed by everyone. UK is slowing killing itself and is blind to the whole thing.

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Judge says money unfair to the blind. change it!

Nation: Wonderful, yet more money to be spent to fix a problem that wasn't there before because the judge is an internationalist.

WASHINGTON — American paper money represents an unfair impediment to the blind, and the Treasury Department must come up with new U.S. currency to help the visually impaired use cash, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. U.S. District Judge James Robertson said keeping all U.S. currency the same size and texture violates the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in government programs. "Of the more than 180 countries that issue paper currency, only the United States prints bills that are identical in size and color in all their denominations," Robertson wrote in his ruling. "More than 100 of the other issuers vary their bills in size according to denomination, and every other issuer includes at least some features that help the visually impaired." Day Al-Mohamed, director of advocacy and government affairs at the American Council of the Blind, said that most of the world's currency is distinguished by color, size, perforations or tactile symbols. The Euro, for instance, can be determined by the length of the bill — the higher the denomination the longer the bill. "Saudi Arabia has money that varies in size based on denomination," she said. "If so many other countries can do it, why not the greatest country in the world?"
Who gives a flying whatever what other countries are doing with their currency, was this a massive national problem for the blind all these years?
But John Paré, director of public relations for the National Federation of the Blind, the nation's largest organization representing blind people, said identifying the money is hardly the most difficult obstacle for the blind to overcome. "The focus for improving the lives of blind Americans needs to be put on earning money not figuring out how to identify money," he said. "Over 70 percent of blind Americans are under-employed or unemployed and this is what needs to be addressed. "It really is distracting to have this lawsuit," he said, since assistance should concentrate on people "who don't have the money in the first place."

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More on Imans kicked off U.S. Airways

Terrorism: I said earlier that this whole deal stuck me as a media stunt. Via the Washington Times, it seems the clerics were either too stupid or were trying to get kicked off the plane.

Muslim religious leaders removed from a Minneapolis flight last week exhibited behavior associated with a security probe by terrorists and were not merely engaged in prayers, according to witnesses, police reports and aviation security officials. Witnesses said three of the imams were praying loudly in the concourse and repeatedly shouted "Allah" when passengers were called for boarding US Airways Flight 300 to Phoenix. "I was suspicious by the way they were praying very loud," the gate agent told the Minneapolis Police Department. Passengers and flight attendants told law-enforcement officials the imams switched from their assigned seats to a pattern associated with the September 11 terrorist attacks and also found in probes of U.S. security since the attacks -- two in the front row first-class, two in the middle of the plane on the exit aisle and two in the rear of the cabin. "That would alarm me," said a federal air marshal who asked to remain anonymous. "They now control all of the entry and exit routes to the plane." A pilot from another airline said: "That behavior has been identified as a terrorist probe in the airline industry." ....According to witnesses, police reports and aviation security officials, the imams displayed other suspicious behavior. Three of the men asked for seat-belt extenders, although two flight attendants told police the men were not oversized. One flight attendant told police she "found this unsettling, as crew knew about the six [passengers] on board and where they were sitting." Rather than attach the extensions, the men placed the straps and buckles on the cabin floor, the flight attendant said. The imams said they were not discussing politics and only spoke in English, but witnesses told law enforcement that the men spoke in Arabic and English, criticizing the war in Iraq and President Bush, and talking about al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. The imams who claimed two first-class seats said their tickets were upgraded. The gate agent told police that when the imams asked to be upgraded, they were told no such seats were available. Nevertheless, the two men were seated in first class when removed.
More from Malkin, Powerline Allahpundit from Hotair asks
You’ve got all this plus Omar Shahin’s admission that his mosque used to support Osama back in the day when he was still a “good guy” plus his work for the KindHearts charity that’s been linked to Hamas, and yet there hasn’t been a single media inquiry thus far about the goings-on at the conference of North American imams that Shahin and co. were in town to attend. Curious, especially since America’s first Muslim Congressman, Keith Ellison, was also in attendance. You’d think that might pique some journalist’s curiosity, but so far it hasn’t. Lileks wonders why.

The program guide for the conference is here. Nothing too outlandish except this bit from the profile of Yasser Al-Khooly.

One of the most important challenges facing Islam nowadays, according to Imam Al-Khooly, is "the ignorance of most Muslims to the extent that they permit the local culture to override their own culture. Subsequently, they melt in the society rather than affect it". One of Al-Khooly’s most important goals is trying his best to get the Muslim community together.

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Alcee Hastings meeting with Pelosi to end bid?

Politics: Trying to get out of this gracefully.

WASHINGTON — House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi will meet Tuesday with Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings, and those with knowledge of Pelosi's thinking told FOX News that Hastings will be told he is not going to be the next chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Though no formal decisions have been announced and Pelosi aides say the situation remains fluid, they suggest that the meeting at Pelosi's Capitol Hill office was requested by Hastings so he could bow out of the race before Pelosi denies him the job. "He knows he's not going to get it," said one senior House Democratic aide. "The question is why he didn't bow out long ago." In comments over the weekend, Hastings left the impression he was resigned to not receiving the chairmanship from Pelosi, due in large measure to his impeachment from the federal bench in 1989 for conspiring to accept a bribe from two convicted racketeers, and then, according to the Senate impeachment trial, lying to cover it up. Pelosi aides have been scrutinizing the House and Senate proceedings in the Hastings impeachment, FOX News has learned, and apparently don't like what they have seen. "It's ugly," said one Pelosi aide. "It's just really, really bad."
If he does bow out, the next spectacle could be how the CBC acts up about it.

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Joe Biden: Immigration Hawk?

Immigration: I am feeling faint.

During a question-and-answer session before more than 230 Columbia Rotary Club members, Biden was asked about immigration problems. Biden, who favors tightening the U.S.-Mexico border with fences, said immigration is driven by money in low-wage Mexico. "Mexico is a country that is an erstwhile democracy where they have the greatest disparity of wealth," Biden said. "It is one of the wealthiest countries in the hemisphere and because of a corrupt system that exists in Mexico, there is the 1 percent of the population at the top, a very small middle class and the rest is abject poverty." Unless the political dynamics change in Mexico and U.S. employers who hire illegal immigrants are punished, illegal immigration won't stop. "All the rest is window dressing," he said. An even bigger problem are illegal drugs "coming up through corrupt Mexico," he said. "People are driving across that border with tons, tons - hear me - tons of everything from byproducts for methamphetamines, to cocaine, to heroine."

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How is Thailand's appeasement program working?

Terrorism: Weekly check-in as the new government installed by the Muslim General ringleader went on a surrender march to Islamist terrorists. How is it going for them?

THAILAND will close all 994 public schools indefinitely in the country's restive Muslim-majority south after a string of arsons and shootings that left two teachers dead, an official said today. "We have made a decision because we are worried about our own safety and our lives," said Boonsom Thongsriplai, the chairman of the Teachers Federation of Pattani, one of three insurgency-torn southern provinces bordering Malaysia. All 994 public schools, ranging from elementary to high schools, in Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala would be closed from Tuesday, Boonsom said, adding that all 336 schools in Pattani and 100 in Yala were already closed. The school closure was due to a wave of arson attacks against school buildings, as well as shootings that killed two Buddhist school teachers last week. In Pattani, suspected Islamic militants gunned down a 48-year-old school director inside his parked car then set fire to the bullet-riddled vehicle, the federation said. The victim was the 60th teacher killed during three years of unrest in the south, where more than 1600 people have been killed in the almost daily violence since January 2004. Since taking office after the September coup, army-installed premier Surayud Chulanont has offered a number of olive branches, including an offer to hold talks with militants, in a bid to bring peace to the troubled region. But the violence has spiralled in the last month, with bombings, arsons and shootings happening every day.
Alrighty then.

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Kenya Muslims say no to fighting Somalia Islamists.

Terrorism: Not that they don't want Kenya dragged into a regional war, but they just don't like them Christians who may be trying to take over. The Horn of Africa is ripe for chaos.

The Kenyan Muslim leader says Muslims in Kenya will not allow their country to be used in what he describes as "Christian plans" to attack Somalia to discredit and destroy the growing Islamist movement there. "We will never support a Christian country, or a Christian army to fight against our Muslim brothers," said Dor. "We will not say how we are going to protect our Muslim brothers in Somalia, if any foreign country passes in Kenya. But we are telling you, we will definitely protect our Muslim brothers. Definitely." Muslims make up about a quarter of Kenya's predominantly Christian population of nearly 36 million. Since the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, tensions between Kenyan Muslims and Christians have been rising steadily, amid Muslim complaints of harassment and intimidation in the country's official efforts to combat terrorism.

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UK Nanny state wants the UN to ban spanking.

UK: My theory is all these busy-body child experts are getting revenge for being on the low end of the social totem pole all thru school and/or were treated badly by their own parents. They keep trying to push their noses into other people's parenting.

The Children's Commissioner for England is preparing a dossier for the United Nations to back his case that parents who smack their children are abusing their human rights. Prof Sir Al Aynsley-Green says parents must be banned outright from smacking. His report, that existing laws fail to protect children from harm, will be submitted to UN officials next autumn. He is supported by the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish "child tsars". Sir Al said: "Children and young people in England should have the same right to protection under the law on common assault as that afforded to adults." The dossier comes after a poll found most parents believed smacking was an acceptable way to discipline children. The number of those in favour was higher among adults without children, 80 per cent of whom said they would support smacking as a punishment if necessary. Among parents, the proportion who said they smacked their children fell, but only to 67 per cent. advertisementParents aged 35 to 54 were most likely to have smacked their children, with nearly three quarters saying they had done so, said the research. Many did not consider a light smack the same as "hitting" a child. Children's charities do not differentiate between smacking and hitting, saying they amount to the same thing to a child.
Here comes the expert.
Most child experts oppose smacking but they hold differing views on the best way to instil discipline in children. Dr Miriam Stoppard said parents who did smack should "never have had children in the first place". The key, she said, to good behaviour was knowing how to "achieve co-operation" and that involved a lot of talking. Noël Janis-Norton, a learning and behavioural specialist and director of the New Learning Centre in Hampstead, north London, said children who understood rules were less likely to test their parents by misbehaving.
Well there was talking at a young age. Daddy: "Son, your mom wants you for something." Me: "NOT NOW! I'm watching something on TV!!!!" Dad: "....Boy, didn't I tell you something..." Me: "..Fine, I'm going *mumblingundermybreath*" That should be the extent of co-operation and talking. If you have to do a lot of talking with your child and making them "understand rules" you have already lost. It's like explaning a joke, if you have to explain it, game over.

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Cactus, Texas. Where illegals rule in America.

Immigration: The part that gets me is the arrogance which open border advocates like the Dallas Morning News and the people in this article just go about illegals being so common that enforcing laws would be so wrong.

CACTUS, Texas - He's known in this Panhandle outpost by an unofficial, yet majestic title: El presidente de Cactus. His two-story, Spanish villa - looking over blocks of town-center shanties - is often called the White House. His portfolio includes the town's only grocery and laundry, at least 18 rental properties and a 575-acre ranch nearby. It was little more than 30 years ago that Luis Aguilar slipped into this country from Mexico, eventually using a fake name, license and Social Security card to land a job at this town's sprawling beef packing plant. A decade later, he was in the right place at the right time when federal immigration reform granted him amnesty and put him on the path to citizenship. Now, as mayor and arguably the most affluent - and influential - resident in town, he not only rents rooms and sells groceries to a new generation of illegal immigrants, but he also is paid to place them in jobs. "I'm working like those guys are working," said the native from the state of Chihuahua. "I am helping them make money for their families. I worked just like that." An hour's drive north of Amarillo, Cactus has an official population of 2,538. But realistically, it's closer to 5,000, and officials here estimate that three of every four residents are illegal immigrants, drawn by work in feedlots or the $11-plus hourly wages at the Swift & Co. plant.
I think this is enough information for the Feds to work with and send in people enforce immigration laws. The mayor rules this place like his own city-state.
The mayor and Cactus police Sgt. Stewart Moss don't seem to agree on much. But they both recognize this pattern. "For fun ... (we) really don't have much fun here," Aguilar said. "Just work." "Drink," added Moss. "Drink and work," agreed Aguilar. The cruising along Center Drive is straight out of "American Graffiti." Cars and trucks inch along in a bumper-to-bumper processional. They hope to see and be seen. "That's the only fun they got," Aguilar said. "If you got stopped just for that ... fun is over." "Don't you get tired of cleaning the beer bottles out from in front of the Laundromat?" Moss asked. "Not at all," the mayor replied. "I sell it. So what the hell?"
The main place of employment is a piece of work.
Casey Williams, a leader in the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 540, said union officials and employee safety monitors meet with the company weekly to discuss plant safety. "We hardly get any calls to go to Swift for injuries," said Theron Park, the county hospital administrator. "My impression is they have a pretty comprehensive safety program." Still, it's difficult to know precisely what goes on inside the plant. Swift declined requests for interviews with its Cactus chief and to visit the facility. And most workers don't want to be noticed, much less interviewed, for fear of losing their jobs or being deported. "It's a scary thing to be undocumented," said Lydia Hernandez, an immigration counselor at Catholic Family Services Inc. in Amarillo, "because you don't know who's your friend." Those agreeing to speak describe difficult conditions. One man employed by a plant contractor describes an almost feudal existence endured by many illegal immigrant workers. "They are overworked," said the man, who agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity. "I see it every day. They are working them like crazy."
The police chief can't do jack.
TIM TURLEY Job: Cactus police chief His story: Mr. Turley, who has been chief about three years, thinks the problems of Cactus – from document fraud to illicit drugs and prostitution – have grown beyond his control. A mill peddling forged documents was found operating next door to his home. He says: "We are castigated by the community at large for trying to enforce anything because we are in a community that [is] 99 percent Hispanic, and they want to run the government like they are running it in Mexico."
Tremendous.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Le Pen has 17% voter support.

France: This will make for interesting election campaign if he keeps up this kind of support.

Paris, 24 Nov. (AKI) - Some 17 percent of French voters will cast their ballots for the extreme right-wing and anti-immigration Front National leader Jean-Marie Le Pen in next year's general election, according to the results of an opinion poll published Friday by the Paris-based liberal daily, Le Monde. The survey carried out by the market research institute CSA was based on a sample of 1,002 people. The results suggest Le Pen is more popular with French voters with six months to go before the election than he was six months before the last presidential elections in 2002. Then only 9 percent of those surveyed in a similar poll indicated they'd vote for him, Le Monde said. In 2002 Le Pen captured almost 17 percent of the vote in the first round of the presidential election, enough to force a run-off against the incumbent Jacques Chirac who eventually won. According to some observers, violent riots mostly by immigrants in Paris' low-income banlieu suburbs have struck fear amongst the French and tipped them towards supporting Le Pen.

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Day laborers free to crowd streets

Culture: As Judge Colleen McMahon says stop being so mean.

WHITE PLAINS, Nov. 20 — A federal judge ruled Monday that officials in Mamaroneck discriminated against Hispanic day laborers when they stepped up police patrols, closed a hiring site and aggressively fined contractors who approached the laborers on the streets as they searched for work. In a 70-page decision, Judge Colleen McMahon of Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York wrote that “the fact that the day laborers were Latinos, and not whites, was, at least in part, a motivating factor in the defendants’ actions.” Judge McMahon said the police often ignored infractions by other drivers, including those who blocked traffic while picking up children in school, but adopted a “virtual zero-tolerance policy” toward contractors in a concerted effort to drive them away, making it harder for the day laborers to find work.
It could be just me, but I see a difference between picking up your kids from school and people blocking traffic and creating an unsafe area going after contractors looking for cheap labor.
The ruling is at least the third legal victory this year for day laborers. Last week, officials in Freehold, N.J., agreed to allow laborers to seek work in public places without being subjected to fines, putting an end to a three-year court battle. In May, a federal judge prohibited the police in Redondo Beach, Calif., from arresting laborers for violating an ordinance against soliciting work on the streets. At the trial, Mamaroneck officials characterized the enforcement at a park, a parking lot and on the streets where the workers congregate as a response to residents’ complaints. .....Mayor Trifiletti and Chief Flynn, along with the village, are defendants in the lawsuit. Both declined to comment, but Mr. Plunkett, the village’s lawyer, said that he was “disappointed” in the decision and added that Judge McMahon took “the good intentions of the police chief and village board to address a community problem and turned it into racial animus.” Judge McMahon ordered Mamaroneck to pay the plaintiffs’ lawyers’ fees. During testimony, some of the workers accused police officers of using harsh words and gestures to order them to move, behavior that Judge McMahon denounced. The judge also admonished the comments of one village trustee, who compared the workers to “locusts” who “come in here and take, and won’t give back to the community.” “Whether or not they are predicated on stereotypes, the claims and comments made by public officials about the day laborers who plied the streets of Mamaroneck looking for work were negative and stigmatizing,” she wrote. “That is some evidence of racism.”
Does she have evidence to back up this claim? If they were black or white people gathering in the area, the officials and residents who complained would have been motivated still by racism or just the fact this sort of activity would drag down a community reputation? What were these harsh words and gestures that made the workers, some illegal so traumatized? It looks like a losing battle for communities who want to uphold sort of standard of living in their areas with these judges.

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Coming to a university near you: Fat Studies.

Edumacation: Via NYTIMES and Althouse. Someday every quirk, grievance and behavioral trait known will have some sort of study devoted to it to make it alright.

Even as science, medicine and government have defined obesity as a threat to the nation’s health and treasury, fat studies is emerging as a new interdisciplinary area of study on campuses across the country and is gaining interest in Australia and Britain. Nestled within the humanities and social sciences fields, fat studies explores the social and political consequences of being fat. For most scholars of fat, though, it is not an objective pursuit. Proponents of fat studies see it as the sister subject — and it is most often women promoting the study, many of whom are lesbian activists — to women’s studies, queer studies, disability studies and ethnic studies. In many of its permutations, then, it is the study of a people its supporters believe are victims of prejudice, stereotypes and oppression by mainstream society. “It’s about a dominant culture’s ideals of what a real person should be,” said Stefanie Snider, 29, a graduate student at the University of Southern California, whose dissertation will be on the intersection of queer and fat identities in the United States in the 20th century. “And whether that has to do with skin color or heritage or sexual orientation or ability, it ends up being similar in a lot of ways.” Fat studies is still a fringe area of scholarship, but it is gaining traction. Three years ago, the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association, which promotes scholarly research of popular culture, added a fat studies component to regional and national conferences.
As with every subject designed to make a person into a victim, it is linked to the civil rights movement in someway.
As with most academic disciplines that chronicle the plight of the disenfranchised, fat studies grew out of political activism over body size. In 1973, a group of women formed the Fat Underground, a faction of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, which was founded four years earlier. In 1983, they published “Shadow on a Tightrope,” a collection of essays, articles and memoirs on fat liberation that’s viewed as the seminal work in this field. It has taken a few decades for the subject to shift from public finger-wagging by fat advocates to study in the classroom. Susan Koppelman, a retired professor of women’s studies and editor of “The Strange History of Suzanne LaFleshe,” a collection of essays on body politics, likened it to the other social and political movements of the last century that gained credence on college campuses. “How far back does the black civil rights movement go in America before we have a field called African-American studies?” Ms. Koppelman said. “The academic world, like the American government, has a system of checks and balances that makes change very slow to happen.” Others argue, though, that a movement does not make a scholarly pursuit and that this is simply a way to institutionalize victimhood. “In one field after another, passion and venting have come to define the nature of what academics do,” said Stephen H. Balch, president of the National Association of Scholars, a group of university professors and academics who have a more traditional view of higher education. “Ethnic studies, women’s studies, queer studies — they’re all about vindicating the grievances of some particular group. That’s not what the academy should be about. “Obviously in the classroom you can look at issues of right and wrong and justice and injustice,” he added, “But if the purpose is to vindicate fatness, to make fatness seem better in the eyes of society, then that purpose begs a fundamental intellectual question.” Or as Big Arm Woman, a blogger, wrote: “I don’t care if people are fat or thin. I do, however, care that universities are spending money on scholarship about the ‘politics of fatness’ when half of the freshman class can’t read or write at the college level.”
In the end, its all about "dues"
Whether activism is an appropriate goal for academia is a controversial notion. Joseph B. Juhasz, a social psychologist who teaches at the University of Colorado, said the possibilities are endless. “Certainly we have not reached a point where we can do away with queer studies or race studies or women’s studies,” Professor Juhasz said. “But where do you draw the line? Is there going to be a department of man-boy-love studies? Do we need polygamy studies? At which point do you say, enough already?” Elena Escalera, an assistant professor of psychology at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif., vehemently disagrees with the idea that fat studies perpetuates a victim’s mentality. “This is not about victimhood, but about becoming empowered,” she said. “Did Martin Luther King and Malcolm X espouse victimhood? Did Susan B. Anthony? It’s really easy for people to feel that fat people are trying to find an excuse.” Fat scholars believe they are serving justice and many hope that one day fat studies will be as ubiquitous on campus as Shakespeare. Professor Bucholz said he sees the attention on “groups that have been ignored” as crucial to improving their lot. “There’s an element of trying to right the balance,” he said. “It’s time for the fat to receive their due.”
There is no doubt that being fat leads to health problems, this movement to push your weakness as a strength that society is being too mean about is ridiculous.

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Ken Livingstone declares war on black race equality chief.

UK: The crime that Trevor Phillips committed that has created this anger towards him by the far left anti-west mayor of London? He is not towing the liberal line on multiculturalism.

A furious clash over multiculturalism has erupted after the Mayor of London accused Trevor Phillips, head of Britain's race equality watchdog, of peddling falsehoods and failing victims of racism. Ken Livingstone is refusing to attend a two-day conference this week on race relations being organised by Phillips, casting a shadow over what was meant to be a celebration of 30 years of anti-discrimination law. The mayor's adviser on equality, Lee Jasper, has also signed a letter sent to speakers at the event, which takes place tomorrow and on Tuesday, urging them to stage a boycott. The letter accuses the Commission for Racial Equality, which Phillips chairs, of fuelling 'general hostility' towards ethnic minorities by attacking the principle of multiculturalism.
What happens when you are a minority and don't hold the liberal line on race? You're a racist.
Tensions between Phillips and Livingstone have been rising ever since the head of the Commission for Racial Equality began speaking out on multiculturalism, which he argues may have led to greater ghettoisation, and harmed relations with the Muslim community following the 7/7 bombings. Livingstone recently accused Phillips, who is of Caribbean descent, of being so right-wing that he would 'soon be joining the BNP'. The row over tomorrow's conference is, however, being seen as an attempt to undermine Phillips in his job and to stifle what was supposed to be a national debate about religion, race and culture. Keith Porteous Wood, of the National Secular Society, one of the speakers, said he was ignoring the boycott call because it was wrong to shy away from examining the issues. 'The deliberate conflation of religion and race makes it easier for race relations to be hijacked by religious power-seekers, not exactly discouraged by Mayor Livingstone,' he said. 'Many, perhaps most, from ethnic minorities do not subscribe to the agenda pushed by the religious activists claiming to represent them.'

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Dems cheaper drug plan good campaign issue but

Politics: A lot harder to make a reality. I applaud the Washington Post's analysis of the Dems plan after the election. What a surprise.

It sounded simple enough on the campaign trail: Free the government to negotiate lower drug prices and use the savings to plug a big gap in Medicare's new prescription-drug benefit. But as Democrats prepare to take control of Congress, they are struggling to keep that promise without wrecking a program that has proven cheaper and more popular than anyone imagined. House Democrats have vowed to act quickly after taking power in January to lift a ban on Medicare negotiations with drugmakers, which they hope will save as much as $190 billion over a decade. But House leaders have yet to settle on a strategy and acknowledge that negotiation is, in any case, unlikely to generate sufficient savings to fill the "doughnut hole," the much-criticized gap in coverage that forces millions of seniors to pay 100 percent of drug costs for a few weeks or months each year.
The Medicare drug benefit, one of the Bush administration's signature domestic programs, was created in 2003 and took effect in January. It has enrolled 22.5 million seniors, some of whom had no previous drug coverage. Polls indicate that more than 80 percent of enrollees are satisfied, even though nearly half chose plans with no coverage in the doughnut hole, a gap that opens when a senior's drug costs reach $2,250 and closes when out-of-pocket expenses reach $3,600. By the latest estimates, 3 million to 4 million seniors will hit the doughnut hole this year and pay full price for drugs while also paying drug-plan premiums. The cost of the program has been lower than expected, about $26 billion in 2006, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The cost was projected to rise to $45 billion next year, but Medicare has received new bids indicating that its average per-person subsidy could drop by 15 percent in 2007, to $79.90 a month.
Republicans, by and large, did a poor job of defending the program, said Thomas A. Scully, a Republican and the former head of the federal unit that runs Medicare. He played a key role in creating the drug benefit. "Black voters, poor voters -- people who generally vote Democratic -- they got the biggest benefit in 40 years and nobody told them that," Scully said.
Here is the kicker.
For now, it is not clear how aggressively Democrats are willing to push price negotiation. Ideas range from simply repealing the ban on negotiations -- which would accomplish little if the Bush administration refuses to negotiate -- to creating a separate, government-run Medicare drug program with strong negotiating power. Rep. Fortney "Pete" Stark (D-Calif.), who is in line to become chairman of a key health subcommittee, said he prefers a middle path, with Medicare setting ceilings from which private insurers could negotiate downward. But Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the incoming Senate Finance chairman, is cool to the idea of government negotiation, and has committed only to holding hearings to "determine what the result would be of eliminating" the no-negotiation clause.
Read the whole thing, the gist is while it made for a great campaign issue, the program is working well now and more government involvement might wreck the whole thing. I see the Dems doing style points just to say they did something.

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

People are hopping on the Muslim prayer bandwagon.

Culture: I said earlier with the Muslim prayer incident at MIP and with Keith Ellison jumping on the incident to score political points that it struck me as a media stunt. Now the NAACP and other groups are moving to take advantage.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 /U.S. Newswire/ -- On Monday, November 27th, 8:15 AM, at the US Airways ticket counter located in the Reagan National Airport, Imam Omar Shahin, one of the six Imams removed from US Airways flight 300, will join Imam Mahdi Bray, executive director of the MAS Freedom Foundation, Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center of Philadelphia, Rev Graylan Hagler of the United Church of Christ, Hillary Shelton, director of the NAACP-Washington National Office, and other interfaith members for a press statement, public prayer, and flight departure on US Airways.
Already had a mini protest at Seattle airport that is a mockery.
Six Seattle-area Muslims gathered in prayer Friday in front of a US Airways ticket counter at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to protest the removal of six imams from a flight in Minneapolis earlier this week. The prayer lasted eight minutes without incident. "We are asserting the right of Muslims to be free of fear, free of apprehension, to take an equal seat at the table," said Jafar Siddiqui, a member of American Muslims of Puget Sound. Afterward, airport patron Frank Meyers, of San Jose, Calif., accused airport terminal managers of being "politically correct" by allowing the prayer service to block a public elevator. "We're in a war, sir," he told an airport terminal manager. "We're in a war against terrorism. Do you have any concept of that?"
No self-respecting Muslim would make a mockery of prayer by doing this and if true blocking an elevator. That is not freedom of religion, that is being a public nuisance and they should have been escorted out.

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Associated Press employs Palestinian propagandist.

Terrorism: Not surprising but this via LGF is a clue how in bed with Palestinian terrorists some of their reporters are pushing articles like this as news.

Hamas women seek bigger political role By DIAA HADID, Associated Press Writer Fri Nov 24, 1:42 PM ET A grandmother-turned-suicide bomber, a small army of women marching into a battlefield, thousands of veiled volunteers hitting the streets in an election campaign — the Islamic militant group Hamas is increasingly mobilizing its network of female activists. Yet the Hamas women, known as the Sisterhood, say such high-profile missions have not changed how the group is run: the men make decisions, the women have a supporting role, at best. But even in the rigidly conservative movement, whose manifesto defines women as "manufacturers of men," some female activists are demanding a say in politics and in Hamas' military wing, which has carried out scores of deadly attacks against Israelis in recent years.
Terrorists = Activists. The question is how good is Diaa Hadid to cover this beat? Considering this interview from 2002, she is up to the task.
"...The intensity of Hadid’s involvement over the last nine months has had a strong impact on her views. When she first arrived in the Middle East, Hadid expressed a desire to make more Israeli friends. Now she has trouble separating the personal from the political. “I can’t look at Israelis anymore. I can’t separate your average Israeli citizen from the occupation, I don’t want to be friends with them, I don’t want to talk to them,” says Hadid. "
According to the Associated Press Values manifesto, she fits right into their culture.
It means we avoid behavior or activities that create a conflict of interest and compromise our ability to report the news fairly and accurately, uninfluenced by any person or action.
Good job AP. I expect this to be covered by Peace Activist Greg Mitchell's Editor and Publisher and Romenesko by Monday afternoon. This sort of conflict makes journalist look bad.

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Keith Ellison wants meetings with airline over removal of Imans

Politics: It didn't take him long to jump on the bandwagon. Via the Minneapolis Ellison Defense Star Tribune.

Congressman-elect Keith Ellison wants to meet with executives of US Airways and the Metropolitan Airports Commission to discuss the removal of six Muslim clerics from a flight on Monday. Ellison sent the letter to US Airways CEO Doug Parker and Jeff Hamiel, executive director of the MAC, late Wednesday. As of Friday, no meeting had been scheduled. The pilot ordered the imams off the flight after their praying, conversation and behavior alarmed several passengers and flight attendants on the Phoenix-bound flight from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The incident drew national attention. The Department of Homeland Security's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties has said it will review the incident. Ellison won election to represent the Minneapolis-centered Fifth District earlier this month, becoming the first Muslim elected to Congress in the country. The airport is within his district. "While some constituents have understood the fears of the passenger who reported the clerics' prayers as suspicious activity, many more have expressed shock and surprise at what they perceive as discrimination," Ellison wrote.
As for this incident
Flight 300 was still at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport when the incident occurred. Before the imams boarded, they were ``praying loudly in the gate area. Some were heard to be making statements against the U.S. involvement in Iraq,'' Pat Hogan, spokesman for the airport, said in an interview today. Some of the six repeatedly said ``Allah'' as they boarded, then asked to change seats and requested safety-belt extensions that they put under their seats, Hogan said. One was overheard to say he would ``go to whatever measures necessary to obey all that is set out in the Koran,'' Hogan said.
I put it down as a media stunt because the Minny airport has a prayer room where they could have gone before the flight, no Muslim is going to make a spectacle of himself in public like this with prayer.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Kid book censored because of Muslim baddie.

Entertainment: At least the Australian publisher was honest about their reason if nothing else is commendable.

A LEADING children's publisher has dumped a novel because of political sensitivity over Islamic issues. Scholastic Australia pulled the plug on the Army of the Pure after booksellers and librarians said they would not stock the adventure thriller for younger readers because the "baddie" was a Muslim terrorist. A prominent literary agent has slammed the move as "gutless", while the book's author, award-winning novelist John Dale, said the decision was "disturbing because it's the book's content they are censoring". "There are no guns, no bad language, no sex, no drugs, no violence that is seen or on the page," Dale said, but because two characters are Arabic-speaking and the plot involves a mujaheddin extremist group, Scholastic's decision is based "100 per cent (on) the Muslim issue". This decision is at odds with the recent publication of Richard Flanagan's bestselling The Unknown Terrorist and Andrew McGahan's Underground in which terrorists are portrayed as victims driven to extreme acts by the failings of the West. The Unknown Terrorist is dedicated to David Hicks and describes Jesus Christ as "history's first ... suicide bomber". In McGahan's Underground, Muslims are executed en masse or herded into ghettos in an Australia rendered unrecognisable by the war on terror. Scholastic's general manager, publishing, Andrew Berkhut, said the company had canvassed "a broad range of booksellers and library suppliers", who expressed concern that the book featured a Muslim terrorist. "They all said they would not stock it," he said, "and the reality is if the gatekeepers won't support it, it can't be published." In March 2004, Scholastic commissioned Dale to deliver "a tough, snappy thriller", with then publisher Margrete Lamond saying they wanted their child readers to "break out in sweats and their eyes to bulge without giving them actual nightmares". Dale, director of the Centre for New Writing at the University of Technology, said he wanted Army of the Pure to be a contemporary action adventure that would appeal to his son, "a book he could not put down". Scholastic described his writing as "almost flawless" and the story about four children chased by Afghan terrorists after discovering a plot to blow up Sydney's Lucas Heights nuclear reactor a "gripping page-turner". Dale's agent, Lyn Tranter, yesterday branded the move "a gutless" publishing decision. "I am appalled that this is censorship by salesmen," she said.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Barbara "Mama Bear" shuts up Rosie.

Entertainment: Babs tolerance of Rosie yapping without thinking seems to be at an end.

Yesterday on "The View," Barbara Walters covered up Rosie O'Donnell's mouth in her own way, when O'Donnell tried to bring up how she and Ripa had argued Tuesday after she had called Kelly a homophobe. "Right now I'm going to be mama bear, I don't want to hear anything. . ." Walters said. "Put your hand over my mouth, Barbara," Rosie interrupted. "Walters countered. "Rosie O'Donnell is one of the kindest, most sensitive people I know, so is our friend Kelly. Rosie and Kelly talked, all is well with them, all is well with the world. So let's move on."
TMZ has the video of Rosie looking really unhappy even whining that putting Ripa on live to blast her was not nice.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Rosie O'Donnell is a tool.

Entertainment: I would say Kelly Ripa should punch her in the mouth, but with the weight advantage Rosie has on her, Kelly would get killed on the punch back.

Rosie O'Donnell started a bitchfight with fellow morning-diva Kelly Ripa when she accused Ripa of making a "homophobic" remark. The fracas started on "The View" when O'Donnell said that Ripa was "homophobic" for her scolding of Aiken when he co-hosted her show the other day and playfully put his hand over her mouth, prompting Ripa to snap, "I don't know where that hand has been." Rosie suggested that if Aiken had been a "straight guy, a cute guy" or, for instance, Mario Lopez, Ripa wouldn't have made the same remark. (Aiken, of course, has never said anything publicly about his sexuality.) Ripa was incensed enough to call into the show immediately, firing back that Rosie's accusation was "outrageous" and "irresponsible" and that Ripa made the remark last Friday because it was "cold and flu season" and that Aiken had shaken the hands of the studio audience. Rosie wasn't buying it, and in acknowledging that she admires Ripa, said that "from where I sit" as an openly gay woman, Ripa's response was homophobic. Kelly, for her part, continued to pile on Aiken as well, saying that his behavior on last week's episode was "disrespectful," including the fact that he never thanked her for the opportunity to co-host. Kelly and the ladies agreed on one thing: guest host Sherri Shepherd's assertion that Clay probably wouldn't have muzzled Regis like he did Kelly.
First of all, who the hell made Rosie the guardian of gays that she can just blab that out and think it will hold as a logical conclusion? No woman with an ounce of respect for herself and her talent in the position of Kelly Ripa would take that sort of nonsense from anyone. It was disrespectful no matter how you look at it. Rosie is either full of herself or so paranoid she sees homophobia everywhere she looks these days.

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UK school officials and police are pathetic.

Crime: Poor kid killed himself after suffering a hellacious period of being assaulted by other kids and the officials are still clueless.

A Schoolboy hanged himself using his favourite football team scarf after complaining that he was being persecuted on the bus ride home from lessons. Paul Moran, 13, would sometimes arrive in tears, his hair and clothes covered with food and drink thrown by other pupils, his mother said yesterday. On one occasion his beloved Liverpool FC bag was ripped and on another he was even thrown down stairs, Carole Moran added. Finally, after speaking about suicide to friends, the "sensitive and caring" teenager's mother found him suspended from his metal bunk bed with his Liverpool scarf, facing a poster of his favourite team. In a further tragedy, a girl from the same school, Jenny Sykes, also 13, hanged herself eight months later after apparently becoming depressed over his death. Detectives investigating the schoolgirl's death took away her computer after fears that she visited suicide chatrooms before killing herself. Yesterday an inquest into Paul's death in Blackpool, Lancashire, heard that his mother had complained three times to staff at Lytham St Annes High School that he was being bullied. Mrs Moran, 45, told the hearing: "One day he came home covered in eggs and flour and crying his eyes out. He could not understand why he was being picked on and kept saying 'Why me, why me?'. "They even tore his Liverpool football bag which upset him. The school bus stop was right outside our house but often he would get off a few stops earlier to avoid more trouble." One day he was pushed out of his seat on the top deck and thrown down the stairs, and on another his boots were thrown off the bus, she said. He started avoiding the upper deck after his earring was ripped out but could still hear bullies shouting abuse at him from upstairs, and on one occasion a girl spat at him and shoved a banana in his face.
This is where the mother should sue for millions against everyone.
Following his death, police took 23 statements from other children at the school and discovered he had spoken to friends about suicide. But although they found some evidence of bullying, there was nothing that would justify criminal action. At yesterday's hearing, school headteacher Phillip Wood said teachers had investigated allegations that Paul had been covered in food but found he was not the only one because there had been a "food fight" on the bus. He added: "I do not think it was aimed at Paul uniquely. The problem is that what is high spirits to some children can appear to be bullying to others."
High spirits including pushing someone down a stairs, ripping an earring out? That is high spirits? I guess shooting someone would be heighted playtime. A horrible story all the way around.

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Pelosi trying to steer the Dems to the center.

Politics: Good luck with that. Better chance of Hamas recognizing Israel before she can pull off this miracle. The netroots rebuilt the party to only steer left.

WASHINGTON -- Anxious to chart a centrist course with Democrats' new majority in Congress, incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her top deputies are busily working in private and public to rein in the liberal ambitions of some senior party heavyweights --including proposals to reinstate the military draft and end the Pentagon's ban on gays in uniform. Pelosi has urged House Democrats, including incoming committee chairmen, to use the first weeks of next year's congressional term to focus exclusively on proposals on which the party is unified and legislative goals that are within reach, according to Pelosi allies and aides. Yesterday, Pelosi and the incoming House majority leader, Representative Steny Hoyer, quashed talk of reinstating the draft one day after Representative Charles Rangel said he will file a bill to make that happen. Rangel, a New York Democrat, is in line to become chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, one of the most powerful posts in Congress. "The speaker and I have discussed scheduling; it did not include that," said Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat. Already, House Democratic leaders have extracted a promise from the incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, to rule out impeaching President Bush. Conyers is the lead sponsor of a bill that would investigate whether to recommend "grounds for possible impeachment."

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Japanese director plans "sushi" western.

Entertainment: This has various possibilities ranging from good to eye widening awesome.

TOKYO (Hollywood Reporter) - Inspired by the "spaghetti westerns" of the 1960s, Japanese director Takashi Miike is making the first "sushi western." The director has talked close friend Quentin Tarantino into appearing in the English-language movie, titled "Sukiyaki Western Django," after Miike made a guest appearance in the Tarantino-produced horror movie "Hostel." The $3.8 million movie is the tale of clashes between two rival gangs. Filming began this weekend, and the film is scheduled to be released in late 2007 by Sony Pictures. "To make a western like this has long been a dream for Miike," said producer Masao Osaki. "His father was a huge fan of spaghetti westerns and he always wanted to make his own, so now it is his turn. "And we think it will appeal to all filmgoers," he said. "The older generations will want to see it because of the spaghetti western connection and younger people will be attracted by the great cast."
Now we need an 80's action movie revival.

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Philadelphia trying to break their murder,death, kill record.

Crime: 363 deaths and counting. They are putting a new crime unit out to get illegal guns and those who deal them.

PHILADELPHIA - State and local officials are looking to reduce gun violence by putting special investigative units in high-crime neighborhoods to find illegal firearms and those who deal them. The first unit of four investigators, including former city homicide detectives and an assistant district attorney, could be in place by next week, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Monday. "This is an opportunity to see how a new approach to affect crime works," District Attorney Lynne Abraham said. "This is a cause for optimism. I didn't say euphoria; I said optimism."
This brings up the question why wasn't this done already.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Illinois Governor's wife linked to indicted fund-raiser.

Politics: Well, it is Illinois politics. What the heck do you expect these days.

Gov. Blagojevich's wife got nearly $50,000 from a real estate deal in late 2002 involving Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a developer and former top Blagojevich political fund-raiser now under federal indictment. In the following two months, the governor began giving friends of Rezko seats on influential state boards and began hiring former Rezko employees to upper-level state jobs. The chain of events in December 2002 and January 2003 is detailed in records obtained by the Sun-Times. It's the first record of Patti Blagojevich making money off a Rezko deal around the time Rezko began seeking favors from the governor. The governor's office vehemently denied that the first lady's business dealings with Rezko had anything to do with his influence in her husband's administration.

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Congressional Black Caucus getting the hint about Hastings?

Politics: As the critics get louder, maybe someone is getting a clue in the CBC.

Hastings also has the backing of the Congressional Black Caucus, which has gained considerable clout in the incoming Democratic-led House and which was angered in June when Pelosi moved to push embattled Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., off the House Ways and Means Committee. Members of the caucus have said they expect Hastings to get the post, but several influential black lawmakers appeared resigned recently to the possibility that Hastings might be passed over. Asked Thursday whether he is confident that Hastings will head the committee, Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, elected by his peers to be House majority whip, said, ``I have no real hopes about it.''
Angered by trying to get rid of Ice Cold Jefferson, its says a lot about the CBC.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

NAACP chapter proudly outs non-voting blacks.

Politics: If you vote or not is not the business of anyone else in the damn country. It is an abomination that this chapter of the NAACP and a black newspaper endorse this sort of garbage. Worst of all is no condemnation by black officials for this sort of vote outing.

Election year politics reached a new low two weeks ago after the Tennessee Tribune, Nashville’s most influential black newspaper, published the names and addresses of hundreds of non-voting residents from the city’s predominantly black north side. In defending its action, the Tribune insisted that the list, comprised of District 1 residents who did not vote in the August primary, would motivate them to vote in the Nov. 7 general election. Although the Tribune’s action did not legally violate the letter and intent of existing civil rights laws, it did violate the spirit and ethos of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Because voting in American politics is a private right and not compulsory, disciplinary measures, such as exposing non-voters to public reprimand, are callous and unethical, and they help to legitimate a culture of intimidation in electoral politics that has historically been used to dilute the black vote. The measure was also selective and class-biased, only targeting non-voters from moderate-income, working-class and lower-middle-class black neighborhoods. Regrettably, civil rights activists and leading black figures in the city celebrated the newspaper’s action. On Nov. 2, Margaret Scrivens, a spokesperson for the local NAACP branch, told WSMV-Channel 4 news that the non-voter list was intended to encourage blacks to vote. She further hinted that since blacks died for the right to vote, the non-voter list actually reflected the best of—rather than a contradiction of—the civil rights tradition. At the weekly meeting of the Interdenominational Ministerial Fellowship, Nashville’s principal black faith-based coalition, Bishop George Price, the organization’s president, also endorsed the newspaper’s action. Furthermore, none of North Nashville’s black elected officials openly condemned the newspaper’s measure. The endorsement by leading civil rights figures is even more shameful when considering that segregationists used controversial outing measures to discourage black support for the civil rights movement. In the 1950s, the NAACP brought legal challenges against government officials in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Florida after they ordered the organization to hand over or publish its membership lists. Segregationists used this outing measure to expose rank-and-file NAACP members, whose identities were confidential, to retaliation and violent attacks. In the 1958 case, NAACP vs. Alabama, the Supreme Court said this tactic was unconstitutional because it was intentionally designed to prevent blacks from joining the NAACP.
Then the NAACP wonders why its membership is so low. Disgusting.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saudi Arabia needs explanation on human trafficking.

Crime: This is just ridiculous that officials in Saudi Arabia don't understand what Homaidan Al-Turki was morally/criminally wrong. This doesn't reflect well on Muslims at all.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers flew to Saudi Arabia this week to reassure government officials there that Homaidan Al-Turki was treated fairly when he was convicted of sexually abusing an Indonesian nanny held a virtual captive in his Aurora home. Suthers sat knee-to-knee for an hour with King Abdullah and also met with Crown Prince Sultan, Saudi journalists and relatives of Al-Turki during his weeklong trip to the capital city of Riyadh, Deputy Attorney General Jason Dunn said Friday. "There was a lot of public attention in Saudi Arabia on this case," Dunn said, adding that "misperceptions" there about the U.S. judicial system and Colorado in particular convinced U.S. officials that the highly unusual trip was warranted. In June, Al-Turki was convicted in Arapahoe County of 12 counts of unlawful sexual contact with force, one count of theft of services over $15,000, false imprisonment and conspiracy. He was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. Al-Turki has been portrayed in the Saudi press as a victim of the U.S. judicial system's bias against Muslims. Many Saudis say Al-Turki would not have been convicted in his own country.
At his sentencing, Al-Turki said he would not apologize for "things I did not do and for crimes I did not commit." "The state has criminalized these basic Muslim behaviors," he told the judge. "Attacking traditional Muslim behaviors was the focal point of the prosecution." Prosecutors said it was a clear case of human trafficking. In deals with prosecutors, Al- Turki's wife, Sarah Khonaizan, pleaded guilty to reduced charges in both state and federal court earlier this summer and was to be deported. The nanny, whose name the Rocky Mountain News is withholding because she is a sexual assault victim, now lives in Aurora. Suthers' trip this week was sponsored by the U.S. State Department in consultation with the U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia and Gov. Bill Owens. While there, Suthers explained how the U.S. judicial system works and said that "in Colorado, crimes of this sort are dealt with severely," Dunn said. "He wasn't apologizing for it, but he wanted them to understand why the result of the case was what it was."

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UK school backs off Halal Christmas dinner

Christmas: Another politically correct nitwit who acted before she thought this out.

PARENTS expressed outrage last night over a school’s plans to serve pupils a Muslim Christmas dinner. The headteacher announced that she intended to replace the children’s traditional turkey meal with halal chicken. She explained that eating poultry which had been slaughtered in the Muslim way would create an “integrated Christmas”. But furious parents accused the school of undermining the Christian faith. They were backed by Labour MP Denis MacShane who demanded to know why the children were not being offered a choice. Mr MacShane said: “No child should be obliged to eat food that is contrary to their personal convictions or religion. Schools should offer a choice and not allow the joyous celebrations of a Christmas dinner to become a divisive issue. “I hope all the children can join in this fun and if I am invited I would be delighted to sit down with all the children for a Christmas dinner, halal, non halal or the healthy option, vegetarian.” After Mr MacShane’s intervention, Jan Charters, head of Oakwood School in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, backed down and youngsters will now be offered a choice of halal chicken or a traditional turkey dinner, costing £1.75.
Abdul Dean, ethnic minorities officer for the Christian People’s Alliance, said: “There is a political agenda here. Who are these people speaking on behalf of Muslims? “Muslim parents themselves would not have objected to children being offered a choice. The teachers should have taken this on board especially in this time of tension.” Ms Charters said: “This was an attempt to extend the spirit of inclusion which would allow Muslim children to sit down and enjoy a meal together. “It is very frustrating that people find motives which are not present and we will not now be doing this.”
Outraged mother Rachel Johnson, from Kimberworth, said: “This is not a racial issue. Why can’t the non-Muslim kids enjoy traditional Christmas fare? “Why can’t we have a choice of chicken which suits everyone, Muslims and non-Muslims. “We bend over backwards at Eid (an Islamic festival) to eat traditional Muslim food so why should we have to change our Christmas tradition?” Mrs Johnson added: “I feel my culture is being stolen away from me. I have no objections to halal meat being on the menu so long as there is a choice of traditional Christian Christmas fare. “A lot of parents have been in touch to support my views. Our culture and religion are being trampled on and it is not right. It is almost as stupid as serving up pork on Eid.”

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Blue Dog Dems vs the Congressional Black Caucus/Pelosi.

Politics: Murtha was just the warm-up.

Nov. 16, 2006 — With the contentious battle for majority leader behind her, Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi soon faces another: appointing the head of the House Select Committee on Intelligence. The Blue Dog Coalition — a now-powerful bloc of centrist Democrats in the House — delivered a letter in support of Rep. Jane Harman of California, a Blue Dog California Democrat and the Intelligence Committee's ranking member. Pelosi's choice for the Intelligence Committee isn't clear. Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida is in the running. He's served the committee for seven years and comes with the strong support of the Congressional Black Caucus. Hastings' political baggage — complete with his impeachment from federal judgeship — could hinder his chances. Unlike the leadership battle that took place between Majority Leader-elect Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Pelosi-endorsed Jack Murtha of Pennsylvania, the Intelligence Committee decision is Pelosi's choice to make. And whoever gets tapped doesn't need to be confirmed by the party. The Blue Dog Bite But in the 110th Congress, the Blue Dog bite could be just as bad as its collective bark: The pack is 44-strong post-election, accounting for about 20 percent of the House's Democratic majority. "We don't want to be obstructionists, but we don't want to be a rubber stamp," said Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas, the Blue Dog Coalition's communications director. "We want to bring the party back to the middle." And on the issues, the middle is generally how the Blue Dogs describe themselves — they tend towards social conservatism, but their focus is fiscal, striving for independence from party leadership.
CBC says to judge Hastings by the color of his skin, not by the content of his character.....wait, that isn't right. But these Blue Dogs are throwing their weight around really quick, how soon till the Kossacks start a pushback? Instapundit has more on this tug of war.

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Pelosi overstepped big time with Murtha

Politics: Fudging the quote a bit from Machiavelli to make a point.

"....No prince should mind being called cruel for keeping his subjects peaceful and loyal. Punishing a few, and thus averting disorder, is better than allowing troubles to develop that will hurt many. New rulers cannot avoid seeming cruel, because their states are insecure. Still, a prince should not be too rash or too fearful. If you cannot be both loved and feared, then it is better to be feared than loved. Men are generally fickle, afraid of danger, and greedy. When a prince benefits them, they will do anything for the prince, but when trouble comes, they will desert the prince. People will break ties of love if it is to their advantage, but fear of punishment they will never transgress."
Pelosi as new Speaker of the House has to command respect and the people around her have to trust her judgement, but backing Murtha beyond just voicing her opinion, trying to strong arm the incoming freshman reps by toying with committee assigments just damaged her severly in the long run. These are the tactics used by someone who has been in that position a long time and people realize you can't harm him/her. This power trip to help an ally with bad headlines in the making was a wrong move at the wrong time. Pelosi comes out of this damaged, Hoyer comes out of this even stronger and if Pelosi keeps bumbling the house reps won't hesitate to throw her out and put him in charge. This is business, do not make it personal. As an aside, I get the feeling if people keep dogging her about this in about a week some columnist will start up "It's because she is a woman that they are going after her" column to make her critics out to be chauvinistic pigs or catty women talking behind her back because they are jealous of her position to try and boost her up.

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