New Congress sets its eyes on oversight

New Congress sets its eyes on oversight

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The new Republican-majority House will vote early on health care repeal
  • There will be greater accounting of spending, Republicans say
  • One critic has strong words for Eric Holder

Washington (CNN) — The new Republican-majority House will vote on repealing or changing last year’s health care overhaul before the State of the Union address, Rep. Fred Upton, incoming chairman of the energy and commerce committee, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Upton, a Michigan Republican, said that his party had 242 votes in favor of repeal, and that “there will be a significant number of Democrats who will join us.”

if the House does manage to repeal the health care bill, such a move would likely meet strong obstacles in the Democrat-controlled Senate and White House.

President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March, after promoting Democratic-led health reform efforts for months after taking office. The law is widely considered to be the signature legislative accomplishment of the president’s first two years in office.

Among other things, the measure was designed to help millions of uninsured and under-insured Americans receive adequate and affordable health care through a series of government-imposed mandates and subsidies. Critics have equated it to socialized medicine, fearing that a bloated government bureaucracy will result in higher taxes and diminished health care services.

Congressional leaders return to Washington Wednesday to open the first session of the 112th Congress.

In general, the theme for the new Congress will be one of more oversight over government spending and programs, Republicans said.

“The sooner the administration figures out that the enemy is the bureaucracy and the wasteful spending, not the other party, the better off we’ll be,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, on “Fox News Sunday.”

Issa also had strong words for Attorney General Eric Holder.

The Justice Department, he said, has failed to investigate properly the leak of thousands of classified documents on the WikiLeaks website.

The failure to go after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was especially troubling to him.

“I think he needs to realize that, if the president says, ‘I can’t deal with this guy as a terrorist,’ then (Holder) has to be able to deal with him as a criminal. Otherwise, the world is laughing at the paper tiger we’ve become,” Issa said.

Holder is hurting the administration, Issa said, and either needs to “stop hurting the administration or leave.”

 

Hope, change, and helplessness

Hope, change, and helplessness

Thomas Lifson

The anniversary Barack Obama most dreads is approaching, providing stark evidence, even to his base, that he is way over his head when it comes to the responsibilities of governing.

That anniversary, of course, is, as Toby Harnden of the UK Telegraph reminds us:
…the same day he took the presidential oath a second time. It came in the form of a gravely worded executive order.
In it, Obama solemnly proclaimed: “The detention facilities at Guantánamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of this order.”
The order was signed in the presence of a gaggle of retired senior military officers who had backed Mr Obama’s candidacy. One of them, Maj Gen Paul Eaton, declared January 22 a “blockbuster day”
It turns out that the presidency is a lot more complicated than Obama realized from his perspective as a mere talker. The devil is in the details, and in the case of Gitmo, little details like finding alternative places to keep dangerous terrorists are devilish indeed. Outright bribery secured a few slots overseas, most famously the 4 Uyghurs housed in perpetual vacation in Bermuda at US Taxpayer expense. No state in the United States was willing to risk housing these dangerous terrorists on its own soil, and the Democrat-dominated Congress refused to allocate funds for the purpose of tyransferring the prisoners to the mainland.
So Obama’s first executive order, regarded by his base as a solemn commitment, is now a colossal joke, evidence that he can’t accomplish even that over which he has executive powers. No doubt he would prefer that January 22nd come and go unremarked. But that isn’t in the cards, because there are actually lots of left wing Democrats who care passionately over the perceived injustices of holding enemy combatants until the war they launched is over.
Obama’s incompetence is what both left and right will memorialize in three weeks.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/01/hope_change_and_helplessness.html at January 02, 2011 – 12:21:54 PM CST

Copts Were Sitting Ducks After Egyptian Guards Left

Copts Were Sitting Ducks After Egyptian Guards Left

Ann Kane

Updated reports on the car bomb that killed Christians in Alexandria, Egypt during New Year’s Eve Mass are revealing “Egyptian Security Guards Withdrew One Hour Before Church Blast, Say Eyewitnesses,” by Mary Abdelmassih for AINA, January 2:
From Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) via Jihad Watch:
According to eyewitnesses, a green Skoda car pull up outside the church shortly after midnight. Two men got out , one of them talked shortly on his mobile phone, and the explosion occurred almost immediately after they left the scene. On the back of the Skoda was a sticker with the words “the rest is coming” (video of car explosion and Muslims shouting “Allah Akbar”).
[snip]
To clear his security forces of negligence, the Minister of Interior said that the blast was an “individual” case, caused by a single suicide terrorist detonating his vest, and has nothing to do with an exploding car. The governor of Alexandria claimed the attack as being aimed at Muslims and Christians alike.
Why were only four policemen left to guard a congregation of 2000 when tensions were already high among Muslim extremists targeting Christians? Why did the Minister of the Interior downplay the catastrophe? Why would Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak call for unity among both Copts and Muslims, but not make sure security forces stayed in place for the Mass?
Read more of Ann Kane’s insights on www.potterwilliamsreport.com

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/01/copts_were_sitting_ducks_after.html at January 02, 2011 – 11:55:20 AM CST

The Left’s Embrace of Murderous Fantasies

The Left’s Embrace of Murderous Fantasies

Posted By Ralph Peters On December 31, 2010 @ 12:07 am In FrontPage | 3 Comments

Visit WorldNetDaily [1].

If our extreme left maintained a kill-or-capture list for the morning after the revolution (before they started arresting and executing each other), the 30 subjects interviewed in “Showdown with Evil [2]” would fill out the top of its roster. In the left’s view, the conservative and stubbornly independent voices captured in this book’s rapid-fire chapters are guilty of crimes against inanity on two counts: Not only are they boldly, proudly and deliciously politically incorrect, but – far worse – their positions are based on facts, common sense and a positive view of the United States of America.

The left’s problem with Guantanamo has never been what it is – leftists adore a good prison camp – but with who we put in it. The campus thought-police would love to round up and incarcerate these interviewees, who range from the courageous (Brigitte Gabriel, for example), through the venerable (Norman Podhoretz and the late William F. Buckley, Jr.), to the magnificently outrageous (Christopher Hitchens, an independent thinker of ferocious integrity). Elliot Abrams, Natan Sharansky, Richard Pipes, David Horowitz and dozens more. Dr. Glazov has gathered the most impressive collection of thinkers-in-freedom’s-cause available in a single volume.

 

 

Beginning with a foreword by Richard Perle, this fine book is especially valuable for those with hectic schedules, since the reader gets the powerful views of freedom’s defenders in distilled form: Glazov is a masterful interviewer who has a great tactile feel for the form, sometimes letting the subject run, elsewhere challenging an interviewee to clarify or reinforce his or her positions. The result is a masterpiece of clarity, pithiness and value.

To continue reading this article, click here [3

Islam: A Religion Custom Made For Men

Islam: A Religion Custom Made For Men

By Amil Imani

Muslims, by belief and practice, are the most blatant violators of human rights. We hardly need to detail here Muslims’ systemic cruel treatment of the unbelievers, women of all persuasions, and any and all minorities across the board. To Muslims, human rights have a different meaning, and its protective provisions are reserved strictly for Muslims — primarily for Muslim men. Just a couple of examples should suffice for now.
Oppression of women, for one, is so systemic in Islam that to this day women are, at best, second-class citizens under Islamic law. Saudi Arabia, the custodian of Islamdom, denies women the right to drive, vote or hold elective office — the most basic rights of citizens in democratic societies. Arabs and Muslims are masters of double-acts. They do all things in private, yet the public display of morality, decorum, and even piety is something you wear as you would your Keffiyeh even under the sizzling sun.
In model Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, for instance, women do not dare complain about their Allah-decreed chattel status. If they protest in the least, they are beaten by their husbands. And if they dare to demonstrate in public for equal family rights with men, they get severe beatings by the police and are hauled to jails for additional indignities and violence.

One may wonder then why is it that millions of Muslim women meekly submit to their subservient rank and thank Allah for it. These women are virtually imprinted by their parents and the clergy from birth to adopt the gender inequality as well as the entire pathological Islamic ethos.

Islam can be a “forgiving” religion, specifically for the male. If you neglect to say your prayers or you simply don’t want to, you can hire someone, preferably an imam or a mullah, to pray on your behalf. Going to the Hajj is too onerous and takes you away from the pleasures and comforts of your life? You can deputize someone else to go in your stead. You have a few drinks of the forbidden brew and it is time to say your prayer? Simply rinse your mouth and go ahead with praying. But, always remember the will of Allah and serve him. Do your duties to vanquish the unbelievers, promote the rule of the Sharia, and make the earth Allah’s.

In Islamic societies, freedom of expression, worship, and assembly are taken away. Women are indeed treated as chattel. Young girls are subjected to barbaric genital mutilation to make them sex slaves and birth channels without the ability to enjoy intercourse. Minors are executed, adulterers are stoned to death, thieves have their limbs amputated, and much, much more. Isn’t that everyone’s idea of paradise?

Women, by the very nature of their second-class status expressly stipulated in the Quran, are occasionally allowed a token high position in government, while non-Muslim minority citizens are virtually barred from securing any positions at all.
“Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the others and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you take no further action against them. Allah is high, supreme.” Quran 4.34

This misogynist religion of Allah is custom-made for the savage male. A faithful follower of Allah is allowed to have as many as four permanent wives — and replace any of them at any time he wants — as well as an unlimited number of one night or one-hour-stand that he can afford to rent. But, woe unto a woman if she even has a single love affair with another man. Nothing less than death by stoning is her just punishment.

In the Islamic Republic of Iran and under the Islamic Sharia that became the unofficial law of the land, a religiously sanctioned ceremony immediately filled the void. Many mosques provided the service of Seeghe — temporary marriages.  Women interested or forced by circumstances beyond their control to seek this type of ‘marriage’ would register with a local Mullah. Men seeking a temporary wife would contact the Mullah and specify what kind of woman they desired and for how long. Depending on the marketability of the candidate woman, a fee is levied on the man and the Mullah pronounces them husband and wife for a stipulated duration. Once the patron satisfies his urges, the same Mullah simply annuls the marriage. Voila!  No problems. The pair parts company and the Mullah, a replacement for the former pimp or madam, pockets his fee.
Thanks to Western technology, the Seeghe business has also joined the 21st century world. In some of the bigger cities and Tehran, a man can pick up a woman and call in for a Seeghe authorization which is granted over the phone and the fee is charged to the patron’s credit card.  Islam is a custom-made religion for men.  Well, as long as men rule and the rule serves them, the horrific plight of women plays out.  It is a great deal for men.
What is incredible is the gall and audacity of Muslims in demanding that Western and other democracies legalize Sharia in their societies. Due to large populations of Muslims, mostly recent arrivals, in countries such as Canada, Great Britain, and Sweden, these countries are experiencing the insistent demands by Muslims to have Sharia rule their Islamic communities. This is just the beginning and it may seem relatively harmless to the simpletons in our midst. Yet, once Sharia is recognized to any extent, it will reach out to rule not only on matters that concern Muslims, but also those that may involve a Muslim and non-Muslim. Under Sharia, a Muslim man married to a non-Muslim woman is able to divorce the woman at will, automatically have custody of the children, and literally toss the wife out of “his” home with practically no compensation.
“Death to the Islamic Republic, Stop stoning women, Death to the Criminal Mullahs and Democracy for Iran,” are the banners read almost routinely in most European countries by the Iranian expatriate sympathizers condemning the Islamic Republic’s brutality against women. They demand equal rights and treatments for the largest oppressed minority in the world.
As the world turns, we become convinced that the Islamic system is custom-made for men, by men and for the pleasure of men. And the men in power, the clergy, the prime beneficiaries of the system, do not intend to voluntarily relinquish their privileged status.
There is a hope that Muslims themselves may leave this Bedouin slaveholder religion. Yet, the hope is slim. Islam has a stranglehold on its slaves and will neither let them go, nor do the Muslims seem to have the insight or the will to leave it in large numbers. But hope, as slim as it is, keeps me sounding the alarm before the fire of Islam engulfs us all.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/01/islam_a_religion_custom_made_f.html at January 02, 2011 – 11:09:52 AM CST

Suspected suicide bomber kills 21 at Egypt church

Suspected suicide bomber kills 21 at Egypt church

 
 
By Mona Salem, AFPJanuary 1, 2011
 
 
Egyptians transport the body of a Christian worshipper from the Al-Qiddissine (The Saints) church to an ambulance following an overnight car bomb attack on the church in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria on January 1, 2011 which killed at least 21, hitting Egypt's Christian community, the biggest in the Middle East.
 

Egyptians transport the body of a Christian worshipper from the Al-Qiddissine (The Saints) church to an ambulance following an overnight car bomb attack on the church in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria on January 1, 2011 which killed at least 21, hitting Egypt’s Christian community, the biggest in the Middle East.

Photograph by: MOHAMMED ABED, Getty Images

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt — Egypt officials said a suicide bomber killed 21 people and wounded 79 others outside a Coptic church on Saturday, in an attack the country’s president said was the work of “foreign hands.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but al-Qaida has called for punishment of Egypt’s Copts over claims that two priests’ wives who had converted to Islam were being held by the church against their will.

The bombing in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria sparked anger among Christians, who clashed with police and shouted slogans against the regime of the aging president, as well as condemnation from Western governments.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon called the attack “deplorable” in a statement Saturday.

“Our hearts and sympathies are with the families and friends of the victims,” he said.

“We fully support the call by Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak to close ranks and confront the terrorists who were behind this deplorable attack. We urge Egyptians of all faiths to work together to end sectarian violence.”

An official with the Egyptian health ministry said 21 people were killed and 79 wounded, and the country’s interior ministry said eight of those hurt were Muslims.

A witness had told private channel On-TV that in a car park outside the Al-Qiddissin (The Saints) church shortly after midnight, he saw two men get out and the explosion happen almost immediately afterwards.

But the interior ministry ruled out the hypothesis of a car bomb, saying it was “probable that the bomb . . . was carried by a suicide bomber who died among the crowd.”

The device was packed with pieces of metal to cause the maximum harm, the ministry added.

And the circumstances of the explosion, “given the methods that currently prevail in terrorist activities at the global and regional level, clearly indicate” that the bombing was “planned and carried out by foreign elements.”

Mubarak echoed that, saying the bombing bore the hallmark “of foreign hands.”

In televised remarks, he referred to it as something that “is alien to us,” and pledged to “cut off the head of the snake, confront terrorism and defeat it.”

Egypt has been the target of repeated attacks against foreign tourists in recent years, most notably bombings on resorts in the south Sinai and a hostage bloodbath in Luxor in 1997 that killed more than 60 people.

Pope Benedict XVI urged world leaders to defend Christians against abuse and intolerance, while U.S. President Barack Obama denounced an “outrageous” bombing.

“I once again launch a pressing appeal not to give in to discouragement and resignation,” said the pontiff.

“The perpetrators of this attack were clearly targeting Christian worshippers, and have no respect for human life and dignity. They must be brought to justice for this barbaric and heinous act,” Obama said.

The European Union “unreservedly” condemned the bombing. “There cannot be any justification for this attack,” the EU’s foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said.

Refaa al-Tahtawi, spokesman for Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s main seat of learning, appealed for calm, as did a senior Coptic official.

In the day after the bombing, growing numbers of Christians were continuing to vent their anger.

By mid-afternoon, hundreds of youths in small groups in the neighbourhood of the church were showering rocks and bottles on police, who responded with tear gas and rubber-coated bullets.

“O Mubarak, the heart of the Copts is on fire,” they shouted as they darted in and out of side-streets to heckle police.

Others unfurled their fury at the “cowardly terrorists” and chanted: “The blood of the Copts is not cheap.”

One demonstrator brandished a large cross, with bloody remnants of victims’ clothing attached.

At least 5,000 people took part late Saturday in funerals for the victims at a monastery outside Alexandria, where crowds of mourners shouted slogans and refused to accept official condolences.

“No, no, no,” the crowd shouted as a church official tried to read out condolences from Mubarak.

In Alexandria, the Church said in a statement that the attack “constituted a dangerous escalation in sectarian incidents against the Copts.”

The attack comes two months after gunmen stormed a Baghdad cathedral in an operation that left 44 worshippers, two priests and seven security force personnel dead.

That was claimed by al-Qaida’s Iraq affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq, which said its purpose was to force the release of the two women in Egypt.

“All Christian centres, organizations and institutions, leaders and followers, are legitimate targets for the mujahedeen (holy warriors) wherever they can reach them,” the group said.

“Let these idolaters, and at their forefront, the hallucinating tyrant of the Vatican, know that the killing sword will not be lifted from the necks of their followers until they declare their innocence from what the dog of the Egyptian church is doing,” the ISI said.

After those threats, protection around Coptic places of worship was discreetly stepped up, with Mubarak saying he was committed to protecting the Christians “faced with the forces of terrorism and extremism.”

The Copts, who account for up to 10 per cent of Egypt’s 80 million population and often complain of discrimination, have been the target of repeated sectarian attacks.

With files from Postmedia News