A TRUE WORK OF ART
The New York Times reported in 2009 that Art in Embassies spends about $4.5 million a year for permanent art acquisitions; chief curator Virginia Shore said at the time that artists and dealers support the program via favorable pricing; for the embassy in Beijing, an outlay of $800,000 yielded works with an appraised value of $30 million.
Heres one of the paintings from the Art in Embassies exhibit in Stockholm. Paul Rusconi, Barack Obama, 2008. Estimated price of 5,000, but sold for $20,000. You can see it up above. The new symbol of America.
...from State Department Spent 4.5 Million for Embassy Art, Had No Money for Benghazi Security
A REPUBLICAN CIVIL WAR
Back when Romney was rammed through the establishment choice, I wrote that the establishment had its shot, but that if it blew it again, those responsible should be prepared to pay the price. No price is being paid of course. Instead, insanely enough, the GOP is trying to purge the Tea Party.
This is fantastically stupid, because Obama won on turnout and organization, he won on volunteers from a passionate member base willing to fight for an extreme program. And where is the GOP going to find the people who will out-volunteer, out-organize and out-donate them? Nowhere. A party of business leaders was a fine proposition in 1821. It's no more viable today than it was a hundred years ago.
The fiscal cliff is Obama's way of splitting the Conservative grass roots, who are a threat to him, from the established Republican Party, which is not.
Republicans are worried about being blamed for the economic fallout, little realizing that they will be blamed regardless of what happens. If Boehner gives Obama every single damn thing he wants, the media will still blame Congressional inaction for the economic problems, and unless that narrative is fought back against, the sort of people who get their news from Saturday Night Live will eat it up with a spork.
Is the Tea Party an unparalleled success? Absolutely not. From the moment Doug Hoffman was put forward, it was obvious that there was a serious candidate problem. But that's natural because if you operate outside the establishment, the people you put forward will not be professional politicians. They will lack basic professional skills, but there are plenty of people who do have those skills in spades. Ronald Reagan was a sportscaster, actor and toured the country delivering speeches before he went into politics. That skillset is not incredibly unique. Neither is the ability to vet candidates before running them up the flagpole.
But while the Republican establishment makes a great deal of Akin or Angle, what are we to make of two-time loser Linda McMahon who handed out "Obama/McMahon ballots and dressed her people up in fake SEIU shirts. Or Meg Whitman. Or Mitt Romney.
The Republican Party has too many super-rich candidates with no ideas or principles. The Tea Party has too many principled candidates with very little understanding of how to run for office. It might be nice if we met somewhere in the middle.
Conservatives are threatening to walk out, but there aren't that many places to walk to. Still with the Republican brand already toxic, running third party reform candidates committed to a conservative program in local elections might make a difference. The larger problem though is that the Republican Party establishment has the experience and the infrastructure. Both are rotten, but that doesn't mean that doing without them will be easy.
The bottom line is organize, radicalize or lose. The left knew this and won on it.
Now the Republican Party can try to counter this (Obama's organization) in two ways.
1. Build up its own community organizer network made up of non-profits linked to conservative religious institutions and advocacy groups that replicate the liberal formula of creating grant-funded community groups that act as political interfaces with entire communities. These groups help residents get benefits and navigate problems with the government. For those who dont like the benefits part, those groups also provide tax assistance and a variety of similar services. And these groups would target non-minority rural populations that are underserved and do not turn out to vote in sufficient numbers.
2. Use its own grass roots as volunteers. And the Tea Party is the countrys largest conservative grass roots movement.
Grass roots movements believe in things. They can turn out large numbers of volunteers who passionately believe that they are making a difference, rather than serving the system.
Would Obama have gotten as many volunteers without gay marriage, ObamaCare and the unilateral DREAM amnesty? Probably not. And Republicans who hope to get massive numbers of volunteers on the ground need to stand for actual conservative issues that they intend to implement.
A Republican Party that caters to an establishment elite is never going to be able to replicate the radical lefts organizing efforts.
So there are two choices here. Organize and radicalize or lose. The Republican Party can no longer win a race against a radical leftist without the Tea Party.
ARAB SPRING II: DOWN WITH MORSI
In October I suggested that Egypt and Tunisia might be headed for Counter-Islamist revolutions. Now the small sparks of revolution have exploded into a firestorm in Egypt and to a lesser extent in Tunisia, where the violent Anti-Islamist protests have mostly been ignored.
These protests are mostly a showdown between Islamists and Leftists, and yes both hate America, and we needn't even go into what they think of Israel, but choosing the lesser of two evils is in this case a viable strategy. The lesser of those evils was Mubarak, but thanks to Obama and his idiot neo-conservative allies that is no longer on the table, barring another military coup. These days it's the left and while I hardly want to do any cheers for a possible El-Baradei presidency, it's better than Egypt's firepower falling into the hands of an international terrorist organization which then uses the country's large population as suicide bomber cannon fodder, all with a view toward creating a Caliphate.
The American media has taken a cautious approach to the protests, taking its cue from the Obama White House, which continues to back Morsi, issuing a general "stop the violence everybody" message. The European media has been far less discreet, because the old Tahrir Square alliances are still there between Arab Socialists and European Socialists.
The Arab Spring II protesters have shown a good deal of staying power. They have tested the military and won. They have gotten back around the Presidential Palace, and as of this writing, appear to have forced Morsi to postpone the referendum, though this is likely to be another fake compromise. For the protesters the challenge is to use popular unrest as leverage, while the Muslim Brotherhood wants to capitalize on its democratic leverage to ram through Islamic law with Western approval.
Morsi assumed that Egypt would fall just like Turkey. He appears to have made a very grave error. Turkey did have sizable anti-Islamist protests, but never to this scale, in part, because Erdogan and the AKP in Turkey moved much slower than Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood did in Egypt. That is what Erdogan has probably privately told his advisers. The Egyptian Islamists, whether in the ranks of Al Qaeda or in the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, were notorious for lacking patience. They wanted their victories right now. The assumption that they had learned anything from their failed terror campaigns does not appear to have been borne out. The Brotherhood may well lose Syria to Al Qaeda and it is at risk of losing Egypt all over again.
INSIDE THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD'S TORTURE CHAMBERS
You're no one in the Middle East if you don't have your own torture chambers.
The central chamber was located at the gate of the palace in front of Omar bin Abdel Aziz Mosque on Merghany Street. The chamber was cordoned by iron barriers and Central Security Forces.
Police officials in uniform were present inside the chamber, as were plainclothes officers from the Nozha police station. Fifteen Brotherhood members were also present, supervised by three bearded men who decided who should be there.
Opposing protesters were brought to the chambers after being detained by Brotherhood members. The kidnappers would take the detained persons ID card, mobile phone and money before beginning investigations, which included intervals of beating to force the confession that he or she is a thug.
One pleaded, Im a bearded sheikh Its Safwat Hegazy who will restore my rights. Im a friend of all sheikhs. A bleeding man cried, Im an educated person. I have a car. Do I look like a thug?
After a while, a captive would be transferred to a central chamber, where a Brotherhood lawyer would hand his or her ID card and personal belongings to a senior police officer, who was the head of the investigations department in the chamber.
There was blood visible on the pavement outside the chambers. Some Brothers covered it with dust to try to hide it, but some of it remained visible.
This scene, and all those that will follow, has been brought to you by the letter O.
GOOD NEWS FROM LIBYA
Obama oversaw Qatari arms shipments to Jihadis which were then used in the Islamist takeover of parts of Mali and in the Syrian civil war. Oh and US warships were told to let the arms smugglers in.
The American support for the arms shipments from Qatar and the emirates could not be completely hidden. NATO air and sea forces around Libya had to be alerted not to interdict the cargo planes and freighters transporting the arms into Libya from Qatar and the emirates, American officials said.
And the cover up was baked in to the arms smuggling scheme from the start.
American officials say that the United Arab Emirates first approached the Obama administration during the early months of the Libyan uprising, asking for permission to ship American-built weapons that the United States had supplied for the emirates use. The administration rejected that request, but instead urged the emirates to ship weapons to Libya that could not be traced to the United States.
A media firestorm breaking over the news that Obama conspired to ship weapons to Al Qaeda linked militias and to cover up evidence of those shipments in 5-4-3-10,000
FREEDOM OF SPEECH: QATARI EDITION
Qatar, run by its Emir and the owner of Al Jazeera, had a poet thrown in jail for insulting him. But he did also find time to pick up a freedom of speech award from a liberal think-tank.
Qatar has sentenced poet Mohammad Ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami, who was arrested for allegedly inciting to overthrow the government and insulting the emir, to life in prison,
On May 12 2012, in Middelburg, the Netherlands, Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani collected the Roosevelt Foundations Freedom of Speech and Expression Award on behalf of Al Jazeera, the news channel that Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani set up in 1996.
The Roosevelt Institute was created by merging the FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt foundations, and the Roosevelt Institute with the Four Freedoms Foundation. The first of the Four Freedoms is Freedom of Speech and Expression.
SOME RACIST BOMBERS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS
American civil rights activists are an odd bunch. When a Klan member is arrested for plotting to bomb a black church, its a civil rights victory. But when a Muslim is arrested for plotting to bomb a Synagogue, then its an attack on Muslim civil rights
Ahmed Ferhani, who plotted to attack a synagogue, became the latest victim of police entrapment, in the sense that he was caught trying to kill lots of Jews by a police informant.
In his plea statement, the man who would otherwise never have harmed a hair on a single head, boasted, I intended to create chaos and send a message of intimidation and coercion to the Jewish population of New York City.
Meanwhile the Justice for Ahmed site says, Ms. Ferhani came to America to escape religious persecution. Now she finds that her own son is the victim of religious and racial persecution by the American government.
Once again, the American racist government is preventing Muslims like Ahmed Ferhani from carrying out their religious duty to kill Jews
from, Entrapped Muslim Synagogue Bomber Boasts of Sending: A Message of Intimidation to the Jewish Population of New York City
WILL ASSAD USE THE WMD'S THAT HE CAN'T POSSIBLY HAVE BECAUSE SADDAM DIDN'T HAVE?
No need to worry. Democracy, peace and freedom are only a few hundred NATO bombings away.
Clinton and Obama have been warning Assad that if he uses chemical weapons against the Sunni Islamist rebels, most of whom are either aligned with Al Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood, it will mean crossing a red line. While C&O have refused to specify what this means, the implication is that the air force that they are cutting to the bone and whose chapels they are desecrating with transgender marriage ceremonies will be ordered to go bomb Syria.
Assad has held off using chemical weapons when he could have. If he does use them, it will be because Damascus is in danger of falling and at that point Assad will no longer care what happens. Being bombed to death by NATO is a lighter fate than being sodomized to death by some Salafi holy warriors.
Assad isnt just in this alone. A Sunni victory will mean the ethnic cleansing of Christians and Alawites at the hands of groups like the Al Nusra Brigade, who have already gotten started on the task.
But the media isn't bothering to question a White House's Red Line or WMD bombing threats, because the guy in there is a Democrat. And they are special people.
Can you spot whats missing from the story that was and is present in every news story on Iraqi or Iranian WMDs?But at least the Syrian rebels are fighting for the stuff that really matters. Banning women from driving and destroying family photos of uncovered women's faces. Helping them would be a true War on Women.
1. No experts stepping forward to question the intelligence about the presence of WMD.
2. No news reports on anti-war protesters gathering to protest against a war on Syria, even though they exist.
3. No questions about whether we should route this through the United Nations
When Democrats want to go to war, its very simple. They announce that theyre going to war. Or they go to war, then say three days later that there is no war, just a No Fly Zone, as Obama did during his disastrous Libyan expedition.
IT'S OBAMA'S WORLD, WE JUST LIVE IN IT
Arab Spring Countries are more corrupt under Islamist Governments, but fear not, Saudi Arabia has released the head of a terrorist factory who was a mentor of a 9/11 hijacker. In real War on Women news, Saudi Arabia has ordered the lashing of an abused woman who remarried without permission. Sandra Fluke had no comment. In more War on Women news, Mali Islamists gave teenage girls 100 lashes for talking to boys. The Mali Islamists got their weapons thanks to Obama.
The Fort Hood Massacre judge was removed for being too hostile to Nidal Hasan and the Egyptian government forced a roller hockey team to cancel its game against Israel because it does not recognize the Jewish State.
HEY, SHE BOUGHT IT FAIR AND SQUARE
Sure Maxine Waters diverted TARP money to a bank that her husband had been a director of, but shes replacing Barney Frank whose picture is in the dictionary under ethically challenged. And Waters has paid for the job fair and square.
Rep. Maxine Waters has given approximately $207,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in recent weeks, bringing her total contribution this cycle up to $250,000 the latest sign that the California Democrat is gearing up to assume a leadership position on the House Financial Services Committee.
The $250,000 figure doesnt include some $11,000 that Waters has also handed out to Democratic candidates in California
Who says Democrats don't believe in capitalism?
JUST IMAGINE IF THEY WERE PASSIONATE HATERS OF ISRAEL?
From Bnai Jeshurun, the most Anti-Israel major synagogue in New York.
Facing outrage from some of their members, the rabbis who lead Congregation Bnai Jeshurun, a prominent synagogue in Manhattan, expressed regret Thursday at the tone of an e-mail that they sent last week celebrating the controversial vote by the United Nations to upgrade Palestine to observer-state status.
In the new letter, the rabbis took pains to express their strong support for Israel.
The three of us are passionate lovers of Israel, it said. We have spent significant parts of our lives there, we have family and friends there, we have traveled to Israel many times with B.J. members, and we are unequivocally committed to Israels security, democracy and peace.
And their definition of being passionate lovers of Israel?
Rolando Matalon, one of the Rabbis for Obama, is affiliated with a number of Anti-Israel groups, including J Street, Brit Tzedek VShalom and Human Rights Watch, some of which he had to resign from after their hostility to the Jewish State discommoded some of the older Bnai Jeshurun members. Matalon was forced to resign from Lerners Tikkun Community after blowback over a New York Times ad that compared Israel to Nazi Germany.
Jews For Racial and Economic Justice, the radical anti-Jewish social justice hate group, intended to use the Bnai Jeshurun facilities to give Adam Shapiro, of the International Solidarity Movement, a pro-terrorist group that supports suicide bombings against Israel, an award named after Marshall T. Meyer, until controversy forced them to switch to a local liberal church instead.
Is this really passionate love or passionate rape?
HOLLYWOOD UBER ALLES
The Democrats really care about working people. So does Hollywood. They're not like those evil Republicans who want to push grannies into the ocean while cackling over their stacks of gold coins.
Well no, they're exactly like that and even worse.
Granholm, a former aspiring actress, which explains a lot about her, bet everything on bringing Hollywood to Michigan.
Ms. Granholm announced the project in her 2009 State of the State address, saying she thought the industry would create a flood of new jobs. It was very exciting, recalled Ms. Granholm, a Democrat. A classic transformation, the phoenix rising from the ashes. This plant in Pontiac it was a really great moment for a community that really wanted and needed hope.
Not long after, he and the other studio investors hit a major hurdle. They would be borrowing around $18 million in municipal bonds, but they needed someone to back them.
Over the objections of some local officials, the state agreed to use the state workers pension funds to guarantee the bonds. If the investors failed to pay, the retirees would be on the hook.
When the bill for the studios bond interest came due in February this year, it paid only a portion, $210,000. The state pension fund had to pick up the remaining $420,000.
Doug Smith, an official at the states economic development agency, said that the state pension fund may end up owning these studios.
Hollywood Uber Alles.
A HOW TO GUIDE FOR REGIMES LOOKING TO TAKE DOWN DISSENT
from Director Blue
Yesterday morning, I wrote about the closed-door [ITU] meeting where they were working on standardizing "deep packet inspection" -- a technology crucial to mass Internet surveillance. Other standards bodies have refused to touch DPI because of the risk to Internet users that arises from making it easier to spy on them. But not the ITU.
WHERE GHETTOS COME FROM
The traffic halted at the intersection and I looked ahead and around and in the rear view mirror. Standing there, many of them looking at me and waving their hands to signal their availability, was a small battalion of around 300 out-of-work Mexican males, mostly young. I thought, "Well, they may be here to 'do the jobs Americans won't do,' but there is clearly not enough work."
Then I thought, "What happens to these men if we arrive at a point, in a recession, where there is a lot less work for them in their many millions? What happens when the American dream starts contracting from the edges and the extra cash that allows us to employ them starts to dry up? They won't be counted as 'unemployed' since they were never legally 'employable' in the first place. Where will they go? Back to a Mexico where a recession in the US will breed a depression in that 3rd World country? Unlikely. Their best shot would still be to stay here. But if they did, what would they do? And how many would there really be? And how hungry and desperate would they get?"
...from American Digest: Armies of the Blight: Men Seeking Work. Anything Accepted. Cash Only. Illegal Not a Problem.
The answer is the origin of the urban ghettos which began when cheap manufacturing labor came for jobs that went away. The same answer is there in Europe. Cheap labor means cheap workers who then either make their way up the ladder when the economy changes... or don't.
Add on cultural problems and you end up with more than just an out of work population, but rotting communities stewing in their own dysfunction. Unless China suddenly experiences a labor shortage and starts shipping over from South America, we're it.
BECAUSE THE AGREEMENTS DON'T MATTER, ONLY THE DEMANDS DO
While Barry Rubin also addresses her one-sided remarks, he also notes that Hillary Clinton Admits Obama Administration Wronged Israel. In Driving in Neutral: Hillary Clinton Explains the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, Rubin examines another comment she made:
Now, would it have been a perfectly acceptable outcome for every Israeli and every Palestinian? No. No compromise ever is. But there were moments of opportunity. And I will also say this. When Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed to a 10-month settlement freeze I flew to Jerusalem. Wed been working on this. George Mitchell had been taking the lead on it. And when Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed to a 10-month settlement freeze, it wasnt perfect. It didnt cover East Jerusalem, but it covered much of the contested area in the West Bank.
Rubin writes about the revelation contained in her words:
Theres something important in this passage that no one has noticed. For the first time ever, Clinton publicly and explicitly acknowledged that the freeze did not cover East Jerusalem. Why, then, did Vice-President Joe Biden throw a temper tantrum when an Israeli zoning board cleared some future construction there? At the time, the U.S. government repeatedly implied that Israel violated the agreement, which it didnt. Now Clinton admits that.
But agreements never really mattered. Demands do. Israel had an oral agreement over the withdrawal of Gaza that Clinton and Obama chose to ignore. The Palestinian Authority has violated agreements so many times as to render the very concept meaningless. Clinton, both Clintons, were well aware of that, but they were never bound by the limits of agreements. Agreements to them were just ways of forcing Israel to do things. These agreements never bound the terrorists.
OTTAWA AND JERUSALEM
....or this may be a formality.
Just days after Canada stood in solidarity with Israel to oppose a Palestinian statehood bid at the UN, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he disapproves of a plan to build more settlements east of Jerusalem.
The Prime Ministers office told CTV that the settlement expansion will ultimately hinder efforts to achieve peace between Palestinians and Israelis. Harper also condemned Israel for taking unilateral action.
Word though is that these condemnations are an orchestrated gambit by Obama Inc. That means Harper is responding to American pressure.
SOME HATEFILLED EXTREMISTS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS
Q. When does the British government subsidize a TV channel that carries the rants of anti-gay religious fanatics?
A. When the TV station is run by Islamist extremists.
OK, that one was a softball. But its worth pointing out a telling contrast in the British governments stance on peoples right to think unapproved thoughts about homosexuality.
Political correctness meets Islam, reconciles the contradictions and kills itself.
ONE DAY OUR UNEMPLOYMENT RATE WILL BE ZERO
No wonder the unemployment rate dropped two tenths of a percentage point in November -- from 7.9 pct to the 7.7 pct announced this morning. So did the labor force, which represents the "whole" from which the fraction of unemployed is derived.
from Boker Tov Boulder