Maxine wants to know…

How many kids does Arnold have?

Quote of the Day 5/18/11

“I don’t live under any illusions as to my standing in the Republican Party. The Republican Party doesn’t have a Tea Party problem; it has a conservative problem. The Tea Party’s not the problem with the Republican Party. Modern-day Republicans are the problem with the Republican Party.” – Rush Limbaugh

Obama vs. Israel By Alan Caruba

Is Obama a Muslim? Does Obama hate Israel? Will Israel be attacked again? Will Iran nuke Israel? Has Maghreb and Middle Eastern turmoil flummoxed the White House? Why did Obama bow to Saudi Arabia’s king? Questions, questions, questions?

Watching President Barack Hussein Obama try to pick winners and losers in the Middle East would be amusing if it were not so deadly serious. Not a word about Syria’s slaughter of its protestors. A demand that Libya’s Gadhafi step aside and a quick retreat behind NATO’s skirts. Throwing Egypt’s Mubarack under the bus when saying nothing would have sufficed. And then there was the infamous and inauspicious start to his presidency with the “World Apology Tour” that included a stop in Cairo.

A May 11th Reuters news article published in the Jerusalem Post was titled “Obama may preempt PM’s speech to U.S. Congress.” Benyamin Netanyahu, at the invitation of Speaker John Boehner, will address the Congress on May 24. If President Obama delivers a speech about “political change in the Middle East and North Africa” prior to the PM, it will be impossible to deny that it is a deliberate effort to rebut in advance anything Netanyahu says.

Israel just celebrated the 63rd anniversary of its founding. Successive American administrations have struggled and failed to secure any peace between it and its sworn enemies. The reason is simple and obvious. Only Egypt and Jordan negotiated peace treaties with Israel and then only after having been decisively defeated in war.

Neither the Palestinian Authority, nor Hamas wants peace, nor does Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy group based in Lebanon. Not all the handshakes, Oslo Accords, and other diplomatic dances will change this.

President Obama’s special envoy, George Mitchell, whose mission it was to fashion a peace between Israel and the Palestinians just rendered his resignation. He could have saved himself the bother by not even taking the job.

The Israelis have given up territory and made countless concessions to the Palestinians without any reciprocity. Now the Palestinians are counting on the United Nations to unilaterally declare them a sovereign state. When not killing Israelis, they kill each other.

The United Nations has a long, ugly record of hostility, passing endless resolutions condemning Israel while maintaining the Palestinians as the world’s oldest “refugee” group to the tune of millions via the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

The European Union whose World War II member nations allowed their Jews to be frog-walked to Nazi concentration and death camps has also demonstrated its hostility.

America, to its credit, has always been Israel’s one true friend. During the campaign, Obama even visited the Wailing Wall to demonstrate his solidarity. Once elected, however, and to the astonishment of voters the new Obama administration was reluctant to even say that militant Islam was the enemy or to even use the word “terrorism.” It was renamed “overseas contingency operations”!

Call me a cynic but I believe that the decision to kill Osama bin Laden was not taken until the 2012 elections became a priority. Why? Because three terrorist attacks, including the Fort Hood murders, had previously been swept under the rug by the Obama administration. Moreover, the Obama Justice Department continues to threaten CIA agents with jail for the aggressive interrogation techniques that led to finding bin laden.

The Obama administration’s hostility to Israel and the rush to preempt the Israeli Prime Minister’s speech is a reflection the 180 degree reversal of all previous administration’s relations with Israel. The president’s national security advisor, John Brennan, has referred to Jerusalem as “Al Quds”, the Arabic name for the ancient and modern capital of Israel and the State Department continues to send funds to Hamas.

In a speech delivered in March 2010, Netanyahu said, “The Jewish people were building Jerusalem three thousand years ago and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today. Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is our capitol.”

The Muslim “tilt” of the Osama administration would be obvious to a blind man. At one point the U.S. Navy was instructed to call the Persian Gulf the “Arabian Gulf.” Who can forget the President’s weak response to a proposal to build a mosque within a short distance from New York’s Ground Zero, the site of 9/11?

New voices out of Egypt are calling for the abrogation of its peace treaty with Israel. Hezbollah has been removing its cache of long-range rockets (courtesy of Iran) from Syria as that regime faces opposition. Hamas, designated a terrorist organization worldwide, has joined hands with the PLO, negating any possibility for peace with Israel.

It is bad enough when various nations openly declare their hostility to Israel, but it is very dangerous when the current regime in Washington demonstrates its hostility in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.

President Harry Truman recognized Israel when it declared its sovereignty on May 14, 1948. At the time he said, “I have faith in Israel and believe it has a glorious future, not just as a sovereign nation, but as the embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization.”

Israel and Americans who support it must wait for the November 2012 elections before the threat the Obama administration represents can be removed.

Israel’s enemies may not be willing to wait, seeing the present regime and time as the best and possibly the last opportunity to make good on their threat to “wipe it from the map.”

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Holder’s Anti-Bank Witch Hunt

Housing: The last time Washington launched a crusade to close the racial mortgage gap, it created a credit bubble that crashed the economy. If you think those days are over, think again.

The Justice Department is conducting an anti-discrimination witch hunt against banks for simultaneously lending too much and not lending enough to minorities. It would be comical if the consequences weren’t so serious.

Before the mortgage crisis, Attorney General Janet Reno accused banks of racism for failing to market mortgages to poor minorities with weak credit. Fear of prosecution set off a stampede of risky inner-city lending that led, in part, to today’s record home foreclosures.

Now Reno’s deputy — current Attorney General Eric Holder — is prosecuting banks for doing too well what he and Reno ordered them to do before the crisis: “targeting of minority communities” for subprime and other high-cost loans. He calls this “reverse redlining,” or the opposite of what banks were accused of doing in the past — drawing red lines around inner-city areas deemed too risky for lending. Only, Holder’s also suing lenders for tightening credit in now-devastated urban areas to guard against future defaults.

What he calls a new era of “redlining” is just a logical response to the negative fallout from his anti-redlining crusade. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t, lenders are also protecting themselves from charges of “reverse redlining,” also known as “predatory lending.”

Never mind that. Holder suspects racism no matter what bankers do. So now he’s demanding they “reinvest” in communities harmed by his own policies. Through a series of consent decrees, he’s ordered them, outrageously, to “repair the damage” he and his mentor helped cause.

More than 60 banks are under Justice Department investigation…

Read more from IBD Editorials

SideBear: Is is any wonder why the economy is limping along… Anti-Bank Witch Hunts, Demonizing Oil Companies, a Government that believes “Profit is a dirty word all add up to an economic slump.

Full text of Paul Ryan’s speech to the Economic Club of Chicago

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is delivering a speech before the Chicago Economic Club defending his debt-reduction plan. Here is the text of his prepared remarks:

Read more from the Washington Examiner

James Pethokoukis sums up Ryan’s economic proposals: “Ryan highlighted four foundations of growth: 1) controlling health-care costs; 2) eliminating bad regulations; 3) keeping taxes low; and 4) getting the Federal Reserve to focus on stable prices rather than juicing job growth.”

SideBear: Sounds like a plan to me.

Meanwhile, Politico reports that Ryan “is reaching out to potential Senate candidates in Wisconsin, informing them he’s unlikely to run for Herb Kohl’s seat next year.” The possibility of a VP is still wide open.

SideBear: Let’s hope Ryan has bigger plans like …RUN PAUL RUN!