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October 2015

Muslim Blood and Al-Aqsa by Bassam Tawil

We all know perfectly well that Al-Aqsa mosque is in no danger. Ironically — I am ashamed to admit it — thanks to the Israel Police, Al-Aqsa is the safest mosque in the Middle East.

Today we sacrifice both our sons and daughters on the altar of empty slogan — lies such as “Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger,” in the vain, blasphemous notion that omnipotent, omniscient Allah needs us to die as martyrs for his sake.

Muhammad’s hadith says one drop of Muslim blood is more valuable than the Kaaba in Mecca, so the same must be true for the stones of Al-Aqsa, which is less holy to Islam than the Kaaba.

The hypocrisy and politicization of Islam has led our sheikhs deliberately to misinterpret verses in the Qur’an, and in that way we disrespect the words of Allah. There are clerics present Islam as a hideous religion bent on murder and paganism, and on sanctifying the stones of Al-Aqsa mosque more than the lives of faithful Muslims.

The Qur’an promises the Children of Israel that they will return to the land of Israel from the four corners of the earth… so we should have greeted their return as living proof of the words of Allah and the realization of the prophecies of Muhammad. Instead, we fight the Jews, which means we fight the wishes of Allah.

The Qur’an tells us that the Jews are the chosen people and the inheritors of the land, so why do our religious leaders deny it and refuse to admit that the Qur’an does not name or even hint at “Palestine” or “Palestinians?”

The Bipartisan Budget Deal Demonstrates What’s Wrong with Washington By Marco Rubio

Each night in America, many parents are having serious discussions after their kids go to bed — and the subjects are usually the same. How will we pay the mortgage? How can we save for our kids’ educations or our own retirement? Will we be able to take a vacation next summer? Why is everything getting more expensive while our take-home pay seems to stay the same?

Unfortunately, Congress has once again wasted an opportunity to address the runaway spending and growing government that add to the pervasive uncertainty many American families and job creators feel about the future. Instead, outdated leaders in both parties have heaped another massive sum of burdensome debt on the shoulders of our people and our free-enterprise economy. Washington’s latest spending deal is awful because it will kill jobs, hurt struggling families, and saddle future generations with trillions of dollars in debt from countries that do not like us — and all for a government we cannot afford.

Denny Hastert’s ‘Sweet Deal’ — Fraud as ‘Sentencing Reform’ By Andrew C. McCarthy

The Justice Department has permitted Denny Hastert to plead guilty to a felony money-laundering violation. Under the plea agreement, the 73-year-old former House speaker may face no more than six months’ imprisonment and, quite likely, no jail time at all.

This has some legal experts grumbling. One, according to Politico’s Josh Gerstein, insists Hastert got a “sweet deal.” The critique is worth exploring. In a recent weekend column, I visited “sentencing reform,” Washington’s latest fetish. Hastert’s case is a good example of how badly the bipartisan project misses the mark: failing to address the real problem, which is over-criminalization, not over-incarceration; and encouraging judges to avoid imprisoning offenders by fictional “fact” pleading.

An FBI investigation uncovered that Hastert paid nearly $1 million in “hush money” to conceal “misconduct” that occurred decades ago. The nature of the misconduct is not specified in the indictment and has not been publicly confirmed, so ordinarily I would not describe it. In this case, however, the misconduct is key to understanding why a prominent figure has been induced to plead guilty to a serious charge, and why the “slap on the wrist” Hastert is getting has some people grousing. We thus take note of Mr. Gerstein’s explanation that “sources have alleged the behavior involved sexual contact with a male student while Hastert was a coach and high school teacher several decades ago.”

Jeb’s Sad Performance at the Debate Confirms He’s Not the Right Choice for 2016 By Jonah Goldberg —

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays.

Dear Reader (including those of you Donald Trump didn’t call “truly odious”),

True story. When I took the SAT (which once was an acronym for “Scholastic Aptitude Test,” then “Scholastic Assessment Test,” but is now simply called the SAT because the gormless quislings of the higher-education establishment are too scared even to defend the idea their test actually measures anything. But that’s a topic for another day) . . .

. . . Where was I? Oh right. True story: When I took the SAT (at Martin Luther King Jr. high school on West 65th street), right before the administrator guy said, “Open your books,” a kid raced into the room and took the chair right in front of me. He was a species of Manhattanite I knew very well: The urban hippie, a close relative of the more dignified bohemian, but a distinct breed. This guy was a cross between Jeff Spiccoli, Shaggy, and maybe a young Lincoln Chafee.

Anyway, the instructor told us all to open our booklets and get started. Almost immediately, the kid started shifting in his seat like maybe he was sitting awkwardly on his roach clip. By the middle of the test’s first section, the urban hippie started muttering in an exasperated whisper: “Oh man.”

With every turn of the page, he’d suck in a lungful of air through clenched teeth and run his fingers through his greasy pre-white-guy-dreadlocks hair, while kicking out his feet in shock. “Aw man, aw man, aw man.” His anguish was matched only by his surprise at how much worse each new page could be the than the one that preceded it.

I thought the whole thing was hilarious, and ended up giggling through most of the test, which probably seemed prickish to kids who thought I was gloating.

I bring this up partly because I had no idea how to begin this “news”letter this morning and partly because I imagined something similar was going on at Bush campaign HQ during the CNBC debate.

The Jeb Test

Full disclosure: I don’t hate Jeb Bush, nor do I scorn him. I respect the guy. I don’t like the way people trash him and act as if no serious conservative could possibly support him. But, as I’ve been saying for a longtime now, I don’t think he’s the right candidate for 2016. While not my first choice by any measure, I think he could be a fine president, and it would be a no-brainer to vote for him over Hillary Clinton. That said, I’ve always thought he’d be a deeply, deeply, flawed nominee. As I’ve written before, in a contest of familiar brands, the more popular one does better — and the Clinton brand is more popular than the Bush brand. In a change election, when the other side has an old and tired brand, the last thing in the world you should do is respond with an older and even more tired brand.

Merv Bendle : Lowering the Flag—-From Australia

In the grand scheme of things, it was a small event: 40 Muslim primary schoolers declined to sing the National Anthem because it violates the tenets of their creed. As one more assault on what Australian should stand for, it confirms the assault on our society is ongoing and implacable
Nation states like Australia are built around a national identity and nothing symbolizes that identity more than the national anthem. Inevitably, that makes it a primary target for those radical leftists, progressivists, and special interest groups intent on undermining our national identity and systematically deconstructing our society.

In contrast, Islam is built upon a transnational identity, symbolized by the adulation the Koran and the Prophet Mohammed. Nowhere in Islam is there an imperative to place allegiance to a national identity over one’s faith; quite the contrary in fact, one’s Muslim allegiance is regarded as having absolute primacy. Inevitably, that makes it a primary vehicle to be exploited by radicals and Islamists alike.

It is therefore no surprise that the latest attack in the culture wars over Australia’s national identity should be mounted at a Victorian primary school, where around 40 Muslim students were recently allowed to walk out of the singing of the national anthem for allegedly religious reasons. Let there be no mistake, this attack was mounted deliberately to set a precedent that can now be followed by other Muslim students in other schools, in both Victoria and interstate.

Multicultural Windfall: Judge Awards $240,000 to Muslim Truckers Who Refused to Deliver Beer Posted By Robert Spencer

In a tight spot and need some cash? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is here to help. All you need to do is convert to Islam then refuse to do your job on religious grounds, and significant financial rewards await you.

Last Thursday [1], the EEOC won $240,000 for two Muslim truck drivers who had been fired for refusing to transport beer. The lucky winners, Somali Muslims Mahad Abass Mohamed and Abdkiarim Hassan Bulshale, had been fired by trucking company Star Transport. Their refusal was based on Islamic law.

One hadith describes Aisha, Muhammad’s beloved child bride, recounting:

When the last verses of Surat-al-Baqara [chapter two of the Qur’an] were revealed, the Prophet went out (of his house to the Mosque) and said, “The trade of alcohol has become illegal.” (Bukhari 3.34.429)

Due to this passage, Muslims not only cannot drink alcohol, but they cannot traffic in it, including driving it from one place to another. However, this rule is not hard and fast: Muslims who sell alcohol in convenience stores or do the job Mahad Abass Mohamed and Abdkiarim Hassan Bulshale were told to do can justify it by pointing to the Islamic principles of taysir, meaning “facilitation” or making things easier, and darura, the permission to do something that is normally illegal out of some necessity.

Dumbest Global Warming Study Ever Wins Raves From New York Times By Steve Milloy

The Paris climate conference is only about six weeks away, and evil Republican “climate deniers” are looking to slash federal funding of what passes nowadays for climate science. So what’s an agency like NASA to do?

Call in the New York Times for a junk science-fueled airstrike.

“Greenland Is Melting Away [1]” is certainly, as Times columnist Nick Kristof tweeted, “a visually amazing piece,” featuring impressive aerial and satellite imagery of the Greenland ice sheet. The underlying story, on the other hand, is much less amazing.

The article spotlights the efforts of a group of researchers who are collecting data on summertime melt of a river in Greenland. Readers are told:

[The] scientific data could yield groundbreaking information on the rate at which the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, one of the biggest and fastest-melting chunks of ice on Earth, will drive up sea levels in the coming decades.

This, the Times worries, could raise sea levels by … 20 feet.

Ted Cruz vs Carl Quintanilla

But if anyone put on a worse performance than Bush, it was CNBC’s moderators: John Harwood, Becky Quick and Carl Quintanilla. That became clear when Ted Cruz answered the second question posed to him. The lengthy exchange is worth quoting in full:

Quintanilla: Sen. Cruz, congressional Republicans, Democrats and the White House are about to strike a compromise that would raise the debt limit, prevent a government shutdown, and calm financial markets that fear of another Washington-created crisis is on the way. Does your opposition to it show that you’re not the kind of problem-solver American voters want?

Cruz: You know, let me say something at the outset. The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media. [applause]

This is not a cage match. And you look at the questions: “Donald Trump, are you a comic-book villain?” “Ben Carson, can you do math?” “John Kasich, will you insult two people over here?” “Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign?” “Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?” How about talking about the substantive issues people care about? [applause]

Quintanilla: Does this count? Do we get credit for this one?

Cruz: And Carl—Carl, I’m not finished yet. The contrast with the Democratic debate, where every fawning question from the media was, “Which of you is more handsome and wise?” And let me be clear.

Quintanilla: So, this is a question about the debt limit, which you have 30 seconds left to answer, should you choose to do so.

Cruz: Let me be clear. The men and women on this stage have more ideas, more experience, more common sense than every participant in the Democratic debate. That debate reflected a debate between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. [laughter and applause]

And nobody watching at home believes that any of the moderators has any intention of voting in a Republican primary. The questions that are being asked shouldn’t be trying to get people to tear into each other. It should be: What are your substantive solutions to [inaudible]?

Kerry Says Vienna Talks Are Best Chance for Syria Solution By Felicia Schwartz

WASHINGTON—Secretary of State John Kerry, before traveling to Vienna for meetings on Syria, on Wednesday said the planned talks are the most promising opportunity for a political settlement to the country’s 4½ year civil war.

The talks, to be held Friday, are expected to include Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, the European Union and France, State Department spokesman John Kirby said, adding that other nations are expected to announce they will attend as well.

Iran will participate in the political talks for the first time, after the U.S. and its Arab allies blocked Tehran from taking part in previous rounds citing Tehran’s support for Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

Mr. Kerry, in a speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Wednesday, outlined U.S. policies across the Middle East, acknowledging the difficulties posed by Russia’s military buildup and bombing campaign and by brutal Islamic State tactics.

Jeb Bush’s ‘Impossible’ Candidacy By James Freeman

Plus Republicans want another great communicator and 26 states sue to stop the President’s so-called Clean Power Plan.
Peggy Noonan says it’s hard to see how the Jeb Bush campaign can work. “By hard I mean, for me, impossible,” says our columnist. “It‘s widely believed among high Jeb supporters” that Donald Trump “has kept Mr. Bush from rising. But Mr. Trump isn’t the problem, he was the revealer of the problem: Jeb just isn’t very good at this.”

Ms. Noonan adds that Mr. Bush is “not good at the merry aggression of national politics. He never had an obvious broad base within the party.” And he “was playing from an old playbook—he means to show people his heart, hopes to run joyously. But it’s 2015, we’re in crisis; they don’t care about your heart and joy, they care about your brains, guts and toughness.”

Kimberley Strassel writes that on debate night, “An outsider race gave way to an insider breakout. Three insiders, to be precise: Marco Rubio, Chris Christie and Ted Cruz.” A big reason why is that Republican voters want “a great communicator, an effective advocate for their cause. They haven’t had one since Reagan, and the Bushes and McCains and Romneys have highlighted how big a problem that is.”