Here’s to the “Experts”, Terrorism’s Great Whitewashers by Bruce Bawer

Never mind that the holy books of Islam quite clearly spell out the doctrine of jihad and the heavenly rewards that await jihadist martyrs. No, according to MSNBC “terrorism expert” Malcolm Nance, Manhattan attacker Sayfullo Saipov’s butchery was “anti-Islamic”.

According to Nance’s theory, every Islamic terrorist in our time somehow overlooked the real lessons of Islam and instead made exactly the same flub, mistaking Osama bin Laden’s bloodthirsty lesson of murderous violence for the thoroughly peaceful tidings of the Koran.

To fail to see a continuity between, on the one hand, the Islam of the terrorists, and, on the other, the Islam of forced marriages, honor killings, female genital mutilation (FGM) and the niqab is to engage in denial and a total whitewash. But then, whitewashing Islam is the true area of expertise of so many of these so-called terrorism experts.

Thank heaven for the “terrorism experts.” After Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov mowed down pedestrians and bicyclists in Manhattan on Halloween, murdering eight innocent people, what would we have done without Malcolm Nance, who, identified as an “MSNBC Terrorism Analyst,” assured viewers of that cable network that Saipov’s action was

“not Islam, whatsoever. None of this is condoned. Including the, you know, sacrificing and getting yourself killed at the end of a terrorist attack, none of that is Islamic, it’s anti-Islamic.”

Weirdly, Nance even chuckled partway through that last sentence, as if the idea that jihad is jihad were too absurd to take seriously.

Never mind that Saipov is an Uzbek Muslim; never mind that he shouted “Allahu Akbar” after his act of mass slaughter; never mind that the holy books of Islam quite clearly spell out the doctrine of jihad and the heavenly rewards that await jihadist martyrs. No, according to Nance, Saipov’s butchery was “anti-Islamic,” period. Nance explained: Osama bin Laden “corrupted Islam” and taught “multiple generations to follow what he believed.” The Islamic terrorists of our time, in Nance’s view, either have a “mental defect” or “some loss or vacuum in their world,” and chose to act upon bin Laden’s ideology because they believed their actions would “validate them once and for all in their life.”

The Lynch Mob Targets Scott Pruitt ‘If he has had enough serious death threats, then he shouldn’t have proposed the deep cuts to the EPA budget.’ By Julie Kelly

Scott Pruitt, Trump’s EPA administrator, is the top target of the anti-Trump lynch mob. He’s enduring daily attack pieces in the media and threats of violence against him and his family. It’s hard to think of any cabinet member — current or former — who has been subjected to more vitriol and vilification than Pruitt, and he’s been on the job for less than a year. Suddenly, everything from overlooked Superfund sites to the Flint water crisis to “toxic” pesticides are Pruitt’s fault, which of course means he is poisoning children and destroying the planet.

According to the EPA inspector general’s office, Pruitt has received “four to five times the number of threats” that his predecessor, Gina McCarthy, did. The level of concern for Pruitt’s safety is so deep that agents are being added to his round-the-clock security detail. In a recent Bloomberg News interview, Pruitt said, “The quantity and the volume — as well as the type — of threats are different. What’s really disappointing to me as it’s not just me — it’s family.”

Why are Pruitt and his family in the crosshairs? “What is different is that the Democrats have whipped up their base into a frenzy against him,” Steve Milloy, a longtime EPA critic, told me. “It’s not surprising that he’s getting even more threats than usual.”

And it isn’t just left-wing environmental extremists who are inciting or excusing calls to assassinate a key cabinet member. Christine Todd Whitman, former Republican governor of New Jersey and EPA chief under President George W. Bush, told CNN that “if he has had enough serious death threats, then he shouldn’t have proposed the deep cuts to the EPA budget.”

So, to borrow a line from the musical Chicago, he had it comin’, or so sings the chorus of swamp creatures threatened by Pruitt’s systematic disassembling of one of the federal government’s most notoriously rogue and punitive agencies. In a column for SFGATE, a sister site for the San Francisco Chronicle, Mark Morford suggested the death threats might be from “environmental advocates, or teachers, or peace activists, or lovers of life and humanity and nature, or distraught mothers, worried that Pruitt’s actions will endanger the lives of their children.” Morford concludes that “when you send death threats to the world and all who live on her, the world will, quite naturally, send them right back.”

Some Hollywood celebrities are also riding the Pruitt Hate Train; actor Mark Ruffalo routinely posts threatening tweets about the EPA chief. As Hurricane Irma took aim at the Florida coast in September, Ruffalo suggested that hurricane victims “direct some of your rage and loss” at “climate deniers like Scott Pruitt.” This week, Ruffalo said this about extreme weather events:

Northwestern Professor: The NRA and GOP ‘Want Mass Shootings’ because ‘It Serves Their Interests’ Why does the Left think that Republicans support a pro-murder platform? By Katherine Timpf

In a tweet that he says he now regrets, a professor stated that it’s only “rational” to believe that “the GOP and NRA must, in fact, want mass shootings” because “it serves their interests.” The tweet was initially noticed by Campus Reform, which redacted the professor’s name and university affiliation. A quick search of Twitter, however, suggested that it was Bruce Lambert, a communications professor at Northwestern University:

National Review reached out to Lambert via email, and he confirmed he was indeed the subject of Campus Reform’s article. (As of Wednesday morning, it appears that Lambert has deleted his Twitter account.)

One of Campus Reform’s correspondents, Adam Sabes, contacted Lambert to ask him to explain. In his reply, Lambert explained that the tweet had been posted “in a moment of supreme frustration and sorrow,” when he was wondering “why the GOP and NRA would not support some more aggressive efforts at gun control to stop these increasingly frequent mass shootings.”

“Upon reflection, now that my emotions have cooled somewhat, I do not actually believe the GOP or NRA wants mass shootings,” Lambert continued.

Yeah, — you think?

Honestly, the fact that Lambert actually used the word “rational” in his initial tweet just might be the most ridiculous thing about it. Yes, Lambert. It’s only “rational” to believe that the millions upon millions of Americans who call themselves Republicans and/or NRA members are actually just tricking us into thinking that they’re normal members of society — when really, they’re evil sociopaths whose every move is motivated by the desire to see mass carnage. That makes total sense! In fact, when someone says, “I am a Republican,” what they really mean is, “I want a mass shooting!” Not to mention the fact that a mass shooting certainly “serves the interests” of the NRA. After all, it always results in an angry Internet army telling all of its members that it was all of their fault, and who doesn’t think that that sounds like a party?

Conservative Newcomer Wins in Kansas After Incumbent Tried to Bully Her Out of Race By Debra Heine

One of the few bright spots for conservatives in Tuesday’s elections happened in Overland Park, Kansas, where conservative newcomer Gina Burke beat an entrenched establishment figure running for a fifth term on Ward 4 City Council.

Normally, a race for city council generates no interest nationally, but in this case the incumbent’s behavior was so spectacularly awful that he deserves recognition.

Both before and after Burke announced her candidacy, Terry Goodman resorted to playing hardball against the 34-year-old mother of two:

Burke described in a long letter to Fourth Ward residents how Goodman tried to pressure her out of running:

I filed for office in late May, just a couple of days prior to the deadline. Within just a few hours, I began to receive numerous calls on my work number from Mr. Goodman. He then attempted to call my cell phone. My first reaction was, “This can’t be normal,” but I ultimately picked up my work phone, just to get the calls to stop.

Councilman Goodman asked why I was running. Not desiring to give my opponent my entire platform, I simply responded, “to get more involved.” He didn’t particularly like that answer and wanted to meet that night. I refused.

The next day, the unsolicited text messages started. You can see the screenshots on my website, At first, he expressed frustration when I initially refused to meet:

“I regret that you are not willing to meet.”

Then it was exasperation that I desired to run, with an assumption that I had been recruited, which I wasn’t:

“Just still curious why you are so committed to running unless you have been recruited — especially when there are so many other ways to serve, become involved & learn about the city.”

The texts kept coming. He ranted about a candidate for Mayor before proceeding with a lecture:

“To the best of my knowledge, you have not reached out to the Mayor, City Manager, Chamber of Commerce, etc. — nor have you been attending City Council meetings as the other candidates have been doing. As I said, it’s unfortunate that you did not call me before filing to express your interest, and that at you are unwilling to meet tonight.”

Interestingly, I didn’t know I had to seek permission from anyone to run for office, nor that calling those in power was a prerequisite to running for office, including the man I was seeking to unseat. Perhaps most humorously, he said:

“Gina, I’m not afraid of losing. It’s just such a hassel (his spelling) and unnecessary expense when you draw a last minute opponent who is running “to be involved.”

Then, more phone calls. Another Councilman — Dan Stock from Ward 6 — called me. Mr. Stock said that it would be nearly impossible to beat Terry, but I should consider what I could get in return if I didn’t run. That very night, Mr. Goodman tried to call me two more times. In between, a THIRD councilman — Fred Spears from Ward 4 — tried to call, as well. So now I had 1/4 of the Overland Park City Council attempting to contact me — and all I had done was file!

Amazingly, Councilman Goodman also showed up at my house. Yes, that’s right — the day after I filed, I also found Mr. Goodman’s card on my door. What in the world? CONTINUE AT SITE

ISIS Group Issues Threat Before Paris Attack Anniversary, Vows to Kill Kids By Bridget Johnson

A pro-ISIS group that threatened “more bitter and greater” Manhattan attacks after last week’s deadly ramming on the West Side bike path urged more attacks on the West today with a propaganda poster showing the Eiffel Tower extending upward as a rifle.

Monday is the two-year anniversary of coordinated attacks on Paris in which nine terrorists killed 130 people.

The Wafa’ Media Foundation titled the PR poster “The Specter of Terrorism,” stating in English, “You will pay very expensive price for your war on Islam.”

The message adds: “We will take revenge for the blood of Muslims on your land, we will kill the young before the older watch this.”

Wafa’ issued a justification for the bombing of British teens at a May concert in Manchester, UK. As ISIS has placed a heavy focus on training youths, they’ve also encouraged targeting them: the first issue of their Rumiyah magazine justified killing civilians including “the young adults (post-pubescent ‘children’) engaged in sports activities in the park.”

The Wafa’ posters are circulated largely on Telegram. One released last week was labeled “Manhattan” with a backdrop of burning, crumbling skyscrapers and a semi-truck — significantly more truck than the flatbed pickup Sayfullo Saipov rented from Home Depot — and showed a masked, armed jihadist standing before the scene. Whereas this jihadist wielded a rifle, Saipov brandished a paintball gun and a pellet gun — and had a stun gun in his truck — before he was shot in the abdomen by a real bullet from an NYPD officer.
New ISIS Video Features 10-Year-Old American Living in …

“O worshippers of the cross in USA,” the poster stated. “Our lone wolves will come to you from where you do not know and we will terrorize you wherever you are and we will show you multitudes of terror and pain that you showed to the Muslims, and what is coming is more bitter and greater.”

In May 2016, Wafa’ warned in a message to the citizens of Spain and all Spanish-speaking countries that lone jihadists existing in those areas would kill the “disbelievers” as “previously planned.” In August 2016, the media foundation said that jihadists had to step up their game to make attacks in Spain worse than terrorist operations in France. Wafa’ pressed jihadists to kidnap or kill Spanish nationals. CONTINUE AT SITE

Down the Memory Hole: Obama Stole the 2008 Primary with Help of DNC By Karin McQuillan

The country is shocked, shocked that the DNC colluded with the Hillary campaign to anoint her as their nominee. In her 2015 caper, Clinton made a backroom deal with the DNC. But in 2008, Barack Obama combined muscular Chicago-style clout with community organizing acumen to steal the nomination directly from the voters.

Obama’s illegal shenanigans in the 2008 Democrat primaries were far worse than Clinton’s – and will never be widely reported. Obama used outright election fraud and thuggery, the tried and true Chicago methods. When he got far enough, the DNC pressured Hillary’s pledged superdelegates to violate their voters’ wishes and award Obama an unearned victory.

It’s an odd experience to dig this information out of the memory hole. No one in the Democratic Party, their media, or their base cares – not about rule of law, not about fair elections. Their primaries reveal how their will to power trumps every other value. What these corrupt Democrat primaries show is that progressives want permanent power, not a functioning republic. They don’t want fair and free elections – witness their dirty attempts to overturn the last one and deprive Trump voters of their victory.

As Hillary might say, Democrat corruption, like Hollywood corruption, takes a village.

Like the revelations of Harvey Weinstein’s abuses, one big dog gets punished, while the even bigger dog (Bill Clinton for sexual abuse, Barack Obama for political abuse) remains untouchable.

A documentary by Hillary supporters on Obama’s cheating and abuse was reported on Fox & Friends only in 2010; at the time of the election, no one would cover their complaints. Read about it here.

In one documentary interview, civil rights activist Helene Latimer recounts seeing an elderly woman being intimidated at the polls. “As she approached the entrance way to go into the building, one of the young men said to her, ‘If you’re not voting for Obama, go home because you’re not voting here today.'”

“It’s our right as Americans to be able to vote and everybody was alerted, we went to press, we went to Fox, we went to CNN, nobody wanted to hear the story (in 2008),” Gaston told Fox’s Alisyn Camerota. “Nobody wants to deal with this.”

From “How Obama Used an Army of Thugs to Steal the 2008 Democratic Party Nomination”:

… the Obama Campaign… encouraged and created an army to steal caucus packets, falsify documents, change results, allow unregistered people to vote, scare and intimidate Hillary supporters, stalk them, threaten them, lock them out of their polling places, silence their voices and stop their right to vote.

Reflections on Terrorism: Iran and Bin Laden By Angelo Codevilla

So little practical consequence does the relationship between the Iranian government and al-Qaeda have that, had not the recently released “Bin Laden papers” revealed it, hardly anyone would notice it. Both sides are getting from it what reality allows.
Iran looms large for al-Qaeda’s sequestered and largely impotent leadership. But as Iranian foreign policy deals with big issues to which bin Laden’s little band is marginal, it sets the price of its services. Some have expressed surprise that any relationship should exist between the center of Shia power and ultra-Sunni al-Qaeda. Yet it exists precisely to the extent of the coincidence between the two sides’ power and interests.

Comparing and contrasting al-Qaeda’s present relationship with Shia Iran and its past relationship with Sunni-led Iraq helps us understand the nature of the relationships that exist between the Muslim world’s governments and terrorist groups in general. Al-Qaeda is a prime example of the fact that these relationships are constantly shifting with circumstances, but that the states are always calling the shots.

The Bin Laden papers dispose summarily of the Sunni/Shia conflict: the Iranians are as much the enemies of unbelieving Westerners as are the Sunni Bin Laden followers. One can only imagine the Iranian side reciprocating. According to al-Qaeda’s headquarters, Iran’s practical importance is as a channel to the outside world—presumably because Sunni Pakistan, al-Qaeda’s headquarters, is not allowing the group to do business through its territory. But Iran’s contribution to AQ does not extend beyond transit of people and money. Some of that sustains AQ affiliates in Syria which are “frenemies” to groups fighting under Iranian leadership. No doubt Iran’s intimate acquaintance with this traffic gives it intelligence as well as the opportunity to “turn” these “frenemies.” It may well demand a cut of the money from the Gulf. Al-Qaeda seems to have little alternative.

Whatever grandiose ideas Bin Laden might have had during the 1980s of using contributions from friends in the Gulf to weld international Islamist recruits into military units to defeat the Muslim world’s bad guys evaporated fast. Unable to survive in the post-Soviet Afghan environment, he moved his band to Saudi Arabia. In 1990, King Fahd laughed when Bin Laden urged him not to call on the Americans to stop Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait because AQ’s troops could do it.

U.K. Minister Resigns Over Unauthorized Meetings With Israeli Officials International development secretary Priti Patel’s departure adds to a list of Cabinet woes facing Prime Minister Theresa May

LONDON—The second minister in just over a week resigned from Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, as the British leader tried to regain command after a series of blunders by members of her cabinet.

Mrs. May summoned Priti Patel, the international development secretary, back to London from an official trip to Uganda after details emerged about unauthorized meetings Ms. Patel had in August and September with Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Mrs. May said in a letter to Ms. Patel that work with Israel should be done “formally and through official channels.”

The development is the latest in a quick succession of challenges for Mrs. May, who has struggled to contain political fires and rein in ministers since losing her party’s majority in a June election gamble.

The British leader is also grappling with stalled talks on Brexit, the country’s greatest foreign-policy shift in decades, and a wave of sexual-misconduct allegations in Parliament. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon resigned last week following allegations of inappropriate conduct toward women, saying that his past behavior was below the “high standard” of the armed forces.

Ms. Patel, a rising star who was largely known for her strong Brexit support, apologized this week for not informing the prime minister and foreign secretary about her meetings in Israel, which she said occurred during an August family vacation.

Mrs. May wrote in a letter to Ms. Patel that she had been satisfied with the apology, but had to take action after information had surfaced that Ms. Patel had also met Israeli officials in September in London and New York. “Now that further details have come to light, it is right that you have decided to resign,” she said.

“While my actions were meant with the best intentions, my actions also fell below the standards of transparency and openness that I have promoted and advanced,” Ms. Patel wrote in her resignation letter. The international development department said the foreign office was aware of the Israel meetings while they were under way, but not in advance. CONTINUE AT SITE

New York’s Not So Finest Forcing bad teachers into classrooms but good teachers out.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio cruised to re-election Tuesday against opponents who had little money or name recognition. New Yorkers can now look forward to four more years of Mr. de Blasio’s political contributions to the United Federation of Teachers union that backs him.

One reason the UFT loves the mayor is his recent decision to ensure that unhireable teachers are also unfireable. Worse, the Department of Education is now forcing schools to fill hundreds of vacancies from its Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR), putting failed instructors back in the classroom full-time.

New York’s statistics show how awful many of these teachers are. Those in the absent teacher pool were deemed either “ineffective” or “unsatisfactory” at a rate 12 times higher than the city average. Roughly a third were yanked from the classroom because of a legal or disciplinary case. Teachers in the ATR can apply at any vacant position across New York City’s 1,700 public schools, so it’s worth wondering why 37% of ATR teachers haven’t managed to find any principal willing to give them a permanent job for four years or more.

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña has promised that ATR teachers won’t be foisted on any of the 86 struggling K-12s in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Renewal School Program. That’s a tacit admission that these instructors pose a risk to student education. But ATR teachers can be forcibly placed at other troubled non-renewal schools, including East Fordham Academy for the Arts in the Bronx, where 98% of students lack basic math skills, and Brooklyn’s Lyon Community School, where just 8% of students achieve reading and writing proficiency.

Ms. Fariña also claims New York is “not putting people who have a record of not behaving in any school.” Then again, three years ago, she also promised that “there will be no forced placement of staff.”

The College Tax Reform Tantrum Higher ed howls at the modest cut in subsidies in the House bill.

Colleges have been rocked by student protests, but now they’re launching a demonstration of their own in Washington against reductions to their tax subsidies. They’re throwing a tantrum because they may, at long last, have to rationalize their spending.

The IRS code contains about a dozen individual tax subsidies for higher education, all with disparate rules that the IRS describes in a 95-page brochure that makes academic prose look lucid. Parents and students can claim three different tax credits, deduct loan interest, and receive an exemption for some discharged loans and tuition assistance.

These dispensations are layered on top of low-interest federal loans (4.45% for undergrads), grants and loan-forgiveness programs. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the government will lose about 25 cents on every dollar of subsidized Stafford loans.

Colleges that have been riding this gravy train are howling that Republican House reforms repealing and consolidating their tax carveouts will raise tuition. But stripping down the subsidies might make students and parents more aware of costs and impel colleges to curb unnecessary spending.

Take the three tax credits, which the House bill proposes to combine into a partly refundable $2,500 American Opportunity Tax Credit that can be claimed for up to five years. This simplification would yield about $17.5 billion in revenue over 10 years and reduce the enticement for students to drag out their education. The Lifetime Learning Credit, which is part of the consolidation, can now be claimed indefinitely.