http://pjmedia.com/ronradosh/2013/06/17/oliver-stone-disgraces-himself-again/?print=1 Our old friend Oliver Stone is at it again. This time, as The Hollywood Reporter  informs us, he is being feted and wined and dined in the People’s Republic of China, where he is the star attraction at this year’s Shanghai International Film Festival. The festival will be screening his big flop Alexander, […]
Anthony Weiner, who resigned from Congress two years ago this Friday in a side-splitting social-media scandal, is running for mayor of New York? We don’t know why, but we’re now pretty sure it’s not for the money. The New York Post reports that Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, “hauled in as much as $350,000 in outside income on top of Abedin’s $135,000 government salary.”
Far be it from this columnist to begrudge the Weiners their financial success. What’s eyebrow-raising about this, though, is that Abedin, who works for the State Department, is the source of some of that outside income:
Abedin, who served as [Hillary] Clinton’s deputy chief of staff when Clinton was secretary of state, later became a ‘special government employee’ who was able to haul in cash as a private contractor. . . .
One of the clients she did consulting work for while on the government payroll was Teneo Holdings, a firm founded by longtime Bill Clinton aide Doug Band.
The Post reports that Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican the paper describes as “one of the Senate’s most aggressive investigators,” is looking into the matter. In a letter to Abedin and now-Secretary John Kerry, Grassley “wrote that he was concerned Abedin’s status ‘blurs the line between public- and private-sector employees, especially when employees receive full-time salaries for what appears to be part-time work.’ ” Grassley also “suggested Abedin was providing clients ‘political intelligence,’ ” a claim denied by an unnamed “person close to Abedin.”
New York’s Daily News reports that white-knight Weiner “defended his wife” during a Saturday campaign appearance. “I’m proud of my wife and I’m proud of the work she’s done,” he said, adding that “she has done everything completely above-board with approval of the State Department.”
That may well be true–in which case the scandal here may be what’s above board rather than what’s below it. The Post reports that an unnamed State Department official “noted there were 100 such consultants at the agency.”
A hundred Abedin-size salaries would add up to $13.5 million–presumably not counting benefits–being paid to people whose work for the department has to compete with their outside gigs for their time and attention. Are they thoroughly screened for conflicts of interest? If so, that’s an additional expense for the taxpayers. If not, we can’t rule out the possibility that some State Department workers are trading on their access to what Grassley calls “political intelligence.”
‘There’s a sucker born every minute” is one of those great American phrases, fondly and frequently repeated by Americans, who tend to forget that it was said mainly about Americans. In the election of Hassan Rohani as Iran’s president, we are watching the point being demonstrated again by someone who has demonstrated it before.
Who is Mr. Rohani? If all you did over the weekend was read headlines, you would have gleaned that he is a “moderate” (Financial Times), a “pragmatic victor” (New York Times) and a “reformist” (Bloomberg). Reading a little further, you would also learn that his election is being welcomed by the White House as a “potentially hopeful sign” that Iran is ready to strike a nuclear bargain.
All this for a man who, as my colleague Sohrab Ahmari noted in these pages Monday, called on the regime’s basij militia to suppress the student protests of July 1999 “mercilessly and monumentally.” More than a dozen students were killed in those protests, more than 1,000 were arrested, hundreds were tortured, and 70 simply “disappeared.” In 2004 Mr. Rohani defended Iran’s human-rights record, insisting there was “not one person in prison in Iran except when there is a judgment by a judge following a trial.”
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/18/the-social-cost-of-breathing/ The key to success in business is making products that beat the competition. Government just makes rules, and drives up costs for competitors. Despite President Obama’s happy talk about the nation having achieved the highest proportion of domestic oil and gas production in 20 years, his administration is tipping the scale further in favor […]
While Russia has been INCREASING and revitalizing its conventional and nuclear arsenal, the U.S. has been drastically SHRINKING theirs.
America’s armed forces have been reduced, the Navy shrunk from 600 ships to 286, the Air Force from 37 combat wings to 20 and the Army from 17 divisions to 10. Plus, Obama has NOT supported key anti-ballistic missile defense systems and pursued a course of nuclear arms reduction. Aging and obsolete conventional weapons have not been replaced.
Meanwhile, Russia is adding 153,000 soldiers and will conduct 500 drills within the next few months. Russians have been training for pre-emptive nuclear strikes and engaging in “snap drills” of massive size and scope without prior notice. One such drill involved Space Defense forces, long-range aviation, air and anti-missile defence forces and 8,700 personnel! Russian has announced that it will resume nuclear submarine patrols and expand its reach into international waters…….JANET LEVY, L.A.
Russia’s Long Hot Summer
Following a spring which saw the beginning of a draft that will add 153,000 conscripts into the Russian Armed Forces by mid July, the summer of 2013 will be among the most active ever for Moscow’s armed forces.
The Russian Defense Ministry reports that Moscow’s military will conduct no less than 500 drills within the next several months. The Jamestown Foundationreports that in September, “Russia and Belarus will stage a joint military exercise on Belarus territory, allegedly to rehearse a defense against a Polish attack on the country.” A similar exercise held in 2009 included training for a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Poland.
A number of worrisome “Snap Drills” have taken place in recent months, in which Russian forces engage in war-footing maneuvers without prior warning. The Voice of Russiareports that in May, a snap drill involving Space Defense forces, long-range and transport aviation, an combined air and anti-missile defense forces in Russia’s Western District took place. 8,700 personnel were involved. Russia’s own emphasis on anti-missile defense renders Moscow’s objections to the U.S. ABM system rather odd.
Those maneuvers followed the March snap drill exercises in the Black Sea. The Jamestown Foundation described the exercise:
“At 4 a.m. on March 28, President Vladimir Putin delivered a sealed letter to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordering him to launch at once unscheduled maneuvers involving not just the Black Sea Fleet but air and airborne forces and the Army… They were not the only such maneuvers conducted at this time, only the most prominent ones. In conjunction with these latest surprise military exercises, the Strategic Missile Command conducted an impromptu check of missile troops in Tver Oblast, and Russia also carried out exercises for Long-Range Aviation forces in the Saratov region (Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, March 30; Interfax, March 29). Simultaneously, Russia’s fleet in the South China Sea also conducted a live-fire exercise (Interfax-AVN, March 28). the exercise also consisted of a coastal landing operation in the Caucasus where the fleet, helicopters, and fighter and reconnaissance aircraft supported the marines landing ashore (Interfax-AVN Online, March 29).
http://nsroundtable.org/index.php/straight-talk/our-new-moderate-hardliner/ If I hear words like “moderate” or “reformist” associated with the name Hassan Rouhani one more time, I will literally and figuratively bust a gut! Today’s newspapers are replete with articles, analyses, editorials and commentary on Iran’s new president-elect, cleric Hassan Rouhani. You can read about his background – including that he was lead […]
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-207_162-57589675/barbra-streisand-slams-treatment-of-women-in-israel/ AT LEAST SHE DOES NOT BOW TO THE PRESSURE OF THE BDS MOVEMENT ….RSK Barbra Streisand waded into one of Israel’s touchiest issues during the first major stop on her tour of the country — Jewish religious practices that separate men and women. Speaking at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Monday, she took […]
Ryan Bellerose has penned another epic piece of moral clarity. Not one to mince words, Bellerose, a Metis activist from Western Canada, has written a devastating op-ed in the Toronto Sun (and syndicated in 4 other Sun papers) taking the Palestinian propaganda machine to task for dishonestly using the native rights cause.
“…though Palestinian propagandists love to characterize Zionism (that is, Jewish nationalism) and the re-establishment of Israel in 1948 as colonial enterprises, it is the Jews who are aboriginal to the Holy Land. Alone among other nations, Jews’ language, history, culture and folklore were born and forged in the Holy Land. There is no statute of limitations on being indigenous. Accordingly, to claim the Jews are colonizers in the Holy Land delegitimizes all indigenous peoples because such attempts trivialize the unbreakable, maternal ties to the land that make us, like the Jews, indigenous.”
Bellerose goes on to explain why conflating Palestinian issues with Native Issues is plainly dishonest and untenable.
This is not the first time Bellerose has spoken up against the appropriation of his cause and culture by irredentist Arab nationalists. A few months ago, he wrote in the Metropolitain an article entitled “A Native and Zionist” where he first explained the parallels between Jews and Native Canadians, and why he is so offended by Palestinian propaganda’s exploitation of his cause:
The Palestinians are not like us. Their fight is not our fight. We natives believe in bringing about change peacefully, and we refuse to be affiliated with anyone who engages in violence targeting civilians. I cannot remain silent and allow the Palestinians to gain credibility at our expense by claiming commonality with us. I cannot stand by while they trivialize our plight by tying it to theirs, which is largely self-inflicted. Our population of over 65 million was violently reduced to a mere 10 million, a slaughter unprecedented in human history. To compare that in whatever way to the Palestinians’ story is deeply offensive to me.
Obama’s Catastrophes in the Middle East — on The Glazov Gang
The White House gives $1.3 billion to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt — while Syrian jihadists await U.S. arms.
http://www.prudenpolitics.com/newsletter?utm_source=P&P%20Auto%201&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=7542 Villains abound in the great immigration scam, now playing out in Congress, and not all of them are Democrats. Some are fat cats of the Republican persuasion, and the satisfied smiles on their faces suggest Cheshire blood lines. An endless supply of poor, hungry and illiterate peasants, preferably from the Mexican interior where poverty […]