For rogue regimes to threaten America and its allies is nothing new. But I have the distinct sense these days that the threats are both prolific and becoming more boldly specific.

North Korea isn’t just making its usual threats to drown South Korea in a sea of fire. Pyongyang has been cranking out cheesy videos depicting missile attacks on Washington, and just threatened to attack American military bases in Japan and on Guam. Iran’s rulers are not only expressing their usual generic wish to wipe Israel off the map. Iran’s top boss, a.k.a. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, just celebrated Nowruz with a televised speech threatening in geographically precise terms that if Israel’s authorities “make the slightest mistake the Islamic Republic will annihilate Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.”
For that matter, Hamas, the terrorist overlords of the rogue non-state of Gaza, took it upon themselves last month to threaten President Obama that if he visited the Temple Mount during his trip to Israel, they would take it as a “declaration of war” against the Islamic world.

Is this business as usual, or cause for increasing alarm?

“Stick and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me”…? Hardly reassuring. In these realms, there are already too many sticks, stones, missiles and explosive devices. All these actors have an extravagant history of mayhem and murder, going back to their various inceptions. And what they appear to be learning from each other is that they can make ever uglier threats with relative impunity. There are, of course, reasoned arguments to be made that such threats are largely for domestic consumption, or that the comfortably ensconced thugs ruling over such places as North Korea, Iran and Gaza, for all their brinksmanship, would prefer not to launch attacks so devastating as to provoke devastation in response. There’s even a case to be made that dire threats are a sign of desperation, or are perhaps just laying the groundwork for a better starting position at the bargaining table. But with North Korea conducting missile and nuclear tests, with Iran’s uranium centrifuges spinning, with Hamas trucking in weapons from Iran, it’s ever more ominous that the threats from this gang keep pushing the envelope. Time to ring the world’s super cop… but who is that these days?


Congratulations to Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who had the wit to recognize an opportunity to help change the political narrative without relying on consultants, focus groups, or a hundred page report. Alex Pappas of The Daily Caller reports:

Citing figures indicating that more than 100,000 federal employees owe more than $1 billion in federal taxes, a House committee on Wednesday approved legislation that would require the firing of government workers who are “seriously tax delinquent.”

The legislation, introduced by Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, advanced through the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. It now has to pass the full House to be implemented into law.

Assuming it passes, the bill forces Democrat senators, especially the seven up for re-election in states that voted for Romney, to choose between their financial and organizational dependence on government employee unions and voter sentiment back home in states like Alaska, South Dakota, Louisiana and Montana. The House Democrats have predictably opposed the measure:

Democrats on the committee opposed the bill. Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking member on the committee, said the legislation “seeks to demonize federal employees rather than ensure their compliance with tax obligations.”

“By requiring agencies to fire employees for not paying their taxes on time, the measure actually undermines the ability of the government to collect the unpaid taxes,” Cummings said. “It is much, much, much more difficult to recoup the delinquent taxes from someone who is unemployed.” (snip)


In the two weeks leading up to President Obama’s visit to Israel and Ramallah (“City of Allah”), there were numerous rock-throwing attacks on Israelis as well as violent protests within the Palestinian Authority that their forces had to quell. I do not have a full list of attacks on Israelis, but here are three as examples.

As of March 13, 2013, reports that B’tselem protested the detention of 27 Palestinian “children” for throwing rocks at Israelis and IDF soldiers in Hebron. The Tel Aviv court has ruled that rock throwing is a hate crime for rocks kill. Well, that’s elucidating the obvious.

Ten Palestinian “children” were arrested for throwing rocks in Samaria that broke the windshield of the car driven by a mother and her three daughters under the age of 8. All are in serious condition in the hospital with little Adele (three years old) critically injured.

Rocks were thrown at a public bus in east Jerusalem. No arrests.

In the light of these reports, can sense be made of this statement from the greatest orator-president of the United States as quoted by the Jerusalam Post?

He described recent protests that have erupted in the West Bank in anticipation of his visit as an “understanding of the moral force of non-violence.”

Obama said these words to Abbas in Ramallah. It is unclear whether he spoke them from beneath the enormous backrop banner of Arafat in his trademark black and white keffiya that he wore shaped like a map of Israel or not.

Whether or not these words were delivered from underneath the master terrorist and cofounder with PA President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, this presidentially evaluated “moral force of non-violence” left injured Israelis, including a three-year-old baby in danger of losing her life, her mother and two sisters in the hospital with serious injuries, and thousands of dollars of property damaged in Hebron and Samaria.

If President Barack Hussein Obama considers rock-throwing an “understanding of the moral force of non-violence,” well, Netanyahu and Yaalon, your next steps are clear.


The Detroit News is busy talking up the possibility of Dr. Benjamin Carson running as a Republican for the Senate from Michigan. He could win the open seat race with Levin retiring. An African American, fresh face, who would win a higher percentage of the black vote than other Republicans. The state is 14% black. Republican Governor Rick Snyder won his race in 2010 by 18% (but he may go down this time), and Obama won the state by 10% in 2012. A Dem-leaning state for sure, but an off year electorate (with a higher percentage white vote) would help.

No one has been elected to president as first political office since Eisenhower. It is unlikely to happen again. If he has political ambitions, this seat would be a good place for Carson to start, picking up an open Senate seat, and maybe helping GOP regain control of Senate.

Rick Perry: The Presidential Candidate Ahead of His Time Michael Catalini…see note
….and he has a great track record as Governor of Texas….rsk
The Texas governor ran an awful campaign in 2012. But his platform is now belatedly being embraced by party leaders.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 2012 presidential campaign was a slow-motion train wreck, capped off by his embarrassing brain freeze in a nationally televised debate. But as Perry mulls another presidential race in 2016, it’s striking that he was campaigning on many of the reforms that Republican Party leaders are now desperately pushing.

Republicans have spent the past several months figuring out how to win over more Hispanic voters, moderating their tone on immigration, pitching education reform as a significant issue, and they have reaped the political benefits of challenging President Obama on balancing budgets and reforming entitlements. On all those counts, Perry was a candidate ahead of his time.

“I think he remains a motivated public official and an energized political figure,” said Perry’s former chief of staff Ray Sullivan. “On that score, I could easily see him seeking another term as governor and making another run at the White House.”

Take immigration reform. Eventual GOP nominee Mitt Romney hammered Perry for his support of in-state tuition for undocumented workers in Texas. That was in 2012. Now Republican standard-bearers Marco Rubio and Rand Paul have changed the GOP’s tune on immigration. Rubio teamed with Democratic colleagues to draft principles that could become the starting point for immigration reform, and Paul broke out some Spanish during a recent speech suggesting a pathway for illegal immigrants to become citizens.

Perry’s support among Hispanics in Texas was decent, especially compared with Mitt Romney’s awkward outreach. Perry won 38 percent of the Hispanic vote in his 2010 Texas gubernatorial race, while Romney only took 27 percent of the national Hispanic vote. Texas Republicans attribute that to Hispanic voters’ familiarity with Perry, who as the state’s longest-serving governor, has also appointed Hispanics as state Supreme Court justices, as well as secretary of state and transportation commissioner.

Obama’s Trip, Day-One in 543 Words By Shmuel Rosner see note please


This headline wrote itself as I was watching President Obama’s press conference with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Jeffrey Goldberg nicknamed it Operation Desert Schmoose. I suggested Desert Schmaltz. If you’re not sure about these terms and their meanings, go find yourself a Yiddish dictionary on Google for clarifications.

So what happened in Israel today? Here’s a very brief summary:


It was as good as you’d expect if not better. Obama’s limousine getting stuck midway to Jerusalem was a nice start as it kept the sprits up while keeping it real and not too scripted. The President and the Prime Minister still don’t agree on many important issues, but both seem to have come to a point in which they can disagree agreeably.

Iran policy:

Obama essentially said that this is an issue on which the two countries don’t see eye to eye. There is no daylight when assessment of the graveness of the threat is concerned, the President said, but as far as timetables go, well, Obama reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself (which in this case means “if you want to go at it alone, that’s your choice, not mine”)… It is logical to assume that Obama feels safe to say this because he is now more skeptical about the possibility that Israel will launch an attack.

DIANA WEST: WASHINGTON MEDIA…CLOSED FOR ALTERCATIONS? Found myself in a group conversation that included one of the more instantly recognizable media figures — someone who personifies the phrase “mainstream media.” Since this isn’t something that happens every day, why not make the best of it? Why not ask this VIMP (Very Important Media Person) a question or two on the […]

STAGGERING NUMBER OF WOMEN CONVERTING TO ISLAM: ABIGAIL ESMAN The first thing the Dutch girl did once she’d converted to Islam was change her name – to Soumaya, she says, because “she was the first martyr. She was prepared to die for Allah.” Soumaya, née Aphrodite, is one of a wave of tens of thousands of Westerners who convert to Islam every year, […]

Obama Lectured Israelis, Promised and Applauded Arab Palestinians
So the west will continue pretending that: the PA is a non-terrorist political group deserving of continuing U.S. aid, the Israeli government is intransigent and unwilling to make concessions, and it is Israel which bears all responsibility for ensuring that a Palestinian state – created in its own image – comes into existence as soon as possible.

U.S. President Barack Obama during a press conference at the Muqata Presidential Compound in Ramallah, March 21, 2013.
Photo Credit: Issam RImawi/FLASH90
U.S. President Barack Obama gave two speeches on Thursday, March 21, one to Arab Palestinians in a joint press conference with acting head of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, and the other to Israelis at the Jerusalem Convention Center.

His talks were ostensibly about the state of relations between the different parties, but everyone knew that the animating impulse was to kickstart the “Middle East Peace Process.” Everyone who watched the speeches or read the transcripts, are now desperately looking at the tea leaves to see what just happened.

The substance of Obama’s two speeches, the venues in which they were given, the words chosen, the words avoided, taken all together paint a vivid picture of this president and his beliefs about the region.

One speech he gave in Ramallah, the acknowledged seat of government of the Palestinian Authority, where he gave a joint press conference with Mahmoud Abbas, the acting leader of the PA. The other he gave in Jerusalem, not at the seat of Israel’s government, and not directed to Israel’s elected leaders.

At the Jerusalem speech the U.S. president spoke directly to the citizenry of Israel, mostly university students – minus those, such as students at a newly credentialed Israeli university located in Ariel – which is situated beyond the “green line” and, apparently, for Obama is beyond the Pale, ironic given the large number of Arabs who are students at that university.

The speeches revealed little that is new: Obama believes there should be two states on the land, one, the Jewish homeland, Israel, and the other, a new one for Arab Palestinians, called Palestine. He criticized Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist entities, praised what he said was the Palestinian Authority’s transparency, institution-building and security services, and lauded Israeli ingenuity.

“Only in Israel could you see the Dead Sea Scrolls and the place where the technology on board the Mars Rover originated,” Obama told the audience in Jerusalem.

But there were clear indications of what Obama believes, and what he wants to have happen between Israel and the Arab Palestinians.

He believes that the Arab Palestinians, like all “oppressed” people, are yearning for freedom which, when granted, will quell their hatred for their oppressors. He certainly sees their plight as akin to that of African Americans before the passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, abolishing slavery. And he links the idea of slavery and second status-hood of African Americans with Arab Palestinians.


Rabbi Herschel Schacter, Chaplain At Buchenwald Liberation, Dies At 95

Rabbi Herschel Schacter, a national Jewish leader and the only Jewish chaplain present at the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp, died Thursday at the age of 95.

The first rabbi to be ordained by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the founder of Modern Orthodoxy, the resident of Riverdale led the Mosholu Jewish Center in the Bronx for more than 50 years and held leadership roles in numerous national Jewish organizations, including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which he chaired from 1967 to 1969.

A statement from Richard Stone, chair, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chair of the Conference, described the rabbi as “an exemplary leader who often spoke of his `deep commitment to Jewish inclusiveness and unity.’”
The rabbi’s son, Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter, university professor of Jewish history and Jewish thought and senior scholar at Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future, and daughter, Miriam Schacter, a psychotherapist, recalled: “Our father modeled for us the great importance of caring for other Jews and devoting one’s life and efforts to the Jewish people.”

Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, president of the Rabbinical Council of America, described the senior Rabbi Schacter as “a warm, friendly man and an orator’s orator, someone his colleagues would turn to [for guidance on] speeches and sermons.”