Daily Archives: January 1, 2012

West in political crisis has echoes of 1930s

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By Stella Dawson
Sun Jan 1, 2012 8:04am EST

(Reuters) – Dysfunctional politics threatens to deliver a protracted period of slow global growth, possibly lasting well beyond 2012, which will only deepen the political and economic problems for the West.

The global financial crisis that began four years ago has morphed into a political crisis for the United States and Europe. Leaders incapable of wrestling their debt loads to manageable levels or reviving strong economic growth are stoking turmoil in markets and populist unrest among the citizenry.

The political malaise is also hastening the shift of world economic power toward developing countries led by China. At worst, it could cause a second global recession bringing with it political upheaval on a scale not seen since the 1930s.

These unpalatable scenarios are being sketched by a growing number of leading political strategists, academics and economists after an extraordinary year when the once unthinkable came to pass: the United States had its credit rating downgraded while the developing world enjoys upgrades; Europe went cap in hand to Beijing for a financial bailout; and Brazil overtook Britain within the G7 club of major economies.

The shifting international economic order toward developing countries is nothing new. But it has been happening at a faster pace than expected, accelerated by what these analysts have begun describing as Western democracy in crisis.

They see a government credibility problem in the United States and European Union, stemming from a perception that the political elite is too closely tied to the financial elite in the West, and their collusion caused the financial chaos of 2007 and 2008 and its messy aftermath, leaving the average citizen burdened with higher public debt, higher taxes, unemployment and austerity programs.

Left to pay for what voters see as the elite’s mistakes, public confidence in government has been undermined, and political paralysis has set in as Western leaders struggle to pull governmental levers that are not working effectively.

In contrast, developing nations have been modernizing their institutions and markets, delivering growth rates in the past decade triple those of the West. By 2020, the Centre for Economics and Business Research in London estimates that India and Russia will have joined China and Brazil in the G7 ranks as the biggest economies in the world based on total GDP output, ousting Britain and France. Only the United States, Japan and Germany will be left from the old G7 that dominated the international order since World War II.

Niall Ferguson, a prominent economic historian now at Harvard, calls this an historic power shift.

“For the better part of 500 years, it was Westerners on both sides of the Atlantic who could say that they had the best economic system, that they developed the best political system and so forth. And those claims have sounded increasingly hollow in our time,” Ferguson said in an interview.

The breakdown in public confidence caused by the financial crisis has revealed a deeper problem. “What we’re seeing in government is part of a wider crisis of Western institutions,” he said.

The Tea Party movement in the United States, the Occupy Wall Street movement and riots in Europe all are populist expressions of this breakdown of trust. Institutionally, it is reflected in a U.S. Congress deadlocked over taxes and spending with lawmakers so polarized by different narratives on the causes and fixes for the financial crisis that it is nearly impossible to reach decisions, even though both sides recognize that if left unchanged, their policies will bankrupt the nation, he said.

In Europe, leaders lurch from summit to summit, making partial decisions on fixing a debt crisis and trying to save the 17-member monetary union. But in the process the political elite in Brussels and the capitals are losing touch with their democratic base, which is uncertain it wants to pay the price required for monetary union through deep cutbacks.

Heather Conley, a former U.S. Under Secretary of State for European Affairs and now a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said this near political paralysis seen in the United States and Europe is common when governments are at an inflection point.

“Without decisive direction and leadership, we march in place or attempt to muddle through, uncertain of which path to take. The West is at such a moment,” she said.

“Only an external shock I fear will force us to take the uncertain (new) path. Or we will become so frustrated that the West will choose leaders who will take us in a radically new direction. I’m not sure our frustration level has reached that level, yet. But Europe may be arriving there soon.”

Governments in Greece, Italy and Spain have collapsed or been voted out of power in the past year, and 2012 brings presidential elections in the United States, France and Russia.

ASIA NOT IMMUNE

The fall-out from Europe’s debt crisis is being felt far and wide.

Japan already has endured nearly two decades of lost economic growth and weak political leadership after its financial bubble collapsed in the early 1990s.

George Friedman, geopolitical strategist and chief executive of Stratfor Global Intelligence, sees a distinct risk that China too will join the club of countries in political stalemate, subdued or stalled growth and popular unrest – with potentially serious consequences.

“When the United States, Europe and China go into a crisis of this sort, it can reasonably be said that the center of gravity of the world’s economy and most of its military power is in crisis. It is not a trivial moment,” Friedman wrote in “Dominoes of Doom” on the website EconomyWatch.com.

China’s economy, heavily dependent on exports, is slowing fast. Officials described the global economic outlook as “extremely grim” last month after its annual work conference, signaling deep concern as China enters a year of leadership change.

The Chinese government responded to the global recession spawned by the 2007-2008 financial meltdown with a massive credit expansion that has stoked inflation and fed a property boom. It also increased controls on the economy through state-owned companies, further concentrating state power, which Friedman sees as politically destabilizing as growth slows down.

Witness the past month villagers in southern China in a 10-day standoff with public officials over land expropriation, thousands marching in Haimen city to protest a power plant and a worker sit-in in Dongguan city demanding back pay after their paper plant closed.

ENDING PARALYSIS

The best that can be hoped for in 2012 is a muddling through, where economic growth in the United States averages around 2 percent compared with zero in the euro zone, analysts said. World growth, buoyed by emerging markets, looks set to average around 3 percent.

Martin Sass, founder of the New York based hedge fund M.D. Sass with $7.5 billion under management, is among those pinning his hopes on the elections breaking the stalemate. “I never expected the level of dysfunction in the U.S. and European lawmaking … and I never saw fundamentals count for so little in the stock market. Politics and contagion were the drivers of this underperforming market, not balance sheets and earnings.”

“It is going to take a new election in November (in the United States) to get any legislation through to deal with our problems,” Sass said.

If the political system starts functioning effectively again, Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive officer at PIMCO, the world’s largest bond fund, said it’s not too late for policymakers to catch up and avert serious economic downturn.

But elections alone may not prove the answer. To break the paralysis, political leaders need to offer a new vision, one that rebalances the cozy linkage between finance and politics, otherwise the credibility of the political system will remain compromised, said Scheherazade Rehman, professor of international affairs and finance at George Washington University.

“There has to be a shifting of our institutions. The banking system is at the heart of our economic system and with it extraordinary ties to the political system. We have to rethink the close relationship that caused the breakage,” she said.

The political crisis shot to the foreground this year as voters lost confidence in how governments responded to the 2007-2008 financial crisis, global recession and the resulting explosion in sovereign debt levels. Two narratives have emerged of what went wrong. The left casts the banker as the prime villain, unpunished by the political elite who allowed CEOs to violate all the principles of fiduciary and moral responsibility in pursuit of personal gain, which fuels the perception of a political system in collusion with a criminal financial elite it is unwilling to punish.

The right-wing narrative casts big government as the villain for exploiting the crisis to expand its regulatory powers that intrude on free markets, and to spend money on huge bailouts and social welfare programs that have only exploded the budget deficit.

In both narratives, the victim is the average citizen who is left paying a gigantic bill – through high unemployment, higher taxes and lost economic opportunity. Either way, the compact between political governance and economic life has broken.

“The political reaction, whether big government is seen at fault or big business, the reaction is that the system is tainted and there is too much crony capitalism at work,” said Raghuram Rajan, finance professor at the University of Chicago and former International Monetary Fund chief economist.

There is a distinct possibility that political dysfunction will continue well after the 2012 elections – held in May for France and November for the United States, while China completes its leadership handover by the spring of 2013.

In the United States, voters could return a divided and polarized Congress again, continuing the legislative standoff. One-party rule may prove little better, if the path chosen toward budgetary discipline is excessive taxation or ultra-steep budget cuts. In France, the election winner’s relationship with Germany and fellow EU leaders will prove critical.

Although Western democracy has demonstrated the flexibility to reform when facing severe challenges, the shadow of the 1930s looms large. This uncertainty over whether strong political leadership can emerge in 2012 is haunting markets.

John Browne, senior economic consultant to Euro Pacific Capital, is among the pessimists. He told clients in his year end note that American and European Union politicians have shown utter unwillingness to take tough decisions they know should be enacted to avoid looming global economic disaster.

“With an estimated $6 trillion plus solvency shortfall of the euro zone banks, and $16 trillion in U.S. public debt, it will take leadership of far greater caliber to avert a disaster. Such leadership is nowhere in sight,” he said.

(Reporting By Stella Dawson; editing by Claudia Parsons)

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Obama Recruits Qaradawi

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The administration is working with a Muslim Brotherhood jurist.

By Andrew C. McCarthy

The surrender is complete now. The Hindu reports that the Obama administration has turned to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s leading jurist, to mediate secret negotiations between the United States and the Taliban.

I wrote about Qaradawi at length in The Grand Jihad and, here at NRO, have regularly catalogued his activities (see, e.g., here, here, here, here, and here; see also Andrew Bostom’s “Qaradawi’s Odious Vision”). For those who may be unfamiliar with him, he is the most influential Sunni Islamist in the world, thanks to such ventures as his al-Jazeera TV program (Sharia and Life) and website (IslamOnline.net). In 2003, he issued a fatwa calling for the killing of American troops in Iraq. As he put it,

Those killed fighting the American forces are martyrs given their good intentions since they consider these invading troops an enemy within their territories but without their will. . . . Although they are seen by some as being wrong, those defending against attempts to control Islamic countries have the intention of jihad and bear a spirit of the defense of their homeland.

Qaradawi urges that Islam must dominate the world, under a global caliphate governed by sharia. He maintains that Islam “will conquer Europe [and] will conquer America.” He sometimes qualifies that the conquering will be done “not through the sword but through da’wa,” but the qualification is a feint.

Da’wa sounds harmless — it refers to missionary work to spread Islam. Islam, however, is not like other religions. The idea is not to spread a set of spiritual principles but incrementally to impose a full-scale social system with its own authoritarian legal code, covering all aspects of life and instituting a caste system in which women and non-Muslims are subjugated. Nor is da’wa like other missionary work; it is the use of all available means of pressure — political campaigns, lawfare, infiltration of the media, control of the education system, etc. — to advance (a) the acceptance of Islamic principles and (b) the evisceration of principles (e.g., free speech, economic liberty) that undergird competitors, in particular, Western civilization. Moreover, the claim that da’wa is non-violent is frivolous. Much of the mission of da’wa is to rationalize terrorism as divinely mandated self-defense.

Thus does Sheikh Qaradawi champion Hamas, mass-murder attacks, and suicide bombings. “They are not suicide operations,” he brays. “These are heroic martyrdom operations.” Indeed, he elaborates, “The martyr operations is [sic] the greatest of all sorts of jihad in the cause of Allah.”

Thus does Qaradawi urge the destruction of Israel, rebuking clerics who dare counsel against killing civilians. “I am astonished,” he inveighs, “that some sheikhs deliver fatwas that betray the mujahideen, instead of supporting them and urging them to sacrifice and martyrdom.” As the Investigative Project on Terrorism recounts, when the imam of Mecca’s Grand Mosque issued guidance against the killing of civilians, Qaradawi upbraided him: “It is unfortunate to hear that the grand imam has said it was not permissible to kill civilians in any country or state, even in Israel.”

Not surprisingly, then, the sheikh is also wont to invoke what the West refuses to acknowledge: the Jew-hatred that is endemic in Islam because it is rooted in scripture — not in modern grievances that could be satisfied if only the West changed its policies and Israel had the good grace to disappear. As Qaradawi puts it, echoing the charter of Hamas (the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch):

This is what is told in the Hadith of Ibn-Omar and the Hadith of Abu-Hurairah: “You shall continue to fight the Jews and they will fight you, until the Muslims will kill them. And the Jew will hide behind the stone and the tree, and the stone and the tree will say: ‘Oh servant of Allah, Oh Muslim, this is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him!’ The resurrection will not come before this happens.” This is a text from the good omens in which we believe.

Qaradawi uses his al-Jazeera platform to preach this message to the Muslim masses. As the Middle East Media Research Institute and Robert Spencer document, in one memorable Friday “sermon” broadcast in 2009, he prayed that Allah would kill all Jews: “Oh Allah, take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers and kill them, down to the very last one.” He added that throughout history, Allah had imposed upon Jews “people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Adolph Hitler.”

After thousands of young Americans have laid down their lives to protect the United States from jihadist terror, President Obama apparently seeks to end the war by asking Qaradawi, a jihad-stoking enemy of the United States, to help him strike a deal that will install our Taliban enemies as part of the sharia state we have been building in Afghanistan. If the Hindu report is accurate, the price tag will include the release of Taliban prisoners from Gitmo — an element of the deal Reuters has also reported. The administration will also agree to the lifting of U.N. sanctions against the Taliban, and recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political party (yes, just like the Muslim Brotherhood!). In return, the Taliban will pretend to forswear violence, to sever ties with al-Qaeda, and to cooperate with the rival Karzai regime.

It would mark one of the most shameful chapters in American history.

— Andrew C. McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, is the author, most recently, of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.

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2011 In Review – A Planet In Crisis

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Wolff Bachner

“The only world I know is drowning in rage.”  Al Jourgensen, Front man for the band Ministry.

There are no words I can think of that sum up 2011 better than Al Jourgensen’s. Our planet, our world, our home is on the verge of chaos.  It is hard to conceive of a year that has brought more mayhem and misery to humanity than the last 12 months. Governments are falling like dominoes in the Middle East and Sharia is rearing it’s head in country after country. Israel and the Palestinians are now in their 63rd year of hostilities with no end in sight. Iran is on the verge of building an atomic bomb and no one seems to have the will or the desire to understand the risks of a nuclear Iran; no less the guts to do something to prevent it. Japan was racked by a massive tsunami and the near meltdown of several nuclear reactors. In Russia and China, it is the same old fist in a new glove. In Africa, there is famine, disease and death for millions. Europe and America are in dire financial straits and the politicians are unable to put aside their political differences to solve the problems. Protesters rampage and rant in cities across the globe with little purpose and no clear goals in sight. Al Gore and his ilk are still trying to sell the pipe dream of carbon credits while touring the world in their Lear Jets and milking the global warming scare for all it is worth.  It certainly has been a year to inspire doubt and fear while chilling our hearts about the future.

It speaks volumes that to many in the Western World, May 2, 2011 was probably the high point of the year. That is the day that Osama Bin Ladin is supposed to have been killed by U.S Navy Seals. Of course, skeptics of American politics will be happy to remind us that no one in the public has ever seen any actual proof of Bin Ladin’s death. All we have is the word of Obama, who has not had the best record for honesty. Using the feeble excuse that he didn’t want to offend or incite Muslims by showing any evidence of Bin Ladin’s death, Obama sealed all the records of the raid and all the photos of Bin Ladin’s body. We should remember that Lyndon Johnson bombed North Vietnam into the stone age based on a previous government lie called the “Gulf Of Tonkin Incident.” Until proof is available to every single person who wants to see it, all we have is the word of a President who used the killing of Bin Ladin as part of his re-election strategy. Hopefully, Bin Ladin really is dead and buried but the way our leaders play so lose and easy with the truth, it is quite possible to believe that we will never know the entire story. Some people even think he was killed years ago and kept on ice until a convenient moment. Far fetched, but with politicians being what they are, anything is possible

On the economic front, the United States is now 15 trillion dollars in debt and there is no indication that anyone in political power is willing to do anything about it. The country is broke and yet the spending spree continues unabated. The only answers we hear from our leaders in Washington are laced with partisan political nonsense and outrageous attacks on the opposition. The Democrats and the Republicans have spent the nation into decades of debt and the only solution they have is to blame the other party or blame the rich and start a class war. The Republicans act like total cowards and instead of attacking the problem head on and calling the Democrats on their fiscal policies, they pull their punches and talk about working with the opposition. Democrats stick to their guns, blame Bush and continue to expand entitlement programs with no idea where the money will come from to pay for them. Conservatives, who are still the largest block of voters in America, are totally baffled as to why the Republicans will not stand up to Obama and his left wing cronies. It seems to them as if the Republican Party is determined to give Obama and the Democrats a pass and let everyone have free rein to spend America into oblivion. The Left wants to create a socialist state and turn what was once the world’s greatest economic miracle into a another failed European nation. Meanwhile many Americans are losing their jobs, their homes, their savings and their patience.

Politically in America, we are suffering under the non-leadership of President Obama, who may be on his way to becoming the worst President in American history. There is still a sizable percentage of voters who say they have no clear idea of who he really is or why he has a Connecticut Social Security Number. He continues to vacation, play golf and make one campaign speech after the other while we watch America’s AAA credit rating fly out the window. Meanwhile, the nation is experiencing the worst racial tensions since the 1960′s era of segregation and our society is on the verge of an Obama inspired class war. He has contributed to an atmosphere where people are looked upon as exploiters just for being successful or having personal wealth. Of course, if you are rich and contribute to the Democratic party, then you are forgiven. We have seen billions of Federal dollars given to questionable business ventures run by major fund raisers to the Obama campaign. Light Squared and Solyndra are just two examples of the new heights that political cronyism has reached on Obama’s watch. So much for what was promised to be the most honest, transparent, lobbyist free presidency in American history.

In the Democrat controlled U.S. Senate, party politics have taken over the functions of government. Bill after bill languishes on Harry Reid’s desk, never to be voted on, because they were sponsored and passed by the Republicans in the House. While the country is in dire need of effective governance to repair the damage that has been done by generations of political game playing, the Congress has ground to a virtual halt. Voters can barely remember the last bill that actually made its way through the Congress to end up on the President’s desk. The Republican controlled House is no better. The Republicans are caught up in a turf war between the old guard Rinos and the Tea Party. They can’t seem to decide if they would rather fight among themselves or attack Obama and the end result is a weakened Republican party that has no clear voice to present its plan for the future.

Out on the campaign trail, the Republicans candidates for the 2012 Presidential election have ignored every single opportunity to go after Obama on his record. Instead, they have engaged in an endless stream of ugly personal attacks on each other. When they were not clubbing Newt Gingrich over the head with the sordid details his divorce, they are busy making idiotic mistakes and political gaffes that would embarrass a ten year old. In 2008, it was Obama and the 57 states he visited. In 2011, it was the bad word that was written on a rock at a hunting camp that Rick Perry’s father acquired in the early 1980′s. If the current crop of Republican candidates doesn’t wake up and start to confront the real issues that plague America, we will see Obama re-elected. Maybe a Republican candidate of character and honor will surface before it is too late, but the time is getting late for a miracle.

The elephant in the room in the United States is illegal immigration. When the Democrats failed to pass the Dream Act, they decided to ignore the will of the people, 70% of whom are opposed to amnesty for illegals. The Democrats encouraged Obama to bypass the Constitution by Executive Order. In 2011, the Obama Administration issued one order after the other that reduced the number of illegal aliens who will be deported. Desperate to get re-elected and courting Latino voters, Obama has done everything he can think of to open our borders. Americans are struggling to pay their rent and put food on the table. True unemployment is estimated to be between 15% to 20% and yet the country is being overrun by 400,000 illegals a year, who are taking jobs away from legal citizens. The vast majority of Americans are simply appalled that there are close to 15 million illegal aliens and there is no end in sight. The American people have demanded secure borders and all they have gotten in return is politics as usual. Most voters are blissfully unaware of the real goal of the Progressives and the Democrats, which is to subvert the Democratic process by flooding the nation with new voters who will strongly side with their policies. To quote Eliseo Medina, international executive vice-president of Service Employees International Union, or SEIU,  “We reform the immigration laws, it puts 12 million people on the path to citizenship and eventually voters…. Can you imagine if we have, even the same ratio, two out of three? Can you imagine 8 million new voters who care about our issues and will be voting? We will be creating a governing coalition for the long term, not just for an election cycle.”  Voters who were bribed to vote for destructive, Socialist programs by giving them easy access to the gift of citizenship, all at the expensive of close to 300 million of us, who were either born here or came here legally.

And then there was “Operation Fast and Furious.” In what many commentators felt was nothing more that attempt to undermine the 2nd Amendment, the ATF allowed thousands of guns to “walk” into the hands of Mexican narco-terrorists, resulting in the death of United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. No one will ever know how many innocent Mexican citizens died as a result of this debacle but the vast majority of the weapons still remain in the hands of violent criminals. Despite the fact that Attorney General Holder actually mentioned the operation by name in a speech 2 years earlier, he claimed ignorance when he testified before Congress on May 3, 2011, where he stated, “I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.” Documents released by CBS News in October, 2011 showed that Holder had been receiving briefings on the Operation as far back as July, 2010. Other documents released by CBS showed that ATF Officials had openly discussed using Fast and Furious to to make the case for stricter gun regulations. Many on the Right are calling for the resignation of Holder yet Obama has remained silent and refuses to comment further on the issue. Obama’s opponents wonder if this will be his “Watergate.”

Rounding out the year in America has been the dubious rise of the Occupy Movement aka OWS or Occupy Wall Street. There has never been an uglier, more dis-organized and destructive group of malcontents to raise their collective, unwashed heads. OWS has been praised by the political bigwigs of the Democratic party including Harry “This bill is dead on arrival” Reid, Nancy “Insider Trader” Pelosi and Community Organizer Obama. Financed by their well funded union buddies, the Occupy movement has caused havoc in every city they have appeared. The mainstream media, always looking for something demeaning and negative to spike their ratings, transformed a small handful of professional agitators, disgruntled outsiders and a sprinkling of the homeless into what they have portrayed as a mass movement out to change the world. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that no one in the movement could agree on anything, drug use, robbery and rape was rampant and everywhere they went, they turned once lovely public parks into disgusting open air toilets. What made it even more despicable was that the media tried to portray these vermin as no different than the protesters of the Tea Party, who worked their rear ends off to elect new, responsible leaders to office, cleaned up after themselves, went home at the end of the day and showed up for work in the morning. It is a sad commentary on the state of education in America that the Occupy movement does not know the difference between the right to lawfully gather to protest and taking over public property without permission. The fact that these bozos think they have a right to do what ever they want, when ever and where ever they wish, shows how far we have fallen in our once proud nation. GIMME is the new mantra and Immediate Gratification is the new way of life. They think smashing in the windows of banks will restore freedom in America. Never mind finding someone to pay to replace all the broken glass.

Across the Atlantic, things are not any better. The European Union has finally shown itself to be the bad idea every sane person knew it was. Spain, Portugal and Greece are bankrupt. Italy is on the verge and the rest of Europe is footing the bill. The Euro is on its last legs and Germany is tired of paying for bailout after bailout. The misguided experiment of multiculturalism is proving to be the final nail in the coffin of the once great countries of Europe. While rampant socialism put a strain on Europe’s finances, the endless invasion of immigrants has taken Europe from the pinnacle of prosperity to the pit of crime and poverty. The invading masses refuse to assimilate and demand special treatment based on their religion while draining the coffers of every European nation. Jews are becoming an endangered species in Europe thanks to the rampant, unchecked hostility of Muslim immigrants towards the few Jews who survived the holocaust. When someone is brave enough to speak out about the problem, as in the case of Geert Wilders, they are faced with intimidation, ridicule, arrest, and trial. Political correctness has been taken to the height of true insanity in the European Union and people are being threatened with lengthy jail terms, or even killed, for saying anything against Islam or immigrants. The truth is no longer matters. The left leaning governments of Europe are so intent on their atheism and multiculturalism that they are cutting their owns throats while Europe is invaded by millions of impoverished immigrants who will change the very nature of everything Europeans ever held dear.

No where are things more explosive than in the Middle East. Starting with fall of Mubarak in Egypt, we have seen one Arab nation after the other replace their government with a strict Muslim theocracy based on Sharia. The Muslim Brotherhood has taken over Egypt and is openly talking about canceling the peace treaty with Israel. Coptic Christians in Egypt are being murdered with impunity and their churches burned. Once the most modern country in the Arab world, 90% of all Egyptian women are now subjected to Female Genital Mutilation. LET ME REPEAT THAT FOR YOU. 90% of all Egyptian women are now subjected to Female Genital Mutilation. Fifty years ago, hardly a woman in Egypt wore a headscarf. Today the majority of Egyptian women wear head scarfs and burqas are becoming a common sight. Egyptian Muslim clerics, some of whom are considered the highest authorities on Islam in the world, have come out in favor of wife beating, female genital mutilation, slavery, taxing infidels and openly called for the death of every single Jew on the planet. Yet Hillary Clinton and Obama talk to the Muslim Brotherhood like they are just another political party and plan to give billions to Egypt in aid and military assistance. Even sadder, not a word has been heard from the Woman’s Rights Movement on Female Genital Mutilation and the 2nd class treatment of Egyptian women.

Libya, Yemen, Tunisia and Syria are in chaos. Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria, Kuwait and Oman are rumbling in protest. In Libya, Muammar Gaddafi was killed and soon after Libya’s vast stockpile of modern weapons began to disappear into the hands of terrorists in Gaza and the Sinai. Iraq is about to plunge into anarchy as the American troops head home for good. Afghanistan has seen decades of war and this year was filled with one assassination after the other of ranking members of the U.S. backed government. Pakistan continues to beg for billions in aid from the U.S. while constantly undermining American policy in the region. In every single one of these countries, there are common factors. There is the crushing poverty that the vast majority live under and there is an oppressive government that rules over the masses. But more importantly, there is a rejection of liberal, democratic ideals and a total embrace of all things Islamic. Without exception, every government that has fallen has been replaced by an Islamic theocracy and without exception, in every country where the government is under attack, the prime movers are the Islamists. There is no majority in the Arab world for democracy. There is no majority in the Arab world for tolerance and freedom. There is no majority in the Arab world to ever accept non-Muslims as equals who are entitled to all the freedoms and privileges that are granted to Muslims. The real question is why can’t the Western World understand this simple truth and stop trying to force Democracy on people who have no interest in Democracy? When will the Western world stop living under its delusions and understand that Islam has a 1400 year, unbroken history of aggressive expansion at the expense of all other faiths and peoples? Do politicians like Obama, Sazorky and Ashton really believe that Islam is a religion of peace or do they just think we are all such idiots that we should be happy to have them constantly mislead us about the intentions of Islam?

March 11th, 2011 was the date of one of the ugliest acts of Muslim terrorism ever perpetrated on Israel. The murder of the Fogel Family by two Muslim teenagers aroused anger in Israel to new heights. “The victims were the father Rabbi Ehud (Udi) Fogel, the mother Ruth Fogel, and three of their six children—Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, the youngest, a three-month-old infant, who was decapitated.” As is typical of the leftist world media, these murders were barely mentioned outside of Israel, while the Jew hating, has been, Jimmy Carter, continued to place all the blame on Israel for every problem in the Middle East. Anti Israeli publications, like The New York Times and The Guardian in the U.K., were more interested in harping on the fact that the Fogel family lived in a Settlement. That a 3 month old child was decapitated in her bed, simply because she was a Jew, was not even considered. 63 years of agitation and hate towards any Israeli presence in the Middle East was not mentioned. The fact that Hamas has a charter that calls for the eventual death of every single Jew on earth was not mentioned. All the Israel haters in the mainstream media could do was to try to find a way to blame the Fogels for being butchered.

September saw the Israeli – Palestinian conflict taken to the heights of the absurd as a former terrorist, Abu Mazin aka Mahmoud Abbas, stood before the U.N. to demand statehood for Palestine, despite the continuous terror attacks and rocket attacks against Israel. The fact that the Palestinians are 100% dependent on foreign aid for every aspect of their so called nation’s budget made no difference to the corrupt minds of those who are determined to eliminate the one safe haven on earth for the Jewish people. For the moment, the Palestinian application for statehood has failed because of the threat of a U.S. veto in the Security Council. Obama was afraid of losing much needed Jewish financial support and votes for his re-election so he said he would veto any move for Palestinian statehood. If Obama gets re-elected, many fear that he will reveal his true beliefs and totally throw Israel under the bus by voting in favor of Palestinian statehood. It should be noted that Abbas, the so called “moderate” Palestinian leader, based his doctoral dissertation on denying the Jewish Holocaust of WWII, even accusing Jews of making a deal with the Nazis to allow the Holocaust to happen in order to gain sympathy for the re-establishment of the Jewish nation of Israel.

During the 12 months of 2011, hundreds of rockets were launched at Israeli citizens from Gaza. If the occupation or the settlements were really the cause of the conflict, then why are attacks coming, almost daily, from territory that Israel turned over to full Arab control several years ago. The truth is there are no distinct Palestinian people. There are Arabs who hate Jews and wish to destroy anything Jewish based on a religious agenda that dates back 1400 hundred years. Let’s remember the words spoken about Palestine by a leader of the PLO. The Dutch newspaper Trouw published an interview with Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Zahir Muhsein. Here’s what he said: ‘The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our arab unity. In reality there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism. For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.” Let us also remember four of the points in the PLO’s charter: 1. Jews are the enemy of Allah. 2. Islam is fighting a continuous religious war against the Jews. 3. The killing of Jews is a religious obligation. 4. Palestinians are the vanguard in this war against the Jews, and all Islamic nations are obligated to assist in this war.  Finally let us remember the words of Mohammed himself who said, “The Day of Resurrection will not arrive until the Moslems make war against the Jews and kill them, and until a Jew is hiding behind a rock and tree, and the rock and tree will say: ‘Oh Moslem, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!’  Let us reply to this hate by saying ” Oh American, remember these words well the next time you hear someone say Jews are to blame for everything in the Middle East. It is the Jews who rebuilt Israel from rubble after 2000 years of exile and the death of the six million. Let the Jewish people have their own land, promised forever in the holy bible, by the G*d of Abraham. Let there be peace with their neighbors so that all nations may prosper”

Sadly, just like in the Middle East, Militant Islam is on the march in Africa. Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan have all seen death and destruction at the hands of Islamic supremacist groups like Boko Harum, al-Shabaab and AL Qaeda. Nigeria has borne the brunt of Boko Harum’s viciousness towards non-Muslims with hundreds of Christian civilians killed and dozens of churches burned or bombed. Millions face famine in Somalia, where the Islamic group al-Shabaab murders, kidnaps or expels foreign aid workers while the people starve. The influence of Islam has spread to Kenya where a new constitution based on Sharia is being proposed. Even the one bright spot, which was the recognition by the United Nations of the newly formed nation of South Sudan, is being marred by ruthless border violence and constant threats from Islamic Northern Sudan. The one never changing fact is that Islam is always at the root of the violence and the attacks are being made on predominately unarmed Christians. As usual, Islamic leaders in Africa responded to the bloodshed by denying it all as a plot to defame Islam. At a meeting in Istanbul in November, they “denounced the identification of violence with Muslims and Islam, stressing that Islam is a religion of peace, love and brotherhood and that associating it with terrorism cannot be accepted.” Islamic leaders continue to ignore the persecution of “infidels” and the beheading and church bombings while happily blaming everything but Islam for the last 1400 years of jihad against non-believers.

Then there is Iran; the hotbed of crazed mullahs who are waiting for the 12th Imam to re-appear from the well he has been hiding in since the Occultation in 869 CE. For those readers who don’t study Islam, the Occultation refers to when the 5 year old  Imam,  Muhammad ibn al-hasan al-Mahdi, disappeared into a well, where he has remained hidden without dying until he returns to usher in the Islamic end times. The Occultation or lack of Occultation is at the root of centuries of bloody fighting between the Shia and Sunni sects of Islam. Iran’s leaders are members of the Shia sect and are deeply devoted to the return of the 12th Imam. Now all this may seem like a great deal of religious silliness to some of you, but when you combine the desire to usher in the end of the world with Iran’s race to build an atomic bomb, things start to get scary. Really scary. Add into the mix the fact that the current Grand Ayatollah of Iran and supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, also claims to be the only human who is in direct contact with the 12th Imam and it is time to panic. Most experts on the Middle East and Islam, who are not apologists for Islam, will tell you in no uncertain terms, that keeping Iran from getting nuclear weapons should be the world’s number one priority in the foreign policy arena. Meanwhile, Iran remains oblivious to any and all sanctions and continues its steamroller rush towards joining the world’s nuclear club. G*d help us all if the rest of the world allows it to happen.

Certainly, Russia and China have done their part in 2011 to compound the world’s problems. Russia continues its retreat back to the good old dictatorial days of heavy handed oppression under the rule of Vladimir Putin. They are merrily supplying Syria and Iran with weapons and technology while constantly obstructing any effective sanctions in the United Nations. It is rather ironic that Russia has more than its own share of problems with terrorists from parts of what used to be the U.S.S.R and surprise, surprise, once again the terrorists are Muslims. Blowing up airports and subways is par for the course but now woman who try to swim in the Caspian Sea in a bathing suit are being blown to bits by intolerant Muslim men. The situation has gotten so bad that the Russian State authorities opened the first Sharia compliant beach, where women swim while covered head to toe, in an attempt to stop the reign of terror against women.

China continues to build its economy on the sweat of its people and by releasing more poisons into the atmosphere than any other nation on earth. While the economy is booming and billionaires are starting to become common place, the iron fist of old guard communist oppression still wins the day in China. Dissidents routinely disappear into prisons for decades, foreign businesses are stolen from and spied upon, religious groups of any sort are ruthlessly stamped out and woman are arrested and sterilized for daring to become pregnant for a second time. At a time when the world is on the edge of a major explosion, China spent billions this year to vastly increase the size of its military arsenal. They continue to make threats to attack Taiwan and one Chinese General even went as far as to mention the possibility of using nukes on the United States if we tried to intervene. It seems with China, the more things change, the more things stay the same.

I wish I could have written a glowing report on what a wonderful place the world became in 2011 but I am not given to fantasy. Surely there has been much to be happy about and proud of in 2011, but the world is teetering on the brink and people need to face reality. If we have any chance to change things for the better in 2012, we have to stop telling each other fairy tales and start to face the truth. The religious divisions that are creating such havoc in the world are real. It is time to stop making excuses for any religion that tries to impose itself on humanity. It is time to stop giving aid, treasure and support to nations or religions that oppress and brutalize non believers or outsiders of any sort. You may wish to deny that Islam is at the forefront of terror attacks, oppression of non-believers and persecution of women but it is the truth and it needs to be accepted before it can be changed for the better. Being politically correct and making more excuses for bad behavior will just encourage more bad behavior in the future. Do we really need to see signs like we saw from Muslim protesters in London on the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. Signs that said “DEMOCRACY GO TO HELL” and “BEHEAD THOSE WHO INSULT ISLAM.” The very fact that the British police allowed the public display of death threats against non-Muslims within a few hundred feet of where the Prime Minister of England was making a memorial address shows just how far we have fallen in the name of the dual evils of multiculturalism and political correctness. While it is mainly militant fanatics who are at the forefront of the violence, the utter silence of so-called “Moderate Islam” is alarming. When the supposed majority of “Moderate Muslims” start to make their voices heard against Islamic expansion, oppression and supremacist beliefs, maybe non-Muslims will start to see Islam as a true “Religion of Peace.” At the moment, the silence is deafening and the body count continues to rise is the name of Allah.

While religion may lie at the root of many of our Foreign Policy problems, we should also remember that politics in the United States have become an absolute disgrace. Republicans and Democrats alike put party loyalty ahead of the welfare of the people who elected them. They have replaced honesty, morality and ethics with cleverly written loopholes that allow elected officials to ignore the law with impunity while vastly increasing their personal wealth. The influence that lobbyists and special interest groups have on our elected officials is a gross breech of trust that should make every member of Congress hang their head in shame. The political elite in America have become the new royalty of the ruling class; throwing the working peasants scraps while they gorge themselves.

The men and women who run the major corporations in America are no better. Companies lose billions and the bosses still take home millions in annual bonuses and stock options. Executives get caught stealing and instead of going to prison, they quietly retire with a 20 million dollar golden parachute. Companies that are making billions in profits will close a factory in the United States that employs 2000 people in order to be able to pay slave wages in a Third World country. 2000 hard working Americans out of work so a company that already made 10 billion in profits can make another 100 million. Hardly anyone in business or government gives a second thought to all the lives damaged by such behavior. No one will say a word about it unless someone thinks it will gain them more votes or make a good ad campaign. While there is nothing wrong with capitalism, there is plenty wrong with the sort of greed and lack of business ethics displayed by many large corporations.

Passing more useless laws will not solve the problem. False flag movements like the OWS movement that are nothing but fronts for political insiders will not solve the problem. Letting manipulators like George Soros play puppet master while throwing around billions to impose his ideas on society will not solve the problems. The problems will only be solved when we finally realize that we are all Americans and we start to demand that government leaders and elected officials behave in a responsible manner and represent the will of the voters or they will be replaced. The problems will only be solved when we make it clear to big business that if they wont put the needs of their customers and their workers ahead of pure profit and greed, then we will spend our hard earned money elsewhere. We do need a movement but not one that is based on race, religion, status or political philosophy. We need a movement that speaks as one to say that we demand change. We demand an end to greed and corruption. We demand that our elected officials do everything in their power to improve our lives; not by enslaving us with endless handouts but by balancing the budget, reducing the deficit and rebuilding our nation. We will use our voices, our minds, our vote and our wallets to make sure that we are heard in 2012. Ignore us at your own peril.

[The views expressed in this political commentary are the sole view of Wolff Bachner and do not express the views of Inquisitr.com or the Inquisitr.com writing staff.]

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Judicial Watch’s ‘Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians’ for 2011

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by Tom Fitton

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2011 list of Washington’s “Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” The members of the Obama Administration on the list, in alphabetical order, include:

Dishonorable Mentions for 2011 include:

Attorney General Eric Holder: Attorney General Eric Holder now operates the most politicized and ideological Department of Justice (DOJ) in recent history. And revelations from the Operation Fast and Furious scandal suggest that programs approved by the Holder DOJ may have resulted in the needless deaths of many, including a federal law enforcement officer.

Fast and Furious was a DOJ/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) “gun-running” operation in which guns were sold to Mexican drug cartels and others, apparently in hopes that the guns would end up at crime scenes. This reckless insanity seems to have resulted in, among other crimes, the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was killed in a shootout with Mexican criminals in December 2010. Fast and Furious guns were found at the scene of his death.

The Fast and Furious operation by itself should have resulted in Holder’s resignation, but it is the cover-up that has prompted serious calls for Holder’s ouster.

On May 3, 2011, in a House Judiciary Committee hearing chaired by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Holder testified: “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.” Newly released documents show he was receiving weekly briefings on Fast and Furious as far back as July 5, 2010. It appears Holder lied to Congress. Judicial Watch sued the DOJ and the ATF to obtain Fast and Furious records. The Judicial Watch investigation continues.

Unfortunately, when it comes to Holder’s corruption and abuse of office, Fast and Furious is just the tip of the iceberg.

On February 23, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that DOJ lawyers would no longer defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), as applied to homosexual couples. DOMA had passed Congress by a vote of 85–14 in the Senate and a vote of 342–67 in the House. President Clinton signed the act into law on September 21, 1996.

Judicial Watch filed two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the DOJ (including one on behalf of the Family Research Council) for records related to this pro-homosexual marriage decision. This failure to defend this federal law is unprecedented and raises serious questions as to whether President Obama and Eric Holder are upholding their oaths of office and following the Constitution’s command to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

The DOJ continues to stonewall the release of information regarding Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s participation in Obamacare discussions when she served as Solicitor General. In addition to forcing Judicial Watch to file a lawsuit to obtain this information, Holder’s DOJ thumbed its nose at Congress by failing to release this material to the Senate Judiciary Committee during Kagan’s judicial confirmation hearing. Holder continues to personally resist requests from Judicial Watch and Congress for additional information on this controversy. Kagan’s role in these discussions is especially significant now that the U.S. Supreme Court has announced it will consider challenges to the constitutionality of Obamacare in Spring 2012.

New revelations emerged in 2011 about the DOJ’s Black Panther scandal. Judicial Watch uncovered evidence that the liberal special interest group National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) may have had an inappropriate amount of influence on the DOJ’s decision to drop its voter intimidation lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense. This comes on the heels of sworn testimony that the Civil Rights Division of the Holder DOJ makes enforcement decisions based upon race.

Most recently, Judicial Watch obtained shocking documents suggesting the Holder DOJ is conspiring with scandal-ridden Project Vote (President Obama’s former employer and ACORN front) to use the National Voter Registration Act to increase welfare voter registrations. One former ACORN employee (and current Project Vote Director of Advocacy), Estelle Rogers, is even helping to vet job candidates for the Justice Department’s Voting Rights Division! ACORN and Project Vote have a long record of voter registration fraud.

Seeming to affirm ACORN’s hijacking of the DOJ, Holder recently said in a speech that he plans to use “the full weight” of the agency in 2012 to attack states that are enforcing laws that protect against fraud in the voting booths. This speech ended the pretense that the DOJ is independent from the Democratic National Committee and the Obama campaign – as it repeated almost verbatim the partisan arguments made by the Democratic Party against voter ID laws.

Holder must go. Pick your reason – Black Panthers, race-based decision making, abandoning the Defense of Marriage Act, Fast and Furious killings and lies, or turning the DOJ into an arm of the radicalized left – but Holder must go.

President Barack Obama: President Obama makes Judicial Watch’s “Ten Most Wanted” list for a fifth consecutive year (the former Illinois Senator was also a “Dishonorable Mention” in 2006). And when it comes to Obama corruption, it may not get any bigger than Solyndra. Solyndra was once known as the poster child for the Obama administration’s massive “green energy” initiative, but it has become the poster child for the corruption that ensues when the government meddles in the private sector. Solyndra filed for bankruptcy in September 2011, leaving 1,100 workers without jobs and the American taxpayers on the hook for $535 million thanks to an Obama administration stimulus loan guarantee.

Despite the Obama administration’s reticence to release details regarding this scandal, much is known about this shady deal. White House officials warned the president that the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program was “dangerously short on due diligence.” Nonetheless, the Obama administration rushed the Solyndra loan through the approval process so it could make a splash at a press event. The company’s main financial backer was a major Obama campaign donor named George Kaiser. While the White House said Kaiser never discussed the loan with White House officials, the evidence suggests this is a lie. And, further demonstrating the political nature of the Obama administration’s activities, the Energy Department pressured Solyndra to delay an announcement on layoffs until after the 2010 elections. Despite the public outrage at this scandalous waste of precious tax dollars, President Obama continues to defend the indefensible and has refused to sack anyone over the Solyndra mess.

President Obama continues to countenance actions by his appointees that undermine the rule of law and constitutional government:

  • Despite a ban on funding that Obama signed into law, his administration continues to fund the corrupt and allegedly defunct “community” organization ACORN. In July 2011, Judicial Watch uncovered a $79,819 grant to AHCOA (Affordable Housing Centers of America), the renamed ACORN Housing organization which has a long history of corrupt activity. In absolute violation of the funding ban, Judicial Watch has since confirmed that the Obama administration has funneled $730,000 to the ACORN network, a group that has a long personal history with President Obama.In 2011, JW released a special report entitled “The Rebranding of ACORN,” which details how the ACORN network is alive and well and well-placed to undermine the integrity of the 2012 elections – evidently with the assistance of the Obama administration.
  • Barack Obama apparently believes it is his “prerogative” to ignore the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law when it comes to appointing czars. According to Politico: “President Barack Obama is planning to ignore language in the 2011 spending package that would ban several top White House advisory posts.” Obama said this ban on “czars” would undermine “the President’s ability to exercise his constitutional responsibilities and take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” In other words, Barack Obama believes he must ignore the U.S. Constitution to protect the U.S. Constitution. Many Obama administration czars have not been subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate as required by the U.S. Constitution. In 2011, JW released a first-of-its-kind comprehensive report on the Obama czar scandal, entitled “President Obama’s Czars.”
  • In an historic victory for Judicial Watch and an embarrassing defeat for the Obama White House, a federal court ruled on August 17, 2011 that Secret Service White House visitor logs are agency records that are subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell issued the decision in Judicial Watch v. Secret Service. The Obama administration now will have to release all records of all visitors to the White House – or explain why White House visits should be kept secret under the law. The Obama White House continues to fight full disclosure and has stalled the release of records by appealing the lower court decision. Judicial Watch gave Obama a “failing grade” on transparency in testimony before Congress in 2011. Read the testimony in full, as well as additional congressional testimony during a hearing entitled “White House Transparency, Visitor Logs and Lobbyists.”
  • In 2011, the Obama National Labor Relations Board sought to prevent the Seattle-based Boeing Company from opening a $750 million non-union assembly line in North Charleston, South Carolina, to manufacture its Dreamliner plane. Judicial Watch obtained documents from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) showing this lawsuit was politically motivated. Judicial Watch uncovered documents showing NLRB staff cheerleading for Big Labor, mouthing Marxist, anti-American slurs and showing contempt for Congress related to the agency’s lawsuit against Boeing, including email correspondence attacking members of Congress. And it starts at the top. Obama bypassed Congress and recess-appointed Craig Becker–who is connected to the AFL-CIO, SEIU, and ACORN–to the NRLB.
  • Obama’s corrupt Chicago dealings continued to haunt him in 2011. Obama’s real estate partner, campaign fundraiser, and Obama pork recipient Antoin “Tony” Rezko was finally sentenced to jail this year, as was former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who is now set to serve 14 years for attempting to sell Obama’s former Senate seat to the highest bidder. The FBI continues to withhold from Judicial Watch documents of its historic interview of then-Senator Obama about the Illinois corruption scandal. The FBI interview was conducted in December 2008, about one month before Obama was sworn into the presidency.

DISHONORABLE MENTIONS:

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano: While Attorney General Eric Holder was busy attacking states seeking to protect themselves from uncontrolled illegal immigration in 2011, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano presided over a campaign to bypass Congress and provide amnesty to millions of illegal alien lawbreakers, all in an obvious attempt to garner more Hispanic votes for Obama’s reelection.

At first, Napolitano’s campaign was begun in stealth. But in 2011 the Obama administration finally admitted that illegal alien amnesty is now the official policy of the United States of America, courtesy of Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

According to The New York Times:

The Department of Homeland Security will begin a review on Thursday (November 17, 2011) of all deportation cases before the immigration courts and start a nationwide training program for enforcement agents and prosecuting lawyers, with the goal of speeding deportations of convicted criminals and halting those of many illegal immigrants with no criminal record.

Don’t believe for a second DHS’s line that criminal illegal aliens won’t find themselves “outside the department’s priorities.” This is an outright lie.

In 2011, Judicial Watch uncovered documents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) proving that immigration officials were urged to use “prosecutorial discretion” to dismiss deportation proceedings against a wide variety of illegal alien criminals — including those convicted of serious crimes such as sexual assault, solicitation of murder, aggravated assault, assaulting a police officer, and kidnapping, as well as numerous drug charges.

And to highlight the depth of this amnesty scheme, consider the case of Carlos Martinelly-Montano, the drunk-driving illegal immigrant from Bolivia who killed a Catholic nun and severely injured two others in Prince William County, Virginia, on August 1, 2010. Napolitano ordered an investigation into Montano’s background but initially refused to release the agency’s findings — until Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit. On March 3, 2011, Judicial Watch finally got hold of the “cleaned up” version of the Homeland Security report (after a lengthy back-and-forth with DHS).

And what did Judicial Watch uncover? Montano should have been deported, but thanks to the illegal alien sanctuary policies of the federal government, local authorities and the courts, he was allowed back onto the streets.

Evidently, Janet Napolitano believes her agency may simply choose to ignore illegal immigration laws to help Obama get reelected. Moreover, the DHS seems more than willing to stonewall and obfuscate in order to conceal its questionable activities. As some key of members of Congress wrote Napolitano:

“This new [backdoor amnesty] policy undermines the rule of law and intrudes on the role of Congress to make the law, while denigrating the role of the executive to carry out the laws enacted by Congress.”

Napolitano’s attempt to rewrite immigration law on her own is an affront to constitutional government.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: What did Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discuss during all of those secret Obamacare meetings she held with Vice President Biden and Big Labor leaders? Obamacare waivers would be an excellent guess.

In September 2011, HHS announced an arbitrary cut-off to waiver applications, which had skyrocketed to 1,472 unions and companies seeking to get out from underneath the Obama administration’s healthcare overhaul. At the time of the cut-off, approximately 50% of the waivers granted covered employees of unions, even though union workers represent about 12% of the total workforce!

From the beginning, HHS has kept these waivers shrouded in secrecy. Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against HHS on December 30, 2010, and yet the agency refuses to explain to the American people how decisions were made regarding which organizations received or did not receive a waiver.

While HHS was disproportionately doling out waivers to unions, JW also obtained documents from HHS that provide new details on a massive, taxpayer-funded, multimedia campaign designed to promote Obamacare. The total cost of this campaign, which notably targets Obama’s electoral coalition, could reach as much as $200 million over the next five years.

And this is how HHS describes the key to success for this campaign: “Health and program-related messages are processed by the target audience according to a particular reality, which he or she experiences. Attitudes, feelings, values, needs, desires, behaviors and beliefs all play a part in the individual’s decision to accept information and make a behavioral change.” In other words, the Obama administration is paying hired guns a lot of your money to manipulate American taxpayers into “accepting” the Obama way and “changing” their behavior.

This is certainly what HHS was trying to do with a series of three Medicare television advertisements featuring actor Andy Griffith. As Judicial Watch uncovered through FOIA, the Obama administration spent $3,184,000 in taxpayer funds to produce and air the advertisements on national television in September and October 2010. According to FactCheck.org, a project of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, the advertisements intentionally misinformed the American people.

And then there’s health care rationing. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS), which is under the auspices of HHS, proposed that Provenge, a Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment for prostate cancer, be placed under a controversial “review.” After enormous public scrutiny, CMS relented and recommended the potentially lifesaving drug be covered by insurance. According to a Judicial Watch investigation, while the Obama administration claimed the cost of Provenge had nothing to do with their review process, records obtained by JW suggest otherwise (Medicare, the FDA, and private companies are legally prohibited from denying approval of a medical treatment based solely on cost).

And then there is Sebelius’s war on the Catholic Church and other “conservative” religious organizations. Sebelius’s HHS has written Obamacare regulations to punish long-held religious views that don’t comport with liberal ideology and would force hundreds of religious institutions to drop insurance coverage or risk running afoul of Sebelius’s pro-abortion Obamacare regulatory scheme.

The constitutionality of Obamacare may ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. But in the meantime, Kathleen Sebelius has turned HHS into a political machine, using underhanded tactics to stack the deck in favor of Obamacare, while greasing Big Labor and other Obama political campaign allies.

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