From Around the Blogroll

From The Wall Street Journal:

Acrimonious Week Tests U.S.-Israel Ties
One of the most tumultuous weeks in memory for relations between both countries ended on a note of deep estrangement
By Carol E Lee | March 20, 2015 7:45 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON—One of the most tumultuous weeks in memory for U.S.-Israel relations ended on a note of deep estrangement Friday, as the White House redoubled its criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

As the week closed, the Obama administration was refusing to take Mr. Netanyahu at his word after a second reversal of his position on a key issue in peace talks—the establishment of a Palestinian state as part of a “two-state solution.”

And the question of bonds between the U.S. and Israel took on a decidedly more partisan tint in Washington.

Among Republicans, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio announced plans to visit Israel later this month. Mr. Boehner, infuriating the White House, invited Mr. Netanyahu to deliver a speech to Congress earlier this month to criticize Iran nuclear talks President Barack Obama is pursuing. Mr. Boehner’s trip is set to coincide with a deadline in nuclear talks of March 31.

Among administration officials, White House Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough on Monday will address the pro-Israel group J Street, which is publicly in favor of the two-state solution.

On Friday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest went so far as to portray Mr. Netanyahu as out of step even with Republican presidential administrations—including former President George W. Bush, who supported the two-state solution.

More at the link.

Now, what happened over the last week? It’s simple: 55% of Israeli voters, and over 60% of Israeli Jewish voters, voted for parties which will keep Benjamin Netanyahu in power. President Obama, in his belated “congratulatory” telephone call to Mr Netanyahu, told the Prime Minister that the United States would “reassess” aspects of its relationship with Israel. Mr Netanyahu backed off his campaign statement that there would be no Palestinian state under his watch, but, in all reality, his campaign statement was true: the Palestinians will never agree to terms which would give Israel as much security as the Prime Minister requires, and only if the Prime Minister is succeed by a total wimp — which is what President Obama wanted — would Israel agree to whatever Arab-tilted terms Mr Obama could negotiate.

A tweet after my own heart!

And now, on to the blogroll!

Can someone explain to me . . .

. . . how Muslim anger over Guantanamo incited this?

More Than 100 Killed In Mosque Attacks In Yemen
March 20, 2015 9:12 AM ET | Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET | Scott Neuman

A wounded girl reacts as she is carried by a man out of a mosque which was attacked by a suicide bomber in Sanaa on Friday. (Khaled Abdullah/Reuters/Landov )

Suicide bombers in Yemen attacked two mosques during Friday prayers in the capital, Sanaa, killing at least 126 people and wounding some 260 others.

Authorities believe that three separate suicide bombers carried out the attack on the Badr and al-Hashoosh mosques, according to the local rebel-controlled Al-Masirah television. The BBC says that the two houses of worship “are used mainly by supporters of the Zaidi [Shiite]-led Houthi rebel movement, which controls Sanaa.”

Witnesses quoted by The Associated Press say two bombers hit the Badr mosque – one walked in and detonated his vest, causing worshipers to rush toward the outside gates, where a second bomber blew up. . . .

The self-declared Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack on its Twitter account, according to Reuters. The news agency quoted local authorities as saying 126 people had been killed and 260 wounded.

More at the original.

Your Editor, who is far less well educated than President Obama and his foreign policy team, has said previously that the advance of Da’ish was not about religion, more than tangentially, but was all about power, about seizing power through military action and terrorism. The much more sophisticated members of the Obama Administration tell us that the Muslims in the Middle East are really motivated by the existence of the prison for captured Islamist fighters at Guantanamo. So, how does Islamic anger over Guantanamo motivate Muslims of one sect of Islam to murder non-combatants, murder worshipers of another sect of Islam?

Somehow, some way, Da’ish (or some other group; we can’t be certain that Da’ish’s claims of responsibility are true or direct) managed to persuade three young men to commit suicide, to kill themselves, in order to kill other Muslims, people who have nothing at all to do with Guantanamo, and people who weren’t fighting anybody, including Da’ish, worshiping in a mosque. Was this somehow done by showing them pictures of Guantanamo?

Or is it possible, just possible, that the notion put forth by some members of the Obama Administration that the Islamists are angry with the United States specifically, and the West in general, as their primary motivation, just a bunch of bovine feces?1

Religious fervor is nothing more than a tool for the Islamist leaders, a tool that they are able to use to persuade healthy and otherwise normal young men that it’s somehow a great thing to kill themselves, in order to attack people that the leadership somehow see as needing to be killed. I note that it never seems to be the actual leaders who blow themselves up, but only the apparently-easily baffled peons.

Make no mistake about it: the goal of Da’ish is power, about uncompromising power, and nothing more. If the Islamists were really worried about Guantanamo, the Sunnis and the Shi’a would be united in their opposition; they are fighting and killing each other not over their anger with the decadent West, but simply to seize power. It’s only the sophisticates who have had all of the common sense educated out of them who cannot see and understand this.

  1. At least actual bovine feces can serve as fertilizer, which is more useful than most members of President Obama’s intellectual cadre.

Netanyahu’s victory and American left

I don’t normally read Slate, but I found this article interesting. The article is anti-Israel, subtitled “We no longer have a Netanyahu problem. We have an Israel problem,” and calls for the United States to stop backing Israel’s policies; it’s the typical leftist drivel one can expect from Slate.

But what struck me was William Saletan’s, the author’s, very concise statement concerning the election results:

In the final days of his campaign, Netanyahu pitched himself to Israelis as the candidate who would stand up to President Obama, “American money,” the “international community,” and Israel’s Arab minority. He bragged that he had used settlements to seize strategic Palestinian land, and he vowed to keep doing so. A day before the election, he renounced Israel’s commitment to a Palestinian state. He pledged that if he were re-elected, he wouldn’t permit such a state. He implored Jews to flock to the polls and drown out the ballots of Arab Israelis.

Many Americans, including me, thought these rants would hurt Netanyahu. We were wrong. In those final days, his support soared. On Tuesday, Netanyahu’s party, Likud, won a plurality of seats in Israel’s parliament. Thirty-three percent of Israelis voted for Likud or for smaller parties that officially rejected a Palestinian state. Another 15 percent voted for Jewish nationalist or ultra-Orthodox parties that have blocked Palestinian independence. A further 7 percent voted for a Likud offshoot that is expected to round out the new government. That adds up to more than 55 percent of the electorate. It’s more than 60 percent of Israel’s Jewish voters.

Mr Saletan, along with what I would guess would be the majority of Slate’s readers, supports the creation of an independent Palestinian nation, but, given every chance — and then some — to prove that they can be responsible neighbors willing to live in peace, or at least relative quiet, with Israel, the Palestinians have taken those opportunities to continue to sabotage peace, to destroy coexistence. The Palestinians shooting rockets into Israel proper is not an existential threat, and represents only random violence, which occasionally kills an innocent civilian or damages a building. Somehow, the left think that this is a tolerable situation, but that’s because the left are, well, stupid, stupid and inconsistent — they certainly wouldn’t tolerate that in their American neighborhoods, and want to disarm law-abiding Americans because they somehow think that will stop criminals — and stupid and evil.

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament has begun,1 and, as always, there is some support for the underdog teams in the tourney because Americans like to see the little guys win, because Americans like scrappy underdogs. And the Palestinians are, as far as the left are concerned, the scrappy underdogs in this fight.

But this isn’t between two basketball teams, isn’t between two morally alike organizations; this is a struggle between a people who are basically civilized, Western and good, and a people who allow their leaders to be barbarous and evil. If the Palestinians actually won, the left would not find life in a Palestinian state a very pleasant thing. More of our focus is on Da’ish these days, but, given real governing power, the Islamists in an independent Palestine would soon be throwing homosexuals off of buildings and executing Christians,2 just like the savages of Da’ish.3

The left ignore all of the bad behavior of the Islamists, at least when the Islamists are behaving badly in the Middle East. The Charlie Hebdo attacks in France hit a little bit too close to home, so there was more of a reaction, but even that faded fairly quickly. The left will excuse the actions of the Islamists, because they are still the underdogs, but the Islamists stand for everything the left (supposedly) hate: mandatory religion, the subjugation and chattelization of women, restrictions on speech, the excision of homosexuals from society (and life), and government by the men with guns.

By any rational standard, the American and Western left ought to be diametrically opposed to the Palestinians, to the Islamists, to every Arab nation in the Middle East. Instead, they are supporting the very people who would slit their throats if they had to live under Islamist governments. That cannot be defined as anything other than just plain stupid.

  1. Your Editor is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, and always supports the Wildcats!
  2. We are not sure that Slate author Amanda Marcotte would have any problems with the mass execution of Christians,
  3. Our best guess is that, were the Palestinians to secure their own state, whether side-by-side with Israel or through a military victory which drove the Jews into the sea, the Palestinians would wind up in their own factional civil war, between different Islamist “sides,” all seeking power, and all using terror against their own people as a weapon, because that is pretty much what they are already doing.

Where Have I Been?

Good question from myself that I have a hard time answering. The Political scene with Obama, Mooch, Kerry, Hillarity, Holder and The Clowns to the Left of me and The Jokers to the Right have me stuck in the Middle again. I was happy to see the Repubs take the House and the Senate, but the euphoria lasted 3 minutes when the so called Repulsivecan Leadership flushed that immediately down the toilet and turned Left. I knew I had no hope with the Demoncraps in charge, but when your own party kicks you in the Balls, you know you’re on an abandoned island in the middle of the ocean. But OK, we all saw that coming.

The next part is physical. I feel like my family is only orthopedic medical people. The last visit told the truth when the doctor looking at test results came in and said “you’re a Republican” I asked how he knew since that was not a box to check on all the papers. He said “Simple, you have no spine” Well, I do in name only. He offered two solutions that can’t be done, fuse the spine or replace it. So, door number three is to throw me in the well heated pool for therapy. I don’t know what will happen, but the water will be warm. I guess it’s hydro-therapy.

Then the world situation of the minute is either bad or worse. Following the true news, not the narrative from the Dark House, is ugly. The constant rumors of the minute just lack good news. In 2009 I felt the Regime was favorable to the other side (and I didn’t mean the Far Left Leners), but now with no elections to go, these last 680 days +/- are showing their true colors in Washington Disease which is ugly. My thinking is will we make it? My answer is Maybe. I was glad to see 47 GOP Senators grow a pair on Iran and the Progressives hate it when their own game is played against them. So, where am I? It’s still Clowns to the Left of Me and Jokers to the Right and stuck in the middle again.

And as far as the Muddled East is concerned? Only the names of the players have changed in the last 65 years. It’s just the last line of the Kingston Trio’s Merry Minuet, Someone will set the spark off.

Listen to the Lyrics. This was written in the early 50’s and nothing changed:

Oh, I so hope that this true!

From the New York Post:

Obama adviser behind leak of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal
By Edward Klein | March 14, 2015 | 9:33pm

It’s the vast left-wing conspiracy.

Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett leaked to the press details of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail address during her time as secretary of state, sources tell me. But she did so through people outside the ­administration, so the story couldn’t be traced to her or the White House.

In addition, at Jarrett’s behest, the State Department was ordered to launch a series of investigations into Hillary’s conduct at Foggy Bottom, including the use of her expense account, the disbursement of funds, her contact with foreign leaders and her possible collusion with the Clinton Foundation.

Six separate probes into Hillary’s performance have been ­going on at the State Department. I’m told that the e-mail scandal was timed to come out just as Hillary was on the verge of formally announcing that she was running for president — and that there’s more to come.

Members of Bill Clinton’s camp say the former president suspects the White House is the source of the leak and is furious.

“My contacts and friends in newspapers and TV tell me that they’ve been contacted by the White House and offered all kinds of negative stories about us,” one of Bill’s friends quotes him as saying. “The Obamas are behind the e-mail story, and they’re spreading rumors that I’ve been with women, that Hillary promoted people at the State Department who’d done favors for our foundation, that John Kerry had to clean up diplomatic messes Hillary left behind.”

There’s more at the link.

Click to purchase via

Click to purchase via

The reporter is Edward Klein, author of Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas, someone that any source who wanted to get out such a story would seek: Mr Klein is the former editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine, and a reporter with a very strong reputation. If the Post doesn’t have the strongest journalistic reputation in the world, and often presents stories in a National Enquirer-style of writing, Mr Klein’s reputation is strong, and, unlike The New York Times or The Washington Post, the New York Post wouldn’t bury a story like this. Mr Klein’s book, The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She’ll Go to Become President, did receive a lot of criticism, from conservatives as well as liberals, and his book The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House cemented his reputation as not being kind to President Obama and his administration. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that Bill Clinton has been widely reported to hate Mr Obama’s guts, a leftover from the 2008 campaign in which Mr Obama derailed the anticipate coronation of Mrs Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee. That the Obamas would feel similarly toward the Clintons is not exactly something unimaginable.

Of course, there is some humor in the fact that this story came out on the Ides of March! I am somewhat amused that, if the story is accurate, a group of people — President Obama and his minions — came together to stab Hillary Clinton in the back (politically).

Discord between the Obamas and the Clintons will certainly be denied publicly, because the Democrats will want to present a united front. It might turn out that Valerie Jarrett was not the source, directly or indirectly, of the specific leak which got the former Secretary of State’s email habits in trouble, but that there is real animosity there is undeniable.

I really, really hope that Mr Klein’s story is accurate.


Kentucky defeats Arkansas 78-63 to capture SEC tourney title
by Jerry Tipton | | March 15, 2015 Updated 3:27 PM EDT

Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns (12) was guarded by Jacorey Williams (22) in the first half of the SEC Tournament Championship game basketball tournament game at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., on March 15, 2015. PABLO ALCALA — Lexington Herald-Leader

NASHVILLE — By beating Arkansas 78-63 Sunday, Kentucky moved ahead of the rest of the teams in Southeastern Conference Tournament championships 28-27.

UK’s talent and Arkansas’ pressing/trapping/open-up-the-floor style gave promise to an entertaining championship game.

That’s what SEC Player of the Year Bobby Portis forecast on Saturday when someone suggested the Arkansas style might unleash Kentucky.

“It’ll be a fun game, then,” Portis said.

It was even though Kentucky never trailed for a 13th time this season and will roll into the NCAA Tournament with a 34-0 record.

Willie Cauley-Stein led Kentucky. He scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. That marked the second straight SEC Tournament final he had a double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds against Florida last season).

Read more here. It had already been leaked that UK would hold the number one seed overall in the NCAA Tournament, regardless of the outcome of today’s game.