Archive for January, 2011

Leftist Israelis Very Concerned About Obama

Rubbing the sleep from their eyes


Privately, however, some have expressed deep concern at what they view as the hypocritical abandonment by the US of a longtime ally once he seemed to be in trouble, with one official saying that while America believes pushing Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak out would lead to a democratic government, the more likely scenario was that this would lead to an Islamist regime even worse on issues like human rights and freedom than Mubarak.

On Monday, a number of politicians, pundits and former security officials began airing this criticism in public.

For instance, Deputy Minister for Galilee and Negev Development Ayoub Kara (Likud) told visiting former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a likely Republican US presidential candidate, that Obama needed to understand that “supporting the masses carrying out a revolution in Egypt is like support for the Muslim Brotherhood which is likely to take Mubarak’s place.”

Kara told Huckabee he was “disappointed by Obama’s turning his back” on Mubarak.

“It needs to be understood that if the Egyptian government will fall, the Muslim Brotherhood will take its place, and that will cause even worse problems not only for the Middle East, but for the whole world,” he said.

Kara said that while it was clear Obama wanted to see democracy established in the Middle East, “anyone with eyes in his head sees that there is no worthy alternative now to Mubarak, and those pushing the masses toward revolution are the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The Americans needed to learn from their experience in Iraq, which is now “saturated with terror,” Kara said.

Another strain of this criticism, articulated most forcefully by Yediot Aharonot columnist Eitan Haber, who was a top aide to Yitzhak Rabin, is that this sends a dreadful message to Israel.

Obama threw Mubarak “to the dogs,” Haber wrote in a column that appeared on Monday. [This is especially interesting, because it is coming from the political Left, not the center and not the right. - Aggie]

“America, which waves the banner of ‘citizens rights,’ ‘democracy,’ and ‘freedom of information,’ turned its back in a day on one of its most important allies in the Middle East.

Obama sold Mubarak for the pot of lentils of popularity among the Egyptian masses,” Haber wrote, adding that the US president did this without a true understanding of the Middle East.

“Our conclusion in Israel needs to be that the man sitting in the White House is liable to ‘sell’ us over night.

The thought that the US might not stand by our side in the day of need causes chills. God help us.”

Yep. It is a real problem. I don’t think that there is anyone serving in the Obama administration that gives a damn about Israel one way or the other. Rahm Emmanuel probably did, but he is gone.

- Aggie

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Helping Humanity

Save the Schmucks

Saying he could no longer stand idly by while a vital part of American culture is lost forever, activist and Broadway producer Mel Brooks has founded a private nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the word “schmuck.”
An emotional Brooks stopped short of kvetching at a schmuck fundraiser Monday.

“Schmuck is dying,” a sober Brooks said during a 2,000-person rally held in his hometown of Williamsburg, Brooklyn Monday. “For many of us, saying ‘schmuck’ is a way of life. Yet when I walk down the street and see people behaving in foolish, pathetic, or otherwise schmucky ways, I hear only the words ‘prick’ and ‘douche bag.’ I just shake my head and think, ‘I don’t want to live in a world like this.’”

The nonprofit, Schmucks For Schmuck, has compiled schmuck-related data from the past 80 years and conducted its own independent research on contemporary “schmuck” usage. According to Brooks, the statistics are frightening: Utterances of the word “schmuck” have declined every year since its peak in 1951, and in 2006, the word was spoken a mere 28 times—17 of these times by Brooks himself. The study indicates that today, when faced with a situation in which one can use a targeted or self-deprecating insult to convey a general feeling of disgust, people are 50 times more likely to use the word “jerk” than “schmuck,” 100 times more likely to use “dick,” and 15,000 times more likely to use “fucking asshole.”

Perhaps more startling, only 23 percent of men know what schmuck means, and only 1.2 percent of these men are under the age of 78. If such trends continue, Brooks estimates that by 2011, such lesser-used terms as “imbecile,” “dummy,” “schlub,” and “contemptible ne’er-do-well” will all surpass schmuck, which is projected to completely disappear by the year 2020 or whenever Brooks dies.

“We must save this word!” Brooks said to thunderous applause as those in attendance began chanting “Schmuck! Schmuck! Schmuck!” “How will we be able to charmingly describe someone who acts in an inappropriate manner? Especially given the tragic loss of the word ‘schmegeggie’ in 2001. So I urge you: Tonight, when you get home, please, call up your family, your friends, your loved ones, and tell them they’re a bunch of schmucks.”

This is an example of true patriotism, and true heart. A sentimental heart.

“I’ve never told anyone this before,” Brooks added, choking back tears, “but my father was a schmuck.”

The foundation has already raised more than $20 million, thanks to donations from supporters such as Jackie Mason, Albert Brooks, the Schtupp Institute, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), and the Henny Youngman Endowment for the Preservation of Schmekel. The money will go toward projects aimed at reintegrating “schmuck” into the English lexicon, including billboards and flyers plastered with the word “schmuck,” the upcoming 5K Schlep for Schmuck Awareness, and a new Mel Brooks film.

“The world cannot afford to lose this valuable and versatile word,” Brooks told reporters during a charity auction in Manhattan’s Upper West Side Tuesday, where attendees bid for the chance to have a private lunch with Brooks and repeatedly call him a schmuck. “You can be a poor schmuck, a lazy schmuck, a dumb schmuck, or just a plain old schmuck. A group of people can be collectively referred to as schmucks. You can call someone a schmuck, and you can be called a schmuck. You can even call yourself a schmuck.”

“Plus, it’s just so fun to say,” Brooks added. “Schmuck.”

It’s nice to see someone doing something valuable for our culture.

Not like those schmucks in Washington.

- Aggie

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DOA

Ding-dong, the bitch is dead!

A federal judge in Florida has ruled unconstitutional the sweeping health care reform law championed by President Barack Obama, setting up what is likely to be a contentious Supreme Court challenge in coming months over the legislation.

Monday’s ruling came in the most closely watched of the two dozen challenges to the law. Florida along with 25 states had filed a lawsuit last spring, seeking to dismiss a law critics had labeled “Obamacare.”

Judge Roger Vinson, in a 78-page ruling, dismissed the key provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – the so-called “individual mandate” requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 or face stiff penalties.

“I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate. That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and Inequities in our health care system,” Vinson wrote.

“Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications. At a time when there is virtually unanimous agreement that health care reform is needed in this country, it is hard to invalidate and strike down a statute titled ‘The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.’”

Maybe the act can take a pain-killer instead of having an operation.

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Duh…

Random idiocy from the left, brought to you by James Taranto:

Two Papers in One!
“There isn’t any place for eliminationist rhetoric, for suggestions that those on the other side of a debate must be removed from that debate by whatever means necessary.”–Paul Krugman, New York Times, Jan. 10

“Do we really need a new Sarah Palin? Shouldn’t the first one be made to go away before we start considering replacements?”–Gail Collins, New York Times, Jan. 29

Bushism of the Day
“You know, we have three branches of government. We have a House. We have a Senate. We have a president.”–Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), Jan. 30

Do as I Say, Not as I Do
“Obama: Future Egypt Gov’t Must Respect the Will of the People”–headline, Ha’aretz (Israel), Jan. 30

‘I’m Coming to Join You in 2013!’
“Vice President Says Unemployed Should ‘Hang In There’ “–headline, Yahoo! News, Jan. 28

Wait, here’s another one:

Chris Matthews spent much of last week mercilessly lambasting Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann with cherry-picked and distorted quotes far afield of their intended meaning.

On Friday, the “Hardball” host got a touch of instant karma when he said the Panama Canal is in Egypt.

MATTHEWS: We’re looking at the map of the world right now and where Egypt sits in the world. It’s so strategically located. It has, of course, the Nile River. It has, of course, the Panama Canal.

Okay, he merely misspoke. He meant Erie.

Oh, and while we’re at it:

ABCNews.com on Monday republished, then removed an article from Mother Jones magazine on Republicans “redefining rape.” The piece briefly appeared on the network’s website with no explanation that it was by the associate editor of the liberal magazine.

The article, by Nick Baumann, featured both the incendiary headline from Mother Jones, “The House GOP’s Plan to Redefine Rape” and the nasty sub-headline: “Drugged, raped, and pregnant? Too bad. Republicans are pushing to limit rape and incest cases eligible for government abortion funding.”

The only experts cited in the article are those attacking congressional Republicans, including Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Does dishonesty cause stupidity, or is it the other way around?

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A Man, a Plan, a Canal—Suez!

How come Obama went to Egypt to tell them he was an African American with the middle name Hussain and that Muslims in America enjoy, on average, a higher standard of living than Americans in general—and we still have to put up with this dung?

Do they not believe him any more than we do? Are they stupid?

I guess so:

[...] The words read “No to Mubarak, an American spy”.

Hey Ahmed, if you’re not going to finish that bucket of Original Recipe…

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Lost in Translation

Abbas in English:

“I am committed to peace, but not forever,” Mr. Abbas said. “I don’t mean I will turn to violence – never. In my life, I will never do it. But I cannot stay in my office forever doing nothing.”

Abbas in Arabic:

“I have said more than once that if the Arabs want war – we are with them.”

Wait a minute, BTL. People can change their minds. Just look at you. (Stop looking at me—you’re creeping me out.)

So they can. In three days, no less:

Abbas made the statement against violence in an interview with Bernard Avishai writing for the New York Times Magazine. The statement was intended for an international audience and reported in the New York Times on January 27, 2011.

Abbas made the second statement not ruling out war in a meeting with Egyptian and other Arab journalists. This statement was meant for an Arab audience and reported in the official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on January 24, 2011.

So, the Arabs say one thing to a gullible (willfully so) West, and another to themselves.

Why does this sound familiar?

Following are excerpts from an interview with Hatem Abd Al-Qader, the Fatah official in charge of Jerusalem, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on January 24, 2011:

The negotiations are not negotiations. … [W]e do not harbor any hope that Jerusalem will be regained through negotiations. Jerusalem will be regained in other ways.

It is a mistake to believe that Jerusalem of the pre-1967 borders will be regained by the Palestinians and the Arabs through negotiations.

Negotiations, peace talks, summits—all are foreplay for the real orgy of blood that really turns them on.

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And This Is Interesting Too!

Hot flashes, good.

Who knew?

A new study reports that the slew of annoying symptoms many women experience at menopause — hot flashes, insomnia and mood changes, to name a few — may indicate a reduced risk for breast cancer later. Women who had the most severe hot flashes, the kind that woke them up at night and left them drenched in sweat, had the lowest risk for postmenopausal breast cancer, the study reported.

To be clear: the findings are preliminary, and this initial report does not mean that women who had a difficult menopause can skip their regular mammograms. Breast cancer risk increases with age, and older women should continue to get screened.

The researchers stress that the implications of their findings, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, are far from certain. “This is the first study to look at this,” said the senior author, Dr. Christopher Li of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. “We tried to do the best we could. We want to see a replication of the results to see if they hold up before we can make any strong inferences.”

At the same time, he said, “it’s a fairly robust finding.”

Ok, not one word of complaint from the men on this blog. We have had to look at a endless parade of sexy, young 20-somethings. We have feelings too.

And I will not post of picture of a good-looking guy in his briefs, although they’re out there.

Find your own.

- Aggie

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Hah! I Thought It Was Just Me.

You know all the advice about eating a big breakfast and you will eat less during the rest of the day? Bunk.

Calories consumed during the rest of the day are unaffected by the size of the morning meal. A large breakfast simply means more total calorie consumption during the day.

Diet: Bigger Breakfast, Bigger Daily Calorie Count

German researchers studied the food intake of 280 obese adults and 100 of normal weight. The subjects kept records of everything they ate over two weeks, and were carefully instructed about the importance of writing down what they ate as soon as they ate it.

For both groups, a large breakfast simply added to the number of daily calories they consumed. Whether they ate a large breakfast, a small one or none at all, their nonbreakfast calorie intake remained the same.

The study, published in Nutrition Journal, found that the foods most often responsible for the variations in daily calories were among the morning’s favorites: bread, eggs, yogurt, cheese, sausages, marmalade and butter.

This may mean that exactly the opposite of the commonly offered advice is correct: A smaller breakfast means fewer daily calories consumed, not more.

“Whenever someone comes to me for dietary advice and says, ‘I never eat breakfast,’ I say, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing,’ ” said the senior author, Dr. Volker Schusdziarra, a professor of internal medicine at the Technical University of Munich. “Eating breakfast is just added calories. You’ll never compensate for them at subsequent meals.”

Now, if someone says: Eat a couple of eggs and toast and your brain will function better at that important morning meeting, I buy it. But otherwise, we don’t have to eat a big breakfast and it just leads to overeating later in the day.

I knew it.

- Aggie

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We Are Perceived As Hypocrites

Hire a hypocrite to lead, and eventually even Egypt notices.

egypt.jpg

Don’t misunderstand, I also found a picture from the Israeli site, haaretz.com, showing a protester with a big picture of Mubarak and the Star of David. In other words, they remain Jew haters. I get it. But we have mismanaged just about everything we’ve touched since Bush left office. This newbie is a nightmare.

- Aggie

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The Velvet or Iranian Revolution?

I don’t know if Obama “lost” Egypt (see two posts below), as much as he gave it away:

The US government has previously been a supporter of Mr Mubarak’s regime. But the leaked documents show the extent to which America was offering support to pro-democracy activists in Egypt while publicly praising Mr Mubarak as an important ally in the Middle East.

In a secret diplomatic dispatch, sent on December 30 2008, Margaret Scobey, the US Ambassador to Cairo, recorded that opposition groups had allegedly drawn up secret plans for “regime change” to take place before elections, scheduled for September this year.

The memo, which Ambassador Scobey sent to the US Secretary of State in Washington DC, was marked “confidential” and headed: “April 6 activist on his US visit and regime change in Egypt.”

It said the activist claimed “several opposition forces” had “agreed to support an unwritten plan for a transition to a parliamentary democracy, involving a weakened presidency and an empowered prime minister and parliament, before the scheduled 2011 presidential elections”. The embassy’s source said the plan was “so sensitive it cannot be written down”.

Ambassador Scobey questioned whether such an “unrealistic” plot could work, or ever even existed. However, the documents showed that the activist had been approached by US diplomats and received extensive support for his pro-democracy campaign from officials in Washington. The embassy helped the campaigner attend a “summit” for youth activists in New York, which was organised by the US State Department.

If the Obama administration aided and maneuvered the uprising in Egypt, and we come out with a stable Arab democracy (and I can’t believe I actually just wrote that), he will indeed be the next Reagan. If our intervention instead leads to a radical Islamic state, he will be worse than Carter. Wouldn’t bet on Reagan if I were you.

I am all for intervention in foreign regimes, toppling them in bloody coups if necessary, if it serves our purposes. Such behavior is as American as blueberry pie and as old as James Monroe. But if our dithering and our kibbitzing lead instead to hostile regimes very much opposed to our interests, then we have [bleeped] up this cluster[bleep] beyond all recognition.

I won’t tell you who I’m betting on, but he rhymes with Farter.

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Norwegians Do Some Things Well

We pick on them for their antisemitism, but we need to give credit where its due.


This was done with broken ribs.

Should we offer Norway a Meathead Award™, given to those who risk life and limb because they are young and having fun?

- Aggie

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Obama Will Go Down In History As The President Who Lost Egypt

Another remarkable Jimmy Carter similarity!

Jimmy Carter will go down in American history as “the president who lost Iran,” which during his term went from being a major strategic ally of the United States to being the revolutionary Islamic Republic. Barack Obama will be remembered as the president who “lost” Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt, and during whose tenure America’s alliances in the Middle East crumbled.

The superficial circumstances are similar. In both cases, a United States in financial crisis and after failed wars loses global influence under a leftist president whose good intentions are interpreted abroad as expressions of weakness. The results are reflected in the fall of regimes that were dependent on their relationship with Washington for survival, or in a change in their orientation, as with Ankara.

America’s general weakness clearly affects its friends. But unlike Carter, who preached human rights even when it hurt allies, Obama sat on the fence and exercised caution. He neither embraced despised leaders nor evangelized for political freedom, for fear of undermining stability.

Obama began his presidency with trips to Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and in speeches in Ankara and Cairo tried to forge new ties between the United States and the Muslim world. His message to Muslims was “I am one of you,” and he backed it by quoting from the Koran. President Hosni Mubarak did not join him on the stage at Cairo University, and Obama did not mention his host. But he did not imitate his hated predecessor, President George W. Bush, with blunt calls for democracy and freedom.

Obama apparently believed the main problem of the Middle East was the Israeli occupation, and focused his policy on demanding the suspension of construction in the settlements and on the abortive attempt to renew the peace talks. That failure led him to back off from the peace process in favor of concentrating on heading off an Israeli-Iranian war.

Americans debated constantly the question of whether Obama cut his policy to fit the circumstances or aimed at the wrong targets. The absence of human rights issues from U.S. policy vis-a-vis Arab states drew harsh criticism; he was accused of ignoring the zeitgeist and clinging to old, rotten leaders. In the past few months many opinion pieces have appeared in the Western press asserting that the days of Mubarak’s regime are numbered and calling on Obama to reach out to the opposition in Egypt. There was a sense that the U.S. foreign policy establishment was shaking off its long-term protege in Cairo, while the administration lagged behind the columnists and commentators.

The administration faced a dilemma. One can guess that Obama himself identified with the demonstrators, not the aging dictator. But a superpower isn’t the civil rights movement. If it abandons its allies the moment they flounder, who would trust it tomorrow? That’s why Obama rallied to Mubarak’s side until Friday, when the force of the protests bested his regime.

Well, what we have created with this “brilliant, young President” as Joe Biden would say, is a first class mess. We have an incoherent foreign policy. We influence no one because no one understands even what we want. We don’t know ourselves.

Obama is similar to Jimmy Carter in many ways. Carter was a lousy President and Obama is possibly worse. One of the biggest differences in the two eras is that Americans were actually better educated and more realistic in the Carter period, and dumped him after one term. I am not hopeful this time.

- Aggie

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