Right Wing Extremism More Likely in Norway Attacks

While a jihadist group called Ansar al-Jihad al Alam has claimed responsibility for the twin attacks today in Norway that included a powerful car bomb in Oslo's city centre that ripped apart several blocks of government office buildings followed by an attack on a youth jamboree in nearby Utøya of Norway's governing leftist Labour party, Norwegian police do not believe that international terrorism lies behind today's carnage. Indeed, Knut Storberget, the Norwegian justice minister, has confirmed at a news conference that the suspect arrested today at the youth camp in Utøya was a Norwegian.

It is telling and shameful to see much of the media and the blogosphere jump to conclusions. While we should not discount the threat from Islamist groups, the specter of right wing violence is just as much a threat to Western civilization. Back in February of this year, Janne Kristiansen, the head of Norway's state police intelligence unit PST (Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste), warned that neo-nazism and right wing extremism were on the rise in Norway. It should not thus surprise if today's twin attacks are tied to right-wing extremism.

Full coverage at The Guardian.

 

The Rants of Allen West

Take a listen:

 

So the above rather innocuous, though certainly partisan, speech on the House floor by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz leads to this email rant from Tea Party favorite Congressman Allen West:

Subject: Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman-Schultz

Look, Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me. Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige. You are the most vile, unprofessional ,and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!

I am bringing your actions today to our Majority Leader and Majority Whip and from this time forward, understand that I shall defend myself forthright against your heinous characterless behavior......which dates back to the disgusting protest you ordered at my campaign hqs, October 2010 in Deerfield Beach.

You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!

Steadfast and Loyal

Congressman Allen B West (R-FL)

 

According to Talking Points Memo, the email was sent to Congresswoman and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and West's Chief of Staff. It's hard to believe that any Congressperson would use such disrespectful language and here's hoping that Allen West is censured or reprimanded though I won't hold my breath.

But Allen West wasn't done ranting. In his weekly letter to his constituents published on the conservative website Red County, Rep. West in another bizarre tirade called Obama supporters "a threat to the gene pool." 

I also want to point out just how wrong on the facts these Tea Party folks can be. Allen West served in the US Army for over 20 years advancing to the rank of colonel. One would think that such a person could get basic facts correct. Instead, Congressman West writes the following:

In the area of foreign policy, the United States has officially recognized the Libyan rebels as the “legitimate” government of Libya. Now, I am just a simple fella from down South, but I recall a previous Democrat President recognizing a bunch of undefined ideological zealots called the Taliban…and we all see how that ended up!

The Taliban came to power in October 1996 when they finally captured Kabul after a near two year siege. The Taliban regime was called the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and it only gained diplomatic recognition from three countries: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The Clinton Administration did not recognize the Taliban government. It's truly mind-boggling that a Congressman, especially one with a two decade military career, can get such basic facts wrong. 

And then there is this tidbit:

I believe we are headed towards the ultimate ideological clash in America. There is a widening chasm which has developed between those who believe in principled fiscal policies and those desiring the socialist bureaucratic nanny-state. An unfortunate aspect to this is the complicity of a mainstream media which does not report facts, but rather ideological bias. This clash will determine the future and legacy of our Constitutional Republic.

One has to wonder just how demented is Allen West.

Jon Huntsman Eyes a Run

Former Utah Governor and US Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to set up a Federal political action committee (PAC) as he explores the possibility of a presidential run in 2012.

From The Hill:

Former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman established a federal political action committee on Tuesday as a possible precursor to running for president. 

Huntsman, a centrist former Republican governor of Utah, filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to set up a national version of the "Horizon PAC" his supporters had organized during his final months as ambassador. 

The new federal PAC, H-PAC, should give Huntsman an opportunity to formalize infrastructure and staff in case he decides to pursue the Republican presidential nomination. 

Huntsman's backers had organized some of the framework for a potential campaign over the past few months, but they weren't allowed any coordination with Huntsman while he was still ambassador. 

During that time, they established "Horizon PAC," which existed at the state level.

 

Huntsman is not a well known figure nationally but he does come from the sane wing of the GOP. In fact, you could say that he has that segment of the Republican party locked up. Unfortunately, the trouble for Huntsman is that much of the rank & file GOP primary voters are certifiable. It's hard to see Erick Erickson of Red State, to pick just one demented soul, backing a Jon Huntsman.

I suspect that Huntsman is really looking at 2016 probably surmising that the GOP in 2012 is going to go off the rails with its Tea Party infused radicalism. Come 2016, Huntsman may be able to pick up the pieces what is looking more and more a Republican train wreck next year at least on the presidential level.

In Canada, PM Harper Wins a Majority

In Canada's parliamentary elections, Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has won a majority in the House of Commons. PM Harper, who first took office in 2006, has won two elections but until now had never held a majority of Parliament's 308 seats, forcing him to rely on the opposition to pass legislation.

Polls had predicted another hung parliament but Harper's Conservatives did exceedingly well in Alberta, the Prairies, the Maritimes and in most surprisingly of all in metro Toronto in a stunning and historic sea-change election. The Conservatives, formerly shunned by Toronto voters, won nearly half of the seats in that city, twice as many as the Liberals.

Elections Canada reported preliminary results on its website, giving the Conservatives 167 seats based on 39.6 percent of the popular. Canada has a first-past-the-post system. One hundred and fifty-five seats are required to form a majority.

Harper will now be able to press forward with his conservative agenda that seeks to transform a traditionally center-left country into a more right-wing country. During his five years in power, Harper has lowered sales and corporate taxes, avoided climate change legislation, increased military spending and extended Canada's military mission in Afghanistan.

For the Liberal Party, the elections were an unexpected and serious debacle. Long the dominant Canadian party, the Liberals are projected to win just 34 seats on 18.9 percent of the popular vote down from 26 percent in the last election. This is the poorest showing in the party's history with party leader Michael Ignatieff losing his Toronto-based seat. The party failed to win a seat in any of Canada's vast western provinces and saw its share of seats in the Maritimes cut in half. Only in Newfoundland, Canada's poorest province, did the Liberals fare well.

The Liberals' falls was a gain for the left of centre New Democrats (NDP). The New Democrats led by Jack Layton are projected to become the main opposition party for the first time in Canadian history with 102 seats on 30.9 percent of the vote. In addition, the Green party has won a seat for the first time ever. Nationwide, the Greens captured 4.8 percent of the popular vote.

The separatist Bloc Québécois also fared poorly winning just 4 seats on 6.1 percent of the popular vote. In Quebec, 18 years of Bloc Québécois dominance crumbled as the NDP was elected in 58 of 75 of the province electoral districts known as ridings.

More from Toronto's Globe and Mail.

For the Nation, and for Obama, A Moment to Savor

As Nicholas Kristof notes in the New York Times, the nation's paper of record, writes in his op-ed this morning, "despite the foreign policy triumph for the United States, it isn’t the end of terrorism." Already Taliban leaders are vowing to avenge Osama bin Laden and no doubt his death does not change the fundamental situation on the ground in Afghanistan though for Pakistan hard questions must be asked.

How did the world's most wanted man live in a luxury compound in the hill resort town of Abbottabad just a 62 mile drive (35 miles as the crow flies) from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad? Moreover, the compound built in 2005 was just a stone's throw from the major Pakistani military training school. Most tellingly, the Pakistani government was not informed beforehand of the US special forces' raid. This inability to trust even the highest echelons of Pakistan's civilian-military-intelligence establishment is, in my view, the single most disturbing takeaway from this incident. It portends hard choices.

Still, it is clear that from the start President Obama and his national security team took a focused, hands-on pursuit of Osama bin Laden and a measured, cautious approach with our erstwhile ally Pakistan. US-Pakistani relations have been rocky, perhaps not yet even at a nadir, for most of the Obama Administration. The fault may not entirely lie with the Pakistanis but it is evident as the Wikileaks cables suggest that Pakistan's ISI is a rogue filled cancerous organization not to be trusted. The realists in the Obama Administration fully understand this and act accordingly. The Administration, from the President on down, may deliberate incessantly as seen from the outside but their approach is diligent, measured, effective if painstakingly time consuming. This is a results oriented Administration.

John Dickerson over at Slate points to the not so obvious but increasingly evident:

Obama's critics have said that he is a weak leader in general and in particular does not understand what must be done to combat terrorism. " They are very much giving up that center of attention and focus that's required," said former Vice President Dick Cheney in March 2009, in a typical remark. Yet what emerges from the details of Bin Laden's killing (offered, like the heroic accounts of the Bush years, entirely by officials who work for the sitting president) is that from early in his administration Obama was focused on killing Osama Bin Laden and that he was involved in the process throughout.

In June 2009, Obama directed his CIA director to "provide me within 30 days a detailed operation plan for locating and bringing to justice" Osama Bin Laden. By August 2010 intelligence officials had identified the suspicious compound where Osama lived. Thirty-five miles outside Islamabad, the walls were up to 18 feet high and topped with barbed wire. The largest structure, a three-story building, had very few windows. Though the house was valued at $1 million, it had no Internet or phone service. Its residents, unlike their neighbors, burned their trash.

As he has so often been in the past, Dick "they will welcome us as liberators" and "last throes" Cheney was wrong. We may not see what's going on in the battle against terrorism but this success suggests a diligence and a laser-like focus by the Administration. It again speaks to the competence of the President himself. It is a moment to savor for Barack Obama, and for the nation, though I am sure that for him and his national security team, their focus remains on what is yet to be done, not what has been accomplished.

The World Rejoices, The American Radical Right Moans

As the world revels in the news that Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born leader of the Islamist terrorist organization, has finally been brought down nearly ten years after the most devastating terrorist attack on the United States, the American radical right, not surprisingly, was well a different take. In their thinking, President Obama is no different than Osama bin Laden. Over at the conservative grassroots Internet bulletin board Free Republic, one writer bemoans that "an evil madman is dead and another is still in power at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."

Here's the full text of their off-the-wall insanity:

One of the most hated men in history has been killed by our troops by a Commander-in-Chief who has done everything in his power to demean, de-fund, impose demeaning homosexuality and restrict the ability of our troops to fight terror, including pursuing civilian trials for captured would-be terrorists.

Let's be fair here, the average American hasn't a clue what century the French & Indian War was fought in and probably cannot tell you who who Joe Biden is, so the mainstream media will run with this for all its worth. The Media will give 100% credit to Obama and mark my words, the RINOs will kow-tow even more and the Dems will be emboldened.

The moronic college kids and their Commie professors will forget all their anti-American, pro-terror rhetoric just enough for Novermber 2012 to come around. The media is fully invested in Obama and cheered and lied for him even when to most Americans he was failing. This single act is their inverted Pearl Harbor, they will fly the "Obama killed Osama when Bush Couldn't" forever.

This moniker will follow Obama forever, like how Watergate will always be tagged to Richard Nixon and how Bush I will be credited with toppling the Iraqis in 1991.

This will be forever spun by journalists and a crowning moment, a reason that Obama is tough and another way to let him have his way with the economy, jobs, climate change, unions, Libya, nuclear power, Obama Care, homosexual marriage, gun confiscation, tax hikes, gas prices, educational failure, amnesty...the butter will be softened forever for Obama, he will not need a steak knife, merely a butter knife to get things done. Look for the EPA, FDA, FCC and every other attack dog regulatory agency to become hyper-aggressive in the coming months and years.

They have a pass under Barack Hussein Obama, infinitum.

f Obama or the Liberals ask for another company to be smashed by Government regualations and there is any pushback, he can always pull the "I killed Osama Bin Laden" card. Forever. When my grandkids turn on History Channel in 2050, they will see a documentary showing a black President killing a boogeyman and then returning to the White House for another 4 years, bringing Socialism to the United States and eventually ushering the New World Order run by Soros and the Global Elites.

The celebration was staged also to coincide with the World Workers Day on May 1st, so the Marxists, Communists, Open Borders and Unions can all rememeber this as a day of celebration, and rally their troops to push for more Stalinist programs. Nothing is an accident with these Democrats (Axelrod, Soros, MSM).

Mark my words, unless there is another attack on US soil in the next 1.5 years, Obama will remain President through 2016...focus on the next VP pick, as they will be grooming whomever runs with Obama in 2012 for the 2016 election...like the Chinese, there is a master plan years ahead of time, as the dimbulb GOP has morons like Lindsay Graham and pack-a-day Boehner weep over a 0.0003% cut from an anticipated budget.

The end of America as we know it has come, the collapse is imminent and you should prepare now for the coming insurrection.

An evil madman is dead and another is still in power at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

It's a good thing that we have the body of Osama bin Laden for lacking such evidence, these conspiratorial-minded kooks would be hatching another bogus theory. Note that the above suggests that President Obama purposefully chose May 1st, International Labour Day, to send some hidden message. Let's bear in mind that these are same crazed lunatics who do not believe in evolution or in global climatic change but who still do believe that President Obama was not born in the United States despite the events of this week. It is not just the left but the nation as a whole that needs to awaken to the fact the American radical right lives in a world apart, divorced from reality, and largely of its own choosing. For these people, their ignorance is willful.

Osama bin Laden is Dead

Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born head of the Islamist terror group Al Qaeda, is dead and his body is in custody of US intelligence officials in Pakistan. The news is breaking at this hour with details scarce. Early reports from the Associated Press indicate that bin Laden was killed in a ground operation, not in a drone attack, in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, just 100 km, or 60 miles, north of Islamabad, the Pakistani capital. The President is set to address the nation with crowds gathering outside the White House in a patriotic fervor singing the Star Spangled Banner in celebration.

Geopolitically, the picture isn't likely to change much but politically for the President this is a major accomplishment for President Obama and his national security team. At the very least this should provide a lift in his poll numbers and perhaps some validation of his Afghan war strategy.

The story in the New York Times.

 

Haley Barbour of Mississippi Bows Out of 2012 Run

Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi announced he would not seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee and a former high powered Washington lobbyist, said in a statement he could not totally commit himself to the "all-consuming effort" required for a White House candidate.

"A candidate for president today is embracing a 10-year commitment to an all-consuming effort, to the virtual exclusion of all else. His (or her) supporters expect and deserve no less than absolute fire in the belly from their candidate. I cannot offer that with certainty, and total certainty is required," he said.

Barbour went on to thank his supporters.

“Hundreds of people have encouraged me to run and offered both to give and raise money for a presidential campaign. Many volunteers have organized events in support of my pursuing the race. Some have dedicated virtually full time to setting up preliminary organizations in critical, early states and to helping plan what has been several months of intensive activity,” he stated.“ I greatly appreciate each and every one of them and all their outstanding efforts. If I have disappointed any of them in this decision, I sincerely regret it."

Though not mention in his statement, his wife, Marsha Barbour, told the ABC television affiliate in Biloxi, Mississippi earlier this month that she found the prospect of a presidential "overwhelming" and that it "horrified" her. "It's been a lot to be first lady of the state of Mississippi and this would be 50 times bigger," she said in the interview aired on April 2 by WLOX in Biloxi. "It's a huge sacrifice for a family to make."

Beyond his wife's hesitancy, Barbour's decision was likely impacted by his lackluster performance. In polling to date among likely GOP voters Barbour placed consistently in the low single digits, though Barbour did win a straw poll of Charleston County (South Carolina) GOP officials just last week. Still despite being well-known in national political circles, Barbour remains largely a name unknown to most Americans.

Barbour's decision to not seek the GOP nomination likely makes the candidacy of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels increasingly likely. More from Politico.

Around the World

News from around the globe impacting our world.

The Battle for Misrata Continues. Forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi pounded the rebel held city of Misrata on Sunday, hours after the Libyan government claimed its troops had pulled back from the besieged city in order to allow tribal leaders try to negotiate a political resolution. More from the The Guardian. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reports more on the use of unmanned American drones in the conflict suggesting that they may provide a "psychological edge" in the fighting.

Army Joins Crackdown in Syria. Al Jazeera reports that the Syrian Army has been called into action to crackdown on anti-government protests in the southern city of Deraa and the Damascus suburb of Douma. Communications have been cut off and, for the first time, the military has become directly involved in attempts to quell the on-going protests against the regime of Bashir al Assad.

Clashes in the South Sudan. South Sudan's army (SPLA) claimed today killing 57 militia members during Saturday's clashes in Jonglei state. The militia forces were to integrate into the SPLA before July 9 when the South will secede from the North after voting overwhelmingly to separate in a referendum and it is not clear what set off this latest round of fighting. All Africa has the full report.

Alternative Vote Referendum Strains UK Coalition. The already strained relations between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in Britain's coalition government reached a new low yesterday amid an increasingly bitter campaign ahead of next month's referendum on the voting system. The story in The Independent.

Hundreds of Taliban Escape. Some 500 Taliban fighters, including some high level commanders, have escaped from a detention centre in Kandahar via a 320 meter tunnel. According to a Taliban statement the tunnel was not dug by the inmates but by fighters outside the prison. The tunnel took 5 months to complete. A full report including video from Al Jazeera.

 

The Unspeakable Recklessness of Rick Santorum

It's hard to say whether more I'm shocked by former Senator Rick Santorum's sheer stupidity or outraged by the flippant callousness of his remarks. I suspect the former since the latter should not surprise even as the inhumanity remains ever so striking. For the nation to invest in the health and well being of its citizens is not now, nor is it likely to ever be in the foreseeable future, a priority for the GOP, but for a likely Presidential candidate to under any condition to advocate for a debt default simply speaks of an outrageous ignorance of economics and unspeakable recklessness.

Via Think Progress:

As the U.S. steps closer to the economic ledge, a litany of Republican lawmakers are holding the debt ceiling hostage over unpopular priorities like lowering the corporate tax rate cutting entitlement programs. Likely GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum made his own ransom demand today on Fox News Sunday, telling host Chris Wallace that defunding the health care law is “the price” he demands for the debt ceiling and that he’d “absolutely” let the country go into default over it:

SANTORUM: [The health care law] is a program that if the president wants to defend, he should stand up and say the 2012 election is about Obamacare. We’ll put this on hold, and make it a referendum on Obamacare.

WALLACE: Well ok that’s 2012, but you’re saying you’d let the country go into default on this issue.

SANTORUM: No I think the president would let this country go into default on this issue.

WALLACE: But you would make that the condition — you’d make that the price? 


SANTORUM: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Over at Capital Gains and Games, Bruce Barlett, a domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan and a Treasury official under President George H.W. Bush, bemoans that Wall Street, and the nation for that matter, should have known better then to send "a bunch of not-too-bright, ignorant Tea Party members to Congress." Imagine putting one in the White House.

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