Nader: It’s The Yahoods, I Tell You

Ralph Nader took a stroll from gadfly status to full-blown moonbat in a speech given at a conference titled, “The Muslim Vote in 2004”. In pandering to the Muslims, Nader asserted that all of the ills of Washington could be traced to one source:

“What has been happening over the years is a predictable routine of foreign visitation from the head of the Israeli government. The Israeli puppeteer travels to Washington. The Israeli puppeteer meets with the puppet in the White House, and then moves down Pennsylvania Avenue, and meets with the puppets in Congress. And then takes back billions of taxpayer dollars. It is time for the Washington puppet show to be replaced by the Washington peace show.”

I could almost see Nader delivering this speech. “The [cough cough] Israeli puppeteer …” The Democrats should love this. After making a number of bogus allegations of Nazihood towards the Bush administration, suddenly a champion of the people reveals himself as a raving anti-Semite. How many of them will stand up and call Nader a brownshirt? Don’t hold your breath; while attacking Nader might convince a few of his supporters to bolt, likely it will only annoy leftists who already hate Israel and drive them further into Nader’s camp.
Besides, as with the boy who cried “wolf” once too often, we’ve heard so many Nazi allegations this election cycle that the discovery of a truly foul example will most likely be overlooked until it’s too late. (via Memeorandum)

They Just Keep Rolling In

In a boost for the Bush administration and the President’s re-election bid, Reuters reports that economists estimate that the US has added another quarter-million jobs in June, pushing the total for the year past 1.4 million:

U.S. employment likely surged again in June, taking gains this year to some 1.4 million jobs and bolstering President George W. Bush’s economic record ahead of the November election, analysts said onWednesday.
Economists believe 250,000 jobs were created this month, virtually matching May’s jump of 248,000, though the unemployment rate probably will not budge from 5.6 percent because newly hopeful job-seekers are returning to the job market.

Not only is the economy producing new jobs at a fast clip, the newer jobs tend to be higher-paying as well, as they were in April and May according to analysts. The new jobs have also bolstered consumer confidence as the news seems to have finally sunk into the electorate:

The shift in political rhetoric from the “jobless recovery” lament of the Democrats to “nearly a million jobs in 100 days” of the Bush administration appears to have reached consumers, whose confidence levels hit the highest level in two years in June, according to a Conference Board report this week.
“They get the feeling that things have turned the corner and that’s making them much more hopeful,” said Joel Naroff, president and chief economist of Naroff Economic Advisors.

Not to mention that workers’ compensation increased, too:

Friday’s report is also expected to show a sixth straight monthly rise in hourly earnings, though the workweek will likely be unchanged at 33.8 hours, according to a Reuters survey of economists.
Longer hours and fatter paychecks are seen by experts as evidence the economy is on the threshold of even stronger job gains in the months ahead.
“The next step after increasing the length of the workweek, paying perhaps more overtime (or) hiring more temporary workers … (is) hiring back some of the previously laid off workers or ramping up staffing in general,” Reaser said.

So the Bush economic strategy has paid off, Iraq has its sovereignty back, we’ve so far avoided another terrorist attack in the US, Libya has disarmed, India and Pakistan have expanded diplomatic ties, and NATO has agreed to support both Iraqi and Afghan security forces to assist in establishing democracy in Southwest Asia. Somehow, I suspect that we’ve seen the high-water mark of the Kerry candidacy.

2Pac Or Not 2Pac? That’s The Quizzle. Word.

Michelle Malkin, one of my favorite writers, notes the summer reading list from a Worcester school district now includes the poetry of hate incitement:

Have you checked your child’s summer reading list? Beware: Some lame-brained school officials have decided to ditch the sonnets of Shakespeare for the tripe of Tupac.
That’s slain gangsta rapper Tupac Shakur — the drug-dealing, baseball bat-wielding, cop-hating, Black Panthers-worshiping, convicted sexual abuser who made a fortune extolling the “thug life” before he was gunned down in Las Vegas eight years ago. …
Frances Arena, manager of curriculum and professional development of the Worcester Public Schools, told me this week that Shakur’s book will remain on the list for the foreseeable future because it “heightens awareness of character education” and, more importantly, because it’s “popular with the kids.”
If that’s the standard, why not just drop the pretense of academic instruction and assign them comic books and romance novels?

Why bother with reading at all? My guess is that Shakur likely recorded most of this poetry on his rap recordings, which means that students only need to drop a CD into the player and close their eyes … an unusual way to promote reading, if you ask me.
No, what this list indicates is that Worcester teachers have given up the idea of summer reading and are going through the motions, pandering to their students in a desperate attempt to either ingratiate themselves to the children or to look hip, neither of which will do anything but generate contempt from the students involved. Ever tried acting “cool” with your teenager? Teens want adults to act like adults and maintain standards. They may not like the work, but they respect the boundaries. They don’t want gray-hairs invading teen turf and trying to be something they’re not, and in that kids are just like everyone else.
While Shakespeare often wrote passages that have entered our collective consciousness almost without attribution, Michelle notes that Shakur falls somewhat short of this mark:

In riveting prose that presumably rivals Frost or Longfellow, Shakur brags that he is “more than u can handle” and “hotter than the wax from a candle.” Edgar Allan Poe had Annabel Lee. Shakur had Renee (“u were the one 2 reach into my heart”), April (“I want 2 c u”), Elizabeth (“the seas of our friendship R calm”), Michelle (“u and I have perfect hearts”), Carmen (“I wanted u more than I wanted me”), Marquita (“u were pure woman 2 me”), Irene (“I knew from the First glance that u would be hard 2 4get”), and Jada.
Proclaiming his love “4 Jada,” Shakur pays gallant literary tribute to the object of his desire: “u bring me 2 climax without sex.”
Lord Byron, he wasn’t.

2 bad 4 Worcester s2dents. On her blog, Michelle updates the mention of her Town Hall column with a dissenting e-mail that explains perfectly why teachers should be sticking to their standards instead of abandoning them to the near-illiteracy of Shakur’s muse:

Dont hate the player hate the game that created these conditions which enable such artist like 2pac to reflect the times and eras of their time. Michelle here some advise next time you want to use a rapper as a scapegoat to justify your means think before making an ass out of your self.

If you haven’t added Michelle to your blogroll yet, make sure you do. She’s definitely a must-read on a daily basis. Besides, she reads Captain’s Quarters — how cool is that?
UPDATE: As Bill from the always-excellent blog INDC Journal notes in the comments, he has some personal reasons to oppose the glorification of violence in general, and the Shakur family in particular. I noted this post when Bill first wrote it, but it’s timeless. Read the whole thing. And don’t forget to drop some change in the tip jar for the family of Captain Eggers, who was killed in Iraq in the service of our nation.

Kerry Campaign “Incompetent”: Boston Mayor

The Boston Herald got an exclusive interview with a hopping-mad Mayor Thomas Menino after a series of provocations from the John Kerry campaign left him questioning the competency of Kerry and his staff. Menino launched several attacks during his interview with David Guarino and Noelle Straub:

Mayor Thomas M. Menino unloaded a searing attack on fellow Democrat John F. Kerry yesterday, calling his presidential campaign “small-minded” and “incompetent” – laying bare a years-old rift weeks before the city plays host to Kerry’s FleetCenter coronation. Menino, in an exclusive Herald interview, let loose on the hometown senator two days after Kerry snubbed him by siding with union picketers outside a U.S. Conference of Mayors event. …
Menino said he was enraged to see a local newspaper item saying he hung up on Kerry Sunday. The mayor yesterday said Kerry’s campaign floated the story, which he called untrue.
“I wasn’t angry with him, that’s a rumor they’re spreading,” Menino said. “They are trying to balance out their decision by saying the mayor’s angry. I had no harsh words with them.”
Menino called the alleged leak “the failure of the campaign to communicate with the public,” adding, “They are trying to find scapegoats for their incompetency.”

Just how incompetent is the Kerry campaign? Over the last 72 hours, they’ve managed to alienate the Democratic mayor of the city where their big party will take place in a few weeks, promising to provide further embarrassing publicity as Menino retaliates for being shown up by Kerry to benefit his push with labor unions — a constituency that should already be sewn up by the Democrats anyway. Now the campaign has angered many of the mayors attending the conference, even the Democrats, and given Governor Mitt Romney an opportunity to rescue Menino and generate supportive statements from the mayor in return.
It appears that they aren’t learning from their mistakes, either. The Kerry campaign reacted by suggesting that the mayor may not be completely mentally healthy:

But, in a move that might only intensify the public war of words, the Kerry campaign responded by suggesting Menino made the comments because of the “pressure” he’s under as convention host. …
“Maybe they should use some of their energies to get their message across to the American people instead of trying to destroy the integrity of someone who is on their team, to try to discredit someone on their team,” Menino said. “They have better things to do.”

Sounds like Menino may not be terribly fond of his party’s nominee, and the Herald suggests that displeasure could manifest itself in November by having his political machine sandbag a bit during the run-up to the election. Based on the reaction of a few of the other mayors at the conference, Kerry may have similar problems in West Haven and especially Miami, where every vote will be precious to either candidate. Mayors are the front line of any election, and deliberately antagonizing them is not just incompetent, it’s almost deliberately self-destructive. (via Drudge)

Grateful Iraqis Say “Thank You, America”

Fifteen new Iraqi and Iraqi-American civilian groups have banded together to take out a full-page advertisement in USA Today thanking America and Americans for freeing Iraq from its bloodthirsty tyrant:

Following the formal handover of sovereignty to Baghdad, 15 Iraqi and Iraqi-American groups have issued an open letter to the American people, thanking them for the sacrifices they endured to liberate their country.
The letter will be delivered to President Bush at the White House today and published in a full page ad in USA Today.
“Just as we mourn for the victims of Saddam’s regime, we also grieve for the Americans and Iraqis who were killed or injured during the liberation or by terrorists determined to hold us back,” the letter reads. “We will honor those who have sacrificed for our freedom by building a new Iraq that lives in peace with the nations of the world, without fear of war, torture chambers or terrorism.” …
The letter was organized by the Iraq-America Friendship Alliance, or IAFA, a new coalition of Iraqi and American organizations and individuals “committed to fostering goodwill between the two nations, supporting Iraq’s reconstruction and movement toward democracy and telling the untold story from Iraq.”

The IAFA plans to spur goodwill exchanges between Iraq and the US and currently sponsors the speaking tour of the seven men who received prosthetic replacements for the hands chopped off during Saddam’s reign of terror.

CQ Prediction: Kerry Gains In Polling This Week

The AP notes that the John Kerry campaign will return to its most successful campaign strategy this week, although only briefly:

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is taking a two-day break from campaigning and will spend the time at his wife’s country estate preparing for his party’s national convention next month.

Kidding aside, the AP also notes that Kerry met with “potential running mate” Gov. Janet Napolitano from Arizona, who introduced him to the National Council of La Raza, a mainstream Latino interest group. I confess I haven’t heard much about Napolitano as a running mate, but that choice makes more sense, at least superficially, than John Edwards and could be far more damaging to the Republicans. NCLR shows no information on Napolitano — one would presume a Latino governor would get at least a mention on their website, so I’d presume Napolitano is Italian rather than Hispanic.
Napolitano has been Attorney General in Arizona and won the Governor’s office in 2002. She ran on a platform that ruled out tax increases, supported environmental issues, full-time preschool and kindergarten — in short, a moderate. Reading her biography, it also appears she’s unmarried, which may dent her positives just a bit. However, the selection of a female sitting governor from a battleground state may be better than adding another senator, and an inexperienced one at that, from a state Bush likely wins either way.
Unfortunately, her old campaign web site,, now hosts a penis-enlargement advertisement, which demonstrates that she still has a bit more to learn about campaigning. (Rule #1 for political campaigns: never let go of your domain names.)

Philly Corruption Investigation Nets Mayor’s Crony

A Philadelphia federal grand jury delivered an indictment yesterday from an ongoing investigation into corruption in city government, charging Philly’s former treasurer, a powerful attorney allied with Mayor John Street, and ten others with graft:

A federal grand jury in Philadelphia on Tuesday indicted the city’s former treasurer and a powerful lawyer with close connections to Mayor John Street as part of a wide-ranging investigation into municipal corruption.
The indictment, which names 12 defendants, charges the former treasurer, Corey Kemp, with accepting payments, gifts and other benefits from the lawyer, Ronald A. White, in exchange for directing city business worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to Mr. White’s law firm and other companies linked to him. …
Mr. Street, who was elected to a second term in November, was not charged. But the indictment asserts that he instructed his staff to award city business to Mr. White or any firms he recommended whenever they appeared qualified for the work. It also accused Mr. Street of telling aides to provide Mr. White, who has been a fund-raiser for Mr. Street since he was on the City Council, “inside information” on city agencies.

Last year, when Street ran for re-election, news of the FBI investigation into corruption broke when electronic bugs were discovered in the mayor’s office. At that point in the election, as the Times’ James Dao notes, Street only led Republican Sam Katz by one point in the polls. However, rather than be abashed by the federal graft probe, Street proclaimed his martyrdom to a Republican plot to destroy Democratic mayors — and the Philly electorate returned him to office by a sixteen-point margin.
Now, of course, the chickens have come home to roost. The indictments by a federal grand jury demonstrate that far from being an evil GOP conspiracy, Mayor Street’s administration has resembled Tammany Hall more than anything the Founding Fathers proposed more than 200 years ago in Street’s city:

The indictment asserts that Mr. Kemp directed $633,594 in bond counsel fees to Mr. White. He also helped Commerce Bank/Philadelphia, which had hired Mr. White, win city business, including a $30 million line of credit, the indictment charges. And it says he urged that a “paramour” of Mr. White receive printing work worth more than $308,000.
In exchange, Mr. White gave Mr. Kemp $10,000, tickets and transportation to the Super Bowl game and N.B.A. All-Star events, a $10,350 deck for his house, numerous free meals and the promise of a secret partnership in a proposed racetrack-casino.
Mr. White often emphasized the importance to their criminal enterprise of getting Mr. Street re-elected, the indictment says. “It gives us four more years to do our thing,” he told Mr. Kemp, according to a recorded conversation cited in the indictment.

A grand-jury indictment is not a conviction, but it holds more significance than charges filed by a district attorney. A panel of citizens hear testimony and review evidence, and only return indictments if they believe that the evidence supports a reasonable basis for prosecution. Unless the FBI rounded up the Republican National Committee as its grand jury, the allegations that the Bush administration targeted Street for his party affiliation, rather than the graft party over which he appears to have presided, have been exposed as completely false.

Republican “Outsourcing” A Scam: RNC Complaint

The Republican National Committe has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, claiming that a Texas non-profit falsely represented itself as a Republican organization in order to embarrass the GOP with its use of a call center in India for contribution collections:

The Republican National Committee filed a complaint Tuesday accusing a Texas group of posing as a GOP organization to raise money by phone using an Indian telemarketing firm and through fund-raising mailings.
The fund-raising telephone calls prompted false, widespread rumors that the RNC was outsourcing its donor phone calls to India, the committee’s complaint to the Federal Election Commission says.
The complaint accuses The Republican Victory Committee, based in Irving, Texas, of impersonating the Republican Party and fraudulently raising money by telling prospective donors it was being solicited by the GOP for use by Republican candidates.

Jody Novacek, whom the GOP accuses of running this scam, insists that the RVC is a “Republican-leaning” organization — whatever that means — and that the money was going to be used for grass-roots efforts. However, RVC represented itself as an agent for specific candidates at the behest of the Republicans. Novacek seems to be changing her story, at least in the AP’s report of the story.
If true, it may just wind up being another scam without any other intent than separating people from their money. However, in today’s political climate, it wouldn’t surprise me if RVC wound up having connections to people who purposely tried to discredit the GOP by using the Indian call center. The coordination between this setup and one of the main economic themes of the Democrats this year sounds way too good to be a simple coincidence. Even back in 1992, the anti-capitalist hit movie Sneakers finishes up by hinting that the protagonists use their hacking abilities to bankrupt the Republican Party in what supposedly constitutes a happy ending for the Left. After watching the embrace of the lunatic fringe (Michael Moore, et al) by Democrats in this election cycle, this moderate mischief doesn’t seem beyond the true believers.

NYT: Captured Muslim Marine A Deserter

The New York Times reports tonight that Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, captured by Islamofascist terrorists in Iraq, had deserted his post and naively trusted his captors to sneak him out of the country and into Lebanon:

The American marine who is being threatened by his kidnappers with beheading had deserted the military because he was emotionally traumatized, and was abducted by his captors while trying to make his way home to his native Lebanon, a Marine officer said Tuesday.
The officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he believed that Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun was betrayed by Iraqis he befriended on his base and ended up in the hands of Islamic extremists. The officer said Corporal Hassoun, a 24-year-old Marine linguist who was born in Lebanon, was shaken up after he saw one of his sergeants blown apart by a mortar shell.
“It was very disturbing to him,” the officer said. “He wanted to go home and quit the game, but since he was relatively early in his deployment, that was not going to happen anytime soon. So he talked to some folks on base he befriended, because they were all fellow Muslims, and they helped sneak him off. Once off, instead of helping him get home, they turned him over to the bad guys.”

While this news should not affect our efforts to get Hassoun freed from his captors, it should serve as an object lesson to others stationed in Iraq, especially American Muslims. The locals may seem friendly, and many of them probably are, but many people in that area of the world want to see you dead. On the whole, Marines and soldiers will improve their health by staying close to other Marines and soldiers and not accepting offers to sneak out of the country.
I suspect this will be part of the daily briefing at Coalition bases this week, if it isn’t already.

Brazilian Berserkers

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Brazilian protestors assaulted Minnesota lawmakers visiting Rio de Janeiro last week to discuss and debate the upcoming American presidential election:

Anti-American protesters throwing eggs, water and flour chased Minnesota House Majority Leader Erik Paulsen and another U.S. legislator from a Rio de Janeiro university campus last week, according to the two lawmakers and Brazilian news accounts. … An account in the Brazilian newspaper, O Dia, reported that a crowd of 100 surrounded the two U.S. dignitaries in a school auditorium, chanted anti-American slogans and pelted them as they tried to leave.
According to O Dia, some of the protesters threatened to hold the two legislators hostage and decapitate them in the manner of prisoners in Iraq. Mendoza said Monday that she and Paulsen also were threatened with envelopes addressed to them and marked “anthrax.”

I propose a boycott of all Brazilian imports until their government makes a formal apology for the treatment of American legislators in their country. Had something like this happened in the US to visiting dignitaries, our media would react with towering indignation and national debates about the lack of American tolerance would dominate the news. Apparently, in Brazil, this must be a common practice for dealing with people who hold differing opinions, as this happened last week and not a word has been spoken about this until now. The Brazilian governmemt failed to supply proper security for our envoys and have not followed up with any expression of regret for the behavior of their citizens, although the university has apologized to them.
One way to pressure them would be to back off from pushing for debt relief for Brazil. I have no desire to see a country full of out-of-control nutcases get paid for their socialistic insanity and complete lack of manners.