Author Archives: Robert Zimmerman

Three Reasons That Obama’s Speech Will Worry the Jewish Community

Three reasons that Obama’s speech today will worry the Jewish community.

I especially liked this particular comment in the comments section:

Americans,and to a lesser extent Israelis, need to stop treating renouncing terror as a concession from the Palestinians. For most societies it is a prerequisite to merely being considered worth talking to as human beings. If Palestinian society is not willing to condemn beheading a three month old and shooting an anti-tank at a school bus, then they are savages who should be treated as such.

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Obama and ignoring the War Powers Act

Obama and ignoring the War Powers Act.

If nothing happens, history will say that the War Powers Act was condemned to a quiet death by a president who had solemnly pledged, on the campaign trail, to put an end to indiscriminate warmaking.

The point here has nothing to do with whether the military operation in Libya is wise or foolish. The point is that Obama has now committed American troops to a war without legal authorization.

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“The mood was less than cordial.”

Boehner meets with tea party activists from his district. “The mood was less than cordial.”

Surely, there are Tea Party activists with unreasonable expectations of what Republicans can accomplish with control of the House. However, the major beef Tea Partiers have with Republicans is not their lack of accomplishment. It’s their unwillingness to stand and fight, their apparent lack of principle, and the resulting impotence toward shifting the narrative in Washington.

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Gouges and dings found on the tiles on Endeavour’s belly

Seven damage sites, mostly small gouges and dings, have been found on the tiles on Endeavour’s belly.

“This is not cause for alarm, it’s not cause for any concern,” said [LeRoy Cain, chairman of NASA’s Mission Management Team]. “We know how to deal with these things in terms of how to assess them. We know that if we get to the point where we need some more data for our assessment, we have a plan for going and doing that.”

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Social Security deficits now “permanent”

More thrilling budgetary news: The Social Security deficit is now “permanent.”

Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund is now slated to run out of money in 2024, or five years earlier than last year’s projection, while Social Security’s trust fund will be exhausted by 2036, a year earlier than the prior projection.

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White House shuts out Herald scribe

Obama transparency: The White House has shut out a reporter because it disliked the slant of the newspaper’s news coverage. In the administration’s own words:

“I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich wrote in response to a Herald request for full access to the presidential visit. “My point about the op-ed was not that you ran it but that it was the full front page, which excluded any coverage of the visit of a sitting US President to Boston. I think that raises a fair question about whether the paper is unbiased in its coverage of the President’s visits,” Lehrich wrote.

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Napolitano: “Very, very, very few” people get TSA patdowns

Napolitano: “Very, very, very few” people get TSA patdowns. NOT!

PolitiFact Georgia therefore took the TSA figures and did some math. The TSA’s Allen told us that “on an average day, about 2 million people are screened at TSA checkpoints.” Three percent of 2 million is 60,000 people. That means that over the course of a month, roughly 1.8 million people receive a pat-down. That’s more than four times the population of Atlanta.

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Osama’s killing was not only legal, it was morally right

Osama’s killing was not only legal, it was morally right.

Under any sane construction of the laws of war, the killing of Bin Laden was lawful regardless of whether he “raised his hands in surrender” or whether the American soldiers were under orders to shoot without giving him a chance to surrender. By suggesting otherwise, human rights lawyers only make international law look out of step with basic morality and common sense.

The opportunity to surrender is a cherished, civilized and valuable part of warfare. But accepting an enemy’s white flag in the heat of battle is a life-endangering proposition: The flag could be a ruse; a bomb could be hidden; the captors could end up dead. We give enemy soldiers the benefit of this dangerous doubt for two reasons. First, because soldiers who have fought honorably, complying with the laws of war, have earned it. And second, because we want the enemy to treat our soldiers the same way.

Neither reason applies, however, to enemies who flagrantly violate the laws of war, targeting civilians for death, hiding bombs behind burkas, using children as shields or — yes — faking a Red Cross, upraised hands or other symbolic white flags to perpetrate lethal attacks. A white flag makes a statement. It says, I’m giving up; I’m unarmed and pose no threat; I respect the laws of war under which this flag must never be used as a ruse, and I am not using it as a ruse to attack you. Even if we imagine Bin Laden actually waving a little white sock on a stick in Abbottabad, there would have been no reason for our soldiers to credit these statements. No soldier had a duty to take the slightest risk to his own life because Osama bin Laden promised to be good from now on. [emphasis mine]

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Private citizen commits $25 million for Giant Magellan Telescope

Private citizen has just donated $25 million for the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope.

This is how it used to be done all the time: All the early giant telescopes built in the United States before World War II were financed by individuals or private foundations, with no or little government investment.

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