Patterico's Pontifications

7/25/2014

Meriam Ibrahim’s Release: Whom to Thank

Filed under: Current Events,General,Obama,Politics,Religion — JVW @ 10:24 am

[guest post by JVW]

Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian woman married to an American citizen, was flown to Rome from Khartoum yesterday, thus bringing to an end the saga of her death sentence handed down by a Sudanese Islamic court for alleged apostasy and adultery.

The trouble apparently began when Ms. Ibrahim traveled to Sudan on a Sudanese passport to visit her ailing mother. She brought her 18-month-old son, Martin, and was at the time in the second trimester of a pregnancy. Her Sudanese-American husband, Daniel Wani, is confined to a wheelchair due to MS and therefore remained in the couple’s New Hampshire home. The trouble in Khartoum began when Ms. Ibfahim’s Muslim half-brother, Al Semani Al Hadi, brought charges against her for allegedly abandoning the Islamic faith to marry a Christian man. Ms. Ibrahim contends that her mother is an Eastern Orthodox Christian and she has always practiced the Christian faith, but authorities declared that by having a Muslim father Ms. Ibrahim was obligated to follow the tenets of Islam, even though her father had left the family early in Ms. Ibrahim’s youth. Her marriage to a Christian and the birth of her son Martin (along with her obvious pregnancy) thus became adultery in the eyes of the Sharia court. Ms. Ibrahim was sentenced to death for the “crime” of apostasy and tossed in prison and placed in shackles. The death sentence was “mercifully” delayed so that Ms. Ibrahim could give birth to her second child, a daughter, Maya, and the 100 lashes that she was to receive for adultery were cancelled. According to both Ms. Ibrahim and Mr. Wani, she gave birth while her legs remained chained.

After an international outcry caused the Sudanese court to release her, she was once again arrested at the Khartoum Airport and charged with carrying false travel documents. This time, she and her children were allowed to serve their detention at the U.S. Embassy, but the family had to worry not only about the possibility of not being permitted to leave but also having the death sentence restored. Finally, she was granted new travel documents and permitted to leave with her children yesterday. The lawyer for Ms. Ibrahim told the Daily Mail that her release was secured by the Italian government, who provided the plane and dispatched a deputy foreign minister to escort the family to Rome where they had an audience with Pope Francis.

So you would think that the wife of a United States citizen with a son and a daughter who are natural-born United States citizens would have been way too frightening of a target for a Sudanese Sharia court, but we simply cannot ignore the degree to which radical Islam apparently believes that there are no consequences for poking the U.S. in the eye as long as Barack Obama is President.* As he so often does, Mark Steyn sums up the impotence of the Obama/Kerry crew perfectly:

Just to reiterate what happened here: A barbarian regime seized an American’s family and jailed them – and throughout their imprisonment no one in the United States Government did anything and neither the President nor his Secretary of State said a word. The British and Canadians helped, and the Italians sent a government plane and the deputy foreign minister. The Pope had time for the Wani family, but not President Fundraiser.

Meanwhile, the last remaining Christians are being forced to leave Mosul, a city that was once considered the heart of Christendom in Mesopotamia. And so it goes.

[* I am willing to concede that there exists the possibility that the Obama Administration worked relentlessly behind the scenes to secure the release of Ms. Ibrahim and her children, but thought that taking a strong public stance would complicate their efforts. Perhaps they coordinated very closely with the British, Canadians, and Italians on this matter, and someday the truth will come out and we will see that they deserve a great deal of the credit for convincing Sudan to release her. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility. Still, if I had to bet in this matter, I would put my money down on passivity and fecklessness by the administration where radical Islam is involved. If it can’t be accomplished with drones, this President doesn’t seem to want to try.]

- JVW

9/20/2011

White House gives the budget game away

Filed under: 2012 Election,Politics — Karl @ 6:19 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Right from the horse’s mouth – Pres. Obama was never interested in a bipartisan debt-reduction deal:

“It is fair to say we’ve entered a new phase,” said Dan Pfeiffer, Mr. Obama’s communications director. But he disputed what he called the conventional wisdom behind the president’s shift.

“The popular narrative is that we sought compromise in a quixotic quest for independent votes. We sought out compromise because a failure to get funding of the government last spring and then an extension of the debt ceiling in August would have been very bad for the economy and for the country,” Mr. Pfeiffer added. “We were in a position of legislative compromise by necessity. That phase is behind us.”

In this new phase, Mr. Obama must solidify support among Democrats by standing pat for progressive party principles, while trusting that a show of strong leadership for the policies he believes in will appeal to independents. Polls consistently suggest that perhaps the only thing that unites independents as much as their desire for compromise is their inclination toward leaders who signal strength by fighting for their beliefs. (Emphasis added.)*

Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for July 22, 2011 (not even two months ago), to the middle of the negotiations about raising the debt ceiling:

[GOP leaders] Boehner and Cantor were ready to accept up to $800 billion in revenue measures as part of a grand bargain. But when that number jumped, in part because of pressure from Democrats, the talks broke down. (Emphasis added.)

Obama had demanded another $400 billion or so in taxes.  And the amount Obama is demanding now as part of his fundamentally deceptive proposal is about the same, a bit less than $1.3 trillion in taxes.

The House GOP negotiators were willing to meet Obama more than halfway to his ultimate position.  He wrecked the “grand bargain” and helped bring about the S&P credit downgrade.  He now pushes again for the full loaf.  David Brooks looks like an even bigger sap and Andrew Sullivan looks like an even bigger loon.

*The combination of income growth and casualties explains 70% of the variation in the vote of pure independents.  In fact, the relationship between the economy and elections is stronger among independents than among partisans.  Evaluate the Pfeiffer/NYT theory accordingly.

–Karl

10/6/2010

L.A. Sheriff Lee Baca Endorses Jerry Brown for Governor

Filed under: 2010 Election,Politics — Jack Dunphy @ 10:53 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

The L.A. Times reports on the endorsement.

“Jerry Brown has championed the rights of crime victims, toughened criminal penalties and developed innovative crime-fighting technologies,” Baca said in the statement. “Jerry Brown has always stood with me and my deputies and I am proud to stand with him in his campaign for governor.”

Sheriff Baca, don’t look for too many of your deputies, or for any other cops for that matter, to be standing anywhere near you and Jerry Brown. Some of us remember that Brown, during his previous stint as governor, inflicted Rose Bird on us. Recall that Bird, as chief justice of the California Supreme Court, voted to overturn every single death penalty case that came before her, including some involving cop killers. Thus did she become the first chief justice to be tossed out of office by the voters, who did so by a 2-1 margin. What kind of judicial appointments might we expect from a new incarnation of Governor Brown?

–Jack Dunphy

7/30/2010

An Early Look at 2012

Filed under: 2012 Election,Politics — DRJ @ 4:46 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Newt Gingrich reviews the GOP field for President in 2012 and sees several candidates including Romney, Palin, Huckabee and several others.

Meanwhile, PowerLine’s John Hinderaker likes Tim Pawlenty.

– DRJ

Oregon Officials Won’t Prosecute Gore

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 4:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports former Vice President Al Gore won’t be prosecuted regarding allegations made by a massage therapist. More concerns about the accuser’s story are detailed at the link, including this:

“The Portland Tribune said it thoroughly investigated her allegations – including interviewing the accuser – only to determine it wasn’t responsible to move forward with a story. The paper reported that she failed a polygraph test. At least one other news organization also declined to publish a story.”

I didn’t realize newspapers investigated criminal allegations this aggressively.

– DRJ

7/29/2010

Rangel Charged With Ethics Violations

Filed under: Government,Politics — DRJ @ 6:20 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Former House Ways and Means Chairman and current Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) has been charged with 13 ethics violations.

I suspect Rangel’s age, status and longevity makes him think he can survive this politically, much as President Bill Clinton survived impeachment. If so, I think Rangel has misjudged this situation.

– DRJ

7/25/2010

What to Make of Charlie Rangel

Filed under: General,Politics — Jack Dunphy @ 9:59 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

On Friday, the Weekly Standard’s Mary Katherine Ham took a look at the difficulties facing Harlem Democrat Charlie Rangel, who finds himself facing ethics charges that allege a host of financial improprieties. Rangel is often spoken of in complimentary terms by conservatives like Bill Kristol and George Will, who unfailingly mention how likable the 40-year congressman is. This characterization has long puzzled me, as Rangel has always struck me as a man who, if he were to shake my hand, would have me checking for my wallet and watch afterward. Do any of you share that impression?

Rangel says he looks forward to addressing the charges against him.

Sure he does.

–Jack Dunphy

7/24/2010

The Consent of the Governed

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 8:25 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

What does the “consent of the governed” mean to you?

During my lifetime, many policies enacted by America’s leaders were reached by compromise and were supported by a majority of Americans (although, admittedly, some supporters were more enthusiastic than others). But at least since the Vietnam War, I believe Americans have become more polarized and intransigent in their political outlooks. As a result, there haven’t been many lasting Congressional or Presidential compromises in the last 40 years.

Of course, America’s history is filled with polarizing issues and Americans have faced and resolved many serious political disagreements. Nevertheless, I don’t see a compromise position between today’s big-government liberals and small-government conservatives.

If the liberal vs conservative divide is 50-50, I’m curious where that puts us … and where it leads.

– DRJ

7/23/2010

Vodkapundit: The Democrats’ Gang of 4

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 4:02 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Vodkapundit says there are 4 moderate Democrats standing up to President Obama — Senators Evan Bayh, Kent Conrad, Ben Nelson, and Jim Webb — and he believes their goal is to save their Party:

“Candidate Barack Obama ran as a moderate. He promised a “net spending cut.” Health reform was not, we were assured, intended to take over the insurance industry or feature an individual mandate. Taxes would go down for anyone making under $250,000 a year. “Too big to fail” was to be a thing of the past. Our nation was to become post-racial by the long-awaited election of a black man to the White House. And so it goes.

Instead, we got… more of everything. Taxes, spending, regulating, mandates, racial division — the entire liberal waterworks turned up to the max and pretty much all at once.

And moderate Democrats — genuinely moderate Democrats — like Messrs Bayh, Conrad, Nelson and Webb must be horrified. The candidate from 2008 who ran on the notion of returning us to Clinton-era surpluses has instead repudiated every policy and notion that made them possible.

Obama, they might rightly fear, is going to tarnish their party for a generation or more — and at the exact moment the Republican brand was so tarnished that the Democrats very recently were poised for a generation or more of national dominance.

So wish this Gang of Four the best of luck. Because we’re all going to need it.”

I don’t wish them luck because if they save the Democratic Party from Barack Obama’s liberal policies, that makes it more likely Obama will be re-elected in 2012. America doesn’t need a Democratic Party that is only moderate for a few months every 4 years.

– DRJ

7/22/2010

Rangel Charged With Ethics Violations

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 4:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Former House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) has been charged with multiple ethics violations.

Sources reportedly told the Associated Press that “Rangel’s attorney and the committee had failed to reach a settlement, which would have required an admission from Rangel that he broke ethics rules.” I guess this means he’ll take his chances in a subcommittee trial.

H/T jakee308.
– DRJ

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