TODAY IN POLITICS: Behind the scenes, 6 senators work to tackle the national debt, # NPRgate and the King Hearings, # Conservatives Push Back Against ‘Infectuous’ Wisconsin Public Unions, #

March 9, 2011

Latest Headlines

U.S. lawmakers keep quiet about Guantanamo tour

Florida Rep. Allen West toured the secretive Camp 7 at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — where the alleged Sept. 11 plotters are held — but wouldn’t say Tuesday what he saw. The reputed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators are held at the secluded site and West did acknowledge, “I did see one very popular individual.” » read more

Behind the scenes, 6 senators work to tackle the national debt

While the ugly public fight in Congress over how to keep the government funded for the next few months is getting all the attention, behind the scenes a bipartisan effort to craft a long-term path to fiscal stability is proceeding slowly and quietly. » read more

Gadhafi’s offer to talk reveals division among Libya’s rebels

An offer from Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to open negotiations to end the three-week-old war has revealed a split within the rebel movement that controls this city and much of the eastern half of Libya. » read more

House Republicans: Failing mortgage-aid programs should go

A handful of foreclosure prevention measures run by the Obama administration are so ineffectual, inefficient and complicated that, according to Republicans in the House of Representatives, the programs should be killed outright » read more

Senate Debating on Competing Spending Bills

Updated 19 min. ago

Associated Press 

Associated Press

The Senate is in the midst of a three-hour debate on two opposing proposals to fund the federal government through September 30.

Once the debate concludes at 3pm ET, members will first vote on the House-passed budget bill (HR. 1); if it fails to garner the 60 votes needed to pass then Sen. Inouye’s (D-HI) substitute amendment will be brought to the floor for a vote. It is anticipated that neither budget bill will reach the 60-vote requirement.

Both bills include cuts on the current spending levels, the GOP bill will cut spending by $61 billion while the Democratic counter proposal would cut $5.1 billion.

While the cuts draw primarily from domestic spending, some senators have said the cuts are not deep enough. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who voted against the short-term spending resolution on March 2, has proposed a $500 billion cut.

More »

Christian parents jailed


In Germany, several parents have been jailed for keeping their children from attending sex-education programs at school.

Will health care law raise states’ Medicaid costs?

By Tony Pugh | McClatchy Newspapers

The nation’s Republican governors are raising a new complaint against the 2010 national health overhaul, which they deride as “Obamacare.” They say it would drive up their Medicaid costs dramatically at a time they’re already slashing their budgets to cope with debt. » read more

In Islam, ‘democracy’ a foreign concept


American-born Israeli author and political expert David Rubin says Americans need to understand the distinction between “free elections” and “democracy” when watching the tumultuous mayhem in the Middle East.

NPR exec slams tea party on hidden camera


video icon buttonThe latest round of conservative attacks on public broadcasting got fresh ammunition with the release of a hidden-camera video of an NPR executive calling the tea party racist and saying the network would be better off without federal money anyway.

Muslim believes hearings on radicalization can do good


poll vote button 2video icon buttonA Muslim physician who plans to testify at Thursday’s congressional hearing on Islamic radicalism says American Muslims need to “address the ideology that feeds that.”

Sexual harassment suit filed against FL congressman


Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a woman who alleges she was sexually harassed for two years by Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings of Florida.

Threats alleged in MD ‘gay marriage’ debate


Maryland may become the latest state to impose homosexual “marriage” on its citizens — but legislators won’t necessarily have the last word.

Perspective: Setting the record straight on ‘Skins’


Pat Trueman smallIf MTV and Viacom are airing sexual content involving children, they can be charged with more than just bad taste.

Perspective: Arab unrest and the status of women


Dr. David Aikman smallIn the Arab world, half of the entire population is regularly subjected to mistreatment that would be utterly intolerable, indeed illegal, in any orderly democratic society.

Union myths


Thomas Sowell smallLabor unions are one of a growing number of institutions that specialize in siphoning off wealth created by others.

An escape for victims of sex trafficking


A former prostitute says the sex-trafficking industry is a “Mafioso undercover lifestyle,” and its secrets can be told only by the bravest of those who has counted the cost.

Major pro-life bill progresses


Congress fights a battle every session on use of taxpayer dollars for abortion. H.R. 3 would ban federal money for that purpose, putting government out of the abortion-enabling business.

All Americans should be AG Holder’s ‘people’


A conservative black writer and commentator is calling U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to task for making what he believes was a racially charged comment during a recent congressional hearing.

NPRgate and the King Hearings

by Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

The evidence James O’Keefe has provided of how open to penetration are key elements of our society should provide fresh encouragement to identify and root out the shariah-adherent “extremists” in the Muslim American community.

DHS Conducts ‘Drive-by’ Surveillance. What’s Next?

by Annie Jacobsen

The government flouts the Fourth Amendment in the name of security.

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The Protocols of the Elders of NPR

by Roger L Simon

As well they should, Nation Public Radio is backing and shuffling fast to cover the public humiliation of the promulgation of a video showing NPR execs playing funding footsie with two putative donors masquerading as representatives of a Muslim Brotherhood front group.

Europe’s Ticking Demographic Time Bomb

by Soeren Kern

The days of Europe’s highly vaunted cradle-to-grave social welfare state are numbered.

Europe Takes the Lead in Defending Freedom and Western Values

by Ryan Mauro

While President Obama stays in the background, European leaders have moved to the forefront of efforts to protect the West from Islamic extremism.

What We’re Talking About When We Talk About Big Government

by David Steinberg

Behold: the structure of redundancy, stupidity, and unconstitutional power the 100-year fog of leftism has created.

BREAKING: Iran Official Admits Aiding Hezbollah, Says Middle East Oil Will Be Cut Off To West

by ‘Reza Kahlili’

In a translation exclusive to PJM, the Commander of the Basij forces — Brigadier General Mohammad-Reza Naghdi — makes a stunning admission and a remarkable threat.

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‘Even the Liberal New York Times Writes….’

by Ron Radosh

A dissection of a mixed-up Times lead editorial that attempts to oppose Scott Walker in Wisconsin for trying to take on public sector unions, while supporting Andrew Cuomo in New York for trying to do the same thing. (And don’t miss Ed Driscoll on “Two Papers in One.”)

In Defense of Uncivil Speech

by Robert Shibley

We don’t lament the fact that some people in American history had to be rude, recalcitrant, or peacefully disruptive to make their points.

Don’t Let Gaddafi Retire as Tyrant Emeritus in Venezuela

by Claudia Rosett

Chavez is embarked on an array of monstrous projects for which an exiled Gaddafi, pitching his tent in Venezuela, could be a font of expert advice.

In Through the Abattoir

by Ed Driscoll

Charting the Great Celebrity Implosion of the 21st century.

From Saigon to Baghdad

by Michael J. Totten

Michael Totten gets the opinions of Rick Francona — one of our preeminent intelligence analysts — on his specialties: North Africa, the Levant, and the Gulf.

Led by a Follower: The Danger of a Weak President

by Chris Salcedo

Obama defers to the tyrants and the UN, and the world is more dangerous because of it.

Obama and the Tea Party — the Race Card Keeps on Turning

by Roger L Simon

The left keeps accusing the right of racism and the right keeps denying it, demanding evidence, which is never forthcoming. Not once. But that doesn’t stop the left. They continue the accusations — and President Obama believes them.

The Iranian Civil War

by Michael Ledeen

You know that famous satellite photo of the Korean peninsula, the one where the south is all aglitter with lights and the north is virtually all dark? The mullahs want to turn off all the cultural and informational lights except for a few that they control. Fortunately though, it’s too late for that.

PJM Exclusive: Congress Questions SEC Chief’s Involvement in New Madoff Scandal

by Richard Pollock

SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro’s general counsel personally profited from Bernard Madoff, which Schapiro knew about. Today, Rep. Darrell Issa and Rep. Charles Grassley asked her for answers.

Frankfurt shooting update: Gunman shouted ‘Allahu akbar’ before opening fire (UPDATED)

by Bryan Preston

Today’s shooting in Germany left two U.S. Air Force airmen dead and two others wounded. (UPDATE: “Thoughts on the Frankfurt attack.”)

Skipping the Light Transgressive, Pratt Institute Edition

by Roger Kimball

Free speech, diversity, and the consequences of challenging The Narrative at the famous New York school of art.

The PalinTracker: Media Binges as Milbank Goes Cold Turkey

by Barbara Curtis

Your loyal PalinTracker boils down six weeks of coverage and thousands of headlines.

PJ Tatler Exclusive: Was the U.S. a Victim of an Economic 9/11 in 2008?

by Patrick Poole

An unclassified Defense Department report we’re making available exclusively at the PJ Tatler makes a case for financial terrorism being suspected in the ’08 economic crash.

Freedom on the March? No Thanks to the American Left

by R. Dozier Gray

Cozy with dictators and critical of the U.S., will they change their tune now?

Holy Russian Empire, Batman!

by Kim Zigfeld

His earthly power faltering, Putin turns to the church.

Democracy or Jew-Hatred? The Libyan Edition

by John Rosenthal

In Libya now, just as in Egypt one month ago, protesters are using the Star of David as a symbol of hatred and contempt.

Cheap Spirits and the Spirit of Freedom

by Bruce Bawer

When I learned that liquor can be sold in Louisiana all day and night, I was stunned. But then, I’ve lived in Norway so long that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to live like an adult.

Video: Roger L. Simon talks Hollywood and Politics on Fox & Friends

by The Tatler

PJM’s CEO, Roger L. Simon, appeared on Fox & Friends Sunday morning to talk about his new book, Turning Right at Hollywood and Vine: The Perils of Coming out Conservative in Tinseltown.

J Street Day 2: A Continuing Anti-Israel Tirade

by Ron Radosh

If anything, given their position on the recent UN resolution, J Street is worse on its position towards Israel than the Obama administration itself. (And if you missed Ron’s take on the first session of J. Street’s 2nd National Conference, click here.) UPDATE: No Kosher food at Jewish J Street conference!

Breaking: Iran Has Several Military Bases in Libya

by ‘Reza Kahlili’

According to an inside source, the military collaborations between Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the Gaddafi government date back to 2006.

Iranian Regime Kidnaps Mousavi and Karroubi

by Michael Ledeen

The attacks on the two top leaders of the Green Movement prove the gravity of the Iranian crisis and the panic at the highest levels of the Islamic Republic.

File photo/Getty Images

Schumer seeks budget fight ‘reset’

Michael O’Brien - 03/09/11 01:23 PM ET
Sen. Charles Schumer said lawmakers should consider mandatory spending and “revenue raisers” in their talks over controlling spending.…


Related Story: Conrad: Broader deficit discussion ‘healthy’ 

Related Story: Harkin opposes ‘Gang’ addressing Social Security

What John Boehner learned from Republicans’ missteps in 1995

Molly K. Hooper and Bob Cusack - 03/09/11 06:00 AM ET

The spending-cut standoff with Democrats will go a long way in defining John Boehner’s success, or failure, as Speaker.…
Obama taps Locke as China envoy

Sam Youngman - 03/09/11 11:17 AM ET

President Obama said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke would help advance American business interests in China as the next ambassador.…
Palin vs. Christie: GOP rock-star feud

Christian Heinze - 03/09/11 06:09 AM ET

Two of the party’s best-known figures, Chris Christie and Sarah Palin don’t seem to like each other very much.…

Related Story: Palin to speak at key evangelical university

NPR chief resigns after video sting

Jordan Fabian - 03/09/11 09:37 AM ET

NPR CEO Vivian Schiller resigned Wednesday after footage surfaced this week of another executive attacking conservatives. …

Related Story: Cantor says NPR doesn’t need federal funding

Rep. Berkley in no rush to decide on Senate bid; expects clear Dem primary

Shane D’Aprile - 03/09/11 07:25 AM ET

Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) said she has assurances from other Dems they won’t run if she decides to.…

Related Story: Dem leader ducks question on Sen. Kohl retirement

Obama sees opening in social-issue split

Sam Youngman - 03/09/11 06:20 AM ET

Social issues could be a distraction for Republicans at a time when voters are worried about economic issues.…
The legacy of Gabe Zimmerman

Kirsten Korosec - 03/09/11 06:37 AM ET

Those who knew the Rep. Giffords aide want him to be remembered for how he lived, not how he died.…
King receives threats on hearing’s eve

Jordy Yager - 03/08/11 08:19 PM ET

Rep. Pete King is receiving threatening phone calls and increased police protection ahead of a hearing on U.S. Muslim “radicalization.”…

Related Story: Congress Blog: Why we should probe radicalization

GOP ups pressure on president: ‘Let’s see some leadership’

Russell Berman

03/09/11 11:29 AM ET

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor pressed President Obama to become directly involved in the budget debate roiling Capitol Hill.…

Related Story: Obama to meet with Senate Democrats

Related Story: GOP calls out Obama, preps second stopgap

Michael Steele: RNC’s Wisconsin response ‘wimpish’ and ‘late’

Jordan Fabian

03/09/11 01:39 PM ET

Former chief Mchael Steele criticized the Republican National Committee for its reaction to the Wisconsin showdown…
May special election for seat of NY lawmaker in online dating scandal

Sean J. Miller

03/09/11 12:43 PM ET

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has set a special election date for the seat formerly held by Republican Chris Lee. …
Second House panel investigating waivers from Obama health law

Jason Millman

03/09/11 09:01 AM ET

Republicans on a second House panel are investigating healthcare waivers awarded to more than a thousand organizations.…
Lawmakers won’t move Korean trade deal until other pacts are ready

Vicki Needham

03/09/11 11:11 AM ET

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus said the administration needs to move forward on the Colombia and Panama trade agreements.…
House GOP freshman critical of feds’ health plan won’t join it

Jordan Fabian

03/09/11 08:01 AM ET

Rep. Andy Harris drew Democrats’ ire for complaining about having to wait to receive insurance; he’ll keep his private plan.…
End of the Julius Genachowski era may come soon at the FCC

Sara Jerome

03/09/11 06:28 AM ET

His departure would end a turbulent period capped by the agency’s historic approval of net-neutrality rules last December.…

Related Story: FCC chief in running for Obama Cabinet post

Blaming Israel, Ignoring Radical Islam at J Street’s National Conference

by Ron Radosh

Hardly a surprise, since the left-wing group’s own statement of principles says it opposes “efforts to demean and fan fears of Islam or of Muslims.”

WikiLeaks Cables Reveal Muslim Brotherhood Ties to Iran

by Brian Fairchild

Despite evidence from our own State Department to the contrary, why does Obama think that this organization would be a positive player in forming the new Egyptian government?

How About Adding a North Korea Crisis to the Mix?

by Dan Miller

Things on the peninsula are getting ever more dire, and we know the president won’t act with any urgency.

Conservatives Push Back Against ‘Infectuous’ Wisconsin Public Unions

by Jack Dunphy

There is no carnival so vulgar that it cannot be made more so by the presence of Jesse Jackson, who told ABC News that he found the spirit of the assembled protesters in Madison “infectuous.”

Why Do Islamic Groups Fear Hearings on Islamic Radicalization?

by Patrick Poole

Because they are the radicalization problem. (Patrick Poole will be covering Thursday’s hearings live on PJTV. And don’t miss this PJTV FLASHBACK: “Roger Simon calls for congressional hearing on censorship of Islamic terminology”)

Al-Qaeda Already Using Wikileaks Material Against Us

by Brian Fairchild

The terrorists have tapped into their extensive network of sympathizers to glean intelligence from the leaked cables.

Did Clip of Brian De Palma’s Redacted Lead Frankfurt Shooter to Kill?

by John Rosenthal

Arid Uka said he was motivated by a YouTube video of American soldiers raping a girl in Afghanistan. The likeliest source of such a clip is the De Palma feature. Also read about the NBA owner who financed the film at the Tatler.

Why We Need to Drill Here and Drill Now

by Steve Everley

The president’s policy won’t create more energy — or more jobs.

The J Street Conference: Where’s the Outrage?

by P. David Hornik

The respectable left plays a dangerous game.

Every March 8, Iranian Women Stand Against the Regime

by Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi

Every International Women’s Day, Iranian women bravely march for equality under threat of persecution. UPDATE: Also read Meltdown in Tahrir Square at the Tatler.

Eerie Coincidences in Failure of NASA Climate Monitoring Satellites

by Rand Simberg

The failure of two NASA satellites built to study climate change raises the unlikely — but still possible — specter of sabotage.

Obama’s Mind

by Bruce Bawer

All of Obama’s deep thinking is ultimately bogus. Just consider his constantly “evolving” stance on gay marriage.

In Midwest, Former Union Households Adopting Anti-Union Attitudes

by Richard Pollock

The factories are gone, and with them, the unions: the Midwest may be seeing a huge swing away from the Democrats.

Want Education Reform? Start With Higher Ed

by Publius Audax

Under liberal rule, it’s corrupt, cushy, and ripe for competition.

No BC and AD? That Spells Culture War

by Clayton E. Cramer

The sensitivity police arrest our calendar.

Some Very Bad American Habits

by Victor Davis Hanson

The wealthier and more leisured we have become, the more we have developed some terrible habits that will have to end if we are going to return to fiscal sobriety and a unified culture.

Annals of Islamic Intimidation, Amateur Hour

by Roger Kimball

When “unfounded remarks” turn out to be remarkably well-sourced.

A ‘Flawed’ GOP Field vs. a Flawed President

by Myra Adams

Obama’s shortcomings dwarf those of the Republican hopefuls.

Obama’s Contradictions on the ‘Will of the People’

by Joseph Puder

He endorsed the “will of the people” in Egypt without knowing what it is, and he actively rejected the will of the Israeli people who voted for a center-right government.

Treating Israel like Dirt

by David Solway

Turning the tables on Israel’s accusers.

AG Holder Needs to Retract False Statement about Domestic Violence

by Carey Roberts

Holder made a mockery of Obama’s pledge to keep ideology out of scientific inquiry.

Murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry Was Armed with … Beanbags?

by Bob Owens

A political policy that left a Border Patrol agent facing lethally armed men with only a beanbag gun is likely responsible for his death.

Frankfurt Shooter Admits To Shouting ‘Allah Akbar’

by John Rosenthal

Arid Uka’s Facebook friends list was a “Who’s Who of the German Islamist Scene.”

Regime Change in Iran: A Win for the Gulf and the West

by Harold Rhode

With Tehran fomenting unrest among the Shias in oil-rich gulf states, now is the time for the US to help the Iranians overthrow the despots who oppress them.

The End of the Drilling Permitorium? Guess Again

by Jazz Shaw

The first permit issued for drilling in the Gulf since the Obama administration declared a moratorium is … not for a new well at all.

A Toxic Consensus on Toxic Substances?

by Angela Logomasini

Brace yourself for another round of bureaucracy.

Union conceding on teacher tenure?


The head of the nation’s second largest teachers union has recently turned heads by making some concessions in regards to a subject that was once held as non-negotiable – tenure.

Public schools replace God with humanism, says filmmaker


A new documentary examines the disconnect between American public education and the Christian faith. IndoctriNation, a 90-minute documentary film on education, explores one of the most important and controversial issues in modern history.

Ethnic ministries flourish in Kansas


A church in an unlikely city is reaching multi-national immigrants and refugees with impressive success.

Don’t run from conflict


Mark Gregston small Read the latest advice on raising teens from the founder of Heartlight Ministries.

‘Sharia-compliant’ radio?


A group which opposes the spread of radical Islam says WMAL in Washington, DC, has caved to the demands of an Islamic supremacist organization, making it the first “sharia-compliant” radio station in America.


Story contains results from Tuesday’s poll

More evidence — media ‘playing up’ homosexuality


A Christian-based group is taking exception to a weekend news report on the disproportionate influence of homosexual state lawmakers.

Pilot for ABC series nothing but ‘toxic waste’


The American Family Association is taking exception to a pilot for a new series on ABC.

  • Sec. Duncan Defends FY2012 Education Budget

    Updated 3 hr., 27 min. ago

    The Administration’s budget request for fiscal year 2012 proposes a $94.3 billion budget for the Department of Education. The plan includes a large increase in discretionary funding from this year’s budget.

    Today, the House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a hearing titled, “The Budget and Policy Proposals of the U.S. Department of Education.” Committee members will review the suggested budget and the affects of an increase in spending for the department’s fiscal and educational policies. More »

  • Committee Starts to Deal with Housing Finance Reform

    first in series of hearings

    Updated 7 hr., 17 min. ago

    The Senate Banking Committee today commences the first in a series of hearings looking at the state of the housing market. Witnesses, including industry leaders and experts, will give their thoughts on the challenges facing the U.S. housing market and how Congress can best improve its condition.

    In recent months, Treasury Sec. Timothy Geithner and other cabinet officials have made the rounds on Capitol Hill regarding the government’s take-over of mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Many members of Congress have agreed with a portion of the White House’s plan to move towards privatization of home mortgages to help sustain the housing industry. More »

    • Housing Hearing: c‑ at 2:30pm ET

Capitol Hill

Hearing to Ask if Federal Workers are Underpaid

pay-for-performance system evaluated

Updated 3 hr., 27 min. ago

Associated Press 

Associated Press

Over the past year, the debate regarding federal workforce pay has taken place in Congress and the media. Today, the issue comes before a House Oversight Committee when its Chairman will introduce a pay-for-performance system for federal employees during a hearing, titled “Are Federal Workers Underpaid?.”

Lawmakers will consider the discrepancy between federal and private-sector employees’ pay, along with a review of performance-based incentives now available in the government and the for-profit business community. Witnesses from both sides of the pay-for-performance plan will participate, along with questions regarding federal collective bargaining. More »

Broder, dean of political writers, dies

By JAMES HOHMANN | 03/09/11 1:58 PM
David S. Broder is pictured. | Newscom Photo

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