Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Decision 2012, The Rick Moran Show — Rick Moran @ 4:39 pm

You won’t want to miss tonight’s Rick Moran Show, one of the most popular conservative political talk shows on Blog Talk Radio.

Tonight, I welcome Jazz Shaw of Hot Air, Ed Lasky of American Thinker, and Vodkapundit Stephen Green. We’ll discuss Obama’s re-election prospects as well as taking a look at some of the latest dismal economic news.

The show will air from 7:00 - 8:00 PM Central time. You can access the live stream here. A podcast will be available for streaming or download shortly after the end of the broadcast.

Click on the stream below and join in on what one wag called a “Wayne’s World for adults.”

Also, if you’d like to call in and put your two cents in, you can dial (718) 664-9764.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio


Filed under: Politics, WORLD POLITICS, War on Terror — Rick Moran @ 9:25 am

My latest at FrontPage.com is about the chaos in Yemen and how Al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula is taking advantage of it.

A sample:

About 400 Islamic extremists have moved into the southern coastal city of Zinjibar in the lawless province of Abyan with the stated purpose of establishing a fundamentalist Islamic state in Yemen. There are conflicting reports about which group has seized this provincial capital and third largest city in the country, with some residents reporting that it is Al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) which has moved in, while other press reports identify a local fundamentalist tribal group known as Ansar al-Sharia. But Yemen scholar Gregory Johnsen tweeted on Sunday that AQAP has begun calling itself by that name recently.

The government fought back, bombing buildings and compounds where the extremists were holed up and sending ground forces in to try and wrest control of the city from the militants. Helicopter gunships may have destroyed up to 200 homes with at least 12 people killed during the counterattack. Thousands have fled the fighting and the prospect of being governed by extremists.

Zinjibar is the second major city in Abyan province to fall into the hands of extremists. The city of Jaar was captured by al-Qaeda in March where the terrorists issued a declaration naming the city an “Islamic emirate.” Professor Saeed Al-Jamhi, a professor at the University of Sanaa, head of al-Jamhi Center for Studies and Research, and an expert on AQAP, believes that al-Qaeda has already “absorbed the blow” to it delivered by the Arab uprisings, and is beginning to turn the revolts to its advantage — especially in Yemen.

Al-Jamhi points out that that AQAP believes that Abyan province will be a central hub due to “ideological considerations.” Apparently, it is part of Salafi belief that Yemen “is a desert of salvation stretching north towards the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant, and from it to the world to form the so-called Islamic caliphate.” In this context, AQAP believes itself well-positioned to exploit the lack of control by the central government and can carve out an independent entity that, for all practical purposes, does not answer to any Yemeni government authority.

The violence in Yemen has increased in recent days and the government is beginning to crumble. An entire brigade of the powerful Republican guard has defected en masse to the opposition and nine generals have signed a statement that urged government forces to stand with the “peaceful, popular revolution.” Abdullah Ali Eliwa, A former defense minister of Saleh’s, has accused the president of ordering the army “to hand over Zinjibar” to the extremists. Witnesses in Zinjibar claim the small military force fled on Friday when the extremists entered the city but it is unclear if they were ordered out, or retreated on their own.

The president has used the AQAP threat in the past to crackdown on dissidents and maintain his dictatorship. For the Yemeni opposition, it has become a question of credibility. Saleh has “cried wolf” so often that even a genuine threat from extremists on one of the nation’s largest cities is met with skepticism and continued demands that he relinquish control of the country immediately. Saleh has already promised three times that he would resign, agreeing to terms negotiated by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. Three times, he has reneged on the agreement, citing the chaos that would descend on Yemen if he were to depart.


Uncertain Odds for Wisconsin Government Union Law

Filed under: FrontPage.Com, Politics — Rick Moran @ 7:39 am

My FrontPage.com column this morning looks at the fallout from Judge Sumi’s decision yesterday to issue a permanent injunction against Governor Walker’s Budget Repair bill that reforms collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin.

A sample:

Judge Sumi, appointed by former Republican Governor Tommy Thompson, badly botched the decision according to some legal experts. Christian Schneider at National Review Online and others point to a glaring error made by Sumi, who wrote in her decision that the there was “no conflicting senate” rule that would contradict the open meeting law’s time requirements (24 hours notice for a legislative conference committee, from which a bill can then be brought to the floor).

But as law professor William Jacobson points out on his blog, there is indeed such a rule and that it specifically exempts committee meetings held during special sessions.

That’s not the only curious thinking in Judge Sumi’s opinion. Jacobson points to a critical precedent that says “courts must await a law coming into effect before ruling on the law, Goodland v. Zimmerman.” Sumi dismissed the impact of the precedent by claiming that it was decided before the open meeting law was passed. But Jacobson pointed out the obvious: “[T]he principle is the same; courts rule on legislation, courts do not stop legislation from being made.”

Some court watchers were surprised at the timing of Judge Sumi’s decision. Rick Esenberg, a Marquette University law professor who has tracked the court’s activities, told JS Online that he was not surprised at Sumi’s ruling, but was surprised that she handed down the decision now. “She had clearly indicated that was her view,” he said.”[Y]ou had the sense that she had established that she wasn’t going to rule this early, but apparently she decided she needed to do it.”

What might have compelled Sumi to issue the ruling now? Christian Schneider at NRO reports that the state’s Department of Justice wrote a letter to the judge on Wednesday asking her to recuse herself from the case because of a brief she had filed with the supreme court last week. The state DOJ objected to Sumi’s pronouncement that legislation can be thrown out due to violations of the open meeting law. The department argued that a judge should recuse his or herself from a case when a public comment has been made that “commits, or appears to commit” the judge to any issue or controversy in the case before him or her. So, to head off trouble with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Sumi rushed her decision into print.

The issue of her recusal doesn’t matter now. But it underscores the slipshod manner in which Judge Sumi has handled this case from the beginning. Her original temporary injunction did not include a stricture against the Wisconsin Secretary of State scheduling the publication of the law — an oversight that allowed the Republican majority to ignore her original restraining order. On March 29, Sumi was forced to issue an additional injunction, enjoining the Secretary of State from officially designating a date for publication. But Bill Cosh, a spokesman for the Department of Justice, said at the time, “We don’t believe that the court can enjoin non-parties. Whether the Department of Administration or other state officers choose to comply with any direction issued by Judge Sumi is up to them.”

There is also the matter of recall elections for GOP senators that could tip the balance of the senate to the Democrats if they sweep all three of them. All in all, this issue will still be alive going into the fall.


Filed under: Decision 2012, PJ Media, Politics — Rick Moran @ 7:35 am

My latest is up at Pajamas Media in which I make it clear that I am unhappy with the current gaggle of “ideologues, kooks, bomb throwers, party traitors, flip-floppers, and non-entities.”

A sample:

Now don’t get me wrong. Some of the candidates have a lot on the ball. Herman Cain appears to be an immensely talented man, although why he would want to run for president is a mystery. Sarah Palin is a born politician, although why that would recommend her as chief executive, I am at a loss to say. Newt Gingrich is a very bright fellow who took a wrong turn in life 30 years ago and ended up on the hustings instead of in the classroom where people would have enjoyed his lectures rather than resent them.

There’s not much wrong with Tim Pawlenty. There’s not much right about him either. He is a colorless non-entity — a dollop of vanilla ice cream covered with vanilla frosting. If he ever wore a gray suit, he would blend in with the background. Presidential material he is not.

The Libertarian contingent of Ron Paul and Gary Johnson is the designated comedy relief for the campaign. Count on them to say something so outrageous that even ideologues in the Republican Party have to disavow it. Safe to say, they will be a non-factor except at debates where Paulbots and Johnson Zombies will try to stuff the online ballot boxes in order to give their man a “victory.”

Given the paucity of talent, experience, and ability, the GOP might do better holding a “cattle call” for candidates. They do the same thing on Broadway to cast musical comedies and it seems to work out OK for them. Send out a notice to every agent in the city or simply put an ad in Variety about an open audition and hundreds of starving actors show up with dreams of glory in their heads.

Something similar could be figured out to find a decent GOP presidential candidate. An ad in the National Enquirer ought to bring in a few hundred applicants at least.

Wanted: Candidate to Run for President on the Republican Ticket. Experience in government desirable, but not required. Ability to communicate a must. Should be sensitive to right-wing social issues, hate taxes, despise government spending, and not like Muslims very much. Establishment types need not apply.

I’m exaggerating, of course. But not by much, and not so much that there isn’t a ring of truth in my analysis. Bottom line: The GOP has 2 or 3 candidates who could be elected president. But they have no one, I believe, who could make an effective president.



Filed under: Politics, health care reform — Rick Moran @ 4:32 pm

So, the Democrats played “The GOP wants you to die” card with seniors in NY-26 and, as expected, it worked like a charm. A district that was a +6 in favor of Republicans fell to a Democrat by a close, but still solid plurality 47-43.

For those Republicans believing that if only Tea Party candidate Jack Davis had stayed off the ballot they could have won, Nate Silver busts that balloon:

Suppose that Mr. Davis and Mr. Murphy were not running, and that this were a true two-way race between Ms. Hochul and Ms. Corwin. If Ms. Corwin had won all of Mr. Davis’s vote (and Ms. Hochul won all of Mr. Murphy’s vote), she would have won 51-49.

That would still qualify as a bad night for the Republicans, however. Based on the way that the district votes in presidential elections, it is 6 percentage points more Republican than the country as a whole. That means, roughly speaking, that in a neutral political environment with average candidates, Ms. Corwin would have won 56 percent of the vote and Ms. Hochul 44 percent — a 12-point victory. A 2-point win instead, therefore, would have spoken to a relatively poor political environment for the Republicans.

Nor is it likely that Ms. Corwin would in fact have won all of Mr. Davis’s votes. He ran in the district as a Democrat in 2006, and polls suggested that his voters leaned Republican by roughly a 2-1 margin, but not more than that. If you had split his vote 2-1 in favor of Ms. Corwin, the results would have been Ms. Hochul 51 percent, and Ms. Corwin 48 percent.

A much larger contributing factor was the minuscule turnout of 25%. If it had been a normal mid-term turnout of 35%, Corwin probably wins.

But there’s no use playing the “what if” game. The Democrats rolled into the district and demagogued the Medicare issue, spending a tidy sum on ads accusing Republicans of wanting to cut off Gramma and Grandpa’s Medicare. Fine - that’s politics. They saw an opening and they went for the jugular.

But, as George Custer said to his brother Tom as half the Indians on the prairie were charging up Last Stand Hill at the Little Big Horn, “Now what?”

The Democrats have a victory and have portrayed themselves successfully as the defenders of old folks, children, and 3-legged dogs. But garnering political victory by hammering your opponent over entitlement reform doesn’t make the problem go away. And since Democrats have been less than forthcoming - a lot less - in announcing their own plan to “save” Medicare, perhaps it’s time to let us all in on the secret and tell us their brilliant plan.

It’s not just Medicare, of course. One wonders if the Democrats are praying for some kind of miracle that will make the trillion dollar plus deficits magically disappear with no voters experiencing any pain, bear any additional cost for any service they get from government, or get mad at any politician for trying to bring fiscal sanity back to the country. We are borrowing 40% of what we spend. How long can we sustain that without buckling and collapsing in a heap?

I don’t give a sh*t whose fault it is, which party is to blame, whether George Bush was a poopey head, or Obama is a charlatan with a golden voice. If you want to have those arguments, you will find yourselves screaming at each other as our economic house collapses around you. Even then I doubt whether you’d have the smarts - or the courage - to grow up and act like we have a crisis on our hands.

So congratulations, Democrats on your great victory in NY-26. And I anxiously await your plan to fix the entitlement mess where no one will experience any pain, nothing will be cut, only millionaires will pay more taxes, and seniors will live forever.

Did I mention what happened to Custer at Little Big Horn?



Filed under: Politics, The Rick Moran Show — Rick Moran @ 4:23 pm


You won’t want to miss tonight’s Rick Moran Show, one of the most popular conservative political talk shows on Blog Talk Radio.

Tonight, I welcome Jazz Shaw of Hot Air, Monica Showalter of IDB, and Doug Mataconis of Below the Beltway to talk about Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session of congress today as well as our first in-depth look at the GOP field of candidates for president.

The show will air from 6:00 - 7:00 PM Central time. You can access the live stream here. A podcast will be available for streaming or download shortly after the end of the broadcast.

Click on the stream below and join in on what one wag called a “Wayne’s World for adults.”

Also, if you’d like to call in and put your two cents in, you can dial (718) 664-9764.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio


Filed under: FrontPage.Com, Middle East, Politics, WORLD POLITICS — Rick Moran @ 9:51 am

I’ve actually had two pieces in two days published at FPM. The first is on Obama’s AIPAC speech and the second is on Netanyahu’s address to the same conference.

A sample from my piece on Obama’s speech:

The president’s excuse for this significant change in US policy was the prospect of a vote at the United Nations this fall that would recognize Palestinian statehood - a turn of events that carries great risk for both Israel and America.

But he insisted that the border issue be the starting point for negotiations - a ploy to restart direct talks with the Palestinians - and that other issues like the “right of return” for Palestinians and the status of Jerusalem be worked out later. In effect, President Obama has sided 100% with the Palestinians in their claims just as the new unity government of Hamas and Fatah takes shape. And while Obama stated that “Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with Palestinians who do not recognize its right to exist,” he did not make Palestinian adherence to the Quartet Principles a prerequisite for negotiations. (The Quartet principles include recognizing Israel’s right to exist, renouncing violence, and agreeing to abide by previous negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.)

The Palestinians, of course, were overjoyed that Obama had sided with their long-held contention that a Palestinian state should be formed out of Israel’s 1967 borders. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said, “If Netanyahu agrees, we shall turn over a new leaf…Once Netanyahu says that the negotiations will lead to a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, then everything will be set.”

Note that Mr. Erekat said nothing about “mutually agreed swaps” of land. The reason is simple. As Dore Gold pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Abbas does not believe in such swaps. “Mr. Abbas has said many times that any land swaps would be minuscule,” wrote Gold. It doesn’t sound promising when one side in negotiations rejects the other’s right to exist and refuses to talk about defensible borders.

As Netanyahu told President Obama at the White House on Friday, “[W]hile Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines because these lines are indefensible.” The Israeli prime minister also reminded the president that conditions on the ground in Israel had been altered over the past 44 years, with demographic changes putting much of the Israeli population outside the 1967 borders.

Netanyahu didn’t finish speaking until 10:00 pm central time last night which means I am sucking air this morning. But it was worth it because Bibi did a great job:

The speech was not a preview to the prime minister’s Tuesday address, which will take place before a joint session of Congress. However, he made some references to what he would be talking about. He will speak “the unvarnished truth” about the peace process as well as give his take on the “Arab Spring.” In that respect, Netanyahu will directly answer critics who say that Israel is to blame for all the problems of the Middle East. Pointing out that the millions in Arab countries who have taken to the streets do not do so in opposition to Israel, but rather for the simple reason that they desire freedom, the prime minister raised his voice when he said, “Israel is not about what’s wrong with the Middle East. Israel is about what’s right with the Middle East.” A standing ovation – one of several Netanyahu received – followed that statement.

Netanyahu knew he was among friends and appeared very comfortable talking about what America means to Israel and vice versa. His opening remarks made reference to the terrible storms to hit the Midwest and he offered his condolences to the dead on behalf of the people and government of Israel. Throughout the speech, he sought to cement the bonds of friendship by hearkening to our shared heritage and values.

e called to mind that common bond of liberty that unites the two peoples, stating that the words on the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials can find their echo in the Old Testament. He reminded the audience that Jews were proclaiming “all men are created equal” thousands of years ago when the world was inhabited by slave owning empires. “Israel is the cradle of our civilization, and the modern state of Israel was founded precisely on these eternal values,” said Netanyahu. He added that this civilization was born in “our eternal capital: The united city of Jerusalem” – an observation that received the loudest and longest standing ovation of the night.

The prime minister also pointed out that the Muslims and Christians who live in Israel enjoy complete religious freedom. Reason enough, he said, to give Israel complete control of the holy city since they could be trusted to allow freedom of worship for all.

The prime minister was frequently interrupted by hecklers. The effort seemed well-coordinated because as soon as one heckler was escorted from the premises, another would start up in a different part of the room. It’s a tactic that was refined during the Bush years by Code Pink and other radical Left groups. Netanyahu looked on with bemusement as the crowd would first drown out the heckler with applause, and then begin chanting “Bi-Bi, Bi-Bi” as the miscreant was led more or less voluntarily from the hall. Only once did he directly address the disturbances when he asked the audience if they thought this kind of protest could be held in Gaza. He received another standing ovation.

I look forward to hearing what the Israeli prime minister has to say to Congress.


Iran’s Nuclear Program Revived

Filed under: FrontPage.Com, Government, Iran, War on Terror — Rick Moran @ 7:36 am

My latest column at FrontPage.com looks at the announcement made by the Iranian government yesterday that the reactor at Bushehr has become “operational.” While most analysts agree there is no “immediate” danger from the plant as far as contributing to the Iranian’s ability to make a bomb, there are legitimate concerns about what might occur down the road.

The question with regards to how much of a threat the reactor poses has always been based on the reliability of the current agreements between the Iranian and Russian governments. Once up and running at full power, the plant will produce between 100 and 300 kilograms of plutonium a year – a by-product of spent fuel rods. Since as little as 6 kgs of plutonium is needed to build a bomb, the temptation for the Iranians to cheat will be great.

Whether they could get away with it is the nub of the matter. The Iranians have agreed that Moscow will supply Bushehr’s fuel rods and remove the spent fuel for shipment back to Russia where it will be de-processed. It will be very difficult to divert plutonium elsewhere as long as the Russians don’t deliberately look the other way. Also, the IAEA will be inspecting the plant regularly for safety concerns — a regime that includes keeping track of the fuel cycle at the plant.

This is the logic behind Bushehr being no “immediate” threat. But there are also legitimate concerns about Iran’s intentions with regard to the plant, and even some suspicion about Russia’s motives in selling and reprocessing the fuel rods.

Iran has threatened to withdraw from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) several times. If they ever made good on those threats, activity at Bushehr would come under increased scrutiny. Within a few years, Iran will be technically capable of creating their own fuel rods, thus obviating the need for Moscow to supply them and consequently, removing the necessity for the Russians to remove them for reprocessing. With Iran in complete control of the nuclear fuel cycle, and no inspectors looking over their shoulder, the chance that the Iranians will take advantage of the situation is too great to ignore.

The question of not trusting the Russians to hold up their end of the deal and allow Iran to cheat is more a matter of politics as it is one of intent. Why would Russia do it? To make life miserable for the US and the West? The risk to Russia would seem to outweigh any value in allowing the Iranians to keep some of the plutonium from the spent fuel rods. No doubt Russia would be considered culpable if the Iranians were to use a plutonium bomb on Israel or the West. There would be unknown, but probably severe consequences from the rest of the world if such an event were to occur.

Another possible threat from Bushehr comes from contacts the Iranians may develop in using Russian technicians to help run the plant. It’s no secret among proliferation experts that Russian nuclear workers are prime targets of nuclear smugglers. Also, the Russians have a history of not keeping good track of their nuclear materials. Bought off nuclear workers might assist the Iranians in keeping some of the plant’s plutonium, and sloppy record keeping by Russia might never discover the discrepancies.

That last scenario is admittedly a long shot. But when discussing nuclear weapons, any possibility, no matter how remote, must be entertained. There is no margin for error — especially when considering Iran’s intent to develop a bomb.

This is more a symbolic victory for the Iranians than anything substantial. They finally got the project working despite enormous pressure from the west. We’ll see if the Russians hold up their end of the bargain, although allowing the Iranians to cheat would not be to their advantage.



Filed under: Middle East, The Rick Moran Show — Rick Moran @ 4:48 pm

You won’t want to miss tonight’s Rick Moran Show, one of the most popular conservative political talk shows on Blog Talk Radio.

Tonight, I welcome Jeff Dunetz of Yid with a Lid, Professor Barry Rubin of the GLORIA Institute, and Rich Baehr of the American Thinker. We’ll look at the big week in Washington for Middle East diplomacy.

The show will air from 7:00 - 8:00 PM Central time. You can access the live stream here. A podcast will be available for streaming or download shortly after the end of the broadcast.

Click on the stream below and join in on what one wag called a “Wayne’s World for adults.”

Also, if you’d like to call in and put your two cents in, you can dial (718) 664-9764.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio


Filed under: FrontPage.Com, Middle East, Politics — Rick Moran @ 8:38 am

It’s a big week for Middle East diplomacy in Washington with three events that will shape the future of our policy.

I wrote about it for FrontPage.Com:

Three major events will occur this week in Washington that will impact US relations with the Arab world and the state of Israel: a visit by King Abdullah of Jordan on Monday and Tuesday, another “outreach” speech by President Obama glorifying the Arab Spring on Thursday, and the arrival of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a White House visit on Friday. Netanyahu will address the AIPAC conference on Monday night and follow that up with an address to a Joint Session of Congress next Tuesday.

Overshadowing all of these events is the uncertainty brought about by the marriage of Hamas and Fatah, the continuing rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and the surprise announcement that the president’s Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, has resigned.

But what seems like an opportunity to begin repairing relations with Israel, denouncing the alliance between Hamas and Fatah, warning the Arab world about the influence of Islamists in their nascent democracy movements, and speaking some hard truths about despotic regimes like Syria and Yemen, will not be seized upon by the Obama administration. Instead, we are likely to hear some blindly optimistic twaddle that acknowledges nothing and proves that the president and his advisors are foolishly placing their hopes on a series of foreign mirages that bear little resemblance to what is really occurring in the Middle East.

One need look no further than the Palestinian unity agreement that has ended years of conflict between Hamas and Fatah to see the myopic outlook of this administration. Incredibly, as Caroline Glick reports in her Jerusalem Post column, the administration actually believes that the agreement will “moderate” Hamas, forcing them to agree to the three principles of legitimacy set by the Quartet (US, Russia, EU, and the UN) in 2007. Those principles are extremely mild, and require Hamas to recognize Israel’s right to exist, agree to respect existing agreements with Israel, and renounce terrorism.

But Hamas has flatly refused to abide by those requirements. So what did the Obama administration do about that? They lowered the bar by pointing out that Hamas, by signing the unity agreement, had made “major concessions” in agreeing to form a government of “technocrats” instead of terrorists, and that they had accepted a 2009 agreement with Fatah brokered by Egyptian President Mubarak, which they had rejected two years ago. That agreement demanded that Hamas not join the army in Judea and Samaria — a stipulation they never agreed to in this most recent treaty.

Glick calls this notion of Hamas meeting any conditions “ridiculous” and rightly asks, “[W]ho does the Obama administration think will control these ‘technocrats?’”

There is no doubt that the unity agreement has killed off any possibility of direct talks with the Palestinians. Recognizing this, and treating it as the last straw, George Mitchell shocked the White House by handing in his resignation as Middle East envoy. In fact, some observers believe that Mitchell’s tenure ended months ago, as he became frustrated with what he perceived as both sides “moving the goal posts” every time he offered concessions.

I am surprised that the resignation of Mitchell did not get more attention. This is a huge embarrassment for the Obama administration, coming as it did on the eve of this pivotal week. Of course, the Hamas-Fatah unity agreement probably was the last straw for Mitchell because there is absolutely no way that the Israelis will deal as long as Hamas is part of the bargain.

That means, for all intents and purposes, the peace “process” is in hibernation - at least until Obama wins a second term or a GOP president takes office in 2012.

A titanic failure for Obama that will not be reported as such. What new?

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