President Obama needs to wake the hell up regarding the Muslim Brotherhood


No, I don’t expect any “waking up” to happen, as the left’s naive and dangerous tendency to treat established radical public figures and regimes – especially Islamists masquerading as “moderates” – as allies of America is welldocumented.  But all the same, National Review editor Rich Lowry sounds alarms bells today in a blistering rebuke of the Obama administration’s fawning admiration of the Muslim Brotherhood, in particular, its President – Mohamed Morsi. Lowry writes:

The great, acerbic 19th-century satirist Ambrose Bierce defined a revolution as “an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.” He would understand events in Egypt since the fall of Hosni Mubarak very well.

In the signature revolution of the Arab Spring, the country turned its back on a secular dictatorship only to fall into the arms of what looks like a budding Muslim Brotherhood dictatorship. Meet the new pharaoh, same as the old pharaoh. Except Egypt’s old form of misgovernment may soon look progressive by comparison.

Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi’s decree neutering the judiciary is the latest act in his steady consolidation of power. While he assiduously builds a dictatorship, the Obama administration just as assiduously tells itself bedtime stories about his good intentions. It’s a perfect division of labor — he goes about his empire-building with a clear-eyed realism; we consider it through a gauzy lens of delusion.

Since the end of Mubarak, the air has been thick with descriptions of the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi as moderates, as basically no more than Islamic social democrats. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called the Muslim Brotherhood “largely secular.” If he had been speaking of the Church of England, he might have been right.

Unfortunately, the Brotherhood’s credo is, “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law; the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.” And it’s not kidding. Morsi summarized his program during the campaign as “the sharia, then the sharia, and finally the sharia.” (Unlike President Barack Obama, at least he had an agenda.)

Eric Trager of The New Republic describes how Brotherhood recruiting emphasizes rigidity. “Throughout this process,” he writes, “rising Muslim Brothers are continually vetted for their embrace of the Brotherhood’s ideology, commitment to its cause, and — most importantly — willingness to follow orders from the Brotherhood’s senior leadership.” In sum, he says, it is “a cultish organization that was never likely to moderate once it had grasped power.” Obviously, Trager would never make it as national intelligence director.

After Mubarak’s fall, we fooled ourselves about the level of support for the Brotherhood. We fooled ourselves about the Brotherhood abiding by its promise not to run for the presidency. We fooled ourselves about what a Morsi victory would mean for democracy. Why stop fooling ourselves now?

Morsi staged his latest power grab on Thanksgiving Day in the immediate aftermath of working with Obama to get a cease-fire in hostilities between Hamas (a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot) and Israel. In a New York Times piece that ought to be preserved in amber as a record of 21st-century liberal naiveté, the paper reported that in his talks with Morsi, “Mr. Obama felt they were making a connection.” How sweet.

“He was impressed with the Egyptian leader’s pragmatic confidence.” And who can resist the lure of pragmatic confidence?

“He sensed,” the paper continued, in a gushing tone, “an engineer’s precision with surprisingly little ideology.”

Disturbing. Make sure to read the whole thing.

(Via Memeorandum)

In Obama’s America, you’re better off on welfare


**Posted by Phineas

Oh, I know. I know. I’m RAAAAACIST!!! for even suggesting that. But numbers, while subject to interpretation, don’t lie. And in this case, they’re pretty hard to read any other way. From Zero Hedge:

Exactly two years ago, some of the more politically biased progressive media outlets (who are quite adept at creating and taking down their own strawmen arguments, if not quite as adept at using an abacus, let alone a calculator) took offense at our article “In Entitlement America, The Head Of A Household Of Four Making Minimum Wage Has More Disposable Income Than A Family Making $60,000 A Year.” In it we merely explained what has become the painful reality in America: for increasingly more it is now more lucrative – in the form of actual disposable income – to sit, do nothing, and collect various welfare entitlements, than to work. This is graphically, and very painfully confirmed, in the below chart from Gary Alexander, Secretary of Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (a state best known for its broke capital Harrisburg). As quantitied, and explained by Alexander, “the single mom is better off earnings gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045.

And here’s the chart that illustrates the point:

(You’ll find a larger view, here.)

Talk about perverse incentives. As structured now, a rational individual would look at this and conclude that he’s better off collecting rents from the rest of us, than working to better himself.

Be sure to read the rest. There’s much more — and it’s scary.

Not that we’ll have to worry for long, though, since the economy will simply shut down in 2027.

via Power Line

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Dissolve Detroit?


**Posted by Phineas

The city that’s been the butt of “urban wasteland” jokes for as long as I can recall may finally be reaching the end, as a state senator proposes disincorporation:

It would no doubt be controversial, but the idea of dissolving the fiscally struggling city of Detroit and absorbing it into Wayne County is being tossed around in Lansing.

WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick reports some state Republicans are talking about giving the city the option to vote itself into bankruptcy. And mid-Michigan Senator Rick Jones said all options should be considered — including dissolving the city.

Thus we see the fruits of 50-60 years of unrestrained liberal governance –Walter Mead’s “Blue Model”— and the failure to adapt to changing economic environments: collapsing essential services and abandonment.

One wonders if, on hearing the news, someone in the Wayne County government asked “What did we ever do to you??”

via Moe Lane

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)