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Brave Saudi housewife set to win Arabic X Factor after blistering attack on hardline Muslim clerics on live TV

A brave Saudi housewife has reached the final of the Arabic version of the X Factor after lashing out at hardline Muslim clerics on live TV.

Wearing a black burkha, mother-of-four Hissa Hilal delivered a blistering poem against Muslim preachers 'who sit in the position of power' but are 'frightening' people with their fatwas, or religious edicts, and 'preying like a wolf' on those seeking peace.

Her poem got loud cheers from the audience last week and won her a place in the competition's final on April 7.

It also brought her death threats, posted on several Islamic militant websites.

Interesting post from Robert Costa at The Corner
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.), the U.S. secretary of education from 1991 to 1993, tells National Review Online that President Obama’s revamping of the federal student-loan program is “truly brazen” and the “most underreported big-Washington takeover in history.”

“As Americans find out what it really does, they’ll be really unhappy,” Alexander predicts. “The first really unhappy people will be the 19 million students who, after July 1, will have no choice but to go to federal call centers to get their student loans. They’ll become even unhappier when they find out that the government is charging 2.8 percent to borrow the money and 6.8 percent to lend it to the students, and spending the difference on the new health-care bill and other programs. In other words, the government will be overcharging 19 million students.” The overcharge is “significant,” Alexander adds, because “on a $25,000 student loan, which is an average loan, the amount the government will overcharge will average between $1,700 and $1,800.” ...


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How the MSM helped pass Obamacare:

Hat tip to Holger

Dalmia: How to Oppose ObamaCare

What critics of the president's health care plan can learn from Gandhi's methods of nonviolent resistance

JPOST: Bolton says Washington pressuring Israel not to strike nuke facilities
Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton expressed concern Sunday that Washington was coming to terms with a nuclear Iran.

“I very much worry the Obama administration is willing to accept a nuclear Iran, that's why there's this extraordinary pressure on Israel not to attack in Iran,” Bolton told Army Radio.

The former envoy claimed that this pressure was the focus of last week's meetings in Washington between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyhau and US officials, including President Barack Obama.

Bolton said that the Obama administration had embraced the view, prevalent in Europe, that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the key to the resolution of all other conflicts throughout the Middle East, including the Iranian conflict.

David Kuhn: White men shun Democrats
Millions of white men who voted for Barack Obama are walking away from the Democratic Party, and it appears increasingly likely that they'll take the midterms elections in November with them. Their departure could well lead to a GOP landslide on a scale not seen since 1994.


Obama's brand of liberalism is exactly the sort likely to drive such voters away. More like LBJ's than FDR's, Obama-style liberalism favors benefits over relief, a safety net over direct job programs, health care and environmental reform over financial reform and a stimulus package that has focused more on social service jobs -- health care work, teaching and the like -- than on the areas where a majority of job losses occurred: construction, manufacturing and related sectors.

This recession remains disproportionately a "he-cession." Men account for at least seven of 10 workers who lost jobs, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Nearly half of the casualties are white men, who held 46 percent of all jobs lost.


Tarnishing their opponents as merely "angry" was poor politics for the Democrats. Liberals know what it's like to have their views -- most recently on the war in Iraq or George W. Bush -- caricatured as merely irrational anger. Most voters vote their interests. And many white men by the 1980s had decided the Democrats were no longer interested in them.

Will: An argument to be made about immigrant babies and citizenship
To end the practice of "birthright citizenship," all that is required is to correct the misinterpretation of that amendment's first sentence: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside." From these words has flowed the practice of conferring citizenship on children born here to illegal immigrants.


The authors and ratifiers could not have intended birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants because in 1868 there were and never had been any illegal immigrants because no law ever had restricted immigration.

If those who wrote and ratified the 14th Amendment had imagined laws restricting immigration — and had anticipated huge waves of illegal immigration — is it reasonable to presume they would have wanted to provide the reward of citizenship to the children of the violators of those laws? Surely not.


Sen. Lyman Trumbull of Illinois was, Graglia writes, one of two "principal authors of the citizenship clauses in 1866 act and the 14th Amendment." He said that "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States" meant subject to its "complete" jurisdiction, meaning "not owing allegiance to anybody else." Hence children whose Indian parents had tribal allegiances were excluded from birthright citizenship.

Appropriately, in 1884 the Supreme Court held that children born to Indian parents were not born "subject to" U.S. jurisdiction because, among other reasons, the person so born could not change his status by his "own will without the action or assent of the United States." And "no one can become a citizen of a nation without its consent." Graglia says this decision "seemed to establish" that U.S. citizenship is "a consensual relation, requiring the consent of the United States." So: "This would clearly settle the question of birthright citizenship for children of illegal aliens. There cannot be a more total or forceful denial of consent to a person's citizenship than to make the source of that person's presence in the nation illegal."


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VDH: Let the Games Begin?

I don't follow the Democratic thinking. Their president polls below 50 percent. The Democratically-controlled Congress polls less than 20 percent. Healthcare reform polls at about 45 percent support. Looming future bills like cap and trade and amnesty as a part of immigration reform poll even more poorly. Usually in such circumstances, a party is careful to enlist bipartisan support and protect the notion of minority participation. But the Democrats not only did not do that, but went even further and destroyed the process of conciliation, congressional tradition, and transparency.

When they return to minority status (and they will), what will they say when some Republicans seek to radically change vast swaths of current economic and social life, employing everything from the nuclear option, reconciliation, and pondering deem and pass to special kickbacks and buy-offs to fence-sitting congressional representatives?

I think the die is now cast and the message for both parties is: Get a president and a 51 percent congressional vote, and you can remake America in the most radical fashion, damning the polls, the opposition, and the traditional processes of government itself. It's a new arena and apparently the ends will now justify any means necessary. Good luck to that.

Krauthammer: Obamacare's next trick: the VAT
Obama knows that the debt bomb is looming, that Moody's is warning that the Treasury's AAA rating is in jeopardy, that we are headed for a run on the dollar and/or hyperinflation if nothing is done.

Hence his deficit-reduction commission. It will report (surprise!) after the November elections.

What will it recommend? What can it recommend? Sure, Social Security can be trimmed by raising the retirement age, introducing means testing and changing the indexing formula from wage growth to price inflation.

But this won't be nearly enough. As Obama has repeatedly insisted, the real money is in health-care costs — which are locked in place by the new Obamacare mandates.

That's where the value-added tax comes in.


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Prager: It's a Civil War: What We Do Now

A terrible thing happened to America on Sunday, March 21, 2010.

The country took its biggest step ever down a road diametrically opposed to its original intent of keeping the state small so that the individual can be free and great.

Therefore, in this unprecedented crisis of values, this is what needs to be done...


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We are losing so much liberty.

David Hogberg: Twenty ways Obamacare will take away our freedoms

1. You are young and don’t want health insurance? You are starting up a small business and need to minimize expenses, and one way to do that is to forego health insurance? Tough. You have to pay $750 annually for the “privilege.” (Section 1501)

2. You are young and healthy and want to pay for insurance that reflects that status? Tough. You’ll have to pay for premiums that cover not only you, but also the guy who smokes three packs a day, drink a gallon of whiskey and eats chicken fat off the floor. That’s because insurance companies will no longer be able to underwrite on the basis of a person’s health status. (Section 2701).

3. You would like to pay less in premiums by buying insurance with lifetime or annual limits on coverage? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer such policies, even if that is what customers prefer. (Section 2711).

4. Think you’d like a policy that is cheaper because it doesn’t cover preventive care or requires cost-sharing for such care? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer policies that do not cover preventive services or offer them with cost-sharing, even if that’s what the customer wants. (Section 2712).

5. You are an employer and you would like to offer coverage that doesn’t allow your employees’ slacker children to stay on the policy until age 26? Tough. (Section 2714).

6. You must buy a policy that covers ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services; chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.

You’re a single guy without children? Tough, your policy must cover pediatric services. You’re a woman who can’t have children? Tough, your policy must cover maternity services. You’re a teetotaler? Tough, your policy must cover substance abuse treatment. (Add your own violation of personal freedom here.) (Section 1302).

Read the whole thing or you're a big dope!

And here are some great short videos from Reason:


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Health care has problems but government is not the solution. We have traded liberty for security.

VDH: We've crossed the Rubicon

President Obama has crossed the Rubicon with the healthcare vote. The bill was not really about medicine; after all, a moderately priced, relatively small federal program could offer the poorer not now insured, presently not on Medicare or state programs like Medicaid or Medical, a basic medical plan.

We have no interest in stopping trial lawyers from milking the system for billions. And we don’t want to address in any meaningful way the individual’s responsibility in some cases (drink, drugs, violence, dangerous sex, bad diet, sloth, etc.) for costly and chronic health procedures.

No, instead, the bill was about assuming a massive portion of the private sector, hiring tens of thousands of loyal, compliant new employees, staffing new departments with new technocrats, and feeling wonderful that we “are leveling the playing field” and have achieved another Civil Rights landmark law. (NB: do the math: add higher state income taxes in most states; the new Clinton-era federal income tax rates to come; the proposed lifting of limits on income exposed to FICA taxes; and now new healthcare charges — and I think you can reach in some cases a bite of 65%to 70% of one’s income.)

So we are in revolutionary times in which the government will grow to assume everything from energy use to student loans, while abroad we are a revolutionary sort of power, eager to mend fences with Syria and Iran, more eager still to distance ourselves from old Western allies like Israel and Britain.

There won’t be any more soaring rhetoric from Obama about purple-state America, “reaching across the aisle,” or healing our wounds. That was so 2008. Instead, we are in the most partisan age since Vietnam, ushered into it by the self-acclaimed “non-partisan.” But how could it be anything else?

Mark Steyn: Happy Dependence Day!
More prosaically, it's also unaffordable. That's why one of the first things that middle-rank powers abandon once they go down this road is a global military capability. If you take the view that the U.S. is an imperialist aggressor, congratulations: You can cease worrying. But, if you think that America has been the ultimate guarantor of the post-war global order, it's less cheery. Five years from now, just as in Canada and Europe two generations ago, we'll be getting used to announcements of defense cuts to prop up the unsustainable costs of big government at home. And, as the superpower retrenches, America's enemies will be quick to scent opportunity.

Longer wait times, fewer doctors, more bureaucracy, massive IRS expansion, explosive debt, the end of the Pax Americana, and global Armageddon. Must try to look on the bright side . . .

Prager: The bigger the government the less you are needed
Among the things left and right, religious and secular, agree on is that one of the few real needs human beings have is to be needed.

When we are not needed, life feels pointless.


In the ever-expanding state that the left creates, the vast majority of individuals lose significance in that they are simply less needed as the state takes over many of their roles. Fifty years ago, the men of the local Rotary Club had prestige and societal significance. So did fathers. So did clergy. With the ascendance of the left and the expansion of their state, much of their power and societal significance has eroded.

Now, as the state expands further into health care, the same will happen to doctors as power and prestige are transferred from them to the heads of dozens of new government health regulatory agencies. Over time, neither you nor your doctor will fully decide your treatment.

Indeed, over time, if the left has its way and the state keeps expanding, you will also not decide what temperature to keep your house or how to get to work. Nor will you be needed to educate your children (that is already the job of the state, and much of Europe now bans home schooling), or to raise and discipline your children (the state will ensure you are doing it correctly, and spanking is now illegal in 25 countries). Fathers will be needed primarily (and after divorce, only) as providers of child and spousal support.

In short, you will be needed essentially for one thing: to finance the one thing that is truly needed -- the state.

Totten: The Resistance Bloc Will Not Be Appeased
Hezbollah’s reaction to Israel’s plan to build 1,600 apartments in a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem might help President Barack Obama understand something that has so far eluded him: the Syrian-Iranian-Hamas-Hezbollah resistance bloc will not allow him to appease it.

“The scheme is yet another part of a Judaization campaign,” Hezbollah said in a statement quoted by the Tehran Times, “that targets the holy city of al-Quds [Jerusalem] and a provocation of Muslim feeling.” If Obama expected a little appreciation from Israel’s enemies for making the same point with more diplomatic finesse, he was mistaken. “The Zionist plan to construct hundreds of homes in al-Quds,” Hezbollah continued, “truly shows American cover to it.”

So not only is Obama denied credit for standing up to Israel’s government, he is accused of doing precisely the opposite.

For how long have Conservatives argued that appeasement does not work?

Anti-Americanism is ideological oxygen for partisans of the resistance bloc. They will no sooner let it go than they will stop breathing. Their entire worldview and political program would turn to ashes without it, much as Fidel Castro’s would without socialism. When the United States doesn’t follow the script, they just lie.

Which is why the left is wrong about Gitmo. Yes, Gitmo is used by Al-Qaeda as a recruiting tool, and we can't stop that. It doesn't matter how well we treat the detainees. It doesn't matter that they are detained in brand new facilities; that they get to play soccer all day. It doesn't matter that they are fed well, and provided medical care, and that their captors make sure they are not disturbed during prayer five times a day. And it doesn't matter if they are on American soil or Cuban soil. Al-Qaeda will just lie. DON'T BE THE USEFUL IDIOT.


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Amity Shlaes: Liberals Getting a Taste of How ‘Balance’ Feels

March 17 (Bloomberg) -- Lack of balance is the charge being levied against the Texas State Board of Education after it inserted changes to new standards in social studies programs in public schools. The Associated Press said in an article that a “far-right faction” of the board had succeeded “in injecting conservative ideals” into the curriculum.

The Texas flap matters because Texas is so big. Publishers will revise textbooks to win the prize Texas contract. But the debate also reminds us that our current definition of balance is distorted. After all, what’s wrong with “injecting conservative ideals” into a curriculum, as long as they aren’t the only ideals?

At its most devilishly aggressive -- and whatever lines it inserts about church, state, hip-hop or the Alamo -- the board will not restore true balance. It will merely manage to make the curriculum a little less skewed to the left.


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Krauthammer: Obama Mid-East policy one sided
Why did Pres. Barack Obama choose to turn a gaffe into a crisis in U.S.-Israeli relations?

And a gaffe it was: the announcement by a bureaucrat in the Interior Ministry of a housing expansion in a Jewish neighborhood in north Jerusalem. The timing could not have been worse: Vice President Joe Biden was visiting, Jerusalem is a touchy subject, and you don’t bring up touchy subjects that might embarrass an honored guest.

But it was no more than a gaffe. It was certainly not a policy change, let alone a betrayal. The neighborhood is in Jerusalem, and the 2009 Netanyahu-Obama agreement was for a ten-month freeze on West Bank settlements excluding Jerusalem.


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Israeli Poll: Obama’s administration’s attack on Israel for building in Jerusalem was disproportionate

The numbers were more stark among voters on the Left side of the political map. The view that Obama had harmed chances for peace was shared by 82% of Labor voters and 70% of people who voted Kadima.

When asked whether they were satisfied with the Obama administration’s efforts to prevent Iran’s nuclearization, 67% of respondents said no, 9% said yes, and 24% said it was so-so. Only 1% of Israelis described themselves as “very satisfied” with Obama’s handling of the Iranian situation.

WT: Obama blocks bunker buster delivery to Israel hat tip to ploome
Officials said the U.S. military was ordered to divert a shipment of smart bunker-buster bombs from Israel to a military base in Diego Garcia. They said the shipment of 387 smart munitions had been slated to join pre-positioned U.S. military equipment in Israel Air Force bases.

"This was a political decision," an official said.