- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 15, 2010

DISTANT THUNDER

Americans are taking it personally. Public rumbling has commenced over President Obama’s public defense of the $100 million “ground zero mosque” project, despite the president’s efforts to backpedal or control the political trajectory of his opinions. A Washington Times online poll, for example, had 91 percent of respondents say Mr. Obama’s popularity “will suffer” in the aftermath and that it was a mistake to weigh in on the controversy.

“President Obama has focused on the very issue that the Islamist propagandists wish him to — the narrative that Americans somehow need lectures about Islam, Muslims, and religious freedom. Mr. Obama’s message to Americans will be spun on Al Jazeera and by Islamists across the world,” says M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.

“Mr. President, this is America and you have fundamentally misunderstood the stakes in this discussion and the sentiments of the American people. Instead, you have focused on the very issue that the Islamist propagandists wish you to — the narrative that Americans somehow need lectures about Islam, Muslims and religious freedom,” Dr. Jasser adds.

“This is not about religious freedom. It is about the importance of the World Trade Center site to the psyche of the American people.”

Former presidential candidate Gary L. Bauer, now president of American Values, adds: “I believe history will reveal that the President’s actions will directly result in his final and irrevocable divorce from the American people. He sided with radical Islamic advocacy groups over 9/11 families and the overwhelming majority of the Americans.”

WHERE THERE’S SMOKE

Forget the criticisms of New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg for his support of the aforementioned mosque project. American Indians are now annoyed that the mayor suggested that Gov. David Paterson break out a “cowboy hat and a shotgun” to enforce taxation laws against tribes who sell tax-free cigarettes. The state plans a Sept. 1 crackdown on the practice, anticipating $150 million in new revenue.

“It’s obvious Mayor Bloomberg is supportive of religious freedoms and not sovereign rights. It’s precisely this kind of cavalier attitude that has led to the past breaking of treaties by various federal and state governments. Maybe Mayor Bloomberg could use a refresher course on the U.S. Constitution and the need to honor Indian treaties,” says Barry Snyder, president of the Seneca Nation.

“Regrettably Mayor Bloomberg has made some reckless and insensitive statements to the people of the Seneca Nation, and all Native Americans,” he adds.

A CLANDESTINE MOMENT

“People lined up along motorcade route waved and took pictures. We passed a couple of signs planted in ground that read ‘Michelle 2016,’ complete with Obama campaign logo. Motorcade made a quick stop at Bruster’s ice cream stand.”

OK. So far so good.

“The press van stopped right in front of a Hooters. Waitresses in orange shorts ran out to get a glimpse of the First Family, but were kept at bay by Secret Service.”

(From White House pool reporter Peter Nicholas of the Chicago Tribune, before President Obama and family boarded Air Force One - an hour early - to return to Washington after their 26-hour Florida Gulf vacation).

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