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Inside the Beltway
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).
Evidence that the intrepid Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) does not give up: After 59 years, the remains of U.S. Army Cpl. Roy Stewart of Jackson, Miss., have been returned to his family for burial with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday.
The soldier was assigned to Company A, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, deployed to North Korea near Kujang-dong. In late November 1950, he was captured by enemy forces and died March 14, 1951 in a prison camp near Pyoktong, North Korea.
During "Operation Glory" in late 1954, North Korea turned over 4,167 caskets, including the remains of Cpl. Stewart; the U.S. in turn returned caskets containing the remains of 12,000 communist soldiers. Cpl. Stewart was buried as "unknown" with 415 of his comrades at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.
"The remains were exhumed in September 2008. Scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command identified Stewart's remains through dental comparisons and circumstantial evidence ... More than 2,000 servicemen died as prisoners of war during the Korean War. With the accounting of Stewart, 8,023 service members still remain missing from that conflict," the DPMO says.
ON THE RADAR
"Thursday is 'Cost of Government Day,' the date of the calendar year when the average American finishes paying off his or her share of federal, state and local taxes, and regulatory burden. This means the average American worker had to toil 231 days out of the year just to meet all costs imposed by government," sighs John Kartch of Americans for Tax Reform, which will address this phenomenon at the National Press Club later this week.
POLL DU JOUR
- 60 percent of voters in Florida support an immigration law like legislation in Arizona; 27 percent oppose such a law.
- 58 percent say a child born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants should not automatically become a U.S. citizen; 29 percent disagree.
- 54 percent say each state should be allowed to act on its own to enforce immigration laws.
- 35 percent think it's better for the federal government to enforce the laws.
Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 750 likely voters in Florida, conducted Aug. 9.
*Rants, raves, fancy press releases to email@example.com
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