- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 18, 2009

JOINING ‘HATEFEST’

“In a major foreign-policy decision taken over the weekend, President Obama has decided to legitimize the United Nations´s ‘anti-racism’ forum known as Durban II,” Anne Bayefsky writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).

“State Department officials announced in a press release buried on Saturday that starting [Monday] the United States will attend for the first time the preparatory meetings of this controversial U.N. conference. The ‘Durban Review Conference,’ scheduled for April in Geneva, is the progenitor of the anti-Semitic hatefest that took place in South Africa in early September 2001,” said the writer, a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute and at Touro College, New York.

“The searing images of the demonization of America and Jews on the U.N.´s global stage, and the terrorism in New York 72 hours later, should have made joining this revived forum for U.N.-driven hate inconceivable. …

“The State Department announcement claims that participating in Durban II preparations still leaves open the possibility of refusing to attend the April conference itself. The claim is completely disingenuous. They know full well that preparations are planned on and off-the-record from now until April and will likely continue until the final moments of the actual meeting - justifying ongoing participation under the guise of ‘still can´t tell yet.’ …

“In addition, all U.N. states attending these preparatory sessions have already agreed to ‘reaffirm the Durban Declaration.’ Since the U.S. walked out of Durban I in disgust (along with Israel) and rejected the Durban I Declaration, joining negotiations now means agreeing to its provisions for the first time.”

FREDDIE’S FRIEND

“News broke last week that Rahm Emanuel, now White House chief of staff, lived rent-free for years in the home of Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Connecticut Democrat - and failed to disclose the gift, as congressional ethics rules mandate. But this is only the tip of Emanuel’s previously undisclosed ethics problems,” Dick Morris and Eileen McGann wrote in the New York Post.

“One issue is the work Emanuel tossed the way of DeLauro’s husband. But the bigger one goes back to Emanuel’s days on the board of now-bankrupt mortgage giant Freddie Mac. …

“Consider: Emanuel served on the Freddie Mac board of directors during the time that the government-backed lender lied about its earnings, a leading contributor to the current economic meltdown.

“The Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight Agency later singled out the Freddie Mac board as contributing to the fraud in 2000 and 2001 for ‘failing in its duty to follow up on matters brought to its attention.’ In other words, board members ignored the red flags waving in their faces.

“The SEC later fined Freddie $50 million for its deliberate fraud in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

“Meanwhile, Emanuel was paid more than $260,000 for his Freddie ‘service.’ Plus, after he resigned from the board to run for Congress in 2002, the troubled agency’s PAC gave his campaign $25,000 - its largest single gift to a House candidate.”

“That’s what friends are for, isn’t it?”

FAITH-BASED

“It´s a jobs-creation program. No, it´s investment in our future,” Caroline Baum writes at www.bloomberg.com.

“It´s a tax-relief plan. Wait, it provides assistance to consumers hardest hit by the economic recession.

“It´s legislation to jump-start the economy. No, it´s a recovery program. It´s a life raft for state and local governments. It´s a spending bill.

“Which is it? Fiscal stimulus is all things to all people. In other words, it represents the triumph of faith over reason,” the writer said.

“When I first learned about fiscal stimulus according to John Maynard Keynes in an introductory economics course, it made a modicum of sense. The idea was that at times when the private sector isn´t pulling its weight, the government can step in and spend instead.

“It doesn´t take an inquiring mind very long to find the flaw in the argument. How exactly does the government get the money to pay for its spending? Neither borrowing (today) nor taxing (tomorrow) increases aggregate demand. All they do is transfer the ability to spend from one entity to another and the timing of that spending from the future to today.”

“In the short run, the economy will get some boost from hundreds of billions of dollars in government spending. What about the long run? (Please don´t say we´re all dead.) One dollar of federal borrowing means one dollar unavailable for the private sector.”

HATS IN RING

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner formally entered the 2010 Senate race Tuesday, Kyle Trygstad and Mike Memoli report at www.realclearpolitics.com.

Mrs. Brunner made the announcement via a video released in the afternoon, the reporters said.

“I’m running for the United States Senate to be a part of the solution, to meet our challenges, and to help Ohio emerge stronger than ever,” she said in a video.

Joining Mrs. Brunner in the Democratic primary contest will be Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, who was set to announce his candidacy at a news conference Tuesday evening in Columbus. Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland said two weeks ago that Mr. Fisher was the “best qualified” candidate among the Democrats considering a bid.

The winner of the Brunner-Fisher primary will likely face former congressman and U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman, a Republican, in the general election.

All three candidates are vying for the seat that Republican Sen. George V. Voinovich is vacating.

TANGLED WEB

“Until this past weekend, Roland Burris was known merely as a tainted U.S. Senate appointee, tapped for his seat by a tainted Democratic governor. But, in the wake of fresh revelations, we need to urgently update the Burris profile,” the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Dick Polman writes at www.philly.com.

“Now he’s a tainted appointee who, prior to his appointment, engaged in potentially tainted conversations with the brother of the tainted Democratic governor; worse yet, he engaged in a coverup while under oath last month, declining to mention his contacts with the gubernatorial brother. Burris’ clam-up occurred during the Illinois impeachment proceedings that were directed against the tainted governor who appointed him,” Mr. Polman said.

“Got all that? What a tangled web he weaves. …

“Bottom line? The Burris saga lives on, with perhaps a perjury probe back home, and the Senate Democrats are squirming again.”

• Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or e-mail Greg Pierce.

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