- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The U.S. should stop “reflexively exploiting major national security threats as a political ping-pong ball between right and left,” says Zuhdi Jasser, president and founder of American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Forget the PR potential. Get down to business and start crafting a practical strategy to defeat the threat of Islamist militancy both at home and abroad, he says.

“In an election year, you’ve got the administration again basically saying ‘mission accomplished’ and that al Qaeda is done — which is absurd. With the ascent of Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Ennhada in Tunisia and across the Middle East, we need to recognize what the long-term conflict is,” says Dr. Jasser, an Arizona-based physician and author who has tracked the growth of terror groups such as al-Shabab, Abu Sayyaf, Jemaah Islamiyah, the Haqqani network and 35 others.

“Al Qaeda may be a shell of what it was at 9/11, but Islamism is a hydra that is continually reshaping itself. The death of Osama bin Laden and even the defeat of al Qaeda will just give rise to many other groups unless the root causes of Islamism are addressed.”


“The issues are the same. We’re still faced with a tremendous crisis of our country’s future,” Newt Gingrich tells 180,000 donors and 2 million voters who supported him as he prepares to exit the presidential campaign trail Wednesday. But such talk is subject to interpretation. A brief review of news headlines heralding his decision:

“Gingrich to prolong spotlight in campaign suspension event” (Fox News), “Gingrich: thanks and goodbye” (CNN), “A Gingrich/Romney joint event a possibility” (U.S. News & World Report), “For Gingrich, forever’s gone away” (MSNBC); “Did Gingrich film video after Delaware?” (The Street), “Gingrich readies for next phase of his career” (Austin American-Statesman), “Gingrich ends in irrelevancy” (Bloomberg), “Newt’s long goodbye” (Slate).


The Libertarian Party is getting ready to rumble: Its convention gets under way Wednesday in Las Vegas, and the ticket is set. It’s Gary Johnson for president, running as “the anti-war candidate”. And he’s got a running mate now: James P. Gray, who idolizes economist Milton Friedman and bristles with legal credentials.

“I believe my background, experience and values will bring additional credibility and force to our team. I was an elected trial court judge for 25 years, federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, criminal defense attorney in the Navy JAG Corps, and Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica. I formerly held a top-secret clearance in the Navy, and was the recipient of National Defense, Vietnam Service and Combat Action awards while serving my country,” Mr. Gray says.

“Judge Gray is a reformer with the track record and credentials to prove it,” Mr. Johnson observes, adding that Libertarian Party nominees will be on the ballot in all 50 states come November.


So this is how it all works: “The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas.” So says syndicated columnist Jonah Goldberg in the title of his new book. According to the author, the greatest trick liberals ever pulled was convincing themselves that they are not ideological.

“One mans terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter: Sure, if the other man is an idiot. Was Martin Luther King Jr. a terrorist? Was bin Laden a freedom fighter?” Mr. Goldberg says. “Violence never solves anything: Really? It solved our problems with the British Empire and ended slavery.”

The author has a million of ‘em.

“Better 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man suffer: So you won’t mind if those 10 guilty men move next door to you?” the author notes as another example, adding “We need complete separation of church and state: In other words all expressions of faith should be barred from politics — except when they support liberal programs.”


And that would be former U.S. Attorney General and Heritage Foundation fellow Edwin Meese, who will receive a 2012 Bradley Prize in June from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. The award carries a $250,000 stipend.

“Ed Meese has been an invaluable public servant. His entire career has involved upholding the rule of law and making the nation more secure,” says Michael W. Grebe, president and CEO of the Milwaukee-based group.

Mr. Meese served as then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff, as counselor to President Reagan and as attorney general from 1985 to 1988. Judges on the selection committee included Charles Krauthammer, Shelby Steele and George Will.


Give it a nod: 45 percent of Americans fall asleep somewhere other than their beds at least once a week, the Better Sleep Council (bettersleep.org) says in a new survey. Ten percent snoozed at work, 7 percent in church, 7 percent in their car, 6 percent on public transportation, 4 percent in the bathroom and 4 percent at a movie.

But wait, there’s more. Among other spots, Americans also fell asleep in an Army tank, in military formation, in yoga class, while on jury duty, in the doctor’s waiting room, at a party and while standing in line.


• 73 percent of Asian-American voters have a favorable opinion of President Obama.

• 27 percent have a favorable view of Mitt Romney; 30 percent have never heard of him.

• 59 percent plan to vote for Mr. Obama, 27 percent are undecided, 13 percent will vote for Mr. Romney.

• 53 percent of Asian-Americans say they are Democrats, 31 percent are independents or refuse to identify with either party, 16 percent are Republicans.

• 23 percent have been contacted by the Democratic Party

• 17 percent have been contacted by the Republican Party.

Source: Lake Research Partners/Asian American Institute poll of 1,013 registered Asian-American voters conducted April 5 to 15 and released Tuesday.

Complaints, happy talk to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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