Wednesday, September 12, 2012



NRO Newsletters . . .
Morning Jolt
. . . with Jim Geraghty

September 12, 2012
In This Issue . . .
1. Libyans Kill U.S. Ambassador, Other Americans; Egyptians Storm U.S. Embassy, Burn Flag
2. A Morning Jolt Exclusive: The Latest American Crossroads Ad
3. The Chicago Teacher Strike, from Bad to Worse
4. You'll Never Guess Who Obama Spoke with Yesterday Afternoon. No, Really.
5. Addendum
Here's your Wednesday Morning Jolt.


1. Libyans Kill U.S. Ambassador, Other Americans; Egyptians Storm U.S. Embassy, Burn Flag

Protesters destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. Egyptian protesters, largely ultra conservative Islamists, have climbed the walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, went into the courtyard and brought down the flag, replacing it with a black flag with Islamic inscription, in protest of a film deemed offensive of Islam. (AP Photo/Mohammed Abu Zaid)

The U.S. ambassador to Libya died as Libya militants stormed the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

The death of Christopher Stevens, 52, on Tuesday came as two American State Department employees were also killed in Benghazi as 20 gun-wielding attackers stormed the U.S. consulate, angry about an American made film that depicts Prophet Mohammad as a fraud and womanizer.

Stevens, who was a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and served two tours of duty in Libya, was nominated by President Obama to be ambassador to Libya early this year. His term of appointment as ambassador to Libya began on May 22. 

Our ambassador's body was carried through the streets by the mob. "Reminiscent of Somalia," says Toby Harnden.

As I'm sending off the Jolt, there are unconfirmed reports that two U.S. Marines are among the dead.

Before the awful news out of Libya, the worst news appeared to be from Egypt -- you know, the showcase nation of the Arab Spring, where the Muslim Brotherhood is now calling the shots . . .

Dear Egyptian crowds: You decide to hold large-scale protests, storm our embassy's walls, tear down the American flag and replace it with an Islamic one . . . and you do it on September 11? To hell with you guys.

Reuters relays what happened in Cairo Tuesday:
Egyptian protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy on Tuesday, tore down the American flag and burned it during a protest over what they said was a film being produced in the United States that insulted Prophet Mohammad.

In place of the U.S. flag, the protesters tried to raise a black flag with the words "There is no God but God, and Mohammad is his messenger", a Reuters witness said.

Once the U.S. flag was hauled down, some protesters tore it up and showed off pieces to television cameras. Others burned the remains outside the fortress-like embassy building in central Cairo. But some protesters objected to the flag burning.


But the good news is, we really came down on that violent mob like a ton of bricks. Check out the statement from our embassy:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims -- as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

. . . Er, wait, what?

We're condemning the folks who offended the Egyptians, not the Egyptians storming our soil -- yes, all embassies are the sovereign soil of the country they represent, not that the Iranians ever cared -- and burning our flag? Why is the U.S. embassy in Cairo determining what constitutes an "abuse" of the "universal right of free speech"? I'm pretty sure there's something in the Constitution about the federal government regulating freedom of expression. To quote Jon Stewart, "Not sure which amendment covers that, but it's probably in the top one."

Bryan Preston: "The fact that the US embassy in Cairo would issue such a statement to Islamists, on 9-11 of all days, is a deep low point in American history."

Well, at least we're getting tough with the Egyptian government for failing to control the crowd or meet its duty to protect our embassy. Oh, wait:

The Obama administration hopes to go to Congress soon with a plan for using $1 billion in debt relief to help Egypt stabilize its economy and expand its private sector, a senior U.S. State Department official said on Friday.

"My hope would be is that we would go to the Congress very shortly with a framework of how we recommend that this money be allocated," U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides told reporters during a conference call to discuss goals for a U.S. business delegation headed to Egypt this weekend.

President Barack Obama promised in May 2011 to relieve Egypt of up to $1 billion of the $3.2 billion debt it owes the United States, and to guarantee another $1 billion in loans for infrastructure and job creation programs.

Following Egypt's first free elections, which brought Islamist president Mohamed Mursi to power in June, the United States has started detailed discussions with Egyptian officials on how the money would be used.

"We're still in those discussions. I think we're getting close to finalizing it. Obviously the Congress has to approve what we're doing and we're consulting with both Republicans and Democrats and there's really, quite frankly, bipartisan support for this," Nides said.

Not bipartisan support anymore, I'd bet.

New rule: You burn our embassy's flag on 9/11, you get jack squat in foreign aid for the next five years.

2. A Morning Jolt Exclusive: The Latest American Crossroads Ad

The good folks at American Crossroads want you guys to be the first to see their
latest web video, showcasing how Obama's promises this year . . . are just a rerun of his promises from 2007, 2008, and 2009. It's a one-minute video, showcasing pledges to "double exports," "cut oil imports," "cut our deficit in half," "training workers for new skills," "recruiting new teachers," "cut in half the growth of tuition costs". . .
The tagline is simple and effective: "Actions speak louder than words. Are you better off?"

This is apparently a test run for a national campaign in the closing weeks.

3. The Chicago Teacher Strike, from Bad to Worse

So, things got better with that strike in the Windy City on Tuesday, right? On the anniversary of such a key moment for all Americans, cooler heads could prevail and people could recognize that the interests of Chicago's children have to come first, and that they can resolve their differences in a calm, rational, good-faith manner, right?

Addressing a large rally in the Loop, the head of the Chicago Teachers Union dashed hopes of settling the strike today and returning more than 350,000 children to the classroom.

"To say that the contract will be settled today is lunacy," CTU president Karen Lewis told cheering teachers.

School Board President David Vitale had indicated this morning, as negotiations resumed, that the two sides were close and even suggested there could be a settlement today.

But Lewis said the two sides remained far apart, noting that they have signed off on only six of the 49 articles in the contract. Main sticking points include evaluations and the rehiring of laid-off teachers.

Lewis told thousands of teachers at the rally that they were in this fight for the long haul.

"The assault on public education started here. It needs to end here," Lewis said, addressing the crowd as "brothers and sisters."

"We did not start this fight," Lewis said, touching off a chant from the crowd of "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Rahm Emanuel has got to go!"

So, the world's most famous Chicago resident continues to vote, "present," although Rahm Emanuel is insisting that the president has his back on this:

Speaking to reporters in Chicago today, Chicago Mayor Emanuel asserted that President Obama has already backed him up in against striking teachers, because many of his proposed reforms were taken directly from the President's "Race to the Top" education incentives.

"I want you to understand, the president has weighed in," Emanuel said. "Every issue we're talking about regarding accountability of our schools, quality in our schools to the education of our children, is the core thrust of Race to the Top."

Emanuel added that the "notion" of the teacher evaluations he proposed came from Race to the Top.

"In that sense there couldn't be a bigger push for the president," Emanuel insisted. 


Hey, maybe the president is shy.

So if the president doesn't want to utter a word on this mess, who is going to clean it up? Well, not these guys: "Service Employees International Union Local 1 today informed companies that employ about 1,800 of its members as custodial workers in city schools that those workers might go out on strike with teachers in 48 hours, according to Jerry Morrison, assistant to the president of SEIU Local 1."

If you think this strike stinks, you haven't smelled anything yet.

4. You'll Never Guess Who Obama Spoke with Yesterday Afternoon. No, Really.

On Tuesday, President Obama spent the morning marking the 9/11 anniversary at a memorial service in the Pentagon, telling families of the victims, "But no matter how many years pass, no matter how many times we come together on this hallowed ground, know this: That you will never be alone, your loved ones will never be forgotten. They will endure in the hearts of our nation because through their sacrifice they helped us make the America we are today, an America that has emerged even stronger."

And then . . . in the afternoon . . .

President Barack Obama put new meaning to the cliche "wide-ranging interview" while speaking with DJ Laz of Miami Latin station Romance 106.7 FM Tuesday morning.

"DJ Laz!" said Obama.

"O-BAMA" said DJ Laz back, who is also known as the Pimp with the Limp.

When asked how he was, Obama said, "Blessed and highly favored."

When Laz said that it was an honor to have Obama on, Obama replied, "I'm the one who should be humbled. You're big time. You've got Pitbull and Flo Rida and all these guys just beating a path to your door. And so I'm hoping I can get a little of that magic from you in this interview."

 . . . Obama gave a long defense on Medicare and attacked the Romney/Ryan ticket for ending "Medicare as we know it."

"My Cuban-American parents would not be happy about that!" replied Laz.

If you wrote a novel depicting an incumbent president doing an interview with a radio talk show host entitled, "The Pimp with the Limp," people would throw it across the room, calling it silly, too farfetched to be an effective parody, too ridiculous to be good satire.

5. Addendum

Jazz Shaw
, reflecting upon the anti-American chaos in the Middle East: "This morning should be a note for everyone screaming that we should be 'helping' more in Syria. They won't thank us."

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