Friday, November 23, 2012

Hamas top dog Haniyeh: "Israel screamed with pain from what the resistance did to it. I thank everyone who provided us with arms and money, especially Iran."

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

Thanks, once again, to Barack Obama. "Gaza leader Haniyeh thanks Iran for helping make Israel ‘scream with pain,’" by Aaron Kalman in the Times of Israel, November 22:
After emerging unscathed from eight days of fighting with Israel, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh thanked Egypt and Iran on Thursday for their support in helping make “Israel scream with pain,” he said. 
Haniyeh, who heads Hamas in Gaza, hailed the previous night’s ceasefire as a victory, despite what Israel called heavy losses for the terror group during Operation Pillar of Defense.
Though it had been threatening a ground operation, Jerusalem said Wednesday night it would give an Egypt-brokered truce a chance to work, ending a week of heavy rocket fire on the south of Israel.
It was “the resistance and strength of the Palestinian people that stopped Israel from sending troops into Gaza,” Haniyeh said at a celebration in Gaza Thursday, which was declared a holiday for Palestinians.
The idea of attacking Gaza is gone and, with the help of God, will never return,” Haniyeh said.
During Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel struck some 1,500 targets and killed some 170 Palestinians, according to the Israel Defense Forces. Over 1,500 rockets were launched from Gaza to Israel’s southern city, and six people were killed.
The strength of the Palestinians was the basis for the latest victory, and now “it’s a sign of pride to the whole world,” Hamas’s leader said. We “did not raise a white flag. Israel screamed with pain from what the resistance did to it. I thank everyone who provided us with arms and money, especially Iran.
Haniyeh also thanked Egypt for aiding the Palestinians. Egypt of today was not like that of yesterday and “Israel was mute in face of Egypt’s position” during the fighting, he said.
“Israel entered this war with the intent of preparing the ground for a regional war” which would help its leaders during the upcoming elections, Haniyeh said, but added that Jerusalem was ill-prepared to face down Gazan fighters. “Israel was surprised at the response of the resistance movements, their accuracy and the ability to strike in the center of the country with such force.”
“The enemy was hit and shocked because it thought [killing Ahmed Jabari] and attacking from the air would be a surprise — but the surprise was that of the resistance, the depth and determination in the field up until the last minutes,” Haniyeh told the crowd.
The resistance changed the rules of the game, and the idea of invading Gaza is gone forever,” Hamas’s leader said. ”The resistance can stand even stronger. Our enemy doesn’t know our character. Today a new stage has started in the victory of this people and nation,” he said.

The GOP's Must Do List Before The 2016 Election

The GOP's Must Do List Before The 2016 Election 

By: Donald Lambro  /Townhall Columnist

Although Barack Obama won a second term and Democrats gained some seats in Congress, the Republicans remain a considerable force to be reckoned with in the 2013-14 election cycle and beyond.

Lost in the news media's ecstasy over Obama's victory in the midst of a terribly weak, job-starved economy is the political reality behind his narrow popular vote margin, the GOP's still muscular House majority and its rising strength among the nation's governorships.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out press releases the day after the election that they had "succeeded last night in rolling back the [GOP's] Tea Party wave of 2010. In fact, they had defeated "only three members of the Tea Party Caucus," election tracker Stuart Rothenberg noted in his post-election analysis.

The Democrats were making preposterous pre-election claims of winning 25 seats and taking back the House, but they never came close. In the '08 election, Obama's party gained 21 House seats. They gained only eight this year, leaving the GOP in firm control of the people's chamber.

Democrats had a net gain of two seats in the Senate, winning all of the close tossup races in a year when the Republicans had expected to at least tighten their margin in the upper body. Now, Majority Leader Harry Reid rules the Senate with a 55 to 45 seat majority.

This means that nothing passes the Senate without the hard-to-get 60-votes needed to take up any administration legislation.

But the really big, untold story on election night is that the Republicans will be in control of 30 state houses next year. That's "the highest number for either party in more than a decade," says the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza and a sign of the GOP's continued strength in the states.

Four of the five previous presidents before Obama were all governors: Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Bush.

And now Republicans head into 2013 with a long lineup of politically ambitious chief executives who are eyeing the presidency, including Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Mike Pence of Indiana, Bob McDonnell of Virginia, John Kasich of Ohio, and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, among several others.

The large pool of GOP governors, including many in the largest electoral states -- Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio and Florida, among others - means they will be able to rebuild stronger political ground organizations for their party. And the new crop of Republican leaders have begun talking about playing a stronger role in the GOP's political future.

In his "Monday Fix" political column, Cillizza says that, despite news media reports of the GOP's demise, "things aren't that bad for Republicans."

As for the GOP's presumed electoral obstacles, he says "the party is not that far, electorally speaking, from creating a credible path back to 270 electoral votes."

Put the key Midwestern states of Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin into the GOP column, and possibly add Pennsylvania, and the party's future looks much more promising.

"No, this was not a blowout election for Democrats, but the hardening of the party coalitions and the changing face of the country -- and the electorate -- pose major problems for the Republican Party," Rothenberg says in an analysis that sees a very "mixed message" coming out of the 2012 contests.

Some are calling the results "a status quo election," and that's what it has turned out to be. Congress remains as divided as it was before, give or take a few seats. Obama stays in the White House, but facing the same weakening economic and worsening fiscal problems he said he would fix four years ago but didn't.

The Republican National Committee is now engaged in a nationwide poll-and-focus-group examination into why the electorate voted the way it did. But the answer to that question seems self-evident. Obama received more votes than his Mitt Romney because of a clearly superior voter turnout ground game in the electoral battleground states.

But the reason's for Romney defeat run deeper than that. Rothenberg points out that "white voters constituted only 72 percent of the electorate this year, compared with 74 percent in 2008, a trend that has been apparent for years and will continue. Hispanics, on the other hand, inched up from 9 percent of the electorate in 2008 to 10 percent this year, and younger voters, age 18-29, continued their unusually high rate of participation, constituting 19 percent of the electorate this time, compared to 18 percent four years ago."

"For Republicans, the picture should be pretty clear. The Democratic coalition is growing while the GOP base is shrinking.Just as important, key Democratic constituencies seem less vulnerable to defecting than do GOP-leaning groups."

Even in key red states that Romney carried comfortably, there were numerous examples of ticket-splitting favoring the Democrats in pivotal Senate contests.

In North Dakota, for instance, Romney carried the state with a 21-point margin, but its voters sent Democrat Heidi Heitkamp to the Senate.

Romney easily carried strongly Republican Indiana and Missouri, but voters elected Democrats in senatorial races that were at the top of the GOP's "vulnerable target" list.

It's should be clear by now that Republicans must find new ways to reach out and appeal to a much larger base of voters. No serious Republican candidate can afford to lose 70 percent-plus of the Hispanic vote -- especially in battlegrounds like Florida, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Ohio -- and expect to win the presidency.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is already mounting a major outreach program to make inroads among Hispanic voters who gave George W. Bush 43 percent of their vote in 2004.

But Republican leaders also have to look at their voter turnout operation which was woefully inadequate. On the GOP's list of "things we must do" in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections and 2016 presidential contest, that one has to be at the top.

Romney Was Not the Problem  

By: Ann Coulter  / Townhall Columnist

Small minds always leap to the answers given the last time around, which is probably why Maxine Waters keeps getting re-elected. But the last time is not necessarily the same as this time. A terrorist attack is not the same as the Cold War, a war in Afghanistan is not the same as a war in Iraq, and Mitt Romney is not the same as John McCain or Bob Dole.

But since the election, many conservatives seem to be coalescing around the explanation for our defeat given by Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots, who said: "What we got was a weak, moderate candidate handpicked by the Beltway elites and country club establishment wing of the Republican Party. The presidential loss is unequivocally on them."

There was also the seven months of primaries, during which Romney got more votes than the rest of the field combined. So there's that. Moreover, the idea that Mitt Romney was "a weak, moderate candidate" is preposterous.

As Trotsky said, in moments of crisis, people with no politics tend to develop the worst possible politics.

Even newly elected Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas complained that Romney failed to get across that there are "two viewpoints and directions for the country" and that he erred by trying to "be a nice guy." As Cruz said, "I'm pretty certain Mitt Romney actually French-kissed Barack Obama" in the third debate -- proving once again that comedy is harder than it looks.

The idea that Romney failed to present a clear contrast with Obama or was too "nice" is also nonsense. If Republicans continue to tell themselves comforting myths about our candidate being the problem, they better get used to losing a lot more elections.

The only Republican to defeat a sitting president in the last century was Ronald Reagan in 1980, when he beat Jimmy Carter, the second-worst president in U.S. history (pending the final results of Obama's second term). Because of that, and also because he is in the top two best American presidents, Reagan's example is worth studying.

In Reagan's one debate with Carter in 1980, he presented "two viewpoints and directions for the country" by vowing to save Medicare and not to cut taxes too much. Loud and clear, Reagan said: "My tax cut does not come close to eliminating (Carter's) $86 billion increase. I'm only reducing the amount of the increase."

There's your bold contrasting vision!

Reagan picked a pro-choice, anti-supply side Republican as his running mate. He lavishly praised FDR in his acceptance speech at the national convention, leading The New York Times to title an editorial about him "Franklin Delano Reagan."

Meanwhile, Romney promised to institute major reforms to Medicare, repeal Obamacare and impose a 20 percent across-the-board tax cut. He said he'd issue a 50-state waiver to Obamacare on his first day in office. (Why he didn't promise it to all 57 states I'll never know.) He chose a pro-life, fiscal conservative as his running mate and never praised FDR.

A careful analysis of the Romney plan thus reveals several deviations from the Democrat platform -- more stark than those delineated by even Reagan.

Romney was the most libertarian candidate Republicans have run since Calvin Coolidge. And he got more votes from the dwindling white majority than Reagan did.

How many more votes would Romney have gotten by being a rude, condescending jerk? Sure, it worked for Obama, but he was the incumbent.

Some conservatives didn't trust Romney because, as governor of a state between blue and North Korea, he had instituted a health insurance mandate, one feature of the hated Obamacare.

As governor of a purple state, Reagan had signed the most liberal abortion law in the country and imposed the three largest state tax hikes in the nation's history. Nevada Sen. Paul Laxalt's nominating speech hailed Reagan's governorship of California for producing "a veritable Great Society of aid for schools, minorities and the handicapped," as the Times put it. Reagan had also been an actual member of the godless, treason party.

This is not to diminish Reagan. It is to say that Romney wasn't the problem.

To the extent Republicans have a problem with their candidates, it's not that they're not conservative enough.

Where are today's Nelson Rockefellers, Arlen Specters or George H.W. Bushes? Happily, they have gone the way of leprosy.

Having vanquished liberal Republicans, the party's problem now runs more along the lines of moron showoffs, trying to impress tea partiers like Jenny Beth Martin by taking insane positions on rape exceptions for abortion -- as 2 million babies are killed every year from pregnancies having nothing to do with rape.

Romney lost because he was running against an incumbent, was beaten up during a long and vicious primary fight, and ran in a year with a very different electorate from 1980. At least one of those won't be true next time. But we're not going to win any elections by telling ourselves fairy tales about a candidate who lost because he wasn't conservative enough, articulate enough or mean enough.

Obama's razor-sharp voter system now pushing agenda

'Dashboard' identified the most persuadable, mobilized friends to reach them

messina Published in WND

The sophisticated, computerized voter tracking and social networking system that helped propel Barack Obama to victory a second time was built on the simple, enduring principle that it’s the people closest to an individual who have the most influence, not mass media.

Now, the data tracking that enabled Obama campaign workers to focus their efforts on the most persuadable voters and mobilize family and friends to reach them will be employed, at least in part, to help the president advance his legislative agenda, beginning with the so-called “fiscal cliff” negotiations.

Campaign manager Jim Messina indicated at the Politico Playbook breakfast in the nation’s capital Tuesday that the political machine that created the two largest grassroots campaigns in history won’t completely disappear, reported Sabrina Siddiqui of the Huffington Post.

The campaign’s system, called Dashboard, linked and organized more than 1 million volunteers nationwide and employed tracking models by which staff could monitor support in crucial swing states.

The tracking models enabled staff to estimate the president would win Florida by 0.2 percentage points and accurately predicted early voting within a percentage point.

Messina called Dashboard “the hardest thing we did in the campaign,” explaining it tracked “every single piece of metric in this campaign and put it in one place,” the Daily Caller reported.

Through the data tracking, the Obama campaign built support scores for voters in battleground states, ranking the likeliness a voter would support the president between 1 and 100.

The data enabled the campaign to focus on persuadable voters and avoid low-payoff, traditional get-out-the vote activities, the Daily Caller said.

Messina said that in 2012, the campaign spent less time “[k]nocking on doors of people who were never persuadable in this election.”

In addition, instead of mass messaging, the campaign mobilized social networkers to share campaign messages with friends who were undecided voters.

“The single most-persuasive person in an undecided voter’s life was their friends and family,” Messina said.

Connecting with Congress

Messina told the Politico breakfast gathering that while he didn’t know for certain what would happen to the campaign infrastructure, some of it “will absolutely live on,” pointing to the social networking tools, the Huffington Post said.

Messina pointed to Dashboard as a way for the president’s supporters to connect with Congress members during the fiscal cliff talks.

“People just spent five years winning two elections together,” Messina said. “They’re not now just going to walk away.”

In a conference call last week, the Huffington Post reported, Obama urged 30,000 of his top campaign activists to stay engaged in the political process, beginning with upcoming tax and budget negotiations.

“We are going to have some triumphs and some successes, but there are going to be some tough days, starting with some of these negotiations around the fiscal cliff that you probably read about, making sure that our tax system is fair,” Obama said. “So we are going to need you guys to stay active. We need you to stick with us and stay on this.”