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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

If Mike Bloomberg Couldn’t Buy Political Offices, His Career Would Be in Trouble Now



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Today’s Jolt is more or less in the “we’re protected by the very best governing class” vein:

Bloomberg’s Probably Still Wondering if the Taliban Opposes the Health Care Bill

Yeah, anybody who picked “domestic terrorist” in the pool really should pay double now: “American officials said Wednesday that it was very likely that a radical group once thought unable to attack the United States had played a role in the bombing attempt in Times Square, elevating concerns about whether other militant groups could deliver at least a glancing blow on American soil.”

Bill Roggio: “The administration’s admission that Shahzad and the attempted bombing link back to Pakistan marks a departure from its early view that the attack was likely a purely domestic incident. One day after the attack, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano described the attack as a ‘one-off’ and ‘amateurish,’ and over the next two days administration officials continued to downplay or deny possible links to international terror groups, despite early clues suggesting such involvement . . . But evidence that the Pakistani Taliban may have played a role in the attack emerged almost immediately after firefighters and police dismantled the crudely-made bomb in Times Square on the evening of May 1 . . . The reasons for the administration’s decision to quickly discount a foreign connection remain unclear, but the end result was that partisans feuded over phantom domestic terrorists while the Taliban accepted responsibility.”

(Naturally, Bloomberg has gone from accusing health care opponents of planting the bomb to going after gun owners. He wants to keep those who are on a federal terrorism watch list from purchasing a firearm, which seems sensible at first glance until you learn that there are tens of thousands of names on the no-fly-list, and a significant number of those folks are on it because they share a name with an actual bad guy. The most famous “how did his name end up on the list” story was Ted Kennedy, but let’s put him aside since he’s actually responsible for an innocent person’s untimely death. Marines returning from Iraq have been held off planes. The controversial name: Daniel Brown. Apparently there was fear that the plane could be harmed by a wildly overhyped hack novel full of inaccurate history. And, of course, the alleged Times Square bomber actually got on the plane. Bloomberg’s idea would do nothing to restrict gun crime or hijackings, endlessly hassle innocent people, and further advance the idea that certain parts of the Bill of Rights are optional if the richest guy in New York doesn’t like them.)

Allahpundit, writing at Hot Air: “Pakistan’s reportedly pinched more than a dozen people related to the plot, most of them linked to Jaish-e-Mohammed. JeM tends to focus on attacks against India to ‘liberate’ Kashmir, which makes sense here: Shahzad is of Kashmiri descent, so he probably hooked up with them for that initially and then got steered around towards attacking the U.S. given the advantage he had in (re)entering the country. Read Roggio’s post for a brief primer on how incestuous the Taliban, JeM, Lashkar e-Taiba, and other jihadbot outfits in the area are vis-a-vis training. Oh – JeM was also the group that got in contact with the five Americans from the D.C. suburbs who went looking for jihad in Pakistan last year. Funny how they keep finding our citizens, and vice versa.”

This Politico story suggests that you can only spin near-misses as great successes so many times: “During both Q-and-A sessions Tuesday and Wednesday, President Barack Obama’s press secretary fielded more than 75 tough questions about things that nearly went awry – and about several missteps that nearly allowed the 30-year old naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan to slip the dragnet . . . Gibbs’s grilling reflects a larger dilemma of the Obama administration in selling the public on the idea that they are waging a successful war on terror – especially after discarding of the uppercase ‘War on Terror’ label coined by the Bush administration. Making that argument even harder: The increasingly unpredictable and asymmetrical nature of the evolving threat of Islamic terrorism – and the administration’s change-on-the-fly approach to fixing holes in their own anti-terrorism policy.”

In other words, maybe terrorism policy looks tougher when you’re actually making the calls at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue than when you’re writing up speeches for unions and local Democratic groups in Des Moines and Manchester.


Tags: Barack Obama , Mike Bloomberg


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