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SATURDAY, MARCH 13, 2010
OBAMA AND THE EUROPEANS – AT 8:56 P.M. ET: At The Angel's Corner last night I discussed Obama's cultural affinity for countries rather hostile to the U.S., and his indifference to traditional allies.
That theme is carried forward by a first-class column in tomorrow's Times of London, which expresses the dismay that many in the Atlantic alliance feel about the man they saw, in 2008, as something better than the Second Coming:
Unlike George W Bush and Bill Clinton, Obama has made little effort to strike up friendships with European leaders. At the G20 summit in Pittsburgh last year he was pictured walking out with the leaders of China and India, his administration’s evident priorities, along with Russia, at the expense of America’s traditional allies.
“The paradox is Europeans think Obama is one of them, that he ran [for office] on repairing American relations with them — damaged by Bush and the war in Iraq — and now feel he doesn’t care about them,” said Robert Kagan, a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who was foreign policy adviser to Senator John McCain, Obama’s election opponent.
“He’s just not emotionally attached to Europe,” agreed Kim Holmes, of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. “It’s not hostility. It’s just indifference.”
When the Washington Post columnist Jackson Diehl asked White House officials to name a foreign leader with whom Obama had forged a personal relationship, there was “a lot of hemming and hawing”, he said. To his astonishment, no one mentioned Gordon Brown. Instead the name proffered was Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president.
A senior official from No 10, who was in Washington in December for Obama’s big speech on Afghanistan, was horrified that the president did not once mention Britain in the 45-minute address despite the presence there of 10,000 British troops.
“President Obama seems hugely indifferent to America’s closest ally,” said Nile Gardiner, who runs the Washington-based Margaret Thatcher Centre for Freedom and recently compiled a list of Obama’s top 10 insults against Britain. “I think the special relationship is at its lowest point since Suez in 1956.”
And the East Europeans are miffed as well, and the Israelis are appalled.
Welcome to the new world order. Old friends need not apply.
March 13, 2010 Permalink
ONE MORE DUMB APPOINTMENT – AT 8:05 P.M. ET: I think we're finished wondering how incompetent the vetting process is in the Obama administration. I'm becoming convinced it really isn't incompetent at all. The Obamans are actually appointing the people they want – members of the hard left, with strange histories. Consider this new adventure, as reported by Fox News:
Senate Republicans have slammed the brakes on the confirmation of President Obama's nominee for ambassador to El Salvador over concerns about her ties to Cuba.
Mari Carmen Aponte, who was nominated by Obama in December, withdrew her nomination to another diplomatic post in the Clinton era following questions about her past relationship with someone who had apparently caught the attention of the FBI.
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., forced the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to delay a hearing scheduled this week on the nomination of Mari Carmen Aponte until next Wednesday.
"Serious concerns about this nominee arose when she was nominated for a different position during the Clinton administration," DeMint said in a written statement to FoxNews.com. "I have asked the committee for additional time to review these matters. So far we have not received all of the information we have requested."
In 1998, President Clinton's nomination of Aponte for ambassador to the Dominican Republic fizzled after the foreign relations panel questioned her over her past relationship to Roberto Tamayo, who had raised concern at the FBI over "possible ties to the Cuban government" and "repeated trips there," one former official with knowledge of that nomination told FoxNews.com.
Aponte came under scrutiny by the committee after revelations that she attended a party at the Cuban mission to the United Nations in New York City, the former official said.
According to reports at the time, a former Cuban intelligence agent also told a Spanish-language newspaper in Miami in 1993 that Cuban intelligence was trying to recruit her through her boyfriend.
COMMENT: She is presumed innocent, but you'd think by now the Obamans would get past their leftist obsessions and try to find people without political problems. This is what happens when 1) we don't know much about a man we put in the White House and, 2) the press doesn't have much interest in telling us. The Obamans pick these candidates because this is their crowd, which is our misfortune.
March 13, 2010 Permalink
ANOTHER ONE – AT 7:39 P.M. ET: Another one. There are more and more identifications of native-born Americans who are suspected of involvement with radical Islamic groups. And they don't look like terrorists. From The New York Times:
LEADVILLE, Colo. — An American woman, who family members fear may have become a radicalized Muslim, was detained in Ireland this week in connection with a plot to assassinate a Swedish cartoonist. The Associated Press reported Saturday that the Irish police had released the woman without charge.
The woman, identified by her mother as Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, 31, had become increasingly cut off from her family here and had been spending more time on the Internet since converting to Islam around last Easter, her relatives said.
After dressing in traditional headscarves, praying at a mosque in Denver and befriending fellow Muslims in online chat rooms, Ms. Pauline-Rarimez left Leadville in September with her 5-year-old son, Christian Carreon and moved to Ireland in October, her mother, Christine Mott, said in an interview at her home here on Saturday.
Ms. Mott said that she had been told that her daughter had been detained in Ireland this week, and that her grandson was in the custody of Irish officials.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the arrest of Ms. Paulin-Ramirez on Friday. The newspaper, citing unidentified sources, reported that she was arrested in connection with an alleged plot to murder Lars Vilks, whose 2007 cartoon depicted the head of the Prophet Muhammad on a dog’s body.
COMMENT: She may or may not be guilty of anything. However, what strikes me is the false sense of astonishment that any native-born American could possibly be engaged in treasonable activities.
In fact, while it isn't common, it's hardly unknown. There were plenty of Nazi sympathizers in America before World War II (and probably afterward, as well). There was a very large pro-Soviet Communist movement in America, although many members of the MSM have been taught in colleges that this was something of a mirage, an example of "McCarthyism." It was not a mirage. McCarthy was a crude guy, but he wasn't entirely wrong.
But now the prissies in the media are shocked, shocked, that any American, especially someone with nice hair, would join the jihadists.
Don't be shocked.
March 13, 2010 Permalink
EXPECT MORE LIKE THIS – AT 11:44 A.M. ET: Toyota, through its own greed and blunders, has become the butt of jokes.
The company, once the symbol of the Japanese car invasion that was based on quality and cost, is suffering from a serious black eye. It will take years to repair the damage.
At the same time, we must be wary of false claims and fast hustles by those seeking quick money, or a way to avoid personal blame for accidents. There are, after all, millions and millions of Toyotas on the road that apparently have no problems, and are driven without incident.
Consider this story, from Fox News:
The man who became the face of the Toyota gas pedal scandal this week has a troubled financial past that is leading some to question whether he was wholly truthful in his story.
On Monday, James Sikes called 911 to report that he was behind the wheel of an out-of-control Toyota Prius going 94 mph on a freeway near San Diego. Twenty-three minutes later, a California Highway Patrol officer helped guide him to a stop, a rescue that was captured on videotape.
Since then, it's been learned that:
— Sikes filed for bankruptcy in San Diego in 2008. According to documents, he was more than $700,000 in debt and owed roughly $19,000 on his Prius;
— In 2001, Sikes filed a police report with the Merced County Sheriff's Department for $58,000 in stolen property, including jewelry, a digital video camera and equipment and $24,000 in cash;
— Sikes has hired a law firm, though it has indicated he has no plans to sue Toyota;
— Sikes won $55,000 on television's "The Big Spin" in 2006, Fox40.com reports, and the real estate agent has boasted of celebrity clients such as Constance Ramos of "Extreme Home Makeover."
While authorities say they don't doubt Sikes' account, several bloggers and a man who bought a home from Sikes in 2007 question whether the 61-year-old entrepreneur may have concocted the incident for publicity or for monetary gain.
COMMENT: The rest of the story is equally fascinating. While it's important for Toyota to acknowledge error and fix cars that are defective, it's equally important for the company to aggressively defend itself against hoaxers. This is something that another company, Audi, failed to do some years ago when Audis were also said to be plagued by sudden acceleration. Some of the most prominent cases turned out to be untrue. It has taken years for Audi to reestablish itself in the United States.
You may be sure that, as you read this, a number of people are planning to get some money from Toyota, and insurance companies, for made-up stories. That will only raise costs for the rest of us.
March 13, 2010 Permalink
YOU CAN'T FOOL ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME – AT 11:16 A.M. ET: A new Harris poll shows that, once again, the American people are a lot smarter than the Washington elites think they are. They see through the press fluff and the "I'm here to make a difference" crowd:
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For 44 years, since 1966, The Harris Poll has measured how confident the American people are in the leaders of major U.S. institutions. Based on the responses, Harris calculates an overall Confidence Index. Over the years it has gone up and down. In 2002, it touched 65. In 2008, it fell to 44. This year it stands at 53, one point lower than in early 2009.
However, this lack of movement in the Confidence Index is the result of a number of increases and decreases in confidence in the leaders of different institutions. The biggest change since early 2009 is the substantial drop in public confidence in the White House. Those with a “great deal of confidence” have fallen by 9 points from 36% to 27%.
Gee, I wonder why. You don't think it has anything to do with The One, do you?
There have also been declines in those with a great deal of confidence in colleges and universities (from 40% to 35%), organized religion (from 30% to 26%) and television news (from 22% to 17%).
None of that surprises me, including the decline in organized religion. Many religious groups on the left became cheerleaders for Obama, rather than for their traditional values.
This year there are five institutions that have leaders who inspire a great deal of confidence in more than 30% of Americans:
The military (59%);
Small business (50%);
Major educational institutions, such as colleges and universities (35%);
Medicine (34%); and,
The U.S. Supreme Court (31%).
On the other side of the list, there are five institutions that have leaders who inspire a great deal of confidence in less than 15% of Americans:
Organized labor (14%);
The press (13%);
Law firms (13%);
Congress (8%); and,
Wall Street (8%).
In fact, almost half of Americans say they have hardly any confidence at all in the leaders of both Congress (48%) and Wall Street (45%).
COMMENT: These things go up and down, but the gap between great confidence in the military (59%) and the press (13%) might give a hint to the barons of journalism as to why so many news outlets are in such trouble. It ain't the internet.
March 13, 2010 Permalink
BROWN NAILS IT – AT 10:41 A.M. ET: Newly elected Republican Senator Scott Brown, of Massachusetts, nails it exactly in his comments on the Democratic drive over the cliff on health care:
(AP) -- Newly arrived Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts accused President Barack Obama and Democrats on Saturday of a "bitter, destructive and endless" drive to pass health overhaul legislation that Brown warned would be disastrous.
"An entire year has gone to waste," Brown said in the weekly GOP radio and Internet address. "Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and many more jobs are in danger. Even now, the president still hasn't gotten the message.
"Somehow, the greater the public opposition to the health care bill, the more determined they seem to force it on us anyway."
Brown...campaigned on a promise to be the Republicans' crucial 41st vote against Obama's health plan, and said Saturday that his victory amounted to a message from voters that Washington should "get its priorities right."
"We need to drop this whole scheme of federally controlled health care, start over, and work together on real reforms at the state level that will contain costs and won't leave America trillions of dollars deeper in debt," Brown said.
COMMENT: Very well said. I believe this is the first time Brown was asked to give the weekly GOP address. He did very well, and his phrasing was just right. He will be looked at as a potential Republican vice presidential candidate in 2012.
March 13, 2010 Permalink
MADNESS – AT 10:23 A.M. ET: The Democrats in Congress have become completely fanatical on health care. There is no stopping them. From the Washington Post:
Democratic leaders on Friday stoked expectations that the year-long debate in Congress over health care may be coming to an end, after President Obama delayed his upcoming trip to the South Pacific and House leaders indicated they could deliver a final bill for his signature by the end of next week.
The House is preparing to vote, perhaps Friday or next Saturday, on the legislation that passed the Senate on Christmas Eve, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she was "delighted that the president will be here for the passage of the bill. It's going to be historic."
COMMENT: I have never seen anything quite like this – a party hell-bent on passing a piece of legislation that is intensely unpopular with the American people...and claiming it's for the benefit of the people. This is what tyranny of the majority, the Congressional majority, is about.
I'm reminded of the story of Admiral Yamamoto, who planned the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He was reported to have promised his government that, after the attack, he could run wild for six months in the Pacific, but could guarantee nothing after that. He was right.
The Democrats seem to think they can run wild until the November elections, now less than eight months away, but know that they can guarantee nothing after that. They will shove this poorly conceived monstrosity down our throats, knowing how hard it will be to repeal it while Obama is still in office. The Dems hope that enough structural change will occur to our health-care system before Obama leaves as to make repeal essentially impossible.
The dream of the militant left has always been to control health care, the jewel in the crown of socialism. Another dream is to spend so much money that the system is flooded, and overwhelmed, making the populace dependent on the government for any change, and drastically reducing the economic and military power of the United States.
I hope independents and moderate Democrats are seeing what their vote for Obama has brought us.
March 13, 2010 Permalink
FRIDAY, MARCH 12, 2010
THIS IS DISGRACEFUL, DESPICABLE, OUTRAGEOUS – AT 7:04 P.M. ET: Is there any end to the foreign-policy blundering of this left-wing administration? It's hard to make this up:
(CNSNews.com) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday that the State Department is soliciting comments from citizens, advocacy groups and other non-governmental organizations on the human rights record of the United States.
“Human rights are universal, but their experience is local. This is why we are committed to holding everyone to the same standard, including ourselves,” Clinton told a press briefing at the State Department, where she unveiled the “2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.”
Do we have anyone available who will stand up for the United States?
Clinton said the U.S. is now gathering facts on its own record because – as a member of the U.N. Human Rights Council – it is participating in the UNHRC’s “universal periodic review” process.
The Obama administration’s decision to join the Human Rights Council was controversial. The Geneva-based, 47-member HRC faces numerous criticisms, chief among them the presence of countries with poor rights records. Iran is currently running for a seat on the council.
Controversial? That's an understatement. The "Human Rights Council" is one of the most degenerate divisions of the already degenerate United Nations.
“In the fall, we will present a report (to the UNHRC) based on the input of citizens and NGOs, gathered online and in face-to-face meetings across the country attended by senior government officials,” Clinton said on Thursday.
Sickening and disgusting. The idea that this free nation should report to a group of thugs rips bare the agenda of the Obama administration. Someone called Obama the first "post-American" president, and I'm afraid that's how he sees himself.
Hillary Clinton carries plenty of baggage, moral and otherwise. But I never thought she'd agree to anything like this. Shame.
March 12, 2010 Permalink
CONTEMPT FOR THE PRO-LIFERS – AT 6:30 P.M. ET: As the Democrats engage in obscene deal making to get their health-care monstrosity through, they're making it clear that one group in their party is not wanted:
The pro-life Democrat leading the charge in the House against passage of the Senate health insurance reform bill said Friday that a key committee chairman told him that Democrats want abortions to be paid by a federally-funded nationalized health insurance system.
Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., who's been so far out in front of the debate about abortion coverage that he earned himself a primary challenger over it, said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., told him he wants to change current law that bans federal funding for abortion.
In an interview with Marquette, Mich., radio station WKQS' Mark & Walk morning show, Stupak described what he said was a conversation with Waxman about the Senate's version of the health care overhaul. That bill contains weaker language than the House-passed legislation, which includes a provision crafted by Stupak to ensure insurance companies that participate in a national exchange don't use federal money for abortion services.
"I gave him the language. He came back a little while later and said, 'But we want to pay for abortions.' I said, 'Mr. Chairman, that's -- we disagree. We don't do it now, we're not going to start.'
"'But we think we should,'" Stupak said Waxman told him.
Elsewhere, the pro-lifers are saying that they're being completely ignored.
Depending on which poll you trust, about half the country is pro-life. That half will not be amused.
March 12, 2010 Permalink
THE BANZAI CHARGE IS COMING – AT 6:14 P.M. ET: The Dems, feeling overwhelming guilt over Obama's decision to postpone his Asian trip next week, and his heartbreaking decision to leave the wife and kids behind, have scheduled a vote for next weekend to cheer him up.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Under White House pressure to act swiftly, House and Senate Democratic leaders reached for agreement Friday on President Barack Obama's health care bill, sweetened suddenly by fresh billions for student aid and a sense that breakthroughs are at hand.
"It won't be long," before lawmakers vote, predicted Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She said neither liberals' disappointment over the lack of a government health care option nor a traditional mistrust of the Senate would prevent passage in the House.
Other sources report that Democrats in the House have been alerted to be prepared to vote next weekend, allowing the president to wing off to Asia, probably on Sunday the 21st.
This is the way the future of our medical system is being decided.
At the White House, officials worked to maximize Obama's influence over lawmakers who control the fate of legislation that has spawned a yearlong struggle. They announced he would make a campaign-style appearance in Ohio next week to pitch his health care proposals, as well as delay his departure for an Asian trip later in the month.
With Democrats deciding to incorporate changes in student aid into the bill, Republicans suddenly had a new reason to oppose legislation they have long sought to scuttle.
"Well of course it's a very bad idea," said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. "We now have the government running banks, insurance companies, car companies, and they do want to take over the student loan business."
COMMENT: What, precisely, does the student loan program have to do with health care? But what does this whole process have to do with health care?
It's a huge power grab. Many leftist ideologists believe that seizing the health-care system is the first step to full socialization of an economy.
March 12, 2010 Permalink
BULLETIN: OBAMA TO DELAY INDONESIA TRIP, GIVES UP FREQUENT FLIER MILES FOR HEALTH CARE – AT 10:19 A.M. ET: From The New York Times:
President Obama is delaying his trip to Indonesia, Guam and Australia next week, an administration official said Friday, so the White House can focus on passing health care legislation in the House.
Can you just imagine the chaos in Washington?
The president’s international trip had grown into a source of frustration among many House Democrats, who complained privately to the White House that they were being forced to take a quick vote on health care so Mr. Obama and his family could leave on the overseas trip next week.
Hey, what's important here?
In fact, the president is no longer taking First Lady Michelle Obama and their two daughters on the trip, an administration official said.
Yeah, there was some heat on that. Looked like spring break. In fact:
The trip had coincided with Malia and Sasha Obama’s spring break and was intended to be their first visit to Indonesia, where the president lived for several years as a child. But the White House, mindful of the criticism that the trip was as much a family vacation as an official trip, changed plans in the wake of the pressing health care debate.
COMMENT: Will three days make a difference in health-care "reform"? Who knows? If the president had the votes, he wouldn't be delaying his trip. So we know the measure is in trouble, from this and other indicators.
Big political week ahead. It's more than horses that will be traded.
March 12, 2010 Permalink
A WARNING TO THE DEMS – AT 9:12 A.M. ET: Two Democratic pollsters, Pat Caddell, and Doug Schoen, warn Democrats about their kamikaze flight into health-care reform. From the Washington Post:
In "The March of Folly," Barbara Tuchman asked, "Why do holders of high office so often act contrary to the way reason points and enlightened self-interest suggests?" Her assessment of self-deception -- "acting according to wish while not allowing oneself to be deflected by the facts" -- captures the conditions that are gripping President Obama and the Democratic Party leadership as they renew their efforts to enact health-care reform.
Yeah, that's right. (And next time someone tells you that Iran will act rationally and not use the nukes it's getting, remember that paragraph.)
Bluntly put, this is the political reality:
First, the battle for public opinion has been lost. Comprehensive health care has been lost. If it fails, as appears possible, Democrats will face the brunt of the electorate's reaction. If it passes, however, Democrats will face a far greater calamitous reaction at the polls. Wishing, praying or pretending will not change these outcomes.
That is the heart of the argument, and well put.
Nothing has been more disconcerting than to watch Democratic politicians and their media supporters deceive themselves into believing that the public favors the Democrats' current health-care plan. Yes, most Americans believe, as we do, that real health-care reform is needed. And yes, certain proposals in the plan are supported by the public.
However, a solid majority of Americans opposes the massive health-reform plan. Four-fifths of those who oppose the plan strongly oppose it, according to Rasmussen polling this week, while only half of those who support the plan do so strongly.
Health care is no longer a debate about the merits of specific initiatives. Since the spectacle of Christmas dealmaking to ensure passage of the Senate bill, the issue, in voters' minds, has become less about health care than about the government and a political majority that will neither hear nor heed the will of the people.
Voters are hardly enthralled with the GOP, but the Democrats are pursuing policies that are out of step with the way ordinary Americans think and feel about politics and government. Barring some change of approach, they will be punished severely at the polls.
It is not a question of starting over but of taking the best of both parties and presenting that as representative of what we need to do to achieve meaningful reform. Such a proposal could even become a template for the central agenda items for the American people: jobs and economic development.
Unless the Democrats fundamentally change their approach, they will produce not just a march of folly but also run the risk of unmitigated disaster in November.
COMMENT: That is political wisdom. Americans will go center-left or center-right, but they won't walk off the plank. Only ideologists do, and ideologists are in charge of the Democratic Party.
March 12, 2010 Permalink
FACTS HAVE THEIR EFFECT – AT 8:36 A.M. ET: American attitudes toward "global warming" are becoming increasingly skeptical, as The Hill reports:
“Climategate” and reports of errors in a U.N. report on climate change may be having some effect on how the public views global warming.
According to Gallup’s annual update of American attitudes toward the environment, 48 percent of Americans now believe that the seriousness of global warming is generally exaggerated. That’s up from 41 percent a year ago and 31 percent in 1997, when the polling company first asked the question.
A majority of Americans still believe global warming is real, but the number is falling. According to the poll, Americans are less convinced that humans are causing climate change. In 2003, 61 percent of Americans said temperature increases were due to human activity. Now, a “significantly diminished” 50 percent say humans are to blame, and 46 percent think not.
There is some evidence in the poll that the news stories on errors in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and the controversy over emails hacked from a prominent climate research institution in the United Kingdom are weakening Americans' belief that there is a consensus about the causes of global warming. "Roughly half of Americans now say that 'most scientists believe that global warming is occurring,' down from 65 percent in recent years," according to Gallup.
COMMENT: There will be some good to come out of this. Americans will finally realize that "science" isn't godlike, that scientists struggle, they disagree, they debate, and they pursue wrong ideas.
But I hope that this mess doesn't undermine confidence in, and funding for, real scientific projects that deserve support and encouragement. In the global-warming controversy we've seen too much intersection between science and politics, with a lump of economic self-interest thrown in. That has got to change.
March 12, 2010 Permalink
WELCOME TO THE RECOVERY, BE SURE TO TAKE YOUR GIFT BAG – AT 8:25 A.M. ET:
The Washington Post uncovers another economic fault line that has the potential to help derail what is already a fragile recovery:
The housing market is facing swelling ranks of homeowners who are seriously delinquent but have yet to lose their homes, and this is threatening a new wave of foreclosures that could hit just as the real estate market has begun to stabilize.
About 5 million to 7 million properties are potentially eligible for foreclosure but have not yet been repossessed and put up for sale. Some economists project it could take nearly three years before all these homes have been put on the market and purchased by new owners. And the number of pending foreclosures could grow much bigger over the coming year as more distressed borrowers become delinquent and then, if they can't obtain mortgage relief, wade through the foreclosure process, which often takes more than a year to complete.
As these foreclosed properties add to the supply of homes for sale, they could undercut housing prices, which have increased modestly through December, according to the most recent figures in the S&P/Case-Shiller home prices index. That rise partly reflected a slowdown in the flow of foreclosed homes onto the market.
The rate at which J.P. Morgan Chase seized properties, for example, peaked in the middle of 2008 and fell steadily last year, according to a February investor report. But the bank expects repossessions to increase this year, nearly doubling to 45,000 by the fourth quarter.
COMMENT: Remember the days when you were told that you could never lose money in real estate? The people who told you that forgot to note the Florida real-estate bubble of the 1920s. Too many Americans started regarding their homes as their fortunes. Sadly, many are now paying the price.
Foreclosures are, to some degree, a function of unemployment. The unemployment and underemployment numbers are stubborn. We keep getting smiling faces at the White House, but they must be about something else.
March 12, 2010 Permalink
PRETTY UNBELIEVABLE – AT 8:01 A.M. ET: How close are we going to come before we start taking this far more seriously? From Fox:
An American charged in Yemen with being a member of Al Qaeda had worked at nuclear power plants in the U.S., a spokesman for a group of plants in New Jersey said Thursday. But a state official said the man did not breach security there.
Sharif Mobley, a 26-year-old natural-born U.S. citizen, was arrested in Yemen earlier this month and is accused of killing a guard in an attempt to break out of a hospital.
The FBI, the State Department and other authorities said they were trying to gather information about Mobley. But the allegations appeared to illustrate a phenomenon U.S. intelligence officials have warned about: American Muslims becoming radicalized and joining terrorist movements overseas.
Mobley was identified by Yemeni officials as a Somali-American. Mobley moved to Yemen about two years ago, supposedly to learn Arabic and study Islam, a former neighbor said.
Before that, Mobley worked for several contractors at three nuclear power plants in New Jersey from 2002 to 2008, PSE&G Nuclear spokesman Joe Delmar said. Mobley carried supplies and did maintenance work at the plants on Artificial Island in Lower Alloways Creek, and worked at other plants in the region as well.
He satisfied federal background checks as recently as 2008, Delmar said, adding that the plant is cooperating with authorities.
COMMENT: I'm not surprised that he satisfied federal "background checks." So did Major Hasan at Fort Hood. I'm sure the "background checks" are shot through with the kind of political correctness that is hobbling the rest of the United States Government, including our military.
March 12, 2010 Permalink