Saturday, May 03, 2008
Funds ban for Carter Center is opposed
Gregg Krupa / The Detroit News
Some Arab-American and Muslim leaders objected Friday to the proposal by U.S. Representative Joe Knollenberg, R-Bloomfield Hills, to deny federal funds to the Carter Center in the wake of former President Jimmy Carter's meeting with a ranking member of Hamas.
Amid concerns by the Bush Administration, Carter met in Syria with Khaled Meshal, the chief strategist for Hamas, which the United States identifies as a terrorist organization. Hamas officials also are the elected leaders of the Palestinian Authority.
"As a former president of the United States, you undoubtedly understand that the United States must speak with one voice to our enemies," Knollenberg said in a April 9 letter to Carter. Knollenberg then offered a bill, the Coordinated American Response to Extreme Radicals (CARTER) Act that would ban federal financing of the center Carter established to further human rights.
"Knollenberg's legislation seeks to hamper the efforts of a center that promotes free elections, which the Bush Administration has said is the key to democracy and cultivating progress in the Middle East," said the Council of American Islamic Relations, in a statement.
While the legislation is given little chance of approval in Congress, Arab-American leaders said it was particularly disappointing given Knollenberg's recent efforts to improve relations in the Middle East by forming a bipartisan Jordan Caucus and encouraging relief for the Iraqi refugees.
"There is absolutely nothing constructive about this initiative that supports the Bush Administration's progress towards peace," said Leigh O'Neill of the Arab American Institute.
"I think we are living our last days of the American political era when even a former president can be sanctioned for his political views," said Imad Hamad, regional director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
A group of 50 Republican and Democratic members of Congress recently signed a letter to Carter expressing objections similar to Knollenberg's.
"President Carter or any former president carries with him a weight that other citizens do not," said Nate Bailey, a spokesman for Knollenberg. "And in this particular instance, the action he took was in direct contrast to the stated policy of the United States for more than 20 years."
You can reach Gregg Krupa at (313) 222-2359 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Debbie Schlussel has more on the Knollenberg/Hezbollah connection. It's very interesting reading.
March 26, 2008
Thanks, Dr. Death: Suicide Doctor's Nader-esque Congressional Race Will Help Hezbollah's Republican Get Re-Elected; SCHLUSSEL Endorses Dems Running Against Hezbo Republicans
A number of readers have asked me what I think of the just-announced Congressional candidacy of Dr. Jack Kevorkian a/k/a Dr. Death. Well, I'm bummed about it, and not for the reasons you might think.
It's rare that I endorse liberal Democrats. But when the liberal Democrat is running against a phony conservative Republican who is one of Hezbollah's two best friends in Congress, I'll take the lib any day. I'd much rather have a sincere liberal than a phony American.
That's the case with Congressman Joe Knollenberg, the man Kevorkian is running against and against whom the liberal Democrat (not Kevorkian) has a chance of beating. I've known Mr. Knollenberg for many years, and he's been my Congressman for several of them. Unfortunately, Knollenberg--along with another Republican, Congressman Darrell Issa--is Hezbollah's go to guy in the U.S. Congress.
Dr. Death's Candidacy May Help Re-Elect Hezbollah's Joe Knollenberg GOP Congressmen Darrell Issa & Joe Knollenberg: Hezbollah's Hookers in Congress; Schlussel Endorses Their Opponents Peters, Hamilton
As I've detailed on this site, Knollenberg has taken thousands in campaign contributions from Hezbollah's officially-designated American agent Nijad Fares and his Hezbollah front-group PAC, American Task Force for Lebanon Policy. And in return, Knollenberg sought $268 million--and got over $86 million--of your tax money for Hezbollah. The money--purportedly to rebuild hospitals and orphanages "destroyed" by Israel--actually went straight into the coffers of Hezbollah for the purposes of sending more Isrealis and American soldiers fighting in Iraq to hospitals and their kids to orphanages. Knollenberg and his then-Chief of Staff Paul Welday sought this money at the request of Fares--whose father Issam Fares was formerly the Hezbollah-installed Prime Minister of Lebanon--and pro-HAMAS/pro-Hezbollah James Zogby, head of the deceptively-named Arab American Institute (very little American about it, but for an office address).
Fares, it should be noted, also donated to Muslim Democrat Congressman Keith Ellison and the Presidential Campaign of Jihad Fred Thompson, which was shabbily run by Fares' other pan-Hezbo friend, Spencer Abraham. The is the company which Joe Knollenberg keeps. Check out all of Nijad Fares' campaign contributions (he's a close friend of the Bush family, FYI).
One other thing about Jihad Joe Knollenberg: He also made earmarks of millions in your tax money, sending it to 1) the anti-Israel/pan-jihadist Arab American National Museum, and 2) the deceptively-named "Seeds of Peace" summer camp, in which victims of terror and kids of Muslim terrorists are told they are equal and that Holocaust-denial is a valid position; the camp was founded by Yasser Arafat's favorite biographer.
So, how does this relate to Congressional Candidate Dr. Death? Well, Kevorkian is properly reviled by most conservative and Republican voters. He will only take votes away from Joe Knollenberg's very viable Democrat opponent, Gary Peters. The election will be very close. In 2006, Nancy Skinner--who barely put up a fight and raised little money--nearly beat Knollenberg. And the time is now to do it.
Moreover, if he wins, it's believed that Joe Knollenberg will thereafter retire and somehow get his son, Michigan State Rep. Marty Knollenberg, into the seat. Besides supporting gay marriage and other gay issues, Marty Knollenberg--as I've repeatedly noted--also took oodles of money from Hezbollah's Nijad Fares.
Why would a Texas agent of Hezbollah donate money to a State Representative in Michigan? Answers: 1) To reward his daddy for sending millions of your tax money to Hezbollah; 2) to reflect pan-Hezbollah policy in the Michigan legislature; and 3) to get Knollenberg to "see things the Hezbollah way" should he get to Congress.
Michigan's Hezbollah-Knollenberg dynasty must be put out to pasture. And that's why I'm supporting liberal Democrat Gary Peters for this seat. Dr. Jack Kevorkian's candidacy will put my efforts at Knollenberg Family Retirement '08 in jeopardy. And I'm not happy about it. He's the Ralph Nader in this race between Hezbollah vs. America.
The McCain Hezbollah "Connection" *
April 30, 2008 8:37 PM
The campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., removed a man from his Michigan Finance Committee today.
It started after conservative writer Debbie Schlussel called Michigan businessman Ali Jawad not only a supporter of Hezbollah -- a group the US State Department labels a "terrorist organization" -- but also claimed he was a "key agent of the terrorist group in the Detroit area."
After Schlussel started asking questions the McCain campaign removed him from the finance committee for a May fundraiser.
"Apparently he is a well known member of the Arab-American community in Dearborn," a McCain staffer tells ABC News. "He is also a known Republican donor and former Bush finance committee member. When these rumors surfaced he notified the campaign and we removed him from the finance committee. The guy never raised a dime for us and he isn’t even a contributor."
Yes, that's right, the McCain campaign said they removed him because of "rumors."
Jawad is president of Armada Oil & Gas Company and founder of the Lebanese American Heritage Club.
In 1997 he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor insurance fraud. Prosecutors accused him of submitting names of non-employees to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to receive health insurance benefits and claims. He received two years of probation and he paid approximately $6,000 in fines and restitution.
In this 2002 story, Jawad is quoted saying he "rejects talk that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization that should be shunned by the United States and other governments. 'Killing innocent people -- we reject that,' he said. 'Hezbollah does not fit this category. It has protected its people.'"
Read Schlussel's story -- she lays out many charges against him.
You will note in one photograph in Schussel's story, Jawad is sitting at a table with Michael Rosen, a lawyer and policy advisor with the U.S. Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes of the U.S. Treasury Department, and Andrew Arena, Michigan FBI Special Agent in Charge, and formerly in charge of Counterterrorism for the New York FBI.
This all seems a little odd to me.
Is there anyone out there who thinks McCain supports Hezbollah? Was McCain truly offended by the notion that an Arab-American businessman with sympathy for Hezbollah supports him? Or was today's move just to deprive Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, of some future rebuttal?
* I don't mean "Connection" literally.
UPDATE: I spelled Schlussel's name incorrectly in this original post. Apologies to her; it has been corrected. Moreover, Schlussel says that there was more to the conclusion of USA v. Makki et al, than the small fine I reported. More than $252,000 was ordered to be repaid, most of which came from or Armada Oil, and one associate was sentenced to 8 months in prison and about $75,000 in fines and restitution.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Apparently when it comes to corporate responsibility, he sings a different tune. Joe introduced a plan to offer tax credits to the auto manufacturers to help out with meeting the new CAFE standards. As if the auto industry couldn't see this coming from a mile away, high energy costs creating a downturn in sales. But what did the industry do, they kept building and designing low-mileage, high profit SUV's and trucks, instead of introducing fuel efficient cars that foreign manufacturers had been selling for years.
Where was Joe when Dana corporation was cutting in half the wages of workers? Did Joe come to their rescue? Of course not. Joe was nowhere to be seen.
We need a comprehensive energy policy in this country that addresses all of the aspects of this problem. We need a trade policy that doesn't have as a side effect cutting American wages to the point where Americans can't afford to buy the vehicles that are manufactured by American car companies.
The Republican economic plan has been a disaster for America and Michigan specifically. Joe's plan is nothing but a band-aid for what has been an amputation of good paying, union jobs that have been sent overseas to low-wage countries exploiting their workers and polluting the air and water around the world.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I wonder if Joe Knollenberg will call for John McCain to denounce the endorsement of John Hagee.
And where was this article in the Detroit Free Press, where Knollenberg asked the Governor to denounce my statements and to swear not to appear on my community television show again.
July 18, 2007
BY TODD SPANGLER
FREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg is taking exception to a comment made by an Oakland County activist about his religion – and his staff is calling on Gov. Jennifer Granholm to do something about it.
In an article in the Oakland Press this week, Rochester Hills resident Bruce Fealk made a reference to a planned protest outside Knollenberg’s office, saying it was aimed at getting the Republican congressman to come out in favor of legislation to end the war in Iraq.
In his comments, Fealk, 53, said Knollenberg should atone for his sins – meaning his refusal to back Democratic-sponsored legislation to set timetables for removing the troops – like a good Catholic.
Both Knollenberg’s staff and the National Republican Congressional Committee slammed Fealk and MoveOn.org, a nationwide advocacy group to which Fealk belongs. In a statement today, the NRCC said, “MoveOn.org has once again made a name for themselves by attacking Joe Knollenberg’s personal beliefs and turning the Iraq war into a political, partisan game. … Religious smears have no place in political discourse.”
Meanwhile, Knollenberg’s chief of staff, Trent Wisecup, sent a letter to Granholm’s Washington office, noting that the governor had once appeared on Fealk’s cable access show in Oakland County and asking that she not do so again. It also said the governor should “inform him that injecting an elected official from Michigan’s religion into a debate on a public policy issue crosses the line.”
“His private beliefs are his private beliefs,” Wisecup said today.
Fealk, who said he was raised Jewish and now attends a non-denominational church, said today that if he had it to do over, he probably wouldn’t include the “Catholic boy part.” But he said he does believe that if Knollenberg has strong religious beliefs, he should vote to bring the troops home now.
Knollenberg has said he has doubts about President Bush’s surge policy but is willing to wait until September to see if progress is made.
“I think it’s time for the carnage to end,” said Fealk, who also noted that he is in no way an official spokesman for Moveon.org. Fealk said he is a member who sometimes acts as a local organizer.
Jennifer Lindenauer, communication director for MoveOn.org – a group that now claims some 3.4 million members and is primarily known for its anti-war stance – said she believes the Republicans are “doing what they normally do, which is make a mountain out of a molehill” by bringing attention to Fealk’s comments.
“They’re trying to distract us from the real conversation" about the war, she said.
She added, however, that bringing up someone’ s religious beliefs is “not a MoveOn tactic.”
“I agree with Fealk when he said he probably shouldn’t have brought religion into it, because the issue is ending the war in Iraq,” she said.
As for the governor, her spokeswoman Liz Boyd said that she won’t be making any promises not to appear on Fealk’s show again, though there are no immediate plans to do so.
The governor’s office also declined to comment on whether Fealk’s mention of religion was appropriate or not.
Well, John Hagee has made way more controversial statements than I did regarding Knollenberg's Catholic faith.
Here's just some of Hagee's positions on the issues.
McCain on John Hagee
"Well I think it's important to note that pastor John Hagee who has supported and endorsed my candidacy supports what I stand for and believe in. When he endorses me, it does not mean that I embrace everything that he stands for and believes. And I am very proud of the Pastor John Hagee's spiritual leadership to thousands of people and I am proud of his commitment to the independence and the freedom of the state of Israel. That does not mean that I support or endorse or agree with some of the things that Pastor John Hagee might have said or positions that he may have taken on other issues. I don't have to agree with everyone who endorses my candidacy. They are supporting my candidacy. I am not endorsing some of their positions." [McCain Media Availability, 2/29/08]John Hagee on the Issues…
Hagee on Hurricane Katrina
"All hurricanes are acts of God because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that." [NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06]
Hagee on Islamic Beliefs
Fresh Air host Terry Gross asked if Hagee believed that "all Muslims have a mandate to kill Christians and Jews," to which Hagee replied, "Well, the Quran teaches that. Yes, it teaches that very clearly." [NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06]
Hagee on African-Americans
The San Antonio Express-News reported that Hagee was going to "meet with black religious leaders privately at an unspecified future date to discuss comments he made in his newsletter about a 'slave sale,' an East Side minister said Wednesday." The Express-News reported:
"Hagee, pastor of the 16,000-member Cornerstone Church, last week had announced a 'slave sale' to raise funds for high school seniors in his church bulletin, 'The Cluster.'
"The item was introduced with the sentence 'Slavery in America is returning to Cornerstone" and ended with "Make plans to come and go home with a slave." [San Antonio Express-News 3/7/96]
Hagee on Catholicism
"Most readers will be shocked by the clear record of history linking Adolf Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church in a conspiracy to exterminate the Jews." [Jerusalem Countdown by John Hagee]
Hagee on Women
"Do you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick. Do you know the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with a terrorist." [God's Profits: Faith, Fraud and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, Sarah Posner]
"[T]he feminist movement today is throwing off authority in rebellion against God's pattern for the family." ["Bible Positions on Political Issues," John Hagee]
Hagee on LGBT Americans
"The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades. So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing. I know that there are people who demur from that, but I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the day of judgment." [NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06]
Hagee on Iran
"The coming nuclear showdown with Iran is a certainty," Hagee wrote [in 2006] in the Pentecostal magazine Charisma. "Israel and America must confront Iran's nuclear ability and willingness to destroy Israel with nuclear weapons. For Israel to wait is to risk committing national suicide." [The Nation, 8/8/2006, http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060814/new_christian_zionism]
The Young Turks analyze the endorsement of John McCain by John Hagee
Monday, April 28, 2008
Over 60% of America believes it was a bad idea to invade them even after the Petraeus Propaganda Show. In the latestes ABC/WaPo poll 56% of Americans believe we should get out of Iraq even after the media blitz on “the surge.”
Do you think the United States should keep its military forces in Iraq until civil order is restored there, even if that means continued U.S. military casualties; OR, do you think the United States should withdraw its military forces from Iraq in order to avoid further U.S. military casualties, even if that means civil order is not restored there? 56% withdraw 41& Keep forces in
There’s no spin here. Their efforts to control the message has not worked. Vote McCain and you’ll get more of the same. It’s that simple.
President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for 50 years…Maybe 100. That would be fine with me. President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq 50 years…Maybe 100. If all he offers is more of the same….is John McCain the right choice for America’s future?