That lanky white dude who changed his shirt in Times Square is regretting his sketchy appearance today. New York and federal authorities -- after starting a national manhunt for the possible “lone wolf” bomber caught on security video near the green Pathfinder loaded with gasoline cans and propane tanks -- have arrested a native Pakistani and are exploring potential ties to overseas Islamist terror groups.
Faisal Shahzad, 30, told his neighbors in Connecticut that he worked on Wall Street, but he and his family mostly kept to themselves. His wife and two children had moved back to Pakistan months ago, which is where Shahzad was returning when the feds called his flight back to the gate and arrested him.
Shahzad looks like a pretty standard schmo from Bridgeport in his Facebook photo – track suit, cheesy sunglasses, patchy beard, etc. but the Post hints that he may have gotten fired up on a recent trip back to his native land.
No word on the possible targeting of Comedy Central’s headquarters. The Viacom-owned network angered Islamists by only partially censoring South Park’s lampoon of Mohammed. Who knew deranged fanatics would be so hard to appease?
“While authorities initially downplayed the bomb as ‘amateurish,’ they have since backed off that assessment, noting that had it gone off, it would likely have killed hundreds of people.
The bombing was thwarted after two street vendors noticed the Pathfinder's interior was smoking and alerted two mounted NYPD officers, who immediately evacuated the area.”
The Times/CBS poll finds that 60 percent of Americans are cool with the Arizona immigration crackdown – including 9 percent even think the law doesn’t go far enough. Support goes across party lines and geography and comes after a sustained media barrage against the legislation and surprisingly mainstream racist and “Nazi” epithets launched against Copper Staters. Very ugly stuff.
The clear reason is that Americans know that the federal government has failed in its responsibility to secure the border – 78 percent said the feds needed to do more.
Bear in mind that the Times loaded the wording of the question and samples the general population, not the electorate, which tends to be more conservative.
That gives you a good sense of what kind of electoral hellfire Democrats are walking into by proposing comprehensive immigration reform – including an amnesty program – without first securing the border. It was a cynical political calculation that now threatens to turn a dreadful electoral season for the party into a slaughter.
Examiner colleague Susan Ferrechio explains today why Democrats can’t take advantage of the public mood and win back voters with a strong border security package: a race-based political coalition.
Writers Randall Archibold and Megan Thee-Brennan share their chagrin that the survey did not produce the desired result:
“Three quarters said that, over all, illegal immigrants were a drain on the economy because they did not all pay taxes but used public services like hospitals and schools. Nearly 2 in 10 said the immigrants strengthened the economy by providing low-cost labor and buying goods and services, a chief argument among many of their advocates.
‘I do think the federal government should deal with it, because illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes and don’t contribute to our government,’ said Deborah Adams, 53, a Democrat from Ephrata, Pa., and a paramedic who called the Arizona law a ‘necessary evil.’”
The lawyers are swarming in Florida and, as Examiner colleague Julie Mason points out, the Obama administration is ratcheting up the rhetoric against the responsible party, British Petroleum.
The costs of this leak may be many billions of dollars and may bankrupt BP. The political costs may be almost as grave, as new concerns about drilling make compromises on energy and global warming even harder to reach and President Obama takes a pasting from liberals who believe he is too cozy with big business anyway. If you’re the president – especially a Democrat – and you’ve got dead sea turtles on the evening news, you’ve got a problem.
Now, the Journal’s report on the federal Minerals Management Service, the agency that regulates oil and gas exploration, may cause more problems still.
Writers Jeffrey Ball, Stephen Power and Russell Gold got attention with their reporting on how the MMS had blocked repeated calls for new regulations that would have required a shutoff switch on BP’s rig that would have allowed the flow of oil to be remotely capped after the April 20 explosion – rules common in the rest of the petroleum-producing world.
Republicans in Congress are baying about the first new regulation that the Obama administration didn’t seem to like.
“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration projected that the massive slick, now floating north, will spread out in the Gulf over the next couple of days as winds shift.
By the middle of the week, NOAA expects, winds will resume pushing the slick toward the Louisiana coast. Later in the week, NOAA expects, the winds will push the slick more toward Mississippi and Alabama.
Much of President Obama’s national health-care program was predicated on magical thinking, like the supposed willingness of lawmakers to slash health coverage for old people even though the current Congress would not.
But one of the biggest fictions in the legislation is the claim that states will pick up more of the cost of care for the sickest and poorest. The unfunded federal mandates on Medicaid hid billions of dollars in the total cost of the plan – land mines left for future leaders in the name of a short-term victory for the president.
To get a sense of how the big cost shift will play out later, you need only look at the first attempted cost shift in which states were invited to join a federal program for sick people without health insurance.
Joining the fund means money from the feds – upfront cash for accepting a new liability, and 28 states (either very liberal or very broke: California and Vermont, for example) signed up for the program intended to bridge the gap until the full federal benefit comes on line in 2014.
But for 18 states (more conservative and wealthier: Texas and Virginia for example) have opted to maintain their existing state programs for high-risk insurance – Texas insures 26,500 through its program already – or will simply do without.
Writer David Hilzenrath explains.
“In a letter Friday to Sebelius, Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) said the state, which will not establish its own high-risk pool, estimates that the $113 million in federal funds available to it will be used up within 22 months. Virginia's secretary of health and human resources, William A. Hazel Jr., said Monday that setting up the pools ‘is an enormously complicated undertaking.’”
Candidates from his own party are running from Gordon Brown – one calling him the “worst prime minister we have had in this country”—and polls show a third-place finish for his Labour Party a likely outcome of voting Wednesday. He looks like a man hoping to see his suffering end.
But with Liberal Democrats still holding on to a big chunk of the electorate, Tory leader David Cameron faces the possibility of a coalition government with the Euro-cratic LibDem leader Nicholas Clegg or, more likely, a hung Parliament and another round of elections.
British conservatives are in the same boat as their American counterparts – they need the Scots-Irish to get the job done. Cameron will spend his last day on the trail in the proto-Hillbilly Firewall.
Writer Phillipe Naughton explains:
“Mr Cameron was today pressing ahead with plans to visit Northern Ireland despite new flight restrictions caused by the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland. "We are battling through everything to make this happen," he said….With polls suggesting that the Tories will fall short of a majority, the prospect of nationalists or Northern Irish parties holding the balance of power began to raise its head — hence Mr Cameron's unprecedented campaign visit to Northern Ireland.”
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