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NASA Chief: Next Frontier Better Relations With Muslim World


Published July 05, 2010 

| FoxNews.com





  NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a recent interview that his "foremost" mission as the head of America's space exploration agency is to improve relations with the Muslim world. 

       Though international diplomacy would seem well outside NASA's orbit, Bolden said in an interview with Al Jazeera that strengthening those ties was among the top tasks President Obama assigned him. He said better interaction with the Muslim world would ultimately advance space travel. 

     "When I became the NASA administrator -- or before I became the NASA administrator -- he charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science ... and math and engineering," Bolden said in the interview. 

     The NASA administrator was in the Middle East last month marking the one-year anniversary since Obama delivered an address to Muslim nations in Cairo. Bolden spoke in June at the American University in Cairo -- in his interview with Al Jazeera, he described space travel as an international collaboration of which Muslim nations must be a part. 

      "It is a matter of trying to reach out and get the best of all worlds, if you will, and there is much to be gained by drawing in the contributions that are possible from the Muslim (nations)," he said. He held up the International Space Station as a model, praising the contributions there from the Russians and the Chinese. 

However, Bolden denied the suggestion that he was on a diplomatic mission -- in a distinctly non-diplomatic role. 

     "Not at all. It's not a diplomatic anything," he said. 

      He said the United States is not going to travel beyond low-Earth orbit on its own and that no country is going to make it to Mars without international help. 

Bolden has faced criticism this year for overseeing the cancellation of the agency's Constellation program, which was building new rockets and spaceships capable of returning astronauts to the moon. Stressing the importance of international cooperation in future missions, Bolden told Al Jazeera that the moon, Mars and asteroids are still planned destinations for NASA. 



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Is It NASA’s Job to Make Muslim Nations ‘Feel Good’?    [Elliott Abrams]

   In the spring of 1961, President Kennedy spoke to Congress about his desire to “win the battle that is now going on around the world between freedom and tyranny.” He told Congress and the nation that “now it is time to take longer strides — time for a great new American enterprise — time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on earth.”

His inspiring conclusion: “I believe we should go to the moon” — though he noted that this would require additional expenditures of money and intellectual resources, and presidents were more serious about budgets in those days. Kennedy said, “It is a heavy burden, and there is no sense in agreeing or desiring that the United States take an affirmative pposition in outer space, unless we are prepared to do the work and bear the burdens to make it successful. This decision demands a major national commitment of scientific and technical manpower, materiel, and facilities, and the possibility of their diversion from other important activities where they are already thinly spread. It means a degree of dedication, organization and discipline which have not always characterized our research and development efforts. It means we cannot afford undue work stoppages, inflated costs of material or talent, wasteful interagency rivalries, or a high turnover of key personnel. New objectives and new money cannot solve these problems. They could in fact, aggravate them further — unless every scientist, every engineer, every serviceman, every technician, contractor, and civil servant gives his personal pledge that this nation will move forward, with the full speed of freedom, in the exciting adventure of space.”

A half century later, in the age of Obama, that kind of inspirational yet candid communication from Washington is gone. This past week, the current NASA administrator revealed what our current president thinks about space. “When I became the NASA administrator, [Obama] charged me with three things,” NASA head Charles Bolden told al-Jazeera. “One, he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.”

This quote is entirely believable. Mr. Bolden was not told that he must advance American interests in space, but instead to become part of the big Obama program of engagement with the “international community.” His achievements will be measured by whether he can “reach out” to make people “feel good,” and those people aren’t even Americans; no, his “perhaps foremost” job is to make Muslims around the world “feel good” about their past.

A more serious task might be to make them feel terrible about the present level of education in Muslim lands, not least for women and girls, in the hope that we could spur them to reform and improvement. The dismal state of science, math, and engineering in Muslim nations is quite clear, but Mr. Bolden isn’t assigned to improve their performance (which would presumably be the job of USAID, but whatever). No, he’s to be another Dr. Feelgood, a sad assignment for this former astronaut. Mr. Bolden should not be criticized for telling the truth about his job, for the problem is at the top, not at NASA. The space program is being transformed into a tool of Obama foreign policy, which views American national greatness as an anachronism.

Elliott Abrams is senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.


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The Danger of Islam Taking Over the World

July 7, 2010 |

-By Warner Todd Huston



    In India two Muslim savages cut off their college professor’s hand because they felt one of the questions on an exam he issued was “insulting to Islam.” So-called “honor killings” where Muslims kill their own wives, daughters, and sisters over perceived immodesties or violations of sharia “laws” are on the rise throughout the western world. Soon we may all be faced with these sort of uncivilized outrages every single day.

       The reason we are seeing these murderous behaviors spreading is because Muslims are expanding heavily into areas they previously did not often immigrate to. And once there they are breeding in greater numbers than the natives. This short film explains how if current demographics continue, Islam will be the overwhelming majority religion in the world and will wipe out Europe in less than 50 years.

     Now, I don’t really give a flying fig about the fate of Europeans per se. As far as I am concerned as a culture(s) they have done little to be worthy of saving over the last hundred years or so — they haven’t done much useful for posterity for well over a hundred years, for sure. But to be replaced by the tyrannical Muslims? Now that is a cruel fate for mankind, indeed. While the Europeans are a simpering group of wretches, at least they aren’t wildly dangerous at this time. Islam, on the other hand… well, there is no more dangerous idea than the tyranny of Islam — now that communism is about gone, anyway.
        The message of this video is that the so-called religion of peace is a blight on humanity and we westerners are allowing them to take over without a fight one baby at a time! No wonder Muslims view the west as the “weak horse.” Were I in their shoes I’d feel the same way.

      George W. Bush tried hard to make sure that the world understood that he didn’t think we were in a war with all of Islam. Unfortunately, as he was in many things, George W. Bush was wrong. Whether we want a war or not, Islam is at war with all comers and always has been. Islam IS war at its very core. Islam means violence, Islam is a death cult, and Muslims won’t be happy until we are all either dead or forcibly converted to their death cult “religion.”


Wake up western world. You are under attack.

      As to the video’s message of spreading Christianity, well I have nothing specifically against that message. It isn’t a priority for this blog, of course, but there is nothing intrinsically wrong with spreading Christianity. If that helps beat back this coming wave of murderous, oppressive, in-human Islam, then let ‘er rip.

    In any case, we need to wake up.

    Now, the only thing I can say that might mitigate this whole issue is that history rarely takes a straight-line course. The more Islam leaks into the west, the more possibility that it will weaken as a result of discovering freedom and individuality. Man’s history is not one of complete takeover by the next strong culture without that strong culture itself being influenced by the subjugated.

       There is a small — and I mean small — possibility that Islam will end up having its murderous character bred out of it as the ridiculously called “religion of peace” meets real peace in western democracy.

     The upshot is that we have a very small chance of seeing Islam changed by its interaction with the now exclusively western ideas of literacy, democracy, education, science, freedom and liberty.

      The tyranny of Islam cannot be held too tightly once western ideas infiltrate it and that is a distinct possibility. Western ideas are very powerful, after all.

    But Islam will not go down without a bloody, hateful, dangerous, oppressive fight. The worst of man is wrapped up in that gutter religion and it will be exceedingly hard to breed out its core hate and violence. And with the weak willed west as its opponent Islam won’t see much reason to allow itself to be altered lightly. (As a for instance of this last point, a Muslim spokesman in Australia is railing against his fellows there for allowing a “moderate Islam” to infest his religion.)

     Sadly, we may not ever see Islam self-moderating if the west falls to its knees in supplication too quickly for Islam to find enlightenment. Moderate Islam may die stillborn.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson


Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDailyReview.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

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Perspectives Of A Russian Immigrant



In a speech he gave in Wisconsin on June 30, President Obama said: "We already tried the other side's ideas. We already know where their theories led us. And now we have a choice as a nation. We can return to the failed economic policies of the past, or we can keep building a stronger future. We can go backward, or we can keep moving forward."


For the Soviets, moving forward meant that with each consecutive five-year government plan the economy of the USSR would eventually surpass the American economy (the one Obama thinks has failed).


They could have succeeded: Russia has abundant natural resources and a well-educated populace, with a culture that's been in existence for far longer than the United States.


The central government enforced these five-year economic plans with zero interference from members of the U.S. Republican Party or Fox News. Yet, they were about as successful in growing the economy as Obama's stimulus package has been in creating American jobs.


The idea is that government-appointed experts and officials know how to drive innovation, rather than people who make their own choices, and who have real expertise and experience in their chosen field.


In his Oval Office address, President Obama spoke about creating a clean energy future:


"As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs — but only if we accelerate that transition. Only if we seize the moment. Even if we're unsure exactly what that looks like. Even if we don't yet know precisely how were going to get there. We know we'll get there."


Soviet Chairman Nikita Khrushchev, after returning from a visit to the U.S., decided that the USSR had to increase its production of corn. All Soviet republics, from Belarus to Siberia, replaced the crop most appropriate to their soil and climate with corn, as directed by the ministry of agriculture. The following year, the corn crop was a failure, and there was a shortage of potatoes and grain for the population to eat.


There is a common theme crystallizing from Democratic leaders: Their policies are driven by their ideological vision and, in their own words, they don't have a clue about what to expect.


Sen. Christopher Dodd, speaking about his financial reform bill, said: "After great debate, we have produced a strong Wall Street reform bill that will fundamentally change the way our financial services sector is regulated. No one will know until this is actually in place how it works." (JUGANDO LA RULETA RUSAS CON EL FUTURO DEL PAIS)


Speaker Nancy Pelosi, talking about health reform in March, said: "(This) is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy."


The response of authorities to the catastrophic oil accident in the Gulf of Mexico illustrates how centrally controlled bureaucracy works. It is revealing to see how the federal government obstructs localities trying to save their states from disaster.


America is an advanced and prosperous country. The failed economic policies that Obama talks about somehow produced a dynamic economy, with opportunities available to more people than everywhere else in human history.


But liberal elites do not make the connection: They yell loudly about regulating capitalism and talk quietly about regulating speech, capping salaries, taxing incomes and creating bureaucracies in order to control everything and everyone.


Instead of relying on basic laws of economics and an understanding of human nature, they elevate socialist-sstyle management based on the political economics of class warfare and central planning.


The left believes that the Constitution and Bill of Rights are backward and out of date. Meanwhile, their new ideas for transforming America are based on old, unsuccessful concepts from Marx, Engels and Keynes.


The country I grew up in was filled with statues of the leader, his arm proudly extended, pointing toward a future where the life of all citizens would be framed within the boundaries of his vision.


I prefer the Statue of Liberty.


• Kunin lived in the Soviet Union until 1980, working as a civil engineer. She is now a retired software developer living in Connecticut. The other nine articles she has written for IBD are available in the "Special Series" section of IBDeditorials.com.

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“Obama Administration Enables Saudi Princes to Escape Accountability for Mat. Support 9/11 Attacks

WASHINGTON, June 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the day that President  Obama holds his first summit with Saudi Arabian King Abdullah in Riyadh, the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism charged that recent actions by his administration
would enable five of the king's closest relatives to escape accountability for their role in financing and materially supporting the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In response  to the administration's action, the 9/11 families released allegations  Saudi royal family's sponsorship and support of al Qaeda that the families believe have been ignored by the Obama Administration.

       On May 29, the president's top lawyer before the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, filed a brief arguing that it would be "unwarranted" for the Supreme Court to even hear cases brought by the 9/11 families charging that five Saudi princes knowingly and intentionally provided financial support to al Qaeda waging war on America. By  urging the high court to not review lower court decisions dismissing these cases, the  Obama Administration took the side of the Saudi princes over thousands of family members and survivors of the 9/11 attacks  seeking justice and accountability in U.S. courts. “

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Elena Kagan’s ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ Sharia Policy

Political willfulness is not the judicial temperament.

NRO 7/8/2010


I wonder if Elena Kagan knows about Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.

Ms. Ashtiani is about to be stoned. That’s where they bury you up to your chest and hurl rocks at you until you die. The rocks can’t be too big. You see, this is real torture, religion-of-peace torture. It’s the kind that happens every day but that Democrats prefer not to talk about. With stoning (or “lapidation” as the press gently call it on those rare occasions when it is mentioned at all), the ordeal must not end too quickly. Otherwise, it might not make the right impression, as it were, on the victim — the sinner — and the community at large.

Had the solicitor general heard about Ms. Ashtiani’s plight, one imagines, she’d have told her to get herself to the nearest courthouse and seek the protection of the law. Alas, it is pursuant to the law that this barbarity will take place. The stoning of this 43-year-old mother of two has been ordered by a court in her native Iran, where the only legal code is Allah’s law, sharia. It is the Islamic sentence for adultery, the crime to which Ashtiani confessed after serial beatings by her interrogators.

During her a stint at the Clinton White House, we now know, Ms. Kagan struck the pose of a champion of women’s rights — at least if you weren’t an unborn girl. So fierce was her devotion to the cause of “reproductive freedom” that she subverted science in the service of abortion on demand — specifically, to preserve the partial-birth abortion procedure,
which exceeds even stoning in its ghastliness. She then went on to Harvard Law School where, as dean, she became the champion of sharia.

Not of stoning and other grotesque penalties, of course — nothing so obviously offensive. To hear progressives tell it, we can do nice, clean, friendly sharia, just like we do nice, clean, friendly Islam. “Lapidations,” they will tell you, are no different from jihadist suicide bombings: outmoded vestiges of a long-forgotten time. Except they’re not. They are undeniably rooted in Islamic scripture, and they are happening today, with frequency, wherever sharia reigns. That is because the “moderate Islam” progressives like to banter about is a mirage in search of a cogent set of principles. There is no moderate Islam that can compete with the mainstream, sharia Islam. Thus the crimes and punishments, in all their ghoulishness, endure.

At Harvard, Dean Kagan’s gay-rights activism was as limitless as her pro-abortion activism had been.
She banned on-campus military recruitment. Doing so was a flagrant violation of federal law, but she rationalized it by her moral outrage over the armed forces’ “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Once again striking the leftist’s brave “speaking truth to power” pose, she
lambasted DADT as “a profound wrong — a moral injustice of the first order.” 

It was a phony courage, the kind where you rattle your “social justice” saber in front of a pretend dragon, knowing your friends will cheer. The kind where you know it won’t cost you anything. The military wasn’t going to do anything to Kagan, and DADT wasn’t a mere military standard. It was a statute enacted by a solidly Democratic Congress with the approval of President pposition on the White House staff. Did she grandstand? Did she speak truth to power with a scoffing denunciation about the profound moral injustice Clinton had endorsed? Not exactly. She accepted the gig in a heartbeat, ditching a coveted tenured professorship at the University of Chicago’s law school, one of America’s finest.

Real courage at Harvard would have called for condemning the university’s profoundly immoral, gluttonous promotion of sharia. While Kagan was at the law school, her patron, Harvard’s president Larry Summers,
accepted a stunning $20 million donation for the creation of a program of studies to lionize Islam’s history and jurisprudence. The cash came from the Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the billionaire investor whose attempted $10 million contribution to the Twin Towers fund had been refused by New York mayor Rudy Giuliani when bin Talal blamed the 9/11 atrocities on American foreign policy. Summers, the anti-Giuliani, not only took the money but named the program and an endowed professorship in the prince’s honor. And why not? By then, as Ben Shapiro reported, Harvard’s law school already had three Saudi-funded institutions devoted to the study of sharia.

Stonings are common in Saudi Arabia, where, as in Iran, sharia is the only law of the land. Beheadings are common, too. A vice patrol, the mutaween, monitors the population, especially the women, to ensure compliance with sharia standards of dress, prayer observance, and segregation of the sexes. Sanctions are draconian, as a 19-year-old woman learned in 2007, when she was sentenced to 200 lashes with a rattan cane after being gang-raped. Saudi Arabia’s crown jewels, Mecca and Medina, are closed to non-Muslims; forget about building a church or synagogue in those cities — non-Muslims are deemed unfit to set foot on the ground. The slave trade was still officially carried on in the kingdom until 1961 and has been indulged unofficially ever since. Slavery, after all, is expressly endorsed by the Koran (see, e.g., Sura 47:4, 23:5-6, and 4:24) and was practiced by Mohammed himself. The Koran and the prophet’s legends are the prime sources of sharia.

Yet there were no condemnations from Dean Kagan over the prince’s lavish gift. To the contrary, she proceeded to forge the law school’s “Islamic Finance Project.” Its purpose is to promote sharia compliance in the U.S. financial sector.

To be sure, American law discriminates against homosexuals in the narrow area of military service. But it does not persecute them. Indeed, it tacitly permits them to serve as long as they keep their sexual orientation private. Were that not the case, President Clinton would not have signed DADT. In contrast, sharia brands homosexuals enemies of the Muslim state. They must be “punished, in fact, killed,” instructs grand ayatollah Ali Sistani, Iraq’s highest jurisprudential authority, one who is widely reputed to be a “moderate” and who, relatively speaking, probably is. He added in his fatwa that people who engaged in gay SX “should be killed in the worst, most severe way of killing.”

While sharia societies are backward, they do get quite creative, as Ms. Ashtiani can attest, when their legal authorities green-light severe methods of killing. It is no surprise, then, that homosexuals are brutally abused in post-Saddam Iraq. The same is true in post-Taliban Afghanistan. That is because in Afghanistan, just as in Iraq, the majority Muslim population adopted an American-brokered constitution that established Islam as the state religion, installed sharia as part of the fundamental law, and expressly stipulated that “no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.”

Besides gruesome deaths for homosexuals and adulteresses, these “beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam” hold that apostasy (the renunciation of Islam) is a death-penalty offense. Similar treasonous affronts to the umma, such as proselytism for Christianity, are also met with brutal punishments. Sharia regards women as chattel: Their rights to travel, socialize, marry, and inherit property are sharply restricted; their courtroom testimony is discounted to half the value of a man’s; they may be subjugated in polygamist marriages or kept as concubines; and they are routinely subjected to the pain and indignity of genital mutilation.

But no, the Kagans tell us, they’re not endorsing all of sharia. Of course they don’t mean to abet the sundry cruelties and the systematic abuse of women, homosexuals, apostates, and non-Muslims. They simply want believing Muslims to be able to participate in our markets without transgressing what they see as sharia’s worthy prohibition against the payment of interest in financial transactions.

Right. What they actually want, like Harvard wants, is to get their mitts on Gulf petrodollars. But even if we take their protestations at face value, they are wrong in every way. To begin with, sharia is not a Chinese restaurant menu, inviting you to pick one from column A and one from column B. It is the indivisible legal framework for a comprehensive socio-political and economic system: Islam. In that system, the state regulates all aspects of human life and seeks forever to expand its dominions.
As Daniel Pipes
recounts in reviewing the important work of Duke’s Timur Kuran, sharia-compliant finance (SCF) is the mid-20th-century brainchild of the Islamist intellectual Abu-Ala Mawdudi. His motive, the very antithesis of ecumenical inclusiveness, was economic jihad. As Pipes puts it, Mawdudi sought “to minimize relations with non-Muslims, strengthen the collective sense of Muslim identity, extend Islam into a new area of human activity, and modernize without Westernizing.” In effect, SCF is the financial iteration of sharia’s overriding objective: to insulate and fortify the umma for inter-civilizational battle.

I am indebted to the scholar Andrew Bostom for this assessment of SCF from the architect himself, an excerpt from Mawdudi’s paper, “The Economic Problem of Man and its Islamic Solution”:

If anyone thinks it feasible that this economic system can be successfully implemented even if divorced from the complete ideological, moral, and cultural system of Islam, I will humbly request him to get rid of this misunderstanding. This economic system has a deep relationship with the political, judicial, legal, cultural and social system of Islam. And all these are fundamentally based on the moral system of Islam. . . . If you do not accept this creed, this moral system and the whole of this code of life, completely as it is, the economic system of Islam, divorced from its source, cannot be maintained or administered in its purity for even a single day, nor will any appreciable advantage accrue from it if you take it out of its wider context and then seek to apply [it] to your life.

Kagan and other apologists for SCF would absolve themselves from the real-world consequences of their allegedly well-intentioned diversity fetish. But legitimizing any aspect of sharia is the endorsement of all of it. Moreover, there is no cut-and-dried separation of sharia brutality from the tidy, white-collar world of financial transactions.

To pull off the SCF chicanery, financial institutions hire as advisers Islamic clerics who are expert in Muslim jurisprudence — there being, again, no separation between divine edicts and the secular law in Islam. It is those clerics, many of them Islamists, who decide what transactions are permissible. And very often, to purge the taint, prohibited interest payments are diverted to Islamic “charities.” It all sounds wonderful . . . except for what they don’t tell you: The major schools of Islamic jurisprudence teach that support for violent jihad is a legitimate form of charitable giving.

Indeed, as the Middle East Forum’s Raymond Ibrahim
observes, the Koran actually prioritizes the need to fund jihad over the need to fight it. (See, e.g., Sura 9:41: “Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah!”) In a canonical hadith, Mohammed confers on the financial backer the same glorious status as the mujahid fighter: “He who equips a raider so he can wage jihad in Allah’s path . . . is himself a raider.”

SCF is thus the Islamist triple-play: It elbows sharia’s way into our legal system, from whence it can expand its influence; it institutionalizes financial jihad; and it pressures true Muslim moderates to shun Western practices. It is, furthermore, unabashedly anti-capitalist — another reason the Left likes it so much. As Frank Gaffney
points out, the economic meltdown in late 2008 was taken by SCF proponents as “proof of the inherent corruption of capitalism” and the need to replace it with the asserted virtues of sharia.

But let’s put all that aside. Let’s pretend that there were some way you could compartmentalize sharia, some way you could even slice and dice SCF to facilitate market access without all the unsavory fallout. There would still be the matter of Elena Kagan’s bizarre moral universe.

The U.S. military is an unparalleled force for good in the world. Kagan has said as much, but she claims, straight-faced, that it is just this “extraordinary service” to our society that makes DADT “more not less repugnant” — the bathwater that requires throwing out the baby.

But let’s compare the U.S. military with sharia. Sharia is the cause of indescribable suffering in the world: for homosexuals, women, non-Muslims, and Muslims who wish to embrace the West. Yet for Kagan, sharia’s repugnance is irrelevant. Like opposition to DADT and support for abortion, the engagement of Islamists, the embrace of their case against American capitalism, is a progressive cause célèbre. So count Ms. Kagan in. She’ll worry about logic and sharia victims like Sakineh Ashtiani later — if ever.

Sheer political willfulness is an unattractive quality. In a Supreme Court candidate, it ought to be disqualifying.

Andrew C. McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, is the author, most recently, of
The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.

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