End Of Day Report 08 30 10

Monday August 30, 2010

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

COUNTDOWN TO VICTORY: 64 DAYS UNTIL THE 2010 ELECTIONS!

Restoring Honor Rally A Homerun!

Kudos to Glenn Beck. His Restoring Honor Rally at the Lincoln Memorial Saturday drew hundreds of thousands of Americans. They honored U.S. troops and called on our country to turn back to God. The crowd, which came to D.C. from all over the country, was patriotic, faith-based and deeply concerned about the direction of America.

The rally had many highlights, but one of the most moving occurred when Beck told the story of John Newton, the British slave trader. On a voyage in 1748, Newton, in the middle of a storm at sea, converted to Christianity. He came to realize the evil of slavery and eventually wrote the famous hymn “Amazing Grace.” After the story was recounted, bagpipes began to play and hundreds of thousands of people began to sing the words, “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see. T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear, and Grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that Grace appear the hour I first believed.”

I have no doubt that Martin Luther King would have felt right at home there at the Lincoln Memorial. His whole civil rights message was based on his conviction that our rights come from God and that they flow to us regardless of the color of our skin.

But today’s leftwing elites continue to see the crowd this weekend on the mall as a bunch of haters, racists and fascists. Media coverage tried to downplay the number of attendees. Columnists at the Washington Post this morning attacked the gathering and accused those who attended of wanting to take America back to the days of lynchings and Jim Crow laws. Bill Press, a liberal TV commentator, even suggested that it was inappropriate to talk about God at the Lincoln Memorial. Apparently Press is ignorant of the fact that Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, a powerful plea to God, is inscribed inside the Memorial.

President Obama told NBC’s Brian Williams that he did not watch the rally but that he wasn’t surprised that Glenn Beck can “stir-up” people. Sadly, the president is clueless about what is moving in the hearts of millions of Americans. They are not being “stirred up” by Glenn Beck. Rather, what is stirring is a spontaneous rebirth of family, faith and freedom.

Beyond The Pale

The Left has always had trouble arguing against conservatives positions on their merits. That’s why liberals resort to scurrilous attacks so often and so quickly. And when a particularly effective conservative spokesman appears, they will stop at nothing to bring him or her down.

When Sarah Palin burst onto the political scene in 2008 as Senator John McCain’s running mate, the Left was so stunned by her popularity and charisma that it groped at anything it could to try and destroy her image. Some liberals stooped so low as to mock Trig Palin, Sarah’s youngest son, who has Down syndrome. And at least one “respected” D.C. journalist repeatedly claimed that Trig was in fact Sarah’s grandson and that they faked the pregnancy for political gain.

Given all this, it is not surprising what one liberal writer is doing to Glenn Beck. Beau Friedlander, a contributing writer at the Huffington Post offered a large sum of money for a non-existent sex tape of Beck. In his column today Friedlander wrote, “I hereby offer to negotiate a $100,000 payday to the person who will come forward with a sex tape or phone records or anything else that succeeds in removing Glenn Beck from the public eye forever.” Though the Huffington Post, which is the Left’s most influential blog, deleted Friedlander’s post after conservative outrage, conservatives should brace themselves for more of these sorts of attacks as Election Day approaches.

End Of Day Report 08 27 10

Friday, August 27, 2010

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

COUNTDOWN TO VICTORY: 67 DAYS UNTIL THE 2010 ELECTIONS!

Muslims Happiest With Obama

We’ve seen polls recently showing that roughly one in five Americans believes the president is a Muslim. The White House has been working furiously to dispel the idea, but a Gallup survey released today won’t help. It finds that “Muslims give Obama the highest job approval” rating among religious groups. Gallup interviewed more than 275,000 adult Americans over the first seven months of this year. Among other findings, it found that 78 percent of Muslim Americans approve of Obama’s job performance.

The survey found that Obama’s job approval among all Americans has plummeted 15 percentage points since the beginning of his term, from 63 percent to 48 percent. What’s interesting is that while Obama’s approval rating has dropped 15, 16 and 17 points among Protestants, Jews and Catholics, respectively, it has fallen just 8 points among Muslims.

With the economy in the tank and Democrats continuing to push more Big Government legislation and policy, it isn’t surprising that Obama’s image has been tarnished among Americans of all faiths. Neither is it surprising that, given Obama’s abuse of Israel and his promotion of all things Islam, his standing has diminished the least among Muslim Americans.

The Public-Private Pay Gap

Most Americans are angry that at a time when families are having to tighten their budgets, the Obama administration is engaging in “generational theft” — spending like there’s no tomorrow to pay for programs most Americans do not want. And, according to House GOP leader John Boehner (OH), the Obama administration is also responsible for widening the pay gap between public and private workers. At a time when many Americans cannot find work and others have not had a pay raise in years, Boehner said in a speech earlier this week, “We’ve seen not just more government jobs, but better-paying ones too.”

Boehner and other House and Senate Republicans have proposed legislation to freeze the salaries of the country’s two million federal employees. But — and this won’t surprise you — congressional Democrats have voted down each piece of legislation. Boehner continued:

“Federal employees now make on average more than double what private sector workers take in. More appalling is the fact that this gap more than doubled in President Obama’s first year in office — during a time when millions of private sector workers either lost their jobs or agreed to take pay cuts just to keep the one they have”

Whose War on Science?

Democrats regularly bashed conservatives for their alleged “war on science.” But from manmade global warming and energy issues to stem cell research, it’s the Left that is allowing politics to trump science. And now, despite numerous recent studies in peer-reviewed journals showing that abstinence education can have a significant effect on teenagers’ sexual decisions, the Obama administration and congressional Democrats have cut abstinence education funds from the FY 2010 budget.

Valerie Huber, Executive Director of the National Abstinence Education Association, told LifeNews.com about the effects of the funding cuts. “This means that nearly two million students will return to school without the skill-building lessons they have come to expect in their abstinence education classes,” she said. I understand that drastic cuts need to be made to the federal budget. But I don’t understand why they need to be made to one of our most effective tools in combating soaring rates of teen and un-wed pregnancy.

End Of Day Report 08 26 10

Thursday, August 26, 2010

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

COUNTDOWN TO VICTORY: 68 DAYS UNTIL THE 2010 ELECTIONS!

Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes?

The talk shows this morning devoted a lot of time to the terrible attack on a Muslim cab driver in New York City, which New York police have branded a hate crime. Left-wing talking heads couldn’t help but insist that the debate over the Ground Zero mosque has led to an atmosphere of hate where bigots now felt free to attack Muslims. But this story shows how warped their perceptions of America are.

According to the New York Post, Ahmed Sharif, the stabbed Muslim cab driver, OPPOSES the Ground Zero mosque! But wait…there’s more. His alleged attacker was a volunteer for an organization that defines its purpose as bringing together “diverse groups to forge a common ground for global social justice,” and which publicly endorsed the Ground Zero mosque.

As one liberal commentator said of the Duke lacrosse rape case, “The narrative was right, but the facts were wrong.” The media has picked up the narrative of Muslims as victims of an intolerant America and run wild with it today. But, the media have been doing that ever since the 9/11 attacks.

In a column today, Jonah Goldberg notes that hate crimes against Muslims did spike dramatically in 2001 – increasing by 1,600%. But the numbers did not suggest a pandemic of anti-Islamic violence was sweeping the nation. In 2000, there were 28 anti-Islamic hate crimes. In 2001, there were 481, “the year a bunch of Muslim terrorists murdered 3,000 Americans in the name of Islam,” writes Goldberg.

He continues, “In 2001, there were twice as many anti-Jewish incidents as anti-Muslim ones, according to the FBI. In 2002 and pretty much every year since, anti-Jewish incidents have outstripped anti-Muslim incidents by at least 6-to-1. Why aren’t we talking about the anti-Jewish climate in America?”

The Intolerant Left

While we’re on the subject of hate crimes, anyone who has taken a public stand in defense of traditional values knows just how intolerant the Left can be. When you dare to defend the sanctity of life or the traditional meaning of marriage, the hatred from the “tyrants of tolerance” can be quite shocking. Evidently, their vitriol now extends to economic issues too.

PAUL BEDARD reports that FreedomWorks, a Washington, D.C. based group that supports the Tea Party movement, has received so many menacing emails and death threats that it has been forced to abandon its current office for a new “high-security building near the U.S. Capitol.”

Obama Bestows New Rights

Earlier this week, I commented on the administration’s apologetic report to the U.N.’s Human Rights Council. The report was a travesty on many levels, and yesterday Maggie Gallagher identified one more: ObamaCare.

When most of us think of rights, we think of the inalienable rights referred to in the Declaration of Independence – the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Or we think of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution – the right to free speech, worship, etc.

But as Gallagher writes, the president’s report to the U.N. crows about the establishment of ObamaCare, noting, “On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. The Act makes great strides toward the goal that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care.” Looking ahead, Gallagher asks, “If a new Congress retools this deeply unpopular bill, does [Obama] suggest to the council we are now violating international human rights standards?”

Remember, friends, this is contained in a report to the United Nation’s Human Rights Council, and it is very revealing of the liberal mindset. To many on the Left, defending human rights is about promoting Big Government.

And therein lies the Left’s great disconnect with the foundational values of America: Our rights do not come from government, but rather from God. They do not require taxpayer-subsidies or socialist redistribution schemes. Rather, they guarantee the liberty of each individual to pursue his or her happiness.

In 2001, Obama described the Constitution as “a charter of negative liberties. [It] says what the states can’t do to you. [It] says what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.” Most Americans think the government is doing too much and taxing too much, but some think healthcare is a human right. Will vacations be next?

End Of Day Report 08 25 10

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

COUNTDOWN TO VICTORY: 69 DAYS UNTIL THE 2010 ELECTIONS!

An Administrative Amnesty?

In recent weeks, there have been several reports on immigration that strongly suggest the Obama Administration is acting on its own to achieve a “de facto” amnesty.

Several weeks ago, eight U.S. senators wrote to President Obama warning against unilateral administrative decisions regarding immigration after learning of a Department of Homeland Security memo that outlined a plan for the widespread use of “deferred action.” As in any legal proceeding, the government has a lot of leeway, and deferred action gives immigration authorities the chance to consider the unique circumstances of any illegal alien on a case-by-case basis.

The administration was quick to insist the “deferred action” memo had been dismissed. But consider this report from today’s Houston Chronicle:

“The Department of Homeland Security is systematically reviewing thousands of pending immigration cases and moving to dismiss those filed against suspected illegal immigrants who have no serious criminal records, according to several sources familiar with the efforts. Culling the immigration court system … has stunned local immigration attorneys, who have reported coming to court anticipating clients’ deportations only to learn that the government was dismissing their cases. …Raed Gonzalez, an immigration attorney who was briefed on the effort by Homeland Security’s deputy chief counsel in Houston, said DHS confirmed that it’s reviewing cases nationwide. …

“Gonzalez said he went into immigration court downtown on Monday and was given a court date in October 2011 for one client. But, he said, the government’s attorney requested the dismissal of that case and those of two more of his clients, and the cases were dispatched by the judge. The court ‘was terminating all of the cases that came up,’ Gonzalez said. ‘It was absolutely fantastic.’ ‘We’re all calling each other saying, ‘Can you believe this?’ said John Nechman, another Houston immigration attorney, who had two cases dismissed.”
This is happening not just in Houston, but as the article notes, the Department of Homeland Security is “reviewing cases nationwide.”

I feel it is important to state that I support legal immigration. Ronald Reagan was in favor of it too. We should welcome those good folks who want to become Americans. But the American people are outraged that our government has ignored illegal immigration for so long. They are rightly concerned about our porous borders and the national security threat they represent. And here, too, Washington has failed miserably, as this report from CNSNews.com shows.

In fact, it has failed so miserably that the men and women charged with enforcing our immigration laws unanimously passed a resolution of “no confidence” in the leadership of Obama’s appointees at the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency.

The Silver Bullet?

Here’s another name for Nancy Pelosi’s list of “intolerant” Ground Zero mosque opponents who she says should be investigated: Sheldon Silver – the Democrat speaker of New York’s state Assembly. Yesterday, Silver said, “I think the [mosque] sponsors should take into very serious consideration the kind of turmoil that’s been created and look to compromise … a suitable place that doesn’t create the kind of controversy this does.”

Folks outside New York likely won’t appreciate the impact of Silver’s remarks, which came on the same day that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg again defended the Ground Zero mosque at his own Ramadan dinner at Gracie Mansion. But the Assembly Speaker is one of the most influential and powerful politicians in New York state. Governor David Paterson has also called for moving the mosque. But the governor was forced to end his reelection bid due to scandal, so he is a “wounded messenger.”

Speaker Silver’s stand could start an avalanche, leading other prominent New York politicians to side with the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers and other Americans who don’t want a mega-mosque built at Ground Zero.

Primary Punditry

There were very important primary elections yesterday and some surprising results too. It’s clear from the results that an anti-establishment wave is building among the electorate, and I believe that when it reaches full strength on November 2nd, there is a good chance many Democrats will be swept out of office.

In Florida, Attorney General Bill McCollum, a fixture of Florida politics for three decades, lost the GOP primary nomination for governor. His opponent, Rick Scott, is a wealthy former healthcare executive who spent millions fighting ObamaCare. Some political observers view Scott’s win as another repudiation of ObamaCare, much like Missouri’s overwhelming vote against the individual mandate.

While Republican Bill McCollum lost to a big-spending challenger, Rep. Kendrick Meek beat back billionaire Jeff Greene to capture the Democrat Party’s Senate nomination. This is good news for Republican Marco Rubio. Most political analysts believe that Meek’s win will ultimately come at the expense of Charlie Crist’s independent and highly opportunistic Senate bid. Loyal Democrats, especially African American voters, will vote for Meek. But many Democrats would have backed Crist if Greene had won.

In another notable Florida race, Rep. Alan Boyd (D) barely won re-nomination in the 2nd Congressional District after outspending his challenger by more than 10-to-1. Boyd’s underwhelming performance guarantees he will be targeted in November.

The GOP Alaska Senate primary is another race that highlights the anti-establishment fervor sweeping the country. We won’t have final results for several days, but right now Joe Miller is leading incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski by roughly 2,000 votes. Miller was endorsed by Sarah Palin and national Tea Party groups.

Perhaps the most high-profile race of the evening involved a primary challenge to the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, Senator John McCain. While some polls early in the year suggested McCain was vulnerable, he won last night by a 2-to-1 margin. How? Months ago, McCain endorsed Arizona’s tough anti-illegal immigration law and ran ads that stressed border security, saying, “Complete the danged fence.” In short, he ran as a conservative, and the voters rewarded him.

End Of Day Report 08 24 10

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

COUNTDOWN TO VICTORY: 70 DAYS UNTIL THE 2010 ELECTIONS!

The Apologizer-In-Chief Does It Again

For the first time, the United States of America has submitted a “mea culpa” report to the United Nations Human Rights Council detailing the failings of our human rights record. According to the report, “High unemployment rates, hate crime, poverty, poor housing, lack of access to health care and discriminatory hiring practices are among challenges … affecting blacks, Latinos, Muslims, South Asians, American Indians and gays and lesbians in the United States.” Is that really how the Obama Administration views America?

But there is a disturbing omission in the report. According to the FBI’s latest statistics, there were more than 1,600 religiously motivated hate crimes in 2008. Nearly two-thirds of them were anti-Jewish, while just 8% were classified as “anti-Islamic.” Yet the Obama Administration tells the U.N. Human Rights Commission that Muslims are an oppressed minority while ignoring the overwhelming number of anti-Semitic hate crimes.

According to the Associated Press, the report welcomes “observations and recommendations” from members of the U.N. Human Rights Council “that can help us on that road to a more perfect union.” There are 47 nations represented on the U.N. Human Rights Council, including some of the worst violators of human rights. The Obama Administration would have us taking recommendations from the likes of Burkina Faso, Cuba, China, Libya and Saudi Arabia on how to become “a more perfect union.”

This is just one more example of the consequences of elections. The Bush Administration steadfastly refused to submit America to this exercise in self-flagellation in part because of the blatant anti-Israel bias of U.N.’s Human Rights Council. Obama was eager to sign up as part of a “new era of engagement.” Now we know why – it gave him another opportunity to apologize for America.

“Moderate” Imam Compares U.S. To Al Qaeda

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is traveling the Middle East on your dime and speaking on the State Department’s behalf as part of President Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world. Imam Rauf has been touted by the administration and left-wing talking heads as a “moderate” Muslim. He also happens to be the man who would lead the proposed 13-story mega-mosque at Ground Zero.

If Rauf is a moderate, we’ve got big problems. Rauf has refused to condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization. The imam of his father’s mosque, where Rauf served on the board of trustees, blamed the 9/11 attacks on Jews. After the 9/11 attacks, Rauf told 60 Minutes that “Osama bin Laden is made in the U.S.A.”

Four years after 9/11, Rauf had not backed down from that outrageous view. A new audio tape has surfaced of Rauf speaking in Australia in 2005 about the difficulties of defending the West to Muslim audiences. In his remarks, Rauf said:

“The complexity arises, sir, from … political problems and the history of the politics between the West and the Muslim world. We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims. You may remember that the U.S.-led sanctions against Iraq led to the death of over half a million Iraqi children. … How many of you have seen the documentary: Fahrenheit 911?”
With that last sentence, Rauf reveals himself to be a devotee of the deranged Michael Moore. That alone should raise red flags. But to compare the legitimate actions of our government (and those of other nations) to Al Qaeda’s terrorism is beyond belief.

This is the same moral equivalence that justifies Palestinian terrorism against Israel. Perhaps that is why Rauf has such difficulty condemning Hamas. It is unconscionable that our State Department is paying for this man to be a spokesman for the United States.

It is even more disturbing that left-wing elites and the media continue to call this man a “moderate.” It is time for us to stop using Islam’s definition of “moderate” and to reassert our own common sense. Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy has a brilliant column taking on this very issue, which you can read here.

Court Overturns Obama Stem Cell Funding

Not long after taking office, President Obama began issuing executive orders dismantling the pro-life provisions George W. Bush had put into place. Among the orders Obama issued was one allowing the use of taxpayer funds for life-destroying human embryo research. Yesterday, a federal judge issued a ruling blocking the Obama Administration from funding such research.

This was not a ruling by an activist judge looking to impose his own values on the law. Rather, Judge Royce Lamberth looked at the law and correctly concluded that current federal law prohibits government funding of research that destroys human embryos.

In his ruling, Judge Lamberth declared, “the unambiguous intent of Congress is to prohibit the expenditure of federal funds on ‘research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed…’” According to press reports, the Obama Administration had allocated more than $125 million for such research next year. Asked about Judge Lamberth’s ruling, a White House spokesman said today, “We’re reviewing all possibilities.”

End Of Day Report 08 23 10

Monday, August 23, 2010

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

COUNTDOWN TO VICTORY: 71 DAYS UNTIL THE 2010 ELECTIONS!

More Following Mosque Controversy

The “bully pulpit” is one of any president’s most effective tools for leading America through challenging times. From FDR to Ronald Reagan, American presidents have a unique capacity to influence opinion and even sway a skeptical public.

Undoubtedly, that is what Barack Obama had in mind when he endorsed the Ground Zero mosque at a recent White House Ramadan dinner. But he wasn’t even able to persuade Harry Reid, Howard Dean and other leading Democrats. And there were protests in the streets of downtown Manhattan this weekend, and the “Hard Hat Pledge” is gaining steam.

A new Rasmussen poll finds that 85% of Americans are following the mosque story, “a 34-point jump from a month ago when only 51% said they were following the story.” And as more Americans have tuned in, opposition has increased eight percentage points. Far from ending the controversy, Obama’s support has had the effect of throwing gasoline on a dying fire.

This has been an amazing debate to watch unfold. While left-wing commentators and politicians rally around the mosque, more and more Americans are turning against it. While the Left seeks to redefine marriage and purge Judeo-Christian symbols from the public square, liberal elites have become champions of religious liberty when Islam is at issue.

Liberal talking heads often suggest that opposition to the mosque at Ground Zero is just thinly veiled bigotry. They contend that the opponents of the mosque would oppose the construction of a mosque anywhere, and ask rhetorically, “How large should the mosque-free buffer zone around Ground Zero be?”

I’ve thought about that question, and here’s my suggested compromise: Back up the mosque one yard for every life that was lost at Ground Zero on 9/11. Three thousand lives lost equals three thousand yards away. If the organizers of the Ground Zero mosque would accept that compromise, the controversy would be over.

In my Human Events column yesterday, I highlight a recent poll finding that a quarter of Americans believe Obama is a Muslim. Big media predictably is interpreting the poll as exposing Americans’ ignorance and xenophobia. But it is actually the best evidence yet that, whatever his faith, Obama has exposed himself as the Islamophile-in-Chief. You can read my piece at http://www.humanevents.com.

The Fruits Of Weakness

This weekend, Iran fired up its nuclear reactor. The next day it unveiled a new armed drone aircraft called “the ambassador of death.”

That is a fitting name coming from the Islamofascist regime, which worships death; which is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, which is training young men and women to be homicide bombers, which is responsible for many of the IEDs that murdered American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and which routinely vows to “wipe Israel off the map.”

The Left frequently ridiculed George W. Bush for being “trigger happy.” Many liberals proudly displayed bumper sticks that read, “If war is the answer, then it’s a stupid question.” Many elites insist that every dispute must be resolved peacefully and that the United States should always take the “less risky” route.

Diplomacy is not always the less risky route. Neville Chamberlain’s face-to-face meeting with Adolf Hitler accomplished little except to give the Nazis more time to build more weapons. Obama’s commitment to diplomacy and outreach with Iran has done nothing more than give Iran more time to advance its nuclear program and install more sophisticated defenses.

Like the American hikers who have been held for over a year now, Iran’s operational nuclear reactor and its “ambassador of death” are the fruit of Obama’s weak foreign policy. And just as the West came to regret ignoring Hitler more 70 years ago, there is tremendous risk in ignoring Iran’s Holocaust-denying dictator today.

Voters See Obama Agenda As Extreme

Pollster Scott Rasmussen released results from another survey today that finds an increasing number of voters (48%) define Obama’s political views as “extreme,” while 42% consider his political views “mainstream.” That’s bad enough, but among crucial independent voters, 54% consider Obama’s views “extreme,” while just 30% say they are “mainstream.”

As we reported Friday, Democrats are already on the defensive – unable and unwilling to defend their own agenda. I have to believe that Obama’s endorsement of the Ground Zero mosque is weighing heavily on the minds of voters who find the president’s thinking extreme.

You may be hearing more about this in the days ahead. The National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Republican Study Committee recently produced two great ads on the subject, suggesting a theme is developing. Stay tuned!

End Of Day Report 08 20 10

Friday, August 20, 2010

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

COUNTDOWN TO VICTORY: 74 DAYS UNTIL THE 2010 ELECTIONS!

Obama’s Growing Problem

Barack Obama has a growing problem on his hands, and it’s not Iran. It’s much closer to home, but it’s not unemployment either. It’s more personal – a matter of faith to be precise.

A new poll by the respected Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life finds that after 19 months on the job, more Americans now think Obama is a Muslim. That’s a big problem – one that suggests the president is grossly disconnected from the American people.

If this disconnect — or as one commentator suggested, this sense that Obama’s “default setting is in opposition to the general sensibilities of the American people” — is allowed to grow, it risks undermining the president’s legitimacy much like the Left’s claim that “Bush lied” about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq undermined the previous administration.

But what amazes me is the media’s astonishment that many Americans would question the president’s professed faith. The talking heads denounce this as an example of bigoted and extremist fringe thinking. But it is a much bigger problem than they care to admit.

How bad is this problem? Here’s a clue: a plurality of Americans don’t know what the president’s faith is! According to the Pew poll, 18% of Americans believe Obama is a Muslim, up from 11% in 2009; just 34% believe he is a Christian, down from 48%; while 43% have no idea what Barack Obama believes.

This comes in spite of all the fawning and sympathetic press Obama received over the past several years. Why is this problem getting worse, rather than better, the longer we are exposed to Barack Hussein Obama? It is a problem entirely of Obama’s making. For example:

* Obama gave his first television interview as president not to an American network, but to an Arab language satellite network, Al-Arabiya. In that interview, Obama said he felt his “job” was to communicate “to the Muslim world … that the Americans are not your enemy.”

* He has apologized for America’s “arrogance,” repeatedly reached out to the Muslim world, including the Holocaust-denying regime in Iran, and even pressed NASA into his Islamic outreach mission.

* He bowed to the Muslim king of Saudi Arabia, but made the Dali Lama exit the White House through the back door.

* He wrote fondly about his Muslim cultural background in his two autobiographies. In a 2007 New York Times interview, he “recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. …Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as ‘one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.’”

* Yes, Barack Obama says he is a Christian, but he attended a church whose pastor routinely condemned America, gave Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan an award and permitted the distribution of Hamas propaganda.

* He has condemned the construction of homes for Jews in Jerusalem but endorsed the construction of a mosque at Ground Zero.

* His administration dismissed charges against the Muslim New Black Panthers, but it prosecutes the state of Arizona.

* He cancelled National Day of Prayer events at the White House but hosted an Iftar dinner to celebrate Ramadan.

Given all this and more during the past 19 months, the average American could be forgiven for thinking that Obama is at least deferential, if not predisposed, toward Islam.

So while the media elites may see the Pew poll as evidence of right-wing bigotry, it should be more worrying to them that not even a majority of the president’s staunchest supporters — Democrats (46%) or blacks (43%) — could say that Obama is a Christian.

Welcome Home!

The last combat brigade left Iraq this week. The 14,000 soldiers of the Army’s 4th Stryker Brigade crossed the Kuwaiti border Wednesday night. Under presidents of different parties, they have done their job and done it well. We thank them for their service to our country. There are still 50,000 U.S. troops deployed in Iraq and we will not forget them. They and their families remain in our prayers, as do our troops serving in Afghanistan.

Many Iraqis are sad to see America’s troops going home. Our troops are good guys, and they are there for the right reasons. Once again the United States has sent its soldiers overseas not in conquest of territory or treasure but to liberate the oppressed.

Democrats Running From Healthcare

Several months ago, as Democrats were running up the score on Capitol Hill having passed the $862 billion stimulus bill, cleared cap and trade through the House and as healthcare “reform” stood on the verge of passage, Barack Obama triumphantly declared, “If Republicans want to campaign against what we’ve done… that is a fight I want to have.” Be careful what you wish for.

The latest Rasmussen poll finds that 60% of likely voters want ObamaCare repealed, and half of voters say repealing ObamaCare would be a good thing for the economy. Numbers like these have Democrats in panic mode as they head into the final weeks of the campaign. All their major legislative initiatives — ObamaCare, the stimulus bill, cap and trade — are extremely unpopular. Now even Democrat pollsters are advising their candidates to avoid talking about their signature “accomplishments.”

Politico reports that a coalition of leftwing groups recently held a conference call to warn activists and candidates not to directly defend ObamaCare. That the call took place indicates that “Democrats are acknowledging the failure of their predictions that the … legislation would grow more popular after its passage.”

Armed with data from three top Democrat pollsters, liberal candidates were instead urged to insist that ObamaCare must be “improved.” That alone is an admission that Democrats rushed through a bad bill. Most telling is that candidates were specifically discouraged from suggesting that ObamaCare would “reduce costs and deficit[s].”

Obama Skips Senate Again

Yesterday, Barack Obama used his recess appointment authority to install Mari Carmen Aponte as ambassador to El Salvador. This was the second time Aponte had been nominated for a key diplomatic post, but her previous nomination by Bill Clinton in 1998 was derailed and withdrawn after the FBI raised concerns about her long-term relationship with a Cuban spy. Three senators placed holds on her nomination this time, but Obama decided to skip the formalities of the Senate confirmation process.

So how did Aponte get a second chance? Aponte is a former director of La Raza who has given tens of thousands of dollars to liberal causes and candidates, including Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton.