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Assange to Guantanamo, Awlaki to Paradise, and Other Forms of Life

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Bulleted comments on items currently in the news....

--With the arrest of infoterrorist Julian Assange, maybe the Obama administration should offer to lock him up at Guantanamo and try him by military tribunal. The last time civilian trial of a terrorist was attempted (on Ahmed Khalfani Ghailani), the defendant was acquitted on 284 of 285 charges. Remember?

--Who's a solid dark horse for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. Perhaps first among several is Mitch Daniels, governor of Indiana. Watch him.

--President Obama wants immediate Senate ratification of a new -- and greatly flawed --START treaty with Russia's regnant mafiosi regime. The president has failed to explain why START treaty ratification is more important than ratification of a long-pending free-trade treaty with Colombia, our best Latin American friend.

--Given that George Soros has lavished $1.8 million on National Public Radio for the hiring of 100 leftist reporters pristine and pure, two questions. (1) Why does NPR need $93 million in federal taxpayer monies? (2) If it is wrong (as the left argues) to take seriously any of the reportage at Fox, how is it in any way right to take seriously the bilge flowing out of the Soros- and government-funded NPR?

--Anwar al-Awlaki, a dual-citizenship Yemeni-American, is the new Osama. Awlaki routinely urges his jihadi to slaughter Americans, and he may have inspired disciples re the Fort Hood murders, the would-be Christmas underwear bomber, and the attempted blowing-up of Times Square. So -- well, why not? Why not dispatch Awlaki to paradise with a gazillion virgins?

--Let's see. California has (a) a $45.5 billion 2009-2010 budget gap -- the largest of any state ever. (b) California's pension plan for its state and public employees is short of its funded liabilities by about $500 billion (that's half a trillion dollars). And (c) with 12 percent of the U.S. population, California has 31 percent of the nation's welfare recipients. Maybe (a), (b), and (c) suggest "The Golden State" should be renamed, more aptly, "The Welfare State."

--There's the Pentagon poll saying lifting "Don't Ask Don't Tell" wouldn't have much effect on the military. And there are the contrary comments from the heads of most of the service branches, a vast array of retired officers and enlisted personnel, and friends of the military (such as Senator John McCain) -- that lifting "Don't Ask" would have disastrous consequences for combat readiness, unit cohesion, and the nation's security. Roger all. Leave the policy alone.

--Tin-eared corporate bigwigs just don't seem to get it about how greed plays with the general citizenry. Once again, they're raking in record compensation. A November Wall Street Journal article notes regarding a survey of CEOs at 456 companies that "the median pretax value of CEO salaries, bonuses, and long-term incentives, such as grants of stock and stock options, rose (in the just-ended fiscal year) by 3 percent to $7.23 million."

--Regulators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are proposing tougher warnings on cigarette packs -- such as "Smoking can kill you" and "Cigarettes cause fatal lung disease." But why doesn't everyone heed those warnings, including our president? At last report, Barack Obama was keeping on as a closet smoker.

--Republican John Boehner says that once he becomes House Speaker next month he'll continue to fly around the country commercially. That will be in stark contrast to departing Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who's regarded flying aboard a 42-seat Air Force C-32 as greatly befitting her lofty status. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch indicate that between March 2009 and June 2010, Madam Pelosi and her retinue logged 85 flights on military aircraft covering 206,264 miles and costing $2,100,745.

--...Which is but one of the many reasons even leftist columnist David Broder says the Democrats erred big time in voting to retain Ms. Pelosi as House Minority Leader in the next Congress.

--Pelosi thinkalike Michael Moore has informed the world that "white America does not like having a black president." Why? Because, he said on "Real Time With Bill Maher," "Obama lost the white vote." But wait: Since 1964, every Democratic presidential nominee has lost the white vote -- meaning the white demographic is not hostile to blacks but to Democrats.

--Question: If Sarah Palin is such a ditz, then why do leftists so fear her?

--Probably for the same reasons they dissed Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush as dumb. Underestimating one's ideological opponents rarely brings political success.

--If it is true -- given astrophysicists' recent upward revision of earlier estimates by a factor of three -- that the universe contains about 300 sextillion stars, then is it not even likelier than in pre-revision days that life exists beyond Earth?

--Michio Kaku, author and CCNY professor of theoretical physics, recently noted that NASA scientists have indeed found alien life -- "not in space but in California, in the form of an exotic microbe with DNA never seen before that feeds on arsenic, a poison....To the scientific community, this...means that every biology textbook now has to be revised. Even the very definition of life may have to be changed."

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