Posted on November 29, 2011 in Countdown


Combating Terrorism with Islamophobia? 

Every now and then, our country is blessed with an incisive mind to help us fight terrorism. Congresswoman Sue Wilkins Myrick (R-NC) is one such mind. (She who said that American Muslim organizations encouraging Muslims to become engaged in their country’s political system amounted to the recruitment of “spies” to infiltrate the U.S. government). Now, Myrick is warning that efforts to combat Islamophobia within law enforcement could undermine our counterterrorism efforts (because we all know “Muslim” and “terrorist” are interchangeable). We can all sleep better tonight knowing that Myrick’s brilliance is not going to waste, as she has been given a seat at the House Permanent Select Committee on… “Intelligence!”

Yes, Him Again 

In our “So Ridiculous It Hurts” entry in last week’s Countdown, we highlighted how tough things were for Herman Cain, with his gargantuan bigotry and ignorance saturating the airwaves and blogosphere. Cain sought to turn things around the other day by releasing the animated film version of his 999 tax plan. But this scheme was eclipsed by a new scandal, this time a woman claiming she had a 13-year extramarital affair with the candidate, prompting some Republicans to call for his exit from the race. If the people who were okay with your bigotry, ignorance, and sexual harassment allegations suddenly decide they can’t take it anymore, you may have gone too far. But we know you’re resilient and won’t quit, Herman, so we’re looking forward to covering what you do next. (Keep it hilarious).

Is Obama Responsible for the Failure of the ‘Super Committee’? 

The partisan budget deadlock that the Super Committee was supposed to overcome ended up infecting the Super Committee itself, leading to its failure. But while Democrats blamed Republicans for refusing to compromise, and Republicans blamed Democrats for insisting on including revenue increases, Chris Christie blamed President Obama for being a “bystander” to the process. For those who are sick of the blame game over who is responsible for the Super Committee’s failure, feel free to join Grover Norquist in arguing there was no failure at all to blame on anyone.


President Obama has threatened to veto a massive defense bill over a provision that requires certain terror suspects to be placed in military, rather than civilian, detention. According to the White House Office of Management and Budget, the “unnecessary, untested and legally controversial restriction of the president's authority to defend the nation from terrorist threats would tie the hands of our intelligence and law enforcement professionals.” Senators Levin and McCain fired back at the White House, noting that the legislation includes a “waiver” that would allow administrations to “hold these al Qaeda detainees in civilian custody if it determines that would best serve national security.” We’re not sure where this showdown will go from here, but do you remember way back when the President said he would close Guantanamo Bay? Yeah, we’re kind of a long way from that now.

Neoconservatives Making a Comeback? 

Sounds unrealistic given their reputation after draining America of blood, treasure, and global standing by getting us stuck in unnecessary wars, but that potential neoconservative comeback is precisely what the Huffington Post warned of yesterday. HuffPo reminds us that, while President Obama outlawed torture, “other elements of the ‘War on Terrorism’ remain, from secret prisons in Afghanistan and Europe to Guantanamo Bay to the use of illegal wiretapping.” Worse yet, Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann want to bring back waterboarding, Rick Perry is ready to use force and impose a no-fly zone over Syria, and Mitt Romney recently referred to a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as a “cut and run” policy. As Jim Zogby recently observed “Listening to the current overheated rhetoric in vogue today in U.S. political discussions about what should be done to confront Iran and Syria, it appears that lessons have not been learned.” Yup, we’re not in the clear yet, and the madness could indeed make a comeback.

Now That’s the Campaign Spirit 

We’re constantly encouraging Arab Americans to become more involved in the political process and to make their voices heard in the elections. But is there such a thing as taking the campaign spirit a little too far? Meet Bill Looman, a Georgia business owner who decided to plaster all his company vehicles with large signs that read: “New Company Policy: We Are Not Hiring Until Obama is Gone.” Apparently, this guy also had a Facebook page “riddled with pro-confederate and anti-Muslim postings” (access to which is now restricted), but the extra-nuttiness is secondary. We encourage you to take the election seriously because there is a lot at stake, but let’s try not to go overboard like our friend here.