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September 20, 2014, 8:58 pmComplete the sentence...
September 19, 2014, 7:44 amLetting in the Wrong Refugees
Letting in the Wrong Refugees
Michelle Malkin | Sep 19, 2014
Fresh terror busts in Australia expose a common Achilles' heel of the West: Indiscriminate refugee policies turn free countries into breeding grounds for jihad. It's the same game in America. Soldiers of Islam have weaponized our blind generosity against us.
In Sydney this week, authorities detained a half-dozen Muslim plotters and arrested a top collaborator in an alleged conspiracy to kidnap and behead a random Australian citizen. The accused mastermind? Afghan refugee turned Aussie Islamic State recruiter Mohammad Ali Baryalei. He and his aristocratic family were welcomed Down Under decades ago. Baryalei returned the favor by taking to the streets of Sydney to recruit and radicalize dozens of fellow Muslim immigrants or their children.
Baryalei's minions include Australian jihadist Khaled Sharrouf, the homicidal son of Lebanese immigrants. Sharrouf is now based in Syria, where he infamously tweeted a photo of his elementary school-age son brandishing a severed human head.
The Sydney Beheading Bust comes on the heels of a separate outbreak of violence by Afghan refugees aligned with the terror group Hezbollah. In late August, Aussie police broke up a bloody riot involving members of the "420 gang" -- Muslim teenage boys and young men who post sword-wielding, AK-47-toting selfies on social media. The self-described "Shia soldiers" quote Hezbollah militant imam Hassan Nasrallah online, while wreaking havoc in Sydney slums offline.
International "human rights" wags have attacked Australian officials for trying to crack down on unfettered immigration from terror-sponsoring states. Now, many of those ungrateful imports are crying "Islamophobia" as law enforcement authorities try to stop the head-choppers from spilling blood on their soil.
Australia, we feel your pain. America's unselective and desultory asylum and refugee policies have also enabled jihadists of all stripes and blades to recruit, convert, plot, pillage, rape and kill.
In our heartland, Minneapolis has become "Little Mogadishu" -- a haven for Somali refugees targeted by Islamic supremacists. It's a deadly two-way street. As former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy noted in "The Grand Jihad," "We not only import Somali aliens, including their 'traditional leaders.' We also send back aspiring Islamist militants, including suicide bombers. Since 2006, the FBI has detected that many Somalis are returning to fight on behalf of al-Shabaab, and more are launched from Minneapolis than from any other U.S. haven."
But instead of slowing down refugee admissions from terror-sponsoring and terror-supporting states, the Obama administration has jacked them up. Instead of increasing our scrutiny of asylum and refugee seekers who admit to providing "limited material support" to terrorists, the Obama administration has created more loopholes for them.
Last fall, FBI agents admitted that several dozen suspected terrorist bomb-builders may have mistakenly been allowed to move to the United States as war refugees from Iraq. These include two al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) jihadists who were resettled as refugees in Bowling Green, Ky. -- and then later admitted in court that they had attacked U.S. soldiers in Iraq, according to ABC News.
In Colorado Springs, a gang of Iraqi Muslim refugees monstrously raped and brutalized a woman -- after being welcomed here with open arms and, in at least one case, receiving praise and help from U.S. soldiers.
These thugs join a growing litany of asylees and refugees gone wild in America, including:
--The vengeful Tsarnaev family of Boston Marathon brothers and their jobless, mooching sisters.
--Ramzi Yousef, who faked an asylum claim to plot the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
--Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer, a Palestinian bomb-builder who entered the U.S. illegally through Canada and claimed political asylum based on phony persecution by Israelis.
--Palestinian jihadist Mir Aimal Kansi, convicted in 1997 of capital murder for the January 1993 shooting spree outside CIA headquarters in McLean, Va., claimed bogus political asylum based on his ethnic minority status in Pakistan.
--Somali national Nuradin Abdi, the al-Qaida shopping mall bomb plotter convicted in 2007, first entered the U.S. in 1995 using a false passport, entered again illegally from Canada in 1997, and then secured asylum on false grounds. He fraudulently obtained a refugee travel document, which he then used to fly to Ethiopia and, yes, Chechnya for jihad training.
--Convicted Fort Dix (N.J.) jihad plotters and ethnic Albanian illegal alien brothers Dritan, Shain and Eljvir Duka, who snuck into the country through Mexico with their parents, who applied for asylum in 1984.
Meanwhile, countless Christians, Jews and other victims of Islamic persecution remain outcast and abandoned around the world. Ain't diversity and assimilation grand?
September 18, 2014, 9:40 amAn Idiotic Government with Idiotic Goals
An Idiotic Government with Idiotic Goals
John Ransom | Sep 18, 2014
For folks who are trying to ignite inflation, this sure isn’t working out very well. It’s been hoped by the country’s central bankers that the massive quantitative easing program along with near-zero interest rates will touch off a wave of inflation that if not exactly the same thing as boom times, will at least give the appearance of a strengthening economy. However, month after month inflation in the goods that the Fed cares about seems muted. Now this month we had the horrid news that official inflation numbers are falling not rising.
“The consumer-price index declined 0.2 percent,” reports Bloomberg, “the first decrease since April 2013, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 83 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for unchanged. Excluding volatile food and fuel, the so-called core measure was unchanged, the first time it failed to increase in almost four years.”
Oh, the horror of falling gas prices!
It should be noted that falling fuel costs, not coincidentally, also contributed to the robust retail sales figures that boosted the economy in August
“Lower gasoline prices and better job growth encouraged consumers to open their wallets this summer, pushing up sales at U.S. retailers last month,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “Retail and food sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6% in August from July” according to statistics released by the Commerce Department.
Therein lies the failure of the Fed policy.
Creating the type of artificial inflation the Fed is after is idiotic. And even in their idiotic goal they’ve failed to live up to their own expectations.
Inflation in core items that the Fed cares about remains stubbornly low. Inflation in food and energy, which the Fed pretends doesn’t matter, remains much more volatile. And energy inflation is cramping consumer style.
Today it’s not a question of “if” we have adequate inflation for a sound economy, but rather if the type of inflation that we do have is helping the economy or hurting the economy. Because we do have inflation, it's just not the "good" kind the Federal Reserve is banking on. Ha, ha! Banking on.
Ignoring for a moment that inflation is a symptom of a hot economy not an end goal, stable or lowering gas prices would help the economy by increasing the amount that consumers have to spend on other things. Those other things—like electronics, clothes, cars (you know? the discretionary items in flyover country?)—are the missing fuel for an economy that has stalled out while facing up hill.
It’s as if the policy makers have decided to fill the gas tank up, while ignoring the big, gapping hole out of which the fuel is sloshing and gurgling underneath the economy while trying to chug up that steep slope known as Obama.
Let’s hope now that no one lights a match.
As I have demonstrated time and again in this space, there used to be a time in this country when the link between a sound economy and low and stable energy prices was understood.
There was a time when that was bipartisan issue.
Today we have so decoupled energy from the people that energy is supposed to serve that the stock market falls on lower energy prices, rather than recognizing the legitimate stimulus value lower energy prices have on the rest of the economy.
The flip side is that higher energy prices have a dampening effect on the total economy. If Obama cared so much for the workers who make minimum wage he’d have an energy policy that saves them money at the fuel pump since that’s a cost that costs them dear.
“A penny sav'd, is a penny got,” says the English proverb.
Of course Obama knows nothing about pennies or saving.
“Since World War II,” writes St. Louis Fed economist, Kevin Kliesen, “nearly every U.S. recession has been preceded or accompanied by a sharp rise in energy prices.”
Kliesen was writing in the winter of 2000, a time when he was hoping that better policy tools by the Fed would make oil shocks and an accompanying general recession a thing of the past.
As 2008 proved, oil shocks, if anything, have a greater impact then they did previously.
Inflation in oil is not just a bad thing; it’s the worst of all possible things.
Don’t ask the Fed about inflation in oil. They think things are great.
Ask the consumer.
Because we are decidedly less sanguine about high energy prices.
And so is the economy.
Last Edited: September 18, 2014, 9:40 am
September 17, 2014, 10:41 amHillary Clinton: A Profile In Failure
Hillary Clinton: A Profile In Failure
Donald Lambro | Sep 17, 2014
WASHINGTON - The nightly news shows made it very clear this week that they've gotten behind Hillary Clinton's expected 2016 campaign for president.
The network news programs gave Clinton's trip to Iowa the gushing, royal treatment on Sunday, repeating it again on Monday, as she appeared before a throng of cheering Democrats where her party's first presidential nominating caucuses will be held. The coverage of her speech, which was loaded with empty platitudes and little else that was newsworthy, bordered on the worshipful.That she has the 2016 Democratic nomination virtually sewed up at this juncture tells us everything we need to know about the sad state of the Democratic Party today.
She is manifestly ill-equipped to be president and has shown no talents to be a chief executive of anything, let alone the most powerful nation on the face of the earth.
No one can name a major achievement in her career as First Lady, senator from New York, or Secretary of State. Indeed, her role in all three jobs has been marked by failure, incompetence and grandstanding.
When President Clinton put her in charge of health care reform, she glued together a hopelessly incomprehensible Rube Goldberg contraption that no one could understand, or that could pass muster within her own party on Capitol Hill.
Republicans hit the road, making its defeat their No. 1 issue, and it wasn't a hard sell.
I remember a newsmaker health care panel I chaired at the time to discuss her plan, and the chief lobbyist of the politically powerful AARP told me it was so complicated and murky even he couldn't fully understand how it would work.
Her plan was so bad, House Democratic leaders never even brought it up for a vote in committee, let alone bring it to the House floor. It was a humiliating experience for the Clinton administration and a devastating defeat for a First Lady who was clearly in over her head on health policy.
But the little-known fact about Hillary's years in the White House was that she was often at odds with her husband over key issues and policies.
During that time, President Clinton worked closely with the centrist-leaning Democratic Leadership Council which he had chaired during his time as governor. Their agenda was focused on expanding trade, reforming welfare, and championing non-union, charter school, education reforms -- positions that were fiercely opposed by the party's liberal base.
DLC leaders at the time told me that Hillary, who was far more liberal than her husband, opposed their centrist agenda within the White House.
Obviously, Clinton dismissed her complaints when he expanded the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed Republican legislation cutting the capital gains tax, and enacted the GOP's welfare-to-work reforms.
Then came Hillary's Senate years, choosing to run in the overwhelmingly Democratic state of New York, not in Arkansas where she and her husband established their political careers.
Can anyone name one major legislative initiative that she made during her time as a senator? One legislative reform that she authored, fought for and managed through Congress?
Yet by 2008, she believed she was ready to run the country and lead the Free World. Democrats didn't think so.
In the first major nominating contest that year, Hillary finished a humiliating third in the Iowa caucuses -- behind Obama and then-Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. Her candidacy was seen as presumptuous and her aloof, humorless personality on the stump didn't help, either.
But President Obama made her his secretary of State, despite the fact that she had no foreign policy experience whatsoever. But, then, neither did Obama, who had been an untested freshman senator of no accomplishment for a mere three years before he ran for president.
She quickly demonstrated that she had little or no skills in foreign policy statecraft, focusing instead on making lots of speeches, and building her travel record -- leaving the details of running the State Department and its embassies and consulates to others.
That led to the deadly catastrophe in Benghazi, Libya, where our ambassador and three other Americans were killed in a terrorist attack that State Department officials initially tried to coverup as a tame Muslim protest that just got out of hand.
Numerous investigations and congressional hearings were held, revealing the heart-breaking pleas from U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens for beefed up security at the besieged consulate -- which never came.
Since she stepped down from her post at the end of Obama's first term, and after writing a book about her four years at State, Hillary's had many opportunities to address the enormous problems that afflict our country under this administration.
Start with the weak, jobless, underperforming Obama economy, about which Hillary, incredibly, has had little or nothing to say. A Pew Poll late last month found 58 percent of Americans surveyed said "jobs are difficult to find."
Median family income has fallen from $53,100 in 2007 to $46,700 in 2013. About one-third of young adults, the so-called millennials, still live with their parents. The U.S. economy is stuck in a slow growth quagmire of less than 2 percent annually.
Hillary's government-centered solution at the steak fry in Indianola, Iowa Sunday sounded almost word for word like Obama's failed agenda: "…we are for raising the minimum wage, for equal pay for equal work, for making college and technical training affordable, for growing the economy to benefit everyone."
But raising the minimum wage would kill 500,000 to one million jobs, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says. How would she produce stronger economic growth, create more jobs and raise incomes? She doesn't say.Her husband did it by cutting tax rates on investors that triggered a wave of capital investment in new businesses and pounded the unemployment rate to 4 percent. But in a party that wants to raise taxes, it's doubtful Hillary will be taking his advice.
September 16, 2014, 3:33 pmThe Only Way ...!!
September 16, 2014, 10:32 amThe remains of the first Politician
September 15, 2014, 6:08 pmI know for a fact, I WOULD BE...
September 15, 2014, 10:24 amBig Pens Prepare Coming Political Assassinations
Big Pens Prepare Coming Political Assassinations
Shawn Mitchell | Sep 15, 2014
We’re living a failing economy. Job hunters are so discouraged, tens of millions have dropped out. The world is erupting in flames. The terror threat to America is higher than any time since September 10, 2001. Democrats have no successes to point to, nothing positive to defend going into election season. Presidential approval is tanking. Obviously, America is ready for something different. Big government progressives are about to get spanked! Right? Not even close.
Look out, conservatives! With the help of ignorant or malicious national Big Pens and Big Hairs who wouldn’t know the benefits of Constitutional freedom if it bit them in the amicus, you’re about to get painted as the biggest racists, sexists, class-snob robber barons the world has ever known. We’re talking America before civil rights; matrimony before female inheritance and voting rights; class castes before Social Security and food stamps. You horrible non-liberals won’t rest until everyone who isn’t a rich, white, heterosexual, property owning male is hungry, uninsured, unemployed, and socially oppressed.
It’s an old but successful playbook. When Paul Ryan burst on the scene as the VP nominee, with creative ideas on the budget, fighting poverty, and sparking the economy that was dying under Obama, the president displayed his customary grace by accusing Republicans of peddling "trickle-down fairy dust." The media obligingly piled on with stories about Romney’s wealth and Ryan’s tiny nicks in the massive entitlement empire as if they were the end of economic progress.
They protected Progressive dogma and liberal economic fraud in the same way they protected Obama’s foreign policy frauds. The latter have burst into such a disastrous fireball, there’s barely public or media attention left for the former. Nevertheless, there’s domestic economic suffering aplenty.
To preview the coming election/policy debates, let’s consider one class warfare staple: “Trickle down economics.” Strictly speaking, that taunt has always been an incoherent mess.
People get wealthy by persuading consumers to buy their products and services. It’s actually trickle up economics. Goods and services flow to consumers; payment flows to suppliers. And, entrepreneurs usually hire and benefit a lot of workers along the way.
“Trickle down economics”--what does it mean? That if we don't tax the snot out of the rich, maybe they'll pour some spare pennies down on the heads of the poor? Nonsense. Beyond achieving a miserly-sounding sneer, the pairing is exactly wrong in at least three different ways.
First, the wealthy don’t actually trickle anything down on anyone. They pay for things they need and want, with whatever effects that produces in the economy. What progressives seem to prefer is a system to wring the rich like a wet towel and politically drizzle the money on the needy—what’s left, anyway, after government waters its favored causes and cronies.
That's the approach of the shake-down state economies of the Euro-moribund zone and of the great Peron-Castro-Chavez banana republic tradition. You know, where strongmen gain power, neutralize competing power centers--like checks and balances—assert economic control, and chocan the fortunes and freedom of rising Latin nations. (“Chocar” doesn’t mean “to choke” but close enough).
That turns out to be the real “trickle down”: extract lots of money from the rich, feed it through the digestive tract of government and its many corrupt parasites, then dribble what’s left on the heads of the grateful, dependent poor, thus securing their suicidal votes.
It’s ruined a number of nations and threatens to ruin America.
Come to think, “trickle down economics” also reasonably describes the redistributive obsession and promises President Obama has powerfully and empirically debunked in an exhaustive six year field study. Jobs down. Dependency way up. Inequality up. Bravo, Mr. President! Thank you for historically vindicating the historically consequential Reaganism you hoped to erase from the textbooks.
Second, what liberals call “trickle down” is just good ole’ “supply side" or “free market” economics. It means human freedom in commercial activity. Get out of the way of people’s pursuit of happiness and gainful labor, so free exchange and economic growth can build prosperity. Investors, entrepreneurs, managers, and workers build enterprises that hire employees to market goods and services to willing buyers. Prosperity and opportunity spread out from there.
Third, interestingly, if any vertical metaphor makes sense here, it’s not “down,” but “up.” “Trickle up economics” describes free enterprise far better than “trickle down.” The way to build wealth in a free economy is to satisfy the market, as in consumers. That is, to get rich you have to offer goods or services for which A) people are willing to pay you; B) a price higher than your cost of providing; and C) in sufficient quantity that profits proliferate. And your offer has to be more attractive than your other competitors’.
If people get wealthy in a free economy, it's because the wealth trickles up as a result of others’ free choices pursuing their own benefit. All the related suppliers, employees, contractors and others also gain from the same flowing currents of wealth generation. Apart from charitable giving--a different subject--the rich don’t pour or trickle anything down on less fortunate heads; rather the middle and working classes earn income in the streams that trickle up toward success.
Ever since this silly insult first trickled harmlessly off Ronald Reagan’s Teflon, its logic has been amiss. But it is all the liberal establishment has left.
September 13, 2014, 7:07 pmThe Post Obama Recovery Begins Here
The Post Obama Recovery Begins Here
John Ransom | Sep 13, 2014
If Americans want some cheap fuel for the economy, it would be best to vote GOP this time around because only the GOP has a plan for inexpensive, reliable domestic energy production. Combined with a lifting of restrictions on exportation of unrefined oil, fuel prices could be significantly lower than they are now.
And where they are now—lower—has helped the economy greatly in the last month.
For years I’ve puzzled over how so many Americans have lost the connection between inexpensive, reliable energy sources and a robust economy. But this month’s retail sales numbers make the connection clear. Retail sales were up in line with expectations. The rise in sales largely reflected lower gas prices, which meant that more money was available to consumers to spend on something besides fuel.
“U.S. retail sales rose in August as Americans bought automobiles and a range of other goods,” reports Reuters, “which should ease some concerns about consumer spending and support expectations for sturdy growth in the third quarter…. While sales at service stations fell 0.8 percent, that reflected declining gasoline prices, which should free up income and support discretionary spending in the months ahead.”
While the economy has adjusted to the reality of higher gas prices and higher taxes under Obama, an economy that has lower gas prices and lower taxes does better than one that does not. Money moves from fuel costs and tax receipts when those costs go down into, say, electronics purchases like the iPhone 6.
That’s simple math and common sense.
That of course is why the GOP skunks the Democrats when it comes to energy policy: math and common sense are never liberal strong suits.
If you want an overarching bureaucracy dedicated to slowing down the economy, sapping its vitality and drive, and denying consumers choice in the marketplace, then the Democrats are definitely for you.
That’s been fairly obvious since 2006.
But if you want the best post-Obama recovery the world will ever see, then vote GOP.
Since Obama was elected in 2008, a revolution in energy has transformed the world. The United States has never, ever had more proven reserves of cheap so-called fossil fuels. Even with the government doing all it can to stop energy production, there is a massive glut of some types of oil because refineries are running at capacity to process that fuel. To some extent however this increase in production here at home has yet to be felt in worldwide oil markets. The oil produced here at home won’t go into the open market, but will stay here due to the oil exportation ban.
We can buy oil from foreigners; we just can’t sell them oil.
Yeah, the ban is stupid; the ban is shortsighted; the ban is non-economical. And that of course is why the Democrats like it.
If there were a single policy area that our next president could concentrate on to right our economy it would be in supporting domestic energy production. And lower taxes. And repealing Obamacare. And reforming welfare. Oh, and don’t forget education: fixing education would be huge. We could also use labor union reform to be honest with you. And a better funded military.
So please, vote GOP.
September 13, 2014, 10:32 amShovel Ready Creations.
September 12, 2014, 9:45 amPost-9/11: Protect the Freedom To Warn
Post-9/11: Protect the Freedom To Warn
Michelle Malkin | Sep 12, 2014
"If you see something, say something." That's what our homeland security apparatchiks incessantly preach. But 13 years after the 9/11 attacks, the freedom to warn is in danger and vigilant whistleblowers are under fire.
Listen to Robert MacLean. He's a former Air Force nuclear weapons specialist and Border Patrol agent recruited by the government to serve as one of the first federal air marshals after 9/11.
In 2003, MacLean underwent emergency training to prepare for a new round of al-Qaida hijacking threats. Jihadists exploiting visa and screening loopholes had planned to target East Coast airliners, according to intelligence analysts. For unknown reasons, however, the Transportation Security Administration abruptly called off air marshals from duty on nonstop, long-distance flights -- just two days before the anticipated hijacking.
How did they notify the air marshals? Cue the Keystone Cops. "TSA chose to send the unlabeled text message to our unsecured Nokia 3310 cellular phones instead of our $22 million encrypted smart phone system. There were no markings or secrecy restrictions on the message," MacLean recounted to Congress this week. "We all thought it was a joke given the special training we had just received and the post-9/11 law that nonstop long-distance flights were a priority."
A supervisor told MacLean the agency was broke and there was nothing he could do. Appalled at both the dangerous pullback and the reckless way in which the feds notified the air marshals, MacLean then contacted his department's inspector general hotline and was warned he would be "cutting (his) career short if (he) pursued the issue further." Instead, he went to the press and made his homeland security concerns public. In 2006, MacLean was fired.
More than a decade later, the dedicated security expert has battled the feds who retaliated against him. He was forced into bankruptcy and shut out of law enforcement jobs. His legal case heads to the Supreme Court this fall. God bless him. Despite the consequences, MacLean would do it all again in a heartbeat.
"I blew the whistle because I had to," he testified this week. "I could not live with the tragedy risked if I had been the cynical silent observer."
MacLean is not alone. Do you remember 10 years ago when then-Federal Air Marshal Service Director Thomas Quinn refused to allow his employees to dress undercover? Quinn, a former Secret Service agent, insisted that air marshals abide by military-style grooming standards and a rigid business dress policy regardless of weather, time of year or seating arrangement. Yes, really. Marshals were ordered to dress like characters straight out of "Men in Black" -- leaving them vulnerable to terrorist identification.
Critics of the code dubbed Quinn the Captain Queeg of homeland security. He even assigned fashion police to enforce the rules his own spokesman denied existed. Homeland security bureaucrats in Washington back then downplayed the marshals' complaints about the dress policy and other directives and leaks that undermined the marshals' anonymity.
Officials at headquarters smeared the messengers inside and outside the agency and denied any wrongdoing. One top special agent in charge of the marshals' Atlanta office, Don Strange, was fired after criticizing the dress code and boarding procedures that made the marshals' identities obvious. Another agent, Frank Terreri, faced retaliation for whistleblowing and was forced to sue to protect his job.
Today, the Federal Air Marshal program remains riddled with mismanagement, corruption and neglect. In April, FAM Director Robert Bray resigned amid an embarrassing gun scheme probe. And earlier this year, six of 24 air marshal offices closed, and hiring was frozen in Las Vegas, Seattle and Denver. Yet, according to one of my sources, "the last class of air marshals graduated from the academy in 2012. The service has not hired any mission-flying FAMs since. In that same time frame, they have promoted or hired over 300 people, and continue to do so, for supervisory and administrative duties. Almost every supervisory position includes a paid move and a yearly salary of $100,000."
Every 9/11, pundits talk about how "everything changed" after the attacks. But the homeland security bureaucracy is as petty, vindictive, wasteful and stupid as ever.
Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 11, 2014, 10:30 pmWhat else would you expect ?
September 11, 2014, 9:51 amSuccess or Failure?
Success or Failure?
Thomas Sowell | Sep 11, 2014
First the strategy -- which is to get each crisis off the front pages and off television news programs as quickly as he can, in whatever way he can, at the lowest political cost. Calling ISIS a junior varsity months ago accomplished that goal.
Saying before the 2012 elections that "bin Laden is dead" and that terrorism was defeated accomplished the goal of getting reelected.
Ineffective sanctions against Iran and Russia likewise serve a clear purpose. They serve to give the illusion that Obama is doing something that will stop Iran from getting nuclear bombs and stop Russia from invading Ukraine.
This forestalls the massive and enraged outcries there would be if the public were fully aware that he was doing nothing serious enough to prevent either of these things from happening. Generations of Americans yet unborn may curse us all for leaving them hostage to a nuclear terrorist Iran. But generations yet unborn do not vote, so they carry no weight with Barack Obama.
No one has a perfect batting average in any field, so Obama has been caught in some dicey situations, such as the sudden eruption of ISIS on the world stage, with their videotaped beheadings that make it hard to get them off the front pages and off the TV newscasts.
Caught off guard, the president has played for time -- time for Iraq to get its internal politics fixed, time for our allies to come together, time for the military to create a strategy. Ideally, from his standpoint, time for the whole ISIS crisis to blow over.
There is always someone else to blame for whatever goes wrong in the Obama administration. Supposedly the intelligence services had not kept him informed about how imminent the ISIS threat was. But others who received top-secret briefings by the intelligence services say otherwise.
Some people are wondering how someone of obvious intelligence like Barack Obama could be so mistaken about so many things, especially in deadly foreign policy issues. But there is no way of knowing whether anyone is succeeding or failing without first knowing what they are trying to do.
If you assume that Barack Obama is trying to protect the safety and interests of the United States and its allies, then clearly he has been a monumental failure. It is hard to think of any part of the world where things have gotten better for us since the Obama administration began.
Certainly not in Iraq. Or Iran. Or Libya. Or China. Things went from bad to worse after Obama intervened in Egypt and helped put the murderous Muslim Brotherhood in power. Fortunately for Egypt -- and for the whole Middle East -- the Egyptian military took the Muslim Brotherhood out of power, in defiance of Obama.
If you start from the assumption that Barack Obama wanted to advance America's interests, this is truly an unbelievable record of failure. But what is there in Obama's background that would justify the assumption that America's best interests are his goal?
He has, from childhood on, been mentored by, or allied with, people hostile to the United States and to American values. His mentors and allies have all been very much like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, even if they were not as flamboyant.
Barack Obama has succeeded in reducing America's military strength while our adversaries are increasing theirs, and reducing our credibility and influence with our allies. That is completely consistent with his vision of how the world ought to be, with the West taken down a peg and humbled.
We are currently at a point where we can either kill as many of the ISIS terrorists as possible over there -- where they are bunched together and visible against a desert background -- or else leave the job half done and have them come over here, where they will be hard to find, and can start beheading Americans in America.
Everything in Barack Obama's history suggests that he is going to leave the job half done, so long as that gets the issue off the front pages and off the TV newscasts.
September 10, 2014, 9:06 pmHold On, Mr. President
Hold On, Mr. President
John Stossel | Sep 10, 2014
"Do you have a strategy now, Mr. President?" asked the cover of the Daily News next to a photo of the second American journalist to be beheaded by the terrorist group ISIS.
The impulse to "do something" to counter such evil is strong.
But why do we assume that government doing something is always an improvement over government doing nothing?
In domestic policy, encouraging government to act leads to nonsense like the "stimulus spending" that created boondoggles such as Cash for Clunkers.
Our foreign policy record isn't much better, despite big successes such as stopping Hitler. Consider the unintended consequences of involving ourselves in other conflicts, such as Vietnam.
President Carter, now derided as a weakling, wasn't about to sit around and "do nothing" when Russians invaded Afghanistan. Carter armed Islamic fighters, the mujahidin. Bold move.
But later those fighters formed the Taliban.
President Clinton lobbed missiles at al-Qaida without doing much damage. Osama bin Laden mocked the U.S. as a "paper tiger" for such ineffectual tactics.
When President George W. Bush chose to go to war with Saddam Hussein, Vice President Cheney assured the world we'd be hailed as "liberators." After we weren't, hawks said the invasion still made the world safer, because Saddam harbored terrorists.
Well, Iraq is definitely a harbor for terrorists now.
Despite our frequent military interventions from Southeast Asia to Latin America, in the Wall Street Journal, Brookings Institution foreign policy analyst Robert Kagan warns about "America's dangerous aversion to conflict."
Aversion to conflict?
I too get frustrated watching evildoers abuse Americans overseas. Maybe the plan to "train and equip" certain tribes and eventually "destroy ISIS" that President Obama will speak about tonight will be a good thing.
But I'm skeptical.
After the toppling of Saddam, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice thought it was smart to support Sunni militants who wanted to fight al-Qaida. But now it's Sunni militants who lead ISIS.
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton thought it was smart to aid Islamist militias in Syria and Libya. In Libya, "A monstrous little dictator was removed," writes Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal, but that "left an opening for people who were more monstrous still, who murdered our ambassador, burned our consulate in Benghazi and have now run us out of Tripoli."
We may soon do an about-face and help Bashir Assad against militias we had hoped would overthrow him (a few months ago, when he was the latest in a long line of foreign leaders who hawks likened to Hitler).
We don't know what our interventions will bring. If we remove ISIS, we remove the biggest threat to terrorist cells like Hamas. Fighting these groups is like fighting Hydra, the monster from Greek mythology. Cut off one head, two more grow back.
The policy twists and turns come so fast that Americans may give up on following them all. I don't blame them: In Syria alone, there's conflict between Assad's government, the Free Syrian army, al-Qaida, Jabhat al-Nusra, the Islamic Front, Hezbollah, ISIS and so on.
Remember hawkish Sen. John McCain appearing in a photo with some Syrian fighters who turned out to be terrorists? It's hard to keep track.
One of the terrorists' goals is to get us to overreact. They understand how much it costs us. In a piece titled "The Beheadings Are Bait," Matthew Hoh from the Center for International Policy reminds readers that Osama bin Laden said, "All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaida, in order to make the generals race there and cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses."
Maybe it's time for America to stop taking the bait. Islamic militants do monstrous things all over the world. We cannot stop it all.
There may be actions we can take. Thousands of people in Iraq were rescued by airdrops of food and water. Air strikes stopped the ISIS advance.
But there is a big difference between that type of action and prolonged engagement.
The urge to "do something" is understandable. But Government can't get domestic policy right. Don't assume it gets foreign policy right.
September 10, 2014, 8:15 amHolder's DOJ Accidently Asked Republican to Spin IRS Scandal
Holder’s DOJ Accidently Asked Republican to Spin IRS Scandal
Michael Schaus | Sep 10, 2014
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Oops. Attorney General Eric Holder’s office accidently tried to concoct a PR strategy to undermine Republican Congressman Darrell Issa with… Darrell Issa’s office. According to a letter released by Issa, a Senior Communication aide to Holder (who used to work for Chuck Schummer) called the congressman’s office asking to release documents that would “undermine” the Republican investigation into the IRS scandal.
So, I repeat: Oops.
Brian Fallon, who previously spent his time in DC as an aid to Democrat Senator Chuck Schummer, apparently needs to update his rolodex. (Wait… Does anyone still use a rolodex, or should we be talking about Google “circles” and i-phone contacts?) Staff members in Issa’s office received a strange call on Friday afternoon of last week when Brian called, asking to release “specific documents” before the “majority” (those are Republicans, by the way) had a chance to comment on them.
Frank Underwood, I’m sure, is shaking his head in disappointment at such a rookie mistake, Brian.
In short, Holder’s aide called up Issa’s office asking to undermine Republicans in their investigation into the IRS targeting scandal… It’s a pretty safe assumption that poor little Brian tried to call Elijah Cummings, who is the ranking Democrat on the Oversight Committee. After all, reports have been mysteriously appearing in the Press before the Committee makes them public, and it’s highly unlikely that the leading Republican would be damaging his own case. I guess up until now it has been a complete and total mystery as to how such information was leaked… But we could probably take some guesses.
After requesting that a few select documents be leaked to the press, and some PR spin be liberally applied, Brian apparently realized his mistake. It’s still unclear when Brian might have realized he misdialed… Maybe it was when Issa’s staff asked for such odd (and questionably moral) requests to be put in writing, or maybe it just took the brilliant DOJ aide several minutes to process the words “Darrel Issa’s office, how can I help you?”
Either way, the hapless Holder-helper abruptly put Issa’s staffers on hold… For three minutes.
After a short commercial break, the loveable lug from the DOJ got back on the line with a very witty (albeit unnerved) explanation that he was trying to “work together” with the committee… It’s only laughable because Eric Holder was recently found to be in contempt of Congress for ignoring the will of the House.
So, let’s recap:
A DOJ aide accidently called the ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee; then he asked that a handful of documents be released to “select” reporters in an effort to get “in front of” Republicans on the issue; then he put staffers on hold; then he came back (audibly shaken) and blabbered about “working together”.
Yeah. This sounds legit.
Good thing Brian wasn’t around when Holder was running guns to Mexico… Who knows what kind of calls Issa’s office would be getting on Friday afternoons