Eliana Johnson writes: Shmuley Boteach, the outspoken Orthodox rabbi, is going up with a full-page advertisement in Tuesday’s Washington Post blasting the president for negotiating with Iran and pleading with him not to strike a deal with the ayatollah.
“Fighting al-Qaeda made you like Churchill,” the ad’s headline reads. “Appeasing Iran will make you like Chamberlain.” A photograph of former British prime minister Neville Chamberlain, waving the infamous Munich agreement over his head, along with the New York Times’s coverage of the moment in 1938, are superimposed over Obama’s face. The Times, the ad notes, endorsed the Munich agreement as “the price of peace.”
“We look to you as the leader of the free world and our friend. to understand that Jews today are being murdered around the globe. We need you to stand up for us.”
“The price of peace,” it says, “turned out to be 60 million lives.”
The ad, which is paid for by the World Values Network, an organization founded by Boteach and intended to foster Jewish values, also says that even those awed by the president’s resolve in foreign affairs are now “mystified” by his “willingness to appease” Iran. Read the rest of this entry »
The Obama administration refuses to negotiate openly, lest the extent of its diplomatic surrender to Iran be prematurely and fatally exposed.
“We know they don’t need to have an underground, fortified facility like Fordo in order to have a peaceful program,” Mr. Obama said of the Iranians in an interview with Haim Saban, the Israeli-American billionaire philanthropist. “They certainly don’t need a heavy-water reactor at Arak in order to have a peaceful nuclear program. They don’t need some of the advanced centrifuges that they currently possess in order to have a limited, peaceful nuclear program.”
Hardly more than a year later, on the eve of what might be deal-day, here is where those promises stand:
Fordo: “The United States is considering letting Tehran run hundreds of centrifuges at a once-secret, fortified underground bunker in exchange for limits on centrifuge work and research and development at other sites.”—Associated Press, March 26.
Arak: “Today, the six powers negotiating with Iran . . . want the reactor at Arak, still under construction, reconfigured to produce less plutonium, the other bomb fuel.”—The New York Times, March 7.
Advanced centrifuges: “Iran is building about 3,000 advanced uranium-enrichment centrifuges, the Iranian news media reported Sunday, a development likely to add to Western concerns about Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.”—Reuters, March 3.
But the president and his administration made other promises, too. Consider a partial list:
Possible military dimensions: In September 2009 Mr. Obama warned Iran that it was “on notice” that it would have to “come clean” on all of its nuclear secrets. Now the administration is prepared to let it slide.
“It was never especially probable that a detailed, satisfactory verification regime would be included in the sort of substantive framework agreement that the Americans have been working for.”
– The Economist
“Under the new plan,” The Wall Street Journal’s Jay Solomon and Laurence Norman reported last week, “Tehran wouldn’t be expected to immediately clarify all the outstanding questions raised by the IAEA in a 2011 report on Iran’s alleged secretive work. A full reckoning of Iran’s past activities would be demanded in later years as part of a nuclear deal that is expected to last at least 15 years.”
Verification: Another thing the president said in that interview with Mr. Saban is that any deal would involve “extraordinary constraints and verification mechanisms and intrusive inspections.”
Iran isn’t playing ball on this one, either. Read the rest of this entry »
Congress should heed Hamilton’s warning before it is too late
“An ambitious man might make his own aggrandizement, by the aid of a foreign power, the price of his treachery to his constituents.”
Hamilton, while a supporter of executive power, nevertheless argued for the Senate’s treaty role, because “it would be utterly unsafe and improper to intrust that power to an elective magistrate of four years’ duration.”
“An avaricious man might be tempted to betray the interests of the state to the acquisition of wealth.”
It would be unsafe, he said, because even the most virtuous individuals, with the best of intentions, would fall prey to the temptations that negotiations with foreign powers would certainly provide.
How much more so does his advice apply to a president of lesser virtue, such as Barack Obama, who intends to decrease the power of the United States as a matter of ideological conviction, and who seeks narcissistic satisfaction in the attention a deal with Iran would temporarily provide!
Hamilton also anticipated the greed allegedly displayed by Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, whose perambulations around the globe in service of the president’s dubious foreign policy agenda coincided with generous donations from foreign governments to her family’s personal foundation. Read the rest of this entry »
Colin Chocola and Benny Johnson write: Bruce Wayne, better known as Batman, is the world’s greatest detective. He protects his realm, Gotham, from criminals that range from street thugs, corporate cronies, and masterminds like Joker.
What’s set him apart from other crime fighters is his lifestyle which aligns with a distinct moral code. As Bruce Wayne by day and Batman by night, he shares the dual characteristics of a conservative and a libertarian, or more elegantly, ‘Conservatarian.’
[Check out Charles C. W. Cooke‘s new book: “The Conservatarian Manifesto: Libertarians, Conservatives, and the Fight for the Right’s Future” at Amazon.com]
National Review columnist Charles Cooke is the foremost expert on Conservatarianism and has recently published a book on the hybrid political ideology. Cooke thinks Batman is a hallmark example of a Conservatarian. He tells IJReview:
Nobody as mysterious as Batman could ever quite be pinned down into a political movement, but there is a great deal about him that is Conservatarian. Batman takes care of his own city instead of looking to the state, he does not permit wishful thinking to intrude on reality, and, like a model public servant, he shrinks from view when his job is done.
If the opinion of this expert is not enough for you, here are nine more, iron-clad reasons why the Dark Knight is inarguably Conservatarian.
Also see – Can Libertarians and Conservatives Coexist? An Interview With Charles C.W. Cooke – thefederalist.com]
1. Batman is an Industrialist Playboy
Bruce Wayne is a Capitalist. He is the sole heir to a multinational enterprise that specializes in everything from bio-tech to transportation. When re-entering the company as an adult, he quickly fires the crony board leaders, takes the company public and makes Lucius Fox the CEO. Wayne stands up for free enterprise, his companies produce products people want, he provides thousands of jobs and does it without heavy reliance on government. Forbes lists Wayne Enterprises, with revenues of $31 billion, as the 11th richest fictional corporation in the world.
Wayne also has no problem buying a luxury hotel so the models he’s with can swim in the lobby pool.
2. Batman is a Philanthropist
Conservatives are more generous than liberals. The Wayne fortune has funded Gotham’s hospitals, orphanages and its monorail system. Wayne Enterprise is a multinational operation, but its charitable focus remains within the limits of Gotham. Like other charitable conservatives, the Wayne Foundation took the initiative to aid the public’s need instead relying for the government to take responsibility.
3. Batman Manufacturers Military Grade Weapons, Is An Arms Dealer
Batman chooses not to use firearms, but manufactures and wields high-tech weaponry developed by Wayne Enterprises. “He is not seduced by utopian nonsense,” Charles Cooke says, “He needs to defend the innocent and will do so with force.” Along with employing his weaponry as a vigilante, Wayne also signs contracts with the U.S. military for advanced technology and weapons development. Read the rest of this entry »
THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Journalists and Investigators Detect Disturbing Smell Leading to Clinton Aide’s Secret Spy NetworkPosted: March 28, 2015
Emails disclosed by a hacker show a close family friend was funneling intelligence about the crisis in Libya directly to the Secretary of State’s private account starting before the Benghazi attack.
“Blumenthal’s emails to Clinton, which were directed to her private email account, include at least a dozen detailed reports on events on the deteriorating political and security climate in Libya as well as events in other nations.”
Jeff Gerth and Sam Biddle report: Starting weeks before Islamic militants attacked the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, longtime Clinton family confidante Sidney Blumenthal supplied intelligence to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gathered by a secret network that included a former CIA clandestine service officer, according to hacked emails from Blumenthal’s account.
They came to light after a hacker broke into Blumenthal’s account and have taken on new significance in light of the disclosure that she conducted State Department and personal business exclusively over an email server that she controlled and kept secret from State Department officials and which only recently was discovered by congressional investigators.
The emails, which were posted on the internet in 2013, also show that Blumenthal and another close Clinton associate discussed contracting with a retired Army special operations commander to put operatives on the ground near the Libya-Tunisia border while Libya’s civil war raged in 2011.
Blumenthal’s emails to Clinton, which were directed to her private email account, include at least a dozen detailed reports on events on the deteriorating political and security climate in Libya as well as events in other nations. They came to light after a hacker broke into Blumenthal’s account and have taken on new significance in light of the disclosure that she conducted State Department and personal business exclusively over an email server that she controlled and kept secret from State Department officials and which only recently was discovered by congressional investigators.
“The contents of the memos, which have recently become the subject of speculation in the right-wing media, raise new questions about how Clinton used her private email account and whether she tapped into an undisclosed back channel for information on Libya’s crisis and other foreign policy matters.”
The contents of that account are now being sought by a congressional inquiry into the Benghazi attacks. Clinton has handed over more than 30,000 pages of her emails to the State Department, after unilaterally deciding which ones involved government business; the State Department has so far handed almost 900 pages of those over to the committee. A Clinton spokesman told Gawker and ProPublica (which are collaborating on this story) that she has turned over all the emails Blumenthal sent to Clinton.
The dispatches from Blumenthal to Clinton’s private email address were posted online after Blumenthal’s account was hacked in 2013 by Romanian hacker Marcel-Lehel Lazar, who went by the name Guccifer. Lazar also broke into accounts belonging to George W. Bush’s sister, Colin Powell, and others. He’s now serving a seven-year sentence in his home country and was charged in a U.S. indictment last year. Read the rest of this entry »
…After her representatives determined which emails were government-related and which were private, a setting on the account was changed to retain only emails sent in the previous 60 days, her lawyer, David Kendall, said. He said the setting was altered after she gave the records to the government.
— John Sexton (@verumserum) March 28, 2015
“Not only was the secretary the sole arbiter of what was a public record, she also summarily decided to delete all emails from her server, ensuring no one could check behind her analysis in the public interest.”
– Committee’s chairman Trey Gowdy
“Thus, there are no firstname.lastname@example.org emails from Secretary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state on the server for any review, even if such review were appropriate or legally authorized,” Mr. Kendall said in a letter to the House select committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
The committee subpoenaed the server this month, asking Mrs. Clinton to hand it over to a third party so it could determine which emails were personal and which were government records.
At a news conference this month, Mrs. Clinton appeared to provide two answers about whether she still had copies of her emails. First, she said that she “chose not to keep” her private personal emails after her lawyers had examined the account and determined on their own which ones were personal and which were State Department records. But later, she said that the server, which contained personal communication by her and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, “will remain private.” The server was kept at their home in Chappaqua, N.Y., which is protected around the clock by the Secret Service.
“She’s ready and willing to come and appear herself for a hearing open to the American public.”
– A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton
Mrs. Clinton’s disclosure on Friday only heightened suspicions by the committee’s chairman, Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, about how she handled her emails, and it is likely to lead to more tension between her and the committee. Read the rest of this entry »
A member of Gombe State House of Assembly, Alhaji Umar Aminu (APC), and eight others are feared killed by insurgents on Saturday. The insurgents who attacked Dukku and Nafada local government areas of the state were said to have killed the lawmaker representing Dukku South Constituency.
A source told newsmen that the insurgents, who came from Yobe, initially attacked Shole, Birin Bolewa and Birin Fulani towns of Nafada and later attacked Dukku. There was confusion in the two areas as some voters left the polling units but others later returned to be accredited, the source said.
According to the source, the insurgents killed three persons in Nafada Local Government Area, including a policeman and killed six persons in Dukku Local Government Area, including the legislator.
The source further said the insurgents left on the Dukku-Darazo road after the attack.
DSP Fwaje Atajiri, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, confirmed the report, adding that details of the incident would be given after investigations were completed. “There was an attack on the outskirts of Nafada in attempt to disrupt the elections.”
A joint team of military and policemen promptly moved to Dukku and pushed the insurgents to the bush,” he said. Atajiri said elections were going on in the area and other areas of the state as the Special Forces were in control of the situation. Read the rest of this entry »
From The Corner:
Charles Krauthammer said he knew it was impolite to speak ill of the dead, but since Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) was simply retiring, the syndicated columnist said he did not feel quite so constrained.
“I do think he was a disgrace to his own institution because he emasculated it in the name of protecting the president and trying to re-elect Democrats. He didn’t succeed because he essentially shut down the Senate as soon as Republicans took the House in 2010.”
“Harry, we hardly knew ye, and what we did know we didn’t like,” Krauthammer said on Special Report…(read more)
Hillary Clinton wiped “clean” the private server housing emails from her tenure as secretary of state, the chairman of the House committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi said Friday.
Clinton was under a subpoena order from the Select Committee on Benghazi for all documents related to the 2012 attacks on the American compound there. But David Kendall, an attorney for Clinton, said the 900 pages of emails previously provided to the panel cover its request.
Senator Harry Reid, the tough tactician who has led Senate Democrats since 2005, will not seek re-election next year, bringing an end to a three-decade congressional career that culminated with his push of President Obama’s ambitious agenda against fierce Republican resistance.
Mr. Reid, 75, who suffered serious eye and facial injuries in a Jan. 1 exercise accident at his Las Vegas home, said he had been contemplating retiring from the Senate for months. He said his decision was not attributable either to the accident or to his demotion to minority leader after Democrats lost the majority in November’s midterm elections.
“I understand this place,” Mr. Reid said. “I have quite a bit of power as minority leader.”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee responds to Harry Reid’s retirement:
“On the verge of losing his own election and after losing the majority, Senator Harry Reid has decided to hang up his rusty spurs. Not only does Reid instantly become irrelevant and a lame duck, his retirement signals that there is no hope for the Democrats to regain control of the Senate. With the exception of Reid, every elected statewide official in Nevada is Republican and this race is the top pickup opportunity for the GOP.”
Hot Air‘s Ed Morrissey comments:
“…The contrast of Reid’s obstructionism on budgets through most of his reign and the easy way in which Republicans settled back into normal order would have proved embarrassing when the GOP used it on the campaign trail next year, and Reid would have become the poster boy for the kind of dysfunction voters would get if they chose Democrats in Senate races.
Now, after announcing his retirement, Reid’s clout will recede even further. A Minority Leader who doesn’t plan on running again will hold fewer cards for whipping his caucus into line. Other Democrats will look to those who will control committee assignments in future sessions, and the jockeying for leadership slots will necessarily push Reid to the sidelines. Procedurally, Reid might be able to cause some problems, but the more he does that the more he damages Democrats in the next election cycle, especially to the extent that it’s seen as running interference for a lame-duck President who suffered two successive midterm disasters. Read the rest of this entry »
CBCNews: Hillary Clinton gets her own ready-for-action figure
[VIDEO] Mrs Amina Namadi, Wife of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Seen Buying Votes with Cash on Live TVPosted: March 26, 2015
Wife of the vice president of Nigeria, Hajiya Amina Namadi Sambo, was seen sharing money on live television to sway voters during the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) women presidential campaign rally on Tuesday in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi state.
The House on Wednesday approved a $3.8 trillion spending plan for fiscal 2016 that balances the budget in a decade, reforms Medicare and Medicaid, and eliminates Obamacare.
The resolution passed by a vote of 228 to 199, and over the objections of some conservatives who opposed additional defense money because it would increase funding for a special defense spending account that does not require reductions elsewhere in the budget.
Lawmakers passed the budget after hours of debate on a half-dozen spending plans, three from Democrats and three from Republicans.
The GOP gave their rank and file the choice of voting for a budget blueprint that did not boost defense spending.
But that measure had little chance of passing because 77 defense-minded Republicans, citing the threat of terrorism at home and abroad, pledged to vote against it.
They cited warnings from the military that the current funding levels are too low to maintain the nation’s defense.
Some fiscal conservatives decided to back the measure with extra defense funding, authored by House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, R-Ga., because the proposal includes a a bigger priority for the far Right: A provision that would make it easier for the Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act with 51 votes, instead of 60.
The Senate is expected to approve its own budget blueprint early Friday morning. The plan is similar to the House version but not identical, so the two plans will have to be merged in a conference committee in April, when Congress returns from the two-week Easter recess. Read the rest of this entry »
In a statement ABC’s Jon Karl found “astounding,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest continued to call the United States’s activities in Yemen as a “model” for counter-terrorism — even as the Arabic nation’s government collapses and international terrorist groups move in.
“The White House does continue to believe that a successful counter-terrorism strategy is one that will build up the capacity of the central government to have local fighters on the ground to take the fight to extremists in their own country. That is a template that has succeeded in mitigating the threat that we face from extremists in place like Yemen and Somalia.”
As al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula gained power in Yemen’s north over the past few years, the Obama administration responded with a relatively hands-off approach. The U.S. government helped build up, support and train government forces fighting the terrorists while providing air reconnaissance and, occasionally, drone strikes against high-value targets in the country.
It was a plan that the Obama administration frequently held up as a successful example of U.S. counter-terrorism strategy. But as Shi’ite Houthi rebels continue to drive the Yemeni government from power, and fighters from the al-Qaida and the Islamic State conduct terrorist attacks and consolidate their forces, many have called the American strategy to help stabilize the nation fundamentally flawed. Read the rest of this entry »
Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had a simple explanation for the ongoing friction between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Hell hath no fury like Obama scorned.”
“Well there’s a lot going on here. I think the first thing that comes to mind is, hell hath no fury like Obama scorned.”
After Obama again ribbed Bibi over his comments on Palestinian statehood during a joint press conference with the Afghani president on Tuesday, Romney spoke with Fox News’s Neil Cavuto about the continuing spat between the American and Israeli leaders.
Romney added that part of the friction stems from a deeper source.