Time Magazine Parody cover by punditfromanotherplanet
From Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey:
Just how badly has Barack Obama and his administration damaged relations with our allies in the Middle East? NBC’s Richard Engel reports that the Sunni nations in the region have begun to fear that the Obama administration leaks intel to Iran as part of its efforts at rapprochement with the mullahs, which is why the US got blindsided by the Saudi-led coalition’s operations in Yemen. The White House’s “incoherence” in policy, Engel reports, has most of them losing confidence in American leadership, according to Engel’s contacts. (via Free Beacon):
Initially, this looked like material for an update on my earlier post regarding the Saudi-GCC coalition and its decision to work around Obama, but it deserves its own thread for a couple of reasons. First, Engel reported this for NBC, and on MSNBC, the “Lean Forward” cable channel that usually acts as a clearinghouse for Barack Obama apologists (and the occasional slam on Middle America). Engel’s not among the apologists; he’s a first-class foreign correspondent whose reports follow no partisan agenda, and whose sources have usually provided him with highly accurate reporting.
More importantly, Engel’s report advances this to an allegation of betrayal, not just incompetence. Clearly, Saudi Arabia has little confidence left in the Obama administration; that much is evident from their actions to cut the US out of the loop on this coalition. 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.
Obama doesn’t take the Iranian chant seriously. He should.
Mona Charen writes: Maybe I’m too sensitive, but when a foreign autocrat leads his people in chants of “Death to America,” I take it personally.
President Obama and Secretary Kerry apparently don’t. The chant, which became a staple of the Islamic Republic during the 1979 revolution, is not a relic of the past. Just last weekend, at a rally in Iran, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei was interrupted by the chant as he was denouncing American “lies” and “arrogance.” He smiled and responded, “Of course yes, death to America, because America is the original source of this pressure.”
Some in Iran have said that during negotiations over a nuclear deal, Iranians should downplay the “Death to America” chant, common after Friday prayers and at political rallies. But the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) rejects this advice, insisting, according to the semi-official Fars news agency, that the United States “is still the great Satan and the number-one enemy of the [Islamic] revolution, and the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation.”
Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark,) responded bluntly: “When someone chants, ‘Yes, certainly, death to America,’ we should take him at his word, and we shouldn’t put him on the path to a nuclear bomb.”
We are left to wonder at the equanimity high-ranking members of this administration show toward the unyielding hostility of the Iranian regime. Read the rest of this entry »
CBCNews: Hillary Clinton gets her own ready-for-action figure
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 »
The leader of the free world takes revenge on an ally
You’ll have to forgive President Obama. The leader of the free world is still having difficulty accepting that the Israeli people get to choose their own prime minister, never mind his preferences.
The latest White House tantrum in the wake of Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election last week took the form of a speech delivered Monday by Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, in which he declared that “an occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end.”
“Mr. Obama was counting on Mr. Netanyahu to be defeated in last week’s election, and the President did what he could to help that defeat along. But Mr. Obama’s overt hostility backfired.”
When a chief of staff speaks in public, especially as the keynote speaker at a scheduled event, the President has signed off. In this case the audience was also carefully chosen: the annual conference of J Street, a left-leaning Jewish lobbying group that has never met an Israeli concession it didn’t like. Which makes it all the more distressing that Mr. McDonough would talk about Israel in language usually associated with Palestinian terror groups.
“Instead, the President and his team seem out for revenge.”
Mr. McDonough’s remarks come amid other expressions of presidential pique—including last week’s unprecedented threat that Mr. Netanyahu’s re-election may mean an end to U.S. backing for Israel at the United Nations, and this week’s report in the Journal that the Israelis have been spying on the U.S.-Iran nuclear talks. (Israel denies it, and we don’t condone such spying, but the U.S. also shouldn’t be keeping its allies and Congress in the dark.) Not to mention the more or less constant snubs and insults directed at the Israeli prime minister by unnamed Obama officials, with one calling him a “coward.”
“So desperate is the U.S. for an Iran deal, the French look like hard-liners, hardly a consoling thought.”
Mr. Obama was counting on Mr. Netanyahu to be defeated in last week’s election, and the President did what he could to help that defeat along. But Mr. Obama’s overt hostility backfired. In the normal course of things, this would be the time for the White House to soften the rhetoric and seek to restore relationships. 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.
“What this is really about is Iran. And I think that the White House is trying to minimize Bibi Netanyahu and minimize Israel’s concerns at the the same time they’re trying to push through an agreement with Iran.”
THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Hillary Doesn’t Take Questions After Speech Promising Open Relationship with PressPosted: March 24, 2015
Forgive me for my cynicism, but that makes me think she just might not mean it
In a speech in front of a crowd full of journalists at Syracuse University on Monday, Hillary Clinton declared that she had a new hairstyle and would have a new, open relationship with the press along with it — and then didn’t take questions afterwards.
“Why not a new relationship with the press? …No more secrecy. No more zone of privacy. After all, what good did that do for me?”
“With a room full of political reporters, I thought to myself, ‘What could possibly go wrong?’” Clinton joked, apparently considering the press busting her for illegal e-mail practices that may have put national security at risk to be something to joke about…(read more)
[VIDEO] House Committee: Two Secret Service Agents Shown Driving Through an Active Bomb Threat Scene After DrinkingPosted: March 24, 2015
Despite the Secret Service’s refusal to provide video of the incident, House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz (R, Ut.) released an alternate video showing two agents driving through an active bomb threat scene after drinking, knocking over a barricade in the process.
“…Two agents suspected of being intoxicated drove through the scene, knocking over a protective barrel and passing their vehicle’s wheels within feet of the possible bomb…”
Chaffetz and his fellow lawmakers excoriated Secret Service head Joseph Clancy during a hearing on Tuesday, accusing him of trying to cover up embarrassing details of an incident that occurred outside the White House earlier this month.
On the evening of March 4, a woman dropped a package she claimed was a bomb near the White House and fled the scene. The Secret Service first bungled the response, treating it merely as a suspicious package instead of a verified bomb threat. Read the rest of this entry »
Look To Huma’s and Cheryl’s Emails
Dick Morris writes: Don’t expect a gold mine of emails on Hillary’s private account. Why not? Because she doesn’t know how to type. That’s right. She writes everything out in longhand. Really. Anyone who has spent time in meetings with her knows about her endless yellow pads.
“Anything more than a few lines were most likely written by someone else on her behalf. There’s a reason why Hillary set up and used private emails with them for official business: all the important emails were likely written by her staff. Without access to them, we won’t know what was going on.”
So her emails will most likely turn out to be very short and quick. She wouldn’t spend a lot of time pecking out long letters. No way. That’s why the Benghazi Committee needs to also look very closely at the emails on private accounts that Hillary’s closest aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, maintained. Anything more than a few lines were most likely written by someone else on her behalf. There’s a reason why Hillary set up and used private emails with them for official business: all the important emails were likely written by her staff. Without access to them, we won’t know what was going on.
The Clintons never used the White House computer for their own work. Hillary even wrote (or copied) her book manuscripts in long hand. Read the rest of this entry »
In spite of the media’s conspicuous silence on the matter, it is no secret that Saul Alinsky’s manual for “community organizers”—Rules for Radicals—exerted an immeasurable influence over the world’s most well recognized community organizer, President Barack Obama.
Thus, to understand why Obama does what he does, we need to be familiar with the vision that Alinsky delineated in his book.
Below are six ideas, six “rules,” that the Godfather of community organizing packs between the covers of Rules, ideas that Obama’s imbibed hook, line, and sinker.
(1). Politics is all about power relations, but to advance one’s power, one must couch one’s positions in the language of morality.
Community organizers are “political realists” who “see the world as it is: an arena of power politics moved primarily by perceived immediate self-interests, where morality is rhetorical rationale for expedient action and self-interest” (12).
(2). There is only three kinds of people in the world: rich and powerful oppressors, the poor and disenfranchised oppressed, and the middle-class whose apathy perpetuates the status quo.
“The world as it is” is a rather simple world. From this perspective, the world consists of but three kinds of people: “the Haves, the Have-Nots, and the Have-a-Little, Want Mores.” The Haves, possessing, as they do, all of “the power, money, food, security, and luxury,” resist the “change” necessary to relieve the Have-Nots of the “poverty, rotten housing, disease, ignorance, political impotence, and despair” from which they suffer (18).
— kerry (@Kerryepp) March 24, 2015
The Have-a-Little, Want Mores comprise what we call “the middle class.” While Alinsky believes that this group “is the genesis of creativity,” (19) he also claims that it supplies the world with its “Do-Nothings.” The Do-Nothings are those who “profess a commitment to social change for ideals of justice, equality, and opportunity, and then abstain from and discourage all effective action for change [.]” Alinsky remarks that in spite of their reputable appearances, the Do-Nothings are actually “invidious” (20).
This being so, they are as resistant to change as are the Haves.
(3). Change is brought about through relentless agitation and “trouble making” of a kind that radically disrupts society as it is.
Since both the middle and upper classes have none of the organizer’s passion for radical change, he must do his best to “stir up dissatisfaction and discontent [.]” He must “agitate to the point of conflict.” The organizer “dramatizes…injustices” and engages in “‘trouble making’ by stirring up” just those “angers, frustrations, and resentments” (117) that will eventuate in the “disorganization of the old and organization of the new” (116 emphasis original). He is determined to give rise to as much “confusion” and “fear” as possible (127).
(4). There can be no conversation between the organizer and his opponents. The latter must be depicted as being evil. Read the rest of this entry »
HOAX: ‘Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei Has Issued a Fatwa Against the Development of Nuclear Weapons’Posted: March 22, 2015
Why the Phantom Fatwa?
I wrote about President Obama’s March 19 statement on the Persian new yearin “Our Supreme Leader is a Supreme Fool.” In the statement Obama asserted: “Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has said that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon.”
It Doesn’t Exist
The fatwa, however, doesn’t exist. It has never been seen. As Andrew McCarthy explains, the fatwa is a patent hoax. Andy writes (emphasis in original): “The invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has done extensive research into compilations of Khamenei’s published fatwas…No such fatwa has ever been published.” Andy links to MEMRI’s two 2013 posts in search of the fatwa in the omitted sentence.
In a post at the Weekly Standard, Tom Joscelyn now simply asks of these gentlemen to whom the protection of our national security has been entrusted: “Produce the fatwa.” This is a perfectly reasonable request.
We heard the incessant yammering of the left about President Bush’s scrupulously accurate “16 words” in the 2003 State of the Union Address. The deal the Obama administration is about to produce with the Islamic Republic is enormously consequential. Obama and Kerry would have us believe that the fatwa they cite carries some significant weight in their case, otherwise why the repeated references to it? Yet it doesn’t exist. Read the rest of this entry »