Posted: April 19, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere | Tags: Chuck Hagel, NATO, Pentagon, Poland, Siemoniak, Tomasz Siemoniak, Ukraine, United States
For The Washington Post, FRED HIATT writes: Poland and the United States will announce next week the deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO presence in Central and Eastern Europe in response to events in Ukraine. That was the word from Poland’s defense minister, Tomasz Siemoniak, who visited The Post Friday after meeting with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Thursday.
Siemoniak said the decision has been made on a political level and that military planners are working out details. There will also be intensified cooperation in air defense, special forces, cyberdefense and other areas. Poland will play a leading regional role, “under U.S. patronage,” he said.
But the defense minister also said that any immediate NATO response to Russian aggression in Ukraine, while important, matter less than a long-term shift in the defense postures of Europe and America. The United States, having announced a “pivot” to Asia, needs to “re-pivot” to Europe, he said, and European countries that have cut back on defense spending need to reverse the trends. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 18, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, The Butcher's Notebook, U.S. News, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, CNN, Democratic, George W. Bush, Matt Bai, Nancy Pelosi, Obama, Steve Israel, United States
For Yahoo News, Matt Bai writes: So now it’s out there. After five years of studied reticence (unless they were talking privately to one another or their supporters), Democratic leaders in Washington finally went public last week with what they really think is motivating Republican opposition to Barack Obama. As Steve Israel, one of the top Democrats in Congress, told CNN’s Candy Crowley, the Republican base, “to a significant extent,” is “animated by racism.”
Just to make himself clear, Israel did allow that not all Republicans were the ideological descendants of Bull Connor. To which I’m sure his colleagues across the aisle responded, “Oh, OK. Cool then.”
Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., chairman of the DCCC, speaks at the National Press Club’s Newsmaker series on how Rep. Paul Ryan’s, R-Wis., budget will effect the midterm elections. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)
But it’s not the reaction of Republicans that Democrats should probably have some concern about. It’s the way American voters, and a lot of younger voters in particular, may view a return to the polarizing racial debate that existed before Obama was ever elected.
Note: one of Matt Bai‘s silly sentences:
“…Still, a lot of Americans who voted for Obama probably find the racism argument at least somewhat persuasive.”
A “lot”? Really? Any chance you can be more specific? Then, the deadly trio: “probably”, “at least”, and “somewhat”. Smothered in qualifiers, so weak and blurry, it undermines the author’s point. Imagine a voter thinking, “Wellllll…The Democratic Party’s opportunistic race-baiting and divisive name-calling is probably… at least….sommmeeewhat persuasive….I guess…”
Coming in an election year, and in the wake of sporadic campaigns to solidify support among women and gay voters, the sudden Democratic focus on race felt like an orchestrated talking point. Israel’s comments came just a few days after Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, suggested that racism was keeping Republicans from voting on an immigration bill. And Pelosi was reacting to a speech by the attorney general, Eric Holder, who complained to a civil rights gathering in Washington of “ugly and divisive” attacks against the administration.
“What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?” Holder, who is African-American, pointedly asked. “What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”
As far as I can tell, though, this eruption on race actually wasn’t born in the kind of strategy session where consultants lay out which issues will move which voters. What seems to have happened was something rarer: Washington Democrats, unable to suppress their frustration for a minute longer, simply blurted out what they have always believed to be true but had been reluctant to say. One catharsis emboldened the next. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 18, 2014 Filed under: U.S. News, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Daily Caller, Government shutdown, Michelle Obama, Secret Service, Twitter, United States, Wall Street Journal, White House
For The Daily Caller, Vince Coglianese writes: The White House is going to war with another fox — and this time, it’s personal.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a red fox has been causing chaos around the White House, tripping security alarms, digging up Michelle’s garden and distracting the president from his duties.
The Secret Service won’t give any details about how often the fox trips the White House’s obviously sophisticated security alarms, but rest assured, officials say, they’re watching.
President Obama was apparently “stunned” to see the fox roaming freely down the oft-photographed White House colonnade, home to the world’s shortest, but most dramatic, outdoor strolls.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 17, 2014 Filed under: Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Declaration of Independence, Democracy, George Will, James Madison, Liberty, Pacific Legal Foundation, Stephen Breyer, United States
George F. Will writes: In a 2006 interview, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said the Constitutionis “basically about” one word — “democracy” — that appears in neither that document nor the Declaration of Independence. Democracy is America’s way of allocating political power. The Constitution, however, was adopted to confine that power in order to “secure the blessings of” that which simultaneously justifies and limits democratic government — natural liberty.
The fundamental division in U.S. politics is between those who take their bearings from the individual’s right to a capacious, indeed indefinite, realm of freedom, and those whose fundamental value is the right of the majority to have its way in making rules about which specified liberties shall be respected.
Now the nation no longer lacks what it has long needed, a slender book that lucidly explains the intensity of conservatism’s disagreements with progressivism. For the many Americans who are puzzled and dismayed by the heatedness of political argument today, the message of Timothy Sandefur’s “The Conscience of the Constitution: The Declaration of Independence and the Right to Liberty” is this: The temperature of today’s politics is commensurate to the stakes of today’s argument.
The argument is between conservatives who say U.S. politics is basically about a condition, liberty, and progressives who say it is about a process, democracy. Progressives, who consider democracy the source of liberty, reverse the Founders’ premise, which was: Liberty preexists governments, which, the Declaration says, are legitimate when “instituted” to “secure” natural rights.
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Posted: April 17, 2014 Filed under: Censorship, Global, Russia | Tags: Edward Snowden, Moscow, National Security Agency, Putin, RUSSIA, Snowden, United States, Vladimir Putin
“Does Russia intercept, store, or analyze in any way the communications of millions of individuals?”
Snowden also asked if increasing “the effectiveness of intelligence or law enforcement investigations” is justification for placing societies under surveillance.
“Our intelligence efforts are strictly regulated by our law. We don’t have mass system of such interception.And according to our law it cannot exist.”
“Our special services, thank God, are strictly controlled by the society and the law, and are regulated by the law.”
(read more) National Review Online
Posted: April 17, 2014 Filed under: Humor, Mediasphere, U.S. News | Tags: al Qaeda, Ayman al Zawahiri, Comics, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Islamic terrorism, Parody, satire, Somalia, Terrorism, U.S. News & World Report, United States
WASHINGTON—Putting the nation on alert against what it has described as a “highly credible terrorist threat,” the FBI announced today that it has uncovered a plot by members of al-Qaeda to sit back and enjoy themselves while the United States collapses of its own accord.
“We vow that we will not cease sitting around and laughing it up until America is reduced to rubble.”
Multiple intelligence agencies confirmed that the militant Islamist organization and its numerous affiliates intend to carry out a massive, coordinated plan to stand aside and watch America’s increasingly rapid decline, with terrorist operatives across the globe reportedly mobilizing to take it easy, relax, and savor the spectacle as it unfolds.
“We have intercepted electronic communication indicating that al-Qaeda members are actively plotting to stay out of the way while America as we know it gradually crumbles under the weight of its own self-inflicted debt and disrepair,” FBI Deputy Director Mark F. Giuliano told the assembled press corps. “If this plan succeeds, it will leave behind a nation with a completely dysfunctional economy, collapsing infrastructure, and a catastrophic health crisis afflicting millions across the nation. We want to emphasize that this danger is very real.”
“We have intercepted electronic communication indicating that al-Qaeda members are actively plotting to stay out of the way while America as we know it gradually crumbles under the weight of its own self-inflicted debt and disrepair.”
– FBI Deputy Director Mark F. Giuliano
“And unfortunately, based on information we have from intelligence assets on the ground, this plot is already well under way,” he added.
A recently declassified CIA report confirmed that all known al-Qaeda-affiliated organizations—from Pakistan to Yemen, and from Somalia to Algeria—have been instructed to kick back and enjoy the show as the United States’ federal government, energy grid, and industrial sector are rendered impotent by internal dissent, decay, and mismanagement. According to statements made by top-level informants and corroborated by leading Western terrorism experts, if seen through to its conclusion, al-Qaeda’s current plot could wreak far more damage than the events of 9/11.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 17, 2014 Filed under: Law & Justice, Think Tank | Tags: Bureau of Land Management, Endangered Species Act, Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, Nevada, Old Testament, United States
The Rule of the Lawless
For NRO, Kevin D. Williamson writes: Deserts always feel like my natural habitat, and I am very fond of them. That being said, I have, for my sins, spent a fair amount of time in Clark County, Nev., and it is not the loveliest stretch of desert in these United States, or even in the top twelve. Protecting the pristine beauty of the sun-baked and dust-caked outskirts of Las Vegas and its charismatic fauna from grazing cattle — which the Bureau of Land Management seems to regard as an Old Testament plague — seems to me to be something less than a critical national priority. At the same time, the federal government’s fundamental responsibility, which is defending the physical security of the country, is handled with remarkable nonchalance: Millions upon millions upon millions of people have crossed our borders illegally and continue to reside within them. Cliven Bundy’s cattle are treated as trespassers, and federal agents have been dispatched to rectify that trespass; at the same time, millions of illegal aliens present within our borders are treated as an inevitability that must be accommodated. In practice, our national borders are a joke, but the borders of that arid haven upon which ambles the merry Mojave desert tortoise are sacrosanct.
[Kevin Williamson's book "The End Is Near and It's Going to Be Awesome: How Going Broke Will Leave America Richer, Happier, and More Secure" is available at Amazon]
Strangely, many of the same people who insist that Mr. Bundy must be made an example of for the sake of the rule of law protest at the same time that it is not only impossible but positively undesirable for the federal government to deploy federal resources to rectify the federal crime of jumping the federal border. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 16, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, Think Tank, War Room | Tags: CNN, Daily Caller, Democratic Party (United States), Frazier Glenn Miller, Kansas, Kevin Williamson, Ku Klux Klan, Peter Bergen, Southern Poverty Law Center, United States
CNN is irrelevant, and the SPLC should be recognized and branded in polite society as a “Hate group”
NRO‘s David French asks some good questions:
I’d like to thank Kevin Williamson for pointing us to perhaps the dumbest column I’ve ever read on CNN – an actual argument that allegedly “right-wing” extremists are more deadly than jihadists. In addition to Mr. Williamson’s spot-on critique, can we also say something else about jihad since 9/11? The death toll in the U.S. may be “only” 21, but the American toll overseas is at least 6,802 with well over 50,000 injuries, including 16,000 serious injuries. Peter Bergen evidently does not think this important enough to explore, but in the aftermath of the actual worst terrorist attack in American history we engaged in direct combat against jihadists in two separate countries, combat that continues in Afghanistan to this day. In that process, these jihadists not only killed thousands of Americans, they inflicted an unholy death toll on allied soldiers and civilians.
Are these American lives any less precious or important because they were lost overseas? Does the fact that jihadists have proven capable of killing thousands of the best-equipped and best-trained soldiers in the world tell him anything about the destructive potential of jihad compared to the allegedly “right-wing” Klan? (read more)
Unmentioned in some of these critiques of the discredited CNN column: Since when is a KKK member a “right wing” figure? Except in the imagination of dishonest journalists and political propagandists? The Klan was the military-terror arm of the Democratic party in the south, this is not exactly news. The accusation that the KKK is connected to conservative or right-wing ideology is pure fantasy. The famous white supremacist, anti-Semitic murderer Frazier Glenn Miller, ran for public office as a Democrat.
On the other hand, Miller ran for office as both a Democrat and a Republican, making any effort to use his ideological profile to score political points a useless exercise, as the Daily Caller‘s Neil Munro reports:
The gunman who murdered three people in Kansas on Sunday was defeated in primary races in the Democratic and the Republican parties, which could complicate any partisan effort to associate either party with the unusual anti-Semitic attack.
Frazier Glenn Miller was reportedly arrested after the attacks in Kansas, which killed one Jewish woman, and two non-Jews, a grandfather and his 14 year-old grandson.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 16, 2014 Filed under: Law & Justice, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Freedom of Information Act, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Obama administration, Republican National Committee, Tax Day, Tea Party, United States
For Breitbart.com, Charlie Spiering writes: On Tax Day, the Republican National Committee announced it is suing the IRS for stonewalling Freedom of Information Act request for documents about the tax agency’s politicized scrutiny of conservative and Tea Party groups.
The RNC filed the request on May 21, 2013, in an attempt to expose the documents and emails surrounding agency’s process in handling applications of non-profit organizations such as conservative and Tea Party groups.
“We’re filing this suit because the Obama administration has a responsibility to be transparent and accountable to the American people. The IRS has a legal obligation to answer our inquiry for these records.”
After the RNC filed the request, the IRS has requested several extensions, which has already delayed the release by 226 business days.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 14, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Self Defense, U.S. News | Tags: Associated Press, Bundy, Bureau of Land Management, Chris Matthews, MSNBC, Nevada, Richard Mack, United States
“We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.”
Who is this “we”, I wonder? “We” were “actually strategizing?” When hatching this brilliant idea, were any of the actual women involved consulted? Did his group agree on this “strategy”? Highly doubtful. I suspect Richard Mack was “strategizing” out of his ass, in front of a TV camera, on his own.
What would be televised, is Mack leading his group of “Patriots” into a permeant cloud of shame, colossal public humiliation, an act of cowardice and dishonor from which his movement would never recover. Hiding behind women? That sounds more like something some extremist moron from the far Left would do.
When I first heard this on “The Real Story”, I nearly fell off my chair. What are you, Mack, a freaking Palestinian terrorist ? Are you taking a page from the Hamas playbook? Are you INSANE?
Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia
Former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack revealed on Monday that he and other organizers who traveled to Clark County, Nev., to support Cliven Bundy during his land dispute with the feds planned to put women on the front lines in case the “rogue federal officers” started shooting.
Mack made the chilling revelation on Fox News’ “The Real Story” Monday, two days after the tense standoff between Bundy and the federal government came to a peaceful end.
Mack apparently identifies with the Tea Party and claims to have spoken at numerous rallies. He also appeared on MSNBC’s “Hardball” with host Chris Matthews to promote the movement.
Mack was elected as Graham County sheriff in 1988 and he served two terms until 1997. The former sheriff also reportedly fought against the so-called “Brady Bill,” a 1993 gun control law that instituted federal background checks on firearms purchasers in the United States.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 14, 2014 Filed under: Think Tank, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Brandeis University, Council on American–Islamic Relations, Hamas, Israel, Palestine Liberation Organization, United States, Yasser Arafat
Brandeis sides with a spawn of Hamas over a champion of women’s rights.
Author’s Note: This week, capitulating to Islamic-supremacist agitation led by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Brandeis University reneged on its announced plan to present an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the heroic human-rights activist. In my 2010 book, The Grand Jihad, I devoted a chapter to the origins and purposes of CAIR, its roots in the Muslim Brotherhood’s Hamas-support network, and its aim to silence critics of Islamic supremacism. In light of the continuing success of this campaign — despite a federal terrorism-financing prosecution that exposed CAIR’s unsavory background — it is worth revisiting that history. What follows is an adapted excerpt from that chapter.
Andrew C. McCarthy writes: In January 1993, a new, left-leaning U.S. administration, inclined to be more sympathetic to the Islamist clause, came to power. But before he could bat an eye, President Bill Clinton was confronted by the murder and depraved mutilation of American soldiers in Somalia. A few weeks later, on February 26, jihadists bombed the World Trade Center. The public was angry and appeasing Islamists would have to wait.
Yasser Arafat, however, sensed opportunity. The terrorist intifada launched at the end of 1987 had been a successful gambit for the Palestine Liberation Organization chief. Within a year, even as the body count mounted, the weak-kneed “international community” was granting the PLO the right to participate (though not to vote) in U.N. General Assembly sessions. And when Arafat made the usual show of “renouncing” terrorism — even as he was orchestrating terrorist attacks in conjunction with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other Islamist factions — the United States recognized him as the Palestinians’ legitimate leader, just as the Europeans had done. Arafat blundered in 1991, throwing in his lot with Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War, and that seemed to bury him with the Bush 41 administration. But Clinton’s election was a new lease on life. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 13, 2014 Filed under: History, Politics | Tags: 1964 Civil Rights Act, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Johnson, Lyndon B. Johnson, Michael Kazin, United States, Voting Rights Act
Michael Kazin writes: From 1964 to 1968, close to 34,000 Americans died in South Vietnam. We will never know how many Vietnamese women, men, and children perished during those years, but the total, according to most estimates, was at least one million. Among the dead were tens of thousands of civilians—blown apart by explosives dropped from planes, burned to death by napalm, or gunned down by U.S. troops whose commanders told them that, in a village considered loyal to the Vietcong, they should “kill anything that we see and anything that moved.” Their commander-in-chief was Lyndon Baines Johnson.
This past week, on the golden anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, four of LBJ’s successors went to his library in Texas to praise his character and his deeds. George W. Bush lauded him for turning “a nation’s grief to a great national purpose.” Jimmy Carter chided his fellow Democrats for not emulating Johnson’s determination to fight for racial equality. Barack Obama remarked that LBJ’s “hunger” for power “was harnessed and redeemed by a deeper understanding of the human condition, by a sympathy for the underdog, for the downtrodden, for the outcast.” Bill Clinton reflected that Johnson “saw limitless possibilities in the lives of other poor people like him who just happened to have a different color skin.”
Some liberal journalists echoed the chief executives, past and present. LBJ, wrote my friend E.J. Dionne, presided over “a consensual period when a large and confident majority believed that national action could expand opportunities and alleviate needless suffering. The earthily practical Johnson showed that finding realistic ways of creating a better world is what Americans are supposed to do.” Not a word about those countless people in Southeast Asia whose lives reached their unnatural limits when they encountered an American infantryman with an M-16 or a bomb dropped from a B-52.
Of course, to remember what the United States, during LBJ’s tenure, did to Vietnam and to the young Americans who served there does not cancel out his domestic achievements. But to portray him solely as a paragon of empathy, a liberal hero with a minor flaw or two, is not merely a feat of willful amnesia. It is deeply immoral. Read the rest of this entry »