An Unteachable President

Posted on October 1st, 2015

Obama, Kerry, Putin at United NationsBy Bret Stephens

For Obama, it isn’t the man in the arena who counts. It’s the speaker on the stage.

Barack Obama told the U.N.’s General Assembly on Monday he’s concerned that “dangerous currents risk pulling us back into a darker, more disordered world.” It’s nice of the president to notice, just don’t expect him to do much about it.

Recall that it wasn’t long ago that Mr. Obama took a sunnier view of world affairs. The tide of war was receding. Al Qaeda was on a path to defeat. ISIS was “a jayvee team” in “Lakers uniforms.” Iraq was an Obama administration success story. Bashar Assad’s days were numbered. The Arab Spring was a rejoinder to, rather than an opportunity for, Islamist violence. The intervention in Libya was vindication for the “lead from behind” approach to intervention. The reset with Russia was a success, a position he maintained as late as September 2013. In Latin America, the “trend lines are good.”

“Overall,” as he told Tom Friedman in August 2014—shortly after ISIS had seized control of Mosul and as Vladimir Putin was muscling his way into eastern Ukraine—“I think there’s still cause for optimism.”

It’s a remarkable record of prediction. One hundred percent wrong. The professor president who loves to talk about teachable moments is himself unteachable. Why is that? Read More..

Will Hillary Clinton’s Emails Burn the White House?

Posted on October 1st, 2015

Hillary’s emails from www.caglecartoons.com # 168346By John R. Schindler

Hillary Clinton’s email problems are already causing headaches for her presidential campaign. But within American counterintelligence circles, there’s a mounting sense that the former secretary of state may not be the only Obama administration official in trouble. This is a scandal that has the potential to spread to the White House, as well.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation can be expected to be tight-lipped, especially because this highly sensitive case is being handled by counterintelligence experts from Bureau headquarters a few blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, not by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. That will ensure this investigation gets the needed “big picture” view, since even senior FBI agents at any given field office may only have a partial look at complex counterintelligence cases.

And this most certainly is a counterintelligence matter. There’s a widely held belief among American counterspies that foreign intelligence agencies had to be reading the emails on Hillary’s private server, particularly since it was wholly unencrypted for months.

Hillary Clinton was far from the only senior Obama appointee to play fast and loose with classified materials, according to Intelligence Community insiders. While most counterspies agree that Hillary’s practices—especially using her own server and having her staffers place classified information into unclassified emails, in violation of Federal law—were especially egregious, any broad-brush investigation into security matters are likely to turn up other suspects, they maintain. Read More..

Obama’s Delusions of Competence

Posted on September 30th, 2015

Obama Dishonesty and Incompetence from http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.comBy Jack Kelly

Government works better now than probably it ever has,” President Barack Obama told the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart last month. A partial list:

– Atrocious security at the Office of Personnel Management permitted the Chinese to acquire personal data on more than 21 million federal workers, most of them applicants for security clearances. The theft of background investigation data has created a massive threat to U.S. national security that will last for decades and cost billions to mitigate.

The Chinese didn’t even need to hack into OPM’s poorly secured database to get the info, because some Chinese nationals help manage it.

– The private email server Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used, possibly illegally, to conduct official business, probably was hacked by hostile foreign intelligence services, said former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morrell.

– One central task of the Department of Homeland Security is to secure our borders. DHS isn’t doing it. Illegal immigrants comprise 3 percent of the population and, by some counts, 30 percent of the federal prison population. We spent $1.87 billion to incarcerate violent illegal immigrant felons last year, according to freelance researcher Jay Bates.

Last year, DHS released into the general population 30,558 criminal aliens who among them had almost 80,000 convictions — including 250 homicides, 386 kidnappings, 373 sexual assaults, 994 aggravated assaults. Violent felons released by DHS in 2013 committed 1,000 additional crimes. Read More..

Why Democrats Didn’t Want to Vote on the Iran Deal

Posted on September 29th, 2015

A pitiful deal Iran death to AmericaBy New York Post

To hear the Democrats in Congress who supported President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal — and then successfully filibustered it in the Senate, refusing even to allow an actual vote — you’d think someone was literally holding a gun to their heads.

Because it’s hard to find a single one who argues that Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry negotiated anything close to a good deal.

Which is pretty significant — given that the president himself long insisted, “No deal is better than a bad deal.”

But that was then. Now, his foreign-policy legacy — as he sees it — is on the line.

Still, the list of Democratic supporters’ objections is astonishing. (Imagine what they’d be saying if they were voting “no.”)

Like House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer: “This agreement is not one I would have negotiated, nor one I think should have been agreed to ... I believe this agreement gives too much to Iran and demands too little in return.” Read More..

Immigration: A Political and Economic Issue

Posted on September 28th, 2015

Europe’s refugee crisis immigration from www.caglecartoons.com # 168645By John Browne, Senior Market Strategist, Euro Pacific Capital, Inc.

Donald Trump has successfully placed immigration at the center of the U.S. Presidential election. But while the issue is still largely a debating point in the United States, it has quickly and violently become a life and death issue for the European Union, which is in the midst of the most significant immigration and refugee crisis since the Second World War.

The BBC reports, “More than 300,000 migrants have risked their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year, according to the UN. This compares with 219,000 for the whole of 2014.” (8/28/15) By including refugees, AFP News Agency puts the figure even higher, stating “Nearly 340,000 refugees and migrants illegally crossed the border into Europe from January to July 2015, according to the EU’s border agency Frontex. The figure compares to 280,000 for the whole of 2014.” (8/31/15) This promises a drastic increase for all of 2015.

The spike in immigration in Europe has its roots in general disintegration in the Middle East and North Africa, which in itself is a function of flawed Western interventionism and botched foreign policy. With war tensions in the Middle East and the rise of ISIS, the suffering of the local civilians has been appalling. With the political and social institutions collapsing in failed states such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Libya, those leaving likely see no possibility of returning. So, unlike in years past, they are not willing to stop in refugee camps to await developments in their home countries. They have made the decision to go all the way to Europe, and they are willing to risk all to get there.

The waves of immigrants, both refugees and migrants, tend to enter the southern periphery countries including Greece, Italy and Spain in addition to new eastern EU member countries like Hungary. Immigrants perceive these EU countries as close with porous borders. Furthermore, these periphery countries condone lax border controls because they understand that these immigrants have no wish to settle in their countries. Rather, the migrants are intent on moving out fast, under the EU’s Schengen Plan, into the richer northern countries, like Germany and the UK, which also offer more generous social benefits to newly arrived immigrants.

Notably, excluding the UK and Ireland, which were granted an opt out, the 26 remaining nations of the EU have accepted membership of the Schengen Area. Membership requires each nation to abolish all passport and other types of control at their common intra-EU borders. Thus, once  migrants have entered the EU through the relatively porous southern borders, they can move at will, like any EU citizen, to any member country, with the exception of the UK and Ireland. Naturally, migrants head to those relatively rich countries. This strains the availability of housing, health, education, social security and jobs greatly to the cost and disadvantage of legitimate local citizens. Read More..

Obama’s Victory Is Iran’s Victory

Posted on September 28th, 2015

Spiked Iran deal Obama from www.caglecartoons.com # 168430By Lee Smith

Recently the White House puffed its feathers when Barbara Mikulski became the 34th Democratic senator to come out in favor of the nuclear deal with Iran. Mikulski’s support ensures enough votes in Obama’s pocket to sustain a presidential veto on a resolution of disapproval, but it’s still not clear why the administration is celebrating. A majority of senators and congressmen oppose Obama’s signature foreign policy initiative. So does most of the American public, by a two-to-one ratio according to a new poll released last week. In other words, the administration may have won this round, but the fight over the Iran deal isn’t over.

The other critical actor is the White House’s negotiating partner in Tehran. The clerical regime looks at the American political landscape and sees that it is operating in a protected environment that may change very quickly when a new administration comes to the White House in 16 months. Unlike the Obama White House, the Islamic Republic understands that the fight over its nuclear weapons program will continue.

In the negotiations, the White House played the role of Iran’s lawyer, defending and supporting Tehran’s demands when France and other EU partners demurred. In Washington, the White House attacked recalcitrant members of the president’s own party, like Senators Robert Menendez and Charles Schumer, who opposed the Iran deal. They were beholden to donors and moneyed interests, said the administration. Read More..

Cleaning Up After the Obama Team’s Iran Deal

Posted on September 25th, 2015

Iran Boxed in Obama Iran deal from www.caglecartoons.com # 167821By Michael B. Mukasey

‘We couldn’t have negotiated a better deal.” That is one of the two pillars of the Obama administration’s argument in favor of its nuclear arrangement with Iran, the other being, “there’s no alternative but war.” Those two propositions appear to have won the day—at least with enough Democrats in Congress to prevent a vote disapproving of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The Iran deal remains deeply unpopular with the American public and with the Republican majority in Congress.

Over the past few months, the two propositions regarding the deal left opponents sputtering a catalog of its numerous defects. But it must be admitted that the first proposition—“we couldn’t have negotiated a better deal”—is plainly true.

Consider who the “we” are. President Obama, the deal’s principal proponent, has repeatedly refused to recognize the existence of Islamist radicalism and failed to enforce even his own red line against Bashar Assad’s use of poison gas in Syria.

The leader of the U.S. delegation, Secretary of State John Kerry, airily endorsed an inspections regimen agreed to between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency—an agreement whose wording he concedes the U.S. doesn’t have, although he thinks one member of the U.S. delegation may have seen it. Not providing the text of this side deal to Congress violates directly the statutory requirement that the administration supply “annexes, appendices, side agreements” and “any related agreements.”

Mr. Kerry also concedes that Iran will prevent access to what it calls defense sites. These include the Parchin facility, where Iran carries out weaponization experiments, and at which Iran will be permitted to take its own soil samples for presentation to the IAEA.

Finally, there is Wendy Sherman, the lead U.S. negotiator. What was her response to the suggestion that Congress should have had a chance to review the deal—as the president promised and U.S. law requires—before it was submitted to the U.N. Security Council? “It would have been a little difficult when all of the members of the P5+1 wanted to go to the United Nations to get an endorsement . . . for us to say, ‘Well excuse me, the world, you should wait for the United States Congress.’ ” Read More..

Kerry: Assad Has to Go, But Timing Can Be Negotiated

Posted on September 25th, 2015

Secretary Kerry greets Iranian Foreign Minister ZarifBy Times of Israel

Secretary of State calls on Russia and Iran to convince Syrian president he must step down, says ending conflict is of utmost urgency.

Syrian President Bashar Assad must leave office although the timing of such a move can be negotiated, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in London recently, following talks with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

Kerry urged Russia and Iran, two key allies, to persuade Assad to negotiate his departure, Reuters said. The top US diplomat also expressed the urgency in finding a political solution to the four-year civil war in Syria, which has left hundreds of thousands dead and millions more displaced.

“We need to get to the negotiation. That is what we’re looking for and we hope Russia and Iran, and any other countries with influence, will help to bring about that, because that’s what is preventing this crisis from ending,” Kerry said. “We’re prepared to negotiate. Is Assad prepared to negotiate, really negotiate? Is Russia prepared to bring him to the table?” Read More..

Europe Faces Cultural Disaster As Refugees Pour In: “A Direct Threat to Our Civilization”

Posted on September 24th, 2015

Welcome to Europe refugees from www.caglecartoons.com # 168869By Max Slavo

The tide of refugees from Syria and elsewhere has already been disastrous for the people who lived there and now seek another home. But the disaster is just beginning for Western Civilization. Today, the major front is Europe. But it is happening in America, too, and someday it might be too late. A demographic shift is happening so sharply in the UK, France, Germany and other European nations that it could hardly be called anything but a takeover.

The war hawks overplayed the ‘Muslim extremist’ card in the days after 9/11 when terrorism dominated every headline and nearly every political discussion. Hypocrisies devastated innocent lives, wasted money and ran America’s reputation and morale into the ground. But meanwhile, the cultural enemy was being brought home, through waves of immigration.

Zero Hedge warns that Europe is “heading for disaster” with regard to the immigration tidal wave:

Nigel Farage Warns Immigrant Flood “Threatens Our Civilization”

“We are heading towards disaster” exclaims UKIP’s Nigel Farage in this brief clip. Having warned for months about both the consequences of actions and the EU’s disastrous policies, the flood of immigrants, Farage warns “we face a direct threat to our civilization if we allow large numbers of people from that war-torn region into Europe.” Simply put, he fears within EU policy “there is no way to filter out extremists in favor of people fleeing in genuine fear of their lives,” and suggest following the Australian policy.

Though there is genuine sentiment for those displaced by a war torn region, the Western authorities have staged a clash with culture at the ideological and cultural level. Read More..

Memo to ‘60 Minutes’: Stop Treating Iran Like a Democracy

Posted on September 24th, 2015

Trust  but vilify from www.caglecartoons.com # 166492By Aaron Goldstein

I saw the 60 Minutes interview with Iranian President Rouhani the other night and found much, but not all of the interview by Steve Kroft annoying. My annoyance began with the first paragraph of his report:

Few issues have inspired more vitriol this summer than the historic agreement between Iran and six world powers: the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. The deal drastically curtails Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

How exactly is Iran’s nuclear program curtailed considering that Iran can still enrich uranium, can inspect itself on top of getting billions in sanctions relief?

Kroft began one of his questions with this bit of editorializing. “The United States seems to have its hardliners and Iran seems to have its hardliners,” said Kroft before asking Rouhani if he saw similarities between the two. Iran’s hardliners imprison, torture, and execute their political opponents and seek the destruction of a neighboring state. How hardline can Republicans be when the Corker amendment assured the deal’s passage? There is simply no comparison. Kroft’s tone of moral equivalence is utterly insufferable. Here’s more proof:

President Rouhani’s boss, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has final say on the agreement and has sent it to the Iranian Parliament and the Supreme National Security Council on national security for a vigorous debate.

How the hell does Kroft know if there is going to be a “vigorous debate” in the Iranian Parliament and the Supreme National Security Council? These are nothing more than rubber stamp institutions. And yet Kroft gives these institutions more legitimacy than our own Senate. In the very first sentence of his report, he characterizes the debate over the Iran nuclear agreement in this country as one of “vitriol” before calling its critics hardliners. Kroft gives Iran undeserved deference. Read More..

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