Search Results

DANA MILBANK: Barack Obama, President Oh-bummer.

The two presidents stood in the East Room on Tuesday afternoon, united in their goal of defeating the Islamic State but separated by a stylistic gulf as vast as the Atlantic.

On the left, facing the cameras, was François Hollande, war president. He spoke of “cowardly murderers” who “dishonor humanity,” of a “relentless determination to fight terrorism everywhere and anywhere,” of “an implacable joint response,” of “hunting down their leaders” and “taking back the land.”

On the right stood Barack Obama, President Oh-bummer.

Defeating the Islamic State?

“That’s going to be a process that involves hard, methodical work. It’s not going to be something that happens just because suddenly we take a few more airstrikes.”

A political settlement in Syria?

“It’s going to be hard. And we should not be under any illusions.”

Could the Paris attacks have been prevented?

“That’s hard — that’s a hard thing to track. . . . That’s a tough job.”

Obama, in Turkey last week, responded to those who believe he isn’t tough enough on the Islamic State. “Some of them seem to think that if I was just more bellicose in expressing what we’re doing, that that would make a difference,” he said.

Well, yes.

Tough talk won’t defeat terrorists — but it will rally a nation. It’s no mere coincidence that the unpopular Hollande’s support has increased during his forceful response to the attacks, while Obama’s poll numbers are down.


IT’S HARD FOR PEOPLE TO TRUST THE GOVERNMENT, WHEN THE GOVERNMENT IS RUN BY UNTRUSTWORTHY PEOPLE: Andrew Malcolm: One-in-five Americans still trusts the federal government!

A shocking new poll out on Americans’ growing cynicism about their federal government.

It’s not really surprising that after seven years of an administration of serial liars, empty promises and failed plans, an overwhelming percentage of the public does not trust elected officials, their politics or the government they’re supposed to be running.

What’s really shocking is that 19% of Americans still do.

Nearly one-in-five say they can always or most always trust that Washington crowd. Seriously? Who are these people? Cubs fans? Newly-arrived Martians? Rachel Maddowers?

Do you know five people who swallow everything they hear from the upside-down capital of our nation? How about two? ObamaCare is working really well? ISIS is on the run? The FBI is seriously probing Hillary Clinton’s email scam?

Nineteen percent trusting is actually among the lowest in almost six decades. People even had more trust in Jimmy Carter’s presidency. People had the most trust during the first year of Lyndon Johnson’s sudden presidency. But then came Vietnam and Richard Nixon.

The newest poll from the Pew Research Center is based on 6,000 interviews this fall. It confirms suspicions that most people have felt for some time. Trust in those institutions began sagging during the second term of George W. Bush. But has absolutely cratered during these past 2,499 days of Barack Obama’s hope and change.

Fundamentally transformed.


The Statue of Liberty was originally designed to be a Muslim woman, the Smithsonian Institution’s magazine says.
An article on the government-administered museum’s blog, Smart News, claims one of the designers of Lady Liberty drew inspiration from monuments in Egypt and originally intended to construct a veiled female peasant on the Suez Canal.

But the Smithsonian gets its knickers in a twist over the sight of a WWII B-29 and in 2013, published an excerpt from a since massively debunked biography of Norman Rockwell, which attempted to retcon the beloved American artist into, as his granddaughter wrote in response, “a repressed homosexual with pedophilic impulses,” so take the above story with a grain of salt. (As Cuffy tweets, “Last week called, wants its clickbait back.”)

I blame myself for this latest bit of clickbait. In early 2011, for the PJM homepage illustration accompanying an article by contributor Howard Rotberg titled “Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address,” I created the following image:
Shortly afterward, some organization calling itself “Shariah4America” issued a statement demanding a burkha on the Statue of Liberty. And now the Smithsonian gets into the act. Oh well — Photoshopped in haste, repented at leisure.

TOM BROKAW TURNED INTO WILLIAM DEVANE SO SLOWLY, I HARDLY EVEN NOTICED: For actor turned precious metals pitchman Devane, it’s always a good time to buy gold, no matter how well or how poorly the stock market is performing.

For newsreader turned Obama pitchman Tom Brokaw, it’s always a good time to raise the gas tax, whether the economy has just flatlined, or whether ISIS just terrorized a major European city.

In January, when “4 Of 5 Top Papers [Called] For Federal Gas Tax Hike,” the Media Research Center noted that the “Washington Post’s editorial board called it the ‘perfect time’ for Congress to raise the federal gas tax.” But for Brokaw and the rest of the MSM, when isn’t it the perfect time to raise the gas tax?

OBAMA SIGNS DEFENSE BILL DESPITE GITMO PROVISIONS: President Obama has quietly (and on the eve of Thanksgiving) signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which renews tight prohibitions against using any federal funds for the transfer of Gitmo detainees to the U.S.

Obama has previously intimated that he would transfer Gitmo prisoners to the U.S. despite congressional opposition. It is unclear whether Obama’s decision to sign the NDAA indicates that he has abandoned plans for U.S. transfer, or whether (as some former Obama Administration officials have argued) Obama believes he has the independent constitutional authority to transfer the detainees to the U.S. anyway.



Thrush basically has two gaslighting modes when bad news strikes Democrats — explain it away as “badass,” which is he he described Hillary’s now-infamous email server, and bored y’all, which was the mode he switched to when the Obamacare servers blew up in the fall of 2013, and today.

The Washington Post isn’t much better — the young staffer writing up a leading news and opinion Website offering a “no surprises” interview to Chelsea Clinton dismisses it as “Politico just handed Republicans a ‘liberal media’ talking point.”

And there are so, so few of those to go around these days.

Related: “WaPo Attacks Republicans For Politico Offering Chelsea Clinton a Puff Interview” — “Democrats sure got it good.”

THEY NEED TO CRYOGENICALLY FREEZE IT: Senator John Barroso (R-WY) has an oped in today’s Wall Street Journal, “Congress Can Cool Off Obama’s Climate Change Plans.”

When the U.N. climate-change talks convene in Paris next week, the risks will be high for American taxpayers. President Obama wants a climate deal and is willing to pay dearly to get it. The inevitable outcome is a plan with unproven benefits and unreachable goals, but very real costs. It will be up to Congress to check the president’s ambition of committing the U.S. to an international green scheme that will produce little or no return. . . .

Todd Stern, the chief American negotiator heading to Paris, has tried to justify the disconnect. Mr. Stern recently told the Senate that developing countries need to be allowed to keep emitting so that their economies can continue to grow by 8%-9% a year. . . .

Why should the U.S. accept a plan—and pay to grease the deal—that keeps its economy stuck at 2% growth while American taxpayers subsidize other countries’ economies growing at 9%?

Almost as bad is that President Obama will likely pledge $3 billion of taxpayers’ money to the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund. Developing nations are eager to accept this cash, which in theory they will use to address the effects of extreme weather. It seems more likely that the money will end up in the pockets of government officials in Africa, Asia and elsewhere. . . .

The envoys in Paris should understand: Congress does not support the president’s $3 billion promise. Earlier this year Mr. Obama requested in his budget the first $500 million installment. That budget was voted down 98-1. Congress should continue to reject this spending and insist that any agreement reached in Paris be subject to Senate approval—regardless of whether or not the administration formally calls it a treaty.

Whatever comes of the Paris talks, there is reason to be wary. We’ve seen the Obama administration’s negotiating skills. Anyone who watched the Iran nuclear agreement play out has good reason to be nervous about the concessions this administration will make in closed-door negotiations.

So here we go again: The President of the United States is hellbent on accomplishing a goal that is opposed by the majority of Americans. He is looking for a way (once again) to “work around” Congress. He is willing to strike a deal that puts the U.S. at a disadvantage, in the name of “helping” other “developing” countries, and the “globe” (even though it won’t actually help the latter).  Who does he think he’s the President of, exactly? Because it sure doesn’t seem to be Americans.

Let’s hope Congress shows more courage and intelligence in stopping the President this time than it did with the Iran deal. I won’t hold my breath.

OBAMA HAS JUST BEGUN, Victor Davis Hanson writes, asking “How much damage can he do in his last year in office?” Well, a lot, obvious, just look at the headlines coming out of the Islamic Mideast and the American Midwest:

Insidiously and inadvertently, Barack Obama is alienating the people and moving the country to the right. If he keeps it up, by 2017 it will be a reactionary nation. But, counterintuitive as it seems, that is fine with Obama: Après nous le déluge.

And that’s precisely the reaction of his friends at the New Republic, who have discovered an even greater looming threat to mankind than ISIS or global warming — a (wait for it!) Republican White House.

Expect an increasing amount of rhetoric along those lines next year, especially if her operatives with bylines suspect that Hillary just might not have what it takes to make it to electoral nirvana next November.

OOPS: The commander in chief’s meltdown in the polls. “President Obama’s petulant news conference in Turkey insisting there is no need to shift our strategy for fighting the Islamic State might have been the low point in his presidency. But that does not mean he’s hit rock bottom.”

BARRACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, SUPERGENIUS: The anti-ISIS coalition guarantees the chaos will spread. But hey, the Jihadists will be really upset when they hear our president is pivoting to global warming.  Or something.


…And here we go:

“Video: The shooting of Laquan McDonald.”

—Allahpundit, at Hot Air.

● “Did Corrupt Rahm Emanuel Wait to After Election to Release Video?

—Steve Bartin, Newsalert. (And a reminder to a suddenly and “unexpectedly” incurious MSM: “This ‘Mayor of Chicago’ who suppressed Laquan McDonald tape was Obama’s WH Chief of Staff, Chairman of House Dem Caucus, & Chairman of DCCC.”

“CHICAGO ERUPTS! Laquan McDonald Protesters ATTACK POLICE, Toss BOTTLES, Steal Police Bikes (Video).”

—Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit.

“Chicago Releases Video of Police Shooting of Suspect; City Braces for Violence That Some Predict Could Be Described as ‘Tuesday’”

—Ace of Spades.

And finally, good advice from John Nolte, as the media gets ready to whip up a hot fresh riot in time for Thanksgiving (and in honor of the one year anniversary of last year’s holiday season riots): “Praying for my many family members in Chicago. Told them if they see any CNN trucks, they need to run.”

Indeed. ™


Travel at your own risk.

Just in time for the holidays, the State Department issued a global travel alert to U.S. citizens warning of the increased likelihood of terror attacks by legions of terrorists — including the murderous Islamic State.

The terse warning, posted on the State Department website Monday, said American travelers should use “particular caution” in the coming weeks and through Feb. 24.

“Current information suggests that (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions,” the State Department wrote.

The possible attacks could include “a wide variety of tactics … targeting both official and private interests,” the State Department added.

That’s odd – 11 days ago, on Friday morning before their Paris attack, President Obama reassured us all that ISIS is “contained.” Perhaps Mr. Obama failed to add, “within our solar system.”

But speaking of being afraid, journalists at the Daily News, serving as Charles Schumer’s Democratic operatives with bylines, are way ahead of Barry on the fear front:


As AWR Hawkins writes at Big Government, “NY Daily News Sets Up NRA To Be Scapegoat For Future Terror Attack:”

After a week of subtly baiting the NRA to enter into a shouting match over the Democrats’ efforts to expand background checks to include the no-fly list, the New York Daily News is taking the not-so-subtle approach of setting up the NRA to be the scapegoat for any future firearm-related terror attack.

The NY Daily News is going about this in the classic leftist sense by vilifying NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre–criticizing him for refusing to take the Democrats’ bait and come out swinging in the wake of the heinous Paris terror attacks. And having vilified him, they then continue their attack without ever feeling the need to explain why a no-fly list that includes a 4-year old going to visit his grandmother is supposed to be part of the database through which background checks are run.

Moreover, they do not explain how a no-fly list so imprecise that it once barred Senator Ted Kennedy from commercial flights is now the key to keeping American safe.

Instead, the NY Daily News overlooks the imprecision of the no-fly list and quotes Senator Church Schumer (D-NY) saying, “The same nefarious individual we monitor and bar from our planes, we turn the other way when it comes to allowing them to get guns and explosives. The NRA has fought tooth and nail to prevent these individuals from the terror watchlist from being added over the past several years.”

And for good reason, Sean Davis adds at the Federalist.Sorry Democrats, But There Is No ‘Loophole’ That Allows Terrorists To Legally Buy Guns — In their zeal to defeat Republican terrorists, Democrats have decided that the constitutional right to due process is a loophole that must be closed:”

According to several Democratic sponsors of the bill, the proposed law would allow the attorney general to deny a criminal background check clearance to any individual whose name appears on the national terror watch list. The huge problem with this expansive new power is that there are precisely zero statutory criteria for inclusion on this massive list. In fact, when statutory authority for the centralized government database was first codified into law via the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Congress gave all authority for determining criteria for inclusion in the watch list to unelected, unaccountable government bureaucrats. If some faceless Beltway bureaucrat decides you might be a terrorist, then you’re a terrorist. End of story.

It gets even worse, though. If your name erroneously appears on that watch list, which as of 2013 included nearly 900,000 names, the Democrats’ proposed legislation renders you virtually powerless to find out why your name is on there, let alone to have it removed. And having your name erroneously or fraudulently added to that list isn’t as far-fetched as you might think.

In 2014, for example, Weekly Standard writer and Fox News contributor Stephen F. Hayes was informed that somebody added his name to the Department of Homeland Security’s terrorist watch list. There is zero credible evidence that he has any ties whatsoever to terrorism or to any terrorist organizations. Yet, under the Democrats’ new bill, he and everyone else who is erroneously listed would be banned from ever purchasing or possessing a firearm. Hayes’ apparent crime was traveling overseas for a cruise. Hayes is not alone. Each year, thousands of names end up on the terror watch list for no good reason whatsoever.

Under the Democrats’ proposal, the government doesn’t have to tell you why your name is on the list. The proposed law allows the government to keep that information secret. And if you decide to take the government to court over it, the Democrats’ bill creates a brand new legal standard that tilts the scales of justice against you.

As Charles Cooke writes, “Let us avoid gloss or euphemism and speak plainly: This idea flies directly in the face of every cherished American conception of justice, and it should be rejected with extreme prejudice:”

You will note, I hope, that Reid, Schumer, Jentleson, and co. are not proposing to place restrictions on those who have been “accused,” “charged,” or “convicted,” but upon those who are “suspected.” They are not referring to those who are working their way through the judicial system, but to those who remain outside of it. They are not seeking to limit the rights of those who are out on bail or awaiting trial, but those who have not so much as been handcuffed. Loudly and proudly, they are arguing in favor of removing fundamental rights from anyone whose name has been written down on a list. Because they hope to confuse the public, their talk is peppered with references to “Paris-style” “assault” rifles and “automatic” weapons. But this is a red herring: Their proposal applies equally to guns of all types, not just those that give Shannon Watts and Diane Feinstein the willies.

In times past, officials advocating the simultaneous undermining of a range of constitutional rights would have been tarred, feathered, and dumped into the sea, along with their staff, their press agents, and anyone else who saw fit to acquiesce in the scheme. A little of that spirit might be welcome here.

However the press might cast it, there are not in fact “two sides” to this issue. It is not a “tricky question.” It is not a “thorny one” or a “gray area” or a “difficult choice.” It is tyranny. Somewhere, deep down, its advocates must know this. Presumably, Chuck Schumer would not submit that those on a terror watch list should be deprived of their right to speak? Presumably, Harry Reid would not contend that they must be kept away from their mosques? Presumably, Diane Feinstein would not argue that they should be subjected to warrantless searches and seizures? Such proposals would properly be considered disgraceful — perhaps, even, as an overture to American fascism. Alas, there is something about guns that causes otherwise reasonable people to lose their minds.

And lose their minds the bill’s champions have. As of today, there are almost one million names on the terror watch list — that’s names, not identities — of which around 280,000 are linked to nothing much at all. This should not surprise, for one does not in fact have to do a great deal in order to find one’s way onto the list. Perhaps you know someone who is already on it? That’s suspicious, right? On you go! Perhaps you have annoyed someone powerful? Oops! On you go! Perhaps you once said something intemperate in public? Better to be safe. On you go! Perhaps you are a Muslim? On. You. Go.

Oh well – “travel at your own risk,” the New York Daily News would likely sniff in response.

Related: Schumer plans for Senate Democrats to “bring a universal background check bill to the floor of the Senate early next year.” Moe Lane responds, “Senate Democrats could have done this in 2009 when they had sixty votes in the Senate, instead of the forty-five they have now.  Of course, if they had we’d probably have sixty votes in the Senate right now and a President who would have cheerfully signed a repeal bill in 2013. What is Senator Schumer’s victory condition, here? Does he even know?”

ISLAM: ‘THE STRONGEST RETROGRADE FORCE IN THE WORLD,’ Roger Kimball writes, borrowing his headline from President Obama’s Voldemort:

George Orwell famously observed that an indispensable adjunct to freedom is a willingness to call things by their real names. Islamic extremism is not, as a British home secretary once fatuously declared, “anti-Islamic activity,” nor is the slaughter of a baker’s dozen U.S. soldiers in Texas by a radicalized Muslim officer an instance of “workplace violence.” Euphemism is the enemy of true security.

What is the relation between Islamic extremism and “mainstream” Islamic thought? That is not, we would suggest with sadness, an easy question to answer. Winston Churchill, writing about Islam back in 1899 in The River War, observed that “no stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund:”

Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science—the science against which it had vainly struggled—the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.

These days, it is worth noting, Islamic entities are scrambling to achieve mastery of “the strong arms of science,” as Iran’s rapidly accelerating nuclear program should remind us. “Death to America!” is a chant one often hears echoing from the mullah-besotted crowds in Iran. Ayaan Hirsi Ali outlined one possible course of action. Barack Obama, who seems to believe that the greatest threat to national security is Republicans, not ISIS, pointed to another when, a couple of days after the massacre in Paris, he noted impatiently that “what I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning or whatever other slogans they come up with. . . . I’m too busy for that.” It’s not pretty, but at least we know where we stand.

Huh — Roger spelled “supine” wrong in that last sentence. But read the whole thing anyway.


Since none of your gentle rebukes have worked, it’s time to level with your ThinkProgress blogger niece. “Honey, everyone at this table loves you very much. But today isn’t about arguing. Thanksgiving is about counting our blessings and sharing just one day with family from around the country. All of us have different views on politics, religion, football and everything else. But today is about setting all that aside and remembering what we have in common: Family. Now, who wants seconds?”

Read the whole thing.

RICHARD EPSTEIN: Obama’s ISIS Paralysis.

Plus: Obama’s Syrian Refugee Debacle.

JIM GERAGHTY: Why the Facts of American Muslims and 9/11 Matter. “We cannot be a party or a movement that gets its understanding of the world from chain-e-mails from Uncle Leo.”

I dunno, it worked okay for Obama. And I think anger at that fact is why so many people don’t care about Trump’s various excesses. You want no rules? Okay! No rules it is! That’s not good for the country, of course, but then, few of Obama’s legacies are.

GANGSTER GOVERNMENT: Analysts Accuse CENTCOM of Covering Up Cooked ISIS Intelligence. “At the heart of the analysts’ allegations is what they describe as a persistent effort by Grove and his team to downplay or even change reports that that questioned how much progress a U.S.-led coalition is making in the Obama administration’s stated goal to degrade, destroy, and defeat ISIS.”

When Obama found out about it in the newspapers, he was more angry than anyone.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Obama’s Syrian Refugee Debacle: Characterizing Republicans as xenophobes won’t hide the fact that president’s foreign policy failures created refugee crisis. To be fair, he had a lot of help from Hillary.

FLASHBACK: The Obama/Hillary Mideast Debacles.

AND DESERVEDLY SO: WaPo: Obama Takes A Post-Paris Beating In The Polls. “On how he’s handled the Islamic State, 57 percent of Americans disapprove, with 46 percent of the electorate strongly disapproving. . . . The share who ‘strongly disapprove’ of Obama’s work on terrorism jumped from 31 percent to 43 percent. The previous record was 35 percent.”


Related: Vladimir Putin says shooting down of Russian jet by Turkey was ‘stab in the back.’ Turkey is a crappy NATO ally these days, but it’s still a NATO member. If not for that, I’d sit back and buy popcorn for the Putin/Erdogan pissing match. But. . .

CLAUDIA ROSETT OFFERS NEWS YOU CAN USE: Travel Abroad is Safe, Provided You Teleport Into Rural New Zealand.

Obama’s War on Terror? Total Johnny Got His Gun-level basket-case. Which is why he’d much rather talk about his War on Republicans – and the MSM is only too happy to oblige.

SHIKHA DALMIA: The Quiet Unraveling Of ObamaCare.

JERSEY SURE: Mark Steyn explores the weird dissembling throughout yesterday by Washington Post “fact checker” Glenn Kessler in response to Trump’s remark that watched on TV “thousands” of Jersey City Muslims celebrating the carnage caused by radical Islam on 9/11:

The past is another country, wrote E M Forster, and the immediate post-9/11 period was a very different land from today’s America. Here, for example, is bigshot mainstream liberal Jonathan Alter writing in Newsweek (then owned by The Washington Post) that there were Muslim schoolchildren in the New York area who had prior knowledge of 9/11.

But the moment passed, and liberals stopped writing such stories, and then denied such stories had ever been written. And year on year more of the specifics of that day were disappeared – starting with the images of the men and women who hurled themselves from the upper floors of the Twin Towers for the chance to spend their final moments falling through clean, bright sky rather than in that hellish inferno. A soft-focus blur, a generalized sadness, a yellow ribbon or two is all that remains. Yet there were Muslims who cheered 9/11 in Oslo and in Yorkshire, and if like Donald Trump you live in New York City, you would have read and heard similar stories from your own neighborhood.

Big Government’s Joel Pollak suggests one possible source for Trump’s statement — in addition to the above MSM articles found by Steyn and Power Line’s John Hinderaker, Trump is “confusing rumors about Jersey City with actual, televised Palestinian celebrations abroad:”

Many Americans remember images like those below, of Palestinians literally dancing in the streets and handing out candy to celebrate the death of thousands of Americans.

These celebrations did not represent all Arabs or Muslims, but they were certainly not isolated (nor were they confined to Arabs and Muslims; some leftists savored the spectacle as well). The footage caused so much public relations damage to the Palestinian cause that Yasser Arafat faked a blood donation in an attempt to save face.

If there had been celebrations like that in the U.S., they would have drawn instant attention and outrage. As John Hinderaker notes at Powerline, the Washington Post reported on Sep. 18, 2011 that “law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.” That seems to provide at least some basis for Trump’s claim that celebrations happened.

As Mark Steyn concludes his article, “There are two competing narratives here:”

If you loathe Trump, the story is: Trump’s suggestion of terrorist sympathizers among American Muslims is outrageous. But, if you’re minded to support Trump, the story is: Obama’s and Hillary’s and Kerry’s assertion that there are no terrorist sympathizers among Muslims is not only ludicrous but mendacious and deeply weird in its relentless insistence. Glenn Kessler’s “fact-check” confirms the latter.

Until the primary elections play themselves out in the coming months, low-information undecided voters are currently stuck between a choice of two highly flawed candidates leading their respective parties, each a product of years spent cocooned in the New York media bubble and its myopic funhouse mirrors. One made his money in New York real estate, the other through massive contributions from the media and Wall Street (including the Obama enablers at Goldman Sachs). Both in their own way are prone to speak in outrageous hyperbole because they have little fear of serious repercussions from their wild utterances. But as Steyn writes, given a choice between two crazed exaggerations — one where “thousands” of New Jersey Muslims celebrated on September 11th and another where “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism,” and given our current president’s ongoing escape into fantasyland, who would you count on to keep you safe in the coming years?

UNLESS OBAMACARE CAN FIND A WAY TO STOP IT: When the doctor is far away, here’s how the distance can shrink.

IT’S NOT JUST THE OVERREACH, IT’S THE STUPID: Revolt Against Racial Auto Profiling. To Team Obama, if your name is ‘Johnson’ you must be black.

SCOTT JOHNSON: Barack Obama: The Man Our Founders Warned Us Against.

A METAPHOR FOR THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY: U.S. ran out of ammo in attack on ISIS trucks.

WHY DOES OBAMA HATE BEER LOVERS? Obamacare calorie rules brewing trouble for craft beer makers.

GITMO FIGHT HEATS UP: 16 veteran GOP House members have signed onto a letter to members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, encouraging them to consult with lawyers before executing any presidential order to transfer Gitmo detainees to the U.S.

“The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) contemplates that with respect to enlisted personnel and officers in the United States armed forces, when an order given by one’s superiors comes into conflict with the laws of this nation, the latter prevail. We believe that in our democracy — in which governance is undertaken, in the words of Founding Father John Adams, by ‘…a government of laws, and not of men…’ – that understanding necessarily applies equally to orders given by the Commander-in-Chief,” writes the group of 16 House members who are all military veterans.

Current U.S. law does not permit the expenditure of any funds to transfer Gitmo detainees to the U.S., or to construct or modify facilities to house the detainees.

I BLAME JOYCE CAROL OATES: Emails show DOD analysts told to ‘cut it out’ on ISIS warnings; IG probe expands.

While the Obama administration has a lengthy history of ignoring or downplaying intelligence that doesn’t fit its own preconceived Middle East narratives, as Allahpundit notes, “Who sent the e-mails, though? Story doesn’t say.”

‘LACK OF ENTHUSIASM’ MAY DOOM DOWAGER EMPRESS OF CHAPPAQUA’S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: As Michael Walsh spots, even her cheerleaders at the New York Times are forced to grit their teeth and write:

But Mrs. Clinton has a striking problem with young voters. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed that a solid plurality of young voters has a negative view of Mrs. Clinton. She did even worse in a Bloomberg Politics national poll. Here is a result to unnerve her Brooklyn campaign headquarters: Both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton get a 60 percent favorable rating with 18-to-29-year-olds. She gets 35 percent approval and 57 percent unfavorable.

Betsy Newmark spots the Times adding this black mark against Hillary as well:

Though she criticizes the American economy as being “rigged” for the rich*, Mrs. Clinton has lost some support recently from party members who think she would go easy on Wall Street excess if elected.

President Goldman Sachs going easy on Wall Street? Heaven forefend!


* To be fair, Hillary may have stumbled onto something here, but not in the way she thinks.


Even the Obama administration—which had punished el-Sisi for overthrowing, with massive popular support, Mohamed Morsi’s short-lived Muslim Brotherhood regime, which the administration, appallingly, supported—had fully restored arms sale to Egypt by early this year.

The objection to el-Sisi has centered on the harshness of his crackdown on the Brotherhood and other Islamists, which indeed has seen the killing of hundreds and the jailing of thousands, and hardly meets Western judicial standards.

But as Israel has long realized, in the Middle East one doesn’t get to choose between good and bad, but—sometimes—between not-so-good and much, much worse.

Read the whole thing.

AND FOR ‘WASHINGTON,’ READ: ‘OBAMA AND HILLARY.’ Panetta: Leon Washington Bears ‘Some Responsibility’ in Rise of ISIS.

Related: “Obama can call GOP meanies, but the Syrian refugee crisis is all on him.”

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Obama’s Syrian Refugee Debacle. To be fair, Hillary helped.

RON FOURNIER: Leaderless: I once asked, “What if Obama can’t lead?” The answer after Paris is painful. “On IS­IS, Obama breaks every rule. He min­im­izes the threat and dis­misses our fears, which raises doubts about his candor and cap­ab­il­ity. An over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans dis­ap­prove of his hand­ling of IS­IS, a new poll shows, and 81 per­cent think IS­IS will strike the United States.”

Related: Mistrusting Obama on ISIS—and Refugees.

I GUESS, UNLIKE OBAMA, SHE ACTUALLY READS THE INTEL REPORTS: Top Dem to Obama: We’re running out of time to beat Islamic State. “Sen. Dianne Feinstein criticized the president’s strategy against the Islamic State on Sunday, saying that the terrorist group has grown despite Pentagon claims that it has lost ground. . . . Analysts said that the president’s unwillingness to revise the plan suggests an overconfidence, while other countries like France and Russia are increasing their strikes in Syria.”

Overconfidence in the face of reality is a hallmark of our president.

Related: CBS News: Majority Of Democrats Say Obama Lacks A Plan To Deal with ISIS. “Just over a week after the terrorist attacks in Paris, only 23 percent of Americans think President Barack Obama has a clear plan for dealing with the militant group ISIS, the lowest number yet recorded in the CBS News Poll. Sixty-six percent do not think he has a clear plan – a new high. Large majorities of Republicans and independents say the President doesn’t have a clear plan, and almost half of Democrats (40 percent) agree. More Democrats (45 percent) say he doesn’t have a plan than say he does.”

THE CITY OF THE WHITED SEPULCHRES: “Brussels today is the West’s tomorrow; unless we change course we will find ourselves more and more living in a world in which reality mocks our aspirations,” Walter Russell Mead writes.

Reality has mocked President Obama’s aspirations since almost immediately after he took office; yet his desire to transform America into Europe is unshakeable, not least of which, because it’s been fundamental to the American “Progressives’” vision for over a century. As Mead writes, consider their current state a useful sneak preview of what’s to come for America unless the fundamental transformation is fundamentally stopped.


Notice that ISIS does something terrible, and the overwhelming thrust of the conversation on Meet the Press is that the American people have done something wrong and must look inside their hearts and feel guilty over the overwhelming racism and Islamaphobia in their society. “News flash: We’re not the villains here,” Jim Geraghty reminds NBC.

We’ve seen this movie before a few times in the last 14 years, haven’t we? In August of 2010, in response to the infamous Ground Zero Mosque, the DNC-MSM was lashing out at the American people over “Islamophobia” largely because they knew they were about to lose control over Congress, and possibly the Senate as well during the year of the Tea Party. (And remembering the previous year when all things seemed possible in the era of Hopenchange, when Newsweek (then controlled by the Washington Post) proclaimed “We Are Socialists Now” and James Carville predicted “40 years” of Democrat rule made the prospect of November of 2010 all the more painful.)

This time around? Partially it’s the media’s fear that Hillary doesn’t quite have that Rich Corinthian New Candidate Smell that Obama had in 2008 and thus won’t be able to make it over the finish line no matter how much assistance they can provide as her operatives with bylines. But far more, as Jonah Goldberg wrote on Friday, the real reason is that the MSM is responding to terrorism by retreating to the “Safe Space” of “Progressive” ideology and biting down hard on their binkies. As for why, the reasons are multifaceted. The MSM is (a) very well aware of the debacle that Obama made of the Middle East, after bragging about “his” success there in 2012, (b) has no concrete answer for fighting terrorism beyond singing “Imagine” and “Give Peace a Chance,” and (c) knows that Hillary, as Obama’s first Secretary of State, must follow down the landmined path he’s set out for her.

And (d) — any day the MSM gets to scold the American people is a good one in their book, particularly after they rejected the glorious utopian revolution of 2008. (QED.)

Oh, and speaking of Islamophobia among presidential candidates

WOULDN’T REPEAL EUTHANASIA BE MORE HUMANE:  After all its end of life is very expensive. ObamaCare’s imploding even without repeal.

BARACK OBAMA: The Media Needs To Go To War! And Tom Maguire does, though perhaps not quite as our President anticipated. “After all, two million Parisians were not killed in the Friday night attacks. So when a guy with Secret Service protection tells you not to be afraid, listen up.”

Plus: “In any case – There was a time when dissent was the highest from of patriotism, or so progressives told us. Its almost as if that was partisan BS.”

SULTAN KNISH: Obama Wants to Defeat America, Not ISIS. “Obama’s failed wars occupy a space of unreality that most Americans associate with Baghdad Bob bellowing that there are no American soldiers in Iraq. (There are, according to the White House, still no American ground forces in Iraq. Only American forces in firefights on the ground in Iraq.) There’s nothing new about any of this. Obama doesn’t win wars. He lies about them.”

WELL, IT’S NOT THE “RADICAL JIHAD” STATE, YOU KNOW:  Rex Murphy writes in the Canadian National Post about Hillary Clinton’s doublespeak hypocrisy:

It’s an odd world. Glamour magazine recently named the former Bruce Jenner as its Woman of the Year. In all respectable circles, she is of course now recognized as Caitlyn Jenner, after coming out as a woman. In this context, coming out is simply to be understood as an act of self-declaration. If a person self-identifies as X, Y or Z, then he, she, ze or hir has to be what he, she, ze or hir professes to be. If it’s a nightmare for grammarians, just think of the chaos in biology departments. .  . .

This is a Euclidean axiom in the new geometry of gender and progressive thought. Names matter — what people are called, and what they themselves wish to be called, matters greatly. So if Jenner says “call me Caitlyn,” Hillary will not oppose the right-thinking baptism. . . .

ISIL is of course Islamic, and it is radical by any definition of that weary word. The president of France, François Hollande, declared war on radical Islam in the wake of its multiple ambushes on Paris’ defenceless citizens. He recognizes it for what it says it is — radical, Islamic and terroristic.

Yet in a debate on this very subject, Clinton refused to utter the phrase radical Islam, pushed vigorously against the idea of naming Islamic terror for what it is, even though ISIL itself wears its radical Islamist motivations, goals and methods with arrogant pride.

On Jenner’s right to call herself what she wants, Clinton is on board. On a fanatic organization brutalizing the Middle East and exporting terror to the capitals of the world, she declines.

She is one with U.S. President Barack Obama on this — they steadfastly refuse to call our enemies by their name. In other words, when it comes to words and concepts that correspond to unalterable reality, she will deny words their meaning to the point of refusing to say them. But on matters that Glamour magazine takes seriously, on which DNA itself has spoken, Clinton is one with all the buzz factories of trendy thought.

She was, it must be noted, for four years the secretary of state of the most powerful country on Earth, and now wishes to be its president. Heaven help us.

Amen. ISIL stands for the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” not the “Radical Jihad State of Iraq and the Levant,” which Clinton, Obama and the other P.C. Democrats seem to think it is. Geez.

Besides, why do Clinton and the Democrats think they need to further clarify matters by prefixing the word “radical” in front of “jihad”? Jihad alone isn’t radical enough?

While the term “jihad” can refer to the struggle to maintain Islamic faith, it also (more commonly) refers to a Holy War against non-Islamists. Either way, “jihad” is an exclusionary term, reflecting a religious zeal that is highly intolerant, and possibly quite violent. Under either definition of jihad, it seems pretty “radical” to me.

Liberals/progressives defend Islam so vigorously that they insist on qualifying “jihad” with the adjective “radical,” and they refuse to utter the (accurate) phrase “radical Islam.” How ironic that these liberals/progressives–who repeatedly evince an overt hostility to religion, and who wave the banner of “tolerance” in our faces, to the point of aggression–are so deeply committed to defending such intolerant, religiously motivated actions and beliefs.

REMAIN CALM, ALL IS WELL: 900 ‘homegrown’ ISIS cases being investigated in US: FBI.

FLASHBACK: Me In September: The Obama/Hillary Mideast Debacles. It’s only gotten worse, of course.

LIFE IN OBAMA’S AMERICA: Federal agents took more money and stuff from Americans in 2014 than burglars did.

In 2014, the federal government confiscated some $4.5 billion from Americans through civil asset forfeiture, according to a recent report from the Institute for Justice, a nonprofit libertarian law and research organization.

That’s a figure which has been growing rapidly in recent years—as recently as 2008 it was “just” $1.5 billion, and there’s compelling evidence that law enforcement agencies use this license to bolster their budgets in lean years.

In the words of one officer, civil asset forfeiture funds are “kind of like pennies from heaven. It gets you a toy or something that you need is the way that we typically look at it to be perfectly honest.”

That $4.5 billion figure is shocking on its own.

But it’s even more shocking when you put it in this perspective: in that same year, FBI records show burglars took only $3.9 billion from Americans.

So in 2014, the federal government took more money and stuff from Americans than actual burglars did.

Our government is “getting really good at separating the citizen from their property — not just really good, criminally good.”

Think of the state as a band of thieves and you will not go far wrong.

THE JV TEAM: Team Obama’s latest ISIS ‘oops’.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Jimmy Carter is slagging Obama’s Mideast Policy. “I noticed that two of his secretaries of defense, after they got out of office, were very critical of the lack of positive action on the part of the president.”

PUTIN IS BETTER AT PR THAN OBAMA: Russia Sends Puppy To Paris To Replace Slain Police Dog.

Then again, Putin cares whether people like his country.

AND SPEAKING OF ‘THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION:’ Al Gore’s January 27, 2016 Prediction is Coming Near: The Earth Will End From Overheating.

Which makes sense — after all, as NASA’s James Hansen warned on January 17, 2009, President Obama ‘has four years to save Earth.’ That no-so-final-countdown, one of many, quietly expired as well.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. President Obama Is Downright Insufferable On The Subject Of Syrian Refugees.

YOU WILL NEVER FIND A MORE PROGRESSIVE HIVE OF SCUM, VILLAINY AND SEXISM: Hillary’s Hollywood Posse Says Take Off Your Shirt, Starlet (But Step Away From the Director’s Chair):

Liberal Hollywood men effectively form a secret society that blackballs anyone with more natural estrogen than Caitlyn Jenner from becoming director of a major motion picture.

We learn this from Liberal female columnist Maureen Dowd, writing in the liberal New York Times Magazine. She’s alarmed that less than 2 percent of the top 100 movies boast a female director.

With this and the racism running rampant on both college campuses, and in Hollywood (just ask Spike Lee or the leftwing movie critic in your local paper), why are leftwing enclaves such hotbeds of racism and sexism?

(But given that, as President Obama likes to say, “there’s no greater threat to our planet than climate change,” shouldn’t Democrats be working hard to permanently shutter such a non-essential highly energy-dependent industry that’s built on tax breaks for the wealthy?)

ROBERT TRACINSKI: Barack Obama: Worst. President. Ever.

I still remember a lot of people telling me in 2006 that George W. Bush was the “worst president ever.”

They had no idea what they were talking about. This is what the “worst president ever” looks like. In his response to the attacks in Paris, Barack Obama has shown us a leader who is not just inadequate to his core responsibilities, but contemptuous of them.

Yeah, pretty much.

THIS EXPLAINS A LOT: US Pilots Confirm: Obama Admin Blocks 75 Percent of Islamic State Strikes.

Strikes against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) targets are often blocked due to an Obama administration policy to prevent civilian deaths and collateral damage, according to Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The policy is being blamed for allowing Islamic State militants to gain strength across Iraq and continue waging terrorist strikes throughout the region and beyond, according to Royce and former military leaders who spoke Wednesday about flaws in the U.S. campaign to combat the Islamic State.

“You went 12 full months while ISIS was on the march without the U.S. using that air power and now as the pilots come back to talk to us they say three-quarters of our ordnance we can’t drop, we can’t get clearance even when we have a clear target in front of us,” Royce said. “I don’t understand this strategy at all because this is what has allowed ISIS the advantage and ability to recruit.”

When asked to address Royce’s statement, a Pentagon official defended the Obama administration’s policy and said that the military is furiously working to prevent civilian casualties.

“The bottom line is that we will not stoop to the level of our enemy and put civilians more in harm’s way than absolutely necessary,” the official told the Washington Free Beacon, explaining that the military often conducts flights “and don’t strike anything.”

I’m not surprised. The Obama Administration wages war with the zeal of a sleepy llama.

RELATED: New ISIS video says it will lead Obama and other US leaders “like slaves, like dogs.” 


For Democrats, I think there’s a sense of responsibility here. You know, President Obama waxed self-righteous about the Republican bill and the Republican behavior, but he’s made a series of cold and, to me, amoral decisions over the past five years to allow this genocide. And maybe they were the right decisions, but they were not moral decisions. They were Machiavelli and Realpolitik decisions not to get involved.

That’s why he’s trying so hard to paint the Republicans as meanies.

BYRON YORK: Obamacare death spiral a gift to 2016 GOP candidates.

There have been many articles in the last year with some variation of the headline “GOP Surrenders on Obamacare.” The stories mostly concern a tendency among some Republican policy elites to adopt the Washington conventional wisdom that Obamacare cannot be repealed because it has already become deeply entrenched in American life.

Those Republicans might want to reconsider. A series of developments in recent days suggests the Affordable Care Act is in perilous condition and could become even more troubled in months to come. . . .

It goes without saying that all the stuff President Obama said while selling Obamacare — that it would save the average family $2,500, that people who liked their coverage could keep it, etc. — have long ago gone up in smoke.

This is a potent political issue. Republican base voters have never gone along with the party’s Beltway elites in making their peace with Obamacare. Any candidate who pledges on the stump to repeal every word of the Affordable Care Act wins a raucous round of applause. And in light of recent news, look for them to do it more and more.

Wrap it with the — transparently true — overarching theme that our political class in Washington is made up of fools, crooks, and liars and you’ve got a winning narrative!

THE STAR WARS ECONOMY IS BIGGER THAN YOU THINK: Chris Taylor, author of How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise is featured in a new interview at Reason TV:

Taylor says, up until the release of Star Wars: A New Hope, merchandising never worked out for the movies. But, because of the long-term popularity of the film, the merchandising hit the shelves at the right time.

“Because it stuck around for so long, it actually meant that you could actually get the merchandising to consumers while the movie was still in the theaters, which was huge, and it had not been done before,” says Taylor. “There was an incredible repeat-ability to it and there was a cult.”

That cult of fans bought action figures from Kenner, iron-on t-shirts from Factors Inc. and event jewelry in the shape of X-wing fighters from the Weingeroff jewelry firm. Further, they began to recreate the world of Star Wars on their own, making their own memorabilia from scratch.

* * * * * * *

Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4.05 billion in 2012 and adopted the allegiance to fans in the process.

While Star Wars radically changed how films are merchandised and distributed, and had a landmark impact on movie and TV special effects, there’s no small drawback to the revolution that Star Wars’ mega-success brought to Hollywood.

As Jonathan Last wrote a decade ago in his Weekly Standard review of Edward Jay Epstein’s book Big Picture, Hollywood now functions “as a giant clearinghouse for intellectual property,” as a successful movie franchise translates into not just toys, t-shirts and fast-food branded with movie logos, but soundtracks, books, DVDs, spin-off TV series, etc.

Which is why, as James McCormick wrote in his 2006 review of Big Picture, Hollywood films essentially now come in two flavors only: the Disney / Marvel / Lucasfilm / Pixar / James Bond / Star Trek-type franchise designed for endless merchandising, and art-house flicks. In the Bush era, these latter films included anti-War on Terror stinkers such as Lions for Lambs, In the Valley of Elah, and Redacted. Today, the theme du jour seems to be revisionist history in the form of the pro-Weather Underground The Company You Keep, the pro-Dan Rather “Truth,” and the pro-Communist Trumbo. These much more economically budgeted films are guaranteed to lose money at the box office, but make pro-Obama studio executives and lefty celebrities with pull (note how many of the above bombs star Robert Redford) feel good about themselves:

The movies made for kids and adolescents are, by design, denatured and created in the form of over-simplified hero tales. And the “art house” loss-leaders created to placate Hollywood’s egomaniacs are about individuals casting off the cultural, moral, and sexual constraints of their societies to find personal liberation (sound familiar?). Since the merchandising blockbusters must satisfy the international market, the “hero tales” transmit little more about American culture than US teens are good with guns. And the “art-house” films are mostly about outdoing the rest of the world in the denigration of Anglosphere domestic culture and sanctifying appropriate victims.

Despite the awful memories of the Star Wars prequels, I’m sure I’ll go see Episode Seven. And I would love to come out of the theater with that same fist-pumping energy that the original Star Wars delivered and/or the feeling of awe from that haunting last scene in the Empire Strikes Back.

But I’d like to think George Lucas himself is savoring the irony that his modestly-budgeted pro-Vietcong 1977 movie helped to make him a billionaire. If only its success had inspired him to make better movies in the process.   

“IDEOLOGY AS COMFY SLIPPERS.” In his latest G-File, Jonah Goldberg writes, “After 9/11, big swaths of the Left immediately wanted to talk about censorship and the threat to Americans’ First Amendment rights…It is a natural human tendency to want to just go and play with your toys when the world is crashing down around you. The campus Huns pillaging higher education these days only want to talk about “white privilege” — unimpeded by debate, facts, reality, or anything smacking of an opposing point of view — because it is psychologically comfortable and politically empowering. Contemplating that your problems don’t have all that much to do with systemic bigotry is discomfiting. So they want safe spaces to play with their conceptual Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys:”

And that is why, as I argue in my column today, Barack Obama is so eager to respond to the Paris attacks with a rhetorical fusillade against Republican bigotry. It is a ploy as brilliant as it is disgustingly cynical. Obama is a co-author of this refugee crisis. As Walter Russell Mead writes, “No one, other than the Butcher Assad and the unspeakable al-Baghdadi, is as responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria as is President Obama.” Somewhere deep inside Obama’s supposedly Niebuhrian conscience even he must suspect there is some truth to this. And even if his denial is total, he must understand that a great many historians will side with Mead in this appraisal.

Rather than face this unthinkable truth, Obama seeks to change the story line so that he is the noble and besieged martyr fighting the forces of reaction at home, rather than the hapless and bumbling nutty professor who let the world go to Hell on his watch. “Sanctimony over refugees is Obama’s way of restoring his own moral superiority over people who’ve been complaining for years, entirely correctly, that his Syria policy is FUBAR and has contributed to the disaster,” as Allahpundit writes.

Read the whole thing.

The notion of ideology as a safe space during a time of both real and ideological crisis also helps to explain how the left’s waging “the moral equivalent of war” on vaporous “climate change” has run on such a long parallel track to Islamic terrorism since shortly after 9/11. And why Obama has said that “there’s no greater threat to our planet than climate change” so many times while simultaneously engaging in what Jonah correctly dubs his “phony war on the Islamic State [that] was always more about seeming to do something while running out the clock until his successor inherits his mess.”


NO CONFIDENCE: Disapproval of Obama’s handling of terrorism reaches 54%, highest of his presidency. So far.

ANDREW McCARTHY: Obama and the ISIS ‘Recruitment Tool’ Canard:

The Republican moderates are well-meaning but foolish. Lacking confidence or competence to explain the different interpretations of Islam, they fear that if they concede the nexus between Islamic doctrine and jihadism, they will be perceived as “at war with Islam.” So they relentlessly pretend that the “true” Islam is irenic: a noble quest for justice and tolerance. Because these Republicans are more politically progressive than conservative, they delude themselves into believing their soaring words will someday alter reality: If they say “religion of peace” and “moderate” enough times, Islam will actually become a moderate religion of peace, its sharia seamlessly compatible with our Constitution and Western principles – regardless of what Islamic doctrine actually says.

The Left, to the contrary, is neither well-meaning nor foolish. It will not admit the nexus between Islamic scripture and jihadist terror for two shrewd reasons.

Read the whole thing.

LIKE A BAD RESTAURANT AFTER A MASS POISONING: DNC looks to rebrand to stem losses during Obama administration.

AT THIS POINT, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE: Hillary Clinton’s plan to fight ISIS is like Obama’s — only more so.

SON OF OIKOPHOBIA: Team Obama’s ridiculous Paris remarks highlight its lame mindset on ISIS.

IT’S LIKE OBAMA HAS SOME SORT OF RELIGIOUS TEST GOING OR SOMETHING: While DC debates religion, refugees, Iraqi Christians feel Uncle Sam’s boot.

SMART DIPLOMACYTM UPDATE: Obama & Kerry: Such a Fine Line Between Clever & Stupid.

Let’s put it bluntly: Kerry tells us that certain acts of mass terror are not as bad as others if the terrorists have a “legitimacy” or a “rationale” understandable to your average progressive elite moron, one that said moron “could attach to.” You find encapsulated here the self-loathing that progressives feel for Western society, a loathing so deep that they are willing to “attach” themselves to those who would kill us in cold blood as long as the killers had an understandable reason, of course. This is the same sort of “cool detached intellectualist logic” at work, say, when Hitler reoccupied the Rhineland, Stalin conducted his murderous purges, Castro and Che ran their firing squads 24/7, as Chavez/Maduro dismantle democracy in Venezuela, or as thugs take over universities in the name of “tolerance” and “black lives” etcetera, etcetera . . .

For the progressive the victims at Charlie Hebdo, of course, had committed the crime of treating Islam to almost the same level of mockery to which they subject Christianity, Judaism, Israel, and conservative politicians. They violated the Molotov-Von Ribbentrop Pact that exists between Islam and progressivism. It was too bad they had to die, but it was understandable.

Ouch. Plus: “Unfortunately for Western civilization, the Obama misadministration is not a fictional mockumentary. This is real. The disaster is real. The blood being spilled by Muslim crazies is real.”

HARVARD LAW “HATE” CRIME: John Hinderaker over at Power Line has an amusing story about the “hateful” genesis of the HLS shield and the school’s early, slaveholding benefactor:

The back story is that the money that founded the law school came from a man named Royall, who was a slaveholder. This is how the law school itself tells the story:

Harvard Law School was established through a bequest from the estate of Isaac Royall, a wealthy Antiguan plantation owner and slaveholder who immigrated to Boston. Royall’s coat-of-arms, with its three stacked wheat sheaves, remains the school’s crest to this day.

The law school’s crest is displayed, among other places, at Wasserstein Hall. Someone, presumably a person associated with the movement on campus to do away with such reminders of the Royall family, put black tape over the seal. Then, overnight, someone removed some of the pieces of black tape and put them over portraits of black faculty members that hang in the hallway.

This supposed hate crime was described by a second-year student named Michele Hall, who also posted photos of the portraits with tape over them . . . . The reaction was what you would expect. Ms. Hall writes:

I am constantly reminded of the legacy of white supremacy that founded this school and still breathes through every classroom and lecture hall. I am also shown the small inroads that professors of color have made, breaking apart the notion that whiteness is the epitome of legal scholarship.

Whiteness is the epitome of legal scholarship? Seriously?

Ms. Hall further declared, “The defacing of the portraits of black professors this morning is a further reminder that white supremacy built this place, is the foundation of this place, and that we never have and still do not belong here.”

Okay, so if you really believe this, Ms. Hall (and like Hinderaker, I don’t think she does), why don’t you go to Howard or some other “historically black” law school, where you won’t have to be “reminded” that former benefactors, students and alumni were possibly slaveholders? Is it not sufficient to soothe your soul that you very likely attend one of the best law schools in the country because HLS has vigorously embraced the liberal/progressive policy of affirmative action? And do you really think that any institution that has received a generous grant from a slaveholder means that you do not “belong” there? If this is the case, you do not “belong” in about 90 percent of the best universities in the country, I suspect.

The truth is that Ms. Hall doesn’t really belong in any decent law school. She apparently has zero talent at logic, and her emotions control her brain. Sadly, these traits would likely put her on the short list for a federal court judgeship by the Obama Administration.

DUCK AND COVER: Claudia Rosett: The Next Failure of Imagination: Nuclear Terrorism?

As with so many Democrat presidential candidates before him, Obama was sold in 2007 and 2008 as the latest iteration of “the next JFK” – be careful what you wish for.

PEGGY NOONAN: Paris is different, but the president can’t seem to change:

Finally, continued travels through the country show me that people continue to miss Ronald Reagan’s strength and certitude. In interviews and question-and-answer sessions, people often refer to Reagan’s “optimism.” That was his power, they say—he was optimistic.

No, I say, that wasn’t his power and isn’t what you miss. Reagan’s power was that he was confident. He was confident that whatever the problem—the economy, the Soviets, the million others—he could meet it, the American people could meet it, and our system could meet it. The people saw his confidence, and it allowed them to feel optimistic. And get the job done.

What people hunger for now from their leaders is an air of shown and felt confidence: I can do this. We can do it.

Who will provide that? Where will it come from? Isn’t it part of what we need in the next president?

I’m not sure what Noonan’s chief objection is, since on the eve of the 2008 election she wrote that Mr. Obama “He has within him the possibility to change the direction and tone of American foreign policy, which need changing; his rise will serve as a practical rebuke to the past five years, which need rebuking; his victory would provide a fresh start in a nation in which a fresh start would come as a national relief.”

What we’re seeing in Iraq, Syria, Paris, Mali and elsewhere is the end result of that change in “the direction and tone of American foreign policy,” which Noonan believed needed changing. (And it’s quite a change, by the way.)

By the way, there’s another president who provided optimism and confidence. As Glenn tweets today in response to Slate, “Too bad you guys un-personed him starting in 2005. Miss him yet?”

PARDON ME IF I’M NOT INSPIRED TO DELIGHT BY THIS STATEMENT: Jarrett: Obama Not ‘Lame Duck,’ ‘Really Big Things’ Coming. I would like to see criminal justice reform, but I have very little confidence in their ability to execute it well.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Obama right again on P.C. campus speech: As the president said, students shouldn’t try to silence other side but listen, engage and persuade. “And if you’re looking back at the 1960s Civil Rights Era as a model for your social justice crusade, here’s a reminder: The angry mobs trying to shut out speech they didn’t like? They weren’t the good guys there.”

MORE OF THE SAME, REALLY: Krauthammer: After Paris, Obama refuses to lead.

[S]ocialist President Francois Hollande has responded furiously to his country’s 9/11 with an intensified air campaign, hundreds of raids on suspected domestic terrorists, a state of emergency, and proposed changes in the constitution to make France less hospitable to jihad.

Read more at:, Barack Obama, titular head of the free world, has responded to Paris with weariness and annoyance. His news conference in Turkey was marked by a stunning tone of passivity, detachment, and lassitude, compounded by impatience and irritability at the very suggestion that his Syria strategy might be failing. The only time he showed any passion was in denouncing Republicans for hardheartedness toward Muslim refugees. One hundred and twenty-nine innocents lie dead but it takes the GOP to kindle Obama’s ire. . . .

Obama’s priorities lie elsewhere. For example, climate change, which he considers the greatest “threat to our future.” And, of course, closing Guantánamo.

And don’t forget gun control. Of course, the Paris attacks likely would have ended much sooner if someone nearby had been carrying a gun. But hey, never let a good crisis go to waste, right?

TRAIN WRECK UPDATE: Obamacare Insurers Are Suffering. That Won’t End Well.

This was part of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad news cycle for Obamacare; as ProPublica journalist Charles Ornstein said on Twitter, “Not since 2013 have I seen such a disastrous stream of bad news headlines for Obamacare in one 24-hour stretch.” Stories included not just UnitedHealth’s dire warnings, but also updates in the ongoing saga of higher premiums, higher deductibles and smaller provider networks that have been coming out since open enrollment began.

It now looks pretty clear that insurers are having a very bad experience in these markets. The sizeable premium increases would have been even higher if insurers had not stepped up the deductibles and clamped down on provider networks. The future of Obamacare now looks like more money for less generous coverage than its architects had hoped in the first few years.

But of course, that doesn’t mean insurers need to leave the market. Insurance is priced based on expectations; if you expect to pay out more, you just raise the price. After all, people are required to buy the stuff, on pain of a hefty penalty. How hard can it be to make money in this market?

What UnitedHealth’s action suggests is that the company is not sure it can make money in this market at any price.

It’s as if the whole thing is a scam designed to result in single-payer.

YES: How Weak Foreign Policy Abroad Leads To Intrusive Government At Home. “The reason we’re even having this conversation about domestic surveillance, Muslim databases, any of it, is because we failed to contain the infection over there and now it’s spread to here.”

Related: Washington Post: “For much of the past seven years, President Obama has labored to move the United States off a war footing abroad and keep the threat of terrorism in perspective at home. The Paris attacks and their after­math are testing the limits of that approach and the patience of a country that is questioning whether the president truly understands the terror threat.”

DEMS IN DISARRAY: Refugee Fight Splinters Democrats. “Despite President Obama’s high-minded moral posturing, Americans remain deeply concerned about the White House’s resettlement plan for Syrian refugees in the wake of the Paris attacks. A Bloomberg poll found that only 28 percent of Americans want to proceed with the plan. Even high-ranking Democratic politicians are not persuaded by the president’s hectoring, as forty seven House Democrats have joined with virtually all Republicans to pass a bill toughening refugee screening with a veto-proof majority. Moreover, Democratic governors, including California’s Jerry Brown, reportedly sparred with the White House over its plans in a recent conference call.”

I THOUGHT OBAMACARE WAS SUPPOSED TO REMOVE ALL OF THAT STRESS: Shopping for Health Insurance Is New Seasonal Stress for Many. “Every year I feel like I’m starting all over again, and I just dread it.”

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Obama right again on P.C. campus speech: As the president said, students shouldn’t try to silence other side but listen, engage and persuade. “And if you’re looking back at the 1960s Civil Rights Era as a model for your social justice crusade, here’s a reminder: The angry mobs trying to shut out speech they didn’t like? They weren’t the good guys there.”

WHAT COULD GO WRONG? “Obama administration counter-terrorism officials have trained domestic Homeland Security law enforcement officers to focus on the behavior of people entering the United States, rather than their political, ideological or religious background,” Kerry Picket writes at the Daily Caller:

“‘Are you a member of the Muslim Brotherhood? What school of Islamic law do you follow? Where do you go to mosque? Do you believe someone who insults Islam deserves to be killed? Would you like to make America an Islamic country?’ All of these questions — the most important ones — are off-limits,” Reaboi said.


THE NEW YORK TIMES VS. NAIL SALONS: The gray lady’s inaccurate reporting wreaks havoc on an immigrant-dominated industry:

In May 2015, The New York Times published a much-discussed two-part story claiming, among other things, that nail salon workers in New York State are routinely exploited—earning wages as low as $10 per day.

Immediately after the first article appeared, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) started a regulatory crackdown on nail salons. The result has been to wreak havoc on this immigrant-dominated industry and to close off employment opportunities for undocumented workers.

And the New York Times story that inspired Cuomo’s crackdown broadly mischaracterized the nail salon industry. Manicurists are skilled employees whose labor is in high demand, and they have a good deal of bargaining power. Some of the men and women the Times reporter spoke with say she misquoted them or misrepresented their businesses.

Click above to watch a short documentary on the New York Times attack on the nail salon industry.

And thus the Gray Lady, hamstrung by its manic support of Hillary and Obama and a raging case of PC (but I repeat myself) has a minor story in which to divert itself from the real news of the day, in much the same way that the Howell Raines-era Times was obsessed with the Augusta National Golf Course in the immediate wake of 9/11.


All of which makes more grating Obama’s denunciation of Americans critical of his call to admit 10,000 refugees here. In Antalya he accused them of closing their hearts to victims of violence and of being “not American” in suggesting prioritization of the Christian refugees who have been singled out for torture and murder.

He could have acknowledged people’s qualms as legitimate and argued at greater length, as former Ambassador to Iraq and Syria Ryan Crocker did in the Wall Street Journal, that we have processes in place that would effectively screen out terrorists. Or he could have proposed, like Speaker Paul Ryan, a pause before accepting any.

But that would have meant not taking cheap shots against the political opposition at home — the people who really make him angry.

And thus Obama begins his last year in office the way he came in, as the reverse Von Clausewitz,  the president who views American politics as the continuation of warfare by other means, to flip Von Clausewitz’s axiom on its head. As David Horowitz noted in 2009, it’s not just the Chicago way, it’s the Alinsky way. And he’d much rather focus on his own brand of domestic warfare, than anything going on overseas that would distract from it.

QED: Obama: I’m thinking I’ll spend my last year in office focused on gun control.

ON STEVE CROWDER’S SHOW: Ted Cruz Like You’ve Never Seen. Throws Gauntlet on Obama and Refugee Crisis.

ED MORRISSEY: Obamacare’s Bait and Switch Has Left Consumers Scrambling in 2016. Fundamentally transformed!


Wednesday on Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show,” veteran journalist Sharyl Attkisson said her sources have told her that President Barack Obama does not want and will not read intelligence reports on groups “he does not consider terrorists,” despite being on a U.S. list of designated terrorists.

Attkisson said, “I have talked to people who have worked in the Obama administration who firmly believe he has made up his mind. I would say closed his mind, they say, to their intelligence that they’ve tried to bring him about various groups that he does not consider terrorists, even if they are on the U.S. list of designated terrorists. He has his own ideas, and there are those who’ve known him a long time who say this dates back to law school. He does not necessarily—you may think it’s a good trait you may think it’s a bad trait—he does not necessarily listen to the people with whom he disagrees. He seems to dig in. I would suppose because he thinks he’s right. He is facing formidable opposition on this particular point.”

The New York Times sounds like it grudgingly concurs with Attkisson’s assessment of our epistemically closed president, though you have to scroll down eight paragraphs deep past their deliberately underplayed headline, “In Rise of ISIS, No Single Missed Key but Many Strands of Blame,” to find the story’s real lede:

A 2012 report by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency was direct: The growing chaos in Syria’s civil war was giving Islamic militants there and in Iraq the space to spread and flourish. The group, it said, could “declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.”

“This particular report, this was one of those nobody wanted to see,” said Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who ran the defense agency at the time.

“It was disregarded by the White House,” he said. “It was disregarded by other elements in the intelligence community as a one-off report. Frankly, at the White House, it didn’t meet the narrative.”

As John Fund wrote last year, the eye of the narrative draws ever-tighter in the cloistered Obama White House:

Chris Matthews of MSNBC, the former White House speechwriter who once rapturously recounted that he “felt this thrill going up my leg” as Obama spoke, didn’t hold back on Wednesday’s Hardball. “Let’s get tough here,” Matthews began, as he lambasted Obama for being “intellectually lazy” and “listening to the same voices all the time.” He even named names, saying that Obama had become “atrophied into that little world of people like Valerie Jarrett and Mrs. Obama.”

To borrow from Gen. Flynn’s language, I wonder what else Obama and Jarrett “disregard” because “it doesn’t meet the narrative?”

WAIT, I THOUGHT AMERICANS WERE “WAR WEARY” AND JUST WANTED FREE HEALTH INSURANCE: NBC Poll: Americans Support Sending More Ground Troops to Fight Islamic State. “Roughly two-thirds of the country (65 percent) want more troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria to combat IS, which took responsibility for the attacks in Paris, France, last week that killed more than 120 people. When broken down by political party, a majority of Republicans, Democrats, and two-thirds of independents agree on sending more troops to combat the terrorist group.”

Related: Bloomberg Poll: Most Americans Oppose Syrian Refugee Resettlement. “Fifty-three percent of U.S. adults in the survey, conducted in the days immediately following the attacks, say the nation should not continue a program to resettle up to 10,000 Syrian refugees. Just 28 percent would keep the program with the screening process as it now exists, while 11 percent said they would favor a limited program to accept only Syrian Christians while excluding Muslims, a proposal Obama has dismissed as ‘shameful’ and un-American.”

THE HILL: Cruz to Obama: Insult me to my face.

GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) challenged President Obama on Wednesday for attacking Republicans who oppose plans to admit thousands of Syrian refugees into the U.S.

“It is utterly unbefitting of the president to be engaging in those kind of personal insults and attacks,” Cruz said in Washington, D.C., in video captured by NBC News.

“He talked about how he was belittling the Republican field as scared. Well let me suggest something: Mr. President, if you want to insult me, you can do it overseas, you can do it in Turkey, you can do it in foreign countries. But I would encourage you Mr. President, come back and insult me to my face,” Cruz said.

Obama would never share a stage with Cruz. He couldn’t even handle Ben Carson.

YEAH, SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT: Peter Wehner: Our Bitter And Graceless President.

We all know people of towering arrogance and we all know people of staggering incompetence, but Barack Obama is quite possibly the perfect package. No one on the scene today combines these two qualities in quite the same way as Mr. Obama.

On the incompetence side, and sticking just with the president’s policies and record in the greater Middle East, there is Mr. Obama’s mishandling of the rise of the Islamic State, which just last year he referred to as the “jayvee team” and just last week declared was “contained.” Recall his threat to Syrian President Assad that if Assad used chemical weapons on his own people it would constitute crossing a “red line” (Assad did and Obama did nothing), and his stop-start-stop support for opposition forces in Syria.

Then there is the president’s decision to pull out all American troops from Iraq, which had disastrous consequences; his failures in Afghanistan (including announcing a withdrawal date even as he was announcing a surge in troops); his bungled relations with Egypt; his failure to support the Green Revolution in Iran in 2009 and his nuclear deal with Iran in 2015, which Charles Krauthammer called “the worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history.” Add to that Mr. Obama declaring his policies in Libya, Yemen and Somalia to be models of success before things collapses in all three countries, his alienation and mistreatment of Israel, and his botched handling of relations with our Arab allies – not to mention policies that have allowed Russia a presence in the Middle East unlike any its had since Anwar Sadat expelled the Soviet Union from Egypt in the early 1970s – and you have a catastrophic foreign policy record. It was only in the summer of last year that the Wall Street Journal reported, “The breadth of global instability now unfolding hasn’t been seen since the late 1970s” – and things are more disordered, chaotic and violent now then it was then. Things are so bad that the president has even lost CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

You’d think that this would have instilled at least a small measure of humility, but no such luck.

FLASHBACK: Team Obama wins fight to have Christian home-school family deported.

HMM: Early Prostate Cancer Cases Fall Along With Screening. “Fewer men are being screened for prostate cancer, and fewer early-stage cases are being detected, according to two studies published Tuesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association. The number of cases has dropped not because the disease is becoming less common but because there is less effort to find it, the researchers said. . . . The decrease in testing is almost certainly a result of a recommendation against screening made in 2012 by the United States Preventive Services Task Force. The task force, an independent panel of experts picked by the government, found that risks outweighed the benefits of routine blood tests for prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, a protein associated with prostate cancer.”

You know, I understand the arguments against doing a lot of screenings — especially with tests, like the PSA test, that are only so-so — but I’m kind of suspicious that we suddenly started listening to them just as ObamaCare passed into law.

FROM THE WOMAN WHO BROUGHT YOU “THE VAST RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY:” Clinton Slams Comedians for Making Jokes About Her (Demands Their Personal Info):

as soon as the video got posted on the Laugh Factory website, he received a phone call from a “prominent” person inside Clinton’s campaign. “He said the video was disgusting and asked who put me up to this,” Masada said. The Clinton staffer, who Masada did not want to identify, also demanded to know the names and phone numbers of the comedians that appear in the video. Masada refused and hung up. He insists that the comedy stage is a sanctuary for freedom of speech no matter who is offended. “Just last night we had (Emmy-award winner) Dana Carvey doing Donald Trump and it was hilarious,” Masada said.

Presumably, this is a warning shot to other comedians and to the rest of Hollywood — don’t worry though; if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the last seven years, professional comedians will speak truth to power no matter who is in office.

JAZZ SHAW: The Wreckage of Baltimore after the Freddie Gray Cameras Went Away.

The rest of America will be cleaning up the mess made by Obama’s acolytes in the DNC and the MSM for years to come after he leaves office.

YOU SPELLED TRAITOR WRONG: The Wall Street Journal editors on “President Guantanamo.”

President Obama rode into the White House vilifying George W. Bush’s “unchecked presidential power” and “ignoring the law when it is inconvenient,” as he put it in 2007. Yet now Mr. Obama is poised to exceed any executive action his predecessor so much as contemplated as he may shut down Guantanamo Bay in defiance of inconvenient laws he signed. . . .

With the end of his tenure in sight, the President is now looking for legal excuses to close the prison without Congressional approval. Since the KSM fiasco in 2009, Congresses run by Democrats and Republicans have specified in defense bills that no Treasury money may be used to transfer or maintain detainees to the U.S. The prohibitions in the most recent defense legislation—which passed the Senate 91-3 and the House 370-58—are the strongest ever.

Yet the Pentagon may soon announce a plan to transfer the remaining 107 dangerous combatants that no other country will accept to a domestic facility such as Fort Leavenworth or the Colorado supermax. Amid Mr. Obama’s many executive rewrites on carbon, ObamaCare and labor this flouting of the law would be the worst.

Mr. Obama’s legal surrogates including former White House counsel Gregory Craig now argue that Congress’s spending restrictions are unconstitutional. They claim the executive has exclusive Article II powers as Commander in Chief over the tactical conduct of war and diplomacy, including the custody of detainees.

But control over wartime prisoners is divided between the President and legislature. The Constitution vests Congress with the power to “make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water,” and not even the most zealous unitary executive theorists read the Captures Clause out of Article I. Congress cannot micromanage military operations, but it has a constitutional role in regulating them.

In 2009 Office of Legal Counsel chief Steven Bradbury wrote an opinion disavowing the legal argument Mr. Craig is now promoting, and Mr. Obama has abided by Congress’s restrictions for seven years. No current emergency justifies ignoring Congress, as Mr. Obama claimed when he traded five Taliban for Bowe Bergdahl in violation of a prisoner swap law.

With this President, it’s not the Constitution that defines his power; it’s what he can get away with.  

SO, BASICALLY, HE WANTS TO BOOST GOP TURNOUT: Obama: I’m thinking I’ll spend my last year in office focused on gun control. Well, his position as ex-President is probably more important if Hillary isn’t in the White House. And she’d be more likely to prosecute Obama Administration wrongdoing than a Republican President, probably. Except maybe for Ted Cruz.

CAMPUS BREAKDOWN (CONT’D): Did UT-Austin students who disrupted Israel Studies event violate campus code? Shutting down other people’s speech isn’t free speech, it’s bullying. Don’t just listen to me — ask President Obama.

UH OH: Could Democrats Break Ranks on the Refugee Fight?

After the slaughter in Paris, the Obama administration’s plan for refugee resettlement has become a flashpoint. GOP governors across the country—plus, recently, the Democratic governor of New Hampshire—have said they would not help resettle refugees in their states unless further security precautions are taken. At the same time, liberals—from pundits to the president—have derided Republicans as xenophobic monsters with an unusual level of cynicism and condescension.

If Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader in waiting, does end up defecting from the liberal line on this question, that could inspire more open opposition within the president’s own party. While GOP governors don’t technically have the power to halt refugee resettlement, Congress does have the potential to make resettlement much more difficult. But even if he doesn’t come down one way or the other, Schumer’s ambivalence (and he has surely been talking to constituents and looking at polls) shows that caution about the administration’s refugee policy isn’t as confined to the anti-immigrant right, despite what many liberal commentators seem to believe.

Hey, even the folks at Mother Jones have figured that out.


Related: Obama Continues Angry Rant Against Republicans For Blocking Refugees.

THE HILL: Obama comes under criticism from Dems over Paris rhetoric.

Influential liberal columnists and Democratic strategists say Obama came off as condescending and scornful during his press conference in Antalya, Turkey — missing an opportunity to show strength and leadership in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“I don’t want him shooting from the hip and making empty threats, but I think he could have done a better job in articulating the anger that many people feel toward what happened in not only Paris but Beirut as well,” said Democratic strategist Jim Manley, a former adviser to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

“What happened in Paris and in Beirut is going to require an aggressive response.”

Those comments echoed Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson’s assessment that Obama’s tone “was all wrong” in addressing the Paris attacks.

Typically an Obama ally, Robinson in a column published on Tuesday wrote that “at times he was patronizing, at other times he seemed annoyed and almost dismissive.”

“That’s not the tone you want to strike to the public, that’s not the tone you want to send to our allies and enemies,” said Democratic strategist Brad Bannon. . . .

Monday’s press conference was the latest of a string of comments from Obama that have sparked concern among his fellow Democrats — including the president’s remark last week that ISIS has been geographically “contained.”

They should be concerned. He’s blowing it.

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): Despite Obama’s Claims, We Are Not Able to Properly Screen Syrian Refugees.

(Exclusive to the new and improved PJ

OH, COME ON, EVERY WORD WAS A LIE INCLUDING THE AND A:Did Obama actually follow in Lincoln’s footsteps?.